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119404 No. 119404
Greetings all, and welcome to the Training Grounds, the review thread for all authors, reviewers, proofreaders, and editors, both newcomer and seasoned veteran alike. It isn't the only such thread, but it's usually the busiest! (Previous edition of The Training Grounds; The sticky, which contains important information)

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OHHH YEAAAAAH
Unspoiler all text  • Expand all images  • Reveal spoilers
>> No. 119406
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119406
>>119404
>> No. 119408
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119408
Hey, a new thread! So clean and fresh... Let's fix that, shall we?

So >>119138 led to >>119151 led to this tale. Just want to get a quick once-over before I send it on for Daffodil's enjoyment pain attention.

Title: The Late Twilight Sparkle

Tags: Well, that's up for discussion, actually...

Description: Fluttershy--that is to say, you--will have a hard time coping.

Link: http://www.fimfiction.net/story/51265/The-Late-Twilight-Sparkle

To whomever reviews this: please be Generous with the spoiler boxes when discussing the plot.

Aside from that: overall impressions, grammar tips, and in particular how well I maintained tense and POV are what I'm looking for.
>> No. 119412
Given his previous appraisal in the Synopsis Review Thread, this one's for Huh.

Dearest Billy.

It is with a heavy hand and heavy heart that I relay to you the news. He is dead, and passed away among his bees only a few days ago. I, too, am not long of this earth, and it falls to you to publish my final wish. The attached parcel is my tin box—you have ferried it to and fro before—and it was where notes from all our adventures, spanning two centuries, two wars and three monarchs had been safely kept. The remaining bundles within, however, we agreed some time ago to never publish, lest our reputations be shredded. However, with his passing heavy on my mind, I cannot forget such cases, so singular and impressive that they prove, without a doubt, that Sherlock Holmes was the greatest detective London, Britannia, and worlds beyond even our farthest imaginations had ever known. Nor should the public, who have no doubt heard of the tragedy. These cases within will confuse you—and perhaps even tarnish your memories of us—but mark my words: They are as true and real as the paper on which you read this letter.


Faithfully Yours,
Dr John H.Watson M.D.

[crossover][human]

Case One: The Adventure of the Centurion's Helm
Part One
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1tgE-epNlWI_gEvXhBADB4-43dz6BrCuZ_g7OwHSzgos/edit
(Part Two exists in some bastard form, and is connected at the bottom. While I should like for a review of that too, If Huh, or anyone else for that matter, does not wish to read an unfinished chapter, they are not being forced to)

So, things I'm looking for:
-Maintaining Victorian era prose and dialogue, especially for Part two's crossover sequence
-Creating interest in both Universes strong and early (As Baxil from r/mylittlefanfic most kindly pointed out)
-Grammar and flow, my old nemeses

Gentlemen, thank you for your time.
>> No. 119413
>>119218

I've been sitting twiddling my thumbs and wearing my f5 key down to a useless nub for most of a week now waiting on various stuff, so I guess I'll make myself useful.

I have a very fast turnaround time. Expect a review... as soon as I find a couple of hours. Tomorrow or the next day.
>> No. 119414
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119414
>>119412
Well now...

On the one hoof, I sort of said I'd hold off on claiming fics here until I put out my next chapter of Ponystar Celestia.

On the other hoof I'm really curious about this fic.

On the other other hoof I should really deliver that chapter, for my amazingly patient readers.

But then again, I'm sort of writer-blocked...

However, I've got some ideas cooking.

But I was asked for by name...

But I'm pretty green yet...

But I like to think I'm good with period pieces, like how I reviewed The Box...

But Minjask is more experienced than me and hated The Box...

Uh...

Hmmm...

Would you be willing to wait a bit for me to review it, Paper Mate?

I won't be offended if you say no.
>> No. 119415
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119415
Done. If there's anything else, or something needs to get fixed, lemme know through the reports.
>> No. 119416
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119416
>>119414
Good Lord, not at all.

I made Conchshellthegeek wait patiently for weeks, so please, by all means, take your time.

Indeed, I may even get that second Part finished.

Keep in touch with any developments.

Sincerest Regards.
>> No. 119417
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119417
>>119416
In that case, I hereby stake a delayed-action claim on "The Adventure of the Centurion's Helm", from Paper Mate Pony's The Secret Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes.
>> No. 119419
I would just like to say that Part 11 of my fic, "Not Exactly Green; No ODST Is" has been reviewed, and I acknowledge it.
>> No. 119427
An update on my current review of 'The Birth of Ardor': Sadly, my desktop's primary SSD has decided to stop working, taking my operating system, a number of important essays, and the draft of the review with it (to data hell, or wherever data goes when it's been naughty) and so it's going to be a little difficult to finish this by my originally announced deadline. The replacement is already en route, but I'm going to have to start again (with both my assignments and your review) so, again, this will probably take a little longer than originally anticipated.

Sorry about this, but it really is out of my hands. Thank you for your patience.
>> No. 119429
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119429
>>119158

>Please be as in-depth as possible.

AH HA HA HA HA HA! You will live to regret those words! From the drawer of detriment arises the footwear of your discontent! You shall drown in a sea of nit-picking, like a single sock in an otherwise empty washing machine!

Okay, moving on to the seriousness that is this review…

Overall Thoughts

You’ve got a good grasp of writing mechanics. Aside from a few problems which I’ll elaborate on, there wasn’t anything that particularly jumped out at me, and I’ve done my best to root out what errors you missed (more on that in a bit, as well). Your dialogue is pretty darn good, in fact—you do an excellent job of conveying character action through words alone.

The plot setup also, in my opinion, holds quite a bit of merit. Your synopsis certainly grabbed my attention—the whole idea of Hitchcock’s “The Birds” set in Equestria is hilarious. I also appreciated the little nods to film, like the scene in front of the schoolhouse and that bit with the telephone booth.

That said, however, the plot does have some issues. Though, the main problems with this fic are its tone and prose. The former is inconsistent while the latter has some prevalent missteps. I took the liberty of copying the fic into a Google Doc, the better to point out some of these problems along with typos and such. Here’s the link:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Qz9p3gNhUEaBPLebRe8blUmOjjyObE--xKW8jPTj0lw/edit

Once you’ve had a look over my comments, allow me to explain a few things further. We’ll start from the tail end by discussing your prose, then work back up to plot.

Writing Concerns

And to kick it off, I’ll explain Lavender Unicorn Syndrome. “LUS” is the term given to unnecessary descriptions of the characters where a pronoun or proper noun would suffice. To demonstrate, let’s look at your first major paragraph:

>The violet unicorn's horn glowed brightly and she used her magic to take the stack of notes from Spike's small hands. Her mane was purple, cut in bangs at the front and highlighted with streaks of plum and magenta. She bore the image of a sparkling star on both flanks.

Take a look at the sections I’ve highlighted. The first one is a textbook example of LUS. The reader can reasonably be expected to know what Twilight looks like—they’re not going to reading this if they haven’t already seen the show, after all—so there is no need to dance around a simpler descriptor. A simple “she” or “her” is all you need.

The second part is LUS taken to an extreme. Again, the reader knows what Twilight looks like. Unless there’s something different about her appearance, there’s no need to waste words with physical description. You can cut this entire section and save the reader some trouble, along with many others throughout the fic.

I know it seems draconian in how there’s pretty much a zero-tolerance policy for this sort of thing, but that’s apparently been necessitated by how prevalent a problem it is with MLP fanfics. As I said in the comments, however, there are some instances where this is okay, but anything beyond that and you’ll have the EQD reviewers crying foul.


Next, we need to talk about your sentence structure. All too often, your descriptions of action boil down to “[subject] [verb] [predicate].” I pointed out some instances of this early on, but I’m afraid the problem is systemic. Here’s a good example:

>The crows squawked, then grabbed hold of the pie pan with their beaks and began to drag it off the windowsill. The mare grabbed it in her teeth and pulled back against them. The birds lit into the air, flapping their wings with all their might to pull the pastry away from her. The mare finally managed to yank it away from them. The birds gave up the fight and flew off. The mare sighed heavily and repositioned the pie on the windowsill.

You see how every sentence follows the same pattern? “The mare did this.” “The birds did that.” “The mare did this.” That gets dry and dull very quickly, I’m afraid. Instead of “X did Y,” try shaking things up a little more. Vary your tenses and appositives.


A word on your paragraph structure, as well. A lot of times you mix dialogue and action, creating very large walls of text that can get a little confusing at times. As a general rule, whenever the subject of the passage shifts or you trade dialogue for action, that’s when you indent. Example:

>Twilight burst out her front door and yelled at the crows. "Out! Now!” She could barely hear own voice above the din they made. She lit her horn and used a spell to amplify her voice to the level of a megaphone. “Birds out of the tree! Now!” The birds fell deathly silent again and fixed their eyes in her. Twilight was unmoved. “Oh no you don't! You're not getting rid of me that easily this time! I want you all off of my house! I can't sleep, I can't work, I can't eat, I can't think, I can't do anything! Are you listening to me?” The birds grew noisy again as if she wasn't there. Twilight stomped around in little circles. “Out, out, out, out, out, out!” When the birds continued to ignore her, she turned her back to her house and bucked it with her hind legs as hard as she could. The impact reverberated all the way to the very top branches, forcing the birds to hold on for dear life. She bucked the tree again and again. The crows suddenly launched from the tree and dove straight at Twilight. She stumbled back in fright as they swarmed her.

The words I’ve underlined mark those spots where an indent would help. Try it. When you break things up like this, it makes it much easier for the reader, which, in turn, will keep them reading.

Tone

Okay, now that I’ve touched on your prose, let’s discuss the tone of this piece. First off, the “Dark” label becomes applicable only to the latter half of the fic, which is kind of the whole problem in a nutshell. The fic seems kind of confused over whether it wants to play its concept for laughs or play it straight.

It starts off fairly comical, with the crows simply being a nuisance and engaging in some slapstick with our heroine. Then there’s that whole part where we jump into their perspective for a parody of the Occupy movement (which had me in stitches, by the way). After the scene at Sweet Apple Acres, though, it gets way too dark, way too fast.

Again, I appreciate the fact that you’re parodying “The Birds,” but that sudden shift from the crows as relatively harmless, if annoying, antagonists to vicious maniacs out for Ponyville’s blood is pretty jarring. The fact that they beat and clawed Rainbow Dash to the point of serious injury doesn’t help. The moment you started depicting that sort of thing, any comedic effect the birds had evaporated.

Now, you can certainly juxtapose comedy and horror, but it’s a fine balance. As it is, the sudden dip into horror doesn’t quite work. You need to decide exactly what sort of tone you’re trying to project with this, because as it is, it just comes off as confusing by the end.

Plot

And on that note, let’s talk about the plot, starting with how it concludes. It’s good that you grasp the concept of escalation, with each subsequent situation bringing bigger stakes to the table. Here’s the problem, though: generally a plot builds up to some sort of payoff. It doesn’t have to be a happy ending, of course, but some closure on everything that happened is what the reader is expecting.

What does the reader get out of this story? Twilight feeling depressed, and asking questions to which she receives no answers. Then, we get a final scene involving the Princess which implies her involvement, but how involved she was, exactly, isn’t explained. Did she send the crows there from the beginning? Did she just organize all the other birds into one force? Did they maul her subjects on her own orders? To what end? What was the point?

This ties in with one of the other plot problems: the birds’ motivations are muddled. The “Occupy” segment seems to suggest they’re doing it for some combination of “sticking it to the man” and “for the lulz,” but then they’re shown as being after food. Then, their motive for revenge becomes clear, but again, it still seems disproportionate. Finally, the ending offers yet another explanation, further confusing the issue.

Furthermore, none of the characters ever raises the question of their motivation until near the end. For that matter, no one ponders where exactly they came from, or why they even want to settle in the library. One would think Twilight would be at least somewhat intrigued by the crows’ strangely coordinated behavior. Instead, they’re simply treated as an obstacle to be removed.

Conclusion

Well, I think I’ve run out of things to harp on. I hope I went “in-depth” enough for you; remember, you asked for it! In closing here are my final thoughts:

You have the makings of a good, solid story here. It just needs some work. Maintain your strengths, fix up your prose, and fill in a few niggling details, and I can easily see this passing muster at EQD. If you want to discuss anything contained in this review—or anything else, for that matter—feel free to send me an email.

Now, I must away to the deepest drawer of the darkest dresser. Good luck, and happy writing!
>> No. 119432
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119432
Oh yeah!

Relaxing Dragon, your review for Deep Vibrations is here. As well as in document.
>>119431

It seems we've become infested with little fics while I was working on my last one. On that subject, Hunt and Toll has been claimed by Tactical but hasn't been cleared from the queue. Shame, too. Looked the most interesting of the three sad-fics up, and I think Min wants Harmony's End.

Maybe it's finally time to continue work on Bountiful Rainbows.
>> No. 119434
>>119427

And I was already starting to get twitchy from having to wait!

Yeah that's fine though--when things happen, they happen.
>> No. 119435
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119435
New thread? Sweeeet. I'm gonna have to get off my ass and finish this review before I get too far behind the curve.
>> No. 119438
>>119432

Ah, thank you for pointing that out to me.

Giving it a look over... yeah, actually, you're pretty right about the story. Even as I uploaded it, I wasn't sitting right with me, because doing things as a copy/paste (which is more or less what I did) is most assuredly not the way to go for a crossover.

Gonna pretty much reboot this sucker from the ground up, though I will definitely do my best to learn from what you said. Thanks very much, and hopefully when I come back, it will make for a considerably more interesting read.
>> No. 119440
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119440
Owlor, in case you didn't see your review on the previous thread, here it is.

>>119409
>> No. 119447
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119447
>Starts picking up stories like mad
>Stories start flying in like mad
>Takes a break
>Queue slowly dwindles to four
>Picks up a story
>Stories start flying in like mad
That's it, I quit! I'm cursed I tell ya!

JK, not really leaving, but definitely no longer on a mission.
>> No. 119449
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119449
>>119447
And then Minjask was a thread.
>> No. 119455
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119455
Statistics
Unclaimed: 5
Reviews awaiting acknowledgment: 5
Reviews In Progress: 8

Overall:
Total reviews since spreadsheet began its use: 1034
Est. Total since founding: >1300

Unclaimed Stories
09/11/2012 ❖ Hunt and Toll by I_Post_Ponies (>>119218)
09/13/2012 ❖ Mi Amore by Another (>>119285)
09/13/2012 ❖ The Zeppo by Roy Hankins (>>119270)
09/14/2012 ❖ Harmony's End by JawJoe (>>119349)
09/15/2012 ❖ The Late Twilight Sparkle by InsufferableUnicorn (my FiMFic handle) (>>119408)

Reviews Awaiting Acknowledgment
Last Chance by The_Incredible_Blunderbolt (>>116191) submitted 08/14/2012 ❖ Reviewed by AzuNyan on 09/04/2012 (>>118557)
Starlight, O' Starlight by Star Swift (>>117005) submitted 08/21/2012 ❖ Reviewed by Bronius Maximus on 08/22/2012 (>>117119)
A Really Bad Fanfic by Anonymous (>>118778) submitted 09/07/2012 ❖ Reviewed by Shoeblock on 09/07/2012 (>>118796)
Overshadowed by Walker "Ink Blotch" Holden (>>118873) submitted 09/08/2012 ❖ Reviewed by Casca on 09/09/2012 (>>118925)
Twilight vs. The Birds by Hepcat (>>119158) submitted 09/11/2012 ❖ Reviewed by Belligerent Sock on 09/15/2012 (>>119429)

Reviews in Progress
Dromer: reviewing Into the Night by TheDamnedScribe (>>115811) submitted 08/12/2012
Minjask: reviewing Regina et Equi Nox by NejinOniwa (>>116825) submitted 08/22/2012
alexmagnet: reviewing Persona: Harmony by Sorakun555 (>>118246) submitted 08/31/2012
Owlor: reviewing The Study of a Winning Pony by Ponibius (>>118617) submitted 09/05/2012
AzuNyan: reviewing Under The Blue Skies by Pinkydash (>>118997) submitted 09/09/2012
Lychee: reviewing Myths and Legends (working title) by Tactical!Rainboom (>>119071) submitted 09/10/2012
Sparky: reviewing The Birth of Ardor (working title) by Tactical!rainboom (>>119226) submitted 09/12/2012
Huh?: reviewing The Secret Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes, Case One by Paper_mate_Pony (>>119412) submitted 09/15/2012

I think it would be a great idea to start pasting acknowledgment post permalinks into column D, and if acknowledgment was made in the IRC, put an X as before. Also, anyone notice that it's possible to leave doc-style comments in cells now? Awesome.
>> No. 119456
>>119455

I'm doing Hunt and Toll. As we speak, actually. It should be done by tonight, or stupid o'clock tomorrow morning for those of you not living in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
>> No. 119457
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119457
Okay, your first chapter was far more readable and enjoyable than the prologue, but you’ve still got a few info dumps, and that doesn’t fly any better than Scootaloo, though it certainly gets an E for effort. Your story could also survive quite well without the odd profanity.

Your second chapter flew back into the territory of too much detail; I had to read several sections twice, because the point of the scene got lost in its description. You also conveniently have Luna just happen to have a ‘Bipedal Negotiations’ spell, Implying she had planned to one day meet humans, which she could have known nothing about as far as your story tells it.

You know, I think I might invent a new psychedelic drug, and I think I might just call it… your third chapter. Seriously man, talk about tripping major ball sack. The only thing that actually made sense, was the realization that none of it made any sense, although I suppose that’s what you get for telling the entire story inside Luna’s––and furthermore, Discord’s––mind

And then your ending: As things finally began to fit together, coherence began to slowly seep back into the stream of words I was surveying… it all abruptly stopped.

I do hope that wasn’t the ending.

Most of your grammatical errors were pointed out in Doc, and while your stylistic choice is questionable, it’s engaging enough that anypony willing to brave the bitter cold of your prelude will be justly rewarded on the other side. All in all, I’d give it a 8/10



>>119455
Um, I just thought I’d let you know: The review for “A Really Bad Fanfic” was acknowledged. See >>118802
>> No. 119462
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119462
Reposting in the new thread!

We have left a number of comments in thy document, but have only noted a few examples of each problem. Learn from these that thou mayest expunge the last vestiges of such from throughout thy fan-fiction!

We shall bestow upon thee our additional notes and overall impressions:

Thou shouldst not employ direct thoughts in first-person narration.

Should of/should have confusion inciteth our ire like few other bugbears. 'TWOULD BE MEET THAT THOU NO TEST OUR WRATH, CITIZEN!

*grumble*

We are frankly gobsmacked at some of the italic usage, and thy verb tenses become jumbled at times.

*SNORT*
>as a her eyes widened
We love thy impression of that silly Mario character! Surely thou hast perused our prior reviews and done this on purpose to gain our approval. We are not so easily distracted!

*wipes away tear*

But thou hast amused us. Good show.

Thou hast consistently missed placing commas for introductory phrases and participles.

Thy narration hath become decidedly flowery about half-way through, which is inconsistent with much of the story, However, since the narrator speaketh as Shining Armor, consider that he useth not fancy verbiage in his canon appearance.

Thou shouldst watch thy sentence structures. In places, thou employest too-frequent usage of "noun, verb" and "pronoun, verb" beginnings. Strivest thou for diversity!

In several places thou hast thy characters speak back and forth with little interruption. We have seen this described as "talking heads," and that term seemeth apt. Without action and minutiae of emotional evidence, 'tis more like listening to a movie from the next chamber and trying to divine how the characters behave.

Instances of blunt emotional information occureth intermittently. An example:
>Celestia’s expression of bemusement
Such things cause two problems. First, thou hast left it up to the reader to picture such an expression, which can be ambiguous, depending on how ubiquitous the emotion is. Second, readers are accustomed in real interactions to intuiting someone's emotion from his demeanor and appearance. It formeth a stronger connexion that way, and thou shouldst strive to impart emotions similarly. Giving us the cold, factual conclusion thyself circumventeth this connexion.

Finally, we have some plot advice, but do not wish to ruin the surprise for potential readers.
Thou hast done a good job of misleading us into thinking that Shining Armor loveth Celestia. 'Twas obvious that a twist lieth in store, and we had several possibilities in mind. One was close, but not spot on. However, thou hast yet a few loose ends. Doth Chrysalis love Shining Armor as well? It seemeth not, but what other use could she have for him now? She seemeth to have him mesmerised still, but what use is he as a pawn? Perhaps just a thorn under Twilight's flesh, but she was not a notable adversary. Mayhap revenge on Cadance? We suppose that is the most plausible explanation. However, if so, would he not have been coerced to break off his marriage in a much more painful manner, just to stab at Cadance all the harder? Celestia should have immediately suspected that magic was at play, however, yet did nothing to verify it or spy on him to make sure? Since Celestia is aware, Chrysalis would not be able to use him for infiltration anymore.

One final suggestion. Cadance is the one who stands to be hurt the most by this eventuality. However, within the confines of the story, she never understandeth exactly what has happened. It can be awkward to snap into another character's perspective at the end of a story when we have spent the entire time with another, but it can be done well if handled carefully. 'Twould heighten the emotional impact, and mayhap solidify Chrysalis's motivation, if that indeed was the intended interpretation. Consider it.


A largely well-written story. Thou hast entertained us, and we will look kindly down upon thee from amongst the stars.

Final mood: guarded satisfaction with room for improvement

Write thee onward, citizen!
>> No. 119463
>>119455
>Also, anyone notice that it's possible to leave doc-style comments in cells now?
Yes, and the type we used to use are still available, as "notes." Which would you prefer we use? I'd prefer the notes in most instances, because only the person who made a comment can delete it, while anyone can delete a note. A lot of the types of comments we leave are things like "fic dropped by..." or some such that are handy to edit and delete. With a comment, all I can do with someone else's is mark it as resolved, which sends it to the comments stream, and over time that'd get full enough to have bad load times. Suggest notes for queue happenings and comments for the more behind-the-scenes stuff like how things are run and issues with the spreadsheet itself?
>> No. 119467
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119467
>>119463
> Which would you prefer we use?
Well...depends on circumstances/context. For example, if one needs to add a permalink to a cell for informational purposes, without altering cell contents, comments would be better since URLs would be automatically transformed into links (and thus easier for people using the spreadsheet to find something). Also, for information that needs to be updated frequently, and where a display of who updated it would be useful, comments are a must. Furthermore, even though one cannot modify comments, adding comments instead of re-writing information in notes provides a display of the history of the status of a queue object.

On the other hand, for information that doesn't need to be updated very often, and where it isn't important to know who wrote it, i.e. the meaning/proper usage of a column, notes are more useful and practical.

The bottom line, I think, is Don't Be a Primitive Pete. Use the right tool for the right job.
>> No. 119468
>>119462

Thank thank you soo much. I'm new to writing and I will make sure I implement all the tips you gave me. But if it isnt to much to ask, can you go out of character for a moment and give me a translation of your review, lol. It was kidna hard to understand.

Thank you
>> No. 119470
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119470
This is actually a second chapter to a previous story I sent through here, but after writing it, I realized that you can read it by itself and it will still make sense. So, here it is, by itself.

Title: Filly Flower
Author: Bleeding Raindrops
Email: email field
Tags: Normal, Sad
Word count: 6139
Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/12HUz_DvHTiu8AOc7WxdScCsa4xsJFnqATQGt3MtW0O8/edit
Synopsis: Sarf had never fully recovered from the loss of his daughter, Dawn Flower. Life was dull and meaningless, until he met one very special, little filly.



>>119349
I don’t know if you’re tasty or revolting, but you smell delicious. Come to me!
Claiming: Harmony’s End
>> No. 119472
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119472
Tags: Slice of Life, Comedy

Synopsis: The Cutie Mark Crusaders decide to play a new game in an attempt to gain their cutie marks.

Links: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1wudgWIcv9XwhQRQa-ZIhxc702e0CiXAmK1yOXXMdjSo/edit

Comments: I'm concerned that the dialog might be too sophisticated for the young girls, so checking that over when reviewing would help.

Thank you for any help!
>> No. 119475
>>119468
'Twould be... difficult to step from behind the mask in this particular forum. Shouldst thou desire, thou canst contact us via email (hover thy mouse over our name to see the address) with questions. Alternatively, thou couldst use email or venture into our IRC channel to ask after us and arrange a time to chat in IRC, Gchat, or thy document.
>> No. 119493
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119493
Okay, so this is interesting. I like certain things about it, and dislike others. It reads very much like a draft, the sort of story brought on by inspiration and that mad ‘I have to get this down before I lose it’ sort of rush. Which is fine. But we have work to do.

Plot

This is an interesting premise. The idea of an ancient adversary of Starswirl the Bearded coming back and confusing Twilight as her nemesis is both comical and pretty cool. The play at the beginning is a nice idea, and it has the potential to transition well into what you have happening later in the story. The problem right now is that it doesn’t.

I like the idea of the plot device you are trying to implement in the last scene, but it really requires a bit more characterization than you gave your villain for me to care much. As it is, it isn’t worth having the final scene at all just for that.

Pace

This is probably the biggest problem in your story. The scenes feel incredibly disjointed at times. You start off with a play about Starswirl, and everything is flowing well. We have all the characters running around doing things that make sense for them to be doing, or not being present at all if necessary (I appreciate you not trying to cram all of them into the opening at once). Everything makes sense, and proceeds logically.

Of course, then comes act two of your story, and things start to go awry. I read the middle section quite eagerly, though I have to say it was mostly because I kept waiting for it to make sense. I wanted a reason, any explanation at all as to why things were happening the way they were.

To use an example, let’s take a look at the three main villains we’ve seen in the show: Nightmare Moon, Discord, and Chrysalis. Each of them was set up in some way before they appeared. Nightmare Moon’s return was prophesized, and we have the scene where Twilight watches the stars free her from the moon; the cutie mark crusaders bicker in front of Discord’s statue and he breaks loose; Chrysalis impersonates Cadance, and then imprisons Twilgiht.

Now, I do like the idea of having your villain crash the party, so to speak, but it comes out of nowhere. There’s no foreshadowing, no hint that she might still be alive, nothing. It’s a big problem, and it was disorienting enough that I was on the back foot for the rest of the story.

I think something as simple as having Twilight, say that she was banished to the wastelands x number of years ago, and never heard from again, could be a good setup. The tiniest bit of exposition on what she had been doing for however long she had been away wouldn’t hurt either.

Also, the last scene felt really unnecessary and tacked on. I’m not saying you should cut it completely, but as it is it just doesn’t do anything for you, and it would take some work to make it worthwhile. The character you’ve established as something of a badass, a pony with incredible power that has been clinging to life for hundreds of years, is now just sort of moping about, waiting to die. That doesn’t seem like the character you had terrorizing Twilight a few pages ago.

Mechanics

I was generally impressed with your mechanics. Small number of punctuation and spelling. You do misspell your villain’s name a few times, and I don’t think I caught them all, so look for that.

You have a bit of a tendency to use names repeatedly in a paragraph. In most cases, you only need to use the name once, so the reader knows who you are talking about, and anytime you switch to another character. In other cases, a pronoun will do just as well, and improve the readability of your story.

You also lean towards passive voice at times. Unfortunately, this seems to pop up most often in your action scenes, which really takes the oomph out of them. This is a shame, because I feel like I can see your style in this, and I like it, but the passive voice kills it just when it’s getting interesting.

Characterization

You do a pretty good job of keeping the canon characters in character. I think there’s a little more tension between Dash and Twilight than seems necessary, but that’s your call. I do appreciate you keeping to their canon personalities as closely as you did during their argument. They both ignore compromise in favor of the way they think it should be done. Rainbow Dash is way too intent on making it a big, flashy production, while Twilight is completely oblivious to the fact that the words ‘interesting’ and ‘historically accurate’ are not necessarily synonymous. Good job on that part.

My concern comes a little later in the story, during Twilight’s fight with your villain. I’m honestly not sure if Twilight was acting OOC, or if I just had no clue what was going on, but that section is where it really started to fall apart for me. Everything is just sort of clustered together, and the violence is really jarring, though not in a good way.

I would try to make sure Twilight is kept consistent throughout the story, but I don’t think you have to worry too much about that. You displayed a good understanding of how she should behave, and I think if you clean up the middle section a bit, she’ll come out the better for it.

As for Uldavrazen (the one and only time I’m willing to type that name. I don’t know how you did it so many times), I’m torn. She’s a cool character, and you have no idea how thankful I am that you didn’t make her an alicorn, but she feels sort of shallow. Her introduction is really abrupt, and while you hint at some deeper character traits a few times, there’s never really any payoff. I would like to see you do a little more with her. It doesn’t have to be a lot. Have her talk about herself a little more, or have Twilight do it. There’s a lot of potential in her. Again, I have to point out that the last scene does her no favors. You really neuter her character there, and it makes me sad.

Tone

This was the other area that I was most concerned about. The problem here is that the tone was sort of all over the place. From your synopsis and the first scene, I was expecting something lighthearted and episodic. Then, a quarter of the way into the story, you turn around and introduce some crazy villain. Okay, I can dig it. Then the violence, and it feels really weird. These two sections are incompatible, and it’ll take a bit of work to mesh them together in a way that achieves what you’re going for, at least so far as I understand it.

Your first option would be to create a grittier opening. This would be a lot of work, as I don’t know if you could keep a lot of what is going on right now, and it would be very reliant on you being able to set a mood, which can be really challenging. Plus, I really like the opening as it is now.

Your second option, and the one I like better, is to ease back on the violence and handle your villain more like the show handles them. The villains in the show are cool, and still do dastardly, devious things, without graphic violence. You could work the spiritual exhaustion angle you had with Twilight a bit more to keep the tension in there, but the violence really clashes with the pleasant atmosphere you set at the start.

- - -

So, in closing, it needs work. But I like it overall. It’s a fun idea, you handle the canon characters well, and your villain is interesting and has a lot of potential. There are definitely things that need attention, but I think you’ve shown that you are a good enough writer that you can address them, as long as you are willing to.

I tried to address most of the things I found in doc. If you have any questions, feel free to ask. I can join you in doc if you like, or you can just ask here. Hope this helps!
>> No. 119498
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>>119493

>reads like it was blasted out in a rush of inspiration
You caught me; this was my "Misconceptions" entry. The only changes it got before I handed it to you were a different climax/ending to the fight scene (it made even LESS sense when it was submitted) and a quick sweep for technicals and flow.

>dark themes
Yes, I realized I had done that literally the moment I did it. I tried to roll with it, which apparently was a mistake.

There's no way I'm changing the goofiness of the intro. It was inspired by a literary device invented by Saxton Hale, called "explosition." Pic related.

I do want to preserve a few things while transitioning over to a conflict more befitting the show:

1) I want the angle of Starswirl being different from how Twilight thought it was

2) it would be rather out of character for the other m6 to be written out of the picture any other way aside from actually teleporting them away like in the pilot

3) I want the angle of the background ponies saving the day. The Countess all but references the Protomen with her talk about heroes and statues and such.

There is an angle to this bit that I think is clever and sneaky, but it probably needs to be written out, because the climax of the fight makes more sense this way and most readers probably won't get it. Starswirl has power over time, right? Twilight gets possessed by Starswirl, but then the power suddenly disappears, right? And then she gets saved. So who are the first three background ponies through the door?

>dropping the villain without warning
Point taken that just a little thing like "and nopony every found out what happened to her" would be sufficient. Things like this are why I'm glad for astute reviewers like yourself.

>the last scene would be better if the villain was characterized
The concept here was for her to basically be just as obviously and unambiguously evil as the comic book version. The whole idea of her contempt for the cowardice of the background ponies came out because 1) I wanted the Protomen reference, and 2) I wanted to segue into that ending and give it a nice little moral.

What kind of "payoff" would you want from her? What about her needs to be "concluded?" I suppose you just thought she was cool so it was lame for her to do that passive act at the end.

I think a lot of the fight can be preserved while toning the violence down. The question is what episode-esque shenanigans to add to the fight. The Countess is much more closer to the other two villains than she is to Discord, so it's an odd thing to think about.

I realize that this does have some fun potential so I suppose I'll be replying to your comments in-doc and doing edits here. Fool that I am, I already sent it into EQD thinking to edit it during the long wait... I didn't think I would be motivated to do such extensive changes. Ah, well. Perhaps I'll be handed back a "strike" and I'll be able to show them your review when I send it back in. More troubling is that I sent this into Fimfic already because that way I would have a Fimfic link for EQD. And then the damn thing got put on the front page at stupid o'clock in the morning, bumped off the front page before most of the US was even awake.

Well, I'd better get to work. I've got a bunch of fun fanfic things I'm juggling...
>> No. 119501
>>119498
Oh yeah one more thing.

Almost everypony else said Pinkie was way out of character. It's interesting that you were so interested in Twilight but you didn't notice whatever the others didn't like.
>> No. 119503
Pah! Finished this, forgot to make this post.

As promised, the review is finished, except it's stupid o'clock AM for me, and morning for you.

I've written full comments, including a cursory kind of wrap-up comment, in your doc.

Do feel free to comment on the comments, I'll totally talk to you about stuff.
>> No. 119506
>>119457
Thanks for doing this review.

First, I have to say, 8/10 with those words seems a bit...off balance. I welcome the praise, but it'd be a lot better for me as an author if I can see some of the things I actually did well highlighted. You're leaving me in the dark there.

In any case, I fixed and responded to the grammer issues.
I know the beginning is heavy on dumps, but that's what I get for trying to introduce the reader to both vikings, weird pony magicks and a slightly modded 17th century Europe at the same time, no? Not much else to do for me, i fear.

As was explained, Luna served a long time the role of ambassador of Equestria to the foreign realms. In ancient Equestria and the planet it's situated on, that often meant entirely different species. Besides, diamond dogs are at least part bipedal. Bipedal doesn't mean human, or even humanoid. Humans aren't the first bipedal race she's encountered, or the first race to react as they did. She's done this many times before, so it's no wonder she's got a spell for it.

Major tripping ballsack indeed. The third chapter is...pretty strange. It makes sense to me, if that's of any comfort. (I KNOW WHAT I'M DOING HERP)

And no, this is by no means the ending. It might take some time (and more confusion) before we get back to Earth, however. After all, we can't leave Equestria hanging, what with the whole Pinkie Pie and Loki loose in an Equestria without princesses, Humans barging in, Discord being half-free and who knows what evils of tartarus about to rise up against against the ponies and all.

There's a LOT more coming. Again, thanks for doing the review.
>> No. 119515
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>>119506
If it seems unbalanced that might be due to me watching too much Nostalgia Critic. That guy has a way of critiquing the living daylights out of something, and then selling it off as good anyway. Kind of what happened here. There was a lot of your story I didn’t like, but as a whole it was kind of enjoyable. If I had to put my hoof on it, I’d say it’s that you’ve captured the nature of a page turner. Your writing style is eh, but good enough to be enjoyable. Your storyline isn’t the greatest, but I’ve seen far worse. What really keeps the pages turning is your open questions that you leave all over the place. Questions in writing are good, actually, as long as they’re answered at some point. Even if your writing is bad, the unanswered questions pull on the reader’s curiosity, and force them to read to get the answer.

Let’s do a little math here: I can normally read about 20k words in an hour, if I’m reading for enjoyment, so your story, being 26k would have taken me about an hour and a quarter. When I review, I’m looking for mistakes, so it takes about three times as long, so about 10 minutes per 1000 words, and that’s if there are few errors. What that means is that it would have taken me a little over four hours to read your story if it was good, and that’s exactly how long it took for the review: a little over four hours, which means that your story as a whole was a good one, there’s just a few minor tweaks you need to fix.

Don’t believe me? Check out the Doc. How many comments do you see? And that’s over the course of 26k words. As a reviewer my job ought to be to read and rate your story, but really what we end up doing on this board is pointing out and highlighting mistakes. As a result, it becomes difficult to highlight the good parts of the story, because we’ve grown accustomed to saying “this is good, leave it”, whenever we see something done right. Your imagery was very nice. I imagine Luna’s mind like something akin to that of the null void, but a little more star–themed. Descriptions are done well, although slightly bogged down with detail.

Hope that helps.
>> No. 119536
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>>119414
If it's any consolation, the only problem I had with the box is that it lacked originality; I had heard the story far too many times to be impressed by it again. Keep that in mind when you consider my review of it.
Taking into account the fact that Alexmagnet only accidentally copied, it--having not seen or heard of it before--it was actually quite good, and I might have enjoyed it if I hadn't recognized it.
>> No. 119537
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119537
Well, I can certainly say I don’t often get to write a review quite like this one.

I would compare your story to that of the infamous ‘ghost chili pepper’. When someone bites into one, they feel no heat at all: ‘How could this be the world’s hottest pepper? It’s not even hot.’ But then it grows, and it grows, and before long the heat is so intense that the victim tries to eject it from their mouth, but it is too late, it has already seeped into their tongue, and they must now bear the pain for the next few hours. Your story takes it’s time to grow. When I first picked it up, it felt very boring, but the further I read, the more I began to realize, I was hooked, and I had to continue reading.

You’ve done a wonderful job of keeping the questions coming. You opened with a question, and made sure to leave more before answering the first. And, oh Celestia be damned, you haven’t finished it. Well it was a good read while it lasted. It was a tasteful appetizer, but I’ll be sticking around for the main course if you ever get it off the grill. Nicely done, sir.

I forgot to log in when I opened it up, so all of my comments are under Anonymous.
>> No. 119540
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119540
Eh, I'm bored, and I wasn't planning on writing 'till later anyway. Plus it's short. I should be back in an hour.


If anypony caught my last post before I deleted it, disregard it. I changed my mind last second.
>> No. 119542
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119542
>>119540
>>119408
My my, I thought I’d seen everything when Mr. Nonsanity sent me a story in present tense, but now you’ve gone a step further. I can honestly say that I have never seen–– or even heard of, for that matter––a story told in future tense, but by golly you’ve done it. I shall salute you, but there are just a few minor errors I need to point out first.

Is there a reason this is justified? I do recall seeing the same thing in Ponystar Celestia, but you’re the only author I’ve seen do this.

> Opening doors will have always been hard for you—after all anypony could be on the other side, or anything—and this time will be no different.
I can see why you thought this would work, but it ought to be ‘Opening doors has always been hard for you’ because even if the foreseeable event is in the future, the past is still the past.

> Mind if Ah come in and set a spell?
Even for Applejack, that’s too strong an accent. Use ‘sit’.

You even prodded my curiosity enough times that I read this with more fervor than I should have for a review. You’ve got a real page turner here… and your concept almost failed you. Almost. It’s rare to see a story in which the last line ties it all together, but this is one of them. The entire story––being written in future tense––would fall apart if not for that last line, for which I must both applaud you, and caution you. I read the comments, so I see that this was a dare from an EQD Prereader, but you need to be very careful when writing like this, because your entire story depends on that last line to justify itself.

Overall, however, this was well done, and I salute you.


Addendum:
I had forgotten the title of your story, so I must add one more thing: While it is a clever trick that you played on your reader, you gave it away with Rainbow Dash’s line concerning Twilight’s new home, making it a real place in Ponyville, and not Heaven, or whichever afterlife you believe in, if any at all. You should fix that too.
>> No. 119543
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119543
Egh, still bored. This one's short too. It's a comedy. That's something I haven't done in a while. You're up next >>119270

I'm not even sure I should have made this post, as it makes my last claim40 minutes ago redundant, but whatever.
>> No. 119553
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>>119536
Ah, that's good to hear. I was thrown for a loop--both regarding myself and Mr. Magnet--but this clears things up nicely. Thank you!

>>119542
I have no real justification for my justification ...heavens that was lame. In fact, I don't do it a-purpose, though I like the effect that resulted in Night 1 Act 4 of PSC. I guess it's a weird side effect of bouncing my fics from my work computer--yeah, I admit that I'm kind of a bad pony... though to be fair it staves off the madness--to my phone to FiMFic.

Thanks for clearing up the door thing; I wrote that four different ways and was never happy with it.

The "set a spell" thing, though... I swear to Celestia, I've only ever heard "set a spell" or just "sit", never "sit a spell". Still, Ah ain't too attached to it, so Ah'll let it drop.

Heh, that last line was thrown in at the last second, but once I saw it I knew it fit. Maybe Luna guided my horn--wow that sounds dirty--or something; I dunno.

The Dash bit gave it away? Weird... I was intending for her to come off as referring to Twilight's burial plot or where they scattered her ashes or whatnot. Hmmm...

Anyway, thank you for the salute! I'll fix 'er up when I'm able and then inflict 'er on EQD.

Maybe it's a side effect from drinking way too much apple juice and the subsequent sugar high, but your post pic makes me raise an eyebrow. I'm glad you found my fic mmmmmmsatisfying. [Waggles eyebrows.]
>> No. 119556
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119556
>>119543
I have to laugh, because I actually typed out my own surname when I entered this into my seed queue on my PC. It’s an odd coincidence that yours is the first seven letters of mine. My skills aren’t as well suited to comedy as they are to sad or dark, but the queue is incredibly small at the moment, so I’ll do my best.

> Please don't say such thing's Rose
There should be a comma before a proper noun in a sentence. In this case: Rose.

> "Archers? Where in Tarturus did they come from?" she asked her roommate angrily.
Two things here: One, that’s LUS. Even if it doesn’t describe the color or the pony, we still need to know that Octavia and Vinyl are roommates to make that jump and that’s actually a bigger jump than orange earth pony. Two, I side with Vinyl on this one. Ponies can’t hold a bow, or pull an arrow, so how would pony archers even work?

> As Vinyl's face became redder, Octavia smirk widened slightly.
Octavia’s*

> Maybe if you didn't respond to every obstacle with 'I levitate.' maybe this wouldn't have happened."
Maybe you should maybe just visit the department of redundancy department.

> "Alright girls, allons-y!" He trotted towards to reading.
I never saw much of Doctor Who––sadly––so I have to ask: is that a catchphrase of The Doctor’s, or is there some other reason for this? I can see the girls are wondering the same thing, actually.

And then… nothing. Your story just ends, so abruptly, without a single funny joke. When I picked this up, I saw the tag: Comedy. So I was expecting to laugh, but the only laugh I got in was the realization that we have a similar surname. Other than that, this story disappoints in every way that a falsely labeled story can. I don’t even know what to label this as; it’s not even worthy of the adventure tag, or normal for that matter. It’s just… a story, and nothing else. It’s not heartwarming, it’s not funny, it’s not sad; it’s not dark or ominous. It’s not even poorly written. What it is is lukewarm.

It’s disgustingly unflavorful and bland to the point that I hate it. I wish it were sad so that I could cry over it. I wish it were dark so that I could run away in fear. I wish it were heartwarming so that I could smile. I wish it were funny so that I could laugh. I wish it were poorly written so that I could correct it. But it is none of these things, it is empty, a hollow shell, and I cannot enjoy it.
>> No. 119558
>>119556
"Allons-y" is in fact a catchphrase of the tenth doctor, who is most closely associated with our Doctor Hooves. It's french for "let's go", or something to that effect.
>> No. 119559
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119559
>>119553
I read it over, and I can see where you were going. Maybe I'm just too smart or something. Yeah I'm allowing a little narcissism into my words, sue me. You could try, "We picked out a nice little spot, up top of a cliff by the ocean" making it sound as if Twilight wasn't there to pick, because she was 'dead', when really she was there to help them out, and was part of the 'we'.

>>119558
Thanks. I did know the origin and the meaning of the phrase, though.
^_^

>>119472
I'm also going to snag you up, while I'm here. I could really use a laugh after what I just read, so let's hope you fit the bill. See you in a few hours.
>> No. 119564
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>>119498
>>119501

I'm glad to hear you want to keep the opening the same, as it was my favorite part of the whole story. I'll be interested to see what you do to make the rest of it mesh better, if that's the route you choose to take.

>it would be rather out of character for the other m6 to be written out of the picture any other way aside from actually teleporting them away like in the pilot

I think that the way you have that is fine. It's not like ponies aren't allowed to get hurt. It's a little later that it really started to get worrisome, but you already know the scene I'm talking about.

>What kind of "payoff" would you want from her? What about her needs to be "concluded?" I suppose you just thought she was cool so it was lame for her to do that passive act at the end.

The only real problem I had was that the character you presented at the end was so different from the character I saw in the rest of the story. If you work on the ending to make her character a little more consistent, you should be good.

>3) I want the angle of the background ponies saving the day. The Countess all but references the Protomen with her talk about heroes and statues and such.

Afraid I don't know a damn thing about the Protomen, but if your aim is to have the background ponies saving the day, let them come to the foreground a little more. Giving them a few more lines wouldn't hurt.

As for Pinkie, I didn't really have any problems with her. She didn't seem out of character. In tense situations, she usually tries to diffuse the situation, or is ignorant of the problem. In this case, the problem is obvious, and she's trying to make everypony happy. That's very much something she would do. Was there something specific that your other reviewer thought made her seem out of character?
>> No. 119565
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119565
>>119559

Hmm, well I guess that just leaves... oh. I assume you aren't gonna tackle that last one then?

You know, I'f be inclined to give it a shot if I weren't so intimidated by your prolific reviewing.
>> No. 119567
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119567
>>119559
Ah, yes! That should help nicely!

As for the narcissism... well, I must be catching.
>> No. 119568
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119568
>>119565
Hehe, I don't mean to be intimidating, I'm just bored, and reviewing is fun, usually. I enjoy helping, and when I see a story on EQD or Fimfiction's Feature box, and I know it's got my hoofprint on it... well, I can't even describe the feeling, but it's... nice. It's funny, though.

>I had a dream last night that the queue hit zero just as the thread autosaged, so when somepony tried to post a new story, there was no thread to put it in. I have strange dreams.
>> No. 119572
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>>119568

I think I just need to be less timid. I've been enjoying the reviewing process so far, though I take a long time to do it. I'm impressed at how quickly you put out quality reviews.

I have much to learn it seems.
>> No. 119574
>>119556
Thank you for the review! I'm working on fixing it up, but for some reason this was filed under oneshot. It is not one of those, it's the first chapter of an at least 7 chapter story. It's my first time using this thread, so I must have goofed. Off the the editting room!
>> No. 119578
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>>119472
Well, if you were looking for comedy, you’ve done it, and there’s nopony better to emphasize a ridiculous notion than the famed trio themselves. Other than Pinkie Pie of course. I don’t even know why some of these jokes are funny, they just are. I left comments in the Doc about what mistakes I found, so here’s a thought by thought review.

> “Oh, come on!”
Only Sweetie Belle could deliver that line and have it be that funny. Excellent choice.

I swear, this has got to be one of the most ludicrous gold courses I’ve ever heard of. But then again, this is comedy is it not? Misfortune and torturously harmless, unfair events are like diamonds in this game.

Okay, I was wrong. Discord was the perfect pony to wrap this up. I swear, his sarcastic attitude made half of the closing act, and it was funny to boot.

And your final joke concerning Cheerilee’s grading system got a nice chuckle. I’m rather undecided as to the exact score for this, but I would give it a birdie.



>>119574
Well, that certainly makes much more sense, but I stand by what I said. Good luck with your story.


And that means that the queue has been reduced to… almost nothing. Well, if it weren’t my story I’d pick up, but I’ll just look it over for editing while I wait.
>> No. 119580
>>119578
Cool! Glad you liked it and got a chuckle here and there. Comedy is one of those things that if it isn't set up right, it won't work. And, after I read over my work a half-dozen times for errors, I find my jokes painfully unfunny so I need a fresh perspective to see if I did it right or not.

Thanks a lot for going over it!
>> No. 119583
>>119515
That seems reasonable. And thank you for the kind words, as well. After all work I've done on this fic, heavens know I need them -_-

In any case, what you say reaffirms most of my previous suspicions about my works, while also affirming my previously not-so-firm confidence in them. As you may have come to understand, I'm Swedish (thus the vikings and all that), so English is a second language to me, albeit one I know very well. I'm definitely confident enough in my English skills enough to write stories, and I've done so a while now.
But while my Swedish writings are very varied in subject, they also seem to me to have a much more unified style. Whereas my English works are varied in subject (though with a higher ratio of prose vs poetry), I don't think I've ever managed to properly crystallize a single style for them. And as you might notice, a good number of things tend to drift over from my native tongue. Odd word forms and sentences that still work, but sound strange. Simple things that I think of as simpler in one way, since I don't know the norm. I've never lived abroad, unlike most of my clan, so I've never had opportunity to properly solidify most parts of my day-to-day speech in English. For example, I have a great amount of words that I pronounce wrong, simply because I've never heard them spoken, but read so many times as to build a familiarity with them and so dare use them myself.

It tends to get silly, and the fact that my accent slips randomly from British to Texan to Russian to hell knows what else doesn't help either.

But, enough blogging (lol). Thanks for your critique. Would you be up for a single-chapter review for chapter 5 when it comes up? Would simplify the process a lot for me.
>> No. 119588
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119588
Okay, I'm just gonna go ahead and claim this. It's the only story in the queue, and having that thing empty would be super cool.

So, let's see what I can do for you.
>> No. 119594
File 134785505956.png - (54.75KB , 1366x643 , Training Grounds queue.png )
119594
>>119588
Thanks, I can't wait. ^_^
>Screencapped

In the meantime... THE QUEUE IS EMPTY, LET US PARTY!
>> No. 119597
File 134785541398.png - (148.16KB , 432x322 , RavenPuppet.png )
119597
>>119583
Sure, Wynaut?
>> No. 119602
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119602
Whoa.

Definitely time to write.
>> No. 119603
File 134785624786.png - (50.98KB , 324x478 , surpriseSmile.png )
119603
>>119503
I suppose I should go ahead and acknowledge this review. I'll certainly have questions for you, I just want to get my thoughts nailed down and hit you with them all in one post.

Thanks for the review!
>> No. 119605
>>119594

DAYYYUMMMM! Whoa, good job people.

Minjask, you never cease to amaze me. You got any tips for me on how not to sound like a D-bag when I review? I've looked at my last one and I'm starting to feel bad.
>> No. 119607
File 134785833705.png - (83.43KB , 502x503 , mlfw3277-1330722298512.png )
119607
This was a fun fic to read. I liked the characters, and the story was nicely contained. Since there weren't huge issues to deal with, I'm not going to bother with dividing this into a bunch of sub-sections. So, away!

The flashback seemed really cliche. I guess you wanted to go with the stereotypical angry teenager runs away thing, but this is just the exact same scene that’s been in sitcoms and bad movies since the beginning of time. Based on the rest of the fic, I feel like you can do a lot better than that with it.

Also, this is your one chance to make us care about Dawn Flower as something other than an extension of her father. It’s a chance to develop her character a bit, and by extension Sarf’s. Instead, she comes across as a raging bitch. I spent the entire rest of the story wondering why he was spending his days agonizing over her departure. Sure, she’s his daughter and all, but the fact that she was so unreasonable made it seem like you were leaning on that being the reason we should care about his grief.

Instead, you could have their argument be a bit less one sided. If Sarf was a bit of a dick, or was himself being unreasonable, then his regrets throughout the story would seem a lot more justified.

There was a good amount of lingering on the way Trixie looked like Dawn, but the decision to take her as his assistant seemed really sudden. I feel like that scene could be handled one of two ways: either play up his desperation and longing for his daughter a little more, thus explaining the rash decision; or have him struggle with the idea of taking her on as his assistant at least a little bit.

The whole Sarf-adopts-Trixie scene feels like it progresses too quickly. You introduced Trixie as this initially shy and cautious filly, but she adapts to her situation with ease, and Sarf is just sort of like ‘Hey wanna be my daughter or something? I can teach you some sweet magic.’ and that’s that. I was looking forward to watching Sarf try to pull Trixie out of her shell a little bit. An abandoned filly in a city as big as Manehatten would have had to have learned to be at least a little wary of strangers. Also, Sarf’s thought process as he’s deciding to take her as his assistant feels rushed, and comes off as a little forced.

I like the way it ends, and you did a good job of foreshadowing Sarf’s death. If you wanted, you could start that process a lot earlier by mentioning how the wagon isn’t as light as it used to be, or he was starting to notice getting older. You do it once that I notice, but you could sprinkle it in a little more. It’s not a necessity by any means, but it’s something you could do.

There were a few typos here and there, and a few strange word choices, but overall nothing serious. You were also a little inconsistent in the way you punctuated your dialogue. I think I caught most of it in doc, but you should probably take another look at it.

The story starts well, and ends strong. I don’t think there are too many mechanical issues to deal with, and overall the setting and tone are good. My only advice would be to flesh out a few of the middle sections a little more, and give Trixie a little more character in her introduction. You do a good job with her later in the story, it’s just that first scene she’s in that bugs me.

Some of my comments in doc are pretty nitpicky, so take from them what you will. Overall, I really liked this. It’s the kind of story I really like, with good OCs and good character development. Hopefully this helps you push it to even greater heights.
>> No. 119608
File 134785904103.png - (112.32KB , 434x398 , 132631850347.png )
119608
>>119607
Well, thank you.

>The flashback seemed really cliche.
Now that you mention it, the flashback of Dawn Flower does come off as a bit rushed. I could try to play him down a bit. My struggle with Sarf is trying to project him as a good father figure without making him sound like a Sue. I'll give your suggestion some thought.

> the decision to take her as his assistant seemed really sudden.
Thanks for that. I'll try to fix that too. Of course, that particular scene is a flashback in a previous chapter, so the two actually have to correlate, which means I actually have to rewrite two stories now. *Sigh* I knew it was bound to happen eventually.

>Foreshadowing could be better
If you knew how many times I rewrote all those little hints... I'll look into that as well.

I guess I'll have to get to work then. the previous chapter has already been sent to EQD, so hopefully I can fix it before they get to it. Eek!
>> No. 119609
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119609
>>119572
Ain’t nothing wrong with timidity. Go at your own speed, you’ll pick it up eventually. I take great pride in my mental stamina, and my critical eye as well, although I don’t claim to be anywhere near the best. If you do this long enough––just like with any trade––you begin to notice the same mistakes over and over again, and more easily. And you also begin to notice that the answer is often similar. This makes pointing out errors simple and easy, which is why I can do it so quickly. Solving puzzles as a hobby doesn’t hurt either As for the quality, I’m just going to have to take your word on that, because my friends always tell me I’m too hard on myself, and I only wish I could give a review with the same quality as Seattle Lite or NickNack.

Speaking of which…
>>119605
Have you ever seen one of Nick!Nack’s reviews? You’re a kitten compared to him, but he gave the best reviews this side of the fandom as far as I could tell. Seattle_Lite shared a thread with him not too long ago, and while he was a bit kinder, he didn’t pull any punches either. I really recommend checking out their thread(>>103290) it’s actually quite entertaining; I always get a laugh out of reading Nick’s reviews, he put such style and character into them.

Anyway, as to how to not sound like a D-bag… I really can’t say. It’s not like being a nice guy––or a D-bag for that matter––is a prerequisite to reviewing, it’s just how you do reviews, and how much personality you choose to put into them. I like to sprinkle mine with a bit of seasoning when I feel it’s appropriate, but if the story is bad, the story is bad, and your review will reflect that in both nature and attitude. When you read a really bad story, do you feel happy, or upset? When I read a really good story, I have nothing but praise for it, and I sound like a saint. When I read a really bad story or one that I think is really bad I come off as a little pissy. The Box

After reading your last review, I can see what your problem was, however. You gave a good review, but you were focused on rage at the story itself, and added a little extra oomph to the way you pointed out mistakes, as a result. What you could have done––if you really want my opinion, which, clearly you do––would be, instead of saying ‘why did you make this mistake?, how did you miss this?’ use more passive tones such as ‘you forgot to do this’ or ‘you could have done this’.

Or, you could, take a break. Your review was––frankly––mostly whining about how bad the story was, rather than merely highlighting mistakes. A trait that ran rampant in my own reviews just before I took a break a few weeks back. Your mental stamina could have something to do with it; we are always more patient, and less irritable when we are mentally fresh. I constantly play puzzle games such as Sudoku and strategy games such as Go and Shogi, to strengthen my mind. As a result, I can handle a lot more before I snap, or grow weary. My nonstop reviewing managed to run me into the ground, though.

My advice would be to take a step back, put the metaphorical quill down, and spend some time meditating. Meditating here having the meaning of simply sitting and thinking about things, which is actually what those monks do, although on a different level, so to speak. Take a break, in other words. Who knows, you might just need it.
>> No. 119610
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119610
>>119609

Eh thanks for that, boss. I probably won't take a complete break, but I will sit back and relax a little seeing how these other peeps are doing a fine job themselves. You guys are probably gonna keep the queue at bay as far as I know anyways. Especially, you XD

Eh, with all these new things I learned, I might just try to write something decent myself.

Call me when you guys need a hero.
>> No. 119613
File 134786775086.gif - (347.88KB , 485x281 , RAVE.gif )
119613
>Minjask and Lychee and everyone who cleared the queue
EMPTY QUEUE DANCE PARTY FOR U
>> No. 119614
File 134786827896.gif - (1.71MB , 712x489 , Twilight Yesyesyes.gif )
119614
>>119613
>> No. 119615
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119615
>>119613
>> No. 119616
File 134787006121.gif - (831.17KB , 680x383 , Lvusk.gif )
119616
>>119613
>Sneaks in and snarfs down a piece of the celebratory cake before slinking back into the shadows
>> No. 119623
OKAY, ENOUGH RESTING FOR YOU PEOPLE

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1kWONAYe6clL8GsUMCbTU76PSJ18NyYFhsB83u43-mjY/edit?pli=1
http://www.fimfiction.net/story/51801/Twilight-Sparkle-in%3A-The-Late-Clock

This story is so fresh the fimfiction submission has probably not even gone through yet. I wrote it in like 3 hours straight this morning, and it made me miss an entire day of school. SO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT

NAME: Twilight Sparkle in: The Late Clock
TAGS: [Dark]
SUMMARY: A strange set of bones is discovered by Twilight, right in the ditch under the Ponyville Clock Tower. While she is determined to investigate it, she has an important conference to prepare and host, and so it is soon forgotten and left to its own devices for far longer than she'd intended. The outcome of this is something nopony could have ever anticipated, for within the bones lies an ageless timepiece

with a mind and agenda of its own - and powers that nopony can truly understand.

Naturally, this sparks Twilight's interest even further, for there is no greater pleasure to her than that of a mystery of the world solved.

In time, Twilight shall know the secrets held within the Late Clock. The only question is, what pleasure will she take from solving a mystery not of this world?

In time, she shall know.
But whose time?

---

This is the first chapter of idk how many to come, but The Late Clock was an old story of mine. I will attempt to keep its style somewhat, while also adapting it to Equestria itself. Yes, the bones are human. No, we won't be having any in this fic. Just so you know.

Anyway, FIRST IN THE QUEUE WOOT WOOT
>> No. 119625
File 134789032788.jpg - (64.06KB , 416x531 , bherks.jpg )
119625
>>119537
Well you didn't leave a whole lot of comments.. that's a good thing, right? I take it you liked it. :yay:

I have a few questions, though. I've had another guy (a novice writer/reader like myself) review these same chapters as well. He liked it too, but he does keep bringing up one issue: the characters being OOC. He says it works alright for Twilight, but for example Applejack felt strange to him. He told me that there wasn't anything wrong with "what" they are saying, it's just "how" they say it. Did that occour to you?

Also, from that other reviewer, he said that AJ's transition into the mindless beast was really sudden. Did you feel the same way?

At any rate, if you really did like it, I have good news for you: the whole fic will be 13 chapters long in total, of varying lengths between ~2k words and ~6k words. And I'm already 10 chapters in, with the last 3 coming up. I just didn't want to submit all of that at once. So if you say that you'll personally go through them one by one, well, I'd be more than glad.
>> No. 119636
File 134789713797.jpg - (18.14KB , 480x360 , 1068089465_SeanRaven2.jpg )
119636
>>119623
It was fun while it lasted, and I still have that screencap. But your story isn’t quite in the queue yet; You still need to fill out the submission form

>>119625
If one were so inclined, yes, they could say that Applejack changed too quickly. Let me tell you why *I* didn't: If what Celestia said is true, Applejack had about two weeks for the curse to fester; Twilight simply had to wake it up. Furthermore, you have Applejack not feel herself for most of the conversation, and you don't suddenly drop the bombshell; Twilight is hesitant to tell Applejack what's up, and once she does, Applejack reacts normally at first, and the curse slowly and steadily grows in her until she becomes the feral beast she truly is at that point. It progresses swiftly, but naturally given the incubation period. It was certainly OOC, but that was the point as far as I could tell.

I would be happy to go through them, but I'll not be as swift as I've been these past few weeks. Now that I've accomplished my goal of reducing the queue to zero With a bit of karma trickery on my part. I knew that would work. I would like to slow down a bit, write my own stories, and send them back through here. I might even ask to be a queue maintainer, I’ve been thinking about that for a while now. So that's a yes, but it may take some time.
>> No. 119643
File 134789999609.jpg - (7.40KB , 177x177 , okay.jpg )
119643
>>119623
>A strange set of bones is discovered by Twilight,
Making your main character the object rather than the subject in the first line your readers read is weak

>right in the ditch under the Ponyville Clock Tower.
"right" is redundant

>The outcome of this is something nopony could have ever anticipated, for within the bones lies an ageless timepiece
>with a mind and agenda of its own - and powers that nopony can truly understand.
Random new paragraph is random and extends to Fimfic. You may want to get that looked at.

>Naturally, this sparks Twilight's interest even further, for there is no greater pleasure to her than that of a mystery of the world solved.
>soon forgetting about it
But you implied that she didn't care anymore due to work. Contradictory

>In time, Twilight shall know the secrets held within the Late Clock. The only question is, what pleasure will she take from solving a mystery not of this world?
>In time, she shall know.
>But whose time?
Repetition used to okay effect, but two rhetorical questions? Mr. Sturm will probably want a word with you.

That second part, "In time, she shall know. But whose time?" feels more tagged on than natural, and your synopsis would probably read more complete without it, since the first rhetorical question at least leads into the story properly - by being attributed to the main character, which most of your synopsis focuses on. The second rhetorical question introduces the vague-in-a-bad-way concept of "someone else's time", this someone whom we do not know and, with caution, do not care much for.

>While she is determined to investigate it, she has an important conference to prepare and host, and so it is soon forgotten and left to its own devices for far longer than she'd intended. The outcome of this is something nopony could have ever anticipated
Personally, this line told me two things:

1) Not even the main character cared enough for it to spare it some time. Why should I?
1b) the words in your synopsis would be better spent on introducing the conflict of the story rather than what seems to be exposition (Twilight waiting a while resulting in an incident)
2) So the outcome was so conveniently timed as to activate some time after its unearthing? Huh. I'm usually skeptical about this sort of coincidence, so drawing my attention to it doesn't really help your story.

Just a couple of things you may want to mull over.
>> No. 119654
>>119636
>submission form
CUUURSE YOOOU MINJAAASK DOOOOOOO
>> No. 119655
>>119643
Gee wiz, can't a man write a synopsis at 6am without being swarmed by buzzflies anymore? Eek.

Anyway, submission done and all, and IDK how to edit those random paragraphs (or where they came from, but I suspect tire), so they'll remain for now.

Man, what sort of pre-review is this anyway? Lol
Oh wait, you guys have nothing else to do. Carry on.
>> No. 119686
>>119636
You know what the requirements are for being a maintainer?

This is not an exclusive club. All we ask is that you sweep the queue when you're going to enter something. Don't be one of the douches that only edits his own stuff.
>> No. 119687
>>119623
Short. I'll knock this out in a time proportional to its goodness.
>> No. 119691
>>119687
>>119623
Congrats. All your dirty laundry goes here.

Synopsis:
>The outcome of this is something nopony could have ever anticipated, for within the bones lies an ageless timepiece with a mind and agenda of its own - and powers that nopony can truly understand.
Use of a demonstrative (this) all by itself is weak. Find an appropriate noun to place after it, or it has a vague antecedent that is a chunk of narration, making it self-referential. You also need to use proper, unspaced em dashes for interruptions and asides. Alt+0151 will produce one.

>Naturally, this sparks Twilight's interest even further
Another weak demonstrative.

>The only question is, what pleasure will she take from solving a mystery not of this world?
That comma is badly used. Try a colon here. Asking questions in a synopsis is bad form, particularly when they're rhetorical and/or you don't answer them in the synopsis.

>In time, she will know.
Your line break is inconsistent after this paragraph.

>But whose time?
See previous point about questions in a synopsis.

There. We're through the synopsis. Seven sentences down! Still having fun? Good!

Story:
>The only thing left were the bones.
Number disagreement: thing (singular) -> were (plural). Yo have another inconsistent paragraph break here.

>In this, they were not remarkable.
Weak demonstrative. See how easy they are to fix? Just put "respect" after it. Voila! You can owe me later.

>Bones did not – unless under the influence of terrible, forbidden magic – move on their own.
Unspaced em dashes

>All else seemed... wrong.
You're free to break whatever rules you like. But realize what you're doing and make sure you mean it. In this case, the narrator is expressing an opinion. We have no characters yet, so the narrator isn't telling us that this "seeming" is someone's perspective. It is his own opinion. There really are only a couple types of narrator that can do this: first-person, or third-person limited. You haven't established either one of these yet, and it appears you're going more for an omniscient narrator, so there are some things you generally shouldn't do: ask questions, trail off, express opinions, for example.

>First. They had not been there yesterday.
You can make these enumerations part of their following sentences.

>She knew this for a fact.
Demonstratives. Since people do talk this way, it's excusable in speech or in indirect thought that a limited or first-person narrator might relate. However, it still feels like you're using an omniscient narrator. How did she know it for a fact? You never address it. Does she pass by there every day? Is it in such an open and public place that there's no way they'd go undetected for any length of time?

>Despite this
I give up. Find these things yourself.

>carrion eater
hyphenate

>the magic field of ponies
Unnecessarily indirect. Consider using "a pony's magic field" or "ponies' magic fields."

>more than well learned
well-learned. And I believe you're missing an "enough."

>Definitely not equine, and no wing structure or hollowed bones, so it's obviously not an aerial creature. Stars, I don't even think it's a quadruped. It looks too, too...
By quoting direct thought, you're definitely in the realm where an omniscient narrator is preferred. That will make indirect thoughts feel a bit incongruous, as you're communicating both from inside and outside your character's head.

>Right, was the word she finally settled for.
If you're presenting that word as an abstraction, then put it in quotes and lose the italics and comma. If it's a direct thought, you need a speaking verb.

>While diamond dogs normally held a biped posture
When an introductory phrase is immediately followed by the subject, you need a comma.

>They were – are still – quadruped in nature, they simply have adapted to a biped posture in light of cultural changes.
That'd be a comma splice. You have two independent clauses joined by a comma. Punctuate it differently (dash or semicolon), add a conjunction, or split it into two sentences.

>She did not know of a single species, dead or living, that had a posture as upright as this.
Et tu, Iron Will?

>made for hurting
Not a very scientific term...

>couldn't be able to run very fast
Awkward phrasing. Typically "wouldn't be able to run" or "couldn't run."

>Yet,
You use this word as an intro a LOT. Note that there are specific circumstances under which it is valid to use a comma after a conjunction. None are present in any of your instances.

>She would-
Interruptions use em dashes.

>She had done the discovery
"Do a discovery?" That's an awkward phrasing if ever I heard one.

>She took the small tablecloth they'd used as a picnic table, and spread it out above the skeleton.
The comma is unnecessary. You don't need one to separate a compound verb, unless the first part of the compound gets so complex that the reader needs it for organization.

>Attention would be drawn to it and it would be investigated officially.
Unnecessarily passive voice.

>in her own pace and way
Beware how your compound wording flows. These expressions don't use the same prepositions. It's "at her own pace" and "in her own way."

>near perfect
Hyphenate compound descriptors.

>She lowered it, and allowed herself a smile at her work.
Another unneeded comma for a compound verb.

>She was almost tempted
She either was or wasn't tempted. There is no almost.

>She smiled again, and turned about.
Another one of those commas. Strike three. I'm through marking them.

>sleeping efforts
What, pray tell, is a sleeping effort?

>Sung every hour like a soloist singing the chorus against the clock's choir of ticking.
Here's a great example of why many writers don't create realistic direct thoughts. Who would actually think this sentence word for word? People think mostly in informal fragments, not complete sentences with flowery prose.

>-/-/-/
I take it this is a scene break? At least center it, but use something more conventional, like a horizontal line or a row of asterisks.

>Still, in the absence of the heavy toll of the bells
Note how plodding these indirect possessions sound, particularly when you stack multiple ones. See how much more smoothly something like this flows: "Still, absent the bells' heavy tolling..."

>Far beneath the heights that the clockwork and bells of the tower itself were situated, came an echo.
Syntax is bad here. Look at your noun clause: "that the clockwork and bells of the tower itself were situated." You need something more like "on which" instead of "that." Note also that your long introductory phrase leads into the verb instead of the subject here. In this case, no comma is needed.

>As if something was holding it back
Hypothetical statements use subjunctive mood. "As if something were holding it back"

>it seemed to forever stand
Seemed to whom? You're not speaking from any character's perspective. And you have a split infinitive. I hate them. Your mileage may vary.

>on the precipice, that one first step on the staircase to a long climb.
Likening a drop to an ascent feels... dissonant.

>Finally, it built up enough of strength to jump
Read that. Then fix it.

>T.............................................i.......c...k.
I can allow you some artistic license here, but I have to say I think you could convey what is happening here much more powerfully with some good description.

>“tock”?
Punctuation goes inside the quotes, unless... are you using British conventions? Might explain the spaced en dashes.

>Now that is just silly.
This whole exchange just killed any sense of foreboding you'd been trying to build up. Since [Dark] is the only tag you've selected, doing so was not a wise choice.

>as she looked herself in the mirror
Missing word. You can look yourself in the eye, but you look at yourself in the mirror.

>to at least make
'Nother split infinitive.

>still dozing
hyphenate

>element of magic
I usually see this term capitalized.

I see no reason for the picture you've inserted at the end of the chapter. Is it supposed to mean something? All you got from me is a "wtf?"

And now overall impressions. With so little written so far, there won't be much to say, however.
Mechanics:
Repeated problems include inconsistent paragraph breaks, failure to use unspaced em dashes, comma abuse, and weak demonstratives.

Yet, it gets really annoying to see that construct yet, again.

Style:
You nararative voice is skipping all over the place. Some shifting is okay, but you've gone through three different perspectives, and continually waver between an omniscient and a limited feel. There's also a lack of showing. The bulk of the narrative focuses on Twilight's excavation, and we get zero emotional involvement from her. It's a barrage of facts and figures, and reads like an essay. And essays aren't particularly entertaining or dark. Only in the closing scene do we get any sense that Twilight is something more than a statue, and even then, only minimally.

Character/Plot:
I'll combine these, since there's precious little of either one. Twilight acts reasonably like Twilight, in that she's studious and scientific. Unfortunately, she also acts like Twilight. As in Kristen Stewart. A facial expression, body language, or trace of emotion would make her more interesting. Plot-wise, very little happens. What's going to interest a reader in the exposition dump that is this chapter? We have a potential antagonist introduced, maybe? I can't tell yet. All need not be revealed up front, but give us something. Who he is? What his motivation is? Why I should be scared of him? And given that there's no apparent link between him and the skeleton, much of what does happen smacks of an extraneous plot thread. Make it matter or cut it.

You are thankfully free of the most common and rankling mechanical errors, and your writing and word choice are generally good. Tighten this up and make it... well, interesting.

Keep writing, and have fun with it!

Review-to-fic word count ratio: 97%.
>> No. 119692
>>119690
I was being facetious. The requirements are that you've done at least five reviews, you ask to be a maintainer, and you actually maintain once in a while. This isn't rocket science.
>> No. 119703
>>119694
Welcome to being a maintainer. Just don't burn yourself out, 'kay? Organizing and updating stuff is more addictive than it seems, and that's part of why this Mega spreadsheet has been so successful despite how it's an awful kluge that runs on human souls effort.

Oh, and congrats too you and all else who cleared out the queue. That is the first time it has ever happened without help from Nicknack or a queue closure to encourage people to review more.
>> No. 119706
File 134793461093.jpg - (79.13KB , 1000x562 , 654894896.jpg )
119706
Hey, SoraKun. What's up? How are you feeling? Did you have a good day at school?I assume you're still in school

Anyway, I wanted you to know that I haven't forgot about you. I'm working away at your, rather tedious, story. That's not to say that it's bad, but I've got a lot to say about it. I've got about 2k written so far for your review and I'm only halfway through the first chapter if that's any indication. There are some good things and some bad things, but nothing that made me want to gouge my eyes out, so that's good. I will say this for you: what I've read so far is better than what I expectedI wasn't expecting much to be honest, but it needs some work. I should be able to have your review for you tomorrow, or the next day at the latest.

I'll leave you with this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L0AiN8vrn9Y
>> No. 119710
File 134793543966.jpg - (153.45KB , 2732x1536 , 134715257026.jpg )
119710
Fervently working to give someone something to do here. Putting the finishing touches on the rewrite of my first chapter right now.

Also, I think I might like to become a maintainer, as well. With minjask's suggestion of that updater application, I'm in here a lot, even if I'm not doing anything. There's nothing to do at the moment. I think I'd want to put a few more reviews under my belt before committing to that, though.

Which means I have to keep lurking, since minjask went and ate everything. A rather impressive feat to have beheld.
>> No. 119712
>>119710
Am I the only getting the feeling this place will now become a ghost town? Cause I getting those vibes for some reason.
>> No. 119713
File 134793578281.jpg - (38.64KB , 1032x774 , raven___teen_titans_by_selyelydis-d39yh1a_png.jpg )
119713
>>119712
Nah, it'll pick up before long. I'm just glad it's reset to zero.
It's like credit card debt: It's a lot easier to ]keep it at bay when it's at zero, than when it's at $63,000.

Sure is fun in the meantime, though.
>> No. 119729
>>119691
I wrote this at 5am in the morning and no edits were done, sue me!

But yeah, I'm going to take this thing down the driveway and see what I can shove up its throat. You know how they say that being awake for 24 hours is equivalent to a 1 promille blood alcohol value? I can tell while reading through this that most of the things that seemed very good then, weren't.

And obviously, the whole NO EDITING does its part.
Anyway, this was a rough draft of something that's gonna become a side project for when I can't bother myself to write on Regina et Equi Nox. The Late Clock is an interesting, well, device. I wanted to use it, so I did. Next time I bring this here, I promise I'll have some actual plot to go with it - I mainly wanted to try my hand at introducing it into Equestria, and how things would react.

The jumpy perspective of the narration is due to the fact that at some point I was editing parts of it into first person Twilight. And then redacted. Most of it. And screwed up in my head. You know the deal.

Anyway, enough rambling on. I'll edit this, lengthen it and throw it back someday when I feel like it.

The image is my watermark/signature/personal sigil/whatevs, and it's in the document template by default. Sue me.
>> No. 119730
File 134794025541.png - (104.23KB , 954x872 , mlfw1353_fluttershy_do_no_not_want_face_by_scotch208-d4ea8rb.png )
119730
>>119608
>>119609

Dude. You're freakin' me out with your voodoo.
>> No. 119734
File 134794059105.png - (127.44KB , 432x322 , Raven voodoo doll.png )
119734
>>119730
What, the two names? It's just a thing I do. Don't worry about it.
>Ought to have saged that. This thread isn't for idle chat, although the thread itself is--admittedly--quite idle right now.
>> No. 119738
File 134794125654.jpg - (55.48KB , 904x720 , mlfw4324-1334919344386.jpg )
119738
>>119726
Well, that's good to know for future use. I'll keep it in mind.

Do you just sit there refreshing the page constantly to always see new posts on TTG? I mean, that post was there for less than a minute and you somehow responded to it. I'm not sure whether I should be scared or impressed.

Oh, by the way, Sorakun, I've made some more progress on Persona: Harmony. The more I read the more I'm seeing similarities between your writing and some of mine. Finding flaws in your fic is actually helping me as well, so that's kinda cool. There's nothing exceedingly glaring, but a bunch of little things, mostly just awkward phrasing and such.

At least I now have a tripcode like all the cool kids... Sageing as well due to irrelevancy
>> No. 119739
File 134794167030.gif - (310.38KB , 613x380 , 134647641308.gif )
119739
>>119738
>is secretly a wizard
Ponychan X auto updates the thread if I have it open, and I keep this thread open in a separate tab anytime I'm online. Kinda simple really. You should invest. https://github.com/milkytiptoe/ponychan-x
>> No. 119743
File 134794254203.jpg - (24.37KB , 466x457 , mlfw2755-please-be-gentle.jpg )
119743
>>119734

Sorry about that. My dirty secret is that I don't actually have any idea how to use this site. I had to go look up what sage meant.

Also, sorry about the idle chatter. I'm bored though, and there's not a whole lot going on here at the moment. I will simply ave to try harder to maintain a professional attitude.
>> No. 119745
File 134794282362.jpg - (65.24KB , 1162x971 , 132632158168.jpg )
119745
>>119743
Not a problem. And don't worry, nopony's going to harp on you for making a mistake if you're new. Well, Ion might, but that's beside the point. You'll pick it up before long. Visiting this page should help: http://www.ponychan.net/chan/?p=faq give it a look over, or scroll down to the first heading. "An Imageboard Primer"
>> No. 119746
>>119743
http://derpy.me/ttgirc
There
is a place
where the chatter is really idle
Take
it all there
if you want to avoid autosage

IRC, it's really kinda magical
>etc...
>> No. 119776
Title: Letters from a Senior to a Junior Changeling

Author: Chris

E-mail: see name

Tags: see below

Synopsis: A series of notes sent to a young changeling in the field by her superior, and a glimpse into the minds of a race whose views on friendship and love are at once totally alien and disturbingly easy to recognize in ourselves and those around us.

Link to the story: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1yGrGgzB9ED7hFhfkjKL7ayoraV5r8xabpaGNHSWtt9Y/edit

Length: apx. 9k words

Pascoite had previously offered to help me with my writing, so... PASCOITE! GET OVER HERE!

Ahem.

Whenever you’ve got the time, I’d appreciate it if you could take a look at this. It’s near the point where I’d normally submit it to the public at large, so it should (yeah, “should”) be in pretty good shape, editing-wise. I don’t doubt there are still a lot of awkward sentences to work out, especially considering how much effort I’ve had to put into trying to maintain the particular voice I was striving for in the letters. I have a few specific questions, but I don’t want to color your reviewing, so I’ll hold off and assume that you’ll address them without my pestering you in advance. And if you don’t and I’m still at a loss, I’ll just ask later.

One difficulty I will bring up now, though: I have no idea how to “tag” this story. Its structure is based on C.S. Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters, but it’s not really a crossover. It’s certainly told from a very cynical perspective, but I wouldn’t call it “grimdark.” Although there’s shipping in the story, to tag it as such would be the height of missing the point. Frankly I’m stumped, and if you could give me some clue how to label this correctly, I’d appreciate it. That, and tell me everything else I’m doing wrong, if you please.
>> No. 119779
File 134798438160.jpg - (15.62KB , 434x294 , mlfw3928-13327903939109.jpg )
119779
>>119776
Well, well, well, I have to say that I was quite impressed when I briefly skimmed this. The story was excellent and compelling. I didn't have time to read the whole thing now, but I'll probably go back and properly read it later. I have, unfortunately, not read C.S. Lewis' work you based this off of, but I have no doubt that your emulation was accurate. Even if it wasn't though I would still say that it stands very well on its own merits. You'll have to wait to hear from Pascoite to get the opinion of someone who actually knows what they're talking about, but I would say you get a thumbs-up from me.

Damn... reading that made me feel like I suck at writing. Which I kind of do Oh well, time to go practice some more I guess.
>> No. 119788
File 134798669627.jpg - (97.14KB , 1000x560 , twibooks.jpg )
119788
Hello everypony!

As I've said in my previous post, my fic Harmony's End is at 10 chapters in right now (out of the total 13) and I'm in the middle of writing the remaining ones. Chapters 1 and 2 have been reviewed by Minjask, and I'm here to add to his.. her?.. workload with the next two.

Hear that? This one's for you, Minjask.

Chapter 3 (~4700 words): https://docs.google.com/document/d/1qxAQiJHTH1INztR3PK5MwGYCK0xW_s3Bca60B77davo/edit
Chapter 4 (~3600 words): https://docs.google.com/document/d/1IaFUwVcDcFct7Xt6Ot2M2RG_C57OpZZ_TBL3r3hESFk/edit

Basically, chapters 1 through 4 have gone through a lot of revisions and "corrections" in the past, and as such I'm pretty happy with them. Unless some huge, glaring problem is pointed out, I don't expect that they'll need any big changes or rewrites. Then, chapters 5 through 8 are... eh. They're shorter than the others, and while a lot of important stuff happens, I'm not sure how well I handled them. I'm really eager to see what to see what you think of those. But that's a story for another time, innit?..

So there. You said you won't be as quick as you were with the last two, and that's fine. Take your time, just don't forget about me completely. It's hard to find someone to go through this whole thing.
>> No. 119791
File 134798815510.png - (1.12MB , 1131x707 , MLPBanished.png )
119791
>>119776
Been a while, Chris.

Upon noticing ( >>119779 )'s comment, I decided to take a look at it myself, and I must say I'm not disappointed by my decision. While you seem dead-set on getting Pascoite to help you, I though I would just point out the few errors I noticed.

>our mother should have smothered you in your cradle and spared us all your idiocy, and and that fat fool of an instructor, Phanaeus, ought to be tossed to the Sirens for allowing such rank incompetence among those he was supposed to vet and instruct.
>and and that fat fool of an instructor
Two "and"'s there.

>But lest you doubt the power of love, remember this: it was by the power of love that our very race came to be . . .
In a single paragraph you establish a thought-provoking and imaginative origin for the Changling race. I am very impressed and must also profess my despondency that I could not manage to do half as much with the page of key notes I made for my own origin theory.

>When seducing a coward, a healthy amount of fear will work wonders. But for ponies made of sterner stuff, the opposite approach is often more fruitful.
More nit-picky, but I felt like mentioning this anyways. Starting a sentence with "but" or another conjunction is considered poor form and, while you can get away with it in speech (which these letters could be construed as being, in a way), their formal nature does not lend itself to this. Substituting "however" for "but" would achieve the same effect. Also-- and this is completely my personal opinion--"sterner stuff" doesn't sound quite in line with Aunt's writing style. Finally, I just noticed you're putting two spaces after periods, a technique that may have been necessary when using a typewriter but is rather old-fashioned in this day and age.

Simply phenomenal. I'm tempted to throw it into MSWORD and run a word replace to remove pony references so that I can show it to my less equine-infatuated friends.
>> No. 119797
File 134799287489.jpg - (69.64KB , 610x422 , 041210raven.jpg )
119797
>>119788
Fancy that. I didn't expect you to have it ready so quickly. As promised, I'll pick this up, and have it back within the week. To keep myself from procrastinating, however, I'm going to set a goal return time of 60 hours or less. See you then.
>> No. 119799
>>119429
Thank you for reviewing Twilight vs. The Birds and thank you for being in-depth (even considering how much I wanted to pull all my hair out reading through your comments in the gdoc). I greatly appreciate all your help and advice.

However you neglected to comment on the statements by the EQD prereader. Do his statements ring true to you? He seemed to indicate both boredom and frustration with the plot. You may have touched on his sentiments in your review but I'm wondering if you can speak any further to his comments.

Other than that, there are a number of edits to the fic and plot concepts that I would like to discuss with you in further detail by email. Since you offered. :)

Thanks.
>> No. 119805
So I thought I'd ask what's up with the fella who said he was having to re-do my review due to a hard drive failure. It's been a while and I just thought I'd send a friendly nudge. You can drop it if it's becoming a big commitment for you.
>> No. 119816
>>119791

It has indeed been a while. Thanks for the praise (which I assure you has gone straight to my head) and the corrections--I went back and deleted the extraneous "and," and once I'm ready to do some phrase-related revisions I'll look at the other line you mentioned. I didn't mean to FORBID anyone from offering advice, but Pascoite did offer to give me a hand, so I figured I'd take him up on the offer.

>>119779

And thanks to you as well! It's good to hear that you think it stands on its own merits.
>> No. 119817
File 134799930892.gif - (2.61MB , 640x269 , c54.gif )
119817
>>119816
I mostly used the "You want Pasc" line to justify me not actually finding much to whine complain about. I really just specialize in dismantling poor-to-passable stories; when I reach work on the level of yours I don't actually feel comfortable levelling criticisms at it since it feels more like I'm just impressing my style preferences on your writing. Simply put, critiquing this in a manner that would improve it is beyond my meagre skill.
>> No. 119828
File 134800569165.png - (1.34MB , 1440x900 , 1348003278675.png )
119828
>>119805
Due to having to start the whole thing over again along with a handful of essays due at varying times this week, and having full time education commitments, things aren't moving as fast as I'd like. However, I have most of a review done and I just want to read through the story a final time and try to catch anything I missed.

And I'm doing this from one of these fossils from a by-gone age called a 'netbook' which probably runs on something like a few calculators taped together and powered by a small, badly-cooled fission reactor. At least, that's the only explanation that I can come up with for all this heat and sluggish performance.

I don't take these reviews lightly. Patience pays off.
>> No. 119832
File 134801083813.jpg - (61.66KB , 750x403 , mlfw5629-aawww.jpg )
119832
>>119745

I read the linked info, thanks for that. It didn't stick very well, but it helps. I must continue my quest to become a savvy forum user.

Also, I remembered that you said that story of yours I looked at was chapter two of something. I read it as a stand alone story, and at the time I didn't remember it was supposed to be a part of anything else. Is chapter one up somewhere? I wanna read it.
>> No. 119835
>>119828

I'm glad to hear that you're doing such a thorough job! I'm looking forward to your review.
>> No. 119836
>>119776
Happy to claim this one. I read carefully while reviewing, so a fic of this length will probably take me 2-3 days. I'll have something for you by the weekend.
>> No. 119837
File 134801567593.png - (358.19KB , 885x960 , 557179_363793367019463_773534541_n.png )
119837
>>119832
Sure. Chapter one, right here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/17XJeELnpIFBDyouSpbaTrbTq4V2oWi76hb2LYSpQsAo/edit
>> No. 119838
File 134801652699.png - (142.86KB , 1067x749 , 132636101144.png )
119838
Round two!

Title: Bountiful Rainbows -- A Harvest Moon Tale
Author: Dawning Ark (aka morning_angles)
Tags: [Crossover], with the additional flags of [Slice-of-Life], and possibly [Adventure] in the future.

Synopsis: With the seasons slowly descending into stagnation around the sleepy farming village of Marelot, it falls to the heir of Clan Everspring to set things right. But can Sunny Blossom – a landscaper from Manehattan – uproot her life to start over in Marelot, with new friends and new family, and put the seasons back into their proper flow? /…/ More so, can a unicorn really be trusted to do the work of an earth pony, and revitalize a neglected farm?

Chapters to review: Just one up at the moment. "Chapter One: Deference".
Word count: 6664

Additional comments: This is nearly a complete rewrite of the first chapter I posted before. There was so much wrong with the original work. Hopefully this one will be much better. I've taken into consideration the plot comments from my first draft, as well as attempted to apply the grammatical skills I've been refining from reviews. Unfortunately, the grammar comments from the original are largely useless for this second draft, other than pointing out mistakes I tend to make.

In particular, though, I'm looking for a gauge of interest, plot inconsistencies, and general flow, to combat my biggest weakness with the original -- it was a boring textdump. I certainly won't turn down any grammatical or technical advice, though. My eyes only see so much.

The hub page: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1V9cP9FZAwdvB37xTyj-Be3ipyGaYdwEk-o-l-BCZMKk/edit
Chapter 1 (for comment purposes): https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Qvc3V6F29ht5ZrbeRLz8xidRhIu1juaUzrCT9NhMM68/edit

Don't be gentle, but don't be crass. Thanks in advance to whoever scrambles for this picks this up.

>hope this didn't double-post. rassafrassa server crashes.
>> No. 119840
>>119838
...should have given this one last sweep before submitting. Jumped the gun a bit. Doing that right now. Literally, right now. Hopefully before anyone snags it.
>> No. 119847
File 134802196815.png - (28.75KB , 319x269 , mlfw6192-0d71.png )
119847
Looks like I'll need to split this into two parts.
Let's see, where do I start?
Okay, I'll do this: address plot, characters, setting, and mechanics (probably all fairly briefly) then I'll leave you with the metric ****load of comments I made.
First let me temper my review by saying that I am just an amateur myself and I still have a lot to learn. That being said, I still feel that I'm competent enough to review this fairly and accurately. Okey dokey then... Captain Tenneal, I'll defer to you.
http://youtu.be/sWghNd1lpQE?t=2m38s

Plot
I read some of the comments made on the fimfic page for this story and I saw a few people say that they thought the story was “deep”. Now, I would argue with that, saying that it is actually intensely boring. In the entire first chapter Twilight does exactly two important things. First: She meets Igor and... ugh... Derpy. Second: She gets her Persona. The entire rest of the chapter is filled with useless crap. You could argue that her drinking tea with her mom and eating lunch with Rarity and Fluttershy builds her character, but you'd be wrong. Those things happen simply to advance the plot forward without providing any real development. Not to mention, they are all boring and not fun to read at all. I have to admit, it was a real chore to work my way through this and I doubt I'll bother to review the next two chapters. I feel that I can safely assume that they have the same problems as this chapter. I mean, maybe the next chapters are mind-blowing and I'm missing out by not reading them. But, you've convinced me that I shouldn't because you're first chapter was so filled with fluff that I felt like I was at a Build-a-Bear Workshop. This could have been condensed to half the word-count without really taking away from the plot development. That's not a good thing.

Characters
Not much to speak of here. Twilight gets slightly OOC at times, and is otherwise boring. The other characters show up so briefly that it's hard to say they developed at all. All right, I've got nothing else to say here. Characters are not my strong suit.

Setting
Your scene description was decent, but it leaves something to be desired. Like most everything else in this fic, it was boring. I didn't feel immersed at all. I will say that you didn't have “talking head syndrome”, so that's good. Sorry, that's all I got for this section too.

Mechanics
Oh boy, you've got a lot of work to do here. You frequently forget to tag dialogue, or use things that aren't tags to tag. You'll see some examples of this in my comments. Semi-colons are used to link two independent clauses, that are related, together. You seem to misuse them quite frequently. I would suggest avoiding them until you know how to use them properly. Let it be known that I too, suffer from misused semi-colon syndrome. They're tricky little bastards, so it's understandable that you would misuse them. All right... ellipses. When using ellipses it's important to remember a few things: only use three dots and don't put spaces after each dot. Simple enough rules, no? Moving on to your biggest problem: awkward phrasing. This story is fraught with awkward phrases. I pointed out just a fraction of examples in my comments. If I were to point out every instance I would drive myself insane, so I won't. The next best thing I can do is point out a few examples and then encourage you to read everything aloud and see what sounds weird to you. I can't think of anything else to say here. I feel like my brain is fried at this point.

I'm sorry if I'm not being very helpful, but I honestly don't know what else to tell you besides what I already have. Well, I'll leave you with my comments now and one more thing: seek out a second review. I always suggest getting more than review, especially when I'm the first review.
Anyway, here you go:

>*Monday, 8/14*
Personally, I'd just italicize all of these instances and anything with asterisks around it.

>However, she had gotten there quite early due to anxiety at getting the summons. She had already been there ten minutes waiting for the appointed meeting time to finally come around so as not to seem disrespectful of the Princess’s wishes.
These sentences seem redundant. I would say just remove the first.

>Sometimes it would be just to review what she had learned; sometimes she was invited to just hang out.
The first—I can see that. The second—that doesn't really seem like something Celestia would do.

>something big was happening, or has happened.
had happened.

>but even the most casual visits to the throne room ended with a heavy burden on anypony involved.
Seems heavy-handed to me. Celestia had Shining Armor and Cadance's wedding in the throne room, no? Besides the burden of marriage I would say that everyone left without any real heavy burdens.

>Something huge was about to happen to her today and she wasn't sure if she was prepared.
Fairly telly sentence there. The preceding paragraph makes this unnecessary.

>Twilight double checked the time, noticing that it was finally noon.
Double-checked how? You said she looked at the sun's position to determine the time. Did she look at again and see some minute difference? I'm being pretty nitpicky here, so feel free to disregard this

>throne atop of a dais
atop makes of unnecessary

>The dais was a few inches high atop a small set of steps; it forced the Princess’s audience to look up at her with their undivided attention.
Unless it also emits some kind of mind-control ray I don't see how it would force ponies to give her their undivided attention. I realize that it would force them to look up to her, literally, but it would not force them to keep their attention on her.

>The Princess returned the bow
As an American I'm fairly ignorant of monarchical practices, but why would a Princess be bowing to her student? Actually, wouldn't it be a diarchy because of Luna? Is diarchy even a word? I don't think so. Wait, is that what an oligarchy is? It's been a few years since high school I can't be expected to remember every form of government...

>It was only in this room that Celestia's elegance was shown off to its fullest, even though Twilight couldn't believe that the princess could be more elegant than she already was.
Comma splice, also sort of awkward sentence.

>Celestia's soft yet confident voice echoed through the hall
I'm not a 100%, but I think there should be commas around 'yet confident'

>It involves your studies.
Incomplete sentence. I would replace the period from the previous sentence with an em dash.

>"Yes, Princess," Twilight's eyes showed confidence and anticipation
There is no dialogue tag here. You either need to add one, or put a period after Princess. Also, the rest of the sentence is telly.

>"Yes, Twilight Sparkle," Celestia giggled a little despite Twilight's obviously hurt face,
Canonically, Celestia seems to only call Twilight by her full name when she's reprimanding her. Also, it's generally advisable to avoid using 'obviously' in narration. It implies that the reader doesn't know what ever it is you are saying is obvious. This instance isn't particularly egregious, but still, I would avoid it.

>"I hereby send you to Ponyville to learn about the magic of friendship!"
I don't really care if you want to change the canon, as long as it's for a good reason, but others might.

>The unicorn followed her teacher with her eyes as she looked out one of the windows through one of the clear pieces used as a border for its design.
This gets real wordy near the end. I'd take some of it out.

>It's a small, quaint town where practically everypony knows everypony.
Seems rather informal for a princess.

>"But Princess,
Comma before Princess since she's being directly addressed.

>Now go pack your things, you leave first thing tomorrow morning. You are dismissed."
Celestia was being all warm and lovey before, then she gets cold and just throws Twilight out suddenly.

>Twilight [...] autopilot.
Almost every sentence in this paragraph follows the same pattern. [Independent Clause] , [Coordinating Conjunction] [Dependent Clause]. It's not the most distracting lack of variety ever, but I did notice it. All you really need to do is make like two or three of them separate sentences and you should be fine. Keep in mind that I'm by no means an expert writer. I could be wrong about this, and it honestly wouldn't surprise me all too much.

>"Twilight, dear!" Twilight's mother, Moondancer, opened the door to be pleasantly surprised by her daughter's unannounced arrival.
Random switch to future tense... at least, I think that's what that is. Either way, just take out 'to be' and add a comma.

>flying over to the faucet for water and setting itself down on the already hot burner
already-hot needs to hyphenated since 'already' is modifying 'hot'

>Then the hot tea hit her tongue she yelped in pain, and then tasted one of the bitter flavors of her childhood. It was an old remedy in her family for life-changing events: tea filled with some of the bitterest herbs you can find in a grocery store.
Awkward phrasing as well as heavy-handedness. I'm supposed to believe that Twilight's family has a “remedy” for life-changing events? You can't fix life-changing events. That's why they're life-changing. Also, Moondancer just happened to have this life-altering-event-fixing tea already brewing before she had any way of knowing what Twilight was going through?

>“It feels like a slap in the face!”
That seems like a bit of a leap for Twilight to make. Celestia is sending her away on what is basically vacation and Twilight feels like she's been slapped in the face?

>Twilight took another sip of tea, the bitterness working its magic again, and sighed.
There is nothing ostensibly wrong with this sentence, but I would suggest replacing the commas around the parenthetical element with em dashes. It reads better that way.

>Moondancer giggled to herself, knowing full well that it was upsetting her daughter.
Bitch... I don't have a problem with this; I just thought it was funny

>”Just as I think you’ve done everything impossible, you manage to actually stump my daughter this hard!”
Oy, this sentence is really awkward. I would start by replacing 'as' with 'when' and change the rest of the sentence to past tense—it'll sound better that way, I promise. Also, change impossible to something else.

>spoke her voice
No...

>“Your teacher is a marvelous pony. Her duties and responsibilities keep her busy all hours of the day and yet she still manages to make the time to teach but one pony herself.”
Couple things: First, it seems disrespectful of Moondancer to refer to the Goddess of the Sun as just a teacher. I mean, she is Twi's teacher, but I feel like she would still call her 'the princess' or something. Second, duties and responsibilities are pretty much the same thing. It's redundant to use both. Finally, take out the 'but'.

>She turned back to her mother and gave her a hug, the best one she could manage through her still crowded mind.
Comma splice...

>She could practically feel an aura of calm as she held her, spreading all around her until she wore her first smile that day.
Too many 'hers' in one sentence; also, that's untrue. Twilight smiled earlier when she was reminiscing. Nitpicky? Yes. True? Also yes.

>“We have an entire day of planning and preparation to do! I can’t wait! We need to get. . . .”
I know what you're trying to do here. You're basically attempting a textual fade-out. I can see it working, but you need to give a bit more info before just ellipses-ing out. As it stands now, it comes off as very abrupt.

>Not a single book, however, but even with that it turned out to be a great day.
An incomplete, albeit longish, sentence.
>> No. 119848
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>mfw the character count on this review is so high that I needed to make two parts.

>It was a perfect goodbye.
Damn, you've been pretty decent about show vs. tell, but this—this is telly... and dumb.

>setting it aside her now packed suitcase.
Beside...

>button eyes hanging loosely
button-eyes hanging loose.

>She brought it over to her and her eyes filled with tears as memories of her foalhood surfaced in her mind; her and her Smarty Pants doll conquering the many monsters of the night and their endless hours of studying together.
Okay, lots of hers again. I suggest restructuring your sentence to fix this. Also, improper semi-colon usage. The second sentence is not an independent clause.

>She'd forgotten how much she really loved this doll.
That was implied by the previous sentences, and thus, is unnecessary—also telly.

>old self
hyphenate

>Old Twilight
Random Captilization Of Old Is Random. Also, there's a comma splice right after this

>She snuggled herself under the covers and held Smarty Pants tightly in her hooves, as if securing the last piece of her old self from any harm.
The second half is rather telly.

>Everything was blue; the sofa, the china cabinet and the china in it, the lamp above her, the chair she sat in, the table in front of her, the floor and rugs, everything was blue.
Everything was blue: the sofa, the china cabinet, the china in the cabinet, the lamp, the chair she sat it, the table in front of her, the floor, the rugs—everything.

>A balding, grey stallion with a long nose and white mane was chuckling in a raspy voice into his hooves, keeping them together as if he was plotting something.
I have to admit, I was disappointed you made him a pony. It's not really necessary and the fact that he has a grotesquely long nose doesn't really work with him as pony since all ponies have long noses. I realize that you want to, probably, avoid the dreaded Human in Equestria Yes, I realize they aren't all bad, but a lot of them are, but this is one instance where I think it would be better.

>black dots in a sea of white and red veins.
It sounds like you're saying he had white and red veins... which wouldn't make sense.

>a sort of gravity filling is words with a sense of foreboding.
Okay, random switch to present tense.

>"This is my assistant, Derpy Hooves.
*Sigh* Disappointed again, sorry. Part of the appeal for Elizabeth was how awkward, yet cool, she was. Okay, maybe awkward wasn't the best word, but you know what I mean. At this point you're three chapters in and it would take major re-writes to remove Derpy, so I wouldn't necessarily suggest it. I will say that the idea of Derpy as an assistant, of any kind, is rather overplayed. That's not to say that you can't do it, but it seems cliché to me. But, I'll withhold judgment until I read the rest of the story.

>"I see," Igor paused,
paused is not a dialogue tag, so you need to replace the comma with a period.

>fate of those around you hang in the balance.
Hangs

>Normally this would disappoint Twilight, making her feel like she had been downgraded in class, but that was the old Twilight.
Somehow, I don't see Twilight being bothered by things like class, or wealth, even old-Twi.

>Twilight had to admit, for such a small town there sure was a lot of variety to it. Nothing like what you'd find at Canterlot.
I find it hard to believe that Canterlot would lack variety. It was a huge city hanging on the edge of a mountain.

>Looking picked up her bag of bits and counted her money.
I'll let you figure out what's wrong here...

>She had enough for some local dining and then some grocery shopping, but not much more.
Really unnecessary sentence. It adds nothing to the plot nor does it develop any characters. This is a problem that is pervasive through the whole story.

>Convenience immediately hit Twilight when she...
I don't really see how 'convenience' can hit someone.

>I must thank you for taking care of not only Opalescence, but of Sweetie Belle as well.
This is how it would read non-concatenated: I must thank you for taking care of not only Opalescence, but of taking care of Sweetie Belle as well.
By adding the extra 'of' in there the sentence becomes very awkward.

>"Oh my. . . .
No... Ellipses only have three dots, not four. Also, don't put a space after each one.

>Twilight watched as the two ponies began to walk away. Before she could stop herself, an impulse took over her.
>"Hey!"
All right, I can take you changing the canon story, but now you're changing canon Twilight. When we first see her in MLP she doesn't engage random ponies in conversation. I know that you need them to talk, but perhaps you could have Rarity talk to Twilight first instead of the other way around.

>Well, that's very kind of you, . . . umm. . . "
Well, these ellipses are correct, but you don't put other punctuation before ellipses: like a comma for instance. Also, stop putting spaces in.

>My name is Rarity and this is my best friend Fluttershy.
I find it difficult to believe that Rarity would introduce Fluttershy as her 'best-friend' (which should be hyphenated by the way). It seems OOC for her.

>"I'm new here, from Canterlot."
I think this sentence would be better served by an em dash, or perhaps just this: “I'm from Canterlot.” It's short, sweet, and to the point.

>She felt like she had a status symbol placed on her when she said "Canterlot", especially when Rarity gawked at her.
>especially when Rarity gawked at her.
This implies that this isn't the first time that Rarity has gawked at Twilight over the mention of the word “Canterlot.”

>"it's not all that different from here. . ."
I feel like this was most likely a typo. Hint: always capitalize the first word of a sentence

>My parents' house is considered low class there, but here I'd be the fanciest pony around!
It sounds like Twilight is gloating, which she isn't really... but it comes off like that. This paragraph uses too many exclamation marks as well. When you put a lot of them in one place—when you put a lot of them anywhere really—they lose their impact. Twilight isn't the type of pony to shout all the time, so having a lot of exclamatory statements is a little OOC. OOC = Out Of Character, just in case you didn't know

>"Oh, I didn't mean to make this my life's story. I'm not begging you or anything to---”
>"We'll be your friends."
Well that escalated quickly...
Twilight is just spewing words at Rarity and Fluttershy then they just decide: “Herpity derp. We'll be your friends!” Wut... It comes out of nowhere and feels really forced. I realize that Equestria is the land of sunshine and Oreos™, but really? I don't know. This just struck me as odd.
And then right after that:
>Twilight felt a little off making friends this way, but at least she was getting what she wanted.
It sounds like Twilight is just using them. Which, maybe she is, but that doesn't fit her character.

>"Of course!" Rarity seemed more than happy about this,
Excuse me but, how the **** do you know that? So far the story has been presented in third-person limited—so we only know Twilight's thoughts—but somehow the narrator knows what Rarity is thinking as well? You need to be consistent in your narration. Keep it either third-person limited, limited to Twilight that is, or just go ahead and make it third-person omniscient.

>But there were so many different carts and each one sold a different thing. One sold all different kinds of vegetables, one sold different fruits. Another sold flowers, one was a lemonade stand, another was a juice vendor, and another sold just apples.
I almost stopped reading right here. These sentences are so mind-numbingly boring that I can't even begin to describe it. Just take it out... please.

>Soon, her bags were getting full and her coin purse thinner, but she was doing it.
Doing what? Purchasing items? Whoop-de-doo. Congratulations, Twilight. You're a normal pony...
I'm sorry if it seems like I'm getting meaner with my comments, but it's getting late and this story is really dragging its feet. The only interesting thing to happen so far was also the shortest—The Velvet Room. Unfortunately this is just maddeningly boring...

>Sorry fer getting' ya down wit' mah troubles
You went full-southern... never go full-southern.

>Giving up, Twilight opened her lazy eyes- why were her eyes so lazy if her body wanted her awake?
Why are you asking us questions? This isn't a quiz. I hope

>“My name is Spike.” “Spike” crossed his arms and eyed Twilight with annoyance.
Alrighty now, if you're going to use quotation marks to emphasize Spike's name, then you can't do it right after someone speaks. It just looks sloppy, not to mention confusing.

>I've never even seen anything like you before!
Spike's never seen a pony? Really?

>Spike suddenly got all tense and looked around quickly.
Ughhhh. This is what this sentence reads like to me: Spike suddenly got all tense and **** and looked around real quick-like.
It just comes off as really amateurish. Perhaps changing it to, Spike suddenly tensed and began looking around furtively, would be better.

>“They're here!"
>"What's here?"
I think you mean: “Who's here?”

>Just follow me if you want to live!
Ughhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Forced melodrama is forced, and, lame reference is lame.

>“Do you want to die? Get moving!”
I can figure out Spike is speaking here because I'm not an idiot, but you give no indication that he is the speaker. Dialogue tags are your friends.

>Twilight attempted to stand and run until a shot of pain ran through her leg, the same leg the horse head landed on.
I think we can safely assume that the leg that is hurting is the leg that was injured.

>"Per . . . so . . ." Twilight felt her energy rise, "Persona!"
Yes! Something interesting is happening!

>Spike started jumping and screaming around Twilight, his excitement more than obvious.
Yes... it was obvious. Why did you need to tell me that?

>With no resistance, Twilight allowed her vision to disappear and slipped away from consciousness.
Haha! I've reached the end! This sentence is awkward by the way. I can't really tell you how best to fix it other than to just make up something new. It just sounds really weird.
>> No. 119851
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119851
>>119838
I was about to claim Bountiful Rainbows until I skimmed it and realized that it's actually good. I don't feel that I can really provide any useful criticism without it coming off as me trying to change your style. From what I read the story seems to be rather interesting and your mechanics seem to be very solid. I'm sorry to not be of any real help, but I liked your fic if that's any consolation.

Here are some things that I noted however:
> Sundance Blossom – Sunny to her family and friends, and also of the family Rosely – stretched in her cabin’s bed,
I realize you're using en dashes here and so spaces are somewhat acceptable, but it would be preferable to use em dashes without spaces. They are superior in every way, and ******* awesome.

>remove it from her carnelian red eyes.
I believe you are correct: carnelian-red should most likely be hyphenated.

>Eternity’s Sea
I love this name. Bravo.

That's all I really got for now. Sorry, man.
>> No. 119855
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119855
>>119851
That's actually really encouraging. My first draft got rainbow nuked from orbit and rightly so. Glad to see this one has more solid foundations.

And those pesky dashes. I'm still on the fence on how exactly to use them, having only discovered them over plain dashes less than two months ago. Ens seem to me to be more for tangential information, while Ems strike me as just breaking the thought outright, with no intent to return to it.

Also, yeah, fairly sure most my colors are going to be compounded adjectives. I have a strong distaste for the usual chromatic spectrum, and like to put as much detail as I can into a scene and into a pony. With as many characters as I plan to have walking around in this one, the small differentiation could make all the difference. This way I don't end up with twelve red ponies, eight green ones, five blue ones, etc etc.

I think I mistakenly called these something else in my own comments for consideration to whoever picks this up. Better go check that.
>> No. 119858
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119858
>>119855
>>119851
In my experience, spaced en and unspaced em are completely interchangeable – they're just different typographical marks for the same punctuation mark (the versatile dash, which can be used as a more dramatic comma/ semicolon or as a way of indicating speech being cut off). I recommend using whichever one you prefer, or whichever one your style guide recommends.

A note though: when you use an en dash to indicate speech getting cut off, space it according to how the speech was cut off.

"I love –"
"I love da–"

I've heard of cases where folk use unspaced em dashes to indicate that speech cut off thing while they're using en dashes as the punctuation dash mark, though. You probably shouldn't use them in conjunction unless you're doing that.
>> No. 119861
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>>119858
That's pretty much exactly what I'm doing. I think. I did not know, however, about the grammatical flow of the break. That is useful information. To the best of my knowledge, though, I think I always break mid-word. Still, good to know.
>> No. 119876
>>119847
alexmagnet, I hate to pick on you further, but I just noticed some stuff.
>>She turned back to her mother and gave her a hug, the best one she could manage through her still crowded mind.
>Comma splice...
>>It was only in this room that Celestia's elegance was shown off to its fullest, even though Twilight couldn't believe that the princess could be more elegant than she already was.
>Comma splice, also sort of awkward sentence.
Those aren't comma splices. In the first case, the second clause is dependent, and in the second the two independent clauses are joined by the conjunction "even though".
>> No. 119882
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119882
>>119876
Derp...
Oh well, I was ready to be corrected anyway. At least you pointed it out, even though I get the feeling that Sorakun might not ever see his review. Thanks anyways.
>> No. 119884
Title: Twilight's Odyssey

Tags: [Alternate Universe][Adventure]

Synopsis: In an Equestria where Discord never was, and the Pony Princesses never came to power, a young Twilight Sparkle loses her family in a crowd during the Summer Sun Celebration. Little does she know that her very existence is about to set a series of events into motion that won't just take her further beyond the borders of Equestria than anypony before her, but will also change the fates of both the nation and her life, forever.

Link to prologue: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1SvClLB2TjC8z-zjNa8hv-amx19j04NThGbTHlEB2GMM/edit

Link to Chapter 1: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1vdtKNsocxGSyOvYDhbFaQnRF0Pt2a6oYW2CgbyhibK0/edit

Comment: I've already run this through EQD once, and this is what they had to say:

"Dear author,

I am currently unable to recommend your work for publication on Equestria Daily. Please see below for details. Note that the character > denotes a quote from your work.


Specific Issues:

Em dash mistakes.
Dialogue tagging mistakes.
>looking around confusedly // This is one example of incredibly awkward phrasing, also indicative of serious show vs tell issues.
Avoid question marks in 3rd person omniscient narration. Attribute these directly to a character, and italicize accordingly.
Keep punctuation within quotation marks.
Ellipses mistakes.
Capitalization errors, especially with titles.
Compound hyphenation mistakes.
Avoid parenthesis; stick with commas or em dashes for appositive construction.
>On queue // Homophone confusion.

-----

Well, you’re working an interesting premise here, but you’ve got some work to do to bring the execution up to par that the tale you’re trying to weave deserves. I suggest you get yourself some reviews and an editor to help you work through things. This is strike one of three.

Check out EQD’s Editor’s Omnibus if you are unfamiliar with any of the noted issues.


Best Regards,

Pre-reader ********"

So, yeah, I'd appreciate it if someone (maybe an active user?) with the necessary know-how to help would review Twilight's Odyssey.

If you would also suggest maybe someway to make, for example, the award phrases less awkward or tell-y, that would be greatly appreciated, but to identify them is what is most important.

Thank you in advance,
DemPonies.
>> No. 119885
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119885
>>119884
I remember this one. Sorry my review wasn't enough to get you on Equestria Daily. Next time I'll try to remember to add that * to my review so people can look over what I said as well.

By the way, have you written any new chapters, or have you just been focused on editing?
>> No. 119886
>>119885
>>119884

No fault of yours, your review helped me quite a bit, and for that I'm grateful. I'm just glad most of his points had to do with grammar and/or phrasing and not something less easily fixed.

I don't know if the pre-reader in question would object to me putting his name out there or not, but better safe than sorry.

Actually, I already had a few chapters that were pretty much done when I asked for a review of the two first here. Unfortunately, they have to go through major revisions before they even deserve to be reviewed.

So, apart from editing the Prologue and Chapter 1, I have begun revising Chapter 2 and added a new scene of about a thousand words.
>> No. 119887
tl;dr does anyone have ideas for a cool DBZ-style magic battle?

As I mentioned, Myths and Legends (proper title: Starswirl Walked Through Time) was submitted before the review on it was finished, for a few reasons. Impatience mostly, because I assumed the review would be done soon and that I would have time to edit before the PR read it, or at least before the story appeared on EQD.

It was handed a strike, but the PR also said that they liked it.

Along with minute issues like passive tense and one glaring typo, "Prereader E" said there were a couple things that could use improvement:

>You should emphasize the shift in the nature of Twilight's magic more, in my opinion. It was a bit too subtle for me to get quickly, and it's something that the reader needs to understand for most of the rest of the story to make sense.

> I'd suggest getting a review on Ponychan from a reviewer that feels confident making suggestions for improvements to action scenes.

Note that the PR said nothing about the tone shift. Not that that's going to stop me from fixing said tone shift, of course.

Reading this again, I still like the brief spot of graphic violence that I wrote in. First off, the actual description is great, and second, it really emphasizes the fact that something weird's going on in Twilight's head. Unfortunately, making everything else less dark but leaving this bit alone might make matters worse.

I'm not going to put this in the TTG queue, but as long as I'm going through and trying to make the battle more kid-friendly, I would like advice on how I could also make it cooler and more exciting.

Anyone ever done something like this? Where's the brony who wrote "Sweet Escape?" ...Never mind, that's not really what I want, but you get the idea.
>> No. 119901
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119901
Finally done, even with my desktop out of commission. I hope this was worth the wait.

---

A solid story with an interesting idea, but marred by overly hasty telling and a disorienting mish-mash of scenes.

It's kind of difficult to determine what this is meant to be at first. It kind of reads like a diary but it's also sprinkled with these distracting asides like the dream it begins with (and, I think, keeps returning to every so often throughout the story) and they don't seem to serve much purpose. This third alicorn OC 'Ardor' is introduced as soon as you begin reading, in the dream sequence, which was also mildly detracting, especially as it is in media res. In media res is a great tool to employ for a good hook, but when you're encroaching on hardline fannon rules ("There are only two full goddesses/princesses, Luna and Celestia") you can't just jump into it like that; it leaves a bad taste in the mouth and confusion in the brain. You need to ease readers into something like that for them to accept a third sister.

A good analogy (although a strange one, too) is a cancerous tumor. Your OC is cancerous tumor (and I mean that in the most respectful way possible,) that is trying to grow in the cherished, unspoiled body of the beautiful fair maiden called, 'Estalished Fannon'. Your OC is a small spot of tumor trying to grow in a speck of melanin on her nose. To get Established Fannon's admirers to not want to get your OC-turned-tumor surgically removed, you have to ensure that your OC grows slowly, so slowly that they don't even notice it. Soon, your tumor OC is quite a horrible blemish on her otherwise beautiful face, but they don't remove it because that's just the way its always been, and they like her just the way she is. (Until they find out that you're going to metastasize and they lop you off anyway.)

See, if Ardor were a minor character (like a speck growing on her back or wherever,) then they wouldn't care from the beginning. But because you're meddling with such a core part of the established fannon, your readers will care. So in media res with Ardor is not recommended.

(No, you can’t have what I’m smoking.)

Anyway, about the name Ardor, I'm indifferent towards it. As soon as I heard it I was thinking 'Goddess of Steamy Sex' and that whole thing about wanting to nuzzle her one last time didn't help. But yeah, it's not a bad name. ‘Ardor’ also echoes ‘Adore’ for me, so it reinforces that god of love thing. I'm more interested in the lore of it, how come there are goddesses of the sun and moon and then also love? Shouldn't there be other goddesses of other emotions then? It is a plausible and interesting explanation of how Cadence can be an alicorn though, I'll give you that.

And then we get down to the crux of the whole story.

My main problem with this story is that it doesn't feel very much like a story at all; it just feels like a piece of proposed fannon. A story would be more about Celestia, Luna and Ardor, their relationships and how Ardor came to do such a drastic thing to feel love again. Instead, this story felt more focused on simply providing an excuse for Candence's alicorny-ness and telling a story simply being a little extra on the side. I think it just felt lacking; that the story you're trying to tell can't be told in so few words. It felt much more focused on the actual events than the characters, restricting the growth of an audience-character relationship, so it reads more like a Shakespearean comedy.

I'm not saying it's bad, I'm just saying it needs a little... more.

But it’s not all criticism. The ending was quite sublime. You're good with the imagery thing and-- although at times overly verbose and cliched-- I really liked some of the more poetic parts. I would just recommend trying to rein that in a little (teehee) because it can get quite arduous to read at points (teeheehee). I think the main problem is that this story has no relief; it’s all full of parts which do require such flowery description from beginning to end, so it starts to feel a little grating by the time you get to Cadence’s big reveal. It needs some sort of breather, through comedy, mundane or otherwise.

I also want to note that the clever reveal sailed straight over my head the first time I read this. The flashback/forward/whatever was weirdly placed, so weirdly that as it starts with ‘When my niece spoke...’ I thought it was just a continuation of Revel’s birth scene, just from the perspective of the stallion who’d just shown Luna and Celestia in. And then none of it made sense and I was scratching my head. (It’s not impossible that I’m just a little thick and can’t into reading properly but my face-saving protocols dictate that I must also blame your strange scene change and disorientating narration.)

Another problem:
“Do not be tempted to use a twenty-dollar word when there is a ten-center handy, ready and able.”
A few examples:
>“modest single-story abode...”
>“...arrogant, impulsive, and callous.” (‘Callous’ in speech was acceptable, but using it again here just edges the line a little.)
>“...the pungent realities”
>“...felt for her was demeaning in some ways”
>“about her peculiar nature”
>“was already emblazoned in full”
>"...but they rose anew."
>"...was an iridescent scar on the night sky."
>"...from the all-encompassing luminescence that was my domain."
>"This, indeed, was the entire reason for the chariot's existence." (What is that 'indeed' even doing in this sentence? It's just fluff!)
>"...anywhere in Equestria instantaneously." (Because 'instantly' is too mainstream these days.)
(Not saying these should all be replaced, just pointing out what to look out for.)

I know this is meant to be a kind of diary from Celestia POV, but I still don’t like it. If it was from, say, Fancy Pants’ POV, fine. But Celestia (in the show) doesn’t really talk like that, she’s more soft and speaks in an uncannily accessible way for an immortal goddess, despite probably having had hundreds of years to perfect her language. In fact, that’s probably the reason why; she probably speaks like that on purpose to appear more ‘normal’. And since this whole story is basically about rationalizing the show’s breach of established fannon, it would be hypocritical to only selectively apply canonical aspects. This story has a duty to try as be as accurate as possible.

I had few quibbles with the prose itself, though. I leave it to more intelligent folk than me to point out that stuff; it was readable, I understood what you were saying, and (for the most part) it was easy enough to glean the meaning from your writing. It serves its purpose. (But it could do with some trimming and grooming in spots.) The little things I did see:
>"The scroll was secured with a simple red ribbon; no wax and no seal."
Semicolon is for two independent clauses.
>“Yes, Princess,” he said, straightening.
'Straightening' on its own sounds a little strange. I would tack an 'up' on the end of it.
>herself over to the awesome power of the magic...
The colloquial use of the word 'awesome' has basically changed its meaning (or at least its subconscious connotations) for anyone who has had the slightest part of contact with American pop-culture. I would use a different adjective here for this reason.

Also, I'm not Christian, but it was difficult to read Revel's birth scene without mentally drawing parallels to Jesus' birth. Not really a good or a bad thing, just something that might not have occurred to you. Maybe you could capitalize on that, I don't know.

To conclude: It basically just needs to be a little longer and fleshed-out. Currently it’s a relentless stream of dramatic events which gets a little grating by the end, which lessens the impact of the big reveal. The final scene change is too disorientating and needs revision. The scene changes in general are disorientating (are they dreams? Memories? Abstract nightmares?) and need restructuring. Some of the language is too flowery/strange, and does not fit Celestia’s narrative tone set in the show. The underlying concept of a third alicorn goddess is good, but brings with it more questions. (It feels a little arbitrary to have goddesses for the sun, moon and then an emotion.) The introduction of Ardor could be done more powerfully and doesn’t serve as a very interesting hook as we don’t even know who she is and she’s already arguing with Celestia and Luna (lots of extra OC Donut Steel points there too) so that also needs revision.

On the plus side: it’s an pretty cool story and doesn’t afraid of anything, it offers an interesting (although in need of a little waterproofing) theory as to how Candence could also be an alicorn, there are some quite pretty, poetic moments which were done with nice panache (although they need to be broken up a little more in between climaxes) and I had no passing quibbles on your grammar with two pass-throughs.

So it needs work, sure, like any story. The easiest way to start would probably be to simply write more and then go to snipping and polishing. There’s a good foundation to work off of here, just keep at it.

Namaste, and good luck.

pic unrelated but ballin
>> No. 119913
>>119901

This is, perhaps, the best review I could hope for. It hits everything I was thinking about and wondering about, gives a clear picture of what's wrong and why, and even picks out minutiae in flow and word choice. My mechanics are solid, so people often glaze things like . I'm very, very glad I got you as a reviewer.

Point very much taken about the final scene change. To my eye, the weak transition meant readers would assume it was Revel's deathbed, but the way you interpreted it was infinitely worse. To me, the description of how the room smelled gave the impression that I was setting up a new scene. Perhaps if I were to go on and describe some kind of richly adorned, Princessly bedchamber, it would help. I'm not sure how I would turn that into a really hard scene break.

Both flashbacks except the dream in the beginning are real memories. Troubling that that's unclear.

Unfortunately this one also got submitted to EQD thinking I could make quick edits in the time between submission and PR evaluation, or the time between approval and posting to EQD.

I COULD try to change a lot of these issues with minor changes, but some things, like introducing Ardor in a more benign (hurr) way will take work. I worry that my framing device (flashbacks after receiving the actual news) makes things like this tough. I already thought about maybe cramming in one more flashback, but there isn't really space for it.

Changing the framing device would be a radical change that would probably involve pulling it from the EQD queue. Which I would HATE, because I've been holding it back from Fimfiction waiting for it to hit EQD. I dunno... you think Ardor can be crammed into this framing device?

Funny thing about Ardor being a random goddess--after I wrote this, I realized that a whole pantheon of alicorns made perfect sense, except I didn't imply the existence of one. I chose not to talk about one because it would be distracting. Funny that I felt like justifying Ardor would be more distracting than talking about her. Then I thought about how that might mean the rest of the gods don't normally interact with Celestia and Luna, and Ardor was the last one still close to them. So then I thought I'd write a quartet of fics- here's Fire/Passion, so I've still got Earth/Seasons, Water/Knowledge, and finally Air/Day&Night. Anyway, that was off-topic.

The point is... I do want there to be an entire pantheon of gods, but I thought it would be distracting to mention one. Slinging an alicorn OC is one thing; bringing in my headcanon structure seems worse. Should I? Argh.

Funny you call it a "big reveal." I felt like it was practically given away in the synopsis. Originally the synopsis said it was the birth of an alicorn, because I didn't think it was such a surprise. Currently it's not a big shocker but at least the audience figures it out for themselves.

So many things for me to think about. Big questions, major revisions, and a lot of them are maybe questions for me alone. I need help. I don't know if there is a way to help me, but opinions would be nice I guess.
>> No. 119925
Name: pludrpladr
E-Mail: [email protected]
Tags: [Normal][Will-be Grimdark][Will-be Sad]
Synopsis: When Discords escapes his stone prison again, aided by supporters of his cause, he rethinks his plan and comes up with something even more sinister... Corrupt Celestia.
Will Equestria survive this plan, or will it burn to the ground, collapsing in it's own disharmony?
Links: Prologue: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1I31q2WA35FHLoWDCx2HzYCaFarTrrLmm82b5wCZL2Dg/edit
Chapters to be reviewed: Prologue.
Comments: It has been reviewed before, but I had sort of put it on hiatus for a long time. To refresh my memory and start again, I'd like it reviewed to see what there is to change.
>> No. 119926
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119926
>>119902
You silly goose, apparently you didn't notice the NEW THREAD post by Pascoite. Oh well, I'll go ahead and claim this because it seems like something I can handle. I'll focus on your first chapter, like you asked, but if I find it sufficiently interesting I'll review the rest while I'm at it.

Look to my coming on the first light of the third day.
I may have screwed that quote up somewhat, but meh. I'll have your review in a few days, assuming all goes swimmingly.
>> No. 119928
>>119925

Hmm... short and to the point. I think I might be able to help with this one. It'll also give me a chance to try speed-reviewing. See you in a couple hours, probably less.
>> No. 119935
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119935
>>119913
You aren't the only one with an alicorn head canon. My story has one of its own to explain the existence, importance, and purpose of a particular character, and a rather extensive background planned to bring the reader in. I'm not sure if I'll actually make the background part of the story proper or into a sort of side story. It's still up in the air.

But the idea of multiple alicorns does tend to run contrary to most folks' head canon. If you plan to include the idea of a pantheon of alicorns, the reader needs to be eased into it. It also needs to be done inclusively, covering things in a way that makes sense, like sparky said, and like you said. Gods and goddesses always tended to come in sets and groups, and the need for more is exponentially related to how many you already have.

Remember most of all, though, that this is fanfiction, and not everything has to agree with everything else. There's even discontinuity between my own works. The story I'm currently writing has a need for sort of a pantheon -- six alicorns -- so it has them. Another story I'm writing doesn't need alicorns as god figures at all, so it doesn't have a pantheon associated with it. There are alicorns in the story, but not in the same way as the story I'm currently writing. Just make it make sense, and work with the canon, rather than against it.

Just my two bits.
>> No. 119945
Looks like two hours was a good estimate. Here's your review, good sir. Brace yourself for nit-pickery!

First point: fix up your synopsis. It gets its message across well enough, but the grammatical errors, few they may be, are unacceptable. If nothing else, get rid of the “s” on that second word, change the ellipsis to a colon (lowercasing the following word), and remedy the improper use of “it’s” near the end. This is the first bit of your writing your readers are going to see, so it is imperative that you have a clean opener.

Second point: I’ve left a bunch of comments in the Google Doc you linked. They’re strictly stream-of-consciousness, written as I was reading, so I apologize if they come off as condescending or anything—that was not my intent, I assure you. I hope they will be of help.

Third point: the actual review.

Not too shabby, all things considered. Your mechanics are pretty sound, apart from a few things I pointed out in the doc. There are some issues which I’ll summarize here, however.

What you need to work on are these OC’s of yours. We don’t get to spend much time with them, but we should still be left with a good sense of their motivations, goals, and personalities. Aside from a lot of rage and hate, there doesn’t seem to be much depth to either of them. One thing I could suggest to remedy this would be to keep the perspective firmly locked in Sky Shield’s viewpoint, instead of jumping back and forth between the two. That would allow you to express his thoughts a bit more, and would make Trickster more mysterious by virtue of having her thoughts closed to the reader.

Also, the overall situation, as presented, is confusing. First the two are talking about an associate, who may or may not have been taken into custody, then they’re arguing, then they’re laying new plans… and the reader has no idea what’s really going on. Now, I’m not saying you need to spell out the entire plot right there in the prologue, but as it is, it doesn’t really set the stage well. A few more details will actually draw the reader in more, as it will add to the mystery. This also ties in with the development of your OC’s—give some hints as to their motivations other than “we hate the Princesses and are angry.”

Finally, establish the scene. You start off with a little bit of description, which forces the reader to concoct their own picture, but then near the end, you start adding more details which inevitably jar the reader out of that. Simply having your characters interact with their environment would be enough.

In conclusion, it seems you’ve got a story to tell here, but this opener needs some refinement. Again, I hope my thoughts will be of service in this endeavor, and I wish you the best of luck in your writing. If you have any questions or want to discuss things, feel free to send me an email.
>> No. 119947
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119947
>>119884
Author: DemPonies
Posted: 9/19

Took a peek. Look's interesting. Very confused about the formatting marks, but I'll ignore them. So, let's see what you have. Feel free to chat me up in the document if you happen to see me.
>> No. 119965
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119965
>>119503
>>119603
Okay, finally got my thoughts together.

>what the hay why are you saying it like that
I don't know why, but this tickled me. I giggled like a little girl when I read it.

>Kill the parenthesis with fire
You have something against parenthesis? What did they ever do to you? [I removed them]

>Did Silken do ANYTHING? Is he just here to talk to her? I thought he was pony Manny Calavera.
Think more Georgia Lass from Dead Like Me. I was wondering what I did to make you think along that line so I can avoid it or adjust it.

>Insert obnoxious comment comparing you to SSnE here.
I knew this was inevitable... I'm hoping my story can speak for itself here as to why it isn't a ripoff.

>Bad phrasing. You've forced yourself to use stuff like "doing so" and used "everyone" when you meant "nobody" and whatever. Consider "Nopony else has a problem with that."
How much are you seeing this pop up? Is it sparse or is it bugging you quite a bit?

>and we don't know what he looks like
Is his description that important right here? I almost introduced him as "the yellow-coated unicorn" because I really didn't want to clutter the flashback up with a description, but if you think it's important enough, I'll add it.

>"dither" - for fuck's sake
lol

Okay, so you didn't like how I phrased a lot of my sentences, mostly the [action] as [action] and some instances of [clause with gerund verb], [main clause]. I mostly do these to keep all of my sentences from starting with "I + verb" because that's really easy to overdo in a first-person tale. I'm just wondering how important it is to avoid doing that. Maybe I'm being too cautious and my sentence structure is suffering for it, or maybe I'm being appropriately cautious, but just screwing up the execution.

>This is a very good idea, but presenting it with just the flashbacks like this isn't good. Same reason you shouldn't throw in thoughts like I pointed out.
I'm wondering how to go about doing this part. I thought the flashback idea was cool, since it allowed the reader to pick up on those nuggets of information and finally put them together along with Silk. However, I'm going to trust you on this... I just don't know how else to do it such that it retains the effect I'm going for.

Last thing: I hacked and slashed as much as I felt I was capable of cutting. I completely removed the exposition speeches that Light had early on and I'll be moving those to the next chapter (was planning a flashback anyways). I feel like you might want me to cut even more, but I can't really accomplish my goals in the last chapter if I don't keep this stuff in.

Anywho, thanks again for the review and your thoughts.
>> No. 119970
>>119965

I'm on my phone so I might have more to say later, but I want to get my thoughts out.

Regarding Pony Manny Calavera: All we know at that point is that they Guide dying ponies--in fact, up to this point I was assuming that, like Manny, they only interacted with individuals that were already dead. Being physically by the bedside isn't really what I expected.

Now that I think about it, the whole angle of having to be sneaky is a little strange, considering the fact that, like Lyra, nopony can ever remember him.

Regarding "yellow-coated stallion": That character is quite important, and it's okay for a while that Silk runs along without "looking at" him, but he definitely deserves a quick description dump. With careful precision, one or two sentences of physical description can flow. You could even do those two sentences at different points in the bit, I dunno.

You are right to be worried about repetitive structures. My issue there is exactly what I said and no more or less: that structure implies that the two events are truly SIMULTANEOUS, so I don't like when they aren't. This may just be my opinion.

Regarding Silk piecing things together: the actual *moment* that you create there is actually really nice. The way Silk figures it out for himself and then "shows" the audience is actually quite beautiful. I just don't like the framing, or rather the lack thereof. Find a way to write about Silk thinking about it while keeping that framing streamlined and minimal so as to mostly show off the flashback aspect, like how it is now.

I'd give it a shot myself but I've gotta get going.

Good luck with this.
>> No. 119976
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119976
Well, here we go, another monster review—by my standards—coming to a TTG thread near you.
Sweet pony-Jesus I can't believe there's going to be two parts again. I suppose I'll ask for a review of my review to see if my reviews are less **** now.
And we now turn to Captain Tenneal to get us started:
http://youtu.be/e_QXK-cz9vg?t=1m25s

>Hey, nopony wants to start working on an empty stomach!
Two things here:
1. Don't use exclamation marks in narration. Leave them in dialogue where they belong.
2. This bit of narration adds absolutely nothing to the story. It's not even mildly amusing.

>Slowly, the unicorn crawled out of her bed
>The unicorn scholar eagerly headed downstairs
>encircling the mare in their wisdom and comfort
These are just a few examples of LUS I pulled from the first few hundred words. LUS, in case you don't know, is Lavender Unicorn Syndrome. It is where, in lieu of actual pronouns, you refer to characters simply by descriptors. This is generally regarded as amateurish and is something that the majority of the community has very little tolerance for. I suggest reading this: http://eznwords.tumblr.com/post/21010451863/ellyewess
Ezn is an amazing guy and his explanation of why you should avoid LUS is excellent. Just read this and I'm sure you'll understand why LUS should be avoided.

>The sneaky dragon wouldn't tell; it was either because he was too embarrassed or maybe even too pleased with himself, who knows?
While not technically incorrect, I would still suggest avoiding questions in narrative. That's not to say that you can't use them, but you shouldn't use them to ask inane questions like this. I would also suggest changing the wording of the sentence to something like this:
>The sneaky dragon wouldn't tell, either because he was too embarrassed or too pleased with himself to say anything.
This is merely a suggestion. You can change the sentence to anything you want, so long as it's grammatically correct, but the current version is a little clunky. Also, referring to Spike as “the sneaky dragon” is a minor case of LUS. It is excusable however, since it actually is relevant to what was said directly before this.

>There came a knock-knock at Fluttershy's cottage door
One knock will be fine, thank you very much.

>Pinkie looked back to Fluttershy who, used to this by now, simply sat there
Technically correct, but I would suggest replacing the commas with em dashes. It's a harder pause, as opposed to the soft pause provided by commas, and in this case is more appropriate. You can generate em dashes by pressing Alt+0151.

>Oh well, I guess I'll just have to make another batch of punch with not... too... much... sssshhhhhhhuuuuuhhhhhhhflpthplbb.”  Another raspberry.
Okay, well, it's not coming through when I copy/paste from the fimfic page, but you have roughly 9 billion spaces between each word in this sentence. I realize what you're going for here, but you would be better served just adding some description into your narrative rather than try to awkwardly space things out for emphasis. Really, something as simple as “[Pinkie dialogue], said Pinkie, carefully pausing after each word” would provide a similar feeling without all the annoyance of having to see all the words spaced out like that.

>With this, Pinkie turned and began her usual bounce-hopping back into town, her face lit up with a happy smile that radiated its own light.
Lose the “With this” and also remove the comma after “town” and replace it with a period. This sentence is a good example of comma splicing: a problem that occurs several times throughout your story. Comma splicing is when you combine two independent clauses with a comma. For example: Twilight walked from Ponyville to Canterlot, it took her nearly three hours to make the journey.I'm pretty sure I'm right this time, Ezn. God I hope I'm right. I don't want to look like a fool a second time.

Huh, I've just realized you are putting two spaces after each period. Again, this is something that I don't think is technically incorrect, but it is rather archaic. I don't think people really do this anymore, but I also don't think anyone will complain if you do, so long as you're consistent.

>She looked around but saw nothing except the sun shining down on the green fields around her cottage.
Ah, and here's an example of the opposite of comma splicing: no comma. When you have co-ordinating conjunctions like, but, or so, you need to have a comma placed before them like so: She looked around, but saw nothing...

>At this, Angel smiled as he hopped onto Fluttershy's back and gave her neck a warm, bunny-hug.
Take out “At this”
There are a few instances where you use, at this, or with that, or something along those lines. You should avoid using those since it's obvious—or it should be—that the character is reacting to something that happened, or was said.
Also, I should note that I thought Angel acted rather OOC here. Whenever we see him it's apparent that he is not the type to be warm and loving, so to see him hug Fluttershy is a little odd.

>He looked up and was clearly excited to see her.
This is the most obvious example of show vs. tell that I've come across in your fic so far, so it'll be a great place to bring show vs. tell up.
What is show vs. tell? Well, let me try to explain it to you as best I can, and by explain I mean, show you examples I stole from a blog since I'm not good at explaining.
>The little girl looked so tired, she clearly needed a nap.
This sentence is boring as all hell, but it gets right to the point. It tells the reader exactly what they need to know, but does it in the most unimaginative and least interesting way possible.
>The brown-eyed little girl wore a plastic Viking cap, and her mouth was sticky from candy. Standing there in her dress-up clothes, she looked more tired than I had ever seen a child look. But she was so very stubborn, I saw we were headed for a battle.
This is better. It shows the reader that the girl is tired, but it still is fairly blunt about it. The random details add bits and pieces to the reader's understanding of the situation, but not enough to be very meaningful.
>Her sleepy brown eyes hardened into red-rimmed slits. She cocked her plastic Viking helmet aggressively, the horns sticking out only a little more than her curls. One fist clutched a decapitated lollipop, the other a cardboard sword. She leveled the point at my chest. “You mean dragon!” she growled. “You’ll never make me nap!”
Look how far we've come from a simple “The girl was tired. She needed a nap.” By adding in these details we can change how the reader views the situation, and how they feel about the characters in them. It adds much greater depth and makes for far more interesting reading. Yes, it will take much more work, but you won't be successful with such wooden narration. Even if you did become successful it would be a very hollow success.
Anyway, just go read this blog: http://jerz.setonhill.edu/writing/creative1/showing/. It does a great job of explaining why showing is important, and it has a bunch of great examples. It also is good about explaining why telling can also be important and why you should “Show, don't just tell” as opposed to a flat-out “Show, don't tell.”
Also check out: http://www.ponyfictionarchive.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=746 while you're at it. This thread, which includes some stuff by Ezn, who, again, I have a lot of respect for, also does a great job of explaining why you should “Show, don't just tell.”
I know there's a pony specific version of the whole 'show vs. tell' thing floating around the internet somewhere, but I can't seem to find it. The two links I gave you should be plenty though.

Moving on...

>”I'll let ya know, though.” Dash spoke in a quizzical tone.
You need to place a comma after 'though' otherwise 'Dash spoke in a quizzical tone.' is an incomplete sentence. Noticed this a couple times, but this is just one example.

>“Which is it?!?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ozzsURtdUI
While having both an exclamation and a question mark is acceptable, it is not acceptable to use two question marks. It should like simply like this: !?
And while I'm at it, you've been using quite a few exclamation marks in your dialogue, specifically with Twilight. It's okay to use exclamation marks now and again, but you've been using them far too frequently, especially when you consider that Twilight doesn't shout very often. When you use them all the time they start to lose their impact; it is far more meaningful when a character who rarely shouts suddenly has a line where they do shout. It shows the reader that whatever the characters is shouting about is important and that we, as readers, should pay attention. On the flip side, when a character has exclamations at the end of every sentence it's hard to tell when something shout-worthy is actually being said.

>You contain completely exaggerated story elements and not-real locations set in the Pre-Classical Era of knights and peasants, so you should be considered fiction.  However, you also include other locations and notable figures and events that have been documented as historically correct and accurate, meaning you are also non-fiction!
Okay, this is just me being nitpicky.
Just because a story includes historically accurate elements that does not make it non-fiction. Go read A Zombie's History of the United States: From the Massacre at Plymouth Rock to the CIA's Secret War on the Undead by the ever-talented, and wonderfully hilarious, Dr. Worm Miller—of SomethingAwful fame—and tell me that book is non-fiction. I dare you.
But seriously, you can leave Twilight's rant in the way it is. I just wanted to point out that “historically accurate” does not necessarily mean “non-fiction.”
Also this:
>But then, you have the nerve to start talking about space exploration and encountering other lifeforms in your later chapters, going into the genre of science-fiction!
Despite what you may see in Border's or Books-A-Million, science-fiction is not a genre all of it's own—at least it shouldn't be. It is exactly what it says it is: science-fiction—a sub-genre of fiction.
Again, nitpicky, but I wanted to point it out for fun... I guess...

Moving on... again...

>The cyan pony looked down at Spike, now fully understanding what he was asking for, a reason to leave and let Twilight be alone for a little bit.
The second comma should be replaced by a colon... also LUS.
>> No. 119978
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119978
>>119976
I'll put the asterisk on this part since I derped and forgot to put it on the first part.

>“Here, Spike, let me lend you a hoof here,”
Kill the second 'here'.

>“Oh, OK!  I understand what you mean.  That is a good idea!
Just another example of overused exclamations. Try this: shout these two lines and see if it doesn't feel like too much.

>The magical mare opened her eyes as the spell finished it's casting.
One of the more hilarious examples of LUS. The alliteration of 'm' had me giggling a bit, which is not a good thing since that's distracting to the reader: me.
On another note, saying 'the spell finished it's casting' is two things: the wrong 'it's' (should be 'its' since it's possessive) and also misleading. Saying 'its' makes it seem like the spell is casting itself—which I'm assuming it's not.

>“Just once every two weeks, I'll need to recharge the spell, it won't last forever.  So either you can bring it back down here, or, maybe even easier would be for me to come up there.  I'll just need a helping hoof actually getting up there, or I guess a helping wing actually.”  
How the **** would it be easier for Twilight to fly to Rainbow's house—which is floating in the sky I might add—than for Rainbow to bring Tank to her?
Not trying to be mean here, just asking a legitimate question.

>Suddenly, the faithful student exploded with delight.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yu_RmSJxtUE

>Rarity opened the door looking just slightly worn out and her hair just barely hinted at the smallest amount of being disheveled.
There you go. This is a decent example of showing. It could be fleshed out a bit more, but is otherwise much better than saying “Rarity looked tired.”

>“So why is it you've stopped by, can I help you with anything?”
Comma splice. The first sentence should end with a question mark after 'by'.

>I just cannot for the life of me find that one special outfit that simply screams 'Me, Rarity! I'm the fabulous dress you're looking for!'.”  
Nothing wrong here except for possibly the end. I'm not sure if that quadruple punctuation explosion is correct. I think that the period may need to be removed at least. Anyway, the real reason I pointed this out was because the first thing I thought of when I read 'Me, Rarity!' was Rarity saying “Me Rarity, ugh ugh” while beating her chest like a monkey. Again, nothing actually wrong, just something that made me laugh.

>The two mares had walked up the stairs into Rarity's room.
They're suddenly in Rarity's room? A little warning would have been nice. Maybe in some of the previous lines of dialogue mention something about them beginning to head that way, so it doesn't seem like they just suddenly showed up there.

>After all, green is the color of the turtle and–”
>“Tortoise,” corrected Applejack.
All right, I'll give you that. That was a nice, subtle way to reference that joke. Good work.

> Feel... yes, she could feel something.
Bit heavy-handed, but sure, I can accept this. I would replace the ellipsis with an em dash though.

>The party was a great success.  Everypony had a good time.
I swear to god, it's like a joke how textbook telly these sentences are. Not to make fun of you, since that's not my intention, but I hope from my previous examples you see why this is not really something you should be doing.

>After cake was eaten (the party pony even went so far as to make reduced-sugar cake for the tortoise) presents were given for unwrapping. 
In general, you should avoid using parentheses in narration. Use em/en dashes instead. Hint: use em dashes because they are awesome

> “Hey, Twilight.  Have a good time at the party?”
Wait a second; Spike wasn't invited to the party? Why?
>“Nah.  You girls get together and I just feel out of place.
Oh wait... nevermind.

>Probably some no-good thief lookin' to get a few free samples!
Okay—hold on a minute. You're telling me this story is going to be about Applejack? Coulda fooled me. I realize this story is about Applejack—given the title/synopsis that much was obvious—but I'm about to make a major point in my review, so just let me do this.
See, I say this because Applejack has been singularly unimportant throughout this entire chapter. She says like three lines to Rarity and then is barely even mentioned during the party “scene”. The quotation marks are there because I can hardly call one paragraph a scene. If I didn't have the synopsis and the title to fall back on I would've assumed this story's hero was going to be Twilight since she gets the most screen time. This is a major problem because in the entirety of the first chapter you made Applejack seem like the most unimportant pony—outside that one brief instance where she “feels” something—which, if you take away the last four paragraphs of the chapter (about 300ish words), “feels” wildly irrelevant. Applejack “feels” something, someone watching her I assume given what happens at the end, and I, the reader, am supposed to care, or even notice? Then, after a lot of really irrelevant stuff—irrelevant to the actual plot that isI say that because it feels more like this is a story about a birthday party for Tank than anything at this point—happens, I'm supposed to be like, “Oh yeah! Applejack's getting that “feeling” again. I guess ****'s about to go down.” and then just carry on reading like the whole party, and everything else, didn't happen? I'm sorry if it sounds like I'm being harsh, but I want to be honest and say that, while your writing was fairly solid, I was not interested at all to see what happens in the next chapter. Spoiler: It's Discord-ed Applejack

Here are my suggestions for how to improve this:
Focus much more heavily on Applejack. Have the story start from, and stay in, her perspective. Right now you seem to be writing in third-person omniscient. I would recommend writing instead in third-person limited, limited to Applejack that is. This will, hopefully, make the story much more enjoyable since we'll see what Applejack is thinking, more so than we do now, when this mysterious pony Discord-ed Applejack shows up. Also, you can have the scene with the party for Tank and all that, but I would suggest making it longer, and more focused on Applejack and what she's thinking during it. Maybe she sees, or thinks she sees, the mysterious pony D Applejack through the window and starts getting worried or something, I dunno. I've just now realized that you already did this with Fluttershy. The problem is just that though: I've just now realized it. That scene felt so weird to me when I read it, and now I know why: it should've happened later, and from Applejack's perspective. Also, speaking of that, Fluttershy glosses over that whole incident rather quickly if you ask me. Anyway, back to the review.

The point is: you need to make the first chapter more about Applejack and less about Tank. You need to work on making your scenes more aesthetically pleasing, and your actions as well. Right now it just feels like 90% of the conversations take place in a vacuum. Here, go read this: http://www.coloradospringsfictionwritersgroup.org/archive/2002-03_article-talking_head_syndrome.pdf
That should help you understand why having your characters perform actions while speaking makes for more interesting reading.
Let's see, what else?
I touched on LUS, and Show vs. Tell. Hmm, I can't think of anything else right now. Well, I'm sure I've given you plenty to work on for now, and, as always, I suggest getting more than just my opinion. I'm just one dude, one somewhat decent writer and one not quite stellar critic. The more people that you have look at your work the more it can, usually, be improved. In any case, I hope my godawful review was in some way useful to you, and that you can take something away from it. Oh, real quick, I do want to say that it may seem like I hated your story, but that is not the case. I actually like the idea you presented and I want to see you succeed. That's why I was so harsh in my reviewing of it. Anyway, that's all I got. I kinda lost where I was going, whoops. Good luck, by the way.
>> No. 119984
>>119945
I shall thank you kindly, good sir.

The synopsis had been commented before, and I had changed it, yet it seems I had gotten hold of an old version.

Apart from that, I will look it over some time in the future. If you could re-review when that is needed, I would be most thankful.
>> No. 119986
File 134811864561.jpg - (39.72KB , 400x500 , bad_end.jpg )
119986
>>119976
>With this, Pinkie turned and began her usual bounce-hopping back into town, her face lit up with a happy smile that radiated its own light.
Lose the “With this” and also remove the comma after “town” and replace it with a period. This sentence is a good example of comma splicing
>pic
>jk
Not quite. For "her face lit up", the "lit up" is an adverb (adjective verb, right? Uhh), not an action. So the phrase after the comma is not independent. Thus the comma in question is not a splice.

>obnoxious spaces and dat onomatopoeia
>Huh, I've just realized you are putting two spaces after each period.
Two spaces after each period sounds more pretentious than mere artistic license. Actually, it just sounds wrong, but as long as it didn't distract you or come off as an eyesore, and he's consistent, then, yeah, I suppose...

>When you have co-ordinating conjunctions like, but, or so, you need to have a comma placed before them like so: She looked around, but saw nothing...
Actually not incorrect, imo, but putting the comma would make it a lot more readable. So yes, good suggestion.

>The second comma should be replaced by a colon... also LUS.
Not sure why colon, since the comma is fine, although looking at your greentext examples, perhaps the author should pay some attention to sentence structure repetition. Seems like [subject],[action],[action] pops out in high frequencies.

>Rarity opened the door looking just slightly worn out and her hair just barely hinted at the smallest amount of being disheveled.
Author should probably look for missing commas himself, but I guess I'll point out that this sentence could really do with some. Specifically, after "door", and then start a new sentence at "her hair" because long sentence is long and repetitive sentence structure is repetitive (gotta love the irony in this).

>everything else
Sounds about right. Nice work. =P
>> No. 119991
File 134812008633.png - (277.83KB , 900x714 , come_back_soon____by_clk300-d4o1r2g.png )
119991
>>119978
Time to break out the word processor.

You're well informed in matters of grammatical expertise, and you pull from a wide variety of source information. All I have is my little green book, Google, and my admittedly flawed instinct to spot errors. You not only point out the errors, but, for the most part, you also explain how to fix them. On occasion, you even point out why they're wrong.

Everything is set up chronologically, I would assume, each error being explained in sequence. Given the size of the review, it looks like you hit everything, or at least tried to. Normally I would criticize this style of review, but I just now noticed that this was a FiMfiction orientated review, so chronological ordering really is the way to go. Generally I prefer categorical, letting in-doc comments mark everything chronologically. But that would be rather impossible here.

I'm siding with you on your spoiled Ezn freak-out. That's a comma splice alright. However, “Dash spoke in a quizzical tone.” is actually a complete sentence. Subject proper noun, verb, preposition, adjective, adjective, noun. Putting the comma in as suggested would actually turn this into a comma splice, as the dialogue is perfectly capable of standing on its own, as well. Had it been “said” instead of “spoke”, it would be a matter of a fragmented phrase, and need to pulled into a nearby sentence to stand.

You maintain a decent sense of humor throughout the entire review, and attempt to remain objective. It begins to run out toward the end, and you slip a little into sardonic. But you keep a consistent stance and attitude throughout. I'm admittedly not a fan of the youtube links once the review has actually started, finding them a tad distracting and not a little condescending, but that's just a personal opinion. You make good use of your outside sources, as I've said before.

8 out of 10

>>119986
While I'm on the subject, though, I call shenanigans. Lit: verb; a past tense and a past participle of “light”. As part of the phrasal verb “light up” it means to become animated or cheerful. “Her face” being the subject, this phrase can stand on its own as an independent clause, and therefor is, in fact, a comma splice.
>> No. 120015
File 134815085642.jpg - (24.62KB , 640x640 , 65468416.jpg )
120015
>>119991
> Given the size of the review, it looks like you hit everything, or at least tried to.
...everything in the first chapter

> I just now noticed that this was a FiMfiction orientated review, so chronological ordering really is the way to go. Generally I prefer categorical, letting in-doc comments mark everything chronologically. But that would be rather impossible here.
Yep, same here. I would say that I hate doing FiMfic reviews, but I don't really. I prefer gdocs, as it is superior—at least for easy reviewing that is—and it I would normally just comment on everything I pointed out. In fact, I probably would've pointed out a lot more if I could comment in gdocs as well. I tried to give a lot of examples of problems that were pervasive throughout the fic, so that the author would feel confident enough to find the other problems him/herself.

>However, “Dash spoke in a quizzical tone.” is actually a complete sentence.
Yeahhhhhh. I realized this not long after posting my review, but I didn't want to make another post just to correct that one thing. I'm glad you pointed it out though.

> It begins to run out toward the end, and you slip a little into sardonic.
Which I'll admit, is kind of bad, but I hope it doesn't detract from my review all too much.

>I'm admittedly not a fan of the youtube links once the review has actually started, finding them a tad distracting and not a little condescending, but that's just a personal opinion.
Fair enough, I can see that. If they came off as condescending then I'm sorry. That was not my intention. I put them in just to keep the review from becoming too serious, or something, I dunno. I like to inject humor into my reviews because, to me, that makes them easier to take. To be totally honest though, I think I do it to sort of cover myself in a way. What I mean is that my reviews are not the greatest I'll admit, so I use jokes, and youtube clips to distract from my lack of knowledge in certain areas. Also, I just think they're funny, but, like you said, that's just a personal opinion.

Also this:
>You're well informed in matters of grammatical expertise
Haha, well if I am it is only because of the textual smackdown I've received in reviews of my own work. I am, by no means, infallible, and I frequently make mistakes. However, when those mistakes are pointed out, I make it my duty to study up on those mistakes so that I may avoid making them again.

Anyway, thanks for the review review. It's good to know that I've improved somewhat. Now I just need to get back to my own writing, which I've been neglecting over and over again recently.
>> No. 120016
File 134815118842.png - (391.12KB , 2000x2171 , 133686162407.png )
120016
Does The Training Grounds have any policy against/for "mature" stories? In this case, for the story I'm trying to get help with, it's mature for language (if that's still a thing) and gore later in the story.

The funny thing about it is, I'm looking for help making a "less mature" version, so that it'd possibly appeal to a wider audience and/or EqD so I might get something on there I'm actually happy with.

Sudden reinterest in fixing this story up may or may not have to do with that Horror Stories thread going around, and therefore Halloween coming up.
>> No. 120017
>>120015
I think that's where the entire thread went. Myself included, for the most part. Queue's cleared out so now all the reviewers are working on their own stories.

Also
> if I am it is only because of the textual smackdown I've received in reviews of my own work.
You and me both.
>> No. 120018
File 134815147060.png - (507.62KB , 1080x947 , 23a32eba638e466580aec82ae9e3cb68.png )
120018
>>120016
Ponychan has a policy against mature content.
http://www.ponychan.net/chan/?p=rules
>> No. 120019
>>120016
I want to say that TTG will take anything that can be posted on ponychan. Which is to say, no blatant clop or gratuitous gore. There are some pretty dark stories out there, and TTG has seen its fair share of that tag.
>> No. 120021
>>120016

As far as I can tell, pretty much anything goes here. It's more a matter of whether or not a reviewer is willing to look over your stuff, and whether or not it's too "mature" for any hosting sites like fimfiction or EqD.

That said, if this is that "theoretical sequel" you once mentioned, consider this a preemptive claim.
>> No. 120023
>>120018
Well... as far as I have seen, as long as it isn't outright pornography, anything goes.
>> No. 120024
>>120018
I get that, and it's not like I'd post anything directly from the story on the site. The policies for linking to stuff seem ambiguous, however, especially if the other end of the link is restricted based on mature content anyway. Or based on something more specific, such as letting only a certain email through for viewing/commenting on Google Docs.

For example, if allowed by the thread managers, theoretically I could provide a link to the collection (of chapters) via the queue submission form, omit that directly from the site, and still restrict access until someone specifically requests/want to take on the review.

If that's still a problem, I can seek help elsewhere. I just know that other, more specific reviewers/review threads will take mature content on occasion, so long as access/links are kept off-site for reasons of site rules. Which is why I'm basically asking if there's any way to do something similar with The Training Grounds' thread.
>> No. 120025
File 134815235317.png - (163.47KB , 910x878 , 132625381169.png )
120025
>>120019
>>120021
The story itself is within "Mature" category on FiMfic, but it was approved there without any complaints/warnings. Do the two sites have similar enough standards for that though?

>>120021
Actually, this is the one that comes before that hypothetical sequel, which I did in fact start writing but am nowhere close to finishing.

Still, if you're claiming already, that'd be awesome. And worst case scenario, I have your email that I could circumvent The Training Grounds' system for review, although I'd prefer the formalities for some reason. I don't know quite why.
>> No. 120026
>>120025
Well, isn't the training ground held within a spreadsheet in google docs? So it wouldn't really matter if you post it here?

Here is a thought:

Why not just add it there, say you have it there with a post here and not link it?
>> No. 120027
>>120025
They have similar schemes from my experience, but not similar standards. FimFiction also has a mature content filter, of which nothing contained within would be permitted on EqD. It's generally where the clop ends up.

The following won't violate ponychan's guidelines on violence (thanks to anon for the link):
some blood
general creepy
battle wounds [that don't get too graphic]
accidents
minor injuries

If it's something more than that, it'll probably get you in trouble. I don't think there's any restrictions on foul language, though. So long as it isn't depicting something on the banhammer list.
>> No. 120028
File 134815282363.png - (66.78KB , 297x320 , mlfw7812-Screen_Shot_2012-09-06_at_7_13_54_PM.png )
120028
>>119986
Derp.
Just realized this was also a review of my review.

>Not quite. For "her face lit up", the "lit up" is an adverb (adjective verb, right? Uhh), not an action. So the phrase after the comma is not independent. Thus the comma in question is not a splice.
I'm not so sure. "Lit up" is a verb and a preposition, not an adverb. I think... I could be wrong
To be sure, I ran this sentence through a grammar checker:
Her face lit up with a happy smile that radiated its own light.
and it is a complete sentence. 'Her' being the independent subject, and 'lit' being the verb, albeit a past tense verb. So, I'll have to respectfully disagree with this statement. But, I am fully willing to admit I'm wrong if that turns out to be the case.

>Two spaces after each period [...] as long as it didn't distract you or come off as an eyesore
Ehhhh, actually it was kind of annoying. But, I don't really have a major problem with it if the author wants to keep it.

>>The second comma should be replaced by a colon... also LUS.
>Not sure why colon, since the comma is fine, although looking at your greentext examples, perhaps the author should pay some attention to sentence structure repetition. Seems like [subject],[action],[action] pops out in high frequencies.
I said colon because it makes the most sense, at least to me. But, a comma would also be acceptable I suppose.
As for the sentence structure, yeah, I meant to bring that up, but I kinda forgot... my bad. It gets very repetitive, which is really indicative of the entire fic. It's filled with dry, wooden narration that is not particularly interesting to read, nor easy to fix. This is something that I can tell the author how to fix, other than to say that he/she should read their work aloud and do their best to spice up the narration and vary their sentence structure much more. I realize that I could probably give better suggestions than this, but fixing things that aren't just grammatical errors is my biggest weakness.

>Author should probably look for missing commas himself, but I guess I'll point out that this sentence could really do with some. Specifically, after "door", and then start a new sentence at "her hair" because long sentence is long and repetitive sentence structure is repetitive
Yeah, I saw that too—and I probably should've pointed it out—but I didn't mention it because I wanted to focus on what I thought he/she did right for that sentence without marring my compliments with the errors I found. Eh, maybe not the best way to go about it, but meh.

Anyway, thanks for the review. Like I said to >>119991 it's nice to see that I've improved, even if it's only slightly. Guess this means I can keep reviewing without feeling like I'm just holding authors back. On to more reviews I suppose... or my own writing. I'm sorry I'm ignoring you On the Shores of Demilune Lake! I'll start working on you again in a bit.
>> No. 120030
File 134815366500.png - (478.66KB , 900x711 , Twitht.png )
120030
>>120027
Eh... Kind of.

My main fic is in the "Mature" category on FiMFic with the gore tag, but my pre-reader said that I was presently juuuuuust within the acceptable zone of gore for EQD.

The goriest thing in my story is Shining Armor crushing the neck of a presumed corpse, hard enough to sever the head and send it skating across the floor

That or a "camera pan" around a room full of ponies who have died, the most graphic of whom had blood coming out of every hole on his head.

At time of submission my fic walked the absolute razor's edge of acceptable goriness with those scenes, and the rest of it is low-gore.

So yeah...

(Pic unrelated.)
>> No. 120031
File 134815376140.jpg - (68.36KB , 863x650 , 133946528285.jpg )
120031
>>120030
Aaaaaand I just realized y'all were talking about Ponychan's limits, not EQD's...
>> No. 120033
Again, why bother with Ponychan rules anyway? As long as you don't link it here, you can talk about anything as long as you don't give a how to manual.

Adding mature stories should simply be an issue of using the submission form, and making a post just like the others but without any link. Give a warning and everyone knows they'll encounter nazi-ninja-werewolf-pony gore porn in page nine, so they can only blame themselves.
>> No. 120034
File 134815778591.png - (62.02KB , 539x398 , suwako_lounging.png )
120034
>>120025
Y'know, giving us more details (not descriptive, but an overview of what's in it) would help, seeing as it's pretty case-by-case. But the rules are there, courtesy of Anon-Do-Well: http://www.ponychan.net/chan/?p=rules. Scroll a little further down and you'll get:

>What's Not Okay
> visible genitalia
> description, allusion, or depiction of sexual acts in dialogue, text, or images
> underage sexualization of any kind
> impending, implied, or visual rape
> bondage/other kinks
> toys, aids, and devices
> excessive saliva
> tongue play, horn play, or wing play
> breastfeeding
> visible organs
> copious amounts of blood
> overly suggestive or implied gore
> torture/abuse
> mutilation, even if self inflicted
> murder/suicide (funny, that - don't think this is quite the case, since murder is the soul of Grimdark and suicides are usually the soul of BiE...)

No linking in posts to mature content. That means no linking to mature fics. Which is why reviewer threads usually have the line "Email me if you want me to review your mature stuff", rather than "Post it". Of course, if it falls within acceptable lines, i.e. people won't complain/report it, then you wouldn't need to bother with the kerfuffle of emailing. So, tl;dr, give us details so that we can see if you can take the easy path.
>> No. 120036
File 134815787041.jpg - (8.48KB , 259x194 , suwako_lucky star.jpg )
120036
>>120033
Or, pretty much this.
>> No. 120037
File 134816032031.jpg - (46.51KB , 1000x912 , flutter_oh_my.jpg )
120037
>>120034
Oh.. my.

I, uh, I know I'm not technically part of this discussion, but I linked to G-docs of my fic up there somewhere, and well, it does have plenty of murder in it. And an increasing amount of gore as the story goes on. It's not the "point" of the fic, as I myself hate "gore-porn," but there is some of it, you know, for the tension and shock value and stuff. That's why I even posted here in the first place, because while its atmosphere is meant to be rather dark, I didn't think it'd be over the line. Could it be over the line? Oh my. I won't get in trouble for that will I?
>> No. 120038
File 134816281868.jpg - (13.09KB , 163x191 , _1yz.jpg )
120038
>>119976
>>119986
>>120028
>With this, Pinkie turned and began her usual bounce-hopping back into town, her face lit up with a happy smile that radiated its own light.

When attempting any kind of grammatical deconstruction, the simplest method is to try rewriting the sentence while keeping its structure in tact. You can do this by moving phrases around, or by substituting grammatically identical words into the sentence. In this case a simple reorganisation of the sentence does well enough:

>With this, Pinkie, her face lit up with a happy smile that radiated its own light, turned and began her usual bounce-hopping back into town.

So back to the original sentence: With a full stop, the verb is simple past tense, making it an independent clause (and complete sentence), so you are correct on that count. But with the comma, the verb is a non-finite past participle (taking the form of an adjective), making the clause a nominative absolute (and hence not a comma splice).

In other words, both forms are correct!

That said, I don't think the author intended it to read that way. Even if it were intended, most people would mistake it as a mistake. (And the last thing you want is your reader to lose confidence in your editorial diligence, right?)

It's at this point we realise that all too much time and words and brain were spent on a single sentence that, in all likelihood, ought to be rewritten anyway.
>> No. 120039
File 134816335399.png - (85.96KB , 234x241 , 132189825715.png )
120039
Late reply because sudden appointment. Sorry.

>>120030
>>120031
To be fair, I'm eventually shooting for EqD with this because the only story I have there now makes me groan. That is, possibly with a dumbed-down version. Definitely a watered-down version if your story is "on the edge" of their limits.

>>120027
>>120034
Okay, given the story eventually crosses the line on 3-5 of those points, namely possibly lots of blood and visible organs (blame the undead and the scientific mind of the narrator), implications of such, mutilation, and "just off-screen" suicide in a later chapter, I'm pretty damn sure it's off-limits for any direct linking.

So...

>>120026
>>120033
With no objections, I think I'll just take this route here.
>> No. 120040
File 134816468811.gif - (320.33KB , 500x339 , mlfw2505-ff1.gif )
120040
>>120038
>With a full stop, the verb is simple past tense, making it an independent clause (and complete sentence), so you are correct on that count. But with the comma, the verb is a non-finite past participle (taking the form of an adjective), making the clause a nominative absolute (and hence not a comma splice).
>In other words, both forms are correct!
English... how does it work?
Well, I guess you learn something new everyday. I really should go work on my grammar knowledge some more; it's rather lacking right now. Anyway, I'm glad someone cleared this up for me, and the author too I guess. It's good to know that I wasn't wrong (technically), but that there was more than one possibility (which, I suppose, there always is).

>It's at this point we realise that all too much time and words and brain were spent on a single sentence that, in all likelihood, ought to be rewritten anyway.
Pretty much...
>> No. 120041
File 134816549852.jpg - (27.09KB , 551x549 , 1bin.jpg )
120041
>>120034

>That feel when--by pure luck--all three of the ponies who've reviewed your fic were cool with it.

Applejinx, MintyRest, Bleeding "Minjask" Raindrops: thank you!
>> No. 120042
>>120039
Just for the sake of argument:

1.) The rules say you can mention adult stuff but not link or describe them, and the training grounds is open to anyone who wants a review and can find someone to review it.

2.) The spreadsheet exists outside of Ponychan and therefore gives two fucks about the rules of the website as long as it is kept there.

3.) You can make a post here saying that you made a 100k word epic about your OC becoming the worse father in history to see if anyone wants to take the plunge.

Does this mean that, now, the training ground is open to clopfics and gore stories? As long as you don't link them and just provide the link by some other way (points at spreadsheet), you can post that it exists and that you want a review, so I think it follows from that.
>> No. 120043
File 134816574922.jpg - (19.41KB , 480x360 , actually.jpg )
120043
>>120037
It's all in the execution as well as personal principles. Plenty subjective, so don't fret =) As long as it doesn't offend the sensibilities of someone enough to report you, which can be achieved with a simple warning, nothing should go wrong. And considering that the people here read fanfiction for leisure to some extent, you can count on most having a fair bit of steel in their stomach.

>>120038
I wasn't banking on you and your superior knowledge of grammar rules coming in to describe with proper terms what I know merely as writing instinct. Oh, no. Not at all. Never even crossed my mind. /liarjackSeriously, though, it's been, what, the second time? It's like winning a $10 lottery with a ticket you picked up from the floor. Heh.

>>120039
>blood, organs, mutilation, off-screen suicide
Again, execution, depends on where you want your line to be. I mean, there's a lot you can pull off without mentioning any details - via bodily reaction, rather than scenic description. I'm no expert, but from personal experience, smell and touch and gag reflex are neat ways to describe the repulsiveness of a situation without any of the offense visual description results in. That and the convenient lack of mention of smell in the rules... but I'll shut up and leave the rest to whoever reviews you. >_>
>> No. 120045
>>120037
I'm doin your's aren't I? Sorry to say I haven't actually opened it yet, (haven't had the time thanks to lots of homework) but if you'd like to take it off sit just to be safe, I'm okay with that. I'm okay with pretty much any content, so I won't drop it or anything, but I do still respect the rules. It's your call.

>No pic because left laptop in classroom during lunch
>> No. 120052
File 134816942385.gif - (145.21KB , 383x371 , buck_the_police.gif )
120052
>>120045
Yeah, that's you. And don't worry about being late. I understand that real life must come before ponies. That is the sad reality in which we must all live.

As for taking things off site, I can't do much with what's already been posted, can I? For any future chapters, I think I'll stick with just using the submission form, all the while notifying you about the update here in the actual thread (without linking anything). That should be fine, right?
>> No. 120053
Anyone who knows me will say that I am the LAST person who should be looked to as a judge of what's over the line and what's not, but I wanted to weigh in anyway because I have a personal and moral investment in this matter.

In practice, "what's not okay" is basically "what offends someone." Images depicting nasty stuff offend people easily, but for you to be reported for a fanfic, someone's got to read what you wrote and then hate you so much for it that they report you instead of telling you about it and recommending that you delete it.

I think the best rule of thumb is the (completely full-of-shit but in this case useful) US definition of obscenity: Would a reasonable person find it offensive?

Rules are bullshit. Censorship is the BIGGEST bullshit. Don't worry about not posting what's against the rules; do keep in mind the sensibilities of those around you. Even at that, don't let sensitivity to others stifle you--just use content warnings and such. We know you aren't writing another Cupcakes. If anyone's judgement is that poor they will be out of here quickly; everyone else is probably okay.
>> No. 120055
Title: Uprising

Tags: [Adventure] [Semi-Dark]

Synopsis: 1 event...12 perspectives...

When Princess Celestia and Princess Luna disappear mysteriously, Equestria enters a period of political tension and fear, culminating in an event that changed everything.

This story follows 12 ponies and the decisions they made before, during and after the event. In a time of such turmoil, can things such as love, friendship and honour be maintained?

Chapter 1: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B4tzxuanlalWcjFHNlA0bWkyTjg/edit

Basically, would love to have a review of this first chapter of a fic I've been thinking up recently. The idea is that there are 12 chapters, each following the perspectives of a single pony who had a large role to play in the events before, after and during an uprising. Future chapters will explain the actions of other ponies, and they all intermingle, so I attempted, with the first chapter, to try and hint at enough to give an idea of whats going on, without detracting from the action that occurs in it. In some ways, its more of a prologue-esque chapter.

If anyone was to review it, I would love them to go into as much detail, but to also focus on whether it was gripping, and whether it made you want to read more. This is meant to be a frantic chapter, whilst the others more fleshed out. Ultimately, I would like to know whether it is worth pursuing or whether its a doomed idea haha.

Also, its my first fic, so go easy! lol, jk.

Thanks =)
>> No. 120058
File 134817232459.jpg - (97.46KB , 1000x795 , mlfw3677_large.jpg )
120058
>>120055
You sneaky devil. I was going to skim this a bit to see if it was something that I would be interested in, but you've got it set to private. Well, you got my attention. I'll go ahead and claim this, but I'll need you to go ahead and make it so that anyone with the link can view it (or, I suppose if you wanted to, you could just give me permission to access it.)

>If anyone was to review it, I would love them to go into as much detail,
>into as much detail
>as much detail
>detail
Oh I'll have you regretting that by the time I'm done. Muhahahahaha!

Seriously though, this sounds interesting enough and I'm curious to see what you do with it. But first—enable commenting!
Depending on when you allow me to view this, and how long it is (please, god, be short) I should have a review for you in a few days tops.
>> No. 120060
>>120058

https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B4tzxuanlalWcjFHNlA0bWkyTjg

there is the link again, with comments allowed =) and thanks for giving your time to review this! :D
>> No. 120061
File 134817755062.jpg - (43.79KB , 257x385 , horror-costumes-evil-jester-costume-adult-black-red-9676.jpg )
120061
>>119945
And hello again!

I read over your comments and changed all I could as I found it fitting. If there's something I missed, it's because it's almost midnight and the bed calls to me louder and louder with time.

There's still a few (4) comments in the document I wanted to discuss. They're simply 1-4 from top downwards.

Number 1: Though it may be a Mary Sue alert, those were the colors I had hoped to take, as is pretty standard colors for a jester. (See pic but imagine with less horror-smile.)

Number 2: Oh god, I'm stuck here. Maybe I just need to look at it again tomorrow, but I've slammed myself on a roadblock here and don't know what to put instead of what is already there. Any inspiration would be appreciated but not necessary.

Number 3: I was thinking something along the lines of what follows. Good/bad/meh?

Number 4: Again, here I'm stuck and/or confused by the comment. You want me to put in a physical description of Trickster, right?

Apart from that, if you would look it over again, I would be most grateful.
>> No. 120063
File 134817960571.png - (28.75KB , 319x269 , mlfw6192-0d71.png )
120063
>>120060
Am I going insane or it there something wrong with this gdocs file. It's acting like a picture or something. I can't grab individual lines to comment on, which is actually more annoying than just reading it on fimfic. Well, whatever the case, for convenience's sake I've taken the liberty of copy/pasting the whole fic into a new gdocs file. I'll give you the link here and this is where I'll make all the comments. Trust me, it'll be much easier this way.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1VvoByd1mdjrs5LFoHyxrrZCYZCiI3llH7mt3eIiRGhE/edit

If you have any questions, or you fixed your document so it isn't weird, let me know. For now, I'll go ahead and work on your fic a bit before I gotta leave.

mfw I finally get to do a review in gdocs and the document is being a dick
>> No. 120064
File 134818026775.gif - (390.51KB , 200x200 , Fluttershy-Evillaugh.gif )
120064
>>120063
>> No. 120065
>>120063

I have no idea o_O I put it so that people can comment on the fic if they have the link...should I make it more available? I'll use the other link for now =) thanks for taking the time to take a look at it :D
>> No. 120066
>>120061

I had a look over it again; it has definitely improved. Comments in-doc!
>> No. 120069
File 134818209890.png - (1.95MB , 1600x2000 , cover1.png )
120069
Finally gonna just get this done and up here.

Title: Fragility
Tags: [Grimdark] [Sad]
Synopsis: The only possible evidence of Twilight's innocence lies in an old children's book from Zecora's homeland. This isn't some random children's book, however; It is a journal, ages old, written in a language that never existed. Now Twilight must read the forgotten text in the only hope of discovering how to fix the very horrors she's been accused of.

----

"Frankly this city is cursed to me anyway. That at least one pony lies dead within the foundation is proof enough of that for me."
—Crystal Shard, A Scientific Journal, Royal University of the Moon

Link: Not available on Ponychan due to site rules. See submission queue.
Chapters to Review: All (Prologue through Epilogue, or 9 chapters total)
Word Count: 32,549 (by Google Docs) 4079 + 2884 + 2999 + 3701 + 5293 + 4613 + 1914 + 3325 + 3741, by chapter in chapter order
Notes: Graphic content, while not inherently the focus, does show up as early as the Prologue. Just a forewarning to reviewers. That being said, that the graphic content is not the focus is my intent; to whomever claims this, please let me know if it ever seems to take focus.

My goal with this is not only to refine it to the best it can be, but also to look into a way to limit the graphic/questionable content to within more acceptable limits, such as those imposed by EqD. I have no idea how close it is, but I'd rather not waste a strike just to find that out.
>> No. 120071
File 134818239069.jpg - (26.29KB , 603x304 , Raven-DC-Teen-Titans-Wide.jpg )
120071
>>119976
>>119978
Did somepony request a review review? Ooh, it’s a long one. Well then, here we go.

Evaluation of the story
You’ve definitely read the story. Nopony can deny that. You’ve gone through and pointed out several mechanical errors––and a few plot holes––and clearly explained the solution, as well as why it should be that way. 20/20
…Yeah, I think you’ve got a 20 here.
Grammar/Punctuation
My eyes aren’t the best for this, but I didn’t spot anything, so I can’t doc points.10/10

Praise/Criticism/Advice
Well, there isn’t too much in the way of praise, but sometimes there isn’t anything to give praise for. There’s a lot of criticism, but adequate advice to back it up. 9/10
Make sure to give credit when and where it’s due. You don’t want the author thinking their story is terrible if it’s not, and it’s always nice to hear that that joke you spent an hour coming up with went over well.
Format
Mostly line by line, but it’s well organized; The author should be able to figure out where everything is without too much trouble4/5
Everypony’s different. As long as the author knows what you’re referring to, that’s what’s important.
Style
Greentext, spoilers; a snarky comment here, a very relevant video there. Oh yeah, you’ve got style5/5
It’s always nice to see some personality in a good review.
Overall rating
Nice job. I sure hope you get a thank you out of this, because you deserve it.48/50
>> No. 120075
File 134818442803.jpg - (9.91KB , 125x125 , Sock Avatar.jpg )
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>>120069

Ha ha! Time to return a favor!

I'm going to need all weekend, probably more, to finish this review, but I will get it done. See you on the other side, my friend!
>> No. 120076
File 134818514785.png - (107.18KB , 640x640 , mlfw3242_medium.png )
120076
>>120071
>Style
Greentext, spoilers; a snarky comment here, a very relevant video there. Oh yeah, you’ve got style5/5
It’s always nice to see some personality in a good review.
>Oh yeah, you've got style
>mfw
I was worried that the humor/snarkyness wouldn't go over well, but I'm glad to see that it was actually funny. at least to someone that is

I've always thought you had pretty damn good reviews, so to hear that you thought my review was good makes me think that I may not be completely terrible at this. Hopefully I don't disappoint Scootisaspy by writing a terrible review or something. That would be embarrassing.

Speaking of that:
>>120065
>should I make it more available?
I don't really know how you would do that. For now, just don't worry about it. You can use the gdoc file I created as a reference when going back to your file to correct things.
>> No. 120080
File 134818593768.jpg - (18.14KB , 480x360 , 1068089465_SeanRaven2.jpg )
120080
>>120076
>I was worried that the humor/snarkyness wouldn't go over well, but I'm glad to see that it was actually funny.
It's not so much that you use the sarcasm—honestly, style is entirely subjective, and isn't actually important to the review at all, which is why I weight it at five—as it is that it's useful for helping the author understand the point, instead of just saying "This is wrong". That's why we have the copy/pasta sheet. A robot wouldn't say this: Stuff is quite possibly the most generic phrase in existence. It takes my imagination out behind the shed and makes it sit in a corner for several days, without food or water, and then mildly asks it to go on a nice vacation to the Sahara desert where it can appreciate true scenery. ~ Uma

If you think the author has the hide for it, then have at it, just make sure you have a purpose for it, and aren't just being snarky for the sake of snarkiness.

And hey, don't get all worked up over the quality of your review. I still think my reviews could be a lot better, as much as everypony likes to tell me they're good. Just focus on helping the author improve the story, and the quality should provide itself, your latest review being proof of that.
>> No. 120081
Title: The Dragon's Notebook
Tags: [ROMANCE][TRAGEDY][DARK][CROSSOVER]
Description:
"Spike was tired of hearing the tales of Rarity's coltfriends, and how they amaze her. Going home sad and broken, he found a black notebook that granted him the power to kill anypony as long as he had their name and face. He made a steely resolve to protect Rarity... at any cost."
Link: http://www.fimfiction.net/story/44879/The-Dragon%27s-Notebook

Let's see... my main issue is whether or not the story is contradictory, or forgets certain setups and events in its runtime. The grammar, I still have my editor picking away at it (he's working on chapter 5) so I totally expect some (maybe many) issues with grammar later on.

Thanks for your time,
Arby Works.
>> No. 120087
File 134818795397.png - (71.90KB , 241x263 , mlfw4174-_.png )
120087
>>120071

Wish I'd known you could have people review your review's, Xzibit style, before I jumped in here. I assume that's another thing I could have learned by paying a little closer attention to the thread. Oh well, you live and you learn. In that vein, I'm totally going to elicit your services the next time I do a review. Hopefully, that'll be soon.

Oh yeah, forgot to tell you I read that chapter I asked you to post. It was weird to see flashbacks of the other chapter after having read that one first. Not sure why, just was. I liked it though. I'm always up for a Trixie fic, though I have to admit I liked the second chapter better. Might just be because I spent more time with it.
>> No. 120093
File 134818863349.png - (63.19KB , 256x256 , it's cool, just post poni.png )
120093
>>120087
As it says in the OP: If you would like somepony to rate your review, simply put a * in the subject line when you post.
Reading is fun, but also informative, you should read more

Glad you liked it. Yeah, Even I have to admit the second chapter is better, but I know why. The first chapter is a run-of-the-mill Trixie fic, with inconsistent characterization and all sorts of errors in it that I still need to fix. The second chapter was written when I had just a little bit more skill, and I had picked up a few pointers from reading Background Pony as I wrote that.
>> No. 120094
File 134818979713.jpg - (31.03KB , 500x287 , mlfw7764-ERMAGERD_BERTERFLUR.jpg )
120094
>>120093

I feel very silly. I've read through the OP more times than I care to count. There was a time I read it every time I made a post, in order to avoid sounding like a fool. I even read most of the linked documents in an attempt to actually have some idea of what I was talking about.

However, as it turns out, I have never once read anything above that first horizontal line.

You know now that I think about it, there are a lot fewer Trixie origin fics than I would expect. I guess almost everyone that would write them just decides to write a Trixie redemption fic instead. That's a shame, as I think she has a ton of potential in the back story department.
>> No. 120107
File 134820587284.jpg - (36.64KB , 300x225 , RavenTeenTitans_6857.jpg )
120107
>>120052
Wow. Okay, um… yeah, you might want to take this off site. There’s a lot more in here than I thought there would be. I’m okay with it, but this is very clearly over the line. In fact, if it was anypony but me, it might even be a little too dark. The scene with Applejack was fine but Fluttershy was definitely crossing the line, and that doesn’t even come close to Rarity’s pantry. It’s a good story, don’t get me wrong––In fact it’s a real shame, because this is some of the best dark fiction I’ve seen in a long time––but it’s definitely not within the content guidelines of Ponychan, not by a long shot.

Your phrasing for Twilight is all whack. It sounds like somepony completely different:

I shall; with all due respect; one such; etc… I know this is dark but, stay casual, try saying some of these things out loud, and imagine them in Twilight’s voice. Unless for some reason Twilight is also being corrupted, these are very OOC.
>> No. 120109
File 134820616265.jpg - (6.40KB , 200x150 , shockwave-2.jpg )
120109
>>120080
>A robot wouldn't say this:
Racist.
>> No. 120110
>>120109
I don't think racism means what you think it means...
>> No. 120112
File 134820684243.png - (100.03KB , 1093x797 , 134777430363.png )
120112
>>120107
>Leaving my email in this post.

Here's a couple of links to help clean up your story. email me if you have any questions regarding the non-site-worthy stuff.
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1uNpDzdWClJakoF-gPOquS8vJixHZlsmZJPDPAC7Ri-g/edit?hl=en_US
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/NothingIsScarier
>> No. 120115
File 134820787610.jpg - (14.08KB , 150x150 , 11398963485863665.jpg )
120115
>>120110
Racist
Function: noun
1 : one who practices racism

Racism
Function: noun
2 : racial prejudice or discrimination

Prejudice
Function: noun
2 : a (2) : an adverse opinion or leaning formed without just grounds or before sufficient knowledge b : an instance of such judgment or opinion

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦

Problem, biological?
>> No. 120116
>>120115
And knowing is half the battle.
>> No. 120117
>>120042
The spreadsheet operates by the same rules as Ponychan. If you can't post it here, you can't post it there.

>>120116
Wrong cartoon, dude. It's:
I have the POWERRRRRRRRRRR!
>> No. 120118
>>120117
And with our obscure references combined, we are CAPTAIN SATURDAY MORNING CARTOON!
>> No. 120119
>>120117
And the reason for that is? Just wondering at this point, cause the division seems kind of arbitrary if you aren't force to look at the content.
>> No. 120121
>>120119
Because if a clopfic was posted in the queue and somepony found it before one of the maintainers did, the mods would delete this thread. Though that's assuming somepony complained enough. But we don't want to take that chance.
>> No. 120123
>>120121
But the spreadsheet remains. Plus, the sensual thread talks about mature stories without linking them periodically; even outside of them they talk about mature stories periodically without threads being deleted left and right as long as nothing is linked or described in great detail. I am just having trouble grasping why would you have such rules if they don't do diddly-squat and don't affect the actual thing that does the work-- the spreadsheet.

Who makes the rules of the spreadsheet anyway? It's not like anyone here works with EqD directly anyway, so their rules aren't really needed. I'm sure mature works can easily survive in the spreadsheet without everyone dying.
>> No. 120125
File 134821511985.png - (132.95KB , 633x341 , sorry_twi2.png )
120125
>>120112
I sent you an e-mail detailing and explaining a bunch of stuff regarding Harmony's End. Go read it for my thoughts.

Apart from all that, I feel an apology is in order. Not just for you but for the thread and site in general, I guess. From that fic, I might come off as a horrible person that disembowels pastel ponies for pleasure. I'd like to think that's not the case. At any rate, looking at it, I suppose I did go overboard with posting the fic here. I didn't mean to offend anyone; I can only hope that the only person that read it was Minjask (who was kind enough not to get me booted from here, so thanks for that).

Soo.. yeah.. this is my apology. Sorry. :<
>> No. 120127
File 134821673931.png - (357.80KB , 821x1200 , 134135995061-boop_boop_boo.png )
120127
>>120125
Luna knows I can't speak for everypony, but I think you're over-stressing.

I'm still pretty new around here, but this has always struck me as a supportive and friendly environment. Hay, they've even forgiven some rather gauche moves on my part--and brother, when I put my hoof in my mouth I don't stop until I can feel my intestines!

So, yeah. You seem like a good-natured pony; don't fret too much.
>> No. 120128
>>120123
>Who makes the rules of the spreadsheet anyway?
The one who makes the rules of the spreadsheet is the one who owns it. That is Demetrius. I don't think he'd appreciate it if clopfics got submitted to the queue. Of course, that's my opinion of what his opinion would be, and I don't claim to speak for him.

>It's not like anyone here works with EqD directly anyway, so their rules aren't really needed.
EQD's content restrictions and guidelines have nothing to do with how the Training Grounds operates. The Training Grounds follows Ponychan's rules.

>>120121
>Because if a clopfic was posted in the queue and somepony found it before one of the maintainers did, the mods would delete this thread.
Not really. Like >>120123 said, the SFG has done worse. The worst that could happen is that a reviewer who does not want to see clop sees clop, which can be... pretty bad. Cheerilee's Garden, a gorefic, came through the TG some time ago--the reviewer who picked it up was very much less than pleased with what he found. The fic got nuked from the queue and the mods nuked the offending post, not the entire thread. (Not sure if the user was banned or what.)
>> No. 120140
>>119404
Title: Sky Matron

Author: Owlor

E-Mail: th[email protected]

Synopsis:
What possessed an upwardly mobile tailor to forsake her one chance of a comfortable high-class life and take up living as an outlaw? With the help of her loyal crew, she takes to the sky in her specially-designed airship as the first and most prominent sky pirate in Equestria. Making herself a personal enemy of Queen Celestia, she is hunted by Her Majesty’s special Task Force. But the sky is full

of secrets, more so than what anypony actually realizes...

Links to the chapters:
Chapter One:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1KDqFosdxMSFDLWDbU5bkrOl-MpkQxfSLNbqdBi7kzuc/edit

Chapter Two:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1dFBEYmhZSNkU5RHz00jIQmeuthr3fuPypagmy9FNf8E/edit

EqD pre-reader comment:
Dear author,

I am currently unable to recommend your work for publication on Equestria Daily. Please see below for details. Note that the character > denotes a quote from your work.

Specific Issues:
•Your very first sentence verges dangerously into run-on territory.
•>especially in such a sunny day like this one. // Syntax error.
•>the sun-rays / He dared not to reply her // Rather awkward phrasing. This is just a couple examples of quite a lot of this issue.
•Comma splices.
•Hyphen/Em dash confusion and misuse.
•>being broadcasted // Tense disagreement.
•You have definition links in your story. While I can appreciate that most readers don’t know what larboard refers to, they can certainly look it up themselves. The links are rather disruptive to immersion.
•Quite a lot of show vs tell issues throughout the exposition.
•Capitalization errors.
•Keep punctuation within quotations.
• >“Rogues!” “Vultures!” “Dirt-munchers!” // These each need their own carriage return.
•Semicolon misuse.
•Compound hyphenation misses.
•Ellipses mistakes.
——
There's also quite a bit of what Ponychan's /fic/ board has dubbed "Lavender Unicorn Syndrome." Be on the lookout for phrases like "the cyan blob" or "the chromatic pegasus" that only serve as empty replacements for a character's name. Use character names or pronouns instead, as these tell us nothing we don’t already know, are severely overused in the fandom, and can be confusing depending on the context.

It comes as a surprise every time you introduce a character. Is all of Ponyville on this thing or what?

Right, so, fairly amusing premise, but you have a good deal of work to do to bring the execution up to your aspirations. I strongly suggest you get yourself some reviews and intensive edit-sweeps.

This is strike one of a possible three for this piece. Study EQD's Editor's Omnibus if you are unfamiliar with any of the noted issues.

Best regards,

Pre-reader Seattle
>> No. 120141
File 134824127683.jpg - (9.65KB , 244x207 , ohu_twi.jpg )
120141
>>120127
I just don't want to get banned from the site for such a silly mistake, is all. I kinda paniced there for a moment. I do that.

On a semi-unrelated note, this just popped to my mind. This question is for anyone to answer.

In chapter 4 of my fic, Twilight Sparkle visits a town which she describes something like "a small town" with "no more than a few thousand inhabitants." When I wrote that, I was going by today's "real-life" standards, where a few thousand people do indeed mean a small town (or a huge village, I guess). But do you think that in the pony world (whatever era it might be in) that's still the case? I mean, I imagined it to be a bit smaller than Ponyville, and in hindsight, I don't think Ponyville has thousands of ponies living in it....
>> No. 120142
File 134824268624.png - (200.90KB , 680x589 , 125486146.png )
120142
>>120141
> "real-life"
>pic

But seriously:
>in hindsight, I don't think Ponyville has thousands of ponies living in it....
Yeah, I would agree. I would think that Ponyville has maybe a couple hundred folks living in it. To say that a town was smaller than Ponyville it would probably need to be a town of like a hundred ponies, maybe smaller. There still exist some towns, not many I bet, that are that small. So, to say that less than a hundred ponies lived there doesn't seem like that much of a stretch. In fact, I'm writing a fic right now about a dude who's hunting seaponies and he heads to a "small town" of less than a hundred ponies to chase down a rumor about possible seapony sightings.
>> No. 120143
>>120141
I'm of the opinion that Ponyville houses a few thousand ponies. Perhaps as many as ten thousand. Season 2 really expanded the place. "Small town" or "huge village" would ring up a population of around 500 in my book. Pony populations seem stilted toward the low end.

I'm using a settlement of roughly 250 in my story, and still calling it a "village". It's all rather subjective. From the Twilight's perspective, your town of two or three thousand might feel small, relative to Ponyville.
>> No. 120145
File 134824346626.jpg - (93.61KB , 500x499 , 16841568.jpg )
120145
>>120140
>Specific Issues:
[laundry list of very specific issues]
Oh yes, I think I can work with this.
Call this a tentative claim depending on how quickly I finish the review I'm working on now. I think I'm getting close
However, if anyone else wants to claim it I'm certainly not going to stop them. This fic just seems right up my alley in terms of things I feel comfortable being able to adequately describe exactly what's wrong, and how to fix it.

>Pre-reader Seattle
Lucky you, anyone else and they might not have gone into such great—and helpful—detail.
>> No. 120146
File 134825291350.jpg - (75.45KB , 600x769 , 84512_.jpg )
120146
>>120145
Well, just finished my review of Uprising in-doc and I should be getting an acknowledgment from Scootisaspy here soon.
So, that means I can go ahead and claim your fic, Owlor. I wonder how long this thing is...
>21k
****

I sure hope Sky Matron keeps me interested enough to actually read through all that. Only time will tell. Get ready, Owlor. An intense and mind-blowing review is coming your way.
What is this, my fourth claim in like a week? I'll have to be careful to not burn myself out like Minjask every reviewer ever.
>> No. 120147
File 134825637518.jpg - (12.06KB , 525x375 , raven.jpg )
120147
>>120125
Don't sweat it. First appearances are important, but we here know enough to know that you are not defined by your mistakes alone. At least I hope so.
You are more than the choices that you've made. You are more than the sum of your past mistakes. You are more than the problems you create. You've been remade.
Sorry, couldn't resist. Tenth Avenue North is amazing.

>>120146
You wanna give me a run for my money? You better do a review a day at least. Seriously though, I doubt you'll burn out after a week. Just make sure you keep your mental strength up, and do lots of physical activities. You'll be fine.
>> No. 120148
File 134825689506.jpg - (36.84KB , 718x612 , spoiler.jpg )
120148
>>120147
>You wanna give me a run for my money? You better do a review a day at least.
>Pic

But seriously, I'm not even feeling close to burn-out after a week. I was merely saying that I should be careful of it. From what I can tell talking with the author(s) and reading Sky Matron though, this is gonna be one heck of a review (but not in a bad way).
Speaking of that, I should get back to my reading.

Onward ho!
>> No. 120156
I am hoping to receive some honest reviews and critiques so that I can become a better writer. I thank you if you have taken the time to read my story, whether you are satisfied or not.

Here is a link to the story: http://www.fimfiction.net/story/14875/Puritatis-Floris
>> No. 120157
File 134827344879.jpg - (18.14KB , 480x360 , 1068089465_SeanRaven2.jpg )
120157
>>120156
Could we get a synopsis, and some tags as well. We here love to help you make your story better, but returning the favor by letting us know what we're in for would be way helpful.
>> No. 120158
File 134827376620.jpg - (461.80KB , 800x920 , tumblr_mao7fvKXj21rygoy3o1_r3_1280.jpg )
120158
>>120156
>>120157
Yes, of course. The sypnosis is already posted on the site, but I can repost it here.

Coat a brilliant white, eyes the most alluring of violets and hair a mesmerizing pink, Fleur de Lis is surely one of the most beautiful unicorns for eyes to behold.

A well-known ballerina, she is also one of the most famous dancers of the Canterlot Opera House, with dreams to be the best in all of Equestria.

But what happens when she takes her dreams too far?

An unfair situation arises and alone with no guidance, she soon changes her demeanor, donning masks of many kinds. She is making her way through the hearts of the rich and famous, but when she finds herself with a stallion not as submissive as all the rest, will she be trapped?

Bind by the chains of an eternal game, she soon longs for the former life she once had, the one she could never return to.

Tags: [Romance], [Sad], [Dark]
>> No. 120161
File 134827468205.jpg - (461.80KB , 800x920 , tumblr_mao7fvKXj21rygoy3o1_r3_1280.jpg )
120161
>>120160
Thank you! <3
>> No. 120162
File 134827559335.png - (557.56KB , 1275x715 , 25836852.png )
120162
>>120160
>I'll read Background Pony later.
I've been saying that for the past few months. All the while the tab with chapter one sits there, taunting me. Maybe I should go read it finally...
>has review/writing to do
Nah, I'll read Background Pony later.
And so it continues to sit there, never moving and never sleeping, trying to coax me in with its philosophical soliloquies.
>> No. 120166
File 134827787561.jpg - (35.00KB , 720x480 , 1ba72ea1.jpg )
120166
Well, this is hardly dark, and not too engaging, sadly. As to Fleur de Lis: I’m not sure if you’ve done something wrong, or something right. Fleur de Lis is very clearly a sue character, but she’s a different kind of sue. Aside from making her picture perfect in every way, you’ve made everypony hate her for it, and I can’t tell if that’s helping or hurting. The story is bogged down by telly lines and improper phrasing, so it’s hurt enough by that that I can’t make much more of a judgement call. Here are some specific examples:


>The dark presence of Luna’s radiant night cast itself over the magical land of Equestria.
It’s been a while since I saw one of these. Your first line is a weather report, which is a big no-no. Try to find something more engaging to talk about; perhaps what your story is actually about might be a good idea. Also, don’t call it ‘Luna’s Night’. I know that Luna raises the moon and all, but this has been used about one… thousand too many times.

Actually, just delete that entire first paragraph.

>The opera house was filled with many talented mares and stallions alike.
You can do better than this. Come on, I believe in you. Find a more descriptive way to say that.

>“We’re up in five, ladies! Get your act together! Allons-y!” Yelled a dark-blue coated stallion with a stylish, combed-back silver mane that went by the name of Nightly Grace.
First of all: ‘who’ not ‘that’; ‘a dark-blue coated stallion with a stylish, combed-back silver mane who went by the name of Nightly Grace. Second of all: this is too much to try to pack into one sentence. Instead of dumping his entire appearance on your reader all at once, add subtle details here and there, that slowly add up to his full description. This not only prevents you from distracting your reader with a lengthy and rather clumsy sentence, it engages your reader by making them read in order to learn about the character.

>The girls giggled, not really taking what she had said seriously and they went back to their dressing stalls, trying to make sure that everyone was prepared.
This is very telly. Instead of explaining to your reader that they aren’t taking Fleur seriously, you should try to lead them there through the girls’ behavior. Also, that ‘they’ shouldn’t be there.

>Fleur waited patiently by the door of the stage.
This is also tell. Don’t say ‘patiently’. Anytime you’re about to name an emotion, stop, and name the symptoms instead. As you come better at writing, you might even manage to have your reader bridge the gap on their own without trying too hard.

>The night would be perfect and everypony would leave knowing that their performance was the best out of the rest.
>They will be Equestria’s best classical dancers!
The first sentence uses ‘would’––which is for expressing a future event in past tense––and is appropriate here, but the second sentence uses ‘will’––which is for expressing a future event in present tense––and should be saved for thoughts or dialogue. Your next paragraph has a problem with this too. You should go find and fix those.

>The choreography was captivating
More tell.
>> No. 120168
File 134827856551.jpg - (461.80KB , 800x920 , tumblr_mao7fvKXj21rygoy3o1_r3_1280.jpg )
120168
>>120166
Thank you for your review! I'm actually quite happy I got a critique. :) I've honestly been thinking of re-doing the entire story. I wasn't satisfied with how it turned out now that I look back on it. I was so happy with it back then, lol. I'll see what I can do from what you've told me. Since I usually work alone on my stories, I don't really have anyone that points out all this. I'm pretty oblivious to my errors. ><
>> No. 120178
>>119776
>>119836

Many comments in doc.

Okay, Chris, you made me work hard for this one. That's not a bad thing. Normally, I can rely on having enough mechanical problems to keep me and the writer plenty busy, but that was clearly not going to be the case here.

I've read some C.S. Lewis, but not the Screwtape Letters, so I'll have no frame of reference on that work, which probably won't matter.

You made me dig very deep to find suggestions for improvement, which had several effects:
—I had to read carefully, going over most paragraphs slowly two or three times.
—Instead of rattling off a large number of one-liners citing grammatical errors, many of the comments I've made here are quite long, but do really merit being in doc instead of in this post, since they are specific items, not global things.
—I've quite possibly had more of a learning experience from this than you.

So, as I've said, the in-doc comments are pretty exhaustive of what I had to say, but here are the few overall things:

Mechanics:
Very clean. I just had the few odds and ends to note, and there was nothing systemic.

Style:
Two things two note here.

You have an overabundance of colons and semicolons. For the most part, they are all used properly, and they do fit the educated characterization you've given the aunt. However, there comes a point when the sheer number of them becomes conspicuous to the reader, even to the point of being obtrusive. It's a slippery slope. I, for one, have no compunctions about sending a reader to the dictionary, but that too reaches a point where reader accessibility must be weighed against the writer's ideal of rich craftsmanship. Decide where on that spectrum you want to be. For my part, I found many of the semicolons to be correctly used, but not really adding anything. Definitely keep the few that demark an organic flow from one thought to the next. It should feel like the sentence, when spoken aloud, barely wants to pause there, but on many of yours, I was happy hearing them with a full stop.

Second is the story's pacing. We get no sense of how much time is passing between each letter, and whether they're scheduled or incidental. Despite the mission's clear importance, the aunt doesn't even feel the need to respond to each, as she references series of unanswered ones at times. The action is quite uneven, too—we get the aunt expounding at length on minutiae, and then the next letter may whip us into a momentous event. There's an element of this that speaks to her personality as well, which I will get to in a moment...

Characterization/Plot:
My first attempt at keeping the two separate met with failure, as the two are intertwined too heavily. Likewise with the plot, since it's character-driven. So here goes a mishmash.

It's a bit unclear what Earwig's aunt actually thinks of her. It's not really surprising that Maxilla resorts to name-calling when things aren't going her way, but I never really got the sense that she ever had confidence in Earwig. She liked playing the role of mentor, but the step-by-step instruction she had to give, and her clear exasperation when most of the sudden events occurred shows that she thought most of Earwig's decisions were ill advised. Certainly, Maxilla is in enough of a position of power to have influenced the choice of who went on that mission, and I get no sense that she did do such to make sure Earwig got an important assignment. Maxilla never shows any concern that would go along with such an attitude, and her devotion to the welfare of the society first would be at odds with championing an inferior agent.

So then why does Earwig never vet her plans through her aunt, and why does Maxilla never suggest doing so? The number of jolts Maxilla has received by the end should have made her demand a more gradual build-up to each ploy, and reports on incremental progress.

The bottom line: my impression of Earwig is that she really is not up to the task, so why was she selected? I got the sense that this mission is of particular strategic importance, but maybe Maxilla is just talking it up to glorify a civic duty.

Final Thoughts:
Excellent story, and the large volume of comments serves more to fine-tune than to repair. It's not the type of story I would have chosen to read on my own, but I did enjoy it, and I'd wager it would make EqD as is. Thank you for the opportunity to do more with this fic than I normally get the chance to do.

Keep writing, and have fun with it.
>> No. 120179
This story has been divided into two separate stories, so this is going to take a while :P
>> No. 120192
>>120178

Wow... thank you so much for all the thought you've clearly put into this review. You've pointed out a few things I was already vaguely aware of (or at least, which I anticipated) and a lot more which I would never have improved on my own. I'm very grateful for the effort you obviously put into this.

As far as your comments about never figuring out Maxilla's character... since you haven't read "The Screwtape Letters" (which is probably a good thing, for purposes of the review), allow me to quote from the introduction to that story: "Readers are advised to remember that the devil is a liar. Not everything that Screwtape says should be assumed to be true even from his own angle." One of the things I loved about that story is that while you get a sense of Wormwood's (Earwig's, in my story) character, Screwtape's motivations remain unclear. At times, he appears to be genuinely trying to help his "beloved" nephew; on other occasions, he clearly seems to be working at cross-purposes with the junior devil, even to the point of offering advice which, if taken, would seem to be detrimental to Wormwood. I was hoping to capture this ambiguity of purpose in my story, but it sounds like it came across as more confusing than deliberately opaque. I'm not entirely sure how to rectify that, but at least now I know what needs work.

As far as the difference between love and dependence: I was really hoping that I could leave Maxilla's comments ambiguous and even contradictory and get away with it. Oh well. To my mind, the difference between love and dependence is that one is mutual, and the other is a one-way street (I'm using a fairly strict and rigid definition of "love" here, obviously). A pony who falls in love with a changeling really is in love with her (even if it's an emotionally unhealthy sort of love like Maxilla describes), and the changelings can feed on that love, but there isn't "love" between the two, since the changeling sees the pony only as prey. The changelings love their Queen, but she doesn't love them back (save as a race; she loves "the changelings," but she has no particular love Wormwood or any other individual). The tragedy, and irony, is of course that if the changelings understood what "love" is, they wouldn't need to live the parasitic, dystopian life which they've established for themselves.

But the problem with clarifying that is that Maxilla doesn't understand what love is any better than the rest of the changelings! I'm going to have to give some thought to how I can make these things clear to the reader without destroying the conceit.

A few more specific things, from the doc and your summary:

>random british spellings

most of those are accidental, and I thank you for pointing them out so that I can correct them; "armour" is the only exception. I've spelled it that way since approximately forever, ever since I was very young and some role-playing supplements which used british spelling beat that variant into me. I think I'll leave it and see if anyone else calls me out.

>semicolons

I know, I know. I indulged myself far too much and tried to justify it as Maxilla's writing style. I'll dial it back to heavy-but-not-truly-absurd levels.

>pacing

I'm torn on this. I really don't want it to feel like Maxilla's sending a letter every X days or something; I want each note to feel like it has a particular reason for existing, and that these reasons exist at least partly outside of time. At the same time, having reader's flailing for temporal setting isn't good, either. I'll have to figure out what I can do about this.

>by and (in) large

Would you believe that I've been saying "by in large" for the better part of two decades, and only learned that it was incorrect when someone on my blog corrected me? Somehow, I made it through most of my life saying that wrong. Anyway, looks like old habits die hard. Better get a hammer, then.

>kindness/mercy

Maybe we're working from slightly different definitions; based on how I understand the words, I'd have said that mercy is just a particular subset of kindness, and therefor that mercy IS kindness by definition. I'll have to examine word choice there.

>"I've quite possibly had more of a learning experience from this than you."

That's just about the nicest thing you could have said to me. Perhaps I'm being even more pretentious than usual, but my hope with this story was to get people to recognize shades of themselves or of others in Maxilla's descriptions, and perhaps to think about what love and friendship really are in a little more depth than "love and tolerate!"

Of course, I don't think that was the "learning experience" you were talking about, at least primarily, but any time I make anyone think, I count it as a win.

Again, thank you so much for doing this. Your comments and suggestions have been extremely helpful, and I feel a lot more confident about this story now that I have your advice to help me polish it before sending it out into the world at large.

...Though I still have no idea what sort of tag would apply to it. Ah well, I'll figure something out.

And now, I'm going to bed! It'll probably be a week or so before I finish corrections/editing to my satisfaction, and then it's off to try my hand at "publication."

Thanks one last time,
Chris
>> No. 120208
>>120146
Thanks for the review mate =) really helpful! I got a lot of work to do, and hopefully it will be much clearer next time xD You have been put down in the acknowledgements in the fic itself =)
>> No. 120235
>>120192
>As far as your comments about never figuring out Maxilla's character
Hm. I never got the sense that Maxilla was being anything less than truthful. Now, I am certainly the gullible type, so I may have missed instances where Maxilla was leading Earwig down a fruitless path, though I would question her motivation for doing so since success would benefit them all. I did see the mood shifts where Maxilla went from giving advice to playing her strategy game over the bit of damaging info Earwig might have on her. Now, nobody would get into Maxilla's position by being foolish, and it just now occurs to me that she may have deliberately put herself into a seemingly compromising situation to test Earwig. More training on the job...

>I really don't want it to feel like Maxilla's sending a letter every X days or something
And you don't need to. Maxilla hasn't responded to every letter, presumably just the ones that pique her interest. But it would help to know how often Earwig is writing. Is it at her own discretion, weekly status reports, ...? When Maxilla makes an offhand comment about how many letters she's gotten in the interim, we then have a way to gauge the time.

>kindness/mercy
Yes, they're related, but there are exceptions. Take a court of law for example. A judge who doesn't know enough about a defendant to show kindness may still show mercy for mitigating circumstances, a first offense, expediency, lack of resources to handle a sterner sentence, unlikelihood of recidivism... There are some fine shades of meaning, so each reader may see it differently.

>tags
Yes, I completely forgot to address this.

Had I written this story, I'd choose [Dark] at least, and possibly [Slice of Life], though that tag more often carries a light connotation. Arguments could be made for [Normal] (of course, FiMFiction doesn't distinguish that one) or [Sad]. I'd suggest [Dark][SoL], though.
>> No. 120263
File 134836046238.jpg - (3.27KB , 224x224 , images.jpg )
120263
Title: Overshadowed
Name: Ink Blotch
Email: [email protected]
Tags: Slice of Life
Synopsis: For most of the their lives the Shadowbolts have practiced to one day be allowed to perform in Canterlot. From flight camp to performances the three have worked hard to obtain their dream even sinking so low as to help a prospective dictator. But when push comes to shove can the team stick it through?
Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/16uHyO2YpFHpVgQtXyr2USmEgulmwv_EYAtM93yUmjHc/edit
>> No. 120264
>>120263

I'll give this one a look. Be interesting to see what you do with the concept. Everyone has a different take.
>> No. 120287
File 134837546192.jpg - (12.09KB , 225x225 , 87456123.jpg )
120287
I said I wasn't going to claim Bountiful Rainbows because I wasn't sure if I'd really be able to add anything to it, but I feel bad that's it's just sitting there at the top of the queue. So, assuming no one else claims it by the time I finish Sky Matron, I'll go ahead and pick it up and review it to the best of my abilities. Here's hoping I get that chance. It genuinely looks like it'll be a good read.
>> No. 120296
Title: The Harmony Battery (incomplete)
[Sci-Fi][Adventure]
Author: Zee
Email: [email protected] (contact me here please, as I will only check this thread so often)
Description: "Twilight Sparkle participates in an operation to colonize Archer III, an untouched planet that Princess Celestia has her eye on. As an accomplished scientist working for the Royal Equestrian Navy, Twilight will lead a team of mares in the seemingly straight-forward expedition...

But is Archer III just like any other planet?

Space Pirates! Ancient Anomallies! Intense Action! Portable Microwaves! And much more is to be had in... The Harmony Battery."

Chapter 1 (~5081 words): https://docs.google.com/document/d/13TeONMbpUii_N3NxjEtO8Uc12SlTqdwrV4Dp4qEyhoY/edit
Chapter 2 (~5180 words): https://docs.google.com/document/d/1CMrLOYhqmBnN2H9FpFlLrpHDTdi08paNZrni4fLJJWQ/edit
Chapter 3 (~9134 words): https://docs.google.com/document/d/1mlFKVbp4etTGwkLz5NezJ9C8AUCWH34Req5HQMkh8UA/edit
or
FIMFiction (all chapters): http://www.fimfiction.net/story/48007/The-Harmony-Battery

EqD Pre-Reader response: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1tSLCovn0EpVLKDLRpHnXdinJ_KzCJwmorHNi7joK8bY/edit

Note: Yeah, I'm on strike two for an EqD post. Won't lie, I don't visit this site very often; I just guess that any form of input would be valuable at this point.

***You only really need to critique Chapter 1, but if a reviewer would not mind reading all three current chapters then that would be better.
>> No. 120297
>>120296
Uh, the word counts are slightly off. The real word counts are:

Chapter 1 (~5564 words): https://docs.google.com/document/d/13TeONMbpUii_N3NxjEtO8Uc12SlTqdwrV4Dp4qEyhoY/edit
Chapter 2 (~5186 words): https://docs.google.com/document/d/1CMrLOYhqmBnN2H9FpFlLrpHDTdi08paNZrni4fLJJWQ/edit
Chapter 3 (~9188 words): https://docs.google.com/document/d/1mlFKVbp4etTGwkLz5NezJ9C8AUCWH34Req5HQMkh8UA/edit

Sorry for the inconvenience.
>> No. 120298
>>120296
>>120297
Crap, those are old google-doc links; they're completely out-of-date and are older versions. Use the FIMfiction link if you can, please!

Luckily I didn't post the Google Doc links in the submission form.
>> No. 120302
File 134838309658.jpg - (8.63KB , 192x192 , claimed.jpg )
120302
>>120287
Do you hear that? That's the sound of getting ninja'd. =P

Also, link to the story submission post is broke, but I have the link to the doc from lurking history so I'll just go on ahead.
>> No. 120313
>>120296
Eh, is it possible for me to re-submit this? The links are broken, and I don't want to mislead reviewers.
>> No. 120316
Hello /f/ I need someone here to proofread my fic, considering Chocolate milk is on vacation, anyone willing?
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1pJ2vgc3z11z9w2DnZBF2XEpi516iNk2kGqU0zWMXqrk/edit
>> No. 120317
Title: The Harmony Battery (incomplete)
[Sci-Fi][Adventure]
Author: Zee
Email: [email protected] (contact me here please, as I will only check this thread so often)
Description: "Twilight Sparkle participates in an operation to colonize Archer III, an untouched planet that Princess Celestia has her eye on. As an accomplished scientist working for the Royal Equestrian Navy, Twilight will lead a team of mares in the seemingly straight-forward expedition...

But is Archer III just like any other planet?

Space Pirates! Ancient Anomallies! Intense Action! Portable Microwaves! And much more is to be had in... The Harmony Battery."

Chapter 1 (~5564 words):
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1arz5JqZWuWZ9daWdrM4rr-PXbaeOnjRNNs9wJ9nFm_o/edit
Chapter 2 (~5186 words):
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1hLeVf39gatH0P-N6G28gXzrb_HdiRKOoYaobWJ47IYY/edit
Chapter 3 (~9188 words): https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Kc6qh6SA7liNqnLsInGqqpWn6tFe3Z03dR0BsJAkhhE/edit
or
FIMFiction (all chapters): http://www.fimfiction.net/story/48007/The-Harmony-Battery

EqD Pre-Reader response: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1tSLCovn0EpVLKDLRpHnXdinJ_KzCJwmorHNi7joK8bY/edit

Note: Yeah, I'm on strike two for an EqD post. Won't lie, I don't visit this site very often; I just guess that any form of input would be valuable at this point.

Also, I plan on making this an epic; there will be at least a dozen chapters.

***You only really need to critique Chapter 1, but if a reviewer would not mind reading all three current chapters then that would be better.
>> No. 120318
File 134841315461.jpg - (152.40KB , 900x1200 , 133680806198.jpg )
120318
>>120302
>Do you hear that? That's the sound of getting ninja'd.
I didn't hear anything...
HA!

>>120316
If you're looking for a review, which is what this thread does, then I suggest submitting your fic to the queue and also give us a post with the title, tags, synopsis, and word count. This is just so you don't spring some 800k epic Cupcakes 2 on some poor unsuspecting soul.
>> No. 120319
File 134841325456.jpg - (56.31KB , 600x600 , 132719136356.jpg )
120319
>>120316
There's a wonderful sticky at the top of the thread with the rules of submission, including the proper format, what to include, and where else to put it (i.e. the actual submission form used to track your work on the spreadsheet). Set yourself and your story up accordingly and I'm sure someone will be happy to help.

Unfortunately, that someone is not me at the moment. I have a review in-progress already that I've been very, very neglectful of. There's plenty of others with little to do, though. ^~^
>> No. 120323
>>120319
Actually the Sticky is the top thread on the page. What you're referring to is the OP, but it makes no difference at the moment.

>>120316
As alex magnet and morning angles have mentioned, you need to submit to the submission form: http://tinyurl.com/TrainingGroundsSubmit for your story to be in the queue. Include title, tags, wordcount and all, stuff like that. ^_^
>> No. 120324
>>120323
Every time I open the thread, the first thing I see is "Previous edition of the Training Grounds; The sticky" in lovely blue letters. Probably where the word came from.

>>120316
While you're at it zee, you may also consider picking up a work to review, as well. There's a few in the unclaimed requests. Helps keep the Grounds moving.
>> No. 120326
>>120324

If you click on the link, it takes you to the sticky on the main page, not the old edition of the training grounds. They're two separate links, but it is a little confusing.
>> No. 120329
>>120324
Don't mean to be obnoxious here, but the only other story than mine in the queue is the 50k long one and I don't believe I would be able to review all of that.
>> No. 120330
Also, could someone else remove the first submission of mine? I had to re-submit and do a new post because the first one had broken links.
>> No. 120331
File 134841549224.png - (330.06KB , 960x786 , 70's pinkamena.png )
120331
>>120329
Nopony should blame you either. I take a while with 20k, and even that's exhausting.

>>120330
Fixed.
>> No. 120332
Title: Birthrights
Author: n00btankz
email: [email protected]
tags: Sad, Tragedy,
Synopsis: We all know the story of Luna's banishment, but what all happened?
Word count: (full) 5,947 (Incomplete, almost done)
Link: https://docs.google.com/folder/d/0BwMe7vE2mZBJSmV5a3VkYkJla0k/edit
>> No. 120334
>>120329
Guah. Read the wrong name. Was directing that toward n00btanks. So many little blue names. Sorry about that.
>> No. 120336
File 134841586430.png - (109.95KB , 539x400 , suwako_stunned.png )
120336
>>120329
And then suddenly, 1110-word fic in the queue.
>> No. 120337
File 134841597092.png - (69.90KB , 113x125 , 132787826336s.png )
120337
>>120336
>all chapters
>implying more than one
>1110 words
I'm afraid to open.
>> No. 120338
>>120336
that would be me. ._.
>> No. 120339
>>120336
that would be me. ._.
>> No. 120340
>>120338
DAMN YOU DOUBLE POSTING.
>> No. 120341
>>120337
Have no fear, because I mistyped the number and ONLY typed the first chapter numbers, it actually has 5,947 words. No grimdark today!
>> No. 120342
File 134841625836.png - (69.90KB , 113x125 , 132787826336s.png )
120342
>>120338
>>120339
>>120340
Uh, dude. It's got your name in the queue, see? http://tinyurl.com/TrainingGrounds-Unclaimed There's no need for the posts.
>> No. 120343
File 134841633521.jpg - (35.00KB , 720x480 , 1ba72ea1.jpg )
120343
>>120341
I like grimdark, and if it's only the first chapter, why did you put "all chapters"?
>> No. 120344
>>120343
it is all chapters, I just bunked up on the queuing, I put the word count for the first chapter on accident. >.<
>> No. 120359
I suppose I'll review your fic, n00btankz. Word of warning, though: I'm going to be very critical with it, and the more mistakes/inconsistancies it will have the harsher my review will seem. Just remember it's nothing personal.

Posted: 9/23
Post #: >>120332
Title: Birthrights
>> No. 120360
>>120359
I WANT critical reviewing. :D
>> No. 120361
>>120359
I'm going to be leaving editing queries on your document instead. I don't think everything I have to say can fit in a Ponychan post; however, I will post a finalizing one here with closing comments/etc.
>> No. 120362
>>120360
Can you enable 'commenting,' so I can highlight things in your document?
>> No. 120366
File 134842376265.png - (83.73KB , 387x466 , 131140349015.png )
120366
>>120332
Oh hey, look, a review! Consider this a freebee, as I did not make a formal claim, and I talked to the others who picked this up as they’re going to be giving you some thoughts as well. Brace yourself mate, this is not going to be gentle. Readysetgo.


So… your opening paragraph (sentence, really) presents an immediate dissonance. The problem is that of micro vs macro, you see; you’re trying to deliver a frame of reference in time, but the examples are far too extreme—going from relatively recent to extremely ancient. In between the two lies an extraordinary ambiguity.

Zolmgardar! Comma splices everywhere! Know thou not that two clauses that have reached their maturity and potential under the sun must be structured as their own sentence? This calls for semicolons or periods. All things considered, I don’t suggest you try playing with semicolons just yet.

You’ve a thing with redundant narration, and that truly does you no favors, being disruptive to both flow and immersion. As a prominent example, see “Her sister, Luna,” As you’ve already established the characters interacting, all you’re doing is filling space with information everyone already knows. While the example is minute, this is a chronic issue of yours

Consider your use of adjective descriptors as overly heavy. You use these in place of actual exposition, bringing this into the Show vs Tell spotlight.

You’ve got a lot of syntax errors, which severely muddle the meaning you’re trying to convey. Take
>They will be grateful of you, Luna
Since you’re not trying to have them speak in archaic affectations, you’d replace “of” with “to”. Neh?

You’ve really gotta get dialogue tagging down. EQD’s Editor’s Omnibus (just google it) lays out quite simply how to and not to do it right. You balls this up quite badly, and it’s a damned chronic issue.

You transition scenes in a very poor manner. When you go “Celestia’s bedroom” and then have a scene below it, it demonstrates an inability to actually *set* the scene, and overall just comes off as lazy. Go with a stylus break to indicate a scene transition.

Hrm, lots of typos that just slip past you. You need an editor. Things like
>to nodd to a guard

>ok
You should really write the full word.

You display its/it’s confusion. It’s important you get this right.

Random capitalization abounds. Be wary of this, and know that most people don’t capitalize Earth pone, Pegasus, or Unicorn.

Ya gotta get compound hyphenation down, lest you throw the context of a sentence off entirely.

Soooo yep. This was taken from the first chapter mate. You have a *lot* of work to do, and the notations above are far from a complete list of issues, even in the first chapter, which was all I looked at. Fortunately, this piece will be getting multiple reviews, so you’re going to be getting more attention than most tend to.

Cheers, and keep writing.
>> No. 120372
File 134842651445.png - (195.07KB , 720x722 , 9876542.png )
120372
All right, I was going to fill this review with greentext, but you started changing everything. Instead, I'll just give you, well, a review. Here goes.
… Captain Tenneal? Because apparently this is now my schtick.
http://youtu.be/45B0y6F3LPk?t=2m25s

Moving on,
>Her younger sister bowed, then spoke in a more tender, kind voice than what she spoke in before.
>They will be grateful of you, Luna. Ponies need darkness to sleep, that which I cannot provide.” Celestia gratefully explained.
>Luna glanced back, and with a vague smile, nodded and whispered, barely audible, “I love you too, dear sister.”
>Luna paced, wandering around the palace that was her home, contemplating deeply the knowledge she had learned.
>Celestia sat in her bed, flicking through quickly ancient documents.
Okay, here are a bunch of examples of generally awkward phrasing that seems to be pervasive throughout Birthrights. The best advice I can offer is to read everything aloud and fix the things that don't sound like what a normal person would say.

>the news pleased her, she was proud to lead, she felt it an honor to lead all of those deserving ponies.
>Their parents explained, giving both a feeling of importance
>After she had aided and taught her younger sister to raise the moon, they decided to escape from their royal lives, to play in the gardens behind the palace.
>Wondering what ponies might think of her, the princess of night and darkness
And here are couple of examples of you “telling” me something rather than “showing” me it. You tell me a lot things: things that they did, things that they feel, things that someone else said, but you don't show me very many of them. Rather than just telling me that Luna is wondering what ponies think of her, show me her thoughts. Let me see for myself what she's thinking. Your writing should be able to show me what you're just telling me. Your characters, right now, feel incredibly wooden. No one moves or does anything while they speak. They just... speak. It's a case of talking-head syndrome. I've got a few links that should provide you with plenty of information regarding “showing” and not just “telling” the reader what's up.
http://jerz.setonhill.edu/writing/creative1/showing/
http://www.ponyfictionarchive.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=746
Go read that ****, man. I promise it'll help you, unless it doesn't...
And here's one regarding talking-heads:
http://www.coloradospringsfictionwritersgroup.org/archive/2002-03_article-talking_head_syndrome.pdf

>She passed a home, an orphanage
Avast! Thar be OCs on the horizon, cap'n.
>a grey pegasi with a light blue mane.
>a purple filly, with a pink mane,
>said a blue pony, with a shiny blue mane of the same shade
>One of them had a light blue shade with a dark blue mane, the other, who followed him, was dark grey with a grey-blue mane, light in color
Ye were warned...

So, yeah... I said I wasn't going to fill this with a bunch of greentext—but I did. Oh well, whatever.

Okay, clearly you've got a lot of grammar issues that you need to work on before you should really worry about the actual story. As Seattle pointed out, you have major issues with comma splicing, dialogue tagging, syntax errors, and a metric ****-ton of adjective descriptors that just drag the story down as oppose to add anything to it. Looking past all the grammar issues, I'm concerned about the fic's direction. I can feel strong “Luna get's her own minions” vibes coming off those five pegasi she meets at an orphanage. A lot of what's going on feels heavily cliched and outright boring in many cases. Now, I have to admit, I didn't read past the first chapter, but unless this pulls some M. Knight twists later on I feel like this is gonna cover some fairly well-trodden ground. That's not to say that you can't do this, just... be careful.

Well anyway, I'm just gonna leave the review at this. You'll be getting plenty of help from your real reviewer, so that should be good. Consider this a second freebie on top of Seattle's already generous freebie. I'm certainly not as experienced as he is, but I hope that some of the things I've said help you, even in if it's just a small way.

Well, I'll be off now. Good luck, and don't give up writing. You've got a lot of room for improvement.
>> No. 120376
>>120372
>>120366
Thank you, I am currently re-reading my writings and correcting as I go. You all have been VERY helpful.
>> No. 120385
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120385
Original Posting: >>120317
(9/23>>120317The Harmony Battery)

This might take a while. Maybe the whole week. Depends on what else I have to do.

But I like the idea, so let's save this work from the jaws of EqD banishment.

delicious sci fi
>> No. 120390
>>120385
Thanks, man! And no problem, take all the time you need.
>> No. 120395
>>120359
And now to add in my final comments. I'll try to keep it brief, as I've told you pretty much all that you need to know, n00btankz.

>Sentence fragments and commas
This is a problem for most of your sentence structures. Lay off of the commas, expand on incomplete sentences and split up the run-on sentences. Most of the yellow highlights from me on your document was due to this problem.

>Prose and setting descriptions
Need to work on this. I've told you that instead of titling your scenes, explain the settings through prose to not only expand your writing but help immerse the reader. This is honestly the biggest thing when it comes to writing fiction; once you've completed scenery descriptions, you have to write it properly in the sense that you just don't list physical descriptions. "Show, don't tell."

Attributing to this, don't separate your description/action too much. Try to combine the two, to keep a balance and to keep it all flowing seamlessly. I stress that word because it's really important.

>Dialogue
Learn to dialogue tag properly:
"Hello, Mike," he said. (Standard)
"Hello, Mike," he chuckled. (He chuckled while saying his line)
"Hello, Mike." He chuckled. (He chuckled after saying his line)
"Hello, Mike!" he chuckled. (Note no capital on the 'he'. Similar approach to the comma dialogue)

Overall, I would suggest heavy revisions on your story. There is not anything particularily special that highlights your work; you need to present something that will wow the readers. This kind of topic of the events before Luna's banishment has a ton of potential, but you need to show why your story is different than the rest.

Keep trying, you now have the basis of what needs to be done. Correct all of this, and then continue to add.
>> No. 120413
If I could get a review on this I would love you forever.
> Yes, that's right, you.

[COMEDY][SAD]
Synopsis: When Twilight finds a new spell to view alternate universes, she and Spike decide to take a trip.
Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1wjRYZEYrmD4rhZ4vVM0YCIEihlPujp_-J2Pd3BdnBJE/edit

> Seriously, forever.
>> No. 120424
>>120413
I guess I can take this while I wait for PinkyDash to finish editing.
>> No. 120447
title: A light in the dark
Author: TheFlyingQueeg
email:[email protected]
tags: Human in Equestria, Dark, Adventure,
Synopsis: A human named Syra fell very far down into equestria, and shes dying, not why you would think though!
Word count: 2,590 words (So far)
Link: https://docs.google.com/folder/d/0BzvI-_tKZfW_aENEUDFYbG12QlU/edit
>> No. 120451
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120451
>>120447
>Human in Equestria
Well, well, well, I don't believe I've had the pleasure of reviewing one of these. This should be interesting. Prepare yourself author... I'm coming.
>> No. 120460
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120460
>>120451
>dat synopsis
>those errors
>claim
>pic
>> No. 120463
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120463
And so starts my second review today. Well Sky Matron, it's been quite a journey. We talked for at length about nearly everything I was going to cover in my review in-doc, so that means that what's left will be rather short, unfortunately. I probably won't have much to say, but let's see how it goes.
And now, without further adieu, we turn to Captain Tenneal.
http://youtu.be/cPwrGK1VXNo?t=2m27s

And we're off!
Okay, quickly brushing over some of the stuff mentioned by Seattle, and myself in-doc. Awkward phrasing, this fic is filled with it. Now, from talking to the authors I understand why this is. Neither of you have English as your first language, so it's understandable, but it doesn't make it any easier to read. However, now that you've gotten yourselves an editor, who appears to be fairly competent, I hope that will soon change. Same thing goes for your systemic I can use big words too! grammar problems such as, compound hyphenates, comma splicing, tense disagreement, and semi-colon misuse. I'll just have to trust that those get fixed by your editor(s).

Moving on to the other big problem I have with this: showing versus telling. We talked a lot about this. I already gave you the links I would've normally given you in this review, so I won't worry about that. However, I feel I need to stress once more the importance of showing the reader what's happening and not just telling them what's happening. You guys do this a lot: you'll tell me that a character is feeling a certain way or that they're doing an action, but you don't show me it. You'll say: “Rarity's mood shifted from happy, to annoyed suddenly” but how am I supposed to believe that if I have no visual you know what I mean indication. You have to make me believe that your characters are real people ponies. Anyway, I feel I've made that point clear enough as it is. Time to get moving! cue Blast Corps sound effect. Please... someone get that reference...

Okay, now for the actual story. The good thing I can say is that I really like your premise. I'm a huge fan of Stardust so the idea of Robert De Niro Rarity being a sky pirate is massively appealing to me. The problem is two-fold however. On the one side, this fic is really dragged down by generally awkward phrasing, clunky scene description, kinda weird dialogue, and somewhat poor grammar. But on the other, there are way too many characters introduced so early. Now, I'm not saying you can't have a butt-load of characters, just try to keep the amount of important characters to a minimum. That is, unless you feel you can make them important in a meaningful way where they aren't there simply to be “Character X: The wily one!” or “Character Z: The Requisite comic relief!” Keep in mind that I'm not talking about specific characters right now. These are just examples I came up with off the top of my head.

All right, now for the battle scenes. I enjoyed these more so than a lot of the exposition, but they suffer from the same problems as the rest of the fic. Also, something I forgot to mention up to now, there are a lot of inane details thrown in unnecessarily. I realize that you're trying to write an epic here, but you don't wanna go all Tolkien on it and describe everything in excruciating detail, which you don't really, but sometimes it feels like it's headed that way. In fact, sometimes you seem to point of rather mundane things, but then neglect to fully describe how the Elusive is boarded by sky chariots. See, that sounds awesome when I say it, but it's kinda boring the way it's written right now. Honestly, it saddens me to see something that I think has a lot of potential be brought down by poor descriptions, among other things.

I feel like I'm rambling at this point. Anyway, I hope that with your new editors you can make this into something you an really be proud of. I really love this idea, and I really want to see it succeed, but right now it's simply not doing it for me. If your “Ideas” sheet is anything to go by then you've clearly put a lot of time and effort into this story, and I'd hate to see it go to waste. I think that this has the potential to be a very good adventure story, and, possibly, a political thriller, depending on what you do about Celestia and all that. Focus more on the action as well. You've got tons of cool stuff happening, but a lot of isn't really described in a very engaging way. Okay, now I'm really rambling. I'm still sitting here writing this at nearly midnight and I've got work tomorrow... ugh. So, work on your descriptions, fix some of the awkward stuff, and focus more on the action. Oh, and one more thing: when you've finished passing this through your editor(s), and your happy with it, submit it for another review on one of the other threads. They'll be able to help you a lot more than I did. If I may, I suggest heading on over to Minty's thread. He'll point you in the right direction, but he won't pull any punches either. He'll give you a brutally honest review that will be far more beneficial than this short review I'm writing now.

So... Good luck, and keep on keeping on. I look forward to seeing this when it's done being edited.
SKY PIRATES!

>pic not related, but I wish it was...
>> No. 120467
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120467
Asterisked, as I neglected to do that for any of my other reviews.


I’d like to preface this review by saying that I took the liberty of looking you up on FIMfiction. I was glad to see that you do seem to actually care about your work, and want to improve. This was something I wanted to confirm before I fully committed to this review, because there is a lot of work to be done, and I didn’t want to go through this process if you were just going to get discouraged and disappear. I don’t get that impression though, so I’m going to do my best to help you with this (I notice you’ve been working in doc, so that’s a good start).

Normally, I’d start with plot here, but the fact is, I can’t really tell you too much about the story itself because the mechanics are such a mess. I read the whole story, but honestly it was only because I made a commitment to do so. If I had been looking for something to read and seen the numerous errors in the first paragraph alone, I would have closed it and never looked back.

To start with, commas. I’m not sure you know what a comma does. They serve many purposes, one of which is to separate the dependent clause from the independent clause if the independent clause comes first. This is a bit of a technical description of their role though, and there are many other uses for commas. One way to think of them is as a way to insert a pause into your writing. This will make your story read better in general. Commas also help eliminate ambiguity in cases where it might otherwise be hard to tell what is going on.

An example from your story:

>Slush trailed off and continued reading silently her eyes going back and forth quickly.

This feels rushed because the reader has to decide where the pause and emphasis should be. Let’s try it with a comma:

Slush trailed off and continued reading silently, her eyes going back and forth quickly.

This time, the reader knows where to pause, and thus the sentence flows smoothly, leaving little doubt as to its meaning.

Another way to practice this is to read your work out loud, and see where you tend to pause. Often, this will be the place you need a comma (this is not a hard and fast rule, but it’s a good place to start). I’d recommend you read a guide on comma usage, and see if it helps. Unfortunately, knowing when to use commas is something that only comes with practice. You’re going to need to read a lot, keep writing, and put your work through several revisions until you get a feel for it.

Dialogue is another area you really need to do some work. I pointed out several examples in doc, but almost every piece of dialogue had issues with punctuation. Some of your issues, like the lack of punctuation before quotation marks, were consistent. Others were not. You have a habit of forgetting which punctuation goes at the end of a string of dialogue, as well as how to use dialogue tags. I recommend you read the Editor’s Omnibus. It has a lot of great information on this, and many other things you’re struggling with. You can find it in the sticky, at the top of /fic/.

There are a lot of instances where you forget punctuation in general. This is your most grievous offence, and the only one I really found frustrating. I can forgive a lot if I believe an author is really dedicated to improving, but missing periods and quotation marks speaks to a lack of proofreading on your part, and that irks me. If you read through this yourself a couple of times before submitting it, these things shouldn’t have slipped past you, at least not in these numbers. Developing your own critical eye is one of the first things you need to do as a writer.

Besides the mechanical issues, you have a problem with passive voice, as well as show versus tell. I highlighted several examples in doc. Examples I see you have marked as resolved with no changes made, much to my chagrin. I’m going to go ahead and assume that this is due to you wanting to clean up the document and not knowing what I meant (hopefully).

Passive voice, in case you were wondering, is when you take the object of a sentence and turn it into the subject. Generally, this serves to take power away from what should be the actor in your sentence.

Time for some pony related examples:

Twilight’s mane was styled by Rarity.

Rarity styled Twilight’s mane.

This is about as textbook an example as I could come up with off the top of my head, but it serves to illustrate why this is a problem. Rarity is the one doing the action in these sentences, but in the first one she is relegated to the sidelines, watching Twilight’s mane have all the fun. In the second, she is front and center where she belongs. Not all examples will be this clear, but you need to learn to look for them. Once you get a sense for it, they’ll stick out and you’ll really be able to see how they hold you’re writing back.

Show versus tell is another problem. Think of this as going to a baseball game versus reading about it in the paper the next day. You end up with the same information, but one way of getting it is a lot more fun than the other(if you get a kick out of baseball anyway). General rule here is to let the characters tell your story as much as possible, either through actions or dialogue, and save your narration and exposition for when it really counts. The less you use those things, the more impact they’ll have when you actually need them.

Example from story incoming:

>They trained hard all the time so that one day Equestria would know their greatness.

This is information we want about your characters, and it is very necessary to the story. But this is about the dullest way to get it across possible. Actually, I think it is the single dullest way to do it. The problem is that this is a prime opportunity to get us to care about your characters. Show us them working hard, pouring blood, sweat, and tears into their passion. Don’t just tell us they work hard.

So yeah, you have a lot of work to do. As it is, this is practically unreadable to anyone that gives a damn about proper grammar. You need to teach yourself what commas do, how to punctuate dialogue, how to proofread, and how to keep your writing from sounding dry and lifeless. Weird word choice also hurts you at times. If you want to get this up to snuff, then you have several revisions ahead.

Please keep in mind though, that I am not saying this to be mean. You came here looking for help. Help I am willing to give. If you have decided that fixing this is too much work, then I have to say I can’t help you. If, on the other hand, you decide you are prepared to buckle down and do what is necessary to become a better writer, I would be happy to help. If improving your writing isn’t important to you, then you can post this on FIMfiction right now and I’m sure someone will like it. But I get the impression you care about your writing, and want to improve.

Despite the errors and the difficulty I had reading this, it is worth working on. The story has the potential to be a heartwarming little piece, with characters that people can actually care about. Your characterization, tone, pacing, and plot development, while not perfect, are leagues above your mechanical skills. The trick here is bringing them up to the same level, and then reaching even higher.

So here’s hoping you keep working at it. If you want anymore help, I’d be happy to oblige. There are many others here as well, far more talented than I in the review department, that would probably be able to help as well (though I’d advise you to get a few more proofreadings done before you submit for another full review). Also, go devour that omnibus and all information therein. With that, I bid you good day. Hope to see you here again.
>> No. 120476
So, anyone recalling my attempts at writing things in the middle of the night at >>119691 , you might remember it was fairly bad. According to my standards (lol) anyway. I also got a sincere and kind (LOL) request from my reviewer(s) to have some actual plot with this the next time I brought it over...
...SO MADE SOME.

BEHOLD!
Twilight Sparkle in The Late Clock: VERSION 2!

http://www.fimfiction.net/story/51801/Twilight-Sparkle-in%3A-The-Late-Clock
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1kWONAYe6clL8GsUMCbTU76PSJ18NyYFhsB83u43-mjY/edit?pli=1
Synopsis (ALSO NEW! However parts of it is stuff that hasn't been written yet, so I'm spoilering it. Don't read before you read or it won't be as fun.): Twilight discovers a strange set of bones in the ditch under the Ponyville clock tower. However, she has a conference to prepare - the Thaumic-Arcane Collegium of Academics, a great organization of scholars from around the world, has accepted her into their ranks, and she is to host their annual Grand Meet in Ponyville. She doesn't have time for research!

When the Meet commences, however, one of the Grandmasters has mysteriously gone missing. As the other attendants mold their confusion together, Twilight cannot help but feel something isn't quite right. And when she discovers the missing Grandmaster's carriage, empty and abandoned on the road right by the clock tower where she left the corpse, the hunt is on.

An old, foreign and forbidden existence is on the loose in Equestria, and Twilight is in a race against the clock to stop it. Can she reach it in time? Only time will tell.

But whose time?

TAGS: [Dark] (NOW JUSTIFIED IN THE FIRST CHAPTER!)

Yes I'm capslock spamming like a bawse because I'm tired. But I think it's good. :D
>> No. 120477
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120477
Title: The Waistcoat

Author: Vilwind

E-Mail: [email protected]

Tags: [SAD][TRAGEDY]

Description: Friendship report. As we know everypony tells lies, at a sickbed, and the wife most of all. But a waistcoat – it can not lie.

Link: http://www.fimfiction.net/story/52582/The-Waistcoat
>> No. 120491
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120491
Let me just start off by saying that this was a difficult piece for me to read. I don't know exactly what it was, but I wager it was my discovery that I had been ignoring nearly half my manual's rules and needing to backtrack through half your work to double check everything. It was painful, and this is probably the longest I've ever taken on a review, but I muscled through it in order to bring you this review.


In the category of technical merit:
The story has several consistent weaknesses, as well as a few smaller problems. I'll be going over the two major problem areas and summarize some of the lesser flaws.


Punctuation
Your first major issue lies within your punctuation. To begin with, your knowledge of comma placement – where to put them and where not to put them – needs some brushing up on, particularly in the area of coordinators. A coordinator is a word such as for, and, nor, but, or, yet, and so that is used to bridge two or more independent clauses within one sentence. There are more than those seven, but those are the easiest to recall off the top of my head. When this is done, a comma needs to be placed before the coordinator. Here's an example where it's missing:

>The swift transition left Twilight disoriented and she immediately started to rub her now aching head.
– should read –
>The swift transition left Twilight disoriented, and she immediately started to rub her now aching head.
– or –
>The swift transition left Twilight disoriented. She immediately stated to rub her now aching head.

Since the two clauses of the sentence are able to be separated into two independent clauses, the coordinator and needs to be offset with a comma before it, in order to indicate the beginning of the second (or third or fourth) clause. This comma will always be before the coordinator, never after, as in this next example. Something like an introductory clause will not change where the comma goes when using a coordinator. Think of the comma-coordinator combination as a substitution for the period and capitalization you would normally use at the beginning of the next sentence:

>The sunlight glowed with the same spectral light that had blinded her before and, for the longest time, Twilight stood dumbstruck staring at the sheer beauty of it.
– should be –
>The sunlight glowed with the same spectral light that had blinded her before, and for the longest time, Twilight stood dumbstruck staring at the sheer beauty of it.

This is not the case when you use a coordinator for compound elements. That is, between an independent clause and a subordinate clause or phrase. Commas are also used to offset introductory clauses or phrases from their independent clauses, nonrestrictive elements, items or actions in series, and to separate subordinate clauses from an independent clause when not using a coordinator.

Some other concerns in the area of punctuation include your usage of em dashes, quotation marks, and some semicolon abuse. The only problem with your em dashes is that they aren't supposed to be offset by spaces. Most word processors actually create an em dash by inputing a double-dash between two word segments, “word” “-” “-” “word”, and hitting space. There were some minor hiccups with your quotations marks, primarily when using them to offset words as words. When doing so, there shouldn't be any other punctuation inside the quote. Finally, you and Shining really like your semicolons, and they are mechanically correct, but they tend to detract from literary prose in my experience. A period, or a comma and coordinator, will suffice anywhere a semicolon will in terms of prose.


Nouns, pronouns, and antecedents
I'll start with pronoun and antecedent clarity for this section. A pronoun is designed to refer backward – and occasionally forward – to an antecedent. An antecedent is a common or proper noun that a pronoun refers to. There are male pronouns, such as he and his, female pronouns, she and her, and generic pronouns, it and they. The issue of clarity can arise when the intended antecedent and its pronoun are separated by other possible antecedents. I tried to find an example that was inclusive of itself, but didn't have any luck, so I've replaced some pronouns in this example with their antecedents for clarity's sake:

>[The transparent sphere] slowly began to radiate with a bright light. The light grew stronger the longer [Twilight] looked into it, until it started to hurt her eyes. She tried to look away, but against her efforts, Twilight's gaze was inexplicably drawn to its source.

The issue here is that last instance of its, a gender neutral pronoun, is going to refer back to the previous gender neutral noun. In this case, that would be gaze, reading as Twilight's gaze being drawn back to itself, which doesn't make any sense. When this type of problem arises, the easiest fix is to replace the offending pronoun with the antecedent you intended for it to refer back to. This can cause some issues of word repetition, however:

>[A] unicorn filly about Twilight's age, with an azure coat, and a light blue mane, stepped out through the curtain, giving Twilight a salesmare-like smile and asked, "Can Trixie help you?"
"Um, maybe. I was actually looking for somepony—"
That was as far as she got before Trixie started giving her quick nods. "Yes, yes, you have come to the right place.

She could refer correctly to Twilight, but more likely to Trixie, mentioned more recently inside the dialogue. Replacing this pronoun with its antecedent will fix this one, but there's another instance of clarity immediately following this one. Her is intended to refer back to Twilight, as well, but will once again incorrectly refer back to Trixie, the previous female noun. Fixing this one yields the following mechanically-correct-but-ultimately-drab narrative:

>[A] unicorn filly about Twilight's age, with an azure coat, and a light blue mane, stepped out through the curtain, giving Twilight a salesmare-like smile and asked, "Can Trixie help you?"
"Um, maybe. I was actually looking for somepony—"
That was as far as Twilight got before Trixie started giving Twilight quick nods. "Yes, yes, you have come to the right place.

Sometimes restructuring is necessary to get your point across. There are quite a few instances of this problem, but it isn't tremendously prevalent. It is a pretty serious problem, though, even in small quantities, as the reader is forced to backtrack and try to make sense of the problem, detracting from their immersion.

Next up I have some brief words about proper and common nouns. In particular your capitalization of the term earth pony. A proper noun is used to indicate a unique individual, group, or object, usually by a name. This merits special mention because of the nature of your story, earth ponies forming the state of Earth, within the nation of Equestria. However, they are not ponies from Earth, either the state or the planet, they are ponies associated with the earth. As in soil, terra firma, etc. They formed Earth. This isn't to say that capitalizing earth ponies is completely unacceptable. But if you do so then you also need to capitalize nouns of similar distinction. i.e.; unicorns, and pegasi/pegasus, who possess different characteristics and come from different geographic locations.


Other considerations
Some other problems your work has in smaller quantities are general syntax issues, possessive suffixes (in particular for the word princess), a few typographical errors, some verb-noun agreement, missing and artifact words, issues with appositives, capitalizing the before titles, and adjectives functioning together. In total I found 122 instances that I considered grammatical or technical flaws. By no stretch of the imagination do I think that is all of them, nor do I think I am correct in every instance. This is only my best guess.


Score: 5 out of 10
Pick yourself up an English style manual of some sort, and read through the fundamental rules of things like punctuation and pronoun usage. Read and carefully observe other authors' grammatical styles, and get used to how syntax is supposed to flow. Your syntax isn't unreadable, but it is extremely distracting at times.


In the category of stylistic performance:
This is easily your weakest area, and I have three major areas of concern to bring to your attention, as well as a handful of smaller issues to address as well.


Lavender Unicorn Syndrome – LUS
There is no gentle way to say this – its everywhere. There were 44 individual cases that I could find. Lavender Unicorn Syndrome is the tendency to use a qualifying descriptor such as a character's color, apparel, physical build, race, deposition, talents, profession, gender, etc. etc. etc., in order to tag a character's actions or dialogue in narrative. This is generally done to prevent the feeling of repetition that comes from using a character's name or an equivalent pronoun repeatedly. There are two logical fallacies with this. First, if the use of a character's proper noun or appropriate pronoun is causing repetition, then your narrative is suffering from structural repetition, and needs to be reworked anyway. Secondly, the use of qualifying descriptors generates a repetition in of itself anyway. Lavender Unicorn Syndrome is snake oil for a condition that could be a symptom of a deeper problem.

I don't think you have this deeper problem, but it's difficult to diagnose this structural problem with such an abuse of LUS. LUS also causes problems of its own. The worst of which being ambiguity:

>Now [Commander Hurricane] eyed the Earth pony up and down suspiciously.

Ignore the first instance; I'm focused on the second. In the scene this line is in, there is more than one earth pony present, so Commander Hurricane's ensuing dialogue could be directed toward either Chancellor Puddinghead, or Smart Cookie. This problem arises a lot with scenes populated by many characters, especially many characters who share characteristics.

The only time you should apply a case of a characteristic in place of noun or pronoun to a story is when the descriptor has changed, or become relevant. The most frequent case of this is in the use of descriptors such as his/her sibling, his/her parent, their superior, or something similar. These possessive descriptors are acceptable because they present relevancy to the descriptor, and are often much more precise than the typical LUS symptoms.


Awkward phrasing and word choice
There aren't too many instances of awkward choices – sentences and word choices that are technically correct but just read strangely – but like pronoun-antecedent clarity, it's a big deal to have a proper flow to your sentence structures. There's nothing I can really say about each of these examples, other than to point them out and give my best commentary as to why they feel strange:

>Amidst the cheerful atmosphere, the pleasantries were only reluctantly halted by the occasional glances at the three ice sculptures standing a mere stone's throw away.
This is an extremely busy sentence in of itself, and it's all crammed down the reader's throat all at once. Your adverb-verb choices (reluctantly halted and occasional glances) feel backwards. Finally, standing a mere stone's throw away strikes me as a nonrestrictive element.

>looking around confusedly
The suffix “-ly” just isn't something you typically see on the end of “-ed” words. At least not in my experience.

>The Commander grinded her teeth and her eyes gave a horrifying stare that would make even a cockatrice run the opposite direction.
Informal use of the past tense grind, redundancy of words, and a lot of ten cent words that could all be added up together.

>Twilight sat, warming herself, around a crackling campfire.
It's either a really tiny campfire, or Twilight gained some weight.

>She couldn't fathom how the same thing that allowed her to lift her doll Smarty Pants to her bedside could be used in the same way she had just experienced.
Another instance of a very long sentence that could stand to be broken up into smaller bits, which would require some rewording.

>She regained control of both her posture and breathing in short time, …
Like with the suffixes up above, the words short and time are two words that are rarely paired together withing some kind of adverb or adjective between them.


Telling
Show and tell gets thrown around a lot in our fandom's fan fiction, and here's my take on it. The difference between showing be a story and telling me a story is the difference between an engaging story and a children's fable. You have enough telling in your story to fill several foal's nursery books. When you tell the reader what a character is feeling two things happen, in my opinion. First, you talk down to the reader, assuming that they're unable to grasp the complexities of the story and draw their own conclusions. This is where my children's story comparison comes from. Tell-heavy stories read like Peter Rabbit or Goldilocks. Secondly, they leave out the events that caused whatever complexity your story is telling the reader about:

>Shining looked skeptically at Twilight before he turned to Madame Mirage.
How exactly did he convey this skepticism? An arch of the brow; a squint of the eyes; a shift of the shoulders?

>Her parents didn't seem to take [offense] however, as neither said anything. In fact, neither of them seemed very keen to tell her why they had come. Both looked at each other, waiting for the other to start.
Double-tell. How does Twilight know that her parents weren't upset with her comment? Did they smile weakly; remain impassive; stare vacantly? How did the two of them communicate between themselves without speaking? A shift of their head; a wave of the hoof; a suggestive dance?

>[“]Good job, Son," her father complimented Shining.
On top of being redundant with the dialogue, I wonder how their father went about this. A proud smile; a pat on the back; a subtle nod?

You probably see how telling lets the reader's mind wander over the course of events. When you show what happens, you can do so in such a way that conveys the emotions you want to tell, without expressly stating it. The reader can draw their own conclusions about the emotional states of the characters based on their body language, word choice, and expressions. They cannot, however, make the reverse inference about a character's actions based on their emotional state.


Other concerns[/u]
On top of these three serious concerns, you've also shown difficulties with speaker clarity, subject focus involving active and passive voice, redundancy in sentences, repetitive structures, perspective shifts, paragraph breaks, and needlessly complex structures. But I'm running out of room.


[b]Score – 4 out of 10

The only cure for weak style is more reading. Lots and lots of reading of published authors' works. Stories people have made money off of. Take careful note of how authors present their works and analyze their styles, don't just read the story for its literary content. Really dig into them.


Finally, in the category of story progression and characterization:
You're aware of my biggest source of vitriol for your story – its prologue. I'm also aware you're committed to it due to your FiMfiction posting, so I'm not even going to bother with it. But there are a couple of small areas I want to bring to your attention. Each of these are small, tiny little inconsistencies in the story, none of which have any lasting impact on the story's plot as a whole.

I still question the placement of the introductory paragraph describing the city of Gallopel. I don't think it really buys the story all that much as it stands, other than some minor details about the city itself that, honestly, could be expressed in the narrative proper. We get some names, and some redundant information, but nothing other than that. The in-universe author of the introduction even seems disposable. When we discussed this, I likened the opening to the sort of thing R.A. Salvator does for The Chronicles of Drizzt, but there's a flaw in that comparison. Just who is Mareco Polo (by the way, seriously? Mareco Polo?) and why is he important? If this were Twilight's diary, or Princess Guinemare's memoirs, or someone else of significant importance, I'd buy it. But as is, I'm not interested.

Twilight proves herself to be rather inept as a filly in identifying some fairly basic creatures to Equestrian ecosystems. While I could swallow this given her age, it had already been established that Twilight had spent the better part of the last year reading fiction, and later non-fiction, including the books her parents didn't think were fit for such an impressionable young filly. I find it very hard to believe that in all that reading, she's never encountered griffins and zebras.

Princess Guinemare Platinum looks like Rarity, and I can't get it out of my head. It's less your fault and more the fault of a certain episode of the show and a wonderful fanfiction that I'm eagerly waiting to be updated, but it's something you can control nonetheless. Unless the princess's physical appearance is deliberate, I would strongly recommend changing it.

The fact that unicorn fillies and colts aren't exposed to magic at an age prior to their cutie-mark in the magical capital of Equestria seems a bit off to me. You raised the point that Twilight could barely levitate things as a filly, and that Snips, Snails, and Sweetie Belle have barely implemented magic. But your story takes place in an alternate universe, where a single/pair of almighty alicorn(s) isn't responsible for the movement of the cosmos; where the only thing keeping Princess Guinemare Platinum in power is Unicornia's ability to keep the cosmos in motion.

Finally, the library of Twilight's parents. Twilight had an entire year to peruse the private collection of two unicorns who specialized in the very thing that Unicornia exports – movement of the celestial bodies. I refuse to believe that in an entire year she didn't accidentally stumble upon some of her parents' magical tomes. Especially when she proceeds to find said tomes in said library with only the impetuous to find them serving as the catalyst.

At this point I'm running out of steam and time, so I'll wrap this up. Most the characters in the first chapter feel in character, but that characterization is lacking in the prologue by nearly every character in some manner except Commander Hurricane. Other than Twilight's family and the founders of Equestria, there haven't been a lot of characters with any significant screen time, so I can't really discuss characterization.


Score – 8 out of 10
You have a story to tell, but its heavily burdened by technical problems and the occasional plot inconsistency. Not a lot has happened that hasn't run parallel to show canon but with your universe's spin. But it does seem to be going somewhere. Address your technical problems and give careful consideration to the minor details of your plot, and keep working at it.[b]

[b]Final Score – 17 out of 30
>> No. 120494
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120494
>>120302

tl;dr, refer to picture.

Extensive line-by-line in doc. I've tried to give reasons for most of my suggestions; bear in mind that they're pretty subjective and are solely my opinion. Work with them, or not at all, in any way you wish.

All right, so I've pretty much said all I wanted to say in doc, but here's a recap of things for you to look at in your editing sweep. This isn't the full list; these are just the items that stuck after a few hours of separation. Just so we're clear, aside from 3), these are not areas to repair, merely areas to polish.

1) redundancies
Your prose is dense. You're probably aware of this, but the level of description in your story is a good deal higher than that of the average fanfiction. I approve of this readily, but it will be a hindrance to other readers of a less attentive nature, because it requires a good deal of time-effort investment to enter. You'll probably get the words "purple", "boring" or "draggy" thrown at you upon releasing to the public, but not today - I, for one, thought it was great and helped immersion greatly, save for the little redundancies in your prose.

You see, with this amount of description, word economy in relation to plot development is second priority. But you want to lessen the amount of dead weight as much as you can to give your reader as much of a break as possible. The more words you have, the slower it gets to present an idea; even more so if said words form a compound section of a long sentence, because you have that extra cost in terms of flow. Same goes for repeated ideas; with scenery, it's best to let the details add up on their own subconsciously without you pulling it out from under the pile again. A lot of what I've pointed out in doc is quite subtle; let me try to clarify it a bit more.

>Sprout spoke up for himself as he settled more comfortably into his seat, saying,
The "saying" is redundant because you've already presented the idea of him speaking.

>but that was nothing she didn’t usually endure this time of year, this far north.
It's been shown already that Sunny lives in Manehattan, with the same latitude as Sauvighneigh, so "this far north" is a rehashing of what we know and is therefore redundant.

>Sprout asked quietly, leaning across their booth so that only Sunny could hear him.
The "leaning... him" part is redundant because "quietly" conveys his intention; you don't need to go and repeat that again.

In a way, this overlaps with show-vs-tell - what you've already shown, you then proceed to tell, which is unnecessary. Give your characters some room to stretch their legs and do the acting.

2) conflicting ideas
The description of Sauvighneigh being a quiet town, even though you try to push across the idea of it being urban; the mood of the family Rosely as they proceed in their journey seems to flicker from pleasantly vacant to heavy and back again with no transition. Again, I've gone and pointed out most of that in doc.

3) Sunny's impetus for agreeing to help Glazy Bun
Easily the biggest problem in your story, because up until now, it's just been scenery and mild conversation. The Roselys are going for Everspring. That's their apparent motive. There's nothing that shows how their motive overlaps with helping out Glazy Bun. So have her brood over it or something.

4) word use distribution
Every word should advance plot or character. In your case, we'll expand that a little to scenes.

Most of your words go toward scene-building, ultimately at the cost of the other two areas. That makes for a very vivid mental picture, but character personalities that pale rather in comparison. Not to say your characterization isn't good - I mean, I suppose, as far as the family Rosely go, they're rather mild-mannered, and you make good use of your dialogue, and the supporting characters all seem real (which I must commend you for) - but in comparison, they look relatively feeble. The plot develops slowly due to the massive amount of scenery you blend it with. You're still within the line, because it's the introductory stage where things are set, and the reader's still willing to follow you on, but the longer you drag out a development without further injection of action, the less impactful it becomes. So, say, if a conflict involved a storm tearing down the family's crops, you want to cut down on the scene of a stripped field and put your words toward dialogue that reveal their response (and thus builds character) or action (thus advances the plot). Which I'm sure you know already, but I might as well tell you anyways.

5) saidisms
You use a lot of them. Cut down on those.

6) as well
You use a lot of them as well, to the point where it becomes obvious. Cut down on those.

7) sentence structure repetitions
I'll be honest - I stopped looking for them. Nothing struck me as particularly repetitive, most likely because of the strength of your descriptors filling my head. It's just the frequency that you want to consider, not the actual amount - 3 times in the first 2 paragraphs, I think it was, is too frequent. When it thinned out it stopped becoming evident.

I've already told you, but I might as well say it again: I enjoyed this, and I reckon that if the fandom had more of this kind of classically-written stories, the feature box wouldn't be such a pile of substance-less fluff [/endrashandopinionatedgeneralization]. I had an open mind to take your fic on because I've been reading Vladimir Nabokov a lot lately, and his prose is both as thick and delicious as treacle. Most probably don't have that. But that's okay. Sure, it's not perfect, but I reckon you're somewhere around there.

I don't make it a habit to tell people what they're doing right, but I liked your characters, I like where the story's going, and I loved your descriptions. Seriously, props for sticking this picture of a snowed village in the distant north in my head. I'm probably going to think of that picture every time I see your handle... but I digress. =P anyhow, to quote Pasco, "Thank you for the opportunity to do more with this fic than I normally get the chance to do".

Also, one last thing: if you intend to tag this as a Crossover, don't. The tag would probably repel more readers than attract, and it really does stand on its own. You could put "Influenced by Harvest Moon" if you really wanted to though.

Keep writing.
>> No. 120496
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120496
>>120494
Wohoo!

I won't get a chance to go over and actually begin making changes to the draft until much, much later, but I like what I'm seeing and what I'm hearing. This is a vast improvement over my first draft's responses. I'm especially glad to hear that my characters feel genuine -- baring a few inconsistencies that need to be addressed -- which is something I'm really going to focus on for this work as a whole.

I'm surprised that you think the story could stand on its own without the [Crossover] tag, though, to be honest. I'd be more than happy to do away with it, but I think it's going to be necessary as more elements of the Harvest Moon universe present themselves in the story. But I'll keep it under consideration. Namely sprites and an alicorn that is going to be very difficult to characterize convincingly. I've managed to cobble together FiM or at least MLP origins for both of those elements, though, so I might be able to get away with it.

I just have one question: what exactly is a saidism?
>> No. 120497
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120497
>>120496
Just looked out my window and the moon is still in view this morning. A beautiful, red, full moon. Thought it oddly serendipitous, given the nature of my story. Had to share.

Have a good day, TTG! Off to school again for me.

>sage because I'm a sentimental fool
>> No. 120499
>>120491

Thanks for the review! It has been very helpful.

About Twilight not being able to recognize a griffon when she sees one, well, griffons aren't native to Equestria. They're actually from a continent somewhere across the sea (as shown by the newly released, Hasbro approved, map). Equestria is a much less open place without the Princesses to govern it, thus even fewer griffons have immigrated there than I imagine in the canon show, so filly Twilight has never really seen one in person. Rainbow Dash even has to explain what a griffon is to Pinkie Pie in Griffon the Brush Off, so it's not like it's common knowledge. Besides, she was very confused at the time and might not recollect the description of an obscure, foreign creature right away.

Princess Gunemare, admittedly, does share a lot of outward characteristics with Rarity. As she becomes a bigger part of the story though, and she will, her personality and role as the ruler of Unicornia will become her main characteristics instead. And she won't share any scenes with Rarity, so hopefully it won't be a problem.

As for Twilight never picking up any of her parents' books about magic, well, who says she hasn't? In both the case of canon Twilight and the Twilight of Twilight's Odyssey, I think it's more a matter of interest than anything else. I believe she held the same amount of interest in magic as she did to any of the other natural sciences (I'm pretty sure magic counts as a science in MLP), but that it grew into a passion after the events during the Summer Sun Celebration.

About the characterization of the founders of Equestria, it's important to remember that what we saw in Hearth's Warming Eve was a play, while this is the actual historical meeting. That would be why, for example, Chancellor Puddinghead isn't the cloudcuckoolander that Pinkie Pie is.

About the rest of it though, you're absolutely right about, and I'm grateful that you took the time to help me with my story.
>> No. 120501
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120501
>>120496

>I'm surprised that you think the story could stand on its own without the [Crossover] tag, though, to be honest.
The Crossover tag informs people that there'll be elements of said crossover - it either entices or repels them. Since you've gone and built yourself an entirely new area of Equestria as the main setting, it's already kinda AU. The conflict - farming - is something core to the way of life for ponies. So that's 1) your world and 2) your conflict being standalone (and by that I mean fits in Equestria). Seeing as the pony element is so prevalent, the Crossover tag loses its point, since while the conflict element overlaps with HM, it isn't unique.

You'd better get to explaining this Everspring thing quickly, though.

>I just have one question: what exactly is a saidism?
When you replace "said" with something else, e.g. "pointed out", "exclaimed", "noted". "Said" is good because it's harmless and readers tend to glaze over it, allowing for more freedom in imagination.
>> No. 120510
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120510
>>120497
The moon was red? And I missed it? Ponyfeathers.
>> No. 120515
Original post: >>120477
Since it isn't too long, I should be able to take care of it either today or tomorrow. If you can/want to put it in a Gdoc format and allow comments, I'd very much appreciate that. Otherwise, I should be fine without.

Odd title and such, but I guess I will see what I'm going into later.
>> No. 120528
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120528
>>120510
Hey, I'm just asking this because I see you're (somewhat) active on this thread but you still haven't replied to my email. You did get my email, the second one, right? Or did I somehow manage to send it to the wrong adress?
>> No. 120530
>>120528
Try contacting him in the #fic IRC.
>> No. 120536
>>120534
I am not Ion-Sturm. I am Minjask.
Might want to delete this comment, bud, unless you want the world to know your trip.
>> No. 120537
>>120536
Seems like something was missing from it anyways, since this doesn't match up. Guess you're safe.
>> No. 120541
>>120510
Actually, I just derped on my basic meteorology.

>red orb
>morning
>heavily overcast
>east side of house

>>120501
Don't you worry. "Everspring" will be explained in the very next chapter.
>> No. 120552
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120552
>>120537
>>120536
Thank you for the notification anyway. I don't know how I managed to do that, but I was on a school computer, so I'll have to wait for a Mod to delete it.
>> No. 120562
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120562
Okay, FlyingQueeg, let's review your story. This should be fun...
Here you go, Casca. Challenge met.
But, before we get started, I must make my requisite Captain Tenneal reference. I doubt anyone besides me finds these entertaining, but meh. They don't distract too much, since you don't have to click on them, and I love MXC, so... whatever.
http://youtu.be/tQMgPZe0LvE?t=2m24s

First sentence:
>The darkness surrounded me, oppressive and smothering.
Oh, this is gonna be great.

Okey dokey, I'm gonna start with your mechanics because I'm gonna have a lot to say about them.
Shoot, where do I start? I guess I'll just hit each error in chronological order. So let's begin, shall we?
Well, your fist sentence, surprisingly, has no errors; it's just clichéd. But—then we get to your next sentence:
>I looked down and saw a distant Light glimmering up at me from below, or is that above? I thought, not knowing quite what direction I was facing.
Don't be fooled by the question mark—punctuation means nothing here—this, as it stands now, is one sentence. Okay, first off, the random capitalization of light is really annoying. You only do it for the first few “paragraphs” or so, and then never again. I'm not sure if you thought that it some how added depth, or something, but it just seems very... weird. Sure, some fics can get away with capitalizing non-proper nouns, but this? Nuh uh. Next, you switch, mid-sentence, into thought, which thankfully was italicized because it's not always, and then continue it into what is an utterly confusing mess of words. You should have had a full stop after “below” and then started the thought as a new sentence. Like so:
[…] glimmering up at me from below. Or is that below? I thought, […]
While were still on this sentence I want to point out one of your major problems, of which there are many. Show vs. Tell. Now, those two sentence aren't particularly good examples of decent writing, but they do give me a good chance to juxtapose showing and telling. See, in the first sentence, along with her thoughts, we are shown that Syra has so idea whether she's going up or down. Good, you didn't need to tell me that. I was able to infer—
>I thought, not knowing quite what direction I was facing.
Son of a bitch...
The first bit “shows” me through thoughts, and exposition, what the next bit “tells” me. When you're trying to engage your reader you want to do a lot of showing. You want to show them what's happening, what the characters' emotions are, how they react to things being said, or things happening. You know what? Rather than just sitting here reading me trying to explain this to you, why don't you read this:
http://jerz.setonhill.edu/writing/creative1/showing/
and this:
http://www.ponyfictionarchive.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=746
These are the same two links I keep passing out like free samples at Costco, but it's because they're great tools. Please, if you do nothing else, just read these. I promise they'll help you.

Moving on.

>I settled in for a long time in the dark.
>Nothing had changed other than the Light which had grown exponentially a dark spot appearing in the center.
>I then heard the clop of hooves, lots of them, going in the opposite direction of my crumpled body.
>I tried to open my darkness adjusted eyes only to be blinded by fluorescent lighting, for it was too bright to be the sun.

Here's a few examples, from the first 200ish words, of one of your most prevalent though, honestly not surprising problems.
Awkward. Phrasing.
This fic is filled with it. So many lines of dialogue, and exposition, feel so weird that I can't believe a real person cartoon horse would say them. This is always one of the hardest things for me to talk about because I simply don't know what to suggest other than for you read everything aloud, and try your best to fix what sounds odd.

Oh, and from the previous examples:
> my darkness adjusted eyes
and a couple more examples:
>a not so squishy roof
>not squishy ground.
These are what's called: compound hyphenates. It's when you combine two words into a new word, where the second word is modified by the first. For example: “darkness-adjusted eyes” means that [her] eyes were/are adjusted to darkness. Whereas “darkness adjusted eyes” is ambiguous, and it could mean several things. It's important that you learn when and when not to use compound hyphenates. They are there to eliminate confusion.

Dialogue tagging:
>Oh look a tree. I think seeing the dot gain clarity.
>then as I flew in a different direction Why was that so squishy?
>“Twilight,... I..I think it’s hurt..,” Came another whisper “I think it is too...lets see if I can pick it up, it doesn't look too heavy,” Came a louder and somehow more intellectual, also feminine, voice.
>“Wha...? Bu..How?  It’s absorbing my magic!” Said the same, smart, voice as before
>“I-it’s waking up!” Said the whisper-holic.
>“Yes, ponies. What else would we be?” Said the purple one.
>“A Human...,”  I said looking very confused and slightly scared.
>“Sorry Fluttershy...,” She said looking behind her apologetically
All right, all right. I think that's plenty of examples for now. You're very inconsistent when it comes to tagging your dialogue. Sometimes you use commas:
> it’s hurt..,” Came another
and sometimes you don't:
> my magic!” Said the same
sometimes you even use a period:
> look a tree[/i]. I think seeing
Here's a quick guide on how to tag dialogue.
> “I love you, Twilight,” said the book.
Correct
> “I love you, Twilight.” said the book.
Incorrect
> “I love you, Twilight” said the book.
Incorrect
> “I love you, Twilight” Said the book.
Incorrect
> “I love you, Twilight,” Said the book.
Incorrect
> “I love you, Twilight.” Said the book.
Incorrect
Basically you want to make sure that you put a comma after the last word in quotations, and then you use lowercase for “said”, or whatever variation you want to use. Now, that's not to say that you can't end your dialogue with a period, it just means that you can't then start the next sentence with a dialogue tag, such as “said”. That's because “Said the book.”, from my examples, would be broken attribution. Because it's in a sentence all on it's own, there's no character to attribute the dialogue to.
And since I love my links, here's another one for you about dialogue tags and attribution:
http://theeditorsblog.net/2010/12/08/punctuation-in-dialogue/

Actually, while I'm on the subject (not really), let's talk about direct addresses.
In my examples above I wrote: “I love you, Twilight,”
See, there's a comma before “Twilight” because she's being directly addressed by the book. To use an example from your fic:
>“Sorry Fluttershy...,”
Here, “Fluttershy” should have had a comma before it because she's being directly addressed by Twilight.
Now, it's not just commas before the name either, it's commas after as well. Whoever's being addressed should have their name flanked by commas. For example:
>Why yes, Trixie, I do think you're the best pony,” I said lovingly while staring into her eyes.
See how “Trixie” is surrounded by commas? That's because she's being directly addressed by the speaker, me. Whenever we have something that is surrounded by commas, or em dashes, or parentheses, we call them “parenthetical elements”. These are things that add extra information to a sentence, but are not necessary for it to be a complete sentence. I'll use an example from your fic:
>I look around, standing still this time, and notice that there are buildings
In this excerpt “standing still this time” would be the parenthetical element. There are several cases where you have these parenthetical elements, but you do not separate them with commas (or em/en dashes).
>including the tree I landed on, which judging by what I could see through the window was a library.
“judging by what I could see through the window” is a parenthetical element, and thus needs to be placed within commas. I'm not sure if English is your first language or not, but I'm guessing it isn't. If it is, I'm sorry, but your grammar is so bad I couldn't be sure. That's why I'm basically giving you the quick and dirty English 101 here.

Introductory Clauses
To quote OWL Perdue:
>Introductory clauses are dependent clauses that provide background information or "set the stage" for the main part of the sentence, the independent clause.
Introductory clauses always have a comma after them as well. For example:
>Her horn glowing with blue light, Trixie cast a powerful, “In your face, Twilight!”, spell.
See how “Her horn glowing with blue light” is, by itself, an incomplete sentence, and it needs “Trixie cast [...]” to make it complete? I'm not sure how well all these examples I've been giving are really sinking in. You know what? Here's another link. Why not?
http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/607/03/

Oh god! I can see the light! We're nearing the end... of the grammar section... **** Ughhhhhhhhh, this is gonna be another two-parter, huh?

Next, on the (exhaustive) grammar-section list, is: Carriage Returns (aka: Hitting “Enter”)
So, you have two characters talking, eh? Awesome, dialogue is very important in character-driven fics, like this one. But wait, what do I do when I switch from one character's dialogue to another's? Well that's easy, my friend. Ya hit “Enter”.
Example time:
“I'm going to stab you in the face, Twilight,” said Trixie.
“Sure you are,” responded Twilight.
See, we have two characters talking and when we switch from one to another we always make a new paragraph... always. This keeps dialogue from getting confusing and so jumbled up that you don't know who's speaking, like so:
>“Ahhrg!” I yelp and the feeling goes away “I think my magic is hurting it? But all creatures in Equestria are magical,”
Here there are two different characters “talking”, however that's unclear for several reasons. One: there's no period after “away”, so it seems like it's part of the same sentence, and two: there's no carriage return. Real quick, while we're looking at this sentence, avoid onomatopoeia like the fucking plague. Rarely is there a reason to use them. Instead, you should strive to portray your character's feelings through their actions, not their yelling.

Co-ordinating Conjunctions
Here's a short section on co-ordinating conjunctions. What are they? Well, they're words like, but, and, for, or, so, yet, and nor. Their purpose is to connect, words, phrases, and clauses, and they nearly always have a period before them. For example:
>Twilight tried to punch Trixie in the face, but she was too quick.
Or:
>Twilight decided to go eat dinner at Olive Garden, and she invited Trixie to come with her.
Or even:
>Trixie hated Twilight with all her guts, yet she found herself strangely attracted to her.
Don't ask me why I'm using Twixie examples. I just am.
So, now for an example from your fic:
>What seemed like hours passed but for all I knew it could have been seconds.
Comma before “but”
Okay... I'm not going to bother greentexting spelling errors, because frankly I don't care enough about them. Just run your fic through a spell-checker and you should be able to clear most of that up.

Lavender Unicorn Syndrome
I always love to see what people come up with for this. I will give you that, you had some LUS that I've never seen before.
Lavender Unicorn Syndrome, what is it? It's when you get bored with pronouns and decide they're not worth your time, so you use descriptor to refer to characters instead. Unfortunately, this is just plain lazy and the MLP fanfic community more or less has a zero-tolerance policy on it. As soon as someone starts seeing it the fic immediately seems far more amateurish and, in most cases, people are less likely to take it seriously. unless your on FiMfic where no one seems to care
Again, here are some of the examples that I find particularly amusing:
>Said the whisper-holic.
>Said the purple one not very original, and, in fact, more lazy than usual
>yells the blob
Anyway, go read this:
http://eznwords.tumblr.com/post/21010451863/ellyewess
it talks about LUS and how to avoid it, and all that good stuff. Ezn, who's a cool dude, wrote it. Just... go read it.

Talking Heads
I'm just going to briefly describe this since I'm tired, and I'm sure you are too, of reading greentext. Talking head syndrome is where your characters seem to speak in a vacuum. They don't move or do anything while speaking and thus, become “talking heads”. Go read this:
http://www.coloradospringsfictionwritersgroup.org/archive/2002-03_article-talking_head_syndrome.pdf
It'll help.

Tense Disagreement
You have a lot of this:
>I suddenly felt wind start to buffet my face, and sound fill my ears.
Should be “filled”.
Just... here you go:
http://www.ehow.com/about_6503753_verb_tense-agreement.html
Also, you switch to present tense quite frequently, and it's quite jarring.

I'm sorry if it seems like I'm staring to care less and less, but I am. I feel like writing this is slowly sucking my soul out. I'm pretty sure I'm just gonna turn into Belloq from the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark, by the time I'm done.

Okay, I think that about covers it for grammar. Now we get to the “fun” part... the plot.
Please excuse the following section. I was becoming so bored with writing this that I needed to do something to spice it up.

Plot
What's that first-mate?
“Arr, Cap'n. I be spyin' a tried-n-true story off the portside bow.”
Well, do you think it might be salvageable?
“Aye, Cap'n, I do. No fic be truly beyond saving in my eyes. Yar, but there be a few problems TheFlyingQueeg needs to be wary of.”
Oh? Like what?
“It be a long list, aye. But, I'll do me best to list 'em for ye, Cap'n.”
Proceed.
“Well for one, this Syra lass be a wee bit crass. Arr, the way she be speakin' to her saviors rubs me the wrong way, it does, Cap'n.”
How so?
“Yar, look at this 'ere example from Queeg's own scrawlin's.”
>I’m fine...” I said looking at her sarcastically
“And this 'ere too...”
>“No, it’s sarcasm, do ponies not have sarcasm?”
I can see what you mean. She does seem to be kinda bitchy. Maybe that was the author's intent?
“Arr, I be doubtin' that very much, Cap'n, very much indeed.”
What makes you say that?
>“Oh, I love libraries,” I say smiling and studying all the books that surround me.
Oh... Well, then I guess this “Syra” is just being a typical fanfic self-insert character.
“Arr, that be my assessment as well, Cap'n.”
Okay, well what other problems do you have?
“Syra be quite the formidable lass, it seems. A fall from the heavens, and not a scratch on her. Arr, color me impressed, Cap'n. I'll have 'er on me crew any day o' the week.”
She does seem to walk away more or less unscathed. Especially after hitting that tree and bouncing to the ground.
“Arr, and there be this as well.”
>Apparently horses are more common here than cars... strange.
She does seem to jump to that conclusion awfully fast. I mean, she falls out of, what is presumably, a portal, and lands in a strange land, then immediately assumes that it's populated by horses.
“Yar, as any man worth his salt would do, placed in the same scenario, Cap'n.”
I'm not so sure about that... Well, what else?
“Well, the serpent Spike, be rather out o' character if ye be askin' me.”
>“Get back you meanie!” yells the blob [Spike]
True, that doesn't seem like something Spike would say, or do for that matter.
“Aye, Cap'n, and he be not the only one.”
>“Wha...? Bu..How?  It’s absorbing my magic!” Said the same, smart, voice as before.
>“I think it is too...lets see if I can pick it up, it doesn't look too heavy,”
Hmm, yes, Twilight does seem rather... odd...
“Aye, and I've not spoke of the rampant clichés, Cap'n.”
You mean how the first two ponies Syra meets are Fluttershy and Twilight?
“Aye, the most beloved o' the colorful equines.”
I can see how that would feel clichéd. What about the fact that Syra is most likely “special” as well?
“Arr, I be seein' hints o' that meself. I be not brave enough to read past the first chapter, but methinks it be coverin' well-worn ground, Cap'n.”
I think you're right.
“Let's not forget how quickly everyone be acceptin' the situation they be thrust in either.”
That's true, Syra doesn't seem particularly concerned that she is now talking to pastel colored horses.
“Aye, and despite humans bein' one o' their tales o' the deep there, neither Fluttershy, nor Twilight, be perplexed by the sudden arrival o' a landlubber.”
Mhmm, they don't even seem remotely interested to find out how she got there, or why she's not a pony.
“Alas, Cap'n, I be thinkin' this tale be a bit short when it be comin' to originality.”
Well, what do you suggest the author do?
“Me, Cap'n? I thought you were runnin' this vessel?”
I'll let you have this one.
“It be an honor, Cap'n. I'll do me best to steer this young (I'm guessing ye be young) author in the right direction.”
Have at it.
“Aye aye. Now see 'ere Queeg, you best be startin' over on this. I be not sayin' that it be a complete waste. No, it just be needin' a bit o' wind in it's sails, if you catch me drift. Give them colorful ponies a bit more o' the characterization, and make that lass Syra be a bit more likeable. She be a harsh mistress yet. Arr, and be careful o' the OOC (Out of Character) and the dreaded Lavender Unicorn Syndrome. Aye, with a bit o' lovin' this tale may yet be worthy o' a bit o' adulation.”
Well said, first-mate. Well said.
“Thank'ee, Cap'n. And on more thing, Queeg. Just because this 'ere review be a bit on the harsh side don't mean ye should stop scrawlin' them fics. This be but a learnin' experience. I sincerely 'ope ye be appreciatin' that it be not personal. May the wind be ever at your back, Queeg. I 'ope to see ye again someday.”
Aye, I mean, yes. He's right, Queeg. Just because I was very critical in this review that does not mean that I hate you, or that it's personal. It's just that this fic is so riddled with grammatical errors, and clichés that it's hard for me to find anything to like. I didn't even get to the bit mentioned in the synopsis. The bit about Syra dying for some mysterious probably clichéd reason. Anyway, I wish you luck with your future endeavors and I hope that this doesn't discourage you from continuing to write.
Best of luck,
alexmagnet

So about that whole “pirate” thing. That probably didn't work, and it probably wasn't even very funny, but oh well. I had fun writing it, so meh. Apologies to Queeg for the stupidly long review.
>> No. 120570
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120570
>>120476
Eh, why not? I was kinda interested in this the first time I saw it, so who knows? Maybe I'll love it. Should be fun to review a fic where the majority of the review isn't focused on grammar issues, at the very least. All right, Neji, let's do this.

>3k
Yes!
Time to set sail for Review Island!

Here ya go, Minjask. I think I'm still on track for one a day.
Don't worry, I'm not doing this in some misguided attempt to out review you or something. I'm just enjoying reviewing. Too bad I've been plagued by a lack of acknowledgments. Oh well, I just hope the authors actually read their reviews even if they didn't acknowledge them.
>> No. 120572
>>120570
no worries on that I'm watching your every move
>> No. 120575
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120575
>>120570
Hey, I don't blame you. Reviewing is fun, and hey, if the authors don't want to read what you had to say after putting in the effort to submit it to the queue, it's their loss right. All you can do is offer your help.
>> No. 120579
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120579
I'd love to have my fic reviewed on this thread. Please, take your time and review this whenever you have time, don't feel a rush to finish it. Here's some simple info in case it's less of a pain to get it from here over the queue.

Synopsis: Clinically apathetic is the only way I can describe myself. My mom always told me I'd grow up to make something of myself; I told her she was bad at picking names. At least one of us was right: What kind of name is Check R. Mate?

I'm recently unemployed; I quit the Royal Guard, and this obnoxious mare who talks in third person is following me everywhere. Trixie, was it? She's not my only problem though... I kinda made plans to move out, and I really don't have anywhere to go. So yeah... I really need to think these things through.

Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1obR72nVdrX6W88k6p28nMN6vvLvKVjHgyqo4O205fuU/edit
>> No. 120581
>>120579

This is not a review; this is me popping zits at my laptop screen out of boredom. Expect someone else to go through it more thoroughly.

Cute fic. You've got a nice way of expanding seeming trivia into scenes.

Some parts seemed redundant or unnecessary, and served more as vehicles for your jokes than to advance the plot. Your jokes were better than most, but you should try to restrain your desire to write jokes when they don't spring organically from the narrative. If you feel yourself trying too hard to jam a joke in someplace, it's probably time to stop and reconsider.

I can't say the chapter ever bored me.

I didn't get much of a sense of the physicality of your locations, because you didn't describe them in such a way as to make them feel real. I think you focused a bit too much (proportionally, not absolutely) on the character interactions.

Speaking of which, some of your characterization devices were less effective than others. The slapping got old towards the end of the chapter. And the whole whoops-a-daisy business that resulted in those two sleeping in the same bed seemed pretty juvenile, like you were thinking "gee how can I get these two to snuggle as quickly as possible". I mean it's the exact trope used everywhere: make up some innocent reason why two characters have to sleep in the same bed / look at each other naked / make out, and the resulting scene will feel sweet instead of dirty. It's a little predictable, and probably something you're better off avoiding, or at least not rushing so much.

If you really want to improve your fic a lot with a single change, work on giving your main character a stronger voice. By stronger, I mean more unique, recognizable, and memorable. Colts in this fandom are generally boring as oats because their creators are afraid to flavor them with anything stronger than milk, butter and honey. Think about canon stallions: Big Macintosh and Braeburn are probably the best, but Mr. Cake, Snips and Snails, and Flim and Flam all have highly idiosyncratic, easily discernable personalities and voices. Your guy is a generally likeable lazy smartass who curses a lot... gee, can't think of anyone else who fits that description. I'm not saying your character is any worse than average, but if you want your fic to really shine, a strong lead character is a powerful asset to have, and one that most authors neglect to consider.

I failed to understand some plot points. I'm baffled as to why your character thinks Trixie is talentless. I'm also confused as to why he thinks Check Mate isn't a good pony name. I mean, I know that a person's answer to the question "How much do you like your name?" is strongly correlated with their overall self-esteem, but it still feels weird to have a pony saying "My mother couldn’t name a pony if her life depended on it."

Your opening is pretty weak. You and I both know it's an exposition dump. Plus it gets redundant at points. Shining Armor this, Shining Armor that.

Oh, and your synopsis is awful.
>> No. 120585
>>120579
Hey, Eyeclops, how's Nopony's Innocent coming?
>> No. 120586
Tags: Normal (Help with making sure this is appropriately tagged would be much appreciated. Gets kinda dark towards the end, but I'm not sure if it's too far or not.)

Synopsis:

The past is often best left buried. However, it can be dug up by the most unexpected means, with dire consequences.

Fates will be determined and an unknown past revealed, all as Twilight Sparkle searches for the answer to her one true question: Who is Knight?

Links:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1rwe6NgymK6bYNQB1Pb9rVOJpHfD2YZ0izNH0aXla1X4/edit

Comments:

I'm back.

I tore the entire story to shreds again. However, this time, I then re-wrote it from the ground up. The prologue was merged with Chapter 1, every single plot thread torn out to be replaced or disposed of, and the whole story slimmed down by around 20,000+ words. Shoot, even the title lost a little weight. The word count on the whole thing is now 63,736 words, with chapters tending towards 5.5k-6k words on average.

That's proably still a lot, so here's what I'll ask of you to prove I'm not unreasonable: look through as much as you reasonably can. I won't demand you look through every single last one. But, I would appreciate a reason if you decide to stop, even if it's just "I just can't go any further."

When I can get this story in good condition Or readable it's then off to either Fim or EQD, depending on it's quality. Maybe both, if I'm ever so lucky.

The first three chapters have been looked at, with the first scene in Chapter 1 especially picked to death, so those should at least be tolerable now. The link above has a document with all the other links in them, as collections don't allow comments for whatever odd reason in the individual chapters.

The rest is, as of yet, unexplored territory here on TTG, but I like to believe the last review put some good tracks under its wheels.

So, whoever feels they're ready, I wish you luck and look forward to you critiques.
>> No. 120591
>>120467
Thank you for your help. I have edited my story accordingly and I hope that I will be able to fix it beyond what you have told me about it. I defiantly have a lot of work to do on my writing mechanic skills. Again thank you I really do appreciate it.
>> No. 120596
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120596
O hai, you may or may not remember me from a few or so months back when I came here asking for a review for my first chapter. Now I have two!

Title: Synthesis
Name: Znex
Email: [email protected]
Tags: [Dark][Adventure][HiE][Normal]

Synopsis: After reluctantly volunteering to play-test for a new "virtual reality" pony MMO, Andrew is violently ripped from the universe and thrown into Equestria. When he awakens as a pony within the mysterious Everfree Forest, he soon finds that the only way to get back to Earth is to engage on a quest to the legendary wizard Starswirl the Bearded, who supposedly lies asleep somewhere in the Frozen North.

Though there remain some unanswered questions for Andrew - who threw him into Equestria, and why? Who are all these multicoloured pastel ponies with odd names? What is this place, filled with so many wonders? And who is the eccentric unicorn who lives beneath the Everfree Forest with his numberless gadgets?

Contents:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1xhUy8f65KWLlLDlOOfvCUrEIf8fvGtLlmReTNDQd9Ew/edit

Other links: Review post: >>98106
Full review as well as pre-fixed chapter 1: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1wj5GEP-4XOTLNSl6eqB0NXMI828dcWI46NabHsm9Muo/edit

Comments: Feel free to refer to the first review if you need to. Thanks!
>> No. 120601
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120601
>>120467
Whoops. I noticed this earlier, but forgot about it until now, so here we go.


Evaluation of the story
Very good. You gave specific examples of different elements of the story, and what could and should have been done differently. You also provided helpful links that should help the author improve their work. 19/20
This is just a personal thing, but I like to provide the link itself so that the author doesn’t have to spend time searching for it.

Grammar/Punctuation
A review is––first and foremost––information, as is a story. Your review will portray your skills as a writer and––reflectively––your skills as a reviewer. It should therefore have excellent grammar, and flow. You have just a few mistakes. Notably:

>This is information we want about your characters, and it is very necessary to the story. But this is about the dullest way to get it across possible.
That ought to be one sentence, and probably separated by em dashes if I’m not mistaken. Also, move possible over next to way, they look so nice together.

>Actually, I think it is the single dullest way to do it.
You’ve already said this, so this sentence is redundant.

>The problem is that this is a prime opportunity to get us to care about your characters.
You say that like it’s a bad thing.

>Show us them working hard, pouring blood, sweat, and tears into their passion. Don’t just tell us they work hard.
Awkward phrasing and––unless I’m wrong––that period would make a great semicolon. 6/10
Normally I would suggest a word processor, but most word processors wouldn’t have caught these. This skill will come with experience, I suppose.

Praise/Criticism/Advice
Credit Given. You pointed out the errors, but you weren’t shy about highlighting what the author had done right either, and you gave hints and suggestions. Well-rounded on all ends. 10/10

Format
Well, the information is there, and one could argue that it’s organized a little bit… It doesn’t look it, though. Without reading it through, it would be difficult to find specific points or examples that the author might be searching for when looking back at their story. 2/5
Use of italics, bold, or underline can really spruce up your review, as can headers for different sections.

Style
You come off as timid, albeit helpful, though as a Fluttershy poster it might just be in your nature. It’s not a bad thing, just something I noticed. Your personality is in there, but it becomes drowned by the review itself, which––again––is not a bad thing. This score is really unimportant but: 4/5
I couldn’t figure out how to grade this one. I can’t dock points, because that would make you think it’s required, but I think a good review should have a little more ziz to it, if you get what I mean.
Overall rating
Not bad. Could be better, though. 31/50
>> No. 120604
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120604
>ITT I nitpick grammar.

>>120601
>>This is information we want about your characters, and it is very necessary to the story. But this is about the dullest way to get it across possible.
>That ought to be one sentence, and probably separated by em dashes if I’m not mistaken. Also, move possible over next to way, they look so nice together.
A common misconception folks have from their highschool English teachers is that there's some rule against starting sentences with co-ordinating conjunctions like "and" or "but", but there really isn't. It looks stupid if you do it too much, so there are style guides that recommend against it, but doing it sparingly is fine. So there's nothing wrong here, except for that weird word placement you noted.

No dashes would be required to make it one sentence. Dashes are seldom required – they're mostly used as more dramatic semicolons/commas.
>This is information we want about your characters, and it is very necessary to the story, but this is about the dullest way to get it across possible.

>>Show us them working hard, pouring blood, sweat, and tears into their passion. Don’t just tell us they work hard.
>Awkward phrasing and––unless I’m wrong––that period would make a great semicolon.
A slightly odd case because the second sentence is declarative and its subject is understood, but technically not present. Still, it counts as a complete sentence so I am fairly certain you probably could join it with a semicolon, but the best thing about semicolons is that they're never necessary. Many writers don't use them at all.
>> No. 120609
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120609
>>120604
>Starting a sentence with "and" or "but" is okay.
True, but that's not why I pointed that out. The two sentences flow together almost as if they were one sentence, so I thought they should be merged. Then again, you know more about this than me, so I'll yield to a more experienced writer.

>Semicolon
Good to know I wasn't entirely wrong. Thanks, Ezn.
>> No. 120612
>>120081

Well, I haven't made a claim in a while, and this is one of the very few crossovers I actually have any idea about. Loved every minute of the anime; it's melodramatic to an extreme, but it's likably so and a fun ride regardless of it's... somewhat more questionable moments. Seriously though, how dramatic can you really make eating some freaking chips?

So, that said, I'll take a swing at it. I hope you're ready though: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LIAn6HCERJs
>> No. 120613
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120613
I'm bored. Claiming >>120393 for review.

Expect it shortly.
>> No. 120614
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120614
>>120613
>Expected shortly
>It's 80k words

I salute you, you crazy bastard.
>> No. 120620
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120620
>>120613
>>120393

Ok. Here’s the derogatory, annoying ‘pre-review’ statement explaining exactly what I’m going to be doing.

You mentioned in your original post that the prelude and the prologue were in need of the most work. In light of that, I had intended to proofread both, but given the number of errors I found in the prelude, I’ve left that as a single proofing of the prelude alone. After that, I’ll go over my thoughts on your plot, themes and characters, as well as how well you managed to work your crossover. I don’t know what I’ll end with yet; we’ll just have to see what happens.

I’m going to assume you’re a busy person, and don’t want to go wading through the entirety of this for a few nuggets of good advice. With that in mind, I’m starting off with a summary of areas for improvement. Oh, and just to let you know, I probably won’t mention the things I like about your fic. That’s mainly to do with time reasons: you’re here for advice, I’m here to give it and patting you on the back when it’s not needed takes up time from both of us. That being said, I’m not going to go throwing slanderous terms about the place or start calling you names, but it may come across that I hate you and disapprove of everything you’ve written. Just bear in mind that I (probably) don’t.

Summary Of Grammatical And Formatting Errors

1) Commas. You frequently fail to close parenthesis, have a love-hate relationship with the Oxford comma and don’t close off your introductory clauses. Here is some help:

http://www.informatics.sussex.ac.uk/department/docs/punctuation/node09.html

There is also one case where you use too many parenthesis (note: not the things surrounding this, but actual, grammatical parenthesis) in one sentence. To quote Pinkie, “It’s too many [parenthesis] to keep track of! Make it stop!”

I’m guessing that last one is what the pre-reader meant when they said you overuse commas because, from what I’ve seen, you actually have the opposite problem. That may be down to you starting a comma purge after the pre-reader’s comments. If so, correct it using the information given in the guide provided. (Alternatively, use Ezn’s Guide if you hate the idea of being advised by non-pony people.)
http://www.google.com/url?q=http%3A%2F%2Fderpy.me%2FEznGuide&sa=D&sntz=1&usg=AFQjCNFSvkPfz1LCNXyzkicktQagEBjQyg

2) Inconsistent tabbing/line break format. Your first doc uses line breaks to separate paragraphs. The next chapters use line breaks and tabs. The chapter after that returns to line breaks. Be consistent.

3) Wonky structure. A fair number of phrases are structured in bizarre and unmanageable ways. Just use the normal version of saying it, or try reading through the whole thing allowed. You’ll spot them when you come to them, believe me.

4) Hyphen errors. There’s a fair few times when you’ve not hyphenated a compound word. Watch out for that.

5) Missing words. Occasionally, your sentences just don’t have enough in them to make them work. I’m letting this one cover places where you weren’t clear as well as ones where you just plain didn’t include words.

Summary Of Style

Purple and stilted. I think “But the higher the cities rose, it was inevitable that the shadows they cast on the world below them would grow, and the spaces in between them began to teem with unsavory creatures” pretty much summarises it better than I ever could.

Don’t go for overly complicated descriptions in first person POV. Only weird people actually speak like this all the time, and given that you frame the story as Shepard’s transcript, I’m taking your story as his speech. That brings up other questions over how Shepard can manage to remember everything that was said and done, but that’s a side-issue.

You have a tendency to not use contractions. Don’t do that. Use ‘em for all you’re worth. Why?

Because that is what people do when they are speaking normally. If you do otherwise, it comes off as stilted and mildly robotic. It certainly gives your characters an unnatural feel to them.

Also, first person crossover with a video game, two openings and paragraphs that start off with a single word each time? Are you deliberately aping Fallout: Equestria?

Show vs Tell.

You tell, and you tell a lot. I’ve nothing against telling, btw; used correctly, it can be an excellent tool for cutting away the fat surrounding a fic and getting to the heart of it all. But that’s exactly how you’re not using it. You’re using it to clue us all in on a fairly irrelevant backstory.

Mass effect doesn’t start off with Shepard living as an orphan on Earth for a reason; your fic should follow the same logic. Take us straight to the action, please.


>Once thought to be a power, nay a foundation of order that could

You want this to be “Once thought to be a power—nay, a foundation of order that could”, or something similar.

>Even against the endless power of Time.

Sentence fragment. I’d link it to the previous one.

You have two random tabs at the start of your preface. Fix them.

>Civilizations rose and fell over the ages, friendships were forged and broken, life was given and taken, and Time proved its absolute power. With each tick of the clock, each ripple across the endless eons of time and space, the powers of Harmony dwindled, becoming forgotten, becoming lost. Those that once shared their homes and lives with others through love, tolerance and friendship, gave into petty hatreds, disharmony and chaos.

Inconsistent use of the Oxford comma. Decided whether or not you’re going to place a comma before the ending conjunction in a list (aka, and, or...”).

You’ve got some justification for using it in the first list (“taken, and time”). I’d suggest thinking about rewriting the sentence to remove the need for it.

> It was then, when the races of Equestria, the one land that valued Harmony above all else, simply vanished into the forgotten vestiges of oblivion, to forge their own paths...

Your use of commas here is unwieldy. I’m not one hundred percent sure when you’re opening and closing your parenthesis. I’d consider serious revision of this, to the extent of breaking it up into two sentences.

>Sometimes one such as Time must seek out a change of pace to sate the pains of its endless existence, for even Harmony has its entertainments.

It is not clear what you mean here. I can guess that you’re referring to the idea of Time finding Harmony entertaining, but that is not readily apparent from the sentence. There is no need to make the reader slow down and puzzle out what you’re saying here. Make it clearer.

>“I must say Worthy, this is your best work yet,”

Worthy is being placed into the vocative case here (ie, the sentence is being addressed to him), and thus you need to place a comma before his name.

>military court martial hearing

Redundant. A court-martial is a military court. You also need to hyphenate court-martial.

>was even greater a feat

“was an even greater feat”

>A simple drab uniform and dull colors, as well a few magical alterations was the perfect disguise as a common secretary.

You need a comma after alterations in order to close off your appositive parenthesis.

>Earth Pony’s

Not normally capitalised. Your choice, however. Marking it here for future reference; I will also expect unicorn and pegasus to receive capitalisations.

>to work on their color schemes, such dark and dismal colors.

Does not make sense. You need something like “which were” after the comma in order to make this sentence work. A period in place of the comma would also do nicely.

>Fashion tips would have to wait however.

You need a comma before however here.

>Luckily I found an empty section near the back and made myself comfortable on the tiny bleacher arrangement.

Comma after lucikly

>Days like this built careers that turned into legend and I had seats on the first show.

I believe you are correct in using the singular legend here. A plural version would feel more natural to my ears. Regardless, a comma before and is needed here.

>discretely to see what was the matter.

Again, what the matter was feels more natural.

>but I think it will suit you just fine

You are partially excused from this in that the mistake is one of your characters. On the other hand, unless your plot is undeniably strengthened by Booky’s neglect of a period, I would add it in.

>seeing that there was till several minutes before

Several minutes till.

>According to Earth Pony scientist’s claims,

You are dealing with more than one scientist here, and so the apostrophe needs to be on the word’s end. Here is a tip for spotting such things: Rearrange the sentence from “X’s Y” to “The Y of the X”. Thus, your sentence becomes “According to the claims of the Earth Pony Scientists”.

I will admit that your sentence still makes sense with only one scientist, but I am fairly certain that is not what you meant. Feel free to correct me if I am mistaken.

>claims, the discovery

Mistaken double space. There are a few inside this passage; I would suggest altering your preferences inside your chosen word processor in order to mark them as errors.

>but to actually have a proper copy of it and send it to me no less.

This needs rewording.

>confirming my suspicions and my worry.

Worry feels more natural here as ‘worries’. If your protagonist has more than one suspicion, then I’d expect them to have more than one worry.

>sneaky, flank stabbing little thief

Hyphenate flank stabbing.

>Only the highest of security clearance and importance in Corral Space

Only those with the highest [...]

>to this information and none of them

Comma after and.

>Even worse, he sent it to directly me, through an unsecured network to my own personal account

No to before directly. I believe you need another comma after network, though I may be mistaken. It depends on what you intended the sentence to convey.

>incessant beeping from my Omni-Tool

Missing period after Omni-Tool

>anypony that was near and allowed the connection to continue

Feels more natural as ‘nearby’, and you need another comma after and.

>or else I wouldn’t even gotten past the door.

Or else I wouldn’t have even gotten past the door.

>[Nworthy] Yo

Needs a colon after the name in order to be consistent with your previous texts.

>marshal hearing?

Un caps’d and rather confusing. I’m not entirely sure what purpose it serves.

>To be safe rather than sorry, I disconnected my connection to the intranet on my omni-tool, at least until the trial was over.

Cut the sentence off at Omni-tool and add additional information to the ‘at least until...’ clause.

>broad uniformed stallion

Broad and uniformed? Use a comma between the two of them.

>well functioning military

well-functioning

>grey in color

American and British spellings? No. Decide.

>reinforcing the idle fact

Facts cannot be idle.

>showing years if not decades of lengthy and dedicated service

You need to place either commas or dashes around ‘if not decades’ here.

>two soldiers, wearing a dully colored tunic and an appropriate scowl was

Place a comma after scowl in order to close off the parenthesis.

>The defendant glared at the pony lording over the room with a defiant twitch of their head

Their attaches to the pony lording over the room. That, and I’m not entirely sure you can have a ‘defiant twitch of your head’.

>It doesn’t even seem to be working.

Tense change. Keep it in past tense.

>Packard wait a moment for the

Waited.

>Hushed murmurs

Murmurs are, by their very nature, hushed. Redundent.

>For the record, I will now read your charges”

Period needed; also, lose the quotation marks. If the same speech takes place over several paragraphs, then no closing quotation marks are used until the end of the speech. That being said, normal rules for quotation marks before dialogue or action tags still aply.

>several counts each:

Each is not needed here, and disrupts the sentence by its inclusion. Remove.

>military personnel and civilian

Military and civilian personnel

>This court has

Caps not needed.

>Theory confirmed, Shepard is purposely sabotaging this trial.

Comma splice. Use a semicolon or period in place of the comma.

You have a double line break after the comma splice. Remove.

>Wait... You’re at THAT trial?

You’ve used no spaces after your ellipsis at all other points in this chapter. Thus, I consider this a mistake.

>a renegade with your own agenda; spitting in the face

Incorrect use of semicolon.

> “That depends, how long do we plan on being here?”

Comma splice. Use a period.

>executioners axe

Possessive, and thus executioner’s.

>Oh now this, this is good.

Comma after no.

Okay. So. That’s that.

Final Thoughts

Your characterisations feel deeply unfocused. I’ve come round to the idea that a good character should be explainable in a paragraph without reference to their appearance. I can’t really do that with any of your characters, including the ones from the show and the game.

Your backstory and world building is well done, to the extent that I partially suspect that it’s your main reason for writing this. It shouldn’t be: The world is built to serve the story, not the other way round. Don’t go down the same path as countless poorly written sci-fi novels by forgetting to include actual events and characters in amongst your world building.

You mentioned Narrative exposition in your original comment. I mentioned this in the summary, but I’ll go over it again here. A good story starts off with something that immediately catches the audience’s interest and then starts to provide an explanation for what the hay’s going on. Think of the start of the first Star Wars (aka, episode 4): Empire attacks, and only later do we learn why. The exact same thing is evident in Mass Effect itself: we start off with the attack on Eden Prime because that grabs and holds the audience’s attention.

Your story starts off with an attempt at this, but it’s far too long to do what you intend it to do. I’d trim it down, significantly. It feels slow and ponderous when it should be fast and attention grabbing. It didn’t actually feel like your story had started until around chapter two, which was actually chapter four. Slow starts are not what you want in a story from this genre. If you have based this on FO:E, then you should know that was one of the greatest critiscisms levelled against KKat. It’s an accurate one at that.

Incorrect punctuation regarding dialogue starts to crop up in the latter chapters. I’m not sure why it’s absent from the start but present in the middle, but that it is. Stuff like this:

>We’d better hurry.” Dexter called out
>hit them too hard.” Dexter observed.

Is wrong. If your characters are verbing the quoted material, then a comma or other non-ending mark is needed. Watch out for these.

>Ok Nimbus that’s cool.
>making a habit of gracing my Med-Bay Shepard,

Commas before or after or surrounding names when person named with said name is being addressed.

You comma splice a lot in the middle section too.

>Artemis has a reputation for hating Earth Ponies, thinks we are growing too fast.
>It also appeared feminine, the shape of its body outlined by gentle curves and a soft smile.

And then there’s errors with possession:

>The captains final remark
>At least somepony’s could get

Some other, rarer stuff crops up. For stuff like this:

>non Earth Ponies

You need to use an en dash between non and Earth. Not a hyphen; an en dash. World of difference.

All in all, this has a lot of punctuation errors in it, a lot of weirdly constructed sentences and a lot of times where your metaphors come across as silly and rather pretentious. You shouldn’t need to tell people how important an event is; they should be able to see that for themselves.

As for the plot... it feels like Mass Effect with Ponies shoehorned into it. Not Mass Effect and Ponies blended together; just a Mass Effect game that happens to have ponies in all the major roles. That being said, there are a fair number of times where you do diverge away from the plot. Each and every single one of them makes me want more like it. Stop using the main plot of Mass Effect as a crutch and start doing the more creative stuff I know you’re capable of.

As far as themes go, there aren’t any. Mass effect didn’t miss many chances to pontificate on human-robot relations, and given the friend-loving material you’re crossing it over with, I’d expect that to be right at the fore. I can really say that it is. At any rate, none of it jumped out at me during my read through. If it’s in there, then you need to make it a lot less subtle and a lot more obvious. You’re writing fanfiction, not professionally published works. People are not going to give you the benefit of the doubt when it comes to skill. An annoying fact, but a fact nonetheless.

As for EQD, it’s not ready, and it won’t be ready without a lot of work put into it. Judging by the number of comments you get on Fimfic, you’ve already got a lot of loyal readers. Recruit them as proofreaders or even editors and force them to edit without mercy. Go over every line that feels even slightly wrong or wonky to you and seriously consider revising it.

>>120614

Salute returned. Enjoy your adventures, Mr Horse.
>> No. 120622
May I request a neutral ground to discuss your review?
>> No. 120624
Overview.
It seems you have some overarching problems in the story in general. So many, that it would be too much to fit into a few posts. It’s mostly technical stuff, but also some plot/character-relevant things. The idea itself is just fine and definitely something that can be majorly improved with some tweaks and fixes.

Technical stuff.
Commas.
Commas. Place ‘em right. As I see it right now, they’re scattered all over the place with little regard as to where they should really be. The general rule of thumb is reading the story out loud and then see where you tend to pause. Putting a comma in that spot is usually correct. For that matter, let’s take the synopsis as an example.

>Original.
As we know everypony tells lies, at a sickbed, and the wife most of all. But a waistcoat – it can not lie.

There are a few issues here. First, the comma placement makes it sound oddly phrased. As it is, it sounds like someone’s about to explain something. “As we know everypony tells lies, we can call everyone a liar.”
Instead, put a comma after “know,” and it will say “As we know, everypony tells lies at a sickbed, and the wife most of all. But a waistcoat – it can not lie.”

Even so, (and this may just be me,) I’m still confused by the statement “and the wife most of all,” bit. Who tells the lies? The ponies in the sickbed, or the ponies visiting the dying?

“But a waistcoat – it can not lie,” can also be improved very easily. Drop “- it” and put “can not” together, and leave it be. Then you will have “But a waistcoat cannot lie,” instead. I can see what you wanted with that bit, and perhaps another reviewer can “fix” it better than me, but as it is, that is how I would leave it.

With all that in mind, I’d make it something like this:
>Tweaked.
As we know, everypony tells lies at a sickbed, and the wife most of all. But a waistcoat cannot lie.
You can read more about rules of comma here: http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/commas.htm

Awkward phrasing.
Moving on, the story itself has awkward phrasing in many, many places. Often, I’d have to read something twice to get the meaning behind it. I sort of felt I was reading something from olden times, the way your sentences look. Shakespeare-ish, almost. Maybe that’s what you were going for, but it’s simply too strange to read in these modern times.

Descriptions.
This is also a major lack in the story. You have almost zero descriptions of anything. Nothing about how the house looks, nothing about how the weather outside is, nothing about how the whole of Ponyville is looking and what its inhabitants are doing. The story is almost exclusively tell and not show, if I have my terminology right.

Plot/Character problems.

The [sad] tag worries me a bit. While the story is indeed a sad one, I simply didn’t find any sympathy with the characters. You never gave them a specific physical description, and they never got a name. All I know is that the wife is a Pegasus since she teaches flying school. And for all I know, the husband might as well be an all-powerful alicorn in disguise as a changeling or something. The lack of names makes it even harder to sympathize. I really have no reason to. They’re just two words who do stuff around the house they live in, and then one gets a hemorrhage (in the nose or something,) and gets really sick and eventually dies. Give them a name. Figure out where they come from, what their story is. What do they look like? How old are they? What’s their special talent?
Make actual characters for a [sad] story, then write the story.

Then there’s also the fact that it’s supposed to be a letter to Celestia. That’s fine, I can go with that. Yet, it is only in the very end, in fact the very last line that I am suddenly told that it’s Twilight Sparkle who’s writing. That in itself doesn’t make a world of sense either, since you point out that the wife and husband are Twilight’s neighbors, and her house doesn’t have anything around it. Drop in hints earlier in the story to tell the reader who’s writing, without telling them outright that it’s her. There was even a perfect moment to say who it was when she wanted to buy the waistcoat from the trading pony. There, you only referred to her as “Kind Miss,” and nothing else. No physical description “hidden” in the story, no name, nothing.

Overall.
You have a good idea here, but the awkward phrasing a poor grammar tears it apart like a paper in an industrial shredder. Before going into story-specific things, you need to get the grammar and phrasing right so the reader even understands what you mean. The lack of any depth in the character also makes it hard to really get the reader’s mood down from the story. It could as well have been potato chips you wrote about.

Work on it, tweak it a bit then get another review. Keep writing!
>> No. 120626
>>120622

If you're referring to the Mane Effect review, then certainly. Suggest away.

Alternatively, I retrospectively state that there's a * before the subject in my review and open it up for its own review. Feel perfectly free to call me an idiot in here if you want to.

Oh, and

>neutral ground

I feel... anxious about the connotations of that.
>> No. 120627
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120627
>>120596
>Brony in Equestria
These tend to be terrible, in fact I've only ever read one that I liked, but there's little else on the plate. I shall claim this. Expect a review on the morrow.
>> No. 120628
>>120620
It would be interesting to see how you would view Pony Effect with regards to this review, but that boat has long sailed. Alas.

(If anything, it was even more uncreative than Mane Effect was.)
>> No. 120630
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120630
>>120628

I haven't read Pony Effect, so I can't really comment. Judging by the time of publishing, though, you'd have been going up against the part of me that thought all Mass Effect fanfiction - crossover or otherwise - was irrelevant after the publication of Interstitium.

Still do, truth be told. Either way, though, I'd have probably been even more of a jackass than I was here. I apologise to your hypothetical self.

I'd offer to read it now, but I'm currently bobbing about in the pleasant waters of Divergence, and I'm somewhat loath to leave.
>> No. 120631
>>120630
Heh, it was more of a hypothetical musing than any serious attempt to get you to review it. (Although a part of me still wants more opinions.)

Have fun with Divergence. ;)
>> No. 120636
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120636
Long subject line is long...

Well, Nejin, here you go. I meant to get this typed up and posted last night—but I fell asleep, sorry. Anyway, I'm here now to present this (short) review for you.

First, I'll start with the handful of things I had a problem with. I should also note that I went back and re-read Pascoite's review of the original version to refresh my memory on the problems you had/have. From what I can tell, you've cleared up pretty much all of the problems, like weak demonstratives, and split infinitives (not that I really have a problem with them) an' such.

However, the opening bit with Twilight talking about dem bones still feels like she's speaking in a vacuum. The whole thing just feels like a barrage of observations, but without any real emotion, or action. That being said though, I don't really have a major problem with it. After all, Twilight is rather scientifically minded, so it kind of fits. I would like a bit more emotion though, just to prove that Twi isn't a robot.

Regarding the bones, it struck me as a little odd that Spike isn't the least bit interested in why they're there. I dunno, just something I noted—but not exactly a big deal.

Okay, now two small things.
Your rampant disregard for using proper em dashes irks me. Having spoken to you, I understand why you don't use proper em dashes. Frankly though, “because I'm too lazy” is a pretty shitty excuse. I don't want to sound pretentious, but if you can't even be bothered copy and paste a handful of em dashes into your fic, then why even use them? Just use commas. They aren't as strong, but they work all the same. It just bothers me to see hyphens where em dashes should be; it's just... lazy.

Now, as for the other thing.
Again, having spoken to you, I understand why you're inconsistent with your paragraph breaks. You say that, to you, paragraph break = scene break, but that's simply not the case. Yes, books may not put a blank space after every paragraph, but that's because they have to conserve space. Paper ain't cheap. Guess what is though? The unlimited space afforded to you by writing on a computer. Either always put a blank line after each paragraph, or always don't (in which case, at least indent). Switching back and forth is just kind of annoying.
Oh, and also this:
>-/-/-/
… at least center it…

So, aside from the occasional awkward sentence (usually pretty rare), this is pretty good. I liked the personification of the clock a lot. And Coracar, while kind of a bumbling fool, was an interesting character. The problem I have with him, however, is that he's there simply to be killed. Now, when I think about it, I don't really mind. But, I would change him to be a little less silly. This is tagged [Dark] but it feels more like a dark comedy when he shows up. It seems like you want this fic to be much more dark than it actually is, and Coracar's characters is just kinda silly. Sadly, that brings any darkness you had going on crashing down. Honestly though, I never really felt like this was all that dark. This feels [Semi-Dark] at best. Not that that's a bad thing though... just not what you may be going for. I think this problem stems from the lack of imagery. It kinda feels like this is a lot of exposition, but not a lot of descriptions. The story seems to be told primarily through the thoughts of different characters, including the clock (which I like, by the way), but it all feels... distant. The only time this is different, is with Coracar. Which, in turn, feels kinda weird since he's just a throwaway character. I assume he doesn't come back or anything. I'm not sure where I'm going with this, so let's just move on.

>T.............................................i.......c...k.
Like Pascoite said, this could definitely be much more powerful if just conveyed through description as a opposed to a ****load of a periods. In fact, I think that's what bothers me about The Late Clock in general. It feels like it lacks any real description and so it lacks any real punch. All the darkness you're trying to create is simply lost due to the lack of “realness”. It's hard to identify with the characters, or the situations they're placed it, when I have very little descriptions to build the scene for me.

Please, don't misunderstand me, I don't, by any means, think this is “bad”. In fact, I rather liked the story you're presenting. I really like the ending of this chapter as well... But, I just keep thinking “this could be so much better”. Again, it's not bad, in fact, I'd say it's a solid 6.5-7/10, but it could be fucking great. You have a pretty damn cool idea here and I want to see where it goes, but I also want it to be the best it can be. And right now, I don't think you're doing it the justice it deserves. Now, I don't want you to think that I'm sitting on some high horse here. I do this crap all the time. In fact, I'd say being descriptive is one of my weaker points (of many). So take it from someone who loves this idea; give this story the attention it deserves. Make it darker, add more descriptive elements, make the scene with chains shooting out of the skull not feel so “huh, there's chains shooting out of that skull... cool” and more “HOLY MOTHER OF GOD! FUCKING CHAINS ARE SHOOTING OUT OF THAT FUCKING SKULL! JESUS SAVE ME!” As it is now, nothing feels scary, not even a little.

tl;dr
Needs more [Dark], bro...
>> No. 120637
>>120620
I am relieved that finally I have gotten some deep, critical and thorough feedback on the quality of my story. I value all of the comments you managed to mention no matter how harsh you think they sounded. I pride myself on the quality of my work and my ability to correct it to make it even better. You were asked to edit and you did just that. And you did it very well.

Now I finally have a marker for where my quality lies and where I need to go to improve it. Maybe I should have found English majors instead of pych majors to be my editors! Oh well.

Thanks again, now to begin the rewrites. Blarg!
>> No. 120641
>>120627
Well it's not quite Brony in Equestria; just more simply human in Equestria.
>> No. 120643
Tags: [Romance][Comedy][Sad]
Synopsis: Vinyl Scratch is becoming a pioneer of the underground Canterlot music scene, so a "brilliant" idea from her manager sends her to Ponyville to reach even higher levels in her industry - by creating folktronica. Despite the sheer stupidity (in her opinion) of such a task, however, it isn't the only one - she must also figure out new feelings she's started to have about the pony she now pays rent to: Applejack.
But, where exactly does the line between true desires and false dreams lie?
Link: http://www.fimfiction.net/story/52334/Honest-Folk-%26amp%3B-Alabaster-Electronica

Comments/requests:
The pre-readers at Equestria Daily said:
I was unnecessarily vague during the prologue, when the reader was already aware of who Applejack is. I have comma-splices and some hyphens where I do not need them, and description of scenery can be improved upon. I’ve also given too much away at Vinyl and Applejack’s relationship where it should be more subtly implied, and my prose is not as engaging as it could be.
I have no requests as this is my first time posting to the Training Grounds and am new to the whole system of things.
>> No. 120646
>>120585
I've released it on Fimfiction, and it's been received well. I've decided to stop looking at it for a while, then look at it with fresh eyes before going and submitting it to Equestria Daily. I want to say thanks a ton for what you did, it really did help with the fic.

>>120581
Thanks for you "popping zits" on your screen. I've been writing that during a one hour gap between two morning classes, and to be totally honest it is not exactly ideal to write when you aren't fully awake and are constantly leaving it mid-sentence. I'll definitely look at what you have to say and work with it on this story.
>> No. 120659
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120659
>>120643
Don't Panic.

I'll be claimin' this little romantic tale. Don't think I've ever reviewed a [Romance] before. Should be fun...

Be prepared Honest Folk & Alabaster Electronica, I'll be coming for you guns a blazin'.

Tiny, tiny, tiny, pre-review:
The title is silly.
>> No. 120660
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120660
>>120591

Hey, no problem, glad I cold be of assistance. Hope to see your work again in the future. Keep at it!

>>120601

Thanks for doing this. I'm not the kind of person that improves without feedback, so I appreciate it. Your points seem to reflect my concerns, which at the very least would indicate that I have a good grasp of what my weaknesses are. Now I just need to work on addressing them. Grammar has always been a weakness of mine, so I'm not surprised I had a few goofs there. I think I just need to keep at it, and I'll get there. Might take a while though. Formatting is another thing. I've done it in the past, and can't really remember why I chose to forego it completely in this case. Certainly not one of my better decisions. As for the style, you were right about my timidity. I think I need to try being more assertive. Being boring is one of my greatest fears though, so I need to work on that. Oh, but I do so enjoy having goals.

Oh yeah, wanted to ask if you goofed on your math, or I was feeling appropriately bad about my D-.

Thanks again for the insight, I'll be referring back to it the next time I review. Hopefully that will lead to improvement. In the meantime, I'm gonna see about putting something in here from the other side, so as to feel insecure about a different aspect of my writing.
>> No. 120663
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120663
Title: The Chiron Paradigm
Author: TheNumber25
Email: [email protected]
Tags: [Sci-Fi][Dark][Crossover][Human]

Synopsis:

An alien craft crashes on the edge of Ponyville after taking off from Equestrian territory. Its hull is made of unknown metal, its cargo is a collection of incomprehensible symbols and messages, and the corpse of its pilot looks like a species straight from a book of fairy tales. Hidden truths are brought to light, and the peace and continued existence of Equestria hang by a thread.

Twilight Sparkle, Princess Luna and Lyra Heartstrings must choose between staying loyal to their loved ones and doing what they believe to be right, as the very foundations of the world around them are made obsolete. The prodigal sons are returning home, and the singularity follows with them.

A crossover with Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri. Set several months after the Royal Wedding and several years after the Ascent to Transcendence. Written for readers unfamiliar with the crossover universe.

Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1cxXjv9AdAXLST4mdVOH5NMqxvBddIVlDilLDfNpOm08/edit
Chapters to review: Chapter 1, the only one so far.
Word count: 9403

Comments:

So, first time posting here and first time posting anything I’ve written on the net. To whomever claims my fic: first of all, thank you! I’ve got several questions I’d like to ask, concerning the areas that I sense might be problematic.

I am not a native English speaker, so I’m sure there’s bound to be grammar slip-ups and awkward phrasing. Descriptions proved to be the hardest for me to write, so I would like to know if I did any good in that department. Next, I am worried about the quality of my characterization, and if canon ponies are in character. Finally, pacing and wordcount: I planned for the first chapter to be longer that the rest, but the wordcount exceeded my expectations. Is the pacing on the piece all right? Did the hook stick? Is there something I should remove? How purplish is my prose?

I would be grateful to have those questions answered, and I have one more request. I want this story to be the best it can be, and I am willing to do any changes necessary. So give me a strict review. Go all out. Don’t pull any punches. What I am saying here is, you can take this fic to your basement and I won’t call the cops.

So thank you in advance, I hope reading this won’t make you feel like you’ve wasted your time.

Regards,
Writer Number 25
>> No. 120664
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120664
>>120660
Actually, I did goof on the math. I rechecked it, and it comes to 41/50, not 31. Sorry about that.
>> No. 120666
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120666
>>120664

Woohoo! I got ten more Minjask points than I thought I did! I'm saving up to buy the fathead.
>> No. 120678
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120678
WHAT HAS BEEN SEEN—OR READ, OR WHATEVER—CANNOT BE UNSEEN, OR READ, OR WHATEVER.

Yeah, I think it was very wise of you not to link this directly on the site, Spark. You have certainly succeeded in crafting a very grim and dark fic. And I enjoyed it, for the most part. Let’s break it down.

Overall Thoughts

This is an effective horror story, though marred by a few problems. You do an excellent job of giving voice to your villainous protagonist, and the reader is left with a perfectly clear picture of her personality through her writings. Likewise, the other OC’s come across quite well, and are given adequate screen-time to develop (as far as they can before the grimdark gets them, of course). Crystal’s descent into madness is very chilling; her writing becomes frighteningly sick very quickly. Again, you have done a very fine job in crafting her.

It is a shame, then, that she’s in a story with such a broken plot. Yes, sorry, but it had to be said. I’m afraid there were quite a few points where my suspension of disbelief was stretched to its breaking point. Not least was the ending revelation of what exactly was causing everything. I’ll explain in further detail, but for now, have a look at my comments in-doc, if you haven’t already. I modified a lot of them from my notes after reading through the first time, but I’ve kept others just as my stream of consciousness spat them out. Hopefully, I injected some sense of humor into the majority of them.

When you’re finished, we’ll move on through the bullet points.

Plot

At the start, this seems like a great mystery. Something’s terribly, horribly awry, and the opening scenes effectively establish what the reader is in for with this fic. There are so many questions raised by the first few moments that the reader can’t help but wonder at their answers. Why is Big Mac acting this way? What’s with the bones in the closet? Good god, what’s wrong with his leg?! When Zecora hands Twilight the book, it only reinforces this sense of mystery. Why does Zecora seem to know what’s going on? What’s she keeping hidden? The reader can’t help but be drawn in.

Unfortunately, a lot of the tension evaporates once Twilight starts reading the diary. While the prologue hits the reader hard and fast, the rest of the story takes considerably longer to get going. This isn’t too bad, really—it eases the reader into the character of Crystal, and you do an effective job of keeping her writing interesting. The problem, really, is that the journal entries consume the plot. The story becomes utterly disconnected from what’s happening in Ponyville, and it takes a long while for the journal to start relating to the current shenanigans. Eventually, the reader settles into this very different story, but that’s when the first break with Twilight and Spike commenting on the journal appears, which is very jarring. More of a running commentary, some additional breaks back into the library, would reinforce that the events of the journal are still grounded in what’s happening in the present, keeping the tension higher, and give more involvement to the canon characters.

The events of the journal all follow a pretty logical progression, and I was well-invested in your OC’s—again, it helps immeasurably that you’ve given a great voice to Crystal’s character. Problems start to arise, however, once she discovers her new mind-control powers—I mean that literally, in that exact scene. You handwave it, but one must still wonder what Crystal said to convince the staff that she didn’t, say, act on her (known, thanks to the journal) violent tendencies and put Limelight’s face through the window. Even still, the sudden serious bloodying of one of their students should have raised more eyebrows than it did.

This highlights a consistent problem: whatever authority governs the University is completely subservient to the needs of the plot. All too often, it seems the characters at this place exist in a vacuum; there is no oversight on any of them, no interaction with the outside world, nothing. Once more ponies started falling under Crystal’s sway, I expected, at the very least, a formal inquiry or something. When she blatantly overthrew the minds of several individuals in front of a sizeable portion of the student body, I expected them to incarcerate her then and there. And when she started keeping them locked up for her experiments, I expected someone to investigate the disappearances. But never is there mention of how, exactly Crystal continues to fly under the radar despite these overt displays of, well, evil. You later touch on how she liked to “move unnoticed” through the University, but we never hear her using these sorts of tactics when it would make sense for her to do so—the plot just conveniently forgets her transgressions.

It forgets them again in a big way once she takes over the place. As I pointed out several times in the doc, someone ought to have noticed something fishy was happening at the University, and by “someone” I don’t mean the children. I mean the adults who run Canterlot, who must have regular contact with the University, and the Royal Guard, who would have to be on alert for anything resembling a threat so soon after the defeat of an evil like Nightmare Moon. Depicting a little more autonomy with the thralls—i.e., Crystal ordering them about their daily business to give some semblance of normality—would do wonders for this plot hole. Going further, having her deal with investigators would provide some much-needed tension.

Finally, the way this story of the long past relates to the present is… Well, I left the inflection of my comment on this point intact for a reason. I understand that this is a tall order to fill, linking so dark a tale with the still relatively-bright trappings of Ponyville, but there has to be a better way than “someone stuck a jagged rock into a child’s plaything, and that rock just happened to be filled with the remnants of an ancient evil magic.” What’s more, a lot of threads are left hanging by the end. Why does Zecora have that journal? How did it survive the end of that whole affair, anyway? Why does Big Mac have a child’s skeleton in his closet!? If nothing else, these holes need to be filled.

Okay. That takes care of the major plot issues. The few remaining niggling details can stay in the GDoc. Let’s move on to…

Character Issues

I’ll start with the big one, something that slapped me in the face while I read this: Applejack is indefensibly out-of-character in this fic. I understand what you were going for—that she’s basically sick out of her mind with worry for her brother—but the way you portray her is so unsympathetic.

First off, come hell or high water, AJ is not one to lash out, physically, at her friends. This goes doubly for Twilight, whom she regards as one of her closest. She can, and has, gotten perfectly mad at her friends, but never to the point of actually hurting one of them. That simply is not in her character, and throwing this contradiction at the reader right off the bat is not the way to get them to wonder what’s going on. All the reader is going to be pondering is, “Why the hell’s AJ being such a stupid bitch?”

Which brings me to the second point: AJ seems… well, dumb. Not even counting the fact that she’s fixated on Twilight despite only circumstantial evidence of her involvement, she insists on the whole thing being a prank when she has to know (1) Twilight isn’t the type to pull something like that, and (2) a child’s skeleton in the closet is cause to cry “MURDER!”, not “Prank!”. Furthermore, she seems to be overly superstitious when it comes to magic—in any capacity. She’s been around unicorns before, so she knows the sorts of things they’re capable of, Twilight most of all, and yet she still seems to treat it with all the stigma of witchcraft.

Again, I understand how you were attempting to portray her, and I think it’s a perfectly reasonable characterization, given the circumstances. The problem is, you need to show more of the anguish she’s going through, rather than her anger. As it is, her naked aggression just serves to make her unlikable. I’m not saying she can’t be angry, but there needs to be more hints of her inner conflict. You can see a good example of what I mean near the end of the prologue; when AJ turns to drive Twilight out of the room, the reader has every hint they need to see why she’s acting in this fashion, and can sympathize with her grief.

Now, a much more minor note about Twilight: I’m afraid she doesn’t have much of a character in this fic. She mostly just serves as a reactionary viewpoint to everything that’s going on, without getting much say in herself. She mostly just shies away from AJ’s hostility, gets sad at stuff, and then gets handed the journal, setting the real plot in motion. This would be fine if she offered a few more internal monologues or other comments on the situation, but that doesn’t happen nearly often enough. This sort of thing would also help break up the journal segments, as I suggested above.

BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD Gore

All right, now we get to the fun stuff. This is, indeed, a fic that would please almighty Khorne. Or no, thinking on it, it would probably please Nurgle more… Ah, I digress. In my opinion, I think you handled the gore fairly well for the most part. A few descriptions run on a bit too much, though.

I mention in one of my earlier comments about the “Gory Discretion Shot.” This is where the visceral reality of a scene is deliberately avoided in favor of something more ambiguous. Done properly, this can be even more effective than if you just straight-up describe exposed bones or (heh) eyes melting like cooking eggs. What you want to do is write just enough for the reader to concoct the horror for themselves.

The trick is to describe it entirely from a character’s perspective, and to use sensory action to its utmost. The reader becomes more immersed if you do it this way, as they become drawn into the character’s experiences. The way most of your gore scenes are written, it’s merely describing what’s there. This creates an ugly image in the mind of the reader, but if it’s something they’ve seen before (like I have), then it’s not quite as effective. To truly drive home the horror (and slip through site rules) you need to leave as much to reader’s imagination as possible.

It is a fine line, however, and it might be a little tricky to do it from Crystal’s perspective, given she’s writing in both first-person and ex post facto. The key in this case, I should think, would be to use some of her more clinical vocabulary in describing what happened. This would paint perhaps an even more disturbing portrait of her—that even when faced with the agonizing end of another sentient being, she can’t help but be overly analytical about it.

All in all, though, I don’t think the gore ever overtook the overall narrative. You do spend perhaps a little too much time on your nastier descriptions, but the focus is always more on driving the scene forward. Now, if you spent paragraphs describing every horrific detail, every iota of pain, every bone-breaking, flesh-tearing, blood-spewing moment of a pony’s end… well, that would please Khorne, but would be a lesser story.

Conclusion

I think I’ve pretty much run out of things to critique and/or detail here. Suffice it to say, if I didn’t touch on it at all, that part’s good. Your writing mechanics, for example, are solid apart from what I pointed out in-doc. Really, most of the fic is perfectly fine—like I said, I enjoyed it overall. There are a few things to hammer out yet, but otherwise this is a great start.

If you need clarification, have questions, or would otherwise like to discuss things further, well, you have my email. I hope this review was helpful, and I look forward to conversing with you in the future.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have nightmares to attend to.



YOU SICK person.
>> No. 120680
>>120678
Ah, there you are. Have you checked your mail recently? I sent one, but you haven't answered. Perhaps you were simply occupied with Spark's fic.

In any case, go check your mail if you haven't. Cheers!
>> No. 120691
>>120680

Sorry I let you slip through the cracks, mate. I've sent you a reply email and I've added a few comments to the doc.
>> No. 120692
>>120579
I see you already have this reviewed by Seattle.

Please address his comments and come back when you're done.
>> No. 120694
File 134867057838.jpg - (3.27KB , 224x224 , images.jpg )
120694
Title: Overshadowed
Name: Ink Blotch
Email: [email protected]
Tags: Slice of Life
Synopsis: For most of the their lives the Shadowbolts have practiced to one day be allowed to perform in Canterlot. From flight camp to performances the three have worked hard to obtain their dream even sinking so low as to help a prospective dictator. But when push comes to shove can the team stick it through?
Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/16uHyO2YpFHpVgQtXyr2USmEgulmwv_EYAtM93yUmjHc/edit
Comments: This is a story that I am determined to make as close to perfect as possible. It would probably not have gotten to its current form was it not for reviewers on this site. I just wanted to say thank you to alll the reviewers on the site.
>> No. 120695
Title: Vision
Author: GaPJaxie
Email: [email protected]
Tags: [Dark], [Crossover], [Adventure]
Synopsis: Siren Song, faithful student of Princess Celestia, has heard rumors that the Princess once had another student, a unicorn by the name of Twilight Sparkle. She leaves Canterlot to seek out her mentors former pupil, but her journey soon takes her to the bottom of the sea, and into a world of wonders and horrors she couldn’t possibly imagine. A Bioshock spiritual adaptation (not direct crossover).
Link (Chapter 1): https://docs.google.com/document/d/13wdSctVvP5lrSbcY3zuPl73H2hLvYZwhKNuze0QEz6g/edit
Link (Chapter 2): https://docs.google.com/document/d/17CnaB8NlABaNQ6Dpno4-IMICTD-5TmuwU23nJtdZduI/edit
Comments: I’m looking for a regular reviewer who can help me touch up this fic as it continues. This is my second fic (after I Forgot I Was There), and I feel my abilities have a writer have greatly improved since then. I want my second fic to be a giant leap forward in quality, including more aggressive editing and reviewing.
>> No. 120696
>>120636
Thanks again, mate! It was really nice chatting with you during the review session, too. Lucky to catch you red-handed, so to say!

In any case, the problems (as I see you present them) TL;DR'd for easy viewing:
1: Opening scene is slightly robotic.
2: Formatting/Dashes/Scenebreak/various such things.
3: Lack of descriptiveness.
4: Lack of [Dark] worthy stuff.

Okay, first of all, it feels good to know I've successfully purged the badness from v1 as well as can be done.
Problem #1 will likely stay that way unless I invest major amounts of time here. Frankly it's the least problem at the moment, and I don't see a good way to avoid it - neither do I think it's all that bad of a move to make. It will make more sense later.
Problem #2 is something I'll have to take care of in time, but this is something I'm going to simply have to do in one fell stroke while editing all of the story. The main reason that these issues are so prevalent in this story is, I believe, due to the fact that the entire writing and editing process of this story (both the initial v1 as well as v2) was Very Rushed.

This also is the core underlying reason for most of #3 and #4 as well. When I wrote this it was an explosion of ideas in my head, that I just wanted out. It probably skipped a few swag filters on the way, so we're missing a bit of imagery (in my opinion that's something I usually do pretty damn well, if not over-detailed) and somesuch.
You did well to notice that the only time I actually go deep into imagery is in Coracar's segment. This is because of just that. It was the only part where I actually sat down and thought out something, and then had to struggle a bit with how to word it, before I got it down. I'll have to do that over with the rest of the story, to get details down to pin.

I will work on making Coracar a bit less comedic, but honestly, that's a big part of how I thought him. A bit like Cicero in Skyrim. Fun to watch, but Celestia help you if you get his mind spinning in the wrong direction. Who said he was a throwaway though? Huehuehue

I will work on the imagery and all related SPEEDWRITAN issues. I'll see if I can get Turn 2 out within some reasonable timeframe as well. In the meantime, thanks for your help!
>> No. 120701
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120701
>>120696
Well, I'm glad you that you appreciated my review and were able to take something away from it. I think I'm 2 for 7 on acknowledgments, so it's good to know that at least some of the authors bother to read the reviews I, honestly, spend quite a bit of time on.

As for the comparison of Coracar to Cicero. I can sort of see how they're similar, but the reason it worked for Cicero was because he was so goddamn unsettling. Just talking to him was disconcerting and it was so heavily juxtaposed with how he dressed that it made it all the more unnerving. Coracar, on the other hand, just looks like a fool, and talks like a fool. He doesn't have the same disturbing air about him. Take a look at what meeting Cicero for the first time is like:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NN4F4TUK1K4
Then take a look at what meeting Coracar is like.
>Coracar the Macabre, Grandmaster of Alchemy in the Collegium, adjusted his monocle as he rolled onwards on the dirt road leading into the settlement.
Sure, he does have the title "the Macabre" so that's kinda cool. But he doesn't really seem like he deserves that title, at least not from the little we see of him. Maybe later on (if he comes back) he'll become more creepy/dark/unsettling/more adjectives, but we don't get that sense from the first impression. Cicero, however, we get that he's a psychopath from the first couple of lines.

My suggestion? If you want Coracar the Macabre to be like Cicero (or at least similar-ish) then make him more, well... macabre. By the way, if he actually does come back as like an agent of the Clock or something, that would be pretty damn cool. Just saying.

Anyway, just want to reiterate that I do like this story quite a bit, and that I love [Dark]... so make it darker.
That is all.

I doubt you'll read this far, A. Tuesday, but if you do, know that we're gonna have a lot to talk about regarding your fic, Vinyl Scratch and Applejack Fall in Love Because, Eh... Why Not?.
>> No. 120704
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120704
>>120678
>Summary of points I get out of this
-Applejack needs to be more "sad" and less "violent". Doable.
-Twilight might need more to her character. I'll look into it while fixing Applejack.
-Zecora needs better rhyming in places. Rhyming is hard. I'll try anyway.
-There need to be more appearances by Twilight/Spike as they're reading to show reactions and keep both plots connected.

-The guards and the Princess need to show some kind of effort into an investigation of the situation. Originally, I meant for this to show how apathetic Crystal is to being discovered that she doesn't notice and/or doesn't feel the need to write about any investigation besides the children. After a few reviews, I see that just doesn't cut it.
-Similarly, the surrounding countryside needs more panic.
-Problem spots for the graphic descriptions are noted. I'm planning on creating an alternative set of docs for the "soft" version of the story, just to allow for any further reductions necessary and at the same time preserve the current writing.
-Similarly, I AM A SICK pony

-Oh, and the guards outside Applejack's house are similar morons. They might frankly get cut when it's all said and done.

Overall, thank you for the extensive review (and for getting back with it so quickly). I'll either email or reply to your comments with any further questions or comments I may have.


>pic
Honey Comb and Crystal Shard, in case you were curious. And because I'm bored and figure a picture is called for on an image board.
>> No. 120708
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120708
Name: pludrpladr
E-Mail: [email protected]
Tags: [Normal][Will-be Grimdark][Will-be Sad]
Synopsis: Discord is broken free from his stone prison, aided by a handful of ponies who see the wonderful thing in chaos. He rethinks his plan and comes up with something even more sinister: corrupt Celestia.
Will Equestria survive this plan, or will it burn to the ground, collapsing in its own disharmony?
Links: Prologue: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1I31q2WA35FHLoWDCx2HzYCaFarTrrLmm82b5wCZL2Dg/edit
Chapters to be reviewed: Prologue.
Comments: As Belligerent Sock has run out of things to say, I'm resubmitting it for another view just to be clear he or I haven't missed anything. Also, I've got a cover picture for it now.
>> No. 120709
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120709
>>120695
Well well. I did a quick skim. You have come quite the long way, I see.

You know what that means, of course—your reviews get taken up another notch; you get less leeway; expectations are higher, and you now get shredded on style, pacing, immersion, sentence structure, poignancy, and all those lovely things spared those who still have to focus solely on basic grammar.

Is your body ready?

>review by tomorrow
:3
>> No. 120715
>>120709
BRING IT ON!
>> No. 120720
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120720
Hello there, oldest story in the queue! You're in luck--the wait isn't long at all nowadays!

What's that? You're a comedy short?

You'll do nicely.

P.S. I didn't read the not-a-review that somepony did for you, but I glanced over it, and yes: Your synopsis sucks.
>> No. 120724
File 134869506635.png - (1.08MB , 1024x728 , aerial assault.png )
120724
[Adventure]
Wings, Magic, and Friendship combine to rule the skies.

Against impossible odds and armed only with skill, wit, and faith in each other, these two little ponies will honor their duty to defend the kingdom against a relentless enemy. Together, the fastest flyer in Equestria and the most powerful unicorn of her generation will show the world the meaning of Equestrian air superiority.

Rainbow Dash once bragged that she could clear the sky in ten seconds flat. This time, though, she's clearing out more than just clouds.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1k_McYWXvjELViJfSpZ0Yc7YLtBYYUCTXPWejCAS_TqY/edit

Prereader comments: http://pastebin.com/bi6kmZu8

I've edited out specific nitpicks that I already covered.
>> No. 120729
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120729
>>120720

Not sure what to say--most of what I consider important advice has been covered by comments and such. Your Trixie character is fun, and the idea of her mercilessly abusing the poor OC is fun, but this isn't without hiccups. For example, the OC's cutie mark makes no damn sense.

You can also see many specific places where I complained about your word choice, idioms, etc. These things are, in the end, personal flair that you'll have to develop on your own. You have some nice jokes and descriptions thrown in too. Like I said--all personal.

Some of your scene shifts are odd. In particular, you cut away from something and then cut to a scene that humorously shows how it's resolved. The problem is that the scene you cut to doesn't necessarily show immediately how it's linked to the other one. Imagine you were seeing the same moment on TV. A situation happens, then you timejump forward to see the results, right? Well, usually, you would see what's going on in the first 3 seconds. You need to achieve the same effect for those jumps to not be disorienting.

Mostly, though, you need to work on two things.

First, your title and synopsis. They tell me nothing. They are awful. You have interesting stuff going on, so put that into your title and synopsis.

Second, your grammar. It's not The Worst Possible Thing but it's a mess. Watch dat tense and dem structures. What Seattle and I commented on re: commas and dialogue punctuation is one thing, but your actual fumbling of verbs is a lot more problematic. I'm not an old-school grammarian, so I didn't point everything out because I don't always know how to explain it in technical terms. Keep an eye out for where you use past perfect when you shouldn't, for starters. Beyond that, you need a harder-core grammarian than me.

Feel free to reply and to reply to comments and whatever; I'm completely willing to talk about stuff.
>> No. 120743
File 134870806208.jpg - (61.68KB , 535x354 , DrCaramel.jpg )
120743
Tag: [Normal]

Synopsis: Doctor Caramel, Chief of Medical Staff at Ponyville Hospital, thinks he's in for just another hectic day at work. At first, he's right on the money; another day of keeping the staff in line, of tending to ponies in A. and E., and of stopping the mad ones from wrecking the hallway. That is, until he has to deal with a rather peculiar patient on Inspection Day...

Links: http://www.fimfiction.net/story/23350/Doctor-Caramel
Chapter One: http://www.fimfiction.net/story/23350/1/Doctor-Caramel/Doctor-Caramel
Chapter Two: http://www.fimfiction.net/story/23350/2/Doctor-Caramel/Professor-Muffintop
Chapter Three: http://www.fimfiction.net/story/23350/3/Doctor-Caramel/Nurse-Halo
There's also a fourth chapter currently up as well. It would be great if you could tackle it (and if you genuinely want to do so), but I'm probably pushing my luck with the wordcount as it is, so it's strictly optional.

Password: DoctorateOfOsteologyAndOfBadasseryS2E16

Word Count: 12770 (3515 + 4322 + 4933)

Comments: This doesn't need a particularly detailed analysis, as the story is still in its early stages. I need a review to tell me whether I'm on the right track, and to pick out any stylistic gaffs or errors ahead of time.

The usual technical checks would make a neat baseline -- punctuation, grammar, syntax, and so on -- but what I would also particularly like to receive is feedback about characterization, worldbuilding, and pacing. To put it in brief:

Is the character of Doctor Caramel convincing and engaging? Any secondary characters that are fine or need work?

Does the hospital come across as a place that isn't simply set up for the story (i.e. appears dynamic and realistic)? Are there elements I put into this story that work or don't work?

Are these introductory chapters fine in setting up the main events, or do they drag? Any unnecessary padding I need to know about?

Any reviewer can apply. I don't need a line-by-line; a brief summary of the main concerns will suffice for now. I also don't mind if you bring your own opinion of how enjoyable (or not) the story was to you, but this is not necessary.

Thanking you in advance! :)

Please note: I write in British English, as it's the form I'm most comfortable with habitually.
>> No. 120744
File 134870863294.png - (9.96KB , 210x240 , surprise.png )
120744
Title: Hunt and Toll

Tags: [Sad] What else would I write?

Description: Torn from his old life and quite suddenly designated as a guardian of death, one pony is forced to take on a task he never asked for. In this lonely existence with only the company of his teacher, death seems to dominate the world—but will this pony let it define him?
Perhaps, if he looks close enough, it isn't all bad...

Links (includes both Chapter 1 and 2): https://docs.google.com/document/d/1q6nYFmNenxPmoKpq85dvMMPrYF28ALWJjCSF6PfAV6E/edit
Chapter 3: https://docs.google.com/document/d/100FWAv91FMdWuVXHmWDYtvLovllqLsPtBBbTjycdYU0/edit

Words: 13100

Chapters to review: 1-3 [1 and 2 have already been reviewed, I don't expect them to give you as much trouble]

Comments: Mostly looking for pacing problems. I'm sure I've messed up other things, but pacing, especially in chapter 3, has been giving me trouble. If, at any point you find yourself becoming disengaged, mark it and comment. If you feel any one moment didn't last long enough, comment that as well. I'll probably have more questions for you when the review is done.
>> No. 120745
>>120743

P.S. I notice there's a date on the Training Grounds Queue where the chapter numbers should be for my fic. Just so you know, it wasn't deliberate. I swear I put in 1-3, and I don't know how it went from there to 1/3/2012.
>> No. 120746
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120746
>>120745
Fixed
>> No. 120747
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120747
>>120709
Ugh! I wanted that. Curse you college! Curse youuu~

Might read it anyway... it sounds awesome, and Bioshock is great source material. But I've actually found time to preform my edits to my own work.

> spiritual adaption
Stealing that line for my own work, as well, based on Casca's suggestion that it doesn't fit the [crossover] tag due to its scope of original content.

Sage. Resume lurk mode.
>> No. 120748
/me pokes the queue

>Door number 1: Novella that's already been through ponies more qualified than me
nope.

>Door number 2: Crossover that I don't know
nope.

>Door number 3: Shortie about the Shadowbolts
Sure!

>>120694

Considering the fact that you've already done some polish here, I'm not totally sure how useful I will be to you. My usual thing is structure, word choice, you know.

Still, I know it's reassuring to have more people look at your stuff. I'll try to read it as a reader and then give my detailed thoughts before going through and trying to pepper you with comments, mmkay?
>> No. 120754
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120754
>>120641
I'm sorry. I've been trying to review this for the past three hours, but there's been a movie on that has been distracting me, so I might be a few more hours than I had planned. You're right, it's not a brony in Equestria, so I'll be curious to see how this turns out.
>> No. 120756
>>120748

I stopped leaving comments and read through to the end for a simple reason: I would just be harping on the same things over and over. You've got obvious derps like missing periods at the end of sentences, on top of some very consistent problems with commas. Having someone highlight your every error is a job I don't wish on anyone; I would advise you to do something about learning commas--find a guide online perhaps.

With that unfortunate business out of the way, let's move on to something that actually matters more than just boring grammar shit.

Your story is rather dry. I already pointed out some show-don't-tell moments, and you just generally need to work on making this something more than it is. In the beginning, I don't know or care about anything going on; all I know is that we have three Wonderbolt wannabes flying a training course and trying to improve their track times. I also don't get how they "live in the Everfree" and "nopony knows that they exist." Like... that doesn't even seem possible. I'm sure you know what I mean.

So they're the Shadowbolts, which means nopony knows who they are? What a misuse of the way they are in the show. They're just three ordinary ponies despite apparently being associated with Nightmare Moon.

The scene with Derpy just feels like filler. She shows up, and she's fanon Derpy, but why? She just delivers a letter. It's distracting and completely useless.

Then fully HALF of the story is just storytime with two old friends. I don't know why you thought this was a good way to tell this story. It still doesn't tell me why they're the dark and edgy team who lives in the Everfree, it doesn't build drama, it doesn't give us a "twist" as a payoff for reading through the foreshadowing and build-up that you haven't done. It's just infodumping.

I find it hard to even explain the ways I don't like this story. The technicals are a mess, the prose is clumsy, the premise is nonsensical, the actual progression is dry, etc etc. The getting permanently rejected is the only point in the story where anything actually happens. This fic is boring as hell!

You know what would've been interesting? Starting with the little episode about the fella falling because of the scratch on his wing. Then the story would be about how these three met and decided to be a team. Then you could talk about why they live in the Everfree, then you could give us some build-up and make it matter to the reader when they're devastated by their third rejection letter, then you could give us that nice emotional ending of one of them flying off and another finding them sitting at a place that's special to them. The story of how they met and how they worked towards a goal has potential. The way this story is structured right now, you just focus on a bunch of crap that I have no reason to care about.

The standard send-off for a negative review is this: Keep writing. It's important that you take that to heart. Having someone hate on your story doesn't feel good, but it's part of the whole thing. As long as you're still writing, you're learning. Maybe you want to re-write THIS idea, or maybe not--the important part is that you write. In fact, I'd encourage you to set this aside and try something new--a fresh start can be intimidating, but it can also be liberating.

"I wish you luck in your future endeavors," as it were.
>> No. 120757
>>120708

Wow that's really short. Also, it's the last one in the queue above mine aside from the two that I declined tackling for reasons.

So I guess I'll read this. Again, I'll try to read this as a reader and then give thoughts, rather than peppering you with gdoc comments.
>> No. 120759
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120759
>>120724
That synopsis is awesome. I'll claim this. Expect review tomorrow evening (eastern time).
>> No. 120760
>>120757

Comments left in-doc. You decide if you're satisfied, or if you'd like it to stay in the queue for someone else to look at.

Beyond the comments I left, the one bit of advice I want to give is that you should give the organization a bit more flavor. These are followers of Discord after all. They're fucking chaos cultists. Here, they seem more like revolutionaries or terrorists.

You could stick with a flavor of just sinister and anti-Celestia, I guess, but if it were me I'd draw on some of the following examples of "chaos cults."

Call of Cthulhu-esque crazies with their ritual scarring, babbling in tongues, drawing disturbing shit all over the place, etc.

the Starved Dogs Barking from Planescape: Torment. They believe that truth is found in utter chaos. You can join this faction by acting like a complete idiot in front of one of its members, then asking him to join his organization after he imitates you for a while. He then punches you in the face. If you hit him back, you are rejected. If you laugh hysterically, he says that you have already been a member for a while now.

The "fun cultists" from Oglaf. If you don't know what that is, go to oglaf.com and go back a decent ways. Warning, this is NSFW of the very highest degree. I would like to link you to where you should start reading from, but the comic is all nudity and sex humor so really I'm not stupid enough to link it here. Basically, they like to dance around wearing stupid outfits and have sex with whoever's standing next to them, and they have a really stupid looking god, and they spread lies about the right way to defeat it because they think it's hilarious when adventurers get killed by it.

The fact that your current cultists are just kind of evil and scary detracts from the story's pony-ness, which is something you always have to watch out for. At some point you're going to want to remind us that this is My Little Pony by making Canterlot out to be this great shiny city of magic and wonder, like the Emerald City perhaps. If your villains are dark and decidedly NOT pony-ish, you're already losing points on that.

Your writing is fine. Wordings and such that I didn't like were rare enough that I think I'll let them stand rather than dumping my opinion all over those short few pages.

Good luck with the rest of the story.
>> No. 120765
>>120760
Thank you very much, kind sir!

I left in (and replied) to one comment in the story, about the brotherhood thing.

In light of the comments left in your post, I'd like to say that it's only the prologue, and much can be expanded on. I plan on having them do a ritual in the next chapter, making the perfect opportunity for crazy outfits and facepaints to be put in. I'll read up on those you gave examples of and perhaps merge some of the traits in with something of my own.

Thanks for the review!
>> No. 120767
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120767
>>120704

>rhyming is hard

Let me introduce you to my new best friend: http://www.rhymezone.com/

You'll get used to it. Just remember that it isn't just about making words that sound the same. There's, well, a rhythm to the way Zecora speaks. Say her lines out loud.

These two things, plus some amateur background in poetry, have made writing Zecora as one of the main characters in my own fic vastly easier and better (though still not perfect).
>> No. 120773
>>120743
I'll be taking this. Been some time since I reviewed, so I might be a bit slow.

(Also, you posted FimFic links, which means slower process of review anyway.)
>> No. 120780
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120780
>>120695
Right, well. Hey /fic/, this author has graduated. Since he dropped his first story amongst us, this person has learned, practiced, and now, he is ten times the writer he was. I will be watching him from here on out with considerable interest, and I recommend you all take a look at his work.

Anyhow, review and stuff.

Alright, well. Let’s start out with addressing your remaining chronic grammar issues. Namely, semicolons and dashes, and the occasional dialogue tag miss. Now, you should well know by now that em dashes have no space around them, unlike en dashes, and can be used not only for appositive structuring, but sentence breaks as well. Thus the superiority of the glorious em dash, so stop fuckin it up. ;)

Semicolons. You have a much more serious issue with their lack, rather than their misuse. These can be a thorn in even the experienced writer’s side, so if you don’t feel really comfortable with them, best to just leave off and split up your independent clauses with full stops. Still though, play around and get used to them; they’re pretty handy things.

Which leads us to comma splices. This is not something you’re stepping right into terribly often, but you have a LOT of sentences that *should* be a comma splice, but you’ve structured the wording so that it’s technically not. What this leaves you with is a lot of sentences that are overextended thanks to the tense you’re keeping. The fix requires either a change in punctuation, or an alteration of wording and/or structure. Take this:
>It glints in the moonlight, a glittering drop of seawater running along the inside of the blade.
See, this would be a lot stronger, and far more fluid, if you did this:
>It glints in the moonlight; a glittering drop of seawater runs along the inside of the blade.
This is your most systemic issue, and as such I’m not going to be highlighting every instance of such in-doc; I’d like you to pick up on this yourself.



Now, let’s talk execution. In the opening, you’re playing an angle that you can take a lot more advantage of, and it will deliver a solid impact, IF you can pull it off effectively. So take the structure you already have (by this I’m referring to your two-sided handling of your character perception, where we go from detached and clinical, to personal and emotional) and really heighten that disparity; the clinical’s good, so sharpen the personal. It’s the most powerful focal point of your opening, and everything from immersion to character exploration to pacing is central to it.


Your segments of intermittent flashback would be much stronger, and more technically accurate, if written in past tense.

After she regains consciousness, after your stylus break, you have a solid two and half pages of pure info-dump. The facts that it’s delivered via sensory exploration and is properly broken into paragraphs only mitigates this issue so much. It’s well constructed, but it drags. I suggest you take a couple of those non-essential paragraphs and cut them from that scene, weaving the necessary exposition into later actions. The attack on the ship segments, that’s the hook that is going to keep your reader reading through Siren coming back into the world. You need to sharpen it, make it more visceral. Give them something to really sink their teeth into.

Now, your character. Siren is a lovely little brat. Her personality is drawn slowly from a blank slate, and you feed the reader a line here, and a quip there, till by the end of chapter one, we have a somewhat fair notion of her. My concern is that she’s a bit too… flat. Too predictable at that point. I’d like you to see if you can give her a bit more flair, a bit more depth. Sharpen her vulnerability, her well-bolstered ego, and if she’s as cynical as she claims to be—SHOW it. If she’s hiding her fragility and terror out of embarrassment, never miss an opportunity to paint that contrast!

Aaaaand that’s it for now. I’m afraid I don’t have time to get to chapter two atm, but I’ll be leaving comments in doc for you tomorrow. Cheers mate, congrats again, and keep writing.
>> No. 120781
>>120743
Gonna just go stream-of-consciousness here, I can't comment.

>frowned at the x-ray photo and pinned it to the whiteboard for inspection.
Right off the bat, you already misused a medical term. Doesn't bode well for your fic. It's called an x-ray film.

>OK, sometimes the magical resonance imager went blip at the wrong moment, or the red room failed to light up the LED that warned ponies to stay out, but those were more like mistakes than lies.
First, it's okay.
Second, magical resonance imager? While I get the not-so-subtle wordplay for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), but it comes off here as contrived.
Thirdly, your phrasing here comes off as simplistic. Something a fifth-former would write. Things like "red room failed to light up the LED" does not sound very... well, like good writing.

>Ponies could lie, though. They could, for instance, tell him that they had done their exercises every morning.
You're trying for the House MD angle, aren't you?

>He knew Nurse Redheart didn't approve of his sit-back-and-wait approach. She would insist on each patient under her care filling in a report each week, if only to make sure they were taking their sugar lumps.
A bit of a drastic change in focus here.

>She was a reminder of a not-too-distant time, when emergency aid meant setting up a tent in the town square and wheeling out the beds from supplies. Any nurse who wasn't quick on her hooves back then was not a good nurse - indeed, was not a nurse at all as far as she was concerned.
I have to question how much you know of emergency medicine here. There's more to it than just wheeling out beds.

>Rapid Response Redheart
What... is this?

>He stepped forwards again, realizing he was only going to block the corridors as he was. Carefully, he traced the branching bones of the pegasus wing with the tip of his horn. He squinted at the white marks, and magically nudged his glasses closer to his eyes.
And whiplash back to the present. You really need to mark these transitions better.

>There had been a staff meeting yesterday.
And another abrupt scene change, I'd stop here and say you need to learn how to transition your individual scenes better. As it is, the pace is jerky and the story awkward to read.

>He'd caught them at it simply by passing their wards once or twice. Like this morning, for example, when he'd walked passed the geriatric ward and happened to catch a few words.
And another tangent. There's no coherency to his thoughts, it appears. Also you're jumping back and forth in time willy-nilly that it's impossible to keep track.

>The fracture ran lengthways along the bone. He checked the neighbouring alular bone to make sure there wasn't another hidden line. Sometimes the crack ran the full length of the wing, and that could complicate things. It would strain his Canterlot training to the limit if he had to deal with a full-wing fracture.
Sigh. You need a scene break. Or something. Following the flow of your story is getting to be tedious.

>Doctor Caramel wasn't from Ponyville. He'd journeyed there from Canterlot long ago, when he'd learned that employment opportunities for doctors had dried up in the capital.
... what. How does this relate to the previous paragraph?


Hm, I think I'd need to do a proper line-by-line in a GDoc. Perhaps tomorrow.

To be continued. In the meantime, perhaps some things for you to think about.
>> No. 120784
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120784
Sorry for taking so long. I procrastinated and whatnot. Normally this would be okay, seeing as most reviewers take more than a few hours to look over somepony else’s work, which I have no idea as to why because I tend to catch the same amount of stuff when I do what I always to as I do when I read much more slowly, but I’m rambling now and I did promise it to you yesterday at this point, and I even spent some time chatting on MLPchan and in /gala/ here.
In short, I dun goofed, I’m ashamed… and here’s your review:

Mechanical Errors and Stuffs
Almost all of your sentences consist of “I did this, with this, and then this happened, with an occasional addendum”. It’s almost telly, and is very clunky. Well, your introduction, anyway. After that it seems to clear up, which begs the question of whether or not it was intentional.

And… that’s really it. I have nothing more to say as far as mechanical errors are concerned. I was going to point out more, but every time I went to make a comment, there was something in the story indicating that said error was part of the story.

Actually…

> Well it seems to me that this will be a prime opportunity to teach you the pony way
First, that wording makes it sound like a cult. Second, why would he be open to this, since he’s not a brony? Third,
> You are going to the session even if I have to take you there myself. Otherwise you are disowned from this group
When did he join that group? I thought he wasn’t a brony.

You definitely have Show vs Tell down pat. A notable example:

I kept my mouth shut.
“I mean, I wouldn’t think it’s such a bad thing. Well, I know ponies are involved, but, um, that doesn’t remove anything from the...”
Shut.
“...the gameplay? Yes, I think that’s...it. Plus you would be able to play around with the awesome stuff!”
Closed tightly.
“Arachne sounds like a pretty cool thing. Or whatever it was called. Arachnid? Aridnid? Um...”
Not a word.

Well done.

What I thought of it
Despite the fact that I picked this up solely for the dark tag and was somewhat disappointed to see no dark in it until I realized that I had only read the first chapter at this point… I kind of liked it. You’ve managed to give me some characters to look at, and while I only remembered three other than the narrator, I’d say you’ve done a bang up job on them.

Chapter Two
And more weird and funky writing. This has got to be some sort of plot device, I know it.

I noticed the odd sentence here or there, but other than that I found the second chapter to be quite enjoyable. The ending reads much like the classic opening to a videogame, however. Clearly this was your intent, but it follows the usual: Wakes up in unknown place. Strange being welcomes and speaks to. Asks questions of ‘where am I?’ ‘what am I?’. Questions are answered. Memory loss is determined. Name is provided, sometimes after more time has passed.


Overall, not bad, although It’s strange because somepony tried to convince me it would be like Inception or something. I guess with the whole going under thing but it would actually be akin to the matrix if anything else. And you even made that reference in the first chapter. I still see very little dark in this, however. I hope you’re going to add that in the later chapters because, while this was good as an adventure story, it was very disappointing to somepony who had been expecting dark.
>> No. 120785
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120785
>>120757
Agh. I had wanted to take that one. Oh well, a minority reader can't be too picky. I'll take the HiE fic. It looks promising.
*Summons The Chiron Paradigm* (>>120663) Pray you don't disappoint.
>> No. 120786
>>120785
Awesome. Already prepared the giant tub of ice cream.
>> No. 120787
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120787
>>120780

Eeeeeeee!

I'll keep my comments here brief. We'll have a chance to talk more over Chapter 2, and hopefully in the future if you're interested in regular reviews. Thank you for your kind words, and for your detailed breakdown of my recurring issues. While it's always helpful to get comments on specific scenes (particularly the stuff in the beginning), I really appreciate the criticisms and observations that will help me be a stronger writer in the future.

Sadly, tonight, I will be busy, but I hope to address your comments on the structuring and tone in points of Chapter 1 by tomorrow. If you're interested, I'd love for you to take a quick scan over it and see if those key points have improved. You're not the first person to point out the early Chapter 1 infodump, but I've hesitated on breaking it up. Learning to do that properly will be a big help, I think.
>> No. 120789
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120789
>>120784
>does review in 2 days
>calls himself slow
Your work ethics and mine need to meet up for tea some time.

Just so that this post isn't a complete waste of space, let's do some review feedback.

>>120678
>Hopefully, I injected some sense of humor into the majority of them.
Humour is optional, but it's a good effort and usually well appreciated. Snark, not quite so much. As long as you feel comfortable with it, i.e. it doesn't interfere with the most important aspect - pointing out flaws/giving advice - then you're good.

>RE: plotholes
They sound like pretty big gaping holes to me, which means you're getting the point across well (where someone completely unrelated can pick up on what you're trying to convey).

>The trick is to describe it entirely from a character’s perspective, and to use sensory action to its utmost. The reader becomes more immersed if you do it this way, as they become drawn into the character’s experiences.
This is what I say in about 70% of my reviews. I approve of this heartily.

>RE: everything else
Well-reasoned, you've obviously put thought into analyzing each aspect you brought to attention, and none of the general advice you gave stood out as blatantly wrong. Good job.

>>120624
>Awkward phrasing
>I sort of felt I was reading something from olden times, the way your sentences look. Shakespeare-ish, almost. Maybe that’s what you were going for, but it’s simply too strange to read in these modern times.
Just want to say that awkward =/= classic. Shakespearean prose would, I guess, be florid but not necessarily hard to understand, seeing as most of his work is stage plays, and that was meant for the common people, with lines that the audience had to get on the first run for the play to be effective. Awkward/difficult phrasing is where the idea or meaning behind the sentence is obscured either by poor word choice and/or structure. Which you've pointed out, fair enough. I'm assuming you put comments in doc to give the author examples.

>Make actual characters for a [sad] story, then write the story.
This is good, and sums up the main issue of sadfics in the fandom overall - all "sad" and no character.

>>120620
>I’m going to assume you’re a busy person, and don’t want to go wading through the entirety of this for a few nuggets of good advice. With that in mind, I’m starting off with a summary of areas for improvement. Oh, and just to let you know, I probably won’t mention the things I like about your fic. That’s mainly to do with time reasons: you’re here for advice, I’m here to give it and patting you on the back when it’s not needed takes up time from both of us. That being said, I’m not going to go throwing slanderous terms about the place or start calling you names, but it may come across that I hate you and disapprove of everything you’ve written. Just bear in mind that I (probably) don’t.
I rather like the professional vibe you've got there.

>...Just use the normal version of saying it, or try reading through the whole thing allowed
I think you want "aloud". ;)

>“But the higher the cities rose, it was inevitable that the shadows they cast on the world below them would grow, and the spaces in between them began to teem with unsavory creatures” pretty much summarises it better than I ever could.
>purple and stilted
Well, stilted, definitely, though I'd call that waxing philosophical more than purple.

>Don’t go for overly complicated descriptions in first person POV. Only weird people actually speak like this all the time
This nails it right on the head, however.

>You have a tendency to not use contractions. Don’t do that. Use ‘em for all you’re worth. Why?
>Because that is what people do when they are speaking normally. If you do otherwise, it comes off as stilted and mildly robotic. It certainly gives your characters an unnatural feel to them.
Eh... I'd argue that in narrative, one shouldn't use contractions, seeing as you want to keep the prose part formal, but for dialogue, one should use contractions, unless the person speaks in proper or has a speech quirk.

>Mass effect doesn’t start off with Shepard living as an orphan on Earth for a reason; your fic should follow the same logic. Take us straight to the action, please.
I think this is more of an infodump/word relevancy issue than show vs tell, which comes up mor on the description spectrum of things rather than plot sequence.

>Civilizations rose and fell over the ages, friendships were forged and broken, life was given and taken, and Time proved its absolute power. With each tick of the clock, each ripple across the endless eons of time and space, the powers of Harmony dwindled, becoming forgotten, becoming lost. Those that once shared their homes and lives with others through love, tolerance and friendship, gave into petty hatreds, disharmony and chaos.
>Oxford comma
Rather than the comma, I'd berate the author for using so many words to say nothing in particular, heh. Because really, these lines are harder to digest with little payoff in terms of enjoyment.

Also, the plural form of hatred is not "hatreds".

>was even greater a feat
>“was an even greater feat”
I wouldn't call the first instance wrong, merely pretentious.

>to work on their color schemes, such dark and dismal colors.
>Does not make sense. You need something like “which were” after the comma in order to make this sentence work. A period in place of the comma would also do nicely.
I don't have terminology to back this up, but the "which were" feels optional to me. Artistic license? Flow? Implied attribution? Can't really explain it, but, well.

>everything else
Sounds good, and you've given a nice, broad analysis of aspects at the end. Judging by the examples you've quoted, good job for managing to wade through those weird sentences until the end. Nicely done.
>> No. 120793
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120793
For you, the day alexmagnet graced your fic was the most important day of your life, but for me—it was (A.) Tuesday.

Okay, now that I got that obligatory reference out of the way, it's time to review Applejack and Vinyl Scratch, Huh? Yeah, I Don't Think Anyone Has Shipped Them Before, So I'll Do It! Calm down, I'm not saying what you have here is bad. It just feels like you wrote this because you thought to yourself: “AppleScratch? Eh, why not?”.
>basically, this story is derived from a compilation of short stories about weird shipping couples I had planned to do, but never got around to.
Oh wait, you did...
Now, that in itself is not a bad reason to write a story. But the novelty of an odd ship will only carry you so far. You have to have an actual plot with conflict and a resolution to make a story. I'm hoping that you already thought of how this is going to end, so that you can build up to that point.
>I'll add character tags as this goes along and I develop it (if it even goes anywhere),
*Sigh *
(If I'm being too sardonic just know that it's not personal; this is just how I am.)

Okay, so, first off I would suggest you stop writing any further chapters until you've done two things:
1. Fixed the first two chapters
2. Figured out how you want the story to end. You don't need to plan everything out in detail, but at least know what you're working towards.

I'll start the actual review with your synopsis (because it definitely needs some work).
>Vinyl Scratch is becoming a pioneer of the underground Canterlot music scene
From what I can tell it seems like she already has become a pioneer. Maybe you should change your synopsis to reflect that.
>so a "brilliant" idea from her manager sends her to Ponyville to reach even higher levels in her industry
See? She's already a pioneer. This (what should be a new) sentence also is unnecessarily passive. Instead of the “brilliant” idea sending her to Ponyvilly, Vinyl should be the one doing the action. (Passive = subject being verbed. Active = subject verbing)
>She heads to Ponyville, based on a “brilliant” idea from her manager, to reach even higher levels in her industry.
The active voice is almost always preferable to the passive voice because it less wordy, and it's, well... more action-y. Now, that's not to say that the passive voice is never useful. It's just usually the less preferable option. There are plenty of examples of your use of passive voice throughout this fic. I'll try to point some of them out as I go. Also, take this link. It'll explain active vs. passive voice better than I can.
http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/active-voice-versus-passive-voice.aspx
>Despite the sheer stupidity (in her opinion) of such a task, however, it isn't the only one - she must also figure out new feelings she's started to have about the pony she now pays rent to: Applejack.
Lots of things here. First, don't use parentheses in narration; use commas or em/en dashes instead. Second, hyphens are not the same as em/en dashes. You can't use a hyphen to denote a pause or an interruption. Generating em dashes (em, because they are far superior to en) is easy: Alt+0151.

There's a free one. No, no, don't thank me. I'm just doing my civic duty. I should also mention that had that hyphen been an em/en dash instead, it still would've been incorrect. There should be a period after “one”, not a comma or a dash.
>I have feelings for you.
>I have feelings about you.
See how odd the second one sounds? That's what it says in your synopsis.
>new feelings she's started to have about the pony
Kinda weird, right? You should probably change it.
>But, where exactly does the line between true desires and false dreams lie?
Generally, it's is regarded as bad form to ask questions in your synopses that aren't also answered in the synopsis.

So, over 700 words and we're just now finished with the synopsis. Having fun yet? Good. Less' go. Totally didn't steal that joke from Pascoite...

I'll try to be brief when listing and describing the grammatical errors I found. I'll find one example of an error, greentext it, show you how to fix it, and move on. I seem to keep writing mammoth reviews, so I'll try to cut a lot of it down. Expect to see a bunch of links. A bunch of links.

>A pearl white hoof rested on the polished ledge, the blood pumping through it faster than the butterflies could race around her stomach.
All right, here goes. This sentence is weird because of the dependent clause. It just sounds really... weird. First, I would remove the “the” before “blood” because it's just unnecessary. Then, I would scrap the rest of the sentence because it's just awkward as ****.

>not’ve
Not a real contraction. I can afford some artistic license when it's in dialogue, but in narration... eenope. Same things goes for this:
>In all honesty… no,
Ellipses do not belong in narration (almost) ever. Dialogue, sure. But only use it when a character trails off, not for every instance where they pause. You frequently use ellipsis in narration, and too often in dialogue. I suggest doing a mass culling of them from your fic. In my opinion, descriptions are more powerful than ellipses anyways (not always, but the majority of the time). Oh, and this:
>None of ‘em.
No...
Actually, I'll use this to talk about a big point I wanted to bring up. This fic is written in third-person limited, but I think it would be much better if it were in first-person. They way it's written feels like it's Vinyl's thoughts, even though they're not direct thoughts (ie. Italicized). Either try out first-person or make the narrator sound less like Vinyl. Moving on...

All right, quick discussion on direct addresses.
>“May I help you miss?”
Since “miss (Vinyl)” is being directly addressed, she needs to have a comma before her name. Like so:
>“May I help you, miss?”
Simple, yes? Next point.

>The DJ spun every which way,
>The unicorn stopped in mid-step,
>voice that the DJ was doing everything in her power to rid herself of
>The alabaster pony took a large gasp of air in,
>The unicorn sighed.
>The unicorn was on her hooves in the old hotel
>the tangerine mare
Okay, this is something that nearly every ponyfic writer does in their fics, until someone tells them how ridiculous it is. Lavender Unicorn Syndrome is where amateur writers feel that just repeating a characters name over and over again is repetitive. (no, amateur is not an insult. 99% of all fanfic writers are amateurs; it just means that you don't write professionally.) So, instead they start using meaningless adjective descriptors. Now, that's not to say that you can't describe characters, but calling Vinyl “the DJ” all the time doesn't add anything to her character. We already know she's a DJ. Here's a link on how to avoid LUS:
http://eznwords.tumblr.com/post/21010451863/ellyewess
There you go. Ezn's a cool guy, he wrote a good guide, blah blah blah. Just read the post; it's a very useful resource. Actually, you can also read this to. It'll cover pretty much every aspect of fiction writing.
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1xemG7BLk2rvAmQCREIaj5wX2ubvmVt7WziEvh7xXV9g/edit?pli=1
It's also got “Don't Panic” written in big, friendly letters on the cover.

I won't bother greentexting any of this, but you have a lot of places where you tell me something rather than show it. This is extremely prevalent in the first chapter, where you basically spell out the story for me. I'm not the greatest at explaining show vs. tell, so I'll give you another link in addition to Ezn's guide, which also covers show vs. tell.
http://jerz.setonhill.edu/writing/creative1/showing/

Let's talk about your plot (ha!) now. You've certainly got an interesting ship here, but that's kind of about it. First off, you give way too much away in the first chapter. I feel like I pretty much know everything that's going to happen without having to read the rest of the fic. Second, the first chapter is also pretty heavy-handed. The “prologue” feels more like an epilogue than anything. That's not to say that you can't start at the end and then flashback to the beginning, but you can't make the ending actually feel like an ending. You're practically wrapping everything up and giving away the fact that Vinyl ran away from this “Cotillion” rather than just have her waiting at the train station without us knowing why. On the other hand though, you act unnecessarily vague when talking about Applejack since, in the synopsis, you already told us who Vinyl fell in love with. It's a fine line, between effectively showing the reader something, and being unnecessarily vague. However, this really falls down to style. I can't tell you how you should write your story without it just turning into me writing the same story. The best I can suggest you do, is read a good book. See how professional authors do things and learn from them.

Okay, as for the rest of the story, I can't really say much since it's so damn short. Having Vinyl move in with Applejack is an interesting way of going about it though. It's not completely original, but then again, no idea is. I can at least say that this didn't feel clichéd to me, just kind of boring. Your narrative is just not very engaging and I find it hard to put myself in Vinyl's horseshoes. But, it's a novel ship, so you should at least be able to get some mileage out of that. You'll need an actual plot to back that up though. So far, it just kinda seems like “Vinyl moves to Ponyville, meets Applejack, falls in love, runs away, end.” Then again, not much has been written, so it's hard to judge. Also, why is Big Mac going to college? That seemed really odd, and it serves no other purpose than for him to be gone so that Applejack can rent out his room. He could just as easily have gone to visit family for awhile.

One last thing: remove some of your tags. This story is focused on the romance between Vinyl and Applejack, therefore it should be tagged [Romance] and pretty much nothing else. The [Sad] tag is admissible if you really want it, but remove [Comedy] at least. Unless you're telling a story that's main focus is to tell jokes, then it shouldn't be tagged [Comedy]. The occasional comic relief moment does not qualify you for a [Comedy] tag.

To summarize:
You've got a novel ship, but the actual writing needs a lot of work. You've got a few grammatical errors you need to work on, as well as some stylistic issues. However, this is by no means the worst thing I've ever read/reviewed. It's about on-par with the average fanfic. But, the fact that you came to Ponychan seeking a review is a good sign. It means you're looking to improve, which is just... awesome. I love doing what I can to help writers bring their vision to life. So, I think that with some revisions and a bit more practice, you can make this something you can be really happy with. Keep in mind though, I am, by no means, infallible, nor have I ever claimed to be. Take everything I say with a grain of salt and draw your own conclusions; don't just blindly take everything I say for granted.
If you want some proof that I've been in your shoes, then go look up “Days of Their Lives” on FiMfic. That was the first fanfic I wrote, and it's godawful. It embarrasses me to know that I wrote that. But that's all part of getting better. I came to Ponychan just like you and got a review. I was basically told that my story sucked, but it didn't discourage me. It made me want to improve, so I did. I've still got a lot of room for improvement, but the quality of my writing has increased substantially since then.
Anyway, I hope that just because I didn't particularly like your story doesn't mean you should stop writing. If you like writing, keep doing it. Always seek to improve and better yourself. Good luck, and godspeed.
This is alexmagnet, signing off. Good night, A. Tuesday.
[?]Also, stop using alabaster so much...[?]
>> No. 120815
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120815
>>120586
Posted: 9/24
Author: Writer's Block

63,000 words? comeatmebrony.jpg

Between school starting back up for me and turning my schedule upside down, and trying to find time to work on my own story, I can't promise any consistent work times, but I will work on it, and you will get a critique. It will be as exhaustive as I can make it. I will dig as deep as I can. I will consume this story, and it will become the better for it.

It's just a matter of time.
>> No. 120816
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120816
>>120784
Thanks for all that, Minjask. It's good to see that the errors are far and between, and so those errors you have identified are a big help for making this much better.

Also, I'm sorry there was a lack of dark in there. The dark I had intended probably won't even appear until halfway through the finished story. I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it nonetheless. :D
>> No. 120817
Claiming Stars & Stripes... I guess.
>> No. 120819
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120819
This looks like it could be fun. I certainly haven't read anything like it in a while. So read I shall.
>> No. 120820
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120820
>>120819
And... the queue's empty again!
>> No. 120823
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120823
>>120759
>>120724
Not much to say here, this story didn't have much wrong with it. I liked it.

The majority of my review is in comments in the doc.

Most of the story is at a breakneck pace. I can see why the prereader said it could be fleshed out more. Go back and look through the story, figure out a moment or two that you think deserves more attention and slow things down. I think when RD realized her wing's about to get shot is one such spot.

The airship could use some more description. I understand it looks like a galleon, but I didn't get a whole lot more than that. This caused some confusion when you talked about the engines. Make it clear that they can only be damaged from above the deck earlier. You can also use this to make it sound more intimidating. Go overboard (heh heh) a little.

Also, something bugged me just a little. Did you explain why Twi and RD had no backup? I understand RD is the best flier and Twi is the strongest unicorn so they are natural choices for a dangerous mission, but why no distraction? Or why couldn't Celestia just send a battalion after the ship? These are plot holes that could easily be fixed with just a few sentences of explanation.

And dude, it's totally shipping. Add the tag.
>> No. 120824
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120824
>>120816
Sorry, but as soon as I saw that pic I knew I had to do this.

sage
>> No. 120825
>>120815

I can understand that, believe you me. I look forward to seeing you when we meet and I wish you luck.

(P.S. Arby I've not forgotten you if you're wondering; I'm working on it.)
>> No. 120826
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120826
>>120817
I see that you've gotten two reviews in the comments section of your story, but the last time you updated the chapter was yesterday. Could you query me in the #fic IRC (linked below) or PM me on Fimfic when you've finished editing?

http://derpy.me/k-nm2
>> No. 120828
>>120826

I'm still editing, and may end up doing a complete re-write of Chapter 1.
>> No. 120830
>>120823

Glad you liked it!

When I went over this myself, I thought that the actual battle was too short. There's the triple kill, then the deck battle, and then the climax. That's it. I've added a quick paragraph and a half describing Rainbow Dash taking Twilight for an initial strafing run before the "artillery shell" moment.

I think I'll also extend the first dogfight past the quick moment that it is now.

There is a problem with this, however. I can only get telly with describing how great Rainbow Dash is at evasive maneuvers once.

I don't know how I'll describe her flying through crossfire a second time without feeling like it's chaff that could/should be cut. This story has already had 250ish words cut from it from its original form. That's just how I roll: I slash and burn my writing, on every level from cutting whole paragraphs down to streamlining individual sentences.

>no backup
Truth be told, I didn't actually think about that originally. Would a crappy, token excuse do? Let's see: Twilight and Dash are already said to be the first ever to pull this off, so they're the only fighting force that could be sent in undetected. Warships would never be able to hide inside an evacuated hotel.

>shipping
THAT IS SO NOT MY INTENTION! Rainbow Dash's crush was originally a gag! The only reason it turned into a sappy "power of friendship" thing is because of how the climax of the battle turned out!

I don't want people to be turned off from this thinking it's a sweet little Twilight/Dash shipfic. Then again, maybe that'll gain me more readers than it'll lose?

Anyway! I have high hopes for this being EQD-ready after a round of revision, and this doesn't even look too hard! Thanks for your good review.
>> No. 120838
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120838
>>120830
The thing about the shipping in this story is that it's romance in its raw form: nothing more than two personalities becoming so well synced they harmonize. You're not trying to ship them at all, they're shipping themselves by spending so much time together and learning more about each other's personality than any other pony could. Ever read Quantum Castaways? ( http://www.fimfiction.net/story/27429/Quantum-Castaways ) The two main characters in that story are in a similar situation. The author has the same dilemma as you: he has (well, had, according to some recent comments) no intention of shipping. The characters just became so dependent on each other to drive the story that a reader can no longer see them as individuals.

You want to cut the shipping part out? That's fine. The biggest offender is Twilight's kiss at the end. Yes, I know, a kiss on the cheek (especially between mares) is often a harmless display of care, but your audience is a bunch of 16-23 year-old guys. They won't take it as a friendly kiss, especially with those shipping goggles on. Plus, you have RD make that comment about "not sure if friends" and she has something she has to tell Twilight... it's just too much. You're going to have to sweep the legs out from under that ship to remove it from the story.

>Would a crappy, token excuse do? Let's see: Twilight and Dash are already said to be the first ever to pull this off, so they're the only fighting force that could be sent in undetected. Warships would never be able to hide inside an evacuated hotel.
The key part there is the "undetected". If you want to explain that it's a stealth mission, that makes sense. Say why a stealth mission was chosen, though. This ship apparently poses a HUGE threat, so the safest action I figure would just be to meet it with an army, or send in a decoy to draw defenses away. Twi and RD did a crap job at stealth, but then again, RD was never known for being sneaky.

Also, when I say to 'slow things down', I'm really most interested in what the characters are thinking as opposed to extravagant explanations of aerial maneuvers. How you handled RD when Twi removed the spell to cut off pain was pretty good. Sprinkle that around a little.
>> No. 120845
Eh, if the queue's empty, we'll have to do something about that. Already put it in another review thread, but it's taking some time to be picked up, so I might as well put it here in the meantime.

Title: Twilight's Odyssey

Tags:[Adventure][Alternate Universe]

Synopsis:In an Equestria where Discord never was, and the Pony Princesses never came to power, a young Twilight Sparkle loses her family in a crowd during the Summer Sun Celebration. Little does she know that her very existence is about to set a series of events into motion that won't just take her further beyond the borders of Equestria than anypony before her, but will also change the fates of both the nation and her life, forever.

Word count: ca. 10, 000

Link to prologue: https://docs.google.com/document/d/15RWgwnet0E9gYxktp_T8z36QnTT92K3in-RR2n_PZWU/edit

Link to chapter one: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1-2Uchk_Vxwr1i4NB8ZlJMNAp81LVb4whEaKUtsLdw84/edit

Comment: EQD pre-reader had this to say:

"Dear author,

I am currently unable to recommend your work for publication on Equestria Daily. Please see below for details. Note that the character > denotes a quote from your work.

Specific Issues:

Em dash mistakes.
Dialogue tagging mistakes.
>looking around confusedly // This is one example of incredibly awkward phrasing, also indicative of serious show vs tell issues.
Avoid question marks in 3rd person omniscient narration. Attribute these directly to a character, and italicize accordingly.
Keep punctuation within quotation marks.
Ellipses mistakes.
Capitalization errors, especially with titles.
Compound hyphenation mistakes.
Avoid parenthesis; stick with commas or em dashes for appositive construction.
>On queue // Homophone confusion.

-----

Well, you’re working an interesting premise here, but you’ve got some work to do to bring the execution up to par that the tale you’re trying to weave deserves. I suggest you get yourself some reviews and an editor to help you work through things. This is strike one of three.

Check out EQD’s Editor’s Omnibus if you are unfamiliar with any of the noted issues.

Best Regards,

Pre-reader ********"

I think most, at least the most obvious, errors have been fixed, but certainly not all of them.

Thank you in advance!
>> No. 120867
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120867
>>120781
Right, I done and finished all your chapters, though I only done line-by-line for the first chapter. They are mostly representative of your systemic errors and you should be able to pick up your other mistakes from here on.

Let's get this straight. My first impression wasn't good. With your obvious misuse of medical terms, it sort of betrays a lack of research. This isn't an impression you want to present to your readers.

Without further ado, here's the first chapter in all its GDoc glory:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1o9JxYbbJyIX8NFbLJimaOCiEUUssnqvyaBvivySDSwM/edit

Technical wise, I think you need no help on how to place your commas, periods and em dashes. So, what I will touch here are your general style, story and characters.
Style.
Simply put, I think your writing is letting you down here. Various awkward phrases, odd word choices and occasional simplistic writing all serve to drag your story down. On this, I cannot help you much, save that you should read more and expand your vocabulary. Getting an editor would also help smooth things along. You seemed to have avoided LUS well enough though, so cookies for that.

Description is sparse, but you seem to improve from the second chapter onwards.

Also, parentheses? Bad. Kill them all.

Story. In your first chapter, I think you tried too hard to establish a backstory and personality for your main character. Which led to a lot of unnecessary info-dumping which absolutely killed the pace of your introductory chapter. Those flashbacks and flashbacks of flashbacks during a simple reading of an x-ray film was tedious to read and follow. Not only that, the exposition you tried to weave into the story is about as subtle as a bull in a china shop.

The second and third chapter flowed better, because you actually concentrated on the present and presented the necessary information in a way that does not intrude on the reader's attention. I would say your third chapter was the most enjoyable in this regard. Your jokes was hit-and-miss for me, but at least they're not referential or intrusive.

Character. Doctor Caramel comes off as your average joe or everyday man stuck in a crazy hospital. Not very original, but he isn't too obtrusive either. (Except for his odd comments on nurses.) There were times when I felt he acted less like a doctor and more like an administrator, though this is probably intentional.

As for your secondary characters, we don't get to see them enough to have a feel of their personality, though Nurse Halo was a refreshing breath of air. I like to see more of her.

Setting. This is where I had the most problems. It is clear you have some idea of how a hospital work and some medical terminology, but not all of it. Although understandable from a layman's point of view, it kind of annoys me when people refers to x-ray films as photos and so on. Do try to get your technical/medical terminology correct. Research is important when writing and even more so when you're going to write about a technical field.

That said, I do enjoy how you portrayed some of the hospital settings, especially the Magiatric Ward. It's a refreshing take on MLP's healthcare system and does well to portray the occasional zaniness of the setting.

Misc.
Also this phrase:
>It all looked very medical.
Kill it with fire. Seriously.

tl;dr Surprisingly enjoyable, though still littered with writing derps and odd word choices. Rather average characters for the moment.
>> No. 120880
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120880
>>120789
Yup. Watch, I'm gonna do it again.

>>120624
Hello? Was a review requested? Here we go, then.

Evaluation of the story
You provided a clear knowledge of the story, and how to fix the various mistakes scattered throughout it. I can really tell that you know what you’re doing. 19/20

Grammar/Punctuation
You only had one or two errors that I could pick up, which is generally acceptable due to the uneditability of posts, but I never give out a perfect ten unless it’s earned. 9/10

Praise/Criticism/Advice
There was little praise to be had, but perhaps the story was bad. I cannot say. You did offer plenty of advice when pointing out mistakes, so you get marks for that. 8/10

Format
Clear cut and well organized. I like it. It even flows nicely 5/5

Style
Eh, not much seasoning to be had here, I can’t really give you much. 1/5
It’s sometimes fun to add a little personality to a review. This is