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120802 No. 120802
#Reviewer #IC

Hi! This is the third editiion of the Applejinx IC review thread! In here, we take on a variety of fics that attempt in SOME way to use the mane cast realistically to the show, and we respond AS the mane cast, in character, talking about our depictions in your fics!

Applejinx's writing is at http://www.fimfiction.net/user/Applejinx (please do not discuss works not suitable for ponychan, here. A mature version of this review thread can be found at http://fim.413chan.net/fic/ if you dig for it)

This is a popular thread so let it stay mostly to writers wishin' reviews, and our IC responses. Remember, we cannot predict what will find favor. We've seen weak fics be charming, OC-led fics feel like canon in mood, well-written fics fail to have a heart- the worst that will happen is you get brushed off with a few words, but we can no longer assume ANY genre is truly off limits. (except clop: not on ponychan thanks!) If it's intended to be in-character and canon to the show, it's fair game! For crossover, assume we will neither know or care what the crossover is.

Let the ficcin' commence!
Unspoiler all text  • Expand all images  • Reveal spoilers
>> No. 120812
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New thread eh? Nice. I'll be back later with a fic I'm working on.

>Might delete this post when I do, for space issues, but I doubt it would make much difference.
>> No. 122659
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This WAS a popular thread ;) looks like the queue is mighty open! Been letting it sit quiet as I worked on 'Dashie's Foaling', but Season 3 is coming up and I reckon it's time to get it in gear again! So, thread OPEN for business!
>> No. 122696
I would give you a story, Applejinx, but someone else is currently reviewing it. I would love to get your word on it later though, if you're still open then.
>> No. 122715
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This IS the third thread- you can count on me, and searching for Applejinx in /fic/ threads will bring up the previous ones and show you what this thread style is like. Thought it was a good time to start things up for the upcoming season and the creativity that will spur!

Ow. Spurs ;P
>> No. 122719
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Hey Jinx! I heard you were kinda checking the story out anyway, so I'd love to get one of your trademark-look-overs on the whole thing!

Growdup CMC do stuff mostly each other
And oh my god I actually finished a story! Fuckin' woot.

Uh... you might wanna keep Rarity away from this one, heh.
>> No. 122752
Yknow, I have to say, it's impressive; to read your latest, an then one of your earlier works, an not how far you've come with writing. That's definitely something of note.
>> No. 122753
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Hello! You called? I... Oh!

Darling, you must not mistake decorum for morality. I am looking over your creation, admittedly at first to gauge whether I must caution you about ponychan content ratings- you're rated 'teen', and I suppose that must suffice as a benediction. We shan't refer too explicitly to... acts... here.

What we can talk about are matters of tone, and while I cannot claim to always maintain a consistent tone across all works in which I appear, particularly those of our host, I must draw your attention to a few details nevertheless!

We've got an interesting adaptation in your work, dear, for it is prone to the silly pratfall (plotfall?) and in the first chapter alone, dear Sweetie flings a pillow, I fling a sewing machine, Sweetie flings hot coffee, and there is much Three Stooges-like abuse of hapless ponies for the sake of a gag- and yet, it does not read in the least as if the point is these gags. It reads as if the point is to wallow vicariously in the sensual pleasures of Sweetie and her little friend- well, not so little any more, are they? I well remember that age. My, yes.

I rather think the entire fabric of the story is a hotheaded, wild, mad, teen-pony, in fact. Such goings-on! It's like a Warner Brothers cartoon, only with everybody being part Pepe Le Pew. The pent-up pony sexuality is a steamy cloud that hangs over every little detail! I am more than tempted to try and hire you to write fashion advertising copy, darling. "The dress's satin contours will lovingly sheathe every quivering inch of your elegant... taut... flank..."

But I digress!

>fans self

I see we have escalated to a wretched redneck brawl between Applejack and Rainbow. I confess I did not see that coming, though it certainly offers the opportunity for the Crusaders to feel their old bonds again- though it seems they were feeling each other's intimate regions whilst both aroused and dismayed? I fear Sweetie is a chip off the old block as far as her capacity for perversity, though I'd caution her to control its expression... meanwhile, Rainbow Dash is a drunken Wonderbolt. I would like more warning of such things: while the tone of the piece clearly states that such goings-on shall be going on... I'll say it. It seems arbitrary. I haven't got the faintest idea why they are physically attacking each other, nor do they, I'll warrant. It is what one does, in this story, so I'm at a loss why anypony minds at this point. Let them tumble! That couple assuredly plays rough anyhow...

>eyes widen...

Darling. We are going to have a little discussion about tone. I suppose it's just as well it is I who's tasked to have it, because I'm not sure Rainbow or Applejack would be quite the mare for the job...

This is not a 'teen' story, for all that it's flagged as such. It is a 'mature' story longing to drench itself in sex and violence, and barely restraining itself by the narrowest possible margin. This is a clopfic, darling, in its secret heart, and I shall tell you why.

It's not even that it is drenched in sensual lust. It is that it does not develop a narrative towards a conclusion. I am given to understand that the entire progression is towards the union of these three young mares in spectacular filthy transports of lust? I am all for filthy transports of lust in their place, but they are literally that, a transport, not a destination.

I've seen no changes in any of these girls, no changes in anypony. I've glimpsed a sordid and violent relationship between Dash and Applejack and assume it continues, I've seen Sweetie maintain a sordid and chaotic relationship with Scootaloo and glimpsed a kaleidoscope of different little moments, from violence to mane-brushing, and I have seen Apple Bloom introduced into the thick of it and watched certain specific intimate acts as clearly as if you'd said them outright- but I do not know what changed in their hearts, or whether any of them had changes of heart in any sense.

My sense is that they are not listening, any of them. They are all rough and simply filled with lusty passions and the tapestry of their lives is full of piquant details, but like the AppleDash relationship depicted, they are in a rut- even as they, ahahah, rut! Nopony is listening to each other. They are sex-maddened trolley-cars rumbling along determined tracks, intersecting and colliding, unaware even that they are so trammeled.

And every one of them seems to think everypony else is a herd of blasted idiots- which is very 'teen', to be sure, but it also holds up a wry mirror for the wise. When everypony in the world is clearly an idiot but you, it is wise to step back and ask, '...and am I, too, in this world? And thus- another idiot?'

Perhaps if they self-examined and saw fit to leave their trolley-tracks of self-satisfaction, they'd build up wants and ambitions and wonder about things and develop more momentum in their story.

When they are so trammeled, you see, everything seems like a cliffhanger because one can sense they are only going to smash blindly into each other again. You know just how they will act, and they do not react in any event, and thus there are more sexy train-wrecks to gawk at.

If they GREW UP, dare I say it- and I hold your Dash and Applejack to that as well, emphatically- then they could develop ambitions within the uncertainty of not knowing what each other might think, they could begin to realise that they do not really know each other after all, and the possible range of future events expands.

It expands to the extent that the characters are able to wonder- to know that they do not know- and it encompasses the space made by the inquisitiveness of all the characters in the story.

If your Applejack and Dash had not been simply having a drunken brawl that would lead to nothing more than their desire to revenge themselves upon the CMCs- if they could not simply shake it off but had to negotiate a new way of being with each other- then the range of the story would open up as the CMCs in turn would be forced to find new ways to see them.

And nopony does- it appears I am simply shocked and offended by their debauchery, that Applejack and Dash have nothing but alcohol and other debauchery to look forward to, that indeed it is a slice of many rather sordid and seamy lives. The discovery of Apple Bloom in the conclusion is not really a departure. It is simply bringing her into focus in the same life that's been depicted since the beginning.

I challenge you to move beyond this in other stories- use that ability to immerse the reader in a life, and then GROW THAT LIFE. When it is sordid, find the parts that dismay, and teach the characters to change and live differently! Give them the hard knocks they so blithely suffer, and have the consequences linger and haunt them! Every single wretched debacle casts a long shadow, darling. They make up the fabric of one's life, but one does not simply wear fabric like some drape or toga, one cuts at it, sews it, crafts it into a DIFFERENT thing and this I do not see your story doing. No events leave a lasting impression, it is raw fabric throughout.

Who is forced to change because their experiences cannot be borne? You follow that pony, and watch their changes ripple outward, changing the others. How they see the world is what changes- where they sleep at night and who they sleep with can be a matter of much less import than who they are while doing it!

Thank you for the, ah... interesting tale!
>> No. 122825
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Alright, this might be my first time submitting my fic for a review here on ponychan, but without advice on whether or not I'm portraying the canon characters well or not, I cannot make progress.

So, here goes.

Link: http://www.fimfiction.net/story/37699/The-Kingdom-of-Heaven-and-Earth

Title: The Kingdom of Heaven and Earth
Tags: Adventure, Dark

Synopsis: When the past rears its head and ancient enemy arises, Princess Celestia must send her most faithful student, Twilight Sparkle, to a long and dangerous journey. Together with her friends, Twilight Sparkle must travel to the forgotten lands beyond Equestria’s borders, in order to save her homeland.

One thousand years full of schemes, tragedies and betrayals are unraveled as six ponies dive into the history of Equestria and their whole world, determined to defeat the shadow of the past.
>> No. 122885
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DUDE. A cloud isn't just a cloud. There's, like, a lot going on there. I guess you're not a pegasus and also have never seen one- I could introduce you around maybe? You should get out more.

Or maybe you should be staying in and drinking a whole bunch of coffee, 'cos your writing's starting to drive me nuts. I'm bored with everything in this story which I guess is cool and all, but I can see why I'm bored because everypony's droning on...

>Twilight decided it was time to hold that previously skipped break from before now, and joined her friends who had already gathered around the table to enjoy the brunch that had been laid on top of it. As usual, the Pies had outdone themselves, but that did not mean that the scones Rarity had prepared with her younger sister were bad. In fact, since the ponies knew that they had been the result of the combined efforts of the sisters, they tasted twice as delicious.

Yeah, can't fault you for steadiness, but... look, there's a thing called flow, okay? If I was doing an aerobatic routine like that they'd kick me out of the SKY. You gotta do some flips and stuff! What are you, that Data guy from Star Trek, not using contractions? How can Pinkie possibly ever say
>Speaking of that, what is Spike’s sub-species, anyhow?

...yeah, I'm zipping ahead to get to where stuff happens, and there's Shining Armor explaining something, and BOR-ING...

I'm done. Later!
*Applejack runs up*
>> No. 122889
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Rainbow Dash! That was jes' rude! You fly straight back here this instant, and apologize!


You..! Aw, horseapples.

All righty, where we at?

>However, Twilight Sparkle did wake up to the fact that her front door was launched against the back wall with enough force to break it into dozens of pieces.

I would hope so! *reads on*

>Twilight Sparkle had once again proved why she was called the greatest student of Princess Celestia. The overflowing magical power, the incredible amount of knowledge about the spells, her talent being magic itself…it all culminated in overwhelming power that she used, without hesitation, to protect her friends from all the harm.

Rainbow! You're not to let Twilight read this one! My sakes. *reads on*

>“Cleitus? What sort of name is that?” the purple pony raised an eyebrow. The name was weird, foreign, and oddly foreboding.

I reckon she do know what sorta name it is, then?

>“Oh, I’m not from around here. Just roll with it,” Cleitus answered...

Alright. I done read enough. Ya know what? I'd like to see you writin' a comic book. You're always thinkin' up neat things to look at, but a reg'lar BOOK book's gotta have somethin' else in it, namely depth.

Your trouble is you figure you understand all these things 'cos you look at the surface and make a few quick decisions and then spend the rest of the sentence spellin' out whatever seems like th' obvious thing to think. The villains are savage an' evil 'cos that's what villains are. Th' mercenary, why, he's a badplot with apparently a Scottish accent for no reason I can figure out, so he acts mercenary except when he's talkin' with Shining Armor, who takes a minute to bond with th' bugger on account of they're both soldiers together, never mind that he jes' said 'Die' to Shining's beloved lil' sister?

I would think that would make ol' Shining lose his temper, but it ain't so much that, it's the GEN'RAL way ya do it.

>“You will be left under the hooves of time if you continue to think like that, Shining. Both you and your Princess, not to mention your whole country, are old-fashioned. The whole Equestria is an eyesore. There is no need for a country like yours in this world,” Cleitus spoke and something strange could be heard in his tone. Something that wavered between a duty and honor. But they were buried by the dark shadows that covered his face. “This world belongs to us, Shining.”

An' then Shining Armor goes,

>"You’re a warrior, Cleitus, and any moment when your blood is not boiling is a moment when you do not feel alive,” Shining Armor sighed in almost affectionate manner.

...an' I'm done. I really do not care how pretty the monsters are described when ya got one of th' heroes gittin' sentimental about how in-character it is for the mercenary to be so dang mercenary. Honey, that AIN'T a good thing, and the trouble is, if you can write that stuff and not think nothin' of it, you can't just go and do the opposite stuff either because it won't make sense comin' from you.

I wanna say 'go out an' live life and observe how people are', but that ain't helpful, plus there's no guarantee it would even work. If you went out and just saw what you expected to see, you'd write just the same.

Instead, I guess I'd say, lighten up- sometimes you stress how normal everythin' is to the point that it's funny. Shining ruminating on how mercenarylike the mercenary is, and they share a laugh on how much each of them is like themselves because they're so totally A Soldier and A Mercenary- that's funny! You din't mean it to be, but it's funny.

It's funny because we expect people to have a whole mess o' motivations and moods going on. NOBODY sits around thinkin' on how much they are like themselves. The reason you don't see this is, you're stuck methodically doin' the next obvious thing in the story, in excruciating detail. It's all thinkin' and no feelin', so them characters feel like puppets TALKING about how pleased they are that they're puppets. They're all like, ahhh, how good it is to be exactly like I am...

You gotta be brave 'cos you're gonna get some teasing for that, and if you intend to rise above it you have to ask questions from inside each character like, "how am I feeling?" "what is my mood like?" "who am I?"

You treat these things like logic puzzles and answer them outright, when they're supposed to be tipping you off to the more personal reactions of th' characters, the stuff that's not 'this is me, being like I am'. It's hard to learn an' harder to teach.

I drew a web-comic once, ya know, and it had the same problem. I had to work so hard on the real basic stuff of making lines and shapes and things, that I never ever loosened up and let fly. It never came natural and I took a real shellacking for it, let me tell you.

When stuff becomes second nature, it begins to flow and you don't GET them painful moments when you're clearly rackin' your poor brain for what Shining Armor could say, as a soldier, to a mercenary in some kinda interlude like a lull in the fighting where they think briefly about what life is like.

If I was stuck with that one scene idea, it'd go like....

Shining Armor fell back, gritting his teeth in outrage. "Really? Here you are again, and you're attacking my SISTER and it means nothing to you, really?"

Cleitus bridled, glowering. "Ye sentimental foal. I thought you had more guts to ye."

Shining's face hardened. "I thought you had more heart- more HONOR."

At that, Cleitus stepped back, but it wasn't a surrender or a second thought- no mercy swayed the water-creature. Instead, he glared sullenly, only resentment filling his mind.

Shining Armor set his jaw. He could not be so blindered. His heart ached from the betrayal- but in the end, his actions would by necessity be just as merciless, and one of them would die a warrior's death- because mercy could not exist in only one heart.

"Well, come on, then, come at me. Try and kill your old friend, why don't you. Come on! Because that's what you have to do, right? That's what you're going to do. ...aren't you?"

Clietus didn't even blink as the scorn, the goad to rise above his chosen nature, washed over him. For a moment, his mind saw and understood what lay behind Shining's angry mockery...

The hint of a bitter smirk twitched Clietus's mouth- and then it was gone.

"Aye," he said, and aimed his horn deliberately...
See? They don't just sit in their expected places, or think and talk about themselves and how much they're like themselves. They think and hope and have opinions about what each OTHER think. Shining's mad that Clietus is a betrayer, not fondly accepting. Clietus isn't happy with himself for being such a good merc, he's mad at Shining for seemingly expecting ridiculous foalishness- seriously, NOT killing your friend and his sister when that's your job? Rub it in why don't you.

Each character's gotta have and communicate their OWN world. The story is made up of how those ideas clash, and the space the story exists in, is made up of what the reader can imagine that covers all those worlds. If a character strays too far from what the reader can understand, then it's distressing- and if they stick to such a small predictable space, it's boring.

You've gotta extend out into the unknown in such a way that it's consistent, so the reader gets new thoughts and ideas but they make sense and define the shape of that unknown.

Dunno if that helped, but since SOME ponies (rainbow) saw fit to just say it was boring, I kinda had to try an' pull the plow a ways for you...
>> No. 122907
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Ouch! Though I guess I kinda deserved that!

>Or maybe you should be staying in and drinking a whole bunch of coffee, 'cos your writing's starting to drive me nuts. I'm bored with everything in this story which I guess is cool and all, but I can see why I'm bored because everypony's droning on...

Seeing that the second chapter is pretty much full of action, I figured that starting with a more relaxed, normal first chapter would even out the pace. Apparently this backfired magnificently, as what I meant to be calm and mellow scene with foreshadowing of what’s to come ended up being just plain boring.

>How can Pinkie possibly ever say

…Yeaaaah, I have no excuse for that line.

>I reckon she do know what sorta name it is, then?

It was supposed to be her making fun of how obviously non-pony (read: alias) Cleitus’ name is. Apparently that didn’t come across too well.

>Alright. I done read enough. Ya know what? I'd like to see you writin' a comic book. You're always thinkin' up neat things to look at, but a reg'lar BOOK book's gotta have somethin' else in it, namely depth.

Ugh, comic book, huh? My most disliked form of media, and I’d do better with that? Figures.

>Your trouble is you figure you understand all these things 'cos you look at the surface and make a few quick decisions and then spend the rest of the sentence spellin' out whatever seems like th' obvious thing to think. The villains are savage an' evil 'cos that's what villains are.

That felt a bit insulting, but I do get where you’re coming from. The villain in chapter two is just being a villainy villain, which is never good. Or rather: “Evil for evil’s sake” tends to be boring. However, therein lies a dilemma: Nothing more is actually required of Cleitus when facing the Mane 6 expect doing villainous things, since his mission is to kill them. I could’ve gone and made him talk about his motivations and all that, but his character would have had no reason to do it. He’s not the type to ramble about himself.

But enough of Scottish OC villains, the focus was on the canon characters.

>Th' mercenary, why, he's a badplot with apparently a Scottish accent for no reason I can figure out

Oh c’mon. Of course a Celtic mythological creature should have a Scottish accents. That’s, like, one of the rules, or something.

>I really do not care how pretty the monsters are described when ya got one of th' heroes gittin' sentimental about how in-character it is for the mercenary to be so dang mercenary.

The idea was that Shining was pointing out how Cleitus had stayed exactly where he had been all those years ago, while Shining Armor had gotten over his mere designation as a “soldier” and moved on. However, looks like I botched it up too, and it ended up just being silly.

>I wanna say 'go out an' live life and observe how people are', but that ain't helpful, plus there's no guarantee it would even work. If you went out and just saw what you expected to see, you'd write just the same.

Not to mention that taking realistic and often non-existing reasons real people have, and applying them to magical ponies living in a fantasy land, does not always end up well…

>It's funny because we expect people to have a whole mess o' motivations and moods going on. NOBODY sits around thinkin' on how much they are like themselves. The reason you don't see this is, you're stuck methodically doin' the next obvious thing in the story, in excruciating detail. It's all thinkin' and no feelin', so them characters feel like puppets TALKING about how pleased they are that they're puppets. They're all like, ahhh, how good it is to be exactly like I am...

… I might be just blind when it concerns my own text, but was the idea of characters thinking they are themselves really hammered into the reader that repeatedly? It is rather weird, considering I didn't even aim for that in the scene, and most of the dialogue consists of Shining and Cleitus talking about the current state of affairs.

And while I do admit that I've been trying to make the story flow logically, it seems that it has become “obviously” instead, which is not a good thing. That is good to know. And while I would like to argue about me not feeling and only thinking when it came to writing, it’s not an argument that I could win.

>You gotta be brave 'cos you're gonna get some teasing for that, and if you intend to rise above it you have to ask questions from inside each character like, "how am I feeling?" "what is my mood like?" "who am I?"

While I do try to think of these questions, I guess part of the problem also is that I do not always come to the right answers. For example, in this scene, I do not feel that what these two would feel would be anger. They know each other too well, they understand their enemy’s reasons too well, but they cannot accept what the other is doing. For me, that spells out clashing emotions that can never come to an agreement, but neither does that mean they would not be cordial.

I guess I’m too hung up on the idea that old friendships, even ones that have been long gone, still affect something.

Or maybe I’m just underestimating anger, that could be it, too.

>See? They don't just sit in their expected places, or think and talk about themselves and how much they're like themselves. They think and hope and have opinions about what each OTHER think. Shining's mad that Clietus is a betrayer, not fondly accepting. Clietus isn't happy with himself for being such a good merc, he's mad at Shining for seemingly expecting ridiculous foalishness- seriously, NOT killing your friend and his sister when that's your job? Rub it in why don't you.

Well, I do get what you’re saying. And I’m starting to also understand that I need the emotions bigger. Or rather, for the emotions to have more substance. I guess I unconsciously tried to write the scene being more about two former friends saying their last farewells, instead of writing the scene as it would actually be. In other words, I had the story affecting the characters, not characters creating the story. And that is not good.

Though this is a good thing to be said straight. Seeing there being many scenes in the rest of the story that are meant to be emotional (Twi losing her horn, Dash being almost buried alive…), it’s best to know about where I’m lacking in order to actually make the scenes work. Or make them natural, not “puppetry”.

>Each character's gotta have and communicate their OWN world. The story is made up of how those ideas clash, and the space the story exists in, is made up of what the reader can imagine that covers all those worlds. If a character strays too far from what the reader can understand, then it's distressing- and if they stick to such a small predictable space, it's boring.

So less about pondering the story, more about feeling the characters, huh?

>Dunno if that helped, but since SOME ponies (rainbow) saw fit to just say it was boring, I kinda had to try an' pull the plow a ways for you...

Well, it certainly did help. So thousand thanks for that, and thousand apologies for boring out RD. Not everyone can write Daring Do books, after all…
>> No. 122912
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Hey Applejinx.

You may remember me, you may not. Any way i could use a tiny bit of help.

I'm currently writing a crossover between mlp, Kirby, and a bunch of others. It involves Kirby and Twilight going to various worlds and trying to stop a force called the Despaired from spreading hopelessness. (If you can't tell it's inspired by kingdom hearts) It gives me a chance to work on writing action better, but my main focus was going to be on Twilight and Kirby's relationship, growing into sort of a sibling relationship. I've already got tons of good scenes and dialogue in my head, but there's this one part I keep tripping over and that's the initial meeting.

Here's what I have so far: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1dWcoTNjdKxcIERg9zYmb5h-Y6KAbgUAqoLvb5OzTPLU/edit

There's just something about it that doesn't feel right but for the life of me i can't figure it out. Anyway, could you give me an idea of how Twilight would best react to being whisked away to a void and meeting a pink puffball and a giant disembodied hand?
>> No. 122915
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>Any way i could use a tiny bit of help
>but for the life of me i can't figure it out
Might be the lack of capitalization for your I's.

>It gives me a chance to work on writing action better
This is a horribly convoluted way to learn how to write action scenes.

>but my main focus was going to be on Twilight and Kirby's relationship, growing into sort of a sibling relationship
Kirby: Twilight, I want you inside me.
Twilight: Wait, wha-"
*Kirby sucks up Twilight*
Magic powers get!
This is besides the fact that Kirby doesn't actually talk. Ever.
Never ever ever ever.
At all.
So stop making him talk.
For eternity.
Unless you're writing a Perfect Kirby AU fic.

>“DO THE MARIO” Yelled the . . .
Can't even get dialogue attribution correct.

Sometimes I wonder why you even bother coming here since it's just flat-out rejection for every request. To be perfectly honest, you're wasting people's time with this... thing.
>> No. 122916

okay first off I can't stop laughing at that picture oh my god


KIRBY PRIME. He can swallow the sun.

You know what's worse than Donut Steel becoming best friends forever with Twilight?

>> No. 122917
Well you know what, SCREW IT!

Yeah it may be a bad idea but I'm still going to freaking try it!
>> No. 122918

Then enjoy it. Learn from it. It's bad, but so are lots of things written by people who are just getting started. Keep writing until you love it and until you gain a little confidence, and then you'll be ready to ask /fic/ to preen you. Right now we HATE your fic. That's not likely to change, but it might with the next one.
>> No. 122941
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I’m so glad this has returned. I try to read almost every review on the board, and this thread has always provided the most entertainment.

I’m not sure if this is what you usually review, but I feel like you’re the best person/pony to ask for help. I feel strongly that my story depends heavily upon the character arcs that I have planned, but before that comes to pass, I struggle with a much baser worry. Something tells me that characterization is my one big Achilles’ Heel. I’ve spent quite a bit of time meditating upon the characters, but I still feel that my grasp is limited. I can’t fully contextualize their motivations, explain their behavior and I haven’t even finished the character notes.
So this is only the first chapter, but I’ve tried to kick-start each of the three big character arcs here, as well as setup characterization. Have I succeeded? I’m worried most about the believability of my portrayals of Celestia, Luna and Twilight – Lyra not so much, since I’ve had the most freedom with her.

If you could have a looksee over this, I’d be mighty thankful. Any and all advice is welcome – I’m trying to make this as good as it can get, so don’t hold back!

Title: The Chiron Paradigm
Author: TheNumber25
Email: [email protected]
Tags: [Sci-Fi][Dark][Crossover][Human]
An alien ship crash-lands on Sweet Apple Acres after taking off from Equestrian territory. Inside are incomprehensible symbols, ancient artifacts and the body of a creature remembered only in myth. It heralds the coming of a people from beyond the realms of good and evil. The Prodigal Sons are returning home.

Twilight Sparkle, Princess Luna and Lyra Heartstrings must choose between betraying their loved ones and betraying themselves, as the very foundations of their world are made obsolete.

Crossover with Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri.

Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1UbddERNYBTU293d13mLcDwrWXZlIowLxKf0zu9G_rSI/edit
>> No. 122970
File 135098719962.png - (14.99KB , 100x100 , Pinkie_100x100_05.png )
Who could forget Ghostwriter? Never give up, buster!

So hey! I recognize Twlight, and Celestia! I'll bet you Princess Celestia's real mad this thing took Twilight's horn away- that's a big deal for unicorns!

>"Do you have a Star Rod?'


hahahaha... ehhehe... oh gosh...

You should totally write this to be funny! It's kinda goofy. Do you have a STAR ROD! Hey, Twilight? Does Celestia have a star rod? Don't give me that look, you know some of the fics you appear in young lady, I'm just asking! You'd know, right? So does she have a star rod, or doesn't she?

Sorry, Kirby, Twilight won't tell me! I guess you'll have to look closer!

>> No. 122972
File 135098750530.png - (12.54KB , 100x100 , Pinkie_100x100_54.png )
Oh, yeah- to the rest of you, who actually can write and stuff.
Nopony tells US whether we're wasting time. If he starts bugging us every five minutes (or days), Twilight will turn him into a newt. Satisfied?
>> No. 123015
File 135101029841.jpg - (148.72KB , 709x831 , 8fd.jpg )
'Cept he's been bugging just about every review thread in /fic/ville, Pinkie! Maybe we should throw him a literacy party?
>> No. 123044
Great Staff of the Heavens.
Sparkle Wand.
Solar Scepter. Maybe that one's a stretch.

brb writing Twilestia for the SOLE purpose of using these
>> No. 123072

Ion, I like you. I don't always agree with what you have to say (often I do, but not always). I always admire how forthright you are.

I also like the atmosphere in these threads, so I really hate to raise my voice like this, but I feel the peace is worth defending.

Whether or not you meant to, by speaking before Applejinx you gave the impression that you were speaking for him. Thing is, he doesn't get personal like that, not here, not on fimchan, nor on fimfiction, so you gave a false impression.

You don't have to be nice (again, I do like that you're not), but you shouldn't interfere when other people who try to be.

If you wish to respond, let's take it elsewhere please, so this thread can get back to its regularly-scheduled programming.




You have my e-mail and I'd love to see this.
>> No. 123073
Applejinx as much as I appreciate the input, it's not exactly the kind I was looking for.

The initial meeting between Twilight and Kirby, well, i cant seem to put my finger on what seems off about it. I came to you to see if I had written Twilight correct for the situation.

Also, Master Hand didn't take Twilight's horn. How exactly did you get that? Seems like a problem I must address. (Alongside countless others, but you can't fault me for striving for improvement, and if you can... well screw it I'ma gonna do it anyway.)

... Want to defend my supposed actions, but not sure if I have the right. Kinda depends on your definition of bugging.
>> No. 123082
File 135107189265.png - (15.59KB , 100x100 , Twilight_100x100_01.png )
Gosh. We're all so passive, apart from Bon Bon! And it's not exactly tantalizing to have dreadful problems but play coy with what they are. What on Equestria is the matter with Lyra? Are she and Bon Bon alone with Lyra's dreadful illness?

I get the feeling that not one of us ponies has or wants a single thing other than to mark time and wait for whatever spaceship you've devised, to come and threaten us. There's a feeling of waiting. It makes it heavy going getting through your introductory stuff, and I got a real sense you were reserving all of your information for surprises, and you really can't do that.

The momentum of the reader's expectation is produced by their direction and what they expect to find there. Say you've got a blank area, filled with monsters and strange plot developments. How do you get the reader to look towards that blank space?

Ponies continually try to do this by hanging signs saying 'look, blank space!' and 'something scary will come out of here and threaten these ponies who're minding their own business and would be fine if not for the scary blank space!'

That's no good. What you have to do is introduce your ponies, and have them wanting to go in a direction. That's all. Doesn't take much- FO:E starts with just Littlepip crushing on a singer mare. You have your pony wanting something, and moving in a direction. The reader naturally looks that direction. If you have several things moving in a direction, and they converge, that's even more compelling.

Think of it like, you have two ponies converging on a field, because they want to have a picnic, or they intend to argue, or they're going to get naughty with each other. Anything you like, really, because that's not really your point, it's just a pretext.

Then, when you show the field with one little drop of blood on a flower petal, the reader panics! Because they think they can look forward into the blank space and know what's going to happen, and then you drop one little detail that clashes with the expectation and suddenly the range of possible things that will happen is both a lot wider and a lot more intense...

Does that help? It's not like anything seems so very wrong... (I'm sure I could come up with problems but I'd rather look at the big picture if that's all right with you)

It's that I feel like I'm dragging the story along in search of clues about what will happen. I'm supposed to be dragged along, and jumping to conclusions about what's going to happen, and having strong opinions about those things that I'm only imagining anyway!

Pretty much your ideal state for any exciting adventurous fic is to have your readers getting in fights with each other about what you're going to do and what it means. You need to have them excitedly running ahead and jumping to conclusions, and for that you need to have the characters trying to go places and do things. If the characters are passively waiting, so will the reader.
>> No. 123089
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Jinx, thanks very much for having a look and offering your thoughts! I’ll just engage a couple comments in my five minute break from Chromosome’s brutal taskmastery. Stupid October fic contest bullshitafjewo;ga

>I am more than tempted to try and hire you to write fashion advertising copy, darling.
Well, suppose coming from you one can’t get a much better compliment, so thanks!

>mistake decorum for morality
Oh, Rarity, I've never made such a gross correlation where you're concerned.

>a wretched redneck brawl between Applejack and Rainbow. I confess I did not see that coming,
Mmmm, to be honest, I needed an interlude. Something to break the tension underway at the clubhouse, and set the girls back to their roots… namely, each other. May as well mention I originally intended to have the brawl be more openly about AJ accusing Dash of wanting to bone Mac, and there’d be this whole back an forth thing about starting a real Apple family etc etc but due to content restrictions, I couldn’t really work it in without doing the whole thing a disservice, so I… uh, just had Sweetie drop them both in the lake. Y’know how it is.

>Dash as a wonderbolt
Well, perhaps. Would you say that Twilight as an Archmage felt equally contrived, or did you feel enough light was shone on that to make it fit properly?

>This is a clopfic, darling, in its secret heart

>they are in a rut- even as they, ahahah, rut!
Oh, very droll, Rarity, titter titter.

>I challenge you to move beyond this in other stories- use that ability to immerse the reader in a life, and then GROW THAT LIFE. When it is sordid, find the parts that dismay, and teach the characters to change and live differently! Give them the hard knocks they so blithely suffer, and have the consequences linger and haunt them!

Man. Damnit! Can’t I just have this? This one fluffy, steamy little story thing? This was supposed to be a nice little vacation from the tumultuous weavings of pathos—casts a long shadow indeed. I just wanted to do a cute, sometimes-adorable sometimes-crazy, utterly forgettable one-shot piece. But noooooooo, apparently that’s not deemed ‘acceptable’ by certain marshmallows with legs!
Heh, okay, got that out. In all truth an honesty though, your last few paragraphs are pretty much picture perfect of my main work, Divergence, so I understand your points quite intimately.

So yes, all apologies for taking so long to express my appreciation for your attention and insights, and thanks again!
>> No. 123113
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I imagine your secret heart casts a long shadow over the work, darling, and it's this that I observed. My heartfelt apologies for speaking of the shadow perhaps more extensively than the fluff you wished my attention to confront...

As for Twilight, Twilight forgetting the mines and the aftermath of this omission raised quite a giggle- and was endearing in a typically Twilight Sparkle way. All stories are contrived, darling, it's just a matter of whether you're confident and earnest enough to make the hapless reader forget you've been contriving it the whole time...
>> No. 123135
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Thank you for the review, Applejinx – this is exactly the kind of analysis that I expected. Could have but another moment of your attention for a brief follow-up and clarification?

I suppose the big problem here was that I took the show-don’t-tell mentality and applied it to pretty much everything in an overdose. I figured that hooking the reader involved posing questions, but I guess leaving some possible answers is a requirement as well. Do you suppose that I should give more information in the first chapter, some vague answers to the questions put forth?

As I’ve said before, motivation is the big pitfall for me. The thing is, I did figure out the main character’s motivations, sort of, but I suppose that I gave them no chance to show these motivations because nothing really active happens in the first chapter. So, suppose that our characters do have a direction. How would then be the best way move them in that direction?

>It's not like anything seems so very wrong... (I'm sure I could come up with problems but I'd rather look at the big picture if that's all right with you)
I’m so sorry, but I do not completely understand what this is referring to.

And finally, the most important question, so please, lend me your experience here. What am I to do with this chapter, in light of the problems you’ve pointed out? I’ve been working for a month on this single chapter, doing three pretty big revisions, so I’m quite a bit hesitant to commit to more large changes. Which path should I take?
-Are the problems crucial enough to warrant a full rewrite, if only of the critical scenes? I’ve got some ideas, but implementing them would mean so much work. But, a boring first chapter could mean the premature death of a fic, so I understand how important this revision can be.
-Can this situation be resolved with less blood, through a lesser edit? Adding exposition is the easiest way out, but I hate outright exposition with a vengeance. I suppose dialogue can be inserted/changed to pick up the slack and add tension, but I’m not entirely sure how. Still, this is the course of action I am most inclined to take, but I’m not entirely sure how to proceed.
-And finally, leave it like that, and continue the story, taking the advice to heart? Revisions are revisions, but getting bogged down in edits is frustrating and deadly to creativity. If you believe that this chapter, in light of your review, is of acceptable quality and I should move forward for my own sake, than do tell me.

Thank you most kindly for your attention. I do hope to come to you for advice later, with further chapters or a different fic.

Best regards,
Writer Number 25
>> No. 123173
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Easy, sugarcube. Drop in some hints about what's to happen, even if they gotta be 'had they but known'. You gotta indicate a direction more clearly- that don't require throwing everything away.

It ain't MY fic so there's no sense askin' if _I_ find it acceptable. It's you who's gotta find it acceptable, and you're right that you gotta move on. Do NOT get stuck in revision hell. If you're doin' this right, then by the time you finish one book you will always be able to start revisin' on the front of it and make it better. ALWAYS. It's your job to move on to the next story, then. Right now, your job is to get there: don't even be tellin' me that as a writer the best thing for you is to polish up the ultimate pony/videogame crossover fic.

Seriously. Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri will jes' have to take care of itself. You WILL NOT make another Fallout:Equestria here. No chance, I don't care how much you revise it. But this is what you got to work with for right now- this is your story for today.

Throw in some nice hints any old way- just enough to indicate what's going on- and get rolling! The story needs you to start it moving, and follow it as it goes. You can do it! Quit trying to plan the perfect start and jes' WRITE that bugger. You'll be done before you know it. Get used to forward motion and bust off th' rewind and erase buttons. I'm tellin' you that your development and growth as a writer is more important than gettin' THIS story exactly right.

It's never about the story bein' perfect anyhoof, it's about how you tell it...
>> No. 123473
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Hey AJ!

Would you and the girls be willing to take a look at a short tale of mine? I'm quite happy with it and it's accomplished all that I hoped for and then some, but more eyes never hurt. More than anything I'm looking to see how IC everypony feels--so I figured I'd consult the specialist.

Any and all of the girls are welcome to chime in, though Fluttershy might find it a bit--how shall we say--off-putting.

If you're willing, many thanks in advance. If not, I understand and will survive as a broken husk.

>> No. 123550
File 135168101958.png - (15.59KB , 100x100 , Twilight_100x100_01.png )
My goodness! Just a moment- back off, Applejack! Yes, I know you don't like second person. You too, Rainbow! I'm not concerned with whether you find it boring, I sense a tone of conceptual experimentation and I'm going to take this one, as the intellectual and erudite pony that I am, and place it in a proper literary context!

Oh, my. On the face of it, this is so serious. Poor thing! I notice that this is all Fluttershy projecting thoughts inside her head. I more than suspect this is what it's like inside Fluttershy.

RAINBOW! Stop giggling! Go play with Applejack or something!

Gosh. Such heavy going. I do think it rings true, yes. Notably, Rainbow Dash is often impatient with Fluttershy, and I understand her outrage. She's actually being very good about it, I think. They are all handling my d...



Oh, stop laughing, Rainbow! Hmph... I fear this 'literary' exploit might only anger Fluttershy, with the implication that she is so pitiably fragile as to go through all that just because I...

What? You say you're just grateful everything was nice and okay after all? You don't mind that the story insulted your whole way of being, Fluttershy? Really?


>trots off in huff
>> No. 123552
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Heh, heh, heh...
What you got here is a prank, an' it's a prank having to do with manipulation of TONE.
Cain't fault you for the effectiveness! You got everything ringin' real true for the 'tragic death of Sparkle' business, and then you spring th' twist on us and finish up with a hint that poor Flutter-butt is all set to become terribly, privately distraught over yet another silly thing. Seein' as the whole concept of the fic is makin' fun of Fluttershy for that stuff, looks like mission accomplished.
The trouble you run into is only that there are folks who don't like bein' tricked- this is the story equivalent of a pun, so rather than giving meaning it kinda takes it away. It leaves you a lil' dumber for readin' it, for all that it's made well.
For that reason, I'd have to say it's real nice technically, but it ain't a great story because it ain't sincere and it's just a LIL' meanspirited. That's okay, Fluttershy can take a joke. ...right?
>> No. 123553
File 135168174407.png - (11.18KB , 100x100 , Fluttershy_100x100_106.png )
You shall burn in the flaying heat of a thousand big nasty suns!


I'm just fooling. Don't worry :)
>> No. 123561
Grammar derps! The grammar derps! This is English, where future time clauses use present tense like this:

>You will pull into the driveway just as the fuel indicator is reaching empty.

not this:

>*You will pull into the driveway just as the fuel indicator will be reaching empty.

But I suspect you know that already, and you're just trying too hard with future tense.

I was all ready to defend Fluttershy, pointing out that she's a very dutiful pony and would never, ever miss one of her best friend's funerals (She'd be a wreck, but miss it? Over her dead body!) and then... bwah-hahaha! So, yes, I can see her maybe playing hooky from a moving party - especially if it brings up bad emotions.

Like "I'm sorry, Twilight, I can't help you salvage your possessions. It's stupid of me, but I can't help thinking any one of those piles of ash could have been yours."

That emotional nuance, if you intended it at all, doesn't hit me. I'm wondering why, when Twilight shows up, Flutters doesn't tackle-hug her and break out in uncontrollable tears of relief, to the bewilderment of everypony else.

As written, it's funny, but you're so close to deeply touching I'd be heartbroken if you don't go for it.
>> No. 123570
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Oh, wow--I got replies from three ponies and a... wingy... thing. Yay me!

Aw! I'm sorry you didn't like it, lavender unicorn mare--but it sounds like a certain pegasus appreciates my work! Slap me some hoof, filly!

>I sense a tone of conceptual experimentation
Not~ my~ fa~ult~! Daffodil made me do it! No he didn't! Well he gave me the idea, anyway!

>I notice that this is all Fluttershy projecting thoughts inside her head. I more than suspect this is what it's like inside Fluttershy.
I knew you'd catch that! A bunch of ponies didn't, and were asking why the world was so rough. It's like I always say: the rest of them may be as dumb as yogurt, but Highlight Snorkle knows what's what!

One of the things I wanted to do here was give all those poor "sane" ponies a little look at the crazies, as filtered through a yellow-and-pink lens. Like calls to like, and Fluttershy's a real screamer!

It made you laugh, so I can't call it a complete failure; that was--after all--Phase Two of my three-phase master plan.

Phase Peanut was to do it in the proper POV and tense--which I mostly got right, it seems--but I'm kind of disappointed in Phase Inverted.

I was hoping that after everypony had their healthy, normal, SANE eye-roll at me for pulling the ol' switcheroo... Well... After that, I was hoping that a jagged little chunk of sympathy would stay lodged in their minds. That maybe the next time they read a story or watched an episode about this little pegasus and her "silly" fears, they'd think about their time in her head.

It's not all fun and games knowing that the rest of the world sees things differently than you--for instance, I get so frustrated sometimes at how everypony thinks that gravity is this big deal! It's a suggestion, fillies and colts--and not a very strong one at that!

I guess I'm not as appallingly powerful as I thought. Oh, well... maybe I made somepony a little more crazy.

Aw~! I love you too, Flutterbu--I mean, Fluttershy. She means Flutterbutt! Nuh-uh! Now be quiet or I'll tell Daddy on you!

Derp derp herpty derp? I'm afraid that I didn't know; my grammar-fu is weak and I was kind of winging it. Heh, winging it. Da~ddy! I'll be good! Anyway, thank you for the tip--I want to be the best spawn of chaos I can be!

Hmmm... a tackle-hug, huh? I could see that happening right after the fire of course, but it's been a while, and Fluttershy has had time to stew in her juices. That was the wing-thing's point. Oh--really? Hmmm...

I'll have to think about this.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Thank you all so much for your reviews! I hope you all have a wonderful Night Mare Night!
>> No. 123712
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Hello Applejinx. Hope I'm not bugging you.

Here's a small thing read. I wrote it some months back, (Actually tried to get you to read it but at the time I was being... oh, whats the word... annoying, yeah that's it.) Anyway it got thrashed in reviews, due to my rather long-winded writing style and a strange falling out with pronouns. I had initially abandoned it, but was looking through my thing one day, saw this and thought, "Yah know, I'm always up for a bad idea. Lets try and fix it".

Tags: Adventure, Normal, maybe a bit sad in the beginning

Word count: 2803

Synopsis: She would never forgive him. Their battle wasn't meant to go this way. What we need is a miracle. Twilight can deliver.

Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Im_uGMECOHuYFh7dzwSvF3EeCH9q0RSVeGq4M7-3BaI/edit

I have some concerns. (one of which is the synopsis. I have never wanted to murder a set of words before, but I don't expect you to help me with that, not your specialty.) Mostly if I've got the right reactions for the characters. It's something I tend to worry about, considering the one time I thought I had it down it was horrible. Anyway, your input is always appreciated and feel free to throw rocks at me if it hurts your brains.

Pic related.
>> No. 123832
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Yeah, alright, NO.

Excuse me? I don't PAUSE TO WEEP while kicking ass! You got a big big problem here with having anypony or anything pause to deliver these dumb sentimental reaction shots.

Oh, Pinkie says he wasn't like that, either- yeah, ya know I don't remember ever seeing Discord mad, that was one of the most annoying things about him. He's creepy, dude, the scariest thing was he'd be doing horrible stuff and giggle, it was like he just didn't understand.

He has NO reason to know what Rarity called that dumb rock- though I guess he could be anywhere, right? But still.

*tremble* you KILLED. APPLEJACK. You're in big trouble around here, guy.

Pinkie's hair does that when she despairs! Not when she gets mad! You try breaking one of her promises, you'll see!



Okay, guys, you gotta promise never to show Tara Strong this dumb story. That goes for you, too, Twilight! This guy... You gave Twilight MY MOVES. I checked what you said, and you just said Twilight did a Sonic Rainboom, but ON FIRE.

I'm not sure we're talking to you any more. Don't EVER do a scene this dumb again.
>> No. 123834
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Uhhhh... can't add much to that. Thanks a lot, buddy- Twilight's gone off in a huff because she thinks it ain't entirely implausible that she would take on all our powers in a big heroic final scene, and Rainbow is as mad as I ever seen her. Pinkie's insulted about how you wrote Discord, Fluttershy's furious about what you done to them lil' animals, Rarity's offended at you using 'your' for 'you're' and the general classlessness of it all, and I gotta admit I can't get over how you yanked a 'and then they just turned him to stone, easy peasy' outta your plot.

Please, please go get kicked around by some other reviewers for a while. Most folks got th' luxury of snark at times like this. We tend to respond real sincere, and when this sorta thing happens it kinda puts us off our oats.

You ain't a bad pony, but LORD you're a bad writer when you try to be epic. Not your forte, sugarcube.
>> No. 123836
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Well, I mean, if I absolutely HAD to... right? What I'm trying to say is, if there was absolutely no choice, and to save Equestria I just HAD to...


Never mind.
>> No. 123859
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Really... but I... sigh.

Hard not to get discouraged but I'll press on.

I actually did not say that she used a sonic rainboom. I'll fix the implication. I was under the impression that Fluttershy was Rainbow's closest friend so i figured she would pause real quick for a 'oh god no' than fly at Discord in a rage. Also Pinkie was depressed. She just witnessed 4 of her friends get slaughtered. She was sad and enraged.

Sigh... abandoning this might be for the best.
>> No. 124703
Man, this is a tough room! With great trepidation I submit this link to the first couple chapters of a story I'm working on. The goal is to keep the Mane 6 as true to character as possible but manipulate events around them to see how they react. I have about 7 chapters written now but only the first two posted. I'd love to see how it is received before pushing forward. Many thanks to any comments and critiques.

>> No. 124705
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Gosh-I think if you manage to not slaughter half our friends and then have Twilight doing a sonic rainboom on fire, you ought to feel at least a little safe. Let's have a look.

You are gonna have to be disciplined with your writin', seeing as in the first page you're already goin'

>It also reminded Twilight of precisely why, not too long ago, she has been curled up in a nice soft bed instead of forging through the darkened woods.

Word's 'had', sugarcube- 'had been'. I won't harp on that stuff or tell you all of it that I find, I'm jes' sayin'.

Hmmm... most of the way through th' first chapter there, and apart from the sloppiness, I am likin' you a lot. Things aren't over-played. You got stuff described just eloquent enough but not too highfalutin' and we all feel darn plausible if you ask me. Maybe a lil' flighty, but there's apparently some kind of reason f...


DANG. Okay. Ya got me. Well done, wild brothers couldn't drag me away from readin' this next chapter. What the HAY?


>“Because it can’t only be not okay to go there if you know it’s there and be not okay to go if you do know, unless if nothing happens and you don’t know then you didn’t cause nothing so it wasn’t your fault, unless you knew, but if you did and nothing happened then there’s no reason not to until after you already did, but then you’d know already.”

Oh my sweet lordy, I think I love you and don't you EVER do that again. My poor brain! That is so Pinkie it HURTS. Onward...

All right. I have finished the second chapter (though it ain't really proper to just re-state what we know in a second chapter- you oughta move things forward a lil' more somehow before going to chapter three).

Here is your terrifyin' and ruthless critique.


You fix up your many grammar derps and be more disciplined about writing, with the help of the Training Grounds if necessary, and you keep writing! I don't know if your story will end right, or if you even got an ending at all. I just know that it's been full of little images and moments that were all charming and pitch-perfect, and something about how you got our personalities is just so charming I can hardly stand it! All Pinkie's cute shenanigans, me tryin' to get stuff done, Twilight bein'... well... Twilight: it's all about as promising a start as ever I saw.

I realize this seems like a big about-face from the previous review, but for heaven's sake READ that and then this and then tell me I ain't right. Again: get more disciplined and fix your derps. it's sloppy as hell and you are not a terribly good writer, but DAMN if you ain't got terribly good instincts and a sense of tone that will serve you well- and a sense of drama that will serve you even better! The only derp with the drama is that you're recapping what we already know with the second chapter. I wouldn't skip that stuff for anything, it was wonderful, but it tells us nothing new and it needs to do more than simply fill in backstory, no matter how charmingly.

Don't you dare quit writin'. (not that anypony should quit writin', but it just plain comes more natural to some and you are blessed with a knack for this stuff- don't waste it and don't scorn it with lazy sloppiness).

There you are, a pony blessing for ya!
>> No. 124706

I don't know what could beat a review coming directly from the Best Pony. Honesty is certainly your Element; no punches were pulled.

Thank you for the feedback on personalities; any pony fic where the girls aren't true to character might as well be an unrelated short story with humans. The beauty of the ponies is their strong, well defined personalities and I'm striving to capture that above all. I'm relieved that Pinkie came through as being Pinkie and not as horrid writing. If you parse it carefully, it actually makes sense, too. There is an upcoming chapter from her point of view and I hope I capture her adequately. She is *almost* best pony, after all.

The grammatical error, ugh, I know it's wrong, just missed it in proof. I have a hard time proofing because I'll sometimes catch awkward or extraneous phrasing, revise it, and then fail to proof the revision so wrong verb tenses sneak in. Don't feel bad pointing them out, someone has to.

Chapter 2 hurts. I see your point. I ended Chapter 1 with a cliffhanger, then in Chapter 2 I made you kinda sit around while I told a little tale of how they got there. My hope is that the suspense will hold you over through the Chapter because you want to know what's going to happen, and I do so love the little tale with AJ and Pinkie. Chapter 3 will put us back in the action (I actually posted it a little while ago so you can check it out now) but now Chapter 2 seems like a waste. More like a cute little backstory that doesn't belong. Is this what writers suffer when they have to axe entire sections that they love? Is it really so bad leaving it in there? Can you read Chapter 3 and see if it redeems the flow of narration?

I know I'm no Vonnegut, the best I can do is craft an interesting tale and tell it simply and clearly. If you can detail more clearly some of the parts where it's "sloppy as hell" I can try to fix it, but I'm right about at the limits of what I can accomplish without more practice. That's what this is all about, though, isn't it? You don't write a masterpiece until you've churned out a few horse patties.

Thanks for the time you're investing in this. I was afraid to post after reading some of the other reviews, but I can't improve if all the feedback is good, right?

I'll have Chapter 4 up later tonight, I'm revising it now with greater attention to detail.
>> No. 124712
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Yup. It redeems th' flow of narration.

I got a few things to say to you, and to bystanders.

First: note the difference between the rollicking self-confidence of some folks, and the way this critter takes on. Gave him a kiss and a pony blessing and told him he has a knack for this, and what do I get back? "Oh dear. I will throw away the whole chapter two if you want, I'm sure it's awful"...

Listen, you. Write your damn story and quit fussin'. Maybe it's a lil' bit 'hinting at mysterious things' for my taste but at this point I'll read it anyway. I wasn't 'CEOKasen and Chessie's first watcher, but I was the second, and they write Starlight Over Detrot. You have a lot of hard work with grammar and fic-polish to do before you can claim to be at their level, but they got an EqD feature and rightly so, and I was one of the first to spot their quality.
I am your first watcher. Tell your damn story, whether or not you can do it with perfect grammar, and trust yourself more. I will eventually be all ridiculously smug that I was your first watcher.
Get help with the grammar and stuff, but tell YOUR story! Trust yourself. I am telling you as bluntly as I can that your basic instincts for these characters are sound, and that I trust you with them. Don't you EVER forget that. Now go write, and always read over what you wrote (in different fonts and formats an' such, too- that helps you spot things)
>> No. 124745
Mind giving my story a once over? It's just a short, mostly internal piece from AJ's point of view set a few years after the show. I tried to get her voice and personality down, but I'm not sure if it came out well.
Link: http://www.fimfiction.net/story/63376/Apples-to-Apples
>> No. 124761
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Sure ain't too hard to fit in, bein' not even two thousand words an' all. Of course you may have a once-over! Let's see here.

Well, this is interestin'. I might well observe that this is about the most dialectical I ever seen myself, an' get away with it...

What's that, Twilight? Oh, 'dialectical' means something else? Well all right, then- country. I ain't ever read nothin' half so country that weren't a big mess of stupid. And this ain't the least bit stupid... you done some things I NEVER saw, with country. I have never in all my life seen anypony write
as a country-fication, but you get away with it, and the reason is, drawl is lazy. Exaggerate that correctly, and even words git lazy and don't bother to sound their vowels, and if you lazy-fy 'some' you do indeed get 's'me'. I'd caution you about it- I'd say, you clearly got th' music of th' voice, now you got to dial it back a notch knowing you deserve th' confidence.

As for th' story- gosh. You okay, sugar? Is it maybe Twilight, there, feelin' melancholy? It sure do seem like that story's full of lurkin' sadness. What, I ask you, is sad about a good day's hard work? And yet that story CORN-clude with a feelin' that it's all futility leadin' nowhere, or somethin'.

I bucked all them apples that day, I'll have you know. That there's tangible. I don't WANT 'em to run out. When I run out, they'll say I did my part. Maybe you need ta join me out in th' fields for a good day of hard work, if it seems so ef.. ev... ephemeral to ya! You'll soon be singin' a different tune! And it'll do you a power of good.

Don't fret, though. It's very pretty! I'm jes' saying, that melancholy tone there is not what I'm about. Y'hear? I do believe I see what ya did there- real subtle, artful you might say- but that is only one point of view. It's tantamount to weepin' over them leaves fallin' off the trees. The green ain't less pretty just because it's temporary. It still matters. Knowing that, that's a foundation (and one I ain't sure them flighty pegasuses and dreamy unicorns always understand).
>> No. 124768
Ha, yeah, I did go a bit thick on the accent, but I also worked very hard to make sure it flows naturally, so I'm glad that came out well. And there is a reason for the melancholy, but part of the challenge of the piece was to never mention it directly. You'll notice Granny Smith is only ever mentioned past-tense, despite the story being first-person, present-tense. But thank you for the feedback, it is very helpful.

And I'd love to help you out in the fields someday, AJ. :)
>> No. 124781
Title: Super Mario Galaxy: Equestrian Stars
name: warpd
Email: [email protected]
Tags: Crossover, Comedy, Adventure

Synopsis: Mario continues his adventure to collect the power stars to stop the Koopa King from taking over the Universe. His journey takes him to the world of Equestria where he will find unique challenges and make a few new friends. Mario's arrival in Equestria will spark an adventure his new friends will never forget.

Chapter 2: https://docs.google.com/document/d/13ikWZogWBfRZ2_kYrk9NeHfiWhjwAGWCmfKCTpbMNLI/edit

Comments: If you wish to read the previous chapters here they are: http://www.fimfiction.net/story/7205/Super-Mario-Galaxy%3A-Equestrian-Stars
This chapter is mostly designed to be a little silly, but I would appreciate a proper review on how I handled the characters. Yes, Mario can talk. No ponies were harmed in the making of this chapter. Have a good day.
>> No. 124784
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Uhhhh... actually a Star Child is one o' these- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kr5Tm1_v2c0

I git the 're-stating stuff from MLP and presumably this video game', sure, an' I'm lookin' to see what else you bring on account of I don't know shit about Mario. What jumps out is, they all automatically love the crap outta each other on account of that makes ya feel good, I reckon. Trouble is, that's pretty bland and doesn't grab me...

Heh! I figure I'm not supposed to like Rarity in this, but funny thing, she's cuttin' a swathe right through all the sweety pie stuff. Unfortunately, she ain't immune so she immediately drops her snarkiness in order to love on Mario like every other pony in Equestria. If ya'll made me fawn over this critter I'm gonna just about spit...

Ya know, it got took over by a weird hybrid between Running of th' Leaves and some Mario thing, and when it got into all those horizontal lines I started skippin' ahead and wasn't missin' much.

Listen. The story of Fall Weather Friends is not the race, it's me and Dashie gettin' madder and madder at each other and fighting harder and harder, only to come in dead last because we was fools. It ain't ABOUT the pranks we (er, Dash- all RIGHT, we, then!) pulled. Those don't mean anything. The competitiveness turning to aggression and then us ruining our own fool selves, that's the story. And then loving each other anyway 'cos we're just that sort, and it's easy to forgive such a CLOSE friend ;)

You ain't got that here. You got a sort of deity that everypony loves, he don't care that they love him, and then there's a lot of explosions and mushrooms. It would make a much cuter video game than it does a story, because it ain't really a story, because nothing is at stake and nothing changes. Try another story, possibly even without Mario on account of he turns the story into a game and then wins the game. He won. Next!
>> No. 124786
If you don't know anything about Mario then this story is probably not for you. Sorry for wasting your time.
>> No. 124798

That there sounds like a challenge.

What follows was written based on a skim of chapter 1 of your story.

Based on what I see here, you don't get to tell Jinx that it wasn't for him because he doesn't know Mario. Mario here is the heroic cartoony protagonist from the crossovering stuff. I don't know what cool Mario-verse elements you think you're bringing in, but it seems to me like Mario canon doesn't even have any cool elements. Just the word "Magikoopa" with a single sentence of description pretty much says all that you need to know already, doesn't matter if he's in a Ghost House or a space ship.

Maybe if this was Mario Sunshine or some amusing meta-Mario who's somehow aware of all his incarnations like the one in There Will Be Brawl. But nope. You're just basing it on the game that you love.

Moving on the specifics. The "welcome to the galaxy" gag is clever, along with Mario doing lines that are Mario lines. When you crack jokes, sometimes you get a hit. You're not all stumbles and annoying amateur mistakes. But you mostly are.

See, what isn't good is everything else. Your writing is killing me. I didn't sleep a wink last night so I don't have the energy to demonstrate to you how extensively awful your basics are. Just take my word for it--your structures, dialogue, flow, grammar, dear Faust I was physically unable to look at your words for long enough to experience any significant piece of a dramatic scene.

Take this to The Training Grounds and I promise you will receive a firm, well-deserved, and ultimately-for-your-own-good thrashing. I not mean this as "and it'll prove how much you suck," I mean it as "somepony will take a motherfucking chainsaw to your story, someone who knows what they signed up for." You need to have someone do this to you so that you appreciate the very strong truth value of me making a statement like "your basics are extensively awful."

I don't know where Jinx is coming from with all his criticisms about characters and whatever he's saying about Running of the Leaves--there must be different interactions in chapter 2 than there were here in chapter 1. For me I just see the m6 occasionally advancing the plot and occasionally delivering lines that remind us of their canon quirks.

Your Mario is boring to the point of being confusing. He's not goofy, he delivers a gag or two then forgets that there are gags to his character, he doesn't have the hilarious accent, all he says is "Yeah, seen it all before, USE THE BOOST TO GET THROUGH GET UP ON THE HYDRA'S BACK SPAWN MORE OVERLORDS."

And then "Hoo! Haa! Wa-haa!"

Here's what you should take away from what Jinx said: He's not seeing anything in your story that makes it matter in his eyes.

Just look at what he started talking about--he started reading into characters' attitudes and how they all love Mario too much and all that when I didn't even notice any of that. This is a personal quirk of Jinx's. He has an extreme love for the m6 and wants the stories he reads to take them seriously as characters.

I can dig this kind of shallow heroic thing more than him--I once wrote something that he really didn't like because its antagonist was just a cackling malevolent supervillain.

To me the issue with this story is that on top of being shallow, it's hard to tell if the shallowness is you being lighthearted or you not knowing how to write action-adventure. This is mainly because I can't be bothered to stop and try to appreciate your story, which in turn is because your writing is unreadable.

The standard sign-off for a scathing review is "keep writing."

When I give a scathing review I also like to add "but write something ELSE."

Super Mario Galaxy is, yes, a very correct decision if you want to write goofy action-adventure, but trying to fix this thing up is just going to bog you down into editing hell.

Ratchet and Clank? Plants Vs. Zombies? League Of Legends? Diablo? World of Warcraft?
>> No. 124801

One more thing.

It's also a valid option to not listen to people like me who have ideas about how your thing could be actually good. Just writing it and loving it is a valid way to learn and grow. I bet this was fun for you to write, and there's nothing wrong with that. I'm just telling you that in my eye there's all-kinds-of-shit wrong with it.

That doesn't mean you can't keep writing it in a way that some dick over on that website with the ponies hates.

But don't tell me that I only didn't like your fic because I'm not your audience or some BS. I know why I didn't like your fic. I'm pretty sure I'm right about those things, too. But you can decide not to care about those things for now, and just come back to them another time.
>> No. 124803
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>Take this to The Training Grounds and I promise you will receive a firm, well-deserved, and ultimately-for-your-own-good thrashing.

Naw, Tactical, THIS is a challenge- what you said, not what he said. If you didn't get what I said as a reply it's because I was looking at what would have to change to make it more like a story while KEEPING all that Mario business. (plus you din't even read the chapter I read! It re-plays Running Of The Leaves using parts pulled straight from the show unchanged, only with added Mario)

The point is, there is no such thing as automatically good or bad, only how you do stuff. Joss Whedon loves to do stuff that ought to never work. There's nothin' so wrong with using Mario- we're usin' My Little Pony! We're writing intense psychodramas about the magical unicorn Twilight Sparkle for God's sake.

My point is just that it lacks things that got nothin' to do with the presence or absence of Mario. Get characters in there that can grow as people and it'd be a whole other story- first of all, the protagonist, and followin' that, anypony who is emotionally engaged and wanting something out of the ending to the story.

It's not that hard to make it dynamic rather'n static.

And please, folks, don't ever chase pony writers away FOR me. Seems I don't need to go all MST3K makin' fun of them, to accomplish that. If they keep comin' back like a bad halfpenny, they prob'ly have the drive they WILL NEED to seriously write...
>> No. 124809
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Happens I do have a challenge, though. This is more of an Applejinx-style challenge, observe... MAH CHALLENGE!

You may well say
>If you don't know anything about Mario then this story is probably not for you. Sorry for wasting your time.

If I don't know nothin' about Mario, MAKE me understand why I should care. It's not a waste of time if you succeed, it's only a waste of time if you don't try- and it's my time, I'll waste it how I please.

The simple fact is, there ain't EVER a situation where it's like "You like Mario, I like Mario, let's make the lovin's!" There will always be somebody who will make the extra effort to tell a story that communicates beyond just having a thing and wearing a label, and that includes Mario-poni crossovers. It could be you who does it. I write clopfics that tell stories through the clop parts, and some folks who hate clopfics like them- and others just cannot abide any of it! There is NO genre or topic unfit to work in. It's how ya do it.

So rather than Tactical (whom I love dearly, mind you) sayin' try a 'more appropriate' crossover, I'm gonna say jes' the opposite. Go and write a Mario pony fic but this time do it right! And you're allowed to come back and try again- IF you tried to make me understand, in the rewrite, why I should care in th' least.

'Cos that would be a breakthrough, and it is always a good thing for a pony writer to make a breakthrough rather'n give up or settle for less than they're capable of.

I has spoke! *stomps hoof*
>> No. 124813
>So rather than Tactical (whom I love dearly, mind you) sayin' try a 'more appropriate' crossover, I'm gonna say jes' the opposite.


>Super Mario Galaxy is, yes, a very correct decision if you want to write goofy action-adventure, but trying to fix this thing up is just going to bog you down into editing hell.

Super Mario Galaxy may lend itself to the--okay, I said you wouldn't appreciate the vacuous heroics of chapter 1, but apparently chapter 2 wasn't like that. Still! Chapter 1 was vacuous heroics.

Chapter 1 did exactly what I'd expect from Super Mario Galaxy + My Little Pony. I was unable to enjoy it.
>> No. 125776
(That feeling when you continually doubt yourself because you compare your own work to the superiority of other authors, real or imagined.)

Hello Applejinx.

Considering the traffic and passage of time over the last while, it would come as no surprise or offence to me if you've forgotten me or my story.

Submitted in July, I asked you to review and critique my story "Switch", which was a freaky-friday scenario between Rarity and Big Macintosh. The story was modestly successful on FIMfiction, and since its debut in the latter part of August, I've since released additional chapters and written more, but I continually am in fear of the quality of my work.
Five chapters have been released (1,2,3,4,5) and one more is unreleased but ready as I see it (6) and just yesterday I completed writing and therefore was about to continue editing another chapter (7) but I keep getting such a mixed mind about it that I would like a different set of eyes to read it over.

I recall that you critiqued the initial chapters (1, 2 and 3) very little, saying that I pretty much had my story well in-hoof and was ready to release it, so I did. Chapters 4 and 5 were released without very much supervision apart from my own critical eye, so any judgments on them would be welcome, if you were going to read the story from the beginning. I will also provide the unreleased chapter 6 and as-of-yet unedited and unrevised chapter 7 in a GoogleDoc.

Two things I am already aware of are 1. the fact that through more recent chapters my [initial] uncertainty between choosing to have the story end as a Ship-fic or a Friendshipping is visible, although I am not certain how, and 2. (This is me talking, not an audience opinion) I still have lingering doubts that I've characterized Rarity well. Since you are a specialist in this regard, I am confident your ability can assist. For such, I am most grateful and thank you for your attention and concern.

(Moreover in the whole "I doubt myself out of fear of inadequacy to audience opinions for some archaic bizzare reason", what is the likelihood of my linking unreleased content on here being leaked to people? I know it's a logical assumption that no one would care enough to ruin just another author's chapter release dates, but still I think about it.)

by Professor Blue
[email protected]
In a poorly informed bout of revenge, Trixie has returned to Ponyville to make Big Macintosh and Rarity fall in love, because she's convinced this will prove she is the Best Showpony in all Equestria.
But Rarity's going to the spa with Fluttershy, Big Mac has chores to do, and Twilight hasn't the faintest as to why her best friend and best friend's brother are having an episode of freaky Friday...
(copied from FIMfiction summary.)

http://www.fimfiction.net/story/47705/Switch (Publicly accessible Chapters 1-5) 29842 words

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B2ARHs63CEotSnhqWjRQYkQxVUk/edit (Private link for critics Chapters 1-7) 41007 words
Chapter 6 begins on page 82.

Professor Blue~
>> No. 125795
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Aw... you know, I'd dearly like to claim 'danger, danger! I will not talk about fics in secret, so everypony in the world is now seeing your advance chapters, run away lest the whole story be spoiled!'

But there's two things wrong with that.

Firstly, the idea that you must hide secrets in fiction is foolish. Folks should see and smell it coming, so that they mainly want to see HOW you work a thing. By definition, if you are hiding a thing from readers as a secret, they can get no benefit from it until it drops. That's why we foreshadow, and if we're really working at foreshadowing, you get both worlds at once- the reality of the upcoming thing is compelling, but the suspense is intact because that part 'hasn't happened yet'.

The second reason is- I'm just not that significant, sugarcube, there's just a few writerponies reading this and maybe some prereaders and other literature-nerds (love them all!) and maybe none of them are even following your story. They should, but they're probably like me: busy writing, no time to read, won't sneakily read 40K words of ponyfic just to cheat and read advance chapters unless they've got a legitimate reason to.

I'm glad it's 'Switch' you turned up with- there's not too many fics or writers I'll cheerfully reread forty thousand words of, but this one was always a lil' special, and my urge to skim, focus on the newer stuff and get back to my own work is minimal. I'd be missing stuff like 'Macintosh' ordering 'Rarity' to spit that stalk of barley out this instant- little moments like that are priceless. It's also a relief that the google doc isn't littered with crit-comments: I always find that distracting.

I'm trippin' over the occasional tonal thing that feels like foreshadowing but prob'ly ain't... like Twilight laughing raucously that she will never know what it feels like to be a stallion. It feels like she's laughing out of character, therefore it's for a reason and that is to set up a gag- but I don't really expect that to play out because it would be a detour from the main storyline, which isn't 'lolrandom'. The heart of this is a straightforward comedic story with simple and direct logic- that's a strength. Every now and then it gets confused and looks in other directions before catching its attention and continuing.

Speakin' of 'look', on page 33 you've got a paragraph that uses 'look' five times in different ways, two sentences after another 'look'. Straightforwardness saves it a little, but that's the sort of thing that knocks people out of the story by making them think about word choice and question your ability- when you're writing with simplicity and clarity, you've got to be subtle enough to make it seem effortless. That's the path you're on, and it's the best path so treat it with respect ;)

*SNRK* "steel balls down at the bottom could symbolize the manliness of your earth pony..." "Ah said you're wearin' it upside down!" "Oh! Ahahaha... indeed!" "What was that about..." "Nothing!"

Coulda got away with 'symbolize', I promise...

Here is how to tidy up a sentence past the initial grammar fixin':
>Macintosh seemed to lean as if he wanted to dramatically fall to the side
as if to faint, but stood upright as the harrow’s yoke arms poked his flank.
There's two 'as if's, and the actions are in sequence but presented 'at the same time' because there's no 'then' showing they're one after the other. It could be,
>Macintosh seemed to lean as if he wanted to dramatically fall to the side
in a faint, but then stood upright hastily as the harrow’s yoke arms poked his flank.
(or, if you don't like 'hastily': "then stood upright when the harrow's yoke arms", or "then stood upright again because the harrow's yoke arms", and so on. It's okay to be paranoid of adverbs and 'ly', prob'ly wise)

Trixie's a mite annoyin', and I think it's because she is a comical plot device that doesn't change or think about anything besides her plot device. It makes sense, but I keep wantin' to shoo her away and get back to the characters who are growing and learning.

I got to say, them openly admirin' the bodies they're in, that's an express train to full-on dirty pony sex (whether onscreen or offscreen! Offscreen is perfectly okay, it can still be satisfyin' if you present the emotional level of it convincingly). You say you wondered whether it was romance or friendshipping, but they're veering towards th' romance.

By page 84 you're gettin' more sloppy. Random spot-the-Lyra, 'she immediate slammed the mirror', missing quote after 'Is something wrong?', 'all for pony's sake' (that would be 'aw', I reckon)... I may be gettin' into places where you've been over the words less frequently.

Not sure what to think about Spike snogglin' Rarity's body without her. Where did that go? Where will it go, that's righteous? It's no fun establishin' that Spike wants to do dirty things to Rarity's body if he ain't gonna get another chance to do it. Just makes him sad and possibly icky. I suppose possibly it focusses Mac's attention on what HE wants to do to that body.


"Rarity." "Yes, Big Macintosh?" "Mighty glad we got back in our own bodies an' all, but I cain't help thinkin' mine's... used." "Oh?" "Uhhh.. chafin'. In certain areas." "Ah. Ahahaha... Why, darling. I suppose I could say there were certain things I simply had to know. I could quite legitimately claim I sought further things to admire. Or... I could ask a question in return." "Yeah? What's that?" "Why was there an entire cucumber lodged in my privatest nook, so deeply that only practiced magic could dislodge it?" "...let's not ask no more questions, okay?" "Certainly not. Ah... you have an... accurate eye for produce." "Eyup."

Sorry *snicker*

Consarn it, Trixie drives me up the wall in this one. I guess there's no helpin' it. Sure does piss Rarity off, though! The image of Rarity in a rage inside Big Mac's body ain't leavin' me in a hurry. That's downright scary (though her threats are funny). I do feel I'm very much in first-draft territory- so many phrases slightly off, missing commas, surely this is a peek into your process which is not so different from my own. I do the same multiple revision passes, including viewing the text in another context (different font and layout, first Google Docs and then FIMfiction). I won't carp on the many errors since they're meant for revision anyway as part of the process. I believe this is where you're wondering about Rarity?

I'd be changing
>“I’m sorry, I’m in a vengeful rage!”
into something less Mac-y and more fussy, to maximize the joke which is otherwise just a 'break the fourth wall' sort of thing. With more Canterlot flavor it's less self-aware and more characterized- she can't be aware she's making a joke, the break in mode is the joke. She'd be saying something like,
>"Oh, I'm terribly sorry! Do excuse me. I fear I'm in a bit of a vengeful rage at the moment. Ta-ta!" *stampedes heavily off after Trixie*
In other words she's totally forgotten she's in Big Mac's body, and the extreme contrast between words and body is the gag- the mode-breaking is just the delivery mechanism, not a good joke all by itself.

Trixie's explanation of what she's attempted is awful. I'd totally forgotten what she first wanted, and did not give a shit from chapter one. You need to understand that Trixie's intentions are the MacGuffin. To resolve Trixie does not mean addressing the details of her daft, crazy plans. She's gone all confused anyway and it seems like she's just meddling to meddle.

I also notice you left a magic mirror half-cocked with a spell in a dumpster. I am expectin' Trixie to suddenly change bodies with a garbage-pony now...

Looks like you had Big Mac in Rarity's body, in dirty ponysex position between Twilight's legs, or maybe that's more like dirty Lyrasex position- hehe, missionary! Moving on...

Th' mane-braiding thing is totally confusin' me. Did they all swap minds some more? And then a perfect natural chapter end as Spike and Trixie gaze adoringly at each other- and whew, we're done with the lolrandom Trixie wackiness and hangin' out with Big Mac and Rarity again, this time in their natural bodies.

Mac pickin' up Rarity? Oh my. I got a feeling that sealed th' deal. Oh yes, I'd say she needs to 'feel it again'. And now she's wandering off in a trance telling herself silly lies about what she intends? Rarity's gonna get earth-ponied ;) she's gettin' a ground-pounding!

*jaw drops* Big Macintosh SONG. Words fail me, sugarcube. That's balls of steel right there, and it's perfect- assuming you are full-on romance shipping. Hell, you could go cloppy at this point and most folks would simply cheer themselves hoarse- they've SO earned it, and that is a significant point. We care about romance or clop when the characters have earned it, showed why they can mean what they mean to each other. All the Trixie stuff is purely a macguffin, a sideshow to the real romance story here.

Oh no. Oh NO... All right. Will you forgive me if I now want to make Fluttershy fricasee to get her out of the way and let Big Macintosh fall for Rarity as he should? Dear sweet CELESTIA, that's a bitter twist! I was so ready to see him reveal he was crushin' on Rarity, and now this? Fluttershy has done nothing in the story to deserve him. By bringing her up as his crush, you're forcin' Rarity to be civilized and struggle through MORE chapters fighting her un-admitted feelings and winning him over, probably through NOT trying to seduce him.

I'm not liking the 'you want me to choose' part. It's sudden and Rarity hasn't seemed disturbed at all. She's just wandered dreamily off to see him and been shocked by his revelation- how is she not keeping up a perfect front, but screaming agony inside? How is she not totally self-aware but suddenly in utter torture and a horrible bind?

>"Fluttershy," he stuttered... and behind perfectly poised blue eyes, Rarity's mind collapsed in shatters and shards, like a priceless vase carelessly dropped.

You've set that up perfectly, and yet you're confused by the 'friendshipping' aspect and can't decide. Let me tell you something- if you are writin' a romance, the Fluttershy in THIS story doesn't love him back and certainly doesn't get him. You know what happens at that moment? Rarity realizes she's completely fallen for him, and that she MUST conceal her feelings for his own good. It's predictable and shows the outcome of the thing at a stroke (they end up together) and it's predictable because you've SET IT UP knowingly or unknowingly, so that's the most emotionally powerful outcome. The quickest you could possibly resolve it is to show he's just as into Rarity and doesn't know it- but he cannot be the one freakin' out right then, I don't think. We're revealing his own big emotions that are built on a fantasy (Fluttershy). You're failing to give Rarity a fainting-couch moment when she needs one- and to win our hearts, rather than throw one of her fits, the powerful thing to do is show that she is flipping out but for a chance is not acting on it, she hides her feelings. Why? Because she loves him and is far too smart not to read the situation at a glance, just as we do.

She's also going to be offended at herself and probably try to argue herself out of the crush- there's comedy potential there, of her trying to formulate contemptuous thoughts about his big crude body and only working herself up further for her pains.

I could see her getting almost Trixie like in schemes to set up Big Mac and Fluttershy. Fluttershy's not interested, and the thing about Mac's crush is, there is no real-world connection behind it. They don't share conversations, and he's worshipping a fantasy Fluttershy. There's no reality to it.

I picture Rarity getting increasingly flustered and distraught trying to set them up- setting her own heart's desire aside, breaking HER OWN heart to help the big lug she craves more and more- earning his sincere affection through her efforts, and he THINKS she's doing the 'friendshipping' thing.

Finally, she breaks down completely, and Rarity has lost her grace, her poise, her air of competence and effectiveness, and is forced to admit her true feelings at 'her worst' when she has nothing to offer but her earnest heart and a desperate need to be cared for. And even in this, she'll be ready to deny herself- her filthy cravings mean nothing to her, it's all about finding Big Macintosh a TRULY beautiful mare- and by this point she is 'ugly', unkempt somehow, to herself she's ruined.

THAT is what would hook Big Macintosh at a stroke. To see that determined heart and the driving mind, realize she's been serving his interests out of love for him and asking nothing for herself, but then to discover all she wants is HIMSELF...

He should take her to the spa immediately, and insist on doing all the massaging personally. Clean her up until she feels pretty again- take her home- then, tactful fade to black. Utter meeting of minds, spirits, and then no doubt a devastatingly erotic meeting of bodies- but Rarity's path to this is not through competing with Fluttershy to out-glamor her and win Mac. Her path to this can only be self-denial and becoming a pining, emotional wreck. Big Mac has every defense in the world against glamorous seduction, but no defense at all against a pining, emotional wreck who loves him desperately.

I guess I'm sayin' that your whole tone for Rarity is wrong, and you are wondering the same thing as that's exactly what you're asking about. You came to me askin' whether Rarity's wrong, but it's the path you've chosen for her that's wrong. I'm thinkin' you instinctively can feel there's something not right about her responding the way she does. You've overlooked an emotional beat that would drive the whole end of the story: Rarity's fallen in love, and there is one moment where she would realize it and suddenly have to LIVE it. Mac says 'Fluttershy', and boom- the world comes into focus, and the hyper-smart-and-capable Rarity realizes by her silent mental implosion that she must give Mac every happiness- and seemingly NOT by hitting on him, she's way too smart for that. She's smart enough to get herself into really serious trouble, trying to bring him what he says he wants. It's romance and 'friendshipping' at the same time.

I say, write that one. The only change (apart from all the revising you do) is that dramatic Rarity clearly gets a super-dramatic moment right then... but we're perfectly set up for this moment to be entirely personal, secret just to her, a cataclysm that raises the stakes impossibly high at a stroke... and on the outside, she can effortlessly seem to go directly to the 'friendshipping' angle, that's perfectly set up too.

But no way.

That poor mare is already in love by the time she wanders dreamily off just to see him. All you have to do is understand that, and understand her a bit better. She does represent the element of Generosity, after all. This story is perfectly poised to see her do that in heart-rending fashion- and then receive all that love back tenfold, for with Mac, she is the one earning it, not Fluttershy. Fluttershy's another MacGuffin.

I can tell this is a fine story because I've written a damn novel just talking about it... I guess part of that is because of how desperately I, as a reader, need to see certain emotional-justice things happen. It's just that I, as a storyteller, know that I first need to see Rarity ready to give all for her love...
>> No. 125826
Hello hello!

Mind looking over my story if you get a chance? My story's about to reach the emotional climax of the first arc, and I feel like it's a lot weaker than it could be because I don't have a strong grip on the mane characters.

A Touch of Chaos
Link: http://www.fimfiction.net/story/56997/a-touch-of-chaos
Tags: human, adventure, dark.

It's a fair-sized story, so if you get all the way to the manticore scene (chapter four, not including the prologue) and still don't find anything that catches your attention, feel free to drop it. Just knowing what I could do to catch a reader's attention in the first few chapters is already an improvement.

>> No. 125832
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I skipped over pretty much most of the first chapter because arguments between fourth wall breaking and omniescent author are not my idea of fun... the first time it was cute but then it became the whole chapter o_O

Second chapter, a human OC- again not what I'm here for.

Third chapter, youtube references ON THE MOOOOOOOOON and Spike's saying 'nonsensical'. He's a baby dragon, that's more a Twi word... Pinkie's running on at the mouth but it's in distinct sentences with periods ending them, which isn't how she does that... it would be comma, 'so' or comma, 'and' and so on, exhaustingly... suddenly, the human, but how could it possibly develop this instinctive hatred and fear of candycolored ponies? Is he insane?


I'm skippin' around all over this story and what I got to say is, finish this one up the way you been writin' it. You got readers, you got a consistent tone and style, you can't overhaul that at this late hour- such a big rewrite is no good. Learn and move on.

To learn, you're gonna need to think a little more deeply about why these ponies are the way they are- you're reading their surfaces and spoutin' likely lines and throwing in constant references and it's all very 'cool' an' ironic. But irony is the anti-pony and doesn't belong in MLP. You don't care about them, you're just performing tricks. Your empathy ain't engaged.

That doesn't mean you have to be nice to them- ye gods, I'd be one to talk about THAT- but you've got to take a moment to think of how they're feeling and expect that these feelings will linger. Each pony has a bunch of different things on their mind. You spot their outsides, but you're not seeing their private sides too much. Dash's insecurity, Fluttershy's judgementalism, Applejack's heart- we're seeing Dash bravado, lots of Fluttershy talkin' in a tiny font, AJ competing with Dash and fiercely rescuing- I'm getting that 'surface appearances pony' feeling real strongly. They're glued real hard to their most obvious behaviors because you're probably rightly afraid that if you let them wander they'll totally go OOC and start making Youtube references or something.

Be less ironic, be less cool. Take some time to feel things with these ponies, rewatch episodes, above all else let go of this Discordish longing to caper and play tricks, because when he does that his emotional weight is zilch and he's a hyperintelligent child with no thought of the emotions of others. There's a reason he came to you first- he's like your personal pony and rang the most true of any of 'em.

Or, you could just write a bunch more Discord. It's possible you write him better than I would :)
>> No. 125833
Good enough. I was thinking about tossing the prologue anyways. It's a story about conflict between two fairly sympathetic groups with different goals and personalities, gradually increasing in scale as more and more characters are brought in to the fold, and it starts with 1000 words of Discord breaking the 4th wall? Entirely the wrong foot.

I'll toss the references and try to focus on making the story stand on its own merits, all while giving more depth to each character.

>> No. 125838
Dear Applejinx

Thank you for your prompt critique.
Whenever I get serious editorial comments, I always get so nervous that I know I can’t read any of them until I’ve slept, and built up some courage throughout the next morning. I know I’d be up all night tossing and turning with worry and anxiety about how stupid of an author I am for putting work with errors in it into public view. But I must have another opinion, because it is the right thing to do to be critiqued. Regardless how it makes me feel.
“Gird up now thy loins like a man.” – Job 38:3 (KJV)

To be perfectly honest, by consideration of Rarity’s character I meant that I’ve actually had doubts about myself in her characterization from page 1. What confidence I have is by the inference of other people saying they like the story and characterization but never anything specific, and whenever I read other people’s stories, their Raritys seem… I don’t know, I can’t exactly say more canonical since they’re all canonical. I guess I never fully understood how capable my grips of her reigns were. Even within your review it’s been encouraging but still has a lingering uncertainty.
I feel like someone wants to throw a Courage-Wolf image at me.

The Twilight jibe about being a stallion was supposed to be a joke at The 63rd Rune but I never went beyond a cursory mention.

Something that I don’t know if it should bother me or not: Whenever given to review or opinion, there’s been very little comment on Chapter 4 or 5. The silence makes me nervously say to myself “no news is good news…. right?” Such lack makes “By page 84, you’re getting’ more sloppy.” sound like there’s other critique that you might be omitting for some reason.

Now, I am sincerely sorry for accidentally misleading you—that, or the continued mention is a projection of your own preference which ironically goes into opposition of mine. You see, several parts of your critique I was quite uncomfortable with, due to the fact that you read far more sexual inclination into my story than what was supposed to be intentional. I do not know if that is a subtext because of my own sexual frustrations (which I will not detail unless you really want to know) or if it’s simply because you were aroused by my story which led to you seeing things that either weren’t there. Another way of rewording this statement is saying that you saw things that either weren’t there or weren’t supposed to be there. I will make myself clear that I very much detest clopfics, and that there will be no sex in my story, implied or otherwise. At best, would be inference for such conduct in subsequent stories, which will not be written by me. Even the very notion has started me looking for revisions in that regard. For the most part, any euphemism was supposed to be satirical, but now I just see that attempts were not very well-done.

On that note, the whole thing with Spike-“Rarintosh” on the bench as well as the Twilight-“Rarintosh” upstairs were both supposed to be satire of Rarity shippings as well.

The only thing in Chapter 6 I really had nailed down was that somehow the Swap had to terminate, and that there would be a chase scene between “Marity” and Trixie. If a do-over of basically everything except the Chase is necessary (which itself also must be cleaned up), then so be it. Some parts I didn’t like anyways.
The Trixie-Spike gag right at the end was just one of the happy-coincidence sorts of things that came along, just like many other details of that humorous caliber. According to current plans, it’s going to end up as a brick joke at the very end of Chapter 8 in a “here we go again” sort of thing that doesn’t involve Big Macintosh or Rarity.

Now your critique of Chapter 7.
It was complex and interesting. People keep telling me that I can write very intriguing and deep things, but I seemingly am oblivious to the deeper things which I create. From the very outset I was very concerned that I would get a stern lashing for haphazard wielding of emotion and foolish ideas. I read your review in two parts, the second part consisting of everything from “Fluttershy,” down. Before I read it, I was kicking myself because I assumed you thought the whole scene was wrong and stupid, but after I read it I come to that final feeling on the betterment of myself for having read it.
It’s odd. I always feel terrible before reading critique, even though rationally and reasonably I always know it comes out better in the end. Like removing golf shoes from your face. Or something else that would be a funny analogy and would also reference Spongebob.
>> No. 125980
Title: Windows

Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1SIWLLfG8Vv5ZavBZXwLj2kIkCowl8gl0UDQM7IFNYjA/edit

Summary: Celestia teaches Twilight a spell to open an inter-dimensional window, allowing her to see other universes.

Tags: Slice of Life and Alternate Universe

The first chapter, which I linked, focuses on an R63 universe and the reactions from the mane six, spike and Celestia.
>> No. 125999
(Grr, stupid 404 error seems to have kept my last post from showing up in the thread. Anyways, let's try again.)

Title: Windows

Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1SIWLLfG8Vv5ZavBZXwLj2kIkCowl8gl0UDQM7IFNYjA/edit

Summary: Celestia teaches Twilight a spell to open an inter-dimensional window, allowing her to see other universes.

Tags: Slice of Life and Alternate Universe

The first chapter (And only one written so far), which I linked, focuses on an R63 universe and the reactions from the mane six, spike and Celestia.
>> No. 126000
Sorry for the double post but that first one refused to show up in the thread. It showed up in the main /fic/ page but when actually looking at this thread, it wasn't there.

Last edited at Wed, Jan 9th, 2013 22:39

>> No. 126010
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Here's a thought- sometimes you can run related stuff together into a paragraph even when it's interspersed with dialogue- when it's all SUPER related. Like
>“Oh, oh, I do, I do,” exclaimed Pinkie. “Wait, no I don't.”
>Behind her, Rainbow facehooved at Pinkie's behavior..
could be
>“Oh, oh, I do, I do!” exclaimed Pinkie. “Wait, no, I don't...” Behind her, Rainbow facehooved at Pinkie's behavior.
See how it's all very much 'one thing'? So much so, that breaking it into paragraphs even feels slightly broken.

Rarity feels slightly broken! She ain't MEAN. She don't like the uncouth, but she loves Applejack, just with some strings attached behavior-wise.

Hee! For some reason the name Solaris tickles me. It's a classic Stanislaw Lem sci-fi novel. I'm wondering a little bit at the rowdiness- angry and cranky males are not as cute as angry/cranky females or kids, so it loses a bit of ponyness that way. Seems like you could reach for something special by going a level deeper- where the girls add character by adding a bit of spark, you could prob'ly get a huge amount of mileage by methodically adding a bit of HEART to all these stallions. There is nothing novel or interesting about males being aggressive and competing and being sassy- it's the opposite of the MLP technique of having candy-colored cute cuddly ponies show a cranky side, your guys just come off as expected and you gotta bring in a little dimension to them.

Not sure why Princess Celestia says 'AJ', that's collaquial and she ain't. That's a big departure from her usual tone, she is always a tiny bit formal and polite and here she's betting among the ponies as an equal using Applejack's nickname, in curt short sentences.
>“Agreed,” said Celestia. “AJ will win by one apple.”
>"Well calculated," said Celestia. "If I might hazard a guess... I shall predict that this alter-verse Applejack wins by one apple."
The courtly formality tends to avoid directness, but in so doing, it also maintains their respective ranks.
*poing* random male Appledash! Din't see that one comin'. But it could have been foreshadowed by them touching each other casually in a way that could be read as either intimacy or just really deep friendship, earlier... as it is, it's like LOLRANDOM, their interaction about 'if you're going to hang around make yourself useful' doesn't support them dating. Something more like 'oh, you think you can be just decoration?' which reads as teasing Blitz's vanity but turns out to mean, AJ REALLY likes Blitz's mane...

Note that in Fall Weather Friends when Dash and AJ are ragging on each other, they're touching each other flirtatiously (AJ's tail dusting Dash's nose) and smiling a lot, smirking and grinning at each other and laughing. There's a lot of that and we can't really skip it, especially with R63 stallions who are going to come off as MORE hostile and MORE confrontational with each other as a rule as you make them 'manlier'. So you really gotta undermine that and throw a lot of 'ho-yay' clues.

>Dash and ah are not a couple
Can't drawl a broken-up set of syllables like 'ah-ah'. That's an obvious break in flow, where "Eye-yar" is more of a flow. She'd say Dash and I are not a couple, because it's actually smoother to say, and country drawl is all about the smooth effortless flow from word to word. Same with 'sure as shoot ain't'- just 'sure ain't' would flow better.

What's up with Celestia gettin' a wingboner? And Fluttershy? It's funnier if Dashie gets one because shipping- her being unmoved means the super-close friends don't have that ship-tease, and then Fluttershy cares for some reason, and Princess Celestia? It's confusin' who is emotionally engaged by that R63 pairing. That's your 'tell' as to what you intend to happen with the story. Besides, who's to say our AJ and Dash (if they're totally not gay) don't find the R63 versions shockingly compelling? And if they don't, maybe they're not THAT straight? Hard to have the R63 ones gay and the 'real' ones totally different while still claiming they are 'the same'. If you intend to make the real ones learn, that's going to be challenging and subtle for you to do, not because you have a problem with withholding the outcome, but because you're not doing a good job of 'priming' the ideas and setting them up so that they come as an obvious revelation.

Now, that's a big assumption and you may not intend the R63 ones to act as a 'window' (TITLE HINT) on what the real ones truly feel. But if you do, it puts you directly into a situation where you have to betray how the outcome will go, while letting them resist and throw up static and distractions and objections. All their friends so aggressively flip to 'ship AppleDash!' and it seems to be forcing them to object, but it's forcing them too hard. Seems like the friends could be conferring more in private and talking themselves into the AppleDash pairing.

Don't wanna go too far in case you somehow have a totally different vision for the fic...
>> No. 126012
Hello Applejinx.

Don't worry. I don't have a story for you to read... yet.

Anyway, in striving to become a better writer I have noticed many flaws. One particular flaw I seem to have is in dialog. I tend to write it as I would speak, which is often long-winded.

So if you would be so kind as to give me some tips on how to write the mane six's dialog. You know, like the style they should be written in, various dialog quirks, thing like that.

>> No. 126015
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Watch th' damn show ;)

Dashie's real blunt and can talk like a kid. "And how did you know about Nightmare Moon, huh? Are you a spy?"

Applejack's drawl is about smoothness between words and any 'country' stuff you put in has to be makin' things smoother, not bumpier.

Twilight Sparkle is an erudite student; precisely the opposite in terms of plausible dialogue.

Rarity doesn't just say darling, darling- the fluff in her dialogue, not to say it is fluff, is about elegance and the laudable desire to appear upper crust, like a Princess. She is prone to remain detached in poised refinement, as one does...

Fluttershy's pretty direct but very self-deprecating. She doesn't want to put forth any opinions because when she does, they're judgemental and awful. She's questioning every little thing she says with an eye to whether it is mean. Mean is wrong.

Pinkie exclaims! And the thing about Pinkie having a thought, or even a lot of thoughts, or a whole bunch of thoughts that bounce off each other until it's like EEEE thinkie pie, is that she doesn't pause for breath between them so she's one big bubbly run-on sentence of pure love! And cookies. Gotta have cookies. She never doubts. The thoughts, I mean, not the cookies. That should be a given, how could you even doubt cookies? Are you loco in the cocoa? Get it, cocoa? Because they're chocolate cookies!

There y' are, a little Mane Six for ya... <3
>> No. 126017
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Thanks. I do watch the show, it's just I wanted sort of a set of guidelines I could refer to. Mainly because I don't exactly trust myself. Thanks again. Here's hoping this will help.
>> No. 126026
I actually don't intend to ship Applejack and Dash. Shipping the 63 versions was more just a way to shock Dash and AJ and get the others teasing them. There'll also be a chapter where they notice how often Dash seems to hook up with the others in other universes (a bit of parody on the way Dash is shipped with everyone/everything).

>>Not sure why Princess Celestia says 'AJ', that's collaquial and she ain't.

That was more because AJ is the only name they've heard him called.

And yeah, now that you mention it, I can certainly see that I should add more depth to their R63 versions to lead up to the kiss.

>> What's up with Celestia gettin' a wingboner? And Fluttershy?

I was simply going with the ones you wouldn't necessarily expect finding two stallions kissing hot.

I don't have any long term plans for the real world cast. This is a purely episodic story, with them giving reactions to different universes, kind of like MST3K style.

Anyways, thanks for the quick response and the review.
>> No. 126033
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One thing you should be wary of is this:

Going with what you wouldn't necessarily expect is fine- to a point. MST3K is fine- to a point. But both of these things resist the essential nature of pony and you should be doing them very consciously if at all- certainly not just out of a sense of duty to be interesting (or hip/cool/snarky).

Thing is, MLP very often does not go for the unexpected, rather the meaningful. Hell, Pinkie is the role model here- how often, when Pinkie is totally unexpected (gasping in shock, collecting musical instruments) does it turn out to be deeply meaningful TO HER and then to the audience not long after? If Pinkie Pie can't be counted upon to be meaningless, how much more purposeful must the rest of the ponies be? So often, their motivations ARE what you would expect, just handled artfully. There isn't a trace of 'you wouldn't expect that!' because every action builds out of the personalities and their consistency.

By the same token, MST3K (which I grew up on- literally watching VHS tapes in an early precursor to filesharing culture) is not unlike South Park in that it's often a 'ha ha that's stupid' sort of humor, flitting about like a destructive parasprite (creatures which also don't do what you'd expect, and are an absolutel scourge, doing more damage to the ponies' homes than anything).

Film Crit Hulk took on what South Park means in this essay- http://filmcrithulk.wordpress.com/2011/06/15/hulk-vs-the-church-of-south-park/

What I'm sayin' is, MST3K is cut from the same cloth, and it is fundamentally different from what My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic is about. There's a reason so many of us latched onto this show. It's not cool, it's not snarky, though a number of ponies, particularly Twi, can be snarky IN it- but Twi also wears her pony heart on her sleeve with no expectation that her snark should be considered the 'real' Twi- both Twi and Dash, the snarkiest ponies, are also shown being the most heartfelt and vulnerable with NO irony at all, and no sense of irony expected from the viewer.

Something major and significant is lost every time someone tries to reach for the MST3K in ponies. The reason is simple- MST3K (and South Park) are all about 'your meaning is shit! LOL!' and MLP is about nurturing meaning, encouraging purpose. It has a heart, even if that can leave it vulnerable to being made fun of. It never, never 'deconstructs' its earnestness or puts it in a context where on a higher level it's all a big joke- MLP is SERIOUS about its friendship ponies. We laugh with them and with the things that frustrate them, there aren't any situations where we put ourselves comfortably superior and end up laughing AT things.

For this reason, having the ponies do MST3K takes on different alt-pony universes is a dangerously un-pony take on how they'd react, especially if there aren't any cast members assigned to be sympathetic and emotionally engaged (and allowed to be).

You cannot simply make the ponies act as if nothing is meaningful and all is laughable. They're not cynical, and they're only snarky from a position of deep vulnerability- the snarkiest ponies are the ones who are most canon-insecure and who care most deeply. That's shockingly different from a South Park or MST3K.

Jes' stuff to think about...
>> No. 126035
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The grammar in that link is so terrible I barely got past the first paragraph.
>> No. 126036
The content in that link is so interesting I spent hours reading his other articles too.
>> No. 126038
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That's Hulk for you. I'm with Anonymous- Hulk is an incredible resource, in spite of being a Hulk. I don't suggest that you write fics as Hulk, but dear Celestia are some of those essays useful. Priceless, even. I got about a million words of Hulk saved and turned into a private Kindle document to read over an' over.

Apples gotta jack, Hulks gotta Hulk. It's all good. :)
>> No. 126040
Hello, Applejinx

I recently got this story back from the Training Grounds where it was pointed out to me that I have characterization issues in chapter two. Specifically, the reviewer feels Pinkie comes off as too clever and the CMCs don't act like themselves. I've tweaked some of the dialogue and actions, and I'd like help finding other places they go OOC. Comments on any other issues are, of course, appreciated.

Title: (Can't think of one yet)
Link to chapter one: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1CmhSWaLvPQR_KGl1LzwV-H6sH7T8Ee2ssvSoKEBNqt4/edit
Link to chapter two: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1XZlFnuL6CYjFLE1uN_p7nr-7dQ7r0LSrpM8MZKXczR0/edit
Synopsis: Lyra messed up. She admits it. But really, Bon Bon should have been more careful with where she left unguarded bowls of delicious sweets. Now, to set things right and save their 'Night Before Nightmare Night' party, Lyra is determined to search all of Ponyville for replacement candy. Even the untested haunted house designed by Pinkie Pie.
Tags: Comedy
>> No. 126043
Yeah, I definitely want to keep them from being overly cynical in any regard. MST3K was just the best example I can give, but I don't intend for them to be necessarily snarky about the other universes. Perhaps upset at times and the occasional snark from characters that do it in the show (like Twilight) but not to the same level as MST3K.

I guess the more consice way of saying it is, looking through various what if universes and the occasional running themes for fanworks and getting the ponies (hopefully) natural reactions to what they see.

If you want to see the final version of the chapter, it's here: http://www.fimfiction.net/story/76238/windows

Hopefully I was able to add some heart to AJ and Blitz.
>> No. 126044
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Gosh, Bob, this here is charming! It's odd- Lyra thinks much like I imagine Pinkie must think. Pretty damn adorable! And your facility with language is a delight- somehow I get a powerful sense that there will be no silly mistakes or grammar derps. Except when Bon Bon says, "you want be to add more on top of it?”. Woopsy ;)

And "Lyra payed more attention" should be 'paid', and then the twinkling stars should have COME out to play, And her vision should return to ITS normal state. Guess you give the impression of being a more flawless writer than you are in first draft! Nice problem to have.

*snicker* Lyra is pure sitcom here, though expressed in a way only literature could manage. I can't really fault Pinkie and the CMCs too much, because they are sitcom versions and must somehow fit with the Lyra you've presented. I didn't trip over them at all, they are just sharing very similar motivations to Lyra- which is to say all the ponies are a little bit 'screwball' or 'straight mare'. It's not unappealing, just sort of different.

In that context, it's kinda neat to have Pinkie not be the biggest looniest screwball of them all. I approve. I think the question you gotta ask is, where are you leading the story to, and is anything learned or gained, or is it all about the screwball journey? I'd be quite content to see it all end with Lyra getting one perfect chocolate truffle, or something. I'd go 'well, that was empty calories writing', but I wouldn't mind because it feels RIGHT as such. It's like Edmund Crispin detective stories- an outburst of whimsy in colorful language that is just a frolic, nothing more.

I can think of lots of things that people write, that suit ponies less well than this. I say go for it if you're enjoying it. And remember, it's not necessarily about capturing THE canon personalities of the ponies, it's about capturing YOUR versions that will work with your Lyra and your tone. I happen to think your Pinkie works quite well as the unexpectedly coherent mare getting things done. I liked her better than a lot of more random takes on her personality... especially in THIS story.
>> No. 126045
Thank you for taking the time to review my story. I guess I won't worry too much about keeping all the other ponies perfectly canon so long as they fit the story. That be/me thing happens in my writing all the time. I'm going to have to add that to my list of common mistakes to watch out for. As for that string of errors, yikes. I probably should refrain from expanding existing scenes when I'm tired, or at least bold it so I remember to proofread the heck out of it later.

As for the story's direction, I know exactly where I want to go and how it'll all end. While Lyra might learn a lesson or two along the way, I doubt the reader will gain anything significant, and that's fine by me. All I'm really hoping for is to have the reader enjoy the time they spent on my story.
>> No. 126184
File 135846935226.png - (247.28KB , 1056x1252 , Azure Spark.png )
HiJinx! HA! I crack myself up Remember this? ( >>120812) Well, I finished it. Well, the first two chapters anyway. Might come back with the others.

Title: Grace in Equestria
Tags: Crossover, Comedy.
Wordcount: 2473
Synopsis: Okay, okay, cruddy title, I know, and this is going to be a cruddy synopsis as well. Grace is a super awesome alien girl with morphing abilities, and her crazy boyfriend sent her to Equestria for Celestia knows why. Did I mention she's part squirrel?
Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/15iwE3W8cFv37JFly9EAowPg91Ouwj7uJ7f1hZ61jkhU/edit

That's what I got so far. Twilight is the most difficult for me to write (actually, any unicorn is), so I'm hoping you can provide insight there, and I like to think I do Pinkie well but I still value her your opinion.
>> No. 126193
Hi there! I'm not certain about this next passage that I just wrote, for I think Fluttershy and Rarity might be a little out of character. If you find any other comments that you want to get out of the way, that would be awesome, but mostly I'm coming to you to question my characterization in these parts.

I'd like for you to ignore Spike's characterization, however. This is a Spike aged-up fic, and my take on him is quite different from the show. Doesn't mean it can't still be off, or weird, or anything, though.

Thanks a lot for your time! Warning: there is romance and kissing, but nothing NSFW!


Sorry for the rather abrupt ending; the chapter is not done yet, but I have pretty much finished the places that I am worried about.

Thank you very much!
>> No. 126194
Oops! Forgot:

Title: The Ones Forgotten
Tags: [Romance]
Word Count: 3,100
Synopsis (this is just THIS chapter, not the entire fic): Twilight broke her leg while carrying a wounded Spike home from a long hike, and Fluttershy is left to pick up the pieces. Meanwhile, Rarity attempts to comfort a guilty Spike.

Last edited at Fri, Jan 18th, 2013 02:43

>> No. 126243

>warning: romance
>don't worry, there's nothing NSFW!

hee hee hee hee hee
>> No. 126247
Well, I mean there's nothing NSFW in this particular chapter I'm asking for. :< it's to imply that in the rest of the fic there may be.
>> No. 126261
Here's muh story an' I'm stickin' to it
Be kind of ya'll ta look right to it
>> No. 126398
File 135979672525.png - (45.96KB , 175x159 , Screen shot 2011-11-29 at 2_43 PM 1.png )
Holy crap! My watched threads turned off without me noticin'. Be with y'all in a minute... WOW backlog...
>> No. 126401
File 135979991680.png - (15.59KB , 100x100 , Twilight_100x100_01.png )
Hmmm. I'm not sure of this one, partly because of things like Princess Celestia reassuring the guard that she's Princess Celestia with 'I am Princess Celestia, am I not?'. Also, I'm not sure you can ever write 'the unicorn nodded' if she's only just turned into one by shapeshifting- she wasn't a unicorn a moment ago so she's not THE unicorn, is she? She might be something else in a minute.

I'm not sure Princess Celestia would ever think, 'whew, I thought I'd never get them out of here'. She's very used to getting what she wants, so she doesn't react like one of us regular ponies.

Enter Twilight with polite introduction! Here we go... almost the first thing I do here is briefly consider that Spike's crushing on me. I don't buy it, even as a gag- I laugh at and mock ideas that are too crazy, and that one's completely crazy. And again with the characters explaining themselves too directly! Spike's rolling his eyes at his dialogue here. He said, "Good one, Twilight- you must be reading the wrong sort of books lately" which is actually not a relevant criticism, Spike, plus it's none of your business... sorry, back with you. Reading on...

(convenient scene break)

Spike! Make me some more coffee!

...affinity for- if only! Again with the explaining. Here's the thing- in this fic, we are constantly stepping outside ourselves and giving sort of overviews, and that's what needs work. You've got a tone like,

>"Hello! I'm Twilight Sparkle. I'm curious and a little neurotic, so I might freak out a little confronted with a giant squirrel, but I can usually be counted upon to come to my senses- which usually means I'll want to conduct wacky experiments!"

where you'd want to keep that inside the character's head, and reveal those things by inference, like

>"Oh my gosh! Wow. I'm almost certain I've never seen that big a rodent before. You're not offended that I called you a rodent? Squirrels are actually rodents, they're in the Sciuridae family. If that even applies- does it count as the same taxonomy if you're a giant huge enormous squirrel?"

I would say, work on making all our actions speak for us. Everypony here is far too ready to spout off about what they're like. The question to ask is, what do they say when it's so obvious what they're like that they take it for granted?

For instance, Spike saying "Me have a crush on you, Twilight? I don't think of you that way and the crush I have is on Rarity" can be taken for granted and then he says something already assuming those things, like "Heh, maybe if you curled up your mane just right"...
What, Spike?
"And had class"?!? Really?
Excuse me. I have an assistant who needs scolding...
>> No. 126402
File 135980115144.png - (73.20KB , 125x125 , 132631965934.png )
Well, I'll have to spend a few hours mulling over that, and it will make more sense as time rolls on. I'm glad that you pegged Celestia as Ooc, although I hope it wasn't too obvious.

>Spike having a crush on Twilight is a bad gag
Really? *sigh* well, that's two strikes, I'll cross my hooves I don't get a third, I really liked that joke.

>Over explaining everything
Ouch. I guess I'll have to fix that. The only problem is that I can't seem to find the problem, despite that you've pointed it out. Color me blind.

Last edited at Sat, Feb 2nd, 2013 13:56

>> No. 126403
File 135980253758.png - (13.86KB , 100x100 , Rarity_100x100_14.png )
Whilst Twilight lectures her assistant, I shall step into the breach, and offer what guidance I may: you've specified that Fluttershy and myself are in question, so I'll

>she looked like she had been on the bad end of a timberwolf.

Oh, my...

Ah, my debut arrives. If I may be so bold- "Have any guesses" is a terribly curt way to begin a sentence, and a lady does not say "with you shoving up all that guilt inside", and "if you’d like, I am here for you" rather suggests she is open to shoving something else, as it were, "all up inside". Ahem!

I've a rather odd response, I must admit. Darling, this dialogue shames me, because it is more earnest than I would normally permit: and this shines a harsh light on the limits of decorum. Yes, this is not Rarity, but it pains me to admit that it is not Rarity because it is far too heartfelt and unguarded, too open.

My defenses, my propriety are suddenly absent, and the truly harrowing thing is that there's ample excuse for it.


Or perhaps the truly harrowing thing is the sight of myself, smooching dear Spikey-wikey and grinning. Grinning! Darling! One does not seduce with grins like some bumpkin. One does not give away one's power with remarks like 'all you had to do was give me the time of day'. Goodness! That I would seek merely to elicit passionate feelings- I mean, that is all well and good, but there must be more, no? A glorious and elegant courtship, the finest manners, exquisite gifts...

*ahem* You see my plight. Honor demands that I indulge in a little self-examination, the better to communicate the problem, and this problem is partly within myself... You've depicted me as a selfless, infatuted mare pouring out her deepest feelings the better to devote herself to her amour. I fear I am neither that devoted nor that selfless. My generosity is balanced by the reverse- just as Rainbow Dash is courageous yet cowering, just as Applejack is honest yet cons herself and overcommits, just as Fluttershy is kind yet judgemental, I am generosity incarnate yet I am continually seduced by beauty and property. Perhaps that is what Spike sees in me- we are not dissimilar, I understand that part of him as few ponies can.

Let us assume I wish Spike's love. I WANT him to fight for my attention! I wish courting, and exquisite presents. I am quite aware of the value of a gift- do you not think I knew what I was doing when I gifted him with jewels? I will lead him on skilfully and indirectly. I shall not inform him, "All I want is to gaze into your eyes in bovine placidity". I wish to be swept off my hooves, impressed, entranced! I fear my fantasies are both more elaborate, and more unreasonable, than a sweeter, stupider pony's. Yet I would have them nevertheless, damn it.

Enough. I could go on for hours. Suffice to say, you had better show MY wants if you expect to be the least bit convincing. I do not only seek to devote myself to Spike. if I so choose, I can lavish him with elegance and delights beyond those of any other pony: why? Because I damned well work at it, darling, and I am very good at what I do. I know exactly what I have to offer. In return, I have... expectations.

Pray allow me my expectations, for verisimilitude. Don't worry, I will also be aware of them and trying to resist my dragonish greed and devote myself romantically. I am just reminding you that it will be a struggle, and my desire will only make my wishes more baroque and unreasonable. *pout*
>> No. 126410
File 135980481635.png - (12.58KB , 100x100 , Applejack_100x100_18.png )
Guess I'm up- yeeha!

This is about th' most passive story-start I ever did see. So little of it is things happenin' and so much is ABOUT things happenin'.
>skies promised a warning that would
>rose with the excitement that only another day of fun and friendship could
>descending the staircase of the Apple's house to find her sister's smile and a bowl of hay and juice both welcoming her, could
>was as happy as could be to

Mighty indirect! Nothin's just out there straight and simple, it's all stacked up. Gotta be more careful about putting the story everywhere but in the immediate moment- some paragraphs, you use 'had' four times and 'would' three times. Don't believe me?

>The hayshakes, cool, thick, and tastetastic, really hit the spot. Conversation between the trio turned to Silver Spoon and Diamond Tiara, who had become snotty once again when a new 'blank flank' had arrived at school. Her family had recently moved here, and the Crusaders were optimistic that the new arrival would be open to joining the club. Babs Seed had inducted two members of her own at her recently-established branch of the CMC, wasn't it just wonderful how the idea was taking off? At this rate, being a Crusader would be the cool, hip thing to be, and those two sourpuss fillies would be the ones pouting.

Less of that stuff, hon. There's also lil' details like Sweetie's lungs bellowing- I guess they act like a bellows, don't they? But firstly, it ain't lungs that make sounds, it's the vocal cords that do it, and secondly ain't no way Sweetie bellows, no-how. Bellowing's like a bull, it's a low pitched thing, if you got Big Mac mad enough he might bellow, Sweetie Belle no way.

I have to admit I am fightin' back a terrible smirk, on account of this scene I'm readin' appears to be a passel of ponies freaking out because Scootaloo has a feather out of place. It's funny as hell if you read it like that, though I know that's not the intention. Might want to dial it back by thinkin' "how upset would each of these ponies really be, by an injured filly?"

Oh, now Scootaloo has to have a wing amputated? Dang! I'm waitin' for the doctor to inform Rainbow that he's gotta gnaw it off with his teeth, or maybe smash it with a big ol' sledgehammer, just so I can see Dashie's face when.


Welp. This is, uh, a thing. Specific'ly a Scootabuse thing. I don't exactly understand why it's about Scoots comin' to terms with such a horrific injury, yet she runs off and then we sit with Dash th' whole time. It's nice that they get back together, though.

Get busy writin' more stories- seems like you had some folks enjoyin' this one, and more power to 'em. You're jes' makin' some funny decisions about whose mind to watch, and what's really important, but practice will help with that :)
>> No. 126425
Hi there everypony. I started working on a TwiDash fanfic last night. I'm new to both shipping and writing first-person fics, so I wanted to get some criticism for what I have so far before I go further, especially regarding Twilight's characterization and how believable I made her homophobia. It's short; a little over a thousand words, and I expect it will only take one or two more chapters. Thanks, and sorry if I'm breaking any rules. I'm new to chan-posting.


Last edited at Sun, Feb 3rd, 2013 07:36

>> No. 126426
File 135991231090.png - (10.99KB , 100x100 , Rainbow_100x100_12.png )
Hey! I heard I was the star of one of the fics, namely the seductive object of total desire to one Twilight Sparkle. It should be fun to read about me struttin' my stuff and conquering hostile territory, so I...



I like the beautiful body and toned-whatever part, don't get me wrong. There's not much here so I don't have to go on and on. Thing is, the whole tone of this is weird. It's heavy-hoofed. If it's about Twilight's 'homophobia'... and you have like only one or two more chapters in you... that's gonna be about as subtle as the parenting in My Little Dashie, and about as insightful.

They're just not like that, Anonymous. Twi actually explained it once to me and I'll see if I can remember what she said. There's a thing called 'rationalization' which basically means, if she really has that kind of a problem with it, she talks herself out of the attraction, or she talks herself out of the prejudice. One of them ends up with some weird twisted rationalization, even if it's totally pathetic, but you've got both the prejudice and the attraction sitting there and she's not questioning either. She would be pissed off at me- which actually is pretty common- or she'd be pissed off at the repression.

I say, she should be a little more pissed off at the repression and then we should have LOTS of really dirty sex. Repressed Twilights do crazy things to a pegasus, it'll be great to have some more of those scenes. And you can't do a decent job of making a more serious story out of it in a couple more chapters- nopony could, not starting from where you're starting.

If you do want to make it be more serious, Twilight's gotta be making excuses to herself about at least one of those things. Maybe both! She's crazy enough to get away with both. It would explain a lot.

>> No. 126427
File 135991344996.png - (11.31KB , 100x100 , Twilight_100x100_49.png )
I am NOT a crazy unicorn!

But I agree with a lot of what you're saying, Rainbow. This is a serious topic being looked at on not a very deep level. In particular, I don't think I'm the personality type to... let me put it this way. If I had a conflict like that, I'd be staying up nights thinking about it... shut up, Rainbow, I said THINKING about it! There is no way I wouldn't come up with some complicated explanation for things. This depicts me as somepony who never tried to make sense of it all, and is just accepting both poles of the dilemma without explanation. It's simpler to write, but I can tell you that's not me. The very first thing that comes to mind is, is, is to think up reasons why Rainbow Dash isn't really attractive.

>sticks out tongue at insufferable pegasus- so there!

Oh, no, wait! I have a better idea. I'd think up reasons why Rainbow Dash wasn't real, or wasn't a pony, and thus didn't count. Or better still, there's that sub-clause in there which states clearly that it's ACTIONS we are supposed to care about. So logically, I can go totally bonkers just as long as it's totally hypothetical! Or, ooh, ooh, I see another loophole. Actions are bad so I'd be prohibited from clopping myself with a hoof. But what if my magic doesn't count as an action because it's nonphysical? I could have all the fun I wanted just as long as Rainbow never ever tried to make things actually be physical, and it would all make sense.


Yeah, not like Dash would find THAT confusing at all. Nooooo problem there.

So fine, write something like that. Anything as long as I get to think up loopholes and weasel out of the terms that I don't like. It's a privilege of being a studious unicorn. 90% of pony lawyers are unicorns, did you know? Just as 3% of statistics are made up on the spot. Oops, make that 4%...
>> No. 126428

Thanks. I had a feeling I wasn't getting the idea I had in mind across well and it's good to have that confirmed.

Basically, I wanted to play with some assumptions. Equestria is by all appearances not something that could be in any way, shape or form described as a patriarchal society. There’s no dominant religion to condemn same-sex relations either. So if there was going to be any sort of anti-homosexual sentiment it had to come from something very different from what we see in our own society. So the idea I had was that when she was younger Twilight latched onto the Equestrian equivalent of the Natural Law philosophy that forms the intellectual basis of the real-life Catholic Church’s condemnation of same-sex relations, and never really broke out of it because she was ashamed to raise the subject around her teachers and thereby be introduced to better takes on the subject.

Yeah that was wordy and probably pretty boring, but hopefully it made sense. I’m going to have to do some thinking about whether the idea is worth sticking with and whether I can pull it off or not. I do still think I may have the outline of something workable, but…yeah. Maybe it’ll be clearer when it’s not 2:30 AM.

Thanks again. I’ll come back when and if I manage to rewrite it enough to be worth a second look.
>> No. 126429

PS: Any further input on whether the basic idea is viable or not would be appreciated.
>> No. 126432


I've written pony fanfic before, but I usually write OC's. This is the first fic where I'm writing the mane 6, and I'd appreciate a little critique on whether or not I'm approaching it correctly. The first three chapters are done, and it shouldn't be more than five or six chapters total.

The fic is meant to take place after season 3, so keep that in mind. Yes, Twi's an alicorn in this.

Any feedback is appreciated!

Link: https://www.fimfiction.net/story/80330/learning-to-fly

Thank you!
>> No. 126437
File 135993352619.png - (12.58KB , 100x100 , Applejack_100x100_18.png )
This is very nice, an' not excitin' at all, for all the aerial unicorn madness. Did you want it to be? It's cheerful and reads easy- thing is, I reckon even the KID SHOW is gonna have a little more drama about Twilight gettin' wings than you've got there. Everypony is taking it for granted an awful lot, in your story. It's nice and soothing and more true to the heart of things than a lot of stories I seen... but there's no challenge in it, and no conflict to speak of, not that I can see.

Again, did you want this to be excitin' or anything? Maybe it's what you're happy doing.
>> No. 126442

Thanks for the feedback!

I wanted it to be as close to the feel of the show as possible. Plus I didn't want to go too far with speculation considering the, er, transformation hasn't aired yet.

I wanted it to be kind of a cheerful slice of life. The conflict is supposed to be Twilight's drive, instigated by RD's enthusiasm, to push herself too hard. This will come to a head in the next few chapters. Of course, if it's boring that's no good. I've never written slice of life before so maybe I'm not being direct enough with the conflict?
>> No. 126448
Hello, AJ!

So, I have this story, and I'm curious as to if I've got the characters down alright. You say anything goes as long as it's "intended to be in-character and canon". Well, it's an AU story, but the characters aren't mean to sound any differently, so I hope it's okay?

I think Twilight should have a bit to say, since the story's told mostly from her point-of-view, but any of the girls are free to chip in, if they wish.

Link: http://www.fimfiction.net/story/24518/twilights-odyssey
>> No. 126451
File 135997025578.png - (11.89KB , 100x100 , Twilight_100x100_24.png )
Ooh, typography! Sometimes that's a tip-off that we won't be suffering too many spelling mistakes. We'll see how true THAT is...

Whoa. That is about the freakiest dream sequence, though it was done so simply... I'm a little impressed to be honest. Without apparent effort, you've got a bunch of vague foreshadowing around Trixie, you've set up Shining's time away from home- it's very straightforward, but that's all to the good because it's building up momentum.

By that, I mean that I'm developing a clearer and clearer idea of what's actively happening, but I'm also getting signposts to areas like Trixie which are like 'watch this space', so the areas of mystery are also being defined and limited without actually explaining them.

This is rather interesting- Princess Celestia is not the near-deity she is for us, instead it's like she leads the unicorns in collectively pursuing her normal duties. Something about that feels oddly satisfying (maybe it's just me being a unicorn, I ought to ask a pegasus or earth pony).

I've not seen ONE grammar mistake or awkwardness that knocked me out of the story. That's interesting in itself. Right now, what I'm doing is looking for the spark- some novel thing that is outside the scope of a simple retelling of our backstory.

Statues with darker marble blushing their cheeks? I don't think it's possible to... *ERK* (freezes, realizing) Whoa. I get it. That's an awfully dark element for this story, though. It makes me wonder if you're up to really digging into some of the elements we have to work with... right now, it feels like you're going to produce a technically flawless but shallow slice-of-life epic. Gosh, you mention the 'lifelike' statues again. You do realize you're highlighting something that's alarming? OH CRAP... they're students who cheated! Maybe not...

Ooooh. The dragon egg is a Kobayashi Maru? ...I'll explain later, Applejack... And suddenly, it's a different Princess.

Okay, you've really got my attention. All I'm wondering now is if you've got an agenda. That's how this works. You've got all the technical facility I could ask for, and you seem to be able to foreshadow and build up story energy toward a goal, so the crux of this will be whether you're retelling the story that's been fed to you with a few elements changed, or whether you've got a purpose and something to say.

It almost doesn't matter what the purpose is. MLP has a very humanistic, affirming agenda, but for instance Fallout has a harsh and despairing agenda and it can still drive a story's tone just fine, because it's a direction and a 'moral' behind everything- it's a nasty moral where hope fails or is expressed through sacrificing all, but it's still an agenda. You're going to have to have a purpose, not just the ability to write clearly and straightforwardly, and to have that purpose you're going to have to please some readers and not others.

One neat thing about public ponywriting is that you can hear from your audience, and they can express their wants. Doesn't mean you have to try and fulfill them, but you should use that as signposts that show you where you can chart your course. Take this story somewhere. Say something with it. Your facility with the more basic stuff almost demands that you take matters into your own hooves and make it a little more personal.
>> No. 126460

Thanks! I'm glad you seem to like most of it.

Since you made no complaints about it, I'm going to assume all the characters sounded okay?

I'll hope to provide that extra "spark" in the future. I definitely don't want my work to be shallow. Also, it's true that it's mostly been a retelling thus far, but the narrative will deviate from canon more and more as time goes on. I wouldn't say that the story itself necessarily centers around telling a certain moral or "agenda", but I think you should be able to read a lot into the story once it gets there. I hope it won't feel empty by the end, at least.

Again, thank you for bringing this to my attention! I'll definitely keep it in mind as I keep writing.
>> No. 126485
File 136006629290.png - (16.85KB , 100x100 , Twilight_100x100_12.png )
Oh, yes, it was pleasing to read. What I meant was, I should feel the goal of the story pulling at me, if possible from the beginning. I'm (well, Applejinx is) giving a Bronycon panel about exactly this among other novel-oriented topics...
My point is, foreshadowing comes in many forms. There's outright suggesting, and then there's also 'priming' which is use of particular words because they nudge the reader in certain directions. If it's a romance we should be feeling that longing from early on, if it's a drama you could hint at things about those statues and sneak terms like 'fairness' or 'unjust' in where they're not noticed; you're managing the reader's emotions, sneakily guiding them into feeling like the story's pulling them a certain way. if you do it correctly, not only are readers excited about upcoming chapters (seeking the confirmation of their suspicions) but they can get to the end of a whole story or book and clamor for more, loudly, because they sensed all the underlying threads.
It's similar to the difference between suspense and surprise: just as the story-world is that which is carried with the reader and not immediately on the page, the suspense is that which is real to the reader but hasn't happened yet.
>> No. 126492

I see. Thank you! I think I've got a lot clearer picture of what you meant :)
>> No. 126961
File 136272997722.png - (77.52KB , 500x365 , Count SweetieBelle.png )
Hi there! Long time listener, first-time caller, as they say.

In speculative fiction, especially fanfiction, you sometimes have to deal with a certain amount of ridiculousness. I've been told the best way to handle this is to minimize the amount of ridiculousness that the reader has to swallow, and keep everything else as grounded as possible.

That's what I'm coming to you for. I want to make sure that everypony is acting as true to themselves as they can, given the circumstances, so that my premise can go down smoothly.

Title: To Serve Bronies
Link: http://www.fimfiction.net/story/85516/to-serve-bronies
Tags: Human (the humans are not the primary PoV characters), Dark (not too dark, but like, semisweet chocolate dark)
Short Synopsis: Twilight Sparkle and Rarity, like all unicorns, are omnivores with a taste for certain types of meat. Fluttershy and Applejack are used to protecting non-equine critters. Two savory bronies will put friendships in jeopardy.

Thank you in advance for your critique, and for the entertaining service you provide our community with. [/gush]
>> No. 127245
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Dang if my 'watched threads' didn't turn itself off right when this showed up. That is about th' most ironic thing ever.

Now you got eight followers 'cos I'm gonna read this whole story. You had me but ya clinched it when Zecora sounded like herself.

Work on th' grammar stuff, okay? I've seen some derps, like paragraphs of dialogue without space between 'em and such-like. There are many people who will be able to help ya with the 'negative space' of picky grammar details. I might even chime in, but not as part of a grand overview.

My grand overview jes' tells me you should be doing this here and I'm gonna read everything you've done until I catch up, then wait for whatever else you write :) I always wondered about them unicorns! Hah!
>> No. 127246
File 136518995009.png - (113.97KB , 853x831 , Bradel Seated.png )
Ooh, now this looks all sorts of interesting! I'm really glad I stumbled over to this /fic/ place.

I've got a story I put together a couple months back. It's generally been well-received, but I've seen some conflicting opinions about my characterization. The story's done at this point, but I feel like getting some more input might be helpful for my future efforts. So hearing what you girls think of it would definitely interest me!

Link: http://www.fimfiction.net/story/79776/the-amazingly-awesome-adventures-of-tank-the-tortoise-by-r-dash
>> No. 127248
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This made me very, very happy.

I'm glad I won you over by chapter 2. I'm tickled pink by the comments. I'm looking forward to your future reviewing.

And...eight followers? .-. I don't follow you. Please explain.

*gushes fangasmically*
>> No. 127249
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Oooh, INteresting. This is a sort of writing tutorial played out in vignettes between Rainbow and Pinkie!

Oh my gosh. Pinkie's H. P. Lovecraft? I wondered whether she was writing clops, but this is so much better. Now I'm wondering what sort of books ALL the mane six write in secret. I once made a story idea where Applejack was secretly Hemingway (putting that out there in case I ever do it, fair warning)

I've read the whole thing in one sitting and don't feel in the least imposed upon. It's not quite the sort of thing that makes me squee and follow (those are more unusual) but all the same it's one of the nicest and most interesting fics I've ever critiqued.

As to that characterization, I honestly don't understand what the problem's supposed to be, unless it's H. Pinkamena Lovecraft there—and to lose her would be horrible! That is the one window into a broader world. Even the show itself has to show glimpses of deeper context. You do NOT have a characterization problem, your writing ideas have just become enough of a 'thing' to offend a few readers.

That's good. Writing inoffensively is a fault, or sometimes a tactic towards aiming at a broad audience. That's fine as far as it goes, but to spread out your focus means dissipating it. Better to aim at a particular target and include elements like H. P. that enlighten specifically your story even if they don't work for absolutely every reader ever.
>> No. 127252
Thanks, Twilight. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

The complaints actually had to do with RD and Tank (one reader commenting that her thinking negatively about him was too OOC to be believable, another commenting elsewhere that Tank reacting so negatively was similarly too OOC). I don't think anyone disliked The H P(inkamena) Lovecraft bit – not to my knowledge, anyway.

You make a good point about pleasing everyone, though, and I think I'm perhaps too eager to try to do just that. I want to make sure that I'm doing a good job with characterizations, but it's true enough that not every reader is going to see these characters in exactly the same way. The only way to avoid someone, somewhere finding your characters OOC is probably to write them in situations where they can just parrot canon. If you ask the characters to act in novel ways or make real choices, it's probably inescapable that someone will feel those actions or choices don't mesh with their own understanding of the character.

(And actually, it's a long-term project, but there are plans for a full set of stories like this. A fuller version of Pinkie's story is already in the works, and early sketches are in place for the others. But shhh. Only one of my pre-readers knows that right now. ...telling /fic/ is like telling it to an empty room, right?)
>> No. 127402
Hello, Applejinx!

I'm hoping you're still open for business. Assuming you haven't sent the staff off on hiatus, might I request a story review. It has been through The Training Grounds once. I'd like to think that it is nearly ready for public consumption, but I'm looking for a second opinion.

Title: Forever Young
Author: Hyperexponential
Tags: [Sad][Slice of Life]
Synopsis: Nopony ever said the friendship between Fluttershy and Discord would be an easy one. The difference in their life expectancies doesn’t help, but that’s a problem Discord can fix with a snap of the talons—that is, until Fluttershy finds out. Discord isn’t one to give up easily, though. He’ll do anything to keep his one and only friend. Anything.

Inspired by the image by C-Puff, here: http://c-puff.deviantart.com/art/Friend-Request-358777066
Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Hudfh2-ixVXtFbkGs3Lc5wew7Ll3WqSQ-VgCjBavb34/edit
Word Count: 3,563 word one-shot
Comments: I appreciate having any mechanical issues pointed out, but I'm primarily after a critique of the storytelling, with emphasis on characterization, dialogue, and pacing. This is also posted for a second trip through The Traning Grounds. My ultimate goal is to get this story EQD-worthy.

Previous Review: http://mlpchan.net/fic/res/3448.html#5048
>> No. 127408
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Sure, I'm game. *read*

Damn if you don't get into the heart of th' story quick! This is a strength an' a weakness. It's direct and hustles the story along, but what it says is the characters are utterly transparent to each other. They're an open book, like they don't even have separate mental states, so Fluttershy knows instantly that Discord has put a spell on her, and Discord instantly recognizes how upset she is. 'Would it be so bad?' 'What have you done?' 'I did it for you!' in immediate succession. They don't have to be THAT tuned in to every little mood of the other, it feels unrealistic.

I like Rarity, though again it feels like she's racing toward her final conclusion. It's sincere and heartfelt, but again the amount of directness is huge, it's just galloping toward the end goal. Your trouble is you cain't think of annoyin' complications worth a damn—well, that's puttin' it strongly but you get the idea. It's hard for you to keep contradictin' goals in your head, you're pulled to the finish line. The complicating element has to be more real for you, more persuasive, because otherwise it is just the sketch of an idea. That's how you fill stuff out, you let 'em fight and argue and you risk it not comin' out the way you planned.

Discord sayin' take me with you, that's powerful stuff. Again, as soon as you see it comin' there it is, he makes no effort to hide it because at no point does he seriously mean to fool Fluttershy about things. He only wants to make his case.

The whole ending is so sedate and direct. You gotta understand that it's not interestin' to THE STORY whether the town loved Fluttershy and put up a statue of her: of course they did, but she ain't really the statue type. And Discord's capacity for bein' statue-ized is a distraction from what really went on here, which is that he chose to be mortal. You might have 'em buried under one gravestone to drive home the real point, which is not that they were celebrated but that they are united in mortality. Morbid, but the touchingness there is not about parades an' statues.

If I was dealin' with the ending I'd probably do somethin' like have his magic cause butterflies like her cutie mark to spawn on her grave. By herself no such thing would happen, and his magic could have lasting effects, but due to his love the effects are Fluttershy-ized, showin' how she changed him. I dunno, it's a tricky business.

You want to get to th' heart of what your story is really about, and it's not about the attitudes of the town at all, it's super personal. Especially with them bein' so in tune, the least you could do is have their statues be Fluttershy cuddlin' in his tail or something. Put 'em together for pony's sake!
>> No. 127418

AJ, I want to thank you kindly for your well-considered (and exceptionally timely!) review. Who better to get an honest critique from?

I apologize for my delayed acknowledgement. I intend to respond to the various points that you raise, but I find myself dancing between the raindrops at the moment. Please be assured such a response is forthcoming; I hope to post it by Friday. In any event, do know that your efforts on my and my story's behalf are appreciated, and I have not forgotten you.

ADDENDUM (April 26, 2013):

Applejack, many thanks for your critique. It will contribute significantly to the revision of my story. Below is a long-overdue response to some of the points of your review.

I won’t deny getting the story off to a fast start. I agree that Discord is overly transparent to Fluttershy in the first scene; I am taking steps to correct that. As for Fluttershy being transparent to Discord in that scene, I’ll argue that that depends upon how long ago Discord cast his spell. Something I’ve not made explicit, and perhaps need to, is that enough years have passed since his spell that the beauty of youth is starting to fade for all the mane six except Fluttershy and Twilight. In that time, Discord has realized the inevitability of the conversation Fluttershy is trying to have with him. He’s been rehearsing his rationalizations and evasions for a while now. In that first scene, Fluttershy needs more time to recognize Discord’s trickery, but once she’s on to him, I’d expect Discord’s response to be well planned out.

I’m actually a bit surprised that you find the second scene, in which Fluttershy and Rarity have their talk, to be overly direct. Fluttershy’s goal is to have Rarity do the talking with as little prompting as possible. It takes some doing on Fluttershy’s part to get Rarity to consider the question that Fluttershy has in mind, and while Fluttershy does everything she can think of to steer Rarity to a “yes”, Rarity consistently answers “no.” By the end of the scene, Rarity is finally answering the correct question, but her answer is not the one Fluttershy was expecting. Also, Rarity completely misunderstands the motives behind Fluttershy’s questions.

The next-to-last scene is open to the same criticisms as the first scene. I may have left it obscure in the first scene, but I’m hoping it is plainer here that Fluttershy receives her revelations more by way of Discord’s physical responses than through his words. And as for any transparency of Fluttershy to Discord, I would argue that, as in the first scene, Discord was playing out a conversation that he long knew could not be avoided.

As to the ending, I clearly messed up some things. The references to Ponyville in the epilogue were only meant to be taken in passing. Except for the townsponies’ appearance at the funeral, I will ruthlessly expunge all references to Ponyville and its citizens. (For whatever it may be worth, you were not the only one to read into the story an interest in Ponyville that I did not intend.)

The very last paragraph, set in the Canterlot Sculpture Garden, seems to have several issues. Apparently, I did not make it clear that a certain statue was the product of hammer and chisel and not draconequine petrification (which, while more convenient, would presumably have yielded an older-looking statue.) Also, my intention was not to make the statues targets of admiration, but only to set them in a quiet, secluded place with the dignified atmosphere of a military cemetery. There, Fluttershy and Discord, now indeed forever young, could be together through eternity, even if only in the form of cut stone. I will endeavor to make that come across more clearly. As you say, “It’s a tricky business.”

Applejack, I admit it: When it comes to a bittersweet ending, I would rather err toward the bitter than the sweet. I believe a story tagged “sad” should hold to its convictions, but I know you would wish as happy an ending as possible for your good friend Fluttershy. Lest you think my heart be made entirely of stone (chiseled or otherwise), let me direct you to the last sentence of the penultimate paragraph. I’ve personally not completed the journey taken by the two main characters, so if a reader wants to imagine Discord finding Fluttershy waiting for him where time’s river flows into the sea of eternity, who am I to say she's wrong?

Last edited at Fri, Apr 26th, 2013 22:37

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