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121215 No. 121215
Greetings all, and welcome to the Training Grounds, the review thread for all authors, reviewers, proofreaders, and editors, both newcomer and seasoned veteran alike. It isn't the only such thread, but it's usually the busiest! (Previous edition of The Training Grounds; The sticky, which contains important information)

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Unspoiler all text  • Expand all images  • Reveal spoilers
>> No. 121217
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>> No. 121219

Should I repost my review request?
>> No. 121220
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>tfw this wasn't a joke thread.

I think I'll pick up that fic Dromer's working on,(Into the Night>>115811) Since it's been well over a month--almost two--since he picked it up.

Nah, you're in the queue, no need.
>> No. 121222
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Cool beans.

Now we play the waiting game...
>> No. 121226
Should be working now, also added in the previous thread ID. If anything's up, lemme know.
>> No. 121228
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Ahhhh, the coveted first review of the new thread. Well, let's get started, shall we?
I'm loving this new Spitfire pic

All right, Commissar-Rarity, let's start with your title. It's not a bad title, but I can't help feel that it's a little misleading. If you take it to mean a literal journey, as in the journey that Twilight makes to answer the Call, then it's not a very interesting journey; it's rather short and nothing really happens. If you take it as a more metaphorical journey, what I took to be Twilight's acceptance of the inevitability of death, then it's a little better.

The problem I have with this fic is the general lack of detail and description. It seems like you're doing your best to dance around the details and provide clues to fill us in. However, I feel that there are not enough clues to adequately fill in the spaces left by Twilight's vague letter(s). I'm actually glad it's like this and not the other way around. Too much description would have been much worse, I think, as it would have ruined a lot of the mystery. On the other hand, what you have now is too much mystery. Twilight talks a lot about the Call, and how it affects each of her friends; we can infer that it, apparently, is not something that affects every pony, just the Elements of Harmony, but we don't know why. Don't take this as me telling you that should spell it out for the reader saying: “Well, here's the thing...”, but a little more detail would be nice. Any kind of hint as to what the Call is, or why it affects, presumably, only the Elements; or even give some clues as to why Celestia knows nothing of it. There are vague references at the beginning to Twilight hearing a veritable orchestra of forest noise, but there is no clear indication that this is the Call, or that is anything other than a series of unexplained noises. I can make an educated guess that this is the Call, but I have no real evidence to back that up.

Don't get me wrong, I liked this fic quite a bit, for what it does, but I feel like it could be much better. The whole thing feels distinctly vague and some parts feel unnecessarily descriptive when contrasted with the lack of details regarding the main conflict. For example, the parts with the chimpanzee—which, honestly, I still don't see the point of—and the timberwolf—again, why?—seem oddly detailed but for no apparent reason. The chimpanzee I can see loosely being important because he/she gives Twilight the apple, but even the apple wasn't important. The timberwolf was even less important and you spent an entire paragraph showing him with his fox kit only to have Twilight make some passing remark about the fragility of life. It felt forced and decidedly unimportant. Now, I'm not saying you shouldn't have these parts in there (except maybe the chimp, because why the **** is a chimp in the Everfree Forest?), just that you should make them actually meaningful (I realize that's easier said than done).

As for the letter and how it was broken up and told in little stints throughout the narrative, I liked that—quite a bit actually, despite some problems I had which I'll bring up in a moment. And, as it turns out, that moment is now.

I liked Rainbow Dash's section quite a bit, but I felt that it was very un-Rainbow of her to just leave one day without so much as a goodbye. She is, after all, the Element of Loyalty. Also, as I mentioned in the comments on gdocs, I feel like her accident(?) could have a bit more description. As it is now I find it a little hard to sympathize with her when I only know vaguely what happened. Speaking of that, when Rainbow left and all her friends went looking for her it seemed like they gave up fairly quickly. Twilight confesses that she knew Rainbow was gone, but she, apparently, doesn't tell her friends. So, despite her friends wanting to look for Rainbow, Twilight, somehow, convinces them to give up. I just can't see that happening, especially not because of something as trivial as a shortage on rations.

Rather than detail all the other sections I'll just say that I had similar problems with all of them. I liked each section well enough, but I felt that they lacked description and so it was hard for me to feel any real emotion. So, instead of talking about their sections I'm going to talk about this:
>Great and Powerful…
Now, I'm always up for some Twixie shipping despite my general dislike for shipping, but this came completely out of left-field and held absolutely no bearing on the plot. Why was Twilight in love with Trixie? Why does she have her cloak? Why does she just give away what is undoubtedly something she cares dearly for to a chimp? Is Trixie dead also? I can assume she is because of the cloak, but I have no real indication that that is the case. In fact, I have no indication that Twilight was actually in lesbians with Trixie at all, outside of a vague reference at the end:
>Long enough to gain and lose a lover.
Yes, this also points to the idea that she's dead, but I can only make an educated that this “lover” is even Trixie in the first place. I have to ask why this was important at all. I mean, Twilight doesn't seem to care about Trixie, or even mention that she (probably) died in her letter, despite the fact that she was (probably) her lover. It just feels like it was shoe-horned in for no reason other than: “Sure I can give Twilight an arbitrary love interest. And I'll make that love interest Trixie, because why not?” Like I said, I love me some Twixie, but not when it's there for no reason. Heck, you don't even mention her by name. If Twilight doesn't even care enough about her to say her name, then why should I care about her?

Okay, I think that's most of the problems I had with the story (read my comments for anything else I forgot to mention here). Now I'll briefly cover grammar. Good news? Yep, this thing is pretty free of the common grammatical errors I find, which was awesome by the way. There were a handful of awkward phrases strewn about that I attempted to highlight, and the occasional tense disagreement, but nothing major, so good job there. Oh, and there were a few times you slipped into the passive voice and it kind of stuck out. Again, I tried to highlight those for you.

Moving on...
Showing vs. Telling
Actually, you did a pretty good job of this which is refreshing to see. There were some places where you told me things you had already effectively shown me, but other than that it was not a horribly telly nightmare like I've come to expect from the majority of fics. That being said however, it could do a lot better still. As I stated earlier, the general lack of descriptiveness really brings this down. It's hard to enjoy it when there is so little being shown. To help with this I'll give you the same link that I love passing around here (probably because it's a such a good resource).
And here's a link to Ezn's guide, which is also awesome.

All right, I think I've covered most everything I wanted to. Now I'll retroactively temper everything I said by saying that I'm not infallible and so it is very possible that I'm wrong, and that you should take what I say with a grain of salt. Draw your own conclusions and don't let me tell you how to think. I'm simply here to point you in, what I believe, is the right direction. Only you can walk that path. As always, I suggest getting another review from someone more experienced than. If I may, I suggest MintyRest's thread. He'll tell you exactly what's wrong with your fic and, best of all, he'll be brutally honest about it.

Anyway, good luck and keep writing,
>> No. 121229
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While I'm at it I'll claim A Series of Alternate Equestrias because it's damn short.

Expect a review later today...
>> No. 121237
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Hullo there, everybody. I'd like my story reviewed.

Title: My Money's Safer in My Mattress
Author: MonoGlyph
Tags: [Alternate Universe] [Random?] [Dark-ish? Sorta?] Uhh. I'd like some help tagging.
Synopsis: Twilight Sparkle, pedantic loner and former student to Princess Celestia, attempts the unprecedented: armed robbery of the Equestrian National Bank in Canterlot. That's her intention, anyway. Twilight's partner in crime, Rarity, insists that two ponies are not sufficient to pull off a job of this caliber. And apparently she has four other participants in mind...
Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/15KZoEjmlQHxjMUuA0H-xT4Qj4oBRr6H21INisc9CTrA/edit
Chapters: It's a one-shot.
Comments/requests: None to speak of.

I'd especially like some feedback on the ending ('cos I have trouble with endings, I tend to rush). Also, I'd like to know that everything in the story makes sense in spite of the ending. That is... Well, you'll see what I mean. Somewhere towards the middle of the story, I shift to present tense narration. I'm not very experienced in this area, so all comments and tips regarding this style are appreciated. Thanks.

P. S. I'm considering trying my hand at reviewing on here to give back to the thread or whatever, but I'm still kinda on the fence about it. I'm not really familiar with the grammatical lexicon and most of what I know about writing is pretty much based on intuition. So I may just end up embarrassing myself and the plucky would-be author whose work I'd review. I dunno.

P. P. S. Any of you fellows know anything about Aquillo? He started reviewing my first story, 'Their Otherworldly Grace', and then I heard he was having internet issues. He hasn't made another post since the Celestia on the Moon days. I've been lurking here since then, waiting for him to come back. Any information would be appreciated.
>> No. 121241
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Yes, I know I just claimed another story, but I like the sound of this. I'm a huge fan of both the original and the remake of Ocean's 11. So, I'm totally behind the idea of a pony bank robbery. If you don't mind waiting a day or so I'll get a review as quick as I can.

Don't be afraid of reviewing. Just having another set of eyes to look at a fic can be incredibly helpful, even if you're not an expert in terms of grammar.

I don't know about Aquillo, sorry. Haven't seen that dude in awhile.
>> No. 121250

Understood. You can take as long as you need. Despite the premise, I've never actually watched Ocean's 11. I just thought it was a cool concept for a fanfic that I haven't seen done yet. So maybe I'm not the best person to have written this.

Thanks for your prompt response. I look forward to hearing from you.

As for the reviewing deal, I guess I'll try it when I see something manageable being submitted. Pretty intimidating stories in the queue right now. We'll see how that goes.
>> No. 121259
Title: Existence
Name: Bulbasaur
Email: See header
Tags: [Normal]
Synopsis: Another Celestia immortality piece.
Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1EMub62aExVQeB4nO04ckLbeS3xk8iH9v5Zr7Q7rB6zY/edit

Wordcount: 565

I wrote this for the minific write-off, but even though it was constrained to 600 words then, I have no problem going over with edits and whatnot. Thank you in advance to whoever takes this!
>> No. 121262
Wonderful. A smaller story I could test myself on. You gotta crawl before you can walk, and all that... I'll just claim it, Existence by Bulbasaur. Uuh. There's nothing else I need to do to start reviewing, right? Include the post number and date... That's 10/2. The fiddling with the spread sheets is for the maintainers, right, right, right. Googledocs means a reviewer can post their thoughts below the fic itself, is that correct?

I'm a little nervous, but hopefully I can give you a satisfactory review.
>> No. 121268

Thanks for taking it! If you'd like to post your thoughts below the fic, I could make it so that you could do that (if you have a Google account); as it stands, you can only comment on it (Insert ->Comment, or Ctrl+Alt+M)

Don't worry about it; another pair of eyes is always welcome. Chances are, you're a good reader and your opinion is probably representative of most readers, so your review will help, no matter how unworthy you may think you are.

Good luck!
>> No. 121269
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Oh, Timefly, little did you know that I would be the one reviewing A Series of Alternate Equestrias. Prepare yourself...

So, let's start with your title and synopsis. The title is fine; it spells out what this fic is going to be rather succinctly—awesome. Similarly, your synopsis is also awesome; it's short, sweet, and to-the-point. Well—now that we got that out of the way, let's move on.

Now, I've left you a good few comments in gdocs, so that should help. But, I'll go ahead and outline some stuff here too. A problem I found to be rather prevalent in your fic is that you give detail to things that are unimportant, but you leave out details on things you'd think would be important. It's a little frustrating really. Also, occasionally your prose gets a little purple, and it kind of feels out of place with the rest of the writing. There were a few typographical errors, misspellings, and missing letters, but overall it's relatively free of grammatical errors. However, that being said, there are some mighty awkward phrases in here.
>Twilight’s face screwed as she focused through the maelstrom of her thoughts.
>Tears began to bite at the edges of Rarity’s vision.
>Light enveloped her horn and, with a rapid flash, they were again gone.
>“A tea would be fabulous, darling?”
>It contrasted noticeably with her coat, creating an effect which attracted the eyes.
These are just a few examples, but there are more. I pointed out what I could, but you should really read this aloud and see what sounds awkward to you.

Oh yes, ellipses...
Now, an ellipsis is used to indicate trailing off, or fading out. They are NOT used for interruption.
>“Twilight, are you sur...”
>“But Nietzsche’s ideas of overcoming yourself...”
You see, these are places where you should use en or em dashes. Hint:Use em dashes because they are bigger and more awesome

There are a few times were your prose gets oddly passive. It sticks out to me and feels kind of weird to read it. For a quick explanation of passive vs. active voice I'll give some examples:
>Twilight punched Spike in the face. Active
>Spike is punched in the face by Twilight. Passive
Basically, it boils down to this:
Active Subject verbs.
Passive Subject is verbed.
Here's a link to explain this better than I can.

Moving on..
Real quick, why the eff are you using wingdings as your scene breaks?
Seriously, what the crap? If you really don't want to use conventional scene breaks, then at least center this.
Show vs. Tell. Now, you're decent about this, but you could be better. I won't bother explaining it, because this link will do a much better job than I can.

All right, now for the fun part: the story.
Well, I can't say I've ever seen a ponyfic like this one. Although, I may not be the best judge of originality since I rarely read ponyfics outside of reviewing. I've copied other stories accidentally several times simply because I don't read other people's fics. So, with that admission tempering this portion of my review, let's continue.
I'm not sure why you have the [Sad] tag, as nothing is really very sad, but it does feel like this deserves a [Random] tag, because this is all over the place. The first two alternate universes were amusing enough, if a little disgusting and eye-roll inducing (in that order). But, I have to wonder what one[b/] change to history would induce these universes. (Actually, the same goes for all the other alternate Equestrias as well) However, the third universe came completely out of left-field. I presume that in this universe Twilight (and possibly Applejack, Rainbow Dash, and Pinkie Pie) died, but it's only vaguely referenced as to why. Also, why Twilight's death would drive Rarity and Fluttershy to study constantly is beyond me. Fluttershy seems to have become well-versed in psychology, but... why? Rarity is distraught and, according to Fluttershy, a mess, but... why? They also seem to have become generally knowledgeable about everything, but... why? I ask these questions because this is what I thought to myself while reading.

I think the problem I have with this fic as a whole is that you constrained it right in the beginning by saying:
>“The ‘what if’ spell is an illusory universe spell in which the spell caster, and optionally accomplice, view an alternate form of the universe bounded under the condition of a random change in the history of its timeline.
> bounded under the condition of a random change in the history
> a random change
This makes it seem like you are limiting the change to a singular event, but the universes you create feel wildly different from the one we know. For example, the all-Pinkie world. How the crap would one change to history create a world of only Pinkie Pies? And the universe where everyone speaks in puns. What could [b]possibly
cause that? If “what if” spell where more like the Professor's “What If” machine in Futurama (Anthology of Interest I/II), then I would be more okay with this. What I mean by that is, in Futurama they give the machine a question, and then the machine shows them what would happen. In this fic, there are, presumably, what if questions being asked, but we don't know what they are. If you have Twilight ask a question then preform the spell I think that would make this much more enjoyable, rather than just a series of random worlds with no explanation as to why they are the way they are.

Don't get me wrong, I actually liked this story quite a bit. I thought it was fairly humorous Despite the revolting fat section, and the borderline clop part and it was not riddled with grammatical errors, which is always a plus. But, I do think this could be much better, and I would love to see you get there. I would suggest also adding more description to each world, not inane details, but things that flesh out the actual universe you just created. But, I do have one more problem...

>Twilight looked at Spike and Spike looked at Twilight. Smiles played on their lips. Twilight stretched out a hoof and Spike held out a paw. They met, made contact; never to let go.

What? This fic randomly, and without any warning, turns into a TwilightxSpike ship. I have no idea why, and apparently neither do you since no explanation is given. If you had at least foreshadowed this somewhat before hand (maybe you did, but I didn't see it), then I would be at least somewhat okay with this. As of now it just seems to come out left-field and hit you in the face in literally the last paragraph. My jaw actually dropped as I asked myself “What the fuck?” Maybe you can explain this more to me. I'm willing to listen. Either way, this review is pretty much over now.

Fairly amusing, but needs some work. Also, fat Twilight and bondage Rarity... why?

Anyway, I hope this has helped you somewhat. As always, I suggest making what changes you deem necessary and coming to your own conclusions. Also, as usual, I suggest getting a second opinion from one of the other review threads. They can help you more than I could.

Good luck, and keep up the writing,
alexmagnet signing off...
>> No. 121270
Just realized I derped the bold tag about three-fourths of the way through... ignore my stupidity.
Also, like Bulbasaur said, another set of eyes is always appreciated, Timefly. Reviewing can be a lot fun. Don't get caught up in trying to make really long or anything, just write what you think is necessary.
Good luck with your first review.

>> No. 121271
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Just posting to say that I've read through your review and I'll reply tomorrow. Thanks very much.
>> No. 121272

Also, I'm super sorry about this, Azu. The past few weeks have been pretty hectic for me and I'm afraid this passed under my radar.
>> No. 121273
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Okay, let’s see what I can do for you. Right off the bat, I can see that this, well, I’m not sure it’s really a story, but this thing is way out of my league. You’ve done a very good job polishing it and I can find very few things to comment on. Here are a few things I did manage to notice after squinting at it really hard for a while.

> I am. Or am I? It’s said that all things that are will cease to be. So does the fact that I will always be mean that I am not?

Not a fault by any means, the opening was real strong in my opinion. An elegant bit of philosophical musing. Now that you’re no longer constrained by a word limit, perhaps you could expand on this question a bit. You could bring up examples; compare Celly to the oldest and most stalwart aspects of nature. Or you could skip that. I like it as is, I’m just bringing up things you could try.

>I fear that I may be slowly going insane.

This transition is a little jarring. You’re jumping from a metaphysical, koan-esque question to concern about mental health. I’m not entirely sure about how to remedy this issue. If you take my suggestion and expand on the above, you could conceivably segue from the question, to more tangible things, to Celestia’s state of mind. That’s the only thing I can think of at present, and it might not be the ideal solution if you wish to keep your opening relatively simple. Au contraire, if you wish to keep your opening simple, I'd advise against changing anything. This isn't really that big of a deal.

>But alas, they are all mortal, and they all have no understanding of what it means to have to live forever.

I’m grasping at straws again, but I don’t like that you used ‘all’ twice in that sentence, when you could easily say “…they are all mortal and have no understanding…”

> Some ponies think that eternal life would be wonderful. Thankfully, the majority know better. Unfortunately, none know just how painful it is to continue, every day, with no end in sight.

You could comment on the finality of death and the need for eternal rest after a long life, and how Celly and Luna would remain after everything has died and the planet is left bare… if you wanted. Another thing, the sentence structure is a little repetitive here. There’s probably a technical term for this, but you use ‘Thankfully…’ to start one sentence, and then ‘Unfortunately…’ to start the very next. Maybe it’s just personal preference, but I think that could be, erm, fixed.

>I’ve seen many souls perish. Nearly all of these deaths affect me to some degree. However, nothing is more painful to me than when a Faithful Student becomes, like the rest of the world, nothing more than a stone marker in a courtyard. Perhaps this is because they represent how nothing I do will ever last, for change is the way of my world.

I think it’s a little unclear what you mean by ‘they’ in the last sentence. The gravestones? The dead students? I guess you mean the second thing. That could probably stand some clearing up.

>Luna tells me that I should have gotten over the idea of immortality in over eight thousand years of existence. I ask her if she has.
>She says no.
>I don’t feel well, but it is almost time for a meeting with the urban planning council of Fillydelphia.

In my opinion, this doesn’t quite gel with the rest of the narrative. Reason being, the rest of the narrative apparently takes place in a timeless vacuum. But now Celestia is telling us she has a meeting that she must be getting to soon. You getting me? I think you’re trying to shift to some undisclosed point in time with the exchange with Luna and hinting that this whole thing was just a conversation with her, but it’s not working as intended. The exchange with Luna feels like a part of Celestia’s thoughts. “Oh at one point in the past, Luna told me this”, rather than “In the present, Luna states that”. I think if you could isolate these lines and make them feel like you’ve transitioned to what’s going on in the present, I’d have no complaints.

And I suppose that concludes my review of Existence. I’d recommend you take my criticism with a grain of salt, seeing that I’m rather inexperienced. Feel free to resubmit and have someone else review, if you’re not satisfied, but I’ve helped to the best of my abilities. Good luck with editing, friend.
>> No. 121279
Thank you so much for the review and chat of sorts in GDocs!

If you still doubt yourself, go and read one more time the text that's crossed out while ignoring the text in bold. Compare and contrast, and pat yourself on the back.

Thank you again!
>> No. 121286
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I think you should know that we all very much appreciate what you do for this thread and for this board.
>> No. 121287
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Everything's swell, new thread. I should mention about the template:
There's javascript in it that interprets the hash fragment as the thread id, so adding "#121215" to it (i.e. http://dl.dropbox.com/u/57284761/TTGTemplate/ttg-op.html#121215 ) automatically fills in the ID. That's just a convenience that saves having to copy the ID into the text field.

Also, the "oh yeah" link is still there, which I find somewhat amusing. Nevertheless, if any changes need be made, send me an email or submit a pull request to:
I set it up so that I can very easily update the thing if you submit a pull request.

On a personal note,
> work
> oh shit, company releases new version next week
> work
> niece & nephew over for the weekend
> work
> yet another new thread, and TTG has been in business over a year
Whoa man, time.

I have little time left after everything else to work on Gummii or help out around /fic/ nowadays. This makes me sad. I'll see what I can do.
>> No. 121288
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Thanks. Still though, I'm no longer in a position to sacrifice time for the board. Even the old friends I made last year who still value my input on their stories despite everything I have been slow to respond to / help recently. It's like I don't exist in the fandom any more. That's not a bad thing per se, but I feel like I've left so much undone.

What I wanted to make into a web application that would surpass/replace this board by being tailored to its needs has now become a pet project that I am using to learn more about advanced web development techniques and be the master of my own project. It's mostly driven by creative frustration I'm having with work.

(I deleted / reposted my earlier post because URL to template changed)
>> No. 121289
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hehe, suddenly I am reminded of a line from MiketheMic's rap for Beyond her Garden. They'll always have a piece of you. You left them your garden.

You've done so much for this board, and I wasn't even here for half of it. This place will continue to benefit from what you've left behind for probably years to come. You don't have to work yourself to death. Life happens, it happens to all of us. It's the heart that really matters in the end, is it not? You've left us a beautiful system here, and that won't likely die off if you have to leave. I don't know how many other ways I can say this so I'll just stop here: We love you dude. Do what you gotta do, but we'll always have a piece of you here, no matter where you are.
>> No. 121290
I love you too.

Everyone who continues making this place work, especially the continuing long-time reviewers, has my admiration. If anything, it's heartening to know that I at least managed to set up something that would continue to be useful after letting it be and leaving it in the care of the community.
>> No. 121292
File 134924791118.png - (271.57KB , 960x1046 , Ghostwriter.png )
Tags: Adventure, Normal, Comedy

Synopsis: Ghostwriter is Celestia's personal scribe, a humble position he loves, but has gripes about. Ponies may respect his position, but not him personally and he's sick of it. When Celestia sends him to Ponyville to interview the Elements of Harmony’s wielders, Ghost just hopes it’s better than that ‘City of Fakers’. But between explosions, pirates, and rock farms, Ghost will find himself on more oddball adventures than he can count.

Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1YdbTwDIFhE4FJxe3qnXVe5-3M-2V6F-C4wbqnwbroTA/edit

Comments: Greetings, ponies of fic! I've been away for a while (Not that anyone would remember me. I was a crap author) and decided to jump back in. So here's my story. A word to the wise, I came up with the character before deciding to use it as my screen name. Anyway in the interest of developing my skills as an author, I'm just gonna let my work speak for itself.
>> No. 121294
File 134925052943.png - (180.39KB , 778x1026 , karate_rainbow_dash_by_ls_event-d520uor.png )
>> No. 121297
File 134925076507.jpg - (397.96KB , 1480x1315 , 83364 - TwiDash.jpg )

> Not that that's an issue.
>> No. 121331
Name: pludrpladr
E-Mail: [email protected]
Tags: [Normal][Will-be Grimdark][Will-be Sad]
Synopsis: Discord is broken free from his stone prison, aided by a handful of ponies who see the wonderful thing in chaos. He rethinks his plan and comes up with something even more sinister: corrupt Celestia.
Will Equestria survive this plan, or will it burn to the ground, collapsing in its own disharmony?
Links: Prologue: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1I31q2WA35FHLoWDCx2HzYCaFarTrrLmm82b5wCZL2Dg/edit
Chapters to be reviewed: Prologue.
Comments: Yay, the story is almost as good as can be. The other reviwers have left less and less comments. I'd like a fine-combing review for tiny details that I may have missed. There's also a single comment left in from the last reviwer that should need a further look at. Thanks in advance!
>> No. 121334
File 134929843252.jpg - (79.64KB , 400x271 , 27573285.jpg )
This looks pretty short. I guess I can take it.
>> No. 121339

May I dispense some advice?

You're a fine writer. Be a little more secure. Passing your stuff around and endlessly revising it is a trap that's keeping you from pressing forward. Sure, go back and fix little structure and flow issues, and correct technical derps, but don't be too concerned with preening it. I fell into that trap and it's really not worth it.

This is far too short and far too small of a piece of the story for you to be so concerned with getting it right.

More important that you move forward so that it can help you learn larger lessons in writing.
>> No. 121346
File 134930329228.png - (523.95KB , 900x1013 , Trixie journey_by_c_cain-d5629uf.png )
Work complete!

This ain't ready to be posted yet. Read the last comment for details on why I feel that it isn't.
>> No. 121347
File 134930464716.png - (2.27MB , 1920x1080 , 134239390699.png )
Tags: Adventure, Multiple crossover

Synopsis: A hero more powerful than his looks would indicate. A talented mage studying friendship. Worlds apart, These two are chosen to save not only their own worlds but others. Though their journey, these unlikely allies learn of kinship, unyielding trust, and hope against odds.

Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1dWcoTNjdKxcIERg9zYmb5h-Y6KAbgUAqoLvb5OzTPLU/edit

Comments: This was just a little idea fish that swam past my brain. My brain snapped it up and now refuses to eat any of the other idea fish that he had caught before hand. So in an effort to get my brain to move on I wrote this.

It's probably crap but if any thing I can use it as practice.

To the reviewer: I would like a reviewer to be somewhat familiar with Kirby, though not necessary
>> No. 121348
File 134930564738.png - (100.00KB , 900x597 , aj-sleepy.png )
Thank ya kindly for the review :3

First off, on the title, it means both of those things.

There are things I don't agree with in your review but more I do and will work on.

I also feel my intentions for certain things got lost in execution - like the animal scenes (though my friends caught the symbolism there for the most part).

I am also unsure as how to explain more due to the way the narrative's set up. The letter half is intentionally vague because of plot, and the actual journey half is limited third person so it still operates on Twilight's limited knowledge of everything. :V

But anyway thanks again for everything!
>> No. 121349
File 134930720517.gif - (607.41KB , 457x393 , 644184613.gif )
Well, if it makes you feel any better, after reading and posting my review I thought more about the story and realized that I was more or less okay with how vague it is. I mean, I would like a bit more description still, but I also don't dislike it the way it is. As for the symbolism in the animal scenes, I got it. I knew it was there and I understood it. I failed to point this out in my review because I forgot about until afterwards, but didn't want to bother making another post. Even despite that though, I still felt like those scenes were more detailed than the majority of the story, which seemed a little odd (especially the chimp). However, that being said, I did like the timberwolf part a lot more after thinking about it post-review. In general I tend to be really harsh and critical in my reviews, but I'm not so great at getting across what I did like. And often, what I did like doesn't really crystallize in my mind until long after I've written the review. This is why I always tell authors to draw their own conclusions and think critically about their own work (which obviously you did).

Anyway, I'm glad that me review helped you in at least some small way. And thanks for taking the time to acknowledge the review so that I know you read it.

Good luck... again,
>> No. 121350
File 134930830688.png - (701.28KB , 900x1500 , 112138 - green_lantern hand heartstrings Lyra super_hero.png )

Remember me, Ghostwriter?

Yeah, I'm that guy.

Guess what?

I'm claiming this.
>> No. 121351
File 134930856761.jpg - (154.61KB , 1000x500 , fluttershy_model_dress_by_kp_shadowsquirrel-d4ilt9o.jpg )
The basic gist of your review seems to be that this fic basically just requires a little TLC, something I can provide. A little more clarification also seems to be needed as the ending was not supposed to be shipping, but rather more of a family thing.

Thanks. I've got plenty to be working on.
>> No. 121356
Then I await the hailstorm of rage based internet bullets. (In other words I doubt it is any good.)

Still I shall use it to make my writing stronger... which may be a futile effort but i'm to stupid to quit!

Thanks in advance.
>> No. 121357
Title: Doctor Whooves Adventures
Author: n00btankz
email: [email protected]
tags: Adventure, Crossover, comedy,
words: 8,325 (Subject to change at random by small increments)
Synopsis: The Doctor is in space, and receives a message on his psychic paper, leading him to a white hole, teleporting him into another dimension, a universe where ponies are the dominating species! Travel with him and his various companions in this series, spanning like a series all in its own!
>> No. 121358
Forgot to mention, reviewing ALL EXISTING CHAPTERS.
>> No. 121373
Under the Blue Skies is discontinued. Starting a new fic project called Sky.
>> No. 121374
File 134932311130.jpg - (17.16KB , 480x360 , 1127573159_raven.jpg )
I know there was a recent request to review a review. Ah here we go (>>120997) Eek! This is looong. I’m going to forgo a standard review and just touch on the points Writer’s Block requested.

Okay, so I skimmed it. The beginning of it. Your brutality was not unlike a couple of other reviewers I’ve seen on here. It was cold, it was precise, it was… possibly the best thing any caring author could ask for. While it is good to be nice to young and sensitive authors, you really do need to bring down the hammer when it’s appropriate, and especially when you know the author is ready for it. This isn’t to say that you should focus on being harsh, rather that you should make a point of explaining to the author exactly why something is a mistake, to throw a little weight to your words if they are truly important. I thought what you said was just fine.

You will get the standard review, numbers and all.

Evaluation of the story
Despite your claim that you knew little about the subject material, you’ve demonstrated a relatively clear understanding of the story. You’ve mostly looked it over for storyline, but there was a sentence structure correction or two. 17/20
Try to comment of every aspect of the story, even if it’s done well.

Your grammar and punctuation, while questionable to my eyes, were still within the rules of the English language. 9/10

Well… I don’t know how to call this one. There was little criticism, little advice, and while praise was given, there actually wasn’t that much of it. Yet the whole thing added up to… something. 7/10
You’ve managed to confuse me.

Little formatting, but the story wasn’t very long, so the author will still be able to find their information. 3/5

You need to be more sure of yourself. It’s been said that the way to stop a cow is to stare it down. Don’t ask me where I heard that because I don’t know at this point, but you’re not winning any staring contests here. 2/5

Overall rating
Eh, the info’s there, but you could do better.

And that (>>121372) was an example of why I should really delete excess coding from a template when I’ve finished typing on it.
>> No. 121385
That was a bit more comments than I was expecting. I'll go them over once I have time. Thanks!

I noticed that myself. I'm getting waaay to obsessed with making it as good as possible. That's just the perfectionist-y person I am. I do have some of chapter 1 written, and I'll move on with that after this review.
>> No. 121386
Taking this.
>> No. 121404
Equestrian Aerial Magic Assault Unit 00.
Shipping, Adventure.
About 4000 words.


I'm sending this in for a third strike. All specific prereader comments have been fixed. Few other changes were made, so there shouldn't be any technical derps left.

I'd prefer if the reviewer didn't read the spoiler down here, because I want you to read it cold.

The only pre-reader comment that hasn't been addressed yet is the tone. Seattle said that the shipping and lighthearted elements neuter the fic's ability to convey a sense of danger.

I straight-up disagree with him. To my eye, there's nothing wrong with letting mortal danger and humorous shipping clash, especially when the story is about tying a unicorn to a pegasus so that they can shoot lasers at helicopters for fuck's sake. I'm going for the feel of Pokemon or The Incredibles. Life-threatening shit happens all over the place, but the darkness of "they could die" doesn't hit too hard. That's the effect I want.

I WANT this to be on EQD. I have worked HARD to get a couple of things on EQD. I am VERY upset that shit isn't going my way. I had a fic, many months ago, that got passed straight through without a single strike or whatever, and I have matured greatly as a writer since then--I figured after that experience that EQD's standards aren't as high as novices around here make them out to be, and that I apparently had the ability to meet them.

That hope has been severely disappointed in more ways than I care to discuss.

Anyway, since this has been handed two strikes, my hopes aren't very high.

It's the other one--Ancient Heart--that has me much more depressed. That one... I don't want to talk about it.

This will probably be the last serious effort I make at editing for a while. This experience has taught me that passing my work around the ponychan ring, editing and preening in order to impress the PRs and theoretically make the fic more appealing to others, is a fucking waste of time. What did I gain out of all the fine tuning I've done? Anything at all? Hell no. Should've spent that time writing new things.
>> No. 121405
File 134935778973.png - (36.15KB , 250x250 , 250px-Surprise_by_atomicgreymon-d47dou3.png )
Damn. I'm surprised it didn't make it. I actually thought the tone walked a fine line between keeping "show feel" and tension, which ended up working pretty well.

Sorry man.
>> No. 121407
File 134936158136.png - (58.79KB , 333x288 , tea splurt.png )

Holy crap, I completely forgot about that.

I am so, so sorry. My internet did go down for three weeks, and by the time I came back, finishing your review must have slipped my mind. I'll get to work on redoing it right away; both parts, as I can't remember much of what I'd said/intended to say and I don't want to inconvenience you any more than I already have.

Urrgh. I cannot believe I've done this. The fact that I originally picked up your review to compensate for one cock-up only makes this one all the more inexcusable.
>> No. 121409
File 134936399435.png - (195.07KB , 720x722 , 9876542.png )
Okay, since I don't want to spoil the ending for anyone, I'll talk briefly about grammar and such first, along with some greentext, and leave the plot discussion for after the break.

Excellent, I have no complaints here. Your sentences did feel a tad simplistic most of the time, but I don't know if I'd really say I had a problem with that. Other than that though, I can't say I noticed any problems. Perhaps someone more experienced than I could give this section a more detailed look.

Below you'll find some greentext examples and my comments on them. It's just a handful of little things, but I'll talk in more depth about everything after this.

>“Now ‘en
>hope the two oddem
>“Dontchu give us
This feels like too strong an accent for Applejack. There are a few other places as well where her accent feels a little forced. There is nothing that's jarringly bad, but just something to think about. I'm of the opinion that less is more when it comes to accents, Despite my abuse of “Ah” in my minific. and, for the most part, you're pretty good about it.

>It occurred to me that the vast majority of Rarity’s proposed team suffered from some form of neurosis.
I'm not sure if you meant this line to be amusing, but it got a nice chuckle out of me.

>The deranged mare opened with another slew of non sequiturs, but this time I’d come prepared.
I believe that it is common practice to italicize non-English words in English prose.
>non sequitur
Minor complaint, but still.

>There’d be no need to apply amnesiacs and cull the team.
Fantastic. I love Twilight's character so much. Sure, she's kind of OOC, but honestly, I love it. You did tag this as [Alternate Universe] so I think it's perfectly acceptable to have Twilight act this way. While I'm on the subject, all the other characters are very well done also. You've done a great job capturing each one's personality and making sure they are projected adequately into the prose. Well, except maybe Pinkie. That's not to say that I think she's OOC, but she does seem slightly off, when compared to the rest of the characters.

>The unicorns are invariably selfish, xenophobic. Born into wealth. Utterly removed from the world around them. It’s disgusting.
Did I mention that I love Twilight's character?

>I wince, knowing that there will be repercussions for every fatality.
Okay, I'll admit. I wasn't expecting this to go so dark so quickly.

Congratulations, you continued to read after the break. Now we can talk about the story and the things I liked/disliked about it.

So, let's talk about your title, tags, and synopsis first. I find these are often ignored in reviews and I always like to bring them up since they're the first thing potential readers will see.

I love it. That's all I really have to say about it. It's marked as a [tentative title], but I think it's great.

While [Alternate Universe] usually implies something different, I think this is fully justified in calling itself such. However, I disagree with the [Random] tag. [Random] is often reserved for off-the-wall silliness or outright absurdity. This—this is neither of those things. The plot is well-calculated, even if does suffer a bit from pacing issues, and it is not random in the least. I would strongly suggest removing this tag. Finally, you said [Dark-ish]... this is definitely [Dark]. I don't think there's any question in my mind after reading the ending. Several ponies are killed viciously by a manticore/bear, and two by an explosion, so I think this earns its [Dark] tag pretty cleanly.

It's fine. I've no complaints.

I mentioned that this suffers from pacing issues earlier but I didn't elaborate. Well, here I go. You said that you were worried about the ending feeling rushed, and, to some extent, I would say it was. In fact, the last third felt much faster than the rest. The bank robbery itself seemed to be over all too quickly. I really would've liked to see a bit more fleshing out during that section. The characters feel almost like talking heads during the robber due to how little action is given to them. Sure, there is a lot going on, but we don't really see how it affects individual characters. Adding to that, I would say Twilight feels a little like an emotionless robot through most of the story, but I think it kind of works for what you're trying to do. I wouldn't necessarily change the way she is, maybe just add a little more depth. Anyway, I'm getting ahead of myself. Basically, the beginning felt really well-paced, and then, in comparison, the ending felt rushed.

Present Tense Switch
It was a little jarring at first, switching suddenly to present tense, but ultimately I think it worked really well. It helped sell the action quite a bit in my opinion, and it made everything feel more tense. Again, it's a little weird switching so suddenly, but I liked it.

Where do I even start?
I said that I was a huge fan of Ocean's 11, but I knew this would be nothing like that. The only similarities are that the main characters gather a team and then rob some place. Other than that, they are wildly different. Either way though, I was ready to love this. And, for the most part, I did. At the start of this story I was chatting with you in-doc and I told you much I was loving it, and that was true. The beginning completely reeled me in, I loved every word of it. The way you built Twilight's character, and Rarity's, was fantastic. Their witty little banter was humorous and I found myself enjoying this quite a bit. It felt like almost like a dark-comedy. Then, you introduced the accomplices (the rest of the main six) and I loved it even more. Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy, and Applejack's characters were executed rather well (although, now that I think about it Fluttershy barely spoke the entire time, hmm...), but Pinkie on the other hand felt off. I can't really explain it very well, but she didn't seem quite like the Pinkie we know from the show. Then again, neither did Twilight, and I was okay with that so... whatever.

Now, as I mentioned in one of my greentexted comments, this got rather dark rather fast. As soon as the bank robbery started things went downhill quickly. Background characters start getting killed almost immediately. It caught me off guard because of how almost light-hearted the story was up until this point. Perhaps “light-hearted” isn't the best word. Rather, it felt, like I said earlier, like a dark-comedy. Maybe I was just naïve in thinking it wouldn't go this direction, I don't know. Either way, I'm by no means saying I dislike how dark it got, just that it caught me rather off-guard.

Then, we get to the suicidal explosion where Pinkie and Rarity sacrifice themselves to allow Twilight to escape. This too, caught me off-guard. At this point I was expecting them all to die in the end, but you subverted my expectations rather well. It's hard for me to say whether I liked their sacrifice or not. I mean, on the one hand I understand why you did it, but on the other it felt... forced. Like Twilight should have known better than to lead them to a dead-end. She had, after all, meticulously planned everything else out. Why not the escape? Then, when Rainbow came to rescue them (Twilight) it felt, again, like a deus ex machina because you needed Twilight to survive. Maybe I'm just being overly critical, but that part just rubbed me the wrong way.

Finally... we get to the ending. In the interest of keeping this a secret I'll warn anyone reading this that I'm going to spoil the twist right now.

Twilight was working with the Royal Guard all along. Now, I'm not going to say this came out of left-field, but if it was foreshadowed, then I'm dense and I didn't see it. When Shining Armor showed up I immediately knew what was going to happen (which I believe was your intention), but it felt like a punch in the gut (again, probably your intention). I'm very conflicted about this ending. On the one hand, I love a good twist, and this one certainly was unexpected. But on the other, I feel betrayed in a way. Maybe it was just because this didn't meet my expectations with regards to the ending (that is not meant as an insult or as a bad thing). I hesitate to say that the ending made me dislike this, but it soured my opinion if nothing else. Overall I still really love this story and I enjoyed reading it, but the ending was tough to swallow. That is not to say that I thought the ending was bad, by any means. In fact, I thought the ending was pretty good, just not what I expected, or wanted to happen. I don't really know where I'm going with this anymore. I just feel disillusioned after reading the end. I suppose, gun to my head, I would say I liked the ending despite what it did to my expectations. I don't know, though. I think this is very subjective and definitely something you should ask more people to look at.

I'm by no means infallible, nor have I ever claimed to be, so take what I say with a grain of salt. I would strongly suggest getting another opinion on this work. MintyRest, like I usually suggest, would probably be happy to take you. He'd be much better at pointing out flaws and weaknesses than I have been. I can't help but feel that this fic was a little out of my league. But, that being said, it was fun experiment to see how a review would go when I didn't spend 90% of the time talking about grammar and basic sentence structure. Honestly, you're probably a better writer than I am in the first place, so I don't know how much help I'll have been. Hopefully some at least. As I said, another pair of eyes never hurts.

Anyway, good luck and godspeed,
alexmagnet, signing off...
>> No. 121413
File 134937121114.png - (227.73KB , 650x800 , worried.png )
>This experience has taught me that passing my work around the ponychan ring, editing and preening in order to impress the PRs and theoretically make the fic more appealing to others, is a fucking waste of time.
>What did I gain out of all the fine tuning I've done?
If you've learnt from said fine tuning, you've have gained the ability to write more fine-tuned prose.

There's the basics of grammar. Then there's plot. Then there's character aspects, and character interactions, and dialogue. Then there's show-vs-tell. Then there's how to start an opener, and how to build up tension, then how to end, how to bring about closure. Then there's the fine things like how to cut out redundancies, how much scene building is appropriate, what choice of words invoke what kinds of tone, how choosing to reveal or not to reveal character thoughts can bring about different effects to tone and scene. What kind of things are better left unsaid. And a range of other factors far beyond my own comprehension, which are the subject of study and analysis, which all fall under the category of fine tuning.

I know this is the last thing you want to hear, but I feel the need to say it anyways: nothing is ever wasted from feedback. Even hugboxing has positive psychological effects, sometimes the extra boost that it takes for an author to complete a story. What more reviews which cover aspects and dissect and discuss them in detail? They give you insight into a reader's mind. Readers are very different from each other, but I'll be damned if there's not at least a little you can learn from each. Every single change you make is a learning experience, and all of that builds up to everything else you'll do in the future.

If you measure benefit solely in terms of "getting on to EqD", then writing new things may have given you more benefit. But in terms of writing skill overall, you'll definitely have gained something out of your editing ordeals. Don't you dare say that you haven't become a better author after all that work, because you have - I believe you have - and I hate being proven wrong.

There are people that love your work. I read the comments on a whim. They're the ones that appreciate what you've gained out of all the fine tuning you've done. They don't say it outright, but indirectly, it's there, because your story's better with it than without. Don't write for them, write for yourself - but know that it hasn't gone to waste, and the proof is in your writing skill.

It's late and I'm rather emotional from finishing a multi-chapter fic for the first time in my life - essentially involved killing off the main character - so, yeah, sorry for going all blargh on you, and all that. sage
>> No. 121417
File 134937221367.png - (360.90KB , 900x900 , 139443 - artist jackiephantom13 celestia.png )

Ok. Let’s start this off as I usually do: with an explanation of what the review’s gonna be like.

I’m going to begin with a summary of mechanical errors, my thoughts on the plot and the overall feel of the fic. It should be noted that this section will not quote examples, as it is intended as a summary for you to glance back on. Any and all persuading will be attempted in the main body of the review. Documents and relevant links will also be given in this section.

After that, I’ll move onto the general part of the review, which is a mixture of everything in the summary and represents bits of your fic which struck me enough that I had to pull them out and comment on them. This section will have one of four tags preceding each comment; said tags are listed below.

[PP] = Plot point. Will usually involved spoilers.
[SP] = Style point. Can usually be ignored; I will mention if it can’t be.
[GP] = Grammar point. Goes over an error in you’re [sic] grammar that’s large enough to be noticeable.
[ME] = Mechanical errors taken from around the fic. Points out the error and then explains how to fix it. Will not cover all occurrences of said error and, after the error is advanced from [GP] to [ME], any subsequent errors will be ignored.

If you couldn’t tell from that, then I like to kid myself that my main speciality is in technical writing. I am usually good at sniffing out mechanical errors and, no offense, I go in expecting to find them. Just thought I’d air my arrogance out in public so any passing gods can transform it into hubris. That’d be nice. (Hint hint.)

And that’s that. Any and all responses you have on this are welcomed. I am regularly wrong and relish each and every time someone points this out; it means I have been given the opportunity to stop being wrong.

Oh, and it may come across that I hate you at some points. That’s mainly because I won’t, as a rule, mention what I like about your fic. Unless something really strikes me, I’ll just stick to the places that need improvement, because doing so saves me the time of writing out an unnecessary extra and saves you the time taken to read it. I’m not going to insult you at any point, so you don’t need to worry about that. I’m just not going to be patting you on the back.


Mechanical Errors

1) By far and large, your biggest problem in the beginning of your fic is tense. You jump about between tenses a lot within this, and not just within the past tense; there’s a fair number of times where you’ll jerk into present tense and then back out of it. It’s disarming and makes it difficult to place when, exactly, the events inside this are unfolding. I’m still confused over the exact chronological ordering, and that’s having read it though twice. Parts of that are to do with how the fic’s set up, but other parts are down to your tense issues. Correct them.

Here’s some quick and dirty links to help you with that:


2) Your second biggest problem is with commas before conjunctions. If you are attaching two independent clauses together with a conjunction, then a comma is needed before the conjunction. As mentioned in the main body of the review, there is some leniency on this, especially with regard to implied subjects and shorter clauses. For the most part, though, your sentences do not fit into this category.


3) The third one is to do with closing parenthesis—which the pre-readers are fond of calling appositive structuring in order, I guess, to avoid confusion with the US use of the word. Grammatically, however, a parenthesis refers to a clause, phrase or expression which is inserted into a passage. They are offset from the rest of the sentence by commas, dashes or (amusingly) parentheses—called brackets by the British because we prefer not to confuse ourselves. Your main problem is with that last aspect of them (not the jingoistic bit): you either fail to open them up or do not close them off. It is a very cruel thing to do, as it leaves the reader waiting for a comma to come and point out where this supplementary piece of information ends. I gnashed my teeth together every time it happened.


4) The next one is mildly related to the first, but does, I think, warrant its own section. You have a tendency, much like with point 3), to not place a comma after your introductory clauses. Much like 2), this one also has some leniency attached to it; much like 2), a fair number of your sentences don’t justify this leniency. Only avoid it when the sentences are short.


5) The fifth (and final) problem is with your use of ellipses. You have one instance where you use ellipses instead of dashes; I’m counting that as a mechanical error because, well, it’s one of the few errors that will only ever rarely crawl into the light of day, and I like to stamp on it whenever I can. The other one is to do with you using ellipses to lead into the dialogue. Never do that: it makes no sense.

http://theeditorsblog.net/2010/12/08/punctuation-in-dialogue/ (This one contains info on the rare problem + where it’s right to use ellipses in dialogue. It’s not specific, but trust me. It’s in there.)

Sentence style

I’m bringing this one out because, whilst not a problem, it’s certainly something I noticed and can comment on.

You have an overwhelming preference for short, simple sentences; I’m not entirely sure why and so, please forgive me, I’m going to ramble. Throughout thirty thousand words of your fanfiction, I encountered the semicolon three times and the colon just once. (I think. It’s a long story and I don’t have enough energy left to go crtl-fing through it.) Even adding in comma splices, that’s about six occurrences of punctuation beyond that of just basic use of the period and comma.

The problem is, though, that this isn’t wrong. You can use short sentences if you wish; indeed, there are only a few punctuation errors in english that can’t be fixed by liberal application of the full stop. And if I thought it was an active style choice, I’d leave it be. I worry, though, that it is not.

Of the three times you’ve used semicolons, two of them were incorrect. This suggests to me that, rather than snubbing your nose at the semicolon, you are simply playing it safe. No. Don’t do that. Punctuation, grammar and style are the equivalent of your animation budget, and skimping on it will drag your fic down no matter how profound the story is. Use them correctly, and you could even make Cupcakes soar.

Short sentences are good at building up tension. They’re like rapid fire shots, delivering quick doses of information before whizzing off again. Place them in a row, and you’ve got a machine gun of impact surging the reader on. However, overuse of them dulls this effect, which is a shame because there are sections where you use them perfectly. It’s even more of a shame if you’re just doing it without realising it.


Hmm. This part’s difficult to do without spoilers.

Your plot’s good. Really good, actually; it certainly works as a Lovecraft crossover with My Little Pony. It has enough believable doses of the FiM universe in it that it doesn’t lose track of where it’s going.

There are some holes and areas for improvement, however. Cue wall of black.

I know it’s a fanfic, and thus we’ve already got some idea of what the characters are like before going in, but I’d still like to have some time to get to know Twilight the happy unicorn before we get introduced to Twilight the bringer of the End Times. Because we never really get to see her in the beginning, it doesn’t entirely feel as if Twi’s character has grown or changed that much over the course of the fic. Is there some growth? Yes. Is it as jarring and as horrifying as it could be? No.

Another point to mention would be the changelings: What happened to them? From some of Solitaire’s comments, I gathered that it was they who had originally provided Twilight with the books. That sounds like Changelings on maneuvers to me, and from what I can remember, those maneuvers never really came to light.

A second, similar point would be the thing with the Tellurians. They seemed to give up remarkably quickly. I’d have expected some form of a counterattack.

Your ending, whilst good, could be better. Personally, instead of straight up saying that the original ending was a lie, I’d have had it so that we have a description of some vast Other God floating in a pool of blackness, and a journal before it flashing with purple light before shooting off into the distance. Or, in other words, let the reader come to the conclusion that the ending was a false one. It’ll give it so much more impact.

I also found you handling of certain characters... off at times, either through mildly uncharacteristic remarks or just under using them. This fic basically revolved around four characters: Twilight, Rarity, Celestia and Solitaire. Everyone else was... well, background ponies (and eldritch abominations). I’d suggest seeing if you can cut some of them out, mainly because getting rid of secondary characters means your primary ones get more time to shine under the spotlight.

And I think that’s me done on this bit. Closing off the spoilers...

Show Vs Tell

I’ve been looking forwards to writing this bit. It’s going to be interesting.

You need to stop showing and start telling.

There. Said it’d be interesting. Anyway, a remark like that does need some justification, so away we go!

I’m pretty sure one of my earliest grumps in the original review was about your work not feeling like a journal. This is pretty much why.

Nobody writes this in their diary: “I pushed myself up onto the balls of my toes, hand stretching towards the top of the shelf and fingertips brushing against the cereal packets. I picked one out at random and lowered it down. Sugar Puffs. Aw, yeah. Turning, I slid the box onto the table, grabbed a bowl, spoon and carton of milk and sat back down, chair squeaking as I did so. I poured the cereal out into the bowl, tongue flickering out and wetting my lips as the milk followed after in one shining river of white. I dipped in the spoon, pulled it back out, lifted it to my mouth and chomp! Mmmmm...”

People write stuff like this instead: “Today, I had breakfast. It was nice.”

There’s a crusade against telling in literature. A stupid crusade, but a crusade nonetheless. The casualties of this conflict are things like style and believability. Your fic should be reading like Twilight’s diary entries, with me finding out that she’s going insane through reading around the edges and second guessing what she’s saying. It should be reading like I just found Twi’s journal and am puzzling out the story behind it all for myself. It does not feel like this. It feels like a story.

Which is a shame, because you’ve got the frame in place to turn it into one. It’d practically require rewriting much of you fic, however, and I very much doubt you’re going to want to do that. So. Here’s a solution.

Make it so that, when Twilight’s writing the journal at the end, she’s using a spell which transcribes her memories to paper or something. I call it the Kkat cop-out, and it works just as well.

And with that all said and done, here’s the main body of the review (have to put it in a second post because I've written apparently twice what ponychan allows... I am insane).
>> No. 121418
File 134937253200.png - (386.27KB , 900x900 , 136134 - Alicorn artist sayabloodstone celestia princess.png )

Okay, seeing as this'd take three posts, I'll put this in a Gdoc and place the link here


Comments are enabled, so feel free to debate any part you want to on there. Oh, and I don't suppose any passing mod would be kind enough to just shunt this section onto the other post? (Assuming there's room, of course.)
>> No. 121419

I've mentioned in posts and such that although I want to whorse for viewers, there's also the fact that *I* think these two things were really good and I figure lots more people will if I just get the chance. Let's call it a matter of honor.

So it's less writing "to get to EQD" as a specific goal, and more about wanting to please others. Or, to put it another way, to make the fic just generally better by asking others to catch things that I didn't.

While there IS a lot to be learned from going back over what you've written, there's also a lot to be learned from moving on. I've been spending my editing time picking through things that have already been picked through, which was supposed to get me towards a goal--popularity--that wasn't in the cards, and ultimately isn't as important anyway.

With that, I have to actually enter my request into the google doc now.
>> No. 121420
Is that you, Aquillo? Good that you saw me here, then. It's alright, life just gets in the way sometimes and people forget. Well. If you choose to restart your review, by all means, you can go right ahead and I'll do my best to listen.

Your honest feedback is greatly appreciated. Most of the problems you mentioned are easy fixes, except for the pacing for the last third. That might need some serious reworking. Which is a little intimidating for me. Action sequences have this tendency to screw with time... I can see where you're coming from, though. I'll try to improve what there is.
The ending, well. You said you're not sure about it. My two pre-readers didn't seem to have a problem with it, but who knows, maybe I need another opinion. Or maybe it's just a polarizing twist, who knows. I tried to put in some very subtle hints in the way Twilight acts or phrases some things, but I didn't want the audience figuring it out until it actually happened.
Like you said, maybe I'll need to get someone else to look at this as well. Maybe once I've tried to address the problems you've mentioned. So... MintyRest? Do I repost my request in this thread and request him, or am I supposed to find him somewhere else?
>> No. 121423
File 134937376042.jpg - (567.73KB , 2875x2150 , 1347907975200.jpg )

Already done. :P

And thanks for not screaming at me about it. You really should be, though.

Oh, and Mintyrest's on /fic/ somewhere. Has his own thread. It may have fallen off the front page, though.

Just follow the smell of alcoholic ponies, and you'll be sure to find him.
>> No. 121425
I forgot to mention this in my review, but I did notice some small hints at what she really was. She acted very detached the whole time and I thought it was kind of odd... until I reached the end. Like I said, I don't think it's a bad ending. It just subverted my expectations and so I defaulted to disliking it, despite the fact that it was actually a really interesting ending that made the rest of the fic make sense.

Also, here's MintyRest's thread (which is actually right below this one at the time of posting)
>> No. 121426
File 134937677043.jpg - (19.00KB , 313x233 , whoa.jpg )

Well, golly, you're nothing if not thorough. I appreciate your efforts on my behalf. I like to think that I've matured a tiny bit since finishing TOG some months ago, so I've been scared to look at it since. But now, here you are, completely dissecting it.
That comment concerning the short sentences is completely valid, and yes, any non-standard punctuation tends to scare me. Alex apparently noticed the same thing about my recently-finished one-shot, so perhaps I haven't really matured all that much. I guess I have some learning to do about these things. The story-related criticism is likewise well-reasoned. And I wouldn't want your review to have been for naught, so... I guess I have some hardcore editing to do. Hearing the advice is painful, but that's what I came here for. And that doc you made should prove useful. My sincerest thanks for the review, sir. I'll try my best to fix these issues. I'm actually kinda amazed at how quickly you managed to go over everything. With this review, I think you've definitely made up for that hiatus. Thanks again.
>> No. 121427
I appear to have derped up my submission form.

Here is the link to my post:

>> No. 121435
Fix'd and claiming because shipping!
>> No. 121441
File 134938333161.jpg - (103.14KB , 1600x770 , 36095 - artist eponymous celestia galaxies luna space Stars wallpaper.jpg )

So, would this be the place to find an editor, or should I search elsewhere? Just trying to abide by the rules.

P.S: Sorry if I break the rules. Kind of new here.
>> No. 121443
File 134938341472.png - (42.32KB , 909x524 , 214564312.png )
Since I'm apparently incapable of doing any of my own writing, I'll go ahead and claim another fic. I seem to remember this coming through TTG at some point, so I'll try my hand at reviewing it. (I'm hoping that since it passed through here already it'll be mostly done editing-wise and just need some minor tweaking)

I'm not brave enough to claim that 20k HiE crossover, and I'd rather not spend my time with another n00btankz fic (no offense, man). In fact, if I may offer some free advice, n00btankz. I suggest reading the grammar section of my review on TheFlyingQueeg's fic. That should cover at least half of a potential review.

Anyway, prepare yourself, Ghostwriter. I'm coming for you...
>> No. 121447
File 134938549306.jpg - (121.57KB , 1131x707 , dreatos - the flame guardian atherion.jpg )

Heh. Given the number of times I've put in the same amount of effort and never heard back on it, trust me: The review was not for naught. Thanks for the response, and I'm glad the review will be of some use and, if you ever need to discuss any part of it, I'll do my best to try and get back to you with the speed level displayed here, as opposed to the one shown previously.


An editor? Probably not. A review which tells you everything you need to fix your story? Probably.

You'll need to submit your story to TTG first (read the submission guide) and it'd also help if you read the sticky.
>> No. 121450
Right, I've run it over and left two comments in that I'd like another look at. Apart from that, I /should/ have fixed the rest of what you've pointed out.
>> No. 121458
File 134939030559.png - (15.30KB , 690x461 , Ancaria Flag One.png )
Tags: [Dark] [War]
Synopsis: Once upon a time, there was a peaceful kingdom known as Equestria, where ponies like me lived in calm, simple happiness until the end of their days, bar a couple incidents or two. No crazy magic. No insane technology. Nothin' but peace. Well, that was years ago. These days? I'm up against half the world with only a squad of fellow mismatched ponies, a "gun" and my family hundreds of miles away. 'Sky's burning, armored monsters rule the streets, and you can't get the sound of fighting out of your head. I'm Senex, Private in the Mareyland Defense Batallion. I just got drafted.
>> No. 121460
And starting off with missing the link. Fantastich.

>> No. 121469
File 134939513643.png - (189.08KB , 500x282 , 134211071528.png )
... i'm scared... i need an adult.

In all seriousness, thank you for taking the time.
>> No. 121470
>I had a fic, many months ago, that got passed straight through without a single strike or whatever, and I have matured greatly as a writer since then--I figured after that experience that EQD's standards aren't as high as novices around here make them out to be, and that I apparently had the ability to meet them.

>That hope has been severely disappointed in more ways than I care to discuss.

Implying this is an exceedingly rare occurrence.

Brackets are these things: []
>> No. 121471

Ooooh... War fic! There's no way I can pass this up.

I hope you're ready for this, private, because I'm going to critique your tactics as well as your writing.
>> No. 121472
My first thing would be how would you know; the second part being why you bother answer publicly; thirdly, are you the new filler?
>> No. 121473
Those are, more accurately, square brackets, with parenthesis being part of the bracket family, along another four different types of brackets,or more, and that goes without including the multitude of other marks which do not similar but are recognize to go into those types of brackets despite looking very different.

Additionally, I wanted to mention something else as well for which I have lost your email, and I have also not have the time to properly write it in any case:

The only thing left were the bones.

Is a correct sentence. What you are seeing here is a case of what is called notional agreement (more technically called synesis, I believe; you have access to a linguist(s?), they can probably elaborate and correct), where the bones are treated as a single object, where there is an implied word (pile, mount, field, whatever happens to be that the rest implies).

As always, language, and its punctuation, is a bit more complex than a passing read of things, or style guides, or even old men with too little time in their hands, would tell you.
>> No. 121474
Sir, yes sir!
>> No. 121475
File 134939843804.png - (60.85KB , 256x256 , Fluttershy131256019416.png )

>—just slightly!—
What’s this here for?


>...were soft too.
This is a bit of a Tell.

>...this top-story unit;
“Unit” might be too purple.

>Twilight seemed to be too interested...
Slightly awkward phrasing

Don’t say interest twice.

>...understand; any...
You don’t need this semicolon.

>...harness. It was...
Okay, here you can use a semicolon.

>“You're heavy. Good thing we're friends.”
Who said that?

>“Yeah. Good thing." Friends, Rainbow Dash thought,
Even with the thought tag I’m not 100% sure who’s talking.

>A pause, and then: "Are you scared, Rainbow Dash?"
I dislike colons in place of commas like this. But I’ve seen Stephen King get away with it, so I won’t make you change it. Also
>A pause, and then Twilight said

>She took a fraction of a second too long to answer. "Who do you think you're talking to?"
"...Who do you think you're talking to?"

>...her name.


I’m not sure how I feel about the colored text. Also, the color disappears if somepony were to download your story as a .txt file to read on a mobile device.

>Right. Time to save Equestria.
Right, thought Rainbow Dash. Time to save Equestria.

>[Got it! Let's go, Twi!]
Two things: 1.) How is it that every single thought that each of them have doesn’t get sent over into the other pony’s head? 2.) Why doesn’t Rainbow Dash tell Twilight now? The only reason that I can think of is because the puppeteer, you, says so. If you wish to make a justification about this, please back it up with a line or two from your fic.

Explosions aren’t as exciting in prose, sadly.

>...in a panic,

>As the shield winked out,

>One of them, the one pointed at where Twilight and Dash had been mere minutes ago, glowed red-hot.
The one pointed at where Twilight and Dash had been mere minutes ago glowed red-hot.

Man, this is exhausting! Is this whole thing fighting?





The good news is you have a very strong opening. But it’s not the kind of opening that gets me in the mood for explosions. And Dash should’ve told Twilight how she felt before the second act even started.

I don’t know what to say...

Please don’t stop writing because of this...
>> No. 121489
Oh, I know there are other terms in common usage. I guess I was speaking to the more technical mathematical and programming terms:
parentheses ()
brackets []
braces {}

Hm. Can't say I've seen synesis applied to anything but a collective noun. But right you are. I'd still stumble over that sentence in reading it. I'll occasionally rephrase things in my own writing to avoid what is technically a correct structure, but awkward or unwieldy.

Email's in the trip, should you ever require it.
>> No. 121492

It's an American vs British thing. Both of you are using the correct terms for different places.
>> No. 121493

>hates every single thing about the entire story
>unreadable past the intro
>"don't quit writing, though"

Funny guy.
>> No. 121494
This means that anon is British?
>> No. 121495
Pretty much, yeah.
>> No. 121496
File 134941102738.png - (26.19KB , 1110x1110 , 192436 - artist xxsonnythecatxx Berriswainer_DaVinci_Bubble Bubble_Berry genderswap pinkamena_di.png )
That's our Azuril
>> No. 121499
I've just finished the long and drawn out process of editing one of my stories for public posting, unnecessary comma, and have decided to cleanse the palate with a review.

Story: A Tale of Two Worlds
Author: The King of Gingers

I have seen all of these movies, and I basically think they are the best thing ever. I consider crossover fics, on the other hand, to be the dumbest and lamest thing ever. Are you a bad enough dude to rescue the crossover genre? I DON'T KNOW STOP ASKING ME!

No googledocs, so no line-by-line commentary. It is the way of things.
>> No. 121501

So a Marvel/MLP fan but a hater of crossovers is reviewing my story.

I don't know WHAT my feels are doing, but I'm curious to see what you can do to help me.
>> No. 121502
File 134942021865.jpg - (334.05KB , 1024x768 , FILE0025.jpg )
Hello, would some kind person review my story?

Tags: [Romance] [Tragedy] [Sad] [Dark] [Adventure] [Human]


He wants to know why.

What if an answer doesn't exist.

Maybe they can help him through himself.



Anybody who likes thick meaning, please review it, or if not availible, anybody.
All chapters please (only 3 so far).
>> No. 121503
I don't hate the idea of crossovers, but I do believe they tend to attract the least skilled and least ambitious of all writers on the internet. I myself despise all of the "Humans in Equestria" stories I've ever read, and yet I've written one such story myself that I humbly believe is not total crap. I wrote it because I wanted to see it done well for once. I enjoy a challenge. :)

The good news is that your story is not total crap! There is some bad, yes, but also plenty of good. I've finished chapter one and should be finished the rest soon. Things move quickly without a line-by-line to slave over.
>> No. 121504


Yes, I realize that, for my first REAL story (I've done greentexts on /mlp/ for a while), it is almost impossible to do it perfectly the first time around. Hopefully whatever you suggest I can take into Chapter 3 (nearly done) and onward into the rest of the chapters.
>> No. 121505

Curious thing: one of us is and the other one probably isn't. Going off the sentence structure and choices in spelling displayed by the anon who responded to Pascoite, I would be surprised if he was British. Indeed, if I had to place any bets, then, going off the style of writing, I'd suggest he was Samurai.


The point may have already been made, but I am still surprised that "called brackets by the British" didn't clue you in. I had assumed that it would be enough to clear up any confusion; I will be more careful in future.
>> No. 121506
File 134942614275.gif - (497.77KB , 125x97 , Fluttershy131371984267s.gif )
>> No. 121507

Here's the thing: The structure of this story is such:

>Interesting intro, low energy
>Bait-and-switch into high energy
>High tension and comic relief with no real rhyme or reason to it

This is what you found exhausting and in need of being broken up by "down" moments.

In other words, you didn't last through one cycle of peak and valley.
>> No. 121516
File 134945030304.jpg - (26.47KB , 220x325 , pontypool.jpg )
... I'm... back?

Title: Ponypool Changed Everything
Name: Roan
Email Address: [email protected]
Tags: [Science!], [Sad], [Romance], [Grimlight],[Crossover]
A story for a princess, told by a gay old pony, a cantankerous drone, and a cranky old ghoul.
Hub Page: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1jcJJD9V-wXUHI_ZKqTWFGFEHbKck7rqU2f2lLUaxoW4/edit
First Chapter:
Chapters to review: The first!
Comments/Requests: I have received help from Baron, mostly a bit of proofreading, most of which has been applied and the rest of which is pending for one reason or another. It would be great if the reviewer read or watched Pontypool, but I really just need some help. Also, listen to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eRW2g2l49fk while reviewing some of it.
Familiarity with Fallout Equestria is not required, nor particularly wanted. Tolerance, though, is desired.
>> No. 121517
File 134945248174.jpg - (55.26KB , 1000x1000 , 16911_-_Lyra_artist-madmax_drinking_heartstrings_sitting_smoothie.jpg )

I'm taking this, too
>> No. 121524
File 134946154931.png - (52.14KB , 588x493 , IWillMurderYourFamily.png )
In the interest of not crushing your spirit too much (I read Raindrops' pre-reader review thing), I've toned down this review from what it was originally. Believe me, I'll still have quite a lot to complain about because I don't think sugar-coating a review does you any favors and it is boring as hell to write.
So, without any further adieu, let's begin...

I'll start by admitting that I stopped reading halfway through. The reason for this is you story, while mostly grammatically correct, is intensely boring. I don't know if I'd call it cliché, just... boring. I think I'll hold off on elaborating on that point until later on. First, let's focus on some other, non-story, stuff first.

General Lack of Pronoun Usage
I hesitate to say that this is as bad as LUS, but it is at least on the same plane of annoyance. I pointed this out several times in my comments and so I won't bother greentexting any examples, but you say the words “Ghost”, “Ghostwriter”, and “Flare” more than you say “he”, or “she”. This is definitely a problem. It gets very tedious to read a sentence that continues to remind of the character's name, despite the fact that he's the only male talking and so simply saying “he” should suffice. The general rule I like to follow is that you only need to mention a character's name once unless another character (usually of the same gender) speaks, or does something where you need to say their name. For example:
>Twilight decided to walk to town with Spike. Spike was riding on Twilight's back. Twilight and Spike took twenty minutes to reach the town square.
Sounds much better like this:
>Twilight decided to walk to town with Spike. He was riding on her back. They took twenty minutes to reach the town square.
Obviously this sentences are boring no matter how many, or how few, pronouns I use. They're just boring and simplistic, but you can see how much better the second sentence is, just from that minor change. Also, as a bonus, this usually cuts down on some of the length and wordiness, thus making it further easier to read. Basically it boils down to this: pronouns are your friends. Don't be afraid to use them. Because of how commonplace they are, they practically melt into the rest of the sentence and the reader barely notices reading them, yet they still know who's doing, or saying, what.
Moving on...

Simply Simplistic Structuring of Sentences I love assonance...
This would be the other major problem I have with this—in terms of mechanics that is. When you're making a sentence you only need two things: a subject, and a verb. Sometimes the subject or the verb (or both) is implied and you only need one word. However, just because sentences can be so simple, does not mean they should always be. Now, there is something to be said for having short, simple sentences, but not when it comprises 75-80% of all of your sentences. Here's a few greentext examples from a random page.
>Ghostwriter looked around nervously.
>Flare said telepathically, as he hid in Ghost’s robes
>Ghost grumbled, his head down as he kept walking.
>Flare said in Ghost’s mind.
>Ghost hissed, glaring at the ground.
>Ghost stopped, his path obstructed by an earth pony.
>Ghost said, slightly unnerved.
All right, that's enough of that. So many of your sentences boil down to “Subject verb adverb/adjective descriptors”. The reason that's a problem is because of how, frankly, boring it is to read “Ghost blanked, blankedly” over and over again. Sure, there may be a few extra words here and there, but it all comes down to the same repetitive structure. It's just not fun to read. I honestly don't really know what to tell you for how to fix this. The best I can do is offer you this link. Hopefully it'll be more help than I was. Or go read a book

Other than those two things I've only got minor complaints.
You use too many ellipses. Stop that.
There's the very occasional comma splice. You're probably fine there.
And finally, stop having someone shake their head every other paragraph. I noticed it way too many times for it to just be a coincidence.
Oh yeah, and go read this:
Moving on to the characters/plot...

Ghostwriter the scribe
Okay, as Rainy mentioned, this dude is an unlikeable, whiny, complainy, bitchy, loser. He spends the majority of his speaking time complaining about something or other and he always likes to bring up the fact that he's the Princess's scribe. When he's not complaining then he's being incompetent. Again, like Raindrops said, I'd've preferred him as a Gary Stu to this... crap.
Eh, I could take him or leave him. He does nothing for me really. Sure, he's kinda funny and certainly far more charming than Ghost, but he just feels wildly out of place. Granted, you did tell me that that was on purpose. You said that you were hoping that it would entice people to continue reading in the hopes of finding out why Ghost had a kitsune with him. Maybe I'm just a cynical person, but all it got from me was “Why the fuck is fox with him? Eh, whatever. I don't care”, not “Hmm, I wonder why this fox is with him. Maybe I'll keep reading to find out.”.
I won't bother with any of the other characters because, frankly, they don't seem that important. Also, I didn't read that far.

General Anime-y-ness
Look, I like anime as much as the next guy—or at least I did two years agoSpice and Wolf represent!—but this is getting a little silly. That's not to say that being like an anime is an inherently bad thing; it's just not something that, in this instance at least, really worked in your favor. As I read further and further, I started to think more to myself “Man, is it just me or does this feel like I'm reading the written adaption of [insert anime here], but with ponies added?”. Again, not necessarily a bad thing, but something I noticed. I think it all really comes down to Flare, for me. He is what makes this feel so much like an anime. And it makes sense. He is, after all, a kitsune; a Japanese fox (commonly associated with folklore). He's witty, a trickster, and he has two tails. These things combined make him feel as though he were ripped straight from Inuyasha or something. (Spoiler:I don't watch many anime. That's the best example I could come up with.) Again, this is not something I can tell you how to fix, nor do I think you necessarily should fix it. Just be conscious of it is all.

I don't have a whole lot to say here. The idea that Celestia is too lazy, or too busy, to keep a written account of what goes on (especially important stuff like fucking Nightmare Moon's return), seems a little silly, but sure; I can accept that for the sake of the story. What I can't accept is that Ghostwriter was the only applicant for the job. I don't know a whole lot about kingdoms (Princessdoms?) work, but I feel that being the scribe to the ruler of the country would be a pretty prestigious, and sought-after, job. Why does he feel such disdain for what should be a great job? Why does he hate the Canterlot societal elite so much? Why doesn't he just quit if he hates his job so goddamn much? And how is there a backlog of stuff to write down? Wouldn't that mean it was already written down and he's just re-writing it? Then Celestia sends him to Ponyville to interview the mane six about NMM. Why? Why didn't she just have Twilight write all of what happened down. Surely she would do a fine job of it. This all feels like a thinly-veiled excuse to get your OC (and his goddamn fox) to meet the mane six. I apologize if I'm getting to be a little sardonic. Just know it's not personal. Also, unless I'm mistaken, Ghost has got a crush on Twilight. Just... ugh... why?
All right, I think I'm starting to ramble at this point. If it wasn't clear to you before, then I'll spell it out. I pretty much hated this story. It was boring, and the protagonist was an unlikeable dick. The story felt contrived and hastily thrown together, despite the time you've apparently spent on this. Sorry, but it turns out I wasn't able to turn down the harshness as much as I'd hoped.

The only two things I can say I liked about this were the lack of grammatical errors (seriously, thank you so much for not making me want to melon-baller my eyes out), and Flare. I know I said I could take or leave him, but he was a kind of a funny little dude. So you know, take that for whatever you think it's worth. All right, we're done here.

Good luck, keep up the writing, and don't... stop... belieevvviiiin'... hold on to that feelaaaaiiiiaahahahahn.
alexmagnet, signing off...
>> No. 121526
File 134946361300.jpg - (79.13KB , 1000x562 , 134919172413.jpg )

Well this was to be expected. Most of your complaints are valid points. Ghostwriter is really starting to piss me off. His actions and personality just isn't being interpreted as i would like it to. Ghost is supposed to be a slightly sarcastic guy with social anxiety who loves history, myths, legends, and lore. He doesn't hate his job he just doesn't see why ponies make it out as a big deal. To him it's just a job that needed to be done and he stepped up.

Incidently while you were reviewing i was experimenting with a different intro to try and address some problems. However, with these current reviews, it really just makes me want to quit.

Sigh... unfortunately I'm to stupid to leave it alone. Anyway, this draft will likely be scraped and a new version will appear.

(Doubt it will be much better though.)
>> No. 121527
File 134946431049.jpg - (56.30KB , 500x495 , 57544.jpg )
> However, with these current reviews, it really just makes me want to quit.
>(Doubt it will be much better though.)
Now now now, is that any way to talk? I know how you're feeling, since I feel like that all the time, but you should learn from your mistakes rather than bemoan them. I'm sure you have the ability to write well, but a lack of experience is what's most likely holding you back. If you enjoy writing then don't stop. Don't let my, or anyone else's review make you believe otherwise. Though I would suggest moving on and writing something else, then coming back to this when you've matured your writing some. When you work on one fic endlessly you can easily lose sight and fail to make any real progress. I find it's best to try writing something else for awhile, even if you don't actually do anything with it, and then come back with a new perspective. This is merely a suggestion though; it may not work for you, but it does for me. Anyway, don't give up, man. I believe in you.

Incidentally, your pic was the one I was going to use, but then changed my mind at the last minute.
>> No. 121528
File 134946609452.jpg - (7.12KB , 202x129 , 134021211523.jpg )
I'll keep writing that's for sure.

Though I was wondering if you would be willing to preform a slight favor?

I had said earlier that I was writing a a different intro to address some problems with Ghost's character. Well, I just finished it.

It's a short scene, only a thousand word. The favor comes in that i need some one who is familar with how Ghost's old self came off, and tell me if this is any better.

You are completely free to disagree. You have already done a lot for me by reviewing my first draft. (An act i equate to a safety inspector inspecting a plane when half of it is on fire)

Anyway, thanks again for the review and encouraging words.
>> No. 121530
Author: WhoWhatWhere
Tags: [Adventure] [Dark]
Synopsis: Twilight is taught destruction magic.

Looking for someone to review the first three chapters.

Chapter 1: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ZiDNq1vJR0itDk4LjV5i0MOxNhAvSrRNnlO7L6ZiH2s/edit

Chapter 2:

Chapter 3:
>> No. 121533
Sure, I'll take a look at your new intro. I assume that it's still on the same document? If not, then I'll need a link.

>(An act i equate to a safety inspector inspecting a plane when half of it is on fire)
Eh, I've reviewed worse.
>> No. 121535
I'll put a link to it in the old document. Thanks
>> No. 121540
File 134947834717.jpg - (9.91KB , 125x125 , Sock Avatar.jpg )

But before we get to that fun stuff, though, there are a few things I’d like to cover. I have a bit of a personal formula to adhere to, after all.

Overall Thoughts

I’m afraid this fic needs some work on multiple fronts. For starters, it’s quite removed from the source material—which isn’t necessarily a bad thing—but with hardly any connections back to it. This might as well be an entirely different universe, there’s so little tying it to the show. It also tends to plod along, with the action often becoming confusing at times.

That said, though, your writing mechanics are pretty solid, apart from what I’ve covered in-doc and what I’ll explain here. It seems you’ve put some thought into worldbuilding, and I’ll touch on that subject more later. For now, as is my custom, I’ll ask that you have a look at my comments in-doc, if you haven’t already.

Once you’ve done that, we can begin with…

Narrative Concerns

Right off the bat, you give one long info-dump. This is what is known as “telling” rather than “showing.” I understand you have to establish the very different world these ponies of yours are going to be fighting in, but there’s ways to do other than straight-up exposition. I would recommend restructuring the opening sequence; have Senex get up and walk around, observing what’s going on. Use objects or activities to show the state of the world and give hints as to how it’s fallen from the idyllic presentation we have in the show.

Next, your main character. While the meaning behind his name makes sense, it doesn’t really jive with the established pony naming conventions, or indeed, the names you’ve chosen for your other characters. Furthermore, his personality and prose doesn’t really reflect the role you’ve built up for him—that of an old, somewhat world-weary farm pony. If anything, he comes across more as a young, wide-eyed rookie, when only the last part of that is what you intended. Have him use more metaphors—show he’s been out in the world for some time and has experience—and make his age more of a concern. Just something as simple as him complaining over his bones getting creaky from the cold would do.

Having an interesting protagonist will also do wonders for one of the fic’s biggest problems: it’s kind of boring. Yes, sorry, but it needed to be said. The whole problem is that you never immerse the reader. Why should we care that this city is under siege? Why should we care about these ponies being thrust into battle? Too much of the story is ill-defined; we don’t even know the reason for the war. I understand Senex is himself ignorant of these matters at the time they take place, but it seems he’s writing with the benefit of hindsight, so take advantage of that. The reader needs a little more worldbuilding to be drawn in.

Also, you need to balance your action with dread. That’s what life in a war zone is all about: long, long stretches of quiet and tedium, then sudden, adrenaline-spiked flashes of the purest terror imaginable. Right now, your characters survive not one, not two or three, but six deadly situations with hardly a scratch—that really kills any sort of tension, because it swiftly becomes apparent that the plot is shielding everyone.

Okay, with that done, we’ll move on to…

Writing Mechanics

Again, overall, you did a pretty decent job with your writing. There are three points I want to make note of, however.

First, you need to watch your semicolon use. I know it’s tempting to use them everywhere, but there were several instances where a period would be the grammatically correct option. In much the same vein, you sometimes used them in place of other proper punctuation marks, like colons and em-dashes. A semicolon is only meant to link two independent clauses together, i.e., two sections of writing that could function as sentences on their own.

Second, paragraphs. I commented on this early on, but I’m afraid it’s a systemic problem: your paragraphs are too big. Many a time, you have a lot of description piled up into a massive wall of text when it would be much easier on the reader to have it separate. Take this paragraph, for instance:

>The factory erupted into a storm of hoofsteps as we made our way out of the building and emerged into air tainted with the smell of explosives and the sounds of artillery whistling. Everything was a dirty, grungy brown and gray, the rivers, the roads, the buildings, all of it covered in grime, dirt and dust. Off in the distance, almost on the horizon, bright flashes surrounded a tall pillar of smoke that had just started to stretch up to the heavens. I came to a stop a few steps away from the building, and heard another whistle. I nearly jumped out of my own skin and snapped my head back to look over my shoulder, but, the only one standing there was a middle aged, honey-colored stallion with his mane covered by a gray, urban camouflage helmet, but his tail was a dull red. Quite lanky, but with a rounded, almost coltish face and sparkling, yellow eyes, I almost mistook him for just some taller schoolpony that got lost. He too wore the same urban gray fatigues we all did, but he had two chains around his neck; one of a golden sun, and another a silver crescent moon.

The sentence I marked is where you ought to begin a new paragraph, as it’s where the focus shifts from describing the surroundings to describing Senex’s actions. Really, you’d want another paragraph dedicated to the description of Sacred Sun’s appearance, but I’ll leave that re-write to you.

Finally, when writing a war fic, there should be grit. The battlefield is a messy place, in more ways than one, and conveying that through sensory action is key. Get these ponies dirty—dust, dirt, mud, blood—all of them should come into play. Then describe how these things feel. What sound does the mud make as they crawl through it? How rough is the pavement on their hooves? How does it feel to choke on shell dust? Don’t be afraid to get visceral about this, either; the reader knows he’s in for some dark reading with this fic.

Now, brace yourself for this next section, because it’s going to get heavy.

Military Matters

*Puts on drill sergeant hat, adopts the voice of R. Lee Ermy*


First off, what kind of chicken-shit outfit is it that puts a lowly lance corporal in charge of a squad? For that matter, where the hell was her superior when she MOUTHED OFF TO THE DAMN BATTALION COMMANDER LIKE THAT?! This is not how you organize a unit, and it’s certainly not how you demonstrate PROPER CHAIN OF COMMAND. That entire opening scene should never have happened, in fact. No commander calls their whole unit into a briefing at once, especially where one well-placed artillery round could wipe them and the entire building out. The reason there exists a chain of command is so the guy at the top can pass his orders down and work on more important shit.

Though, honestly, I wouldn’t put it past this CO to pull something like that, given he’s COMPLETELY GODDAMN INCOMPETENT! By the bloody unwashed hands of Genghis Khan, you do not send your force over a river—where they are completely fucking exposed to heavy enemy fire—when you have the advantage of urban terrain and time to prepare! The ponies should have already been dug in on their side of the river, and then all they have to do is simply wait for the enemy to try and cross, then cut them to shreds. It makes absolutely no goddamn sense to make a sally when it is apparent the enemy force greatly outnumbers them.

That’s another thing: sending a single squad to penetrate enemy lines, in broad daylight, with no support, is like pitching a used PT sock into a garbage can: it’s just throwing them away. A squad is tiny and ineffective on its own; one heavy machine gun is all it takes to pin them down or kill the lot of them. Any situation where a squad is cut off behind enemy lines is reason to scream, “OH SHIT!” rather than, “This is just part of the mission.”

Even if that squad is an elite group of special operatives, any sort of contact with the enemy means they’re absolutely FUCKED! Which brings us to the next point: these ponies are greener than the sentient scum growing in the company locker room! They SHOULD NOT be the ones being called up for this sort of operation. You need some experienced, stealthy motherfuckers who know how to maneuver through the terrain as invisibly as A FART IN OUTER SPACE.

Instead, this squad is made up of a completely raw and untrained conscript, who is more likely to be a liability than anything else, a squad leader completely lacking in any sort of command presence or tactical ability, a big lug who does nothing but sound a trumpet at the start, a pants-shitting twig of a soldier who still somehow winds up carrying the automatic weapon, a sniper who thinks it’s a good idea to let his enemy know EXACTLY WHERE HE IS, a chaplain or in other words, A NON-FUCKING COMBATANT, and a suicidal, reckless firebrand whose actions are more likely to make her a casualty than anything else. In short, these fuckers wouldn’t be able to fight their way out of a GODDAMN PAPER BAG!

I suppose they’re lucky, then, that they’re up against an equally incompetent enemy. They obviously saw their pony adversaries coming across the river—they were shooting at them, after all—so why the fuck weren’t they locking down the whole goddamn shoreline? Why the fuck weren’t they performing patrols on the far bank? Why did they have only one sniper set up to cover an entire roadway? Why did they send a tank in with no infantry support? Why do they armor their tanks with poster board?

Oh, and all this is completely irrelevant anyway when THE PONIES CAN CONTROL THE GODDAMN WEATHER. Good god, every military leader in history would have given both his nuts to have that kind of power under his command. No army can do shit when they’re being hammered with the wrath of nature—a perfect storm brings even the most well-trained fighting force to a complete halt. And if the ponies had started the storm earlier, THERE WOULD BE NO NEED FOR THIS ENTIRE NARRATIVE.

There are these things we call “tactics and strategy,” private. They are things you are obviously ignorant of. They are things you will learn before you ever bring this sort of story to my attention again. Am I understood? AM I UNDERSTOOD!?

Good! Fall out!

Oh, and don’t even get me STARTED on your radio procedures. The pushups would never end!


Whew, okay, back down to normal tone. I swear, my ears are ringing just from writing that. Here are my closing thoughts.

You’ve got an idea here. I can tell as much. You’ve got a conflict set up; you’ve got characters with potential. Now, you just need to develop all these things some more.

This draft of yours was a good start—it highlights what you need to work on. Namely, characterization, plot presentation, and military knowledge. I can get you started on at least one of those things with this link here:


…And if you have any questions about anything else, feel free to send me an email. If you need clarification on any of my comments or such, send me an email. If you’d like to discuss this fic of yours, send me an email. If you’d like to make a call, please hang up and…

No wait, never mind that last bit, but do all the rest!
>> No. 121543
File 134948144526.jpg - (59.12KB , 1050x787 , plant.jpg )


TL;DR: Missing punctuation, wordy, names get caps, and not sure if proofread.

HERE WE GO! (you just read that in Mario’s voice)

PROTIP: Comment only® (To protect your work against idiots that get off by ruining other’s work)
PROTIP: Proofreading™ (used by many successful authors in the pony writing scene, it’s free so you can’t go wrong)

read this: http://www.towson.edu/ows/comma.htm

Proofread errors:

I’m not gonna spend a lot of time on this, nor did I comment every instance. You’ll have to do a sweep yourself to find them. Look for: missing punctuation, names that don’t have caps, and words that do not fit the context but are words (Like fit =/= it etc.).


“Less is more” is a nice phrase. You’ll need it. A lot of sentences carry redundant info which leaves the readers imagination rather bland. Of course you’ll need to describe important parts, but consider the fact that a reader plays a movie based on your words. You’ll need a balance where you feed the reader information that forms a clear image of what you have in mind and sometimes you’ll leave things open for interpretation by the reader himself.

An example from this is saying what a character feels and giving an impression by showing what the character does to show their feelings (this might belong into the Show Don’t Tell department, but I don’t want to bother you with that yet).

>looking exhausted with bags under her eyes and bed mane.

You take my imagination away by saying she’s exhausted clearly I can come to that conclusion by just reading the latter part of your sentence.

>The newcomer looked over the cloak with almost a nostalgic pride and chuckled a little before he said “It’s an old family heirloom but I just haven’t found the time to properly repair it.”

Before he said in this sentence isn’t exactly needed, it only adds to worth count. Depending on a scene a speech attribute is necessary (multiple speakers and what not) but in this case it isn’t.

Now again I didn't label all the occasions where this occurred. You’ll have to do a sweep yourself (I am mean am I not? Making you do all the work).


I’ve only read the first chapter so far. So I might tackle this after you tackled the issues I pointed out above (for all 3 chapters). However, I am a busy man, and not always available. When done just leave a message on the board and I will reply if I am free.

Good luck!
>> No. 121547
While realistic military portrayal are ideal, it is rare even among established writers (ex-army excluded) to get this right either. In any case, I think you dwelled a little too much on military matters. A writer is allowed some artistic license. Interesting to read about, but not terribly helpful on how to fix his fic.

And that's my 2 bits for the day.
>> No. 121553
Harsh, but good. Afraid it was partially what I expected, though; it was based off of a canon that rapidly detracted from the source material due to a year of dark rp that came from /oat/ then used as a writing exercise and "fanfic" for them. The reason I had brought it here was to see if it was a good idea to expand on it, or if I should leave it to dry.

... Rather clear I should leave it to dry.

However, I can note a few things in response:

>Worldbuilding in general
Yes, this is something that I had feared in the beginning; trying to get any reader even closely accustomed to the environment without beating them over the head with information more than I already had.

>"Also, you need to balance your action with dread."
For context, this, and the next chapter, were merely going to be setups for a story with relatively little fighting. Compare it to, perhaps, to the D-Day scene from Private Ryan in idea.

>"First off..."
That's supposed to be utterly insane and representative of the horrible disorganization. Good to see it worked...

>"you do not send your force over a river... when you have the advantage of urban terrain and time to prepare!"
The assault on Baltimare was after a multi-hundred kilometer retreat, and it was stated that if they allowed the Ancarians to move in, the city would be decimated by artillery. Failure would leave no choice but to retreat farther back.

>"sending a single squad to penetrate enemy lines..."
Attributed to Arctic, not the real CO.

>"... In short, these fuckers wouldn’t be able to fight their way out of a GODDAMN PAPER BAG!"
You caught on to their characterization and how weird it was for them all to be put together fantastically, with the exception of Diamond(that was my fault) and Arctic being arrogant and clearly put in even that position from being daughter of a noble(I think that was stated)

>"Good god, every military leader in history would have given both his nuts to have that kind of power under his command."
It's the equivalent of air support, and has just as many problems; the pegasi could have been struck down if they were coming in while the Ancarians were far out enough to respond, they had to *pull* this storm in, implying that it needed to be created, and, again, there were large implications that the Equestrians/NLR were highly disorganized.

Everything else? I completely agree with. I'll be sure to keep it in mind if/when I start writing another fic again.
>> No. 121556
File 134949338206.gif - (1.23MB , 640x360 , rainbownuke.gif )
I'll take a whirl at your fic tonight. Post back here in a bit!

From skimming over it, looks like it'll be quite a doozy. That's alright though, hopefully we'll get some stuff hammered out!
>> No. 121557
File 134949360248.jpg - (53.26KB , 279x284 , 1348723564933.jpg )
To Duncan: new chapter of my Fic is up. You don't have to review it if you don't want to.

Though it might be fun to see Loki do pic related through a Pinkie Pie party.
>> No. 121561

Oh, this?

Why yes, It is a review. Well, I suppose you can have it.


A review of the third chapter would probably only be useful in terms of examining your storytelling ability: plot progression, character evolutions, stuff-happenings, all that jazz. The advice in the review will probably apply to it just as well. If you feel it doesn't, I'd be happy to read it over and give new feedback. I'm probably going to read the third chapter anyways, just for fun... but don't let it go to your head!

It has been quite awhile since I've done a review, so I think I'll try this new asterisk thing all the kids are talking about these days. What's good for the goose is good for the cold, heartless, brutal literary critic. If somebody could read my review and tell me if I'm a pompous idiot, that'd be great.

But only if I actually am a pompous idiot. I wouldn't ordinarily feel the need to specify that, but...
>> No. 121562
>Though it might be fun to see Loki do pic related through a Pinkie Pie party.

...He was probably better off with the snake.
>> No. 121564

All right. I've read your review and I'll give an 'official' review acknowledgement tomorrow.

If you wouldn't mind, I'd love for you to read the third chapter and see if I improved anything. I tried to tone down the flowery language, make it more 'Equestrian' and less 'Asgardian'.
>> No. 121567

>I tried to tone down the flowery language, make it more 'Equestrian' and less 'Asgardian'.

Truth be told, I actually liked the language. It certainly suited the Asgardian portions, and I think with some care you can use it for their interactions with the ponies (especially if the narrative is being told from their point of view). I do think it is important to be able to portray the Equestrians using the mood and atmosphere we've come to expect from the series, but that's no reason to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

The problem isn't that the language is "flowery." That's part of what made your story special, and I think you should cultivate and refine it: your garden is full of flowers, and this is a good thing, but it's also full of weeds... the same kind of weeds that will crop up no matter what kind of story you write.

Hm... I think the flower metaphor might have gotten a little out of hand. I hope you get the idea.
>> No. 121568

Aaaaaaah. Well, I'd love to see what you think of the third chapter. Your review was excellent and REALLY helpful.
>> No. 121572
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Well, it’s been what… three, four days, since I said I’d review this? Average time for the average reviewer, but slow by my standards, and for that, I apologize.

You’ve got a nice long novel set up here, so props for that, and a nice dark taste to it as well.

Grammar was okay, but your punctuation was better. I pointed out a few things in the Doc as far as those are concerned, so there’s no need to bring them up here.

Your story suffers from a dilemma I have not seen since I first signed on to this board: Too many OCs. Your chapters contain far too many new names, in far too short a timeframe, for me to keep track of them all. As such, I can find nothing wrong with your characters, as well as nothing right. They are dry dull boring, and––to put it eloquently––wooden. The only one who carries any depth, is Sky, and he only from the night of drinking with the princesses.

The storyline, when you get down into the fine details, was difficult to follow. By reading the entire length of what you provided, I was able to piece together the main plotline, but the individual events lost me several times throughout the reading. It was only after one of the princesses mentioned it that I even realized Skyhammer was an alicorn, which makes little sense, although it seems necessary for the story.

Overall, I think you’ve got a solid foundation, but it could use a bit of cleaning up.

~ ~ ~

And now, I think I’ve reached the point where I’d like to stop looking at stories for grammar mistakes and punctuation errors. I think I’ve earned what I never thought I would desire, and that is a break from this board. It’s been a fun ride, but I think I’d like to make this my last review for the Training Grounds, if naught else, for a long while. This is Minjask, signing off.

Ciao, ponies.
>> No. 121576
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This is my review of Doctor Whooves Adventures Book One for n00btankz!

Unfortunately, I did not have time tonight to finish Books Two, Three, or Four, but I noticed all of them combined were only about as big as Book One was, so the next reviewer who gets to you should be able to tackle that easily.

Overall Impression

Your crossover was entertaining. It was sort of silly at all times, and fun and lighthearted and in that right you did pretty well.

However, you never really gripped my attention. I never found myself saying I had to read to the next sentence, or paragraph. Even during the action-laced stuff, it seemed over relatively quickly.

Still, it's an interesting premise.

I think you could do with a much better hook at the start of the series, for instance. Personally, I wish the plot involving the 6 ponies held more conflict. It seemed as if they were only too willing to accept the weird stuff that had happened between when the Doctor got there and by the time he left. The only mane 6 you really characterized much at all was Pinkie Pie, in that you made her the companion for the future parts.

Which is fine, but I feel like if you wanted to make this a comedy, it had to be even more over the top, with even more convoluted ways of fixing stuff.

If you wanted it to be an adventure story, I think there was a major lack of conflict for a lot of it, and when conflict did come around it was dealt with as if it wasn't a problem whatsoever. It was about as important to me as the scene where Rarity fetches the Doctor that brown coat.

If you wanted the mix the two, you definitely came closer. But I think there needs to be more of both. It seems like the storyline just meandered with no real progression from one thing to the next because the writer set up the events to happen in that way.

On the other hoof, let me point out some of the things I think you did right.

I think you really succeeded in making the Doctor a silly, fun loving character, to the point where he was almost just a curious Pinkie Pie at times. The similarities between your Doctor and Pinkie Pie played off eachother well. They were both somewhat ridiculous, but in the silly way that made me smile.

Mechanical Errors
While it seemed like you made a lot of mechanical errors with all the commenting I did across your doc, you really just have 3 or 4 things you need to work on that you repeatedly are unsure about in your writing.

1. Properly formatting dialogue. Because of the importance you paid to the Doctor's speech quirks, you lost a lot of syntactically important things. In dialogue characters would frequently opt to making three or four extremely short sentences instead of one sentence. I think you did this to make your characters seem actively conscious of more and more things as they talked, or to make them sound more curious or uppity, but really in almost all the places where you formatted speech according to the Doctor's accent or Pinkie Pie being hyper you could have gotten the same effect and have been syntactically correct.

In addition to that, it seemed like you have the wrong rule in mind as far as capitalization goes with dialogue.

Let me give you an example of your major issue:

"I'm not even sure where we're going," said Twilight Sparkle, turning her head to observe her surroundings.

This sentence is correct.

Notice that at the end of the quotation marks, the dialogue ends in a comma. When using "Twilight said" or any variant of synonyms for this device (e.g. "Twilight screamed, Twilight cried, Twilight whimpered, etc) you must always end your dialogue in a comma, because the sentence goes on to express how Twilight said it, and then some other stuff afterwards.

"I'm not even sure where we're going." said Twilight Sparkle, turning her head to observe her surroundings.

This is an example of the above sentence done wrong. Note the period at the end of the quotation marks. It is wrong because the sentence should not end there; it should go on to describe that Twilight said it, and that she's going to look around.

Here was easily your biggest problem:

"I'm not even sure where we're going," Said Twilight Sparkle, turning her head to observe her surroundings.

This is wrong. Notice the S in "Said" is capitalized. As we covered up there, if your speech is ending in a comma then the sentence goes on. Which means that "Said" is not the start of a new sentence, and should be "said" with an uncapitalized s.

As a general rule of thumb, whenever you are using a speech-descriptor (said, shouted, whispered, screamed, etc) after dialogue it should always be uncapitalized, because for that speech-descriptor to be describing the dialogue that comes before it, the sentence must continue from the end of the dialogue.

Sorry if that doesn't make a lot of sense.

2. Commas and Run-on Sentences:

Chronically, your story was ridden with sentences that went on too long. You must always be careful with how you use commas and the word "and". The way you write, you can get caught up with trying to describe that somethings are happening right after one another and try to stick them all into the same sentence.

Here's a general rule of thumb. I formulate sentences in 3 parts.

sometimes you'll have small parts (e.g "Pinkie nodded,)

sometimes you'll have medium parts (e.g "The Doctor bit down on the button on the side,")

sometimes you'll have large parts (e.g "Pinkie Pie decided the Cyberpony would make a nice trampoline, bouncing up and down on it until it broke.")

If you already have a large idea in your sentence, the most you want to add to it, if anything, is something small.

Similarly, if you have two medium ideas, you've probably got a sentence that's just fine right there.

However, too many small ideas will over complicate your sentence.

Basically, you only want 2 or 3 things going on in any single sentence MAXIMUM.

Large pieces are worth 2 things, Medium pieces are worth 1 thing, and Small pieces are worth 1/2 of a thing.

Sure, you could probably write a syntactically correct sentence with 6 things going on, but it would be tedious to read.

For example, that sentence^ has one large idea and one small idea.

1. You could probably write a syntactically correct sentence with 6 things going on
2. It would be tedious

You can use this little workshop bench to make your sentences more varied, too.

But in general, the point for you is that you don't want anything more than 2-3 ideas in your sentence. Anything more than that, and the chances that you will mess up goes up dramatically.

3. Semicolons.
You had some semicolons where they shouldn't have been. In general, when people try to use Semicolons, they can probably just use a period or an em-dash for the exact same thing and not run into association issues.

Semicolons are only supposed to be used when you are trying to correlate two complete sentences to one another.

And by correlate, I mean the two sentences should have something in common between them that you are trying to draw attention to.

For example:

Some people write with a word processor; others write with a pen or pencil.

Both are complete sentences that make sense on their own:

Some people write with a typewriter.
Others write with a pencil or pen.

They are related because they are both about writing.

There are also some other uses for the semicolon, but you attempted to do this in almost all cases, but almost always failed to make both sides standalone sentences.

4. Tenses. Here is an example from your fic. It is the last sentence in the fic:

In which the Doctor smiled back, and nodded, pushing a button, the TARDIS whooshing and shaking into the Time Vortex.

First of all, you don't need that "In which" at the beginning. It doesn't make any sense, even considering what pinkie pie had just said ("Does it have a randomize button?” she asked, smiling big")

When starting a new sentence in response, it makes perfect sense for the doctor to just smile and nod. That's his acknowledgement that Pinkie asked a question-- you don't have to point it out using "In which" or even "To which"

So now we have:

"The doctor smiled back, and nodded, pushing a button, the TARDIS whooshing and shaking into the Time Vortex."

Now we address tenses. The way this is written, the Doctor pressing the button CAUSES the TARDIS to whoosh and shake into the Time Vortex.

The way you have it written, though, the actions are all cut up because of your commas. So, let's clean up your commas completely. You don't actually need that comma after "smiled back" because you include the and as well. Let's see what happens when we take it out:

"The Doctor smiled back and nodded, pushing a button, the TARDIS wooshing and shaking into the Time Vortex."

The only problem left is there is no correlation between the doctor pushing the button and the TARDIS getting sent wooshing and shaking.

So, we have quite a few options now. Personally, my favorite is the following:

"The Doctor smiled back and nodded, pushing a button to send the TARDIS wooshing and shaking into the Time Vortex."

Now the button is sending the TARDIS into the vortex, and your tenses in the independent clause (before the comma) are all the same, just like your tenses in the dependent clause (after the comma) are all the same.

You probably hate me by now and I am sorry.

But, do you want to know the reason that sentence was such a mess to work with? Because if we run it through our little sentence-builder workshop, we get a sentence that has...

(3) small parts to it
-The doctor smiled back
-The doctor nodded
-The doctor pushed a button
and (1) medium part.
-The TARDIS wooshed and shook into the Time Vortex

Which is an annoying amount of small pieces to work with in a sentence because of how many commas and conjunctions you have to use.

Now for what you did well with grammar. Well, I didn't see a single misspelled word in the entire fic, so you really did great by that regard! Props, I'm not even sure I can manage that.

Now, I know I'm nitpicking a lot, but trust me if you can keep these things in mind the next time you sit down to write, your writing will feel so much more fluid.

Please keep writing. I liked your story a lot and I liked how much planning you had put into it. With some proper pacing and emphasizing in the plot, it could really be something awesome to read.

So, congratulations. Sorry if I was overly verbose about it.
>> No. 121578
File 134951328863.jpg - (69.42KB , 573x583 , fluttershydawww.jpg )
Oh god. I just got to see how horribly formatted that message was after typing it into this stupid tiny box up here. It's almost worse than a double-spaced essay.

I apologize to the entire thread.
>> No. 121580
File 134952241962.jpg - (8.63KB , 192x192 , claimed.jpg )
Psh, naw. It's kay. If you really do feel that bad about it, though, you could just re-type it up, and report the original post to have a mod delete it for you.

>It's almost worse than a double-spaced essay.
>this story has pentaspaces and more
Claimed. I'll do my best to not be skeptic, but, well, accounting for skepticism is one of the key factors in writing. Let's see how you measure up.
>> No. 121587
File 134953518429.jpg - (185.52KB , 979x1408 , yukari_not_amused.jpg )
Asterisk'd, because I'm curious as to how another reviewer would look at this.

A bit of a foreword: despite what I've said and how I've said it, I don't hate your story, nor am I mad at you.

Now that we're on a happily optimistic note, let's get cracking, starting off with your tags and summary.

>Tags: [Romance] [Tragedy] [Sad] [Dark] [Adventure] [Human]
In a word, no.

You know why not? Because that's too many tags. And why is that bad? Because you can't help but end up with a raised eyebrow for a response if the story has that many tags - personally, something having more than 3 tags implies that the story is going to be terribly unfocused, or simply badly tagged, neither of which help with convincing the reader to, well, actually read it. [Tragedy] and [Sad] overlap across each other, and so does [Tragedy] and [Dark]. The [Romance] doesn't need its own tag if it's a subplot - which, going in cold, I suspect it is.

So we've cut it down to [Adventure], [Human], [Sad], [Dark]. Have a look at the last two, and choose one. If possible, for artistic license, you could have simply the [Human] tag - y'know, since your story sounds like an exploration of humanity. Lets you be a smarty-pants with the tags 'nall, right?

>He wants to know why.
>What if an answer doesn't exist.
>Maybe they can help him through himself.
So. Soppy human, most likely a suicide somewhere in there, then human in Equestria. Right.

I mean, it's not terrible, and the blatant waste of paragraphs for artistic license strikes me more than the actual content, but it's not inspiring at the same time. I mean, you're diving into a genre that mentally invokes the phrases "self insert Gary Stu alicorn" and "self-hating loser at life" at the same time. It's an uphill battle, and you need to be prepared to pitch your story against that tide of disdain.

Right now, what you have for a summary actually isn't bad. It's just not special. There's no hint of adventure, darkness or - heaven forbid - romance in that summary. Just human and sad. And those don't tend to be very good.

Now, you might be saying, "Don't go judging it before you read it!". However, that is what pretty much every reader in the fandom does - the cover art phenomenon is proof of that (where amazing cover art will garner more attention than, say, mediocre cover art, or none at all), and there's nothing that can be done about it unless the HiE genre as a whole becomes good overnight. What you want in your synopsis is something which tells the reader "This isn't like the other crap out there" - eh, rather, what you want is something that's actually related to the main conflict of the story, because what you have is too vague to be informative or gripping.

If you're good at reading between the lines, you can kinda pick out my mentality as I go into this. That'll be good for you to understand where I'm coming from, why I'm saying what I'm saying, and so on, so forth. I am not going to try and pass this review off as writing law - this is solely my opinion as one person.

Now for the actual story. You're going to get stream-of-consciousness notes as I go along. These are unfiltered and minimally edited; essentially, you get to see what sticks after what you throw at me.

...you're going to want to capitalize "What Is the World".

And then massive waste of space for a first line.

>deeply, than when I came here.
comma splice. delete

...and double spacing. Oh my.

I'll break my consciousness for a bit to tell you why the copious amounts of spaces aren't going to work in your favour.

First off, it's a ridiculous waste of screen space. You draw attention to the fact that there's gaping holes where text should be, and that becomes a distraction, taking the reader away from the story to focus on the fact that a certain someone's decided to get giddy with the Enter key. Secondly, the more gaps you have, the more the reader ends up scrolling. I don't know about you, but when I get scrolling, I sort of start to build up a momentum, and start glazing over things, and by then I realize: hey, I could be playing Touhou. Or writing my own story. Or doing work. Or something else. Because when you're not engaging the reader, you're giving them the chance to drop your story and jump out. And this many blank spaces with this frequency (I'm talking about the whole fic, here) is a lot of periods spent not engaging the reader.

>To begin my story, I have to tell you that I am a...
>sometimes insane
You know what this reminds me of? Those pictures on FB of people's faces with text across them. "Hey, look, I'm so bloody deep 'cos I have text across my face!"

Perhaps I'm being too cynical. There's actually not much for me to hate in that, but then we get to:

>And my name is Cim.
What sort of a name is Cim? Like, seriously, what? It doesn't stand for anything, does it? Certainly not a short form of any name I know. It's special, but in the "hey guys, look I found a weird-shaped rock" kind of special. At least it's not "John" or "Jack" or any of those overdone names (my apologies to any of you named John or Jack out there). That "and" makes it sound like it's tagged on, rather than part of the narrative. That makes it feel jarring. Get rid of it, it'll probably sound better that way.

And then roughly ten, twelve spaces' worth of hole. This is the first time I've ever seen something like this. I'm not really sure what to feel. Probably somewhere between "okay, moving on" and "ugh".

...okay, I'll break consciousness again to rant a little, this time about artistic license.

Artistic license is where someone takes liberties with the norm, the convention, the status quo, in order to better express oneself. Bluntly put, it's where the creator decides to indulge oneself in deviation. The more you do it, the more jarring the difference becomes. It's certainly not bad, as it's what brings about developments in culture; for example, it is the heartbeat of modern art, where a room with a single lightbulb and an on-and-off switch can be considered art because of artistic license.

Now, faced with a very liberal application of said license, a person can react in two ways. He can either accept it or reject it. Norms are, after all, what defines an object, and pushing these norms too far can result in a dissociation of the item from its origins; the concept of grammar itself is based on conventions passed down and practiced for generations, which is why sPeaKinG iN r3nd0m cApz n numb3r5 is considered to be a tragic degeneration of language, rather than just someone applying artistic license.

How is this relevant?

When I was told that the aforementioned room with the lightbulb won an award for art, my first response was to laugh and say, "Well, sounds like easy money - looks like it's time to go be artists, then". You've pushed conventions very far, and I'm finding it hard to give you feedback based on my own concept of what the written word should be. This isn't a regular story. Treating it as one would probably be unfair, and would only result in buckets of disdain.

So what I'm going to do is read it anyways, but not as a fic - perhaps, with the same mindset that I'd use to read manga or tumblr pictures. Because I can't tell you that this is a good piece of fanfiction when I'm struggling to recognize it as fanfiction in the first place. Just so you know where I'm coming from with all of this. You've asked for feedback, and I want you to know from what sort of perspective (heh) it's coming from, so that you know how to look at it.

Okay, so let's take a breather, and start again.

>My mind was slipping for my efforts.
What efforts? Vague detail is annoying

>But enough preamble.
>Let us begin the story.
This tells me that everything I read up to this point was useless. Get rid of it. Since you've smothered this in artistic license anyways, just license away into the transition.

Seriously, those gaps are annoying.

>Here; Here
Any particular reason why you've capitalized the second "here"? Because you're not supposed to after semi-colons.

>semi dry

>Why do I write this to myself, in the intention for others to read.
The front of a question and the end of a statement results in the sentence equivalent of CatDog. Either make this a question, or make it a statement.

>all caps
No. Some would argue that you're toeing the line between advanced narration and just being plain silly. Some would argue that you've crossed it ages ago. But the all caps, for me, what will push you over to the other end without a doubt. Using all caps for emphasis isn't artsy. It isn't funny. It's amateur. And it ruins whatever tone you set up, because you've just equated your word skills in regard to conveying emphasis to twelve-year-olds who use multiple exclamation marks. Because those are the people that use all caps. Yes?

...okay, even giving you leeway for artistic license, I'm still bothered.

You know who can afford to think like Cim here? Thinking, "oh, I'd like to be free from thought, woe is me" and all that?

Kids. People without jobs. People who don't have to worry about where their next meal will come from. People who are obviously not doing anything substantial or productive with their time, else they'd be focusing on that instead, and being happy with the subsequent rewards of their actions. Spoilt people.

It probably goes without saying that it is very hard to be impressed by, or to barely like, this sort of person.

Also, I got the mental image of a guy hitting himself on the head with a coconut at the "Damn me" part. Not sure where that came from; just thought you might like to know.

>Here I am, there.
This is actually a rather clever little tidbit, and I mean that without sarcasm. Really. I get the feeling that further attempts to emphasize that would only bring about the opposite effect. Hmm.

>I see down
Okay, you're going to want something more rudimentary and better-sounding than "see". Read that out aloud. Now replace it with "look". Then read it again. Doesn't it sound better? Now think what it could sound like if you used "glimpsed", or "glanced", or "gazed". You get the idea.

>How can one be afraid to fall, when he is already at the bottom.
These questions-without-question-marks are annoying. Put a question mark at the end

its; you want the possessive form.

It's; you want the, er, non-possessive form

>Bare of growth
Consider replacing "Bare" with "Devoid", because "bare" is a description that encompasses "devoid of growth" on itself. Kinda like saying "as red as a red tomato", which is just unwieldy.

I thought you said there wasn't growth? Unclear


I speak from personal experience: an over-active mind only gets worse when one tries meditation. Maybe my sort of meditation was faulty, but I can't help but think that Cim really doesn't know what he's doing.

>Now I must set up camp.
Implying that he was perfectly fine sleeping without setting up camp before, since that's what you had him do in the previous line, and so for some reason he now suddenly minds after all, which is jarring and hard to grasp, because people don't flip like coins so easily with this sort of thing, dangnamit.

> I've
> woken up.
Any particular reason for the strange extra spaces before those lines? Because you're probably better off without them, as their meaning is vague at best, which results in further distraction.

>Here; And paint the memory.
That "And" should not be capitalized, and I find this funny. See, semi-colons are used to join complete phrases, but as it stands, you have so many deliberate sentence fragments that the semi-colon's lost its meaning in context.

It is strongly advised that you do not use numerals, use words instead. But, then again, artistic license, and the increasing feeling of flipping my table gently but firmly.

>Just enough to cover
>my feet. I feel myself
>cooling. This fire that
>lights my soul is starting
>to merge with the ancient fire
>of this place.
There's no rhyme nor reason to how you space these, and thus, I mark this part as you just being silly.

Hey, Horatio, this guy wants to pay his bills in pennies! And they're covered in paint!

Looks like he just wants to use...
...artistic li-cents.


Seriously, all caps. I can't take you seriously with those in my face. Describe it with words "A shout", "A scream", or if you must use onomatopoeia (look that up if you don't know what it is; it is strongly discouraged with the written word, on account of being a cheap way out of describing with words), use italics.

>It's as good a time as any to empty the mind
Look, if he can empty his mind so easily, then what was the point of all the bloody whinging in the beginning?

>The air is cold
>I feel warm
>my clothes keep me warm
>I wish they didn't
>some nonsense about control
>takes off clothes
>...some sort of mind-over-matter sequence
I'm confused. I can't make sense of this. More importantly, I can't make sense of why is this section here, because it's alienating, it's not something I can relate to as a reader, it isn't plot-developing, and it isn't interesting on account of being confusing.

>with out

...and the end.

Okay. Okay. Time for another deep breath, and time to curb the impulse to start making one-word paragraphs. Okay.

Let's do a recap of what I've gained from this story.

There's this human person who complains quite a bit about how he's doomed to think forever. But, as it turns out, he actually has the power to control his thoughts to the extent that he's mastered mind over matter, with the ability to feel warm with concentration. He's also some sort of nature lover, bla bla and bla.

I have no idea what he wants (motivation), what his personality is (character), not even where he is (setting), and there's not a single pony in sight (relevance).

So that's your opening chapter without motivation, character nor setting.

Do you see the pic attached to this post? It's from a doujin of Touhou. Now, if you don't know Touhou, then you won't understand it at all. But even if you do know Touhou, that isn't enough to understand just what's going on - the black dot in panel 1 is a person, falling to her death from a cliff. You might not have spotted it the first time round. The point of this illustration is this: you need to build a context for your story to take place in; without that context, the reader is left stuck. You can probably garner that the warp thing in panel 2 belongs to the woman in panel 3. I can garner that your character has mind-over-matter powers. But that's not a story without the important things like why he's doing what he's doing, or, heck, what on earth is he doing at all.

This wasn't an uplifting experience. Even so, it wasn't actually bad, per se. It wasn't unpleasant, since the language was simple and mostly understandable, but it wasn't enriching. It felt a lot longer than it should have - possibly because of typing out my thoughts simultaneously, possibly because of all those spaces. It's just, well, there.

I don't have any reason to continue reading, because all of that artistic license is getting in the way of the story. I could call that bad, but, well, that's the funny thing about artistic license - it's usually both good and bad at the same time.

It's evident that I'm not the sort of reader you're writing for. And that's okay. As long as you gain something out of this - realization that there are readers like me, or learning the difference between its and it's, or finally figuring out that massive patches of blanks are a no go - then this will have been a successful venture. I'm not going to ask you to re-write this, because, well, it's not necessary - I can guess that you had a lot of fun writing this, in this way, and that's fulfillment in itself - and you even have people who like it, which is icing on the cake.

So, yeah. Such goes the review, and if you've got any questions, concerns or rebuttals, feel free to voice them.

Keep writing.
>> No. 121597
File 134954422162.png - (202.40KB , 596x596 , friendship_inc_capped_border_small.png )
Title: Friendship, Inc
Tags: [Adventure] [Alternate Universe]
Over sixty years after the breakthrough of Star "The Bearded" Swirl in magical technology, Canterlot has been lifted to the sky and joined with Cloudsdale, becoming the first and greatest aeropolis of Equestria. As the flying capital of the nation, it is the seat of Friendship Incorporated, the company of the late Star Swirl. Now headed by one Twilight Sparkle, the company and its Hextech creations are breaching new technological boundaries every day, depending only on the good will of Princess Celestia.

In the meantime, Rainbow Dash, simple weathermare, unrecognised athelete and best friend of an orphaned Scootaloo, is living a quiet and mostly uneventful life in the small town of Ponyville. The happenings of the capital city above seem not to affect her the slightest.

Not until she receives an invitation to the great city...

Introduction, part 1 (~5500 words): https://docs.google.com/document/d/1nRfow0PMkCzm01U1ikpX5po3MQGLkrqpznN3oWXkLWY/edit
Introduction, part 2 (~6600 words): https://docs.google.com/document/d/17f_wVX8oxI8P--dsVJ0hYNlXtg3xTx6ASsy_MDHKgfY/edit
It would be important to review both of these. Pretty please?

This thing. Oh boy, this freaking thing. I've had this concept in my head for a while, but I kept putting off actually writing it because I didn't think I simply had the skill to do the idea justice.

Wrote it anyway. I aimed high and I may have just missed the mark. Basically, I had three main goals:
-I always had trouble "feelin" feelings to begin with, as such conveying them was even harder, and so I avoided that before, whenever I could. This is my first genuine attempt to evoke feelings from the reader.
-Descriptive language. I'm bad at it. I tried to practice it.
-Making it interesting. I could've done this with one huge infodump, but I wanted to make the explanations sort of "flow" into the story. That's how I ended up with this ~12k word monstrosity of an introduction.

Soooo.. yeah. I need someone with a sweet tooth and a fine eye for lenghty introductions and these sort of "universe set-ups." Comment on the synopsis as well, please, as this was the best I could come up with.
>> No. 121607
Thank you for the review.

I especially appreciate the punctuation advice, I wouldn't have caught it otherwise.

And this isn't the format this is meant to be read in, well at least not as I wrote it.
It probably doesn't change anything.
But I wrote it as short vignettes.

And spaces represent time passing.

I knew I would have some continuity errors early on, I'm glad you could help me catch them.

And yeah, it is High Baloney concept writing.

Once again, thanks for the review.
>> No. 121608
File 134955236432.jpg - (134.00KB , 894x894 , 15218329.jpg )
Must clear the queue...

Also, this looks pretty cool. I'm always behind the idea of aeropolises (and ScootaDash friendshipping as a-okay with me). Now, I'm not sure how good I'll be, in terms of judging the quality of this as an intro, but I'll do my best. I'd like to think I possess the ability to review objectively, so we'll see how this goes.

British spelling...
>I—do you think this is genuine?
em dashes...

I don't know what to make of this, other than that you must be awesome, since we all know that em dashes are way better than en dashes.

Expect a review (probably) by Monday.
>> No. 121628
File 134958560871.jpg - (30.54KB , 655x695 , mlfw7671-1343592539248.jpg )
Well, here it is, finally. This took me a lot longer than I had planned, and I apologize for making you wait.

You clearly have a pretty good grasp of what you’re doing, and your last reviewer obviously did a good job of helping you iron out the areas that needed work. There are still a few things that I think you could improve on, but overall you’re doing well.


Not much to say here. You have a very good grasp of spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Most of the issues I did find seem to have been oversights from previous drafts and edits. A quick skim should pick up most of those.

The majority of things that bugged me were purely style choices, since I can’t really tell you you’re doing something wrong. An example:

>I caught myself trying to take a step closer to it, some part of my mind desiring to touch it, to know it—

>“All good things...” said Light.

You do this a lot. It’s not something that I can really fault you for, since it does exactly what you want it to in the story, but it happens often enough that it gets distracting. In isolation, I don’t think any given instance is incorrect, but you do it so often that it starts to look disruptive. If I’m spending so much of my time reading noticing the punctuation choices you’ve made, then I’m getting pulled out of the story. There are instances of this that aren’t really necessary, so I would recommend you go through and get rid of a few of them. It would make the text look a little better, on the whole.


I don’t have any complaints about the plot of your story. It’s not exactly my cup of tea, but I was still interested enough to read it without feeling like I was forcing myself to do so, and that’s a point for you. The plot doesn’t feel like it’s being forced on us. Rather, you presented elements at the beginning and then let them develop the story.


Tone is an area that you have a little bit of inconsistency. It wasn’t often that the scene reflected what the characters were supposed to be feeling. Given that this is a first-person story, you need to be very aware of how what your character experiences affects the reader. Most of our experience is going to be through him, even more so than normal, so you need to put extra effort into making us feel the world through him.
If you take a look at the scene between Silk and Shallow, which I thought was the high point of your story, and compare it to the last half of chapter three, then you might be able to get an idea of what I mean. In the scene with Silk and Shallow, you do a very good job of keeping us in Silk’s head. We feel what he does in a very real way, and that colors the way the whole scene is set up.

On the other hand, he doesn’t even seem terribly important to what is happening in the last half of chapter three. He sits there, amidst chaos and danger, not really doing anything. You keep cutting back and forth between an intense situation, with lives on the line, and Silk, who just sort of sits there being mildly worried. This detracts a lot from the tension in the scene, and makes a situation that should be really engaging sort of boring.

You never seem to be indecisive about the tone you want in any given scene, which is good, but you need to work on making sure what you’re doing with Silk isn’t detracting from what’s happening around him.


In general, you do a good job with pacing, despite this being the area you were most concerned with. There aren’t too many places where you really fall flat. In fact, for the most part, the story progresses at a good clip. Most of the scenes are about the right length, and you do a good job of using dialogue and action to move the story along. However, this only serves to highlight the sections that do fall short.

The opening scene is probably the least interesting part of your story. It’s a good intro, in terms of what’s presented storywise, but I think you handled it poorly in comparison to the rest of the story. Your protagonist isn’t engaging because he doesn’t really do anything, and the way he seems to experience emotions feels rather shallow. You introduce a lot of ambiguous information right of the bat, without drawing the reader in sufficiently to where they will file it away but not dwell on it. Silks inaction in this scene becomes the center of attention, and it comes off as dry.

Again, the end of chapter three is another place where the pacing is off. In the middle of scientific gizmos gone awry and ponies in danger, you keep cutting back to Silk, who sits there watching. The fact that he was specifically instructed to do just that only makes it feel more out of place. At this point in the story, you’ve established him as not being the kind of pony to just sit around in an emergency. Having him do that detracts from his character and the scene. Getting him more involved would do a lot to smooth out this whole section.


There were a few things about your characterization that I wanted to touch on. Most notably, you do a good job of establishing who your characters are, but then sometimes fail to keep their behavior consistent.

I pointed out a few instances of this in doc, so I won’t go too in depth on it here (I can clarify what I mean if you need me to, I’m not always the best at explaining myself). This only really seems to happen with the characters you keep around for an extended period of time. It happens with both Light and Silk at least once, which is a shame because it’s something you could easily avoid. You’ve shown a certain amount of deftness with handling your characters, so I imagine this just amounts to an oversight. On the plus side, that means you should have no real trouble correcting it. For the most part, it’s just a matter of making sure that your characters’ actions aren’t in conflict with things they have said or done earlier in the story.

The last thing I wanted to mention in this section is Bright. Bright is easily the worst thing about your story. She has no character. She’s just sort of there all of a sudden, and her presence comes across as an excuse to introduce plot devices and move the story along. Every other character you’ve introduced has some sort of depth. I can tell you more about Silk’s neighbor than I can about Bright, and her role is a lot more important than his.

Think for a moment about all your other characters: The filly at the beginning smiles a lot and likes art, facing her illness with determination; Shallow is jovial and friendly, using happiness to hide his sense of loss; Light’s teacher was serious but kind, and had a strong sense of duty. Bright does some science stuff. She knows Twilight too I guess. That’s all I know about her. Nothing she does really develops her character, and in a story where all the characters have depth, she looks lke she’s made out of cardboard..

General Thoughts

On the whole, I liked reading this. I usually hate first-person fanfiction, and although I never completely got over it, I was able to read the whole thing without much trouble. It also makes it harder to review, as the rules are a little different and I’m a lot less familiar with them. Still, you did a lot better than most at writing this way, so I have to commend you. I’m interested enough that I’ll probably read more if you keep going with it. Hope I was able to help, and good luck!
>> No. 121629
Thank you, I was in the process of editing it as people reviewed it, and I am thankful that you worked hard on it. The fast pace is something I noticed through the Doctor Who series itself and is something I do subconsciously. I will try to add a bit more "Flare" to certain dull areas. I will also add things to catch the reader and lead them through the story itself. I do hope you will eventually read it in completion, the story is good, but the writing aspect is not. Thanks for your help!
>> No. 121630
File 134958984779.jpg - (9.18KB , 205x246 , carefree.jpg )
>And this isn't the format this is meant to be read in, well at least not as I wrote it.
>It probably doesn't change anything.
>But I wrote it as short vignettes.
Okay, see, that's not quite true. It does make a difference. Chapter breaks have a function; not using them assumes that this function is unnecessary. Mind, the effect is subtle, but it's still there. I would know, since I've been doing journal-style fics for a while now. You're probably going to end up with 500-word vignettes, but seeing as you're going so far off the edge of structure anyways, why not just do it in the way that you originally intended for it to be?

>And spaces represent time passing.
I know that. What I'm suggesting is that it's also a horrible waste which brings more harm than good. Consider using double spaces rather then ten, and use single paragraph breaks for the regular parts. Even better, consider not leaving spaces (so that's pressing Enter once) between new lines, and use single spaces for scene/time changes, like published books do. Either way, any cutting down would be an improvement, for reasons previously mentioned.

>Once again, thanks for the review.
No problem; I'm glad you found at least something helpful!
>> No. 121638
File 134962067178.jpg - (84.45KB , 894x894 , the_one_and_only_rarity_by_johnjoseco-d3eeyk1.jpg )
It's been awhile since I've requested a review of my own. Funny then, that the one I do request is for a fic that has already gone through here. Oh well, I have made some changes. I've added some, taken away some, and changed some. Nothing major, but hopefully all for the better. Anyway, here's the obligatory info.

Title: The Box
Tags: Dark
Synopsis: One cool, late-winter evening Rarity receives a strange visitor—and an even stranger box.
Word Count: 3965
Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/16mfc8aftiMSTrBBWRL0BM7oUQb7m7ybUjRCVzJ3KC5w/edit
>> No. 121641
File 134962560880.jpg - (10.52KB , 160x90 , Ping Pong.jpg )

Synopsis: I see the rain, the dead trees, ponies’ haunts-turned-husks. They left no bones.


I'd like comment on the flow, characterization, plot, formatting, tense/tense shifts, any mechanical errors you might see, and any other areas you think are noteworthy.

I've taken some of Huh's suggestions, but the piece is much unchanged from its original state.
>> No. 121642
Here's the long overdue ramblings/review of this fic.

Most of the comments on technical writing I had left in the GDoc itself as well as miscellaneous off-hand comments while reading it. You seemed to have the technical aspects of proper punctuation and tenses down pat, so I won't be commenting on that.

Since you're still actively editing, (and my general lack of time) I decided to stop at Chapter 4 first.

Here will be where my comments on the general storyline and characters go, as well as any stylistic comments I may have.

Story. Some Shadowbolt woken up from sleep to find the world has changed while he was stuck for a thousand years. Also, he's a racist and hates Celestia. Not a bad premise per se, but not very original either. I found the entire reason why he couldn't remember a single thing about being imprisoned for a thousand years to be a little unclear and contrived. Still, nothing that cannot be handwaved away.

However, said Shadowbolt's subsequent actions are somewhat illogical and contrary to the statement that he was supposed to be some damn good crack commando. The first thing he did was try to subdue Zecora, in which he failed miserably despite having the element of surprise. Then he tries to escape in the middle of Canterlot Palace when he could have escaped much earlier. I dunno. He doesn't seem too competent for me. Okay, then Celestia decides to have one of the Elements to rehabilitate him. Specifically Rainbow Dash of all ponies. I kinda turned off my brain there. I know there's usually some sort of requirement for the mane six to be involved in fanfics, but really now, one of the more tactless mane six to do it? (And by her own admission, the kind who would kick arse first and ask question later) C'mon, you can do better. At this point, I'd suggest using an OC instead, if only to spare me the disbelief that you need one of the Element Bearers to do psychological counselling.

Character. Phoenix Ember aka Lost Shadowbolt who is also angsty and angry at everything that is good in this world, comes off as a somewhat wooden and shallow character. There's literally no depth to his character in the first two chapters apart from "RAR! I hates Celestia." and "The night will rule again!". Of course, you dropped hints that he was closer to the princess than common knowledge, but it's buried beneath all the angst and wangst. Then he drops into a funk after discovering his angsting isn't enough to overthrow the princess. Except it's just an act to more sekrit angst.

Stop there. In four chapters, you have failed to give me the motivation for his character to be acting this way. Why is he so staunchly loyal to Luna? Why is he so angry at Celestia? He's really not relatable at all, sadly.

I find your Rainbow Dash to be adequately written thus far I seen of her. As for Princess Luna, I think you're overusing the ye olde Royal Canterlot Voice a wee bit much. It gets tiring to see Luna referring to herself as "we". (Although in your defense, Lunar Eclipsed did not happen in your continuity.)

Style. In summary? You're far too verbose and wordy for your own good. There are multiple instances when I read sentences that are far too bloated to read comfortably. Sentences like:
>Once she had managed to make her way around Rainbow Dash, who was looking slightly creeped out by this unicorn, she waited for the right moment and brought her hoof to Ruby Glitter’s mouth, gently silencing the talkative mare.
>Given that reason, it was quite understandable when one of Celestia’s guards knocked on her door and had the foolhardiness to open it without being invited in that she was a little upset with this particular unicorn.
>The breath from his lungs was also kept in a proper pace, so that he would not appear bothered by the complete decimation of the world as he had known it.

While technically, they are fine (in my limited experience with grammar), they are also prime candidates for what I nickname as "green" prose or bloated writing. Most of these sentences could have been condensed with concise writing and nothing would have been lost.
Consider the last example:
>The breath from his lungs was also kept in a proper pace, so that he would not appear bothered by the complete decimation of the world as he had known it.
would read better had you just shortened it to:
>He kept his breathing steady, to maintain his impassive appearance.

Remember, more words does not equal good writing. Sometimes, less is more. Filler scenes, where possible, should be avoided at all costs. It's one thing to describe a character's facial expression while he/she is talking. It's another thing to read about something as mundane as cleaning up in the morning, which adds nothing to the story except meaningless words. Condense it where possible. Keep your story focused on things which are relevant to the plot at hand.

There's also the minor issue of using words improperly at times, so watch those as well.

tl;dr Decent story lurking underneath, but marred by wooden OC and somewhat bloated style of prose. Would need a lot of trimming.
>> No. 121645
File 134963007678.png - (69.48KB , 513x574 , eaN0f.png )
Thanks for the review.

The comments on Tone are immensely helpful; they put into words some of the doubts I had about certain parts of the story.

Bright was... not fun to write in. She's an obvious plot device, but so were Gold and Shallow. I don't know why I had such a hard time with Bright. She'll definitely get an overhaul, though.

It's not surprising my pacing in the end was off; I was writing it at 1 in the morning at the end of a 3-hour writing session. I could tell my technique was starting to slouch a bit.

Thanks for all the comments, I've got a pretty good idea of what to work on, now.
>> No. 121660

Your review was immensely helpful.

I cut out the Author's Note; it made me cringe after I read it again.

I cut out a good 2000 words from the first chapter. Not exactly 1/3, but close enough in my book.

I also went through and re-edited to take out as much of the 'telling' as I could. Sometimes I replaced it with showing, most of the time it was just superfluous and I hate myself for not seeing it sooner.

My submission to EQD was rejected, but I just take this as a challenge to try and re-edit ALL the things to get up to a good standard for that website.

I know I have a good story in here. I just need to work on a few big sins.

1. Like a lot of authors, I have this horrible idea that 'a bigger wordcount = a better story'. I'm going to take to self-flagellation to correct this.

2. For my first three chapters, I submitted them to FiMFiction almost as soon as they were done; very little editing or proofreading other than using their Editing mode's spellcheck and a skimming through for errors it didn't catch.

I need to work on finishing a chapter and letting it stew for a few days before reading it again. I'm way to excited to get my stuff out there that I'm almost doing a stream-of-consciousness and letting that be my final draft.

3. Showing vs. telling. This is the big one, my big bugbear that I'm going to have to conquer if I want my story to be the best it can be.

I really, really hope that I can re-edit my work and send it back in to EQD and have it accepted. I know I have it in me to write a quality story. I just need to be in less of a hurry.
>> No. 121687
File 134966499424.jpg - (54.70KB , 858x930 , chocolatemilk.jpg )
Title: The Harmony Battery (incomplete)
Author: Zee
Email: [email protected]
Description: "Twilight Sparkle embarks on a mission which takes her to Archer III, an untouched planet of the Archer system within the outer rims of the Galactic Equestrian Nation. As an accomplished scientist working for the Royal Equestrian Navy, she will lead a team of mares in the seemingly straight-forward expedition that Princess Celestia and Princess Luna insist is merely a colonization attempt. However, some groups seek to expose something powerful that the Princesses sought to be kept hidden.

Is Archer III just another ordinary planet?

Things quickly get out of hoof, and the entire Equestrian Nation threatens to erupt into Chaos.

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

Chapter 1 (~5021):
FIMFiction (all chapters): http://www.fimfiction.net/story/48007/The-Harmony-Battery

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

***Note: Second submission of this story to the Training Grounds. This time I'm only wanting a critique of my first chapter.

If my previous reviewer (Sparky) would like to tackle this again, I'd like that. But a new reviewer is entirely welcome.

Pic unrelated.
>> No. 121714
[Normal], [Adventure], [Slice of Life]
Centuries after she was elevated to the status of princess, Harmony is faced with events that she is still unprepared for. She begins to weave the story of her life to her students, hoping to bestow a final lesson and understanding upon the young ponies should her fears become real.

((EQD said that I had repeated and glaring grammatical errors that stopped it from ever reaching the prereaders. I've gone over my fic a few times and have done some revisions, but I'm not really sure where I went wrong before))

Chapter 1:https://docs.google.com/document/d/15hCm7ckm6U8A7vvBMSOovi3ciTWehqeO8fS8adh9L3Y/edit
Chapter 2:https://docs.google.com/document/d/1UnpG9jKwmmVerOhgSA-ewmA-t0X-FbpNL5D4SJwpcdI/edit
>> No. 121723

I'm sorry for being so late in replying. I'm usually much quicker in my responses. Please excuse my poor manners, and I assure you I appreciate the review.

The main issues seem to be: awkward style; lack of research; jumpy first chapter; average characterization. Having read your feedback, I find I agree with the majority of your points. The jumpy style, for instance, could be separated and each part given, say, its own chapter so that it can be better fleshed out, or at least I could arrange them in a more straightforward and chronological manner.

However, when it comes to research, I think I might have a problem. While I very much want to write this story, you are right in thinking I have not done enough research, as I am no medical expert. This was part of the reason I wanted it reviewed.

Truth be told, I am not sure where to go for information. I don't know anyone personally, and I'm not sure where on the Internet to begin looking, or even if it's possible to find it out on most sites. Could you provide some suggestions of where I can go for more information?

Once again, thank you for your review. It has been very helpful.
>> No. 121734
As for suggestions on how to find out how the healthcare system works, I would suggest your local government healthcare site, if such a thing exist. They usually provide pretty useful information on the general flow of how things work in a hospital. You might have to do some digging in this regard. Or you could just start watching some medical TV shows. Although they tend to dramatise or misrepresent certain aspects of the medical field, they are also probably the standard that your average readers will hold your fic to.

Alternatively, you may post your questions to me. (email in trip. I don't check my mail everyday though.) I'll try my best to answer with regards to any queries you may have, but bear in mind that what is commonly practiced in my country may not necessarily be true in yours. Take any advice/information I give out with a huge pinch of salt and double-checking.

>awkward style
To be fair, this is a matter of subjective opinion.

I'm glad my review helped you in some small way.
>> No. 121785
File 134981228374.jpg - (11.31KB , 184x225 , rarity-it-is-on[1].jpg )
To Duncan: I am currently in the process of editing my first three chapters. If you see this, I am humbly asking if you would be willing to give it a re-review once it is ready.

EQD recently rejected my submission (no surprise; I have no illusions of where I currently stand in the grand scheme of Sturgeon's Law), and I take that as a challenge rather than some kind of insult. Pic quite related.
>> No. 121796
File 134982645673.jpg - (147.47KB , 800x600 , Floating_city.jpg )
Sorry this review is a little delayed, JawJoe. I got caught up with the write-off and “real life” stuff. Anyway, I'm here now to bring you this review.

From my desk, deep within the shell of a hollowed-out volcano located on the island of Waikiki, and driven by the fiery whip of the magma demon Sulphyro, I bring you...

Friendship Inc.: The Review

So let's get started, shall we?

It's cool...
They're fine...
Pretty sweet; it certainly got me interested in reading this.

Okay, moving on to real stuff now.
Broken Attribution
>“I can barely believe it!” She says,
>“I'm going to level with you.” She responds,
>“To live above the clouds in the very first aeropolis.” Rainbow Dash replies,
>“That sounds great, yes.” She mumbles.
All right, that's plenty of examples. I pulled all of these from the first few pages, and it's a problem that persists well beyond that. In all of these examples you started a new sentence after the dialogue. The problem with that is that it creates broken attribution. When you separate the character from their dialogue in this way you're also separating the dependent clause from the independent clause, thus creating incomplete sentences. It's easily fixed, like so:
>“I can barely believe it!” she says […]
>“I'm going to level with you,” she responds […]
See, all you need to do is either replace the periods with commas, or make your pronouns lower case. Simple, no?

Occasional Awkward Phrasing and Bizarre Sentence Structure
>Mayor Mare doesn't answer her question, standing up instead from her chair and walking towards a set of drawers pushed against the wall.
>The lens, about a hoof in diameter, also does not seem to actually magnify—although its surface is clearly bent, light passes straight through, its path unaltered, as though it were a plain lump of glass. >She gazes up at the mayor with a confused look, but before she could pose a question regarding the strange object, the other mare points at the envelope in which the letter arrived, now resting on the carpet—Rainbow Dash having carelessly dropped it prior to reading what she found inside.
There's plenty more examples but I don't want to burden this review with a load of greentext.
So, in the case of the first sentence we have a really awkward way of describing Mayor Mare getting up and walking to some drawers. My remedy for awkward phrasing has always been, and probably always will be (until I find something better that is), to read your fic out loud and see what doesn't sound like something a normal human would say. Or, if you're self-conscious about reading out loud (don't be, literally no one cares that you're reading but you), then use one of those awful text-to-speech translators. (But seriously, don't. Just read it out loud.)
Next sentence we've got a multitude of problems. First off we've got what I'm pretty sure is either a comma splice or a run-on sentence, or maybe both somehow. Also, just for good measure, there's also a random comma thrown in to confuse me. Here, try this instead:
>The lens, about a hoof (fuck you; don't use hoof instead of foot; that's just dumb) [foot/several inches/whatever you want] in diameter, also (useless) does not seem to actually magnify—although its surface is clearly bent. Light passes straight through, its path unaltered as though it were a plain lump of glass. (P.S. That's not how a lump of glass would work...)
Sorry about all the strikethroughs and parentheses...
Finally, the last sentence is just a mess. It's really long and pretty confusing with at least on comma splice and a heaping helping of awkward-ness.

Show Don't (Just) Tell
>Still unsure what to think, Rainbow Dash does so without question, hoping that the answers will come if she just does as she is told.
>“Oh, nothing.” Mayor Mare forces a smile, paying special attention to showing her teeth, trying to look as convincing as she can.
>Scootaloo's wings never developed properly—the reason for that is wrapped in enigma as much as the identity of her parents.
Look, I'm not that great at explaining this bit so I'll just give you some links and allow you to decide for yourself what you think showing is. I will say this though: showing is more than just “gussying up” your writing. It's about making your characters believable, giving them emotions, letting me decide what kind of person pony they are. If you just tell me “Well here's what Rainbow Dash's character is like”, then you're really doing your readers a disservice.
and here's the opposite side of the argument (totally not stolen from Ezn's awesome guide)

>“Is that..”
>“Of course you don't..”
>If the letter's legit, I have thirty, so..”
Three dots... always...

Random Stuff I Want to Point Out
>The puffy patch of cloud that serves as her bed easily comforts to every tiny movement of her body
>You can't even tell it's moving when you're looking at it—all you ever notice is that it's not quite where you remember it was from the last day.
The narrator should not be addressing the reader and telling them what they see. Let the characters see it, and let us see through them.
>This ball is much more than a simple, worn plaything; it represents—
>How much time has—
No, don't tell me what something represents. Let me figure it out for myself. I realize you stop after this and don't actually explain what the ball represents, but you were about to and that's just as bad.
>“I just, you wouldn't believe!”
When a character suddenly switches topics you need to use dashes.
>“I just—you wouldn't believe!”
>She returns her gaze to Rainbow Dash
What is Scootaloo, the Eye of Sauron?
>It feels like yesterday that she didn't care much about Scootaloo—or anypony, for that matter—and now here she is, holding the orphaned filly close. Because she's responsible now, apparently.
Uhh, why is this narration in italics? These aren't any character's thoughts. You do this a few times and it's odd. Italics generally represent emphasis, or thoughts. But if it's just a narrator then it shouldn't be in italics.
>She sighs in relief—she has finally said it.
No, that is not how we use em dashes. Em dashes are to be used in place of commas, colons, or semi-colons—not periods.
>“But I—She—I—You—”
Ughhhhh, goddammit...
This may work well in movies and TV, but that shit don't fly in writing, at least not to me.
>“Yes, Scoots. I'm your mother now.”
I said in my claim that I was okay with Scootalove, but now I'm not. This whole segment makes me angry, because it's just so... so... ugh. Scootaloo not getting to live with RD in the first place felt entirely unnecessary and only played-up for the feels. But then when you turn around and change it literally one page later, just... no. If feels like an arbitrary deus ex machina, and I seriously doubt Scootaloo asked for this. (Ha! Talk about your esoteric Human Revolution jokes. Somebody kill me.)

Occasional LUS
Sometimes you'll refer to ponies as “the mare” or “the mayor”, but really, you should just stick with pronouns and names. Calling Rainbow Dash “the mare” is kinda amateurish and silly. You rarely do it, so when it does happen it's kind of jarring.

The Feels
They feel very forced. This harkens back to showing rather than telling; when you just tell me that a character is sad, it's hard for me to feel any emotion. However, show me why they're sad and give me some facial cues to go along with it, and my iron heart might feel something.

Exclamatory! Statements!
Far too often Scootaloo's lines end in exclamations! When you abuse them they start to lose their meaning! Do you see where I'm coming from! Try to use them as sparingly as possible! That way, when you do use them, they'll have more impact!

Use of Bold-Face (Ironic, since this is bolded)
My position is that you should more-or-less always refrain from using bold-face in narration and dialogue. If you need to emphasize a character's speech, or your narration, with bold then you're not doing a good job of showing importance, or something. Basically, don't use it. A good description goes much farther than a little bold text, and it reads better too.

Rainbow Dash
Eh, she feels kinda OOC. She cares way too much for Scootaloo for what feels like a very forced reason. The whole orphan back story feels incredibly cliched and it did little to hold my interest. I don't know, it just rubbed me the wrong way. Don't get me wrong, I love me some Scootaloo and Rainbow Dash friendshipping, but not when it's super telly and forced. You spent a lot of time telling me how important it was for RD and Scoot, but not enough time making me actually believe that, or care.
Mayor Mare
Meh, I didn't have a problem with her. She felt a little OOC, but not so much that I really minded. I'd say she's fine the way she is.
See Rainbow Dash...

Well, I'll give you that. You've got an interesting idea going here. I really like the notion of a Cloudsdale-Canterlot floating aeropolis. In my head that sounds amazing; it's too bad then that this falls short of my, admittedly lofty, expectations.
The first part, the letter, really sold me on the idea. I fucking loved it, and it set the bar high for the rest of the story. I was ready to be impressed. Unfortunately, after the letter the rest of the fic fell into very telly, and often trite, nonsense. You spend a huge amount of time filling me in on Scootaloo and Rainbow Dash's background in what can only be described as: “a massive infodump of feels”, and expect me to care. I would suggest that you allow the history to be told slowly across the rest of the story; build up to Rainbow Dash adopting Scootaloo over a longer period of time and we, as readers, will have more invested in the characters and so care more about their history, or at least I assume that would work.
You might consider starting this in media res to get us to the exciting part first. Take us to CC, and show us how awesome your world is, then fill us in on the Act I stuff through either flashbacks or exposition. Of course, this is only a suggestion and not the only course of action. You are free to do whatever you want, I really don't care. But one thing you should do is work on your descriptions; many things end up hard to picture because of how awkwardly they are described.

So, how well does this work as an intro?
Well, to be honest, not very well. It sets up a very interesting story and world right off the bat with an awesome opening letter, but then it descends into boring exposition. That's not to say that all exposition is boring, you just have to put some work in to make it interesting. Nearly all of the intro was very telly and the narration was frankly very disconcerting. It seems like you're going for a third-person omniscient narrator, but sometimes it sounds like it's Rainbow Dash narrating. And other times it sounds like someone is talking to me while they read it and they are commenting as they go. I think this would work best if you just made it third-person limited, to Dash, and told it in standard past-tense. The present-tense narration often comes off as unnecessary, or odd, and it feels out of place. Present-tense can work well for action scenes, but you might want to avoid it elsewhere, at least until you feel you can pull it off better.

Final Thoughts
I really liked your synopsis, thought I'm not the best at judging those, and the opening letter intrigued me. However, the rest of it was sadly a disappointment. I think this may need quite a bit more work before it reaches the level you want it to be at. The major thing you need to work on is telling. Telling can be very useful and it's not, as some would have you believe, the worst crime imaginable. But that does not mean that you should just tell me everything. When you tell me that “she began to actually care for the young foal” it's hard for me to care. Like I said before, rather than just tell me that she cares about Scootaloo, show me that she cares. Make me care.

Well, I guess that's all I got. Good luck, and godspeed,
alexmagnet, signing off...
>> No. 121822
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It's short; it looks interesting; Huh? already looked at it; yeah, I think I'll take this.

dolfeus, this is for you...

Expect a review in a day or two.
>> No. 121851
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Ah, then it is as I feared. I set an ambitious goal and missed the mark. As for your review, it was fittingly harsh. In-depth and informative. Exactly what I needed. Thank you.

At this point I have the natural urge to try and explain why I did the silly things you pointed out, but that wouldn't do anyone any good, would it? That's just what they'd be: explanations. To keep this message short, I'll just say I'll take your words to heart. Looks like I'm gonna have to do a lot of work on this one...

Apart from that, though, there *are* a few things which I think deserve some discussion.

-RD and Scoot's backstory: shoddy execution aside, the reason it was done so quickly is because it's supposed to be just that; a backstory. With the actual story taking place in CC, where their status as "mother" and "daughter" is already set (and from which I could work forward to something). I can see that that in itself could be made into an entire story of its own, but it isn't (just) what I want to tell here. Having an even longer buildup with it would probably delay the actual story too much. Well, that's the way I was thinking, anyway. I'd like to hear your thoughts about this.

-The hoof thing. By "a hoof in diameter" I meant "its diameter was actually about as big as that of a pony's hoof;" it wasn't intended to be a "ponified" subsitute for a real-life measurement. Fuck me, right? Seriously though, seeing your reaction to it, I'm going to reword that anyway, I just thought I should point it out.

-I can see no comments in the Gdoc itself. Is there a specific reason for that, or is that just "not your thing?"

-I can't tell from your review, have you actually read the other chapter, or did you stop after the disappointment that was the first? If you did read it, what's your opinion on Luna's character? Any thoughts? I'm asking this specifically because I fear that she herself might be an embodiment of what's wrong with this fic ("great concept, big thoughts, bad execution"). If that's the case, I'd like to know.

-Again, if you've read the other chapter, do you have any thoughts on Canterlot (/its presentation) in general?

With those out of the way, and no matter how you answer them, I'd just like to thank you again. I needed that sort of kick in the butt to open my eyes, I guess.

>> No. 121854
On backstories, the one thing I feel is that there is really no need for the readers to know all or even any of the backstory. It is something that should be present and shaping your fic/characters, but behind the scenes. How and why they act as such, as well as why so and so is unfolding. That kind of thing.

Where possible, just stick those parts of the backstory which is relevant to the plot/point on hand and keep the rest of the cards for yourself.
>> No. 121856
File 134988320525.png - (107.18KB , 640x640 , mlfw3242_medium.png )
>-RD and Scoot's backstory:
Fair enough, but it could have been done better. Since how they became adopted mother and daughter is not important, it might be prudent to cut out a lot of the explanation. Just briefly explain it and move on. This is set in an alternate universe so people should be willing to accept these changes to canon. As it stands now it feels like you're trying to justify why RD would adopt her, when that's not really the point; we just need to know that she did, not why. If you want, you can fill us in later. But, since it's not relevant to how they get to CC then it doesn't really need to be in the intro, imo.

>-The hoof thing
Yeah, sorry about that snap-call. I just have a strong bias against ponifying everything. I apologize for that, but it seems like you took it tongue-in-cheek which is what it was supposed to be. So that's good.

> no comments in the Gdoc itself.
In general, I prefer to keep my reviews within Ponychan. It feels more personal that way; at least in my mind it is. I was going to make some comments, but then I realized that I would just be making a lot of the same comments over and over again, and so I decided to condense it into a series of bullet points.

> the other chapter
It was getting late, I was bored, and I wanted to finish the review so I just read the first chapter. However, I will go back and read the second chapter now, specifically to comment on the things you wanted to know about. I'll just make comments in the doc for that though.

>I needed that sort of kick in the butt to open my eyes
I always find a swift kick to the rear often sets people straight. Hell, that's what made me realize I suck, and still kinda do. But, it's those smackdowns that help the most, I would like to think. They allow you to see what you're doing wrong, but also show you how you can improve. I know that every time I receive a disparaging review it only motivates me to try harder. So, I can only hope it does the same for you.

Expect Gdoc comments (hopefully) later tonight.
>> No. 121860
File 134988731296.gif - (66.08KB , 360x360 , clapping.gif )

Right, thank you. I suppose it's safe to assume that the grammatical-mechanical problems you pointed out will persist. Try not to get worked up about those. Also, it'll probably be really telly instead of showy still... I'll try to fix that when I re-work these. So yeah, for now, just comment on it general. Canterlot, Luna, Hextech, whatever thought you might have. I'd greatly appreciate that.

That, that makes sense. I'll keep that in mind. Already getting some ideas, actually...
>> No. 121864
File 134989701060.jpg - (68.75KB , 640x640 , 1344379156504.jpg )

>I set an ambitious goal yet missed the mark.

It is always preferable to fail in the pursuit of something grand, rather than to succeed at being mediocre.

Keep at it!
>> No. 121886
File 134991724995.png - (1.08MB , 879x909 , lyra_heartstrings___coloured_by_codeluxor-d4lscbn.png )

Well, um. Okay, how should I begin? I could say that this story was, singlehandedly, the --- you know what?

I'll save it for the review.

Plot & Storytelling First off, what the hay did I just read? It was the most horrible 'crossover'
(I wish I could say elsewise) that I ever saw. The story was in no way coherent, the introduction or prologue or...
whatever you want to call it --- it didn't even fit! I mean, I get that it's called "Travelers of the Realms"
or some shit, but it really had absolutely nothing to do other than mention Smash Bros. like there was no tomorrow

I didn't even finish reading it because it would have made me gouge my eyes out with Ion-Sturm's fork.


Look, I know it seems like a lot of ranting, but there's good reason and you'll know soon enough.

Grammar & Mechanics Other than huge paragraphs that love to slap my face every couple of sentences,
I didn't see much wrong with it.

Overall Look, man. Here's the reason why I just plain gave up on reading through it:

"I told you it was horrible."

What kind of faith do you have in your own writing? Zero? Is writing a joke to you or is it something you truly enjoy?
I feel kind of bad for having to chew you out and even worse for not finishing the damn thing, but your attitude
has convinced me otherwise.

You gotta start trying, man. Start believing that you can do better. I swear, it seems like you just throw fics out into
the blue hoping just one of them sticks, but you make no actual progress.

This fic is actually a step down from the one I reviewed in my thread. Where's the great author I see you being?
Where's that guy, huh?

I know that he's there. You just gotta work harder and start trusting that your stories will work out so long as you
push towards the perfect ending; so long as you push towards getting it right.

I'm sorry about this review, man. However, your attitude almost gave me no choice but to wake you up, even if that meant
tearing you down a little more.


>> No. 121889
File 134992313141.png - (189.08KB , 500x282 , 134211071528.png )
Honestly i love writing, this one story though... ehh... The prolog felt good but it would appear that i'm the only one who enjoys reading sort of world building paragraphs. Half of it could have been cut out honestly. The only part i really need is establishing the realm guardians and their rules. As for the rest of the fic... well... to sum it up, there is a scene in which Twilight freaks out and is frozen in panic because of Kirby and Kirby, whose only experience with equine is link's horse Epona, decides he should pet her to calm her down... yeah it kinnda sounded stupid when i was writing it too. I think my mind was focusing on the adventures than actually establishing the meeting.

All in all i don't hold it against you. I wasn't actually confident with this one and i think it shows.
>> No. 121891
File 134992347722.png - (73.81KB , 243x756 , lyra_heartstrings_by_skatergirl8888-d4w8i75.png )

Thanks for being understanding. Hey, if you ever want anything else reviewed, or you rewrite this one and want me to take a look (well, you don't have to go to me), then by all means post it.

We're here to help writers, but you gotta ask first!

>> No. 121892
I will, just got to figure out how to get the two to meet.
>> No. 121897
File 134992696094.jpg - (702.69KB , 2448x3295 , EPDCover.jpg )
A story of transequine conspiracy and horror.

Ten years ago, Equestria achieved a technological singularity. It did not survive the night. During an event now known as The Fall, the first Artificially Generated Alicorns unlocked the true power of Discord, and became the Nightmares, laying waste to Equestria before mysteriously vanishing.

The sun now lays still in the sky and transequines, the refugees of ponykind, try to find their place in the worlds and spaces left behind, where the body is transitory, where the mind can be fundamentally altered, where a beating heart and breathing lungs are luxuries that some cannot afford.

The Dreamcatcher network exists to prevent the extinction of ponykind, whether by the return of the inscrutable Nightmares, the insidious Discord Virus, or other threats that arise, through any means necessary.


I've gone a round with EQD on this one and hit strike one, so I'd really like to get it into proper shape. I have plans to resubmit, but not until I'm a lot more confident in it.

This is what they had to say:

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

Specific Issues:

Inconsistent narrative tone, especially notable in the beginning.
Homophone confusion
As a rule, do not hyphenate words ending in ‘ly’.
Random capitalization. One example: “by the Neon-blue mane”. You also mess up with titles.
Use a name when you transition paragraphs and scenes. You have a tendency to have several characters active, then use only a pronoun for identification.
You have an issue with stacked descriptors that muddy up your exposition. One prominent example: “an intricate, jagged, twisting fractal shape.”
Many instances of just generally awkward and poor phrasing. Example: “Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy landed ungently”
Comma splices.
When using Ah in place of I, be sure to be consistent in capitalizing it.
While not an outright mistake, you start a lot of narrative sentences with conjunctions. Try to be more judicious about this.
The sense of time as the tale goes on is quite inconsistent.
Dialogue tagging mistakes.


You really need to do a better job laying the groundwork for this tale. As a person with no foreknowledge of your crossover, there were more ‘wtf’ moments than not. This is a general problem with most crossovers. Write as though your reader has never seen half of your source material.'

I know the majority of my problems are with the prequel chapter, but I'm probably repeating a lot of the same mistakes throughout, and I know I need some helpful suggestions when it comes to tone, dialogue, and transitions.

I've put a lot of work into this thing and I really want to learn how to make it successful.

I can host a Google doc or provide a word document if requested, and feel free to drop it into a working document, whatever medium you're most comfortable with.
>> No. 121901
File 134992816743.jpg - (363.00KB , 1024x675 , madmax.jpg )
Hark! From high Olympus, carried on the wings of Mercury, forged in Vulcan's flames, and blessed by Ceres, I, Jupiter, bring you a humble review by the lowly and poor alexmagnet. It may very well be not what you sought when you ventured through the sand-blasted wastes of /fic/ and humbly placed The Sound of Raindrops on Slate upon the sacred altar of The Training Grounds Queue (for a second time) and thereupon set about spilling the blood of nine virgin women and one three-legged goat in sacrifice, but it is the best his wretched mind can offer.

So... yeah.

Well, uhh, I don't really know what to say about this. I read it multiple times and I still felt lost. I mean, don't get me wrong; the writing was great and I loved reading it, but I honestly am not sure what it's actually about. If I may be so bold as to offer my interpretation, meager though it may be. From what I can gather the main story seems to take place in the past where it shows Cadance having some kind of falling out with Luna and Celestia, leading to her taking away Love itself.
>"I'm taking it back."
Which I presume then leads to the wasteland we see later on.

Meanwhile, in the present (I think), a human (why a human? Well, I don't really know), is walking through a burned-out and utterly destroyed Equestria (again, I think). Now, I really loved the imagery in these sections, and in fact in every section, but these specifically stuck out to me. I'm a sucker for bleak wastelands and post-apocalyptic futures, which is what I think this is.

(I've you've never read I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream by Harlan Ellison, then I suggest you do. The future suggested in that is one of the most chilling I have ever seen. Not really relevant to your story, but I just wanted to plug one of my favorite post-apocalyptic stories of all-time)

Anyway, I feel like I'm missing something here. At the risk of sounding like an idiot, I have to ask: What's happening/what happened? Why is there a human wandering through a charred wasteland? And what are the parts in italics that come between each of the “vignettes”?

Also, I was rather puzzled by the last third or so. I was confused as to why you were talking about a handful of the Elements now, as opposed to Cadance and the other princesses. I feel like most of the story went over my head and that I must not be getting everything, but I just don't understand what happened. Other than that, I don't think I can really come up with anything else. Your grammar and mechanics were immaculate and I can hardly fault your syntax or sentence structure. Though, it did feel a tad melodramatic at times. But even in those cases, I actually liked it, so I wouldn't say that it's a problem.
>"Equestria needs to pray for a new hope, then."
This line... I loved it so much, just wanted to say that.

Well, I'm sorry that I couldn't offer any real criticism, and that my review basically boils down to “Durr, I no understand”, but that's all I got. This just feels way above the level I'm comfortable reviewing. The best I can do is point you in the direction of someone who can give this a better review. I'd try MintyRest since that guy's a beast and he'll be able to help you. But you could also send this soundslikeponies/Garnot's way. I'm sure they would be able to help you as well.

I guess that's it...
alexmagnet, signing off...
>> No. 121905
I haven't reviewed anything in nearly a month, and my trigger finger's gettin' itchy. Lucky you. Expect something... sometime.
>> No. 121908
Ah, thank you for taking the time to look at it. While I can't answer all of your points sufficiently at the moment--and I suggest you look for my posts on the fifth Write-Off (>>113502), though I admit most of that really was me talking out of my arse--the bulk of your questions could probably be answered simply by this:

I have no clue what I'm doing. And short of inserting a 100,000 word epic, I haven't a clue how to contextualize Raindrops.
>> No. 121940
File 134996418036.png - (83.50KB , 348x327 , mlfw3182-Cheerilee_is_best_pony.png )
So, I went through and read all the reviews and your responses to those reviews and it helped me understand one thing: I wasn't alone.

I'd say I fall most in line with the person who said they liked it but they should by all rights hate it. The writing was flowery and, to me, very engaging, but at the same time, hard to follow. I guess I'm just glad that I wasn't the only one who didn't fully understand what was happening/had happened.

I guess the best I can say is: I liked it, a lot. But I couldn't tell you why.
>> No. 122004
Tags: [Sad] [Slice-of-Life]
Synopsis: What does one do in the moon for a thousand years? How does one stay sane?
I numbered the nights. I never lost count.
Chapter 1:
Chapter 2:
Chapter 3:
Chapter 4:
Author's Notes:
Ideally I would like all four chapters reviewed. It is complete. When EQD reviewed this there were only two chapters. Further I have attempted to address all the issues they have pointed out, but I'm unsure if I did a good job. Any help is greatly appreciated. Further I'm not sure I know what (s)he means about unwieldy adjectives and modifiers.
Pre-Reader Comments:
will bare witness // Homophone confusion. You do this a few times.
You’ve an issue with unwieldy adjectives and modifiers in general.
Dialogue tagging mistakes. They’re sparse, but pay a keen eye to this.
Avoid parenthesis. Go with commas or em dashes for appositive structuring.
As a rule of thumb, spell out numbers.
Don’t forget to capitalize titles when replacing a name.
Commas before the name in direct address, always.

Sequence with Discord is so rushed as to detract from the tale and break
reader immersion.
Luna not coming up with anything but ‘drill baby drill’ comes off a bit
droll. Spice it up some; have her show some creativity.
The final battle before banishment feels more than a bit rushed.

In all, grammatical issues aside, what this comes down to is not the Luna
you choose to portray, but the competence and consistency in which you do
so. Shore this up, get some reviews, make sure you’ve got things smooth.
This is strike one of three, revise wisely.
>> No. 122006
File 135000329384.png - (107.99KB , 600x583 , FlutterDash.png )
Finally after what feels like an eternity I am in the home stretch of my first multi-chapter pony fic. This last chapter was an absolute pain to write. At times it felt less like I was writing and more like I was banging my head against my keyboard and hope the result makes sense. It feels great to have it done and ready to get through the editing process. Hopefully this part won't take nearly as long.

Title: What is a Fluttershy

Author: Digi

Tags: [Shipping]

Synopsis: After developing odd feelings for a certain pony, Fluttershy confronts her friends in an attempt to come to terms with the new emotions.

Chapter 5: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1VKOnKAPeWSs6283KWHbDFsspvZ7_CNT_HhKT_mMBFTY/edit

Epilogue: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1wkbHkvarhWUFJs6BTYlnhFh9Z4rkHlkjpm5SLsyrxNQ/edit
>> No. 122010
File 135000693296.jpg - (54.51KB , 528x807 , 528px-Surprise_cg_by_dispozition-d4ayxpy.jpg )
Requesting one last set of eyeballs on this.

Tags: [Sad]

Description: All I can do is watch, now. Can you imagine what it's like? I can see everything, and do nothing. Where is the justice in this?

What's the point of me, anyways?

Links (includes both Chapter 1 and 2): https://docs.google.com/document/d/1q6nYFmNenxPmoKpq85dvMMPrYF28ALWJjCSF6PfAV6E/edit
Chapter 3: https://docs.google.com/document/d/100FWAv91FMdWuVXHmWDYtvLovllqLsPtBBbTjycdYU0/edit

Words: The chapters I'm requesting are 7900 total

Chapters to review: 1 and 3 (2 not required, I like where it is)

Comments: Primary concerns are seeing how engaging chapter 1 is, and if chapter 3 flows well enough (especially the last scene).
>> No. 122015
One more thing, since it's likely I won't get a chance to respond properly for a while:

I thought your review was brilliant, albeit not extraordinarily helpful, and I appoligize that the piece was inaccessible. Paradoxically, I'm glad that you could enjoy it in spite (or possibly because) of that inaccessability.

When I can, I'll see if I can slip this into SLP/Garnot's or Minty's queues, if I'm not thrown out for this abomination I've wrought.
>> No. 122017
If you don't mind this actually seems kinda interesting. Claiming this one for a review. Just letting you know I have never done a review before. Don't expect me to catch much in the way of grammar and similar things. Most of my expertise lies in characters and plot. So based on your comment that is what your looking for.
>> No. 122018
File 135001357288.png - (34.03KB , 512x512 , 1342060128872.png )
I read your piece back when it was in the write-off and really liked it.

What I think your biggest obstacle here is the unconventional structure. It's not a story meant to be read once and understood, very much like Inception. I think that's a strength, BUT you're going to run into a lot of people who don't care for it. You're requiring a larger investment from the reader, and, frankly, the MLP fandom is not one to give you that. Sure, there are plenty of people on /fic/ who will love you for it, but I wouldn't get my hopes up about mass appeal. I say, write it for the people who will get through it.

Now, this is just from memory, but if you haven't already looked at these things, I suggest that you 1) make sure the poetry (I believe you said it was dragon poetry?) isn't interrupting the main story. The formatting (justified, centered, indented) REALLY helped from the write-off version. 2) make sure characters aren't vague. I was a little confused when you hopped between the mystery character and Cadence so much, not to mention there is also a narrator reciting the poetry.

That's all I have to say about that. Call it an extra review or whatnot... I just really liked what you had. It's unique, and I'd love to see it do well.
>> No. 122019
Also to anyone who is working on this thread, I am not sure I did the form for claiming a fic correctly. Please fix if I did not and send me a message to tell me how to do it properly.

Please and thank you.
>> No. 122021
File 135001404989.png - (559.81KB , 1351x1600 , 86453126453.png )
>Space Pirates!
I'm in...

I see that you requested Sparky, but you also said that a new reviewer was free to look at it. Seeing as I haven't seen Sparky respond yet, I hope you don't mind if I give this a looksee.

Should be done sometime tomorrow, time permitting of course.
>> No. 122025
File 135001527529.jpg - (283.94KB , 846x999 , 132632355707.jpg )
All you have to do to claim a fic is link to it and state that you're claiming it. That's it. It's prefered that you also mark the subject line as claim, but maintainers are smart; we can usually figure it out if you miss something.
>> No. 122036
Fic read. Review time. First off the fic is very clean, barely any errors that I noticed. Of course as I have said before grammar errors are not my strong suit. Anything I did catch I made a comment on in the fic itself.

Chapter 1

Your primary concern with this chapter, according to your comment, was if it was interesting or not. To answer your question it was. Though it still was not without its problem. Up until the last section of the chapter I didn't even know that the main character was a colt. Heck I didn't even have any idea of what he looked like.

We only get about a paragraph or so of description at the beginning of the next chapter. While this might be alright if the main character was one of the mane 6, this is an OC. He needs a description in the first chapter. What is his coat color, or his mane? What is his cutie mark? How old is he? Is he short, tall, fat, skinny?

This is a common problem in your fic. None of the characters, be they main or background characters, have any sort of significant description outside of maybe a sentence or two. They have plenty of character personality wise, but appearance, they might as well be blank grey slates for all the description given.

Next comes Chapter 3. It is a fairly satisfying ending but it doesn't really explain anything. Then again sometime a story works better when the reader can make their own conclusions. That being said I still don't really know what exactly happened. The two ponies who seemed like they were going to die, didn't, which is odd considering you spent all of chapter 2 pretty much saying you couldn't stop another pony from dying.

Other than that, the chapter as a whole is fairly decently paced. It does feel a little fast, but not so much that I think it needs to be drawn out anymore than it already has. If you are satisfied with its pacing than I say its good.

The next thing I want to ask is some questions that this fic in general brought up. First if none of the Ponies live past 18 years after getting their cutie mark, how do they know that they are immortal? Outside of the fact that they don't need to eat anymore of course. Also what are Celestia and Luna in this fic? They are immortal too, do the Shepards have any special relationship to them? None of these questions need to be answered, just something I pondered as I read.

As a final note this fic reminded me of a TV series called "Dead Like Me". Its a very similar premise, and I very much enjoyed the show. So I guess what I am saying is that I enjoyed reading your fic.

Hope my first review is not a complete waste of your time.
>> No. 122038
I'd argue that very little description is needed. If you want to describe a character, then fine. But unless the coat color is important (because he gets confused with someone else, for instance), it isn't particularly useful to the story. It can be very dry to read down a laundry list of physical characteristics for every OC in every story. Let the reader imagine the unimportant details.

How much do we know about Scout? Female, quite young... That's about it. To Kill a Mockingbird never describes her (thanks to Cassius for that example). You'll find that this practice is quite common.

To be sure, some readers do prefer a complete description. But it's rarely necessary.
>> No. 122040
A quick question: are you using a character in a first person, the narrator itself no less, to say that you shouldn't detailed characters despite the narrator doing exactly throughout the story, while logically not going 'and I was blonde and had a mohawk' because, again, it is in first person?
>> No. 122041
File 135002229100.jpg - (92.96KB , 850x778 , ohmy.jpg )
Well, Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, if I remember correctly, don't have physical descriptions, although they do have in-story illustrations that help out with that (Tom Sawyer is 3rd-p, Huckleberry is 1st-p). Jeeves doesn't get a physical description (the narrator's butler, told through the narrator's 1st-p), nor do most of John Grisham's characters beyond the occasional hair colour and, should an off-screen sex scene arrive, perhaps some description sufficient to convey the other's figure (all of which I've read are 3rd-p).

Imo, for ponyfic, if it's OCs, you're better off doing no more than a single sentence on coat and mane colour. For Mane 6 and etc established characters, it's not necessary, because that much of the character has already been established for you.
>> No. 122042
I could go and open up my library to search for those and see if you are right. But, because I'm lazy and I don't want to reread both of those just to see if you are right, have the beginning of The Old Man and the Sea instead:

He was an old man who fished alone in a skiff in the Gulf Stream and he had gone eighty-four days now without taking a fish. In the first forty days a boy had been with him. But after forty days without a fish the boy’s parents had told him that the old man was now definitely and finally salao, which is the worst form of unlucky, and the boy had gone at their orders in another boat which caught three good fish the first week. It made the boy sad to see the old man come in each day with his skiff empty and he always went down to help him carry either the coiled lines or the gaff and harpoon and the sail that was furled around the mast. The sail was patched with flour sacks and, furled, it looked like the flag of permanent defeat. The old man was thin and gaunt with deep wrinkles in the back of his neck. The brown blotches of the benevolent skin cancer the sun brings from its [9] reflection on the tropic sea were on his cheeks. The blotches ran well down the sides of his face and his hands had the deep-creased scars from handling heavy fish on the cords. But none of these scars were fresh. They were as old as erosions in a fishless desert. Everything about him was old except his eyes and they were the same color as the sea and were cheerful and undefeated.

Ernest Hemingway was amongst the greatest writers ever and was very adamant that writing should have no more stuff than it needed. He did, however, bother writing all that to describe an old man who fished.
>> No. 122046
File 135002550612.jpg - (148.28KB , 600x800 , Rainbow Dash119342__UNOPT__safe_rainbow-dash_humanized_artist-zelda994612.jpg )

Reivew's in doc

tl;dr Fred isn't creepy enough
>> No. 122047
File 135002589024.jpg - (596.93KB , 1096x1601 , cirno_cereal.jpg )
I'd argue that those descriptions are a way of showing (versus telling) the old man's lifestyle through the marks it left on his body, rather than being there for the sake of merely describing the man's features. If I'm not wrong, that lifestyle is a central theme of the story, so the descriptions push forward this theme in a subtler manner. I haven't actually read it, though... but I do know that descriptions can be used for more than just description, it's just that it needs a higher level of skill to pull off, and only works for certain sorts of stories - the reflective sort, maybe, rather than straight fantasy. Description for the sake of description doesn't do as much in telling a story, so it's not as necessary, is probably what I'm trying to say.
>> No. 122050
File 135004823839.png - (394.22KB , 700x800 , surprise_by_c_d_i-d5gr4qn.png )
Thanks for taking the time to give it a look.

Concerning descriptions: that was something I thought about for a while before submitting for review. In the end, I chose to keep the descriptions limited. First reason: it's difficult to include them without it sounding awkward. Second: Silk (the protagonist) doesn't care about appearances much, especially his own, so he doesn't comment on them.

>Next comes Chapter 3. It is a fairly satisfying ending but it doesn't really explain anything. Then again sometime a story works better when the reader can make their own conclusions. That being said I still don't really know what exactly happened. The two ponies who seemed like they were going to die, didn't, which is odd considering you spent all of chapter 2 pretty much saying you couldn't stop another pony from dying.
This is a little concerning... but it's difficult for me to pin down the cause. Indeed, chapter 2 was supposed to be in stark contrast to 3. I'm manipulating your expectations so when things take a twist and the 'secret' is revealed in 3, you're not expecting it and it's that much more interesting. As far as what I explain and what I don't explain, I feel I've given you the bits of information you need to put together exactly what happened. If, even after thinking on it for a while, you can't figure it out, maybe I've left out something important or misled you. Do you know (or have a good theory as to) what the Hunt is?

> First if none of the Ponies live past 18 years after getting their cutie mark, how do they know that they are immortal? Outside of the fact that they don't need to eat anymore of course.
This is something I've considered. I think I'll end up lampshading it since it you've brought it up, but it isn't too important to this story.

>Also what are Celestia and Luna in this fic? They are immortal too, do the Shepards have any special relationship to them?
This is an interesting question that, while I'm glad you're asking yourself, isn't really relevant to the story.

>As a final note this fic reminded me of a TV series called "Dead Like Me".
evil grin Yup, definitely took a few things from Dead Like Me.
>> No. 122054
I got this. That is to say yo Queue DJ's I'm officially claim this. I can do that right? The rules seem to suggest I can.
>> No. 122065
Your welcome, glad my review helped. Even a little bit.

As for the character descriptions, it is fine where it is. As some of the other posters have mentioned, not every story describes their characters in huge detail. It is fine for this story, and I was able to enjoy the read despite the lack of detail for the characters. I just found it odd is all.

As for The Hunt. My best guess is that The Hunt isn't really anything. In the end its merely the time where a shepard can die. They get released from their duties and ponies can once again remember them. Also I suppose that a pony can be saved from death so long as a shepard dies instead to save them. Am I close at all?
>> No. 122067

I'm not claiming this--I'm not in a position to give you the technical/flow pick-over that you need--but as someone who tried to help you to make the crossover material understandable in the first place, I'll give this another look.

Word of advice: Do put this in a google doc. If you want someone to track down your specific errors, that's the only practical way aside from printing it and writing on it.
>> No. 122069
File 135006832747.png - (30.06KB , 550x400 , tail.png )
I don't mind at all. The only reason I wanted Sparky was because he was the one who suggested all the changes I made, and I wanted to see his opinion on it.

But that's just for convenience. Any outside look from anyone, I'd like. Thank you for doing this.

Have some best pone.
>> No. 122072
Hello there, everybody. I'd like my story reviewed, if that's not too much trouble.

Title: Three's A Crowd
Author: Sir0Chicken
Tags: [Shipping]
Synopsis: Twilight Sparkle has the best friends a pony could ask for, and her stay in Ponyville has allowed her to spend plenty of time with all of them. But when one of her friends begins to see her as more than just a companion, will she be able notice the hints? Or will she break her admirer's heart and pit friend against friend without even realizing it?
Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1T08Lff6GfebXuH7X8P2D_mVEL5V4SzgfkyBG34dd9oI/edit or http://www.fimfiction.net/story/48975/Three%27s-A-Crowd
Chapters: 1-4
EQD Comments: In general:
-Far, far too many -ly adverbs. It's the biggest symptom of an overall telling problem, and there are also an awful lot of "in/with <emotion>" phrasings.
-Applejack's accent might be a tad much.
-Placing Twilight's thoughts in the same paragraph as another character's speech.
-Word choice. Your narrator should reflect on your character under focus, particularly for a third-person limited or first-person narrator. While focusing on Applejack, you're choosing words like "visage" and "loquacious." These don't really suit her, and it creates a distance between the narrator and character that shouldn't be there.

I recommend you go to one of the fine review threads on Ponychan's /fic/ board or find a volunteer reviewer on FiMFiction to help you root out the last issues with your story. This is your second strike of a possible three. Take your time and revise carefully.

Thank you in advance. If there's any problems with my submission, let me know (I'm new 'round here).
>> No. 122078
File 135007672812.png - (195.36KB , 776x624 , Ill_take_the_case.png )
Pretty close. My intention was to convey it as something more tangible, though. Instead of being nothing, it's more like the willingness of ponies to sacrifice themselves for another. Or, if you want to get really broad, selflessness in general. But I like when a reader comes up with their own interpretation. That's why I only gave as much info as was absolutely necessary.
>> No. 122079
Some authors like description, and some don't. the same is true of readers. But in general, it's not necessary. Casca's got the gist of why description works here, and I've given an example as well, in which some feature of the character might prove important to the plot.

So there's nothing wrong with giving description, unless it's a dry info dump. And there's nothing wrong with eschewing it if the details are irrelevant. I wouldn't ever tell a writer to include a description if the only reason I could give him is that "I want to be able to visualize him," but if I can give more concrete reasons as to why the story doesn't function without one, then I would absolutely do so.

Like anything else in writing, it's a balancing act.
>> No. 122080
Title: Twilight's Odyssey

Tags: [Alternate Universe][Adventure]

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

Link to prologue: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1WHzfwkSvNK0iWzSNBj97ocUNmtRcCIeGr_X-dKNI4-g/edit

Link to chapter one: https://docs.google.com/document/d/19yL2_eCwAI5RqXmFRfnLiYHNPqeXVE_SofnXb9Y_gxs/edit

Comments: Due to some critique from the EQD pre-readers, I would ask whichever kind soul who choose to review this to look for ways to help me make the prologue more engaging. Suggest how to cut down possible verbose or less important parts (hopefully while still maintaining the original meaning), make the dialogue flow better, etc. There were some other stuff he suggested I'd look into, but that's probably the most important.

I'd appreciate if maybe one of TTG's more experienced reviewers took a look.

Thank you in advance!
>> No. 122082

Pyrite, if you catch this before I'm done, I'll be live-reviewing right over here:


Review will focus on strategy / writer development / hooking the reader, 'cuz that's what I do now.
>> No. 122083
Eclipse Phase: Dreamcatcher
In short, everything’s awful and there’s nopony I care about. The only thing going for it is that it’s pony-with-Eclipse-Phase, which I know nothing about. Possible routes to a story:
- Stop worrying about the setting. Pick an insignificant character and threaten his survival and/or moral integrity. (a la Fallout: Equestria)
- Craft an antagonist who cannot be defeated directly. Make your characters’ lives hell.
- Throw a rich/secure/happy character on hard times.

My apologies for making this so generic, but there really isn’t a gentle way to say “I’m bored and don’t have anything nice to say.”


"Intertextual Relations"
[Dark] [Romance] [Meta]
2300 words

A story of love, hate, and two stories. T for language and implied violence.

>> No. 122084
Honestly I didn't find that many grammatical errors but that could just be because that isn't my forte.

Anyway on with the review. So you did a couple of things well. One of which is your concept for the anger creature things (blast I already forgot what they are called). But yeah neat concept. But more than that I like the way this explores the subtle things different characters get angry at but that they have tried to be cool about. The relationships in this are pretty genius. Especially that Derpy RD scene. That was the most believable part of the whole thing to me and it was one of the more touching moments.

That said there are some definite problems with this fic. Unanswered questions are great... I would daresay even necessary. However questions like how does the prologue relate to any of the rest of this, or why don't they at least momentarily think Discord is involved (since he is the only one they have seen change a pony's behavior) are not the sort of questions you want to hold over the reader's head. Worse than that, this story has a tendency to drag in places. The first chapter is definitely the most guilty of this, as most of the first chapter feels unnecessary. I realize it took some effort for the six friends to find each other, but the things they seem to subtly hold against each other are the weakest. Further nothing interesting or particular pertinent to the plot seems to happen until after they meet, which takes most of the first chapter. Have you considered staring in medias res? I think starting after they had all met would greatly help this story. Finally, having a bunch of these things is kind of a problem, because they are all the exact same thing. Thus it lulls the reader into the notion that the next chapters will just be a repeat even if they aren't. I realize this is only the beginning but now that they have taken out one, the others don't so bad. My point is there isn't much to entice a reader to keep reading.

Anyway I'm new to this whole reviewing business so I apologize if I didn't provide the most insight ever. In short when I liked it it was really good when I didn't it was hard to keep reading. You definitely have talent and some parts of this premise really work, but it will take a ton of work to smooth this into the diamond it is meant to be.
>> No. 122086
File 135009568073.jpg - (79.64KB , 400x271 , 27573285.jpg )
Finally, a [shipping] story!
>> No. 122090
File 135009981417.jpg - (388.71KB , 828x1150 , patchy_it_begins.jpg )
Dat synopsis in the queue. Is intriguing, must have
>pic somewhat related
>> No. 122091
Experienced reviewer? Yeah, I guess that'd be me.
>> No. 122093
File 135010085251.jpg - (650.31KB , 1700x1020 , 29413.jpg )
Title : Pride of Magic, Earth and Sky
Tags : Dark, Adventure
Author : Shader
Synopsis :
After centuries of hatred, and ten long years of bloodshed, pony-kind has finally found peace.
Banding together to form the nation of Equestria, the three tribes work together to create a new age of prosperity for all. Laws, order, freedom and harmony. A happy ending for everypony.

But, perhaps the still smoldering embers of war can be reignited. Scars run deep, after all. All one would need...

Is a pinch of Chaos.

Links :
Prologue to Chapter 3 - https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Kf3IOMh6PPx_z05JtTQKCIUrYN_bfInS-YOkIu6EB7A/edit
Chapter 4 to Chapter 7 - https://docs.google.com/document/d/12cyenkxKNyYZnp_T_Lz7o5r48VpnYh_Ntwt_ZVTWf_U/edit
To Review : Mostly Chapter 4 to 7, but not opposed to having Prologue to Chapter 3 looked at.
Comment : Really looking to know if I'm moving too slowly. Intending to have one last chapter to setup everything, before the shit hits the fan.
>> No. 122094

Heh, talk about blunt. Well, don't know how to make him creepier without making things too obvious. Guh, back to square one again. Thanks anyway for the general tips throughout, though.
>> No. 122095
File 135010418968.jpg - (152.10KB , 342x880 , car_tipping.jpg )
The short of it is that it's a pretty novel (har har) idea, played straight, does what it sets out to do but the writing could be better.

The funny bits worked, for the most part, and CC's voice is unobjectionable at first. It gets increasingly jaded, as is appropriate for her re-telling of the experience, and while it clashes somewhat with the events going on - the romance and breakup, especially, where her love for him feels invalidated in a single moment, how her tone is that of "yeah, sure" rather than actual pain - it matches the end. The scene-building is barebones, but that's because it's not very necessary. You could do with more description of tone and body language, though. Since relations and interactions are the meat of the story, they could stand to be stronger.

Probably the one main issue I have is that certain parts came across too abruptly. Time and observation-style descriptions will help in smoothing the gradient. I've marked those out in doc.

And that's that! Keep writing.
>> No. 122098
File 135010709682.png - (234.61KB , 894x894 , Twilight don__t_do_this_to_me__smarty_pants__by_manateemckenzie-d4r6o86.png )
>back to square one again
Aww... Don't delete it...
>> No. 122108
Thanks for the Review and I'm glad you liked the Derpy/RD scene, it was one of those things that I could visualize in my head and came out just about perfect.

As for the rest of the fic: I see your points, especially about how repetitive it is in places and the nature of the Prologue.

The prologue ties closer with parts later on in the overall story, but the idea was that this princess is telling a story to her students.

I have some ideas for rewriting it to present it better, or at least set up the idea a bit more clearly. The overall intention was that at the beginning of each "part" of the main narrative it would cut back to the princess.

I agree, I dropped the ball on them not suspecting Discord was behind it and I can't say I disagree on the repetition of them finding each other.

What I tried to do, and failed a bit at, is show how things are deteriorating as the ponies begin going berserk while establishing some details regarding the Mane 6.

You mentioned the pettiness of the sources of the anger of the ponies. When I think of friends like the Mane 6, I find very little sources of anger (without fabricating some event or another), so I tried to come up with plausible sources for that anger: Rarity's frustration towards Twilight's pragmatic sensibilities for example.

In the cases of the others, I had to cheat... I left the exact nature of RD and Fluttershy's up in the air because I wanted to focus more on Dash's reaction to what she did. Both Applejack and Pinkie vented their rage at others, and I think plausibly.

As for the Mayor, I wanted to have at least one pony truly lay into Twilight from an unexpected angle...and I think the Mayor's reasons, while petty, were plausible sources of frustration. Perhaps I need to reinforce that aspect of the Fury's power... that it flames any anger or frustration that it can.

I'll see what I can do to make the chapter either tighter or more interesting. Also, as for the possible repetition of fury fight... the idea I was trying to hint at, and give a full explanation of in the next chapter, is that this is a full on invasion of these creatures.

Thanks again for the review and giving me some things to think about.
>> No. 122112
I agree that finding realistic sources of anger between the mane six is extremely challenging. However I think it is better to avoid a challenge then to take it on and fail. It's possible that the challenge is impossible; I don't know.

As for the mayor I agree that was an unexpected angle, but it felt less personal and therefore less interesting. Maybe if she emphasized more how Twilight was creating more work for her through these disasters and how Twilight obviously just took the mayor for granted or some such. I think the relationships and the secrets beyond the surface of those relationships are the strongest part of this so that's what I'd emphasize.

As for the story-telling aspect I sorta thought that was what you were going for, but part of what made it unclear is she made it sound like it was a very personally story she was about to tell, yet as of yet she isn't even a character in it. If I implied I was about to tell you a personally story, but started with how my parents met you'd probably be more than a little confused.

As for RD's conflict with Fluttershy I think leaving it ambigious would work, but given the nature of what we've seen so far I have a hard time believing that whatever she did was THAT bad. Sure everypony has been grumpy, and one even attacked Twilight, but that was the exception up to this point and not the norm. Further the elements seemed to be less effected by the fury, which may well have been what you were going for, but it further makes RD's reaction seem a little over the top. But this is one of those issues I think is a bit more subjective.

As for the swarm, I caught that. The issue being unless the swarm is of a bunch of not that powerful creatures instead of relatively few powerful one, swarms are extremely difficult to do right, and this might serve to dissuade the reader. But then again if you tighten up this fic so that its interesting all the way through they may keep reading just out of trust for you.
>> No. 122113
File 135014661688.jpg - (14.67KB , 256x256 , wut.jpg )
Took a look at what you had so far. I just wanted to say: keep it up! I absolutely love the incredible amount of detail and effort you're putting into this. Every time, I get an outside look, there are so many things pointed out that I have overlooked.

Once again, I can't thank you enough.
>> No. 122118
File 135015304299.jpg - (93.61KB , 500x499 , 16841568.jpg )
Thanks. It's always good to be appreciated. I'm glad that you're taking my comments in stride and seeing the big picture here. I've finished reading now and I'll get the review written up when I get back from work. Until then, I have some suggestions to offer.

1) Read a lot of books, specifically science fiction. That's the best way to improve your writing besides just practicing all the time. Try to emulate good authors and in time you'll develop your own style.
For reference on how to write cool sci-fi scenes I suggest:
Dune by Frank Herbert
anything by Isaac Asimov
both the Halo and Mass Effect novels offer lots of good scenes as well
You don't even have to read the whole book; you just need to skim to see how the authors describe things.

2) Read your story out loud. Short of getting someone else to proofread, that's the best way to find errors and awkward phrasing.
>> No. 122119
File 135015333683.png - (45.40KB , 243x237 , 131960669285.png )
Ouch. I wish I'd spotted this while you were on, but if this is where you ended up I'm not sure It would have been productive, and without time to think about it I might have gotten all defensive, which wouldn't have helped.

I guess there's one question I have for your opinion of this: Can the general course of events I have currently be salvaged with a different/better way of moving through them, cutting the exposition down and leaving more mystery, or should I be starting over from the ground up with an entirely different basic premise?

Also thanks for the review.

If anyone would be interested in helping me out on a more line level, I would still appreciate that.
>> No. 122124
File 135015497687.png - (129.22KB , 500x304 , 131945305655.png )
Here's a fresh Google Doc for Tactical and anyone else who would like to assist.
>> No. 122126
10/11>>122006What is a Fluttershy

Alright, I got some time this weekend, time to grab a fic for reviewing. I call dibs!
>> No. 122128
I'm not exactly sure what you mean by line level, but the review you've been given doesn't seem very helpful to me. I'll try to give you a more helpful one. I make no promises to get through it all, but I'll make sure you get some useful feed back and I'll try to be nice about it.
>> No. 122129
File 135016096977.gif - (14.11KB , 231x244 , 131887482511.gif )
For the moment, I'm really just trying to focus on the prologue and chapter 1, which is all I've got on the doc. I really understand that the foundation is what needs the most shoring up (or possibly a complete redesign) here. But I'd be happy to hear anything you have to say about the other chapters currently posted on Fimfiction.
>> No. 122135
>>122095 -- Intertextual

Thank you! I was in a rut with this story and ready to leave it forgotten, but between your help and the interest last night, I think I'll be able to polish it up for FiMFiction at least.

Honestly not seeing it as EqD material, so I might set it aside while I work on that project.


>>122119 -- Pyrite's Dreamcatcher
I'm glad I haven't put you off the story completely, and actually, I was just about to try to find some way to soften my opinion. Sometimes a particular story just doesn't work with a particular reader. If you can Demetrius or Tactical happy, be proud and ignore me.

My complaint is pretty fundamental. I like the setting - I like dystopian navel-gaze quite a bit - but I need at least one character I don't completely hate who wants something I can understand and has a heck of a time trying to get it. Something went wrong around the "understanding" part.

Odyssey has a similar problem with excessive exposition, so maybe you'll find the following review helpful:


Review: Twilight's Odyssey.

"Hey, BB! BB!" shouted Twilight Sparkle into her brother's ears. She stood on his shoulders, one forehoof wrapped in his blue mane, the other pointing. "Look." It was early morning. Lantern and torch light reflected in her eyes.

"Ouch, Twily, not so loud," said Shining Armor. "Look at what?"

Twilight dropped her voice to an excited whisper. "They're drinking!"

"So who's still with me?" called a cyan-coated stallion only a few years older than Armor. His friends - or perhaps rivals - all cheered and raised mugs of cider in their magic, crashing them together and hooting their laughter as suds spilled down the sides.

"That they are," said Armor. He shook his head and kept walking. Twilight dropped her free hoof back to his neck and held on tight so she wouldn't fall.

Unicorns filled the street and strings of colored pennants criss-crossed the night sky. Every shop and building flew the white and purple flag of Unicornia, for that dawn would mark the fifteenth-hundred Summer Sun Celebration ...

Cool AU scenario? Check. Mouth-watering, if heavy-hoofed, foreshadowing? Check. Engaging story line?

I'll get back to you once I'm done digesting the mountains of EXPOSITION. Once again I'm less-than-impressed with a weak-sauce EqD rejection. The only part of the Prologue I'd keep is the treaty, edited down and replacing the "Mareco Polo" epigraph at the top of the first chapter. Even that's not strictly necessary. And they never seem to say "this was boring," even when it's true.

I get the sense that there are big events in the works for this story. That's cool*. But its the little things that bring a story to life. I want more Twilight and Armor interaction for instance, otherwise his departure will fall flat. (Actually, you could do like Orson Scott Card in the Ender novels and make their siblinghood the backbone of the story, the home point from which you explore the world.)

(*Actually, I'm going "Squee! I really, really hope he gets good enough to do it justice.")

Don't tell me about
>all the intriguing sights and sounds that surrounded her.

Without bothering to invent and show some. It's okay to trust your readers to appreciate and think about the world you're creating. But don't ask them to care unless you get intimately close to and care about the characters. (careacters?)

Suggestion: Rewrite, focusing on what matters to filly Twilight. Expect to only keep a few thousand words and add several thousand more in new detail. Feel free to use my bit above as a starting point or not as you like.

Further notes are in doc, including some thoughts about where to end chapter one.
>> No. 122136

Your shit is read-only.
>> No. 122137
When you move a story from the Active Queue tab, PLEASE DELETE THE EMPTY ROW THAT'S LEFT BEHIND!
>> No. 122147
File 135017601856.gif - (238.07KB , 281x274 , 134609709038.gif )
I'm afraid that's me, Pascoite. I move so many so quickly—and I have far too many things running—that I can forget one from time to time. I'll dial it back, if I can.
>> No. 122148
Title: Responsibilities
Author: pyrobug0
Tags: [Sad, kind of]
Synopsis: Three months after Nightmare Moon's attack, Princess Celestia has taken on her sister's duties as ruler of the night. But trying to fulfill those duties is beginning to take its toll on her, and she continues to be haunted by her memories of what happened that night.
Chapters: All

I did this as sort of a writing exercise, though I feel like it turned out kind of long for that. Anyway, I'm not really looking to do anything with it, I'd just like some feedback and critiques on pretty much anything and everything about it. And yes, it's another history-of-Nightmare-Moon fic, which I know has been done fifty million and eight times. Fair warning. Thanks.
>> No. 122151
File 135018164802.png - (139.56KB , 674x658 , 131818131863.png )
Crap, sorry. I forgot about the extra step to fix that. Should work now.
>> No. 122159
File 135018467360.png - (136.55KB , 900x801 , surprise__it__s_lyra__by_almostfictional-d59uqpe.png )

Welp, second review this week. More than I can say for the first few weeks of school. I guess things have settled down.




Plot & Storytelling All right, all my beef is with this part of your fic. But before I get into that, let me reassure you with a little story:

Ideas are like the Starbucks that sits at almost every damn street corner. Each one serves the same drinks, and eventually you always pick one as your favorite.

Yet you can't help but notice that despite the same menu, same overall setup, and same recipes, each one has a unique flavor to it. And it's that flavor that you become so attached to, that eventually you never leave a certain Starbucks that gives you the flavor you enjoy.

And you fall in love with that place.

That is how story ideas come about a lot of the times. They pop up and they don't like to sit for too long.

Your idea, out of all the Fallout: Equestria side-stories, has quite a bit of potential.

But it still needs work.

>strange word choice

For the vast majority of the story, the narrating character is telling said story to her foal. However, the way it's written is too proper and/or too complex to mimic that of a mother telling her child a bedtime story (it may not have been a bedtime story, but it still counts towards it).

What you need to do is dumb-down the language a little bit. Use simpler words to convey broader meaning. It's almost never good if a reader finds that they're obligated to go grab a dictionary or open a new tab to get on google.


Because it means that they're no longer reading and enjoying your story, but rather they are looking at other sites and browsing around to other stories.

(TL;DR) Make the mother narrator more informal.

>boring narration

On the topic of narration, I have to say, reading this felt like picking up Frankenstein again. It was verbose to say the least, the story bogged down by lack of scene description and even proper setup

(both of which, even Frankenstein had)

Basically, what you have there is a barebones, "This is my story shaddup and read" - type fic.

What I suggest is this: remove the extraneous things that have no real business being in there (like mentioning medical conditions of pony hooves), beef up the fic with scene description, and spice it up a bit with more about the world.

As it stands, you're not really drawing up anything. All I see is a blank canvas with talking heads and a few piles of rubble in the corner.

Grammar & Mechanics Besides a few typos, the only thing else wrong with it was the spacing between paragraphs. It looked like triple-spaced paragraphs and it got really confusing.

I kept thinking they were time-skips.

Overall Good job. I'll certainly take a look at this for 'fun' reading when you go through and fix the issues it has. Keep up the good work and I hope to see you back here someday!

Welp, I'm off for the night.

RogerDodger: You bastard
You got me addicted to Perl

(I wub you)


>> No. 122160

Oh, I wanted to put an asterisk before that post.

My bad
>> No. 122163
Let me start by saying I was pleasantly surprised by your fic. I'll admit after seeing the previous review of this fic my expectations were not high, but it wasn't bad and was definitely enjoyable in places. If only read the prologue and first chapter mind, as these seem to be your focus, but I imagine my opinion wouldn't change much regardless. That said, it could use some work.

First line by line stuff:
>It was too much.
-It's more effective if you let the reader draw that conclusion.

>, and sometimes she felt like it would never stop again
-The sentence is more powerful without this.

>a result of the habitat spinning to simulate gravity
-If you're saying what I think you are by this, it needs more than just a passing mention. Seriously gravity isn't a thing anymore? That's a pretty big deal.

You don't want to make it easy to overlook.

>in frustration.
-Her furstration is obvious.

>There was a sound behind Flim, which gave him just enough time to spin to face the outer door and grab for his helmet before the airlock opened
-How did Flam initiate this sequence exactly. It never mentions him pushing a button or anything. Did he just have it set up on a timmer? How come the

opening airlock doesn't pull him out too?

> The helmet was torn from his hooves by the sudden wind before he could bring it up again, and he followed quickly after, the push of the atmosphere enough

force to catapult him out of the weak gravitational pull of the asteroid.
-This sentence could use some ironing out. First "the push of the atmosphere enough" needs to read "the push of the atmosphere was enough" Secondly this

sentence would still be a comma splice. Thirdly the first part of the sentence is worded a bit awkwardly.

>She looked out at Equestria through that dome, and let herself imagine that she could still make out her old home, the farm that had once supported her

family, had once meant everything to her.
-Comma splice.

>her voice the perfect blend of angry, hurt and disappointed
-Intersting concept though it may be, what does such a voice actually sound like?

>and rightly so considering,
-Not needed

>Possible existential threat in Saturn Orbit. E Cell activated to respond. Farcast to The Horseshoe to pick up Oatmeal. Transport through Danger to Paradise

to meet Tom and the Tree. Rendezvous with team leader via Leap of Faith en route to Saturn orbit. Ask Tom about the measurements.
-How did such a long message come out of such a short recording? Further if the coded message can be broke so easily by her virtual assistant what is the

point of encoding it at all? Doesn't everypony have these things?

>kicking at the dirt.
-This is not a complete sentence though honestly I'm not sure why its here at all. Aside from this AJ doesn't seem particularly aggrivated about going.

>Since nopony had yet figured out how to move faster than the speed of light, other than by stepping through the unpredictable Discord Gates, this was the

quickest way to get from one planet to another.
-Not to get all sciency on you, but you do realize the speed of light constrait applies to information just as readily as it does to physical objects right?

>but waking up with lack, lost time from a hiatus in cold storage or restoration from a backup after an unfortunate death
-Say what now?

>were doing to really ‘get down’
-You just used the phrase 'get down' not long ago. The phrase is kind of an odd one in my opinion but its repition makes it really stand out.

>was her freeform composition
-Come again?

>I guess that must be one of the things I’m not telling myself

>Aoplejack answered nervously
-Who now?

I hope that isn't too hard to read but seeing as how it isn't in gdocs I couldn't exactly comment on it right on the document. Anyway, so I'd daresay by far the most interesting part in the prologue is when Twilight is talking to Celestia. It really helps establish how bad things have gotten. Before that we are sorta told things are bad but we don't really see it. That said, that bit was at the end of your prologue so it took a bit of gumption to make it that far. I'd take out the first few paragraphs. Further I realize the Cadence scene is probably important to the plot, but I don't know I'd have that as a flash back or something as it isn't nearly as effective of a way of introducing your fic imo.

The first chapter felt a bit slower to me. Even the fight scene didn't captivate me that much. Part of this was because I had great difficulty visualizing the fight scene. There were just too many characters moving at once. It was hard to keep up with. Further I think that's just part of the medium. This isn't animation. Prolonged fight scenes in writing are very difficult to do well. Further there isn't much tension because I suspected Pinky Pie had something up her sleeve the whole time. Further we don't know much about AJ's fighting ability going into it so we don't have much reason to believe she's in that much danger.

As for AJ berating that guy and all that jazz, the whole work for a body concept it introduced was interesting but it was too long and kinda boring.

All in all I think you have a good story here, it just needs quite a bit of work. I daresay you are better of editing then scraping though by a good margin.
>> No. 122164

Let me try going through the line by line errors one more time.

> With A sound like shattering glass
-What makes it differnet then the sound of shattering glass?

> It would be remembered by many as a sign of the end.
-Why is moon light, something they presumably see every night, a sign of the end?

> Of course, things had been cascading downhill all year.
-Of course? How is that obvious to the reader?

> had once again capped the mountain in a magical shield
-What mountain?

> rose-red moonlight
-Earlier you said the moonlight was pale.

> Despite the depressing commonality of that metaphor
-This is worded awkwardly

> The bearers of the Elements of Harmony responded immediately, quickly pushing through the crowds that filled the palace courtyard
-Four paragraphs in and I no longer seem to just be reading background information.

> Equestria had been largely transformed by new technology, with more and more of it looking like a different version of Manehatten every year
-How so? Are most Equestria's home's made out of metal? Or perhaps are their wires all over the place connecting the different buildings? I know readers like

to use their imaginations, but use some descriptions that are actually specific.

> The part of Twilight’s mind that allowed her to be cautious and rational suddenly stopped
-People have probably told you "show don't tell" before, but this is a perfect example of when you should show rather then tell. Telling us that part of her

brain stopped working is boring. Showing us her hysterically arguing with her friends about being cautious before warping to the top of the tower in a huff

is interesting.

> potential danger
-This is the perfect example of a phrase that indicates you are telling when you should be showing.

> The rest of her mind ground to a halt at what awaited her.
-See Previous commentary

> The room was shredded. The bed was reduced to splinters, Cadence’s dozens of little souvenirs and knick-knacks were scattered or obliterated. The young

princess was lying belly-down on the stone floor, cradling what was left of Shining Armor in her forelegs.
-This! This is so much better. Admittedly I wish I knew what sort of nic-nacs, to get a better feel for the debris.

> He looked like he’d slammed into a train horn first, and most of his body was pulverized. She was only sure it was him by his neon-blue mane, which decades

of service to Equestria had left streaked with a respectable gray. He was still bleeding all over his wife’s coat, darkening patches of it.
-Again I feel the need to emphasize, this! That said, most people probably don't know what a pony whose slammed into a train looks like. When you say most of

his body was pulverized do you mean he was bruised all over? I don't know. Until you get to the mane I have a hard time picturing this.

> For a moment, immediate need took precedent over personal grief.
-Without this sentence we still know why Cadence answers Twilight thus this adds nothing.

> hysteria taking over again
-You already seem to be showing this pretty effectively. You don't need to show and tell.

> the way the horn had channeled the impact directly into his skull
-This could just be me being dense but I legitametly don't know what you're going for here.

>betrayed a hint of fear
-Same speil but slightly less emphasize this time.

>It was too much.
-It's more effective if you let the reader draw that conclusion.

>, and sometimes she felt like it would never stop again
-The sentence is more powerful without this.

>a result of the habitat spinning to simulate gravity
-If you're saying what I think you are by this, it needs more than just a passing mention. Seriously gravity isn't a thing anymore? That's a pretty big deal.

You don't want to make it easy to overlook.

>in frustration.
-Her furstration is obvious.

>There was a sound behind Flim, which gave him just enough time to spin to face the outer door and grab for his helmet before the airlock opened
-How did Flam initiate this sequence exactly. It never mentions him pushing a button or anything. Did he just have it set up on a timmer? How come the

opening airlock doesn't pull him out too?

> The helmet was torn from his hooves by the sudden wind before he could bring it up again, and he followed quickly after, the push of the atmosphere enough

force to catapult him out of the weak gravitational pull of the asteroid.
-This sentence could use some ironing out. First "the push of the atmosphere enough" needs to read "the push of the atmosphere was enough" Secondly this

sentence would still be a comma splice. Thirdly the first part of the sentence is worded a bit awkwardly.

>She looked out at Equestria through that dome, and let herself imagine that she could still make out her old home, the farm that had once supported her

family, had once meant everything to her.
-Comma splice.

>her voice the perfect blend of angry, hurt and disappointed
-Intersting concept though it may be, what does such a voice actually sound like?

>and rightly so considering,
-Not needed

>Possible existential threat in Saturn Orbit. E Cell activated to respond. Farcast to The Horseshoe to pick up Oatmeal. Transport through Danger to Paradise

to meet Tom and the Tree. Rendezvous with team leader via Leap of Faith en route to Saturn orbit. Ask Tom about the measurements.
-How did such a long message come out of such a short recording? Further if the coded message can be broke so easily by her virtual assistant what is the

point of encoding it at all? Doesn't everypony have these things?

>kicking at the dirt.
-This is not a complete sentence though honestly I'm not sure why its here at all. Aside from this AJ doesn't seem particularly aggrivated about going.

>Since nopony had yet figured out how to move faster than the speed of light, other than by stepping through the unpredictable Discord Gates, this was the

quickest way to get from one planet to another.
-Not to get all sciency on you, but you do realize the speed of light constrait applies to information just as readily as it does to physical objects right?

>but waking up with lack, lost time from a hiatus in cold storage or restoration from a backup after an unfortunate death
-Say what now?

>were doing to really ‘get down’
-You just used the phrase 'get down' not long ago. The phrase is kind of an odd one in my opinion but its repition makes it really stand out.

>was her freeform composition
-Come again?

>I guess that must be one of the things I’m not telling myself

>Aoplejack answered nervously
-Who now?

Much better. Sorry last time I somehow copy pasted part of the document.
>> No. 122184
Please submit your story to our queue via the submission form. Links to it and instructions are a the top of the thread, under "For writers."
>> No. 122186
No comments in doc for you. Most of what I have to say involves longer explanations than are convenient to leave in comments.

>[/i]From the Journal of Rarity[/i]
Oh, wonderful! A journal format. Look forward to an explanation at the end about why these rarely work. And why the indirect possession? It's rarely necessary. "From Rarity's Journal" Much more succinct and direct.

You appear to have an extra space at the ends of sentences that close a paragraph.

>He seemed to have an urgent air about him
Very telly. What about his demeanor and appearance gave her that impression?

There's a lot of "seeming" and "cannot say" up front here. This is your hook. This is what's supposed to grab the reader's interest. And all I'm getting is a bunch of "I don't know" stuff. Show me what she does see, what she does know, not a bunch of vague impressions. And this is Rarity, for Celestia's sake. She has a trained eye for appearances. She's not going to muddle through a stream of vagaries like this.

"Seem" is an often-overused verb, as are its cousins "appear" and "look." One pitfall is that we have to know which character is judging this "seeming," as the narrator shouldn't be doing that in many cases. You're actually in the clear here, as we know it's Rarity's judgment. However, the reader will be more interested in concrete things than vague impressions, and these words will quickly get repetitive.

>He seemed to be of slim build and wore a tight-fitting suit.
If the suit is tight, there should be no "seem" to the slight build.

>Bourgeons Rose
Are you sure you didn't mean for that to be possessive? And if there's a reference here, I'm missing it.

>I was interrupted a few seconds later when he appeared in front of me holding, or rather, levitating a box.
"holding, or rather, levitating a box." is a participial phrase and should be set off with a comma. You need another pause after "levitating," or you're asserting that the whole phrase "levitating a box" can be substituted for "holding."

>wooden—likely cherry or something of that nature
Of what nature? You're stating the obvious if you mean that to say just some kind of wood in general. But we have nothing else to go on. Do you mean of a similar color, density, ...?

>There were no designs or markings of any kind on it, though it appeared to be quite old.
"Though" implies there's an incongruity, but I fail to see how lack of markings would imply it was recent.

>How I knew I cannot say,
Missing a comma after "knew," which alters the syntax. What you mean to say is that Rarity couldn't pinpoint the source of her knowledge. What you've said is that she knows reasons why she can't say it.

>He would not say why, nor would tell me how he knew me, he just kept insisting that I take the box and keep it safe for him.
By repeating the "would" in the second part of the compound, you'd be better off repeating the "he" as well. The second comma is a splice. It tacks together two complete sentences.

Okay, a page in, and I'm just getting hammered over the head with all this "I cannot say," "I am not sure," "it seemed" nonsense. I GET IT. Everything is über-mysterious. I'm getting the same information over and over again. Her physical impressions of him and a bit of his speech. Nothing about what creates these impressions in her or much in the way of his actions.

And your habit of breaking in with parenthetical information—yes, like this—is getting incredibly repetitive. Just stand back and view the number of em dashes on these pages. When you use that structure too much, it loses its effectiveness.

>After a time, I did the only thing I could do, I acquiesced
That second comma should be a colon.

>Out of sight out mind
Missing a word and a comma.

>I only made one sale; though, it was to a high-born Canterlot noble.
You don't put a conjunction after a semicolon.

>I shouldn't even be bothered to write this were it not for the box.
Missing comma after "this." I'd harass you about having a lonesome demonstrative, but this counts as dialogue.

>Though—I dare not open it.
What possible function does this dash have? It feels more like an ellipsis.

>it will no longer be my any of my concern
Read that. Then fix it. Then punch yourself for missing it.

Who the hell writes this in a journal?

One word, no hyphen.

>short, few days
These are not coordinate adjectives, so do not require a comma. It would flow better if the order were swapped.

>when a knock came on the door
Comma following this dependent clause.

Comma after introductory phrase/word leading directly into another such element or the subject.

Look at your 12 February entry. Every damned sentence begins with "I." You suffer from a general lack of sentence structure variety throughout.

>I have had trouble keeping to my work and I haven’t made a single sale since my last entry.
Needs a comma between the independent and dependent clauses.

This is not a hyphenated phrase.

>My sister just visited me today in fact.
Missing comma after "today."

>No one must find it. I will continue
Extra space after the period.

>Why, just this morning there was a knock at my door and I
Missing comma between the dependent and independent clauses. Second time I've marked this. The rest are up to you.

>It sits there in that cupboard taunting me with its secrets.
Missing a comma to set off the participial phrase. The last one of these I'll mark as well.

>In my anger yesterday
Missing comma after an introductory phrase. I'm finished with these, too.

>it startled me as I had forgotten where it had come from.
There are exceptions, but note what meaning is implied by the choice of whether or not to set off an "as" phrase with a comma. No comma creates more of a preposition feel, which connotes a meaning of "while." Using a comma creates a conjunction feel and connotes "because." The latter is what you need.

>Do not ask me how I know it was him
And who, pray tell, would be asking? This is a private journal. The "him" should be "he," unless you feel Rarity would get it wrong. I do not.

>one way, or another
There is no reason in this universe for that comma to be there.

Let me repeat: no.
99.99% of people misuse and mispronounce this word.
forte (for-tay): A musical term indicating loudness.
forte (fort): A strength.
Note that neither one has an accent mark. The word is borrowed from Italian, which doesn't use them.

>but that does not mean it is magic-proof; or so I had thought.
Do not use a conjunction after a semicolon. Second strike. The rest are on you to find.

>I was safe for now, they couldn’t reach me in here.
Comma splice. Last one I'll mark.

>that was me
Technically, "that was I." Your call on whether Rarity knows that.

>But, I can't help but wonder what's inside.
It is quite rare for a comma following a conjunction to be used correctly. This one is not.

>I waited there until they left; for how many hours I do not know.
Thi semicolon does not separate independent clauses.

>But, I still hear their knocking.
Stop that.

>I hid it in the drawer; how silly of me.
Another misused semicolon.

Do tell how that would look.

>I tried to turn him down; I didn’t even know who the dude was.
So someone who uses a phrase like "I didn’t even know who the dude was" is going to employ a semicolon in informal writing that she doesn't expect anyone else to see? I don't buy it.

Double quotes. Singles are only for quotes inside other quotes, unless you're employing British usage.

You have obvious recurring problems with comma usage and a few other I've noted. No need to rehash them here, and nothing else that requires a lengthy explanation.

Alright, let's revisit that journal format, shall we? Here's the problem: who actually writes that way in a journal? Full, formal sentences with highbrow diction and punctuation. Direct quotes, stated word for word. These are not things that normal people do. And yet we're supposed to overlook that completely when someone decides to do a journal format, or to a lesser degree, a letter format. It just makes the whole journal premise feel unauthentic. I could even grant you some leeway to say that Rarity is the type that might employ a more formal style, or that her madness drove her to do it, but then shouldn't we see more of a change throughout the story? She does have a few entries that are more stream-of-consciousness, and those are the most realistic. But she always returns to the formal style. I'd expect to see a more drastic change, and as I said, the level of formality isn't really believable in the first place.

Now, show versus tell. It's essentially a first-person narration, which is a difficult viewpoint for avoiding telling. After all, it's quite awkward for the narrator to remark on her own facial expression and body language. As such, it's very important to do so when you get a chance, and it's critical to do so for other characters. We get dialogue from the stallion at the beginning, but precious little as to what he's actually doing. Rarity throws a lot of impressions at us, but nothing concrete in the way of how she arrived at those impressions. And she's a particularly observant character. She should be attuned to such things.

Watch your sentence structures. They get very repetitive. There were several places where you fell into long "subject-verb" ruts.

Well, I've already gotten at what's wrong with Rarity. Too formal in her journal writing, even to the point that I wouldn't see her writing that way even in a formal setting. She doesn't speak that way, either. And she's painfully unobservant here.

Rainbow Dash, for the little bit she appears, is all over the map. She uses some appropriate slang and has some of her signature brashness, but it's mixed with more formality that's completely unlike her. Under no circumstances could I see her writing or saying most of what's in her part. I'd even object to it from a third-person narrator, but a first-person one needs to sound like her spot-on.

You did have some interest factor going in watching Rarity descend into madness. But I can't tell if you wanted the story to have any suspense to it. Is it just a pshychological thing, or is it a thriller? I didn't find it suspensful or scary. Here's why:

We have absolutely no notion of who is giving out these boxes or why. It's just random. If there's a motive, then we have a glimmer of what bad things can result from opening the box, taking the stallion at his word, or possibly a true "damned if you do and damned of you don't" situation. In the end, we have no reason to expect something sinister is up. For all I know the stallion is another poor soul trapped in the same situation, but has managed to get rid of the box, as opposed to one who actively means them harm.

There are no consequences established. Is madness really the only thing desired? Or is there some real consequence to opening the box? Perhaps both. I fail to see how anything is served by the madness alone, but we also have no sense that anything bad happened when Rarity opened it, if indeed she did. You never built up any foreboding about what was in the box, aside from some very vague language, so I never dreaded seeing its contents. The difference really points to whether you want this story to be a character study of Rarity (and that possibility is undermined by the inclusion of Dash at the end, but without going through her story as well to contrast her experience) or a thriller.

We never know what became of Rarity. Maybe she's still there, which goes to the same consequences argument. Her sense of time has become unreliable, so we're not sure whether Dash got the box after Rarity's involvement is finished, or whether they overlap at all. Perhaps all of the Elements will have the same thing happen in series or in parallel. Perhaps all ponies will. However, this raises a couple of problems. Rarity's friends are really going to be content with knocking on her door, hearing her yell back, and then slinking away, for weeks on end? Doesn't sound like friendship to me. By going after Dash so soon after, and perhaps at the same time, there should be alarm bells going off all over the place. Dash was at least affected on a delay from Rarity, so there is some staggering going on. Their friends aren't going to notice a pattern? Celestia isn't going to be alarmed when strange circumstances are no longer limited to one of the Elements?

Yes, different readers may have different reactions. To be sure, carefully limiting what the reader knows is the best way to handle suspense (assuming that's what you want, since I'm still not sure). The reader will often invent horrors far in excess of what the writer can communicate. But not telling enough just leaves the reader too clueless to figure out what's going on. It can be hard to find the right balance.

Competently written overall, but with too many affectations that hurt the characterization and the suspense that I assume is supposed to be there. Crank it up. Put me on the edge of my seat.

Keep writing, and have fun with it.
>> No. 122190
File 135019801536.png - (77.52KB , 507x453 , 41684158.png )
Fuck that shit, I do what I want. But seriously, I know. My god, how I know.

>Overly formal journal entries
I was attempting to imitate the style of Dracula. No I'm not Bram Stoker, but I did it anyway.

>Em dash abuse
Dracula... I can definitely stand to cut some of them though.

>all that wishy-washy crap
Yup, it was annoying even to me when I went back and read this again.

>Random spaces
I re-formatted this from its original incarnation and I think they might be leftovers.

>Silly errors

>descent into madness
Definitely coulda been done better, no doubt about that.

>Repetitive sentence structure
I'd like to think I've improved in that regard since writing this.

I agree with everything you said.

Needs a bit o' fixin'.

So, thanks for the review first off. I more or less expected there to be a multitude of problems. For awhile now, I've been thinking about completely re-writing this, stretching it out and making the descent slower. Whether I actually have the will to do that remains to be seen. Regardless, I appreciate the comments and stuff. I'll take it all into account when I, if ever, I get back to this.

Thanks again, Pasc. Don't ever stop being awesome.
>> No. 122211

Thanks for the review! It was very helpful, especially which plot points to introduce early to keep the focus on the main conflict.

I've dreaded having to make away with the prologue for some time now, not just because I've put a lot of work into it, but because I feel it's a fun way to introduce world elements. Politics is hard to make interesting however, especially right off the bat. And writing scenes with six characters in the same room is a b*tch! Others have expressed a similar opinion though, so I might have to seriously consider scratching it almost entirely. I do need to keep that treaty though. It becomes a major plot point later on, and the earlier I introduce it, the better.

That's a pretty good opening, although there is a fundamental flaw with it: Twilight is riding on Shining's back. Don't know if you remember, but she's supposed to get lost, which is kind of hard to do when you're literally riding on someone else's back. Plus, some of that dialogue bears resemblance to some in the beginning of the next (unreleased) chapter.

Shining Armor will be around for a few more chapters, so there will definitely be more interaction between the two.

Never read the Ender's Game, so I wouldn't know how exactly it went about.

--(*Actually, I'm going "Squee! I really, really hope he gets good enough to do it justice.")--

Me too, buddy... me too...
>> No. 122212

P. S.
Also, I replied to some of your comments in the doc.
>> No. 122214
File 135020620320.jpg - (40.47KB , 250x183 , 54562_r.jpg )
by Ezn
[Tragedy] [Romance] (or [Sad] [Shipping])
"I just arrived in Ponyville. It smells good. I'm hungry."
Words: 1807

This fic's been extended substantially since the first minific write-off, and now I'd like to get some opinions on it. I don't think it'll need too much work in the technical department, but a proofread is always nice (it's written in British English, just BTW). Mostly I'm interested in seeing reader reactions and suggestions for improving stuff like plot and pacing.

It's not quite long enough for EqD, and I'm not sure if it's ever going to be, but that doesn't stop me from wanting to make a quality read.

Doc is littered with BBCode because FIMF's GDocs importer doesn't seem to be available any more.
>> No. 122218
Holy shit, I never expected you to start reviewing. (^_-)-☆

Perl is evil. I spent 15 minutes learning non-standard Perl-specific regex crap to rename nine freaking files. (Protip: if you're making a torrent of a TV show, e.g ponies*, number the episodes with a leading zero so that media players know what order they're in.) Perl is evil, but perhaps a necessary one.

(*I've licensed copies through iTunes, but iTunes on Wine/Linux only runs well enough to take my money. Not, you know, actually play the content I've paid for.)


I've already thought about that problem, and not only do I have a solution, some of the choices I made write towards it.

But I'm not telling beyond hints because it's your story and (even more important) you need to figure out how for yourself. Like most difficulties in writing, it can be fixed by giving a character something to want. Twilight just has to say "I'm __" and just like that Armor's giving her a few bits and off she goes.

>because I feel it's a fun way to introduce world elements.

Unfortunately, I have to be the bearer of bad news: it's not fun for me. You could tell me that Unicornia, Pegasopolis, and Earth only made Equestria on paper and never assimilated each other. Or you could show an all-unicorn Summer Sun Celebration without Celestia and let me have the fun of discovering that fact.

Basically, creating the world is the writer's pleasure but boring to the readers. A story where things are implied yet clear is the opposite: hard work for you, a~w~e~s~o~m~e for me.

>writing scenes with six characters in the same room is a b*tch!

I'd say "virtuoso-level." Even Brian-freaking-Jacques, in one of my favorite examples of "how to write lots of characters at once" doesn't introduce more than four main characters at once.
(Mossflower, Martin's audience before Verdauga. Chapter 3-ish, IIRC)

Even in a busy scene, you can only have a few important characters.

Also, this isn't a story about the original EoH (primarily), so spending a lot of time on them to start gives the wrong idea.

>that treaty

Consider delaying it's entrance until after the first scene, even. Hooking readers is important. Really important. Boring legal stuff is boring.

You'd format it like this:

<first scene>
<Centered title>
<text of treaty in alternate font>
<carry on with story>
>> No. 122220
>Perl is evil
You take that back!

Perl's regular expressions are state of the art, in the sense that everyone else copied them. Is that a good thing? Maybe, maybe not, but Perl 6 is going above and beyond in making regular expressions a properly readable language. http://www.perl6.org/archive/doc/design/apo/A05.html is a good read on it all (and not just for Larry's wry humour).

>In fact, regular expression culture is a mess, and I share some of the blame for making it that way. Since my mother always told me to clean up my own messes, I suppose I'll have to do just that.

Perl is awesome and Perl 6 is going to be even awesomer. And regular expressions are really a completely separate language to Perl, anyway.

(I also happen to share your grievances with lazy pirates who don't properly name their files. It's even worse with music. Improper mp3 tags, gah! #firstworldproblems But these problems are easily solved with a quick Perl script...)
>> No. 122232
File 135023018382.png - (305.61KB , 680x562 , e1a.png )
Think I'll take a look see at this one. I'm a pretty big fan of the origin story provided in Hearth's Warming Eve, so it might be nice to read a fic that actually takes it into account rather than completely disregarding. Of course, there's always the chance that I've been misled by the synopsis. Wouldn't be the first time that's happened. Anyway, I'll take a look and hopefully have something done before the weekend.
>> No. 122261
File 135023789242.png - (176.12KB , 800x632 , No Foals.png )
Title: No Foals
Author: Flashgen
Tags: [Shipping]

Synopsis: Sometimes you have problems that need to be solved. Sometimes you need to take some time and talk things out. Unless there aren't even any problems in the first place.

Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/11VIHKmSzXooUDn-HrvwQDjCFJeSQjlSDmf_-_rEzdg0/edit


And while I'm here, why not take a shot at reviewing for the first time? Hope it's not too sub-par.
>> No. 122272
The story

This story is a little bit like Masteroxxor and Nyx kissing on the shore of a lake in the moonlight as hosts of angel-winged bears roar the Hallelujah Chorus -- it's weird and not too well-worded but you can't look away, and as you think about it more and more, the more earth-shatteringly awesome it becomes.

So color me impressed for one.

The review.

Don't be afraid to display your confusion - this is like the "show don't tell rule" of reviewing. Likewise, be confident about the things you're confident about. When you say

>the narrating character is telling said story to her foal

that lets the author (and me) know "oop, somepony missed that Naamah has two daddies; guess the story should be clearer on that point."

You do pretty well on these points by instinct, be bolder by intent.

I have to correct your big mistake, though, which is directly adapting advice for third-person narration to first-person. They are two different things. In first person, the narrator's voice as heard by the reader is far and away the most important thing. I think you and Roan came to the wrong conclusion about changing Naamah's age. The problem isn't that the narrator (Haze? I'm honestly confused myself) is using fancy language. The problem is, if I recall the IRC convo, the story is nested four layers deep at one point:

Naamah remembering
one of her fathers telling her about meeting
the changeling queen who forced him to remember
a scene from his childhood

This is entirely much too much (three is usually too much), especially without taking the time to anchor the reader at some point. So harp on that, 'cuz really it's a (another) case of Roan being too clever for his own darn good.

Also, this:

> As it stands, you're not really drawing up anything. All I see is a blank canvas with talking heads and a few piles of rubble in the corner.

This is sorta okay for first person, as long as the narrator is interesting (he is to me). It's sort of a Rule of The One Guy Whose Anecdotes Are Worth Listening To.
(c.f. http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/RuleOfIndex)

Good description in first person doesn't use establishing shots. Good description in first person notices high-quality relevant detail. Filler's "Beyond the Wall" comes to mind.

But overall good review and cool story. I'm excited to see what the both of you will come up with.

(p.s. You have no idea how tempting it was to put a star in the subject line.)
>> No. 122295
File 135024553956.png - (97.87KB , 272x271 , 131930503860.png )
Thanks for your insight. I'm glad not everyone thinks I've completely wasted my time. I'll be going over these with a fine toothed comb.

It's kind of embarrassing that some of these still stand.

As far as the science-fiction elements: I know what I'm doing, but if I didn't communicate that well I need to fix that. Gravity still exists but Twi is on a satellite habitat that needs to generate artificial gravity through motion. And speed of light information transfer allows a person to beam themself across the system in hours rather than the days that rocket ships take to get there.

Obviously I need to focus hard on how I'm expositing things, and further try to wrangle the very beginning to make it seem more interesting.
>> No. 122297
File 135024605861.png - (402.29KB , 902x662 , 131931498726.png )
With what I've put into this it would take a lot more than one person's opinion to make me abandon it.

Your point stands, and if I've failed so far to make Twilight's situation here make you care what's happening to her than I've still failed and need to find ways to make her story more engaging.

I guess the hard part is figuring out how to do that.
>> No. 122305
Must... review... all... the... ship fics...

>> No. 122307
As for the sci-fi elements I'll acknowledge that for the fast traveling that was my bad. You do communicate latter on that it took an hour or some such. I just forgot to go back and delete that comment. For what its worth, I'm not familiar with the cross over universe but I didn't find it confusing the way the pre-reader seemed to. Maybe you've done alot of editing since then? I don't know. If not I'm not the person to help you clarify that.
>> No. 122308
File 135025153901.jpg - (176.94KB , 650x1262 , tumblr_lzh1723Zwy1qbge6e.jpg )
Thank you, both of you.
>> No. 122310
File 135025263226.png - (583.84KB , 1194x670 , 17043.png )

>using examples of fanfiction to elaborate on writing techniques

You sly dog, you.

I never use fanfiction to compare and contrast techniques. That's silly (at least to me).

Anyway, about the whole first person thing, I was reading it with the mindset that considers the stylistic approach of Maximum Ride series of novels, which, IIRC, switches between third person and first person between certain chapters.

And even in first person, the author manages to convey the scene quite nicely, enough so that I can fill in the gaps on my own.

Anwyay, thanks for the review of the review in a review thread




>> No. 122313

Well, I can't say that it's meaty, or that you'll be at all fine with it, but I offered what opinions I have in the document. If you have any questions about what I said or what my thoughts were on things I might not have mentioned, just hit me up in IRC or through comments in the document.
>> No. 122316
Welp, why not! TTG has served me well in the past, and I hope you can again!

Title: Under A Luminous Sky
Author: Jake The Army Guy
Tags: Dark, Mystery, Thriller
Word count: 5,898

Synopsis: Tragedy strikes Ponyville when a body is discovered in the Everfree Forest. As the towns ponies grieve, an enigmatic stallion arrives at he library, dispatched by Celestia herself. When more blood is spilled, Twilight and her friends, along with this strange new pony, must solve the riddle before it's too late. But as the blood continues to spill, one thing becomes terrifyingly clear: in the dark of the Everfree, much more is at stake than mere lives.

Context: Twilight and Bentgrass have just gotten a very solid piece of evidence that links Zecora to the murders, and set out to arrest her.


Thanks so much!
>> No. 122327

I didn't find this until just now. Thanks for looking and sorry this is so late. I have no idea how I missed it.

(And now I'm going to need to replace this desk.My head is too hard to do this anymore. It's going to get expensive.)

P.S. I know you looked at it too Casca, cause I read the comments. Here's a thanks to you too, just for the record.

I'll go stand in the corner now.
>> No. 122343
File 135027595481.png - (384.92KB , 750x600 , 84735__UNOPT__safe_shipping_oc_changeling_artist-gabapple.png )
Thanks for the review. I appreciate your thoughts, and I've made a few changes accordingly. Think I'll toss this fic to the wolves now.
>> No. 122348
File 135027859789.jpg - (50.10KB , 485x317 , 9461-56413.jpg )
Sorry this review is a little delayed. Real life's a bitch
Anywho, let's get this show on the road!

Right, well, I pointed out a butt-load of stuff in my comments so the actual review may be a bit short. Regardless, I'll start with a few errors I noticed cropping up repeatedly.

Lavender Unicorn Syndrome
Yup, you've got a bunch of it. Like I said before: pronouns are your friends. They just want to be loved. Use them often, and use them well. Unless something about the character changes you don't need to keep reminding us that they are pegasi/earth ponies/mares/etc.
Read this:
Moving on...

Again, pointed it out in the comments, but there a lot of things that should've been hyphenated but weren't
Now you know, and knowing is half the battle.

Show Don't (Just) Tell[/u[
I won't go into great detail (because I already did), but just read these.

[u]Awkward Phrasing
I pointed out what I could in-doc, but you'll need to read through this yourself, using my examples as a guide, to decide what should be adjusted/replaced.

Repetitive Sentence Structure
Repeatedly you fall into a pit of simplistic “[independent clause], [dependent clause]” sentences that just become boring to read. Try mixing it up some.

Now let's talk about the actual meat of the fic: the plot.
Things I Liked
You've got a cool sci-fi atmosphere going on. It definitely could stand to be improved, in terms of description, but I like the general feel. Anything with space-pirates/space-miners is okay with me.
I'm liking Applejack quite a bit. She felt the most real of all the characters.
Braeburn, brief though his appearance was, I liked as well.
The letter at the end, for the most part, was pretty good.

Things I Didn't Like
Rainbow Dash was a little too cocky for my liking. However, that being said, I don't really think it's a problem. I just personally didn't like it.
Gilda's scene felt rushed and unimportant in the scheme of things. Later on you say how it was a “high tension” moment, but I didn't feel an ounce of tension. I mean, six against one, even one as good as RD, is still more than a fair fight. I don't buy that Gilda would just leave because Rainbow “wasn't worth [her] time”; it doesn't feel like what she would do.
Everything about the second part of the fic. Now, this may just be me talking out of my ass, but I found the whole scene to be incredibly grating. Twilight, while still the best pony, only got on my nerves every time she opened her mouth. Same goes for Pinkie and Spike (him less so). Maybe it's just my general dislike for Pinkie Pie, but I pretty much hated her. Spike was actually okay, for the most part, but I never found myself actively liking him.
I don't really get the point of the whole SMUPM thing. I mean, sure, you could argue that it builds Twilight's character, but I would argue that it's boring. Huge chunks of this could have been taken out and the same message would've been conveyed: “Twilight's inventions always turn into weapons.”

Anyway, yeah. Most of what I wanted to say I already have, in the comments. I hope that through a combination of this (short) review and my (long) comments, you can glean at least some useful criticism/information.

Well, it's late, I'm tired, I want to go to sleep, and I'm rambling, so I'll be going now.
Goodluck, and godspeed,
alexmagnet, signing off...
>> No. 122352

I'll claim this, unless you would really prefer a reviewer who is familiar with the rest of your story.
>> No. 122358
File 135028661803.png - (350.62KB , 545x532 , Cover.png )
THE STORY CONTINUES WITH...something entirely different?
>Really Nejin are you doing this again
Yes, yes I am. I am the most unpredictable fanfic author ever.


NAME: Regina et Equi Nox (Chapter 5: Interregnum)
TAGS: [Adventure][Dark][Human][Crossover]
SYNOPSIS: >>116825
In addition I will make a separate little synopsis to ch5 because this chapter is sort of disconnected to from the rest of the plot due to me not wanting to make it as long as I'd have needed to make it to draw the line all the way.
Most of a century has passed since Luna and Celestia mysteriously disappeared from Equestria. The Interregnum Council headed by Princess Cadence has been leading the nation without much trouble, but now a rebellion lead by the Duke of Throne, Solid, has swept through the land. The Duke himself, however, doesn't wish for more bloodshed - yet is forced into action when some unexpected information comes into his hands.

Well, okay. To the reviewers, I'll be fair. It will probably make more sense (and give you an accurate picture of the meta-story and whatnot) if you've read the previous chapters. Minjask, I remember you had favorable words for this last time around, so you're very welcome if you wish to continue. Of course, anyone else is free to jump in. This chapter is rather standalone since it starts in - yet another - new direction and place, without any deeper obvious involvement in the meta of previous chapters. But, alas. It is, after all, a chapter 5. We're quite a way in already, so I'd prefer reviewers to have read the rest of the story as well.

Have at you.
>> No. 122359
I may mention, while this story has the [Human] thread, this chapter is solely pony.

In case that matters to you folks.
>> No. 122367
Sure! Always ready to get a new opinion. If you have any questions about context or just want a Cliff Notes version of the events prior, shoot me an email.

Thanks! ^_^
>> No. 122387

First of all, I really want to thank you for your epilogue, specifically the part where it ISN'T Dash and Shy's wedding. You wrote Dash as kind of 'playing along' with Fluttershy's crush, and at least to me the two of em didn't really mesh that well on your date. So thank you for not shoehorning in that the relationship worked. Much better this way.

I put all the changes I would recommend as comments on the docs, so look there. Most of my suggestions are about proper grammar, comma use, sentence fragments, etc. Thanks for submitting as a Google doc, comments are by far the easiest way to point out errors imo.

Hope this helped out some, and thanks for the read!
>> No. 122391

>First of all, I really want to thank you for your epilogue, specifically the part where it ISN'T Dash and Shy's wedding.

Thanks! Glad you liked the Epilogue, it was probably the easiest chapter to write. Mainly because I had this ending planned since shortly after starting the fic. Plus there are plenty of fics out there where the ship happens and is successful. In this one, the ship might happen but is instead unsuccessful. Yet despite that they remain the best of friends. Figured it would be a sufficiently different ending for it to be interesting.

>Most of my suggestions are about proper grammar, comma use, sentence fragments, etc.

Yeah, of course that would be where alot of my problems are. Grammar never has been my strong suit. Thank you for the review!
>> No. 122393
File 135032834394.jpg - (45.30KB , 800x458 , vacuum.jpg )
>Lavender Unicorn Syndrome
This is an unfortunate backlash for someone like myself. The syndrome comes from reading over seven million words (trust me, I counted) of pony fanfiction. Even worse, less than a quarter of that was of decent writing.

I will tell you now that I'm a much better editor than a writer.

An annoying problem that seems to reoccur in my writing more often than I like. I'm gonna definitely have to pay much more attention to this (seriously, I find some hyphenated words quite tricky to pick out).

>Show Don't Tell
Perhaps my biggest problem when I reflect on my own writing. You should have seen this piece before I began to get outside looks--it was an absolute mess.

I like to think that these past few weeks have helped me exponentially though. I've definitely gotten better at it.

>Awkward Phrasing
Possibly my second biggest problem. This one's a toughy because it's best to weed out by having another person look at your writing, but I believe I can manage this better.

>Repetitive Sentence Structure
Big problem number three. For this one, I'm gonna have to take out the big guns and snipe this problem out. However, this is another thing I believe I can manage with a good scrutinizing eye (moreso than before) from myself.

>Dislike everything about the second part of the fic
Make that two for that opinion. I can see how childish and underdeveloped it seems--for some reason I haven't really paid no mind to it until now. Upon my first draft, I actually made this out to be the placeholder/rough-draft of the scene, and I suppose I did not evolve it enough from that phase.

Worry not, I have plans.

Consider the entire Twilight sequence trash, and I will rewrite it from the ground up (using what I had previously as reference, of course). This time I'm gonna focus much more on characters and events. Right now it kind of starts along the lines of:

"Here's Twilight doing crazy shit and suddenly Pinkie Pie comes and does what Pinkie does."


Once again, thank you for taking the time to review my fic. I love the criticism you people give me and it really opened my eyes to a good amount of fictional literaracy.

And I'm typing really fast because there is two minutes to my next class. See you all later; have a Pinkie Pie. Who is the best pony.
>> No. 122395

Cool. I'll get to work on this in a bit.
>> No. 122396
File 135032931500.png - (107.99KB , 600x583 , FlutterDash.png )
Okay my first edit is complete. However I believe in trying to get as many errors as possible out of a fic before posting it. Especially one that I have already put alot of work into. That being said I wouldn't mind another set of eyes to look this fic over. Please and thank you in advance.

Title: What is a Fluttershy

Author: Digi

Tags: [Shipping]

Synopsis: After developing odd feelings for a certain pony, Fluttershy confronts her friends in an attempt to come to terms with the new emotions.

Chapter 5: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1VKOnKAPeWSs6283KWHbDFsspvZ7_CNT_HhKT_mMBFTY/edit

Epilogue: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1wkbHkvarhWUFJs6BTYlnhFh9Z4rkHlkjpm5SLsyrxNQ/edit
>> No. 122406
Okay, I don't know how it happened, but the spreadsheet seems to have derped my entry (the post link is missing)
Should I ask maintainers to fix this or just make a new entry?
>> No. 122448
Nvm, someone fixed it. Thanks, maintainers (I'm guessing)
>> No. 122449
File 135040900473.png - (245.98KB , 800x448 , 747352020huzzah20luna20.png )
I'll give reviewing this a shot. Love me some Luna-on-the-moon fics. Possibly too much.
>> No. 122450
File 135041072459.png - (276.49KB , 600x616 , 134297327179.png )
So, uh, ... anyone like Naruto?
(Dodges three bricks)

Okay, while i admit that it is not the best anime out there, there are still parts of it that i enjoy. And as such this was born. Yeah, I'll admit mixing mlp and Naruto is probably a sin against nature, man, and just about god dam everything else, but let it never be said that I can be dissuaded from a bad idea. Anyway I'm not quite sure if I'd like to continue this but I wrote a little prologue for it anyway.

Title: Project: My Little Ninja (Working Title)

Tags: Adventure, and I guess crossover even though no Naruto characters are in it

Words: 958

Synopsis: A studious ninja mare, no knowledge of her family and a fearsome power sealed within. This is our story's hero, and this is the story of her rise to greatness, supported by some unlikely friends.

Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1U4nHC6GVr_SViAfMIZwFapLOVvFhxy2edWyHCPwoMGs/edit

Yeah, it might be a sin, but to be honest I'm rather satisfied with how this came out. (at least until it is reviewed.)
>> No. 122453
File 135041277641.jpg - (36.84KB , 718x612 , 8465132.jpg )
>Naruto crossover
>958 words
Gimme twenty minutes and I'll have a review for you...
>> No. 122455
Title: Stone and Secrets

Tags: Romance, Sad, Comedy

Words (so far): 3772

Synopsis (teaser, not summary): The truth often entails far more than we realize. Celestia, it seems, has been hiding something, for a very long time. As her Faithful Student, Twilight feels it her duty to investigate, but the tapestry she unravels is more complicated than she realizes, and sometimes the past does not want to be part of the present.

Link: http://www.fimfiction.net/story/52498/Stone-and-Secrets

Okay, so, this is my first fanfic. I tried submitting to EQD, they said it had, along with some mechanical issues (such as spacing), some word choice and sentence structure awkwardness and such. They suggested posting on here, which seems like a good idea.
So, I'd appreciate any (constructive) criticism on the word choice and sentence structure in particular, but if you have something to say about any part of it (-any- part), I'd like to hear that as well.
I have more of it written and a fairly clear idea of how the rest of the story is going to go, all of which is available on request.

Thank you!
>> No. 122456
File 135041584195.gif - (809.65KB , 549x549 , 798465312.gif )
Done. Review is in the comments, Ghostwriter. The last comment more or less sums up my thoughts.

Work on telling less and showing more. Oh, and explain things please. There are a bunch of times were you say something has to happen a specific way but for no reason other than because you said so.
>> No. 122459
File 135041948834.jpg - (92.86KB , 1600x1054 , 134239373481.jpg )
Alright, I'll work on those things. But first i have some rebuttals.

Wait, hold on, what? She was riding on the phoenix's back the whole time? Uhh, perhaps you should tell us that to begin with.

Okay far enough, except I did. It's actually the first sentence after the break.

As for who Luna's partner is, I assume you're not going to pull a Naruto and wait forever to tell us.

I won't, I'll reveal it as soon as I know who it is. Not naming who it was, is a cop out because I wasn't sure who to use. So for now he is some 'mysterious unicorn from far away'
>> No. 122473
File 135043763660.jpg - (28.22KB , 460x276 , Writer_Is_Best_Writer.jpg )
All right, second time’s the charm!

Minjask had a go at the first chapter, and described it as a “decent piece of writing”, but he also recommended showing it to someone with more experience. I had a tiny paradigm shift concerning my writing style, so I revised the entire piece, fixing the mistakes Minjask found and changing a lot of prose.

What I would like to ask specifically about:

-Pacing and wordcount. I’m really worried about the first chapter being so big. I like to tell myself that there’s a lot going on, with three separate character lines introduced and characterization set up, but it still seems dauntingly big for a first chapter. So is it too much, or enough?

-Hook. Celestia knows how important first impressions are for this stuff. I want to know if it catches the eye. Does the hook hook?

-Plot. Minjask said that the first chapter reads like three separate stories, but that was somewhat intentional on my part. What I want to know is if it detracts from the overall picture. Also, clichés? I’m trying to be as original here as I can, but it’s probably not perfectly true for the first chapter.

-Characterization. The more I write, the more it seems to me that that’s my weak side. I haven’t completely thought out the main characters, and so they seem somewhat OOC to me, especially Luna and Celestia. Also: body language. I have no idea how to do it.

And finally: don’t hold back. Give me all you’ve got. Go Vindictive-mode. I am seriously aiming for EQD and I am willing to work for it.

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
Chapters to review: Chapter 1

Also making a claim of Regina et Equi Nox. I’ve been meaning to give back to the thread a long while ago, but the revision took my entire attention. The story’s similar to mine in tags, so I’ll take it. So let’s go, to adventure, or reviews, if that’s more appropriate.

Writer Number 25
>> No. 122474
File 135044001932.jpg - (55.26KB , 1000x1000 , 16911_-_Lyra_artist-madmax_drinking_heartstrings_sitting_smoothie.jpg )

In lieu of my PSATs tomorrow, I think I'll take this one.

It's .... HOLY MOTHER OF ------------{experiencing technical difficulties. please hold.}----------- um, what was I saying?

Oh yeah

(woohoo to big fics)

...my thoughts betray my feelings

Expect a review sometime yesterday but before thirty years from now
>> No. 122475
File 135043999863.png - (126.07KB , 300x300 , lyra___vector_by_epicgaara-d42d5lm.png )

Also, ETA differs between interstellar timezones.

Considering the maths, that leaves us with 1.48275637238e39

Even I don't want a calculator

>is in GDocs

>> No. 122478
Okay, let me preface this by saying that I've never reviewed a fic before, and I'm far from good enough at either reviewing or writing to presume that this is the only review you'd ever need. Once you've tightened up a few things, I would strongly recommend submitting this fic again for another opinion. That said, let's take a look.

Title: I have to make a quick note here because the title is eighty percent of what drew me to read this story. I like stories on this subject because they provide a fascinating opportunity to watch Luna's psyche shift over a thousand years, and the idea of counting out a thousand years, day by day, was so mind-shatteringly tragic that I had to check it out. In that regard, my expectations were moderately met, with the sheer duration of Luna's banishment being a point of desperation a number of times. However, it was ironically less prevalent the longer it went on, kind of using the excuse "Well, I was Nightmare Moon half the time anyway, so it didn't feel that long...". Afterwards, we sort of get a reflection on how long a time it really was, but while it's happening, I'd say the reader only feels how long it is about fifty percent of the time that it could be made clear. And really, much of that is simply seeing the number of the night, and conceptualizing the immense gaps between each count, and how long that must actually feel. This isn't a deadly sin by any means, but especially given that that was the title of the story, it is kind of disappointing.

The rest of the Story
I added comments to the google docs about mechanical errors in the story. The first big group of these was missing or misusing commas. I caught as many as I could, but there are likely more that I missed. I would really recommend reviewing proper comma usage rules. At the very least, read your story out loud, and everywhere you naturally pause, odds are good there should be a comma there.

The other big group of mechanical errors was tense switching. I assume your story was meant to be in the present tense. If this is the case, verbs should only be in their past tense if they are referencing action that happened in the past from the character's current perspective. However, your verbs would sometimes slip into past tense, even though they were occurring in the present. This didn't happen much in the first two chapters, but it started popping up a lot more in three and four. I would reread these once each, specifically looking out for where this happens.

The final thing I'll say about mechanics is that some of your sentences are either run-on or just don't flow very naturally. I marked a few on the doc, mostly where the sentence was difficult if not impossible to comprehend. However, there are also some that are understandable, but just don't sound very clear. For instance:
>The surfaces I lazily let my eyes wander over while I lay in bed -- not all dust is equally soft -- no longer capture my interest.
It feels like this sentence is trying to put too much information into one stretch. Consider revising things like this. As a rule of thumb, try reading your story out loud, as though you were telling it to someone else or explaining the scene. If it's hard to say, it's hard to read. For this one, I might break it up and restructure it into:
>"I let my eyes lazily wander over the blank surfaces while I lay in bed -- not all dust is equally soft -- but they no longer capture my interest."

Regarding the rest of the story, let me start with the Pre-reader's notes:

>You’ve an issue with unwieldy adjectives and modifiers in general.
Again, I think this comes down to sentence structure, as well as word choice. Read it out loud. If it sounds strange, it reads strange.

>Sequence with Discord is so rushed as to detract from the tale and break reader immersion.
I'm afraid I have to agree. This scene really doesn't have the right amount of impact for the tale of two children saving the world. It has a decent lead up, but we really don't get anything from Discord. We know he loves to create chaos, he's probably a murderer, but what else? Does he have some reaction to seeing the elements again? To seeing the daughters of the last person to face him? And once the elements' power is unleashed, it's just sort of "boom, stone, back home." There's no reaction from Discord save for a token last scream, no celebrating from Celestia and Luna, chaos just sort of disappears as if it was never there. The whole affair just lacks any sort of impact or spectacle.

>Luna not coming up with anything but ‘drill baby drill’ comes off a bit droll. Spice it up some; have her show some creativity.
I can understand where the pre-reader is coming from, but I kind of disagree here. At least initially, you set it up well that the idea to drill so much wasn't a tactical proposal so much as the god-pony equivalent of tearing your room apart in a tantrum. And she did devise other plans, but in my view, what they were is a moot point. They failed, they have to fail, that's how the story goes. And this story isn't "Luna's Crazy Moon Escape Adventures". The focus really is on the past, and the events that led to this point. Focusing more on Luna's doomed escape attempts seems like it would hurt the flow more than it would help anything. That said, you probably won't get to make that case to a prereader, so if you wanted to just add a few sentences of specific plans in the areas you mentioned them in passing, it might not hurt. Something about hitching rides on the rocks she throws away, or making the moon spin backwards, or an army of moonrock golems. I don't know, little things.

>The final battle before banishment feels more than a bit rushed.
I wouldn't say "rushed" so much as "spontaneous". The scene itself felt fine, but there was no lead up to in anywhere in the narrative. And the whole idea of a revolution was pretty out of left field. Thinking about the sun as a tyrant, as an unnecessary relic, about the way that it controlled and limited ponies' lives just had no context. These would fit much better if we could see them forming and taking root, along with Luna's bitterness in general. We really don't see the source of her resentment. We see a few instances of her being unappreciated, but it never feels like anything strong enough to push her over that edge to seek to purge the sun from the world entirely.

(Everything else the pre-reader said didn't seem to be a problem to me, except the last summary thing that I'll come back to in characterization).

These were my own observations, broken down by chapter:

Chapter 1
I like the coin toss. It brings an interesting dichotomy of chance and fate into the mix, and also fills the reader's imagination with that eternally tantalizing what-might-have-been. In fact, I wouldn't have minded if this became a stronger motif or running theme through the entire story. It's one of the more interesting aspects of this interpretation.

You talk about Luna's mentality shifting between calm contemplation and a mad fury. I would like to see a scene or two in her furious mind-set, when she's going through one of her tantrums. I think it would be nice to see that divide in the way she thinks, and having both in the story would give her an undercurrent of instability. In the beginning, when she says "I need the moon to die," I was thinking "Excellent, she's completely insane!" I think seeing her shift from "Oh, it's not so bad. I shouldn't have said those things I didn't mean. Silly." to "Die, moon! Suffer my wrath and burn with me!" could be truly terrifying, if that's what you're going for.

>I don’t doubt that this is a terrible idea, and that is why I can’t help but grin.
Wait, why the hell is she grinning if this is a terrible idea?

The shift from night 2 to night 97 mentality is kind of abrupt. She goes from "I WILL TEAR THIS WORLD APART!" to "I'm sure sister will release me very soon, so I shall wait," without really any in-between. What brought on this shift? Exhaustion? Hope? I think this transition could be better illuminated.

>It must be difficult when you are no longer needed. But she is not a bad pony. She has simply made a grave mistake.
I kind of want to hug you for this.

>Though we were usually in harmony, we had had a few, and we were bound to have more.
This sentence kind of breaks the flow of the paragraph that it's a part of. I would just cut it.

Chapter Two

I feel like the Monopony story would have been much better earlier in the story. With a bit of fleshing out, it really gives the other memories that have already happened more context, namely about Celestia and Luna's typical personalities, and their relationship with their father. Really, when I thought about the earlier flashbacks with this scene as context, those scenes became so much deeper. Seriously, try to put this earlier.

I think this was in chapter 2, but anyway, Luna says that none of this would have happened if her mom hadn't died, and then you never mention her mom again. Kind of a dangling plot thread.

The crystal clear revelation that there's an evil entity living inside her while she's in the middle of a frantic moon sundering kind of breaks the flow, and is in general a bit heavy handed. It does get used to interesting effect later, when Luna is trying to decide whether or not she can trust this other will and use its power, but I feel like a slower realization might have felt more believable. Or maybe not even a full realization at all, but rather a less complete understanding of that power that she then personified as the other.

Chapter 3

>overzealous, but surely by the time starvation became an issue we would have backed down.
Why does Luna think this was overzealous? Last we saw, she still thought this was a perfect idea, and the growing spells would have taken care of the food problem. And why does she care if this would have made others suffer when everypony ever has scorned her?

>Yet even being able to see the stars doesn’t make it useful
Wait, could Luna not see stars before? Or hear them? Why not? Isn't she in space?

I like the way you've characterize Luna as ultimately a very social pony stuck in an anti-social position as a) a princess, and b) the ruler of the often-forgotten night.

>back and forth on emotional highs and lows; uncertain how to feel about our sister
Again, I would really like to see some of this conflict play out early on, or at least see the other side of it in stark contrast to what's already there. Right now we're just being told that Luna was having lots of emotional conflict. We don't see that much of it.

I really, really like the way Luna begins referring to herself as "us" in the last paragraph of chapter three, essentially conceptualizing herself and Nightmare Moon as one being, tied together. Inseparable...

Chapter 4

...and then it kind of starts to break down. If Luna is referring to herself as "us", why is she referring to Nightmare Moon as "our friend". Isn't Nightmare Moon part of the "our"? Is Luna referring to only herself as "us"? Because she's never done that before. It could be that Luna thinks of Nightmare Moon as a whole entity, but thinks of herself as nothing without Nightmare Moon, and that's kind of interesting, but it's also confusing. Basically, by the time Luna starts referring to herself only as "we", it seems she shouldn't be able to separate herself from Nightmare Moon anymore.

Also, seeing as Nightmare Moon never referred to herself in the plural, I feel like the best effect could be reached by slowly circling back to "I". That is, what began as Luna slowly identified with Nightmare Moon, first as a duality, but in the end only Nightmare remained.

Regarding memory scenes:Some of these work pretty well. Like I said, the monopony scene is good, and would be better earlier in the story. The milkshake scene works well. The baseball scene is just okay, because it doesn't feel like it has much payoff in the larger scheme of things. The biggest problem, with these, however, is basically that they don't feel like they're in order. And they might actually be, but only rarely do they actually play into each other. Their sole focus seems to be on contextualizing the mental state of Luna in the present scene to which they are tied. And they serve that purpose well enough, but the downside of that is that they don't really create any cohesive narrative of the past. They're all scattered events that do illuminate particular points of Luna and Celestia's lives and personalities, but the emotional arc that led everything to where it is now is rather limited. Which, in total, brings us to...

This is ultimately the point on which this story pivots, and so is where any struggling is most evident. If nothing else, this story is an examination of Luna's mentality and emotional state, how that came to be, and how it changes over a thousand years of imprisonment. Right now, her emotional arc during her time on the moon is sound in the broad strokes, but it's somewhat inconsistent in the finer details. Her goals jump from escaping to being released, to passing time, back to escaping, and eventually dwindle to just being able to make a hole through the moon. But even if you accept that these inconsistencies are signs of her instability, you either need to transition between them, or highlight that they're so extreme that transition is almost non-existant, that they are instead the product of constant emotional waves. We need to not only see how she's feeling, but in a way to feel it with her - to be pulled along by her emotions (and by authorial manipullation, our emotions) through her personal narrative. And that journey needs to lead to the singular mindset that she has when she returns to Equestria.

At the same time, her memories also need to show us a character arc, one that leads her to the moment that left her banished on the moon for a thousand years. And again, the key here is to explore her emotions, and see how they build and evolve from one memory to another.

In my singular opinion, what might help you really polish the characters in this story is to define Luna's character arc linearly. Start with her earliest memory in the story, and build from one to the next, to her confrontation with Celestia, to her banishment, to her return. Plot the key points of her emotional journey. Once you have that, then you get to the hard part of telling the story of her imprisonment, mixing in memories from her past that tell their own story, contextualize their paired moment in the present, and still string together with the other memories to tell that complete story by the end of her banishment.

I hope some of this was at least partially helpful. Keep at it, and best of luck.
>> No. 122480
This is short. I can take this. I'll even be willing to look at later chapters if you want.

Though, since it's your first fic, I'd suggest getting more than one review before submitting to EqD.
>> No. 122482
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I think this is pretty enjoyable. Even with your condensed summary, and my lack of familiarity with the genre, I was able to follow it pretty easily. I should also say that I personally envy your ability to plan out and manage an intricate overarching plot so competently.

Careful with verbal cliches (e.g. 'clear as day') and re-used descriptors.

I think you would benefit from focusing your visual imagery. Often, characters will arrive at a scene and be accompanied by a wash of visual description. Sometimes it sets a tone, and other times it feels like just a lot of exposition, and can come off as being "tell-y". I'd like to compare two paragraphs from your story:

>The hut was still as death. Only a faint glow came from the windows; no other signs of life were visible. In the consuming darkness, the once welcoming home looked downright terrifying. The masks that hung from the branches seemed to glare at her, snarling faces painted and gleaming in the faint light from above. Several had fallen to the ground, the ropes frayed and torn as if some pony had ripped them down in rage.

This paragraph begins with a cliche--still as death--and has couple tell-y descriptions, such as "...the [hut] looked downright terrifying." The masks are okay, but they could be working a little harder for you. Sections with this kind of exposition is where the story dragged the most for me.

Compare with this:

>Twilight couldn’t fight a shudder as she stared at the imposing door. Unlike upstairs, where each door had one simple lock built into the knob, this one didn’t even have a knob. In the very center of the door sat a thick metal wheel connected to four large, heavy-looking bars, each spanning the length of the door and locking into place along the wall on each side. Above it hung a sign: Psychiatric Ward. Authorized ponies only.

This is excellent description. The details are chosen carefully; nothing is "happenstance". The contrast of the metal door with those upstairs, evokes a sense of having descended from one psychological state, one level, to another; and the door with no knob tells us that there is no going back, having passed this stage of depravity. To top it off, the sense of descending through levels on a one-way tour of madness alludes to Dante's Inferno, with the inscription above the threshold: Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here. Now that's setting a tone!

So make those descriptive details work for you; blend the external with the psychological, when you can. You might say it's all in the... Eye of the Beholder.


Good luck!
>> No. 122484
File 135046088539.jpg - (8.63KB , 192x192 , claimed.jpg )
Simple editing sweep when it's already been edited? I can do that.

Also, I did yours before. Was it chapter 4? Not sure if you can remember, but I do, so I'm kinda interested to see how it ends.
>> No. 122490
File 135047383473.gif - (91.74KB , 536x563 , incoming fun.gif )
First time writing comedy. I hope whoever reads it enjoys it as much as I did writing it. It was a fun learning experience. Thanks!

Title: Art of Distress

Author: Sourberry

Tags: [Comedy]

Synopsis: Rarity enlists Pinkie and Rainbow Dash in her quest to reclaim a sordid letter gone astray to Hoity Toity. If she doesn't get that letter back her reputation and relationship with Hoity Toity could be irreparably damaged!

>> No. 122491
Thank you so much for the help!

Yeah, that's the problem with writing in bursts over a few days, I forget what adjectives I've used already!

Good call on the hut descriptor. I was going to make some references to the shadow, but I was afraid I'd overdo it.

And I see you noticed my naming convention! Incidentally, Eye of The Beholder is going to be the name of the sequel...
>> No. 122499
I think it might be useful to note that I've already done some significant editing for clarity and unusual sentence structure.
I feel like the narrative stylization took a loss, but it was probably a gain for ease of reading.
Still, I hate having to reduce the variane in words or sentence structures just because they're a bit more difficult when they would fit better.

Thanks again!
>> No. 122502
Sounds like I really have my work cut out for me, but that's okay =D.

You say that you are new to this reviewing thing but you really hit the key points I think. Everything you said makes sense and seems obvious after you say. Well okay the sentence wording didn't seem obvious but that is only because I haven't read it out loud as you have pointed out. Seriously well done, and your idea to eventually use the term I again I like.

As for the later to chapters I'll confess I rushed them out the door more than I should have so that way I could hurry up and revise the darn thing, so yeah the tense confusion is because of that. It is all meant to be present tense basically.

As for the drilling thing, keep in mind that previously I didn't even mention her trying anything else. I'll see if I can't polish that with a few more ideas mentioned, but that will be one of my later edits as it seems less important than the issues you pointed out.

As for the Discord scene can you believe it used to be far more rushed than even that? I'll admit I've had trouble with that one, because I've been so focused on Luna and honestly that could be a story in its own right, but still since I bring it up, I need to treat it with the respect and care it deserves.

It'll no doubt take me a while (probably a couple weeks or more) to fix this, but any chance I could get you to do this again when I have?

Seriously you did a great job. This is exactly what I needed. Thank you so much! I'm quiet excited to go back through this and make it the story it wants to be, as you seem to hint at what I believe. There is a good story in here somewhere.

May I ask if you enjoyed it? Eh, maybe with how rough it is, I'm expecting too much.
>> No. 122504

Right, I didn't take into account the changes you've made since the pre-reader's account. In that case, what you have about Luna's other plans might be the right amount to not break the flow. Up to you.

I'd be happy to take another look after your revisions, though I still feel like the story could benefit from someone else's perspective, so I'll probably limit myself to an unofficial review. But yes, I'd love to see where it goes. I did enjoy parts of it: I think the way you've written Luna is quite interesting, and I liked certain things like her journeying out into the world to discover herself, only to find, rather contrary to the cliche, that the world isn't a kind and helpful place.
>> No. 122510

[Comedy], with no [Random] tag? Ooh, gutsy! I'll take a look at this for you.
>> No. 122569
Whelp. I expanded my write-off entry somewhat and made it somewhat more coherent. It's probably going to the first in a series of short stories as narrated by Celestia.

Have at ye.

No synopsis yet. Basically I just want to see if this story would work as a stand-alone or not. You have my permission to rip this apart.
>> No. 122570
>You have my permission to rip this apart.

I'll take this, if you don't mind, Grif.
>> No. 122572
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>> No. 122573
File 135057323106.png - (200.90KB , 680x589 , 125486146.png )
Dammit, Seattle, stealing my thunder.
Oh well...

Anyway, Grif, I think Seattle covered most of what I would've said, but I added some comments here and there. It's a fairly short piece, so it's a fairly short review.

Give me detail, show me emotion, make me feel...

There you go. That's basically what my review boils down to.
I guess that's all I got,
alexmagnet, slinking away to a dark corner...
>> No. 122574
Damn guys. I didn't expect a review this fast.

Seattle, you sly ninja you... :P

Seriously, thank you very much for the comments. I went for a minimalist style, if only to see if I can get away with it. As per your comments, it didn't succeed all that well.

Time to get chopping then.
>> No. 122575
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Extensive line-by-line in doc.

Your mechanics are, in a word, lacking. And the main form of lack manifests itself firstly in commas, and secondly - trust me, it pains me to say it - care. I caught a lot of careless mistakes that, frankly, were hard to miss, especially at the end. Like, seriously, when doing a self-edit sweep, you need to read every word. You can't just glaze over sentences, you have to read all of it. Force yourself if you have to, as long as you register them all individually. And I'm making the pretentious assumption that you did glaze over, because I don't believe that you could have missed things like "you're/your", and "Pinkie of Fluttershy".

Maybe I've become jaded since the last time I picked up your story, but I found the end to be pretty hammy. Hammy, as in you spell out all of the positive feelings without proxy (usually body language and tone), a dead giveway that piles up. That much being said, for your case, it may not be a bad thing - this sort, while not the best execution, would probably be potentially more fulfilling for your readers than if you were to do it in a more nuanced manner.

You use the description of them smiling a lot. Swap it up for other parts of the body. Shuffling hooves, twitching wings, you know - ponies are more than just heads, after all. Rather than betray intent outright, use body language and tone to convey it. Show, don't tell.

As mentioned in one of the comments before, I can't get to working on your epilogue due to time constraints. For that, I apologize.

Keep writing.
>> No. 122580
File 135058305795.png - (344.52KB , 1218x1170 , WereponyFluttershy-JustFS.png )
Tags: [Normal]

Synopsis: "Fluttershy gets bitten by a werewolf from the Everfree Forest, but when a side effect of the changes limits her inhibitions, she starts to wonder if the cure is such a good idea. Even if she does start to behave a little 'differently' otherwise..."

A one-shot story in the spirit and style of an episode of the show itself.

Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1-CdF1AaHhJWEnY84JmJt0DnIjg5oKKz3It09o5Abe6E/edit

Word Count: 14,518

Comments: This got rejected from EqD a few months ago with only one complaint.

" 1) Basic writing. There's a lot of 'This happened. Then that happened. Someone did this. There was a noise. It scared a pony.' While it imparts information, it isn't very interesting to read."

Just due to the dread of going through rewriting a story as long as this, I set fixing it off to the side until recently. I figured I might as well try again soon, what with Halloween around the corner. This version is almost completely redone from the original submission, but I want to make sure I didn't miss anything crucial or overdo it in some places.
>> No. 122581
File 135058359899.png - (66.78KB , 297x320 , mlfw7812-Screen_Shot_2012-09-06_at_7_13_54_PM.png )
Hmm, only rejected for basic writing, and it has what I can only assume will be an awesome plot?

Count me in!

Given the length, this may take me a bit to get through. At the absolute latest I'll have a review by Sunday night.

Are you excited, Azure? Cuz I'm excited. I've never been so excited. Well, except for that one time. But I mean really, who can top that?

Trixie is best pone
>> No. 122584
Thank you for the review. I would just like to note that I haven't really done much in the way of a personal review. I basically finished this chapter and threw it up on here. That may have been a mistake on my part, but I was mainly just wanting to get this fic done.

>Your mechanics are, in a word, lacking. And the main form of lack manifests itself firstly in commas
Oh comma's my nemesis, will you ever leave me alone? Seriously I have no real clue why, but my grammar has always been so poor. I think it's due in part to me never really paying attention much to grammar when I read something, whether it be an actual book or a fanfic. As a result I never end up picking up on how things 'should' be written. Unfortunately I am not sure how to make myself be more attentive to the actual words when I read.

>As mentioned in one of the comments before, I can't get to working on your epilogue due to time constraints.
Its all good. Believe me I know how easily free time can disappear. Especially when it comes to reading and or writing a fanfic. Will just have to find someone else to the Epilogue.

Once more thanks for a review!
>> No. 122589
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Will claim if author (Pyrobug0) is still active, since this post was made 5 days ago.

The two other stories currently in the queue have been claimed by alex, to inform queue admins.
>> No. 122590
File 135058800663.jpg - (69.34KB , 800x600 , 82716__UNOPT__.jpg )

This is a friendly reminder: be careful.
>> No. 122592
File 135058823487.jpg - (1.03MB , 2000x1800 , the_mane_entree_by_surgicalarts-d53fdbe.jpg )
Oh man, didn't see that coming, but I completely understand why I'm there. Thanks for pointing that out for me. At least it's not a 'no claim' basis, not trying to be that jerk that's just like 'well, screw your stories.'

I am now able to take stories now that my life is in order. I was over extending my availability last time I was here, and I completely understand the frustration. The should take note of this document and make their decision.
>> No. 122593
File 135058863928.gif - (44.73KB , 225x320 , b0e.gif )
>I was over extending my availability last time I was here
Isn't that what you said last time, too?

"Saucy" images need to be spoilered.
And I mean that in both ways. I mean, just imagine how long it's going to take her to wash that out of her coat!

Attn: Those that have been claimed by Hugbox, should they not receive a review in due time, may Email me for a review request (I do not check this thread regularly). I will then ridicule both your story and Hugbox while still having enough helpful, critical feedback for my review to remain socially acceptable.
>> No. 122594
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Sorry 'bout the image, and also I told myself if for some reason I ever flaked out on a review again I simply would just not return. Frustration is the last thing I was to give authors, and if removing myself and my ways from the /fic/ community is the way to do it then so be it.
>> No. 122595
I am still active. I missed the part about the submission form so it didn't get added to the queue until now. You're welcome to review it if you have time, but be aware it is kind of on the longish side. But if you're up for it, I'd be happy for the feedback.
>> No. 122598
File 135058968709.png - (291.52KB , 803x711 , 59363 - 4th_wall_what_4th_wall Scrunchy_Face applejack exploitable liarjack lying screencap scru.png )
My usual reviewing style is I will start to read until I have figured out the base of your problems, since stories will usually carry on the same themes despite their plot development. So if I don't read all of it, I will at the least provide you with all of the information you need regardless. Should be done today or early tomorrow.

Also, please take note of the conversation that starts here: >>122590 if you haven't already. I have been added to the problematic users list and I understand if you want to refuse my claim
>> No. 122601
No, go ahead. And I get what you mean about not necessarily finishing the story if you understand the problems earlier. I'm more interested in a critique of my writing style than a breakdown of every detail about the story itself, anyway.
>> No. 122602
File 135059281057.jpg - (113.75KB , 900x771 , Celestia134518271281.jpg )
Okay, first off, it isn’t really best to start your story with the character waking up. That is unless she’s had a nightmare or another characters is forcing her to wake up because of an emergency. Also see: http://www.penny-arcade.com/patv/episode/episode-07-pacing

>The blanket bid her its warm farewell as the stone floor gave its cold greeting.
The blanket bid her a warm farewell as the stone floor gave a cold greeting.

>She did not mind it, though;
Okay, this is Tell. You have told us how Twilight feels, but it’s better if you Show it. What does she look like? Her facial expression? How does she react to touching the cold floor?

>The rest of her felt terrible for even giving a passing lance to that view.
Did you mean “glance”?

>, she concluded that she still needed answers.

>But what...
>A cacophony of arguments,
These could all be combined into one paragraph.

>The meaning...
One paragraph

>She decided to leave the matter alone for the moment,
Not only is this Tell, but the previous lines make it redundant.

>Though she still greeted each of the different ponies who served there, most of them had learned a long time ago not to bother trying to speak to Twilight when she was on one of her quests for knowledge.

>After a somewhat short but relaxing walk, she found herself checking out a book on Chaos magic, which turned out to be oddly fascinating despite the fact that nopony seemed to truly know much about it.

>When someone came to invite her to breakfast she absentmindedly took it with her, reading as she went.
Tell. Also, who invited her to breakfast? Twilight doesn’t have any friends in Canterlot.

>After another, lengthier walk,
Tell. They had to have talked on the trip.

>Spike, Luna and Celestia had already begun eating by the time Twilight came in and sat down.
Remember A Bird in the Hoof and how everypony reacted to seeing Celestia in public? Or Luna Eclipsed...

>There was a beautiful spread of breakfast foods,clearly far more than what the guests could possibly eat.
Tell. There should be a space after the comma.

>Luna sat with a dinner before her,
Tell. Why only mention Luna’s food? And what’s she eating?

>, and the glass of wine she usually had before sleeping for the day.
The princesses are wiser than to drink wine at all before bed.

>Twilight's own somewhat cheerful response of "good morning, and I'm glad to hear it" was said in a normal enough tone, but the look in her eyes betrayed her deep concern.

>If Celestia...
>She may...
One paragraph

>But she noticed something.
Try not to say “something” or any variant of the word.

>She couldn't tell what, but very suddenly she saw that something was wrong about Celestia's smile, and the eternal motherly expression in her eyes. Something was... missing, almost.

>She did not know whether...
This should be part of the previous paragraph.

>It was a small relief to her when Spike announced that "thif food if amavinf!" through a mouthful of breakfast. She needed the silly laugh that came with correcting him, but it was a fleeting relief.

>"I must concur with my sister's expressions about this occasion. The moments I can sit among friends who see beyond my past are too few."
Mention Luna’s name somewhere here. Maybe show what she’s doing.

>Twilight nodded understandingly, but was not distracted from her thoughts.

>And Celestia had all the accumulated knowledge and wisdom of centuries to give her the almost scary ability to see through almost everyone, and know all the things that she shouldn't have been able to.

>Twilight was suddenly very grateful for her habit of leaving whatever she was reading open on her lap, for it allowed her to use the quick explanation that "oh, I was just... doing some reading. It's a whole new subject for me, so I... got a little lost in it."
“Oh” should be capitalized.

>Twilight levitated the dusty book for Celestia to see.
Should be part of the previous paragraph.

>She trailed off for a moment,
You don’t need this since you have the elipses at the end of the previous sentence. Which is a shame, since the part after the comma was a great way of Showing Celesta’s shock. Do that more.

>The words "Chaos Magic" escaped her lips, but she quickly apologized and continued as if nothing had happened.

>, though this time the missing part in her look that Twilight noticed earlier seemed to have grown into a much larger gap.
Wait, what?

>Twilight looked sheepish,

>, even though her look was nonthreatening.

>, considering something.

>, whom Twilight had forgotten amid Celestia's strange behaviour.

>"Would anyone like more of anything?"
No one talks like this. Celestia shouldn’t even be the one to ask this type of question. She has servants for that.

>Though Twilight was certain Spike would not-entirely-politely ask for dessert or otherwise try to take a little too much advantage of the offer, he simply said "no thanks" before returning to a conversation that he and Luna had probably been having without Twilight noticing the entire time.
This is way too long for something that could be condensed into:
>”No thanks,” Spike said. “So, Luna...

>They seemed to be talking and laughing without ever detecting what had just transpired between Celestia and Twilight.

>, her attitude shifting according to its own will.
Not only is the Tell, it makes no sense.

>Her tone tried to be polite, but didn't quite hit the mark.
This is Tell. But there aren’t that many ways of showing with tone of speech, so find another way of showing this.

>Chapter two

>The disclaimer at the top
I’d suggest getting rid of this. Also, why are we suddenly in the distant past? Is there a good reason for having this flashback? Could you have put it as a prologue at the start?

>, even though no gathering of ponies could hope to compete with the stars in terms of numbers.
This is awkwardly phrased.

>: a Celestia that was not enjoying herself.
: Celestia was not enjoying herself.

>Oh, Tia. Why can you not simply have some fun for a while?
Yeah, quit being lazy and look up how people talked in the year 1010 AD.

>, and yet Celestia was currently holding a conversation with some of the same self-important snobs...
Tell. Show them being snobs.
This is essentally what you’re doing: http://nedroid.com/2011/02/advice-about-comics/

>I know...
>I suppose...
These could all be one paragraph.

>, came upon the sight of a bright orange coat,
Fur coat or the jacket kind?

>, its owner's hooves waving around wildly.
Awkward phrasing

>His speech looked highly energetic, and seemed to be being delivered quite successfully to a group of others, who were all smiling and laughing.

>Well, he ought to be. After all, he was hoofpicked.
Cut this

>, her presence gathered the attention of the group,
Tell. The later part makes it redundant.

>She was quick to begin before the others were able to. She had no desire to waste time when she could be helping her sister.

>"Good evening,
>Not waiting for an answer,
Make this one paragraph.

>"Indeed, your Highness. I'd be happy to help!"
What’s he doing here? Shouldn’t he be bowing or something?

>he had been with, who still looked in their direction with puzzled expressions,
Cut this

>, he revealed his lack of proper upper-class etiquette, and began rapidly and indiscreetly chattering away, asking many questions but waiting for few answers.

>He found Luna's hoof had been pressed snugly into his mouth,
Passive voice

>Luna watched from a distance as the spectacle unfolded.
This whole paragraph is Tell except for this part.

>"Celestia, I'd like nothing better!"
That’s Princess Celestia to you, punk!

>She fought the urge to perform any celebratory rituals, and instead started up a conversation with an old friend who happened to be standing nearby, though she made sure to check in on the conversation now and again.
Who’s “She”?

>Others, almost all of whom were clearly far better company than the ponies from before, spoke with Shining and Celestia as well, but as the others came and went Celestia and Shining stayed, their attention enwrapped in one another.
This is Tell, but it’s justified, so leave it.


>Chapter three

Wait, when is this happening?

>Against that day's
>Some count supporters
>Some, however,
Make this one paragraph

>Well, at least she
This reads like it’s supposed to be a thought.

Double space each paragraph please. Like this:

This is the first paragraph

This is the second paragraph

Seriously, you do this a lot.

>The papers in front of her began crumpling...
The papers in front of her crumpled...

>...in rage,

>, until she noticed an apparently overjoyed face...

>She found herself at a loss for his name.
Redundant Telling.

>She was cut off mid-sentence by the sudden realization that it was not, in fact, a court official, but rather a cutie mark that she had been speaking to.

>Ah. Shining Flank. That makes sense now.
Is this supposed to be funny?

>"I'm glad to hear it,
Make this part of the previous paragraph.

>The question caught her off guard.

>A sudden realization hit her at precisely that moment.

>Shining lit up with pride.

>She didn't know whether to be enraged or amused, but she did know to be shocked.

>"What— how—"
"What... how..."

>, when paired with her uncharacteristically angry eyebrows,

>"Shining, give those back this instant!"
>"Come and get them!"
They’re like talking heads.

>Taking off after him was probably not the most proper choice Celestia had made that day,
Maybe use “elegant” instead of “proper.”

>, who was now holding her paperwork.
Passive Voice

>As one small foal might do to another, the great Lunar Princess played a momentary game of keep-away with her Solar counterpart, who flared with a burning rage fit for the sun itself.
What? Why? Also, Tell.

>You go have fun with him; he's very good at it, and I can take care of the paperwork later tonight.
You go have fun with him; he's very good at it. I can take care of the paperwork later tonight.

>...and the contagiously happy face that initiated it.

>"Now you have to come have some fun! Come on, I know this great spot we can go relax for a little bit."
Who said that?

>Luna managed to maintain her poise until Celestia and Shining had put a few doors between themselves and her.
Wait, what?

>Only then did she allow herself to show the anxiety she felt when she looked at the pile of papers left for her.
Tell. And this should be part of the previous paragraph.

This doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense. The first chapter doesn’t seem to fit with the other two. And Celestia and Shining Smiles relationship feels more like friendshipping than romantic shipping. Though that could change in a later chapter.

Maybe I should take a look at your outline.

The fastest way to contact me is in the #fic IRC channel, here: http://derpy.me/3llT7

If I’m not on, then PM me on my FiMFic, here: http://www.fimfiction.net/user/Azusa
>> No. 122607
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Hi Sourberry,

So, my biggest gripe with this is that the writing is very confusing. Avoiding confusion is a fundemental task of the writer: You can write about war, sex, violence, etc., but in my experience there are few ways to piss off a reader more quickly than to confuse them. If you ever want to have good readership, you have to work on this.

I've come up with five points that you can address directly:

L.u.s. - Lavender unicorn syndrome, as it's known in this fandom, is when you use a descriptor in the place of the name of a character, when there is no reason not to simply use the name.
>“Oh please be here soon, please be here soon, please be here soon!” The silk coated mare chanted, like a mantra.

The problem with this, on a technical level, is that now I am thinking about how Rarity does or doesn't have a silk coat (after I've figured out who it is, maybe), rather than just calling the character to mind. Using the name is more direct.

Pronoun confusion - This usually occurs in a string of pronouns, where there is no clarification by a proper noun.
>“Not right now, Sweetie Belle!” The reply was swift and her voice shrill. She came to a stop by her coffee and levitated it up.

>“But we really wanna-” Whined the voice from upstairs again.

>“I’m very busy!” Her wavering voice replied a second time. The cup of coffee began to shake in her magic grip.

>“She didn’t say no!” The voice shouted to her companions upstairs. There came a solid clunking sound of something being dropped in place.

The effect of this is that the reader loses track of who is saying what, and the action in general. In this example, it could easily be clearer that it is Rarity talking to Seewtie Belle.

Paragraph organization - Punctuation and other formatting devices like the paragraph are meant to organize information for the reader, to be more easily understood. Usually, the first sentence of a paragraph says what it's about, with the rest filling in details.
>There was no sound of rapping at the door, no polite entrance or chiming of the bell. The front doors to her boutique were just flung open and a gust of wind shot through the ground floor, disturbing the clothing hung up on the racks.

The purpose of this paragraph is that the doors were flung open, violently and unceremoniously. That should be gotten out of the way quickly, and then you can add the details, if you want.

Revealing the plot - I can see how you were trying to be scarce about Rarity's dilemma, to set up for the joke at the end. But you have to give the reader some kind of thread to follow. When reading the introductory scene of your story, it felt as though the characters were deliberately not letting me in on what was going on. Learn to differentiate between suspense and ambiguity (the latter of which is generally undesirable).

Crow-barring jokes - This is very hard to get away with in the written medium, probably becuase the audient's attention is much more single-pointed (as opposed to, say, a television show, where you have visuals and audio in addition to the unfolding story). On a technical level, it can be very distracting. In the opening scene of your story, there is a bit involving the CMC, which is never really explained, and never comes up again. Make sure your gags have a focused kind of direction, and find comedy along the way--try to avoid putting something at random.

Hope this all makes sense. Good luck!
>> No. 122610
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>As a result I never end up picking up on how things 'should' be written. Unfortunately I am not sure how to make myself be more attentive to the actual words when I read.
Hmm. I know that I picked up an instinct for "how things should be" because I read a boatload when I was a kid; I guess syntax stuck to me. The best method I could offer you is to re-read your sentences aloud. Like, it sounds babyish and basic, but it's actually pretty interesting to see what your prose would sound like if it were being told by a storyteller - heck, J.K. Rowling did readings for her own books, and they're long. You don't need to look for errors, per se - just read, and the errors will find you. Anything that makes itself hard to pronounce, looks wonky, sounds too basic, sounds too long - anything that impedes on your actual reading - becomes evident soon.

Might as well mention that i like that persistent attitude of yours. Many people get on to EqD and never bother to edit their stuff again, but you try to get your drafts as clean as possible. I respect that a lot. All the best!
>> No. 122656
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Title: Twilight Sparkle: Night Shift
Tags: [Dark]
Ah, Equestrian nights. You might think they are all serene and peaceful exhibitions of Luna's work on the sky. You may believe that you can just lay out on the grass and admire the beautiful stars as the warm evening breeze playfully caresses your mane. And you would be wrong.

Equestria is a magical place, and where there is magic, there is chaos. Dead rising from their graves, inanimate objects coming to life, monsters escaping the Everfree, strange apparations making your foal cry in her room—sounds familiar? No? Then I'm doing my job right.

I'm Twilight Sparkle, and I work the Night Shift.

Link (~4100 words): https://docs.google.com/document/d/1KlPdzpo07Q_nOSBRwrexaB0YdN_LbekQ83YqgRsmEYE/edit

Hey, it's me again, bringing you yet another fic of questionable quality. This is meant to be the first chapter of a sort of "episodic" fanfic; each chapter is a different adventure with some sort of overarching plot which will come to fruition toward the end. And.. there's not much more to say. It's all pretty straightforward; an intentionally out-of-character Twilight moonlights as a monster hunter. While it's not an actual comedy, I tried to keep it relatively light hearted, in a sort of "haha, ew!" way. This chapter is in itself a kind-of-a-parody of another fic which is/was kind of a big deal on Fimfiction, having made the feature box multiple times. So overall, this is meant to be some light snack for the fellow weirdos who enjoy a bit of [Dark] and pastel ponies.
>> No. 122657
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Here's a review!
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>The hallway was dark. Dark and empty. It had never been completely empty before. There were no guards, or nobles, or servants.
You use four sentences to describe how empty the hallway is. With information that isn’t captivating or necessarily important, be expedient or don’t say it at all.

>The sounds of her hoofsteps
This might be a matter of opinion, given writing style, but you should always identify your character before using pronouns.

>The blood began to pound in her ears
This is odd wording of a simple sentence. ‘Her ears began to pound’. Don’t sacrifice clarity for Purple Prose.

>he tried to shake the feeling away, tried to walk faster. But the fear seeped into her, straining her muscles and churning her stomach.
This is a bit grammatically odd. originally, you would need to put an ‘and’ before tried, since it’s the end of a list, or state that dependent statement as present tense in the sentence: “trying to walk faster”. What would fix this easily is just replacing the period with a comma to conjoin those sentences. While your grade school teachers weren’t exactly correct in saying ‘U CANT STERT SENTENCES WITH BUUT’, it is a thing you should be careful of. There are other examples of this in your text.

>Celestia’s magic flung open the doors
You know, this is something that no one has ever been able to pin down really, with how to state that magic did something. But to easily cop-out on this, it’s a telly sentence. Show us that her magic opened the door. Something the the lines of “The doors began to shine with a yellow aura, as they suddenly flung open into the throne room, the aura subsiding quickly afterwards.”

I stopped being picky about your grammar and structure when I started to notice a problem you often will repeat. You describe a lot of Celestia’s feelings and thoughts, but rarely do you describe the world around her, and when you do, it’s pretty unimportant things. (The hallway was dark and empty) You give no life to your world, even though you do a fine job at giving Celestia life - to an extent.

Another issue you face is that you don’t describe character’s actions when they need to be said. A lot of times in your dialogue you have characters talking back and forth with no narrative about body language. This is what we call ‘Talking Heads’; it’s just heads talking, and it’s not an exciting vision for the reader, and it voids the characters of life and personality. ““I’m sure they’ll be brilliant,” she added with a roll of her eyes.” is a good use of narrative to show sarcasm and personality for Silver Platter. Without these visual queue’s, I almost don’t want to read the dialogue because it’s somewhat unimportant, and there’s no visual picture I can make.

While we’re on Silver, she’s a bit bland. She seems like just the average servant that’s a little concerned for Celestia, but you seem to want to make her out as more, but a personality is very much lacking and personal drives also are. Nothing unique shows with Silver. She seems like just a way to get Celestia to talk sometimes, like about how Sky Rise wanted to keep the day longer.

>Celestia hated those windows right now
Odd sentence, ‘now’ meaning present, but ‘hated’ being past. Careful of these.

The conversation between Luna and Celestia when Luna is having a Drama Bomb, you have Luna just speak and speak and speak for paragraphs at times with no inch of body language. This is a MAJOR issue.

I only read up after chapter 2, because I felt I had sufficient knowledge of your problems. Other than the things I listed, a lot of this story is actually pretty solid.
>> No. 122662
File 135066910590.png - (14.24KB , 150x69 , We make the cutest couple dont we Hugbox.png )
Oh... my... god. This... this cant be happening. But it is. *Squeezes Hugbox as hard as I can. You're back! This is incredible! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LfJR6sAo0CU . However if this is some attempt to hook back up I have news that is summed up nicely in a pop song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WA4iX5D9Z64 . Still it's nice to have you back!
>> No. 122665
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>The first paragraph of chapter 1
Yea, this paragraph was kind of weird, because I was trying to make it weird. I was trying a thing, it didn't really work.

>Show us that her magic opened the door.
Huh, yea, your type of sentence is much more interesting. I'll keep that in mind when dealing with magic.

>rarely do you describe the world around her
This is true. It's weird, normally I have the opposite problem - I'll start compulsively describing the scene until even I'm thinking, "Oh my god, I don't care." My focus must have been elsewhere this time. I'll work on finding a better middle ground there.

>Another issue you face is that you don’t describe character’s actions when they need to be said.
Same thing here. Normally I start scripting out each character's every twitch and shuffle, until it starts breaking the flow and I imagine everyone reading just starts screaming "Just make it into a freaking video." I tried to reign that in this time, and I agree I overshot it.

>While we’re on Silver, she’s a bit bland.
Hmm....yep. Can't argue with that. Crap.

Thanks for the review. I don't think I'll be doing anything more with this story, since that wasn't really its point, but I'll definitely keep these points in mind while I'm working on my next one.
>> No. 122675
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>Normally I start scripting out each character's every twitch and shuffle, until it starts breaking the flow and I imagine everyone reading just starts screaming "Just make it into a freaking video." I tried to reign that in this time, and I agree I overshot it.
This is a common issue, so don't let it get you down. Authors will usually start on the high or low end, and over time they'll eventually bring it to a good balance. It's also just a matter of taste where that balance is, so don't be swayed too much by your readers unless they give appropriate feedback for where the balance faults.

I know you don't intend on doing much with this story, but what you might want to do is spend some more time developing characters before you write. Silver seems like just a character built around the plot and a point to helping move it along. Literally she is only a 'plot point'. Create your character first and figure out a lot of personality traits based on how frequent your character is focused on. The funny thing is that Sky Rise seems more round of a character than Silver, and a large part of that is the way he speaks. "Me and the boys", which shows a mentality of authority yet family, his accent also giving a little flair to him. I'm not saying give everyone accents, but give everyone you decide to have as a main focus something about them that is unique upon the other characters in the situation or entirety of story.

Good luck on your writing.
>> No. 122692
> I know that I picked up an instinct for "how things should be" because I read a boatload when I was a kid; I guess syntax stuck to me.

Heh, about all I got from all the reading I did as a kid was horrible eyesight. Of course I did tend to read with pretty low lighting, so I am sure that didn't help any.

> but it's actually pretty interesting to see what your prose would sound like if it were being told by a storyteller

While I will admit I have seen this kind of advice before, I unfortunately have yet to act upon it. I really should though as its a good idea. I feel I should note that I have had someone else do a live reading of one of my fics and put it up on Youtube. He only stumbled twice, and that was mainly because of difficulty pronouncing a word, rather than grammar issues.

>Might as well mention that i like that persistent attitude of yours. Many people get on to EqD and never bother to edit their stuff again, but you try to get your drafts as clean as possible. I respect that a lot.

Glad to hear you think that. I will say I am not a perfectionist, and wont do as many rewrites as possible to get every last error. However, it still took several rewrites based on several reviews to get on EqD to begin with. So in my mind it wouldn't make sense to go with less reviews and rewrites for further chapters, or even a new fic, if I want it on EqD than it took to get it on there in the first place.
>> No. 122703
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Well, here’s to my first review in this thread. Asterisking for obvious reasons.

This is probably going to be a little on the short side because 5 AM here, but I’ve left most of the review in the doc.

I’m afraid this fic has its share of problems. The first and most obvious one: paragraphing. I have touched upon our conflicting views on pace in our comments exchange, so I’ll just give my two bits on this topic here. Your paragraphs are big and confusing. Deciding how to splice up paragraphs is a matter of personal style, but there is one main rule to paragraphs: new idea, new paragraph. Another rule of thumb is: the usual maximum number of sentences in a paragraph is around six. Your paragraphs are way longer than that, and an even bigger problem I’ve noticed is that they don’t always have a clear reason for their separation. All of this serves to confuse and further slow down your pacing, and let’s be clear here: your pacing is way, way too slow, but I’ll elaborate on that further.

There were places where you did a simple carriage return to the next line in lieu of making a paragraph. This is a mistake – this sort of division would be completely invisible if the last line took the whole width of the page. When separating paragraphs, always leave a vertical space (or indentation if you’re using that).

However, the worst part is that you often don’t separate paragraphs between subjects. What I mean by that, is that you have one character doing something or even saying something in a paragraph that “belongs” to another character. The big, big rule of dialogue formatting is: new speaker, new paragraph. This is relevant even if there isn’t anything spoken. So frequently, I was confused about who did or said what. I’ve elaborated on specific places in the doc.

Here’s a decent source of info on this topic:

Lots of telling. This is mostly due to the prevalence of exposition in your narrative, which is discussed below. However, you also manage to tell us everything about the characters instead of showing this. You tell us their feelings and commit all their essential characterization through tells. You did manage to show that Solid was a descendant of Rarity and Radiance is supposed to be his Spike-counterpart, but only because you’ve never stated it outright (but did otherwise manage to layer it on pretty heavily and redundantly). You really need to work on show vs. tell, and the first step to do this is to cut on exposition. Also, there were plenty of adverbs, especially in places where they could be easily replaced with strong verbs.

Exposition. The thing about exposition is that it should be used to deliver to us information that is needed right now. If it is used so extensively to characterize it goes well into telling territory. When 90% of character information – everything but physical appearance, in fact – is told to us through exposition, it’s almost the same as if we didn’t know anything about them. This is also a more general problem. You’ve said that this is a stand-alone chapter from the rest of the story’s narrative, so making it half-exposition seriously breaks any interest I could invest in the characters. All in all, we were given a static painting of what happened up to this point… and had almost no action at all in the present.

Thoughts in italics. It’s actually perfectly possible to write interior monologue without italics, or even without tagging, just putting it straight in the narrative (in third person past tense, of course). Italics is a way of giving emphasis. So when so many character thoughts (and not only thoughts) are put in italics, this emphasis loses its meaning. Also, it becomes highly confusing when you use italics for emphasis outside interior monologue.

Other issues:
Don’t use brackets in narration. Actually, better not use them at all.
A tiny bit too many semicolons. I’ve counted three on the first page, two of which were in the same paragraph. Again, not a mistake, but people usually frown on their overuse.

I hope that this was somewhat helpful. Never stop working on your skill, and you’ll be okay.

I don’t think that I disliked the experience, so I’ll probably take another fic to review soon.

Ever sleepy,
Writer Number 25
>> No. 122705
>Thoughts in italics
Thoughts in italics are perfectly acceptable, and may be preferable. Character thoughts shouldn't be stated in narration for an omniscient narrator, so those should be presented as quoted material, either in quotation marks or, better yet, italicized. These are direct thoughts. Putting thoughts in narration, or indirect thoughts, is preferable for a limited narrator.

How thoughts are presented should be consistent with the choice of narration.
>> No. 122706
Yes, that is all true. Thoughts in italics are fine, but I just wanted to point out that unitalicized thoughts are fine too. My gripe was with over-use and lack of clarity.
>> No. 122708
Azusa, describing a character's emotions is not Tell!
>> No. 122709
Yes, both ways of doing thoughts is fine, but each is better suited for a different type of narration. Make sure the suggestion you make is meshing with what the author has done, or you'd best recommend a change of narrative voice as well.
>> No. 122710
No, describing a character's emotions is not Tell. But, saying what emotion a character is feeling is.
>Vinyl was sad
>Vinyl's eyes started to water.
See the difference?

If you want, I can help you make these less Tell and more Show.
>> No. 122711
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Azusa strikes again!
>> No. 122712
Well, I can't say I agree with everything in that review, but the story was quite telly. Describing emotion itself is not telling. How you do it can be.

He walked into the room sadly.

Covering his reddened eyes, he trudged into the room and flopped into a chair.

They give you the same information, but one paints the visual for you and makes you deduce the character's emotions, thus getting you to identify with him. Emotion is best described through the cues that an outside observer would notice.
>> No. 122713
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Every single one of the things Azusa labeled as tell, is, indeed, tell.

If I may offer my viewpoint (Not trying to step in over Azusa, just trying to help with elaboration) your main problem, as I see from the review, when it comes to telling is you label actions and expressions whether them speak for themselves. (Which, I believe this is indeed, the basis of tell) When someone's happy, you don't see a head with a "happy" sticker plastered onto it, you see a bunch of different face muscles ALL coming in sequence to create a divine facial expression.

For other examples that aren't solely on simple labeling (Smiling and laughing labeled as happy) let's look at this one:
>His speech looked highly energetic, and seemed to be being delivered quite successfully to a group of others, who were all smiling and laughing.

We can already tell that his speech was being delivered well, you showed us from his friends laughing and smiling. When you see, maybe, perhaps your best friend wooing the ladies, and you see him making them laugh and smile, but you can't hear what they're talking about, without even knowing what's being said, you know he's saying something funny. He didn't have to come up to you later and say 'Those girls were smiling and laughing because I said something funny.' You couldn't hear what was said, but you already know, by what was shown to you, that he was delivering himself highly.

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>> No. 122718
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It is also impossible to describe the exact position of those facial muscles in writing. Sure, it's best to use outside cues as much as possible, but there are only so many ways to show an emotion before it starts getting really repetitive. Some telling is not the end of the world.
>> No. 122720
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>there are only so many ways to show an emotion before it starts getting really repetitive
Which is what character establishment is for.
>> No. 122741
Hey! Thanks a lot for going through the story for me.

I'm looking forward to improving upon the general poor organisation and structuring of my work, in light of your review.

Thanks for the crowbarring pointer, I was concerned about that while I was writing it but tried anyway. Cheers for the heads up.
>> No. 122742
Title: Draconequus
Author: cheezesauce
Tags: [Dark]

Synopsis: Little is known about the creature cast in stone. On the night of an eclipse, an unknown horror is released into the Everfree forest, seeking out the blood of a particular purple pony.
Armed with a mysterious black book and with the help of her friends, Twilight Sparkle must find her way out of this nightmare, before her time runs short.

Chapter 1(All chapters inside): https://docs.google.com/document/d/14UgKDzxUZOkFASIOdO7ulCYesYJ_CgI4hR0O_mNHKcw/edit

I've done quite a bit of editing on my story since its last review, and that made it better, I think. I don’t expect anyone to read through all the chapters. Just stop where you feel like it! ^^

>>122656 Claiming.
>> No. 122743
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Well, I wouldn't describe someone's face every single time they had a facial expression, and every muscle coming together to create a divine facial expression was just to show how complex each facial expression is, and that it can't just be described properly with "happy". For example, this image I wouldn't say "Pinkie was incredibly happy," which you already know, but I also wouldn't say "And that muscle was er doing this." Even though I'm not the best at description, it'd just go something like this:

"Pinkie Pie's face lit up, her eye's widening at the sight and a large grin quickly grew from the sight of blah blah blah," a lot of facial expressions going on, but just putting all of them together into the important aspects.

There's also a million ways to say something, though. Like "he frowned" could be turned into "his face became grim" or something.
>> No. 122748
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Right. I was exaggerating. I meant that writing that a character said something "in a rage" or "sadly" is not automatically a terrible thing. Saying "Pinkie Pie was incredibly happy" usually is, but hardly anyone does that. While you could say "his face became grim", sometimes "he frowned" is the better way to go, such as in a fast-paced scene. I just believe writers should be working on *when* to "tell", not trying to never "tell", ever.

And I put "tell" in quotation marks because, out of curiosity, I cracked open a few novels I have. Just in the first chapter, every one of them, from The Count of Monte Cristo to American Gods, is full of examples that would be listed as tells in a review, but they work because the author knows how to use them. I'm not saying anyone here is Alexandre Dumas or Neil Gaiman, but it's something to consider.
>> No. 122749
Those works are quite long in comparison.

Showing is pretty critical in moments of high emotion or important plot relevance. In something as short as most fan fiction, there's often not much else there.

As I've said many times, you have to build credibility before you'll be given leeway on breaking guidelines.
>> No. 122751
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Rarely, in my opinion, is it appropriate to "tell". It drives away an image in the mind and just pure information instead. I have read novels, where, you're correct, they do use tell, but it usually leaves more to be desired. I usually just say stay away from tell. I can't really conceive a reason where tell would be more appropriate than show.

What authors should do is learn how much to show at certain intervals. Describing every aspect of a scene that isn't high in tension or excitement to begin with makes the story boring. That was my main problem with Fahrenheit 451. On the flip side, not describing enough detail in high intensity scenes leaves more to be desired, which was a problem for me in (Although still my favorite book) Animal Farm
>> No. 122756
Now I have the academic itch if any of you can accurately describe the 'show, don't tell' paradigm, and what makes it wrong.

As a side-note, if being famous is what makes you be capable of breaking the rules, then I fear you give too much leeway to the allegedly better writers, Pascoite.
>> No. 122758
>> No. 122763
Good to know someone is keeping track of these stuff. I lost where those posts were. Also, I am sure he said any of those three could describe it, so unless Nietzsche is any of those guys, I don't think it counts.
>> No. 122764
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No. Fame is not what gives an author leeway to break the rules. It's understanding the rules and why they are there, that gives you the ability to know when they are flexible, and when you should stick to the metaphorical book. Take "Bubbles" for example. Geez I hate that guy. It is written in a completely telly fashion, ergo breaking the rule of 'show, don't tell'. But the author—whoever (s)he is—understood that breaking the rule was appropriate for the story, because it allowed the reader to better grasp young Derpy's innocent ignorance. It also placed the reader inside the mind of a child, which would have been difficult if the author were to use more sophisticated methods.

And the author is hardly famous. Whoever it was made it very clear that they didn't want anypony to know who they were, and submitted it anonymously, which—as jealous as I am of it—I have to respect. Now, if somepony nopony had ever heard of produced a story with what looked like errors, to a pony that didn’t know better, then they would be taken for errors. When I first read “Bubbles”, I thought it was poorly written, until a few reputable ponies explained to me why it was actually good. In the same light, I’ve yet to see a single grammar or spelling mistake out of Pascoite here, as I’m sure several others can attest to. As a result, when I see something from him that looks like a mistake, I am prone to ask him whether or not it is in fact a mistake, as opposed to labeling it outright on my own.

What Pascoite meant—if he’ll pardon me putting words in his mouth, because I hope believe I’m correct—was not that being famous makes it okay to bend the rules, but rather that: if you have credibility as an author, people will know that you understand the rules and will consequently give you more leeway, because they realize that you know what you’re doing, and will be more willing to give you the benefit of the doubt than if you’d just walked in off the street.
>> No. 122772
Thanks for your review. I've responded to your comments in the doc.

First, let me be clear: I suck at paragraphing. My first foray into English literature was the Wheel of Time series, and that is a beast of formatting so horrible I honestly cringed when I re-read it this morning. I've fixed up most of the issues you've pointed out in the doc, so hopefully the patient will survive another chapter without bleeding out...I honestly need a proofreader or something. -.-

The Show/Tell/Explosision blah thing is a bigger issue here than usual, which is understandable for many reasons.
The only other (named) characters in this fic that are entirely of my own creation so far are the vikings in the prologue. Granted, that thing got a pretty heavy boot for heaviness as well, but still. The point is that I'm introducing original characters to a cast of canon characters, and I am way too impatient to let things reveal themselves bit by bit and have the audience stand and wonder what the hay is going on until all necessary information is available. Sadly, because I suck at planning, I treat pretty much all "public knowledge" information as Need To Know in these cases. This includes... a lot of things.
I also have a slight compulsive habit to elaborate on things when I don't know how to proceed the plot. So, when I hit a rough spot, instead of taking a 15 minute break and then maybe going back to advancing the plot, I take a 20 minute spot of telling the backstory, during which I probably TWICE hit a rough spot in THAT and proceed to elaborate EVEN MORE.

My point is, I guess, that this chapter was "anti-rushed". I got into slow spots so often that I went into the deep ends WAY too much, and now I've written so much exposition in and used that as basis for the later parts of the chapter that I don't know what I can safely remove without making a total mess of things.

But, hey, I'm going to have to do it eventually. I did it with chapter 1 which was a clusterfuck of epic proportions, so I'm probably going to do the same thing here.

If you've got any thoughts on the actual plot and such revealed here, I'd be happy to hear that too. Honestly, that's what I care about most, since I know I do a lot of fuckups on formatshitgrammerstylewhatnot on the first round pretty much always.

>> No. 122783
File 135078403782.jpg - (60.43KB , 640x360 , 857875-14529535-640-360.jpg )
>pic unrelated

In honor of the EQD Horror story contest, I decided to throw this little thing together. Fresh out of the oven, it should be riddled with errors for who ever claims it to find XD. Maybe the real horror of this story is how bad its written?

Title: Aquaphobia
Author: Shoeblock
Tags: Dark

I once read that drowning is one of the worst possible deaths to experience. The feeling of asphyxiation as your lungs shrivel and collapse in on themselves. The fear and desperation that posses you as you attempt to claw to the surface. The descent into the dark abyss as the cold hell drags you to a shadowy grave.

Word Count: 3195

Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1M4WiZ8Q3di6oZWoHx3bcoHS6oe105FTWIIBMdPZULZg/edit

Comments: If you could, a focus on mechanical issues would be much appreciated.
>> No. 122784
>Fame is not what gives an author leeway to break the rules.
Don't equate credibility with fame.
>> No. 122786
Whoops, my bad. Kinda messed up on putting the link post on the submission form.
>> No. 122787
File 135078471111.gif - (293.94KB , 500x390 , 47817f9442d672dc9481fb2517ebfb67.gif )
I'd personally suggest taking your synopsis down to the Synopsis Review Thread. Your synopsis is incredibly vague. Who is this "I", what is the story about? Dying of water? That's all I got out of it. Nothing is captivating, it's just talks about dying of water. Alright, so what?

>Pic unrelated
>> No. 122789
Sorry, but the story is written in the first person and people don't usually refer to themselves in the third person.

The synopsis is a work in progress, though.
>> No. 122791
File 135078744700.jpg - (56.30KB , 500x495 , 134946431049.jpg )
Sounds cool. Hopefully I can help. I need something to fix my writer's block anyways.

Aquaphobia by Shoeblock
>> No. 122799
File 135079142593.png - (155.73KB , 487x510 , 1350755573659.png )
Even though it is first person, there is absolutely no identification of this character whats so ever other than "I". You don't have to identify your character of course any further, but you tell us nothing about your story, so instead of this character prodding a humble, curious "Who is this?", it's prodding a frustrated question of which.
>> No. 122800
File 135079559041.png - (3.44MB , 1000x899 , rainbow_dash_awkward_smile_by_derpyhooveslovesyou_by_derpyhooveslovesyou-d4smua8.png )

Thank you for pointing that out. I'll make sure to think about that when I rewrite the synopsis. I thought it would be pretty clear who it was about, when I wrote "I once read" (Since Twilight is the most prone to reading) and used the word "asphyxiation" (which seems like a word only Twilight would know/use)

I'd like to say that vague and frustration are my middle names! Not cause I don't know how to be specific, its because I want people to think more.
>> No. 122812
File 135081452190.png - (32.51KB , 168x192 , TS.png )

Well it’s been a long time since I’ve done a review, so please do tell me if I’ve screwed up badly at some point. And I’m also not that experienced, so yea... onward to the review!

I’ve got no issues with the synopsis. It feels good enough get people to read your story, and I especially like that last line in it. I’ve also noticed that it has helped to set the tone for the story, which is great! As for the title, I think reducing it to ‘Night Shift’ would work better. Unless having the ‘Twilight Sparkle’ there has another purpose.

Alright, now for the actual story.

I want to talk about this first, because this is where you’ve excelled in, and that stood out for me. You wanted it light hearted, and that’s what it came across as, right from the start of the introduction. Those ‘Ahs’ you began with in the narration certainly helped a bit, along with addressing the reader directly (‘You feel as though...’). It makes things a little informal, and that is okay.

Your first scene was a little heavy to read. I mean that you didn’t really describe things in a precise sort of manner, you know? Like, leaving it vague so that the reader has to think about what you’re talking about. It’s a little bit like purple prose, in that it slows the reader down, but I know this doesn’t fall under purple.


Now, I was going to say that most of the mechanics were fine, and that you’ve done an amazing job of self-editing, but as I read on, some errors began to pop up. They’re mostly minor ones, and I’ve already pointed them out and told you what’s wrong in the document itself. So I won’t spend much time on them here.

I want to point this out because I don’t think you’re making this mistake due to carelessness. There’s a small issue with your speech tags coming after dialogue ending with exclamation marks. Here’s an example lifted from your story.
>> “Gah!” She groaned again.
This should be:
>“Gah!” she groaned again.

Treat the exclamation mark like a comma and de-capitalize the ‘she’. The same goes for question marks.

Here another bit from the story. This, on the other hand, is acceptable, because you have an action tag instead of a speech tag.
>> “Ah! Ooh!” She gasped for air, shaking her head clear of the pain.

Other small issues include:
-repeated words/expressions
-awkward phrasing
I’m pretty happy that you don’t have big Show vs. Tell problems.


And now for the bigger problems.

There are at least two instances of you stretching out the dialogue in your story. It goes on and on, back and forth between two characters. It’s nice to read at the start, but after a while you’ll find it hard to concentrate on what the characters are talking about. You’ll want them to actually do something and get going. So don’t get carried away with the dialogue. Say what needs to be said, and if that’s still a lot, try breaking it up between bits of narration or description. That way, things become more interesting!

Oh yes, just a tiny point I want to nitpick on. I’ve noticed that you like to use ‘she’ a lot instead of actually naming or specifying the character. Now, that worked fine in the first scene, because you wanted to keep the identity of her hidden, and I think you decided to keep it that way to help with the tone. But I tripped once or two because I didn’t know who was doing what. Once you’ve revealed her, you could use ‘Scratch’ more often, or even something like ‘the disc jockey’ or ‘the electric blue-maned pony’. Be careful not to overdo it though, or you’ll risk falling into ‘Lavender Unicorn Syndrome’, in which the reader will trip on too much description instead.

The plot is just average. I’d say the most exciting bit was that scene in which Twilight decides to kill Scratch. There were a number of plot complications there that I found quite interesting. But other than that... not much else that wowed me.

The story’s conclusion.
This was rather disappointing. Considering how you began with that sort of mysterious detective style introduction, I was expecting you to come up with something clever to round up the story. It feels as if you decided to just stop writing halfway because you’ve ran out of ideas or something. The story does not feel complete, and not even the chapter itself feels complete. I mean, what is the point of that conversation between Twilight and Spike? It’s basically just shows that Spike is clueless about what Twilight is doing. I don’t see how that rounds up the story (or the chapter), and I don’t see how or what emotions you’re trying to get across to the reader. Maybe all it needs is a round of rephrasing, I’m not sure. I think my idea about the whole thing ending up as Twilight’s fanfiction works better.

Overall thoughts:
A pretty enjoyable read. I think you began well and it was interesting for the first half of the story at least, but after that it kind of died down, and the ending was not that good. I had no issues with Twilight being ridiculously OOC, but at the same time, I think I would find it difficult to emphasize with somepony like her. She comes across as more cold-blooded as the vampire itself, actually.

The story’s length is just nice for a one-shot. I think all one-shots should be about this length. I don’t get why some people write a 10k story and call it a one-shot. That’s just my opinion though.

Here, have a Twilight Sparkle as a reward for your hard work.
>> No. 122815
File 135081716804.png - (70.20KB , 500x304 , twi_reading.png )
Read your in-doc comments and your post here. Now, I'm no reviewer myself, so I can't give you a "professional" opinion, but for what it's worth, your review was really helpful. Thank you for pointing out the mistakes I made; most of them should be easy to fix. There's just two things, though...

>The story’s length is just nice for a one-shot.
There's a misunderstanding here I think. This isn't a oneshot. This is the first chapter of a longer-running fic I'm planning on writing. Twilight Sparkle is a monster hunter who works for the "Night Shift" organisation, and these are her mostly-unrelated adventures/jobs. There'd be an overarching plot/storyline, however.

Think of this chapter as the "pilot episode" of a TV show. I wanted it to put the reader right into the action and introduce them to the world and workings of the fic without burdening them with much backstory (that stuff can/will come later). The specific purpose here was, therefore, showing that Twilight has been doing this for a while (to the point where it doesn't even phase her, and may even becomes repetitive sometimes) and to show that her friends don't know about all this. And this ties in with my second concern...

>The story’s conclusion.
Firstly, the conversation with Spike had one purpose (as you pointed out), and that was to show to the reader than Spike is completely oblivious to Twilight's nighttime activities. And, of course, to introduce the letter-sending mechanic; Twilight sends her reports to Luna in the form of letters, claiming them to be plain old regular friendship reports to Celestia. My plan is to make this a running theme.
Secondly, the fate of Scratch. Seems like this is unclear, and that's most likely my fault. Here's what happened: Twilight was intentionally emotionless with Scratch all throughout their "talk," and used some nasty methods of torture. This was, in part, because this isn't the first time Twilight had to visit Scratch; I meant to imply that Twilight's methods grew in severity each time. The other thing is that this really was Scartch's last chance; I meant to imply in the letter she later sends to Luna that she actually reattached Vinyl's head and let her walk, making this her final warning. All the cruelty Twilight showed her was to make her think that she's really going to die, before giving her one last chance. "So she isn't that evil after all."

Again, if that wasn't clear, then I'll probably have to do something about that. Still, with these things in mind, do you still think that same thing about the ending?
>> No. 122816
Yup, I'll talk to you in-doc, since we're both there now.
>> No. 122820
Mostly done with the review. Dealing with interruptions right now, but I'll finish it up soon.
>> No. 122854
File 135085356889.gif - (296.34KB , 420x360 , tumblr_m66njqss4x1rwfb9jo1_500.gif )
Wanting people to think more is fine, and it's a very good tool to use in your literature, but there's a fine line between frustration and curiosity. If your readers get frustrated, they'll stop reading. It's as simple as that.
>> No. 122921
Title: Ponypool Changed Everything
Name: Roan
Email Address: [email protected]
Tags: [Science!], [Sad], [Romance], [Grimlight]
A story for a princess, told by a gay old pony, a cantankerous drone, and a cranky old ghoul.
Hub Page: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1jcJJD9V-wXUHI_ZKqTWFGFEHbKck7rqU2f2lLUaxoW4/edit
First Chapter:
Chapters to review: The first! (And the hub if you can!)
Comments/Requests: This will be the second time I've submitted this story, and I'm hoping I've gotten it hammered out...
A look at the hub document would help as well.
PLEASE, listen to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eRW2g2l49fk while reviewing some of it.
Familiarity with Fallout Equestria is not required, nor particularly wanted. Tolerance, though, is desired.
>> No. 122924
File 135094048075.jpg - (33.46KB , 240x320 , icephoenix_y9tpw4ln.jpg )
Title: The one known as Ice Phoenix
Author: Caveman2012
Synopsis: Reports are starting to come from a town in the north. Stories of an earth pony able to use magic. But, the pony has become corrupted by the power. It has started to use this newfound power for evil purpose. Once these reports arrive to the princess, she sends in her most loyal and powerful student, Twilight Sparkle to investigate and to convince this mysterious pony to stop and change ways. But nothing is known about this strange pony. Will Twilight be able to discover the mystery behind this mysterious pony before things get out of hand?

Story Main Page:

Ch 1:

Ch 2:

Comments: A reader on FIMFiction pointed out some grammatical errors mostly dealing with ellipsis.
>> No. 122925
File 135094097946.jpg - (123.79KB , 800x533 , 800px-Naruto_Whirlpools_taken_4-21-2008.jpg )
I'll try to do this now while I can think straight.

Well, I'll start off by saying you have a decent idea here. Again, it's a lot more interesting than using ghosts, vampires, or classic monsters for scares. Considering you embarked to make water "scary," and you are traditionally a hurt/comfort author, you did fairly well.

Not too many issues. Every scene seems to have a solid purpose that was meant to build. I do take issue with a few bits, though.

>“You were covered in blood, Twilight! The blood of our friends!” He screamed.

I found the part in Spike's dream, where he somehow knows the blood belongs to Twilight's friends, really dumb. There was no mention of murder beforehand and it just seems like you tried too hard to evoke some sort of shock out of the reader. I instantly couldn't take it seriously for a few paragraphs. It was just so ludicrous and came out of nowhere. Honestly, you should just have him say she was covered in blood and have him not know why (just don't mention the friends). It's plenty shocking (not to mention creepy because it’s a mystery) on its own, and if Spike didn't see anything, he shouldn't automatically know where it came from.

>The first drowning scene

I thought it was a little short. When you go to break a character's psyche, you need a really traumatic experience. This was that scene. It was written well and you actually did a good job describing what it was like to be Twilight drowning that day, but I'm skeptical that this would lead to her later mental breakdown. It's just is not dramatic enough to really break a person. Possibly think about digging deeper. Really show some serious suffering. See “Rocket to Insanity” or “Sunset.” Both capture mental instability perfectly. (Unfortunately this is due Wednesday so I wouldn’t expect you to go on a research escapade, but I’m still compelled to give you those resources just in case.)

>Celestia is revealed to have saved Twilight

Right here is a big problem. There is a severe lack of explanation concerning the events between when Twilight was knocked out, and when she woke up. It’s really bizarre. Was Celestia with Twilight but invisible? Was she watching her by using a spell? Did she send someone after her? How did she save her? WHAT THE HAY HAPPENED?! You not only mention none of this, but both Twilight and Celestia pretty much don't care either. This is kind of how the dialogue in that scene goes: Twilight: "you saved me?" Celestia: "Yup. Want a bath?" Twilight "Sure." and both of them don't talk about Twilight's drowning or anything AT ALL. It just doesn't make sense.

>The phantom drop.

I like what you tried to do here. It's really a good way to show her mental tipping right before the final plunge, but you need to show the reader that it's Twilight's mind playing tricks. I thought that there was really a drip in the ceiling and she simply hadn't been able to find it. You need to make it more clear.

SDT and lack of detail
You had lot of issues with this and it's really important to not do this. It's definitely not an easy thing to deal with, though, and it plagues most writers, myself included. Try to appeal to the five senses with some sort of descriptive writing. Don't say 'Twilight looked at Spike nervously.' Show nervousness through description, dialogue and actions. Twilight's heart beat increased and her eyes widened as she listened to Spike recount his dream. "Wh-what happened next?" she asked, clenching the bed sheets firmly. Try your best to look for your simplistic, one word descriptions, and eliminate them. It will really bring your writing to life.

> Grammer

No real issues. Everything seemed sold.

> Sentence structure

I found an absolute ton of sentences that were either really choppy or oddly worded. They're pointed out in the doc (even though you ignored pretty much all of them)

It's basically called stilted writing, in which your sentences don't flow well and sound awkward. The fix that everyone always says to do, is read your work out loud and see if it sounds natural. It's also a good way to spot where the pauses are so you can add commas. I use a speech program called speakonia on my own writing and, let me tell you, it was worked wonders. I'd give your story a run through with that. You'd be amazed at what you find.

> Ending

Liked it a lot. Watching her psychology fall apart and hallucinate was really intense. I also thought that recreating Spike's dream was particularly haunting. Amazing idea. Loved it. Has SDT/lack of detail issues that are really holding it back though. Embellish it and get the reader to really feel the scene.

>Overall breakdown
While I personally didn’t like it, this was a fairly decent read. I never really got too bored and you had a lot of good ideas. The biggest problem is the SDT which just flattens all the drama and good ideas you have. That’s why I didn’t like it. It felt too shallow where there could have been some serious cashing in as far as emotion and drama go. Make it something the reader can experience, rather than hear recounted to them, and you should have a solid dark story.

Hope the review helped; Looking forward to feedback.
>> No. 122926
File 135094232615.png - (487.96KB , 900x939 , request__oc_x_mjolna_by_pichu_the_pokegeek-d5coho2.png )
Haven't been here for long.

Okay, formalities required.

Title: The Lovers' Edda
Author: Simon o'Sullivan
Tags: [Shipping][Slice of Life]
Synopsis: Drakkar, a pony from the Frozen North, is sent to Equestria to update the maps they have in Scandineighvia. Once he arrives to Ponyville, though, he finds out that there's a descendant of one of his townfolks living there.
Chapter 1: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1WpeAtWgkfstXnLHCSHLV3DON19XWnPrSDR0F_VyNVcQ/edit
Chapter 2: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1o3QsV3m7DOvkAvcxyUqEyi7tgDJrFy_cBHs0v0Hnf_8/edit
Comments/requests: Here's the pre-readers' reply:

Nice story, still needs some work though. Problems with spelling (typos, poor wording, italic use, repetitive elements), punctuation (use/misuse/lack of commas), capitalization, and show versus tell (character actions/reactions/expressions, expression of emotion, general descriptions, "character said this, character said that" style of writing) among other miscellaneous errors can still be found within the story and should be addressed during the editing process. The area in most need of improvement would be the beginning. The beginning is just rather tell-y, Fluttershy's gradual shift from surprise when she sees a foreign pony emerging from the forest, to fear, to overcoming that fear and accepting the pony is already there in the story, but the presentation is still lacking compared to the later parts of the story and the beginning is the last place where you would ever want that to happen.

So yeah, a nice focus on those parts will be the best. I tried to fix as much as possible, but I'm sure the show not tell is still a predominant issue.

Don't worry about the Norse words, all's intentional.
>> No. 122928
File 135094543562.png - (281.45KB , 563x471 , 135086669129.png )
Scrolling through this I can already see a few issues. I'll claim this and you can expect a review sometime tonight. Probably before the Adventure Time finale.

P.S: All words in titles are capitalized. "The One Known As Ice Phoenix"
>> No. 122932

I think only the "important" words are capitalized in a title. That's what I always thought at least.

>The One Known as Ice Phoenix

So, yes, while the majority of this title is capitalized, I don't believe the "as" should be.
>> No. 122936
File 135094886480.gif - (861.15KB , 700x394 , 1350858059531.gif )
looked it up, you're right. Thank you for that correction.
>> No. 122938

No problem.
>> No. 122940
I really want to take this, but I have two in progress at the moment. Here's what I'm gonna do, if I can finish No Foals before I go to bed tonight then I will actually claim it. (I'll probably go to bed at 4-5 AM.) So please, no one claim this 'til tomorrow.
>> No. 122954
File 135096657527.jpg - (23.04KB , 640x362 , kaminomi_2.jpg )

>implying random anons should listen to your pleas

Something wicked this way comes ...
>> No. 122960
File 135097445589.png - (300.31KB , 892x895 , Rainbow Dash_Applejack PonyRaspberriesVectorPart2.png )
Okay, this has a lot of potential to be great. But it's not there yet. There are a bunch of comments in-doc, but here's a tl;dr.

The parts where Applejack and Rainbow Dash are married are all right. But the flashbacks to where they're dating aren't... what's the word... fluffy enough. The only kiss one or two times. They should act more like they're dating. Add more kissing, more gazing at each other. Also, it's hard to tell what parts are flashbacks and what parts aren't.

Oh, here are some things that you do too much:
>Calling Applejack and Rainbow Dash "AJ" and "Dash"
>Using non-pony words like: walk, someone, everyone
>Using a commas at the end of a sentences

Applejack jumped and said, "Howdy, Rainbow!"

Applejack jumped. "Howdy, Rainbow!"

Though you somehow kept the tension going even during the flashbacks. Like I said, I think this could be great, excellent even. Keep writing. I kinda want to see a sequel where they actually have that child. Ping me on #fic if you ever decide to write it.

And claimin' this!
>> No. 122961
File 135097589596.png - (290.01KB , 994x559 , Rainbow_Dash_putting_goggle_on_S2E22.png )
Want to say thanks again for the review. It was really helpful.

>Honestly, you should just have him say she was covered in blood and have him not know why.

I'll take up your suggestion on this. My reasoning in putting the whole friends part was to better explain the end. I wasn't sure if you were able to interpret that Twilight actually killed the real Fluttershy, and the hooves that were "dragging her down" were just towns folk trying to calm her down. But not saying the friends part does add more mystery in.

>Sentence Structure
>Lack of detail

All of these are my biggest problems, that's a fact.

It's not that I "ignored" your suggestions. Its just like you said, this is due on Wednesday, so I dont have a whole lot of time to go back and actually study what I did wrong and fix and change the numerous problems. I'll probably come back to it later. I did download the Speakonia thing, though. Its pretty cool.

I will try to make as many of these revisions as I can right now before I submit it. I do value your suggestions and opinions greatly and you really did help me a lot.

Hopefully, I'll see you around.
>> No. 123000
File 135100694964.jpg - (79.51KB , 708x662 , Icepack .jpg )
Woops, said I would have it done by last night, but something came up. Today for sure, so just lettin' ya know.
>> No. 123009
File 135100961826.jpg - (97.70KB , 900x506 , tumblr_mb6zh3WG001rwqq0uo1_1280.jpg )

To Numbah 25,

Apologies for the late report, mate. I've downloaded your fic and am going through commenting in Word 2013, which is pretty damn nice.

So, hopefully I'll have a review by the end of the week.


>> No. 123018
File 135101195788.jpg - (192.29KB , 640x480 , Writer_Waiting_1.jpg )

That's all right. This fic is still some ways from being posted.

But, since I thought that you haven't started on my fic yet, I've taken the liberty of doing some revisions to it, some of them pretty big. I would be very, very grateful if you could find a way to look over the new version. Maybe continue from where you left off in the version you've been reviewing?

Totally fine if that's too bothersome. Just suggesting.
>> No. 123024
It is alright. No need to rush. I've been doing some edits on it.
>> No. 123042

I'll take this on for you, on the condition that I will only read 5 - 6k words (it's a time thing, nothing personal). So, if you like, I can read from the beginning, or if there is a particular area you'd like to have looked over, you can indicate such, and brief me on what I need to know to follow that part.
>> No. 123048
File 135103047083.png - (1.04MB , 900x844 , TheMagicofFrienship.png )
Alright cool then. Glad it actually helped. I kind of had some hesitation going into this. I'm definitely not a great writer by any standard, and I'm still working hard at getting better.

Anyways, good luck with the fixes and I hope you do well in the contest. For now I look forward to reading 'Mi Amore' when I get a chance. If you want any more specific help feel free to PM me through Fimfiction.
>> No. 123054
Whoever is just putting an "x" in the review acknowledgement column, we've been doing it a little differently for a while now. Put a link to the acknowledgement post there, or an "x" if the review was acknowledged outside the thread.
>> No. 123056
File 135103218224.jpg - (97.46KB , 1000x795 , mlfw3677_large.jpg )
>says he'll have review done by Sunday
>it's now Tuesday
>scumbag Alex...

So, a thousand apologies for my tardiness, Azure. I really don't have any excuse, so I'll just say I'm sorry.
Anyway, on with the (belated) review.

Okey dokey, well you've got an interesting idea here if nothing else. I like the concept, a lot actually... just not the execution. You'll notice that my comments drop off dramatically after awhile. This was because I became very bored with reading “Subject verbed and verbed” or “Subject verbed, adjectively”. You have a very simplistic sentence structure that rarely changes through much of the fic. Try mixing it up some; make it more fun to read, and less monotonous.
Read this:

Also, the other problem I have is telling. Now, practically every reviewer ever (myself included) brings up showing and telling in 90% of their reviews. But, it's for a good reason. When your fic is 14k and you spend roughly 10k just telling me things, then it becomes very boring and not engaging. Occasionally you do show me stuff, and those times stand out as being fun to read. For the most part however, it's just “Character X did this. Character X was happy/sad/annoyed/flustered/other past tense adjectives.” The point being that you should describe the events and the emotions, and not just flat-out tell me. Rather than tell me Character Y is feeling emotion X, show me the symptoms of those emotions. Here you go, I've got a lot of links for showing and telling. Read these:
and even a detailed explanation by our own Nietzsche:

All right, so moving on from that stuff.
Italics Abuse
Right, I pointed it out in one of the comments, but yeah. You abuse the bejeesus out of italics to create this artificial emphasis. It's almost like overusing exclamation marks, if you use too many italicized words then they start to lose meaning. Basically, this falls back to another problem I have yet to mention...

Lack of Description
So, there's a general lack of description throughout this story that makes it rather boring to read. Things that would be really cool if described a little better, just kind of fade away because they're talked about so briefly. And, conversely, things that seem to be of relatively little importance seem to get detailed descriptions. The entire breakfast scene felt incredibly long, and it just dragged on and on. Same thing with the pranking scenes and most of the other scenes that don't take place at night. A lot of what happens just feels like needless fluff that's there to raise your wordcount. Maybe that's not true, but it sure felt like it.

Anywho, it boils down to this:
For the most part, this was incredibly telly and kind of a chore to read. You have a very cool idea that is simply hampered by your lack of experience. The sentences are very simple and their structures are repetitive. There a few bits that I genuinely liked. For example, when Fluttershy's first walking into the Everfree. That scene gave me high hopes for the rest of the fic, hopes that were not met. Also, I really liked the letter/scene at the end. That felt like a real ending, and it wrapped everything up in a very tv-show kind of way.

Well there you go, there's my thoughts. Now, I don't claim to be infallible, nor have I ever, so take everything I say with a grain of salt and draw your own conclusions. Decide what you think should be changed based off what you think. Also, keep up with the writing. I have a feeling that you have the potential to write some really cool Slice-of-Life type stuff.

Sorry for the bare-bones review.
Feel free to re-submit if you're not happy with it.
Anyway, alexmagnet... signing off...
>> No. 123067
File 135104535361.png - (365.91KB , 706x679 , 132190278804.png )

In short, fuck it.

I'm done with this.
>> No. 123076
File 135106582279.png - (652.71KB , 1280x800 , screwball_wp_by_highray-d5arvoa.png )
Tags: [Shipping] [Normal?]

Synopsis: A slightly different take on everypony's favorite daughter of Discord. We've all noticed the similarities between Screwball and one of the nurses at Ponyville Hospital, but what if there was a connection to another nurse as well? Discover what would make a pony want to lose herself in the wonders of chaos, and take a glimpse into what it was like for the rest of Ponyville's citizens when their home became the next "Capital of Chaos."

And oh yeah, and there's a Fillyfooler love triangle. You all love Fillyfooler love triangles, right?

Links: http://www.fimfiction.net/story/45569/The-Mercy-of-Screwball

Chapters to review: I would like the complete story reviewed if possible, it's not that long.

The Pre-reader at Equestria Daily said:

"Compound hyphenation misses. Look especially for instances with color descriptors.

Comma splices. Rare, but catch em all.

You miss a lot of comma placements, especially between stacked descriptors, or after a said-ism when you move onto narrative.

Okay, the above issues are taken from the first few chapters, so I’m sending this back to you for fixes. Even so, this is actually a pretty engaging concept you’re working with, and I especially like the angle you’re taking in creating the dichotomy. LUS (Lavender Unicorn Syndrome) is definitely one of your more serious issues, so pay that special attention in revisions. I strongly suggest you get yourself an editor to help you clean up the things you may be glossing over."

I would appreciate any help with how to use hyphens as I rarely use them. Also, I kind of need the review and feed back to come quickly. I'll be leaving for the Air Force Basic Training at the end of the month so time is short for me.
>> No. 123080
File 135106925745.png - (261.36KB , 525x217 , claimed_2.png )
Earth pony who can use magic? Possibly literally spechul snowflake OC? lolkay claimed.
>> No. 123081
I'm new here, but have been lurking for a while. If it's alright with you, I'll grab this one.

I've got a pretty good mastery of all the things the pre-readers brought up, and I should be able to help you out if there's more subtle issues as well.

I'll let you know when I'm done with my first read through and start moving on to the review.

>> No. 123084
Read from the start. Thanks in advance!
>> No. 123088
Tags- Tragedy, Dark, Crossover (Cthulhu Mythos), Alt. Universe.
Synopsis- Rarity is invited to join the Ponyville Royal Art Society. However, one artist isn't all she seems to be...
Link (FimFiction)- http://www.fimfiction.net/story/55371/The-Muse-of-Madness
Chapters to be reviewed- Both of them.
The EQD prereaders said: Look for errors in the following areas:
•Plural/possessive noun confusion
•Its/it's confusion
•Inconsistent spacing
•Paragraphing issues (Mixing spoken lines from one character with actions of another)
•Dialogue punctuation

I have attempted to correct my story as per the prereader’s suggestions, but I would prefer a second set of eyes to go over it in case I missed anything. Any other thoughts and comments will be appreciated as well.
>> No. 123090
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WARNING: Blunt review coming up. Pic related. Bear with me, I do try to explain why. Disclaimer: I am not the final authority on writing by a long shot. I am just one person with Opinions.

Let's not spend too much time dawdling, shall we? First, we'll grill your synopsis.

First off, this is considerably dry. Like, boring kind of dry. You wanna know why? 'cos your writing here is basic. There's no pizazz for what should be a chilling, gritty, dark-magicy story.

Now, your conflict would be "corrupted earth pony using magic". The reason why it's a conflict in the first place is because 1) he's doing bad things, 2) earth ponies aren't supposed to have (conventional) magic. It's a contrast to the norm, which is why it can drive events to happen. Now, this sentence introduces number 2) but makes no attempt to present it as a contrast. This here is the equivalent of going to a table in a restaurant and serving someone a $6 lamp chop which they paid $18 for. You know how waiters are supposed to smile, and bend a little, and generally provide service? Yeah, your sentence doesn't. Get the picture? What you want to do is give us more details without taking too many words. Vagueness is impossible to grasp; giving some details won't kill you, and it can only help to whet our appetite for your story. So, tl;dr, add details that will intrigue us, don't just slap it on our table with a "There you go".

This is my own take on it, wholesale copy is not exactly advised, and I'm no whiz with these myself, but it's a demo to show you what to do to add this pizazz, from my own experience.
Reports have come in from the far north: stories of an earth pony who can use magic, stories of an earth pony who, corrupted by power, uses his magic to terrorize the surrounding villages. In response to the anomaly, Princess Celestia sends Twilight Sparkle to resolve the incident. But when Twilight realizes that an earth pony with magic is only the tip of the iceberg, she will have to choose sides, make game-changing decisions, and ultimately open the door, get on the floor, everybody walk the dinosaur.
The last part is obviously a joke, and is where you would fill in something relevant to your story. Something which would make you stand out from the formless masses of OC-gets-power-goes-bad, Twilight-investigates which are somewhat marginally better than all those Rainbow-Dash-breaks-her-wings stories.

Compare it to yours:
Reports are starting to come from a town in the north. Stories of an earth pony able to use magic. But, the pony has become corrupted by the power. It has started to use this newfound power for evil purpose. Once these reports arrive to the princess, she sends in her most loyal and powerful student, Twilight Sparkle to investigate and to convince this mysterious pony to stop and change ways. But nothing is known about this strange pony. Will Twilight be able to discover the mystery behind this mysterious pony before things get out of hand?
What I got rid of:
1) the incomplete sentence, "Stories of an..." - this sort of disjointedness isn't very good for a first impression.
2) a conjunction (But, the...) starting a sentence - not wrong, but generally discouraged, because it doesn't read as well and is aesthetically ugly
3) outright telling us that he's evil, thus removing all intrigue (It has started...) - the intrigue is what grabs readers. You give it to us like a science report. In my case, I replaced the intrigue of the OC to be Twilight-based
4) redundant information that we already know (her most loyal and powerful student, nothing is known about this strange pony)
5) that waffling result - rather than convincing him to stahp, OC, stahp, I made Twilight be more decisive
6) the rhetorical question - cliche and weak

What I added:
1) the connection to make a long sentence, and repetition because it stands out more
2) some detail into how he is being evil
3) fancier words for spice
4) intrigue build-up in the last sentence

The biggest difference between mine and yours, I'd say, is that Twilight is presented to be doing things more than in yours. Ending with a question that doubts Twilight's ability to do things is, well, weak, because it's a question that asks "Will the plot start?" rather than "What will happen next?". Because a story's only interesting when characters do things that matter. I mean, yeah, it's a given that Twilight will do things, but you need to reassure us more to buy our initial investment to open up and read. And that's ignoring the fact that this could possibly turn out bland like the sea of special-villain-OC fics out there. Y'know?

...okay, so that's the synopsis. Now to actually read your story.
...present tense?

I'm sorry to have to break it up again, but I'll need to rant a little to begin.

Present tense is, in a word, controversial. There are many people who despise present tense on this board. There are plenty of arguments against it, and I might as well open the floor for anyone who would like to share these arguments. I share the sentiment, but I don't really want to give you a long-winded explanation on why. I'm not going to hand it back to you and say "REWRITE IN PAST NAO" just yet, but this is what I expect for you to take such a gambit:

The sense of urgency must be there. Because, imo, there really is no point, aside from the sense of urgency it brings, to use present compared to past. Also, it must flow logically, and on the whole be easy to follow.

Righto? Let's start.

>It is another night in Ponyville and Twilight is doing some reading before heading to bed. Suddenly, there is a knock on the door. She thinks, “Who could it be at this hour?” and starts to head towards the door. As she opens the door, one of the royal guards waits outside.
This is wooden. Wooden is where there are no emotions. It's just characters doing things, devoid of emotion, like being led on by puppet strings. This is your opening sentence, for goodness' sake - get to the exciting part already, would you?

I'd recommend you cut out that entire bit and start with this:

>“How do I say this without it being confusing...an earth pony somehow knows how to use magic.”

>It is one in the morning. Twilight's eyes are drooping and itchy, and the imprints on her mind from Thervonant's Theorem, her choice of bedtime reading, are still fresh. She would have fallen asleep already if not for Princess Celestia sitting opposite her, and for the rattle of the chariot as the cold drafts buffet them about. She is shivering, she misses her blanket, and she is trying her hardest to keep up appearances despite the sheer suddenness of it all.

>She hears the words, repeats them to herself, and her eyes widen slightly.


>and so on

See, this way, your first sentence starts off with something interesting, not a shopping list of actions. Plunge us into the matter, the confusion, and then give us context, not the other way around. Utilize your present tense gambit to the fullest. If you're going to go about describing actions in the traditional manner, you're really better off switching to past tense.

This is how ellipses work:
>"See... there's a space after. And it's three dots, not four," said Patchu. "Except for when the ellipses start a sentence, or when you end with a question mark. And even then, ending ellipses with other punctuation is highly discouraged, and you're better off re-structuring to avoid it. You got that, right? Right...?"

>sounding both shocked and confused.
This, and everything like it - merely plain, old adjectives - is dry. Dry, because it's not something we can sympathize with. It's something we can register and submit to cold analysis, the way you present it, but you're not sucking us in. Replace it with facial expressions and body language - personally, I abstain from outright adjectives for characters for around after 3k words at least, and even then, body language is still to be a staple of your descriptions. Sensory details + b.l are much better because you can visualize those, not analyze - and when you get your readers visualizing, you have them subconsciously participate in the story.

>Hello my faithful student.
Hello, my

>“I’m sure you didn’t drag me away from my reading to ask me how my night is. What seems to be the matter?”
This is incredibly blunt for Twilight to say. This is someone who's worried before about being banished and imprisoned for a late handover, mind you. She'd be a lot more polite and indirect.

>I believe I’ve found something to be a little weird
>How do I say this without it being confusing
This is bloody Princess Celestia we're talking about, who defeated Discord and banished her own sister to the moon. You'd think that she'd have more mental depth than that. The first sentence doesn't sound like something she'd say, and the second makes it sound like she's trying to dumb it down for Twilight, which she would never do.

You're stuck with a dilemma already. Just how surprised is the Princess supposed to be? If she's very surprised, she'd investigate it herself, wouldn't she? Her and Luna, you know, most powerful beings on the face of the planet? If she's not that surprised, and it isn't all that urgent, she'd be a lot more direct with breaking the news to Twilight, because it's not something that concerns her enough to make her stumble and wriggle with her words. You know, Princess Celestia, ruler of all ponykind for 1000 years and counting, that Celestia.

>“Are you sure sending in just me is a good idea? What if he doesn't trust me?”
>has already murdered a few ponies
Twilight is amazingly dense, isn't she? And Celestia's amazingly casual about sending her precious student in, isn't she, like she's some kinda of pawn?

Look, this is Equestria. Equestria, right. I'm going to be using standard harmony-and-rainbows Equestria as my context, since you haven't filled me in with anything otherwise. And in harmony-and-rainbows Equestria, murder would be the darkest of dark.

And Celestia tells Twilight she's sending her to him to convince him to stop, and Twilight's first question is a matter of trust. Not fear, not protest, but trust. Like she doesn't even worry about the very real danger of her being sent to get killed.

>I can handle it princess
it, Princess

Twilight seems very familiar with the concept of accepting missions, which is odd, seeing as she hasn't been bloody sent on any before except for that one time to Ponyville, canon-wise.

Okay. Please don't skimp on words like these.

You have Talking Heads Syndrome. It's where characters talk and talk and do nothing else. Punctuate it with interactions with their surroundings, thoughts, and each other aside from just the werds werds werds.

And don't they have at least some kind of plan? Hell, this is a murderer we're talking about, an earth pony with magic! An abomination and an anomaly! Celestia's taking this way too easy, and yet she's gone all the way out to ask Twilight personally? Which reminds me, do you remember Lesson Zero, where Celestia basically went into rage mode because her citizens were being harmed? Yeah, see, Celestia would be fireball-flinging pissed at several murders, methinks. You're underestimating just how benevolent and loving Celestia is. I mean, she banished her own sister for the sake of the greater good and all.

>Twilight got off the chariot and sees a big abandoned town.
Past tense and present in the same sentence. Classy. And by that, I mean it's inconsistent and therefore wrong.

>Twilight sees a sign covered in snow so she uses her magic to remove it to see what it said.
There is no urgency. That is because this sentence reads like lines of code. It's step by step with no emotion.

>This use to be such
This used to be

Okay, your ellipses need some serious consistency. Refer to above.

>The chariot takes off and disappears towards the horizon.
So Celestia:
1) wakes up Twi in the middle of the night
2) tells her next to nothing about the murderer
3) drops her off, with no apparent provisions, half-asleep and obviously not in the best of shape, in the snow at night which would be freezingly cold, to deal with a bloody earth pony with magic

Do you know what I am berating you for? I am berating you because there's no logic to their actions. There's no bond between Celestia and Twilight, and the reason for that is because if Celestia actually cared an ounce for her, she'd have done better preparation instead of going, "Whelp, here we are lolbai", and if Twilight cared an ounce for herself, she'd have done something to better her odds - protest against the idiocy of the thing, or at least ask for more information, or backup, or extra magic. You need to put yourself in your characters' shoes. You need to love your characters and see the world through their eyes so that they aren't idiotic puppets. And if I was Celestia, I'd have stormed the place by now. If I was Twilight, I'd be screaming to get out. Because there's no way I'd win against something as freakish as an earth pony with enough magic and evil to outright murder.

Also, now that I think of it, if things are that bad, Celestia would have gotten a very detailed report, wouldn't she? This is after all crime of the highest degree, and these things are usually better documented than just... this. Celestia doesn't seem to know a lot about the subject.

Your world-building is poor, in the sense that there is next to none. What, pray, is a "big abandoned town" supposed to instill in me in terms of imagination? That's not a problem in itself; I can envision something like that just fine. But then I start to add my own details, and after a while, I realize, I don't need to be reading your story to do this. And then I close the page and never return.

You want your world to be more than just some formless mass. You want to grip the reader with a striking image that they cannot envision for themselves 100%. You want something that they can follow with and enjoy, you want to infect them with your vision of your world because that's what your story is.

This: http://www.fimfiction.net/story/40634/8/Under-A-Luminous-Sky/Chapter-Seven%3A-Breaking-The-Law is an example of WoBu. You don't need context for this, just jump straight in. Notice how he constructs the scene as he goes along. Now I want you to do the same for Snowfall Valley, with your own take on it.

>Hearing this put Twilight in fear.
This is horribly uninspiring, because it's information that I can analyse and recognize but not feel. You want the elements of fear - heart thumping, goosebumps, cold sweat, things which the reader can add together for him/herself to make the conclusion that she is feeling fear - when you get your reader to participate, then you draw them in. This is the famous "show-vs-tell", which you can find many good articles on. Basically you give the reader the details, not the big picture, so that they can fit together the big picture for themselves. That's showing - you show them a scene, rather than outright tell them "He did so and so".

>Just as the thought of running came into her mind, she felt
Slipping into past tense. Also, there is no urgency in this because we see this happen via a proxy, which is Twilight. In these cases, it's better to make the ice the focus of your sentence rather than Twilight's "she felt", so that the event appears to happen more spontaneously. Which is the only reason to use present tense.

Almost every other sentence is guilty of either not being urgent, on account of being through proxy, or being dry because it's telling and not showing. Calling them out one by one is just a waste of time, though, and I do hope that you can learn enough from these to piece together your own solution, because that's what writing style is.

>She sees that it is a giant bird that is carrying her.
Give more details about the bird. Show us, not tell.

>she was thrown into a
Tense slipping

>It is being blocked b
It? What is it? Where was the pain? I have no idea about how Twilight as a character is feeling. I know what's happening, but I don't care, because you're spoon-feeding it to me so I have no reason to.

Missing full stop.

And why, why, why the hell would Celestia send the Wonderbolts? They're the equivalent of a circus for goodness' sake! They're not fighters! They're performers!

And it also raises the question: why not Shining Armour? Because, you know, he happens to be amazingly powerful with that shield spell of his, which was large enough to engulf all of Canterlot, and he's the captain of the guard and all. Or why not Luna, since she's princess of the night? Luna would have got up and gone to deal with the matter already!

>I am,” the room lights up from candles just lit, showing the mysterious pony standing at the end of the room, “Ice Phoenix”
This kind of punctuated speech is mangled and disruptive. It's a camera trick, and you obviously don't have the benefits of a visual medium. Put the scenery before, and have the dialogue be whole and unbroken.

>His skin was as black as the night from the corruption
So Twilight's either an expert on corruption, or she's just assuming that all black ponies are corrupted. Classy.

> There was a cold, light-blue aura that surrounded him.
He was surrounded by a cold, light-blue aura

See how sentences can be rephrased to read better? In this case it's because there's no "that", which personally I find to be a mental mouthful (when I read, I half-sound the words in my head, and use that as a measure for flow, sentence length and so on).

Missing full stop.

Look, seriously, I think you'd be a lot better off using past tense. There's just no tension any more.

>It looked just like the princess’s phoenix but was much larger and had a cold mist surrounding it.
You read this aloud. Now, wait a moment. Yes, wait.

Now, imagine a 13-year-old kid. He's decided to write a fanfiction where a pony has a phoenix for a pet. He wants it to be much more special than Celestia's. So he imagines the phoenix and writes it down.

Now tell me, would that sentence look something like this? Because to me, it would. The language is basic, the sentence is somewhat unwieldy, and to top it off, it's a blatant comparison to Celestia's phoenix except "better" - it makes you seem like someone who's trying to show off their super cool OC with their super cool ice phoenix, and I don't even have the spirit to make the "pun not intended" line any more. Spice up your vocabulary, use more emotions and Twilight's senses for things which aren't threatening her, objects which don't happen but simply are, give it more life, dangnamit.
>> No. 123091
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Heh, exceeded character limit. Haven't done that for a long time.


> Twilight asked sounding scared.
Twilight would be more defiant than anything. If she was rational, she'd be thinking up a plan to defeat the evil, like she's done with, y'know, every other major villain in the past.

>“How do you know so much about me?”
She is also ridiculously naive. I mean, come on. Twilight Sparkle is well-read. How would she not expect her exploits to be known?

>“Lo…look. I’m was sent here to help you, not fight you.”
...are you serious?

The situation demands for justice, not namby-pamby play. Ponies have been killed. Families have lost loved ones, and the town full of living, breathing, feeling ponies has become wrecked. That's what consequences are, they have weight and significance, and it irkes me to no end whenever someone tries to wave off the casualties as you have done.

>“help. Help? HELP?
Capitalize the first letter of your sentences!


Also, all caps is very bad taste. It's amateurish. It's a lazy way of describing when a voice gets loud. It usually becomes the subject of ridicule, and any sense of seriousness is lost in the wave of the affronting caps lock.

>Let me tell you about my past.”
No. Just, ugh, no.

This is the cherry to top it all off. It's bad because it is the most lazy way of filling in a character's backstory. You reveal it through moments, and you reveal it in bits, but you don't just spill everything like a burst beanbag. This is going to be followed by a long story, an infodump which I wouldn't care for, isn't it? Yes? No? I wouldn't know, because I'm not continuing.

It's funny, because your OC is most likely what we'd call a Gary Stu, of which you've probably heard of. But, the thing is, the other mistakes in this story are so glaring that I'm left feeling indifferent as to your Gary Stu instead of contempt or rage, which is normally the case. The problem, I'd say, is that it is too easy for him to get what he wants, and as a result, he is "perfect" - perfect in terms of himself, perfectly disgusting for us, who don't have it as easy in real life and thus end up harbouring negative feedback toward such a reversal of life. I mean, before you start defending his sob<3 backstory, think about it. Earth pony. Pure black. Blue eyes. Ice phoenix as pet. Has ubermagic. How can that not sound like an overpowered character?

To summarize:
1) Characters don't act as they should; Celestia shows ridiculously low foresight, and Twilight is a wooden puppet
2) needs more world-buildling
3) needs more show, less tell - body language and sensory details are your friends
4) Needs much more care. I'm looking at you, missing full stops
5) Make your OC less of a powerhouse and more of a character, with a proper struggle - and introduce that in your first chapter, because that's what's going to drive your story along

Okay, now that we've got that over and done with, a couple more words.

It probably sounds like I hate your story. I don't. Well, not too much. See, I had a read through the comments. I'm guessing you've noticed that your story needs improvement, and people are downvoting, and you chose to improve rather than quit and never return. And of all the places you chose to go, you came here, easily the worst thrashing place for ponyfic. I'd like to say, therefore, that I am rather glad that you chose to do what you did.

See all of that up there? That was me ripping your story to shreds. Learn from it. Take a break for a bit. Definitely consider reading more, because you should to pick up how to vary sentences and use more than the basics of language: http://onemansponyramblings.blogspot.com.au/ is a good site for recommendations. Fimfic's feature box is useless half the time for reads, really. Then maybe re-read this review, and if possible, even laugh at some of the mistakes you made. Then I want you to take what you've learned, finish this story along its intended path, and then start a new project. Finish it for the people who enjoy it in its flawed form, and then keep on writing. I don't pull my punches, because I expect that you're here because you want to grow as a writer - so I'd expect that you're made of tough stuff.

I hope this review helps; that's what we're here for, after all. Feel free to reply with any questions, comments or concerns.
>> No. 123095
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Ho man, I enjoyed reading this. I had actually taken a look at the story a few days before, but decided not to claim it because I didn't think I could manage all the errors.

Well, I think you did a great job!
>> No. 123109
Best pony and Lovecraft?

>> No. 123118
Rarity is best plaything of eldritch beings.
>> No. 123124

Looking forward to the review! :)
>> No. 123140
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...wait. Okay. Whoops. You can just go on ahead, Hugbox. Sorry I glazed over your claim. =s

Thanks. I try, but I'm pretty sure I glazed over the more technical matters - it's just that bugs in the plot stick out to me a lot, lot more.
>> No. 123148
I think you did a great job with the review and will hopefully read Hugbox's review(when it is posted). There are some issues I need to work on. I did make the mistake you mentioned about the end of Ch.1 and now I have been writing a background story for him(Long as crap) instead of putting little buts here and there but I made the mistake and I will try my best to finish it. This started as an idea around 2am(Seems to be when I get most of my ideas) and just went from there. The one thing that annoys me is when I am working on a project like this, I have no one to bounce ideas off of for there are(to my knowledge) no bronies at the university I am attending. I do better when I have people helping me which is why I came here to get this story reviewed. But, I also know that I can't please everyone. I will still take some of their suggestions when I try to get better. To be honest, i'm surprised i've focused this long to put out 3 chapters on a single story. I've already got another story working out in my head at the moment. My mind likes to jump around when I am working on something so just to focus on one thing long enough is an achievement to me. Now you mentioned about a 13 year old writing fanfic is something I found funny(not in a bad way) for most of my college professors have beaten into my head these past semesters that when you are writing a paper, story, or lab report, to write simple enough that a 5th grader can understand it. So for you to bring that up, is quite humorous for me(and also reminded me that I have a paper due this week). As for the OC, I didn't want it to look like, "I have a cool OC and he has a cool pet." If it came off like that, i'm sorry. I just wanted to create a villain that, after years of hardship and almost nothing going right, just had enough and goes insane.(Hopefully I wrote that right) This story is a what-if scenario and is based of a theory I saw one day that all of the ponies have some magic in them. Unicorns having the most, Pegasus having some(able to control the weather/ move clouds), and earth ponies some but not a lot(able to grow food and more in-tune with the earth). I thought this was interesting and wanted to expand on it. Hopefully it will get better as I progress. I also need to look up this Gary Stu person that you mention. I have no clue who he is. Sorry if that comes as a surprise. Last thing, Thank you for ripping my story to shreds and not holding back. It has been very helpful to me. And thank you for taking the time to read and review my story. You have a good day.
>> No. 123152
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>I have no one to bounce ideas off of for there are(to my knowledge) no bronies at the university I am attending.
Feel free to make use of this board if you're looking for that. >>121510 is one guy who you can consult, and >>119870 is the general idea discussion thread.

>My mind likes to jump around when I am working on something so just to focus on one thing long enough is an achievement to me.
Yeah, the reason why I asked you to finish this was because I noticed that there are people who are reading. It'd be unfair for them if you just quit on it. Imo, however, it's not worth the effort to redo - just finish, and move on.

>most of my college professors have beaten into my head these past semesters that when you are writing a paper, story, or lab report, to write simple enough that a 5th grader can understand it
The purpose of a lab report is different from fiction. Lab reports need to present information. It's very intellectual, and needs a following through step by step. Fiction, however, is a journey. It's a mental stimulation, not a mental enlargement, where you're appealing to the heart and not the brain. Lab reports also do not have characters, and work on established principles and set procedures. In fiction, you need to emulate, not retell, an entire model based on real, believable life and canon.

>As for the OC, I didn't want it to look like, "I have a cool OC and he has a cool pet." If it came off like that, i'm sorry. I just wanted to create a villain that, after years of hardship and almost nothing going right, just had enough and goes insane.(Hopefully I wrote that right)
It's all in the presentation. You're rushing things way too much. The Joker is an awesome insane villain, and so is Discord. They don't whine about their backstories. They do things, and that's what makes them interesting. Get us interested by presenting first them doing things, and then slowly introduce the backstory. All we know is that he murdered. That's not interesting in itself. It's the how, followed by the what and why. What's tough work for the author is often the most interesting for the reader. You decide for whose sake you're writing.

>Thank you for ripping my story to shreds and not holding back. It has been very helpful to me. And thank you for taking the time to read and review my story. You have a good day.
Glad to hear it. All the best!
>> No. 123153
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Medical emergency came up and I was going to get to the review tonight, but someone already did one. That's that then. I don't like to do reviews before you fix things pointed out by a reviewer. It's a waste of time, honestly.

Falling back into my old ways though, so I'm not claiming anything until I know I can do it RIGHT then and there and finish. Sorry I wasn't able to give you a review sooner. It's partially done, but I don't post partially done reviews, and I don't want to contradict anything given by your current reviewer. Too many cooks spoil the broth.
>> No. 123155
Hope everything is okay.
>> No. 123156
File 135114373862.png - (85.66KB , 500x428 , tumblr_lnk3z0SGLR1qafrh6[1].png )
It's always disheartening to see a story get torn apart like this. So often, an author will take one look at the huge review, convince themselves that "writing's not for me", and disappear from the boards forever. But every now and then, you get an author who says, quite literally in this case, "Thank you for ripping my story to shreds and not holding back. It has been very helpful to me." An author who truly wishes to hone their skills, who sees criticisms as constructive rather than personal, who responds to obstacles with a one-foot-in-front-of-the-other mentality.

Welcome to /fic/, Caveman2012. I hope to see you again soon.
>> No. 123183
Title: Super Mario Galaxy: Equestrian Stars
Name: warpd
Email: [email protected]
Tags: [Crossover] [Adventure] [Comedy]

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.

Prologue: https://docs.google.com/open?id=0Bwy84xlT3lt2WXVFX2gyLXhjQXM
Chapter 1 Part 1: https://docs.google.com/open?id=0Bwy84xlT3lt2VG5XVjA2NlJBbDQ
Chapter 1 Part 2: https://docs.google.com/open?id=0Bwy84xlT3lt2dHFXclNrVlNmQlU

This is probably the third revision, but it has been awhile since the last review.
>> No. 123203
Title: Glass House
Author: peppermint.owl
Tags: Adventure, Dark

Synopsis: Sweetie Belle finds herself lost in the "haunted" mansion outside of town, her friends vanished into its depths. Finding a way out will take more than quick hooves when the residents come out to play.

Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/10t7GWPUHYf7DOHafQ88-kUkppXWVeE3X0-n3exdpfg4/edit

Comments: I'm not sure how I feel about this and wanted a reviewer's opinion. Due to the rush to post it, it's unedited (=boring prose in places) and missing a couple scenes. I'd mostly like thoughts as to whether or not it's salvageable.

Basically, the comments are encouraging, but I'm afraid it might be too predictable or generic or nonsensical to really be anything interesting. Also, a couple plot holes were planned for following chapters, but pointing them out nonetheless would be greatly appreciated--I feel like one or two slipped by.
>> No. 123204
File 135123598269.png - (162.04KB , 894x894 , shrugpony_celestia_by_moongazeponies-d3cvjtm.png )
Possibly a stupid question, but do you guys take submissions for fic that aren't pony related? I ask because I know that the reviewers here are really good at what they so I'd prefer to run a story I'm working on past them rather than a random person on FanFic.net.

If you guys don't then no big deal, but any suggestions of where or who to seek good feedback from would be appreciated.
>> No. 123208
File 135123781672.jpg - (8.25KB , 226x223 , cirno_man.jpg )
I have no objections, seeing as I plan to do the same myself. As long as someone is willing to claim, it should all be good.
>> No. 123209
What are they about? I might be willing to take a look, depending on whether or not I've seen/read the source. (Or if it wouldn't take that long to do so.)
>> No. 123214
File 135124167952.gif - (444.51KB , 499x549 , lyra_____surprise____by_sirponylancelot-d4i1evk.gif )
(This is the anon who made the first inquiry btw)

Mine's a Pokemon fic, so if that doesn't immediately send you running for the hills (I know I would) read on.

The premise behind it is a character who wants nothing to do with the traditional journey we associate as a normal occurrence in that particular universe. Forces beyond his control have however forced him to venture outside of his comfort zone and face a world that he perceives as stark raving mad. Along the way he'll build a team of pokemon who each have their own unique defects that range from those of personality to terrifyingly uncontrollable power that should have been left to rot in the pit he found it in. While this will be played for laughs at his expense ultimately he will be brought from a jaded child resigned to their misfortune, to a jaded and determined survivor who doesn't want to be life's whipping boy any longer.

At the moment I've got two questions I want to explore, "What if a resident of the Pokemon universe despised their existence in it?", and "How would this person manage the object absurdity of that universe and the dangers that come with it?" I'm sure there's a deeper, more thoughtful question to be explored but I figure that will present itself as the story develops.

So yeah, that's about it. If that piques anyone's interest (and those in control of the thread are cool with a non pony fic) I'd love to formally submit the first chapter for critique.
>> No. 123215

*abject absurdity

not "object"...I blame sleep deprivation, and gremlins.
>> No. 123216
File 135124244519.jpg - (67.13KB , 480x307 , f2a.jpg )
Oh, sort of like Fallout: Equestria but for Pokémon.
>> No. 123225
I guess, I never got around to reading that since I wasn't a fan of the game. So I'll take your word for it.
>> No. 123228
File 135126827574.png - (688.87KB , 900x900 , the_g_and_pt_pinecon_by_speccysy-d41gxa1.png )
>Tags: Adventure, Dark
>Sweetie Belle
All right, I'm listening.

I'm a little busy right now, but—if you don't mind waiting a few days—I should be able to get you a review, dubious though its quality may be.

Is your body ready?
>> No. 123239
Title: At Sundown
Author: Equ-us
Email: [email protected]
Tags: [Shipping]
Synopsis: When Pinkie Pie unexpectedly kisses her during a trip outside of Ponyville, Rainbow Dash must make a choice. Should she pursue an uncomfortable, dishonest relationship, or risk losing one of her best friends?
Part 1: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1qrkS3bNfEN_8O6mZv2kgcT66gpLLoeIGi0QNlxJHyvc/edit
Part 2: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1tTqAHuLsbNPXdzQX-Usk1sJgSuLYvOKaIQZvUO2YmFk/edit
Part 3: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1HVUMQndMJcPq5US2qy3L-YRJbDZ6ruU_DzmQxlg9xMo/edit
Part 4: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1TZMqwHcrbFiMECauXETqR045V3ivxoQyvgDu0MkQjE4/edit
Part 5: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1P0gDSFIv56EujBVeiyYV-GHb4sdxzWcoY7mg4AK020A/edit
Part 6: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1mGZf37FZoL0NLC2G2op6BOxZQkNgw6Wl1g_rbsU_UQI/edit
Part 7: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1UYaxeHfDC3exQkBGsQMrS9wm2sKb2iswh1DJfhsJIx0/edit
Part 8: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1_a4Gqk08pX9H3zjTijq6EEpJPJ4km0wmL8soGHGW0Z0/edit
Part 9: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1rbx3gU3HnT8qmMKlX9BAOqGS4m_b2JmxYGc7KaOwPmk/edit
I’m asking for every chapter to be reviewed.
I realize that this is a somewhat lengthy fic, so I don’t expect a review for a while. I need help with the basics: show don’t tell, writing in active rather than passive voice, using purple prose, staying in character (especially with dialogue), filler sentences and words, and other common creative writing issues. I’ve fixed as much as I can myself, but there’s only so much I can do with one pair of eyes.
Also, I’ve asked a couple other people to look this over, so the comments might get a little messy.
>> No. 123241
Greetings, ProfCharles. Rarity is best pony, and I'm a fan of Lovecraft, so all is right with the world. I'm one of the most experienced reviewers around here and have helped quite a few authors get on Equestria Daily, so you're in good hands.

>the Carousel Boutique
I'd argue against using "the" here. You general add that for a non-specific name. I'm going to "the store," but I'm going to "Target."

>(a lady has to look her best, especially when answering the door),
It's generally inadvisable to use parentheses in narration. You can create the same effect with dashes. And you don't need that comma.

>Thank you darling.
Missing comma for direct address.

>We stood there for a moment
Rarity stood there. Derpy's still airborne.

>See you later Rarity!
Missing comma for direct address.

>With that
Comma. Note also that such phrases that refer to the narration itself should be taken out and shot. The only reason I'm just barely containing my rage is that it's a first-person narration, and such things are allowable in dialogue.

>Derpy flew off- straight into a tree.
Use an em dash, not a hyphen, for asides and interruptions. Alt+0151 = —. And don't put any spaces around it.

>again- this time
You're doing it again. You also need a comma here. "This time" is an introductory phrase for its clause.

>I looked down at the envelope I held with my magic and wandered back inside, shutting the door behind me.
Minor point, but note that participial phrases imply concurrent action. However, she can't shut the door behind her at the same time she's wandering back inside.

>three blue diamond’s that made up my cutie mark
Why in the world is that apostrophe there?

>post mark
one word

Those hyphens again. And how does she know it's hornwriting? That presumes she knew a unicorn wrote it.

>at this point
Another self-referential narrative phrase.

>, and decided to end the mystery
You have one subject performing two actions. You don't need a comma separating them unlees the first is long enough that the reader will need help organizing it.

>began to read out loud
"Begin" and "start" are two of the most overused verbs. You use some form of "begin" 14 times in your story, which is too many for this word count. And when you do use it, as is also common, you tend to do so in clusters. These verbs are best held for instances where the beginning needs to be emphasized for some reason, ususally because it's abrupt or to create contrast, especially in calling attention to an action that only begins—that is, it gets interrupted or otherwise never completes.

>show of their work
I assume you meant "off."

>located at the town hall
Suggest deleting "located." As worded, it sounds as if the month is located at town hall.

Why are there no paragraph breaks for the salutation and closing of the letter?

>I blinked and reread the letter several times.
Vague as to whether the "several times" applies to the second action only or both.

>I ignored it and leapt into the air.
"It" has no antecedent. I assume you're going for "glare," but it's used as a verb here.

>a royal art society
You've been capitalizing this term, and "a" implies there is potentially more than one.

>I pranced around the room, the invitation held aloft, giddy with excitement.
Rearrange. It sounds like the invitation is giddy. Better yet, cut that last part. It's telly. "Prancing" already creates a mood. If you don't think it's enough, you can get a bit more descriptive with how she's acting, but don't short-circuit the image by blatantly telling us what her emotion is. It can be harder to avoid that in first-person narration, but this one's pretty simple to fix.

>the half the group turn up
Remove that first "the," and the phrase "turn up" is repetitive, having appeared just a couple of sentences prior.

>dark blue hat
Dark-blue. Multi-word phrases used as single modifiers need to be hyphenated. If the hat were separately dark and blue, you'd be fine, but "dark" is characterizing "blue."

>decorated with silver wire and powdered diamonds
Participial phrase needs to be set off with commas. Also note that this sentence is unwieldy and should be broken into two. By the time I reached the second part of the compound verb, there had been so many asides that I had to look back and refresh my memory of what was happening.

>I handed over the letter with a small amount of confusion
Recommend a comma after "letter," or she seems to be handing (hoofing?) the letter and the confusion.

>princess of the night
Perhaps capitalize? It seems to be used as a title.

>The wing retracted and I entered the town hall
You do need a comma this time, since it's not a compound verb. There's a whole new subject, so they're separate clauses.

>Twilight had informed me she had found it annoying
Past perfect (had + verb) refers to an action already completed in a past-tense narration. The second "had" is unecessary, unless it refers to a single instance. Presumably, Twilight continues to hold this opinion, so it's ongoing, and plain old past tense is fine.

>hat wear
Odd phrasing. "Headwear" is a real word, if that works for you.

>she said, as I rose.
Note what feel is created when you choose to use or not to use a comma before "as." Sometimes one is required for other reasons. But using one creates more of of a conjunction feel, like you're setting off a dependent clause, and will connote a meaning of "because." Using no comma creates more of a preposition feel, since those don't usually call for commas, and so connotes a meaning of "while." The latter is the meaning you're using here.

>Forgive me Princess-
Direct address and em dash.

>light blue

>sticking out a hoof, expecting him to shake it
You've got two participial phrases stacked up in a row, which makes for clunky reading. It's best to avoid using two in a sentence anyway, even if they aren't contiguous. You can join them with an "and" to make it a compound phrase.

>about various things
Ah, yes, those various things. They always bring a smile to my face.

>filed in-
Em dash

>I returned my attention to Concept Art, as the topic shifted to cutie marks.
See previous note about comma with "as."

>I can see what it can become
You don't need both instances of "can."

>"Pardon?" I asked, confused.
You're outright telling me her emotion again. Some amount of telling is okay in a story, but stay away from it in emotional scenes and critical plot points. I'm just marking the ones that jump out at me as I'm reading, since I don't know how prevalent they're going to end up being.

>light purple

>get together

>with a beret and a goatee
You can lose that second "a."

>although there was little inspiring with his work
Really odd phrasing. "Little inspiration in his work" is probably closer to what you want, but it's kind of a dead-end judgment. She never gives us any evidence or explanation. It's just a throwaway comment.

>your royal highness
Should probably be capitalized since she's being addressed in person—er, pony.

>All conversation died at this point, Everypony looking at Concept Art.
You're doing that self-referential narration thing again, and there's an unnecessary capitalization.

>the presentation of our members work

>Amongst the group
Introductory phrase needs a comma.

>Twilight’s friend Lyra, who played a piece of music on her lyre and Amethyst Star
Note that the lack of an Oxford comma in this case makes it sound like Lyra is playing two things.

>a short, but interesting performance
No comma. This sentence is also quite long. 63 words. Consider brekaing it up.

>After I had finished my piece and the conversation died down
These are both completed actions. You need a "had" with the second one as well.

>she said in a nervous whisper
More telling. Show me her body language and mannerisms. They'll reveal a lot more about her.

>Pulling off the cover, she revealed her work.
Redundant actions.

Don't address the reader directly. Use something more detached, like "one's."

>promising great violence, and great pleasure
No comma.

>nightmare inducing

>There was a moment or two of silence, before somepony
No comma.

>, I am not sure who,
Em dashes would work better here.

>and within seconds
Intro phrase needs a comma.

>when the applause died down

>Only Concept Art and Luna had yet to show of something.
Again, I wonder if that "of" is supposed to be "off," but I'd delete it altogether.

>I nodded in understanding
Telling again, and the nodding communicates comprehension anyway, especially if you want to add a little description to categorize it better,

>I watched in fascination as the Princess's horn began to glow as the sun dipped beneath the horizon
"In fascination" is telly. You can communicate the same thing other ways by describing her as "mesmerized" or "mouth hanging agape," for example. Repetitive "as" phrasing.

>, it
Recommend remvoving the "it" or changing the comma to a dash.

You breeze right through Luna's performance, given how spectacular it's supposed to be.

>I lead the applause
Tense error. led

>fillies and gentlecolts
Direct address requires commas on both sides where possible.

>With this

Make this "As for myself" or delete it. People misuse this word too much.

>inspiration room, picking up my inspiration book
If you stuck that word on every item in this list, I could see a purpose to it, but this just feels like needless repetition.

>The Moonrise collection
"Collection" would need to be capitalized as well, and consider putting this in quotes.

>breaking the silence, jumping at the noise
Stacked up two participial phrases here. That gets clunky and can make the timing of events vague.

>Opal gave a hiss of agreement from her pillow behind me, where she had been sleeping.
If she knows this, then how could she mistake it as the scratching post? And she's awfully flippant about a noise that had just scared her, especially since she should know now that the source is unclear.

>my fur slick with sweat, my sheets soaking wet
Stacked up two absolute phrases here. Reword the sentence to avoid it, or join them into a compound phrase.

Tense error. rolled

Em dash, or possibly a colon, since you're listing examples.

>a dress, no a hat, wait, a saddle
Consider using a mix of dashes and ellipses here to characterize the timing of pauses better.

>Dark green

>midnight blue

>, oh
Her train of thought changes here. An ellipsis or dash would work better.

Em dash

>Throughout it all
Intro phrase needs comma.

>fixed my appearance
You gave some description to what looked off about her. Give as much care to how she's repaired it, particularly if you want it to be clear that in her state, she still looks off even after her ministrations, but doesn't realize it.

>when I realised that Opal wasn't in the house
"When" phrasings are used to time one action to another, but the previous clause is in simple past tense, and so isn't completed. Consider using past perfect for her action of wandering downstairs.

By now the scratching noises are getting repetitive. There's no variation on it. More on this in the summary comments.

>just on time

>As we entered the building
Intro phrase. Comma.

>chatting with a group of ponies near the buffet table. I wandered round the room, chatting

>topic of the day was about
The topic isn't about something. The topic is something.

>almost nightmares

>drive for art, allowing them to create what they considered to be great works of art
A drive for art inspired them to create art? youdontsay.jpg

>“I call this poem ‘Night-Gaunts’,’ He said
You've erroneously close your double quotes with a single, and there's an incorrect capitalization.

>Last week
Intro phrase. Comma.

>She experimentally plucked a few strings, before playing.
No comma.

>She somehow was able to twist harsh, discordant tones from the normally melodic instrument.
There's nothing inherently melodic about a particular instrument. They're all equally capable of dissonance and harmony.

>darken, with dark

>A shiver of fear and ecstasy
Maybe better to expand on her mood a bit rather than tell us her emotion. Maybe what thoughts/images are going through her head?

>too bright

>the intensity of the performance
I've skipped over noting it until now, because prior instances have been pretty innocuous or even justified, but note that these indirect possessions can be very clunky. "The performance's intensity" is much more direct and concise.

>naked apart from a set of silver dancing shoes
Well... that would be the assumption, right? It seems odd that you're calling attention to it.

>hooves sliding across the floor, head gyrating in the air
Stacked absolute phrases.

>Strange emotions rose, unbidden, lust and desire warring for control of my body.
Again, try to characterize some of these emotions. It's awkward to have a first-person narrator describe her own facial expression and body language to some degree, but you can convey them through her thoughts and mental imagery.

>Blood pumped through my ears, as my lips curled back in a savage snarl.
See previous note on comma usage with "as."

>her body frozen in place, sweat dripping off her flanks
Stacked absolute phrases. That's not a hard-and-fast rule, but critically consider whether it's a hindrance to the flow of your narrative.

>glancing round
Participial phrase needs to be set off with a comma.

>sexual display
This needs more clarification. She did have that reaction to it, but that description made it sound more like that was her particular experience, and not that the performance itself was necessarily sexual in nature.

>fear, surprise and anger warring for control of her face
This is telly. Take me through it. What does Rarity see that makes her draw these conclusions? Present the evidence and let the reader go through the same process. It's much more engaging.

>Next was my turn as I strutted into the centre of the circle
The implied concurrent action here doesn't ring true. She doesn;t strut out there until after it's become her turn.


Just pointing this out. Some people like to avoid contractions in the princesses' speech. Not sure if you meant to.

>nodded in understanding
Redundant, telly.

>showed clear disappointment on their faces.
Show me.

>presented their work
I'm starting to notice this phrase, so it's probably being used a bit too much.

>Dark Arts'
Since this is the name of a single pony, the proper plural is "Dark Arts's."

>she exhibited
Completed action = past perfect. had exhibited

>her easel floating behind her
Though they're not right against each other, this is the second absolute in the sentence. Consider reworking this sentence.

>Pulling the cover off, she revealed the painting underneath.
This is almost the exact sentence you used last time, and it's still redundant, now doubly so.

>dark, thick, acrylics, the canvas depicted a grey
These are also identical words you used with her previous painting.

>long wicked claws on the end of a twisted, bony arm, resting on a wall, scratch marks clearly visible
Okay, this is too much. You've stacked up three consecutive absolute phrases. It makes the sentence very choppy.

>and its face lacked the distinctive snout
Dependent clause needs to be set off with commas.

>shaking the rafters with the vibrations
Redundant. What else would cause shaking?

A bit of an overused term for Rarity in the fandom. It's actually quite rare for her to say it in canon.

>just wish to say that I find your art to be just
Word repetition.

Direct address. Comma.

>ever since I was a filly
Intro phrase. Comma.

>and anyway
Comma to begin dependent clause.

>I feel that they have had a positive impact upon my art, don't you agree?
Comma splice. You've got a second independent clause tacked on with a comma. Choose what creates the right feel for you: em dash, semicolon, or split into two sentences.

Unspaced em dash, please.

Direct address. Comma.

>Dark Arts house
Dark Arts's

>I gasped in amazement
Telly. The gasp does enough, coupled with how you describe what she sees, since it's told through her perception.

Em dash

...And you dropped the ball. If Rarity is so amazed by the paintings, she's awfully lackluster in describing them.

>Dark Arts voice
Dark Arts's

>half finished

>a half finished canvas taking pride of place in the centre of the room, a curled scrap of paper pinned to it-
Stacked absolute phrases, and use an em dash.

I'm pretty sure you meant "surmised."

>wishing to see what the painting was of.
Now, that's a grating dangling preposition. And an unnecessary use of a "to be" verb. "wishing to see what the painting depicted" knocks out both problems, for example.

>screaming into my pillow, tears coursing down my face.
Stacked participial phrases.

Intro word needs a comma.

>blood and meat dripping from its cruel face, black eyes promising violence.
Stacked absolute phrases
>> No. 123242

>silver coated

Colon. You're listing examples.

Em dash.

>news." Twilight said
Dialogue punctuation error. That should be a comma, since you're transitioning into an attribution.

>indicating to the patient within
It's pretty obvious who she means. Delete.

>"ironic disorders"
Single quotes.

Em dash.


>Anyway, here we are; Miss Rarity's cell.
Use a colon or dash; a semicolon requires independent clauses on both sides.

Not sure why you're characterizing it as such. Does she have trouble seeing through it as a result, or see something behind her in it?

>well kept

>horror clearly stamped across her face
Show me.

>The pegasus paused for a moment, before nodding.
No comma. And watch your descriptors here. Better to use a name or pronoun than a throwaway like "the pegasus."

>Oh aren't you a lovely shade of purple.
I don't hear this in a flat tone. It's presumably a question, but I could see it as an exclamation as well.

>Twilights friend was gone, lost in a broken mind.
>Twilight sobbed, distraught at her friend’s madness.
>hope in her heart
And here is some major telling. I'm not invested in Twilight's turmoil if it's just presented to me as facts.

>this wasn't her friend, this was a monster dressed in Rarity's skin.
Comma splice.

>Twilight couldn't take much more and turned to leave, when a voice stopped her.
See previous note about "when." You should use "had turned."

>"Twilight!" Shouted Rarity.
Capitalization error. Any end punctuation for a quote is treated the same as a comma in determining whether the first word outside the quotes needs to be capitalized.

>"Are you okay?" The doctor asked, concern heavy in his voice.
Capitalization error, and surely Twilight interprets concern from more than just his voice.

>Suddenly, a cacophony of noises down the hall was heard.
Unnecessary passive voice.

>Looking up
Intro phrase. Comma

Em dash

>"What happened?" He demanded
Capitalization error.

>thanks to the quick actions of the royal guard

>But I want a full report as soon as possible." The doctor ordered.
Comma, capitalization error.

>- another friend lost to madness-
unspaced em dashes

I'm a little iffy that Luna could be subdued by anyone but Celestia.

You pretty much get the basics right, which already puts you in the upper half of what I usually see. However, you've missed quite a few hyphenations, and use hyphens where you should be using em dashes (or in British usage, spaced en dashes for the asides—unspaced em dashes are still required for interruptions). There are also quite a few missing commas, chiefly with introductory words/phrases and participles. Even a few direct address instances were missed, though that was intermittent. And your participial/absolute phrases get stacked up in series too often. Also watch out for word and phrase repetition.

In places, the dialogue gets talking-heads. That's where we just get lines of dialogue with little to no action breasking it up. Without knowing what the characters are doing during the conversation, they may as well be statues. This is particularly true for Dark Arts and Concept Art. We get zero indication of how they feel about anything. They stand there, deliver their lines, and melt back into the scenery. What's said is only half of a conversation. Give me the rest: body language, facial expression, posture, reaction to what's said. These are the things that make a scene come to life. This leads right into my next point.

Show versus tell. This story isn't the worst I've seen. I did try to point out places where I thought telling was at its worst. Pretty much the same things apply. Facial expression, body language, dialogue, thoughts... all of these are much more engaging vehicles for emotion than just telling me how a character feels. When an actor walks out on stage, he could just say "I'm sad." You'd have the information you need to understand him, but it's a pretty boring way of going about it. Instead, he vaoids eye contact, slumps in his chair, gets preoccupied, sniffles, has red eyes, hangs his head, etc. We're hardwired to read emotion that way, so it comes across so much more naturally when you write it as such. Make your reader deduce emotion from the evidence you present. Then you've made him think about your story and identify with your character. It'll be a much more engaging read.

I can't say I have any complaints about Rarity, but the other characters are pretty flat. This is mostly a result of the "talking heads," since dialogue is the only interaction we get with them. We never get an idea of what makes them tick. Except Luna. And you went absolutely nowhere with her. At least I think so.

I appreciate that you invented a scenario different from the source material, but the ending was a pretty direct copy. I'm not sure how I feel about that. It might have been nice to see at least a little deviation. Instead of finding the slip of paper, perhaps Dark Arts takes Rarity out to observe a live subject, for instance. Tacking on the epilogue is a bit incongruous. I can see the setup for it in the main chapter, that everyone is coming unhinged through the art, but the reveal from the first chapter has absolutely nothing to do with that. It turns what was a nice twist into a dead-end plot thread. Sure it may have been the event that sent Rarity over the edge, but the epilogue implies that if not for that, something else would have. In fact, that may be the case, since she's fixated on sewing now, not what she saw. If that's the case, then chapter 1 chose a strange place to end, since it's not related to the main plot, and that gets wrapped up after only another 1k words. We have these two disparate things that just happen to coincide; there's not a reason why it would be so.

Now, about Luna...

You played her up to have some importance to the story, and then she was just gone. She clearly disapproved of something, but I have no idea what? Was she just enduring the artsy-fartsy people long enough to display her sky and invent an excuse to leave? Or did she suspect something nefarious was going on? Surely if she knew anything about Dark Arts's paintings, she would have done something about it. If she had melted into the background and just been another pony there to display her art, that'd be one thing. But you play up her discomfort to the point that Rarity notices it, and then just drop that thread. She's a Chekhov's gun, conspicuously placed into the story to no end. I'm guessing that she's a victim as well, instead of the instigator. She seems to know more than she lets on.

Finally, how Lovecraftian is this?

Well, I'm not sure what your intentions are. Do you just want to borrow a few elements from Lovecraft and throw them into Equestria? If so, you've done that well enough. But if you wanted the story to feel like Lovecraft's style, it's not there. For one thing, Lovecraft goes into minute detail, describing many things about his setting, and sets up a foreboding atmosphere from even mundane trifles. He mines the locale and surroundings for every drop of strangeness and dread he can muster, and often overdoing it, in my opinion, to where he goes past mood-setting and into really unimportant things. But you sure can visualize his settings. We get very little description of setting in this story. What does Rarity's room look like? The society's meeting space? Dark Arts's house? Your opening scene undermines the sense of darkness as well. The bit of comic relief is really unnecessary anywhere in a story like this, and by having that as your opening act, it sets the immediate tone. I was quite near the end of the story before I decided the comedy was probably gone for good, and that it wasn't some manner of parody. Again, if you're not really going for the full Lovecraft experience, then maybe that scene has a place to lighten to mood a bit and make it feel a little closer to the Equetria we know and love. But if you really want a dark story, and especially if you want to emulate Lovecraft, the humor just felt out of place.

Not a bad story overall, but it's got a few hangups for me. And best pony is always a good choice. Keep writing and have fun with it.
>> No. 123247
oh god worst review ever.
>> No. 123250
Yay, feedback thats actualy worth something!

>[grammatical corrections]
Thank you. Being both Dyspraxic and Dyslexic sucks when it comes to writing. I'll make sure to fix all of them.

>Use an em dash, not a hyphen, for asides and interruptions. Alt+0151 = —. And don't put any spaces around it.
To be honest, they all look the same to me. So that is something I am going to have to work on.

>three blue diamond’s that made up my cutie mark
>Why in the world is that apostrophe there?
Because Word told me to put it there.

> And how does she know it's hornwriting? That presumes she knew a unicorn wrote it.
I imangine that mouth writing is a lot messier. I'll make it clearer.

>"Begin" and "start" are two of the most overused verbs. You use some form of "begin" 14 times in your story, which is too many for this word count. And when you do use it, as is also common, you tend to do so in clusters. These verbs are best held for instances where the beginning needs to be emphasized for some reason, ususally because it's abrupt or to create contrast, especially in calling attention to an action that only begins—that is, it gets interrupted or otherwise never completes.
Got it.

>You breeze right through Luna's performance, given how spectacular it's supposed to be.
Facehoof. I'll fix that.

>If she knows this, then how could she mistake it as the scratching post? And she's awfully flippant about a noise that had just scared her, especially since she should know now that the source is unclear.
The idea is that Rarity is tired, so dosen't make the connection that Opal isn't downstairs, but something else is. The reader, however, is supposed to work it out and become freaked out. At least, that is what I was aiming for. If you missed it then chances are everyone else did as well.

>There's nothing inherently melodic about a particular instrument. They're all equally capable of dissonance and harmony.
What I know about music can be written on the back of my fingernail. I'll rewrite it to make more sense.

>naked apart from a set of silver dancing shoes
>Well... that would be the assumption, right? It seems odd that you're calling attention to it.
Amethist Star is often seen wearing a yellow saddle, and she turned up to the last meeting wearing it. Probably too obscure.

>A bit of an overused term for Rarity in the fandom. It's actually quite rare for her to say it in canon.
Yeah, its just a stupidly easy way of writing down her speach pattern. I'll do some research and fix it.

>If Rarity is so amazed by the paintings, she's awfully lackluster in describing them.
More detail needed. Understood.

>Not sure why you're characterizing it as such. Does she have trouble seeing through it as a result, or see something behind her in it?
Its supposed to be one of those one way window/mirror thingies, but I couldnt work out the proper way to describe it, so I just called it reflective. My bad.

>the dialogue gets talking-heads
I knew those segments looked wierd, but I couldn't work out why. Facehoof again.

>I can't say I have any complaints about Rarity, but the other characters are pretty flat
Yeah, can't say I ever figured out what they were supposed to do whilst I was writing it.

>I appreciate that you invented a scenario different from the source material, but the ending was a pretty direct copy. I'm not sure how I feel about that.
To be honest, I kinda feel bad about this, but it was that twist that inspired me to write the story in the first place. I have come up with a much better, more original ending for the story, however, so consider it scrapped from the story.

>Now, about Luna...
I have an explanation for this, and all the other things that went wrong with the plot at the end. Basicly, this story was me testing the waters to see if I could write horror. If I could, I would write up a full mulit-chapter story that carried on the story, explaing the huge backstory for Luna I wrote in my head that explains why she acted like that, along with various other things. I now see that this would have worked better as a prologue to the main story, rather than a prequel that explained nothing unless you read the next story, which so far only exists in my head.
I might rewrite it like this, with the epilogue becoming the first half of chapter 1.
So yeah, I built this backstory for her, based her actions of it, but failed to explain anything because I forgot that I was the only person who had read the backstory.
If your curious, she used to be an eldritch being, the very night sky itself, but she fell in love with ponykind and a young alicorn named Celestia, so to protect them from the other members of the mythos (who looked down on the pony races the same way Celestia looks down on ants) she sealed them away, before manifesting a physical body and becoming Celestia's little sister. She never told anybody this, so when she went all Nightmare Moon, Celestia didn't know that the stars were a cage keeping Cthulhu and friends away. A cage that has had no jailer for 1000 years, and now they are breaking free, vengence on their minds.
Yeah, I should have totaly mentioned that at some point.

>Finally, how Lovecraftian is this?
Not very. As you said, Lovecraft describes everything. I don't, or at least, not very well. The concept is "Cthulhu and friends are real, but exist in Equestria." I wasn't trying to emulate Lovecrafts stlye, fearing that it wouldn't turn out very well.
But you're right, I do need to go into more depth with my details regardless of whether or not I am trying to emulate his style.

>Your opening scene undermines the sense of darkness as well.
My line of reasoning for this is that you need to start in a happy place before you descend into the dark stuff, so that there is a bigger contrast between the two. It could probably do with dialing back a bit though.

>Not a bad story overall, but it's got a few hangups for me. And best pony is always a good choice. Keep writing and have fun with it.
Thank you for the comments and the first proper feedback I have recived since I started writing. I did have a lot of fun writing this and I fully intend to keep at it.
>> No. 123252
>If you missed it then chances are everyone else did as well.
I understood what you did there. It's just that I didn't see any justification of how Rarity could miss it. She's speaking quite cheerfully, and doesn't sound fatigued, and she notices Opal behind her immediately after concluding that the noise was downstairs. Give a little distance between them and show that she's really not alert.

And I had said I'd elaborate on the scratching being identical each time, but never did. Here you go:
Start with stating it very simply, but add just a little bit each time. A little more description, a little more vivid simile, perhaps the characters become a little more aware of it. The idea with horror is to keep it building. If it's just level the whole time, the reader gets used to it, and it loses its punch.
>> No. 123283
File 135140167086.jpg - (102.48KB , 855x855 , book.jpg )
This is a third and--I promise--final submission of this chapter for review, here. Rest assured, from my previous version, there has been an exponential amount of changes including entire scene re-hauls.


Title: The Harmony Battery (incomplete)
Author: Zee
Email: [email protected]
Description: "Twilight Sparkle embarks on a mission which takes her to Archer III, an untouched planet of the Archer system within the outer rims of the Galactic Equestrian Nation. As an accomplished scientist working for the Royal Equestrian Navy, she will lead a team of mares in the seemingly straight-forward expedition that Princess Celestia and Princess Luna insist is merely a colonization attempt. However, some groups seek to expose something powerful that the Princesses sought to be kept out of the wrong clutches.

Things quickly spin out of control, and the entire Equestrian Nation threatens to erupt into a chaotic struggle for existence."

Chapter 1 (~4470 words):
FIMFiction (all chapters): http://www.fimfiction.net/story/48007/The-Harmony-Battery
>> No. 123290
(since no one seems to have objected to my original inquiry I'm formally submitting this)

Title: The Boy From The Edge of The Map

Author: Fengor

E-mail: [email protected]

Tags: [Comedy][Adventure]

Synopsis: Life has it out for sixteen year old Blank. First he's forced to leave the saftey of his town, Crusty Gullet, to wander the Unova region as a trainer, and then he has to deal with a growing collection of defective and unstable pokemon. Everyone keeps telling him that a trainer's journey is a wonderful experience, but they're wrong. Blank's journey is going to be a disaster, and no one will convince him otherwise.

Chapter 1: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BTHYnyQxx-p6qf7s6QsNXi1zfeujIldV4hBnNqIIVN4/edit

Comments/Requests: My biggest weakness is comma and semicolon usage. While I've done my best to catch my errors in this respect I know there are probably plenty left. If possible I would like special attention paid to this. Aside from that my biggest concern is that as the opening chapter it is far too serious, considering the overall story is meant to be humorous.