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121510 No. 121510
#Reviewer #Discussion #General

Ladies and genltemen, I am Conch "The Geek" Shell VII. /fic/ is known for its wide variety of review threads, where you can go to get input on the story you're writing. I've often attempted to throw my metaphorical hat into the ring of fanfic-reviewing, but I've found I lack the literary chops to do so. My strengths do not lie identifying problems with existing works. But, as I discovered in the process of writing my "pet project" crossover, they do lie in world-building and working out small details. Therefore, welcome to a decidedly different kind of review thread.

If you'll forgive a bit of oversimplification, the standard reviewer's thread focuses on stories, making it effectively a more personalized version of the Training Grounds. Following that metaphor, this thread will function as a more personalized version of the Story Forge. Got a story idea you want to develop, but you just don't know how to start? Don't know where you're going with a scene? Hit a brick wall with your story? Well, I'm here to help! Offer me your ideas, and I'll give you my opinion so that we can help them grow and mature. Remember, there is no such thing as a bad idea--only bad execution. I shall be constructive as possible, and I shall never tell you your idea sucks. Or, if I absolutely must do that, I will do my damnedest to explain why.

Now don't be shy, ladies and gentlemen. Let's get the ball rolling!
Unspoiler all text  • Expand all images  • Reveal spoilers
>> No. 121523
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Ah, Shiny new thread. May I just be the first to say, welcome to your own thread. It's gonna be a long and somewhat fun ride, so let's get this ball rolling. Here's my contribution

Title: Grace in Equestria
Author: Bleeding Raindrops
Tags: Comedy, Adventure, Alternate universe
Word count. Currently at 1396
Synopsis: Okay, okay, cruddy title, I know, and this is going to be a cruddy synopsis as well. Grace is a super awesome alien girl with morphing abilities, and her crazy boyfriend sent her to Equestria for Celestia knows why. Did I mention she's part squirrel?
Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/15iwE3W8cFv37JFly9EAowPg91Ouwj7uJ7f1hZ61jkhU/edit

AS you might notice upon seeing the story notes at the bottom, I've got most of this mapped out, I just need help deciding where to go with it at its current point. The problem I'm having is that it doesn't currently need to go anywhere, and Grace is having fun laughing at me for that small fact. Or is it Tanner? Either way, I need help with ideas for the next scene.
>> No. 121538
All righty then, let's get started! I have to admit, this is not what I expected for my first outing, but I'll take it. Before you begin, you should know that I've only read the first of those spoilers at the bottom. So, with that established...

I don't know anything about the work this crossover is based on (El Goonish... Something?), so I can't be of much help in that regard. But hey, you've gotten the exposition out of the way. Now it's time for the filler until the plot kicks in. Based on your somewhat generic title (which I'm guessing was intentional based on the synopsis), I think you could run with a parody of human-in-Equestria tropes from here. Or, failing that, focus on the shenanigans Grace gets up to at the party. Maybe you should just write out Pinkie walking her back to the scene of the party and see where it goes from there. If you're more inclined to drama, have Grace's shape-shifting make her be mistaken for some kind of variant of a changeling. And finally, if you're more into a mystery setting, you could have Twilight suspect something about the impostor-Celestia, leading to having Grace confront her.

That's the best I can do for now. If I knew more about this Grace character, I'd probably be of more help. But for now, that's what I've got. Thank you for your patronage, Bleeding Rain.
>> No. 121558
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Maybe you can help me. I have this oc in my story named Ghostwriter. (not a self-insert) The problem was that first impressions were that he was an unlikeable dick. Essentially i am having trouble with how my character comes off. This is were you can help, if you are willing. Below will be a link to an intro. It's only a thousand words. If you could read it, and tell me what you can discern about Ghost's character, it will help me try and nail down the appropriate characterization.

Scribes Rewrite: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1-jgOQj28kZ3zR3mNEgCFBlyA8JPnZ0TgVPKS-LZGTto/edit

Anyway, if you can help that would be great, if you cant that's okay.
>> No. 121565
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Not to worry, Mr. Scribe. I'm here to help.

So... Ghostwriter. First of all, I get the impression that he doesn't think very much of himself (he belittles his appointment as Celestia and Luna's scribe). Obviously, he doesn't fit in with the Canterlot elite. In fact, it seems as though he doesn't seem to like ponies in general. He comes off as kind of bitter and sarcastic ("Act like I'm blind. [...] pompous jerks."), and being social is clearly awkward for him (he becomes nervous when Celestia approaches him, and loses his concentration when he starts to think he's being watched). I can relate to this protagonist. But I don't see these as signs of unlikability; they just mean he's introverted. It seems like Ghostwriter blames himself for whatever happened to his sister, which intrigues me. Perhaps his sister was his closest friend, and when whatever happened that caused him to lose her, he retreated into his shell? Based on what I've seen, I think he only really opens up to people he knows really well, and that he trusts. I don't think he's quite at that point with Princess Celestia yet, but he definitely is with Flare.

And that's all I got. Hope I could be of service.
>> No. 121570
Perfect. Thank you for the help. This is a significant improvement over what had come before. Again, Thank you.
>> No. 121574
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Thank ye kindly, these'll help immensely with the filler. How else can I put this? Much obliged.
>> No. 121621
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Work in Progress Synopsis: Alicorns aren't normal. When a pegasus marries a unicorn and they have a child, things don't always... come out okay. When an alicorn is born, their wings and horn are always malformed and they're useless as earth ponies. Cadance doesn't want to be an earth pony, destined to live her entire life on a farm kicking at trees. But a special lavender unicorn convinces her to try and fight destiny. (Thoughts?)


I'm curious how this is so far. Some suggestions on horn and wing exercises that Cadance could do would help.
>> No. 121626
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Ooh, a "coping with disability" fic... I've heard of these. Let's get that synopsis out of the way first.

>When a pegasus and a unicorn have a child, things don't always... come out okay.
That could've been worded better, in my opinion. How about, "the odds are stacked against them"?
>Cadance doesn't want to be an earth pony, destined to live her entire life on a farm kicking at trees. But a special lavender unicorn convinces her to try and fight destiny.
You seem to have contradicted yourself here.

All right, now on to the story itself. Wing and horn exercises, you say? Well, it seems simple enough. We'll start with the wings. As you might be able to glean from the attached diagram, pegasi's wings bend at two points, the margin and the carpal joint. Imagine that the wing functions like an arm. In that case, the margin is the shoulder of that arm (except it's not a ball-and-socket joint) and the carpal joint is its elbow. Make sure Cadance can bend both of these joints before proceeding. In addition, pegasi have some delicate fine motor control over their primary feathers, allowing them to bend and manipulate them like fingers (as demonstrated in "Putting Your Hoof Down" when Fluttershy uses her wings to open her saddlebag). This is a more delicate and complex maneuver, so it should be saved for last. Once motor control is established, Cadance should attempt to hover off the ground for up to a few seconds at a time, concluding with full-fledged flight.

As for magic... well, I'm not sure I can help you. In order to teach Cadance magic, you're going to have to establish how magic works in your headcanon. Figure out how the average unicorn activates their magic, and begin with Cadance struggling to do so. Once she can reliably activate her magic, have her attempt to lift small objects repeatedly, as would a person lifting weights. With telekinesis. It's pretty simple from that point on. The horn is like a muscle; use it frequently, and it gets stronger. I don't see it being much more complicated than that. I suggest some kind of special potion that boosts one's magical ability, but I can't think of a name for it.

The thought occurs to me, by the way, that because Cadance's special talent is tied to her magic, she hasn't discovered it yet. Therefore, she would logically be a blank flank. I don't think you mentioned that in the story. I realize that literary criticism isn't my wheelhouse, but I would be amiss not to point out that the story feels a little sparse. More details would greatly improve what you have so far. The rest of the story is fine, it just feels rushed.

And that's all I got. Thank you for your patronage, Azusa.

Conch Shell VII
>> No. 121631
Wow, that was quick, thanks! This should help me a lot.
>> No. 121636
A creative consultant, huh? Most intriguing.

If you would be so kind, I would much appreciate any feedback regarding my own fic here: http://www.fimfiction.net/story/24518/Twilight%27s-Odyssey

It is a story set in an alternate Equestria where Discord never wrecked havoc, and neither Celestia or Luna came to power. Thus, a certain bit of world-building is involved and I'm curious as to what you would think of it.

P. S. I have Gdocs too if you prefer.
>> No. 121653
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Okay, I'm back from lunch. Let's see what we've got in the thre-- GASP! An alternate universe fic! All right! I love doing these! This might be a little more stream-of-consciousness than what you're used to from me. "Used to from me? But you've only been here a couple of days! How can we be used to anything you--" Quiet, you. Before we begin, allow me to share my thoughts from before I read your story.
>Celestia and Luna never came to power. Do they exist? And how's Equestria ruled now? Feudalism, maybe? I hope it's feudalism...
>This means the Elements of Harmony were never used, right?
>The story has Twilight in the title, so obviously it's set in the present day... relatively speaking.
>Ponyville was founded by the Apple family after they received a land grant from Princess Celestia. Does that mean Ponyville was never founded in this universe?

That's enough of that. Let's read the story and see what's been happening. The prologue is... interesting, I must say. Actually writing out the Treaty of Equestria was a nice and welcome touch. It shows that you've put some effort into creating your world, which is always a good thing. I don't have a whole lot of thoughts on it at the moment, though.

The following are my thoughts as I read Chapter One:
>Oh, Unicornia's ruled by a Princess. I guess it's not feudalism, then... Sadface.
>"Sun movers?" Like a unicorn version of the weather teams? Intriguing. But I guess it makes sense for a world with no Celestia or Luna.
>Twilight Sparkle and Shining Armor, children of... Night Light and Twilight Velvet? Do unicorns not use surnames? That could be an interesting societal concept, now that I think about it. "I am Twilight Sparkle, daughter of Twilight Velvet." "And I am Shining Armor, son of Night Light!" Or something to that regard.
>Ooh, filly Trixie. This intrigues me.
>Ooh, fortune telling. This is ominous, and it intrigues me still more. I also note that this is a pivotal event in the story, since it's mentioned in the synopsis, and I can see why.
>Awww, sibling love! It's great to see you're putting effort into these things.
>"...delicate features, a perfectly-kept, snow white coat, and a curled purple mane." Princess Platinum actually looks like Rarity, hm? Intriguing...
>So in spite of Discord never existing and the Royal Pony Sisters never coming to power, this is the same Twilight Sparkle we all know and love, right down to her talents with magic. Good to know, good to know. Also, I see this kicking the plot into gear...

And then I finished the chapter. So, I won't keep you waiting. What's my feedback? It is this. The concept of this story intrigues and excites me, but at the moment, it feels like you're not doing a whole lot with it. I realize that's because you have to establish Twilight's character, though. We'll hopefully be seeing the radical differences to the culture of Equestria later. What will those be? Well, if I interpret your post correctly, that's why you're here. Time for an F5 brainstorm!

Like I mentioned earlier, Ponyville would not have been founded if the Princesses hadn't given the Apple family a land grant. Does that mean Ponyville doesn't exist? Are the Apple family still wandering nomads? On the other hoof, you do have Applejack in that fortune-telling scene, presumably teamed up with Warrior!Rainbow Dash. This intrigues me... perhaps Applejack split from her family to travel with Rainbow Dash? I can only assume you plan to put all the Elements of Harmony in here, so let me go ahead and say what I think they'd be up to in this universe. Pegasi obviously kept their warrior heritage in this universe. I could see Rainbow Dash being a warrior, but Fluttershy not so much. Perhaps after the accident at flight school, she split from pegasus society, joining an earth pony commune? Or perhaps she wanders the plains of Equestria as a nomad? What about Rarity? Would she be a seamstress in this universe? I don't see a reason why not. Assuming they're still mining gems in Gallopel, Rarity could get her hooves on them. She could be virtually identical. Or... wait, was Princess Platinum actually meant to be Rarity? No, wait, we had filly Trixie earlier, so Rarity would have to be a filly, too. Never mind. And finally, as for Pinkie Pie... I legitimately don't know. Maybe she stuck with her rock farming family, but she's not happy about having to work there? Or maybe she is? Or maybe she left the rock farm at some point? I don't know.

Now for the world itself. What is Princess Platinum's lineage? Why does she seem to resemble Rarity? Is Rarity, perhaps, a member of the royal family we haven't met yet? If so, how has this life of entitlement affected her aspiration to be a seamstress, if at all? If not, does the real Rarity ever have aspirations of royalty? What about the lands outside Gallopel? How are the other two pony tribes nations ruled? We know that Equestria as a whole is ruled by a council. Are its members elected officials? Is it a hereditary title? Or is there some other way to join the council? What's the history of this alternate Equestria of yours? How's the relationship between the three pony nations at this precise point in time, when your story takes place? Have they always gotten along? What would happen if they didn't see eye-to-eye on something? How would that affect everypony's lives? Food shortages? Wild weather? Eternal day or night? Considering that the three nations rely on each other for survival, could there ever be a conflict between them strong enough to drive them to war? What would happen if a war did break out between the nations? Or, for that matter, with another nation altogether? Do societies exist outside Equestria? Considering that you quote from a "Traveler's Guide to Equestria", I assume so. Do ponies live in these societies, or do monsters? Or both, perhaps? Does Equestrian society mingle with that of the monsters? If so, does interspecies racism exist? How big of a problem is it? Are, say, griffons granted equal rights in your alternate Equestria, or discriminated against? What about Diamond Dogs, or minotaurs? It'd be interesting if Celestia and Luna not showing up somehow led to ponies being intolerant of "monsters." In fact, what about zebras? Enslaving zebras could be an interesting addition to this society, depending on how dark you want the story to be, of course.

All of these questions could be answered by your story, but only if you know the answers to them. World-building isn't that hard when you get down to it. Simply create your world's framework, then ask yourself as many questions about that world as you can. I think I've given you enough questions/ideas to get started by this point. Before I go, I'd just like to say, again, that your story's concept greatly intrigues me. Plus, your story's well-written, and it provides a juicy amount of detail (a breath of fresh air after searching the depths of FiMFiction for hours on end). I'm interested in seeing where you're going with this. Best of luck.

And that's all I got. Thank you for your patronage, DemPonies.

Conch Shell VII
>> No. 121674

Wow, you put a lot of effort into your feedback. Awesome! :)

I'll answer a few questions about the world without spoiling anything.

Firstly, Unicornia is a feudal society and a hereditary monarchy. Although it's not very apparent, at least not at this point, Prince/Princess Platinum is a different title entirely to the ruler of Unicornia, which would be Monarch, alternatively King or Queen, of Unicornia. You'll see a few other members of the nobility before long, including a Duke, an Earl and, possibly, a Marquesa.

Pegasopolis is a military dictatorship, a mix between ancient Sparta and a modern military junta, where coups are the normal transitions of power. Individuals are only valued by the capacity they have to serve the whole. It should be noted however that weather control is just as much a part of pegasi society as the army.

Earth is a merchant republic (think of the Republic of Venice). Although it's probably the closest to what one might call a "democracy," it would be more accurate to call it an oligarchy since only a handful of rich merchant families have any say in political affairs. A Chancellor is elected every fifth year by a council consisting of the members of said families.

Griffons live in tribal clans on a continent across a sea to the east where they partake in almost constant warfare. They are occasionally united by a "High King," but their rules are usually short lived.

Zebras live in scattered cities to the south, the largest of which is Zebrica. They live mostly harmoniously. Zebras aren't "ruled" in the same sense as the other tribes. Instead, they look to their shamans for justice, protection and ceremonial rituals.

Diamond Dogs live in rather isolated packs in mines deep beneath the earth. They sometimes go above ground to raid or trade, but nobody is really sure what they're up to down there.

Minotaurs are a tribe in diaspora. They usually sell their services as sell swords or body guards to the highest bidder (they make quite a lot, by the way).

There is no enslavement, but let's just say that the indigenous populations of Equestria, like nomadic tribes of cows, buffalo and donkeys didn't take kindly to ponies building cities on what they considered to be, essentially, their land.

Just some background info. I won't spoil anything about the plot or characters, but I can say that Princess Guinemare's resemblance to Rarity holds no deeper meaning. Hopefully you didn't look forward to Rarity being royalty. If you did, don't worry. I've still got other interesting plot points to explore ;)

Hopefully this came across as somewhat coherent since it's late in my part of the world, I'm tired, and this is probably the last thing I'll be doing before bed.

I really appreciate your feedback by the way. Thanks, you did an awesome job!

Best regards,
>> No. 121996
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Sir, i require your help as a creative consultant. I'm working on a strange crossover of Kirby, Mlp and some other things. It's kinnda inspired by Kingdom Hearts. I've always loved the world traveling thing. Anyway the idea involves Kirby and Twilight traveling to different worlds. The links are to an outline and glossary of terminology I'll be using, and the opening to chapter Two (Because the scene entered my head and i wanted to write it before i forgot it)

Outline and Glossary: https://docs.google.com/document/d/12e1rix0sCZLoefsVWS5D_gYm9ESvtZjVRxPX2nsQl-0/edit

Chapter Two Intro:https://docs.google.com/document/d/1zGLUG2ZHsBKH1-vOBKoHqGgH6qPBXGaHuAqfKbHJmkI/edit

Anyway you say your talent is world building so i'm wondering how i'm doing.
>> No. 122027
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Hoo boy, have I ever got a headache right now. It doesn't have anything to do with your story, mind you. My head just hurts for some reason. Although I shouldn't be complaining, considering how long it's been since I got asked for help on this thread. How long's it been, anyway? Four days? Man, it feels like longer... But I digress. What's the premise of this story again?
>Kirby and Twilight team up to defeat a horde of black monsters called "Despaired" who seek to eliminate hope from the multiverse. In order to do this, they must travel between various worlds, or "Realms," and collect a series of powerful artifacts called the Guardians' Signets.
Just for giggles, let's compare this to the premise of your stated inspiration, Kingdom Hearts:
>A young boy named Sora teams up with Donald Duck and Goofy to defeat a horde of black monsters called "Heartless" that seek to eliminate love from the multiverse. (I think that was what they wanted to do, anyway...) In order to do this, they must travel between various worlds and close a series of mystical Key Holes, locking the Heartless's access to that world.
Oh, dear.

Okay... I'll just come out and say it. This concept doesn't fill me with nearly as much confidence as I feel like it should. But maybe it's just my headache. Besides, as I've been quoted saying, "there is no such thing as a bad idea-- only bad execution." So let's take this idea and run with it. Time for some brainstorming... focus, Conch...

Okay... in your outline, you mention that you're planning to travel between six different Realms: the continuities of Ratchet and Clank, Adventure Time, Dragons: Riders of Berk, Jet Set Radio Future and, naturally, My Little Pony and the Kirby Franchise. But obviously, there must be more Realms than that, right? If so, what are they? I'm going to cite my current pet project, The RED Cataclysm, as an example here. In Cataclysm, the multiverse has been very thoroughly explored, and there's a system in place for naming every dimension and universe that is stumbled across. (Earth-VC20-Prime, Equus-HOA1-Prime, and so on.) Working out such a system for your Realms might be beneficial. It certainly helped me, and it opened up lots of possibilities.

And now, let's get the most important piece of advice I have for you out of the way: figure out how inter-Realm travel works. How long does it take to travel through a Realm Pass? Can just anyone stumble across one, or is it only certain people? Or is there some kind of ritual you need to complete to open one? What about the Guardians? Who are they? What powers do they have? Do they know about the other Realms? Are they hostile toward inter-Realm travel? Why or why not? Do bad things happen if you mix elements of the different Realms? What do the Guardians actually guard against? You mention that Guardian Signets used to be used in cross-realm tournaments, so obviously cross-realm travel has happened before. Another little parallel: the Guardian Signets seem suspiciously similar to the unlockable Key Chains you get for beating a world in Kingdom Hearts. It doesn't take a huge leap of logic to come to the conclusion that two of the Signets are the Star Rod and the Elements of Harmony, but what about the rest of them? What do the Signets actually do? Are there any consequences to holding more than one of them at once? Is there a limit to the number you can wield safely? Finally, what are the Dispaired? Where do they come from? Do they have a native Realm, or do they come from somewhere else? What do they look like? Do they look different depending on what Realm you're in? What kinds of abilities do they have? What do they do to people they attack? What happens to a Realm that's overrun by the Dispaired? Has this happened before? What would a Realm ruled by the Dispaired look like?

Again, these are all questions that you're going to want to know the answers to if you want to weave a compelling tale. I know I said earlier that your premise wasn't as interesting as it should be, but make no mistake, there's potential for a good story here. A grand epic of heroism, bringing characters from all kinds of beloved continuities, extolling a message of hope. That's part of where Kingdom Hearts drew its strength from. The question is, are you capable of properly milking this concept's potential? Only time will tell. Hopefully, I've gotten you started, at least. Go ye therefore and cross over everything with everything. I have faith in you.

Conch Shell VII
>> No. 122056
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Hmm... alright i think I'm going to address some things. the first retains to the Guardians' Signets.

You seem to think that two of the signets are the Star Rod and the Elements but their not. I mentioned that they were used in cross realm tournaments. They manifest as symbols representative of there realm. The signets look like a glowing ball with a symbol in it. An example is the smash ball from Brawl. The signet for Equestria would be a rainbow ball (The colors of Celestia's mane) with a sun and moon emblem. Another thing i feel i should address is that because of smash brothers i treat all the Nintendo worlds as one realm. there is no limit for how many signets you can hold because of the way the tournaments worked. the competitors would travel to the competing worlds and battle the champions. who ever won got the signets the other was holding. the winner was named champion of all realms and the signets were returned. Essentially MH has declared another tournament with the only competitors being Kirby, Twilight and the Despaired. Kirby and twilight go around gathering signets so they can beat the Despaired but because the Despaired can't hold signets, Kirby and Twilight have to obtain them by impressing the Guardians.

I feel that a downfall of my story maybe my importance of Master Hand. In the story master hand and Crazy hand are the remnants of a watcher (basically a watcher is us) who tried to cross the barrier, an almost impenetrable wall that cuts us off from the realms we believe are fiction. When Master Hand was formed he lost his reason for coming there, which was to help protect the worlds that brought him joy. This objective became warped to him wanting to rule the realms. The other guardians then tricked him into becoming a guardian of the Nintendo realms since guardians are locked to their realm and can't mess with the other realms. Afterwards it was decided that the cross realm tournaments would be too dangerous with Master Hand around. At the time of the story, Master Hand has accepted his position as Guardian but is still not trusted by other guardians. If you read the outline i said that Master Hand (Referred to now as MH because I'm getting tired of typing that out) brought Twilight to the Guardian Realm. Celestia ask how he did it he says that his brother Crazy is not a guardian because the other guardians didn't consider him a threat since he tends to just fly around erratically unless told to do something by MH.

As far as a system for naming the realms, well my thought was that the Realms tend to be named by the Guardians that govern them. (The Nintendo Realms are called that because of MH's human memories) Realms will pretty much be called by the name of the world unless part of set that actually interact.(What i mean is that Jet Set Radio Future is part of the Sega Realms since the All Stars games made it clear their interconnected, where as Dragons will merely be called Berk, not the Dreamworks Realm.(Could have called it the Dragon Realms, but then I'd have to deal with purple dragons.))

As for Guardians i said that they are beings of higher power that govern their realm. The Guardian title does not bestow any extra power besides access to the Guardian Realm, which most just use as an extra dimensional broom closet. Generally Guardians protect their world from harm and try to guide it along the right path. There is no set way to do this. Some take up governing positions to guide it directly, (Celestia and Luna) some arise only when needed, (The Gumball guardians of Ooh or Chaos of the Sega Realms.) and some guide it subtly. A realm does not necessarily need a guardian, (Mostly a cop out because i couldn't think of anything suitable for Berk or Ratchet and Clank) but those that do are generally more prosperous. A guardian does not have to be good either and is not a being of ultimate power. If need be the population of a realm my rebel and strike down a guardian. The title is only revoked through death.

Inter-realm Travel: Nothing bad happens when traveling between Realms due to the travelers having to adhere to the rules of the realm. For example, In both the Jet Set and Dragon's world Kirby and Twilight must take on a human form because those worlds don't have puffballs or talking unicorn ponies. As such Kirby loses his inhale and flight abilities. He still can use copy Abilities and Twilight still has magic but this is because of the signets. (The lose of certain attributes where why some competitors during the tournaments were treated as stationary or roving)

Realm Pass: A Realm Pass can only be accessed by someone with a Signet. It takes about 10 minutes give or take to walk through a Realm Pass. Kirby and Twilight generally use them as places to rest as time does not pass while in a Realm Pass. A Realm pass will normally open near places of civilization, But MH and Celestia have tuned their Signets to seek out other Signets and spots of trouble. However, When MH was seal in the Nintendo realms, the other guardians voted for isolation. Most just stopped giving out the signets, but some (The Gumball Guardians) tried to completely seal off their world. The Realm Pass will still open but it now drops the travelers off far from civilization.

Wooh... sorry about all that but you do call yourself a creative consultant so i figured i would bounce some ideas off you... Sorry, probably should have asked first.

(Side note: The heartless wanted to eliminate light and steal hearts)
>> No. 122057
May I cut in?

Reading this post reduces my faith in your ability to write this story, as if reading *other* people's opinions didn't already do that.

Your talk of Watchers, Guardians, and their motives for messing with Master Hand--with Realms and how they work--tells me that your priorities are all screwed up.

What you just posted? The reader isn't going to be reading that. I mean, hopefully they won't, because if you go out of your way to explain this stuff then your story will incontrovertibly suck. Stop thinking about this stuff and start thinking about cute ways for Twilight and Kirby to interact. Do not turn this into a heroic story about saving multiple universes, with your favorite fandoms pasted onto heroes and villains.

This story should--just as ONE example--have Twilight being strict IC Twilight, even at the cost of losing some of your action-adventure flavor. Kirby would blow her mind with his powers. And Jet Set Radio would be a wonderland of unfamiliar and crazy stuff to her.

All these capital-letter things you've made up weird worldbuilding shit about? Copypaste it into a text doc and put it behind you. Then start thinking about how your story is going to come to its ending. Think about why your ending is going to be satisfying and what you're going to do so that the audience is waiting for your resolution i.e. maybe Equestria is in trouble and its fate is uncertain until the very end.

When you think about your events, also think about why they will be enjoyable to read. For example: Organizing the game like a video game, where the characters systematically enter a world, overcome challenges, find a Signet, then move on, would be... Well, it would be okay, but it would be just repetitive episodes like a Power Rangers show instead of a flowing and enjoyable plot.

Look at Homestuck. The kids would've, could've systematically played the game, beaten every stage boss, ascended through the gates, etc. That is not what happened. They established that structure, then broke from it. The Sburb idea became just a framework, a way to introduce the reader to the greater story. So it should be with your Guardians, Realms, and Signets.

tldr: You are being self-indulgent. All that's happening here is you declaring your undying love for a few fandoms. Your priorities are screwed up.
>> No. 122061
One more thing.

The way Sega is all one world and Nintendo is all one world?

No no no NO NO no NONONO. Absolutely goddamn not. This is an example of you disregarding how your story is going to go. Brawl and All-Stars were inter-realm events. What the fuck do you call Sonic and Snake showing up in Brawl, if Smash Bros and All-Stars are all contained within their own realms?

Do DK and Metaknight like to chill out together on their free time? Have Princess Peach and Princess Zelda ever had a hot steamy under-the-covers session together? The answer is no, god dammit, and you know it. With characters like Mario and Sonic it's questionable, since they just kind of live in these amorphous cartoon worlds, but Jet Set Radio? Hell no. That's its own place.

Do not get carried away with "but this has to click into what I know THIS way." Your story comes first.
>> No. 122062
Uhm... i'm just trying to get a good frame. I don't plan on explaining all this in one go just when stuff becomes relevant.

Besides, I just like coming up with this stuff. Anyway this isn't my main focus.
>> No. 122064
I Didn't say one WORLD! I said one REALM! A realm can be more than one world.
>> No. 122351
Another author and I are having a disagreement that I hope you can settle. I believe his story is filled with contrivance and actions that are out of character, but the author hand-waves everything I say. Would you mind giving your thoughts?

The outline: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1gBAd4tSpfnt-l6EXZWBdmdIn2IJ8mccLrs1fusf1tX8/edit

Doc chat logs: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1RTo1yCtZfhIs_g3HOmrB7qzBDd7FkUNIJGEBrFDwBNM/edit
>> No. 122354
Well I stated in the conversation which I agreed to be posted on this page. I find your argument about Twilight's characterization unreasonable. While it is true that Twilight Sparkle will never leave her friends purposefully on a permanant basis, in this case she is slowly lead away from her friendship through a series of events also well known as life. Through a realistic approach, has anyone actually managed to maintain the same level of realtionship with all your friends throughout your life? No, things happen, the world happens, and no matter how much you try it is impossible to maintain the same level or friendship as you try to juggle with other responsiblities and realtionships life throws at you.

Imagine it like this, if this was RD and she was told that she was invited to be a part of the Wonderbolt, would she join? Yes of course she will. Does she purposefully want to leave her friends behind? No, but she reasons to herself that they will remain friends, and that she will come and visit. The ponies that remain in Ponyville will slowly learn to live without RD, and RD will be tied down with Wonderbolt responsiblities. They would probally still write letters to each other, but the level of realtionship they had prior to RD joining the Wonderbolts would not exist anymore.

>> No. 122356
Please forgive the grammar error.
>> No. 122361
File 135028824283.png - (1.02MB , 1920x1080 , not_amused_medic.png )
IN THIS CORNER... Okay, that's enough of that. Not to worry, I'm here to offer my opinion. But before I do that...

>pic related
Get that CollegeHumor garbage out of my thread this instant or I will shoot. To be blunt, I find most if not all of CollegeHumor's alleged "comedy" to range between mean-spirited and downright offensive. The video you provided, though it did handily illustrate your point, didn't do anything to alter that conception. It's a good thing I found a link to "Smile, Smile, Smile!" in the comment thread, or else I'd be in no state to assist you. In fact, I'm instigating a new rule. As of today, there is to be no mention of CollegeHumor on my thread whatsoever. Those who cannot follow this rule will be shot. In the head. Repeatedly. On Team Fortress 2. Everybody got that?

As for the topic at hand... well, I'll see what I can do. I swear on my honor as a thread maintainer that the above tirade about CollegeHumor has not colored my opinion in any way, shape or form. I am, however, concerned by the use of the word "HitlerJack" in the comments of the outline. What the rut was that for? Even if you think Applejack is worst pony, which she isn't, by the way, don't invoke Godwin's Law. That's not cool. And besides, everypony knows he's named Rudolf Antler.

Anyway, if I understand correctly here, the argument seems to be about whether Twilight would willingly abandon her friends in exchange for a greater position in life. In this instance, I am inclined to support Azusa and say that no, Twilight would not abandon her friends. My reasoning is as follows:

Essentially, I agree with Azusa's reasoning in that Twilight reacts with horror when she realizes that her being "tardy" in Lesson Zero could result in her being shipped back to Canterlot. Granted, she learned from that mistake, but she still clearly loves her friends and wouldn't abandon them for anything. The reason for this, I think, is twofold. First of all, they might be the first real friends she's ever had besides her brother, and she'd be very hard-pressed to compromise those precious friendships. My second reason for supporting Azusa, admittedly, has little to no basis in canonical fact, but I still believe the argument to be valid. Twilight is the bearer of the Element of Magic, the keystone of the most powerful weapon in Equestria. If the other bearers of the Elements do not maintain a strong, powerful friendship, the Elements cease to function and are rendered worthless, as demonstrated when they are used against Discord in the Season 2 premiere. Yes, Pinkydash is right in that friendships, and relationships in general, evolve over time. Your significant other may one day become your bitter rival, your bitter rival may become your best friend, and your best friend may become your significant other. (But hey, that's high school.) ...I'm not the only one who got that reference, am I? However, such evolution may compromise the function of the Elements of Harmony, and I contend that Twilight, having been effectively raised by Princess Celestia, would be a strong nationalist who wouldn't want to take the risk of deactivating Equestria's greatest weapon.

And the moral of the story is, don't ask the guy who's been writing an arguably military-based crossover for the past year to settle an argument about the value of friendship.

Conch Shell VII

PS: Seriously, people, don't remind me that CollegeHumor exists again.
>> No. 122363

Not to butt in or anything, but for context on Hitlerjack, see:
>> No. 122364
Okay, seems fair to me. Do you happen to know what the name of that fic was, by any chance? I'm curious now.
>> No. 122369
Never mind, I found it. I'm going to have to give this a read-- I'm always up for a good alternate universe...
>> No. 122383

So moral of the story, we all have the same characterization for Twilight, but differing opinions on how she would react in this given situation.
>> No. 122385

The idea has been used sucessfully before.
>> No. 122398
File 135033197901.gif - (130.78KB , 800x800 , TransparentShuffle.gif )
Wow, you're really not letting this go, are you?
>pic unrelated

Okay, first of all, you disagreeing on how Twilight would ask in a given situation means you don't have the same characterization of her. But putting the semantics aside, I understand why you don't want to let this go. Really, I do. After all, Twilight leaving her friends behind is the impetus behind your story. Without that, you don't have a leg to stand on. So it's only natural that you'd defend this to the bitter end. But remember, like I said waaaaay up there in the OP, "there is no such thing as a bad idea-- only bad execution." But I think I know a way you can make it work. It's simple really: have Twilight need to be convinced to leave her friends. Maybe stick a prologue in that depicts a series of letters between Twilight and the Princess, wherein the latter convinces the former to leave her friends. Advice from the mare who may as well be her mother, like I mentioned earlier, would certainly sway her opinion in one way or the other. And you could also use the opportunity to stick in an homage to Yours Truly, if you felt clever.

Remember, these are just our opinions. If you think you can make this thing work, regardless of what Azusa and I tell you, then by all means, write this sucker. Just don't ask Azusa for advice again. *ba-dum, tish* I'm kidding, I'm sure Azusa's a great guy

Conch Shell VII
>> No. 122417
Sounds like a very reasonable idea, thanks :P
>> No. 122910
File 135092925928.jpg - (31.87KB , 600x338 , bump.jpg )
Well, it's been a week since I've gotten any kind of action. Am I allowed to bump my own thread? ...I don't know if I should... but on the other hand, it's been a whole week... Oh, all right... I hope I don't have to do this again...

*sob* I feel so dirty!
>> No. 123165
File 135118062661.png - (1.18MB , 1280x720 , keima-glasses-prop.png )
I haven't seen this thread. Probably because I need new glasses, probably not.


I do have an idea that I'd like to bounce off of ya, but it's rather long so just sit tight for a sec.


The idea revolves around a young pegasi author by the name of Articulate "Ari" Prose, starting as she's entering university at the pegasi-terran city of Haven.

The story is more a play on inter-race relations, being that the Equestrian timeline has fast-forwarded almost 500 or so years. In that time, Princesses Celestia and Luna have left Equestria for a realm above the Frozen North called The Ethereal.

ANYWAY, I digress

In this futuristic world, the pegasi have taken the helm of government and have banished the unicorns from the land, believing that of the earth ponies and the unicorns, the unicorns pose the greatest threat to the Empire.

So Ari, along with her childhood friend Zero, are dragged into a conflict between the Terran Uprising and the Pegasi Empire.

Oh, and there's one more thing: a special device called a protus.

A protus enables non-magical ponies to manipulate things that they normally wouldn't be able to. It even functions as a communicator of sorts, as well as a fully-functional personal computer.

That's about the gist of it.

Before closing, allow me to include a link to the unfinished prologue of the story.



>> No. 123178
File 135119869029.jpg - (49.03KB , 640x480 , Snapshot_20121025.jpg )
After the incident with Azusa and Pinkydash, the trail went dry. People stopped coming. Nobody cared about an old, washed-up creative consultant any more. I wanted to contribute to the board, but if I didn't have any cases, I couldn't do that. I got desperate. I went so far as to bump my own thread. I could've made myself look like an attention horse, and I knew that. Hell, maybe I did and no one bothered to tell me. But I did it. I knew the risks and I did it anyway. That's how desperate I was. And when that didn't even work, I somehow developed a film-noir private eye persona. In the confusion... I let /fic/ see my true face. I'm still trying to figure out how that happened.

But then, out of the blue, a bespectacled anime man showed up and dropped his file on my desk. The client's handle was "Figments," but his imagination was all dried up. His fic was a dark one, set in the distant future. Celestia and Luna had abandoned their land. Unicorns were banished. Earth ponies were enslaved by the supposedly superior pegasi, who ruled over what remained of Equestria with iron hooves. It wasn't pretty... but it was stuffed with all the right kind of intrigue. The kind that lured me in like Pinkie Pie to an all-you-can-eat dessert bar. I woulda been crazy to not take the case.

Right off the bat, I was intrigued by the dark opening. It effectively established that the pegasi had enslaved the earth ponies, plus that the fic was set in the future ("New Ponyville") without seeming too preachy about it. There was no way I could say it nicely, but I'd always liked the concept of equine racism, and "flatback" was a great incarnation of it. It was a really clever racial slur, one I'd never heard used before. I made a mental note to ask the client if I could borrow it. The prologue was only two pages long and half-finished by the client's own admission, but it did a brilliant job of establishing its world. Quick, detailed... perfect. It was some kinda literary magic. Whoever this client was, he was a great author. But of course, he didn't come to me to hear me gush. I was a world-builder. I still am. I owed him something, and I was going to give it to him.

So I sat down for a while, killed some time in the office, and tried to think about what living in this world would be like. My mind was drawn to the unicorns first. Where'd they go after the Pegasus Empire banished them? Did they form a new society outside Equestria's borders? And if so, are they currently amassing their forces, hoping to strike back against their pegasus oppressors? That could make an interesting story. Now that I think about it, was banishing the unicorns a popular decision? Were some ponies against it? Maybe that's one of the reasons we're having a Terran Uprising to begin with. Hm... Terran. Good word. I'd have to write that one down, too.

I didn't put much thought into the relationship between the earth ponies and the pegasi. Obviously, Figments would've already worked that out, since racial relations were the focus of his story. So instead, I turned my mind to the characters. Articulate Prose... that's a good name. She's a writer, the client said. I never woulda guessed. So has she published anything? What drives her to write? How's she paying for college in Haven? And probably most important... what's she writing? The client had potential for a story-within-a-story with this setup, or maybe he could wring a motivation out of it. Maybe Ari was researching for a historical fiction story, leading her to long for the harmony of the olden days, when Celestia and Luna were still around. And that's not even beginning to touch on her relationship with Zero. Who is Zero? How does Zero know Ari? Is their relationship casual, romantic, or maybe something else?

But then I realized I'd missed the elephant in the room. This is Equestria we're talking about. A new era, but still Equestria. When Celestia and Luna split for the Frozen North, what happened to the Elements of Harmony--the jewelry and the ponies both? What about the statue of Discord? How did the pegasi come to power? And when did technology evolve to the point it's at now? The client mentioned that this was a Pegasus Empire. Who'd they conquer? The griffons? The changelings? Or someone else?

And finally, there was this mystery miracle device called a protus. It wasn't mentioned in the prologue, so my imagination could go wild on that one. Based on the way the client described it, it seemed like an artificial horn with a few more features. But how was it used? Maybe it was worn like a horn, or worn on the legs like one of those PipBuck thingies. How expensive are they? Are they standard military issue? Police issue? Can civilians get ahold of them? If so, how easy is it? How expensive are they? Do the Terrans have access to them? Maybe ponies have to register their protuses. That could be interesting. And it might give the Pegasus law enforcement an excuse to bust into suspected Terran Uprising headquarters.

And so, four and a half hours later, the case was closed. I gave the client all the ideas I had at the time. If the prologue was any indication, he could weave something beautiful out of them. I'd have to go to FiMFiction and try to track down this... wait. I opened the case file again and pored over the information that'd been given to me. Missing from that information was the title of the fic. Was it Welcome Home? Or was that just the name of the chapter? I made a mental note to ask the client about it. It'd be a shame to let this... beautiful story slip through the cracks.

But until then, the case was closed. And I was perfectly happy to leave it at that.

-Conch Shell VII
>> No. 123184
File 135120732155.png - (150.36KB , 400x300 , TWGOK 1.png )

Quite literally, I sat here staring at your kind words for a few good minutes before writing this. Thanks.

I'm not a great writer, but it's good to know that my months of style training weren't for nothing.

Anyway, to answer some of your questions so that you may proceed to ask even more (oh yeah, I kind of know where this is gonna go), here I go:

>Where did the unicorns go?

To put it simply, they just disappeared. A more direct answer would be that they joined Celestia and Luna in The Ethereal.

What is the Ethereal, you may ask? I thought of it after pondering a bit where Discord's mind goes while he's imprisoned in stone, and thusly I came up with two different Entities: The Ethereal and the Corporeal

The Ethereal is basically Equestrian Eden, a bountiful place with enough resources to last millennia. However, the journey to get there is considered the deadliest journey one could ever embark on. The unicorns left for the Ethereal because they had nowhere else to go.

The Corporeal, on the other hand, is an empty place, located beneath the dragon roosts. By empty, I mean that it is a realm that doesn't consist of any semblance of physical law or matter of any kind.

Instead, it extracts information from the inhabitants imaginations and feeds it to the void of nothing, creating something. It is here that Discord lies, able to create chaos without consequence.

>Who'd the Pegasus Empire conquer?

First off, I should have mentioned this before, but it's the Skylight Empire. Secondly, the Empire, throughout the course of the story, attempts to conquer lands both across the sea and domestic.

They /have/ conquered the griffons, though.

And I believe that's all I'll answer, in order to keep some things a relative secret.

Thanks for the look, and I can't wait to hear from you again!


>> No. 123189
File 135121359909.jpg - (44.10KB , 640x480 , Conch_Shell.jpg )
"Well, I'll be blunt with you, Mr. Figments," I told the client. "I don't want to hold your hand through the creative process. I'm here to get the ball rolling, and hopefully I've done that. Once it's rolling, you've got to guide it all the way to the finish line by yourself. It's your story, not mine. If the ball stops, feel free to come back. But for now, from where I'm sitting, all the loose ends've been tied up. Except one."

"Lemme level with you, kid," I added through a smirk. "This story of yours? I like it. I like where you're going with it, I like where it is now. Once you get started with it, finish the prologue and all that, I want to read more of it. Which leads me to that one loose end I never got to tie up... What did you say your story's title was, again?"
>> No. 123190
File 135121405004.png - (91.42KB , 1150x840 , Skylight.png )

Names are so juvenile. I prefer symbolism.

I certainly don't make it easy for anyone.

Freedom for one, Freedom for all
>> No. 123192
File 135121840315.jpg - (46.34KB , 574x426 , spoiler.jpg )
Okay, personal story help? Conceptual story help? I... am having some troubles with my story. Two troubles. Two problems. Words. Thoughts.

I've written my first chapter for Ponypool (A Pontypool crossover, not Deadpool!), and barring any stones turned in TTG, it's pretty good.
Now, before I even started the second chapter proper (I have a very detailed outline for the events in that chapter), I have come upon my first problem. Ponypool is about a language --the Changeling language-- being corrupted for the benefit of one entity.[?] I have worked through many different options, from Hebrew to Latin, and even /Euskara/ (the language of the Basque people), and while a couple of these attempts have maintained the basis for my idea well enough for me to write the story... not one of them lends to comprehension on the reader's part. I need some way to differentiate [?]the Changeling language, in dialogue, from everything else, without creating an unnecessary duality to the speech in the fic's execution that does not lend to the linguistic/thematic duality in the story....

And the name really isn't helping. Everyone jinks it's a Deadpool crossover.
>> No. 123194
File 135122381132.jpg - (44.58KB , 640x480 , Conch Shell, Human, Pondering.jpg )
At first, it felt good to be back. I wasted a few lazy hours playing The Binding of Isaac, feeling good and helpful after solving Figments' case. I wasn't expecting anything else to happen that day. I was wrong. As night fell over Ponychan, another lost soul found his way to my office. Roan was his name... and he was writing a crossover.

Crossovers. Likely to leave most bronies in the dust, completely confused. Terrible when done badly. When done well, you still can't enjoy most of them without knowledge of both fandoms. Overspecialized, confusing pieces of literature, every last one of them. And yet, by combining two fandoms an author knows, they bring the fans of those fandoms together. Other people like them flock to their crossovers, and the crossovers unite them. I would know. Crossovers are all I ever write these days.

So, how do you tell a story in two different languages, and still have the reader understand what you're saying? That's the question of the day. The obvious solution would be to have the alternate language be written in a different color than the rest of the dialogue. But that seems too simplistic... too easy. I stared at the ceiling, wracking my brain for a solution. And then... suddenly... a word popped into my head-- just one word. Symbols. Assign a symbol to each letter of the English alphabet, and make that the changelings' language. Like Windings. Of course, that could present a compatibility problem if the client intended to post on FiMFiction, but... well, that was the best I could do.

The case left a bad taste in my mouth. I'd left the client with a couple of answers, but... neither were answers I liked. Maybe they'd help the client, maybe they wouldn't. But they were the best answers I could come up with. I went to bed early that night, because I knew I'd be busy fighting a ghost wizard tomorrow... to gather intel for my own crossover. I already knew I wouldn't be able to sleep.

Today, I ran the full gamut of questions I could be asked. The good answers and the bad... they were all part of running this dog-and-pony show. I was back in the consulting game... and I loved every second of it.

-Conch Shell VII
>> No. 123235

*ahem* err... Howdy there! This is an idea I've been wanting to write for a while, and I finally went ahead and made the plunge to start the project! Basically, I have three questions to ask with this one. But first, let me give you the information:

Title: ReMix
General Idea (not synopsis): Vinyl Scratch gets signed into a major record label and becomes a highly popular DJ/artist. Unfortunately, despite this being her dream, it is far different from what she imagined. She doesn't even make her own music anymore and has become simply a face and a name that gets paraded out to the public to sell "her" albums. The story involves her internal conflict of living her "dream" or being a famous and well-liked music superstar, yet having to give up herself and everything she loves doing just to keep this dream.

GDoc Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Oh58ARh2j9mCa6CHokoWGzT5bSVdwFBm8TpPLfquIf0/edit (This is extremely rough and doesn't fully reflect what the intro will look like, yet)

Basically, my three questions are:

1) Does the first-person perspective of Vinyl telling the story herself fit this thus far? Or does it seem like I should write in third-person or a different style?

2) Does the "different" personality i'm giving Vinyl seem to fit into her role and the "world" the story is based in? or do you think it will leave a bad taste in people's mouths who already enjoy the fanonized personality she has?

3) Does what you've seen so far intrigue you enough to continue reading, and is it presented well as the introduction of the introduction?
>> No. 123245
File 135132381996.jpg - (136.60KB , 1280x1024 , Conch Shell, Human, Victorious.jpg )
I'd been spending most of the day out of the office, working on my own fictions, doing "research." Because I was writing The RED Cataclysm, a Team Fortress 2 crossover, I was obligated to go play the Scream Fortress event... and honestly, I loved every second of it. I don't know whose idea it was to give the Bombinomicon a Jamaican accent, but I want to buy that man a beer. And I don't even drink.

Needless to say, I came back to the office feeling pretty good about myself. So when I saw the next client's file on my desk, I was feeling ready for anything. The client said his name was Caffum. I could tell he was a fresh face. I pointed out that there was a button labeled "Choose File" below the message box that you could choose an image from, then I got right to work.

What the client had given me was barely even half a prologue. Eventually, it would be an introspective piece told from the perspective of Vinyl "DJ PON-3" Scratch, but now it was just a sapling in the sprawling jungle of the fanfic community. I could work with what I had so far, though. I was nothing if not flexible. The client had given me three questions to answer. It seemed simple enough, so I decided to dive right in.

First, did the fact that Vinyl was telling the story from a first-person perspective make sense? I ultimately decided that yes, it did. ReMix was an introspective piece, meaning we have access to what Vinyl experiences. I can't think of a way to write this story not in first person that would work.

Second, did the alternate characterization of Vinyl Scratch work? Here, I ran into a problem. I hadn't read many fanfics that starred Vinyl Scratch, and most of the ones I had read had involved shipping. But based on what the client had shown me of Vinyl, she seemed to be a hedonistic, live-for-the-moment kind of pony with a slight attitude problem, which seemed pretty close to the established fanon. I thought the audience would buy it pretty easily.

Finally, and most importantly, did the story hook me in? Of course it did. That's the beauty of starting a story in medias res. It's risky, but once you establish how the story ends--in this case, with Vinyl "selling out"--the seed is planted in the audience's mind. "How did things get to this point?" they ask. "I'd better keep reading to find out." I'd always been a sucker for that kind of story, so what little there was of ReMix hooked me in. Good news for the client on all counts.

A quick little story, a quick little case. I was left with a little free time on my hands after I handed the file back to the client. Heh. I'd done good work here tonight. Subsequently, I decided to treat myself to some more... "research."

-Conch Shell VII
>> No. 123268

Awesome! Thanks for the help and reassurance on some of the things I had doubts on. I will definitely continue working on the story in the style its in, and I will definitely come back if I hit a brick wall or have any doubts during its progress!
>> No. 123437
File 135157595618.png - (454.49KB , 1280x720 , Filthy_Rich_and_Diamond_Tiara_3_S2E12.png )

Thanks for recommending me to this thread instead. Here's that chapter.
>> No. 123567
My writing has always sucked. No matter how long I took to plan it out or how many ways I planned it I always fucked it up. Recently I realized that I plan because that's what my teachers taught me. Recently I realized...

I'd never have been good at math had I learned it exactly the way my teachers taught me. I found my own way of thinking about logical progressions that helped me.

I'd never have learned to sing had my chorus teacher taught me from the start... I'd just sing ugly ass opera with way too much damn vibrato.

I'm pretty good at guitar and I've never really even read a book on it (I read one but it was pretty much a list of basic chords)

Then I realized the one thing all my English teachers had in common was they all told me to plan. The more I thought about it I realized that when I plan my writing, I rush parts to get to what's ahead.

THEN I realized that fuck planning.

So... last time I posted on ponychan... I got yelled at... by ion sturm... it was rough. In defense of the 'yellers' I started a new thread for a piece of shit that even I didn't like. In my defense I was not in a state of mental stability.

Anyways I'm hoping this thread is laid back enough to not hate me, but if possible I'd just like a review of how I opened this story (yes this is meant to be the beginning, and I do have a loose mental image of why the hell I started it so abruptly). I just sat down the other day and wrote a paragraph and a half of this without having any idea where I was going. Half the time I would change the direction of the whole story mid sentence, but I think it's cute :3

Anyways, here it is, fire away.
>> No. 123572
File 135170896428.jpg - (44.58KB , 640x480 , Conch Shell, Human, Pondering.jpg )
I'd first run across Desolated Brony, or DB, while I was doing fieldwork in the latest Story Forge. For some reason, he was trying to get an opinion of his work there. I politely pointed out that that wasn't what the thread was for, and quietly slipped him my card. And then I promptly forgot all about it. I apologized to the client for taking so long, then got to work.

"Filthy" was a simple concept. Filthy Rich, Diamond Tiara's father was beginning to lose his fortune and considering dipping into illegality. The concept was intriguing, and I thought it could work well if it was done right. I was a world-builder and a detail-finder, so I felt I could bring something interesting to the case. So, where would the story go from here? It was down to the client, of course, but I was here to help the client decide.

I felt most drawn to two factors that hadn't been made clear in the story. The first was the character of the currently unmet original character, Jelani. Who was Jelani? How did Filthy Rich know him? Were they foalhood friends? Did they meet in the Zap-Apple trade? Or was it something else? And what was Jelani actually like to work with? Was he overconfident? Underconfident? Did he, perhaps, have a secret identity? That could be interesting to write. I smirked and leaned forward, channeling my inner mastermind. "My clients call me Jelani," I said to myself, tapping my fingertips together in a sinister fashion. "You can consider yourself my client, Mr. Filthy." Good times. After a few moments, I sighed and moved on to the second factor.

The second unexplored area of the story was this: what would Rich and Jelani actually be doing? In order to figure it out, I turned my mind to the details given to me about the crime, taken directly from the text:
>Pros: Considerably large amounts of money, simple and fast, secrete [sic] I think the client meant "discrete" and subtle business, continuing alchemical ambitions.
>Cons: It's illegal, risky and competitive business, untrustworthy co-workers, unfamiliar market, unreliable clients.
It painted an obvious picture: Filthy Rich and Jelani were going to be dealing drugs. The obvious question then became, what kind of drugs? Because this was the fantasy world of My Little Pony, the client had the opportunity to make up something fresh, original and new. What kind of drug would Rich and Jelani be synthesizing? How was it made? What did it do to those who took it? Was it addictive? How addictive? How would they transport it? How would they keep the authorities from finding it? How easy were the ingredients to get? For that matter, what were the ingredients? This intrigued me the most. Considering that Rich lived in Ponyville, maybe the drug involved some other plant that could only be found in the Everfree Forest. Maybe it was some kind of hallucinogen made of Poison Joke, or powdered Heart's Desire that could show you what you wanted most in life? Maybe the client would be cliche and go back to the fanon crutch of ponies snorting salt. Or maybe the two of them would run a moonshine operation where they made illegal cider spiked with something a little stronger than you'd find down on the farm? Or maybe it involved something that the client would come up with on his own... I was intrigued by the possibilities, but I decided to leave the client to it.

"Filthy" had an interesting concept, and I hoped the client would be able to do it justice. But... would he? Before he left, I decided to give him some advice. "DB, I gotta level with you for a second," I told him. "I know I don't usually 'review' stories, like Khakis or Azusa, but I gotta tell you something before you go. Three pages is not a good length for this chapter. Your story moves faster than Vinyl Scratch playing a vivace concerto between Octavia's thighs. You should add more details and sensory descriptions, especially if your story's gonna be in first person. Trust me, details are hardly ever a bad thing. And in your case, never. ...That's all I got, kid. Good luck." And so I sent the client on his way, took a deep breath, leaned back and cracked open the other case file on my desk.

To be continued.
-Conch Shell VII
>> No. 123573
File 135171543405.jpg - (44.11KB , 640x480 , Conch Shell, Human, Lecturing.jpg )
The second case I had to handle that day was an... interesting one, to be sure. The client's handle was Carocrazy. He'd sought me out in hope of a laid-back thread that could give him a gentle review. I could give him that... I hoped. But there was something that bothered me. Right there in the file, the client told me:
>...I realized the one thing all my English teachers had in common was they all told me to plan. The more I thought about it I realized that when I plan my writing, I rush parts to get to what's ahead. [...] THEN I realized that fuck planning.
The client didn't like planning. Planning was my specialty. I recognized the contradiction. I hoped the client would be satisfied with what I was doing, but quickly got to work.

In all honesty, initial impressions of the at-this-point-untitled story were not the best. I hoped the client didn't take it the wrong way, but... well, the story had quite a few problems on a grammatical level. Because I was feeling generous that day, I decided to copy his story to a separate Google Document and proofread it. I normally didn't do that, but in this case, I just felt like it was the right thing to do.

Once I'd done that, I moved on to the story itself. "Untitled document" began in medias res with at least four of the Elements of Harmony battling a hydra. They were losing, and they needed Rainbow Dash's help. Meanwhile, Rainbow managed to teach Scootaloo to fly with the help of a little tough love before dashing away to help her friends. That was all that really happened. The client wanted to know how effective what he'd written was as an opening. It could function as a prologue, I decided, or maybe just the beginning of one. Once the systemic errors were addressed, of course. But there was a problem. The client said himself that didn't know where he was going with his story. So I felt obligated to make a suggestion. What had happened in the prologue, I thought, could be used as a springboard for a couple of possible scenarios. First of all, Scootaloo being taught to fly by Rainbow Dash suggested that they had a strong relationship in the client's story. I interpreted the relationship as borderline maternal, which intrigued me. And yet, Rainbow abandoned Scootaloo in an instant when she learned that her friends were in danger. Assuming the client was going where I thought he was with this, the conflict between Rainbow's relationship with Scootaloo and that with her friends could make an interesting and thought-provoking tale. On the other hand, if the client wasn't going in the direction I thought he was, maybe Rainbow would arrive too late to save her friends from the hydra. In that case, the story would gain a [Sad] tag. Rainbow have to find a way to cope with her grief, and possibly with her blaming herself for her friends' deaths. In that case, she could start seeing her relationship with Scootaloo as an opportunity for redemption--a chance to set right what she'd done wrong. Either way, the story would give the client the opportunity to explore what it means to be loyal.

I hoped I'd answered all the client's questions. Either way, I felt I'd done all I could do, so I sent him on his way. I sighed. Today had been productive. I stood up and walked slowly over to the window. As I silently watched Ponychan go about its day, a faint smile came to my lips. I sighed. With no one around to hear me but the walls and the rats in those walls, I muttered a single sentence...

"Happy Nightmare Night, everypony."
-Conch Shell VII
>> No. 123578
Hmm, ideas instead of full stories? I can work with that.

I've been on the fence about carrying on with a crossover idea for a while, mainly dealing with how to approach the episodic nature of it.

It's called "A Hop, Skip, and a... Slide?" and the first chapter of it can be found here:


The story is supposed to be a crossover with Sliders, a science-fiction series from the 90s. It dealt a lot with alternative realities, mostly due to social/historical change that drastically changed the present, and a group of characters going between them. The issue becomes on how to effectively do that with ponies. Here's a short list of arc names and synopses I had considered:


I guess if you could give me an opinion on how the opening to the idea looks with that first chapter, as well as how the idea of some of those world ideas seem to be plausible. Each would span about 30-50k words depending on how involved I'd need to get with it.

The plan would be, after a few successful (hopefully) story arcs, to have the story end with some dramatic final world that ends with everyone going back home.
>> No. 123580
Where to start... where to start...


for starters.

Secondly, about planning. I'm not scared of planning or Ideas, and I welcome your suggestions with as much enthusiasm as I have for writing the story in the first place. I suppose in reality I don't let planning go to all hell; I simply refuse to think about it the way I was taught. I didn't really think about where exactly I would take dash's relationship with scootaloo, just that I've always loved interaction between the two similar ponies, and knew their relationship presented interesting opportunities that almost nopony else (that are developed characters... I don't see a point in writing a fanfic about a new OC pony. I don't really see it as a fanfic. Not to insult anyone (or annoy them with parenthesis(yay nesting(okay i'll stop, sorry(good luck decryption these)))), just my view on my own writing).

Next up on the mentalist (mental-list... word fun?) is your having proof read my story for me.

I am so... sorry...
In the spirit of writing what I was thinking as it came to me, I was typing (almost) as fast as I could (not that I was typing continuously). Many of the errors that you fixed for me could have been fixed by a simple find/replace, which I gladly would have done had I not run out of time before work.

As I briefly mentioned before I have been working the night shift lately, so it pains me even more that I will not have any time to work on this tonight at all. It pains me almost as much as knowing I will not really be celebrating nightmare night tonight. (I will, however, be wearing my rainbow dash costume to work ^_^)

I've got to get going so I'm sorry if I left anything out. Thank you SO much Conch.

(Oh, but hey, at least I know when to use the correct "their, they're, there". I mean they're not that tricky when you just think about their spelling, but maybe I shouldn't go there...)

One last time: Thanks a million.
>> No. 123581
File 135172494746.jpg - (85.46KB , 420x372 , image.jpg )
I have another problem with Ponypool. A new problem, I still have the whole 'Deadpool crossover?' problem.
The changeling main character's name is Woolf. Pretty much all the changelings in this fic have European names. The chapter in which he is introduced is called "The Angel in the Hive", a reference to "The Angel in the Home", a horrid poem about how a women's place is in the home.
The changeling's name is a reference to Virginnia Woolf, a poet/author known for criticizing the subjugation of women and gender roles in general. The chapter is about this changeling dealing with prejudice/unjust treatment within his hive.

Is this too much?
>> No. 123585
File 135173240397.jpg - (44.10KB , 640x480 , Conch Shell, Human, Happy.jpg )
Now here was an interesting idea. Alternate-universe spelunking. I'd been toying around with that idea myself, for something that wouldn't see the light of day for a long time. Unfortunately, I was in kind of a groove writing one of my own stories when I got Flashgen's case file. I decided to move as quickly as I could, so as not to lose the groove.

The question was simple: did the first chapter of "AHSaaS?" function well in establishing the rules of the story? The answer was a resounding yes. Twilight and Spike discover the machine that lets them jump between realities, test it out, and the chapter ends with them rushing off to tell their friends about it. It functions well as a "pilot," you could say, and it did a good job of intriguing me. As for the various alternate universes, I didn't see a single bad idea among them. None of them struck me as impractical, and they all seemed like they could be interesting scenarios to work with. I did note that "The Trading Game" was a stronger title than "The New Fad." I hated to send the client away with nothing, but it seemed like he had plenty of good ideas already.

Just before I left, I answered one more question. "No," I told Roan, "giving your protagonist a meaningful name is a great idea. If it goes over your audience's head, then fine. But if they get it, all of a sudden you look like a genius. Keep the name. You'll thank me in the long run."
>> No. 123595
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Thank you Conch! You are very helpful. Yes I do think I could have wrote the chapter longer but It was an Idea, and it was scratching my head all week. I was thinking about having Jelani being an old friend from buisness school who is a zebra and didn't do too well in classes with filthy. I wanted them to be friends in the past and that early in their relationship they both had a knack for alchemy. But Filthy rich being the more educated one, he was always better. I was thinking maybe the 'drug' could have been made only through alchemy and a few rare herbs found specifically in the everfree. They both found their separate ways after a few things that would leave a sour note in their relationship. But I think that probably filthy would meet with Jelani again in the streets of canterlot where he roams at night and would give him a proposal. They would both make a recipe for an old zebra recipe that is a hallucinogen. Other than that I'm glad you got me thinking and into a direction. I usually think of these, right a couple paragraphs and leave e'm off. Thank you for your consolidation!
>> No. 123637
File 135178972161.jpg - (203.58KB , 960x720 , image.jpg )
Thank you.
>> No. 123723

Thank you very much for the positive words. I'll be sure to keep it on my list of things that will be done some time before my inevitable death. (avoiding all of the negativity I usually have about my ability to finish things I start, I really do want to do it)
>> No. 124643
File 135274377011.png - (419.14KB , 900x1125 , morning.png )
Yo, Conch.

Not sure if you're still open or if you've moved over to MLPchan along with the rest of the regular crowd. Posting it here because I'm a stupidly hopeful pone.

Title: Equestria's End

Author: Aquillo

Tags: Adventure

Word Count: 2814 (+2526)

Synopsis: The world's going to end in one week. It's been doing that for a while now.

Someone in Equestria's broken the world. They've taken time along with it, trapping everything into a single, indefinitely repeating week. Only the elements' bearers move forwards in time, but they've got problems of their own. For each cycle drains their talents from them, each conversation twists old friends into enemies, and not a single one of them knows how to save the world. Some of them have even stopped trying.

And then Twilight finds a way. All that's left to do is find her friends.

Link: 1) http://www.fimfiction.net/story/62196/Equestria%27s-End
2) https://docs.google.com/document/d/16sWdD0nYxlq2mZjoE0SKTTEkc4jyNSHU_qzwyJg2Njw/edit

I've been a bit of an idiot and published this story without parsing it through a few pre-readers (not-Eqd) first of all. I've developed a bad habit for being intentionally vague about the major elements of my stories, and this one's suffering from that by the bucketload. Most of the comments have lead me to believe that nobody knows what the hay's going on. Obviously, that's kind of a problem.

I'd suggest reading the fimfiction version first of all; there's a few parts of the format that only really work on there. I've included the first ~2500 words of my first draft of the first chapter inside the Gdoc in the vain hope that it might help clear up any confusion. Sadly, I did not put it first.

The main thing I'd like to know is just how badly confusing is it. I'm... hopeful that I can safely walk the line between aggravating and intriguing, but I'll willingly admit that my opinion's biased.

Thanks for any potential help offered; also, sorry if this thread's been closed and I'm knocking on a dead man's door. I had a quick skim through it, and couldn't see anything confirming it as being so, but I'm generally prone to making stupid mistakes.
>> No. 126129
File 135827865296.gif - (247.23KB , 600x400 , Spike in dark rain scene.gif )
Hey there Conch!
I'm here to see if my idea for the fic I'm working on is any good. I've written about 5 chapters so far, including a prologue, but I got a total of 30 planned out (not including a total of 3 prologues and 1 epilogue. The story is divided into 3 "parts", each part holding 10 chapters and having a prologue of its own).

At the point it's at, it's just partially begin digging into the plot and stuff, but the mystery and questions are abundant where I have so far left off. I would like for you to tell me if what's coming next might be too obvious, which I will judge if you can guess what happens next or what something means about something else.
I hope I'm following your desired criteria for this thread, but this is a big idea that took me 2 and a half months to plan out. I hope it's at least unique.

Title: Tale of the Nether Drake
Author: StreakTheFox
Tags: Adventure, Tragedy, Romance, Alternate Universe
Word count: Currently at 47,145
Synopsis: When two strangers arrive in Ponyville, the mane 6 and Spike go on a quest to help their new friends in doing right in the world. But what they don't know is that their quest will change the fate of both their world, and a world they never knew existed.
Synopsis Cont:
or everything dark, there is something bright.
For a world in day, there is a world in night.
From hot to cold, and young to old...
Balance has existed for ages untold.

But for this balance that has existed so long,
The forces of chaos will be just as strong.
The balance will shift, world power will drain lower...
and imbalance shall reign until it is all over.
Link: http://www.fimfiction.net/story/2078/tale-of-the-nether-drake
Gdocs Link:https://docs.google.com/document/d/1gQEPSa_4ToC9iz7eFtbrVWEFXdLNqEaM7v09COqL2jU/edit

Yeah, it's pretty damn long... but it's only gonna get longer, and I would like for it to be reviewed before it gets too much for most reviewers to handle.
>> No. 126144
File 135832972526.jpg - (68.03KB , 612x612 , bHfUc.jpg )

Conch, might want to take a look at this if you ever pick up your thread again, since it seems like the author is going on a leave of absence.
>> No. 126151
Wait... wat? Where exactly did he get the impression he should stop writing? Is this placed filled with such a sad bunch?

Although, good thing you had him in your watchlist, otherwise Conch would have looked like an idiot.

Last edited at Wed, Jan 16th, 2013 15:16

>> No. 126152
Is this thread still running? I've not seen the author for a long time here. Too bad, I'd like getting some of his advices.
>> No. 126153
File 135837544290.gif - (58.70KB , 733x500 , o92sl.gif )
>Sage so that it doesn't get bumped
>Two other people bump it in response
Le sigh.
Actually, I only looked up his name because I remembered he was the author of those almost-clop stories that managed to not be deleted here on /fic/ a while back, saw the journal, and figured I'd leave a warning about it.

And no, that's not the reason why. He just happened to realize at the same time he was here that there were more important things than writing fan fiction (which is undoubtedly true).
>> No. 126154
Okay, I've forgot this "rule", I'm sorry, but could someone please tell me if this thread is still running?
>> No. 126156
Don't think so. At least not here. Go to MLPchan, maybe there.

Don't really sage.

Also, those two are mighty coincidences.
>> No. 126157
File 135838370211.gif - (1.53MB , 640x426 , 0zGi5.gif )
>Not sure if putting Sage in subject field because he doesn't know how it works or is trolling
"Sage" goes in the E-Mail field.

Is it? He brings a story in for review, which generally results in a large amount of work afterwards (if he's actually interested in taking advantage of it), and comes to the realization that his time could be spent better elsewhere. He never said it was beacuse of /fic/, just that the thought occurred whilst in /fic/.
>> No. 126158
Just realized the text is "fuck you" instead of "deal with it". Pretend the former is the latter.
>> No. 126168
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