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123480 No. 123480
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Unspoiler all text  • Expand all images  • Reveal spoilers
>> No. 123504
My God, something's gone horribly wrong here!
>> No. 123508
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wat happen
>> No. 123510
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Dammit, Azu

I wanted a God of Conquest edition!
>> No. 123513
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>> No. 123517
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Dammit, Roan!

Keima is God of Conquest! Show his good side!

>> No. 123525
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Responding to warpd's post from the previous thread.

>How was the character interactions? Did they seem in character?

Aside from Rarity's sudden moment of tactical genius, everyone seemed to be in character.

>Did the humor hold up or did it fall flat?

The humor was fine. Nothing side splittingly funny, but it did usually result in a grin or a chuckle.

>Did the story feel like there was real threat to the characters?

Unfortunately I never really felt there was a sense of threat to the characters because the chapter relied so heavily on the episode as its framework. Simply put, I already knew the outcome; matching the beats of the first episode didn't help with that. Yeah, you shook it up a little bit, but not nearly enough to make me think we still wouldn't arrive at the same ending as before. The giant Nightmare Moon and locking the others away in crystal prisons was a nice touch. However, the threat is diffused so quickly and with so little consequence that it may as well have not happened at all.

>Beyond editing was the story enjoyable?

In my personal opinion, not really. It has good parts but those good parts are drowned out by the inescapable fact that this is still pretty much the second episode of the series. I just could never fully invest in the story as a whole. I know you want the events of that episode to be a jumping point into the rest of the story beyond Equestria, but the bottom line is that all it's doing is taking away your ability to shine as an author. Honest and truly I think you should try and create your own series of events. I believe you'll find that the results are much more rewarding and enjoyable.
>> No. 123527
I think these should be at least somewhat pony related.
>> No. 123529
Let us see if I screw this up again
And should this be stickied? There isnt a previous sticky currently
>> No. 123530
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>says it should be pony related



In any case, I'll stop derailing the thread now

>> No. 123531
Tags: Adventure, Normal, maybe a bit sad in the beginning

Word count: 2803

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

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

Hey Figments! Remember me?

You remember this story? You kinnda trashed it last time (Not your fault.). At first, I thought I should scrap it, but today I started trying to fix it.

So could you do me a solid and look over it to see if it's any better. Don't need a full review, just a look over. Anyway, peace out!
>> No. 123532
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Jeez, you guys really let the queue go...
>> No. 123534
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Part One is here: >>123452

Oh, I am so very cross with you right now.

Y'see while I was pleasantly intrigued by Part One, my interest remained mostly academic. I liked what you had written but I was there to do a job, so I made my notes as I went and maintained a degree of professional detachment.

Not so here.

Part Two put the hook in and pulled. I swiftly gave up on notes because I was unwilling to delay my arrival at the next paragraph, the next line.

I abhor spoilers--and never moreso than in a mystery--so I won't go into specifics. Suffice it to say that the things you show--and better yet the things you hint at--ramped up this reader's interest at an ever-increasing rate.

And then you ended it where you did.

So, so cross.

I beseech you to add another chapter or two before this goes up wherever it's going--I presume it's not FiMFiction, given how gaunt your author page there is--lest you come off as a tease.

Only other thing I can think to say here is that I quite liked the footnotes; they're a nice touch.

More of the same concerns as Part One, and thus the same fixes are prescribed. Usually this is where I'd get all lazy Jedi on you and make you seek out the errors yourself, but this thing's been due since the Cretaceous so I'll carry on.

>sniffing at examining strands
An "and" between "at" and "examining" would warm these old bones.

UD, it's "aging".

>a living breathing beast
For the sake of flow, one comma between "living" and "breathing", please.

>a battered in Centurion's Helmet
It's not yet a name--or doesn't seem to be, from the context--so you'll want to de-capitalize "helmet". Also, one hyphen between "battered" and "in", please.

Forgot to mention in Part One, but it's "baronet".

>hand, and let slip
"I" let it slip, no?

>A leg of Mutton
I really need to read Doyle, if only to learn how many of these random capitals are his.

>from the hearth, as Mason explained,
That first comma joins two complete thoughts, so it should be a semicolon.

>my employers self control
An apostrophe between the "r" and "s" there, and a hyphen between "self" and "control"; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.

>"'sat it?"
I adore phonetic dialogue--but don't forget to capitalize the first word in a sentence, even if it's being mispronounced.

>the good Mr Holmes' words
Don't forget the period after "Mr". Though it should be noted that some authors prefer not to use abbreviations in dialogue at all.

>the baronette.
>It was almost pitch
There's no gap between these paragraphs. Unfortunate, that.

>to contend with my wishes
"To struggle against my wishes"? I think you wanted another word there.

>night bag, by midnight
Either yon comma should be a semicolon or there should be an "and" before "by", to make this line work.

>for christ's sake!"
Captialization again.

Needin' some spaces after that ellipsis, there.

>Holmes soothing tones
Fear me, for I am Apostrophe, lord of possession!

>feeling terrible emulsified.
No error here; I just wanted to say that I love this phrase.

>fire men
UD, one word.

>This frame is as ancient as it is weak
Since it's contained in em dashes, there's no need of a capital here. Also, the "as X as it is Y" structure usually puts the new factor first and the known factor second. Thus here it would more commonly be "as weak as it is ancient". Not an error, just a note.

>I stipulated.
Given the context, "supposed" would work better here.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

A quick story-related question: how did no-one see--or at least comment on--any cutie marks? That's seriously been a headscratcher throughout this whole read; I can only hope you explain it later on.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

>when mason returned

>upon the floor there

>completed his Narrative

>in awe of the man

>his compatriots failure.

>Holmes, who's slow and even
Is "whose", comrade.

>Six stuck across the downs
Excuse me, sir; you seem to have dropped your "r".

>Holmes, who's stiff legs
"Whose" legs.

>red with rage, stabbed at from
They stabbed at "me", no?

>It's pupils

>eyes of cyan
I'm afraid not, sir. These eyes are more of a light cerise--or "pinkish" if one wishes to be common. Cyan is closer to the color of her coat.

>the only one's looking
No need for an apostrophe here, thanks.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

So there we have it. I'm happy to see fewer errors in Part Two; always a good sign.

Mechanics are all well and good, but the most important thing is that you've got a gripping little beginning here--and I for one can't wait to read more of it.

Carry on, good sir; carry on!

If you unlock that forward, I'll happily review it too. Just sayin'.
>> No. 123537
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Well, this took way longer than I had anticipated. Sorry about that, it was not my intention to keep you waiting so long. I need to stop reading stories three times.

In general, your mechanics are solid, though I have to say I found a lot of your style choices pretty annoying. There weren’t a lot of consistent errors in things like spelling or punctuation, just a few that I was able to spot here and there. Hyphenation was something you seemed to mess up on now and then, though not always. I get the impression that a lot of the time you aren’t sure, or you’re following a different set of rules. I pointed out most of the instances I found in doc, but you might want to take a look at a guide.


A bit lengthy, but it might help.

Another thing I noticed was that your capitalization, while not exactly inconsistent, tended to include a lot of things that are not proper nouns, or weren’t in the context you were using them. I pointed out what I saw, though I might have missed some things.

I gather that you aren’t in the habit of using American conventions of punctuation, as I noticed a lot of little things that people generally don’t do here. As far as I know, these aren’t exactly incorrect, just really distracting for someone like me.

En dashes: You seem to favor the ‘space dash space’ over the em dash, which is fine, but really sort of archaic looking from where I’m sitting. You mentioned in doc that you hadn’t heard of em dashes before, so I’ll assume you were taught to use en dashes. You did use them correctly, though I don’t think they’re supposed to be used when interrupting dialogue. I might be wrong about that, but at the very least they look a lot weaker than em dashes.

Spacing: You double space at the start of every sentence. This, again, is not exactly incorrect. I’m curious as to whether or not you see it a lot. I don’t, and It looks very strange to me. It took me awhile to realize it was happening, and before I did the whole doc just looked off kilter somehow, though I couldn’t place my finger on why. This is another one of those things that you can do if you want, but in general I don’t think people who are used to the single spacing are going to like it. You do it so consistently that I imagine you’ve been doing for a long time though.

Ellipses: You like ellipses. You like them a lot. That’s fine, but when overused, they tend to lose their flair, and jumble the page. There are a lot of cases in your story where you use them in place of commas or periods, to the detriment of the pacing. You use them in every conceivable way, but here’s an example of what might be my least favorite use:

>He thrust it forwards and...

I don’t have a lot of patience for this kind of thing, and you do it a lot. There are times when it works, but most of the time it isn’t necessary, and is more of a detriment to your story than a benefit. Also, I would suggest you refrain from starting sentences like this: “...Okay...” That’s ugly, and the ellipses really only need to to be on one side, not both. I’d run through your story and see if you can’t replace a lot of your ellipses.

You use ‘many a’ and ‘but a’ several times, and it looks really weird. I know it’s not wrong, but it doesn’t do anything for you. At best, people will ignore it, and at worst, people will think you’re pretentious.

There are a lot of awkward sentences in this story. You don’t generally seem to have too much of a problem organizing your sentences, so when you don’t it really sticks out.

>While pegasi and unicorn soldiers becoming belligerent was a common occurrence lately

This is the sort of thing I mean. It’s not the whole sentence, but there are much better ways of presenting this.

‘While belligerent pegasi and unicorn soldiers had practically become a fixture in town,’

This is an example of something that I think works better. It’s not perfect, but I think you can see my point. Read through your story, and try to find sentences that trip you up. If you are used to reading and speaking, you should be able to tell when something feels unnatural.

Some of these things might just be a matter of you having a different set of grammar conventions than I do. If so, I’m not familiar with them, so I just went with what I know.


This was something I really liked about your story. The idea of racial tensions in Equestria isn’t exactly new, but it hasn’t been done to death as far as I know, and it’s new to me, at least. It would be really easy to go over the top, but you seem to be playing it pretty conservatively, which is good, I think. If people think you’re doing a “Hey look, the racism in Equestria is like it is on Earth! Check out all this racial tension I’ve got going on!” sort of story they are going to drop you faster than cobra-covered nail cake.

Overall though, I like the plot. It’s a little ham-handed in areas, like the designations of each race’s ‘special’ soldier (why Blade Dancer, why?) but that’s not a terribly big deal.


Now, here we have a bit of a problem. This story moves really, really slowly. There are a lot of words. I don’t know how many, somewhere around 25,000 I think (since I did read the first chapters as well). I don’t want to give anything away, but now that I think about it, that would be hard to do because almost nothing has actually happened. Take a little while to think about what the major landmarks in your story have been so far. You’ve taken seven chapters to essentially write the introduction, and that’s not good. There are scenes that don’t do anything, that seem to serve no purpose at all, and your story drags because of it.

>One machine looked suspiciously like a carnival buck-strength tester, holding a target that, when struck, launched a small weight up a gauge. Another was simply a looped rope that pulled against to a heavy duty spring, attached to another gauge to show how far the rope was pulled.

Here’s an interesting sentence. What does it do, exactly? If you had just that first part, before the comma, would it be any different? Your audience knows what you’re talking about. We’re going to conjure up images of a pony version of the mallet games at fairs. We’ve even seen one in ‘Fall Weather Friends’. The rest of it is just words that do nothing but make the reader bored. None of it is information that is needed.

There are a lot of instances of this kind of thing. Not everything has to be explained in detail, and it’s important to ask yourself if the information you presented is really worth the words you used to write it.


I don’t actually have much in the way of complaints here. You do a good job of shifting the tone from scene to scene, without disengaging the reader. Overall, this is probably your strongest point (though this doesn’t apply to Pumpkin’s scenes. More on that later).


Your characters are pretty well defined, though your secondary characters are pretty boring. None of them seem to have any real motivation, other than to be there to advance the plot in the direction you need it to go. Thankfully, there are exceptions (Columbus, thieves), and the same isn’t true of your main characters. Except Pumpkin. Vapor is easily your strongest character, and Nova isn’t bad either. They have desires and motivations, and real reasons for doing the things they do. Except Pumpkin.

An example of something you tend to do with your secondary characters:

>"I think that's it, or at least the important stuff," she muttered. "Alright, then. Dismissed. Go back to doing whatever.

Wait, what? What happened to the intimidating drill sergeant from before? Shouldn’t she be telling those maggots to run laps or do push-ups or something? Lines like this make it feel like you just ran out of good things for the character to do and say, but couldn’t think of a good way to disengage them from the scene.

Overall, I like the characters. When you pay attention to them, you’re able to make them come across as interesting and unique. Except Pumpkin.


That’s right. Pumpkin gets his own section. Why? Because he is at least half of what is wrong with your story. He isn’t interesting, his scenes aren’t interesting, and his motivations aren’t interesting. He’s a boring pony. He’s the Applejack of your characters, without any of what some people call Applejack’s charm. Let’s take a look at your other two characters for a moment.

Nova is a unicorn that works as a teacher. He gets assaulted and then saved. Has to go through recovery. Later, his job isn’t as necessary, so he takes up healing; he has some experience with it, after all, and he went through a traumatic ordeal. But he needs training, and certification. He doesn’t really want to, but he joins the military because it’s the easiest way for him to get the training he needs.

Vapor is a pegasus thief with a talent for flying and nicking saddle bags. She had problems with thugs, and her associates. Gets arrested during an altercation with the former and then sells out the latter for some lenience in prison. She ends up joining the military as a get-out-of-jail-free card. And for better food.

Pumpkin is an earth pony that sells stuff in a market. He wants to protect ponies. Why? Well, his dad did it I guess, and things are sort of sucky, so it seems like a good idea. Guess he should join the military.

See how much less interesting his arc is? Stuff happens to the other two, but nothing really happens to Pumpkin. He gets the same amount of screen time, but he did nothing to deserve it.

On top of that, his scenes seem to be more poorly written than the scenes with Nova or Vapor. You just don’t seem to be trying as hard with him, which drags down the rest of your story by association. Leading with his story is probably not the best way to engage people. Your prologue is already sort of slow, and then Pumpkin’s scene on top of that is hard to get through.

Also, I really, really, don’t like that first fight scene, the one with Pumpkin’s dad. It seems to come out of nowhere. It’s not the fact that it’s a fight, but rather that it reads like something from a shonen manga. That has a time and place, and your story isn’t it.

So, yeah. I don’t like Pumpkin. He needs some serious work before he’s going to be up to par with the other two. As it is, he’s dull, and drags the story down. You need to look at him and find things you can use to make him more interesting. Maybe work on his relationship with Marmalade or something. I assumed that was something that was going to come up later, but by the time it does we aren’t likely to care.


You have some issues here. There are a lot of things that can drag your reader out of the story, and one of them is breaking the flow with something that doesn’t seem to belong there. An example is the way you end the first three chapters. The tone is completely different, and you aren’t doing anything in those sections. You’re just giving us information that we either didn’t need, or could already glean from what happened in the chapter. They just feel like words, and that’s not what you want for your story. I would cut them, but you might be able to do something with them. Just know that I don’t think they work.

The worst offenders are your military sign-up sheets. There is no reason at all for those to be in your story. We get absolutely nothing out of them. If there’s anything important that you want us to know through those, then find some other way to do it. I hated looking at those things. You have to be a certain kind of writer doing a certain kind of writing to get away with that, and I’m afraid you aren’t that person.

Ponifying Everything

This was painful. I actually groaned out loud several times in your story because of this, and this is coming from someone who reads fanfiction about ponies. There are a lot of things that simply do not need to be ponified, or that don’t survive the transition. For example:

>"Ruttin' tartarus," she swore, gritting her teeth. "Yeah, well, be gentler. That manure hurts."

Okay, I can live with the first part. I know what you did, and it sort of works. But really? Really? Manure? No. This is bad. It has none of what you want it to have, and it doesn’t work as a clever joke either. It sounds incredibly forced and stupid.

Also, I’d advise against using ‘hoof’ as a unit of measurement. It’s not as egregious as the above example, but it still rankles. It sounds awkward, and it doesn’t give the reader a good frame of reference for what kind of distance you are really talking about. If you say something is twenty hooves long, I can’t really visualize what that looks like. I don’t have a frame of reference for it, and having to think about it means I’m not reading anymore.

Well, that’s about it. Again, sorry this took me so long to do, but there was a lot I wanted to say. I think this story has a lot of potential. The plot is good, and the characters that aren’t Pumpkin are interesting. See if you can do something about him, and trim the story back a little in the word count, and you’ll have the makings of a pretty cool story. Let me know if you have any questions, and thanks for your patience!

I have to say, if you wrote a story just about Vapor I’d probably read it.
>> No. 123540
You said, once, that you considered yourself, if I may paraphrase, "rather green".

I'm inclined to disagree. Just the stuff I have always needed, with a dash of flair to boot!

Thank you so very much indeed for the review. As soon as I can, I'll get right into the thick of it, re-reading, revising, et al. Again, Thank you very much!
>> No. 123541
The problem with having this thread sticky-ed is that then it would be a pain in the flank to load the whole thing if somepony needed to see an old review for whatever reason.
>> No. 123543
Hello! I'd like my fic to be edited, I dunno how this works so if I did something wrong, please tell me so.

Story Tags: Random, Slice of Life, Adventure, Comedy

So, I'm a new writer, this is my first fic. I'd like to be hammered with everything ya'll have to throw at me, and erm.. Am I doing this right? Too long?

Still confused with chan sites.. Pardon me.
>> No. 123544
Just a quick bump for my review request, I noticed the Queue spreadsheet has >>123531 listed and since I posted before it I guessed it got missed at the end of the old thread.
>> No. 123546
To be listed in the queue, you need to fill out the form at http://tinyurl.com/TrainingGroundsSubmit . Details can be found in the submission guides at the top of the original post, as is the link to the submission form.

You also need to fill out the form to be listed in the queue. You also need a synopsis for your story. Again, the link: http://tinyurl.com/TrainingGroundsSubmit
>> No. 123551
Thank you! I should have read the tl;dr version, I'd missed point 8 in the submission guide.
>> No. 123554
With Nothing To Fear
By: ToastiestZombie


The first three paragraphs are spent setting the scene. It tells me exactly who the characters in the story will be, what will happen, and why. Show, don't tell. Unfold the story in an interesting way, don't just blurt the plot straight onto the page.

Following the opening scene set, you proceed to spend the next paragraphs introducing the cast of your story like a roster. First is OC pony. Then AJ/Rarity. Then RD. Short break to tell me what a cool train looks like. Then Pinkie and a cough to tell me Fluttershy is here too.

Each character does something stereotypical. Applejack acts grumpy and says "darn" lots of times. Rarity has lots of clothes. Rainbow Dash swoops in and uses exclamation points in every! Single! Sentence! Pinkie bounces around and Fluttershy is invisible.

Start by culling the exclamation points. Here's a rule to write by: you get one exclamation point maximum per page. Use it wisely. Then move on to drawing the picture of what each character is like by showing them saying and doing things that are in character, not just telling the reader.

First person character falls asleep to make segue into new scene is very cliche.

The story picks up a bit here. Interesting things happen. I start getting interested right about here, but everything before this point is mostly poor exposition.

The train is given a quick blurry description despite there being twenty-one travelers. You could have given Twilight a scene chatting with one, discussing the strange vibe they were both feeling. Instead, you had a zombie conductor which she completely ignores after he doesn't respond, then what sounds from your description like a human in the fire room with a hook. By now I'm thinking Twilight has been kidnapped by pirate zombies. I'm waiting for the ninja robots to appear to complete the trope.

Segue from unconsciousness again.

Scary room description time. I'm disappointed the walls weren't hand stitched from the hides of virgin unicorns sacrificed to the dark gods of chaos drowned in the tears of a thousand alicorns. Blood and pus streaming from the ceiling? You've completely lost my willing suspension of disbelief at this point. If it's meant to be over the top cliche, go for the worst you can. If not, understate and build the sense of dread.

Twilight spins around the room, stares out the window, sits down and has a cry, and only after all this does she notice the giant metal frame. This does not make sense.

More humans appear. I keep reading tentacle arms as meaning they're flailing their rubbery appendages about in a gyrating and rhythmic motion. Kind of ruined the mood of the fic here, as they become more absurd than scary.

Finally the big reveal occurs.

The humans are making copies of ponies for the show, and then toys of them. By torturing them with needles.

This makes absolutely no sense. No explanation is given why this is necessary beyond "humans are evil and like to destroy nice things."

Fic rates 2/5. Grammar and spelling are decent. Plot is non-existent. The suspense is ruined by the descriptions all the time.

Recommendations for improvement:

I don't understand why you included the whole mane 6, even less the OC pony. Only Fluttershy is even mentioned as being present after Twilight leaves her friends on the train. Writing them in at the start was pointless, and I'd drop anyone you don't plan to use.

Better idea: just Twilight and OC pony together on train, end up in scary cell, bond, heartbreaking reunion, escape by the barest of margins, ultimately get recaptured right at the end. You don't need to have Twilight experience the final scene, she could witness it happening to her new friend instead.

However overall, this fic is a trainwreck I'm sorry.
>> No. 123557
Twilight's Odyssey
By: DemPonies

Preamble: You asked for someone with skill and experience, neither of which I have a reputation for possessing. However, I can at least provide my personal feedback.

The synopsis has me interested. You’ve got a great “What If?” hook. Three nations of ponies but no alicorns? Unicorns still control the celestial bodies? Sounds like a wonderful alternate universe to play with.

Opening is well written. I instantly like the characters. Twilight is adorable. I can immediately tell who’s speaking from the first word too, well played. Also a nice dialogue between the adults. I shared their smile with some of my own memories with my wife there.

Excellent job of showing the story of how unicorns move the sun and moon instead of the princesses. Short, simple, personal. Her parents work with the moon. They name their daughter Twilight. This makes even more sense.

>She leaned over to inhale some of its flagrance.
Flagrant: Conspicuously bad, offensive, or reprehensible.
Fragrant: Having a pleasant odor.

First error I’ve spotted. So far so good.

Twilight loses parents, finds her destiny. Foreshadowing occurs. Seems somewhat cliche to have a montage from a fortune teller but I’ll roll with it. Starting to get the Dorothy in Kansas vibe from the scene.

The bit about not telling the mare her name might work better if she realizes that a few minutes later when she has time to reflect on the exchange. She’d likely be overwhelmed with relief at that moment just having found her family, but she can have a Fridge Logic (TVTropes) moment later to realize this fact if you think it’s significant enough.

Heartfelt moments with her big brother ensue. Overall the exchange is good. I might have rewritten the final climax to allow each sibling’s “Okay” to stand alone for more emotional impact.

>She steeled herself, tensing her body to refute his words.

>Her brother’s gaze was filled with love for his little sister as he pleaded with her, voice cracking in spite of his will.


>For a moment it seemed Twilight was unwilling to yield. Eventually though, she softened under the gaze of her cherished big brother. Meekly she turned her eyes down, hiding her pride beneath her love.


Moving along to the castle. Brief reunion with parents, and princess appears. Description is instantly making me think Princess is Rarity. Fridge Logic kicks in and points out that since Twilight is a filly, Rarity is also. Princess is not Rarity, but now I will forever visualize her as such.

The royal speech is quite good. I enjoy the points regarding diligence and responsibility. Very befitting a monarch addressing her people. Doesn’t drag on either, well paced to keep the story flowing.

>The instant she did so, the collective flow of the magic radiating from all the unicorns in Equestria gripped her, and she lost herself in the stream. It was like the current of a river. She became one with the whole, an indistinguishable part to an infinite mass, all working together for a single purpose. She felt giant and small, strong and weak at the same time.

Wonderful. This is a wonderful paragraph.

And with that, the chapter finishes. Cliffhanger to tease us with the knowledge that Twilight the scholar will appear soon to begin her studies makes me want to read more. I want to click and read the next chapter.

This one’s a keeper. You’ve got a great opening here, a good setting and your prose is enjoyable to read. I’d love to continue this story, so I hope you do too.
>> No. 123558
I kind of expected a 1/5, since I did this in about two hours whilst tired and rushing. Thanks for the review though. Not sure why but the bit about the tentacles made me laugh. I am working on a longer, much more serious and less rushed fic and I would like you to review it when I do get round to requesting a review. I'd just like to see if it's an improvement.
>> No. 123559
2/5 = Semblance of plot, appearance of intelligence. Your fic.
1/5 = No plot, little intelligence. "Rainbow Dash sudenly apprers in my rume and we hav lots and lots of lesbian secks."
0/5 = Keyboard facerollings. "q3q )9[0(hw[0'9yh "
>> No. 123560
File 135169428325.jpg - (31.92KB , 300x300 , processing.jpg )
>The first three paragraphs are spent setting the scene. It tells me exactly who the characters in the story will be, what will happen, and why. Show, don't tell. Unfold the story in an interesting way, don't just blurt the plot straight onto the page.
Close but no cigar. There's nothing wrong with the content, per se; the only thing needing improvement is how it's presented. I kinda don't get how you managed to predict the plot so quickly from those first three paragraphs.

I would actually argue that more should have been put into building the scene of the train - and by scene, I mean scene, with other ponies, to establish the initial normality of the situation, which Jimmy's review does mention, but it's sort of trapped between the lines. Vladimir Nabokov's "First Love" does excellently with it, for example, where he takes things that one would notice in real life on an actual train and describes them, to bring the reader into his world:

>...The door of the compartment was open and I could see the corridor window, where the wires - six thin black wires - were doing their best to slant up, to ascend skywards, despite the lightning blows dealt them by one telegraph pole after another; but just as all six, in a triumphant swoop of pathetic elation, were about to reach the top of the window, a particularly vicious blow would bring them down, as low as they had ever been, and they would have to start all over again...

This is a scene of normality, but it's vivid, because it's something the reader has experienced before. It invokes the image in the mind, nothing outstanding, but also enjoyable. And setting up that normal scene allows the plot to gain depth. In your case, it's the base to which one must contrast in order to get the dissonance that is a dark tone, and I felt that that base needed to be stronger.

So, yes, correct call on the show, don't tell, but maybe some further elaboration as to how would be good, because if he could do it he probably would have already done so.

>Following the opening scene set, you proceed to spend the next paragraphs introducing the cast of your story like a roster. First is OC pony. Then AJ/Rarity. Then RD. Short break to tell me what a cool train looks like. Then Pinkie and a cough to tell me Fluttershy is here too.
>Each character does something stereotypical. Applejack acts grumpy and says "darn" lots of times. Rarity has lots of clothes. Rainbow Dash swoops in and uses exclamation points in every! Single! Sentence! Pinkie bounces around and Fluttershy is invisible.
I mostly agree with this.

>Start by culling the exclamation points. Here's a rule to write by: you get one exclamation point maximum per page. Use it wisely. Then move on to drawing the picture of what each character is like by showing them saying and doing things that are in character, not just telling the reader.
>First person character falls asleep to make segue into new scene is very cliche.
Mhm, yes

Everything else is pretty cynical, but more or less correct (more or less, because the average reader probably wouldn't be as pointed, but then again none of us are average readers). Just a couple more things:

>This makes absolutely no sense. No explanation is given why this is necessary beyond "humans are evil and like to destroy nice things."
There doesn't need to be an explanation, imo - all fiction is ultimately fiction, transient and made-up, if you want to go full-on disillusioned about it. For the reader to have questioned it as such, though, is an indicator that the fic is not effective, that disbelief has not been suspended, and there is no closure. So this statement holds true, but I just want to add this so that the author knows what to make of it.

>The suspense is ruined by the descriptions all the time.
By which, I believe, you're referring to the descriptions of the bad place? Because if so then that's right, but description is necessary to set up the scene, with reference to the above mini-rant on contrast.

>However overall, this fic is a trainwreck I'm sorry.
It's usually recommended that you end on an encouraging note, seeing as we're all in the same amateur's boat, but, well.

A good review doesn't pull its punches, and is helpful. Of the first, you have in spades; of the second, you could improve by giving reasons as to why something isn't working, and examples on how to get it right. Remember, it's people you're working with; you're giving a service, and it's always better to give service with a smile. =) Well, maybe not a full smile, but not having your face in a metaphorical perpetual frown would help. Even so, you've touched the right points and called out what you thought squarely, and we can't ask for more than that. Overall, good job.

As for the story itself, since I went ahead and skimmed it, I might as well say: I felt that your pacing was too quick. Two scene changes later, Twilight is in the bad room. There's no rhyme nor reason aside from Big Bad Malevolent Force, and there's no attempt to either keep us entertained enough to ignore it, or to justify it, and that's where the story shatters. Take your time to establish just how normal and happy and cheery these ponies are, so that we're lulled into a sense of security, and then you mix in the barbs. Nightmares, missing ponies, strange paint leaks from a locked room, so on - until the end finally arrives.

Nothing wrong there. It might be kinda deflating, but you know what you're doing as it is. Thank you both!
>> No. 123562
>>123559 I'm a bit confused on what you mean by "having no plot" though. Every story must have a plot, otherwise it wouldn't be a story. So could I have some clarification on that point please?
>> No. 123563
File 135169522223.png - (65.25KB , 222x255 , nuuu.png )

>0/0 = [...]

With that kind of example, I'm surprised that "lesbian" is spelled right
>> No. 123565
Thanks a lot for your feedback! I'm glad you liked it.

I'd probably not have caught that flagrance/fragrance thing on my own, thanks a bunch!

You're not the first one to associate the Princess with Rarity. I'm guessing it's the white coat combined with the purple mane? There's only so many colors that can work with white and, unlike the other notable white unicorn from the show, Rarity and the Princess won't share a scene.

I definitely plan to continue this. If you want, you can find it on FimFic right now (shameless self-promotion!)
>> No. 123568
File 135169948536.jpg - (97.70KB , 900x506 , god-of-conquest-mode.jpg )

Um, sure, I suppose

As soon as I finish with 25's monster, then I'll see what I can do for you
>> No. 123574
Did you actually claim "Lavender"? Cause I had a peek at it, as is my wont when considering a fic to take, but I found comments from you smattered throughout it already.

If you did claim it, you should know "Lavender" is still being considered unclaimed and thus still occupies a slot in the queue. So you might want to address that.
>> No. 123575
Yes, I was too harsh here. Your story does have a plot, but it's rather obscured from the reader for the reasons mentioned earlier.

A plot at the most basic level has five stages. Exposition, in this case the first three paragraphs. Rising action, here found in the scary room where the conflict occurs. Climax, the big reveal of what's happening. Falling action and resolution don't occur to any great extent due to the nature of the work's genre but this is typical in this sort of story.

Thanks for your time reviewing my review, I'll take your advice on board for future critique. My opening comments about predicting the plot hinged on the second paragraph. Here each character is called out to show they'll be going and given a scenario that's too good to be true. This instantly establishes distrust of the offer and starts the little Admiral Ackbar in the back of my mind predicting various horrible ends for the gullible equines.

Of course the writer knows how to spell 'lesbians,' it's an important word to know.
>> No. 123579
Yeah it did kind of seem like you were using the term "no plot" in the wrong fashion. Many terrible stories have plots (CoD, Twilight and more), and all amazing stories do so too. Unless there is literally no semblance of a "plot" it shouldn't really be a bad thing.
>> No. 123584
File 135173228547.jpg - (86.35KB , 960x642 , 132595284424.jpg )
Nope. If I'd claimed it, I'd have claimed it. It's still open.
>> No. 123588
File 135173490858.jpg - (86.67KB , 689x618 , 134310306865.jpg )
Beautiful OP image, but someone forgot to add the post number in the link to the previous edition. The URI came out as chan/fic/res/.html, which leads to a 403 error.

The ID is 121215. The link to the generator is
So you either append 121215 to the hash fragment (i.e. http://dl.dropbox.com/u/57284761/TTGTemplate/ttg-op.html#121215) or go there and then paste it in the "Previous thread ID" field before hitting "generate".
>> No. 123589

Thanks for the review.

>but in general I don’t think people who are used to the single spacing are going to like it. You do it so consistently that I imagine you’ve been doing for a long time though.
I've been doing it my entire life, so it's pretty second nature to me. If it's that jarring I'll do a 'Replace all'.

Ah yes... him. The straight, normal character without much going wrong. I know where I want him to be, but getting him there isn't really working. Might need to rewrite... pretty much everything for him. I do have an idea that might spice it up a bit.

Yep, this was what I was mostly worried about. I think my problem right now is I've kinda lost the plot on what I want to really happen right now. Like Pumpkin, I know where I want to go, but not really how to get there...

>I have to say, if you wrote a story just about Vapor I’d probably read it.
Vapor is just... fun. She's fun to write, fun to think up things for her to do.

Might need to throw this one on the back-burner for a while, do some other fic ideas, and come back at it with a fresh mind.
>> No. 123607
File 135176124050.png - (357.29KB , 1825x1885 )

Should be fixed.
>> No. 123608
Wait, I'm confused...

Where did my fic go? It's neither in the 'unclaimed requests' or 'active' queue. Was yours a claimed review, Jimmy?
>> No. 123611
You can find your fic under the "Old Entries" tab of the spreadsheet. It was not claimed but it seems my entry was sufficient to qualify your fic as reviewed.
>> No. 123612
Ah, I see. Well, I'll probably put it back in the queue then. Your feedback was great and all, but I'd prefer a more in-depth look.
>> No. 123613
As you wish, but maybe you'd like to spend less time editing what you've written and more time creating new work. Chapter 2 won't write itself, and putting aside Chapter 1 and focusing on creating new content is what I'd recommend. Why not create a first draft copy of the next chapter or two, then reward yourself with a spot of editing? I didn't allow myself to post my fic until I'd already started Chapter 3 for fear I'd just spend my time polishing the what I'd already written instead of working on something new. The best way to write a story is to actually write a story. Accept your previous work isn't perfect and put it aside. Let the editors sort out the mess, your job is to create new content.
>> No. 123614
That's good advice. Although,technically, I've already got a first draft of four and a half chapters forward (about 28,000 words, in total) although they suck right now. I've edited maybe a fourth (1000 words) into the second chapter, so it's on its way, hopefully.

It's just that I'd like my first chapter to be the best it can be before I fire my last attempt to get into EQD.
>> No. 123615
>Let the editors sort out the mess, your job is to create new content.
I'm afraid I must cut in here--this is a terrible mindset to have and will lead to stories of equal or lesser quality of the story you've set aside. When you're setting aside a story because it has too many faults, you're not really learning why you made those faults or how to avoid them. It's like the difference between looking at the solutions manual for the answer and doing the problems for yourself to understand the concepts better.

On top of that, "leave it to the editors" only works if you have, you know, actual editors. And even then, you should know how to avoid consistent errors.
>> No. 123616
If you are choosing between finishing your incomplete project or editing what you've written, I say new content should be first priority. Yes, you can take time to improve what you've written, but this should be second to getting a first draft of the entire project completed. Then go back and disembowel it viciously. Rewrite if needed. But first be kind to yourself. If you've actually written the whole story, beginning to end, you're more likely to feel a sense of commitment to a proper edit. Once you're sure it's worth reading, get an outside set of eyes. I'm not saying stop editing the story once you finish the last chapter and move on to another, I'm saying get the skeleton of the story into text, then build from there instead of simply creating a perfect first chapter with nothing else to show.
>> No. 123617
File 135177829687.png - (221.46KB , 548x479 , mfw.png )

Keep in mind that the goal of the reviewing process is to strengthen the author's writing abilities so that both story and grammar hiccups become less and less common.

Our priority isn't to shuffle through the shit that people dump on us, expecting us to make them get views.

Our priority is fixing what went wrong, and showing you, the author, how to never do that again (for the most part).
>> No. 123618
Well if it's unclaimed, I'm gonna go ahead and start making edits based on your comments now rather than keep waiting on a full review, if that's okay.

And thank you very much, by the way. Every little bit helps.

That being said, does the exact word count matter much in the queue? As I make edits in waiting, it'll probably fluctuate by a few hundred or so. If it does matter, I can get a new total of course, or at least a rough estimate (a.k.a. ~12000 words)
>> No. 123662
Tags- slice of life, friendshipping

Synopsis- Rarity and Pinkie Pie spend the day in Canterlot together.

Link- https://docs.google.com/document/d/1NdaxfiC6sEW_9LI6LJi8mwaAOPdgGLd1mz0eqzMoV-c/edit

Comments- Currently an unfinished work in progress, about half way through. Grammar check is always appreiciated, but I want to make sure that I keep everypony in character, espeicaly when I start talking about taxes.

Yes, taxes. I have a 300 word discusion between Rarity and Pinkie Pie on taxes and money management in general (and how Twilight is bad at both).

I am kinda concerned that the money talk is too... mundane and everyday (despite being tagged SoL). Should I cut it and try something else, or should I just allow it to trail off naturally into the next sceen?

Also, I need a better title.
>> No. 123768

Claiming because bored + it's there and sub 3k.

Expect it shortly.

Oh, and around 2100 words probably won't be enough for me to provide help with the title, I'm afraid.
>> No. 123776
Tags – [Adventure] [Comedy]

Synopsis - I suppose this is the bit where I tell you a bit about myself. Where I describe my feelings, my likes, my dislikes, perhaps some of what I've done.

Well, buck that. If you don't know who I am, then you're either too stupid to breathe, or been living on the moon for the last century. And as far as I know, my aunt is the only pony who can claim that as an excuse, so we all know into which category you fall.

My name is Prince Blueblood. Yes, that Prince Blueblood, and I'm sure you've all heard the tales. The stories. After all, I did save Equestria. And discover priceless lost treasures beyond imagining. And defeat the mighty Crack Shot in a duel. And... well, like I said, you've all heard the stories.

Hate to break it to you: they're just that. Stories.
But if there's one thing that I am good at... it's telling stories. So sit down, colts and fillies, for the tale of greatest lie ever told, about the greatest pony ever to live. And let me tell you; it's one heck of a ride.

Link –

Comments –
I sent this off to the lovely pre-readers at EqD, who suggested that I send this here. They also recommended that I look into these things in particular:
- Semicolons
- Hyphen uses
- It’s/Its confusion
- Ellipsis use
In addition, it’d be great to get some non-English perspective on the slang I use in the fic. I try to regulate it, but sometimes I miss things, and apparently it might cause confusion.

I don’t have any particular preferences about who makes a review, so if you want to give it a go, thanks.
>> No. 123786
File 135181750961.jpg - (120.03KB , 730x1095 , sunday__by_stupidyou3-d4jjjrk.jpg )

Ok, ProfCharles. Here's how I'm going to play this review:

I've pointed out most of the grammar based nitpicking in doc, so the only thing's I'll expand on here are the ones which cropped up more than once. In particular, I'm going to rant about your use of commas, because masking comma splices with parenthesis and direct address bugs me.

After that lovely part, I’ll move onto the more “This is how I think you should write a story” type drivel. Be aware that this bit’s all entirely my own opinion; if you bluntly disagree, then just ignore me and carry on doing things your way.

Grammar bit

There’s a fair number of flubs in this, and seeing as I don’t really have enough to go one to be certain about saying whether any of them are mechanical, I’ll err on the side of the caution and keep this section short.

Still, there were a few obvious and repeating errors.

1) Hyphens: They are not used to interrupt or lead into dialogue. Both of these roles are played by dashes. The only time you should really be using a hyphen is for compound words and stuttering.

2) Masking com. splices: You did this twice with direct address, and seeing as how it’s an error that seldom brought to light, I’m going to pontificate on it like there’s no tomorrow.

>Right this way, Miss Rarity, I have some in the stockroom.
>I do apologise, Silky, I should have informed her about that beforehoof.

The fastest way to see the error is to move the location of the direct address:

>Right this way, I have some in the stockroom, Miss Rarity.
>Silky, I do apologise, I should have informed her about that beforehoof.

Compare this to a direct address that is not masking a comma splice, and you should see the problem:

Version One
>I don’t think, Pinkie, that we should be in here.
>Pinkie, I don’t think that we should be in here.
>I don’t think that we should be in here, Pinkie.

Version Two
>Whatever you do, Twilight, do it fast!
>Twilight, whatever you do, do it fast!
>Whatever you do, do it fast, Twilight!

I could attempt to go into a more technical explanation, but I think that just showing you it should be enough. If not, feel free to either bug me about it on here, the doc comments or on Mlpchan if /fic/ decides to migrate.

Story Bit

You have too many characters at the start of this for the amount of relevance they have. Unless what the rest of the mane six are up to becomes vitally important later on in the fic, there’s no reason to start off with them talking about what they’re going to do today. In fact, even if it is important, you could still get away with having Rarity just casually thinking about what they’re doing in Camelot.

Another thing to comment on is the size of your opening paragraph. A good opening is key to convincing the reader to read on: you’ll need to have the hook ready and waiting for the first nibble. Having a short paragraph framed around a single, interesting idea is a good way of getting that nibble; a large paragraph that wanders uncertainly from idea to idea is not. Tighten up your opening.

Your characterisation was mainly clean from what I read, though I’d dispute the idea of Twilight having financial troubles. This is the same mare who had a panic attack over a single late friendship report and draws up extensive lists about how to get ready for the day. I don’t think she’d be that absent minded.

I’d also say that Rarity doesn’t hug that often in canon -- she’s more the recipient of hugs -- and that she tends to use contractions a bit more that you’ve written. Also, Pinkie’s dialogue. Just... no. She does not stretch every single sentence out that much. She knows what periods are for.

You overuse dialogue tags and underuse action tags. In other words, you have a bad case of the talking heads. Give us more details about the world your characters are inhabiting rather than the manner in which they speak.

Adding onto that, describe characters less. Unless Rarity being a white unicorn is relevant to the sentence, use either her name or a pronoun. You wouldn’t -- or at least I hope you wouldn’t -- randomly describe people in terms of their hair colour and race; there’s no real reason why you should do so with ponies. You don’t have LUS, but you’re not that far away from it.

As for the story itself... Well, it’s 2K in and it already feels a bit like Sweet & Elite with extra Pinkie. Spice it up a bit. I can already feel the story shaping up into a “Rarity’s embarrassed about her friends” type tale and the problem is that’s already been told by the show. Give this story a reason to be different.

Oh, and the money conversation was fine. I think you had more of a problem with the Pinkie-Silky moment: it felt like it was meant to be funny, but not enough attention was given to make it so. You’re writing a fic with the two funniest canon-characters; don’t be afraid to stretch the scene out and have Rarity acting like the OTT drama queen she is.
>> No. 123787
Tags: [Adventure], [Depressing], [OC]

Synopsis: Soft Speak, an Earth Pony of tradition, leaves Equestria as it enters an industrial boom to travel the world and learn of other cultures. He returns home two decades later after learning that his father had passed away. Upon arrival though he finds that the Equestria he had known has radically changed. New technologies and mass consumer culture has led to the rise of racial and class conflicts and new political ideology struggles with with the old ones. Displaced, Soft Speak travels across the country trying to find where he belongs this new Equestria.

Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1r-UYkhIWJn7y36-xY0-cmlLRpsPTh2wxSroENG8eaJE/edit

It's only a prologue and first chapter. I'd like to have both reviewed though the prologue is rather short regardless. I intend on making this my last story before moving on entirely but I'd like it to be a good one with some meaning to it as a whole.
>> No. 123796
Hey, Azu claimed Ponypool, right?
It's still in the unclaimed list.
>> No. 123797
File 135182182118.png - (75.69KB , 241x241 , Rainbow Dash131577202891.png )
Sorry, Roan, I haven't read enough of Fallout Equestria to understand your fic. The only advice I can give is that it needs to be better paced.

I loved Pontypool though.
>> No. 123810
Oh... well thanks.
I'll set to working out the issues you mentioned in the comments.
>> No. 123823
File 135184068145.png - (209.77KB , 600x800 , 4bb0609eec2b2aac4202ef8966345dda-d5010dx.png )
I really have to agree with Jimmy. I might agree with Filler if this were not at least the third or fourth time I've seen Twilight's Odyssey posted for review on this site. Some of those times it has been picked up by good reviewers, and one time I believe it was picked up by a great one. I commend you for wanting to improve your work, but I think at this point, the only thing that's going to improve the first chapter is to give it more context; i.e. to publish more, get it out there, see what people think. At the very least, submit your drafts for review. Having them sitting on your hard drive isn't going to do you much good. Your skills are going to stagnate.
>> No. 123826
File 135184183525.jpg - (10.38KB , 217x232 , mhm.jpg )
So I've had a look at your previous couple of reviews. I'm not going to berate you for your odd hyphenation; you're learning on your own, alex has already given you some good resources, and that's fine with me. Hack at it and you'll develop a feel for it.

The biggest criticism, and in fact pretty much the only one, I have to level at this is that it's not very engaging. I'm going to now dissect your story and try to find out why.

First off, stylistically, your sentences are medium- to long-length, and it would be more bearable if it were not phrased to rely on unpunctuated conjunctions so much. See, punctuations, they exist so that the reader don't have to strain themselves so much to follow through. When your sentences drag on long, you require a greater overall investment from the reader. Long sentences without punctuation? No. Long sentences with punctuation, though, are workable, if not for point number two.

Secondly, your descriptions are spent on less significant details. Not insignificant per se, but less significant. There's also some instances of awkward word choice and bad word economy, which I've pointed out. The mantra is to give us as many interesting bits in the least amount of words needed, unless your style can trump that - Lolita, for example, gets away with purple prose because it serves a second purpose: it reveals the type of character the narrator is, and what he feels of the scenery, and of Dolly. When you describe a room, don't do it half-baked - mention what's special about the room, the things which make it unique. The smell of cold metal, disinfectant, the hum of air-conditioning. How white the lights are can be glazed over with "brightly lit"; spend your words instead on more sensual things. You've mentioned the glow of screen in Applejack's scene. Then you mention the lighting again in Twilight's scene. But you give little else aside from lighting, and I'm left with big white boxes.

Thirdly, your choice of plot events are low-intensity. Coupled with lacklustre details and presentation, the fic ends up average. It is not extraordinary, because aside from ponies being in space, nothing extraordinary happens.

Science fiction is science fiction. You have more of science than fiction, and you have less of both combined than you have mild dialogue. Science, as in all those specs and names and numbers, which you can only get away with if they're 1) interesting or 2) important. RD's cannons are never shown in action. The name of her ship model is just there. The breakneck speeds at which she is travelling is completely ripped of all interest value, because there's no contrast to the norm. Contrast - that's your key. You mention her flying at 700m/s, that's bloody twice and some more the speed of sound, and you just mention it like it's nothing, with no contrast to hit home just how fast this is. That's not the problem. The problem is that the other descriptors of her changing speeds hinge on this, because speed is relative - everything is relative, really - and the precedent of 700m/s, which you have set so casually, is just that. So when she changes speeds, it's just from one speed to another. It's just that. There's no life in that. Pic related.

Now, changing speeds is admittedly not very interesting. So why then am I made to read new numbers each time, numbers that I'm not keeping track of? I end up glazing over, and that sets a precedent for myself reading this.

For the first scene, I advise that you spend more time building up the sensation. You've got the scene, but not much through RD's eyes - you're giving us a picture of a tropical island when what would be better is a three-day-two-night cruise. I've mentioned those as well in the doc, with examples.

So RD has a conversation with Gilda. The one thing that struck me most was how casually Dash used the word "killed". Because even in such a blatantly AU fic, death isn't something that you can just pull out like that - especially not in front of the persona whose colleagues were the deceased. And Gilda's RD's friend in canon, and you can't just wave off their frayed-but-still-there friendship like that.

Then AJ mines a rock.

Really, how is that supposed to entice me?

It's probably necessary to the plot, but you could do with some more interest. Like, less of the whole "THIS IS THE WONDERS OF SPACE" and more actual doing things.

The main actions AJ take here is walking from terminus to terminus. That's not interesting.

What would be interesting is if something were to go wrong somewhere. A stray piece of debris hitting a worker. And then AJ having to make a decision call. And so on. Even if no accidents were to happen, give more attention to the interesting things: the lasers. That sort of scene has the potential to be awe-inspiring, if you plan out the details and lay enough of them out carefully enough. Hint: not just visuals, but also hearing, and the other senses.

You're the author. You have control over everything except your characters' personalities. You can force their hand, change their outlook on life, push them to the top of joys and the lowest of despairs, but only through the world around them. So do it. Make something interesting happen, so that your characters can act in a more interesting way. Use it to show more of the world, of the society, and establish your world as yours, not just big black space with rock and lasers and white rooms.

What I'm saying is that this scene is low intensity. That'd be fine, except that it's in the wrong place. This is your first chapter, where you're supposed to grip people, not show them the routine, albeit thought-out, the farmer pony does in this new world.

Then, next scene, which, while more interesting, I found not very important to the plot.

Also, Derpy for the sake of Derpy, which I will simply frown upon. Because, well, honestly, what's the point of having her in this story? Just because?

Maybe you could have them investigating something from Archer III, but not tell outright that Archer III is where it's from. Have them do experiments on some metal from there, and think about its origins in very brief passing. Or have them mine metals to send to Archer I, and mention that in very brief passing. Or have them think about that time when raiders came from the direction of the Archer system, where the planets are all dusty and green. Foreshadow. Give us things more relevant to the plot.

Them going to a new planet is not interesting. That is not your hook. What is your hook is what makes this planet special, what makes this visit to the new planet significant. And you haven't touched that in your first chapter.

Any other gripes, I've mentioned in doc.

I hope I've given you something to think about. So, tl;dr, spice it up. Keep writing.
>> No. 123827

Thanks for the swift feedback, I'll make sure to work on the points you raised.
>> No. 123831
File 135184290642.png - (425.86KB , 720x540 , 130638626011.png )
It appears someone took the liberty of posting The Training Grounds on MLPChan:
'twas not I.

However, the following must be said:

1. There is now the "claim" column to mark where a review claim was made, for the sake of accountability, but also so that authors can easily find any opening statements/introductions made by the reviewer. If you fill this field in, the reviewer's name in the "Being Reviewed By" column of the "In Progress" filtered sheet will be a link to the claim post. Recommended: if a claim/pledge was made in the IRC, put a compressed link to the browser-based IRC client. That way it can still act as a link!
2. The spreadsheet is well past its first birthday, and there were over 1100 entries in the archive. I have hence split the archive into "year 1" and "year 2" (and have emptied the old queue entries sheet) to make it more manageable.

Why have I come "out of retirement" to do this? I, in my capacity to alter the fundamental structure of the spreadsheet, want to help keep it (and TTG in general) a usable and helpful tool. Seeing as someone is hellbent on using it at what may become /fic/'s new home right fucking now (not that there's anything wrong with that), I wanted to make it easier for people to be able to find statements and posts made by reviewers, regardless of which image board they're on. As it was before, they'd already be able to find the review if it were on a different imageboard (provided it was properly linked to); this new link column just expands on that interoperability.
>> No. 123833
One more thing:

No need to fill it in for all the preexisting queue entries. Just new ones, and then it'll work fine.
>> No. 123837
Since there's a new column in the spreadsheet: What do you think of adding the date of the claims to that column? Maybe even instead of a link to a claim, if not in addition? It seems like it'd make tracking those-stories-that-have-been-claimed-forever down.
>> No. 123845
File 135184684416.png - (177.63KB , 451x356 , 130941965991.png )
Here's another idea: use the date column for the last activity on that item, where activity is one of the following three things:
- The original claim
- The last part of the review
- Feedback
That would turn that one column into a useful measure of whether anything is happening with it. As far as I can remember, the filters on the read-only sheets all depend on the review URL column being occupied and not the date, so we can use it for that purpose.
>> No. 123852
Celestial Love
By: Shoeblock


I've annotated your fic with comments about technical faults, so I won't list them here.


Grammar and spelling: Check.
Proper punctuation: Check.
No walls of text: Check.

Congratulations, you're better than most high school English graduates these days.


Exposition: Celestia monologues and introduces the players at the same time. More time should have been spent here instead of jumping straight into the rising action. Particularly this part:

>I watched and marvelled as I witnessed his transformation from colt to stallion. And when he became of age, I personally picked him to lead the Canterlot Royal Guard as their captain.

There's no point within this story that explains exactly what it is that motivates Celestia other than her hots for Shining Armor. You could have drawn out the scenes for the reader, shown us exactly what is so special about him that makes all that happens worthwhile. Show-don't-tell.

Also, the fact she describes his transition from colt to stallion makes her sound like a pedophile. She's over a millenia old and suddenly spots this colt and she's gotta have him? Seems she's developed very strange fetishes over the years. Then she grooms him into the guard and promotes him all with the express intent of entering a relationship after he's married to what we assume is his childhood sweetheart, not to mention a personal family member of Celestia. Plausibility is in tatters at this point unless some serious explaining and backstory are given to cover this plothole. (Heh, plothole.)

Without this the character of Celestia becomes a bad mix of Molestia/Trollestia. If that was the intent, you're playing to a meta meme and need to revise the whole story to change the tone into a lighthearted fluff piece. If you're going serious, Celestia will need serious motivations to make the reader buy it.

Rising Action: The bedroom scene plays out in a cliche "I want you." "We can't!" "I'm your deity-monarch and command you to serve your god and country." "Yes ma'am."

Shining Armor is a wooden plank with stallion bits attached. Granted the show doesn't give him much personality but all he does in this scene is be shocked, then lose all rational thought as the blood flows out of his brains and heads south. There's no outrage at the suggestion, no fight for his marriage. He follows orders, bangs Celestia's mare bits a bunch, knocks her up and then gets a case of remorse and breaks it off.

All in all he feels more like a plot device and less like a character. He's apparently so important to Celestia that she'd risk so much to have him, but he's mostly treated by her as a piece of meat. His position in this story is there to just advance the plot towards the pregnancy and confrontation between Cadence and Celestia without providing any real contribution of his own.

The rising action ends with this section:

>My eyes shot open angrily. He was too valuable to lose. Placing a hoof over my heart, I made an oath. I would not let him get away. Only he was worthy enough to father the heir to the throne.

"He was too valuable to lose." This tells me. It doesn't show me. Why is he so valuable? Aside from the fact he's apparently a great lay and contributed 50% of the genetic material currently being used to make two foals, he's really not been given anything in the story to make me like him. At this point I'm not sharing Celestia's opinion at all. He's a cheating husband with no personality that I've been given no reason to sympathize or relate with. Frankly I'm starting to think the best option here is his exploration of a future as a gelding since he can't keep it in his (figurative) pants.

Climax: Celestia banishes Cadence to the moooonnnaaaaa, bee-yetch!!!

Yeah, kind of overused.

Aside from several inconsistencies (that moon banishment takes the Elements of Harmony according to canon, that Celestia's magic is described as green) the whole trope is really not appropriate for a serious themed fic. Maybe if you were going for Trollestia, sure. Not here though.

How would I have resolved the conflict instead? I'd probably look at stories involving eternal deities that fight over mortals for inspiration. The Greek pantheon is full of gods that fought over the affections of mortals. There's even a term for it: Theomachy (though this term can broadly be applied to any dispute between the Olympians). I'd research this for ideas and pick an appropriate myth that would fit within the MLP canon. A character with an effectively immortal lifespan choosing to steal the husband of what we assume is another eternal being would be a weighty choice, and not made lightly. The bad blood this would cause well past the death of the mortal in question would need to be weighed against the strength of the immortal's desires.

Celestia acts like there's going to be no fallout that will result from banishing Cadence.

Falling Action/Resolution: There's no real effort made to wrap up the multitude of loose ends created by this story. You leave the reader extremely dissatisfied with the entire story by simply stopping after the climax. No lessons are learned, no moral is explored.

Rating: 3/5. Celestia is a huge bitch, Shining Armor is a wooden plank and Cadence is a doormat. There's no point to the story. I don't understand their motivations and never sympathize with what's happening to them.

Good points: your writing is creative and well structured, just work on your plot and characters a bit more. Pacing and flow worked well for the sections written, scenes weren't over described, nowhere did the action suddenly pause while you spent two paragraphs on what color the curtains were.

Keep writing! The more you experiment with characters and ideas, the more you'll grow as an author. You've got a solid grasp on the basics, now it's time to tackle the harder parts. Pick a moral before you start a story. At the end, your protagonist should have learned a lesson and grown as a person from the central conflict.
>> No. 123853
File 135185480549.gif - (18.37KB , 256x192 , tumblr_m0y5ocAVDh1qeksg7.gif )
Wow, I derped and didn't see that; sorry. Thanks, Casca!
>> No. 123857
File 135185985852.jpg - (36.84KB , 718x612 , ChallengeAccepted.jpg )
A Prince's Folly
Doctor Whooves

22,646 words.

I'll be back soon. 72 hours max.
>> No. 123860
File 135186560717.png - (204.41KB , 631x622 , mlfw3280-1330720074608.png )

Whoa, I didn't even see you claim my story, lol. Thanks for the good feedback, it was just what I needed!

>Congratulations, you're better than most high school English graduates these days.

Hmm, this probably made my day, seeing as I still am in High school. Thanks for that. I really haven't been "focusing" on plot when I write. Usually, I just direct all my energy into how well it's written.


Ahh, I'm going to have to do some work here. I personally thought it was a bit too short when I wrote it. You're right, some more explaining would do some serious good. Characterization is always my biggest fault.

Kinda disappointed you didn't interpret the story that way I wanted it to be. I wanted you to believe that Celestia was pregnant not Cadance in the beginning.

>Falling Action/Resolution:
>No lessons are learned, no moral is explored.

And that, my friend, is how I write my stories : )

I do that on purpose, and I aint trolling, but if you're dissatisfied with the end, I did my job!

Thanks for the review. Your a big help
>> No. 123863
File 135186748478.jpg - (52.83KB , 613x613 , yes.jpg )
Now that there looks like a real good review.

You've more than earned your good karma. I'll just be taking this: >>123482 then. Work won't start until Monday, due to certain obligations, and will finish when it does.

I am not familiar with the original work, so I won't be able to answer your two questions, but I sure have opinions. If you'd rather have someone who is, though, feel free to state it, and I'll relinquish the claim.
>> No. 123873
File 135187364384.jpg - (33.24KB , 600x450 , good_job.jpg )
Okay, so I said that work would only start on Monday, but, well...

Line by line in doc. I've gone and reviewed chapter 1 for you.

The strongest part of your story, arguably, is style. It's got a classic feel to it, and there's an air of prevalent humour that really does work wonders at carrying events. The lack of Oxford commas, I think that's what they're called, is part of the style which I cannot really fault - this fic radiates novelty, and is a refreshing read on those grounds alone. Now, most modern-day readers don't have the attention span nor stomach for prose to go with it, but I like the amount of skill your style shows. It's something I can appreciate, and that makes me happy.

Your characters are an extremely fun bunch. They are the stars of the show, they do things, their dialogue is great, and they're vivid. In this department, I cannot find any faults whatsoever.

What I do find fault with is plot and pacing. Specifically, it's the end of chapter 1 and I don't know what the plot is. The pacing is great for what has taken place, but I feel like I've missed the starting point, because refer to previous sentence. The plot is the scarlet thread that ties all events together. Maybe if you did a better synopsis, I'd be more inclined to stick with you to see it through. Something which, boiled down, would be "The Life and Times of Pugnacious", maybe? Something to clue us readers in on what we're getting into. Granted, your synopsis kinda does that, but if you want it to be more accessible, well, there you go. Your choice of sequence of events is entertaining, but I'm missing the connection that drives the story along. It could be that there is no strong connection, that it's essentially the life and times of Pugnacious - well, then, inform me beforehand in the synopsis.

Also worth mentioning is the little scene-building you do. Here, you get away with it, because your characters coupled with style are outstanding, and in fact I think I rather prefer it this way. Just thought I'd mention that anyways - you actually do not very much in the way of scenery. Perhaps that's something for you to consider for future endeavors.

Scene breaks. I've discussed them a bit in doc, and I hope that you'll mull over it.

Most of the other suggestions are little things, probably 85% improvements rather than errors. Certainly feels like it. They're all but my own opinions, so feel free to do with them as you see fit.

Ah, speaking of accessibility - a possible complaint is that this is not very pony-related. To which I must say I could not care less. Your story is interesting. That's a bigger priority for me than show adherence.

Would your time be better spent on other projects? This is a question only you can answer, really. To help you with it, I offer to you the above review, all of the suggestions in doc, as a means of seeing what your story has left on me in terms of reader impression. I'd also suggest for you to give Equestria Daily a shot. Wouldn't hurt, at any rate. But I can safely say that I enjoyed this story. Were I not in a reviewing state of mind, I probably would have gone on and finished chapter 2, too, but as it is, going into metamode where I have to analyze what I'm seeing and how I'm seeing kinda ruins the fun. This, I feel, is a story worth finishing and showing to others.

Thank you for the read, and keep writing.
>> No. 123891
Title: The Writer and Their Quill

Tags: Sad
Synopsis: My name is Princess Celestia, and this is a story of how I became mortal.

List of links to the story:
Chapter 1: https://docs.google.com/document/d/14TbEseYv6yNV24joX47Hlzko3YJ17vbyCWaYY8Rj0wM/edit

Chapter 2:

Chapter 3:

Chapter 4:

Chapter 5:

Please review all chapters.
>> No. 123901
File 135189030287.png - (59.91KB , 219x286 , frame.png )
Thank you, Casa. It seems that I have my work cut out for me. Just in time for the weekend before the storm of college work.

As is with the last two reviewers, you've given me a ton to think about. This time, you have a lot of story/setting queries that I've seemed to have blindsided too much. I understand that I'm an amateur writer at best, but I often find myself afraid at trying to world-build for a universe as big as I'm trying to capture.

But, just like the last two reviewers, I'm gonna keep trying. Hopefully, after I get through your queries, I can come (even just a litle bit) closer to nailing it. My biggest problems are handling the descriptions, so this time I'm going to focus on that mostly this time around.

Also, I suppose I'll have to twist the plot a bit here and there. Plenty of the more juicy stuff, I've had planned for later on in the story. But, I think it'd be wise to pump it up in the first chapter(s), like you said.

Regardless, I can't thank you enough for this. I think, after I've finished what you've given me, I'll go for the third and final submission to EqD. I doubt I will make it through even through all of the help you guys have given me, but at least I'd have tried.

This was the first fic of this scale I've tried to tackle, anywho.
>> No. 123923
File 135190110368.jpg - (134.91KB , 800x700 , CelestiaEvangelion.jpg )
The work is obscure, the prose is dense literary fiction, the subject has little to do with ponies and the main character is extremely dislikable.

This is exactly why I'm enjoying writing it.

A huge thanks for your critique and even more so your notations on the original. You're dead right Casca, the synopsis is a shambles. I'll make this first priority after I finish my current claimed review. Something along the lines of:

"After an accident leaves his family in financial ruins, the unemployable champion of sloth Pugnacious finds himself forced to earn an income. Can this enemy of all things working class and mundane avoid losing his comfortable lifestyle?"

Terrible first draft but close enough. You're dead right about the pacing. The subject of employment doesn't come up until the end of chapter two, and this is really the main source of conflict for most of the story. Hopefully a little more in the synopsis will let the reader know this is coming after the accident in chapter one, enough to get them to keep reading.

The lack of physical descriptions was a stylistic choice as I wanted the characters to paint the scene in their own words. A bar is a bar, a police station is a police station, describing it would be a waste of text and insult the readers. I do go into more depth later with the family home but I'd rather let the gaps be filled by imagination.

I think I have to be careful I don't get a raging case of talking heads. This story is dialogue heavy, with scenes that go on for pages with nothing but spoken exchanges. I'm glad the characters were strong enough to carry the first chapter at least.

Submit to EqD? Okay. I doubt it'll be accepted for the reasons I've made at the start of this post. Ultimately I don't think it's 'pony' enough to make the cut. But at the very least I can finish, review, edit and polish this into a passable FimFic story.

In summary thanks for your input Casca. I'm definitely making use of your suggestions to change the fic, especially with scene transitions and active avoidance of alliterative anachronisms.

First reading complete, review in progress.
>> No. 123967
Could a maintainer please remove >>123427 Lavender from the queue? I've decided against the idea altogether.

Thank you.
>> No. 123985

Are you serious?

I didn't even read it, and the concept filled my head with ideas.

Okay, I guess I'll write it on my "disused idea board" because damn.
>> No. 124002
Damn, I'm at 3,400 words and haven't even finished the reviewing the first chapter yet.

Doctor Whooves, how much are you willing to read?
>> No. 124006
Please take my submission off the fic, I have failed spectacularly.
>> No. 124007
Sigh, nevermind this... AGAIN. A friend convinced me.
>> No. 124008
Claimed, because the author is online and that lets me do a real time review!

I opened this and saw a whole wall of comments. It looks as if it’s been reviewed multiple times before.
>> No. 124011
In short, my current iteration has a massive gaping plot hole that could only really be covered by some obvious or overt means. And/or an entire sequel or prequel. Either way, it'd just detract from the story too much to have the desired impact anymore.

That being said, the direction I took the idea is probably rather different than the synopsis itself would let on. So you could have a very different idea of what the concept really is without having read the story.
>> No. 124015
First and furthermost: I'm willing to give this here story a very, very thorough polishing. In accordance, I request a reviewer who is very nitpicky.

VERY nitpicky.

Thank you in advance.

Title: Forever Yours.
Author: Lucefudu
e-mail: [email protected]
Tags: Dark, Sad

Tragedy is always hard to cope with. After the accident, Bon Bon feels that a piece of her died alongside with the mare she loved. Now guilt-struck, Bon Bon just wants to spend the rest of her life alone, inside her house... blissfully unaware of the deeper connection she shares with it.

>> No. 124020
However much you are willing to write, my friend.
>> No. 124102
File 135199667797.png - (58.54KB , 937x1124 , GrammarNazi.png )
A Prince's Folly
By: Doctor Whooves



I can’t see the justification for this prologue.

From your commenters on FimFic it seems you’re using a “Flashman style” opening. I’m not familiar with this and therefore it doesn't mean anything to me. All I can say is that to my reading it’s a poor start to an otherwise very well written story. It’s also a flagrant piece of self insertion. You’re not going to score readers doing that.

You don’t need the prologue. Cut it. The rest of the story stands alone without it quite well.

Also one more thing about the prologue is the light in which it presents Blueblood. He is described as, in so many words, likable. As a reader and a fan of the show you instantly alienate me with this approach. People who come for Blueblood come to see an antihero. They come to watch a pompous twat get what’s rightfully coming to him and perhaps learn a few lessons along the way. This is your one shot at hooking the audience. Don’t lead with this prologue, you’ll get far more interest in the following chapters without it.

Chapter 1

Opening quotes. They’re interesting. Eye-catching. However they suffer from the same problem as the prologue. They all spin Blueblood in a positive light. I’d recommend changing the tone of each quote from the start of the story onwards to progress from critical towards positive as he learns character lessons and advances personally. Again, people come with expectations about the character. You wouldn't write the character of Rainbow Dash as a shy, timid introvert that enjoys caring for animals because your readers know that’s not her. Setting the scene here and holding the reader is critical to the success of your fic. The quotes themselves are fine, but change their tone across the story.

At this point I’m going to address specifically what the EqD pre-readers have asked you revise.

Semicolons: 17 in first chapter
Dashes: 41 in first chapter (incorrectly labelled as hyphens in your request)
It’s/Its: 7/6 in first chapter respectively
Ellipses: 32 in first chapter


First use: as a serial comma in a list of items containing parenthetical commas.
Eg: “Examples of familiar sequences are: one, two, and three; a, b, and c; and first, second, and third.”

Second use: to punctuate closely related independent clauses (a simple sentence) not conjoined with a coordinating conjunction (For, And, Nor, But, Or, Yet, and So; the FANBOYS).
Eg: “A man chooses; a slave obeys.”
This could easily be rewritten using the appropriate coordinating conjunction.
Eg: “A man chooses, but a slave obeys.”
To check if you’re using this one correctly, just check if any of the coordinating conjunctions could be used instead and still make sense. If not, use a comma.

Third use: to punctuate independent clauses linked with a transitional phrase (mostly used for legal documents) or a conjunctive adverb (consequently, furthermore, indeed, therefore, etc).
Eg: “Everyone knew he did it; of course, nobody could prove it.”

Bearing this in mind we’ll look at each example of semicolon use in this chapter to see if we got it right. Usually I’d just annotate your document but you’ve only linked the FimFic version, so copypasta ahoy!

>If it is so, then surely no mistake can stand before this; the crowning achievement of my mistakes to date.
Mark: Fail. Not a list, no conjunctive adverb, and doesn’t make sense if you change it to use a coordinating conjunction. Use a comma instead.

>Let it never be said that Prince Blueblood could not hold his liquor; indeed, drinking is one of the few talents that I can truly say I possess in any great quantity.
Mark: Pass. Conjunctive adverb following semicolon use.

>I wanted my expensive mattress, a nightcap and sleep; this whiny-voiced buck was most certainly not a part of those plans!
Mark: Pass. A coordinating conjunction can be substituted sensibly in place of the semicolon.

>I was nearing fifty yards away by now; almost too far for any ordinary unicorn to cast a spell,
Mark: Fail. Not a list, no conjunctive adverb, and doesn’t make sense if you change it to use a coordinating conjunction. Use a comma instead.

>and I could make out a vague shape; curved, sort of like a... like a...
Mark: Fail. Not a list, no conjunctive adverb, and doesn’t make sense if you change it to use a coordinating conjunction. Use a comma instead.

>But it was a hollow victory; I was so clearly above her anyway that such rationalisation was pointless.
Mark: Pass. A coordinating conjunction can be substituted sensibly in place of the semicolon.

>even if the innate knowledge of the castle did not suffice; the slime-coated walls and decidedly gloomy décor indubitably did.
Mark: Fail. Not a list, no conjunctive adverb, and doesn’t make sense if you change it to use a coordinating conjunction. Use a comma instead.

>I supposed that I was the cream in this scenario; or at least, she thought I was.
Mark: Pass. Conjunctive adverb following semicolon use.

>Come on; come on, get on with it...
Mark: Fail. Not a list, no conjunctive adverb, and doesn’t make sense if you change it to use a coordinating conjunction. Use a comma instead.

>began muttering amongst each other in displeasure; I suspected that they came for the promise of blood,
Mark: Pass. A coordinating conjunction can be substituted sensibly in place of the semicolon.

>Regardless; my hard-won skills responded adequately, and my features were composed sufficiently to fool a quick glance.
Mark: Fail. Not a list, no conjunctive adverb, and doesn’t make sense if you change it to use a coordinating conjunction. Use a comma instead.

An ostentatious affair even by my lofty criterion; the arch extended twenty-five hooves high,
Mark: Pass. A coordinating conjunction can be substituted sensibly in place of the semicolon.

>I could see the decoration becoming increasingly elaborate and ostentatious as the class distinctions grew ever more apparent; petty noblesse flowing smoothly into the earls,
Mark: Fail. Not a list, no conjunctive adverb, and doesn’t make sense if you change it to use a coordinating conjunction. Use a comma instead.

>and so it would probably be best if I were to hurry up and get it over with; and that involved actually getting to my stage.
Mark: Fail. You use a coordinating conjunction directly after the semicolon. Use a comma instead.

>Yellow Ear; you are certain that Clopton will not survive without these crops?
Mark: Fail. Not a list, no conjunctive adverb, and doesn’t make sense if you change it to use a coordinating conjunction. Use a comma instead.

>it wasn't the colt’s fault; I just really, really hated Fancypants.
Mark: Pass. A coordinating conjunction can be substituted sensibly in place of the semicolon.

>and they had bamboozled and infuriated the unaware ever since; by referencing it, Celestia had revealed her growing impatience with the patently masochistic mare.
Mark: Pass. A coordinating conjunction can be substituted sensibly in place of the semicolon.

Total grade: 8 out of 17 semicolons in the first chapter were used appropriately. The other 9 should have been commas.

For further reading have a look at the Wikipedia article on semicolons below. The more you know about grammar rules, the better you’re prepared to use them in writing; besides, it never hurts to brush up on punctuation.
Did you know that in Greek a semicolon is used instead of a question mark?


Sweet Celestia, 41 in the first chapter alone.

The main correct use of dashes you’re making in this story is to enclose a nested phrase. It just so happens that you do this often. However there are other parts where you use a dash when a semicolon would be more appropriate.

Using the big em-dash is a fancy piece of punctuation that can backfire if over-applied. You have way too many in this fic. As a general rule, only use it the way you’d use commas or parentheses: to open and close a thought. Then, only use them if the thought you’re enclosing would be read in a playful or sarcastic manner. The only other acceptable use would be to denote a sentence that gets abruptly cut off before the word can be finished.

The em-dash should be stronger than a comma but less formal than parentheses.

Some use dashes as an informal colon. This is technically correct, but you should be even more sparing with these than with exclamation points. Right now I’d say you’ve already used up your quota of dashes on your nested phrases. You only have 6 colons in your first chapter. Two of them would be better off as full stops. Go use more of these instead.

Copypasta time. May the gods have mercy on my soul for what I am about to endure.

>Gin and whisky to be precise, but precious little of the latter – my budget, though nigh-infinite,
Mark: Fail. Use a semicolon instead.

>None had drunk as much as I – that honour was mine and mine alone, as befitted the birthday boy himself.
Mark: Fail. Use a semicolon instead.

>I had monies of my own, of course, more than I could fritter away in a lifetime of wastefulness and extravagance (though a pony could dream) – but there was no point in speeding up the process if I could help it,
Mark: Fail. Use a comma instead.

>A random portion of my mind noted absently that he too had reasonably shaggy fetlocks – probably a mistake,
Mark: Pass, but recommend a colon be used here instead.

>In other words... put yer trousers on – you’re nicked!
Mark: Fail. Use a comma instead.

>I was unsure what he was referring to – I was bare of even the most basic clothing – but then it hit me.
Mark: Pass. Nested phrase.

>Slamming my hoof down and affixing him – or, at least, somewhere nearby him – with my patented Death Glare,
Mark: Pass. Nested phrase.

>I looked up, my vision now further distorted, and saw something – was that pink? -hovering in the air above me.
Mark: Pass. Nested phrase. Minor spacing error with dash and hovering.

>and upon achieving some quantity of success, glanced back up – directly into the disapproving eyes of the guard.
Mark: Fail. Use a comma instead or revise sentence for alternative punctuation.

>Just as well for him – his status as one of Canterlot’s finest wouldn't have spared him the old one-two if I’d got my hooves on him!
Mark: Fail. Use a semicolon instead.

>I glanced upwards, my head cleared slightly from the collision with the ground – small mercies – and spotted that damnable pink glow again.
Mark: Pass. Nested phrase.

>Not from me, of course – I wasn't nearly hypocritical enough to spite others for success, after all – but certain members, for sure.
Mark: Pass. Nested phrase.

>The Magistrot (at least, I assume she was a magistrot and not some pony off the street) couldn't actually charge me for anything, of course – my position eschewed such practice,
Mark: Fail. Use a semicolon instead.

>That they were the dungeons was a certainty – even if the innate knowledge of the castle did not suffice;
Mark: Fail. Use a semicolon instead.

>I held my breath, hoping for a reprieve from her dulcet tones – another for the elocution lesson bursary, methinks - “unpaid carriage parking fees.
Mark: Pass. Nested phrase.

>I made sure to memorise their faces and features, and added them mentally to my blacklist, along with Benjy, Art and Daggers – I couldn't recall much of the previous evening, but they featured prominently, and I know how well that turned out.
Mark: Pass, but recommend a colon be used here instead.

>(invoking the Poneva Protocol was not without its pitfalls – I had escaped the frying pan and leapt into the fire, as it were)
Mark: Fail. Use a semicolon instead with a conjunctive adverb for the independent clause here.

>I would joyfully transfer my inclination towards navigational spells for a greater affinity for magic – a sentiment I'm sure most other unicorns would echo.
Mark: Fail. Use a comma instead.

>Glancing over – let it never be said that Prince Blueblood didn't care about the general populace – I deduced that it wasn't worth my time and pressed towards my throne.
Mark: Pass. Nested phrase.

>It was actually fairly impressive how much noise he could create, considering his stature – he was barely larger than the mare.
Mark: Pass, but recommend a colon be used here instead.

>I wondered briefly if he wished to join the Canterlot Chamber Choir – as a patron, I was always on the lookout for new talent,
Mark: Pass, but recommend a colon be used here instead.

>“Well, when some ponies went up to plant some seeds – nothing big, mind you, just some squash and things like tha’ – they were stopped by missus Ca-”
Mark: Pass. Nested phrase.

>Allow the plebs to debase themselves with the enjoyment of other ponies’ misfortune – as, surely, both parties could not walk away satisfied – but Prince Blueblood would not!
Mark: Pass. Nested phrase.

>The mare smiled – it looked like she knew it too.
Mark. Fail. Use a semicolon instead.

>before moving off swiftly in the direction of an unruly crowd of earth ponies – the ponies from Clopton, I supposed.
Mark: Pass, but recommend a colon be used here instead.

>No wonder I got through half a dozen assistants a year – they were all bloody useless!
Mark: Pass, but recommend a colon be used here instead.

>Damn and blast it – he’s here for one of those Member of the Equestrian Empire thingys, isn't he?
Mark: Fail. Use a comma instead.

A few confused faces turned towards her – she couldn't possibly be stupid enough to dispute the Princess’s ruling, could she?
Mark: Fail. Use a semicolon instead.

>No businessmare, no matter how high-flying, could hope to combat the entire Canterlotian nobility – and with that last line, she might as well have pissed on their lawns.
Mark: Fail. Use a comma instead.

>The T- forms were legendary, if I do say so myself, and rightfully so – they were well known in Canterlot circles as the most effective method of subtly ridding oneself of an annoyance.
Mark: Fail. Use a semicolon instead.

>“No! I mean – yes, but – that isn't what I'm talking about!”
Mark: Pass. Nested phrase.

>“Please, your Majesty – your Majesties,”
Mark: Fail. Use a comma instead.

>That had been interesting, even to me – and I was not content to rationalise it as just the ravings of a madmare, or even the performance of a master.
Mark: Fail. Use a comma instead.

There’s still a huge amount of dashes here, even with the suggestions I’ve made. Consider alternative methods of expressing your nested phrases that don’t use creative punctuation to achieve their results.

To get a better idea of what editors – those picky bastards! – want you to use dashes for, check out the link below.


Actually, you did quite well here.

It’s: A conjunction of “it is” or “it has”
Its: Everything else. Yes, even possessives. In flying contradiction to all other possessive rules. Because, you know, English.

The 6 occurrences of “its” in the first chapter are all correct.

The 7 occurrences of “it’s” contain one mistake.

>but now it's only inhabitants were a bedraggled prince,

Don’t know why you got picked out for this one.


32 is too many. Far, far too many. There are no hard and fast rules I’m going to quote you here since the use of ellipses isn’t very well defined. But from everything it does say, you should only be using them for thoughts that are never finished. Don’t use them to indicate a character pausing in their speech which they then later resume. Only use them when the sentence never actually gets completed.

Here’s a list of common situations the ellipsis is misused. Every single one of these is wrong.

>The Suggestive Ellipsis
“He gave her a wink. ‘So, do you wanna…?’”

>The Awkward Pause Ellipsis
“Not until after I walked out of my cabin did I realize it was a dude ranch, NOT nude ranch…”

>The Moment of Silence Ellipsis
“Let us remember those who’ve gone before us…”

>The Yada, Yada, Yada Ellipsis
“Immediately after the winner of the hot dog eating contest received his blue ribbon, he ran to the bathroom and…”

>The Too Lazy to Count Ellipsis
“1-2-3… 100”

>The Walked into the Middle of a Conversation Ellipsis
“…and then he told me to bend over.”

In nearly all instances your ellipses would have been better served as commas or removed completely.

[Continued in Part 2]
>> No. 124103
File 135199678601.gif - (838.62KB , 400x372 , TwilightSparkleLovesBooks.gif )
[Continued from Part 1]

>I must have slugged something in the region of ten thousand bits that night, enough that... well, it was unlikely to be enough for aunty to notice,
Mark: Fail. Use a comma instead.

>probably a mistake, rather than any adherence to fashion or self-grooming, but still...
Mark: Fail. Use a full stop instead.

>“In other words... put yer trousers on – you’re nicked!”
Mark: Fail. Use a comma instead.

>Did he... just quote... what I think he quoted?
Mark: Fail. Remove and comma, respectively.

>it wasn't my fault that the Grand Galloping Gala degenerated into... whatever it degenerated into,
Mark: Fail. Remove instead.

>Thus, I had two options: accept arrest gracefully, spend a night in the dungeons and take my sentence like a stallion, or...
Mark: Pass.

>A hoof perhaps, striking... something.
Mark: Fail. Remove instead.

>curved, sort of like a... like a...
Mark: Fail. Use a comma and dash, respectively.

>I had not yet actually spoken to the Princesses since the... incident,
Mark: Fail. Remove instead.

>I had tuned out at some point around... oooh... directly after she had begun speaking,
Mark: Fail. Use commas instead.

>insulting a member of the Royal Canterlot Guard, attempted benefit fraud, and...”
Mark: Fail. Use a comma instead. This thought is continued later in the same paragraph.

>Just one more push...
Mark: Fail. Use a full stop instead.

>I was, in fact, aware of this... heh... issue,
Mark: Fail. Use commas or remove ellipsed section instead.

>Come on; come on, get on with it...
Mark: Fail. Use a full stop instead.

>A loose hair here, an eye shadow there... if the guards, or the messenger, were surprised by my metamorphosis, they did not show it.
Mark: Fail. Use a full stop instead.

>However, if you would like to make an appointment at a later date...” the mare trailed off, flicking her elaborately styled coiffure.
Mark: Fail. Use a comma instead. You deliberately state the character trails off, ellipses are redundant.

>If I had been forced to listen to the uncultured pleas of that insufferable stallion (no matter how nice a singing voice he may or may not have had) any longer... well, it wouldn't have been pretty.
Mark: Fail. Use a comma instead.

>That land is in the tenure of Her Ladyship, and therefore must... must...” her voice petered out as Princess Luna turned a baleful eye on her.
Mark: Fail. Use commas instead. You deliberately state the character petered out, ellipses are redundant.

>Well, I suppose you could take the pony out of Manehattan...
Mark: Pass.

>“...Be sure that you didn't.”
Mark: Fail. Remove instead.

>One never knows when the fate of Clopton may affect... pffft.
Mark: Pass.

>Madame le Trot, Harold Flashpony, the Reverend Dewdrop, Count Horse Tile...
Mark: Pass.

>It’s just that, maybe, a more... suitable... edict could be reached?
Mark: Fail. Remove instead.

>“Ah... yes. T-167,”
Mark: Fail. Use a comma instead.

>This... wasn't the reaction of somepony who’d lost a court case.
Mark: Fail. Remove instead.

>That left...
Mark: Pass.

A total of 5 ellipses were correctly used. You could probably get rid of those too without too much effort. An ellipsis is best used when quoting a text in part to indicate the excluded section. Any other uses will draw the ire of angry grammar nazis.

For further reading...

Chapter 1 Plot

The overall plot is solid if not original. Carefree rich playboy gets a dose of reality when forced to accept responsibility after a night of drunken misadventure. You finally establish the character most of your readers have come to see.

The sub-plot with the farmer and the aristocrat was interesting and smelled like foreshadowing. However the crazy scene at the end of this section didn’t read smoothly. I was very confused as to exactly why this character went crazy. Even more, Celestia’s response to have her dragged from the room by guards was out of character for the caring benevolent ruler I expected. I’d be more willing to buy it if she quietly asked one of her aides to have the distressed mare escorted out, possibly with some reference to receiving medical attention or at the very least a nice soothing cup of tea.

Chapter 1 Pacing

Only one point here I didn’t like: the three paragraph description of the throne room entrance.

>Presently, we arrived at the grandiose entrance to the throne room. … If there were any magic left unfound, then surely it was buried too deeply for all but the original sculptor to decipher.

You stop the narrative to spend over two hundred words here describing the color of the curtains, so to speak. It’s well written but it interrupts the action. I’d recommend reviewing this section but that’s a personal call. Nothing happens to advance the plot, nobody does anything interesting. It’s just description of something we’ll never see again that has no significance in the story other than an echo to it regarding the color of Celestia’s throne.

Chapter 1 Characters

Spot on characterisation for Blueblood. His narrative is perfect. I instantly like and dislike him and feel like I want to see his story unfold.

Shining Armor is a nice cameo, not much to say here as he’s a somewhat minor character. From every impression I get, this story occurs after the Grand Galloping Gala but before the Royal Wedding. Cadence appears in the background later but from the description of Shining Armor it seems they’re not a couple yet, or else someone with such strong ties to the court would know about it, and therefore him.

Celestia and Luna appear in formal mode holding court. My only critique here is what I mentioned earlier with regards to Celestia and her dealing with the crazy scene.

Chapter 1 Rating

Fic is a solid 5/5. There’s minor punctuation errors but the plot and tone of the fic stand up well. Characters are interesting and do things, the language used is approachable. You’d asked for a non-English reviewer to look at slang but I can’t help you there.

Chapter 2

Alright, I’m not going to repeat myself with punctuation like before. Hopefully I’ve shown you with the examples and references I’ve included how to fix the incorrect use of semicolons, dashes and ellipses you’ve got in this chapter. Here’s a quick breakdown of the numbers though.

Semicolons: 29 in second chapter
Dashes: 41 in second chapter
Ellipses: 72 in second chapter

If the numbers are like before, then probably about half the semicolons and dashes, and most if not all the ellipses can be removed or replaced.

Chapter 2 Plot

Blueblood receives the punishment ultimatum of permanent sobriety or military service. Naturally he chooses the latter, since the story would be incredibly dull otherwise. He starts a barfight and is thrown out, gets in another fight and is challenged to a duel.

Overall a decent chapter plot-wise. You again foreshadow the Cash Flow sub-plot here right at the end of the exposition with Celestia and Luna. There’s little to explain what it means in the context though. Is this a reference to the red tape forms from last chapter that Blueblood authored? Is his aunt asking him to make something special for her?

Chapter 2 Pacing

Pacing through this chapter was smooth. The only section where you divert from the structure of the narrative is to explain the spell Blueblood uses in the bar. Unlike the previous chapter which is just a lengthy description, this one has personal elements as well. You build the character though the segue as well as reveal some history with a mix of conflict added. That Blueblood chose to side with the loser fits his character well. Yet another bad choice.

There’s one point that sticks and made me read it several times over. I didn’t instantly understand the exchange between the barpony and Blueblood that resulted in him getting covered with his ale. He asks if he could stick a short (or a shotglass of alcohol) in the ale. This makes me assume he wants to fortify his drink with some spirits. Fortifying beer with whiskey is an uncommon but not completely insane practice (they’re similar enough that they mix fairly well, and the results are quite good if you’re drinking a strong stout). After rereading it several times I finally understood that Blueblood was referring to the volume of liquid missing from the glass and was requesting it be refilled to compensate. You need to clarify this better. For example:

>“Excellent.” I smiled. “In that case, could you top it up then, old chap? Frightfully obliged.”
Changed to:
>“Excellent.” I smiled. “In that case, mind bringing me a full mug this time, old chap? Frightfully obliged.”

However Blueblood explicitly states the barpony is cheating him of his money’s worth, but a few paragraphs ago you state the drinks are free. Either he’s just being insulting or this is a mistake.

Chapter 2 Characters

Blueblood gets a massive punishment for his drunken indiscretions. Therefore, the very next scene, he goes to a bar. I love the irony here and how well it shows he’s learned nothing from his mistakes.

You introduce another character, Grimy Skies. He’s not got much personality in this chapter and from the context of the story he’s more of a plot device instead. However that’s a given with the archetype of the gruff seasoned war veteran you portray him as, so I have no objections. He does have a moment in the penultimate scene where he names his hooves that’s wonderful.

Celestia and Luna are portrayed well here. You get their tone right and play them off each other to create a very warm feeling. Just the right mix of playfulness and authority is used to discipline Blueblood. They’re interesting characters. Well done.

Also, you get huge points for this one:
>“Yeah,” he grunted – oh, goddess, another one – and picked up a dirty glass to polish.
Wonderful use of Lampshade Hanging.

Chapter 2 Rating

Another 5/5. Review your punctuation. The comedy is solid. Consider a rewrite of the sticky scene with the barpony too.

Chapter 3

Again, no punctuation review. Follow the links and examples I gave for the first chapter and edit out anything you don’t need. Some fun with numbers:

Semicolons: 21 in third chapter
Dashes: 36 in third chapter
Ellipses: 63 in third chapter

Chapter 3 Plot

Blueblood gets another chewing out from his royal aunties, goes to the market in search of a patsy, grabs a coach to the scene of his duel and makes his grand entrance. You foreshadow Grimy Skies’ troubled past here, though perhaps Blueblood takes too long to understand the nature of his injuries. The reader certainly figures it out long before the main character.

My only real criticism of the plot in this case is that there’s no resolution to anything, but I assume this will come in the next chapter. Ultimately this whole chapter is scene setup.

Chapter 3 Pacing

The scene with the royal sisters was a little drawn out regarding the injuries of Grimy Skies as I said before. Otherwise no issues that I can find with length. The market scene is fun, fast paced and full of action with characters that say and do interesting things. Really good high energy section. Then the action suddenly hits a counterpoint of silent introspection where Blueblood considers the duel and debates whether to call it off completely. Having these two juxtaposed against each other works quite well and the humor from the market carries the serious scene. The grand entrance re-establishes the lighthearted tone of the whole, bringing the reader back from the serious scene and getting them into the mood to laugh again. Well paced and good delivery.

Also a minor nitpick: the Canterlot Aural Projection Spell. Aural refers to hearing, so the name implies it enhances your ability to listen, not speak. I’d probably go for Acoustic instead to preserve the pun, though most readers won’t notice unless they’re grammar nerds.

Chapter 3 Characters

You might want Blueblood to pick up a little faster about Grimy Skies or he comes off as stupid. His character up to this point hasn’t been stupid, just prone to bad choices and extremely egotistical. From all other indications he’s relatively bright, and shouldn’t take so long to figure it out. You hit the nail on the head in the market, this is a brilliant piece of characterisation. Then the serious carriage scene finally sees him show character development for the first time in the story. He begins to question himself and his actions, shows a bit of maturity. It’s the highlight of the chapter in terms of character.

Not much to say about any other characters. Celestia and Luna are basically the same here as chapter two, I don’t see anything wrong. Other characters are minor importance and have little role so there’s no feedback on them.

Chapter 3 Rating

5/5 again. Good character development and a great fun scene in the middle full of hilarious hijinks. Nothing much happens but you can still enjoy it for progressing the story.

Final Thoughts

Revise your synopsis. It’s a little wordy and should tell me more about what’s actually going to happen in the story. Also the cover image isn’t doing you justice. You’ve got two characters here, Blueblood and Daring Do, and the second doesn’t appear in this fic. Consider finding a new image or commission one for a few bucks.


I can see this making EqD if you cut down on the overuse of punctuation. That and a few minor nitpicks are all that’s holding this one back. You’ve got solid humor and should get a good response.

I stand by my recommendation about cutting the prologue. It’s a waste of space and feels like you’ve taken an ice-cream sundae and topped it with a pickled onion instead of a cherry. The tone and style doesn’t match with the rest of the story.

Go prune some punctuation and you should have a feature in no time!
>> No. 124119
I've decided that I love you. Like, seriously. Come over for a drink sometime.

Ok, so first off: looking back, I can see what you mean about the prologue. It's a bit naff, and it's not the best written thing, but I think that's the bit that grounds the story as a whole for me.

You mentioned that you've never read Flashman (which is a shame - I'd very much recommend the series), but the main theme of the story is that Flashman is seen as a noble hero, whilst in fact being a cowardly liar. That's very much the sort of idea I'm going for, and I wrote the prologue and the snippets at the start of every chapter to reflect that.

That said, I can very much see what you mean, and I'll think about altering, or even getting rid of them.

Now, onto the grammar! I must confess to not being the most attentive person in the world, and indeed I slept through most of my English classes at school, but I had no idea my grammar sucked so badly. I've decided to send flowers to poor Mrs. Ellis, whom I fear I must have driven half insane, if that was what she had to put up with every day.

I must say, I'm tremendously impressed with your ability to trawl through my pile of erroneous punctuation. I think I might have to break the semicolon key (and the dash key, and the full stop) on my laptop. They just keep creeping in.

As for your analysis of my plot, I'm gratified you thought it was interesting. I was trying for a confusing ending - that should get cleared up later - but there was a reason the mare went slightly crazy, trust me. Luna was the one who got rid of her in the end, from sheer annoyance more than anything. She did have a really irritating voice, after all. Shining Armour will appear next chapter, with appropriate explanations. Suffice to say, Cadance and him haven't yet met. And as for the archway...

Chapter two - yes, the Cash Flow bit at the end was a reference to the 'red tape' which I have ordained Blueblood to be a master of. Nothing important, just something light to end the scene on (and maybe just a bit of foreshadowing).
Now, the 'short' scene. That really stems from something my dad used to tell me, which was 'If you want a quick way to get chucked out of a bar, ask the barman to stick a short in your beer'. As a general rule, it's just insulting, because it implies that the barman is short-shifting you, i.e. he hasn't given you a full pint. Blueblood was just being a bit of a prick.

Chapter three - I'm glad you like it! The market scene is a big favourite of mine, Blueblood is such a great character to write. It's nice to hear you think it flows well. I deliberated a whole lot over the scene with Grimy's backstory, and in the end plumped for the safe option. I wasn't sure what I was trying to say was clear, so I layed it on rather thick.

Frankly, I hate synopses. I must have re-written mine a dozen times, and I still dislike it, and I'll probably dislike whatever I come up with instead too.

The picture's revelevance will hopefully show itself in a few chapters. Daring Do has a pretty large role in the fic as I've planned it, and it would be a shame to draw it and not use it. It'd be a bit silly to change the pic for the first couple of chapters, just to switch back when Daring Do arrives.

Finally then, thanks for taking the time to review. I'm ecstatic you at least partially enjoyed it, and think it could sneak onto EqD, and I'll try my best to dig out those dusty old grammar rules.

Anyway. Drink. On me. Love you.
>> No. 124125
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Finally, it's the weekend after a crazy-hectic week of college, for me. I'm here with your review, cody/Ghostwriter.

Most of what I've said is in your doc. Also, I should remind you to try to avoid editing it while it's still being reviewed. That meant I had to re-start from the beginning, after seeing that you've taken the initiative of correcting my queries. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to help anyone with a fic. But, for my particular instance, I'm actually very choked on time, lately. Next time, if you want to do something like this, submit an alternative doc for us to review while you have an original to edit.

That said, let's move on to the review.

>General thoughts
Okay, your chapter actually wasn't too bad. I have plenty of heavy gripes with it, but it was fairly bearable. It starts off slow (I'll go into this soon), but you have a decent amount of conflict and action mostly towards the end.

>Sentence structures
I've pointed this out in the doc. Almost every sentence is:

"He did this as he did that."
"He did this, he did that."

I think that's my largest gripe about your fic. It gets really bland after using two of these sentence structures in sequence. Reduce the habit of beginning your sentences with nouns/pronouns/proper nouns, and most of all, make your sentences more interesting. This also contributes to the clunky feel of your narrative.

You also need to work on balancing your sentences a bit more. You often have very short sentences in the middle of large ones; it's comparable to the sensation of hitting a bump on a road. It's unpleasant and unfitting.

Also, you need to brush up on your punctuation a little bit. You're better than average at this, but you still miss a lot of comma places.

I find that whenever you have someone speaking at length, you kill their dialogue by un-quoting every sentence they speak and adding in an action blip. It's fine for smaller talking sequences, but you over-use it. Like I said in the doc, it gets irritating having to stop reading what they're saying after every sentence. Try only doing this if there's a significant-enough pause between their sentences.

>Telling/"History lessons"
You have a fair amount of tells in your document. But, don't fret, even I still struggle with this as a writer. Plenty of things, you kinda just throw at us and expect us to nod our heads in acceptance.

A simple remedy? Kill all instances of "tell" (even if you're not sure if it's a tell or not) and try a little more of an elaborate description. The key is to tie it in with your action without making it sound like it's information being force-fed to the reader.

I also like to give the cute title of "history lessons" for the exceptionally long "tells" that detail us of your world's history. Yes, you want to world-build. No, this is not the way to do it. Also, if there's no easy way of incorporating your world-building ideas with the fic, then you're better off removing the "tells" completely. That, or at least make them more subtle.

What's detailed above, I believe is the most evident style-faults among your fic. Focus on those harshly.

So... I understand that the main character's name is Ghostwriter. You also use the pen-name, Ghostwriter.

Please tell me this is not a self-insert fic.

Your main character is heavily whiny. I understand he heavily despises the "high-society-canterlot-ponies," but does he really have to yell to himself about that? Also, I liked that you toned down his conversation with Celestia a little bit. A little bit. You still need to make him more humble.

And, if this is a self-insert fic, telling the next guy over that your main character is a whiny pony living among the high-class and casually has open conversations with the Princess (including that of about his feelings) doesn't really put this in good light.

Now, I'm not saying your character is totally unlikable. I can tolerate him. But you might want to re-think this.

As for the little fox-dude, I actually ended up liking him as a character (a little bit). Except he sounded extremely annoying upon his entrance, and I immediately felt like I wanted to stomp on him. That might be what you were aiming for, though. But I'm pointing this out, just in case.

Come the action sequence (after a few history lessons), you come with the villain. This part was pretty good; it had me gripped enough. Except, your villain might need a little work. All I got was that he was evil and darkandedgy, and had cheesy evil lines. For a fic like this (adventure, magic, wizards and stuff), I'll let it slide... but I just wanted to say that it's a bit typical.

And that's all I have. Make these improvements, and you can have a decent adventure fic out of this.

Now, have some best pone.
>> No. 124132
Most of the stuff I’ve wanted to say is already in-doc, or has already been said to you personally in-doc. Your story is littered with tense, grammatical, and lots of other mechanical errors.

Your story is written in first person, meaning that YOU are telling the story (I did this. I walked along the street, etc. Instead of: he did that. Twilight trotted down the street.) It will be from a subjective point of view, and you cannot look into the minds of the other characters at will. You cannot abruptly jump out into an omniscient perspective and describe “your” stuff as “his” stuff.

>>I have short yellow spiky mane with red lightning patterns in small lines with his horn on his forehead.
>> with his horn on his forehead

This, for example, is wrong. The first half of your sentence is correct, but not the second, where you’ve suddenly shifted from “I” to “his”. The correct way to do this would be:

>>I have short yellow spiky mane with red lightning patterns in small lines with my horn on my forehead.

Now, that sentence still sounds terribly wrong doesn’t it? So let’s add in a few commas and reword it a little.

>> I have short, yellow spiky mane with red lightning patterns in small lines, a horn on my forehead.

Telling me that your character has a horn on his forehead sounds awkward. It’s much simpler to just say that he is a unicorn. You’ve also used three adjectives to describe his mane, which is excessive when placed one after another. So let’s sharpen this up a little.

>> I’m a unicorn with a yellow and spiky mane.

Ahh good! Now that makes so much more sense doesn’t it? But it’s still not good enough, because it simply tells me the information that I need to know. It’s dry and boring, like a police report. It needs to be spiced up so that it becomes enjoyable to read! In the following example, I’ll focus on just one aspect of your unicorn protagonist—her mane.

>> I’m a unicorn. It’s funny how I have to tell ponies that. Most of them don’t know because they can’t see my horn. It’s hidden under a dense forest of spiky yellow hair which I’d call my mane. It just grows that way, and I like it.

Here, I’ve expanded on that characteristic and told it through the eyes of your protagonist. With that, I’m able to develop bits of his character as well, such as when he mentions that he likes his messy mane the way it is. I’ve attempted to show instead of tell, and I’ve made it more interesting to read as a whole. This how you should be writing your story and it’s a long shot from what you’ve got there. Please have a look at how other writers write, or simply pick up a book and see how the author gets his information across. Do also read plenty of writing guides.

Sending your story to /fic/ was a great way to start. I’m happy that you’ve decided to put in effort to learn how to write, instead of giving up altogether and leaving your story to rot. Still, there’s a lot more to come.

I’ll keep an eye on your document, so do type out your questions there.
>> No. 124134
Glad you enjoyed it. I was purposefully super picky over grammar because you got knocked back from EqD for it. Honestly the story reads fine, it's mostly an academic issue.

If you plan to introduce Daring Do into the story you're leaving it rather late. By the third chapter I'd expect most of the main cast to have a mention.

Anyhow, good luck on your submission! Glad my critique was helpful.
>> No. 124148
I'll be claiming this story, review to follow.
>> No. 124154
File 135205475163.png - (70.97KB , 496x600 , 134162835606.png )
First off, thank you for the review. It's an act I equate to diffusing a bomb when all the wires make it blow up.

Also, thank you for pointing out the problems with my sentence structure and dialogue. No one else has ever pointed this out to me before. (Though that could be because they were addressing tons of other numerous faults.)

I do apologize for doing the editing while you were away. It was the middle of the night and I couldn't get my copy of Spyro 2 to work, so I wanted something to do. I saw that you had made some comments and decided to try and address them. I'll keep your advice in mind for the future.

Now to address your concerns with characters. First off, Ghostwriter. He is not a self insert. I took up the mantel of Ghostwriter when I discovered Ponychan. Ghostwriter the character was created sometime before. In the story, I guess there are some things I need to address. For one in the beginning, Ghost was imitating a conversation between a guy and a girl. I wasn't completely sure how to describe a fake female voice. Also, he wasn't yelling. Your concerns with his conversation with Celestia are founded. What I failed to bring to light was how long Ghostwriter had been working as a scribe. It's a little over a year and since Ghost gets his assignments directly from her or Luna, I figured, he would be somewhat open with her.

Your assessment of Phantom was pretty much what I wanted. He is kind of meant to be a typical villain, yet I believe I leave enough of him in the dark that I have room to dive deeper if I need to.

All and all, thank you for your time.
>> No. 124165
File 135205715241.png - (58.42KB , 350x350 , 132080049558.png )
I posted the review on my thread, you can find the review here.
>> No. 124170
Tags: Adventure, Tragedy, Sad, Dark, Human, Alternate Universe

Word count: 870 (Still writing)

Synopsis: Set in an alternate universe where humans and ponies lived together, this fanfic is a combination of Fallout and Fallout: Equestria setting a new world with traits from both universes. The war turned Equestria into a Wasteland, blaming the humans as the ones responsible for the destruction of their land. A human dares to enter the Wasteland and start a journey that will unravel the truth behind the war and the first humans who came to Equestria: The Bronies...

Link: https://drive.google.com/?tab=wo&authuser=0#folders/0B_PODfkLUwO3ZXJrbTdReUtST2s
>> No. 124189
File 135206303296.jpg - (31.30KB , 233x280 , image.jpg )
... If and when you break 3K, assuming you intend to really get something up for a proper review, I may claim this.
That is, when I get a proper keyboard peripheral.
>> No. 124190
Well, it's a revised version of an old fanfic I did. I finished 8 chapters, so the 3k words limit was surpassed long ago.
I posted this a bit early because I wanted to see what parts of the plot should I fix (Like out of character moments, plotholes...).
I'll try to keep rewriting as fast as I can, and I'll make a new post when I reach 3k words.
>> No. 124195
File 135206776179.jpg - (34.07KB , 338x344 , Twilight 360.jpg )
You could fix the big problems like OoC and plot holes right now if you emailed Roan an outline of your fic.
>> No. 124204
Hey! Just wondering if someone is willing to read my story! It's been a minute, and I've been skipped in the queue a few times. Not sure if this is bad etiquette, just want to make sure I'm not forgotten. :)

Original post:
>> No. 124239
Skipped!? This is a travesty that will be mended! I shall be claiming your story with gusto, dear author.

(Original post for reference: >>123306)

I'd love a good Cliff's Notes leading up to the current chapter if it's no trouble. The more context I have, the better I can review. I'd just read all the previous chapters if I had the time but unfortunately my schedule isn't the loosest thing in the world. My email's in the trip.
>> No. 124265
File 135211860911.png - (118.56KB , 324x285 , yay.png )
Thanks! Just sent the Cliff Notes. Let me know if anything isn't clear, I kinda suck at summaries...
>> No. 124272
File 135213468669.png - (156.23KB , 894x894 , Applejack_ya dont say.png )
This one looks to be unclaimed, unless I'm very much mistaken.

Let the lynching begin.
>> No. 124273
File 135213521097.jpg - (527.19KB , 1272x1153 , Katsuragi_Keima_full_628178.jpg )

Been a while, hasn't it? In any case, I finally finished your review, 25. However,
I must mention that I was unable to look over your "revised" version due to outside
circumstances. So, if you still want me to look over it, tell me and I'll try.

This review will not cover your revisions. Only the draft you originally posted.


Plot & Storytelling The narrative was pretty solid. Showed signs that you've
practiced your writing skills over a long time, or I'm just naive in believing so. In
any case, good job. You've crafted a decent story, and you should be proud.

But bear in mind that it was only "decent." My biggest problem with it was your awkward
exposition set-up. Here's what I mean: the flow of the story was occasionally interrupted
by random exposition dumps that, while pertinent to the story, threw the reader out of it for
a bit.

I recommend brushing up on expository technique by reading a few books. My personal favorite is
Skippy Dies by Paul Murray. It's a long one, but it provides an insight into modern expository
style and technique.

Another thing I found a bit strange was the presence of a lot of weird images. Let's start with the

>The Beast shrugged, and strode on.

The way you set it up, the Beast doesn't seem the least bit humanoid enough to "shrug." Then again, it's probably
me being a nitpicking bastard and concentrating too much on OFs instead of FFs.

Another major player was scene transition. They felt jolted and sudden, without any proper set up. It felt
like you were trying to mirror scene transition from films, which doesn't work well in writing.

Moving on ...

Grammar & Mechanics All comments transfered successfully from Word, so they're all contained in this here
doc: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1OL5xbUIlvGCFehWySR28Bo3ZId1DNXiIpEbmKsvZREE/edit#

Just take a look and transfer changes if you need to, I suppose.

Overall Not bad, 25, but it certainly needs a bit of touching up. There were at least 2 formatting errors.
In any case, a decent story, and one that certainly has potential to grow.

Anyway, sorry for the long wait. I hope you find what I have to say helpful. Remember: if you still want me to
look over your "Edited" version (the one you told me about before the finished review), then give me a holler in
the IRC and my email.


>> No. 124275
Title: The Infected
Tags: [Dark]
Synopsis: The good news is not many ponies are paranoid about all their friends and neighbors being changelings. The bad news is this is primarily because their aren't many ponies left. At least that's how it is in Canterlot. I can't speak for the rest of Equestria as there is no way out of Canterlot.
Notes: This was originally written for the Nightmare Night Competition on EQD
Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1A0FA6J3uZq1A7BuO8G9sO_cMvqCtpZZheeDiqGCyq-s/edit
>> No. 124280
Title: Vinyl Scratch and the Monstercats
Author: Kubu
email: [email protected]
Tags: Adventure, Crossover

Music is an integral part of our lives: lifting our spirits and filling our hearts with joy. But what happens when the music fades away?
The citizens of Equestria are about to find out the hard way, as musical instruments everywhere are rendered useless by a mysterious, powerful hex. It falls to Vinyl Scratch and three DJs from another realm to save music for everypony in the world, whether they know it or not.

Published chapters: http://www.fimfiction.net/story/58280/Vinyl-Scratch-and-the-Monstercats
Chapter in progress: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1NmTHLe1HqOFVeL0fpgJUN75bYHPvpXuu4RVLuLIHMpE

This fanfic is a crossover with the relatively obscure Monstercat Media. It was intended to be readable whether one knows of them or not.
I don't want to edit already-published chapters, so I'd like feedback on my current chapter as I write it.
>> No. 124288
File 135214848973.jpg - (31.67KB , 500x503 , image.jpg )
>> No. 124296
I already mentioned I'm doing this on the old Spitfire thread but I thought I'd mention it on here as well for good measure.
>> No. 124297

When Kite, a young pegasus from Cloudsdale, finally earns his cutie mark, he finds that it isn't quite what he had in mind. Claiming he's been given the wrong one, a pair of ponies show up and offer to take him to a place where he can have the mark changed.

Requests: The first two chapters have already been submitted to ponychan and, as such, aren't really available for any significant changes other than spelling/grammar errors and that sort of thing. The focus is on chapter 3 which probably needs quite a bit of a run through. Still any reviewers will want to read chapters 1 and 2 so that you actually know what is happening (obviously).

Chapter 1: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1xLSRxITLwRnOBz3KyoKu0ERxNXDXH8aP2B_o-cN4lN4/edit

Chapter 2: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1GqtfVxhnGa6CUkuSwV5n0W6ZHeGqNCScB58vCSwjmEI/edit

Chapter 3: https://docs.google.com/document/d/18eAnqrdoN5rwWfDEayXe1zw9R5qMaaiENpmrtr57tQ0/edit
>> No. 124309
Because the original request was posted on the spitfire edition, the review was posted there also. Please go there if one actually wishes to see the review. This post is for the queue manager ponies so they may know Ponypool Changed Everything has been reviewed, even if they don't (which they might. I don't really know) check the old Spitfire Edition of this thread.
>> No. 124326
File 135217487410.png - (154.35KB , 863x926 , thoughtfully_twilight_sparkle_by_jakobeks-d4r137s.png )
Well, here's my ramblings. Miscellaneous comments in the GDoc. Here be my general perception of the entire chapter.

To be honest, I wasn't sure how my feelings stand on this. Story-wise, I feel you're going somewhere with it, but it's really far too early to tell whether or not you're able to pull off the alternate universe successfully. I do like the hints you have left throughout the chapter that this isn't the Equestria we know. I'm a little meh about Madame Mirage, (and Trixie), since she strikes me as an awfully convenient and obvious exposition NPC. I'd recommend to rewrite this portion if you feel up to it, but leaving it as it is would not be too detrimental.

However, as an introductory chapter, it serves its purpose well enough. However, I am confused on why they still called it Equestria, when Unicornia is clearly a separate and independent nation. Is the land called Equestria generally?

Anyway, onwards to your writing.

Technically, you're competent enough. There's also the fact that with enough reviews and your technical errors would get picked up anyway, so I have nothing much to add regarding to that.

Stylistically, your prose is decent enough to follow. However, you have an annoying tendency to put in redundant phrases and words where none is needed. We don't need to be told every action that a character does. Readers can piece together implied action, and some are so trivial that omitting them makes no difference. Another thing is your style of interspersing speech tags, aside and narration in between dialogue. While /technically/ not wrong, I feel it lends itself to a very messy style. Try to reduce them if possible, and change things around a little.

I am hesitant to say this is EqD ready, seeing as I am not sure what concerns the two pre-readers have raised. May I have the list before I say aye or nay?
>> No. 124333

Thanks a lot for your ramblings!

That portion is, rather admittedly, convenient, although it's more about foreshadowing than exposition.

I used to have a prologue that explained the political workings of alternate-Equestria, but it was deemed too... boring.

That's also the major gripe the last pre-reader had with the story. The prologue. What he said amounted to "It's boring and pointless. Make away with it!" and I could certainly see where he was coming from , so that's gone.

The problems of the the other, and first, pre-reader were mostly about grammar, which I can quite confidently say have been resolved.

In any case, both your assessments are correct. The nation is called Unicornia, but Equestria is the over-arching confederacy between it, Earth, and Pegasopolis.

Thanks again for your feedback. I'll look into the issues you left in the G-doc.
>> No. 124334
In that case, yes, I agree the chapter as it is makes for a far better introduction to your alternate universe. Infodumping is generally frowned upon, and with good reason.

Then by all means, go for it.
>> No. 124337
Thanks! I think I'll do that as soon as I've gone through the story another time for redundant phrases (which seems to be your major gripe with it?)

I should probably not expect a reply until after season three has aired though...
>> No. 124341
Tags- [Tragedy] [dark]
Synopsis- Rarity, as the Element of Generosity, has always given to the less fortunate, sacrificing nearly anything to help them, without expecting even a word of thanks in return. But what happens when the one thing she never expected to lose, her sister, Sweetie Belle, is taken from her in a tragic accident, and what depths will she plunge to just to see her sister again?
Link (fimfiction)- http://www.fimfiction.net/story/57842/Shattered-Gemstones-and-Silent-Bells
Chapters- Prologue
Comments- ugh, got massive writers block on this story. Hoping some constructive criticism can get me back into it.
>> No. 124351
I think I may have written the first Monstercat fanfiction ever! But writing it is getting difficult. I've only written a thousand or so words in two weeks, but whenever I try to add more I can't stop feeling self-doubt. I'm sorry if bumping review requests is frowned upon, but if I don't get a review soon this fanfiction might die!
>> No. 124356
From the op:
>If you think you've been missed: please remind us with a link to your original post.
>> No. 124357
File 135223597172.jpg - (490.07KB , 867x471 , Rarity_Sweetie Belle82213 - Sweetie_Belle artist saphamia rarity.jpg )
>Twilight Sparkle galloped through Canterlot Castle, ignoring the dead and injured, the destroyed rooms, the pools of dark magic- all the signs of a great and terrible battle, and burst into the throne room, halting at the sight within.
I can spot three problems right in the first sentence. It's a run-on, the dash after "magic" should be an em dash —, and I am already confused. I have about a million questions and would be too impatient to wait for you to answer them and would click away if this wasn't a review. Carrying on...

>That scene with Celestia...
I've been told that you haven't broken any site rules posting this.


You made Rarity a Satanist... Rarity is one of my favorite ponies. If you don't like her then don't write about her. Also a good number of innocent people have been murdered because they were thought to be witches. This is like writing about Hitler or 9-11; you just don't do it.

Okay, so Rarity is trying to bring Sweetie Belle back to life. How did she die? Was it Rarity's fault? Was it anypony's fault? Showing her decent into madness would've been interesting. But you didn't show that. And if you were planning on showing it later, it's too late because you've spoiled it already.

I see you've turned Rarity into a Villan Sue... Though that's mostly because you didn't show how she learned how to control the tentacles.

Rainbow Twilight's friends come out of nowhere. Applejack seems to have lost her accent. The skeletons come out of nowhere and the first with them is written in the driest way possible. Party canon comes out of nowhere and is never used.

All right...

A story about Rarity coming to terms with her little sister's death is a good idea. A story about her going insane because her sister died is also interesting. When we have here is a confusing un-fix-able mess. I'm assuming that this is going to be a "How we got here" story, but with this type of prologue you've already ruined it.

I suggest writing an outline (it won't take you as long as you think it will.) Start with showing a lit of Rarity's day. Show her and Sweetie Belle fooling around before a bit before school. Then... well I don't want this to be my story that you wrote for me. Just make sure that the story is paced well.


And don't have Rarity worship The Devil!
>> No. 124360
> I have about a million questions and would be too impatient to wait for you to answer them and would click away if this wasn't a review.
I opened the story in medias res. Everything should become clear as the story progresses. Of course, this is meaningless at the moment because there is no story yet.
I like using in medias res as i find it griping- you want to carry on reading to answer those questions.

>That scene with Celestia...
>I've been told that you haven't broken any site rules posting this.
I wasn't aware that there was anything wrong with it.

>You made Rarity a Satanist
No I didn't. She's a practcioner of dark magic/necromancy. Nowhere did I say she worships Satan.

>Rarity is one of my favorite ponies. If you don't like her then don't write about her.
What a coincidence. Rarity is one of my favorite ponies too. This fic is not me hating on Rarity- if I wanted to do that I would write about how she is frivilous, shallow and silly whilst ignoring the fact that she is kind and generous.

>Also a good number of innocent people have been murdered because they were thought to be witches. This is like writing about Hitler or 9-11; you just don't do it.
Um, werent the last witch trials, like a couple of centuries ago, as opposed to within recent memory? That isn't really a fair comparision, and plenty of moden media depicting fantasy uses witches- of the top of my head, we have Dungeons and Dragons, the Eldar Scrolls, Warhammer, Discworld and countless others that I can not be bothered to remember at this time.
I apologise to any Wiccans in the audience who may be offended by it, but with in the context of the scene I thought it was obvious that I was refereing to an evil spellcaster, not a slur against a religion.

>Okay, so Rarity is trying to bring Sweetie Belle back to life. How did she die? Was it Rarity's fault? Was it anypony's fault? Showing her decent into madness would've been interesting. But you didn't show that. And if you were planning on showing it later, it's too late because you've spoiled it already.
In medias res again. The plot isnt about Rarity bringing Sweetie back to life, but watching to see how canon Rarity can reach the point depicted in the prologue.

>I see you've turned Rarity into a Villan Sue
What specifically makes her a Villan Sue? I only ask so I can avoid it in the future.

>Applejack seems to have lost her accent.
I wasn't aware that I needed to have her speak phoneticly. I thought that by merely stating who she was would be enough to convay the accent.

>The skeletons come out of nowhere and the first with them is written in the driest way possible.
What do you mean by dry? Can you provide an example of how to fix it? Just so I have an idea of where to start.

>Party canon comes out of nowhere and is never used.
I was running on the logic that Pinkie always has her party canon on her- after all, it was never explained where it came from in the fight against the changelings.

>I'm assuming that this is going to be a "How we got here" story, but with this type of prologue you've already ruined it.
Yeah, it is, but I must admit, I am still confused as to how its ruined the story.

>I suggest writing an outline (it won't take you as long as you think it will.)
I already have one- I know where the story is going. My problem is that I lack enthusiasm for it at the moment. I cant write if I dont feel in the mood. I was kinda hoping that recving some critism would help kick my arse into gear.

>And don't have Rarity worship The Devil!
She doesn't and I never said she did.
>> No. 124364
File 135224072332.png - (486.59KB , 900x540 , rainbow_dash_by_jakestarling-d4qfl52.png )
Greetings, ProfCharles! Have you by any chance seen?:>>123667

>I like using in medias res as i find it griping- you want to carry on reading to answer those questions.
It's really hard to pull off right, though.

>I wasn't aware that there was anything wrong with it.
Gore, Satanic imagery... Though I guess the gore wasn't too graphic.

>Nowhere did I say she worships Satan.

Okay, seriously. (Hold)Alt+(NUM)0151= — Use this instead of the minus signs that you have been using.

>Um, werent the last witch trials, like a couple of centuries ago, as opposed to within recent memory?
I've heard otherwise, but I could be wrong.

>What specifically makes her a Villan Sue?
The fact that she suddenly has new magical powers that she didn't have before that no pony has ever used on the show before and you never show her working hard to obtain and master them.

>I wasn't aware that I needed to have her speak phoneticly.
Y'all dun need ta hav 'er talk this femoral arteryry. Just make sure that she talks in the same speech pattern as the show.

>What do you mean by dry? Can you provide an example of how to fix it?
Well, you just told us that they fight, instead of showing it. I can't think of a good way to fix it at the moment. Ezn's guide explains it pretty well: http://derpy.me/EznGuide Scroll down to "Show, don't tell"

>I was running on the logic that Pinkie always has her party canon on her—
The reader won't assume this.

>Yeah, it is, but I must admit, I am still confused as to how its ruined the story.
We know how it's going to end. We know Sweetie Belle is going to die and we know that Rarity is going to learn some nifty magiks. What we don't know is how they are going to defeat Rarity, but at this point we don't care because we didn't see how she got this way.

I don't think you have the writing skill to pull off a good in medias res story. Plus those are supposed to start at the beginning of the second act not the almost-end of the third.

>> No. 124366
>Greetings, ProfCharles! Have you by any chance seen?:>>123667
I have now. Damn. Took me weeks to build up the courage just to start lurking here.

>It's really hard to pull off right, though.
Fair enough.

I don't consider that to be gorey at all. But others have talked about the gore in other pieces of my work, so then again, there could just be something wrong with me.

The pentagram has many uses beyond satanism- Christians use it to represent the five senses and/or the five wounds of Jesus, as well as to ward off demons, if the Wikipedia page is to be trusted. But I can understand how you might have jumped to that conclusion. I'll consider changing it.

>Okay, seriously. (Hold)Alt+(NUM)0151= — Use this instead of the minus signs that you have been using.
Yeah, I have had that pointed out to me on other work. Taking a while to sink in, though.

>witch trials
Wikipedia yelled me that the last official trials were held in the 18th century- about 250 years ago, but witch hunts still occur regularly in parts of Africa, India and the Middle East where such beliefs still exist. However, I don't see how it could be considered a taboo subject on the level of 9/11.

>villan sue
Point of the story. Which I appear to be failing at.

Huh, thought I had. My line of thought was that dropping buzzwords like sugarcube and rodeo would be enough. I'll go pull up some episode transcripts and examine her lines.

>Show vs tell
Another issue I need to work on.

>In media res
I saw it used this way really effectively in another fic (Lines and Webs, by airstream) and I suppose I was trying to emulate it.

Well, that's given me a lot to think about. At this point I am considering scrapping it and starting again.

Thanks for taking the time to review my work.
>> No. 124386

First off, thank you for the review. I don't have many options irl for help with this. The thing with the prologue and first chapter was it was meant to be heavy-handed on the personal commentary as I wanted to very much drive the idea of displacement though I can see where it may get to being too much. This will regress much over the remainder of the story though.

Tense and certain repeating words always tends to be a problem with me. I can never find it regardless of how many edits I do though.
>> No. 124391
File 135226785122.png - (743.19KB , 1000x1000 , Survivor Shy - 'I'm Sorry'.png )

When the ponies of Equestria become wary of strange magical currents in the air, the Princesses call upon the Bearers of the Elements of Harmony to help search for clues as to the current's origin and purpose. Shortly after Fluttershy completes her task in Appaloosa, and boards a train back to Canterlot, Equestria is struck by a destructive and powerful spell.
Upon regaining consciousness, Fluttershy soon comes to realise that she is the last pony in existence, and Equestria is rapidly falling apart in the aftermath of the catastrophe. Invasions from unaffected races, widespread looting, and a dying landscape quickly make up the world that Fluttershy now lives in. With nopony to turn to, Fluttershy is forced to learn to fend for herself, and find a way, hopefully, to restore Equestria and rescue ponykind.
A fully-illustrated tale told in anachronic order, Survivor Shy gives readers a glimpse into Fluttershy's experiences in a post-disaster Equestria, leaving them to put the pieces together to learn the true turn of events.


You don't need to read all of the chapters if you do not wish to. Read as far as you feel you need to.

This is a fanfic that I've been working on since April, and it has met some positive feedback from current readers. But since I aim to complete this story and send it off to EqD in the distant future, and it is my first serious fanfic, I feel it is imperative that I seek some critical feedback on the story's narrative, presentation, and style. There are few fics out there that have illustrations, and there are probably even less that tell a story in such a way that it's like finding missing pages from a book, and slowly working out the correct order for them. I do wonder if this makes it interesting, or makes it ridiculously hard to follow. Either way, I'd appreciate someone's thoughts on the story. It's 17K words, chapters are very light in word count, and every chapter has an illustration created by myself specifically for that chapter.

Thank you for your time.
>> No. 124438

Survivor Shy
By: Mattatatta

This feels more like an outline for a great story than a finished piece. I see that you tried for a montage-type series of scenes, but it was very confusing as a reader, particularly as they’re out of order. I know it all lines up nicely in your head, but to a new reader, they’re disoriented and confused. Unless there’s a very good reason for putting the pieces out of order, why not just lay them out in line? A beginning, middle, and end would really help. Right now, it’s hard to connect with Fluttershy, since she’s got different motives and conflicts each time we see her. If instead she were to meet a conflict, solve it, and reap the rewards, the reader would be able to follow her emotionally and mentally. The reader will feel attached to her as they are following along, rooting for her when she’s victorious, and crying when she fails. Your emotional scenes are lost on readers, since they missed all the build up to it. Fluttershy is such a beloved character; it won’t take much to have your audience eagerly begging for more chapters.

Keeping track of all these separate plot-lines is too much for your average reader, who’s not invested in the story same way you are as the writer. Imagine if you grabbed a book off your shelf and opened it to a random page and started reading. When you finished that page, you had to flip to a new one, somewhere else completely in the story. It’s frustrating and confusing. You’d probably just set the book down and look for a new one, which is what readers will do if they don’t get invested.

Putting the pieces in order would be good and then connecting the scenes together would really help readers follow along. Even small points that join the end of one chunk to the beginning of the next—have Fluttershy find the lantern she’s using in part 3 at the end of part 2 while she’s in the remains of Ponyville. I would also extend each section, fleshing them out so they've each got their own arc- a beginning, middle and end. Just as I start following along and getting into the flow of what’s happening and how Fluttershy is feeling, I’m jerked away to a new place. I almost feel cheated, and I found myself thinking “Hey, I was reading that! Come back!”

I like that you dove into action pretty quickly off the bat instead of trying to fill in exposition. However, I would recommend having the reader join Fluttershy when she’s in the same state they are—confused and disoriented. Opening with Fluttershy immediately after the disaster as she’s trying to figure things out is a good way to let your readers pick up new information along with her- they learn what she learns.

Speaking of Fluttershy, I feel that overall her character is loyal to the canon. She behaves as I might expect, for the most part. However, her emotions and resolve seem to rubberband all over the place. She kicks off moderately confused, becomes frightened and lonely, then she’s she horribly devastated. But by the next chapter she’s filled herself with optimism. Then she’s grief-stricken and mournful again. I feel like Fluttershy, as an easily frightened pony would panic a bit more initially. I could see her running all over Ponyville calling for her friends. Maybe it’s because of the jumping-scenes, but her emotional path doesn't seem to make sense. I would imagine her to panic initially, and then remain naively optimistic for a while, and then see her slowly descending into depression, and finally rekindle her spirit. But this is your story, not mine, so I’ll let you decide her emotional journey on your own.

I like that you started to hint at Fluttershy befriending some Diamond Dogs, and even maybe some other creatures. Fluttershy, as the Element of Kindness, would always be trying to help those in need, be they Diamond Dog, Dragon, or whatever—no matter what, Fluttershy would empathize and do her best to be helpful.
I’m also glad you introduced Spike, since it felt like Fluttershy needed a friend. Being alone for so long would make her crazy. And, come to think of it, I would highlight her emotional distress, and maybe even some symptoms of trauma, like you did with the nightmares. Her world’s been ripped apart, her friends are nowhere to be seen, there’s no one there to help her, and she’s a weak little pony who’s never been a fighter—she ought to be upset by all that’s happened to her!

A question that tugged at the back of my mind as I read was: Where are her animals? Were all of Fluttershy’s animals friends removed from Equestria along with the ponies? If so, why were the other creatures like the Timberwolves and Diamond Dogs spared? Maybe that will be answered later, but it seems like there should still be some critters out and about in the Equestrian wild.

For the most part your language is crisp, clear, and to the point. It’s not unnecessarily flowery or drawn-out. There are places where it’s a little disjointed and stumbling, but they could be easily fixed with a quick pass-over of an editor’s eye- the spit and polish can wait until you've got your storyline worked out and the individual scenes finalized. I noticed some really nice pieces of imagery, like in part 2:

“I saw a large creature pass me, dragging its cumbersome arms along the ground idly, its unnaturally long claws slicing through the packed dirt road like a shiny, new plow.”

This line alone made me want to keep reading, as it illustrated that you were a skilled writer, and it really built an image in my mind, even more so than the art you have included with each section.

It’s hard for me to evaluate the plot-line as a whole, since I couldn't really follow it. But I definitely feel compelled. You've gotten me interested in what’s happening; with The Elements, with the dragons and diamond dogs, with Spike. I want to know what’s happening! But I want to follow the story in order, so I can keep track of events as they happen. I hope you re-organize this story into a flowing narrative, as I’d like to know what really happened and how Fluttershy will fare in the face of disaster.
>> No. 124439
An additional comment if I may. Please lengthen your chapters. It's one thing to have short chapters. It's another if I have to click next every ten second or so just so I can get on with the reading.
>> No. 124446
File 135234987865.jpg - (9.54KB , 180x280 , ahwell.jpg )
Review posted here:
>> No. 124448
First of all, thanks for taking the time to give me your feedback, I really appreciate it!

>but to a new reader, they’re disoriented and confused.
I've been afraid of that for some time. It is meant be that way by design, but I have had a feeling that the feeling drags on too long and becomes sickening.
There is a reason why the story is scattered like this, both out and in universe, but the in-universe one isn't implied anywhere near enough, and that is my through my neglect. I can and will fix that when I start revamping the story. (Fluttershy is trying to make sense of the past by recounting what she can remember, gradually jogging her memory of other parts of her journey.)

>Please lengthen your chapters. It's one thing to have short chapters. It's another if I have to click next every ten second or so just so I can get on with the reading.
Sorry about that, this is something that occurs in the early chapters due to them being less than 250 words. The early chapters were written when I didn't have a plot or story idea, JUST the pictures. This will not happen again in the story because there is so much to write about now. That said, I'll see if I can rewrite those early chapters entirely with a better word count (while avoiding the dreaded purple prose), or combine them with other chapters in spite of the usual

>If instead she were to meet a conflict, solve it, and reap the rewards, the reader would be able to follow her emotionally and mentally
I have planned some major events in the story to remain chronological when I finally begin writing them. I shall go over the current chapters and organise those into a temporary chronological order if possible, since a large but quickly solved conflict (such as encountering Spike as a big Dragon) would naturally trigger the release of several fragments that are immediately related (the ensuing battle, and the resolution of it where Spike returns to normal).

>Even small points that join the end of one chunk to the beginning of the next—have Fluttershy find the lantern she’s using in part 3 at the end of part 2
The lantern's origin is covered later in a fairly recent chapter (Break For The Everfree), and is used to connect part 3 (The Old Castle) as the later scene. The fact that you missed this detail tells me that the chapters are too far apart, and need to be put next to each other or at least closer together. So I shall see about doing that when I get to updating the story.

>I would recommend having the reader join Fluttershy when she’s in the same state they are—confused and disoriented
I can and will do that. I'm already noting down changes to make to the upcoming chapter as I compose this response, and the upcoming chapter shall be placed right at the beginning, too, while I revamp the fic, because it is actually the prologue (Anachronic Order is magic, and probably frustrating).

>Speaking of Fluttershy, I feel that overall her character is loyal to the canon
This lifted a large weight off my shoulders, all things considered. I know I have a lot of other issues to tend to, but not having to rewrite Fluttershy is a huge relief since I worry that my skill isn't good enough to capture a character's personality.

>I would imagine her to panic initially, and then remain naively optimistic for a while, and then see her slowly descending into depression, and finally rekindle her spirit. But this is your story, not mine, so I’ll let you decide her emotional journey on your own.
Chronologically speaking, this is more or less how her mental and emotional state changes multiple times throughout my overall plan for the story. But since the current chapters are in anachronic order, every chapter is isolated from the previous and next unless otherwise suggested in the pictures and writing, which will leave her status constantly changing as a side-effect.

>I'm also glad you introduced Spike, since it felt like Fluttershy needed a friend. Being alone for so long would make her crazy.
Spike's involvement in the story will serve to bring Fluttershy's suppressed grief to the surface. The story will start to live up to it's [Dark] tag when I explore the Spike Arc further.

>And, come to think of it, I would highlight her emotional distress, and maybe even some symptoms of trauma, like you did with the nightmares.
The nightmares are going to recurring, and are likely to grow more and more grim and foreboding as I progress in the story.

>she ought to be upset by all that’s happened to her!
This is purely my interpretation, but I believe Fluttershy would suppress some of the most crippling responses to the disaster in order to keep herself somewhat functional and able to focus her mind on survival. Suppressing such strong feelings isn't a good thing in the long run though, which is part of the reason why her nightmares are hinted to becoming worse as her journey goes on.

>Where are her animals?
It's explained in "Break For The Everfree", where Fluttershy discovers that her home has been abandoned, and learns that Angel Bunny took the initiative to make a census of the animals living in the house, and then lead them to a safer, but unknown, location. Equestria's landscape will be shown to be too harsh and dangerous for animals to live in any more in future chapters I write and draw for.

All in all, this review is very helpful. I shall take down the chapters and reorganise them a bit better when I'm finished with the upcoming update to the story. However, I'm stuck in the anachronic style of storytelling for this story until I reach the last major arc of the fic (which shall go chronologically from there, because Fluttershy's memory would've recovered enough to start flooding back memories). I began telling the story in this manner, and trying to organise all of the current chapters into chronological order right now would leave a lot of massive time-skips, which gains nothing over how it's currently set up.

The best I can do is take current chapters that are connected to each other and organise them so, and leave fragments in between. So it's a more even mix of perhaps three or four chapters directly connected to each other and in the correct order, separated by chapters that are quite obviously and blatantly out of chronological order (and are not part of a major plot point that would trigger a rush of memories in chronological order. With the Prologue chapter at the very beginning explaining to the reader that they are being told a story from a narrator who has amnesia, this should make the chaotic organisation bearable until a run of chapters are reached that follow each other chronologically - providing the reader (and Fluttershy, in universe) a breather. Gradually, the story shall become more and more in chronological order, until Fluttershy's memory is fully restored, and she can tell the rest of the story in the correct order.

I'll probably take a few chapters down completely in the meantime and republish them at a better time, since they are so far-flung in the storyline that they'll probably be forgotten when their settings are revisited by future chapters (It'll also allow me to update their illustrations, as some have things I'd like to change), which'll cause too much confusion.

I can also write down a better plan on what scenes to draw and write next and in what order. Which shall help make planning for future scenes easier and more logical.

In the coming weeks, I shall apply these changes and add new chapters with this review in mind. When I feel I've reached a good checkpoint, I'll come back here for a new review from you, assuming you're okay with that.

Is there anything more you'd like to suggest?
>> No. 124450
I derped on the line regarding chapter length. I accidentally cut off half of what I was saying.

> That said, I'll see if I can rewrite those early chapters entirely with a better word count (while avoiding the dreaded purple prose), or combine them with other chapters in spite of the usual
format of having one picture per chapter. This shouldn't be a big deal since I've used two pictures in one chapter already, and it was because the second picture didn't warrant a separate chapter with it's very short piece of text.
>> No. 124461
I acknowledge that my review has been reviewd by cheeze sauce. I think this is the right way to work this thing. Still not used to ponychan, or chans in general.
>> No. 124468
File 135237651247.jpg - (9.18KB , 205x246 , carefree.jpg )
Nah, you seem to be doing fine.
>> No. 124469
File 135238139692.jpg - (144.01KB , 640x480 , Writer_Wreath_1.jpg )

I've already thanked you for the review on IRC, so I kind of forgot about doing so officially here. Sorry, my bad.

Once again, thank you for taking the effort to review this (admittedly large) chapter. You've pointed out stuff I wasn't even aware of, and that, I think, is the best thing a review can give to an author. Your kind words also gave me a dose of inspiration, so now I'm going to work at making this story the best it can possibly be.

Writer Number 25
>> No. 124475
I would go easy on the pictures. Not everyone has broadband and loading pictures can become very annoying/frustrating for those on dial-up/slow broadband. (I am on one. In my case, the picture takes half a minute to load.)

Condense your chapters, and try to form a coherent arc within each one. It may require rewrites, but your story would be better for it.

Keep writing.
>> No. 124476
File 135239193695.png - (74.94KB , 649x732 , Trixie_notamused.png )
I'll be taking this then. Although I see no reason why the first two chapters are set in stone just because it has run the gauntlet in ponychan. Unless you mean it's published on FimFic and thus unavailable for further edits.
>> No. 124477
Okay, while there are certainly issues, I'd like to present an opposing viewpoint here...
>outline for a great story
I disagree, though only partly. I feel as if this fic is a good version of all those 'psychological thriller' games withhorror aspects derived from solitude, freaky magical/realism (in varying degrees and shades) elements, and, obviously, the post-apocalyptic scenarios...,
>Alone in the Dark
There are many clever situations, with viable rationale bringing them about, and a character that is both written well and relatable.
>Alan Wake
The anachronism, but this story actually makes that aspect interesting. ++better written despite not being a writer, within a reasonable context
>I Am Alone
Same reasoning as Alonr in the Dark, but you handle the world building much better.
>> No. 124478
Woops, I did actually mean that they are already up on fimfiction.
>> No. 124482
Thanks for letting me know. I don't think I would have found it otherwise.

Writing Dark is very unusual for me. Writing something that is so dependent on world building and the like even more so. Combine that with writing this in a short time because it was for a contest and I'm a terrible procrastinator, and you've got the mess you saw before you.

As such, I find your comments about word choice to be the most helpful. The comments about how to do a fic like this right are of course helpful for this fic, but with the former I feel like you hit on something more problematic with my writing in general. And the advice about what Celestia and Luna would do and certain practical things is of course useful. In short, lots of good stuff to be found in this review. Thanks. Thanks a lot.

That said, the one thing I didn't agree with was your assessment of canon. How do we know changelings are a species? Sure, it is seemingly presented to us as such, but honestly we know so little about them. In order to enjoy fanfic I think one has to suspend their believes about canon. Unless a fic directly contradicts something that is obvious and well established, I fail to see the problem. So let's agree to disagree on that.

Would I loose anything by not using changelings? Eh, probably not. I thought I would at first, but the more I think about it the more it occurs to me that really isn't necessary.

The question remains to be seen, what will I do with this fic? Honestly, I'm not sure. There are enough problems with it, and it is far enough out of my comfort zone, I may just toss it. If not they'll be some significant edits. *shrug* I'm not ready to decide yet though. It'll take some thought. Regardless, I will certainly keep writing.
>> No. 124490
File 135243252825.png - (1.54MB , 3569x2407 , nightmare_moon___night_dessert_by_anbolanos91-d5b0psx.png )
My sincere apologies at the lateness of my review. I don’t know how long the average reviewer takes getting a story done, but I broke my word saying that I would get this in by yesterday. Curse life and its obstacles and all that. Now, onto the review. Please save your stake burning until after my heathen speech has ceased.

The plot was an embodiment of the word “standard.” Crime almost-solved but oh-wait, it-wasn’t-who-we-thought-it-was. The duo do some hunting based on a hunch, come up with nothing, romantic interest almost leaves, except not at all, and then the (possibly) real murderer “reveals” himself. None of this territory feels very fresh to me. On the flip side, it doesn’t feel stale either, just simply… there. It walks the fine line that’s above “sleep-inducing” and short of “page turner.” I can’t say much more than that without the context of having read the previous chapters up to this point.

There weren’t many problems here. Twilight seemed appropriately worried about Zecora and the way she behaves about Spike’s situation and the discovery of “the murderer is still on the loose” was very natural. I like how, despite not having read the previous chapters, I can still feel the development that has progressed between Twilight and Bentgress. The way she quickly jumped to his defense excellently conveyed this (and averted the “everybody question the detective cliché”).

I think you’ve captured “teenage” Spike quite well. His snark has been amplified as has his maturity and he very much fits my vision of an older Spike.

I really can’t say much about Bentgrass, having only witnessed a single chapter of him, though he seems like a typical “witty yet edgy with a dark past” detective that tends to be a dime a dozen in noir stories. Don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t make him a bad OC (I like my noir), just not exactly one that leaps from the page. Once again, I’ll reserve any more judgment until I get the chance to read your previous chapters.

Narration and Prose
This was pretty solid. You definitely had some telling to work on but fortunately it was by no means prolific. You spent a good balance between progressing action and setting the various scenes. You didn’t load me with purple prose nor did you write the vocabulary equivalent of Fun with Dick and Jane.

I will have to say, though, you rather lathered on that description of the sheriff’s office. Given that its looks weren’t very important to the plot and that the characters spent all of a few paragraphs worth of time there, it felt like a bomb in the midst of your other, balanced writing. Keep in mind, however, that I have been criticized for not having enough description in my stories, so perhaps it’s my bizarre writing mind.

Nothing bad to see here, move along.

Ending Notes
This chapter has no serious pitfalls. I think it’s a very concrete, non-eye-searing piece of work that I would not object being shown to the general public.

I’ll say, my reviewing mind really didn’t like not having read the prior chapters, but when you’re busy, you’re busy. Hopefully at some point I can get to reading the whole thing and dropping a comment full of opinion on FIMFiction.

Anyway, I hope this review was somewhat helpful, at least, maybe…? You may now light the kindling beneath my feet.
>> No. 124493
Story is getting well received on FIMFic and I'd like to get it polished for EQD, help is greatly appreciated :) Comments are open for all editing purposes on the googledoc

Luna Visits The Dentist
(Comedy, Random, Normal)

During Luna's banishment to the moon, there have been a great many advances in medical practices and technology, one of which being the field of dentistry. Being the devoted and loving sister that she is, Celestia has taken it upon herself to make her sister an appointment with one of the most skilled dentists around, Doctor Colgate! How will Luna's first cleaning go? Will she have any cavities? Gingivitis? Or, Celestia grant us strength, will she need braces? Will Honor Bound and Razor Edge be able to keep their princesses in check? Will Equestria ever be the same again?

>> No. 124494
File 135244171557.png - (364.77KB , 1305x1600 , 1.png )
Looking for a reviewer for Curiosity
Keepers of the dead: Curiosity
>> No. 124505

(Sorry for how long this took to reply to, been a hell of a month)

I believe there still needs to be some outbursts that do occur, and the unknown exchange between RD and Fluttershy was more to emphasize RD's freaking out about her own actions.

Something that I was trying to get across, and again failed a bit, was to build it up. The anger causes some shouting matches, hurt feelings and then builds to the point of open brawling in the street. I tried to get it as brutal as I could without going grimdark.

Going back to the mayor, I guess it was more to illustrate how surreal things were getting. Though as I attempt to rewrite things a bit, that part may be shortened or removed.

The thing with the swarm... that becomes apparent later on, is that it's a swarm of fairly nasty creatures, each one of which can destroy a community. These things aren't weaklings or pushovers...but the focus of that is the climax of chapter 4.

Which brings me to the storyteller... The big reveal of her happens at the epilogue of chapter 4, explaining her personal connection to the overall narrative... however, we both agree the prologue is in desperate need of a rewrite.
>> No. 124519
File 135254075473.jpg - (6.61KB , 268x188 , SD.jpg )
>> No. 124521

The title sounds interesting, and I’d be expecting it belong to a [Dark] story. The synopsis seems to be written for this chapter only. I found that a little strange. Where’s the one that you will be along with your title?

First Impression:
Well, the first thing I notice is the lack of commas in your dialogue.
>>Oh my bad my name is Obsidia but everyone calls me Obsi for short. I didn’t think word would spread that quickly but come on in.

It sounds as if he is saying this really fast, Pinkie Pie style. You’ve got to add commas or some other form of punctuation to separate independent clauses. Also, you can’t link the two clauses in the second sentence with a ‘but conjunction, because they are hardly related. You should use the word ‘but’ to present a contrast or exception ("They gamble, but they don't smoke." -Wikipedia)

So here’s that bit should look like:

>> Oh my bad. My name is Obsidia, but everyone calls me Obsi for short. I didn’t think word would spread that quickly. Come on in.

Now, it still sounds as if he is speaking very fast. It’s because he’s constantly jumping from one topic to another. First he apologizes, then he decides to introduce himself, and after that he invites them in. I think you should break this up a little. Slot in some description or action before the ‘Come on in’ bit.

As I read on, I realise that this problem is rampant throughout your story. It’s come to a point that it makes the story hard to read.

And you should really do a round of self editing before submitting it here, so I don’t ending up seeing bits like:

>>What’s in the box Twilight? Spike asked as he walked down the stairs to meet her.

Other stuff:

(taken from “The Editor’s Omnibus”, which happens to have a link at the top of this page)
✖ "Hi there," the pink pony grinned. (It should be a period: ‘grinned’ isn’t a ‘speaking’ verb.)
✖ "Hi there." The pink pony said. (This should be a comma; no capitalization should be used)
✖ "Hi there"! the pink pony shouted! (Punctuation of dialogue belongs inside the quotes.)
✖ "Hi there!" The pink pony shouted! (Don’t capitalize "the"; treat the "!" as a comma.)

>> “Nice to meet you, I am Rarity and this is my friend Twilight.” She paused for a second “what do you mean by order?”

✔ "Hi there," the pink pony giggled. (She giggled while saying the words.)
✔ "Hi there." The pink pony giggled. (She said those words, then giggled.)
✔ "Hi there." The pink pony grinned. (The word 'grinned' isn't a 'speaking' verb.)
✔ "Hi there!" the pink pony shouted. (Exclamations and queries replace the comma.)

>> “Nice to meet you, I am Rarity and this is my friend Twilight.” She paused for a second. “What do you mean by order?”

You have quite a serious paragraphing issue in which you place actions by multiple characters into the same paragraph. You’ve also shifted in perspective a number of times within a paragraph. Something like:

>> Rarity did X. Twilight looked at Rarity. “I’m a dragon,” Obsidia said.

You have a lot of weak, halfbaked attempts at description. You need to elaborate on what’s on your mind and paint the picture out for me. Doing a dry ‘X did Y, Z happened’ type of narration doesn’t work either. This story needs a lot of work.
>> No. 124524
File 135254560657.png - (65.28KB , 304x166 , Twilight_confused.png )
Umm... your gdocs link is just an empty page.
>> No. 124525
File 135254757799.jpg - (9.18KB , 205x246 , carefree.jpg )
Yep. I PMed the author about it just now, in fact.
>> No. 124527
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1NmTHLe1HqOFVeL0fpgJUN75bYHPvpXuu4RVLuLIHMpE/edit is the correct link, I believe. He/She seems to have chopped the /edit off (under the presumption that leaving it there would allow you to edit, I suppose), which makes you open a blank document instead of the intended one.
>> No. 124528
Oh, I think that's it. Thanks.
>> No. 124529
File 135255374433.jpg - (5.87KB , 299x168 , imagesCAF233M2.jpg )

>>You’ve got to add commas or some other form of punctuation to separate independent clauses.

>>to separate independent clauses.



I meant that commas are used to link clauses together, and if they happen to be independent, you will need a coordinating conjunction, such as 'and' or 'but'.

>These are independent clauses, and they are linked together in this manner.
>> No. 124536

Uploaded the second chapter, making the word count about 5k.

I'm searching for somepony who can proofread it and help me make it good enough to be submitted in Equestria Daily (I don't expect to have its own post, but at least an appearance in the side stories compilaion).

It's uploaded in Gdocs, but I plan to upload the revised chapter in FIM Fiction. If anyone has an account there, it would make it easier for me to contact via PM.

Thanks for making this thread. You're helping me a lot with my writing issues.
>> No. 124544
File 135256938170.png - (297.62KB , 900x776 , Derpy5e.png )
I really hate to ask this, but maintaining two TTG threads is too much work. Could we possibly have this one locked?

MLPchan's is at: http://mlpchan.net/fic/res/525.html

If you still want your fanfiction reviewed here at Ponychan then:

Nicholas' review thread: >>124496

Meek's review thread: >>123750

Ukai's review thread: >>111800
>> No. 124548
You forgot Ukai. And probably two others.
>> No. 124550
Alright, then. I'll try in that other thread (The others don't want human or gore, and since my fic is about Fallout... Yeah, it will have gore)
>> No. 124551
File 135257040124.png - (671.52KB , 493x757 , Dd68v.png )
>My face I forgot to mention nicholas directly.
>> No. 124552
That's why there are multiple maintainers. I do most of the queue maintenance here, and don't mind continuing to do so. EqD still refers traffic here, after all.
>> No. 124553
File 135257046562.png - (744.49KB , 1099x717 )

Fair enough.

Thread locked for now. If you guys ever want to open up shop here again, all you need to do is ask and it'll be unlocked again.


... and then unlocked again. Sorry about that.
>> No. 124556
I suppose you will also be doing the whole "hey, your review is over here" business as well? Or man it, for that matter. You can't sent people to a place no one is actually doing stuff.
>> No. 124560
I have been keeping up with both threads already. This move was about giving people a choice, not forcing anything. And Azu has no authority to lock this thread.
>> No. 124569
Sorry, Pascoite. Maintaining both threads has been rough. I guess we can leave this one open 'til the boards are syndicated.
>> No. 124572
Tags: [Crossover] [Grimdark] [Human in Equestria]

Synopsis: ODSTs are trained to handle any situation. Get any better, and they become spartans. However, no trooper is truly perfect. Garrett Archer gets more than what he bargained for after following an order to go back to Earth. He finds himself crashing in flames and waking up in Equestria, only to be introduced to more problems that add to the weight of the Human-Covenant war. Some see him as a monster, a friend, and the last piece of the puzzle.

Part 12: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1OxYlIy6StNoCa-ZdGWEjCR2gi-zxWVG_RtMlYOWt3TE/edit

Comments: I would like to have my review in-doc.
>> No. 124582

I've added quite a lot of comments in-doc, so I think I'll just finish off with a short review.

I'm able to follow this story without prior knowledge of the crossover, so that's good. Actually, I wouldn't even think that it's a crossover.

However, your characters seem a little shallow. I can't see the difference in characterizations between the three DJ's. They talk the same way, and they do the same stuff. I think you could give them a few flaws too. Spice up their characters and let them interact to draw out the conflict and drama.

Twilight is a little wooden as well. She's just letting the story take her along.

There are a few cheesy bits in your story that aren't quite funny. Mostly cliche HiE reactions such as:

>>“Hm? Oh, yeah, I’m fine.” He got up onto his hooves shakily. “I think. Man, I can’t believe I’m a pony!”

Your writing style tends to draw attention to the narrator, and you've shifted in perspective a number of times, jumping from one character's thoughts to another.

And now, I'll go back to the doc to reply to your comments in there.
>> No. 124584
So out of curiosity, is this claimed or what? Just wondering.
>> No. 124586
Figments has a claim on it. I don't think the author would mind getting two reviews though.
>> No. 124589
Well I can't exactly claim it because I wrote it.
>> No. 124597
File 135261905073.png - (253.38KB , 1280x845 , Derpy139.png )

Today's been a bad day...
>> No. 124599

Just wanted to say that I finally got someone to help me with this fic, so there's no need for more help. Thanks a lot for this thread; you really helped me improve my writing skills.
>> No. 124600
File 135263145732.jpg - (282.60KB , 800x600 , ehehe.jpg )
That would be me, trying to finish a review before making the claim post. Might as well make it official; I'm claiming "Bronies Dawn".

>> No. 124601

I can't claim it since I'm the writer. I'm just telling everyone that someone claimed it already. Or maye I'm expressing myself wrong?
>> No. 124602
File 135263712252.jpg - (19.41KB , 480x360 , actually.jpg )
The guy, AAA A leaving comments in your document? That was me. ^^|| by "I received help" I'm assuming you to be referring to that guy, i.e. me; I was doing it unofficially, but now I'm making it official. Kind of like doing a work shift and telling your boss that you came in only after you're done.
>> No. 124603
Sorry, I didn't know it was you (Different usernames confuse me). Thanks for offering to help me ;D
>> No. 124605
File 135265748244.png - (141.89KB , 900x657 , Pinkie-Twitchytail.png )
Right. I left most of my comments in-doc. I don't believe my traditional story/character review is going to be much help here, since you have already progressed so far. I'll just reiterate recurring issues here.

Technically, you seemed competent, so I don't think you need a lecture on commas, semi-colons and such. I did notice you tend to leave out question marks on sentences that are obviously questions. I marked such in the GDocs. Also, double hyphens are no substitute for proper em dashes, despite what some guides may say.

Stylistically, I feel your prose is quite descriptive and vivid. However, you seem to brush over certain scenes that could certain used the extra description you shower on some parts of your fic. You have a tendency to devolve into talking heads, and speakers aren't clearly marked occasionally. Adding body language and other action would only flesh out those scenes better.

Character wise, I have nothing to say regarding Kite. He's reacting just about as expected after being told that his destiny is an assasin or a killer. That and being held against his will and trained for some reason. Thunder is about as one-dimensional as a villain could get. Venture and Sunset has no personality to speak of as of yet.

Story wise... well, I don't know. I'm iffy on the premise itself to begin with. But unless you want me to list down all the problems I have with your assumptions in your fic, I'm going to just stick to the story itself instead. Pacing-wise, it's okay, but it is beginning to drag. Reading two chapters of being imprisoned against your will isn't very compelling for me. Not fatally yet, but yeah, you better have something happen by your next chapter.


That's all I have. I bid you good writing.
>> No. 124620
Review acknowledged

Regarding your comment about me and question marks: I dunno, buddy. I know what a question is and what a question mark is but when it comes to recognising when to use what I just can't get it right all the time.

Anyway, on to bigger things. Regarding the story beginning to drag, I'm now considering just cutting the entire third chapter and moving the 4th one up seeing how the 3rd doesn't have anything HUGELY critical in it. Then the things could really start happening during the new chapter 4. Anyway, in the event that I do this, do you mind also taking a look at the current chapter 4? Here's the link if you want:

>> No. 124621
Sure, why not?

Just be aware that I might take some time to get to it. Have a few other things I have to do first.
>> No. 124625
>> No. 124636
File 135271850755.png - (57.59KB , 240x135 , Pinkie.png )
Tags: [Dark]

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 is forced into a terrifying adventure of uncovering secrets and finding a way out of her nightmare.

Chapters 5-7 https://docs.google.com/document/d/1aEqUUzJrWUL46nJOZJDLlclK9gmDtaLfJA88ohvL-J4/edit

These weren't looked upon during the last review, so I thought of dropping them here after another round of editing.

Claiming, to help out with the queue.
>> No. 124678
File 135281574005.png - (239.64KB , 566x621 , Pinkie_Pie_standing_S1E15.png )

Ah, a comedy fic. I’ve always thought comedy fics were a little hard to review. It’s difficult to say what works and what doesn’t. Here I go, then.

The synopsis is good; it conveys the tone accurately, and gives me a rough overview of your story. I think the string of questions is a little overwhelming though. I’d cut out the last two questions because they pack less of a punch, and I don’t see the need to mention the two OC side characters.
The title is fine.

It’s a weather report. You might have done this intentionally to draw attention to the cliché for comedic effect, but I can’t tell for sure. I’m not sure if it would work the way you want it to. I mean, if I had dived into this story without noticing the Comedy tag, I would have labelled it as a poor introduction. But now that it does have a Comedy tag, it sort of falls into a gray area. Well, I think we could do with some experienced input here, and so I’m going to put an asterisk at the top. As for me, I’d say you should axe this introduction and come up with something more engaging.

Not many issues over here. Impeccable dialogue punctuation. Well, except for that one instance where you’ve used three exclamation marks in a row. A few long paragraphs that need to be broken up, and that’s about it

A simple, straightforward plot. Ideally, you should add a number of witty twists to spice it up.

Luna’s dialogue and thoughts seem too casual and a little foalish. I’ve marked out a number of bits that could do with a rephrasing.

I’d like to see a bit more background on Razor Edge and Honor Bound, so that I don’t get the feeling that you’ve plucked out two random guards from the castle, given them names, and then thrown them back into an adventure. Also, their characterization could have been more unique. I doubt I’d be able to tell one from the other if you didn’t specify them, actually.

Description is rather sparse in your story. Sure, using a simple, clean writing style is good for packing in the jokes. You don’t want to get readers tripping over purple bits and then missing the jokes because they’re too caught up figuring what you’re trying to say. That being said, there will be periods in your story where you’ll want to slow down and describe things a bit, so that your readers would get a clear picture of the scene your characters are in.

Other bits:
-Use exclamation marks sparingly. There’s too many cluttering up your dialogue, and it’s distracting me.

-You should use something less distracting to indicate a scene break. If your hosting site is Fimfiction, the code for a scene break is: [hr].

Funniest bit of your story?
>>“Princess Celestia! I-I’m sorry for any distur...”

>>Colgate was silenced with a simple wave of Celestia’s gold-plated hoof and a smile.

Second most funny bit:
>> ‘No! I am Colgate Fluorine Minuette, and if Princess Luna needs her teeth cleaned, then I am the pony for the job!’

Overall, I’d say this was an enjoyable read. Nice and light-hearted, and the writing doesn’t get in the way. I don’t think it’ll get into Equestria Daily on the first try, but it should be in within the three strikes. Well done and carry on writing!

Man, I feel like writing a comedy fic after reading this. You make it seem so easy.
>> No. 124679
File 135282003794.png - (148.16KB , 564x498 , smile.png )
Looks good. Had a bit of a browse, and I agree with you on the introduction part. If the weather report opening is meant to be lampooned, you usually do it within the same paragraph, or it ends up dragging, and while there's nothing deadly wrong with it, there's nothing fancy, clever nor interesting about it, either - things which a first paragraph are expected to be. Also pre-readers frown on it, so there's that, and no, they don't make a habit of checking the featured box, so they won't give you the benefit of the doubt.
>> No. 124683
File 135282478666.png - (71.25KB , 195x357 , lyra_changeling.png )
Tags: [Sad][Romance]

Synposis: After surviving a changeling body-swap, a weak Lyra is being nursed back to health by her lover Bon Bon.

Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1uMmM6QgMCM6jEckTRuxSsr5TdCaPsSw8EW_ORQsvZPE/edit
(~2500 words, one-shot)

Another experimental fic of mine that I wrote on a whim. Never done anything quite like this before, so it may or may not be utterly horrible. I'm not even sure about the title and synposis either... Apart from that, the less I say about the fic, the better.
>> No. 124694
So would you grade my story as "worth a read,""worth improving" or "worth bugger all?"
>> No. 124695
File 135288751105.png - (337.29KB , 603x438 , Capture.png )
Title: The Prodigal Pies Return

Author: Bronetheus

Tags: Slice of Life, Shipping (not the focus of the story, just tagged because Octavia and Vinyl Scratch are a couple in it)

Synopsis: Blinkadette Rosalyn Pie's 20th birthday is approaching, and she knows exactly what that means: her two siblings will be coming home. Her older sister is a world-famous cellist and composer, and she's bringing her very special somepony to meet the family for the first time. Her younger sister has saved Equestria from certain doom no less than three times. Blinkie... manages rock farming finances (accounts payable). With so many things, business and private, stacking up on her plate at once, her only wish is to make it through this birthday in one piece.

Chapter 1: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1LrrSupZRhHUqHmudQEL-lpQWX52GVf62CXjKvuNUK7w/edit
Chapter 2: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1a6HVr-10tWBtjm83RcwlHXHS8xc0339gobTXEo9mOtQ/edit

About 7500 words total.

Comments: Needing a break from the sprawling dark epic that my first story has become, I've started up a much lighter, easier, shorter fic to clear my brain juices. While it's mainly a fun side thing, it's a huge chance for me to improve that I can't pass up, considering how different the style of narrative is. So if anyone would care to offer some critiques, edits, and opinions, that would be fabulous.

ATTN queue maintainers- it looks like I derped the submission form pretty hard. Should I resubmit?
>> No. 124696
It needs a substantial bit of rewriting. So, worth improving I guess.

I've also saved this review application thing long ago and when I dropped your story into it, it says that:

>>You have a high amount of usage of passive voice and/or conjugations of be, which may indicate telling.

There's also a list of errors there, mostly in punctuation. Here's the link to the application.

Props to whoever created this application; it's nice to play around with.

Thanks for your opinion, Casca.
>> No. 124701
I'm back with a new chapter for a new story. Been working on it for a couple of weeks(On and off due to college and other projects). Since you guys did a great job ripping my first story apart with constructive criticism, i've tried to use that when writing this one.

Title: Ashes to Ashes


Tags: Sad (only tag for now)

Synopsis: A Filly Pegasus. A fire that took her family. A secret. An encounter that will change the life of the pegasus that found her forever.

Word Count: 1153

Ch1: http://www.fimfiction.net/story/60818/1/Ashes-to-Ashes/Unexpected-Meeting
>> No. 124717
File 135299596348.jpg - (80.80KB , 500x353 , banzai.jpg )
Review posted here: http://mlpchan.net/fic/res/525.html#1048
>> No. 124725
I dropped this claim on mlpchan, and that's where the review will be posted as well, but I thought it would be helpful if I said I claimed it on both sites until this is all straightened out and everything is settled appropriately.

I've read through the story, so now it's a matter of forming it into something constructive for you.
>> No. 124729
File 135303975341.png - (96.31KB , 299x196 , Bon Bon131697634045.png )
Post you review in one thread. I don't care which one, though it'd probably be a good idea to post it in the same thread that the request was made. A maintainer will put the link in the spreadsheet so the author can easily find it. If you're still not sure that the author knows their review is ready, then Email them or send a PM to their FiMFic account.
>> No. 124767
File 135316450340.jpg - (12.45KB , 187x270 , fairies.jpg )
You didn't fill in the form, which is why you aren't in the queue document, but, well. Review incoming, in that little box down there.

>It was just another normal night for Daybreak. He was going for a walk, enjoying the cool, crisp air that the night would bring.
But the night's already brought the air, right? How else would he be able to enjoy it?

>Looking up at the starry night to enjoy the beauty of it.
This is an incomplete sentence, and thus grammatically incorrect. It lacks a subject, or do-er of the verb (looking).

>...would bring, looking up
Would make it grammatically correct.

>It was all going great until he heard what sounded like a faint crying.
If it sounds like faint crying, then it is. "what sounded like" is somewhat redundant.

>burnt-orange Pegasus filly
No need for capitalization of "pegasus".

>She looked half starved and was very dirty. Tears were falling down her face and dripping over a half-burnt picture she was holding. Daybreak walked over to her trying his best to comfort the little filly.
>half-starved, very dirty

This is tell. Tell, meaning you're giving us the information, not having us picture it ourselves.

Consider, for example:
>The first thing he saw was how ghastly her face was. Her cheekbones stretched at her skin, her eyes were dull and glossy, and her fur was matted and grimy. Small patches of it were missing along her legs, which were stick thin. Daybreak had never seen a starved pony before, but this was probably it, and he felt a strange mix of compassion and repulsion, coming from his heart and nose, respectively, crashing and ending in a clammy lump around his throat.
Details which establish the scene are important. Rather than tell us that she was half-starved and dirty, show it to us - cheekbones are usually a defining feature, as with dulled eyes and hair. The later part gives us some insight into Daybreak so that he's more of a character, with his own opinions and feelings and responses.

>trying his best to comfort the little filly.
Redundant. The dialogue later on shows us this already, so delete this part.

>“What seems to be wrong?” He asked.
do not capitalize "he"

>”I’m alone...And it’s my fault...”
alone... and

Space after ellipse, and I prefer to not capitalize the word after. Ellipses can work like full stops; that is, you can end a sentence with it, so the next word would then be capitalized. But if you're not ending your sentence, then don't capitalize it. Because of this confusion in interpretation (is he starting a new sentence, or is he just doing it wrong?), I don't end sentences with ellipses if there's another sentence behind it, like this one here.

>“Celestia damn me why!!” the little filly said, yelling at the sky.
Woah there, nelly. Harsh words for a filly. Also, double exclamation marks? No-no. Just one, and always just one.

me, why

>“What happened?” He said again, trying to get an answer from her.
do not capitalize "he"

>“They’re dead!...In a fire I…I,” She cries harder.
Putting an ellipse after another bit of punctuation, i.e. your !, is discouraged.

>"They're dead! In a fire, and I... I..." A fresh bout of choking swallowed the rest, washed down with mucus and tears.
A couple of punctuation polishes, the "and" is there so that it reads better, and then a bit more finesse on describing "cries", key word being "describe". I didn't outright say she cried, but you can conclude that she did, can't you? That would be showing - have your reader conclude things for themselves, by giving them the hints they need to piece it together. Also, you switched to present tense in that, when your opener is in past. Don't.

>“A…A fire?!”
space after ellipse

>The little filly continued to cry with coughing mixed in.
Eh, this line is clunky. It doesn't seem to serve any purpose aside from hit the reader on the head with a hammer that says, "THIS IS SAD". Also because you've already said that she's crying, and we get it. I'd delete it and just have Daybreak continue on to "You look like you're hurt..."

>“No i-i-ill be fine.”
"No, I-I-I'll be
Capitalize I

>“I'm sorry but I can't leave you in such bad condition.”
sorry, but

>“Why I’m *coughing fit* n-n-no. I wont go. I’m fi…”
Using asterisks * for sound effects is a big no-no. Use words instead; that's what prose is for.

>"I'm... no, no, I won't go!" She raised her head and met his eyes for the first time. They were swollen, quivering, yet not deadened - there was still some spirit left, dregs of defiance that leaked into her shaking voice. "I won't!"

>She collapses to the ground,
More tense inconsistency.

collapses -> collapsed

>He acts fast, “That's it...You need to go to the hospital. Now.” picks her up, places her on his back, and carries her to the hospital.
No. You don't break the flow of your action with dialogue like that.

>He steeled himself and took a deep breath. "That's it. You need to go to the hospital. Now." Gently, he picked her up and placed her on his back. The smell of urine and dirt was horrible, but it was a minor inconvenience at best for Daybreak. All he would need was a shower, but she needed much, much more care.
The actions before the dialogue act as speed bumps, to show that Daybreak isn't there for just convenience's sake. See, the knight in shining armour, the one that shows up at the right moment? People are becoming increasingly skeptic, and are looking at him with more and more wariness, because, well, people aren't knights in shining armour in real life most of the time. Showing him having a bit of reluctance would make him more down to earth.

I got rid of the ellipse, so that you can spend it on Scootaloo instead.

The actions after the dialogue are mostly unchanged, except for that horrible tense inconsistency you've got there.

I added sensory details to give the situation more depth, and some insight into Daybreak's thoughts to build him up as a living character that thinks for himself more.

Again with the sound effects. No. Consider

>"Please, I'm..." A fit of coughing broke the flow.
>"Please, I'm -" The rest was lost under a wave of coughing.
>She managed to coax a few syllables, dry and crackled, until a fit of coughing sweeped the rest away.

Words, son. Make your words do the work.

Also, I know what you're getting at, but you're running a very high risk of ellipses abuse. It's when you have trails... everywhere... like... that... and I don't even. They're distracting, and they're amateurish, which diminishes the reader's faith and willingess to invest in your story - one of the biggest hurdles that I had to overcome in my own writing was ellipses abuse, in fact. Again, use words.

>“Name? I’m*cough* Ashes”
And again with the sound effects. Once again, no. Also, end your sentences with proper punctuation! Missing full stop

Also consider
>"...what's your name?"
>"Ashes," he managed to pick out. Her voice was a hoarse whisper now.
Gives more insight into the scene, so on.

>“Okay Ashes, my name is Da…”
>The filly interrupts, “Daddy. You came back.”
>Daybreak stops. “What?”
Tense inconsistency. Last time I'm pointing it out; you should be good to pick out the rest. And I really, really strongly advise you to pick out the rest.

>“You came*cough* back for me. *cough* I knew you would”
More sound effects. Last time I'm pointing it out; same as above.

>“She’s getting weaker; getting delusional. I need to hurry.” He thought and started to walk faster.
That's not how you use a semicolon. Replace with comma.

...hurry[comma]" he thought

>She won’t let go
How is that a bad thing, seeing as she'd just fall off if she did?

>Daybreak arrives at the hospital. Nurses ask what happened and he tells them what happened. They then take her for medical attention while he waited.
Okay, I just have to highlight this, because you're flip-flopping with your tenses almost as bad as Mitt Romney. Haha, a politics joke! And I'm not even American

>She struggles with her meager strength to hold on but can’t.
Hold on to what? It makes it sound like her dying is the focus, not her clinging to his neck. This is where context maks things a bit murky. I'd suggest "cling on", or "refused to get off", which are more clear even though they don't outright say "to his neck".

>“Everything will be fine, Trust me.”
do not capitalize words after commas unless they are special nouns/pronouns, e.g. names, or referring to God. "Trust" is a verb, and those are never capitalized after a comma.

>It felt like hours pass until a doctor walks the doors
You walk through doors. Also, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vgiDcJi534Y

>“So how is she doctor? Will she be alright?”
"alright" is technically not a word. "all right" is the proper way to do it. But, eh, nitpicking, so it's not grave.

>“Thank Celestia.” He said in a sigh of relief.
Celestia," he said

>"There is one thing we noticed though; She is much smaller and lighter than a pony her age should be. We assume she hasn’t eaten in several days. We brought in food for her to eat but she won’t even touch it and keeps asking for her dad. Are you the father?”
Wrong use of semicolon, replace with full stop. How does the doctor know her age? And if it was so apparent that Daybreak could see that she was half-starved, what's the "assuming" there for? I mean, the doctor's a professional, right?

>“No, I just found here and brought her here. She was a little delusional and though I was here dad on the way over here.”
thought, not though; her, not here. Funny how a single letter can fumble an entire sentence.

>Well…as unfortunately as that sounds, she is asking for her father and you were the only pony with here when she came in. I highly recommend that you go see here and maybe convince her to eat.”
Missing opening quotation mark. Read that "as unfortunately as that sounds". Does that sound right to you? No? It's got something to do with adverbs and things, but, eh, I'm just here to tell you it's wrong. "unfortunate"

>They both walk to the room Ashes is kept in.
Some description would be good. Scene-building. The stench of disinfectant, the gleaming white of the walls and the floor, the harsh lights, contrasted with the night, the clean white sheets, the warmth of the room, the beeping machines. There's so much that you could do to strengthen this picture.

>"Nurses, back up" the doctor ordered.
But there's only one of her, right? Missing comma after "up"

>Daybreak walked in towards her. He motions to the doctor and nurses to leave. They do and shut the door.
in redundant. And why does Daybreak suddenly get to be in charge, bossing the professionals out of the room?

>She squirms as she tries to hug him.
Elaborate what's making it hard

>“Nothing is your fault dear. Now please, eat.”
Ignoring the fact that he's unflinching with his manipulation of a broken filly's delusions, this is actually a nice scene. And hey, I'm usually on the skeptical side of things, so I'm not exactly the best measure of emotional feedback.

>It takes her a while; Still weak.
It's like you got hungry and ate the important words in the sentence. The "still weak" part is the offender, by the way.

>He does and she snuggles up to him, ”I’m glad you’re back dad.”
him[full stop]

Dialogue lines are new sentences on their own. And when you start a new sentence, you end your old one.

>She slowly dozes off.
>Her eyelids drooped and her tugs became softer and softer, until she finally let go, lost in slumber.
More finesse if you use the small details.

>“This sure has been one interesting and long day.” He thought as he yawns.
day," he thought

You have a high frequency of "Dialogue," he said as action. Replace this one up here.

>“I should…get back…home.” He says as he himself starts to doze off.
"home," he says

He's a grown pony, you know. Grownups have more self-control than this.

>He looks downs
You get a light smack on the wrist for this.

>He is able to get loose from her grip and get off the bed without waking the filly thankfully.
filly, thankfully

>he wrapped he up in the blankets to keep her warm.
Another light smack

>He stretches his legs and looks around the room. The doctor comes into the room.
repetition of "the room". Do something with your words, restructure your sentences, anything to get rid of it.

>"Well...I just hope she gets better. I just wonder what happened to her."
The ellipse here is unnecessary.

The convention is "Yeah"

>I still find it weird that she thinks i'm her father."
I'm, not i'm

>"The photo she had may explain a lot." the doctor replies as he points at the photo.
lot," the doctor replies

>He sees the photo she had with her last night laying on the table next to the bed. He goes over to look at the photo.
"the photo" repetition, same as above

>As he is looking over the photo, He notices something weird.
photo, he noticed

>“Wait a minute…” he said while examining the photo; Looking at the father. “That can’t be."

>"You look just like her father in the photo. That's why she calls you dad"
Who says this? And why is he saying it, when there's nobody else in the room except the bed-ridden filly? And how can he talk without ending his sentences with full stops?

>"That's because the pony in the photo is my brother,... Night-breeze."
That hyphen there is ugly. Consider getting rid of it. Night Breeze, or Nightbreeze. Your ellipse would actually be better put ater Nightbreeze.

Also, comma-ellipse is ugly too. Go with just a comma.

Now for the ranty, general-advice-y bit.

I can look at your story two ways.

The first way is: this is a story about a good pony, who does a good turn for somepony in need.

The second way is: this is a story about somepony I don't know and don't care too much about, who does a good turn for somepony who I care slightly more about, on account of sympathy and curiousity for her plight.

In both cases, your ending is weak, because, see, the fact that Scoots Mysterious Filly X is his niece isn't important to us readers. It's important to Daybreak, and probably important to Ashes, but it's not important to us, because you don't have enough build-up to establish a connection between us and them. I mean, there's the sympathy card. You have that in your favour. And there's the nice guy card, because who wouldn't approve of a character acting out of the goodwill of his heart? But that's it. It's mere sentiment, which comes and goes as easily as the wind. That isn't strong enough to make us care about the ending, to feel what Daybreak feels.

I'm feeling a bit of both ways. Today, I met a homeless person sitting at the doorsteps of my church. The stark proximity of the matter got me into a mindset that was, I guess, in your favour; I was feeling particularly empathetic for the homeless and the hungry, wondering what would it be like if I were one - before I went into your story. So that's where the first way comes from - you had my sentiments, though I suspect not wholly by your credit.

The second way is my reviewer-mind speaking. This story is forgettable, although I wouldn't call it a bad read. I mean, it's only just over 1k words. I don't need to invest too much into it, and I'm not unhappy that I don't get a lot from it aside from passing sentiment.
Now, let's get that out of the way and talk about you. Yes, you.

You've improved from Ice Phoenix. It's as simple as that. Your dialogue punctuation is pretty wonky, and your writing is basic, but you've improved. There's an actual storyline involving ponies which feel like actual ponies, kind of, and you managed to get some kind of feeling out of me. I daresay I'm proud of you for it.

This was not a fantastic read, but it wasn't bad. You're getting there, slowly but surely. Keep writing.
>> No. 124769
File 135317344647.jpg - (111.69KB , 640x480 , Writer_Aside_Glance.jpg )
Well, about time I've taken another fic to review. This one's short, and similar to a fic idea I've had some time ago. Expect review soon, probably by tomorrow.
>> No. 124802
1. It's an improvement from Ice Phoenix. That's a good thing
2. Love the political joke. It's all a joke over here. haha.
3. The switching between tenses is my fault due to me working on the storyline(and still working on it) for close to a month( in college) so it has been through a lot of changes and I forgot to fix the mistakes.
4. I got some form of feeling from you. yay!
Thanks again for the review. I hope to improve more.
>> No. 124804
File 135324838780.jpg - (118.10KB , 640x480 , Melancholic_Writer.jpg )
Well, this certainly was experimental, no doubt about that. Experimental to the point where it’s been somewhat hard for me to rate it. Asterisking review because of that.

Your writer’s quote for this review:
“The choice of the point(s) of view from which the story is told is arguably the most important single decision that the novelist has to make, for it fundamentally affects the way readers will respond, emotionally and morally, to the fictional characters and their actions.” - David Lodge

First, let’s look over the content: “Changeling” is a about (I guess) Bon Bon bringing Lyra to their home after saving her from a changeling cocoon and telling her stories to comfort her. We see it from Bon Bon’s point of view, and the entire piece is one giant monologue.

And point of view is what I’m having most trouble with. In normal third person or first person narratives, we’ve got a narrator telling the story to the reader, either through the eyes of a viewpoint character or through their own, neutral voice. In your story, we’ve got Bon Bon acting as the sole narrator, and telling the story to Lyra, as if she was the reader, except we’re not, so we’re just kind of eavesdropping on them. The problem with this is that it’s confusing and tiring.

Of course, a short story with this kind of narrative is possible, but the form you chose presents an obstacle to telling the story—an obstacle that you’ve got to overcome. As it stands now, this fic has more merit as a creative writing exercise than an actual story. Not saying that this is bad—I’m all for experimentation, since by breaking out of our comfort zone and exploring things we haven’t tried before can we grow as writers.

My second problem with this fic grows from the previous point. The entire story is one giant monologue. What’s hard with this is that you have to pull the entire story—narrative, description, exposition and all—solely through monologue. And that’s hard to do, because it never has to stop sounding like something the character would say. And I don’t think that is the case here. Too many times I went “oh, why would she say that to her,” or, more frequently, “nopony speaks like that,” which is connected to the problem with awkward phrasing you’ve got, discussed below. And addressing the first point, there is a separate class of dialogue problems that beginning writers often have, and that is “information planting,” which refers to characters slipping information into dialogue meant obviously for the reader, something that they wouldn’t say otherwise. The form you’ve chosen for your piece simply begs for this kind of problem to emerge. You’ve got a little leeway because this is supposed to be an emotional retelling, a kind of a soliloquy (and actually a soliloquy, as it turns out that Lyra’s passed out and doesn’t hear her), but to pull this off, you have to be extra-mindful of this problem, and probably hammer in the “emotional” aspect (as of now, I didn’t get enough feels from the narrator to justify such in-depth retelling).

And another problem, tied directly to the fact that the whole story is one monologue, is that it doesn’t feel like a proper monologue because the narrator doesn’t possess a distinctive enough voice. In “normal” first-person narrative, you’ve got every part of the story “colored” by the viewpoint character’s distinctive, opinionated voice (except for other character’s dialogue, of course), and it makes it stand out. In your story, however, the language is pretty bland and neutral—I didn’t “feel” the character behind the voice. The fact that Bon Bon doesn’t have a set characterization on the show doesn’t mean that you don’t have to provide one for her. Play around with your language, imagine how the character would say what they say (and if they would actually say that in the first place).

Now, to the actual meat of the story. Judging by your pic and the subject matter, I thought at first that this was related to the Royal Wedding, but that didn’t turn out to be the case. What we’ve got instead is that half of the story is spent on telling Lyra about Bon Bon (whom she knows) and describing how she first met Lyra. The next is a short, disjointed vignette on how they’ve lived together. Then, for some unknown reason, at some unspecified time, and in some unseen way, Lyra is replaced by a changeling. Then Bon Bon realizes that it must be a changeling, kills it and finds Lyra just… hanging in a cocoon in the Everfree Forest. There are quite a few logical mistakes with this—the dreaded plot holes—that can be solved through, first, thinking all of your fic’s events through carefully and seeing that they make sense, and second, by expanding your narrative to offer explanation to everything that can be questioned or seen unlikely.

What’s a bigger problem is pacing. The first part, about Bon Bon getting together with Lyra, has no weight on the actual story and drags for too long. It’s half of the fic! I actually took a break from it because I was bored, which is the worst mistake that a story can make. The “meat” of the story is one page of Bon Bon dealing with the Lyra-changeling. This is what your synopsis alludes to, and this is where you should have put most of your effort in. Focus on what is actually important in the story, and see what is secondary—and that “secondary” must support the primary story.

And then, the ending. No offense, but that was probably the worst part of your work. It was confusing, it took me several reads to completely figure it out and wrap my mind around it. The little “reveal” had not enough clues in the story to justify it, it left more plot holes than it covered and frankly, it just came straight out of left field. Like a bad M. Night Shayamalan plot tweest, it left a bad taste in my mouth after reading. And on the subject of reveals in first-person prose: there is an unbreakable convention in first person point of view prose—the narrator never withholds information from the reader or lies to them (the unreliable narrator technique is the exception, but that’s a whole other story). Such little “reveals” hardly ever work in first person. The only way to make it is to reveal it gradually, by playing on the rule that the narrator has no obligation to reveal information that isn’t currently pertinent to the story, but that is hard to do. You did drop hints, but they were either too ambiguous to be seen before the fact, or they were made moot by the fact that a changeling couldn’t figure out that a changeling was impersonating their loved one for days.

On to grammar: There were a few derps here and there, but those seemed more like typos than systemic errors. I’ve commented on what I’ve noticed in the doc. The only way to battle those is by thoroughly re-reading your work, preferably out loud. What you’ve got a bigger problem with is awkward phrasing. Good prose, real good prose, is unforced, like a good conversation. Awkward phrasing is when a sentence makes me go “nobody ever talks like that.” And since your story is, again, all monologue, this problem is only exasperated. So re-read, and try not to pile too much complexity on your words. Also, you’ve had a smidgen too many ellipses. There’s more tolerance for those because monologue, but still, don’t overuse.

I hope that this review didn’t turn out too scathing. And I certainly hope that it did not dissuade you from further writing. Keep working, and apply reason to your work, and you’ll get better in no time! In fact you can consider yourself above your peers in level of skill simply because you’ve been willing to come here and seek feedback for improvement. This fiction has some merit as an experiment, but if you want to publish it on its own, I recommend a rewrite.

If you’re interested in writing “experimental” fiction for the purpose of improving your skills, I would like to recommend you the amazing book “The 3 A. M. Epiphany” by Brian Kiteley. It’s a collection of 200 creative writing exercises, with set methodology and word limits to them. It’s designed to expand the writer’s horizons by making them go where they’ve never went before, and it provides ample instruction and examples to give direction to your efforts. If nothing else, the exercises are simply oodles of fun to write.

Keep writing,
Writer Number 25.
>> No. 124806
File 135325575714.jpg - (40.19KB , 447x599 , man_tears.jpg )
I just read your review, and I've been thinking about what the proper way to respond would be. I couldn't come up with anything. There's nothing witty I can say, I have nothing to add. Since I highly doubt I could properly review your review, I can only thank you.

You sir, you are a gentleman and a scholar.

I suppose I expected this to turn out badly. What matters is that I wrote it anyway, and, as you said, asked for someone else's opinion on it. I've looked up the book you suggested, and I've also saved a copy of your little review on my computer. I'm going to give this fic a long, hard look, and try to figure out what exactly I'm trying to do with it. Once I can answer that to myself, I'll get to really working on it, keeping what you've said in mind. Perhaps you'll see this up here again someday. Perhaps you won't even recognise it as the same fic. Or maybe I'll never bring it back. We'll see. I know forcing it is not the way to go.

So, again, thank you for being as insightful and honest as you were. That's all I can say.
>> No. 124816
Title: Super Mario Galaxy: Equestrian Stars
name: warpd
Email: [email protected]
Tags: Crossover, Comedy, Adventure

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

Chapter 2: https://docs.google.com/document/d/13ikWZogWBfRZ2_kYrk9NeHfiWhjwAGWCmfKCTpbMNLI/edit
>> No. 124818
>>124695 Prodigal

With that synopsis, how can I refuse?
>> No. 124819
File 135332082815.png - (31.05KB , 500x412 , RavenBanner.png )
Ladies and gents, your most unreliable author has returned. And I bring gifts.

Or a penance. Depending on how you take it. Nevertheless:

NAME: Regina et Equi Nox
CHAPTERS: All (Prelude+Chapters 1-5 and Interlude I)
TAGS: [Dark][Human][Crossover][Adventure]
SYNOPSIS: In Equestria, shortly after the foiled changeling invasion, Princess Luna is having nightmares. Terrible nightmares that have been going on for weeks now, and won't let her sleep. Determined to get rid of this problem, she turns to her sister who comes up with some unorthodox methods of curing her.

On Earth, 1634, another princess (slightly more human and slightly younger) is having similar problems, and turns to - what else - an American psychiatrist. American, because human civilization was recently treated to a rare case of timewarping when a hillbilly town from 21st century West Virginia was dumped into the middle of Germany 3 years ago.

Needless to say, the nightmares aren't exactly unrelated, and a bunch of things start to go wrong - much as you would guess they would, when a crazy pony guided by a treacherous jötunn inside her head starts drawing the strings of space, time and dimensions where she pleases.


(gdox chapters are linked at end of each chapter)

Also I got a new cover image for the start of Turn 2.

A few comments from previous reviews have been left behind, with my replies to show the logic behind my reasoning in those cases so you don't need to heckle me for being a complete idiot when I'm actually executing a most dastardly and cunning plan.

>> No. 124820

Dear princesses, this is really dark. Scratch wrecks their whole crop? And they're mostly cool with it?!

I dunno... See, I come from a large, (seemingly) straight-laced family myself. And I was hoping for that sort of dynamic. It's not really there.

I think the key is for family members to deep down really like each other as weird as they are and as much as they don't understand each other. Ever see the play You Can't Take It With You? Or the anime Summer Wars? That ethos would be grand, but I guess I can live without it.

That said, you write pitch-perfect Pinkie, and I'm a little jealous. The second chapter is much more readable than the first. I'm still confused who the protagonist is and what exactly is the main conflict. Or at least a conflict. And that's really, really a big problem.

I think I can offer some perspective that will help you solve that problem.

Speaking of perspective, did you mean to omniscient narrator? If so, you need to really rock the attitude to make it work - it doesn't right now. If not, you need to be more careful perspective shifts.

>Octavia quietly sang snippets of an aria she had been working on, while Vinyl, with her trademark lavender-tinted goggles hanging around her neck currently, marveled at the scenery, or lack thereof.

This paragraph starts out looking like it's in objective mode: you're observing two ponies from somewhere outside them. Then "while Vinyl marveled" shifts to Vinyl's perspective in a nonchalant, subordinate-clause kind of way. This is only legal with an omniscient narrator, and omni's need to have some kind of unique perspective or characterization lest they become boring.

Anyway, whenever you put me behind the eyes of a pony, I should feel her desire for something. Vonnegut's Third Law and all. http://www.writingclasses.com/InformationPages/index.php/PageID/538

And although I suspect you're only doing this by instinct, it's interesting that Blinkie is a blind spot in the narrators perspective. That's because she's actually the antagonist. People get hung up on the word "villain" so I don't like to use it, but when characters' motivations are "I want Pony X to ...." that makes Pony X each of their antagonist.

I think what you're trying to do is surround Blinkie with ponies who care about her, want to solve her problems, but have a hard time understanding her and so they bungle around in the dark.

If there was only one character doing that, she wouldn't need much further characterization. She could be totally devoted to Blinkie and it'd be a shallow ship but it would work.

If you have many characters, they each need their own desires. Otherwise they'll melt together - eww, melty ponies - and the reader will get the idea that Blinkie's feelings are the only ones that matter - shades of Mary Sue!

Perspective-wise, you need to make a choice. The characters blunder around in the dark trying to help Blinkie, and...

Omniscient narrator: ...the readers have night-vision goggles, know exactly what's bothering Blinkie because you've filled them in, and they can see everypony else staggering towards the psychological pitfalls

Limited narrator:... the readers get to tag along behind each of them, see multiple perspectives, and thus build their own pictures and opinions of Blinkie which are more complete than any one character has on her own.

Both choices are valid. Omniscient will let you wrap up the story faster, which might matter because you have a lot of moving parts and even with the omni, this is going to be a long story.

I'm partial towards limited myself (the feels! I love the feels!), but you should do whatever feels right. Whatever you do, you need to sit down with your characters and some blank paper and figure out what motivates each of them, even (especially!) if it's something quirky and zany.

And if you're going to make Blinkie a mystery to them, they should want to solve it.

As it is, I have a hard time getting in to the story. It seems that the characters don't much care, and so I can't either.
>> No. 124821
Tags: [Sad]
Synopsis: All I wanted was to have some fun, until things took a turn for the worst.
Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1WNOnntZ2K8wkXlbJia13iFQBhudAEEaXbR6L4uLV6b4/edit

This fic is based off S3E3, so it’ll naturally have some spoilers in there. I really, really want this to be reviewed as fast as possible, while the episode is still fresh in everyone’s heads. It won’t take long; it’s only about 2000 words. I’ve also used a slightly different writing style, so um... I’m looking for some feedback on that as well, preferably from someone experienced.
>> No. 124826
File 135334102515.jpg - (324.92KB , 600x771 , 600full-gregory-peck.jpg )
What’s this? A Dark, Human Adventure/Crossover? Welp, I’m sold. I claim thee, Regina et Equi Nox by NejinOniwa.

What’s this? 33,000 words? I’m about to have a heart attack. No matter, I’ll read this thing regardless. I don’t have an ETA for the review, as I’ve never attempted to review anything this massive, but I’ll try to get it in within the week. I’ll post your review here: http://mlpchan.net/fic/res/525+50.html and e-mail you when I have.
>> No. 124827
File 135334165657.jpg - (86.93KB , 560x640 , shikieiki_3.jpg )
All righty then. You've been through the wringer a few times, and it shows in your writing - generally clean, good sentence structure variation, comprehensible all in all. That also means that I can go into this without pulling punches, because you've proven yourself capable of taking it.

This was written in a rush for a rapidly shrinking window of time, and it shows. This is the idea that's likely in a lot of people's heads - "let's write about one of the Pinkies" - I know I had the idea myself. It takes the most direct route, the one most easily predicted. Nothing much beyond fear and sadness are explored. If, say, Lolita's development - introducing the main character's past loves, then the object of his lust, her mother, his tousles, the whole road trip, the many sight-seeings, the repeated struggles, etc. - is a journey of a thousand steps in the exploration of the mind of a pedophile, this story is the journey of a single step in the exploration of the mind of a copy. It feels shallow, vapid, because you're not giving me something I can call unexpected nor fascinating. Boo hoo, X is sad because X is hunted. It's a fiddle that's been played far too many times to be anything more than a screech, because every part of it is predictable. And "every part" really consists of but one - worry, and worry played shallow at best.And because I know what it's all about, pretty much, I feel detached.

What makes it shallow? Perhaps the fact that she isn't doing anything but running. There's no variation, no contrast shown by her actions, because there's only one, no increasingly worsening situation. It's a very stage 1 condition for your character. There's no growth. People watch when it involves a descent, but being in the pits for 15 minutes is as passing as they come. Compare Amanda Todd's situation to a one-off suicide case. People watch, regardless of what it says about humanity in general, when they can see you crash in slow motion. One-offs don't have that buildup, and don't make it further than the 4th page of a newspaper. That's just how it is, as sickening or disillusioned as that may be. There's also the fact that the past experiences which make her predicament real are in fact but an illusion.

But Casca, running and fearing is what she has to do! It's the situation she's in!

And so it is. That's one of the reasons why I wouldn't write this idea - there's not enough of it for me to establish the character properly for the reader to feel something. There's not enough room in the setting for me to work something of weight into it. Not all ideas are good, and not all ideas can be expanded upon.

Do you know what would be, imo, an interesting aspect to explore instead? If your Pinkie wasn't played as a normal pony, but as an image obsessed with fun. So the worry wouldn't be the main focus. The obsession over fun is. Her fears and confusion would be side emotions eating away at the edges, but Pinkie would be happily, obliviously consumed by a single thought. Shape her interpretation of her surroundings with that sole thought, and you'd have something chilling, I daresay. Because naivety and a twistedly unreliable narrator character are much less utilized, you'd probably go slightly further. But I digress.

So, tl;dr, this is mediocre. It's forgettable, because nothing much happens, and nothing much is explored.

However, I don't doubt that you'll get a positive response from Fimfic. I mean, just like at "The Last Stand of King Sombra" or something-or-other, the one that got featured.

I'm not attacking your integrity or anything, mind! Just telling you that you shouldn't put it away just 'cause. You have an opportunity, and it's certainly fine to take it.
EDIT: Owait, we can do this now.

On the style:

The writing itself is, as mentioned, clean. It's unobtrusive, and delivers the content fairly well, though that might be because there's no high-level content to deliver (blind fear compared to nuanced dislike, for instance). The action scenes were unobjectionable, and read smoothly. The interjections, which is the difference you mentioned, I'm assuming, was fine, I guess, because it was consistent, so I could get used to it. But it would have been irritating if it had dragged on longer, because it would then cease to be part of the flow and become a crutch instead. At least they were choppy and blunt, which gives some feel into the rawness of the thoughts, rather than "I hoped that we could be friends, but I guess not", etc. "Hey! This is sad! Feel sad!"-type interjections.

I mean... on one hand, it's fast-paced. On the other hand, it needs time to develop to gain any solid meaning. So you've got a bit of dilemma on your hands.

Also, should add a disclaimer here: I don't approach canon characters any differently from OCs when reading ponyfics. Some people come in with greater given investment to certain characters, like, they might not feel a twang if it was Twilight, but they would if it was Fluttershy. You would get a better response from people who have a given investment to Pinkie. I'm pretty cold when it comes to ponyfics; sads for the sake of sads mean nothing to me, and the only sadfics that I've liked are ones with other exceptional points that I can appreciate, like word use or style, and not the sad bits themselves.

If you would like to better grasp me as a reader, this is the only sadfic that I can objectively say I liked: http://www.fimfiction.net/story/30944/Happy-Birthday-to-You. And even then it's more of a stunned appreciation rather than actually feeling sad.

And because I lack faith in my ability to judge sadfics, I'm putting an asterisk for this post. Just imagine it to be there, all right?

Keep writing.
>> No. 124828
File 135334263149.jpg - (86.93KB , 560x640 , shikieiki_3.jpg )
On the style:

The writing itself is, as mentioned, clean. It's unobtrusive, and delivers the content fairly well, though that might be because there's no high-level content to deliver (blind fear compared to nuanced dislike, for instance). The action scenes were unobjectionable, and read smoothly. The interjections, which is the difference you mentioned, I'm assuming, was fine, I guess, because it was consistent, so I could get used to it. But it would have been irritating if it had dragged on longer, because it would then cease to be part of the flow and become a crutch instead. At least they were choppy and blunt, which gives some feel into the rawness of the thoughts, rather than "I hoped that we could be friends, but I guess not", etc. "Hey! This is sad! Feel sad!"-type interjections.

I mean... on one hand, it's fast-paced. On the other hand, it needs time to develop. So you've got a bit of dilemma on your hands.

Also, should add a disclaimer here: I don't approach canon characters any differently from OCs when reading ponyfics. Some people come in with greater given investment to certain characters, like, they might not feel a twang if it was Twilight, but they would if it was Fluttershy. You would get a better response from people who have a given investment to Pinkie. I'm pretty cold when it comes to ponyfics; sads for the sake of sads mean nothing to me, and the only sadfics that I've liked are ones with other exceptional points that I can appreciate, like word use or style, and not the sad bits themselves.

If you would like to better grasp me as a reader, this is the only sadfic that I can objectively say I liked: http://www.fimfiction.net/story/30944/Happy-Birthday-to-You. And even then it's more of a stunned appreciation rather than actually feeling sad.

And because I lack faith in my ability to judge sadfics, I'm putting an asterisk for this post as well as the one before it (just imagine it to be there).
>> No. 124834
File 135336403936.jpg - (802.94KB , 1407x944 , Sarek 2012 Rutt.jpg )
Good to see enthusiasm here!



NAME: Wandering
TAGS: [Human]
WORDS: 3000
http://www.fimfiction.net/story/64489/Wandering (pending approval)

"Call me cheating, but hey - at least I managed to get lost in the complete wilderness with a full pack of survival gear on my back..."

In the land of the midnight sun, there are still untouched remnants of the ancient wilderness that once covered most of the North. Our intrepid hiker gets separated from his team in this wilderness, but promptly realizes that he's Not In Sapmi Anymore. With no obvious way to get home from this faraway land, wherever it may be, he does what he must to survive - like any sane* person would.

Needless to say,

this faraway land will have a thing or two to say about that...


This story started as a self-insert, but ended up as, well, a self-insert, but as is the norm for things you write way too early in the morning, something COMPLETELY different than I'd started out toward. The plot is going to be much lighter than my other works, but it's not exactly going to be a [Comedy] either. I think. So we'll see how things end up.
The backstory on this is that I actually DID go on a week-long hike in the nightless wilderness of Sarek this summer, and came away with a bunch of very cool experiences that I most likely will repeat or surpass next year. And then I got thinking (as one does at times), WHAT IF, PONIES? Needless to say, madness ensued, and as any decent HiE writer, I decided I had to write a self-insert about it. Because I mean, as an HiE writer, that stuff is mandatory*.

It took some struggling for me to get a workable scenario where I could sanely make a self-insert work from the nightless north, but after some inspiration from CK2 modding, I'm all ready to march. Hope you all enjoy it!

>> No. 124836
File 135337238889.png - (209.77KB , 600x800 , 4bb0609eec2b2aac4202ef8966345dda-d5010dx.png )
Those are some good points. You are correct in thinking that my narration has been mostly by instinct. I will probably endeavor to make it more omniscient, because, while I too enjoy the feels that limited perspective can best provide, I don't want this story to be that long. Just a few more chapters.

I'm really glad you enjoyed my depiction of Pinkie Pie, because that is one of the things I was most worried about. I don't hate her, but she is by far my least favorite of the cast, so I was concerned I would either end up showing my negative bias, or transform her so much that readers would find her unrecognizable.

I see where you're coming from about expecting the straight-laced family dynamic. I wanted to do a couple things differently with the Pie family here, and one of them is that they *used* to be like that, but have gradually changed ever since Pinkie got her cutie mark. The pony who would go on to become the Element of Laughter just *has* to have had a tremendously positive impact on their lives, I reasoned. I hope to get into that with each of them a little bit, but we'll see.

Obviously I didn't completely succeed if you didn't feel it, I just wanted to say where I was coming from in the hope that it will make a little more sense. The new dynamic is an integral part of the story, so I'd rather not get rid of it, but I'll try to make it clearer or more effective. Same thing with the other issues you mention, particularly about motivations and what the conflict is supposed to be. Or maybe I just shouldn't have put the story up for review until I had the third chapter, where some more exposition can occur. I don't know.

In any case, I really appreciate your time. Thanks for the review!
>> No. 124842
File 135339369099.gif - (1.81MB , 394x394 , 132553005072.gif )
Author: WhoWhatWhere
Tags: [Adventure] [Dark]
Synopsis: Twilight is taught destruction magic.

Looking for someone to review the third chapter.

>> No. 124846
File 135341037514.jpg - (6.61KB , 268x188 , SD.jpg )

Thank you so much for the feedback. Your review’s word count is probably about a fifth of my story’s or more. Hurrah!

I’ve got two questions that I didn’t throw up at the beginning because it didn’t want them to cloud your judgement. I wanted to know:
1)If the story felt too short.
2)If adding colors at the end was a good idea.

I think it’s a yes for the first point, looking at your review, but what about the second?

>>About rushing the story, neglecting character development and plot.
You’re right. I didn’t have much time for those things. I was actually struggling to make it over the two thousand word mark and worrying if my story felt too rushed—and it turns out it did. I couldn’t think of any good twists, and if I did, the story would probably double in length. That’s not something I’m looking for. I’m a little disappointed that you found it shallow, but I guess there isn’t much I can do about it at this stage.

>>Alternative one-sided Pinkie perspective.
That’s a great idea. A little harder to write, and it needs a little more thought, but definitely worth a go.

>>The Last Stand of King Sombra
Oh I had a look at that story. It’s got quite a number of views and likes. I think I’ll be happy if my story receives that kind of reception.

>>The interjections
Do you mean the one liner paragraphs?

But it’s so... bland. I thought it’d be something else. Like ‘My Little Dashie’. Okay, hold on to your pitchforks guys. It may be a little overrated and all, but I bet it’s a decent story. I haven’t read it yet though, but unfortunately I skimmed across one or two spoilers.

I guess it’s all about us having different tastes and preferences. I’m also going to take this one step further and say that the same goes the same for [Comedy] fics as well. Jokes are hard to judge. What’s funny to someone may not be funny to another person.

Thanks again, Casca.
>> No. 124869
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I don't count this as a review, because really I just did a quick run through. Most of the notes and specifics are in the document.

What I first noticed was that you're not using continuations of sentences from dialogue to narration well.
>Twilight’s expression dropped to horror “he went to Froggy Bottom Bog, to FIGHT a hydra?” She said in a state of shock.
you put dialogue after the action that Twilight does. But those two things aren't related enough to make sense or even flow well together in a sentence. Your sentence after the dialogue would have been a good choice to place into the same sentence.

>Twilight's expression dropped to horror. He went to Froggy Bottom Bog, to FIGHT a hydra?” she said in a state of shock.
This kind of confusion continues on throughout your chapter. I want to nitpick a bit more on this one though for a different reason.

Telly Telly Telly. You don't show us what Twilight's feeling. Instead you say such like "in a state of shock" when this can be better represented through body language. "she said, mouth agape and eyes wide." Probably a better way to state her being in that situation, but it adds more visuals to the picture you're trying to portray and is an easy indicator of what she's feeling.
>Twilight looked baffled
What does looking baffled LOOK like?
>The colt was confused
You're telling us what he's feeling here, instead of letting the actions speak for themselves, like a cocked head or raised eyebrow or some other bullshit. I'm not very good at showing either, and I'm probably going overboard with expressions and such, but really, it's better than just telling.

I didn't really want to get into the actual story itself, because for me it's hard to judge certain things if I haven't read it from the beginning. Nickel seems like a Mary Sue almost, from what I read (Didn't read the whole chapter. Like I said, quickie) he just puts a Hydra to sleep? Seems TOO badass. He doesn't say anything about difficulty. He's just like "Oh hey Twilight. Is it dead? NAH. You know, just put it to sleep and stuff. I'mma just take his skin now. Now I'm going to baffle you with my extensive knowledge of this never before seen magic and have you say "You are smart, that much is obvious"" It just seems... overly perfect.

Sorry I couldn't give you a ton of stuff. Like I said, it's hard for me to jump in later in a story.
>> No. 124881
Hai... anyway here's an update. It's been a long time since I did that.

Anyway, a question for the more active members in the spreadsheet: Are both training ground separated? I clicked the link on MLPchan but I can't really

Reviews awaiting acknowledgment:4
Reviews In Progress:10
Total reviews since spreadsheet began its use:1061
Est. Total since founding: >1300

Unclaimed Stories
11/12/2012 ❖ Draconequus Chap 5-7 by Draconequus Chap 5-7 (>>124636)
11/18/2012 ❖ Super Mario Galaxy: Equestian Stars by Super Mario Galaxy: Equestian Stars (>>124816)
11/19/2012 ❖ Wandering by Wandering (>>124834)
11/19/2012 ❖ Keepers of the dead by Keepers of the dead (>>124842)

Reviews Awaiting Acknowledgment
Fallout: Equestria - Bronies Dawn by Sayer (>>124170) submitted 11/04/2012 ❖ Reviewed by Casca on 11/15/2012 (>>1048)
Vinyl Scratch and the Monstercats by Kubu (>>124280) submitted 11/05/2012 ❖ Reviewed by cheezesauce on 11/10/2012 (>>124582)
Luna Visits the Dentist by Nitrox (>>124493) submitted 11/08/2012 ❖ Reviewed by cheezesauce on 11/13/2012 (>>124678)
Keepers of the dead by WhoWhatWhere (>>124494) submitted 11/08/2012 ❖ Reviewed by cheezesauce on 11/10/2012 (>>124521)

Reviews in Progress
morning_angles: reviewing The Final Season, Episode 1, "Knightfall" by Writer's Block (>>120586) submitted 09/24/2012
Azusa: reviewing Three's A Crowd by Sir0Chicken (>>122072) submitted 10/12/2012
Azusa: reviewing The Lovers' Edda by Simon o'Sullivan (>>122926) submitted 10/22/2012
troubleTransistor: reviewing The Mercy of Screwball by Professor Coruptus (>>123076) submitted 10/24/2012
alexmagnet: reviewing Glass House by peppermint.owl (>>123203) submitted 10/25/2012
Panda_Bear: reviewing At Sundown by Equ-us (>>123239) submitted 10/26/2012
FigSenRapMenTor: reviewing Miracles of Harmony by Cody The Kirby (Ghostwriter The Scribe) (>>123531) submitted 10/30/2012
AidanMaxwell: reviewing Not Exactly Green; No ODST Is by SpilledInk (>>124572) submitted 11/10/2012
dolfeus: reviewing Regina et Equi Nox by NejinOniwa (>>124819) submitted 11/19/2012
>> No. 124882
File 135349306027.jpg - (26.69KB , 500x375 , hugs_060.jpg )
herp made a mistake, by not entering name and all but I didn't even finish my question.

Note to self: don't press enter prematurely when not in the replybox...

>Anyway, a question for the more active members in the spreadsheet: Are both training ground separated? I clicked the link on MLPchan but I can't really

What I meant to ask was, is it only submitting here or is the spreadsheet still Ponychan only?

Since I don't see any links from MLPchan in the sheet.

sorry for double post
>> No. 124889
The spreadsheet is common to both sites. Writers can post in either one, and reviewers are encouraged to post in the same site as the corresponding request.
>> No. 124892
>> No. 124895
Well, I'd like to point out that my name isn't Wandering, first off. (The spreadsheet doesn't say so either. I checked.)
Secondly, could I ask someone to edit the request for Wandering to be 5,2k words instead of 3, and chapters 1-2 instead of just 1? Or just put "all" in there. I kind of went ahead and wrote the second chapter pretty fast. It's located here:

I would be much grateful for this. If any potential reviewer sees this and the edit hasn't been made, I've also edited the doc to link to the next chapter as well.
>> No. 124896
File 135356027463.png - (688.87KB , 900x900 , the_g_and_pt_pinecon_by_speccysy-d41gxa1.png )
I thought this was already claimed by someone? Oh well, if it isn't then I'll claim it. I haven't reviewed a story in a good long while.

Actually, speaking of that, I think someone is still waiting on a review from me, sorry guy. I'll get that posted asap.
>> No. 124897
File 135356547260.jpg - (81.48KB , 412x488 , 68302_10151141503822895_1197476938_n.jpg )
Alrighty then, this review took much longer than I anticipated mostly because I'm lazy. So... sorry about that. So, without further adieu, let's get this show on the road.

You've put yourself at a bit of a disadvantage right from the get-go because you're using one the most ubiquitous tropes in horror/scary shit: haunted houses. Now, even this isn't a necessarily a bad thing, it just makes it harder for your fic to stand out amongst the masses; anyone can take an old idea and make it new, but it takes work. And that is, unfortunately, where we have a problem.

Nothing ever feels very original, even slightly, or even comes close to being scary. Heck, nothing is even unsettling for that matter. This isn't helped by the fact that every time there is but the slightest bit of tension one of the characters, usually Sweetie, does something silly. I'm not sure if you meant for some of this stuff to read like jokes, but they did... at least to me.

Now, there are a handful of places where I actually liked what was going on, and was excited to see where it would go. For example, near the beginning, when the Crusaders have their faces pressed against the window and they're watching as SS and DT drag something out of the woods I was already getting my hopes up for it to be something crazy and really dark. Like, I don't know, they dragged Twist's body from the woods and you realize right there that they trick ponies into going into this mansion to kill them. Granted, that may be a little darker than your intent, but my point is that I loved the image of the Crusaders, faces pressed against the glass, watching in horror as SS and DT do some really evil shit. Heck, you could've not shown me any of what they did, and shown only the Crusaders' reactions and that would've been way creepier because then you have no idea what they're actually doing. But, instead, they just drag a rock out and put in front of the door. I cannot express how sad I was that that was all they did.

Let's look at another example. The piano-playing ghost, while not entirely original, was nonetheless rather cool. Again though nothing really interesting happens. Sure, we find out that the ghost doesn't like the house and that she is a unicorn but nothing feels like it matters. I never had a reason to care about this ghost, or her piano. Admittedly, the part where the ghost plays notes to indicate answers was kinda cool. However, that coolness is lessened by Sweetie's reaction to the ghost. Rather than being terrified, or even scared of it, she walks right up and starts having a casual conversation with it. This felt incredibly weird considering that she was running around freaking out like five minutes before.

I suppose my review simply boils down to: work on your descriptions, if you want to make a story scary, then make it scary, nothing is dark enough to even be remotely scary, and finally, the ending leaves something to be desired. It feels like you tried to wrap up the entire story in one sentence at the end, and it felt kinda weird. Anyway, I guess that's all I got.

Hopefully between my comments, and this, you can glean some slightly useful information/criticism.

Again, I'm really sorry this took so long, hopefully you won't hate me forever.

alexmagnet, ashamedly walking away...
>> No. 124898
File 135357378410.jpg - (105.45KB , 779x701 , SxCpp.jpg )
Something in the spreadsheet had a hurp, so I derped around until it worked. Specifically, it was the sheet with the filtered calls to arrayformula that generates BBCode. Sorry for the confusion.
>> No. 124902

I put a lot of grammatical stuff in the doc so you can update.

The big thing you need to do is to google how commas work in dialogue. Another big thing you need to do is to stop using so many -ing modifiers. They're hard to read. Sometimes they're nice or dramatic, but not when used the way you used them. Aside from that, read up on commas in general. It's really not that hard of a topic to master. You just need to start using proper grammar every time you write.

There were a lot of action tags in this fic, and while those aren't necessarily bad, they seemed pointless or clunky. When you interrupt dialog to say something like "Twilight looked at the colt", it makes me question, "Why?" and if the answer to that question is, "Well, I guess this is supposed to be dramatic," that's bad. Don't make everything too dramatic, and if you feel the need for action tags, ask yourself if the scene really needs direction.

Your characters were kind of empty, but it's hard to get a feel. You certainly over played Twilight as a pacifist, and I have no idea what Nickel is like. All I know is that he doesn't afraid of Hydra, or at least the skin.

The conflict was sort of lame, and the resolution was kind of lame too. You could have gone for a whole inner struggle with Twilight, but that inner struggle came and went in one paragraph. The apparent danger was a sleeping hydra that just kinda went away. I was oddly interested in what she was going to learn though. That's me though; I feel in love with DBZ for the same reason. One thing you could add is why she's learning it. Or you could expand on the inner struggle; maybe Twilight could have a chat with Fluttershy?

Anyways, those are my thoughts. Don't feel like you have to take them or even consider them... except for the grammar stuff.
>> No. 124903
Description: There are many myths and legends that surround the land of Canterlonia, but the most fascinating and recited is that of 'The Wanderer'. When Sepia Stripes, a pony dedicated to studying the past, begins to witness ghostly figures in her dreams after wearing an antique necklace, she embarks on a journey with her best friend and her rival to discover what happened to the land over five hundred years ago.

But she soon learns that some myths are more true than they sound... And sometimes, history is doomed to repeat itself.

Tags: Adventure, All-OC

Links: http://www.fimfiction.net/story/13029/The-Wanderer%27s-Wife

Alt-GDoc Link: https://drive.google.com/?usp=chrome_app#folders/0B27u5B6bltNyWHBScjZBb1Y4M1E

Word count (approx.): 25,000 for chapters one through five

Requesting review of all chapters, one through five. Concerns lie more with overall quality rather than grammar. Thank you for your time.
>> No. 124908
Hey Azusa, mind removing "Knightfall" from the queue for now? I'm going to look around elsewhere for a little while.

I might be back soon enough, but there's no need for me to clog your lovely queue right now.

>> No. 124932
Here's my undoubtedly miserable attempt at crafting a coherent story. I apologize if it comes across as an unreadable blob of characters.Editors, please feel free to totally destroy this fic for me. Everyone else, I'd recommend that you back up about fifty feet or so. I'm pretty sure that this thing is contagious.

Tags: Dark, Sci-Fi, OC

Title: Primary Colors.
Description: The future brings many things; such is an undeniable fact of the worldly sphere in which we find ourselves. To us, it has brought technological advancement of an unimaginable caliber. The same fate was assigned to Equestria, but in a much more different form. Instead of pushing themselves into a new Golden Age, ponykind constructed enormous cities that swallowed the earth. Eventually, the tides of war washed over their feeble edifices. This story follows a soldier and his companion who happen to find themselves lost in the midst of a futuristic battle field.
Story link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/10aq5w7uXR-NAm_n9OH6UhDBIzpA1q9MAvbhkJ5m37CQ/edit

Estimated word count: Around 3000-4000 words or so. Nothing too serious.
>> No. 125036

When Kite, a young pegasus from Cloudsdale, finally earns his cutie mark, he finds that it isn't quite what he had in mind. Claiming he's been given the wrong one, a pair of ponies show up and offer to take him to a place where he can have the mark changed.

Chapter 1: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1xLSRxITLwRnOBz3KyoKu0ERxNXDXH8aP2B_o-cN4lN4/edit
Chapter 2: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1GqtfVxhnGa6CUkuSwV5n0W6ZHeGqNCScB58vCSwjmEI/edit
Chapter 3: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Y9cr5GK6YYzGo3fAqodpAv7ugKxEglWcPDE6TbpPBSA/edit

Primarily, what I'm looking for is someone to go through this with a fine toothed comb and deal with all the spelling and grammar errors and any other junk like that. Chapters 1 and 2 are already on Fimfiction. Chapter 3 actually requires a more in depth review regarding story, layout, etc. Also there may be some continuity errors in chapter 3 seeing how it was originally chapter 4 but has been moved up and the old chapter 3 cut.

Also, this has been submitted to, and rejected by, Equestria Daily. Here is their response so you may want to look for these things too:

Errors in:
Dialogue punctuation
Dash spacing
Semicolon use
Compound word hyphenation
Comma use
The description is also awfully bare-bones for my taste; the setting is frequently unclear

Not quite sure what they mean by the setting being frequently unclear as its not an issue that's ever been raised by any of the myriad of other reviewers that this fic has had. Anyway, this post is long enough so there you go.
>> No. 125037
Uhm, just a quick question, who's reviewing my story Miracles of Harmony? I thought it was Figments. Who ever it is I haven't exactly seen anything from them in awhile.
>> No. 125041

Aye, Ghostwriter. I've been a bit busy these past few weeks. I started commenting in the doc, if you noticed. I'll get to finishing it. Expect a review by as late as Friday.

Just one quick thing, though: it's looking better. That's all I'll say until full review.
>> No. 125069
Sooo... Can I get my Fan-fics reviewed?

I have fics two I am currently working on.

Adventure/Comedic. 6,500+ words and counting(including unpublished chapters)

The Kingdom of Discord: The story of how Discord rose to power and was defeated by the princesses. Includes most of the characters from "Hearth's Warming Eve."

6,000 words and counting

The Adventures of Dewey Decimal and Steven: Two OCs hijack an experimental teleport spell and are transported far from Equestria.

I'm mainly looking for technical analysis, punctuation, grammar ect. But I'm also hoping to get some feedback on the more creative aspects: if you thought it was funny, the story interesting or the characters compelling ect.

*edit* I've added a chapter to TKoD since writing this, so could you also do that chapter please.

*Edit again* I've made a major change to the first chapter, removed a lot of text and turned it into a prologue. Can the person reviewing do the prologue+ chapters 1-4.
>> No. 125195
File 135449860031.png - (107.99KB , 600x583 , FlutterDash.png )
Okay, partly due to lazyness, and partly due to holiday stuff I am finally getting around to reposting this for review. Still trying to get it finally finished up. I am bound and determined to have this fic finished before years end.

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

Chapter 6: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1wkbHkvarhWUFJs6BTYlnhFh9Z4rkHlkjpm5SLsyrxNQ/edit
>> No. 125265
The training grounds has been almost dead lately. Maybe if we only have one thread it'll be less confusing and people will actually use it. Mods, lock please... or at least that's what I'd like to say, but I'll wait for Pascoite's thoughts.
>> No. 125281
File 135468659972.png - (46.23KB , 519x515 , 134740671961.png )
> I'll wait for Pascoite's thoughts.
And, what, I don't get a say?

Just kidding, I ain't mad. I actually kind of agree with you. I had wanted to stay, but if this thread is basically dead, there's no point in leaving it here. We may as well lock it. The sticky already redirects to MLPchan anyway.
>> No. 125289
So, uh, I posted this review kind of a long time ago and got no acknowledgement.

Maybe the author only looks here and not on mlpchan?

Either way, here:

>> No. 125301
Should I find another place to get a review? Seems rather quiet lately.
>> No. 125302
It's more quiet because no one is asking for reviews than for lack of reviewers. That said, most of them are basically looking at MLPchan, for the most part.
>> No. 125306
If there's enough of a majority, do what you like. However, this:
And I guarantee the lack of traffic has nothing to do with TTG existing on both sites.
>> No. 125308
File 135474960468.jpg - (262.07KB , 1843x1192 , 135183526559.jpg )
Maybe we could just have a big blinking detour sign? I don't know. but there's got to be a simple way of letting ponies know that we've moved. This is the main thing I do around here anymore: I watch the board for any pony that seems lost, or clearly hasn't been here before, and then go and greet them. The main problem lies in them not wanting to read the sticky, which would easily direct them to the other site. I do fear that there are other review groups soaking up the traffic, or we could just be in a drought. I'm not too familiar with how the traffic tends to run, but it seemed to me that we had more traffic over the summer than during season two. But then again, I joined near the tail end of season two. I dunno, it's a head scratcher.
>> No. 125309
I remember something about there being a plan to move to fimfiction. That would probably be the best thing to do, wouldn't it?
>> No. 125316
File 135476921760.png - (155.46KB , 1029x777 , Rainbow Dash131220581424.png )
I imagine Ion won't mind pointing newfoals toward the MLPchan TTG.

You're thinking of /fic/'s day out, which is only once a month. See: >>125201

All right, then. Unless someone objects, mods lock please.
>> No. 125396
File 135489884751.jpg - (194.06KB , 989x742 , byq6h.jpg )

Someone marked you as having pledged to review "Wandering" by NejinOniwa (>>124834) but neglected to link the post where you made that claim. Furthermore, I can't find any evidence anywhere of such a claim, and there are no comments on the queue entry indicating the claim was made through some other medium, i.e. email or the IRC. Was this a mistake, or are you actually going to review that story?
>> No. 125413
File 135494205180.png - (248.59KB , 882x900 , Fluttershy-daww.png )
Well now, I think you guys have been waiting long enough. Let's see what we have here.

Claiming these three.
>> No. 125415
File 135495797494.png - (245.28KB , 900x654 , today__s_a_day_for_awesome_by_tess_27-d3wpldq.png )
Upstaged by Grif? I think NOT :P

On a side note, this TTG will not be getting locked. Where stories are submitted, reviews shall be had. Those preferring to operate on MLPchan's TTG, dinna fret it. New guys come in all the time.

Now then, I'm assuming direct control of the following submissions. Prepare yourselves :)

Flying a Kite by Kirdus
(mate, given the circumstances, I'll help with what I can that doesn't compromise the situation)

Kingdom of Discord by Pirate Prince

What is a Fluttershy by Digi Lord

Yo Minj, a link might be a good idea... or Im blind maybe.
>> No. 125416
File 135495895837.png - (88.54KB , 1000x1000 , mlfw8678-1353935262017.png )
Not sure if this was sorted already, but I'll go ahead and make sure it is now.

I claimed Wandering awhile ago in a post on pchan's /fic/. All I can think is that maybe the post disappeared or something... dunno. Anyway, rest assured, I'm still working on the review, slowly but surely.

Dat pic... hawt
>> No. 125417
File 135496684930.jpg - (111.69KB , 640x480 , Writer_Aside_Glance.jpg )
What is this? 9 stories in queue? In my TTG? I did not think it would be as likely as that. And suddenly! people are claiming. Don't want to feel left out.

Time for me to do my part. Claiming this.

No GDocs? Afraid I won't be doing an extensive line-by-line, but I'm better at more story-oriented reviews anyways. Expect review before thursday.
>> No. 125418
Kirdus, flying a kite, DONE. Notes in doc.

Kingdom of Discord—
As errors tend to be systemic, I’ll give you a look at the prologue and chapter one.
>Earth/Pegasi/Unicorn // Know that these are not generally capitalized, and if you do so, be prepared to battle it out an have good reasons for it.

>But now that seemed to have pasted

>The three pony tribes:
This sequence is very poorly structured.

>It was too good to last...
Kill that ellipsis and make it a period. In 3rd person omni, avoid marks like ! / ? / or … Keep such things to your characters, and keep your narrative objective. This a major issue in your piece.

>grey coated
Hyphenate your color modifiers.

>Equestria, nopony
Comma splice.

Unless you’re skilled with foreshadowing and have a sense for ambiguity, avoid using pronouns before properly introducing a character.

>Puddinghead, performing
avoid superfluous commas. without creating a proper participle, that’s what this is.

>Commander Hurricane's younger sister, Cloudfeather, had died during childbirth, leaving her as the colt's sole guardian.
Getting some srs gender dissonance here.

>by his men,
Tedious and debatable, but do remember your medium.

>While in some ways he was legally an adult
The word ‘legally’ is at odds with the grey area you’re trying to create.

>confronting her though when he
Axe the ‘though’.

>intense aguement

You’ve an issue with comma splices. Read up on these, and figure which punctuation best suites your purposes to create the proper inference and connection.

When you transition from one character PoV to another, always start a new paragraph.

Even when doing a proper title and capitalizing, the word ‘the’ isn’t part of it. So when you use “The Unicorn King”, dinna cap ‘the’.

>the Princess advised
Don’t capitalize titles utilized like this unless used in replacement of a name in direct address.

You really need to work on character building. As it stands, it’s bland at best. We know OF princess platinum, but jack about her, and not a thing about your OC except what little his actions show of him. Give the reader something to identify with, to ponder on, to question.

And that’s prologue and C1. Hope this was handy; sorry I can’t get the rest, but the errors noted /are/ indeed systemic. Do some study, learn to fix the specifics, apply them to further chapters, and you’ll have come a long way. Cheers mate, keep writing.

What is a Fluttershy, C5—

Done, chronic issues noted and suggestions made. Study up and apply the fixes to further chapters. You got this man, keep writing!

Number 25, The Decimal fic is all yours mate!
>> No. 125419
File 135496784401.jpg - (60.86KB , 960x643 , Luna-challenge accepted.jpg )
>> No. 125420
File 135496867224.png - (369.02KB , 450x345 , 100PercentCool.png )
You were saying?
>> No. 125421
File 135496925554.png - (100.65KB , 252x288 , Pinkie-psycho.png )
Well. Damnit.
>> No. 125423
File 135497040962.gif - (1.20MB , 320x169 , 135486997648 (1).gif )
...I'm not even going to post with my avatar. All right, let's pick up the pace. The gloves are off. The sleeves are drawn. The bodies are ready.
>> No. 125424
File 135497157657.png - (370.05KB , 486x570 , patchy_approves.png )
Haute dahmn.
>> No. 125425
File 135497187427.jpg - (30.31KB , 382x341 , 131648888674.jpg )
what?? did I do something wrong?

>> No. 125426
File 135497231028.jpg - (12.01KB , 313x347 , Rarity-shock.jpg )
Okay, Seattle's lightning fast reviews aside, here's my own. I would first like to note that none of this is personal. All views expressed are my own and should be taken with a huge pinch of salt. Okay, ready? Go.

I hate to break it to you, but this is just bad. Both in concept and in the technical department. I took a cursory glance of the first chapter you posted on FimFic and the same problem emerges. It's clear your issues are systemic.

Okay, stay with me here. Let's walk through the steps of writing a good fanfiction of MLP.
Step One: Read Guides
Here's an excellent guide to start your day with:

Step Two: Learn from mistakes
Okay, here's where we start by pointing out the common systemic errors in your fic.
Formating. I don't know if this is your working copy, but dear god, the 1.5 spacing you used is horrid and a pain to read.

Tense confusion. You have quite a few here, which is significant if I can pick it up. (I'm don't usually see them unless they're blatantly obvious. Unfortunately, yours are.) Pick one tense and stick to it.

Punctuation. Ezn's Guide covers this more fully. Your main fault is mainly in improper dialogue punctuation.

Show vs Tell. This one is a tricky subject, and to explain it properly would probably require pages after pages of explaination. I'll link you here if you wish to learn more: http://jerz.setonhill.edu/writing/creative1/showing/

But basically, the idea is this. You should spend some time showing what the characters are doing, instead of telling us what they're doing. "Why?" you might ask. Allow me to illustrate with an (dubious) example:

>Twilight felt sad because Spike was away.
>Twilight sighed. The sound of the clock ticking away slowly filled the room. She stared at the empty spot across the table, where her number one assistant used to sit cheerfully.

Do you notice the difference? One is dry, short, and to the point. The other describes what Twilight is feeling and allows the reader to draw his own conclusion. The first tells the reader exactly what he needs to know and no more. The second is more descriptive, and allows the reader to engage with the story. While telling is not wrong, using it too often means your prose will be dry and uninteresting—akin to reading a history book.

Style. Your writing, to be honest, is quite simplistic. You do not vary your sentence structure much and basically confine yourself to dialogue, action, dialogue, action then wall of action. Again, not technically wrong, but varying your structure would do wonders to improve your writing.

Story. A crossover with Super Mario Galaxy. Okay. The thing that gets me here is why Mario needs to be in this story to begin with, apart from the fact that he's supposed to be the protagonist. But for a protagonist, he's surprisingly undeveloped and I never did find out why everything is happened or even why is he there to begin with, save for a cryptic line by the princess about some Power Stars. Part of this stems from the fact I never played SMG to begin with, but if your fic relies on prior knowledge of the game, then it is probably not going to be very well received. A crossover story ideally requires little or no prior knowledge of the material being crossed over with.

And then there's the race. My god, the race. Why are you inserting game elements into a story, I can only guess at the intention. It is important to note that gameplay elements should never be included in a story, unless you're writing it with the aim of doing a parody. It's called gameplay elements for a reason, it's meant to exist only in games. A story is non-interactive and a different medium altogether.

In all honesty, it feels like you're slapping in Mario into episodes of the show and shoehorning in SMG elements. Smacks of lazy writing.

Characters. I'll be honest. Everyone you wrote here feels incredibly flat and cardboard. Almost to a point of caricature. The mane six act out their roles as in the show... and that's about it. Mario has no personality to speak of, and the rest barely got a line or two. There's also the out-of-nowhere hero worship that the mane six seems to regard Mario with, which is disturbing in implication.

Still with me? Good. I'm almost finished. By no means take this as an exhaustive list. There are probably many more errors lurking in your fic. At this juncture, I'd recommend a full rewrite, at least to get rid of the more ridiculous elements of the crossover.

Step Three: Keep writing.

And there you have it. I hope this helps.

tl;dr Requires extensive editing or a complete rewrite.
>> No. 125430
File 135497438996.gif - (1.25MB , 500x429 , Rarity-notamused.gif )
>reading the first chapter
You did not just post a crossover of Eric Flint's 1632 series with MLP. You did not.

Hellfire and damnation, you did.

This... might take awhile.
>> No. 125434
Title : Pony Tropes

Tags : Comedy, Human

Summary : A collection of short stories going against popular tropes in fanfic writing.

Link : https://docs.google.com/document/d/1OZrZole2IY4SoDV2QsxsoCXpwPtK1m8oZRAJ_CDWTwM/edit

Words : 2,790

Note : Very short, a quick thing I've decided to start up. Take a trope, and make a short story about it going in the opposite direction.
Thing is, I'm not sure if it's entertaining or interesting.
Summary, title, tags are all placeholders. Haven't put much thought towards them yet.
>> No. 125435
File 135497930340.jpg - (171.93KB , 640x480 , Writer_Angry_1.jpg )
Right, forget the Thursday part, today is GarbReview Day. The angry face isn’t because I’m angry, I’m just taking my martial reviewer stance. Since I’m still new at this, would like to ask some other awesome people to comment on my review. All right, “The Adventures of Dewey Decimal and Steven!”, let’s go:

Before reading: Two questions arise right away after reading the synopsis – why does an adult pony lack a cutie mark, and why is his name Steven? While I’m expecting the first to be answered during the course of the story, the name problem is a faux pas of ponyfic. Also, you should restructure your synopsis: there is no need to keep the first sentence as a separate paragraph.

Grammar & Technical: I’ve caught several typos, so be careful of those. There were times when the meaning of a sentence was positively unclear, like “He was partaking in time consuming and extensive research into the properties of an ancient tome, primarily, how comfortable it was when being used as a pillow.” I’m certainly not the best judge of grammar and punctuation, so all I can recommend otherwise is to look for the problems Seattle mentioned, as those seemed to be systemic.

One thing I should mention is that it’s generally thought that text formatting for the web should use either indents or blank lines, with both being excessive. This isn’t a rule, though. But whatever you choose, stick to it: there’s at least one formatting error in your first chapter. Also: use an [hr] html tag to denote scene breaks. Or, at least, something more fanciful than a bunch of hyphens.

As I understood so far, the POV is third person limited with Dewey as the viewpoint character. However, we aren’t given enough “intimacy” with the viewpoint character, and there are places where breakage of viewpoint occurs (we are shown things the viewpoint character could never know, like another character’s thoughts). The way to properly provide this “intimacy” through point of view is complex. The simplest way is by providing us with transcripts of the character’s thoughts (although this isn’t required—I, personally, dislike internal monologue). Then, we need to see the scene through the viewpoint character’s eyes—notice and emphasize things they would notice and miss things they would miss. The subtlest, and hardest part, is through “colouring” the narration with the character’s own speaking voice in a pseudo-first-person narration (this is a difficult tool and should be used only with care and when you know what you’re doing). And, once again, remember: show, don’t tell.

If I’m wrong and this is Omniscient instead, then it’s a different game altogether. But, as a general rule of thumb, remember that omniscient is much harder to pull off than limited.

Style: Your style suffers from simplicity. There is a serious overuse of two sentence structures: He/It did something and He/it was something. You need to vary the beginnings of your sentences, their structures and, especially in your case, the subjects. Otherwise, the prose becomes dull and unengaging.

The general prevalence of forms of the verb “to be” is a symptom of a different problem: telling. This is also exemplified by your excessive use (although not the worst I’ve seen) of adverbs. Those should be generally avoided, with strong, precise verbs used instead. If you don’t know, “show, don’t tell” is an often-quoted phrase referring to a concept many beginning writers struggle with. Whatever information you are trying to convey, you should show it to us through detail, action and context instead of directly informing, or telling it to us.

Dialogue is another problem. You have a severe lack of any sort of tags on your speech, and whatever tags you do have are the so-called “said-bookisms,” that is, dialogue tags using something other than “said” or “asked.” Most of your dialogue lines are untagged, which lends to reader confusion. Another problem which arises from this mistake is “talking head syndrome.” Your characters must use a lot more than speech to talk, and that means mentioning their body language, facial expressions and their interactions with the environment (but once again, show, don’t tell). Otherwise, the speech itself felt somewhat stilted and cliché.

One more thing is exposition. It comes out of the blue (sometimes instead of proper action tags on dialogue), generally adds little or nothing of interest and, worst of all, breaks flow. Exposition should be used sparingly, only to show information that is needed right now and in proper places. Exposition is a severe aside to the general narration, so the reader is invariably “thrown out of the loop” upon encountering it, so the best place to use it is when the narration itself is in the slow phase (e. i. nothing is happening). The small bits and details that you’ve been trying to give us through exposition should be shown through narration, description or dialogue, while in your text, they come off as being told instead.

Now, let’s mention LUS. That’s an acronym which stands for “Lavender Unicorn Syndrome,” and is also known by some as “Musical Names.” This means using a short character description (the “lavender unicorn”) instead of a proper name or pronoun (“Twilight” or “she”). LUS shows its ugly head as soon as Twilight enters the scene, and should be eradicated with extreme prejudice.

Plot: I thought Spike could only send letters to the Princess? So, you’ve explained why Steven is Steven, but I’m not sure if I buy that explanation: not because I find it unlikely that “Steven” is a gryphon name, but due to how small and insignificant that explanation was. While this isn’t a “Twilight screws up a spell” fic, it’s dangerously close to being one. And the explanation for Steven not having a cutie mark is that he simply didn’t find any? Sorry, but canon states that all ponies find their special talent eventually, with “eventually” implying adolescence. You could probably argue with me on this point, but I believe that that is the generally accepted view.

The pacing felt generally off: you’ve got insignificant events stretched way over their welcome and more significant events happening so fast and with no explanation that we are left scratching our heads. You often skip events with a “several hours passed” sort of deal, which should be used carefully. I suggest meditating on Kurt Vonnegut’s fifth rule: “Start as close to the end as possible.” You are the master of causality, so use it to bring the tightest writing you can. Speaking of causality, your lack of general explanation and character motivation causes the logical chain of events to break a few times. This problem is worse on the story scale (which I can’t rightly judge) than on the scene scale, but it should be watched for nonetheless.

Characters: In the characters department, you’ve really only had one important goal: make the reader care for your main characters. This isn’t important, it is critical. If I can’t connect with the characters, then I won’t care for whatever plight befalls them when the plot kicks in. The surest and simplest way to make the readers care for the characters is by making them three-dimensional. Give them depth, character, personality. So far, all I know is that they’re two bored, snarky librarians that were friends from childhood (which is a bad cliché in itself). There’s honestly very little difference between the two, and they didn’t get any character depth until the very, very end of the first chapter. And before you ask, the way to convey this roundness of character isn’t through exposition, but through, again, showing instead of telling. Them being OC’s is a double-edged sword: on the one hand, we have no prior investment of interest or care in them, and on the other, you can do (almost) whatever you’d like to make us care.

Well then, this turned out larger than anticipated. You have a lot of work to do if you want this story to be of publishable standard. My recommended solution is this: study. Read guides, articles and tips on writing. You need to pick up more knowledge on the theory of prose writing. The most-recommended among ponyfic writers is Ezn’s guide (http://derpy.me/EznGuide), and it provides a good basis from with which you can start writing. After that, I recommend rewriting your story, implementing your newfound knowledge. My personal recommendation is to plan out your story exhaustively before you start writing, and I give this tip to everyone. Whatever you do, don’t stop writing; everyone was on your level at first.

Your inspirational quote for this review: “Beginning a book is really hard. I’m trying to begin one now and I just keep throwing stuff away and thinking, ‘Can I do this? I don’t think I’m smart enough.’ But it has to be hard. You have to have a reverence for the undertaking.”—Barbara Kingsolver
>> No. 125439
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Ctrl-F yielded nothing in either thread for "alexmagnet" yet I recently found a post by "alex!magnet9W5w". That bang mark made all the difference.

Grif, just letting you know, "Wandering" is covered, though if you feel inclined, go ahead and review it (NejinOniwa will probably appreciate the extra help).

My bad.
>> No. 125445
Thanks for picking this up. This took a long time to get a reviewer. As for those docx lines in the chapter, those were not there when it was uploaded. I have no clue where they came from and no idea how to fix them.

I understand the rules of writing, but I have a really hard time implementing them. I am a much better oral storyteller.

Where is usually a good place to go for story editing?
>> No. 125446
FimFiction has a few group dedicated to this. I believe the largest group currently is The Writer's Group.

Alternatively, you could ask a few of your readers for help. If enough are interested in the fic, there'll usually be a few willing to pre-read and help out with the editing.

Again, I stress this is not a substitute for lazy writing. It's merely to help you out with issues you might have missed in the first round of editing. The best way is still to get out there and practice good writing.
>> No. 125448
File 135502650772.png - (41.51KB , 464x472 , gettin all durped up in hurr.png )
Link added, and again here:
Writer's Block has been working on it with me, although if you're still interested in it I won't say no but you knew that. Next chapter is going to be where most of the story is, though, and I haven't written that yet.

Seriously guys? I leave for the day to help clean up after Sandy and you all start posting without me. Blegh.
JK, ♥ you guys.

HA! I knew I wasn't crazy!
>> No. 125460
File 135507072921.png - (39.40KB , 188x215 , Twilight-not-amused.png )
Let's dispense with the formalities, shall we? Take all of the following with a helping of salt and some cider. I will only offer conceptual and story comments, since this behemoth is a mess and I feel it is in need of a hefty hacksaw.

I'll admit, your choice of crossover is intriguing. The 1632 series is quite obscure and presents a rather interesting (if heavily biased) view of alternate Earth. Herein lies the problem. Your story as is utterly and totally inaccessible to anyone who is unfortunate enough to read it. dolfeus' reaction probably already gave you a clue to this. Myself? I have a passing familiarity of the series at least, though it still took me three-quarters through Chapter One to realise that you were actually crossing over this series. (Very few would reference a "Ring of Fire" and King Gustavus Adolphus Vasa in the same paragraph.) Even then it was utter and total bewilderment as to what the fuck actually happened until midway through Ch 2.

In that same vein, your prologue? I skipped after the second page. It was that boring. Skipping it seems to have not impacted my reading of the subsequent chapter. In fact, your entire prologue is one big turn off for someone who had gone in expecting ponies, only to be bitch slapped by a load of Norse mythology which I and many others, I suspect, have little interest in. Either axe the whole thing, or shorten it. (Actually, I would just cut to the last scene about the pony. That'd been both short and effective.)

On to your plot. Or this mess which you call an excuse of a story. By dear god, you're writing this fic as if the reader has ADD. Or yourself. Or both. Let's sum it up:
- Luna is having nightmares.
- She and Celly decides to go poke around in her mindscape of some such.
- Luna gets flung to 1634 Europe. Along the way, Discord makes an appearance. Don't ask me why.
- At the same time, Princess Vasa gets booted to Equestria
- All characters meet, spends the next three chapters angsting and talking over... things. I think. Things got blurry.
- Celestia arrives to piggy back somehow.
- Chapter Five. My what.

Your first four chapters barely resolved the dangling issue of Luna (and Celestia, as far as I can tell) in Copenhagen. Then you went ahead and jumped to yet another set of characters and setting. A brief skim tells me that this takes place in a future Equestria. Maybe. Most writers already have trouble trying to introduce a brand new setting on its own throughout the course of one fic. Here you're introducing not one set, but three (including the prologue), and expect us to sit down and take it. No, it doesn't work that way. Think of it from the point of view of a newfoal who have no ****ing idea why Americans are in Copenhagen and for that matter, why the **** are we supposed to care about them in the first place.

This is probably the point where readers would jump ship, they have not already. In other words, slow the **** down and spend a little more time developing the characters, setting and actually advancing the ****ing story for once.

On the bright side, I think you know you way around grammar and your style I like, though I doubt it would be to the taste of more discerning readers.

So. You read my ramblings this far? Good. Here's my suggestions:
- Cut the horrific prologue.

- Trim the goddamn story and slow it down. You don't need to be juggling so many subplots at once, nor do you need to be such a hurry to move it along. You're introducing an alien world to the readers, and you should make sure that they are able to follow it at least superficially. Take your time to wrap things up, or at least provide a stable base in which the reader can stand on. That means actually resolving plotlines in a timely manner, instead of using every new chapter to ram one more subplot into the reader's arse.

- Stick to a few key POV characters for this. Don't expect us to sympathise with any of them if you keep up with this ADD viewpoint switch every couple of paragraphs. As it stands, the only character remotely relate-able is Luna, and that's because she gets the most screen time and character development. As for the characters of the 1632-verse, for **** sake, at least provide some introduction or background to them. Throwing the names "Vasa" or "Caroline Platzer" in and expecting readers to know immediately who or how she is smacks of lazy characterisation.

- Your paragraphs. They need breaking up. Wall-of-texting gets very old, very quickly.

- Show versus tell issues are quite prevalent, although I suspect that is in part due to your quirky narrative style. (Very casual.) Not inherently wrong, but they don't immerse readers.

Yeah. I probably have more, but that really depends on how you're going to proceed with this. Don't get me wrong. I feel your story has potential. You seem to have an idea where you're going with this. The idea of crossing MLP with the 1632-verse is so ridiculous, you tickled my fancy right there. But your wacky pacing and utter ADD focus is turning me off. You could proceed with your story as is, but frankly, don't expect much readers.

tl;dr Utterly inaccessible crossover.
>> No. 125462
All right, Ghostwriter. Been a long time coming, but I got some good news for ya. You're getting better as time passes. But, with every piece of good news comes some bad, and you'll find out in the review.

Plot & Storytelling First off, I'd like to say that you have gotten better when compared to the previous version.

The biggest plusses are better word choice, more coherent paragraphs, and an overall decent balance.

However, your flow still needs a lot of work. Sometimes paragraphs bled into each other, and dialogue felt scripted. It's ideal to let dialogue flow naturally, but in such a way that keeps hold of the story. Meaning it should feel natural, but necessary.

Another thing that I noticed was you're tendency to employ deus ex machina. The best example I could find was the animals came out of nowhere to help Fluttershy.

This is a big no-no. You must always introduce life-saving things, or even just important characters (meaning they affect another character in some way, like introducing a person someone hates before the person who hates them show up), before they're used. I understand that it was probably due to the Elements, but you still need to have proper setup, or execution fails.

Moving on.

Grammar & Mechanics You still have a tendency to overuse names to the point where every sentence in a paragraph starts with "Discord." You need to start using more pronouns. Overusing pronouns is much better than overusing names, but keep in mind that it does have its own drawbacks.

Overall You're getting better at this, Ghostwriter. No doubt about it. But you still have a long ways to go. Keep at it, and ask me any questions that you might have. I'll try to give you the best answer I can give.

Good to see you working hard, Ghostwriter. And apologies for the late review.


- Figments
>> No. 125465
Thanks Fig.

The thing with fluttershy, I would hesitate to call it a Deus ex Machina. It just seems natural to me that animals would help her out. She helps them so they want to return the favor. Does that make sense?
>> No. 125467
File 135507756543.jpg - (136.70KB , 475x502 , Prometheus 5.jpg )
Tags: Adventure, Human, Sci-Fi

Synopsis: Prometheus has been traveling for two centuries. Now, it has arrived over a beautiful new world, and the six hundred thousand colonists on board are ready to wake up and start their new lives. This planet is a new frontier for science and exploration, but it is not by any means uninhabited.

Equestria watches silently as the first shuttle descends like a shooting star. Some of its denizens will welcome these newcomers with open hooves. Some will not.

This is not the first time this timeworn Utopia has seen visitors. Equestria has taken in interstellar guests before, and this time the Princesses aren't taking any chances.

Link: http://www.fimfiction.net/story/64161/Utopia%3A-The-Prometheus-Saga

Chapters to review: 1 and 2 (all)

Comments: I thought I had this good to go, but EqD sent it back with this message: "Thank you for your submission. However, due to issues with semicolon use, capitalization, and compound word hyphenation, it cannot be forwarded to the pre-readers. This does not count as a strike." After a brief e-mail exchange I learned that the issues in question were a misplaced semicolon in chapter 1 and the capitalization of "Utopia" in the synopsis, which is intentional. The semicolon in question is gone now, but I thought I might as well ask for an actual review, seeing as how my friend who's pre-reading missed a few things in chapter 2.
>> No. 125469

It does to a certain extent, but it's still advised to set things up better. That way, you won't run into problems down the road like angry readers and whatnot.
>> No. 125474
sound advice.
>> No. 125476

Review acknowledged for Flying a Kite
>> No. 125478
Thank you for the review of Chapter 5, but I also requested a review of the Epilogue. Any chance you can get that one too?
>> No. 125479
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Sound, but one sided advice.

>the animals came out of nowhere to help Fluttershy. This is a big no-no

Yet, the entire reason why Fluttershy didn't fall to her death when she was a filly was because a random and massive hoard of butterflies just were like "Oh fuck, pony, gotta save her". I don't know the exact context that the story was using this random turn of events in, but I wouldn't completely mark it out. This is, after all, fiction based off of a cartoon, where random shit is bound to happen just because it does.

This doesn't mean that Figments doesn't have a valid point. In fact it's very valid, and generally a good rule of thumb, but my point is, in fanfiction, take account of instances within the content that could justify your story.
>> No. 125481

>take account of instances within the content that could justify your story.

The difference between fiction writing and a cartoon is that, generally, writing has to be cohesive and coherent, and therefore everything that must be explained cannot go without an explanation.

But that also depends on the genre of fanfiction you're going for. If it's Random, then I have no qualms about some weird dude popping out the bushes going "Ogga-booga-booga" and disappearing in a puff of smoke. It's all part of the "wat" factor of that brand of comedy.

But in a serious story, even fanfiction, everything must be coherent and cohesive.
>> No. 125482
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I understand that it must be cohesive, but this is a "serious" story about cartoon ponies, the content of which, itself, is silliness. My point being that because of where your story springs up from, it doesn't need to be as coherent and cohesive as if you were reading 1984, or some other ultra serious, political propaganda-ness piece of literature. There can be room for a reader to either just assume the outcome is that way because of whatever factor they think of, or just say "Well, a bunch of shit goes on in the show. Whatevs" If I see that kind of shit going on in 1984 (Just the book that comes to my mind for some reason as ultra serious in context and content) I'd say "Yo, Orwell, explain this." But, you are correct, cohesive and coherent story telling is very important, I just believe in more wiggle room.
>> No. 125485

To each man his own, eh?
>> No. 125487
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That's a fair way to end an argument, so yeah. I suppose it's all about your preferences. Should everything be laid out on the table, or is it fine to just let things be left unsaid?
>> No. 125519
Tags: [Normal], [HiE], [Sci-Fi]

Synopsis: Humanity has grown to control most of the Sol system, and looks to distant stars for further expansion options. When probes discover an uncannily-earthlike planet at a vast distance, the Solar Government takes on a project larger than any before it.
A colony ship, carrying over seven thousand people, the Eclipse is constructed. Thanks to its translight engine, it is capable of making the journey within two decades. The expedition is launched with high hopes, its crew made up of the best and brightest, setting out to prove that the vastness of space was no longer an insurmountable obstacle, that landing on distant worlds full of life was no longer just a pipe dream.
What happens when this colony ship's crew arrives at their destination would forever change humanity's outlook on the rest of the universe, as well as what could be deemed possible. Supernatural beings, energies unexplainable, and most importantly, sentient organisms all populate this mysterious, fertile world. In all of its extensive preparations, is the Eclipse versatile enough to tackle the task assigned to it? Or, more importantly, is its crew?
Link: http://www.fimfiction.net/story/53095/eclipse

Comments: This story has been 'conditionally accepted for posting' by the pre-readers of Equestria Daily, the condition being that I run it through here to fix '... a few stray typos, the rare missing punctuation, and some odd grammar.'
This is where I require help. Other suggestions are more than welcome, however. Thanks in advance!
>> No. 125520

Hey! Seems like you forgot to submit to the queue! All the links are right up in the OP. Be sure to do that so that someone can see ya!
>> No. 125521
File 135519557711.jpg - (61.36KB , 500x732 , fck-it-10.jpg )

I'll be happy to take a look and see if it's worth the trouble!

Be on the lookout on MLPchan for the review!

>> No. 125528
File 135527276424.jpg - (144.01KB , 640x480 , Writer_Wreath_1.jpg )
Sorry for taking a bit.

Don’t be discouraged by my review – it’s entirely true that execution is the hardest part of bringing ideas to life. Some even go as far as to say that the execution of an idea is far more important than the idea itself. And seeing your little explanation, I have to tell you that what you have planned here is far from bad. You’ve obviously put some thought into your characters, so now you need to properly convey them.

One thing I have to say regarding the ideas you’ve outlined: while Steven’s gryphon-ish traits are fairly interesting, the part about his cutiemark seems suspicious. First of all, your ideas for cutimark “mechanics” are different from canon for sure. That is not a problem in itself, but any such deviation must be introduced carefully and skillfully into the story. You have to explain it, clearly and logically, have enough basis for such a deviation, and make it believable and interesting enough to warrant such a change in the first place. Otherwise, you run the risk of your headcanon being rejected, thus destroying the reader’s suspension of disbelief. The thing about your “cutiemarks=destiny” idea is that it sounds rather Mary-Sueish, that is, it gives too much importance and attention to the character. This might not be so after it is expanded upon, but the problem with these things is that they are taken at face value—the reader will form an opinion on an idea before he gets to your explanation, and that opinion might make them dislike the story.

Now, onto the problems with the execution. I have spoken enough about style. Read through Ezn’s guide—it covers most beginner mistakes and is a good place to start. Once you have mastered the basics, if you wish to go into more depth, I recommend the classic “The Elements of Style” by Strunk & White. What concerns me more is the problem with the way you execute your structure. The main downfall of your story, perhaps, is the total absence of the elusive “hook.” The way it goes now, there isn’t anything in the first chapter that makes us want to read the second. The first chapter is critical for the story, and while it is true that, in the classic fiction plot structure, action should continuously rise from the beginning to the climax, an exception exists in the form of a “bump” of action in the beginning. In other words, the first chapter should be packed with excitement. This doesn’t mean car chases, shootouts and make out scenes galore—the definition of “excitement” depends on the type of story you are writing. But in your story, instead of all that, we get the characters sitting around for N hours, playing boardgames and waiting for the plot device to kick in.

There really isn’t anything hard about hooking the reader with an entire first chapter (hooking with the first sentence—that’s what the pros are struggling with). What you need is: 1) Characters that the readers care about and 2) A plot full of compelling questions. The good news is, you’ve pretty much got both in the form of potential. You only need to turn that potential into execution.

The trick about making the readers care about the characters is through showing them to us, fleshing out their personalities. You’ve written a pretty good idea for Steven’s character, but we see none of that character in the first chapter. In fact, there is so little difference between Steven and Dewey that they lack the dynamic you’ve described. What you need to do is flesh out their characters and show them to us from the start. Note the word show—you need to paint a portrait for us, not an explanation. This means using narrative, dialogue and description, for exposition is pretty much telling by definition. A protip that worked for me: present your characters gradually. What this means is that you need to create deep, rounded characters, possessing interesting and conflicting traits, and then show us the various facets of those personalities in the course of the story, not all at once (this is contradictory to my previous statement, but that’s writing for you—it’s all a paradox and a balancing act all at once). So what you do is give us a first impression in the first chapter. Take the biggest, most defining and on-the-surface elements of your characters (in terms of the main six that would be Twilight’s studiousness, Rarity’s classiness and love of fashion and so on for the rest) and then show it to us in the most colorful terms. Don’t be afraid to slightly overblow the stereotype—the idea is to imprint the character in the reader’s mind. But when chapter two rolls around (or whatever place in the narrative is most appropriate), you give us a different perspective, contrasting or even contradictory to what was established earlier. Thus, you achieve roundness of character.

Plot is a little more complicated. I’m not going to explain the three-act structure in this post, but the idea is that, in the beginning, you need to give us a “triggering event” which disrupts the status quo and gives our characters a goal to work to. You have this event—Dewey and Steven are thrown Celestia knows where and, I presume, they now want to get back home. The problem is that there is too much waiting and general nothing-is-happening going around in the beginning, which makes us not want to stick around. And remember, you need a “bump” of excitement in the beginning. There are three basic ways to go about achieving this: making the beginning somehow interesting in its own right, going the other way around and making it as short as possible and “skipping” to the interesting bits or doing an “In Medias Res” beginning. “In Medias Res,” at its most basic, means mixing up the chronology of your story a bit and starting with an interesting scene that happens after the “triggering event” and then having a short flashback or expositive explanation to how the situation came about in the first place.

I’m not the best at describing this sort of thing, so have links to the articles which formed the basis of this post. Read them if you want a more in-depth explanation or clarification. Also, the entire website is pretty good, and I recommend reading it if you want to study more on fiction writing theory.

You certainly have potential in you; you just need more knowledge and experience. Coming to /fic/ shows that you are willing to improve. The only two pieces of general advice that I can give to help you are to write more and to plan what you write. Inform yourself properly and keep practicing, and you’ll advance by leaps and bounds in no time.

Writer Number 25.
>> No. 125529
I've already started re-editing my story. I tried making the two characters more distinct and more in line with what I was thinking.

Dewey is a smartass during chapter 1. Then in chapter 2, when the how dangerous the situation really is sinks in, he becomes pretty pathetic, but he's able to snap out of it by the end of the chapter.

Chapter 1 Steven is more introvert and unsure in social situations. Then in the beginning of Chap 2 he's angry at Dewey for stranding them there. Mid way through chap 2 violence happens, and Steven is much more capable than in Equestria.

As for the "cutiemarks=destiny" mechanics, I think I'll deal them ok.

"You have to explain it, clearly and logically, have enough basis for such a deviation, and make it believable and interesting enough to warrant such a change in the first place" First off, the character explaining this is from a culture far from Equestria, so it'd be understandable if such a belief could arise without it being mentioned in the show. Even in this culture, such a thing is considered a myth and to happen extremely rarely.

"it sounds rather Mary-Sueish, that is, it gives too much importance and attention to the character" I'll be addressing this by making the pair not fully believe the character who makes the claim of destiny. Not only have they never heard of such an idea but the character mistakes Dewey's Librarian cutie mark for a book of spells, believing him to be a powerful wizard.
>> No. 125534
Fixed it. Whoops!
>> No. 125538
File 135537903937.jpg - (186.01KB , 3025x3295 , twilight reads.jpg )
Title: Predictions and Prophecies
Author: WaferThin
Email: [email protected]
Tags: [Dark][Adventure][Sad]
Word count: 18690

Synopsis: Is the future set in stone? It’s something Twilight Sparkle never really thought about before. But what happens when her future is something she could never, would never, do?
How far would you go to escape your fate? Would you change your very self to match your destiny, or fight to change the future?

Link: http://bit.ly/SfB2fn

Comments/requests: I'm not entirely sure it justifies the 'dark' tag, but it seemed the most applicable.

The 4 chapters that I've done so far make up Act 1 of the story, so it's far from complete. I'm hoping for advice on the general direction and construction of story, and keeping it on the same track (I tend to stop-and-start, so sometimes certain paragraphs ends up sticking out like a sore thumb), but I'll take any help that anybody is kind enough to offer!
>> No. 125543
File 135543537391.png - (434.58KB , 800x728 , Willow.png )

Normal, Adventure, Dark


After mysteriously disappearing centuries ago, the daughter of a famous Equestrian Alchemist is discovered in the basement of her father's home, still alive and still young. Twilight must unravel the mystery as to what her father was up to, and why he imprisoned his only daughter.

Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1fTLn1QVnAL7659xLAzrOmvQOgSkSEELsSQnFqiXfmnE/edit


This is a reboot of this story: http://www.fimfiction.net/story/43680/the-discordians-daughter

EqD turned the original story down citing numerous grammar issues and as well as plot concerns. I may or may not actually pursue their blessing again, but decided to take a few of their notes anyway and start the story over.

One of the big things they pointed out was problems with quotation grammar, so that's one thing to keep an eye on. Thanks.

Also, Warning: Long chapter is loooooonnngggg
>> No. 125546
File 135544016583.png - (10.96KB , 300x300 , Spitfire135001592721.png )
>Thoughts after reading the first scene.
While the first paragraph could be much stronger, the opening hook really grabbed me. This definitely has potential.

>On quotation grammar.

I'll give this a full review if it's still here after I finish What She Didn't Want.
>> No. 125552
Well, that was blunt. Not going to lie, I've heard much of it from previous people, but in all honesty reactions to this fic depends very much on how you're tempered as far as reading goes. I know it's a damn trainwreck on the outside, and I know it makes about as much sense as Tsubasa Chronicle flung through an Andy Warhol washing machine on a Thursday. But honestly? That's half the charm in it. It's chaotic, because the story is chaotic. There's so much interdimensional mayhem going on in the back and foregrounds of this fic that it's utterly impossible not to have it be chaotic.

Now, let's talk a bit about that prologue.
You may have noticed that something is not entirely as it seems with our favorite pink party pony. For this reason, cutting the norse mythology part would be bad. Very bad. Mostly because it wouldn't make a jigglet of sense that way, and what sense it did make would be totally wrong because most people's only knowledge on Loki is from a certain movie that came out a while ago, knowledge which to the most part is completely bloody wrong, both with the norse canon and that which i use here. Thus, we need to clarify a bit.

And by 'a bit' I mean add a whole slew of vikings to the cast. I know, an author's promise of "THE WHOLE THING WILL MAKE SENSE EVENTUALLY" isn't all too good flesh, but there is really no other easy way to do things, as I see it. The options would be to either ditch the thing altogether - which isn't really one seeing as that would require me to either scrap a major section of the plot entirely or increase the usage of RANDOM PLOT DEVICES which i detest to a point of anguish - OR move things around arbitrarily just because, which feels rather confusing. I mean, is there a point whether it's the prologue and chapter 6 or chapter 5 and 6 that's vikings? Sure, not everyone is a mythology blowhard like myself, but RAGNARÖK stamped on a big sign ought to get peoples' attention and start wondering...

Now that I think about it, moving the vikings might be a good idea. Anyway.

Walls of text: I KNOW. I have the Tor Books disease. I can't make a line break without alarms going off in my head saying POV SWITCH POV SWITCH. I try to filter them as well as I can, but my sense of formatting is a bit broken.

FIX THE TRAINWRECK STORY general: Again, I know, but fixing ain't easy sometimes. The problem is, things happening in 3 different dimensions and 3 different timespaces gets inherently bloody confusing, no matter what. Either I make a whole damn fic only detailing what happens with the Princesses and split up the whole Kristina bit for its own fic; but then I'd have the unavoidable problem of deciding what goes where, since a bunch of the things that happen on Earth are Kristina-related, a bunch are related to both, and so on and so forth. I think my main problem here is my curse of logic. Everything must make sense, and when I couldn't make it fit I made it Bigger. Thus the vikings and the futurequestria and the everything. Taken as a whole it is a lot better in the long term, but batshit insane on the short term when you look at the parts.

What I may be doing is writing my Tsubasa Chronicle before I write my Cardcaptor and Chobits and all the other parts of it. I could take a major part of the viking story and make it its own, and though it would be quite far from ponies at many times, it would stand firmly on its own as a story. I could take much of the future story as well, and place it on its own legs. And THEN I could make ReEN, fabricated out of the parts of these elements and the crossover.

Should I?

I won't deny the fact that I've had several blocks in my ReEN writing just because it's hard to see where to go next.Splitting off the viking story and the future story would make things make a lot more sense, and make ReEN itself a lot cleaner and understandable; but it would be a sequel, dependent on two separate others to survive. I've gone away from ReEN to write from much less complex things like Wandering and TSiTLC, but my ghosts can never leave me for long. ReEN demands attention, because it is the first pony fic I've started - and undeniably one of the most crisscrossing, Sherlock Holmes planning room-like fics I'll ever make.

TL;DR - Author in doubt, considering fic splitting, send help.

Thanks for your review, however blunt.
>> No. 125553
File 135552148174.png - (205.16KB , 1006x1200 , rainbow_dash_salute_by_luridchronomancer-d4aa23i.png )
Got some time free, might as well help out clear the backlog. I'm on the case!
>> No. 125554

Reviewed, and notified author. I'm guessing you can knock it off the queue now!
>> No. 125555
Generally speaking, the word filly begins with the letter F.
>> No. 125556
Really? I guess I had sandwiches on the brain. =P
>> No. 125558
I am rusty; expect errors.
>> No. 125581
File 135569211403.png - (434.58KB , 800x728 , qwer.png )
Daughter’s scenes are poorly written
Bad syntax
Crushing boredom
Unset scenes

An opening scene is the first thing people will read and it should make them want to continue. Yours falls short. Most noticeable is the weird phrasing you use in the daughter’s scenes, though you seemed to get a bit better as the story progressed. If there was one specific issue, this would be easy to fix, but unfortunately there isn’t. Most of the weirdness boils down to poor word choice and underuse and overuse of pronouns. In the beginning, I marked all of the oddly chosen words, but towards the end there were far too many and I’m no copy editor.

The second problem with the daughter’s tank scenes (the first, in particular) is your use of pronouns. I understand that you want to keep the subject a mystery, but the way in which you go about it is aggravating, not to mention the fact that any mystery is gone after the first 1/4 of the story. It seemed every other sentence began with She... The scene becomes boring very quickly when you keep repeating that sentence structure. Your overall overuse of she (not just at the beginning of sentences, either) was nothing short of tortuous. On the other hand, you seemed loath to use pronouns for anything other than the daughter. This led to some pretty ugly word repetition, which is also marked. Avoid this in the future.

Eqd was right about your quotes. Consult the following for help with the syntax: http://eznguide.rogerdodger.me/#Said-tags Why not read the rest while you’re there?
You’ll find the following info in the guide, but I’ll put it here as well. Ellipses always have three dots. Three. Most people like to put a space after their ellipses, as well. And try not to use so many damn ellipses! It’s a lazy shortcut (at least when present in your quantities) and ugly, as well. You also use hyphens in place of em dashes. For interjections and interruptions, always use em dashes. For joining compound (but separate) words, use hyphens. You alternate between over and underuse of commas throughout the story. Comma rules are somewhat flexible, but there are times when they must and must not be used. I saw several comma splices, which I’m shit at finding so there are likely more lurking. Also, when a character is addressed in speech, a comma is needed after or (sometimes and) before the name.
Ex. “Pinkie, take your pills.”
Keep in mind that not every time a name is mentioned a character is addressed.
Ex. “Pinkie didn’t take her pills.”
Exclamations and interjections require commas after them as well.
Ex: “Yeah, that one was even louder!”

Why, why did it have to be a tour? You even made a quip about how boring the tour was and reading about it isn’t any more interesting. Why couldn’t they have just discovered a secret laboratory, with no need for the other nonsense? Additionally, not too much even happened over the course of your seven thousand words. You could safely prune quite a bit of the beginning off. If I wanted pony banter, I’d watch the show. The story only approached adequacy (in my eyes, at least) at the very end, after they went into the basement and things actually started happening.

It seems like your strength is in writing dialogue, but you severely neglect most else. Apart from the scene in the basement (which was done well), there was almost no description of the story’s setting. Especially in the beginning, I had no idea what was going on. First they were near some chairs, then looking at the outside of the building, then in the kitchen. It was confusing. Set the scenes properly and work on your transitions.

You did a pretty good job keeping everyone in character, with the exception of Twilight, who seemed more simpering and annoying than usual (particularly in her dialogue with Mrs. Cake). I also applaud you for not making an innuendo with the butter churn. That would have been hard to swallow.

Nolan Voidsdale. Voidsdale is a pretty good name, but Nolan sounds more like a person than a pony. Why not give him a more pony-like, alchemical name? Something with gold in it, maybe.

I am not the best at spotting show vs tell issues, but I did mark a few particularly egregious ‘tells.’ There’s room for improvement throughout the story, in this regard.

As for this philly nonsense, I don’t know what you were thinking. I find it hard to believe that someone could make an error like this unintentionally; am I missing something? Hometown pride, maybe? There are definitely sandwiches on one of our brains, and I’m pretty sure it’s yours. Anyway, filly is used exclusively to refer to females, as colt does for males. Foal is the catch-all. And in case you were confused, mare refers to adult females, as stallion does for adult males. To reiterate, mares are not he.


First you need to fix your syntax. Go through each and every line of dialogue, correcting as needed. Then take out at least half of your ellipses and correct the remaining. Then find and fix your em dash-wannabe hyphens. You should have already done this (*cough*Dashreplied*cough*), but read your story out loud. This should help you find out where the commas should naturally go. Hopefully this will help you also realize how dreadful the daughter’s scenes are. And as far as fixing those scenes, I suggest you scrap them entirely and re-write. Try very hard to limit your use of she, because if I haven’t made myself clear by now, you’ve got a pronoun disaster on your hands.

After you’ve cleaned that mess up, you need to think about whether or not you want to keep the current material and plot. I urge you to think of something more exciting than a house tour. Also decide if you even need the daughter’s scenes. They don’t add much, aside from an account of daughter’s captivity, which could just as easily be given in a conversation once whatshername wakes up (and remember, you’re best at dialogue). Notice that I suggest you remove parts after you correct the syntax. You will likely end up fixing parts you later delete or change, but a bit of practice at self-editing will do you good.

On the whole, I don’t think this is a bad story. Cleaned up and revised, you could probably get this on eqd (they’ve certainly posted worse).

[[Review criticism welcome]]
>> No. 125586

First off, thanks for taking the time to review the story. I realize that first chapter is a bit long. Also, you were very thorough.

I'm sorry that you found the daughter's scenes torturous. Believe it or not, I had already edited out a lot of the "She" sentences. I really thought I had cleared that hurdle. I'll look again.

It makes sense that you think I'm strongest with dialogue because that's my favorite part to write. My least favorite is stage setting, which you also unfortunately noticed.

It's also ironic that you mentioned Twilight Sparkle was the one who had character issues. That's a problem EqD had with the original story as well. I was trying to watch that. I'm curious as to what part of her you found annoying.

I blame the philly/filly thing on the fact that I listen to more stories than I actually read (it's definitely not a hometown thing as I'm not from Philadelphia). I will admit to being confused on the pony gender thing. I actually avoided using some words (colt, for example) because I was even less sure of their usage than the words I did use.

Aside from all the grammar/wording issues you pointed out, my biggest takeaway is that the tour is uninteresting and the daughter's scene drags. The problem I'm running into with this fic is that there's quite a bit of backstory. I thought of the house tour as a way of getting some of the basic info out of the way so I could get on with the plot. I will have to rethink that. My first thought is to trim the fat a bit and maybe switch between the two scenes more frequently.

Oh and Nolan Voidsdale is a play on the phrase "null and void". I figured since her full name is Pinkamena Diane Pie it was okay to give a Pony a human name as long as it wasn't their main name.

Anyway, I really do appreciate the review. It was harsh in places but I'd rather have a tough reviewer now than a pissed-off readership later.
>> No. 125591
File 135571180269.png - (140.12KB , 658x1043 , asdf.png )
Oh you.

I enjoy angry reviewing, but when you go and respond so level-headedly like that I feel bad for ripping you up. Damn this reviewer’s remorse.

I probably should have put this in a preface to your review, but I am unreasonably picky and I generally mention only the negative. I don’t even think I like fanfiction. When I say tortuous, I mean anything less than perfect (though the scene in question is considerably less than perfect).

I really can’t stress enough how important it is for your story to have an engaging beginning. Had I been a casual reader, I would have given up before the end of the first page. Not all your potential readers are as impatient as I am, but they won’t keep reading without at least the promise of some excitement. If you are committed to keeping the tank scenes, consider making the first one short (5 sentences or less) and then cutting to Twilight and the gang. That should help increase the tension/mystery around the identity of the pony, as well.

When I write, I also have trouble with scene setting and description in general, so I don’t have too much advice to offer on that front. My strategy is to write a draft that’s mostly dialogue and action, then go back and fill in the details later. It might work for you, too.

To be clear, the business with Twilight wasn’t quite irony. In fact, it’s the opposite, which makes it kind of ironic that you said it’s ironic. A better example of irony would be if I had said that Twilight was the only character without characterization issues. Irony confusion is a pet-peeve of mine. Anyway, I’ll clarify my issues with Twilight. It seemed like throughout the story all she did was blush, laugh, and smile, which made her seem saccharine and vapid (much like Rarity). Her speech was also very plain. A properly written Twilight should be equal parts nerdy enthusiasm, polite confidence (most of the time), and drastic overreaction to social situations, in both action and speech.

A backstory dump at the beginning of a story is not a good idea under any circumstances. The readers won’t care about what you’re describing unless you give them time to care first. I suggest you think of a way to intersperse the backstory into the action of the story. You might have the tour interrupted before Cake says much, then have her give some info on the Prof while they wait for Willow to wake up. The less of the tour you write about, the better. Cutting back the daughter’s scenes would also improve the flow, as it’s jarring to alternate such different viewpoints (though this will also likely be improved if when you re-write those scenes).

That’s a clever pun, too clever for me, it seems. I’ll rescind my suggestion for a new name on the condition that ‘null and void’ is somehow meaningful to the character (in other words, not just a pun for puns’ sake).

Aside from syntax, which will be easy to fix, your main problem is keeping readers engaged. By the end of the second chapter the story was moving fast enough to hold my attention (I would have voluntarily read a third chapter), but in order to get there I had to go through too many pages of what feel like fluff. Also, some readers are discouraged by long chapters. I’d guess that 2000-5000 is an ideal word count for a typical eqd or fimfic readers. I think you should seek out a few more opinions before making any drastic changes, as I can only speak for myself.

You have piqued my interest with this story and if you’d like help with future chapters, send me an email (I may not see it, but I’ll keep an eye on the TG queue).
>> No. 125595
Oh, you meant something different than i thought.
Tortuous = twisting
Torturous = hard to endure
>> No. 125596

TIL I've been spelling torturous wrong my entire life.
Heh, and it makes sense in context.

Bit of a mindfuck.
>> No. 125600
File 135574652077.png - (64.88KB , 376x376 , pinkieohyou.png )

No need to apologize. This is the internet. I expect people to be angry.

Writing dialogue first and then writing the scene sounds like a good approach. I may try that.

I think I have an idea for how to rewrite the first chapter as well. It involves having the daughter woken up by something other than the butter churn and Mrs. Cake is already in the middle of her speech when she awakens. That's all I've got so far.

I will definitely need help in later chapters. I'm trying to think of the best personality for the daughter and I've narrowed it down to one or two types but I'm not sure which is better (if either). I'm trying to make sure she isn't too similar to one of the mane six.
>> No. 125613
Title: You will always be...

Tags: [Sad][normal]

Word Count: 2536

Synopsis: Twilight Sparkle's mother has always loved her daughter no matter what. However, ever since Celestia sent her to Ponyville she has been feeling saddened to barely see her anymore. Unable to express herself without spreading her downtrodden feelings to others, she keeps it stored away from the world.
Though every night, when the moon is high and everypony is asleep, she takes a little bit of time to desperately soothe her heart, and to remember the past.

Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/16VyAF7d7-tlZAWAhC0YqtPR-CemlkKvkF75AWRvWJ9A/edit
>> No. 125642
Title: Ashes to Ashes

Author: Caveman2012

Tags: Sad

Synopsis: A filly pegasus. A fire that took her family. A secret. An encounter that will change the life of the pegasus that found her forever.

Ch 1: http://www.fimfiction.net/story/60818/1/ashes-to-ashes/unexpected-meeting

Ch 2:http://www.fimfiction.net/story/60818/2/ashes-to-ashes/mistaken-identity

Word count: 3,733

Note: I have posted this story on this board before but have recently finished Ch 2 so that is what I want the review on.

(I probably f-ed up somewhere on the submission form)
>> No. 125654
File 135596604880.png - (281.45KB , 563x471 , 135086669129.png )
Alright, I'm going ahead and claiming this, and I already have a review ready. (So I'm not met with "OH YOU ACTUALLY GONNA DO IT THIS TIEME?")

I decided to review your first chapter, and the reason being is that I noticed that this needs a lot of work. You need to gain a good basis and structure for your story, or else it'll all fall apart later on.

I've made some notes in this document: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ev8FOr6ObuHZHlcmSinZibXZXNrdEYj0CKGzGNlwjsA/edit I didn't mark through the whole story, because most of my points were made in the beginning comments.

This story is pretty weak. Not just the writing style to exhibit, but your plot. Guy finds filly alone and parentless after he parents are burned to death or some other bullshit. Guy is like "Ohfuck, I gotta get you to da hospital". Guy takes her to hospital and the filly is like "Oh you're my dad, even though I didn't identify you as my dad for the 5 minutes I was talking to you. I just now noticed you're MY DAD" Guy is like "WTF GIRL" and takes her to the hospital. Nurse is like "Ohman, you fucking look like her dad" and he's like "THAT'S CAUSE HER DAD IS MY BROTHER"

Whut. So I guess Daybreak didn't know about his own niece prior to this moment? And he didn't even glance at this photo during the whole ten minute scene, or even when she's asleep in the hospital?

You have a problem with using present tense when it should be past. Very simple critique, as it's seen all through out your story. You also have Talking Heads syndrome, meaning that there's a lot of dialogue and not much narrative to help describe the scene your characters they're in enough and their body language. If you do this, it can also help with your use of description DURING dialogue. Asterisks are pretty lame to use. Break the dialogue with a -, then describe what they’re doing (coughing, sneezing, hit someone in the face with a oven mit), then continue the dialogue through there.

Capitalize your damn I’s. on occasion you say “i’m fine” or “i’ll”. It’s “I’m fine.” and “I’ll”

That's pretty much it.

Happy writing.
>> No. 125657
I'm new to this entire site, so forgive me if I'm doing anything wrong. As the subject states, I'm looking for someone who REALLY knows their grammar to review my story. The reason being I submitted my fic to EQD, and they rejected it citing a lot of grammatical issues, though nothing too specific. Here is the list I was given (slightly edited):

-Need commas with stacked descriptors.
-Hyphens missing for color modifiers.
-Rare comma splices.
-Semicolon misuse.
-Dialogue tagging mistakes present, though rare.
-Commas needed before a direct address in dialogue. Rare mistake.

Obviously, I've done my best to go back and fix these mistakes, but if I was good with grammar, I wouldn't have made them in the first place. My story can be found here:

I can be contacted via my all-things-brony email, [email protected], or by PM on FiMFiction.
>> No. 125661
File 135603412563.jpg - (77.68KB , 480x615 , 135079409285.jpg )
I'm not a master of grammar, so I won't be able to help you much, but what I can do is refer you here. http://www.ponychan.net/chan/fic/res/102154.html
A community member created this auto-reviewer, which catches a lot of common mistakes like capitalization, some punctuation and quotation errors. You can run it through this to clean it up somewhat, and maybe see if it makes a decent impact while you're waiting for a grammar review.

Alternatively, since it's really just grammar you're focusing on, just asking someone to help edit would be more beneficiary. I usually find that people here really focus on Grammar as one of the last things in their reviews.
>> No. 125678
Oops, E-mail derp! Actual tag on the end is .ca, not .com.
>> No. 125704
Tags: [Adventure] [Human]

Synopsis: Daphne has tried to live her life as any normal teenage girl would, focusing on school and the intricacies of adolescent life in an effort to forget her more imaginative childhood. Now, however, her kid sister has been kidnapped by forces she cannot understand and she is forced to chase after her into a land she had once thought only make-believe. Cast adrift in a strange and magical world, she must find her sister before she can use the Golden Bridle to take control of Equestria as the pawn of a dark and terrible master.

Link to the story:

First, I would like to say that this is indeed a Humans in Equestria story but it has NO BRONIES, NO SOLDIERS, and MLP IS NOT A SHOW ON EARTH.
Really, my inspirations are probably more Labyrinth, Oz, and Greek myth in general.

That said, I would like to focus on:

Grammatical errors
I've certainly made many of these. I've run it through a couple friends on the Study but I need a thorough look.

Continuity errors
In case I missed any.

I know in theory how to avoid tells but I’ve had an odd spate of inattentional blindness, so if any that I’ve missed can be pointed out, I’d like to at least know where.
>> No. 125706
File 135630254341.jpg - (35.00KB , 720x480 , I am going to viciously murder you using my latent demon powers_.jpg )
Well, it seems that my predictions and prophecies about this review were not met as intended. Nevertheless, here is your review.

Three words: Pacing, pacing, pacing.
Okay, so, normally I try to avoid telling the author to scrap everything. In this case, you seriously need to dump, like, half of what’s in here. The scene with Twilight and Spike, followed by the Rainbow Dash/Derpy scene, bogged down the story so much that I actually stopped and asked myself why I was reading, literally. I actually said it aloud to myself: “Why am I reading this?” It was only then that I looked back at the IRC, noticed that I had the |Reviewing tag on my name and went “Oh, yeah. I was reviewing a fan fiction. That makes sense.” And that’s not even to mention that I had no idea what the mystery that drew me into the story was anymore. Something about some mysterious book from the library? Oh, that’s right: it’s the freaking title of the fic! You concentrate too much on trying to make jokes, which ultimately fall flat on their hypothetical faces anyway. This isn’t a comedy, in fact; you’ve actually tagged it as both [sad] and [dark]. Cut back on the jokes a little bit, because they’re doing nothing good for your story. The scene where Twilight backs out of going to Canterlot is necessary, but it still bogged down the story a lot, so you should work on consolidating that as well.

Okay, with that out of the way, next order of business: Show vs. Tell.
You really lay it on thick. There’s so little show in here, that you may as well just telepathically transport the story into my head, so that I won’t have to waste my time reading it. The point of a fictional story is not to inform, but to entertain the reader. Saying that Twilight is being sarcastic is only useful if the reader is Sheldon Cooper, and even then he might figure it out. Your grammar could also use a lot of work, and you should really give Ezn’s guide a look over before you continue this.

And then Chapter Three hit. I would almost guess that a completely different author wrote it; It’s actually bearable to read, and furthermore: enjoyable. Perhaps it’s because you dropped all the lame jokes and actually got to the promised dark theme of the story, but I found Chapter Three difficult to put down. I only wish it had lasted, for once I entered the 4th chapter, it all went back out the window. Your prophecies could use some revision to their verse, but I’ll be addressing that in doc over the next few days. Good job with RD’s conversation. That’s actually very representative of her character, and I’m impressed that you got the characterization down that well. But your prose and exposition need a lot of work.

Here’s the link for Ezn’s Guide. http://derpy.me/EznGuide Give that a look over and see if you can anticipate the things I’m going to point out in the doc.
>> No. 125723
Tags: Dark, Adventure, Romance

“The supernatural: Ghosts, zombies, werewolves, spirits..... vampires......

Twilight Sparkle always thought that the supernatural was just a bunch of superstitious nonsense, just some scary stories to tell around a campfire. She couldn't have been more wrong.

After an occult ritual gone horribly right, Twilight finds herself among the ranks of these so called 'myths', whether she likes it or not. Due to the same force that changed her, dark shadows have begun to spread across Equestria, bringing to life these ancient fairy tales. And Twilight might just be the only one that can stop them...

For better or for worse, Twilight has been changed. Will she embrace this dark gift and become the hero Equestria needs, or will she eventually succumb to temptation and become the very thing she fights? Only time will tell...”

Fimfic page: http://www.fimfiction.net/story/40897/the-guardian-knight
Or if you prefer gdocs, here’s the full story: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Butf-lxkB2H0sDH1_k8-TSTsPLo-xADCnR2Eabg0uXA/edit

I need the whole thing reviewed please, I have hopes of fixing the problems there seem to be in the story and getting on to Equestria Daily.
>> No. 125727
File 135653281891.png - (1.14MB , 800x951 , Twilight Corruption.png )
I see that all seven chapters are in one Google document. By doing this, it'll take a very long time to load after it has been reviewed, assuming that it doesn't crash your browser. Here's what I would suggest:
>Break each chapter up into it's own Gdoc.
>Make a Google Drive folder with the same title as your fic.
>Mark all the chapters then click "organize."
>Put all the chapters in the folder you just made.
>Right-click the folder and select open.
>Make sure comments are enabled for anyone who has the link.
>Copy the URL of the folder and post it here.
>> No. 125732
>>125706 Whelp, I hope you like the taste of pleasant feedback.

I can say at this point that putting the [dark] tag onto the story was probably a mistake. Like I said in the request for a review, I wasn't entirely sure that it justified the tag as it is currently, but I felt sure it was going in that direction. Having gone on and planned out a bit further though, the story doesn't end up anywhere as dark as I thought it would, so I'll be dropping that tag when I post this as a complete story. I know it's bad practice to give something a label before it's set in stone, but I honestly thought that's where it was going to go when I posted the request for a review, so I can only apologise for that deception.

As for the first two chapters... I probably should have put on the initial request that they were one of the key issues I was having. I intentionally want them to be light and happy, because I really want to nail down the idea that this is regular Equestria; I want it to be the light-hearted world we all enjoy, and then with something a little more menacing added—a dark cloud hanging over the characters, changing and influencing them as the story goes on.

I know those chapters drag on, and I've been trying to cut them back and just keep them to the bare essentials to drive the story forward until the reveal, but I'm genuinely finding it difficult to do so without losing the feeling I was going for. I might well have to do as you suggested and scrap them, or at least take them off this story and use them for another idea.

The whole "show vs. tell" thing is something I had thought I'd dealt with already (it may be hard to believe, but the preliminary draft was actually worse), but I'm definitely going to give it a few more thorough looks now.

You've given me plenty to think about, and you've done it fairly. A little harshly, maybe, but that's what's necessary to get things through some people's thick skulls (i.e. mine). I can only thank you for doing what you have—and for doing it over the holiday period, too.

If you ever happen to be in Newcastle (and above the legal drinking age, of course), drop me a line and I'll buy you a drink, as a way of thanking you for your help! :)
>> No. 125740
File 135659767559.jpg - (45.17KB , 600x750 , Derp is out there.jpg )
A while back, I quickly zapped this out for the Summer Funimation project - a short screenplay based on an on-going comic concept of a "Side 6", background characters both obscure and fan favorites who go on (mis)adventures when the Mane 6 are busy. Sadly it didn't win but several friends liked it so I decided to show it to all of you here. https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B53mRFvkzgQ2cHdVVV9zeThOd1k/edit

I tried expanding on the characters by picking and choosing fanon backgrounds. Of the 6, I thought I'd explain that for the story, Raindrops is the beleaguered meek co-worker of Derpy who loves amazing stories and deep down wishes to be an adventurer. Also, Allie Way is the hyper competitive sporty cousin of Vinyl Scratch. Everything is a contest or game with her.

So here's "Close Encounters of the Derp Kind", where Derpy meets aliens and hijinks ensue. It's a brief read. I'd like your thoughts so post them here or the google docs. Thanks!
>> No. 125745
I've rewritten the first chapter to make the two OCs more distinct character wise and I've changed a bit of chapter two.

I don't know if " TheNumber25!" would like to be the one to review it again, but I don't really mind.
>> No. 125748
You'd probably be better off asking for a third opinion instead of asking 25 to review the story again.
>> No. 125749
While I wouldn't mind reviewing again, I agree with Azusa. A new set of eyes is always preferable.

Although it might take some time: between the holidays, final exams and the latest write-off, everyone is busy. You'll simply have to wait for a couple weeks.
>> No. 125752
Tags: [Crossover][Adventure][Comedy]

Synopsis: There are many buttons in the Tardis, most of them should only be pressed by professionals like the Doctor. Derpy, on the other hand, isn't a professional and she pressed a button. The Tardis crashes into the Minecraft universe leaving the duo of ponies stranded in the pixelated world with nothing but a broken Tardis and each other.

Links: http://www.fimfiction.net/story/55801/the-doctor-and-derpy-play-minecraft
Please review all three chapters.

The EQD pre-readers said:
Lavender Unicorn Syndrome (LUS)
"Telly, lack of body language, talking heads
Punctuation derps. Missing or misused. Comma issues."
They also said I should ask for someone who is good with grammar.
>> No. 125800

Here's a short little fan-fic I made, I thought I'd see what a reviewer thought about it. It's mainly just an idea I had with a twist ending and a random OC.
>> No. 125818
File 135708189205.png - (700.65KB , 1000x800 , Survivor Shy - Fighting A Losing Battle.png )
I am also claiming this story from the request list, and will review it. >>125613 "You will always be..." by Brotato


When the ponies of Equestria become wary of strange magical currents in the air, the Princesses call upon the Bearers of the Elements of Harmony to help search for clues as to the current's origin and purpose. Shortly after Fluttershy completes her task in Appaloosa, and boards a train back to Canterlot, Equestria is struck by a destructive and powerful spell.
Upon regaining consciousness, Fluttershy soon comes to realise that she is the last pony in existence, and Equestria is rapidly falling apart in the aftermath of the catastrophe. Invasions from unaffected races, widespread looting, and a dying and increasingly dangerous land quickly make up the world that Fluttershy now lives in. With nopony to turn to, Fluttershy is forced to learn to fend for herself, discover what happened, and, if possible, find a way to reverse it.
Survivor Shy is a tale told in not-so-chronological order, with Fluttershy providing the narration to her story. With a combination of specially-made artwork and prose, readers shall dive into the mind of the most unlikely heroine for equinekind to depend on.


I'm back again for a second round. This time, however, I've completely rewrote Survivor Shy and reached a point where I feel it is ready to go through the motions for being sent to EqD's Pre-Readers.

Before I do that and make a fool of myself, though, I'd love to have someone's thoughts on the story.

The fic stands at just over 11K words, spread over a prologue and three additional chapters. I'd like someone to read it all and tell what they think. I've put a lot of effort into improving the narrative and quality of the work, and you have my word that it's a damn-sight easier to read!
>> No. 125819

Alright, I'm not a professional reviewer, so you'll have to bear with me as I try to explain things I point out. I'm also going to walk through any errors I see in grammar and the like. So this is going to be a pretty long review, if only because I'm proof-reading for you to an extent, too.

First of all, my thoughts on the story.

It's short and sweet. We are shown that Twilight Sparkle's mother is missing her daughter, and probably undergoing empty nest syndrome, but is most affected by the youngest child moving away and living her own life. The story doesn't wallow around in sadness, but it still makes sure that readers start to feel for Star Sparkle's sadness.

For a short moment, the mother feels upset, possibly angry at Celestia for essentially taking her daughter away, but this thing isn't expanded upon or addressed any further in the story. It does make sense for her to feel that way, but her train of thought seems to just derail and land back into self pity without really justifying it, or with any apparent resolution to the issue beyond the ending of the story implying that Twilight's visit is the cure-all for her mother's heartache. I just felt that specifically pointing a finger of blame at something and then speaking nothing more about it, not even an utter of apology at the end, hurts the story. Ideally, Twilight's mum should realise that Celestia didn't do anything wrong or malicious, now that she can think more rationally. And she should accept that even when Twilight has gone back to Ponyville, it's nopony's fault that things turned out the way they have, and that the best way to fix it is to make an extra effort for the family to visit each other often.

The surprise visit from Twilight started off a bit stiff in terms of bringing her into the story and getting her and her mother to interact, but as it when on, the dialogue improved and began to feel much more natural. One thing you should watch out for is how the characters speak, Twilight's speech is much too polite and formal for her personality, and it makes her dialogue seem a bit cold when she says "mother" or "father".

There are a couple of things that stuck out to me during Twilight and her mother's interaction that definitely must be fixed, I've explained it further below. For now, you should be cautious that what you make the characters do with each other. Touching moments have to be planned out carefully if you not only want to moments to be believable, but also to not risk falling into murky waters that send out the wrong signals.

Overall, the story is a good base to start on. There are a number of things that must be addressed and altered, however, to make the story more complete. Among spelling and grammar, there are other things that I pointed out that need some thought put into.

Below are my annotations as I read the story, including suggestions to improve. Don't copy all of my suggestions and paste them into the story, you should use my pointers to write something the way you would write it, so that story remains your own.

>All the lights were out in the fair city, save for one window that stood out in the darkness

Personally, I wouldn't use the word "out" twice in this sentence, especially since one usage means the lights are off, and the other is being used to describe a light that is on. It seems slightly contradictory to me. I'd change one or the other, but I'd probably favour describing the lone light source differently.

>but it was enough to light the entire room if placed on the coffee table beside the couch she rested upon.

You need to split this sentence up with a comma or a full stop. It's running away with itself. My suggestion: "but it was enough to light the entire room, provided it was placed on the coffee table beside the couch that the mare rested upon."

>so much love that everything didn't exist in the room

This sounds awkwardly put to me, especially when you could write something like "that nothing else seemed to exist in the room."

>into her home, only now a foal was on the floor with several blocks and it was daylight outside

After explaining how much this foal means to the mare, writing "a foal" sounds a bit heartless. "her foal" adds onto the feeling of attachment and affection from the previous paragraph.

You should also specify that the several blocks a building blocks or toy blocks or something along those lines, and that the foal is playing with them. The fragment about the time of day seems misplaced and should either be in its own sentence, or merged into the current sentence better. Such as "was on the floor of the living room, playing with toy blocks as the afternoon light poured in through the window."

>Her words urge

Urge is in present tense, but I wouldn't use that word in this context anyway. I'd use "inspired"

>several hours out, but she couldn't afford to ever visit with her here"

I'd use 'away' instead of 'out', and the last half of the sentence is a bit confusing since it lacks specifics. Are we talking about Twilight's life? Her mother's? Where is "here"? I'd rewrite this sentence to say something along the lines of "but she could never find the time in her busy life to visit Ponyville."

>she still misses

Change to the past tense, "missed"

>least say "I love you, mother"?

First thing, "mother" is a bit old-fashioned and formal, Twilight isn't the type of pony to speak that way, "mom" would work better. Second thing, the use of " makes it read like spoken dialogue from Twilight's mother. I'd use italics or apostrophes (I may be veering into misuse of punctuality with the latter, though)

>She asked the empty room with a choked voice as she covered her eyes with both hooves.
This needs commas, try: "She asked the empty room with a croak, and buried her face in her hooves."

>Celestia's Sun spilled out across the room and settled across her face and gave a relaxing warmth.
Missing a comma between room + and. I'd use 'comforting' in place of 'relaxing'. And given the apparent blame being pointed to Celestia earlier in the story. I don't think it would fit to say "Celetia's Sun". Just put "The Sun". It may not seem much, but not mentioning the name of someone that a character dislikes while the narrative follows that character helps to add to the tone of the scene, as if mentioning the name would upset the character more - even though they cannot hear/read the narrative.

>She closed her eyes once more...
This sentence, too, needs a comma, and it should have the end quater shortened to "...magic to draw the curtains closed." and replace 'direct' with a word such as 'blinding' or 'dazzling'

>audible rip
loud tear

>husband couldn't
'wouldn't' works better

>second page of the album from after it had...
lose the word 'from', replace it with a comma

>...but she couldn't cry now. She loved him just as dearly...
>I know you mean her husband, but you need specify that in this paragraph. Try "But she couldn't let her spouse see her crying."

>and he had no need
I think 'but' makes more sense than 'and' here

>"Oh dear. I hope he didn't..."
Try; "Oh dear," she whispered to herself. "I hope he didn't..." Also, revise how one minute he's come in through the front door, yet is apparently up early. Unless he lives in a different house, this makes no sense.

>Doing her best to clean herself, she cleared away the dry tears with magic...
I think this sentence needs a little revision. 'clean' and 'cleared' are not exactly the words I'd use when describing one who is disheveled and has dry tears on one's face. I'd try "Doing her best to neaten herself up, she wiped away the dried tears with her hoof, and walked to a nearby mirror to tidy her mane."

>he shouted upstairs

>However, instead of finding his Thermos...
This part is a tad overdone on trying to build tension, and comes off as a bit sugary. I already knew that Twilight was there the moment I read "something quite surprising", which is a bit phrasing I find a bit of an understatement, considering how much heartache Twilight's mother has been through. Make it known to the reader that instead of finding her husband's thermos, Twilight's mother finds something else that makes her react in a strong, emotional way - write this in your own words, because I'm afraid of hijacking your story.

>as bright as Celestia's Sun on her face.
I think you can get away with leaving the last three words of the sentence off.

>"Good morning, mother!"
I've already talked about the usage of 'mother', but here it proves my point. It sounds robotic and lacking emotion, even when considering what you wrote to describe how it was really said. And since this is meant to be spoken like Twilight was still a little filly (don't be afraid to use 'filly' every now and then), then I'd go for 'mommy'.

>With quivering lips threatening to break into a sob, she ran towards her
Okay, I really should've pointed this out, soon, but Twilight's mother needs a name. Using "she" just doesn't work, especially when there are two females in the scene. A widely-accepted fanon name is Star Sparkle, you could use this name or make up your own (but beware, going against fanon tends to meet resistance unless you can convince readers to roll with it. With names, it's better to use fanon names unless the name you chose is crucial to the plot).

On a related note. Either replace "her" with 'Twilight', or make it "her daughter" to keep the information clear to the reader. Where you actually wrote 'Twilight', I'd put 'her', because we should all know who is hugging who, now.

>Twilight was taken by surprise...
Don't tell us this, show us through writing how Twilight reacts. "At first, Twilight flinched at the sudden embrace..."

>To her surprise, she found Twilight back to a fully-grown mare
Wait, what? Oh, I read the earlier paragraph wrong. You meant "Her foal, Twilight Sparkle, sat at the dinner table..." literally! Not in the way that mothers will sometimes refer to their adult children as babies. Now, this is a matter of how people read things. I might be the minority who read it the way I did, and if that is the case, then you only need to make it a little more clear that Star (I'm calling Twilight's mother that now) is literally seeing her daughter as a foal and not as the mare she is now. If I'm not the only one to make this mistake when reading, consider rewriting these paragraphs to say something like "for a few moments, the fully-grown mare Star called her daughter was a little filly again", or dropping this momentary experience entirely.

>"I-I don't understand. Is Canterlot under attack?"
Just need to tweak this a little. Try "I-I don't understand," Star stammered. "Is Canterlot under attack?"

>Twilight giggled at such a thought
I'd only write "Twilight giggled." And immediately follow it with her dialogue.

>She asked in defeat.
Friendly reminder to use something other than 'she' when referring to Star Sparkle. Use her name, refer to her as 'the older unicorn' (or something more polite, just don't fall into Lavender Unicorn Syndrome), or something along those. Just avoid using 'she' when we need to know who is speaking or doing something.

I guess you can say this is a pet peeve of mine, I'll spare you of pointing it out any further.

>hoof under her mother's chin
I know what you're trying to accomplish here but this kinda goes the wrong way. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the 'gently tip someone's head back by raising their chin' trope is a more romantic action than platonic. I had to re-read that part. The dialogue afterwards doesn't help, either (it's also missing a couple of commas for before, and after, saying a name - in this case 'mother'). What I'm saying is that these two things completely turned a d'aww moment between a mother and daughter into something questionable.

>Before she did, she found her husband coming back down the stairs.
Try "As she trotted into the entry hall again, her husband came back down the stairs."

>She waiting
Whoops, 'waited'

I wouldn't use that word, here. If I'm picking up the implications right, 'sultry' would be more appropriate to fit a female's tone.

>cheesy line
Indeed it was, you got me to grin

>dye your mane red and black
Given Twilight's natural mane colours, these colours are not wild enough. I don't think it needs changing, just food for thought.

>each others company

>bonding even further
This is a redundant phrase, because we know they're bonding. You could replace this phrase with a comment on how they'll later find themselves talking about things not even related to the picture that started their conversation - connecting this part of the sentence with the rest of it.

>Using elipses (...)
People say you should use these sparingly. Personally, I'm not bothered by them, but I do notice that they could be replaced by commas, making a stronger sentence which would be better, since elipses generally imply uncertainty, and this part of the story is meant to be stated without any doubt.

And that's that! Sorry for the ridiculously long post, but I felt like being thorough.

I hope this was useful to you, and that I didn't muck up this review
>> No. 125825
File 135712093102.jpg - (30.55KB , 319x337 , gentlecolts.jpg )
We've got quite a few reviews in progress that are sort of lagging behind. In the live queue I see comments that excuse or explain the tardiness of Azuza on Stars & Stripes by Wilgrove and troubleTransistor on The Mercy of Screwball by Professor Coruptus. As for the rest...what is happening?

Reviews that need to get finished:
AidanMaxwell: reviewing Not Exactly Green; No ODST Is by SpilledInk (claimed 11/11/2012) submitted 11/10/2012
alex!magnet: reviewing Wandering by NejinOniwa (claimed 12/7/2012) submitted 11/19/2012
Nietzsche: reviewing The Wanderer's Wife by Arbpw (claimed 11/30/2012) submitted 11/22/2012
Eustatian: reviewing Unmarked by Croswynd (claimed 11/25/2012) submitted 11/24/2012
Azusa: reviewing What She Didn't Want by Dubs Rewatcher (claimed 12/6/2012) submitted 12/06/2012
Figments: reviewing Pony Tropes by Shader (claimed 12/10/2012) submitted 12/08/2012
twillale: reviewing The Mare and the Mountain by Enter Madness (claimed 12/13/2012) submitted 12/09/2012
Anonymous: reviewing Fragment by Heliostorm (claimed 12/17/2012) submitted 12/11/2012
Filler: reviewing Stage Fright! by Ezn (claimed 12/15/2012) submitted 12/14/2012
morning_angles: reviewing Twilight's Odyssey (Chapter Two) by DemPonies (claimed 1/1/2013) submitted 01/01/2013

Reviews Awaiting Acknowledgment
This Means War by Regi (>>1622) submitted 11/24/2012 ✻ Reviewed by Tactical on 11/28/2012 (>>1622)
Primary Colors by The epic Bobster of Bobsvale (>>2297) submitted 11/25/2012 ✻ Reviewed by Umbra on 12/11/2012 (>>2297)
Bronies Dawn by Sayer (>>2562) submitted 11/28/2012 ✻ Reviewed by Casca on 12/18/2012 (>>2562)
The Kingdom of Discord by The Pirate Prince (>>125418) submitted 11/29/2012 ✻ Reviewed by Seattle Lite on 12/08/2012 (>>125418)
Gardening With Derpy by NateNarcieq (>>2373) submitted 12/13/2012 ✻ Reviewed by WaferThin on 12/14/2012 (>>2373)
You will always be... by Brotato (>>125819) submitted 12/17/2012 ✻ Reviewed by Mattatatta on 01/01/2013 (>>125819)
Ashes to Ashes by Caveman2012 (>>125654) submitted 12/19/2012 ✻ Reviewed by Professor Hugbox on 12/19/2012 (>>125654)
Autumn by Bleeding Raindrops (>>2950) submitted 12/19/2012 ✻ Reviewed by Demetrius on 12/30/2012 (>>2950)
Equestrian Aerial Magic Assault Unit 00 by tactical!rainboom (>>2895) submitted 12/23/2012 ✻ Reviewed by morning_angles on 12/28/2012 (>>2895)

Unclaimed Stories
12/09/2012 ✻ Utopia: The Prometheus Saga by Eschatos Initiator >>125467
12/13/2012 ✻ Under Free Flag by twillale >>2341
12/21/2012 ✻ Silent Knight by Brony 2-Ma-Ro >>2565
12/23/2012 ✻ Through the Well of Pirene by Ether Echoes >>125704
12/24/2012 ✻ Untitled Lyra Story by Bob From Bottles >>2759
12/25/2012 ✻ The Guardian (K)Night by InfiniteBrony >>125723
12/27/2012 ✻ The Adventures of Dewey Decimal and Steven! by The Pirate Prince >>125745
12/27/2012 ✻ The Doctor and Derpy Play Minecraft by ConfusedBrony >>125752
12/30/2012 ✻ Gilda VS. Whole Equestria by Kikuto >>2943
12/30/2012 ✻ Collective Memory by Demetrius >>2946
12/31/2012 ✻ The MMMM Conspiracy by The Pirate Prince >>125800
01/01/2013 ✻ The Conversion Bureau- Last of My Kind by Jake The Army Guy >>2973
01/01/2013 ✻ Survivor Shy by Mattatatta >>125818
>> No. 125828
Comedy, Slice of Life

It's winter in Ponyville, and Diamond Tiara is queen of the hill. Can the Cutie-Mark Crusaders cast her down from her icy fortress?

Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1iMahpmHGtNQaxvT_JbylRlx-m3wfWltjM5RBNnTBhpc/edit

I would like to request Pascoite to review my fic, as was recommended by EqD pre-reader Samurai Anon.
>> No. 125829
As you wish, good sir. If you have any pressing schedule issues that you'd like me to try accommodating, please let me know. Otherwise, I'll wedge it into my queue in a convenient spot, probably in about a week's time.
>> No. 125830
>>125819 Thank you for taking the time (and being so thorough!) to review my fanfic! Looking at the huge post, I sure got a busy day ahead of me.

Also, thanks for clearing up about her mother's name. I wasn't entirely sure what to call her, which possibly made the fanfic harder to understand what was happening.
>> No. 125841
File 135726640555.jpg - (281.12KB , 720x663 , radioactive pony.jpg )

I started to read your story and I have found some grammatical errors and formatting errors in it and would be willing to help out. I don't know if I can edit the Google doc itself. I am new at this and never had reviewed before but I would like to help if I can.
>> No. 125856
File 135732735044.png - (563.33KB , 1366x768 , Creed.png )

Your review is up and ready on the MLPchan TG, found here:

>> No. 125857
If comments are enabled on the GDoc, then go ahead and leave some. If not, you can request that they be enabled or just cut-and-paste the passages you want to correct into your own GDoc and link it here or throw it all into a post.

There are links at the top of this thread for how the review process works and the current queue, so you can see what hasn't already been claimed.

If you have any questions, just ask! I missed you when you popped into IRC briefly yesterday. While #ttg is the correct place for such a discussion, you can join #fic (our social channel) to get someone's attention if nobody's actively listening in #ttg.
>> No. 125858
File 135733004208.jpg - (7.21KB , 239x211 , 23948652-309.jpg )
Well, thanks, but no thanks; I don't drink. I'm not legal age anyway.
>> No. 125861
File 135733308454.png - (633.49KB , 887x705 , 135547699644.png )
It's never too early to start.

>> No. 125866
File 135735621608.gif - (837.37KB , 500x281 , 135493529446.gif )
Doing my reviews as I claim them because I'm still on the blacklist, and I bet I'll get smack if I take it and don't return with in within the hour.

Most of my notes are in this document:

Plot: Self Insert decides to fuck around with the plot of the MMMM episode and proves that it was Twilight who ate the cake.

This is kind of dumb. Not only do you mess with the plot line of an actual episode, you get your Mary Sue OC to do it. I was thinking at first it wasn't a Mary Sue because being a detective is his talent, but at the end you said that his Cutie Mark wasn't ACTUALLY about being a detective and said that it was an illusion. Fucking why? You honestly could have left that last paragraph out, and your OC would have been alright, considering he was doing good at what he was doing because it's the thing he's talented in and proficient in.

Furthermore, you characterized Pinkie oddly. You make her seem very cocky and shrewd, un-playful. Twilight is incredibly dishonest in this, and deceitful in a way where she MANIPULATES her friends, which she would NEVER, EVER do.

Setting was terrible. I didn't know where this scene was taking place until I realized this was based on The Mystery MMM episode. You describe nothing about the environment, where they are, any kind of setting. If a person who had maybe watched all of the episodes but that one episode, they would be EXTREMELY confused in this aspect.

Tone: Really wasn't one. You tried to fit humor (Although pretty terrible humor at that) into a scene you tried to make seem serious. Didn't know how I was supposed to take the story.

Your story is mostly confusing, and mainly uninteresting.
>Pic related

What I can suggest you do is try to elaborate more on your scene, character body language, the tone you're trying to set (And stick with it) and remove that very last paragraph concerning your OC being some kind of mastermind that can make illusive cutie marks.

Also, please proof-read your writing before you put it out here. In the VERY FIRST sentence you used a homonym incorrectly (put "there" instead of "their") I can only assume that you were writing this in notepad, or the actual FimFiction submission box, because Word would have picked up on that and all of your spelling errors.

You, as a writer, have potential. You just need to take more time into these and plan out your story better, making sure to check off all the things important to a story; you missed important aspects like setting and tone.

Happy Writing!
>> No. 125893
Tags: [Comedy]

“The blue cupcake would end the story, and you will carry on doing whatever you were doing, and believing whatever you want to believe in. The red one would take you on the adventure of your life.”

Rainbow Dash was having a perfectly fine day, until a wacky wall-eyed pegasus told her about the Maretrix.

Chap 1: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1U0_z4G3SphM8fcPNw6BkmIz4fjyrlQrgriFhRYVtBN8/edit
Chap 2:

My humble offering to the fires of TTG. Sorry for messing up the submission queue :/
>> No. 125900
File 135746075259.jpg - (18.20KB , 399x400 , 195968__UNOPT__safe_discord_parody_the-legend-of-zelda_ganon.jpg )
Arrgh! Why do I keep doing this? Why do I keep claiming [Comedy] fics when I don't know anything about Comedy?

Ah, well. Maybe my comments saying when a joke falls flat will be enough. Though I realize now that I didn't really do that for the first chapter.

I left a few comments in the doc. Your story has potential to be really funny. I'd suggest tracking down Raharu. He's the only one I know that has any idea of how Comedy works in prose. If you can find him, then he can definitely help you punch up the jokes for this.
>> No. 125901
File 135746191798.png - (57.59KB , 240x135 , Pinkie.png )
Thanks! I had the impression that you were going to tell me how shit my story was, to be honest. Where can I contact Raharu?
>> No. 125946
File 135751749017.png - (511.26KB , 594x900 , 134078065155.png )
Oh yeah, Raharu. He volunteered to help me with that EGS crossover. Funny guy. Definitely look him up. I think he's on Fimfiction but I have him on skype. I won't give out his skype without his permission, though.
>> No. 125948
I looked him up on Fimfiction and he hasn't logged on in 22 weeks. I think he's gone inactive. Do you think he'll be interested in taking a look at my story?

Last edited at Mon, Jan 7th, 2013 03:59

>> No. 125949
File 135757289491.png - (117.96KB , 945x945 , Shrugpony Pinkamena.png )
I don't know. He hasn't been here in about that long either. I could message him to see what's up, but people tend to come through here in waves. Few stay long.
>> No. 125953
He was in the IRC about a week ago.
>> No. 125954
I totally missed this in my hiatus, so accept my apologies for now. I'll give a proper reply in due time.

THAT SAID, do you still want me to review your other fic? I know Dem mentioned another reviewer has claimed it, but I can offer my opinions on it as well.

>only one who has any idea how comedy works in prose

You do know comedy is largely dependant on the taste of readers and there is really no one true way of doing it? Some love toilet humour, some love self-deprecating British humour, some like a bit of column A and a bit of column C.

Since the queue has been languishing, again, time to take the scalpel out. Claiming

I do not promise quality, but I will promise you I will give you the best I can offer.
>> No. 125957
Thanks! I should emphasize that I'm looking for grammar editing. Any help you can provide on that front would be appreciated. My e-mail is attached here, let me know if you'd like to talk.
Feel free to saturate my document with comment splashes.

Last edited at Mon, Jan 7th, 2013 17:54

>> No. 125975
Okay, make that only one I know of who has any idea how comedy works in prose.
>> No. 125979
File 135768214194.png - (333.53KB , 527x552 , Cloudchaser133290063362.png )
Okay, so since the author hasn't replied to my post, I went ahead and copied all the chapters of The Guardian (K)Night into separate Google documents and placed them all into a folder, here: https://docs.google.com/folder/d/0By76I6q6gB85Y0dTLURKTlRUV2M/edit

The problem is the opening is so completely awful that I've lost all will to actually review the story itself.
>> No. 125987
With regards to this, I better just make it official and mention that morning_angles has offered to take over the review in the IRC.

As a replacement, I will be reviewing this one instead:
>> No. 126001
Okay. Engage British spelling/punctuation mode. You didn't enable comments on your GDoc, so you get it all dumped here.

>The crunching sound of tiny hooves echoed along the walls of the trench
You have a repetitive "the X of Y" phrasing here. It's also a roundabout way of assigning possession. So decide which is more important to the meaning, the X or the Y. In the first instance, I agree that the crunching should get the focus. But in the second, the trench is more evocative. I'd rephrase it as "the trench's walls" at the very least to bring that focus. In fact, the walls aren't adding anything. It's already implied that a trench has walls, and such a bland word isn't adding anything to the sentence. I'd recommend rephrasing this as:
The crunching sound of tiny hooves echoed along the trench

No need to hyphenate this. Earth pony, for example, isn't.

>her features set with grim determination, and her rose-red hair tied back with a ragged band of pink
That comma is unnecessary. Without it, you have a compound absolute. With it, you have two absolutes in series. It's a subtle difference, but the latter tends to make a sentence clunky.

>her features set with grim determination
Here's where you get your obligatory show-vs-tell lecture.
I don't know what this looks like. I can't picture it in my head from what's written here. There are a number of ways someone could look grim and determined, and you're putting the work on me to come up with it myself. Writing is much more engaging when you provide the cues and let me deduce the emotion. Is it interesting to watch an actor say, "I'm sad?" No. It's more interesting to figure it out from what he does and says. It's the same with writing. The three biggest red flags for telling are blunt mention of an emotion (sad), -ly adverb form (sadly), and prepositional phrase form (with sadness). You have a somewhat childlike piece here, so watch that you don't get too fancy. But describe her body language, posture, facial expression, etc. that will show me her grim determination insted of spoon-feeding me the conclusion.

>Taking up the rear was a unicorn, almost pure white of coat, with a wool scarf tied like a hood over her pastel curls.
Your descriptions are very repetitive in structure. "Nth was a <race>, absolute phrase of physical description." Mix it up a bit.

>Through the trench the three ponies trod, until they came upon the rest of their unit, lined up along the wall of the foremost trench
So... they went through the trench to... the trench?

>“This it it, girls,” panted Applebloom. “This is the day we finally take Cranberry Hill!”
>“That’s what you said last time,” groaned Scootaloo.
>“And the time before that,” added Sweetie Belle.
This conversation is getting a bit "talking heads." Consider that what's said is only half of a conversation. Give me the rest. The body language, expressions, etc. that contain most of the emotional cues. They may as well be statues here. Your choice of speaking verbs does connote some emotional involvement, but give me more. And canon spelling is Apple Bloom.

>Use those -
For speech that gets cut off, use an em dash with no space: Use those—

Italics are enough for shouting. We don't need the bold as well, and one exclamation mark is plenty.

Italics are preferred for emphasis.

>sniffed Sweetie Belle
I think you meant "sniffled." In any case, that's not an action that produces speech. You need to use a proper speaking verb or separate the sniffling into its own sentence.

>lip of the trench
You used that phrase recently enough that it stuck out to me as being repetitive.

>But our three heroines soldiered on (no pun intended)
Little meta things like this that speak to the reader have two main effects: they ensure that your story doesn't hold up as well on reread, if the reader even found it funny in the first place; and remind him that he's reading a story rather than immersing himself in an experience.

>Scattered snowballs
This is the first of two times you mention snowballs in the sentence. I'd recommend changing this one to something like "spent ammunition" or the second to something like "volleys."

>Scattered snowballs and battered barricades littered the ground, remnants of many a previous after-school skirmish
Careful with your scenery. What manner of barricades? How are they still visible in "heavy snow?" And why would snowballs from previous fights still be around? They're not particularly durable.

>clear the area around the schoolhouse. The cleared

>“Mount Snowboot”, “Duke’s Ridge”, “The Throat of Equestria”.
These are place names. They aren't the kind of things you italicize or put in quotes.

>“Cranberry Hill”.

The apostrophe only goes after the s if the word actually ends in one. "Children" doesn't. children's

>Applebloom, Scootaloo, and Sweetie Belle were soon joined in their refuge by a spindly little colt
There's no call for the passive voice here. It's putting the sentence's focus on the CMCs, while it should be on this colt.

>who shivered despite his large woolen tuque
1) Set this noun clause off with a comma.
2) If I went out in the cold wearing only a hat, I would probably also shiver. Your "despite" isn't really justified.
3) Be careful when throwing vocabulary terms out there. It will be off-putting to some readers. Does this word give your story some fine shade of meaning that would be absent if you said "stocking cap" instead? Or does that word choice fit better with the story's overall diction? I can't answer these for you. It's your call.

>albeit without enthusiasm
Show me.

>Don’t worry Featherweight
Missing comma for direct address. You got it right just two sentences prior.

No hyphen.

>Look out!!!
See previous not on bold and multiple punctuation.

>Another massive snowball suddenly plowed into a nearby snowbank, scattering the two fillies who had taken cover behind it.
Why would it scatter them? It provided them the cover they wanted, and you didn't mention that it had been destroyed.

>The source of the fearsome bombardment
Here's another one of these indirect possessions that sounds clunky.

A hazard of using more highbrow words: they stick in the reader's head much more easily. You just used this one in the previous paragraph.

>for the past week
Introductory words/phrases leading into a clause's subject are usually set off with a comma.

>to say the least
Set off this aside with a comma.

> - plus Featherweight -
For an aside like this, either use en dashes with spaces around them (primarily British usage) or em dashes with no spaces. Hyphens won't cut it.

Missed a past tense here.

>a single well-aimed snowball fired down from on high
That doesn't quite work. The snowball didn't fire. The ammunition doesn't fire. The weapon or the wielder does.

Em dash.

>Barely more than a dozen other foals had yet made it across the field, and now cowered against the cold
When one subject has two verbs, you don't usually put a comma between them.

>of the necessity of the situation
>the shelter of the shingle
These "of" prepositional phrases are getting repetitive in the paragraph and in the story.

>Listen up, ponies; they’re sending up ammo and reinforcements!
Feels more like a colon than a semicolon.

And again. The simpler a word, the more often you can repeat it without notice. And the inverse is true as well.

Several things break smart quotes. One is putting an apostrophe at the beginning of a word. Fix the direction.

You don't need these hyphens.

>Keep firing they’re gonna make it!
Missing punctuation.

>scattering its precious cargo into the snow
Considering that the precious cargo is snow, this just sounds odd.

>if we’re going to get up this Hill
Your use of "this" implies non-uniqueness. Thus, it would no longer be a proper noun.

>Never fear sir!
Missing comma for direct address.

>the three Crusaders sprinted over to the abandoned toboggan, and hefted it over their heads
Again, no comma for a one subject/two verb setup.


Italics, not caps.


>Sweetie Belle immediately made for Scootaloo’s aid
You're crossing phrases here. She made for Scootaloo, or she leapt to Scootaloo's aid?

>but was stopped at the last second by her surviving friend
Unnecessary passive voice.

>under the shelter of the toboggan
Another odd indirect possession. Especially since you can cut "the shelter of" and still have it be literally true.

>But Applebloom-
Em dash.

You don't need the apostrophe. This isn't an elision; it's a spelling imitative of pronunciation.

Em dash.

>said Sweetie Belle angrily
Telly again. Show me how she looks and acts. Let me deduce "angry."

No apostrophe.


>knick of time

>But you said-
Em dash.

Italics, not caps.

>She had made a promise; that this would be the day they took Cranberry Hill!
Misused semicolon. There is no independent clause after it.

>Follow me! Charge!!!

Extra period.

>(fill mug with marshmallows, add hot chocolate, let stew)
I can't fathom why that's in italics.

>“Hey, it’s not my fault,” defended Sweetie Belle.
That makes for a poor speaking verb. Sweetie Belle defended her quote?

>if they hadn’t dropped the sled
Set off this subordinate clause with a comma.

>lectured Sweetie Belle
Again, you're missing a fine point about what certain verbs can take as their direct objects. Apple Bloom and Scootaloo are the ones receiving that action, but they don't appear in the sentence.

>started to back down
Start/begin actions are often overused. They're best held for times when you need to emphasize the beginning because it's abrupt or the action doesn't finish. Otherwise, a beginning is implied and obvious.

One word, no hyphen.

No hyphen.

>with mock concern

No hyphen.

Unless she can pronounce that symbol, write it out. You can only use symbols like this if you're transcribing text.

Em dash.

>who was never a particularly huge fan of marshmallows for some reason
Oh, good. A meta joke. How wonderful. Note that this is also an abrupt and very short transition into her perspective, which is rarely a good idea.

Em dash.

>“Nopony can even get close to the Hill without getting shot at,” exclaimed Scootaloo.
If she exclaimed, it, shouldn't she, y'know, exclaim it?

>Pinkie Pie reacted to this explanation with horror.
Incredibly telly.

>with genuine concern
And again.

Em dash.

>her brow furrowed in deep thought
Here's a spot where you show and tell. The "in deep thought" is already suggested by the furrowed brow. You don't need it.

General issues.
-Talking heads. I've described what it is already. Look back through and see how many places you have that it's completely unclear what the conversants are doing while they talk.
-Show versus tell. I've also explained this already.
-Saidisms. You have 157 quotes. You use "said" 23 times. It's a verb designed to blend in. Different amounts work for different people, but this is pretty extreme. I usually aim to use "said" about half the time. While other speaking verbs do lend some emotional and picturesque content at times, too many will begin to call attention to themselves rather than the speech they describe. And in your case, you don't even reuse many of them. I remember them from your story better than I remember the dialogue. That's not a good thing. Your quest for variety has also driven you to use some incorrectly or that are bad choices for speaking verbs.
-"For a brief moment, the world seemed to draw to a halt for Applebloom." Up until this point, the story seemed to be mildly in Apple Bloom's perspective. Now you're dipping into her head to the point of having a limited narrator (he's speaking for her). Now perspective changes are certainly allowed, but they must be handled carefully. You only have this limited feel for Apple Bloom for one paragraph, which is hardly worth the transition. I've also noted one instance where you were in Sweetie Belle's perspective for the grand total of one sentence. Don't jerk the perspective around. It's jarring to the reader. The other problem is your diction. There's a lot of fancy verbiage here, which makes it painfully obvious when you repeat words, which does happen. At least you toned it down for that brief foray into a limited narrator. After all, a narrator speaking with a character's voice shouldn't be using language that character wouldn't know. But there's something to be said about keeping that consistency with the focus character even when using an omniscient narrator. Now, I can see the absurdity you create by having such a perspicacious narrator in this childish scenario, and it works, but you'd probably do best to keep the narration as a dispassionate omniscient one, or you create a serious disconnect between your story and your character.
-I only caught you using one commonly overused word:
was: 25. Fairly high, as these verbs in narration tend to be telly and boring. Focus on action.

I normally break out style, character, and plot sections in a review, but I've already covered the style issues (mainly talking heads, show versus tell, and narrative perspective), the characters felt nicely authentic, and the plot was straightforward enough that to mess it up, you'd have to have done it deliberately.

It's definitely a fun and cute story. How much of this advice you take is up to you. It sounds like the samurai might be happy with just cleaning up the mechanical elements. But it's up to you to decide when good enough is good enough. It's a solid piece of writing, but I think you could take it up a notch in quality. I enjoyed reading it, and I'd like to see it up on Equestria Daily. Keep writing and have fun with it.

Last edited at Thu, Jan 10th, 2013 10:02

>> No. 126002
Title: Accidental Harmony
Name: Errant
Email: [email protected]
Tags: [Shipping]
Synopsis: Octavia Philharmonica is a desperate mare. Her involvement in the ill-fated "pony pokey" at the prestigious Grand Galloping Gala has left her blacklisted among the elite of Canterlot who form her clientele. Faced with the possibility of being evicted from her apartment for inability to pay rent she decides to take a temporary job at a local nightclub. Of course, she's never set hoof in a club before and has no idea what she's getting involved in . . .

Link: http://www.fimfiction.net/story/31474/accidental-harmony

Comments/requests: I want to prepare this story for submission to EqD. I think that I've found or had most spelling and grammar errors pointed out to me, but one never does know. My major concern lies with pacing, Lavender Unicorn Syndrome, and weak characterization.
>> No. 126009
File 135781172070.jpg - (213.93KB , 1280x868 , Octavia_Vinyl162383__UNOPT__safe_lesbian_blushing_vinyl-scratch_octavia_scratchtavia_artist-koht.jpg )
I'm kinda torn about this. A part of me kinda wants you to leave it alone, since it's already completed and got a decent number of views. I strongly suggest that you seek editorial advice before publishing a story anywhere public.

That said, if it's just polish that it needs then I guess I could help. Though I would prefer to review your story on Google documents, ideally with each chapter separate; all of it collected in one folder.

I know I said that I wasn't going to claim again, that I was just going to review without claiming. But this is 40k words, so I don't have a choice. And if I feel that this doesn't have the potential to get onto EqD, then I can always stop after the second chapter.
>> No. 126023
File 135784703354.png - (271.57KB , 960x1046 , Ghostwriter.png )
Tag: Adventure

Word count: 3089

Synopsis: The Rune Guide, a book containing great power to those who can utilize it. It is both Ghostwriter's greatest discovery and biggest responsibility. But now it is in the wrong hooves. While Ghostwriter is working on retrieving it, Celestia sends him to Ponyville and by pure luck, he has a chance to get it back. Now he must get the Rune Guide back and also deal with Ponyville antics.

Chapter 1: The Ghost of Canterlot

So yeah, one more go at this.
>> No. 126042
> our original post.
best toast
>> No. 126049

I've picked up your story. If I can, I'll have something for you tonight. If not, then monday at the latest.

Look for it on the MLPchan version of this thread.
>> No. 126076
File 135805305979.png - (296.57KB , 900x900 , Octavia87986 - artist john_joseco Octavia wet wet_hair wet_mane.png )
I would like to start by saying that I dislike having a bunch of short chapters when reading a story. Though I suppose it’s a little too late to change this now. Just keep it in mind for your next story. Maybe have each chapter be 2k words as per EqD’s requirements for a story update post.

>demanded the light gray mare,
You’ve told us that she is demanding, but it’s better if you Show it. Try having her slam a hoof on the desk or something.

>“There are always openings! I am -”
“There are always openings! I am—”

>“Octavia Philharmonica,” the beige stallion interrupted flatly,
Saying interrupted is redundant. Try “said”

>Octavia objected,
See point number one.

>He forestalled her interruption by continuing without pause.
It might be better if you had him hold up a hoof to silence he before she could speak.

>Some smaller commissions I could take on in the meantime?”
Cut “in the meantime”

>Octavia gently snorted, shaking her head in denial.
>in denial
Redundant Telling

>She chortled slightly at the ridiculous idea.
Consider cutting “ridiculous”

>Octavia lay on her couch,
Suddenly text wall! New idea; new paragraph.

>Her stomach rumbled loudly;
New paragraph.

>over the course of the last month.
What the... it’s suddenly a month later?

>That opening at the nightclub...
New paragraph.

>Sighing, she reached out for the phone;
New paragraph.

>Octavia stood uncertainly outside an unfamiliar building in an unfamiliar neighborhood.
Tell. Try to avoid using adverbs if you can. What is Octavia doing that Shows that she’s uncertain?

>She shied from hoof to hoof, trying to work up the courage to brave this alien environment in pursuit of the pony she was supposed to talk to about this job, one Vinyl Scratch.
The comma at the end should be a colon. Though I’d suggest not mentioning Vinyl’s name ‘til Octavia meets her.

>She swallowed...
New paragraph.

>, considerably relieved when it swung inward at her touch.
Tell. Try having her sigh.

>Immediately she was paralyzed,

>Slowly, though, her eyes began...
New paragraph.

>Octavia watched,
New paragraph.

>The DJ noticed her then;
Tell. The part after the semicolon makes it redundant.

>The other mare cocked her head to the side,

>She was obviously waiting for Octavia to say something.

>The unicorn's grin broke into a wide smile...
So nothing changed.

>...and she hopped easily down to land beside Octavia.
Cut “easily” it adds nothing

>She wasn't thrilled about being assigned a nickname by a pony she had just met, let alone one based on something as personal as her cutie mark.

>The white unicorn's eyebrows raised quizically.
LUS and Tell

>The charcoal-grey mare stared blankly.

>“What do you do that makes you want to come and work here?
No one talks like this.

>“Oh! Um, actually, I'm a . . . well, I'm a cellist.”
“Oh! Um, actually, I'm a…well, I'm a cellist.”

>“I don't -”
“I don't—”

>'I don't see how I should -”
“I don't see how I should—”

>“Oh yeah? Tell me this, Treble Clef; what's the difference between techno style music and house style music?”
“Oh yeah? Tell me this, Treble Clef: what's the difference between techno style music and house style music?”

>an exasperated Octavia exclaimed loudly.
>an exasperated...

>Why don't you just go find somewhere your talents will be better appreciated.”
No one talks like this.

>Octavia stood in stunned horror.

>She turned to go quickly,
New paragraph

>The unicorn watched...

>I don't even know this filly.
New paragraph

>One perfectly white hoof whipped up...
New paragraph

>...to lay across her face in frustration before as she...
>in frustration

>A clipped...
Cut this
>...was all the reply she got back.
and this.

>“I noticed the waterworks, so come back over here and tell me about it.”
This should be way more powerful. I know that you’re thinking “Oh, if Octavia starts crying then the reader won’t have to.” But here it’d be better if she just broke down crying in front of Vinyl Scratch. Then Vinyl would try to cheer her up and end up letting her have the job.

>...the obstinate mare retorted.
Tell and LUS

>Octavia couldn't help the small grin that imposed itself on her at this mare's carefree forthrightness.
No, she should still be crying a little.

>End of chapter one
Your characterization isn’t strong enough; Vinyl’s first appearance should be much louder.


I don’t believe in clichès. I was going to say that this story seems just like every other TaviScratch fic, but that isn’t really the problem. The real problem is in you execution.

I feel like this isn’t worth editing and that the two thousand or so people who like this already would probably not like the edits that you’d have to make to get this on EqD.

Here’s what I’d suggest. Go through the suggested reading that I’ve linked below and then start a new story. Maybe consider making an outline and showing it to an acquaintance or two. Then after you finish writing the first chapter (maybe the first two chapters) send it to me in a Google document and I’ll go through and add comments to it before the unwashed masses of FiMfic see it.

And, after you feel that the story is up to par with what they post today, then submit your story to EqD. Just copy it to FiMfic without publishing it to the site. Then if the PRs don’t think that it’s ready then you still have a chance to edit it. And you can publish it to FiMfic after it hits EqD.

That’s just my advice. Feel free to take it or leave it.

Suggested reading:
http://www.youtube.com/user/writeaboutdragons (Yeah it’s a video series. No, I don’t care.)

If you wish to contact me, I can often be found in the #fic IRC channel, here: http://derpy.me/fFilk
>> No. 126083
Title: Jericho

Author: Crushric

Email: [email protected]

Tags: [Dark] [Adventure] [Comedy]
Synopsis: I come from a land far to the east, a place called Preußen, a nation of proud stallions. Who I am doesn’t matter. What does matter, however, is the cultural dissonance between our two peoples, those of Equestria and those of my homeland. What matters more is how I, by virtue of being at the wrong place at the right time, am now entirely at the mercy of these naked Equestrian savages. I am by no means the hero of this tale, and this is hardly even my story. I’m just a nopony thrust into the Equestrian world, with their strange customs and way of thinking. To them, I guess, I’m just as alien, with my so-called guttural language, strange God, and outfit. Oh, and let’s not forget how the Prince of Darkness and the Biblical Kane are waging a war for the fate of the whole universe, and how I get forced along by sheer virtue of me being able to translate from my language into Equestrian. This is the story of culture, language, and six annoying yet special girls with their lunatic princess saving the world. Oh, and I guess I’m along for the ride, too, since I’m the narrator.

Zelda: https://drive.google.com/?tab=To&authuser=0#folders/0B8eyiSuHI397WXVmX3NNdkkxemc
Or, if you prefer, http://www.fimfiction.net/story/5841/Jericho

In total, there are some 35,944 words in all, spread over six chapters. I suppose this is more than too much, but I am throwing them out there.

Other: Because of what I am asking for, I see it as only fair that I, in kind, try to return the favor. In the Official Submission Form, I will (or already have) note the link to a little story in this thread that looked of interest to me. However, since I am so new to this process, once I, as an unaffiliated reviewer, make note of wanting to review someone else's story, how do I know that I have been greenlighed by you guys, so to speak, to review said story? Or do I just do it? And how would I go about making my text that light blue hue you all use? Apologies for asking so much, but I do want to help you folks out.
>> No. 126084
File 135808275834.png - (73.20KB , 125x125 , 132631965934.png )
You just make the claim post, dear. You're not on the black list, so as long as we know what story it is you want to review, we'll put it in the sheet. The syntax usually goes: Claiming [story title here]. Some ponies don't even claim a story, they just post the review.

The greentext is easy to do, just place a > at the beginning of a new line of text.
>like so.

Last edited at Sun, Jan 13th, 2013 06:16

>> No. 126085
Thanks. Oh, and hello again. I guess my needlessly dramatic farewell to you has undone itself. Oh well, all's well that ends as such.

In this case, I, Crushric, claim the story "Magic Books, Runes, and a Little Hope," posted on 1/10/13 (US Calender)

Chapter 1: The Ghost of Canterlot

(Oh, and because of my unfamiliarity with things, it appears as though my request in the "List of unclaimed requests" has a faulty post number ID. Can anyone please assist me with this matter?)
>> No. 126086
File 135809250009.png - (74.94KB , 649x732 , Trixie_notamused.png )
Well. I'm late as usual. Accept my sincere apologies. Note that grammar and mechanics isn't my strong suit, and everything written here is my opinions only. Take any suggestions I make with a huge helping of salt and cider.

Since you did not submit in the form of GDocs, I took the liberty of transcribing your first chapter to GDoc. Here you'll find random comments I made during my read-through.

In this post, I'll cover overall story, character and other stuff I think is important. But as general tl;dr, I feel your mechanics are decent for most part. Your style is easy and readable. You would need to check on a grammar nazi to be sure.

However, your story falls quite short of my expectations.
First off: your journal entries? Probably one of the worse way you could have started your fic. Why?
One: I do not care for the writer of the journal.
Two: It doesn't read like a journal. Telling too much for no reason other than to serve as the vehicle for your exposition.
Three: Why the hay is he even writing a journal? He has more important things to attend to. How the hell is he writing this anyway?

It feels like it is written specifically to tell the universe you have created, instead of telling us a compelling story about a stowaway. Moreover, it feels tacked on and honestly, the entire journal entry is rendered redundant by chapter three. You could shifted his backstory there and it would have been less jarring. I can tell you already have the world-building and setting all worked out. You just need to present it to us in a less clumsy fashion.

Moreover, I find your treatment of the initial contact between humans and ponies to be appalling. Is there no shred of professionalism amongst the supposed "science" team that was sent to investigate the planet? "Hugging" the fucking wildlife who turns out to be intelligent strikes me as the stupidest thing a supposed professor could do. For all we know, that harmless pastel coloured unicorn is actually a carnivore and ripped her head off. Plus, exposing yourself to the atmosphere without running a thousand of tests beforehand? I rest my case for idiocy.

Please. If you want to make the first contact to be at least believable, at least portray these guys to have some shred of caution, professionalism and scientific conduct. It pains me to read about such reckless behaviour when nothing in the story calls for it. No, first contact fever is not an excuse. These people are professionals and should act as such unless circumstances dictates otherwise.

On to characters:
Surprisingly enough, your OC humans are quite well developed and I can tell you put a lot of thought to them. Heinlein, Andrei, Naoko (when she's not being professor idiot) strikes me as believable and well-developed.

There is really far too much crying to my taste though. Is crying literally their answer to every sort of impulse? Tone this down please.

Captain Asimov is also acting too much like a villain sue for my taste. And I am surprised the good professor didn't know of his new behaviour. You have some explaining to do there.

Sad to say however, your ponies are another story altogether. The mane six are caricatures of themselves, and woefully undeveloped. With the sole exception of Twilight, it seems they are there to just admire at the humans and to act as cameos. Sorry, but you want to include the mane six, then please have them do something other than... that. Special mention to Pinkie for being extra annoying for no reason. Shouting Aliens!!! all over town is contrived as hell and fucking stupid to read about. Consider axing the scene entirely and find some other way for the mane six to hear about the news.

Luna and Celestia are slightly better developed, but fall into cliche trope of holding giant idiot balls when humans come a'knocking. The fact that they already are aware of humans landing in the first chapter means that there is no excuse for their relative inaction. Seriously, why the hell are they letting humans land in Equestria without having a say first? You'd think they'll be concerned about another Discord. (it's even mentioned in your bloody fic.) Chapter three did not address the fact that they should have dealt with the problem THEN, not LATER.

Oh, and Time Turner aka Dr Whooves? I'm sorry to say, but his very inclusion made me roll my eyes and gave me the urge to murder little kittens. I have no idea why he is here, nor do I care, but he serves no purpose in the story, except to allow you to claim that you have a Who crossover.

I should also mention that the little scene of the good Captain threatening Celestia sent me into fits of giggles. And not good giggles either. I wish I had his balls to threaten the leader of an alien civilization without even attempting diplomacy first. Or you know, at least try to size up his opposition before throwing his weight around. Seriously. Giant idiot balls strikes again.

Still here? Good.
That is not to say I dislike your premise. Far from it. I'm a big fan of sci-fi and this is probably one of the better written space!humans meeting ponies on Equestria. Sadly, a number of questionable decisions on your part pretty much weighs this fic down to merely run-of-the-mill HiE fic.

Misc notes:
I noticed you handwaved away the language barrier like so many other HiE fics. (Universal translators. For fuck sake.) Please don't. The language barrier is an interesting plot device and it's a shame not many stories choose to use it.

Also, the tech level of the humans in your fic seems to be a little too advanced for a culture that has only supposed only started to reach for other stars.

tl;dr Decent HiE fic. Sadly dragged down by questionable decisions on part of author. Not much mechanical errors to speak of.
>> No. 126087
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>Request has faulty post number.
>> No. 126088
Thanks, Rain. Now, I hate to be a problem, but I've two more things. My review request now no longer states that I'm contributing back to the thread... and what do I do if my review for my story is already longer than the fic itself? Just post it in the thread as-is?
>> No. 126089
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Done that fast, eh? Nice. I'll update the sheet for your claim post, if you'd like. It's no problem, don't worry.

Usually, yeah, you just post the review. But I recommend putting it through a text editor first (I use MS word). Posts are editable here, but it's easier if the mistakes are mostly out of the way the first time. If you find your review to be incredibly long, however, you can use the following tags [ hide ][ /hide ] to surround your text with. (without the spaces of course)
The resulting text, no matter how long it is, will be collapsed and hidden in this collapsible spoiler. Neato, huh?

Last edited at Sun, Jan 13th, 2013 09:37

>> No. 126090
No, no, no. You don't understand; I'm just a little past the halfway mark, and my review is already nearly 600 words longer than the actual story itself. And I'm writing it in Open Office, so I've that covered. Though that's after I count my Spoony-esque stream-of-consciousness rants about a few horrific implications I've noticed.

Anyways, thank you. This review might be up by today. So there's some news.
>> No. 126092
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Hello, Ghostwriter the Scribe. I am called Crushric, and I shall be reviewing your story today! If I at all seem at all bitter, then I apologize in advance; I seem to write in that sort of tone whenever I review something. If I'm not bitter, than I tend to go on stream-of-consciousness Spoony-esque rants. Try to take it all as “good humor”, not “pointless defamation for your character for my own sick amusement”, please. This is presented as my thoughts as I read through it – to give the impression a reader would have – and my corrections and advice.

Oh, and my review is over 2,500 words longer than your story, so there's that.

> ‘Artist Recognition Party’ It said in large gold letters.
Right off the bat, I see a problem. The word “it” oughtn't be capitalized, since “it” is not the banner's name, nor is it the start of a proper sentence. Further on that point, while the lack of a comma after party is acceptable because it's not actually speaking, you might, however, wish to change “said” to “read”, since banners can't speak. This also points out that the character, and not the reader, is reading it. As a last note, I recommend using standard quotation marks for this, not the ‘’ that you're using, but more on that later.

> This was not a party for normal ponies, ponies of the lower or middle class. This was a party for the high-class ponies of Canterlot, an event of sophistication, of class.
Due to how related those are, perhaps a semicolon after “class” would help you along.

> He sat at an isolated table in the corner of the room.
A bit, I think, of a “show, don't tell” thing going on here. Why is it isolated? I might ask, since in the next paragraph, you say that ponies at tables were not very far from him. Unless the narrator has bad depth perception, your words strike up a conflict. Furthermore, the rest of this fifth paragraph goes on in this manner, too; it reads almost like a list, rather than a description. If I may be so bold, perhaps I could suggest a word choice that, as J.D. Salinger used in “The Catcher in the Rye”, alter the mood to express apathy from the POV of the who I so-far assume is he who bears your name. Perhaps have his eyes lazily wander around the room, giving purposefully bland descriptions of things. That could work.

> Of snobs who feel they’re better than anyone else, the pony thought with a snort.
While due to lack of any officials rules, an author is free to indicate a thought however s/he wishes, a few lines down and you have another thought – ‘They even consider themselves above those considered their equals.’ – which is clearly using single quotes. To boot, with your use of single quote above for the banner, it grammatically implies that, somehow, the banner's word ought be classified with the thoughts.

> “Act like I’m blind,” he growled.
In and off its context, this is a good line. And so it the paragraph afterwords, showing us a good deal to his general disregards for other ponies. However, here and when the guy first mentions his name to himself – a trope that I see often but like enough that I'll never bother somebody over using it – the word “he” is used eight times, and it's in a span hardly more than a mid-sized paragraph. While it's a fair argument to say that it's the only word you can use here, I've seen Hemingway figure out ways around it. Namely, things like “Then, in a low and nasally voice:” with said semicolon used to modify how the dialogue is said, yet avoiding pronouns. You might want to use it a few times to drop out the repetition of “he”, so long as you don't overdo it.

> “Evening Ghostwriter.”
“Negative, Ghostrider”, as my father would say (to the day, I don't know what that means). Point is, since Ghostwriter is being addresses here, you require a coma before his name, so it ought be “Evening, Ghostwrtier”.

> The voice belonged to a yellow stallion. He wore a grey dress shirt and his brown mane was slicked back.
You could remove the period and say, “who wore a...” Actually, looking at it, you could make this more showy, so to speak. Say how Ghostwriter came face to face with the yellow stallion, not just “[it] belonged to”.

> ‘And then fate decides to bury my hope in the deepest darkest hole it can find,’ he thought bitterly.
Das Schicksal war klar. You need not the word “bitterly”, since the word choice would imply that already, no?

> ‘Uh, yeah,” Ghost said
Problem Eins: You used a single quote for the start of the dialogue.
Problem Zwo: While normally the “said bookism” is a crux many have, you use said a bit here, particularly when another word would be better suited. See below.

> “Last time I saw you, you were telling my compatriots and I, a rather tall tale,” the stallion said with a chuckle.
Said with a chuckle? This would be better as “the stallion chuckled”. Further, the comma after “and I” is unnecessary. When you later say ‘“Kelpie,” Ghost said.’, I can't but thing that a word like “offered” would have more of a meaning. I'm not saying you should never use the word “said”, far from it, but that you should change to a different word if it's honest-to-Celestia more fitting.

> The stallion put a hoof to his chin as he raised an eyebrow. “It was about a creature in the north. What was it called again? Kerpie? Koopie?
Something about this sentence feels off. Not exactly awkward, but not exactly how I think somepony like him would speak. Way I see it, replace “about a” with “about some”, and “in the north” with “from the north”. Otherwise, it just feels somehow off.

“Thats it,” the stallion said stamping his hoof. “How exactly did it go again?”
Ought be an apostrophe ’ between the T and S of “thats”. And there ought be a comma after “said” because of the tense shift.

> Ghost’s eyebrow rose. ‘Does he really want to hear it’ he thought. ‘Or does he just want something to laugh about.’
Frankly, interrupting the thought with “he thought”, despite the grammatical errors in that area, is unneeded. Instead, cut that part out and replace it with a comma after “it”, make the O in “Or” lowercase, and put a question mark after “about”.

> A confident smile and half lidded eyes were he could see
“Were he could see”. Add an “all” after “Were”? Furthermore, “half lidded eyes”? What's with that? Is there a duststorm going on outside? Why are his eyes partially closed? Or are you saying that half of each eyelid was missing? Why are they missing? Did he lose them in the war? What war? Is it a birth defect? What genetic disease causes one to be born with only have half an eyelid over each eye? Why is the smile confident? Shouldn't it be friendly since, you know, he's outwardly trying to act as such– stream of consciousness shut off.
But, in all seriousness, that's a rather vague word choice. I suggest wording it in a way that it insults the yellow guy, as in, “the kind of wide grin that every idiot glued to their face each morning” type of wording.

> ‘Then again,’ he thought. “I never was good at sensing ones intentions.”
Unless the word/number “one” gained a genitive case while I was away, the word “ones” ought be “one's”, since it indicates possession.

> “The Kelpie is a creature of legend,” Ghost began. “It comes from a large island far to the north west. The legend states that on some nights traveling pony’s would meet with a strange pony pulling a large attractive carriage. This pony is said to have an all black coat and mane. The pony will offer rides to the travelers. If the travelers sit in the carriage, it becomes adhesive. The dark pony suddenly morphs, growing to monsterious size and gaining large sharp teeth. It then charges off dragging the carriage into the nearest lake, where it then eats the pony, leaving nothing but the liver.”
Northwest is one word, not “north” and “west”. “Pony's” implies possession, which makes no sense here; it ought be “ponies”, indicating plural. There should be a comma after “large”. Four of these eight sentences begins with the same word, “the”, and that becomes repetitious. I recommend changing the words a bit to avoid that. After “charges off”, you need a comma because of the tense shift. Lastly, “mosterious” is not a word; if anything, it's the daemonic spawn of “monstrous” and “mysterious”. Does mysterious implies that its size be unknown? Why's that? It's a lame legend if it don't specify that. But kudos for using Celtic lore; don't see that too often, do we?

> The stallion was quiet before beginning to snort. He put a hoof mouth, before he busted out laughing.
This is just awkward. Would be better as “For a moment the stallions was quite, only for that silence to be broken by a snort”. As for the second sentence, since “before” is being used as a conjunction, I don't think it calls for that comma.

> “Oh come now Ghostwriter.
Commas. How do they work? Well, herein they're come after “Oh” and before “Ghostwriter”; the former for being a introduction-y noise thingy, the later for being an address.

> “Never underestimate a legend,” Ghost said with a glare. “You never know what parts of a legend could be true.”
Instead of “with a glare”, why say say “Ghost said in an icy tone”? The second sentence, also, feels something clumsy. Perhaps something like this: “You never know what’s true till it gets you”, since he's trying to, as I understand it, sound vaguely threatening as a defense mechanism.

> “They are just myths, stories told to foals to get them to behave.”
As awkward as Princess Luna at a frat party. Better as: “Those're just myths; stories told to get foals to behave.” As a rule, unless someone is emphasis something for a point, English speaks will almost contract the verb “to be”, otherwise they sound stilted. I mean, were I to say “It is time to kick ass and hew bubble gum. And I am all out of bubblegum”, that's be so stilled it'd be stupid. Don't be that circus dude wearing those slits that still haunt my nightmares – be a proper dialogue writer!

> “Nightmare Moon was just a myth, the elements of Harmony were just a myth,” he said pointing.
Pointing at what? Also, ye need a comma after “said”, again, because of the tense shift. But, no, seriously – what's he pointing at? I wish to know.

> The stallion just snorted. “Really, Ghostwriter you simply must get your head out the clouds.”
Remove the word “just” from the first sentence. Add a comma after “ghostwriter”, since that's marking the end of an address. And you'd do well to add an “of” after “out”.

> Ghost snorted as the stallion walked away.
In the sentence above this once, the stallion snorts. Try not to have tow characters perform the exact same action as the beginning to two different paragraphs.

> “I mean pegusi do it all the time.” He chuckled before pausing. “Yeah, not my best joke
A comma after “mean”, and the word you want it “pegasi”. Chuckled before pausing? I'd say you want it to be “He utter a short chuckle” or something to that effect; nicer flow and all, you know. You also need a period after “joke”, and a “ ” ” after said period.

> “Awkward phrasing,” he mumbled as the floating quill wrote on the scroll. “Need to work on that.” He continued to work as the party ‘raged’ on around him.
“Awkward phrasing”? Has this fic become self-aware? Of course not. That'd be silly, you big silly. But that latter part of this sentence is rather awkward. Just have it be “he mumbled”, since the rest is awkward. Furthermore, when you used scare quotes are “raged”, that just got annoying. It's one thing for a character or a first-person narrator to use scare quotes; it's annoying when a third-person narrator does it, since it raises a number of questions about said narrator. Replace that whole thing with: “He set his quill to the scroll and began to write, ignoring the charade of the party around him”. Note, however, that the use of “charade” there was British-esque slang.

This is the point in my review where I stopped and looked at your page count, then compared it to mine, as I am writing these in OpenOffice. Funny thing is, I'm on the 3rd page of your story, then my review is nearly five pages. This is also the point where I grabbed me a bottle of vodka and decided to tank onwards! Hi-yo!

> Ghost looked to his right with a small surprised jump before his eyes widened slightly and a nervous smile spread to his lips.
Uh, no. First of all, the “with a small surprised jump” is both grammatically incorrect (needs a comma after “small”) and is in the wrong position in the sentence; all thanks to your use of a dangling modifier, I'm afraid. A “dangling modifier” is where a writer, for example, say “with XYZ” in such a position where it could be misread to modify another thing. In this case, it could imply that the jump was an object that was standing before him, or even that the jump was a person who mimed his action. This whole sentence is also just odd. It's function better as: “With a startled jump in his seat, Ghost jerked his head to his right. When he saw the speaker, his eyes widened as a nervous smile forced its way onto his face”. Note how the whole phrase was split into two sentences, and that the “with” modifying was the entrance clause, not haphazardly thrown in the middle of that mess.

> “Evening, Princess Celestia,” he said while removing his hood. “How are you?”
Remove the “while” and replace it with a “comma”; makes everything shorter and sweeter.

> “We declare this painting a masterpiece!” Princess Luna yelled in her ‘Royal Canterlot Voice’.
Few things here: You up and say who is speaking, even thought the reader, in theory, should have no idea who this entity is. Yes, we all know who she is from the show, but you're job is to never assume and write from the character's POV. You went to to say “Royal Canterlot Voice”, again, without explain what that is; maybe I, a hapless reader, assume that the “RCV” is, I don't know, some kind of phone. In such a case, why the hay is this random female yelling into her phone? Wenches be crazy this time of year, I guess.
Also, her voice is often marked by bold, that it may hammer in its loudness. And didn't Luna knock with habit by at least the end of Season 2? She sure as hay didn't use it then, nor the Royal We, and nor did she use it during the intro to Season 3. And even though you tired to “show” how loud it was, the way that ending part of this paragraph ended was.... lackluster. Describe the mysterious feminine voice's effect on shaking the chandelier, causing dust particles to rain from the ceiling as it jostles, et cetera.

> Ghost looked over to the painting in question. It was a painted picture of...
The other comments was right on the dosh when he said this. My advice? Don't describe the painting at all. Just have Ghostwriter casually glance over it, then give a casual answer, showing that he really doesn't care for art/that he already had a biased opinion.

Continues in Part 2 of Review

Last edited at Sun, Jan 13th, 2013 11:51

>> No. 126093
File 135810083784.gif - (1.88MB , 280x210 , 1356248223920.gif )
In order that you don't feel bothered by anything I say, please enjoy this kitty.

Part Two to follow

> “It’s Paint’s work,” he said with a shrug. “Anything I think is biased.” His smile slowly faded as his eyes went downcast.
You might want to put a “but” before anything, since it makes the sentence more organic, as he's trying to negate his own opinion.

> Celestia put a hoof on his shoulder. “Paintswirl will return someday, Ghostwriter,” she said with soft eyes.
> Ghost sighed. “And she’ll probably still hate me.” He shook his head fiercely. “Anyway, it’s great that she got her work into the museum’s art wing. She definitely deserves it.”
Oh, boo-hoo, Ghostwriter. We all got problems. I mean, look at Celestia; her eyes are so soft that they're turning into mashed potatoes!
It's times like this when people ask me how I can constantly stand the bombardment of reviewing things. Well, my answer? I owe it all thanks to help of Bobo the invisible monkey. Say hi the kids, Bobo!

Bobo says hello

> His face twisted into a glare while he turned towards the party. “All I am is entertainment to them. They fake any interest in the things I say. I’m just an oddity they can laugh at,” he grumbled. “Why do they keep inviting me to these things?”
If he declares that nopony understands him, I'm gonna celebrate. Also, his face twisted into a glare? Since a glare is a eyeball thing, does that mean that his face contorted into eyeballs of pure hatred? Wow. Dude's more flexible than John Carpenter's Thing.

> “It is your sister’s painting they are celebrating,” she said with a slight frown.
Contract they and are into one word. Also, before this line, the angst that Ghost was putting out suggested that he was complaining about a lost love. It left me momentary confused when first I read it.

> “Complaining about my job isn’t exactly respectful.”
You got lucky this time, author. This saving throw got a high enough dice roll on the D-20 to earn Ghost a change to redeem himself in my eyes. (In other words, effective lampshading of his angsting.)

> Ghost looked at the floor again. “I was also the only applicant. It’s been so romanticized.” He turned to the princess again. “Don’t get me wrong, I love my job. But to me, it’s just a job that needed to be done so I stepped up.”
You ended two narrative sentence with “again”; do this not. And ye need a comma after “done”.

> Celestia nodded. “I will pick it up later,” she said. “But tonight is not about work. Enjoy yourself, you haven’t even touched your cupcake.”
The “she said” part is entirely extraneous, since we already know who's speaking from the “Celestia nodded”. And since “she said” doesn't actually serve a purpose, just shaft it out. Furthermore, contract “I will” into “I'll”, and make “is not” “isn't”. Also, take out a period after “work”, make it a comma, and out a “so” after that. Then make the comma after “yourself” a period”, making that last clause it's own sentence; otherwise, you've got a broken sentence

It is this point that I realize that my review is long than the actual fic I'm reviewing. Frauen und Herren, fasten your seatbelts.

> The cupcake suddenly started to move, hopping forward onto Ghost’s book. “Why did you tell her, Ghost?” whined the cupcake. “I could have pranked a princess. Kitsunes dream of that.”
Jesus Christ! Oh God, the horror! Kill it! Kill it fire! Nuke it from orbit! It's the only way to be sure! Also, was the “kitsune” hoping to be bitten; would it have died a good died if it had its brain sounded in have by Celestia's chompers? Oh God, the horrific implications of that.

> Flare hopped around to face her. “Hi, Princess!”
I know this is just nitpicking, but where the hay would a cupcake's face be?

> “Your powers never cease to amaze me,” she said.
What powers? The ability to stand still and attempt to get eaten by Celestia? I mean, if Ghost's comment was accurate, then eating Flare would set you afire. The more I think about this, the more I’m convinced that Flare is a crazed cupcake of a Jihad against Celestia, using his charms and wit to get her to trust him, where upon he can trick her into eating hi, thus completing his Jihad and earning him seventy-two cupcake virgins in Cupcake Heaven. You, good sir, have opened up a nightmarish can of worms and there be no end in sight. Kudos.

> Flare let out a chuckle as his form became hazy and began to waver and reshape itself. Soon, the cupcake transformed into a small crimson fox wearing a blue scarf with two tails that alternately waved up and down.
Oh, there we go. This still doesn't help with the issues that it seems as though we wants to kill Celestia, what with Ghost's side comment and his desire to trick Celestia into eating him. But at least now Celestia remarking on his transformation makes sense.

> Ghost rolled his eyes. “And on that day, I’ll have a fox fur scarf as a companion.”
This would be like saying, “One day, dear human female friend, I hope to murder you, tear your skin off, and wear you as a dapper hat. Oh, and use your ovaries for floss,” In-universe, this couldn't be interpreted as anything but horrific, could it? Out of universe, yes; in it, he's be label a serial killer, don't you thing?

> “Try and have fun, Ghostwriter,” Celestia said while she walked away.
There's no need to say “while”. Shorten it to “Celestia said, walking away”, since that flows better.

> “I’ll try, but it’s unlikely,” he said, mumbling.
Make this “he mumbled”, not what it is currently. As is, it implies that he was speaking whilst mumbling, which... also raises several horrific implications. Does he have two mouths? Where are they? Is it a mouth on his stomach, like the headcrab zombies from Half Life?

> He groaned. He hated when ponies stared at him. Quickly flipping his hood up, he tried to return to his reading, but could sense the persistent stares. He growled slightly before slamming the book shut.
Three out of these four sentences beginning with the word “he”. And sentence number two is an example of telling; remove it, since the hatred is implied, is shown, by his reaction to the stares.

> “We’re taking a walk, Flare,” he said softly while packing the book and scroll in his saddle bag.
Replace “while” with a comma. And “saddlebag” is one word.

> “Where are we going, Ghost?” Flare let out a yawn from his position on Ghost’s back.
Change it to “...Ghost?” Flare yawned.

> Ghost lifted his head and looked around...
This whole paragraph. Yes. Very well done; you show very well here. Why don't you hold this up for the rest of the story? You don't describe things, you have him looking at things, interacting with them, or just describing them – the essence of showing.

> The ‘Old World Culture’ exhibit was not as...
These little quotes around the exhibit’s name aren’t needed anymore; as they are, it implies that you don't really mean what you're saying. And contract your “was” and “Was not”.

> His frown then formed a small smirk,
Better as “His frown twisted into a small smirk”. Makes the voice more active, and sounds neater.

> Taking the book in his own hooves, Ghost’s eyes became foggy.
Great. Now his eyes have become Stephen Kings “Mist”. Instead of “eyes” getting foggy, you want to say... no, not even that. You want to describe how his vision went hazy. Better yet, describe what about his vision made it blurry – did the shapes distort, colors blur, did hard lines smooth over into gray blobs, did it darken? What happened? Show me.

> Ghost glared into the darkness ahead. “What is it, Flare?” he said with a frown.
The tag of “he said with a frown” is needed not. Wipe it away, please.

> Ghost and Flare tried to jump back as the case exploded, knocking them back. Flare flipped in mid air, landing on his feet low to the ground, teeth bared. Ghost clutched the book to his chest as he hit the ground and slid across the tile floor, coming to a stop with a grunt. Groaning as he hurried to his feet, he slipped the Rune Guide into his bag.
Lots of telling here. “Mid” “air” is one word, midair, not two. While I will understand that Flare, despite being a fox, an animal known for having paws, I'll accept him landing on his feet. After all, “foot” is a another way of saying “paw”, to an extent. Heck ,the word “pussyfoot” comes from a similar comparing one's movements to the “feet” of a cat. What I will not tolerate, however, is Ghost landing on his feet; he is a pony; ponies have hooves. He had to have landed on his hooves, else he's some kind of equid abominations that, like the eponymous Thing of the same-named John Carpenter film, needs to be killed with fire.

> As it began to emerge, it grinned maliciously.
First of all, since it's rapidly established that this dude has a gender, just say “he” instead of “it”, please. Also, “grinned maliciously”? You've told me something, but I don't believe you. Maybe I think he's just happy to see me. Maybe you're the bad guy here! Look at that lovable smile! And what have you? A Jihandist fox and a misanthropic pony? This guy could be the hero for all I know, and all because you used a verdammt adverb and told me what you want me to think. SHOW me why the smile was malicious?]Was it a http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/SlasherSmile ?
Or an http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheUnsmile ?
Perchance be it the http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/CheshireCatGrin?
Or the one that my characters always give, the http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/PsychoticSmirk ?

> The newcomer, a dark brown coated unicorn with a mane styled in a mohawk, chuckled.
Aaaand just like that, you've told me what this random jerks looks like. You were doing so well earlier.

> His grey eyes stared at Ghostwriter with dark mirth.
What does... huh? Dark Mirth, get out of here; stop staring at Ghostie.(Another use of a dangling modifier. And “dark mirth” is a really silly thing to say.

> The unicorn chuckled. “Pray tell, who am I?”
“Conceited, aren't we?” Ghost said. “Very well. You’re Phantom the Spell Thief, born Spell Cutter, a formal royal guard who was dishonorably discharged and–
Stop, stop, stop, stop. This is just silly. This is a rather poor way to introduce someone. So far, I'm lead to believe that the two have some sort of history. While this is probably wrong, the little anecdote Ghost gave earlier suggests it so. Perhaps you should list this “accomplishments” like Gandalf did; namely, name then right before he kicks some serious ass.

> Though Ghost knew more than that. As per his job, he was the one who had written the initial draft for Phantom’s wanted notice. This, coupled with some of his own personal research, gave him knowledge of Phantom’s crimes, leading to an intense hatred for the thief.
“I see,” said the blind man, as be picked up his hammer and saw. Oh, do you know what no reader is demanding of you? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zUxsVVU2PyA Tell me! Yet you insist on telling me. My response to your response can be be summed up from 1:12, and exactly why you shouldn't ever do this unless you really have a good reason.

> He chuckled darkly. “You never forget your first time.”
With this line said, you've proved to me that your intro of him was just lazy writing. Also, “chuckled darkly”. What, did his chuckles make the night come early? Stop telling me! I know you know how to show; you've done as much before. You just need to keep this mindset throughout the story, comrade!

> Ghost stood defiantly.
Know what? No. I don't believe you. You have given me no evidence to back up your black that his stance was in any way, shape, or form “defiant”.

> Flare, run and get the Princess, Ghost thought, his eyes focused on Phantom.
Why aren't these thoughts in single quotes? Also, the “his eyes...” part is its own sentence. Here's an idea: have it read “Ghost thought, his eyes focusing on Phantom”.

> What? echoed Flare’s voice in his head. Ghost, I can’t just leave you here. This guy reeks of blood.
Okay? Yeah; fine; sure. Just give your character superpower and Never Explain Them. And from hereon in, none of these thoughts are in quotes; you just leave them there, like unloved orphans on a London street.

> Ghost jumped in the way with a glowing sheet of paper held in front of him. The bolt slammed into the gray bubble that formed around him, before scattering across it.
Ghost! Apparently, he's a superhero, despite you never explaining why he was these powers. Not even a cheap “it comes with the job” suggestion.

> Little of both, I guess, Ghost thought with a gulp. As he readied himself, a single thought ran through his mind: this was going to be anything but easy.

[center]Das Ende![/center]

Gee, what is there to say? Is this story good? Is it bad? What?

You, sir, clearly have a grasp on what showing it, yet you squander all of that by what I can only call laziness. This shorty's pacing is good, yet it still feels rushed. It was like you didn't want to write it while doing do, so resorted to telling the reader things, even though I'm sure you're a more capable author. I'm no god of writing; heck, the first story I ever wrote (fanfic-wise, that is) was so horrific that I consider it a warcrime. I, like the man who was once a newt, got better. But ye? I think you're not a bad writing, just one who gets too lazy. Your grasp of grammar, whoever, seems almost schizophrenic at times; in one paragraph you've got a recurring issue, and the next one has no such issues. It baffles me.

Worst of all? I'm sorry to say that, thanks to your telling way and habit of repeating words, this story commits the cardinal sin of any work of fiction: it comes off as boring. The action in the end is rushed; I don't know the character very well nor have I known him very long, so I'm not invested in him in the slightest; in fact, the bad guy here, who has given absolutely no motivation other an “I'm evil!” comes across as a more lively guy than Ghostwriter. (I'm not counting revenge, since how he'd be put in a position to want revenge is also not explained.) In fact, because of Ghostwriter's nerdy, misanthropic nature (a cliché at this point), or how he threatened to butcher his best friend for simply existing, I struggle to actually like him, yet he was enough to stop me from disliking him. By comparison, I find myself almost rooting for the villain; aside from him clearly being a moron (a thought I got from him demanding to be named and explained by the hero), he's more likable. The mentioning of a background was so faint that I wasn't able to get invested, nor was it particularly unique enough to interest me, for it just felt generic. And this whole things is bogged down, and down, and down by telling.

At the end of the story, which is a cliffhanger, I didn't feel like a great battle was gonna happen. If anything, it just felt awkward. Honestly, from the bits of sparkling bits in here, it's clear that you can do better than this, but only if you try. So, my advice? Don't give up: you're not a bad writer per se, just wasting yourself with hackneyed methods.

[center]Credo quia absurdum est.
Cuiusvis hominis est errare, nullius nisi insipientis in errore perseverare.
Dictum factum. [/center]
This has been Crushric, telling you to never lose hope!

This has been my first proper review. Let me know how I did, and I honestly hope it hopes it helps you. (And is he automatically contacted, or what?)

Last edited at Sun, Jan 13th, 2013 11:44

>> No. 126095
How do you hide text, please? (What are the tags)

Also, what are the tags for text like the "UPDAT" in this message: http://www.ponychan.net/chan/fic/res/102154.html#i126072 please?
>> No. 126096
[hide ]
[ /hide]


Last edited at Sun, Jan 13th, 2013 13:36

>> No. 126097
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Well, the first can be answered by viewing >>126089 But one does not grant rights to use the royal ccanterlot voice lightly.
>> No. 126098
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Or you could just give it away and ruin all the fun. That works too.
>> No. 126099


Last edited at Sun, Jan 13th, 2013 14:06

>> No. 126100
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>7/10 queue items are labeled comedy.
Comedy seems to be in season. I'm claiming ( >>125752)
I have only seen the Christopher Eccleston (9th Doctor) episodes, and I have never played minecraft, so you will be additionally "graded" on how well you portray those elements.

Let's do this.
>> No. 126103
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That was the most painful thing I have ever read, and I cannot thank you enough.

Most of your points I wholeheartedly agree with. I screwed up with the ponies, which I'll be the first to admit, and I definitely need to rewrite the First Contact scene. (Side note: Naoko's actions were supposed to be wildly inappropriate. That said, everyone else should have been trying harder to keep her in line.)

As for the journal entries... ugh. The first was a relic of the original first person format of the story, and I just ran with it out of convenience. If I go back for rewrites (which I probably will) they're the first thing that's getting the axe.

And as for the Captain... I have excuses galore for his behavior, but, again in hindsight, not very good ones. He needs a makeover too.

Doctor Whooves may get thrown out of this thing too. He's been a thorn in my side ever since I wrote him in. And (worst part of this) he got in solely so that Pinkie could go on her little ALIENS! screed.

And just from your current criticisms, I can see about five huge problems just down the line. AKA five fewer problems that will be appearing in later chapters.

Again, I can't thank you enough for this. (Although it troubles me a little that it took almost a month to get through the queue.) I really like the people who've been editing my story, but it's hard to get honest criticism from friends and family, and they need to be catching more than grammatical errors.
>> No. 126104
>Although it troubles me a little that it took almost a month to get through the queue.
On behalf of the TG crew, I apologise for that. It seems we have a bit of hiccups going on with the MLPChan business. We'll keep that in mind.

Aside from that, I'm glad I could have helped. I can tell you mostly have a backstory filled out, and the only trouble you have is just to make sure your universe and MLP mesh smoothly. A couple more food for thought, if you don't mind:
- FTL seems to be non-existent in this universe. Something I found rather curious. Maybe you're taking the hard science route where FTL will never exist, but given the fact that you have various other tech such as nano-bots, cloning, psionics and even human-like AI, it seems a little incongruous.
- We're barely given a description of the Prometheus itself. You might want to rectify that.
- Given that Celestia and Luna control celestial bodies, you might want to note gravitational or planetary body rotation abnormalities. Honestly, it would be the first thing the ship would have noticed.

>it's hard to get honest criticism from friends and family
I know that feel. That's why /fic/ is an invaluable resource to me.
>> No. 126105

>On behalf of the TG crew, I apologise for that. It seems we have a bit of hiccups going on with the MLPChan business. We'll keep that in mind.

It's all good. I didn't even know this place existed until right before I posted, and it's already been a great help. I figured the delay was just because of holiday chaos, but if there's a technical issue I wish you the best of luck with it.

Now, I'm going to try making some justifications. If you have the time, any holes you can shoot through them would be appreciated.

> I can tell you mostly have a backstory filled out, and the only trouble you have is just to make sure your universe and MLP mesh smoothly.

Yep! The universe is loosely based off of an original story I started writing and never finished a long time ago. The planetary politics and psionic mechanics are largely the same, but otherwise I tried to reconfigure it to fit MLP... although not as much as I should have, in retrospect.

>FTL seems to be non-existent in this universe. Something I found rather curious. Maybe you're taking the hard science route where FTL will never exist, but given the fact that you have various other tech such as nano-bots, cloning, psionics and even human-like AI, it seems a little incongruous.

In-universe, FTL has been mankind's biggest technological hurdle. A lot of things got done in the mean time, but Prometheus (and her sister ships, which I also probably should have mentioned earlier) were launched before FTL drives were created. Human tech is very advanced, but FTL was just a little too far at the time. Food for thought though: magical teleportation.

Another issue is that Prometheus was launched with state-of-the-art tech on board, some of it (like the tranlsators) untested. Heinlein was practically unique (there might have been two or three 7th-gen AIs when Prometheus launched, I haven't decided and I'm not sure it's that important), and the nanotech on board is the best, and ludicrously expensive.

As for the translators... there's a two-part problem there. First, I needed some method of communication. I've actually figured out a way to fix this issue, but more on that in rewrites.

The second reason was that I was also trying to mesh the Whoniverse at the same time, and was going to hand-wave them as being similar to the translating capabilities of the TARDIS. This was stupid. Unbelievably stupid. I almost made it even worse, believe it or not. The Doctor was going to have come from an alternate universe to justify why the humans didn't have previous alien contact or any knowledge of him. I think my rationale was that I didn't want to rewrite anything that I'd already posted.

Actually, that same piece of logic is responsible for many of the problems in the story. I didn't go in entirely sure where I was going, (I didn't have any idea what I was going to do with the Captain until after chapter two was done) and I paid for it. Lesson learned, rewrites planned.

> We're barely given a description of the Prometheus itself. You might want to rectify that.

One of my many regrets. I've even got rough sketches of the thing, but somehow nothing made it in. Rewrites will probably fix that.

> Given that Celestia and Luna control celestial bodies, you might want to note gravitational or planetary body rotation abnormalities. Honestly, it would be the first thing the ship would have noticed.

Another regret, but a smaller one. Originally, I had planned to pass the effects as minor, unless the princesses were assuming direct control. (Chapter 4 opens with an scene about this, actually.)

Since the source doesn't ever deal with the mechanics of the moon/sun cycle, I had to improvise. One such improvisation was the conceit that Celestia is rotating the PLANET, not the sun. I know that's a bit... iffy, but if she'd been rotating the sun for thousands of years, then someone with a telescope would probably have spotted their system a long time before Prometheus showed up, so I'll call it an acceptable break from canon. For the most part, the Princesses just keep the cycle maintained.

>it's hard to get honest criticism from friends and family/I know that feel. That's why /fic/ is an invaluable resource to me.

So much yes. My only reviewers so far have been my friend (another fanfic writer with even less experience than me) and my mother (yes, really, she's a professional writer and I sort of blew her mind with this).

That said, my friend did little more than tell me it was good, and my mother took the copy and marked off a lot of minor grammatical errors. Your review is the first I've had that wasn't glowing, and honestly it felt like a bullet to the gut. It was also refreshing, having the illusion of bizarre perfection dashed to pieces.

Also, I'm really hoping I'm not screwing up the quoting mechanics. This is the first board of this style I've ever posted on.
>> No. 126108
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Gonna answer those I feel relevant.
>I didn't go in entirely sure where I was going,
This would pretty much doom any story from the beginning.

>Another issue is that Prometheus was launched with state-of-the-art tech on board, some of it (like the tranlsators) untested. Heinlein was practically unique (there might have been two or three 7th-gen AIs when Prometheus launched, I haven't decided and I'm not sure it's that important), and the nanotech on board is the best, and ludicrously expensive.
There's a problem with this. If you're going to colonise a world, you make damn sure your technology is reliable. Because there's enough unknown variables and teething pains already. Untested prototypes are a surefire way to get someone into trouble, and doubly so if you want to establish your first off-world colony. You would think the humans would emphasise on reliable and rugged tech first and foremost, instead of experimental could-have-beens.

>Food for thought though: magical teleportation.
I'm not sure how this pertains to anything.

>First, I needed some method of communication. I've actually figured out a way to fix this issue, but more on that in rewrites.
Non-verbal gestures would have been far more interesting to read about, and the relationship forged despite the language barrier would have been an excellent plot point. Rather than, "oh now they understand each other and friendshipping lol."

>The second reason was that I was also trying to mesh the Whoniverse at the same time, and was going to hand-wave them as being similar to the translating capabilities of the TARDIS.
Since the main focus of your story isn't about Whoniverse, dropping him would be for the better and we don't have the added distraction of having to read "yet" another Who crossover.

>Since the source doesn't ever deal with the mechanics of the moon/sun cycle, I had to improvise. One such improvisation was the conceit that Celestia is rotating the PLANET, not the sun. I know that's a bit... iffy, but if she'd been rotating the sun for thousands of years, then someone with a telescope would probably have spotted their system a long time before Prometheus showed up, so I'll call it an acceptable break from canon. For the most part, the Princesses just keep the cycle maintained.
Fair enough. I dealt with this in a slightly different manner in my own fic. Although Celestia can influence the position of the Equestrian system sun, she does not do this often, and spinning/stopping the rotation of the planet is easier.

>Your review is the first I've had that wasn't glowing
Unless you're the next SSnE or CiG, glowing reviews are quite rare around here. And even they get their fair share of flak from their own pre-readers.
>> No. 126112
> This would pretty much doom any story from the beginning.

It doomed one of mine before, and yet it (arguably) made another a huge success. That said, I don't think it did me any favors here, and I'm already getting around to rewrites.

> I'm not sure how this pertains to anything.

I wrote that last post at about two in the morning... sorry.

The idea was that Twilight (and other unicorns/alicorns) are capable of casual FTL travel, an ability which would blow the minds of a human scientist.

> Non-verbal gestures would have been far more interesting to read about, and the relationship forged despite the language barrier would have been an excellent plot point. Rather than, "oh now they understand each other and friendshipping lol."

All I'm going to say for now: Celestia's translation magic is staying. The translators are not.

Feel free to stop replying if I'm taking up too much of your time. You've already been a colossal help.
>> No. 126120
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Back in the saddle. Here we go.

>Title of first chapter: Muffin Button.
I don’t know if you watch DBZ abridged, but if you do, you’ll know why this is really funny.

>The silence was eventually broken by the sound of the TARDIS’s engines which were getting louder by the second. Inside, two distressed ponies scrambled around the floors of the ship.
Okay, this is poor pacing right here, with a smidgeon of tell. This could be much better. Slow down just a bit, and make sure I can imagine what you’re seeing. If the Tardis’s engines are getting louder, that means that it’s arriving, and we can’t see inside of it. We are either inside the Tardis or at its destination. It cannot be both.

>“Derpy! What did you do?!” shouted the Doctor.
I wonder if the Doctor shouted. might work better.

>The Doctor facehooved several times in frustration.
Right. I almost forgot, tell was part of what your prereader mentioned. Do you know what Show don’t Tell means? It basically means that you shouldn’t be explaining anything to your reader. The purpose of a story is not to inform, but to entertain the reader, so the more that’s left to the imagination, the better. It’s like the difference between seeing someone carve a wooden chair, and seeing them buy lumber, then finding a wooden chair and lots of sawdust.

Saying the Doctor was frustrated leaves little to the imagination, but if you just say he facehoofed, well, that works quite nicely.

>Derpy was taken aback by his aggression.
Show her reaction instead. Did she jump backward, possibly throwing a hoof over her mouth? Speaking of:
>Derpy crossed her arms and turned her head away from the Doctor.
I hope this is a mistake. I don’t mind human stories, but I prefer pony.
After further reading, I discovered that they are, in fact, pony. Forelegs works, but ponies don’t have arms.

>Derpy kept running, and the time lord struggled to catch up to the panicking pony.
The Doctor being a time lord is not important to him trying to catch Derpy, so you should just call him The Doctor.

>>Chapter 2

>“Good morning Doctor!” Derpy shouted in her usual cheery voice.
When someone is being addressed in dialogue, you need a comma before their name. It should read “Good morning, Doctor!” Derpy shouted in her usual cheery voice. although I would pick a different said tag.

>“It’s alright. You win, fair in square.”
It’s ‘fair and square’. I don’t know why fair in square would make sense.

>”Sphere and cube storage. Huh?” She looked at the Doctor.
I gotta give you this one. That was pretty funny.

>They began their little adventure when it was late afternoon, they hadn't actually wasted much time flipping objects but the day passed faster than usual.
This should be two separate sentences. Change that comma to a period, and capitalize ‘they’.

>they hadn't actually wasted much time flipping objects but the day passed faster than usual. Sunlight was diminishing but the TARDIS still had about an hour and a half before it was ready.
These two clauses are structured in the same way, which makes them sound choppy. Mix that up a little. Better yet, delete the second one, and tack it to the first. Also, ‘was’ should be a different tense. Try this.
They hadn't actually wasted much time flipping objects but the day passed faster than usual, and the TARDIS still had about an hour and a half before it would be ready.

> They were making good progress, the TARDIS was already out of sight when the sun set.
I’m pretty sure that should be a semicolon or an em dash. Feel free to correct me, anypony.

> It continued to vibrated for a moment then settled down.
This should be either ‘continued to vibrate’ or just ‘vibrated’.

> Derpy fell into a trance, fantasizing about eating a warm, moist, muffin.
You should find a better way to show this.

> I locked it! Unless somepony was in the TARDIS when I left then this can't be possible!
You should replace ‘then’ with a comma. It will make the statement clearer.

> Thoughts and speculations flooded the Doctor’s head on how the pink pony could possibly be communicating with them.
I should have mentioned this before. This is what’s called LUS or lavender unicorn syndrome, occasionally known as colorful names. Pinkie Pie being pink has nothing to do with the situation, so you shouldn’t describe her that way. It’s much better to just use her name.

> Pinkie responded, completely oblivious to the Doctor’s confusion.
This is both tell and redundant. Pinkie asking the question is what tells us that she’s oblivious. You should probably also use ‘asked’ instead of ‘responded’.

Pinkie feels very OOC. She’s far too smart for her character, and knows a little more than she should.
> “That thingy lets you manipulate the atoms’ electron field to create different forms of matter!” Derpy cocked her head. “It puts stuff on things. Just point and think.”
You’re sure this isn’t Twilight speaking?

> She pointed her hoof at the ground in front of her and concentrated hard. She stuck her tongue out the side of her mouth slightly and squinted. The Doctor and Pinkie observed Derpy and the space in front of her keenly.
These three sentences are all of the same structure, and so appear blocky. Fix that.

> She looked like she was just informed that her daughter was hit by a carriage. Tears welled up in Derpy’s eyes. Fear, sadness, and panic overwhelmed her body. It was only for a moment though; she stomped down her hoof hard enough to crack the block underneath it.
Okay, let’s address this block of text. It’s got both show and tell in it, and I want you to see if you can guess which is which. The answer is behind this spoiler.
The first two sentences and the last one are all good. They portray what’s going on (in this case, her emotion) without actively stating it, and allow the reader to imagine it themselves. The remaining one, “Fear, sadness, and panic overwhelmed her body.” is bad. It’s telly, because it tells the reader what she’s feeling, instead of allowing them to imagine it.

> “No... muffins?!” she said menacingly while baring her teeth.
You might want to ditch ‘menacingly. It doesn’t add anything to the sentence.

> How can there possibly be no muffins!
That would be a question which lacks a question mark.

> Derpy screamed at the top of her lungs then collapsed to the floor, exhausted.
Should be ‘and then’.

> The Doctor peeked out from behind a tree and whispered into the phone. “Is she done?”
Seriously? The guy who travels with her has to ask someone who doesn’t spend a lot of time with her whether or not she’s going to continue ranting? He should know her better than anypony else.

> They were now in an grassy plain guided only by the light of the square moon.
Two things. One; an should be a. Two; Even the moon is square?! Wow, I did not expect that.

> He continued stretching the “err” as he tried to find a direction to point is hoof.
You’ve got a letter missing.

> “Uh huh... Is this a shelter of some sort?” Derpy nodded her head in response.
You should avoid slapping only Derpy’s name next to these lines of dialogue when she isn’t the one speaking. It’s confusing, and consequently irritating.

> “Was literally the light at the end of the tunnel.”
Please be sure that you’re using this correctly, because I don’t think you are here. ‘Literally’ is the most misused word in the English language, and should not be used to add impact or urgency to a situation. The word ‘literally’ means, without inaccuracy or deviation. If it was literally the light at the end of the tunnel, then she was in a tunnel, and could see the light at the end of it. It would not mean that she was dying.

I hope that was helpful. I suggest you fix the issues I raised, then check out one of our many writing guides. I recommend Ezn’s Guide, or The Editor’s Omnibus. You can Google either of them.

After you’ve finished editing, I highly recommend sending this back through for a second /fix/ pass before resubmitting to EqD. Trust me, it’s not ready yet.
>> No. 126125
Your review is done. Feel free to talk to me about it; I'll gladly answer questions and help you with stuff.

>> No. 126132
>It doomed one of mine before, and yet it (arguably) made another a huge success.
Still a bad idea one way or another. Leaves you all too susceptible to plot holes and rule-of-cool events that you'd be hard-pressed to explain later.

>All I'm going to say for now: Celestia's translation magic is staying. The translators are not.
Kinda odd to have one and scrap another. I'd suggest even Celestia's translation magic isn't perfect.

>The idea was that Twilight (and other unicorns/alicorns) are capable of casual FTL travel, an ability which would blow the minds of a human scientist.
You're implying powers several order of magnitude above their current implied abilities. It would be a stretch to believe, at least. Unless of course you mean their local, small-scale teleportation is considered "casual FTL".
>> No. 126145

Twilight teleports into her house at one point, right? Not blinking ten feet ahead, but on the corner one moment and indoors the next. I'd call that teleportation. So what's the difference with distance? Shouldn't the goddess of the sun be able to cross light-years with the same technique?
>> No. 126148
I always associate greater distance with greater cost.

Ergo, if your situation applies, why don't we see Celestia teleporting all around Equestria? She wouldn't have needed the chariot, or be shown flying about otherwise.
>> No. 126149

I wrote something about that. She doesn't want the citizens to feel like she's watching at all times, able to appear on any street corner at any time. Also, flying in on the chariot is more polite than just POOF appearing in a flash of light.

Or maybe it's tradition from the old days when being impressive and showing off wealth was important.
>> No. 126159
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I apologise for the lateness of this review, but your fic is rather long. Not that it is any excuse.

I'd advise you prepare some drinks. This is going to be rather long and may get a little grumpy.

You will find your GDoc version split into their constituent chapters here. >>125979 My thanks to Azusa for his work. All my comments are within the docs, though they are concentrated mainly on the first few chapters, where I focused on your mechanics and style. I skimmed the rest to get a gist of the story and no more than that, stopping at Chapter Five.

Here will be my general impressions:

Mechanically, you need to learn not to abuse semi-colons. They are not supercommas and should not be treated as such. They are used to join two related independent clauses together. You also misspelt a few words and wrongly hyphenate (or lack of) some words. A few words missing here and there.

Simply put, I have major issues with your writing style. You waver between needlessly purple and inane pedantic repetition throughout. Take the first paragraph of your opening chapter. I can summarise it as such:
>The moon was full. <several sentence of pretentious scenery horseing and pseudophilosophy.> And on this fateful night, the silent silver sentinel cast its light on a frightened lavender unicorn as she heedlessly hurried into a forest fraught with perils.

Your first paragraph is the perfect example of being needlessly purple. Of the nine sentence that comprised its entireity, only two are relevant to the story at hand: the first and the last. Everything in between is irrelevant and can be rightly considered filler. Consider cutting down on such dull ramblings. They are not fun to read at all, and even less so when they do not advance the story in any meaningful way. You do this throughout your story, spending inordinate amount of time on irrelevant details at the expense of any actual pace.

You also have issues with Show versus Tell. I don't normally point these out to authors, since telling is indeed a legitimate form of storytelling. But all telling makes for a dry story and you may as well write a history book in that case. Examples, also from your first chapter:
>The unicorns meanwhile had wised up and were busy pooling their power together for a single massive charge while the two pegasi that were left swooped in on either side of her. She waited until they were but a scant few inches away before promptly teleporting a few feet backwards, causing the two of them to collide head-on, knocking both of them unconscious.

Instead of telling us that the unicorns were, you know, charging for some attack, you could have just described the situation from Twilight's point of view and left the readers to join the dots. It does make for a more compelling story. My own clumsy rewrite would be something like this:
>Out of the corner of her eye, Twilight noticed the four unicorns were huddled together, their horns charging again with magical energies. This time however, a massive ball of light began to form above them. Before she could ponder their intentions, the two pegasi swooped in again. Twilight waited till the last moment, then shifted herself a few feet backwards. The two collided into each other with a loud crack and slumped to the ground.

Moreover, you have a penchant for needless exposition and repetition:
>Using her exceptional telekinetic strength, Twilight lifted the mare off her back and tossed her into the path of the unicorns’ energy beams.
>As thin as her excuses were a good many of them were true none the less; she really was doing this for everypony else. She was probably the only one that could, too. Not only was she the most magically gifted and powerful unicorn born in the past millennium, but she most likely knew more about the fanatical cult calling themselves “The Will of the Eclipse” then anypony alive other than its current leader.
Dear lord, we don't need to be reminded every other paragraph on how powerful and special Twilight Sparkle is. If this were any OC, cries of Mary Sue would have blown your shit down. Nor do we need to reminded of the urgency of the tasks at hand. Your narrative should be able to convey the sense of urgency without you beating your head about it with sentences like these:
>The forest was eerily calm and silent, the usual howls and calls of its inhabitants were absent and the sky was utterly clear of any clouds. Despite how reassuring this would normally be, it only served to give credence to Twilight’s fear that she may already be too late.
Also, that sentence needs a proper trimming. Preferably with a chainsaw.

Did I say needless exposition? I must have gotten sidetracked. Back on topic. You should avoid entire paragraphs of exposition like so:
>Ever since the princess had come to her in the dead of the night those many months ago and personally asked a favor of her she had spent a vast amount of her time researching them. Their history, their rituals, their practices, their beliefs, their purpose, everything. Many a night had been spent in the cramped confines of her hidden study in the basement, slaving away over rolls and rolls of parchment and musty tomes under the light of a single candle, all just to find out who they really were and what they wanted.

Really now. You killed the pace of scene just by infodumping all these in the middle of what is supposed to be an action scene. If your intent was to build suspense, then it failed miserably. It bored me. Boredom is something you're supposed to avoid.

Still with me? Good.

Story. As far as I can tell, some insane maniac wants to summon... something... to Equestria... for... some reason... or something. And Twilight fails utterly to stop him and gets turned into a vampire. Shades of Blood is Thicker than Friendship here. Then uh. Mysterious happenings all around Equestria and for some reason, you decided to devote a chapter to Slenderman kidnapping the CMC. For some reason. The story blurred by Chapter Five.

I don't know. The premise is somewhat intriguing for me. Twilight gets turned into a vampire and now has to deal with it. In addition, mysterious hullabaloo all over Equestria.

Unfortunately, yet again, you fail to deliver on the suspense and mystery. You could have kept Twilight's exact condition a mystery in the first chapter, leaving only tantalising hints and clues on what exactly happened after she failed to stop the portal. Instead... you devoted the later half of the chapter to a drawn-out (and dull) action scene and some really bad Ye Olde English dialogue from Luna. You also choose to tell us exactly what happened during the entire battle. And then you spend the next three chapters having Twilight trying to figure out what exactly happened even though we already know it. It's takes alot out of the supposed suspense. And Slenderman. Really. You just had to put him in. Moreover, you never addressed the initial villain motivations in the first chapter. Why in seven hells did he want to open that portal in the first place?

I don't know. I'm trying hard to like the story. I really do. But it falls flat in so many ways.

Character. For most part, Twilight was pretty in-character. Her friends are conspicuously absent though. You would think they would offer to help out, or even show some sign of curiosity as to what pre-occupied their friend. As for your Luna, her Ye Olde English (Elizabethian, I'm told) feels patently broken, with a neither here nor there feeling. I'm not at all sure on how to help you on this though. Celestia as portrayed, feels like she's just dicking around while avoiding to deal with the matter at hand. Worse, you actually feel compelled to insert an extremely gag-inducing shipping scene with an OC. Way to break the serious tone of the chapter.

Okay, still with me? It isn't all bad. You have a way with description, though again, as I noted, wavering on the side of purple. I think you have a story planned out, but it is kind of mired in bad execution at the moment. Still, you have a promising thing here, and with a lot of work, you can make this shine.

tl;dr Promising premise; bad execution. Needs extensive touching up and rewrites.
>> No. 126170
tags: sad, dark

word count: 12,475 (incomplete)

synopsis: Inside a normal, plain-looking book lie the memories of the seemingly wicked race's leader. Within its bindings, she has written out her history; her beginnings, her life, and her struggles... and what came after that fateful day in Canterlot.

link: http://www.fimfiction.net/story/28892/journal-of-a-changling

Also, I'm stuck at a bit of a problem; I keep getting told again and again that my big issue is grammar. Even though I've had others (some who have gotten their fics on EqD) check it, and tell me it's fine, I keep hearing from EqD's prereaders that my grammar is horrid...
>> No. 126173

Have the Pre-Readers provided any examples or pointers in their email response? If so, you should share what they said. Maybe there is something much more particular they are hung up on that just grammar in general.

I actually read your fic, but since I'm using a phone to read and type this response right now, I haven't claimed it yet to review properly. I might later if someone doesn't grab it first
>> No. 126176
Hello there, is it possible to send our submission (... not really a story, but a set of ideas forming together a story) via email? I'm currently too ashamed of my "work" to publicly show it.
>> No. 126177
You can find a reviewer and send it to them via email, but since the training grounds is a public thread, it would be kind of hard to submit it non publicly.
>> No. 126178
Thank you.

>public thread
That's why I asked this.

Where can I get a list of (active) reviewers, with their email, please?
>> No. 126179
The Ponychan list: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1y_ATzvyAAWt0qdKKQ4yvChkbb-JDFpBkpo9b5xrFPgg/edit?pli=1
The MLPchan list: http://mlpchan.net/fic/res/158.html#159
The TTG list: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1g0w__vlZueMzu5Ldxd8MdGNU6f9WVl64MCch5C9aeog/edit
>> No. 126180
Thanks again!
>> No. 126187

They didn't give me any examples. They just said "there's grammar mistakes all over", and dropped it at that. They essentially said the only thing they liked about the story was the BASE IDEA OF IT, and disliked everything else...
>> No. 126191
Well, that's not very helpful, eh?

Now, since nobody has claimed it, I shall officially claim your story for review, and begin going through it myself. I'll see if there's anything I can do to help.

I'll get a review done for tomorrow, where I can properly sit down and read with more attention. Like I said earlier, I read the fic on fimfiction, initially to see if there were easy to spot mistakes, but wound up flying over the paragraphs in great interest of the story.

So then. I claim >>126170 for review; Journal Of A Changeling by ZeroCore.
>> No. 126195

The pre-readers are not forgiving of mechanical errors. It makes sense, really--nothing with bad grammar is allowed near EQD, which I think you'll agree is only fair. Besides, most readers are goign to make the (mostly reasonable) assumption that something with bad grammar is going to suck.

It's also a legitimate thing that ficcers should be expected to be good at. Mechanics are part of writing. If a writer isn't proficient in writing their native language, they had damn well better learn.

It's not for me to stop you from thinking about your setting, characters, whatever, but do NOT dismiss "you had bad grammar" as some kind of snobbery or as a brush-off. It is important, and if you have any kind of writerly aspirations, you well get down to improving your grammar.
>> No. 126198

Um, what provoked that reaction? He was only responding to my question as to whether he had been given specific examples in his rejection email of his worst flubs with grammar. I wanted to know so I had an idea of what to look for in particular while reviewing. He wasn't dismissing the reason as someone being snobbish.

Plus, the pre reader said they liked the idea of the fic, but couldn, approve it due to errors. That would imply that the pre reader read the whole thing in spite of the issues - blowing your litmus test theory out the water.
>> No. 126213
File 135854945672.png - (49.49KB , 99x125 , 132631952777.png )
That's just Tac. Despite his name, he either lacks or chooses to use very little tact in his responses. I've mistaken him for being legitimately upset before, and started a whole ruckus over nothing. Besides, saying that you dislike everything except for the basic idea can seem snobbish to some.
>> No. 126238
"He said there are grammar mistakes all over and left it at that" suggests very extensive grammar problems.

Also, you should know that "I cannot recommend it for posting due to xxx" is a standard line.

At any rate, I understand that my statement was too hasty and I'm sorry for that. I recently reviewed someone who asked me to stop picking at his grammar and tell him about his characters and plot, so you basically just got the same rant that he did.



Last edited at Sat, Jan 19th, 2013 15:03

>> No. 126244
I would like to say that Part 12 of my fic, "Not Exactly Green; No ODST Is" has been reviewed, and I acknowledge.
>> No. 126259
Tags: [Adventure][Sad]

Synopsis: To what lengths will one go for the sake of another? Against what obstacles can loyalty truly overcome? On one lazy afternoon, an unlikely individual will show the depth of her attachment to one of those closest to her heart.

Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1KxZZx0gBdwpMUo_3PWu8B3_eKem6IzpSudI6icFJm20/edit
>> No. 126269
File 135885856343.jpg - (117.25KB , 372x1000 , choices.jpg )
What's the protocol again? Make the review post in the same chan as the one the request was in, or the claim? Eh.

Okay, author, this is what I got. Once again, disclaimer: I'm not the final word on writing. As far as your story is concerned, you are. Read this, then decide what you want to do with it. It's fine either way; my hope is that you'd find something helpful or interesting whichever way it goes.


The following is a line-by-line review of the text sections of the first two chapters. It consists almost entirely of word choice suggestions and stylistic alternatives. I couldn't do that with the Fimfic copy, so I took the liberty of making my own. Oh, also, I only reviewed the text sections, because you know, that's where the writing is.

Now, the style I'm advocating is an intimate one, more intimate than what you have here. It's one where the narrator gets all close and snuggly with the perspective, and lands him/herself firmly in the proceedings. Recommended reading for reference, illustration and inspiration:

http://www.fimfiction.net/story/39452/burning-man-brony-fear-and-loathing-of-equestria (medium length; main character is an asshole)
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Cl2AGTsk7rMBAHkA27pMucazECrdDqScELQMx6i7tWs/edit (short; m. character is snarky)
The Hunger Games (long; m. character is actually quite normal)

All righty, now to the actual review.

Plot-wise, you've just introduced the character and the conflict, so I can't fault much there.

Really, that's all I have to say on that: the rest of this will be entirely on style and perspective intimacy.

Now, you're using Fluttershy. How does Fluttershy think? Honestly, that's a bit of a tough question, as she's actually not all that layered (up till Keep Calm and Flutter On, at least). She's introspective, maybe, always cautious, and definitely timid.

How does such a character view the world?

While I'm on the whole thankful that you didn't reduce her to a pile of sobs, inner dialogue broken every two lines by em-dashes and ellipses, and have her actually doing something, what I picked up was something that didn't particularly feel like Fluttershy. Word choice is average. Sentences are on the whole even-lengthened, showing in fact calm normality. There's no outbursts. A lot of sentences start with "I", which you should really look into swapping up. But that's about it. You've got a pony doing things but there's not much in the way of emotion, because she's so calm. Well, either calm, or just the writing's giving me those vibes.

Hey, see, this is a survival thing, right? So you have to ask yourself what's the hook of the story. What do you want the hook to be?

The perils of survival? Or the novelty/curiosity of Fluttershy being the sole survivor? Or a mystery horror thing?

The answer is what determines your word choice, event choice, style, focus.

A lot of the heavy-side suggestions in that doc assume that it's "the experience of trying to survive" that you want, kinda like The Hunger Games. So do bear that in mind when you go in. The summary of that line of thought is that you're glazing too much over the survival bits and your pacing is both too slow and too fast. Too slow, because it's 4k words and there's not much in the way of a hook. Too fast, because what should be important events are given a line and then whisked off. You could devote a section to a whole day as long as it's interesting; you could render a whole week into a sentence if it isn't. It would stand to logic that the important things in a survival story would be interesting, because that's where the conflict comes from. But that's only if it really is a survival shindig you're selling.

I'm getting a sort of scattered focus from your choice in focus points. There's the sensations, there's the scenery, kinda, but it seems to be there as part of a solution, parts of a machine to what a story should be rather than what's being felt and experienced by Fluttershy. There's a degree of separation from the narrator and the events that comes through the choice of descriptors, and certain other things which I've mentioned at length in doc.

If you've read the recommended reading, you'd be able to pick up that the main characters for two of the three are quirky and vivid in their own right. They're outspoken and have plenty of gut to their personalities. Does your Fluttershy have that? If not, then what does she have? Because every character sees the world at least slightly different from each other. What unique spin does Fluttershy bring to the table for you?

Why are you going to the trouble of having Fluttershy of all ponies as a first-person main character when none of her emotions are leaking in; if having her singular defining emotion leak in would cause the narrative to collapse into a pile of snivelling sobs?

I can't really answer that because that's your job. Decide just why Fluttershy's mind is being pried open. Then spotlight the unique parts of it. Easiest way to achieve that is something I call description bias - like, a gardener would always mention the flowers first in a forest scene, whereas the lumberjack might make a remark about how quiet it was without the clanging and slamming of industry. Like how Rainbow Dash would relate things in terms of weather and speed - "as fast as a lightning bolt" "brooding, like a cloud about to burst" and Applejack would relate things to farming - "as fast as a wolf after a sheep" "brooding, like the rotting apple at the bottom of a barrel".

There are more devices and stylistic choices, but I don't know all of them.

Admittedly, this review is more question than direction, and that's because I don't know what you want for this. There's a couple of reasons why I've only done the first two chapters. One of them is because the suggestions I'm asking you to make are actually pretty deep-cutting, and, in it entirely, will force you to do major word tweaking for the rest in order to maintain consistency. And honestly, that time is better spent writing new material. The other is because I'm lazy I want to see what you want to do with this feedback, too. Mind you, aside from some very silly derps which you should rectify with all haste, the rest of it is above average, though for Fimfic that's not saying much. For the most part, it's decent to good, and occasionally very well done. So I want to ask: what is it that you are looking for in a review, and is this what you're looking for?

If you just want a complete read-through and afterthoughts, which are perfectly fine in their own right, I can give you that, though it'll take a little while. If you want something line-by-line like the above, I'll work with you, but it will definitely take time. The good of it is that I'll be dedicated to your work; the bad of it is that it's me who'll be dedicated to your work, and I am decidedly, well, slow. .__.

Anyways, what I do hope for this is that it opens up your writing horizons a little more, so that you can improve your style in the way you see fit. Certain suggestions will rub you the wrong way; do some reflection and find out why. That helps you understand your own style more, and also where you think you can improve.

Please feel free to ask me anything or to give me feedback. My apologies that it took you this long in total to receive your review.

Keep writing.

Last edited at Tue, Jan 22nd, 2013 05:48

>> No. 126275
Alright then, I'm ready to share my thoughts on your fic. I apologise in advance for the sheer length of it.

(Part 1 of 3)

Chapter One Review.

Before I begin, I must say that I absolutely hate Chrysalis for her actions in A Canterlot Wedding. Her evil plan in the show was, in my mind, unnecessarily cruel and only done through her lust for power rather than just preserving her Hive. What significance does my opinion have on this review? Well, with that in mind, your writing has to do more than just read well and interest me, it has to convince me to give Chrysalis a chance and allow myself to connect with her and her thoughts.

I picked the story up because the synopsis made it sound interesting, and before I knew it, I was reading the musings of a young Chrysalis before she had even the capicity to hatch evil schemes or willingly do something right or wrong. That made it easier for me to connect with her, because the story begins where she is still innocent and blissfully ignorant to what is later revealed to be a troubled history within the Hive.

The pacing felt right to me overall, you rarely lingered on a certain scene for longer than necessary, and very rarely did something happen that was too fast to follow and understand. I as a reader quickly learned how the Hive worked together, and how each type of Changeling behaved depending on their rank. I liked the use of the hivemind and description of scents and aromas to introduce new characters to a scene and inform the reader of a change in tone. Its quite an interesting form of communication, and it helps push the story forward as Chrysalis starts to become different from her peers - I like how it became the plot device that "gives her away" to the Drones serving the Queen.

Queen Scarlett is certainly modeled after Princess Celestia, and it draws a somewhat eerie comparison between the two. Both are looked up to and revered by their subjects, both of them act kind to those around them and maintains a cool composure, and both, I daresay, have their dark secrets. With this in mind, I quickly began to feel suspicious of the Queen, and wondered if her past would be looked into in later chapters, whether to confirm or disprove my thoughts.

Now, for a much more detailed look. I'll search for errors, things to fix, and other comments I feel like making. I'll do my best to weed out grammar issues for you, but I will admit that I'm not English teacher-tier.

>I am a changeling.
Capitalise the "C"

>feeds off the love of others.
Others? Other Changelings? Other beings? Other races/species? One additional word can make the difference.

>My name is Chrysalis, fifth queen of the High Swarm.
Okay, whenever you use a title in writing, you must capitalise them - especially if it is a character addressing someone with said title, or referring to themselves, such as here. King, Queen, Princess, Master, Mistress, etc. Titles are proper nouns and must be capitalised as such. Also, since she is describing herself as the "fifth Queen of the High Swarm", I would capitalise "Fifth", too. It makes the whole title seem more important, and tells the reader that Chrysalis is recognised as The Fifth Queen of the High Swarm, rather than as Queen of the High Swarm which sounds more generic.

>Within, many changelings...
>From within, it resembles
The two uses of the word "Within" appear in the same paragraph and close together. I'd suggest changing the first usage to a different word, but not to a complex one. "Inside" is a good word.
>from drone to queen
Personally, I'd capitilise both nouns here, since they both act as titles referring to rank. But if you don't want to capitalise "Drone", and you don't actually to, don't. I'm the opposite to you when it comes to capitalisation. I tend to use it where it isn't needed, while you tend to miss it where it is.

>I was born under normal circumstances for a changeling-- emerging from a sealed honeycomb, drying my wings, waiting for my first orders, and taking flight soon after.
Two dashes. This probably makes grammar nazis writhe in agony. Now, while not being too up on hyphens, en dashes, and em dashes; all I can say is you only need one to make the split. An em dash, which is the longest out of the three, is used to break into a sentence with an additional thought. "I had breakfast at nine — delicious Gorilla Munch — while watching my favourite cartoon." Nowadays, and I'm guilty of this, too, people use en dashes in place of em dashes. This is likely because of en dashes actually being a key on the keyboard, while em dashes need to being specially entered by holding the Alt key and typing 0151 on the number pad. With this in mind, you could get away with en dashes in other circumstances, but if the pre-readers are watching your grammar and punctuation, you should avoid cutting corners. I believe Microsoft Word changes en dashes to em dashes automatically while you type - but I can't be sure (See? I just did it myself.)

Moreover, the whole sentence starts to feel very long compared to the shorter sentences around it. Some people will mistake this for a run-on sentence for this reason, especially if this punctuation stays the way it is.

>I was an average worker...
This entire paragraph is loaded with short, simple sentences. There are a couple of complex sentences and even a semicolon, but the whole thing lacks flow. The amount of full-stops make it seem like the narrator is breathless or agitated, and it feels bumpy after being given information up until now in a clear, and almost natural pace. You should rewrite this paragraph to better list related items, and cut down on the amount of short sentences. There is also another use of two dashes (--) that need to be rectified.

>It was, as I had thought, as it should have been.
Replace the second use of "as" with "how" to keep the vocabulary fresh. Plus, "how" feels more natural.

>One day however,
"One day, however,"

>...something changed. I first noticed it when..."
Perfect time to use a semicolon, but I'd rewrite the rest of the sentence to reduce the number of commas. Something like "One day, however, something changed; I first noticed it when war broke out between our great Hive and the Eastern Swarm, our more aggressive neightbours."

>The conflict seemed quite superfluous to most. To them it was merely a waste of food and personnel.
Join these sentences with a comma, don't deny their love for eachother! (humour awayyyy!)

>Although most of it was the same--they'd wonder about when the fighting would be over--I slowly began to listen in more and more.
The two-dash tap strikes again! This is the perfect sentence to use em dashes in. If you want to be thorough, remember: Alt + 0151. If you're lazy like me, just use en dashes like so: "Although most of it was the same - they'd wonder about when the fighting would be over - I slowly began to listen in more and more."

>“Negative,” her colleague replied, pausing briefly to respond.
Try There was a brief pause before her colleague responded, "Negative." I just feel that this sentence was written the wrong way around, because the pause occurs before the dialogue, yet the way it was written was the opposite of that.

>But something happened; it, whatever it was, started.
I don't like this sentence. "it" on its own is a very weak subject for a sentence. I'd try something more specific and direct, such as "But then something happened, and the changes started."

>As they looked at me
"Looked" is a word that can easily be replaced with other words, and I recommend you do that with this phrase, since you already used "looked" two sentences before, in the same paragraph. Plus, "looked" carries little to no information. It doesn't describe how the look, well, looked or felt. If you used "stared" instead, for example, it would make the two Changelings seem more intimidating, amd would make the reader share Chrysalis' discomfort to being examined that way.

>“Perhaps this is why I wasn't born a guard.” I thought.
At the risk of being grilled, I'd remove the " symbols and put the entire phrase in italics. I interpret " symbols to mark spoken dialogue. So when a character is simply thinking[i], or speaking it in their mind, it needs to written differently to reflect that. Some people replace quotation marks with apostrophes, but that is completely wrong and won't fly with grammar nazis (in which case I'm both a grammar nazi and a lazy hypocrite)

>my time of rest
I'd replace "of" with "for", it sounds less clunky that way.

>I didn't know what, but I could feel my location had changed.
That's a very dull way to put it, to be blunt. "Oh no, my location is unknown." It lacks emotion, clashing with how Chrysalis feels at that moment. I'd rewrite this sentence to confirm the previous sentence's declaration that "something wasn't right." You could say "I wasn't in the Hive anymore - I was [i]outside
!" This expresses the surprise and shock Chrysalis is feeling.

>To add to it, whatever had sent me to this alien land had apparently brought along my odd reactions as well.
While the whole paragraph teeters on apathetic, this sentence lacks any real emotion. Chrysalis should describe her reaction she felt upon realising her "reactions" were still with her (Okay, this sounds like an Inception joke)

>I felt my breathing grow heavier, my heart faster, and my senses become heightened
>my heart faster
missing "beat", or should instead write "my heartbeat sped up"

>...dead landscape that stretched into a winding valley. A gurgling noise--like polluted running water...
Start a new paragraph after "valley", and lose the double dashes

>Ahead of me, I noticed the valley widen.
I'd rather lose this sentence, and begin the following paragraph with something like "The valley opened up to a vast, open landscape. Along the