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128053 No. 128053

Greetings all, and welcome to the Training Grounds, the review thread for all authors, reviewers, proofreaders, and editors, both newcomer and seasoned veteran alike. It isn't the only such thread, but it's usually the busiest! (Previous edition of The Training Grounds; The sticky, which contains important information)

If you're a reviewer, old or new, and you want feedback on your review, please put a "*" at the front of the subject line of your review post.

For writers:
Submission guide [tinyurl.com] | TL/DR of the submission guide [tinyurl.com] | List of TTG regulars [tinyurl.com] | Submission form [tinyurl.com] | List of recently-finished [tinyurl.com] reviews | Reviews in progress [tinyurl.com]
For reviewers:
How to review [tinyurl.com] | List of unclaimed requests [tinyurl.com]
For Maintainers:
The full, current active queue [tinyurl.com] | Statistics and queue-dump text for thread updates [tinyurl.com] | A guide to how it's all organized [tinyurl.com]
Live communication:
The IRC channel [derpy.me]

Some Notes:

Do jump in and participate if you can. New reviewers, editors and authors are always welcome!
No one is infallible. If something doesn't seem right, ask about it! Whether it be about a review you've received, a fanfic submitted, or something about the queue spreadsheet, the best way to solve it is through communication.
If you think you've been missed: please remind us with a link to your original post.
Feel free to ask questions about fanfics and writing them!
If you respond to a post: please link to the post you are responding to.
Reviewers: the writers want their work to shine. Highlight faults with gusto. Don't fear compliments either: if something makes you smile, a few kind words won't ruin your review.
Writers: the reviewers love to read, but will often lean towards being critical. Don't allow it to discourage you; use their criticism to improve your writing! See "Receiving Critique: Gallant" in The Editor's Omnibus [bit.ly] and the Submission Etiquette Guide [bit.ly] .

Helpful Documentation

Sithicus Helpicus: [bit.ly] Several takes on the same paragraph of text by multiple authors
CerealVelocity's Writing Guides: [bit.ly] These focus on spelling, grammar and punctuation
Escher's Hints: [bit.ly] A general purpose improvement guide
The Review Board: [bit.ly] Check this document for the latest list of reviewers and threads
The Editor's Omnibus: [bit.ly] Writing wisdom, wrung from the willing, wrought with wit and worry
Townson University Online Writing Support: [www.towson.edu] illustrated assistance in most aspects of grammar, syntax and punctuation

How to request to be a queue maintainer:
Note: you don't have to be a maintainer to help out reviewing in this thread. What maintainers do is update and maintain the queue spreadsheet. If you review in The Training Grounds on a regular basis, and would like to help out maintaining the queue:

Read / bookmark this document [tinyurl.com]
Email Demetrius (deconstrained at gmail.com) and say something random in that email. Post the same thing (verbatim) in this thread, preferably identifying yourself with a tripcode.
When you've been given editing permissions, you may delete your random post.

Last edited at Tue, Jul 16th, 2013 19:09

22 posts omitted. Last 50 shown. Unspoiler all text  • Expand all images  • Reveal spoilers
>> No. 128229
File 137782011760.jpg - (14.86KB , 118x232 , Ikaruga_Icon.jpg )
I have finished reviews of the following stories:

Story: Autumn>>127818
Review: >>128195


Story: Untitled EQG Story>>128067
Review: >>128194


Story: >>128131To Guard Equestria
Review: >>128228
>> No. 128253
File 137817634244.jpg - (39.58KB , 640x480 , eG9iaHVtMTI=_o_pinky-and-the-brain---brainstem.jpg )

So, here is the review. I have not gone into a supremely detailed analysis, but I felt it best to at least make the review here first. I always prefer making the basic one, before we ever start truly dissecting anything, as it makes it easier to understand some more overall issues, the problems that I found which stand out strongest at this moment of time.

I can try going into further detail later, but understand that it will be a spare time project and that I will not write this story for you. I’ll help, but the majority of the work is going to be you looking around and asking questions from people who are not just me.

Style is a bugger to establish, but you will be better for it once it starts clicking. Do that by not only writing more, but by exploring the writings and methods of others.

Go on. See what makes ‘em tick.
>> No. 128287
File 137835976777.png - (24.51KB , 295x374 , SumGoggles.png )
I think it would be simpler for TTG to move away from being imageboard-based and make it doc-based as much as possible. This would eliminate cross-board and cross-community confusion and, through emphasis on one unified place to find and view info on reviews, make it easier for authors to find what they need.

- The how-to-submit guide is now one page and three short steps long.
- Claim posts are optional. Claiming is still mandatory and can be done in the spreadsheet by simply putting an "x" in the "claim" box.
- Likewise, request-a-review posts are also optional, but submitting the form to request a review is still mandatory.
- Reviews can be posted pretty much anywhere, regardless of where/how the claim was made. The link to the review still must be put into the spreadsheet*.
- Only reviewers granted edit access to the spreadsheet can review in The Training Grounds.

New rules, let's see where this goes. All hail the spreadsheet.

* If the review was a dialogue with the author, it helps (if both parties consent) to have a link to a copy of the transcript, for archival and reference purposes.
>> No. 128288
File 137836040856.jpg - (51.36KB , 704x576 , RS_2008_06_02_PinkyTheBrain.jpg )

You have been selected.
>> No. 128289
File 137839429686.gif - (29.25KB , 244x348 , pinkyAndTheBrain-1.gif )

So, how do I obtain access for reviewing?
>> No. 128306
I thought one of the strengths of TTG was that anyone could do it, everyone was encouraged to, and you could supposedly get your story expedited by jumping in to claim another. This kind of throws all those out the window. Will you give spreadsheet edit access to anyone who asks? Or do they have to review at least 5 stories first, as in the old rules (which sets up a nice catch-22)? This system would also seem to transfer the onus from maintainers to reviewers to do the maintenance, since there wouldn't necessarily be any way for the maintainer to know a review had been completed or acknowledged. Essentially, every reviewer has to be a maintainer now, and someone will have to give them the nickel tour of how to use the spreadsheet. Seems to be moving toward a more exclusive system, which doesn't distinguish us from any number of groups on FiMFiction. And far more people are aware of the thread than the spreadsheet. They turn up in IRC from time to time and have no idea there even was a spreadsheet. They even post in old threads because someone passed them an old link. They're not going to notice the change.
>> No. 128308
One of the strengths is that anyone can do it. The main death of it is how everyone seems to jack off on IRC and think someone else will do it. Demetrius' new plan has a higher cost of entry (finding Demetrius when he has free time), but it comes with a little more responsibility: "I've signed up for this, I should do this."
>> No. 128311
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I realized that some if not most of my ideas have become obsolete, being artifacts of the time when fanfiction came tumbling in way faster and there were more reviewers around to manage it, and organization was necessary. Now it's just a thin trickle, and my role in the project amounts to arranging chairs in an empty reception hall.

I think it would be simpler and easier for everyone to just come up with a new way of managing it, and for me to step away from managing the affairs of TTG. Why not just do it entirely on the imageboard?

You don't need my help, and I no longer want to give it.

Last edited at Fri, Sep 6th, 2013 00:13

>> No. 128314
So true, so true.
>> No. 128381
Is this still claimed by Writer's Block? From what I understand, it was the last story in the queue before the queue was locked. Claiming shouldn't be a problem, nor should accessing the document—the links in the post work.
>> No. 128384

Second to last, Moving the Stars was added shortly after. But either way, I do not see why they wouldn't still be review-able, as the links to the stories are in the thread itself. Whether or not Writer's Block is reviewing my work I cannot say, as I have not received any correspondence from him since he claimed the story. I was assuming that he was still reading it, but I cannot be certain.

Last edited at Thu, Sep 12th, 2013 13:24

>> No. 128385
Sorry, I should have mentioned that based on some correspondence with FluttersIsAwesome, I believe he got some sort of feedback on his story. Whether that counts as a review is up to debate, but I just wanted to make sure that your story, being one that I haven't heard anything about receiving feedback, wasn't overlooked due to recent developments in the queue.
>> No. 128386
I am glad to hear that he received feedback. Although I am more or less out in the cold, I am patient.
>> No. 128391
File 137903812450.jpg - (56.05KB , 625x468 , 3tg1wo.jpg )

Yes, I'm still working on it. Whether or not my claim is valid, I don't know, what with all the kerfluffle going about, but I intend to deliver on what I promised one way or another.

OCguy has not yet been claimed, but I have also seen him in the IRC. However, unless he has gotten a review by asking around in there and now wishes his story dropped from the queue, I will assume his story still requires a proper claim before removal.


My sincerest apologies. Life has been a tad hectic as of late, it would seem, both here and away.

However, since you are curious, and have made your concerns known (vital when dealing with reviewers), I will tell you that the entirety of your story has now been read through as of today, and that I am making thoughts on it.

I appreciate your patience, and will continue to work through this to completion.

Don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about you.
>> No. 128396
There is no need to apologize, I more than understand the intrinsic intrusiveness of life. I greatly appreciate you're effort, and await your critique patiently.

Because I am patient.

>> No. 128408
Appreciate the feedback.

Grant you, what I wrote back then is not what I would write now. It's too vanilla and yes, I don't fully utilize Omniscient POV until maybe the last two chapters. I'd retool the whole fic if I wasn't busy doing that with another one.
>> No. 128443
File 137937765140.jpg - (34.42KB , 625x640 , 1781737-spacecore.jpg )


I'll review your story.

I don't have a username yet, but you can call me something cool. Like Ryan Thunder, or Darth Awesome. You'll recognize me anyway because I'll always use this picture of the Space Core, because space.

Names aside, I'll have your review to you within the next 24 hours.
>> No. 128449
File 137938637735.jpg - (34.42KB , 625x640 , 1781737-spacecore.jpg )
Hello again! It's that guy who likes the Space Core. As promised, here's your review:


You use the same sentence type too many times. Take the opening paragraph for instance. You write three "independent clause + as+ dependent clause" sentences almost in direct succession. After the opening paragraph, you pepper the rest of your text with hundreds of "However, [rest of thought]" sentences!

Seeing the same shape of sentence bores readers, and will lose you potential fans. It's not something that readers tell you outright, like: "ZOMFG! U UZED SAME SENTENCE SHAPESSSS," but it is something that everyone does notice, even if they can't say exactly what was noticed.


NOTE: I may harp on things you're going to address later. Keep in mind I only have one chapter to work off.

Do I see what you were going for? Yes. Was Trixie feeling jealous of Twilight freaking adorable and relatable? Also, yes. That being said, you need to work a bit on your plot. I've organized my points into a list-outliney thing for ease of reading and subsequent reference.

Point I: Setting Up the Setting

-I almost never felt as if I was there. Use some imagery and other creative writing devices to "suck the reader in." If you need an example, refer to your description of Sapphire's breakfast. Your words made me hungry for grass bacon. Grass bacon! I can't tell you exactly how to fix the rest of your paper because my use of creative writing devices is unique to me, meaning any changes I would make would leave unsightly literary fingerprints all over your work.

-NITPICK: I entered and left the story with a nagging question: Just where does this story take place? I know it takes place in Equestria some time after the Alicorn Amulet episode, but where is Astro's home? He gets home quickly after his audience with Celestia, so he should live near Canterlot. However, you mention Trixie is staying in Astro's country home, which implies the home is somewhere far away from Canterlot. Then again, Astro could have teleported home. The whole affair is quite distracting, and I'd appreciate it if you could clear things up a bit.

Point II: Characters

-Trixie: The way you described Trixie's character, through a personality test and letter to Celestia, was interesting and, well, cute. You did seem a wee bit forced, though. Fix this forced feeling by saying a couple things more like Trixie would and less like you would. For example, "That's why I parade around like I'm something great, because deep down I feel the exact opposite" is a good statement on character, but it isn't good character writing. In the words of the Robot Devil, "You can't just have characters say what they feel all the time. That makes me angry!"

-Astro: I liked his close, almost paternal relationship to Trixie, especially since I went in with expectations of an author-serving, asinine, generic fan-fiction romance. At least until I thought about canon, then I realized Astro was a big-meanie pants. Where was Astro's home for Trixie when she had to work on a rock farm? Why does he tell Trixie he thinks she'll be talented when he thinks Trixie is only average? Maybe Trixie puts on the "Great and Powerful" act all the time because she feels she needs to meet Astro's expectations that she'll be great one day. If that's the case, every conflict in this story so far is partly his fault.

-Sapphire: I haven't seen enough of her to be interested yet. Really, the only purpose she seemed to serve was to soften the breakfast scene so that Trixie's revelations in the coming scene would hit the readers harder. I'm hoping she'll be developed to be more than just a palette-swap of Spike.

Point III: Potpourri

-Your opening started off weak. I got into it as you built up Trixie's apprehension on facing Astro, but I was not impressed from the outset. Consider spicing up that opening paragraph a bit! The opening is a great place to put in more imagery, like I suggested earlier in this review.

-Use the same symbol for breaks!

-Don't use HTML tags. Most word processors don't recognize them.

So, that succinctly sums up my thoughts. I give you one thumbs up. It's good, but I think you should fix it up a bit. Make sure you check the Doc for the grammar issues I marked.

Keep writing!

Still Don't Have a Name


My E-mail: [email protected]
My Steam: The BOULDER

Last edited at Tue, Sep 17th, 2013 08:24

>> No. 128450
Hello, space core, and thank you for helping out in the Training Grounds.

Just one note: Ponychan uses BBC, not HTML, so you should use [b] instead of <b> for your bolding, italics, and underlining needs.
>> No. 128452
File 137939419120.jpg - (8.08KB , 259x194 , images (2).jpg )


Again, sorry for the wait. I hope you find this worth that time.

I say it in there, but I will say it again here as well: if you have any further questions, do feel free to ask them.
>> No. 128454
File 137943121459.jpg - (34.42KB , 625x640 , 1781737-spacecore.jpg )
And thank you for the tip!

Duly noted, and issue corrected. (<--Giving sentences subjects is for n00bs.)
>> No. 128455
What is this robot eye thing? Because it seems to show up in several mlp fim related things I've looked up, everything from fan art and fan animation to mlp ytp's is it something from the mlp fim universe?
>> No. 128456
My phone posted the same comment twice for some reason and the sight won't let me deleat it only edit it so this comment is just being filled in with that explanation so that the comment dosen't appear twice and annoy anypony

Last edited at Tue, Sep 17th, 2013 09:22

>> No. 128457
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This image is from the game series Portal. The games revolve around escaping a human testing facility belonging to technology company Aperture Science. The facility is run by GLaDOS, a sentient computer program that contains the mind of a woman named Caroline, who used to co-own Aperture with Cave Johnson.

GLaDOS is assisted in running tests by cores. These cores all have distinct personalities and are also sentient. Sometimes the personality files on the cores become corrupted, which leads to insanity. One of these corrupted cores is the Space Core, who is the subject of the picture I've been using. The Space Core became obsessed with outer space, and therefore won't stop talking about it. For example, "Wanna see me? Buy a telescope, 'cause I'm in SPACE," and "I'm the BEST AT SPACE."

I'm over-simplifying a bit, but that's the gist of it. =D
>> No. 128458

Just to help your brain relax:
A) the HTML tags are there because when I first started writing, all my work went to DA first. Now it goes to FimFiction, so no more HTML tags

B) The whole thing with Astro seeming like a "meanie" is something I should have addressed. I actually FORGOT about the rock farm bit, honestly, but it's not his fault. She didn't want to come back for a long while.

C) The "country" home is just the style. His home is near the foot of the mountain Canterlot is on, it was just build in the style of a country manor instead of a posh white columns and marble countertops style.

D) Sapphire isn't a Spike recolor. Granted, she is a minor character, though I might give her her own short in the future for funsies.

E) Trixie reveals the whole reason behind her actions in a later chapter. The story is complete now.

F) If you enjoyed this, I have another fic I think you'd LOVE to pick apart. Sadly I can't exactly submit it.
>> No. 128459
[Slice of Life]

Synopsis: The Wonderbolts may be the greatest fliers in Equestria, but overseas in the griffin lands, aviation has become all but synonymous with the name of Gerard Goldenwings. Word gets out that the living legend is vacationing in Equestria and rumor has it he may be looking to take on an apprentice. Rainbow Dash is eager to meet him and prove herself worthy of his tutelage, but she must first perform one simple task: catching a certain bird.

Request: The pre-readers liked the story, they say it just needs a final bit of spit and polish before it's ready. I'd REALLY appreciate some help with that.

Pre-reader comments:

•Description is lacking
•Comma use
•Hyphen/dash confusion
•Using more than one dialogue attribution per paragraph is generally frowned upon.
•Misplaced modifiers
•Compound word hyphenation
•Dialogue punctuation

I'd also encourage the use of italics over all-caps to denote shouting, but that's more personal preference than any sort of rule. I liked what I saw, but this needs some editing attention first.

Story link: http://www.fimfiction.net/story/105793/like-a-pegasus-in-a-pottery-shop

Last edited at Tue, Sep 17th, 2013 13:32

>> No. 128460
File 137945228841.jpg - (34.42KB , 625x640 , 1781737-spacecore.jpg )
Good to hear from you again! Now I'm confused: Is your username FluttersIsAwesome or SleeplessScribe?

Ah, whatever. I'm happy to hear back from you, and I just wanted to say two things:

E) Coolness. I'll look up the story when I get a spare moment. If you're ever desperate for a review again, I'd be happy to give my opinion on the rest (but you'd have to be pretty desperate to look for my help).

F) Oh! Sounds saucy. I'll check it out soon. If you want me to review it for you, just e-mail me.

Pleasure working with you,

Gah! I Need to Get a Name Already!
>> No. 128462

I now dub thee PONY! Core.

On a side note:>>128253
Thanks for the help.
>> No. 128467
File 137951551863.jpg - (21.44KB , 306x306 , d7e87edca94711e291b222000a1f98fa_6.jpg )
It WAS FluttersIsAwesome, but I wanted to go for a pen name that was more suited to me and SOUNDED more like a pen name, and since I'm an author who barely sleeps, there ya go :D
I'll send the email soon :3
>> No. 128469
Thank you most kindly for the advice. I've already started implementing a few of the changes you suggested. Of course, I will most likely have questions further down the line, but when I cannot say. Should I post them here?
>> No. 128470
File 137954634585.jpg - (2.43KB , 107x80 , images (8).jpg )

You can certainly post them here.

You could also try looking for me in the IRC (success there though will depend on both your timezone and whether or not I am there that particular day. I do pop in on occasion, but there are also stints where I simply don't have the time/energy to spare for it.)

You could also try my email, which I look at sporadically and which you'll find if you hover over my name on this post.

Yet another option is to find my account on Fimfiction (I go under the name WB there) and PM me, as I also check that with a degree of frequency.

Whichever method you choose, a specific question should be answered quickly enough. Post here if you want to start simple, ask around if you feel lost, and you'll find either me or someone to assist you with whatever problems you have.

Welcome to /fic/.
>> No. 128483
Meh, why not?

Taking this. Though it sounded more like you needed a proofreader rather than a review per se.
>> No. 128485
Wait, which type of reviewer do you mean?
>> No. 128493
I accidentally left a fic hanging a while back. I can't access the queue, so I'm not even sure who it was.

Whoever you are, really sorry about that.

And hello again, everyone.
>> No. 128494
File 137981135892.gif - (1.52MB , 1080x1080 , Apple Bloom191237__UNOPT__safe_animated_apple-bloom_babs-seed_spoiler-s03e08_spoiler-s03e09_cudd.gif )
You're back!

If you want something to review I should have something ready in a day or two. Do you have a way I can contact you, like Steam or Skype?

Edit: Blah, my email's in the op.

Last edited at Sat, Sep 21st, 2013 17:57

>> No. 128495
Yeah, Thanks! I've sent you an email with a collective list of inquiries.

"Welcome to /fic/"

Is it bad that I've been here for almost a year?
>> No. 128497
File 137987143746.png - (276.38KB , 1280x1482 , rainbow_dash_licking_screen_by_sportsracer48-d56zhnn.png )
So is review requesting still possible here without the submission form?
>> No. 128498
Not really, most of us usually hang out in the #fic IRC channel on Canternet.

To be honest, I kinda wish we could abandon TTG. I feel that a lot of authors just dump their story here and forget about it. Before it was a great way to get reviewing experience without cluttering up the board with a million threads, but it's become really antiquated now.
>> No. 128499
Seeing as how >>128459 got claimed by >>128483, I don't see how things are any different. Slightly more old school, but the queue and spreadsheet only became useful when there was more than ten fics in the queue.

For now, the Training Grounds can run "manually" until someone comes along with a new queue system (which would probably mean that traffic needs to increase for it to be worth it).

After all, if someone wants to review, they'll find an outlet for that desire to help, not excuses why they can only help in a certain way. Perhaps a better question, then, is whether there are still reviewers willing to maintain the Training Grounds.
>> No. 128539
Yes, it is. The main problems are that at this point, it'd be near impossible to track down which stories were claimed but never reviewed, which stories were reviewed but never acknowledged, and which stories had a review or acknowledgement communicated outside the thread. Are you asking as an author or a reviewer?

That said,

I'd already been doing most of the queue maintenance, and I'm fine with keeping at it, if we're going to run the queue that way, but I don't know how to set up a new submission form. Or if traffic is light enough, I can enter stuff in the spreadsheet manually.

The only unclaimed story I remember is FMP's "A Heavy Crown." Unfortunately, the occasional person comes by from an outdated link in an old thread. If I remember, I'll try to post this message in all the old incarnations.

Last edited at Tue, Sep 24th, 2013 15:37

>> No. 128541
I can set up a new form or even try asking Demetrius for controls of the old ones, but again, that's effort I'm not sure is worth taking if #fic decided to tank TTG with their antics.

If this thread recovers to a point where the traffic needs a better solution than "manually handling the 1 fic that gets queued each week", I'll get an automated queue for it back up and running. You have my word.
>> No. 128549
Why are you two having this conversation here? Please do not clutter up the thread.

Are you still here, by and by? Although I might just PM you directly on FimFiction since it's more convenient that way.
>> No. 128797
Well then, it's been quite a long time since I've actually posted in the Ponychan TG. Hello, everyone! I'm me!

I'd like to claim something, but for some reason the ol' queue doesn't recognize an old participant. :(
>> No. 128802
There were some stories that had been claimed but never reviewed. Unfortunately, it would be near impossible to figure out which ones, since you'd have to go back through two or three threads and somehow determine which stories had communication outside the threads. And nobody responded to my posts to re-enter their info if they hadn't gotten a review. So, I'd say to wait around until a new story shows up, or make your own thread. Even the private ones aren't getting much traffic.

Last edited at Sun, Oct 6th, 2013 12:39

>> No. 128803
File 138110134706.jpg - (52.17KB , 600x424 , 1361855453964.jpg )
Long story short, since you haven't been following the thread(s) relevant to this:
> Lots of discussion about reviving TTG to make it more user-friendly
> I get pulled into it for input / suggestions. Looking back at it over the past year, it's a terrible litany of reviewers flaking on reviews.
> I decide to take matters into my own hands and enacted some changes that vastly simplified the submission process (and the queue sheet itself, to make it easier to understand) and made it require less maintenance, but that requires that reviewers be collabs on the document itself rather than just anyone.
> butthurt ensues
> I reach an epiphany: this place is better off without my help, because my ideas probably aren't relevant to what /fic/ has become, and it would be better off finding a new way of organization.
> I shut down the spreadsheet and explain my reasons, and wait to see what happens.

Also, if I may express this sentiment: if /fic/ can't figure out something on its own, it probably shouldn't. Furthermore, I don't care to invest any time into a project where everything is questioned/doubted and the good it does is minuscule, considering how few authors come here anymore, and it's something I haven't had time or inclination to participate in anyway.

The queue was meant to keep track of when thirty people come in asking for reviews over the span of a week (which was commonplace back in its heyday). It was needed because, to see whether a story had been reviewed already one needed to read the entire freaking thread and this was extremely bothersome with larger numbers of people in the thread. That's clearly not the case any more.

Last edited at Sun, Oct 6th, 2013 16:20

>> No. 128805
I suppose that given the circumstances that the original post of this thread ought to be rewritten.
>> No. 128807
Since we're going back to basics, I guess the op doesn't really need much instruction in it either. Does see anyone necessary additions to the following?


Previous thread | List of TTG Regulars [docs.google.com]

Greetings all, and welcome to the Training Grounds, the review thread for all authors, reviewers, proofreaders, and editors, both newcomer and seasoned veteran alike.

If you wish to have your story reviewed, simply post it in this thread with the subject “Review Request”, and then wait for a reviewer to claim it. Your request post should include the title, wordcount, and synopsis of your story, a link to the story itself, and any other information you deem important (e.g., rejection letters).

If you wish to review a story, first claim it by posting in this thread. After that, do your review and post it. If you want feedback on your review, put a “*” at the front of the subject line of your review post.
>> No. 128809

We have left extensive comments both in thy story and outline documents, so here commenceth Our final comments and closing remarks.

We will first say that We understand thy intent is to submit this story to Equestria Daily anon. Well, We would recommend that thou waitest until thou hast at least one more chapter. This is for two reasons. For one, there is no indication of where the story will go (yes, thou hast an outline prepared, which helpeth), but more indicative of true direction and writing ability is to have those chapters in hand. Normally, this would not be so much of a concern, but as thou art also below the word count threshold for Equestria Daily (3.000 words for an installment of a multi-chapter story), thou hast already handicapped thyself. Stories below the minimum word count can be accepted, if their quality standeth out, but 'tis double-edged sword: thou canst be rejected on that basis as well, and as We understand that thou mayest be on thy last strike, 'tis folly to stack the deck against thee, We would think.

So, to the story itself. There is simply not enough here yet to remark on your characters and events, other than to say that what thou hast so far maketh good enough sense, except for the comments We left regarding Willow's reaction to being questioned.

Now for the writing issues. When We look at overall counts, thy use of 'to be' verbs doth not appear excessive, yet thou usest them in clusters. Beware of these. While eliminating them entirely is not necessary, thou shouldst always strive for more interesting word choice. 'Tis a more enticing read without them raising up their little trollish heads. Also beware of repetitive sentence structures. While leading with the subject will certainly be thy (heh!) workhorse, vary it from time to time in order to keep from getting a lumbering feel, especially when such sentences have similar lengths. We shall briefly address the final three points, and then paste in some material to illustrate, conveniently borrowed from he who asked Us to perform this review.

We have cited thee for telling instead of showing in a few places as well. Thy pasted lesson on this topic:

'It's better to get the reader to interpret a character's emotions than to tell them outright. Devices for doing that include body language, reactions, facial expressions, actions, and sometimes speech and thought. The three biggest red flags are outright naming an emotion (sad), -ly adverb form (happily), and prepositional phrase form (in excitement). The last one in particular is almost always redundant with an action it follows. You'll bore the reader just throwing cold facts at him. You don't always have to show, but it's a good idea at critical plot points, emotional moments, and where you want the reader to feel something along with the character. You got it right in some places, so I know you're capable. Find areas where you did and give it some thought as to whether you want to make a closer connection to the reader there, or if it's just a minor instance. You got this right often enough that I know you can do it.'

A few of thy conversations exhibit what can be called 'talking heads,' in which dialogue is broken by little more than speaking actions, which leaveth thy speakers as floating heads in a void. Pasted lesson the second:

'There are several conversations where the dialogue is back and forth with little to no character action. They might as well be statues. Use the same techniques as show-versus-tell, and consider that what's said is only half of a conversation. Give me more of the nonverbal bits.'

Lastly, thou hast consistent problems with using commas where a conjunction setteth off subordinate clauses. The final lesson:

'Here's a common comma mistake, but really, all you need to do is look for subjects and verbs. Use a comma with a conjunction when your're separating clauses (separate subject-verb pairs) but not when separating two items in a compound structure. Here are the most common examples:
He performed this action and that action.
He and she performed this action.
He and she performed this action and that action.
He performed this action, and she performed that action.'

We have spared thee Our mood swings, as We have been called in for a special assignment on this.

Write thee onward, citizen!

Last edited at Sun, Oct 6th, 2013 21:59

>> No. 128818
>3.000 words for an installment of a multi-chapter story
@[email protected] oh... well, time to wrap up this chapter, write another chapter and go through this all over again and still have the rejection looming over me... with even more chances to screw it up.

Still, very informative and helpful review. Thank you and Pascoite very much for helping out.
>> No. 128938
New thread >>128937
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