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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)

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

Unspoiler all text  • Expand all images  • Reveal spoilers
>> No. 128060

Here you are

Great work. It just needs to be cleaned up some, small fixes for the most part.
>> No. 128062
It appears that FeatherFoot's acknowledgement of my review may have been missed.


FeatherFoot wants his story to go through a second round of review. I have PMed him suggesting that he resubmit via the Submission Form.
>> No. 128063
Tags: [Adventure]

Synopsis: 'Bout twelve years ago, Equestria got taken over.
But not by vast armies or corrupt governments, that'd be too easy. My country was taken by Mother Nature herself.  One day, huge trees just started coming up from the ground faster than you would ever belive. Not much we could do about it, the trees we cut down just get replaced by more trees. In a few days, everypony had to find higher ground or get lost in the woods. Today, the forest down there is a real dangerous place, filled with bloodthirsty monsters 'n heathen ponies and the like.

We called it Nature's Curse.

There ain't many operatin' cities left now, most of 'em got swallowed up. The ones that were untouched lost contact with each other, making it real hard to move goods and messages around. Most couriers that tried to make deliveries on hoof just ended up lost or eaten, and most pegasai can't fly that far without rest.

That's where I come in.

The name's Cloudstrider. I'm the captain of this beautiful little airship called The Sea Singer. This here's my first mate, Derpy Hooves and y'all probably already met my pilot, Scootaloo, my navigator, Sweetie Bell, and my engineer, Applebloom. Me and my crew are at your service,  providin' y'all have the bits to pay for us.

You have a job that needa doin', we can do it... don't much care what it is.

Link: http://www.fimfiction.net/story/114620/the-sea-singer

I would like the first and only chapter reviewed

Comments/requests: I posted this pilot chapter on FIMfic yesterday after about a month of writing it. I would like any reviewer wiilling to give me their strong opinion and constructive criticism because I plan to submit to EQD in the future.
>> No. 128067
I'm new here so please excuse any mistakes

EDIT: new working title is One coin.

Tags: normal, comedy. (they need to have an eqg tag or something.)

Synopsis: Collin Mercer Is a loner who moved to Canterlot after his dad's job forced him to move. In his new school, Canterlot high, he Is bombarded by weirdness and strange girls, mostly attempting to befriend him. But he doesn't want any part of it, or does he?

I know there are several things wrong with the story that need to be worked on, I would like you not to pull any punches. I know A.J's diologe needs tweaking, but i can't seem to get it to work with me. Also the pacing seems a bit of in places. thank you for the help.

There is only one chapter so far.


Last edited at Thu, Jul 25th, 2013 22:17

>> No. 128075
File 137542493783.jpg - (4.09KB , 160x160 , bored_luna.jpg )
Our apologies that thy previous reviewer hath abandoned his post. We hope that a bit of royal attention may prove worth waiting for. So prepare thyself, author!

>The room itself was a large stone hallway
Forsooth! A room and a hallway are not quite the same thing. 'Tis incongruous.

>opulent banners and murals. Most of them hung in tatters, and some were smoking as if recently burned.
We are confused. How doth a mural hang in tatters or smoke? A banner maketh sense, but not a mural. Mayhap thou meanest a tapestry? We used to weave such exquisite ones back—Ah, We digress.

>At one end of the room were two thrones: one was made of ivory, the other of ebony.
'Twould be meet that thou shouldst use more active verbs. Nothing happeneth here; it merely is. *Yawn*

>The former was gilded in decorative patterns and large golden sun adorning the back, while the latter was laced with silver and accented with the mark of a crescent moon.
First, thy right margin is ragged, though We suspect that to be an artifact of exporting from FiMFiction. More 'to be' verbs here, and unnecessary passive voice. We appreciate that thou hast paid attention to Our personal throne, however.

>Both thrones had pieces missing from them, most likely strewn across the hall.
The narrator standeth in the hall. Can he not see?

>There were several scratches and chunks taken out of its surface
Thou hast referenced a 'pair of doors', so wherefore is 'its surface' singular?

>A small, low-pitched hum emanated from it.
Watch that thy sentence structure becometh not repetitive. Thou hast started all but two so far with the subject, and those exceptions were the same. Too much of this, and thy story readeth like a grocery list. Which remindeth Us... We require more pudding.

>One of her wings was broken in several places, many of the pinions were ripped out.
Thy comma is a splice, which holdeth two sentences together. Either that or thou hast added/removed a word injudiciously.

>Every time she moved it
Thou shouldst demark this dependent clause with a comma.

>she winced in agony; so
The wincing already showeth agony. Why repeat it? And 'tis bad practice to put a conjunction after a semicolon; they have redundancy of function.

>no longer bothering
This seemeth to describe 'it', not 'she', for it is closer.

>She tried to take a step forward but her legs gave out.
When thou hast separate subject/verb pairings, thou shouldst separate the clauses with a comma.

>She slammed on the ground and cried out.
'Slam' requireth a direct object.

>Right in front of her nose lie 6 beautiful gems.
Why hast thou switched to present tense? And please write out numbers this short.

>One was yellow, another orange, the third blue, the fourth maroon, the fifth pink, and the last one a deep violet.
Thou couldst shorten this description considerably, given that most readers will already know that of which thou speakest.

>it; an aura that seemed both inviting and intimidating
Thy semicolon hath no independent clause after it. A comma would fit. Again, We crave action. 'Seem' hath two problems: 'Tis an inert state of being, not a dynamic action, and is thus boring. And what about them maketh them such? Presumably, the unnamed narrator hath this impression, but how do the gems make her feel this way?

>With nowhere else to look
Introductory words and phrases typically have a comma. 'Tis also a dangling modifier. It wanteth to describe the pony, but she appeareth not, at least not in a form that a prepositional phrase can modify; her gaze is the thing described.

>Everything seemed calm and serene
More seeming, and again with no justification for why it seemeth this way. We grow weary. Our throne for some action!

>the moon's pristine opalescence
How is the moon opalescent? 'Tis a specific mineralogical effect, which the moon's geology lacketh.

>Dark splotches dominated the surface, arranged in the profile of a unicorn's head.
Due to how the sentence is arranged, this saith that the surface was arranged, not the splotches.

>into the pony’s conscious
We presume thou meanest 'consciousness'.

>Luna, she weeped.
'Wept' is the past tense, but it maketh a poor speaking action.

>Everything became silent, the only noise came from the pony’s labored breathing accompanied by sobs.
Another spliced comma, and the participle 'accompanied by sobs' needeth a comma. However, 'tis an awkward phrasing. 'The only sound is her breathing, but there is this one other sound as well.'

>I tried everything to help you.
Why hath that 'I' not leaned over with its cohorts? Hath it not tippled enough yet? Is that what the college ponies call it these days? When they use a cider bung or whatever in Tartarus it is called?

>We were happy together.
We understand not this formatting. Is this a song? We are not familiar with such. We tried singing once, and... the damage was extensive.

Would they not use her proper title?

>The pink-maned pony
Thou hast used such a description several times now. We believe it is called 'Lavender Unicorn Syndrome'. 'Tis not an effective way for thee to refer to thy characters.

>A look of anxiety and concern crossed his face.
Wh-why wouldst thou inflict this upon Us? We prefer to see the scene as it might happen in front of us and figure out on Our own that he is anxious and concerned. Forcing Us into the character's viewpoint maketh us form a connexion with him; having the narrator make the conclusions for Us doth not.

>Are you alright Your Majesty?
When a character speaketh to another directly and useth her name or position, thou needest a comma to set it apart.

>he held out a hoof
Missed capitalisation.

>all of whom were clad in golden armor
How is this detail pertinent at the moment? 'Tis like a little gadfly, buzzing about where it belongeth not. Then it biteth, and our bum itcheth, and...


Now We will not be able to sleep.

*scratches furiously*

>urgency abundant in his tone
Better to convey this through his actions, not through some tonal quality which cannot be captured in writing.

>“Is that-”
Use a proper dash, not a hyphen.

>Having the magical organ of the tyrant they had fought in their midst was quite unsettling.
We are not sure We would describe a horn as an organ. In any case, We need to see that the guards are unsettled, not just have the narrator assure Us of such.

>Nopony gets out, or in.
Squeeze those two words together until that comma spurteth out like a pus-swelled boil and landeth far from this story.

>Before the last soldier went out,
Missing a paragraph break, methinks.

>Yes commander?
Missing comma, and when addressing somepony by rank, capitalise.

>his horn began to glow a bright silver. The bricks in the middle of the hall began to quake
Repetitive 'began' actions.

>A large platform with a large
WHAT DID WE JUST SAY!? Whenever thou repeatest a word injudiciously, a foal receiveth a cutie mark in the likeness of Justin Bieber.

>six indents
Indentations, yes?

>with one be slightly larger
'What we have here is a failure to communicate.'


Oh, that Colt Eastwood! He leaveth Us in stitches!


>half open
Use hyphens for multi-word modifiers.

>Using the last of her energy
Another missing comma! 'Tis an epidemic! We would call the Royal Guard, but as Luna always saith: Trust not the po-pos.

*riotous laughter*

Oh, those foals and their hop-hup music!

>The six crystals began to glow brightly, giving off a very calming energy, while the structure itself began to hum
So many more beginnings. How about an ending to using that abhorrent word?

> low pitched, but then it started to get higher, and higher, until it was no longer audible
Another missing hyphen, and only the first comma is necessary. And disguising 'began' as 'started' will not stay Our wrath! Wise ass....

>When it appeared all was back to normal. They opened their eyes to see the Princess standing up straight.
We believe thou meanest that to be one sentence.


There are formatting problems at the end of the prologue and the beginning of chapter 1, but We will assume it is a FiMFiction issue.

>Comet screwed up his face in concentration
The concentration is already evident from the action. Thou needest not tell Us.

>Comet gasped in delight
And likewise. These are instances of the time-honoured 'show, don't tell' advice. Show Us through context how he feeleth, not by having the narrator tell Us.

What is this?

>Hello Snowflake
And another missing comma. 'Tis not phat.

>I’m care because I love you
And when did she become care?

>The comb is running through your mane.
Should this not be in italics?

>(and a few threats of punishment)
Parentheses do not work very well in narration.

>tapping her forehoof with impatience
More telly phrasing.

>“There you are!” she said with an exasperated tone, “we’re ten minutes late already so hurry!
Where to begin? 'Exasperation' is telly, thou hast punctuated and capitalised as if both parts of the quote were a single sentence, and another comma hath been evicted from its nest.

>Aren’t you excited Commy?
Due to the Law of Conservation of Punctuation, all of these commas are somewhere. We shudder to think of the size of that pile...

>convincing the school board for letting you in
Phrasing. 'convincing the school board to let you in'

>“Look, Commy,” exclaimed Snowflake
Would not an exclamation use an exclamation point?

>banners of various colors peaked out
Homophone confusion of peek and peak.

Whose opinion is this? The narrator speaketh not for any of the characters.

>trying to reach the school
>trying to sell off their wares

-ly adverbs requireth no hyphen.

>unicorns foals and their parents and other onlookers
And more commas enter an alternate universe...

>Hailey exited followed by Comet and Snowflake
And again. 'Tis but a little button near the spacebar. Fear it not.

'Tis an odd place to end a chapter. There is no cliffhanger or resolution. Is this incomplete?

Well, if thou canst not tell, thy major problems were with repetition of words and phrases, comma abuse, lack of active verbs, and being telly. Much of it listeth a procedure of actions, but without emotional context to lend any importance to those actions. Normally, We would comment on character development and plot as well, but there is not enough here to judge yet. And in any case, the mechanical issues requireth enough retooling that spending too much time on the aesthetics would be foolhardy at this point – much is likely to change.

Final mood: too drowsy to be angry.

Write thee onward, citizen!

Last edited at Fri, Aug 2nd, 2013 20:13

>> No. 128079
File 137567843259.png - (141.11KB , 406x540 , troll_luna.png )
Thy opening paragraph hath a—what do the foals call it?—shit-ton of passive voice. 'Tis the place to grab a reader by the neck, draw his interest, shove his eyeballs to the pages, spank him—

We apologize.

Active verb constructs would do much more to create a 'hook' for the reader.

No hyphen needed.

>She had already been to the marketplace, and had picked up enough fruits
Thou needest a comma with a conjunction only when it separateth clauses or the compound structures get complex.

>She absentmindedly strolled the shelves of the library
Methinks thou art missing a word. Or mayhap she is using her new wings to walk upon the shelves?

>myriad of texts
In this phrasing, the 'of' is unnecessary.

Write out short numbers.

>convincing the armies
Participles modify the nearest possible object, though logic can betimes sort things out. However, it soundeth rather like Celestia hath convinced the armies. Because the narrative resideth in Twilight Sparkle's viewpoint, We would suggest the full title of 'Princess Celestia', as Twilight is wont to do. We know We would prefer it.

>Twilight turned her eyes upward as she turned the page.
Beware repetitive word use. 'Tis a murrain and a pox upon all that is readable, and when We waste Our royal time wading through such a mire, IT PISSETH US OFF!

>It rivaled the size of an Equestrian bit-coin.
Which are relatively small...

>or their spider equivalent
Twilight would know the proper terminology, or at least decline to speculate. This seemeth more of the narrator's affectation than hers, and yet he is supposed to be in her viewpoint.

>in anticipation of dining on pony flesh
And Twilight would no doubt know that they wouldn't see something as large as a pony as a food source.

Consider this against the preceding sentence. 'Tis a rather rapid jump from objective narration to a very personal statement. Thou shouldst endeavor to 'zoom the camera' in or out gradually.

>How stupid of her. It was evening; she would’ve already disposed of it.
Verily? Would not a library be in the business of retaining a copy of the newspaper?

> It would be simple enough; just slam the book against the ceiling and be done with it then and there.
These are less linked thoughts and more of a clarification. We suggest a colon instead.

Shut up, thou sniveling clop writers! We see thee back there!


>even when the opposing party is out to put an end to your life
Thy tense is inconsistent.

>For someone as accomplished in the magical arts as her
Comparatives are nominative: 'as she.' Methinks the narrator, inasmuch as he is effectively Twilight, would know that.

>Her stomach tightened at the memory of that day
Titillating, off-hoof references to momentous events are not appreciated.

>Terror coursed through Twilight’s veins.
We would rather see this than take thy word for it.

>one of her sacrosanct text
Singular/plural mix-up.

>would help it blend into the wood
In fact, thou hast just said that it did.

Sound effects in narration are also a bad idea.

>force of a thunderclap
A thunderclap is an auditory event, and while it technically involveth air pressure, and therefore force, We doubt that even Twilight would make such a technical yet indirect connection.

>light headed

>entangled on top of the flattened body, entangled
While repetition can be done for effect, We see no apparent point to it here.

>Might this just an advance party?
Missing word. We shall send a bulletin of its likeness to the Royal Guard posthaste! Never fear! It shall be located!

'Tis not a spidery motion.

>a terrier
One too many spaces.

>Twilight’s cheeks burned as her scaly assistant cowered beneath her, using his short arms to shield his head.
Again, their closeness suggesteth Twilight was using Spike's arms.

If thou desirest to use an exclamation point or question mark in conjunction with a dash, place the dash first.

>His mouth hung open in astonishment.
Thou needest not tell Us he was astonished. Make Us believe it.

>the scowl on his face flamed with intense suspicion.

>the clutter of textbooks and encyclopedia
Number inconsistency

>He proceeded up the stairs, but paused halfway up.
More unnecessary word repetition. That is the problem with ponies these days—they spawn more words than they can support, and when it cometh time to take responsibility, they suddenly claim indigence and plead for some assistance from the royal coffers—

What? Yes, yes, he knows. We still must? Very well...


'The views expressed here are Our own, and not necessarily those of /fic/, ponychan, or any of their employees and volunteers.'

Perhaps thou shouldst telegraph this a smidgen. We had to think for a moment to recall that Twilight had upset his bedclothes.

While We found the story mostly enjoyable, it doth require that Twilight hold the 'idiot ball' a few times, whereas a modicum of explanation or rephrasing could have avoided it. We have excused a certain amount of telling, passive voice and such, as it seemeth to fit a comedic tone, but 'twas a bit much at times. Also watch for repetition of words or phrases and smoothness of transition betwixt thy broad-view objective narrator and focused, subjective indirect thoughts. It can jar a reader until he feeleth like so much zap apple jam!


Fine. We see that thy sense of humour remaineth trapped beneath thy neck-beard. Tonight thou shalt dream of a dalliance with Al Roker.

Final mood: cautiously amused.

Write thee onward, citizen!

Last edited at Fri, Aug 9th, 2013 09:24

>> No. 128098
File 137618386075.png - (74.40KB , 473x439 , Vanner.png )
That’s right, filly foolers. I’m back.

Characterization: 5/10. Poor, though in a second person fic, trying to characterized the main character (e.g. you) is a wasted effort. You do put forth good descriptions of poverty, which counts for a bit, as do your interactions between characters we may never see again.
Story: 4/10. It’s been said, done and otherwise milked to death, and I’ve been gone for like a year.
Flow: 6/10. Oh, brother. Asides aside, you need to focus on what you’re trying to accomplish with your story, and go from there. Worry more about how your stories reads than about snarky asides.
Mechanics: 8/10. Mechanically okay. Misuse of punctuation is kind of a bummer, but such is the English language.
Description: 7/10. Your descriptions of poverty are close to accurate, but you don’t make the read feel that desperation that comes from being middle lower class.
Final Score: 30/50. I’ve read worse, but the problem with this story and the epilogue is that it’s not really a story. We’ve got some characters, (which we probably won’t see again), some interactions (which feel genuine at least), and finally a contrivance for sake of plot which is its own sort of sloppy loophole. Would I say abandon this story? Not at all. What I would suggest is that you rework it into an actual story, because you seem to be able to write genuine interactions between characters. Good luck with that.

<b>Running review:</b>
2nd Person? Eh. Generally these fics tend to be self inserting, and the fact that it starts off as “Human Entering Equestria” doesn’t net any points on Vanner’s scale of approval.

>, that the merriment
Remove the that. It interrupts the flow.
>Aisha, your co-worker startles you,
That’s really kind of a terrible sentence. A better way to word it would be “You know…” A voice from behind startles you, before you realize it’s your co-worker Aisha.
>A middle aged mother of three
Move this sentence forward or backward to the rest of her physical description.
>as mom says
Move this line to the front of the quote.
>their vitality compelled her own,
That should be a semicolon.
>”Ah, someone went and stuck a gum under a table, again. You remain undaunted, for you have your faithful spatula at the ready!”
>Jake and you
Who’s Jake? where did he come from?
>but you gave as good…
This sentence runs on a bit.
><i>Multiple place</i>
Your tense keeps slipping from past to present. Stick with one.
>The landlord—but let's not dwell on annoying things.
Unnecessary. Remember that your story should start at the closest point it can to the finish, and asides only have a few purposes: Set the scene, give the characters depth, cause or solve conflict.
>Salmon and rice
Spendy for someone working at McDonalds. Even Canned salmon isn’t cheap.
>secret hobby;
Full colon.
> and artists; their problem
Full stop.
>you're exhausted from
No italics for emphasis in prose.
>Press Ctrl+Alt+E
That gives me €. Huzzah Euros!
> outside-in, a stark,
End this sentence, begin a new
>(more italics)
Again, no.
>> No. 128113
he... wow. You sir, left the day I arrived. Sorry to say it's mostly a ghost town now, but I do welcome you back. I've heard much about you, and it's way cool to see something current of yours.
>saged for irrelevant
>> No. 128133

claiming this
>> No. 128134
Here's a g-doc where I commented on some of the issues: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1oEL7D2PVFG_eAxwfTDEfQvas6kNdQpJdlQ0sxvNK6Ek/edit

There is a large issue with pronoun confusion and LUS throughout the story, especially in the first half where there are up to five characters in a scene, all female, and a lack of names.

Dialogue feels clunky at points and breaks in odd ways that takes the reader out of the story, aided by the overuse of pronouns.

I'm wary of the plot since right now it feels like a more drawn out and forced version of Read it and Weep.

Flow and lack of a hook are the the biggest issues though. The first half of the story I was wondering why I should be invested in Scootaloo. She doesn't do anything special and the plot revolves around her being bored. If she's bored the readers are bored too.

Flow is also an issue in that there are multiple events going on: Sweetie reading, Scootaloo moping, and Apple Bloom helping AJ practice that constantly switch up and making the narrative far more jarring than it needs to be. This is especially an issue with Apple Bloom's scenes because they contribute nothing further to the story than, "Apple Bloom is busy so Scootaloo is sad."

I'd suggest work on the grammatical and flow issues and then get someone else to give you a second opinion since the plot didn't connect with me.
>> No. 128135

Thank you for reviewing! I was beginning to wonder if everybody was on vacation here. :-P

Now, I've just looked at the G.doc, and despite one or two minor disagreements, I think the vast majority of points hit the mark. In light of this, I'll pull down the chapter and make the recommended edits before coming back here for that second opinion.

On a related note, I'm disappointed that you found the plotting to be less compelling than I had hoped. My aim was to set up Scootaloo's motivation for taking to the fad, but it might be I need to remove the opening sections with the scooter and replace them with a scene to encourage the reader to sympathize with her <i>before</i> the "Scootaloo is bored" scenes. Hopefully, that should make the reader care more about her, and therefore care about why she's bored.

Also, I assure you the plot is not intended as a rehash of <i>Read It and Weep</i>, though I can see where you would notice the parallels (bored and sporty pegasus reads Daring Do and loves it). However, the scenes with Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle are set-ups for later story development, and I hope - if I get around to submitting the later chapters - that their purpose, and the differences between my story and the episode previously mentioned, will become more apparent.

In any case, I am grateful that you took the time to read and criticize my first chapter, and will certainly put your advice to good use. Thank you once again!
>> No. 128160
File 137728331113.jpg - (760.80KB , 1280x1024 , Shirai_Kuroko_full_1572296.jpg )
Just cleared out most of the queue. See: https://mlpchan.net/fic/res/3448.html#7093
>> No. 128161
Terribly sorry this took so long. A combination of stress from starting school, quitting my job so I could GO to school, and forgetfulness when I got settled in my dorm...

Eh... Nevermind. I'm here now. And I would like to acknowledge your review. I've corrected all the mistakes you've pointed out and will be ever-so-vigilant in preventing myself from making those mistakes again. Additionally I would like to add that the chapter is NOT complete and I will get to writing even more after this first round of homework. Don't worry, it gets more exciting, (though I'm sure you've heard that one before).
>> No. 128165
File 137741306192.png - (271.57KB , 960x1046 , Ghostwriter.png )
Tag: Adventure.

Chapter 1: 3378
Chapter 2: 2307
Chapter 3: 2167


The Ghost of Canterlot

Ghosts and Phantoms

Ghost of the Past

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.

Thanks in advance.
>> No. 128176
See this post: >>128174
>> No. 128177

So this was the review I missed.

My apologies for the slow response.
>> No. 128185
File 137758638389.jpg - (14.86KB , 118x232 , Ikaruga_Icon.jpg )
In the interest of moving things along, I am hereby claiming every story in the Training Grounds queue. I am not sure what happened or why there are two different boards for this thread, so in the interest of organization, I will be reviewing every story in my own thread, located here:

Nicknack's Review Thread 2.0

However, there are some conflicts, as I have already reviewed >>128026A Heavy Crown and >>128165Magic Books, Runes, and a Little Hope. Similarly, I cannot access >>127682Plain Old Chaos.

These three stories aside, expect reviews for the following stories:
>>128067Untitled EQG Story
>>128131To Guard Equestria

I encourage any other prospective authors to visit my thread if they wish for a review. Again, the link is:
>> No. 128203

Well, can't let Nick have all the fun and, in all fairness, there are really not many excuses I can personally offer for not having at least tried to do a little more of this myself earlier. I'd say I was extremely busy with work and school, which I suspect more than a few of us could be still, but I think there were likely a few moments where I could have squeezed one or two reviews in.

To Nick, I say thank you. We do not have an excuse, and you are a kind gentleman to help us when we needed a good kick to the dome.

To the TTG, I will say sorry. As a member and a fellow author, I think that we could have done better, and I know I cannot discard some of my own personal responsibility for this mess. I wanted to help, but I always found an excuse in thinking someone else would do it.

To those just claimed, I'll say buckle up. We're going to clean out this queue completely, and take it with a clean slate. Let us see if we can't make this manageable again.
>> No. 128206
Plain Old Chaos is password-locked.
>> No. 128207
Yeah, I moved it to the 'old entries' section of the queue. If the author wants a review, the author knows where to ask.
>> No. 128208
Tags: [Adventure][Grimdark]

Synopsis: After one of her most elaborate pranks goes horribly, horribly wrong, Pinkie decides to cast herself into voluntary exile. However, the old roads out of Ponyville whisper of tales and mysteries better left forgotten. The pond might seem shallow at first, but it gets deeper the farther one treads.


Chapters: Prologue, 1-9.
Comments: I have come to the temple of the fan-fiction gods seeking guidance and knowledge. I fear that I am my own worst editor, so I can't say much for the quality of my work other than the fact that half of it's been properly reviewed (by a proper, perceptive editor) and the other hasn't. If you can find the line, I've failed at my mission and shall willfully spend a sleepless night questioning the value of my life choices.

I request that special attention be given to my Characterization: It's a central point to this work (Perhaps even more so that with my other stories), and is so crucial to the meaning of the whole that if the characters are bad, the whole thing's bad. It's especially concerning because I've tried to go outside my comfort zone and take some major risks (Well, small-to-intermediate risks perhaps. But they're major to me!)

Thanks for your time and consideration, and if you decide to review my piece please send me an email so I can authorize you to make comments (if that is preferable). Either way, I would love to establish a dialogue, so that I may absorb your knowledge.

(Note: There are still a few "writers notes" hanging around in there, some WIP stuff I've yet to figure out a good solution to and all that. Feel free to give suggestions if you see one.)
>> No. 128223
File 137779008509.png - (384.41KB , 939x821 , cover.png )
Tags: shipping, I'll add more when I think of ones that are relevant

Synopsis: Trixie dreams of being a powerful unicorn, but deep inside she doesn't truly believe she has the ability to make this dream a reality. After many failed attempts at making herself feel strong, her tutor decides to begin teaching her spells out of a book written by Starswirl the Bearded himself. With this, not only does Trixie begin to build confidence in herself, she builds the power she had always dreamed of.

Link (only chapter one): https://docs.google.com/document/d/16sXLH1QZjlaFt8jxiLZ7meYAu-0CSARv78XrV3u1QF8/edit?usp=sharing comments are enabled

Comments: I've submitted this work many a time here, and I've decided to reboot all my stories, starting with this one, and I do believe it is MUCH better than the original. Just general feedback will do, things that were done well, and things that were done not so well.
>> 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
File 137845151024.jpg - (29.34KB , 403x403 , 533038_10152604578595374_540663341_n.jpg )
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
File 137943631918.jpg - (34.42KB , 625x640 , 1781737-spacecore.jpg )
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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