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128937 No. 128937
#Reviewer #The Training Grounds
Previous thread: >>128053

Welcome one and all to the Training Grounds, the review thread authors and reviewers, both newcomers and seasoned veterans alike! With the closing of the spreadsheet, we’re going back to square one: just stories, reviews, and this thread right here. Things will be kept track of by hoof, wing, and/or claw with a listing every so often.

How to get a review: Post a story with its title, description, tags, and a link to it where applicable. Please include all of these in your post and not just a Fimfiction link to a title page.

How to review: Write what you think about a story (or review) and post it in a reply. Put a * in front of the subject field if you’d like your review reviewed.

List of unclaimed stories: >>129398

Last edited at Thu, Feb 13th, 2014 11:07

Unspoiler all text  • Expand all images  • Reveal spoilers
>> No. 128973
A pony is running for his life in a forest at night, with his hind legs chained together. Someone is after him, but the threat remains vague, since denying the horror that lurks after him is the only way for the pony to keep himself sane. And sane he must remain, for the whole fate of Equestria is on his hooves now.

Tag: horror, dark

Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1vLRaz7UZSgizbuJmaqhxizAqGWpBojW2Sxceo_Xkgpw/edit?usp=sharing

I hope somepony somewhere sees this post and answers it.
>> No. 128974
File 138261089058.jpg - (37.29KB , 400x500 , ax.jpg )
EDIT: Post is meant to be "Review"; it was "Overview" because that's what I thought it would be starting out. An hour later, well...

Picture somewhat relevant.

Standard disclaimer: all of what I say here is personal opinion. I'm out of practice, but even when I was I never bothered to phrase everything with "imo" or "Just my preference, buuuut...". Even if it's worded as fact, it probably isn't. Just so we're on the right page. Asterisked so people can chime in if they want to, and feel free ask me anything.

Some points I wish to raise, in no particular order:

>He fell over again, this time twisting an ankle.
>It really was hard to run while your hind legs were chained together like this, really hard indeed.
>Actually, Aspen Leaf’s progress, which he wanted to believe had been running, had resembled more like an awkward mix of hopping and skittering. This was the best he could in his current state manage, though, for the chains didn’t surrender an inch more freedom for him. An outside observer might also have wondered why anypony would run through a forest at night with his hind legs chained together in the first place. Surely not for fun?

Your perspective is, for the most part, appreciable. Clever repetitions and redundancies give a richer insight into Aspen's mindset than if you went for the strict, distant sort, and the many ellipses are used to good effect, though mileage would vary greatly depending on your readership. The sections above are singled out because there is a causality to them that felt jarring. You might add a bit more to the twisting-an-ankle bit, like "He screamed", or some kind of sensory detail, so it doesn't feel so casual, seeing as it's the first obvious impediment in the story.

"while your" - you reference the reader and the story itself a couple of times. Keep your perspective confined to within the pages, so to say - maybe "with one's hind legs chained together". I know some would advocate deleting "like this", too, but I didn't feel the need for it (as much as that "your").

"Actually" - maybe something less... said and more narration-ish, like "The truth was".
"didn't" - I suggest "did not", because not using contractions generally gives a more solid quality to the narration.
"... for ..." - you use this sentence structure quite a bit. I've taken a case-by-case approach to tell you wish ones would be better off changed, which we'll get to soon.
"Surely not for fun?" - I'm not sure whether the inaneness of this line adds to the quality of his derangement, or detracts from the atmosphere. When it doubt, change nothing, but if you took a 3-week breather and came back, you might find a better alternative to the last two lines up there.

>especially when it was his own blood in question
Bit of a bumpy one, stacking "his own" and "in question" like that. The blunter option is "...when it was his", or the lengthier option is "... when the blood in question was his own." On a general note, your perspective really is quite interesting to study, because you're blending the frenzy of being hunted and the much more casual loose-screw mindset. I'd go for the first option, because you fall more on the mindset-side of things, to even it out a bit more.

>It didn’t require much err to simply tenfold the pain in the broken limb
You use "simply" a lot, too. This case doesn't work as you want more "accidental" than "casual" here; just delete it

>Not even the moon was shining tonight, not to mention the stars that also had been covered by the blanket of clouds.
"not to mention" - replace with "much less", which is what you actually mean. Also, if it's dark, how could he have examined his hoof previously?

>Suddenly Aspen Leaf froze, for he had heard something.
Cutting this "for" to split into two sentences makes it more urgent, which would be more relevant to the situation

>They were on his trail. He didn’t know how,
The way this is presented suggests that he was surprised at being followed, which doesn't make sense seeing as how scared he is running.

>that he had began to loathe so much
So he only started hating the chains a good long while after running? I'm guessing not.

>After only half an hour, the sticks, rocks and sand of the ground had ripped his belly and limbs full of scratches and wounds where the mud seeped in, causing them to itch in intolerable manner.
"Half an hour" - who's counting? Using a less rigid time descriptive gives you a chance to show how blurry things have become for Aspen
"in intolerable manner" - in an intolerable... Ehh, consider using a metaphor or two. Be more creative with this. For instance,

>....where the mud seeped in. It was like ants, a whole swarm biting his lower half - probably was, actually.

You can probably do better than that.

>the spell that had so far dulled the pain in his ankle faded while he lay in the pool of muddy water that was slowly turning red from the blood oozing from all his cuts. Leaf could tell that it had faded, for the excruciating agony made him scream aloud.
You try reading that in one breath. "That was slowly turning" is redundant; how can he even see that in the darkness you described? You could probably give more weight to the screaming by describing a sharp fade instead of a regular fade, which tends to be slow and obvious - have it hit him suddenly and give the occasion the punch it deserves.

>That did nothing to subside the fear that spread all over Leaf’s mind and body, but on the contrary it made him feel even more paranoid
Everything after "but" is redundant telling of what you can show. Consider instead some description of how exactly fear spreading in the body applies? "Broke out in shudders", etc.

> It had to be said, though, that Leaf’s joy was cut short by the realization that the house, if such a word even applied to the ruin in front of him anymore, was clearly abandoned a long while ago.
"It had to be said" - casual, nearly-direct referencing to reader, cut.

>Leaf made a sound that almost wasn’t a scream and could’ve passed as a laugh, although not in this context.
"although not in this context" - cut. You're butchering an otherwise complex description.

>everything had simply… Decayed… Both inside and outside of the house
This is the first instance that made me realize how silly capitalizing the words after ellipses is, if you're not starting a new sentence. While it's accurate to the rule books (some of them, anyways), consider not capitalizing words unless they start a new sentence. For that matter, this use of ellipses is rather uncalled for. Making "decayed" stand out doesn't have any beneficial impact, so don't do it.

>At that point, Leaf’s consciousness simply abandoned him.
Getting rid of "simply" would make this line blunter.

>but in the few therapy session I
Obligatory agreement error: sessions

>Looking backward,
Looking back

>I could not have been more wrong about that.
>There is no easy way to break this, so I’m just going to say it:
>He can’t harm anypony anymore, not other unicorns at least, against whom he presents currently no threat at all.

I feel that there are times when the liberties granted to Aspen's perspective bleed into the doctor's letter. These are those times. I suggest you go for a much colder, scholarly tone, which means getting rid of word choices which show emotional investment in the issue, as well as top-down talk (educating someone lacking knowledge compared to discussing with an intellectual peer). The last line is just weird. Maybe the blunter "He cannot harm anypony anymore." would work to greater effect.

>This, for the fortune of all, ended up not to be the case.
I reckon it's "to the fortune", though either way it sounded a bit odd.

>for he was in pretty rough shape when we found him
Delete "pretty", which is a weird modifier coming from said character.

What I find jarring is the idea of such a clearly disobedient doctor under Celestia's attention. I'm going with the canon benevolence here - why hasn't Celestia put a stop to him already? He implies at least that he's done it before, nor does he show any signs of even reluctantly stopping despite Celestia's express disapproval. What doesn't stand up scrutiny, in other words, is how Pidgeon is still in his position at the time of writing, given that Celestia is her benevolent self. The fact that he so arrogantly tells her "even though it doesn't seem to have worked it will soon" also shows a kind of intellectual lack of standards - amoral as he might be, telling someone that your pilot test failed, and telling them it isn't actually a failure has got to be a self-destructive trait in a scholar (I speak as an engineering undergrad). Maybe you're going for the idea that Pidgeon is mental himself, though I can't see why, because then you'd lose your "reliable" reference, which the plot twist cannot work without. Maybe have him give an excuse for not reporting on progress, or just: "The outcome of the procedure will be presented when enough information is collected - and I assure you it will be positive" or summat. Either way, the validity of the plot twist is the weakest part of the story.

If, of course, you don't count it not actually being scary as a weakness. I don't, but I don't read or watch much in the way of scary things.

What I can appreciate is the dark tone, the way you handled the perspective, and that overall, while not too memorable, it was a nice, solid read that I could get lost in for a while. In these aspects I think you've done a decent job.

"Would you make EqD" is a kind of standard I compare stories by, among others, and I suppose you would/would not by a hair. The lack of more plot or purpose to the thing would be a good criticism of this, though I can't say how to fix that aside from making the conspiracy much greater. And at its length, it feels just about right, so I'd advise against that.

In short, well-written with a decent atmosphere at the expense of plot depth. Pidgeon's rather easy to poke holes through, but Aspen is established nicely.

I hope this helps. Keep writing.

Last edited at Thu, Oct 24th, 2013 03:36

>> No. 128975
Thank you! This is just the kind of criticism I have been looking for lately. Well, since I began writing these fics, really. It may be obvious, but while I am quite comfortable with the English language (as a non-native speaker), I'm not that used to writing prose with it. This is hard not just because of grammatical reasons, but because it's really difficult sometimes to say what a sentence "feels" like to a native speaker, if you know what I mean? Knowing the dictionary definition of a word does not imply (at least for me) a knowledge of the associations that come with it. What is the fine difference between "sinister" and "ominous"? Which shoud I use? Questions like these are the ones that cause the majority of my problems. They are also the reason why I use the same structures and words like "simply" way too often.

That's why your comments on the phrasings are so important for me. I shall put them to good use.

Thank you again.
>> No. 129000
title: Dethronement
description: The capital of Equestria has been overthrown, it's rulers bound in chains, as they watch their subjects suffer. Luna Finds a way to escape and searches for help. She finds a rag tag group of ponies who are willing to find the hidden element of harmony. Landcastra the evil dictator kills innocent in the streets, and leaves all other cities trembling under a hoof of iron.

tags: (idk what to put here so I'll put this a "?" will mean I'm not sure about adding that tag) adventure, Equestria invaded, Dark?, action?


I only have the prologue done so far but I like learning as I go
>> No. 129011

I've got some time to spare, so I'll try to help you out a bit. I can't go in depth on the entire chapter, but hopefully you can apply what I can provide to the rest of your work.

But first, let's look at your synopsis. It's what readers will read first, and therefore must directly reflect the quality of the work itself.

"The capital of Equestria has been overthrown, it's rulers bound in chains, as they watch their subjects suffer. Luna Finds a way to escape and searches for help. She finds a rag tag group of ponies who are willing to find the hidden element of harmony. Landcastra the evil dictator kills innocent in the streets, and leaves all other cities trembling under a hoof of iron."

"It's" should be its, otherwise you're saying "it is rulers bound in chains". Also, this is a run-on, put a period or semicolon after "overthrown" and rewrite the rest of the sentence so that it sounds good when read aloud.(I.E. Its rulers lay bound in chains, forced to watch their subjects suffer.) In fact, I'd recommend reading everything you write aloud, as a rule of thumb, if you are not already doing so. "Finds" shouldn't be capitalized and "rag tag" should be ragtag. If your referring to the Elements of Harmony as a noun then they should be capitalized. There needs to be commas after "Landcastra" and "dictator", unless that's his title, then it should be capitalized (Like "Star Swirl the Bearded") although I don't know why he'd be called Landcastra the Evil Dictator, as that's a very uninspiring title to hold, unless it's used to comedic effect. And as an FYI, if you want something to be a surprise, don't mention it in your synopsis. Already, your readers know that Landcastra's evil, Luna escapes, and there's a hidden Element of Harmony, all of which seem to be pretty big plot points.

"tags: (idk what to put here so I'll put this a "?" will mean I'm not sure about adding that tag) adventure, Equestria invaded, Dark?, action?"

The killing of innocents is certainly, by itself, a warrant for a Dark tag. If you're unsure of how your story will progress, slap an "Adventure" tag on there too, for good measure. Which is what your Fimfic page says, so in that regards you're spot on.

Now, onto the story itself:

You misspelled Dethronement as "Dethronment" in your chapter subheading. Not a good way to start things off, that's for sure.

"The evening sun shone brightly over the lush fields just outside of Canterlot castle with an orange sun set, the aura like glow from the sun hit the city of Canterlot as sounds of happy ponies conversing, laughing and playing.Summer embraced may have waned, as the autumn season's delightful chill began to touch upon the manes and muzzles of the many ponies in the city.
It was a good day, the good vibes of communals could be felt miles away. In the Canterlot park were The princess of the sun, Shining Amour, Princess Cadence, and their daughter . As the group played in the park enjoying their day. Everything seemed to be quite welcoming to anyone entering the green pastures of the castle grounds, that was, until a strange wind began to blow in, and a figure masked in a black veil cloak approached the small group of royalty."

The first sentence is a run-on, "with an orange sunset" is reduntant and "aura like" needs a hyphen. An aura is a glow, so that's also redundant. Also, when you us the word "as" you need to make sure the rest of the sentence reflects the usage of said word (I.E. "as sounds of happy ponies conversing, laughing and playing echoed through the valley")."Summer embraced" should be "Summer's embrace", and the "may" in this sentence has no purpose, unless your narrator is unsure of itself. Either way, the wording is off and should be rewritten(I.E. "Summer's embrace was waning..."). "It was a good day" is reduntant, and "communals" isn't a word, at least not in this context, as it's equivalent to saying "the good vibes of the publics could be felt miles away". If your going to use abstract titles (like "princess of the sun" --which should be capitalized,) than use abstract titles for all of them, the same goes for if you're using full names (like Shining Amour) or formal titles (such as Princess Cadence). Also, "their daughter" could use some more descriptors, such as an actual name.

"As the group played in the park enjoying their day."

Is that the entire sentence? I don't even know where to start with this... it's like you just stopped mid thought. I'm assuming you wanted to express the fact that they were having a jolly good time before [insert disastrous event here] happens, which you can do better by showing them enjoying themselves instead of simply telling your reader that they were. If you want to build tension here, than you need to devote some more time into detailing it. Show some interactions between the characters, I mean, you introduce the offspring of two main characters here. That's a pretty major thing to just sideline like it's no big deal. Also, there should be a comma after the word "park".

Finally, the structure of this paragraph is off. It should be two paragraphs with proper indentations, with "it was a good day... felt miles away." being the concluding sentence of the first paragraph, not the introduction of the second, as the spacing would suggest.

I'd say more, but I'm afraid that's all the time I have for now.

Considering the frequency and severity of your spelling and grammar issues, I would suggest re-reading and re-editing your story before posting again, so that I can write a more complete, and more focused, review. I would also recommend reading Ezn's Guide to Writing (Fan)Fiction(http://eznguide.rogerdodger.me/) and The Editor's Omnibus (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1dqgYO7OqGDcE3CZ8V6WDOBKTITjzvbrHdyXOFtm_dfI/edit) before you give your story another round of quality proofreading.

Best of luck with your future endeavors.

Last edited at Sun, Oct 27th, 2013 17:24

>> No. 129034
Title: The Assassination of Twilight Sparkle

Summery: One year after her coronation, Princess Twilight Sparkle is dead. Killed by her own subjects out of fear and jealously. After the funeral, Princess Celestia isolated herself from the world; mourning the loss of her brightest student and daughter figure.

But she cannot weep forever. She must take control of her duties once more. Haunted by the memories of the assassination, and its aftermath, Celestia slowly makes her way to Twilight's resting place to find some closure.

Tag: Tragedy

Link to chapter 1: http://www.fimfiction.net/story/120494/1/the-assassination-of-twilight-sparkle/i-promised-i-would-protect-her

Link to chapter 2: http://www.fimfiction.net/story/120494/2/the-assassination-of-twilight-sparkle/i-only-feel-rage-and-sorrow

Link to chapter 3: http://www.fimfiction.net/story/120494/3/the-assassination-of-twilight-sparkle/i-will-never-forget-you

Link to chapter 4: http://www.fimfiction.net/story/120494/4/the-assassination-of-twilight-sparkle/i-shall-move-on

Been awhile since I've done this, but here we go. This story managed to do pretty good on it's own (even getting it's own TV tropes pages), but I'm pretty sure there are some errors that need fixing. Debating if I want to send this to Equestria Daily or not.


Last edited at Wed, Oct 30th, 2013 19:15

>> No. 129035
File 138320708671.jpg - (43.21KB , 960x540 , 1382164825185.jpg )
So is this board strictly about fiction featuring things in the MLP setting?
>> No. 129037
File 138322081122.jpg - (192.61KB , 640x480 , alice_cycling.jpg )
As a key offender of this, I can safely say that is not the case. You just have to find someone willing to read your work is all, same as any other fic.
>> No. 129038
There are no rules on this board that posted works must be MLP:FiM fanfiction.

That said, most people will assume your story is set in the MLP:FiM universe unless stated otherwise.
>> No. 129045

Wait just a goddamn minute. I've been writing original fiction for the past few months and everything I've seen pointed towards the necessity of specifically requesting reviewers via PM to view said works.

Now I'm thoroughly miffed. >:(

Last edited at Fri, Nov 1st, 2013 21:16

>> No. 129046
"Welcome to /fic/, the board for pony fanfiction and all things related to it!"

Not a rule per se, but pretty heavily implies what the board is specifically for.
>> No. 129050
File 138337761096.png - (647.27KB , 1280x720 , Twilight_Sparkle_reshelf_books_2_S02E10.png )
H-Hey, guys. It's been a while. I haven't submitted something here since April 2012. I've been in a really bad slump since then. However, I recently finished something, and I'd like to get it reviewed before I come to hate it too much.

Title: Rise of the Bookmare
Tags: [Comedy][Action]
Description: It's been a few months since Princess Twilight Sparkle's coronation, and she's still getting used to all the responsibilities that come with the job--speeches, bills, not causing massive economic meltdowns, the works. However, on one fateful day, she discovers a perk that nopony ever mentioned to her: her salary. It turns out Princesses actually get paid (who knew?)!

There's just one problem: all the Princesses share the same salary. And Twilight has no idea how money works.

Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Ky1xiuprhjGXyYAKZ54PptQ6UlF7S3LYQWNX2K3Mk5c/edit

I recognize already that this has some problems. The biggest ones, I feel, are the length (it's long as hell, probably needlessly so), and Cadance (she's really bland, and can be cut out without much issue). Any one willing to help a brother out?
>> No. 129051
We will peruse thy fan-fiction, citizen. Court requires much of Our attention, but what We cannot deliver in speed, We will provide in quality.

Last edited at Sat, Nov 2nd, 2013 17:36

>> No. 129052
That's cool, this story is already completed. I have all the time in the world
>> No. 129053

Cracks knuckles

Alright, it's on
>> No. 129057
Synopsis: Twilight never wanted the responsibility of a kingdom on her shoulders, but Celestia’s assassination has thrust her into an impossible situation. With the stability of the world now threatened by those who would take advantage of Celestia’s absence, Twilight must delve into a world of politics, subterfuge, and war that nopony could have prepared her for.

Tags: Dark, Adventure

So this is just the first chapter, only a thousand words so very short, setting up the driving conflict. Any advice is appreciated, whether on grammar, style, or story, but what I'm particularly worried about for this chapter in its current state is its pacing. Oh and if you could let me know what you think of my synopsis you'd be pretty awesome.

So here you go, I do hope you enjoy and thank you again to whoever reads it.


Last edited at Tue, Nov 5th, 2013 13:00

>> No. 129067

First off, I want to apologize for not fully reviewing the entirety of the story, but the point I read up to had an issue that I feel would require a major rewrite for anything afterwards. So, rather than ramble on about plot points that could be dramatically changed, I'll cover the plot up to where I stopped and the grammatical issues that present throughout the entire story.

So, since it was an issue that immediately calls attention, lets start with the plot. What you wrote in your synopsis did interest me: Twilight doesn't understand royal salaries (among other alicorn things) and has to learn to be responsible with her money on a whole new level.

A premise like that has a lot of comedic potential. Why? Because it's an issue a lot o people have do deal with. Comedy, as described by George Carlin and dozens of other comedians, comes from getting us to laugh at our own insecurities. Money is high on that list. To provide an even closer example, lets look at Lesson Zero. It walks that fine line between hilarity at Twilight's slowly slipping sanity and disturbing just how far she'll go to finish an assignment, but we've all been there before. We can relate to that panic, the lack of sleep, the creeping insanity and since it's not us this time, we can laugh.

So, why was that premise scrapped and replaced by the "Twilight becomes the next Nightmare Moon" plot that has been done many other times before. The plot's overuse isn't even the main issue, its that it makes the story unrelatable and therefore not funny.

There's already a gap in pony fiction in that readers need to empathize with pegasi, unicorns, and whatnot, so comedy in itself is, in my opinion, one of the harder genres in the fandom to writer for. You dig yourself a hole when you put "evil alicorn intent on conquering Equestria" into your story and still try to keep it funny. The tone goes into a flux.

In addition, Twilight's fall into madness is paced in a way that makes the reader scratch their head. Not enough about why she's going crazy is established and when the reason is revealed, it's anticlimactic because not enough was established about Twilight's condition.

The other reason it's anticlimactic is because we are told about it rather than slowly shown and built up. One scene Twilight is a little protective and euphoric about books, the next, completely off her rocker.

Now, I bolded "told" for a reason. There is an overabundance of tell in this story. We're told how characters feel, we're told it's a normal day, we're told that Twilight is going crazy. Body language, descriptions, and showing things whether they be emotions or settings are your friends in writing. I noted some particularly glaring examples in the doc, but they are spread throughout the story, far outweighing moments where you show things.

Continuing with grammar, there are multiple areas with pronoun confusion and Lavender Unicorn Syndrome. As a rule of thumb involving stories with multiple alicorns, avoid using "princess" unless it's attached to a proper noun, otherwise you wind up with a sentence where Luna does something but it reads like Cadence is doing it instead.

It doesn't apply to alicorns only though. There are moments where two female characters are together and only pronouns are used, even in the first sentence of a paragraph. Who is speaking to whom and who's doing what are lost when everyone in the scene is "she."

Finally, there is the matter of the narrator. This is a third person story and, whether limited or omniscient (the latter of which is what your story is), the narrator is an entity separate from the events they are telling. They do not use exclamation points or question marks. They are merely there to tell the story from an unbiased (in most cases) point as the middleman between the reader and the characters.

The problem is exacerbated by character thoughts overlapping with the narration, turning it into a jumble of words . There are points where you use italics to show thoughts, but other points where normal text is used despite the sentence being a personal thought of a character. This problem appeared to worsen the closer I got to Twilight's ultimate fall, so look there especially when rewriting this story.

And I do want you to rewrite this, not just toss it away, because, as I said before, you had a good premise here, it's just buried under a cancerous "Evil Twilight Alicorn" plot tumor and grammatical errors that a review after letting the draft sit for a little could have resolved (such as the lack of indents anytime you skipped ahead in time).

Consider all these things in your story and what you really want to tell. Best of luck in future writing
>> No. 129068
File 138379446611.gif - (935.37KB , 213x260 , 1.gif )
Thank you!

Yeah, what you're saying makes a lot of sense. The tone thing is something that was worrying me.

I also never realized how telly I am... looks like that's something to look out for in the future.

Thanks again!
>> No. 129072
File 138382728881.png - (119.23KB , 783x579 , ponimarillion-family-tree-very-rough-draft.png )
Title: The Ponymarillion

Tags: [Ponified Crossover][Alternate Character][Historical][Semi-Grimdark][Epic Fantasy][Satire][You Tell Me]

Complete Chapters:

Ponymarillion Prologue 1-2 WIP.doc [docs.google.com]

Source: Part 1. Llaúrendalë [ponymarillion.referata.com]

Chapter Summary: >>128913 (or >>/oat/38689183 )

Additional Snippets, outline etc. -- (source) http://ponymarillion.referata.com/

Want: to converse with somepony perhaps on e-mail or IRC (currently it's just me and TGSB)


1. To find at least one brony who's read the book. One person on /oat/ was my best bet as he was a big fan, but said anon is hard to reach.

>If nopony from /fic/ is a fan of Silmarillion perhaps you might know somepony on FimFiction
>you could ask to help? if you are a fantasy fan yourself and willing to reach out to someone, grin.

2. To solve some thorny character-adaptation issues
mostly impacting minor characters before I can start
adding original material (unfortunately requires some
knowledge of the source material, see #1).

3. Feedback from a fantasy-fan perspective is always welcome, even if you're not a fan of the book.

4. This was originally supposed to be a /collab/ but the
one or two of us who were interested had a hard time
finding people who wanted to do anything on /collab/,

but the goal is to ponify the Silmarillion in a semi-serious fashion,

sort of like Fallout: Equestria (minus bad writing, perhaps) meets Bored of the Rings (with light satire of the conflict between the two source materials, but minus the farce).

>focused more on a crossover mini-verse. the original idea started out as an idea for a series of parody artwork in 2011, of which I only have sketches so far.

but ideally anyone who might be interested in fantasy art should talk to me because I'd love to work with them.

It's actually grown less satirical as the pieces have fallen into place (see pic) in a much more organized fashion than what was originally envisioned as a light-hearted satire of ponies re-enacting the origin of Equestria as told by Tolkien, in a dark version of Hearth's Warming Eve. Of course this adds another layer of complexity since some tongue-in-cheek is needed to make it work (see links).

>Caveat: I realize a lot of fanfiction mavens love to quote TVTropes, I used to edit there myself, so I understand, but this fic does not adhere to the "rules" for writing lighthearted escapist adventure fanfic
>although it is for me, lol. a certain amount of world-building has resulted because the parts that fit well together, have created a pretty nice outline that is sort of half pony history and half Silmarillion.
>if anything it's an in-depth parody of the source material, riffing on the fact that Tolkien once postulated that the characters were not actually elves and that he just "translated it" that way.

Writers Block suggested I post here, BTW. Thanks!

Last edited at Thu, Nov 7th, 2013 05:42

>> No. 129078
File 138386461124.jpg - (209.09KB , 1200x1800 , 123632[1].jpg )
Title: The Pony On The Wall

Description: Ink Blot, daughter of Pinkie Pie, stumbles across a strand of poison joke that isn't as harmless as most of its cousins. This is the story of how she discovers that some jokes do not amuse at all.

This is a sequel to one of my other stories, 2-D Pony. However, reading it is not required to understand this story.

Tags: Dark, Slice of Life

Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/197DQmUsIJLbRRr-dNj8Z9ZVWof0NOQcNp0OVQeQrpwM/edit

Wordcount: 12,121
>> No. 129082
File 138386521981.png - (363.80KB , 1280x1024 , 40911 - artist echowolf800 pinkamena_diane_pie pinkie_pie.png )
I followed your convo back with Writer's Block, and while I'm not well versed in the Silmarillion (Tolkein's writing is so damn dry. I couldn't force myself past the first page.) I am an enormous fan of fantasy, and have spent most of my childhood reading various books about dragons, elves, dwarves, and other such things. That said, I've seen far too many bad crossovers, so I may not be enthusiastic about this, but I will definitely try to help you out. After all, why else did you come here?
I'm no longer a fan of "claiming" stories—so as to say that no one else must look at it—but consider this a notice that I will be looking over this story and returning with advice in the next week or so.

For those of you in the know, I've finally given up on that ridiculous multipersonality thing; Minjask is gone for good, though I'll understand if you guys want to still call me that.

Last edited at Thu, Nov 7th, 2013 16:02

>> No. 129083
File 138386874415.jpg - (505.52KB , 1300x1100 , 133618560810.jpg )
Interesting little story you've got here. I like to end things positively so let's start with the bad news:

I'm inclined to ask if your first language is English; I suspect it isn't, because you've got a quirky sense of English grammar that would fit surprisingly well in French or some other European tongue. Either way, you should seek out a decent editing guide, because this needs a lot of it, and it would be too tiresome for someone not fully invested in this story to attempt. As always, I recommend Ezn's Guide [eznguide.rogerdodger.me].
Pretty much every problem I found with your story can be solved using this guide. I did have some aversion to Celestia's internal dialogue, but since we don't know much about her you do get *some* leeway.

The pacing for this was surprisingly good, despite the short length, and you did quite an excellent job of describing the events happening without getting too wordy or too vague, not to mention you kept the tension right where it needed to be.

Overall, not a bad story, but clearly incomplete. Hope this helps, and good luck writing, mate.
>> No. 129085

Thank you for the review. Though I have a few questions.

Is my grammar just quirky, or downright wrong? Also, is it a specific aspect of my grammar you're referring to (that would help me actually seek out the problems), or just in general?

I'm glad to hear you found the pacing good as it was my biggest worry with the chapter being so short. Depending on when you read it I may have already fixed some of the issues you had with it (or perhaps made them worse).

Either way thank you very much, I'll put the feedback to good use.

*I am native English, but when I'm writing prose I definitely recognize I have some weird, or at least different, grammar style.*
>> No. 129086
File 138387632783.png - (121.48KB , 515x353 , oh jeepers here we go.png )
>Is my grammar just quirky, or downright wrong?
Definitely the latter. How to put this? You have the prose of a poet, but the grammar and punctuation skills of a sixth grader. You use run on sentences, misplace commas, forget them completely, misuse semicolons, combine sentences that shouldn't be combined, etc. My suspicions are that you haven't written much before this, or that you have simply never had someone look over your work before. I don't mean to insult you, but it's really that bad.

Last edited at Thu, Nov 7th, 2013 22:31

>> No. 129087

I believe you. I haven't written very much fiction(might as well be none) and I'm not used to writing in narrative prose.

I'll go through and see what I can find myself, and maybe I can find an editor to catch everything else.

Once again thank you.

Last edited at Thu, Nov 7th, 2013 19:20

>> No. 129088
File 138388633348.jpg - (192.29KB , 588x739 , Two-Trees-garland-orig.jpg )

Bleeding Rain, thanks so much :)

if you ever wish to look over what I got so far, I'm hosting it on the http://ponymarillion.referata.com wiki site.

you can keep me honest on the writing quality especially when it comes to original content... mixing in original content with parody of source (how much pastiche I should allow vs. rewrite to make it "original"), and that sort of thing.

>(some of the original text really lends itself to parody / ponification or is simply great writing... but of course there's no sense changing the names and calling it a parody in parts that would work better if rewritten.)

Right now what I've done so far mostly a parody of source but... the only reason I haven't started on the original parts (since that's what makes it more than "names have been changed") is three-fold:

1) this is my first time out writing something ambitious that is fiction, even though it's fanfiction -- I usually do technical writing and, when I write stuff online, parody of existing work is my usual comfort zone :) but that doesn't mean I can't do it, I think I'm well positioned to do it since I'm reasonably proficient, a big fan of the source material, people tell me I'm good at parody, and actually have been developing ideas in my head for the fic for a long time.

2) I got to solve some character-adaptation issues before the characterization will resolve itself, which makes it easier to re-write the "historical" passages in the book --

the good news is if anyone has any thoughts about how best to adapt characters, I can easily spoil the plot for a reviewer and explain what I have in mind and where the trouble is -- since large parts of the Silmarillion are very rough, historical outlines that Tolkien never turned into complete stories, so there's freedom of movement and I can explain what's the hold-up.

>I could be wrong, having never written a book, but my idea is that if I have a clear idea of how the story arcs will go then it will prevent me from it turning into a crabbed outline where I'm just plugging characters into slots with no clear idea of what they are thinking or feeling

3) keep in mind that what I got so far is heavily based on the source text though so if the Prologue reads like molasses that is partly a (too clever by half?) tribute to the source material. the hard core tolkien geeks I did speak to actually wanted me to ponify a lot of choice passages from the book and liked the prologue... so the parts I've already done on the wiki including the prologue are definitely fanservice for Tolkien geeks who happen to be bronies as opposed to the other way round, heh.

>There's also a lot of metafiction in the prologue that is there to set the tone as a satire but this will drop off into the background once the actual story starts.

Once I get to the characters, I'm introducing a fairly (well?) thought-out premise where each "poni-historical" character corresponds to a character from the book but is "played by" a character from the show (except for a few OC's who are mostly high-level Tolkien characters that are not audience surrogates, such as Celestia and Luna's parents.) That's where I hope to suck people in who are in it for the ponies.

>The irony is, the same is true for the book, most people hate the first few chapters first time out, because it's all remote and ancient stuff with a lot of meta-fictional references to creation myths.
>Tolkien had the same problems with the book (not containing hobbits) that fic writers have when a story doesn't contain any of the mane characters, lol.
>but the other reason for my character stand-in device is much more positive, namely that the whole fic originated as a straight parody where I attempted to match up characters from the book with characters from the show as a joke, and I realized it actually worked as a story. So they aren't shoehorned in for the most part, the story actually was sort of inspired by thinking how some of the mane characters would act if they were playing such-and-such character from the Silmarillion.

Sorry for the long message :) if you want I can PM you (some time if you are free) on IRC for more input, since I am working out some of these issues / feedback before I resume serious writing. Thanks again :)
>> No. 129091
File 138391888054.png - (1.38MB , 688x720 , Elements_Of_Harmony_2a_S01E01.png )

Also keep in mind that what I got so far is in the early stages and so is mostly dependent on the source text.
The outline [docs.google.com] is much further along, though. I also cobbled together some rough notes [docs.google.com] and sample illustrations from the original book

Not only that but I started with the dry-est part of the source, the prologue chapters, which read like the Book of Genesis.

Also note that there's a lot of meta elements in the very beginning and end of the story, they are part of the framing device. (*)

I was actually going to avoid the first two chapters but I figured I'd try the hardest part to see how well pastiche works.

So the Prologue is an experiment going all the way in one direction (in hewing to the source text). It's a bit of an extreme in that regard :P

As I've been debating whether to write the first draft as pastiche and then write new material on top of that (since there's a lot of holes in the original story, as it was published posthumously, and the Tolkien fans I talked to were surprisingly cool with the idea of it being a straight rip-off of Tolkien's beloved prose) or else rewrite everything in a Tolkienesque style (which opens me up to charges of being less readable than the source material, lol.) I'd prefer some happy medium, where choice passages from the book are ponified, but all the dry he-said she-said stuff is rewritten...

The trick (and I might need advice on this, perhaps if I described for you the story arcs for the characters I'm struggling with) is that:

* a lot of the chapters that lend themselves to a total rewrite are also the more dramatic chapters but also involve characters that still have adaptation issues. So if I proceed with new material first I will concentrate on later chapters which involves solving the adaptation issues first, in order to focus on the characters and give the reader a reason to care

* the chapters immediately after the Prologue are easier to ponify directly from source, since the plot is simpler and more thought-out, and rewriting would be simply for the sake of it being an original story.

However if I start chronologically, those first few chapters are (not quite) as dry as the prologue, it's a long build-up to the drama involving the central characters which doesn't begin until the Alicorns are exiled from Paradise, essentially...

so the first few chapters involve a lot of alicorns hanging out in the Undying Lands, a lot of description of how perfect the world was in ancient times, and a lot of stage-setting which will probably turn off people who aren't fans of Tolkien's style.

So I'm thinking of doing some later chapters first (in terms of order of chapters written), as that will get into both new material (not simply rewriting the source text) and adaptation of mane characters. Plus it's the meat of the story; the first half is essentially mythology

>this is actually how I'd do it if the Silmarillion were ever turned into a movie, I'd start in medias res and not begin at the beginning of time literally

However the hold-up is that I have to solve some of these character adaptation issues in order to write the more dramatic chapters with less pastiche.

Another option would be to do the whole book as a pastiche for a first draft (plugging in names and highlighting passages in order to "see what works") but this will probably result in a first draft that is neither original enough to be parody or fanfic, nor an improvement on the readability of the source material (not that I'm trying to, grin). Still, it's an option purely for the sake of writing process...

>(*) Reference to Men goes away in most of the story, as I made the conscious decision to have Earth Ponies = Tolkien's Men, and Humans (the dreaded AiE) = Tolkien's Dwarves, who are less prominent in the plot, coming in only towards the end; I leave it unstated as to whether they are actual dwarves, or the ancestors of humans "as" dwarves in which case the ponies of Equestria are actually normal-sized. :)
>Reference to the Real World(tm) goes away as it is purely part of the framing device, of references Lauren Faust being the creator and so forth.
>it probably will tie back in the end due to Tolkien's framing device for how the world of Elves was separated from the world of Men at the end of the Second Age (for the most part) but it's not a focus of the story and I may not even ponify Akallabêth, which is an epilogue describing events in the Second Age and the rise of Sauron (Discord)...
>the Silmarillion is focused on the First Age and the war on Sauron's master Morgoth (Tirek) to recover the Silmarils (Elements of Harmony).
>For Reference: Alicorns = High Elves, Unicorns = Grey Elves, Pegasi = a related group of High Elves who mostly behave as Pegasi from Hearths Warming Eve, and the Ponytär = divine interdimensional creator beings of the same type as Discord.

Last edited at Fri, Nov 8th, 2013 19:17

>> No. 129107
File 138412398733.jpg - (83.71KB , 510x465 , typing_luna.jpg )

Brace yourself, author! Here cometh the review...

First, the synopsis:
>Killed by her own subjects out of fear and jealously.
Given how formal the rest of this pragraph soundeth, this sentence fragment fitteth not.

>After the funeral, Princess Celestia isolated herself from the world; mourning the loss of her brightest student and daughter figure.
Thy semicolon is misused, as there is no independent clause after it.

>Now With it's own TV Tropes Page!
Inexplicably capitalised "With", and thou has confused 'it's' with 'its'.

To the first chapter!

>She could remember the first book she had ever given Twilight Sparkle.
We must say that We are not a fan of using a pronoun before referring to a character in some other sense first, even if not by name.

>It was on the day she arrived
'Tis an action that happened in the story's past, so use a past perfect tense. 'It was on the day she had arrived...' Thou hast this problem intermittently.

>royal library
Might this be capitalised?

>with more advance studies
"Advanced" yes?

>Yet, Twilight
What is that comma doing out at this hour? It belongeth not here!

>She became an alicorn, a princess of Equestria.
And thus We finally emerge into the story. We must say that thy beginning needeth work. First, it hath an abundance of boring 'to be' verbs, and second, it hath spent several paragraphs familiarizing the reader with information he can be presumed to know already. Mood setting is fine, but thou hast a limited time to deliver something new and interesting to the reader.

>She had achieved her destiny, and was ready to bring about the change the nation needed so desperately.
Thou hast no new subject and therefore no new clause, so thou needest that comma not.

>She had only felt such sorrow twice in her life: the day her parents died and the night she banished her sister.
Thou givest us two obviously sad scenarios for comparison, but Celestia's reaction to each of these would be an individualised thing. We do not want to assume her feelings would equal Ours. We require some context.

>bed chambers
bedchamber or bedchambers

>Celestia, this has gone long enough.
Gone on long enough, yes?

>I cannot take care of both courts by myself forever, sister
When thou usest 'sister' as a term of address, capitalise it.

>replied Celestia, bitterly
Thou needest that comma not, but We would also advise thee to make us deduce her bitterness through how she acteth and appeareth.

>Sighing, Luna said
Luna – thy Luna, that is – hath recently sighed. 'Twould be meet to give her a different action or acknowledge and use the repetition.

>who I have given everything I've loved

>but Luna quickly calmed them, ordering them back to their post
That seemeth like a rather eventful moment to gloss over with a mere summary.

>“I just don’t understand it...” muttered Celestia
She hath muttered the last time she spake. Watch that thou dost not repeat words, particularly unusual ones, so soon after their previous uses. And thou seemest to avoid 'said' like a murrain. It blendeth in, and going to the extreme of using it seldom or never tendeth to make thy speaking verbs call attention to themselves and away from the speech. These are more emphatic verbs, and when they become too common, they lose that quality of emphasis. Thou useth 'said' as a dialogue tag only four times in over sixty quotes.

>That is all.
'Tis not a trivial thing to weave exposition into a story skillfully. This paragraph feeleth not like any natural dialogue, but something forced into service to lay out plot-important details. There are better ways to work them into the story than expository monologue. Especially when thou hast put words into Our mouth. Tread lightly, citizen!

>I was there for Twilight all the way, even others of high influence like Fancy Pants, the other Elements, and several of the most noble houses in Canterlot supported her!
Thou hast spliced a comma.

>muttered Luna
That verb again. And now thou hast sullied Our name with it! THOU ART TESTING OUR PATIENCE!

>“You did all that you could, Tia,” assured Luna. “Nopony could have predicted this.”
As a plot issue: Canon Luna seemeth skeptical of Twilight's ascension, at least with respect to Celestia's engineering of the matter. We can appreciate that she may be tabling the matter for the sake of comforting Luna, but We have to wonder if she doth not take a 'We told Thee so' attitude.

>Over and over again like an endless wave of demands.
They are demands. Thy simile loseth power when it compareth a thing to itself.


>seven month experienced
This would all be hyphenated, but We find it an odd turn of phrase.

Thou hast used it as a plural until now.

>Celestia was ready to greet her student, now equal
Well, be careful. We suppose some new canon may be forthcoming on the subject, but what we have so far saith that Twilight is still Celestia's student, though in a different way, as Celestia will also be Twilight's student. We are not sure the relationship is quite as equals, as Twilight would be the first to admit.

>“Yes...” muttered Twilight.
'Mutter' instance 5 of 6. 'Tis 'pushing it', as the foals say, especially seeing as how all 6 occur within a few pages of each other.

>... can we just hug first?
A leading ellipsis requireth no following space, and as this is not an obvious completion of an earlier interrupted sentence, thou shouldst capitalise it.

>It took many years and I went through some horrible times.
Compare this to the earier instance. Thou hast a new subject and verb, and thus a new clause, so thou needest a comma.

>Twilight looked at her mentor who gave her a smile.
Same. We run a charity for lost, misused, and abused commas, shouldst thou care to contribute.

>You know?!
We eould discourage thee from using bold font. Typically, italics and speaking verb choice should suffice in getting across how something is said, and adding all-capitals is acceptable for the Royal Canterlot Voice. THUS SAITH THE PRINCESS OF THE NIGHT!

>like a pathetic little foal
Another instance of repeating a word. Thou hast created somewhat of a theme with prior uses of 'pathetic', but this feeleth not like part of the pattern. We would again suggest choosing another word or making it clear that the word choice wast deliberate.

>as guilt wormed its way into her heart
Convince Us of this instead of informing Us of it.

>for awhile
Normally 'awhile' and 'a while' are interchangeable, but thou needest a noun to serve as the object of the preposition 'for', so thou shouldst use the two-word version here.

>She didn’t, as Celestia left the room and closed the door, but as she journeyed down the halls
'Tis repetitive to use these two 'as' clauses in the same sentence, but consider also that this construction meaneth that actions occur simultaneously. So she leaveth the room at the same time she journeyeth down the hall. We have a time paradox and – BAM! – thou hast destroyed the multiverse. We hope thou art happy.


We must say, this chapter's title is a rather blunt instrument. 'Twould seem to summarize the chapter pretty succinctly as well. Why read the whole thing when We get it all in six words? Of course, tis more about how you show us her rage and sorrow, but then why undermine it all with a title that saith it all?

>If Celestia had been in a better mood, she would have found the shocked reactions of the castle’s staff humorous. It had been a long time since she had seen ponies other than her sister and the occasional guard or servant who bought food. They bowed before her, some with sympathy in their eyes while others displayed concern. It probably didn’t help that she looked like she hadn’t slept or showered since her last public appearance.
This paragraph is full of tell, from outright statement of emotions (shocked, sympathy, concern) to making conclusions for Us that We could have determined from evidence (appearance of not having slept or showered). Once more, as a minor scene, this might not have been so bad, but thou art trying to rekindle interest in the story at the beginning of each chapter.

>Fear can make one behave or think strangely, even the most rigid of ponies could fall victim to such emotions.
Another comma splice.

>It came with the benefaction of being one of the most powerful beings that few could rival.
This is awkward. Thou art trying to say two things, but have mashed them into one. Really consider what this saith. It createth a category of beings whom (and We suggest 'whom', as a being is not a 'that') few could rival, then further createth a subcategory of the most powerful of those. It seemeth a needless and redundant specification, and feeleth more like thou hast intended an 'and' in lieu of a 'that'.

As a proper noun, thou wouldst continue to capitalise it.

>each others hooves
Thou hast lost an apostrophe; perhaps somepony hath turned one in with the receptionist. Please ask on thy way out.

>laid her beloved student
We grant that they are tricky verbs, but thou hast confused 'lay' with 'lie'.

>stone faced
Another missing hyphen. Methinks thou might have a leak in thy punctuation satchel.

>If it could be used to save Twilight, then Celestia would let the spell take all her magic and leave her a husk if need be.
Thy sentence beginneth and endeth in a rather repetitive fashion.

>Then her expression soon turned to horror as the golden light faded within Twilight’s body. Celestia fell to her haunches in disbelief
As an emotional climax, this is also a bad place for telling. THOU HEAR US, TELLING? BAD! BAD TELLING! NO TREAT FOR THOU!

>The spell she had casted
had cast

>and even further than that some said
Thy lack of a comma changeth the meaning here.

>what horrible tragedy had befallen to one
Extraneous 'to'.

>one who made such a sorrowful cry. In a few hours, all of Equestria knew, and their wails soon echoed along with Celestia’s.
The exaggerated grandiosity fitteth not the personal focus thou hast maintained. It maketh the story less serious and more like a fairy tale.

>“Your majesty?”
As a title, this would be capitalised. Or dost thou not think We deserve it? Answer carefully...

>a nervous Solar Guard approach her. He gulped as his tail slowly slid between his legs.
See, why tell Us that he is nervous when thou goest on to show Us?

>“I… I’m Gladius Stride, ma’am. I finished my basic training three months ago,” answered Gladius
He hath just said his name. Thou needest not identify him by such again in the speech attribution.

>saluting awkwardly
What maketh it awkward? We have no way of picturing this.

>before she lost it
That phrasing seemeth somehow lowbrow for her.

>hoof steps
'Twould be one words, as in 'footsteps'.

>Celestia smashed her hoof into the nearby wall, creating a giant hole the size of her hoof.
'Tis... rather self-explanatory and redundant, yes?

>She turned around towards Discord and asked, “The girls. Spike. How are they?”
Odd choice of speaking verb, given that it taketh her three sentences to get to an actual question.

>“About as well as one can expect when losing somepony you care about. Still, the girls have gotten better over the months at least, and they’ve been supporting each other like the close little band that they are. It will be a long time before they can fully recover, but one day they will move on.”
Discord saith a lot, given that he saith nothing. This is all rather formulaic.

>set of tears
Odd word choice... a 'set' of tears?

>he gasped dramatically
And this is even worse than regular telling. Not only dost thou not give Us a visual, but thy narrator draweth a conclusion for Us (dramatically) without speaking from any particular character's viewpoint. Pray tell, then, by whose judgment is it dramatic?

>the spirit of chaos popped right next Celestia
Missing word.

>kindergartener’s style version
That doth not parse.

>I'm more likely to join a priesthood then that ever happening.
Thou hast confused then/than.

>her subjects were weeping with tears
As opposed to...?

>weep large tears
And thou hast upped the ante with being repetitive! Huzzah!

When thou hast an exclamation mark or question mark on an italicised word, italicise it also.

>he now had friends in the form of Fluttershy, some of the residents of Ponyville who had taken a liking to him, and to a lesser extent, the other Elements.
Yes, thou hast given Us largely the same explanation not one paragraph ago.

>heart felt

>But there was also used as a place to give trials
We trust thee to see the problem.

>who they once associated with

>they eventually revealed of which of the royal guards
An extraneous 'of'.

>locked up with their co-conspires
Co-conspirators, yes?

>lost control of their lunches
A rather comical phrasing that mismatches the tone of the story.

>The one who said theirs was, “A noble task to rescue Equestria from a scheming usurper.”
As this is not being related as a spoken quotation, thou needest not the comma or capitalisation.

Family members used as terms of address are capitalised.

>All of the former guards winced at this
Use of 'this' and 'that' as pronouns is weak, especially as it referreth vaguely to the writing itself.

>I have seen how corrupt and sleazy the so called ‘nobility’ in Canterlot is like
Perhaps thou canst exchange that extra 'like' for some of the commas thou needest elewhere.

>forced my hand
Wait... Hath Our dear sister succumbed to the same fancy as that crack-pot Lyra?

>but knew it was better to lose some power than all of it and wisely kept their mouths shut
And how is this narrator aware of such attitudes? Thou art changing into their collective point of view for only a single sentence. 'Tis... unsettling.

>while Blueblood whimpered apologizes
The editing is noticeably... less good... in this chapter, unfortunately. We have pressing matters and cannot spare the time to be thy proofreader.

>one of the many glass painting on her windows

>grit her teeth
The only acceptable past tense is 'gritted'.

>you turned your back
Do they all share one back? And since a pony's back faceth upward, We are not sure how this would work...

>like my sister and I, she loved each and every one of you
>death by burning them at the stake, the most painful kind of death she could give
These would seem rather contradictory.

>status quote

Fairly weak ending to the chapter. It buildeth to nothing, and neither doth it come to any sort of resolution. Note also that we have counted in excess of 150 'to be' verbs in this chapter. 'Tis approximately one every other sentence. Thou shouldst strive to use more action verbs to keep the story moving. We have also noticed numerous hyphen and comma problems of the types We have already pointed out, and they appear to occur more frequently now. We hope that trend will not continue.


Last edited at Sun, Nov 10th, 2013 19:31

>> No. 129109
File 138412412452.jpg - (81.47KB , 1000x834 , thumbs_up_luna.jpg )

By now, thou hast certainly seen Us point out certain things repeatedly. We shall leave it to you to ferret out those recurring problems from here on; We will only mark new issues or character/plot missteps.

>And yet there was one district that she hated coming too.
Either thou art missing a few words, or thou hast confused 'to' with 'too'.

>enchanted in magical glass coffins so that they looked respectable. Celestia stood at the hedge entrance, enchanted
Please stop repeating thyself. We shall begin tallying up how many well-placed kicks thou deservest for further transgressions.

>She had been here many times in times
Congratulations! Thou hast made it three whole sentences! One kick.

>flower beds

>Each of them made with flowers suited to the color of Twilight’s six closest friends: green dendrobiums, blue geraniums, orange marigolds, white roses, pink lilies, and yellow sunflowers.
We don't see that this fragment createth any particular effect. Thou hast not been using a conversational tone here.

>that were added by Rarity
Passive voice is inherently weak, and We see no advantage to it here.

>haunted of
haunted by

>It was the perfect bed for her student to rest.
Thy syntax is off.

>She was a light in our lives that shined upon us all
Shone. 'Shined' requireth a direct object; it is what thou dost to shoes or brass.

>my sun
Quite possibly the most cliched thing in all ponydom.

>She wished that her faithful student-no, her faithful daughter-could look at her one more time with open eyes.
Use proper dashes, please.

>Each of you will now come up, one at a time, and say whatever words you wish.
Perhaps restructure this? Unless she knoweth that all present wish to speak, it soundeth like she is ordering them to do so. 'Each of you who wishes to come up' versus 'You will come up'.

>as she turned her eyes towards Twilight
'Towards': used 9 times in the chapter, and all within a few pages of each other.

>A few of the ponies were getting a chuckle from something Pinkie Pie had said about Twilight trying to disprove her Pinkie Sense.
Note that thou hast bombarded Us with sad after sad after sad. Certainly, my sister hath good memories of Twilight as well, but thou has barely touched on any of them. Creating a good sad story is a matter of contrasts. The sad parts stand out by their contrast. If the entire story is one giant block of sad, that emotion no longer standeth out. We understand that this could mean a significant restructuring of the story, but it really would make it much more powerful.

>She pushed him away and threw herself onto her daughter’s glass casket, pounding it has hard as she could.
Wow. Aside from the typo, that is... This is needlessly melodramatic. Allow Us to paste in some advice We have read on the subject:

'Like the horror genre, less is often more. Think of how people act at a funeral. Of course they’re sad. But for the most part, they try to keep it inside. It’s still possible to get plenty of cues as to how they’re feeling. An observer can tell which attendees didn’t actually like the deceased, which ones didn’t know him but attended to support friends or family, and which ones genuinely had a tough time.

Yes, sometimes people just lose it and start bawling. But really think about the characters and decide whether that type of response is justified. A reader knows deep down whether a story feels realistic or melodramatic, or worse yet, emotionally manipulative. While some readers don’t mind overblown emotions, many do and will resent the attempt. If a story truly strikes a chord, it will do so on its own merits; the author need not go for the cheap grab at the reader’s heartstrings. A character standing there unable to speak carries just as much emotion and more tension than a character openly weeping, unless that character has progressed reasonably to that point, not just skipped ahead to the waterworks. As with “show, don’t tell,” subtlety is the writer’s friend.'

>Everypony gasped before becoming quiet, even the guards were stunned into silence.
Comma splice.

>Don’t ever bucking touch me again, Celestia!
'Bucking' as an expletive? *sigh*

>“Velvet… I … “muttered
Thy missing space hath confused thy smart quotes.

>“You should have known!” screamed Velvet.
The second time in a row thou hast used this speaking verb for her. Two kicks.

>Even though it was sunny as can be, Celestia couldn’t help but feel as if she was in the frozen mountains of the north.
What about frozen mountains maketh it impossible for them to be sunny?

>Every accusation from Velvet breached into her mind
'Breach' requireth a direct object.

>her sister’s moon
In for a penny, in for a pound, We see.

>“… no,”
She is not completing an earlier thought, so there is no purpose in leaving this lower case or having the leading ellipsis.

>You cannot blame yourself no more for this
Double negative.

>Velvet walked over and placed her hoof on Celestia’s shoulders.
One hoof on multiple shoulders? My sister is not that... dextrous.

>only maybe with more of an advanced vocabulary
'Tis out of place. If thou wouldst actually show Celestia becoming amused by the thought, it would work, but otherwise, it is nothing more than a strangely disembodied bit of levity.

We agree that this should be the correct stuttered hyphenation, but just a bit earlier thou hast used 'w-what'.

>Celestia wanted to take care of the child, to feel some sort of remembrance of Twilight, she didn’t have the heart to take another child
Three kicks.

>“I promise, Velvet,” vowed Celestia lowering her head.
Watch redundant speaking actions. 'Vowed' essentially repeateth 'I promise'. Thou needest not tell us twice. And thou art missing a comma for the participle.

>all her other apprentice’s resting places
Singular/plural mismatch.

>She could see the flowers, all bloomed and watered as their pedals
Petals. Most word processors will catch these kinds of mistakes...

>It was like a piece of land
Again with the ineffective similes... It is a piece of land. Perhaps if thou went straight for metaphor?

>laid dead before her
In this sense, thou hast confused 'lay' with 'lie' again.

>and pressed her forehead against the glass
Pray tell, where would this place her horn?

>I found myself acting truly happy
Acting happy or being happy?

>The tears had now stopped
>The smile now faded
Repetitive phrasing within the same paragraph. Four kicks.

>Yet, I have to accept the truth.
Unneeded comma.

>I will try because you would want me too
More homophone confusion.


>Celestia sighed and started to make her way back towards the castle, tired and overwhelmed.
Thy misplaced modifier problem again. Certainly 'tis not the castle that is tired and overwhelmed.

>Celestia felt ashamed for her actions. She knew that it was wrong to blame him for his brother’s actions against Twilight
More telling. 'Twould be more effective to show these through her actions (for the former) and thoughts (for the latter). In the case of thoughts, do not just recast the sentence as a quote. A little more subtlety is needed here.

>Y-your majesty!
Capitalise all that.

>To his shock
This changeth into his perspective, unless thou showest how she hath made this determination.

>I am used to being yelled at from others
'By others', yes?

>This got Celestia’s attention
Again with using 'this' or 'that' as a pronoun in narration! Beware, or We shall turn green and musclebound like that 'Incredible Hawk' character, or whatever the foals call him.

>‘Traitor’s brother’
Thou needest not capitalise this, as it is not being presented as a standard quotation.

>I’m told to just shut up and get back to work
From one who is reluctant to speak up, he sure spilleth everything imediately. Surely, he'd hold his tongue longer or comply only gradually.

>Celestia who looked at Gladius and
We believe that 'who' to be extraneous.

>the hope he held on his face seemed to fade away. Nodding, Gladius said, “I understand. I guess that is the best I can hope
Five kicks.

>The look on his face was enough to make Celestia give out a small giggle.
We hardly think 'giggle' is an authentic emotional response here.

>Sitting atop it was a picture of Twilight, back when she was a filly, made her smile.
Fix thy syntax.

>she began to have the first good dream in months…
We see no reason for this to trail off. 'Tis already a complete thought, and it implieth nothing further.

>“And this is your room,” said Princess Celestia as she opened the door, revealing the biggest room that the young filly unicorn had ever seen in her life.
She hath already been in the castle ere now. Her room is even bigger than the grand entrance halls, or even the auditorium in which her entrance exam was administered? We can appreciate some exaggeration here, but why switch to Twilight's perspective for this, particularly since it is Celestia's reminiscence?

>her larger leg
We realize what you mean, but it soundeth like Celestia hath legs of different sizes, and Twilight hath latched onto the largest one.

Somehow, We do not see Our sister using this vernacular.

>It’s been sometime
Grammatically speaking, 'some time' should be two words here so that thou hast a predicate noun.

>All throughout the night…
Yes, 'tis a weak ending. First off, the implication of ending a story on an ellipsis is just bad. Thou art telling us the story is incomplete. Not open-ended, but incomplete. Close things off. Second, thou hast left us in the memory, not how it hath affected the present. There is no conclusion here. 'Celestia doth this, and then, oh, this hath happened earlier, and... that's it.' 'Tis rather unsatisfying.

Thus endeth our notes as We hath read. We do not have any additional grand points to make—just pay attention to the issues that We have brought up multiple times or that can affect overall storytelling quality. We shall reiterate the biggest ones.

Thou hast quite a few consistent comma issues, including splices, lack of commas between clauses, lack of or using unnecessary commas with conjunctions, and lack of commas after introductory elements where it harmeth clarity. As with all of the problems, We have not marked every instance, just enough that We feel thou shouldst have gotten a clear enough definition of what to seek as thou goest about thy editing. Be judicious, and thou shalt root out these little roach-like miscues, grind them beneath thy heel, watch their innards ooze across the flagstones...

But We digress.

We see that thou art a reasonably experienced author, and as such hast probably seen an explanation of show and tell before, but we shall paste in a good one we have seen before in case it striketh a chord with thee:

'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. Just find areas where you did this 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.'

We have already harped on thee for being melodramatic and given thee a bit of copy-pasta on the subject. This did turn out to be a significant problem. Alternating happy moments with the sad lendeth more power, and throwing more tragedy into a story than necessary is an obvious grab at the reader's emotions to which many will take offence. There is actually more to discuss on that matter, and it affecteth how thou hast chosen to present this story.

There are two points We wish to add here, and they are inter-related. One, thou art relying on the situation itself to to most of thy work for you. A character's death hath some token amount of sadness, but the real meaning of the story cometh from how far it goeth beyond that default. Two, thou hast given us precious little about this plot against Twilight. Thou hast barely touched on the assassins' motives and how sensible they are, and thus We get a largely one-sided argument over their validity. If We could but see their complete mindset, even to the point that their position seemeth reasonable, as Gladius Stride hath alluded to. The most powerful conflict cometh when We can understand both sides, and neither is some generic villain acting from a contrived position for convenience. Gladius's brother's feeling that he was actually serving Celestia's interests by doing so hath promise, but as presented, 'tis but an 'oh, by the way' moment that doth not cause Celestia to re-examine her thoughts on the matter. Thou hast used several flashback scenes to good effect, but in Our opinion, they should also allow Us to understand the opposing viewpoint, for one, and explore Celstia's relationship with Twilight, for another. We know that the latter is special from canon, so thou needest not start from scratch (whatever in Tartarus that is), but We must see some evidence of their closeness to get a full picture of what it is that Celestia is losing. And not just a retelling of these past events, but how Celestia feeleth about them.

Thy writing is good—We cannot deny that—but these pervasive things have severely limited the emotional impact it could have had.

And finally, the repetition. It maketh writing appear undisciplined and lazy. Keep an eye out for that. And We owe thee five kicks. Bend over, if thou pleasest.

We could not endure the violent mood swings of a review this long, so We have held it in check as much as possible. Final mood: guarded optimism.

Write thee onward, citizen!
>> No. 129110
Thank you, I figured there would be this many problems. Eh, I'm not gonna put it on EQD. It's fine as it is on Fimfiction. But I will do what you suggested

Last edited at Sun, Nov 10th, 2013 16:48

>> No. 129112
As a courtesy, it is requested that overly long posts (ones that take up more than an entire screen) be condensed behind [hide] tags: [hide]text[/hide]
>> No. 129119
File 138418503567.jpg - (139.82KB , 640x399 , dolfen_movedblog.jpg )

Bleeding Rain, I just wanted to say I'm sorry for my long replies upthread. Since the Ponymarillion is still a work in progress and is at the adaptation stage at this point (with me rewriting chapters based on how far along the actual adaptation is), would you rather I confine my posts to >>128913 ? Or would you prefer to discuss it here? (when you end up looking at it I mean)

Obviously you might feel free to review what I got so far here, and I could use the critical feedback; but you may find it's too slim to go on, in which case I might at least be able to go into the weeds with you on the other thread, and get feedback about the challenges of adaptation I'm currently facing. (which are hopefully not too great. :)

It's actually good to get the perspective of somepony who's not overly familiar with the book; I was going to do a public read-through for that reason but I wasn't sure of a good place. Doing my own read-through now, it's interesting that the Silmarillion of my mind's eye is different from the text and corresponds more closely to the pony version, and some adaptation issues aren't as big a deal on closer look, while others pop up unforseen.

This is actually a good thing; for instance much of the book is drier and more factual than I remember previously, with many of the poetic bits and extended dialogue relegated to Tolkien's histories and drafts; it is always easier to rewrite textbook and then... and then... chapters, and expand them into actual story. The challenge then becomes getting adaptation out of the way first.

Last edited at Mon, Nov 11th, 2013 09:02

>> No. 129121
File 138421957162.png - (142.47KB , 444x442 , 133088843972.png )
An alternative is the chat function that exists within the document, which can be saved in a pastebin for later viewing.
Another option is to utilize the comments for specific inquiries.
In relation to the review overall, that's usually handled here, in TTG.

As to your replies, I admire your enthusiasm, but do be patient; I have a busy work schedule, and am working on this as well as I can.
>> No. 129122
File 138425756158.png - (16.55KB , 82x84 , heart-eyes.png )

Oh I didn't mean to rush you to look at it... I just thought you might be put off by the fact that I've been posting more than what I've actually written. Most of the stuff i have so far is on the wiki, which has no chat (anyone can post on the talk page I guess)...

But the actual outline for the fic is also on google docs, has a chat function... although the link is a bit buried [ponymarillion.referata.com] and I might have to turn on comments. That might be the best place to chat about it, since it gives more info on the adaptation issues. The thing is, the two chapters I have so far are so unlike the rest of the book... the main issues I have probably don't relate to the prologue, since I did it more as an experiment really...

>I figured the prologue would actually turn off a lot of people who find Tolkien dry to begin with, so if you wish to review it I will brace myself :) but I probably am more in need of feedback on the outline doc. But there really is no rush.

Last edited at Tue, Nov 12th, 2013 06:42

>> No. 129130
File 138458863788.png - (167.10KB , 910x1024 , large[1].png )
Disclaimer: I have never used Ponychan to post anything before today. So far, it's quite confusing, so apologies if I mess anything up.

Title: Sweet Treats and Royal Delights

Description: Bon Bon is your average hard working mare, running her own candy stall in Ponyville. But when Princess Celestia tries one of her candies, she gives Bon Bon the offer of a lifetime: the opportunity to become the Royal Confectioner. With Twilight by her side, how will Bon Bon cope with the changes ahead?

Tags: Romance, Slice of Life

Link: http://www.fimfiction.net/story/106316/sweet-treats-and-royal-delights

If anyone picks this up, the main thing I want to have feedback on is Bon Bon's character. Does she feel more developed and three-dimensional than just 'that mare who is not amused at Lyra'? Thoughts on the ship would be nice too, thanks!

And, um, sorry if I messed this post up. This place is confuddlin'...
>> No. 129131
File 138461538704.png - (65.05KB , 125x115 , pinkie-hi.png )
Hi, Jake, your post looks fine to me! Best thing is to check back on this thread in a day or two (you can click the link next to your post number to refer back to a specific post.) The reviewers check this thread regularly. I myself would offer to review but that would be work avoidance on my part, I'm afraid! ^3^

>Plus I have a splitting headache at the moment so couldn't give a review proper attention... although it would probably help me to learn how to write dialogue.
>> No. 129135
Description: In which Luna makes friends, Fluttershy finds romance, Twilight contributes, and Discord...Discordians

With a Foreword by Princess Celestia

Tag: Comedy, Adventure, Romance

Link: http://www.fimfiction.net/story/143288/fulfilling

Edit: Word Count: Over 50,000 (I am not expecting anyone to read the whole thing, just enough to get the gist of it)

I feel like I've got a handle on the technical things, such as grammar, sentence structure, etc. My problem is that I don't know if the actual content is decent, if the characterizations are acceptable, and other such subjective items. The biggest concern is that, due to my proximity to the story, I'm not sure if it's interesting to read.

Thank you very much for any constructive criticism!

Also, ignore what Celestia says in the Foreword. She has no idea what she's talking about.

Last edited at Thu, Nov 21st, 2013 20:09

>> No. 129140
File 138472750796.png - (112.32KB , 434x398 , 132631850347.png )
I've gotta apologize to Ponyweed. I rarely take more than a few days to return a review on a story. It's now been ten days and I've yet to read more than the first sentence. I still plan to try but, I can't say for sure how long I'll be. Consider this a drop until I show up with the review.
>> No. 129142
File 138473347814.png - (515.96KB , 665x818 , luna-perhaps-lg.png )

Is it that bad? :s
>> No. 129143
Alright, all of you who lamented the decline in traffic on /fic/! We have stories to review! Put your money where your mouth is and pick up a story. And those of you who have submitted your stories for review, feel free to pitch in as well. That's kind of the point of this thread: doing a review while you're waiting, so you can help someone else and learn something about writing in the process. Reviewing is one of the best ways to improve your own writing, after all.


Last edited at Tue, Dec 24th, 2013 11:22

>> No. 129144

If nobody minds, then I'll definitely help out.


I'm not going to officially claim this story, because my review probably won't be as helpful as somebody who's more experienced (and I don't want to deprive you of more useful advice), but I'll chip in with my own two cents.

Last edited at Sun, Nov 17th, 2013 19:47

>> No. 129145
All you have to do is say what you think. Even if the author doesn't agree with you, he still has to consider what you said and whether other readers will feel the same way. And from my own experience, reviewing makes you think more about a story than you often do while writing it in order to find useful things to say. Teaching yourself to do that makes your own writing better.
>> No. 129146
Your two cents are worth more than you think; They're the literary equivalent of your friend asking you how her makeup looks as you head out to the club, and you giving honest feedback.

Anything you find confusing, or something that seems to contradict a different point in the story is invaluable information. Pointing out things you enjoyed or you thought were done well doesn't hurt either.

Wow, I have been at this for way too long if I understand it that well.

What? No, I'm just lazy, and tired a lot. I've also become somewhat of a procrastinator. Honestly, the me from a year ago would slap me silly if he saw me now. I'll set myself to a minimum of 500 words a night. There, hard fast numbers. I should be able to keep that up.

Last edited at Sun, Nov 17th, 2013 22:27

>> No. 129147

Edit: Review Posted

When I read your story, I found that I really liked your writing style. You know what you want to convey, and you know how to convey it so that the reader understands what's going on. Further, instead of having boring descriptions that would put a reader to sleep, you use colorful words that bring out the character of the work.

I did notice some issues with your sentence structure and whatnot that, if fixed, would really make this tale shine. For example, some of the sentences tend to be a bit choppy, if not altogether run-ons. Take this passage:

>A servant had brought her breakfast, then she had a quick wash in the shower, and now she was waiting.

Instead, you could write something like this:

>Immediately after eating her breakfast, which had been delivered by a servant, she had taken a quick shower, and now she was waiting.

I'm not suggesting that you copy that directly, because it was written in a style other than your own, but the important thing is that you word and punctuate the sentences so that they seem natural.

Another item to consider is the possibility of combining shorter sentences into a single longer one. While it's important to avoid run-on sentences, it's also important to keep the words flowing until they come to a natural conclusion. Take this passage, for example:

>Looking down at the sink, she splashed some water onto her face. It didn’t seem to help much. She resumed her brushing, waiting. The door to her room was just in sight in the mirror. Eventually, Twilight was going to walk through that door and direct her to the kitchens. Bon Bon hoped it would be her; seeing a pretty face in the morning would make her feel better.

This could be changed to:

>Looking down at the sink, she splashed some water onto her face, but it didn’t seem to help much. She resumed her brushing, waiting while watching the room's door, which was just barely reflected in the mirror. Eventually, Twilight was going to walk through that door and direct her to the kitchens-- at least, Bon Bon hoped it would be Twilight; seeing a pretty face in the morning would make her feel better.

Again, that's just an example of what it could be, not what it should be.

These issues generally only rear their heads in description-heavy sections where there is only one character, or multiple characters that are not interacting with each other. The sections with dialogue I found to be very well done, and they rarely exhibit any examples of the two problems I just described.

A final thing that I noticed, and this might just be personal taste, is that you refer to Bon Bon as "Bon Bon" almost exclusively, except for when you use "Bons", with a few rare exceptions. By all means, avoid contracting lavender unicorn syndrome, but at the same time, using some alternate words to cite Bon Bon (and other characters as well) will let the story read a lot less awkwardly.

All in all, I enjoyed reading what you have written so far. You give a very unique characterization of Bon Bon, one that stands on its own and fits the story well. I look forward to seeing what happens next.

Last edited at Sat, Nov 23rd, 2013 13:51

>> No. 129158
File 138492747320.png - (45.51KB , 800x600 , derp-wuz-her.png )

Thanks Bleeding Rain. I know you had said you're a
fantasy fan but a skeptic of Tolkien (and crossovers)
and, well, I've only done two chapters so far so I sort
of assumed reviewers who were not fans of the book
would think it's not worth reviewing just an outline. :)

>Just keep in mind the first two chapters of the Silm
>are so over-the-top that it's really just parody so far...

>I did do some review though, and decided I could probably do the Feanor story arc (the first third of the story) as a more proper rewritten narrative prior to solving the adaptation issues involving the tangle of heroic characters in the second half.
>fixing the outline will definitely make it easier to write since I'm inexperienced writing characters. most of the plot questions are cut and dried although some of it is still in the realm of "it makes sense if one is familiar with the book", and I don't want it to feel forced.
>> No. 129159
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Okay, down to business. To entertain myself as I read this, I decided to read in Ian Mckellen’s glorious voice. Now that I’ve established just how disinterested in this I was, let’s continue.

>There was Faûst, the One, who on Earth is called Llaúren; and she made first the Ponytär, the Holy Animators, that were the offspring of her design, and they were with her in spirit before aught else was animated.
Ugh. As a reader--not as a reviewer--you’ve just lost me. The only reason I read further than this is because I’d made a promise as a reviewer. Now, don’t get me wrong, this is a good sign. I hate Tolkein’s writing style. Hate it. It’s dry as all hell, and so indirect that by the time he gets to the point, Frodo and Sam could have gone to Mordor and back again, or Bilbo to the Lonely Mountain. That said, this mimics that droll drab quite nicely, which I’m sure you’re happy to hear, and that this is far too easy to easy to read with Gandalf in mind is probably a compliment.

This basically tells the story of how mlp became popular, and I’m a little confused as to the importance of this because we already know that story. Anyone who might be reading this already knows that story, and skimming through it reveals nothing remotely interesting. I will admit that the fantasy flair does make it sound kind of awesome, but the massive info dump of stuff we already know drags on for so long that I’d have an easier time reading “The Eye of Argon”. I think it’s fair to say that I’m not the right pony for the job. Good luck on your reviewer search.

Last edited at Wed, Nov 20th, 2013 16:49

>> No. 129160
File 138499908082.jpg - (120.97KB , 1205x881 , gentlemen2.jpg )
Help! Rainbow Dash is a hatnapper! Somepony call the Foalice!

[Slice of Life]


(Decided to take the plunge and see what Ponychan thinks. May as well do something while I wait for the ol' muse to kick in.)
>> No. 129163
File 138505667410.png - (78.22KB , 567x510 , Punchclock Woona.png )
Is this the right place to do this? I hope so. I have a character backstory for a Fallout Equestria campaign, and a nagging bug in my head wants me to write a whole fic, but I'd like someone to critique the backstory first to see where I stand.

Sorry if I'm doing this wrong.

>> No. 129164
File 138506075359.png - (222.95KB , 800x1200 , triptych-pon2-txt-white.png )

Well, that's not very helpful I'm afraid... I thought I had
clarified that the first two chapters are like that, that I
only did the first two chapters as a joke for Tolkien fans...

that the prologue would hold little interest for other readers
who don't like Tolkien (there are Tolkien fans who can't get past the
prologue and only read the rest of the book)...

and that what I really needed advice on was the outline, not the parts already written.

but like you said, it would be easier for somepony who was a Tolkien fan to advise on that.

A person on /oat/ chastised me for assuming there aren't any Tolkien fans around here, but they sure seem hard to find :(

It's not designed to inform the reader of anything they
don't already know, it's a parody of the book of Genesis
style of the prologue... and that the rest of the book, while
similarly dry, has nothing to do with the prologue. ;(

I apologize if you couldn't be of more help... please let me know if somepony else is more interested.

Last edited at Thu, Nov 21st, 2013 12:27

>> No. 129166
Hello, Bleeding Raindrops. I’ll be your reviewer for today.

First up: “on” and “the” ought to be all lower-case in your title. Title capitalisation typically uses the following convention: capitalise the first and last words, and all other words except for prepositions (“in”, “on”, “with”, etc.), articles (“the”, “a”, and “an”), and coordinating conjunctions (“and”, “but”, etc.).

After the first scene break (2 pages in), I’m seeing some issues. When I read the first few pages of any story, the information I’m looking for is where am I? who am I watching? and why am I watching them? Right away I know that I’m in a forest of some kind, so that’s base one covered. But who am I watching? I think in the opening page you describe in detail a series of things that are happening, but I don’t have any context to understand what all these things flying around are doing short of the act itself.

This confusion, I think, is amplified by your liberal use of “the” in the very first paragraph:

> A powerful gust of wind ripped through the trees as the two figures thundered by. Leaves exploded into the air and branches were snapped in half as the earth pony sliced right through them. The Phoenix dodged limbs and branches expertly as it stayed just ahead of its pursuer.

Usually, when something is introduced, it’s first done with the indefinite article, “a”, and then consecutive references to that thing uses the definite article, “the”. Reordering the sentence structure a little bit and changing the articles improves clarity:

> Leaves exploded into the air and branches snapped in half as an earth pony sliced right through them. Her target, a phoenix, dodged limbs and branches expertly as it stayed just ahead of its pursuer. A powerful gust of wind ripped through the trees as the two figures thundered by.

What this also does is lets me know that there are only two actors here and not four (the two figures, the phoenix, and the earth pony), which was my initial impression when reading.

Going back to the final thing I look for in the opening: Why am I watching? This is a chase scene, so what are the stakes? I am curious while reading, but when the answer is revealed that there are none, I wonder what the point of all that was. It seems that the point is entirely inadvertent, owing to Ink Blot acidentally stepping on some Posion Joke during the chase. All this isn’t really helped by three paragraphs spent describing a brush. (This brush had better be very important.)

As a result, my main thoughts with this opening are that it doesn’t hook me into wanting to continue reading the rest of the story. (I will anyway, because I’m reviewing it. But had I just casually clicked on your story from the Fimfiction front page, this would be the point at which I stopped reading.)

Zecora and Pinkie Pie’s voices are right on the money.

Your protag is the child of Pinkie Pie and Big Mac. I mean, it doesn’t bother me none, but there are some readers who would freak out over something like this just showing up in the middle of a story. You could easily alienate a few readers with this, and it could become a contentious point of the story for some people where it’s an otherwise unnecessary detail. Make sure it’s actually important enough to be worth taking that risk.

> Pie-Apple

What, not Apple-Pie?


All right, I’ve read up till the end of what’s there now. First up, there’s a fair bit of fluff that you could stand to cut with a thorough edit (and this story could use an editing pass or two as it is). That’s kind of here or there though and up to you more than anything.

As for the story, I’m not too sold on it. By the time chapter 4 rolls around, the story has incapacitated the protagonist and turned into a quest to save her, headed by 3-4 different focus characters: Pinkie, Twilight and Celestia, and Luna. This completely transforms the direction of the story by replacing a young, naive viewpoint character with several older ones.

Phrased like that it doesn’t seem to problematic, but the issue is that there isn’t really any obvious steps for any of them to take on this quest. Ink Blot is afflicted by some magical curse, and the only way to beat magic is with other magic… so they’re going to try a bunch of stuff and it’s eventually going to work. The problem is that the FiM universe has soft magic, and soft magic shouldn’t be used to resolve conflict. (See this explanation [brandonsanderson.com] for more details.)

I return back to the question I always ask when writing/reviewing: Why should the reader continue reading?

One reason that the reader might have been reading was that Ink Blot was interesting to them. Her antics have made up the majority of the story so far. When she was painting on the abandoned farm, the imagery was quite wonderful and I caught myself thinking, “I’d like to see that painting.” But she’s out of the picture now, and other characters are on show. Well, perhaps those characters aren’t what these readers was in it for, and those readers are slightly disappointed now.

The other reason I see is that the pony in the wall mystery is intruiging to them. How will the others find a cure for this curse? Myself, I couldn’t hazard a guess as to where they would begin. As explained above, a resolution by magic would be rather uninteresting. But what else will it be? The nature of this curse is not well-understood by the reader, so really there could be anything and nothing that could resolve this conflict.

That aside, the rallying of all these ponies to save Ink Blot makes me wonder why they haven’t spent the last however long it’s been trying to help the poor scientist trapped in the wall. Did they forget about him, or just give up? Why are there not hundreds of high-level wizards surrounding the site and trying to figure this thing out? Think the millitary outpost on the landing zone in Thor. Is this kind of thing so common in Equestria that everyone just tries to ignore it when it happens?

One last thing that might be worth mentioning is that the story gets a little confusing around the start of chapter 4. It’s hard to tell what exactly is “real” and what’s not. Is the scene where Applejack is acting suspicious and eating her hat real? What about the following scene? What about the scene after that? It all gets very weird and confusing around that point. Maybe just hold my hand a little bit and italicise the dream sequences so I can know for sure.

It’s hard to say for sure what you should do here. My recommendation would be to have Ink Blot discover this pony in the wall without being afflicted by the curse herself, and then take the quest to solve it herself. This way, you don’t have a sudden change from a single protagonist to an ensemble cast in the middle of the fourth chapter. There is something to work with there in that the steps to resolving the conflict involve dealing with adults who for some reason want to keep this hush hush (contrast with Celestia who holds essentially supreme executive power and whose main obstacle will be magical, i.e., uninteresting).

Maybe you have something cool in mind to do with your ensemble cast. If that’s the case, then I’d recommend cutting down all you’ve got so far as much as possible and making these guys the focus of your story. If you want the story to be a quest to find some cure, similar to It’s Dangerous Business Going Out Your Door, then do that. Get to the point. Don’t dilly dally with all of these cute little antics from Ink Blot. Before you go thinking, But no one will care about Ink Blot then, there’s no point introducing a new character only to have her function as a mere plot device 4 chapters in. You may as well have your damsel in distress be Rarity or Rainbow Dash or any other person that the characters and audience care about, since that’s her only function here.

I think that’s about it. If you have any follow up questions, please ask them.

Keep writing.

Last edited at Thu, Nov 21st, 2013 19:58

>> No. 129172
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Writer's Block here.

Alright, Mesa. You gave someone else, who was also waiting patiently, a reasonable opinion and helped them on their journey as best you knew how.

That doesn't go without it's rewards around here.

Let's tango.

Two notes before we begin.

One: You submitted a rather long piece at 50k words and still incomplete.

This will take me some time, but it will get done. However, you'll find shorter things generally get claimed quicker, and most problems with a piece tend to be found fairly early on.

Two: This: >

That key there is your friend. It allows you to make story quotes that are highlighted in blue, making them easier to spot amongst the other other helpful words in the review itself.

>Like this, see?

Otherwise, you did a nice job for what I'm guessing is or is close to your first time reviewing. Good work.

Last edited at Fri, Nov 22nd, 2013 21:23

>> No. 129173

Thanks for both claiming the story and giving some helpful info. I completely understand any hesitance a reviewer might feel in looking at a really long work. As such, I won't make a fuss if you don't want to read through the whole thing.

Again, thanks very much.

Last edited at Sat, Nov 23rd, 2013 12:05

>> No. 129174
You can drop off conceptual stuff here, though it's not really the point of this thread. There used to be a thread dedicated to that type of thing, but i don't think it's been active in quite some time.

I had a look over your story concept, and I'll do what I can. First, I must say that it's rarely going to be a productive exercise to comment on the viability of a basic premise. There are very few story ideas that can't be good in the hands of the right author. It wouldn't be productive for me to speculate on whether this is the seed for an enjoyable fic, because the proof is in the pudding. It's not until it's written that anyone can say whether it was well executed. And what you have here is certainly doable.

I must also confess that I've never read the first word of anything to do with Fallout: Equestria, so I can't help you with how it fits into that universe.

Finally, I can't tell whether this is some kind of blurb you've written up to lay out the character's foundations, or if this is intended as a prologue to the story. I did notice a few writing problems in it (a number of misused commas, overuse of "as" clauses, a need for more active verbs instead of "to be" verbs). Maybe that's just how you write when you're brainstorming. I sometimes do something similar—I may well splice together sentences just to get the rough idea down, then fix it all later when I do the actual draft. So I'm not sure if that's what you have going on.

Really the only concrete advice I can give you is to make sure your main character doesn't turn into a Mary Sue. She seems somewhat overpowered. She becomes quite the expert smith, and then not only can she make the weapons, but she's also quite formidable at using them, to the point that she can effectively wield a sword against firearms, and then it's mentioned that she has a special gun, too. She sounds too good to be true, which usually means she will be. Such characters are not relatable. Make sure you create her as someone realistic so that the reader can identify with her. So far, that's the only pitfall I can see potentially waiting for you.
>> No. 129176
Many thanks for the review. I hadn't realized those errors were there, so it looks like I've got some editing to do.

As for the sudden ensemble cast, I really can't defend it other than I knew it was going to happen heading into this project. I couldn't get Ink Blot's story out of my head, so I had to write it down. Her being her and not Rainbow Dash or Rarity (not that I wouldn't enjoy watching Rarity melt) does have a purpose, but you wouldn't pick up on it unless you'd read 2-D Pony which I would combine if it weren't an entirely different writing style.

Italicizing the dream sequences is doable, and many thanks for pointing that out.

>What, not Apple-Pie?
Intentionally passed that one up. Umad, reader? :D

I'm surprised you didn't pick up on the reason for the opening chase scene. I was fairly certain I'd explained that Peewee had stolen a very nice paint brush set, and that he'd made a hobby of snatching her belongings. Wouldn't you chase down someone who kept stealing your things if you caught them at it? Especially if it was a high valued, rare item? Can you offer some advice on how to better express this, or perhaps why it wasn't clear?
>> No. 129177
File 138524127841.jpg - (13.81KB , 236x214 , images (3).jpg )
1000 years before Twilight Sparkle arrived in Ponyville, a young noble mare is torn from her unhappy but comfortable life to be thrown into events that will shape Equestrian history, culminating in Celestia's rise to power.

Tag: adventure, episodic, semi-dark, epic fantasy, long, mature content.

This is going to eventually be massive in scope, but for now I've worked out 3 chapters. I've had a couple friends review it and they've been pretty positive, and it chapter 1 was accepted to FIMfiction.net awhile ago (I took it down), but I'd like to step it up to a more professional review.

Chapter 1:

Chapter 2:

Chapter 3:

Looking for a review/critique with plenty of time on their hands. I'm estimating this is about 40k words long, so there's no rush. This is my first fic so I promise there's going to be problems, but by all means be brutal in your review, one chapter at a time or all at once. Thanks in advance.

Last edited at Sat, Nov 23rd, 2013 14:36

>> No. 129178
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>Can you offer some advice on how to better express this, or perhaps why it wasn't clear?
It's not that it wasn't clear, but rather that, despite what you tell me, the brush is not important at all. You've had Ink Blot chase the phoenix all through the Everfree, and then you've said---retroactively, which makes what you're doing even more transparent---"This brush is important!" But then the brush is never seen or heard from again. It ends up being only functional and not at all interesting.

If you want to see a good way to incorporate brush stealing into narrative, go watch Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. The brush is not important in that, either, really. It's just an excuse for Jen Yu to chase Lo. After the chase, Lo asks her, "All this for a brush?" and she replies, "It's my brush." It then later on acts as a symbol of their relationship.

The the brush is not truly important in either case. The difference between them is that the brush doesn't exist within a narrative void in the second case. It's not just there as a plot device to get a character to go chasing after it.

What do we establish in your narrative from this? Peewee has a habit of stealing Ink Blot's things? This has never been used in the narrative. Rarity has a habit of giving people outrageously expensive gifts? Again, never used. They're just details that seem to exist in a void separate from the story. You could remove them entirely without damaging the coherence of the narrative, which generally indicates that you should.

Think about all the different openings you could possibly have that lead to the desired outcome of Ink Blot stepping in the poison joke. There are many. Of those, there's certainly one that better contributes to your story's overall narrative. That's not to say the one you've chosen is particularly bad. It's just not great.
>> No. 129179
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We have been informed that thou awaiteth adjudication on thy story in Equestria Daily's queue. As such, We shall endeavour to give thee feedback before thy turn cometh up.
>> No. 129180
Hmm, point taken, I suppose. That'd be a huge rewrite of the beginning, but it still might splice in fine. The only problem is I was planning on using that brush later on. I guess I just haven't mastered the art of using a seemingly insignificant item without making it seem pointless.

Well, I better get started then. Thanks a bunch for your help.
>> No. 129181
I have a story idea that I've been tossing around, and I think I may have gotten it to a point where it could be considered coherent. Before I get too deep into the writing, I wanted to get another set of eyes on it. What I have here is something in between an outline and a rough draft. I don't need any comments on the technical aspects of the story since it'll all be rewritten in the next draft. What I'm looking for is someone to comment on the story ideas. Basically, does it make sense? Should anything be explained more/less? Any other comments would be appreciated.

Title: Currently untitled
Tag: random
Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1GbxCvbsoyiQZ7GUNTNVxTC89n-f-5sCXkhwEYju433o/edit
Word count: 4576
Basic synopsis: Bon Bon awakens to find that she and Lyra have been kidnapped. Worryingly enough, Lyra isn't worried about it. Apparently, being kidnapped has become a common occurrence for Lyra ever since she had a forbidden spell locked away within her mind.

Thanks in advance.

Last edited at Sun, Nov 24th, 2013 08:20

>> No. 129186
Hey, Rog. Still there? I read through your review a third and fourth time, and checked out the links you sent me, which were not only helpful, they opened up a few questions, which aren't exactly questions.

If I may ask for your opinion just a bit further, I was wondering what advice you might be able to provide towards my plan for this story.

Starting with the switch from an innocent narrative to a more adult one. I planned that. This is a three part story, to be told in three different narrative styles. The first part was 2-D Pony, told in pure thought form, but still describing what's going on around him.
The second part describes the story of the next victim, Ink Blot, who inadvertently dooms the poor pony, or at least it seems so to Twilight. Originally she was only there to fill the role of the "Pink Pony" who covered up the pony on the wall when he was nearly free, and then to melt into ink. I'm not kidding, that's all that I'd had planned for her, and expected this to be a mere 2k word story.
Then the third part would describe multiple character viewpoints, but ultimately follow Twilight as she tries to cover up the guilt she feels for failing the poor scientist who came to town. she is also the next victim

Which brings me to your next point. Why nopony has been doing research on the poor pony. As I gave a hint of in the fourth chapter, Twilight goofed, and made a hasty decision in painting over the pony to try and free him over time. But what I'll explain in the third book is that she was trying to cover up her guilt. She wasn't able to save him, and blames herself, so she had him painted over so she could forget about him, and try to run from her past. She also never told this to anypony.

I'm debating whether to have them ultimately free themselves by resolving their internal issues (The scientist letting go of his reckless experiments, Ink Blot reconciling with her mother, and Twilight accepting that there was nothing she could do) Or to just have them all doomed to eternal damnation as I'd originally planned. Either way, I read that "wynaut use soft magic to solve things" and I'm glad that it was never my plan in the first place.

Now to the point about Ink Blot's father. I see your point there: while not many readers would have an aversion to Pinkie Pie having a daughter, PinkieMac isn't a popular ship, but here's why I did it. First, Ink Blot spoke a lot like Apple Bloom in my head, which got me thinking "Wynaut Big Macintosh for the father?" Then I realized they're the perfect pair, at least for a story. Second, they're natural opposites. Pinkie's just a big ball of party on the outside, and never shuts up, meanwhile Big Macintosh is all serious, and hardly ever talks. They're just like a married couple, and make for a great family dynamic, especially if they have a daughter who likes art and refinement. Ink Blot turned into a great mix of the both of them, but more easily identifies with her father, which actually happens in reality--most humans get along best with their parent of the opposite sex. I would take no credit for any of this if I didn't have to; I feel like none of that was my idea--it just happened.

So, then there's the brush. Yes, it's important. Peewee is going to use it to try to at least preserve Ink Blot, rather than have her be a blotchy mess of paint in a can. It has special properties, but the magic in it isn't going to solve the problem, just make a solution possible; If Ink Blot were just a puddle on the ground, she'd be beyond hope, and the whole quest would be pointless.

Which brings me to your final point: the quest. Why? Because they feel like they have a chance this time. With the pony on the wall (still nameless, but I'll fix that) Twilight tried to cast a spell to fix him, but Zecora told her it couldn't be done.
>The striped one is shaking her head. The pink one is crying.
This was a complete failure for all of them, but especially Twilight. On the wall, they could only apply a curing bath to one side of the pony (Which wouldn't have worked anyway because this isn't normal poison joke) but with Ink Blot as liquid in a can, they can at least try to homogeneously mix her with the curing bath, and hope it works. Hope is a powerful motivator. And thus they embark on the quest which makes up the third book of this three part story, opens up Twilight's guilty conscience to all of them, and either dooms or saves them all.

So, good idea? Bad? Storyforge thread?

Last edited at Sun, Nov 24th, 2013 18:15

>> No. 129187
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>You couldn't just call any old
We realize the temptation can be great to use 'you' in narration, but 'tis really best to avoid it if possible, unless, of course, thou employest a second-person narration.

Now, bear with Us here – there are plenty of valid words that use no hyphen, like bookkeeping, beekeeping, timekeeping, seakeeping. We would posit that in Equestria, where such weather terms may be commonplace, a similar spelling may exist.

>Rainbow Dash turned over onto her belly, letting her hooves dangle over the edge of her little throne in the sky.
'Tis not an egregious example, but do keep an eye out for misplaced modifiers. By proximity, it soundeth like her belly is letting her hooves dangle. Authors misplace modifiers all the time, and Our lost and found bin simply teemeth with the little buggers.

>down way far below her
Methinks thy verbiage is a tad jumbled.

>the ideal headstone
The expression to which this referreth is an epitaph or inscription, not the headstone itself.

>(She'd rather have something about fiery explosions or some epic stunt gone wrong.)
We see no reason for the parentheses. That sentence wouldn't be out of place without them, and the statement is not delivered in a subjective enough feel to be considered as an indirect thought.

In this usage as a predicate adjective, thou needest not the hyphen.

>along down amongst
We'd suggest that thou parest at least one of these out. Three directional prepositions/adverbs in a row is a mite cumbersome.

>She made a mental note to hunt down said barrel later.
This language doth not quite fit thy focus character. While thy narrator is not identically Rainbow Dash, 'twould be advantageous to customize the narrative voice to be comparable in word choice and sound to what Dash herself might say.

>And if Rainbow Dash's eyes weren't playing tricks on her
Set off thy dependent clause with a comma.

'Tis one word.

>and if it was her turn to cook
Another clause transition needing a comma. In Our spare time, we run a home for lost and wayward commas – mayhap thou wouldst consider adopting one?

>in the western fields, way out on a hill where the trees started clumping together again
If this area is so rife with trees, 'tis not really a field, yes? More an orchard or a grove.

An unauthorized hyphen in the area! GUARDS! GUARDS!

Wherefore is it notable? It seemeth like an odd detail to point out. Dash is focused on sneaking up on Applejack, not judging the minutiae of her actions.

>Her wings flared just before she hit the ground and she worked to angle herself around the uneven terrain at about pony height.
Yet again, a comma betwixt the clauses would serve thee well. We have both an expensive model that used to serve as an Oxford comma and a bargain version that was taken from a common splice.

'Tis a generic term she useth for everypony; thou needest not capitalise it.

>she frowned at her friend
How doth one 'frown' a sentence, pray tell? This is not a speaking action.

>Rainbow held Applejack's prize possession
Thou hast just used 'held' in the preceding sentence, and thou needest 'prized' here.

>grinning oafishly around the brim right at her. Rainbow's magenta eyes sparkled eagerly, her tail lashing in anticipation. She gave the hat a gentle tussle back and forth as she shook her head in defiance.
>Anger contorted Applejack's expression.

Thou hast quite a bit of language here that telleth us emotions and attitudes directly instead of implying them and letting the reader deduce them. This includeth such things as 'oafishly', 'eagerly', 'in anticipation', and 'in defiance' here. Thou shouldst strive to give Us these impressions through how Rainbow behaveth. We would also caution thee on thy use of 'tussle'. We believe thou mayest have meant 'tousle'.

Again, no need for the hyphen.

>Rainbow knew that Applejack was ever so slightly faster than her on the ground, and could run longer than she could
In this case, thou hast no new clause, and the first part of the compound verb is not overly complex, so that comma is unnecessary.

>On the other hand
We are not familiar with that particular appendage.

>You didn't prove anything to your friend if you cheated.
Thou art addressing the reader again. Contrast this with a phrasing like 'Cheating would never prove anything to a friend.'

>three or four second
These should be hyphenated terms, but since it is a compound one, do it thus:
three- or four-second

>looked back at her friend, grinning like she technically could have been an idiot
And now We come to a misplaced modifier that is genuinely vague, which is the risk thou always runnest when employing one. Which one grinneth? 'Tis not clear by the language alone; while We can tell thou meanest Rainbow, Applejack is more clearly indicated.

>It was sacrilegious.
>One day, Rainbow Dash would extract the story of the hat from its owner.

More language that seemeth uncharacteristic of Rainbow.

>long drawn-out
'Tis a rather lengthy explanation of the difference, but suffice it to say that thou probably hearest a pause between these when speaking them. They are a type of adjective that require a comma betwixt them.

Sounds effects typically do not work so well in narration. As it is a valid word anyway, We would advise thee to remove the capitals and exclamation mark, and just leave it as an ordinary word. If thou needest to add some emphasis to it, then be more descriptive about it.

>as jumped the fallen tree
When punctuation goeth missing, coincidence can oft be blamed, but when an entire word is involved, We grow suspicious. FOUL PLAY IS AHOOF!

In contrast, adverbs ending in -ly rarely require a hyphen.

>The last time she did that
Another dependent clause needeth a comma.

>Rainbow Smash
Somehow, We doubt that Big Macintosh would not know her name.

>her words muffled by-
>-wait, was that Sis's hat?

Please use a proper dash for interruptions. And either capitalise the second part as a new sentence, or pull it up into the same paragraph as the first part.

>his saddle
Why was he wearing a saddle? We have never known him to do so. Any instances of such have been purely for fashion purposes.

>He shrugged and grabbed the bushel firmly in his teeth, and began unloading his wagon.
We must say that We see no purpose in this brief scene. It lendeth a smidgen of comic relief, but it presenteth nothing new that is vital to the story. Furthermore, having that break in character perspective meaneth that We have to take time to settle into Rainbow's head again, once that point of view resumeth. Thou shouldst only switch perspectives when necessary to provide some new information that only that perspective can give, and We do not see that this instance accomplisheth anything.

>She spent a heckuva lot of time there in her youth
We thought she grew up in Cloudsdale...

>napping the days away whenever she could
Set off participial phrases with a comma.

>Try to keep up AJ!
Missing another comma, for direct address this time. Fear not—thy computing device hath an endless supply of them. We promise!

>kept forcing those legs of hers to keep carrying
Close repetition of 'keep'.

>Desperation set in
Thou hast just used 'desperately' in the prior paragraph. We get the picture.

>Despite her angry tone and the deep shade of the grove though
'Despite' and 'though' are redundant here. Choose one to sacrifice to an angry god! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

>Rainbow Dash could make out the outline of a gigantic grin on Applejack's face.
Pray tell, how would one notice the outline of a grin but not the grin itself? And why would the outline be more notable?

>Applejack was just laying there
Thou hast confused 'lay' with 'lie'. They are tricky, bedeviling little verbs.

>“So...” she rasped, “like my new hat?” she grinned before going back to her panting.
It appeareth that thou art attempting two attributions in one sentence, but the second hath no speaking action anyway. The 'she grinned...' part should be a new sentence.

>at last found the last
Thy repetition is repetitive...

>nursing the drink from full to gone in seconds
Hardly the definition of nursing...

>easy there cowpony!
Another missing comma for direct address.

>before alighting the place right behind her
Art thou missing a word? We are not quite sure what this meaneth, as stated.

We find it curious that thy story is included in no fewer than four shipping groups, and thou hast admitted to shipping implications in thy author's notes, and yet it is not tagged as such.

Please note that We have not pointed out every single problem, though We have striven to show thee at least one example of each; 'twill be up to thee to root out all the little hidden bugaboos for thyself.

For overall issues, We noted the following, several of which We have already touched upon:

Thou has used a—what are the foals calling it these days?—shit-ton of 'to be' verbs. Because they are short character strings that often occur within other words, it can be hard to obtain an accurate count, but after looking for some of the more common conjugations, We have found over 140 of them. That's quite a lot for this length of story. There are several problems that have this as a symptom. They include blunt declarations of character emotion ('tis common to say things like 'He was sad.'), passive voice ('The teacup was levitated.'), and a general need to use action verbs (after all, action is far more interesting). To some degree, all were present in this story, primarily the third one.

Beware of misplaced modifiers. Thou hast quite a few participles that are ambiguous as to what they describe. They usually describe the most recent possible object, or if they begin a clause, the nearest following one.

Another issue is thy narrator's voice. For the most part, thou usest a subjective narrator in Rainbow Dash's viewpoint, but thou must consider carefully whether everything in the narration is truly something Rainbow could know. There were several statements that would have had to be in Applejack's perspective. Changing focus characters can be allowable, but only for an overwhelming reason, as they have unique knowledge that is crucial to the plot. Otherwise, either their information is extraneous or could have been conveyed without switching to that character. And as we have noted, the scene from Big Macintosh's point of view served no purpose. Another problem with Rainbow's perspective is that the narrator should sound at least roughly like her, but he indulgeth in word choices that We cannot envision for her. Particularly for this choice of a subjective narrator, thou shouldst never lose touch with thy character. Sure, there are moments when he hath nothing to say but facts, but when Rainbow's emotions run high, thou needest to make that connexion with thy reader and keep a stream of her emotions going. Of course, that is dependent on the situation—if thy character is in the heat of battle, for instance, she will only have a few strong emotions and will concentrate on the action. but in general, do not fall into the trap of focusing on events at the expense of showing evidence of how thy characters feel about those events.

Finally, We will say that several of thy action sequences tread the same ground. Many boil down to 'Rainbow runneth, Applejack catcheth up, both tire, Rainbow deviseth some way to increase her lead, but lo! Applejack is right behind her again!' To keep the action interesting, thou must needs do something different in each instance. While the writing was good, We still had the impression that We read the same short scene several times.

Take heart, dear author. Thou hast not aroused Our ire. Final mood: Contemplative amusement.

Write thee onward, citizen!

Last edited at Sun, Nov 24th, 2013 20:07

>> No. 129188
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Finally, we get an actual review instead of a "good job," and "keep up the good work".

I can't be held responsible for some of the groups the fic was submitted to, but I left the shipping open to interpretation just the same, since the sequels dive right into the deep end. Don't worry - I won't subject you to those.

Do you have anyone you would recommend as a beta-reader? I've cleared out a lot of similar problems on previous occasions, but the author's own eye can catch only so much on its own, as you can no doubt tell here. (Yes, I am indeed implying that this little train wreck was worse before you got your hooves on it. Won't be cruel enough to subject you to that one either.)

Much obliged for your efforts.

Last edited at Sun, Nov 24th, 2013 19:53

>> No. 129189
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We are not privy to the types of communities that provide long-term help to authors. We suppose thou already knowest of the existence of groups for said purpose on FiMFiction, though We cannot vouch for the quality, or lack thereof, of any. Perhaps if thou hast a reader that reliably leaveth thoughtful comments, thou couldst approach him to do so in a more formal manner.
>> No. 129190
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Fimfiction groups might be your best bet. I used to do a type of beta reading where I would record a video of my thoughts and reactions, then try to type a summary of what I'd just read from memory, but I don't do it anymore. There are many hidden gems among Fimfiction's reader base if you look for them. I recommend a blog if you have enough followers.
>> No. 129192
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I'm not sure the first two chapters in isolation are reviewable... unless somepony is a
Tolkien fan. :/ they're parody from source material, and it's love it or hate it stuff.

So you'll either like it or hate it, but it's heavily based on the prologue from the book, and it's more of what I believe tvtropes calls a "distant prologue" that is more for scene-setting.

I suppose a reviewer could help me determine whether
that sort of pastiche is "worth it" in measured quantities,
since I'm only interested in ponifying passages from the
book that really stand out.

I would like to move on to original text and I have lots of
notes scattered around, but I have two problems:

1. adaptation issues that need to be fixed (which requires pre-review critique from somepony who's a Tolkien fan, probably -- but only because they'd be familiar with the plot). Basically this involves a lot of secondary characters that have been crossed over.

>So far I haven't run into serious problems with the crossover seeming forced, but that's also because I've refrained from solving some pissy continuity issues with characters and their motivations.

I can probably write the first half prior to figuring out certain character arcs that don't really kick in until the second half but it freaks me out to try, because I don't usually get ideas from the process of actual writing. I have to be enthusiastic about the character arcs enough to make the first half interesting.

2. While I'm comfortable with parody and assuming an existing voice, I am probably no good at dialogue (I haven't gotten to it yet). This is probably because... "I don't usually get ideas (about characters) from the process of actual writing." which is intrinsically where good dialogue comes from, I think.

>Ironically, the Silmarillion has almost no dialogue. But even if reviewers and critical readers didn't balk at a simple pastiche of the original text, most of the Silm is a boiled down version of the story to begin with that really lends itself to rewrite. And if I'm going to rewrite some of the dry recitation of facts, it would be a missed opportunity to zoom in on dialogue and characterization of the pony version... that is missing from parts of the book (and present in other parts, plus Tolkien actually did write some unfinished material that had a lot more dialogue, so there's a model for this sort of thing.)

What this means is that poorly sketched characters in the book are actually good news for me, but not if I can't write dialogue... which is one reason I was previously hoping to find another Tolkien fan to work on the writing with. :(

>also, pic. o_o

Last edited at Mon, Nov 25th, 2013 00:14

>> No. 129196
File 138542795481.png - (148.02KB , 400x224 , twi.png )
I think I'll give this reviewing-thing another try (not an official claim). LET THE READING COMMENCE.

Edit: So, I have discovered something interesting. As I read through this, I'm doing more of an editor/proofreader-type deal than a (relatively) simple review. Would you just like my opinions on the piece, or do you want the whole shebang?

Last edited at Mon, Nov 25th, 2013 21:15

>> No. 129199
A sixteen years old human with an hatred for anything that remotely connects to childhood is transported in Equestria in the body of a 7-months old foal. He is adopted by the Apple family, and he is trying to go back home. But, when the moment will come, will he come back to his house?

Tag: Comedy, Human, Satyric Drama.

Links: http://www.fimfiction.net/story/106943/return-to-fake-roots

Seriously. I wrote this story while high on tea and sakè. I still cannot believe this was praised by many. So, I left this here, so to see if this fic worths its salt or not.
>> No. 129200
File 138549244893.jpg - (63.25KB , 960x540 , 86912 - do_want fluttershy.jpg )

Hey, Bipolar Luna, I've seen your reviews and was wondering if you'd be willing to review a review. I'm working on it right now, but it'll be done probably by tomorrow evening.

Last edited at Tue, Nov 26th, 2013 12:48

>> No. 129202
File 138551510242.png - (278.00KB , 750x1000 , rage_luna.png )
If thou desirest, then We suppose so. Do you wish Us to see it before thou hast posted it? Also, while We can comment on the review itself, We could not say anything about completeness, since We do not have time to read the corresponding story.
>> No. 129204
I'll just take it to storyforge.
>> No. 129205
File 138552722345.png - (228.15KB , 500x405 , twil.png )

That's probably a good idea (sending the review to you before I post it, that is). How would you prefer I get it to you?
>> No. 129206
Our email address is in the tripcode. But We are not likely to get to it for another couple of days. We cannot speak for the author as to whether he is willing to wait.
>> No. 129209
File 138553109061.jpg - (30.55KB , 462x462 , 12118493_gal.jpg )
(Name and trip used for accountability.)

I assume we're still singing the same song of Claim, Review, Repeat. Correct me if I'm wrong.


I don't know how long I'll be, but expect a review within the week. PM or email me if you get worried about the review's progress.
>> No. 129210
File 138553339280.jpg - (35.21KB , 282x231 , _5a.jpg )
Sorry I missed this post till now.

Changing narrative styles introduces an overhead in coherence, so it should come with some payoff. Is there any particular point to it short of you wanting to change the view-point character continuously? It's going to make things harder for you. If you're doing it more as a writing exercise than trying to write a good story, then okay, but be honest about that.

> Why nopony has been doing research on the poor pony. As I gave a hint of in the fourth chapter, Twilight goofed, and made a hasty decision in painting over the pony to try and free him over time.

You can work with this. Twilight is supposed to be studious. She should have consulted professionals in that field and read medical journals pertaining to poison joke and the symptoms exhibited. Perhaps all she did was read a single book (of perhaps questionable authenticity) that said painting over the pony would work, and then it didn't. Now it's her fault for failing what she is supposed to be good at.

However, in the story, the Pie-Apples are all also aware of the pony in the wall. Presumably most of Ponyville's adults are as well. These things don't mesh, because I think that the mane 6 would have worked this out together when it happened, and Twilight would have reconciled her guilt by now. It would work a lot better if Twilight was the only one who knew about it, and she's been covering it up the whole time. You'll have to rewrite a few scenes and change the plan you had onwards a little, but it leaves you with a lot more to work with because more of your characters have less information, which usually makes plotting easier. (Having characters discover new information is also the best way to convey it to the reader.)

> Now to the point about Ink Blot's father.

I'm perhaps not the best person to comment on this. To me it's a non-issue. I just recall a lot of people getting drive-by thumb downs from such things.

> On the wall, they could only apply a curing bath to one side of the pony (Which wouldn't have worked anyway because this isn't normal poison joke) but with Ink Blot as liquid in a can, they can at least try to homogeneously mix her with the curing bath, and hope it works.

The nature of this ailment still eludes me. The curing bath won't work, but there's hope anyway? If that's the only strategy they have available, there's not really any quest. And if there are more strategies out there to discover that they hadn't found out about when trying to save the scientist, then the question remains why they gave up before searching for these other strategies. However, if only Twilight knows about the pony in the wall, then this is sort of answered by that.

All things considered, I'm still having trouble seeing where the rest of the cast can go from here. It seems to me that the main thing you have to work with is Twilight's guilt. So I suppose you should expand on that and see where it takes you. In particular, she would have had to cover the whole thing up and keep people away from the abandoned barn, yet somehow not manage to keep Ink Blot away from it.
>> No. 129211
I'll be checking out some of these *'d reviews around mid-late December.

Because it's easier to type out names than to copy/paste trips, I've made some assumptions as to what posters' names are supposed to be. Please tell me if I should use the full name/trip instead.

Compiled by hand, may have missed some things. Unreviewed stories and reviews and unanswered author questions in italics.

>>128973 A Virtue Unabridged by Stanku
>>128974 *Review by Casca
>>128975 Author questions

>>129000 Dethronement by Aerohead
>>129011 *Partial review by Dr. Hammer

>>129034 The Assassination of Twilight Sparkle by Rated Ponystar
>>129107 Review by Bipolar Luna
>>129110 Author response

>>129050 Rise of the Bookmare by Dubs Rewatcher
>>129067 *Review of the first half by FMP
>>129068 Author response

>>129057 Losing Harmony by Philonius Phil
>>129083 Review by Bleeding Raindrops
>>129085 Author questions
>>129086 Reviewer response
>>129087 Author response

>>129072 The Ponymarillion by Ponyweed
>>129159 Partial review by Bleeding Raindrops
>>129164 Author response

>>129078 The Pony On The Wall by Bleeding Raindrops
>>129166 Review by RogerDodger
>>129176 Author questions
>>129178 Reviewer response
>>129180 Author response
>>129186 Author questions
>>129210 Reviewer response

>>129130 Sweet Treats and Royal Delights by <JaketheGinger>
>>129147 Review by MesaPegasus

>>129135 Fulfilling by MesaPegasus
>>129172 Claim by WB

>>129160 Perfect Days by TwilightUCrazy
>>129187 Review by Bipolar Luna
>>129188 Author questions
>>129189 Reviewer response

>>129163 Untitled Fallout: Equestria RP Campaign backstory by Deuces

>>129177 Out of Her Element by Dandido

>>129181 Currently untitled by Bob From Bottles

>>129199 Return to Fake Roots by Anonymous (Daxn)
Note: This story is rated Mature.
>>129209 Claim by Doseux

Last edited at Wed, Nov 27th, 2013 00:39

>> No. 129212

>Return to Fake Roots by Anonymous (Daxn)
>Note: This story is rated Mature.

I did notice this, though I wasn't sure how we decided to handle such, so I claimed it anyway.
>> No. 129214
Title: Changelings (A working title)
Chapter: 1 - Replacements

Tags: Dark, Horror

Word Count: 4877

Description: They could be anyone at anytime. They hide in plain sight. They become you. They replace you...
As Twilight continues to settle into her new role as an Alicorn, things in Ponyville continue on as normal... on the outside at least. Scootaloo has been seeing less and less of her friends so she’s taken to spending time with Spike. Some of the ponies Twilight has come to know as friends start acting different, the kind of different that’s hard to notice at first. Nothing too unusual has happened though and the citizens of Ponyville go about their business as usual. Everything in Ponyville is quiet. So very, very quiet. Its enough to make Twilight feel uneasy around her own home. Maybe she’s just imagining things? Sometimes she feels like some of the ponies are watching here. Maybe she’s just being paranoid? She is a new Alicorn after all. No matter what though, there seems to be something wrong in Ponyville. Is there?
They have returned...

Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1K_I5eq6p-PCNASVDtpcovhkSDPlklNWZ8zXu2ERW-5E/edit

Notes: My attempt at doing something dark with the Changelings. Its a dark one, but there's no ultra violence or gore. This is also a first chapter and I want to know if its a good start as well as getting some helpful pointers. I'm still learning when it come to writing and I'll take whatever pointers or words of wisdom you have to offer. I've developed some thick skin. I just hope this isn't too horrible.

Last edited at Thu, Dec 5th, 2013 21:45

>> No. 129215
Thank you!
>> No. 129217

The standard disclaimers apply: All reviews are subjective. What follows is my own opinion on your story and should be taken with a large grain of salt.

I’m going to break up my review into one for each chapter, posting each one as I come to it. There is a possibility that I will stop before I’ve reached the end, but I hope to have given you at least a few thoughts to consider before then. Now, without further ado, we return to your regularly-scheduled review:
The Human tag is dangerous thing. It will, undoubtedly, alienate a portion of your audience. Many readers are opposed to Human on principle, and Brony in Equestria only compounds that issue. One of my favorite genres is Human, but I have yet to find a Brony in Equestria story that was not burdened by its Brony references and culture. All that said, I support satire, and I think that more people should use the more serious side of comedy.

From this first chapter, I can tell you are trying to get across the ridiculous nature of the main character’s situation. I understand that there is supposed to be some comedy here, but I am not feeling it in any special way. It is nothing greater than the generic fodder that already fills fimfic. Good satire is not random. Nor is it enough to simply reconstruct what you are trying to mock. Intellectual comedy highlights absurdity while simultaneously pretending to be oblivious to it. It is difficult to write and harder to review, due to its subjective nature. But I have not seen anything in this first chapter—this first impression which is so important to hooking your readers—that sings the promise of great satire. It is dull, containing none of the sharpness of wit I’ve come to expect from comedic genius.

Further, at several points your phrasing and style feel fumbling and awkward. I can go through and pick out every last bit if you’d like, though I include here only a few highlights to discuss:

> Someone like me would spend years in college, and even after that was finished, it would take years for me, working as a notary, to be able to afford a house of my own, and the fact that all the apartments in Viareggio, Pisa or cities like that were either too expensive or already occupied, left me with a single option: stay under the care of one of my brothers, an event that I wanted to avoid, considering the strong rivalry existing between us.

Periods are your friends. They can help break up your thoughts into easily-consumed chunks. Even into artistic fragments.

Sentences should contain as close to a single thought as possible. Unless you are Charles Dickens (in which case, hi Charlie!) please, [b]please[/i] do not overburden your sentences in this way. It makes them especially unpleasant to read, like the mind is being accosted by the molestations of spaghetti tendrils.

> Buongiorno, Applejack gloriosa. Sono Venicio Euilocleo, dalla città di Massarosa, i cui abitanti sono cari a Dio. Ero un umano dalle forti gambe e nerborute braccia, prima di giungere qui come piccolo viandante equino. Posso contare nella vostra sacra ξένια?

I get that the main character is Italian, and that you want to show off your Italian chops. But there’s too huge issues I have with this. The first, for those of us not so endowed to be able to read it, there is nothing gained by having it here. It could have easily been replaced or omitted. Second, what you’re actually saying here doesn’t even make sense. I don’t understand why he would even say some of this. “I was a human with strong legs and sinewy arms, before coming here as little equine vagrant”? What the actual… But no matter. Please consider being more pedestrian in your language barriers next time for we peons.

And the Greek at the end is overkill.


First, only J. K. Rowling and Terry Pratchett are allowed to use all-caps in dialogue. Second, why couldn’t you have used English dialogue before, as here? Indeed, the perspective change from the main character to Applejack seems only to serve the purpose of expositing that Applejack has some unheard-of duty to make babies.

Which is another issue I have. It feels very much like the maid and butler “As you know…” speeches that are so infamous in Mystery fiction. “Applejack is a barren branch and needs to make babies to feel fulfilled in her life!” From whence hath this monster come? There is no hint of such in the show, and it is not handled here pleasantly in the least. It is not even humorous.

That is all I have to say on the first chapter. I’ll start working on the second, but seeing as it’s Thanksgiving tomorrow here in America, I might not get through Chapter 2 until Saturday-ish.

As always, if you have questions, comments, or disparagements, post them here in the thread, email me, or PM me at http://www.fimfiction.net/user/Doseux

Last edited at Wed, Nov 27th, 2013 18:06

>> No. 129218
Alright, time to explain.

>I get that the main character is Italian, and that you want to show off your Italian chops. But there’s too huge issues I have with this. The first, for those of us not so endowed to be able to read it, there is nothing gained by having it here. It could have easily been replaced or omitted. Second, what you’re actually saying here doesn’t even make sense. I don’t understand why he would even say some of this. “I was a human with strong legs and sinewy arms, before coming here as little equine vagrant”? What the actual… But no matter. Please consider being more pedestrian in your language barriers next time for we peons.

What I was trying to do, was causing a situation where the character comes off as ridicolous, by using the epithets of Greek Epic while begin in a less-than-epic situation.

>And the greek in the end was overkill

That wasn't Greek. It was Latin.

>Indeed, the perspective change from the main character to Applejack seems only to serve the purpose of expositing that Applejack has some unheard-of duty to make babies.
>Which is another issue I have. It feels very much like the maid and butler “As you know…” speeches that are so infamous in Mystery fiction. “Applejack is a barren branch and needs to make babies to feel fulfilled in her life!” From whence hath this monster come? There is no hint of such in the show, and it is not handled here pleasantly in the least. It is not even humorous.

In the first draft of the story, Applejack simply took the foal in her house without any second purposes or shanky justifications. Many told me that this thing was dumb, and told me to find an excuse. And here we are.

>> No. 129219
> That wasn't Greek. It was Latin.

I was referring to
> ξένια
at the end of the quoted text.
>> No. 129220
Oh, alright.
>> No. 129221
>The curing bath won't work, but there's hope anyway?
A *normal* curing bath for poison joke wouldn't work, but Twilight, after doing proper research this time, has discovered a legend about an ancient forest that might have a cure. That's where they're going.

I see what you're saying about the apples knowing, and yeah I suppose I should rewrite that, which sadly means applejack can't eat her hat. I'll figure that out though.

Last edited at Thu, Nov 28th, 2013 10:43

>> No. 129229
File 138575522952.jpg - (46.98KB , 600x450 , OP+if+you+do+this+and+record+it+for+all+_e1114efb4484c31618ab5d40495db6d1.jpg )


This review is only for the first chapter of your story. Google docs won't allow me access to chapters two and three.

You might look at this review and say, "Oh no! That's a lot of text! My story must stink!" I assure you, that is far from the case.

Upon reading the first chapter, I found that you only had a few unique problems with your writing. While it is true that those problems persist throughout the entirety of the work, it's also true that, once you fix these issues, your writing will improve by leaps and bounds.

Also, let me preface the grammar-y section by saying that I genuinely enjoyed the chapter. It's a completely new setting with completely new characters, so already you're at a disadvantage, which you managed to overcome admirably.

Credit to BipolarLuna for taking the time to look this over, so that there is no bad advice given.

>"Pony nobles were not very inspired with names..."
Seems a bit awkward, the way this is written. Perhaps something along the lines of this would work better:
>"Nobles had little imagination when it came to names..." and then alter the rest of the sentence so that it has a parallel structure.

>"Slowly and with trepidation..."
A comma would make this clause seem less rushed.
>"Slowly, and with trepidation..."

>"I turned and trotted with slight dejection for the dining hall."
This is a case of telling instead of showing. "...with slight dejection..." comes right out and tells the reader what the narrator is feeling. Try describing the narrator's actions so that the reader can correctly determine the emotions.

>"12 generations of Unicorns and I lucked out with a great-grandfather’s-great-aunt-second cousin twice removed’s Earth pony genes."
Remember to spell out low numbers, which will have relatively few characters.
This sentence feels like it's been misplaced by the previous sentence. If you switched the two, the change in subject-matter would be less jarring.
Further, I found the description of the narrator's earth pony ancestor a bit wordy and difficult to follow. It's an interesting detail to give, but you could present it in a way that's easier to comprehend the first time through.
I do not believe that the word "Unicorn" needs to be capitalized.

>"With a sour groan I swung the door open with more force than I’d intended, a resounding crash echoed through the hall as it reverberated off the wall. The staff winced in reflex as I awkwardly tried to disarm their worry with a grin."
"With a sour groan..." "...with more force..." Having these two prepositional phrases in the same sentence is repetitive. Maybe try something in this vein: "Sourly groaning, I swung the door open with more force..."
The second part, "...a resounding crash echoed through the hall..." turns the sentence into a run-on. There are three ways I can see to fix it (without re-writing the entire sentence): slap an "and" in there, use a semi-colon instead of a comma, or just cut them up into two sentences.
Finally, the word "reverberated" might not be the proper choice of verb. Are you describing the door hitting the wall, or the crash that is echoing through the hall?
Next up is, "The staff winced in reflex as I awkwardly tried to disarm their worry with a grin." "In reflex" is a really awkward (and possibly even straight-up wrong, I'm not 100% positive) way to say "reflexively". Using that adverb sounds a lot more natural. Also, it seems like the staff is wincing because the narrator "tried to disarm their worry with a grin." You could switch the two halves of the sentence, so that the author is doing the grinning as the servers wince, not the other way around. Alternately, you could Frankenstein (where Frankenstein is a verb, because English) the two sentences together into one that sounds smoother. My final issue with the sentence is that it seems like "their worry" is with the narrotor's "grin". There needs to be more connection between the "grin" and the sentence's subject.
The following is an example:
>"Sourly groaning, I swung the door open with more force than I'd intended; it rebounded off of the wall, and a resounding crash drew reflexive winces from the staff and echoed through the hall. I awkwardly put on my most winning grin in an effort to disarm their worry."

>"I looked up to spot the Crème colored Pegasus mare with a blue mane and an appropriate honeysuckle cutie mark hovering above me."
First of all, when introducing a character, it's generally better to use "a" instead of "the", as follows:
>"I looked up to spot a Crème colored Pegasus..."
Another thing is that "crème" should not be capitalized, and probably could have a hyphen connecting it with "colored"; "pegasus" should also not be capitalized.
The word "appropriate" is, interestingly enough, not appropriate here. The reader does not know why it would be "appropriate" until the pony is introduced, which comes later in the paragraph.
The description feels convoluted, and could be made much smoother just by rearranging the way details are introduced. Take the following:
>"I looked up and spotted a pegasus mare with a crème-colored coat and a blue mane; a honeysuckle cutie mark featured prominently upon her flank."
(Can you tell that I like semi-colons? If you don't care for them yourself, there are plenty of other ways to break up sentences)

>“I've already prepared a plate of crystal berry salad, should it please you mistress.”
Direct reference needs to be partitioned off with commas, like so: "...should it please you, mistress."

>Honeysuckle was common born and around my own age, but she was infinitely more delicate, polite and lady-like than I could ever hope for, much to the frustrations of my tutors.
Behold the Oxford comma, which is used when listing three or more items. It's not necessary, but something to consider.
> "... infinitely more delicate, polite, and lady-like than I could ever hope for..."
The reader isn't told which pony Honeysuckle is. The text describes a pegasus, then describes Honeysuckle, without sufficiently stating or hinting that the two are one and the same. A simple clause would do wonders in solidifying her identity. Alternately, if you move the narrator's dialogue up and show her calling Honeysuckle "Honeysuckle", that would get the job done as well.
Also, would a pony refer to an adult female with the word "lady", or would "mare" be used instead?
Further, are the tutors frustrated that the narrator is less "mare"-like than Honeysuckle, or that the narrator is not very "mare"-like in general? This distinction should be made.

>"I beamed as I was escorted to the table, sparkling berries and crisp lettuce leaves awaiting my eager gullet."
The verb "to be" and all of its conjugations are really hard to get away from. "To be" can apply to nearly every passage, and nearly every situation. This problem is closely tied to the use of passive voice, where the subject of the sentence is acted upon, rather than performing the action. Try rewriting this sentence so that Honeysuckle is the subject who performs the action on the narrator (that sounded kinda kinky).

>"The crystal juices sparkling on my tongue brought a profound improvement to my mood; until my father appeared in the doorway, a disapproving grimace adorning his face."
The sections before and after a semi-colon must be able to stand on their own as sentences. The part after this semi-colon cannot.
Further, the word "adorning" is out of place here. "Adorn" generally is indicative of something pleasant. Perhaps "contorting" would be a better choice.

>"He stared me down with his ruby eyes obscured by his upturned face, cantering towards me in that haughty gait of his."
I don't understand the first half of this sentence. If his eyes were obscured, how can he stare the narrator down?

>"“This isn’t Earth, do try to eat like a civilized pony; we have utensils of a reason.”"
Did you mean "for a reason"?
Also note that, although the rules of grammar don't technically apply to dialogue, it must still appear to be spoken in a natural way. "This isn't Earth, do try to eat like a civilized pony..." needs something other than a comma. One possibility is to use a semi-colon; then, if you don't like having two semi-colons in one sentence, you can replace the second with a period.

>"...tapping my forehead with a hoof where a horn should be."
It sounds like the hoof protrudes from her forehead in the place where the horn should be (which is a fairly grotesque image). Try this:
>"...tapping a hoof against my forehead, where a unicorn's horn would be."

>" “Of course, it’s about the only thing I’m good for around here,” I joked absolute pride."
>"...I joked with absolute pride."
The verb "to joke" isn't a very good speaking word. If the character says something funny, then the reader will pick up on it and realize that it was a joke. Telling the reader that it was a joke is redundant.

>"“Why don’t you run to your room and fetch your sword, and we’ll see how well you've kept practice...""
"...kept practice..." is a kind of awkward way to word that. Sticking an "in" right in the middle will fix it nicely.

>""My turquoise eyes grew large as dinner plates with stars illuminating them from within...""
Adding a few words here and there would make this sentence less awkward. The "stars illuminating them from within" metaphor is a bit wordy and awkward. You might consider trying a different comparison.

>"“I appreciate that this is a social visit for you Regal, but are you sure we have time for this?”"
When a character is directly addressed, the term(s) used to do the addressing need(s) to be sectioned-off with commas. This issue pops up throughout the story, but I'm not going to mention it any more.

>"My smile slackened as I finally took notice of our other guest. A charcoal grey coated, slightly emaciated Unicorn with a brilliant white mane and an emerald eye. "
A colon here would do wonders.
>"My smile slackened as I finally took notice of our other guest: a charcoal grey coated, slightly emaciated Unicorn with a brilliant white mane and an emerald eye. "
Also note that "charcoal-grey" is a compound adjective, and thus should be hyphenated.

>"His aged and gaunt features suggested a stallion whose handsome bone structure was betrayed by his surface features."
When using more than one adjective, the word "and" is not required—a mere comma will suffice, if even that is needed.
>"His gaunt, aged features..."
You also use the word "features" twice in the same sentence. It's important to prevent repetitions like this.

>"“Of course, it’s about the only thing I’m good for around here,” I joked absolute pride."
Not sure what you're going for with "...I joked absolute pride." I think what you wanted to say is "...I joked with absolute pride..." (I could be wrong). However, I don't understand how joking and absolute pride really go together. Further, recall what I mentioned earlier about using "to joke" as a speaking verb.

>"...in house Heart..."
In this case, "House" should be capitalized, because it is part of the house's name.

>"Old scars intersected in a patchwork across his face, running down his neck and into the cloak covering his body, adorned with an officer’s clasp."
Behold: the common misplaced modifier. It seems as if his body is "...adorned with an officer's clasp..." instead of the cloak (which I assume is what you meant to describe).
Also, I'm 99% certain that scars cannot run into a cloak. You suggest that the scars are melding with the cloak, which would be a very odd circumstance indeed.

>"His right eye was pure white besides the pupil, which was perpetually dilated, remaining inert even as the left moved."
Aren't eyes usually white anyway? This sentence is a bit too wordy for my tastes. Perhaps cut down on the description a bit, like so:
>"His left eye, milk-white and unmoving, housed a perpetually dilated pupil."

>"His horn harbored a deep encompassing fissure, separating the lower gray half from the ivory upper, all the while constantly illuminated by the faintest black glow."
The word "harbor" is generally associated with protection or asylum. Perhaps something like this:
>""A deep fissure bisected his horn...""
Further, "...all the while constantly..." is repetitive, because "...all the while" and "constantly" both basically tell the reader the same thing. To fix it, just remove one or the other.

>"Either oblivious to my unease or masterfully ignoring it, Regal took me by the shoulders and spun me to face the discomforting Unicorn."
Again, discomforting doesn't feel like the right word for this. The verb "to comfort" (and, by extension, "to discomfort") is very active, and thus doesn't lend itself well to being used as a descriptor. Perhaps "disturbing" would be more appropriate.
Also, I believe that "unicorn" should not be capitalized.

>"His face and eye bore an intense gaze..."
It doesn't make sense that his entire face, with the exception of his eye, can have a gaze. Just mentioning the eye will suffice.

>"“Pleased to meet you, Regal speaks frequently about you. Usually good things, I assure you”."
Even though this is dialogue, to which the rules of proper grammar do not usually apply, the way this is punctuated doesn't sound very natural (I'm focusing on the first comma, in this case). I'd do more to separate "Pleased to meet you..." from "Regal speaks frequently about you."
Also, this is probably just a typo, but the last period should be inside the quotation marks.

>"Regal let out a hearty laugh and clopped us both on the shoulder."
That's gross. Maybe you meant "clapped"? If you didn't, I suggest you look up what "clop" means to the pony fanbase.

>"“Sir Regal Bastion, is it that time of the year already? Does the C.U.P have further business with me, or did you manage to drag yourself away from the mud for a social visit again?” my father drawled with the barest hint of annoyance."
When attributing dialogue to a specific character, like with "she said", "he said", and other such things, the "he said, she said" part is generally placed directly after the first break in the character's speech; like so:
>"“Sir Regal Bastion, is it that time of the year already?" my father drawled with the barest hint of annoyance. "Does the C.U.P have further business with me, or did you manage to drag yourself away from the mud for a social visit again?”
There are certainly exceptions to this, but for the most part, I find that the placement I described feels more natural.
There should also be a period following the P in "C.U.P."

>""...it does wonders for your coat” chortled Regal with a hard slap on Father’s back, causing his knees to buckle."
Make sure that you always have some kind of punctuation when ending a line of dialogue. In this case, there should be a comma after "coat" (but within the quotation marks), like so:
>"... it does wonders for your coat,” chortled Regal with a hard slap on Father’s back, causing his knees to buckle."
Further, "chortle" is a strange speaking verb. How would you "chortle" something other than a chortle? I suppose it's possible, but strange nonetheless.

>" I lifted my gift with both hooves, a brand new jacket identical to Ol’ Faithful, but larger to accommodate my older frame and less weathered..."
This sentence has a misplaced appositive, which is very similar to a misplaced modifier. The appositive intimates that both hooves are "a brand new jacket".
Also, her frame is indeed "older", but that's an odd way to say "larger", which is what I believe you mean (but don't use the word "larger" specifically, because it would cause repetition with the "larger" already there).

>"...and began shimming out...
If this is a form of the verb "to shimmy", then there needs to be a "y" in there (shimmying). However, I think the infinitive "to shimmy" is a better fit.

>" I’d no idea how Regal had the jacket fitted to perfect measurement, he must have had secret contacts with the house tailor."
This is a run-on sentence. Separate the two halves with a period or a semi-colon, or rewrite it in some other fashion.

>"...bringing a slight sinking in his smile."
This is another really awkward section to read. "Bringing" and "sinking" sound very similar (due to their -ing ending), so getting rid of one of those is the first order of business.
>"...causing his smile to sink slightly."
I changed "bringing" into "causing" because it lends itself better to the other action.
Then, there's the verb "sink". It's a really weird way to describe a change to a smile. Perhaps "dip" or "shrink" would sound better.
>"...causing his smile to shrink slightly."

>"..."I’m afraid this must be a brief visitation...""
The word "visitation" is far too formal for this case. A visitation is something along the lines of an inspection or examination (thank you, dictionary.com!). "Visit" will suffice.

Last edited at Sun, Dec 1st, 2013 11:32

>> No. 129230
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Part Two, right here

>""With your swordsmanship, family name and my voucher..."
This is an issue with parallel structure. You attribute an owner to both "swordmanship" and "voucher", but "family name" is sadly orphaned. Just put a "your" with it and all will be well.

>""I could have you placed in my unit after training even!”"
There are two fixes for this. The first (and most preferred) would be to relocate "even".
>""I could even have you placed in my unit after training!"
The second is to use a comma to separate "even" from "training".

>" I could hear my father’s drawl in my head; ‘Hearts don’t crawl through the mud like commoners’."
The father's imaginary voice is still dialogue, and should probably be given real quotation marks. That also means that it should be punctuated like proper dialogue. Further, since you are basically announcing that you will give the father's imaginary dialogue, a colon would be a better choice than a semi-colon.

>"Then again I barely counted as a Heart."
Comma after "again".

>"Before I could settle my thoughts, my father dislodged himself from Regal’s hoof. “Now see here Regal Bastion, it’s not your place to take a member of my house without my consent!” Father bellowed with righteous indignation, my mother shrinking back meekly as veins bulged in my father’s neck and face."
I would think that a noble would mention the commoner's hoof that was shoved into his mouth instead of completely letting the insult slide.
Another issue is that you separate the father's actions with a single action from the mother. Jumping back and forth like can distract the reader.
Also, the father isn't lodged in the hoof; the hoof is lodged in the father.

>"Nostrils flaring and eyes bulging, I feared Father would actually attack Regal."
You're describing the father's eyes and nostrils, correct? Because the misplaced modifier makes it seem like the narrator is the one with the "Nostrils flaring and eyes bulging."

>"‘Unicorn nobles aren't built for violence, that’s what Pegasus and Earth ponies are for’ he would say. "
Another section of dialogue that I think deserves full quotation marks and proper punctuation.

>"... and quietly whispered in my ear; “Meet me at the inn down the hill tonight if you decide to accept my offer. The rear gatekeeper has been bribed to let you pass.”"
The semi-colon can be replaced by a comma. The dialogue won't make the sentence into a run-on.

>"On the one hand I was furious at Regal being insulted with such vulgarities."
"Hand"? Perhaps you meant "hoof".
The way this sentence is constructed, it seems like the narrator is furious at Regal, instead of furious at the way he's being insulted.

>"Regal had been more of a father to me than my own father was, being one of the only ponies who showed any vested interest in my life, in my happiness even."
Another misplaced modifier. The bad father is unfairly receiving the positive description meant for Regal! Please make sure justice is done, and accolades are properly attributed.
I'm not going to mention any more misplaced modifiers, but that doesn't mean that there aren't any more.

>"On the other hand, father was actually looking out for my interests; in his own angry, hateful, xenophobic way."
Again, when a sentence is separated by one or more semicolons, all of the isolated sections must be able to stand on their own as proper sentences.

>"It was quite the feat convincing 12 generations..."
The number should be written out.

>"...I had the right to marry whomever I wanted, or not marry even."
"...or not marry even..." should be re-written in order to keep the word "even" from being connected to "marry". My inclination is to remove it completely, but that's not necessary.
>"...I had the right to marry whomever I wanted, or even not to marry at all."

>""Steel Horn needs a wife and we need a new link with the Horn house, it’s been four generations and they’re on the verge of breaking off completely.""
Like one of the above cases, this is one where proper grammar is not necessarily needed. However, it's important to make sure that the dialogue looks natural (at least as far as the speaking character is concerned).

>""Horn or no horn I’m the best swordspony in the family, I’ll run circles around Red!""
Same as previous.

>"Finally, with a soft clearing of her throat, she finally asked me, “May I join you mistress?”"
Two "finally"s mean that Honeysuckle's question is super final. One of them should go.

>"...the frame snapping under my weight and sent me tumbling back to the ground..."
Here's a parallel structure issue. To fix it, either turn this part into its own sentence and change "snapping" into "snapped", or swap "sent" with "sending". The former is my personal favorite, but the final decision is yours.

>"I heard the soft flapping of wings above me, to which I turned and addressed with a quiet “Sorry.”"
The second half of this sentence needs a rewrite. Perhaps something like this:
>"I heard the soft flapping of wings above me; I turned to Honeysuckle and addressed her.
>"Sorry," I said."

>"... impromptu cushion to which I laid..."
One does not lay "to" something. One lays "on" something. Also, the word "laid" needs a direct object, so that the reader knows what the narrator is laying down. In this case, I believe that you mean that she laid herself on the mattress.

>"...waiting to see if I had anymore outbursts in me."
"Anymore" should be split into "any" and "more".

>"Honeysuckle returned to the earth..."
If they're standing inside, then she wouldn't land on earth, but instead on the floor.

>"Her eyes lit up and her grin spread as she found the sole book to escape my wrath."
I don't quite understand what you're trying to say here.

>"...before trotting to my side and laying down with me, laying the book down alongside her."
One of those "laying"s can (and should) go. Also, at some point, you could benefit from looking up a guide on the differences between "lie" and "lay", and their different conjugations.

>"Honeysuckle brushed debris from the cover with a grin."
It hasn't been that long since you last wrote that Honeysuckle grinned. Try using a different word to describe her smile. I also can't help but mention the misplaced modifier, which makes it seem like the cover is grinning.

>"...given to me the morning after I’d received my cutie mark by none other than Honeysuckle herself."
Looks like Honeysuckle caused the narrator to receive her cutie mark.
A lot of your sentences use the verb "to have" (in this case, it's part of the contraction "I'd"). Seeing the same verbs over and over again can start to get irritating for a reader. I suggest you go back through and see how many of the "had"s you can eliminate.

>"...I muttered in resigned defeat."
"Resigned" and "defeat" both indicate similar, although not identical, states, meaning that "resigned defeat" is repetitive. Maybe try using a different adjective to describe her defeat, or better yet, try using no adjective at all.

>"...Honeysuckle replied with more defeat than even I felt..."
You just used the word "defeat" in a very recent sentence.

>"...Honeysuckle suddenly piped..."
I don't think "piped" can be used in place of "said", but even if it can, it's very clunky.

>"...‘Sweet Heart, slayer of Dragons..."
The single-quotation mark at the end of "Sweet Heart" is missing.

>"...she commanded to the awestruck crowd, “Bring me booze!""
"Command" is not a verb that one does "to" someone else. One simply "commands" something.
>"...she commanded the awestruck crowd, "Bring me booze!""

>"“What in the seven hells!?” I growled.
>Another rapping on the door. I uttered a guttural growl..."
Here, "growl" is used twice in close proximity.

>"...brought my fore hooves..."
"Forehooves" can (and should) be one word.

>"I threw the door off of me to see Honeysuckle writhing on the floor with a bolt lodged in her throat. My head snapped back to the doorway to see a black coated, black maned unicorn telekinetically redrawing his crossbow."
Two sentences in a row, the narrator did something "to see" something else. In one of these sentences, changing the way you describe what the narrator sees will remove the repetition.
It's also important to include a hyphen with compound modifiers, such as "black-coated" and "black-maned".

>"I screamed as I jumped to my hooves and charged my assassin."
The assassin would only be the narrator's if he was employed by her, or if he killed her. In this case, he should be "the" assassin.

>"Before he even hit the ground I leapt into the air and brought my fore hooves crashing down on his neck, snapping it like a wet stick against the floor."
If this happens "Before he even hit the ground...", then how could you smash "his neck... like a wet stick against the floor..."?

>"My stomach and throat rumbled as I felt cold perspiration throughout my body, fighting myself to keep the wine in my stomach where it belonged."
The second part of the sentence is another misplaced modifier. I suggest turning it into its own sentence. Alright, I promise, no more mention of this particular issue.

>"...she hadn't the time to figure out what had happened before she died."
The narrator says this as if it happens in the same instance at which she's staring at Honeysuckle. Try something like this:
>"...she hadn't even realized what had happened before she died."

>"I spun in circles looking for my sword..."
The circles are looking for the narrator's sword?

>"Spotting my sword..."
This is the third use of the word "sword" in fairly quick succession. Break it up by using a synonym instead.

>"He turned to face me with a sword twice as large as mine in his own mouth and a relieved grin on his face."
Can a pony grin while holding something in his mouth? I truly do not know.

>"... he mumbled in sword speak."
Sword-speak sounds like something other than what you meant. My idea of "sword-speak" is that it's a language spoken by talking swords. It could also refer to conversation about swords.

>"Our reprieve was short lived as something large exploded on the floor below us, making the floor beneath us quake."
Twice do you mention some section of floor underneath the narrator. Perhaps replace the first instance with, "elsewhere in the manor".
Short-lived is a compound modifier, and should be hyphenated.
Another potential issue is that the reprieve would not have been short-lived concurrently with the explosion, which is what the sentence indicates. However, I say "potential" because you might be using the word "as" in lieu of "because", in which case you could slap a comma before "as" to make that more obvious.

>"...faster than I could think them. So much was happening so fast..."
Two uses of "fast" right next to each other.

Last edited at Sun, Dec 1st, 2013 11:46

>> No. 129231
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The riveting conclusion!

>"Two more Unicorns jumped out of a guest room ahead, 10 meters between us with crossbows drawn."
"Ten" should be spelled out. Also, behold: another misplaced modifier! I know, I know, I promised I wouldn't mention them anymore. It won't happen again.

>"My stomach lurched at the instant I’d killed another pony."
A slight rewrite would make this sentence read more smoothly, like so:
>"My stomach lurched in the same instant that I felled my second victim."
Or something.

>"...clear line a sight..."
Should be:
>"...clear line of sight..."

>"...only to be witness to no less than a half dozen crossbow and sword ponies advancing up said stairs."
A hyphen or two will do wonders for this passage. Try this:
>"...only to be witness to no less than a half-dozen crossbow- and sword-ponies advancing up said stairs."
Also, you just used the word "stairs", so replacing it with a synonym might not be a bad idea.

>"...managing to overtake my brief reversed lead in an instant."
This is kind of awkward. I suggest simplifying the passage.

>"With the conference halls double doors lying directly in front of us..."
I believe there should be an apostrophe in "hall's". Also, doors do not "lie" so much as they "loom", and if you make that switch, then "in front of" could become "before".

>"The stench of wine, bile and fresh blood intermixed..."
Oh, gross. Ugh, seriously, that's nasty.

>"I adjusted my satchel and stammered over to join Regal..."
I don't think "stammered" is the word you're looking for. "S-st-stammering" is wh-what Fluttershy d-d-does.

>"...he coldly remised to himself."
Remise is another word that means something other than what you meant to write.

>"He spread his wings as he took to the air, the moonlight shining off the blades on his wings."
Two uses of "wings" in one sentence

>"I heard books and stationary scatter as Regal leaped on top the table and lunge for the Pegasus."
>"...leaped on top of the table and lunged..."

>"...while I took his queue and ran in the opposite direction..."
I think instead of "queue", you meant "cue".

>"...as I heard sword on wing blade clash behind me..."
This sentence uses "sword-on-wing-blade" as a single noun, but what would this "sword-on-wing-blade" clash against? A rewrite into this could help:
>"...as I heard, behind me, a sword clash against wing-blades..."

>"Another thundering banging on the door, the barricade began to shake."
Here's a run-on sentence.

>"With a head still full of inebriation..."
This is another awkward way to say "inebriated".

>"...grabbing my sword and tore down the kitchen after the Pegasus without a plan."
"Tore" isn't the right verb tense in this sentence. Also, to "tear down" something is to demolish it, which I don't think is what you meant.

>"I rolled over onto my stomach and looked up to see Blank looking down on me."
Two uses of the verb "to look"

>"All external senses blinded as I swirled in my mind, the only sensation left was of Blank’s overpowering presence in my head."
Run-on sentence

>"...Blank rasped as Regal lifted me onto his back. I was draped sideways with my head and rear hanging limply off Regal’s back..."
Two mentions of "Regal" and his "back"

>"Show some emotion dammit!"
A comma after "emotion" makes "dammit" read as the exclamation that you meant it to be.

>"...fire sprouted out of several widows throughout the manor."
Those poor widows! First they lose their husbands/wives, now they've got fire spewing out of them! What's next, a parasprite invasion? I don't think the immolated mares are going to care, though. If you didn't catch it by now, you probably meant to write "windows".

>""This is the sloppiest assassination I've ever been present for,” Blank gripped back."
I believe that you mean "griped".

>""House Heart has been under surveillance for a while now, a plot this of this magnitude should have been intercepted.”"
Consider breaking this run-on sentence up in the middle.

>"...Blank remised to himself."
Perhaps you meant "reminisced"? Even so, I don't think that word's connotation makes it wholly appropriate for what Blank is saying.

>"...a sad, apologetic visage was etched into his normally jovial face."
"Visage" is a synonym for "face", so this sentence in effect suggests that Regal has a face etched onto his face. That's some Xhibit imagery, there.

End of technical notes

Don't be disheartened by the amount of corrections that I have posted here. The good news is that there isn't a lot of variety to the issues that I found. The bad news is that each of those issues has a presence throughout the entirety of the story (or at least the first chapter). Fixing all of them will require a thorough combing-through on your part.

A few other things that I noticed bear addressing as well. There were a lot of verbs that ended with -ing. Don't stop using them altogether, but when a reader goes through and sees so many -ing endings, that reader tends to get really distracted. The verbs "to be" and "to have" also got a good bit of mileage in this chapter. As I mentioned before, "to be" often leads to use of the passive voice, which generally makes for weaker passages. My suggestion for you is to try to be conscious of these things when you write in the future, so that you can avoid using them when you can, which won't always be possible. They say "practice makes perfect", so practice away!

Take a close look at your paragraph indentations. I noticed that, halfway through the chapter, the indentations doubled in length.

The final grammar-ish thing I'd like to mention is the sheer quantity of the personal pronoun, "I". That word is used so often throughout this work, I started to go mad. I may or may not have pulled out one of my old high school yearbooks and jabbed the eyes out of students' pictures in a fit of misplaced rage (don't judge me!). "I" will be used a lot in a first-person perspective, but it would be to the story's benefit if you cut down on the frequency.

As for the story's content: I enjoyed it despite the grammar issues. It felt a bit like the human opening to Dragon Age: Origins. I'm not sure if that's what you were going for, or if it's completely coincidental (don't feel compelled to change it, either way). Plenty of action occurs, and the character interactions are meaningful and interesting. All of the elements are present for a gripping tale.

It was difficult to get a feel for Sweet Heart's character. I could tell that she's fairly spoiled (despite being looked down upon by her entire family), and very immature. A lot of the time, I was told what she felt, instead of being shown. I recognize that "show, don't tell" is a far more difficult mantra to follow when writing in the first-person, but even so, this story was very heavy on the "tell". Telling is where you directly come out and say what a character is feeling; showing is where the reader is given sufficient clues, such as dialogue or actions, in order to correctly deduce the character's perceived emotions. My biggest problem with Sweet Heart is that there didn't seem to be much to her. Perhaps this is something you move beyond in future chapters, but right now, she doesn't have much going for her other than "immature" and "spoiled".

Another thing that confused me a bit was when Honeysuckle visited the narrator's bedroom. Up until then, their relationship had shown no signs of being anything other than "noble is friends with sympathetic servant". There weren't any indications that they had a romantic relationship. In fact, until you came out and said otherwise, I thought that they were lying in bed together as would sisters. Suddenly, BAM! They're lovers! Perhaps drop some hints earlier on that there's more to their relationship, and perhaps that they're trying to keep everypony else from finding out about their "forbidden love".

Further, Honeysuckle is a sweet character, to whom I grew surprisingly attached. How could you kill her?!

You monster.

Joking aside (I still think you're a monster), I'm fairly impressed with how depressed you made me feel over a fictional character's death. This is a very good sign, considering how relatively minor Honeysuckle's role was.

I also enjoyed the way you portray Blank. The most interesting characters are the ones with flaws, and if nothing else, Blank has those. I look forward to seeing how you develop him, and what type of pony he really turns out to be under his gruff, taciturn, mutilated exterior.

Overall, I think you've got something good, here. If you give it some polishing, then it'll shine. If you have any questions, concerns, problems, complaints, just hit me up and I'll be happy to have a conversation.

Keep up the good writing!


Last edited at Fri, Nov 29th, 2013 15:04

>> No. 129234

First, before I get to the mini-review proper, I will not blame you if you reject my review and simply ask for another. This review will not nearly be as comprehensive as you need, but I can’t find anything more to say.

The more I read of your story, the less and less that I want to go on. Its comedy falls completely flat for me. And I’ll laugh at a lot of stupid junk. Its lack of polish symbolizes to me all that is wrong with the “publish now, edit later” culture that has grown around fan-fiction.

I’m not trying to be contrarian here. I’m not try to bash your work because it’s received high praise before.

I’m telling you this because I honestly believe it’s bad beyond my ability to adequately help. I’m not a good editor. I’m, at the most, a critic who occasionally stumbles on a good thought.

The plot is lackluster, and things happen in strange order, whether out of convenience or because you just didn’t want to write it any other way. The OOC or insufferably dramatic characters are immersion-breaking on nearly every occasion that they interact. I don’t want to hear more about Venicio. I don’t want to hear about his thoughts. I don’t want to hear about his actions. He is a completely uncompelling main character.

Your style is sometimes shaky, and there are many places it can be tuned up. While I once went through and did line-by-line annotations, that would take far too long for a piece such as yours, so all I can give you at the moment is a link to people far smarter than me:

Please, read and learn, and find an editor with the time to sit down with you and go over your work in particular detail.

That might sound pathetic and useless, a reviewer telling you to find a reviewer, but it’s my honest opinion.

I don’t believe this should have been published. It needs much more polish before being ready.

Anyway, that’s all I can muster. As always, I’m open for you to contend any of my points, as I am a person just as fallible as (if not more than) you.

Have a good day.

Last edited at Sat, Nov 30th, 2013 11:45

>> No. 129240
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Whoops, forgot to set it for public access. You should be able to read chapters 2 and 3 now. Sorry for the delay, been out of town for the last few days.

Good lord that is a long review. I appreciate you taking the time to write all of that out (which is a LOT). I'll read all of that in the next couple of days, but right now I have work in an hour. Again, thanks for the review, I'll have a proper response later.
>> No. 129242
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Hello, Mesa.

It's been about a week since I made the claim, and I know you might possibly be feeling just a bit antsy on what's taking me so long, so I thought I'd give you a small update on the progress I'm making.

I've read the story through from beginning to interlude and formed a very brief review on half of that. Because of various responsibilities I've had to fulfill as the year continues on, such as school, I've made slow progress on writing the review itself, though I've got some thoughts down and am continuing to work my way through the story to make something helpful you can use.

It will likely take me a while longer, but I haven’t forgotten about you. I’m still whacking at it.
>> No. 129244
File 138593921348.png - (77.42KB , 330x400 , pinkie_pie_kirby_by_jrk08004-d4r5rd6_png-500x400.png )

I'm curious as to how things develop, so I'll definitely be reading through them. If you'd like me to review those two chapters as well, say the word, and it shall be so.


Ain't no thang. I'm grateful for any little bit that you contribute. If you have a lot to do, I understand if you'd rather ditch the review and focus on the real world.
>> No. 129246
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Yes, by all means though I suspect chapters 2 and 3 will have similar issues.

Read a little of your review, I'm surprised you got that attached to Honeysuckle. She was an ancillary character at best, but your distress tells me I did something right.

Last edited at Sun, Dec 1st, 2013 19:11

>> No. 129250
We shall claim thy fan-fiction, and as We recognize thy name, We shall expect nothing less than excellence. Do not let Us down!
>> No. 129251
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Alright I've read (skimmed) your review, I'll touch on the general issues.
It appears I'm going to have to comb through what I have so far (3 chapters) to fix grammar and punctuation errors out the ying-yang. Urg. I'll put it on hold till finals are done with next week.

Not sure what happened with the double indentations, I'm guessing the document auto corrected at some point when I was doing a revision and I didn't notice.

The first chapter was definitely rough, it was my first attempt at not only a piece that large but also designed to lead into other work. Admittedly I didn't have much planned for this work at this point beyond "assassins kill everyone and burn the house down.' Also I hadn't written anything of substance in years, so I'm definitely rusty at this point in the story. My friend reviewers tell me chapters 2 and 3 are better.

As for Sweet Hearts character, you're not the only one that's mentioned she's a bit underdeveloped. I was going for the very point that because she was spoiled and never had anything to aspire to that she didn't bother to develop much character. Further chapters were designed to have her develop into a more dynamic character and rely less on others. In my writing I have a real bad habit of making everyone around the central character more interesting for some reason.

Thank you for pointing out every single flaw and addressing it. I'll admit I'm cringing at the sheer weight of it all, but I really appreciate the effort you've put into your review.

It felt a bit like the human opening to Dragon Age: Origins

I played a female city elf, so I'm going to chalk that up to coincidence ;)

Celestia dammit. Didn't think ponies clapped, but I suppose I'll have to change that.

I'll admit that I'm a horrible evil bastard, in that I created Honeysuckle for the expressed purpose of getting killed. Her death was supposed to be a "Oh s*** this is got dark real fast" moment. As for a lack of build up to the "Surprise lovers!"....yeah that wasn't planned when I first introduced her. She was a background character to fill in some narrative space; her whole romance scene, was like most of the chapter, an impulse decision. Explains why the whole thing was underdeveloped; seems I didn't iron out the wrinkles after-the-fact.

All my non-internet reviewers agree with you, Blank is awesome. He's going to play a central role in the story in later chapters, so fear not you'll get to enjoy plenty of Blank later on.

Again, thank you for your time and effort. Bipolar too

Last edited at Wed, Dec 4th, 2013 20:57

>> No. 129252
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Well, hot damn. How long has it been since I've seriously posted on this board? Millennia? Probably. I don't even know, man. I don't even know.

SO. Without further ado, here's my latest, albeit weird, story.

[Title] Shift
[Author] Who else but Figments? *cue show-tunes*

[Tags] Alternate Timeline (On FimFic, it's Alternate Universe, but only because there's no AT tag)


On a brisk winter morning in Ponyville, a mysterious stallion known only as "the Traveler" appeared out of thin air. Nearly an hour later, both he and Twilight Sparkle vanished. Nopony knows where they've gone, and nopony knows when they are. The only thing anypony knows is that they were never heard from again.

[Linky-poo] https://skydrive.live.com/redir?page=view&resid=F0ED30AEBAD00891!3268&authkey=!AKXf4yyD3n-fFV4


1) Yes, I use SkyDrive. What of it?

2) I've been told that it's a bit difficult to read, which is more or less the point given the perspective character. The story is told mainly through internal monologue and indirect thought. Well, this chapter, anyway.

3) To me, it feels the chapter ends abruptly. If it feels that way to anyone else, I'm really really sorry.

4) Lastly, this is a closed loop story. I haven't finished the whole thing yet, so if there's stuff that isn't understood, it's supposed to be like that. Ending resolving to the beginning and all that jazz.
>> No. 129255
Verily, 'tis difficult to give much constructive feedback on such things. Rare is the story concept that cannot be moulded into something quite readable in the hooves if the right author. So while We cannot say that the story is particularly easy or problematic, We will at least attempt to comment on anything that striketh Us as odd.

First, how doth Lyra go about getting kidnapped so often? Nobody, especially Bon Bon, hath ever noticed? And yet those guards always seem to know where to find her, so the perpetrators must recognize it to be a fool's errand. 'Tis a bit incongruous.

Spell in her head... Lyra as ponified Rincewind?

We can understand a foal's curiosity toward black magic, but now that she is grown, why hath her attitude not changed? She is still rather flippant about it.

We shall jump ahead and make an overall point before We forget: We realize thou art an experience writer an probably knowest this already, but it beareth repeating. We see that thou art leaving out much of the emotional cues from this summary, presumably for expediency's sake, but this is the crux of making a readable story. This is really where the advice cometh in that any premise can be written well, and here is where that potential becometh proof. Make sure to form that close connection between thy characters and the reader. As We read about Lyra's connexion with Celestia, We hope thou wouldst elaborate on that more as a nice contrast to the story's tension and to give Us insight to Lyra's character.

"Bon Bon speculates on a few she times"
As often as thou makest these incidents seem, it straineth credulity that Bon Bon never thought much of her frequent absences or would be so circumspect about them now.

"It hadn’t taken her more than a few years to figure out how to get past the safeguards."
And Celestia had no idea that the safeguards would be that easy to defeat or that Lyra had done so? This screameth of negligence.

We hope she was assured that nopony else was nearby when it happened.

We would advise thee against making clumsy Lyra/human references that do nothing to advance the story.

Finally, We are unsure of what this story wanteth to be. It plays at comedy, yet tries to carry a serious tone at other times. The main problem We had with that is how dismissive Lyra is about this spell. It was incredibly destructive, and yet she seemeth not to care. And if Celestia could have used it to combat these enemies, then just reseal it, why hath she never done that?

Thy story hath not fully committed to being funny or serious—it's not constantly amusing, but neither does it take more than a superficial look at the potential severity of her situation.

We hope We have been helpful, and the lack of a need to correct mundane mechanical issues hath left us rather chipper.

Write thee onward, citizen!
>> No. 129258

Thank you for taking the time to look over my story. You raise a lot of good questions that I don't have answers to. I'll see what I can do, but it seems like this is going to be another idea that sounded better in my head.
>> No. 129259
File 138634968207.gif - (283.75KB , 352x200 , 200 (2).gif )

"“I appreciate that this is a social visit for you Regal, but are you sure we have time for this?”"

When a character is directly addressed, the term(s) used to do the addressing need(s) to be sectioned-off with commas. This issue pops up throughout the story, but I'm not going to mention it any more.

do you mean it should read more like

]"“I appreciate that this is a social visit for you, Regal, but are you sure we have time for this?”"

Also, sweet Selune you must have spent as much time writing your review than I spent working on the actual chapter.
>> No. 129260

You got it. If you get any more questions like this, feel free to e-mail me.

Last edited at Thu, Dec 19th, 2013 18:46

>> No. 129262
We think this story could work, and We did find it rather interesting. It may just require more thought to square everything away.
>> No. 129265
File 138647561337.jpg - (9.69KB , 225x225 , Pinkie and the Brain.jpg )
Well, buckle up, Mesa, we're about to go for a ride...


Hope this helps.
>> No. 129266

I'm open to any ideas on how to fix this story.

I was trying to make Lyra come off as an unreliable narrator so that both the readers and Bon Bon would question the parts of her story that didn't make sense and eventually come to the conclusion that Lyra was making everything up. The problem is that if I ask the reader to accept the absurd story as true, it ends up breaking suspension of disbelief.

Celestia's involvement, or lack thereof, is the biggest issue. If Celestia doesn't do anything about Lyra unsealing the spell, then she ends up looking either incompetent or negligent, which goes against her character. However, if she did get involved, then this story would never have happened in the first place. An easy fix would be to remove Celestia completely. Unfortunately, this causes many more problems, such as how Lyra ever got away with the spell, how she gets rescued all the time, or again, how Celestia doesn't eventually figure out something is up.

The only thing I can think of is to start the story over under different circumstances, but I'm not sure what would work.
>> No. 129267
Perhaps thou couldst invent a motivation for why Celestia would want circumstances to play out this way? She is not above manipulating circumstances to achieve an end, after all.

An unreliable narrator can certainly work, but such is hard to deduce from a short overview, especially since said overview was not rendered in her perspective. She may have her own ideas aout Celestia's motives.
>> No. 129268

Wellup, looks like I need to attack my story with a machete. Or maybe I should just give it the Old Yeller treatment.

Thanks for taking what was obviously a great deal of time to write such an extensive review. Since I'm probably going to have a lot of questions to ask, through which medium would you prefer I pose them?
>> No. 129269
File 138651157740.jpg - (2.43KB , 107x80 , images (8).jpg )

Unless someone on the board wishes to insist otherwise, I'd say posting questions here would be fine.

In fact, I'd encourage it, so that you have a variety of people who can answer you, should I make something unclear/simply not know the proper answer.
>> No. 129271

Alright, then. The very first thing I'd like to clarify is the type of questions that you're willing to consider. You were right when you said that I don't have a lot of experience; this is my first legitimate attempt at writing a complete work of fiction. Whether or not that is actually relevant remains to be seen...
>Are thoughts / ideas about how to go about solving particular issues fair game, or should I stick to only questions that ask for clarification on points in the review?
I'm just honestly not sure where the line is between "alright question" and "too much to ask".

My second question is more direct. Based on the review, I've determined that the best way to fix this story will be to just scrap and rewrite it, all the while keeping in mind the points that you brought up. If I go back and correct the problems you point out while leaving the rest mostly untouched, I think the end product would feel very inconsistent. However, rewriting this entire story is a fairly daunting perspective. So, basically, here's what I want to ask:
>Do you think this story is worth that effort?
I realize that the answer is mostly dependent upon how I feel about it. While I do like the story, I'm certain that I can come up with another concept that I like just as much.
Aside from a few jokes that you liked, I got the feeling that you didn't think the story had much going for it. Therefore, it would make sense that I just finish the last few chapters, slap a "complete" on it, never speak of it again, and move on to a new work, in which I could incorporate all of your suggestions and avoid the issues which drove you to fury.

Last edited at Sun, Dec 8th, 2013 17:04

>> No. 129272
File 138655366380.jpg - (8.08KB , 259x194 , images (2).jpg )

>Are thoughts / ideas about how to go about solving particular issues fair game, or should I stick to only questions that ask for clarification on points in the review?

If you want to ask how to go about solving a particular issue, I’d say go ahead and ask it. However, I am no master craftsman, just someone with a couple horrid stories of their own hiding in the closet they’d just as soon forget, and so those opinions should be double-checked and thought over, not taken as God-spoken truth.

Also, remember that I’m not here to write your story for you, just to point you in a possibly better direction. You’ll have to do most of the heavy lifting and thinking if you want a product you can be truly proud of when it’s done. I’ll help if I can.

With that said, ask whatever you want of me or just in general of the board if it’s a more general question to ask. If you cross a boundary, I or someone else will let you know and we’ll simply continue on from there with no need for getting hissy about it. There’s no shame in not knowing something, only in refusing to improve.

>Do you think this story is worth that effort?

Honestly, I’m very hesitant to answer this question, because, as you said, it really isn’t mine to answer. It’s up to the author to decide how much they like a particular story, not some random schmo you meet on the internet who is often, at best, a helpful but indifferent party to your success and, at worst, someone who takes great delight in your failure. You can find the gems if you look, but it’s often up to you, the creator, to make the final call on whether you like what you made.

Now, whether or not you ever choose to revisit this particular tale in the future, I agree that starting afresh is still likely going to be your best bet. Don’t get so bogged down in this one idea that you drag your feet and never accomplish anything else. Trust me: that’s a very difficult swamp to dig yourself back out of again.

You can always set this story aside and dance with some other ideas for a while, experimenting in different styles and stories until you find the combination that really grabs you and then, if you still want to tell this story after all of that, you can come back and pretty it up with all your knew knowledge until it shines in the sun.
>> No. 129273
File 138657112121.png - (107.83KB , 383x364 , 132631859219.png )
Thanks a bunch for your help. I've fixed the story line problems you mentioned. Good call on the Apples not knowing. That's going to work beautifully. Pinkie of course has to know, seeing as she's the original pony who painted the wall, but after going over everything, it works if Twilight had told everypony else that he's dead. Thank you for this piece of advice, as it has added so much to the story. I am now writing the next chapter with much fervor, and I cannot thank you enough for your assistance. I will still be referring back to your reviews as I write, as I keep noticing something new every time, but I think I can give you the go ahead at this point to not have to keep your eye on this. Your extended attention has been much appreciated, as I've stated. Thank you once again, and good day to you, sir.
>> No. 129274
File 138660014116.png - (486.02KB , 511x640 , nktsy.png )

I think just two more questions and a couple of comments and I'm good to go. A number of times in the review, you mention that passages would have been good if they had been less clunky or clumsy (I don't mean the ones where I shove the joke down your throat with tact of a raging hippopotamus).
>Are you referring to telly language, LUS, or awkward writing in general?

Before I published the story, I had the whole thing already finished. At that point, it capped at 35k-ish words, and ended on the chapter right after they bludgeoned the specter out of Luna's head. The plan was to write a sequel if I got enough readers and people liked it enough. Then, someone added it to a shipping group, and I realized that the extent of the relationship might not justify the "romance" tag. I decided to continue, and at this point, it kinda feels like an out-of-control train. So, here's my question:
>How much should an author let the readers affect the writing?
If I was writing only for the joy of writing, I never would have published anything and I never would have asked to have it reviewed. The work would be sitting on my hard drive where only I could see it.

I was aiming for something a little different from the Foreword than making the reader think that the story was going to be bad. It's true that Celestia tells the reader that it's a badly written tale, but my hope was for that reader to smile and say, "This is amusing. The rest can't be as bad as she says!" It's a shame that it didn't quite escape the whole, "I'm a new author and this is my first fanfic, so please don't hate!" cliche.

On a related note, the Foreword is the only part of the story that I still find funny (the rest of it burned me out long ago). That said, I'm probably going to end up removing it when I fix this up.

I'm glad that you enjoyed Steve. However, I purposefully gave him sparse time in the spotlight. This may be immodest, but I was banking on the fact that readers would find him amusing, and I felt that leaving readers wanting more was preferable to giving him too much page time (although I hadn't even thought of having Twilight beat Discord senseless with Steve in lieu of immolation).

Whenever I read Phineas's passages, in my head I hear him speaking using the voice of a reaper from Mass Effect. It seemed more creepily hilarious that way.

Anyway, that's it for my thoughts/questions. Thank you very much for taking the time to review the work. Your insight was, and continues to be, incredibly helpful/revealing.

Last edited at Mon, Dec 9th, 2013 14:24

>> No. 129275
File 138661842678.png - (47.75KB , 250x204 , 150187_r[1].png )

Ohai there.

This is a simple childhood romance, currently in the EQD submit queue. Feedback so far seems to be generally positive, but I want to know if this stands a chance of being in EQD. But more importantly, I just like constructive criticism!

This being my second request, I oughta to do a review, right? Problem is, I'm not the best reader, nevermind an awesome reviewer (short attention span means I often skip lines while reading), but I can do my best I guess...

Anyhoo, without further ado...

Title: Dance of the Night Away
Description: It's almost time for Hearth's Warming, which means that the annual School Dance is here and this time, it's shaping up to be the best one ever.
There's just one problem.
All of Scootaloo's classmates have it in their head to bring to a date, and there isn't a free colt to be found. Will Scootaloo find a date, or will she be doomed to endure shame and embarrassment from her class mates?
Tags: Romance, Slice of Life
Link: http://www.fimfiction.net/story/150187/dance-the-night-away


>> No. 129277

>Are you referring to telly language, LUS, or awkward writing in general?

I mostly refer to the telly language and the LUS, but it can also includes things like character’s voice not sounding quite right (which I know can be a bugger to fix) and the pacing of a scene/joke (which can tend a byproduct of the telling/LUS, but can also be a sign of some poor plot layout as well).

Jokes like Phineas and Steve had a tendency to be paced and executed very well, and also be used where they felt appropriate instead of just randomly used whenever the hell they wanted. As a matter of fact, a lot of your comedy was like this (like I said in the review, the “brick” joke was also decently executed, and got a chuckle out of me.)

This was especially noticeable towards the middle of the story, around chapter 9, as the beginning was a little more “meh” or eye-rolling or just plain blech, because you tended to focus a bit more on your weaker aspect of this story, which was the romance and drama instead of the laughter. There were little gems to find, like Twilight’s cooking ability with chocolate milk, but most of that was buried in the overdramatic and much less comfortable aspects of the story.

Now, most of what I didn’t like about the better bits of comedy besides some bits of the above was little misteps, like maybe just taking a hair too long on a joke (like the brick joke. Not way too long, but maybe just one line or so.) or me having wanted to see it handled just a smidge differently (Like the joke where Discord says when he’s getting ready to use Steve.) Both of which are admittedly someone’s personal opinion and which is really hard to account for when trying to write comedy. Some people will roll on the floor at a given joke, some will maybe get a chuckle, while others won’t bat an eyelash. That’s why you insert a variety of jokes with decent quantity, while still keeping them of a decent quality. It means at least something should stick, and, to your credit, I can at least remember a few of the jokes, or at least what the punchline was even as I write this.

Also, it helps when I’m not suffering a case of clashing tone. The moment I complained about most (that scene between Magnum and Fluttershy) hurt this story a lot. By using that scene, especially in your early chapters, you established a mindset of how the rest of this tale would look, which probably hindered some of my ability to take these jokes as the lighter fluff they were meant to be.

That stuff was dark, Mesa, really dark, and the darkness of that scene was then lost amidst all the more gentle fluff and general insanity that was meant to be your comedy. It was a very big emotional spike to use, and one that didn’t feel like it was given either the proper weight or time to work through to make it actually have a point to be there except as a generic tool to shock me.

This is not to say you couldn’t have still had comedy with a dark story, plenty of darker dramas can have that, but the flavor of laughter is different because the tone is different. What you made later did not entirely match what you established before, and so my ability to take it as what I believe it was meant to be seen suffered because of that.

Also, you have a romance, which in itself requires a slightly different touch than either comedy or dark stories alone, though, again, it can have those elements in it. Good romances show us the characters really developing a relationship. You have plenty of catalysts for them to do so in here, cultists and evil spirits and scary movies, but you skip over so much time and interaction to get to these that we really never get to see the characters grow into love. They’re just sort of dumped into a rocky relationship and then sent screaming headlong into the rest of the plot, which feels cheap and unsatisfying if we’re meant to really, truly care about these two as a couple.

That’s why I found your bit with Twilight and Discord so much better than Fluttershy and Luna. You took some actual time with it. It was still a bit brisk for my tastes, but it still felt like a much more natural progression of events that ended on a semi-satisfying note for that chapter, especially for just the starting point of a relationship. We weren’t dumped into one character being, somehow, madly in love with another for no real reason. We got to watch them actually spend time together, see them interact, and grow to believe that maybe, just maybe, this relationship could work if they worked at it.

>On a related note, the Foreword is the only part of the story that I still find funny (the rest of it burned me out long ago). That said, I'm probably going to end up removing it when I fix this up.

I found the Foreword funny in terms of how it was done, and that it showed quite clearly you were having fun with the character which was fun to watch on its own. I won’t deny you that.

I just don’t think it puts your best foot forward at this time. So, maybe save that piece for later. Many writers are like Frankensteinian scientists, resurrecting old, dead pieces of other projects and cobbling them together into a misunderstood monster that warms hearts and rickety windmills alike.

>I'm glad that you enjoyed Steve. However, I purposefully gave him sparse time in the spotlight. This may be immodest, but I was banking on the fact that readers would find him amusing, and I felt that leaving readers wanting more was preferable to giving him too much page time (although I hadn't even thought of having Twilight beat Discord senseless with Steve in lieu of immolation).

Too much repetition does get obnoxious after a while. I was mostly disappointed that he just sort of disappears after the whole event is over, never to really be mentioned again. I felt there was more you could have done with him, if only once in a while to get that nostalgic factor in. Shoot, you could have made him practically a great character in his own right, even though he’ll continue to get what is a criminally short page time as is only fair for a character that needs do so little beyond “be metal and heavy”.

>How much should an author let the readers affect the writing?

Again, I don’t know if I’m really the one who’s qualified to answer this question, but perhaps if it is asked in a different way, I can give you a better answer:

>Who are you writing any given story for?

That should tell you how much you should let them affect you. Are you writing this story to be enjoyed by others, and as many of them as you can, or are you writing to just pass some time and don’t care if anyone sees it, period?

Some of us might say, “Write to please yourself”, but that answer can just as easily be abused to translate into, “Don’t listen to someone giving you advice if you don’t like what they’re saying.”

So it is probably best to say, “Write to please your intended audience.”

While you will not please everyone, if you write for the people you want to give a gift to, which is your time and your efforts, then you have made something worthwhile and worked towards an ultimate goal.

Now, this means that if a story really is “for myself”, I can then write until I personally feel it does what it should do. Everyone’s advice takes a back-burner to my desires and my goals, though I might use them if I feel it’s useful to make what I want to make, because no one else is going to see it but me, or maybe a few select friends or family that I know might share my tastes.

However, if a story is for a specific audience, I must then decide what that particular audience is and try and craft that story to fit their specific needs. I must ask several different people for their opinions, and see where their concerns all intersect each other so that I can fix the problems that are game-breakers for the end product, not simple annoyances or personal preferences.

In the end, you do not ever change something in a story just because someone tells you to, otherwise it will never be done and you will not have made something that is truly yours. You change it, with help and guidance from others, because it is what is best for the story you are trying to tell so that the intended audience can enjoy and learn from your creation. You change it because they, not you and not the random person who might just hate your guts, are worth the effort and deserve the best that you can give them.

So, with that massive slur of words out of the way, I thank you for your good manners and continue wishing you the best of luck. If you have any further questions, feel free to ask away.
>> No. 129279
Well, it's been about two years since I was really active in the community, and I'm back! AND with a tripcode this time!


Alright, this is something that, for me, has been quite a long time coming. I've finally begun writing a long planned sequel, and chapter one has been through preliminary editing. I prefer to get reviews as the story progresses, which will remove the need to substantially restructure future chapters if this one has a major flaw. And so, here we go!

Title: Eversion

Tags: Sad, Dark, Mystery

Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1nnXrK2RV5ojiMi2pGJ2PoMpyCGiZFnuDZjuF9HhqBwA/edit

Also, this story will make very little sense without context, so the predecessor can be found here: http://www.fimfiction.net/story/10883/a-rose-reverie

I know this is a tall order, but if there's anyone willing to have a gander, I WILL LOVE YOU FOREVER! Also I'll give you virtual cookies somehow.

>> No. 129306
Title: Caramel's Day

Description: Caramel. The most forgetful of ponies, and the most forgetable, a harmless ladies colt who slinks around in the background. But as he goes about his daily routine, the question speedily becomes: Who exactly is Caramel, and why does he have so many lookalikes?

Tags: Slice of Life, Mystery

Google doc here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1wycI-DWjVdzTyYRUPeoRU0bTkEU0apB782I-Nxi-E80/edit?usp=sharing Comments enabled

This fic stars Caramel, the Mane 6, and a mystery guest. I'm particularly worried about whether the format retains the readers interest, or if the premise gets old after the first few scenes.

Last edited at Thu, Dec 12th, 2013 21:15

>> No. 129324
File 138713683336.jpg - (51.36KB , 704x576 , RS_2008_06_02_PinkyTheBrain.jpg )

Alright, you've sat in here long enough.

Time to play.


>This being my second request, I oughta to do a review, right? Problem is, I'm not the best reader, nevermind an awesome reviewer (short attention span means I often skip lines while reading), but I can do my best I guess...

Your best is all we can ask.

So, give an honest and respectfully stated opinion, back it up with some evidence whenever possible, and the worst that can happen is you will be wrong, someone might call you out on it, and you will try and do better next time.

Otherwise, I'm sure you will do just fine.
>> No. 129325
File 138715094234.jpg - (14.85KB , 320x320 , mad_luna.jpg )
Thou wilt receive the raw fury of Our opinion, citizen! Prepare thyself!
>> No. 129326

Thank you, I await with bated breath.
>> No. 129367
File 138743117130.png - (278.00KB , 750x1000 , rage_luna.png )

>The evening sun was setting and the wind was blowing the brown autumn leaves past the window of Twilight’s personal study
Thou needest a comma after 'and' since it separateth clauses (distinct subject/verb pairs, 'sun was' and 'wind was'.) And about both of those being 'was'... Not that thou hast one in the previous sentence as well. Avoid overusing words in general or repeating them unnecessarily in close spaces. We will likely have something to say about this later.

>Twilight and Spike laid side by side
Thou hast mistaken a form of lay for lie. They are bedeviling little buggers. 'Lay/laid/had laid' taketh a direct object; 'I lay my head down.' 'Lie/lay/had lain' doth not take a direct object; 'I lie down.'

>Twilight levitated a book over the two of them with her magic
'With her magic' is empty filler. How else would she levitate it? Thou canst do without it.

>A calendar near by
Nearby. 'Tis one word.

>this was how Twilight use to help him fall asleep
Verb error.

>The few pictures there were though had all been drawn in stunning detail.

>The fakes would then go on to feed off the emotions of its
Thou hast a number mismatch: fakes -> its

>That part in particular had sent a chill down Spike’s spine and Twilight even ask him if he wanted to call it quits, but the little reptile soldiered on.
Another instance of needing a comma betwixt clauses, and another verb form error. These examples should illustrate the issue enough; We will not mark any more of them.

>The look in Spike’s eyes held more fascination than fear in them
The 'in them' is redundant with 'in spike's eyes.' Thou shouldst also avoid directly informing Us of a character's emotions, unless that emotion is not particularly relevant to the story. 'Tis a more engaging read when thou describest the evidence that an observer would use to determine said emotions and get Us to deduce it from that evidence. For instance, thou couldst say that Spike hath an intent stare and a sparkle to his eyes instead of directly telling Us that he is fascinated.

>a slight, “Hmm,” coming out of her throat
When referring to the speech more generically like this and not presenting it as a direct quote, thou needest not the commas.

>Remember that part about Changeling’s stealing babies
Wherefore is that apostrophe there?

'Tis precisely what the little squiggly red lines in thy word processing software warneth thee about.

>they’re suppose to be our natural predators, or something like that
Supposed. And this waffling language suiteth Twilight not. Methinks she would be more definitive and scientific.

>For some reason, they only seem to feed off of the emotions my own kind,” Twilight lectured, then turned her head to face Spike and with a smile she added, “of course, that’s what the book says about them later.
Thou canst not exit a quote and re-enter it in the same sentence when the quoted parts do not form a single, continuous sentence.

>but they say honesty is the best policy...
Thy narrator hath kept an objective viewpoint until now, so having him suddenly speak Twilight's thoughts for her is jarring.

>for better or worst
The expression saith, 'for better or worse.'

>Its our very mind’s
Gadzooks! Thou hast apostrophes where they don't beling and no apostrophes where they do!

>turning them in a husk of their former self
'Into,' mayhap?

>Changelings are no where near as dangerous as they use to be.
'Nowhere,' and more of this confusion of 'use' for 'used.'

>Time passes by…
'Tis a very clumsy way to indicat this. Let it come out of the narrative.

>The only other souls present during this private lesson was
Another number mismatch. 'souls... was'

>It wasn’t impressive
Watch that thou hast a narrative perspective when making value judgments like this. Who saith it isn't impressive? Thy narrator hath not adopted one of the characters' points of view, so this is nobody's opinion but his. The narrator shouldn't be giving Us his opinion if he isn't a character.

>Don’t worry Twilight,
When one character addresseth another, it requireth a comma, or like thou hast here, commas on both sides for an instance in the middle of a sentence.

>odd ball version of school teacher
Oddball, schoolteacher. And thou art missing a word again. We see excess ones in many stories as well—mayhp someone hath donated a spare one thou canst use.

>Dash laid down on her belly and shut her eyes. “Despite what some ponies have said, I can still hold still sometimes.”
Another lay/lie flub, and that dialogue soundeth not like the Rainbow Dash We know.

>You wouldn’t know that the danger wasn’t real
'Tis not the best idea to address the reader, unless it's a narrative device that thou hast been using all along.

>Scootaloo clenched a stick in between her teeth, which in her mind was a blade made of the sharpest steel
Thy narrator hath not been in Scootaloo's head until now, and he stayeth there for a mere half-sentence. Only an omniscient narrator or Scootaloo herself would know this as stated. If thy narrator is jumpy, it maketh the story feel schizophrenic.

'Tis no such word. Possessive pronouns never have apostrophes.

>While the adults took a load off
This whole paragraph wandereth off into some indeterminate perspective. We find it... disorienting.

>meeked out
We are... gobsmacked. Is that even a real phrase?

>She was starting to enjoy messing with him, it was just too easy.
'Tis a splice. Thou hast two complete sentences joined with a comma.

>primp and proper
Prim. Really, We are encountering a—hmm, what term did those foals use?—an ass-load of basic editing errors. Should We postpone our court for this evening because We have been correcting such commonplace things, We would be laughed out of the castle.

>the white blouse she was wearing had a few coffee stains on them
Yet another number mismatch. blouse -> them



Please use a dash, not a hyphen, and never place a period or comma after a dash.

>might of
might have

>Rarity, its me.

*grinds teeth*

>Unlike before, this Rarity was lively, awake, healthy looking and her mane was as well groomed and pretty as ever.
This rather seemeth like you're pounding the reader over the head and demanding that he notice this. 'Twas evident already, and leaving it subtle would make it much more effective.

Missing space.

>Luna’s moon shined above
Thou wantest 'shone.' There is a difference.

Well. The basic story idea is interesting, if not especially original, but it hath many marks of an inexperienced writer. Many marks. From overuse of 'to be' verbs to highly inconsistent narrative point of view to basic grammar/punctuation problems and phrasings. We have only marked a small number of examples for each problem. Really, We don't have the time to go into every one of these issues in detail, but We would suggest consulting Equestria Daily's Editor's Omnibus and the other resources cited therein. The story is really being bogged down by how it's written, and We simply cannot address the finer points of storytelling until thou hast gained a mastery over the fundamentals.

Here is a link to the omnibus:

Final mood: Grumpy. Very, very grumpy.

Write thee onward, citizen!
>> No. 129370

Awesome, thanks!

I'll wait patiently until you are done. Enjoy! (Hopefully, heh.)
>> No. 129371
Thank you for the review. I'll start correcting my mistakes and read the thing you linked me to as well. Sorry that my lack of experience seems to be very obvious here. Hopefully, if I return here some day I'll have improved by then. Sorry that it made you so grumpy.

Last edited at Thu, Dec 19th, 2013 03:47

>> No. 129382
File 138768206114.jpg - (8.08KB , 259x194 , images (2).jpg )

There you go, Jake.

Sorry it isn't particularly long or in-depth as some of my reviews can be, but if I made something unclear or you want to understand more, I welcome discussion on the matter.
>> No. 129384
Okay, so this is just a very weird story I wrote with no real concept or planning except “I’m going to make this as strange/interesting as possible.” So yeah. Expect it to be a mess.

Titile: I am Lord Starswirl (chapter 1)

Sypnosis: Two-thousand years ago, Equestria didn't exist. Instead lived the warring clans of Unicorn, Earth Pony and Pegasus; instead anger spread like fire, and a sea of prejudice washed over the land and drowned all in hate. Two-thousand years ago, the Unicorn Tribe stood proudly upon the mountaintops, as sharp and stony as the land they built their cities on, and as arrogant as the sun they rose. Two-thousand years ago, they made their biggest mistake.

Two-thousand years ago lived Lucky Sunshine and her dark and secretive cousin, Starswirl. He says, "I am the lord of it all," but Lucky knows he's only pretending. Because Lucky knows what it's like to be lost, and alone, and hurting inside. And Lucky knows what it's like to lie.

But Starswirl knows what it's like to rule.

(please ignore that synopsis. I only wrote it because I was bored. I don’t think I could write a real synopsis because this story has no plot)

Tags: Dark, Adventure, I have no idea what this is…

Word Count: 5868

Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1z9NQ6PNut-re2RA-XlRIg1QyscNk_UZoup2vf6qVM44/edit

Please do not judge me on this story. Thank you.
>> No. 129386
File 138785977644.jpg - (39.58KB , 640x480 , eG9iaHVtMTI=_o_pinky-and-the-brain---brainstem.jpg )

For those who want a refresher on what stories still need claiming without having to search through the whole thread: here you go.

Dig in and enjoy.
>> No. 129388
File 138789514080.png - (303.39KB , 529x567 , Shining_Armor_id_S03E12.png )


How can I say no to that face?


You. I will review your story. But you will have to wait until after Christmas to get it.

Fair enough?
>> No. 129389
Hey, someone wants to review my story. That's weird.

After Christmas is fine. Last time I had to wait two months.

Last edited at Tue, Dec 24th, 2013 08:26

>> No. 129395
Nice story.
Though it is always telling instead of showing which could be something to work on.

Also the first paragraph is very flat and boring to read, a suggestion would be to start with a part of the nightmare.
Some fast paced action would probably grab the readers attention much better.

My two cents, anyway I liked it so please keep writing.
>> No. 129396
Summery: For many, "Lesson Zero" was the episode where FiM metaphorically "grew the beard", since it established that Twilight's duty to send reports weekly ended.

However, the events could have taken a different direction entirely.

For the example, what if the Mane 5 did the sane thing at the wrong moment? What if Celestia wasn't so merciful towards Twilight? And to make things worse, Celestia got a sadistic sense of humor and an idea for an untraditional punishment?

How will Twilight act during her stay in one of her biggest fears and a total opposite of her usual orderly life?

Tags: Comedy (note: thanks to my lackluster abilities, this tag may not hold value until the third chapter); Alternate Universe; Dementia (third-ongoing).

Link: http://www.fimfiction.net/story/140169/ab-initiofrom-the-startal-principio

Notes: this story is not complete, but there are 10 chaoters, so I guess that the review has plenty material to work on, before s/he must wait for me to end a chapter.
>> No. 129398
Because I had to reinstall my OS and I forgot my posting password, I can't edit the old roundup anymore. So here's the current one:


Last edited at Mon, Dec 22nd, 2014 16:07

>> No. 129403
File 138835952228.gif - (177.52KB , 390x254 , apple bloom fix.gif )
Okay, lesdodis.

I think I’ve read enough to form a legitimate opinion on your work. Note that I’m judging your work. Kay?


Your prose is faltering, but serviceable. It can be mind-numbingly purple, but for the most part I could read it without great difficulty. Still, there are places you can improve, some of which I have pointed out in comments on the document.

The story you are weaving could be a decent read, but as it stands I don’t think it’s that good. Starswirl feels like a constant “I’m great! Look how great I am!” And I want nothing more than for him to be knocked down a notch.

What would make an interesting fic, from what you’ve written, is expanding on the fiancé dying and finding out who dun it. Well, that would make for a great mystery fic, but I suspect that isn’t what you’re going for here. Which is understandable, save for the fact that what you are going for isn’t all that good.

Starswirl is a Marty Stu if ever there was one. And he’s not one played very well, either. Every line I read of him just smacks of arrogance and hubris. Which would be fine, if he was actually a dopey pony who couldn’t cast a spell to save his life. But it appears you’ve played him perfectly straight. Which is a mortal sin among the fan-fiction community.

To wit: tone down your prose, nerf the almighty unicorn, and add more noir.

Also, what in the name of Sake’s Snakes is this?
> I had stopped by a stream for a sip of water when I saw her—the silver mare. Her mane was moonlight, her eyes the stars, her horn a pillar of pearls. “Who are you?” she asked in a voice like the nighttime breeze. I only smiled and took her hoof in mine, and laid her on the grass. And then we spent the night together. I made her laugh birdsong and cry tears of diamond, I reached into her and grabbed her soul, I made her feel what she had never felt before. She whispered into my ear “I love you,” and I only smiled and loved her harder.

I need to lay down.
>> No. 129404
First of all, thanks for the review! I'm probably not going to continue this story, but it definitely gave me good advice for my next one.

I had no idea what I was going to write when I started this. Originally, there was going to be more contrast between Starswirl in his narrative sections and in real life, but as I started to write I think I lost a lot of that. He was supposed to seem more scared and desperate, but I think I made him to intimidating when I first introduced him and that ruined the effect. I was going to go deeper into his character later in the story, but I guess I really had to do that in the first chapter to make an impression.

I also was semi-planning to continue the storyline of her fiancé's death, but that probably should of happened in the first chapter as well.

>Also, what in the name of Sake’s Snakes is this?
I'm not even going to comment on that last section.

Anyways, I was wondering if you could give me more feedback on the character of Lucky. I had a clear intention of her character when I began, but I feel like I lost a lot of that as well.

Thanks again!
>> No. 129405
File 138836944957.jpg - (4.09KB , 160x160 , bored_luna.jpg )
Hm. We peruse these pages occasionally for authors in need but We are afraid We cannot help any of the current crop.

We have not read any Tolkein, and thus would be unfamiliar with the work thou hast requested a familiarity with.

Frankly, We simply do not enjoy alternate universe/timeline stories.

We do not have the time to invest in having to read a second story before this one would make sense. Our apologies.

We see that Umbra hath already given thee a review in his thread. While 'tis certainly acceptable to seek more than one opinion, he is a thorough reviewer, and aside from a few detailed items, We are afraid We would not have anything to add.

We do not care for stories with adult content, and depending on what that content is, posting a link to it may violate the rules of this site. We have not checked to see what that content is and do not care to do so.
>> No. 129407
I understand that technically I should put a warning on the links to the story, if it is tagged "Mature" on
FimFiction, or with one of the higher ratings on Fanfiction.net.

However, in this case, I was not even sure if "Mature" was an appropriate rating for the story, since, despite the shards of Diaper Fetish and Infantilism, they are not presented in a sexual manner, but played for laughs, and they are the focus of the later chapters; there are no swear words whatsoever; the vulgar humor used is not worse than the humor of your average low-grade family comedy film (or, at least, I think so).

Not trying to push you for review, also because it might not be your cup of tea, just pointing this out.
>> No. 129408
You receive a strange letter in the mail one day. It definitely has your address and name on it, but you've never seen the postmark before. You crack open the envelope and pull out the paper inside.

"Hi, my name is Twilight Sparkle, and I wanted to talk to you about friendship and yawning."

Tag: dark, epistolary, short, content rating: everyone
Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1pNq-3dqf13Xee6hu79t1g9MI4WbnBv3nmDgkhPso_AI/edit?usp=sharing

Intended for FIMFiction, not EQD.
>> No. 129410
Title: Celestia's Tiny Student

Summery: During the entrance exam to Celestia's School for Gifted Unicorns, Twilight completely loses control of her magic. Celestia tries in vain to calm her down, but having no other choice she's forced to use a shrinking spell on the filly in order to tone down her dangerous surge of power.

After the exam, Celestia takes the tiny Twilight as her personal student to teach the young unicorn control over her powerful magic, making sure that she will pose no threat to other beings.

Will tiny Twilight be able to step out into a world designed for someone far larger than her? And will her size impede her in the trials of life as princess personal student ?

Tag: Slice of Life, Alternate Universe

Link to fanfiction.net: http://www.fimfiction.net/story/108209/celestias-tiny-student

Link to goggle doc. - https://docs.google.com/document/d/1WAkZZDOV9obpPximOUqp9nam1I-Q8Y_N85gh2cV4B8k/edit?usp=sharing

This story has already been edited thoughtfully ( with exception of bonus chapter - "Past and Memories" what has been edited more in terms of grammar and typos rather than structure ).
However I am considering to give it a try and submit my story on Equestria Daily ( and I have been warned that it is extremely hard to succeed ).
That is why I need someone to review my story, let it be an comment reply or comments in goggle document.
( On the bottom of every goggle document there is a link to next chapters, so if someone is willing to review or pre-read more than you prologue and first few chapters, I would appreciate it. )

Thank you in advance

Last edited at Tue, Dec 31st, 2013 04:13

>> No. 129432
File 138876999747.png - (141.12KB , 819x1024 , large[1].png )
Blargh! This thank you has been delayed for far too long. Many apologies for not saying it until now.

Moving on, I'd like to discuss a couple things.

>The first problem is these moments where you tend to confuse the tense, or at least, I myself got very confused about the tense.

>Sitting in class is super boring.

>Mind-numbingly boring.

While it is a change of tense, the above is a statement that can still be applied to the present. Scoots found class boring then and she still does now. She's telling the story, and I find it's more engaging if the narrator occasionally stops to tell the readers things directly.

As long as they're not things like "I was sad" of course. But hopefully you get the idea.

>You’re a little too fond of ellipses in your narration, though the dialogue can also be a bit heavy on them as well.

Guilty as charged. I like making characters drift off to imply thinking, or something else. Tiredness, for example.

>For example of the final point: two pony names stick out in my head right now, those being “Noi” (Featherweight’s date) and “Alula” (Rumble’s date).

>I cannot think of who in this universe gives their children that kind of name. Only with some research did I find Alula actually is a thing (it’s that little, feathered projection off a bird’s wing), so one could argue you getting a pass on that, but I cannot for the life of me figure out what “Noi” is supposed to be.

All taken from MLP:FiM wikia, surprisingly.

>This is an example of something just sort of going on too far. The scene’s fine, but the usage of “packed lunch” as opposed to just “lunch” seems like extraneous detail.

Fully agree with ya there. I just wanted some variation.

>Also, the segment where you have Sweetie eat a sandwich feels kind of long, mostly because of the “started”. It’s most often far far better to make a character’s action something they are doing, instead of just beginning to do. It feels more lively and exciting.

Something I haven't really considered before. Yay, learning!

>First off, good description. You gave me a genuine smile with that, and it sounds very Scoots. However, I’m mostly concerned with those first two sentences. They just don’t mesh quite right, and I think it’s because of that “peering down at them with a warning look”. It seems kind of redundant with the “He did not look happy.”

In hindsight, "He did not look happy." sounds really clunky to me.

>The last one (and I put it here because it is indeed low on my list of priorities for fixing) is the occasional moments where I didn’t entirely buy into Scootaloo’s character. The main point I tend to notice this is when she and Rainbow Dash share a scene. She seems, I don’t know, maybe a bit less inclined to believe her idol’s every word, or eliminate her hero’s flaws, which seems a bit OOC for her, considering how badly she wants to be like Dash.

Seems odd, doesn't it? But in the fic they're sisters. And I think being sisters with Rainbow Dash would change their dynamic somewhat. Sure, Scoots still adores her, but being close to her has shown her some of RD's less-than-awesome-but-still-kinda-cool-I-guess sides.

There we go! Again, thanks for the review, and again, sorry for the late post.
>> No. 129443
For all you waiting on reviews, part of the point of this thread is to trade reviews and/or learn the ropes of reviewing. Feel free to grab one of the stories yourself while you're waiting, and maybe the other author will reciprocate.

Current queue here: >>129398
>> No. 129467
I haven't been around for a while, but it looks like the Training Grounds could use some assistance. If someone has time and doesn't mind looking over my review to make sure I haven't lost anything, that would be excellent.

To the author, keep in mind that I am fallible, and while I will do my best to give you an opinion on how to improve your story, my opinion is just an opinion, so you should make sure you understand what my suggestion is and make sure you agree before changing anything.

Without further ado, onto the review.

I haven't read beyond chapter one, but there are plenty of issues to address in this one.

Your chapter one is largely a retelling of the events from Lesson Zero. However, since this is a My Little Pony fanfic, you can expect your readers to know the episode. Because of this, simply retelling the details from the episode isn't a particularly good idea, since your readers will already know what happens and just retelling the details is likely to bore them. However, there are two ways to deal with this.

One is to keep the retelling very short. Since you can assume the reader is already familiar with what is going on, you don't need to give much information about the situation for the reader to catch on. By keeping the retelling short, you can perk the reader's interest by reminding them of the events of Lesson Zero without boring them with redundant details.

The second way is to retell the details, but to focus on the differences between what is going on with your story and the original story. These differences can be a completely different way things happen in your story or it can just be the same events told from a different perspective. By focusing on the differences, you give the reader a novel experience, rather than uninteresting details, while maintaining the same context as before.

As for your first chapter, it doesn't appear to me that you are trying to convey a different perspective. You have some different events, but most of it is basically a complete retelling. I believe that your story can benefit from the applying the ideas from both of the above methods, eg shrinking the parts of the story that are just retelling and rewriting to focus more on the differences from the episode.

Also, it seems like you are a non-native speaker or, at minimum, you don't have a lot of familiarity with formal English. I think that a lot of the things I mention would naturally improve when you get more familiarity. Toward this end, I would recommend trying to read a lot, especially trying to focus on published or other edited works, so you can see examples of formal English written correctly. By exposing yourself to formal English, you'll pick up a lot of the subtleties of the English language.

Your dialogue for Rainbow Dash seems fairly formal and indirect. Rainbow Dash tends to speak very directly and without very many unusual words. A lot of your dialogue for Rainbow Dash tends to fit better for a pony like Twilight Sparkle or Rarity, who would use more sophisticated grammar and diction. For example, you have Rainbow Dash say:
>The whole town seems in love with that mass of deformed fabric!
Seems in love is a bit of an odd construction, and mass of deformed fabric seems far more complicated than would fit for Rainbow Dash. Something like:
>Everypony's crazy over that doll!
would fit better, since it is more direct and informal.

A general principle for realistic Rainbow Dash dialogue would involve primarily short, simple sentences consisting largely of common words. Also, sprinkling in some slang and contractions would be appropriate for Rainbow Dash's speaking style.

Your dialogue punctuation is inconsistent and does not follow the typical rules. A good resource for rules of dialogue is http://www.fimfiction.net/writing-guide#Dialogue and my recommendation on reading edited prose will help give you a good sense of what dialogue punctuation will look like. One easy place to correct things are where you use colons. Colons are almost never used in prose and are even rarer in proper dialogue tags. If you do a search for colons in your writing, that will give you a good list of places to check for dialogue punctuation mistakes.

Another comment on your dialogue tags is that you tend to use saidisms, which are synonyms in place of said. Said tends to be a relatively invisible word, so using it a lot isn't a problem that a lot of writers think it might be. In contrast, uncommon synonyms like rumbled or screamed carry a lot more weight and should only be used for sections of dialogue that you want to particularly emphasise; otherwise, the different words will lose their potency.

You have a few places where you have errors in simple English. Some of this may be because of limited proofreading or if English isn't your first language. Here are a few examples, but this is not comprehensive and the entire thing could use some more proofreading.
These contain unnecessary words
>a spell that allowed imitated mind control
>I could not understand you a single word

Here are a couple places where the English is non-standard.
>Woho, woho, wohoooo
The sound usually made indicating that someone should stop is spelled whoa. What you have here seems closest to woohoo, which is usually used as a celebration.

>I casted
Casted is not an English word. The past tense of cast is just cast.

>I must comply to her order
The typical phrase is comply with, not comply to.

All of the phrases mentioned by iamli3 could use correction as well.

As for the plotline, most of the first chapter is just a retelling of details that the reader will be already familiar with from the episode, so I would recommend that you limit the retelling and focus on new details. As for the new details, almost all of your development is done through narration and dialogue that is effectively narration, which tends to get monotonous. The common name for this is show vs tell and looking that up can give you some strategies for avoiding this. One common one is using body language to show how a character is feeling, rather than having the character say it out loud or the narrator tell the audience.

Another more subtle suggestion that I have is that Celestia's decision to send Twilight to Magic Kindergarten seems unmotivated. She mentions that Twilight needs to be punished for her actions, but gives no reason for sending her to Magic Kindergarten specifically. If Celestia had a more concrete reason to send Twilight back to Magic Kindergarten, that would strengthen the premise and give the reader more of a sense of where the story is going, which would help keep them engaged.

This particular story seems like it needs a lot of work. However, getting practice writing and seeking advice about how to improve will greatly speed your improvement as an author. If you have questions, feel free to reply. I hope you keep writing and I look forward to seeing your continued improvement.

Last edited at Thu, Jan 9th, 2014 02:12

>> No. 129481

This is asterisked for the same reason my previous review, and so I wouldn't need feedback on both.

To the author, keep in mind that I am fallible, and while I will do my best to give you an opinion on how to improve your story, my opinion is just an opinion, so you should make sure you understand what my suggestion is and make sure you agree before changing anything.

Anyway, onto the review.

First off, let me say that I believe that this fic as written achieves what it set out to do. It's a letter from Twilight reporting her advanced research about friendship set far in the future from current show canon. Twilight's writing is dispassionate and matter-of-fact, which fits since the letter largely resembles a popular science style report of her research. The writing is in-character and flows well, and the entire thing makes for an entertaining read. You have a good grasp of mechanics, so I won't need to go into detail about those. This means that the rest of the review will be largely subjective nitpicking and conditional suggestions that would only be relevant if you decide to take the fic in a different direction than it appears to be currently aimed.

>then some crazy pony taunted a hydra into chasing them into Ponyville or something
Most of the fic is written in an informal, but mature tone, which makes sense since it is a casual letter written by a character who is aged well beyond the average pony lifespan. However, this particular sentence strikes me as having a rather immature tone that doesn't particularly fit with the rest of the fic.

>someone closes to them
Typo here.

>I couldn’t help but wonder if there was a way that I could recreate it again but faster
The but faster at the end feels off to me, and while it feels okay in the sentence, the again is redundant with the verb recreate. Maybe something like
>I couldn’t help but wonder if there was a faster way that I could recreate it

>after four other funerals Luna and Celestia knew
Missing comma after funerals.

>I discovered various interesting things
This statement is pretty vacuous.

>soon the team
Not as solid as the other grammatical recommendations, but I would recommend a comma after soon.

I realise that this is probably something that is intentionally vague and possibly doesn't even exist, but I was curious for more detail about the mechanism of transporting friendship like a yawn.

>they apologized for trying to run off and spoil the surprise before I could present it to Princess Celestia in the proper way
This is something that kind of begs for more explanation, but you don't really mention anything about it and I don't think this adds anything to the story.

>we needed to ... experience it almost instantly
This section switches to first person plural and I don't think it needs to. While I understand that it is referring to Twilight and her team of experts, it's quite clear that Twilight is the driving force for the project and she even refers to it as my research (rather than our research) in the next sentence, so it makes a lot more sense to leave it in first person singular.

>Princess Celestia was overjoyed ... with Shining Armor and Princess Cadance again.
There's nothing wrong with this paragraph per se, but I do think it is a microcosm of the limited potential for the fic. As I mentioned above, the current draft is a dispassionate relating of Twilight's research. It is a clever idea and makes for an interesting read, which is what I thought after reading it. However, that was all I felt; the fic did not inspire particularly strong emotion in any direction and because of the tone of the writing, I don't believe it is intended to do so. There is nothing wrong with this, but it means the fic is unlikely to resonate with readers like fics that work with the readers' emotions.

However, with a bit of a subtle tone shift, I believe that this could be the story of Twilight's unravelling and her desperate attempts to recreate the friendship she lost when her friends passed on. (If this was the goal of the fic, then you may want to elicit something of a tone change) To give an idea of what I'm suggesting, my mental response to the question at the end of the fic was "Sure, why not?" My suggestions would go toward changing the answer to something between "God, no" and "I don't have a choice, do I?" Particularly in this paragraph, you have some hints at some drama and you almost nearly suggest that Twilight may not have been completely sane throughout this project, but because of the pace at which you pass by these hints, it seems more like it was temporary hesitance, rather than genuine concerns that Twilight used her research to blast away.

If all you wanted was the simple report without any dark overtones, then you can skip the next collapsible section. However, if you want to change the story so it shows Twilight unravelling and make it into a psychological horror story, then I have a few suggestions. As I was posting this, I reread and saw that you had the dark tag in your post. This means that my suggestions in the below section are probably important and my initial impressions were not entirely correct. However, changing the review around would probably not be worth it at this point.

I would recommend you keep the story largely the same and just work on subtle changes. Twilight's matter of fact tone is perfect for keeping the message subtle and preventing any feeling that you are railroading them to feel a certain way. Keeping the tone the same you can effect a few changes that would suggest that her story is not completely accurate.

First, I would recommend addressing each of the objectors separately, without changing Twilight's matter of fact tone. For example, take the sentence
>Princess Celestia was overjoyed by my report despite a few initial concerns, and Luna soon agreed with me.
and stretch it into a complete paragraph. Something like
>Princess Celestia initially had some concerns, but she was overjoyed once she saw how it worked. Luna came around soon after.
By making the event its own paragraph (without changing the tone), you subtly draw attention to it and let the readers' imaginations create the horror for you.

Another strategy to incorporate is making the "objections" consistent. For example, you have the line
> they apologized for trying to run off and spoil the surprise before I could present it to Princess Celestia in the proper way
which has some connotations of Twilight effecting the behaviour change, but simultaneously suggests that the other scientists may have just been excited about the project, which dilutes the horror aspect. However, if you keep asides like this consistent with the very subtly suggested action, via something like
>they apologised for any hesitance they might have had before
it allows the idea to slowly gather evidence.

Finally, sprinkling subtle aggressive word choices to suggest the idea that Twilight is familiar with forcing changes in other ponies, especially in unrelated areas, can prime the reader to accept the darker idea behind the story. For example, you use the passive verb spreads in the sentence.
>yawning, while contagious, spreads faster and farther between friends than it does through strangers.
Using the more active verb like affects or infects, eg
>yawning, while contagious, affects friends faster and more often than it does strangers.
will subtly suggest a more forceful and coercive effect. Again, these changes should be relatively infrequent—you don't want the reader to notice any repetitive word choice or awkward sentence construction—but it can have a marked effect on the reader.

The idea behind making the changes extremely subtle is to allow the reader to come up with the idea on their own. If you try to force an interpretation on the reader, the natural tendency is for them to look for evidence against the interpretation. If they come up with the idea on their own, then the natural tendency is to look for evidence that confirms it.

Back to the normal review.

>Showing it to the many cities and villages wasn’t as quick, but I held out.
This sentence feels ambiguous to me. Do you mean acceptance by the other cities and villages didn't happen as quickly or that the process of spreading her research took longer than she expected? I would recommend rewording this to make your intention clearer.

>at this point I am the dear friend of every living intelligent species I know of, over five hundred different species at this point
Twice in the same sentence seems like overkill.

That's all I have for now. I hope that can help you. As always, if you have questions or would like more clarification, feel free to ask. I look forward to seeing what else you can do and I hope you continue to write.
>> No. 129482
>Also, it seems like you are a non-native speaker

That's because I AM a non-native speaker. Italian, for the matter. And, apparently, my odd punctuation is one of the effects of that.

Aanyway, I may go back and get some things fixed. I am also checking out some edited texts.
>> No. 129491

Alright, gonna claim you.


And you've waited quite long enough. As I said, I am not familiar with that particular book of Tolkein's, but I am reasonably familiar with his other work, and I do enjoy fantasy.
>> No. 129492
A collection of sonnets about the royal sisters and their strife. Not quite a crown of sonnets, but still connected, hence the title.

tags: Sad

link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1OY78xTna99gdoY4FRWQ9VqF17IbOU_vHNj4KHA7Q4uE/edit?usp=sharing

I would greatly appreciate a review of the collection as a whole, but any remarks may prove helpful at this early stage. Input on rhythm and flow is especially important to me, as I'm not a native speaker and have a bit of trouble judging that at times.
Also, I have a lot of trouble deciding if it merits any other tags, and am open to suggestions for a better title.
>> No. 129493
Also, Mssr. Meihaus, I think I will try and cover Ponyweed first, as he has waited the longest. If you want to kill some time while I cover them, please do be a sport and claim a story yourself.
>> No. 129498

Aye, this be mine for the taking. Time can be a fickle mistress, but expect a review amongst the coming dawns.
>> No. 129504
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Heyo there. X is it? Okay then. Hi, I was in the neighborhood and just snagged your story on a bit of a nostalgic whim. Hope ya don’t mind too much, some interloper coming in an abducting your story.

Actually, I was dropping by to see some old hats and what they were up to—MINTY—as I do once in a solstice.

On that note, hey all! Ton o new names here, new reviewers... Hm... such an interesting feeling to see some of the names that have become the established regulars. Heh. I remember when each o these whippersnappers had their training wheels off. Such times.
I’m seeing a sad sight here /fic/. Traffic’s at a pretty sorry drudge eh? Tsk.

Right, anyhow, review to do eh? Let’s see if I remember how this works...

——Stream o Concioussness——REVIEW :

Oh mate. Ohhhhh mate. Where to begin? So much to talk about, we have.

Firstly, mk, you’ll want to, in the future, like, not have your story in gdocs open edit, yeah? Cuz then some simple twat with a facile excuse for humor might happen to insert the word “dicks” randomly throughout your 22k+ behemoth. Not saying /I/ did such a thing. Surely not. But some twit certainly might.

Okay, well. Your very first strip of dialogue.
>"Well, Miss Sparkle?" A stern looking mare asked impatiently
You’ve got to get your dialogue tagging down man. This is one of the fundamentals of fiction, and it takes some practice. Check out EQD’s “editors omnibus” for detailed instructions on how to—and how to NOT—do this correctly.
[EDIT] Okay, coming back to say you don’t mosh this as bad as I’d have guessed (though there are several snags you have to address). But man, opening mistake like that? How can you blame me.

>Twilight hesistated.
Did she? Did she now properly hesitate? How. Show me how. Show me how she bit her cheek in consternation, how her bottom lip stuck out ever-so noticeably, show me how her knees got weak, how the lightest tremble ran through her frame as the nerves wracked her.
What you don’t do, is Tell me she hesitated.
I’m going to carry on here for a moment mate, because this is a pretty big deal. Show vs Tell man. And in the third paragraph of your story? Nooooooope. First impressions are VITAL for a weaver of tales my friend; you could have the most epic, engrossing mind-breaking story in the history of oven-mitt Lyras, but if your first chapter comes off as limp strudel, then you are never going to get readers. And why short-change your readers like that? Why pull the cap on yourself like that?

Beware stacked descriptors. Don’t lean too heavily on them unless you want to come off as overbearing and ham-fisted, and if you must use them, do remember to use a comma betwixt em.

This is your discretion an all, of course. What isn’t. Buuuuut. I am going to say: pictures inserted mid story? I just don’t feel that.

You got a lot of ‘suddenly’s going on man. Why not take a second look and see if you can’t call any o those superfluous.

>With no time to waste, she spread her wings and wrapped the panicked unicorn in her golden magic, using the magic in her alicorn body to safely absorb the destructive bolts from the filly’s magic surge
1) That’s a lot of repetition.
>the magic in her alicorn body
That’s just awkward. Set laptop to rephrase. FIRE.

I’m seeing very little difference in a dialectic tone of your narrative, exposition, characters and dialogue. This makes for a very wooden read. I’m getting splinters over here.

Okay look, I get that you know that you intend to do certain things with this story. Primarily, to shrink a bookworm. But you are going to have to give me something a little more substantial to sell it on that what you’ve got. Here’s what I’m seeing:
>Damn, this filly’s out of control.
>She gon hurt somebody.
>Gotta do something.
>If I shrink her then after her outburst she’ll be drained of magics and calm the fuck down.

K, so I’m will you up to the ‘shrink her’ part, and how this somehow will have some cathartic effect, yeah? Peronally, if I woke up the size of a house cat after a panic attack, shit would not be sitting pretty.
You then go on later to have C explain that “making her big again would make more magic surges happen.” Okay… how? Why?
Write her as you will, but Celestia must properly into logic.

Magenta? Eh… I’m all for extrapolating through a great vocabulary, but keep it within limits, and make sure your words means exactly what you want them to. Magenta in describing the color of Twilight’s magic? Ehhhh. It’s more reddish than light purple in most hues given the name. Oh! I know. Let’s go with ‘purple’ or ‘violet’ instead.

>being turn giant

Weird. There is a weird thing happening. Like… baby Twi: cute. Tiny things: cute. And yet… your depiction of a tiny, baby Twi all curled up into a fidgety little ball is just falling far short from that warm fuzzy feeling of weaponized cuteness it should damn near /naturally/ produce. How are you doing this??

>whispered to Twilight parents, // Durp possessive durp.

Really not able to mitigate the feeling that Celly straight bullied Twi’s parents into a kidnapping.

>They shook their heads, and she passed them, walking slowly
Awkward phrasing and comma diarrhea.

So you’re choosing to place Twilight’s age at 14 at the time of the show’s beginning. Interesting.

>for the Princess
Okay. Titles. When used in direct address replacing a name—capitalize. When used in reference—no capitalize.

RE: Celestia’s protection spell
ISSUE: NARM/Ineffective
IE: So this goddess, right. Get this, she shrink this magic girl down to ant size, cutting her magic down along with her physical size, yeah? Then, then, she’s worried about girl’s vulnerability, so she casts a protections thingy on the purple ant to make her as durable as a purple mouse.

>her little pony/my little pony
You’re using these quite a lot man.

>Majesty?” Both royal guards asked

You’ve got a lot of interjections that don’t… actually DO anything. What I mean is, they’re there, but they don’t serve any purpose in plot advancement, character insight… jack all. One prime example is when Celly’s talking to her guards about Twi, and then lapses into thought about how well trained they are. If you thought twice about this, and went back and streamlined, it’d really trim things up a lot. Length should not be a goal or concern for a story, neh? You have other priorities.

>Griffo-Draconic War
You forget an ’n’ or is this intentional for some reason?

Mm… you may want to reconsider the old english attempt in the flashback. It’s just if you don’t know what you’re doing, and exceptionally well, it can become pretty… cringy.


>Tis not-”
Durp. That there is to be an em dash, not a hyphen.

>Your Highness?” The Captain
This shit is happing on the increasing regular. No bueno.

>mysterious force what called us
U wot m8.

>dragon head
Stay consistent with your choices of capitalization.

>in front of mighty beast.

>“Are you insane Tia?”
Don’t forget your commas before direct address in dialogue.

Mm. Writings getting increasingly sloppy as we progress mate.

>while her sister had broken bones throughout her body
>jumped in excitement
I’m sensing some manner of incongruity here…

Alright. It’s getting late, and I got through around 10k of your gdoc. I can say, in the beginning, with the long-winded rendition of opening scenes, I was getting pretty bored. It wasn’t until you started getting original with the flashbacks and the tale you wove of Celly and Luna (bearing different names no less—nice touch, that) going through all kinds of serious hell to attain the Elements, and how their using them transformed them into their current incarnations that I felt like this was going somewhere I had a mind to follow.

Your writing style is going to take some practice, and I can really see how it seems to improve as you begin to hit your stride. You open in wooden representation of scenes not your own, with just slight twists of dialogue and action already in stone. But then, when you get the chance to develop things and personages in your own direction, you start to bring things to life a bit more. I want you to go back to the beginning scenes and see if you can shine a bit of yourself into it. Oh, and tone down the overall stuttering; it gets annoying with how much its used.

Mmmm… yeah, that’s about cut. I’m sorry I don’t have more time to finish the story and give you more comprehensive feedback, but yeah. Kinda slammed, if you can believe it. I’d suggest you get yourself a few more reviews before submitting to pony valhalla.

Anyhow, cheers, and keep writing.
>> No. 129505
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Hey, what d'you know? He's alive. And with an OC shot to boot. Odd seeing old regulars show up again after nearly a year of absence. 'Fraid I never did finish up that story you wanted to see completed about a year or two back, which means by my own standards I shouldn't even be saying hello >.>
Still, wanted to say hi since you're like an old idol of mine who up and vanished one day. Odd how everyone who was regular here when I showed up has done that. Heck, I'm not even regular anymore. Good luck with... whatever it is you do these days. Cheers, mate.
>> No. 129508
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Title: Equestria Girls: Night Shift
Tags: Slice of Life
Synopsis: Something is bothering Sunset Shimmer. Lately, after finishing cleaning up parts of the school, she's been hearing noises from the empty building, especially the theater department. Concerned, her friends decide to go investigate.

Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1WgeLaPg0eBsi3PAi611jxkAkm-L0sCJ-zelPNsnNeGc/edit?usp=drive_web
>> No. 129512

Well, I tend to be very trusting as so far no one made any mess in my goggle docs.

I have used your advices and base on them, left many comments with alternative sentences, scenes or merely few words replacement for my editor on the goggle document.

I assume it is not your style to reply on comments in goggle document, but feel free to read them and tell me do they work ( warning, they may contain some mistakes as grammar and typos are something what my editors always need to clean after me).

"RE: Celestia’s protection spell
ISSUE: NARM/Ineffective"

I am sorry, but protection spell being ineffective is a vital part of my story. If it would make Twilight safe despite her tiny size, it would ruin the conflict. Protection spell help, but it does not solve the problem, so I am afraid I cannot change this.

">her little pony/my little pony
You’re using these quite a lot man."

She use this very often in the show (with a very few appearances), are you sure it is an issue, because I assumed that in this story Celestia have more reasons then ever to use this term.

"Mm… you may want to reconsider the old english attempt in the flashback. It’s just if you don’t know what you’re doing, and exceptionally well, it can become pretty… cringy.


I disagree on this one. The use of Royal Canterlot Voice deserve to be capitalized. And the use of old English is basically the Old Equestrian.
In episode "Luna Eclipsed" it is proven canon.

">dragon head
Stay consistent with your choices of capitalization."

Base on this advice, I removed capitalization from "the dragon head"
"the goat head"
"the lion head"
But I have a question. Should I add 's here or not, for example:
"the dragon's head said"
"the goat's head added"
"the lion's head chunked"

Magenta? Eh… I’m all for extrapolating through a great vocabulary, but keep it within limits, and make sure your words means exactly what you want them to. Magenta in describing the color of Twilight’s magic? Ehhhh. It’s more reddish than light purple in most hues given the name. Oh! I know. Let’s go with ‘purple’ or ‘violet’ instead. "

Do this apply only to Twilight's magic, or also colour of her eyes?

"So you’re choosing to place Twilight’s age at 14 at the time of the show’s beginning. Interesting."
Actually Twilight is 6 years old when she attempt to hatch the egg, and Celestia have 13 years to train her, so yea, she will be 19 years old when she go to Ponyville. Unless you are assuming that she tried to hatch the egg while being 1 year old, hahaha, shrunken Twilight may be smaller then one year old filly, but she is not so young for sure.

"Really not able to mitigate the feeling that Celly straight bullied Twi’s parents into a kidnapping."

She ask for permission, how is this a kidnapping. And it is still better then in the show where Twilight's parents didn't had a word of dialogue.

Finally, you pointed out that the reason behind shrinking spell seems to not be good enough. That the goal of the spell was to calm Twilight down.

I left some comments with ideas what should fix this problem a bit, but considering that Celestia already stated that Twilight live may be in danger if she won't drain magic from the surge with shrinking spell.
Can you re-read it with comments I left on this scene and tell me do the changes ideas will work?

Also, thanks a lot for your time and efforts you put into review. Hope you can continue reviewing it once you find some time, and feel free to use goggle document, as much as it is fine with me to read your review on this side, you can always reply on comment I left do the idea help or not.
>> No. 129533
Well, here it is, in all its glory:


I personally like the story, although it may just be my bias for this kind of material, and wish to see it pursued to completion.

Hopefully, there's some valuable insight to be gained from this critical, if long overdue, review.
>> No. 129534
Here you go, Ponyweed. Hope this helps. and, as I said in the review, feel free to ask any questions you wish. I will answer them to the best of ability. If I can't, I imagine someone here will be able to answer them better than I.



And now it's your turn, Messr. Meihaus.
>> No. 129535
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Title: The Secret of Ponyville (Chapter one)
Description: Rarity recounts her life of dismay, and how she brought a horrible fate upon herself, and her friends.
Tags: Sad, Tragedy, Dark
Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/12vAabM4GnmcNtSVipBU86iYJc4ZSyZYD-iqbDWXbhKQ/edit
Synopsis: Hello. My name is Rarity, and if you’re reading this, I’m probably dead. I have betrayed my best friends. Though I can never fully make amends for my actions, I can die content that somepony learns of the terrible deeds I have done.

Was going to ask Hugbox to look at this, but his thread seems to have up and vanished (unless I'm having server issues) >.>
This is a very rough cut of the story, and so needs a lot of cleaning up. I'll be doing small edits as I find them while I wait.

Last edited at Tue, Jan 21st, 2014 15:39

>> No. 129537
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Whoo-boy. I’m not sure if this is a good idea, considering my performance near the end of my reviewing run last year—and also considering I think I’m a bit rusty at this—but feedback is feedback, and I’m going to give it a shot.
>also, new avatars

H’okay. Basically what we’ve got here is a very elaborate Halloween prank, drawn out to produce a scary story. Quaint.

So, your first scene drags a bit. There’s little to be invested in, and what is there isn’t expanded upon, and for obvious reasons. While I’d love to hear about Sunset’s unicorn entrance exams, that’s not what this story is about.

>“Aw, those weren’t that bad,” Pinkie chirped.
I can only seem to imagine Pinkie opening her mouth and bird noises coming out, which is hilarious by the way, but ultimately distracting from the story.

>Dash blew her breath upwards, puffing a few strands of her hair. “Rarity tells scarier stories than that.”
>“B-but how could an animal g-get in?” Fluttershy quivered.
Rainbow Dash makes an excellent point. Rarity is probably way more frightened of bell bottoms than I am of this section. I’ve been finding it difficult to believe that an animal in the school is scary at all, but Fluttershy being afraid of animals is just so ooc I have to say something. It’s revealed later that Fluttershy was acting here, which sort of saves this because it makes Fluttershy out to be a terrible actor, but nonetheless I dislike this line.

>Oh,” the janitor mused, “just odd to see such young kids at school this late and doing my job no less.
You made a point of not revealing who the janitor was, then pretended he’d been in the shot the whole time. I don’t know what kind of effect you were going for, but whatever it was, it fizzled.
The constant “Oh my gosh Discord might catch us” later on gets really irritating because he explicitly stated that he really doesn’t care what they’re doing.

Things finally start getting good after they enter the backstage area.I’d honestly had no idea where in the school they were at this point because it was difficult to follow in the first place. but your description of the room was enough for me to get a nice image in my head, and I sort of figured it out from there.

The entire bathroom scene with pinkie bothers me. It’s abrupt, it tries too hard to be scary, and so trips over its own feet, and furthermore, while I accept that Giggle at the Ghostie did not happen in this universe, the idea of Pinkie Pie acting scared over something so petty is going to be quite shocking and upsetting for a lot of Pinkie fans

>Breath, hot on her left shoulder, paralyzed her. Peering in that direction, she was met with only black, yet, the breath still fell on her back, followed by a sniff.
This right here, is brilliant. On its own, it describes an experience I myself might quake in. But that Pinkie Pie, the happy bubbly element of laughter, is the one getting freaked out, bothers me to no end. I can’t enjoy this scene.
>Pinkie screamed.

Sorry about that, just… Pinkie pie. Also, why the thestrals? Harry Potter J.K. Rowling certainly popularized them, but I can’t find any other instances of these creatures.

Overall, you’ve got a nice little scary prank here, but it’s weighed down but copious amounts of awkwardly jammed in prose. You also change scenes suddenly with little to no explanation as to where the ponies are headed, which breaks me out of the story as I try to figure out what’s going on. Try reading a good book where they switch points of view, and pay close attention to how it’s done.

You should work on your characters as well. A lot of these characters feel wooden, as though they exist simply to move the story along. Pinkie Pie’s shenanigans feel out of place and forced throughout most of this story. Get to know the characters a little. Play around with them, and ask your friends if it feels believable.

It’s a great idea in theory, and I honestly like it, but it’s poorly executed, and could use some fine tuning.

A lot of fine tuning.

Miight want to start over with this one.

Seriously though, it needs work. Don’t need to completely scrap it, but it could use a decent overhaul.

Good luck, and keep writing.


Last edited at Wed, Jan 22nd, 2014 23:52

>> No. 129559
I don't particularly like cherry-picking off the bottom of the queue for no reason, so I'll try to give a reason.

There's a decent chuck of comments from two different reviews on the document already, so I don't think a review would be efficient at this time.

I don't get poetry. I know there's a lot going on with it, but it's not something I understand, much less would be able to give any advice on.

So, this one is the only option for me to take. The review is already about half done, so expect the completed review to be posted within 24 hours.
>> No. 129567
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Hello Superfriends,

Well, my other pre-reader hasn't gotten back to me yet, so I figure there's no harm in letting the Training Grounds take a look at my work.

Title: Nightmare Mom
Tags: [Comedy][Normal]
Description: "It's been nearly a year since Twilight Sparkle entered the newest phase of her adulthood: princessdom. And with that change come a lot of other changes, big and small.

However, there is one thing that hasn't changed: her bedtime.

When Twilight's foreign-born mother, Twilight Velvet, comes to visit, all Tartarus breaks loose in the Sparkle household as daughter is pitted against mother in a generational grudgematch. Who will win? Will Twilight be grounded for eternity? Will the family be split apart? Will Luna ever be able to finish her young adult novel?"

Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1YYqS6mhWsOg7l5hQ_l0bEE2aeSX9nPmu1H5jgHxDc8k/edit

I'm looking mostly for pre-reading--is the story interesting? Anything that should be fixed?--but don't hesitate to point out an error if you find one.

Thanks, TG.

Last edited at Sat, Jan 25th, 2014 11:55

>> No. 129570
Asterisked for the same reason as the previous two, although I'm guessing review feedback isn't forthcoming at this point.

To the author, keep in mind that I am fallible, and while I will do my best to give you an opinion on how to improve your story, my opinion is just an opinion, so you should make sure you understand what my suggestion is and make sure you agree before changing anything. Also my reviews aim toward improving the story, and so I spend most of my time giving opinions about what aspects of the story I would recommend changing. Just so you know what to expect before reading the review.

Anyway, onto the review. Broken up into pieces to hopefully make it easier to go through.

You clearly have quite a bit of experience writing and it read through fine. I didn't notice any significant mechanical problems, so most of the review will be largely subjective. I'll start by listing points in order of how much they stood out after reading.

First off, I was kind of surprised your story didn't contain an alternative universe tag. From the current chapter and the information in the spoiler, it seems like you aren't planning on using a ton of canon details beyond that Rarity happens to have three gems as a cutie mark.

Related to this, even if the story is intended as an alternate universe, I felt like it needed more of a tie to the Rarity from the show. Beyond Rarity stating her name and mentioning some details about her cutie mark story in the introductory paragraphs and the aforementioned cutie mark, there don't seem to be any details that suggest that the involved pony is Rarity. Now since this is an alternate origin story, this is somewhat to be expected, so I wouldn't necessarily use the dreaded description "out-of-character" yet. However, some acknowledgement that the author is using a canon character for a reason rather than simply labelling an OC with a familiar name helps to quiet my mind when I read and I imagine there are quite a few readers who would prefer that a Rarity character actually seems like Rarity.

As I mentioned before, you are using a different origin story, so you can't be expected to drop the entire storyline to fix a small character suggestion. However, I have a few suggestions of ways that could help that I'll include in the next collapsible section. If you don't think that this is something you would like to consider correcting, you can skip over the next section.

Since the current narrative setting for the story is Rarity's letter, and the preamble suggests she is close to or beyond canon age at the time of writing, so we could expect some of her canon speech patterns to carry over into the narration. You do some of this during the first narrative section, but it stops fairly soon afterwards. Sprinkling some into further narration could help cement that the speaker is Rarity. You don't want to overdo it, but picking a few spots every so often that would particularly suit Rarity's dialogue patterns would help. This thread >>107514 could be especially helpful with choosing phrases and locations for emphasising those phrases.

Another way to strengthen the sense that the narrator's voice is appropriate for Rarity would be by choosing the details that the narrator points out so that they are details relevant to the character. For example, since Rarity spends most of her time as a fashionista and seamstress, having the narrator focus on details relevant to her aesthetic sensibilities would fit well with her character. You do this a little in the fox's cave, but not much anywhere else. Along the same lines, skewing the narrator's vocabulary to include words relevant to her profession would further support this development.

Finally, and this is skewing more toward changing the plotline, so it is likely the least useful method, but including some references to Rarity's canon abilities would be another way to tie into the canon character. For example, Rarity is established as having an eye for detail and a talent for work involving fine motor skills. However, in your story, her attempts to assist involve largely brute force without any suggestion that she has other talents. Even if she continues the brute force work, having some reference to her eye for detail or her fine-motor abilities, or even a suggestion that she may have latent talent in those areas would connect your character to the canon Rarity.

My next concern regards the format of the story. The spoiler paragraph seems to imply that a significant amount of the relevant action for the story will occur after Rarity dies. Unless I'm misunderstanding the spoiler paragraph as solely context for the story rather than a roadmap of future major events, since Rarity is the author of the letter, it would be rather difficult to continue the story after her demise, so you may want to reconsider the letter as the primary method of narration. It could work as a prologue, or an occasional flashback within the story, but if there is going to be significant action outside of the letter, I would recommend establishing the necessary setting in the first chapter and working the letter into that context.

You mentioned that you want a way to show Rarity's bond of friendship with Snowflurry rather than just having Rarity state it in the letter. I thought having Rarity say it in the letter worked fine with the format; since it is a memoir type of thing, it makes sense that she would say that type of thing, plus Rarity's later actions and obsession support her statement enough that I didn't have a problem with it. You could expand the scenes where Rarity and Snowflurry are together before the initial catastrophe if you are worried about it.

As a related issue, the relationship that I think could use further expansion is Rarity's relationship with her family and village. I get the sense that her town's destruction is supposed to be a breaking point, but since we haven't seen any of her relationship with her family and her only comment about her town is largely negative, it doesn't evoke any real emotion and just feels like obligatory piling on. I get that it is also supposed to serve as a kickstart to get Rarity away from her hometown moving toward the plot, but I think this can be accomplished more effectively in another way.

Along these lines, we don't get a sense of the the Rarity character before the initial catastrophe. This isn't necessarily an issue since it lets you jump right into the action part, but it blunts the impact of the catastrophe. So if this chapter is intended as background information, then as written it is probably fine, but if the goal is to get the reader deeply invested in Rarity's plight, then you may want to consider adding some additional context to Rarity at the beginning of the story. This could be combined with the previous section.

That's enough of the overall comments. Now for some more line-by-line stuff.

>I have betrayed my best friends. Though I can never fully make amends for my actions, I can die content that somepony learns of the terrible deeds I have done
The I can die content seems a little strong for the confession and kind of contradicts the I can never fully make amends part. Something like it would alleviate some of my guilt knowing might fit better than the I can die content.

>I strained my eyes to see where the lake was
As the story reads, it seems like collecting ice was something that Rarity and Snowflurry do regularly or at least isn't out of the ordinary. If this is the case, it doesn't make a lot of sense that the lake would be difficult to find even through the camouflage of snow, since they would have a lot of practice finding it. I understand that the disappearing lake may be foreshadowing that something unusual may be occurring, but if this is the case, then I would recommend making the lake disappear seem unusual. As it reads right now, it seems to me that neither the ice gathering nor the lake's disappearance seem unusual to the two characters, and one of the two probably should.

>small hill…
The ellipsis here doesn't really affect how the two lines together read and I would recommend just using the full stop.

>And then I found ... a moment
On one hand, this paragraph reads a little awkwardly to me. On the other hand, it is attempting to describe a sensation that humans specifically never encounter, so that awkwardness may be entirely necessary. I guess this may be a possible candidate for looking at a rewrite, perhaps. Yes, that is possibly the most non-committal sentence ever.

Should be capitalised.

>Thinner than we should have been standing on, in fact
You may want to make it clearer that this sentiment is coming from the narrator rather than the characters, since my immediate response to this was, "Why aren't they running if they know the ice looks too thin?"
>but what was more, beneath the water’s surface was a second surface of some other liquid.
Related to the above, the but what was more construction seems awkward. Something like a Even more captivating that explains why the fillies aren't running away from the overly thin ice might fix both issues here.

>Then, we heard a crack. Well, felt is more like it. By the time either of us heard it,
You switch from heard to felt back to heard here which is kind of odd. Related, since this is the major action scene for the chapter, you may want to pace your sentences to match the action of this section, which would mean removing unnecessary words and details. So instead of By the time either of us heard it, something like Before we could react that gets the point across quicker may help achieve a better effect.
Along these lines
>Snowflurry’s black streaked mane
I don't think black streaked is a relevant detail here.

>by he agonized

Come on, come on. Just get her out of there. I’ve got to save her!
I'm not sure whether internal thought is useful in this story. The story is introduced as part of a letter, and while it transitions over to traditional first person narration, there's something about the letter background that doesn't fit as well. Also, there are sections where you have what are clearly internal thoughts just narrated and it seems to work fine.
If you particularly want to distinguish this from narration, this particular example seems like it would work fine spoken aloud.

>“Somepony! ANYPONY! Please just help me!
This is formatted as internal thought, even though it should probably something she is yelling outloud. Also, internal thought usually uses just the italics and not the quotation marks.

>no use; I was good and hooked,
This is related to the comment about pacing above, but this is still the tail end of an action scene and semicolons will always seem academic. So even though the semicolon is technically correct, this probably isn't the right place for it.
I'm also not entirely certain the good and hooked fits here, but I can't articulate a reason why, so take that opinion with a grain of salt.

More line by line continued:

>“Are you alright, young one?”
I'm not a fan of coloured text in prose and this appears to be formatted for fimfic anyway, so I'm not really sure why this is coloured here.

>Staring now in disbelief, I blinked a few times and checked again to be sure I had counted right.
The Staring now in disbelief is redundant; you show disbelief well enough with the rest of the sentence.

>“Ah. And a rarity you are.”
Not formatted as fox(kitsune?)-speech

>audible, sharp gekkering sound.
I realise that gekkering is technically correct, but no one is going to know what that means. I would recommend using a more common, if less accurate, descriptor.

>No mountains. No big landmarks.
This kind of directly contradicts what happens next. I think the blizzard being thick enough that she can't see anything would get the idea across well enough.

>There was ... violently turning.
Even though Rarity is caught in an avalanche, there doesn't seem like there is any peril or desperation in this paragraph. Some of that might be intentional, as she is likely worn out from losing Snowflurry and her encounter with the fox, but I'm guessing the paragraph shouldn't feel entirely pedestrian. I think a lot of the issue may be related to the pacing of the section. To convey an action sequence with good pacing, short, quick sentences that match the pace of the events would work well. By my count, your sentences in this paragraph use an average of 23 words per sentence.

>I could… Suddenly I could feel water
It's not clear whether the melting is due to Rarity using her magic or some other coincidence. If it is due to her magic, you may want to include some description of the sensation, to contrast with the prior description from before and to clear up the ambiguity.

>I’d lost my fillyfriend
Unless you are implying that their relationship was way deeper than you've mentioned up to this point, you may want to choose a different word here.

>I came to the heart wrenching conclusion that Snowflurry was not here. If my heart were still intact then it was in pieces now.
Show this, don't tell.
I know this is a terrible thing to leave as a comment without explanation, but you're experienced enough to know what's going on.

>You promised!”[/i]
You don't have an opening quotation mark for this dialogue/thought.

>realization I
Missing comma.

>Now the bridge, I stayed suspended, and allowed the unquenchable spring of magic pour through me
I had to read this sentence several times to figure out what it was saying. I think you intend that the magic flowing through Rarity has lifted her into the air. Regardless of whether my interpretation is correct, you should probably rewrite this.

>center I
>her I stopped
Missing commas.

>saddlebag I’d fashioned for myself
When did this happen? Including the detail that she'd created a saddlebag draws attention to it, so you'd likely be better off just dropping the I'd fashioned for myself. Or just saying she levitated them along with her, if you want to avoid the issue entirely.

>Painful tools which could be used against you
I'm not certain why she would come to the conclusion. Yes, the fox said Rarity would give something up in return for Snowflurry's reanimation, but it wasn't stated what that was. The fox just promised something, but didn't deliver as she expected. Since we don't have any idea what Rarity gave up, there not any sense of betrayal or manipulation. We just see that Rarity got some amazing magic powers and a delay on her real wish by giving up some arbitrary obligation. I understand that she is emotional at this moment, but this seems like something you intend as a defining moment for the character that will shape her actions through the rest of the fic. This type of thing should have a much more solid foundation than an illogical conclusion.

If you made it clearer that the fox caused the volcanic eruption (you mention something that he'd planned, but it isn't clear whether it referred to the delay on Snowflurry's return or the entire catastrophe) and what Rarity gave up was any opportunity at vengeance or some power that would immediately lead to his downfall, then there might be justification for a sense of betrayal. It would also make for an interesting dynamic to a story. What would a character do with amazing powers that can never be directed against the one thing that they would most want to use them against? But that's a completely different aside and doesn't seem to be the angle you want to take with this story. However, as the story is written, there doesn't seem to be enough motivation for such a driving characteristic.

In retrospect, this probably belongs in the overall impressions section rather than the line-by-line section, but ending with something important works well too.

Anyway, that seems to be enough for now. Again, the story read reasonably well as written now and I don't think you'd have too much trouble getting readers as it is written, but hopefully this review gives you some things to think about and helps you with further writing.

As always if you have questions, feel free to ask. My email is in the trip, or you can post here.

I look forward to seeing your further work.

Last edited at Sat, Jan 25th, 2014 15:41

>> No. 129574
Bumping the current queue of unclaimed items.
>> No. 129585
File 139074387520.png - (1.42MB , 4001x2686 , traveler_by_binaryninj4-d3eb56t.png )
Well, many thanks for the review. It's very helpful and informative, but don't just take my word for it. Have some replies.

>no AU tag
Like you said, it's an alternate origin story, not an alternate universe. Since you read the spoiler, perhaps you picked up that I'll be including most of show canon, just not calling it canon. Rarity is the director of the Ponyville tv show, and I have to find a way to tie in the mayor but I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.

>More show-Rarity jargon
*sigh* Unicorns are always difficult for me to accurately write. Perhaps that's why I dislike them so much. No matter. Thanks for the tip. I'll put some extra effort into it.

>Rarity exhibits mostly brute force
Which doesn't succeed either. Ugh, I'll find some way to fix it, eventually. Problem is there's not a whole lot of opportunity for her to use much else. She's just learning, after all. Well, it wouldn't be a challenge if it was easy.

>The spoiler paragraph seems to imply that a significant amount of the relevant action for the story will occur after Rarity dies.
Well, actually no. The majority of the story (projected at 20k+ words) will be about Rarity's life up until the point that she realizes she's dying. There will be a short epilogue from Snowflurry's point of view after she is ressurected, but that's it. 'Rarity's demise' marks the end of the story, hence the "If you're reading this, I'm probably dead".
That said, it's not too difficult to just switch to Snowflurry and have her continue the story, carrying a letter from her fillyhood friend which she found in the snow next to her when she woke up.

>Rarity's friendship with Snowflurry is well enough established
Oh, really. Whew. I was worrying about that. Kinda hard to go back further than I've started from, what with it being the beginning of the relevant story as far as Rarity's concerned.

>expand on family and village
Ooh, not so easy. If it's gotta be done, it's gotta be done, but that's gonna be difficult. Maybe some scattered flashbacks will pick it up. I'd hate to use an info dump.

>lake shouldn't be hard to find
Good point. Small fix.

>I don't think black streaked is a relevant detail here.
Yeahhhhhhh... It's not. I was just trying to give the reader enough detail to get a decent mental image of Snowflurry, and that seemed the most logical place to slip that in. I'd hoped no one would notice.

>good and hooked
I guess that phrase just comes from a fishing background. I use it often.

Eh, what's one word that the reader has to look up. I'm educating them.
I could try to search for a better word, but nothing comes to mind. If I find something I'll swap it out.

>poor pacing
>use smaller sentences
Ah, yes, that would help wouldn't it? Thanks for that.

>melting snow
That's Rarity doing that. Thanks for the tip, I'll fix it.

Whoops, good catch.

>Show don't Tell
You're right, I should know that. Not sure how that fell through but thanks for catching it.

I actually have no idea what I was thinking about when I wrote that. I enter into a different frame of mind when I write, so I really couldn't tell you what the logic/madness behind that line is. If it doesn't come to me, I'll fix it.

Wrote myself into a corner on that one. So easy to do when ponies are carrying items. Pinkie's usually a lifesaver for that.

This is where filly logic merges with the narration. She's a filly, first of all, and emotionally distraught, not to mention physically and mentally exhausted. This is the point she's supposed to change. The fox gave her a bonus deal as well. Separate from saving Snowflurry, he lent Rarity his power for the duration of her life, which was bought at the cost of her admirable integrity. She's no longer the same pony, and has just gained a negative character trait. That's supposed to be like, super subtle, though.

Also, while he is the cause for the volcanic eruption, that's not to be confirmed until near the end of the story, and actually has nothing to do with Rarity meeting with him. That would have happened anyway, and thank goodness she was out of the way when it did. The fox's doing, of course. Kitsunes are sometimes maliciously malevolent. Kudos for recognizing what he was, btw.

Thanks again for the review. It was way helpful. I'll patch this up a bit, then cycle back to my other story.
>> No. 129618
File 139113507195.png - (290.80KB , 900x675 , pinkie_and_brain____by_white_etihw-d58ewr3.png )
Alright, here we go. This was a bit of an odd piece to try and sift through, so I welcome dialogue on the matter, as I am almost positive there will be something I wasn't to explain properly.

>> No. 129633
[Dark] [Mature] [First-Person] [OC] [Slice of Life]

Changelings are a misunderstood monster, a gentle species who only wants to see themselves thrive, and grow as a society. A peaceful race, who would never harm even a fly. Except for Flux Chord, Manehatten's resident asshole. Halfling born of selfishness and paranoia, his decisions to make half of Manehatten hate him are starting to turn on him. This spells bad news not only for him, but a special new mare in his life.

P.S: I'd like it if you emailed me when you finish, thanks, I don't check on this board very often.
>> No. 129673

So, general rule last time I was here is that something M on fimfiction can't be linked.

But, hey, 15k words? I need to escape from my ebul plot bunnies for a while? Sure, lemme give it a shot.

If we run into content issues, expect your review by fimfiction PM, that's all.
>> No. 129674
File 139189023059.jpg - (2.17MB , 3000x3000 , 532405__safe_griffon_rainbow+falls_artist-colon-alumx_irma_natalya.jpg )
>Eustatian is back
long time no see bro.
Rules have laxed a bit, as we have a resident mod, and we were always able to moderate ourselves anyway. I don't speak for the staff but basically it's up to the discretion of the author to decide if it's offensive enough to not post it, and then it's up to the reviewer to report it or not. check and balances. they work nice.
>> No. 129675
File 139189437604.png - (127.86KB , 271x270 , l-lewd.png )
I'll await the judgement of !!Daring Do
But for now, I think, no link for you.
>> No. 129676
File 139189451185.png - (299.68KB , 1024x2187 , 138544519165.png )
>mods actually stepping in in /fic/
Oh, shit!
>> No. 129677
Title: Discord Comics

Being friendly is more boring than Discord expected, so he goes looking for some occupation, something to entertain him.

After his previous attempts result in amusing (for him) disasters (for everypony else), Discord decides to try his paw at creating comics.

Tag: [Slice of Life]

Link: Discord Comics [www.fimfiction.net]

Last edited at Sat, Feb 8th, 2014 17:21

>> No. 129686
It's the fuzz! RUN
>> No. 129687
Oh, I'm no paragon of unquestionable topics myself. (today's notebook => OC siblings, shipped)

Author's a cool dude, fic stars a changeling who has issues with his queen and this turns into sexed-up revenge-torture times. Not entirely my cup of tea, but psychologically bold and I respect that.

If we've got an adult-content line, I'm pretty sure that lies on the far side, with, say, any racy BabsBloom stuff that I may or may not write.

Anyhoo, I've quit my job, got my medication figured out, and my shrink says I need to spend more time doing things I find exciting and or fun. So, I'm glad to see y'all are still around - or y'many of y'all or whatever.

Just one quick question,
I don't recognize your name or trip, so until someone helps me out you're gonna be GayGriffoChix at least in my mind. Hope that's okay.

To fun, then. I'm going to take the Coronet

'cuz it seems nopony else has the guts to tackle poetry. I have to admit I'm reading the WikiP article on sonnet form to get started, though.
>> No. 129688
File 139191591648.png - (918.72KB , 2000x1584 , 528561__safe_solo_griffon_spoiler-colon-s04e10_rainbow+falls_irma_artist-colon-thenecrobalam.png )
fine by me.

>Nopony else has the guts
I think I'd like to make you eat that. I've been looking at it here or there but I never make claims anymore, and honestly it's a lot of verse to tackle at once.
>> No. 129695
File 139196407831.png - (107.72KB , 354x184 , 133570622588.png )
Well the link's gone so there's nothing much to judge now.

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.
>> No. 129697

This is just to say

that those verses

are fucking cool

and I feel honored

to have read them


Detailed comments are in doc. But in summary, I got confused into reading too much into the narrative and the meter threw me off frequently (or maybe we have different accents), but the concept is fantastic.

Once I had half a clue to google "crown of sonnets." D'oh.
>> No. 129703

Thank you very much for your input. Yours was some of the most thorough feedback I have ever received, not just on this project, but on any of my writing. Once I'm done with the revisions, I'll definitely credit you for your help.

I greatly appreciate your remarks on your understanding of the individual poems, as they show me that I did a reasonable job of getting the point across. However, I will say that Discord played no part in my concept of this, except as a historic event prior to those the peoms deal with, and there's good reason why "Sun Net" would not lay too much blame at her sister's hooves. I may need to add a few more hints, though, as realizing who the author really is should hopefully help to prevent the confusion you experienced. (In fact, I had been tempted to add annotations at one point, but that might have created too much of a MST3k vibe.)

You're right in saying I need to make the form of the collection more obvious. I had been uncertain about the placement before, but now I'm fairly sure I'll move one of the connecting pieces to the first spot, and probably include a reference to the crown of sonnets in the introductory text.

All your remarks on meter will be extremely helpful to me, especially the ones where you break down an entire line. I'll definitely go back and try to fix every one of those, along with some of the minor word choices you pointed out, and in the process perhaps manage to untangle the syntax a bit.

And to alleviate your confusion (and also explain why the feedback on meter is invaluable to me): No, I am not from Northern England, but in fact from Germany, and haven't gotten to ever spent even one week in an English-speaking country. As a result, my pronunciation tends to be a wild mixture of accents picked up over the years from teachers, professors, and TV.
>> No. 129723
File 139225014605.jpg - (251.31KB , 750x600 , 149994 - artist laurenmagpie crying deleteme deleteme_request_by-artist rarity.jpg )
Title: The Secret of Ponyville (Chapter one)
Description: Rarity recounts her life of dismay, and how she brought a horrible fate upon herself, and her friends.
Tags: Sad, Tragedy, Dark
Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/12vAabM4GnmcNtSVipBU86iYJc4ZSyZYD-iqbDWXbhKQ/edit
Wordcount: 6104
Synopsis: Hello. My name is Rarity, and if you’re reading this, I’m probably dead. I have betrayed my best friends. Though I can never fully make amends for my actions, it would alleviate some of my guilt knowing that somepony learns of the terrible deeds I have done.

I've finished making edits based on CartoonGeld's review, and am ready to put chapter one up on Fimfiction. A quick pass would be nice, although if somepony notices something majorly wrong with this, please do point it out.

Last edited at Wed, Feb 12th, 2014 17:53

>> No. 129726
File 139230826106.png - (370.21KB , 481x632 , granny__ah_bliss.png )

Just a pass-through? OK. I am in for that. Be gentle, this is my first time. ;-)

Should have a cursory list of changes/suggestions by Friday...
>> No. 129730
File 139240074795.png - (116.91KB , 271x314 , granny__let_me_take_a_look_see.png )

Bleeding Rain, I'd just like to thank you for your story. This looks like it could really take us in an interesting direction, and I look forward to your continuation.

Onto the review:

> ...lucky girl—but I needed a scarf and thick snow boots just to come this far.

What interests me in this section is the remoteness of the area. It sounds like they are living in another world, well removed from the normative Equestrian experience. So much so, that I wonder if you want to refer to standard apparel such as scarves and boots. The Inuit culture sounds like a decent analogue: so, what do they wear? Parkas and mukluks. Just a thought.

> ...collecting ice was more important, and I wanted to get back before I froze to death. My mane had already frozen to my withers.

The ice and cold make for a great villain, but you are approaching it as other. You forget, Rarity has lived in this environment all her life, and would be well-versed in the necessary dress requirements and procedures that prevent such events from happening. True, she *is* young, but you are not showing us that. You are still showing us a Ponyville pony with *no* survival knowledge in regards to snow and ice.

> I saw the horrifying look of fear in her eyes as she whispered a silent plea for help, and sank through the growing hole in the center of the lake.

This bit. This is the first great moment where we flip from exposition to rising action. Here is where the ride begins in earnest. And, I'm just not feeling it. Don't get me wrong: the story is just fine. But this bit. This "horrifying look of fear".

A life-long friend is being dragged into the freezing lake. There appears to be no water beneath her, which is odd for a lake, and she is "buzzing" her wings "for all they were worth". Rarity gets one moment to make eye contact, and you get one snapshot description to make this the most impactful moment in the entire story so far. "Horrifying look of fear" is not doing the work you need to do here. Think about this moment. Think about how you would feel in Rarity's boots (or mukluks). Spot the strange detail that you only see in moments of extreme tension. Reach for the deep spiritual bond between these two ponies, and then break that shit. This paragraph should slap us.

> I crept closer to the edge, trying to see down into the hole Snowflurry had fallen through, but the ice cracked and fell anytime I got close to the edge.

Again, something remembered about ice and snow survival here would really help the reader understand that there are rules to living in this environment, and that ponies who ignore the rules can die.

> I uttered a quiet promise to my friend as I stared longingly back at what I now knew to be her grave.

Except she doesn't know, she merely suspects. We do need to feel Rarity's grief here, so stretch out that unknown for us. Make the reader just as uncomfortable as Rarity is over the uncertainty of Snowflurry's fate.

> As I remembered the horrifying scene from before, I began to cry into the wind. Snowflurry was gone, and she wasn’t coming back.

We are still being told and not shown here. You tell us it is horrifying, but we do not feel the pain that Rarity feels. Grief has a distinct feel to it, and this description has little of that. The ache of longing, the pounding rush of blood and adrenaline that panic induces, the disorienting sounds, the dizziness; the physical effects of grief are missing here.

> I shivered against the frigid air, pulling my soaking wet scarf tighter around myself in a feeble attempt to keep warm. A nice dry, wool blanket would be absolutely wonderful right about now.

Now it makes sense for Rarity to be in danger due to the cold. A parka may be dandy for keeping out the wind, but Rarity was buried under an avalanche. Again, this would be a great time for Rarity to recall a rule regarding snow survival.

Let's talk about Burufok. I gather that he is a vital character to your story. I also gather that you are well familiar with his character. We, however, are not. This chapter should be our introduction to his character, and your primary job in this chapter is to reveal his character to us. You partly succeed, but I think more can be done to support this primary source of rising tension.

When we first meet him, he comes across as flat; politeness without purpose. We need to see some of his mischevious or violent nature underneath the politeness; we need the foreshadowing of future events to understand that whatever deal Rarity makes with him will be the Devil's deal -- it should appear to be too good to be true, or we should see the hook underneath the bait. Subtlety will score bonus points here.

In summary: this is certainly a bold attempt to rewrite the backstory of a major character. It is a difficult task you have set for yourself, but most of the foundation is there. You just need to fine-tune your story: improve Rarity's relationship with snow and ice to show how she exists in this landscape; make Rarity's anguish a little more real through descriptive and impactful language; show us the motivations behind Burufok, and show us the trap before it is sprung.

Last edited at Fri, Feb 14th, 2014 11:02

>> No. 129732
File 139243333580.png - (242.17KB , 446x726 , 132632009487.png )
>Parkas and Mukluks
I hadn't thought of that. Good idea

>Ponyville with *no* survival knowledge
It's actually not Ponyville, although I guess you were being figurative. I was hoping to play off of her being a unicorn and not adapted to the cold, having spent most of her time inside the village wall, but I guess you're right. I'll need to touch on this.

>Horrifying look of fear
Ack, still have that habit. I'll work on it.

>ponies who ignore the rules can die
Heh, I'll think of something.

>We need to feel Rarity's grief here
>this description has little of that
Grief isn't a feeling I'm familiar with, but I'll try to scrounge up something.

>avalanche. recall a rule
That would be a nice touch, yeah. Thanks.

>show more about Burufok
Aw, nuts. Did I leave that out again? I'll work on it

>Show us the trap before it is sprung
But... trap
*sigh* I understand the effect you want me to produce, and how to do it, I just thought a mystery and sudden reveal would be more appealing here.
>> No. 129795
File 139371950022.jpg - (7.09KB , 320x240 , _7h.jpg )
I'm claiming these stories for review. However, because they've been in queue for a while, I'd just like to check first that their authors are still alive and watching this thread. I've sent emails to each of you, so please either reply to that or this comment if you're still interested in receiving a review.

Anyone else whose story has been lost in the void somewhere, please make some noise.
>> No. 129822
Back again with one strike. At least I know what's wrong now

Tag: Slice of Life, One-shot

Synopsis: Something is bothering Sunset Shimmer. Lately, after finishing cleaning up parts of the school, she's been hearing noises from the empty building, especially the theater department. Concerned, her friends decide to go investigate.

Word Count: 6596

Issues: Repetitive sentence structure/ word use, comma issues, "saidisms"

Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1WgeLaPg0eBsi3PAi611jxkAkm-L0sCJ-zelPNsnNeGc/edit
>> No. 129856
File 139439067829.png - (678.01KB , 1013x557 , Claiming.png )

Since I'm not a whiny little bitch, I'll review these without taking the worthlessly lazy route of, "I'll only do this if the author asks me a second time.

Last edited at Sun, Mar 9th, 2014 11:47

>> No. 129857
But Nick, the demons were you.
>> No. 129858
File 139439708793.png - (135.16KB , 322x337 , Neat.png )
Since you had a specific concern in your posting, I'll address that first:

>I'm particularly worried about whether the format retains the readers interest, or if the premise gets old after the first few scenes.
Personally, I'd say the format is okay, but each scene needs work to be more engaging. More on that below.

I think this story is best summed up in the phrase, "Good idea, lousy execution." You've already got some comments from Corejo about grammar and general writing, so I'm not going to spend too much time saying what and where you need to improve on your grammar. Check a style guide or grammar textbook, then come back to your fic and try to proofread it.

In terms of writing style, I think you focus far too heavily on dialogue and you dilute your action. This wouldn't necessarily be a problem if your dialogue was plot relevant, but it's definitely an issue when an apparently boring conversation goes on and the characters seem to be loosely held in a stasis. Sure, they flop around a little inside their spheres, but I think you could have more focus on each of the main six doing something—that'd fit in more with your story's theme, at any rate.

Currently, Caramel goes to all six and "buys" something from four out of six (leaving Dash's and Fluttershy's scenes feeling admittedly empty). Now, I think I see what you're going for with this: Caramel is testing each of them to see if they remember things from the past. That's why he's got an overdue library book from Twilight, and he calls in a favor from Rarity, and continues to tick off Applejack (in disguise?). But almost all of these tests would be easy enough for a changeling agent to copy—Fluttershy's Stare and her being taught by Iron Will are probably public knowledge; also, his orders with Pinkie and his library book from Twilight would probably be on their business ledgers. Now, there are some pretty subtle tests he's got—promising a candy to Applebloom, a dirty joke with Spike (I still don't like it, but it works), and mentioning the favor he did to Rarity (which was public, but probably much less so than Fluttershy's public lessons with Iron Will), but that just stands to make the ones that don't work look... well, ineffective.

Similarly, I think each scene needs to build on the previous ones in order to culminate in the ending. Like, you drop hints here and there, but it's all still a very unclear, "Something here isn't right" until the very end. Rather than slowly leading your readers down a path of understanding what's happening, you basically push them over a cliff after the Applejack scene. Yeah, Pinkie's scene is a hint, but it's also... too obvious, for mare 3/6 on the list. I think you'd do better to balance out the introduction of new information and hinting of Caramel's true purpose.

Also, fix Pinkie's scene in general. She's hyper and random, not a crack fiend.

I'd recommend reworking each scene to try and flesh out the interactions a little better. Make them feel a little more organic (and part of that might come from your writing itself needing improvement).

An idea you might consider would be to cut the first scene in its entirety, and then switch the perspectives to each of the main six. That would keep Caramel's secret, but you could make it more and more prevalent throughout until the end, where Applejack straight up knows something's wrong with him (element of Honesty ahoy!). As it works now, your opening scene is... it makes more sense after having read the whole story, but for a first-time read, it's definitely confusing. I'd definitely omit the stuff about a nightmare; it's an unnecessary gear that's spinning in the first

If you do keep the scene, maybe you could pull the "Memento" angle, and have Caramel wake up, start reading his notes, and then head out the door? If played right, you could have it seem like he's got amnesia / memory issues, but in reality, he's just refreshing himself on his forgetful persona.

All in all, I didn't hate this story. It could have been better, especially from a writing standpoint. I hope you find the time to fix this up; with a little work, this piece could shine.
>> No. 129859
File 139440745515.jpg - (125.63KB , 900x900 , In The Audience.jpg )
Well, this is interesting.

From a structural standpoint, this story is something of a mess. It opens, and then the resulting actions follow each other in a cause-effect relationship, so it's not incomprehensible. It's more that things in this story happen, but they don't really seem to be headed towards a goal. It's basically, "Discord wants to start making comics and he does."

Which... is basically the concept you set out to write. But there's never really any challenge that is posed to the progression of the "plot", if I can call what you've got that. It's more of a vignette than a story with a definite beginning and an end. I'm honestly not sure what you were going for, so let me prattle on about conflict-driven stories for a moment.

If you were wanting this to be a story that follows the basic conflict resolution graph (intro, rising action, climax, falling action, resolution), you definitely missed the mark. There's the intro, but after that, you don't really define the conflict. Is it supposed to be Discord versus the creative process? Discord versus Luna? There's an almost token, non-challenging conflict of "Discord wants to make something, Luna and Celestia aren't sure, and he's already provided answers to all their questions" that's not exactly exciting. Similarly, there's no climax, since the story doesn't really build up to anything. The events of the story, as I recall them, are: Discord wants to make comics, gets approval from Celestia/Luna, Luna enters a porno, and she vows a prank war on Discord as revenge (for something he didn't necessarily even *do* to her). Without a climax, it's hard to say there's any real resolution to this story—in the end, no one really learns anything or changes for the better. Discord's already been changed enough to want to do something that is both benevolent and fun to him, so that's not necessarily something that happens in your story.

Regardless of what your aim in this story was, I'm definitely going to point out that Luna and Celestia both feel out of character. Show-Luna is a lot more severe, and regal sounding (she's old-fashioned), not someone who would say, “Sorry, but Discord is being… Aaagh!”

I'll also point out that your use of hyphens instead of em dashes is wrong, and that even if you replaced the hyphens with em dashes, they'd be wrong in a lot of cases. For example,

>“I submit all such ideas to you -”
should be
>"I submit all such ideas to you—"


>“Silly? -”

Shouldn't really have any sort of dash since (1) it's after the punctuation ("?—" shouldn't really be used) and (2) The whole sentence gets said, so it's not really being interrupted. Maybe something like,

>"Silly? The last time—"
>"more dialogue."

Next, I think the "extra chapter" should be woven into the main portion of the story. It definitely creates a source of conflict—Discord, meaning well, accidentally hurts a pony he cares about—and therefore, a source of resolution—Luna forgives him, notices that she's being too hard on someone who genuinely wants to change. I think your difficulty in weaving it into the story comes from how there's really not that much structure to the story to begin with; in order to add in that scene, you'd have to add some transitions and write resolutions of it. Which, at 5k words, this story can definitely stand to be lengthened—especially if it gives the story some depth and meaning.

Other places to possibly flesh out: Discord saving the school from burning down, Discord trying and failing at comic creation. One idea to consider omitting is the "Discord versus Luna prank war", since I really don't think it contributes to the main theme of the story.

Finally, I'll mention that your writing on its own could stand for some improvement. For example, the second sentence of your story:

>As soon as the sun touched it, a pink plastic flamingo uprooted himself, picked a yoyo from a nearby yoyo tree and started doing tricks, while a small stone pony with a long white beard and a pointed blue hat clopped his hooves.

There is a lot of action going on here, but it's crammed into one sentence. Also, your grammar is rough:
>a pink plastic flamingo uprooted himself, picked a yoyo from a nearby yoyo tree and started doing tricks

should have a comma before the "and":

>a pink plastic flamingo uprooted itself, picked a yoyo from a nearby yoyo tree, and started doing tricks

Also, do plastic flamingos have genders? Flamingoes in general don't have external genitalia.

Another thing to watch for in this sentence is to avoid indirect verbs—did the flamingo start doing tricks, or did it do tricks? The difference is subtle, but worth considering.

But anyway, broken up, your second sentence might look like this:
>When the sun touched it, a pink plastic flamingo uprooted itself, picked a yoyo from a nearby yoyo tree, and started performing tricks with it. A nearby stone pony with a long, white beard clopped his hoofs at the show.

I could go more over the general intricacies of style if you want, but in general, it just comes down to "make each of your sentences count". My recommendation for this point would be to read a few novels, then a copy of Elements of Style, and come back to this with some fresh eyes.

I hope this review was helpful in some capacity.
>> No. 129862
File 139442356495.jpg - (14.44KB , 320x240 , _3ee.jpg )
Line-by-line comments are in the document.

The humour here is all absurdism. After the first scene with Velvet, the story was constantly bordering on becoming too ridiculous. I had to keep asking myself, “Is this still working?” Right up until the end, the answer was “Yes”, because it was still funny. The ending wasn’t really funny, though; it was trying to rationalise something absurd. As soon as you go down that route, I start having to consider if any of this makes sense, and it obviously doesn’t. I’d suggest making the ending more in line with the rest of the story. Keep it funny. Keep it absurd.

You could stand to remove all the rhetorical questions from the synopsis. They don’t really add any additional information teaser-wise (i.e., they won’t affect my decision to read the story), but they do spoil a lot of the jokes. Taking what you’ve already got, you could condense it down to just:

> When Twilight’s foreign-born mother, Twilight Velvet, comes to visit, all Tartarus breaks loose in the Sparkle household as Twilight injudiciously misses her bedtime.

Aside from that, though, everything worked well. Twilight’s dialogue with Velvet is painfully plausible if you accept the premise. What can she do, really? When a parent is insistent on infantilising you, everything you do can be deigned as childish. And no one wants to get in between some mother-daughter feud, not even Dad. You might just end up regressing all the way to a nasally “BUT MUUUUUUUUUUM!” I exaggerate a little. There’s maybe a grain of truth to it, but that’s what makes it funny.

Keep writing.
>> No. 129867
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You asked some relatively basic-to-reviewing questions in your posting, but since your questions lead in nicely to what I have to say, I'll answer them:

>is the story interesting?
Yes, in my opinion. It was actually well-done. Your pacing was almost spot-on, you did a good job at making your jokes plausible (in-'verse) and avoided running them into the ground. This is one of the few comedy fics I've actually enjoyed.

>Anything that should be fixed?
I'd hardly call myself a reviewer if I couldn't find at least something for you to work on.

First and foremost, I noticed a few instances of epithets ('the mare') which could have been omitted; also, there were a few instances of passive tense. For the most part, your grammar was clean enough to let me get engrossed in the story, so I can't really say your grammar was rough; however, do note that I'm not usually the best person to ask about grammar.

I suppose one of my not-necessarily-critiques, but observations is that Twilight's mom is German. Now, I have no hatred for random German heritages (though maybe here's a critique—it comes about quite abruptly, with a German word I needed to Google), but in this story, almost everything had a purpose. The plant party was zany on its own right, but you also did the bit with Rarity getting dirty and with Twilight / Fluttershy having to stay late for it. The bedtime was an intro to the main conflict of this story. Twilight's destruction of the house and the resulting bars came up. The bit with the novels... heck, even setting the last scene at Pony Joe's gave the quick, "Oh, Hell, she's back!" line.

I feel like you kind of missed an opportunity to make some sort of joke about her mom's heritage. And no, I'm not saying to go the obvious route and say "strict == nazi". But all you really have is Rainbow Dash saying "nietsche", and that seems to be a relatively weak use of such a strange plot device.

Moving on, I'll point out the two places where you could have afforded to slow down a little. The first being Twilight's dad waking up: 1) some of that information came off as a little jumbled, including just who this character was (I don't know the fandom's names for every background pony), and 2) neither he nor Twilight really seem to react to the fact that she just destroyed a significant portion of the house. There's possibly even a joke in there, "Well, at least your mother's not—" "AND JUST WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU ARE DOING OUT OF BED?" [her entrance to the scene]

The second, of course, is the ending. You've got the framework laid down—touching moment interrupted by a brick joke. It's just executed a little too rushed, and I think it'd benefit from a little more words / actions to smooth out the pacing. This, in turn, would let Luna's abrupt reappearance hit harder, which is really what you want with the way you're ending this story.

Finally, and possibly the biggest problem I had with the story: Twilight seemed needlessly out of character. Now, you did do things with this, so I can't fault you for doing it unintentionally or ineffectively; however, having her willingly devolve into a whiny, angsty teenager is almost taking the easy route. What would have been better, I think, is keeping her in-character: serious, relatively reserved Lesson Zero was a terrible episode because it violated her characterization so badly, but all the while having her mom subtly nudge her back to who she was when she was a filly. After all, that seems to be the more organic route—no one on Earth knows how to get under our skin and press our buttons much like our parents do.

None of these flaws really kept me from enjoying this story, however. I grinned where I was supposed to grin, and I even chuckled a few times. You've got a good fic already; now, the only thing to do is make it better.

I wish you luck in that endeavor.
>> No. 129868

Thank you, thank you! You've both been super-helpful! I definitely agree with Nick's points about both Twilight's characterization and the pacing at the end. Both of those scenes were ones I was worried about.

However; Roger, are you "Cameron Thor?" If not, there are no line-by-line comments from you.
>> No. 129871
>Roger, are you "Cameron Thor?"
>> No. 129872
Bumping current unclaimed queue again.
>> No. 129874
File 139458371209.png - (129.84KB , 894x894 , shrugpony_scootaloo__face_2_by_moongazeponies-d3cvk9e.png )
I would, but I've already reviewed it.
>> No. 129875
I'll go ahead and give this a claim. I should have the review done by Saturday.

However, would it be possible to get some context on this:
>Issues: Repetitive sentence structure/ word use, comma issues, "saidisms"
Are these issues that you've tried to fix and want someone to look over whether they are better? Or are they problems that someone has mentioned and you are looking for help with? If it is the second case, are you looking for someone to explain what the problem is and help you identify the issues in your writing in the future or more of an editor to give you a list of errors for you to fix. Also, are these the only issues that you want looked at or should I make a note of other issues I run into as well.
>> No. 129876
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I'd say "same here", but I only got like two pages into it.

EQG is such trash, it's not even funny.
>> No. 129877

Thanks for the review :) I'm going to follow your advice on reading the Elements of Style, BTW :)

The following is just to explain some of my choices. If you want to drop an additional comment regarding how I could better show my intent it would be appreciated, if you feel like it, but it's perfectly fine if you don't; I'm very grateful for your review already, it has already given me quite a few ideas on how to improve this fic.

My intent with the story was for Discord to find out that just chaos isn't really what he desires, that what he craves for is interaction with other ponies, even when that interaction isn't on his own terms. The prank war, and Discord finding himself on the losing end of it, was more or less to show that he was happier taking part in the prank war, even if he thought he was losing, than not interacting with other ponies like at the start.

I lost focus, though, and couldn't show this clearly. I mean, few people even noticed that I was trying to make that point; I really need to rewrite this story. In my defense, I only realized this after I had already submitted the story for a review here (and a contest at FIMFiction).

The ending and the extra chapter are different ways of showing Discord figuring out that he can make friends on his own; I wanted Discord to notice that as he found out that losing the prank war wasn't that bad. I don't think he ever reached out to others before, Fluttershy reached for him instead, so I do see this as a change for Discord. I liked the tone of the extra chapter better, but I couldn't fit it with my (failed) attempt to show that Discord preferred the prank war to the apathy of the start; it would require Luna to play roles a bit too distinct in the same scene, which I thought would be jarring.

The point of the approval was for Discord to set up Luna to monitor the comics, using the expectations of the other ponies Discord got into his scheme—authors and test subjects alike—as well as a bit of old-fashioned cartoon trickery to achieve that. The conflict wasn't supposed to be the project actually being approved—Discord was quite sure it would be approved—but getting Luna to monitor it.

In my mind Luna, after having to deal with how Discord amused himself a few times, would not allow him to do something similar again without supervision. Knowing this, Discord only makes one set of the artifacts used to monitor the enchanted comics, while implying that for the early run the comics need to be monitored at all times; thus, when Luna asks to supervise the venture from the start, Discord makes a show of telling her that there is just one set of artifacts and pushes her into promising to monitor all the comics as part of her supervision, without telling her about the contents of the unmarked one.

Luna becomes angry when she figures this out after the fact.

(And yes, I am aware that if I ever have to explain this kind of intended central aspect of my story, my fic has some nasty issues with how I present those ideas.)

(As a side note, the comics weren't just a setup for the prank; Discord legitimately wanted to create those, and would drop the prank if he thought he couldn't do both at the same time.)

I guess I really should put a scene where Discord plans the presentation with the two authors, to more directly point some of those out and direct the reader into figuring the rest, as well as extending the dialogue between Luna and Discord after the prank to make clear that Luna noticed it (and what Luna noticed). I also need to expand on the prologue and the epilogue, or else add other extra scenes nearby, to better show the change I envision in Discord.

I don't think I will expand on Discord's rescue, though. It's outside what I want to show regarding that little pony—in their interaction I want to focus on how Discord reaches out to her, not the other way around. I also wanted Discord to need some time to notice that he even wanted to interact with her (and with Derpy), which is why he needs to make an effort to remember who that filly was (and part of the reason why he doesn't pay attention to Derpy the first time at the end).

> Another thing to watch for in this sentence is to avoid indirect verbs—did the flamingo start doing tricks, or did it do tricks? The difference is subtle, but worth considering.

I do often have an issue with this kind of construct, but in this specific case it was intentional. The observer for the flamingo was the animated stone pony, who was distracted soon after the flamingo started doing tricks, turning his attention elsewhere. The "started" there was, thus, meant to reinforce that the flamingo lost his audience soon after he started performing, that the stone pony didn't wait for the flamingo to finish before looking elsewhere.
>> No. 129879
I have tried to work on them and retool sentences so they don't come off as too repetitive, but the structure may still be there or have issues with it that I've overlooked. Thanks for the help
>> No. 129881
At the risk of being forward, I think you're one of the ones who has a review posted on this site for the issues you're asking for help with, right? If so, and you're willing to link to it, it might help your reviewer know what to look for. A summary, least—line-by-line stuff, not so much, since you presumably fixed those.
>> No. 129882
If you're referring to either Bleeding Rain's review in this thread, NickNack's review/rejection in his thread, or the one from early March, which I believe is for the same story in PR Copper's thread, I am aware of those. If there is another review that I should look for, then that would be very helpful.
>> No. 129888
I was referring to the feedback the author got from EqD. I'm pretty sure the one who handled this story is the one who posts reviews on this site, but in any case, there might be more in the reply than the short list the author mentioned.
>> No. 129890
I have worked on the issues prereader 63 (thank you very much on the help if you read this) but I want to make sure old problems have been resolved and if new problems have cropped up
Especially given EQD's new prereader rules

Last edited at Thu, Mar 13th, 2014 17:37

>> No. 129895
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Title: Waiting for Celestia

Description: After Celestia takes her flying chariot to Ponyville to have an important talk with the new Princess Twilight Sparkle, she teleports back to Canterlot... leaving her charioteers behind. Unsure what else to do in the wake of this improbable, nay, highly unusual, nay, nay, impossible event, the two pegasi have a conversation that leads them to some startling revelations.

Tags: Slice of Life, Comedy

Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1qpEwV6N7OxDu_dZjzOtB8ZfAUMFY3guLPemAbbRvQ5E/edit

Hello again, everybody. I've been working on this little fic inspired by Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead and Waiting for Godot for a good while now, and I was hoping to get some editorial assistance with it. I imagine there's plenty I need to work on as far as grammar and sentence structure, but if you're able and willing to help strengthen the metaphorical, thematic content too, that would be a big plus. I want this one to shine.

I was going to claim a story to review myself, but it doesn't look like there are any. Did I miss them?
>> No. 129917
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Color me intrigued.

And no, you haven't missed any claims, we're just at one of those moments where we shockingly don't have a glut of stories backing up. So, keep an ear to the ground and you'll get your chance soon enough.

In the meantime, let's mambo.

Last edited at Mon, Mar 17th, 2014 06:42

>> No. 129918
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Title: In Her Majesty's Absence

Tag: Slice of Life

Word Count: 10,789

Three days ago, the moon eclipsed the sun at midday before setting soon after. Three days ago, a series of explosions rocked the Castle of the Two Sisters and the surrounding village. Three days ago, Princess Luna disappeared without a trace.
Ever since then, the sun has remained fixed in the sky, and all of Equestria has already begun to wither in the resulting heat wave. Princess Celestia refuses to leave her chambers, and the only one who could reliably bring her forth, her sister, is nowhere to be found.
What will it take to bring Celestia back to reason and stability back to Equestria?


I can also set up a gdoc if any potential reviewers would prefer that. Hard-mode reviewing is more than welcome.

Thankee much

Last edited at Tue, Mar 18th, 2014 10:13

>> No. 129921
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WB -- thanks so much for your review. I agree with many of your critical points. I'm sorry I didn't see it earlier, wasn't online much in the past couple weeks.

You said feel free to ask questions, may I do so in reply to you via Google docs?

(your review, I mean.)

>Sprinkle in more entertaining jokes (as well as fixing that issue with the paragraphs not being separated, because holy crap that was horrifying to look at).

I agree about paragraphs being separated, and avoiding run-on paragraphs. Just because the style of the narrator is dry doesn't mean it has to be imparted to the reader in huge chunks; each separate paragraph should give the reader some sort of feeling & not just information.

>Have a blast and really start poking fun at either source material whenever you can, Tolkien and FiM alike. You can take wherever either premise gets ridiculous, be it something like Tolkien’s penchant for chewing up page space or Fim’s characters solving issues via inexperienced fillies, and use this medium of absolutely straight-faced narration to get across the fact that we, the audience, are going to laugh in this piece.

Yeah, that's definitely what I want to do. I guess one reason I didn't resume writing until now is because I was deathly afraid of failing at the parody part.

>However, if this is meant to be a real parody of Tolkien, in that it takes the source material and makes it entertaining by taking the source material and playing it like a fiddle until we are rolling in the aisles, then I honestly think you could do better. You have his style down to what feels a perfect T, but you don’t really do all that much to make me laugh. I can list the memorable puns and jokes you made in this tale on one hand [...] Which is a crying shame because some of them were really quite clever.

I think one way I can remedy this is, when going through the original book looking for source material, I need to focus on stuff that is easy to ponify and lends itself well to parody. Conversely, when dealing with parts of the original book that were never fleshed out as a narrative that "flows", such as the dry historical passages, I should figure out some method(s) of framing the story so that the ponies take center stage and I can play off of the audience's familiarity with the original (FiM) characters... or with pony fanon in general.

>I’d say I shouldn’t go more than a page without at the very least a couple good smiles. That way, even if what nothing you say currently makes sense, or gives me any reason to care, I’ll find something in here that keeps me reading.

Better yet, if I can figure out some way to turn the less relevant-seeming stuff, i.e. in-story world building into a vehicle for entertaining the reader, by parodying the similarities and differences between FiM and Tolkien instead of simply trying to remain faithful to style.

>Now, you say that the rest of the chapters are nothing like this one, and in that case, I’ll have to request that you decide which one makes a better first impression on the reader. This one looks gorgeously detailed, and feels very epic, but I didn’t feel very drawn in because you threw a dictionary at me from out of the gate and I can’t get a grasp on anything because I’m literally drowning in information that carries very little context as of yet.

This is a definite issue with the prologue chapters of the book. One of the reasons I'm actually happy with how the two prologue chapters turned out (so far) is because they are by far the most difficult to get through, even as a Tolkien fan, so I wasn't expecting the result to come out as good as what I came up with. I was originally going to skip over the first few chapters as discouraging to both the reader and the writer. But when I actually got through it and got some positive feedback on it from a few fans of the book I felt the prologue was, at least, worth keeping, so the question is how to pull non-fans into the story.

I am thinking of how best to remedy this, perhaps by enclosing the prologue in some sort of short, easily accessible framing device, such as the story being presented to a traveler by Starswirl the Bearded in a remote-future -- which is basically how it was done in Tolkien's first draft, where a medieval explorer runs into some Elves who fled west. (But I don't want to get prologue-iasis like the LOTR movies did.)

I also want to inject a through-line into the story that is not present in the book -- Tolkien said that the book resembles a collection of stories written in different time periods -- and that is probably the relationship between Luna and Celestia, which is expanded from Galadriel's character. It helps that Tolkien never finished writing this part of the original (he wanted to go back and write Galadriel into most of the book, but he never did.)

Mightier still than Ponyos is Ponïenna... (snip)

>I want you to look at this paragraph, shudder a moment, and then look at it again. I won’t bother telling you to either cut it in half or break it into several paragraphs, because you are copying Tolkien here, but...

Yeah, I'm actually pretty dissatisfied with that bit, and consider it first draft material. I totally agree that breaking it up into paragraphs is needed, and it gets into areas where I'm still shaky on plot and so haven't put enough effort into playing off of parody on source.

>While I don’t know if I can reasonably state that putting this near the end [of the paragraph] is ultimately wrong, or why so, what I can safely say is that it seemed to come about two-thirds of a massive paragraph too late for me. I’m reading the story, enjoying the flow from sentence to sentence, and then right on a cusp of a real emotion, with me feeling her pain and isolation, it feels like we go right back to the beginning

I totally agree, that's one of the reasons I want to revisit that section.

One of the reasons I held off on resuming writing this winter until I got some feedback is because the areas I'm shakiest on are when the characters are ill-defined (because bits of plot aren't ironed out yet), I'm too busy focusing on plot consistency / ponification to really make it flow as parody / dialogue so I hadn't started writing those sections yet.

For better or worse that means I may need someone
who's a big Tolkien fan looking over my shoulder to
figure out how best to ponify some of the unfinished parts.

You seem like a "tough but fair" reviewer of this sort of
thing, so let me know if you want me to come back to
you for criticism of the writing style / results?

(i.e. future chapters) Because I agree with where you are coming from on trying to achieve a good balance between entertainment / parody and fidelity to the style of the source.

Also, I think some of the points you raise lend themselves better to seat-of-the-pants writing (that requires less worrying over plot outline in advance).

Such as writing a few chapters in the voice of a narrator
and letting the characters write themselves in those bits.

Your point is very helpful about breaking up paragraphs and spacing them as well so it flows in easily digestible chunks. I don't think I need to copy Tolkien's style down to the run-on paragraphs -- given that the same text and information can be imparted in easily digestible phrases with the judicious use of the return key.

(I seem to have read enough Tolkien as a youth to have absorbed this bad habit of his; the above and the below paragraphs were, just moments ago, separated by a rogue semicolon.)

Getting rid of his run-on comma-separated clauses may be trickier, because either he or his editor (Christopher Tolkien) loves him some comma separated clauses. (in the style of the book) There are probably one or two spots I can play on this as parody, Monty Python style ("and they did feast on the fish, and the walruses, and the grubs...") but I don't want to overuse it as the book did.

It's really a grammatical error in the editing of the source, when you think about it; since I don't think even the Bible or other pseudo-Bronze Age works overuse commas like that. (They didn't have clauses back then.)

>I might be able to follow up via google docs if you have additional thoughts ;)
>> No. 129922
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By the way, if you want to see where Tolkien gets it
from, this was Tolkien's favorite fairy-tale as a child:

Pay special attention to the second part.

From J.R.R. Tolkien Megathread [neogaf.com] :

Part 1 [neogaf.com]

KILYDD the son of Prince Kelyddon desired a wife as a helpmate, and the wife that he chose was Goleuddydd, the daughter of Prince Anlawdd. And after their union, the people put up prayers that they might have an heir. And they had a son through the prayers of the people. From the time of her pregnancy Goleuddydd became wild, and wandered about, without habitation; but when her delivery was at hand, her reason came back to her. Then she went to a mountain where there was a swineherd, keeping a herd of swine. And through fear of the swine the queen was delivered. And the swineherd took the boy, and brought him to the palace; and he was christened, and they called him Kilhwch, because he had been found in a swine's burrow. Nevertheless the boy was of gentle lineage, and cousin unto Arthur; and they put him out to nurse.

After this the boy's mother, Goleuddydd, the daughter of Prince Anlawdd, fell sick. Then she called her husband unto her, and said to him, "Of this sickness I shall die, and thou wilt take another wife. Now wives are the gift of the Lord, but it would be wrong for thee to harm thy son. Therefore I charge thee that thou take not a wife until thou see a briar with two blossoms upon my grave." And this he promised her. Then she besought him to dress her grave every year, that nothing might grow thereon. So the queen died. Now the king sent an attendant every morning to see if anything were growing upon the grave. And at the end of the seventh year the master neglected that which he had promised to the queen.

One day the king went to hunt, and he rode to the place of burial to see the grave, and to know if it were time that he should take a wife; and the king saw the briar. And when he saw it, the king took counsel where he should find a wife. Said one of his counsellors, "I know a wife that will suit thee well, and she is the wife of King Doged." And they resolved to go to seek her; and they slew the king, and brought away his wife and one daughter that she had along with her. And they conquered the king's lands.

On a certain day, as the lady walked abroad, she came to the house of an old crone that dwelt in the town, and that had no tooth in her head...

Ok, pay special attention to Part 2 [neogaf.com] :

"I crave of thee then, that thou obtain for me Olwen, the daughter of Yspaddaden Penkawr; and this boon I likewise seek at the hands of thy warriors. I seek it from Kai, and Bedwyr, and Greidawl Galldonyd, and Gwythyr the son of Greidawl, and Greid the son of Eri, and Kynddelig Kyvarwydd, and Tathal Twyll Goleu, and Maelwys the son of Baeddan, and Crychwr the son of Nes, and Cubert the son of Daere, and Percos the son of Poch, and Lluber Beuthach, and Corvil Bervach, and Gwynn the son of Nudd, and Edeyrn the son of Nudd, and Gadwy the son of Geraint, and Prince Fflewddur Fflam, and Ruawn Pebyr the son of Dorath, and Bradwen the son of Moren Mynawc, and Moren Mynawc himself, and Dalldav the son of Kimin Côv, and the son of Alun Dyved, and the son of Saidi, and the son of Gwryon, and Uchtryd Ardywad Kad, and Kynwas Curvagyl, and Gwrhyr Gwarthegvras, and Isperyr Ewingath, and Gallcoyt Govynynat, and Duach, and Grathach, and Nerthach, the sons of Gwawrddur Kyrvach (these men came forth from the confines of hell), and Kilydd Canhastyr, and Canastyr Kanllaw, and Cors Cant-Ewin, and Esgeir Gulhwch Govynkawn, and Drustwrn Hayarn, and Glewlwyd Gavaelvawr, and Lloch Llawwynnyawc, and Aunwas Adeiniawc, and Sinnoch the son of Seithved, and Gwennwynwyn the son of Naw, and Bedyw the son of Seithved, and Gobrwy the son of Echel Vorddwyttwll, and Echel Vorddwyttwll himself, and Mael the son of Roycol, and Dadweir Dallpenn, and Garwyli the son of Gwythawc Gwyr, and Gwythawc Gwyr himself, and Gormant the son of Ricca, and Menw the son of Teirgwaedd, and Digon the son of Alar, and Selyf the son of Smoit, and Gusg the son of Atheu, and Nerth the son of Kedarn, and Drudwas the son of Tryffin, and Twrch the son of Perif, and Twrch the son of Annwas, and Iona king of France, and Sel the son of Selgi, and Teregud the son of Iaen, and Sulyen the son of Iaen, and Bradwen the son of Iaen, and Moren the son of Iaen, and Siawn the son of Iaen, and Cradawc the son of Iaen. (They were men of Caerdathal, of Arthur's kindred on his father's side.) Dirmyg the son of Kaw, and Justic the son of Kaw, and Etmic the son of Kaw, and Anghawd the son of Kaw, and Ovan the son of Kaw, and Kelin the son of Kaw, and Connyn the son of Kaw, and Mabsant the son of Kaw, and Gwyngad the son of Kaw, and Llwybyr the son of Kaw, and Coth the son of Kaw, and Meilic the son of Kaw, and Kynwas the son of Kaw, and Ardwyad the son of Kaw, and Ergyryad the son of Kaw, and Neb the son of Kaw, and Gilda the son of Kaw, and Calcas the son of Kaw, and Hueil the son of Kaw (he never yet made a request at the hand of any Lord). And Samson Vinsych, and Taliesin the chief of the bards, and Manawyddan the son of Llyr, and Llary the son of Prince Kasnar, and Ysperni the son of Fflergant king of Armorica, and Saranhon, the son of Glythwyr, and Llawr Eilerw, and Annyanniawc the son of Menw the son of Teirgwaedd, and Gwynn the son of Nwyvre, and Fflam the son of Nwyvre, and Geraint the son of Erbin, and Ermid the son of Erbin, and Dyvel the son of Erbin, and Gwynn the son of Ermid, and Kyndrwyn the son of Ermid, and Hyveidd Unllenn, and Eiddon Vawr Vrydic, and Reidwn Arwy, and Gormant the son of Ricca (Arthur's brother by his mother's side; the Penhynev of Cornwall was his father), and Llawnrodded Varvawc, and Nodawl Varyf Twrch, and Berth the son of Kado, and Rheidwn the son of Beli, and Iscovan Hael, and Iscawin the son of Panon, and Morvran the son of Tegid (no one struck him in the battle of Camlan by reason of his ugliness; all thought he was an auxiliary devil. Hair had he upon him like the hair of a stag). And Sandde Bryd Angel (no one touched him with a spear in the battle of Camlan because of his beauty; all thought he was a ministering angel). And Kynwyl Sant (the third man that escaped from the battle of Camlan, and he was the last who parted from Arthur on Hengroen his horse). And Uchtryd the son of Erim, and Eus the son of Erim, and Henwas Adeinawg the son of Erim, and Henbedestyr the son of Erim, and Sgilti Yscawndroed the son of Erim. (Unto these three men belonged these three qualities,--With Henbedestyr there was not any one who could keep pace, either on horseback or on foot; with Henwas Adeinawg, no four-footed beast could run the distance of an acre, much less could it go beyond it; and as to Sgilti Yscawndroed, when he intended to go upon a message for his Lord, he never sought to find a path, but knowing whither he was to go, if his way lay through a wood he went along the tops of the trees. During his whole life, a blade of reed grass bent not beneath his feet, much less did one ever break, so lightly did he tread.) Teithi Hên the son of Gwynhan (his dominions were swallowed up by the sea, and he himself hardly escaped, and he came to Arthur; and his knife had this peculiarity, that from the time that he came there no haft would ever remain upon it, and owing to this a sickness came over him, and he pined away during the remainder of his life, and of this he died). And Carneddyr the son of Govynyon Hên, and Gwenwynwyn the son of Nav Gyssevin, Arthur's champion, and Llysgadrudd Emys, and Gwrbothu Hên, (uncles unto Arthur were they, his mother's brothers). Kulvanawyd the son of Goryon, and Llenlleawg Wyddel from the headland of Ganion, and Dyvynwal Moel, and Dunard king of the North, Teirnon Twryf Bliant, and Tegvan Gloff, and Tegyr Talgellawg, Gwrdinal the son of Ebrei, and Morgant Hael, Gwystyl the son of Rhun the son of Nwython, and Llwyddeu the son of Nwython, and Gwydre the son of Llwyddeu (Gwenabwy the daughter of [Kaw] was his mother, Hueil his uncle stabbed him, and hatred was between Hueil and Arthur because of the wound). Drem the son of Dremidyd (when the gnat arose in the morning with the sun, he could see it from Gelli Wic in Cornwall, as far off as Pen Blathaon in North Britain.) And Eidyol the son of Ner, and Glywyddn Saer (who constructed Ehangwen, Arthur's Hall). Kynyr Keinvarvawc (when he was told he had a son born he said to his wife, 'Damsel, if thy son be mine, his heart will be always cold, and there will be no warmth in his hands; and he will have another peculiarity, if he is my son he will always be stubborn; and he will have another peculiarity, when he carries a burden, whether it be large or small, no one will be able to see it, either before him or at his back; and he will have another peculiarity, no one will be able to resist fire and water so well as he will; and he will have another peculiarity, there will never be a servant or an officer equal. to him'). Henwas, and Henwyneb (an old companion to Arthur). Gwallgoyc (another; when he came to a town, though there were three hundred houses in it, if he wanted anything, he would not let sleep come to the eyes of any one whilst he remained there). Berwyn, the son of Gerenhir, and Paris king of France, and Osla Gyllellvawr (who bore a short broad dagger. When Arthur and his hosts came before a torrent, they would seek for a narrow place where they might pass the water, and would lay the sheathed dagger across the torrent, and it would form a bridge sufficient for the armies of the three Islands of Britain, and of the three islands adjacent, with their spoil). Gwyddawg the son of Menestyr (who slew Kai, and whom Arthur slew, together with his brothers, to revenge Kai). Garanwyn the son of Kai, and Amren the son of Bedwyr, and Ely Amyr, and Rheu Rhwyd Dyrys, and Rhun Rhudwern, and Eli, and Trachmyr (Arthur's chief huntsmen). And Llwyddeu the son of Kelcoed, and Hunabwy the son of Gwryon, and Gwynn Godyvron, and Gweir Datharwenniddawg, and Gweir the son of Cadell the son of Talaryant, and Gweir Gwrhyd Ennwir, and Gweir Paladyr Hir (the uncles of Arthur, the brothers of his mother). The sons of Llwch Llawwynnyawg (from beyond the raging sea). Llenlleawg Wyddel, and Ardderchawg Prydain. Cas the son of Saidi, Gwrvan Gwallt Avwyn, and Gwyllennhin the king of France, and Gwittart the son of Oedd king of Ireland, Garselit Wyddel, Panawr Pen Bagad, and Ffleudor the son of Nav, Gwynnhyvar mayor of Cornwall and Devon (the ninth man that rallied the battle of Camlan). Keli and Kueli, and Gilla Coes Hydd (he would clear three hundred acres at one bound: the chief leaper of Ireland was he). Sol, and Gwadyn Ossol, and Gawdyn Odyeith. (Sol could stand all day upon one foot . Gwadyn Ossol, if he stood upon the top of the highest mountain in the world, it would become a level plain under his feet. Gwadyn Odyeith, the soles of his feet emitted sparks of fire when they struck upon things hard, like the heated mass when drawn out of the forge. He cleared the way for Arthur when he came to any stoppage.) Hirerwm and Hiratrwm. (The day they went on a visit three Cantrevs provided for their entertainment, and they feasted until noon and drank until night, when they went to sleep. And then they devoured the heads of the vermin through hunger, as if they had never eaten anything. When they made a visit they left neither the fat nor the lean, neither the hot nor the cold, the sour nor the sweet, the fresh nor the salt, the boiled nor the raw.) Huarwar the son of Aflawn (who asked Arthur such a boon as would satisfy him. It was the third great plague of Cornwall when he received it. None could get a smile from him but when he was satisfied.) Gware Gwallt Euryn. The two cubs of Gast Rhymi, Gwyddrud and Gwyddneu Astrus. Sugyn the son of Sugnedydd (who would suck up the sea on which were three hundred ships, so as to leave nothing but a dry strand. He was broad-chested). Rhacymwri, the attendant of Arthur (whatever barn he was shown, were there the produce of thirty ploughs within it, he would strike it with an iron flail until the rafters, the beams, and the boards were no better than the small oats in the mow upon the floor of the barn). Dygyflwng, and Anoeth Veidawg. And Hir Eiddyl, and Hir Amreu (they were two attendants of Arthur). And Gwevyl the son of Gwestad (on the day that he was sad, he would let one of his lips drop below his waist, while he turned upon the other like a cap upon his head). Uchtryd Varyf Draws (who spread his red untrimmed beard over the eight-and-forty rafters which were in Arthur's Hall). Elidyr Gyvarwydd. Yskyrdav, the Yscudydd (two attendants of Gwenhywyvar were they. Their feet were swift as their thoughts when bearing a message). Brys the son of Bryssethach (from the Hill of the Black Fernbrake in North Britain). And Grudlwyn Gorr. Bwlch, and Kyfwlch, and Sefwlch, the sons of Cleddyf Kyfwlch, the grandsons of Cleddyf Difwlch. (Their three shields were three gleaming glitterers; their three spears were three pointed piercers; their three swords were three griding gashers; Glas, Glessic, and Gleisad. Their three dogs, Call, Cuall, and Cavall. Their three horses, Hwyrdyddwd, and Drwgdyddwd, and Llwyrdyddwg. Their three wives, Och, and Garym, and Diaspad. Their three grandchildren, Lluched, and Neved, and Eissiwed. Their three daughters, Drwg, and Gwaeth, and Gwaethav Oll. Their three handmaids, Eheubryd the daughter of Kyfwlch, Gorascwrn the daughter of Nerth, Ewaedan the daughter of Kynvelyn Keudawd Pwyll the half-man). Dwnn Diessic Unbenn, Eiladyr the son of Pen Llarcau, Kynedyr Wyllt the son of Hettwn Talaryant, Sawyl Ben Uchel, Gwalchmai the son of Gwyar, Gwalhaved the son of Gwyar, Gwrhyr Gwastawd Ieithoedd (to whom all tongues were known), and Kethcrwm the Priest. Clust the son of Clustveinad (though he were buried seven cubits beneath the earth, he would hear the ant fifty miles off rise from her nest in the morning). Medyr the son of Methredydd (from Gelli Wic he could, in a twinkling, shoot the wren through the two legs upon Esgeir Oervel in Ireland). Gwiawn Llygad Cath (who could cut a haw from the eye of the gnat without hurting him). Ol the son of Olwydd (seven years before he was born his father's swine were carried off, and when he grew up a man he tracked the swine, and brought them back in seven herds). Bedwini the Bishop (who blessed Arthur's meat and drink). For the sake of the golden-chained daughters of this island. For the sake of Gwenhwyvar its chief lady, and Gwennhwyach her sister, and Rathtyeu the only daughter of Clemenhill, and Rhelemon the daughter of Kai, and Tannwen the daughter of Gweir Datharwenîddawg. Gwenn Alarch the daughter of Kynwyl Canbwch. Eurneid the daughter of Clydno Eiddin. Eneuawc the daughter of Bedwyr. Enrydreg the daughter of Tudvathar. Gwennwledyr the daughter of Gwaledyr Kyrvach. Erddudnid the daughter of Tryffin. Eurolwen the daughter of Gwdolwyn Gorr. Teleri the daughter of Peul. Indeg the daughter of Garwy Hir. Morvudd the daughter of Urien Rheged. Gwenllian Deg the majestic maiden. Creiddylad the daughter of Lludd Llaw Ereint. (She was the most splendid maiden in the three Islands of the mighty, and in the three Islands adjacent, and for her Gwythyr the son of Greidawl and Gwynn the son of Nudd fight every first of May until the day of doom.) Ellylw the daughter of Neol Kynn-Crog (she lived three ages). Essyllt Vinwen, and Essyllt Vingul." And all these did Kilhwch son of Kilydd adjure to obtain his boon.
>> No. 129923
Title: Upon Death's Door

Description: Death is a tragedy. But ultimately, when you live long enough, it becomes a statistic. So it has for the Reaper, a stallion entrusted to greet the recently deceased, and guide them to their resting place.

Tags: Sad, Dark


Password is 'password'. This is my first, VERY short fic. I had the idea, and I just wanted to get it down. I'm thinking about adding a bit of set up and also the rest of his night, with his other charges.

Last edited at Wed, Mar 19th, 2014 11:05

>> No. 129926
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Alrighty, then, let's have a look-see.
>> No. 129929

First shot, lemme know what you think. Long-meditated.
>> No. 129948
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Hello, Tetrapod. I’ve read through your story a few times and prepared a series of items you can work on to improve it. Keep in mind that these are more subjective than not, so take this as you will. If you have any questions, ask away.

The first thing to talk about is show vs. tell. This story is a great deal of telling without very much showing. You tell us about Reaper’s thoughts, his experiences, his opinions, etc. This is interesting stuff, but when the reader is just given information without seeing it, then there’s less of a personal connection. I realize that this story is more of an introduction, so it’s a little light on action, but you might want to consider expressing more of the information through body language, actions, or other methods where the reader has to actively participate in order to figure things out. I personally didn’t have much of a problem with this, but know that some people will.

Next, I want to mention a couple of things that pulled me out of the story. The section where you have the countdown was extremely jarring, because it made me very much aware of your writing. This is the opposite of what you want, because if a reader becomes aware of the writing, then they aren’t immersed in the story. It would be to this story’s benefit to change the way you express the passing of ten seconds. Perhaps the Reaper counts out loud, or perhaps you could just leave the numbers out and let the reader realize that the seconds are passing without a visual reminder. If you decide to leave the numbers in, make certain to spell them out, rather than using digits.

The other thing that kind of threw me was the dead mare’s accent (I’m going to go ahead and NOT make the assumption that this is Granny Smith, just in case it isn’t). The problem isn’t so much that you write the accent into her dialogue, but instead that it’s a bit inconsistent. For example, you write “I” as “Ah”, but not “my” as “mah”. Now, that’s not to say that every single word should be changed in order to reflect even the slightest alteration due to an accent, but similar words should be altered similarly, if at all. You have a few options to fix this. The first, if the dead mare is indeed Granny Smith, is to remove the accent all together. You could give the mourning ponies some dialogue so that the reader can tell for sure who’s dead, and then write Granny’s dialogue normally. The reader will then read it in her “voice”, which would include the accent. Otherwise, you could go through her dialogue and make it more consistent.

My final criticisms are fairly minor. It was difficult at first to determine what you were talking about with “a reflection of the obscured mare”. After a few seconds of thought, I figured out that it was the dead mare’s ghost, but it took a while. I suggest rewriting your description of that so that it’s more obvious that he’s talking to a ghost, and not just a random pony who can see him. Then, there’s the length of this piece. You said you’re considering adding more, which I think is a good idea. The story’s only 752 words, so if you don’t add any more content, you won’t be able to publish it on FIMFiction, which requires a minimum of one thousand words. That would be a shame, because you have an interesting story here.

I’m glad that you went through and did a thorough job of proofreading it smoothing out the grammatical wrinkles. It showed that you really care about making this into a worthwhile story, which I can appreciate. Your characterization of the Reaper as someone who’s basically been desensitized to death was well done. This felt a bit like the Death character from Terry Pratchett’s “Discworld” series, but more self-aware and less… goofy.

I hope that these comments helped you find a direction to take the piece with your editing. You’re onto something nice, here, so keep up the good work.


Last edited at Fri, Mar 21st, 2014 00:19

>> No. 129953
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>You seem like a "tough but fair" reviewer of this sort of thing, so let me know if you want me to come back to you for criticism of the writing style/results?

If you want my opinion on how the piece is progressing, I'd be more than happy to lend an eye if I can. I may not be the best person to give you an in-depth analysis on Tolkien's style (as, in all honestly, I think your knowledge on that far, far surpasses my own), but I wouldn’t mind reading through it again at some later date.

>You said feel free to ask questions, may I do so in reply to you via Google docs? (your review, I mean.)

Do you mean a separate doc, your story doc, or something else altogether?

Well, in any case, while I wouldn't mind doing some discussion via Doc if that is your preference, I would encourage you to post questions here when possible.

As I said, I am by no means an expert or genius (despite what I tell myself in the mirror as I sensuously belly-dance in the buff to the soothing croon that is Rebecca Black’s “Friday”). Asking your questions here means that if I say something unhelpful or, god forbid, intentionally hurtful, then someone should hopefully call me out on that ASAP.

Plus, if I honestly just have no clue about something, you’ve a much broader pool of help to choose from and people won’t have to try and locate some lost doc to find out how much you’ve already had discussed with you. They can pick up wherever I’ve left off and hopefully expand on that better than I myself could have.

Remember: the wise always leave themselves with options.



I’ve finished reading your piece, Bronetheus, and I’ll start chipping out the review proper when I have some spare time.

However, to make a short story shorter: I rather enjoyed this tale. Not, perhaps, my absolute favorite story ever, but it was a nice piece and it was written fairly well by what I can see.
>> No. 129956
Thank you so much for the attention you gave my story. I can certainly see where you are coming from in all of these points, and I will certainly attend to them. I was trying for the implication that he was just so jaded that he didn't see much beyond what was written, but implications are sometimes hard to pick out in a short, written piece. I really appreciate the compliments, especially for my first story. I will try to fix and ship this sometime soon.

Last edited at Fri, Mar 21st, 2014 11:43

>> No. 129969
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I claim your story. Review coming soon.
>> No. 129970
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All right, I'm back.

Your grammar is decent, and I'm not a proofreader. As such, I'll only talk about your grammar/style briefly. You have a strong grasp of English syntax (good for you!), but your sentence style is sometimes over-packed. Take this sentence I pulled from your story as an example:

>It was a cold, windy November night, especially 30,000 feet up, and aboard the Enduring Majesty, >the situation was terse.

There is too much loose info in this sentence. Notice the lack of connection between the weather, altitude, and the feeling in the room. The sentence would be more effective if it read something like, "The coldness of the wind whipping outside the Enduring Majesty was rivaled by the coldness in Prince Charles's room."

The second sentence connects the weather to the situation, thereby pulling the reader into the story. That being said, opening with a weather report has gone out of style, so you may want to rethink your opening hook.

//stylistic/grammar stuff ends here.

Your exposition must be improved. As the story is now, you clinically describe the war (i.e. it's boring). Inject character development into your exposition to liven things up. Maybe have Prince Whats-his-name reflecting on a picture of his dead dad, or looking at a map of the territories lost to the rebels. Just make the reader feel something.

Speaking of exposition, that seems to be the bodyguard's only purpose right now. I really do hope you expand his role. He could have a really neat relationship with Prince Charles.

Settings need fleshed out. You should leave some to the readers' imagination, but, as the story stands, I honestly have no idea what the airship or where they met Gilda looks like.

The escape from the ship had no sense of urgency. Maybe have the ship blow up behind them or something. If somepony (or someone) important to the plot was on the ship, have the invaders attack Prince Charles and Bodyguard as they're taking off, making their escape just in the nick of time. Also, make the flight exciting too. This is an enemy invasion of an airship we're talking about. Make it, um... action-y, dammit!

Overall, well-written but lacking substance. 6/10.

Good job, and keep writing! =D

Darth Deathstroke McLightingpants

Post-Script, read at your own risk:

Closing notes:

Why did the bodyguard ask the Prince to lock the door in a hushed voice? Did he maybe think they were being watched? If they were being watched, did the observers orchestrate the bombing? So many questions!

Paragraph 3: What does "directly loyal" mean?


A semi-avian roar, huh? TIL: Birds can roar.
>> No. 129971
So, is there anything else I need to clear up?
>> No. 129972
Tags: Comedy, Slice of Life.

Description: Lyrica Lilac is hitting hard times. She just lost a Grand Galloping Gala show to Octavia, her marefriend Vinyl Scratch dumped her (for Octavia) and she is largely considered an old-fashioned falling star, one who never even made it past C-list semi-celebrity. And Lyrica has one pony she can blame: Octavia Melody. To get back at her, Lyrica decides to start her very own band, The Gemstone Quartet, made up of herself, two failing musicians, and one crazy Wonderbolt cadet. When they prove to be a non-starter, Lyrica decides to rocket their band to stardom in one simple way: battling and defeating every other band that rivals them.

Link: http://www.fimfiction.net/story/158376/the-gemstone-quartet

Notes: None of the characters in this story are OCs, they're background ponies, though some of them are little-known.
>> No. 129973
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Excellent! I am looking forward to it. In the meantime...

I shall review this.

Last edited at Sun, Mar 23rd, 2014 10:34

>> No. 129976
No, you're fine. There's more that I wanted to say than I expected when I made the estimate, so I'm still working through it. Right now, it's at 3k words and I still have the line-by-line to run through. I'll hopefully be able to get it done in the next couple days, although my schedule looks fairly crowded, so I don't want to make any guarantees. I apologise for the delay, but I'm still making progress and I'm hoping I will be able to get it done soon.

Edit: Bulk of the review is done. I just need to finish some comments over the line-by-line and make sure everything is coherent. I will post the review sometime tonight.

Last edited at Sat, Mar 29th, 2014 17:45

>> No. 129979
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Grah, I'm kind of torn about how to review this one.

On the one hand, I did rather enjoy it. On the other, this story often dove headlong into what I think is telly language that I nonetheless didn't really mind looking at most of the time.

So please feel free to ask any questions. Maybe some dialogue on this will help me clear my head.
>> No. 129980
No problem
>> No. 129983
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I'm really glad you enjoyed it! I've gone through and tried to smooth out the kinks you mentioned, and I also added some bits here and there. The hug is more fleshed out:

A few long seconds ticked by, with the music transitioning into a slow, somber piece consisting of the softest sounds the assorted animals could make. Then Gilded Plate strode forward boldly. He knew full well that he was about to throw away decades of discipline and reputation, but it had to be done. She was his friend and his comrade, and he had to be there for her, as she had so often been there for him, like today. Only a few hours ago he had wrestled with the same doubt, which was now written all over Stern Rose’s face in a terse language only the two of them could understand.

Gilded Plate wrapped his neck around Rose's in a hug and draped his wings across her back. She flinched momentarily, but then returned the simultaneous neck-and-wing hug with gusto.

As the royal guards stood there embracing each other, showing more emotion than it was commonly believed royal guards could show, the actors and audience alike stared. The colt with the wooden sword dropped it.

and the ending is a little longer:

Stern Rose stared at him as the seconds were counted down until the play was on again. She nodded, slowly and reluctantly. But she nodded.

“Okay, you’ve convinced me,” she said, “but you’re definitely buying the drinks after this shift is over. We have a lot to talk about.”

“I always buy the drinks,” Gilded Plate said.

“I know, and I appreciate serving alongside such a true gentlepony,” Stern Rose replied.


The charioteers smiled at each other so broadly, by their standards, that the expressions would register as smiles to anyone, not only other royal guards. Then they turned to face the audience as the curtains rose.

They're meant to be moments of comfort from one friend to another, but I wanted to leave it ambiguous enough that it can also be romantic to those who are inclined toward shipping. Do you think those two parts are better like that? Or at least that I'm on the right track?

Thank you greatly for your time and thoughts. They've definitely helped a lot already.
>> No. 129994
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Good morrow, gentleponies. Let us begin.

The central problem I'm looking at here is that there's no point to this story, or very little point. It's well-written, and most of the characters are charming, but in the end, it's little more than another person's headcanon about the days following the whole Nightmare Moon thing. It's also clearly written with fans of the show too firmly in mind—the first chapter tries to get them guessing about when in the timeline this is actually taking place, and the end of the second only makes sense if you've seen the pilot episode, which the characters have not. While it's not a bad thing for Greenwing not to know completely what happened, him jumping from seeing a pony's face on the moon to concluding he would never see Luna raise the moon again needs more explanation, more support.

I'm not saying you need to end the story with a Dear Princess Celestia style moral lesson, but I think the conclusion needs to be bulked up significantly. Did Greenwing grow or change from this experience? It feels like he should have. Then show us more of how. Tie it in more with previous events. He could reflect on his old lunar armor, he could have a discussion with Trip, he could have a debriefing with Gabriela, or he could simply have another memory about his father and/or Luna. Personally, I probably like the debriefing idea the most, but as long as you take a good, long look at what you want the reader to think or experience as a result of reading your fic, and then show them that without making it too obvious or cringe-inducing, you could have a really good ending on your hands.

But working more on the ending isn't going to help that much if people don't make it past the first chapter. To that end, I think the biggest weakness of the beginning is that there are too many characters.

For example, you don't need two commander-type characters. While it makes sense from a setting perspective, they serve the same narrative purpose, so they could easily be combined. Since Gabriela is definitely the more interesting of the two, I say fold Vigil's role into hers.

The scene with Greenwing, Trip, and Altone could also use some trimming. As it is, Altone's purpose in the story is extremely limited. I believe it would make the section stronger if you gave the message-delivering duty to Trip, or had Gabriela deliver the command personally. Trip also already covers the comic relief angle very well by himself, but if you're set on including physical comedy, he can easily do that too.

Finally, I'm not sure there need to be two scholars. If they have Greenwing or Gabriela to sound off of, one would be sufficient to present the perspective of the “diplomatic” ponies trying to get to Celestia. The rest can just be in the background, if there at all. The two of them are the weakest links in the character lineup too, so having only one might give you more focus to make them more interesting.

I know changing this would require significant rewriting, since it's cutting the number of names in half, but in a short story, cutting the number of names the reader has to remember is a good thing. If you can imagine the arguments in the first chapter taking place solely among Gabriela, one of the scholars, and maybe Greenwing or Trip, that would make your story flow significantly better.

Grammatically, you use phrases like “the alicorn”, “the mare”, and “the pegasus” too often. Believe me, I know how tedious it is to write someone's name, plus “he” and “she”, over and over again in dialogue, but unless their particular species or status is important to the action, it really is the best way. By that I mean, you should try to use those terms when they're about to do something related to it, i.e. if Celestia is about to cast a spell, or if a pegasus guard is about to fly. It can be a useful reminder to readers, especially for OCs. Other than that situation, cut down on those phrases.

I can do a line-by-line in a gdoc if you'd like, and highlight some specific instances of tell-y language and awkward phrasing, but I didn't feel like those were huge problems. Certainly rare enough that it wasn't distracting to me.

So, to sum up:
-Give the story a clear purpose by lengthening the ending.
-Take a long, murderous look at your characters, kill the ones you don't need, and then graft their pieces onto the ones left like some sick linguistic science experiment.
-Don't use phrases like “the stallion” or “the alicorn” unless you absolutely have to in order to keep the reader from getting lost. “He” and “she” may be boring, but they don't distract as much as the reader going “Yes, I already know Celestia is a female alicorn, thank you,” several times over the course of such a short story.

Good work though! I was entertained. I hope my review helps you make it even more entertaining and inspires enough change to get featured by the groups you're aiming for.

Good evening to you.
>> No. 130015
File 139594696055.jpg - (8.08KB , 259x194 , images (2).jpg )

Hmm. That first half is a bit iffy for me. It might be a step in the right direction, but it still seems like the moment's not given any real weight.

How about you try making a slight alteration to the scene with them and Celestia? Instead of having her leave at the end and then the guards being drowned in ponies trying to work them over to elbow them in the play, maybe you have her leave about halfway through the scene and draw the scene out about another page or so longer? You have a make-up artist come and then get into a fight with the props guy, and then they both leave in a huff when the director shows up about five minutes later and yells at them for something. The director tries to talk with them a few minutes before someone in scenery grabs him away for yet another crisis as the playwrights and actors are almost at one another’s throats.

Remember, this is all in absolute chaos right now. You can show us that by having ponies pulling these two in about eighteen different directions. This also gives you time to let these two talk about what’s happening, like Rose’s newfound doubts and what the blazes Plate was thinking by hugging her. Dialogue in inherently more interesting to your audience than narration for explaining what just happened and why.

That actually might be the problem I had with the ending: I’m missing that dynamic they had going earlier on in the story. After they get pulled off stage, they don’t really talk to one another until that last minute of Stern Rose expressing her doubts and Plate comforting her, and it all feels a little lacking. Where’s Stern Rose grumbling about how she should have never listened to Plate in the first place, and that they will just go back right now? Where’s Plate making some excuse? Where’s that strange little dose of camaraderie from before?

There could be so much more you might have put in that moment between curtains. A commanding officer could show up (They are in the palace after all, away from their assigned post, and they just broke a window to get in there. They broke an image of Celestia herself, in fact. Can’t imagine they’d be happy about that.) You could then have Plate offer to take the blame, and Rose defending him, and so on and so forth.

C’mon, go wild and really sell me on these two. I want more of them.

The change to the end of the scene is pretty decent, I suppose, though some further tweaking probably wouldn't go amiss. It adds more to their dynamic, but it doesn’t have quite the right emotional impact for me just yet. It’s closer though.

Last edited at Thu, Mar 27th, 2014 12:04

>> No. 130020
Yet another queue bump.
>> No. 130077
Apologies for the delay. However, from the size of this review, I hope you can see why it took longer than I initially estimated to complete. Also, I certainly did not write this review in one sitting, so I would encourage you to take it slowly and take breaks while you read it.

To the author, keep in mind that I am fallible, and while I will do my best to give you an opinion on how to improve your story, my opinion is just an opinion, so you should make sure you understand what my suggestion is and make sure you agree before changing anything. I encourage follow up questions to clarify anything that I say that isn't clear. Also my reviews aim toward improving the story, and so I spend most of my time giving opinions about what aspects of the story I would recommend changing and I usually only point out things I see done well as a contrast. Just so you know what to expect before reading the review.

To summarise other reviews that I've seen, aside from mechanical issues, Bleeding Rain felt that Pinkie Pie and a few others were out of character and felt wooden and that the prose was a bit awkward and disjointed, however he felt the story had potential; PR Copper felt that it lacked emotional poignancy and that it felt repetitive, but he didn't dislike the story; and NickNack disliked the premise, so he likely isn't your ideal audience, but he tried reading it and felt that the beginning was weak enough that it was not worth continuing.

I think all of the previous reviews make valid points and there is room for improvement on all of the areas mentioned above. In particular, I would agree with NickNack in that this is not particularly my type of story. While I did read through the entire thing, I only did so as a reviewer and so you may want to take my comments with the fact that I may not be the target audience for your fic. However, I have a couple of indicators that may help explain why I reacted as I did to your story.
First off, some comments about characterisation:

One of the things that I felt was detrimental about your fic is that you only really used superficial characteristics of the characters, rather than actually drawing on their personalities. For example, it was important that Sunset Shimmer knew about Equestrian creatures, that Rarity could sew, and that Discord is mischievous, but the story seem to use the characters' personalities and, in some cases, directly contradicts canon characterisations. I understand that they are Equestria Girls characters, so they don't necessarily have the same background as their pony counterparts, but I believe that they should share the same basic personalities and that ingrained personality traits shouldn't change. So I agree with Bleeding Rain in that seeing Pinkie—a pony who has repeatedly shown that she is not afraid of the unknown or other things that terrify the other mane six—rendered catatonic by a simple scare. Along the same lines, I don't think Fluttershy would be the type that would go along with scaring her friends. Keep in mind that Fluttershy is the one who was worried about a surprise party would be too shocking for Applejack and she seems to be particularly adverse toward anything scary, so going along with a prank that intentionally scares someone seems to go against her entire personality.

As for characters being superficial, I have a couple of tests for this. One is to try switching the role of different characters around and see how things change. If the story doesn't fundamentally change, then you likely aren't delving deeply into any character's personality. For example, if you replaced Pinkie with just about any other character, the story would be basically the same, since the only real part she plays is going along with the others to help, getting the appropriate fruit flavoured item (although since Fluttershy is doing this as a prank, she could reasonably be expected to sneak up on the others without any need for the fruit flavoured item), and getting scared in the bathroom. Any character that is reasonably friendly with the other characters could fit this role, so it doesn't feel like there is any depth in Pinkie's character. I would argue most of the characters fit this description, with the one exception being Fluttershy, who has to be in the monster role to match with the Equestria universe. This point strikes me as the reason for writing the story: showing the EG analogue to the Flutterbat episode. Even the "main" character Sunset Shimmer is largely superficial, as her only real roles are initiating the conflict by noticing the "creature" and her deciding that Fluttershy is actually a thestral which serves as motivation for them to continue their search (however, at that point, story-logic says that they would continue the search out anyway, and would need only the flimsiest of justifications for doing so). Both of those roles could be filled by any character with a reason to be at school one or more nights. So your characters don't seem to pass this test.

The next test is modified from RedLetterMedia's review [youtu.be] of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. The idea is to describe your characters without reference to appearance or what their role in the story is, ie if a characteristic is largely there as a plot device, it shouldn't be included. Since we are in the realm of fanfiction, we also limit the descriptions to characteristics that are portrayed in the story, so you can't cheat and use canon characterisations if they aren't portrayed in the story. Also, I exclude characteristics that are exclusively portrayed through exposition, since exposition is generally a weak way to establish character traits. Here's what I got on a quick runthrough of your story.

Rarity: Concerned about clothes, petty
Sunset: Knowledgable about obscure topics
Pinkie: Bubbly
Applejack: Comforting

and that's it. Rainbow Dash talks about being active and dashing, but none of that actually shows up in what she is doing. Fluttershy doesn't show very much personality, but that makes sense since her primary role is in the background. If you want to see more analysis about how and why I included (or did not include) various traits, let me know and we can talk through it at some point.

What this test shows is that your characters don't have a lot going for them in terms of making relatable personalities. I would argue that with the exception of Applejack, these traits necessarily show up if you are attempting to write canon-consistent characters. So I think it's pretty evident that the character development is lacking in this story. Now, this is not necessarily an huge issue because the story you are writing is much more event focused than character focused; your writing is strongest when setting the scene and it's clear the focus is on the prank, not necessarily developing characters. Also, since you are using all six characters at once, they are necessarily going to be more shallow than if you focused on just a few characters.

However, I do believe that the character development is especially weak and is likely one of the main reasons I didn't particularly enjoy the fic. I think the main reason for this is that the vast majority of character development is done through exposition, particularly having the characters say what they are feeling and thinking, rather than having them act in a way that shows their thoughts and feelings. This tends to be an ingrained habit rather than a one time issue, so I would encourage you to get some practice avoiding expositional development here, as it would help readers similar to me and possibly Nick, but I don't claim to know his preferences, accept your writing more, and also, to watch out for it in other stories.

Next point is about the opening.

So, both NickNack and I disliked the opening of the story and NickNack disliked it enough to reject the story from a review standpoint, which as a reviewer, I can say is a pretty strong statement. So let's look at what's going on in the introduction.

Sunset eats an apple and spills. Fluttershy helps clean and then there is some situation specific conversation. The others notice that Sunset has been tired lately and guess that it is because she has been cleaning up. Sunset mentions that she has been hearing something in the school and is worried about it. The girls decide to help Sunset clean and find the source of the noise. Fluttershy and Rarity give excuses for not staying to look for the noise.

It seems to me that the plot relevant bits of the introduction are the parts introducing the noises, all the ponies agreeing to investigate, and Fluttershy's and Rarity's excuses. That's all that really needs to be in the introduction from a plot standpoint; the rest is only scene setting or (arguably) unnecessary.

In terms of setting the scene, I would argue that the main scene points that are relevant to convey is that Sunset has been incorporated into the friendship group of the other mane five, (which you do a pretty good job showing by making them jump to help and the fact that the scene is set with all of them in conversation together) and that Sunset is tired from working late at night and worrying over the source of the noise (which isn't shown at all and comes across only via expositionary dialogue).

I get the sense that the second point is part of the reason for the apple at the beginning, but it really doesn't come across as that way from the way it is written, as right now, the drip from the apple seems less of a tired mistake and more of an accident because the apple is very juicy. This is because you focus on the action of taking the bite of the apple, rather than the reason for including it which is because Sunset is tired. I'm also guessing that you include the apple to preserve the symmetry of with the Bats episode, but that's less of an issue here.

I think this misguided focus might be part of why Nick and I didn't particularly like the opening. Since the focus on the apple is unusual and not a particularly strong hook, we expect the apple itself to be important to the plotline, but it isn't really, and so we lose interest in your opening. If you focused a bit more on Sunset's tiredness, that might make the opening a bit more interesting, introduce the initial conflict without needing to resort entirely to exposition, and help keep readers a bit more interested. So instead of what you have now as the introductory paragraph, something like:
> Sunset Shimmer fumbled with her apple and took a bite. As she slowly chewed, her half-lidded eyes watched a drip of juice fall from the apple. She reacted too late and felt the soft plop on her skirt. She rubbed her eyes—yes, there was a juice stain on her brand new skirt—and, sighing, reached for a napkin.
would introduce that Sunset is tired as well as setting the scene, plus it would make sense as a lead into the others noticing how tired Sunset is. I'll be the first to admit that my writing is less than stellar, but hopefully you can see that this opening is more effective in conveying the points that I mentioned.

Another way you could deal with the intro problem is by having another scene before this where you show Sunset cleaning and hearing the noise. This makes for a much more dramatic hook and would help draw in the reader better than the lunch scene, which is rather sedate and unlikely to excite the reader. It would also let you skip a lot more of the exposition in the introduction, which drags down the scene and also contributed to part of why I was unimpressed by the intro. This would upset the symmetry with the episode though, so if that is a concern, you may want to go with rewriting the opening to focus on Sunset being tired.

Last edited at Sun, Mar 30th, 2014 17:41

>> No. 130078
Finally, my last big block before getting into line-by-line is about what I see as plotholes.

First and most importantly, I really don't buy into the prank explanation. From a logical standpoint, the reasoning for the prank makes no sense. The story claims that they decided to prank them because the costume would be discovered by them searching for a creature and the janitor (Discord) suggested that they use the opportunity as a prank rather than just letting them discover the costume. However, I don't see any compelling reason why Rarity and Fluttershy would have the prank as the only option. They mention that Discord suggested it and was in on it, so why couldn't they get him to open a locked closet or something like that where the others couldn't get to it? Or why couldn't they take it to one of their homes so it wouldn't get discovered? Heck, it's a high school, why couldn't they use a locker to hide it away until the others leave and then move it somewhere safe before they even start the search? Or (since it is clear their excuses are fake) why couldn't they "help" with the search and when it comes time to search the room containing the costume stuff, volunteer to search that one on their own and report back that there was no creature inside? It's shown that the costume was completed, didn't take long to put on (Rarity and Fluttershy had only been separated from the others for a short while before Fluttershy appeared scared Pinkie), and wasn't particularly bulky (Fluttershy managed to sprint toward Applejack and avoid a net in it, so it wasn't big enough to restrict her agility), so there's not any good argument for why they would need to resort to the prank over any of the above (and I would argue, more obvious) ideas.

Also, the timing of the prank doesn't make much sense. Fluttershy and Rarity only find out about Sunset and the others searching the wing of the school at lunch and, during the same conversation, make excuses about why they can't be there, specifically to search the building. So they wouldn't have had a chance to talk to Discord and get the suggestion about pranking the others before making the excuses. This means that they both independently decided that they would need to do something (they don't know what yet, they'll still need to ask) about the costume after helping Sunset clean, but they won't need the time while Sunset is cleaning to prepare, or that they both honestly made the excuses and changed their minds later, or something to that effect. So with the lunch scene, it doesn't make sense that they would make those excuses and then would later get the idea for the prank from Discord.

Finally, as I mentioned above, the prank makes the characters act in ways that are extremely out-of-character for their canon personalities. I can't see Fluttershy going through with the prank and there is plenty of canon evidence that pranks aren't the type of thing that she would go for. As I mentioned above, Fluttershy was worried about scaring Applejack with a surprise party, which is far more innocuous than a prank intended to actually scare someone. Also, in Griffon the Brush Off, Pinkie Pie mentions that they can't prank Fluttershy because she is too sensitive, so this is more evidence that she wouldn't be involved in this type of thing. Finally, even if she was somehow convinced to go against the prank, she literally scares Pinkie into a catatonic state, and I can't see her doing that and then deciding to keep going with the prank. I understand that this is supposed to be Equestria Girls and their personalities might not be exactly the same, but it seems like this is getting too far away from the core character.

Similarly, Pinkie Pie getting scared seems out-of-character for her (as Bleeding Rain mentioned). She's depicted multiple times in the show as being able to handle darker and scarier things than the other ponies simply by laughing at them, and she's been shown to recover well from a scare (only getting hiccoughs as a result). Having her completely incapacitated after the encounter in the bathroom seems completely out of character.

Pinkie Pie's fear is especially incongruous considering how unnecessary it is. Having any other character in her place wouldn't change the story, since it doesn't rely on Pinkie in particular being scared and the only real plot point that comes out of that is the fruit flavoured connection from her lipstick. But there are multitudes of other reasons characters could smell like fruit, so using Pinkie Pie here in an out-of-character moment seems very unnecessary. If you wanted to tie in the beginning, you could have the encounter involve Sunset instead of Pinkie, and the fruit scent be the juice from the apple. It would also let Sunset get close experience with the "creature" and give her a justification for coming to the thestral conclusion without needing to have seen the entire creature. This would let you follow PR Copper's advice about not revealing as much of the creature and let you play to your strength of setting a spooky scene rather than having Pinkie redescribe the creature. If you do this, you may want to change from the juice spilling on her skirt to a jacket or scarf to minimise the overly creepy vibe.

As for the prank angle, I have a suggestion about how to change the motivation for the situation, with minimal changes to the plot. The reason I suggest this is as an example of a framework for the story that doesn't fall into any of the issues that I mentioned above. You are welcome to use this storyline verbatim, although I'm guessing it would work best for you to take some of the ideas and make your own changes to it.

Instead of Rarity and Fluttershy trying to prank the others, they are trying to finish the costume and sneak it out of the building without the others noticing. This would require a change of their excuses from having to leave after helping Sunset clean to not helping Sunset clean at all, but that doesn't fundamentally change the scene. I'll go into this in the line-by-line, but I felt the excuses part of the conversation was kind of awkward, so this would address that change. Rarity and Fluttershy wouldn't appear in the cleaning scene, but that scene isn't particularly long anyway, so that wouldn't be much of a change. The scare scene in the bathroom could continue as normal, with Pinkie Sunset getting "attacked" for what they perceive as a fruit related reason. Later, this would be justified as Fluttershy hiding in the bathroom and accidentally encountering Pinkie Sunset. This would also alleviate the issue with Fluttershy intentionally scaring someone, since you could justify Fluttershy not noticing her effect on the other character since she would be just as surprised. If you wanted, you could use an unreliable narrator and make the "creature" give off a threatening shriek that is actually Fluttershy screaming because she is scared, or something to that effect.

Finally, the reveal would go along the same lines, with Sunset, AJ, Pinkie, and RD tracking and cornering the creature. Fluttershy "attacks" (actually tries to escape) and gets caught in the net with Applejack, and Rarity and Fluttershy reveal that they were just trying to finish the costume and get it out of the building before the others found where they were working on it, and that all the encounters were accidental from Fluttershy failing to avoid the others. This would make Fluttershy's apology to Rarity about getting the costume dirty much more genuine, since she wouldn't expect to have any encounters with the others, versus the current version where a physical confrontation is probably the most likely situation. The ending would continue basically as before.

About the only thing this is missing is the rotten fruit, which you could possibly work in as part of the costume if you wanted (and maybe even use as the way the others track Fluttershy).

Again, you are welcome to use as much or as little of this idea as you want. I suggest it as a way to resolve most of the issues that I brought up above without needing to fundamentally change the events of the story.

Here's the line-by-line section.

>Fluttershy replied as Sunset wiped off the juice, leaving only a small stain. “I’m just glad it wasn’t marinara sauce
The description leaving only a small stain seems rather awkward. According to the rules for modifiers, the sentence as written is saying that the action of Sunset wiping the juice off is leaving the stain, which I don't think is necessarily what you are going for. Even ignoring obscure grammatical rules, your choice of the word stain seems to contradict Fluttershy's dialogue about marinara sauce, since the marinara sauce would leave a stain.

I also mention this since you use participle modifiers (<verb>-ing descriptions) quite often and this was one of the repetitive issues that PR Copper mentioned, so you may want to change the ones that don't work as well. I'll point these out and mostly let you decide which ones to change. I'll underline a few of them so you know what to look for.

>“Don’t even talk about that!” Rarity said, raising a hand up to her face.
Your body language description here is a good habit to get into. However, you can be even more descriptive, as raising a hand up to her face is a very neutral description, and while it gets the point across, a more pointed description might be even better.

Part of why I'm pointing this out is to emphasise this as a technique to avoid saidisms. Instead of using an alternate speaking verb to convey the emotion of the sentence, you can describe the action and use a body language description. This will also help give the characters a bit more depth.

On a less positive note, the body language description comes from a particle modifier.

>“Excuse me for worrying about stains,” Rarity pouted before turning back to Sunset.
Saidism here. You use pouted which I'm not entirely sure is a speaking verb instead of a more normal typical dialogue word. Saidisms aren't inherently bad, but they draw the reader's attention and are really only effective when used sparingly. A good heuristic is to use saidisms to emphasise particularly important pieces of dialogue where the context is important, eg. saidisms would be effective for statements in a heated argument or is a pony needs to grab the attention of a room. Saidisms in run-of-the-mill dialogue is a good thing to avoid.

Same as the participle modifiers, I'll point these out and let you change the ones that you think need changing. I'll underline a few, and let you read the labelled sentences to find the rest.

>“Aw, those weren’t that bad,” Pinkie chirped.
Saidism here. Bleeding Rain specifically mentioned this one as something to be fixed.

>Setting her fork down, Applejack leaned closer to Sunset.
Participle modifier.

>“It’s fine,” Sunset muttered, biting another chunk out of her apple.
Saidism and participle modifier. In this case, I think the saidism is ok, but the participle modifier should be changed for the sake of better sentence structure.

>She swooped her arms through the air, drawing her friends close to the table’s center. Pinkie grinned, looking over everyone with a gleam in her eyes.
Swooped seems like an odd word for the sentence. Swooped implies a big gesture, while this action seems like it should be very discreet.
Also, multiple participle modifiers here.

>Dash blew her breath upwards, puffing a few strands of her hair.
Participle modifier.

>Turning back to Sunset, Dash chuckled.
Participle modifier.

>Sunset said, clasping her chin.
Participle modifier.

>“Well…” Applejack said after a moment of giving Sunset a blank stare.
The dialogue should probably go after the action description to keep with chronological order.

>Pinkie darted around her friends, adhering party caps to all of them. Grinning, she flew back into her seat, unleashing another spray of party favors.
Participle modifiers. Three in two sentences.

>“Oh, this’ll be super fun!” she gushed.

>Sunset waved a hand back and forth in front of her face. “That’s really not necessary.
The body language here is odd. The description you choose doesn't reinforce the dialogue in that there is nothing about the gesture that implies she disagrees. I would expect something like Sunset shaking her head.

>“I… I’ll stay to help Sunset,” Fluttershy murmured

>Rarity placed a hand on her shoulder, stopping her from going below the table.
Participle modifier.

>Rarity rubbed her friend’s shoulder. “You make my excuse for not going on this chase seem silly.”
>“And that is?” Dash asked.
>“Beauty sleep.”
This exchange, particularly Rarity's dialogue, strikes me as rather awkward. I don't think that this is something a normal speaker would say, although I can't pinpoint exactly what contributes to this feeling. Perhaps replacing Rarity's initial dialogue with something like:
>"Well, I can't say my excuse is any better."

>Dash swept a broom across the floor, collecting scraps of garbage into a dustpan.
Participle modifier.

>Frowning, Dash set the broom against a table and emptied the pan into a nearby can.
Participle modifier.

>“They’re the Wondercolt?” Pinkie gasped.

>As they cleaned, the sun dipped lower and lower, tinting the cafeteria yellow.
Participle modifier.

>Slowly walking over to the them, Fluttershy grabbed the handle and pulled it open, revealing the hallway
Participle modifiers.

>Smiling, she balanced two brooms one her arms while keeping an empty bucket atop her head. Dash cracked a grin as she held the door open for the rest of the group, Sunset leading them down the hallway.
Participle modifiers.

>Winding through the empty school, the group soon came to a halt at a door interspersed between two rows of lockers. Setting her supplies down, Sunset reached out and twisted the knob, but it only jiggled slightly.
Participle modifiers.

>“Allow me,” said the key’s owner.
>“Oh,” the janitor mused, “just odd to see such young kids at school this late and doing my job no less. Although, I recall your group being a little bigger.”
>“Thanks, Mr. Discord,” said Pinkie.
I'm not sure why you expend the effort to conceal the janitor's identity, only to reveal it immediately afterward. I understand that concealing his identity can help raise some tension, but the reveal is too immediate. Instead of a natural rise and release of tension, it just feels like a letdown. Make a decision with this one. Either reveal the janitor's identity right away, or keep it hidden until well after the scene.

>“Oh,” the janitor mused,

>but they helped clean too,” Pinkie explained.

>Bouncing up, she dislodged the bucket from her hair, kicked it upwards with her knees like a hackysack, and caught the handle on her wrist. The janitor took it from her with a smile and chucked it into the closet, sending it into a collection of other buckets.
Participle modifiers.

>Reaching into his overalls, he pulled out a scratched-up pocket watch and glanced at the time.
Participle modifier.

>“Ooh,” Pinkie exclaimed

>Everyone grabbed the flashlights and stuffed the gloves into their pockets, leaving Applejack’s set along with the extra one and the nets.
Participle modifier.

>Tarps, scaffolding, and construction materials dotted the damaged area, yellow tape separating it from the rest of the entrance. A breeze gusted in from outside, rustling the tarps over the hole.
Participle modifiers.

>Sunset stared up at the shaking tarp before gesturing the others forward with a hand, back into the artificial lighting of the halls.
The modifiers in this sentence are all out of line. As written, back ... halls is referring to her hand, which doesn't make sense. Even the modifier with a hand seems out of place and far away from what it should refer to. Try deleting and rewriting this sentence.

>Goal getting closer, Sunset placed a hand on Pinkie to stop her bouncing and held a raised finger up to her mouth. Pinkie grinned and waved a hand across her face, pulling her lips close together before tiptoeing to the back of the group, raising her knees high while keeping her feet pointed directly down.
Participle modifiers. I could 5 in two sentences.

>Rounding one more corner, they came to a short hallway that ended with two large doors. Sunset crept forward and grasped one of the door handles, goosebumps rising across her arm as it met the cold metal. Giving it a small tug, she was greeted by the musty smell of old clothing mixed with makeup and paint that slipped through the small opening she’d created.
Three more participle modifiers. Also, the that slipped ... created modifier is way out of place and the sentence probably reads better with it omitted anyway.

>Waving the other girls in, Sunset fully opened the door and slipped in after everyone else. With a whine of old hinges, the door closed, leaving the group in darkness for a brief second before they clicked on their flashlights. The four beams of light cut through the stale air, highlighting the dust that floated through it.
Three more participle modifiers.

>Dim lights illuminated the two paths at the end of the room, basking a tiny portion of the theater stage in pale yellow along with a small bit of hallway leading to the changing rooms.
You nearly made it through an entire paragraph, but here's another participle modifier. Also, the along with ... rooms is out of place. If you want to say that these were lit up, I'd recommend making it a separate sentence.

>Applejack slipped off her backpack and unzipped it, pulling out one of the nets and holding it to Sunset. Snatching it from Applejack, Sunset scrunched it up, letting a few bits of it dangle out of her grasp.
Participle modifiers.
>> No. 130079
>>130077 Part 1
>>130078 Part 2

More line-by-line

>“Hold up there,” she said, pointing her light across Sunset and the rest of her friends.
Participle modifier.

>Pinkie swirled her arms through the air, occasionally stopping to point at nothing.
Participle modifier.

>Applejack shoved a palm up against Pinkie’s chin, closing her mouth. Pinkie giggled and swatted her hand through the air, dispersing her “plan.” Pulling her hand back and turning to the rest of the group, Applejack pulled out her second net.
Participle modifiers.

>Dash proclaimed, slashing her flashlight down like a sword.
Participle modifier.

>Sunset slammed her foot down, the echo vibrating through the darkness.
Participle modifier.

>“Ooh! Oooh!” Pinkie flapped one arm through the air while grabbing Dash with another.
Participle modifier.

>“Weee!” Pinkie exclaimed.

>Dragging Dash with her, she skipped off the back of the room. Her flashlight bounced along with her, casting bizarre shadows across the room that vanished as quickly as they appeared. Applejack silently put on her gloves as Pinkie and Dash’s lights disappeared down one of the paths, leaving her alone with Sunset.
Participle modifiers.

>“Well,” she said, flexing her fingers
Participle modifier.

>Taking a breath, Sunset followed after Applejack as the two entered the first row of racks.
Participle modifier.

>They occasionally brushed their hands over the various pieces of clothing, parting them to shine their light into hidden crevices.
Participle modifier.

>Pushing back a rustled grey suit, Applejack sniffled and unleashed a loud sneeze that reverberated through the air. When she pulled her head out from the rack, dust covered her face, making it look like her nose had developed moss on it.
Participle modifiers.

>Applejack snorted, dislodging a bit more dust from her nose, and turned back to her search. Eventually, the two reached the middle of the racks, a space bisecting the rows down the middle. They moved their flashlights across the upper half of the first row one more time before turning around and walking up the second row.
Participle modifiers.

>Dash stood in the back of the room, limply holding her flashlight over Pinkie as she rifled through the cabinets.
Participle modifier.

>Reaching inside, she pulled out a small tube of lipstick and rushed back over to Dash. She bounced around her in a silent jig, Dash raising an eyebrow at the spontaneous number.
Participle modifiers.

>Brandishing her newly found lipstick, she pressed it close to Dash’s face.
Participle modifier.

>Pinkie said, holding her flashlight up to her face, highlighting a grin that was a bit too wide.
Participle modifiers.

>Twirling the lipstick around her fingers, she smoothed it across her lips in one swift movement and sighed, resting an arm against a chair.
Participle modifiers.

>“Yeah…” Dash replied, eyes glancing down at the floor.
Participle modifier.

>As her fingers slid off the lock, the bathroom’s lights turned off, throwing her into darkness.
Participle modifier.

>“Awww,” she whined,

>Sliding out into the sink area, she waved her hands through the air, but the room still remained dark. With a sigh, she flicked on her flashlight, casting a yellow glow around her.
Participle modifiers.

>She grinned at her antics and then walked over a sink, humming as she turned it on.
Participle modifier.

>Grabbing the flashlight with her dripping hands, she spun around and was greeted with a stall’s door slowly closing. Letting out a strained chuckle, she turned back around,
Participle modifiers.

>She raised her flashlight, its light shaking as she slowly panned it across the room.
Participle modifier.

>Gulping, she raised a foot and took a step back.
Participle modifier.

>Eyes darting around the room, she took another quivering step back, then another and another, each faster than the last.
Participle modifier.

>She kept her flashlight on the darkened bathroom, still revealing nothing more than the stalls and the sink as she inched over to the door.
Participle modifier.

>Peering in that direction, she was met with only black, yet the breath still fell on her back, followed by a sniff. Cold sweat trickling down her face, Pinkie stared down at the door handle.
Participle modifiers.

>Raising its arms, the creature revealed massive leathery wings sticking out of its back that stretched to the floor. Glaring at Pinkie, it hissed, revealing a set of massive fangs that shimmered in the light.
Participle modifiers.

>Swinging their lights in that direction, they looked at each other before darting at full speed over to the scream’s location.
Participle modifiers.

>Rounding the corner, they found Dash looking a bit more blue than usual in Pinkie’s grasp.
Participle modifier.

>In place of puffy curls, it now pointed straight out in various directions, some of the ends jabbing into Dash.
Participle modifier.

>“G-guys” Dash coughed, noticing Applejack and Sunset.
Participle modifier.

>Applejack went over and grabbed Pinkie, pulling her back from Dash.
Participle modifier.

>Snorting, Applejack planted her feet and tugged harder.
Participle modifier.

>Pinkie wrapped her arms against her knees, pulling herself into a ball.
Participle modifier.

>“Easy, girl,” Applejack whispered, gently putting a hand on Pinkie’s shoulder.
Participle modifier. And saidism, but the saidism is fine.

>Rubbing her ribs, Dash glanced over at Pinkie and then at Sunset.
Participle modifier.

>“Vvvvvv,” said Pinkie, her hair slowly deflating back to its normal proportions.
Participle modifier.

>“It’s okay, Pinkie,” Applejack reassured her, giving her shoulder a rub.
Participle modifier. And saidism, but the saidism is fine.

More line-by-line:

>Pinkie stared at Applejack before wiping her face and doing as she’d been told. Sunset took a seat as the group waited, flicking her flashlight around. The light played across the floors and walls, casting grotesque and misshapen shadows across the room. After a few minutes of this, Pinkie’s breathing slowed, and with a gulp, she broke away from Applejack and waved her arms around, signalling for the girls to huddle together.
Participle modifiers. One in every sentence.

>Giving Pinkie a pat on the back, she said,
Participle modifier.

>Pinkie wavered and then fell into Applejack, crying into the latter’s jacket. Applejack extended her arms out and pulled Pinkie into a hug, running her hands up her back.
Participle modifiers.

>Wiping her face again, she looked over to Sunset.
Participle modifier.

>Jumping up to her feet, she flashed her light onto the costumes, catching a glimpse of the pointed end of a massive wing before it disappeared, rows of costumes moving along with the creature.
Participle modifiers.

>Slowly glancing to the others, she saw they were all in similar states,
Participle modifier.

>Their flashlights cut through pieces of the darkness, catching glimpses of fangs, wings, clawed hands, and hellish eyes.
Participle modifier.

>Reaching the bathroom, Sunset pushed the door open and slammed it as soon as Pinkie and Applejack made it in, Dash having followed right after Sunset. She braced her back against the wall and planted her feet on the door, holding it shut as her heart thumped against her chest.
Participle modifiers.

>Looking to her right, she saw Applejack petrified
Participle modifier.

>“Fruit?” Sunset repeated.

>Sliding down, Sunset slumped against the wall.
Participle modifier.

>Pushing off the ground, she walked over to the other girls, holding a hand out to Pinkie, pulling her up.
Participle modifiers.

>“My… my lipstick,” Pinkie quivered.
Quivered is not a speaking verb.

>“Well, the bad news is, the thestral is gonna now hungry and vicious,” Sunset continued.

>“It’s not a vampire,” Sunset shot back.

>A shape darted out of the shadows and ran straight for the lipstick, wings cloaking its body as it zoomed down and made to pick up the bait.
Participle modifier. And on a different note, how does Fluttershy know to focus on the fruit-flavoured lipstick? Sunset is the only one who could conceivably have knowledge about the thestrals obsession with fruit and she only did that a few minutes ago, after Fluttershy had left the room. Unless Fluttershy is particularly interested in the lipstick itself, she wouldn't have any reason to go for it and if she's just trying to scare them, she would probably run directly at them instead.

>Applejack and Dash flew out from behind the corner, nets flapping behind them. The thestral spun away from the trap, a single eye glaring back at the girls. Its wings slid down slightly, revealing a rounded shape protruding out of its mouth.
Participle modifiers.

>With a yelp, she tumbled down, net wrapping around her, pinning her to the ground.
Participle modifiers.

>Apple tumbling from its mouth, the thestral got off the floor and crept over to Applejack. A long spindly hand reached out to her, clawed fingers glimmering in the dark.
Participle modifiers.

>Behind the cape, the light reflected off of red contacts, turning them white and partially blinding their owner.
Participle modifier.

>Reaching up, she grabbed her upper teeth and yanked a set of fake fangs out out, white plastic glistening under the light. She swept her pressed-on nails through her pink hair, revealing the false ears that extended her natural ones and made them pointy.
Participle modifiers. And you've got an extra out.

>“Y-yes,” she squeaked, keeping her hands raised.
Saidism. And participle modifier.

>Everyone blinked as the light’s switched back on, revealing Rarity standing next to the switch.
Participle modifier.

>Helping her up, she dusted her off while the other girls got a better look at what she was wearing.
Participle modifier.

>Red stripes ran up its sides, highlighting her curves and ending at her shoulders. She ran a hand across her opposite arm, pushing off some of the dust.
Participle modifiers.

>“Nothing a little touchup can’t fix,” Rarity replied, brushing away some more dust.
Saidism and participle modifier.

>Turning to face her, Fluttershy bowed her head and opened her mouth,
Participle modifier.

>“We thought it’d be a good way to show off Rarity’s skills,” Fluttershy muttered.

>“That still doesn’t explain why ya’ve been scaring the living daylights out of us,” Applejack said, crossing her arms.
Participle modifier.

>“So it was him after all,” Sunset grumbled.

>“You didn’t think we were just sneaking in here every night without permission, did you?” Rarity replied. “After we explained the situation, he was more than happy to help. The only thing we really couldn’t get down in time was the fake blood in the bathrooms, but from the sound of things, the mushy apples did the trick for Applejack at least.
Saidism. Also, you're missing a quotation mark at the end of the paragraph.

>Fluttershy bent her sight down to the floor
Bent her sight is a very odd phrase. Something like turned her eyes or shifted her gaze might work better.

>“Can’t wait to see what everyone else thinks,” Dash chuckled.

>Fluttershy’s face turned bright red and she bowed her head down, the rest of the group lightly laughing.
Participle modifier.

>“Hmmm,” Sunset mused.
Participle modifier.

>She raised her hooves up and banged on Fluttershy’s door again. Inside, two pairs of red eyes stared back at Applejack as she attempted to hold onto the string of garlic bulbs encased in Twilight’s magic.

>“Pleath,” Fluttershy lisped, her fangs getting in the way of her tongue.
Participle modifier and saidism.

>“I didth mean to scare Apple Bloomth and Granny Smiph… or your brother.”
The lisp is inconsistent here. You have her pronounce the "th" as an added sound on several words, but then have her mispronounce the "th" on the end of Smith.

>Applejack slammed her hooves down, finally forcing the door open.
Participle modifier.

>Spreading out her leathery wings, Fluttershy leapt up and took to the air, flying past Twilight and zooming into the night.
Participle modifier.

>Racing back outside, Applejack raised a leg to Fluttershy as she sped off.
Participle modifier. Also, raised a leg is what dogs do, which I don't think is the image you're going for. Raised a hoof might work better.

>“But I’m allergic!” Fluttershy shouted back.
I'm not sure why Twilight disappears after Applejack gets in, but this could address the issue that PR Copper brought up about Fluttershy's comment not making any sense. Instead of having Fluttershy shout the comment back, you can have Twilight come in and say something like, "Applejack, Fluttershy's not a vampire. She's just allergic to garlic."

Alright, that's all of the line by line. There were a few issues that you specifically mentioned I should look for. First, the saidisms. These were manageable. You had quite a few (Pinkie tended to use them often) but not so many that it couldn't fixed in a first pass.

For the comma issues, I didn't notice too many, but I tend to use borderline too many commas and was kind of distracted by the prevalence of the next issue to do a particularly thorough search. So you can consider the line-by-line incomplete in that I didn't look that heavily for other errors when it was clear that there were systemic errors throughout the piece. Speaking of these systemic errors, this brings us to

Repetitive sentence structure. Specifically, participle modifiers. This was one of the devices Nick mentioned in his review and he particularly disliked them. Also, PR Copper mentioned that you overuse these as well. While there is nothing inherently wrong with using particple modifiers, Nick is correct when he says they aren't particularly strong devices to use. However, as you may have noticed from the review, the sheer number that you use is particularly ridiculous. To give you an idea of how pervasive this issue, I think I only saw one paragraph of narration with more than two sentences that didn't use any participle modifiers. Also, I didn't even look at the dialogue for this issue, although normal dialogue wouldn't admit these types of sentences. Even so, I'm guessing you would have to remove 80-90 percent of them to get down to reasonable levels.

So if you were wondering whether the issues PR Coppen mentioned were addressed, the answer, especially with regard to participle modifiers, is no, not even close and it doesn't seem like the previous edits go very far to address the issues from previous reviews. I recommend you look back at the Bleeding Rain's PR Copper's, and Nick's reviews and use them in combination with this one to work through the issues. If your normal writing style is anything like what is in A Heavy Crown, you may want to consider doing a wholesale rewrite and just watching out for the specific issues that were brought up, as that may be less work. In any case, I don't doubt your ability to deal with this as long as you are willing to put in some time to fixing things.

Best of luck with fixing this up and I look forward to seeing what you do in the future.
>> No. 130091
File 139650152550.jpg - (51.36KB , 704x576 , RS_2008_06_02_PinkyTheBrain.jpg )

Alright, let's go.
>> No. 130107
File 139672828326.png - (924.81KB , 1191x670 , derpy-griffin-equestria-prevails-lg.png )

> > You seem like a "tough but fair" reviewer of this sort of thing, so let me
> > know if you want me to come back to you for criticism of the style/results?
> -- If you want my opinion on how the piece is progressing, I'd be more than happy to lend an eye if I can. I may not be the best person to give you an in-depth analysis on Tolkien's style... but I wouldn’t mind reading through it again at some later date.

Yeah, that's why I think you'd be a good person to go to for help on style issues... because my problem isn't aping Tolkien but knowing when to pull back. you basically get the difference (between Tolkien's style and, say, a breezy FiM dramedy style) and you sorta appreciate both.

Tolkien actually struggled with wanting to write a much longer narrator-style of the Silmarillion that would be more dialogue-y and accessible so I might want to actually go back to some of the older drafts / self-contained unfinished stories and see how he handled that and whether to make it more Hobbit-y (in keeping with ponies) or keep to the straight-faced epic historical prose with an underlying injection of silliness.

It might be possible to do both if I stick to the straight-faced epic prose for the "historical" bits (allowing the epic stuff to remain epic) but with glimpses of an entirely different, more "childish" perspective whenever you zoom in on the (ponified) characters and their traits. Sort of like when you read something like the Iliad or Beowulf and you realize the "primitive" perspective of the characters. In this case I think the key to the satiric approach would be to take a half-step and imagine what the Silmarillion would be like if it was still the same tale but all the characters were hobbits. if you know what I'm saying. ;)

The trick is to make sure that it's not just a carbon copy of Tolkien's writing style with a species swap but that it remains appealing to a reader like yourself who is interested in either satiric or epic, given the opportunity for me to do something creative with the interplay between the two, since they are so different that there's room for creativity.

I dunno if the "With Zombies..." genre provides a good or bad example of what I'm talking about, in terms of making it cool and interesting but not just "the exact same book...but with ponies!"

Although come to think of it, "Pride and Prejudice With Ponies" sounds like a great idea. Someone should do that. ;) So I guess this is sort of like "Pride and Prejudice with Ponies" sort of approach in a way.

> >may I do so in reply to you via Google docs? (your review, I mean)
> -- Do you mean a separate doc, your story doc, or something else...? while I wouldn't mind doing some discussion via Doc if that is your preference, I would encourage you to post questions here when possible.

I certainly would, once there's more finished chapters to talk about. But I'm thinking a "chat" format such as google docs (do they still allow it for non google+ users or do you have to sign up for Hangouts?) or an irc channel is more suitable for feedback at this point.

Not so much because it's thread hogging (we could discuss it in a ponymarillion thread that I opened last fall, or continue to reply here) but because with most of it in the form of notes and sketches at this point, I would be limited to posting only when I have fully completed chapters, you know what I mean? But what I really need is to get the story outline finished (with someone who's more of a Tolkien geek like me, which may be hard to find) while discussing issues like those above in the context of hypothetical unfinished work, which is easier to do in a chatroom format (but can be easily done with someone who's not a Tolkien expert since it's more about making it interesting and handling the differences in tone).
>> No. 130108
File 139672907202.png - (1.37MB , 1024x1229 , dash-fireball-ponykillerx.png )

Anyhoof, since I want to experiment with uncompleted chapters, let me know if we can try and take the chat route -- either on google doc (probably in reply to my prologue post? since otherwise we'd be chatting only in response to your review) or, perhaps, an irc might be easier -- if you're on it.

I definitely want to irc with a Tolkien expert if I can find someone like that to finish the broad story outline with, since there's some thorny issues with adapting the plot -- and that makes it difficult to be creative when I'm distracted by trying to figure that out.

The broad strokes have come together smoothly enough that I could probably do some illustrations, though. The fic started out as an idea for a series of illustrations, then the story started to make sense on its own. ^3^ I'm not a great-enough artist to do anything elaborate without access to new computer tools, but I may get those soon -- or I could possibly (afford to?) work with a vector artist.
>> No. 130113
File 139675887064.png - (359.75KB , 1024x576 , 137669068399.png )

This response was too long in the coming, and I apologize for that.

First off, I want to thank you for taking the time to read the story and put your criticisms on paper (screen?). I asked for no hand-holding, and you certainly delivered. Looking over all of your points, I don't see any that I disagree with. There are a few I would like to address, however.

The whole idea of the story is, as you put it, to flesh out the aftermath of Luna's banishment. Everyone seems to just brush over the fact that Celestia, who was responsible only for the sun, suddenly took over Luna's job as well.

I also completely understand and agree that the ending of the story is weak. I had originally planned to continue it, and have Celestia go through with her promise to explain what happened to Luna. This would then set the stage for Nightmare Moon's return at the beginning of the series (in the sense that she alters the spell so that the banishment will end after 1000 years), but the writing kind of dragged. I like your idea for a debriefing, either formal or informal.

As for the characters, it's gonna suck, but I see the wisdom in your suggestion that I erase some. Vigil and Gabriela were actually one character in the story's first draft, but someone pointed out that the character's rank indicates a certain level of professionalism that does not include yelling at guards. I'm on the fence about whether or not to meld them together again.

I've already taken your criticisms about how I reference my characters into account for the piece I'm working on. I'll have to go back through this one and fix it up, though...

Anyway, thank you so very much for your time. I greatly appreciate the feedback, and I'm glad you got some amount of enjoyment from reading the story.

Last edited at Sun, Apr 6th, 2014 10:30

>> No. 130129
File 139692365688.png - (209.77KB , 600x800 , 4bb0609eec2b2aac4202ef8966345dda-d5010dx.png )
I really wish I hadn't jumped the gun and posted the story already. Your ideas here would have improved the ending a lot. I just kind of had to get it out of me, so I could continue my other work. I plan to go back and improve it one day, and I'll save this post for when I do. Thanks once again.

You're quite welcome. It was fun to review, and I'm glad I can still critique helpfully. One thing I feel I should address is the point about rank and professionalism. While that may be true for a modern, professional army of the western military tradition, that isn't a universal fact. While a lot of what we've seen so far of the royal guard has that vibe in order to be familiar to the show's audience, there's no saying that's the whole story, or that things weren't different a thousand years ago.

You're free to do it either way of course, I just believe fewer, more colorful characters is the way to go.
>> No. 130153
In need of a grammar/spelling check.

Synopsis: When the only other alicorn in Equestria is its ruler, a lot of questions don't have answers. There will be times of trial and error, there will be times when nothing makes sense, and there will be times when it's lonely. Was the crown given to you or forced on your head? It's heavy either way.

tags: sad, slice of life

link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1jMwYecFRp35gu0qp5gO-zD70U6liUB_NTLy8nUHqVVg/edit
>> No. 130159
File 139715533360.jpg - (39.58KB , 640x480 , eG9iaHVtMTI=_o_pinky-and-the-brain---brainstem.jpg )

As promised. As I say in the review, please feel free to ask any questions you wish. I will do my best to answer.
>> No. 130160
File 139715590786.png - (154.80KB , 496x368 , spoiler.png )

You'll find an email link in my name. We can talk more there. While I don't check it religiously, I do glance at it from time to time on a somewhat regular basis.


It was absolutely my pleasure.

>see pic
>> No. 130171
Lets see if I can do this right.


(The story exists in the same universe as my Dressmaker story.) Rainbow Dash takes to the sky along with the Wonderbolts as they are incorporated into the Royal Air Force to battle against the mysterious Scourge, an enemy with no home nation that appears to be made up of creatures from across Equestria, though horribly disfigured. Dash must temper her flight skills into something more than stunts if she wants to survive as she faces death outside and animosity around her and the Wonderbolts.

Tags: War, Violent, Drama, Adventure, Action

>> No. 130211

Let's take you for a spin.

Next time though, the title of your story should be put in the Subject line on your post, preferably along with the words "Requesting Review" so it would look like "Requesting Review, Turbulence". Other than that, you did fairly fine.
>> No. 130218
Thanks for the tip. I look forward to the review.
>> No. 130227
File 139838326948.png - (190.10KB , 1024x626 , 150369.png )
Title: When Two Hearts are Daring

Description: Rainbow Dash wants the latest Daring Do. And she'll get it, even if it means sharing the only book in Cloudsdale with the biggest jerk in Cloudsdale.

Genre: Slice of Life + Adventure


Nothing special to note. I just came here for an honest review.

Last edited at Thu, Apr 24th, 2014 16:56

>> No. 130269
File 139865776984.jpg - (59.95KB , 720x720 , 138371348045.jpg )
Well, this was an interesting little read. It’s rare that I pick up a story in here that I actually enjoy reading, so, kudos for that. I’ve seen this floating around this board for quite some time now, and it certainly shows in your editing, though I did find a few spots that needed touching up during my video review (included below). My eyes aren’t quite as sharp or as educated as someone like Pascoite or Twilight Snarkle, but I commented on what I could find in doc, having given it a thorough editing pass.

Opinions and stuff
Overall, this wasn’t bad. The pacing is done well enough that I hardly noticed it, and you do a good job of keeping the reader entertained. That said, a couple of spots seem pointless, adding little to the plot. I’ve outlined these in the document as well. Your grammar could also use some work. There are several locations where it seems as if you simply don’t understand english word-flow, and still others where extra words are added in that shouldn’t be there. Many of them are overly wordy and require streamlining.

>Mystic Rune
Mystic is an interesting little tidbit. In canon, we enter Twilight’s story just at the end of her Canterlot life, and only briefly get to experience her as Celestia’s student before she’s carted off to Ponyville, where she makes new friends and slowly learns to be a princess (though we’re not told that at the time).

Here, we get to see what Twilight and Celestia’s relationship must have been, through the eyes of Mystic Rune, her latest student. The dynamic they share is absolutely beautiful; they share thoughts and insight in a manner that resembles a mother/son, sister/brother, and best friends relationship all at once. The emotions in this scene are written beautifully, and I was easily able to focus on the tremendous gift you were providing to the reader. A huge thank you for this scene.

His studiousness and talent in magic—not to mention his fame with the citizens of Canterlot, indicated by Aria already knowing him by reputation—indicate that Celestia has probably been continually doing this for most of her life, and that Twilight is *not* the first. It doesn’t garner a lot of respect for Celestia in the way that it suggests that she lied to Twilight, (“I’ve never met a unicorn with your raw abilities”) but she’s not too popular anyway.

Now, as to the [sad] tag. I must be missing some sort of context from the other two chapters, because this didn’t make me feel sad. It was an adorable little piece of what promises to be a wonderful epic (you might also drop the [slice of life] tag) adventure story about Cadenza, but the only part that came close to feeling sad was when the “other alicorn” was brought up, right at the end. If this is going to become sad in later chapters, I suppose you could keep the tag, but right now it’s far too cute and adventurous to warrant the tag.

That’s just my opinion. Now, I’d mentioned a video review before. What I used to do for authors whom I felt deserved it (pat yourself on the back) is I’d record my reactions the first time I read the story, and provide a screenshot video of that, for the author to follow along. You will find such a video in the link below, although it is a bit longer than I’d hoped, and as it is unrefined, I may be a bit blunt during some parts. I hope you will find it useful. Enjoy.
>> No. 130285
File 139874036208.jpg - (8.08KB , 259x194 , images (2).jpg )
I will preface this review with a very, very short version: This will story will need a lot of work.

I do not know if you possess a Word Processor program or something similar, but I highly advise you use that or something similar to Google Docs at the earliest convenience, because there were a lot of very basic uses that cropped up with an alarming frequency.

I also suggest submitting this again after a few self-editing passes as a Google Doc because this needs some heavy line-by-line editing that is simply too difficult to do with a Fimfiction page.

That said, here you go. And feel free to ask for clarification on anything I made unclear. I, or someone else on the board should I prove inadequate, will do our best to assist you if we can.

>> No. 130287

I'm bored, so you get a review.
>> No. 130288
Thanks for that. I'll put it to work.
>> No. 130311

>> No. 130317
I've been ruminating on this story for years now, adding details, refining plot-lines, slotting characters in, and I've only just started actually WRITING the damn thing. I've only now gotten to the point where I know, at least vaguely, all the whats and the whys and the whos well enough to get it done.

The only question I have a this point is, is it worth pursuing? Are there any glaring flaws, or basic tips I could benefit from?

It's set well before any of the events we have seen in the show, except for what we saw in the highly sanitised account of their history that the ponies put on in "Hearth's Warming Eve". It's low fantasy with just a hint of comedy, and plenty of darkness.
>> No. 130323
File 139900919984.png - (918.72KB , 2000x1584 , 528561__safe_solo_griffon_spoiler-colon-s04e10_rainbow+falls_irma_artist-colon-thenecrobalam.png )

I’m of the belief that any story is worth pursuing if the author is capable of writing it well enough to be enjoyable. And even if you can’t write it well, if you’re writing for yourself, then you should still write it, even though it’s not good quality. No matter how bad it is, someone will still like it. The reverse is also true, but the point I’m trying to make here is that you shouldn’t worry about whether something is worth pursuing. If you truly want to write it, then do so, and give no thought to whether or not you should.

As to the story itself, you need a better hook. I had to force myself to read past the first sentence, and your opening paragraph is far too large; It needs to be broken up for sheer readability.
>It is, in short, an exciting time to be alive.
That the first 240 words of your story can be summed up in such a short sentence is never a good thing, but it is a sign that perhaps you should leave out needless details, and work on consolidating those that are important into something more compact and easily consumed. Remember, this isn’t a school textbook—it’s a storybook, and it’s purpose is not to inform, but to entertain.

The infodump continues for several paragraphs after that, and I had lost interest entirely by the time I reached actual dialogue. Fix the beginning of this, and then return. I or someone else should be able to be more helpful then.

Last edited at Thu, May 1st, 2014 22:41

>> No. 130324
Thanks for responding, it's much appreciated. I didn't really intend that to be the start of the story, merely a preface. I left it in so the little bit in there had some context. Is it really so unreadably boring? Much of the story lies in the setting, and I was frankly trying to sell that first off before introducing the actual plot and characters. If it is too slow a beginning, is there anywhere it would function better? I don't think it is worthless but if it's not entertaining it oughtn't be included.

Not to be petty about it, but I don't think that sentence you quote really does sum up the preceding paragraph. After all, it doesn't give any information and could apply to most stages in history worth writing stories about. Thinking about it now it doesn't really do anything, I just liked the way it sounded. Hmm.

Anyhow, it was no challenge to remove that preface, is it readable now?
>> No. 130362
File 139933230865.jpg - (563.96KB , 1024x1024 , 531812__safe_solo_griffon_female_spoiler-colon-s04e10_rainbow+falls_irma_speedpaint_griffon+team.jpg )
You are allowed to be frank, but it won't change the fact that the opening to your story is a textbook example of an info dump. What this means is that you spend a vast portion of the opening to your story dumping loads of information on your reader via pure exposition. While this information may be necessary to the plot, it's not engaging or exciting, and most readers will put the book down and try something else.

Small info dumps are more manageable, but still discouraged. If you must provide tasteless information to the reader, try to keep it to one paragraph, or else spread it out as character thoughts. An even better solution would be to simply start the story sooner, and reveal the information through dialogue—often the best way to convey information to a reader is to let them discover it through dialogue. This would take so much more effort, and you'd have to spend hours and hours adding story to the beginning of the story, ultimately lengthening it far more than you'd expected, but the result would be so much sweeter. And if paced right, you could have your readers by the teeth, stuck, forced to tear through your epic just to sate their curiosity until they'd devoured every last bit of it, hungrily begging you to write more.

To be exceptionally kind, I've given this another look, and your new opener is just as intriguing as before. This time you do have a rather interesting island to describe, but there's nothing here that makes me want to keep reading. As I said previously: You need a better hook. Now, this could come in the form of a synopsis—which you've neglected to include.

A synopsis is basically a sampler, like those pieces of chicken they hand out on tooth picks at the mall. Don't have those? Well, it's basically like giving the reader a taste of what they'll be getting into. Your synopsis can set the hook for you if you make it enticing enough, and give you the room you need to set up the story.

Some authors can hook their readers right away:
On that day, humanity was given a grim reminder of just how small they were.
This is a classic, instant hook, taken from the opening to Attack on Titan.

If you can't do this, however, a juicy synopsis is your next best thing. Slip a line in from the middle of your book that just begs to be given context:
"My name is Lyra Heartstrings, and you will not remember me. You won't even remember this conversation. Just like with everypony else I've ever met, everything I do or say will be forgotten... ...Please, listen to my story, my symphony, for it is me." (Background Pony)

Or, just summarize the story itself if you think it's interesting enough.
Harry Potter has never played a sport while flying on a broomstick. He's never worn a cloak of invisibility, befriended a giant, or helped hatch a dragon. All Harry knows is a miserable life with the Dursleys, his horrible aunt and uncle, and their abominable son, Dudley. Harry's room is a tiny closet at the foot of the stairs, and he hasn't had a birthday party in eleven years.
But all that is about to change when a mysterious letter arrives by owl messenger: a letter with an invitation to a wonderful place he never dreamed existed. There he finds not only friends, aerial sports, and magic around every corner, but a great destiny that's been waiting for him... if Harry can survive the encounter.

Whichever way you go, the problem with this story is obvious: you lack a proper hook.

Last edited at Mon, May 5th, 2014 16:50

>> No. 130394
File 139969591992.gif - (286.54KB , 245x168 , tumblr_m2mt0iHYlC1r0kwz8o1_250.gif )
Chapter One
Synopsis: Rainbow Dash enters a chess tournament at the elementary school to help Scootaloo out in a jam, and to prove that she's capable of anything she sets her mind to.
Tags: Comedy, 4,600 words
Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Ajib30Oe5hyubP-Ia83rO3UQOZTJNJY_pMFf1UmOD6Q/edit?usp=sharing
>> No. 130408
File 139987316414.png - (7.69MB , 3600x3600 , [5]sage brush final.png )
Title: The Pony on the Wall
Author: Bleeding Raindrops
Tags: [Dark][Tragedy]
Wordcount: 14,435
Synopsis:While chasing after a mischievous thieving phoenix, a young filly uncovers one of the most horrible and tragic blunders ever to happen to a citizen of Ponyville. As her mother and friends try to run from their past, Ink Blot will learn that some jokes are not funny at all.
Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/19qZ6t35AcBK50vycYSOmK7dHgCz-wInrsrQdmlUk43Q/edit

This is my third rewrite, and I've put a lot of time (four months, in fact) into it, so I'm mostly just looking for any blaring errors, unless you happen to see something I missed. I'll be handing this off to someone with sharp eyes once it's done here, so don't worry so much about catching *everything*. Just tell me what you see that could be fixed, or done better.
>> No. 130410


Sorry to do this to you, but my reviewing neurons have just not been firing lately. I haven't even been able to make it through the story.

I'll just quietly remove myself from these premises, so that someone competent can claim your story. Again, my apologies for making you wait so long for nothing.
>> No. 130414

Sad Face.

Well thanks for telling me. I guess my fic is back on the market. Do I need to resubmit it? I think there is a list of unclaimed fics so just add mine to that now.

>> No. 130419
File 139999731713.jpg - (51.36KB , 704x576 , RS_2008_06_02_PinkyTheBrain.jpg )

Well, I'll take a look at it then. It's a bit long, so don't expect a blazing fast, but it will be done.
>> No. 130433
File 140015306692.png - (665.23KB , 853x478 , ponies-history-4.png )

I should check out what you've written because I am writing a fantasy for about as long (and with about as much trepidation) with a slightly similar premise, i.e. inspired by "Hearth's Warming Eve". and more specifically I enjoy the premise of "what actually happened" but mine is an adaptation of Tolkien's the Silmarillion. (i.e. that they've uncovered a manuscript showing that Equestria is actually Middle Earth, that the elves were actually ponies etc.)

I'm actually looking for someone that's good at writing dialogue to work on it with - because dialogue is a major stumbling block for me. if one is interested in fantasy (mine's definitely not "low" fantasy though.) ^3^

So... I can't promise a review but... I'll check it out and tell you what I think. :)
>> No. 130434
File 140016174411.png - (667.81KB , 1111x814 , now I have ALL the ponyballs.png )

Thanks WB. I haven't been checking this thread
religiously enough either, so I wanted to thank you for that. I'm going to post a new Ponymarillion thread somewhere (probably in /fic/) once I get my thoughts together, too... but I figure I'll shoot you an e-mail first. ^3^ But in the meantime, here's what I wrote about where I'm at with the fic, in light of season 4 --


>the opening verse is a bit tongue-in-cheek, btw
>> No. 130439
File 140035574465.png - (101.89KB , 450x624 , I_got_this_luna.png )
We will claim thy story, though it may not go swiftly. We hope quality will make up for timeliness, o weighty subterranean one.
>> No. 130441
File 140038395134.jpg - (77.53KB , 680x583 , asmile.jpg )

Hi, I have a simple one-shot that's basically the first thing I've ever written and I need help figuring out what I'm doing.

It's 2.7k words - not that long. I know it has problems, but I'm having a hard time figuring out where and how to fix them. I left a request for feedback on FIMFiction, but I have a feeling I won't receive much...

Title: Stripes
Description: It wasn't a question of whether something was wrong. He knew something was wrong. The problem was that searching for the source was a much more difficult task. It didn't matter. He knew he could find the answer to his questions without even knowing what to ask. All he had to do was jump. One way or another, the world would unravel.
Tags: Sad, Alternate Universe
Link: http://www.fimfiction.net/story/190523/stripes

I feel like one of my most major issues is with pacing, but I feel like I'm blind to the problems of what I actually wrote because I'm looking through the eyes of the person who wrote it.
>> No. 130442
File 140038409557.gif - (1.90MB , 320x244 , dilate.gif )
I forgot to add- thank you for taking the time to help me find problems! If a place like this didn't exist I really wouldn't know where to look.
>> No. 130447
File 140043342610.png - (1.61MB , 1920x1080 , deal with it.png )
I'm not a fan of promises—they can be difficult to keep—so let's just jump right in, shall we?

Interesting hook. It’s certainly relevant to the story, but unfortunately it’s more confusing than intriguing, and it’s not doing much to draw me in. (I’m here because I like to help, and I enjoy a good sadfic) I realize I’m not everyone, but let’s take a look.

What you’ve got here is a classic, time honored premise. A character senses that the world around them may be a false reality, and tries suicide as a means of escape. I love to see this done right, and you’re on the right track, but it needs a bit of work.

To start with, your style of holding information from the reader in an attempt to generate curiosity and suspense? It’s not working. Like with the synopsis, it’s more confusing than intriguing, and you need to throw your reader a bone. I get it—He’s confused; doesn’t understand the world around him; he just wants answers; Twilight hasn’t got them. The problem is that the audience doesn’t know this, so your opening scene makes absolutely no sense until it’s almost over.

Now, that may be intentional, but here’s why it’s a mistake. Confusion only works if your reader has already been tossed the riddle, and is just waiting to see how the character will figure it out; This story is about Rhythm’s answer to a question he’s posed, so without that question, there’s no reason to keep reading. Every story gets a brief period of suspension where they can set the scene, and then the hook. But if you don’t use this properly, if you overtax the patience of your audience, you’re going to lose them, and whatever gems may be hidden in the middle will never be fully appreciated.

As you mentioned (kudos for noticing) your biggest problem is indeed pacing. You waste a large portion of the beginning of your story on large info dumps that have nothing do to with the events currently happening. Sure, he’s struggling to control his wings, which might imply that he hasn’t been here long, but you outright state this later.
> “So I pop up in here, I get used to living like you – now what? You can’t seem to figure out what happened.
This renders most of your telly info dumps moot, as it basically sums up everything they were trying to say in just one or two sentences: He came here from a different world, probably by magic, nopony knows how, and he’s struggling to fit in.

All of this could be cut out, giving you more space to get to one very important detail: That Rhythm doesn’t believe his world is real.
>“The first is that I’m insane. The second is the brain in a vat. You know, I don’t think I’m insane– but, of course, no mental case thinks he’s insane. So how can I know? Still, it seems unrealistic.”
Finally, 1035 words into a 2669 word story, you tell us why he’s so confused: why he’s searching for answers. 38% of the way through the story!
You need to put this out there as soon as possible for the story to have much of a leg to stand on. I’m not saying it should be the first sentence, but you might want to put it in the first two paragraphs.

After this point, it becomes far easier to stay invested in the story, as I actually want to find out what Rhythm’s answer is going to be, and I pretty much lost myself in it, though there were a few nitpicks I’d also like to mention—minor issues, but worth bringing up.

>Everything is always ‘magic this, magic that’ and no one can even explain why magic works.”
In magic’s defense, humans don’t even know why gravity works.

>the natural fight-or-flight response of pegasi.
I’m pretty sure that’s not exclusive to pegasi.

I’ll be damned; that’s actually a word. Kudos.

>His thoughts were interrupted by a strange visual artifact that he began to notice.
This is a bit redundant; If his thoughts were interrupted, he obviously noticed something. Also, I don’t think “artifact” is the word you’re searching for. You may find “anomaly” or “phenomenon” to be more accurate.

> “Yes, I would like to go home,” he replied, leaving no ambiguity in her mind as to what he meant, but capturing exactly the uncertainty that he meant to express.
This is more telling. You’re basically explaining to the reader exactly what you’re trying to do, robbing them of the opportunity to infer it through implicative details. The latter draws the reader in, while the former breaks immersion.

>both influenced by a life-altering experience that for certain had changed their world’s meaningless course of history.
Again, please don’t do this. You’ve just shot the story in the foot again, right as it was drawing to a somewhat satisfying close.

Overall, you’ve got a decent story hidden in here, but it needs a heavy overhaul. Good luck, and keep on writing.

Last edited at Sun, May 18th, 2014 10:19

>> No. 130450
Thanks so much. I'll try to pay attention to these more in the next things I write. I do see the problems you've mentioned now.
>> No. 130463
Title: A Timely Encounter
Author: Bob From Bottles
Tags: Possibly slice of life and/or comedy. I'm still deciding and am open to suggestions.
Word count: 5222
Synopsis: A trio of ponies visit Apple Bloom in order to reveal her future. The encounter, however, does not go as planned.
Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/13ZzQ9O9AwJRY2tALiEQ6ze4ecwsE2W1irOeA7LXqtlI/edit
>> No. 130466
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With respect to the synopsis, We will only say that it is very cliched to include a hypothetical question, particularly at the end.

>One gray-looking summer afternoon Fluttershy was interrupted during a moment of contemplation by a hard pounding on the front door.
Passive voice worketh not so well at the beginning. Thy reader craveth action, not a character sitting around while action happeneth around her.

>"Fluttershy!" exclaimed the visitor, "it's me, Twilight. We need to talk, post-haste!"
By placing the exclamation mark after 'Fluttershy' thou has completed that sentence of dialogue, but the capitalisation and punctuation pattern of thy speaking action saith that 'Fluttershy! it's me, Twilight.' is a single sentence. Furthermore, 'posthaste' is one word, and 'tis a rather formal word for Twilight to be using in such an informal situation.

>she set one on the floor before her, and talked as she began to rummage through it
This is but a single clause; thou needest the comma not.

Who would actually write this in a letter? 'Tis a manner of speech, not something a pony would inscribe.

>Twilight stopped to turn her confidante.
Turn her confidante what? To the 'dark side', as the foals say?

>"Dear! Do you really think Rainbow would do something like that?"
'Tis quite a jump that Fluttershy would understand the reference. Also, this conversation hath gotten quite 'talking heads' in that We get little outside of dialogue to suggest the speakers are anything but disembodied speaking heads.

>She turned to hide her embarrassment for having failed to foster stronger common interests amongst her diverse friends.
This is quite a bit of interpretation the narrator doth on Our behalf. 'Tis much more interesting when We can figure it out on Our own.

>Fluttershy gazed back at Twilight--disheveled, smiling wanly, with eyes that seemed to look past her--and decided that it would be far more important
>Twilight was satisfied to exchange parting words
Thou shouldst avoid changing perspectives so quickly and suddenly.

As thou hast used it, no hyphen.

>which had beget
Verb tense.

>"Well that sounds interesting as heck, Fluttershy," after a pause.
This just might be the most awkward attribution We have ever seen.

>Gee Rainbow,
Direct address useth commas on both sides, unless the term is at one end of the sentence.

>Whoa whoa whoa, wait a second-- Twilight's not going to be there?
We really would prefer you use a real dash, but at least be consistent about whether or not thou puttest spaces around it.

>replied the older sister
Why so vague? Thou hast not named her yet in this scene.

Why hast thou capitalised this?

>The weather had forced Rainbow to take refuge at nearby Carousel Boutique, with Rarity and her sister; the latter company whose daily life went on comparatively unperturbed by the storm which now rattled the window panes between swaths of insufferably cozy silence.
The semicolon is misused, and the sentence rambleth on so long that at the end, 'tis hard to say what the point was.

>Board games are for people
Then, pray tell, why would a pony play one?

>praying upon her fear
'Preying'. We find that this narration is awfully purple to suit thy focus character, Rainbow Dash.

And where did they find these 'hands'? We are intrigued – We see enough of them in ponies' dreams, but how did they get from there to the waking world?

>To her they were an outlet for an ersatz kind of victory
This simply belongeth not in Dash's perspective. It soundeth nothing like her. SHE IS A CHANGELING!

This is not a hyphenated phrase.

>Well why don't you go spend your time with dad, then!?
When essentially using it as a name, capitalise 'Dad'.

>Rarity wanted to go to school in Canterlot before starting a boutique in Ponyville.
Wherefore is Sweetie Belle spouting off exposition about her sister, particularly when she should be letting Dash concentrate on the game?



Capitalise, according to the same reasoning as the previous use of 'dad'.

>Rarity laughed uncomfortably, and stumbled through a discount her sister's praise.
A poor, pitiful orphaned comma and some jumbled wording.

'Tis odd that Fluttershy held the perspective at the beginning, yet Dash is the one having the flashbacks.

>join the other girls and I
A common error. 'Join the other girls and me' is proper. If thou believest not, try removing 'the other girls and' to see which soundeth correct.

>And what the heck was a 'quill' anyway?
This, coming from somepony who uses terms like 'exigence', 'ersatz', and 'brooding'? 'Tis laughable. Ha! Ha ha! THOU ART TESTING OUR PATIENCE, CITIZEN!

>Rainbow's slump continued to weigh on her for several days, like a lingering illness, equally burdensome for effect and duration. Being embarrassed by the idea of her friends seeing her in such an anemic state, but helpless to improve it, she had also become less sociable, and therefore more susceptible to fits of uncharacteristic moodiness. It was only for the following Pony-Pet Playdate, a weekly gathering regarded with somber importance by the Elements, that it behooved her to make any effort to be outgoing at all. But even this only turned out to be a partial endeavor: she declined to be part of any proffered group activities, and withdrew herself to a part of the lawn to which was remote from her friends, to continue her ruminations.
Look at the sheer number of inactive verbs here: being, was, be, be, be, was. And this whole passage painteth not a picture. We wish to see her and make Our own judgment of her feelings. 'Tis about as satisfying as having someone decline to show Us the landscape painting in the next room because he hath already told us 'tis a lovely landscape. We would like to see and conclude that for ourselves.

>far be it from me to question how someone who controls the weather, can be so stubbornly stuck under it
Another poor orphaned comma. We run a charity for them. Mayhap thou wouldst care to contribute?

Why this penchant for placing commas after conjunctions?

>Do remember when you first started reading, Rainbow?
We believe thou art missing a word.

There is nothing here too serious mechanically speaking. The glaring, pulsating, vein-covered tumor away from which We cannot draw Our eyes is the issue of perspective. There is a comedic effect to be had from juxtaposing a very highbrow narrator with Rainbow Dash, but that most readily worketh with an objective narrator, who would in no way be equated with Dash. By using this language as a subjective narrator, thou art more or less equating that persona with her. This could even be achieved if thou hadst characterised her in such a way that she believably possessed a high intellect and merely chose to hide it, but thou hast consistently undercut that with her statements of ordinary things she doesn't understand. It leaveth the whole thing feeling disjoint and incongruous. For instance, she soundeth indistinguishable from thy Twilight's voice at the beginning. We would also exhort the to develop some conflict as early as possible. So far, we have a vague message from Celestia which doesn't get explained and Dash getting competitive, which is nothing new. There was not so much of a sense that the story was moving toward something, more like a collection of scenes removed from an overarching plot. 'Tis hard to take Twilight's sense of urgency when not even she knoweth anything of it.

The writing itself is quite good though not adapted to the story's purpose. It would do well with a story that fit it better.

Final mood: cautious bemusement.

Write thee onward, citizen!
>> No. 130468
File 140055635853.jpg - (9.69KB , 225x225 , Pinkie and the Brain.jpg )

Been about a week now, and I know you might be getting antsy, so I'll tell you my progress so far.

I've read the work, so I'm just compiling thoughts together for an actual review of it when I have some spare time.
>> No. 130479

Don't worry I am quite patient. Take your time.
>> No. 130489

Sorry if this is a bit on the brisk side. However, stories already posted on Fimfiction are a nightmare to make reviews for.

As I say in the review, if you have any questions, please feel free to ask. I, or someone more qualified to answer, shall assist you if possible.

Starred for a quality-control test of myself.

Last edited at Wed, May 21st, 2014 21:26

>> No. 130504

Oh wow, thanks for this! I'll be going over my story in due time to fix these mistakes.
>> No. 130510
File 140117795634.png - (19.97KB , 300x280 , lucy8.png )
Thank you, excitable one. Much of this will be useful, although I will say here and now that I work too hard to ever use 'pony' as a pronoun, or to use 'hoof' in the place of 'hand' unless there is comedic effect to be had.

Also, while I may be guilty of mad comma splicin' and purple prose, I'm concerned even more as a humorist that things like

Um... Um...

ending a letter, or Rainbow Dash being implicitly suspected of murdering a pawn broker in a trance of intellectual narcissism, are not perceived as the jokes they are.

And you're right on about perspective--this was a complaint of the two other reviewers I submitted the chapter to, and corrections and a few sign posts were added in the third draft to help the reader get the drift. I'll have to work on the narrative voice. I do like it to be dryly witty...

Anyhow, thanks for your time and keep calm and you know what.
>> No. 130539
File 140167484833.jpg - (12.46KB , 250x188 , brain-hypnovision-754647.jpg )

I can handle basic overview and you, my friend, are overdue.

Let's party.
>> No. 130542
File 140168650990.gif - (2.18MB , 720x405 , PartyTime.gif )
WHOO! Thanks
>> No. 130563
Title: "The World Within the Web"

Tags: [Adventure][Alternate Universe][Human]


"Across the great kingdoms of the Internet, a strange new power has risen. United and devoted, this bizarre force has found itself flanked on all sides by supporters and enemies, soldiers and sorcerers, fanatics and traitors alike, and the Web has been left with difficult questions.

Accused with murdering a Knight Moderator in a dying city, this group must now send its own advocates to combat the accusations, confronting both a duplicitous court on one side and a masked threat on the other, in order to prove their innocence and answer a single question.

Just what is a Brony? And what do they want?"

Link: https://drive.google.com/?authuser=0#folders/0BxrcNoS-EF-3S2s5WE1aajg1cDg

Comments: Based on an earlier story I had reviewed, after making substantial revisions. The setting is a bit strange, so thoughts on whether the world-building has been sufficient and if the characters are understandable would be appreciated, as well as any other constructive criticism.

Last edited at Fri, Jun 6th, 2014 07:52

>> No. 130564

Title: My Second Chance

Description: What if everyone gets a second chance? This is exactly what a human named Joel Summers gets. After dieing in a tragic car accident that left his body nothing but a pile of goo and bones, he ends up in a magical world full of talking colorful horses.

Tags: Romance - Comedy - Adventure - Human

Link: http://www.fimfiction.net/story/160506/my-second-chance
>> No. 130573
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Wish I had some better things to say about this, but I must be honest, so here goes.

The biggest positive for you is that, overall, the plot moves fine as a basic whole.

A few of your scenes, like Blot after her nightmare and Blot with both her father and her mother alone, could have had a great deal of impact if you'd given Blot a more agreeable personality than she currently has. I can also see your overall tragedy unfolding oh-so-gorgeously if you'd let the story breathe for a couple minutes here and there instead of rushing for the end like a runaway train.

I didn't go into detail yet because we could always do that in-doc later and I don’t know if you really want someone truly nitpicking at this just yet when you haven't even gotten the whole story down on paper, but these are some basic overviews of the piece as it stands now.


As always, if you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask.

Last edited at Fri, Jun 6th, 2014 20:09

>> No. 130574
File 140211120822.jpg - (56.05KB , 625x468 , 3tg1wo.jpg )

First, welcome to Ponychan. I hope you find the help you need.

Second, for future reference, it's appreciated if you mention that your story is also in another thread for review (>>130565) when you submit it to the Training Grounds so we don't end up simply parroting the same information as them and giving you nothing new to take away from the whole experience. It saves a great deal of frustration for all parties involved.
>> No. 130575

Sorry bout that, I'll keep it in mind! I haven't requested anyone except for friends to help review any of my work.
>> No. 130576
File 140215409210.jpg - (68.64KB , 512x512 , 132736241947.jpg )
>creates entire gdoc for the review
>neglects to enable commenting
Why did you not just comment on my document?

>That’s a self-contradicting pair of paragraphs if ever I saw one. Zecora just said “You’ll have a bath of curing brew.” So what the heck is Blot talking about in that first sentence?
A bath of pure poison joke cure, as opposed to adding a pouch of bubblebath to an entire bathtub. I could reword it I suppose

>On a side note, Zecora doesn’t rhyme this line with anything else.
Actually she does. Try saying it out loud, slowly.
>And now my dear, it is time for you
>to have a bath of curing brew,
Zecora doesn't always speak in rhythm. Just always in rhyme.

>“Oh, but you’re my favorite little me, and I get worried about you.”
>Are there other siblings?
No, the line just felt right and I couldn't bring myself to cut it.

>maybe by having Rainstream live kind of off the beaten path instead of right in Ponyville.
She does. I explicitly stated that she lives over a meadow on the outskirts of town that nopony ever visits except for Ink Blot.

The rest of the advice on her I get though. I'll take it under consideration.

>Breaking dialogue
Didn't realize I was doing that. Noted.

>inconsistent cursing
didn't realize I was doing that either.

Well, thanks for looking at it. Reading through that makes me think I should have stuck with it the way it was. Umbra told me to play up Ink Blot's irritation with her mother, and to quit focusing so much on scene description, and more on dialogue. I thought it felt awful but I couldn't really get a read on it because I just had to trust my peers on this one. There's four months worth of writing I'll never get back, and a dead as hell board I can hardly rely on for replies anymore.

Anyway, thanks for your advice. I'll see what I can do to pull this back toward what it was supposed to be in the first place. I made a travesty and chose to be blind out of trust.
>> No. 130577
File 140216491849.jpg - (2.61KB , 107x80 , images (7).jpg )

>Why did you not just comment on my document?

I can and, if you want me to do so, I wouldn't mind picking over this more with you through your own doc in greater detail.

However, I made this primary review here so there would be a bit of accountability on my part to the entire board. I promised you a review, so here is a review for everyone to see and judge me by. If I treated you unfairly, they can call me out on it right now, as opposed to hunting for comments that may or may not exist anymore further on down the line.

As for why I didn’t enable commenting on it, it’s mostly because I tried that once a while back. Didn’t really like the results. Us discussing things in the open seems much wiser to me than having some private little argument aside where I might say something that is out of line or straight up misinformation. I am more than capable of being an idiot sometimes, and I prefer to have as many eyes keeping me from being so as possible.

I meant no slight by doing so. I’ve always preferred to get the big picture out of the way with first before hammering at the nitty-gritty of any piece because trying to seal the tiny cracks in a ship when there’s a big hole spurting seawater right next door seems a waste of both my time and your time to me.


>Actually she does. Try saying it out loud, slowly.

Alright, fair enough. I’ll admit I missed that. (see “I can be an idiot sometimes” above) Point to you.


>She does. I explicitly stated that she lives over a meadow on the outskirts of town that nopony ever visits except for Ink Blot.

I did catch the reference to the meadow, however the paragraph before seems to imply that she has already reached town and is on her way to the library when she passes by Rainstream’s house, which kind of confused me when you mentioned this area that is clearly not in the actual town itself.

>The ride into town took far less time than it should have with a sky painting to watch as she got closer, and by the time Ink Blot had reached town, there were brilliant hues of red and gold dancing across the sunlight horizon. Ink Blot passed by the meadow on the far side of the lake on her way to the library.


>Well, thanks for looking at it. Reading through that makes me think I should have stuck with it the way it was. Umbra told me to play up Ink Blot's irritation with her mother, and to quit focusing so much on scene description, and more on dialogue. I thought it felt awful but I couldn't really get a read on it because I just had to trust my peers on this one. There's four months worth of writing I'll never get back, and a dead as hell board I can hardly rely on for replies anymore.

Having no idea what this looked like before, I have no real frame of reference for what real point Umbra had on your dialogue vs. narration.

For me, some of the dialogue could stand cleaning, but what got me most was that there are a few individual scenes that just scream for more attention to detail, if only to really sell home the effect of terror or awe, most of which involve providing Ink Blot with something she wants to paint. You needn’t add wave after wave of extensive description to absolutely everything, but for those moments where you really want to sell me on an emotion, some finer details would really help me in painting a picture of the scene and the mood.

For example, your scene with the actual pony on the wall? That was pretty good. You described it with an excellent use of detail so I could make a clear picture of everything in my head. The old, crumbling barn covered in cracked paint. The strange thing hiding beneath all that. And the utter terror that fills her when she sees what it can do.

Some more narrative moments like that please. That was the good stuff. Not perfect stuff yet, but good stuff nonetheless.

In terms of character though, if what I think might be true, then I think part of the reason I had so much trouble with Blot is that she doesn’t really stick with any particular feeling for very long. She too often cries for what once was but can never be again, which makes her feel inconsistent as a character which in turn makes her sound like an obnoxious, self-righteous, lying hypocrite whenever she tells us how much she despises her mother.

If she truly hates her mother, she shouldn’t be crying over lost friendship while they’re in the bath together, or tearing up after she makes a painting that has to deal with how much she misses her.

Why? Because she hates her mother.

And I think that might be what Umbra meant by going further than you have in terms of their conflict. She doesn’t have to be absolutely loveable, but she should at least be consistent or we can’t take her seriously. The doubt can be there, sure, but it should be something she fights, not embraces, or something that she might not even fully grasp yet. When she looks at what she’s painted, with the balloon leaving a crying filly behind, she shouldn’t be sad but angry that she made something like that. She just wasted a whole bunch of paint on telling herself something she doesn’t want to hear: she wants a relationship with her mother. Badly. Her heart says “You miss her because she was never around” while her head says “You hate her because she was never around”, and the constant struggle between them is ripping her apart inside.

So, if you really, really want to keep the conflict between these two going, the fix might be something as simple as “remove all of Blot’s crying moments” except maybe for the one after she has that big nightmare. The rest, her eyes stay dry, and her emotions don’t veer quite so far into “alas for what we never had” territory. She can feel shame with her father, but it should be because she made her father unhappy, not because she’s not being fair to mom. She can feel a twinge of something in the bath, but it should be put off to something like she enjoys her bath time with her friend, not with her mother.

Memories of the past shouldn’t dredge up wistful nostalgia. Her mother wasn’t there while she was growing up, her father was and her friends were, so there should be no memories of her mother to even get wistful about.

This also makes the scene where Blot has that moment with her mother after the nightmare far more potent. They actually get to laugh together and, instead of her father, it is her mother giving her comfort when she so desperately needs someone to hold her. The healing can now begin.

Or so you would lead us to believe. You sadist, you.


>>Anyway, thanks for your advice. I'll see what I can do to pull this back toward what it was supposed to be in the first place. I made a travesty and chose to be blind out of trust.

I never called it a travesty, and I do not believe it to be such. The plot is there. The characters are there, for the most part. If Ink Blot was more consistent as to whether or not she hated her mother and you let the pacing slow down a bit once in a while so I could really just sink into the world and immerse myself much deeper into your story, this could have been pretty good.

Take your time and savor the moments of joy and beauty. After all, all things must come to an end sooner or later.

>> No. 130578
File 140217952004.png - (203.36KB , 644x427 , 132631865894.png )
Ah, that makes sense.

>the paragraph before seems to imply that she has already reached town and is on her way to the library when she passes by Rainstream’s house,
Oh, did I do that? Sorry. I'll fix it. Thanks.

>For example, your scene with the actual pony on the wall? That was pretty good.
That was one of the first scenes I ever wrote for this story. It's one of the most important scenes and I did use a lot of music and chocolate and other outside inspiration to help my creativity and focus. I'm quite proud of that scene, and little was changed. But me boasting about it solves nothing as to the rest of the story, where the need for attention is more prominent. I'll do my best to recreate those circumstances for the other emotional scenes.

>Ink Blot is too inconsistent
Yeah, I need to work on her. She felt a lot more natural in the original version, but when I tried to amp up the angst it kinda went off the deep end. Thanks for confirming my fears though; I don't want to turn into another George Lucas.

>f she truly hates her mother, she shouldn’t be crying over lost friendship while they’re in the bath together,
Well that's the thing. She doesn't hate her mother. She hates that she can't connect with her mother the way she can with her father. She hates how overbearing and eccentric she is, but she still appreciates the small moments when everything is in sync, and that's why she cries when she gets small glimpses of that bliss that she's missing, because she knows it never lasts. Again, I need to work on her, as you pointed out. I actually have Pinkie on the other side feeling the same thing, pained and perplexed that her daughter doesn't love her, never realizing that she does, she's just frustrated. Both of them are frustrated and longing to connect with each other.

>Pinkie wasn't there and then is for the after-nightmare scene
This actually fits perfectly with where I took the next chapter, and I'm surprised I managed to miss it. Thanks for that.

>You sadist, you.
I try :3 Wait until you see what happens to poor Pinkie >8D

> let the pacing slow down
Ouch. That stings, but I do thank you for it. The pacing for the first one was actually pretty great until I got to the final chapter (which was awful) so I had hoped I'd been able to maintain that. Thanks again. This is all very helpful.
>> No. 130580
File 140220791260.png - (688.10KB , 1280x890 , JKinsley reading by rawrcharlierawr.png )
Looks like you've been waiting a while for a review. Guess I'll get back in the saddle, as it were.
>> No. 130581

Thank you. I look forward to your review.
>> No. 130584
Initial proofreading for now, and some review to follow.

>She slowly blinked opened her eyes but didn’t bother to lift her face up from the apple stand.
You need commas (i.e. "blinked, opened her eyes, but") or conjunctions

>leaving little exposed besides their heads and tails.
This is phrased a little awkwardly. "exposing little besides" or "leaving little exposed except" sound smoother, the latter having more alliterative appeal versus the former, which has the advantage of fewer words.

>“That’s right, little me. I’m you from the future. Pretty cool, huh?”
Sounds more like Scootaloo than Apple Bloom. Needs more twang. Actually, all of future Apple Bloom's dialogue has a problem with not really sounding like her.

>The Grand Magician is the name given to the magical advisor of Princess Celestia
Interesting concept, I'd like to see where you take this.

>“Princess Twilight Sparkle?” ... Now she can actually do it! I refuse to go back.”
This entire exchange doesn't make a lot of sense when it's given. There isn't context for why this would be the case.

>The past way practically made for us.

>wrath of the future Princess Twilight Sparkle
Still haven't established context, and Apple Bloom (our audience surrogate for now) hasn't made a BADLY NEEDED COMMENT.

>Apple Bloom tried to chime in that she thought Twilight was a nice pony, but she didn’t think they were listening.
So she tries, but no one listens. Somewhat fits, but you still haven't addressed the all important CONTEXT of why Princess Twilight Sparkle is so bad for the future Cutie Mark Crusaders.

>As they all did just that, ...
You missed a golden opportunity for some future-vs-present shenanigans about goodbyes. Or more character interaction.

>She yawned and tried her hardest to say something more, ... Lastly, Applejack stood in front with a scowl on her face.
Might be nice to time and establish how much time has passed since the beginning of the story. Has this been a few minutes? An hour? The better part of the morning? Might also give some context for this line:
>It ain’t right gettin’ a filly up before the sun and havin’ her work when she ain’t used to it.
Since we don't know how long Apple Bloom has been "working". It would also make Applejack more sympathetic when it comes to delivering a few of these lines.

>Her sister huffed out a breath, ...
Drop the "out a breath", it just makes the sentence worse.

>“Yeah,” Scootaloo chimed in.
Exclamation point! She should sound enthusiastic.

>“Did any of you happen to see those clothes that group of mares were wearing?”
Again, more context about the passage of time would be most helpful. Also, my assumption was that Sweetie Belle cast some sort of spell to make them more or less unnoticed. Also shoots Apple Bloom's brief thought of it being a dream in the foot. Could warrant a mention in narration from her.

I don't really have any other comments for the rest of the narration and dialogue. Onto overall impressions.

First off, is this a one-shot fic? Or going to be the beginning of a bigger story? It's working OK in its current length, but it would be fun to see the reactions from both Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo meeting the future CMC, too. The Grand Magician element, too, might be worth expanding on. It lends some richness to a universe that they came from, which could set up some interesting conflict and possible humor.

Right now, it falls well flat on the comedy side, but works as a slice-of-life. There isn't anything that really tries to be funny here, at least not that I can tell. No references to other time travelling works, not even within the canon of the show. No unexpected turns of phrase or wit. No massive puns.

Your time travel elements are fun, but we need more context from the future CMC, especially about certain events and ponies, like future Twilight. I mean, come on. You can't just have them be THAT focused on the consequences that stem from returning without addressing them right in this story.

Your dialogue for future Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle needs work. They sound like different ponies, and the only thing we have tying them to the current characters is a brief description of their manes. Future Apple Bloom sounds like a neurotic Scootaloo (somewhat explained by the mention of foreign prison time, etc. but not sufficiently so), Scootaloo is a comforting center of the group, and Sweetie Belle acts like a daring know-it-all. That's a big problem, and should be addressed.

Overall, this is a nice little story. I like it as a slice-of-life piece, but nothing really made me laugh. You can probably take that opinion with a grain of salt, but there you have it.
>> No. 130585

Thank you for the review. You raise some good points about parts of the story needing additional context. To answer your question, this fic is a one-shot. I'm not sure adding addition chapters for Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle would work since the future crusaders have already failed their mission and are trying to keep a low profile. I also don't want to explore the future and the Grand Magician too much since it's basically an alternate universe. That said, I do agree that the Grand Magician needs some more explanation. Basically, the alternate future Twilight is not a pleasant pony to work with. Something that future Sweetie Belle knows all too well being her apprentice.

Do you think Rarity should be removed from the ending in order to keep the ambiguity of whether Apple Bloom dreamed it all or not?

Part of the reason for the future crusaders sounding and acting different is because they're basically different characters since they lived different lives in the alternate future. Maybe I should have Apple Bloom comment on this?

I agree that this really wasn't a comedic piece, but I'm glad that it works as a slice-of-life.
>> No. 130587
Fair enough regarding expanding the story, it's just that hinting at an AU kind of begs the question about including more details from or about it.

As far as Rarity's comments, making her think out loud about doing a kind of suit similar to what the future CMC wore within earshot of Apple Bloom while saying she thinks it would the "wave of the future" or something like that would inject a little humor while still having Apple Bloom think it could have been a dream. This of course assumes that you're aiming for ambiguity.

I am of two opinions when it comes to going with alternate character development for AU characters from canon. Either provide a solid basis for why every character is (or is not) different, and make it clear, or just don't do it. As the author, it's up to you how to go from there. Personally, what makes the CMC the CMC is their canon personalities and mannerisms. An Apple Bloom who doesn't have the twang doesn't feel like Apple Bloom. A Sweetie Belle who isn't the sensitive and moral center of the group isn't Sweetie Belle. And a Scootaloo who isn't brash and daring and making the next adventure happen isn't Scootaloo. On the other hand, good writing and a good story can otherwise excuse a good amount of alternate character interpretation.
>> No. 130603
Claiming this one. I already have a significant chunk of the review done, so I think I'll be able to get this done by the end of tomorrow.

It seems like Nick has left a decent number of comments and corrections on the document. Are you still looking for proof-reading at this time?
>> No. 130608
Nicknack volunteered some free time, and I didn't expect a claim this soon. So not looking to get any more feedback until I can finish at least a majority of the edits.
>> No. 130769
First, let me note that I may not be the target audience for your fic. In particular, I am not as familiar with internet culture as most people in the typical demographic for MLP fanfiction. Also, I'm guessing that there are other references involved that I'm missing. (I would guess that I'm missing Game of Thrones references, but I don't have enough background to even say whether I'm missing these). So, I would recommend that you measure the advice that I give with the perspective that I may be missing something.

Second, I should mention that I'm used to reading and critiquing character-driven fics, which are most typical, but this is not what you appear to be writing. Your story appears to be world-driven, so showing the depth of the setting is likely more important than following any particular character or plotline. Now, I am aware of this and will compensate accordingly; however, my habits in reviewing lie in character-driven stories more than setting-driven ones, so I'm guessing some of those may bleed over into the review, and I believe you should be aware of this possibility.

Finally, as is my standard disclaimer, I write the review with the intent to give useful feedback. However, my review is necessarily my opinion and while I believe that my review will agree with other opinions, it is only an opinion. I will try to explain my thinking, but I would encourage you to only make changes if you understand the reasoning behind my suggestions. Also, since my goal is to offer advice to help you improve, I will primarily focus on what I feel should change rather than what you are already doing well. So while I may mention positive aspects in passing, be aware that they are not the focus of the review, so you shouldn't expect the review to be a list of things that you do well.

Now, let's start the review.

One thing I noticed is that you tend to be inconsistent with how you refer to a character. In the prologue, this happens when you interchange the names Corey and Sir Harald. It is completely understandable that someone might have multiple names and there are times when different names are appropriate. However, you don't seem to follow any consistent rule for when to use the different names, such as calling him Sir Harald formally and when Dale speaks or thinks of him in professional situations, but Corey when they are in off-duty. This is something that happens with other characters in later chapters as well, but it is especially obvious in the prologue since there are only the two characters for all but the very last section.

Along the same lines, I felt that it was difficult to follow much of the first few chapters simply because of the sheer number of names introduced. The only characters from chapters 1-3 that I felt I knew anything about were Coin Counter, Lady Violet, Proximo, and Honesty, and the first three only because they were perspective characters and the action centred on them. The rest, especially the other Wardens, were largely a jumble of names that I had no reference point for. It also didn't help that a lot of the Wardens have multiple names, and, going back to the first bullet point, there didn't seem to be any particular pattern to which name was used, so up through chapter 3, I encountered some names, but didn't have any notion of roles within the story. A lot of the characters became clearer after chapter 4, but that seems far too late.

I mentioned that Honesty was an exception. Honesty was very easy to remember. It helps that he had only one name, but we also got a distinctive description that was unambiguously connected to him. This cemented the character in my mind and this grounding helped me better engage with the story, since when the name appeared I had something to immediately associate with him rather than having to abstractly interpret the name. Trying to introduce at least each of the six wardens this way would give the characters a bit more substance and help the reader navigate the rich landscape you've set up. Going back to an earlier point, having some type of consistency about how you refer to the character with multiple names would help establish the characters as well as giving the reader information about the power and respect dynamics between each character.

Another thing that strikes me as odd is that you don't use Coin as a newcomer until chapter 5. One of the reasons why travellers are common protagonists for world-driven stories like this is that they can act as a reader avatar and actively seek proper context for the unfamiliar details in the story. This lets the author explain and provide a lot more details for the reader, because explaining things to the newcomer makes sense in universe, whereas putting in all these explanations for an established character would strain the suspension of disbelief. As I mentioned above, Coin doesn't serve this purpose until chapter 5, when the wardens have their big meeting. Instead, he talks about what he already knows about the Brony collective while being shuffled around among the Honest Friends. There's nothing wrong with having a character explain what they know, (and going back to my suggestion about having the newcomer seek out explanations, it is kind of requisite that other characters would be doing the explaining) but having the newcomer do the explaining doesn't make a lot of sense. Plus, you have Proximo and Lady Violet who are perspective characters and natural choices for sources of explanatory detail.

Along the same lines, we don't actually find out why Coin decided to travel to the Brony collective until chapter 5. And by this I mean that we don't learn that he played a significant role in some collective related events in Reddit and is coming over to meet with the Wardens because of this, until chapter 5. This is basically the first question a reader after Coin is introduced as a traveller and it helps give some additional context and background towards how Coin acts. Plus, there doesn't appear to be any compelling reason that his purpose for travel needs to be delayed until chapter 5, so revealing it earlier would strengthen Coin's character.

As a final critique on the first few chapters, you don't really connect the Prologue to the rest of the story until chapter 4. This is unfortunate since the Prologue is well-done and acts as a great hook, but the intervening chapters dissipate any momentum you may have gained from the strong prologue. I also think it is a good practice to make the Prologue something similar to what readers can expect from the rest of the story, like an appetizer to give the readers a taste of what they can expect from the rest of the story. While I understand that not every scene can (or should) be an action scene, connecting to the prologue early in the main plot helps reassure readers that they are still reading the same story. Along these lines, even though I liked the Prologue, if I wasn't reading for a review, I probably would have given up somewhere between chapters 2 and 3, because there wasn't any evidence that you would be returning to the hook that drew me in from the Prologue.

Most of these critiques can be fixed by the same fix, which would be jumping to chapters 4 and 5 as quickly as possible from the prologue. The only things I really remember from those first three chapters (and even the first bit of the fourth) is that the characters are meandering around preparing for the meeting of the Wardens that starts in chapter 4, talking about names that I don't particularly have any connection to and there's not any real conflict established that would drive the story, so cutting them short or out completely doesn't seem like it would detract from the fic. The meeting seems like the most natural way to introduce the major players, so starting as close as possible to it will help keep the story relevant to the reader.

That was my main set of suggestions for the review.

Mechanically, your work is very clean. Since you mostly asked for a review of worldbuilding I didn't particularly focus on proofreading, but the only things I noticed on my readthroughs were a followers save that should be followers safe in chapter 4 and a your's that should be yours in chapter 8. So, good work on the proofreading.

As for your specific concerns, some of the previous comments touched on those, but I'll try to give a few more specifics.

Outside of the first few chapters that I mentioned above, you've done a good job introducing characters, since you changed from mentioning them in conversation to introducing them in person and this usually gives a lot more for the reader to grasp onto. If you need to introduce a character in a conversation, I recommend using Coin's (or some other character's) inexperience to give the reader a bit more context.

Along these lines, I recommend introducing some amount of repetition when it comes to new characters, especially those with multiple names. You don't have to go into too much detail on the repetition, something like "You are the Warden of Magic." Lord Feylen chuckled at the quip. would be enough. Along these lines, it might be a good idea to keep a record of when the last time you mentioned each significant character, since I expect that this will be a longer story. Right now, the story is short enough that you don't have to worry, but if you go more than about five chapters without someone appearing, you'll want to re-introduce them the next time they appear. Basically, you want to keep in mind that you are introducing a lot of new information and your readers have finite memory and attention, so you'll want this in mind when writing.

Your pacing seems fine for this type of worldbuilding. It is slow, but the depth of the setting warrants taking a slower pace through the story to show off the details. I would recommend keeping the action focused on the larger plot. The story was weak through chapters 1-3, but a large chunk of that was because you hadn't introduced the main conflict and the characters were largely meandering around for no particular reason. As long as you keep the action motivated by the characters and the conflict, there shouldn't be any issue with the slower than normal pacing.

As for existing worldbuilding outside of the characters, it seems like the setting is well-developed enough in my opinion, even though I expect that there are a lot of internet culture references that I'm not necessarily getting. I would expect I would be something of a lower bound for your readers, so I expect that the worldbuilding shouldn't be an issue.

If you have any questions, feel free to post a response or email (in trip). I hope you find this feedback useful and I wish you the best with your future work.
>> No. 130772
If the situation changes and you want someone from the TG to proofread, feel free to announce here. I'll check back every so often and offer a claim when I feel my schedule is free enough, although others are welcome to grab it if it is available and they want to make a run through.

Last edited at Wed, Jun 18th, 2014 10:35

>> No. 130817

Thank you for your help! Sorry that my response to this is somewhat late, but I only realized that someone had actually reviewed my story just now. I appreciate you taking the time to go through it all.

I think that your comments on the use of multiple names being hard to keep track of is valid, now that you've pointed it out. I actually did that purposefully, simply because I thought it would be aggravating to the reader if I repeated exactly the same name over and over when referencing someone. I suppose I didn't realize that it would also make it difficult to remember who was who. I'll see about fixing that issue.

I noticed, however, that you claimed to be more familiar with character-driven stories. With that in mind, what did you think of the characters? I understand that I only gave you a few (relatively) short chapters, but I thought that you may be able to assist me with that. On the other hand, you did review this over a week ago, so if you can't recall then that's fine as well.

One last thing: as you realized while reading through it, this is obvious a multi-part story, of which only a small portion is already done. Since you could only review the first few chapters that were already available, how should I go about getting reviews for the later portions, or what I've already written after revisions are made? Should I just repost it here, or is there some other method to handling it?

Thank you again for your help.

Last edited at Fri, Jun 27th, 2014 11:29

>> No. 130822
File 140400030440.jpg - (70.44KB , 250x370 , sadcadance.jpg )
So, looking for a grammar and pacing check.

Synopsis: chapter 4 of A Heavy Crown.

When the only other alicorn in Equestria is its ruler, a lot of questions don't have answers. There will be times of trial and error, there will be times when nothing makes sense, and there will be times when it's lonely. Was the crown given to you or forced on your head? It's heavy either way.

Tags: Sad, Slice of Life

The other chapters: https://www.fimfiction.net/story/29008/a-heavy-crown

Chapter 4: https://docs.google.com/document/d/17Z6sQ165rH4OogaxcVYOHcw_GkfmlhhTqFnoWBK9Rrs/edit
>> No. 130839
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Heh, might as well start making a few promises, as it seems to be the only thing motivating me anymore; Time to get back in the saddle.

Grammar and Pacing, eh? I can do that. I'm claiming this. Might not respond for a few days, as I'm shipping off for vacation in a day or two, and we're going to be driving a lot the first few days, but rest assured I will return with the best evaluation I can give, as soon as I can.

>whoa hey. There's an old face. Nice to see you around here again.

Last edited at Wed, Jul 2nd, 2014 23:54

>> No. 130841
File 140443180875.png - (154.80KB , 496x368 , Tv_or_not_tv.png )

Well, if no one else can take it, I suppose it's up to me. You've waited almost a month.

Let's rock.

(P.S. can someone also remove the "World Within the Web" and "Canterlot's Guests" from the unclaimed? Both have already been reviewed, one here and another elsewhere.)
>> No. 130842
File 140445732789.png - (116.92KB , 800x600 , 132631991036.png )
>unclaimed list
I don't even know where to find that. I miss the old spreadsheet. If we're going to keep a list of what's claimed and what's not, I see no reason not to return to our old Gdoc. It was very easy to find and kept things in pretty good order, since more than one person could move things around.
>> No. 130843
I believe the polite way of describing it is that demetrius no longer deemed us worthy of it. The unpolite way would get me banned.
>> No. 130845
Wanted to edit the post, but it seems Ponychan is weird about editing posts not from the original browser that posted it in the first place. Or something. So, request deleted.

Never could buckle down and just finish the damn story. Weird thing was that it only took about a week from deciding to finish to getting all the edits in to actually publish it.

Finishing CG and getting it published did actually put in a mood of getting more work done. So I should have a new story worth reviewing "Soon(TM)"
>> No. 130846
I'm glad you found the review helpful. Don't worry about the response time. As you may have noticed, the pace of this board is pretty slow.

As for your specific questions, with the names, my recommendation is to just keep them consistent (ie: characters of similar status in similar situations should use the same names) and maybe give a subtle reminder about the connection between two different titles every so often.

The characters seemed fine once I got past the confusion about different names for characters. From what I remember, Honesty made the strongest impression as a character. Coin Counter was largely non-descript, which is not a bad thing for a protagonist in a setting-driven story. Lady Violet is refined and prim, but more intelligent than her outward appearance may convey. Proximo is something like a cross between Coin Counter and Lady Violet; he is somewhat non-descript, but has similar characteristics to Lady Violet. Also, he is quite concerned with his appearance. Lady Wright is rambunctious and intense. Lord Feylen is calculating and authoritative. These are the main ones that I have lasting impressions from, but again, once they were properly introduced, the characters seemed developed enough.

There's nothing wrong with setting-driven stories as opposed to character-driven ones. I'm just more familiar reviewing character-driven ones because that is the nature of fanfiction. Fanfiction builds off an existing setting, so there is little need to explore, hence it tends to be more character driven. Your story is not using an existing setting, and I get the sense that exploring the world you created is more important than any one character, so as long as you keep the characters relatively believable and motivated (as they are through the current chapters), you shouldn't have to worry about them.

As for future reviews, you are welcome to post here in the thread. I believe there are other review sources on fimfiction, but I am not particularly knowledgeable about these, so I can't point you to anything specific. If you want me specifically, you can post here with a request and mention me for a review specifically or you can send an email to the address in my trip. I tend to check both ponychan and that email concurrently, so either route would work about equally well.

Again, feel free to ask questions or for further clarification, and I'll do my best to answer.
>> No. 130847
As awesome as the old spreadsheet was, with the limited activity on the board, it is probably easier to just keep an in-thread record. It might be easiest to create a new unclaimed queue post and send the password around to the people interested in keeping it maintained.

It would kind of be nice to have a copy of the old spreadsheet around, not for active use, but as a record for all the work that was put into the TG. Although Demetrius put in enough work on the spreadsheet, and put up with enough drama that I think he deserves complete control over it.
>> No. 130849
There is one, linked in the OP:
>> No. 130857
I apologise if this wasn't clear, but the reason I suggested a new queue post is because I figured that the current one likely used a password that you wouldn't want to pass around to others.
>> No. 130861
There's so little traffic here that I just keep up with things manually, but if you want to make a post without a password so any reviewer can edit it, feel free.
>> No. 130864
Hmmm, the lack of a name is a little concerning
>> No. 130867
File 140541377014.jpg - (229.41KB , 1400x787 , 132710119263.jpg )
A Heavy Crown

Hello. Sorry to make you wait so long. I’ve been traveling for so long and it’s been difficult finding a solid internet connection. Fortunately I copied your document to a word file so I’ve been able to look at it on my laptop when I wasn’t driving. I’ve made suggestions for what editing mistakes I could find in doc.

The opening scene was decent as far as pacing goes; no major errors there that I could find. It flowed nice until the scene break; I got confused for a moment until I realized it was a dream.
I like the bed and breakfast scene a lot. They were so adorable that I had to stop several times. No major issues there either. If I were to clock it, I might notice how long that scene is, but it didn’t appear to drag, or to fly by.
The dinner scene was equally endearing, and just as well paced. (I should take lessons)

My only real issue has nothing to do with your expressed request, but rather of style. While I enjoy the story I’m seeing unfold before me, I can’t seem to stomach the way you word your sentences. You seem hellbent on cramming as many florid and frolicking adjectives as should decorate a single paragraph, into long and overflowing sentences. I’ve made an effort to ignore them because you only asked for pacing and proofreading, but there were one or two that I couldn’t avoid making a new suggestion for.

Other than that, this is a mostly in doc review, as the pacing is a solid A by my book (although I should point out that I simply don't have the time right now to compare the pacing here to that of your other chapters).

However there were a couple of things that I felt should really be pointed out.
<Willow hovered the brush over Cadenza’s mane
^When dealing with non magical creatures, the meaning here is obvious. However, unicorns often levitate or “hover” objects in front of them, and it appears here that Willow has spontaneously sprouted a horn. I would recommend finding a different word.
<We’ve also had quite a few scares when young ponies separate from their parents and stumble into the hedge maze.
^Any sensible adult should NOT be saying this in front of a *filly*.

I've been around, but I don't believe my name should carry more weight than my words.

Last edited at Thu, Jul 17th, 2014 17:59

>> No. 130868
It's been a while since I made a multiparter like this, so you may want to brace yourself. What I have to say here is rarely... pleasant... but it's opinion and so should be taken with a grain of salt.

If you have any questions/points you'd wish to discuss, I heartily invite you to make them. I, or someone more qualified than I, should be able to give you an answer to whatever ails you.

Part 1:


Part 2:

>> No. 130869

Thank you very much for reviewing my work. I will follow your advice and continue to work on my writing. I will put my current story on hold to work on a test story I have in mind, somewhat similar to the "alien in another world" idea but more of a talking cat rather than a human.

I enjoyed part 1 of your review, as it made me laugh until my gut hurt while also making me think deeply about what I should have done differently or even what I should have thought about before writing it. I will more than likely rewrite my story before I continue with what I already have, AFTER I learn more about writing and I make my second story.

Again, thank you very much for your time.
>> No. 130879
File 140592326930.png - (271.57KB , 960x1046 , Ghostwriter.png )
The Rune Guide, a relic from an ancient civilization that disappeared in one night. Within it's pages lie the secrets to a lost form of magic, rune magic.

To Ghostwriter, Equestria's only expert of rune magic and scribe to the princesses, it is both his greatest discovery and biggest responsibility.

After exploring the world, transcribing various legends from all over, and gaining the companionship of a kitsune named Flare, he has settled in Canterlot to be Celestia and Luna's scribe. But one night, the Rune Guide is stolen by Phantom the Spell Thief.

Given a chance to intercept it, Ghostwriter heads to Ponyville. Now he is presented with his greatest challenge; set up traps to reclaim the rune guide while trying to deal with Ponyville's antics.

To survive Ghost is gonna need some friends, a little luck, and a lot of hope.

Tags:Comedy, Adventure.

Chapter 1: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1-jgOQj28kZ3zR3mNEgCFBlyA8JPnZ0TgVPKS-LZGTto/edit
Chapter 2: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1EgZBddQlZoGHn28m9UigLE451vSeOHvtx7svWfaEJHY/edit

Last edited at Sun, Jul 20th, 2014 23:15

>> No. 130897
File 140686264553.jpg - (81.47KB , 1000x834 , thumbs_up_luna.jpg )
We shall take on thy fan-fiction, mortal, though it may take Us a little while.
>> No. 130898
I would like to thank you for the review in advance as I am about to take a trip and will be without internet for a week. Rest assured, your work is appreciated by this humble mortal.
>> No. 130900
File 140696911567.png - (248.71KB , 800x600 , 523323__solo_rarity_suggestive_solo+female_image+macro_bedroom+eyes_reaction+image_caption_rarit.png )
Hello, Writer's Block. You may remember me as the fellow who wrote that awful LunaShy story that you reviewed about 8 months ago. I've been doing a lot of writing since then and wanted to request a review of this story, both as a way of measuring the actual story's value and seeing where my writing still could use improvement.

Here's the story in question:

"Rarity's Quest to Save Literally Everything"
Comedy, Adventure

In Rarity's opinion, waking up with split ends is the absolute worst thing ever. Unfortunately, a mysterious stallion proves otherwise when he warns her that Armageddon is approaching and Equestria is doomed, and if that happens, she can kiss her well-coiffed mane farewell. Now the timeline is splitting worse than Rarity's hair as our intrepid heroine travels back again...
and again...
and again in order to save the world. And if she finds the time along the way for a trip to the spa, well... A mare can't be blamed for wanting to look her best, can she?

Wordcount: 6760
Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1INyZndeTCTD8n4yu3rOtMXULcYTYSUkMnxh6cZqVv1U/edit?usp=sharing

This is the story's first chapter. Whether you accept or not, I thank you for your time.

I can't find any unclaimed stories to review, but if any pop up, I'll snag one.

Last edited at Sat, Aug 2nd, 2014 10:17

>> No. 130901
Since it is now Soon(TM), I have a fic in need of a review.

Title: Celestia Wants to Date Twilight Sparkle
Tags: Romance
Summary: Hearts and Hooves Day fast approaches. For Twilight, her friends are shocked to learn she's never had a date. For Celestia, Luna reminds her that she's not had a date in, well, a time period she would rather not get in to. Luna conspires to push the two princesses together. Will a so-called "practice date" turn into something more?

Word count: about 14k
Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1-SZd1mtLNSxRYTjf-YVTneMyVO-wmGxkPyl3oClhCCU/edit

This is a one shot, but might become part of a larger universe of fics. A few areas I'm looking to focus on: Celestia's interactions with Twilight during the date; making sure there is some balance between Celestia and Twilight; and making sure the date is flowing naturally.

Last edited at Sun, Aug 3rd, 2014 16:09

>> No. 130902
File 140712389244.png - (154.80KB , 496x368 , Tv_or_not_tv.png )

Well then. Let's get to it.
>> No. 130903
File 140712501370.png - (538.48KB , 2000x2406 , 137587578466.png )

I should have this ready for you within a day or two.
>> No. 130923
Title: Rainbows and Lightning (Might be renamed)
Author: Monfang
Tags: Slice of Life, comedy (?), Action, Drama
Word count: 1622
Synopsis: Rainbow Dash has taken the next step and joined the Wonderbolts Reserves, a new branch designed to allow faster responses to events in Equestria and to help fill the ranks of the Wonderbolts. But ever advancement brings more challenges and chances for her to grow. That is if a generation old grudge doesn't bring an end to it all.
Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/10CLRiMMSpQjtV_43z5a_sKWIx1CdeUatyCbOh4QxzWc/edit
>> No. 130924
I can bang this out quickly enough. Gimme some time to read through and I can post some broad thoughts here.
Follow up point: are you OK with comments or suggestions in your GDoc? Or would you rather have the line-by-line posted here?

Last edited at Mon, Aug 4th, 2014 21:23

>> No. 130925
Comments on the GDoc is always welcomed.
>> No. 130927
The initial line-by-line work, kept for... because I'm lazy. I wrote it, it's getting posted. Skip to "overall thoughts" if you want the new stuff.

>Have you ever
Unless you're writing in second-person perspective, never* address the reader as "you". This also gets way overdone.

First paragraph isn't indented. It should also be combined with the next 'graph.

>not even the wings Unicorns make count.
Awkward, should be rephrased. Even better, dropped all together. Rarity still entered the Best Young Flier's Competition. If those wings are good enough for competition... Side note, unicorn is not a proper noun.

>flown before by your own
Drop the before, it sounds awkward.

>the blues of the sky or tried to chase
Replace the "or" with a question mark, capitalize "tried", end that sentence with a question mark. Constant, rapid questions would give this a nice cadence.

>Though napping will have to with for this young Pegasus.
Several issues here. First, tense. "Will" should be "would", past tense. Second, "with" should be "wait". Third, this just sounds out of place and unneeded, see below on thoughts. Lastly, Pegasus is a proper noun, unlike unicorn. But only when you're actually talking about the mythical Greek creature. At all other times, pegasus is a common noun and should not be capitalized. You have issues with this throughout the story.

>The large stone sign ... training for the next generation.
All of this description could flow a lot better. I assume "good" was supposed to be "gold". You need to reorder the sentences, as well. "After acing her Recruitment test, arriving at the base was all Rainbow Dash thought about." should be after the part about training, before "There was no way she was going to be passed up for this." "A recently converted..." should be at the beginning, after "Silverwing Wonderbolt Reserve Base." In addition, "A recently converted..." sounds like it's missing words or has extra. Read it out loud and then make it flow better.

>some trying to hide a nuzzle to their moms
I assume you mean "from". I also take issue with the moms being present. This is meant to be a career type move. I don't know of any investment bankers, pilots, surgeons, or professional athletes being shown or showing that type of affection. Hugs, maybe. Nuzzles and embarrassment have little place at this kind of (alleged) skill level.

>Balloons holding

>not just regular ponies eithers lifted by leathery wings
I have no idea what you're getting at here. The only creatures I can think of with "leathery" wings are bats. And "eithers" isn't a word. And you're missing some punctuation.

>griffins ... a crystal Pegasus
Combine these sentences into a sensible list from that "not just regular ponies" sentence.

The rest of the line by line was done in Doc. Here on, overall thoughts.

Your first 200 or so words need some serious revising. As a reader, I'm not drawn in. I'd rather see action. Seriously, have Rainbow pulling off some tricks before coming in to land at the base. Make us feel all of these sensations through her. Draw us into her story, her character.

Until we did the line-by-line in Doc, this review was 3:2 for word count, mine to yours. That's not a good ratio. Lots of little issues add up to big problems. Numerous spelling and grammar issues. Reads like a very rough draft. Most of the fixes were fairly trivial. You found a few of them without much prompting. Read up on how and when to start paragraphs, especially for dialogue and speakers. Learn what's good for a sentence leading into a dialogue and what should be its own sentence, separated from the dialogue. E.g. "He whispered into her ear, 'Go, now!'" versus "He chuckled and slapped his knee. 'Now that's a funny joke!'"

I'm not sure why I found your intro more ... unpolished than the rest of the piece, but the other parts largely needed only revisions. Could be that you struggled with the intro, trying to draw me in as a reader. Could be I'm just lazy as I read on and start glossing over bigger errors because they start to serve a story I can get a sense of.

It's pretty clear you're still working on the intro portion. It looks very much improved, but could use another set of eyes.

The story is a little short so far to give any real impressions of anything, really. We don't see a whole lot from Rainbow Dash. The setting still needs more work to flesh out the base. A sense of scale, perhaps? Have Rainbow do a flyover and see how big the complex is? Describe the buildings, the layout, how many other ponies are around. The side characters, too, need some work. The LT could use a name, for instance, and gives him some added flavor with how he presents it. Does he shove the nametag into RD's face? Does he shout it like "That's Officer Growlsalot to you, missy!"? Some of your headcanon needs some more explanation, especially the Snowflake vs. Roid Rage bit.

As far as your selected tags go, I can see the Slice of Life. Your revisions in the intro are lending a little weight to the Action tag, but way more action is needed. You had some big issues with the more passive "you" intro that look like they've been addressed. I can also see the Drama tag a tiny bit, but again, more drama is needed. Getting shouted at once hardly qualifies. Drama comes from us caring about multiple characters. You really only have Rainbow Dash. Again, it's still fairly short to be handing out judgments about the other content, but I would hope you have some sort of plan for how the rest of the fic is going to go.

* Take the "never" with whatever amount of salt you wish. Lots of "nevers" are broken all the time, but it's important to first understand the fundamental concept of why the "never" is the rule, rather than the exception.

Last edited at Mon, Aug 4th, 2014 23:23

>> No. 130928
Thanks for the clean up work. Another said he enjoyed the intro, but being able to make it so that it still had the same feeling I wanted to convey but make it more accessible is great.

My goal with the intro was to give the reader a chance to BE a pegasus. More or less like how folks can talk about what it's like driving a car on the Autobahn vs actually being in the driver's seat. I think with your instance it needed to be adjusted, I might have gotten that done a lot better than what I had done.

I think what I could do is expand the dialog between Rainbow Dash and Snowflake. Give the chance for him to express himself more and give some background on him and his brother.

The worst part is seeing what I wrote in bursts over a week or so and thinking 'what the hay was I trying to write there'? I'll be glad to get this fixed up now.
>> No. 130943
File 140748255456.jpg - (83.71KB , 510x465 , typing_luna.jpg )
Thou hast noticed that We have remained calm through out this review, neither elated nor dismayed. That summeth up our impressions well.

Thy mechanics are mostly good, which doth an old heart good. The only repeated problem We saw was comma usage for clauses. There were also some areas of repetition.

About characters We can say little, as this story apparently belongeth to some already established continuity, the significance of which is lost on Us. It referenceth a number of characters and events about which We have no knowledge, so We spent much of the story in a state of confusion as to who all these characters were and what was happening. Thou also hast an odd habit of assigning the intent of actions to individual body parts.

Thou usest a lot of narrowed eyes, chuckling, and 'as' clauses, among other things.

The action sequences could use some more emotion. Surely he hath plenty of it as the action occureth, but much of it goeth by as a listing of motions and facts, which can come across as bland.

We have left comments in thy GDoc. Normally, We would wrap up here or at the end of the document, but there is little else to say. We have summarized the mechanical and stylistic things already, and We are apparently supposed to be acquainted with these characters from some previous adventure, but We lack such familiarity, so We are missing a significant piece of the back story. Thus We cannot say whether thy characters act consistently and true. Ghost hath an almost schizophrenic attitude here, though, constantly wavering between the certainty of his own death and confident that this fight will not prove much of a challenge. It is giving me mood whiplash. Decide which you want it to be, and stick with it.

Final mood: Oddly confused.

Write thee onward, citizen!
>> No. 130944
File 140763997936.jpg - (56.05KB , 625x468 , 3tg1wo.jpg )
So, now that I’ve read this and, after looking through my old reviews so I could recall where you were before in terms of style, I find I have only one thing to say to you.

You’ve improved.

You’re not firing quite on all cylinders yet, I won’t lie; there are a few bits and pieces that could stand alteration for scene flow (combining some paragraphs, slicing others up a bit differently, expanding these or shortening those, etc.), the occasional spelling bugs, and a couple stylistic choices I found a bit confusing. There is also one particular stickler of a scene that I think you’ll need to rewrite at least a little bit.

However, despite that, this story reads pretty decent. The characters act in manners consistent with their character instead of just at the plot’s obvious needs (disregarding the one scene I mentioned earlier) and the writing, while not stellar, was good enough that the grand majority of the errors weren’t too distracting. A nice sense of humor, decent pacing, and a satisfying if not all that happy conclusion.

And with that all said, let's get on to the critiques:

Alright, this review here is going to be rather basic because I can cover details in the Google Docs themselves, if you wish. (And because if you start changing things around before I’ve even posted the review, my head starts spinning.)

So, let’s take some examples of the most common issues and discuss how we might fix them up a bit.



>Darkness engulfed Carousel Boutique.

>Every inch of the living room lay under heavy shadows while, outside, dark clouds swirled in the sky. The tree branches whipped around in a wild wind that threatened anyone foolish enough to leave their home. The boutique’s walls shook from the wind’s ferocity.

>Inside the shop, something slunk through the murky darkness and made its way towards and then under a couch. Wide, bright-green eyes stared out as the creature shivered in fear.

>Suddenly, the sound of slow hoofsteps came from somewhere in the boutique, their sharp clacks clearly contrasting with the constant wailing of the wind. The creature’s eyes darted back and forth as the steps grew louder.

One of the things I noticed about your story is it has a rather large abundance of exceptionally short paragraphs(discounting the dialogue segments), more than a few of them being one-sentence long. It lets the pace keep moving, but I also think it wouldn’t hurt too much to combine a few of them together more often. Slowing down on occasion lets the story breathe a bit, especially when it comes to scene-work, and too many one-sentence paragraphs lessens their overall impact after a while. Remember: don’t throw out a strong emphasis lightly. You want to save your punches for when you really, really need them.

Let’s see how we might rework those opening paragraphs into something that flows a little bit better.

Darkness had engulfed Carousel Boutique until every inch of the living room lay under heavy shadows. Dark clouds swirled in the sky outside and the boutique’s walls rattled, tree branches whipping against the windows in the wild wind that threatened anyone foolish enough to leave their home tonight.

Inside the shop, something slunk through the murky darkness, making its way towards and then under a couch. Wide, bright-green eyes stared fearfully out as the creature shivered. The sound of slow hoofsteps came from somewhere in the boutique, sharp clacks clearly contrasting against the constant wailing of the wind, and the creature’s eyes widened before darting back and forth as the steps grew louder and louder.

While you shouldn’t go and make every paragraph a long, winding thing of words, words, words and more words just to fill some length quota, shorter paragraphs draw the eye a bit more than long paragraphs do, especially one-sentence paragraphs. So, short paragraphs are good for things you really want to emphasize. And, while the creature deserves some attention, I don’t think it deserves that much attention, considering the paragraph after its introduction involves more things regarding itself anyways. Same goes for the darkness.

However, some might argue that you should have the first and second paragraphs switch places. Which might be worth considering in order to make an action the first thing your audience sees, rather than just what it looks like outside.

So, perhaps something like:

Inside the Carousel Boutique, something slunk through the murky darkness, making its way towards and then under a couch. Wide, bright-green eyes stared fearfully out while the creature they belonged to shivered.

Every inch of the living room was blanketed under heavy shadows as bruised thunderheads swirled in the sky outside. The boutique’s walls rattled, tree branches whipping against the windows in the wild wind that threatened anyone foolish enough to leave their home tonight. Soon, the sound of slow hoofsteps came from the next room, sharp clacks clearly contrasting against the constant wailing of the wind, and the creature’s eyes widened before darting back and forth as the steps grew louder and louder.

It’s a thought to consider.

>Three hours and two pots of coffee later, Rarity still remained confined to her workroom, slaving over Luna’s order. Her tongue stuck out at an odd angle as her pencil wildly scribbled figures onto a diagram.

>Because it was summer, the sun still had yet to set. It spread a peach hue across the western horizon, giving no indication that only a few hours before, the sky had been hidden by a violent storm. Rarity flinched as a ray of sunlight reflected off of a diamond and into her eye.

>On a nearby mannequin, something vaguely resembling a dress had begun to come together. Bolts of dark blue and purple cloth draped over each other, with strips of black to provide accent.

See, the description here feels like it falls a bit flat. You jump between all these individual pieces (the sun, Rarity at her desk, the mannequin) at what seems complete random and, because of such, it’s hard to tell what the actual focus of this part of the scene really is.

Here’s an alternative arrangement you might try.

Three hours and two pots of coffee later, Rarity still remained confined to her workroom, slaving over Luna’s order. Her tongue stuck out at an odd angle as her pencil wildly scribbled figures onto a diagram. On a nearby mannequin, something vaguely resembling a dress had begun to come together. Bolts of dark blue and purple cloth draped over each other, with strips of black to provide accent.

Because it was summer, the sun still had yet to set. It spread a peach hue across the western horizon, giving no indication that only a few hours before, the sky had been hidden by a violent storm. Rarity flinched as a ray of sunlight reflected off of a diamond and into her eye.

This gives a sort of progression to the events: We start at Rarity, move to the mannequin beside her, then pan over to the window and the sun outside before bringing it all back to Rarity again. Like you’re panning a camera in a movie.


Odd narrative choices

>Rarity shot to her hooves, only to halt in place when a voice whispered in her ear. “Help us,” it breathed, eerily close.

You have a few instances of this and a couple of them feel like they might be better if they weren’t given quotation marks. However, this is entirely personal opinion. It’d be nice to separate the things she hears herself when nopony’s actually speaking vs. the things she thinks other ponies are saying by giving a hint it might all be in her head.

And here is another case where you seem to break the paragraph a little wonky. Here, let me demonstrate. This:

>“Whoa!” he shouted as he strained to shut the door behind him. The wind pushed back, however, preventing him from making any headway.

>Rarity shot to her hooves, only to halt in place when a voice whispered in her ear. “Help us,” it breathed, eerily close.


“Whoa!” he shouted as he strained to shut the door behind him. The wind pushed back, however, preventing him from making any headway. Rarity shot to her hooves, only to halt in place when a voice whispered in her ear.

Help us, it breathed, eerily close.

This puts a very strong emphasis on the line of “Help us” and these are the moments you should save your shorter paragraphs for, if you can. It gives them impact when they’re standing all alone.

>“Right, the dress-maker,” the other guard said. “Her Majesty made sure that all of the guards knew you were coming.” He turned a flat expression upon her. “All of us.”

Okay, this joke gets a bit of attention but… I don’t know, I just don’t find it all that funny. The whole thing seems really weird and pointless because I don’t get what this was even supposed to imply.

So, all the guards know Rarity was coming over to see the princess. And they mean all of them know she was coming over to see the Princess. And?

Also, Twilight’s scene. I like the scene itself, but it feels a bit disconnected from everything else. It just comes and goes with no real impact on the plot and so seems a bit of a waste. I might suggest either including some thoughts for Rarity to have about the scene later on in the story, or just cut this interaction entirely. The addition needn’t be anything dramatic, maybe a passing thought just a few moments before the end, or a spare word or two while she’s riding on the train (even better might be both).

You should either connect this to your story, or don’t bother spending your audience’s valuable time with it.


What needs a rewrite.

>“Relax, I’m here for a good cause.” He threw the mug over his shoulder, and it shattered against the wall. “You can call me Hay Budget.”

>That doesn’t—” Rarity’s voice caught in her throat. “That was my favorite mug, I’ll have you know. And I’m terribly sorry, but what kind of odd name is Hay Budget?”

>Hay’s eyes narrowed. “The name of a guy that isn’t judging others,” he snarled. “I’ve got something kind of important to tell ya, but if you’re going to be rude—”

>“No, I apologize,” Rarity said. She took a deep breath and massaged her temples. “This… is just very odd. And I still would very much like to know what reason you might have for trespassing at such an hour.”

This random guy broke into her house, broke her favorite mug, and has the audacity to call her rude. So what in the hay is she apologizing for? And, of all the things to ask, she focuses on the name? Not the fact this random guy is in her house and so on? That, and she later seems to buy into him saying that the world is going to end without much convincing, just accepting the word of some random dude in her house on apocalyptic prophecies.

I don’t think Rarity would be quite so accepting or hospitable to some schmuck who’s come into her home and starts babbling about Armageddon, do you? If anything, that’s about the time most sane folks start reaching for their Mace (can be medieval or modern Mace, doesn’t much matter)

So, in that case, everything from this section to where she wakes up would need to be adjusted. What is currently here smacks too much of plot convenience and not actual character interaction.


Spelling errors






There we go. Depending on your preferences, it might be best for me to wait on helping you tweak the details until you’ve fixed the more glaring plot issues of Hay Budget and Twilight, so we aren’t back-tracking to fix the new problems those edits will make. Or, I can go through this with you and we can start tweaking now, even while you try and fix those problems.

Your call.

As always, I wish you the best of luck, and may you find your place here.
>> No. 130948
File 140782765738.png - (148.02KB , 400x224 , twi.png )

Alright, JKinsley, here is the promised review:

If you have any questions, please ask away and I shall do my best to answer them. Good luck on your future writing.

Last edited at Tue, Aug 12th, 2014 00:14

>> No. 130949

Writer's Block,

First off, thanks for reviewing the fic. I really appreciate that you took the time to read through it and provide your thoughts. I'm still working through some school work, so it'll be a day or so before I can make a proper response to the review. Thanks again.

Last edited at Fri, Aug 15th, 2014 23:38