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130497 No. 130497
#Author #Crossover #Comedy

Hello! Recently I took another crack at writing a little one-shot, and I'm actually fairly happy with it. I'm considering submitting it to EQD, but before I do that I want to be sure that it's in the best shape it can be. The people that have been reading it so far seem to like it, but I want people to tell me what's wrong with it and what I can fix.
I'm happy to hear whatever feedback you have to offer— I've long since learned that some of the most valuable criticism is the stuff that is unpleasant to hear, so I'm not about to get all angry and defensive because flaws were pointed out.

This little short is about Shao Kahn from Mortal Kombat trying to conquer Equestria, and running into far, far more trouble than he had originally anticipated. I was somewhat inspired by a similar story that crossed MLP with XCOM, and I find the idea of ponies just casually being extremely good at defending their home to be quite funny.

Without further ado, allow me to present Shao Kahn VS Equestria!


Last edited at Sat, May 24th, 2014 15:41

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>> No. 130498
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>I've long since learned that some of the most valuable criticism is the stuff that is unpleasant to hear, so I'm not about to get all angry and defensive because flaws were pointed out.
I would like to hug you, sir; we only wish authors came here with this attitude. Most of them just want us to tell them how amazing their story is. You are a jewel, my friend, and I would be delighted to offer any assistance I can. Sadly, Mortal Kombat was not a part of my childhood, but I will see what I can point out that does not require a knowledge of the games or the tv show.

I really like your opening. I can see him standing on a stone platform, torches burning around and spellcasters weaving a portal... Assuming that's what they do, but this is where my imagination went. Point is, you created a picture in my head, and kept it interesting. Very nice.

You keep this up for most of the story—your worldbuilding and scene descriptions are great. Buuuut the interactions between Shao Kahn and the Ponies feel more stupid than funny. I see this is marked as comedy, so I guess you went for the frustrating misfortune card, but there’s no subtlety, no cleverness, no cunning tactics that ultimately blow up in one’s face. This guy just rushes in like a blundering idiot, expecting to be handed the country on a silver platter. And you expect me to believe he’s some kind of warlord?

There were very few grammar mistakes, and I’ve pointed out those I did find below.

>"No throwing things indoors, especially while court is in session. Also, inside voice please, if you're going to act like a child then I WILL treat you like a child."
I get that this is comedy, but this felt rather abrupt to me. Particularly the last bit. No throwing things is fine. Inside voice is fine. The acting like a child bit feels like it’s said too soon; Celestia has given him a warning, but he hasn’t done much I would consider childish. Perhaps his declaration of war could be considered childish, but it’s a stretch, so Celestia’s line felt unprovoked.

>Shao Kahn mentally went over what had happened,
You could cut mentally. As long as there’s no spoken dialogue, the reader will figure it out.

>He hadn't expected to run into such a powerful magic user,
I don’t know who this Shao Kahn is, but he’s kind of an idiot if he thinks he can get away with underestimating his opponent.

>With an incoherent and completely muffled scream of rage, Shao Kahn once again began trying to force his way out. Celestia let out a sigh at his antics. He's going to get very uncomfortable very quickly if he keeps this up.
So far you’ve been sticking to third person limited—one character’s thought process. You just switched to Celestia’s without a scene break.

>open another portal before I tear you cowardly heart out of your chest!"

>Angry, he began opening a new portal.
Don’t tell. Show. Outright stating emotions is generally a bad idea. A good writer can get their reader to name the emotion themselves.

>the small orange pony raised both her back legs, and with a shocking amount of speed planted them right in his gut.
>he was pretty sure she had actually cracked a rib or two.
Has this warlord never seen how powerful a horse’s kick is? He seems really dumb not to see this coming.

>Shao Kahn had gotten hit with a lot of things in his life.
I would replace “gotten” with “been”. Also, this guy sure takes a beating for a conquering warlord. Has he ever actually won a battle?

>When he finally recovered from having the wind knocked out of him, Shao Kahn could see that he was lying in a small furrow of dirt that had formed when he had apparently been flung back by the kick.
I realize you’re trying to display just how powerful the kick was, but this line just feels weird. If you’d been kicked in the gut by a horse, you’d have been flung flying too, and probably be dead.

>"Leave then if you wish coward,
There should be a comma before coward

>He looked like he'd been run over by a few trucks, possibly a couple of stampedes in there as well. His mask was shattered, and he couldn't feel his legs.
I’m a little confused as to which narration style you’re trying to use. “He looked” indicates that we are observing from *outside* Shao Kahn’s mind (third person objective). But “he couldn’t feel” indicates that we are observing from *inside* Shao Kahn’s mind (Third person limited). You should pick one and stick to it instead of swapping around.

You’ve got an interesting story in here, but you should clean it up a bit, smooth out your jokes, give them substance, make them believable—not just over the top. And remember, keep writing.

Last edited at Sat, May 24th, 2014 22:28

>> No. 130499

See, this is the kind of stuff I wish people told me on FiMFiction! Also for what it's worth, Mortal Kombat wasn't part of my childhood either. I started with the most recent one, and I only bought it like three months ago tops (though I'm now at the point with it where I can beat most people at my office. I'm pretty good with Kabal :P)

If you haven't played Mortal Kombat, then you're likely not too aware of the personality of Shao Kahn- he's incredibly physically powerful, and is usually capable of just bowling over his enemies with raw strength. He's arrogant enough in his power that one of his iconic things since his first appearance is that he frequently stops to taunt his opponents. When fighting him, especially when you're new to the game, these taunts are usually the only times you can attack him without getting your teeth knocked in. Him being arrogant to the point of stupidity is, in my opinion, quite in character for him. However, in going to Equestria, he doesn't realize that he's pitting himself against creatures that can pull fully loaded trains or even houses— the running joke obviously being that even in regards to his known strengths, he is simply outclassed in this new world.

I'll certainly go over the rest of the things you mentioned though, those are all good points. I don't have any dedicated pre-readers or editors, and I banged this story out in one sitting. I went over and edited it myself since, but you can only catch so many things when you're editing your own work. I must have read it like five times by now, and I never noticed that I accidentally had Shao Kahn say "you cowardly" instead of "your cowardly" :P

Anyway, thanks! This really helps!

Last edited at Sun, May 25th, 2014 00:01

>> No. 130500
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>See, this is the kind of stuff I wish people told me on FiMFiction!
That's the whole reason I came here in the first place. Welcome to /fic/, where we aren't afraid to eviscerate your soul if the betterment of your story requires it. Tell your friends.

Seriously though, traffic around here is pretty low. Once upon a time there was a dedicated team of dozens of enthusiastic editors around here that would lie in wait for a wandering author to offer up their work for harsh scrutiny. Sadly most of them moved on when traffic began to slow down, and there's only about four of us left now. I thank you once again for your willingness to listen, and for the opportunity to help you. They are a rare treat, both of them. Good luck, and keep writing.

Last edited at Sun, May 25th, 2014 07:40

>> No. 130501
I remember those days. I had a CMC story I was working on, and the people here were kind enough to completely tear it to shreds for me! Looking at the story now, I think I just want to start it over completely, but that's beside the point.
>> No. 130513
The difference is that this place is explicitly here to be full of reviews and criticism, and it's an imageboard BBS, which lends itself well to a certain kind of post frequency and dialogue.

Often, people just won't leave comments of any kind on fiction sites not because they've got nothing to say, but because they don't think their comments are meaningful, don't want to engage in a discussion about things over that medium, don't want the attention, or just can't express the things they wish to express over the medium given to them by fiction-collecting sites like fimfiction or fanfiction.net or the like. People don't comment on blogs, youtube videos, and other things for the same reasons, too.
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