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131375 No. 131375
#Reviewer #The Training Grounds

Previous thread: >>128937

Welcome one and all to the Training Grounds, the review thread for authors and reviewers, both newcomers and seasoned veterans alike! Do jump in and participate if you can. New reviewers, editors and authors are always welcome! After a year of low activity we finally hit autosage, and it’s time for a new thread. Put some wood on the fire, sip some cocoa/tea/coffee/wine or whatever your drink is, and let’s ship some ponies get those quills moving.

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.
Remember that while reviewers love to read, they will often lean towards being critical. Don’t be discouraged—use their criticism to improve your writing!

How to review stories: Write what you think about the story (or review) and post it in a reply. Writers want their work to shine so point out faults with gusto, but don't avoid compliments either—if something makes you smile, a few kind words can add a lot to your review.
Put a * in front of the subject field if you’d like your review reviewed.
[hide] tags are useful for long replies.



How to review other reviews: Put the title of the story being reviewed in the subject line along with the reviewer who wrote it. Say what you think about the review and point out anything you think they could work on, but also tell them what they’re doing right. Support what you say with good sources if you can. Reviewing a review is like reviewing a story, just with a different focus. Don’t be shy if you have something to say. They want your feedback, after all!

List of unclaimed stories: >>132036

Last edited at Thu, Jan 29th, 2015 21:09

Unspoiler all text  • Expand all images  • Reveal spoilers
>> No. 131377
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131377
>>131375

Looking for a review of the Second Edition of Ponies Give Me Hope, before I commit the new changes to it's FimFiction page.

http://1drv.ms/1zB0Ir4
-Link to a "view-only" version on OneDrive
>> No. 131381
>>131375
List of unclaimed stories appears to be broken/baleeted. Can you provide a direct URL?
>> No. 131383
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131383
>>128937
>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.

So I think we're flying blind at the moment.
I wouldn't know, I'm not a TG contributor explicitly. The last thread I was in ended up rage deleted when I didn't see the brilliance in combining comedy and randomness for 9k words because situational humor something something fanfics are terrible.
>> No. 131386
This is my second time being here but I feel it's necessary. Thank you, hope to hear back soon!

Compared to most in the wasteland, I had it pretty easy. Being the daughter of one the most successful and beloved caravan traders in Equestria, I was always fed and kept safe. Of course this kind of treatment did nothing for my ego and as soon as I was old enough to do so, I screwed it up. My curiosity for adventure drove me to turn down every opportunity for an easy life and led me to some of the grittiest parts of the wasteland. Among thieves and criminals, I shed blood, sweat and the occasional tear to make a name for my self. And after all that I still wasn't satisfied. Now I'm neck deep in lead and blood, fighting an up hill battle, against a unstoppable enemy, in a war I wan't nothing to do with. In short, I'm screwed. But, If i can make the right deal with the right pony, I might just come out of this with my head.

Tags: Crossover, adventure, dark

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1otKicdxbUIbhHqGsmdO1FCQmN59n5x5xer-N0MJRdBw/edit?usp=sharing
>> No. 131388
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131388
>>131381
Hey Snarkle, FYI I went back through a few TTG "previous thread" links and found in September 2013 the reason why it disappeared. In >>128053 the self-proclaimed architect of the queue decided to try making a few changes to the spreadsheet system that he thought would improve it. After receiving criticism he came to the realization that he had wasted his life rearranging deck chairs on the titanic; due to the extreme low volume of 'fics coming through, such a system was no longer needed. In his frustration, he baleeted the spreadsheet, or just closed it to public viewing; which is actually the case we may never know.

Last edited at Sat, Dec 27th, 2014 01:09

>> No. 131390
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131390
>>131381
>>131383
Pascoite usually does that. If he's not around I could get to it but he's better at keeping it updated than me.
>> No. 131391
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131391
Reposting this here, I guess?

---

Howdy y'all. First time poking my head around these parts. Was hoping to maybe get a full review of the story I finished a few weeks ago after a years worth of effort.

It's long. (Near 140k at completion.) I'm not really looking for mechanical feedback. I've got some damn good editors backing me up already, and while I'm certainly not perfect and I'm sure there's plenty of ways I could improve my prose, it's an evolving process that will naturally change on its own as I continue to write and gain more experience. Plus it's too long at this point where singling out any individual error would not make a difference.

I am interested in in feedback on issues of storytelling, characterization, pacing. What worked, what didn't work, etc. I've got some vague ideas of areas where I could have done better and such, but seeing such feedback externalized I think will help me a lot as I write in the future.

Thanks to anyone who decides to take up this task!

-Oroboro

---
The Heart of an Author
http://www.fimfiction.net/story/163482/the-heart-of-an-author
[gore] [teen] [romance] [dark] [crossover]

Mystery. Love. Magic. Murder. Truth. These are all important elements in the murder mystery Fluttershy has written, and is now asking Twilight to read. But the novel stars 'Twilight Sparkle', and she wrestles with the metafictional dissonance involved in reading a novel about herself and her friends. Twilight must do her best to solve the mystery, reconcile her own feelings about this ordeal, and figure out just what Fluttershy is trying to say by writing all of this in the first place as the lines between fiction and reality begin to blur.

---

This story is a thematic crossover with the visual novel Umineko No Naku Koro Ni, but it is written to be fully accessible with just knowledge of ponies.
>> No. 131393
Well, I can't get a hold of Pascoite, so I guess I'll handle this
unclaimed list

EMPTY


Last edited at Sat, Jan 17th, 2015 22:47

>> No. 131411
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131411
>>131391

Nice to see some traffic again. I'll take you for a spin.

>>131334
>>131352

Would claim these, as they have been in here longest, however I've reviewed these two already, and so I think I'll let someone else take a crack at you.

Variety is the spice of life. And it's good to find more than one opinion.
>> No. 131416
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131416
>>131334

I'll take it; it's been here for quite a while now.
>> No. 131422
>>131416
Neat! Thanks a lot for your notes so far!

I hope you enjoy it!
>> No. 131424
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131424
>>131334

This was a well-written story. I’ve got not much to offer in terms of improvement, and I guess a lot of it will come down to preference and probably nit-picking.

Tempest goes to this marketplace fair, meets a mare and becomes friends, decides to spend the rest of the time travelling around the marketplace with her. I found the interactions during their encounter natural and quite believable, but as they travelled around the fair, Tempest may have warmed up to her a little too quickly. Unless he’s got that very outgoing, friendly sort of character, this may seem a little contrived.

If the central conflict of the story is about Tempest entering some strange new world along with the mare he had just met, then perhaps there’s no need to linger around so much with the events at the fair. This is, after all, a temporary setting before all the action comes in. I like how you dropped hints about Meadowsong: an unusual pendant, Spitfire recognising her, Rarity. These add up nicely for a reveal in later chapters.

Lastly, although I enjoy the detail placed in each scene and the events happening within, I would consider cutting back on it a little, to speed up the pace of the story to get to the conflict.

Other comments have been made in the document (do enable commenting for second chapter). Impeccable writing footwork and mechanics!



>>131411

May I take a peek at the review? I can't find it.

Last edited at Fri, Jan 2nd, 2015 17:56

>> No. 131425
>>131424
Thanks for reading Chapter One!

The reason we hang around the fair is to give us a baseline for how things work in Tempest's Equestria before shenanigans start messing with it. It will act as a barometer for how their efforts to prevent the end of the world are doing.

That said, I have no doubt that this is why I am 4/4 split on FiMFiction right now...
>> No. 131426
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131426
>>131425
Yeah, that rating was extremely harsh, and I had initially assumed that there had been major edits and improvements from the original. Oh well, I did what I could to even it up there.

I have some theories regarding this, though none of them satisfactory. What I think is that people tend to be aversive to OC characters to begin with. There’s essentially no pre-established emotional connection for the readers. By using OCs, you’re building this from scratch, and that’s a huge disadvantage as compared to the main characters. So I guess there needs to be more work put into this. Maybe consider adding in characters from the show, even background ponies would do the trick.

Or perhaps it could be something to do with the plot, it coming across as too generic. Nothing that truly stands head and shoulders above the other fics, maybe. But it’s not even a remotely bad plot. So I’m still not convinced. Maybe general readers place much greater and disproportionate emphasis on these other aspects, and they focus little on the actual quality of writing. After all, there are plenty of frankly poorly written fics that make it to the feature box by leveraging on wish fulfilment or something of that sort.
>> No. 131430
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131430
>>131424

I would gladly give you a copy, but I just realized I'm an idiot. The Turbulence I reviewed was a different story with the exact same name.



Apologies, Ebon Quill. Shoulda payed a bit more attention.

And a bit of warning to my current reviewee, Orboro, your review might take quite some time. But I'm working on it. And I'll try and avoid confounding myself with whatever idle thought might so happen to wander through the boundless, empty tracts of what appears to be my inner mind.
>> No. 131431
>>131430
Oh, it's all good! I'm super-new to this whole thing, having been a lurker in the fandom for three years.

I'm about to put massive edits into both chapters, as I've been busy polishing and adding more.

Look for that sometime before the end of the weekend.

FiMFiction location: http://www.fimfiction.net/story/236299/the-tragedy-of-the-tapestry-turbulence-act-one

Last edited at Fri, Jan 2nd, 2015 16:39

>> No. 131432
>>131426
Believe me, there will be characters from the show appearing with some frequency, although not always in their usual trappings.

And there will be more work done. I trim where I can, but this will not be a short tale. Alas.

Oh! And commenting on chapter 2 is open. I thought I had already done so, but time makes fools of us all.

Last edited at Fri, Jan 2nd, 2015 16:14

>> No. 131433
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131433
>>131430

I did a quick story search. There was a total of three stories titled 'Turbulence', written by three different authors, excluding the one I've reviewed, and a further two stories with 'Turbulence' as a key focus in the title.

That's a lot of Turbulence.

Last edited at Fri, Jan 2nd, 2015 18:09

>> No. 131434
>>131433
Shazbot. I should rename mine.
>> No. 131445
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131445
>>131352

I'll probably have some free time, and this doesn't seem too long a chapter. Also, it'll be helpful if comments were enabled in the googledocs provided.


>>131367

I've taken a look at this one previously, so maybe I'll leave someone else to pick it up.
>> No. 131446
>>131445

Yeah, I'd like to get other perspectives too ;)
FWIW, the Second Edition includes all of your suggestions as far as proper dash use, and breaking up some of the massive walls of exposition. Not perfect, but a lot more readable.
Thank you.
>> No. 131447
>>131445
Apologies, access granted.
>> No. 131448
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131448
>>131447
Thanks.

>>131446
That’s good! As a tip from personal experience: Do pay close attention to the flow when you’re editing. Sometimes, especially if you’ve removed a huge chunk of writing to speed up pacing, the flow gets disrupted. It can be difficult to notice this from the writer’s perspective, because the story has already been well-versed in your head, but to the reader, some parts may seem off or confusing because of a break in the train of thought.
>> No. 131449
>>131448
Hey, Cheez? I'm about to dump a whole lot into T1:Tragedy of the Tapestry Chapter 1 that fine-tunes the whole thing. It may blank out your comments. I'm not versed enough in GDocs to do it another way, short of actually making a second copy.

Which works for you?
>> No. 131451
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131451
>>131449

I think googledocs works such that if a comment is blanked out—by backspacing the highlighted text, for example—that comment can still be found by clicking the 'comments' button at the top right hand corner of the screen. So it would have disappeared from the sidebar, but the information would still be in tact. Oh, and the location of where that comment had been made will be gone too.

At least, this was for the old version of googledocs, before it become googledrive. We did a collab fic once and the entire sidebar was filled with comments.

Maybe experiment a bit to see if it still works? Anyway, those comments for mostly for your reference, so I'll be fine with whatever you choose to do with them.

Last edited at Tue, Jan 6th, 2015 00:47

>> No. 131467
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131467
>>131391
>>131411

Been over a week, so I felt it only proper to inform you on progress. I've read about a third of your story so far and continue chipping away at it a couple chapters at a time. It's a big story and a very chewy one at that.
>> No. 131468
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131468
This story seems to emulate the Fallout: Equestria style fairly well, of which I’ve only read a small section of, but the story is greatly set back by poor mechanics and writing footwork.

Mechanics
There is an overwhelming slew of errors in this fic, many of them very basic and therefore showing deep-rooted misunderstanding of mechanics and the language. These include: capitalized speech tags, grammatical howlers such as ‘your’ versus ‘you’re’ confusion, ‘to’ versus ‘too’ confusion, and other homonym confusions. Here are some examples lifted from the text:

>You don’t look like a cabbage trader. Your to pretty for that.
The correct version would be: You’re too pretty for that.

>“Gold!”Snapped the aging cyan earth pony.
“Gold!” snapped the aging, cyan, earth pony.
Also, note the space before the speech tag.

There is much inconsistency as to what needs to be capitalized and what doesn’t. Sometimes, you correct capitalize the pronoun ‘I’, but in many other instances you whimsically decide not to, as if such rules are simply unwarranted fripperies for the writing elites, or fuel for the Grammar Nazis.

They are not. Do follow them diligently, at least for the time being.

It would have been preferable that if such a mistake was to have been made, it would at least be a consistent one, meaning that there is some sort of rule being followed, albeit an incorrect one. But the following suggests that there is an absence of any such rule to begin with.

>I watched him as he trotted of and rounded a corner. “Come on Jeffery, i think we both need a drink.” As i turned around I bumped into something.
> “I’ve seen vat those gray flanks are capable of, ill keep my lips to my self.” hes eyes stayed locked to the ground

Consider typing the story out on a word processor such as Microsoft Word, because it’ll help underscore such basic grammatical errors. Also, here’s a helpful list of commonly confused homonyms: http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/words/commonly-confused-words

Other than the basic errors listed above, there are also comma splices (mostly missing commas), paragraphing issues and huge walls of text, with exposition. Break up the walls of text into smaller, bite-sized paragraphs for easier reading. Reduce the exposition, keep only what it necessary to build the plot upon, or for worldbuilding, and throw everything else out. Adjective usage was quite excessive.


Story

This story seems to require some foreknowledge of FO:E, which would function as the background world-building that would help to explain the presence of firearms, raiders, etc.

The prologue and introduction can be improved. The former is essentially an info-dump that begins with a rather overused quote and the latter is largely just a mildly interesting conversation foreshadowing a typical smugglers checkpoint which doesn’t actually come until many paragraphs later, and that’s after even more information fed to us before it happens.

In terms of characterization, there were a couple of unique traits established for the protagonist—her ability to flirt and worm her way out of a treacherous encounter with the raiders, for example. However, many of the other characters seem to fall into the same rowdy, barbaric archetype, and I think they can be varied a little more, including their dialogue.

The plot appears to be in its early stages, so I have not much to say about it. The overall direction seems to be okay.




Now, I made it a point to hold off reading WB’s review until I’ve done my own, so that my judgement won’t be influenced, but now I realise that many suggestions haven’t been followed up upon, and that is disappointing. Grammatical corrections are not something subjective and to be ignored. Here are some examples of things that have yet to be corrected:

> “I was full of my self”
> Also, anytime an “I” is alone, it is capitalized.
>to/too confusion

There was even a specific piece of dialogue that was brought up in your first review, explained and even corrected for you, but you’ve done nothing about it. And now that same piece of dialogue was picked up by me earlier. Look at that.

>“Gold!”Snapped the aging cyan earth pony.

This is extremely frustrating for both reviewers, and one wonders why you’ve even come here in the first place, if you’re not even going to listen to the things we say. Reviews take patience, time, and a lot of effort. It’s a large commitment to take on and also a sacrifice to make a story better—a story that isn’t even ours.

Do get all these things sorted out, find a few grammar or mechanics worksheets on the internet (they’re easy to search for), and get a basic level of proof-reading up. This will take time, and I do not expect to see this fic in the queue anytime soon.

I’ll end off with a few questions you’ve raised, as well as some resources for your reference.

>Question 1: How do I show a character has an accent?

There are two aspects that form dialogue characterization. One of them I’ll the 'contractions', for I lack a better term for it, and the other involves the choice of words used by the character.

For example, in Applejack's case, some authors tend to replace 'I' with 'Ah' in her dialogue.

"I don't think that's necessary, Twilight"
> "Ah don't think that's necessary, Twi."

Notice how I also reduced 'Twilight' to 'Twi'. Contractions.

The other, more important thing, is word usage. How the character phrases her sentences, how she describes something. All these play a part in giving off that sort of country feel for Applejack, for example.

Ideally, the author should aim to rely more on word choice and less on simple contractions to get the 'feel' across. In the past, I used to swap 'I' for 'Ah' when it comes to AJ's dialogue. I no longer do that.


>Is it even necessary?
It is acceptable, but not necessary. Take note that the litmus test for accents is that it must not hinder the reading flow. It must not cause the reader to stop or slow down. If it does, get rid of it.

>I wish to give some of my characters distinct accents (ex: Snow = Russian) but I’m not sure how to accomplish this.
I cannot advise on this, because I'm uncertain of how a person with a Russian accent even sounds like, much less how to convey it in writing. However, I can say with certainty that this would not be the way to do it:

>Snow nudged me “On of theze dayz your going to say that to the wrong pony and itz going to pizz them off.”
Simply swapping the 's's with 'z's does little to convey an accent (this was also pointed out by WB), and instead appears as an eyesore to the reader. Also, you’re missing a period after the action tag. (Snow nudged me.) There’s also confusion between ‘your’ and ‘you’re’ again. The correct word to use in the above text would be ‘you’re’, which is a contraction for ‘you are’.




Misc. Resources

Attribution of Dialogue (Dialogue Tagging)

Wrong:
✖ "Hi there," the pink pony grinned. (It should be a period: ‘grinned’ isn’t a ‘speaking’ verb.)
✖ "Hi there." The pink pony said. (This should be a comma; no capitalization should be used)
✖ "Hi there"! the pink pony shouted! (Punctuation of dialogue belongs inside the quotes.)
✖ "Hi there!" The pink pony shouted! (Don’t capitalize "the"; treat the "!" as a comma.)

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

(referenced from: The Editor’s Omnibus, https://docs.google.com/document/d/1WMMs8H-GpFIXPsQeC0RNu8V-Cq6uyGl_UERpOUK_6KY/edit?hl=en_US)
Ezn’s Guide: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1xemG7BLk2rvAmQCREIaj5wX2ubvmVt7WziEvh7xXV9g/edit


Last edited at Sun, Jan 11th, 2015 01:42

>> No. 131470
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131470
>>131467

Thanks for the update!

... Yeah. Chewy is one way to describe it. ^_^
>> No. 131471
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131471
Summary: When writers manipulate our world they don't much care what happens after. Fact is it's a lot more than you think. There's got to be someone that returns things to the way they were.

That's where we, the Department of Status Quos, come in. My name is Chaser.

Don't matter if you're an OC or a background character. Weather you're fully fleshed out or a Mary Sue. If you don't belong, we'll take care of you, and if you fight us... Well, don't fight us.

Tags: Adventure.

Link:https://docs.google.com/document/d/1IfEJA2I6NMHZGH0kzS8CzrR8wFsmvfPZS3CnLkTGL3o/edit?usp=sharing

Small little idea I had.

Last edited at Sun, Jan 11th, 2015 21:18

>> No. 131473
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131473
>>131471
Okay, I was just going to skim this really quick to get a feel for the story.

This is a giant sexist load.

The story itself is fine. There's lots of character work that needs to be done, and as a one shot, it's functional. There is a chance you hit some unknown mathematical super combo and the phase of the moon is just right, but this triggered every 'OMG Sexism' bone in the hate generating irregularity called my soul.

First, you misspell Mary Sue. I dropped a little rant in there about THAT. It was minor enough I didn't even work out a psuedo-haiku to explain it to you. I know this fandom has an abundance of Garys, but Mary Sue is the root word, base concept, and over riding factor.

Then, in your story about missing and lost characters, you have:
Male OC Superior POV
Male Mary Sue
Male Mary Sue off Camera
Female Subordinate OC
Male OC Superior off Camera

Do you see the problem here? Do you see why I'm posting this response, and not just letting it blow over?

Lets review where you proceed to make this worse, character by character.

Golden Heart, "a dark green alicorn with a rainbow mane" is explicitly male for no plot relevant reason.
While it is true that a large number of writing OCs are male, art OCs tend to be female. The rainbow hair and name reminiscent of a Care Bear knock off is a great opportunity to place a female Mary Sue in a position of some capacity early on in your story, providing both gender representation, and making your story not a sausage fest.

Gold’s partner was a unicorn Gary Stu by the name of Dark Lance
Suicidal partner with clear parallels to Buffy/Angel dynamic? That would be fine, I wouldn't complain about that. Oh, except it reinforces that field agents are only Marty Stus. Mary is too feminine and perfect to throw down with the big boys.

“Silver song,” I responded gruffly.
Oh my GOD did you drop the ball here.
I will tell tales of how much you biffed this one.
Future generations will sing songs, warning about accidentally writing this character.
But more about that later actually. ^^

“I’m putting Number Two in charge while I’m gone,” I said putting on my hat and jacket. “Be sure to help him out best you can.”
SAUSAGE FEST
The only agents you trust enough to take action or command seem to have dangle bits.
The only female character you write serves tea and panics.

Now, let me address Silver Song and Chaser.
Chaser is written as a misogynistic prick. That's fine, he's written as a 35 year old noir knock off. However, in your story, he's a 60 year old noir knock off in the body of a 35 year old who's been working in the DSQ for at least 25 years. This is still fine until you get to the end, where the story implies that his line of thought is completely correct and not biased.
That's the problem with one shots, you don't get a chance to alter your course with even the slight implications that you make.

Silver Song is written as a generic femme fatale, and in this story, she's supposed to be a badly written one with an incomplete back story. Originally 15, she should now be a 40 year old in the body of a 15 year old. This story does not play this version of her potential character.

The DSQ, hilariously inverted in respect to the name, should be affecting the characters it subsumes. It should be taking over their stories, at least subtly. Because it's about the fact that they're becoming part of a surrogate story in a metafictional way. Different origins merging into the new story that needs them to continue.

It could be about the 15 year old innocent bystander from her core story, spending the bulk of her life surrounded by Mary Sues who die fairly frequently, and dealing with becoming a useful part of her new parent organization.

Here you have a 40 year old, by your own stories rules, who serves tea and panics at the first sign of trouble. She doesn't grab a gun, work cases, or complain about her co-workers.
She doesn't even function as an operator, or part of dispatch. She's not even part of the war room, which again, I'd like to point out:
- She's spent more time as part of the DSQ than her entire backstory.
- She's probably spent more time in HQ than most any other character besides her father.
- She's not a Main Character, and would have less default programing to override.

If anything, she should be Number Two. Or the title character.
There should be a part of the story about her trying to convince her surrogate father figure to retire. Instead, there's only wifely duty and subservience to her male masters.
>> No. 131475
>>131473
Oh...

Oh wow...

That... That was not what I intended.

I... I'm not sure how this happened.

Well, let's address this one by one.

The misspelling of Mary Sue: Okay, fine, I fucked that up. Was a simple mistake. I'll make sure to correct it.

The cast primarily being male: ...Huh... Didn't even notice. Guess I'll retool this a bit. You seem to think I did this on purpose. It's more just because I was trying to work with a small cast of characters and the first three I thought of where Chaser, Silver Song, and Golden Heart, who was meant to be a happy, everyone likes him just cause he says hi and can do incredible things kinda guy. Dark Lance came about later when I thought it would be funny to give him a dark, brooding opposite.

Silver Song: Okay. I'm willing to admit she should be worked on a bit. This time I'll get what I have in my head for her. She was supposed to be an assistant and one of the few that Chaser trust completely. The milkshake was supposed to be a way for her to help lower his stress since she knows she likes them. The panicking thing was just because I wanted to explain that OCs of dropped stories unconsciously want get to the end of their story.

Number 2: Meant to be a joke. Like what if there was an OC who's entire job is to take over someone's job when they leave.

Aw, well. I'll take a wrench to it and try again.

(Also, It's actually going to be at most a three chapter story. Sorry I didn't make that clear.)

Thanks for the review.
>> No. 131476
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131476
>>131475
> You seem to think I did this on purpose.
No, I don't actually.
But that's part of why it hit that switch.

It's just representative of this fandom's expectation that Mary Sue characters will probably be male. I'll argue on that, but numbers don't lie.
Female dominated shows, in writing, tend to be dominated by male OCs. Like how Band of Brothers is flooded with female love interest OCs. The entire origin of the term Mary Sue is from the Star Trek Fanzines with young perfect female OCs who are added in to make everything better with romantic entanglements.

The reason it became a problem, is that you say 'There are Mary Sues', then focus 95% of your characters in an entirely male dominated society, where the first female mentioned at all is subservient for reasons that make no sense in the context of the story.

Silver Song is a particular point, because you don't mention any other females.
When I was skimming, if the line:
Subject potentially a Gary Stu. was Mary Sue, I probably wouldn't have flipped my shit.
If it was 'Help her out' when talking about Number Two, I would have been more molified. Then there would be two females, one in a command position and a daughter character.

I understand how you got to that point. You started building the story around three core characters and that makes sense.
It's just that as you built the universe around them, there's no variety in representation. They only seem to field male Mary Sues, bit characters stay bit characters, and no one seems to think about the ethical quandary of erasing troublesome characters because it's inconvenient to have too many around. The only character who's backstory you seem to have worked out completely is Chaser's.

That makes sense, he's the Main Character. But it becomes a detriment when you haven't worked out the DSG as a character in as much detail.

In establishing that Silver Song comes out of the same story as a bit character, the years they've both spent as part of the DSG don't seem to have an effect on either of them. Silver Song is really just a prop for Chaser instead of a character in her own right.

I don't understand how the Department functions. And while that's not a huge deal, it becomes an issue when I'm trying to figure out character motivation.
A character like Silver who's an assistant currently, by making the emotional connection between them being that they were created by the same writer it makes the issue way muddier.
Functionally, both characters have been alive and in the bureau the same amount of time.
If they were from different stories, or aged and she was clearly younger, I would understand the connection better.
Because, comparative media wise, I can watch the Avatar: The Last Air Bender, and watch a group of 12-14 year olds save the world. Why would a 15 year old in MLP with at least 25 years of experience, still be a child?

For the story to work; I mean to really work on the level of a government agency; I have to believe that every character has their own story going on. Some stories are boring, some stories aren't. I need to believe you picked this story, but that it's just one of hundreds.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Police_procedural

I'm only mentioning this, because it fits the type of story that you're telling. Make me believe that this is a universe, and that anything can exist in it. It'll go a long way towards being a great metafictional story.
>> No. 131477
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131477
>>131476
hmm...

I see your point. I'll certainly work harder to make the D.S.Q a more believable organization. I'll also work on Silver Song more.

Thank you.

(By the way, DSG? What do you mean by that?)
>> No. 131478
>>131477
> (By the way, DSG? What do you mean by that?)

That is a transcription error caused by the human operator.
G and Q ended up transposed in my head. It's just a typo really.
>> No. 131479
Summary: When writers manipulate our world they don't much care what happens after. Fact is it's a lot more than you think. There's got to be someone that returns things to the way they were.

That's where we, the Department of Status Quos, come in. My name is Chaser.

Don't matter if you're an OC or a background character. Weather you're fully fleshed out or a Mary Sue. If you don't belong, we'll take care of you, and if you fight us... Well, don't fight us.

Tags: Adventure.

Link:https://docs.google.com/document/d/1IfEJA2I6NMHZGH0kzS8CzrR8wFsmvfPZS3CnLkTGL3o/edit?usp=sharing

Alright! Round two! Retooled some characters, fleshed out some things... probably still sucks.

Zero confidence! Woot!

To whom it may concern: I decided to explain exactly how the D.S.Q operates, but I'm wondering if there is a way to do that with out being so text dump-y. Tips?
>> No. 131488
File 142130907158.png - (3.19MB , 2024x1966 , aa-monkicon.png )
131488
>>131479
I'll look it over.

Last edited at Thu, Jan 15th, 2015 01:05

>> No. 131491
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131491
Hey superfriends! First time coming to the Training Grounds in nearly a year--hope everyone's doing well.

Title: Cutie Mark Crusader Dreamwalkers, Yay!

[Normal] (possibly [Adventure]?)

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1rkVPwo95LtaCxPyT6zb22g3DjxRiDGcVVcg97CtBFO4/edit?usp=sharing

Princess Luna has served as Guardian of the Dreamscape for millennia, patrolling dreams, destroying nightmares, and generally making sure that nopony ever has to be scared of what's under their bed. For just as many years, she's managed to perform her role without incident.
However, during a routine dream patrol, she comes across a group of intruders: the Cutie Mark Crusaders, who have entered the Dreamscape to make a little mischief. Unfortunately for them, the Dreamscape doesn't take kindly to outsiders.
Now, Luna must find and return the fillies to Eqestria, or else the Dreamscape--and the universe itself--will fall apart by the seams.


Thanks again, friends! Love you all!
>> No. 131494
>>131479

Hello.
>> No. 131495
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131495
>>131494
>>131488
>> No. 131496
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131496
Twilight takes a peek into the mind of one of her closest friends. Turns out, once you look, you can't really look back. It's my experiment in writing a horror-themed story using primarily colorful and happy imagery.

Rated Teen on FiMFiction

Tags: Dark, Sad, Random

Chapter One
http://www.fimfiction.net/story/55462/1/psychedelica-welcome-to-the-party/pinker-than-pink

Chapter Two
http://www.fimfiction.net/story/55462/2/psychedelica-welcome-to-the-party/blue-and-orange
>> No. 131497
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131497
>>131496
Just to complain, isn't this story complete?
And over a year old?

Scratch that, bordering on two years?

... Whatever, calling it.
I already touched it, mama bird won't want it.
>> No. 131498
File 142141621082.jpg - (63.04KB , 1000x655 , yes.jpg )
131498
>>131497

Right on the money!

I haven't really posted here much. Just thought I'd test the waters.
>> No. 131499
File 142142419959.jpg - (79.40KB , 682x1024 , reynard0.jpg )
131499
>>131494
>>131495
I'll go ahead and transfer my claim to >>131491

I recall reading Dreamwalkers (in its short form) during the recent Write-Off, while the other story I haven't made any leeway into. So I'll do that, then.

Sorry for the inconvenience.
>> No. 131500
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131500
>>131496
>>131498

First, some background. I don't do TTG reviews most of the time, because I'm too general. I attack narrative structure as opposed to revision and grammar which most people here want.
And I don't do long works. Not because I can't, but because after the first 500 words or so I just start repeating myself.

Because this story is completed and published, all I can do is point out my reaction to the work. You shouldn't change anything, and someone looking for revision and grammar errors would be better served working on a story in it's infancy where they could do the most good.

I sat down in my comfy reading spot to read this story, finished the first sentence, got immediately back up, headed back to my long form response computer, Googled some additional information, and started typing this up for you.

Twilight Sparkle wretched on the floor of her basement laboratory
This is in fact a good way to start a story. Though I think you wanted to use the word retched. Wretched is a similar word reflecting bad quality and a terrible state; where retch is the gagging, heaving, movement related to vomiting.

Twilight on a Pinkie flavored acid trip is actually pretty tame? Not nearly as sad as I thought it could be either. I was honestly expecting way worse.

dense lungfuls of sulfur hexafluoride
Yeah. Again Google did not help as much as it could; but the story is so drenched in metaphor, I don't really see what this reference achieves? I mean, if the intent is to contrast it with helium, I can see that; but every minute I spend googling chemical structures and their effect on vocal cords is another minute I'm drifting away from your story.
There has to be a better way to artistically reflect deepening voice without going to industrial gases.

...
The section where you invoke the blank pages from New Moon feels more like a cop out. Like you didn't actually want to address Pinkie's mental state, but you still wanted to pull angst flavored drama out of it; so instead of finding a more detailed way around the issue, you just skipped out on the whole thing.

So far the idea is interesting, Twilight inflicting herself with Pinkie's synesthesia via science accident. Maybe 6/10 interesting, but interesting all the same.

Then I started part two.

Pinkie's reaction to mood stabilizers? That makes sense.
Twilight's reaction seems a bit overly dramatic.
Twilight's reaction with Celestia seems a bit overly dramatic.
Celestia's reaction seems a bit overly dramatic.

I'm only about a third of the way through this piece, and I'm realizing I've only seen two characters. Pinkie and it's inversion, Not Pinkie.
Twilight is just a POV placed in the Not Pinkie pile. Celestia is basically older Twilight, and any other characters are mentioned only in passing, having no actual impact on the story being lead down it's predefined path.

It creates this emotional distance from the events that's mildly off putting.

And Discord slips into the Pinkie pile.

“What do you think my feeling are regarding Celestia?”
Sounds like this was meant to be plural.

Discord's story, while technically a single piece of dialogue, could and should still be broken into paragraphs.
http://english.stackexchange.com/questions/96608/why-does-the-multi-paragraph-quotation-rule-exist

Because as it is, the words start blurring together into a giant gray mass. Multiple subjects swirl and blend until the underlying story is lost in a wall of text.

Then love came up and I went to watch the 31st episode of Power Rangers Jungle Fury.
It sounds like a non-sequitur except when you consider that I just needed to cleanse my palate.
You see, in that episode, a number of subplots converge into the lead character getting into an argument with the ghost of his mentor.
Lots of motives and established storyline points are thrown at each other as they have an open argument over the value of redemption, the basis of good and evil, fate, guilt, pragmatism versus idealism, and a whole bunch of things you wouldn't think would appear in a kids show.

In comparison, your scene hit me in the face with a two day old fish, in the form of an obvious background love story, and then proceeded to dwell on it for an uncomfortable amount of time in a story ostensibly about Twilight dealing with late onset synesthesia. Which rolls right into yet another wall of text while explaining itself in gratuitous detail.

You're hear to learn, correct?
Homonym: here. I doesn't sound like a big deal, but it totally is.
While they're both spoken the same way, some people read words differently than spoken words. Homonym errors are especially annoying, because my first reaction is to try to figure out if it's intentional in a Lewis Caroll punnerific sort of way.
Which takes me right out of the story.

Final Thought:

This entire thing feels like a desire to approach Discord and Pinkie from a more scientific point of view, via hallucinogenics. Twilight is a vehicle to the plot you wanted to get to, and as a result, not really a character.

Like I said, the underlying idea is okay, but the execution suffers from the lack of characters and some punctuation/grammar issues.

Part one, which is rife with color and purple prose, is very trippy.
That is very effective, but says nothing about the characters. We have dream visions of Pinkie breaking down in between the melting skin and screaming, but the whole thing reads like a bad trip.

Still, that part is much more effective than part two, the aftermath.
While I do like the description of mood stabilizers and why Pinkie wouldn't use them, that part of the story would be more effective on the reader if it was a more dedicated chapter of the story rather than just being relegated to flashback recollection in the header notes for what is actually just Discord back story info dump.
This chapter is harder hit by the fact Twilight isn't a character. She's a reader proxy to react to the shocking truths revealed to her. As a character she's seemingly no longer reacting or affected by Pinkie's party world, she really adds nothing and changes nothing to the story she's sort of just trapped in. In part one I could write off her inability to act as a part of the narrative. In the first part of part two, she takes some actions, as ineffective as they are, they at least happen.
Once Celestia starts talking, she's pretty much just a passenger though.

This is made slightly worse by Celestia really just being really old motherly Twilight.
That in turn is made worse by my actually wanting to see Drug Induced Dissociative Twilight in more detail, because that seems like a really interesting idea. Instead I'm reading a Celestia/Discord shipfic I didn't sign up for.

Not that I disagree, it's a perfectly good back story, but not what was being offered.

The tags in use here are Sad/Dark/Random.
I'd argue on sad. Twilight cries and screams a bit, but it's not sad about it.
I'd almost argue Random. The trippy nature is almost entirely plot relevant.
I'm more surprised at the teen actually.

But in the end, I liked what Pinker Than Pink could lead to and the way it handled it's story more or less.
Blue and Orange is just... Well, ugh. It failed in a lot of minor points, constantly. From losing focus on it's characters and narrative, and simply by being very informational but not very engaging. It really should be a story about Celestia and Discord, possibly with Luna. Instead it keeps having to remind the reader about Twilight, who really shouldn't have a pony in that race. Instead of drawing parallels between Candy Twi and Discord, it focuses on things neither of the two have any impact on.
The chapter suffers noticeably from the lack of focus or character agency.
>> No. 131501
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131501
>>131479

Photo credit: Rautakoura [rautakoura.deviantart.com]

Good: Concept, setting, timing. We're getting more new writers now than ever.

Bad: Dialogue, characterization, narrative approach

FULL REVIEW

You begin by breaking the fourth wall. That is never a good sign. Even in a story that is entirely composed of meta-humor and meta-narrative, speaking to the audience from the outset, especially in a contemptuous tone (even if the tone is understandable, given the circumstances of Chaser's job), doesn't really compel me to continue reading.

You're telling high, low and far throughout this entire first chapter, which is a little aggravating, mostly because I really appreciate what you're trying to do here: you're trying to give a good name to, and provide a unique twist to, meta-narratives. The problem is that you're not setting yourself up to do that particularly well.

Take your own OC: I mentioned in-Doc that having your character state, "[m]y own back story isn't that important" struck me as lazy. It gives the impression that you couldn't be bothered to write an intriguing history for him, or weave one into the story. Granted, you started to weave it in later on, but the fact that you told me, from the start, that his back story isn't important, left me wondering: why should I care about this character if the author doesn't?

That was the biggest pitfall of your story: telling. There were entire paragraphs or sentences where you explained, with absolutely no mystery and no holds barred, the term you just used. For example:

The D.S.Q has three classifications for OCs: minor, main, and Gray Stu or Mary Sue, depending on gender. . . .

The alicorn, known as Golden Heart, was one of the dozens of Sues in my employ. Not a bad kid, little on the “can do no wrong” side of things, but a very competent field agent and one of the few I have give me a field report in person.

We generally don’t go in guns blazing. First step is reconnaissance, tailing the mains, tallying how many are affected, scope out an OCs powers, that kinda stuff.

These are just a few examples. I counted more than ten. Everything contained in those sentences is excellent narrative material, but you're wasting it by throwing it at us all at once. What would you lose from leaving a lot of those terms, a lot of that information, hanging, and incorporating it into dialogue later, or revealing it more slowly? Nothing. You gain a lot more, in fact, because when you don't give everything up front, an air of mystery surrounds your story, leaving the readers wanting more.

Dialogue was problematic as well. Have you ever played Starcraft II? One of the biggest issues plaguing that game, something many reviewers pointed to, was the laughably over-the-top "tough guy" dialogue. The game was riddle with situations where the characters would spew out hilarious tough guy one-liners that just seemed utterly ridiculous; that was the case here. The majority of the dialogue between Silver Song and Chaser follows that bent, actually. Example:

“You’re serious? Chaser, you can’t!” Her movements were frantic. “I mean, uh, let’s be honest, you’re getting on in years.”

I raised a brow. “I was ‘getting on in years before I even became an agent, kid.”

“All the more reason you shouldn’t. I mean you’re, like what, sixty?”

I stepped past her. “Thirty-eight. OCs don’t age, hence why you’re still fifteen.”

The unease in her voice seemed to increase as I put on my jacket.

“But, but, you haven’t been a field agent in years.”

This is classic, cliche, and frankly uninteresting "loose-cannon cop who won't play by the rules" dialogue that left me feeling unsatisfied with Chaser's character. By this point, both Silver Song and Chaser effectively exist in only two dimensions; they really don't jump off the page like I want them to. There's no audience connection, in other words.

The story, overall, wasn't bad; you're just wasting a lot of really fascinating potential by skating over characterization and dialogue, which, as most authors will tell you, are everything to a story.

Elsewise, there are a several minor technical and grammar errors that I would be happy to point out if you'd like me to. If not, be sure to take this to a proofreader.

With regard to the story itself, I can really only recommend one thing: overhaul. The introduction to the story isn't as engaging as it could and should be. I get the distinct impression that this is going to be an action/thriller-style story, so why is our first introduction to all these characters in a dark, brooding office rather than an exciting action sequence? Go for a complete redraft and open the story with Chaser in the field, on an assignment (maybe the one he was about to leave on in this version?), and don't give away information in the first chapter. If you use terms or names that relate to the D.S.Q., let those play out in dialogue, or leave them hanging; that's what will cause the reader to want the next chapter.

TL;DR review: Retool more, flesh more. Work on dialogue, avoid cliches, substantially reduce telling, leave more to be desired.

Feel free to reply with any questions.
>> No. 131502
>>131500

Thanks for reading!

And yeah, I suppose I really should apologize again. I haven't been here in a while and didn't have a newer story to place here, or at least a new release that wasn't part of a much longer and denser story. I figured trying to post 20+ links would have looked silly =P .

Yes, that is how I wanted to start the story. With the action of having used the helmets already completed as well as failed. As an added bonus, now I know what word not to use =) .

Ah, man, you didn't think Twilight's trip through the Pinkie Party was intense enough? Dang. I actually felt that I had pushed each stage of what she was seeing and experiencing a little too far; guess I have to imagine some more syrupy ways for her to go bananas.

With the sulphur hexafluoride, the intent was indeed to make the comparison with helium. If I'm going to be honest though, that idea actually stemmed from an episode of Mythbusters where I watched Adam inhale the gas, turning his voice into that of some kind of demon's. I just thought it was neat, so I threw it in. In hindsight, I wasn't thinking about how well known the gas was or how well the description seemed to fit alongside any of the others. Another dang!

The blank sections were intended to convey a false sense of silence alongside Twilight's thrashing and crying. Of all the things you've mentioned thus far, that section is actually the bit that I was most dissatisfied with when I published the story.

With the second chapter, if I over-dramatized it, I'll have to re-read it a few times before I'm satisfied with where I think each part should be toned down. I wanted to reach a space somewhere between drama and suspense, but clearly I haven't done that. Taking those sections apart would probably be a very good idea.

The flashback sequences with Pinkie monologues came out how I wanted them to feel, so I don't know that we can reconcile that one. I have an idea, but I'll get to that in a sec. First we have:

Eep! Yeah, that was supposed to be plural.

This part here, you totally have me on. Discord does enjoy building brick walls of text here. This is another thing that I know I need to change and mix up. Even if they were exactly how I dreamed they would always be, yeah, those slabs of text don't look pretty.

Aaaaaaaaaaaand then there's the Dislestia. I ship them. It's obvious. But hey, outside of the addition of the shipping itself, I do think we can meet in the middle here. I was trying to add it in so that later I could come full-circle with it into an overarching plot that's going to branch from this story into another, much longer one that I've been working on. I mean, I can't very well argue that doing so poorly is any way to go about getting it done at all. I want the shipping there, but if it feels stale, it's going to have to go back to the drawing-board.

Ack. "Hear". Darn you, word! >=(

I can't really argue against the proper use of a tag system either, particularly if the story fails to meet the demands of the tags used. Otherwise I'm false advertising =P . What I think I'll do is strip away all of them, rework the story, then add the tags that I feel fit the most. I thought that's what I did the first time, but hey, I can always try again.

This isn't really a defense, but I would like to say that being trippy is exactly what I wanted out of the first chapter. I got the idea from a mushroom trip (heh, you hit the nail on the head, it was a very bad trip). Looking back, considering what's lost with all of the blank paragraphs, I could probably take all of that wasted space and use it to better involve the characters (and not just go for an overly drawn out dramatic pause).

With the second chapter, something that I'm thinking about is simply writing a third that covers some of Twilight's state while she's on the medication; maybe try to give it longer to sink in and explore what it's like to be on a medication that depletes your energy, emotional state, and drive to function throughout the day. My brief description came from a friend's account of what it was like to be prescribed ritalin only halfway through secondary school. I think this would alleviate the need of much of the chapter, cutting down on a lot of the overused drama.

Discord. Man, I really like him. I really want to do a lot with him and for many reasons. He's ancient and he's probably seen more than anyone could ever know, he's powerful, he's manipulative, and he's a total smartass. One of the things I think I should really do though is consider angling the shipping better. I'm not going to drop it entirely, but right now I'm thinking of taking it and making it much more vague, perhaps dropping it as a small reference or hint rather than taking a hammer and talking about how much he wants to see her smile again. Hearing it brought up to me like that does make it sound forced. Besides, I could just drop the love anvil in another story! =D

Thanks you for the critique, I have a lot to think about now. But having too much to think about can be a boon when you're trying to raise a story from the mud lol. I'll see what I can do to smooth the rough edges, remove the edges that shouldn't be there, and sharpen the edges that actually worked.

Take care, yo, and thanks again! =)
>> No. 131506
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131506
>>131391
>>131411
>>131467

Update time.

Now that I've finally finished reading it, I have to take some time and compile my thoughts over the piece. Hopefully, I should be finished within a few days.

>>131377

You've waited more than long enough. After I'm finished With Oroboro, I'll take a swing at yours next.
>> No. 131507
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131507
>image is my mind, an artist's interpretation

>>131499
>>131491
Despite myself, I ended up enjoying this. There were quite a few narrative issues I noticed, but rather than bog you down with minutiae, I’d rather like reflect on the work as a whole.

Mapping out a comprehensive metaphysics from what you’ve written is a bit difficult. I believe I have most everything now understood, but if I say something that doesn’t square what you had in mind, you have my apologies.

I noted two distinct parts of the story’s metaphysics: the Dreamscape and the Nightmare. The two seem separated, somehow opposed, yet also related. The story makes a great deal about how intrusion into a dream causes it to become unstable, yet it also hints that the Nightmare itself is an interloper. At first I imagined the Nightmare to be a manifestation of the ponies’ collective unconscious, appearing to each as some unique terror. But why would they want to hurt themselves? But it can’t be a part of the ponies. Luna seeks to banish it.

Dream-magic appears to be a matter of intention. Or of will. The CMC wish for this thing or that and it is given to them. But what intention is behind the Nightmare? It speaks. Briefly, yes, but it speaks. I’d like to note too that the two colors used in the show for dark magic are purple and green, and the Nightmares are usually described as being “purple clouds” or “purple dust” when forming or destroyed. Could it be the same Nightmare that possessed Luna? But why would it wish to destroy these ponies? What does it have to gain?

Nothing, probably. But why does it hate them? There must be some reason. NMM sought affection due to her selfishness. Her actions very well could have spelled the end for everything, but she did not do it to cause the end of everything.

Could the Nightmare be seeking affection also? That would make your story a tragedy, and it’s clearly not presented as a tragedy.

It’s an honest conundrum. Sure, you could keep the Nightmare shrouded in mystery and shadow, but that is a technique best left to horror. Here it looks more like an authorial oversight.

Giving the Nightmare some clear intention, or at the very least a motivation, would cause most of my qualms about your plot to vanish.

Now, what about this “paradox” that’s talked about so often. I simply don’t see it. There’s nothing here to suggest that two contradictory realities are trying to coexist. The CMC are intruding upon a dream. What’s so paradoxical about that?

Sure, I could buy that this is a dangerous deviation from The Way Things Ought To Be. But that doesn’t make it a paradox. We’re dealing with a problem. It’s not an everyday problem, but it’s a problem nonetheless.

Mm, and what is with the constant refrain of, “The Laws of Reality”? Truly, if they are laws of reality, you would not speak of them as such. You say: This is the way things are. I do not say, “Do not stand there while I drop this boot, lest the literal Laws of Reality cause you to get a bump upon your head!” I say instead, “Make way! I’m dropping this boot!” See?

Okay, now. I’d like to go through just a few narrative glitches. These are places where things don’t quite work right. It’s not an exhastive list, but I hope it’ll show you some of the things to avoid.

>There weren’t nearly enough buff stallions wearing bowties for this to be Rarity’s mind.
>Luna gave a flash of magic to probe the mare. Her name was Backbeat, and she was an aspiring singer and actress living in Fillydelphia.
These lines make Luna sound unduly intrusive and not a little bit creepy. Sure, she travels through ponies’ dreams, and dreams can be very private affairs, so getting some delicate info is unavoidable. But the use of “probe” here makes it should like she’s going out of her way to extract every tidbit of everypony’s private life.

>Scootaloo rode into the alley on her scooter, paying no mind to the dark creatures she was running over. Stopping just short of crushing a seventeenmouthed snail, Scootaloo jumped to the ground and took off her helmet.
What did you do wrong here?

I don’t want to sound condescending, but please, take a moment to consider. As a hint, think back to everything you’ve described up until this point.

Answer:
Where were all the “dark creatures”? They popped into existence right at this moment, when it was convenient for the joke. In order for the joke to be effective, you have to set it up earlier. Putting the setup and punchline so close together dampens the humor.


>“Would you rather be dissolved into pure darkness?”
>Sweetie cringed. “That sounds like it really hurts.”
>“You are perceptive.”
It’s difficult to tell whether Luna is trying for irony here or not, but I really can’t see how Sweetie was perceptive. Additionally, we’re shone later that this wouldn’t happen, so it’s not even an accurate assessment.

>“Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh!” Sweetie cried, floating around. “I’m flying! I’m actually flying!
This is a more concrete glitch. Here you have Sweetie saying it, when it should be Scootaloo.

>In a few seconds, long strips of jagged, spiked metal covered her wings; wing guards, just like the kind the Royal Guard wore during battle.
The semicolon should be a colon.

>every instance of the world “literally”
I’d cut every one of them. You don’t have to say “literally”. If it’s in the narrative, we can assume it’s literal. Otherwise, it’s an unnecessary embellishment that draws the mind away from the tale at hand.

There are other things, but I would prefer not to delve too deeply. These are just a few examples.

Anyway, I hope this has helped, even if only but a little.

Last edited at Sat, Jan 17th, 2015 13:47

>> No. 131510
>>131507
Review acknowledged.
>> No. 131513
>>131501
Hmm...

Welp, I'm a little confused on what to do now.

MintyRest said "Explain how the D.S.Q operates." I try and do that but then you say "Keep it a mystery."

I understand trying to explain it through dialogue, but all the agents I'm using are experienced and wouldn't need D.S.Q protocol told to them. I don't really want to throw in a newbie just to explain it.

As for the dialogue being cliched... That's the point. Chaser and Silver Song are from an old noir story and one that wasn't well written at that. They are supposed to have grown to be better characters through the D.S.Q but tend to slip back into it on occasion as it's their core personality, a thing that can't be changed.

Still thanks for the review all the same.
>> No. 131514
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131514
>>131513
> MintyRest said "Explain how the D.S.Q operates." I try and do that but then you say "Keep it a mystery."

I'm just going to add in here, seeing as I haven't read the revision, but it would be better to say that you needed to demonstrate how the organization operates a bit more to the reader.

I said that as a reader, I didn't understand how it worked as an organization. You as a writer have a few options to improve that, but you can swing too far in the other direction as well.

No big deal, info dumps happen to everybody.
You might decide that the reader needs limited information, or you can move that information later in the story.

I was looking at it as a single work, not a multi-chapter also.
>> No. 131515
>>131514
Okay. Got it.

Are there ways to do that with out making it info dump...y or introducing a newbie to act as a... What's that called when a character explains a thing to another for the reader's benefit?

Any tips?

Last edited at Sun, Jan 18th, 2015 14:55

>> No. 131516
>>131515
well the information needs to be brought up in a relatively relevant fashion. I really don't know the story so I have no idea what this is, but various choices are the obvious newbie approach, double agent gathering information, someone trying to ask for a favor i.e. go outside the system, or even a hands on approach that follows one of the agents who knows the system pretty well. Nakita and NCIS are great examples that come to mind. Again, no idea what sort of story this is, just going off the word "agents"
>> No. 131965
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131965
Honestly, depending on your point of view, I may have either been the best or worst person to pick up your story.

I am not what you might call a "fan" of complicated narratives, especially when it comes to dark, brooding exercises in the depths of an incredibly erratic mind. Bleeding Rain could have loved this. I, however, most unfortunately do not.

That said, I did try and see what it might have taken to draw readers like me, your average joe schmo, into your tale. And so, without further ado, I present my thoughts:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/16vcHSTMkf-oEGp2CEvE2H1p43YX1c4OZJyY-hRLGQ5c/edit?usp=sharing

Wish I could have gone longer, but really, besides time constraints, my biggest problem is that, by the end of the story, I couldn't properly remember anything that happened past the first "book" until the very end after the first read-through. The whole middle segment is just this sort of vague blur of disjointed information I can't make heads or tails of.
>> No. 131975
>>131965

Thanks for taking the time to read and review. Sorry you didn't find it quite to your tastes, but I suppose it's not for everyone.

I will say this: Much of the choices, scenes, stylistic elements, etc, were written as being a specific and deliberate choice by Author!Fluttershy as a part of the story or message she wanted to convey.

Applejack's scenes, and her whole romance arc with Rarity in general were generally used as a metaphor and exploration for Fluttershy's own apprehensions, misgivings, and hopes for her own romantic aspirations.

Fluttershy's scenes, while basically all just complete narrative fabrications, are far from empty of content. The study-battle with Golden Wish for example. While none of that actually happened, the situations themselves, the dialogue between the characters, and the narration all heavily hint at the actual proceedings underneath the heavy sheen of over the top illusion.

From a more meta perspective, that scene serves a purpose to be so over the top, ridiculous, and completely out of the blue so as to shatter suspension of disbelief, not just for the readers but for Meta!Twilight and Real!Twilight as well, causing them to start to question just how much they can trust what they're being shown. (Even if it takes them awhile.)

Celestia and Luna's scenes, while they tend to be empty other than some bullshit cryptic musings, serve to create the image that they're in the mansion and involved in some way, even though Piece!Twilight never manages to meet with them no matter how hard she tries, and there's only one pony who continuously attests to their presence and having met them.

Most of the mystery is built up on lies and assumptions that are normally taken for granted. Solving it relies then on recognizing deception and subsequently unpacking and separating truth from fiction.

I will admit that I think the second book is probably the weakest, though my reasons for thinking so are a little different than yours.

I could offer counterpoints to more things you've said, but I don't want to be that guy who's all "OMG CRITICISM I HAVE TO REFUTE EVERYTHING."

When it comes down to it, I know the story could be better if I was going to rewrite the whole thing, but I have no intentions of doing that. (If I did, I'd go full ham and make it a visual novel.) It's done and over with, and I've already moved on to other stories. (Already 30k words and 8 chapters into a drama/romance with no mysteries or murder or metafiction involved.)

In any case, thanks again for taking the time to review this. I've had readers who were able to follow along perfectly and figure everything out beforehand. I've had readers who continuously post comments in the vein of "I HAVE NO IDEA WHATS GOING ON I'M SO CONFUSED" but loved every minute of it anyway. So I guess it's good to have an in depth perspective of someone who (under normal circumstances) would have stopped reading early.

-Oroboro

Last edited at Thu, Jan 22nd, 2015 11:49

>> No. 131986
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131986
>>131294
Wow, geez I am so sorry I completely forgot about this. On it.
>> No. 132033
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132033
Sorry for taking to freaking long. There's not even that much to report here.

It’s an adorable chapter, but it runs out of steam about halfway through. There’s nothing really driving the chapter other than, “Ooh, look at all the cool stuff she gets to see on her first outing." Fascinating enough for a filly, but not quite enough to keep avid readers interested. Toss in a reminder about why we’re here every thousand words or so, kay?

Other than that there are very few issues. The descriptions are nice. I liked the bit about Carrot. Makes me wonder who takes the family name when two ponies get married.

Last edited at Thu, Jan 29th, 2015 06:28

>> No. 132034
>>131377
>>131506

Finished reading it. Gonna start compiling my thoughts and you should have your review sometime in the next few days.

>>131975

Should have answered you a while back. No better time than the present I guess, eh?

>I could offer counterpoints to more things you've said, but I don't want to be that guy who's all "OMG CRITICISM I HAVE TO REFUTE EVERYTHING."

It isn't obnoxious if you're doing it with the intention of learning something, and are being respectful about the matter, and I'm more than willing to admit I’m not infallible. As I said, I’ve simple tastes, so perhaps I’m simply not the person your story was meant for.

>When it comes down to it, I know the story could be better if I was going to rewrite the whole thing, but I have no intentions of doing that. (If I did, I'd go full ham and make it a visual novel.) It's done and over with, and I've already moved on to other stories. (Already 30k words and 8 chapters into a drama/romance with no mysteries or murder or metafiction involved.)

I thought that might be the case. And I don’t really fault you too much for that line of thought, given it was what I would have likely advised you to do anyways. You made it and moved on. Most anything we do for it now is, at best, thinking of how to improve basic story techniques for future works.

>Applejack's scenes, and her whole romance arc with Rarity in general were generally used as a metaphor and exploration for Fluttershy's own apprehensions, misgivings, and hopes for her own romantic aspirations.

And I got that towards the end. It’s not the romance I’ve a problem with, it’s the scenes specifically yanking us out of Twilight’s perspective to put us in hers that cause issue, especially when you switch back and forth between so many perspectives already in your second book. It makes an already complicated narrative so much more needlessly difficult to follow when I can’t keep track of where the heck I am in the plot.

Like I said, a better way to have couched this would be to have the scenes be specific rewards for Twilight from Golden Wish, and then they could have probably even discussed them afterwards, further cementing what it is that the story Twilight does and does not know as she tries and solves this mystery.

>Fluttershy's scenes, while basically all just complete narrative fabrications, are far from empty of content. The study-battle with Golden Wish for example. While none of that actually happened, the situations themselves, the dialogue between the characters, and the narration all heavily hint at the actual proceedings underneath the heavy sheen of over the top illusion.

>From a more meta perspective, that scene serves a purpose to be so over the top, ridiculous, and completely out of the blue so as to shatter suspension of disbelief, not just for the readers but for Meta!Twilight and Real!Twilight as well, causing them to start to question just how much they can trust what they're being shown. (Even if it takes them awhile.)

And, if story Twilight had properly addressed them sometime not long after they’d appeared, I might have let that slide. However, given the way they’re presented, the scenes essentially lie to me, your audience, instead of lying to Twilight, your character. And that feels like you’re cheating, not being clever.

I don’t mind being misled, especially if it’s because I put myself too firmly into the mindset of our protagonist. That’s just writing a really good character. However, lying directly to me without any regard for how it fits into the narrative feels cheap and unsatisfying because the narration gives me no real alternative but to see it as truth.

>Celestia and Luna's scenes, while they tend to be empty other than some bullshit cryptic musings, serve to create the image that they're in the mansion and involved in some way, even though Piece!Twilight never manages to meet with them no matter how hard she tries, and there's only one pony who continuously attests to their presence and having met them.

Same as the above. The reveal doesn’t feel shocking so much as cheap, because the narration is lying to the audience, not the character. Lying to the character gives me a chance to unpack deceptions in an unbiased manner. Lying directly to me does not, because when you’re reading a story you sort of have to trust the narration to a point. At least, unless the characters address something in it.

Which I think was the biggest failing in the second book. You continuous threw out all these various lies but they never felt properly, or at least satisfyingly (if incorrectly), addressed as they came. You saved so many of the reveals for the end that the middle never had any real meat in it. Just a lot of buildup with no real release to tide me over until the end.

>I will admit that I think the second book is probably the weakest, though my reasons for thinking so are a little different than yours.

How so?
>> No. 132035
Hi again, my lovely friends! Everyone is doing well, I hope? Well, I've got another story I'm looking to have looked at.

Title: Bring the House Down

[Normal]

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1LSBdz2JJef9uUlJjw0R7VFDzq0hhQwLxamtA7ZM1Bnc/edit?usp=sharing

It's been a few months since the Battle of the Bands, and the Rainbooms have been rocking harder than ever. At least, they would be if anyone would book them. Evidently, not many people want to hire half-pony half-human hybrids to play music for them.

Following their first real gig in months, the Rainbooms find themselves betrayed, as the bar they were hired by refuses to pay them. Now Rainbow Dash has to find a way to get their money back and restore the band's dignity--hopefully without getting arrested in the process.


Love you all! Stay brilliant!
-Dubs

Last edited at Tue, Feb 3rd, 2015 00:23

>> No. 132036
I guess I'll update every 50 posts or so to keep this visible

Unclaimed List:

>>132086

Last edited at Tue, Feb 24th, 2015 00:41

>> No. 132037
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132037
I can’t really nitpick on this as the grammar's impressively sharp at first glance (barring a heavier-than-preferred lean on narrative ellipses) so let’s go over the more general issues I found with your tale.



Problems:

-Too short.

Really, that’s one of the greatest complaints I can level on this. This story is on rocket skis all the way to the end and, because of that, you’ve spared very little time for the characters to develop properly.

For example, I barely got a proper feeling for our protagonist. He lost a little sister (though we don’t know how), lives alone (though we don’t know why), is absolutely miserable (again though, we never really learn why. Perhaps some of it is to do with his sister’s strange fate, but certainly not all of it), and is a master archer for unknown reasons (a little lip-service is made to a childhood filled with martial arts lessons and summer camp, but the fact he’s able to make a perfectly functional warbow out of assorted foliage and then use it with Robin Hood levels of accuracy seems a stretch by what little we’re given of his backstory).

And part of that has to do with the fact you have some severe aversion to multiscene chapters. You’ve got 15 chapters, but many of them don’t go too far past three pages or so, and very few of them have more than a single scene. You could have halve the amount of chapters just by chopping a few numbers off the top and leave the overall word count pretty much untouched.

That kept this from engaging me as well as it might have. You’ve got some decent characters, your spelling and arrangement fall pretty well into line, and I’m quite thankful you didn’t hammer on the point most HiE stories go bananas over (basically, “humans bad, ponies good” that’s generally explored in the most basic ways imaginable with little-to-no room for argument or proper contemplation) but this thing is just too darned short for me to get properly invested in its conflict.

-In the beginning of the story, we know that our protagonist knows about the universe. However, after he lands in Equestria, the narration is structured in such a way as to make it seem he has no idea who anyone is, except Pinkie.

I’d have accepted that he only knows who Pinkie is by virtue of her being his sister’s toy, maybe he saw the packaging when his sister got the gift or maybe he’s the one who got it for her, but since we almost never get any of this character’s backstory except in a couple sentences here and there, I don’t know what all he knows.

-Dissonance isn’t really that interesting as a villain.

We get little of his backstory, and his dialogue is just sort of a bland “evil overlord”, so there’s not a whole lot of dimension to him. A small complaint, perhaps, given that it seems he’s mostly there to serve as an overwhelming force against the world itself, not a character foil for our protagonist or any of the supporting characters, but he still just doesn’t grab my attention or make himself feel like a proper threat.

Again, some of this is likely because your story is so short he doesn’t really get a chance to make his impact felt until the very end. His army does a little bit, but he himself never actually gets a lot of time in the limelight, beyond a small appearance that comes to nothing and a bit of exposition from Twilight on who he is to help build up his image by shoving a couple big names under his belt. However, you never really get to see what he himself is currently doing to the world, instead hearing mostly about what he’s already done to it and seeing the aftershocks.

Which, again, could have been fine. But we only get some scenes of Twilight and company fighting some diamond dogs in the Everfree. We never get to see the destruction they’ve truly wrought on the world outside this forest, or what happens when the ponies lose a fight with them. Weave him inseparably into your world w=by making him a constant consequence.

***

Positives:

-Story feels soundly put together.

For an HiE, this moves along fairly well. The story does everything it can to try and say what needs to be said in a reasonably timely manner. While it didn’t engage quite as well as it could have, due to same brusque story-telling not lending itself too well to character moments, the story was nonetheless decently written and avoided a couple of the more virulent pitfalls in this genre.

-The characters generally act in accordance to who they are, not just what the story wants them to be.

They weren’t perfect, but there was no point in here I felt the need to grab someone by the shoulders and scream “STOP DOING THAT!” which in itself is quite an accomplishment.

***

Fixes:

-Story needs to be expanded.

As of now, this feels like a very detailed outline to a story, instead of a story proper. It hits most of the points--characters, a beginning, middle, and end, and such--except for one of the most important ones: immersing us into the world and its inhabitants.

Remove about half the chapter numbers, and expand the individual chapters to give them a bit more meat and fat. For a rough estimate as of now, try and make each individual chapter about 5000 words (about twice as long as one of your longest chapters). You can make them a bit shorter or longer, depending on how the scenes play out, but aim for somewhere at least in that neighborhood. Also, if possible, try and make this about at least another couple chapters longer (after rearranging the current material as prescribed above).

-Focus on building characters.

Moments like Twilight and the Protagonist at the first breakfast and Lily and the Protagonist at the archery range while he practices are excellent moments for the characters to share some time getting to know each other and for your audience to get to know them. Remember, we have no real idea who these characters are. We’ve a rough idea, especially about Twilight and company, but they’ve all had their own lives up to this point and the world of Equestria has just been recently turned over on its head. Things have changed.

-The protagonist specifically needs to be explored a lot more.

Why he’s not talked to his parents, why the loss of his sister seems to have hit him so hard (and what exactly that loss entails, such as kidnapping, simple disappearance or untimely death) and bits of his own history (His archery talents seem far too developed for a childhood upbringing in anything short of a Mongol horde) are all things I think I should know by the end of this piece, otherwise his life being turned around doesn’t carry a whole lot of weight, because I never really knew enough about him to put impact in what exactly changed in him.


So that should cover the more pressing issues I found. If you have any questions or thoughts you’d like to share, I invite you to speak them.

I wish you the best of luck, and may you find your place here.
>> No. 132045
Uh, bump? Still looking for an editor.
>> No. 132052
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132052
>>132035

Alright, let's do this. Might take a while, as I've got another review project going on as well, so feel free to poke at me every so often to keep it in the forefront of my mind..
>> No. 132053
>>132052
Thank you so much! Take as much time as you need--I'm just happy it's finally been claimed.
>> No. 132059
>>132037
That story seems to be written much better from the time I read it.
>> No. 132064
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132064
If you have any questions or comments you'd like to make, please do share them. I didn't see the need to go too far in-depth with this story, but I welcome discussion on it.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1M5t4Nj6J2hryQmJQcok8jzc04Fn65KzDIlsIsZaxMtY/edit?usp=sharing
>> No. 132065
>>132064
Review acknowledged.

If I might ask, what did you think of the story itself?
>> No. 132070
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132070
>>132065

I found it cute but a little dry, as the pacing wasn't quite to my preferred speed (like I said, a little trimming here and there wouldn't likely hurt this story too much). And, like I also said, slice-of-life is not particularly something I generally make a habit of seeking out, and this story didn't feel like it went too far out of its way to convince me otherwise.

But, with that in mind, that's mostly me and my particular tastes. As far as I can really tell, your story's kind of like a bag of plain potato chips: not something you'd pay fortunes to obtain, but that's nonetheless nice to sit back and snack on once in a while. And I'm okay with that. The story knew what it wanted to be, and proceeded to be it without any shame or doubts. While not groundbreaking or exceptionally deep, I can nonetheless appreciate the value in something that is competently made and fulfills a need without feeling the need to prove itself as the most unique snowflake ever spat out the clouds of thought.
>> No. 132086
Hi there. This is my fist fic in a long long while. And my first time posting here for help.

The premise is after the end of season four Celestia decides the four princesses need to go on a vacation so she sets one up for them all and a few guards of course. And things won't be quite so peaceful of course, otherwise there wouldn't be an action tag, but that will come later. I just have the first chapter done so far and I'm hoping to get some help on how I can improve!

I know my grammar isn't quite the best, but I'm hoping writing will help me fix that!

Thank you in advance for your reading and help!

I hope I'm doing these tags and stuff right?

Tags: Action (Later), Romance, Slice of Life.

Story: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1-BIBxUm8b-MzwREa3QY0UCQiSEHu24J0X9tR7hLXJi4/edit?usp=sharing
>> No. 132111
>>132086
You've been waiting for long enough. I'll give this a review as best as I can. I'm not good at reading through stories with major grammar or other mechanical challenges, so, fair warning, I may not finish. Given that you only have about 3.5k words, it shouldn't be too bad to read through.

A helpful note for the future: include a word count and in the case of romance stories, the pairing or main pairing you're going for. We're reviewing the story, so spoiling it doesn't matter much.

One other note: it's helpful for us reviewers to have a comment-enabled Google Doc to work with. View-only limits us to quoting stuff.
>> No. 132117
I've got a quick question before I post my story; Would I be able to post an unfinished story here to get a review of it so far, or would it be best for me to finish the entire thing and then post the story?
>> No. 132120
>>132117

That's really up to you. You're more than welcome to submit an unfinished work for review, but if you're on a roll and want to keep whatever creative juices you have flowing, I'd personally advise at least finishing the second draft before putting it here as nothing kills creativity like nitpicking.

But, if you're stuck in place and just want some advice on where you could go, feel free to ask questions. Maybe you'll find a spark of inspiration.
>> No. 132121
>>132086
So this review is going to consist of two parts, basically. The first will be quotes from your story offset with a >, followed underneath by grammar and spelling corrections. I'll go over unique or jarring examples and try to give a brief lesson on proper usage. Some things may come down to style as they can either way and I'll try to note that when I can, but if you have a disagreement, look it up!

The second part of the review will be more detailed thoughts on your story overall. Your pacing of the story, your characters, how you establish setting and conflict. Things like that. Compared to the first part, this will be far more opinionated, but should have good advice regardless.

On to part one!

>The scent of salt was heavy in the air, assaulting Twilight's nostrils as the waves crashed against the sand under her hooves. The newest of the Princesses looked down at the damp sand and the way it was pulled back out to sea under her. She wore a smile on her face as she looked over to the boat that was at rest near her, docked and waiting it's passengers.
So we're only into the first paragraph and we already have trouble. A few things I want to point out here.
>the way it was pulled back
>the boat that was at rest near her,
Was is passive voice, and should be avoided as much as possible. Actions like "danced" or "rested" or "slept" or "smiled" communicate more when they're active. Switching to passive voice puts a barrier between the character and the action and therefore the reader and the story. It's not a cardinal sin, but watch out for instances of it and think how you can rephrase the sentence to avoid those instances.
>She wore a smile on her face
Related to the above point about actions being active. Try "She smiled" or "A smile graced her face" instead.
>waiting it's passengers.
It's and its are confused very often. Your usage here is wrong, you need "its" because the boat is waiting for the passengers that belong to it. "It's" means "it is" while "its" is possessive. It's an unfortunate quirk of the normal rules of contractions and the typical way English represents possession by a subject.

>Twilight was one of those passengers. After the events with Tirek Celestia and Luna felt the princesses were overdue for a vacation. So they had set this up, a week across the see for the four of them in Itaily at one of the most well known resorts! The purple princess was quite excited to say the least.
Yet more corrections!
>Twilight was one of those passengers
Again, passive. "Twilight counted herself among those passengers" is an alternative. Again, find the instances of "was" and see what you can do to use action verbs in that place.
>After the events with Tirek Celestia and Luna...
Need a comma after Tirek
>So they had set this up
Not technically wrong, but it sounds choppy. Drop "had."
>across the see
Sea
>The purple princess was quite excited to say the least.
Three problems here. First, "purple princess." The fandom calls this problem Lavender Unicorn Syndrome (LUS) because, fittingly enough, Twilight is the most frequent victim of this treatment. While it does avoid the problem of constantly repeating a character's name and the related problem of potential pronoun confusion, especially when dealing with primarily female characters, it introduces a subtle mental jump to the reader that breaks immersion. There's no easy answer here. Avoid the substitution game as much as you can but don't go overboard on names and pronouns, either. Second, there's that passive voice again. And third and most importantly, you're telling us how Twilight feels. Big no no. Show us. She danced in place, she clapped her hooves together. She cheered, she hugged Celestia and did a flutter in place. Show us through her actions that she's excited.

>Everything was arranged and taken care of. Spike and Twilight's friends would oversee her new crystal castle while she was away, while Celestia and Luna both had ponies ready to take over their duties for a week, while they would of course continue to raise the moon and the sun. It went without saying that Cadance and Shining Armor had ponies ready to do their duties for them. The Crystal Empire pretty much ran itself at this point.
Gee, I wonder if some corrections are in order?
>while Celestia and Luna... a week, while...
Woo, that's bad sentence structure. Break it off at the first while so there's symetry with the other sentences discussing the other arrangements.
>It went without saying
Then don't say it. It's boring. It tells the reader nothing. Alternately, spice it up. Give us some world building. Show us that the characters struggled earlier to reach this point. Shining and Cadance fought triumphantly against the slog of encroaching bureaucracy and committees to deal with all matters of importance and delegated daily tasks to trusted advisors. It's a story, so tell one! Phrases like "it went without saying" or "clearly" or "obviously" are either wasteful or insulting to the reader. If it's so clear or obvious, why point it out? Again, if "goes without saying" why say it? Either give the reader meaningful content or cut it. You aren't finished writing when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. Cut and trim until your story is as tight as you can make and you've wasted nothing.

>So here Twilight was, on the eastern coast of Equestria waiting for the others to arrive. Being the punctual pony she was, Twilight was on a train before dawn, having said her goodbyes the night before to ensure the maximum efficiency in her travel time. Now she stood here, waiting for the others to arrive, feeling a little bored. She had of course brought a few books to read, but those were for the boat ride there and back! She couldn't start on them now and leave herself with nothing to entertain her on the trips!
This paragraph is a bit more of a problem than previous ones, because it's just so full of fluff.
>Equestia waiting for the others to arrive.
>here, waiting for the others to arrive, feeling
Within two sentences, you've repeated yourself. Drop the second.
>Being the punctual pony she was,
Trim this down to "Being punctual"
>So here Twilight was,
Again, passive. Rephrase to use a verb. "Twilight sat waiting on Equestria's eastern coast..." Separately, given that we know she sees a boat and she's on the coast, maybe you'd like to take an opportunity to really show where she is. I'm guessing at a port. Is it busy? Are there lots of other ponies running around? What are they doing? What does it sound like? Is it quiet, with the sounds of gulls and workers? Or is it loud because workers and passengers alike are chatting away? Don't overwhelm the reader with tons of information, but weave it into the narration.
>having said her goodbyes
Not technically wrong. Try "after she said her goodbyes."
>Now she stood here, ... , feeling a little bored.
Depending on how you rephrase the start of the paragraph, this may become redundant. But we once again come to the "show, don't tell" segment. Show that Twilight's bored. Have her fidget or look through her luggage. Have her mutter to herself.

>The sound of a carriage arriving along the dock was music to the Princess of Friendship. The Alicorn whipped her head around, seeing what could only be the carriage holding the Royal Sisters. The main give away was the sun and moon insignia adoring it, as well as the white ponies with blue manes pulling it.
>The sound of a carriage arriving
What does a carriage sound like? Steel-rimmed wheels scraping against cobbled stone? Hooves clopping? Whinnies, nickers? Creaking of leather and wood from the harnesses?
>Princess of Friendship
>The Alicorn
LUS, again. Not once in this paragraph do you mention a character's name.
>The main give away
>adoring
"giveaway" and "adorning," respectively.
>The main give away ... blue manes pulling it.
This doesn't really tell us a lot about the carriage itself. This could be phrased much better and we could get a lot more detail about the carriage itself. Is it covered? How many wheels? What do they look like? How about the number of ponies pulling it? Are they earth ponies? Pegasi? Unicorns? Are they in guard uniforms? How about the insignia itself? Do they resemble the banners of the Royal Sisters? Are they combined like the ying-yang version, or are they separate suns and moons? Where are they on the carriage? How big or prominent are they? What color? How about the color of the carriage itself?

>Twilight wasted no time in flapping her wings and floating up to the dock to meet her fellow Princesses. She wore a big smile on her face as the carriage came to a stop and the door opened, Celestia stepping out first with a big smile on her face, happy to see Twilight and to be taking a vacation. “Hello Twilight!” She proclaimed
>Twilight wasted ... her fellow Princesses.
My issue here is just that this is poorly phrased. As much as possible, in a story told in past tense, write your sentences to use the past tense forms of verbs. It's understandable to want and need variety, but the variety is so much sweeter for it's rarity.
>She wore a big ... taking a vacation
Massive run on sentence. Break this up into two or three smaller ones because you have a lot going on and it's getting a little lost by being all wrapped up together.
>proclaimed
Missing a period at the end.

>The youngest of the Princesses wasted no time running over to her old mentor and hugging her tightly, giving her a soft nuzzle with her forehooves wrapped around her neck. “Oh, this vacation is going to be wonderful!” Twilight said joyfully!
I really don't have a lot of issue here besides a couple of nitpicks. This is actually a pretty good paragraph.
>The youngest of the Princesses
Again with the LUS
>wasted no time running
Twilight doesn't seem to want to waste any time, does she? (Too much repitition, drop the phrase here and use "ran")
>hugging
hugged
>joyfully!
You already used the exclamation point in the dialogue. Just end with a period.

>Celestia happily returned the gesture, wrapping one of her front legs around Twilight gently, “I hope so. I think it's about time we took a break, don't you?” She said with a wink before breaking the hug and taking in a big breath, enjoying the scent of the coastal air.
>wrapping one ... gently, "I hope so."
This is a general thing about how verbs work with dialogue. If the verb is a "speaking" verb, like "said" or "replied" or "whispered", you use a comma either before the dialogue starts, like you just did there, or you use a comma in the dialogue before you transition to your narration. However, when you use an "action" verb (or just any non-speaking verb), you use a period in or before the dialogue. In this case, "returned" and/or "wrapping" are not speaking verbs. Use a period.
>She said
Don't capitalize pronouns after dialogue when you use one of those speaking verbs I mentioned, regardless of what puncuation you use.
>breaking the hug ... the coastal air
Again, bit of a run-on sentenece. Chop it up. Also, big overuse of the *ing verb forms. Rephrase to use the past tense.

I have a... standard, I guess you could call it. If my review on mechanics gets to the point where I'm writing as much or more than the author has written for their story, I need to stop. Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of patience for poor grammar. I loaded as many tips as I could into the review, pointing out issues that I see come up multiple times. I can't (and neither I nor any other reviewer should) be the person to go through your story to fix so many little things. It's tough on both of us, me as the reviewer, you as the author, to be in a position where I have to say, "Here are the errors I've found in the first page. Here's a guide on how to fix them. Now take these examples and hunt them down in the rest of the story."

I want to read on. I really do. But I can't ignore the fact that I can barely make it through a paragraph without needing to think of all the ways it could be written better. What you have right here is a good start. But because I can't keep reading, I can't give feedback on the larger story.

Part of me wants to read the rest to find out who you're shipping, because I am one helluva sucker for some romance. Part of me really hopes it's Twilestia, because that's a favorite of mine. Part of me hopes it's TwiDance. And yet another part wants to see some Twilunestiance because all four princesses in a big ol' love rectangle could be adorable. But because you mention guards in the description, I figure someone, probably Twilight, is getting shipped with a guard. There is nothing inherently wrong with that. However, there are a couple of things worth noting, and they kind of relate to one another. First is that it's easier to write a relationship between two established characters. You just have a lot of existing material to work with. And second, = there is a stigma with shipping Twilight (or any established/canon) character with OCs or just less-developed characters in general. A corollary to the first point is that using an OC to ship with is going to be harder because you need to make the reader care and you need to make the OC relatable and have the readers buy into them being shipped. Of course, if none of this is the case, if it's really Twilestia or TwiLuna or whatever, then these points don't really come into play as much. Cadacne marrying Shining Armor aside, there isn't much in the way of a canon romantic relationship. You're going to have to make a compelling reason for the reader to buy into whatever ship you want to sail.

That about wraps up all I can say, really. You have a good start, like I said, but you need to read through your story carefully under the lenses I've given you. Get to fixing up the little things so we can enjoy the big story you're trying to tell. Good luck, and I wish you the best.
>> No. 132123
**Temporarily retracting this request while I work with feedback from another review**

Title: Plans
Summary: Twilight Sparkle is coming to visit the human world this weekend! Sunset Shimmer is determined to make it one she won't forget, but at every turn, things aren't working. What path will Sunset and Twilight take as things go wrong in the best possible ways?
Tags: [Romance][Slice of Life]

Link: (Chapter One) https://docs.google.com/document/d/1gKLjzagKaQ2OeAKIH9oRSzjrgiOraCFozSzUDBIIzNQ/edit?usp=sharing
So far, we're looking at just chapter one of a pretty long story, I expect. For right now, I'm just looking for some basic feedback in two key areas: one, does this work as a compelling introduction to a Sunset Sparkle shipfic? Two, is the prose clean? Did I miss words, did I spell everything correctly? Comments are enabled, so suggestions are encouraged!

Last edited at Sun, Mar 15th, 2015 21:54

>> No. 132146
Description: Guardian Signets, Realm Passes, Realm guardians. The true meaning of these words have become lost with time. The realms were not always sealed off from one another. Kirby of the stars, Twilight Sparkle. By all rights, their paths should never have crossed, but fate plays odd games. As a dark force threatens all lives, these two must face it as well as their doubts and fears. Above all they must have hope, in their own skills and in the friendships they forge.

Tags: Adventure,Freindship, Crossover.

Link:https://docs.google.com/document/d/1HdJiglR1fBfUdAO_ZEmUTLqsaZ-nx3itI6mVOBheQXQ/edit?usp=sharing

Notes: Takes place before the end of season 2. Tried to write it so that no previous knowledge of Kirby is needed, keyword being tried.

Anyway, thanks in advance.
>> No. 132158
File 142747934945.jpg - (51.36KB , 704x576 , RS_2008_06_02_PinkyTheBrain.jpg )
132158
>>132146

Alright, you've waited long enough. Let's get to work.
>> No. 132164
File 142802773463.jpg - (39.58KB , 640x480 , eG9iaHVtMTI=_o_pinky-and-the-brain---brainstem.jpg )
132164
Not a lot of story to go off of yet, so not a really extensive review. Interesting concept though.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1KAoVZo1dzCMlPD8ImO400tsWd_DMUmjxHYUH0ozZ5hg/edit?usp=sharing

Last edited at Thu, Apr 2nd, 2015 19:24

>> No. 132177
(I hope you like Fo:E sidefics)

Title: Fallout: Equestria - Spectrum

Description: A cowardly pegasus civilian finds himself thrown into the horrors of the Equestrian Wateland.

Tags: Gore, Dark, Crossover, Adventure

Links: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1sbgj05JfKQNZ4v5Lfc5iT4PHcQlHb9R8qP2o-_wG6vY/edit?usp=sharing (That should take you to the Table of Contents page, the story itself is linked from there. I've only got a Prologue and 2 Chapters thus far.)
>> No. 132179
>>132177
Hi, just a tip: it would be helpful to reviewers if comments were enabled in googledocs, so that any issues with the text can be highlighted directly.

Last edited at Wed, Apr 15th, 2015 20:47

>> No. 132181
>>132179

Oh, herp derp, thought I did that already :/

There, now people should be able to comment on it.


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