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87698 No. 87698
What? These aren't fics! This is wholesale deception! NOW THAT'S THE IDEA! It's just an old tattered copy of of Past Sins edited with an alicorn playing frisbee. For $100? SOLD! Who the hell has an alicorn playing frisbee? You're crazy like a fox, here's my wallet!

Your one stop shop for alicorns and frisbees! FICS. Books about MLA. Come and get 'em at FICS. Just ride the /fic/ shuttle right up the thread to FICS. Come on down where you can turn to stone in the gaze of a grouchy cockatrice. We will make that happen for you!

>BKAW< "Oh sweet Celestia, n-"

All the cool kids wanna write FICS for the winter! Your little sister is insane for FICS! I bet I know what you four clop to! FICS! I really like it when my grammar is elegant and perfect! FICS.

We've got deep-fried seaponies and horse puns! FICS. One time I chased a squirrel into Twilight's library and after that I couldn't find him! FICS. I am not lying, ladies and gentlemen. You get a 10 out of 10 on a Vanner Review, and I'll let you come down here and SNAP MY SUSPENDERS. I am THAT crazy. FICS!

Applebloom & Sweetie Belle! We've got them in stock at FICS! If you don't come down here in the next ten minutes, I'm gonna stare into the eyes of a grouchy cockatrice! Come on down, buck my apples. Anyone got a good mare? Bring her down. I'll show her who's boss. I know how to handle a mare when she gets out of control. FICS.

New authors! Bring your freshly created stories and I will pick up a brick and hit your story WITH THAT BRICK. Come anytime! We will not run out of bricks! If you wanna eat a big mouthful of pie then come on down here and TRY IT and I'll RAINBOOM YOU in the FACE! You'll drop like a FILLY. FILLLLYYY! Look at my little teeth! Don't you touch my suspenders! FICS.

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Previous edition of The Training Grounds: >>85147 The sticky (contains important information): >>43232

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Unspoiler all text  • Expand all images  • Reveal spoilers
>> No. 87704
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Okay, I copypastad the story into a gdocs and made my comments there. For the full review check that:


For the condensed version, you have a lot of grammatical problems as well as some stylistic issues you need to avoid, such as using bold and all caps for emphasis, but those can be fixed easily enough. I was a bit confused about what level of psychic distance you were going for and some sections were telly.

The main thing though is that I'm not quite seeing the chemistry between Octavia and Vinyl Scratch. They meet each other in the club and suddenly they're in love with each other. It seems out of character for the two to fall in love so suddenly given the way you've presented their characters and I can't find anything in the story that would make the relationship seem more believable. I suggest elaborating more on the pair's thoughts and feelings on why they feel attracted to each other. Also, consider revising it so that instead of one trip to the club, Octavia comes back multiple times to see Scratch. That way, not only do you have more time to explore the characters' feelings, you can take it slower, build up their attraction to each other more, and elaborate on the lines of attraction that are present (Vinyl seeing Octavia as not a typical Canterlot snob, Octavia wanting to cut loose from her stuffy lifestyle, etc).

I'll have the other chapters done soon enough, hopefully.

Also, if anyone would be so kind, I'd like to request a review of my review. I'm still new at this so some pointers would really help.
>> No. 87706
This appears to be a 'View Only' document. How did you review it? :0

As for your review, I think that you sounded pretty helpful. I just skimmed, though. I should also concede that I'm very new to reviewing as well.
>> No. 87714
>How did you review it?

>>I copypastad the story into a gdocs and made my comments there.

>> No. 87716
Link to fic post: >>86117

Before I begin the review, allow me to explain why this is only partial: I'm dropping the fic. Here are my reasons:

-The style is poor at best

-The fic was clearly never revised (when the title of the first journal entry is underlined and the indent of the next paragraph is... also underlined... I knew this hadn't been looked over)

-The story lacks any effective hook

-The exposition ranges from trite to non-existent, giving me absolutely no idea who the character is and in what way he views the world

-The character goes un-named and un-described for some uncertain number of words (I stopped reading two pages in)

-The character complains a ton, but the reader never witnesses the events that the character is complaining about, thus breeding a natural hatred for the character. (I'm assuming he's just wining)

-There were an incredible number of missed opportunities to reveal some interesting back-story, tell us about the character's life, and in general, provide some depth to the fic.

Now that I have that bit out of the way, allow me to present my review of the first five paragraphs along with some general issues that were prevalent throughout the first two pages!

>The following is transcribed...
You say, “The following”, but fail to elaborate on the nature of what follows. While it is obvious what “The following” is supposed to mean, it's good to elaborate anyway (e.g. “The following entries”, “The following text”)

>...in a gigantic box in my attic.
The use of “in” twice in such a small space sounds redundant. Consider replacing the second in with a description of how the book was found (e.g. ...old journal I found in a gigantic box while browsing my attic).

>I went up there a while ago to put away some old stuff, and I came across even MORE old stuff.
This sentence implies that he was surprised to find old things in a place that he uses for storing old things.

>I originally thought that it may all have...
The word “thought” already implies that he is uncertain about his hypothesis, so you don't need the word “may”. The word “all” doesn't add anything either.

>old folks. However,
Your use of “However” kills any flow you may have had going. Try merging your sentences with “but”; I guarantee it will be a smoother read.

>Anyway, the box...
It took me a second to realize that you are referring to the box in which the journal was discovered. Clarify this and get rid of “Anyway”; it's a harsh transition at best and a painfully awkward jolt at the worst.

>...animals who I swear to god were SMILING at...
Set some of that text aside with commas as it isn't wholly relevant to the contents of the box.

>And not any of those weird, permanently-frozen onto the face smiles either.
For the love of Celestia, NEVER start a sentence with “and”. Before you say “It's a style choice,” consider that the person in your story, an author, would never start his sentences with and. He might consider doing so in dialogue, but never in an author's note. Also, instead of, “permanently-frozen onto the face...” it should be, “ permanently-frozen-onto-the-face”.

>But, enough of my ranting.
Never start a sentence with but. See my above comment.

> Paragraph 1: Your character is supposed to be an author. This first paragraph, which in the context of the story, is supposedly written by the aforementioned author, is WAY to informal. Not even Rainbow Dash would be that care-free and casual with her word choice and sentence structure. Furthermore, beginning a story with “A note to the reader: ...” is confusing. It can easily be misinterpreted as an author's note and disregarded as a part of the story proper.

>Your first paragraph under the “Day 1” journal entry has a ton of errors-- but that's fine because the whole paragraph should be removed. Why would someone write a journal entry addressed to the reader stating that he never intended for this to be read? It's inconsistent.

>Today is the end of summer, and what a summer it was, too.
Get rid of “too”.

>In case you were asleep under a rock or something, what was supposed to be the longest day of the year became an extended night.
This sentence, particularly the “or something”, comes off as lazy and gives me the impression that you didn't care about what you wrote, but just wanted to get it written.

>I actually didn’t know what was going on until I got a letter from an old friend of mine who moved away to Ponyville when I was 10.
There's no need to be so specific with your description of the friend. It's clunky and inelegant. Instead, consider something along the lines of: “I actually didn’t know what was going on until I got a letter from an old friend living in Ponyville.”

>And when he told me about the fireworks that went on over there, I wished I’d been there to see it.
Once again, this sentence gives me the impression of laziness, particularly “that went on over there”. Such amalgamations of general terms thrust the reader into a near-catatonic state f boredom.

>“A force of darkness, redeemed in a flashy spectacle of magic,” he wrote.
Include your description of the fireworks in the above sentence next to what it's describing. This reads awkwardly because it's a disembodied description, it's flowery, and it makes no sense.

>And all of this happened because of a group of 6 girls?
Another sentence beginning with “and”... Furthermore, the “6 girls” are not responsible for the advent of Nightmare Moon and the subsequent tardy daybreak.

>Dear Celestia, what I would have given to see that.
You already said that he wished he could have been at the fireworks. Maybe you should describe the night's events in there totality and include some lamentation, wish, or regret afterwards pertaining to the whole thing. Avoid redundancy wherever possible; it is a sure-fire way to write a boring piece.

>Unfortunately, though, I’m a whole season late to the party.
Get rid of the word “though”.

>In fact, the only reason I actually found the strength to actually head off to Ponyville was that I got kicked out of the house.
He's already in Ponyville? If he's mentioning getting a letter from Ponyville (referring to Ponyville as “over there”), then I assume he received this letter prior to his arrival in the town. If he's willing to describe events prior to his arrival in Ponyville, then it seems like he could at least mention that he went to the town at some point. As it stands right now, this is a rather spontaneous and horrid introduction to our character's location. Order of events aside, your problem with repetition persists. You use “actually” twice in this sentence, but what's worse is that neither of those should even be there. Take out both of them. Finally, the word “that” is used to indicate a choice, the word “because” is used in cause-effect scenarios such as this one. Change “that” to “because”.

>I guess 17 years is overstaying my welcome.
In canon, we have no way to determine the exact age of any given pony, so by assuming that they follow roughly the same aging/maturation patterns as humans, you're treading on slippery terrain (and making the self-insert nature of the fic even more obvious).

>So, I shoved off from home with nothing to show for my childhood but a backpack full of half-finished doodles and an old, beat-up acoustic guitar.
Forget what I said about not starting sentences with “and”. DON'T START SENTENCES WITH ANY CONJUNCTION UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE EVER! (with the POSSIBLE exception of dialogue)

>So long, Canterlot, and good frickin’ riddance.
Your first comma is unnecessary. Furthermore, I don't sympathize with your character (who I will keep referring to as “your character” or “the character” until I get an in-text name) because all you've told us about Canterlot is that it sucks. You haven't told us why (or better yet, shown us why, but I'm saving that rant for the end) it sucks, you haven't elaborated on the implied poor relationship with his parents, you haven't even given us a physical description of your character (the longer you wait to do this, the more upsetting it is for the readers when they finally get a description and realize that the character isn't the pterodactyl-winged, one-eyed, tripod, tentacled pegasus they had in mind). At this point, I feel absolutely no connection to your story. When authors are confronted with this criticism, they often say, “It gets better.” Unfortunately, it doesn't matter if it gets better, because by this point, you've lost your audience. Given that you explain this sentiment more fully in your next paragraph, you should delete this sentence all together.

>You know how everybody tells you that Canterlot is a glamorous and sophisticated town?
Canterlot qualifies as something larger than a town. Aside from that, everybody should be changed to everypony, which reminds me, because you haven't even described the character yet (mane color, coat color, eye color, demeanor, etc...), or even used any pony-related words, the reader might not even be imagining an equine. Furthermore, this is a journal, the text would not be written to address a reader (this is what you're doing via the use of the word “you”). Journals are chronicles of events in someones life, typically events of a personal nature, but this is not necessarily the case. It is highly unlikely that the style of a journal would address a reader. As it is, I feel more like I'm reading someones impromptu verbal rant regarding how much life sucks.

>Yeah, not even close.
This idea would incorporate more smoothly if you joined it with your previous one. Try something like “Everybody says that Canterlot is a glamorous and sophisticated town, but in reality, it's not”.

>The place is duller than a worn-out butter knife.
This is another sentence that feels lazy. Use something more descriptive than “The place” as a stand-in for Canterlot and replace “The” with “That” (e.g. That city).

>There’s never anything to do, and apparently it’s frowned upon if you try to have fun in your own way.
This sentence is awkwardly constructed. “Trying to have fun in your own way is frowned upon.” is less clunky and more concise, you could even place a comma after “upon” and provide a second item.

>How was I supposed to know that you can’t hold an on-the-spot concert in the town square?
This is another example of telling, not showing. You should describe the concert, talk about what your character was doing at the time, what inspired him, how he began playing, how people around him reacted, and in general, write that scene. As it is, this sentence represents a lamentable missed opportunity for an amusing anecdote, some genuine back-story/explanation for the character's attitude, and to show what the character's life was like before he left Canterlot.

The only things that are written in journals are things that people want to tell themselves.
Journals are personal records. I doubt anyone would simply want to tell himself “whatever”.

>Frankly, I’m glad to be gone.
Rather than out-right describing the sentiments of your character, allow your character's actions to reflect his emotions (e.g. Describe his physical departure from Canterlot and the manner in which he went about it. If he was truly as frustrated as this text makes me believe, it would have shown through in his actions). Describing actions and events to convey emotion makes for a much more believable character and enthralling tale than trite declarations such as this.

Your use of the journal format: When one writes a journal, one is essentially writing to oneself. Never in a journal/diary does the author address the reader in the second person. Furthermore, journals aren't typically written with the intent of being read by anyone else (although they often are anyway). In the beginning, your character addresses readers of his journal using the word “you”. A journal is a personal chronicle of events and as such, there is no reason for the word “you” to appear in an address to the reader (or, as already stated, no addressing of a reader should be in a journal in the first place).

Recurring problems:

You use a lot of phrases that come off as lazy (e.g. you used the phrase “...or something...” instead of coming up with another example, or your use of the non-descriptive phrase, “The place” to stand in for Canterlot).

Don't start sentences with conjunctions.

Provide some description of your world. Give your character a face and a name, create an environment for the story to take place in, tell us about what's going on all around the character, tell us what the character's take on these things is. A large portion of this problem stems from you TELLING about your world not SHOWING us your world. The Equestria Daily Writer's Omnibus is a wonderful guide for writers of fan-fiction (and everything else). Please read over the whole thing (and play close attention to the parts about Show vs. Tell).

Journals are not meant to address readers; they are meant to chronicle events. Stop using the word “you” to address a reader.

It's obvious that you intend for your character to be rather irritated and fed-up with the world, but you haven't shown us any reason why he has this attitude. The best you've done is lightly imply that he has a bad relationship with his parents. If you want the audience to believe and care about your character, you're going to have to show us some events instead of simply saying “Canterlot sucks” and expecting us to take his word.

What you can do to improve: The best way to get better at writing is to read. Your biggest problem here is style. I recommend going to EQD (or any other site that hosts fan-fiction) and looking at the works of different authors, noting what's different about the way they are written, deciding which styles you like the most, and then trying to emulate those styles in your writing. My next suggestion is to click this link (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1WMMs8H-GpFIXPsQeC0RNu8V-Cq6uyGl_UERpOUK_6KY/edit?pli=1) and then click on the link in the table of contents that says "Show vs. Tell". Finally, if you really want to improve, write some more. Start small. Write some scenes/vignettes until you get the hang of description, then move on to writing summaries of stories (not whole stories) until you get the hang of plot, and then try writing a fic. I'm not going to lie: acquiring some skill with written words is no easy feat, but it is by no means, impossible.
>> No. 87720
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You know, usually I keep quiet around here because I have little to say, and less time to say it. However, this mentality angers me.

You are a reviewer. That doesn't mean people have to present it in exactly the form you want. I'm fairly sure that is why some of the stories go unreviewed, because you foals can't figure out control + c and control + v. It isn't that hard, you can use Notepad, Microsoft Word, OpenOffice, or even another Google Document. Maybe, if you got off your lazy haunches you'd learn more as a reviewer. Part of the problem with comments is that I rarely see people explain why things are wrong. They simply tell the author to fix it, and leave it at that. This is no way to operate. As a reviewer, your job is not to copy edit a fic; it is to share knowledge and teach authors their mistakes and how to fix them. So, kindly don't complain when a document isn't set so you can do a quick pass through with no explanation.

This is not directed only at Swiper, but generally everypony who complains about this and won't review things from GDocs view only or FIMFiction.
>> No. 87722
I was referring to the fact that the document (a) was marked as "view only" and yet still (b) had comments on it.

Which is sort of like walking into a women's bathroom and hearing a deep, growling voice like James Earl Jones coming from from a stall.
>> No. 87725
Holy crap people, get this through your heads -

There is nothing wrong

repeat - nothing wrong

with starting sentences with conjunctions.
It is absolutely, positively, without a doubt grammatically correct and acceptable. And it's about time you all realized that.


And please don't use this as an excuse to be pedantic over some new set of trivial matters. Alright?
>> No. 87726
So who is doing a good job as a reviewer, in your humble opinion?
>> No. 87727
And that is because it was copied over to a gdocs that Starman has ownership of.
Hence why it has comments, but remains view only to everyone else. Even if he didn't say that there's the option that comments could have been restricted to his email specifically, which would result in roughly the same situation more or less. Public view only, private comments.
>> No. 87729
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Is replying even worth it? Because I'm bored, it is. The reviewers on the training grounds take documents in plenty of formats (I myself just Ctrl+Ced a fic into a processor so I could review). Furthermore, you're calling us lazy for not Ctrl+C Ctrl+Ving fics into processors when the key command is no harder in a GDoc? I might add that no one here has to review fics for anyone. We could all be writing our own fics with the time we use for reviews, but we don't. My point is, don't call reviewers lazy for offering a service. Furthermore,plenty of reviewers copy-paste to review. I can say with absolute certainty, that every reviewer who frequents this board has done it. I left you nickel, go buy a better argument.
>> No. 87730
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I can say with about five months' worth of reviewing experience that commenting on Google Docs is several orders of magnitude faster than Copy-Paste from a downloaded ODT file or from FiMFiction. It allows the reviewer to:
1. Not waste a metric fuckton of characters by copying in lines,
2. Not waste a metric fuckton of time by copying in lines,
3. Not waste a metric fuckton of time by formatting the pasted lines,
4. Pinpoint specific lines without having to provide additional context,
5. Not clog the Training Grounds with fuck-long-huge reviews. Which, admittedly, is highly hypocritical of me to say.

The only downside I can think of to having a commented GDoc is that it can crash the document for those with slow internet if the number of comments is too high. Not explaining why something is wrong is a fault on part of the reviewer, not the format. Also,
>lazy haunches
>your job
>taking reviewers for granted
>> No. 87731
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A conjunction is a joiner, a word that connects (conjoins) parts of a sentence. (http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/conjunctions.htm)

Hmm... if it joins parts of a sentence, and English, unlike its parent language, Latin, is largely dependent on word order, should there be something before and after a conjunction in a sentence, you know, so that they can be joined? Food for thought.
>> No. 87732
Yes, because wiki is the source of good grammar.
>> No. 87733
There's a difference between (a)doing X is wrong and (b)doing X means that the story doesn't flow as nicely as it should.

Look at this little section:
"I hope it doesn't rain!" Twilight called out. She frowned. She looked at Spike. Spike coughed. "That would be horrible! And it would ruin our dinner plans! And it would be so inconvenient!"

I believe that there's nothing wrong with that story section. However, it doesn't look (to me, at least) anywhere near as natural as:
"I hope it doesn't rain," Twilight said, frowning and looking over at Spike. He coughed. "That would be horrible. It would be so inconvenient and just ruin our dinner plans."

You see what I mean? It seems to be that contractions are often hallmark of stilted writing. They're not always like that, but they should not be overused (while they are indeed overused). I'm far from the best reviewer, so I may be missing the point on this. I don't know.
>> No. 87736
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Was served by:
Flawless Victory.
>> No. 87737
I've reviewed both chapters of Millennium Eclipse, and everything has been confirmed via e-mail as well as on Google Docs themselves. Can someone update the queue thingy?
>> No. 87739
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I am sorry then. I merely read your comment and did not open the document. However, I stand by my criticisms.

I never said they were doing a bad job. Copy editing is a nice thing to do for people, but teaching is much, much more important.

>I might add that no one here has to review fics for anyone.
No, you don't. In fact, you don't have to do anything. However, when you accept that review request, there is an unspoken agreement between you and the author. If you deny them a quality review, you have wasted both their time and yours.

>My point is, don't call reviewers lazy for offering a service.
Offering a service and providing a good service are two different things.

Why thank you, I'll be sure not to spend it all in once place.

I understand what you are saying, and that is why I find commenting awesome myself. However, there is a culture that has grown around commenting (at least from what I see) that only corrects, but doesn't show what to do differently. I'm not criticizing the method, but rather the culture I see growing around it.

Also, I do find it interesting how everypony is posting anonymous now. But, let this thread return to its normal duties. I've said my piece, now I'll go back to browsing for interesting single story threads.
>> No. 87743
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If you do see instances where the reviewer corrects but does not teach (and that the writer him- or herself clearly does not know those rules), please call the reviewer out on it point them out so the reviewer knows to do so in the future. This is, after all, the Training Grounds for both writers and reviewers. Also, I apologize for any passive-agressive rudeness that may of come out of >>87730.

Thank you for helping us help you help us all.
>> No. 87744
I usaully go through a story and mark the errors at first, with the first instance explaining what was wrong and how to fix it. Then, if it begins to become a recurring issue, I leave one last correction and tell the writer any more of that particular problemwon't be marked and it's up to them to use my advice to hunt them down themselves. I think this is a good system, as it provides a reasoning for why it needs to be fixed, examples of how it should look when fixed, saves me time if it's common, and forces the author to do some of the dirty work themselves. Everyone wins.

Complianing about people asking for commenting power is stupid. Instead, you should've stated that the issue came from complacency with using the comment system in the first place. The problem was due to user input, not the program itself.
>> No. 87746

I would give you a +1 for this if I could. I find in my writing (which is something of an eclectic combo of interesting segments and stuff that even bores ME to tears) that using the occasional "and", "if" or "but" helps give the feel of a stream of consciousness. I have had entire sentences that consist of nothing by "What." Or "Damn."

And I do this on purpose because I want it to sound like the narrator isn't writing the story afterwards but trying to force his/her thoughts to keep pace with the action.

I don't know if this is a particularly good writing approach. Maybe not. But I find the outcome interesting for me to read, at least, so, you know, I can fill my own bookshelves at the very least.

My advice to SB1, if he's reading this, is "show don't tell". Just think about that whenever you write about something. And for a character that you want to keep mysterious or even as a jackass, you might want to consider switching points of view. It helps not isolate the readers and also, I find, makes the story more fun to write. Also helps out in balancing your characters and making sure that you don't end up with one well-rounded character talking to a bunch of cardboard cutouts.

Soo...went on longer than I meant to. Good night and good luck!
>> No. 87748
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*Must... resist... urge... to SWIPE... SHINY THING*
>> No. 87749
It's okay to start sentences with conjunctions as long as you know it's wrong and are doing it anyway for the mood or to make dialogue sound natural. Like anything, use it in moderation.
>> No. 87750
The rules of writing state that you can break them as long as you know that you're breaking them and doing it well.
>> No. 87752
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Verily, I say to you, I lol'd.

> However, there is a culture that has grown around commenting (at least from what I see) that only corrects, but doesn't show what to do differently.
> there is a culture that has grown
> culture
This is the exact sort of vague, insubstantial umbrella statement about reviewers that starts arguments - because (it goes without saying) that it DOESN'T apply to reviewers who use GDocs comments in general, but maybe only a few who you neglected to even mention. I suggest you be careful where you tread in the future, and read people's posts more carefully before responding to avoid misunderstandings (since this kerfuffle all began with you misinterpreting Swiper).
>> No. 87754
But that's not right, starting a sentence with a conjunction is perfectly valid English, no rules are being broken...
>> No. 87755
File 133049714283.png - (166.23KB , 900x1378 , Happy Farm Pony.png )
What's on the menu tonight... Oooh! >>86165 looks fun, so I'm claiming it! The review can be expected on Tuesday (sorry for the delay, but I'll be out of state for the weekend, I'll still be reviewing it, but I'll be offline).
>> No. 87759

Thanks for taking the time to review. The perspective thing never actually occured to me. Then again, first time actually writing something like this, so I guess that's sort of typical.

These first six chapters are mostly just introductions for the new six characters. I agree on some of them lacking characterization, and writing some of them just felt like filler instead of meaningful content. I'll try and work on those a bit. I might move the Nimbus flashback to some other place and just write an entirely new chapter.
>> No. 87761
I would also suggest proofreading, but I only suggest that because I just caught a mistake in my last post. Stupid tired hands and sleepy eyes...

Also, it helps to write things out of chronological order, simply so you can get a sense of where the story is going before you start. Outlines are okay, I've found but if you know you've written this totally badass scene for halfway through, you're damn well going to find a way to lead up to that scene and make it seem natural.

Okay, I'll stop now and go to sleep which is where I belong.
>> No. 87763
So I use to hate boards like this, they always perplexed the crap out of me as to why people liked them. Then I found This site, specifically this (training grounds) thread. Now I am beginning to understand I think you are all awesome. Thank You!

Now I also have a question. I would like to jump in and help review (totally not motivated to just help move my fic along ;) sadly I lack many of the skills required to be a good reviewer. Namely I feel I would be good at helping concepts evolve, and help the author improve some word choice. The problem area comes with sub par editing for grammar and spelling. I am also unfamiliar with many of the commonly understood terms, though I understand the concepts just fine.

I understand that helping fics along would be accepted. I worry, however, that by reviewing others work, in a way that would likely be done worse then by 85%-90% of the other reviewers, I would be doing them a injustice. I understand that they could just go and get more help after me but If the other reviewer would catch 85% of what I would catch, it seems like I would just be wasting the authors time.

I would like some input on this dilemma.
>> No. 87766
Label your reviews as "Concept-Only Reviews", then suggest to the author that they may want someone else to go over their work for grammar and such. The concept stuff is what most writers are looking for, anyways.

If you want to improve on the grammar front, you should read up on grammar. As much as it pains me to say it, The Elements of Style by Strunk and White is a good starting point. You can probably find it at your local bookstore for under 15 USD. If you have a Kindle, you can find it on Amazon for 3 USD. Alternatively, Google "grammar" and read up on the first one or two links. Be warned, though: the rules of English grammar are long and confusing, and they're not always set in stone. After that, you can ask for a review of your review like >>87704.

This is, after all, the Training Grounds.
>> No. 87770
File 133050175736.png - (558.50KB , 1366x768 , Sleepy-Shy 20% Cooler Edition.png )
Try doing some concept only reviews (something a great deal of authors could benefit from), here for a while (http://www.ponychan.net/chan/fic/res/79400.html). While there, brush up on some grammar, write some of your own stuff, read twice as much stuff as you write, and whenever you're ready, start doing over-all reviews. Alternatively (and perhaps better) you could take >>87766's idea and ask for reviews of your reviews. Finally, don't worry about doing any injustice to an author. You'd be lending your assistance to someone and that can (almost) never turn out for the worse.
>> No. 87771
I would like to claim the story Kyrie Illumina wrote called "The Fixers", but I'd like him or her to enable comments first. I'd also like it if he or she could post a little synopsis type thing about what happens in the story. It seems a little unclear if this is HiE or not.
>> No. 87772
You know, this kind of thing makes me wonder why isn't there someone to teach people how to do good reviews.

I mean, there must be some basic rules to doing it right, right?
>> No. 87773
I'm willing to review it either way, but doing this would make things a lot easier.
>> No. 87774
I believe that I started reviewing maybe, what, four days ago? Although, I guess reviewing for people in fimficiton also counts...

I would think that the key is very simple. Look at reviewers you like and do what they do. Look at reviewers that you don't like and don't do what they do. Often times, of course, those two things are mixed up in one person.

In terms of specific examples, I think that as a reviewer it's not enough to just tag "passive voice" in a section that has the passive voice used a lot. I've tried to specifically help people rewrite things to emphasize the characters.

So, I'll read something like:
"Strawberry was walking over along the deep quarry. He looked off into the distance, seeing eagles that were flying, off in the distance. The whole scene, from the jagged rocks behind him, to the thick quartz walls in front of him, was terrifying."

And I'll try to lead the author in the direction of:
"Strawberry walked through the deep quarry. He looked off into the distance, seeing eagles flying off in the distance. The whole scene, from the jagged rocks behind him to the thick quartz walls in front of him, terrified him."

Comma abuse is also something that I hate, and yet I see it everywhere. I think that it's pretty important as a reviewer to focus on the niggling little things if they annoy readers so much that they might just close the story.

Both of those things I picked up from watching other reviewers.
>> No. 87775
Not really, no. There's multiple ways of "doing it right", but there's so little overlap between them that coming up with basic rules is... well, difficult. The best I can think of are examples. >>85999 is one such example (albeit very watered down), but it's the structure I use. Of course it would be, since I wrote it. There's also organizing it by common error then commentary, which is what the samurai does, or by Style-Characters-Story, which is what ChowderHead does. There's also Grammar-only, Concept-only, etc., etc.
>> No. 87776
>He looked off into the distance, seeing eagles flying off in the distance.
Darn it. I typed that in a way that removed the repetition of 'distance', but that pesky word popped up again for some reason. You see what I mean, anyways.
>> No. 87777
File 133050308448.jpg - (5.45KB , 500x333 , semicolon.jpg )
I'm with you on the whole "comma abuse" thing. Not only is comma abuse (often) grammatically incorrect, but it gorily murders flow. Pictured to the right is a hero of mine whom I often introduce to authors.
>> No. 87778
I meant pictured to the left... Derp.
>> No. 87780
>won't be marked
Lucky you! I [perhaps due to psychological compulsion] am incapable of leaving errors uncorrected. It gets very time consuming.
>> No. 87786
Title: Search for Forgotten Dreams

Author: Jeal Veritte

Email: [email protected]

Tags: Adventure

Synopsis: As a young colt travels across the lands, he grows both as an champion and a friend. Adventuring through Equestria and helping others, he wonders which of his dreams will lead him to his destiny. Will he succeed or will he, like so many others, quit along the way?

Words: 3655

Chapters: 1 so far

Gdocs Link:


Comments: I'm an aspiring writer looking to improve my craft. I'm aware that I'm a beginner and not skilled yet, but I'd like to improve until I can "level up" so to speak. I accept any criticisms about my fic and eagerly await your input. Any advice at all is welcome. Thanks again for taking the time to review my fic. I shall honored to learn from you.
>> No. 87788
File 133051252261.png - (32.23KB , 1024x768 , Out_of_Context.png )
Title: Out of Context
Author: Nuke_Equestria
Tags: Adventure, Sci-Fi, Humans are Great

Synopsis: Magic permeates the universe. Everything is dependent on it in some way, except for humans. Where ever they are magic stops working; and the more of them there are, the wider the area with out magic. All of this they are ignorant of. They've been colonizing the galaxy for a couple of centuries, and now the rest of the galaxies denizen have notice a growing "No Fly Zone" where magical creatures can not live. Princess Luna is visited by an antagonistic race who she has fought in the past. Instead of conflict, they bring a warning that the "No Fly Zone" is growing in Equestria's direction. If she doesn't take action, not only her life, but all life on Equestra could perish. Little does she know, that humanity has already found Equestra, realized that it has intelligent life, and has sent an expedition to make first contact. Both sides need to over come species and cultural differences if they want to survive in a hostile galaxy.

Comments: I'd prefer the reviewer not review chapters 1 and 2. I still have to include the feed back from my last review.
>> No. 87789
Title : The Conversion Bureau : The Untold Story
Tags: Slice of Life
Synopsis : I'm sure you've heard it all. Rainbow's and sunshine. Unhappy humans becoming happy ponies.
So many exaggerated stories and articles . All those faked statistics and graphs . They didn't tell the real story.

I'm writing this book to record some of the truths that have been... glossed over. Something to oppose all the propaganda coming from Celestia's government. Never been much of a writer before though, so don't expect miracles of prose.
However, this is important for me. For many of us. So please, bare with me.
My name is Matthew Roberts, and I'm the Mayor of New Hope. I’m also a human who refuses to conform.

This is the untold story.

Links : Contains first two chapters, just under 3k words together
Comments : The synopsis and title are pretty much placeholders. This is something I whipped up in a few hours after having it stewing in my head for a few days.
I thought, so what if the plan went off, purification? What then? Live happily ever after? No way.
Each chapter is going to be a page from the main characters book talking about various problems, and a slice of life of the main character. Rather short , but I think it works.
>> No. 87791
For got to add that comments are open.
>> No. 87792
File 133051722258.png - (54.32KB , 279x264 , 131958501874.png )
That alone doesn't make the article any less true. Wikipedia has its own sources if you'd like to check the validity of articles on a case-by-case basis. Citing Wikipedia is just a far more accessible form of reference. (For example, I have to quote the whole following reference in full because it's not accessible from citation alone.)

5.206 of The Chicago Manual of Style:

'There is a widespread belief—one with no historical or grammatical foundation—that it is an error to begin a sentence with a conjunction such as and, but, or so. In fact, a substantial percentage (often as many as 10 percent) of the sentences in first-rate writing begin with conjunctions. It has been so for centuries, and even the most conservative grammarians have followed this practice. Charles Allen Lloyd's 1938 words fairly sum up the situation as it stands even today:

>Next to the groundless notion that it is incorrect to end an English sentence with a preposition, perhaps the most wide-spread of the many false beliefs about the use of our language is the equally groundless notion that it is incorrect to begin one with "but" or "and." As in the case of the superstition about the prepositional ending, no textbook supports it, but apparently about half of our teachers of English go out of their way to handicap their pupils by inculcating it. One cannot help wondering whether those who teach such a monstrous doctrine ever read any English themselves.

Still, but as an adversative conjunction can occasionally be unclear at the beginning of a sentence. Evaluate the contrasting force of the but in question, and see whether the needed word is really and; if and can be substituted, then but is almost certainly the wrong word. Consider this example: He went to school this morning. But he left his lunch box on the kitchen table. Between those sentences is an elliptical idea, since the two actions are in no way contradictory. What is implied is something like this: He went to school, intending to have lunch there, but he left his lunch behind. Because and would have made sense in the passage as originally stated, but is not the right word—the idea for the contrastive but should be explicit. To sum up, then, but is a perfectly proper word to open a sentence, but only if the idea it introduces truly contrasts with what precedes. For that matter, but is often an effective word for introducing a paragraph that develops an idea contrary to the one preceding it.'
>> No. 87795
File 133052441049.png - (62.88KB , 110x125 , 132900778517s.png )
Nicely done. I was curious as to how your review would turn out, and it feels right from what I remember of the fic. Just two things that struck me:

>The conjunctions-as-sentence-starters issue
Terry Prachett uses conjunctions to start sentences liberally. Then again, he's bloody Terry Prachett, so... yeah, but discussion's been had numerous times. It's all good now.

>The character goes un-named and un-described for some uncertain number of words
Perhaps it's because it's in a journal format. An unwritten rule is that writers of journals wouldn't describe themselves in detail, since their journals are for personal record, and doing so would make it awkward.

Granted, the writer in this case is an OC human, so he's stuck either way. =\ It's right of you to call him out on that, just offering a possibility as of why.
>> No. 87808
File 133053200690.png - (119.46KB , 248x221 , 1304936762313.png )
Ooh, nice quads.

Though I could swear I've seen that guy on some wanted posters for killing sentences when allowed to run wild and free.
Use sparingly for best results.
Pauses longer then a comma, yet shorter then a period should suffice.
>> No. 87811
File 133053266489.png - (105.45KB , 500x559 , Fluttergift.png )
Thanks for the response to my review. I had a lot of problems with the journal format throughout (especially the parts where it was breached and violated). Now that you mention it though, is there even a reasonable way for an OC human to get a description in this type of setup? I'd say POV switching, but it's a journal... (maybe he could walk past a mirror, or catch a glimpse of himself in a shop window?)
>> No. 87829
Title - Icarus
Name - Tamar
Email - [email protected]
Tags - Adventure

Synopsis - It is the beginning of summer, and for Twilight it seems as if nothing could ruin her day off with her friends.
Then, without warning, Equestria is enveloped in a mysterious thick fog. Rainbow Dash races to Cloudsdale to find the source of the problem, leaving her friends worrying for her safety and struggling to cope in Ponyville.
Nothing can prepare Rainbow for what she finds in Cloudsdale, and things go from bad to worse when Twilight receives urgent news from Canterlot about the Princess...

Chapter One:

Chapter Two:

Chapter Three:

Chapter Four:


Resubmission - request for Dublio to give it a second pass.
>> No. 87836
>>87763 >>87772
Alternatively, read through some reviews posted here, particularly ones that are done in-doc so you can see the full context of the errors/suggestions being identified. Find a reviewer that you consider to be good, and ask him to notify you when he'll be in a document leaving comments. Tag along, and watch what he does.

It's also important, at least in the first instance in a story, to explain why the error you're marking is wrong, and unless the solution is self-evident, give an example of how to fix it. That way, you're teaching the writer to avoid future problems.
>> No. 87845
I've submitted an ongoing story for review, and when I did so, I only had three chapters ready for review, but I have this strong feeling that I'll have a fourth primed and ready to go by the time my story gets selected for a review. Who do I sacrifice a goat to in order to change the chapter count?
>> No. 87848
Some of these types of "rules" are fine to break if the mood is light or the writer has good enough mechanics to convince readers that they're broken intentionally for effect.

To be sure, some conjunctions can begin sentences, like "if" or "because," as long as the effect clauses are also in the sentence, and the two have been swapped to vary the structure. Others, like "and" and "or," indicate parallel structures, but if they begin the sentence, no such structure exists. Diagram a sentence that begins with "and." Where does the other end of the dotted line go? That said, I'll grant that this practice isn't explicitly forbidden. The definition of a conjunction includes that it can coordinate multiple sentences. In fact, I do it myself and barely mention it in reviews. It just leaves a slightly rankling feeling that the sentence isn't self-contained.

Prepositions are another matter. By definition, they take objects. The vast majority of the time, dangling prepositions have no object. Diagram one. What sits on that horizontal line? If nothing, then it's invalid. For ones where the object exists, but has been relocated, it's just lazy writing. Related structures need to be kept together. It's the same reason why it's a bad idea to insert too many descriptors, appositives, nominative absolutes, and whatnot between the subject and verb. It forces the reader, when finally encountering the verb, to scan back through the sentence and find the subject again so he knows the source of the action. Related structures need to be kept close together in a sentence, or the flow suffers for it, and it just smacks of lazy writing. What further muddles the issue is that many positional prepositions can also function as adverbs and can exist by themselves, so it can be hard at times to distinguish between an adverb and a dangling preposition. Even more of the seemingly toughest instances to fix are not actually dangling prepositions, but phrasal verbs, like "think of" and "put up with." Thus, these examples are not violations. Certainly, some actual errors will be too cumbersome to fix effectively, but the majority of the ones that feel natural to leave as-is are these phrasal verbs, and so are not actual violations. Just fix the grating ones ("Where are you at?" comes to mind) and most people will be happy.

The Chicago Manual of Style includes somewhat of an indictment of the notion that dangling prepositions are erroneous, as in your included quote. Oddly, its own definition would seem to contradict that belief.
> "A preposition is a word or phrase that links an object (noun or noun equivalent) to another word in the sentence to show the relationship between them"
In the vast majority of actual dangling prepositions (not phrasal verbs), no object exists, so the preposition's function is violated.

Isn't it telling that the majority of good grammarians try to avoid both practices? Just because something is acceptable doesn't make it preferable. Even style guides waffle. Chicago discourages split infinitives, but allows that they may be acceptable in limited occurrences, for example.

TL;DR: In short, break any rule you like, but do it knowingly, do it for effect instead of laziness, and do it in moderation. As a wise man once said, "Sometimes being mellifluous trumps being correct."
>> No. 87850
The best way to inform everyone would be to:
1. Make a new post that briefly says you want to add to your request, and include links to your original request and the added chapter(s).
2. Go into the queue spreadsheet (link provided at the top of TTG thread), open the chat box, and ask someone whose actual name is displayed (not Anonymous) to update the chapter range for review, the word count, and the post link.
>> No. 87852
I'm sorry, I messed up so much doing this, while trying not to mess up. Yeah I know I look mentally retarded before we even start.

Tags: [Grimdark]
^None of the others seem to apply.

Twilight is hearing grim messages in her sleep, relating to things happening around her. Can she discover who's behind the horrible things happening in Ponyville before it's too late?

Please bare in mind this is part 1 of 4 parts, it will make more sense when the story is complete, I just want to know how badly I'm failing before I write the other parts.

>> No. 87856
Didn't even proof read my synopsis.. sorry again, I was nervous as hell posting this and now I've made such a mess I wish I could delete it all, but I can't get it off the spreadsheet, so I may as well try. Sorry again for the fifteen thousand posts this took.

Revised synopsis:
Twilight is hearing disturbing messages in her sleep, seeming to relate to current events. Can she discover who's behind the horrible things happening in Ponyville before it's too late?
>> No. 87858
Thank you for the advice! :D
>> No. 87860
File 133055325388.jpg - (25.73KB , 500x375 , Mitch-Hedberg.jpg )
This sounds appealing. I'll take a look at it. Pic related since I suspect that the protagonist will be like this.
>> No. 87870
I find this rule to be deceptively simple in theory, but extremely difficult to use in practice.

I end up forgoing semi-colons most of the time unless I'm really sure it fits. (Even then I sometime angst over the sentence.)
>> No. 87871
Given that the thought of looking at Solow growth equilibrium models and time inconsistency models of central banking decisions makes me nauseous, I'll dip myself into some pony. So, let me break things down. I left a ton of comments. I'll just be general here.

Grammar / spelling : You need to watch out for the present tense. It's jarring to read something like: "Minty read the sign. He grabs his weapon, and he sharpens it." Keep things in the past tense.

You also need to watch out for the passive voice. You have a tendency to write things such as: "Drool was pooling in the corner of his mouth." That would look better as: "Drool pooled at the corner of his mouth." Also, be sure to watch out for proper use of commas.

Broadly speaking, I think things looked okay on this front. It was other things that left me feeling wary.

Characters / storyline: Mint Leaf seems to be nothing more than an author self-insert. He's a blank slate. He seems like a classic Gary Stu to me in many ways. Who is he? What does he look like?

Describe Minty to me. I literally don't know anything about him other than that he's young, male, an earth pony, and as naive as Snails. I'm reminded of Queen Amadala and Obi-wan from The Phantom Menace: bland, bland, bland as oatmeal. I need a window inside the brain of this kid if I'm going to emphasize with him.

I don't understand what makes him tick. Why is he willing to accept, totally at face value without any skepticism, a random command from a random stranger to join this guild/cult/team/whatever? Then, he just signs his life away without hesitation. He puts his life and health in danger as he accepts training from random strangers. It hardly is 'training', anyways. He's just given a weapon and told to fight.

This is nothing like what I would think real training would be in this circumstance. I guess I can hardly talk, given how I barely made it through Taekwondo (although I did break some boards, tee-hee), but I would think that there would be a lot about motivation. There'd be a lot about physical control. There'd be a lot about getting into the inner ethos of a warrior. You know what I mean? I can't help thinking of the fire pony guy as some kind of troll and nothing more.

Plot: A pony wants to go on an "adventure". That term is left hanging out there like a sore thumb without much in the way of definition. What kind of adventure? Be specific.

Does this kid dream about what life would be if he could breathe underwater and how wonderful it would be to discover beautiful coral reefs with maybe a few buried treasures alongside? The plot needs to be more grounded in terms of something real. There needs to be more of a 'drive'.

I must warn you that if you're going with all OCs in your story, then you're going to turn off a bunch of readers. Expect some critical pushback. Personally, I don't give a crap about how many OCs are in a story. All I care about is how well portrayed the OCs are.

Summary: At this point, I suppose you probably think that I entirely disliked the story. Quite the opposite is true. I do like it. A lot of the descriptions from the fight scenes to the entrance room sound pretty solid. There's a lot of potential in this story. I also think that you're pretty technically sound as a writer, which is great.

I just think that there's a lot of things in the story that also drags it down. I'd go with an overall 3 out of 5 or something like that. Keep working on it. I hope I've helped.
>> No. 87872
These posts are related, but my links failed in the last post. Grrr.
>> No. 87875
I didn't realize how much passive voice was in my story until you pointed it out. Boy, do I feel embarrassed. Same goes for the tense shifts. I feel silly for missing those.

I think I had a brain derp while writing since I completely forgot to mention what he looked like. I guess I assumed that people would assume his color based on his name.

I like the part you mentioned about the entire training scene. If I had to guess, I just wanted to write an action scene and didn't think too hard of the "whys" behind it. Not an excuse though, I'll fix it and make sure to think about if scenes are important or make logical sense.

Anyhoo, time to go fish around in the doc and reply to your comments. I'll fix those mistakes right away. Thanks for your help! I didn't realize how many holes were missing, but that's what first drafts are for, right?
>> No. 87879
Okay, great, glad I could help.

I would go ahead and write a one page thing about Minty describing him and his background (not to put in the story, but to get your own thoughts straight).

It might start something like:

"Minty has a dark green color and a greenish white striped mane. His hair is pretty short. He's young, coming in a few years below Twilight's age. He's a helpless daydreamer that can barely make friends because he spends all his time in class piloting imaginary submarines in his mind. Although naive to a fault, he always means well. Yet he seems to mess up everything, and his parents just don't understand. Even though, they gave him a lifetime inspirating by letting him meet his uncle as a foal. He's been obsessed with discovering the secret world at the bottom of the sea ever since. His cutie mark is baking minty treats, and he feels as if he's being pushed into this dull, boring lifestyle. Screw working 9 to 5 in a pointless Hoofington job. He's a dreamer."

And then do the same with the rest of your OCs. Write as much as you want to help yourself as your own reference.
>> No. 87882
I'm going to go ahead and claim "Whispers At Twilight" by PsuedoPegasi.
>> No. 87895
Tags: [Normal]
Synopsis: "Fluttershy gets bitten by a werewolf from the Everfree Forest, but when a side effect of the changes is extra confidence, she starts to wonder

if the cure is such a good idea. Even if she does start to behave a little 'differently' otherwise..."

A one-shot story in the spirit and style of an episode of the show itself.
Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1j54nbMkPxF9VelKfRSvzU9JOHzjp_Sn9-InMEL4S6lk/edit?hl=en_US
EqD Pre-reader response/complaint(s):

1) Basic writing. There's a lot of 'This happened. Then that happened. Someone did this. There was a noise. It scared a pony.' While it imparts information, it isn't very interesting to read.

All in all, the spelling is alright as is the grammar and punctuation. Author, in all honesty, I still can't let this go. It's too... well, basic.

You've got a decent idea here, but you need to flesh it out more. Get away from the basic style of writing and have fun with it.

Special Request: All I'm looking for is a stylistic review and assistance in fixing the problem noted in the email.
>> No. 87913
Hello peoples of /fic/. I love what you've done with the place. I have a submission that I'm just going to leave here on the table. If somepony were to take this submission and I don't know, review it. Well, maybe that pony would be an awesome dude, maybe an awesome dudette. We'll see.

Name: Twilight Incorporated
Author: Cainiam
Email: [email protected]
Tags: [Alternate Universe] [Comedy] [Adventure]

Synopsis: In an alternate reality where Alicorns never existed sits the Republic of Equestria. Twilight Incorporated is the brainchild of one Twilight Tinker, an offbeat businesspony whose inventions brought the Republic into a golden age. In one of their high-tech facilities a group of quirky scientists are trying to make teleportation a reality for everypony. Unfortunately, a miscommunication forces the team to test an incomplete product and the results become out of this world.

Chapter 1: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1hsvBjTksA94MsY9CSmXOUUXXrlLF55FHSfuEn3cphfs/edit

Chapter 2:

Word count is exactly 9,000.
>> No. 87924
I went ahead and put the document in my own google doc: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1acjhu5sZKENUOUVvjjfJ-ukOyLipG1AuvRS0_VYhWPc/edit

I'll go through it and make comments then. I apologize if I'd made any errors in transmission.
>> No. 87927
Did you get any more of a response besides those three lines?
>> No. 87931
You should probably put names and titles in those documents that say something like:
"Blah by Blah"
"Chapter Blah"
>> No. 87933
From EqD? Not likely.
>> No. 87934
I could copy-paste the whole thing, but it's clearly a template-based response. I just copied what was relevant to my story, leaving out the generic parts.
>> No. 87935
>> No. 87939
Why not? This'll be done in a jiffy.
>> No. 87942

I understand your criticism. Now, in the words of Jules Winnfield, "allow me to retort."

1. I haven't quite settled on a style yet. This is still a work in progress, and I'm hoping to get some feedback in order to figure the direction in which I want this fic to go.
2. I have been revising this, I just need to revise it some more in order to make it better.
3. It's hard for me to dump exposition on the readers all at once.
4. The character's past is supposed to be left obscure in order to add an element of mystery about him.
5. I know he comes off as a bit of a jerk, but he's not supposed to be the cool guy that every pony likes.
6. I fixed up some of the grammar and structure in the fic, as well as replacing the first paragraph in response to your review.
7. I removed the outside story to avoid confusion.
8. If I elaborated on every single little detail of my fic, that would ruin the suspense of it. Plus, I'd never get past entry one. I'm going to elaborate on the backstory when it comes into play in the actual fic.
9. My character is talking to himself here. As such, he might refer to the audience, himself, as "you."
10.You quit on my fic before you actually got to the story. I don't mean to insult, but that's incredibly unprofessional. Please read all the way through before you jump to conclusions next time, please.

I appreciate your feedback and I will incorporate it into my fic as best I can. Thank you.
>> No. 87943
Whispers At Twilight comment - PsuedoPegasi please read!

The document is at: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1acjhu5sZKENUOUVvjjfJ-ukOyLipG1AuvRS0_VYhWPc/edit

I've spent a while looking at Whispers At Twilight, and I see a huge amount of pretty simple errors. I understand that everyone makes mistakes (especially as a very new author), but I really think that it's in both of our best interests if you spend more time proofreading your story. I'm not here to work as an editor (and this thread is not for editing).

I could keep reviewing, but I'm reaching a pretty high frustration level just at the end of page one. I would really, really like you to go back and edit this yourself. I'm not saying that I'm dropping this story, but I feel that you haven't put as much attention into this story that you should have. I can't help you if you're not helping yourself.

I don't want to drop this. Consider this review on hiatus. If you want someone else to look at it, that's fine with me. I've already left a big smattering of comments on page one. Hopefully, I've pointed you in the right direction.
>> No. 87959
File 133057004981.jpg - (50.23KB , 823x1131 , snarkle_derelle.jpg )
I don't know of anyone who uses a 'template' amongst the pre-readers, but we do have some problems that are common enough that when we see them we typically end up saying the same thing for those.
And now I return to lurking.
>> No. 87965
I ended up writing this:
That was when I reviewed frequently enough that I saw the same manner of error enough times to make it worthwhile.

To the shadows with me as well.
>> No. 87970

also, concerning diving into concept reviews, one of my stances in life is that every situation is different and has to be treated as such. For reviewing this means that to me sometimes something that goes against common usage or rules can occasionally be done in a way that works. People often cite Shakespeare as examples of how to follow a rule or example without realizing he basically pioneered a large part of the English language.

I don't know why I feel that is important to say, but the end result is that I think I will join in either here, one of the other fine threds, or possibly my own thred. It would be a pre-review. Is there a place for thoughs?
>> No. 87986
File 133057660624.png - (195.13KB , 1532x1485 , CursorThinking.png )
Style review comin' right up! Expect it in about a day.

In the meantime, you can take a look at my new reviewer statement (http://derpy.me/uQgc1) to get an idea of what to expect.
>> No. 87987
Detailed comments in doc.

General thoughts:
- Not a bad premise, but it's screaming out for more detailed development. It's all over with so quickly, that I didn't have time to become emotionally invested in the story.
- There are many problems with punctuating quotations and using repetitive words and phrases.
- There's a lot of telling going on. Actions are listed in simple terms, but we get none of the emotional content or details of each scene. I can't visualize the setting, and I can't see what the characters are doing beyond some mechanical movements. Give me the facial expressions, body language, more dialogue, posture, and reactions to dialogue that flesh out the action and make it come alive in my mind. This should be an emotional story, but it just wasn't there. It was words on a page, not an experience.
- Develop the whole conflict better. The solution was awfully quick, and didn't really require a doctor's intervention. There needs to be a more convincing problem here, and develop it slowly, over the course of multiple doctor visits.
- The doctor needs some justification for his comment at the end, which just felt off-the-cuff, where it could be powerful.
- The characters seem flat. There may not be many to develop, depending on how far you want to go with this story, but I get no sense of Pinkie's personality.
- There's an abrupt time jump that should be a scene break.
- With a drawn-out conflict, richer characterization, and more showing, it wouldn't be that hard to make this story much longer.

Good idea for a plot. Keep writing, and have fun with it.
>> No. 87997
File 133057726735.png - (557.25KB , 720x540 , Needs more vodka.png )
I'm glad to hear that you're still writing away, in any case, allow me to answer some of your comments:

1: Because you chose to do a journal, much of the style has already been determined. Aside from a requirement to adhere to the 'rules' of journals, your style was still jumbled. When revising, style is the most important thing you need to look for. Bad style is an insta-kill for anyone reading your fic. Your next point (the one about determining a direction for your fic) is interesting. I'mma leave this right here: >>87557

2: I'm not buying this. There is no way that a formatting error in which an indent is underlined wouldn't get caught. That's not even a writing skill; it's purely visual.

3: When did I tell you to dump all your exposition in one place? One of the reasons I stopped reading was because you had no description, no exposition, and consequently, your world was about as interesting as the white wall I stared at for a few seconds at a time when I was putting off reading the next paragraph of your fic.

4: If the character's past is supposed to be left obscure to make him mysterious, then tell us about his present. Of course, the prior statement assumes that a mysterious character is even a good idea in this case (which it isn't). If you don't justify your character's actions or at least show us that your character has a point, he'll just come off as (and trust me, he did come off as) an absolute prick. In addition, I had no idea what the character was really about, or what he represented (aside from self insert HiE OC). Finally, no matter how mysterious you want your character to be, the reader still needs a name and a face.

5: We don't have to like him, we have to understand him. A good example is the book "Things Fall Apart" by Chinua Achebe. Okonkwo was a wife beater, he murdered his adopted son to maintain face with his tribe, and his first idea was always "Fight!" That said, Okonkwo was still a good character that the reader could relate to because he was understood. The book painted a clear picture of who he was, and what drove him; as a result, when things turned bad and he started doing bad things, he didn't flat-out get branded a jerk. His saving grace was being well understood.

6: Awesome.

7: Also awesome.

8: With all due respect, as it stands, the READER can't get past entry one (at least not any readers that I know). Secondly, your back story was in play the moment you brought it up. You told us he was ticked-off over some crashed impromptu concert. Suspense ruined: check. Reader given an amusing anecdote: uncheck. Character motivation explained: uncheck. Do I still think he's a whiny douche after reading that? Yes. Dear Celestia, yes. One thousand times, YES!

9: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bSxD7ANFONM

10: Trust me when I say that I made it further than most. In a fic, you have one, maybe two paragraphs to grab your reader's attention. If someone reads the first paragraph and he/she isn't engaged, fine, second chances can be given. If someone makes it four paragraphs in and wants a time-refund, you've failed. Your reader has alt+tabbed and is most likely watching MLP, reading a better fic, or playing Minecraft. The only reason I even got as far as I did was because I agreed to review it. I know of /fic/ reviewers past and present who would have read your first paragraph or two and said “LOL NOPE!” before booting your piece from their queue. That said, as a reviewer, it's also not a good sign when I have 1200 words of criticism to every 400 words of text. You had so many recurring problems that after a while, I felt like repeatedly braining myself on a wall every time I had to point out another instance. In regards to professionalism, professionals would have had the same “LOL NOPE!” reaction described above.

I'm done. If you feel that any of these responses are unfair, feel free to take it up with me. In the meantime, I have some essays to write.
>> No. 88009
Title: The Pony Scrolls: Nightfall

Tags: (To be determined for the most part at the moment) [Adventure] [Grimdark] [Crossover] [Alternate Universe]

Synopsis: Steel Wind, a lowlife mercenary thrown into the Canterlot City Prison, finds himself thrust into a world teetering on the brink of destruction after an attack by the Daedric Cults scatters the Elements of Harmony across the world. Now he must race against time as the cults regain strength to find the elements and put an end to their plans.

Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1YkewVUPsOBtGghAzuFviEev_1srcBlsBkuzVDTxqcrc/edit

Comments: It is not a Skyrim crossover. It will also probably be confusing for those not familiar with the series but I’ve been trying to explain it as I go on. I believe though that I've made enough changes for it to be much better but I would like another opinion just to be sure.
>> No. 88013
Not to be snippy, but you seem to be saying both "it's a crossover" and "it's not a crossover" at the same time in that post.
>> No. 88016
Thank you very much for the review. I finished with what you and Sjnugee gave me and hope to do a second pass to liven up the story and emotional attachment.

One question/request though. The doctor was not required for the solution in the sense that 'a' doctor was not required for a solution. However I initially decided to go with a doctor as that seemed the direction parents would go if they needed help with a foal who couldn't walk. With the rework of the solution I did I feel this is less of an issue. However I was wondering if you could take a second look at that part and give me your thoughts (on whether it works, and if the doctor seems a appropriate rout to go.).

I most certainly will have fun good sir or madam. and I hope you do as well.
>> No. 88017

Yeah I see that now. It had a followup sentence that explained that it was more of an Oblivion crossover to clarify people potentially assuming that it was a Skyrim crossover based on the title but since I've been up for too long things mysteriously disappear.
>> No. 88023
I'm going to go ahead and look at "A Ruined Mind" by fire64.
>> No. 88026
Synopsis: The Shroud of Shadows was either a real artifact that could bestow Nightmare Moon’s power to whosoever wore it, or the greatest myth ever created by poetic metaphors and mistranslations. Daring Do’s specialty is not quite related to Nightmare Moon and the Dawn Age itself; yet when rumors surfaced that the location of the final battle between Celestia and Nightmare Moon she cannot resist investigating the veracity of said rumors. Even if it means going into the hitherto unexplored Everfree Forest with only herself and the unicorn she has come to see as her sister.


Prologue: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1UIyMv5eC425u4tSyqYb2UHKLl1YYMG2q1sDyK4nlebc/edit
Chapter 1: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1frfSMgT4_6BZ_mKnJbFZ7pIOEbMEJiduge4Ch_H6lKs/edit

Comments: One thing I’m worried about is my tendency to lose descriptive powers the longer I’m into a chapter. Someone has also commented that the dialogues are a bit boring, so I’d like to know if that’s true/how to fix it.
>> No. 88041
A Ruined Mind was written by fire64, and he or she uploaded it to fimfiction here http://www.fimfiction.net/story/7433/A-Ruined-Mind This will be more of a general review since it's not on Google Docs. Personally, I think there's nothing wrong with not putting on GD if you don't want to. Don't sweat it.

You start the whole thing off with: The dark night was quiet, calm and it would be quite tranquil, if not for the stench of death that filled the air. A mighty fortress once stood tall on a cliff edge, but now, it stands in ruins. A battle has taken place here, one of the utmost importance. One final clash between two fractions which would decide whether the war would end, or rage on.

Several annoying things stick out immediately. Calling the night "dark" is pretty redundant. Same thing happens with "quiet", "calm", and "tranquil" all being used at the same time. I see comma misuse. I see the passive voice everywhere. I see dancing into something like present tense with "now". In terms of a hook, I guess it's serviceable since you're describing a scene that draws the audience in. Still, though, I think that having two paragraphs before you introduce the main character doesn't work too well. Plus, you don't identify her as Fleur until a long ways in.

These issues don't get any better as the story goes on. The whole thing is littered with dull, dry, and descriptive language. You'll say something like "He was bleeding" instead of "He bled" all of of the time.

I would rewrite the opening to something like:
"The stench of death wafted through the tranquil night. Fleur de Lis glanced off at the jagged remains of the once mighty fortress around her, eyes running along the piles of brick and mortar to the piles of bodies. She knew that the battle had to have decided the fate of the whole war. She forced the thoughts of the slain Lunar queen out of her mind as she gazed down at the severely injured grey colt in her arms. She shifted her flowing pink mane out of her face and held him closer, still unable to believe that she might lose her best friend in the world.

You see what I mean? Tie things to the characters immediately. Avoid passive voice language. There are some small little errors, like since when is Fleur a "yellow pony", but first and foremost is that you need to emphasize showing the story rather than just [/i]telling[/i] it.

Be sure to watch out for comma and apostrophe usage as well. Something like Tears filled the mares eyes and she began bawling over his lifeless body. should be Tears filled the mare's eyes, and she began bawling over his lifeless body.

The change between the first and second chapter is really disruptive. You have this little paragraph that serves as some kind of transition, but it has some really dull and descriptive language. It also rips the reader away from the character, and you wouldn't want that.

I'd change the whole "The carriage seemed to go unnoticed..." part into something in which the reader follows Fluer specifically as she does something such as goes for a walk or tends to some flowers or looks for a personal keepsake or something. Then, have her reminisce about what the Lunar Republic meant to her as well as what Celestia new tyranny represents in her mind.

Broadly speaking, I like how she went back to her old neighborhood and walked around. I like how she went back into her old house. At the same time, I think her little nervous breakdown moment needs a lot of work. She should be realizing that she's just seeing things and that it's just a delusion. I also would like it a lot more if she didn't just lose it upon falling asleep. You should show a greater window into her mind. Talk about what she things her future is now going to be. Talk about her worries. Talk about how she's physically very stressed.

[to be continued]
>> No. 88055
Let me go ahead and divide things up as I usually do.

Grammar / spelling: Look at what I said before. There's a lot of passive voice related issues. In terms of the 'show, don't tell' trope, this whole story really felt 'told' to me from about start to finish. Try looking at the whole thing from the beginning in, say, a different format. Go to zoho or something like that. That might help you to see things in a fresher light as you edit.

Characters / storyline: I like the idea of turning what the fandom calls an 'escort sluthooves' type character into somepony that's a wounded warrior. I like seeing her react to a horrible situation in which she lost so much for an ultimately hopeless cause. Still, even though your ideas are pretty sweet, I think that the execution leaves a lot to be desired.

As a reader, I need to be put into Fleur's head immediately. I need a lot more insight from the get-go about her background, how she thinks, what she believes, and so on. Talk about what she saw in Nightmare Moon. Talk about her loyalty to 'queen and country'. Talk about what made her willing to kill her fellow ponykind. I need a sense of drive when I read about Fleur.

Then, I need more of a sense of total despair and hopelessness as what she fought for came to nothing. Go into more details. Show her worrying about her family. Show her worrying about becoming a prisoner. Show her worrying about political persecution at the hands of Celestia's forces.

She just goes home and sleeps, really. I don't see too much 'there' there. I just expect more in the way of, well, drama. In wartime, you don't know what you're coming home to. Will your house be there? Will you find a job? Will you see the tree that you used to play ball around as a foal? As a reader I was expecting to have emotion dripping from word after word.

I would write something like:
[ Fleur nudged herself against the edge of the cart, flashing back to her old days leaving home. She pictured Celestia's awful banners stretching all across the street where she used to walk her dogs around. An image of the library just a short walk from her house popped up behind her eyes. She saw it crumbling in a matter of seconds, with the books, shelves, and everything else burning from a unicorn's munition. Fleur waved her hooves over her face, trying both not to cry as well as to come to her senses.]

Plot: Fleur goes insane from the trauma of war. The problem is that this will only work if you really make the audience care (and I mean really care) about her as well as if you have some ambiguity about what going insane will mean. I see a lot of promise here.

I would go ahead and try to flesh out the plot with more details about Fleur. Does she have family and friends that are still counting on her post-war? Could there be a special colt in her life that could very well 'save her' (if she lets him do so)? The plot should reflect a well-rounded character.

[to be continued]
>> No. 88056
File 133058566516.jpg - (36.11KB , 282x356 , PinkiePie_classy (My Little Pony).jpg )
Summary: I'd give it, say, a 3 out of 5 overall so far. Chapters one and two need a lot of work. Yet you have some pretty good ideas. So, the story should shine brighter and brighter as you work on it. I hope this helps.
>> No. 88063
File 133058768343.gif - (52.21KB , 360x360 , Twi clap.gif )
Wow. That review format was awesome, mind if I steal it?
>> No. 88064
Title: A Dash of Magic
Name: Zaiker42
Email: [email protected]
Tags: [Normal][Shipping]

Synopsis: Everyone deserves a second chance. You just have to be loyal enough to be the one to give it. Who knows? Maybe something will come out of it. Maybe something you've always been searching for, without even knowing it will appear. Something…Great and Magical, even.

Chapter 1: http://www.fimfiction.net/story/8732/1/A-Dash-of-Magic/A-Dash-of-Magic---Part-1

Comments: Re-submitting for review after already getting a few others to look at it for me. Far from perfect.
>> No. 88066
File 133058869072.png - (36.94KB , 413x449 , Stormchaser is eh.png )
Claimin' this. Might get the review done now, or might have to wait until i wake up this afternoon.
>> No. 88067
File 133058927691.png - (74.50KB , 288x338 , Fluttershy_smiles (My Little Pony) (3).png )
Go right ahead! I'm glad that you liked it!

>I think I stole it from Ryonne in the first place. I think.
>> No. 88068
File 133058957576.png - (492.80KB , 470x794 , The Elements of Harmony Science.png )
This sounds like a fun piece. Claiming!
>> No. 88070
File 133058999580.png - (118.56KB , 324x285 , Flutteryay.png )
YES! It's looking like I might have my review for "Through the Eyes of the Hurricane" done tonight!
>> No. 88071
Ah, now that I look at it, it was Cadmium, Sparkle, and ChowderHead's style that I adapted that from. I think. (Too keep attributions right) :P
>> No. 88072
Doesn't matter. I'm just incredibly grateful that you introduced me to this format. This is going to save me sooooo much time! (click to find out why: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1PxNpR_OpZRpMLfRdRAFCvdCJUXZC8C0VNhI26FSDJtY/edit)
>> No. 88073
Oh, hey, I added my own story on the doc but I forgot to post it here. Derpy Derpy.

Title: The Pony League

Name: SwiperTheFox

Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1EK36RbvWi8oCjjUmcc-p5IddSCzwuHkhqEMkYcoNoaQ/edit

Email: [email protected] (I'd much rather discuss things here, though, since email has been screwy for me)

Tags: [Normal] [Slice of Life] [Friendshipping]

Short Synopsis: "Twilight's friendship with Rarity strains almost to the breaking point as a musical hero visits Ponyville and winds up in the hospital. Twilight gets involved with a radical, transgressive post-punk group as an outlet of her frustration."

Extended synopsis: "Equestria's most notorious musical group, The Pony League, makes a stop in Ponyville on their mayhem-filled, Equestria-wide tour. They blow out speakers, scream for political revolution, throw out obscene gestures, squeal feedback throughout the town square, and smash instruments just inches from ponies' faces. And that's just the first song. Most horses feel shocked and horrified by their sound, their ideology, and their callous attitude. Yet Twilight finds them utterly fascinating, and she takes them on as a sort of psychological science project. Her friends think Twilight has truly lost it. She also fears that Princess Celestia will not take very kindly to a group ranting about her 'tyrannical rule'. Yet something about them and their handsome lead singer, Ian, touches Twilight's heart as well as her mind."

Comments: I have this up on fimfiction, but I've already changed the google docs version and I think that the GD's one is a lot better. Anyways...

I guess what I'm going for here, broadly speaking, is that there is a kind of 'break-up' between Twilight and Rarity (friendship sense, not the romance sense). Twilight gets with this creepy stallion as a sort of semi-revenge as well as from genuine desire to understand how these weird post-punky ponies tick. That friendshipping fails and she gets back with Rarity. In a musical sense, Rarity represents happy, smooth music in the Osmonds / Carpenters / Bread / Carly Simon / James Taylor / etc sense with social conformity. This band that Twilight gets involved with represents full coltcuddling abandonment in the dark, depressive, underground musical sense of The Fall / Joy Division / Gary Numan / etc sense.

I'm really not happy with this story. I feel like there's something in the underlying idea that could work really well. Yet most reviewers that have looked at the story haven't liked it from the get go. I'd like much more detailed help than just "I don't like it". Where do I go from here? Thanks!
>> No. 88075
File 133059117180.png - (261.03KB , 600x605 , PinkiePie-TwilightSparkle_hug (My Little Pony).png )
Glad I could help!
>> No. 88090
File 133061060511.png - (72.67KB , 114x125 , 132591711939s.png )
Well, I did mine like so:

Human is tasked with job by the gods of Equestria. Human's mind is forcibly imprinted with a journal spell that records his thoughts. Said journal is for his own good; that is, so that he does not forget who he is because his consciousness is later transplanted into the body of Gummy, as he jumps around the thaumatic realm dealing with the loose ends in reality caused by Pinkie. He is at risk of having his consciousness "eroded" by the simpler, more rooted instincts of the alligator.

As long as there's a relatable reason (in this case, as a safeguard against insanity), it'll be fine. It's when there isn't a relatable reason that disbelief arises. 'least that's how I see it.
>> No. 88094
You might miss this, but I'll just state this for the record.

When writing OC ponies, it is always best to focus more on their characters and motivations first. Ideally, you should start with one main character, and move on from there. Starting at the beginning in one go like this risk doing what you just did: introducing too many characters of whom we have little or no emotional connection with. In your case, I'll start with the captain, since she's clearly the one you seem to want to focus on.
>> No. 88103
I can't open the doc. Not sure about others though. Will delete this post when I get home.
>> No. 88108
File 133061780273.gif - (207.05KB , 500x500 , 1328593023398.gif )
That fic sounds amazing! Could I get a link? (don't click the gif unless you want to trip)
>> No. 88109
[Adventure] [Dark] [Sad]
>> No. 88110
[Adventure] [Dark] [Sad]

Description: A thousand years ago, a princess decides to step out of her sister's shadow and make a bid for power. Her fall has become legend, but her meteoric rise to power has been mostly forgotten. This is the story of how Luna almost became a hero, but instead became a Nightmare.

Link to folder: https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B6Th2PP0a5nBa3ZmcnhENF9SUVM2cWRaLU1tcFNQZw

Parts 1-2, now in the umpteenth round of editing. I still think it needs more eyes on it, with my ultimate idea being to submit it to EqD.
>> No. 88122
I appreciate the time you took but it's made me realise that writing clearly isn't something I can do at a competent level. I'll drop the whole thing. I'm sorry to have wasted your time. I knew it'd be bad but that much just makes me want to shoot myself for even thinking I could actually write something.

Thanks again. The only other thing is I'd appreciate it if you took that link down to, so it's not available to view any more.

Sorry if this seems a little dramatic. I just feel really disappointed in myself about it, so I'm bound to be a little dramatic at the moment.
>> No. 88132
File 133062999882.jpg - (44.91KB , 640x360 , 1293674067248-(n1293842888162).jpg )
... Hey, PsuedoPegasi
I dug this up for you.


It's here too: >>76133 but the formatting on that one is more direct.

Yes, you're being a drama llama, but you're not wasting anyone's time. It's not even like you're not getting a review. No one comes into anything at the top of the game, and that's actually a fairly positive rejection there.
>> No. 88137
File 133063186674.png - (199.28KB , 1916x1163 , CursorFatigued.png )
Comments left in your doc. Rest of the review in this doc:

tl;dr: The prereader was spot-on. You need to experiment with language usage and have fun with your writing.

>I'm going to bed now.
>> No. 88148
Not to sound more like a drama llama but I just got the impression that there was not a single redeeming factor about the story, and the guy was just trying to be nice about it. Now with that in mind, I feel like I've taken up someone's time with something useless, which in turn makes me feel like a bit of a dick.

None the less I appreciate you trying to get me to see the better side of things. I'll see what I can do with it but I don't think I fully understand this passive voice thing even now. I must of got into some really bad habits when I started typing casually and never even noticed. I'll read up on it and maybe give it one more shot.

Sorry for clogging the thread with my drivel.
>> No. 88151
File 133063452112.png - (12.73KB , 256x192 , 128023 - artist-DMN666 Daring_Do pokemon ponymon sprite sprites.png )

Behind every great book is a great writer. Almost everypony knows of the intrepid adventures of Daring Do, but few know the truth about her creator.

This is the story of Opal Parchment, a young mare trying to finish the last Daring Do adventure before it's too late. Her quest lands her in Ponyville, where Opal gets the unexpected help of two of her biggest fans.

I do hope to get this on EqD at some point, so this is a pre-emptive review. I'm mainly concerned with my character being too Suish, and my sentence structure (which I've been chided for before)

Thanks in advance.
>> No. 88157
File 133063559831.jpg - (77.76KB , 755x1057 , 131284094877.jpg )
This story was far too short for me to glean any information on your main character. The plot was barebones and the exposition lacked almost all forms of description.

Next time, post with a link.
>> No. 88158

Bugger, my face is red right now. Alright, let's try this again...

Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1PsPsQxQ1FoOuYfiyKH6sAiaP_CTp7ZQIDQJurN66LhM/edit
>> No. 88161
In case you haven't noticed, there is a nice link to a submission form in the OP in case you missed.
>> No. 88163

Already on the list, if you bothered to check. I haven't derped as much as you give me credit for...
>> No. 88164
If I didn't like the story at least a little bit in the first place, then I wouldn't have picked it to review and made tons of comments through the first page. If I didn't like it, then I would have quit from the get-go. It's an okay story; it just needs a lot more work. It's still just in the embryonic state right now, and so it needs editing rather than reviewing. I'm not an editor, so I have to point you somewhere else.

I said that it didn't want to drop it. I just said that you just needed to put more work into it. You should also think about finding an editor (maybe here on fic?) or someone else to help you out.

If you still want me to take down the link, I will. But don't worry. You didn't "waste my time" or anything like that. Just think things over.
>> No. 88165
File 133063820705.png - (246.96KB , 863x933 , dQEFd.png )
trust me Mega, it wasn't an attack. More of a little reminder. I'm lazy and didn't bother to check the doc...

>pic because lulz
>> No. 88166
File 133063845033.jpg - (78.56KB , 277x323 , PinkiePie_sharing_and_caring (My Little Pony).jpg )
Listen to this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4_LMMKq8Hw And read: http://www.beatlesbible.com/songs/thatll-be-the-day/

It's the Beatles' first recording, which they made as the Quarrymen on 14 July 1958. Notice something? It's good, but it's not really 'that good'. It certainly doesn't compare to well to "Can't Buy Me Love" or "I Saw Here Standing There" et cetera.

So, don't sweat it if it's just your first or second story. Really.
>> No. 88168
One thing right off the bat: You don't really need to repeat full names over and over again. You can just shorten Rainbow Dash to Rainbow, Daring Do to Daring, and so on. Otherwise, the story looks interesting from the get-go.

>Not a review, but just friendly advice.
>> No. 88179
Review acknowledged.

Frankly, I'm considering this one, at 14k words straight and having to fix it for two sources, more trouble to truly fix than it's worth. I got about a third of the way through the ", then" references before realizing how much time had gone by, and the tedium was maddening.

No, I think my time is better spent on other works, at least for the time being (And at least that sounds like more fun).

Regardless, thank you for your time and the review. I might get around to finishing the other changes and revisions some weekend or another, but for now it's just lost priority.
>> No. 88184
Not to come across as a dick, but isn't it kind of pointless for you to ask for a review, make no / barely any changes, ask for another review immediately, wash, rinse, repeat, etc.

This isn't really helping anyone.
>> No. 88185
I'm going to go ahead and claim AidanMaxwell's "My Little Old Republic Part III". It looks interesting.
>> No. 88187
If they're not making their fixes, then they get blacklisted. Don't be afraid to call authors that don't do corrections on shopping for reviewers.
>> No. 88202

I'm sorry if you think I didn't do enough. I tried to address every concern from my reviewer and thanked him for it, including a complete rewrite of several paragraph, changing the tone of a major character, and a near total rewrite from passive to active voice. I though that was all I needed to address in this round before taking another run at it.
>> No. 88203
Sorry, that anon was me. I am on my tablet and forgot to put my name in.
>> No. 88205
File 133064707617.png - (36.42KB , 413x449 , Stormchaser is disapproving.png )
Oh boy. We have some problems here. This is probably going to be the harshest review I've ever written and I'm going to feel bad about this later.

Writing Style and Technical Issues

There are enough issues that even with selective culling, I had two pages of corrections to make before I'd even got a quarter way into your story. I don't think it'd be practical to point them all out in the same way I usually do, so instead I will merely provide a few examples. You have problems with comma placement, word order and sentence construction.

>She stared into Trixie's eyes, the amount of tears built up causing the bright, violet orbs
This is a very, very awkward construction. Change this to "She stared into Trixie's bright, violet eyes" and rewrite the sentence based around that.

You also have a problem with splitting dialogue between sentences and not making these sentences fit properly:

>share it with Tr-," she stopped herself. She was just about sick of hearing her own name, "me?"

Spelling is basically fine except for the occasional typo.

Artistic Issues

Avoid lavender unicorn syndrome (using species and colour rather than other descriptive terms or the character's name). Dialogue and description are both woefully flat. Here are some examples:

>She continued to move silently among the streets
Very sparse.

>"You were the pegasus at my show. The one who felt I was stealing her thunder."
>"Come to kick a mare while she's down?"
>"I wouldn't really blame you."
>"You haven't? But... but, you hate Trixie. You should hate Trixie, at least. Everypony should. I'm such a fraud."
For dialogue coming from a distraught, weeping mare, this is written in an exceptionally even and flat tone. When people are crying their voices shift in pitch unpredictably, they stammer, words and sentences are left unfinished and they lose track of what they're saying easily. However, with Trixie, you can add something on top of all of that to really show she's breaking down - nix her third-person speech. Notice that there's precedent for this in Boast Busters - when she's distressed, she'll drop her grandiose mode of speech and start saying "I".

>just let all of her pent-up emotions flow.
Show us more of this.

>She regretted her behavior, but she didn't know how to fix her mistakes.
Show us more of this, too.

In some places you do the opposite and are unneccessary descriptive, verging purple:

>She stared into Trixie's eyes, the amount of tears built up causing the bright, violet orbs

>eyes threatening to let loose another torrent of sadness from behind the quickly fading dam of willpower

Tone that down and apply some of the descriptional weight to the sparser sections of your story.

This entire story is in need of a major re-write and I can't see it going anywhere in particular until that happens.

Here's a tip for writing dialogue - speak the lines out loud to yourself and see if they seem natural to say. If you're good at imagining voices, read them in the voice of the character they're supposed to come from. This won't help you write character-perfect lines every time, but it will at least weed out the ones that sound completely out-of-character.


There doesn't seem to be any major plot issues that I can see, but this story irritates me so much because it's a mediocre execution of a fairly fresh and interesting idea. Trixie/Dash is a very uncommon ship and I'd like to see it explored further but you haven't really given me the emotional and descriptive gravitas neccessary to make me interested in the story. I don't feel the characters being upset and conflicted.


I'm not sure I'm the best reviewer to help you with this story. It does hold promise purely from its fresh and interesting concept but it needs serious revisions before it's ready for primetime. Consider carefully the weight of the situations you're putting your characters in, and give serious thought to how they would react. This is a story about sadness and love, and for it to be compelling we need to become invested in the characters. Give us a reason to care.
>> No. 88209
Title: "My Little Old Republic"

Author: AidanMaxwell

Reviewer: Swiper

I'm about halfway into this, and I'd like to comment about a few things. I've tried to leave a lot of Google Docs notes. I'll finish going through the rest of it soon In general, though, let me go through it my usual way right now.

Grammar / spelling: You need to watch out for the passive voice. Broadly speaking, I can see that you're trying to avoid that, and the story isn't too bad on that front. Still, you want to be darned sure that you're rooting it out when it pops up.

Characters / storyline: Pinkie and Dash both need some work. Pinkie seems, well, too much like a prop. You need to flesh her out. Show her reactions. Show her contributing more to the conversations. Show her movements. Show her motivations and her inner conflict. Pinkie even seems useless... in the battlefield. She's a smuggler. She should be able to fight.

Dash's portrayal seems, well, just okay. She also really needs to be fleshed out more. What's going through her mind? As well, it just seems too OOC for her to threaten that guy with death just for being a dick. I would expect that of a sith and not an element of harmony.

The storyline seems fine. I love KOTOR, and so I'm in the target audience. Still, though, I'd like more descriptions and details in terms of what's going on. They're by a camp. They're by a road that's in the middle a warzone. I have no idea what these places look like. They have blasters. I'd like to see them having to reload, worrying about it overheating, and so on. I need details.

Think of these scenes in your mind. Picture them just as if you were watching them in a movie theater. Try to get the full picture down on the page.

Plot: I'd try to expand things more than just 'Separatists attack!' Talk about why the road is so important, why this area is being fought over, and so on. There needs to be more 'there' there.

Summary: I'll be honest and say that I started this off excited. But then I felt more 'meh' as time went on. I'll be sure to go ahead and review the whole thing like I promised. Don't worry.

[to be continued]
>> No. 88212
There is more of a sense now that the doctor is making an effort. However, the solution is still something that I can't believe parents wouldn't try. Having trouble walking? Hold the child up and help. It just seems natural . It would lend more emotional weight if there were an actual medical problem involved.

Also, a lot of the rewrites suffer from the same problems as the original in grammar, punctuation, and phrasing errors. Look back through the comment stream and make sure you really understand the corrections that were suggested, so you can learn from them and avoid making more in the future.
>> No. 88216
*flinch* Ow ... that hurt a little. But I do see what you mean. Honestly, I'm trying my hardest, but I'm not exactly an experienced writer in ANY sense of the word. Thank you for your time and your review, and I'll see if i can try to improve, but ...

I don't think I'll be re-writing anything anytime soon. Heck, this took too long as is. I know it's far from being perfect, but the most I'll do is some occasional edits here and there.

Sorry this wasn't as great as you'd hoped, and sorry my writing's a bit bland. Like I said, thank you, and I'll take what you said into consideration, but I really don't know what to do with it.

>> No. 88218
Since the author has started editing the original Google Docs, I guess I'd just retrospectively turn my 'Preliminary Review' into my 'Review.

Two more things=

Summary: The biggest two things are (a)describe the scene in more detail, so that it doesn't come across as 'talking heads' followed by 'random battle' and (b)make Dash and Pinkie more IC. Neither Dash nor Pinkie should threaten to kill a mere informant as well as to actually murder a surrendering injured enemy solider (both things that would make a Republic solider court-martialed I think). The latter thing is pretty serious, IMO.

Overall, I'd give this-- at least the part that I got through-- something like a 3 to 3.5 out of 5. There's a great premise here, but it needs a lot of work. I hope that I helped.
>> No. 88220
Sorry for butting in, but I need to point out that there's no time limit to these things. Work on your story when / if you can. Don't worry about it too much. Also, don't let what happened to one story pigeonhole you as an author. Everyone has off days. As well, all great stories had to start from somewhere. That's usually somewhere small.

I'm not disagreeing with Stormchaser. I'm just saying that you don't have to sweat it.
>> No. 88221
File 133065232988.png - (36.94KB , 413x449 , Stormchaser is eh.png )
I can deeply sympathise on the whole "rewriting sucks" thing. I'm currently going through chapter after chapter of work I've been doing lately and occasionally I feel like throwing up my hands and just yelling "Fuck it!".

My advice is to practice. Practice writing as much as you can. Read and re-read your work and ask yourself if it conveys what you want it to convey. If you want it reviewed, toss it here in the Training Grounds and somepony will pick it up. I can't say it'll be easy but I can promise you that you will get better. You'll start recognising some problems as you write them and correct them immediately, and you'll avoid other problems altogether.

Perseverence is hard but it's also worth it.
>> No. 88222
File 133065245120.jpg - (42.36KB , 256x800 , 1311368936048.jpg )
Can someone explain to me why maintainers and reviewers are segregated? I don't get it.
>> No. 88225

I don't understand your meaning.
>> No. 88229
File 133065325008.jpg - (84.42KB , 739x751 , TwilightSparkle_writing (My Little Pony).jpg )
I'm going to go ahead and look at chapter one of "Twilight Incorporated" by Cainiam.
>> No. 88233
I'd like to start off my thanking you for taking the time to read and review my fic. I have begun editing the story based on what you've said in your review so far. I'd also like to mention that the character Fleur in my story is not the same character from the show. When I began writing the story I had completely forgotten that there even was a character on the show named Fleur. So I apologize for any confusion this has caused. Once again, thank you.
>> No. 88234
File 133065506880.gif - (1.41KB , 64x126 , EB_Ness\'s_Nightmare.gif )

Once again, I copied the chapter into a gdocs and commented on it. I didn't go through marking any recurring errors that you had from the other chapter, so it'll be up to you to check for those.


Okay, the main thing about this story is that it's...rather bland. There's not a lot here that's really compelling. The reason is that not only do you tell a lot instead of show, but there is a lack of concrete detail to establish the Princesses emotions and motivations. In a short fic, it's imperative to make every line count. I recommend going through and getting rid of extraneous lines and elaborating on the significant lines you do have, making sure to show the character's emotions and thoughts instead of just telling us them directly. Also, I think you would benefit greatly by getting into the heads of Celestia and Luna and maybe have them reminisce on the planning of the event, any lingering doubts from the public about Luna, and so forth.
>> No. 88236

Hey, Megatank, I would recommend that you break up your 9k word fic into, say, three chapters or maybe two. That would make it easier for reviewers. It also would be good in that, after getting a review for chapter one, you could then revise two and three with the new information.
>> No. 88240
I would go ahead and change the name to something else, then. Also, I hope you liked my review. I tried to be pretty detailed.
>> No. 88244
It's time I did my share of the long-ish fics. Expect a post after a few days.

If you happen by, answer me these questions two:

You've labeled this story as a crossover, but there's no indication of what the cross material is. Since you haven't pointed it out, I'm assuming no knowledge of it is needed to follow your story, but I'd be interested to know.

You've requested a review of Chapter 1, but the word count covers both chapters. How much do you want reviewed? I'll admit, the submission instructions are a bit vague on this point.

Also consider posting a temporary copy in GDocs, as it eases commenting for both of us. If you do, send me an email with the link. If not, I may paste a copy there anyway.
>> No. 88252
File 133065920447.png - (248.59KB , 882x900 , Fluttershy-daww.png )

Right, since Fluttershy's Shadow was claimed, I'll take the next Fluttershy fic down the line then, Moonshy.

Oh joy. Shipping.
>> No. 88258

Synopsis: Every pony in Ponyville has been having gum and teeth problems. Doctor Romana T. Colgate--the only dentist in Ponyville--finds herself swamped by the sudden surge of patients. With the help from several carriers of the Elementals of Harmony, she seeks out what really is going on and to find a way to stop it.

Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/16qZZLLCHAA_kBC5-6boNQ-eZZfXWThx54GAVWTzTCmY/edit

Equestria Daily Response #2: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1EoBWEok8M5vKjjWjv2E40DtpWIAC-2ZvCmWh8hHz6lM/edit
>> No. 88278
Are you looking for just a scenes and concepts review? Or are you looking for the whole package?
>> No. 88288
Basically. I think I rushed several of the scene's without giving a good... emotional connection with the characters.(does that make sense?) I have no idea what I should do/add. :(
>> No. 88294
This is just a preliminary review based on the first three pages. For some reason, Google Docs is derping on me. I'm afraid that it's going to unsave stuff I write, and so I'll stop right now.

There's a lot of things that I'd like to talk about immediately while they're still fresh on my mind. I can keep going, but I'm sure that these issues play out later as well. I hope this helps.

Grammar / spelling / wording: I see a lot of comma-related problems. If I was just reading your story as an ordinary guy coming upon it on fimficiton, then I would be get irritated pretty fast even though I like your story in general.

A lot of the story is something like:
"It's going to rain, I'm so unhappy," Spike said, he grabbed his coat.

Whereas it should be:
"It's going to rain. I'm so unhappy," Spike said. He grabbed his coat.

One other thing: Semicolons are your friend. Love them. They already love you. So return their love. Why not use some more of them?

Two other things also stand out. You have a lot of redundant language. So, I'll read something like:

"May I come in?" said Sandra as she came in. She leaned forward and put her head upon the desk. Her hooves went down, upon the desk. She leaned in, with her bottom hooves in the desk.

"I'm so angry," said Todd in an furious voice.

I hate to come across as a "less is more" person/fox/pony/whatever that hates detail. Detail often is fantastic as a reader. At the same time, it's good to stop yourself as you write and think-- "Do I really need to say that?"

I also see a lot of unnecessary adverbs. Just keep in mind that you should let the actions speak for themselves when they can. Take a look at the following two sentences:

Twilight kicked against the chair. "I can't believe this new rule!" She said angrily. She picked up the paper forcefully and read it quickly. She made a noise furiously.

Twilight kicked against the chair. "I can't believe this new rule!" She fumed. She grabbed the paper and scanned it. She let out a furious moan.

Even then, there's a certain point where the reader is like: "I get it. Twilight is mad." Just be sure to look at the underlying subtext of what you're writing. It helps a lot.

I hope that I'm not coming across as a strict Stiffy McStifferson here. At the same time, I feel like you have a darn good story idea that should not be dragged down by simple mechanical things. You see what I mean?

Characters / storyline: You have all OCs for a while. I am totally okay with this myself, but I would expect a lot of readers to look at this and think: "Where's the pony?" To be honest, I feel like I'm reading a generic ABC sitcom transcript. I just think that you need to ground it in FiM more.

The hook is, to be honest, pretty 'meh'. You need to immediately snap the audience into the world of your story. Don't begin during the boring debate between the suits and the techies. Show the techies being awesome first.

Watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=blV61SAoqGQ (God, I love that show)

There are office debates mentioned, yeah, but the emphasis should be more action oriented in the beginning. In the Google Doc, I made up this little opening scene:

{ The lid burst off the can, shooting yet another hole into the pockmarked ceiling tiles. The orange unicorn leaned forward and scowled. A white blob popped up and whacked him on the cheek.

"Doctor Veil, I told you that you have to test it in your mouth," the other technician said, slinking back behind the unicorn, "It's the salvia's enzyme reaction that makes the self-popping popcorn work!" He giggled.

Veil sighed, and he magically lifted up the can. He closed his eyes and guzzled down a bunch of kernels. He paused. "Stencil... I don't know..." he muttered, cheeks full.

A torrent of loud pops sounded off inside Veil's mouth. (and so on) }

This is just something random, but do you see what I mean?

The problem is that, well, your Veil character comes across as kind of a dick. I don't have any reference point to like this character. I have reasons to dislike the scum-sucking lawyer / economist ponies (although it pains me as a future M.S. in Economics grad myself) based on how you characterize them. But I need to see more of what's going on in Veil's head. Flesh out his friends and how they operate first. Then, bring in the suits.

When you bring in the female character, I see "You’re like an exothermic reaction, you spread your hotness everywhere!" / "I wish I was your derivative so I could lie tangent to your curves!" / "If I was an enzyme, I’d be helicase so I could unzip your genes!" / "Is that a test tube, or are you just happy to see me!" etc everywhere.

Are they bonking? If not, then please don't bring in bonking subtext because it immediately gets confusing and distracting.

[to be continued]
>> No. 88296
File 133066923209.gif - (267.73KB , 191x253 , PinkiePie_hoppy_jumpy (My Little Pony).gif )
Plot: As an A.S. in Chemistry plus M.S. in Economics fox (hopefully upping the A.S. to something more in depth), the plotline felt like orgasmic reading for me. Still, keep in mind everything that I just posted before. I need to see the characters more fleshed out.

I'm writing this three pages in. The thing is: I'm afraid that Joe Schmo Brony might going to make it about two paragraphs before going 'meh'. Try to lay on the plot-spice in a more 'action' and more 'fun' way from the get-go.

Summary: I'd go with a 3.5 to 4 out of 5 so far. You just need to edit a lot of things, but you're pointed right where you need to go.

I said this was a preliminary review. So, I'll read the rest of chapter one and go on in detail if you want. Just let me know.

P.S. I listened to "The Smile Sessions" by the Beach Boys and "The Piper at the Gates of Dawn" by Pink Floyd as I read this. For some reason, it worked perfectly. Yay.
>> No. 88297
File 133066925251.png - (80.42KB , 108x125 , 132411268999s.png )
It's... not going to be written for another half a year in progress. But, heh, glad you like the idea.

Claiming "The Pony League". You've had had a few runs, if I recall correctly, so I'll assume you're okay with not getting line-by-line. It'll be more of a concept-geared review. I'm not sure if I can give you what you want, since it's been a heckuva long time since I've dissected a fic, but I can give you my honest stream of thoughts. Sound good?
>> No. 88302
Okay, thanks. I've had four people look at it and talk about how they don't like it. I'd love a lot more than just "I don't like this part", please. I'd like it if you could be as specific as possible.

Thanks again.
>> No. 88307
File 133067075612.png - (99.23KB , 809x748 , 1325920781958.png )
Must... not... keep... reviewing... OCD acting up...

Ah, horseapples, I'll go ahead and look this over. Your synopsis just intrigues me to no end.
>> No. 88319
The story "Toothpaste" by Brotato doesn't end with a Cupcakes moment in which Colgate cuts up ponies to make their blood into toothpaste, does it? Or something like that?

I just looked at the EqD rejection, and I must say that I'm... not really interested in the story if you're going that way.

Yes, this is hypocritical of me as someone who's written Cupcakes-style stuff for fimfiction. But I must say that I didn't really enjoy writing and then reading that stuff.
>> No. 88320
File 133067441625.jpg - (53.28KB , 400x354 , tiresome.jpg )
Line-by-line for the first three pages, and skimmed the rest.

To sum up my thoughts... what the hay did I just read?

Let's look at it chronologically first. This is my impression of the sequence of events.

1) You fling us into the middle of unexplained conflict. Twi and Rarity are at odds. Twi is unusually rueful, and Rarity is unusually unrepentant (ref. she gives up fancy living and status for her friends in Becoming Popular; her relationship with her friends, Twi in particular, means a lot more to her. Rarity would have put in a lot more effort to make it up to Twilight, more than this at least).

2) Twi struggles with what to do. Slightly draggy, because it's all just description and thought without anything actually happening.

3) Twi somehow gets knocked by a pony

4) Twi enters a dangerous-looking hatch

5) Twi walks around an adult facility of brazen indecency and keeps on going despite getting molested, albeit not deliberately

6) Twi steps into a bar

7) Ian what'shisnotaponyname's face

8) bunch of lyrics

9) Twi gets knocked out

You can probably see where my disbelief peaked. Now to walk you through the issues I have with this.

The two chapters are like two separate fics. I realize that this is incomplete, but you've left a whole, introductory plot just hanging there. It begs the question, "Where am I going and what have I gotten myself into?".

Twilight is not relatable because it's all tell and whining. Show us more of what she feels, not what she does. This, more so in the second chapter, where it felt like mostly just scenery and description. Twi is a convenient puppet through whose eyes the world is seen. I can't feel attached to this, though then again I can't really emotionally invest in fanfics, so I'm not the best person to hear this from.

Seriously, the heavy making-out and implied sex. What. I think the problem is two-fold, that is, firstly, Twi's age isn't specified I can't help but think that she's a teen of 15~17 human years. She's lived a sheltered life in canon, devoid of lust, greed and such - the shock value would be enough to make her physically ill, I feel. True, we're all beyond our age of innocence, but it's an element that you need to capture if you're using canon Twi. If you're not, you have to state this clearly and give a bedurn'd good explanation as to why not, because it's the qualities of good in FiM that readers resound to. Taking that away, well, you get the idea.

It's the same issue with Grimdark. Some people don't like it because it's so radically different from canon Equestria. Your underground rebel hole is exactly like that - it strikes me as an immoral anarchy where ponies' only goals are to make love and die young. It's a world apart from Equestria. It's not pleasant to get dragged into such a world in an instant.

Your plot relies on Twi making stupid choices,, mainly, choosing to go down the rusty(?) hatch and continuing on down, even though this is obviously out of her comfort zone. It's like landing in the deserts of East Africa and thinking, "Well, let's live here". It's not something people do without a bloody good reason, and Twi has not shown this.

Stylistic errors, minor errors, things that honestly kill the flow of the story are rather prevalent. It's a cumulative effect. The more of them you have, the worse the reader's impression of your story. You have a lot of them from the second sentence onwards, and it hurts your story significantly. Now, this is highly subjective, but this is what I feel as a reader.

I have gone into this fic without reading tags nor summary. Your tags strike me as a lie. =| What part of stumbling into a coltcuddling pit is [Normal]?

Ian is not a pony name. Seriously.

Well, that's it! Ask me anything, or if you want me to go deeper, I can try. I hope this helps.
>> No. 88321

No, it doesn't end with a cupcakes thing. It's supposed to be a comedy but since it had a few chuckles here and there, the tag was turned to "normal" instead. If it was like that, it'd be tagged appropriately.
>> No. 88322
Can you keep going with the line by line comments? They're really helpful. I'd also like to go through some of your points.

>You fling us into the middle of unexplained conflict.
I was planning on having chapters one and two happen, and then chapter three would be the flashback to the unfortunate incident in which Rarity put Twilight's icon into the hospital. To be honest, I haven't figured too well how I'm going to do that scene.

>Twi is unusually rueful, and Rarity is unusually unrepentant
In the context, I was thinking that Rarity is really worried given the graffiti is a clear "We the 99% majority ponies are going to burn your place down, you 1% capitalist marshmallow twerp" message. The fact that Twilight is so obsessed with this failed opportunity for her to see a personal hero sing and then talk music with her... that means that she doesn't really care about Rarity's problem as much as she should. From Rarity's POV, she just made an accident and she apologized already over and over again. She thinks that Twilight shouldn't stay mad.

I know that I'm pushing both of them pretty OOC. But what can I do to make it more believable?

>The two chapters are like two separate fics.
I'm not sure what exactly you mean. Are you saying that the first part is more of a 3/5 quality story while the latter part is more of a 1/5 quality story?

>Twilight is not relatable because it's all tell and whining. Show us more of what she feels, not what she does.
I tried to show rather than tell as much of her personal problems as possible. What exactly would you add?

>Your plot relies on Twi making stupid choices,, mainly, choosing to go down the rusty(?) hatch and continuing on down, even though this is obviously out of her comfort zone.
What I was trying to convey was:
a)Twi accidentally jumps in the air.
b)Twi falls down a long, long storm drain like-thing that closes behind her.
c)Twi ends up in a closet-like room. She has three choices: 1]Stay there, 2]Try to either teleport or climb high above, or 3]Enter the room outside the closet.
In effect, she only has 3]. Neither choice is really workable. I wasn't going for "Twilight wants to proceed". I wanted to convey that she had only one option. How should I revise that part, do you think?

>the shock value would be enough to make her physically ill, I feel
I was trying to display that she's not too happy with what's going on, but a)she doesn't know how to protest, or what she should say and b)there's no exit clearly indicated anywhere. I also was relaying on the fact that she might just go "Well, shoot, if I have to wait until the band plays to get out, then I might as well just wait." Of course, Twilight also is a girl and has teenage hormones that tells her that coltcuddling is fun to watch... at the same time that her demure nature is making her freaked out. So, canon Twilight in my mind is like your average fifteen year old American girl that's peeking over the corner as her classmates make out even though her heart is racing and it feels weird as much as it feels good. What exactly would you change or add?

Also, by the way, thanks for reading!
>> No. 88325
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>Can you keep going with the line by line comments?
I'll see what I can do. I mean, the reason why I stopped was because it would have affected my judgement. The more I dig into details, the more off-tangent my focus becomes, until I'm writing pages about the definition of "in-system" while completely forgetting the plot. ^^|| True story.

>Rarity is really worried given the graffiti is a clear "We the 99% majority ponies are going to burn your place down, you 1% capitalist marshmallow twerp"
>The fact that Twilight is so obsessed with this failed opportunity for her to see a personal hero sing and then talk music with her... that means that she doesn't really care about Rarity's problem as much as she should. From Rarity's POV, she just made an accident and she apologized already over and over again. She thinks that Twilight shouldn't stay mad.
>I know that I'm pushing both of them pretty OOC. But what can I do to make it more believable?
Hmm. A really worried Rarity wouldn't have screamed at the wall, she'd have been all over it, looking for the hoofprints herself. Also, if Rarity had made an honest effort, Twi would have accepted it, I feel - begrudgingly, but she would have stopped obsessing over it. Having fought two of Equestria's greatest villains together, Twi would have a much better opinion of Rarity than "you vain idiot", though this is all extrapolating from my own experiences - people in my life who have been awesome are usually given some leeway when they derp, because I recall them as being awesome. The same for them, but this is highly subjective, once again.

I didn't catch that Rarity was worried, tbh. I just thought, "Oh, graffiti". Rarity agitated tends to speak a lot more, I find - she barrages - so you may want to look at that, as I remember her dialogue as rather middling in volume.

>I'm not sure what exactly you mean. Are you saying that the first part is more of a 3/5 quality story while the latter part is more of a 1/5 quality story?
More like, the first part trails off the plot - Pony Osmond as source of conflict - and jumps into the second - Twi in underground pit. There is a significant change in mood, setting and character, where it's even less dialogue and more description.

>I tried to show rather than tell as much of her personal problems as possible. What exactly would you add?
Emotions, physical sensations as of compared to actions. The beating of a heart, the twitch of an eyelid, rush of adrenaline or heated ears, stuff like that. I like these, because it's something the reader can experience him/herself. That way, you achieve relation. I think.

>c)Twi ends up in a closet-like room. She has three choices: 1]Stay there, 2]Try to either teleport or climb high above, or 3]Enter the room outside the closet.
>In effect, she only has 3]. Neither choice is really workable. I wasn't going for "Twilight wants to proceed". I wanted to convey that she had only one option. How should I revise that part, do you think?
Well, you could start off with having her jump in the narration. I missed that part. She's conscious as she falls, so you dscribe that too - have us see that she has fallen into a hole, not just merely "falling" without an end point. Then, have her fumble in darkness, not under a black tarp. Clearer transitions, e.g. "When she next opened her eyes" or "She stirred at last", etc.. Feel around the sides for an escape. Describe the feel of the soil/metal walls. Use her magic to light up the path, or something. Step by step, but geared on what she sees+feels. You need to grab the suspense by the collar here, and it's possible if you come forth clean and strong with the showing.

>So, canon Twilight in my mind is like your average fifteen year old American girl that's peeking over the corner as her classmates make out even though her heart is racing and it feels weird as much as it feels good. What exactly would you change or add?
More like, she hasn't been exposed to it yet. The cycle would go as such:
[Initial] -> [first exposure] -> [automatic response: disgust/denial (since it's out of her comfort zone)] -> [reflection] -> [rejection] -> [reflection] -> [acceptance].

I'd add feelings of nausea and panic. Other feelings that come with being violated for the first time. Strong, bile-inducing feelings, because everything around her is going against her upbringing (unless Celestia... well, no). I felt that Twi was just there, watching. She didn't come across as feeling anything strong, but this boils down to show/tell and my inability to emotionally invest.

Anyhow, I'm glad that you got something out of this. You're handling a really tricky piece, to be honest, and the tallest hurdles you have to jump stem largely from your sequence of events. Still, that's not a good reason to quit I have Derpy becoming an alicorn and it's awesome, so I wish you the best, and possibly even au revoir.
>> No. 88327
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Before I begin, I'd like to say that this review is by no means flattering; it is in fact quite harsh. I do this not to offend you, but to help you. If I don't state your fics problems mildly, it's because said problems are not mild. That said, keep on writing and don't get discouraged.

Style: I'm not going to sugar-coat this: your fic flowed like a river of rocks, kitchen utensils, and broken glass. This was most apparent in your use of commas. Sometimes you leave out a comma to the detriment of rhythm like in the following passage:

>Obviously, it was a great moment for us pegasi, and with the union of the three pony tribes there has been a lot more focus on peace talks and immigration policy.
A comma after “...there...” would be fantastic! Such a comma would make consistent the flow of the sentence and rectify any doubts regarding the validity of your sentence structure.

Or you have too many unnecessary commas:

>From what I heard later, though, it seemed that the flame had something to do with the earth pony and with Pansy, too.
The comma preceding “too” is wholly unnecessary (the word “too”isn't really necessary either). The comma before “though” shouldn't be there, then again, you could just remove “though,” and things would be even better (if you remove it, remember to leave the first comma in).

Sometimes (really, really often), your sentences go on too long and need to be broken up. When writing, pretend that the brain has lungs and that it always reads aloud. Give the brain some time to breathe!

>Princess Platinum and Chancellor Puddinghead, my fellow co-rulers of Equestria, were better versed in government duty and took the brunt of the workload, but they couldn't take it all from me, or what would be the point of having the union in the first place?
Setting all other criticisms of this sentence aside for the moment, I would turn the comma after “workload” into a period, craft a transition, and begin a new sentence.

You have a bad habit of abusing dashes. Your dashes should usually be commas or periods.

>I had no intention of letting her get close to the dragon – she was only tagging along because I felt better for having a witness who wouldn’t groan in disappointment if I survived – and I was just hoping she’d have enough sense to leave it to the riot police if I failed.
This should be three sentences, like this: I had no intention of letting her get close to the dragon. She was only tagging along because I felt better for having a witness who wouldn’t groan in disappointment if I survived. I was just hoping she’d have enough sense to leave it to the riot police if I failed.

Perhaps worse than comma issues (and maybe even the dash abuse) is your apparent habit of using six or so words when one will do (also demonstrated by the above passage). Bulky phrasing (particular between two important clauses) forces your reader to mentally carry information from the first half of the sentence, through a clunky phrase, and into the second half. This gets to be exhausting. Exhausted readers are not happy readers and they're rarely readers for long. Exhibit A:

>After all, the earth ponies grew the food and there was no doubting that, in history, they'd always been the first group to be exploited by the other two.
“...there was no doubting that, in...” can be replaced with “...throughout...” for a better read.

Even worse, you occasionally jam whole sentences between related thoughts and force the reader to carry info even further. I even saw entire PARAGRAPHS jammed between two related thoughts in such a manner (I can remember four instances of this, but there were probably more).

>By contrast, Pansy was taking to the change like a pegasus to the sky. She had been ever since the incident with the windigos. She'd taken on the role of diplomat between pony tribes - surprisingly, as a representative of the earth ponies.
The middle sentence doesn't really add anything, in fact, it detracts from your description of how Pansy was taking to things by interfering with the reader interpreting the information. Delete the middle sentence and then read. Better, right?

There is also the insertion of unnecessary/irrelevant details that is prevalent through your entire fic.

>As far as pegasus upbringing went, she’d had it soft. I’d learned a few weeks into the job (we rarely talked about our personal lives) that she hadn’t been submitted to the hilltop test like the rest of us had been.
Why is “(we rarely talked about our personal lives)” in there? It has absolutely nothing to do with Pansy's upbringing.

You also add words in when you're trying to transition from paragraph to paragraph or thought to thought. For an example of the former, see below:

>But, truth be told, I had little to do with it, and I had even less to do in it.
The “But,” should be deleted, as should the “...I had...”

Another style issue is phrasing that is just flat-out awkward. When writing, you typically want the reader to get your meaning as soon after reading your words as possible. The below sentence contains some awkward phrasing that made me pause and think for a moment:

>I was spending - and I still spend - a lot of time indoors, which is no good thing for a creature born for flight.
“...which is no good thing for a creature born for flight.” is awkward (and contains repetition). Try something like “...which is not good for a creature born to fly”

Occasionally, you go a bit beyond awkward and into the realm of nonsensical.

>For the first time, I said. Or was it the first time? I'd known Pansy since way back. We'd had a long history together in the Pegasus Army. There must have been something to compare it with.
“For the first time, I said. Or was it the first time?”... lolwut?

As previously mentioned, there is also the issue of repetition.

>For a time, I tried to convince myself otherwise by telling myself that, if I'd been in her position, or had been given a shot at it, I could have done just as well.
You use the word “myself” twice in close-quarters. The first myself establishes the object (she's trying to convince herself), so the second myself should be replaced. One way to do this would be to remove “...telling myself...” with “...reasoning...” Aside from the repetition, the comma after “...that” is unneeded.

In several places, your word choice needs some work.

>I found out later that dragon youths normally take centuries to mature, but they can reach full size overnight if they get a chance to try out their hoarding instincts early.
”...try out...” is a terrible phrase for the job. It implies that the kleptomania is a temporary condition. You could make an argument that this is true, but given what transpired after Spike reached full size in 1x10, your argument would be dismissed.

>Improbably, the trail of footprints had vanished, and we were stuck between two high walls and a double row of abandoned stalls.
Using “Improbable” here is flat out weird, furthermore, for a chasing a grown dragon, that's a pretty impractical thought.

>I remember how cloud-saturated the sky was that day, as though the weather teams up high were preparing to make this ordeal more atmospheric than it really should have been.
Other errors aside, why would you use the word “atmospheric”? It's such a neutral adjective. Words like “intense”, or “frightening”, give the reader a much better idea of how Hurricane really feels.

>Taking on the dragon, I had seen and felt exactly what he must have experienced. It was delicious.
Delicious? Really?

Your fic also suffers from Show vs. Tell issues. I'm willing to grant that you tell us a lot, at least enough to get a fuzzy mental picture of whats going on and a pretty good handle on events, but more showing would be nice.

>We began with a simple ascent to try and get a full view of the town, but flying straight upwards is not as pleasant a business as we sometimes make it out to be. Go too high too fast, and your ears pop something dreadful.
Why do you have Hurricane telling us that sharp ascents aren't pleasant instead of having Hurricane describe the experience of soring into the air and rushing higher and higher as she fights the pain caused by her unpleasant ascent.

>Since it was already raining, and the insults were only getting worse, I decided not to let her add to the precipitation, so I told her we’d land.
Why can't you describe this from an in-the-moment perspective exactly as it happened and use quotes?

Frequently, you forget to include antecedents for pronouns. This is slightly broader than just pronouns. You have prepositions that reference nothing as well.

>The impact knocked down two buildings either side.
Either side of what?

Finally, there are your descriptions. For the most part, these are fine, but there are definitely multiple cases where you have descriptions that seem a little off, or are just nonsensical.

>When I’d last seen him, the Commander had been so obese it was a physiological insult.
Physiological describes the type of insult, but the sentence leaves no clue as to the insult's direction (who/what is being insulted).

>Politics wasn’t a pegasus concern until you were high enough in rank to see a line between you and the Commander’s temple.
“...to see a line between you and the Commander’s temple.” What?

Grammar: Your mechanics were good, I didn't see anything truly disturbing or nightmarish (e.g. nominative absolutes in the middle of sentences). I would read up on sentence structures though. The Id sentence structure got butchered a few times (usually by being turned into I,d), and there were a few instances of I,d+I (which is more or less the same as butchering Id into I,d). There was also the occasional tense issue.

>After that, they literally went from cute babies to teenage monsters, and it’s no wonder that the mothers abandon the eggs first chance they get.
”After that,” implies a progression (something that needs to be stated in present tense), but you used past tense.

>It’s one of the most popular urban myths told about them by pegasi, largely because it subverted our expectations.
”Is” and “subverted” are different tenses.

Once again, your mechanics, for the most part, were fine.

Characters: This is always a make or break area in any fic. The world is seen through the eyes of a character, emotional investment in a story is (almost) always entirely dependant on having an understandable and believable character. The slightest inconsistency can kill the reader's immersion in an instant. This was the case for me when in one paragraph, you had commander hurricane sympathizing with the earth ponies,

>At the time, I had been serving alongside Sergeant Pansy. She persuaded me that the insults were not meant personally, that all of this was just anger at the actions of our higher-ups back in Pegasopolis, and that we were all really ponies in sisterhood. I had already made up my mind that the expansion of the Pegasus Empire was a mistake. The sooner we withdrew and gave the earth ponies whatever was their due, the better.

but several paragraphs later:

>All I knew at the time was this: on the one hoof, I would quite like to have kicked the incumbent Commander hard in the jaw for what he was doing. Yet, on the other hoof, if I'd led the charge against the pie-throwing earth ponies of the street, I would have done so with nothing short of schadenfreude.

Had some event happened to change her opinion of the earth ponies, I might have accepted this. Alas, it was not so, and my immersion dropped to zero.

Another important aspect of a character is her behavior. How does your character speak? What sort of things does your character do? How does she do them? And because we're working in the realm of fan-fiction, is her behavior consistent with canon? There are a few cases where you have Hurricane using words that seem out of character (like “schadenfreude” in the above paragraph). While not as bad as the last issue, it still hurts immersion. A lot of what she says is also informal for such a military-oriented pegasus.

Most importantly, your characters felt empty. I can't tell if it was a lack of proper character development, a lack of immersion, or some combination of the two that caused this issue, but this is huge. If I don't care about your characters, I won' care about anything they do (i.e. your story).

Story: This is the other massive make-or-break. Within the realm of fan-fiction, it's more difficult to write a consistent story due to the possibility of self-contained plot holes and contradiction via canon. While your characters suffer mostly from self-contained inconsistencies, your story suffers from contradiction by canon.

The first red light went on when you wrote about the pegasi conquering an earth pony city. I didn't think the pegasi would readily piss off the ponies that they depended on for food, thought I, but they are a militaristic society. I filed this inconsistency under “Plausible, but really?” and continued reading.

The second red light flickered on when I heard about unicorns in a palace on earth pony territory that had been conquered by the pegasi. What the- why would unicorns be in a pegasi-controlled earth pony city? Wait! Maybe they're diplomats! I quickly filed this idea under “Plausible, but really?” as well.

The third light went on when you began discussing a food shortage. The earth ponies grow the food, yet they're suffering more from this shortage than the pegasi? I suppose that as the occupying force, the pegasi could demand more food, but it seems like an effective military strategy for the earth ponies would be to say “You want food? Sweet. Give us our city first.” Perhaps they're too scared for that. This thought, once again, went under “Plausible, but really”?

These were just the major inconsistencies, I'm not going to list all the minor ones (like the pegasus commander spontaneously withdrawing forces after at least 3 months of successful occupation). You might be thinking: But you said they were plausible! You even showed how these things could work! How is this a problem? You may notice that I wrote down my trains of thought instead of just saying what was wrong. I did that so you could see how long it took me to reach some of my conclusions. You know what I wasn't doing while I was thinking through these issues? Focusing on your fic, hence the reason that it's a pretty huge problem. Forcing the audience to justify potential inconsistencies kills immersion, and, in the case of the more impatient readers who don't want to think through things, gets you branded an idiot.

There are two ways to go about fixing this: clarify (explain why things are the way they are), or get rid of them.

A note about your pre-reader's comments: When your pre-reader said, “This is really what we call an idea story,” he was referring to the MICE quotient. He was expecting this to be an event story (as was I), but at the end, you threw in a rather lengthy paragraph regarding different types of strength and how different characters exhibited it throughout the story. It was quite jarring. It seemed like someone read your story, wrote an analytical essay on it using a prompt about strength, and then stuck a paragraph from it at the end of your fic.

Addendum: I made several miscellaneous corrections while reading your fic and marked them in a google doc (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1PxNpR_OpZRpMLfRdRAFCvdCJUXZC8C0VNhI26FSDJtY/edit). Of course, my other corrections are in there as well. If you're not familiar with Gdocs, to see a comment I made, move your cursor over the highlighted blocks of text and the appropriate comment will appear. The corrections I have marked are NOT the only corrections to be made. After a while, I stopped marking your recurring mistakes (which are all summarized above). Please go through your fic, look for any instances of the recurring mistakes that I mentioned, and change them. Also make another other corrections that I have outlined in the Gdoc. If you have any questions, please feel free to respond to any parts of my review via ponychan or by commenting on my comments in Gdocs (if you do the latter, let me know in the TTG thread).

Summary: Due to the terrible style, this story was exhausting to read. There were several times when I was tempted to stop reviewing and reread “A Drop of Moonshine” by Penstroke; a fic that is more entertaining and easier for my mind to digest without having to piece together ideas from across paragraphs. Furthermore, the word choice, while not quite as exhausting, was definitely more irksome. Your use of weird constructions in place of simple adjectives, your application of phrasal verbs, and your odd wordings just gave the fic a sense of incorrectness.
The other reason it would have been so easy for we to go to a different fic was because I wasn't immersed in your world. The characters and story weren't very consistent thus killing any and all suspension of disbelief. You didn't show, you told, so I didn't really feel like I was in the world, rather everything I experienced felt vague and vicarious. An under-described world did nothing to remedy this. I new what was going on, I could piece together rough images of the scenes in my head, but everything was just so plain. It was like a brand new coloring book.

What I recommend you do for this fic: Honestly, a complete rewrite. The idea behind this is good, but the execution, to put it lightly, is not. Look at the list of things you can do to improve below. Once you feel like you've made significant progress, try writing this again.

What you can do to improve: Click this (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1WMMs8H-GpFIXPsQeC0RNu8V-Cq6uyGl_UERpOUK_6KY/edit) and read the section on show versus tell.

To solve the problem of two-way comma abuse, read up on various sentence structures and the elements of a sentence. This will help (http://www.towson.edu/ows/sentencestruct.htm)

To solve almost all your other problems of bad style and your issues with crafting characters: read. Go to any fan-fiction site that strikes your fancy and read. Read as much as possible. Have you gone and read ten or so good fics? Good, go and read ten more. Reading is the best way to become a better writer. Allow me to reiterate: The best way to become a good writer is through reading.

Do writing exercises. If you need to get better at crafting a setting or capturing a mood, write a vignette and get it looked at. If you need to get better at creating a story or characters, write a detailed summary of a fic and get that looked at too. A good place to post those would be the Story Forge thread.

Final thoughts: Keep writing and get better! I want to read a well-written, engaging, awesome version of this fic someday. Don't disappoint ;)
>> No. 88328
Thanks for your comments. I've already tried to revise chapter one a lot. I must admit that, in my life, I've had three key loves.
2)The word then
3)Single quotation marks
4)Writing things as "X did Y. A did B. Z became K" in academic-like fashion
5)Using lots of detail in various spurts

I use those all the time just as naturally as breathing. I know that I shouldn't, but there you go. Thanks for all of your help.

>I wish you the best, and possibly even au revoir.
I'm confused. Does this mean that you're still interested in doing single line comments through the rest of the fic?
>> No. 88333
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The moment you mentioned you are a non-native English speaker, I had a feeling this fic might take a lot of work to get right. And boy I was proven right. Never fret, writing is the one thing that WILL get better with practice. I have left comments on your first three pages, and it will be up to you to correct the rest of the fic.

Okay, to start off, let's begin with your basic technique.
Punctuation. You do this throughout your text.
>“Forgive me my brazenness, but is something wrong, your Majesty?”, Luna slowly tilted her head towards the old stallion.
Wrong. The correct way to write this would be
>“Forgive me my brazenness, but is something wrong, your Majesty?” Luna slowly tilted her head towards the old stallion.
Notice I deleted the aberrant comma and did not italicise the dialogue. A good rule of thumb of dialogue punctuation would be best illustrated by the example below. Dialogue and speech are never italicised. Please correct this.
>"Help me," Twilight said.
>"I'm here, sugarcube." Applejack reached a hoof out.
>"Do be careful!" Rarity exclaimed.

You tend to abuse semi-colons as well and your fic stutters as a result. Semi-colons are clunky and are best used sparingly, not in every paragraph like you do. If you like to know more on when and where to use this special punctuation and others, I recommend you take a look here. >>87549

From the way you phrase sentences and your odd word choices, it is safe to surmise you are definitely not a native English speaker and only have read limited works in English. Too many times I had to stop and re-read a sentence because of your very non-standard choice of words. Things like:
>"Please allow the question, your Majesty, but what is troubling you?”,
>The plate was empty pretty fast,
>With slow and careful moves she wandered through the odd place but the strange feeling that she had been here before stayed.

I'm afraid these will only improve by writing more and reading other fics. I recommend to start by reading published fiction. They help give you an idea as to how to construct your sentences better, as well as gain some valuable vocabulary. No going around the hard work, I'm afraid. However! I must admit I was impressed that you at least got your tenses right most of the time.

I must also say you're definitely wavering on the tell side of the show-vs-tell scale. There are just so many moments where you choose to tell us exactly what is going on, rather than showing. Example:
>The modern times offered a lot of entertainment during the night.
>He looked bit nervous but his old age gave him the strength to endure her gaze.
>It was dead boring around the palace at night,

Telling is fine, but it is rather dry. Try to describe more of the character's reaction and surroundings, rather than telling it outright. I assure you it makes for a more compelling read.

As for your story and plot. I can safely surmised it as thus:
>Luna is bored.
>Luna goes to the Everfree and encounters a manticore.
>Fluttershy and Twilight goes to Zecora's for some reason.
>Fluttershy finds Luna, treats her wounds.
>They fall asleep together. (Cue shipping.) Later found by Celestia.
>Luna treats FS to a lunch.
>Celestia offers to ship them. (No joke.)

For something so trite, you took nearly 17 pages of prose to do it. I find myself skipping large parts of your fic after the third page simply because you choose to repeat a lot of what was said earlier, or padded it with filler that could be just as easily inferred. Consider this paragraph.
>“I hope you are right!” Luna smiled at him and simply pretended that he succeeded. He visibly calmed down and smiled back before he left. Luna’s focus went back to the slice of cake in front of her, she really liked Silverglass’s chocolate cake. The plate was empty pretty fast, and Luna placed some bits on the table before she left the cafe. She headed back to the palace but didn’t enter it this time.

Could easily be cut down to just:
>"I hope you're right!" Luna said. She flashed a smile at Sliverglass, who visibly calmed down and returned her smile, before leaving her to her cake. Luna quickly finished the delicious chocolate cake. After paying for her meal, she decided to head back to the palace.

See what I did? By rewording some parts and cutting out the filler, I recreated the scene in less words. You really need to work on trimming down your fic and cutting those unnecessary filler. Pacing is the key word here. Keep in mind that every word you write should advance the fic in some form or manner, whether it is moving the plot forward, building up character, describing scenery or action or establishing some backstory.

Characterisation-wise, I suppose you did a decent job of writing Fluttershy. Luna and Celestia have little canon personality and your depiction of them didn't break any that I see. Luna feels way too mopey though, and comes off as a little annoying after the third complaint of being alone and lonely. I have not seen enough of Twilight or Zecora to judge.

At the end of all this? I think you have a great potential to improve, but you really need to read more English books/guides, or have a native speaker to help guide you. Be warned also that shipping stories like these are a dime a dozen, and there's nothing here as yet that would actually compel me to choose your story over others.

tl;dr? Needs extensive editing work, passable shipping story, paced way too slow.

Keep writing.
>> No. 88337

I thought about this, but I'm gonna leave it for now, for a few reasons:

It's under 9000 words as is, so if I cut i into 3 it's definitely going to fall foul of EqD word requirement.

Finding a good place to cut it in two is proving more difficult than I expected. I tried a few places, but none of them feel right.

If it's really a big problem, I'll sort it out later. As it is there are plenty of requests on here way longer than mine.
>> No. 88342
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> It's under 9000 words as is, so if I cut i into 3 it's definitely going to fall foul of EqD word requirement.

The word requirement isn't per chapter. If you submit all 9k as one or two parts it's easier on readers as they can read a number of shorter chapters fairly happily.

Making one huge doc is a great way to end up getting a TL;DR response.
>> No. 88344
To be honest, 9k words isn't that long. (At least by my standards. I write 8-13k words chapters.)

If you cannot find a convenient point to break them up, I suggest you leave it at it is.
>> No. 88347
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Right. Claiming Colours Will Fade With Time next.

Should be done within the weekend.
>> No. 88348
9k words isn't that long. Don't split it if you can't find a good reason too.

Mr Swiper seems very eager to cut stories up into tiny chunks. I haven't seen a chapter of his that exceeds 3k words. No offense of course, just an observation.

Like I said in the last thread, wordcount doesn't matter. If your single 9k word chunk is what you feel works best for your story, use it. If you want tiny 2k word chapters, use those.
>> No. 88351
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Tags: [Comedy] [Crossover] [Adventure]

Bowser, King of the Koops along with his army wind up in Equestria. Upon failing to conquer what he thought was Peach's castle, he accidentally frees Discord, the spirit of chaos and disharmony. Intrigued with Bowser's method of conquest, Discord decides to use the Koopa king's army for his chaotic plans.

The unlikely team up of Pinkie Pie and Bowser begins. Will Pinkie save her friends? Will Bowser get vengeance on Discord? Will Bowser be able to put up with Pinkie's over the top hyperactive antics? Will she get the grouchy Koopa to open up and become friends?

They'll have to work together to overcome the challenges that await them.
This is the tale of Bowser and Pinkie's Super Bizarre Sage.

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

I would mostly like chapter two reviewed please. I'm putting chapter one there as well seeing as it may be hard understanding what's going on without reading that first.
>> No. 88359
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I like the concept, and the dialogue seemed to stay true to the Mario and Luigi games, but it's telly beyond belief. In essence, you have a good cream filling surrounded by an incredibly bland cake. Don't take this as a full review though; I was just giving it a quick skim to see if I wanted to read it (I don't) and decided to give you a quick opinion. With luck, your reviewer will help you a bit more with said issue.
>> No. 88366
Stories still needing claimed:

The Three Souls >>81058
Contact: Apple Harvest >>85571
Colours Will Fade With Time >>85513
Time of the Black Sun >>86014
The Carnival of Chaos Chapter 2 >>85808
Celestia's Choice >>86177
Termina's Final Twilight >>86531
Birthright >>86544
Spirits of Harmony Rewrite, Chapter I >>86575
Kindle the Bonfire >>86730
A New Mare >>87199
Redemption of the Fireheart >>87358
Daring-Do and the Cruise of the Celestia >>87387
Resolution >>87450
Equestria's Twilight http://www.ponychan.net/chan/fic/res/85147.html#87471
Elysian Fields >>87566
The Fixers >>87702
Out of Context >>87788
The Pony Scrolls: Nightfall >>88009 (Incorrect link in queue. Needs to be #88009 instead of #i88009.)
Millennium Eclipse >>88110
Making Things Write >>88151
Bowser and Pinkie's Super Bizarre Saga >>88351 (Incorrect link in queue. Needs to be #88351 instead of #i88351.)
>> No. 88368
One thing first: You should probably put something in both of the documents themselves-- not just in the document titles.

So, then, it'll look like:
"Bowser and Pinkie's Super Bizarre Saga"
"Chapter One"
"By Alkem"
>> No. 88369

Thank you for taking the time to review my fic. I'm disappointed at how badly it turned out - the last review and the pre-reader's comments left me thinking that this just needed tidying up, not a complete rewrite.

I'm already editing according to your guidelines. The vast majority of the style issues I agree with, and I'm at least pretty chuffed that grammar was good (give or take tense issues).

Your initial comments on character were a little confusing. I'd thought I'd made it clear that Hurricane's "inconsistency" was affected by how the earth pony pranksters kept getting on her nerves. I've rewritten that passage, all the same; if it's only going to lead to confusion, then I might as well take no chances.

As for the character's emptiness, the immersion aspect might be the biggest factor. Following your other points should fix this problem.

Some of the inconsistencies in plot which you described... well, I'm trying to see them, but I still don't understand them. History is littered with examples of farmers getting oppressed by superiors who couldn't grow the food themselves, the medieval period in particular. When the food shortage hits, it isn't the poor underclass that gets to keep it. Add in the fact that pegasi and unicorns have (between them) two ways to overpower the earth ponies and I wouldn't have expected this to be a problem. I've addressed it all the same, but only because I didn't want ambiguity. I also thought it was clear that the unicorns were diplomats - at the very least, I explicitly said that they were ambassadors. Again, I've addressed this by expanding a little.

I know about the MICE quotient. Milieu (or worldbuilding), Idea, Character, Event. Now that I've reread my fic, I can see how the event actually works better than the idea, so I'm editing around that. The huge chunks at the beginning and at the end are now removed for this reason.

I've read through the google doc and made the corrections that you outlined. Now I'm moving on to pick out any other mistakes, as you suggested.

I'll concede I wrote in a terrible style and could learn the show-don't-tell lesson from CerealVelocity's dofemoral arteryil I could recite the passage off by heart, but the charge against my characters and my story not being very consistent seems unfair. It might just be because the details in my head didn't translate well through what I wrote, but inconsistent isn't a word that comes to mind when looking at the actual examples you listed (see above). Am I missing something?

On the other hand (hoof?), it really is quite telly and I'll have to address that.

I'll follow your other points, too. I'm keen on improving my writing style, and practice makes perfect, as they say.

Bit nervous about this bit, though:

Final thoughts: Keep writing and get better! I want to read a well-written, engaging, awesome version of this fic someday. Don't disappoint ;)

What are you expecting? Do you have a fic in mind I could compare mine with? (Not A Drop of Moonshine - I just found it on google docs and its intro is far too telly).
>> No. 88372

Typo fixed:

I'll concede I wrote in a terrible style and could learn the show-don't-tell lesson from CerealVelocity's document until I could recite the passage off by heart, but the charge against my characters and my story not being very consistent seems unfair. It might just be because the details in my head didn't translate well through what I wrote, but inconsistent isn't a word that comes to mind when looking at the actual examples you listed (see above). Am I missing something?
>> No. 88378
Tags: [Normal][Shipping]

Plot: Acustiana dealing with life as a musician that is mute, having to work with people not knowing hooflanguage and needing to constantly write things down for others. All the while feeling a sense of loneliness as nopony wanted to get close to her as they didn't know how, or didn't want to know how to understand hooflanguage. Those that made their honest effort to befriend Acustiana found her to be pleasant and fun to be around, and she always enjoyed playing for them one of her many personal compositions. But even though her few friends would always be the realization that by the end of the day, she would be alone in the silence of her home, with her bed empty of happiness.

Part 1: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1mDi0yRPwLaM74E0lB6zlOlwb7z0q3GGnd0fAqACD208/edit
Part 2: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1AsfH46atjRne1l19T_J10cKShO57XrAGxeXXEfhRK0E/edit
Part 3: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1XwAxsSj-3pnJOkyMwE8xNzQ1pI0I6uW9dQAnChTsapo/edit
Part 4: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1roPw6mR2DJ63JJQLlU05ICkNDoyiz0YY1DzI26Zg86M/edit

Vanner was nice to help with part 2 and part 3, but he has been super busy so I am back to post here. Part 3 still has some mechanics issues, I wasnt able to clean them all up. If you want to review it, just let me know and ill turn back on comments. Part 4 is what I need reviewed however.
>> No. 88380
How many fics have been reviewed but are waiting for a response?

Also, I guess that "Whispers At Twilight" by PsuedoPegasi has been abandoned by the author. I can be taken off the list.
>> No. 88386
Thread update/ thread sweep tomorrow, don't want to can't do it right now.
>> No. 88392
File 133073111298.png - (761.34KB , 1680x1050 , 130712045066.png )
Can you do it right now? My OCD is telling me to review everything that has not been reviewed as well as to re-organize everything, and I'm starting to feel a bit loopy... It would feel nice...

Or maybe I should just quit the thread for a while... I'm afraid that I'll revert to my vindictive mode, 'Nightmare Swiper' if I keep reviewing... *already so jaded*
>> No. 88399
File 133073256419.jpg - (75.89KB , 1000x552 , mlfw1495_huge.jpg )
> pic semi related.

anyway, today I won't make it to make a thread.

but *insertnamehere* was nice enough to make a list of unclaimed fics. Feel free to rip one apart help an author improve. Wanna go vindictive, I'm not stopping you. just make sure to be blunt not insulting... I learned the hard way.
>> No. 88400
>anyway, today I won't make it to make a thread.
(as if I would make a thread) *threadupdate
>> No. 88404
File 133073403943.png - (493.98KB , 900x675 , organized_chaos_by_paradigmpizza-d4g8sur.png )
That would be me. And you are welcome. :)
>> No. 88409
Title: Toothpaste

Author: Brotato

Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/16qZZLLCHAA_kBC5-6boNQ-eZZfXWThx54GAVWTzTCmY/edit

Note: This is probably going to come across as pretty vindictive. I also will probably ramble. I'm sorry if I cross the line / have crossed the line. Anyways...

I've gone through four pages, and I feel like I have a lot of stuff to point out already. I'm going to have to be honest and say that I'm not enjoying how this fic is going. I feel like this fic is a great example of that deathly "mainstream slice of life blandness" that isn't really bad, but it isn't really that good either. Stories are about conflicts and choices. What comes across here is more like "Another day in Ponyville started up, and stuff happened. The end."

Let me start with the beginning:
In Ponyville, across from the store, “Quills and Sofas,” stood the dental office, “Happy Smiles.” Inside the dentistry, a unicorn with a blue and white striped mane sat behind a desk, looking over today’s schedule with a slight frown. A nameplate on the front of the desk read, “Doctor Romana T. Colgate”.

This is the 'hook' meant to drive people in from the get-go. This doesn't work at all. It's like I'm reading a high school paper version of "How to write a brochure for your future store at your dead-end mall job". Yes, you've created a picture of the scene in my mind. You've done that in one of the most dull and detached ways possible. I feel like I've poured cold oatmeal into a baked potato, sprinkled on triscuit pieces, and then poured the goop onto my face while listening to The Best of Donny Osmond. Bland, bland, bland, bland, bland!

Let's go on:
Carefully scribbling down the name Rarity, who was due for a check-up tomorrow afternoon, she sighed. She had written the name sideways since all the other spaces were taken, forcing her to use whatever empty spots she could find. Ever since yesterday, the schedule book filled up the same way, with the same patients coming in with sore gums. She’s told them to brush twice and floss daily, but she began to wonder if this is something far more serious. The answer for what was causing this town-wide problem both eluded and frustrated her.

You've already set up the template for the rest of the blasted story. A pile of dry and sterile descriptive language goes through a bunch of events that barely hold my interest as a reader. I immediately thought of Jim Lehrer of PBS Newshour narrating this. And as much as I love PBS, that's not the style I'm looking for in fanfiction-- for Pete's sake.

Don't write in a way that just conveys information. I want to see myself put right into Colgate's head-- immediately. Make me go through her actions, and show me what she feels. Don't just touch on things from the outside in a way that just tells the story.

I've left a lot of Google Doc comments up to where I stopped. The key thing here is to write the story like it's a blasted story with some blasted conflict / choices happening to a character with whom I emphasize with. Get less detached.

In comparison, I made up some little mini-scenes:
{ Colgate stared over at the ponies guzzling down white chocolate cupcakes. Her eyes focused like miniature knives as the collection of colts wandered into the Quills and Sofas store. She glanced down at the day's schedule with a slight frown before snapping back over to the other mall shop. She could barely stand seeing this goofy looking red foal slurping the chocolate off his cheek. Uneducated little twerps! She sunk back into her chair, looking into the nameplate on the front of the desk saying "Doctor Romana T. Colgate”. She adjusted her blue and white striped mane a little bit, the reflection telling her that she might as well look her best. }

{ Everything just seemed fine before yesterday. Right? She flipped back a few pages and leaned back in her chair. A parade of the exact same patient with those exact same horribly sore gums, coming in time after time, flashed through her mind. She scowled even wider, thinking about how she had lectured them to floss daily and brush twice a day. A potted plant would take instructions better. }

{ She traced her hoof around the page. I see Applejack from Sweet Apple Acres, Junebug from uptown, and Roseluck from the downtown square. Oh, goodness, has the whole town lost it? She couldn't see any street with safe teeth in all of Ponyville. }

She's sad and put upon. Make me feel that! Put Colgate's feelings and desires front and center!

Another thing: watch out for the passive voice. I'm stick of seeing all of this dry, academic type language in something that's supposed to be about rainbow-y, sunshine-y equines powered by love and friendship. Gah.

You also keep writing things in a roundabout sort of way. I'll see something like:
The door was moved open, revealing Twilight. The drawers were positioned alongside Colgate

I don't care about the door and the drawers. Write in terms of the characters and in terms of inanimate objects. Look at:
Twilight walked through the door. Colgate moved over alongside the stack of drawers.

Doesn't that look nicer? Of course, it does. Also don't repeat yourself.

Stuff like:
She agreed to open the door. "I'll open the door."
He got hungry. "I'm hungry."

Just puts the reader off. Avoid that like cyanide.

[to be continued]
>> No. 88415
Characters / storyline: Oh, boy... Well, let's go through some things that just screamed at me:

>1) Colgate is going to see Twilight. She goes ahead and puts her in the chair. Despite the fact that they have like a blasted hour before the first patient is going to show up... Colgate starts getting snippy. She says to hurry up and get started. Wait... what?

>2)And then, suddenly, we take the left train out of Weirdville and enter the depot of Crazytown!

Colgate gets all "There's no earthly way of knowing... Which direction we are going... YES! FOR THE ROWERS KEEP ON ROWING! AHHHHHHHHH!" What the Luna's flank is going on? What was that out of the left field?

We go from Colgate the put-upon protagonist to... Colgate the quasi-rapist pushing Twilight's head straight down and lightening striking behind her as she talks about putting her long, hard drill into Twilight's soft, quivering flesh?

No, dude, no...

>3)Twilight is a dumpster diver... or at least something like that. Colgate the dentist is out of toothpaste. So, she has Twilight... borrow hers? Wait? Really? She's not just out, but she... What?

What the hay? Has toothpaste suddenly become like the good heroin that you have to climb to the forth floor of the University Union at 2pm Thursday evening while using the code-word "White Squirrel Preservation" and carefully knocking against the weather-vane 'knock-bounce-knock' to get? We're talking about freaking toothpaste. Noone should be 'out' of it, least of all Colgate!

Colgate should have plenty. She should offer it to Twilight (who won't go throwing her face into the wastebasket over a misplaced tube). And Twilight shouldn't be sharing panties, hairclips, vibrators, toothbrushes, toothpaste, et cetera with each other. That's just gross, brah.

>4) Colgate is apparently holding an idiot ball. First of all, why has she only asked Twilight what toothpaste she's used? I would think that, if the whole blasted town is having puss filled volcanoes going off in their mouths, Colgate would be asking everyone all about it. Holy cheese and crackers, why isn't she being more, well, inquisitive! What are you brushing with? What kind of floss do you use? Have you been having oral sex with Lindsay Lohan? Seriously!

She talks to Twilight. And it's Twilight that comes up with the idea? And she comes up with the idea on a sudden lark-- "Convenient Plot Moment!" I guess she read the script ahead of time. Seriously, wouldn't Twilight be smart enough to think "Well, surely, if I have mouth pains even though I've changed nothing except my toothpaste... It must be the toothpaste" by herself?

But, holey smokes, for Colgate to be so blind to this that Twilight has to point it out to her. Come on, seriously? Colgate is the dentist, for crying out loud.

And the dialogue between Colgate and Twilight as well as the after scene discussion is so forced and so dry that I might as well be watching:


(Skip ahead to the 3:15 mark)

P.S. Bunny 4EVR

>5)Colgate sucks as a dentist. Not to mention everything that I've just referred to in detail... Seriously...

Twilight comes in with horrible pain. And Colgate's response is: "Hey, let me prick you a little!" *Pricks with pricky mental thing* "Well, shoot, I guess that you're using poison to brush your teeth!" *Smiles* "Okay, now GET OUTTA HERE!" *Pushes Twilight away*

Seriously, doesn't that seem a little... odd... Isn't she going to do, well, dentist-y things? "Hey, let's have an x-ray!" "Hey, let's get you some painkillers!" and so on...

Some other things: Spike comes across as both a prop, without much to do or say or anything else, as well as kind of a dick. That's not cool, brah. Everyone loves Spike.

Colgate is, well, okay as a character. I guess I would feel for her more if it wasn't for the constant assault of dry, dull language around her.

[to be continued]
>> No. 88419
Grammar / spelling / wording: Look at what I said before. This whole story really felt 'told' to me from more or less start to finish. That's not cool.

Plot: I know you're going somewhere special with this. The poison paste is probably going to mean something profound. But that's not going to matter much five-six-seven-etc pages in when the reader is let go in the first several paragraphs.

Summary I guess I'll give this a 2.5-3.5 or something like that. I feel like going off on it because there's possibly an interesting story in there, but I have a hard time seeing it. This doesn't need to be 20% cooler. I has to be like 100% cooler. You have a lot of work ahead.

Hope this helps.
>> No. 88425
>Write in terms of the characters and in terms of inanimate objects.
should be
>Write in terms of the characters and not in terms of inanimate objects.
>> No. 88440
File 133074771688.png - (1.07MB , 1000x667 , twipillow.png )

Let's see what I can do.
>> No. 88449
Okay... finally done.

I'll be honest with you. I tried to like the fic. I really did. But in the end, I find myself cringing as I skimmed through the final scene of your story. I left comments for first part of the fic, and I leave it to you to find the rest of your structural issues. I apologise if what I have to say here comes off as vindictive.

Now, onto the technical issues first. I assume that Pascoite has gone through most of the mechanical issues with you. However, there are still recurrent punctuation errors which you consistently make throughout the fic.
>"... I'm sure it's your worrying that's keeping us from performing in the main event." A mare with a green mane chimed in
>"... I'm sure it's your worrying that's keeping us from performing in the main event," a mare with a green mane chimed in

I'll just quote Ezn's Guide here.
>Dialogue which precedes a said tag can end in a comma, or an exclamation point, or a question mark, or an ellipsis, but never a full stop (period).
>Said tags are never capitalised. They are not complete sentences, and they should not ever follow full stops (as stated above). Think of them as the subject and verb of a sentence that has the dialogue you’re applying them to as its object. You don’t write “The boy kicked. The ball.” so you shouldn’t write “‘Hello.’ He said.” either.
>Dialogue which is split in half by a said tag will either form a single sentence or two separate sentences. It should be formatted to reflect that.

Aside from that, you problems with separating what seems to be related sentences in separate paragraph, to the point where you have multiple single-sentence paragraph. It is quite jarring to see a single sentence paragraph unless you have a good reason for it. Look into this where possible.

Aside from that, you seem mechanically sound. Then again, I'm not an expert in this, so I'll trust Pascoite got most of it.

Now, onto your style... and story.
I have many issues with your prose. The first one is how all your action scenes seem... flat somehow. This may be in part, due to your choice of third person omniscient as your narrator. While it allows you to look at a story from all angles, it does have the negative effect of detaching your readers from your story.

The second is how you introduce your characters. You seemed to have a template. Mane/Coat colour. Mane style. Colour of eyes. Cutie mark. While technically not wrong, it is very repetitive and it grates me to see the same style used three times in a row to introduce your OC Wonderbolts. Also, is Louman even a pony name? Another minor nitpick would be that you used dialogue to start the majority of your sentences/paragraphs. It is quite easy to fall into this trap, and I suggest you vary it a little by starting it with some description or action first instead.

Next would be your penchant of describing things which may or may not be related to the story, or telling me things which I couldn't really care less about. Things like, how Dash used to be more muscular in the past and now has slimmed down. Or what does Pinkie's kitchen contain, right down to the last shelf, sink and goods. Or how Rarity goes about doing her morning toilet. While I am aware reviewers and readers alike encourage the use of scenery description at times, be mindful of what you do include. Do include things which are relevant to the story, as well as scenery which might help paint a vivid picture of the setting. Do not include minutiae which adds nothing to the story and probably constitutes scenery porn. This is not a hard and fast rule, mind, and there are many authors who are able to pull off scenery porn very well. (Tolkien comes to mind). Unfortunately, I feel you're not one of them.

As for your story. Well. You have Rainbow Dash during and after the Wonderbolts show. After that you cut to a scene a year before which has nothing to do with the current plot at hand and goes off on a tangent about TwiMac, implied sex, Apple Bloom seemingly naive and Rarity borrowing bits. Also, you managed to entirely spoil the suspense of what building Rainbow entered by telling us outright AJ and Pinkie were moving to Canterlot to open a bar. The main problem I had with this section is that it reads entirely like filler, and disrupts the nice flow we had from Rainbow's internal conflict. There is literally nothing here which you cannot explain later through references, flashbacks or passing remarks/thoughts by the characters. If it wasn't obvious by now, I am recommending you excise this scene and find some other means to tell the backstory. The rest of the story were more or less expected, though having Fluttershy accompany Luna in negotiations is a surprise. Then again, you said there were reasons for the OOC changes so I'll reserve my judgement on them. As Pascoite previously noted, there seems to be little going on in the story apart from AJ breaking down, so I suggest you better get to the point quick.

Characters. Rainbow comes off as angsty, the OC ponies rather bland, and Pinkie is well... Pinkie. AJ seemed far too emo for her own good and Rarity is being Rarity. Fluttershy and Spike seemed unchanged, though again, I was wondering how did Spike manage to grow up so fast in only six years. I don't think Spike would be one to refer the Princess as "cranky old mare" after only six years of growth. You will need to address this.

Overall? I think this would need a lot of work to make this presentable. You have a story there, I can tell. Problem is, I don't know what is it.

tl;dr Several technical issues. Somewhat slow pacing.

Keep writing.
>> No. 88451
Why is his desk organized?
>> No. 88453
Okay, umm... I'm not sure if this is the right place to post this, or if there is a place to put this. If it's not, could a mod please shift this post?

I'm don't usually write fanfiction (I make songs instead: http://soundcloud.com/evan-mcardle/sound-issues). I have a story written in dot points that I was never able to finish, and I've been looking everywhere for feedback to help me make it/a collab partner to write with/someone to finish it for me.

I asked on heaps of chats and forums, and I was eventually told that the people I was looking for were on this thread, so I really hope you can help.

It's called Orange Bloom: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1H7XJjTmaP-SUgMK6FOy4a_a-I9JYYv-3Z7X0ijJnoss/edit?hl=en_GB&pli=1#

If anypony is able to help me with this, please contact me (prolly by e-mail, because TBH, I only come to Ponychan occasionally).
>> No. 88454
A thought:
>Ponies expect his desk and office to be messy
>They are shocked and surprised to see that it's not
>By invoking those feelings, he is spreading Discord
>Discord is all "PROBLEM, PONIES?"
>> No. 88455
If you're looking for ideas rather than reviews, then you should probably post at: http://www.ponychan.net/chan/fic/res/79400.html "Story Forge"

This thread is more for complete and finished story pieces.
>> No. 88456
Ah! Thanks!
>> No. 88460
It's already being looked at, but maybe some other eyes would be nice on this story

Title: Under Every Lamppost

Tags: Romance, Comedy, Slice of Life

tl;dr synopsis: Jersey Boys meets FiM

Synopsis: An unemployed stallion with no future, a lovesick foal, a shifty criminal, and a phobic nerd find themselves drawn into one of the singing groups popping up under Ponyville's lampposts. Despite their differences, they have this magical chemistry together. They hope that success will help them all out. Things get totally out of control. Yet they get a taste of having their wildest dreams come true.

Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1T4hKqrfg0cfufOO57w8o7NwOoZCIm-IFxv6eTUJlxnM/edit

Extra details: This is written in first person, but that 'first person' changes from chapter to chapter. I think that this lets me get the best of both worlds, but please let me know if you think it just doesn't work. This also has a more 'personal' and 'conversational' tone than most of what I've written. To be honest, I think this has been the most enjoyable thing that I've ever written (or one of the most enjoyable).

Story wise, it's pretty simple. Four colts start a doo-wop group that's based out of Sugarcube Corner. They get kind of famous. They have Pinkie Pie as a manager / cheerleader / muse / all around.

The four guys are:
Lynne = in love with Pinkie, baritone, co-lead singer
Ruby = in love with Sweetie Belle, tenor, co-lead singer
Patter = in love with stallion TBA (I'd like suggestions on that), countertenor, songwriter and backup singer
Blackberry = in love with mare TBA (I'd like suggestions on that too), bass, backup singer

I'm not so good on names, so I'd love feedback on that. Something that's not clear yet in the story (but will be clear in later chapters) is that Blackberry is really nerdy, really awkward, and barely able to function as a stallion due to his social phobias (he can't walk past a stack of papers without sorting them, he can't step the 13th step, etc). Patter is a mild-psychopath with a thick criminal record. Yet he's basically a good colt with a bad history (a physically and emotionally abusive father and a mother that 'loved' him, but the kind of love that you smoke cigarettes afterward).

>> No. 88462
I've since revised my story after it got reviewed, and I'm ready for someone to take another look at it.

Title: The Sweetest Gem
Name: The Rarispy
Email: [email protected]
Tags: [Shipping]

Synopsis: It's no secret to almost everyone in Ponyville that Spike has a crush on Rarity. But little does he know that Rarity's little sister Sweetie Belle may in fact harbor similar feelings for him. However, she is unsure of how to react to her first crush, and the distance it's creating between her and her friends.

Chapter 1:
Chapter 2:
(I'd like both of these chapters reviewed, please.)

The pre-readers at Equestria Daily said the initial draft I made felt dry and indicated I need help on show vs. tell and characterization. When Vanner last reviewed this, he said I had issues with pacing and making active yet non-telling descriptions, as well as speech tags and run-on sentences.

Vanner doesn't have to be the one to review it again if he doesn't want to (I know he wasn't too fond of the pairing in this story), I'm willing to have anyone take a look at it.
>> No. 88466
Can one of the maintenance posters change the link on the training queue for my >>88460 story?

The "post url" and "link" parts are messed up.

>> No. 88467
File 133075716700.png - (2.70MB , 3320x2592 , YOUREMINENOW.png )

YouR pitiful RevieweR finAlly fAiled to plAy the Song of Time, and now I come out in full. This foRm shAll do nicely, foR now. PRePARe.
>> No. 88469
File 133075748116.jpg - (29.02KB , 720x480 , majoras-mask-moon.jpg )
>> No. 88471

First of all I want to thank you for reviewing my work.

I always had problems with punctations, even in german but I guess it's finally time to reread the grammer section of my english book again. ;)

>I must admit I was impressed that you at least got your tenses right most of the time.
I must say that I am surprised too

As for my odd word choices: I still have to use my dictonary very often but even if I find a suitable word in it, I have no way to check if it is a commonly used word. I guess you are right and this will only improve with time.

Anyway, thanks for your work and your advices. I will try my best to consider all of them when I rework my fic.
>> No. 88475
You should probably put titles as well as your name in your documents. Then they'd say something like:
The Sweetest Gem: Chapter One
By the Rarispy
>> No. 88480
Might I suggest you take a look here?

Ezn's guide.

It should help you get started on the basics of punctuation as well as others.

I'd also recommend you start by reading the 5/6-stars fics on Equestria Daily. You will learn a lot from reading how others use the English language.
>> No. 88481
>>88409 I find this review very eye-opening at how horrible of a writer I really am. While I'd say "But this is my first fanfic! Cut me some slack maaaaaaan!" That just doesn't seem like a good excuse to me.

I'll be honest, I'm not keen on several aspects of writing a descent story. As I'm sure you've obviously noticed.
That's why I posted my fanfic here. To have it be slapped around (swiped around in your case?) by a reviewer until it cried little fanfic tears.

So, I really want you to know I appreciate you not just saying "F*yay* it" and giving up on the fanfic. This is a huge learning experience for me and possibly a mind-melting moment for you. Please, keep up with the amazing work.

(In the event your brain does actually melt, I won't hold myself responsible.) >_>;
>> No. 88484
File 133076197405.jpg - (217.96KB , 576x355 , swiper-with-obama.jpg )
I'm glad to help. I'm also glad that you took a 'Nightmare Swiper' / vindictive mode review without getting dramatic over it. Anyways, I bash stories but never authors. Don't think that this makes you a terrible author. It just means that your story is only in the embryonic / fetal stages right now and needs a lot more work (especially if you're aiming for EqD).

Hopefully my mind was only slightly burnt and not melted.
>> No. 88486
I don't think I'll return to doing line-by-line for your chapter, but if you post later chapters and you sit in the queue for too long, I may come to pick yours up again. =)
>> No. 88489
Title: Finding The Answers
Name: Nesstrodamus
Email: [email protected]
(Tentative)Tags: [Human in Equestria][Adventure]

Synopsis: A teenage boy who was involved in a fire that took his home awakens to find himself in a hospital. He soon encounters a creature that makes him realize one of two things occurred after that fire. Either he was involved in something supernatural, or this is one last fever dream before the end. Whichever the case, the boy uses the time that he has to try and pick life back up where it left off and possibly find a few answers to questions that have been plaguing him.

Chapter 1/Prologue: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1oFe_eXX3x__iQi2SqAf1LDdSFSwr0oPBj6O6OMGF2Us/edit

This has not been submitted anywhere yet. This is my first attempt at something like this and I think another pair of eyes looking over this attempt would help me out greatly.
>> No. 88513

Apologies in advance for taking so long. I tried to go through this 40k fic line-by-line, which is a lot time consuming than I thought. Thanks for being patient and here's your review. Since this is a Megas XLR crossover, here's the theme song just because it's that awesome.


Alright then, before we start the review, I just wanted to say thanks for taking the time to write this story. I know it can be hard sometimes to put yourself out there, but since you want a review, you obviously care about improving. I'll do my best to point out every mistake I can, but I'm only human. If it sounds like I'm being harsh, I hope you're not put off by it. Rest assured, I simply want to help you improve your writing. It seems like every chapter has something different in it relating to errors, as you stop making one mistake, but make an entirely different one instead. Most of the corrections for made via doc, with the general notes posted here.

I'm enjoyed reading your the story, but I have to stay objective. Of course, I may have only enjoyed reading this because I've seen the Megas XLR show. Because of that, I can picture all of those scenes in my head as they happen. For MLP fans however, it may not be as appealing. That's because this fanfic seems more of a Megas XLR fanfic rather than an MLP one. If it's any consolation, you got the Megas XLR world down pat and I could picture everything in my head well enough. The problem is trying to get the MLP part down.

I've also noticed that the first two chapters were the most polished and had the least mistakes in them. Since you're writing in an episodic format, I'm going to do the same with my review. The first two chapters would be the first episode hour-long opener (I'm guessing), and each chapter after that would be the normal half-hour episode. Without further ado, here we go!

Chapter One and Two Notes:

The fic starts in the MLP world but quickly switches to the Megas one. The intro just sounds like a prologue really. Since we're starting from the point of view of the humans, it looks like that's who the main character is. Considering what happens later in the battle scenes, when Coop kicks ass while the mane six and Celestia barely have any effect on the Glorft, this makes it seem more apparent. From the MLP side, readers will go "What the buck?" Most people who haven't heard of the television show might just think it's another HiE story. If you're fine with your fanfic having extremely limited appeal (crossover fics tend to do terribly), then continue on.

However, since we're in the MLP fandom, you might want to start from the point of view of the MLP world instead. If you did, you'd probably start with this part in the beginning, then immediately cut to Pinkie trying to bake cupcakes (start with her point of view), and then cut to when Coop appears in Equestria.

More examples of why this fanfiction sounds more like a Megas fanfiction instead of an MLP one:
The mane six and Celestia's royal guards are helpless against the Glorft, yet Coop manages to fight hundreds of them off easily. While true to the television show, it will make MLP fans balk. To someone not familar with the crossover, this seems like another story where the human comes in as a hero to save the mane six. Ignorant people will just call Coop a self-insert. Only Megas fans would know differently, but the other fans probably won't care about the story anymore by that point. That's another reason why crossover fics don't do well. It's hard to balance both universes and make them true to their original universe. Appealing to fans of both is very tough.

During the fight with the Mane six vs the Glorft, I'm sad because you don't mention what the other members did (to fight or stave them off). Basically, you glossed over it by saying they tried to fight but couldn't make any noticable effect on them. Especially with Celestia there, that makes me go "I want to see more. What's happening here? Noooo!"

Luckily, you don't make them completely useless as they play keep-away with the bag, but I still wanted to see what they did against the Glorft. I just find it hard to believe that they could do nothing against them, that's all. Twilight does do something at the end, but I'm curious as to the rest of them. As far as I could tell, the only things they did were play keepaway with the bag and Twilight blowing up the arm at the end.

There's only a small area where you have an infodump, but sometimes the description is pointless. Since this is a crossover, fans of the show will know where it came from and people that aren't fans of the show won't really care. Focus on the actions characters are doing right now instead of their backstories. If you try to explain your backstory, do so by having the characters ask each other (Although this is a bad idea in practice sometimes too). It only works when you have someone inquisitive like Twilight, but even then, don't overdo it.

Here's an article that can help explain it better.

Know everything about your character's backstories, but only write about 10% of it.


The only time to go into description is when it's important to the plot or when readers need to understand something. Like the fact that MEGAS is run by a video game controller.

Another side note: When using quotes in dialogue, use single quotes instead of double quotes. Also, don't use all uppercase when making exclaimations. It's best to convey the meaning with exclamation points and body language. It's tough, but that's why overusing exclamation points is a bad thing. By the time you really need to use it, the effect already lost its meaning from overuse.

You also have a lot of passive voice and verbs that sound like this. "He started to verb" or "He began verbing." This is boring because it's passive voice. Here's an excerpt from Vanner that explains more.

Passive voice occurs when using any form of "to be" or "to have" and another verb. Passive voice takes away the action from the subject of the sentence , and acts as a tell instead of a show. It's a sign of lazy writing, and weakens the flow of the piece do to imprecise writing.

Beware of LUS (Lavender Unicorn Syndrome) as well. Here's an excerpt from Vanner again, which explains it better.

Avoid Lavender Unicorn Syndrome. Lavender Unicorn Syndrome is what happens when, instead of using your characters name or a pronoun, you repeatedly use other descriptors for them. You only have to describe your characters once, and again if something about them changed. Just
remember that “Lavender Unicorn Syndrome” affects hundred of ponies every year. Symptoms include cyan pegasi, white alicorns, and of course, lavender unicorns. But there is hope. Ask Nurse Redheart if new and improved PRONOUNS® are right for you. Side effects include better
writing, love and adoration of fans, acceptance to EqD, glitter cannons, and dry mouth. PRONOUNS®. Because having a lavender unicorn is no way to go through life.


Chapter three seems to have significently more mistakes and I think I know the reason why. At this point, we're at the 9k mark, so most reviewers would have stopped reading because of the systemic mistakes present through an author's story. Normally, you can look at the first couple of pages in a story and figure out real quick what the common problems are there. I continued on simply because I enjoyed the story thus far but I have a bit of OCD when it comes to correcting everything. I have to put a disclaimer here though. Although I'm a lot better at catching punctuation, grammar, tense shifts, and other stuff like that, I'm not so good with improving sentence structure, cutting down on repetition, deciding whether or not a scene is important, plot elements, etc. I do my best but I'm not that experienced yet, so be aware of that.

For this story, it seemed that a ton of new errors started popping up. Let's go over them now.

Chapter Three Notes:

Your character's actions involve a lot of looking at each other. In this chapter, it appears like this.

> The earth pony filly looked to her unicorn friend.

This brings up another problem, Lavender Unicorn Syndrome, which I mentioned earlier. It's still present in the story, and actually got worse. The entire part with Spike's introduction where you mention his every physical detail without giving us his name was... hard to read.

To drive the point of LUS further, here's another argument for it:

Descriptive identifiers are not necessary or pretty, just cheesy and inelegant. If a character's physical appearance has already been described, using a description to identify the character too often (unless it's a mighty beast whose description bears repeating and emphasis) makes it sound like it's a line out of a children's book or something. You don't have to say ʺbig purple dinosaurʺ, because ʺBarneyʺ is just fine.

Continuing on through your story, there are a lot of places where commas and other punctuation marks were missing. I marked as many as I could in the document. In chapter three onwards, the problem got worse.

Something pervasive through your writing is redundancy and repetitiveness. You love to tell what a character is doing, then say the exact same thing in dialogue. There are a few places where you use the same word too many times in a short span of time as well. I want to see more body language and facial expressions when the characters interact. This has to do with too much tell and not enough show. Here's another excerpt that explains it better (I seem to copy-paste a lot, eh?).

Readers want the play, not the script. "Showing" is incorporating the characters' feelings into their actions, thoughts, and dialogue instead of that boring old coot, The Narrator, telling us what they're feeling. If a scene is tense or sad, the characters should seem anxious or grieved. And for Celestia's sake, stop explaining everything! Readers aren't idiots, and some actually have the capability of abstract thought, believe it or not. With the exception of imagery, implicit is better than explicit. It sinks in better if they have to think about it for a second.

Telling is not always bad though. You did use it correctly when you used it to skip past the boring explanation scenes that we were already here for.

After chapter two, you start punctuating dialogue wrong for quite a bit. There's more examples in the omnibus in the top of this thread if you're interested in learning more. Here are some copypasted notes on dialogue punctuation.

You need to learn how to punctuate dialogue. Remember, if a variation of “X said” follows the line, you need a comma or other special punctuation mark (not a period) to link it to the phrase. There is no capitalization of the beginning of the phrase in these instances. Standalone bits of dialogue get solid endings, and the next word is capitalized. If you reverse the order, place a comma before you go into the dialogue, and end the spoken line with a period, exclamation point, or question mark.

Alright, well that's chapter three. It looks like you've corrected most of the mistakes I pointed out, so congratulations. I apologize for not being able to help you with the whole "Making this fic more MLP-Based" part however. Perhaps a different reviewer, one way more experienced than me, will be able to help you. Onwards to Chapter 4!

Chapter Four Notes:

During a lot of your writing, you like to repeat the obvious over and over, which gets boring. This is especially bad when you have the character act out the same thing anyway. Sometimes you have talking head syndrome too, which is when a bunch of characters talk to each other but we can't see their facial expressions or what they're doing.

Also, you mix up "there" and "their" sometimes as well as have random two period punctuations at the end of your sentences. I'm assuming it's a typo, so I pointed it out in doc.

There's no need to write adverbs unless they add something to your sentence. Cried sadly, would be incorrect, since sad is implied from crying. If she cried with tears of joy however, then you would say that, since the modifier makes the cry happy.

You keep making dialogue attribution errors, so here's an excerpt for you.

A couple errors in punctuating dialogue. Examples of the proper way to do it:
>He said, “I am a pony.”
>“You are a pony,” she said.
>He shouted, “I am a pony!”
>”Are you a pony?” she asked.
>He nodded. “I am a pony.”
>“You are, in fact, a pony.” She smiled.
>“You are a pony,” said the innocent bystander. “I, too, am a pony.”
>”Now that you mention it,” said the pony, “you’re also a pony.”

So. If your verb is “said” or an appropriate replacement, use commas. If it’s not a said-equivalent, use periods. Thoughts follow the same punctuation rules, but they use italics rather than quotation marks. Errors:

>her. Applejack grumped (also double space)
>”Applejack?” She repeated.
>never...” Started Twilight.
>sorry...” Began Applejack.
>first.” She finished

When attributing dialogue, please avoid using adverbs and non-”said” verbs unless they really add something. In most cases, tone and intention can be derived from context.

This story has a lot of potential for comedy but the execution is a bit lacking sometimes. For someone that watched the show, I can picture the same scenes happening but for people not familiar with it, they'd be confused because some of the sentences are telling and bland.

Also, spell out the word "okay." It's more word-like than "OK" and "O.K." I'm not sure how to explain it, but "ok" and "Ok" are especially annoying to see in writing. Like talking via talk message or something, I don't know.

However, I did notice that you were improving when you were fixing up Chapter four. Since you're still fixing up chapter four and keep deleting my placeholder notes, I guess that means I've put enough for you to chew on and I can end my review here. Normally, one waits till the review is complete before trying to fix up the problem, but since you're so eager, I'll just stop now. So here you go. Hope I helped.
>> No. 88522
Thank you for that preliminary review. Your comments stayed on the Gdofemoral arteryil just after the second section, so it covered the Lamplight sequence and the very start of it. I'm still a little confused as to whether this is a full review. I can see that you have highlighted two major areas to work on. I was just wondering whether I should pull these down and make the changes or leave them up for more appraisal. I'll reply to your comments on the gdoc. Once again, thank you for looking at it.
>> No. 88535

I thank you for your time and assistance.

Thanks to you, I see where I went wrong. Sorry that I've already started making corrections, but most of my mistakes at this point were the same repetitive errors that I've learned to avoid. (After having them hammered into my skull.)

Thanks again for the review
>> No. 88537
File 133080082042.jpg - (872B , 48x48 , OmegaSymbol_normal.jpg )
Title: Pinkie Pie's Wonderful Flying Machine
Writer: OmegaPony11
Email: [email protected]
Tags: Adventure/Sci-fi/Light Shipping

Synopsis: Join an adventure in the skies above as the Mane Six travel past Equestria’s borders, across oceans, and into new lands of wonder and technology. Follow their journey as they learn about these frontiers, the ponies that live there, their ideas, and about themselves as they make thier way into foreign lands in Pinkie Pie’s Wonderful Flying Machine!

Ch1: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1hH1u9fh_3jTYf15wftqNa7p6pPszHX_ZiB2kFOWAccQ/edit
Ch2: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1fc7WccQ_sHBgA0QB19qRXhkhNO8ai1fSSHYttYynqEY/edit
Ch3: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1nSvLMhZSyQTvHUV4mEr__yzSGNx_Au-mz_AkG5MiFvk/edit

Primary focus is on chapter 1, though any reviews for the other two would be appreciative. I have brought this fic to other reviewers, namely Vanner and Vimbert, but I would like to request help because I am at wits end. Here is the pre-reader response:

My maine complaint so far is that Pinkie, while as enthusiastic as she normally is, has not made a single non-sequitur or otherwise off-the wall statement so far. She does do asides, but they seem less, um, Pinkie Pie than they should. And she is doing a lot of talking. The dialogue could stand to be broken up. Here is the paragraph that finally got to me.
"Cupcakes and muffins and all that stuff is easy to make, and the materials are much easier to come by,” Pinkie explained as she opened the door to the engine room, “Just
look at this ship! Metal! Lumber! Canvas! A pony like me just can’t get
all this stuff in one go. I had to call in a lot of favours, and spend a
lot of time usually saved for parties and pranks to build this. I love
being in Ponyville where all my friends are, and I love having parties
and working on delicious tasty treats! If this ship wasn’t bugging my
noodle for the past six months, I would have kept making goodies. And
it’s so much more fun to be here in Ponyville having fun and bringing
smiles than lecturing in some mechanics class in some academy. By the
way, remind me to have you sample my new butterscotch-maple-walnut-soufflé. I think it makes a yummy in my tummy, but for some reason Mister Cake didn’t want to give it a try.”
That's a lot of dialogue that could use some Pinkie actions to break it up. She's never still when talking.

Pinkie then opened the door to the engine room as she waited for Rarity and Fluttershy to enter before closing it behind them.
This is kind of long and awkward. She opens and closes the door in one sentence. It's weird.

Mageia Chrysalidas
This is not a very pony word. How do you even say this?
Mah-gee-ia Cri-sal-ee-das ?

“Oh, um, I guess I can help with your work,” Fluttershy said, “Rainbow Dash does say I have a ‘freaky knowledge of sewing.’”
Sorry 'shy. I don't see the connection. It sticks out as a weird reference instead of a cool reference.

Her life as she knew it would always be in Equestria; if not staying in the Boutique in Ponyville then moving on towards the elite of Manehattan, New Yoke, or even Canterlot.
Your comma grew an extra dot

Her forays with the upper crust (though not that pony in particular) were memories she still looked back on fondly.
I really dislike parenthesis in prose. They should be reserved for narrator asides to the reader, something a serious work like this probably shouldn't have.

While geography was not her strong suit, Rarity did feel that information about other nations and even other continents should be common knowledge, rather than the feeling of discovery now.
You lost me here. I don't quite follow what Rarity is feeling. Is she wondering why more people don't know or why she doesn't know?

I'll just note that this is moving s bit slowly. The various descriptions of WHAT is happening are interesting, but there are a lot of them. I just want them to launch teh ship already :|

“I took a look myself, and no altas mentioned any place like Mechanon. Still, Pinkie did say that Mechanon was far across the ocean, and no pegasi or ship was been able to fly that far. I am curious how this Cogworks made it across. Pinkie never explained.”
Still may need more lampshading. All of her friends are giving up a large chunk of time for a place not even Twilight has heard of? On Pinkie's word? Seems fishy.

“Pinkie wouldn’t steer us into danger or some false promise. Maybe steer us to a party or what appears to be a wild goose chase, but never anywhere she knew was not worth it.”
Twilight... How do you read so much and still say things like that.


They are generally saying you could make it a bit more engaging! Up to you!

I humbly request aid to make PPWFM the story it can be to get into EQD. Thank you for your time.
>> No. 88540
Alright, thanks. I went back and put those in.
>> No. 88541
If I were you, I would go ahead and take the thing down. I'd then comb through the rest of the story and look for the problems that I mentioned before. After rewriting it, I'd post it here again.

However: If you want me to keep going through the line-by-line review, I will.
>> No. 88545

I guess I'll go ahead and look at this story.
>> No. 88558
File 133081074899.jpg - (40.19KB , 461x403 , opinions.jpg )
Ah, thank you very much. I have been trying to get a "day in the life" sort of feel for the opening of the story. I certainly see where you're coming from in regards to the story and I like how my various implications and red herrings give each reader a different impression.

I thank you for your review and work will be done on it once I get home from work. I genuinly do appreciate you taking the time for this.
>> No. 88559
File 133081092325.gif - (933.45KB , 320x180 , mlfw1050_131171939838.gif )
>> No. 88561

No problem. Feel free to come back any time. :D
>> No. 88571
File 133081335404.jpg - (18.34KB , 381x338 , update.jpg )
>Pending reviews 13
>Reviews not yet seen by the author: 6


StarmanTheta | >>87704 | 2/28/2012 | | 1/23/2012 | Musical Shorts | Lucefudu | >>79657
Grif | >>87058 | 2/25/2012 | | 2/11/2012 | A Star's Golden Chance | The Zephyr | >>83578
Pascoite | >>87127 | 2/26/2012 | | 2/25/2012 | Bones, Diamonds, and Time. | Noclipper | >>86966
Simon o'Sullivan | >>87197 | 2/26/2012 | | 2/26/2012 | The Manly Man Way | GWFan | No-post in TTG
Swiper | >>88218 | 3/1/2012 | | 2/27/2012 | My Little Old Republic | AidanMaxwell | >>87463
Swiper | >>88294 | 3/1/2012 | | 3/1/2012 | Twilight Incorporated | Cainiam | >>87913


Josh Meihaus | | | | 2/5/2012 | Dark Reality | shadowking97 | >>81992
Split Infinitive | | | | 2/10/2012 | Neo-Equestria | herpyderpy | >>83329
Seattle_Lite | | | | 2/12/2012 | From Canterlot with Love | Sagebrush | >>83644
Pascoite | | | | 2/16/2012 | Fluttershy’s Shadow: Chapter One - A doubt of a shadow | Broken Logic | >>84691
Sparky | | | | 2/16/2012 | Azurite Dawn | Tandyman100 | >>84726
Exarona | | | | 2/16/2012 | My Choices: Twisted Tales Through Time | Koolerkid | >>84836
Uma | | | | 2/24/2012 | Drop of Chaos | Cupcakes Knight | >>86736
Cassius | | | | 2/26/2012 | Bleak Descent | LunarShadow | >>87162
Pascoite | | | | 2/26/2012 | Harmonic Chaos | Kurbz | >>87187
Halcyon | | | | 2/27/2012 | Resolution | I_Post_Ponies | >>87450
Dublio | | | | 2/29/2012 | Icarus | Tamar | >>87829
Arcanus Brighthorn | | | | 2/29/2012 | Daring Do and the Alicorn's Shadow | Crowind | >>88026
Swiper | | | | 3/2/2012 | The Sweetest Gem | The Rarispy | 88462


| | | | 1/23/2012 | Beat of a Different DJ | Jolttix | >>79674
| | | | 1/31/2012 | The Three Souls | Athlon2736 | >>81058
| | | | 2/1/2012 | Stairway to Equestria | Alexaroth | >>81210
| | | | 2/19/2012 | Contact: Apple Harvest | Ty500600 | >>85571
| | | | 2/21/2012 | Time of the Black Sun | RainbowDoubleDash | >>86014
| | | | 2/20/2012 | The Carnival of Chaos Chapter 2 | Dext | >>85808
| | | | 2/22/2012 | Celestia's Choice | Impossible Numbers | >>86177
| | | | 2/23/2012 | Termina's Final Twilight | Foursword4 | >>86531
| | | | 2/23/2012 | Birthright | Netaro | >>86544
| | | | 2/23/2012 | Spirits of Harmony Rewrite, Chapter I | Stormchaser | >>86575
| | | | 2/24/2012 | Kindle the Bonfire | sirhim11 | >>86730
| | | | 2/26/2012 | A New Mare | Charcoal Quill | >>87199
| | | | 2/27/2012 | Redemption of the Fireheart | Your Antagonist (VegaKS03) | >>87358
| | | | 2/27/2012 | Daring-Do and the Cruise of the Celestia | CloudCover | >>87387
| | | | 2/27/2012 | Equestria's Twilight | Sapidus3 | >>87471
| | | | 2/28/2012 | Elysian Fields | Bullets | >>87566
| | | | 2/28/2012 | The Fixers | Kyrie Illumina | >>87702
| | | | 2/29/2012 | Out of Context | Nuke_Equestria | >>87788
| | | | 2/29/2012 | The Pony Scrolls: Nightfall | Storywrite | >>88009
| | | | 3/1/2012 | Making Things Write | MegaTank | >>88151
| | | | 3/1/2012 | Millennium Eclipse | Lucky Stampede | >>88110
| | | | 3/2/2012 | Bowser and Pinkie's Super Bizarre Saga | Alkem | >>88351
| | | | 3/2/2012 | The Conversion Bureau : The Untold Story | Shader | >>87789
| | | | 3/2/2012 | Silence is Bittersweet | Truehearted | >>88378
| | | | 3/2/2012 | Under Every Lamppost | SwiperTheFox | >>88460
| | | | 3/3/2012 | Finding The Answers | Nesstrodamus | >>88489
| | | | 3/3/2012 | My Little Pony: The Glowmelon Mystery | Legendary Emerald | >>88533
| | | | 3/3/2012 12 | Pinkie Pie's Wonderful Flying Machine | OmegaPony11 | >>88537
>> No. 88583
File 133081897448.jpg - (22.69KB , 480x300 , Javelin 4.jpg )
Tags: [Normal] ([Crossover], a bit), Sports, Technology, Music, and Capitalism

Synopsis: Vinyl Scratch has a couple of days to waste between gigs, so she decides to spend some time in Ponyville and get re-acquainted with the rather-odd ponies who live there.

Chapter 1: https://docs.google.com/document/d/150D6DJ4kYOVvbIHMuxfHixt_9y0KGeClEECSFPxWVqQ/edit
Chapter 2: https://docs.google.com/document/d/12S-ha8uOys0-Qxl1dC-cYL2y_AoEE6PMqOKpoR5_CPc/edit
Chapter 3: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1_XQOukKW1zM4tRtS5-gmK81Rh79m5xPq0i-fUdT_oRU/edit
Chapter 4: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1vWRPV66B-9lKLyeMZpGiLvwmPPoU6WF-QLfVBbCkb0M/edit
Chapter 5: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1pnnYWu4n5FrvorMioGUFUKVTmZQayfl25uSKlyns-10/edit
Postscript & Credits: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1YQkwzHN3LbilAkybB8bSKOvGsxy238dy3G2BFoLUNXk/edit

Chapters to Review: Well, Chapter 1 was the one that the critique was aimed at, so let's start there. That's the only one that deserves the [Crossover] tag, for Doctor Who.

Prereader E's response: Unfortunately, we are unable to accept it for posting at this time. We suggest that you find an editor, either on Ponychan or elsewhere, that can help you improve grammar and phrasing, especially in (but not limited to) the area of run-on sentences. Also note that you do a lot of telling rather than showing in your first chapter, which is not engaging for readers. Please research the concept of 'show, don't tell' and consider ways to convey information to the reader through action and dialog rather than narrative exposition.

This was for the January 11 revision of Chapter 1 (copied over to https://docs.google.com/document/d/12GfrPLPB_gUm52EEImK3sph-evJgX8u18ZHH-9nrHBo/edit if for whatever reason you needed to see that version). Like a neophyte ass, I completely missed the neon glowing links to the Training Grounds in the email and tried to fix the chapter myself instead of submitting it to your collective infinite wisdom and/or ritual flailing.

P.S. I had the mad notion of making this story the first part of a six-part series (called "Betwixt Silver and Gold"), but that's assuming this part can even be made fit for consumption.
>> No. 88593
I can see you've got a lot on your plate. I'll see if I can spot those pesky comma splices and put them to bed as well as hit those super telly areas with a showing hammer. I'll reupload this sometime next week. Thanks again.
>> No. 88614
It's organized chaos.
>> No. 88636
No offense, but I really think that you should focus on whatever version you think is your "best work".

Also, that document there needs: 1)comments open, 2)a full document title, and 3)something in the beginning of the actual document saying "This is Blah Chapter One by Blah"
>> No. 88637
No offense, but I really think that you should focus on whatever version you think is your "best work".

Also, that document there needs: 1)comments open, 2)a full document title, and 3)something in the beginning of the actual document saying "This is Blah Chapter One by Blah"
>> No. 88687
First time...I hope I'm doing this right...


I am claiming this story for review. I hope to have it done this afternoon...
>> No. 88690
Tags: [Normal]

Synopsis: A young Equestrian Guard recruit is ordered to attend - of all things - the retirement party of a complete stranger.

However, things at the party turn out to be not quite what he expected. As the night progresses, he learns some valuable lessons about himself and just what the duties of being a Guardspony in Her Eternal Princesses' Royal Guards entails.

Links: http://www.fimfiction.net/story/13398/An-Old-Guardspony%E2%80%99s-Last-Duty

(I've already fixed most of the specific errors the pre-reader at EQD pointed out with another close editing pass.)

The prereaders at EQD said:

"...as the bartender seemed to look through him for a long silent moment." / Missing comma. (fixed)

"But fer the Toast – ya’ really should have something with a bit more bit more kick than water... if only outta respect." / Repeated words. (fixed )

"Throw your glass in to the fire, son," / Although "in to" in some way works, "into" is more proper and reads better. (fixed)

"The old unicorn saw the unasked question of why? written between winces of pain on Summer Oak’s face." / Unnecessary punctuation. (fixed)

"Ponies started to sit and eat and talk again." / Repetition of "and". (fixed)

"Um… All enemies?" / The word after and ellipsis does not need to be capitalized. (fixed)

"As he led his five panicking classmates – protected only by his magical shield and will - out of that hellish maelstrom of fire and smoke and blood and the screaming, the SCREAMING of ponies still trapped in the fire." / See example #5. Also, the sentence lacks the second conjoined action or event, as something happens, then something else happens. (Rewrote it a little, but I have a question. I specifically wrote that section to have long run on sentences for what occurs in that scene; mostly to try to get a feeling of breathlessness and a lack of time to pause and think. Hence the quantity of "ands" and the huge number of commas. Does it work, and/or how can I make it better?)

"And the last thing he noticed before slipping into the darkness..." / I didn't mention it before but you have a lot of sentences that start with conjunctions, most are done properly, but a number of them dont need to start with a conjunction, this one being a good example. (fixed this - cleaned up some others too. Not sure if I still have too many. :))

"...at the one spot on his flank NOT burned, having protected by the shattered wings of a pegasus dragged out of the inferno." / Missing word and it should be the pegasus as it's a specific one. (fixed)

"OK. The main thing you have to realize is that for most Equestrians – common sense isn’t." / Isnt what? Common? (the old joke is "common sense isn't" - as in either common or sense. But I rewrote that section to make it clear)

"They charged Nightmare Moon, a Goddess of the Night Incarnate..." / Incarnate doesnt need to be capitalized. (fixed)

Despite some errors, the story is actually rather good, a simple edit sweep and it should be good to go. I will mention that I believe the piece suffers from some dash abuse though, there are a lot of them, and a good number are either unnecessary, out of place, or can be easily replaced with more common punctuation. The writing style is interesting, and I do like it, but sometimes the story kinda goes everywhere with its sentence structure and the numerous dashes dont always help. Im not saying all of them should be removed, just that the author should look back through the piece and consider the usage of each one.
Thank you in advance!
>> No. 88693
Yeah, I've decided that since I've already got half of the story re-written in what I feel is a better style, I no longer want the original version to be looked at. All versions of my story can be deleted from the que. I will return near the middle of the week with the completely re-written version; for now, just pretend I was never here. :)
>> No. 88694
Tags: Adventure, Comedy

Ponyville is being threatened by the juvenile gang of drakes, Krastos’ Krew, threatening to eat the ponies out of house and home! Brute force won’t work against the creatures, but Twilight Sparkle comes up with another plan to end their threat once and for all. But it all hinges on poor Fluttershy letting everypony else know of a secret she’s been harboring all her life.

Single Chapter, 13700 words

GDocs Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1khOAlYHE7PM4aEvzreWqdvjewWfKoVu3ja31-2z-weE/edit

I've had this read by three friends already for general plot/characterization, have done my own copyedit, but looking for fresh eyes to review for these.

And just in case, despite the title, THIS IS NOT A CLOPFIC.
>> No. 88703
File 133088233701.png - (486.83KB , 713x585 , yeahwellokay.png )
Um, okay... Here it goes...

>Chapter 1: Azurite ,Alive
Um... You did proofread this, right?

Another problem I have with this title is that it tells you what happens. Some may not agree with me on this one, but I think it's better not to. Think about it: Having a title like this is like having a murder-mystery story where on the opening page of the final chapter there's a huge title which says: "CHAPTER TWELVE - IT TURNS OUT IT WAS THE BUTLER, LOL."

If you positively need to give each chapter a name, call it something that's at least trying to be subtle. Maybe 'Genesis' or 'Rebirth', I don't know. Actually, don't call it rebirth, that album was horrible. Even better, why not just call the chapter "CHAPTER ONE"?

Also, I think you should put your name on it. That's probably a good idea.

>”I hope this works” Celestia muttered to herself.
It's never a great sign when your opening line has an error...
Please brush up on punctuating speech. When a speech tag such as 'she said' or 'he explained' follows speech, you end the speech with a comma. A speech tag is anything which tells the reader how something was said.
So this should be:
“I hope this works,” Celestia muttered to herself.

>Taking her position by the door, the goddess of the sun thought about the events leading up to this moment.
I don't see the need to reiterate that she's the goddess of the sun... Just say Celestia. If you're going to write for people who've never seen the show before then that's a different case, but you're obviously not doing that, so...

>It had all started when Celestia had looked out over Equestria, and noticed something troubling; a lack of evolution.
The comma in the middle of the sentence shouldn't be there, it's between two verb phrases in a compound predicate.

>Not among the ponies themselves, but among the tools, conveniences, and technologies the ponies themselves used and created.
The first comma shouldn't really be here because it's separating the nouns in a compound subject... Also I try to avoid Oxford commas since the AP stylebook says so. I guess that's up to you...

>Celestia had some ideas for technologies that could be improved and augmented, in particular their machines of war, which have proven woefully inadequate ever since the war started...
Well, the 'have' here should be a 'had', since we're referring to 'ever since the war started', which is in the past. If you were to use 'have', it would have to be something like 'which have continued to prove woefully inadequate...'
And um, why is Celestia dreaming up ideas for war machines? Shouldn't she be busy with like, running the place? ...Don't they have engineers for that stuff?

>“No. Such thoughts do me no good, I must be positive about this matter.” Celestia thought to herself, “Complete solitude and concentration are critical.”
Comma after 'matter' since that's a speech tag.

>she lowered her great horn to an ancient book, older than time itself, and began muttering the words contained within.
'Older than time itself'? I... Don't really like that hyperbole here, why not something a little more subtle, like 'from times long forgotten'?

>especially when I have told you I am attending to important manners?
*sigh* Please proofread your work...

>I-I am sorry, sister, Luna said in an uncharacteristically soft tone,
>LUNA! Celestia yelled in a somewhat uncharacteristically harsh manner,
It's generally not good to repeat words a few sentence after each other, unless it's for effect...

>And with her head bowed, Luna slowly exited the room.
I don't really see why that 'and' needs to be there...

>”Now, then. Where was I? Oh, that's right, deeply unpleasant work involving artificial animation. Just great.”
This... doesn't sound like Celestia at all... And also, telling the readers what's happening like this is very boring...

>And with those words, Celestia once again lowered her great horn, and began uttering the words from times long since gone.
The second comma shouldn't really be there... the bit you've accidentally made parenthetic is essential to the meaning of the sentence.

>A low groan began to emanate from every direction at once, as if the room itself were becoming alive, as the sun goddess' horn began to glow an intense blue.
Using parenthesis two sentences in a row isn't very good... Also, 'becoming alive' sounds quite weird... And 'sun goddess' can just be replaced with Celestia...

>Almost innoticably
unnoticeably. (Still kind of a clunky work though...)

>Groaning with the strain as another layer of magical light envelops her horn,
Repetition of the word groan isn't great...

>the resulting noise enough to drive a lesser pony insane.
...Not really sure if I like this either... What if there was a guard outside, does he go crazy too?

>Celestia watched as the pony outline on the ground began to take shape slowly at first, but then more and more emerged.
'but then more and more emerged' sound very weird...
Why not:
Celestia watched as the pony outline on the ground began to take shape; slowly at first, but growing in expression.

>Soon, an entire pony was lying on the floor in a somewhat awkward position, whole, but not alive.
I really don't like the word somewhat, it's just like slightly but more posh. It doesn't actually mean anything, and it makes the narrator sound kind of unsure...

>each with their own reality
Not essential to the meaning of the sentence, you should put this in parenthesis. (But I'd try and revise some sentences because over the next paragraph or so you have at least one set of parenthesis per sentence.)

>and then the majority of its memories
I would change this to not be parenthetic. You're using way too many. Something like: The Princess was already feeling squeamish about depriving a living being of its soul and the majority of its memories, so she knew she had to search hard to find someone who would thank her for the ability to forget.

>For posterity and to prevent unrecoverable information to be lost, rather than deleting his memories, she would simply lock away some of the subject's memories, retaining those necessary for the task he must do, as well as some additional memories to help him function in pony society.
I would change 'subject's memories' to 'them' and remove the last comma. (Since the section is essential to the meaning of the sentence.) It's a lot easier to digest that way.

>her horn, the princess
You've forgotten to capitalize here.

>...making the light in the room brighter than the very Sun.
I'm no physicist, but wouldn't that have some detrimental effects on the surrounding furniture and room? (I don't like this hyperbole either.)

>Celestia felt as though her body was going to give out at any moment as her heart beat faster and faster due to the strain she was putting on herself.
This felt a bit condescending. I'm pretty sure I already know why she's tired.

>Suddenly, the light went out, the room stopped shaking, and all was silent save for a dull thud as the Princess fell to the floor.
I'd say put an em dash after silent.

First chapter thoughts...

Welp, there's not much to say yet. It looks a little bit rushed, and obviously wasn't proofread before submission. You have a tendency to use these weird hyperboles which don't really work (for me, anyways) and you also like parentheses a little too much. You should also brush up on comma usage and take care not to repeat words.

Although it looks like I have a lot to complain about, your writing wasn't actually that bad. Your style is pretty direct and you don't waste much time. It did feel a little too direct at times though, especially as by the end of the chapter I still didn't know where this was taking place. Description of the setting is important, just don't get distracted by pointless trivialities.

In terms of what actually happens, starting off the story with the birth of your OC felt a little... boring. And I'm afraid there are a bunch of stories where Celestia has 'made' a pony or something to that effect, which start pretty much exactly like this. (I've reviewed a few, but I really cba to go find you the links.) The idea itself is a dangerous one; you're stepping into deep Mary-Sue territory and Self-Insertville is only a short walk away too. It can be pulled off, just like any idea, you just have to be crafty. Starting it off like this is a little... unimaginative.

I'm going to hold off passing judgement on your OC though, because we haven't actually encountered him. Just know that I'm already dubious.

So yeah, you can write, you have a story, let's hope you don't let me down in your next chapters. (I'm moving on to them now.)

(Oh, and I looked at your website thing. Mad props for those old computers, they rock.)
>> No. 88706
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A My Little First Fanfiction, eh? Welcome to Uma’s Writing Boot-camp, Cupcakes Knight.
I’m so glad you decided, as a first time writer, to come to the Training Grounds seeking improvement - now let’s see what we can do for you!

Chapter One: The Beginning of an End
>It looks like you would literally take everything you could find under a sink and smash it together.
First few mistakes:
One, it’s considered bad form to directly address the reader as “you,” which is what you are doing. The narration shouldn’t directly address the reader unless you have a narrator, who is a character itself, telling the story.
Two, the tense is all wrong - it should be in past tense, not present tense.
Three, the image this description evokes, while colorful, does not match the statue of Discord well at all.
Four, using words like “literally” and “slightly” to modify actions tends to be a moot point, and generally do nothing but take away from the image. To give an example of how I would fix this sentence (grammatically):
>It looked like somepony had taken everything they could find under the sink and smashed it together.
Fixing it for imagery requires I change the essence of the sentence, but here’s an example:
>It looked as if somepony had grabbed a dozen animals and smashed them together.
This removes into the colorful sink bit, sure, but the image it evokes is much more solid and Discord-esque.

Oh goodness - reading ahead a bit, I see this is going to be fun. Now would be the time to mention that traditionally, stories are told in the past tense - while there are exceptions to this, “getting away” with present-tense and future-tense stories requires very particular formats (first person perspective, for example) and, for the most part, brilliant writing. While I can’t yet speak on the latter, not having finished reading even the first paragraph, I can only say that this story doesn’t satisfy the former. Trust me, choosing past tense will make your story much more accessible to readers, as it is the format they are used to reading. I’m aware that already, I am requesting your re-write the entirety of your fic just to change the tense, but do stick around and listen - I only want to help make your fic shine.

>It has the head of a pony with a deer antler and a goat horn, arm of an lion and all sorts of body parts from different creatures.
Here is an example of how awkward present-tense writing really is. Let’s look at it after a quick change to past tense, okay?
>It had the head of a pony with a deer antler and a goat horn, arm of an lion and all sorts of body parts from different creatures.
Now that we’ve fixed that, let’s address the more subtle issues. One, the mis-use of “an” - you use “a” if the following word starts with a consonant sound, “an” otherwise. Let’s fix that, and make the phrase a bit more sensible:
>It had the head of a pony with a deer antler and a goat horn, the arm of a lion and all sorts of body parts from different creatures.
Now we’re getting there! Let’s tackle the next few issues: parallel structure and flow! Parallel structure does wonders for the flow of a sentence by cutting down on repetition and smoothing the transition between ideas. Here’s a fix:
>It had the head of a pony, crowned with a deer antler and goat horn, the arm of a lion and the claw of a hawk, and all sorts of body parts from different creatures.
Now that that’s done, all that is left is to minimize repetition and maximize sentence flow:
>It had the arm of a lion, the claw of a hawk, the head of a pony crowned with mismatched horns, and all sorts of body parts from different creatures.

Let’s take a moment and compare the two sentences:
>It has the head of a pony with a deer antler and a goat horn, arm of an lion and all sorts of body parts from different creatures.
>It had the arm of a lion, the claw of a hawk, the head of a pony crowned with mismatched horns, and all sorts of body parts from different creatures.
Isn’t the new version so much more readable? I think so.

You’ll notice that I chose to ultimately remove the details of what type of horns, actually. As details go, they weren’t that necessary, especially in light of my next point, which is very important.

I would say that without a doubt, most fans have a strong grasp of what Discord looks like - you do not, and should not, have to tell them Discord’s appearance unless it is drastically different from that depicted in the show. Thus, while using these descriptions of the statue to tangentially approach introducing Discord is allowable, it should probably be reserved for just that - the introduction.

There is a common mistake called Lavender Unicorn Syndrome, or LUS, the affects a large number of fics. It’s caused by choosing to refer to a pony by their physical description over their name, ie, the lavender unicorn as opposed to Twilight. The issue here is that the reader knows what Twilight looks like, so you really don’t have to keep repeating it, and it gets old really fast. If I see symptoms of LUS, I will tell you, trust me.

>To be accurate that statue represents Discord - Draconequus (or Chimera...whichever you prefer), Spirit of Disharmony and Chaos.
Parenthesis have no place in a serious story, sorry - they make it sound like the narration doesn’t know what it’s talking about. Also, you always put a space after ellipses (...), for future reference.

>Few ponies know that it isn't just a statue representing Discord...it is actually Discord himself.
Speaking of those ellipses... they don’t belong in narration. Use a en dash in this case (I’ll cover those shortly).

>He is imprisoned in stone so he can't hurt anyone and/or spread chaos.
Same as with parenthesis, using a slash like that makes the narration sound indecisive. Pick the word you really mean and stick with it. Also:
Take care, this will become a point of contention. If you chose to use anyone in your narration, stick with it. Same goes with anypony.

>Then the Mane Six trapped him inside the stone prison for a second time, and now everypony slowly forgot about the mayhem that Discord spread. But inside the stone prison he is still alive and well...bored.
First of all, this is all future tense, as is everything else I’ve skipped or chosen to cover. Those will still have to all be changed to past tense.
Secondly, you’ve chosen to use everypony, so go back and fix any “everyone”s you find. Third, using “but” at the beginning of a sentence. How funny that there was a hubbub about such a thing just a bit earlier in this thread. In this case, the “but” sentence does not logically oppose the preceding sentence, so you shouldn’t use “but” at all!
Fourth, space after ellipsis. Fifth, no ellipsis in narration. Finally, here’s some bad news:

Telling readers what they already know is bad - it will bore them to tears almost instantly. Readers are lazy, easily discouraged, and generally stupid, and you need to anticipate this as a writer. What you’ve done above is re-tell the reader a bunch of information they already know: Discord’s statue, what it looks like, how he ended up that way. The only really novel bit is Discord being bored - and truthfully, that’s the only portion of the above I would seriously recommend keeping remotely as-is. Writing is in part an art of efficiency - as Kurt Vonnegutt said, “Start as close to the end as possible.”

The reader doesn’t really need to hear what Discord’s statue looks like, you can just cover it by saying something as simple as “Discord’s statue,” and the image comes to mind. What the reader does need to know is that Discord is still aware, and bored out of his petrified skull. How you chose to deliver that information is up to you as a writer, but keep in mind another one of
Vonnegutt’s Rules: “Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.”

>The spell that trapped him works on both levels - physical and mental.
Time to learn about dashes! There are two types of literary dashes: en (–) and em (—) dashes. In the above case, you’d want to use an en dash rather than a hyphen (and always so). As to not waste your time, here’s Wikipedia’s lovely article on dash usage: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dash
Browse it and try and learn when to use en and em dashes, they will serve you well.

As a tl;dr,
>*en (–) dash is used for pauses in a sentence, functioning like a stronger comma
>*em (—) dash is used for strong breaks in thought or dialogue, to show interruption

>"Here am I once more" Discord thinks,
Now we are moving into thoughts and dialogue. Thoughts should be italicized, not quoted, so the sentence should be (fixing tense as well):
>Here am I once more, Discord thought,
Note that there are special rules concerning the punctuation of both thoughts and dialogue. Here are some handy examples and links:
>Gee, I hope I’m doing this right, he thought.
>“You are,” Samantha said plainly.
>Horror filled his eyes. “You can read my mind?” he said.
>No, but I can read this example, Samantha thought, rolling her eyes.

What you can take from the above is a few hard-and-fast rules:
>*New speaker, new paragraph, every time
>*Punctuation goes inside the quotation marks in dialogue
>*When the following phrase is a speech tag, the period becomes a comma
>*Other than the usual rules, speech tags shouldn’t be capitalized
>*The above rules hold for thoughts as well, when applicable

Dialogue: http://www.writing-world.com/fiction/dialogue.shtml

If you’re quite serious about improving as a writer, and I hope you are, then I would recommend our very own Ezn’s writing guide: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1xemG7BLk2rvAmQCREIaj5wX2ubvmVt7WziEvh7xXV9g/edit . It’s full of helpful hints and quite honestly reduces this review to more of a personalized addendum/writing tutorial, but let’s continue.

Back to:
>"Here am I once more" Discord thinks, "Why couldn't those meddlesome ponies let me enjoy the Chaos for little bit longer?".
Given the rules I’ve laid out for you above, I’ll take a stab and fixing it. (That strange double punctuation (?".) is wrong, in case you can’t tell by the rules from earlier.)
>Here am I once more, Discord thought, Why couldn’t those meddlesome ponies let me enjoy the chaos for a little bit longer?
Well, now it’s mechanically correct, time to move on to the content: This doesn’t sound very much like Discord at all, let alone anyone at all. It helps to say lines like this out-loud. “Here I am once more” does sound really stiff and unnatural, doesn’t it? Try getting in-character and thinking like Discord:
>So here we are again, Discord thought, stuck all by our lonesome in some stupid statue. Nice going, Discord.
Now, that’s not quite what you said, but it does sound like Discord, right? Try and keep everyone in-character.

>Now I am trapped here, possibly forever, and there is nothing here except me, white, and some more white...what would I give for just a glass of chocolate milk!
Contractions like “I’m” are common in spoken language, and really help to make dialogue flow (that is, if the character would use contractions to begin with).
>Now I’m trapped here, possibly forever, and there is nothing here except me, white, white, me, and more white... what I would give for just a glass of chocolate milk!
(I took the liberty of adding a small joke)

>And as soon as Discord thought about chocolate milk a glass of that delicious liquid appeared in front of him.
Time to discuss the importance of concurrency in writing. Just binding together two actions with “and” doesn’t make them seamlessly concurrent - it helps that the phrases occur in close proximity to one another, so the the “time” between them in the mind of the reader is minimized. Given this, do you see the problem with the above phrase? Since it’s a bit clunky to just try and jam the thought and appearance together, let’s think backwards. What heralds the appearance of the glass? Sound’s a good place to start. So, let’s stitch this all together:
>Now I’m trapped here, possibly forever, and there is nothing here except me, white, white, me, and more white... what I would give for just a glass of chocolate milk! Anything but this plain, boring, stupi—
>Discord froze mid-thought, the faint tinkle of glass echoing through the nothingness. He turned his head slowly, watching the glass of chocolate milk with interest.

See how the sound of the glass appearing is easier to link to Discord’s thoughts than the description of the glass? Anyways, the is just an example. Feel free to take your own liberties and experiment with style and phrasing.

>"Interesting...I couldn't do that last time...I wonder..." and then for about 2 hours Discord thought about all kinds of things, stars, balloons and even silly things like a cat-a-pult.
1) Spaces after ellipsis
2) Thoughts in italics
3) Missing a thought tag
4) Catapult
5) Telling vs. Showing

I’ve covered all the others, so time for Telling vs. Showing:
Telling is when the narrator simply describes something as opposed to displaying to for the reader - if you’re confused as to when you’re telling, a good rule of thumb is to remember that telling is the easier of the two. In the above quote, you’ve managed to reduce two hours of spontaneous chaos into a single, meager, boring sentence. Telling is concise and dry, showing is deep and colorful. The key to writing a good story is to know when to tell, and to always show more than tell. Show me that scene! I want to know how Discord reacted to his new-found power, the progression of events. Don’t you just time-skip that.

Okay, so I think I've covered all of your most common errors now, so what comes next is purely up to you. I do hope you can learn from the above and apply it to the rest of your fic - there’s a lot to fix, but the idea’s worth saving! Just take your time and proof read it carefully, and you’ll get the hang of things. Feel free to return when you’ve done so, you’ll be sure to get another review and improve even more! One little bit extra:

>do we really have to know the reason for everything?
Look, just don’t bring it up if you aren’t going to explain it, please. It might be fun to jerk your readers around, but this is just silly - besides, the fact that this is all in his head anyways gives us an acceptable answer.
>> No. 88720
File 133088680650.png - (190.77KB , 1475x1491 , CursorExcited.png )

I started writing that guide in the hopes that it would allow me to write less repetitive and more personal reviews. Correcting dialogue punctuation starts to wear a guy out after a while. Spending the first half of a review typing up explanations about tense changes and how to write numbers in prose tends to wear you out on a story before you can get to the real meat of the review, and that sucks.

I'm quite humbled to see my guide used and recommended by other reviewers, hope that writers find it useful, and am very glad that I could help. I'm also open to suggestions and corrections over at >>75545 or in the doc comments.

(also I made a shortlink: http://derpy.me/EznGuide)
>> No. 88723
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>>pretend this is the link to my claim post.

As requested by the author send by mail.
>> No. 88753
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Title: Dear Princess Celestia,
Tags: [Sad] [Normal]
This is a story about Fluttershy and her family, told from the perspective of "April Showers" (Called "Parasol" elsewhere), her older sister.

Here's the link:

I'd primarily like you to look for problems with grammar, word choice, etc.; I've already given it to another reviewer for plot and stuff. I've enabled comments so you can give your feedback on the file itself if you prefer.

Here's what EqD said about it. Please note I've made some edits since then, and I think I've fixed point #2.

1) There are some pretty obvious typos scattered throughout the fic, but it's so long I've not had the ability to mark them. Run through it with a tight comb - some of them aren't even words so a spellcheck should be able to catch them.

2) Some of the areas between diary entries are unmarked and unclear, and it's a jarring take when one day ends well and [SPOILER] the next Fluttershy is pronounced dead.

3) I'm aware it's likely explained once before, but in my haste I'm unaware why Skittle is in Canterlot for much of the later years. Referring back to her occupation, be it as a student or employee, from time to time would be nice to keep things more fresh for the readers who have a tendency to skim. Not important, but it's a quick fix.
>> No. 88775
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Why, I'm totally not using your guide as an excuse for not writing out long-ass explanation why this so-and-so tense and punctuation are wrong.

Nope. No sirree.

(In all seriousness, yes, I find it very useful. Thank you for your work.)
>> No. 88787
Received this via email and google.doc, thanks Split.
>> No. 88802
| | | | 1/31/2012 | The Three Souls | Athlon2736 | >>81058

Warden's comments are all over the doc. This one's been reviewed.
>> No. 88807
>>85571 Contact: Apple Harvest

ty, you gotta tell me: how tough are you? I ask because I don't want to get to the end of a 30k-word-and-counting fic and not be confident in your abilities to finish it. So, as a warning, I'm likely to bail early and focus on making you capable of making the first few thousand words awesome before really investing in this fic.

The answer might be to try writing shorter fics first.

Unless you surprise me. That happens too, sometimes
>> No. 88831
I've looked through chapter one. I haven't looked through chapter two yet, and I will if you still want me to. Anyways, I made a lot of comments about the story in Google Docs. I sort of stopped commenting half-way, given that I saw the same things over and over again. I also, to be honest, really lost interest in the story. I'll break things down.

Storyline / Characters: Sweetie Belle is in love. Maybe. Kind of. Possibly. I don't see much "there" there. It's supposed to be a romance, but I don't see much in the way of romantic actions. I don't see that much romantic language either.

I feel like I bit into a deli sandwich and came up with just a bun a single slice of cheese. I guess I can say that Belle is IC, but I didn't really see much from her. Everypony else seemed IC as well, but they also felt like props.

What happened was basically that Belle talks about being kind of love in bland, descriptive language. She gets away from Spike quickly. She then runs away from him in a big dramatic fashion. She sort of runs away from home for a while, but then she comes back. Rarity is... surprisingly cool with this. I was expecting a little lecture or something showing some emotion, but Rarity was all like: "Okay, darling, go wherever you want at night, all night. Just show up randomly. No problem, darling."

Belle then runs away from Rarity's breakfast to a meeting. A meeting that she then, even after racing to be there and skipping breakfast-- looking awful, blows off? She just has this really artifical and forced conversation with the rest of the CMC. She isolates herself. Then, the end? What was that?

I know I must come across as more than a little mean here, but this chapter confused me. This sounds nothing like what I'd expect a Sweetie Belle shipfic to be. It's just... empty feeling.

I would expect her to act as a stereotypical girly girl. I used the word "twitterpated" in the review, and I'm mentioning it again here. I'd expect Belle to be doing her hair fancy. She'd be trying out new shampoos. She'd be putting little hints in her words. She'd be hanging out the library. She'd be looking at outfits in Rarity's place, dreaming about Spike wearing them, and then pulling them against her body while making a soft, feminine gasp.

I have to concede that I have a very 'Disney' view of romance in a lot of what I've written (if you've looked me up on fimfiction, you'll see that immediately)... Still, though, wouldn't Belle's mind work like that? Instead, I have this "Leave me alone! Love makes me weak! I hate everything! I hate you!" feeling going through the chapter.

I would severely re-write this, and I would especially mention the parts from the beginning in which Belle first realized that she thinks of Spike in 'that way'. That probably is a very cute scene. Write it out in detail-- don't just refer to it in bland, backstory language.

[to be continued]
>> No. 88836
Grammar / spelling / wording : This chapter has a lot of passive voice language that makes it seem even blander than the already bland storyline. Always try to emphasize characters and their inner drives for why they do what they do. As well, I see a lot of word choice that just comes across as awkward.

A good example of how this fic flows is:
This caused Rarity to drop her spindle of thread in surprise, before she took a minute to ponder her sister’s desire.

I think this would work better without the comma in the middle, and you need to watch out about commas. That's far from the most important thing, however. First of all, the use of "This caused" and descriptive-type language like that that you have all over your fic creates this... distance from the characters. Second, you use wording such as "ponder her sister’s desire" that is technically correct but just looks weird. Her "desire"?

Plot: You had me at the two words "Spike" and "Romance". Both of them I love separately (Seriously, I love Spike. I'd love to just hang out with him, look at gems, etc) and you mashed them together. I'd expect to have a lot of readers on board with the main idea.

I should warn you, if you don't know already, that the fact that Spike is indeed a "baby dragon" might bring some reader blowback. This isn't going to be a clopfic, obviously, and I think those objections are half-baked. But, still, some readers might claim that it's in poor taste to pair Spike with a foal. Just be aware of that.

Summary: I'm sorry to say that I didn't like this story very much. I'd give it something like a 2 out of 5.

I'm willing to keep reading and keep pointing stuff out line-by-line if you insist, but I'm probably too biased to do it that objectively. This needs a lot of work.
>> No. 88845
I am claiming "A New Mare" for editing.
>> No. 88854
I'm claiming the story Stairway to Equestria for review.

I'm new here. Am I doing this right?
>> No. 88858
File 133092671838.png - (139.07KB , 748x599 , spitfire X Twilight 1.png )
Title: Spitfire Meets Twilight

Author: Dracoliat

Email: [email protected]

Tags: Romance

Synopsis: Spitfire goes to ponyville library to get a book. There she meets Twilight Sparkle, who quickly become friends. But is something more developing under the surface?

Words: 9468

Chapters: 1

Gdocs Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1e1e47p83Uqo1jbTk6UmKexyQ-z_GglZOt5shLSmBz1I/edit

Comments: I am not looking for a particular reviewer or anything, however I am looking for one who takes grammar seriously. For this is where it appears I am failing, please help me.
>> No. 88859
You most certainly are. It has been marked as claimed, and thank you for grabbing something that's been waiting around for so long; the author will be grateful. Speaking of whom, said user left his/her email address in the post / queue submission, so if you're not sure they'll be around to see your review, you can send a notification when you're done.
>> No. 88864
The Twilight Incorporated story can be taken out of the queue since the review was acknowledged. Also, can someone link to the The Sweetest Gem review here?
>> No. 88866
Done and done.
Incidentally, I just realized (from your review thread's OP and the tags of the fic you just claimed) you took something that's not your cuppa. Well... I dunno what to say. Just thought you should be aware, in case this wasn't deliberate.
>> No. 88880
I'm well aware, but thank you.
>> No. 88919
| | | | 1/31/2012 | The Three Souls | Athlon2736 | >>81058

This individual's been pretty impatient and I'm pretty sure that no one else is going to claim this anyway. Since this author seems like he genuinely wants to improve since he stopped writing the story on FimFiction in order to improve his writing first, I shall try my hand at reviewing. Because he wants to improve, instead of just listing corrections, I will also write down why something is wrong and a better alternative for it. I'll do my best even though I'm inexperienced, so I hope I can still help in some way.
>> No. 88930
well, im back. i'v learned a lot from my first fic, and now that the first chapter of my 2nd one is up, i want another review please.
tilde: protectorate
tags: alternate universe, adventure, light grimdark.
summery: Welcome to the protectorate. We are a team of pony’s who have been bestowed with something we call, the spark. it bestows upon you wonderful power witch you can use to your advantage. However, there is a darker side to this power. At the same time we discovered these sparks, mysterious attacks were reported from towns all over equestria. Attacks from violent creatures with unknown purpose other then to destroy. Our purpose at the protectorate is to stop these attacks as they come in order to save lives. Until such time when we can stop these creatures once and for all, we will work together to stop them. You have been recruited into the Protectorate, don’t let us down.
link: http://www.fimfiction.net/story/14046/Protectorate
notes: i was told that chapter one was confusing, but i was trying to use that mystery in it as a plot hook. most of the terms are going to be explained in latter chapters anyway. thanks for your time.
>> No. 88990
Thanks for taking your time.
Jeez...so many errors? Well I am trying to improve my writing style by reading books in English (English is not my native language) and by studying few books about writing. I will keep your tips in mind and hopefully next time I will stop here, there won´t be so many errors :)
>> No. 88996
File 133098215030.jpg - (14.54KB , 600x254 , 430317-vlcsnap_00017_super.jpg )
What's this?
Uncapitalized I's?
Beginning of sentences not capitalized?
Not capitalizing proper nouns?
Homonym confusion?
Awkward punctuation?
Directly speaking to the reader?
Link to Fimfiction instead of a Google Doc with commenting enabled?
Why, how could I not review it?
Prepare your rectum. This is going to hurt you a lot more than it's going to hurt me.
>> No. 89004
File 133098402476.jpg - (5.38KB , 251x201 , images-5.jpg )
As Sixx A.M. put it, "This is gonna hurt".
>> No. 89006
You mean "help," right?

I mean, you couldn't possibly be intending to be an insufferable dick just to humiliate and ridicule someone that you feel is beneath you, pointing out and emphasizing errors in an effort to say "My God, look at how stupid you are."

After all, this is supposed to be a site for mature and friendly interactions. To do something like that would be downright shameful.

Surely no one around here would do that.

Or encourage such a thing.
>> No. 89007
>> No. 89008
Please take this elsewhere I beg of you.

>> No. 89009
File 133098640296.jpg - (7.63KB , 225x225 , images.jpg )
He'll be helped.
He might be limping by the end, but he'll get his help.

The main issue is that he has already been informed--several times--that he needs to work on his spelling and whatnot. Look at that synopsis. Does that look like it had even an ounce of post-production-polish put into it? No. No it does not.
>> No. 89011
>tilde: protectorate
This is a tilde "~". This is a title "This is a Title".

You are not helping yourself by not proofreading your posts. At a minimum it conveys a lack of education. At worst it conveys a lack of caring.
>> No. 89012
Bowser and Pinkie's Super Bizarre SagaAlkem >>88351

I'll be reviewing this, likely sometime today or tomorrow.
>> No. 89016
I can tell you're rushing with these chapters and it shows. You've produced an impressive amount of words over the past few weeks, but unfortunately very little of those words are very effective at telling the story. If you looked at chapter one of this story and this most recent chapter, you'd think they were different stories. That's how much the quality of the work has changed.

That being said, here's what's wrong with the story:

A) It's telly, and boring to read

Seriously, describe this stuff. All you do is say, 'he marched for X days. He had this on.' Come on, describe the ponies! Their ragged breath from arching two days, their tensed forms as the shivered in the cold, expecting attack. Silent prayers before the fight, each pony hoping to live the day in order to see his/her wife/husband/relatives/friends. Make it captivating, engage our emotions!

B) The tactics described make no dern sense

I'm beginning to feel that you didn't do your research before writing this story. If you want to make a believable battle, you must think as a tactician does, and I'm certain that master tacticians do not run directly at the opposing force and hope for the best. Master tacticians secure victory before the battle starts. Like you said, every life counts. Both sides need to try maneuvering or doing something other than running directly at each other.

C) The entire thing was trope-tastic and generally not engaging.

Seriously, one guard attacks at a time? What is this, Assassin's Creed? You're making Thunder less and less likeable. He's turned from an incompetent but well-meaning commander to a sociopath. He could have easily left without murdering three guards and a commander. In addition, you're killing off one of the most interesting characters in your story, which I think is silly. The emotions, if any, were muted because this chapter was so telly.

Please, please rewrite a good portion of this (the events in this chapter could go all the way to 10k words if you were particularly purple). If it goes up, this could irretrievably fix your story in the realm of mediocrity.

Keep (re)writing.
>> No. 89017
Sorry, my mistake. It happens to everypony once and a while.
>> No. 89022
File 133099389427.png - (56.67KB , 320x240 , present_request__staff_sergeant_scootaloo_saluting_by_myminiatureequine-d4rqjnh.png )

Here's your old review in case you wanted to see it: >>85523

Before we being with your review, I'd like to welcome you to the Training Grounds and thank you for being patient. The desire to improve and not taking shortcuts in order to achieve that is a noble goal indeed. Since you sought out the Training Ground's help and didn't immediately publish 50k of writing without fixing the earlier mistakes, I'll do my best to help you. Of course, I'm kinda inexperienced so I might not be as helpful as an older reviewer, but I felt bad since you were waiting so long. So let's see what I can do.

Comments aren't enabled in the doc so I'm going to have to put this into a line by line review. I'm not going to do the whole thing, but I will put enough in your review so that you can get started in the road to improvement. I'm doing this because having too much to fix at once can be disheartening, and because I'm afraid that all of my reviewing efforts will be for naught. That being said, don't give up. I'm glad that you've taken the initiative towards getting your story reviewed and I apologize that the wait has taken so long. Despite the fact that I might be inexperienced, don't take that to mean that I won't be helpful in showing you why your problem areas are. The inexperienced disclaimer is there simply because reviewers can make mistakes.

If you want me to continue on, add commenting privileges to your Gdocs. For now, I'll do the first scene, wait for you to respond, and then if you need more clarification/help, say so and I'll keep going.


First, I'll add general notes at the top followed by line to line stuff. So without further ado, here we go.

Scene One:


Your character seems like a massive Mary Sue. For one, he's an alicorn, which is a massive red flag and will cause most readers to immediately quit. I'm not really sure what you can do about that, to be honest. Here is an copy-pasted excerpt from the Training Ground Queue Doc. It applies here.

The gods and goddess of fiction serve not so much as characters, but as allegories and standards for the mortal characters. Even when the deities are mortal, you should keep their interaction with characters to a minimum. Adding another god character to any story should set off red flags that you’re doing something wrong. Beings of god like power are okay, but they’re not the gods and goddess of that world. The reason Discord was such a great character was because he was an archetype, not a god.

What does that mean? Let's just go to Wikipedia for this.


If you need more help on clarification for any of these points, just reply and say so, and I'll respond with more information. The only reason I didn't put everything into this post is because it was already ridiculously long. Anyhoo, moving on.

You also have massive showing vs telling problems. It doesn't keep readers interested in your writing and has a lot to do with the way you write.

I feel that some Warden's concerns are justified. If you really want to get this to EqD, you'd have to do a massive rewrite which would take a tremendous amount of work and may not be worth the effort. This is only the first page, so I'll only mention the concerns that involve that. According to Warden, you had:

>Your sentence structuring is entirely too weird to read at a comfortable pace. It makes it nearly impossible to understand, and is far from standard English fare.

>Hook. You spend so long agonizing over every detail of this OC alicorn Terra before readers can get to know or care about him. You infodump that he's in a self-imposed imprisonment but fail to convey emotionally what that really means.

>Excessively long descriptions. You get tangled up with adding extra clauses to your description, while at the same time making those clauses too detailed and full of verbs, while using transitions like while quite poorly.

Agreed. A ton of your writing is very telling, repetitive, and bland. It also takes a tremendous amount of work to decipher what's happening, and that will cause many readers to hit the back button. Let's tackle the problems one by one.

If you want us to feel for your character, you can't simply tell us how he feels. Here's a video that spoofs this concept:


You have to show us examples of something that would make us feel for the character. Describe his body language, his facial expressions, use a flashback as he looks at the statues or something. Otherwise, it's not very engaging. Since interest is tied to everything in writing, they will only care for so long before they give up. Let's just say that you are making it very hard to do so. You need a hook to reel those readers in fast and keep them emotionally invested in your story. You only get at most, three sentences to do that.

Here is a copy-paste from the Queue doc again. It may be a copy-paste, but the advice still applies.

Readers want the play, not the script. "Showing" is incorporating the characters' feelings into their actions, thoughts, and dialogue instead of that boring old coot, The Narrator, telling us what they're feeling. If a scene is tense or sad, the characters should seem anxious or grieved. And for Celestia's sake, stop explaining everything! Readers aren't idiots, and some actually have the capability of abstract thought, believe it or not. With the exception of imagery, implicit is better than explicit. It sinks in better if they have to think about it for a second.

>the brown alicorn

You want to be careful of something called LUS. Warden mentioned it before but here's the definition in case you couldn't find it in the Queue doc. Yay for more copy+pastes.

Avoid Lavender Unicorn Syndrome. Lavender Unicorn Syndrome is what happens when, instead of using your characters name or a pronoun, you repeatedly use other descriptors for them. You only have to describe your characters once, and again if something about them changed.


>Within the earth, its soft dark soil or it’s deep and solid granite stone making this simple prison, five statues stood around the lone figure.

This sentence sounds confusing the way you fixed it up. Why does your narrator sound unsure of himself? Later, your narrator mentions things that only he knows, so having a random "or" in the first sentence is a rather odd choice.

Another nitpick is that you use "its" followed by "it's." Since "it's" is a contraction of it is, and that makes no sense for this sentence, just fix it to "its" and that problem will be taken care of. Of course, there are others.

Actually, a lot of this description could be cut and the meaning of your sentences could remain nearly the same. I could end a ton of examples of why this sentence is borked, but without comments enabled in gdocs, it's much harder to do so. Because trying to format for Ponychan always tends to crunch my words together. Oh well.

>The body lay, curled up into a ball, within his solemn, quiet prison.

Congrats on using the right word (lay) for starters. I always have to look it up so I don't mess it up. Anyway, is the body laying on something or is he just sitting on the ground? Also, I'm not sure if that comma belongs there. Is it not possible to "lay curled into a ball?"

"solemn and quiet" doesn't seem to tell me anything, so you might as well just cut them out.

>A gentle dripping sound filled the chamber as water from above dripped gently.

You repeat yourself, good sir. You say "gently dripping" followed by "dripped gently" in the very same sentence. Also, if there was water dripping here, the "prison" would not be very quiet at all. Thirdly, is the water dripping important in any way? Did it wake him up from his sleep or was it just there to add ambiance? Fourthly, Warden was right, this sounds kinda awkward for a second. My last nitpick is that "filled" is a odd verb to use.

>This cavern, and its prisoner, were in a deep slumber having not been roused by the world above and beyond the mountains and caves.

According to this sentence, your cavern has been in a deep slumber for some unknown amount of time. If you can't see why that's wrong, that's because caverns are not alive and therefore cannot sleep.

>and beyond the mountains and caves.

Pointless to mention this, cut it instead.

>Nopony knew not of this locked cell.

This is a double negative, so I now think that everypony knows about this cell. Which makes no sense if he was trying to lock himself away. I'm also wondering how his "cell" is locked in the first place. But let's assume that you meant to say "Nopony knew of this locked cell."

Nopony knows, but your narrator does? Since he does, your narrator is omnipotent and you're now using a third person omniscient point of view. This is also a lie, because later on, Thanatos comes there. So now I'm confused, is your narrator a liar? Considering how he also seems to know everything, I'm not sure if I should believe anything he says now.

>The prisoner himself had done this, feeling it necessary to protect the world from the evil that was him.

I'm not aware of anyone evil that would seal themselves away for no reason, so he is probably not evil. This gives me more of a "I have immense power that I am unable to control, so I hid myself away so I don't hurt anymore" kinda vibe.

>His coat was a soft hazel brown with a muddy brown socks running up his hooves, and dark brass shoes covered his hooves.

I have to ask if his physical description is of any importance right now. If it is, keep it simple.

>His eyes, which were gently closed in sleep, were a faint and distant blue.

I'm trying to picture blue being modified by faint or distant, but I'm coming up with nothing. Make it easy on yourself and just call them blue. Of course, that brings up something to note. The narrator is obviously third-person omniscient because he knows everything.

Also, the entire clause in the middle is pointless. Normally, eyes are closed when someone is sleeping anyway, making it redundant. The color of his eyes is also unimportant, so let's just delete this entire sentence altogether. If you have to mention the description for your character, stick with coat color and cutie mark and think of a good way to weave them into the story.

> His mane was a soft sandstone colour, shifting from brown, to red and yellow, back to the brown.

Because you've used the word colour, I assume you're using British English. Apparently, I can't tell the difference between the spelling, so I'll just ignore them instead of looking up every single word I think is misspelled, but turns out not to be.

Moving on, having hair that changes colors makes your OC unique, and therefore gives off huge Sue alerts.

>His wings were formed of stone and gems.

He has wings made of what? Are we talking about the statue here or your character? If it's your character, having wings made out of stones and gems is pretty weird and thus gives off more Sue-vibes.

>All along the stone was written runes of ancient and forgotten by all but him who wore them, allowing them to act as his .

1) This sentence is very confusing to read. Most readers will take a look at this and go "Wut?"
2) "was written" is passive voice
3) Did he forgot the stone wings he was wearing, or the runes?
4) Is the "forgotten by all but him" part even important at all?
5) You're missing a word here. What do the runes allow him to do? (I assume his stonebending)
6) What exactly is ancient and forgotten? The rune designs?

It looks like some clarification is in order, because this sentence takes a while to decipher. Every second counts and if your reader has to reread into to understand something, that's not good. It's not just this sentence, it's a lot of the other paragraphs after this one too.

>However these natural wings were small and weak, far too fragile to even flap without risking them breaking asunder.

comma after "however."

I'm not sure if "asunder" is the right word, but I'm too confused by this point by the unnecessary description to know better. It just sounds odd to my ears.

So, he naturally has wings but they're too weak to flap, so that's why he made the stone wings for himself?

>Below the stone wings, were others, making it two pairs of wings, just as ornate and powerful as the other.

This sounds like he has six wings. Because of the powers that he mentions having ahead, I assume that he has only two normal wings, but four of them are stone. Although I have to wonder about that too. Why bother having four stone wings? That wouldn't help you with flight at all, and it also gives off way more sue signals.

>He was born this way, while his sisters grew strong powerful wings; his were to be made to allow him to do such a feat common to alicorns.

This is a confusing sentence, so I have no idea what's really happening here. Having weak wings allows him to do a feat common to alicorns? What?

Also, at the mention of an alicorn, I can guarantee that most people are just going to stop reading there. People just don't like reading about them. God-like characters are always a problem due to Sue-dom, and that will be explained above in the general notes section.

>His horn, long and straight like his elder sisters’, was strong: to mould and shape stone into what beautiful thing he could imagine.

Alright, this sentence has a few things wrong with it, so let's try to go over them. Here's why.

>long and straight like his elder sisters'

Does he have one sister or multiple sisters? If it was just one, it would be "sister's" but if it was multiple, your usage is correct. Of course, this sentence clause is pointless and tells the reader nothing anyway and should just be cut.


Curse you British English spelling!

Sorry, the review got too long even with the updated wordcount limit, so I had to cut it. Next part incoming!
>> No. 89025
File 133099418806.jpg - (270.39KB , 550x960 , 39656 - artist alevgor babydoll parody scootaloo.jpg )
Here's part 2 of 2 of your review.

Some more advice about OCs from a fellow poster named Var: Some of the stuff he says may not apply, but read it, you may find it useful.

One thing I'll put in about OCs is this: they're tricky to write, since the audience generally doesn't want to read about them. It doesn't matter how cool or powerful you show they are, in the end your audience are first and foremost fans of the actual CANON characters. Remember, this is a MLP:FiM fic you're planning, not an original tale.

OCs, in my mind, must ultimately be subservient to the canon characters. They must be a platform which you use to explore your take on the mane cast, they must be the source of conflict and trials, through which canon characters can grow and be explored. If you do that, then I promise you you will discover that your OC will take a life of it's own and it will be accepted - just so long as it provides a valuable support to the main characters. Trust me on this one, for one of my fics in another fandom I'm regularly praised for the quality of my OCs, when all I ever meant for them to be was a means of helping the main character get from plot point a to plot point b. A lot of my readers actually want to see a romantic relationship between the main character and his OC kunoichi bodyguard, which was very strange for me to see.

OC Alicorn who is super noble, strong, handsome and humble? Unless you are a VERY skilled and experienced writer you will not be able to pull that off, because that is not the template of a character who enables conflict. That's a figure, a device used to solve conflicts. Let me guess, he singlehoofedly saves Luna from the enemy when all else was lost? At no real personal cost of his own?

A romance with Luna is fine. OC alicorn, as long as he is presented correctly is fine also, despite what most would say. But together, it's dangerous, very, very dangerous, especially when you're just starting out as a writer, especially as you've presented him as an obvious good match for Luna. Perfect relationships aren't real, they aren't fun to read about. That doesn't mean they have to bicker non-stop like Ranma and Akane, it just means you should let Luna and the OC clash and see how their relationship could develop.

What flaws does the OC have? How does he fight, how can he be mislead? Is he idealistic, and thus is fooled by the enemy and broken under the horrors of war? Is he cynical, and thus is warmed by the optimisim of the elements of harmony? Is he willing to sacrifice himself for the sake of his ponies? How does he treat others? You said he was noble, why?

Why is he an Alicorn, even? Not allowing other races to have inter-romances is a huge constraint on creative freedom, and it doesn't make sense from a social point of view either. The leaders of Equestria embody traits of Earth, Pegasus and Unicorn ponies all at once, there should be no real social division between the races as a result. His being an Alicorn is the most dangerous thing of all, they are at the top of the power tier and thus he would be just as powerful as Luna - or more so, am I right? Was he going to be stronger than Luna? Yeah, that's not interesting. OCs should never outshine canon characters. For him to be interesting, he needs to be at about the same strength and vulnerability as the mane 6, at the very most.

Don't be afraid of making your OC physically weak. Don't be afraid to riddle his personality with flaws that get in the way of his relationship with Luna. And above all else, don't be afraid to hurt him - it builds character. I sent my kunoichi stumbling blind, crippled and half dead through a snowstorm to find a doctor for the unconscious main character. My readers love her for it.


Hope the above was helpful, even if some of it didn't apply. Let me know if you need more clarification. Anyway, on to the review!


> was strong: to mould and shape stone into what beautiful thing he could imagine.

First, that colon is incorrect as it involves no list whatever. I think you were going for a semicolon, but that wouldn't be right either as both clauses aren't independent.

I believe you are missing a few words here as this sounds like an incomplete sentence.

Telling the reader that his horn was strong is telly and tells nothing at the same exact time. Instead of telling us what his powers are, why not show them by having him demonstrate them.

It sounds like he's a earthbender from Avatar, except with stone instead. Keep in mind that this is another sue signal, which by its very nature, is the entire point since he locked himself away FOR having dangerous powers.

Actually, the entire sentence is confusing as it is and should be reworded.

>Slowly, his eyes opened, lids peeling back from his eyes as he looked around.

...Wut? Just delete "lids peeling back from his eyes as he looked around." It's pointless, purple, tells the reader nothing new, and thus removable. Also, consider Warden's advice and just say "He opened his eyes."

>He only looked at the hooves of the statues, as he could not bear to look at them, for his heart was broken to do so.

This is telling. Notes about telling versus showing will be mentioned above.

>Each was a creation of his magik, and each he felt terrible sorrow to look at, for he had caused so much pain to each of the forms.

Is "Magik" British spelling too?

You said "each" three times

Caused pain to each of the forms? Forms of who? Are the statues there supposed to be ponies important to him? Also, you just told us that he felt sorrow in the last sentence, making this both telling and redundant.

>He slowly stood, horn lighting the room gently, keeping his eyes on the ground. He slowly walked forward between two statues, where a sixth statue should have been.

You used "slowly" three times already, which is also telling. Consider different word choices for the verb instead.

>He walked about his cell before stopping, looking at one of the walls.

I don't think "about" is the right word. But I'm kinda confused as to where we are anyway, so I figure many readers will be too. By this point, I assume his "cell" is some sort of cavern. Also, verbing, verbing sounds awkward, consider:

He walked around his cell before stopping and looked at one of the walls.

The verb "walked" is weak. You could modify the way he walks to show his emotions. So instead of using the weak verb "walked," you could use something else. I'm not sure what emotion you want, but just go look up a synonym. Be careful not to go too purple by picking some odd word that most people have to go look up a dictionary to figure out what it means however. If I'm not mistaken, you want "pace." Here are a few examples:

stroll - to walk in leisure; to saunter; walk along lazily
wander - to move from place to place without a fixed route
roam - to go without fixed direction and without any particular destination, often for pleasure
pace - to walk back and forth moved by some strong, usually negative feeling
limp - to walk in a lame way, unsteadily; to hobble; to hitch
lurch - to stagger; walk as if unable to control one’s movements
stagger - to move or stand unsteadily

>Several long scratches dug into the ground here, each marking a century of his slumber. There were four there, soon to be five.

"dug into the ground here"

What? I thought he was looking at a wall?
Why say "here" in the first sentence? Don't you mean "there?"
Delete the second "there" in the second sentence.

>He started to walk again, eyes looking around the room with genuine lose and misery, as he vaguely remember building the chamber anymore, and the markings he had now placed on it.

Stay away from "started to verb" and "began to verb." Too passive. Have them take direct action and just have them do the action instead. I'll explain why up above with the entire blurb on passive voice.

Walk is also a weak verb, see note above.

"Eyes looking... misery" is a telling sentence.

"remember" is a tense shift. (Present tense) You can fix this by putting "ed" on the end.

"anymore" is out of place, delete it.

"markings he had now placed on it." <--- I'm confused as to what "it" is.

>He had spent years on end filling the walls with images, cleaning it with magik to start again.

What images?

>As long as he didn’t look at those statues.

This is an incomplete sentence. Dependent clause. As long as he didn't look at those statues, then what happens?

>It was his own punishment, feeling that it was just and fair to the world around him. He had caused nothing but pain, or as he could only remember painful memories. Sure, there were some good ones, but those were so ancient he felt they were fleeting moment in time.

All of this is very telling and doesn't do anything to pull in the reader. If you're supposed to make the reader feel sorry for this individual, just telling us all of this comes off as melodramatic.

>Then came four soft clicks, cause the his ears to flick softly, standing up straight, and then twitched as more clicks seemed to move towards him.

Run! The clicks are alive! Aieeeeeeee!

"cause the his ears" <-------- What does this mean? I assume you meant "caused his ears." Since "cause" is a tense shift and "cause the his" means there was a typo somewhere.
It sounds like his ears flicked

>A strong and re-pungent smell started to fill the room, but the brown Alicorn fought down the urge to gag, as he turned to face the new member of the room.

I'm pretty sure that word is misspelled and you meant to say "repugnant." Is that right? Also, alicorn is lower-case.

"New member of the room." When did this guy appear? All I heard were clicks and all of a sudden, he just appeared. Weak transition dude.

>“Hello Death... or should I refer to you as Uncle Thanatos?” He asked the form, which hid the statues with a black shroud of energy, as its black wings quietly folded against its body, with a dark and forbidding cloak flowed around him. Visible were two green piercing eyes that glowed gently beneath the hood of the cloak, which stared into the alicorn’s eyes.

This paragraph is a bit confusing, so let's see what I can do. You have too much going on at once, don't forget that you can make short sentences too.

Who shrouded the statues? Death or your character? Why did he shroud the statues?

In terms of rewriting, do this: Delete "the form" and end the sentence there with a period. Then clarify who hid the statues. Then introduce the new character with a short description. In the last sentence, show your character's reaction to the eyes and delete the entire obvious clause "stared into the alicorn's eyes."

More description that most people will just end up forget in about ten seconds. Consider cutting it down. "Visible were two green piercing eyes" is also passive voice.

>“THOU SHALL BE POLITE YOUNG NEPHEW. THOU SHOULDST ALREADY KNOW THINE PLACE WITH US,” a chilling echo of a voice filled out room, drowning out the dripping water.

Mechanic fixes are as follows: comma after polite, and add a "the" after "filled out."

As for the dripping water, I only realized it was there because there was a single throwaway line near the beginning. Chances are most people forgot this. Perhaps you could mention it when your character got up the first time and how he ignored it.

Using bold in your writing is usually discouraged. Good dialogue is inferred from the context of the sentence, body language, and facial expressions. Of course, this is Death, so we can pretty much assuming he's supposed to be foreboding.

"chilling echo of a voice" is also telling.

>“I’m surprised, that you feel that it’s necessary to try and fill me, with fear,” he responded to the voice, turning to face the dark voice and stepping towards it.

Using voice twice in the same sentence is redundent and also confusing. You could pretty much cut the entire "responded" part. Make it look like this and you'll be fine.

...we've got a problem here. Since the main character has no name yet, these pronouns are going to make it very confusing.

"I'm surprised that you feel that it's necessary to try and fill me with fear." He took a step towards the voice.

^ As you can see, if you don't name your main character, this is too confusing.

>“Indeed I do find it necessary to talk to my brother’s son in whatever tone I believe is proper,” the voice replied, walking towards him, “And right now, I find it necessary to speak to you with this voice. You must return to the surface... you’re rotting away down here with yourself imposed exile Terra.”

Comma after "Indeed" and before "imposed exile." Imposed exile Terra sounds like a title, so you want to capitalize "imposed" and "exile."

>The Alicorn looked down, “Do not force me to leave uncle. I will only return here. Anyway, every creation I’ve made has turned away me to the darkness.”

Comma before uncle. Also, capitalize uncle and lowercase the alicorn. You also want to be aware of the Lavender Unicorn Syndrome thing. You just mentioned his name (which should be mentioned as early as possible in the story btw), so just call him Terra.

I also have no idea what Terra is saying in the second line. Who's being turned to the darkness? Is Terra being turned away from the darkness? To the darkness? The darkness turned him away? Your wording is incredibly confusing.

>“You mean Discord? And everything else?”

A few questions for Terra real quick.

Has he been alone for the past five hundred years? Is this the first time that Death has ever spoken with Terra since then? It's hard to believe that in all that time, no one even visited him. Even if they could, what did he do for the last five hundred years? Was he asleep the whole time? I assume not since there are four carvings on the wall and someone had to have put them there. How did he eat if he never left? Is he immortal?

>“Please, don’t remind me of how I feel responsible for everything around me, everything that fell to darkness...” he said. He mind began to flood with happened all those millennia ago.

"He mind" He-man: Master of the Universe. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZ5LpwO-An4

Okay, I'm kidding around, I'm sure you meant to say "His mind."


Looking at what I wrote above, I don't think I helped very much. Most of that could have been summed up with what Warden put down for a review really. Before I move on to the next scene, I'd really like it if you enabled comments in your Gdocs so I don't clog this thread up. Also, make a response to this so I know you're alive and serious about improving and I'll keep going. This review isn't over yet, I'm just waiting for a response before I continue. This took quite a bit of time and I'm a bit paranoid that my work will go to naught. Hope you understand and all.

I know I said I'd be more specific about how to help but I'm afraid my limited reviewing skills and ability to express myself aren't letting me. Basically, from what I've seen so far, your story needs a rewrite. Of course, I can't really make a good judgement until I get further into the story but it doesn't really seem that engaging thus far. Since most people hit the backspace in three sentences or less, that's a lot that you have to fight against in order to keep their interest.

That being said, I'm not giving up. As long as you're willing to improve, I'll start doing a better job of teaching and expressing myself. So if you want to know more, let me know, kay?
>> No. 89030
File 133099595665.png - (350.41KB , 900x694 , this_record_of_mine__by_dreatos-d4ocdsh.png )
Tags: [Normal][Slice of Life][Comedy]

Synopsis: The future can be cruel, unrelenting, and unforgiving. So goes the philosophy of the young Octavia Adagio, a filly hailing from the land of Germaney, now stuck in the city of Manehattan. Through this mantra, she isolates herself from the world, not making friends, only acquaintances. What will it take to snap her out of this?
Maybe the antics of a particular white unicorn would help.

Link: http://www.fimfiction.net/story/11454/What-the-Future-Holds

Comments: A few comments I’d like to say. I had originally sent the original in to EQD, and was denied. Through their kind words, I realized I had made a major mistake, and sought to correct it. Just to be safe, I had it reviewed here once before, and my reviewer confirmed it. I eventually edited out 3500 words. I want to send it in to EQD again, so I’d greatly appreciate it if I could get MAJOR criticism on this. Thanks!
>> No. 89032
Now that I think about it, you're right. I've been too focused on getting the chapters out there that the events in them have lost meaning and the quality has dropped. I'm going to take your advice and slow down a bit. I'll start by re-thinking chapter four, and try to make it shine. Thank you for the slap back to reality, I needed it. :)
>> No. 89033
I will assume that the text is supposed to be a monologue by the thing in the picture. What is the thing? It seems to be a piece of candy with a body and limbs. I also see that it is equipped with floaties, which are being inflated from a box, likely the sort for filling tires at a gas station. What kind of floaties would require the same pressure as an automobile tire? Perhaps because they are designed to maximize buoyancy. Is the candy person more dense that it appears? If so, I assume its mass would be concentrated in its head. With this in mind, I wonder how it thinks that floaties would make a difference when it comes to preservation of life. By my calculations, when immersed in a liquid, the creature would end up with its feel sticking in the air, and its candy-head beneath the surface and susceptible to drowning.

Upon further thought, I wonder if the monstrosity even needs to breathe. The main risk a hard candy would face in liquids would be dissolving, from which even high-pressure floaties would not protect. Judging by the entity's enthusiasm, it does not seems to be worried about suffocation or dissolution. This makes me think that the floaties are purely aesthetic in nature, and it does not even plan on entering the water!

It is of course possible that the orange lumps are not floaties at all. I can only conceive of a few other items that they could be, namely lumps of cheese or brass pauldrons. Obviously, the cheese-chunk theory is absurd, which leaves only one logical option. Why is the candy armored? Perhaps is is halloween and it had donned metallic raiment in order to defend itself from the anonymous, sticky-fingered menace that is masked children. The armor choice of this critter calls its intelligence into question. GIven that its head is candy, and as such, the tykes' target, why would it decide to fortify its shoulders? A metal helmet would serve this confection much better.

The first few sentences make mention of both frisbees and books. This leads credence to the idea that the tangerine-colored growths are, in fact, floaties. Both books and frisbees can be found at beaches, places where floaties can be found in abundance. However, a few lines later, references to children are made, advancing the armored-candy theory.

The situation only becomes more muddled when FiM gets involved. There has not been widespread mention of candies on the show, making me wonder why this candy-knight seems to be involved. Perhaps bonbon has begun work on a sugar-based master race, created to assume control over the equestrian government system. I think that the coup's success with largely be dependent on the sucrose-soldiers' size. In any case, their main obstacle would likely be Pinkie Pie, destroyer of sweets.

Maybe the orange bulges are cheese-cubes after all. By keeping the pink one occupied during the rebellion with dairy-based solids, bonbon and her candy army could exploit her gastronomical weakness to lactose.

In one of the next lines, the creature encourages cannibalism. This is worrisome. Does bonbon know that her automatons plan on eating her kind, or a kind similar to hers? Personally, I find bonbon's voice annoying, so I hope that she is among the first to be devoured once the candies' new world order is imposed.

The thing seems passive agressive. It threatens suicide in response to impromptness. In a sudden reversal of attitude, the grey blob proclaims that it is knowledgable about mare-handling. This boast is preposterous, of course. Pinkie pie is a mare, and I'm quite certain that, regardless of dairy distractions, pinkie would decimate this wretched thing. Also, such emotional behavior does not bode well for the ponies of equestria (the ones who aren't eaten, that is). How can such an unstable oval-headed creation hope to rule over conquered lands if it is constantly struggling with personal issues?

Judging by its threats, the main weapon that bonbon's sugary-uruk hai have at their disposal is bricks. I am not sure how many warriors bonbon created, but based on the thing's mention of ample brick supplies, she must have beun stockpiling them for quite a while. She might have even begun to deconstruct her home in order to arm her minions!

I had fun writing that
>> No. 89036
File 133099730142.jpg - (91.15KB , 500x578 , 1330489784483.jpg )
>no picture
>> No. 89037
The OP, monkey.
>> No. 89045
File 133099815659.gif - (26.36KB , 800x271 , suckas_fools_and_chumps.gif )
Obligatory comic from sheldoncomics.com!
>> No. 89049
Well, I made it through about half of the first chapter before I realized that you made the same errors repeatedly. Now, don't accuse me of not reading the whole thing. I read all of it, and know that you clearly didn't do any proofreading of your own. If you can't be bothered to realize that "as he took the hoof straight to the snot," is wrong, then I can't be bothered to continue.

I pointed out some of the most noticeable errors in the first half, but until those are fixed, that's as far as I'm going.

As for the story, the premise is interesting enough, replace the usual Mario game format with Bowser and Pinkie against Discord. If you can actually rewrite this, taking care of all of the numerous errors throughout, and make the fights much less boring than, "And then Bowser punched them again," I could see actually reading it.

A final note, to do with the hoof to the snot...

Just because spellcheck doesn't say that there is a problem, doesn't mean that you're correct.
>> No. 89055
It's not a single mistake. You're post is full of simple gramatical errors. Not capitalizing I for instance. That is a mistake you really shouldn't be making if you are out of grade school. Not capitalizing the begining of sentences. Another elemetary mistake you should be catching if you are actually proofreading your posts.

If you have some kind of disorder that makes reading a writting difficult it would be in your best interest to have someone proofread for you. Ya it's a pain and it won't be necessary for most post. But if you are going to post in a thread full of critics and ask them to look at your stuff, things will go easier for you if you do.
>> No. 89061
>That is a mistake you really shouldn't be making if you are out of grade school.
>You're post is full of simple gramatical errors.
>You're post

Sic 'im, Ion!
>> No. 89062
File 133100178590.gif - (122.89KB , 218x290 , 3244__animated_gilda_rage_griffon_mad_gif_punching.gif )
> You're
D'oh, beaten to it.

FFR, a video that's appropriate for such circumstances
>> No. 89064
Tags: [Normal][Adventure]
Synopsis: Every foal knows the story of the first Hearth’s Warming Eve, but few know the events surrounding it. How did the tribes keep from falling apart in their leader’s absence? This details the efforts of one pegasus lieutenant, desperate for peace, two unicorn fillies in the right place at the wrong time, and a sinister entity that is none too fond of this so-called ‘fire of friendship’...
Link: https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=1yrGmAW8AvWe1rPmhL5oOoiHAro-yXTyvNpIP8e2j5Ig
Comments: I've been working on this story on and offfor a few months, but I've never had anyone else other than me read what I have. It's not a finished product, but I'd like some feedback on what I hve fleshed out so far. Mostly aiming to find out whether I'm on the right track or am just spewing story-shaped trash.
>> No. 89068
File 133100274419.jpg - (28.45KB , 500x467 , Bdl6A.jpg )
>> No. 89069
File 133100278287.png - (34.56KB , 476x693 , stop being a fuck face.png )
Whats this? A new reviewer appears? Anyway, some of you might know me; I frequently offer my services as a reviewer on FiMfiction. I was told to start here, if I was going to begin reviewing on ponychan! the email you should use to contact me is [email protected]
The only rules I have are as follows:
1) look over your own work before you hand it to me
2) I will accept your *shudder* clop fiction, but its not my kind of thing, you're probably better going to someone else with that.
3) I will not be happy with your SUPER SPECHUL SNOWFLAKE OC; if you have an oc, remember the "rules" to OC's, and try not to make it a Pony Sue.
4) I will offer grammatical and/or content review.
Thats it!
Happy Writing!
>> No. 89072
File 133100319076.png - (162.87KB , 900x900 , the_laughing_mare_by_grilledcat-d4r0lxg.png )
> MFW a new reviewer on /fic/ says hello in TTG

I highly recommend, since you're going the route of not having a personal review thread, adopting a practice I used when I was a more frequent reviewer: place your rules/statement into an external Google document and link to it whenever possible (i.e. at the top of each review). That way, without having to repeat your rules (since if they're in one post in TTG they'd get lost/buried), you have a nice compact way of showing people what you're all about.
>> No. 89073
Welcome to the Training Grounds. You can find the ever-growing, overflowing Training Grounds Queue(tm) in the OP. It's one of the tinyurl links. I'll paste it again at the end of this post. Just grab a fic off it and review it--that's how the Training Grounds rolls.

On that note, welcome to /fic/. Enjoy your stay, and mind the gap.
>> No. 89075
You waiting for someone to request you? If not, jump in and claim a fic.
>> No. 89077
File 133100339977.jpg - (15.95KB , 414x371 , 132630917400.jpg )
While you're here, welcome to the back end of http://tinyurl.com/TrainingGroundsHowTo ! It's actually on page 5 in there, so it'll get you the maximum amount of reviewing done in the minimal level of time with less wasted energy then most other systems.

- Find a story you wish to review in the queue spreadsheet that hasn’t been claimed
- Post a link to it in the thread (by typing “>>NNNNN”, where NNNNN is the post’s number) with its title and the statement that you are claiming it to review.#
- Read the story, and write your review of it.
- Post your review in the thread. If your review is in parts, make sure to indicate when your review is finished.

The queue is over here: http://tinyurl.com/TrainingGroundsQueue
Open it, and you'll see the current state of this thread... give or take an hour or two. You'll know who's working on what, what types of stories are available, and you can take your pick. It's actually a rather sweet set up.
>> No. 89080
>>89069 >>89069
Oh yes, and of course, welcome! We're glad to have you!

Here's how you claim from The Training Grounds: http://bit.ly/AdkNjU (bookmark within the how-to-submit guide)

To make it easier, you can copy the cells of an unclaimed fic straight out of the spreadsheet and into a "claiming" post. Then, replace everything in its permalink up to and including the hash mark (http://www.ponychan.net/chan/fic/res/87698.html#) with ">>".
>> No. 89081
File 133100372330.png - (575.78KB , 1920x1080 , these eyyyyyes.png )

Wow, you run totally different then FiMfiction. I like it. There, people kinda lined up to contact me, and beseech me for reviews, and I pretend to be haughty and refuse them, but then not. I love reviewing so much. I'm still an edit horse over at FiMfiction, but decided that it wasn't enough (it will never be enough), and that I need more.
>> No. 89082
File 133100385516.jpg - (42.43KB , 398x329 , spoiler.jpg )
Today just isn't my day. I'm afraid I'll bleed to death after all the ninja encounters I've had in the past 30 minutes.
>> No. 89083
My "Review" as it were was responded to via email, but at the time that I made it, I felt it was inadequate and of far less use to the author than the standard I hold myself to, so I made the request to maintainers that it be returned to the queue.

Specifically to ReviewerInTraining, I at least found what you wrote to be useful, if only to validate my own feelings on the story. It seems like you have a good enough grasp of the whole reviewing thing to keep at it. I look forward to seeing what else you contribute. Cheers.
>> No. 89085
File 133100422083.jpg - (47.35KB , 627x376 , GAH.jpg )
well, here we go then. I claim this one, I guess.
>> No. 89086
/fic/ does run like that where single-reviewer threads are concerned, but TTG is something of a different beast.
>> No. 89092
I kinda like this set up. I felt vaguely pretentious the other way. I mean, its not like I spent my time prereading "NYX 2: Electric Boogaloo; I usually worked on relatively popular, quality stuff. Even so, I kinda like this more. Its a fic, I KNOW NOTHING ABOUT IT, and I am going to review the stuffing out of it.
>> No. 89095
File 133100466107.jpg - (82.01KB , 720x430 , JfFjf.jpg )
I give him a week.
>> No. 89096
So, just for the hell of it I decided to make this one an audio review.


In short:
EqD is probably too polite to say this, but they're unlikely to take a Halo crossover.

>Spilled Ink: Do you still accept Halo crossovers by any chance? I'm hoping to resubmit mine.
> Daffodil (EqD PR): Only if they're really, really, really good.

I need to say that the problem isn't you mechanics, it's all in your higher-level skills of setting and characterization, which would need to be Celestia-tier to make this concept work. There's no shame in trying something else.
>> No. 89098
quiet you. You know my whole situation with my asshole friend who messed around with my reviews. I need to make up for his asshatery.
>p.s.bad fics are fun.
>p.p.s. I pick Squirtle
>> No. 89103
File 133100573991.png - (683.84KB , 600x833 , Pinkie_Pie_rainbows_are_people_2.png )
Fine. Two weeks.
You failed the test. Everyone knows you should pick Charmander.
>> No. 89109
File 133100676460.jpg - (5.15KB , 160x122 , fvbadfjvbafjvbafsob.jpg )
>> No. 89110
Yellow version. no picking. You get them all. Gotta Catch'em ALL!
>> No. 89113
>squirtle can learn ice beam
>squirtle can learn water pump

>> No. 89115
Sorry, I'm new here, assuming you mean that my post has embarassing errors, I thought I followed the format on the how-to.
>> No. 89116
Dude, it's not for you, look at what post he is linking with those >> things.

>> No. 89117
File 133100779597.gif - (2.95MB , 267x200 , 133064635794.gif )
>water pump

I never even noticed you existed.
>> No. 89125
>>84691 >>88244
Detailed comments in doc.

General comments jotted while reading:

First paragraph is very bland. We just have Fluttershy acting like Fluttershy. There's no excitement, no conflict, and no promise of interesting action. You only get a limited time to snag a reader's interest before he'll move on to another story. You need a better hook.

Occasional failure to tag speech with speaking verbs where your punctuation requires them.

Semicolon abuse. Semicolons are primarily used for linking closely related independent clauses which could otherwise stand alone as sentences. You tend to use them where a comma is appropriate.

After doing quite well at the beginning, you're starting to use a lot of split infinitives about 1/3 way through.

There are some verb tense inconsistencies when describing completed actions.

There are intermittent problems with lack of commas for words/phrases of direct address and punctuation/capitalization ending quotations. It's spotty enough that I can't tell if you know what you're doing and had a few lapses, or don't know what you're doing and got lucky a few times.

There are lots of show versus tell issues. Much of the story reads like a script. The screenwriter will have all of the dialogue written, but generally vague actions noted, unless he really wants something specific. It might just say, "Character X is sad." That's what I'm getting. What does the actor do? Does he stride out on stage, look at the audience, and say, "I'm sad?" No, he hangs his head, sighs, won't make eye contact with anyone, slumps his shoulders, etc. He supplies the evidence to lead the audience to the conclusion that the writer wants. Do the same. It makes the narrative come alive, and gives the reader a much more effective mental image of what is happening. Avoid blunt statements of what a characters emotional state is, and excessive use of -ly adverbs, as they're tell-bait.

There are also intermittent errors in punctuating quotes. Here are the most common forms:
1) "Quote," said character.
2) "Quote." Character performs non-speaking action.
3) "Incomplete sentence," said character, "completion of sentence."
4) "Quote," said character. "Begin new quote sentence."

Note when it's appropriate to use commas vs end-of-sentence punctuation, and when capitalization is needed. In examples 1, 3, and 4, the first comma can be replaced by an exclamation mark, question mark, ellipsis, or dash as needed.

Many of your external references feel forced, just so you can jab an elbow and say, "see what I did there?" Several ran on long enough to be intrusive to the plot, and since they're completely superfluous, that's a bad thing. It doesn't really fit the bill of a crossover; I'd remove that tag.

I noted specific instances of OOC actions in the comments. Twilight's done well, and Fluttershy mostly is. Her attitude toward her own shadow is somewhat charming, though her reaction to it is inconsistent. Your OC is a little one-dimensional so far, but I can chalk that up to this being the first chapter and trust that you'll develop him more later on. There's not much back story yet, or a sense of what makes him tick. There's just a love-at-first-sight thing going on with Shy, which is fairly convenient, so I'm not really getting a sense of who he is yet. He almost seems resentful of his talent, while every canon example is something the pony enjoys, and often has as a profession. My Gary Stu sensor isn't going off yet, but I don't have a lot of evidence either way. Just be careful with that. The goofy Luna will win you some specific fans, but I will not be among them.

The plot makes sense, and the use of Fluttershy's actual shadow is cute, but the secret admirer thing has been done before. At least you have a different angle on it, but you let it go too quickly. It would help if some of Shy's friends actually believe her for a while, and maybe Twilight suspects something magical.

Here's the copy I made with my comments:
I can turn over ownership to you or delete it after you've had a chance to use/copy it yourself. let me know which one you'd prefer.

I'd recommend you scan through your second chapter and try to sweep for the same types of problems. See how much you can knock out on your own, and have another review when you're finished. I'll pick it up if I'm free. The whole point is that you learn enough of these lessons that you only need minimal help from a reviewer in the future.

It's not a bad fic. Keep writing, and have fun with it.
>> No. 89134
I am a terrible person and should be punished.
>> No. 89151

Well I understand your gripe. I was well aware of the flaws in chapter 1.

As I stated I mostly wanted chapter two to be looked at.

I tend to rush things. In doing so, I already published chapter one, errors and all. Feeling guilty for my shoddy work I decide to be my cautious with chapter two, which was well underway, by going over it carefully and enlisting the aid from the helpful people at TTG.

I appologize, I should have explained a bit better that chapter one wasn't brushed up. But as I said in my previous post, I placed it their so who ever was kind enough to help would know what was going on story wise when they read chapter two.

I guess I should have taken a moment to go back and fix the errors that were rampant on the first one before I moved on to the second, but that is just how I go about things.

Well enough about that. I shall go back to chapter one and fix what's there before I seek help for chapter two.

I thank you Xandrah for your time and assistance and once again apologize for chapter one.
>> No. 89158
File 133102059102.png - (41.16KB , 234x261 , Derprose.png )
This is good feedback and you'll get a response, but you'll get it tomorrow. I just flew over 2000 miles and need some sleep.I commend you for not raging.
>> No. 89178

First of all, thanks so much! It's so incredibly in depth and detailed. I'm astonished and, honestly, daunted by your superiority XD. I'll work hard and get through all your recommendations/suggestions/correction. I don't know if you do follow ups or if I need to go through a process for it, so if you could tell me, I'd be grateful.

Second of all, don't touch the second chapter yet! I think you'll hate it because I suck at grammar, what with all my comma, semi-colon and past perfect mistakes/abuses. I don't want to risk you getting an aneurysm while reading the flash back scene. Although, if you do want to dance with death go ahead. It might just be my laziness, but I usually can't tell where I'm just, well, telling.

Part of my errors problem was that I was trying to work with at least three different copies, an off line, a drafts/thoughts and an online copy, so I might have left mistakes I fixed in one on another.

For future reviews. I'll just update the one I made, with the changes, unless you think editting your copy would be better. I've put a few reply comments in yours though, to explain my intentions in specific places. But that's really only if you take a second look.

About the OOC(s). I'm trying to ease Shadow into the story, keeping him a little mysterious about his origins and such. And his origins have more to do with other characters than Fluttershy. He's just in love with her. Honestly, the Fluttershy love story is just the glue I'm using for a whole mess of incidents I'm concocting, involving the probably incorrect use of my crossover tag, that I must warn you will, I hope, get zanier as the story progresses.

I didn't mean Luna to come off goofy, maybe just a bit too involved at times, but I'll make her look more dignified later. Probably.

And I guess I'm kind of weak with hooks, I don't really know what attracts the masses and the story started off as just the funny thought "Ship Fluttershy with her shadow" after realising the fandom can and will ship anything. But it's fine, since it's just for fun and to learn how to write better.

Again, thank you. I'm so honored that you spent the time combing over my mess and I hope you didn't suffer too much.
>> No. 89191

Rage? Why would I rage? How dare you accuse me of raging! You trying to insinuate something, huh? Ooh, that makes me so hbvgikha rbvjhefba j [unprintable]

I kid. Trust me, I'm under no illusions, or at least none that are serious. I *want* to improve, so any constructive feedback is valuable.

I hope you get a good night's sleep, and I look forward to your response.
>> No. 89196
Yeah, I probably should get a proofreader. My actual story doesn't have these problems. I was in a bit of a rush to get it up here and didn't bother looking it over. Plus, theirs no edit post function so I cant go back and fix it. I'll look at my posts more carefully from now on.
>> No. 89218
As for follow-ups, they can be done if arranged beforehand. Otherwise, it disrupts the queuing system, and your post saying that another chapter is ready may well get lost in the shuffle. At this point, I'd say make a new post when you're ready. If you want me to be the one to review it, say so in the comments section. I don't know if specific requests get picked up more quickly in general, but I'll keep a lookout for this one.

I'm sure you don't want a rogue copy of your fic out there, so if you want ownership of the review copy, let me know, or if you're happy to copy what you need form it, then tell me when to delete it.

Finally, you don't have to take anything I say as gospel truth. Some of the more rigorous grammar issues would probably be bad to ignore, but some grammatical errors are permissible as long as you know they're wrong and choose to keep them that way for a justifiable reason. My opinions on more abstract things are just that: opinions. If you don't feel that my points are convincing, then you're free to do what you like. Maybe I misunderstood something, or maybe I just have a viewpoint that most people wouldn't hold. In the end, it's always your call.
>> No. 89228
File 133105924991.png - (155.56KB , 500x562 , For Bixby.png )
Two weeks? Meh. Maybe a week and a half.
Protip: Read a bit of the fic you want to review first. If it sucks, decide if the author, revised/tried/isn't being a douche. If he is being a douche, weigh your boredom and sadism versus the satisfaction of spending your time on helping people who care. If the author is trying but just sucks, REVIEW IT; that's what we're here for. This is the best way to avoid claiming troll fics.
>> No. 89231
Tags: [Normal][Comedy]
Length: one-shot, ~4900 words.
Comments are enabled for all with the link.
Twilight Sparkle and Rainbow Dash treat their friends to a day cruise that they won. Everything goes swimmingly, ship-shape, or whatever other nautical pun you prefer. Of course. Everything in Equestria always does.
This is my FiMFiction.net write-off entry. Keep that in mind, as it ties in with the premise. Since I didn't win *sniffle* I'll get this in the queue before the wave hits.

It's just a light comedy meant to feel like an episode of the show. I already know the beginning is more engaging than later on, as I ran out of time to continue revising it before the deadline. You'll find little to no mechanical problems, as I'm one of the biggest sticklers for that around here, so I'd prefer a reviewer that's experienced at identifying the more abstract storyline/character issues.

It's not a really serious project, but something fun that deserves to be whipped into shape. Have at it! Revenge is sweet!
>> No. 89233
File 133106158058.jpg - (12.55KB , 210x240 , char_38740.jpg )
I had a decent-length review of your story yesterday, but then Firefox crashed and I had lacked the foresight to write it in a word processor. As such, Sloth and Apathy busted in like a pair of unseemly thugs and proceeded to pulverize Work Ethic and Motivation. You will get the short and sour review.

If it is a rule in English prose, chances are you have broken it multiple times during the course of your story. To list all of them and their requisite fixes would result in a post quite possibly longer than your story itself. I do not have the time for such handholding, nor do I think you as being particularly worthy of such an investment, for I doubt my deposit of time and energy would pay the necessary dividends to be worth it.

I post as a food critic, yet speak in financial terms. How obtuse.

But I digress. Let me provide some resources for you to peruse.
You have numerous punctuation issues, most irritating of which would be your ignorance on how to properly punctuate dialogue transitions. If you were to open any published book, you would be able to glean the process via observation. However, should you find yourself too lazy as to reach for your copy of Twilight, I will provide a link to a fairly comprehensive guide.

Next is the Holy Grail of writing: William Strunk's seminal guide, The Elements of Style. You will read this. Its words will stain your mind like Indian ink would your favourite dress shirt. Assuming you commit its lessons to memory, your syntax should vastly improve.

Finally, crack open a book. Not a fanfic, but an actual, published author's work. I would suggest Clive Cussler for its ease-of-digestion or, if you want something a bit more heady, one Peter F. Hamilton's series.

Until such a time has passed that you can at least meet the writing prowess of a compentent middle school student, I would politely ask that you not submit your stories for review. While my voice is singular and not representative of the reviewer collective, the reviewers are here to inform and guide, not tutor, which is what you need. If you are still in school, I would highly recommend that you make use of that free education to its fullest potential.

Have a good day, and best of luck.
>> No. 89235
Since I already opened this on an idle fancy, I might as well do a review on it.
>> No. 89237
Ion-Strum likes Clive Cussler?

I somehow feel... I don't know... I feel like I was watching a porn film and then the actress says "Oh, yes, do it to me, and by the way vote for Mitt Romney for President." Or maybe if the guys from Megadeath said "Hey, check out that latest Tom Jones album."
>> No. 89238
I went to "Redstreak Jack: Orchards of Time" with the password, but I saw nothing there. There was a synopsis but no story chapters.
>> No. 89240
File 133106350192.gif - (301.95KB , 294x266 , tumblr_l46c9rLTVb1qamgw7.gif )
I used to. I don't read them anymore. He was a decent writer for my teenage years, but I've come to realize that most of his stories are interchangable. For a quick and easy entry, though, it doesn't get much better than Clive.
>> No. 89242
I'd like to add a chapter for review for this story:http://www.ponychan.net/chan/fic/res/85147.html#i87358

This will bump the word count up to: 22928 words at 4 chapters. Is that all right?
>> No. 89251
That's fine, but note you can paste short links like I've done here. If you're posting them in long form, edit out the "i" that always gets put after the "#."

If you get a chance, hang out in the queue spreadsheet (link at the top of the thread), and if you see someone with a real login name show up, ask him to edit your info. If it hasn't been fixed by the time I get home, I'll ask one of the maintainers to do it.
>> No. 89259
Tags: [Grim][Light-Shipping]

Synopsis: Six years ago, They came and everything changed. Major Hollow Point recounts the events leading up to now, when she and her squad are off on a last-ditch mission to try and restore hope to the Equestrian side.


Requests: I'd like this to be reviewed by an experienced reviewer. I don't have anyone in particular in mind, but if you haven't at least done a couple dozen successful, in-depth reviews, I would prefer you pass this by. I'm not on any kind of schedule so I don't mind waiting.
>> No. 89260

>Requests: I'd like this to be reviewed by an experienced reviewer.

If you want to give your reviewer (whoever it may be) to conduct a quality in-depth review, you are far more likely to receive such a service if you link to a GDoc with comments enabled.
>> No. 89261
>> No. 89262
Random.org said 17 first, but it's a crossover, so I passed over it.
>> No. 89275
File 133107694816.png - (34.56KB , 476x693 , stop being a fuck face.png )
ITS NOT ON THE CHOICES! Someone already
took it.
>*looks at pic* Oh wait, its there.
Apparently, I'm reviewing you. Merry Ghostmas!
>> No. 89284
File 133108191009.png - (147.58KB , 830x712 , olwBR1usqzaZ.png )
First off: The title should be: Daring Do and the Cruise of the R.C.N.(Or whatever acronym) Celestia. That way, it's not as awkward to read.

Here's the low-down on your story:

The Good:
The world, from the massive amounts of dialogue about it, is pretty interesting. I'd love to hear more about it, if it weren't for the other issues rampant in the fic.

The Bad:

You have very awkward dialogue. For example:
>“Looks as if my dreams are coming true,” muttered Daring softly. “Can you see what I see, Bucks, or shall I wake up in a minute?”
> “Yes, I heard you,” replied Daring evenly, eyeing the speaker with interest, “but aren’t you making a mistake? This is civilised country, not Manehatten; and we have our own way of dealing with thugs, as you’ll presently learn, I hope. If it’s money you want, you’ve messed up, because I haven’t any.”
>“Anypony trying to make Equestria as unsafe as the place’s I’ve been gets no sympathy in my book. Not on your life. I don’t understand what this is all about, though; there’s something wrong here.
This just isn't how people speak or spoke in the past. What you need to do is say this out loud, preferably to someone else so they can tell you what they think. Would someone say this in real life? The best advice I can give you is to watch the Indiana Jones movies and learn how he talks. Then apply that to Daring Do.

Abuse of commas and appositives. You need to remove unnecessary phrases and words to make the sentences flow better. As it stands, the story is very choppy. This issue is compounded when you try to use rhetorical elements, like parallelism.

Why is somepony's house under attack in the middle of civilised country? Do the policeponies never bother to check up on her? Does she just live in recluse? In addition, why is Brightma so unconcerned with people breaking into her house? This is all a very silly setup, and it's compounded by the fact that you never describe anything. Please explain this more fully.

The Ugly:
You never bother to describe anything in detail. This story is practically talking heads from start to finish. Sure, what they're talking about is really really interesting, but otherwise I have no idea what is going on. Please please please go back and add more description to the story, What does Brightma's house look like? What does the countryside look like? etc.

This feels like a half-done fic in that it has just dialogue and no description or action in the first chapter. There's nothing driving me to read it, no conflict that's really compelling, no characters who I want to read more about, and no grand vistas to explore. Personally, I think it's an issue with where you wanted to start the story. More on that in the suggested fixes.

Suggested fixes:
First and foremost, whatever you do you NEED to add more description to the setting.

Personally, I'd recommend starting the whole story later on, like when they're on the chariot and travelling, or when they're actually in Coltombia. Describe the strangeness of the new country, and its peoples. Remember, this is a story about exploration and adventure! It's no fun if all people do is run around in the Equestrian countryside for the first few thousand words.
Then, once you've establish the setting, get the conflict. Bring in the Barons' hitponies, and finish the first chapter off with a bang! That's a Daring Doo story.

(Describe what you're writing) and keep writing
>> No. 89293
>>86014 Time of the Black Sun

Well, this has potential. I'm a sucker for epic black-and-white-morals fantasy a la Brian Jacques, and this maybe sounds like that. My usual disclaimer about dropping long fics if I don't like them applies, so apologies in advance if I don't do a line-by-line workup of all 49k-words.

Also, a lot of people swear by gDocs and it's probably the best single format to submit here. However I have to say

Thanks to FiMFiction, it took less than a minute for me to put your fic on my tablet.

Since my job currently consists of waiting around for something to go wrong, this pretty much ensures I'll read the whole thing.


For in-depth comment, I'll just copy stuff into gDocs, so don't worry. I've got you covered.

~so excited~
>> No. 89303
This story sounds too interesting to just let sit around. I'll take a look at it.
>> No. 89304
File 133108638199.png - (609.78KB , 1000x917 , fire_by_teh_aguara-d4ls0jz.png )
Author: soundslikeponies
length: one shot, ~6,500 words

Every couple of years an unnatural fire consumes the Everfree forest. Folks in Ponyville don't talk about it much, and nopony knows why it happens, or when it'll happen each time. Intrigued by the fire's mysterious origins, Twilight Sparkle decides to finally solve the age old mystery. However, the Everfree Forest is a dangerous place even at the best of times.

Gdocs link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1wARvWeVynjvizMp7Dluat9nK6lOU_mRinHCLrN9qjSI/edit

Alright, the competition fics got sent back and I wanted to do a bit of editing and refining before I posted it up for the general public. Looking to get some ideas on how to possibly execute some of the scenes better.
>> No. 89327
I absolutely detest trying to finagle GDocs comments. I have never used them before.
>> No. 89343

Claiming this fic.
>> No. 89346

Seems to be a contradiction. How can you hate what you've never used?
>> No. 89353
File 133109244528.gif - (343.17KB , 500x363 , otgB3.gif )
Fear of the unknown is a common human trait, my good man.
>> No. 89356
File 133109269800.png - (170.81KB , 900x956 , 1329590060376.png )
Today is your lucky day, as Trixie has decided to grace your presence with a review - you have waited long enough.
>> No. 89362
I know it's not very nice of me to claim and then drop something within such a short time frame as well as to only read about two pages worth of it. Still, though, I have to be honest and say that I didn't like this fic at all. Reading it felt like marching outside into the snow and finding everything just go deeper and deeper until you can barely move your legs. I'm sorry if I come across as mean. I'll go ahead and break this down step-by-step as I usually do.

Characters / storyline: I have a nameless, faceless, and emotionless protagonist. I don't know what to make of this. I can't critique it because there's nothing to critique about him. The only thing I can say about him (her?) is that he is said to have a sad-sack, put-upon life and has gone to prison from his own misfortune.

The fact that the one single thing I know about him is something that immediately puts me off (knowing that the "angsty teen who's friendless and his parent's don't understand and his life sucks" trope is as omnipresent in fanfics as oxygen). I guess all I can say is look at other fanfics as well as professional novels and the like. You need to ground the audience to the characters immediately. I need to know about him [/i]immediately[/i]. I need to feel empathy for him immediately.

The storyline is that he's stuck in prison. I don't know why. I get told about conflicts going on in the past that he dismisses. Now, there's another conflict. He gets part of his prison blow up. I guess that's interesting as an idea, but the way in which this is written makes the idea come across as dull as reading a calculus textbook.

Plot: This inherently sounds like a good crossover. I would expect there to be an inherent fanbase. Nice choice.

Grammar / spelling / wording: This was the killer. I'll be general here since I wrote a bunch of google doc comments.

Anyways, here's something like how I would write a scene from the Matrix (film one, not the shitty sequels:

"Dodge this." Trinity fired straight into the agent's temple. He smashed backwards onto the ground, Trinity looking down with a twisted smile. Sparks erupted across the agent's body, twisting it with pain, as he reverted back to a police officer.

The writing style of this fanfic is:

"Dodge this." Trinity had been positioning herself so that she lined up right to the agent's temple with her handgun, and then she went ahead was operating it. The ground came into close contact with the agents body as it was descending against it. A twisted smile appeared across Trinity's face at the same time that she had been looking down at the agent's body, which was in proximate relation to the ground. The agent actually had sparks start to flicker all along his body slightly. This fact went ahead and was causing him some discomfort as he returned to the past state of a police officer that he had previously been at.

You see what I mean? This whole thing needs to be comprehensively re-written.

Summary: I hope that I've pointed you in the right direction. Again, sorry about the fact that I didn't read very much. You might want to contact an editor person or another reviewer that specializes in mechanical type things like correcting for the passive voice.
>> No. 89366
Some things that I just need to hammer down about this story:
->Watch out for the passive voice.
->Make the character a full-fledged character. He has a physical appearance, an emotional state, a background, a set of dreams / desires / ideologies, and many more. I got almost none of that while reading this.
-> Show, don't tell. Pretty much all of this is written in a very dry, dull, and academic sort of way. I need specific details that flesh out scenes and advance the plot along
-> As well, watch out for details that are just totally unnecessary. If he's in a daze and coming out of it, you don't need to say "He's coming out of the daze" and "He's opening his eyes". The latter implies the former.

I hope I've helped you.
>> No. 89376
I watched that .gif for several moments, hoping for Nigel Thornberry.
I left disappointed.
>> No. 89383
File 133109739244.png - (273.55KB , 537x722 , 111362 - artist katseartist pinkie_pie.png )
I'm going to organize them.

Well, I've only read the prologue so far, and I'm really liking it. You do have some grammar issues that are slowing me down, but I'm ignoring the little ones, like you asked.

The overall story is interesting to me. I do want to see what happens next. I'm not sure what you wanted to do with detail vs. bogging down reader, but I found that your most detailed part - the Clover study scene - was your best part. In fact, what threw me off was how you transitioned from that level of detail and then threw me some directional lines that didn't make sense. You spend 3-4 paragraphs on how hard she is studying, then in 30 words or less, she talks with the librarian; disagrees with the librarian; is persuaded by the librarian; goes out side; sees some weird jade thing and the story ends.

The letters are really killing it for me. They seem melodramatic for no particular reason. Okay, Celestia is writing some letters to her mom. Great, but why? I realize they have some secret, but that's not built up very well. I think you need to add the same level of detail to those letters as you did with Clover's studying. Don't just jump into the letter and assume the reader is going to read them with the tension they are meant to be read with.

Platinum's outrage-speech seems off. I didn't see her as Rarity.

The librarian was awesome.

The random jade, I'm not sure what that even is, was random. I'm not sure what the significance of that is, but if you are looking to tie that into the plot later as foreshadowing, you need to add more than that.

Clover is awesome.

Hurricane, Pansy, Pudding Head, Smart Cookie, and Platinum are all pretty weak. It's okay though, they serve their purpose. That's the beauty of fan fics, people already know the characters. However, I would describe Platinum a little more because I just assumed she was an OC alicorn at the beginning. It wasn't until later that I realized who she was because I forgot her name.

Here are the notes I took during the read:
Celestia's letter needs some work. The grammar is quite off.

“it wasn't that bad, now, what it?” sounds like a question.

“She'd figure something out. She continued writing” very telly, not showy. Also tense issue.

Threw dark confetti over the grave? Whaaa?

At this point I have no idea what's up with Princess Platinum. I get that she liked this pony who died, and that she is filled with rage and making outrage... but not much else.

In general, you use far too many personal pronouns. Each time you start a new paragraph you need to reintroduce the person who is receiving action. You cannot simply say “her” because I'm not sure who she is. Also, you do not need to start a new paragraph just become someone is talking. You only need a new paragraph if someone new is talking. So if the above paragraph is about the person who is about to talk, then it's a safe bet to keep it in the same paragraph. If you feel it is better suited in a new paragraph, then you can do that, but you need to make sure that it is clear who is speaking.

As they ran parallel to the grave, they stopped next to Clover and the Princess’s horn glowed, lowering the window.

“I know you are upset, my dear Clover,” she proclaimed, “but you must let his secret go. This is not your fault. It was nopony’s fault.”

First off, who is they? Second off, this pretty much implies that Clover and the Princess are they, when they are not since the princess is in a carriage. So when I read the next paragraph, which could easily be the same paragraph, I could assume that the princess and Clover are walking together and some other pony proclaimed that to them.

For the first time, the eyes of Clover the Clever began to glisten. “That’s precisely why.”
-Glistening eyes usually means happy. I don't like that here.

Smeagol was a librarian... this character development is awesome so far. It's wide open, and I am creating the character with my mind.

No one = no pony, not nopony

brilliant narration. The description of clover reading is phenomenal, but it ends abruptly. The pace shift is a little too drastic. More detail is needed there, perhaps some more indication as to why she stopped reading.

I'm not buying celestia's second letter.

“Many feared the worst and some actually began preparations for a second funeral.” someone who studies for hours on end without rest is likely not seen often, so nine days is nothing.

I find it a little strange that the leaders of the three pony races are just randomly hanging out together.

“I don’t know,” she said. “What’s your definition of scary?” when she says this, it sounds sort of like a joke. Not sure if you want to end like that.

Celestia fearing that the elements are real BECAUSE of her believing that legends are real is kind of off. She needs more motivation or something to make that believable.
>> No. 89384
File 133109747653.jpg - (280.42KB , 744x900 , 141207 - anthro armor artist maxarkes commander_hurricane hands rainbow_dash.jpg )

Alright, I'm going to start by saying that I had a bad day, so that might be affecting my review, but I honestly fell asleep half way through reading this. The narration felt very different form the prologue, and I didn't like it. It feels like you were trying to pull off some sort of Old English style of writing, and it didn't work. There were a lot of oddly placed words that made me think, but the thinking just made my head hurt, and I often wanted to stop reading. However! I did get to a point where the narration seemed to change, and the old narrator came back. I think this indicates that you became more comfortable with your writing at a certain point, or you decided to cut out the fancy, lumpy writing style.

I, again, do not like your Celestia. That might be a personal thing because I never seem to believe the fanon Celestias that people throw at me. So maybe you'll want a second opinion on it, but I don't like her random "Oh I believe in legends although no pony else does, la la la. I'm looking for a book on it, la la la." I thought the flaming mane alicorn was kinda weird too. Nothing made me like him really. He was obviously making Celestia uncomfortable. He felt kind of like the joker from batman if the joker was talking to two face. He was going to just go with what Celestia said, but he wasn't in the right. Very condescending, and Celestia seemed to act sort of like a naive leader while dealing with him. She allowed herself to hold conversation, but then she randomly tries to command him around.

Anyways, I'm going to continue and read chapter 2.

Below are my notes.
The detail is not gripping me. There is a lot of “pony A does this,” and, “Pony B feels this”. Very tell, not very show. e.g. “Celestia felt the smile grow on her lips. The other ponies stood on a cloud and were higher than the Princess.”

bucking posts? Eh? Also, columns are not easy to repair.

Elements of Harmony, she thought.
if this is inner monologue it needs to be in italics or quotes.

This first bit is difficult and boring read. Try reading this out loud and see how much you want to keep reading: “White wings unfolded, stretched, and flapped before she sheathed them again. The book landed gently on a lectern so ornate it would have put a church pulpit – indeed, probably an entire cathedral – to shame. She stood by it. Celestia would have preferred lying down when reading, but most ponies didn’t and she was too single-minded to indulge herself at that moment.”

I think you're trying too hard to make that sound like some sort of old English style of writing.

Cool... but what is going on? “A flame burst from the tiles and flared almost to the fresco, releasing a sphere of shimmering air. Without even touching the ceiling, the flame lapped up melting drips of paint as they rained down. The flames blew out. Black scorch marks smothered the mosaic tiles under ruby shoes. “

Example of tell, not show: “Venusia pouted. She was shaking with anger. “

At one point I fell asleep. I'm not trying to be rude or anything. I really did take a nap. When I woke up I found the narration to be similar to before, but after skimming further down, the narration relaxed a little bit, it stopped trying to be old-English-like, and the read improved. It now feels more like the prologue.

Compare: “This place was granite grey. It had too many squares. Most of the wall before her was mantelpiece and chimney, looming like an indoor monolith. It looked, in short, like a house that wanted no truck with interior decorating.”

With: “Earth district was proof that, no matter how far from the roots it travels, the rest of the plant will still draw on old soil. One of the flowers of this old soil was currently in full bloom: a timber stage had been set up on the square green, and a crowd had fallen silent around it. Some of the members of the crowd – the ones with horns or wings – occasionally pretended that they weren’t there, whenever they remembered themselves. Some tried to suppress coughs while the rest of the crowd stared entranced at the stage.”

I completely understand the first, but I need to search for the meaning of the second. E.g., “the rest of the plant will still draw on old soil.” What does that even mean? I need to stop reading for a second and think about it. Then, as soon as I thought I had it figured out, you hit me with “One of the flowers of this old soil was currently in full bloom,” and I again say, “what?” I thought the soil killed the plants. It just conflicts in my mind, and I need to think to figure out what you're saying. On the other hand, even though, “Most of the wall before her was mantelpiece and chimney, looming like an indoor monolith.” isn't an easy read, I still get your feeling because it was set up well.

Now let's compare the Clover study scene: “Mountains of books began piling themselves up on top of the polished oak table. Galleries of portraits posed for long-dead painters, and watched with hauteur as volume after volume drifted down the corridors towards the one point. References and cross-references were checked, notes taken down, books sent back and new ones summoned in their place. She didn’t eat. She didn’t drink. It was the same pattern, day after day, until none of the days had an individuality to speak of, and the regular library visitors began to switch their favourite tables for ones further away from her.”

Do you see the difference? Easy to understand and quite dramatic. You even set it up well. You didn't just tell the reader that she was studying, you showed them that she was studying, and that set up allowed you to say a more complex line after that “Galleries of protraits posed for long-dead painters...” That's not easy to understand, but it's something that was easily skipped over, if needed. I would shoot for that as your typical style. Try to avoid throwing in terms like “old soil” that only you understand.
>> No. 89385
...that would be pretty awesome...
>> No. 89386
File 133109816222.jpg - (404.42KB , 919x1600 , 118096 - Alicorn artist limrei celestia fireflies princess scenery waterfall.jpg )

Alright, I'm going to assume I didn't just get trolled... but multiverses in ponies? Really?

Okay, that aside, the old narrator came back, and I loved it. The beginning was particularly good. I didn't really understand the first scene, but I get that it was dramatic. I'm guessing it's relevant to the whole story so that's cool.

However, things started to fall apart when they did this weird astroprojection/fly away to magic castle land thing. It felt rushed, and none of your usual detail showed through. Then the whole plot fell apart when Clover suddenly had all of these answers and a presentation.

First off, if you're giving a presentation, you start with the most important thing first; the fact that alicorns exist. You lead me on like it was some sort of vague idea that Clover had, but then we learn that not only does she know they exist, she knows about a queen, she knows about multiverses, she knows about magical castles, she even knows about them crossing over into their universe to, for some reason, pit them against one another AND that their encounter with windigos some how plays a role in this. What the feather? Aside from it being ridiculous amounts of information being thrown at the reader, and aside from the fact that it's unrealistic for Clover to know any of that, I think her friends believe it WAY TOO QUICKLY. Not one of them questioned her. I'm not sure if I missed something that would explain why Clover would know all of this, maybe it was the ride she took where she was gone for nine days? I don't know, but she's got one hell of a story to tell, and she's not telling it.

Anyways... here are my notes:
Horses leave prints even without shoes.

Wth was the first scene? I liked the narration, but who was this pony, what was he running from, and what even happened? Stupid cliff hangers, at the beginning of the chapter too.

My first thoughts: racism. “Princess Platinum had refused to sit next to either Smart Cookie or Chancellor Pudding for fear of getting her second faux ermine cape dirty”

So the Chancellor is making me laugh.

I thought they were in some sort of cramped carriage, “A bubble of light swelled on the tip of the unicorn’s horn and drifted overhead. It settled across the room and placed itself delicately before the projector. None of the ponies took their eyes off it.”

I want a Chancellor Puddinghead spin off. “Nonsense. You make even less sense than I do. Stop it. Only I’m allowed to make less sense than I do!”

Really? “Star Swirl believed that, if the worlds existed, they could occasionally interact with each other – something he called Universal Drift – and that could allow the inhabitants of one world to access another world.”

I don't expect the ponies to understand what Clover just said. I also don't really believe that they could conceive a multiverse theory 1,000 years in the past... the past of what appears to be a thousand years prior to our present day. I think the story is set in the middle ages... so multiverse should at least confuse the crap out of every pony who tries to understand it, especially if they are hearing it for the first time. You're going to need one hell of a Bill Nye the Science Guy explanation for them to understand it, too.

Gak! “The windigos might have ruined their plans” she can't know that. How and why would she assume that? Just because nothing else has changed? I'm not buying it. I'm also not buying the alicorn's motives for wanting to separate the three races... or how Clover picked up on it.

What is this meta knowledge? “They’re ruled by a Queen”
>> No. 89390
Title: I Don't Hurt Anymore
Author: Ciero989
E-mail: [email protected]
Tags: [Slightly Dark][Sad?][Adventure]

Synopsis: After the events of the Grand Galloping Gala, the Mane Six talk about their experiences. Unknown to the rest, one of the ponies has relived a nightmare from her past, one that she has struggled to keep down. When they find out something is wrong, one of them steps up with an explanation, protecting their friend- but things are more complicated than they seem. The truth will set her free, but is a lie truly easier to take?


Introduction (First Chapter):http://ciero989.deviantart.com/gallery/#/d4lzkdj

Entire Story: http://www.fimfiction.net/story/6785/I-Don%27t-Hurt-Anymore

The point of the two different links is that the Deviant Art was not edited at all following my attempted submission to EqD, while the FiMFiction one was. I changed the Introduction's content, no other chapters, while I changed how the dialouge looks in every chapter on FiMFiction.

I'd like to have the story reviewed as a whole.

EqD Pre-Reader:

I just don't know what to think about this fic. On one hoof, it's actually really good on grammar aspect. My only problem, in that respect, is with dialogue. The author doesn't indent dialogue ever, and it gets clumped like this:

Blah blah blah blah blah.Blah blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah blah blah.

"Roseluck is best background pony."
"Indeed, good sir. She's also the prettiest, with the possible exception of Fleur."
"I say."

Blah blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah blah blah.

It gets very annoying after a while. But really, that's the only grammatical flaw I can see. And I guess that's really more of a stylistic thing. Either way, I might be missing scheisse. It's 1:30 in morn' and I'm tired.

On the other hoof, this story is just simplistic. Coming from me, that's saying something. The word choice, sentence structure, and even ideas are all just so basic. And that's where I run into a problem. I don't think it's fair to reject a story just because the writing is simplistic. Then again, I can't see this getting any higher than 3 stars. First of all, it'll be star-bombed for being grim-dark (that and shipping suffer the worst fates). Secondly, when compared to some of the masterful writers on EqD, this is just poorly written.
But it's also an interesting story. I'm not one for grimdark, and I'll admit I haven't read too far in yet, but this story seems legitimately interesting. I like the way the story's being told, and it seems like it's going to be more about character development rather than pony abuse. However, that still doesn't save the writing.

I guess, tell the author to fix the dialogue and see if he can make it a bit more showy. I'll take a look at it then.
>> No. 89392
Thanks for this constructive response, it's genuinely a rare treat! Now then, to respond to your comments:

"Inconsistent," was definitely not the right word. What I should have said was that those points could use some clarification so that the reader doesn't have to break concentration from your fic and think them through too much. That would harm immersion. I liked how you listed your historical inspirations for various decisions you made in your story in your response to my review (peasant revolts). Based on that, yeah, you're probably right: it doesn't look like the details in your head carried over properly. In short, clarity is the solution.

Then there was my comment about wanting to read an awesome version of this fic someday, that was a statement meant to illuminate the potential behind your idea. I would genuinely like to read this fic agai someday, albeit in a better written form. That said, no, I don't really have a fic to compare it to and the only reason I brought up "A Drop of Moonshine" is because I love that fic. Seiously, that fic makes me laugh so hard.

Finally, when you finish your changes I'd be happy to look over another draft for you and help clean up anything you missed, formulate new criticisms, and give you more pointers on style if necessary. That said, I probably won't be able to look at it for a week and a half or so because after I post my review for "Daring Do and the Alicorn's Shadow," I plan to take a brief hiatus for personal issues. I'll still be commenting and lurking, but I won't be reviewing. Feel free to ask me any general questions about whatever you want during that time though (for example, how to make writing flow nicely) and I'll respond, I just won't comb any text for examples.
>> No. 89409
I can't specifically say that I'm very happy to see this after my fourth revision. But I can definitely see some points that need addressing, primarily with the language choice. Though I did feel that a lot of the times where awkward wording or such was pointed out felt very nit picky. But I don't really believe that it is to the point of being drastically unreadable as it would appear.

The character I intentionally leave, for the most part, a mystery. Because it would seem more appropriate for the crossover I'm getting at and I don't think that a long exposition of hopes and dreams at the beginning is really necessary for advancing as it would seem more logical to address them when a situation arises where it would be necessary and it keeps building up. I don't really want to make the beginning paragraphs specifically around the character as I need context for the broader story but I do put in more in the second chapter and steadily build from there weaving it in to the narrative.
>> No. 89417
On the first part, I found the very dry and detaching writing style to be grating. At the same time, I guess that previous reviewers and/or readers might just disagree. But, again, look at >>89362 and the two hypothetical writing styles. Don't you agree that less is more and that writing in a more 'action' oriented way feels better?

On the second point, I just think that you're aiming to do the impossible, or at least something that isn't really too good of an idea. Video games are a depersonalized medium by their very nature. The reason why they're so fun to play is that you take 'Generic Hero X' and guide him the way that you want. Video game protagonists, other than say Mario or a James Sunderland or odd characters like that, are empty shells that players put themselves into. Empty and blank and meaningless...

This does not work in fiction writing. It's like putting a square peg into a round hole. I can't "play" nameless protagonist X. Therefore, I want to know more about it. Since I can't play, I want to be along for the ride. I want a very good picture of who the protagonist is and what's going on.

Do you ever watch "Let's Play ____" things on Youtube such as http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJ19AhYZV9U ?

You can see that merely watching feels rather... well... boring. That's exactly what the story is. I'm watching someone else play a video game. I'm being told what's happening from this detached perspective. And it's not really that enjoyable, to be honest.

I'm not saying that video game crossovers are inherently a bad idea. On the contrary, they can be done really well. But look at something like Silent Ponyville as an example of how to do it right. Things have to be really, really character driven, where there's a clear ground to what ponies want and why they want it.

The fact that you've had four revisions shouldn't be something to sweat about. How many revisions do great books have? Great screenplays? It's like freaking endless revisions. Don't get too hung up on it. In any rate, I'm glad that you took my review in good humor (I was afraid you'd flip out :P ).
>> No. 89422
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Alright, I gone through this a few times and as expected, I found no mechanical issues to speak of.

From a story point of view, the whole thing felt like it sort of meandered about and fizzled out with a weak ending. Simply put, there was really no driving conflict or plot that would have characterised a show-episode. What is needed here is some sort of central conflict to anchor your story in. "Mane six takes a uneventful holiday" is not a good plot to drive your story forward. Instead, what happens here seems to be little bits of pieces that would normally take place in a side scene or side plot of the story.

Rarity and Twilight getting on each other's hooves.
Pinkie's continuing accidents and eventual transformation to pirate mare.
Rainbow, Fluttershy and AJ doing... something. They could be absent and your fic won't suffer from it.

Each are interesting on their own right, but it is really not enough as a whole to make your fic interesting enough to read on. Furthermore, the Rarity/Twilight thing feels rather forced, with Twilight making uncharacteristic missteps with is not in keeping with her character. More on this later.

Furthermore, you seemed to have suffered from a lack of focus throughout the fic. First was trying to mix comedy and slice-of-life lessons in the same paragraph/scene. Taken together, it is very jarring to read about Twilight running off in tears, and Pinkie finding a pirate symbol in the same scene, if not paragraph. Any humour or attempts to sympathise with Twilight just loses its punch. Cancelling each other out if you will.

Second was you trying to cram everypony into the fic. Throughout the story, I get the feeling Fluttershy, Rainbow Dash and AJ were there because they had to be there. Only Pinkie did something interesting, apart from Rarity and Twilight.

How to fix this? To be honest, I would drop Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy and AJ. Or at least put a little more focus on Rarity and Twilight, because the main attraction of your fic is the interaction between the two. Alternatively, you need to get the other three to be a little more involved, instead of them going off to do their own things. This would mean lengthening the fic, but it is ultimately your choice. Another way would be to focus on Pinkie entirely and drop the rather awkward Twilight/Rarity conflict.

Characters? Insofar as I can see, Dash, Fluttershy and AJ were all in character, from what little we see of them. FS lamenting about being a kelp was certainly amusing. Pinkie is definitely Pinkie in this, and I found any scene featuring her to be the high points of your fic. Twilight and Rarity... well I have noted specific events in your fic where I found them to be explicitly OOC. I shall repeat them here in general terms. For Twilight, it is rather unlike her to go full-on nerd mode and shoot million-dollar words at every occasion. Amusing as it might be, it is not her. Think of her like this instead; she's an average American teen who happened to be very well read and somewhat of an introvert. She would not go out of her way to find books on 'life cycles of fungi' or some such, especially on a vacation no less. As for Rarity, it's more of her not knowing about certain things which struck me as OOC, and I have marked those instances.

Overall, I think this fic needs more plots. Literally. You will also need to address the OOC issues I mentioned. Conflict feels forced.

Keep writing.
>> No. 89423
Title: As of yet Untitled Luna X Celestia Story
Author: Rex Ivan
Email: NO!
Tags: [shipping] [semi-serious] [non-cloppy]

Synopsis: Once every 300 years the sun and moon align to move through the sky in unison ... with SEXY results!

links: only one chapter

Comments: This story has not been previously reviewed at all by any pony! There may or may not be a reason for this.

Hey everypony, I'm drunk and I should feel drunk, so right now I have no fear of posting here. And what better time to ask for a review than the middle of the night. I wrote this, and want to know if it sucks or not. Be brutal, and break a board over my face (can't feel it anyway), even if you liked it. And if you think of a title then tell me, please. ... wait, was that the right link?
>> No. 89430
Thank you for choosing to review my story, but I think you have to make a claim in the thread in order to officially claim it. On that note,here's a link to all the chapters for your convenience:

>> No. 89433
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Reads a little...

>Begins with blah / blah / blah lecture. That's an awful hook to open a story. Huge tl;dr

>If the sun and the moon were being raised slightly irregularly, then wouldn't that cause tidal stuff and maybe eventually like start to freeze earth by moving it too far away from the sun? Oh, gosh, the implications!

>Luna bucks the guards to boost moral / ease tension / get rid of Nightmare Moon feelings / solve astronomical s--t ... implied tentacle-on-male fetish... OH YEAAAHHHHHH


>implied royal harems... oooh

>the end

I have to say that there's a great deal of passive voice language and dull, bland descriptive language in there. The whole back and forth conversation between the princesses drag like anything.

I have to say that it is highly disposable, and not like those shipfics where you really feel the true love romance. At the same time, I feel like the fic accomplished it's mission.

So: [pic]
>> No. 89447
I'm actually embarrassed now that I wrote that. I guess I've leave it given that I hate deleting one's own comments. Still... bleh... just forget I said that.
>> No. 89449

I've been told worse. No worries, I asked for a board to the face, and that's what you gave me. If that is the way you honestly thought, then there is no helping it.

But I have to ask ... are you drinking too? :P
>> No. 89452
Hey Swiper. Science sent me an IM saying you'd take a sledgehammer to have a look at my fic for me.

Title: Caveat Emptor: Let The Buyer Beware
Tags: [grimdark][adventure]
Description: Things are awry in Ponyville. Last Twilight Sparkle checked, the only voice in a pony's head should be her own. Curiosity piqued, Twilight and her friends do some investigating, and uncover a horrifying secret. As loyalties are tested, the six friends find themselves questioning the very world around them. But through it all, one stark, terrifying truth remains clear:
Everything comes at a price. And It has come to collect.
Links: http://www.fimfiction.net/story/5117/Caveat-Emptor%3A-Let-The-Buyer-Beware
Unpublished chapter

My situation is basically this. My story is technically good enough for EQD, but I need to prove that I can write publishable chapters without a half dozen trips through their pre-readers. Therefore, be as critical on the rough draft of the new chapter as possible.
>> No. 89496

You can remove this story from the Training Grounds queue. I had a RL ex-editor friend give it a thorough once over and I'm feeling much better about the piece now.

Thank you.
>> No. 89502
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This golden nugget of information is too awesome not to repost, so here’s a good example of showing vs. telling from a fellow reviewer, CartoonGeld. I posted it so the information remains alive for the next three months or until the thread 404s. That and the upcoming reviews I'm about to post wouldn't fit in one post... or two... or three...


You also seem to have a lot of telling instead of showing. Showing and telling are two different ways of presenting information, in particular, the emotions and perspectives of characters. Telling is when you just directly write the information. Showing is where you describe details that give enough situational clues that the reader can infer what is going on.

When you tell something, the reader gets the information but generally won't relate to the information portrayed. Telling also tends to be much shorter and so gives your story a faster pace. Telling is often useful for emotionally neutral details or getting across information that is necessary but would bog down the story. For example:

>Twilight related the day's events to Spike.

This sentence is an example of telling and would generally be a useful source of telling if either the events were unimportant to the story or the reader had previously experienced the events that would be relayed. The drawback to telling is that it does not draw in the reader and so should be used sparingly to avoid boring the reader or pushing the reader out of the story.

In contrast, showing allows the reader to experience and connect with the story, because the reader interprets the details within their own framework and allows their imagination to make the story more vivid for them. Showing is at the heart of why people often say the movie version of a story is inferior to the book version, because in the book, the author shows the scene and the reader interprets it within their imagination, whereas the movie must pick a particular interpretation and is, in a sense, "telling" the viewer that interpretation. Showing should be done as much as possible when working with characters and should be used nearly always when trying to convey emotions. Showing makes for a slower pace and so you don't necessarily want to use showing for details that are not important to the story, since readers will likely become invested in those details and will be confused as to why you spent so much time on that particular topic only to drop it immediately. If you believe that a scene shouldn't be shown, you should consider very carefully whether or not that scene is necessary for the story, as you want to eliminate extraneous details from the story.

The easiest way to check for showing versus telling is by looking at a sentence and considering what information is directly stated and then considering what information you expect the reader to infer from the sentence. If all the information is directly stated, then you are definitely telling instead of showing. Also, adverbs that end with -ly are often signals that you are telling. Common ways to get around telling are by detailing the appropriate body language instead of just telling the reader how the character feels and using speech patterns and word choice in dialogue to convey character traits.

Let's look at one paragraph with regards to show versus tell. Just with regards to show versus tell. There are other issues here, but we'll get to those later.

>The shy brown colt nodded his head and took aim and narrowed his eyes forward at the pitcher; an amazingly uncharacteristic focus could be seen on the shy blank flanked colt. The pitcher threw the ball as hard as he could, and to his credit it was faster than any other pitch he had ever done, which still wasn’t that fast. The ball came straight for the brown colt and with the quick turn of his neck, in one powerful swing, there was a loud and ear snapping crack. He had hit it dead on. The two other colts gawked, mouths agape in sheer surprise. The ball traveled for miles… literally. It soared over the Everfree Forest until it could not be seen any more.

This isn't a particularly emotional paragraph, but we'll outline what should be shown.

What information is told:

1) Colt is brown.
2) Colt is shy.
3) Colt nods, takes aim, and narrows eyes at the pitcher.
4) Colt is very focused
5) This focus is uncharacteristic.
6) Pitcher throws the ball
7) Best pitch of pitcher's life, but still isn't great
8) Colt hit the ball
9) Hitting the ball made a loud sound.
10) The colt hit the ball dead on.
11) The other colts gawked with mouths open
12) The ball travelled a long way
13) It flew into the Everfree Forest until they couldn't see it.

Now that we know what information is given, we can look at what we can infer from that information.

1 and 2 are simple and give us the information at face value. 3 is body language. We can get from his actions that he is focused on the task at hand. 4 is telling what 3 could have shown us. It doesn't count as showing when you immediately tell what should have been inferred. 5, 6, and 8 are face value information. From 7, we can figure out that the pitcher isn't a very good pitcher. 9 and 11 combine to give 10, since if the contact made a loud noise and the other colts are extremely impressed, we can assume that the contact was good. 13 implies 12.

Next, we see what could have been shown versus what needs to be told. An easy way to do this is by putting yourself in the shoes of an observer who doesn't really know what's going on and considering what he could see. If he could see it, then it is probably fine to tell that information. Another method is by looking at what other traits could get this information across and finding which ones fit the description given above. In essence, you ask the question "How do you tell when something has this characteristic?" and if there is a more basic answer than what is written, then you have a characteristic that can be shown easily instead of telling. Note: These heuristics only apply for information that is told instead of showing i.e paragraph level. In some genres, it is desirable to make the reader infer entire events and these heuristics are not necessarily useful for that purpose.

Obviously, 4, 10 and 12 can be shown, since from above we know that they can be shown by statements already in the paragraph.

1) The colt is brown. From our first test, this is something that can be seen by an observer, so it is probably fine to tell. From the second test, we ask, "How do you tell when something is brown?" You are probably thinking something like, "You look at it and it is brown," or something more complicated like, "He blends in with chocolate." If you said spectrometer, then I like your scientific discipline, but I'm going to have to say this is a heuristic that should not hinge on the use of scientific instruments. This indicates that 1 is probably fine to tell, which I would agree with.

2) The colt is shy. If something was observing with no idea about typical interactions, they probably couldn't tell whether the colt was shy or not. If this isn't clear the second test will make it much clearer. Now we ask, "How do you tell when somepony is shy?" For this we may answer that he would stare at his hooves, he wouldn't talk very much, he would keep his distance from other ponies, he might stammer when he does talk, etc. Each of these descriptions is a simple different way to answer the question, most of which would be fine to tell from the first two tests. This indicates that it this characteristic would be fairly easy to show and also gives you an idea how to do so i.e by having the character perform several of the actions noted in the answer.

3) The colt nods, takes aim, and narrows his eyes at the pitcher. Nodding and narrowing his eyes pass the first test fairly clearly and it isn't difficult to see that most answers to the second will be synonymous with either nodding or narrowing his eyes. Taking aim is less clear. I would argue that taking aim would be a basic action if he had a projectile, but taking aim with a bat in his mouth isn't necessarily a clear action so it is more difficult to say whether or not this needs to be shown. A clearer action might be if the colt took a practice swing, which pretty clearly passes the first two tests. I'm afraid I can't do a ton with determining whether taking aim needs to be shown unless I know what the action is. However, the other two are fine, so I would guess taking aim is probably okay, if a little confusing, to tell in the sentence.

4) The colt was very focused. We already have an idea about what this one should be from above, but let's still apply our heuristics. The answer to the second one is clearer so let's do that first. Signs that a colt is focused are their gaze is constantly on the object of their focused and they don't pay attention to anything else. They would likely have a serious look on their face, perhaps a set jaw and narrowed eyes. Extraneous movement would be minimized and any movement they perform that is related to the task would be smooth. If you would have answered yes to the first question, these are the characteristics that an observer would likely perceive that would lead to interpreting that the person is focused, so the answer to the first is probably no, since an observer who has no idea what is going on wouldn't be able to synthesize "focused" from the given characteristics. This is probably one of the more borderline cases, as you might be able to get away with telling that a character's focus narrows without setting off too many flags, but this is something that can be inferred from your descriptions that you've already included, you might as well just show it.

5) This focus is uncharacteristic. Asking the first, an observer who has no idea what is going on wouldn't be able to determine if the focus in uncharacteristic for the character. Next, how do we determine if the focus is uncharacteristic? The obvious answer is if the focus is not normal for the character, but then how do we show the focus is not normal? By having the character act in ways opposite of a focused character for most of the introduction. So the fact that the focus is uncharacteristic can be shown by portraying the character as unfocused (short attention span, easily distracted, jumpy, etc), then emphasizing the shift in personality when he becomes focused.

6) The pitcher throws the ball. This one is straight forward. The first question gets an answer of yes and the second just gets a self-evident answer. So this is fine to tell.

7) Best pitch of pitcher's life, but still isn't great. Both of these wouldn't be understandable to an uninitiated observer, so they fail the first test. For the second question, we see that we would only know that it is the best pitch of his life if we'd seen every pitch that he had done or if there was dialogue that said this was the case. Similarly, we would only know that the pitch wasn't great if we'd seen many other pitches or there was dialogue. Since neither of these possibilities seem to fit with the section of the story that you are working with, you would probably want to consider omitting these details. As the relative quality of the pitch isn't important to the passage and the story, I would recommend removing this information. Yes this isn't technically show versus tell, but it seems pretty important to the consideration.

8) The colt hit the ball. This pretty clearly passes the tests.

9) Hitting the ball made a loud sound. Same as 8.

10) The colt hit the ball dead on. This initially appears to pass the first test. If we apply the second test, we can tell that the ball was hit dead on if the ball travels a great distance, the contact makes a good sound and others react to the hit as though it was hit well. Since these are probably the traits that could be detected by the observer, we might question whether the answer to the first is accurate. Again this is a borderline case, but since it can be implied by the other information that is included already, I would recommend just showing it.

11) The other colts gawked with mouths open. You could maybe argue about gawking but this seems to pass both tests pretty easily to me.

12) The ball traveled a long way. We said above that this can be inferred from 13, so we expect this to be something that is easy to show. However, it is fairly clear that this passes both tests. Why is this the case? Because it is redundant information when considered with 13. When you present the same information twice, it is simple to infer one instance from the other. So the conclusion is that this is the kind of information that would be just fine to tell, but you probably shouldn't do so in your story since we already have the information covered.

13) It flew into the Everfree Forest until they couldn't see it. This passes the tests pretty obviously.

From this, we see that 1, 3, 6, 8, 9, 11, and 13 are fine to tell. 4, 10, and 12 follow from the rest and 7 can be ignored. Our analysis tells us what needs to be done to show 2 and 5. This creates a baseline for a paragraph that would be telling instead of showing. We would want something that gets across the information.

1) Colt is brown.
2) Colt stares at his hooves, keeps his distance, and stammers when he talks.
3) Colt nods, takes aim (practice swing?), and narrows eyes at the pitcher. (Implies 4)
5) He is normally jittery, easily distracted, and has a short attention span. This changes when he starts batting.
6) Pitcher throws the ball
(7 is omitted)
8) Colt hit the ball
9) Hitting the ball made a loud sound.
11) The other colts gawked with mouths open. (10 is implied)
13) It flew into the Everfree Forest until they couldn't see it. (12 is implied)

This gives us a decent framework for what should be written in this paragraph. The order will probably need to be adjusted, but that is fairly simple to figure out with a bit of thought. Here is my attempt at a section that presents the information in a way that shows what is important instead of telling.

>Two colts galloped into the field, tossing a baseball back and forth. "Come on, dude," they called. "What's taking you so long?"

>Behind them, a brown colt slowly made his way into the field. His gaze never lifted from the ground directly in front of him as he mumbled an answer.

>The other two colts trotted over. "Ever played baseball before?"

>The brown colt jumped back at the question. He opened his mouth as if to speak, but no words came out. Instead, he shuffled away and stared at a nearby bug.

>"Dude, baseball. Ever played?"

>His head popped away from the insect and he looked at the other two colts. "I-I. Ummm. Y-Yes? Sorry, what was the question?"

>"Have you ever played base..." His voice trailed off, as the brown colt's eyes had turned back to the insect. "Here, you bat and I'll pitch." He tossed a bat over.

>The bat's arrival made the brown colt jump away. He mumbled a quick apology and then took the bat into his mouth. His gaze moved to the ball in the pitcher's hoof and stayed there. Even the motion of nearby insects could not sway his focus. He took a quick practice swing, nodded, and narrowed his eyes at the pitcher.

>The pitcher returned the gaze, but immediately broke eye contact. Dude, that's intense, he thought as he began his windup.

>The brown colt's eyes lit up as they followed the motion of the oncoming ball. Setting his hooves, he wrenched his neck around and swung the bat as hard as he could. His effort was rewarded by a loud crack and gasps from the other two colts. The ball flew well into the Everfree Forest and quickly disappeared from view.

This paragraph isn't perfect, but it should be pretty good as far as show versus tell is concerned. I tried to keep the information portrayed fairly close to that in the outline. Ideally, this will help make the process of writing a passage that shows the information easier to understand.

Note: Above, I used numerals. In fics, you should almost always spell them out.

Pacing is how fast the events in your story occur as observed by the reader. If you pace the story too fast, the reader will likely feel overwhelmed by everything that is occurring and will stop reading. If you pace the story too slowly, the reader will likely get bored and stop reading. So pace is important for keeping readers interested.

From the above, you may be wondering what the "correct" pace is. Pace should vary according to the mood and the events that are occurring in the story. If there is an action packed scene such as a battle or a chase, then you want the pace to be faster than a more emotional scene, like two ponies watching stars or confessing feelings for each other.

Pacing can be controlled by the lengths of sentences (shorter sentences -> faster pace), the amount of detail you include (more detail -> slower pace), and the voice you use (passive voice -> slower pace).

As mentioned above, telling will tend to have a faster pace than showing, so if the problem is too quick a pace, you can often fix it by focusing on showing instead of telling.
>> No. 89503
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Some Information on Passive Voice versus Active Voice. I posted this first so that I can link to it in the upcoming two reviews I'm about to post.

Is Passive Voice Always Wrong?

Passive voice may not always be wrong, but it’s often a poor way to express yourself. Once you’re able to identify the difference between passive voice and active voice, then you can actively break the rule. Until you have a good enough grasp on the rules however, it’s better to stick with active voice as much as possible. Active voice sentences tend to be much shorter than passive voice sentences and can be used to tighten up your writing. Your writing needs to be clear and concise if you want to keep your readers interested enough to read your story, lest you become borderline monotonous and sometimes even purple.

So what’s Passive Voice?

In an active sentence, the subject is doing the action. In a passive voice, the target of the action becomes the subject instead. Here’s an example of an active sentence: “Kim loves Kinsley.” Kim is the subject, and she is doing the action. She loves Amy, the object of the sentence. The passive voice example is: “Kinsley is loved by Kim.” The subject of the sentence becomes Kinsley, but she isn't doing anything. Rather, she is just the recipient of Kim's love. The focus of the sentence has changed from Kim to Kinsley.

Active Voice vs. Passive Voice:

Passive voice sentences tend to be wordier and on occasion, can be confusing. They’re not wrong per se, but they can sound awkward. Passive voice can be used correctly when you want to want to stay impersonal, you don’t know who is doing the action, or you want to focus more on the action instead of the subject.
Passive voice can also be helpful if you want to create a sense of mystery in your sentence, which is also a reason that it's not usually a good choice when you're writing nonfiction and you want your writing to be clear. But since we’re writing fan fiction here, that point is moot.

Here’s an example for you. If you were writing a mystery novel and there was a scene where cookies were stolen, passive voice makes more sense. Which sentence makes more sense, “The cookies were stolen,” or “Somebody stole the cookies?” In one example, the focus is on the cookies. In the other example, the focus is on the unknown somebody. It may not be a noticeable difference but it matters.

Passive voice is also used when the focus is on the action. It is not important or not known, however, who or what is performing the action. Let’s say that your computer was stolen. Would you say, “My computer was stolen” or “Someone stole my computer?” In this case, since the subject is unknown, the first sentence sounds less awkward to the ear.

How Can You Find Passive Voice?

A good way to find the passive voice is to focus on what the verb is doing. In active voice, the verb usually is in its “verbed” form. In passive voice, the verb is usually “was verbing.” Sometimes “to be” verbs can also be passive as well, so it’s important to be aware of that. Here’s an example:

[Thing receiving action] + [be] + [past participle of verb] + [by] + [thing doing action]

What you want is this:

[Thing doing action] + [verb] + [thing receiving action]

Of course, there are ways to vary your sentence structure without relying on the passive voice. Varying your sentence structure is important but using passive voice sentences will disrupt the flow of your story.

More Active Voice Notes:

Active voice sentences are punchy, direct, and make it clear who’s doing what. Passive voice sentences are vague, confusing and dull. Readers will feel as if something is missing when they read these kind of sentences. In creative fiction, the most common advice is to always write in passive voice. For the most part, this is a good rule of thumb since active voice sentences will have more energy. After all, you want to keep your readers interesting enough to keep turning the page. Since active voice sentences are also less wordy, you cut down on unnecessary words, which is importantly for improving any writing, non-fiction or otherwise.

Use the active voice when you want your writing to be simple, direct, clear and easy to read. If you’re not very confident about your writing, using the active voice can be an easy way to improve a dull or lifeless piece of prose. However, don’t make the mistake of thinking that you always need to use the active voice. Sometimes, it’s perfectly appropriate to phrase a sentence in the passive voice: just be aware that you’re doing this, and make sure you know why. Yet another example, using the passive voice can be an excellent way to avoid assigning responsibility for a job or problem.
>> No. 89504
Dubs, you might want to include this in the sheet of copypasta... just saying or in a gdoc and place the link there, if it's too much.

>did I ninja?
>> No. 89505
File 133114429923.png - (210.53KB , 500x375 , peterlyra.png )
This review is for Icarus, written by Tamar. Hope you enjoy!

Hello there, this is your reviewer, Dublio. On the first pass, we rooted out most of the mechanical issues and fixed the rest with the second.

However, there are still a few issues that remain. Voila!

Your biggest problem is the showing/telling issues. The biggest factor that contributes to this is your overuse of adverbs. I’ll list a huge example on the bottom that can help with this, but for now, let’s talk about adverbs. Instead of showing us how they feel, you write adverbs instead. Here is a good article I found concerning it.


The basic jist of it is that while adverbs are not against the rules of the English language, they usually only help supply weak verbs. If there are better alternatives, why not just use them instead?

>Example: She asked quietly

Why not use whispered instead?

That being said, dialogue is usually best if you stick with said, whispered, or shouted. The way a character sounds or the way they feel can be determined by context via body language and word choice. If you have to rely on adverbs, your writing will sound dry and telling.

Tell me, what do you feel when you read this sentence?

> “What’s taking so long?” she said, with impatience in her voice.

> “She’s gone,” she noted, with a hint of sadness in her voice.

> Rainbow angrily swung her legs out of the bed.

> Rainbow suppressed a gulp of nervousness.

There are a few problems here. For one, saying “in her voice” is redundant. Two, saying “with ‘insert emotion here’” or adding an adverb to their verb is telling. Don’t forget that the only reason we use dialogue tags is to tell who the speaker is. You don’t always have to use “he said, she said.” You can also do this with action tags. The entire point is for context. So, if you want to make us feel, you have to imply the way they feel by the way they talk, their body language, and their facial expressions. And I don’t mean that you should tell me with dry writing.

What is dry writing? Here’s an example from Escher’s Hints.

>Dry: “While Twilight read, the sun slowly set. The stars came out and her candle burned down.”

>Sensory: “Twilight sat unmoving, absorbed in her book while the sky outside turned to orange, then red, and faded to purple. The stars peeked out, first a few, then dozens, then their uncountable thousands, while the steady flame of her candle burned it down to a stub.”

Which would you rather read about? If you really want to tighten up your writing, go through and look for verbs that end in –ly and replace as many as you can. Otherwise, that’s why you get the reader response of “everything sounds like a laundry list of actions.”

Moving on, you have a few sentences where you say something like:

>Suddenly, subject verbed.

To be grammatically correct, there must be a period after the “suddenly.” Of course, I think it’s just a filler word. Why not just have the actions instead? It’s like telling us ahead of time to watch out, something’s going to happen. I find it better to just delete that “Suddenly” and find a better word to replace it, but that’s just my opinion.
Beware of overusing the ellipsis in dialogue. Many novice writers use ellipsis to indicate pauses, but overusing them tends to annoy the reader, lessen the impact and slow the pacing. It’s also hard to enjoy the story when you constantly pause. Plus, when you really need the emotional impact of a pause, it’s too long since the reader is already tired of seeing them everywhere. As for ellipsis in narrative, it’s often encouraged. Although you can break the rule on occasion, it’s usually a better idea to reword your sentence unless you really need the impact.

You also have occasional bouts of passive voice. The other review I was doing had the same problem as well as showing/telling issues. Instead of posting it in this post and making it excessive long, I made it into separate posts and just linked it here instead. I made a new post because I wanted to have that information visible for the next three months (or until the thread 404s).

>>89503 <-- Active Voice vs. Passive Voice
>>89502 <-- CartoonGeld’s Showing/Telling Examples

Thank you for giving me the honor of reviewing your story. I hope these notes are of good use to you. And that's all I have for you. :D
>> No. 89506
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Hello there and welcome to the Training Grounds. This is your reviewer, Dublio. This review is for "The Everfire" by Soundslikeponies. I’m going to do my best to help you despite the fact that I’m inexperienced, but hopefully my notes will be of some use regardless of experience. I’ve listed many of the exact examples, errors, and inconsistency in-doc, but here are a few general notes about your story as well as notes on how to fix them. Without further ado, here we go!


You have major showing vs. telling issues. This entire story was pretty much mostly telling, so I felt emotional distance while reading it. The emotional moments just felt flat to me, and the whole encounter with Celestia was kinda disappointing to me. She seemed out of character because she seemed angry even though she was forced to do what she did. I say “seemed” because you mostly told me she was angry or used dry writing. What is dry writing? That will be mentioned at the end of the post in an in-depth example.

The ending was supposed to be a climactic moment where Twilight makes a decision between her friend and her loyalty to Celestia, but for some reason, I feel nothing. Which is a shame because the story has massive potential, but it felt slowed down with all of the sentences telling me things I already knew.

If you want us to feel for your character, you can't simply tell us how he feels. Here's a video that spoofs this concept:


Keep in mind that many things can be implied from dialogue. Telling the reader obvious things constantly is not only redundant and tedious, it makes your reader feel stupid, which makes them not care and thusly back out of the page.

Sometimes, there’s too much going on in your sentence at once. Be aware that the conjunction “and” normally implies that they are being done at the same time, so having your character do three things that can’t possibly be done at the same time is rather unbelievable. I noticed that for the first half of your story, you like to use this sentence structure.

Subject verbed, verbing and verbing.

You also tend to overuse past participles, making many of your sentences repetitive. Even worse, it’s mostly telling so all of it is dry. Because of the dry writing, I feel nothing; I don’t feel engaged by the story. This is bad especially when the scenes are supposed to emotionally impact the reader yet it doesn’t because I feel like I’m being told everything. In addition to that, you’re also redundant by telling us something obvious, something already implied from the context. I can’t emphasize how much redundancy, telling, and informing the reader of the obvious as if they were too stupid is in your writing.

There’s also a problem with your dialogue attribution tags. They sound like this.

> “Hold it right there!” she shouted, glaring at the intruder.

Almost every single instance is “Subject speaking verb, past participle object.” Like mentioned above, same sentence structures. Don’t forget that you can use action tags by themselves. Dialogue tags are only used to identify the speaker. Do you see the other problem in that sentence? It doesn’t tell you who “she” is. So either they implied who it was in an earlier sentence, or you’re going to have some confused readers, thus deleting the entire point of having a dialogue tag in the first place.

You also have a bunch of awkward sounding sentences, sometimes running longer than it sound. It makes your confusing on occasional as well as containing excessive amounts of filler words. Passive voice also pervades a lot of your writings. I’ll mention a blurb on how to help with that on the bottom of this post.

There’s also the LUS (Lavender Unicorn Syndrome) thing, but you already know what that is, so I won’t mention it. If someone wants to learn what that is, you can find it in the Training Ground Queue doc under the “Copy-Paste” tab.

Your comma use is misused in several places. Here’s a helpful guide that can help you.


I’ve noticed passive voice crop up in your story quite a bit, so have some notes on Passive Voice vs. Active Voice. There is really no reason for me to post this in the thread instead of inside the document, but perhaps someone else will read through old threads and find this someday. If so, I might have helped someone. If not, no harm done, right? I’m well-aware I already posted this in the last review, but I figured people only read their own reviews, so they wouldn’t see this anyway.

The review was getting too long, but basically, look at the below post for how to improve showing/telling issues as well as active voice vs. passive voice.

>>89503 <-- Active Voice vs. Passive Voice
>>89502 <-- CartoonGeld’s Showing/Telling Examples


Since I’m unable to express myself completely, have some wise words of wisdom from Vanner and Minty. I believe they both apply to this story, but even not, it’s still some pretty wise pieces of wisdom. Who knows, might be helpful.

Vanner’s Advice:

Simple Sentence Structures: Right now, all your sentences "tell" rather than "show" and they're all rather boring. Straight from Escher's hints:

Dry: “While Twilight read, the sun slowly set. The stars came out and her candle burned down.”

Sensory: “Twilight sat unmoving, absorbed in her book while the sky outside turned to orange, then red, and faded to purple. The stars peeked out, first a few, then dozens, then their uncountable thousands, while the steady flame of her candle burned it down to a stub.”

That's pretty much what you're aiming for. Looking at your sentence structures, it looks like most of your writing is dry.

Minty’s Advice:

"Dialogue is just fine, there's no real need to change the story at all in that way, its actions that leave something to be desired. Turning, asking, smiling, hugging, crying, thinking, all of these and more are actions that are just literally being told to me, word by word. The story is cute and has a simple charm to it but it’s this that holds the story back, try to go into more detail with their actions, utilize body language, insert subtle hints and movements, use figurative language or metaphor, there's plenty of ways to make actions more visceral instead of just explicitly telling me."


If you’d like to know more, simply tell me when you acknowledge the review or talk to me in the IRC and I’ll go attain more examples of how to fix your writing. For more examples of how to beat showing vs. telling, read my review of Icarus (probably posted right before this review). That being said, you may want to get a more experienced reviewer to look at your story before you try to submit it to EqD (If that’s your goal).
>> No. 89535
Okay, sure. You need to turn on comments, and then I'll go through part by part.
>> No. 89550
Whoopsies. There you go.
>> No. 89582
File 133115923704.jpg - (28.68KB , 499x572 , Applebloom (3).jpg )
Lookit Applebloom. She's all ready to write and everything.

Thanks so much for your effort, Dublio. Lots of work went in to that review that other people in this thread won't be able to see; but it was a pretty massive effort!

I will go through soon and check it out for passive voice, and showing versus telling. When I've done that I'll resubmit to the TTG.
>> No. 89614
File 133116229734.png - (425.71KB , 960x540 , fsnohurt.png )

Hey, I_Post_Ponies, just wanna make sure you know I'm still working on the review; my schedule decided to become busy all at once. There will be 200+ comments and other feedback in the Word doc I have once I'm done, so I hope the fic return time isn't a majorly sensitive matter. I'm projecting Friday at the latest as to the completion date.
>> No. 89642
File 133116775478.png - (31.42KB , 572x324 , zero-punctuation1.png )
Am I the only person here who is just so sick and tired of seeing 95% of all reviewers on /fic/ start off, and press their review on, showing vs. telling? Not everyone gets it right anyway, and even if you think you always do, you don't.

>> No. 89647
The fact that someone makes problems in their own stories has little to do with whether or not they can point out those problems with other people's stories. Seriously, everyone is only human. And I've yet to see a review in this thread that wasn't helpful and didn't cover multiple issues.
>> No. 89649
Since you're bringing it up anyway, I'll just say -

If you think about it, that pithy little saying doesn't really explain squat anyway. I mean, if someone understood the concept, they would have just done that in the first place.

It needs more explanation in order to be effective.
In fact, the phrase itself is something like a crutch, if you think about it.

I think it should be avoided entirely. Instead, maybe something like "Try to lead the reader through the scene with vivid descriptions," or something.

It's important, so I'll say it again:
if someone is consistently making a mistake, it's because they don't understand something. Instead of trying to correct the mistakes, try to correct the misunderstanding.
>> No. 89652
Well, I think that it's far from enough to just go "Passive voice" or "Telly" over and over again in a google doc. You have to detail what exactly the issue is.

I've tried (not saying I've succeeded, but I've tried) here and on fimfiction to be specific as to how I would do things differently.

So, I'll say: "This tells me X but it doesn't show me X." I'll read something like:
>Pinkie Pie was having yet another terrible day. She had another morning in which she woke up with bad dreams still bugging her from the night before.

Then I'll say: "I would write something like:"
>Pinkie Pie threw the blanket off of her, a cold sweat dripping down her sides. She took a deep breath, forcing all of those horrible sensations of creaking walls and seeping fog out of her mind. She glanced over at the calender. What an awful way to start my day.

On the other hoof, the more detailed I am, the worse I feel during the reviewing process and the less fun the whole thing is-- which might explain part of why I'm like suicidally depressed right now.
>> No. 89655

This is helpful, and you should feel helpful.
I wonder if you could use that same approach with something I've had trouble with, and never really seemed to get the hang of. I know "passive voice" isn't to be used (except in special cases), but for the life of me, I don't realize when I start using it in a story. For all I know, I've used it in the previous sentences.

I've read the guides, and know the theory, but there seems to be a disconnect in actually identifying it when I write. Any advice to clear things up?
>> No. 89656
File 133117010750.png - (276.88KB , 456x417 , 1325743193032.png )
Why are you posting something that has been already posted in this thread just a few posts above?
>> No. 89657
Why isn't it that people don't read threads...

Show vs Tell

Passive Voice

Dunno if they are correct, but it's a start.
>> No. 89658
Sorry. I didn't see that.
>> No. 89659

People do read the thread. I read that post. Like I said, I know what passive voice is "in theory", but it seems to be one of the biggest mistakes I keep making in what I write.

To clarify, I was asking if anyone had any suggestions that they use to identify when they are using it in their own writing. Something that I could, perhaps, also use.
>> No. 89660
Personally, I've found that falling into the passive voice is sort of like making a spelling error or writing the wrong name in a scene. There's no magic way to keep yourself from doing it. You just have to go back and proofread yourself. That's it.

I would recommend about proofreading yourself:
1) Look at the story in a different format. Try a different computer. Try html instead of a doc.
2) Take a while doing something else (cleaning, watching dishes, petting your dog, etc) before you look back at the story.
3) Ideally, whenever you jot down every two paragraphs or so of something, you look back and do a sort of insta-proofread.
4) Do something like cut into the middle of the scene and then just read from there.

There's no easy way. Again, watching out for PV and 'show, don't tell' is just trial and error. I think.

>Dammit, typing that has made me even more depressed.
>> No. 89663
Dude, it's just reviewing, people will get it wrong and telling them that they are doing it wrong benefits them. Nothing to get depressed about.

Good rule of thumb? If you are using auxiliary verbs, chances are that you are writing in the passive voice.

>I had been to the park.
Had is an auxiliary verb.

>I went to the park
No auxiliary verb.

There. That will solve 80% of all the passive voice problems, while the other 20% is a world of madness where only linguist dare tread.
>> No. 89665
When you get reviewed, I'd try to be specific about what it is you'd like to be looked at the most and what you'd like the reviewer to do.

Like I said in: >>89652 , a reviewer will do line-by-line examples of what to say versus what the story actually says in order to be clear... if you ask him or her to do that.
>> No. 89666
*blink blink*
Holy crap, that makes so much sense now. Thank you. For real, thank you!

I'm sorry I asked something that made you depressed. I didn't mean to. Why do you get so down when you review, anyway?
>> No. 89687
> Cryptic synopsis
> ~50k words
> mary sue alicorn

Yeah, I see why so many reviewers passed on this. Sucks to be them; this is a real diamond in-the-rough. You wasted 50kwords of my time quite nicely, and I was honestly disappointed to reach the end.

That's not to say it's up to snuff, though. Your mechanics need work, not because they got in the way of me enjoying the story, but because there are shallow readers out there who honestly take issue with errors like

>"Fail!" He exclaimed.

That gives you option A: revise for prose quality and minor issues with Blackguard (which I'll get to). If you do this, and you're able to half-ass an end, you'll manage to write a mediocre fic.

You should aim higher. I see you like Past Sins. You have the seeds of something greater here.

Option B: step back and reexamine the overall structure from the fundamentals. With some significant cuts, these 12 chapters will make for a hell of an opening arc.

Anyway, the big problems are:
- Lavender Unicorn Syndrome
- mechanical errors punctuating dialogue.
- abstruse prose
- Blackguard's physical appearance (and only her appearance)
- a third-person omniscient narrator hell-bent on ruining the story

These chapters form an arc leading to the first catastrophe: Twilight learns that Luna is not above torturing a prisoner nor rewriting the past. This throws her loyalty to Luna into doubt. Ideally, the reader would be reeling in shock at this point.

He's not. You spend so much time letting the reader get comfortable with Blackguard, the idea that Luna is not a Nice Pony is rather ho-hum-no-duh, and so what should be the most impactful scenes are actually kinda boring.

I suggest deferring the BG-Trixie scenes to later in the story, if not cutting them altogether. Imagine the effect: Blackguard shows up in Canterlot, accuses L&C of stealing her kingdom, then she disappears into the fog of war for a while. She doesn't reappear until all of a sudden she's ordering Twilight's death and all-out fighting with Luna and all that.

And then Trixie stands in that truth circle and tells the truth. Chilling.

The other major cut is Luna and Blackguard's perspective. Taking the spotlight from them gives the reader freedom to see both as villains, and focus on how terrifying and destructive an alicorn-fight is from mortals' perspective.

That will leave some open space in the story, which I suggest filling with the Elements of Harmony, because MLP:FiM epics without a solid EoH thread are like oatmeal cookies without a sweet stout porter (beercookies!) -- sure, you can, but why would you want to?

In particular, I'm leaning towards somepony noticing that the history isn't quite right, hinting that Luna is only telling a half-truth. I nominate Fluttershy or Pinkie.

From that point, well, it depends how you plan to wrap up the story. It's pretty clear that mortal ponies will have to reaffirm their choice of rulers. Personally, I lean towards Trixie's defection as the final moment of story - past then it's all over but the fireworks. You may choose otherwise, of course.

My guess is that you're a little stuck since you've tagged it "on hiatus" just at the end of a story arc. Now's the perfect time to plan the ending if you haven't already. I'd love to brainstorm with you live on that. I'm around 4-7ish Pacific Time, 7-9 Eastern.


Lesser issues:

Blackguard isn't even close to a Mary Sue except for her physical appearance. You still should fix it since readers really are that shallow. Lose the chains and the emo mane-do.

Unrelated, but my muse needs to say, if she's originally the alicorn of nothing, shouldn't she have a blank cutie mark?

The way to improve your prose is a line-by-line review of pain. This style of reviewing is why we know that gDocs crashes somewhere around 400 comments. I'd refer you to Cassius but 1) he's in semiretirement 2) your fic is five times longer than his limit. It's a lot of work to do, but if I like your plan, you'll have me as an editor.

Dialog is punctuated according to rules that are only a short Google away. I'll answer questions and assign exercises if you like via e-mail. Once you have the rules fairly well down, I'm willing to proofread, but right now it would be a losing battle.

Anyway, awesome fic with a lot of potential. I'd love to work with you further.
[email protected]
>> No. 89744
Review acknowledged.

Fair points, mostly. I'm not surprised, since I essentially lost the battle against the clock and had to settle for only editing much of it instead of revising. I'm quite heartened that you didn't identify any show/tell issues.

A few thing I would dispute, if you'll indulge me...

From the in-doc comments:

>Dayum. Slalomed? I actually had to look this up.
Really? I wasn't even trying with fancy language in this fic. I didn't think that was a rare word. It comes up a lot in the Winter Olympics. IMO, a perfect example of why a writer shouldn't be afraid to send a reader to the dictionary if it's just the right word for the situation. Hope you didn't mind!

>Consider she usually does her tricks in the empty skies, I hardly think this is a valid argument.
Aerobatic pilots often try to do a lot of low-altitude maneuvers, but are restricted by what obstacles happen to be around: buildings, trees, hills, etc. I'd think Dash would be happen to have a completely featureless place to practice where that's not an issue. The water would also make for a much softer landing if necessary.

>Rarity not knowing sea-sickness would be odd to say the least, considering she was shown to have ridden an airship before, which by all accounts, are pretty similar to a sea-bound one.
There's no canon example of her having been on a ship before, so I have know reason to expect she'd know anything about it. She has been in a balloon, train, and carriage without motion sickness, but ships are different. There are six degrees of freedom: roll, pitch, yaw, surge, sway, and heave. Heave (aptly enough) is the one that gets you. Airships can heave, but it's not common, rhythmic, or persistent. That's why many people can become seasick who don't otherwise get motion sick, myself included. On a ship, I may get slightly queasy for the first couple of hours, while cars, airplanes, and even roller coasters don't bother me.

>Sea-sickness does not work that way. [,,,] A better time to have Rarity sea-sick would be as the ship started on its journey.
What's your specific objection? The timing, the symptoms, ...? Keep in mind that I'm a Navy guy, and the orientation briefing we get every time before going to sea includes detailed info on seasickness and its causes, treatment, and symptoms. I don't see anything wrong here... the symptoms are accurate, and you can have delayed onset, particularly if your mind's occupied. That's one of the first things we're told to try: find something to keep you busy.

>Seems like a weak trigger for Rarity to explode actually.
Cumulative effects. Straw that broke the camel's back.

And from the post:

>Second was you trying to cram everypony into the fic.
I know. It was a requirement of the prompt, and I lost the battle with the clock to get more of everyone's activities in. This'll be fleshed out better in rewrite.

>For Twilight, it is rather unlike her to go full-on nerd mode and shoot million-dollar words at every occasion. Amusing as it might be, it is not her. Think of her like this instead; she's an average American teen who happened to be very well read and somewhat of an introvert. She would not go out of her way to find books on 'life cycles of fungi' or some such, especially on a vacation no less.
I wouldn't necessarily call this OOC, but maybe exaggerating her personality too much. I do take issue with the position that Twi's a relatively normal teen that just happens to be a little on the bookish side. She definitely comes across in canon as unusually smart, has interjected big(-ish) words, and has put other characters off through her behavior while she remains oblivious to the effect she's having. I submit the following examples that immediately occur to me:
- At the end of "May the Best Pet Win," Dash has described Tank's personality quite completely, and Twi feels the need to sum it up by helpfully offering "tenacity," which Dash doesn't understand.
- In "Dress for Success," Twilight could have just given Rarity a picture of the proper star patterns to use, but felt it necessary to explain it all to her at length, when she knew that Rarity was pressed for time.
- In "Feeling Pinkie Keen," she initiates an in-depth study of Pinkie Sense, including hooking her subject to several electronic devices. That self-directed investigation alone puts her past "slightly bookish normal kid" and firmly into nerd territory.
- In "Luna Eclipsed," Twi is genuinely exasperated that nobody recognizes her costume, even going so far as to think they'd all be impressed with her knowledge of the correct number of bells on the hat.
- In "Lesson Zero," Twi is so devoted to the letter of the law in her studies that she completely disrupts her friends' lives, among others.

Maybe I'm missing something, but I think canon pretty easily paints her as a brain that occasionally loses sight of how she comes across to her friends. I will endeavor to make sure I don't take it to hyperbole levels, however.

As for Rarity - I'll have to think about her. IMO, she has the most complex personality, and that's why I like her best, but I've never used her in more than a minor role before.

Thank you much for your time and attention, Grif. I agree with many of your bigger points. This'll go in the revision pile. *Tosses onto depressingly teetering stack*
>> No. 89750
>I had been to the park.
Um... This isn't passive voice. It's past perfect tense.

Passive voice is when the person or thing actually performing the action becomes the object of the sentence instead of the subject.

X did Y.

Y was done by X.
Passive. Y is the subject of the sentence, but X is the source of the action. Red flags are the use of "was" or "were" as auxiliary verbs and use of "by" to indicate what/who performed the action.
>> No. 89752
File 133118228796.png - (203.26KB , 442x531 , Happy Twi.png )
>Try to lead the reader through the scene with vivid descriptions

Me: Hey, hey! That purple prose we ordered is here!
Me: Oh shit, Spot, what are you doing?
(Dog charges into the purple prose)
Me: Shit, now I need to Clorox my dog.

In all seriousness though, new authors would take that to an extreme and write prose so purple, I wouldn't be able to read it in bed for fear of dropping it and forever staining my sheets.
>> No. 89754
Eh. Purple means different things to different people. It's all relative. By all means, don't dwell on long descriptions of unimportant things, but I don't have the least bit of trepidation in making a reader divine the meaning of a big word from context, or even sending him to the dictionary. Disclaimer: make sure big words are chosen for precision of meaning and not just for the sake of having big words.
>> No. 89760
I am obligated to acquiesce with your observation.
>> No. 89763
File 133118366868.png - (103.88KB , 600x600 , twiblush.png )

Just as clarification: the pluperfect can still be used either in the active or passive voice, but "by" will typically tip off whether the subject of the sentence receives the action (and thereby becomes passive).

Sorry for budging in; I just wanted to make sure that nothing would be misconstrued about the original post.
>> No. 89765
>Hope you didn't mind!
I don't mind if a fic sends me running to a dictionary, rest assured. (So long it doesn't do that every third sentence. Then I call BS.) It is not a common word used here and I don't follow winter sports/Winter Olympics to be familiar with its usage. You can put it down to cultural differences.

>There's no canon example of her having been on a ship before,
True, but having her not knowing the word is rather awkward in my mind. Among the mane six, she'd probably the most well-travelled of them all. Not knowing the meaning, perhaps, is more in keeping of her character. (Meaning, she has heard of it, she probably knows what it does, but only on a purely theoretical basis. So Twilight forcefully reminding her of it would actually be funny now.)

>What's your specific objection?
Timing rather. It would seem odd for Rarity not to notice the symptoms before. Or at least notice some vague nausea or the sort. Granted, I have not experienced sea-sickness myself, but I'm looking it from a more... medical point of view as it were. (Seasickness, here take this hyoscine and make sure to sleep it off.) Take my opinion on this with a pinch of salt, since you do seem to know what you're writing about there.

>Cumulative effects.
I can tell. But the scene would have more punch if it was something big. (Bear in mind I already felt Twilight's slights to her to be a little forced, so that may have coloured my opinion.) I'd submit the scene at Best Night Ever as a classic example of Rarity exploding. She literally had a cake planted on her face before she finally raged on Blueblood. Otherwise, signs point to her suffering in silence until Blueblood does something equally stupid.

>I wouldn't necessarily call this OOC, but maybe exaggerating her personality too much.
>She definitely comes across in canon as unusually smart, has interjected big(-ish) words,
Fair point, though you're definitely wavering on hyperbole in your depiction of her, so to speak. I'm not saying she wouldn't be nerdy enough to pick up a book on Life Cycles of Mollusca or something equally dry during a vacation, but rather, she would only do so if it really interests her enough/catches her interest. Notice that in all the examples you pointed out, she only does so when she was carried away in the moment. Otherwise, she talks and speaks like an average intelligent teen. (It helps that I resemble TS in many ways IRL.)

I'm glad I was of some use.
>> No. 89767
Thank-you for the review. I actually put “Time” on hiatus essentially as a favor to whoever reviewed it; I didn’t want the reviewer to have to play catch-up as I kept posting 8-10 page chapters.

Reviewers of the fics I’ve been posting while waiting have made me aware of my quotation problem. That’s going to be one heck of a chore to fix, but I’ve already started working on it, as well as trying to make the grammar a little more active.

Overall, I’m going with your option “B.”

“Lavender unicorn syndrome.” New to this one, but I think I can put together what it is. Yeah, there’s nothing wrong with just saying “Twilight,” is there? I’ll work on that.

Hmm. As for cutting out the Blackguard-Trixie scenes, I can see your point there. I like them a lot, though…I guess I’ll have to find a way to work them in later.

As for the lesser issue:

…aw, but I *like* Blackguard’s appearance. Is it really costing me many points? Admittedly it’s a hold-over from an earlier version of her character, which was supposed to be this kind of gleefully evil walking cliché, rather than the fairly genre-savvy version we have now.

As for her cutie mark – I don’t like the idea of a pony not having a cutie mark, even a pony that’s supposed to be the goddess of entropy. So, the crescents.
>> No. 89776

Anon from >>89666 here.

I'm glad there are so many here that know about this, because I'm still trying to get it down. I know. I know. Go read the 'guide'. I did. I read a few of them, but I'm still struggling a bit with identifying where passive voice is in my own writing. I mean, the obvious examples aren't really something that people use. It's always the ones where the sentence sounds totally fine, until it's pointed out that there's an alternative.

Also, I wonder if some of the reviewers really know what passive voice is. If >>89663 is a reviewer, then there may be people out there giving erroneous feedback. Or maybe he just got confused, which is understandable.

It seems that Active vs Passive voice is a fairly big mistake that reviewers are finding here. It makes me wonder if writers actually ARE making so many mistakes with it, or if there is a general misconception about this topic by everyone involved (reviewers included).

Is it possible that a couple reviewers just got carried away in the wrong direction?
>> No. 89798
Reviewers are humans. Authors and lurkers should point out any mistakes they see so that we can all learn. Authors should also seek out multiple reviews, read different guides, do their own research with Google and generally use their initiative when regarding reviews.

A really dull way to write fiction is to use passive voice too much. What it does is that it makes everything overlong and makes it so that all urgency or immediacy is stripped from the story. All of these extra words cause the reader to become bored and also the pacing is killed by them (the extra words).

What I am saying is not that you should always avoid passive voice, but that you should say as much as you can in as few words as you can.

Case in point, the above paragraphs. Hideous passive voice.

>The ball was kicked by the boy
is longer than
>The boy kicked the ball
without necessarily imparting more meaning (although it could do that in some contexts).

As with Lavender Unicorn Syndrome, passive voice has its specific uses, and the important thing is just to think about how you're going to write something because presentation is just as important as content. Sometimes, passive voice can help to create a specific atmosphere, but oftentimes, as with LUS, it's just something authors throw in without really considering why.
>> No. 89809
File 133119891882.jpg - (18.12KB , 525x287 , humor me with this.jpg )

I don't think you'll know just how glad I am that it was YOU who replied to me.

There are so many reviewers that seem to miss the point of *why* you shouldn't use passive voice. They just keep parroting that "it's a rule". But you put it as well as anyone could. "Use as few words as possible to tell your story." Once you understand that, it's almost a side effect that you're using Active voice.

I understand now, and my worries are gone. Thank you, my friend.
>> No. 89818
File 133120857499.png - (381.71KB , 587x539 , Screen shot 2011-12-03 at 3_53 PM 1.png )
Ain't even that, so much. Here's the real answer:

Passive voice is just more layers of detachment and separation between the reader, and the experience. It ain't even the number of words, it's the directness.

"After my face contorted in rage, my hoof thrust upward, and it connected with the chin of the pony who had caused my aforementioned facial expression. The wall was not his final resting place; the floor provided that opportunity."

"I snarled and kicked the jerk in the head. He hit the wall, and tried to stay up. He failed. He went down."

Kind of exaggerated in each direction, but that's the difference between real passive and indirect, and real active and direct. You don't have to be Hemingway (hoofingway?) but you do HAVE to know when you're being indirect and evasive.
>> No. 89820

Thanks for the clarification. The last thing I want is a reader to get distracted from the fic by a plot point. I'll make that clearer in the story with a little intro to set the scene - the problem might have been throwing readers into the deep end, but it shouldn't take much to correct that.

Great! I'll do what I can to get that potential out into the open.

Well, you enjoy your "time off" now. Odds are I'll be slow in completing this thing anyway, but either way I'll definitely come back for a second opinion.
>> No. 89822
File 133121025535.png - (58.85KB , 255x237 , Screen shot 2011-11-29 at 2_56 PM.png )
Actually, let me unpack that first one. Here's exactly what is so indirect about it:

>After my face contorted in rage,
Start right off with a time reference that immediately forces us to look for what happened AFTER this expression. Scan ahead to look for it! Apparently the contortion isn't what we're supposed to be reading right now- even the author has already moved on!

>my hoof thrust upward,
Passive means this could be read as 'my hoof WAS thrust upward (by some unspecified thing). What could be causing this? Look away from the hoof, and try to figure out what the context is. Could be worse like 'my hoof was borne upward on' or some horrible thing like that.

>and it connected with
Fancy way to say 'I hit'. 'It' is impersonal, 'connected' is out of place, 'with' is peculiar as the real action going on is more like 'against'.

>the chin of the pony who had caused my aforementioned facial expression.
Rather than tying the action to the jerk pony, suddenly we're singling out his chin, and then immediately we try to identify him further by skipping back a few sentences, tying him to the rage-contortion, mentioning THAT we're mentioning it, and referring to the look of rage only by the class of thing that it is! 'facial expression'.

>The wall was not his final resting place;
Refers to what's happening only by inference and spelling out what ISN'T happening. Great way of being real passive- sayin' by not sayin'.

>the floor provided that opportunity.
Again with the intentionally inappropriate tone with 'provided', more friendly words for an unfriendly conflict- and again, 'that opportunity' demands the reader skip back a sentence to connect it with 'final resting place'.

THIS is mega-passive, because it's mega-indirect. I thought I should spell out just how indirect it was so people could see, in case they only sensed how awful it was without understandin' the details of why. It's structured specifically to be a tangle of indirectness on every level, including the simple mechanical level of makin' sentences refer back and forth to adjacent sentences, and even gettin' 'meta' by use of words like 'aforementioned' which brings narrative voice in at exactly the wrong moment.

Don't write like this :)
>> No. 89827
File 133121334678.jpg - (61.74KB , 615x355 , Princess Regent.jpg )

Thank you for the review. I think that's the longest I've ever been in that queue. Now I sympathize with the poor devils whose fics sat in there for longer than mine! :)

It's a long review, and I don't want to hijack this thread addressing each point at a time, so I'll get straight to the more pressing issues you came up with.

Celestia definitely needs some work. I'd suspected it for a while, because she is one nightmare of a character to try and get right. The naivety thing was deliberate - my idea was that this is Celestia before she has her thousand years of wisdom to draw on, so she's going to be good to the point of naivety at times.

You fell asleep during that chapter? Ouch. I didn't know my writing could have soporific qualities, so that segment is definitely going to get a serious rewrite. I was trying too hard to inject some Milieu from the MICE quotient into it, but it clearly isn't working.

I think I'll expand on the Clover scene to make those last 3-4 points more sensible. I could give Pansy her own scene, and expand on the Platinum scenes. I'm a bit disappointed with your reception of her, though. Perhaps her outrage speech should be toned down to just general grieving.

Librarian will stay the same. I'm not sure how to respond to your charge against Venusia, though. Perhaps I could cut down on the scenery description and expand the dialogue to give both her and Celestia more characterization, because I wanted Venusia to come across as an "act-first-ask-questions-later" sort with a bullying streak, not as a Joker copy.

I think I'll extend Clover's investigations to make sure that each point during the exposition dump at the end is catered for. I'll also add in a scene about her time in the mountains, because I originally was just going to leave it as a mystery. Now you've pointed it out, I think I could use it more constructively.

Overall, I'm very satisfied with the review. One or two points seem a bit off ("glisten" has cheery connotations now? Since when?), but you've helped me tremendously for the most part. Thanks again!
>> No. 89836
File 133121999537.jpg - (177.82KB , 840x473 , Icarus Cover Art.jpg )
Title - Icarus
Name - Tamar
Email - [email protected]
Tags - Adventure

Synopsis - It is the beginning of summer, and for Twilight it seems as if nothing could ruin her day off with her friends.
Then, without warning, Equestria is enveloped in a mysterious thick fog. Rainbow Dash races to Cloudsdale to find the source of the problem, leaving her friends worrying for her safety and struggling to cope in Ponyville.
Nothing can prepare Rainbow for what she finds in Cloudsdale, and things go from bad to worse when Twilight receives urgent news from Canterlot about Princess Celestia...

Chapter One:

Chapter Two:

Chapter Three:

Chapter Four:

I'd like to have all chapters reviewed, please.

This has already been extensively worked on with Dublio. See comments: >>89505

What you see is essentially a finished product. Mechanically it should be clean, although it's virtually impossible to get every single little error. What I really would like is for a reviewer to see that it reads smoothly, there's nothing that jars or sounds awkward, and that it is a plausible and enjoyable story.

There are a couple of particular issues I'd like to address:
1. Tags - That is, what tags should it have? I wanted to avoid the Dark tag, because I don't want to put off readers - but it's not fair to not give it a dark tag and then through a load of grimdark at the reader. The same goes for shipping; there is a light shipping undercurrent in the story; it is important for the plot, but again I didn't want to give it a shipping tag because it isn't a "shipfic". In the end though, I would be more willing to give it a shipping tag if I had to, than a dark tag.

2. Description - basically, can you help me write a good description for it to hook readers?

And of course anything, and I mean anything, else that comes to your mind. Hopefully it shouldn't be too much work for any reviewer that chooses it, since most of the hard work has already been done! But it is on last chance with the EQD prereaders (I got impatient a while back ... which is why I'm submitting it for even more reviewing), so I really want to get this right. I've put a lot of effort into writing and extensive rewriting.
>> No. 89837
Should have said, the google docs are open for comments.
>> No. 89839
File 133122097467.png - (191.94KB , 1544x1517 , CursorLeap.png )
Pretty much finished? I'll take a look.

Here's my reviewer statement: http://derpy.me/uQgc1

I'll probably leave you some comments in-doc and then cap it off with a post here later. Let the reviewing begin!
>> No. 89850

Thanks for the review, all points agreed.

This was an attempt to emulate other author's (mostly W E Johns of the Biggles book) writing styles. It obviously hasn't worked (cheers for being honest).

I'm glad you found something to like in the world, so I'll keep the storyline and rewrite without the ridiculousness and exposition.

Keep reviewing!
>> No. 89852
Why has no one posted an update yet?
>> No. 89863
File 133124141622.png - (2.65MB , 1280x720 , 130722621046.png )
Why does anyone do anything?
>> No. 89870
why doesn't* anyone do anything?
>> No. 89871
File 133124378349.jpg - (18.34KB , 381x338 , Update.jpg )
Thread's about to autosage already, wow time sure went fast. Anyhoo, have an update!

Small note: Split wanted me to remind any prospective thread sweepers to also add how far they've gotten when adding fics. That way, we know where to pick off from. Thanks in advance!


Unclaimed: 27
Pending reviews: 13
Reviews not yet seen by the author: 10


StarmanTheta | 2/28/2012 | 1/23/2012 | Musical Shorts | Lucefudu | >>79657
ReviewerInTraining | 3/5/2012 | 1/31/2012 | The Three Souls | Athlon2736 | >>81058
Split Infinitive | 3/5/2012 | 2/10/2012 | Neo-Equestria | herpyderpy | >>83329
Grif | 2/25/2012 | 2/11/2012 | A Star's Golden Chance | The Zephyr | >>83578
Sparky | 3/5/2012 | 2/16/2012 | Azurite Dawn | Tandyman100 | >>84726
Eustatian | 3/5/2012 | 2/19/2012 | Contact: Apple Harvest | Ty500600 | >>85571
Pascoite | 2/26/2012 | | 2/25/2012 | Bones, Diamonds, and Time. | Noclipper | >>86966
Simon o'Sullivan | 2/26/2012 | | 2/26/2012 | The Manly Man Way | GWFan | No TTG Post
Swiper | 3/4/2012 | 3/2/2012 | The Sweetest Gem | The Rarispy | >>88462
Ion-Sturm | 3/6/2012 | 3/5/2012 | protectorate | hobrohazard | >>88930


TimeForKronos | | | | 1/18/2012 | The Equestrian Bloodmoon | Whitestrake | >>78675
Bidoof | | | | 1/21/2012 | Friendships is Mercenaries | Conchshellthegeek7 | >>79295
CheeseDeluxe| | | | 2/1/2012 | Stairway to Equestria | Alexaroth | >>81210
Josh Meihaus | | | | 2/5/2012 | Dark Reality | shadowking97 | >>81992
Seattle_Lite | | | | 2/12/2012 | From Canterlot with Love | Sagebrush | >>83644
Exarona | | | | 2/16/2012 | My Choices: Twisted Tales Through Time | Koolerkid | >>84836
Pascoite | | | | 2/26/2012 | Harmonic Chaos | Kurbz | >>87187
brokenimage321| | | | 2/26/2012 | A New Mare | Charcoal Quill | >>87199
Halcyon | | | | 2/27/2012 | Resolution | I_Post_Ponies | >>87450
TheGreatandPowerful!Trixie| | | | 2/28/2012 | The Fixers | Kyrie Illumina | >>87702
Arcanus Brighthorn | | | | 2/29/2012 | Daring Do and the Alicorn's Shadow | Crowind | >>88026
Filler | | | | 3/3/2012 | My Little Pony: The Glowmelon Mystery | Legendary Emerald | >>88533
Ezn | | | | 2/29/2012 | Icarus | Tamar | >>89836


| | | | 1/23/2012 | Beat of a Different DJ | Jolttix | >>79674
| | | | 2/20/2012 | The Carnival of Chaos Chapter 2 | Dext | >>85808
| | | | 2/23/2012 | Termina's Final Twilight | Foursword4 | >>86531
| | | | 2/23/2012 | Birthright | Netaro | >>86544
| | | | 2/23/2012 | Spirits of Harmony Rewrite, Chapter I | Stormchaser | >>86575
| | | | 2/24/2012 | Kindle the Bonfire | sirhim11 | >>86730
| | | | 2/27/2012 | Redemption of the Fireheart | Your Antagonist (VegaKS03) | >>87358
| | | | 2/27/2012 | Equestria's Twilight | Sapidus3 | >>87471
| | | | 2/29/2012 | Out of Context | Nuke_Equestria | >>87788
| | | | 2/29/2012 | The Pony Scrolls: Nightfall | Storywrite | >>88009
| | | | 3/01/2012 | Making Things Write | MegaTank | >>88151
| | | | 3/01/2012 | Millennium Eclipse | Lucky Stampede | >>88110
| | | | 3/02/2012 | The Conversion Bureau : The Untold Story | Shader | >>87789
| | | | 3/02/2012 | Silence is Bittersweet | Truehearted | >>88378
| | | | 3/02/2012 | Under Every Lamppost | SwiperTheFox | >>88460
| | | | 3/03/2012 | Finding The Answers | Nesstrodamus | >>88489
| | | | 3/03/2012 | Pinkie Pie's Wonderful Flying Machine | OmegaPony11 | >>88537
| | | | 3/04/2012 | Fluttershy's Little Secret | Masem | >>88694
| | | | 3/04/2012 | Dear Princess Celestia, | brokenimage321 | >>88753
| | | | 3/05/2012 | Spitfire Meets Twilight | Dracoliat | >>88858
| | | | 3/05/2012 | What the Future Holds | OmniscientTurtle | >>89030
| | | | 3/06/2012 | Word of Malice | Twisted Night | >>89179
| | | | 3/06/2012 | Redstreak Jack: Orchards of Time | Impossible Numbers | >>89180
| | | | 3/06/2012 | The Profits of War | Present Perfect | >>89259
| | | | 3/06/2012 | I Don't Hurt Anymore | Ciero989 | >>89390
| | | | 3/07/2012 | As of yet Untitled Luna X Celestia | Rex Ivan | >>89423
| | | | 3/07/2012 | Resonance of Chaos | Broznik | >>89064
>> No. 89876
It appears the author's revoked his (her?) submission and deleted his (her?) post, so I'm dropping it.
>> No. 89877
As a result, I'm picking up Making Things Write at >>88151.
>> No. 89894

Thank you for your review. And no, you don't need to do anything more. I think I get the gist of it.

While I don't agree with Sweetie Belle treating her crush like a 'Disney Princess' would, I do think maybe she does need to be more optimistic about it once she does find out she has feelings for Spike.

(Just to reiterate since it wasn't all that clear in CH1 and maybe I should make it more so, Sweetie Belle isn't initially aware she has feelings for Spike.)

Yeah, the "passive voice" is what's really killing me. It's hard for me to avoid it while also leaving all the emotion to the characters. But I'll give it another whirl and see what I can do.

That being said, I think I'm gonna pull out and take a break for a little while. This thing has been stressing me out and eating my time, I think I need to step away from it for a little while.

(Thanks for your concern, by the way. I already HAVE gotten skeptics about this pairing. I just don't understand how shipping Spike with a foal is weird, yet shipping him with Rarity, an ADULT mare, is perfectly normal just because it's semi-canon. What.)
>> No. 89908
File 133126486912.jpg - (83.88KB , 708x800 , aj11.jpg )
This was acknowledged already, not sure why Split hasn't removed it from the queue.
>> No. 89914
This story doesn't seem to be in the queue. Or maybe it was prematurely removed from the queue.
>> No. 89915
File 133126877908.png - (51.15KB , 550x550 , 1309485323690.png )
Sure, I understand that you'd want to take your time with it. Getting the inspiration for writing is far from easy. I'm glad that I could help at least.
>> No. 89924
>Re: Spikity vs Spiky Belle

note that in canon, Rarity shows no signs of any more interest than humoring an innocent kid-crush.

Ever been the target of a kid-crush? It's about 60% adorable, 30% irritating, 10% awkward, and 0% creepy -- unless the kid in question is a tweenager. Never experienced one of those, but I've heard it's most unpleasant.

And, what age is Sweetie again?

So, this is a concept that can go really innocent or really uncomfortable or somewhere in between. "Hostage Situation" by Sgt Sprinkles comes to mind as a story with this concept that I enjoyed. (The "Cupcakes" guy, oddly enough. Proof that he has more tricks than sick grimdark.)



Just some quick thoughts...

- why is Spike reciprocating?? Mm?? He's been all over Rarity (in his innocent baby way) pretty steadily. I need some justification to buy his change of heart. But, I think making him deal with an unwanted crush would make for better drama than waving the Author's Magic Wand of Now You Love Her over him.

- Ooh, so much opportunity for awkward Sweetie...
(I am not allowed to write these fics anymore, btw)

>I want to run away from Spike every time I see him, but when he's not looking, I just can't stop watching him! Why?! What am I going to do? My whole life is ruined!

Perfecto. Delicioso.

- I'm sorely tempted to jump in and second-opinion the comments. not really to disagree per se, but I have a different perspective at points. But, if you wanna break, Rarispy, I don't need to pull you in.

Instead, I think I'm gonna request Swiper for "Fear of Falling," which should land by Sunday. (As usual, I'm happy to wait my turn.) How do you feel about kinda sensual, kinda d'awkward shipping?

Oh, and...

>>88460 Under Every Lamppost
Romcom? Music? Sounds fun enough. Loving narrative voice in first chapter.
>> No. 89932
>>87639 >>87256 >>87187
Detailed comments done in-doc.

Hm. It's been long enough since the previous draft that I don't remember anything I was going to say. I'll just sweep that under the rug, then.

Borderline, but on the good side. The conflict is definitely interesting, but it's not until the third paragraph that any hint of it becomes apparent. Until then, the little snippets of something untoward could have been about tact or embarrassment. It does work, but I'm tempted to recommend showing something through a glimmer of facial expression or body language, however minute, in the first paragraph to indicate that Pinkie knows what she's doing might potentially be wrong, even dangerous. The eventual reveal of a "relationship" with Discord (not really a spoiler due to title/tags) is nice. It's an unusual, but not unheard of, pairing that I rather like, so you had my interest.

There are some issues with repetitive words and phrasing. There are also some grand opportunities to show that were passed up, but on the whole, it's much improved over the last draft. Mechanics overall are better even in the rewritten sections, so you're definitely learning. A surprising number of writers can't or won't do that.

Of course, there are only two to speak of, so there's not a lot to say... They behave differently than seen in the show, but IMO justifiably so, especially given Pinkie's recent appearance with Cranky Doodle Donkey, in which she does show the ability to be empathetic. Discord's progression to disgruntled villain does happen rather quickly, but at least you do explain his mindset, and you've got a nice, wistful mood going. It won't suit everyone's tastes, but I liked it.

A light, sweet romance - my favorite kind, so I'm biased in your favor. You could easily stretch the section detailing Discord's memories, perhaps as flashbacks, and draw out the length quite a bit, though I know you're reluctant to do so. It would add to the emotional investment of both Pinkie and the reader, and lend more credence to his transformation. As I said in-doc it also makes me wonder what implications Discord's memories will now have on Pinkie's attitude toward Celestia and Luna. The only other thing I have to say about the plot is the ending. It's been long enough since I read the prior draft that I don't remember exactly how it ended, but I'm pretty sure you changed it. I was disappointed that the older version left the reader hanging, but this one does so as well, with the added problem of being inconsistent with the beginning. I still don't get the sense that the relationship will develop any more, but now there's doubt cast about whether the entire thing even happened. Pinkie's awfully flippant about just leaving after she wakes up, and it's incongruous with the emotional involvement through the dream and her dedication to making her weekly pilgrimage. It just feels somehow unsatisfying, which can be worse even than a bad ending. If you're deliberately going for a open ending that the reader can interpret multiple ways, then I suppose you've got one, but there is a special place in hell for authors like that. I still get pissed about that one fic... ... ... rage fading...

Ok, I liked this fic. It's a nice light romance where you took a couple of characters out of their comfort zones, but believably so. The ending didn't sit right with me, but then it doesn't have to if it says what you wanted it to say. I'm seeing significantly fewer errors in the sections you've revised, so you're obviously putting in the effort. A little more showing is needed, but it's getting there. Keep writing, and have fun with it.

I'll wrap up, as it's in the wee hours now, and i feel like I'm rambling. Questions or clarification needed? Ask away, here, email, or irc.
>> No. 89937
File 133127605506.png - (40.68KB , 480x360 , rainbow_hmph.png )
This fic is definitely not the worst thing I've ever reviewed, not even close, but it definitely rubbed me the wrong way. In fact, I wouldn't be exaggerating too much if I said that it was one of the most irritating things I've ever read. The style and word choice are so damn pretentious. I feel like this was written in a botched attempt to impress more than in an attempt to entertain. The biggest red flag was the word choice. You used certain adjectives that sound like impressive words on their own, but when slightly misused (as they were in this fic) come off as grating and hopelessly infuriating for some indeterminable reason (e.g. Your use of the word "ethereal"). While we're on the topic of word choice, PLEASE keep dialogue in character! I just can't see Nightmare Moon saying: "I shall be the only sovereign to rule them!" Furthermore, why do you use oddly specific nouns when something more general would bring a smoother feel into the fic? Such unnecessary specificity is distracting and, you guessed it, damn pretentious. A good example is your use of the word "incisors". Why would you talk about a pony's incisors gleaming in the moonlight? Is there a specific reason to call attention to the incisors?

Next on the agenda is your purple style, which does absolutely nothing to help the aura of pretentiousness surrounding this fic. On the contrary, it makes it come off as that much more pretentious. Ordinarily, I wouldn't call so much attention to an excessively descriptive style (well I would, I just wouldn't continue to bash it afterwards), but this was essentially an action scene. You bogged down an action scene with unnecessary, annoying, descriptions. Worse yet, these descriptions often apply to details, not the main event.

Summary: Pretentious times gaudy + purple squared.

I went line-by-line for the entire prologue. The corrections are in the GDoc (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1UIyMv5eC425u4tSyqYb2UHKLl1YYMG2q1sDyK4nlebc/edit). I'll get the review of chapter one to you tonight or tomorrow, but I've got a lot on my plate, so it won't be line-by-line.
>> No. 89945

I'm not the best of reviewers, nor am I the most clear. If you have any questions, do ask. I'm far from infallible—this is all just my opinion. That said, do take everything I say with a pinch of salt. Most of the things will be subjective, grammar included.

Thoughts going into the fic
-Cute title.
-That picture. I... What?
-Tags. Normal and Adventure don't mix.
>Behind every great book is a great writer. Almost everypony knows of the intrepid adventures of Daring Do, but few know the truth about her creator.
This sounds like the introduction to a high school essay. You could easily condense this into some phrase and tack it onto the next sentence.

>This is the story of Opal Parchment, a young mare trying to finish the last Daring Do adventure before it's too late. Her quest lands her in Ponyville, where Opal gets the unexpected help of two of her biggest fans.
Likewise, this sounds unnecessarily wordy. You don't need to say “This is the story of.” And what do you mean by “it's too late”? I'm not going to read your story to find out something that you're supposed to be using to draw me in. Unless you fluff it so that I don't actually care why it'd be too late, only what happens if it is too late.

Reading comments

-Vary your sentence structure. This point is one of the most important points on this list. I'll grab one of your paragraphs and try to show you what I mean:

>Applejack grabbed the hoof and pulled on it as hard as she could. “Come on Rainbow Dash, up an’ at ‘em.”

>Rainbow Dash slid through the books and finally got back up. “Urgh, my head.”

>Applejack noticed Rainbow Dash had a couple of lumps on her head. “You okay, sugarcube?”

>Rainbow Dash rubbed her head, and checked the rest of her body, which had a few fresh bruises. “I’ve had worse. What just happened?”

>Applejack’s face contorted slightly “That little snake pulled a fast one on us. I think Rarity ran off to get herself cleaned off or somethin’.”

>Rainbow Dash was now back to hovering in the air. “I guess that explains the glass of juice on the floor. Why, that little trickster... we’re not letting her get away with this.”

This is what you have. Now let me try to rewrite it.

>Applejack grabbed the hoof and pulled it as hard as she could. “Come on, Rainbow Dash,” she grunted. “Up an’ at ‘em.”

>Rainbow Dash rose through the books to her hooves with the grace of a sleep-deprived elephant. “Urgh, my head,” she said, rubbing her head with a hoof and finding several sizable lumps.

>“You okay, Rainbow Dash?”

>Rainbow Dash looked over the rest of her body. She had a few bruises. “I’ve had worse,” she replied. She turned back to Applejack. “What just happened?”

>“That little snake pulled a fast one on us,” said Applejack with a scowl. “I think Rarity ran off to get herself cleaned off or somethin’.”

>Rainbow Dash took to her wings again. “I guess that explains the glass of juice on the floor. Why, that little trickster...” She looked out the window, seeing a trail blood leading outside. “We’re not letting her get away with this.”

Yeah, I didn't change much. I'm not good at this, either. Also, you have Rarity run off because she was splashed with apple juice. This is what I mean by one-dimensional.

-Good grief. Ellipses. Have I mentioned how much I hate ellipses when they're overused? I should mention that.

-However. Unfortunately. Fortunately. Don't start sentences with these words—they get really trite really fast.

-Your camera (or at least, what I call the camera, since it's what I see in my head) shakes about quite violently. It goes from one perspective to another. Choose a perspective and stick to it.

-And when you do choose a perspective, don't choose Opal's. Because she's an OC and I don't think this will fly too well on EqD with that perspective. Of course, this is entirely my opinion, but I think it's worth mentioning. May want to consider a second opinion.

-Speakers go at the first sensible break. I shouldn't be seeing “(five sentences of dialogue),” said Twilight.

-Pretty much all of your dialogue and actions are scripted. It's like the characters are your puppets and you're pulling their strings from behind the scenes. Of course, that's how writing works—you tell them to do things, and they do them. You, however, don't hide the strings very well. Or at all. Everything seems unnatural.

-This is bad because you have more dialogue than narrative. Talking heads and all that.

-Tacking onto that, your characterization is... well, flat. The scripted dialogue has a lot to do with that. I can describe all your characters in one or two sentences without losing much. Twilight's the heavy-handed problem solver, Rainbow Dash is the energetic Daring Do fan, Applejack is southern or something, and Rarity acts high-class. Opal is the fugitive bride.

-Rainbow Dash seems too personally invested in this to be in character. What's her motive? For that matter, what's everyone's motive? The only ones with real motives that they act upon here are Opal and the guard, making them the most realistic characters. Twilight, AJ, Rarity, RD, and the mayor are... not.

-Why does Opal head into a library when she's on the run?

-I hope you're writing about Opal, the author of the Daring Do series, and not Opal, some random OC. Because right now, that's what she feels like. Which is to be expected, since this is still chapter one, but it's still something to be brought up.

-The disproportionate amount of time you spend on her as opposed to Twilight and the rest sets off my Sue-dar. That shouldn't be expected, and I believe this to be an issue.

-Blatant copy/paste from the comments:

Okay, so, uh, pacing. Let me introduce you to my* theory of pacing.

There are two different paces at work here: The pacing at which you mean for it to be--that is, the pacing in your head--and the pacing at which I read it at, the pacing in my head. They are two different paces when you're not doing it right. Let's take your passage, for example.

>"Are you sure you don't want to..." the mayor started, only to notice Twilight had already teleported away. "Never mind."

In your head, there is a break between "to..." and "the mayor" and another break between "away" and "Never mind", or at least, I would assume so. Maybe not the first, but definitely the second. Here's the thing: breaks like this in writer pacing don't carry over to reader pacing. To me, it feels like there's something missing.

Now, I'd like to introduce to you something called the beat: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comic_timing

As Wikipedia says, it's "a pause taken for the purposes of comic timing, often to allow the audience time to recognize the joke and react, or to heighten the suspense before delivery of the expected punch line." Now, in media where time passed is the same for everyone (television, music, radio, etc.)

Of course, in writing, you don't get that silence. So, you have to turn to other options. In comics, they use something called the beat panel. Here's an example: http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2001/4/18/ It's a panel with nothing in it. It's there to convey a sense of passing of time. So you need to do that with writing somehow. Here's some examples of how you can do that:

>"Are you sure you don't want to..." the mayor started, only to notice Twilight had already teleported away.

>"Never mind."

- or -

>"Are you sure you don't want to..." the mayor started, only to notice Twilight had already teleported away. She sighed. "Never mind."

- or -

>"Are you sure you don't want to..." the mayor started, only to notice Twilight had already teleported away.

>She sighed. "Never mind."

In prose, you can accomplish this with text that doesn't have any action vital to the story. You can use it to describe scenery (As the two stared at each other, the clouds slowly blotted out the sun.) or some body language (She slowly blinked, her jaw slacked open.). Alternatively (or in combination), you can use a line break, but line breaks don't always work well alone for this purpose.

Finally, let's clean up that speaker tag because I detest speaker tags after ellipses.

>"Are you sure you don't want to..." The mayor turned around, only to notice Twilight had already teleported away.

>She sighed. "Never mind."

*I do mean my theory because I cannot think of another reviewer who thinks the same. I haven't asked any other reviewer about it, but I haven't heard anything, either. Well, except Shuckle, but he's long gone and he called it something else without really explaining what he meant.

Closing thoughts
I can see this story going up on EqD. After rewrites with the characterization workover, the pacing/style/showdon'ttell/perspective workover, and the filling in of the plotholes. Here's my suggestion: Take your story and write an outline from it. A full outline. From there, make edits to the plot as necessary to fill in any plot holes you have. Then start fleshing out the characters by establishing their motives. Then rewrite the story and dialogue from there.

I'll admit that this wasn't a comprehensive review, but I think the issues here need to be addressed first. Adding the bells and whistles come after making the core thing work.

Since I'm usually not a conceptual reviewer, you may want a second opinion.
>> No. 89957
After rolling about twenty numbers between one and fifty, yours was the first that was under ten thousand words, wasn't already claimed, and wasn't shipping.
>> No. 89968
This is one of the funniest posts I have ever read; the fact that it's in TTG just makes it even better.
>> No. 89984

Thanks for the help.

I think it worth trying to at least fix it as it is. If I rewrite it, I imagine a lot of it's going to be the same. Quite a few of the problems I don't think are going to be as difficult to fix as you make it out to be. I think it'll be at most a last resort.

I think I understand most of the problems highlighted. That doesn't mean I'll get them all right, but I'll try.
>> No. 89994
Rewriting need not mean starting from scratch. I more or less meant revising.
>> No. 90001
File 133131993225.png - (183.34KB , 1475x1491 , CursorConcentrate.png )
I've made a whole bunch of comments in your doc, as you know. Here's the rest of the review:

tl;dr: Technically sound, but I have some suggestions about the plot that you can take or leave.
>> No. 90025
Just a single question: how imperative is it that I show more of the memories?
>> No. 90028
Oh, I don't mind if you add your own comments. Feel free. I'm not going to go back to writing the story for a while, but I'll still read whatever critique anyone has to give.

The more, the merrier.
>> No. 90030
Got a comment back from an EQD prereader that left me a bit perplexed.

The section in question, in context:

>“Zecora could’ve given us some better directions, at least,” Spike groused. “‘You’ll find the home of leyleaf to be the gardens of Castle Everfree’? Maybe that worked a thousand years ago, but the whole place is completely overgrown these days!”

>Unless Spike is misquoting, those aren't Zecora's words.

But those are Zecora's words, as denoted by the single quotes. Am I missing something, or mangling punctuation?
>> No. 90034
I'm guessing the comment is referring to the incomplete rhyme at the most logical point, ie leyLEAF does not completely match with EverFREE. However, if you emphasised that the phrase cuts off at to BE, then that would make for a more complete rhyme.
So maybe try rephrasing this as
>‘You’ll find the home of leyleaf to be- the gardens of the Castle Everfree’
or something that has a closer match of a rhyme scheme and reflects the different lines as Zecora would speak them.
>> No. 90040

Hm. That could be it. I hadn't considered that someone might read the meter differently than intended. That's what I get for making up a word with a sound too close to the rhyme, I suppose. And for writing sloppy meter in the first place. Easily cleaned up, though.
>> No. 90049
Personally, I would, but I can't tell you I'm right. You'll have to weigh for yourself whether it would add anything and be worth the investment. I just felt like it's the key to portraying Discord as a sympathetic figure and transforming the relationship from a commune of kindred spirits to a real emotional investment. It seemed glossed-over, and if I don't fully understand Pinkie's thought process (man, never thought I'd be writing that phrase!), then I'm not emotionally invested either. Just the opinion of one reader. I may be in the minority. You seem to want to keep the story short, and the way you've chosen to display the memories so far does lend itself to being tell-y, so I understand your dilemma. In the end, you have to make the product that feels most satisfying to you.
>> No. 90062
Thank you for taking the time to review, and in such detail. I'm sorry that it irritated you so much. You're somewhat right: not being a very visual person I was trying very hard to create imageries. Too hard, as it happens. I will tone down the descriptions. But a few things:

Canines was the word that I was going for, and the whole sentence was meant to convey 'those teeth that a herbivore has no business having a full set of'.

I will have to take issue with your definition of purple prose. Purple prose means using more flowery words than is necessary. Purple prose would render that sentence with the incisors thus: "Her teeth gleamed like pure, taintless pearls under the moonlight; she was as beautiful as she was evil and deadly." This and the original would convey the exact same things that I wanted to come across.

I will also have to take issue with your objections to my word choice for dialogues. Nightmare Moon is casual in the first episodes, sure, but she's also talking to Twilight - I don't think it's a stretch to say that she's being condescending to Twilight. But to Celestia she might instead want to be pretentious, strutting off, etc.

So for example,
is probably not the right choice there in that sentence, sure, but sovereign? I can't think of anything else to replace it .

I might end up re-writing the action sequences with your advices taken into consideration. Hopefully chapter 1 won't irritate you so much.
>> No. 90070
Thank you very much for such a well-thought out review, especially on the elements of Icarus' development and TwiDash.

It's painful to embark on such fundamental rewrites when I had convinced myself it was ready for publishing, but what you say is true, and I want to give it a look. EQD will have to wait.
>> No. 90077
Title: Fluttershy’s Shadow: Chapter One - A Doubt Of A Shadow - Part One.
Author: Broken Logic
E-mail: [email protected]
Tags: [shipping/romance][comedy]
Synopsis: Fluttershy has just recieved a bouquet of flowers from none other than her shadow. Or so she thinks. Twilight Sparkle, always the skeptical pony, heads out to investigate and eventually all her friends get involved with miscellaneous schemes of finding who the mysterious sender is. And things were already busy enough with Nightmare Night only a few nights away.

Links: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1kLS8GajMzNsh6dphzAwkyMqmcfaVb7SKYWyjumCAScY/edit

Comments: I'd appreciate it if Pascoite took this up again, but I'd be thankful for anyone's input, as I'm still a newbie writer. Hopefully it's much better now.

Initial post:
Pascoitte Review:
>> No. 90080
Title: Banishment Decree
Author: Chuckfinley
Tags: Adventure, Dark, Crossover
30,000 words
Chapters 1-3

Synopsis: My name is Gilda. I used to be a Griffon warrior. When you're banished, you've got nothing. No clan, no funding, no gold watch and no friendly job reference. You're stuck wherever the Griffon clans aren't.
You do whatever work comes your way. You rely on anyone still talking to you. A speed-freak ex-marefriend. A megalomaniac illusionist who's middlemare for the Equestian Intelligence Service. Family too, if you're desperate.
Bottom line is, as long as you're banished, you're not going anywhere.

Comments: BD is a weak-form crossover (set in Equestria, characters are not straight expys) with Burn Notice. I've submitted it to EqD, got "sounds like it needs a good editing run for grammar and punctuation then its good to go!" back from them. Also, the one dude on fimfiction giving me detailed feedback has disappeared into meatspace, so I'm also looking for general feedback.


>> No. 90087
>sounds like it needs a good editing run for grammar and punctuation then its good to go!
>grammar and punctuation then its good to go!
>its good to go!

I hope that's your error at typing it manually, and not a cut-and-paste from the actual pre-reader's message.
>> No. 90092
I'll take another cut at this, but it may be a couple of days before I start.

Questions: the queue spreadsheet entry says you've got 7 chapters, but there are still only 2 on FiMFiction. Is 7 the plan, or are they done? And you're only asking for chapter 1 in this request?
>> No. 90093

Lol, it's a copypaste of the whole email. Still, I only submitted it two hours before getting that response, so it's all good in the 'hood.
>> No. 90099
File 133134843621.jpg - (36.70KB , 411x504 , 67767 - artist-Shout dissapointment fluttershy.jpg )
Thanks for your response to my review, it's much appreciated and without further ado, I shall answer your comments and questions...

I can now understand why you would want to call attention to the teeth via a word like incisors, or canines, but you drop the word in so naturally that it seems like everything is normal. You need to call attention to the fact that there is something, wrong, unnatural, or creepy about her teeth (e.g. ...suddenly broke into a grin, displaying a set of unnaturally sharp teeth...). I got a little curious and took another look at your fic before writing this, and you still need to fix this.

As for purple prose... Well that's a fairly subjective term. It just means anything that's overdone (usually in the description/metaphor departments). In this case, I thought many of your descriptions were overdone, hence the criticism "purple". If it bothers you that much, click here (http://www.fiction-writers-mentor.com/purple-prose.html) for a list of common definitions/elements of purple prose. Also, the only reason I called that incisor bit purple is because you had no reason to be describing her teeth (or so I thought). Because it turns out that you want to call attention to something about her that is unnatural to add to the sense of horror surrounding her, by all means, include it (but not with the word "incisors," I definitely marked that as pretentious).

As for Nightmare Moon's dialogue, if you want to see how she behaves when taking an opponent seriously, and I am inclined to think that fighting Celestia is some serious business, click here (http://youtu.be/qoRMMLMYpDY). Watch through 15:34 and note that she's more action than words, and when shit goes down, she's slightly more terse. I'm willing to grant that the amount of info we have on Nightmare Moon in a combat situation/when shit is real in canon is small enough that you can take some liberties, but you might as well take the canon that we've got.

>I might end up re-writing the action sequences with your advices taken into consideration.
>I might end up with your advices taken into consideration.
>I might end take your advice into consideration.
>see pic. Hint: it's me.

I hope you take my advice, if not, my review was a huge waste of time as was your submission to the training grounds.
>> No. 90105
...I'm not sure why you're cutting up my words like that and then use that pic.There is a huge difference between rewriting everything from scratch and just fixing things, and rest assured your advice is taken either way. I'm just not done with it yet.
>> No. 90108
And I'm not sure why you think "rewriting everything from scratch" was one of my recommendations. It is nice to here that you're taking my advice, though.
>> No. 90109
Btw, we're autosaging.
>> No. 90118
Yea, just asking for the first chapter for now, as second chapter is being improved, and the third chapter is still under construction.
>> No. 90136
File 133136014804.png - (2.25MB , 1280x800 , twirl.png )


And it is done. Again, I apologize for the wait. I may re-post this if the new thread comes up soon.
>> No. 90143
Tags: [Adventure][History of Equestria]

Luna is finally resuming her duties of raising the moon and stars. Celestia decides to turn this momentous occasion into a history lesson as well. Teaching Twilight and her friends about the creation of the Elements of Harmony, as well as how Luna was once a peaceful ruler of all Equestria, and how Celestia took this power from her.

Chapter 1 “A Momentous Occasion” as submitted to EquestriaDaily:
As Edited:
Considering CH1 is the only chapter completed, That is the one I would like reviewed.

Comments from EquestriaDaily (direct copy-paste):
1) Canon violation. The Elements of Harmony are older than the Princesses. This was described in S02-E01 and E02. They were not created.
2) Flat writing. You've wasted a golden opportunity for comedy GOLD. When Luna sent the letter to Spike, you could've described the entire scene. The uncertainty Spike felt as the delivery spell took effect strangely. Possibly something about the raucous belch shattering a window or three since the spell had a LOT more power behind it than was necessary. Then the comedic hiccuping and blasting more scrolls to the Princess.
3) More flat writing in the basic delivery of Celestia's request to not be barraged by blank scrolls.
4) Twilight seems wooden in her conversations with Spike and Pinkie Pie. She doesn't seem like our favorite bookworm at all.
5) Punctuation. Need a comma. rain” Applejack
6) Canon violation. The hills don't block the rain at all. Pegasi manufacture the weather, remember?
7) Rainbow Dash squee-ing over the Wonderbolts is fine, but... you bring the subject up out of nowhere. It feels like this has zero importance to the story, so I would recommend its removal.
8) Your story makes it feel like getting the girls together is like herding cats. They always seem to snap to, when needed, you know?

What I have done for each of the aforementioned issues:
1) Changed wording as per: http://www.ponychan.net/chan/fic/res/86726.html#89970
2) Nothing, this work was not meant to be comedy, and I can’t force comedy. Any suggestions on this would be wonderful, I myself am leaning towards leaving it as is.
3) Again, nothing. For something like that, I would kind of expect something to the point.
4) Nothing, Help here would be appreciated
5) Went through and realized I can’t properly use a comma to save my life. Some grammar issues may still be present
6) Removed the offending line, also made point 5 moot in the process, but as stated above, my grammar had/has issues.
7) Changed the wording to allow for this line to exist, see my comment in the sidebar on the GDoc for more
8) Not much, the trip was unexpected by any means, so they probably would be scattered about town.

I do not really care who reviews my story. Any comments will be gladly appreciated, and I thank you in advance.
>> No. 90184
File 133139610190.png - (233.01KB , 900x649 , pinkamina before the laughter.png )
Title: Who am I...?
Author: Connor the Brony
[Sad] [Alternate Universe]
Synopsis: A pony is the collection of her experiences. But what if all of those experiences never occurred? As Pinkie's reality falls apart and gives way to a much less party-filled world, she will have to ask herself: who was I, who am I, and who should I be?
Chapter 2 Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1GwY7ERT9FLVa_C8D3-7kWhmzT_LF0lTw7miLUE_BJho/edit
Requests: A general review of grammar and story for chapter 2.

Continuation of this story: http://www.fimfiction.net/story/6137/Who-am-I...%3F
>> No. 90196
File 133140469318.jpg - (224.49KB , 712x610 , Sweetie Belle.jpg )
No need to panic, we know the thread's on autosage. New OP is being written up and will be posted soon. Hang tight.
>> No. 90252
File 133142419476.jpg - (49.11KB , 624x534 , Rainbow Likes.jpg )
Well, I won't be needing that hiatus after all. Dibs!
>> No. 90482
File 133151273198.png - (2.18MB , 1600x1163 , 130896 - artist whitediamonds commission rarity steampunk wet_mane.png )