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File 133151014983.png - (2.18MB , 1600x1163 , 130896 - artist whitediamonds commission rarity steampunk wet_mane.png )
90477 No. 90477
#Reviewer #Training Grounds
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Sithicus Helpicus: Several takes on the same paragraph of text by multiple authors. http://bit.ly/ovOXpn
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382 posts omitted. Last 50 shown. Unspoiler all text  • Expand all images  • Reveal spoilers
>> No. 94024
File 133314240484.jpg - (3.36KB , 160x148 , Ghost_Reporting.jpg )
94024
>>92129
The grammar on this one's mostly fine. You've got a few bouts of rough wording here and there, like the other reviewer pointed out. Read this out loud and you should find some of your awkward phrasing.

The main problem that I have with this story is that it's contrived. I understand that you're trying to establish that Cheerilee is having doubts about her ability to teach as it's related to her cutie mark. There are two problems with this:

1) You mention how she doesn't think it's related to teaching, so why does everyone else in the story? It's a little stretch from "flowers" to "teacher," so it's not entirely obvious that it's a "teaching cutie mark."
2) She already says in the show that her cutie mark is related to nurturing students, so you're violating canon. I also I don't see how it's that much of a stretch. Again, it's a little bit of a stretch, but if Cheerilee believes it in the show, I have a little trouble accepting a story's claim that she's got doubts about it.

Then, your method of bringing about the conflict is dubious at best. In one day of teaching, Silver Spoon, Applejack, and a surprise visit from the superintendant all make a point about cutie marks, and all in a manner that affects Doubtful Cheerilee in a negative manner. It really strains my suspension of disbelief.

Personally, I'd slow down the pacing on "events that cause Cheerilee to have a minor breakdown" don't all sound like some sort of cosmic event against the happy purple pony.

Next, I'd also tone down Cheerilee's emotional changes. The other reviewer pointed this out, but she seems to shift emotions at whenever is convenient to you, not what feels natural in the story.

Finally, the superintendant... he especially feels forced. Silver Spoon and Applejack were at least natural to the story, but the superintendant is an OC who comes out of nowhere. Since he's the antagonist, the fact that he's an uncaring, "I am the school system, fuck children" archetype feels contrived.

All in all, it's an interesting story, but for such an emotional piece as this needs to be, you need to slow down the pacing and flesh the characters out more. Otherwise, it's going to come off as shallow, and, as I've said several times before, contrived.
>> No. 94026
>>93857

Thank you for such an in-depth analysis. I do have a few persisting questions that I have placed up on the G-doc. I hope I've resolved most of your complaints. The idea for a separate scene in which they talk is interesting. I think I'll work on a scene like that, but do you think it would benefit more as a transcript. Only having speech rather than actions? The problem with that would be it would have to be during the Gala or just after, not both. Actually, maybe it could be both. Two short scenes of speech. Right, I'll work on that.
Once again, thank you for taking a look at this.
>> No. 94028
These stories are now open for review because the reviewers who claimed them have not shown any activity in a month. If you are one of the reviewers listed, please post your review immediately or otherwise acknowledge that you have dropped the claim. Other reviewers: these stories have been waiting a long time. They should get top priority, but contact the author to see if they're still up and about before claiming.

>>78675 The Equestrian Bloodmoon -TimeForKronos
>>79295 Friendship is Mercenaries - Bidoof
>>81210 Stairway to Equestria - Cheese Deluxe
>>81992 Dark Reality - Josh Meihaus
>>83644 From Canterlot with Love - Seattle_Lite
>>84836 My Choices: Twisted Tales Through Time - Exarona
>> No. 94072
File 133315388689.jpg - (3.36KB , 160x148 , Ghost_Reporting.jpg )
94072
>>94028

I'm on it

>>92020
>>92144
>>92280
>>78675
>>79295
>>81210
>>81992
>>83644
>>84836
>> No. 94074
>>94072

Godspeed, you madman.
>> No. 94076
Title: Through Diamond Blue Flame
Author/screen name: Ravens Dagger
Email Address: [email protected]
Tags: Tragedy/Sad/Bittersweet
Synopsis:
Awakening to find herself inside the Ponyville hospital, Rarity has to face the consequences of her actions, if only she could remember them.

List of links to the story:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1FxYm43gPWL0IrqKWfxcxw1vOhaDiS6-RyDdp_gjgyT4/edit

Chapters to Review: One-Shot (only one chapter)
Comments/requests:Anypony that is good at setting up sad fics, I am quite lacking in that regard.
Writting is a tad flat, and the world building could use some help I think.
>> No. 94077
File 133315554262.png - (174.05KB , 486x486 , RD_Salute.png )
94077
>>94072

>pic very related
>> No. 94084
>>93876

A fair assessment. I'll be sure to go back and fix these issues in the near-ish future... after I've waited a sufficient length of time.
Though I'm sure you're tired of hearing this from me by now, thanks once more for all the help.
>> No. 94087
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94087
>>92020
The grammar on this is passable, so thank Logician for his help on that front.

As for the style, you have too much "telling" instead of "showing."
>“Yeah sure” I said coldly trying to make him feel as awkward as I did.
The narrator announces her feelings. This should be handled much more smoothly.

In terms of descriptions, you go overboard on the ponies' appearances and leave almost nothing to scenery. This leads to confusion in the prologue because I wasn't quite sure what the narrator was being shoved into: I thought a dresser, then she was under something. The gore in that scene was also unnecessary

As for your main character, she's a blank-flanked filly that's abused by her adoptive aunt and uncle. Are you trying for a Harry Potter in Space angle? Oh, wait, she's a tinkerer/mechanic (who doesn't have a relevant cutie mark to that field for some reason), so maybe it's Luke Skywalker. Either way, you really need to extrapolate on the main character's personality and relationship with her adoptive parents, otherwise it's just "Oh, she's abused. That sucks." Which shouldn't be the reaction you get from a tragic backstory.

Finally, the abuse angle makes me wonder: how did Night Flare have the authority to bring the merchant on the ship? And for that matter, what was the Aunt's intention, to have sex with him? Was Night Flare's uncle really that oblivious? Ironically, your blatant "telling" left about as much doubt in my mind as subtle (or even overt) "showing" might have.

All in all, this could be an interesting story, though not necessarily a "pony" story. However, you need to expand on the characters while streamlining the writing.
>> No. 94088
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94088
>>94076
Claiming this!
>> No. 94098
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94098
Provisional hat-tip to Terran if he pulls off his crazy stunt. I'm here to read as well. My own stuff can wait a bit.

Claiming:

>>92351
>>92485
>> No. 94111
>It was night, in the middle of the night
Ouch. Repetition like this is not a good start unless it's intentional and sets up a rhythm immediately.

>by a sound
The narrator withholding information is almost always bad. This is frustrating

>"Mail?...now?" He groaned
Google "how to puntuate dialog"

===

Review at end of prologue:

You choose a decent place to start; this looks like something is going wrong, which is where 90% of stories should begin (a made up number).

The bad part is your shaky grasp of English storytelling mechanics, basic things like paragraph breaks and remembering your periods at the end of sentences.

==
"Twi...Twi." Spike nudged her gently before yelling. "TWILIGHT!" Twilight groggily answered.

"What is it Spike?" Spike waved the scroll in front of her face "Celestia has sent you a letter."
==
"Twi... Twi." Spike nudged her gently before yelling. "TWILIGHT!"

Twilight groggily answered, "What is it Spike?"

Spike waved the scroll in front of her face. "Celestia has sent you a letter."
==

Paragraphs should show only one character speaking. You should also group actions in a logical way, similar to dividing action into the frames of a comic. (one paragraph is roughly one frame)

For grammar, read your writing aloud. Most new writers speak better than they write. There are more complex techniques, but producing something that sounds good aloud is an excellent first step.

You will have to read a textbook or be lucky enough to take a good class to learn punctuation rules.

==

Remainder of chapter:

Your instinct to drop readers right into things happening is correct, and shows promise for you becoming a solid plot-driven writer with further practice. Mechanical problems, awkward dialog, and sparse description hold you back, however.

That said, I like this concept: simple, but not limiting.

Are you still in school? I wish I could just say "learn there," because I don't have a good way to teach literacy here: I need to tutor one-on-one. However, I know not all schools are competent enough to trust.

Whatever else, read. The more good books you read, the easier all parts of writing become.
>> No. 94112
>>94008
OK. I see your point on the swearing. Fixed. Thanks!

But the two scenes WERE important to the story. They set up things for later chapters. Now, are you saying that I didn't do a good enough job of getting that point across? I did wrestle with that. The horn pain/burning cutie mark will come into play later. Can you suggest a way for me to make that clearer?

I hope I'm not coming across as snide. I really DO appreciate that you're trying to help me. I actually hate it when authors ask for a review, then get all butt hurt when someones tells them that something didn't work. I think this is a very cool story I'm writing(obviously) and I want it to be the best it can be. I don't for a second think I'm a great writer. I'm a broadcaster, not an author. I'm used to dealing with facts. What would you suggest I do to foreshadow without spelling it out?
>> No. 94115
>>93460

Review acknowledged. Thank you for that, correct use of punctuation is pretty much what I was going for.

I guess you could think of it as practice, was made in response to a "Make a 300-word story with this theme" prompt (which you can find here: http://www.equestriadaily.com/2012/03/flash-event-write-300-word-story.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_ca
mpaign=Feed%3A+EquestriaDaily+%28Equestria+Daily%29).

True true, I guess I tried to hard to "imply" things happened as opposed to "showing". Actually most of the references are to either pop culture (like the ending in reference to Planet of the Apes) and some lines of dialogue (which were taken from the MLP show).

"it's just a mess of screaming heads" That's the idea! :)

Again, thank you for the review.
>> No. 94119
>road as it comes
came
Stay in past tense. There are times when you can use present in past narration, but they're rare. You'll never be wrong to use past.

>She laid down
She lay down on her belly and watched the dancing flames.
This is a mistake natives make! Have you studied English in school, or are you self-taught?

lie(s) / lay / lying / lain <-- the word you want to show the position or change in position of something (usually a character)

lay(s) / laid / laying / laid <-- the other word for setting down objects

>Ah
The prereader is wrong. You may capitalize or not, as long as you're consistent.

>‘bout
You have to use the other shape (the one that looks like a 9) as an apostrophe. The only good way to do this is copy-paste. Yes, it's stupid.

>hay Fleetfoot
hay, Fleetfoot
"Noun of direct address:" you need commas when naming the person you're talking too, good sir.

I assume you've worked on improving the description. It shows, and I think it's serviceable now. However, you can do better. When you switch to dialog, the pictures in my head go away. You might do more of this:

>Rapidfire pushed Fleetfoot's hooves out of the way and pointed at Soarin. "Because she knew Mr. bleeding heart

(Mr. Bleeding Heart - should be capitalized. This is the sort of rule you just have to know.)

Small actions along with the dialog. The only way you'll be able to write them is if you are sure to imagine the scene in intense detail, much more detail than you actually write.

==

Now let's talk about the big problem. You have conflict, hinted in the first chapter and very present in the second. You have description bolted on, which is, mm, okay.

Your characters don't quite come to life. You need emotion to make this sing. And the first thing to do is ensure you're seeing things from the correct viewpoint. How does Applejack notice the fire? What does she feel? There's story there; don't waste it on Sorin being dazed and confused while the Apples are conveniently passed out.

This story should scare and horrify the characters at least, otherwise you don't have a chance doing the same to the readers.

In summary, I see you can describe when you want to, but you haven't quite figured out how to build a scene around description. My best advice is to read (especially published fiction) and pay attention to when and how the author feeds the reader details to keep them in the story.

I think you'll find that the details tend to support whatever the author is trying to say at the time.

>The clock radio on the nightstand read 5:59am.

Good detail. It's easy to guess what this means.

>This seventh floor apartment was nothing short of luxurious.
Bad detail, it makes me work too hard to imagine.

>The spacious bedroom she was sleeping in had an en-suite complete with a shower-bathtub combo, wash basin and toilet. On the far side of the room was a large sliding glass door leading to the balcony, which held a suntanning chair and a small wooden table.

Too much confusing detail; I'm not sure what it means.


The fix probably requires re-imagining and re-writing most scenes. Descriptive writing cannot be added after the fact. (I wish it could. I have the same problem with my own revision now.)

My suggestion is to try writing a scene in which two ponies have breakfast. (Or whatever else you choose.) Make me experience their meal as they plan their day. If you e-mail it to me, I'll give feedback. You need to develop the skill before you return to this story and short scenes will be easier to work with.
>> No. 94121
File 133316589847.png - (125.00KB , 329x308 , 131398097923.png )
94121
>>94076
Technical Issues

- Ensure that at least during dialogue scenes, separate subjects have separate paragaphs. Don't mix and match between subjects in the same paragraph - it gets confusing.

- Spotty comma usage.

- Inconsistent indentation. Pick a format and stick with it.

- Hyphens are used to weld words together. A hyphenated word such as "look-alike" indicates a word that should be treated, in a sentence, as a single word, but is written as two. Em-dashes are used to indicate a break in the normal flow of a sentence – somewhat like this – and can also be used to interrupt a sentence entirely before it's finished, kind of like–

- Sometimes sections of sentences seperated by commas are not joined correctly, in that you omit neccessary conjunctions such as "and" or "or".

Stylistic Issues

- Please, please, please use contractions when writing dialogue. Think about the patterns of normal human speech - we almost never say "do not" in place of "don't", for instance.

- There's an occasional tendency in your sentences towards stocatto, in that related things are described in a succession of seperate sentences. This is an unattractive way of writing. Try to avoid it. It's not a big problem in your case, however.

- You have issues with telling rather than showing. Try to tell us less about the emotions of the characters involved, and show us more through their body language, tone of voice and dialogue. Ideally, you should aim for writing whereby even if there are absolutely no emotional adjectives in a scene, we can still tell precisely what each character is feeling simply by examining their descriptions and actions.

Plot
All in all, I feel you've taken a fairly tired concept (member of the Mane 6 is hospitalised after receiving a serious injury) and executed it... competently. No more than that, but no less, either.

Rarity is one of my least favourite characters so I may have a little bit of personal bias but I found I didn't really care all that much about her, especially given that her injuries weren't likely to be permanent, and so what she's going through is a transient thing. There was no real opportunity to explore the extremely powerful concept of permanent disfigurement except for a throwaway scene with the doctor (who, incidentally, is a fairly stereotypical joyless-prick-because-of-unpleasant-past character who I found instantly dismissable).

None of the other canon characters seem particularly distinguished but they didn't do anything wildly out of character.

Overall
It's not bad. That's all I can really say about it - it isn't bad. It's fairly predictable, but not in a bad way. It doesn't do anything particularly new, and to be honest it feels fairly bland and inoffensive, but still, it's not bad. This is not, currently, a piece of fiction I'm going to remember in a couple of days. It doesn't grab my attention and it doesn't stand out. However it is by no means poorly executed or badly put-together - it just isn't at all impressive.

I didn't find myself particularly engaged in the story, but I did read it to the end without feeling the urge to close the tab and do something else. That is more than I can say for certain other fics I've read, but if you want to impress me - and, I feel, if you want to impress EqD - you're going to need to be more than simply adequate.
>> No. 94123
>road as it comes
came
Stay in past tense. There are times when you can use present in past narration, but they're rare. You'll never be wrong to use past.

>She laid down
She lay down on her belly and watched the dancing flames.
This is a mistake natives make! Have you studied English in school, or are you self-taught?

lie(s) / lay / lying / lain <-- the word you want to show the position or change in position of something (usually a character)

lay(s) / laid / laying / laid <-- the other word for setting down objects

>Ah
The prereader is wrong. You may capitalize or not, as long as you're consistent.

>‘bout
You have to use the other shape (the one that looks like a 9) as an apostrophe. The only good way to do this is copy-paste. Yes, it's stupid.

>hay Fleetfoot
hay, Fleetfoot
"Noun of direct address:" you need commas when naming the person you're talking too, good sir.

I assume you've worked on improving the description. It shows, and I think it's serviceable now. However, you can do better. When you switch to dialog, the pictures in my head go away. You might do more of this:

>Rapidfire pushed Fleetfoot's hooves out of the way and pointed at Soarin. "Because she knew Mr. bleeding heart

(Mr. Bleeding Heart - should be capitalized. This is the sort of rule you just have to know.)

Small actions along with the dialog. The only way you'll be able to write them is if you are sure to imagine the scene in intense detail, much more detail than you actually write.

==

Now let's talk about the big problem. You have conflict, hinted in the first chapter and very present in the second. You have description bolted on, which is, mm, okay.

Your characters don't quite come to life. You need emotion to make this sing. And the first thing to do is ensure you're seeing things from the correct viewpoint. How does Applejack notice the fire? What does she feel? There's story there; don't waste it on Sorin being dazed and confused while the Apples are conveniently passed out.

This story should scare and horrify the characters at least, otherwise you don't have a chance doing the same to the readers.

In summary, I see you can describe when you want to, but you haven't quite figured out how to build a scene around description. My best advice is to read (especially published fiction) and pay attention to when and how the author feeds the reader details to keep them in the story.

I think you'll find that the details tend to support whatever the author is trying to say at the time.

>The clock radio on the nightstand read 5:59am.

Good detail. It's easy to guess what this means.

>This seventh floor apartment was nothing short of luxurious.
Bad detail, it makes me work too hard to imagine.

>The spacious bedroom she was sleeping in had an en-suite complete with a shower-bathtub combo, wash basin and toilet. On the far side of the room was a large sliding glass door leading to the balcony, which held a suntanning chair and a small wooden table.

Too much confusing detail; I'm not sure what it means.


The fix probably requires re-imagining and re-writing most scenes. Descriptive writing cannot be added after the fact. (I wish it could. I have the same problem with my own revision now.)

My suggestion is to try writing a scene in which two ponies have breakfast. (Or whatever else you choose.) Make me experience their meal as they plan their day. If you e-mail it to me, I'll give feedback. You need to develop the skill before you return to this story and short scenes will be easier to work with.
>> No. 94126
Thank you very much mate. I really appreciate it!
>> No. 94128
File 133316725743.png - (292.12KB , 900x900 , Good Morning Best Pony.png )
94128
>>94024

Thank you so much for the feedback!

The fact is, there is a lot more to the story than meets the eye at this point, but it's because it's just the beginning...the real "plot" of the story hasn't even been touched on yet. There is a lot more depth I plan to cover regarding Cheerilee and her cutie mark. That being said, I do understand where you are coming from regarding how it is a stretch, so I will try to rework the beginning a tad in that regard. I will say that once the next part is complete, the "stretch" you mention will be significantly less of a stretch. I guess the problem there is that right now, you have absolutely no basis for anything other than "why does Cheerilee suddenly doubt herself when she was fine with it on the show?" I do plan on getting more critiques once I finish up more of the story, I'd love to hear your thoughts on the subject then.

Looking back on it, I can definitely see your point that rather than just feel like a bad day, it feels like a cosmic strike against the main character. I want to get into the main block of the story quickly, but taking the time to build up to her breakdown rather than just have a million things hit her at once would probably give the breakdown more of an emotional impact.

Since the last reviewer, I've been working on rewrites to the start, and have toned down the emotional shifts to be much more gradual and subtle, rather than just throwing a switch to go from Happy Cheerilee to Depressed Cheerilee.

As far as Headmaster goes, the part that you read is his only DIRECT involvement in the story...everything else will come in the form of Cheerilee thinking about what he said. I needed him there as a part-time antagonist, a character you can point to and say "Yeah, that's a jerk", and he is mostly there to say the line "For a pony with a teaching Cutie Mark, you don't' seem to know a lot about teaching." But as you said, his character does come off as a bit of an archetype of an antagonist rather than a well thought out character. I think I can go back and rework him a touch so he's still unlikeable and the jerk I need him to be without being a stereotype of the evil boss who hates kids.

I think that the biggest problem I have run into here - one that pretty much encompasses all of your critiques - is that I was so eager to get to the main part of the story that I sacrificed character development and story development to get there, instead merely throwing things at my main character until she went from happy to sad. While I want to get to the main plot, taking the time to flesh out my beginning more will it the depth that it will need for the reader to become emotionally attached to both the story and to Cheerilee.

I really appreciate your feedback on this story, and will be taking everything you suggested to heart. Thanks again, and I'd love to possibly request you as a reviewer when I have more of the story written.
>> No. 94133
File 133316976367.jpg - (3.36KB , 160x148 , Ghost_Reporting.jpg )
94133
>>92144
Fix your title's capitalization.

Other than that, your story's pretty good. The only thing I noticed were that some of your sentences were slightly rambling; if I were you, I'd go back and look for any sentence that has three sections joined together by commas and/or semicolons. Those aren't bad in and of themselves, but make sure that you can't split it into smaller, more direct thoughts; that would make your flow better.

Other than that, I'd consider a little more expansion on the intros and outros of each chapter. You do a very efficient job at establishing scenes and action, but the pace seems to dramatically quicken at the beginning and end of every chapter. Especially the beginning of the chapter; you nearly start by assuming everyone knows who Dr. Who is (which, in this fandom... fair point).

There were also two "telling" characterizations of the Doctor early on. Saying, "Well, I can whistle!" is good: it shows that he's whimsical and not entirely serious. Saying, "It was him" doesn't quite have the same subtlety.

Other than that, though, this story's in pretty good shape. Bravo.
>> No. 94138
>>94119
Thanks mate, feedback like this means a lot to me.

>Stay in past tense.
Yep, really just a derp on my part. I'll be sure to look out for that.
>This is a mistake natives make! Have you studied English in school, or are you self-taught?
Well, I did English in high-school, but I never took classes seriously back then. Thanks for the explanation, and sorry for making you point out silly mistakes like that.
>You have to use the other shape (the one that looks like a 9) as an apostrophe.
Um, not quite sure what shape you're talking about here. Mind giving me a link of it somewhere?
>you need commas when naming the person you're talking too, good sir.
Yeah... sometimes when I read it out loud, it feels like there's no pause. But I guess a rule is a rule.
>I assume you've worked on improving the description.
Actually, not much has changed since I submitted. I have added some actions in the dialogue though, perhaps every little bit helps.
>Mr. Bleeding Heart - should be capitalized.
Did not know that, thanks.
>You need emotion to make this sing.
I'll have to work on that. Weaving in descriptions and emotions with dialogue is something I'm rather terrible at.
>but you haven't quite figured out how to build a scene around description.
Judging by the Pre-reader comments and another review I recieved recently, this seems to be the biggest weakness in the story. I've actually tried quite hard to work in more actions and have characters interact with the scene in dialogue, but I see now it is still a major problem.
>Bad detail
>Too much confusing detail
Hm... should I just get rid of stuff like that altogether? Or re-write it in a different way? I'm not even quite sure if I could write it in a different way...

As far as everything else goes, I do have a couple of questions. Was the plot interesting for you? Were the characters believable? And did you think it had enough of a hook?

Anyway, very grateful for the review and tips, and I will take you up on your offer and email you with a little practice scene sometime early next week, after I finish this damn assignment...
Thank you and have a good day, sir.
>> No. 94140
File 133317186926.jpg - (3.36KB , 160x148 , Ghost_Reporting.jpg )
94140
>>92280
The grammar on this one could be better. Things to look out for on your next proofreading sweep:
-Different speakers get different paragraphs.
-Hyphenate compound descriptors
-some compound words (birdsong) were left separate
-"for peat's sake" Unless Irish mud is worth a lot more, I think you mean "for Pete's sake"

Next, I noticed that, especially early on in the chapter, you have a lot of "telling" characterization, where basically, you state, "Character x was trait y." It's "efficient," but it's also amateurish and tacky. A better way to demonstrate that a character is something is to show them doing something that exemplifies it.

There's also the fact that you don't give Saxa's name out until right at the end. If you were trying for something with that, I didn't quite get it. I'd suggest naming her early on.

Along with that, I'd give a little more emotional weight to the two characters. As of now, Saxa feels like a stereotypical "action girl" and Sweet Song feels like a "happy-go-lucky thief." Why are they together? Why are they going to... wherever the destination is? What's the extent of their relationship? Are they sexually intimate?

Next, and while not necessarily a complaint against the writing in general, but this is so far removed from My Little Pony that, with a minimal amount of effort, this could be translated to any number of fantasy universes: World of Warcraft, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Warhammer:40k. Again, it's not criticism, just something that I've seen fics get rejected from Equestria Daily over.

I get what you were trying to do with the italic text, but frankly, it got grating fairly quick. If you make it a point about how they spoke their own language to each other, or even which language they were speaking during each encounter, I think it would work a bit better.

Finally, my main critique of this one-shot is that the plot... was pretty weak, I guess, for how big of a world you made and set this in. I mean, it's a traveler going from point A to point B, and they get there, but the ending of this story felt lacking. This was probably because of the lack of emotional depth so that the fact that the two seemed to grow closer from that encounter didn't have as much of an emotional impact, but at the same time, you need to expand on the journey a little so that arriving at the destination matters.
>> No. 94142
THE TRAINING GROUNDS IS NOW ON AUTOSAGE, DO NOT POST ANY MORE STORIES UNTIL THE NEXT THREAD IS MADE
>> No. 94146
File 133317386449.jpg - (3.36KB , 160x148 , Ghost_Reporting.jpg )
94146
>>94142
What about reviews?
>> No. 94148
>>94146

Reviews are fine as long as you can update the queue yourself once the thread is off the first page.
>> No. 94150
File 133317450320.png - (47.83KB , 707x724 , Derpy274.png )
94150
Here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1TOaS9F9oysBg3lXG_lw11EeOGNzsdOykhGyksLB1jCg/edit
>> No. 94151
THE TRAINING GROUNDS IS ON AUTOSAGE. PLEASE WAIT UNTIL A NEW THREAD IS CONSTRUCTED BEFORE POSTING THINE STORIES. ANY ADDITIONS TO THE QUEUE BEFORE THE NEW THREAD IS POSTED SHALL BE IGNORED!
>> No. 94154
THE TRAINING GROUNDS IS ON AUTOSAGE. PLEASE WAIT UNTIL A NEW THREAD IS CONSTRUCTED BEFORE POSTING THINE STORIES. ANY ADDITIONS TO THE QUEUE BEFORE THE NEW THREAD IS POSTED SHALL BE IGNORED!

>>93891
In reviews. The fish shop sign one in particular amuses me, and it does a wonderful job of explaining over-description.
>> No. 94159
>>94154
>The fish shop sign one in particular amuses me, and it does a wonderful job of explaining over-description.
Not quite. They might sell "fresh fish" because advertising and competition.
>> No. 94160
File 133317951177.jpg - (3.36KB , 160x148 , Ghost_Reporting.jpg )
94160
>>78675
Yes, there's more than one chapter here. Frankly, I'm on too a tight schedule to review all 20 of them, though
>>94072

From a grammatical standpoint, this is slightly rough. The main thing that I noticed is that you have the tendency to abuse commas. Go back through and look at every sentence in here that has more than two commas; chances are, it can be split up or phrases can be combined to form a more streamlined, coherent sentence (or sentences). If not, then keep it, but especially at the end of chapter one, some of your commas need to be fixed.

Other than that, I found some tense shifting, where basically, you had narrative that wasn't in the past or past-perfect (flashbacks only!) tense. Past tense is how people naturally tell stories that happened, so present tense narration feels wrong. Look for any "this"es in narration, that's where I found most of them. And change "This" to "That" or "It," to have an appropriate temporal distance.

Other than THAT, you don't do a very good job at introducing either of these two worlds (Skyrim, Equestria) to the readers. I'm reasonably familiar with the second one, but as someone who has no idea what the difference between an Elder Scroll and a Morrowind, all of your factions and proper nouns quickly turned into incomprehensible "nerd-jargon." Which is what I'm calling it when two nerds talk about a fantasy universe that you know nothing about and it all sounds like "Sheeoth smote Rexib, the founder of the Tan'ar Order, but his disciple Rohoth was quick to unsheath Marbis, the sword of retribution."


Finally, the action at the end of chapter one implies far too much about things. Is the female warrior at the werewolf's mercy? How strong is he? The commas here, especially, didn't help any.

All in all, this looked somewhat grammatically clean, but I'm not entirely sure about WHO was doing everything in the story. Except Luna.
>> No. 94166
File 133318171467.jpg - (3.36KB , 160x148 , Ghost_Reporting.jpg )
94166
>>81210
Scratch that, chapters 0 and 1; I've seen enough

In terms of grammar, your biggest fault was commas. You splice predicates onto complete sentences in a semi-awkward manner, and other places, you overuse them.

In terms of spelling, you misspelled some words: "chocking" to refer to the act of strangulation, door "nob" instead of "knob"

It's obvious that you're a nonnative English writer, but this is still mostly well-done. With another editing pass, I'm sure you can get this to be natural-sounding yet. Barring that, you can find an editor to help you over every instance of these issues (which, unfortunately, is beyond the scope of the help that I am able to provide).


I got past the writing, which again, wasn't the worst. Then I was left with a fairly generic story of "Brony ends up in Equestria with Twilight taking care of him." Now, I didn't read far enough to know if your main character does the cliche "tell everyone their life stories," but in the first two chapters, I noticed the following:

-Talking Heads Syndrome, or basically, where you establish a scene and then only focus on the two speakers' dialogue. Ponies DO things while they speak, omitting that feels sterile.

-Telling, not showing: Your character points out a lot of his personality traits as he's in the middle of doing them. "I still found my hobbies weird." "I was still joking." People don't just up and announce their feelings like that, except under extreme circumstances. Naturally? Definitely not.

-Pacing: Basically, I think you lost out quite a bit on the defibrillator scene shocking your life's memories back into your mind. Now, I'm not saying that you need to tell the world about your deepest, darkest secrets, but at the same time, this is a very poetic, emotional moment, but it just falls flat in my occular implants.

Similarly, at the end of chapter one, there wasn't really a conflict presented other than, "I'm a pony." You were sick, but Twilight gave you medicine... really, given the amount of HiE stories out there that start the same way, if you don't give me a reason to continue reading past the first chapter, you've lost me. You need some sort of hook, even if subtle, that hints at why the other eight chapters of this aren't just going to be, "Joy! I am a unicorn!"

Which is this story's biggest failing, I think: your character's interesting enough (though, no thank you for reading about your ponysona's penis), but with all the HiE, you're really fighting an uphill battle to establish yourself from the rest of the crowd. Get a better hook and it'll help; fix your writing style some, and it'll help even more.
>> No. 94167
File 133318213282.jpg - (1.74KB , 127x127 , fluffie.jpg )
94167
>>94159
Point conceded.
>> No. 94168
>>93903

Well said!

To be frank, I was very much surprised by your quick review of my fic so soon after I posted. I had not even teased with the thought of seeing it reviewed for at least several days or more, however I am happy that I was wrong.

Although pithy, your edit was very enlightening on how to polish my work in the future. I was also pleased to find out your exasperation with the main character's age being 18. I had the same concerns as well, and have since changed the story to where the age is not mentioned at all.

You were correct: it wasn't relevant and only added to the suspension of disbelief.

Also the Mrs. Cake scene does need a little re-work. It gets a little confusing, so I'll tinker with the phrasing until it sounds more natural and fluent; and James' first line of dialogue with another character (or to be more specific, the prose in-between) needs to be written clearer. This will also be modified. Can't expect the reader to know what I'm thinking all the time, I suppose.

The simple grammar mistakes have been edited (thanks for catching those, by the way), so now all that's left is...well...James.

I have to be honest. I sighed when I read your warning. I didn't want to, it's against my beliefs to doubt the editor, but I couldn't resist. You do have a point, don't get me wrong. As a reviewer, you must have seen hundreds of poorly-written, ill-contrived, vomit-inducing, cringe-wracking fictions involving a Mary Sue human character, and his/her [awful] adventures through Equestria with the Mane 6.

Please though, give me the courtesy of assuming that I already knew what would happen if I used a human as the main character. That I would already understand the skepticism that would amass the moment the story posted, the rolling eyes and clicking tongues that would ensue from just reading the tag "human" in the heading.

My testimony might not count for much, which is why I hope my writing will tell it better than I can say, but James is not a Gary Stu.

Again, you are correct in stating that the best, and most efficient way to rid my character of the label is to make him a "non-human".

However, I can't do that.

I thought long and hard about the decision before I even put down the first keystrokes. I knew that it would be so, soooo, much easier to just write a story with another OC pony character rather than a human one, and I'm sure that I would garner much larger fanbase if I did so. But ... then what would happen? All that would be left after the novelty of a 'thief' pony wore off would be nothing more than an adequate adventure with no real impact at all. It would just be another well-written, yet uninspiring story to sit in the data banks gathering electronic dust.

I don't want that! I want to push the taboo that a good HiE story CAN be made. That the genre isn't just filled with mopey teenagers with a keyboard and a musty recollection of their Creative Writing course, but can be a worthwhile window into a world that I and so many others have fallen in love with. This is why I have come to you, a pre-reader, in hopes that you will help me realize this dream that so many others before me have tried to accomplish and failed.

It can be done. I know it, and I do believe, sincerely, that this story could fulfill that hopeless fantasy and inspire other authors to take up the mantle of reviving Humans into Equestria.

I have James' sheet in front of me as I type. I wrote out very clearly his character so that I wouldn't be driven to insert myself into his role in the story. I even went so far as to take several Mary Sue tests, as well as the Universal Mary Sue Litmus test, which I highly recommend for any future authors (I got a 14, which was fairly decent, all things considered).

As Walt Kelly once said: "We have met the enemy, and he is us".

The title is "A Thief Named James" for a reason. It is because this will revolve not on the issue of James being a human, it will touch on that (I mean, it has to), but rather it will be about him being a THIEF.

He is, in every sense, an anti-hero. The antagonist, as well as our protagonist, and the story will arc around him and his reasons for wanting to steal, as well as why he has chosen to follow this criminal path, and why he wants to be the best and most renown thief in the world.

I hope that you will not turn away from the story, and that you will see this through with me. I am a good listener, and will not object to an idea unless I have a very good, and explainable, reason for doing so.

I know that you are a good reviewer, if I am to take example from your previous reviews, and that you have taken a long hiatus from reviewing until just recently. Your name, I know I have heard somewhere before. I can't place it, and I'm sorry for that, but I do remember you giving top-notch reviews and having a very capable level of deductive reasoning. I trust you, implicitly, but as to this "human" matter I must respectfully decline the change.

I apologize for the long acknowledgement of the first part of your review. My reply wasn't meant to be this involute, but know that I am not ranting on you because I am outraged or upset. Rather, because I want to be very clear that this is a story that I am willing to invest my time with and make shine, to make it a role-model for all of the bronies who desperately crave for a good HiE story to surface and be admired. I've seen them wanting one, it's the single largest group in fimfiction.net, so in some way there is a following out there. There is a charm in the forbidden that makes it unspeakably desirable.

But if I backed away from what I believe in, just because it is a 'touchy subject', then I could never be the writer I've always wanted to be. And then this whole endeavor, would just be another waste of time.

I ask a favor of you today, Casca, and that is to allow this transgression without a fuss over who will like it and what they will think. As I see it, people will like something well-written, and hate something that is not. Things are just that simple.

My main concerns are building up James into a real, and thoughtful character, and story flow. Casca, I want you to correct me when I go wrong, and to right me whenever I err. That whenever my story seems to be going too slow, I want you to say "Faster!", and whenever things are moving to fast, I want you to shout at me "Slower!".

You are kind for your concerns, but have faith in my dedication to making this the best story it could possibly be.
>> No. 94169
File 133318340854.jpg - (3.36KB , 160x148 , Ghost_Reporting.jpg )
94169
>>94166
I forgot while posting that review, but also, you had punctuation outside of quotation marks. "Sentence," said speaker. Even in single quotes: "Well, she said, 'Don't panic,' but she's the one who fell down a mineshaft."
>> No. 94173
File 133318770114.jpg - (3.36KB , 160x148 , Ghost_Reporting.jpg )
94173
>>81210
Grammatical issues that I found:
-possessives are formed with an apostrophe. Vimbert's burbon, for example.
-run-on sentences. Make sure that you end sentences at one complete thought or use appropriate measures to join them
-sentence fragments: make sure that you have a complete sentence between the capitalized word and the punctuation mark
-join dialogue to speaking verbs with a comma; if it's a non-speaking verb, use a period
>"Hey there," he said.
>"Hey there." He waved.
-conjoin compound adjectives with a hyphen. "Isn't this just super-duper?"
-use a comma when you're putting a coordinating adjective phrase before the action: "After she ate, she brushed her teeth."



Other than the grammar, the first thing I noticed was your use of passive tense. In general, passive tense is bad because of how indirect and boring it is: you're just saying "what is" instead of "what is happening." Almost any passive-tense sentence can be written as an active-tense one, and those are much more engaging. Look for "subject was ______ing" in your narration and see if there's a way to describe that sentence by saying "subject ______ed."

Another thing was that you seemed to tell a lot of descriptions instead of showing them. I found an example of this combined with passive tense, ironically where:
>There seemed to be an eerie atmosphere surrounding the stones
tells the readers what the stones are doing, but
>The stones hummed ominously
would be showing that they're eerie and active-tense. Showing instead of telling makes your reading a lot more engaging to the audience.

Next was the fact that all of your chapters began with a small weather report. I mean, it's nice to set the scene, sure. But at the same time, the weather is such a large and boring thing, its importance can usually be summed up in part of a more important sentence.
>Twilight and Fluttershy searched the Everfree Forest even as the evening sun threatened to leave them alone in the dark.
as an unpolished writing snippet example


Finally, and probably the worst problem of all in this story: Your OC, who the story revolved around? He's a total Gary Stu. Throughout this story, he:
-is instantly friends with the main six
-has a special talent (hopping into his own shadow) that is uncommon
-has a dark, mysterious past
-he's a human wizard or something
-is accidentally the cause of the problem (so everyone has to pay attention to him)
-ends up sacrificing himself heroically for the good of the world

I mean, these character traits all add up to, basically, a boring character. He's so "overpowered" in the universe that he doesn't quite fit, and the conflict around him feels wholly artificial. It's kind of like Checkov's Noose, where he creates a bad situation that only he and his problems could solve.

And that was disappointing, I think. There was a lot of poignant imagery and scenes in this story, but ultimately, the cheap ending made them feel like they were worth less.

It's also difficult to say "how to fix this." You've got a lot of good symptoms of problems, here: the bakery burning down, the mare getting chased down and/or raped by some guards. Part of me wants you to keep this, and the conclusion, and every scene NOT involving your OC, then find a way to make them all work with a tamer, less-Stuish OC. Maybe bring back some G1 bad guys? Honestly, "Twilight messes up a spell" is cliche, but I'd rather read a story about her accidentally making everyone into a mean pony than about how poor, tragic Storm Bolt is a human from bad old Earth, but only he can stop the negative emotions.

I wanted to like this story. As I was reading chapter 3, I said to myself, "Man, this makes up for the Stuish OC and the fact that he's the cause of this." Sure, Pinkie's emotions were a little forced, but at the same time, there was something in there that made me feel a connection with her.

This story has potential. But I seriously think you need to omit or revamp your OC in order to get it to reach that level of greatness.
>> No. 94174
File 133318789107.jpg - (3.36KB , 160x148 , Ghost_Reporting.jpg )
94174
I feel I should post this as I'm going back to the Acadamy for the night.

Tomorrow:
>>79295 / >>83644 / >>84836
>> No. 94175
>>94111

Thanks for the review, yes I'm still in school.

I have already started on editing my fic more closely, watching for punctuation mistakes and alike. As for the description, I find that to be a dangerous area.

Too much and it becomes boring, too little and the reader have to come up with everything in his/her own mind. But I'm working on improving that as well.

And lastly, I've stopped witholding information as I completely agree with you there.
>> No. 94184
>>94166
Thank you so much for the review, I've been waiting for so long :)

I am aware of the grammar/spelling issues and they are being worked on.
Also I will try and fix the "talking heads" as well. As far as the 'hook' goes, there is one, and I always have trouble convincing people there is more to the fic than it seems from the first 2 chapters. I will probably have to merge/re-edit the entire beginning of the fic.

Again, thanks a lot for the review !
>> No. 94199
THE TRAINING GROUNDS IS ON AUTOSAGE. PLEASE WAIT UNTIL A NEW THREAD IS CONSTRUCTED BEFORE POSTING THINE STORIES. ANY ADDITIONS TO THE QUEUE BEFORE THE NEW THREAD IS POSTED SHALL BE IGNORED!
>> No. 94200
File 133321875962.jpg - (3.36KB , 160x148 , Ghost_Reporting.jpg )
94200
>>93443
>>93451
>>93456
>>93458
>>93460
>>93538
>>93546
>>93572
>>93591
>>93614
>>93635
>>93676
>>94024
>>94087
>>94133
>>94140
>>94160
>>94166 / >>94169
>>94173
>> No. 94207
Geez. Terran's tearing through those reviews like a boss. o.O
>> No. 94214
Synopsis: In the beginning there were two pony tribes; the alicorns and the terra ponies. From those tribes descended the the main tribes, the earth ponies, the unicorns, and the pegasi. From the unicorns sprang the fairly pony tribe and from the pegasus tribe came the sea ponies. All the tribes were in harmony with the alicorns leading wisely. Until the terra ponies broke off and went to war with the alicorns for control. During the struggle the demon known as Discord was released.

When the dust cleared and the element of chaos was once again contained, the world was very different. The fairly ponies were gone as well as the terra ponies. Of the once great alicorn tribe, only two were left to morn their kin.

Today only four of the tribes survive. The earth ponies, the unicorns, and the pegasi all remain as well as the sea ponies. The alicorns are down to two members while the other two tribes are extinct. Or are they? Where did the fairy ponies go? What drove the sea ponies below the ocean? Are the terra ponies really gone?

Link:
http://www.fimfiction.net/story/10078/The-Seven-Tribes

Comments/Requests:
All submitted chapters but chapters 1 through 5 in particular.
Equestria Daily pre-reader comments:
This is going to need a lot of editing!
Also needs a grimdark tag hardcore. (fixed)
>> No. 94217
THE TRAINING GROUNDS IS ON AUTOSAGE. PLEASE WAIT UNTIL A NEW THREAD IS CONSTRUCTED BEFORE POSTING THINE STORIES. ANY ADDITIONS TO THE QUEUE BEFORE THE NEW THREAD IS POSTED SHALL BE IGNORED!
>> No. 94236
File 133322309474.png - (135.39KB , 900x644 , discord_by_orangel8989-d49eajx.png )
94236
>>93045
So much chaos, so little time. But how could I resist this?
>> No. 94248
File 133322584769.jpg - (96.55KB , 700x1024 , Merry-cat2.jpg )
94248
>>94217
But oh nose! The new one was deleted!
>> No. 94265
NEW THREAD >>94251 NEW THREAD >>94251 NEW THREAD >>94251 NEW THREAD >>94251 NEW THREAD >>94251 NEW THREAD >>94251 NEW THREAD >>94251 NEW THREAD >>94251 NEW THREAD >>94251 NEW THREAD >>94251 NEW THREAD >>94251 NEW THREAD >>94251 NEW THREAD >>94251 NEW THREAD >>94251 NEW THREAD >>94251 NEW THREAD >>94251 NEW THREAD >>94251 NEW THREAD >>94251 NEW THREAD >>94251 NEW THREAD >>94251 NEW THREAD >>94251 NEW THREAD >>94251 NEW THREAD >>94251 NEW THREAD >>94251 NEW THREAD >>94251 NEW THREAD >>94251 NEW THREAD >>94251 NEW THREAD >>94251
>> No. 94542
>94140

Thank you for the review, I've followed up with a short email about a few specifics.
>> No. 95096
>>93676

First off, thank you so much for going through my work. I'm sorry for not getting back to you sooner, but I've been away from a reliable net connection pretty much since you posted this :/.

Secondly...and I apologise for not posting this sooner, but the story is in the middle of some fairly extensive re-writing. Basically, my beta-reader got into contact with the pre-reader who first took a look at it. From what they both have said, the 'dryness' mentioned refers to a lack of personality to the writing. They also mentioned that the 'telling' aspect was that the story was told in a sequence of actions and nothing more, particularly being told with rather bland words.

Thus, I've re-written it more from an 'Apple Bloom-perspective, if that makes sense. Like so:

"No matter how many times she stayed over at Scootaloo’s, it still took a moment for Apple Bloom’s eyes to adjust. The walls around her burned a brighter orange than any fire. She and Sweetie Belle had actually lost track of Scootaloo in here a couple of times after their try at being Cutie Mark Crusaders Barbers. The only break from all the orange was a little, mouth-drawn picture of Rainbow Dash surrounded by all the colours of her mane, which sat proudly above the headboard."

As opposed to:

"Even though she had been there before for sleepovers, it still took a moment for Apple Bloom’s eyes to adjust to the onslaught of colour that was Scootaloo’s bedroom. The walls were a brash orange that her friend could almost blend in with if not for her mane, with the only respite being a mouth-drawn picture of Rainbow Dash in mid-sonic rainboom—complete with lightning bolts and explosions—that sat just above the headboard."

This issue is that this particular re-write was done about two days before your review. Oops. :(

Regardless of this, I really do appreciate your analysis, especially in regards to the whole species issue aspect. I am intending to include something similar further on in the story (it is really very early days, at this point), and I think that particular aspect could be slotted in alongside it. :) (For the moment, I see Apple Bloom as a little too wrapped up in how exciting the pegasus racing seems to focus on the logic of it. For now ;) )

It is nice to know that I hit the right balance in pointing out their cutie mark obsession, and the little bit of emphasis needed on the camaraderie can be added to the re-write.

Anyway, thank you so, so much for this review. I'm sorry the opening segment is a little irrelevant, now, but I appreciate your help :)
>> No. 95281
>>95267
>"(and it does)"

>Again, as I've told quite a few others, you're judging the story from your point of view.
I'm judging the story by my own ability of reading and plot analysis. I'm saying there were certain problems that I found while reading it.

If I'm judging it by my Equestria Daily Prereader eye, there are still problems with content.

Don't knock negative feedback so willingly. It's how you learn as an author.

>You're encouraging the decision to tell the author to write more? Either your standards for fiction are really high or you're just another anti-reviewer.
I'm encouraging the decision to tell you to write as much as needs to be to make your story fit the My Little Pony universe. If you're so hell-bent on your story being "good" without a need to fit into the MLP universe, then why not take it to a fiction publishing magazine?

>On those words, I'm leaving the story up until an actual reviewer comes around.
You've had four people give you feedback now, and two reviews. One you insulted by calling "mind-numbing stupidity," the other you pass off as "invalid."

No.

As a maintainer of The Training Grounds and one of the oldest-standing reviewers of this board, you either take some of their considerations or get the fuck out. Until I've seen improvement on your story, consider it banned from the queue.

Ghost or no, the reviewers spend enough time helping others without having to deal with the egos of gits like you.
>> No. 96945
Tags: [Grimdark]

Synopsis: Twilight Sparkle is alone. Three months ago, everypony vanished. Now, everyday is a struggle to stay sane. She tries desperately to discover what happened to the other ponies, but time is running out, and there's something else out there.

Links:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1FH8oRO1BKiKO6Apg5bCwHoPYuVarYA4jF-avE6dBv3k/edit

Comments:
The pre-readers at EqD said it suffered from minor grammar errors and simple writing.
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