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When in natural state, is guzzling coffee with some music in the background
Gold medal
Uncharted Territory
Friendship is Short Shorts Short Short
1st
100%
289
We Rest In The Penumbra
Ribbon
Keep Pretending
FiM Minific
7th
88%
209
Aftercare
Bronze medalMortarboard
In Name Only
Original Minific
3rd
86%
184
Ingénue, c. 2003
Ribbon
Colour Contagion
Original Minific
11th
64%
122
Sibling Ribaldry
Ribbon
And at the End, You Shall Remain Alone
FiM Minific
15th
33%
42
The Emissary
Ribbon
The Howl in the Dark
Original Minific
28th
21%
20
A Triptych For Amduscias
Ribbon
All the Time in the World
FiM Short Story
18th
6%
5
To Prepare A Paradise
#22298 · 4
· on Laissez-Fate · >>Trick_Question
This is definitely one of the more accomplished stories of the bunch that does an incredible job within the minuscule range. The idea, though familiar, is delivered here with a fresh coat of paint with not a drop wasted. The tone is rather nonchalant and to the point in a way that's almost reflective of Cadance's demeanor, starkly contrasting the horror of what's actually happening. The pacing is frighteningly neat and even. and the dialogue, though a little straightforward, does its job of breathing life into the entry. The fact that it raises so many intriguing questions by the end of it all is a testament to how impactful the story is in general.

I gotta say, I've spent a good chunk of an hour before writing out this pseudo-review mulling over this story and trying to look for even the smallest thing to gripe about and the only thing I can come up with is the possibility that we might not be getting any more from this. Hoping to see an expanded version of this, dear Author.

Thanks for writing, and good luck!
#22339 · 4
· on Special Delivery · >>Trick_Question
As much as I like a good emotional tearjerker, I always find myself needing a bit more to be able to greenlight my want of a good bit of moisture in my irises and some much-needed pangs in my hinterland of a heart. Suffice to say, this story didn't do it for me. Sorry, Author, this is gonna be another dissenting opinion of your entry.

Before that though, I do want to gather up my positives and just lay them out here. I think this story's messaging is nice. The bittersweetness of this story does help with the message a little. The second scene, though looking a bit janky as it is sandwiched between the other two, did showcase something closer to what I wished this story had gone for, which I'll explain later below.

The first thing that really stuck out to me that rubbed me the wrong way, right from my first read, was the dialogue in general. Might just be me, but it came off as very manufactured. The way the dialogue is currently used kinda seems like they're trying to define the story's main idea rather than actually help tell it. I do like the hopeful sentiments that are being echoed in their conversation, but to actually use them as a means of dialogue themselves does make everything look a bit rickety, and that's without adding how the dialogue seems to want to mollycoddle the readers with information they and the characters are already aware of whenever it gets the chance.

The prose that's structured definitely does not help the story one bit. As the dialogue is already driving the emotional crux of the story forward, they're really only there to establish and connect the scenes, perhaps make a few embellishments. It did a bare minimum to give the story some semblance of structure but honestly, I don't think that enough was done to make the story resonate properly. The sentiments used in the dialogue could've been utilized with better effect here. Maybe portrayed with imagery that's closer to home instead of something cosmic and ethereal in nature to ground the story to the characters still alive and kicking instead of those that contextually had long since passed.

What ultimately severed the last of my positives with this story was really the lack of overall focus beyond wanting to hit a series of emotional goalposts. The whole first scene, we're given a look at the mother-daughter relationship between Skydancer and Derpy, then after a small transition, we're given another separate mother-daughter relationship featuring a grown-up Derpy and her own Dinky. Individually, though a bit bare, I don't think either scene collapses unto themselves, but in tandem, they gave off an impression of nonconfidence in the story's ability to keep us emotionally invested.

Say we focus only on the scene with Skydancer and Derpy, discarding the rest. If the focus was narrowed down on two narrative paths, Skydancer's wavering health and Derpy's determination to continue her mother's work, then I think it'll be fine. Instead, with the addition of the second and third scene, we're reminded of the absolute fact that yes, ponies stay dead when they die, and that Derpy's childhood determination just tapered off as if it never mattered in the first place. The former comes across as a reaffirmation of something that never needed affirmation; the latter just malformed that aspect of her character and made it seem like a wasted opportunity of character development, positive or negative.

Conversely, we cut off the first scene and have our lens shifted to Derpy and Dinky. We have Derpy finding her commitments of seeing to those messages getting sent through wavering and Dinky bringing some much-needed boost for her mother. Yet when we put the first scene back into play, I'm just wondering why we even need the knowledge of Skydancer in the first place. It's not like we ever needed confirmation that yes, Skydancer was someone that mattered to Derpy. We never needed the context of all that mattered to Derpy up to that point being told to us in black and white for the story to really stick the landing. In the end, the whole first scene just feels like unnecessary padding for a story already fluffed up and ready for submission.

The second scene does pose an interesting shift in comparison to the rest, however. We're given a look at the aftermath of something, in this case the death of Derpy's mother. We're given a glimpse of how the protagonist handled it. Basically, we're given an inciting action, one that pushes the narrative forward. On top of that, we're given a drastic tonal shift. It's something that I wished was expanded upon because the dramatic shift that Derpy undergoes before and after the fact is crisp and clear, and with how everything is presented, it seems to have taken place in this small snippet of a scene. I just want to know more about how it affected her, how it was consequential to her not being able to fly higher than the stars to deliver those letters anymore. To me, it was a chance at grounding Derpy's character beyond the sentiments of hope and longing, to give us insight and offer us a chance to empathize with what she's going through. Put it another way, it was a missed opportunity to leave that scene as fleeting as it was.

Ultimately, I don't think the message is vaguely presented here, not at all. I just think that with how everything structured, the story is actually trying to drive home several messages all at once, which leads to the story itself being a little noncommittal and sloppy. Toss in the dialogue, I'm convinced this was definitely a rushed entry that wanted to be too many different things, yet could never have them come together as a cohesive whole by the end. I honestly admire the ambition and, again, the sentiment of the story. It's just that the execution leaves a lot more to be desired in my book.

Nevertheless, thanks for writing, and good luck!
#22470 · 4
·
Despite all his restless attempts, he was never able to get it right. The clocks of the world worked tirelessly against him. The hours came and went without even a greeting. Stuck in a forgotten cubicle in some long-lost corner of the universe, he was trapped in a changeless cage, equipped with only his grease-stained mouse, his dusty keyboard and a buzzing monitor— the only window he had left to the outside world.

Each new day brought a new scenery beyond the digital blinds; the temptation was barely out of his reach. He stared on in jealousy, and in what few moments interspersed amid the lackadaisical dullness of his life, he felt the urge to smash his keyboard against the monitor. Of course, like with most men, he never had the courage, all of it lost to trends masquerading as human nature.

Voyeurism aside, he also found time to look into himself. To vivisect his amorphous principles and precious philosophies as he went by his day-to-day. Sometimes, the depths of his operation warranted a stern warning from life's many managers, but he paid no heed to them. He only asked for a minute of selfishness every day, a minute to align his sullen world with the vivacity on his screen. Was that really too much to ask?

In time, those worlds collided, a slow-motion car crash, and change finally took place as the world outside began to merge with the world within him. The plaster of the cubicle crumbled away, only to swoop back and constrict him from the waist down. The mouse and keyboard sunk into him, the wires and keys intertwining with his tendons and bones. The monitor stood by his side and showed the world within him pulsating, reverberating, resonating, and when the time came where it would pulse no more, he could only confide in his doctor — a mere stranger — with his last words.

"Look at the first letter of each paragraph."
#22590 · 4
· on Forever
This is probably one of the rockier entries from our current batch here, with the aspects I like and the aspects I didn't like split evenly into both halves as with how this entry presented itself. As per usual with my reviews, there's a fair bit that I'm going to dive into here, mostly because I think the central idea of this entry's a rather nice one. I just think that most of its flaws come directly from the execution itself, particularly in the latter half.

In the first half, we have a team of explorers scouting out what I believe is the Frozen North, which in of itself delivers on the whole prompt relevance front. We're given a look at their camaraderie in the beginning and the scene ends on a hopeful, aspirational note. A quick cut later, we're being given the aftermath of an encounter with something Lovecraftian, one that drove most of the team mad save for Hail and Frost, who are now being pursued by the team and are trying to escape from these mountains.

When I break down the story like this and look at it, the whole thing's actually rather spectacular. For a story at a thousand words, the remaining two hundred and fifty notwithstanding, there's really a lot going on, yet pacing-wise it doesn't feel as rushed as many of the other entries here, which I find a bit impressive. The forwardness of the prose definitely helped with letting everything glide along.

Where I think this story really shone was definitely the characterization. The dialogue happening in the first half was lively and immediately convinced me to sympathize and root for them. By the time Klondike was done with showing Tundra and Frost the view, I was hooked. I really wanted to know what's about to happen and I was on board with whatever that came next.

That's about all the stuff I liked about this entry, all in the first half.

The second half is where things really began to fall apart.

Now, I want to make it clear that I don't believe it's the fault of the scene itself that hindered my enjoyment with this story. In fact, I can definitely still see clearly the stark contrast that these two scenes were supposed to be presenting when pitted against one another. I also don't think that we need to really see the horror of everything happening for this story to really shine. The problem, as per usual, lies in the execution of the second scene, of which there's a couple I found that, when they're put together, really dragged the story through the dirt.

The first was definitely the notion that the transition could be a lot smoother. We're left off with Klondike giving praise to the beauty of the landscape in the first scene but the second scene we're suddenly given a somber look into Hail's condition in the aftermath of an attack. I can't really reconcile the imagery of both sections side by side in my head no matter how hard I try. Maybe if we're being lead into this second scene before being abruptly tossed into it, the dread I think we're supposed to be feeling would then properly sink in.

The second and most glaring of the issues was the tone, in that the atmosphere we're being presented lacked the doom and gloom that the story seems to be indicating towards. Throughout this whole scene, we're being told what's happening, yet we're not being shown how it's all happening. What does 'a tone of dejected hopelessness' sound like? What was the imagery that Hail found so disturbing that he had to physically cover his eyes to block it out? It's these little details that I think, if expounded, would do wonders for this entry.

On that topic, I should admit that the simile 'as dead as Drift when she hit the snow' kinda had the opposite effect on me, though not as bad as the last line of the entry. As much as I appreciate the attempt of trying to incorporate the prompt into the story, that last line was too ridiculous for me to really take seriously, especially since it's the line that closes off the story.

Thirdly⁠—and this one ties back to the tone as well⁠—the prose. I know I praised how it was utilized in the first scene, but in the second scene, the circumstances have changed. The atmosphere has shifted dramatically. Where the simplicity of the prose worked in the scene where everyone's still bright and hopeful, here it comes across as negligent of the weight of the horror that both Hail and Frost are going through. Really, I think there needs to be a lot more detail into the second scene for us to really immerse ourselves into the hell that our pair of survivors are experiencing.

Last but not least, the dialogue. The delivery of both our characters here fell flat for me, unfortunately, which is a shame when I consider the vivacity it had going for it in the first scene. When I read them, I felt as though you didn't really delve properly into the emotions both Hail and Frost were going through in that scene compared to the earlier one. At one point, I even found myself beginning to think that the dialogue's only really there to explain away all that had happened, which is not a mistake, far from it. I just think that in doing so, it didn't allow the character's a chance to breathe for the sake of finishing off the story, which is always a big no-no in my book.

Ultimately, I liked what this entry stands for. In fact, I actually found it endearing, especially since I'm working on a super-long ponyfic involving something a bit similar, with my story's expedition being about the ocean instead of the mountains. The ideas presented here are definitely something a longer story could do justice, but as it stands currently, especially with the second half being the way it is right now, I can't say it's something that'll rank highly on my slate.

Nevertheless, thanks for writing, and good luck!
#22697 · 4
· on We Rest In The Penumbra
>>_Moonshot
These are honestly some excellent questions, the nitpickier the better. I definitely have the proper answers for almost all of them. Whether or not they'll be answered in my expanded version is still up in the air, though I'll be hinting towards it throughout.




What compelled the Mýrarhryssur to wander around, then presumably commit suicide in the first place?
Honestly, nothing much. The Dream World here is depicted to have a storage limit, so all the dreams that were over will be discarded. The Mýrarhryssur are living creatures that were dreamed up and are left behind when the pony wakes up from the dream, so when they lost their purpose, they're just wandering around aimlessly until they too get viscerally discarded by the Penumbra.

How did Luna watch them get claimed by the abyss before she turned fifteen, if that abyss was from the rotunda?
All of that dying happens outside the rotunda. Think of it as an everyday sight in the Penumbra.

Why was Lady Canary okay with this? How did she feel when she saw her mentor getting claimed?
Like with her mentor before her, Lady Canary came to an understanding that the power should be returned. Why specifically, I don't think it's a question this story will answer. It's something that Luna herself doesn't have the answer to, even after speculating for a thousand or so years.

As for how Lady Canary felt when she saw her mentor being claimed, I'd like to think that she reacted the same way Luna did in this story. She came around to it though, the mystery of which is exactly what I believe will help this story be compelling.

Why are some of the Mýrarhryssur frozen around the rotunda instead of being claimed within it?
It's something that the Penumbra decided to keep. I wanted to mention that the rotunda was actually built by the first dreamwalker to indicate where to go when their job is done, but alas I had to leave it out.

Does the 'it' in "It was eyeless" have any significant meaning?
The 'it' here refers to her smile. Yeah, it doesn't really have any other meaning besides that. Cool thought, though.

What is the overall purpose of the Penumbra, if Luna had to rarely return to it afterwards?
The Penumbra's just there to discard old dreams to make way for new ones. It doesn't need Luna for it to work. In fact, it's been there long since before Luna or Canary or really anyone else even.

That's really the thing with cosmic / Lovecraftian horror. It highlights just how insignificant our existence, or in this case, Luna's existence really is in the grander scheme of things. It doesn't have a moral compass or need a purpose, it's just a force of nature. A weight placed to balance out the scales of the Dream World.

Is the vision of Lady Canary real?
It wasn't really clear in this story, but no, this is just a version of Lady Canary that Luna dreamt up herself from time to time to gather her thoughts and bring some logic into what is really an illogical situation. I also wanted to write out a part where Luna has a recurring nightmare of Lady Canary beckoning her into the pool as well. The real Lady Canary is long gone.

If Luna is basically immortal, how will the Penumbra factor into her future?
That's really the small light at the end of the tunnel. With Luna being immortal, there's no need for her to pass it on, which means she doesn't need to dip herself into the pool. It's something that I'll bring up during her discussions with her projection of Lady Canary as I've mentioned in the previous question.

What it means to have no successor, however, will be something weighing on Luna's mind for eternity. What would the Penumbra do? Would it wreak havoc upon the real world? Would it just dissipate and leave all the dreams to start piling up? It'll be a dilemma she's going to need to live with for the rest of her life unless she chooses to pass it on, which would entail her going skinny-dipping. That's really what she's grappling with here.




So yeah, hope those answers will suffice! Thanks again for your questions, the whole process of answering them really helped me with reclarifying the direction of this story for me.

Hope to see you again in the next round!
#18996 · 3
· on The Glimmer In The Silence · >>Miller Minus
Alright, time to take a swing at this.

The idea of portraying all the sounds in the story as light and vice versa is pretty neat; you've basically taken the prompt and turned it upside down. I wouldn't say it's a novel approach, but it's something that definitely improved my perception of the story after giving it another few more times. The vagueness of it all definitely did leave me a little frustrated at first, though I can come out and say that without it, the story might not work as well as when it's obvious the first time around, so props to you, author!

If anything, I wished the concept could be delved into more. You've left me wondering how the howling and growling of the wolves would look like, or how the moonlight sifting through the leaves as our protagonist rushed through the woods would sound like. It may surpass the word count, surely, but I argue that they could be implemented in place of some of the more 'telly' parts of the story.

Which brings me to the one gripe I had with this entry.

The narrative of the story seems to be a single chase scene through the forest because the protagonist wants a bit of fruit. It's a simple and straightforward approach — justifiable, again, considering the word limit. I had wished you'd build upon the concept with the narrative, though that approach would be difficult considering the word count. On the contrary, even with that in mind, I believe the narrative isn't simple enough, to be frank.

I don't think it's to the story's merit that we need to know the 'why' and 'how' she got into this situation, nor is it important to focus too much on the environment— the one paragraph that goes into detail about the tree's bark sticks out like a sore thumb for me. I also think you don't have to outright identify the antagonist as being wolves as well; if it's something left to our imagination, I believe it would amp up the fear factor a little and would allow you to be a bit creative with the descriptions a little.

Also, the ending.

Maybe it's me, but the ending was close to contradictory to the tone of the story that you've set so far. I would rather see the doom of our protagonist be described with the lights and sounds approach. How would you craft an image of death using the distorted instruments of light and sound, I wonder? It also doesn't function narratively: you mentioned several times a wolf tasted her directly, yet somehow, they just ignore it as if she's a mushroom in the middle of the forest. I would think wolves with their acute senses could smell the blood from the cuts in her skin and recognize the taste of warm breathing flesh as well.

Overall, it's a neat story with a wonderful concept that's unfortunately dragged a little too far down by its narrative. I do hope some of my fellow writers would give further insight into some things I've missed and would love to hear their opinions on this piece, cause I think the ideas being toyed with here are interesting.

Best of luck to you!
#19691 · 3
· on Aftercare
>>Pearple_Prose, >>Haze, >>Bachiavellian, >>Rao, >>Posh, >>Hap

So this did better than I expected.

First of, just wanna say thanks to everyone for the comments! Really glad everyone enjoyed the banter between these two. Also special thanks to Zaid for the art. Good stuff, man.

So, like what Bachi said, the idea behind the camera was to give a sense of where Chrysalis was emotionally and also situationally. She had lost her entire hive and she's desperate to get it back, but she also needs to sate her hunger, so in this story, she turns to the one pony she knew would never deny her that.

The opening, I agree, could be a lot better. I think it turned out this way because, frankly, the relationship between Fancy and Chryssi I had intended for this story was a lot simpler, but as time went on, it became rather complicated to nail down that relationship of theirs properly without keeping it interesting in such a short span of time. In the end, the essence of the relationship was still there, but the change was still rather drastic, which is why I opened it as such to cede some information to the reader: it was meant to imply how Fancypants views Chrysalis in general, which I'll get into in a bit. Of course, it's still done with vagueness in mind, so yeah.

On that note, Fancypants.

The relationship between him and Chrysalis in this story is definitely complicated, mostly on Fancy's part. They do love each other and have been with each other for seven years, but at this stage, there's also a lot of dishonesty regarding their feelings of each other thanks to the circumstances, with the liquor being sort of a marker for their honesty. Chrysalis was a lot less subtle about admitting it. Fancypants, on the other hand, was much more careful, albeit he does slip up from time to time. His feelings for her, however, are much stronger than hers for him, which is where things start to seem sketchy for him.

From the opening, the context I gave was that Fancypants thought condescendingly little of the admiration other ponies had for him. The whole 'one too many admirers' and 'Few had the privilege. Fewer deserve it' was there to paint that. The idea that ponies would flock to him as if he were some sort of god disgusts him. However, it's also meant to serve as a connection to how he views Chrysalis, all via a single twist of a word:

They were all faces to him, all craving to be seen, to be recognized by name.


A face he'd recognize anywhere.


'Recognize', in this case, had its definition twisted to mean 'reverence'.

Basically, Fancypants loves her to an unsettling degree. Fancypants wants her to come back to him, wants her to feed on him and only him. Fancypants genuinely believes she won't kill him because he loves her just that much and no one else could ever do that. He would've forbidden anyone else to have sex with her because how dare they? In the end, he lets her have the camera because he suspected, deep down, that she was going to fail, and once she did, she'll come back to him by her own will, as if it was meant to be. The final lines of each scene (“Don’t worry. I’ll be with you soon.” and “I’ll always be here if you need me.”) was honestly what I intended to be the hook of the story.

Of course, there's another layer to this, which might open up to why he was acting contradictorily.

Fancypants loves Fleur, but not Queen Chrysalis.

Fleur was the Chrysalis he fell in love with. The Fleur he took in seven years ago was the pony he loved. That was why he refuses to address or even view her as Chrysalis. There was a point of time where Chrysalis wasn't hell-bent on world domination, that she was satisfied with what she had, but once she invaded Canterlot, it was a point of no return. Nevertheless, Fancy remains determined on trying to bring Fleur back, albeit really carefully ('you should walk around town, get a new hobby', 'I have friends who’ve asked you where you’ve gone, Fleur' and Because you’re better than that) for fear of losing her love entirely. He believes that, in the end, Fleur will return to him after all her efforts are in vain.

As for Chrysalis? Fortunately (or unfortunately), she's innocent in all of this. She still loves Fancy, but she doesn't want to admit it, and that's it.

I guess in the end, there's supposed to be a moral about the magnitudes of evil and what will be considered acceptable and such, but I'm not intelligent enough to go there.

Again, thanks for reading!
#19712 · 3
· on Boar Guest's "Book of Fanciful Beasts", Chapter 5 · >>horizon >>horizon
>>horizon
Me upon learning this is actually happening.

I'm up for writing some, especially with the backlog of monsters in my head. I'm definitely not used to Borges' style though, so I might need some help on that front.

Can't wait!
#22293 · 3
· on Part and Parcel · >>Bachiavellian
After a couple of reads and then some, I came away from this story liking this more than I not. Regarding the positives, I like how simple and straightforward everything is. It's paced rather evenly, and though the structure's a little disjointed for my taste, looking more like a vignette than a steady linear scene, I think the writing is crisp and concise enough to hold on its own. I do think that the prose could be a little smoother at some points, as I find that some of the sentences describing her actions could be discarded in favor of building upon the tone and giving the story in general a bit more focus than I would like. It's a matter of personal preference ultimately, but I think that had the story's narrative crux been any bit weaker, the bare-bones tell-y approach with the prose would fail to make this entry as memorable as it was.

On the issue of making Ditzy have dementia, I'm okay with any depictions of disabilities, both physical and mental— or any heavy-leaning subject matter really, just as long as it's done tastefully. Whether it's done with good intentions, I find, is irrelevant to the conversation, because it'll ultimately lead to a discussion about the author over the entry. For me, as long as the impaired person / pony / princess of power is portrayed with proper nuance, then I can give the story its merits. This story does it rather well, though I chalk it up to it being delivered here with the effort in succinctness and subtlety more than the context of its depiction in of itself.

That being said, I think you did write yourself into an interesting double-edged dilemma here with choosing her as your character. For one, her canonic happy-go-lucky personality definitely helped push this story forward, no question. It definitely is to your story's benefit to choosing someone with her carefreeness to lead your story onward. If I replaced her with almost anyone else, I think it'll tip over the delicate balance of bittersweet that this story has going for it.

On the contrary, Ditzy has almost always been a character defined by her physical impairments, even canonically, so to see another iteration of that does make the entry feel a bit reductive. It's objectively miles better than having it be focused on her clumsiness, I'll say that much, but it still makes me wish that she could be defined beyond 'a mare that has disabilities', as nice as this entry executed on that front. Looking at what you have here, I think you could probably expand upon the aspect of Ditzy as a mother more. You know, highlight how all the things she does for Dinky in spite of her issues, that sorta thing. To put it simply, I want to see more of Ditzy past her disabilities.

Overall, I think this entry did just enough on all fronts to hold itself together without falling apart. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing an expanded version of this if you're planning any.

Thanks for writing, and good luck!
#22583 · 3
· on Confidant · >>_Moonshot
If you lurked about in the WriteOff's Discord chat, then you'd probably already know the thoughts I have about your story. Of the two Daring Do stories we have this round — three if you count Caballeron and the Sphinx's appearance in Impermanent Vacation — this story was the one that resonated with me the most, as flawed as I found it to be. Like with another entry, I've pondered about this one for quite a bit, mostly cause I really like the ideas at play here but I couldn't quite pinpoint why its execution didn't quite seem to hit the mark for me. After much thought (and a good night's rest), I think the issues I brought up below kind of explained why.

I kinda liked how abrupt this whole situation between Daring and Wild Ace seems to be. The narrow scope and the use of present tense definitely helped with making it look like a spur of the moment kinda thing. It livens up what I think ultimately would've been a rather nondescript exchange otherwise. Honestly, I had some qualms about Daring Do just randomly showing in the filly's room in my first few reads, and I've made it known to others in the Discord chat about it as well, but I think I'm willing to look past it this time since it can easily be addressed in the context you've given us. The story does a lot with how the situation unfolds and hints at a greater narrative happening in the background at the same time, one we may or may not get to see. That's always a plus for me.

The crux of the story lies in the dialogue. It's where I think this story really shines, especially in the first two-thirds of the story. The exchange between Wild Ace and Daring Do left me smiling as I went along. They play off each other really well and the dialogue, though a bit rocky at some parts, comes across as rather natural.

It's really when they bring up the gem all of the sudden where I think the dialogue begins to falter, mostly because I felt like both Wild Ace and Daring Do began to talk in platitudes, which drives a wedge into how natural the conversation had been flowing up to that point. I feel as though it's because you needed a place to end the story quickly and had to shave off a lot of extra material to make it fit into the wordcount, which I get it, we've all been there once upon a time. Hopefully in an expanded version, I wished this part of the conversation would go along a little more smoothly and slowly, let the pacing even out a little to have the scene slowly sink in for the characters and for us in turn. In other words, I want the climax of the conversation to be more personal to the characters. Give both Daring Do and Wild Ace the resolution they both deserve.

The voicing of Wild Ace, I feel, needs just a bit of tweaking here and there, especially towards the end. It's not really the choice of words I have an issue with but more of how I think her narration as the story unfolds needs to be a bit more paced out, especially, again, towards the end. I think it could still be a little bit more dynamic by letting some parts breathe a little more. You know, let us sink in every pause she takes and every gesture she makes. Give the young filly a few quirks to really brighten up the whole conversation.

I did bring up in the chat about how maybe switching to Daring Do's perspective that the story would fare better. I could definitely envision a version of this story where that's the case, but ultimately I think that really comes down to what kind of story you're looking to tell and whether or not you're capable of executing it. I think there's a version of this story coming from Wild Ace's perspective that would blow out of the water most versions of this story being interpreted from Daring Do's perspective. All it needs is just the proper amount of time and effort in the right places and you might have it in your hands sooner than later.

Ultimately, this story did a great job in immersing me into the story proper. I think most of my problems with it comes down to the pacing of the final several paragraphs being a little too breezy than I had hoped, which I think was either from lack of time or from having to fit into the wordcount. That being said, I would love to see an expanded version of this on FimFic.

Thanks for writing, fellow Author, and good luck!