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The Pain Network
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607
Fluttershy Saves the World in 7 Days
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Original Polished Story
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601
There Is No God
Gold medal
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557
Spin The Wheel, Win A Prize
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522
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Clumsy
#15258 · 8
· · >>horizon >>Fenton
Today I become a lurker no more! Excited to read everyone's entries, but even more excited to go to sleep if I'm being totally honest. Hope everyone's enjoying squeaky bum time!
#17248 · 8
· · >>Anon Y Mous
>submit prompt
>decide I don't want it anymore and take away my vote
>wins anyway
#19344 · 7
· on No Need · >>Cassius
sips drink

I came out to have a good time and I'm honestly feeling so attacked right now
#20083 · 7
·
Colour Contagion


That settles it, no Americans allowed.
#15665 · 6
· on Lily's Letter · >>GaPJaxie >>ToXikyogHurt
>>Trick_Question
>>Zaid Val'Roa
>>Rao
>>GaPJaxie
>>dragon discord
>>Kitcat36
>>Xepher
>>Cold in Gardez

Thanks for reading, everyone. This was my first time entering the writeoff, and if the goal of this competition is to gain feedback and learn about things that work in your writing vs things that don't, then I'd say this was a huge success.

Just to clear a couple things up: I decided to take an opportunity to experiment, and something I've always wanted to write is a story where the readers are, for better or worse, left with a ton of questions at the end. Xepher put it best when he guessed I was saying: "Haha, no answers for you!" I may or may have thought that at some point—maybe even verbatim.

I think in some ways the lack of info worked and some it didn't—especially with the narrator. Writing this again I would probably give them a name (though I might stick with no gender, Trick, because it's the current year after all) and a more fleshed out backstory, if nothing else than to get rid of the reader's idea that they are secretly someone from the show. But in terms of his relationship with Lily, and why she invited him? I think I liked how little I told. But I'd have to revisit.

And no... he didn't off himself. It's personally a pet peeve of mine when a first-person narrator kills themselves because then how were you tellin' the story, asshole? This made me think that the readers would know that my story would obviously never do anything so silly. I probably should have known better, especially in an anonymous competition...

Cheers, guys. Good luck in the finals to everyone who made it, and I'll see you at the next one!
#18525 · 6
· on World War Sunflower
I feel like standing up and applauding all the creativity that's been poured into this story, but at the same time, I don't think it'll do so well on my slate.

It's probably just my opinion, but the fact that this many of the art pieces have been put into one story hurts my enjoyment of it all. It's quite distracting. I get the impression that referencing as many of the art pieces as possible was the number one priority here, with telling a story coming in second place. It's a close second, sure—this is still a pretty good story—but what would it have been if some of the references were trimmed? If some of the ideas were expanded on more than they were in the space allotted?

Because there's a ton of ideas in this story, and a lot of them are great, but none of them felt very fleshed out, because each time I was getting into one it was time to move the plot towards the next artwork. And that leaves me with a lot of unanswered questions. What happened to Lady Pitter-patter (let's get at 'er)? What exactly is her relationship to the protagonist? Why are the disappearing humans so important to these faeries? What's the significance in them being Metal and Sky Faeries?

Artwork aside, one more criticism I have is that the tone doesn't feel right. I was certain this was going to be played for laughs the whole way through because of the premise, especially coupled with the characters names. Hell, the beginning seems like it wants to be funny in several places. Like with this:

My mission was simple: blow (up) the mothership.


That shit's hilarious.

But then the rest of the story takes itself so seriously. I'm thrown for a loop, and every so often I see "Guru Yummy" or "Captain Feathersnuggle" again, and I snicker. So why choose those names if the story is going to be about moral grey areas and the horrors of war?

But whatever to all that. I'm still impressed with what you've accomplished here, and it was certainly a fun ride. I just expect that I'll enjoy entries with better focus a bit more. Good luck, you!
#18656 · 6
· on G.O.D. · >>BlueChameleonVI
>>BlueChameleonVI
Look man, I can't help how I reacted to your story. It didn't work for me as well as I thought it could, and since I thought this kind of story was my thing, I tried to put my concerns into words. I thought the comedy and the seriousness clashed, and at no point did I suggest that it was impossible for them to work together. For me, in this story, they didn't work together. One person, one story, one opinion.

Maybe my thoughts weren't helpful. Maybe this isn't as much my thing as I thought it was. Maybe I was piss-drunk when I wrote my review. Maybe I'm a mouthbreather.

Maybe a lot of things.

Next time you think my comment is narrow, or makes no sense, or is "profoundly irritating", feel free to ignore me. You have every right as the author, and I resent being ranted at when I was just trying to help.
#19353 · 6
· on Clumsy
Miller Minus is Clumsy

So, Cassius has been asking me to do this retrospective, and I know he only wants me to because then he has written proof that he was right all along, but since he, and others, might be legitimately interested in what I have to say for myself, then what the hell.

But he is right. Just for the record.

This was a story about a victim. A story in which this victim achieves some semblance of victory, and can find a reason to smile despite everything. Or at least, that was my intention. For some, that didn't come across. I see how that happened. Mistakes were made. That's fine. I'm over it.

And I wasn't going to write this retrospective. I was perfectly ready for everyone to forget this story ever existed, and I was thrilled at the idea of moving on with my life. But now there's a new story in the latest round that, as far as I can tell, is accusing people who liked my story of only doing it because they felt like that disliking it might disrespect abuse victims. Like they're lying to themselves, or the fact that they liked my story is some defect in their thinking.

Or something.

I honestly have no earthly idea what it's saying. But at this point, fuck it. I'll defend myself and those who liked my story, because staying quiet is clearly not working.

(edit: it's being pointed out that No Need might not be meant to be taken seriously. If that's the case, then it's a successful troll, well done author. But I felt the need to comment on all this stuff anyways)

And, not to mention, because this whole round was really stressful. Fun, in some ways, for sure, but really just incredibly stressful. It's one thing to have to sit back and say nothing when people are misinterpreting my story (through my own fault!), but it's a whole different thing to sit back and watch people shit all over my story because they didn't like the fact that their opinions were being challenged.

Uh-huh. This review is going to get a little sour grapes at times. Wahey, let's get going.

Miller Minus is a Bad Writer

>>Monokeras
Hey, Mono, how's tricks?

I knew going into this that I probably wasn't breaking new ground here. I hoped I was at least dipping my toes in new ground, but even that's arguable. One thing I will say is that I thought the topic was a risk going in, and in no way a sort of "easy mode". I've seen claims that sad stories (and/or long stories) are easy ways to do well, but I disagree. I think the degree of difficulty is higher, and possibly that leads to them having a stronger impact when done well.

But thank you for your comment!

>>Haze
I agree with this a lot. I mean, the Howl in the Dark application you saw was, er, not my intention, but what you're saying about this being an "Issue" story, and how the themes and messages surrounding that issue weren't clear or unique enough. Yeah. That's pretty on point. So thanks!

>>Hap
Oh, bother. It's too bad you didn't like my story but that's totally fine with me. Nothing in this comment to upset me, no sir. Doot dee too, moving right along.

>>No_Raisin
Well hey, nothing I can do about you not liking it. That's just fine, friend, and thanks for the feedback. There's nothing you said that upsets me particularly.

And now that I've responded to Hap and No Raisin politely, let's do it not so politely.

Miller Minus is Angery

>>Hap
>>No_Raisin

Real talk:

I didn't appreciate this comment.

I didn't appreciate this comment.

And I couldn't help but notice that the nastiness only came out after someone had disagreed with you. When I start seeing comments like these, I can't help but start ignoring the rest of your criticisms, because it starts to seem like you're taking the story personally.

But it's an emotionaly charged story, so I get it, and I'm not going to hold it against you. I just have to call out mean-spiritedness when I see it. I hope we can still be friends.

Miller Minus is a Good Writer

>>Aragon
All the good stories I've read have no comments. Hardly fair, dang.


Time makes comedians of us all, doesn't it?

Thanks for stopping by Ara! And congrats on your medal, it was well deserved. No Raisin is right, the voicing in yours was stronger than in mine, though I will say that your characters were younger, so we were really riding different beasts.

Or were they riding us?

>>Oblomov
Thanks, Oblo.

Now please stop meddling in the US elections.

>>Cassius
I'm putting you under the good heading and there's nothing you can do to stop me.

Thanks for another long-long review, I pretty much agreed with everything you said. The italics are part of a habit I have where anything being said by someone not in the room needs to be highlighted as such, as a way to remind the reader that their voice sounds different. I don't know. I like it. And… I guess it's a way to minimize dialogue tags, too. But that's secondary…

And yes, Tyler sucked. I was essentially modelling Matt's timid dialogue around the protagonist of Bo Burnham's Eighth Grade, but Tyler fell by the wayside and had nothing to him. A lot of his lines weren't improved upon because it felt like I would have to expand, and I had no more room. And yes, I understand that that's my fault.

>>Dubs_Rewatcher
Hi Dubs! Thanks again to yourself and Quill and NaH for your radio show, the conversation was very interesting. I'm glad you caught the "violence begets violence" aspect of the story! I was starting to wonder if it was too obscure :|.

And thanks for sharing the song! I'm partial to happy songs where the lyrics are kind of horrible. I don't know why it is.

Oh, and also, shoutout to NaH, if he's reading this, for being the only person who called out Tyler's ridiculous reaction to the pranks. The things I cut for wordcount…

Miller Minus is (subheading not found)

Well, that's all from me, and in the end, I'm going to look back on this fondly. I've learned a lot, both in terms of my writing, and in terms of writeoff… etiquette, let's call it. When I write my magnum opus about how being raped is a real bummer, it won't be nearly as controversial as this, I promise.

Anyways, see you guys later, and thanks ag—… Hang on, I just stepped on something...

It's… a sour grape.

My entire floor is sour grapes.
#15374 · 5
· on The Calm Before The Storm
This is a really, really tough story to attempt, and I'm sorry to say that I'm not sure it's even possible.

See, this story only makes sense to someone who has already watched the movie, and the problem that they're going to have is that they've already watched the movie. There's no tension—which I'm sure you're aware—because the reader knows what's going to happen. So all that you can rely on is that we want to know exactly what Tempest was thinking when she sacrificed herself.

But here's the thing: This scene played out in just a few moments—it was compact, it contained almost no words, and most importantly, the decision Tempest made was something that had been built up to, so the audience could figure it out for themselves. Heck, some would say it was even too predictable!

This plays into the tired, but important, old critique of show vs tell narration. The movie showed Tempest's decision, while this story told it. In fairness, it's a lot easier to show things in TV shows and movies than it is in a written story, but isn't that part of what makes them so enthralling?

I think this story is a good exercise in exploring Tempest's thought process and dissecting something from the film. But as an actual story, it's hard to really get into.

But those are just my thoughts. Thanks a lot for submitting, and good luck!

P.S. I'm also not sure what the title is referring to...?
#17266 · 5
· · >>Syeekoh
See everyone on the other side!