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Through Fire
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Drizzles the Firepony
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Through Fire
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In Soviet Equestria, The Moon Shoots For You!
#21851 · 3
· · >>Bachiavellian
I've been following the writeoffs from the sidelines for months now, and finally decided to participate. Sadly, the story I got didn't turn out all that good. So before I submit, I wanted to ask:

Does anyone mind, if I enter a sub-par story? I'd appreciate learning what I'm doing wrong, but I don't want to waste everyone's time either.
#21855 · 3
·
It still came down to the wire for me. So much editing...*shudders*

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some wallowing in regret to do.
#22223 · 2
· on Special Handling Required
This was highly amusing. I liked how well the story flowed (it really felt much shorter than it actually was), and the more quirky and unconventional actions (blushing as red as the stamp, Luna shaking him, etc. Those were perfect). The prose was pretty much top-notch.

I'm going to echo Bachiavellian's comment, however. I think you could make the story funnier or "punchier" by shortening the beginning. It's not bad; it does a good job at introducing the protagonist, making him compelling, and showing us the setting, but I think it could be more brief, or should have the conflict come in earlier.

Also, though I doubt it was your intention, I got the impression that Celestia is low-key trolling her sister here by not going into specifics of shipping, which I find endlessly amusing.

Thank you for writing this. You're awesome.
#21442 · 1
· on Conscience Does Make Cowards · >>Bachiavellian
Sorry this comes in a little late.

I’m glad that I read this story more than once; the vagueness in some of the characters’ actions and the descriptions became more understandable on that second read through. Take that as you will, but I’d understood that the point of being vague is to eventually make sense, and I think you did that well, seeing as I enjoyed it more the more I read. That's just my opinion, though, and I don't know much about writing.

In any case, thank you for writing this, and best of luck in the future!
#21875 · 1
· on Where There's Smoke · >>Bachiavellian
I'm going to preface all of my comments with the fact that I don't know that much about writing as of yet. Neither have I looked through others' reviews of these stories. With that in mind:

This was astonishingly well put together. The backstory was well woven in, the dialogue flowed nicely, the descriptions and the characters' actions were thought-out to the detail (especially the details — the story was just rich with those, like Drizzles upending the table they were playing at, and not remembering the spotter's name). Almost everything the reader learns about the characters is shown, and its shown well… makes me wish the story was longer, where the characters themselves were described a little more thoroughly (I'm particularly curious about where Mama Bear got her name from).

I really can't think of anything to improve. Maybe if you made the message in the end tie somehow to the beginning, or hint at it? I don't know, maybe you already did, and I just was too dense to see it — there was so much showing done I might've glossed over it.

All in all, a fantastic story. Thank you for writing.
#21879 · 1
· on Old Flames
I'm going to preface this with the fact that I don't know that much about writing as of yet. Neither have I looked through others' reviews of these stories. With that in mind:

Very atmospheric, I like it. The description of the waning sun is unique and captivating, or at least it was to me. There’s not much of a plot going on here as the story seems mostly to be backstory, but I still found it interesting. So, kudos on that.

A couple of things I noticed, however:

The ship overhead had left its tremendous cargo section behind in Vahtane’s stellar system. This section was overseen by seven Windigoes, who were keeping the precious contents frozen to as close to absolute zero as was feasible. Inside were the seeds of new generations of countless animals, birds and fish, along with genetic material for all of Equestria’s sapient races and as many mortal individuals as Twilight and her team had been able to preserve in the limited time and space that was available.


How would Celestia know all this, they way it’s described? I’m probably in the wrong here, but that part stuck out to me — I doubt that Celestia would know that the cargo section was specifically left in Vahtane, if she knew anything about the ship in the first place (depending on what you want to convey).

Secondly:

The ash crunched under her bare hooves as she traveled. Here, the atmosphere was sparse and something that only an alicorn could process, and food and water were absent.


Twilight drew a sharp breath under her force-field gas mask, but did not speak.


Why did Twilight need the gas mask, if she’s a grown alicorn now? Have I misunderstood something?

Anyways, these are very, very minor gripes (and I’m sorry in advance if I'm wrong). The story’s really good.

Thank you for writing.
#21906 · 1
· on Tempest's Choice
Okay, I haven’t yet read the other comments. Here’s some thoughts from an amateur:

What separates this story from the most is the development of Tempest, which seems to be the driving point of the story. Character development, yay! I think it was handled quite well, especially the way Tempest tried to "cheat" her way through the fire. I liked the imagery too (the image of the Storm King behind a wall of fire is burned in my mind — less is sometimes more).

But if there’s something I would've added, it would've been a few lines describing the throne room (just one or two should be enough). After the beginning I felt like I almost had a clearer picture of Tempest’s cage than the throne room... although that may have been just me.

Anyway, well done, this story is pretty darn good. Thank you for writing.
#21918 · 1
· on In Soviet Equestria, The Moon Shoots For You!
I don’t know that much about writing (or at least don’t think I do). Please don’t take this too seriously.

What detracted from my reading experience was how different this story would've been, had the characters roles been reversed. Maybe I'm just sexist, but I just couldn't get over the idea how creepy that would've been.

That aside:

There are some funny moments in this. I liked that. It's not all that complex of a story, or that long, but I don't think that such lighthearted stories necessarily have to be. The character voicings are interesting too.

But if you’ll accept an amateur's opinion, I would suggest you break apart some of the longer paragraphs. To me, those were a little cumbersome to read.

Anyhoo, thank you for writing!
#21982 · 1
· on Drizzles the Firepony
>>Bachiavellian >>TerrusStokkr >>GroaningGreyAgony

Thank you all for the kind words, and also congrats to Groaning for the win! 

What happened was, I was reading the writeoff entries one day and was particularly impressed by this one story. It gave me an idea, so I whipped this image up in about a day when I had time off and was bored.

I hate to break it to you, however, but I did not draw it completely from my head, and I hope you didn’t vote it higher based on that — as far as I know, these kinds of images are more or less always based on the show (there are vectors that aren't, but those are usually quite different in style). For the more generic poses, there might even exist ready-made templates, though I prefer to always start from scratch, and draw my own.

However, it’s not just a regular screencap, either:

I’d probably call this something of a composite shot (I hope I’m using the term correctly). What I usually do is I take a few screenshots, for this image I had probably four or five, and draw the vectors I need based on them. I then modify what I’ve drawn to make the image work as a whole (such as the hair and the eyes — in the original screencap the eyes were only partially visible, because of hair), and then just wing it with the rest (in this case; the jacket, which went through a number of revisions).

The colours felt fitting. I wanted them to mirror rain or water, in some way. And yes, he is a little on the skinny side, and it was on purpose, just like the overly long wings.

I’ve been doing these for only a little while and to tell you the truth, I can’t draw to save my life. That's why I use Inkscape: it has an "undo" -button. Anyway, I hope you liked it, nonetheless.

Thank you again!
#21987 · 1
· on In Soviet Equestria, The Moon Shoots For You!
Congratulations to all the winners, and a massive thank you to all the participants; I enjoyed reading all your stories. And of course, thank you all for taking the time to comment!

>>TerrusStokkr
Thank you for the kind words. I’m glad you enjoyed, although I feel I still have a ways to go as a writer.

>>Miller Minus
I really have no excuse for Shining acting like a dick. I can’t say I know that much about writing, but I feel one of the first aspects anybody should be wondering about their protagonist is: “why should the reader like them”. And I bypassed that like a gibbon. Unacceptable.

Luna’s acting OOC could have been knocked down a peg or two, or at least it could’ve used an explanation. Hindsight and all that. Thanks for the tips!

>>Chris
... I have no excuse for this, either; I agree that his marriage could’ve at least been mentioned. It could’ve doubled as a much needed bit of foreshadowing, even.

As for Luna, I only realized after the fact how over the top her acting was. By then I wasn’t sure how to go about fixing it, without sacrificing the story’s comedic tone, however. I’ll do better next time...I hope.

>>Rao
Nice catch. Pretty much exactly what I intended (though I may have derped with ‘consort’ — I must've thought it sounded better at the time.)

>>Posh
Though I can't excuse her wackiness, while I was still planning this story I had an explanation for why Luna was talking the ol’ timey way. It was supposed to be another one of her ploys to make Shining fall in love with her, like by reciting Shakespearean poetry, for example.

Then sleep happened, and my goldfish’s memory kicked in.

Cadance isn't a blonde.


Speaking of things I forgot about, around an hour after the submissions closed I still couldn’t remember the word “redhead.”

Also, I agree that the foreshadowing was virtually nonexistent here. I’m assuming this was due to my inexperience as a writer; I can’t recall having ever written a story that relied as heavily on its twist before. Now I know better, so thank you!

Incidentally, this is similar conceptually to another story from a writeoff round three years ago, "Concubine." I'm not implying anything untoward, don't get me wrong, but if this was inspired by it, I think that'd be pretty neat.


According to Fimfiction, I have read it, though I have no recollection when that was or what it was like (I’m assuming when they posted it in 2016, and I’ll probably end up rereading it in the future). So this story wasn’t at least consciously inspired by that one.

>>Bachiavellian
I mostly wrote this just for laughs; I wasn’t really putting a lot of thought on logic. You make an important point, however; plausibility is a big thing when it comes to immersion, so maybe it would be best I thought things through in the future. Still, I’m happy you at least got something out of it.

>>Meridian_Prime
Thank you for your kind words. I’m glad if I did do something correctly here, although a wacky Luna might not have been one of them. I don't think you're the only one who found her unnecessarily overbearing.

Anyway, that almost wraps it up. Thank you all again for reading and commenting. If I could still have a minute of your time, I would like to tip my nonexistent hat one last time:

>>Bachiavellian
I really appreciate this. Thank you.

Happy weekend!