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#15040 · 6
·
24 hours left, and I still don't have an idea. Doubly annoying as it was my own damn prompt that won! Maybe one more night of sleep and an all-day binge-o-words tomorrow? *crosses fingers*
#10997 · 5
· on Room 101 · >>Trick_Question >>Trick_Question
I'm find myself not quite sure if this is actually supposed to be a comedy, or if it's something else. I didn't find it funny myself. It felt like a heavy-handed ponification of 1984 or THX-1138 for the most part, neither of which are funny. The bit that threw me right out of it though is the end. That it's actually an elaborate multi-day "prank" is just... WTF? It's the standard "it was all just a dream" cop-out trope that tries to excuse why nothing else makes sense.

I'm sorry to be so harsh, but it feels like greentext fever dreams from /b/ rather than a real story. If I even try to dissect the logic, it falls apart immediately. As such, this is less a story and more one of those things that's a sight-gag. If this was a 60 second youtube clip, (and you squeezed in Flufflepuff somewhere) I'd probably laugh. But in written form... I'm afraid it just doesn't work for me.
#16525 · 5
· on Lunae Lumen · >>Zaid Val'Roa >>Pascoite
Trying hard for poetic language here to start, but some weird slips of grammar. Not sure if intentional "archaeic" language, or ESL author.

Slow start, but painting a picture here. Expecting Daybreaker.

Suspecting faux-archaeic on the language, and it's becoming distracting. A little bit because of minor slips in accuracy (per my viewpoint) but moreso due to the way the needlessly flowerly prose is delaying the reveal. We get it, something is wrong with Celestia, but we knew that in the first paragraph. A full page later and nothing new is revealed.

The language is getting REALLY distracting now. "Verily, thou must thinketh" which is like 3/4 "archaeic" but later on the same line. "Would they not purge my sister of this wicked entity?" instead of the obvious "Wouldst" and "wicked spirit."

Okay, now... we jump to third person halfway through? And the archaeic is dropped.

"Luna knew it was time. It was here and now, or never. ... There could be no hesitation." This literally repeats the same information three times, practically the definition of "hesitation."


“D-Daybreaker.” Called it!

“Hey,” she whispered painfully, as if a joke was being passed between them. “You win. Now, go save Equestria.” All modern english now?

Wow, okay, so... this story is a bit of a one trick pony. 95% of it was literally obvious from the first paragraph. The twist at the end, while interesting, doesn't justify the length of this tale, nor the needlessly difficult linguistics.

That said, I do LIKE the twist. The basic premise here is wonderful, that it was Celestia falling, and Luna-as-sin-eater that led to the Nightmare and the story we all know. That's got some major power to it. But as written, this story spends all its time retreading obvious things, adding very little impact to the big reveal.

So, A++ for the concept, but I'm afraid it's a rather low score from me as the story sits currently.
#16879 · 5
·
I... I think I'm good with this one. Not saying it's a winner, just that as I had fully 112 minutes to write it, I felt like I got in some level of polish I usually don't.

(Seriously, I swear, some day I'm going to start writing before midnight of the deadline...)
#18711 · 5
·
Last second... as always. But I'm in!
#18867 · 5
· on Lesson One
Retrospective!

First off, thank you to all who commented and critiqued (and voted this up rather highly.) I'm totally happy to get Bronze, as there were better stories than this... But part of me really wanted the gold this time, as this was my own prompt as well.

For perspective, no I didn't have this planned in advance. In fact, I didn't start writing this until about 10pm the night before. I basically wrote non-stop for 7 hours, though I'd brainstormed for about an hour during dinner earlier, almost all the plot was developed in real time as I wrote.

Originally this was meant to be Starlight going back and looping herself to find more time for work, which explains the opening scene... but that fell apart quickly, once I realized it'd be too hard to hide tons of Starlights, and as I already had her bumping into Ocellus... well, that seemed obvious.

As hinted at in my own fake-review, I was inspired a lot by the Time Turner bit in Harry Potter (and it's more clever uses in HP and the Methods of Rationality) as well as many other time travel stories... the biggest of which is "All You Zombies" where the main character is everyone in the universe. Also, "Brit the Elder" and "Brit the Younger" from Spell or High Water by Scott Meyer, time-looped versions of a woman who hate each other, but went back in time and found Atlantis then had to go back in time to create it.


To answer some general questions:

Yes, Ocellus is the "real" Celestia, and most every other pony she's ever met too. The original (e.g. about an hour from the deadline) ending plan was to have Twilight find out, round up the school, and after a few admissions of "I'm Ocellus" from various students, she asks "Okay, everycreature that's Ocellus in disguise, just raise a limb." Every creature in the room does, and as she turns, she sees even the other Elements are shy raising their hooves as well.

The reason she keeps going back in time (instead of jumping forward) is that she lost the spell to go forward in that lakeside fire. Originally she was going to learn (after she was way in the past) that you had to place an anchor spell BEFORE you jumped back, and as she didn't do that, she'd always have to take the long way around. I ran out of time to make that explicit.


>>Trick_Question
Agreed, I need a better reason for her to be desperate for "more time." Also, yes, everyone is Ocellus.

>>CoffeeMinion
The ending wasn't meant to be comedy. It was meant to be the completion of the lesson, by she, herself, having to go back and teach herself her own first lesson in friendship. That said, it was rushed (had like 10 minutes left and I wanted to at least proofread) so I'll try to smooth it out in the rework.

>>Samey90
>>Trick_Question
Yes, she is. :-) And that was the idea for the ending originally. (See above.)

>>Miller Minus
No worries on not liking it, I appreciate the criticism. You make a good point about the plainness of the writing. It's been months since I last wrote, and this was a late-night rush job, so I fell into some lazy patterns.

As for rules... there ARE rules here. Very strict ones, but I didn't spell them out cleanly. As I mentioned above, one was going to be the discovery that she could never go FORWARD in time if she hadn't previously set an anchor spell, and she wouldn't learn that until she was so far in the past she was kind of stuck. The other was that the difficulty of "aiming" gets worse the bigger the jump, hence why her first one mostly works, but the later ones are off by large margins. Another was the importance of spatial anchors, less (like the previous Starlight) you jump and arrive underground or in deep space, and basically die instantly. In sum, the ONLY power here is the ability to go backwards in time, by increasingly large (but increasingly unpredictable) steps.

The second set of rules concern paradoxes. Ocellus starts to hint at some of these, where she's surprised that basically her memory isn't changing as she changes her own past. This was going to lead into the bigger, darker reveal, that she's not (technically) jumping into the past, but into alternate timelines. As the word limit began to loom though, I realized I had to pull most of that out because I'd never be able to do it justice. Instead, I went with a Doctor Who style approach. Paradox means you can't change the big things, the "fixed points" but everything else is fair game. I don't know if you watch Who, but there was a big finale where all dozen incarnations of The Doctor showed up at the same time and fought side by side, so this sort of "timey wimey" reasoning seemed good enough.

As to your third point, that the comedy falls flat. Again, this really wasn't meant to be a comedy. I mean, a few bits here and there, sure, but the overall premise was meant to be exciting and (at least initially) surprising, as a science-fiction style adventure. I totally understand if you found the ending predictable though, and if it wasn't your style of story, no worries.


>>Posh
I need to clean up some of the scenes a fair bit to make it less confusing. The initial scene was originally when the story was featuring Starlight, but... once I realized Ocellus was going to BE Starlight, I left it as a bit of foreshadowing (since the entire story is, technically, from just Ocellus's perspective.) It's probably a bit of a rough kludge for that purpose though.

>>Icenrose
Again, yeah, it's confusing... partly that's because I was rushed to write it, and partly it's meant to be confusing to the character. I need to clean up the writing-mistakes half of that. Oh, and yeah, they're all Ocellus... and I SO wanted to have Discord there, but that would've doubled the length of the story with how much fun I could have there! :-)

>>Anon Y Mous
I do plan to edit/rewrite this and publish it (along with several previous writeoff entries I still have laying around.)




Thanks again, everyone, for reading and commenting!
#6623 · 4
· on Fading Lights · >>Kitcat36 >>Monokeras
Some excellent descriptive language here, even if there are a few typos to mar the otherwise elegant prose. But... this goes nowhere. It sets all sorts of strange scenery, and does nothing with it. I mean, yes, as the reader I can certainly guess that the protagonist is trapped in a dream, taken by faeries, on a drug trip, or "going into the light" but that's not a story. It's all so much "Chekov's Rocks" here...

Some were new, sharp and glossy; weird designs had been carved on them.


Don't show us (admittedly beautiful) descriptions of mysterious things just to do nothing with them. Same goes for mentions of "the law" and some power to "grace" things. None of this fits with any pony canon/fannon I know. In fact, other than the name in the last line, nothing about this story at all seems Pony. With the Will O' The Wisps, this would probably fly better as celtic or european folklore to my reading of it.
#6635 · 4
· on Going with the Crowd
Okay, I'm of two minds about this. First bit, as soon as it turned meta, was pretty funny. The jokes worked, and I chuckled. But the joke was dead by the time the crowd suggests the two ponies should break up. Cut/end it there. Everything after that just lost me, and the ending line is to me the worst kind of anvilicious anti-humor.
#7065 · 4
· on Filthy Rich President Elect · >>Trick_Question >>FanOfMostEverything >>Trick_Question
Okay, good, it didn't advance. To everyone, I am very sorry if this story angered you or you thought it was awful. I totally respect that opinon. But this idea hit me when the prompt was finalized, and I had to write it. I'm still a bit bitter about the election, and it WAS cathartic to write this. Trump is, to me, a cartoon villain, and by casting this whole mess in a cartoon setting, I hoped it'd make it less painful. It... kinda worked. Not really, but kinda.

Anyway, sorry if anyone felt I wasted their time or anything. This wasn't meant to be a trollfic, it WAS meant to be satire, in that it's a sad/tragic outcome bordering on the absurd. But yeah, it's not a fun story to read, and didn't deserve to get even the notice it did here.
#8442 · 4
· · >>georg
I swear, these minific rounds are the hardest. Twenty minutes brainstorming, forty minutes writing, then two hours editing down to size.

But... first entry done. Headed to board game night, but should be able to maybe get a second entry in between midnight and the deadline.