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#24975 ·
· on Attractor Hazard
I really like this as a visual prompt. It feels appropriately clean and professional, and it does a good job of presenting a very concrete thought/idea without feeling like it's shoehorning potential authors with plot elements. Very well thought-out and executed!

Thanks for submitting!
#24974 ·
· on Sincerity of Camouflage
This struck me as really cute for some reason. I like the contrast between the round shape of the egg, and the more unnatural-feeling shapes of the granite/concrete. It makes the fact that the two actually do blend well together kinda interesting.

Thanks for arting!
#24973 ·
· on Fungi on Stump
I like this one. It's one of those pieces that genuinely does seem to benefit from being black-and-white, the way it gets that extra contrast between the wood and the moss. I know literally nothing about photography, so I'll just note that to my untrained eye, the composition feels nice as well.

Thanks for submitting!
#24972 ·
· on Violated
I'll be honest, I didn't quite get the meaning behind this one until I saw GGA's comment. So yeah, the effect was probably a little lost on me, but it's still a nice spin on the prompt. Thanks for arting!
#24971 ·
· on Tummy Rubs?
The irony is, that this makes me want to bury my whole face in the fur. Even if I get scratched.

Nice work with the anatomy, especially with the angle of the hind legs. I also think you did a great job of making that belly look fluffy with just a bare smattering of detail.

Thanks for arting!
#24970 ·
· on It's There for a Reason
Take it away, I don't want it. Egh!

In all honesty, great find, and it plays with the prompt very nicely. Appropriately creepy, this close to Halloween, too. Thanks for submitting!
#24969 ·
· on Sight and Sound
I like the general shape of her face, here, but her hair and the visor do look a little flat. It's probably what GGA says about line widths, honestly, since I'm not really an artist, I'm just guessing. :P

Thanks for arting!
#24810 ·
· on Twenty Four Shadows on the Earth
There's a lot of stuff here that I personally really wish I could do, like the high-level narration that blends with the moment-to-moment pacing. Every time I try to do something like that, I end up hating what I'm writing. :P

I also really like the feeling of big-concept sci-fi that you've evoked. It kind of feels like Three Body Problem (which I finally got around to reading) in terms of its tone and the way the story lets the implications of its events speak for themselves.

One thing that kind of confuses me, though, is how human-like the Ni'so end up feeling. They have similar government styles, they wear clothes, they have familiar weapons, they use buttons in their electronics, and they drink coffee. I understand that the point of the story isn't to focus on their alien-ness, but at this point, it's really hard to imagine them as anything other than human.

The first two sentences of this story does a great job of intriguing the reader, partially because we immediately want to know about the Ni'So and how they're different from humans. The fact that the story never quite pays off on this desire ended up disappointing me a bit. But keep in mind that I'm a bit of a world-building nutcase, so take my thoughts with a grain of salt. :P

Thank you for submitting!
#24809 ·
· on Pocket Stars
Okay, so first off, you get, like, fifty brownie points from me for doing a story with my pic in it. It made me stupidly happy. Thanks. :P

But other than that, there's also a bunch of little things that I liked, like the obviously different physics of the alien world and all the little hints about the tech level of earth. The whole thing exudes a delicious punkish feel, and I'm always down for that kind of world-building.

Now if I had to level some critique, I'd say that I think the way this story handles its conflict(s) is probably the weakest element right now. Things feel just a little too busy to be coherent right now: first we get introduced to alien invaders, then we fight a human mugger, then we learn about parallel universes, then we're fighting aliens to save another alien in a parallel universe, and then things wrap up. Not many of these threads feel particularly resolved by the end, so it's a little tough to feel like there's a satisfying narrative arc, here.

My personal philosophy when it comes to writing short stories is that every element of the entire story should be built to serve one purpose, build one mood, or expand on one primary theme. It can be tough to juggle a lot of moving elements even in a long story, but when you're playing with only one reading-session's worth of words, I'm not sure how much mileage you can get. Pruning your ideas is always a tough call, but like Pixar says, it can be powerfully liberating.

Thanks for entering!
#24804 ·
· on On My Way
Retro: The Purble Place

In which I demonstrate once again, that I have no idea how to draw hair, shadows, perspective, clothing creases. or concrete. But at least I seem to be doing hands right, judging by the feedback from the last few of these. :P

... assuming that it is a moon and not anything else...

Yes, it's supposed to be. Dagnabbit.

And is it intentional for stars to be there on the far right side?

No, they're not supposed to be. Dagnabbit.

... but if that is the case then where is the horizon? ...unless, somehow, this city is really, really tall?

The girl is supposed to be on the thirdish/fourthish floor of a parking-lot sort of structure, with the buildings in the background being really tall (20/30 floors) and decently far. Mostly because I didn't want to bother with drawing streets or smaller buildings in the midground. :P

The lines-as-creases suggest a really stiff, unforgiving fabric for the top; I have no idea what's going on with the creases on the left arm, and the left knee/thigh is questionable; the left cuff also doesn't seem to be curled around the arm as reality would suggest (but good try?)

This is what I get for studying how to draw creased clothes for about half an hour before trying my hand at it. Thanks for letting me know what didn't work!

The zipper should probably be dangling down, now upwards?


If you wouldn't write an author's note at the start of your story saying "My jokes in this one are all lame feghoots," the same principle applies.

This is a really good point, actually. In hindsight, I'm a little surprised that I didn't think about it this way, considering how much I dislike how some stories start with 'disclaimers' about being bad or a first-time writer. I guess it has to do with my relative lack of confidence/experience with art, as opposed to writing. Thanks a lot for pointing it out. If I'm asking people to judge my art seriously, I should take it seriously myself.

Thanks a lot for your thoughts!

Huh! The tone I was going for was actually "Last of Us" and "Dying Light", even though I haven't played the latter. So you get half-credit for that answer. :P

Thanks for your review!

I did not have Shadowrun specifically in mind, but I did play a couple of campaigns like two or three years ago. So it might have been percolating in my subconscious somewhere.

If you're working further on lighting, I'd say you should try to mess with multiple shades and intensities of light and shadow

So this time, I tried something different which was to use a layer to set the whole piece to a middle tone and tint up for light and down for shadows. Honestly, I was kind of nervous about overdoing it, so it's good to hear that you actually had the opposite problem.

Thanks for the feedback!

My main advice, Artist, is to try varying your line widths here and there

I know a lot of artists use their tablet's pressure setting to vary stroke width/boldness. So I should probably take it as a hint to hurry up and commit to getting away from my mouse and buying a tablet. :P

Appreciate your review!
#24774 · 1
· on The Shadows Don't Rest Here · >>DuskPhoenix
From a purely mood perspective, this might be my favorite of the bunch. For me, it really evokes some of the surreal/horror artworks I've seen, like from H.R. Giger or the like. There's a really strong feeling of symbolism that gives the piece a sense of heft.

Thanks for arting!
#24773 ·
· on The Sun Follows · >>MLPmatthewl419
It took me, like, a solid two minutes before I realized that this was a photo of chalk art. I really like how the texture/strokes of the chalk add to the piece, and how you use the IRL shadow as well. This definitely feels like it took a lot of planning and effort, so kudos for making it happen.

Thanks for arting!
#24772 · 2
· on Where Do the Children Go? · >>GroaningGreyAgony
I don't really know how to express this, but I think you did a great job on the shape and general feel of the trees. They're really instantly recognizable, and the fact that they're so easy to identify helps draw attention to the silhouettes. Nice stuff!

Thanks for arting!
#24771 ·
· on On My Way
I like your color selection, especially with how the background buildings interact with the sky. A couple of the details do feel a little off to b e (the hair, the shading on the rubble), but I think I like the overall composition you're going for.

Thanks for arting!
#24770 · 2
· on The Insouciance of Introspection · >>KwirkyJ >>GroaningGreyAgony
I really like the dirty, metal-on-paint texture of this one. I've really got no idea how you did it, but lemme tell you, it looks pretty fantastic. The simplicity of the two figures (being done in only one or two strokes each) is also a really nice touch. Overall, the piece has a nice sense of foreboding.

Thanks for arting!
#24757 · 1
· · >>No_Raisin
Somebody say something, for god's sake. D:
#24744 · 2
· on It's a Symbolic Matter
Okay, I snorted air through my nose when I saw the "thirty-four" joke. I really love the cute birthday-card-feeling, with the drawn-on stitches and the pastelly colors. The mouseover text is also really cute. Thank you for arting!
#24743 · 1
· on Carry that Weight
This is really cool in how it uses texturing to distinguish the three primary objects in the picture. The shape of the hill and the moon compliment each other well, giving the whole piece an astronomical sort of vibe. Really neat; thanks for arting!
#24742 · 1
· on Delicate Matters Require a Delicate Approach · >>thebandbrony
I absolutely love Twilight's squared-off face and squared-off eyes. It's just that perfect amount of ugly-weird that ends up selling the whole thing. If Equestria had internet, its memes would look like this. Thank you.
#24738 ·
· on Definitely Not Worth the Trouble
Thanks for the reviews, everyone!

Yeah, I really could have done a better job with the meter, here, even with just a little bit more effort. Like, I was reading this the morning after submissions closed, and I noticed two or three places where I could have just instantly made things much better with a couple of substitutions. That's on me; I was being lazy.

Also, I continue to try to unabashedly ape the style of Shel Silverstein.

Thanks for your thoughts!

In terms of the imagery, I was really just trying to capture a bunch of unrelated things in life that could inspire poetry. I originally envisioned each of those stanzas having a reference to a well-known poem, but I kinda gave up after "compared to summers' days" and made things up as I went.

Yeah, this really does come off as self-congratulatory, ha. As for it being a simple piece, that's probably another thing I borrow from Silverstein. I tend to like poems that are immediately and easily readable, because I have the attention span of a small child. :P

Thanks for your review!

It's ironic that this has a more robust rhyme scheme than I bothered to use in the poem, ha. Thanks for leaving your thoughts!

It must not be coincidence that I watched Bo Burnham's comedy special on Netflix just a little while back. I do like that man's sense of irony/sarcasm. Thank you for the comment!
#24737 ·
· on Still Seeking Prime Partner · >>Light_Striker
Well, from the first stanza, I thought that some kind of witchcraft was going on. But I was pretty lost when it came down to the second and third stanzas. In the end, I just vaguely kind of thought that it was about a love spell or something.

... I can be really bad at reading comprehension sometimes.
#24714 · 2
· on Moon
Okay, I'm like, 30 different kinds of in-love with the high-concept, not-quite-explained worldbuilding that you do here. The clearly symbolic elements of the dreams and the descriptions really lend the whole piece a sense of importance and weight. Overall, this is just a lot of fun.

If I have to lodge complaints, there are only a couple of things I think are worth nitpicking. Firstly, the opening is probably the weakest part of the story. Since we're going in blind, minific readers are really kind of desperate for anything concrete to latch onto, and since we know it's a dream, it's a little bit hard to feel oriented.

My other nitpick feeds into this, and it's that it felt a little strange that you didn't name Celestia or Luna. Up until about halfway through the story, I was still personally unsure of which royal princess was the narrator. It's definitely a neat stylistic choice not to use either of their names, but I think that if that's what you want to do, it might be a good idea to find some other way to clearly clarify identities early-on, like by mentioning coat color or the like. Like I've said in previous reviews I've done, I personally think it's absolutely essential for the first 100 words of a minific to establish characters, tone, setting, and conflict ASAP. So that's kind of my viewpoint as a reader, going in.

Thanks for entering!
#24713 ·
· on Paid Vacation Time
I do tend to enjoy these sorts of "two characters having a discussion" stories. I like the implication the scenario has for Tempest's character growth, and older Flurry is always fun for me as well.

I think it's worth mentioning that I also kinda had pacing problems with this one, too. Like in "Performance", this one's ending feels a little rushed, but since this story isn't actually going for ambiguity in its theme, the problem feels a little more pronounced. It definitely feels like you're pushing up to the word limit, here.

Thanks for entering!
#24712 ·
· on Performance
I really like the concept of Twilight finding a surrogate confess-ee for her love. It fits her archetype super-well and is a really natural-feeling source for potential conflicts. I'm also kind of jealous of how you pull off the storybook-esque narration—I feel like every time I try to make my prose anything but totally invisible, it falls apart.

If I had to level some critique, I think I was a little thrown off by the pacing during my first read-through. A lot happens in the last hundred words, compared to the plot density of the previous 600ish words. On re-reads, I do think that it was a good idea to both end the story where it ends and to have that little tinge of ambiguity in Mirror Shade's turn of heart. So maybe the issue that I have is less about the pacing itself, and more about how it's signaled to the reader. I don't know; I hope that makes sense. :P

Thanks for entering!
#24711 · 2
Hide your children and wives. I've entered.
Paging WIP