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Gold medalMortarboard
There Is Magic In Everything
FiM Short Story
1st
100%
548
Negotiations
Ribbon
Look, I Can Explain...
FiM Short Story
5th
91%
547
Ponyville in a Pie Shell
Ribbon
Great Expectations
FiM Short Story
4th
93%
533
Daring Do and the Weapon of the Ancients
Ribbon
A Matter of Perspective
FiM Short Story
7th
89%
501
Time Enough for Friendship
Mask
Closing Time
FiM Short Story
4th
91%
499
Wizards, Fools, and Foals
Ribbon
The Darkest Hour
FiM Short Story
5th
82%
437
Denotation and Consternation
Ribbon
End of an Era
FiM Short Story
9th
72%
368
He Come to Town
Ribbon
Distant Shores
FiM Short Story
17th
67%
308
Iron Burden
Ribbon
Out of Time
FiM Short Story
14th
62%
280
Major Turbulence
Gold medal
The Morning After
FiM Minific
1st
100%
257
Just After Midnight
#7104 · 9
· · >>Monokeras >>The_Letter_J >>Not_Worthy2
>>Not_Worthy2
With regards to not having seen the other EqG movies, you really haven't missed much in terms of Cheerilee's character development. Mostly because she never speaks again and rarely ever even appears.

As for emotional resonance and satisfying conclusions, my best recommendation is to read the works of others and think about how they accomplish such things. And I don't just mean fan fiction. Analyze professional works as well. Think about how story structure, word choice, and all other aspects of the writing come together to create a satisfying, complete arc. (And for the record, it is really hard to make one of those arcs in 750 words or less.)

Please do not compromise your anonymity out of a feeling of inadequacy. Thinking you don't deserve to be a finalist just means you're a part of the Writeoff community. Almost all of us have some degree of impostor syndrome. :P The medals aren't the important part of this exercise. Sharing your work and growing as an author are.
#2758 · 7
· on The Apprentice
The rifle specs are hilariously well done. I went from “Wait, this Equestria has guns?” to “That is fantastic” in the space of a few sentences.

That contrast continues for the rest of the story. The juxtaposition of severity and silliness makes this work very well indeed. Nice work.
#17646 · 7
· on Technical Ecstasy (or: Party Princess Shining Bright) · >>Moosetasm >>CoffeeMinion
I’m honestly not sure if success or failure would be the funnier option with that much setup. In any case, an enjoyable Scratchtavia life-slice with some rather higher-magnitude shenanigans than the typical specimen, though the pacing feels a bit uneven due to cramming it in at the word limit. Still, I do love the exchange at the end.
#3015 · 6
· on An Epic Rhyme Battle of Equestria · >>Monokeras >>Icenrose
A showdown ’twixt zebra and party mare seems
Like something right out of my widest dreams,
But your execution I cannot commend
For why would Zecora like cursing her friend?
The poetry battle itself is quite odd
For quite a few stanzas are praiseworthy nods
That go in the other combatant’s direction.
Such lines should be acid, not cheery confection!
And then there’s the meter. I must be insistent:
The syllable count always should be consistent.
If not through the piece, then at least in paired lines
(As per my own poetic efforts this time.)
In these competitions, it’s always a risk
To write up a poem and save it to disk.
In this case your efforts did not cut the mustard.
Don’t worry, you won’t get a spoon for your custard.

Fomey Shave

(And with that, I'm through. Didn't even realize this was my finale for this round.)
#3397 · 6
·
With less than a day left in the voting, it's time for another low-review PSA.

The following finalists each have the fewest comments at six each:

38. Clockwork
40. Once, I Had Wings
47. Shooting for the Moon
49. Astronomy
63. Field Trip


Furthermore, A Look Into the Soul (#14) and I'm Sure You Have Some Questions (#55) have seven comments each, and while Errata (#54) has eight, one has been deleted and two others are by the same person.
#4143 · 6
·
>>georg >>horizon >>Posh >>Bad Horse >>wYvern
Better late than never; I love doing these.

Fairy Slingshot: After far too long, Celestia returns home.

Opal, Gemstones, Salt, Wood, Crystal, and Solitude for the Modern Businessmare: Ms. Harshwhinny looks back on her past conquests.

The Empty Throne's Historical Gaps: Daring Do discovers what seems to be deliberately quashed archeological evidence of a second princess. Celestia realizes she was so busy doing the work of two diarchs that she kind of botched the whole "don't let Luna be forgotten" thing and asks Daring to keep it under wraps for another decade or so.

The End of One Era: Two changelings try to instigate a coup in Canterlot but are defeated by their own mental latency issues.

Heartbreak's End: Cadence's nightmarish madness ends when she's comes up against the overwhelming titan of charisma that is Firecracker.

My Little Fentsie's Sin: Celestia cruelly takes the adorable little zebra-dragon from her father, not willing to put up with yet another My Little Dashie parody.
#6039 · 6
·
Huh. Nine of the finalists were in my personal top ten, and one of the others is the one I wrote. Neat. I am sorry to see Music After Midnight didn't make it.

>>CoffeeMinion
Pinkamena's Chamber: Daring Do makes the mistake of listening to a James Joyce book-on-tape while descending down a narrow passageway. Behold, the chronicle of her hallucinations.
For the record, I would happily read this.

>>horizon
Twilight Sparkle Lays A Wake - Sleep-slapeing jinxed a-japing; or, Pronky Pie pranks a Twi unto unsomnia by egging her with rotten puns until the sunny slides up.
Tell us again how you didn't write Pinkamena's Wake.
#7248 · 6
· on Just After Midnight · >>Trick_Question >>JudgeDeadd
Just After Midnight

This was definitely interesting. As I noted before the preliminaries began, I had to trim a few hundred words of fat off of this, almost all of it even more grandiose turns of phrase than what made it in. I suppose the key to minifics is to start big and whittle them down.

This was one of those really convenient ideas that springs out fully formed and comes prepackaged with its title. After all, mornings officially start at midnight. There's still plenty of darkness between the end of the night and the sunrise. Similarly, Celestia probably needed some recovery time between banishing the one person who'd always been with her and putting away the celestial object now branded with that person's face.

Mince Pie is the result of one of those questions that no one seems to ask but bother you once they do: What was everypony else doing during the sisters' battle? I wanted to keep her name unknown until the end. Otherwise, it might telegraph how she was going to resolve the situation. Going first-person was a revelation in that regard; my original plan was to play the pronoun game, and that hit the usual pony fiction wall of too many "she"s. I suppose my original intention was that the story was an excerpt from her memoir or something similar, though I never really pinned that down. I'll have to do that.

The pacing is definitely a little off, but that'll be an easy fix once I have infinite space to work with.

Thank you to all of my reviewers, including >>Kitcat36, >>CoffeeMinion, >>Foehn, >>Orbiting_kettle, and >>Xepher

As for the rest of you, individual responses follow:

>>Trick_Question
Hmm. You may have a point on the archaic English. We'll see.

Canonically, I'm also pretty sure the castle had been abandoned by ponies years prior to the fight between Celestia and Luna, but that would ruin the premise of the story, so I don't consider it a flaw.
Citation needed.

Canonically, it's also the case that Celestia never actually spoke in the archaic fashion that Luna does, but I think this is secondary to the need for clarity which I mentioned above.
See, it's discrepancies like that that make me suspect that the flashback potion wasn't a perfectly reliable narrator. After all, Luna doesn't speak in the archaic fashion during the conflict. Either she invented the you/thou distinction while banished on the moon or that's not exactly how things happened.

>>Not_A_Hat
Excellent point about the issues with Mince looking back with shame and scorn. Definitely something to adjust in the polished version.

>>AndrewRogue
I was hoping that the contrast between the past elaboration and the simple statement of fact would work out better than it did for you. Whoops. ^^;

>>Monokeras
I tried to indicate that Celestia had only begun to heal, but word count got in the way. As for the sentence structure... well, Trick may be onto something with just using archaisms.

>>Posh
Ooh, good point. Completely forgot about class divides, which isn't something one can do when writing a feudal society. I'm going to need to think about this...
#9133 · 6
·
>>Cassius
A breathtaking tour de force. Thank you for taking us on this journey.

>>Not_A_Hat
Let's mash.

It's a Good Life in Equestria: Twilight's parents are saved from eternal torment when Silver Spoon catches her uncle narrating under his breath.

The Deep Outer Limits: Two alicorns, one flesh and blood, the other silicon and copied engrams, find solace in each other's company.

Is This a Bit Too Literal: On the bus ride home, Sunset dreams of being Pinkie Pie in a waking fugue state.

Snoopy vs. Monsters: The crew of Apollo 10 very definitely never saw a small horse burying a body during their lunar transit.

The Council of Infinite Twilights is the True Crime of a Song, Yet Hope, in Part, Finds Purchase: All Purplesmarts in the universe convene to discuss how much one needs to know about poetry in order to review it for a competition. And to badmouth all instances of Abacus Cinch.
#17602 · 6
· · >>Anon Y Mous
Yeesh, look at all this dust...

Hey all. (Is this thing on? The status light burnt out. Okay, I think we're good.) I figured since I'm going to be speaking to actual, physically present people on flash fiction in the near future (and I can panic about that later,) it might be a good idea to refresh my memory on the Writeoff experience. This should be fun! Hopefully.