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Monokeras and Fenton's Whacky French Adventures
#15536 · 11
· on Monsters · >>Monokeras >>ToXikyogHurt >>Trick_Question >>Baal Bunny
This review is dedicated to my dear friend AndrewRogue, who died attempting to review this story.

This story has been getting a lot of attention, and it is one of the few stories I have actually read, so I feel compelled to engage the ongoing debate. Despite being the writeoff's biggest cunt and ball-buster, I am inclined to say that everyone here is being a bit too harsh on this story and by extension the author. I am going to have to coldly rebuke >>ToXikyogHurt and >>GaPJaxie, despite the fact that >>ToXikyogHurt provides many useful observations and suggestions that I will later incorporate into my own review. I see no compelling reason to imply that this story cannot be altered to fit as a tonally dark re-imagining of the show's universe, and the suggestion that the author forego writing a story with that sort of purposeful inversion of the source material's tone to be mildly insulting to the author.

The word of the day for this story, and the one that nobody has mentioned specifically thus far but has often alluded to, is "tone." The closet point of critique someone has mentioned is >>ToXikyogHurt in reference to the inadequacy of the first scene, which, I believe, is probably the biggest issue with the story itself. As many have said previous, rape and pedophilia are hot button issues, and it belies a story to adopt a certain tone to establish the mood of the piece.

Why then, does the story open with an attempted rape in the form of a cartoon rope trap complete with nets? Why does a friendship lecture stop said rape? Why the hell give your psychiatrists (although they are really more psychologists as you use them) cutesy names based on brain parts? These ideas you're pulling from the show don't work tonally in context with the situation.

For this story to function, there needs to be a dichotomy: serious elements are to be portrayed seriously and close to reality in how they would realistically occur, and cartoon elements are to be employed illustrate that the story itself takes place in the familiar reality of the show. To write this story convincingly is to balance the tone on a knife's edge. You are essentially taking the character interpretation that Rainbow is still the family friendly, canonical Rainbow Dash, at least in the public eye and trying to re-contextualize her character as a anxious, ashamed pedophile. Not a insignificant undertaking, to say the least, but it certainly is possible.

Ideally, you want the cartoony, family friendly nature of Rainbow Dash to be demonstrably contrasted with her internal mechanics to create the impression that there is more to Rainbow Dash than the show presents, but also that she still is the Rainbow Dash from the show. You have to address the plausibility issue that immediately arises when trying to so drastically alter the reality of the character in the source material and explain how despite having x, y, z qualities in the source material (for example, as >>Pascoite mentions, Rainbow has poor impulse control as part of her character), Rainbow Dash can still be a secret pedo.

Character voices are indistinct here. Writing dialogue is tough, I understand, but if the characterization and voice isn't concrete, readers will reject it out of hand immediately. You're operating at a higher threshold of scrutiny. Other entries that write firmly within the tone of the show are given a benefit of the doubt that you simply don't have when writing a story based around pedophilia and rape. Rainbow's character is faintly present in the story, with some Rainbow-esque choices of phrase, but ultimately her voice is fairly neutral, and so is Scootaloo's. It becomes additionally jarring the difference in profanity use from Rainbow between the two scenes: in the scene she's about to be raped, she is very PG, but in the therapist's office, she's spewing profanity every sentence.

I get that the intention was for Rainbow to be putting up a false front for Scootaloo, but at some point there needed to be a breaking of character for something so extreme, or alternatively, have Rainbow speak in a consistent voice throughout. As it stands, the two scenes seem to be of two people, rather than two different faces of the same Rainbow.

Additionally, author you need to use more restraint in utilizing italics in dialogue. This is quickly becoming my biggest pet peeve in the competition these days. Use your italics wisely and sparingly, for words you really want to emphasize. Using an italicized word for every two lines of dialogue defeats the purpose of emphasis.

Additionally, I wish there was a more narrative. Most of this story is long-winded dialogue that could be easily cut down to be both more impactful and less turgid. The whole story is basically two long conversations, and that is boring to read. People have been giving you a pass on your construction because they'd rather talk about the topic it discusses, but you really need to work on a number of fundamentals. Pacing, sentence construction (particularly in regards to economy of words), and scene construction ordering all need significant work.

Also don't bury your dialogue. Break up your paragraphs more. Simple organization can make your story much easier and enjoyable to read.

Since >>Pascoite brought this up, I can finally get to use my Psychology degree: how accurately does this story convey the therapeutic environment and confidentiality?

To be honest, it doesn't get a whole lot wrong. But there are some issues.

The fuck is Scootaloo's extended family doing in her therapy? Certainly Scootaloo's parents would be present, as minors don't have HIPAA rights, but her aunts? What? I laughed at that line when I first read it. Is everyone and their grandmother invited to Scootaloo's rapist recovery counseling? What?

But that's not even really the biggest problem with that scenario.

You see, there are several circumstances in which the confidentiality between therapist and patient can be broken, and one of the most important ones is if the patient is considered a danger to those around them. As a health care professional, one does not admit a person who tells you they tried to rape someone the day prior to therapy and not alert the authorities. Additionally, one does not get to say they want to have sex with a specific child they see on a regular basis and not have the therapist report them to CPS. If Dash was a pedophile with non-specific attraction to Scootaloo, it would be more acceptable for the therapist to not break confidentiality, but because Dash is particularly fixated on Scootaloo as the object of her desire, there is a compelling reason for her to break it.

I didn't find this to be a huge issue, as I don't really expect people to know the limitations of confidentiality, and this is actually a bit of a gray area than anything else. I would not say that either situation explicitly requires the therapist to break confidentiality, but there are a million reasons why it would be in her best ethical interest for her to do so.

Bunch of people mentioned Cadance, so I'll be the rare voice that advocates against pulling her into this. The point of the therapist is that Dash DOESN'T WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW SHE'S A PEDOPHILE JESUS CHRIST. Even if Cadance could conceivably fix her, would Rainbow Dash seek out the help? Not as a established, no. And maybe Cadance could take the role of therapist, but it really to me seems outside her wheelhouse, and she's more of a matchmaker than a physician. Adding her in any other way than to make an offhand comment about why Rainbow Dash can't or won't seek out her help I think would hurt the story as much as it would help, so I can't really justify the change.

>>regidar

I’d recommend studying sexual psychology a bit more if you want to write this kind of story, because it comes off as “I’ve only ever seen depictions of pedophilia in muh nipponese cartoons”.


This I would also disagree. But maybe I'm just sore over how a criticism similar to this was leveled at me last round.

Ultimately I would say this is a fairly nuanced portrayal of pedophilic desires, something that absolutely NOBODY except academics and pedophiles will appreciate unless you're writing on the level of Lolita, which unfortunately, you are not. I can appreciate the level of ambition and thought that went into creating a story like this, and I would never do something as drastic as put it at the bottom of my slate (if I were voting) for content reasons, but it does not change the fact that the construction of the story itself is an atonal mess that occasionally feels like it's veering into comedic territory. Something like this ought to be more of a slow burn—starting with over-the-top Scootarape was a huge misstep that cost you the majority of your audience, myself included.
#9107 · 10
·
So, it was proposed (by me) that someone (being me) should do a mash-up of all sixty entries with Quackers Goes to The Fair. Why? Because fuck you, that's why. No reason.

1. It's Over, Quackers

Final chapter in the Quackers series. While exploring Equestria for the upteenth time, Quackers the Duck discovers and unwittingly detonates Celestia's emergency nuclear silo, destroying Equestria.

2. Quackers Goes to The Deep

Twilight, in an attempt to show other intelligent alien lifeforms the joys of having a duck, launches Quackers into the vast emptiness of space. Quackers is not amused.

3. Fair Quackers Goes Crepuscular

Quackers decides that he wants to see more of Equestria's night life and dyes his feathers black. The ponies who love and cherish Quackers are dismayed with his new fashion sensibilities, but are confident that this is just a phase.

4. Quackers Goes To God

After the events of the smash-hit Quackers Goes Crepuscular, Quackers is looking to repent for his sins. Luckily, Celestia is there to help.

5. Tyrant King Quackers Goes to the Fair

Quackers, having failed to find salvation in Celestia, decides that he must become the villain Equestria needs in order to cleanse it. He returns the Fair he visited in the first book and harasses everyone in his path.

6. A Riveting Tale of Quackers Conquest

The mane 6 challenge the God-Tyrant Quackers to a game of Twilight Imperium that determines the fate of all of Equestria. But first, they have to explain the rules of the game for nine hours. Eventually they give up and say he can just learn to play as they go.

7. Never Dream, Quackers

After his defeat at the hands of the mane 6, Quacker is brain-washed into forgetting his past by Starlight Glimmer in an effort to pacify his desire for galactic conquest. But in his dreams, he is haunted by the suffering he has caused in the past.

8. Quackers Goes Too Literal

Quackers is confused for the span of an entire novel over the relative size of ponies and how they can be little if they are actually full sized ponies but at the same time are little relative to a size of a horse, and he just can't deal with this contradiction.

9. Trial by Quackers

Quackers starts a cult of personality designed to procure the darkest secrets and forbidden tomes from Twilight's library to restore his iron-grip over Equestria. But first he has to learn the Dewey Decimal System.

10. The Quackers Show

Quackers is thrown into the world of Equestria Girls after a spell he learned in Trial by Quackers goes awry. The cast of Equestria Girls tests Quackers with the Kobayashi Maru in order to see if he is fit to be integrated into the main cast and maybe be featured in the next movie.

11. Quackers from Another World

After being kicked out the continuity of Equestria Girls, Quackers returns to Equestria to conquer the planet again, but only succeeds in mildly irritating Octavia. She hits him with a broom, prompting his immediate retreat back into the wild.

12. Is Quackers in the Literal Sense

Quackers has an existentialist crisis over his inability to defeat Octavia and loses all sense of himself. He tries to become like other members of the mane 6, but fails. I think.

13. A Good Quackers in Equestria

The mane 6 have been trapped in a pocket dimension created by Quackers' immense psychic power, and they have to keep him happy, or he'll erase their asses from the continuity. This mainly consists of bringing Quackers bread crumbs.

14. Long Quackers Nightmare

A Quackers villain origin story. An eldritch abomination touches Quackers in his dreams and gradually imbues him with its corrupt essence. The darkness gives Quackers vast powers, but also drains his sanity, becoming a shell of the duck he once was.

15. Awesome Fair Quackers!

Twilight, feeling pity for Quackers, creates a pocket dimension of eternal fairs for Quackers in order to keep him content in reliving his halcyon days before his fall into madness. Quackers is pleased with this development.

16. Welcome to Equestria Quackers!

The prequel to Quackers Goes to the Fair. Quackers fills out an immigration form to Equestria from the neighboring land of Yakistan, but his travel visa is voided. He decides to immigrate illegally instead.

17. Quackers Libs

Discord makes unwelcome edits to Quackers' My Little Pony fan fiction, which angers the duck of destiny. Discord and Quackers both employ the fullest extent of their continuity-altering powers to wrest control of the MLP-Universe by rewriting sections of each others' fan fics.

18. The Obsolete Quackers

After being trapped by Starlight Glimmer's equalist movement, Quackers plans a murder-suicide in order to defeat his foe, knowing full well that the Dark Gods of Equestria will save his mortal form.

19. The Passing of the Burning Quackers

The extended-universe sequel made after the events of It's Over, Quackers with permission from the original author. It describes the death of Celestia in the nuclear apocalypse and the effect it has had on the environment.

20. Playing the Quackers Game

Quackers devises a get rich quick scheme to defraud the government of thousands of bits by exploiting Twilight's Sparkles' childhood affection for him. It succeeds, and Quackers quickly becomes a millionaire living the high life. But all good things come to an end eventually...

Okay that's it for right now, but I'll be back with more Quackers stories!
#18663 · 9
·
This is the rare Cassius first post.
#12850 · 8
· on Monokeras and Fenton's Whacky French Adventures
>>Monokeras
>>CoffeeMinion
>>Fenton
>>Dubs_Rewatcher
>>AndrewRogue
>>Ranmilia
>>Trick_Question
>>libertydude

AHA IT WAS ME ALL ALONG. NOBODY KNEW THAT, RIGHT?

Thank you to everyone who read and supported this story. I wrote this story with the intention of delivering quality Monokeras and Fenton related content to you folks at the write off without relying on the meta aspect to carry the story itself. As I told Mono before I entered, I didn't want to "phone in" my content just because I was making an in-joke with the write off. A big inspiration for me in particular to write this story was The Ballad of Roger Wilco, and perhaps I will write more stories in that sort of vein in the future. I find them very enjoyable to craft, and I love the response that they get, but I hope to also not wear out the appeal.

I am truly blown away by the level of support that this story got (three top slates!). Early on, I figured that this story probably wouldn't make it out of finals because it would be typecast as an insubstantial story (despite my efforts to make it have some meat to it).

The overabundance of French jokes was actually not in my original draft (I only had 4) and the additional French tags were the result of a suggestion by Corejo. Please send all your hate mail to him.

>>CoffeeMinion
>>Trick_Question

I regret killing Mono. Next time I will only kill Fenton.
#17429 · 8
· on Werewolf Hunting Sucks · >>BlueChameleonVI
I may come back to review this in full later, but this was fun, and I like the punchy, stream-of-consciousness style. Excellent opening line. One big problem is though is that there's too much fucking swearing in this goddamn story, like so much fucking swearing that it losing a bit of its cunting emphasis. More fucking discernment about the placement of your goddamn swears so it makes the ass-kicking punchiness of your narrative stand out instead of sounding like a shitty obligatory "fuck" drop every five seconds would greatly benefit this piece, you bastard.

You watch your ass, mate.
#12828 · 7
·
>>GroaningGreyAgony

Optimism Is Wrong in The Multiverse

A particularly nihilistic demon interrupts a young couple's evening by telling them how wrong they were about believing in the good of the universe. The couple decides to fuck off to another dimension to avoid his lecturing.

Fears Are Like Roy's Diner, 3 A.M.

Boy takes his girlfriend to out to eat, but unfortunately, their waiter has severe social anxiety and continuously screws up their order. Boy tells the inept waiter that he would have gotten their order right in a parallel universe.

Even Monokeras Is Not Bulletproof

Title self explanatory.

This Story Is a Metaphor for Chewbacca

Courtroom drama where the judged and accused constantly switch place due to dimensional experiment shenanigans. Chewbacca is somehow tangentially involved.

High School Armageddon, Played Straight

When Baron Crump fails to secure a prom date, he asks his powerful father, Ronald Crump, to end the world, since life no long has any meaning. Ronald Crump, not wanting to disappoint his son and look like a bad father in front of Badimir Screwtin, obliges him, and fires a billion tons of fresh Arby's at Baron's school.

Skip Walking With a Goddess

Valhalla sucks.
#3920 · 6
· on A New Beginning
>>FanOfMostEverything

And now you’re just remaking the Soldier: 76 Overwatch trailer with ponies.


I read this entire story just to confirm that you weren't just speaking in hyperbole. You're dead on. Beat for beat, this is essentially the same as the Soldier 76 trailer.



For other reviewer's reference: this is the trailer
#15699 · 6
· on Monsters · >>Trick_Question
>>Baal Bunny

I can understand where you're coming from, and I myself as an author have often felt that same sense of futility in writing things that aren't appealing to a general audience. Really, I hope you distance yourself from this experience, shake yourself off, and ask yourself do you want to write this story. There's no shame in either answer.

I will say that I feel that you got a raw deal here. I appreciate your work and the thought you put into the piece. I was honestly impressed by your ability deal to give a realistic nuance to a set of people widely considered across all societies to be the worst, most depraved type of people, as well as the care and thoughtfulness you put into that process.

I was considering writing a much longer post and essay on the importance of an honest and human portrayal of the pedophile in media, but >>Chinchillax covered a good amount of what I was going to say. I discussed this briefly in the discord chat, and I wanted to repost it here for you to see:

You may find it interesting that the chief objectors of this particular instance (of deeming a story inappropriate) are Trick and I, who both have an academic background in mental health. Part of that inevitably stems, at least for myself, I can't say for certain for Trick, from an understanding about what the condition of pedophilia entails, and the difference between the public perception of pedophilia and what we know.

The fact of the matter is that when you cut away brass tacks, pedophiles are ultimately still people, and particularly tortured people. There is no cure for pedophillia. We can barely even treat it. You can literally castrate them and it will not inhibit their sexual preference or desire for children. Pedophiles don't get to choose to be attracted to kids, they only get to choose not to act on those attractions.

I want you to imagine for a second how shitty your life would be if you could never have sex with someone you were attracted unless you were willing to do something amazingly evil in order to get it.

The prevailing societal opinion on pedophiles is that they are literally the worst people ever, an assessment that I can't say I exactly disagree with, but they are still people, and I find their stories, particularly stories of their successes in managing their condition to be very important and socially significant, both for the pedophiles themselves, but also for educating the public on how utterly miserable their condition is.
#18527 · 6
· on The Pain Network · >>Miller Minus >>Paracompact >>Miller Minus
Full review may come later. I don't make any promises these days, but I really do want to dig into this story because I think it deserves it. Initial thoughts:

-this entry is excellent and the author has a lot to be proud of, especially with their character voicing and setup, some of the best I've ever seen in this competition.

-minor tonal / stylistic issues detract from but don't disengage the reader

-I have minor quibbles over some minutia of psychology here, and it seems apparent to me that this story was written by a layman

-some plot contrivances towards and the conclusion wrap too nicely for a story this stylistically grounded and messy, so much so that I would argue it's a major problem with the story as a whole.

-really mediocre set of ending lines that evokes a very maudlin sentimentality unbecoming of a story like this

-final couple hundred words is unfortunately dedicated to holding the reader's hand and explaining what the story was about as if the reader is an idiot

All in all, I think this was a very impressive entry in both style and content gimped by poor handling of its conclusion. I don't want to come across as overly negative, because I honestly believe this was one of the strongest entries I've read in the history of this competition. That being said, I don't expect it to be much of a crowd-pleaser, and no doubt this story's resolution will sour a good number of people on this entry.
#2130 · 5
·
Wow first write-off I've participated in since 2012! Perhaps I can return my former glory as the fifth place warrior. Or just do okay. I'll take okay.