Hey! It looks like you're new here. You might want to check out the introduction.

It's All Rather Confusing, Really
#25183 ·
· on The Memory of Pie
>>Pascoite
>>GroaningGreyAgony

Thanks, folks!

My other writing group said they'd like a little more at the end, too, so I'll sharpen up the top and the bottom and see if I can't get someone to give me some money for it!

Mike
#25179 · 2
·
>>GroaningGreyAgony

Post it anyway!

Put it in a Google Doc and put the link in the comments here! Rebel against that tyrant, Time!

Mike
#25167 · 2
· on A Marriage of Inconvenience
>>PinoyPony
>>WritingSpirit
>>CoffeeMinion
>>KwirkyJ

Thanks, folks:

And congrats to the other medalists! I'll definitely be taking your comments to heart for the revisions before I post the story to FimFiction.

Mike
#25165 · 1
· on Manifestation
>>KwirkyJ

I really, really like:

The basic idea here--Starlight coming to realize that, as much as she loves and respects Twilight as a friend and a mentor, she's also deeply, absolutely, and viscerally terrified of her. You wouldn't have to exaggerate Twilight's behavior at all, it seems to me: there's plenty of evidence in the show to make a case for Starlight's massively conflicting feelings toward Twilight. A story where she tries to confront these feelings could be quite powerful...

Mike
#25144 · 2
· on The "Us" in "Do Well" · >>CoffeeMinion
Another confusing one:

For me. In the first place, the title seems off since there isn't an "us" in "do well." There's a "we" in there, but not an "us." So I was stumbling before I even started reading.

Second, I'd like to see what it is about this Mare-Do-Well that makes Twilight decide it comes from the Treehouse of Harmony. We're in her POV, after all, so we can see her reactions and hear her thoughts. It can be as little as a tingle along her neck or a scent that reminds her of years ago when she and her friends gave the Elements of Harmony back to the Tree, but I'd like to have some idea of where her theory comes from.

Third, I'm not sure what the Treehouse's final word means. The pronoun "us," after all, always includes the speaker, but the Treehouse apparently dies after saying it. So I can't quite square what happens with Gallus's explanation, and the story stops before Twilight can tell me her interpretation...

Mike
#25143 · 1
· on The Day That Twilight Sparkle Shat Out 500 Words · >>Hristabilicus
Pretty silly:

If you want to take this to the next level and transfer it to FimFiction, I'll second >>CoffeeMinion's comments about ways to expand it and remove the "Writeoff specific" aroma that imbues it now. There's always room for potty humor, after all. :)

Mike
#25142 · 1
· on A Marriage of Inconvenience
What I think:

I'd really like to see here is Discord's realization getting applied directly to Twilight. There's a general "his friends had lost a friend this morning, too," yes, but Twilight's right there. It'd be more powerful if he sees specifically that she's holding it together to help him and decides that he's going to hold it together to help her, seems to me...

Mike
#25141 ·
· on A Bucket to the Face
The anger:

At the beginning comes through to me clearly enough, but I'd like more from the turn in the middle. What is it that makes our narrator want to give humanity another chance? Give me some specific images. And if you're gonna keep "deluded fool" as the last line, maybe give me more of a sense that our narrator's angry at himself for giving humanity another chance?

Mike
#25140 ·
· on Drunk Woman and Crippled Man
Also very nice:

I had the same word concerns as >>Pascoite, and the line "Her head hurts with a pain" really stuck out at me as not adding anything. I'd like some quick visuals of the characters: does the drunk woman look disheveled, or is she careful about her appearance? Does the crippled man have a twisted foot or a twisted leg or a twisted hip or maybe all of these and more? I get that he's using two crutches since he hasn't got a hand available for an umbrella, but that just made me wonder if it rains so seldom that he doesn't usually have to worry about such things...

The last couplet, too, struck me as less than satisfying: crying inside is such a cliche, they even made a joke about it with Applejack on MLP. I'd like something a little more meaningful and surprising--the last line that sprang immediately to my mind is also kind of a cliche, but it fits the situation, is "except when it rains" to tie everything back to the imagery from the beginning. But that's me nitpicking... :)

Mike
#25139 ·
· on Broken Shield, Shattered Sword
Very nice:

But what I'd like more of, being me, is personification and through it, perhaps, a greater understanding. Make the ships stand more for the national characters of Japan and the U.S. at the time. Unlike >>Pascoite, I only know the basics about WWII, so I'd like to see here a metaphorical and encapsulated history lesson. Show me why Japan started the war--why is Hiryu proud? Why does she feel that she must carry on this battle? And show me how the U.S. responded through the emotions you ascribe to Yorktown.

In the end, too, how did the furious exchanges between these two characters and their final double death bring about the change in the national attitudes that allows the ships now to be serene? I'm asking a lot, I know, but, well, it's poetry. Ambition is what it's all about. :)

Mike
#25126 · 2
·
>>GroaningGreyAgony
>>Zaid Val'Roa

You two:

Are the best. I mean, the best. Looking through the gallery for the first time, I got three different story ideas--bam!--just like that!

Mike
#25120 · 1
· on Conflicting Signals · >>WritingSpirit >>KwirkyJ
I was every bit:

As confused as >>PinoyPony, I think. I had no idea who the narrator was until Luna calls her "sister," for instance, but I realized pretty quickly after that that it really didn't matter since none of the characters here seem to have anything to do with the characters whose names they're using. I mean, "alternate universe" is another fine and venerable genre, but to turn Celestia, Luna, and Big Mac into whoever these people are--I don't know; millennial hipsters?--seems more than a bit far afield for a My Little Pony fan fiction contest.

This would work much better for me in an "original fiction" round, but even then, it's more a scene than a story. The problem with Luna that's brought up at the beginning kind of gets resolved at the end, I guess, but I'm not sure how, and I'm not even sure what the problem is...

Mike
#25117 · 1
· on Manifestation · >>KwirkyJ
The way Twilight's characterized:

Really bothered me throughout. It's just that I can't imagine her acting this way at all, and while "character assassination comedy" is a fine and venerable genre, I didn't find this at all funny.

If you're trying to make this a comedy where Twilight's behaving crazily and the others are reacting crazily to it, I'd say you need to go crazier. 'Cause right now, it's just making me wrinkle my brow at it instead of making me laugh...

Mike
#25114 · 2
· on Times and Seasons · >>WritingSpirit >>PinoyPony
A nice little scene:

It's almost painfully straight-forward, though, without much in the way of complications. The story's single issue gets introduced and immediately resolved without us hearing any of AJ's internal deliberations. I'd recommend expanding this by adding an earlier scene where we get to see the expanded Apple family in a prickly interaction with the expanded Flimflam family--are there wives and other children involved? That'll increase the tension for the scene here and also let us get an idea of Sprocket Heart--great name, by the way--for ourselves.

Also, usually in stories with AJ, I find myself tripping over the author's attempts to reproduce her accent: awful things like "Ah" instead of "I"--and that applies to "mah" instead of "my," too, something gets me frowny--or dropping all the "g"s from the ends of "ing" words. Here, I'd actually like more indications of her unique speaking style. A line like “I’ve noticed that you’ve been very productive this month” sounds very formal in AJ's mouth: maybe something more like "I notice you been mighty productive this month," saying the same thing but with words and constructions that're more along the lines of the way she talks in the show.

Still, like I said, nicely done.

Mike
#25109 · 2
·
>>CoffeeMinion

OK:

I hadn't visited the website since this morning, so I apparently missed all the excitement. As usual... :)

Mike
#25107 · 2
·
>>Zaid Val'Roa

But first:

Pictures!

Mike
#25106 ·
· · >>CoffeeMinion
We:

Got another 24 hours? Or did I miscalculate GMT to PST again?

Mike
#25104 · 1
·
>>GroaningGreyAgony

I'll try to make my entry:

Particularly picturesque, then. :)

Mike
#25089 ·
· on Ashes
Very nice:

The only line that made me scratch my head was AJ's “Everypony says I should be happy..." I can't imagine anyone--especially not anypony--who would tell her that she should be happy in any way that Granny has died. Other than that, though, this does a nice job of showing us AJ taking that first step.

Mike
#25088 ·
· on Continuance · >>Dreamy Days
>>Rao pretty much:

Sums up my reaction. I like the open ending, but I need more build-up, more of an idea of how we get from the end of the series with the sisters retired and Twilight ruling Equestria to the start of this story with the sister back in the castle. If it's Twilight's death that's triggered Celestia's decision here, Celestia can maybe cite Twilight's work as Princess of Friendship with having made such a change in the characters of all ponies everywhere that she's sure they can handle being alicorns now. I just need more background again in this one...

Mike
#25087 ·
· on Turnabout
Nicely written:

But I'm not quite sure what exactly's happening here. I get the basic set-up--Celestia and Luna have been exiling each other to their respective heavenly bodies for untold millions of years--but where does this scene fall in that ongoing sequence of events? Is Celestia going to now spend 1,000 year on the sun, then return to Equestria and start the continuity we know from the show by exiling Luna as Nightmare Moon the next time?

The mention of Sunset, though, makes me think that this has to be an AU of some sort. I mean, if this is more than a thousand years before the Nightmare Moon exile, then the Sunset Shimmer we know won't even be born a couple millennia. But I just don't get enough information here to figure it all out.

I'd love to see this expanded with enough background material for me to piece it all together, but right now, I can't make it work.

Mike
#25080 · 1
· on Dancing Kings · >>Griseus
OK:

Once I read >>Pascoite's comment, I saw the astronomical reference, but what mainly confused me here is that we have three kings set up--the old king, the new king, and the newest king--but the poem only really talks about two of them. I'd recommend taking the metaphor all the way to the end, bringing in the three kings of the Christmas carol following the old king and the new king to find the newest king. Something that'll bring all the imagery around and close the circle, at least.

Mike
#25079 · 1
· on 3 Words, 2 Stars, 1 Light
Very nice:

I love the word play and the imagery, but I'd like to see another Christmas carol quote somewhere in the last two stanzas just because of the "rule of three".

Again as >>Pascoite points out, the rhythm gets a little stumbly here and there--the first stanza starts on a stressed syllable while the second and third stanzas start on an unstressed one, for instance, and "My heart beats in the silent night" wants the long word "beats" to be unstressed and the short word "in" to be stressed. But again, very nice.

Mike
#25078 · 1
· on Main Sequence Turnoff
Whimsy again!

I could do with a bit more, though--scene-setting stuff like what the blackness of space looks like when you're a star and character stuff like what it feels like to expand till you destroy the planets you once protected. Keep that stuff as light as what's here, and you'll be set.

Mike
#25077 · 1
· on The Wrong Sun
Whimsical, I'd call it:

And I quite like it right up to the last stanza. There, I was expecting to find some equally whimsical method to correct the whole Wrong Sun problem. Give me that, and I'll be all aboard.

As >>Pascoite noted, the rhythm gets a little lumpy here and there--the line "Quite rare, but present in the law", for instance, wants to make the naturally long word "quite" unstressed and the naturally short word "in" stressed, and the line "Are frankly no more to be seen" does the same with the long word "more" in an unstressed spot and the short word "to" in a stressed spot. But fun, though!

Mike
Paging WIP