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#15698 · 8
· on Monsters
>>Baal Bunny

Hey man.

Thanks for taking the feedback well. I just wanted to let you know, while I stand by the substance of what I said (this subject matter is delicate, to say the least), the way I said it was... not great. I posted in anger. I tore into "the author" instead of giving calmer feedback. I really shouldn't have gone off on you like that.

Monster had issues, but it would be massively hypocritical of me to criticize someone for trying to cover exceptionally dark subject matter. You tried to swing for the fences, and learned something in the process. That's what the writeoff is about! So don't let me discourage you. Good luck!
#15502 · 7
· on Monsters · >>Lamplighter >>Baal Bunny
>>Baal Bunny

I should be fair -- it is entirely possible the author of this story was trying to do a serious, dramatic depiction of someone struggling with dark urges they can't control. That's an entirely legitimate genre of literature, which contains many compelling stories.

But if that was their goal, they failed. Entirely.

They failed for a lot of reasons. One is humor -- like the over the top balloon trap Scootaloo put together, or the farcical dialogue in the first scene. Or, hell, the entire premise of the story. That Scoots tries to rape RD only for it to turn out that RD secretly wants it! Humor does not belong in a story like this because the subject matter is not funny.

Second is context. Where is Cadence to un-break Rainbow Dash's brain? Where is her fear of the law? Why doesn't she more seriously consider leaving town, or having scoots sent away? Yes, as Baal Bunny pointed out, I wrote Familiar, which is meant to be interpreted as being about rape. But 2/3s of that goddam story is explaining why Rainbow was raised by her society to consider that acceptable in context, and when she realizes that it's not, she immediately has a crushing breakdown. The context matters.

Third, the story acts like this is somehow a happy ending? Having someone watching a child and going, "Only X more years until they're legal!" isn't good progress. Dash, at the end of this story, is still dangerously obsessed, and that psychiatrist is severely negligent by allowing her anywhere near a child.
#13569 · 6
· · >>Baal Bunny >>Trick_Question
Okay okay. I've got it.

A story about a magical valley that's enchanted so that food brought into it in cans will be spontaneously removed from those cans.

It's an Un-can'y Valley. Get it?
#15481 · 6
· on Monsters · >>Lamplighter >>ToXikyogHurt >>Baal Bunny >>regidar >>Cassius
Rating: Take it elsewhere.

Automatic bottom of the slate.
#14023 · 5
It's mashup time!

Familiar Appreciation Week -> Ponyville throws a special celebration to appreciate all its robots. They are ordered to be grateful.

Don't Leave Me With My Bra -> Rainbow Dash gets into Sunset Shimmer's head, and is forced to live through all her memories of learning to use a bra after she arrived in the human world.

The Summer Solitaire Incident -> After banishing herself to the moon, Twilight makes friends with Luna. She decides this banishment thing worked out for the best, and hopes that nopony at home is sad or anything.

The Pink Beneath Le Solitaire -> A painter arrives in a mountain town with his wise mentor, only to find they have brought only pink paint. Fortuitously, the ponies in town are mostly pink as well.
#14050 · 5
· on Familiar · >>Baal Bunny >>Baal Bunny >>MrExtra
Oh. I won. Well then. Time to accept this victory in a calm and dignified manner.

Seriously, that's amazing. I never thought this story would place, much less win. And I believe that's my first gold medal in the writeoffs ever! Thanks to everyone who voted and left comments. I am just irrationally happy right now.

However, I do feel the need to make one minor author-intent clarification about the story. Many readers seem to be under the impression that this is a story about Rainbow coping with grief, learning to be a good person, and ultimately emerging better for the experience. Which was not my intention at all. Rainbow starts a selfish asshole and remains a selfish asshole.

This is a story about Cloudchaser, a slave to an abusive master and an untreated rape victim, finally deciding she can't take it any more and ending her own life to escape.

The explanation that Iea gives Rainbow at the end, "She killed herself because that's what was best for you," is false. Throughout the story, it is established that familiars have the power to refuse an order they're convinced would harm their master. If Cloudchaser really thought that being a worshipful lackey was bad for Rainbow, she could stop doing it. But that wasn't it at all. She didn't kill herself because Rainbow was in pain. She killed herself because she was in pain. And she rationally believed it would never end.

As we see throughout her dialogue, Rainbow considers Cloudchaser an object. She can order Cloudchaser to love her. She can order Cloudchaser to sleep with her. And when that relationship gets real enough she starts to have actual feelings she's not comfortable with, she can order Cloudchaser to change her physical form and never speak of it again. In the early scenes before Rainbow realizes what's wrong, the second Cloudchaser doesn't appear to serve her whims, she gets angry, and later in the scene, she shows that anger through violence.

The disturbing undertones of the story (which were entirely intentional), as well as the unemotional narration, were to build a sense of dissonance between Rainbow's point of view and the reader. The reader knows these characters are people, but Rainbow doesn't, and she refuses to learn.

Twilight gets treated no better. In the breakfast scene where Twilight and Rainbow are talking, Twilight admits that most familiars commit suicide, because they're programmed to love their masters so much, the thought of going on without them hurts too much for them to live. She confesses a fear of "the long dark." She says that she doesn't know how she feels about Rainbow or what her place is in the world. It is a deeply emotional confession of her worries and her existential fears.

And how does Rainbow reply? By going back to talking about herself. Because Twilight is a robot, and why would she ask a robot more about how they're doing? She doesn't ask her chair how it feels about being her chair.

Iea is, as she admits, First Among Slaves. No matter how grand or powerful she appears, she is chained to the masters just as much as her children. And at the moment Rainbow stood before her, nothing she could have said would make Cloudchaser suffer less. The only thing that was up to her is if she wanted to make Rainbow sad and angry by telling her the truth. And so she suggested something that fits well enough. If you don't think about it too much.

And Rainbow fell for it. Because it makes it all about her.

>>Zaid Val'Roa

Tag for the above section on author intent. Thanks for your insight. This story will need a lot of rework and polishing before it's ready for FiMFic, so this was super helpful.

I also think it's going to need a lot added. Quite a few scenes were cut for length (the first draft was 10,000 words), and I think it suffered for some of that worldbuilding being removed. There seems to be a need for more detailed worldbuilding, and with only a few more scenes I think that can all be added quite well.


To me, this reads like some sort of... redemption story, or coming-of-age thing, with Rainbow growing out of being a selfish asshole into a somewhat better person. The arc there is pretty strong, and I like that you're going for emotional depths, but... the opening really grated on me.

Rest of excellent comment snipped for length...

Yeah, I see what you're getting at here. While this wasn't the author intent (see above) on a rereading, all the stuff you pointed out is a totally valid interpretation of what's there. I think the execution needs to be reworked a bit before this can be published to make the intended point a bit more clear.

Thanks for the insight! Was much helpful. ^_^

>>Zaid Val'Roa

I can see >>Not_A_Hat's issues with Cloudchaser's suicide, but I think it worked well enough. Within her autonomy, she fell in love--or familiar's equivalent of falling in love--with Dash, and when she realised she was no longer the best for Dash, she couldn't cope with going on without her, and, perhaps in a way to ensure Dash's privacy, decided to end her life. It worked for me, but I won't oppose if it gets fleshed out (Hah!) a bit more in the future.

See above for Dash's "character growth," but yeah, I think I'm going to apply a fine layer of polish to this and then put it up on FiMFic. It needs some work, but the feedback was great.




I also did not expect this to place, much less win!
#16371 · 5
It's mashup time!

Gul Hamid Touched Me -- A mysterious woman transforms the protagonist into a monster, but nobody is bothered by it because war is the real monster.

A Wave of Being as Gay as You Want -- The protagonist struggles with her addiction to a drug that makes her a huge lesbian.

Second Chances on the Job -- When a man takes a second chance to follow a mysterious woman on the road to adventure, he discovers that he's suddenly a furry in an action-packed heist film.

Dies on a Theme -- When a man accepts a coat from a mysterious tailor, he is trapped in an endless cycle of suit-jacket themed deaths and ressurections.
#20088 · 5
· on Draining · >>Anon Y Mous
This one is quite nice.
#22453 · 5
I'm in.
#13750 · 4
I got two submissions in! That hasn't happened in years!