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Horse Jesus died for your sins too, Twilight
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#13363 · 5
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Mashups:

Starlight Glimmer's Brand New Dealer
Starlight finally starts to fit in and and understand the in-jokes. Turns out, helping somepony hide a body is a really great bonding experience.

Giving and Receiving Twilight's Butt
Rarity can't see what the big deal about Twilight's rear is. Literally.

Discord Channels the Wisdom of ithkushllldkow
...and is even more incomprehensible than before, somehow.

Explorers We Get Wi-Fi
It turns out that ponies engineered the development of our species tens of thousands of years ago, all for one final end goal: creating the Internet.
#13232 · 4
· on Can't Hurt Her
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#13233 · 4
· on What She Doesn't Know
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#14999 · 4
· on Cymothoa Exigua · >>Cassius
You're all wrong. Only Exuno got it: Blinky is turning into a draconequus, and it's all a metaphor for homosexuality and being accepted by your family. Oh, and Blinky's dad disappears because he was a ghost and secretly dead the whole time. Gosh, the subtext is really clear here, I don't know how anyone missed it.

...

No, but Cassius's interpretation is probably closest to correct. The genesis of the idea was thinking about a parasite that replaced body parts, and then how maybe that gives someone certain body parts they always really wanted... And whether that itself would be a kind of 'cold comfort.' Blinky was just the first name I thought of for a pony when I started typing. Actually a lot of this wasn't wholly planned but rather came together as I put words down. So he got a sister named Winky and then I forgot to actually do anything with her. (I would argue that I do actually like the cutesy names though, because they clash with the tone) The Jeffersons reference was dumb and just something I threw in out of a habit of making dumb semi-obscure references... Sorry, Ran!

I realized upon writing this that changeling would be the natural alternate interpretation (and I had visualized the wings as like those of roaches, which further cements the comparison) but I also thought the story's title would give away the intention clearer than it did. In my mind, this draws a contrast with Monsters, another horror minific I did a long time ago--there's a lesson here about being aware of your setting's mythology and using it purposefully you to aid in your story's interpretation, rather than get in the way and confuse things (though rereading it, I'd probably write that story differently today too). Regardless, I found the diversity of interpretations to be an unexpected benefit, and felt the ambiguity worked in the story's favor. It's always a little creepier when you never know exactly what bad thing is going on, but are certain there's something not right.

Thank you all for the many, many comments and discussions.
#13063 · 3
· on Lunnas APM · >>Posh >>Caliaponia >>Haze
>>Posh
I think the joke here (aside from it's not sex) is that Luna is making him play really bad grindy games (cookie clicker). I appreciated that it set up for one obvious ending but then kind of jumped over it entirely and landed in a different dumb joke.
#13074 · 3
· on To Be a Dragon · >>Fenton
I was going to comment on this but I wasn't really certain what to say in terms of judging it or offering advice.

But instead I want to try something entirely different, and just talk about what I think the story is saying (or could be saying) because that's interesting and maybe we should do it more often!

To me, the best part is the penultimate paragraph. But first there's other stuff... First you get some interactions with Ember that serve to highlight how dragon culture and pony culture differ. Then it feints a little towards Spike and Ember as a ship, but crosses back for a brief moral on how Sparity is weird. (Which, yes, agreed, but it comes across as slightly pedantic because I've heard that a lot. Others' mileage may vary.)

Finally though we have the penultimate paragraph, where there's the hint of an entirely different story under the surface here. Spike is attracted not even necessarily to Rarity but to pony traits. In contrast, he doesn't find Ember attractive. And he knows that this isn't what's expected of him. It's slightly tragic in that I doubt Twilight would be bothered if Spike had a crush on, say, Sweetie Belle, but she is instead vaguely directing him towards Ember because she's worried about him and is viewing his fixation in terms of age, not in terms of species. But in the process, it's causing Spike to be pushed in a direction he's clearly uncomfortable with. There's (quite obvious) parallels here with someone being attracted to a gender or physical characteristics that they're 'not supposed to,' but rather than it being an obvious (and boring) lesson where some character is a bigot so that their intolerance can be a foil to acceptance, this is a much more interesting nuance in having Twilight be supportive but in exactly the wrong way to actually help him. I like that!

I don't know if the story is totally balanced to get this message across, or if its entirety was planned by the author, but there's something good under the surface here. Thanks to the writer.
#13184 · 3
· on A Little Space · >>Not_A_Hat
>>Not_A_Hat
Smith Apple the Applesmith
#14921 · 3
· on My Little Pony: The Movie: The Unofficial Fix-Fic · >>Bremen
This was written because Exuno told me to write something that was movie spoilers.

...I haven't seen the movie.

I knew A) there were seaponies and B) there's some pony named Tempest something??

>>Bremen
Yeah, I think this is the intended result all along.
#17004 · 3
· on My Gift To You · >>moonwhisper
>>Fenton
Angel's not dead, he's a changeling. All the animals are, which is why one of the birds talks and why the raccoon changes into a bear.

This was good, but I think the beginning of the story is confusing in a way that's problematic, but hard to put a finger on exactly. I think Pascoite is probably right in terms of the arc of this story works a lot better if the last twist is a subversion rather than an explanation. The hints of something being 'off' are totally fine (Raccoon->Bear is the ideal amount of '...huh?'), but there's too much off, because there's really no clear sense of why Fluttershy would be doing any of this or what's going on.

I almost feel like this would work better if the stuff about how long it had been didn't come until you see Twilight herself. It's really hard to explain exactly how to pace something like this, and I don't want to just push in to say 'write it how I'd write it!' But rather than having a lot of mystery all swirling around at the very top, I think it'd help to slowly introduce it to people as it goes. Not to necessarily explain each part or have it railroaded into a misunderstanding that you expect from the reader. But just to get them acclimated a bit at a time. Okay, it's a picnic and Fluttershy is worried about things - why? Because it's for Twilight's birthday. But things are behaving weird - or are they? It's small enough that you don't quite feel like it requires an explanation. But then Twilight show's up and she's old. Huh? Oh wait, this explains things....... the reader thinks for one moment, until they realize it totally doesn't. And then you drop something like the bird saying 'Your highness' to really do one last totally disorienting thing to hammer it in, before pulling the curtain up for the reveal.

I'm perhaps being overly picky here, but it's because I think there's a lot that I like in this story. It just feels a little out of sorts, and if you can tweak some of it, it'd really come together. But writing something like this is very much an art and not a science so... apologies if I've overstepped my bounds in talking through it.
#12966 · 2
· on Explorers We · >>Fenton >>Trick_Question >>Monokeras
I appreciate all the touches of real-life character, like the setting and the french, etc. The main problem I run into is the core conceit is meant to be shocking and intriguing, but it's mostly none of those things. Some of that is unavoidable; given the context we know this is gonna relate to ponies somehow, and it's sci-fi-ish, so the thought of aliens isn't really as surprising to the reader as it is to the characters.

But it also feels pretty inauthentic. The brief bit about Sirius as a triple star is nice and helps confirm that there's something going on here, but... Just because there are pictures of ponies and a canoe doesn't really give any reason to jump to aliens. All sorts of ancient civilizations anthropomorphised animals or natural forces, and we don't take those at face value (unless you're the ancient aliens guy what with the hair and all). I think you need a few more tweaks to make that actually land. Maybe finding like one of Celestia's hoof shoe things or something else beyond just a cave painting would help?