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Look, But Don't Touch
Original Pic
Fungi on Stump
Closing Time
FiM Short Story
Cold as Starlight
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FiM Short Story
Zero-Sum Game
Look, I Can Explain...
FiM Short Story
Eye of the Storm
Original Short Story
Borrowed Power
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Things Left Unsaid
FiM Minific
Illusion of Choice
FiM Minific
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FiM Minific
At the Funeral Pyre
All In
FiM Minific
Where The House Is Not, Home
Time Heals Most Wounds
Original Minific
Swan and Albatross
#9825 · 9
· · >>Remedyfortheheart
I dare people to do this round without labeling stories in their reviews. No "Good or bad" story tags. Just pure unbiased neutral optimism.

I cannot make heads or tails of what you mean by this.

Additionally, 'just pure unbiased neutral optimism'... it is (1) impossible to be purely neutral, and this lies in opposition to '[imposed] optimism', and (2) in large part contrary to the educational benefit of having others dissect and critique the work presented.
#7011 · 6
· on 'Twixt My Sheets She's Done My Office · >>Posh
But where's this "Office"? Does that mean the "official role of wife" or something?

The 'office' in this case seems to be strictly the role of "making the beast with two backs two-humped camel", though one could extend it to all aspects of a beloved bride-to-be.

Unfortunately, nearly all the subtext in the referenced material—suspicion, betrayal, importance and duty of marriage, etc.—is not utilized in this story, so 'office' is diluted in meaning. In Othello, when this line is spoken, Iago is conjuring reasons for enacting one of Shakespeare's most evil plots on his superior officer and former friend. The exact line is "I hate the Moor: and it is thought abroad that 'twixt my sheets he has done my office. I know not if it be true: but I, for mere suspicion in that kind, will do as if for surety." Playing into this is Iago's dysfunctional relationship with his wife and his apparent disdain for all women, derogatory references to marriage ("[Casio is] a fellow almost damn'd in a fair wife…", "A thing for me? It is a common thing […T]o have a foolish wife."), and recurring themes of mistrust, suspicion, and duty, especially between Othello and his own wife, Desdemona (to say nothing of class and race boundaries at work there). Here, however, "twixt my sheets my office has been done" serves simply to point to someone else in the sack… wearing another's skin and supposed mind magic is the interesting twist.

Thus, as implied in my earlier comment, the title and its history add little to the work.

Others seem to have largely addressed my thoughts on this work. Adequately written, but does nothing novel with the concepts at play nor has space to reach adequate depth.

I'm actually surprised I've not read any previous stories addressing this issue.

It's deservedly mature-rated, but I offer this as a longer form work that does so, if more obliquely:
#1190 · 5
For this event I would side with remaining 'General,' as some people may have some ideas already in mind that would be preempted with the additional constraint; moreover, it seems unfair to change the rules so soon before the event itself. For the future I would be inclined slightly to move to 'Original', if only to simplify the issue of derived versus non-derived works -- I have not found it a problem, myself, but as you say the issue has arisen consistently.
#7761 · 5
· · >>CoffeeMinion
Writeoff Live Reading

with KwirkyJ

In about twenty-one hours from this posting, starting around 9pm Eastern Time, I will be performing a number of live readings of this writeoff's submissions in the Discord chat. Expected to run two hours or so, but that is only a guess. Other readers are welcome to participate!

Maybe your story will be read!
#23328 · 5
· on Iron Hearted · >>alarajrogers >>Bachiavellian
This has a very compact, elegant arc that concludes itself, yet also feels like it could tie into something bigger.

There were a very few technical faults:
Accidental quotation: only a sensation,”
Wanting a comma after 'pale': the pale well-grained wood
Period to comma: she clarified. “About

A few adjustments I might make:
and smeared itself over the pores
there was a surprising, thick firmness to the substance
one of Zecora’s gardening tools in her teeth: a small spade-like instrument with a pointed end. <<< I would name the instrument.

I bring these up as nit-picks because it's otherwise so well crafted. The sensation of the decaying wood and actually working with it really clicked for me (perhaps because I have done similar work before?), Tempest's triggers and denials are reasonably paced, and the turn with Zecora's arrival cements the arc.

As an existential threat to this, however, is this Tempest also "Fizzlepop Berrytwist" or whatever from The Movie, and, if so, what evidence do you have of her being a killer?
#23334 · 5
· on The Cutie Mark Crusaders Create a Compost Pile
In solidarity with Cheerilee: why?

It's not really about the CMC who do a thing then bicker, it's not really about Cheerilee who finally caves to the stress and brings alcohol to work, it's not really about the compost... Why? Setting-wise, the observation about already having their cutie marks is superfluous -- these events could reasonably take place at any point after Season 1 and the founding of the Crusaders.

As a side note, I was tickled that the title's initialism, CMCCCP, contains as a substring the Cyrillic for the USSR (CCCP).
#23335 · 5
· on Murder Most Fowl · >>CoffeeMinion
Either I'm missing something, or the story is. Raven manages to wrest control of the nation and it is implied that she is putting Celestia in the position of steward, but it isn't clear how any of this will resolve the problem at hoof, nor is there anything stopping Celestia from regaining her position.

The intro (er, first third of the entire story) feels clunky and crude. In a story this brief, nobody cares about the hair color of the OC. The second sentence is a slogging river of concepts. The explicit sounds are coarse and handled inconsistently. And so on.

This is clearly trying to be funny, but it is not working on me.

Needs Work / Abstain
#4596 · 4
· on Beelzebub's Koala · >>Monokeras

Beelzebub's Koala
Wherein an alien radiolithovore attacks the first Mars colony.

Not_A_Hat got it mostly right, only missing the very subtle clues that the planet may not have been Earth, specifically: environment suits for the creatures outside, the colder mantle (lack of geologic activity), and the sudden arrival of a singular source of such purity… Probe RTGs don't count because plutonium instead of uranium (or something). Zaid's perspective does not fit with the facts, but upon reading the 'actual koala with attitude' idea, I had a good smile. Ceffyl, I realize in hindsight that 'drunk' is a poor word choice given the creature's reality, but its being a bit loopy makes sense from (1) eating a huge meal after starving for millennia or eons and (2) that meal being of the richest and purest concentration of radioisotopes it has ever encountered. For Monokeras, I posit that its physical appearance is irrelevant beyond what its features (claws, presumably a mouth) facilitate to the story; given liberty of another few thousands words, I might be convinced to include some more descriptors… however, you are correct that the story is hollow, if not exactly lacking.

This was a 'try to approach the prompt from an abstract perspective to re-interpret its meaning' and falling short in a number of ways. To begin with, my final prompt was several hundred words over and was even feeling incomplete in that state (as Mono observed)--I tightened things down, but the core issue was not able to be remedied in the time- and word-constrained situation.

There was never the idea of Lovecraft while writing, but I was cognizant of some of the themes of Ray Bradbury's "The One Who Waits". A friend over skype commented that the creature bore similarities to Lovecraft's Bokrug and Suthoggua (typos not mine).

I am not surprised this one fell up flat, but I didn't feel like I had a strong idea to work with in the first place. Had I another few thousand words, I'd probably get into the creature's head and make the confrontation with the human colonists a more reflective--I had originally intended to have more of it being thoroughly bemused by the things as it carried on to carve open a fission reactor.

Finally, thank you all for reading, and especially those who made the time to leave their comments on this experiment.

Yet further evidence that subtlety and/or experimentation is a dangerous gamble in WriteOffs….
#6956 · 4
· on 'Twixt My Sheets She's Done My Office · >>Trick_Question
The title means that Chrysalis supplanted Cadance's role in the bedroom—literally, between (twixt) the sheets. The words themselves are an adaptation from a line by Iago in Act I Scene III of Shakespeare's Othello, but knowing this adds nothing to the story here.
#9444 · 4
· · >>GroaningGreyAgony >>horizon
I must admit, Something CoffeeMinion and/orAndrewRogue can read to his kid(s) tempted my endorsement until I noticed the lack of space after "and/or". Similarly, the number of prompts that fail as Title Case—as stipulated in the rules/guidelines in addition to being generally good form—drives me to despondency. If the submitters cannot trouble themselves to take their prompts seriously, then neither will I.