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Desperate Times
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#8909 · 4
· on No Boys Allowed
This story did not end up gelling well with me.

I found Spike's speech to be less like a toddler's, and more like… Hulk? There is a definite green-smash feel to some of his wording. "Twi have girl time, want girl time too," is something I can very vividly imagine a sulking Hulk saying.

And then… we entered fetish territory. The moment dresses were brought up I got a sinking suspicion, but then we got full on blushes and promises of, let's call it what it is, fetish sex. Now, don't get me wrong, I don't mind fetishes in general, but if you start by selling a story as a cute toddler adventure, maybe don't end with plans for bumping uglies?

PS. "forelegos?"

PPS. So wait, what is the prompt connection here? Twilight's room being off limits => Twilight Zone? So dressing up => entering The Twilight Zone? I am confuse.
#26006 · 4
· · >>Monokeras
I now have twins and sleep is basically a distant memory, but man, do I miss reading/writing horsefics...
#9050 · 3
· on Invaders From Another World
>>horizon and >>GroaningGreyAgony have said almost everything that was on my mind.

My advice on writing would be: Read the story out loud. It's an incredibly powerful way to gauge its flow. It makes unnecessary repetition and awkward wording really stand out. I think it should be the number one tool when you're editing your story - after number zero, the spell checker.

What I think could have elevated this story considerably is if you went for a humorous take. As others have said, we really needed to see what was happening inside Octavia's head. Does she think they're some sort of pest? Are these invasions maybe a regular thing? Maybe they're like annoying tourists, trying to peep on giant ponies, and ponies have in turn taken to just swatting them down like flies?

A pony trampling tiny space invaders seems like an inherently funny concept to me, and I'd have loved to laugh with it.
#9352 · 3
· on The Happiest Ending · >>Chinchillax
Everyone has brought up great points, so I don't feel like there is much to add.

I just wanted to say that the "And, like all eternities, there was eventually an end" was a line that particularly stood out to me. Very nicely put :)
#6257 · 2
· on How to Play
Someone in the discord chat mentioned that they were writing on a phone. Maybe it was the same author, and that would explain the numerous misspellings. Distracting, but not a huge detraction from the story as far as I’m concerned.

I rated this story slightly above average. It had an interesting tone and setting that stood out in the crowd, but it also had some unfortunate choices that left me feeling… icky. From my reading, the whole story was about a chance-meeting with a possible new romantic partner. I guess that most writers here come from fimfiction background and are used to gay horse stories. However I found that bringing such an aggressive pickup strategy to a realistic setting felt intrusive and unwanted.

As a thought experiment, can we imagine everything written exactly as-is, but with the opponent being a guy that fancies himself suave? Suddenly the tone shifts, and the whole “I think I like you” lean in eye-sparkle thing is a whole lot more invasive, especially in a convention setting. My thoughts are, if this would not be OK for a guy to do, it should not be OK for a girl either. A preference to same-sex shipping should probably not override basic necessities of establishing a likable character rapport.

Kind of related, I felt that the “women in videogames” line used to introduce the fact that the protagonist was a girl came too late – an earlier indication as to the protagonist’s gender would have been appreciated, given that it’s important to the story. The line itself also felt a bit clunky in execution, almost as if its only purpose was to convey that single fact and nothing else. In that case, ditching it altogether and giving a clear indication earlier in the story (preferably first paragraph) would’ve been better.

It feels like I am going really hard on this story. It was just one of the few that really stuck in my mind, and as a result I might’ve ended up overthinking it. Overall, again, a slightly above average story with cool use of title drop, but just not one I could personally find much enjoyment in.
#8908 · 2
· on It's a Good Life · >>FanOfMostEverything
I found myself delighted by the introductory paragraph, and it got a right cuckle out of me. Finding out that it was a somewhat disposable joke was mildly disappointing.

There were a number of moments that took me out of the fic's world, and I don't think it's a good thing. "Spoony," for example, only ends up evoking the image of this guy, which I doubt was intentional. The meta joke about stories was trying to be a bit too clever for its own good, again taking me out of the scene at hand. Finally, the elaborate cigarette lighting trick is the longest descriptive passage in the story, making it stand out… but then it doesn't do anything with the spotlight.

For all my grumbling, I found the humor very agreeable. Silver Rod was nice to listen to, while DT and Spoony were a bit of a mixed bag. Their banter fell a bit short from what I'd imagine children to sound like, acting more like trampolines for Silver to bounce off off.

I do wish we had gotten anything to tie the story together at the end, instead of an abrupt end.
#8910 · 2
· on Monsters · >>Ranmilia
You have evocative writing, but the plotting left much to be desired.

As others have pointed out, guns are a hard sell in equestria unless you do their setup beforehand. However, I did not have that much of a problem with the gun itself.

What I had problem with was a sense of general aimlessness. We spend half the wordcount in service of a fairy good scene of Golden Earring disposing of bodies, but that follows makes basically no use of it whatsoever. There is nothing that ties thematically with her actions and what follows. What's more, we have 3 main beats to the story that taken as a whole make very little sense

- Golden Earring is disposing of the bodies of her husband and his last lover
- A timber wolf attacks. She starts running, and we don't see anything from the timber wolf
- Some other person shows up
AND THEN (bonus twist round)
- It turns out he's the timber wolf, oh noes!

It seems like the different parts are not logical plot points that we move through, but a seires of very tangentially related events. I see no reason inside the text for the timber wolf to turn out to be a timber-were-wolf. I see no connection between Golden Earring's actions and her comeuppance. What is the theme of the story? What is the moral? What is it trying to say?

I honestly have no idea. It has the texture of a horror story, sans actual horror.
#9141 · 2
· on Quackers Goes to the Fair
Your concerns are both valid and well argued. I guess we will have the answer after the prelims.

Maybe it would be worthwhile to bring this discussion to the Discord chat and see what people there think. I would imagine that a clarification on the rules is also possible (for future writeoffs).

PS I think that you are right, and the fic is not prompt-appropriate. But it's also the one that brought me the most joy. I can't bring myself to score it lowest.
#25204 · 2
It has been close to 4 years since I last wrote something, but I did it!

Not super happy, as once again I ended up finding time at the very end of the writeoff, and the lack of polish really shows, but am happy to be participating.

Looking forward to reading everyone's stories :)
#25240 · 2
I made it!

Good luck to all participants!