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Original Short Story
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I Gave You my Heart
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A Good Filly
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Looking at the Sky
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The Coat
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Concrete Masks
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The Bone Dice
#1625 · 5
Congratulations to Dubs, CiG and Baal Bunny. Those were great stories. And to all the others, kudos guys, it was a really strong round and I'm kinda amazed I ended up here with you.
#1640 · 5
· on /ˈmiːm/
Time for a retrospective.

I'm glad the story has been appreciated even with all its issues.

Regarding the story structure I seem to have done the same error I often do. I have done a lot of world building (more than what is seen in the story) and neglected the characters themselves. Sooner or later I shall learn. I'll also have to remember that before I do horrible things to my characters I'll have to let the readers care about them.

Regarding the grammar issues, comma splices and so on, there really are no excuses. I should have learned at this point.

Now for the most evident failings. Tons of relative important information that got lost between my head and the readers.

-I had pulled out from the first memory segment a detail that I thought would be too emotionally manipulative to state plainly. The fact that the soldiers of the Sun Prophet are children. The idea was to let that sink in later when the medic tried to remove the implant, but the clues got lost in the multitude of other details.

-That the MC was suffering memory contamination from the packages she was carrying and the malware she caught. This problem has a pretty clear solution. I should have stated her job at the beginning and I probably should have her react to the flashbacks. The malware was telling her to ignore the hints that something was wrong, but I should have pointed out the discrepancies.

-A better description of the world around the MC. For all its strangeness I should have put in a few more relatable situations and references.

-The bitter ending really didn't come through. The war rages on, the memories are lost, help won't arrive, the MC suffered a devastating personality damage but hey, she won the bet and made a lot of money.

-The bit about finance being out of the hand of the old corporations was quite important to explain how the world worked, but it became an almost throw away paragraph lost among the other stuff.

Nothing much to say, I see that it was way too confusing, which is a cardinal sin when someone tries to use complex ideas. I really need to reorganize the story.

She (and I had no idea there was a 'she' involved until very nearly the end) might also be the courier? And there's something about a bet that shows up at the very end, but it's never mentioned beforehand, as far as I can tell, although there's this recurring bit about an analysis that's mailed to a guy in Iceland…

The bet was the one about the Start-up not succeeding in keeping the Mexican Gulf algae bloom under control. It should have been a pointer to the fact that the MC is calculating and analytic.

I may need to find a way to better explain the Laras. It is always complicated when the Character perceives experiences as mundane when they are alien for the readers. As for the bet, I was thinking more along the line of buying shares in the current crisis management agency (which in case of failure of the start-up would enter the fray again) and other investments that capitalize on the idea of failure.

>>Scramblers and Shadows
I really have to take the lesson about character to the heart.

You can burn out the receptors you have in your nose. If you use the right chemicals and don't cauterize the wounds they should regrow in a month. I will apparently also need some pre-readers to tell me when I use too much jargon. I was sure I avoided most of it but I was clearly wrong.

>>Baal Bunny
The memories need a bit more of a sense of place, if even just to allow the reader to distinguish between the MC's memories and the carried ones.

Trading is pretty normative in the setting. Once production of physical goods is mostly automated and everyone and their dogs (literally) are connected then trading and services become commonplace.

As for baseball being a solved game, see it this way. We have good statistics about baseball, and you can buy a chip with 8 integrated sensors (today, in our reality) for 2.4$ if you buy at least a thousand. Give it two decades and we will have enough forecasting power to make 80% of the games boring and completely predictable. You can't have a league with only the remaining games that may or may not be moderately interesting.

TV content is great today, the medium itself on the other hand is losing terrain, mainly among the younger population. Here I envision that almost all content producers changed medium, and that Television itself survives thanks to a legal loophole. Not sure if expanding on this point will add anything to the story.

Glad you liked it. I adored your story.

I really need to clear up my act here. Glad the world was intriguing if confusing.

Thanks again to all the reviewers, you helped a lot and I really appreciate the time you've taken.
#5437 · 5
· on The Wrong Side of History · >>CoffeeMinion
I cheated (in a certain sense) a bit on this story, in that a part of it was inspired by real events.

Anyway, the Internationale pâtissière is an anarco-surrealist group inspired by Noël "l'Entarteur" Godin and which uses cream-pies as a form of political protest, thrown while screaming "Gloup Gloup" and being as ridiculous as possible. Transposing them to Equestria and making them a "serious" threat there was something that I had to do sooner or later, and the prompt was perfect for that.

I wasn't really satisfied with the result. While the core of the story practically wrote itself, the version I submitted had some problems as the reviewers pointed out. The ending is probalby the most problematic part, but once eliminated the word-limit I should be able to fix it. Still, it performed better than I hoped, and I will certainly rework it and try to publish it on fimfiction, even if I will need an editor for that. Anyone wanting to help?

I love the term Absurdist-dramedy and will shamelessly steal it.

>>Pastoral >>GaPJaxie >>FanOfMostEverything >>TheCyanRecluse >>Waterpear >>Not_A_Hat >>georg
Thank you for your time and your reviews. They helped quite a lot and it's always a pleasure to have one's work examined and dissected :pinkiehappy:
#7103 · 5
· · >>Not_Worthy2
I upvoted your comment not because you are bashing your own stories (stories completely without merit are a very rare breed, and yours are not of that kind) but for the optimistic ending of your post.

Keep writing, keep getting your stories dissected and you will improve, I have no doubt about that.
#7217 · 5
· on The Age Of Harmony · >>billymorph
>>Morning Sun
It needs to be an anthology of short stories. If the author (*wink* *wink*) had any interest in doing something like that, I would gladly contribute.
#8860 · 5
· on The Masquerade · >>Fenton
I generally hate saying this, but I think the minific format wasn't the best choice for this story.

What we get is still a beautiful scene with crisp dialogues. The setting is sparsely described, which was less of a problem than I thought it would be as I filled the void automatically.

There isn't much more I can say, sadly. While we get a glimpse at the characters, it's over before we can learn anything substantial. The premise is good, and it has the potential to be a splendid if slightly longer story.

Oh, and Twilight Zone as a situation of uncertainty and alienation in a social setting is an interesting and novel interpretation. Bravo.
#1233 · 4
I like the idea of re-branding it as Original Fiction. I admit that may come from egoistical reasons, as I'm trying to bring a couple of friends who don't care for pones (the HORROR, I know, I'm working on it) to take part in the Non-FIM rounds. I may have some degree of success, we'll see it in six weeks.

Pointing out that it is Original Fiction and leaving the enforcement to the voters is kind of a putting up a sign that says "Do not presume that the reader will be familiar with any specific fandom", which I think is an acceptable indication.

Edit: It also says if "If you refer to a specific fandom expect to have heavy disadvantages." Giving the enforcement to the voters means that, if you refer some copyrighted works, you will place a bet on your story at your own risk.
#1290 · 4
· on The Necromancer's Wife
Well, this was a wonderful experience.

I loved the story, I loved Peter, Sabriel and their relationship.

There are hints at a larger world out there, which seems to be rather intriguing but secondary, as the characters are at the core of the story.

Now to the few issues I saw.

This parts bothered me:
"Aaaah!" Crowley threw his head back and screamed
"Haaah, haaah, haaaah…"

For a long, long moment, there was nothing but heavy breathing among the three of them.
Writing screams and panting as dialogue and then narrating that they are screams and panting doesn't really work for me. I would suggest to leave only the narration, as the dialogue, if devoid of any other information, is redundant and not really the right way to handle it.

The fight was quite interesting at the beginning but soon became a bit disjointed. I would suggest to revise it a bit. It was a bit difficult to follow who was doing what, and it lost a bit of weight at the end.

The ending was beautiful, and a nice closure for the characters.
#1374 · 4
· on To Make a Choice · >>Bradel >>Aragon
This was an idea story, not a character story, and I'm fine with that. It's a style I appreciate even if it is a lot less common today than it was in the '60.

Here we get an interesting idea, a couple of implications, a few bare-bone yet functional characters, a handful of rules and then a gentle invitation at discussing the thing. No real answers are given but I think they are not needed.

This kind of story is fuel for discussions.

It entertained me, but I think it'll need to establish a few more rules to have a certain punch.

Wild guessing and spoilers ahead:

I currently see a few possible explanations for how the machine works, the one I think the most probable being also the not horrible one.

First theory (the most probable one IMHO)
The machine only works across universes with other machines. Which means it copies the positive traits as it doesn't seem like people getting random wounds from other universes switching parts with them. In this case Ken's condition seems to be the prerequisite for the machine coming into existence, which means that there is no better template for him to use. Here we have a positive sum game and really nothing horrible going on.

Second theory
Universes with the machine switch parts (only physical parts, minds seem to stay) with other, machine-less universes. Ken's condition is a universal constant. We have lucky universes preying on less-lucky ones. This one requires some hand-waving to explain Ken's uniqueness and is, I think, less elegant than others.

There are probably a lot more possible permutations of all the elements, but this two are the main ones I thought up.

To summarize: nice idea, interesting concept, good writing, needs something more to really shine, being it strong characters or some hints on what is really going on.
#2679 · 4
· on Cows Are a Constant
Well, time for a small post-mortem. Let me begin with thanking all the people the read and reviewed my story. It was, as always, a pleasure to get feedback from you.

Now on to this silly little piece.

I wrote it in about an hour when I was struck by inspiration while preparing an asparagus risotto (which will be my new muse for the time being (Talia has been quite lazy lately and will be assigned to answering business mails for a while).I submitted it with 4 minutes to spare before the deadline, so many of the problems you noted, and which I could see too with a bit of hindsight, came from that. On the other hand that is exactly the spirit of the write-off, so I'm not complaining or anything.

This story was inspired by a paper about how time may be a byproduct of some quantum process. I didn't obviously understand it really, but neither did the characters so we are fine.

The framing device should have been a speech delivered by the narrator a couple of decades after the facts, at some gala or similar celebration. It didn't work. I had to cut too much and with too little time, and the ending suffered under it. I will have to learn that for the next time and dedicate more attention on how I close a story.

I missed the chance to specify that the underground lab wasn't exactly a secure facility and more haphazardly put together machinery in cellar. I hinted at it in the first draft but axed it because of the wordcount. I see now how that could be confusing. Also, Betsy was simply evil, there was no desire to protect George and only a strong urge to hurt the narrator.

I thought I stayed light on the technobabble, but it seems I was wrong. Also, knocking George out is the natural reaction when you meet someone that takes the Timecube seriously and is surrounded by heavy machinery. I suspect the problem is that that was a reference to a bit of nowadays obscure internet culture of the last millennium.

Thanks again to everyone else for the time and the comments.