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Passing the Ball
Three Body Problem
Special Delivery

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#12914 · 3
· · >>horizon
I'm finding this prompt unintentionally meta, given how much of my story is still TBD.
#12945 · 3
Quite a good day as well. The fic is finally done and in, and I had a nice visit with horizon, during which I was definitely not replaced by a changeling infiltrator.
#14569 · 3
I wrote a thing! And it's slightly less terrible than usual, even.
#15537 · 3
· on Welcome to the End of all Things · >>LiseEclaire
As others have said, this was a novel interpretation of the prompt

There were a noticeable number of grammatical hiccups, but not too major. You'd want to have someone go over it before posting, but it's fine for a writeoff piece.

One thing that bugged me - there was never any mention of the price, and barely any of payment. That's particularly critical at a magical mystery shop, but even if Moondancer isn't particularly genre savvy, it's still pretty integral to the shop experience.

Granted his claims are hard to believe, but given the quality of the dress that Moondancer has been observing, going to fleamarket

Special terms and conditions? That's worth digging into.

It was an interesting choice for her to go down the path of existential anxt. Not what I would have expected, but it worked.

Overall, an enjoyable tale. With mystery shops, the real intrigue is often in unraveling the back story, which wasn't touched on here, but it still made for an interesting take on the concept.
#15775 · 3
· on Special Delivery · >>Trick_Question >>Trick_Question
Special Delivery is not prompt. Late retrospective is better than none?

>>Trick_Question, >>Zaid Val'Roa, >>horizon, >>Miller Minus, >>CoffeeMinion, >>Rao, >>Kitcat36, >>MLPmatthewl419, and >>Not_A_Hat, thank you for your feedback! To be honest, I kind of felt like I'd won the comment lottery this round.

This was a bit of an experiment, as I'm of the the 'writeoffs are for experiments' school of thought. That isn't to say that a fic can't be aimed to win, but playing to known strengths doesn't seem like the best use of a round, as compared to getting skilled feedback on a problem area. The end results are frequently weird, sometimes wonderful, and, yes, all to often wrecks, but useful ones.

In this case, I wanted to use OCs (need to be better at character development), and was trying my hand at multiple perspectives (usually use just one). Although that ended up being a poor fit for this particular story, I'm still happier with it than most of my recent writeoff entries. It may not have hit the right emotional notes, but the core conflict and arc are there.

I felt >>CoffeeMinion may have summed it up best with his "strong set of moving parts" summation, and >>Trick_Question, >>horizon, and most of the rest had cognizent points on just what bits were jamming each other up.

So, for me, this is just about a textbook example of the value of the writeoff, as I basically now have a roadmap of what to do.

As for some nuts and bolts, backstory, and comments.

I didn't have time to write on Friday or Saturday, although I did come up with the 'End of all things' as Discord's address on Saturday. I was originally leaning towards a 'Discord has gone missing' plot, but I couldn't think up a satisfactory reason as to why. Postal delivery didn't pop into my head until Sunday morning, but of course that's not really all that long to write, especially with various chores and such to do, and I think I ended up finishing around midnight.

Prompt was the focal character for the idea, with Indicia brainstormed as a way to make the scenario work. As mentioned earlier, I was experimenting with bouncing the perspective back and forth between scenes, but I find the arguments for making Indicia the sole POV persuasive.

The horoscope was an early idea, both to establish character and where Prompt being late (not very, but technically) would cause an ultimately positive chain of events, but I was short on time at the end and never came back to tie it in/clean it up properly.

I wrote the start and end first - the middle couple of scenes got short shrift.

As a born and bred American who has spent less than a week in Britan, I still have no idea why 'flaming row' was the first thing that popped into my head to describe a big fight.

Glad folks seem to have generally enjoyed it, and some of the smaller touches, even if it didn't make the finals. Thanks again for all the excellent feedback, and congratulations to the finalists.
#5436 · 2
· on Equestria Girls*
Equestria Girls*

First of all, thank you >>FanOfMostEverything, >>ArgonMatrix, >>Bachiavellian, >>Monokeras, >>Baal Bunny, >>TheCyanRecluse, >>Misternick, and >>MrExtra
It seems like there was a clear (and quite valid) consensus of this being a decently executed scene, but just an intro into a larger story.

Mea culpa; this wasn't what I intended.

In my mind, this was a meta-joke about how without Twilight being a princess, the whole EQG plot goes off the rails and this little 750 word thing happens instead.

I think much of the issue comes from that last line. I had considered ending it with 'well, sometimes that's just how these things end', but I thought that would be an odd and defeatist thing for someone to say at that point, so I went with the subtler 'ends of the Earth' (emphasis, unfortunately, only mine). I should remember that little thing about subtlety in the writeoffs.

I'm glad the scene and characters worked, at least, and thanks again for the feedback.
#11054 · 2
· on Midnight Palaver · >>Monokeras
There's a potentially potent theme underlying this story, but as with Xepher, I was confused by some of the cues in this story. The hints that Celestia was caught in a compromising situation completely color the first scene, but that doesn't end up tying into anything.

In a way, this may be more realistic to have something unrelated in the mix, but as a reader it's unusual, and in a writeoff, you have so few words that it's dangerous to spend any on things that don't advance the plot. if the threads had tied back together, such that Celestia's bedroom actions were relevant to Luna's situation, then there would have been more narrative payoff.

Other than that, the story was decent; voicing, characterization and dialog didn't raise any flags. The plot just threw me a curveball.
#11621 · 2
· on Featherquest

First of all, congratulations to Ceffyl_Dwr, Chris, and GroaningGreyAgony. I'm also amused to see that I got the mortarboard this time.

As for my own little tale, I owe a debt of gratitude to >>Xepher, >>CoffeeMinion, >>Posh, >>Ceffyl_Dwr, >>Light_Striker, >>Fenton, >>TitaniumDragon, >>PaulAsaran, >>eusocialdragon, >>Monokeras, >>Ranmilia, and >>JudgeDeadd for your thoughtful feedback. That's the heart and soul of the writeoffs for me, so every post is greatly appreciated. Although there were some common elements, most critiques managed to have their own useful insights. Some were points I was aware of, but many offered perspectives I hadn't considered.

To cover the main point of feedback, though, as much as I would have liked to have a less predictable plot, despite racking my brain and coming up with half a dozen angles on interpreting the prompt, none of them wanted to gel into an actual story. Faced with a recalcitrant muse, I went with the uninspiring idea that I at least had some idea of a narrative for.

Funnily enough, I don't particularly mind preenfic, and though I've read some, I've never thought of them as a thing per-say. It's just that preening wouldn't have fit the prompt.

Regardless, I'm glad that the craftsmanship seems to have generally worked for readers, and gratified that the humor landed with at least a few. Despite being predictable and having portions in need of a tuneup, I am still pleased with how it turned out.

Thanks again everyone, and see you next round!
#12929 · 2
Huzzah for coffee shop horsewords!
#15380 · 2
· on Monsters
Something about the way the first sentence is structured made me think that the story wasn't about Dash; that it was some other pony discussing Dash's perspective. It gets cleared up relatively quickly, but still started me off wrongfooted.

The getting caught bit was unsettling, as was the near rape - in real-unsexy way which is actually somewhat surprising to get from Dash's reactions, given what's revealed later.

I liked Dash's logic in extricating herself from the situation, which made it all the more surprising later on.

I started to think that Dash was monologuing to the Dr for an awfully long time without him making notes or commenting, only for that to be undermined when it was revealed that she was his regular patient, and the reasons behind it.

If nothing else, this story was unafraid to take risks. Both in terms of subject and the aggressive twists. Multiple times it took a direction that caught me off guard, though part of that was from me not seeing much foreshadowing. It also made it harder for me to empathize with the characters, as a twist would catch me cold and toss me out of alignment.

The ending worked reasonably well, as it finally settled down and started to delve into some deeper themes, but the start was rockier, as it felt a bit like a roller coaster and didn't really sell me on the relationship. I know it's hard to have a light touch when dropping bombshells, though, so this is by no means a bad result.