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A Matter of Perspective
FiM Short Story
Of Flies and Spiders
Rising From the Ashes
FiM Short Story
They Stood Against the Sky
Original Pic
Elder Wisdom Looms
Written in the Stars
Original Short Story
The Burning of the Hanged Man
Illusion of Choice
FiM Minific
Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit
Great Expectations
FiM Short Story
Grandiose Delusions
It's Your Funeral
FiM Minific
I Regret Nothing
FiM Minific
A Thousand Years of Suffocation
Best Laid Plans
FiM Minific
The Departure
I Regret Nothing
FiM Minific
Betrayal Tastes of Almond
#4115 · 6
· · >>FanOfMostEverything

The Last Days of Yo Mama: In an effort to take over Equestria, Tirek tries to bribe Celestia's and Luna's mum with cake. After three days of binging, she experiences gravitational collapse and turns into a black hole.

The Concubine or How Luna Got to Shut Up: After her attempts to reestablish the royal harem got shut down by Celestia, Luna decides to never leave the palace again and instead live in escapist fantasies.

Wow, that last one actually sounds kinda depressing. I'd better stop.
#9848 · 6
· · >>Posh >>Remedyfortheheart
I think it is worthwhile to try and point to something positive, even in entries that have lots of issues. That said, "I did not like it, because I hate Twidash shipfics", or "because I hate first person narration" is still valuable albeit non-neutral feedback in my book. I would not want someone to sugarcoat anything.

When you say though "I dare people to..." and "Doesn't hurt to try", it sounds as though "You suck as an author, because..." was the normal tone of conversation here, which is frankly a bit insulting. I haven't participated in a while, but I've always felt this was a highly critical, but highly constructive community that offered valuable advice and feedback to authors of all skill levels.
#11749 · 6
· on This is a Mad World · >>RogerDodger >>Fenton >>Fenton
Wow, please take a step back and cool off. I think that tone is really uncalled for.

As for the picture, maybe it's a descent into chaos? I can certainly see a progression from bilateral, round shapes (biological), to multi-symmetric with straight lines (maybe mechanical?), to very abstract (maybe digital?). I don't get the last 3 frames, though.
#1512 · 4
· on Encounter at dusk · >>Monokeras
This was a smooth read, and I really love the concept. I also liked the gradual reveal that the protagonist was a robot.

I'd like to agree with previous reviewers that the dialogue was a bit... meh. Sometimes, it felt generically stilted to me, other times just unfitting. If I learn Joan has a rustic accent and grew up on a farm, I expect to see that reflected in her dialogue to some extent. Also, the robot could've done with a more unique voice, both in dialogue and in closer POV narration (a thing this story could've used more IMHO).

I felt a bit uncomfortable with the wolf pack scene, as this behaviour is highly improbable in wolves. Also, this is one of the rather rare actions scenes, and describing the headshot of the first wolf, and then just stating "yeah, killed the other 11, too," killed most of the immersion.

The lack of emotional POV makes part of the story read more like a travel log, which would seem plausible if this android was in some kind incapaccitated in feeling emotions, yet during some dialogue scenes he shows a lot of these, even the bad ones, like obviously gloating despite stating that he's not programmed for it.

This overall lack of emotional involvement made me also go 'wut' when Joan had her emotional meltdown. Never saw that coming, and I see little justification for it even in hindsight.

I'd like to say the ending saved it, but it didn't. At no point in the story did it look even remotely as though this mission could fail, so the payoff of it all working out fall flat for me, also because I don't know why I should favour a French rule over an English one, or why I should empathize with any of the people and non-people involved.
#4191 · 4
· on Solitude for the Modern Businessmare

Far too many irrelevant details (Rainbow has a date, Jet Set sleeps around, young mares should drink raspberry chocolate, etc.) are presented which don't apply to the main plot, or serve to enhance the characterizations. The one exception to this is Harshwinny's choice of coffee and biscotti. The reasons given for that do show us something about her character.

Well, I think some of these details do add to the depth of the story and the ambiguity in some situations. "Young mares should drink raspberry chocolate" is not presented as fact in the fic, but as "it is a perfect fit for young mares because its fresh, yet soft and sweet", a connection presented by Harshwinny. This made me think this would go far further with actually shipping the two, because that's only something someone would say who is cleary into young mares.

The encounter with RBdash does seem a bit tacked on, I agree, but it also serves in re-enforcing the perception that this could be an actual romantic date between Rarity and Harshwinny due to her interpretation of what she sees. Also, it's an entertaining encounter and not too long; I don't think I'd advise on the inclusion of such a scene if it were missing from the story, but I see little reason to scrap it.
#1511 · 3
· on Tiny Planets · >>Lucky_Dreams
I know I'm a bit late to the party, but although I don't have a story of my own in the running, I wanted to leave some reviews anyway. Let's get going.

I like the way the point of view zoomed in, and the "Witches" came at just the right spot to deliver some sort of hook, even without an immediate conflict in sight.

There are a few hiccups like:

As it happened, Bernice, the year’s top gymnast, was sat to Sophie’s right and dashing off her answers with confident ease.

... where you stumbled into the passive voice (just shifting the 'was' to infront of 'dashing' would get rid of that), or

Sophie breathed deeply in and deeply out

... but other than that, the writing was evocative and enjoyable to read.

The close POV to the protagonist was a great tool to make this angsty teenager relatable, but there was at least one instance where you stumbled out of this by adding some 'without her noticing'. I'd personally have avoided POV shifts like that throughout the piece.

I agree with Bradel that the justification-after-the-fact with the fire was a detriment to the story. It seemed forced and the lengthy explanation robbed the scene of much of its momentum.

As for the stories message, I like the anti-authoritarian vibe, but I fear I can't really agree with the "Power of Passion" as it is portrayed. In the story, getting in touch with her passion for performance magic turns her into some kind of savant and gives her superior powers -- I've seen this happen more than once in stories, and what it does is lead people to believe that when they find their passion in live, they're going to be good at it, and that if they're not good from the get-go, it can't be their passion.

The more my life advances and the more things I try, the more I've come to think that passion is the only thing that can keep one from throwing in the towel, and putting in the necessary work to get good, but there's nothing truly magical about it.
#1642 · 3
Funny. I do like my own stories, because I try never to publish something that I myself don't like.
#10111 · 3
YATTA!! I did it, I finished something.

Do you know that feel when you've been writing (or procrastianting on writing to be fair) for 11 hours because you're one slow mofo, you're about to hit the final scene and you're like "I don't want to go on, please make it stop, all I do is shit and this will be shit and all things in general and this thing in particular is shit".

No? Lucky bastard.

Anyway, I'll spend some more time editing, but no promises the quality or this feeling will improve. I'll be looking forward to you gentlecolts and -mares ripping this thing apart.
#10590 · 3
· · >>Haze
I believe the "art might not really work for original rounds" hypothesis is something that deserves at least 1 experiment to get some empirical data. If we look at the top 7 of the art round this time, only 2 really use known characters from MLP. I'm with >>shinygiratinaz on this one.

Authors can write about anything they choose (potentially for publishing), and using artwork will unnecessarily restrict that. On the other side, artists would have too little restriction, since they can't draw fanart of recognizable characters. The art might become more vague or even abstract. I suspect it would be less fun than it was here.

I wonder why you seem to think writers are the original bunch here and artists aren't. Original art is a thing, and although I agree that there might be more vague pieces, I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing as shown by the voting turnout.

Also, is art really restricting the creative process of writers, or is it propelling it? I assume having art would lead to trouble for writers that use writeoffs to turn already existing story ideas they have into actual writing, but for me who tries to come up with something fresh each time, it worked wonders. Hadn't it been for Automating Friendship, I never would've come up with the idea of connecting something futuristic/robotic with the Rising From the Ashes prompt.

I guess hard evidence whether having an additional step of abstraction going from prompt -> art -> story instead of going from prompt to story directly will lead to a larger variety or a preselection of ideas is hard to come by. I think though that it is largely dependent on a lot of factors, like art turnout and artwork specificity concerning characters and setting. That is mostly dependent on the artists participating.

As I see it now, the people that submited art were all (except for 1 and maybe a few others disguising as anonymous) people that usually participated in writing. If it were possible to get more artists on here that actually come for the art rounds (instead of taking it as an extra), there might be bigger turnouts and more artist variety as well.

I think it turned out great this round, and I think it can with original rounds as well. I certainly wouldn't knock it down without trying.

Minifics work better with minimalism. Artwork complicates that.

I... don't really get that. I actually think minifics share a lot of similarities with art. The medium doesn't allow for traditional storytelling formats, and it's hard to get in more than one fleshed-out scene... just like with art, unless you count comic panels. Like with art, minifics are about condensing an idea or a concept into something that is expressive at a glance. I don't see why joining the two should fail.

But again, I think the theoretical discussion might be interesting, but won't replace the epmirical data of just giving it a go.
#11751 · 3
· on This is a Mad World
Yeah but although the first 3 frames share nothing but the colors, the last 3 all share similarities with the 3rd. That's an odd break IMO.