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A Matter of Perspective
FiM Short Story
But First, We Need to Talk About Parallel Universes
Original Minific
Written in the Stars
Original Short Story
I, The Dreamer
Ignore It and It Will Go Away
FiM Minific
Best Laid Plans
FiM Minific
For Them
Like the World Is Ending
Original Minific
Keep On Turning
And at the End, You Shall Remain Alone
FiM Minific
The Eternal Kingdom of Princess Evergreen
Things Left Unsaid
FiM Minific
Dam Nation
Illusion of Choice
FiM Minific
I Regret Nothing
FiM Minific
That A Minute Could Reverse
#6462 · 4
Minific in! Last time I entered one of these, the Writeoff discussion was still on Fimfic - so, well, apologies in advance.
#12856 · 4
· on Memento
Memento Retro

I think this is the highest I've ever placed. New PB! Congratulations to all involved, especially ye medalists.

Thanks for the reviews, everyone. Reviews in general seemed to be a lot...friendlier than other rounds? Lots of solid encouragement. The story was pretty much as >>AndrewRogue described it:

I'm pretty sure the idea here is that HE is being temporarily preserved in the sim and they just use the comment about the wife to judge whether or not he wants to live like that, since informing him directly would be a problem. He chooses to die at the end.

I definitely could've done the voicing of the perspective character a lot better, as a lot of you noted. I think the short stories reach their peak when they explore interesting ideas not to explore the ideas themselves, but to explore them in the context of human relationships; that's something that this piece failed to do. I'll probably convert this to ponyfic, and use the extra word space to flesh it out and develop the persona a little better.

Thanks for taking the time to leave a voice review! The shift from horizontal to vertical clicks was meant to highlight the man's realization that there's only a single pair of footsteps despite there being two people walking; at the end, when the 'doctor' vanishes, the pattern doesn't change. In retrospect, it probably doesn't add much to the piece.

Going click click click through a featureless hallway just doesn't do much for me with this presentation.

Fair enough.

Also, maudlin minis about justifying or exploring reasons for suicide are suuuuuuuuper duper played out as a Writeoff motif. It's like the Sad Sunbutt of Original Mini.

Also fair. Thanks for leaving a detailed review in spite of that! I'll definitely try and shift the focus away from the setting in the rewrite, and focus more on exploring the issues surrounding the simulation.

So they have an ethical issue with informing simulated people of their sim-ness ... which we learn by them bringing up the concept of simulation to a simulated being, in a way that causes him to realize he's simulated? :P

Can confirm, gaping plot hole that I just sort of left there.

Surely any simulated reality constructible via modern technical principles would have some sort of interconnection capabilities.

Why is the man being asked if he wants to remain in the sim if death is two minutes out no matter what he does? And why, if they have the capability to indefinitely extend his life, is he not being given the ability to schedule his own death? Putting a deadline on this is extremely disorienting, regardless of which scenario above is true.

More good points that definitely need to be addressed in the rewrite - cheers for the comprehensive feedback.

It doesn't seem like walking through the door should indicate the protagonist not entering the sim, even though I'm neigh-certain that's what your intent was.

The idea was that walking through the door was him exiting the sim. Hopefully that'll be clearer once I clean up the internal logic.

Glad you enjoyed it. Cheers for the review.

>>Haze >>Monokeras
I think the hints aren't subtle enough, it spells it out a little too cleanly.

I can't really make head and tails of this.

Having these as the first two reviews was mind-numbingly frustrating :P
#19764 · 4
Don't have the time to write anything this round, but should be around to write reviews!
#1834 · 2
· on Completely Safe in the Reference Section
After the gang manage to retrieve an ancient, eldritch manuscript, Twilight does what any sensible librarian would do: put it safely in the reference section. Because it’s the principle of the thing, you know?

This was, by and large, a strong comedy. The opening scene doesn’t linger too long, and quickly segues into the main narrative; the characters are all portrayed consistently and authentically; and it doesn’t make the mistake of having its central premise its sole source of humour, nor does it try to force jokes where it needn’t do so – and that’s a sizable achievement in a comedy pushing the upper word limit of an SS round.

Most importantly, it was fun. Rarity and Twilight’s conversations had me laughing out loud. Your Spike was touching. The throw-away last line worked. And elephant ears, author? There was a conversation about them on Discord a short while ago…

My only gripe is that some scenes felt almost superfluous. The fifth, with the conversation between Rarity and Fluttershy, could have been removed, and the story would have lost nothing. The same could be said for their next scene. Whilst the story certainly makes use of its word limit, I’d suggest paring it down in future editing passes; repetition of jokes, recurring scenes, only serve to slow the comedy down.

Nonetheless, this story’s current place at the top of my slate was well earned.

Tier: Top Contender
#1837 · 2
· on Foundation
Alicorns are cursed - friendship is the key.

Where to start? This story did not do much for me - but keep in mind that my opinion is just that, and should be taken with a grain of salt (give or take a good half a cup). It felt like a small excerpt from a larger narrative sandwiched within an otherwise ordinary scene, and left more questions than it answered.

Why does the curse - in both its forms - exist?
Why has Celestia never fallen to it?
Why is Luna still endangered by it, haven been cured?
Considering that Celestia of all people nurtures Twilight's learning of friendship, why does she need to be taught anything?
Why is friendship a cure to the curse?
Like, seriously. Alicorn social meetups would solve all the world's problems.
And, furthermore, why has Celestia never mentioned this before?

The curse never poses a threat in this story, author; you spend a large amount of time introducing a contrived obstacle, only to retroactively solve it. The status quo does not change, nor do characters develop, save for sudden mood swings that, with respect to Celestia and Luna, feel quite out of character. You had another 6000 words to flesh out your idea; in the future, try to make the most of the space.

Tier: Needs Work.
#1881 · 2
· on Twice Paid, For a Lie · >>Morning Sun
A quick aside; for the merry few of you who're into the whole author-guessing game, I've gone and accidentally submitted under an alias. Instead of Foehn, look for Nemoral. Why Nemoral? Because it's a lovely word, that's why.

With that out of the way:

Somebody is killing off the bearers of the elements, one by one - a tragedy, by any other name. But not here. Because something's not quite right...

I could swear I've seen this title around somewhere recently - at first I thought it was a submitted prompt, but it wasn't. Oh well.

A relatively strong entry overall. Opening with Pinkie's scene was a good idea. Without the flag that the conversation provides - the metaphorical promise that this story is more than it seems - I probably would've switched off fairly quickly. As far as the rest of the story goes; the premise was strong, and but the execution was lacking.

1. The central conceit - that of the matrix-esque setting - had already been used to great effect by TQ in a previous round. It's a conceit that relies on the reader not fully expecting it; however, because I (and a fair few others I'd imagine) have seen it before, it lacks the punch it should hold.

2. The piece jumps perspective far too much. Third-person multiple is a perfectly legitimate perspective to use - but jumps should be between scene breaks, author, not during scenes. It's jarring to have observations made from AJ's point of view, only to have another character observing her corpse a paragraph later.

3&4. Word count and dialogue. I've lumped these two together because I'm presuming they stem from the same cause; lack of time. Writing convincing dialogue in a short time limit is hard. And whilst the initial conversation between Codex and Pinkie is fine, the dialogue quality swiftly deteriorates thereafter, with Twilight's final lines reading more like something out of a marvel superhero comic than something said by an emotionally damaged Alicorn. Feels...tacky?

And I know you were pressed for time, author - but use the wordcount you have as best as you can. Your story could've been twice the length it ended up as, and probably could've benefited from the extra length to tell a better story. For the majority of the piece, I'm not invested in any particular character; only after a perspective switch to Rainbow Dash am I finally given a persona with which to empathise. If you choose to expand this, consider rewriting parts of the piece from her perspective, or inserting additional scenes in. Give me a wider window into her world.

Tier: Almost There
#6536 · 2
· on Scorpion Days
It was dark and smokey, and the transition from sunlight left him momentarily blind.



Whilst the story is well written, it fell a little flat to me. The emotional beats of the story are supposed to fall around the implication that Chiaroscuro himself used to mess around with his father’s razors as his father described, but the implication carries too little emotional weight; the scene would work better in a larger work, where you have more time to develop emotional investment with the persona prior to this scene.

Unfortunately, the story as it stands doesn’t quite develop enough of a connection for its twist to have much of an impact. Which is unfortunate - as it was an otherwise well-written scene.
#6540 · 2
· on Similitude · >>Bremen
One of the greatest challenges of the minific round is trying to compress an entire story into a terribly small space. Unfortunately, this story aimed too high; it could easily have been lengthened to a Short Story round entry, and would've been quite a good story in that environment.

To echo Kettle - the story suffocates from lack of space, and whilst the ideas are interesting, they don't have the necessary room to be organically explored; this has the side effect of leaving some of the voicing feeling off, Twilight's especially; the dialogue has lost personal ticks and such, and becomes overly expositionry.
#6544 · 2
· on Just After Midnight · >>FanOfMostEverything
Very nicely done, author. The voicing was consistent and on point, the pacing was good, and the characters came across well. And you have some lovely prose. And, well:

Just when I thought She would smite me for my impertinence, She erupted in belly-laughs.

It was worth reading for lines like that alone. Thank you for writing this; it was a pleasure to read.
#12946 · 2
· · >>Trick_Question
So I popped in before bed to see what the prompt was, saw "TBD," figured I was early, and then wandered off.


Let's see how much I can get done in the next two hours :|