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Ever wonder what happened to these stories after the Writeoff? See: https://www.fimfiction.net/blog/800295/writeoff-and-fimfic-stories
#21676 ·
· on I'm Not Asleep · >>Rocket Lawn Chair
>>Rocket Lawn Chair
Comments like these have piqued my curiosity: what do you guys see in this image? I think I see part of a pony’s head with one closed eye, one open eye, and a bit of mane. But I’m guessing that’s not at all what’s going on?
#21576 · 1
I suppose I should have given my regrettably traditional “I’m out” message earlier, but I’m soloing the kids today and my wife flies home tonight, so my odds are basically nil.
#21574 · 3
· on Between Day/Night · >>Bachiavellian
Oh that’s clever. Kind of troublesome to view fully, but a very fun and interesting concept. Many kudos for doing something original!
#21569 · 3
· · >>GroaningGreyAgony
Vote Ot! If not now, when?!


#21455 · 3
I still hope Ot wins one of these days. For one thing, that’d justifiably put it to rest forever. But I think there’d be some delicious madness to be had from it as well.
#21393 · 2
· · >>Miller Minus >>PinoyPony
You guys are kickin’ azz. ^^ The workshop aspect of this is the best.

Speaking of, I’mma get my own review thing fired up here too before long...
#21372 · 3
· · >>BlueChameleonVI >>Light_Striker
Well now I’m more bummed; you guys are fun to do this with, and I hear the Mountain King makes some pretty mean flapjacks...

Naw, Easter is a happy time, but it’s also busy. I saw that coming and planned to take Friday off to buy me some writing time. Thought I was set until I found out Thursday afternoon that I was going to be needed Friday after all. Past that point, my usual couple of time blocks I can squeak in over a weekend got chipped away by either overt Easter activities or tangentially related circumstances.

At least our choir’s Easter song was good both times we sang it! :-p
#21369 · 1
· · >>Posh
I am defeat. :-(

Best of fortune to those still in the running.
#21365 · 5
Happy Easter, folks! :yay:

I hope y’all are faring well. I keep bouncing off various attempts at stories, but I might be onto one that works...
#21352 · 3
I have the day off Friday. If I fail to get in this time, I have no excuse whatsoever and should be shunned accordingly.
EDIT: Boo, the day off is kaput. It seems I must win this in a straight fight. :flutterrage:
#21347 · 1
· on Necromance Like No One's Watching
Delightful madness. Thank you for writing this.
#21261 · 1
· · >>Light_Striker
What are you gonna do, brother... when Monokerasmania runs wild on you?
#21251 ·
· on Neighton's Cradle
Yo, absolutely. It’s a system* that I purloined from Horizon a while back. In ascending order, the tiers are:

Keep Developing
Almost There
Top Contender

*: I don’t practice the system anywhere near as systematically as it was originally put forth by Horizon. However, I find it super helpful to have these kinds of tiered groupings when I’ve got a whole bunch of fics that I’ve gotta rank against each other—I can give an overall finger-in-the-wind guesstimate of how I’m going to vote on a given fic while retaining the flexibility to move it around within its tier on my slate.

I think this might be of decreasing overall value if Writeoffs continue attracting fewer fics, though. It’s also prone to occasional weirdness because of my subjective fleshbrain—like if the first story I pull seems like an instant Top Contender, I know from past experience that I’m almost always better off calling it Strong and trying to make sure I’ve worked myself into a sufficiently critical headspace. But then again, every so often we truly end up with a Writeoff where it’s just Strongs and/or TCs all the way down and trying to rank them is agony.

#21247 ·
· on Dolda Anslutningar · >>MLPmatthewl419
Yo Matthew, this is cool.

#21245 · 3
Next time, folks. Got my calendar marked and everything.

NEXT TIME. :rainbowdetermined2:
#21238 ·
· on On A Scrap of Paper, Hidden Away in Applejack's Drawers · >>Bachiavellian
Congrats! This was a treat. If you can get it to FimFiction, please do so; it deserves more attention!
#21206 · 1
· on Neighton's Cradle · >>Light_Striker
Genre: Sunbutt Sunbutt Burning Bright

Thoughts: I think there’s a valid and interesting subgenre of Celestia’s Fall fics. I think this could even be the beginning of one. My beef with this, though, is that it’s only a beginning.

Now I’ve done this too with past minifics, so I can hardly throw stones. But it’s ultimately just not as satisfying for the reader to be taken through the buildup and “first disaster” of a logical plot arc without getting to experience the rest of it. Celestia’s fall has earth-shattering implications that don’t scan as well with just a fade to black and a trailing “Dunn dunn dunnnnn...”

But I feel like that’s more of an issue with topic selection and story structure rather than a knock against what we get here. What’s on the page is pretty good! But it’s more like an intro or a trailer than the full thing. Keep working on the rest of it, and it’s bound to be a worthwhile journey.

Tier: Keep Developing
#21205 · 1
· on Pinkie Pie's Pocket Pamphet to being Hap-P · >>PinoyPony
Genre: Instructional Text

Thoughts: I am, regrettably, not in the target audience here. I have a much greater preference for stories in these contests, rather than other artifacts. I’ll make exceptions when something absolutely knocks it out of the park, such as with this contest’s Scrap of Paper in Applejack’s Drawers. But even there, I prefer when the work includes some kind of more story-like thrust, or a deeper look into a given character’s psyche.

What we get here is a competently assembled episode of Pinkie waxing manic about one of her ostensible favorite topics. There’s nothing wrong with that. But ultimately I’m not getting a “story” vibe from it. I think it also narrows its potential by focusing exclusively on Pinkie’s manic persona; I feel like Pinkie is more often made interesting by exploring her greater but sometimes less obvious depths.

Sorry Author. On the plus side, though, I ain’t gonna ding ya either.

Tier: Abstain
#21204 · 2
· on Forgotten Lessons Remembered · >>Posh
Genre: Shadow Boxing

Thoughts: WOW was the beginning rough. I’m totally on-board with the potential value of an opening accent poem and dropping in in media res, but I got pretty significant whiplash from trying to figure out who was talking and what was going on.

Similarly, I felt like the end got really jumbled with Starlight’s very brief mention of Sunburst, and then having Sunset and Twilight run in. It’s a lot of new elements and moving parts to drop in right as you’re delivering the core emotional moment & message of the fic. Like I was with it up through “—won't fix a thing,” but it got muddled afterwards.

Here’s the thing, though: the story has some really good bits in the middle. I like Starlight’s internal struggle about facing Tempest given what happened during the invasion & its impact on Trixie. There’s a wonderful bit of character exploration that happens by having Starlight literally want to beat the crap out of Tempest for what she’s done. It delivers a proper balance of MLP friendshippy-lessony stuff and a visceral reaction to trauma to show Starlight’s head going here. And couching it in a lesson given by Sunset is even better. Tempest’s point is true and gets delivered well as well.

Tier: Keep Developing
#21202 ·
· on The Forever Friend · >>PaulAsaran
Genre: Max Headroom

Thoughts: Talking heads is another high-risk design choice for a story. It economizes word count by keeping the focus purely on the characters’ dialogue, but it also requires everything to come across through that dialogue. The only exceptions are things like the verbal pauses that this story uses, which again don’t chew up any words, but which can’t convey any other details either.

In this case, I think the story comes close to being effective even though it’s rendered in a more challenging format. It does a good job of portraying Pinkie’s character in the wake of a pivotal moment of her personal development. It also does a good job of building tension around whether she’ll be able to escape wherever she’s ended up. I think it also does a fair job of conveying enough detail about the setting to start to build a mental picture.

However, I still find myself uncertain who this mysterious entity is, and what the full meaning and implications of Pinkie befriending it might be. With respect to >>Posh-Chan, I think it can’t be Nightmare Moon because it explicitly states that it’s not a pony. Without that knowledge, the story hamstrings some of the impact that it could’ve had. I also feel that the pauses were a bit obtrusive, and really would’ve been more effective if rendered through showing Pinkie’s (and the entity’s) body language (if applicable).

Still, it’s not a “miss.” It’s actually one of the better such stories that I’ve encountered. And I think it has more potential that could be unlocked by adding a nominal amount of narration beyond just the dialogue.

Tier: Almost There
#21196 · 4
· on On A Scrap of Paper, Hidden Away in Applejack's Drawers · >>Bachiavellian
Genre: Feels

Thoughts: I’m usually a stickler for desiring a story in these contests. Usually. But this is the rare exception that really won me over despite being something different. It’s emotional, heartfelt, and well-voiced. The pacing and structure are good, too. I feel like there’s a progression in AJ’s thoughts/concerns, which build smoothly from the initial head-fake about peaches (because peachfics used to be a thing, and as >>Miller Minus noted, it’s possible to take a different meaning from the phrase “Applejack’s Drawers”) all the way through to AJ showing how she’s gotten to a state of feeling mostly okay. It’s a progression that feels almost story-like even though it’s kind of not.

This strikes me as the sort of high-risk/high-reward piece that deserves acclaim when it’s done well.

Tier: Top Contender
#21192 · 2
· on In Spirit Golden · >>Meridian_Prime
Genre: Origin Story

Thoughts: I kinda wondered from the first mention of green eyes if this was going to be a Chrysalis origin. I’m okay with that, and I like what the story did with her.

I think my biggest beef here is with some fridge logic around Solar Swirl. I don’t feel like the story presents a motivation for him going along with Gossamer’s request. She exhibits several behaviors that might telegraph untrustworthiness, including an explicit statement that she wants to gain the power to control the kind of magic that he’s researched. And I’m left wondering why he’d freely give her that power without any kind of compensation or assurances about her intentions for it.

Otherwise, though, this is pretty great. It’s clean from a technical perspective. It wins style points for diving right in with its first line and holding the action firmly out to the last line. And it probably makes the right choice by using its limited wordcount to focus on Gossamer from inside of Solar’s head—that strikes me as not just a choice to help preserve the reveal, but to make the most of the space.

Tier: Strong
#21165 · 2
· on Long Distance Beauty Calling or Something Like That
I might not be in this round, but >>Posh-Chan pulled review-aggro from me with the mention of Crisis on Infinite Twilights, so here we go. Yatta!

Genre: Multiversal Tinder

Thoughts: I was amused by the story’s core premise and final revelation. Granted, I’m a bit biased in favor of multiple-Twilight shenanigans anyway. But juggling multiple characters who are essentially the same isn’t easy, and I think this did a good job of keeping things readable and comprehensible throughout. It certainly doesn’t put much in the way of one’s ability to enjoy said shenanigans if one’s so inclined.

I do think the ending would benefit from a bit more resolution, though. The sudden cut to Spike at once both does and doesn’t wrap things up. Yes, some sort of impending mult-Twilight horseshoe-knocking is pretty clearly implied, but I don’t feel like that’s intrinsically satisfying given the otherwise high-concept pursuit of better living through SCIENCE! magic that the Twilights have engaged in. This might be personal bias again, but IMO it’d be much funnier to have the female Twilights descend into pseudo-intellectual arguments about how they’re going to share (or not) the object of their various pursuits, rather than stepping towards him with an unspoken “GET ‘IM!” And then there’s the matter of Spike himself pulling our focus away from the conflict that’s brewing right at the moment where it seems ready to start boiling over. I totally get running out of words in a Minific contest, assuming that the Spike-cut was a way of managing that—God knows I’ve had to face that word count struggle umpteen times myself. But it’s still kind of a bummer when it feels like there’s more to a story’s premise and potential that’s just being left on the shelf.

Nevertheless, I feel this does what it does pretty well and it’s bound to clean up well for FimFiction. Though if I could chide the Twilights a bit: who can find a perfect mate? Even “long-term reasonably happy and satisfied” isn’t perfect.

Tier: Almost There
#21131 · 2
>>Baal Bunny
I couldn’t get anything out of the prompt either, I’m afraid. D:

I have failed the test. I will diminish, and go into the West, and remain CoffeeMinion.
#21091 · 2
Got some fun prompts this time. I’m looking forward to digging in.

Eyy, welcome aboard! Any other new folks out there this time? We won’t bite, I promise...

(Posh, don’t bite the new people, y’all been told)
Paging WIP