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#7324 · 6
· · >>horizon
>>Chinchillax
The March to a Darker World
Purification via Ruination
The Last Soldier’s Grim Fate
Seduced By Taste of Blood
...etc.

ow the edge
#8935 · 5
· on The Shortest Coup d'état in Equestrian History · >>Dubs_Rewatcher
>>Ritsuko
First off, thoughts demand "Sitation marks", just like spoken lines. There is no excuse.

I'm afraid this is not necessarily the case for English language
#9317 · 4
· on Is This in a Literal Sense · >>QuillScratch
>>Ritsuko
Why do I have the impression this happened to my previous(first) entry, and that it is likely to happen again and again? While it made more sense once you see the order of the story in the fic.

I'm sorry to say that no, it still doesn't make much sense either.

From what I understand, the plot is basically: "One day, Pinkie goes to Twilight's castle, she meets Starlight who casts a memory spell on Pinkie for no reason, Pinkie wanders around in a daze until she meets Rarity, who gives her some clothes, at which point Pinkie regains her memory and enters the council room, end of story"

Basically, the problem here is that everypony behaves completely erratically and out of character. Starlight apparently casts a memory spell on Pinkie... for no reason. Rarity meets her own long-time friend, and... immediately feels the need to introduce herself by name: "I am Rarity!" (Hint: people don't "declare" their names like this in real life, ever. Not in casual conversation, anyway.) Also, nobody else, neither Rarity nor Twilight, seem at all concerned about Pinkie wandering around in an amnesiac daze.

(EDIT: Only now I've noticed this part of your reply, which says
Is it possible Starlight could pull a deep spell on the Pony, on instinct?

...but this doesn't make much sense either... We're supposed to believe that good!Starlight would just "instinctively" cast an amnesia spell on her friend? Then she'd just wander away without caring about it at all?)
#7306 · 3
· on Never Leave You Hangin' · >>Trick_Question >>Monokeras
Thanks to everyone for the comments.

Wow. I thought I had managed to make the story dark and moody, but re-reading it now, it feels pretty trite. No wonder it took only 22nd place. There's one or two lines that I like, but if I ever decide to publish this, you can expect it to get completely rewritten.

I see that I've managed to confuse a lot of people with what the setting is... I tried dropping a few hints, but it seems that wasn't enough. As others have suggested, this is meant to be the Nightmare!verse from "The Cutie Re-Mark". The bit at the very end, where Nightmare Moon promises to teach Rainbow Dash the lost art of the Rainboom (this admittedly feels somewhat awkward and forced), was put in solely to provide a hint as to which universe this is.

The story was originally conceived as an AU where Rainbow accepted the Shadowbolt temptation, but I couldn't figure out a way to make it truly work because 1) the Shadowbolts are implied to be just an illusion anyway, and 2) there was no way -- at least, none I could think of in the limited time -- that the baseline universe Rainbow would betray her friends from Ponyville like that; especially for some lame, edgy Wonderbolts knockoff popping up out of nowhere in the middle of spooky woods.

At the last moment, I realized that the solution was obvious -- the canon provided a very fitting alternate universe right there.

The assumption is that in this continuity, Rainbow (having never caused the Rainboom and gotten the whole gang together) presumably didn't grow up to be as fiercely loyal as she is in the canon universe. (Although she's no less spunky and impulsive -- certainly enough to assault a godlike conqueror with nothing but a weatherpony team, and with enough force of personality to get her companions to go along with this plan!). What's more, she presumably felt frustrated all her life, feeling that she wasn't living up to her potential and that there was some sort of a grand destiny she hadn't yet achieved. Hence why she could plausibly accept Nightmare Moon's offer.

>>Trick_Question
But then, the title doesn't make a lot of sense because it's a reference to something that never happened in this iteration, and the Nightmare did not tempt Dash in the same way she was originally tempted.


The title sucks >:P It doesn't even make sense because it's way too informal for the subject matter. Dash could say that to a friend, but I can't see her saying something like that to someone she fears more than respects. I like fancy titles but didn't have time to come up with anything good before the deadline. My first idea was simply "Undying Loyalty" and I should've just gone with that instead.

>>Rao
a missing end-quote ("I will dispel your doubts.)

That's because she's continuing her dialogue in the next paragraph. As far as I know it's within the rules of English punctuation (see "multiple paragraphs" here.)
#8168 · 3
· on Snowpocalypse
>>Haze
can confirm this is Georg

Entry disqualified: Author compromised ano--

Georgia

oh.
#8715 · 3
· on What It's Worth
I really, really love the beginning of this story. Spike's anger and the dialogue felt very vivid and evocative, although Spike actually seemed a bit out-of-character (I can't really envision him complaining that he hates books without pictures... he's a librarian's assistant and a letter-writer, he shouldn't resent text so much.)


However, I can't say I understand the ending part. There's some truly powerful imagery there,

The black words spun into dark rings in the centre of the pale pages, two dark circles like eyes, like Twilight’s eyes, big eyes gawking up at Spike.

looking up at Twilight’s face—watching it slowly fold in on itself in dismay.

Other words fanned across a beige canvas behind her head, rapidly overwriting one another until they blotted each other out.


...but I can't say I fully understand what's going on here. Did Twilight just draw Spike into the book so that he'd be forced to appreciate her rushed gift? If anything, that's just ensure that Spike will loathe the book from now on; it's not fun to be forced to read something. It makes Twilight look like a jerk, actually, unwilling to admit her own error.

There's some powerful mood created in this story, but the characters' actions don't jibe with it. Spike and Twilight seem unnecessarily mean-spirited towards each other until the penultimate paragraph.
#8837 · 3
· on Subject Theta 32
I'm afraid the format doesn't really work. On one hand you have Spike making humorous misspellings etc.; on the other hand... well, this is the SCP format, with its cold, clinical, unpersonal attitude to the "subjects". In my opinion it ends up an unappealing combination which doesn't work either as comedy or as drama.
#9018 · 3
· on The Outer Limits · >>CoffeeMinion
I didn't really like it on my first reading; I agree with >>Not_A_Hat and >>CoffeeMinion that it's hard to figure out what's going on at first -- there's really nothing solid and familiar to hang onto, because the story is set in such an exotic setting and focuses on an entirely new character.

However, thing are clearer upon a re-read, and a surprisingly awesome, imaginative concept rears its head. The writing is really good too, although all the star names in the opening paragraphs get confusing, especially since it's not immediately clear that "Sol" is indeed the Equestrian sun (I've read numerous sci-fi stories, and I've gotten used that "Sol" usually refers to Earth's sun).

This is another story I'd love to see expanded on.

One thing that bothers me is that Asteria's role seems to be disproportional in relation to her sisters'; Celestia and Luna move a single celestial body each, around one particular planet, whereas Asteria apparently maintains the stars across the entire universe. Her role has way more of a cosmic scale, and this doesn't fit in with Celestia maintaining but a single "faint" sun (the story even emphasizes how unimportant Sol is in comparison to other stars.)
#9407 · 3
· on The Meaning of Being Dead · >>Rao >>shinygiratinaz
The Meaning of Being JudgeDeadd

My original idea was to take the prompt literally. As in, "Twilight becomes a zone". Something happened in the past (never mind what, but it no doubt involved spectacular loss of life and property) and Twilight became an incorporeal, unphysical genius loci. It's been so many years that nobody remembers her name, but pilgrimages are still being made to drop off books inside The Meadow That Reads.

The idea then got simplified a bit. Now it was one of Twilight's friends who dutifully comes by every month or so to drop off books, and maybe to talk a bit. Twilight herself would "occupy" a gargantuan, splendidly decorated plaza the size of Ponyville (indeed, built on the ruins of Ponyville), with a tall tower in the middle filled with books. That's where I also introduced the idea of Twilight manifesting a ghostly avatar; this way she could make gestures, give meaningful looks, etc.

Then I pared it down even further. Now Twilight was just your regular ol' ghost, and instead of being tethered to some out-of-the-way spot far from civilization, she was occupying the Canterlot library. Several things which seem redundant or unnecessary for the story -- such as her "being able to read the books wherever they are", or a specific description of the bookshelves -- are basically leftovers from earlier concepts. Same goes for what >>AndrewRogue noticed, that Dash seems confused about where to put the books. Again, in the previous concept the idea was that the "library" (then, a tower) was built recently, and Dash wasn't yet entirely sure about where to put stuff.

I had the basic premise down, but I didn't really have any idea where I wanted to go with the story, so I drew on various scattershot concepts until--by coincidence--I found two that synergized quite well: Dash being old and no longer fit for stunt flying, and Twilight being basically a cripple in her current state.

I'm not sure if I'll ever be revisiting this story. In the end, the conversation between the characters feels pretty damn sappy; I think there's something off about the dialogue. Granted, it might also be how unnaturally fast the characters begin to discuss the value of life and death. (Oh 750 word limit, is there anything you can't do? You can force even loquacious sages to use contractions and call people by one-word nicknames; you can resolve any crisis or conflict in a single hastily written paragraph; and whenever necessary, you can take a conversation from a friendly hello to profound philosophizing at a breakneck pace...)
#11218 · 3
· on A Fire in the Mind · >>CoffeeMinion >>The_Letter_J
...Okay, not sure if I get it. Is the punchline that Figment has begun hearing voices, and he's become certain that he's a changeling and something (THE ALIENS) are communicating with him? This does feel like a functional, suspenseful little tale, but ends somewhat abruptly without really providing a satisfactory payoff.

The lines like
Celestia, I was a fool.

or
I froze, because what else could I do? I was stupid and callow and young and a coward too, I suppose.

feel like foreshadowing, like we're about to learn of some calamity that came about because of the narrator's choices. But nothing like that ever happens, and these lines ring hollow.