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The Twilight Zone
FiM Minific
All Nightmare Long
#9382 · 7
· on All Nightmare Long
>>Zaid Val'Roa

Thanks muchly for the feedback, everyone. I only wish I had had time to enter writeoffs sooner, since even if I don't win anything, I can still use the advice and fix the stories up for fimfiction later. Getting into the second round was a personal victory too, so a "thank you" to the voters!
#8462 · 4
· · >>Fenton
I'm in. Be gentle; it's my first time. ^^'
#8776 · 4
· on Back to Freedom
A few years ago, there was a Fimfiction contest called "The Most Dangerous Game," with the challenge of taking a concept that was really hard to pull off, and turning it into a good story. The most difficult of the prescribed concepts was second-person writing. This is because for it to work, there must be a reason. A couple of people managed to pull that off; for example, the story was told in the form of a letter or an accusation. But I think this story would be better suited for first- or third-person.

The other big issue is that a story with this much worldbuilding and violent action wants to be longer. I can practically watch this one strain against the world count limit. I've been there: You think you can get it in under the limit, but then you run out of time and space, and have to hand in what you've got.

On the plus side, this does show much promise, since it is certainly not boring, and fast-moving, evocative description such as this is important for this sort of story. Keep working on your skills, Grasshopper! I will be interested to see future improvements.
#8746 · 3
· on Yet Hope, In Part, Found Purchase · >>Corejo
I cannot say anything that has not already been said, except this: I'll eat my hat if I haven't already guessed the author.
#8772 · 3
· on Discord Libs · >>Firelight Flicker
This one gets major points for originality and humor, but it is toward the end that it begins to show signs of strain from the word count limit. Some ideas simply need more space, and this is one of those. The TV could be introduced earlier, the stripped-down prose of the last scene could be more detailed, and so on. You could even include a few more jokes, provided they did not stretch the concept too thin.
#9380 · 3
· on Yet Hope, In Part, Found Purchase

(Do I get to watch you eat your hat?)

>_< ... Oh, hush up and pass the ketchup.
#8744 · 2
· on The Thousandth Year
This may be my favorite among the stories I've been allotted. Whereas a lot of stories of this length fall apart (or at least crack) at the end, here the last sentence ties the whole thing together. The moral that one should know when to disobey is one I am all for, and it is unfortunately a rare one.

I have always liked the idea behind the "what-if" stories of Luna, or even Nightmare Moon, having won the power struggle, and the future ramifications. I like this one in particular because it doesn't overreach itself, as these epic AUs tend to. I also find no bones in the narrative or character voices.

Therefore, I am reduced to picking nits. The interrobang (?!) is used in comic books, but is a poor fit for prose writing, and I always recommend avoiding it altogether. I also see a few cases of ellipsis-itis--that is, overuse of the ellipsis as a crutch. Different phrasing, or alternate punctuation marks, tend to make for stronger prose.
#9286 · 2
· on Is This in a Literal Sense · >>QuillScratch

To clarify, said-bookisms should be the last thing you spend a lot of time on. "Said" is an invisible word, so you can pretty much use it in most cases, and it won't stick out, as repeated words tend to. Alternately, you can often include dialogue in a paragraph along with an action taken by the speaker, and simply avoid using a said-bookism altogether.
#8751 · 1
· on In The Twilit Place · >>shinygiratinaz
It is really hard to sell me on slice-of-life stories, but this one pulls it off. Not much happens, but there is a theme and a moral, and just enough warm fuzzies to be sweet without being saccharine. Plus, the length restriction doesn't seem to affect the quality of the prose, which is impressive on its own.

The only real issue I find is an advanced stylistic one: overuse of adverbs. Adverbs are not necessarily bad, but too many words ending in "-ly" can weaken the emotional strength of the piece, as they are not terribly evocative. Try to explore a few alternatives for description, and see what you can come up with.
#8798 · 1
· on Is This in a Literal Sense · >>Anna >>Ritsuko
Here, I certainly see a flair for the strange and uncanny. The trouble, as others have pointed out, is that a piece can be so mysterious as to be incomprehensible. Obviously one does not want to be too obvious either, so it can take some experimentation to find the happy medium.

Beware also of said-bookisms. You know--"exclaimed," "declared," "responded," etc. These are alright for juvenile-level readers and lower, but for adults they are usually redundant. Use them only when necessary.