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"Nietzsche is God" -Dead
#11814 ·
· on This is a Mad World · >>Fenton
I'll agree with everybody else that the weird entropic shift in the middle throws me off a bit. On top of that though, something that really messes with any interpretation of this that I could have is that the second panel is unquestionably a d20. Combined with the fact that the first panel appears to be forming a human portrait, this sets up a very specific expectation in my mind as to where this is going to go... and then it turns into a full abstraction.

This could be signifying the point where viewer interpretation kicks in, but honestly, the point of abstract art is generally that the whole thing is up to any interpretation. Here, with defined shapes suddenly shifting to abstractions, we get an odd mix that neither lets the viewer have a completely subjective experience nor gives them a solid idea of what's going on. Personally, I think you should've either stuck with the theme of your first two panels, or only included the last three.

Aside from that though, this piece is really well made. The lines are crisp and the colors pop. I just wish it was a bit more consistently abstract.
#11757 · 4
· on To Hit Rock Bottom · >>GroaningGreyAgony
So I am viewing these on mobile, and I usually keep my phone on the lowest brightness to save battery. When I first looked at this image, I literally only saw a black square. I thought it was a joke until TD posted about seeing a corpse in the image. Even at max brightness I don't see the corpse very well at all. I understand the idea of utilizing darkness in the image to relay the feeling of the deep ocean, but you also gotta make sure your viewers can see your piece.
#11635 · 3
Looks like the prompts have finally been invaded by the Sneeple (snail people). Every man/woman/thing for themselves! :raritydespair:
#10886 · 3
· on It's Going To Be Fine · >>TitaniumDragon
>>Cold in Gardez

Me, as this round began: I really hope people like this idea, it took me a while to think up and it's not the best executed but hopefully the idea will carry enough to... wait, what the heck is a "mist ending?"

So after executing a vigorous googling maneuver I discovered that the idea that I had thought up had not only already been done, but it had already been done by Steven King. Oy. :facehoof: Somehow I've actually gotten to this point in my life without having heard of The Mist, and legitimately wrote this thinking it was a semi-original twist on the idea of mercy-shooting. I suppose it's true what they say about nothing being original. :applejackunsure:

In the end, though, I was pleasantly surprised that this made it to finals. I hadn't really expected it to get far, mostly because I as an author wasn't satisfied with it. This story felt both lacking and wanting to me, and even after multiple editing passes I wasn't at all sure what needed to be added or taken away for it to work. After a lot of deliberation, I submitted this story anyways with the hope that people more experienced than I would review it and help me to learn what this story needed for it to actually work. And that's exactly what happened! So I'd like to thank everybody who commented talking about things I should change or things that they liked or anything at all, you've helped me out a lot. :twilightsmile:

I've always felt that my strength was in comedy, mostly dealing with more absurd situations, but I can't just coast in that safe zone forever. ...Well, I suppose I can, but I don't want to. I joined this website so that I could challenge myself and grow as an author, and while it's painful to submit something I'm not happy with, I'm not yet good enough to know the best strategies for writing different genres. But maybe one day I can be as good as horizon in Gardez and explosions Voice Hopefully next time I'll be able to submit a story that is more deserving of a finalist spot.
#10852 ·
· on The Picture
Personally I think that the woman somehow died in an accident, and the man is about to do the same. It puts an extra twist of the heartstrings on her message. The story being open-ending suffers in that I'll never know for sure, but benefits in that I can apply my own interpretation to it. I think the ending to this hinges on a matter of taste when it comes to deciding whether it works or not.

Overall though, I likes this. A short moment with strong emotion and realistic characters.
#10851 ·
· on Second Shot Pending
I think there's many fascinating angles that this story could cover. The idea of human cloning itself, Death's job as a literal assassin, the logistics of a cruel war kept alive by cloned leadership, the emotions of realizing that you're only a clone when you thought you were an important man... However, this story seems to try and juggle all of it in tiny doses instead of focusing on one point, and that brings it down a bit. I still think this is a good story, the opening line is my favorite so far, but I agree with everyone else that it could use more focus.
#10850 ·
· on Perception and Consonance
While I agree this could've been more solid and I'd love an expanded ending, I really appreciate the ending that you did manage to get. The unnamed main character's​ explanation ending with a single shot and Emmie drinking a double that day actually stood out to me as more meaningful than I first thought. I don't think I've ever seen emotionally dissonant perspectives indicated with coffee before, so props for making that work. :twilightsmile:

My biggest criticism here would be the hook. The two opening lines are both incredibly long and filled with multiple commas. I think it'd be good to trim those down a bit.
#10776 · 1
· on Chasing the Dragon
:pinkiegasp: That's awesome! Congratulations! :pinkiehappy:
#10625 · 4
This weekend is actually pretty free for me in the first time in a while. I've been thinking of trying to write a basic story idea for every prompt both as a challenge and because I'm rather bored, so I'll be hoping to post those in here after all the voting is done. I'm seeing a lot of prompts that could be neat to write about, so here's hoping we don't get Ot! I'm excited for the result!
#10598 ·
Hmm. Yeah that's a good point, that is a really long time. I'd be fine with every other write-off if everybody else was cool with that.
#10589 ·
· · >>wYvern >>horizon
Personally, I don't think that the art rounds would go badly in the Original Fiction write-offs. Sure we don't have concrete characters to use, but looking at the submitted art for this round a lot of people used either vaguely-characterized background ponies or original/undetermined characters anyways. I don't think the greater freedom will hurt the artists, and I don't think it'll make it harder than usual to create a piece that isn't too specific. I mean, it might actually be easier to avoid locking a picture into only one story when we don't already have preconceived notions of the characters being portrayed. There's so much you can draw when you don't have to include ponies or pony related things, too! You could just do a background, or do something more abstract, or create your own creatures, or anything. I feel like, if anything, that would inspire more ideas.

As for burnout, that is a good point. If we did these too frequently, there's certainly a chance of submissions going down. Maybe one art round for every five write-offs? So since this was the FiM Short round, the next drawing round would be the Original Mini round after the one coming up. That way the drawing rounds wouldn't be too close together, and we'd get to draw for every category.
#10583 · 1
I suggest to alternate between art rounds and normal rounds. For example, the next Fim Short Story won't be an art round and then the next will be. Same thing with every other kind of rounds (Fim Mini, Original Short Story, Original Mini)

I like this idea. I think the art round has been pretty fun, and I'd like to see it continue for the other story types. I think everyone was working out what would and wouldn't work this round, and future rounds will probably have better content in regards to pieces that inspire a story. Though I thought we had some great pieces this round for that.
#10538 · 1
10/10 would reset again
#10500 · 3
· on Doughnut Steel: Origins - The Yeast Knight Rises

So I was the author to this... Thing. To get the elephant in the room out of the way, no the fuck-ups were not deliberate, unfortunately. I have not really used multiple text commands at once before, and wasn't aware that the order had to be specific or else it would break. On top of that, I'm going to get a stupid question out of the way and ask how you can view your story as another person would see it before submitting. I didn't know that was a thing you could do. :facehoof:

The next big problem with this is the "epilogue," which I just completely deleted in the currently ongoing rewrite. The first one and a half thousand words of this story were written about eight hours before the cutoff at 8pm while I was on a plane, after I had spent the rest of the writing time really trying to write a serious idea and utterly failing. At about 3am I saw horizon's post about submitting anyways, and it inspired me to finish the last bit of what I could and get it out there anyways. For some reason, my brain linked nonsense in Ponyville to Discord and thought "oh I should explain that." Unfortunately it was 3am and I was not fully awake enough to not be stupid, so I wrote it in. I wasn't able to finish the idea and that hurts this story a lot, but I'll go into that a little later.

Lastly, my complete overuse of adverbs. Is it sad that I trimmed them down a lot while editing and still left enough to be a problem? In my speech I have the same problem of inserting adverbs or qualifiers where they are not quite needed. I developed that habit originally as a way to soften my speech and make declarative statements less confrontational. Over time, it's seeped into me just adding -ly words willy-nilly to my speech and writing. I'm working on fixing that, and I think next time I write I'll do so without any such adverbs at all. When I edit it, if it feels like an adverb is actually needed, I can add it there. Hopefully that'll help me fix this.

I think I am going to continue writing this story to the original ending I had thought of. This story started off with enough planned plot points that I probably would've hit 5~6k words with it. Due to the fact that I got this idea so late, I wasn't able to write everything I wanted to. horizon got it right, I had planned for there to be three confrontations and for the second one to have gone very differently. The second confrontation was supposed to introduce the idea that DarkStorm was not actually a creature of Nightmare, but of another force called Nonsense. The third scene would have been Bon-Bon, uh, I mean Doughnut Steel and Heart Harp, venturing into the heart of Nonsense and putting a stop to it once and for all. Now that I have the time, I'm going to finish it like I meant to in the beginning.

Thank you to everybody who pointed out things to fix, or who said what they liked. While it was flawed pretty badly, I'm glad this story could provide some fun! I'll try to get Doughnut Steel up on fimfic as soon as I stop re-writing and nitpicking it. So in about three years.
#10345 · 2
· on Ashen Discoveries · >>Fenton >>Kitcat36
Hopefully I tagged everyone, I'm on mobile and my browser doesn't like this input interface for some reason.

So GGA hit the main issue I have with this in retrospect neatly on the head: I did not use references while making this piece. Considering I've never really drawn architecture before, this was a really stupid move. It seems like the biggest problem most people had with this was that it just looked too abstract to be anything real, and that issue could've been resolved completely by me just using references. Blegh.

One of the other main problems with this was that it was completely uninspired. I worked on this for at least ten hours in total, mostly because I kept redoing the design. I had originally started out with the idea of a ruined temple wall being approached by an ambiguous group of ponies. However, I wasn't sure if that was too specific, so I changed it around dramatically. I ended up going through so many ideas before I just decided to go for exploring a ruined house because everything else felt too specific. After seeing some of the other entries, I feel like I should've stuck with my first idea. It probably still wouldn't have been a top contender, the idea in general was formulated because I had no idea what else to draw, but at least it would've likely been less confusing. I also should've changed the base when I changed the idea, but instead I kept the general shape of the building and holes from the temple idea. I didn't consider the fact that holes originally meant to look melted and slagged would absolutely not fit on a brick structure. It seems I had multiple lapses in attention to detail in all aspects of this round. :facehoof:

I really hope that there are more art rounds. While I struggled and ultimately kinda flopped with this, it was still super fun to see what everybody had made and the stories people generated. Maybe next time I can make something that actually works, haha :twilightsheepish:
#10282 · 1
· on Ars Vivendi: Memento Mori · >>AndrewRogue
I'm quite the fan of black comedy, so I suppose it's not a surprise that I think this is very well done! It manages to be hilarious without devaluing the emotional struggle the couple is going through and the weight of Vinyl's decisions to depart or continue. I really respect an author that can write about dark topics without making them into only a joke, and I think you nailed that here. Kudos for the great story! :twilightsmile:
#10246 · 1
· on Twilight’s Rainboom · >>Posh >>Fenton
Maybe I'm a terrible person but I really hope the "there's no such thing as heaven" line drop keeps being a recurring joke. :rainbowlaugh:

I didn't really mind the pacing change in the story, though I also am generally not as attuned to such things so that might be why. Overall I think this was a nice fluff piece, and I enjoyed reading it. That ending nearly fooled me. :twilightsheepish:

Edit- Forgot to mention, my favorite part of this story was your description of what a Rainboom actually is. The idea that it's actually the willpower of the flier physically manifested is pretty neat, and I haven't seen it before.
#10166 ·
· on A Spark of Hope · >>Rao
Author nooooooo! You've cliff-hung us for all eternity! :raritydespair:

Seriously though. Unless the point of your conflict is for it not to be answered, like if it's an abstract or philosophical question type thing, leaving the story without a resolution feels... I don't want to say "cheap" but that's probably the closest way to describe how it feels. You built this issue up for the whole story almost, and then just didn't resolve it. Maybe it's just me, but I'd rather this have had a concrete ending.

Aside from that, this story has a fascinating concept. I think it'd have been nice to know why or how the princesses are the way they are, but that wasn't the focus as much as the Crusaders dealing with the after-effects so I don't think it's a problem with the story to not explain that. I do wish we spent more time with the Crusaders, like if the partying was actually described. It'd be cool to see how they've developed over the years between this fic and the current show.
#10125 · 1
This... Is oddly encouraging. I had an idea I've been working on for days that just didn't go anywhere, and then in the past ten hours I got a significantly less involved idea that I wrote about a thousand words of but then decided wasn't worth submitting. I know exactly where I wanted to take the story, and how it would end. After reading what you said, I think I'm gonna finish and submit it. Like you said, even if it's crap it could still help someone out there.

As the time ticks down, good luck to the other people out there working to finish up stories. Seems like this round's been rough on everyone, though it's sure been fun.
#9867 · 1
That... is a really good point that I hadn't thought of for some reason. Nice catch.

I just managed to finish up something to submit. Not the best I've done, but hopefully it inspires a story for somebody!
#9802 · 1
· · >>RogerDodger
That was more what I was thinking of, about being able to sign up to not see the prompt given to the drawing round (it was what I meant by "customisable"). All the drawings would be off that prompt, true, but they wouldn't all be the same and the stories are based on the drawings not the drawing prompt. I think billymorph's idea would be a fun option, because it would mean that people who write the stories could choose to not be influenced by the prompt for the drawings, and only would use the artist's vision as their prompt.
#9799 · 3
· · >>Kitcat36
Ohh, that could be really interesting. Knowing the prompt could definitely bias meaning for those who are just writing off of the drawings. I don't know if a customisable block to the prompt is feasible, but it seems like a cool idea to me.
#9797 · 1
· · >>billymorph
You know, the more I think about it, the more this seems like a really creative game of artistic telephone. We get a prompt, we draw it to try and convey that prompt, and somebody writes a story from whatever prompt they see in what we drew. Like in a game of telephone, it'll be fun to see how meaning changes between the stages.

Also, I've been debating with myself on whether it'd work for someone to write a story based on their own drawing. I don't think that'd usually give them much of an advantage, but it also could be that they'd be thinking of a story while drawing and effectively get four-ish extra days of planning time. On the other hand, that doesn't seem to happen for people who submit winning prompts. Though they also don't know if they will win while any drawing can be written off of...
#9792 · 1
Ohhhhhh, man am I glad that I decided to bring my drawing pad with me on my vacation, because this seems really fun!

...I forgot my chalk pastels though. :( Looks like I'll be working in pencil for this.

It occurs to me that an equivalent of GroaningGreyAgony's exercise of writing a basic idea for every prompt could be making a rough sketch of each prompt. That might take way too much time though, even if it could be an interesting creative exercise. :/
#9605 · 1
· on There's a Hole in My Chest · >>Ranmilia >>Chris
While I love this story for the hilarity, I also love it for the deeper concept. Personally I think that the point of the ending isn't as much about learning to cope or normalcy in a ridiculous situation as it is about the nature of the problem and how that effects how people see the narrator and the narrator sees himself. The narrator wants his problem to be understood, but neither he nor anybody else he goes to understands it. They instead view the situation through the lens of things they do understand, and treat it like those things instead of like what it actually is. He finally meets someone else who also has an issue that nobody understands. Both of them decide that the truth is not as important as their happiness, and they sacrifice the truth of their conditions so that they can fit in to the laws of the world. They choose denial but that choice itself isn't the most important part, it's the reason why they choose denial.

It reminds me of some experiences with depression, in a way. Sometimes, even the person experiencing it doesn't know why or what to do. Instead of reaching the core of the issue only the surface issues get addressed, often because the person doesn't know what the core really is and how to explain it. Eventually it becomes easier to just pretend the surface issues are the core issue, partially because it's easier to "treat" that way and partially because trying to fix the core issue can alienate them from others. Besides, it isn't hurting them at the moment, so that means it's fine to ignore, right?

This is probably my own biases tinting how I perceived the ending, but it fits remarkably well. In any case, however it was intended, thank you to the author for giving me a good laugh and something to think about. :twilightsmile:
Paging WIP