Hey! It looks like you're new here. You might want to check out the introduction.

Ship It · FiM Minific ·
Organised by RogerDodger
Word limit 400–750
Show rules for this event
#1 · 9
· · >>Miller Minus >>Dubs_Rewatcher >>georg >>horizon >>Light_Striker >>CoffeeMinion >>Anon Y Mous >>Baal Bunny >>PinoyPony >>GroaningGreyAgony >>Haze >>Trick_Question >>vladspellbinder >>libertydude >>journcy >>Moosetasm

Do you have a moment to fill out my survey? I promise it won't take long. In fact there is only one question:

Q: If you could be any bird, which would you be and why?

Answer carefully. Lives are at stake.
#2 · 7
· · >>Zaid Val'Roa >>Pascoite
>>Miller Minus
Okay I'll go first.

I would be a blue jay because Toronto's baseball team is the Toronto Blue Jays and since I live in Toronto I think people would be nice to me and feed me seeds and nuts and rashers (the vegetarian kind) and I would bring them good luck on game nights but I would stay away from the stadium because if I was hit by a stray baseball I would explode in a puff of beautiful blue feathers. And then I would bird-haunt the team and make sure they lose.

I also think that blue jays get all the honeys because I only ever see them in pairs whereas lots of other birds I see alone all the time and I don't think I'd be very good at being a lone wolf (especially considering I will be a bird and not a wolf).
#3 · 1
>>Miller Minus
Not one reference to The Beatles. I'm sorry, I can't approve this.
smh tbh fam
#4 · 4
>>Miller Minus
I gotta say, my only real criteria for a bird is that they be able to fly really high — like, above the clouds. It’s one of the reasons I’ve always leaned towards Pegasi in those “Which pony race would you be?” surveys. Being able to fly among the clouds during sunset has always been a dream of mine.

So, bird that can fly high... does a hawk work?
#5 · 6
>>Miller Minus Phoenix, duh. I've always had a yearning for immortality.
#6 · 9
>>Miller Minus
I note that you did not specify bird species. You specified "any bird".

So I would become the Road Runner from the Wile E. Coyote cartoons. Functional immortality (as a cartoon), super speed, the power to warp reality as long as it's funny, and the world's unluckiest super genius as my only rival.

Then I just have to find Pinkie Pie and team up with her to break the fourth wall and get out of 2-d existence, and the world is mine for the taking. Meep meep.
#7 ·
>>Miller Minus
Aheheh. What do you mean, if I—

Um. I mean.

behind you

#8 · 4
>>Miller Minus
The mighty seagull.

Let the world be my oyster, my friends be many, and none dare give me guff lest my whole tribe defecate upon them.
#9 · 2
>>Miller Minus

I would be a swan.

A dramatic bird, but it dresses rather plainly. It stays loyal for life, and only has a small group of friends and, in other words, not a very social bird... Will also stab you if you get too close.

#10 · 1
· · >>Bachiavellian
>>Miller Minus
A blue jay is probably a good bird to be in Toronto. A seagull is not. Just ask Dave Winfield. Or a dove in Tucson, if Randy Johnson is around.
#11 · 2
>>Miller Minus

I'm tempted to say:

Andrew Bird 'cause he's such a fine fiddler and whistler, but instead, I'll go with everybody's pal the penguin 'cause I once won $10 for writing a poem about them.

#12 ·
· · >>Zaid Val'Roa
We, uh.

We already had a writeoff with the prompt "End of an Era."
#13 ·
So you're saying it's the perfect time to give it another shot.
#14 · 1
>>Miller Minus
An Osprey

I just watched Longmire, so this is the first bird that comes to mind. It is mentioned it is good at fishing, but not good at getting it home.

Idk, part of me feels like my choice is cliche. However, if lives are a stake, then I hold back nothing.

Go save some lives, Miller! :rainbowdetermined:
#15 · 1
>>Miller Minus
I’ll go with being the Deathbird.
No matter how long everyone else lasts, I’ll be the one who turns out the lights.
#16 · 1
>>Miller Minus
Pokey the Penguin
#17 · 7
I'm back bitches :V

(no, seriously this time)

Hopefully we'll have more than three minutes to read and review and vote on stories. :derpytongue2: GaPJaxie's thing was fun but I have my limits and I really miss these quality events.

I'm tempted to return to the server just so I stop missing these events and know what's going on, but I still feel bad after the trouble I caused. Either way, I've recovered a lot from my two medical issues so I'm able to participate again.
#18 · 5
>>Miller Minus
Is the middle finger taken?

I have a bird friend (he's an eagle) and he believes all birds are insane. I don't have many data points on that but my limited research is consistent with the hypothesis.

I'm tempted to be a cockatiel which Google is trying to correct to cockatrice because they're the sweetest little birds. Though my fave mundane bird I've known personally was a green Amazon who I kept in my house. Also crows and ravens are nice and smart. And then there's the ones that puff up all crazy and dance when they want to smash. You can't help but like that. And budgies have the most redonkulous ahegao you've ever seen.

Hmm. It's hard to decide. I'm a wolf and I've never given this much thought.
#19 · 1
>>Miller Minus
There is only one choice for me.

The best bird

The number one bird.

#20 ·
· · >>CoffeeMinion
The Howl in the Dark 2: Electric Boogaloo
On the Wing
End of an Era
Under Old Management

We're in a nostalgic mood this round, aren't we?
#21 · 2
Something something end of show and final BronyCon. :-(

As usual for the last freaking year, my schedule tomorrow has more conflicts than a soap that’s been running since the 60s... but I’m going to get one in for old time’s sake, even if I end up posting Limestone at 4am. >:-|
#22 · 2
· · >>GroaningGreyAgony
>>Miller Minus
Mockingbird. I like the idea of being able to sing others' songs without judgement and fly just high enough to get the feeling without getting fear of heights.

Besides, it's a sin to kill them.
#23 · 1
· · >>CoffeeMinion >>libertydude
What kind of liquor do you prefer? Tequila?
#24 ·
More importantly: good tequila or José Cuervo arse tequila?
#25 ·
Guinness is my personal beer of choice. Though an occasional whiskey sits well with me too.
#26 · 1
>>Miller Minus

I pick a scarlet ibis, because that's my computer's name ("ibis") and who doesn't want to be a computer.
#27 · 1
Ship It

Well then.

*picks up gauntlet*
#28 ·
oh buck yes
#29 ·
· · >>Trick_Question >>CoffeeMinion
ship it

Well, I've never been good at this topic in the first place. I want to give it a whirl though.
#30 · 1
· · >>CoffeeMinion
This is going to go horribly for me.
#31 · 4
Feeling cute, might submit two entries later.
#32 ·
· · >>CoffeeMinion
"this topic"

You might want to think outside the box if you think this two-word prompt is only one topic.

(not that I ever want to discourage shipping, mind you)
#33 · 2
· · >>Flashgen
A couple of motivational videos on the prompt that might inspire y'all:

(I wish there were a PMV of this.)

Shipping Times
(Okay, this one's mine. The video is embedded in the story.)
#34 · 3
Yeah, my thought from Discord was that people could just as easily take it in the direction of either boats or the transportation of goods. Not everything must always be romantic horses! :-p
#35 · 2
Thank you for both of those.
#36 · 7
· · >>Trick_Question
Last FiM minific round before the show ends, huh? I'll be around in #mentors or available via PM. if anyone wants.
#37 ·
· · >>Miller Minus
Been a long time since I tried one of these. What time is the deadline again? Midnight tomorrow?
#38 · 1
Depends on your timezone. Check the fic submission page.
#39 ·
· · >>Pascoite
Don't you dare imply we're not doing FiM rounds forever! (Besides, half the stories I write fit into Season 1.)
#40 · 6
I'm officially in for the first time in forever.

And I think I got this one. :raritywink:
#41 · 2
dum-de-dum-da-dum Crack that whip!
dum-de-dum-de-de Step on a crack!
Ship it!
#42 · 2
Naw, I didn't say the last one, just the last one before the show ends.
#43 · 3
Oh boy I guess this is happening!

...is it too late for me to say I want to be the Great Potoo?
#44 · 1
This is going to go badly for me too…
#45 · 2
>>Miller Minus
A Patoo. If you need to ask why, then you’ve never seen one.
#46 · 1
Eh, spent too much time organizing my personal lists and hanging out with family to do anything for this round. I'll be sure to read everybody else's though.
#47 · 3
As far as I can tell, several people are submitting two entries (assuming they're telling the truth). This looks like it'll be fun, and also make for a nicely populated roster.

#48 · 1
*submits six thousand entries*
#49 ·
Well, my first idea looked fun, but it turned out that I couldn't find a way to write it that wouldn't go incredibly creepy places if looked at from a slight angle, and I couldn't obscure the angle either.

My second idea had a structure that looked like it would fit together well, and then I wrote myself into a corner full of cactus in a way that left the main narrative dangling completely unmotivated and insufficiently causal.

But I think mostly what's happening is my brain's not cooperating, because it wants very much to obsess over something else, which is admittedly probably more important.

I guess I'm probably out this time. :raritydespair:
#50 · 2
Alright! Got an idea that (I think) works, and submitted with time to spare! Woot!
#51 · 5
· · >>GrandMoffPony
For the first time in almost a year, I'm in!!!!

#52 · 1

Yay! :D
#53 · 2
· · >>Trick_Question
Also, the "dark mode" here is awesome.
#54 · 1
Neat, but might take a bit to get used to. My icon is way too bright for it.

(Secretly, I was hoping the only difference between normal and dark mode would be Goth Celestia in the background.)
#55 · 3
#56 ·
· on Cutting the Pinkiean Knot · >>Baal Bunny >>Posh
This vignette is cute and visually entertaining, but I think the shipping could use more support in the story.

The biggest thing that would help this story is a stronger characterization of Cherries Jubilee and Moondancer. Nothing is gained by being catty about who you're referring to, and we see almost nothing of their feelings and reactions. I realize this is a story about Shining Armor and to a lesser extent Pinkie Pie rather than the ship, but the shipping activity is the central theme so those characters need some development.

It's tempting to write Pinkie being random and nuts, but she still needs motivation. We're provided with no clue why she saw potential romance in these two patrons, and random matchmaking isn't something she typically does (though I'm behind on EQG so maybe that's not the case). We're not shown why Pinkie is so adamant that this pair needs to be together.

It feels very strange that the two girls suddenly have chemistry when no previous relationship between them was established. They weren't even sitting together, and suddenly they're getting handsy.

Overall, the interactions here were sweet and fun. If you can show us what Pinkie sees in the girls, I think this would make for a nice minific.
#57 ·
· · >>CoffeeMinion >>Trick_Question
I'm way rusty on the review/voting procedure. Isn't there a minimum number that each entrant is supposed to review at this point?
#58 ·
“Supposed to” has at times led to controversy. Personally, I try to give feedback on all the stories on my voting slate. Not everyone always does; sometimes I miss some, too. But please don’t feel overly obligated. Comment joyfully, as it were.
#59 · 1
· on Contingency · >>Flashgen
This is a simple and cute comedy. I think you may have used too many horse words, though. You could probably have written the same story in half the words without losing anything, because the opening part has some redundancy to it.

Specifically, it was a little difficult to follow along at the beginning of the story because you're writing about abstract concepts, which is difficult to do in an engaging way. You also chose a telly approach to describing the situation Lug Nut is in, and though this is the easiest approach it's less interesting. For one example of how not to do this, you could have two foremen look over specific blueprints, make comments about what's wrong, and discuss the plan of action. This would support more words and allow you to show the audience Lug Nut's job directly rather than simply tell us what he does.

EDIT: In fiction, italics is usually a better choice than bold for emphasis. There are a few awkward grammatical constructions in places, so it will help to do more proofing (time constraints are often to blame in these competitions).
#60 · 1
· · >>GrandMoffPony
You aren't obligated to review anything unless you want to.

You should try to vote on as many stories as you can (at least your slate), but even that isn't compulsory.
#61 · 1
· on Can You Hear Me? · >>Miller Minus
Hmm... this was interesting! Music is often used to bring Vinyl and Tavi together, but never quite like this. But Vinyl didn't seem to be "it" earlier in the text, so circling back to her in the end was a bit of a surprise. I had begun to expect another character would pop up instead. So good work subverting the expected but then coming back to it in an unexpected manner.

Now I'm wondering whether Vinyl really caught onto Tavi's clues all along, or if she just hit the melodic jackpot with her latest remix. Perhaps a slight expansion to this will reveal the answer! :)
#62 ·
Understood. :)
#63 · 3
· on Shepherdess · >>Miller Minus
This is beautifully written (as you are no doubt aware), and the story is good. I have a few concerns, though.

I'm disappointed that you built up excellent suspense, then wasted it entirely. If failure to sense Luna's fear is disqualifying, and Rainbow Dash entered the dream with instructions to do so, I expected Fluttershy to have the same instructions. The buildup with the eerily realistic dream realm and Fluttershy's face hidden by her forelock had me waiting for you to reveal what Luna's true fear is, and I was very much let down when it never manifested. You're clearly a top writer, and that reveal would have been a powerful moment to develop both Luna and Fluttershy as characters beyond their stereotypes. It would also have grounded the test in something concrete: managing fears seems more critical to quelling nightmares than manipulation of tiny visual details.

It's obvious why Dash and Pinkie are interested, but I'm uncertain why Fluttershy would want to do this apart from general altruism toward ponies. I'd expect her to be the least willing pony to confront nightmares because she's the most fearful. Understanding her motivation to take this up as a fourth career (after the sanctuary, the school, and adventuring) would help me to buy your premise. Without some hint at her interest, it feels out of character. Perhaps she wants to do it because she knows what suffering from fear is like?

I'm also left wondering why Fluttershy is nearly perfect at what is obviously a very difficult task. Show canon has Pinkie as the strongest dreamsmith, which isn't surprising, but Fluttershy could benefit from some additional support here. It might help to reference her calm demeanor and attention to detail as a naturalist, and thus give her a reason to excel at what is clearly a test of talent rather than training. You may also have gone a little over-the-top with her abilities. If this is a show of raw talent, I wouldn't expect a talented prospective student to already have perfect command of the ability she needs to learn. Why make that union seamless when it can be pretty good instead?
#64 ·
· on Gosship · >>Flashgen
Definitely some snickers and chuckles to be had over here. Having this conversation conducted entirely by background ponies makes it all the better. What do the background/side characters talk about while the Mane 6/7 are chasing the adventure/disaster of the week? :)

Now I'd suggest a part two to this, where the Flower Ponies settle this over a game of Lyra Heartstrings Shipfic Folder. xD
#65 · 2
· on You Get an F in Shipping · >>Baal Bunny
The story here is great. I laughed out loud at the obviously line. I legitimately didn't see it coming, so you did a great job of setting tone. That said, the story could use some proofing for grammar and other errors.

The last line is cringe-inducing rather than humorous because Cadance is literally screaming at her daughter, which I feel is a little too much for comedy. It would be much more amusing for me if she threw open the door and screamed it at Rarity and Applejack, because she'd be asserting she knows better than the ponies themselves.
#66 ·
· on You Get an F in Shipping
Two fics in a row now that have specifically name dropped RariTwi. I sense a Monochromatic fan club in our midst. :D

Anyway, this was pretty enjoyable. A few grammar glitches here and there, but easily polished. The second scene seemed rather abrupt, but tight word counts do that to all of us. Could benefit from some expansion though.

Speaking of that, I would enjoy an expanded version of this for sure. The idea of 'Cadance and Flurry Heart arguing over who has the better Shipping Eye' could be quite fun.
#67 · 1
· on Love. Bake. Cupcake. · >>CoffeeMinion
We’re going to skip Fluttershy’s house, due to rating. Really.

This is the best line ever. Ponies are going to think I wrote this story. (I did not.)

That said, there's a slight disconnect between the fact that the cupcakes seem to have affected Fluttershy and the Cakes erotically and the other ponies merely romantically. I'm not sure it's a problem, but it was definitely noticeable.

I think the last para is a mistake. It starts to pull me toward another resolution that never comes, so the story feels incomplete. This would pack more punch if it ended on Apple Bloom's comment, I feel.
#68 ·
· on Special Delivery
This story caused some liquid pride. Not gonna lie. You cover well-trodden ground, both canonical and trope-wise (except for Derpy's vision, which is a nice nod to a recent gut-punch in canon), but the story still packs some powerful feels.

The emotions here might be a tiny bit overwrought. There are three places characters are crying or almost crying, and pulling back on that a little might be more palatable to certain readers. It works for me, but I'm a softy. Maybe somepony else will feel differently.

This is super-minor, but I worry the penultimate sentence gets in the way of connecting the one before it and the last sentence. My concern is that some readers aren't going to get the idea that the letters have been delivered, which I suspect is the critical message of the story.
#69 · 1
· on Contingency · >>Flashgen
My wife is an engineer, so she'd get a kick out of this one. ;)

I like the idea at work here. It's simple and straight-forward, but makes for some good comedic potential. It lost some of its punch though due to the telly nature of the opening scene. The narrator gave away too much of the game for both Lug Nut and the reader, so the only question left coming into the closing scene was 'which pony gets to use the flawed product?'

If Lug Nut's dilemma were shown more than told through action or dialogue, that would help connect us more to the scenario he's in. Also, it might give you a good opening to set Lug Nut up for that bonus you mentioned. Specifically, what if Lug Nut had a sudden thought while mulling over the design flaws, approved it as-is but went straight to work on something new and unseen? Then in the end, you can reveal that his new idea was to build the upgraded parts as separate units, then sell them at an inflated price. Anyway, just a rambling thought there.
#70 · 3
· on Laissez-Fate
This is a wonderful story. Good use of extended canon. Very clever juxtaposition of the word 'ethical'. (Although I've never seen an intermediate ethics book in my life, that might actually make sense in Equestria.)

Naturally, I'm left wondering who this is. I really want to see this story extended and completed. You'd better do it or I'll snap your threads, author.
#71 · 1
· on Lover · >>Anonymous Potato >>No_Raisin
Author, you are terrible. :ajbemused:

That said, the payoff would be stronger if it were pushed harder as a mystery. I had no reason to wonder who Rainbow was dating, and no clues were provided. Her friends didn't seem to be wondering or trying to figure it out, they just decided on who they thought it was and that was that. You need to make me eager to know the answer in order for the payoff to work, and it's not there yet.

Another problem is that you've eliminated most of the suspects! Since we can see into everypony's minds due to the omniscient way you tell us what they're all thinking, we know it isn't any of her close friends. Having them dialogue over the topic would be much better and less telly.

Either way, you're trying to spin a tale that doesn't fit into 750 words without being extremely telly. I realize the payoff doesn't depend on the telliness, but it would still be better with more horse words and removing some of the explicit qualifications of Dash and the others. Don't tell us what's going on in ponies' minds, show us what they say and provide space for us to come up with our own theories.

Honestly? Despite your intent, I'd like the story much more if you added the word Scootaloo to the end. That's the only right answer, anyway. :scootangel: :dashwild:

(Also, I kind of thought the payoff would be she's in love with herself.)

Pinkie, being the kind of mare she was,

Loved this.

"I saw it in a movie once!"

Now I'm confused, because the time spent on this line suggests I should know what movie she's talking about.

Thus, it was easiest for her to think of Rainbow and Applejack as a couple.

This must be a very unsubtle jab at AppleDash shippers.

...she was most likely simply projecting in this case.

It's not clear to me what you mean by this. Is Lyra not with Bon Bon? Does she have somepony on the side? Does she want somepony else? Are you saying she has the hots for Big Mac? For Rainbow Dash? Does she want to cheat on Bon Bon? Does she want Bon Bon to cheat on her? I don't know.
#72 ·
· on Return to Sender · >>Baal Bunny
I'm pretty sure the center of the conversation here is an impending marriage between Starlight and Trixie, but I had to re-read it to be confident in that thought. Maybe it's the specific line that starts things off that's leading me astray, but I had a tendency to keep drifting back to Fluttershy as the conversation's subject. Maybe I'm wrong. I guess my point is that joining a scene 'in media res' is a great idea, but I didn't get enough context to get a clear starting point in my head as to what the larger picture (of which this scene is a part) is trying to show.
#73 ·
· on When Snouts Collide · >>Trick_Question
This piece does an excellent job with its prose, IMO. You've managed to put in a lot of visual details and a lot of high-level information without feeling overly purple. It reads easily and it holds on to my attention despite 80% of it being nothing but description, which is pretty impressive to me.

In terms of ultimate payoff, I will have to mention that I have the same feelings towards this piece that I do towards a lot of shipping pieces (especially minifics), which is that the romance doesn't quite feel all the way earned. This wasn't as big a deal to me on Dash's side, because you made it clear that this was a pre-existing tension for her, so I was kind of able to hand-wave the exact reasons why she fell in love with Twilight. But on Twilight's end of the deal, her introductory paragraph makes it clear that she does not have any pre-existing feelings for Dash. So the fact that there's "mutual comprehension" before their kiss feels a little out of the blue for me.

So I think my only suggestion would be to make it a bit clearer that Twilight isn't involuntarily mashing face with Dash, here. I get that the idea is that Dash is the initiator, and that Twilight's own feelings are much murkier than Dash's, but as it is right now, it feels like Twilight is entirely reactionary, which makes her end of the romance feel weak.

Still, my nitpicks with Twilight's motivations aside, this is a pretty fun piece, so thank you for submitting it!
#74 · 1
· on It's No Good · >>CoffeeMinion
Okay, I'm going to be up front—this is one of my favorite pieces this round.

Cadence's "birthright" line actually made me put my phone down for a minute to laugh, so thank you sincerely for that. Seriously, as far as character deconstruction comedies go, Cadance is in absolutely top form here.

Now, in terms of critique, I can unfortunately tell that you are absolutely hitting that word limit super hard. The first scene definitely has the best jokes and pacing to me. The second scene works well as a transition, but by the time we get to the third scene, it's kinda clear to me that you're doing the best you can with the last 100 or so words you've got.

Unfortunately, this means that my primary advice would not have helped you at all this competition—I'm just going to have to recommend you to expand this once you've got the chance. I get the feeling that you must have had to cut out a bunch of ideas and jokes, and I wish I could see them all.

But regardless, what we still get is great, nevertheless. Thank you for submitting!
#75 · 3
· on Part and Parcel · >>Bachiavellian
Let's goooooooo...

Something I liked:

I like the way the story plays with reader expectations at times. Ditzy's in a bad situation, but not because of her eyesight (although it's still a physiological problem that's out of her control, which I'll get to in a bit), and her relationship with Dinky is not what we've been conditioned to believe. Dinky is an adult now (or at least a teenager) who still lives with her mom, presumably to take care of her. I also like that at no point does Derpy feel bad about something, even though she apparently drew the short stick in more than one aspect at this point.

Something I didn't like:

Although with that said, I'm highly skeptical of physically impaired characters being used for easy emotional points, resulting in your typical "sad bastard" narrative where someone's persona is defined by struggles with things that out of their control. It's bad enough Ditzy's visually impaired and not very bright, now you gotta have her brain fucking dying on her. That's a really sadistic choice, author, and I can't say I appreciate it too much.

Verdict: Well-written (and really well-paced, actually), but I'm not a fan of what this entry's going for.
#76 · 2
· on Special Handling Required
This is super cozy and fun, and it was one of the breeziest reads for me this round. It might feel a little harmless in its simplicity, but that's definitely also its strength.

Now, to be honest, this piece does feel a lot shorter than its 746 words to me. I actually had to check the gallery for the wordcount, because I was almost sure that this was only about 550-600 words, and I was going to ask you why you decided not to spend all of your wordcount.

I think what kind of contributes to this feeling are the first three paragraphs. I'm honestly not sure if you really needed them, since the story actually starts when Luna walks into the store. It was easy for me to kind of breeze through them while waiting for things to happen, and as a result, I think they ended up just not contributing all that much to my perception of the story.

As for the rest, most of the jokes landed in that comfortable middle ground between amusement and outright humor for me. It was enough to keep me entertained and reading, but as I said in the beginning, this whole story kind of struck me as a low-risk strong-execution deal. The cadence of the humor felt familiar (Luna not understanding modern things), which both benefits and kind of limits this piece.

Overall though, this was definitely an entertaining read, so thank you very much for writing it!
#77 ·
· on Bon Voyage · >>KwirkyJ
Big mood.

Something I liked:

I'm pretty sure I wrote horse words like this before (in fact I wrote something very similar to this a long time ago), and I gotta, I like what you did with Vinyl's characterization. Usually she's written as a no-fucks-given gent of chaos who likes to mess with others, especially Octavia, but here she's a lot more discontented. One of God's lonely mares indeed. Yes, even though this is a super-angsty mood piece, I like it, because we're given a lot of insight into Vinyl's character and how she both clearly loves and resents Octavia. (I also like to think the rampant spelling errors are the result of her not being good with a pen/quill.)

Something I didn't like:

As much as I like the notion that Vinyl and Octavia are platonic here (at least on the surface), I can't help but feel cheated by a lack of closure. It seems like Vinyl wants to say a lot of things, and a lot of these couldn't be fitted into a minific, so the author left a lot to the imagination. It still feels like there's a lot of meat missing here, though.

Verdict: Fit squarely into the "mood piece" category of minific, but it's better than a lot of its ilk imo.
#78 ·
· on Return to Sender · >>Anon Y Mous >>Trick_Question >>Baal Bunny
I mean, at least I know who's being shipped here.

Something I liked:

For the most part, the characterizations of the mane six feel pretty spot-on, if also one-note. I mean, it's a minific, what're you gonna do. Initially I had a problem with the first paragraph being misleading, since Fluttershy sounds like she got a marriage proposal, when in fact she didn't, and the conversation's not about here. But ultimately the conversation is more about the mane six themselves, rather than the couple getting married. Does it make them look selfish and a little catty? Yes, but I can also buy into them having this conversation.

Something I didn't like:

Something about Twilight rubs me the wrong way here. She's basically the butt of the joke for most of the story, on the basis that she's a virginal flower who's out of step with everyone else. Am I supposed to believe that someone who reads as many books as she does gets easily flustered over the mere mention of sex? It's cute, sure, but from a certain angle it's also hard to believe, and Twilight's case sticks out from the others like a sore thumb for this reason.

Verdict: A kind of My Dinner with Andre-type entry that's pleasant enough, if also confusing at times.
#79 ·
· on Love. Bake. Cupcake.
Holy fuck I'm dumb; it took me a second reading to figure out how the cupcakes affected ponies.

Something I liked:

Up until the last scene, which I'm not such a fan of, I like how each member of the mane six is given her own short scene, showing how the cupcakes messed with them. It's a mixed bag, but I have to say my favorites are Applejack and Twilight's sections the most. I would've found Fluttershy's scene funnier (I certainly like the implications of it), but the awkward phrasing holds it back for. I'm also suspicious of TQ writing this one, in spite of what she said.

Something I didn't like:

Um... so the way the fucked-with cupcakes work isn't made very clear? The text is unnecessarily coy about the kind of effect it has on ponies, hence my not getting it the first time around. Does it heighten one's sense of lust? Narcissism? Gluttony? I'm not entirely sure, the last scene (aside from being awkwardly expository) doesn't do much to clarify anything. I wish that, supposing the author were to expand this and make it a short story, it would become an M-rated sex comedy. Why not.

Verdict: Very rough and very anticlimactic, but it's not without its chuckle-worthy moments.
#80 ·
· on Enjoy the Silence · >>Trick_Question >>No_Raisin
Okay. wow, there are not a lot of people bold enough to start off with that kind of opening line (to the point that I'm almost tempted to fill out a Guessing slate), so kudos for taking that risk.

And honestly, It pays off great, IMO. This is another one of my favorites this round, and I really love the muted SOL tone which absolutely breeds introspection (double entendre completely intended). I like the use of dialogue here, to convey ideas through questions and misunderstandings. It definitely feels complex and nuanced.

If I had to lodge a complaint, I'd say that the shift from dialogue back to high-level narration two-thirds of the way down the fic was definitely not as smooth as the first shift into the dialogue. Right after you went and conveyed Spit's emotional state so carefully with her dialogue, the fact that you're now kind of being overt her thoughts feels like a hammer swing in comparison.

I like where this one ends off. It's pretty much perfect for the themes of this story. Thank you for submitting!
#81 · 2
· on Laissez-Fate
Okay. All right. I see what you're doing, author.

Something I liked:

Ohhhh, ohhhh, here's a good one. High-concept and yet more of a character study than anything, just my cup of tea. This is one of a couple Cadance deconstruction entries, but unlike the other one, which invokes humor at the expense of characterization, I can totally buy into the Cadance of this entry being the real deal. She has a special power that she can use to exploit others, even if it's in an innocuous way, and it's fascinating to see her use it in a way that isn't, "lol make these two pones do le sex." Instead we're given a seemingly innocent but kinda fucked up portrait of someone who does something questionable to get what she wants. Yet at no point is the tone compromised. Juicy.

Something I didn't like:

It's kind of a gripe, and it has more to do with the second half the first half, but something about the dialogue seem a bit off to me. It doesn't quite read as fine-tuned yet, but I'm not exactly sure how to explain how. It could be that since Cadance and Shining Armor are teenagers, they sound more awkward than their adult counterparts, but there's a consistent awkwardness in the exchanges that makes everything just a little off-base. But only a little.

Verdict: If this entry were a man, I'd totally give him a reach-around (with consent, obviously).
#82 ·
· on Return to Sender · >>Baal Bunny

I’m going to go against your statement for a bit.

Reading books about anatomy and how the process is done is one thing, but to actually talk out loud, with your close friends, about sex is another. I don’t imagine Twilight reads too many smut fics, but apparently everyone else on Fimfic does... so I think she has the right to be flustered.

Altogether, a pretty good fic and I appreciate that the comparisons of ponies’ expressions match with their personalities.
#83 ·
· on Love. Bake. Cupcake. · >>Trick_Question
Love Death & Robots?

Besides the point, I do like the reference, especially when the show should actually be called Love Death & Sex. Overall, this is a really funny fic and I was wholly unprepared for Flutter’s part.

I think I get that “bringing her friends closer together” actually meant ”bringing her friends closer together?. And I like the naivety of Applebloom adding that to the cupcakes.

Another great fic to add to the pile. ;)
#84 · 1
· on Special Handling Required
A story so classic that it's probably been written before.

Something I liked:

As predictable as this entry is, it works. Parcel's perspective works. Luna's characterization works. The prose works. The misunderstanding shenanigans work. The final line really works. I'm sure that this entry was written by a veteran who wanted to write something that everyone's read before, but done in a very serviceable fashion. I remember when Luna acted just like this in the show, even though she really doesn't anymore. I can see how she would misunderstand what other ponies are saying. I like how the meta shit in this isn't as in-your-face as some other entries. It's a pleasant read.

Something I didn't like:

With that said, had this not had a killer final line, it'd be an easy mid-tier spot for me. Pretty much everything is executed well, but not exceptionally so. I can tell that this was written by someone who knows what they're doing, but I'm not sure what they're trying to say with it, if anything. It's one of those entries where you know you like it, but you might also confuse with a different but very similar story. I enjoyed it, but I doubt it'll stick with me, which is what separates it from my favorite entries from this round.

Verdict: Call it a throwback, or unoriginal, or what have you, but this is a solid read.
#85 · 1
· on She Ships by the Seashore · >>Trick_Question
Sweet and relatable shortfic about acute social anxiety. Birchbud's characterization is about what I'd expect from an introverted youngster. The use of her imagination as a coping mechanism, her creative writing, her self-loathing. It's handled well.

Less well handled is your story's structure. The short, snippity episodes that we get don't have quite enough lead-in or progression to them; they could all be rearranged into basically any order, as long as they ended on the last couple, and very little about the story would change. Coupled with that, there isn't a lot of progression or development with Birchbud's character up until she makes the decision to... uh... mail her erotic friendfiction to the Student Six Three.

I'd recommend teasing things out a little bit more. Maybe show her daring to go a little bit further with each new character she observes, teasing herself with how close she can get before being noticed. Build a sense of momentum, progress. And maybe her journals about them get more intense and personal as they go, rather than these descriptions of their dynamics with one another. Do more to distinguish the personas that Birchbudweiser builds for these characters in her head.

For instance, I note a little bit of attraction in the way she talks about Sandbar (Silverstream, too, to a lesser extent). Maybe you could seize on that, and develop it more. Or do whatever you like with them, I dunno.

Just, make it all signify something. You dig?

On a final note:

“Good one, Silver!” Sandbar cheered.

Silverstream, Sandbar, Ocellus. She imagined going sailing with the three of them. Laughing together. Best of friends.

As far as she knows Silverstream's name is just "Silver." Make sure you stay grounded in what the character plausibly knows.
#86 · 1
· on Contingency · >>Flashgen
Genre: Planned Obsolescence

Thoughts: To be honest, I wasn’t sure if this was going to gel as nicely as it did in the end. There’s a certain dryness to the narrative voice that left me feeling detached. We get nary a description nor a line of dialogue to spice things up. That’s not to say it’s unreadable, nor that it fails to establish interest; I can recognize it as a stylistic choice. But, for instance, it wasn’t until the third paragraph that we got a more detailed sense of what the protagonist’s job entails. IMO that would’ve helped set the scene better if given sooner instead of being danced around.

However, the story earns bonus points from me for the well conveyed OC protagonist. Using an OC is a gutsy move with a minific, because it eats wordcount just to introduce the guy. In this case, he ended up coming across adequately relative to the situation at hand; we may not know a ton about him personally, but he serves his purpose as a cog-in-the-machine type.

I also appreciated the lengthy setup that dips into pony financials. This gives us a bit of worldbuilding that makes the scenario feel grounded, while also providing an initial clue that everything might be building toward a comedic ending.

And it was a good ending indeed. I giggled. I enjoyed the way you used the prompt, and I felt like everything paid off in the end.

Tier: Strong
#87 ·
· on Love. Bake. Cupcake.
>>Anon Y Mous
Another great fic to add to the pile. ;)

I see what you did there.

Also, I have no idea what Love, Death, & Robots is.
#88 · 1
· on Special Delivery · >>Trick_Question
No one's ever really gone.

Something I liked:


Something I didn't like:

I can see some people getting emotionally invested in this entry, as evidenced by TQ's review. But unfortunately for the author, I'm a heartless bastard who won't be moved by multi-colored horses leaking fluid from their eyeballs. In a way this feels a lot like "Part and Parcel," except this feels a lot more manipulative than that entry. It's hard to justify a character crying in the very limited space of a minific, but to have it happen more than once? That's when I get the feeling that something is amiss, and unfortunately I can't get over how miserable a read this was.

Verdict: In more objective terms it's probably mid-tier stuff, but once again, I have a heart of stone.
#89 ·
· on Lover
Somebody's not an AppleDash fan.

Something I liked:

There are several entries this round that are blatant meta-commentaries on shipping, and involve characters shipping other characters, but this one's... kinda weird. I can't tell if the author deliberately downplayed the mystery of Dash's lover, or if they're incredibly inept at developing mysteries, but the sense I get from this is that the mystery doesn't matter. Everyone theorizes over who Dash's lover is, yet the narrative goes out of its way to undermine every one of them, to the point of denying even the reader the lover's identity. I have to respect that. However...

Something I didn't like:

I desperately want to know more about Dash's perspective on all this. We get a few paragraphs about her responses to the gossip, but since the whole thing is told in this very cold, kind of documentary-ish style, we never get much insight into why she's doing what she's doing. It's a shame, because to have Dash be in a relationship and have her be intensely private about it is kind of a neat subversion, but much of it is spent on dry humor and an anticlimactic ending. I don't think it's possible to not feel cheated to some degree here.

Verdict: Fascinating in concept, but the execution leaves something precious to be desired, at least for me.
#90 ·
· on When Snouts Collide · >>Trick_Question
So... did Dash kiss Twilight without her consent?

Something I liked:

Goddamnit, author. You thought you could get away with writing an entry with very little plot and very little character, so long as you made sure the prose was pretty as hell. And guess what, you were right. As much as I can only like this entry from a distance (I'll get into that), I can't deny that happened here was basically prose poetry. The use of imagery, of the way in which time seemed to stand still in this one moment simply because of the written word, yes. I've been thinking about time a lot, and how time can be conveyed and manipulated in various ways in various mediums, and this is one of only two entries this round that made me think about how the right prose can actually make time seem to slow down.

Something I didn't liked:

That's not to say the prose is flawless; in fact there're a few things here that bug me. First and foremost is the names, or rather the lack of names. Twilight gets called by name once; I don't think Dash ever gets called by name. Yet we all know who these two characters are supposed to be, so why is the text being so coy about their identities? It's like Lavender Unicorn Syndrome to the extreme, and I don't like it. I also don't like the mixing of perspectives, and how it's honestly hard to figure out what these characters are thinking; Twilight is especially a victim of this.

Verdict: A lovingly written story that unfortunately leaves me emotionally cold. Still good, though.
#91 · 2
· on Part and Parcel · >>Bachiavellian
Genre: Slice-of-OHGOSHNO

Thoughts: Brrrrr, that’s one of the straightest mental-issues-Derpy Ditzy fics that I can remember reading. The reveal is like a claw hammer to the face. It’s not even feels in the traditional sense; it just feels bad, man.

But, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I like it when Writeoff stories manage to elicit a visceral response. I’ll admit that’s a personal criterion, but I think it speaks to strength in the story’s execution. One of the great things about the Writeoff is that you don’t have tags or a description to prime you for what’s coming, which creates room for a story like this to dangle a few hints before pulling off a big surprise. Bravo, Author.

Overall, the writing here was generally strong and crisp. I’m hesitant to put a story into my top tier before getting a broader look, but this might move up depending on what else is out there.

Tier: Strong
#92 · 2
· on Love. Bake. Cupcake.

Thoughts: Hee hee hee. Dat first paragraph. I’m getting shades of “...But The Kitchen Sink” here, and I like it.

Oh, but then it keeps going! Oh gosh, we get that sort of thing with everyone! (Except Flutters—LOL!)

(Okay. We interrupt this gushing to bring you some actual thoughts. At time of writing, I’m only halfway through, but I suspect this is top-tier material. The vignettes are all highly characterful and appealing, and sport flawless composition. Pretty much all I need the rest of the story to do now is give me a humorous explanation for everyone’s predicament and close with a cheeky parting wink, and this sucker’s a lock for my top spot.)

Oh nice, it’s Potion Apprentice Apple Bloom! Truly an underused bit of canon that’s ripe for fan-headcanon expansion. Okay, and for the finish…

<Puts down drink>

Author, I weep for the last couple paragraphs. What you’ve got here is an absolutely brilliant setup that builds and builds toward… something that feels like it doesn’t quite want to be AB and Zecora fixing actual sexytime cupcakes? I’m trying not to let too much personal bias leak in here, but IMO that just isn’t super funny as a final explanation and parting course of action.

I think >>Trick_Question hits the nail on the head by pointing out that there’s a significant difference between romance/infatuation as an outcome, versus what the final bits here suggest. I’d say that the sexytime angle works once for Fluttershy, because the omission of detail in that scene is humorous in itself. But it doesn’t work twice with the Cakes, because the additional details make the tone jump from mostly light and absurd to more overtly sexual. I think that could work, but right now IMO you’re not building up to it. The result is tonal whiplash, which is never what you want at a minific’s end unless it’s done very carefully and deliberately. In this case, I’m not feeling that.

Author, I apologize. This is very strong overall work, and I think it’s gonna clean up brilliantly for FImFiction. If you can write this much this well, I have every confidence that you can stick a satisfying landing. (And if this is what you truly wanted to do with the story, I’m just one guy with an opinion!)

In the end, I find myself torn about how to rate this. The good stuff is SO GOOD. The ending could work as-is, but it feels more functional than brilliant. And the rest is too brilliant to ignore.

Tier: Almost There
#93 ·
· on Love. Bake. Cupcake.
If you took out the penultimate line and let the story end with just Zecor'a last line, it would put this fic over the top imo. The build up was funny, but easy to follow, and things were kept just coy enough to not spoil the saucy magic at play. But the awkwardness of the last few paragraphs let a lot of wind out of the sails right at the best moment.

Still, if you choose to push this to Fimfic, some minor adjustments and expansion to meet 1k words should be an easy hurdle for you, author. Nice stuff!
#94 ·
· on When Snouts Collide
I have to be honest, I did not feel much of the emotional impact that the author was probably going for here. Maybe it was the changing POVs, or the fact that I saw where it was going pretty quickly. But it kind of bounced off of me in the end (RD however did not bounce off Twi so much as smooch tackle her)

That said, the prose is very well done and has great imagery throughout. Flows well and balances the 'flowery' aspect pretty well.
#95 · 1
· on Part and Parcel · >>Bachiavellian
Having watched dementia reduce my sharp-as-a-tack grandmother to 'watching the local news re-broadcast all day and think each re-run is new news', this hit me like a set of brass knuckles. Author played with emotions very well here, and both Dinky and Ditzy/Derpy sounded well in character.

BUT, part of me wants to recoil from the 'Ditzy has dementia too' angle, probably due to my own experiences watching it work its evil on someone. I'll have to reserve ranking on this one until the end. I don't want to ding the author for my own personal foibles if I can help it.
#96 · 2
· on It's No Good · >>CoffeeMinion
But that individual focus also leads to less connection with others. That means less love, a lower population, downward pressure on the escort industry…”

“Hm. That’d impact our tax base.”

And I almost spewed coffee all over my keyboard. That, dear author, is certified platinum comedy right there. This was a riot, and Cadance was somehow crazy and so in character all at the same time. I'm not sure how you did it but you did it. Well done!
#97 · 1
· on Special Delivery · >>Trick_Question
The feels man. The feels.

To an extent I agree with TQ's comment that pulling back a bit on the crying instances would help the story overall. Three crying spots in such a short fic dilutes the emotion of each individually, imo.

That said, this was well written and flowed very well. Solid stuff for sure!
#98 ·
· on Enjoy the Silence · >>No_Raisin
Dang. Now THAT is how you hook a reader with an opening line. Points!

A bit of a hiccup transitioning from dialogue to narration at a few spots, but that's easily fixed. But really, this needs some expansion to flesh out more details and then submit to Fimfic. Frankly, I'd be interested in a multi-chapter look at these two characters in this relationship.
#99 ·
· on Lover
Throwing shade at the AppleDash club here. #ShotsFired

The suspense that tried to come on with the ending didn't really work for me, thanks to the narrator eliminating most suspects before I got to the ending. Reduce the tell factor and let the characters debate it through dialogue and it'd be a much more mysterious read. Still a very neat idea though!
#100 · 1
· on Shepherdess · >>Miller Minus
Off the top: This needs to be expanded and posted to Fimfic yesterday. 'If Luna retires who watches dreams next?' is an AMAZING question, and one author seems very well prepared to answer.

That said, I agree with TQ here that Fluttershy's performance was too good for an amatuer. Seeing RD and Pinkie fail in their own ways makes sense. And I can imagine a good argument for Shy here, but there's not enough backstory to support it right now. (word limit didn't help I'm sure) With some expansion though, this really could work well.

I really hope to see this evolve into a full story!