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Gone by Morning · FiM Short Story ·
Organised by RogerDodger
Word limit 2000–8000
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#1 · 5
Alright! It's nearing valentine's day single awareness day! Show your Writeoff some love and appreciation by stories, art, and reviews! Lets do this!

I know I'm a hypocrite... chances are that I'll chicken out again...
Post by KwirkyJ , deleted
#3 · 2

I'm out this time. I got a start on something I should be able to finish up for posting on FimFiction, but events conspired against me getting it done in time for this...

#4 · 2
Despite my better judgement, the prompt eventually said something to me. Good luck to anyone else who's still writing!
#5 · 1
· on Midnight Refuge · >>PinoyPony
The basic story here:

Is a nice one, but the execution needs a lot of work. Things like sentence construction, for instance: “I will take that into consideration then.” Twilight said. needs a comma after "then", not a period since the dialogue tag has a "speaking" verb in it, and that same mistake happens all over the place throughout. Word choice, too: it's the "floor" of a train car, not the "ground", and "On que" should be "On cue".

Even the logistics need some rethinking. If Flurry was caught cheating at Celestia's School, why is she taking the train from the Crystal Empire to Canterlot? Did the administration give her a note to take home to her parents, and she went all the way there, then turned around and came back? I just need a better idea of the sequence of events for it all to make sense to me.

Let me also suggest that maybe the story might be stronger if Flurry cheats and gets away with it. If it's her guilty conscience that drives her onto the midnight train to Canterlot, that gives her a lot more "agency" as they say. It's then her active choices that drive the story along instead of her passive reactions.

#6 ·
· on Decohesion
With this one:

Two things leave me unsatisfied at the end. The first is the way that the ethical dilemma is completely made up for the story. In the space of a couple paragraphs, we: get introduced to this spell; learn that under certain circumstances, it can have this weird effect; discover that those exact circumstances occurred while Luna was on the moon; and watch while Luna takes action to end the effect. It seems really rushed to me: maybe break the last scene up and intersperse it among the scene of what's happening on the moon? Give us the first Fleetshade scene, then the beginning of the scene at the festival to show the spell, then the second Fleetshade scene, then back at the festival where Twilight tells Luna what could be happening with the spell, then the last Fleetshade scene, and then Luna blowing it all up.

I also had trouble with the characterizations. Twilight seems way stuffier here than usual. "What a clever little story!" has a condescending ring to it that I can't hear Twilight using when talking to Luna, and the places where she doesn't use contractions--"Luna, I am concerned." and "Do you not think that..." for instance--make her sound even more full of herself.

As for Luna, I can't quite connect her willingness to come to this festival and perform using this spell that she perfected during the very private and highly emotional centuries of her exile with her willingness to then destroy that festival without even a single thought while she's destroying the spell. If she doesn't care enough about the ponies at the festival to warn them that she's about the flood the place, why does she come there to entertain them with magic that has to be connected in her mind to her time of powerlessness and captivity?

#7 ·
· on Unplanned
Very nice:

Makes me glad I didn't get my entry finished, actually, since it's also a story about Dash and Rarity and sexual identity, though mine goes in a completely different direction.

But this one hits all its marks, perfectly voices the characters, gives us a plausible future scenario for our heroines, and pretty much does everything right as far as I can tell. :)

#8 ·
· on Decohesion
The shifting sand recurrence had me engaged and puzzled through the first chunk, so great work on that concept. Also, the underlying idea that magical animates can retain knowledge and act spontaneously on their own is super cool. I was a bit curious at first why there'd be a Luna one, too, but then the puppet show section cleared that up for me (she was doing full plays out front, not acting in them herself, so to speak).

I with Baal's critiques in general, as well. The ending in particular is a bit puzzling. There's no hesitation in Luna's big moon beam (cool imagery!), which yes ruins the festival, but moreover her decisiveness there seems incongruent with the (maybe?) sad eyes that mismatch her small smile. Is she decisive because of any past experience with letting magic linger, or does she immediately regret her decision but choose not to show that feeling to Twilight?

More depth in that final set of moments would go a long way toward getting me into Luna's headspace and accepting, if not appreciating, her choice in that moment. But all the same, thanks for participating. We haven't seen much of "come to life" magic since season one, and I appreciate the call back and potential implications.

TLDR::Conceptually cool, but could use some sprucing at the end to bring the emotions home::
#9 ·
· on Unplanned
At first I was thinking we had some big talking head syndrome going on, but on second read I noticed and appreciated the small action interjections more. Which is fitting, given the calm yet intimate nature of the bulk of the opening scene, and the potentially awkward conversation of the second. So good work weaving those in between the dialogue so cleanly I scarcely noticed on first read.

And God, Rarity nuzzling in Rainbow's rasp is just beyond adorable. I can't even with this.

But more than that, this is peak Rarity fitting into her more mature, worldly role, without ever feeling forced or out of place. For such a serious set of discussions, any improper use of the Drama Queen mask might have ruined the whole thing, so I'm grateful to not see her crying couch make an appearance.

Rainbow using the experience to really discover who she is and Rarity just rolling right along with it is just beautiful. Though, if I'm honest, I had kind of hoped Dash would have been downstairs working on breakfast that first morning. But, c'est la vie.
#10 · 1
· on Midnight Refuge · >>PinoyPony
Man, I feel like this was written with the explicit, specific intent to appeal to me, Rao, above all else. Hooded princess taking a midnight melancholy train ride to an older relative in a distant capitol city for a heartfelt talk about a serious life issue? It even starts with a "tickets, please."

Sign me right the hell up. This is my jam.

However, esteemed colleague Baal is correct that there are some issues afoot. Some minor, like punctuation and general sentence structure, and some I hadn't even noticed until second read since I was so enamored with the train ride opening (I'm a sucker, what can I say?).

The biggest thing I can add to Baal's comment is that the conversion between Twi and Flurry feels a bit stilted; too formal for family, maybe. Hard to put an exact finger on it.

But complaints aside, there's definitely some cool, non-specifically-Rao's-fetish stuff here.
Usually, the rooms were diffused with light at all hours of the day (Probably due to the architecture made specifically for Celestia keeping track of the sun throughout the day)

This is a really cool explanation for why there are so many stained glass windows all over the castle, by way of example. All the environmental details are solid, from the frozen outskirts giving way to a thicker treeline to the illuminated buckball court.
#11 · 1
· on Midnight Refuge · >>PinoyPony
Interesting take on Flurry Heart being an athlete far more than a student.

Unfortunately, I have to echo the previous reviews. There's a lot of, to be honest, ham-fisted writing in this draft. Some of it is in the purely technical aspects (grammar, spelling, general proof-reading issues). Some of it is in the way the characters are handled. The best way I think I can describe the negatives in that regard is that I get a sense of laying it on too thick and single-dimensionally. Sure, Flurry is scared, I get it. That certainly needs to be the focus, but it goes perhaps too far when it feels like that fear is all there is to her in this story. It just feels a little overdriven.

On the other hand, I like Twilight as the "cool" aunt. That's the real prize of the story for me, so I appreciate that aspect being so central. Most of their interaction, I feel, does pretty much everything right. If you plan to revise this story, take that core piece, maybe expand on it, and as Baal Bunny says, add some additional agency to Flurry's character. One possible way to start toward this would be to have a more real-world take on the education system - usually student information like grades (or disciplinary issues, importantly for this story) can't be released to anyone who's not the student or a guardian. Twilight probably wouldn't have any way of knowing that Flurry cheated, so Flurry would have to make the choice to tell Twilight of her own volition.
#12 ·
· on Decohesion
Cool idea!

The first issue that jumped at me was the change in perspective during the two halves of the story: it begins in first person perspective, but then shifts to third person. There's also a tense shift from past tense to present tense somewhere in the first person segment.

That said, I like how the first segment is written like, well... like a fanfic that someone might have written to entertain themselves, which is apt because it is essentially Luna's 'fanfic' of her own experiences. It strikes me as a neat little piece of meta. Whether it was intentional or not isn't completely clear, but I'll give it to you, author.

The second half is kinda where things fall apart. The logic feels a little rushed and incoherent; surely Luna would have realized the possibility of what's happened? It just seems very hard for me to buy that this hasn't occurred to her. This, unfortunately, further sets up a domino effect that knocks flat the impact of the "ethical dilemma" at the end. it doesn't feel real because the foundational circumstance of Luna only just thinking of this now just doesn't feel sensible.
#13 ·
· on Unplanned
That first paragraph started out feeling like the prose would be rather on the purple side, but fortunately it got better quickly. I don't really see any distracting flaws in the writing mechanics or style, so good on you for that.

I like the juxtaposition of Rarity and Rainbow Dash that runs through this story. They're just so opposite, yet go together in such a cute way - for the time they have together, at least, which is short but feels even more sweet for its brevity, somehow.

I wouldn't say I'm left unsatisfied, but I am left thinking that while what's here is sufficient for the length this seems like it was trying to hit, there's also potentially bigger story here, or at least one that's more fleshed-out with one or two more scenes added to show rather than tell some of the stuff that was relegated to being exposition through dialogue. That'd be my big recommendation for revising this one - keep doing the things right, just more.

Overall, quite nice. It does pretty much exactly the story that feels obvious for the given prompt, instead of seeking to subvert it with surprise take on the meaning of the phrase, but that's definitely not a bad thing in this case.
#14 ·
· on Nothing Will Come of Nothing...
When I was...

...a young boy...

...my father...


...to see a marching band...
#15 ·
· on Midnight Refuge
It’s Retro Time!

So, a little bit of context, I first started out with a piece that had to do with Rainbow Dash being trained as a ‘dreamwalker’ by Princess Luna. But, in paraphrased words of a deleted comment on this thread, ‘shook itself to pieces’. I had no definite conflict, nor a ending. The fic so far was just Princess Luna stroking Rainbow’s ego by listing the reasons why she was the perfect canidate out of the mane six to take up dreamwalking. Alas, and the final nail in the coffin was that the idea was already taken up on fimfic .

Late into the round, I switched tracks, and some of the elements that I’ve gone over bled into this piece, Midnight Refuge. Hence, why Flurry is portrayed as an athlete, and not so much as an academic.

Enough backstory. Let’s get to it!

>>Baal Bunny

Pinoy’s tell in the rounds are incorrect dialogue tags

As you can already tell, this was rushed. Not terribly rushed, but enough to the point where the polishing was completely mulled over. Note to self: set some time aside to show the entry some TLC.

The major problem, however, is what you pointed out: the logistics of the fic. The original idea is that Flurry was given the responsibility to notify her parents (she is in adolescence, so she has enough volition to show whether or not she has the character to admit her faults)(also, this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uoTIcwHK_aw was working subliminally), but then again, that whole idea is shifty.

Altogether, I need to rethink the idea. Keep the core (Flurry has cheated on an exam and feels guilty), but rework the reason why she’s going to Twilight’s.

Thanks for the Review!


Writes down ‘Rao has a fetish’

It gives me an extra boost to know that even with the distracting errors of the fic, it doesn’t completely drown out the picturesque and aesthetic to it. However, that is not to say that this needs a fine coat of polish.

Good point on the fact that the conversation between Twilight and Flurry seems forced. I guess that’s because I was trying to work quickly (running on a deadline). I may need to spend more time to make the interaction a little more natural.

Thanks for the review!


I’m glad that the ‘cool aunt’ portrayal managed to shine through the muddy waters of the fic.

The idea was that Flurry was going to Twilight’s to hide from her parents. Her portrayal in this story mirrored more of Dash’s: confident, but can be a pinch arrogant at times. Hence, she was afraid, but not paralyzed. She chooses to do something rather than nothing, and decides that the best place to go is Twilight’s. But, then again, a long train ride can be filled with second thoughts.

The original thought behind Twilight and Flurry’s conversation was that getting the truth out of Flurry is getting blood from a stone. She would dance around the problem, but not openly admit until confronted with it. The conversation is what I need to re-work, as Rao pointed out.

Thanks for Reviewing!


Backlogged due to other projects, but close to the front of the line due to the how good the idea is in general. Plus, will take a while to re-work as there are still many issues. But, in due time, it’ll shine through. :twilightsmile: :flurrysmile: