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

Looking Back · FiM Short Story ·
Organised by RogerDodger
Word limit 2000–8000
Show rules for this event
#1 · 1
· · >>Baal Bunny >>thebandbrony
Is anyone participating this time 'round?
#2 · 1
· · >>Baal Bunny


There's a story I've been wanting to do for a while that would fit this prompt quite nicely. It'll all depend on how much time I can carve out for writing over the next few days...

#3 · 1
· · >>Baal Bunny
I'm in this time! Got a real cooker for this round 😁
#4 · 1
· · >>thebandbrony
>>Baal Bunny


I don't see myself finishing this in the next 16 hours. It's possible, but not probable, as they say. Maybe by next weekend, I can get it posted to Fimfiction...

#5 · 1
· · >>Baal Bunny
>>Baal Bunny
No worries homie. If you feel like sharing once you're done PM it to me and I'd be happy to read it :)
#6 ·
· · >>Baal Bunny
Submitted. I have several conflicting emotions about my entry. Part of me wants to wait this one out, as my writing has become rusty, but then again, the only way to undo rust is to practice.

Apologies in advance for my severely unpolished entry. If anyone has a problem with it, let me know, and I can opt-out. No harm done.
#7 · 1
· on Ordeal of Orpheus · >>PinoyPony
Lots of good stuff here:

I love the world-building aspect of the story, how the underworld is set up and all that, but, as for the story itself, I find myself with a lot of questions.

The story keeps giving us the impression that this is a rare and dangerous thing that Lyra is doing, and yet I don't understand why she's doing it. I assume that her overwhelming love for Bon-Bon is driving her to transcend death itself just to see her again, but the way she's presented, I don't see much emotion from her at all. I want to feel her desperation, feel the iron-clad determination that has led her to do whatever she has to do to make this trip. Right now, I'm not seeing anything like that.

Also, we keep hearing about how dangerous this trip is, but Applejack and the ticket agent seem to imply that living ponies come through fairly often: AJ says, "We get that a lot" when Lyra's asking questions, and the ticket agent says,"Enjoy your stay," not something I think she'd say to somepony who'd died and was coming to live there permanently. Along those same lines, I had assumed the pack holds supplies for Lyra, but after AJ gives her a sandwich from the pack, we get another line about AJ getting Lyra food from Generosity Island.

And the warning not to look back is like a Chekov's gun that never fires. Having ponies talk about it so many times and then not having anything happen with it builds up suspense that goes nowhere. So I'd recommend making Lyra much more emotional throughout: the love of her life has died, but she refuses to let anything on earth or in the underworld stop her from seeing Bon-Bon again. And then at the end, when it turns out that Bon-Bon literally can't love her anymore, she turns away, looks back, and either blows the whole place up or has todealwitht he consequences of her actions in a way that finally allows her to let Bon-Bon go. Something, at any rate, to give the story the ending that it doesn't quite have now.

Like I said, the ideas here are great. Just let yourself explore them and the characters more deeply—underworld humor!—and see where they take you.

#8 · 1
· on The Next Lesson
I really like this:

I've got some little things, like Death saying "You" at the beginning. I'd much rather Death just point to stuff instead of speaking. I'd also vote for giving Death a capital letter when you're talking about the character throughout.

Maybe save the "if you do it right, you’ll break a few ribs" thing till after everything's over and Bloom's busy recriminating herself. That way, Balsam can bring it up as she's refuting all Bloom's points. I'd also like a little more in the section after Bloom's death. What was Death expecting Bloom's life after the incident to be like? Was the colt supposed to die that day? And if Bloom was supposed to learn how to let go but didn't in fact learn that, why doesn't Death send the soul into another life that will teach her that? We're told that the soul failed, but Death moves on to the next test—handling power on her own—as if the failure doesn't matter.

And I'm not quite sure what happens at the end of Charm's section: she's about to teleport away from the monsters, but then she sees Cosmo unconscious. We then switch to Twilight POV to watch the portal close, but Twilight says she didn't do it. The implication is that Charm did it by sacrificing her life somehow, but I'd like to get a better idea in the last "after action report" section of what exactly Charm did. I'm guessing that, by sacrificing herself, she learned the "letting go" lesson in a way Death wasn't expecting, but if that's the case, I'd like the story to say it.

But like I said, these are little things. A fine story overall.

#9 · 1

And if folks:

Would like to see the story I started for this round but didn't finish till right now, it's up on FimFiction as "Creation's Echo Softly Sounds."

#10 · 1
· on Ordeal of Orpheus · >>PinoyPony
Congrats on another well done story, Pinoy! Your pacing unfolded at a luxurious pace--given an expansion of the story, I’d love to see what you do with the “don’t look back” clause. The necessity of removing love in order to also remove pain is a fascinating idea in our current world climate, and it’s something the underworld setting would be just perfect for. I sincerely hope you flesh this out for fimfic--it’s a feature boxer waiting to pop!
#11 ·
· on The Next Lesson
Before I look at Baal’s review and completely taint my viewpoint, I will have prepared this review from memory of the piece. Give it my own original thought without piggybacking on another.

When I got through the reading, my, what a ride! The both of us had written about death (and I’m going to check out Baal’s story to see if this trend continues). Altogether, yours is a solid piece because I couldn’t help but turn green with envy at your writing prowess. Maybe my soul’s trajectory is to learn humility, as one of the reincarnations of the soul formerly known as Rainbow Dash had to learn.

What I liked most is how the mannerisms were described, and how you could feel the connection to the characters. Cosmo is the example of that. Pure disgust for the way how he treats Charm, but a flicker of empathy when he explains his ways, but then the disgust surging back on oneself for emphasizing with a pony who still has a lot to learn about the magic of friendship.

That, and the description of the labwork/lab environment. Make it seem like the experiments are well-researched and plausible.

Now, the bad part. For me, I got a little lost when Bloom was performing CPR. At first, I thought she killed the colt, judging by Death’s brief appearance, but later in the text, I find that it’s the complete opposite. Now, if this was your intention, ignore me. But, the biggest point that I’m having a hard time lining up is why Bloom beats herself up afterwards. She saved a life, so why is she sulking in front of Balsam? There must’ve been something I’m missing. But then again, my comprehension skills can be less than reliable, so take it with a grain of salt.

Altogether, it was a pleasure reading this piece! Congrats on gold! Can’t wait until this hits fimfic (if that’s your intention).
#12 ·
· on Ordeal of Orpheus
TLDR: There are several problems with the fic at this point, but at least the world building is solid.

>>Baal Bunny

Immediately, after the prompt was given, it took me a while to get an idea for this round, and that’s what crippled me in the end. Ultimately, I wanted to do and Orpheus “Don’t look back” lest your lover is stolen away to the Underworld again, this time permanently. But, due to the flurry of ideas in my head, that was not communicated well.

What took most of that umph away was the immediate decompress provided by the ambience of the underworld, and the friendliness of it. By the end of it, I closed it off with Bon-Bon not being able to feel anything, not even love and was done with the entry. I wasn’t happy with it, for it lacked a lot of things. Not necessarily a bad piece per se, but I need to give it a lot more love.

Thank you for the review though, truly! It takes a lot to go the extra mile to review in a round where you’ve missed the submit deadline! I will be sure to give your story a read! :twilightsmile:


Truth be told, I was about to backlog this in the drawer of my various unfinished pieces, but with what you just said, brought it up close the front of the line. I will see what I can do to expand and to add a little more to the main focuses of the story: love and pain, and the clause of “Don’t look back.”