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Luckily, We Have an Expert · FiM Minific ·
Organised by RogerDodger
Word limit 400–750
Show rules for this event
#1 · 1
Griseus is not that expert
#2 · 2
· · >>Monokeras
#3 · 2
· · >>Miller Minus
>>Miller Minus
Yes Miller?
I am in. Luckily, I had an idea that fits quite well.
#4 · 2
· · >>Monokeras
Looks like I'll get something in.
#5 · 2
#6 · 1
· · >>Griseus
#7 · 2
· · >>Miller Minus >>Miller Minus
>>Miller Minus
Blink once if you are in trouble. Blink twice if you are not and are safe.
#8 · 2
Rock and roll!
#9 · 2
· · >>Monokeras
Okay, I'm in.
#10 · 2
I wish Trick could participate.
I’m sure she’ll be back sooner or later.
#11 · 1
#12 · 1
#13 ·
Oh good!
#14 · 1
· on F For Fantastical · >>Griseus
Ok, since no one seem game to write reviews, let's give it a quick once over:

I don’t really care much about the ‘sidekick’ characters, so this one left me a bit unconcerned. Besides, the end is blatantly rushed. I’m not sure you ran out of words, so did you run out of fuel?

The idea is fair, but, as it is often the case when dealing with sidekick characters which are not well developed, your protagonists look cardboard cut: the dog is properly stupid, and Flam is just unconvincing.
#15 · 1
· on Bodhisattva
The idea here is certainly funny. The biggest problem here is that, as it happen often when you choose to use unknown characters, it doesn’t feel like a poney story at all, just a transposition of a (neat) original minific to a pony background in order to be able to slip it into this round.

It’s a good story, competently written at that even if I fail to properly pinpoint the flavour you tried to give it by the careful choice of your words. It’s just that it comes from nowhere and goes nowhere. There’s no hook you can use to attach it to the biggest picture. It just feels out of context.
#16 · 2
· on The Errant Title
This one suffers from the same drawback as the previous one: it is ‘divorced’ from any sort of concept. I gather this is a sort of skit on Don Quixote, with many limits imposed by the reduced size format. But as it is, none of its characters has any poney specificity.

My other gripe would be that the story looks like an apologue, but I’m actually totally unable to guess its takeaway. What is it that you try to tell us? What's the point of the story? Why should I care after I've read the last line. All these question are left unanswered to me.
#17 · 1
· on The Mirror of Stella
Okay, that one at least has a hook into the fandom's universe and presents some form of thesis about something that is left unexplained by canon, I mean how Sombra rose and why – well, if I figured it out properly what the last line means, which is roughly Sombra was bullied and when he was grown up decided to take (indiscriminate) revenge.

There is another line, which, if I get it, is: Nightmare Moon is created as a result of Luna looking into the mirror and being remembered how she was frustrated when the world began.

I also see the (a bit in-the-face) reference to the Lord of The Rings, down to the very title itself.

Fine. I think these are interesting ideas, but the format is too cramped for those to fully bloom out. I think you miss a few hundreds of words here, and that you should allow your story to breathe more, especially if you like to expand on how the paths of Luna and young Sombra meeting could lead to both falling into evil for about the same reasons.
#18 · 1
· on Trapped Inside the Spider-Verse · >>Miller Minus
This is clearly my favourite and predicted winner for this round. At least my top of slate.

It’s quite charming in the way it tackles that little scene, and I find that slightly cynical Fluttershy absolutely delicious. This would probably be bashed by the orthodoxy as OOC, but for me who has often been deliberately writing OOC, it’s just delectable.

I just have my two usual rants:

1. I despise the word ‘utilise’. Really I loth it. This verb is a freak. Just use ‘use’ instead :)
2. I’m not really sure about the meaning of the end. Is that somehow connected to what Fluttershy said before about spiders walking into mouths? I am a bit perplexed.

Otherwise very competent job.
#19 ·
· on F For Fantastical
I'm not sure how I won this round.
#20 ·
· on F For Fantastical · >>Monokeras
First of all, thanks for commenting on all these stories.

Wrote this in a hour and half because I had a stupid idea pop in my head that I made me smile. I didn't run out of words or fuel per say because I wanted to get a certain word count - 666. Yeah... I need grow up but I found it funny. If the word count limit was 800, I would have bumped it up to 777. Because some times I can't help myself even though I should have focused on time itself instead.

Yeah, you are right on a lot of things I bet. Mostly Flam here doesn't sound like himself too much and the lack of his brother to play off the dialog really hurts this scene. At least to me my work this seemed like a story.
#21 · 1
· on F For Fantastical · >>Pascoite

I’m really sorry I was the only one to comment. My opinions are almost always biased, and I’m not good enough at writing to hand out specific and useful advice. I thought Pasco would have chimed in, as he often does, but no cigar this time. Still ‘grats for your ranking! I wish there was more people entering, I’m not sure why it dwindled out so quickly.

#22 · 1
· on F For Fantastical
There's a decent amount going for this story. Mostly in the dialogue. But I think the scope of the story you were trying to tell was bigger than the minific can contain--the ending two sentences stop the conflict suddenly when it's not really finished yet. Still, it's giggleworthy! Was a strong entry this round.
#23 · 1
· on Bodhisattva
Like the previous entry this one seems like too much story for the scope of a minific, and it ends quite quickly. Dazzle's sleuthing takes up most of the story and is hard to understand because of how fast it moves and how many moving pieces there are, and then the last three paragraphs go even faster. You lost me there. I also would have thought that the spiritual aspect of the story would have been more prevalent, but it only shows up in the last two paragraphs.

Adagio's stripping of Sonata's agency also leaves me with a poor taste in my mouth. At least, I think she's using siren powers to get her to shave her head. Made me feel icky. You couldn't have just explained what was happening to your friend? You had to mind melt her?
#24 · 2
· on The Errant Title
I liked this one as it's quite well contained--it's a clear story, just a few characters and an ending that's not rushed. I suppose my critique of it would be that I didn't really care much for the protagonist--either as a hero or as a buffoon. I just didn't get to know him that well, so I didn't really relate to the Jester's impatience with him.

Overall the writing is quite pretty, though, and I especially enjoyed the final line.
#25 · 1
· on The Mirror of Stella · >>Monokeras
The flow of the dialogue and prose is stilted in this story. Stuff like "One good reason for living up that north" and "Each day its burden. It is vain to grieve or rejoice in things to come, which may never come to pass." Also Stella's eyes "hopping" from one pony to another. Just little strange ways of speaking of describing things that hindered my reading.

Also, I know that single quotes are used for dialogue in Europe e.g., but is there anywhere where the single quotes are on the inside of the commas and periods? That really threw me off. Also, there's a series of lines from NMM that are missing the quotes at the beginning to show that she's still talking after the line breaks.

I was also confused by the reveal, because it left me wondering if Sombra had intentionally created this trap to bring about NMM, and if so, how on earth did he predict that, and if not so, then why exactly did he make the pool? There's also extra information in the final paragraph that hints to a much wider story but doesn't actually add to the minific or the twist ending. The fact that Sombra has a different name, that he's meek and bashful instead of how we know him, that Stella has been trying to protect him. It might have fit better if the mirror's creator was introduced earlier in the story, but all that info gets in the way of the twist.

And who is Stella, anyways?

So many questions!

Thanks for writing.
#26 · 1
· on Trapped Inside the Spider-Verse
There is something devilishly funny about receiving such a glowing comment, and to talk about how this story was clearly mine privately with you over Discord, only for it to place last because it was at the bottom of the only slate it was on, and for you to guess someone else wrote it.

Genuinely great entertainment. It's too bad we don't have more commenters and voters but the juxtaposition between this comment and the results page is too funny for me to be mad.

<3 u >>Monokeras. Hope to see you in the next round!
#27 · 1
· on Spider Star
Thank you for drawing me this spider, GGA, and for including the correct number of legs.
#28 · 1
· on The Mirror of Stella
>>Miller Minus


The dialogue is deliberately stilted because this is assumed to take place a very long time ago. So I simply attempted to convey that temporal remoteness into words. Also, I’ve always liked the princesses speaking a sort of Shakespearian English. You know, moods and colours…

British English has a set of rules for punctuation which differs from N-A English. Especially, you put commas and such outside the quotes, except if the comma concerns the spoken sentence: 'I am', he said, 'your beholden.' vs 'Speak, friend, and enter.' Also, I’m not sure you must quote each paragraph when a single person keeps talking, but that, I admit, I didn't check.

Don’t let yourself being thrown off by such details! :)

Some of the questions I already answered in my fake review. The concept here is that Sombra was, at first, just a very bashful student, and because of that and some peculiarities, such as a strange alicorn horn, he gets picked on by other students. Repeated hurt and frustration at length gives rise to a strong desire for revenge, which brings him all the way into the evil realm. One of his first attempt at wreaking havoc amongst those who teach him is designing an item which brings out the evil part we have inside (under the disguise of a much more useful device)… And that’s how NMM was born. You know, curiosity killed the cat.

Stella was just the former ruler of the Crystal Empire. This is non-canon, of course, but the past of the Crystal Empire is very vague, so you can pretty much give free rein to your imagination there.

Thanks for commenting Miller. Much much appreciated. You’re a peach ♡
#29 · 1
· on F For Fantastical
Using Flim and Flam was a good character choice for this prompt. Here, you've taken their character trope and tweaked it so that their swindling ways are actually helpful to ponies around them. You could give them a bit of long-desired glory, or make them endure lots of humorous tension, or both.

In this draft, the Diamond Dogs seem to appear to answer the storyteller's wishes. They are a non-sequitur, the same as if Flam had found a genie's lamp on his way to town instead of an angry mob. This gives the story the tone of a fable or a joke. But, as yet, you do not have a strong punchline. I think there is some potential for one in the fact that Flim and Flam are twins with (presumably) different areas of expertise.
#30 · 2
· on The Errant Title
This story reads more like Poe than Cervantes. The key interest for me is the dark intent of the mulish jester, or perhaps the sunken ambition of the knight, for whom the former is a foil. I am left wondering if the jester regrets his betrayal, further exacerbated by the slow and eerie discharge of his master's execution (worse, I think, than if he had died on the spot).

I think there are parts of the introduction which come off as a bit wry (e.g. "...so well decorated that it must surely have been enchanted", "...pack mules and one mulish jester") and confuse the atmosphere of the story. I was anticipating something more comical.
#31 · 2
· on The Mirror of Stella · >>Monokeras
I found this to be an interesting attempt at show lore. I thought 'Stella' might have been a character I missed from one of the later seasons, but it wasn't hard to put together that she's meant to be a luminary cohort of Celestia and Luna's. The implication that her demise came about under Sombra's reign (comparing "...silvery, carved legs" with "...bony, flayed and misshapen [body parts]") is the story's most compelling allusion.

I think the set-up would be stronger if the reader had more chronological awareness of when the story was taking place. That would give context for Luna's reactions in the void without necessarily spoiling the surprise of her encounter with Sombra.
#32 · 1
· on Trapped Inside the Spider-Verse
I love the voicing of the characters, here; it's enjoyable to read something which fits the original show's tone and humor so well. But my favorite part was probably the casting for the tale, which puts Fluttershy to surprising and good use.

The only thing that didn't land with me was the image of eggs inside filly Twilight's mouth. I think it's a little clunky and doesn't really help characterize Twilight's new fiendish impulse, which is effectually the reader's send-off.
#33 · 2
· on The Mirror of Stella
Thanks! I much appreciate your liking of this little work. Thanks for commenting!
#34 · 1
· on F For Fantastical · >>Monokeras >>Monokeras
I only review the poetry and original fiction rounds. I have zero interest in the FiM rounds. It's a wonder I even noticed this comment. Feel free to ask via Discord if there's a specific one you want me to look at, but in general, I don't pay attention to these other than to see who won out of curiosity.
#35 · 1
· on F For Fantastical · >>Pascoite
Oops, sorry Pasco, I didn't know that. I won’t bother you anymore with FiM rounds then (though I use them mainly as an opportunity to write more than once every four rounds). I didn't know you were on Discord either…
#36 · 1
· on F For Fantastical
You've DMed with me on Discord before...

I'm still in the writeoff server, just in case there's anything that gets posted in the #meta channel that I need to know about.
#37 · 1
· on F For Fantastical

Hi Pasco.

My apologies. I didn’t know (or, rather, notice) that you had no interest in the FiM rounds any more. Fair enough, I mainly use them as an extra opportunity to write.

I didn’t know you were roving on Discord either, I’d be chuffed to bits if we could chat from time to time over there.

Take care, and thanks for your answer!