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Forbidden Knowledge · FiM Short Story ·
Organised by RogerDodger
Word limit 2000–8000
Show rules for this event
#1 · 8
· · >>horizon >>destinedjagold
Please refrain from saying anything that might compromise your anonymity. Doing so is grounds for disqualification. It's recommended you do dummy reviews of your own stories should it otherwise be easy to deduce which you wrote.
#2 ·
Alright. Can't wait to get into this writeoff. Look forward to getting into writing again!
#3 · 3
Name & write sequel/parody of any medal-winning Writeoff story.

cute prompt idea, but it might make judging and reviewing a hassle. not everyone's gonna be familiar with every past writeoff winner.

otherwise I'd go for it.
#4 · 3
· · >>Broman
Roger, I don't think any email notifications went out for this one. (As supporting evidence, the thread seems a lot deader than usual.) Can you check?
#5 ·
There is also the possibility that the notification on the Wrtieoff Association page on Fim has not been made known. I happen to know this by chance just by checking the date.
#6 · 3
No email for me. I only saw this today because I knew the schedule and looked to be sure.
#7 · 3
Yeah, I also didn't get an email. Only my freaky knowledge of the Writeoff schedule saved me. :-p
#8 · 1
· · >>CoffeeMinion
Is there a reason that this one never got a thread on FimFic? Sure, we're not discussing there, but the notification is nice.

I mean, it's even a pony round...
#9 · 1
· · >>Not_A_Hat
Thread created! :coolphoto:
#10 ·
Darn it, I think I missed prompt submission by a matter of minutes. Oh well.

Not sure if I'll participate in this one; I have a fair amount on my plate this weekend. We'll have to see.
#11 ·
· · >>CoffeeMinion
Oh, have the timings changed this round? We seem to be starting six hours later than usual for these ones.
#12 · 1
Can confirm, did not receive an email. Missed the prompt suggestion :(
#13 · 2
Thanks to Cold in Gardez for reminding his followers about this thing, regardless of the readership's courage. Were it not for that, I probably would have completely forgotten about this event (group thread notwithstanding, though it beat the blog by only about an hour).

At least it would appear that prompts there are aplenty. That I might or might not have submitted had I been aware of this event before, completely stolen researched from Albee: I Said To Her, I Said: 'You Like Me'
#14 ·
· · >>RogerDodger
I think it's 6 hours earlier? Which works out great for me and my time zone, though results may vary...
#15 ·
Same here. Missed prompt suggestion, due to no e-mail and no thread on FimFic, which is very annoying.
#16 ·
Yeah, CiG's blog is how I was reminded that this was happening. No e-mail.

Doesn't matter, I'm gone this weekend. Great timing--I'm away from home for the second time this year and it's writeoff time. I guess I'll see y'all in June. Going three months between opportunities to participate sucks.
#17 ·
I also received no email.
#18 · 2
>>CoffeeMinion I... probably should have just done that. :P

Also, although I'm a little leery of another prompt-less round, having


submitted has started my day with a smile. :)
#19 ·
· · >>billymorph >>horizon >>CoffeeMinion >>Winston >>Caliaponia
I'm changing the email notifications system around a bit, which is why one wasn't sent. You should get one when the event starts.

Before, Minific rounds were starting at 18:00 UTC and Short Story rounds at 06:00 UTC. When I made the new schedule I changed them both to 12:00 UTC to make things simpler.
#20 ·
>>RogerDodger Hmm, I can't decide if that makes things more conveniant for my schedule or less. I guess it doesn't change the number of writing hours, just how they fit around work.
#21 ·
· · >>CoffeeMinion
Oh, dammit. The schedule *has* changed. :( I was expecting it to start tonight at 11 pm local time (giving me writing time before sleep), but now it doesn't start until 5 am, and when I wake up tomorrow I'll be on convention scheduling. There goes any chance of me entering this round.
#22 · 1
· · >>Caliaponia
An email at the start of writing time is nice, but it seems like a lot of people value prompt submission and prompt voting as well. Maybe two emails in the future?
#23 · 1
Voting for Ashes and Cinders if only because of the Gauntlet of Fire and Dark Souls III. I look forward to all the grim, depressing stories from the gamers, and the inevitable stories about Ember from the fans of the new episode. :P
#24 ·
Aha, that makes sense, thanks for explaining.

At last, I have a chance in one of these! :pinkiecrazy:
#25 ·
Alright I did my vote. Can't see what comes out of this prompt.
#26 · 10
· · >>Caliaponia
I think "when the event starts" should be defined as when prompt submissions open up, not when writing starts. Waiting until writing starts to notify people of an event doesn't help anyone take part in the prompt determination process. Making people feel like their chance to participate in the process has been skipped over kinda reduces the incentive to even bother with the writeoff event at all.
#27 ·
· · >>billymorph >>The_Letter_J
Aww, not many ponies liked my sequel/parody prompt. That would have been so interesting. <3
#28 ·
Wew, I just got the email for this writeoff.
I'll churn something up, but who knows if I'll be capable of writing the entirety of it.
#29 ·
Drat! Missed it by that much. >| |<
#30 ·
>>Trick_Question Well I voted for it. Mostly to do a sequel to Jet Powered Pegasus, but it could have produced some fun stories.
#31 · 1
That was yours? I was half expecting you to give the "this prompt sucks and everyone who voted for it made a terrible mistake" rant if it got chosen. And if you hadn't, I would have.
I would rather have "Ot" as a prompt.
#32 ·
>>horizon >>RogerDodger >>Winston

Maybe have two emails, but have separate settings for each in the preferences, so we can choose which ones we want to receive.
#33 ·
Hmmm.... Not one of the prompts I was hoping for, but interesting all the same. I wonder if I can get myself to enter this writeoff... Well, it's worth a try, anyways!
#34 · 1
· · >>CoffeeMinion
RIP the Ot prompt.

It sat out this round.
#35 · 3
Might try to enter this round.
#36 · 2
I believe you mean it sat ot this round. :trollestia:

I'm hoping to enter. I've got an old idea that might fit this, though I'd like to come up with something fresher...
#37 ·
Curses! I've got an idea that fits this prompt pretty well... And now my computer is toast. And trying to write anything of significance on a kindle is no fun at all. Ugh!

I'll have to try to work something out.
#38 ·
· · >>Dubs_Rewatcher >>CoffeeMinion
I am new and I am confused. What's the prompt? Where would I go to see it? I didn't get an email saying the prompt had been chosen.
#39 ·
· · >>Bootlight
The prompt is Forbidden Knowledge! You can find it at the top of the page.
#40 ·
· · >>Dubs_Rewatcher
So I just write about the topic of forbidden knowledge? Nothing more specific than that?
#41 · 2
Think of the prompt as a starting point for your ideas. Write whatever ponyfic Forbidden Knowledge inspires you to write.
#42 · 1
First timer? Feel free to let us know if you have any other questions. You may also find this thing here useful.
#43 · 3
Ah, each prompt I swear it'll be the one I finally submit something. Then I'll get words down and bail last minute for some arbitrary reason. But not this time darnit. For once something popped out to me driving to work and I feel good about it. So I got a good feeling about this one.


Not gonna chicken out...

#44 · 1
Alright I got an idea brewing, not sure what will come of it but it will be something. See you all in a few days.
#45 · 3
This is the first time I've had immediate inspiration and gotten to work on Day 1. Hopefully it'll come out well.
#46 · 1

I finally finished chapter 4 of A Great Wall this morning and have the first part of an entry humming along. So maybe I'll have something this time around!

#47 · 1
I was that close to calling it a night (and giving up on getting any writing done) when I was hit over the head by an idea that I think I really like. Just pounded out a couple of paragraphs, and I know it's a bit early, but I'm really liking how it's shaping up so far.

Good to be writing again. :derpytongue2:
#48 ·
Well, I may as well give this a go.
#49 ·
I've got a good feeling about this one.
#50 ·
I think I'll sit this one out. Let's see if I can at least write some reviews during the week.
#51 ·
The site's link that was in the email led to "http://localhost:4201/event/50"

Just wanted to let you know in case it hasn't been reported yet. :3
#52 ·
Sorry, guys. Too much on my plate in the coming week. Have fun!
#53 ·
Ugh, I might have too many other projects in-flight right now... my brain's refusing to come up with anything useful. :raritydespair:

Best of fortune, pony folk!
#54 ·
Hmmm.. I've got a pretty good idea that synchs nicely with the prompt, and I've got a few thousand pony words written... But those words are spread across a bunch of disconnected scenes which have yet to gel together... and tomorrow is likely to be rather busy... :/

I [i]really[i] need to get this into a readable, submittal state soon... I just hope I can make the deadline this time...
#55 ·
· · >>The_Letter_J
Hmmmm.. Discussion threat is awfully quiet. And the deadline is drawing near. Anybody else having as much trouble as me getting everything put together? O.o
#56 ·
· · >>TheCyanRecluse
Things are more active over on the Discord chat. There have been plenty of "why is my story not working?" and "I'm finally done!" comments over there. And plenty of random chatter too. Once submissions are over and the prelims start, most of the relevant discussion will move over here.
#57 ·
· · >>Syeekoh
Ah, that makes sense! Just one question...

Where the heck is the Discord chat? O.o
#58 ·
#59 ·
· · >>TheCyanRecluse
see previous post
#60 · 1
Thank you kindly! I'll have to check it out later!

For the moment, I'm just going to sit here and cry. I should have been in bed 15 minutes ago... And I'm totally not done writing this mess. O.o

Even if I manage to staple these disconnected pieces together before I collapse into bed, it's going to look like something out of Frankenstein. Ugh.
#61 · 2
· · >>Zaid
Ugh. It's a mess, but it's submitted. Maybe, if I have some time before work in the morning, I'll even have a chance to PROOF READ it.


Once again, I am SO sorry to whomever has to read through this mess!
#62 ·
Awe man I think I might sit this one out. School is keeping me busy and finals are happening tomorrow. I had something but with my time constraint and with school projects building up I will have no choice but to comply.

Anyway good luck with everyone, hope this works out for you all.
#63 · 1
I feel you. I've just now managed to finish, and I've been writing nonstop since Friday. It doesn't help that I'm a tediously slow writer.

Oh, well. It's the first writeoff I've entered in quite some time. I'm excited.
#64 · 2
· · >>Lucky_Dreams
Augh. I'm bowing out. I like this story, but I'm 5k in and the end is on the distant horizon. With work in the morning, I can't justify the all-nighter it would take to bang this out and condense it down to 8k.

I'm looking forward to what everyone else gets up to, though. Best of luck!
#65 · 3
Task completed. Actually wrote in a new style for a bit. It was weird.
#66 ·
I had a lot less time than I originally planed to write today. Managed to get something in, but I think I could have done a much better job.

Oh well. I'm looking forward to seeing all the entries this month. :P
#67 · 4
Well here we go. Hope this goes better than last time. Wish me luck. As I wish you all a horrible demis- I mean. I wish you all the best!

Reviews will be starting soon in a couple of hours. I'll base mine on a dice roll system. This time! I wanna review them all!
#68 · 4
· · >>horizon
Sorry folks. I'm not quite done with my submission and I'm too much of a perfectionist to submit something this half-assed (and too tired to finish it in the space of an hour).

On the bright side, I have a new story almost written. I'll add it to the folder when I (eventually) publish.

Back to sleep I go.
#69 · 3
I can't believe I managed to get something done on time, but I'm dreading the reviews on it. Though it seems like this was a bad weekend for a lot of folks, so at least I'm not alone here.

Still, I'm looking forward to everyone's work. Good luck guys!
#70 ·
· · >>Icenrose

Sorry that you got so far into it only to have to give up. That sucks, man :-(
#71 · 1
· · >>horizon
So of course I totally came up with an idea that I like and I think would work... and I never managed to get time away from humans yesterday to sit down in front of a computer.

Currently assessing if I can iron-man 2K words in like 50 minutes.

...no, I'm not that stupid. But dangit, now I wanna write this thing! D:
#72 ·
And done. Man does this new schedule mess with my timings. Still, nice to submit something while not sleep deprived for once. We'll see whether it actually helps :P
#73 · 4
· · >>Monokeras


Now for a literal last-second typo/formatting pass <.<
#74 ·
Done and posted.
#75 · 4
· · >>horizon
When you have to abandon your entry due to time-constraints:

I tried so hard
And got so far
But in the end
It doesn't even matter...
#76 · 3
· on Starlight Glimmer and Sunset Shimmer Are Dead · >>Monokeras
This was entertainingly absurdist for much of it, and for a long time gave off a very Twilight-zone vibe. Up until the very end I was greatly enjoying everything; I'd figured they crossed the mirror together, collided, and somehow exploded and were in their own isolated Purgatory.

Clearly, this is not the case, given the ending. I don't quite think it works; the 'I hate you' is good, the last coin flip is good, but the circumstances don't quite jive with the rest. In particular, the bar makes no sense in light of 'This was reality all along', unless you're going for something wherein we're seeing quantum uncertainty at play, and if so, that should be rendered clearer.
#77 · 3
· on Thou Shalt Not Eat Of The Tree · >>ZaidValRoa >>Corejo
At first, I was dreading this was going to be misaimed, and someone had accidentally done OF in the Ponyfic round.

I am very glad to see this was wrong. The philosophizing was entertaining, and 'Pony' and 'Unicorn' who are most certainly nor Orangefruit and Prettywhite were splendidly voiced.

But the best part is the last line, because it just fits so very splendidly with the aforementioned pair, taking an important piece of religiosity and adding a wonderfully whimsical touch of the absurd that fits perfectly with Pony's character.
#78 ·
· · >>Monokeras
Wow... there's 32 entries this round.

That's pretty low nowadays.
#79 ·
· · >>Syeekoh

We’re back to the old days. It’s still a pretty high number of words to read, though.
#80 · 1
It always feels like a high number of words for me :(
#81 · 2
· on Truth Unwanted
The rate of typo's in this is painful. I will assume it is thus because you spat the entire thing out in less then 6 hours and didn't have time to read it.

Now there are some story problems...

You never explained why Luna has to be repeatedly killed.
If Luna exists in a state of perpetual death and recreation then... Celestia doesn't have to banish her and can just kill her and make a non-Nightmare Moon version.
Luna skeletons look like regular generic alicorn skeletons if they don't have some meat on them.
If Luna is not Celestia's sister then Celestia cannot be Luna's sister. It's a mutual relationship.

Despite writing Discord properly you used him in the worst possible way, namely as a higher power to force the resolution of the story. He is a giant crutch holding up the back end of your story.
#82 · 2
· on Miracle
Sweet, heartwarming and over all okay. Just a solid and craftsman like pony story.

Bland and safe though.
#83 · 2
· on Foundation · >>ZaidValRoa
This is not a story, so much as a cute thing that happened.

I mean, sure Twilight pretends the situation has dire gravitas and import while the royal sisters glance nervously at each other and inch backwards but really the whole thing is status quo from start to finish.
#84 ·
· · >>horizon
Nah, it's cool. I'm sad I missed the submission deadline, but hey, I have a great start on a story I'm pretty excited about! Still a weekend well-spent.
#85 · 3
· on Applejack v. FBTwi · >>ZaidValRoa >>The_Letter_J
Some nicely voiced characters:

But I had two issues with the story, both of them centered around the "Cooking Assistance and Recipe Exposure Act." First, Twilight doesn't react with alarm when Rarity brings it up. She should, though, because either she knew about the law and should therefore be embarrassed about being caught trying to break it, or she didn't know about the law and should be upset that she was unknowingly trying to break it. And second, why didn't the Blackberry family use that law to stop whatever mayor it was who forced them to reveal their pie recipe?

#86 · 1
· on Standards and Practices
This is pretty good. Nothing wrong with it at all.

Except the Inception, dream within a dream bit. It's done. You can stop now. Like really.

But again, pretty solid.
#87 · 3
· on Might Make Right · >>horizon >>horizon
I can see what you was trying to do, it's not terrible. It has potential.

Of course, with Garble, you went in hard, pushed drama out of the way and threw yourself into the waiting arms of super drama.

Also this is Equestria. Mind control is both cheap and readily available without a prescription. And one of Twilight's most valued tricks.
#88 · 3
· on Not On the Outside
Okay, that is a good Star Swirl. Like dang.

Dawn's issues are unclear and they leave me emotionally unconnected. But this at the same time, possibly unintentionally, leaves me in the same spot as Clover. Trying to deal with a problem that she doesn't fully comprehend.

Earned or accidental you get points for realism in your story about magical brightly coloured equines.
#89 · 3
>>Icenrose >>Everyday >>CoffeeMinion >>Trick_Question
Now that I've gotten a three-hour nap between the 5 am writing deadline and work, I've updated the FIMFiction group with a folder for the new competition. I hope you all push forward and finish those stories and get them posted!

Anyway, I didn't have time for regrets last night, but I have a feeling that spending all day in a sleep-deprived haze is going to provoke a bunch of them. Especially now that I've finally had a chance to re-read what I wrote. Augh, that really could have used a second pass. -__-
#90 · 1
· on The Trolls
I didn't know you could leave comments in the stories here.

Oh, well.

This story really grew on me. While the beggining wasn't particularly catching for me, I found myself tangled with the narrative and wanted to keep reading.

You managed to write a really nice tale in the spirit of the show, with a nice overall lesson and heartwarming conclusion.

Could be an episode/10
#91 · 3
· on If, Amidst the Flames, a Pony
You’re…well, you’re distracted, really. Yes, that’s the right word. Distracted.

I don't know what's real anymore.

Am I at my desk at work, steadfastly ignoring an endlessly ringing phone? Am I lying sick in bed, fever dancing away with my senses? There are voices in my head, but I don't know who they belong to. Is one of them mine? It carries the same feeling as one's own voice recorded; so far removed from your own perspective, yet simultaneously known to be much closer to an objective truth.


Did I write this story? No, but I see words I have recently written; concepts and themes appearing within the narrative, glints in the corner of my eye that stand out as candles in the night sky. Embers smolder, frozen suns hang, fire and darkness exist and conflict and conflate until reality reverses and meaning is lost.

Have I already reviewed this story? Perhaps the story has reviewed itself, and I simply nodded in dumb agreement.

Tell me, Writer - what do you know of Carcosa?

Final Thought: Strange is the Night Where Black Stars Rise
#92 · 2
· on Not On the Outside
To reiterate, that Star Swril was awesome. I would totally like to have him as a grandpa.

I feel you could have explored Gleaming Dawn's PTSD a bit more, if only so the reader could get a better grasp on her inner troubles.

Still, it was an enjoyable read. Kudos.
#93 · 1
· on Not So Sweet
This story hit me hard.

Brilliant work. I'm at a loss of words to fully explain how good this is. You had a couple of typos here and there, but nothing that ever took me out of the story. I always enjoy a good tale about grief and loss, and this was beyond what I expected.

Hats off to you, whomever you are.
#94 · 1
· on Journal of Forbidden Knowledge
While I like the concept of Twilight's entire life having been entirely fabricated for scientific purposes, I had two major problems with this story.

First of all is the lack of a proper build up. At the beggining, we're told Twilight is in the Canterlot Library, and has somehow gotten lost. Not two paragraphs after this she finds the room with the journal and starts reading. This is a missed opportunity to better build up the atmosphere and dread leading up to the discovery of the journal.

And speaking of the journal. It didn't feel like a scientific journal at all. By that I mean Dr. Epistími sounded too cold and detached from what she was describing. Not an objective, procedutal detachement from the scientific method, but more of an "I'm not too invested in what's happening" detachement, and that comes off to the reader.

It was a good effort, but I felt the story fell short in several points.
#95 · 2
· on The Sparklator
So this starts off as a sillier version of Minority Report and then rapidly veers out of left field into dark, dark territory. I was enjoying it up till that point, but the tonal whiplash spoiled the experience for me. I get what was trying to be done, but higher stakes than falling objects should likely be used, or some other way to elevate the likelihood of catastrophe, or...unsure.
#96 · 2
· on Only, Only, Only You
2000 words of 7-8 syllable couplets.

The actual content density was lower then could be expected out of an equal volume of bloated purple prose. Which is odd because poetry is supposed to be higher density and be reliant on vague suggestion rather then explicit statement.
#97 · 3
· on If, Amidst the Flames, a Pony
Whoa. This was the first story on my slate, and it was a great start. I enjoyed each individual 'story', though they are more similar to sketches than standalone stories, as you mentioned yourself in the text. While I enjoyed the meta, I thought it could have been toned down, allowing for more storytelling. Overall, great job. Frankly, I fear that this has raised my expectations for the rest of my slate unfairly. Which is a good thing.
#98 · 2
· on Pinkie Pie Saves Equestria And/Or Bakes A Cake
“If you can’t face the end of Equestria with a simile, I don’t know how you can face it.”

What about a metaphor? Though I don't think Elder Gods would be up for riddles.

Anyway, as my sides have returned to their Euclidean form I'm now able to congratulate you on a well done story.

I spotted a couple of typos here and there, but nothing too severe. Great job.
#99 · 2
· on Modern Farming Techniques of Earth Ponies · >>Obscure
This was a strange and surprising start to my reading. It's definitely rough, but it feels Writeoff-rough, which is to say that the things which are good about it are more fundamental parts of the story, and the elements that read the worst are the ones most impacted by a compressed schedule, like the surface polish (typos and general prose roughness).

A couple of random impressions from my reading:

–You definitely need to work on AJ's accent and voicing. Here are three lines in a row in which she sounds more like a Bittish pirate, Twilight Sparkle, and Rarity than she does herself:
“Ye don't have a piece of land you need mah a take care of fer ya... Ye might need a wagon pulled or maybe a bit of time but you don't need nuffin that would really cost me.”

“I reckon that maybe I could help you out, in the hypothetical.” The orange earth pony raised an eyebrow, “But how much and when would depend on what you could do for me in return?”

“Oh, truly?”

–The long paragraph in the Rarijack section was the first thing to really positively catch my eye. It almost feels like it's from a different story — it's the only place where your paragraph is so lengthy, and it's got dreamy, florid writing at odds with the laconic prose of the rest. I do love the effect and I'd like to see more like it, but it also felt out of place.

–A few nitpicks on the first section, because first impressions are important:
Sweat soaked through her coat and Applejack wobbled slightly. Her mouth relaxed into a carefree smile.

Your opening line rang false to me on first read, because I couldn't mentally connect that sort of exhaustion with being "carefree". With the context of the rest of the story, this gets worse: given that during that first scene Applejack is carrying with her the spirits of her dead ancestors who killed several Apples through overwork, she seems anything but carefree.
“Howdy,” introduced a pony behind her. She said it almost ironically. It was Carrot Top, she lived on a small acreage bordering on her farm. She was covered in a dry coat of dirt. “I managed to finish harvesting early so I came by to see if you needed a hoof?”

There's a certain literary style I can't name that it looks like you're going for here (blunt punchy sentences, introducing a single concept each, in something of a haphazard observational order), and if this is a deliberate stylistic choice, good for you. ("Introduced" is just an error though; it can't be used as an intransitive verb.) If that wasn't your intention, be careful here: elements like the pronoun "she" in "she said it almost ironically" followed by "It was Carrot Top" (rather than using her name in the dialogue tag) come across as disjointed, and this section sticks out from the less stylized text of the rest of the piece.

–The conflict you introduce in the scene with Applebloom is really engaging, though it was disorienting to have that entire conversation be hypothetical, and doubly disorienting to shift from an imaginary conversation to her apparently real conversation with the dead spirits without a more explicit division. It might punch this up to show us the actual conversation?

– I like the way that that develops, and I think this closes strong for its length. Kudos for that.

Get working on editing this one! There's a lot of surface grit which will polish out very easily, but there's really strong potential here, possibly even Top Contender after some aggressive passes.

Tier: Almost There
#100 · 3
· on We Are All Made from Silence
This is a very subdued and intimate fiction, and I loved the tone of it. I really appreciated Fluttershy’s motherly behaviour, which is bang on with her character. Scootaloo was perhaps slightly clichéd; it’s hard to say. I wish you’d chosen somepony else for her to root for, whereas instead you played it safe. Let’s say that you could’ve taken the opportunity to unveil something more about your perception of Scootaloo; in the present form, you choose to stay on firm canon ground.

That being said, the execution is great, and your choice of words resonates with the tonal contents of the fiction, so kudos for that.

This fic speaks particularly to me, who enjoys long outings in the deep and silent forests we still find in the Alps. However, it is 100% meditative, and that could be a killer for readers who enjoy more punchy stories with a lot of action.

But for me, it’s a skilful glimpse of the fears and doubts childhood is riddled with, and it is difficult not to feel some fondness for your Scootaloo. For that, I’m grateful that you wrote this. So, thank you.