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The Morning After · FiM Minific ·
Organised by RogerDodger
Word limit 400–750
#701 · 3
· on After Party
>>007Ben
Like, I knew they were going to be crazy what with travelling 600 miles home from my university, but I hadn't counted on two riders in my car, getting lost, getting a flat tire somewhere in Tennessee, and having my phone (which functioned as my GPS) die on me while we were on the road.

Now that’s a rough ride or I don’t know what the term means.

Good old maps won’t die on you anywhere. Paper is still useful, ya know? Naff, but useful! ;)

Hopefully your car hasn’t be hijacked.

“A Flat Tyre in Tennessee”. What a wonderful title (or prompt) for an original fiction story…
#702 · 3
· on Happily Ever After* · >>Trick_Question
The Great

Well written. I mean, it's a simple thing to say, but the prose is quite solid.

Another good take on a mostly naval gazey piece by giving it a solid framing device.

The Rough

Unfortunately, I am really turned off by the ending. Like, really, really turned off. As a writer I honestly find the idea kind of borderline... well, it's a strong word, but offensive? I just really, really don't like it.

Similarly, I think the story on the whole is a little too overwrought. The emotional highs and lows are just... too high and too low for me in this context.
#703 · 1
· on After A Wild Night · >>Not_Worthy2
The Great

Fairly clever take on the prompt with a fair amount of "awww" factor. Super sweet story.

The Rough

Like a lot of people, I didn't remember Cousin Orchard Blossom so this was a bit of a hard read on the first go. The mixed gender terminology and shifting pronouns are hard to track until you get to the reveal, so you're basically forced to give it a quick second read if you don't understand going in. Not that this is totally bad, per se, but I do think you could probably clean it up a little more?

This is so petty as to be silly, but I feel obligated to complain: "nearly completely unintelligible" really shouldn't net the fairly complete "needing five more minutes" idea, I feel.
#704 ·
· on An Advanced Lesson in Friendship
The Great

A pleasant bit of WAFFy fun. Decent voices, too.

The Rough

I'll join the chorus citing tonal inconsistency. It isn't necessarily exclusive, but the tone changes too quickly. Probably would have benefited from actually pushing to 750 characters or skipping a lot of the morning stuff and starting much nearer the crux of the issue.
#705 · 1
· on Fading Lights · >>Monokeras
The Great

Intriguing and interesting.

The Rough

And that's kind of where it stops, unfortunately. This very much seems like something out of a larger piece as there isn't really a proper "story" here. The mystery you set-up at the beginning seems largely unsolved (we get Twilight's dead, but what is this place and what's going, etc), the Celestia saying goodbye thing isn't really the focus, and... yeah.
#706 · 2
· on Sore Loser
The Great

Best narrative voice I've seen this round. Super great capturing of RD.

The Rough

This feels a bit like the wrong scene. It is nice, but it also falters a bit by being reflection on what feels like a more interesting scene. Which is a common issue with minifics.

Could also use a bit of editorial cleaning, I feel.
#707 · 4
· on Abhorrent Amalagamation · >>FanOfMostEverything >>Syeekoh
Genre: Monologue Dialogue

Thoughts: I shouldn't have read through the other reviews. D: It's hard now to insert my own thoughts instead of heeding the word of your betters who have wisely covered many good and worthy points.

If I was just writing what I think, it would be far less useful. Because I suppose that speculation about the nature of the Nightmare and its glorious wisdom are probably familiar ground for many people, and this is basically just another one of those sorts of things.

But for me, subjective though my view may be, this might be the most magnificent take on that sort of thing that I've yet seen. The (ahem) abhorrent amalgamation of Luna's pointless nattering and the Nightmare's well-deserved insertions flowed very naturally for me, while also highlighting how unnatural the relationship must be.

I feel like this could be even stronger but I don't know how to recommend tweaking and tuning it, but the many other, more worthy reviews may hold actual useful ideas.

Tier: Strong
#708 · 3
· on Happily Ever After* · >>Trick_Question
Genre: AAARGH MY FEELS

Thoughts: This packs the biggest emotional punch of any story I've yet seen in this Writeoff. As >>Rao notes, the brevity of the piece seems to work in its favor. I can see the "tortured artist" thing being a bit cliche, but for me the bigger point here was to highlight the sheer unreasonableness of the foundations of Cranky and Matilda's love, and to contrast that with how they actually worked together to build a real foundation for a relationship. The novel is therefore more of a framing device than something we should take too seriously; albeit a framing device that this audience can probably relate to on a more visceral level.

Yeah. I dunno. I'm putting it at the top of my slate.

Tier: Top Contender
#709 · 1
· on Moon Bright
Genre: Slice of fridge logic

Thoughts: I can find no fault with >>Not_A_Hat's review and will duly bandwagon.

Tier: Strong
#710 · 2
· on Happily Ever After* · >>Trick_Question >>Trick_Question
So –
Some phrasing made me wonder. Case in point:
Even back when he spent each day searching for Matilda, a donkey needs a tangible hobby.

I know you’re expressing a general idea in the second part, which calls for the present tense, but the turn of phrase from particular to general made me grimace. It didn’t bristle me, but I felt a small prick reading it.

I’d say this is a fine story, but I still have a gripe: I don’t understand why that epiphany happens that day, and not before or after. There’s nothing in the text that points towards a special event, or something that could’ve caused it. Without a harbinger, the realisation comes across as very abrupt and almost artificial. I think the text would’ve been better with some detail, even small (he crashes his quill, the inkwell is empty…) that triggers that all too sudden revelation.
#711 · 2
· on After A Wild Night
This is amusing but confusing because of the gender shifts very early in the text, that addled me and threw me somewhat out. I think you should have been consistent in your gender at least until the reveal of the twist, where you could've liberally switched them.

But, eh, witty story, that will probably clash with many’s headcanons. However, there’s hardly anything else in the story than the reveal, so this looks like a masqueraded feghoot at the end.
#712 · 1
· on The Perfect Evening · >>billymorph
Wow: innumerable.

Hah, that's what you can call “a punchline”.

This is a cute story, but it feels a bit clichéd. It’s like the characters behave exactly the way we expect them to behave. Your Trixie is nice, but somehow does not go beyond the Trixie everyone else could paint. That’s my main gripe here. Your Trixie is too much cardboard-cut. Give it more depth, and you’ll be more than fine.
#713 · 2
· on Tired · >>Bachiavellian
This feel strange. It lacks motivation: why would Celestia suddenly open her heart to Twilight on such an occasion.

Also, this clashes headlong with my own headcanon: I can’t buy Celestia privately informing Twilight of such a game changer decision before speaking to her own sister. Something is wrong here. And Celestia reigning over her private little mead? Hogwash! Think about her cakes!
#714 · 1
· on Never Leave You Hangin'
Genre: AU, baby

Thoughts: >>Xepher articulates my biggest question, which is about the parameters of this AU. Don't get me wrong, I myself have a long running Nightmare AU fic co-starring Dashie, so I'm down for it. But the early bit here feels so much like a vanilla-verse where Dash accepted the Shadowbolt temptation, and I thought it was going to keep building a strong story there. Unfortunately, the swerve into a GlimGlam-verse both muddied things and ate up precious word count, which left little room for an actual story.

I think there's plenty of potential here. Flashbacks and retrospectives can be a valid way to frame a story. It just needs more words so that it can get to a higher Story-To-Framing Ratio (TM & copyright 2016 CoffeeMinion Industries LLC, some rights reserved).

Tier: Needs Work
#715 · 1
· on The Perfect Evening · >>billymorph
I wasn't all that fond of this one. Starlight just didn't feel like Starlight to me. She just seemed pretty generic...and her take on friendship with the gossip was really unexpected. Trixie sounded more like herself, though the dialogue could probably use a bit of polishing to bring it out as much as possible in every line. I did enjoy Trixie's attempt to make up a better ending for the date, and her awkwardness even talking about it made the lie that much more amusing and obvious. It was pretty fun to overhear that conversation, but it just didn't feel like Starlight to me. Sorry to be so negative ><
#716 · 3
· on Abhorrent Amalagamation · >>CoffeeMinion
>>CoffeeMinion
I appreciate the implication that we other reviewers represent the esteemed and wise Nightmare in this analogy.
#717 · 2
· on Abhorrent Amalagamation
>>FanOfMostEverything
Hey, what's a little implication of eldritch evil among friends? :derpytongue2:
#718 ·
· on The Princess Sleeps · >>Baal Bunny
Genre: Hypnotoad!

Thoughts: I'll echo others who wished for greater clarity about who's speaking, or just a better anchor to reality for the struggle taking place here. The language is beautiful at points, but without knowing what's really going on, it's kind of sound and fury signifying... I don't know what.

But I don't want to be discouraging here. I see there's good stuff underneath the surface, and that sort of thing is never dead if it can eternal lie.

Tier: Almost There
#719 ·
· on Favor Those Who Hold the Fire · >>Trick_Question >>GroaningGreyAgony
One issue I have with this story is that it's unclear what's going on and when is this happening. The "six colorless lumps of stone" suggest the death of the Mane Six.

But then you mention the moon and the face in it, and this suggests that this is (yet another) banishment aftermath story -- I have some vague idea that the "six lumps" are the six Element Bearers from a millenium ago; presumably, they've either sided with Nightmare Moon, or they stood against her and paid for it dearly.

Or maybe Luna has been corrupted and banished again, in the modern era, and the lumps are indeed the former Mane Six. But we're given no clear idea what actually happened. (Trick_Question drew my attention to the initial sentence, with one heavy crash contrasted with five smaller ones. A fully grown princess Twilight and her friends?)

...That said. I love this story. It's written so damn well that I'm willing to overlook the too-tantalizing hints of a deeper, unexplained story. I love the occasional dip into Celestia's desperate thoughts. The two-sentence ending is unfortunately weak, but not much more could be done within the word limit without crippling the brilliant prose above.
#720 ·
· on Abhorrent Amalagamation · >>Not_A_Hat >>Syeekoh
The Nightmare's lines are very evocative -- especially the final terseness of both "Rapture." and the final line.

And I love this fragment:

The morning after my banishment concludes―

There will be no morning after the banishment concludes.


That said,

the pulchritude inherent in boundless sunset

Sunset is a kind of half-assed night -- you can still see the sunlight! -- so I don't think the Nightmare would want it to last forever.

Synthesizing with the sticky sluice of the incubus


Wait, what? She had sex with a demon? (>>Not_A_Hat, an incubus is just a male version of a succubus.) OK, maybe she just stole some of the sex demon's "sticky sluice" and used it in magic rituals. Regardless, this kind of icky detail adds nothing to the story, and feels way too direct and blunt. It would be better to just refer vaguely to dealings with dark forces, without stooping to distractingly explicit descriptions of bodily fluids.

Hm. I wasn't sure if there was even a point in any detailed descriptions of the magic rituals. But on second thought, perhaps the meaning of this line is that Luna was originally having something way less malign in mind (some harmless magical way to teach Celestia a lesson?), but then she added that one ill-advised ingredient... and poof, Nightmare. Which quite changes the mood of the story. Instead of Luna becoming/attracting the Nightmare through sheer power of her resentment, she's ended up with it due to one single impulsive mistake -- which may be even more tragic.
#721 ·
· on I Wasn't Prepared for This · >>PaulAsaran
I really like this one. Celestia's grief is well described, and filly Sunset is adorable (although it doesn't feel right when she apparently learned to read quickly before learning to be afraid of monsters under her bed.)

Also, a couple of rougher sentences:

a familiar talon tightening over a heart that had slipped down into her hooves


The sentence reads weird when you have two different metaphors happening to her heart at the same time.

Celestia flipped through page after page of old, familiar messages as more images danced on her retinae.


The word "retinae" tripped me up a bit because of how scientific it sounds. It doesn't really fit the rest of the story.
#722 ·
· on A Good Filly · >>Trick_Question >>Orbiting_kettle
This is well written but I cannot really identify the conflict, or rather I am confused by the way you present it. Mother and daughter seem to be in a fix, possibly after some sort of wrongdoing. I was also at some point expecting the mother to have given a hiding to her daughter or something of sorts. Your setting waylaid me.

Turns out this is way “brighter” and they simply don't trust the guards. But, if I have construed the story correctly, what means that key sentence “she was a good filly”? I am at a loss. I can’t reconcile both aspects.
#723 ·
· on The Passing of Years
I think I've found my favorite story in my finals set. So far, at least.
#724 · 2
· on Favor Those Who Hold the Fire · >>JudgeDeadd
>>JudgeDeadd
I originally thought that, but I just figured something out.

I think the author was referring to the stone forms of the EoH from s01e02.

Technically, we don't know when the EoH turned to stone, but in s01e02 five of the Elements were stone spheres and the sixth was missing. I don't think it happened immediately after Luna's banishment, because when Luna's banishment was shown on the show, the EoH remained intact afterwards (I believe). But I think that's the idea the author is going with here, and it's not a huge stretch from canon.

It's just a little odd that Celestia seems to be showing so much emotion for the Elements. I suspect the emotion is intended to only be toward Luna, and perhaps a bit toward the cost of the sacrifice.

So, no. At the moment, I'm fairly certain the author did not mean to imply that the Mane 6 died.
#725 · 1
· on Abhorrent Amalagamation · >>Syeekoh
>>JudgeDeadd
an incubus is just a male version of a succubus.


Yeah. And although I've always separated 'Luna' and 'the Nightmare' (Whatever curse/influence that made her Nightmare Moon) somewhat in my headcannon, I've always assumed the Nightmare was female, because it definitely influences her form with the transformation thing and if it was male, there would likely be differences. So although there's no reason an author can't make the Nightmare male and have that make sense, I don't see that suggested in the show or defended in the story, making my best guess a mistake on the author's part. If not, it seems like a sudden and un-rationalised headcannon dump, which might be smoother if rationalized/foreshadowed or something, so it's less out of left field.
#726 · 2
· on R.Vival
>>FanOfMostEverything
I'll participate when possible. I'm not exactly overflowing withfree time as of late. I'm fact, time is a severely short comodity. Still, it's writing that more or less keeps me sene. So, thanks for the kind words.

As for your suggestions. .. they give me an idea
#727 ·
· on R.Vival
>>Morning Sun
You may just get answers one day. Keep waiting.
#728 · 1
· on Sore Loser
I enjoyed this one (I empathise with the awfulness of day-after muscle soreness so much...). However, I must be the odd one out, because I found RD's narrative voice uneven at the start. In particular the phrase, "Overexertion, she ruminated," is pretty jarring for a story from Dash's perspective.

There are so many places where I think you capture her wonderfully, especially later, but in the beginning you've got a fantastic voicing here:

Sometimes ponies who got huffy about dumb things like that accused her of having no taste,


and then you follow it up with

"but she always countered that this was the only way coffee ever had any taste."


I guess we could argue about how often we think Dash would use a word like "countered", in fairness. But this would be stronger if it was less reflective regardless. "... but this was the only way coffee ever had any taste" works fine and is, I think, better than including 'but she aways countered with.' It's more direct, which is Dash's style, and more emphatic because it's concise.

The character voicing just especially stands out because of RD's awareness of it when she thinks about Celestia later in the story.

I digress. The story is still a great slice of life, and I don't think it would take long to polish it up. Nice work.
#729 · 1
· on A Good Filly · >>Monokeras
>>Monokeras
This story is a post-Sombra snapshot of ponies who were recently slaves, and are still too traumatized to trust that their new rulers are benevolent. The filly has not experienced the depth of horrors that her mother has, so she's less wary—but she trusts her mother's judgment.

The "good filly" thing is a motif intended to tie the story together, and it kind of touches upon the theme (in that the mother's only concern is protecting her foal, and also the difference in generations), but I thought it didn't work well.

EDIT: I only mean the motif didn't work well. The story is fantastic; the motif is the only flaw.
#730 ·
· on The Perfect Evening · >>billymorph
The part where Trixie waxes poetic about the carnal thing going into the other thing is funny, but I agree with all the other commentators who would rather see the date itself. I was also unconvinced by the ending: I'm not sure I buy that Trixie would punch a stallion in the mouth and then run away (sounds more like what comedic panicking!Twilight would do), but I really don't buy Starlight bashing her head against the table and saying "Damn it Trixie!" (sounds more like something exasperated!Dash would do).
#731 · 2
· on Post Metamorphosis
Genre: (CoffeeMinion is running high on stories and low on time so the usual format may go bye bye.)

Thoughts: As Trick said, this would be amazing if the protagonist had slept through the transformation. It's less amazing as a recollection because the stakes are so much lower. But there's very good technical execution here, as I think Xepher said.

Tier: Almost There

>>Moosetasm
Yes, that :-p
#732 · 3
· on Entering and Breaking
>>Trick_Question
Just an aside, having realized A Thing.

This story would make oodles more sense if instead of a sugar addiction, it were a salt addiction.

That's because the latter has actually appeared in the show, and it doesn't contradict canonical things like Pinkie Pie's and Celestia's behaviors, or sugar being neigh-constantly available to foals.
#733 ·
· on An Advanced Lesson in Friendship · >>AndrewRogue
8oz coffee review: See >>Trick_Question for thoughts about length. Personally, I'm not as sold on the ship to start with, and this doesn't hit me in a way that would help bring me around. That's personal, though I think there's not a lot done here to show why they would work together; the focus is on the wacky time hijinks, and the relationship takes a back seat. More length would make room for that.

Tier: Almost There
#734 · 2
· on Happily Ever After*
>>Monokeras
I think the epiphany relates to the fact that prior to the morning after his wedding, he wasn't able to psychologically accept that he'd actually found happiness with Matilda. It still felt like he was about to lose her again at any moment, until they'd finally tied the knot. My read, at least, but that seems to be the "difference" being described.

You're right about the phrasing seeming awkward. I'm pretty sure it's still proper English: the present tense in the second clause is the "factual present". If you replace "a" with "every" it becomes clearer, which means "every" would probably be a better word choice. But even then it seems a little awkward, so I'd suggest the author consider trying a different approach.
#735 · 2
· on Three Unicorn Tail Hairs · >>The_Letter_J
>>The_Letter_J
At the risk of escalating things further, I feel like I should say one more thing.

I don't think I disagree with much of what you're saying. I believe a lot of this has been miscommunication, and I'll gladly take responsibility for the bulk of that. But I am trying to get an important critique across. I'm probably not doing a good job of that so I'll try one last time.

Let's pretend for a moment that you're the author. My critique is this. If a decent proportion of readers believe that your story is a Harry Potter story, and perhaps some of them downvote it for not tagging it as a Crossover, that is your fault as the author.

Writing is not a one-way street. It isn't just about you, the author. It's a communication between you and your readers. I've seen every Harry Potter movie and am familiar with many other fantasy movies and books. If I believed this was Harry Potter, so will other readers. If you don't want that, it's your fault as the author for not making the story look less like Harry Potter.

Put a more positive way, the power to prevent misinterpretation of your work is in your hooves. You cannot expect your readers to know as many intricacies of Harry Potter that you do. That isn't realistic. It doesn't matter how "right" you are—what matters is what your readers see. It's a mistake to blame your readers for something that you have control over.

I'm not suggesting that you're doing or saying any of these things I'm arguing against. I'm trying to provide a general warning to the author, whoever that may be: if you expect readers to not identify this story with Harry Potter, I think you've failed. You need to differentiate what you're writing from Potter more than you have.

Naturally, if the author doesn't care if readers think it's Potter, then my critique is moot.

And again, if I were writing a Potter-inspired story, it might look just like this one. So unless you're the author, you don't know whether or not they were basing this story on Harry Potter.

That's all I have to say. I apologize if I hurt anyone's feelings or if I misspoke. I agree with the vast majority of the things you've been saying. I just feel that the critique about this seeming like a Harry Potter story is a valid one, because there's a chance the author didn't want the story to seem like HP in which case I think they need to change things. Likewise, your critique that the story isn't like Harry Potter from a technical perspective is useful to the author if they did intend this to be a crossover.

I'm done. I'm not going to respond anymore if this discussion continues to be as aggressive as it's been (or maybe not at all in either case, as I don't have the fortitude to handle it right now). If you or the author don't like what I've had to say, I'm sorry, and feel free to ignore it. That should be the way any critique is handled, after all.
#736 · 3
· on After A Wild Night · >>CoffeeMinion >>Not_Worthy2
Orchard Blossom was one of my favorite bits from the last few seasons, so I was happy to see Mrs. Doubtneigher's return, even if it took a form I wasn't necessarily expecting.

I like the concept; it's cute. I like the execution too, for the most part. But I don't understand the why of it. I'm not sure if this is supposed to be some sort of statement about gender, or if there's something about these characters that makes them only want to date one another when they've shifted into their alternate personas. Is Fluttershy only attracted to Big Mac in high heels, or... or what's going on with that? I also agree with the confusion surrounding the pronouns; it was very difficult to follow who was saying what at times, especially since the characters revert to their true identities mid-dialogue at the end.
#737 · 1
· on Entering and Breaking · >>KwirkyJ
8oz review: ooo, I enjoyed !Hat's reading of this one. The text is a fair bit rougher than I expected based on that. The premise is silly but falls short of capitalizing on both its potential ridiculousness and its emotional depth. Lots of good here, but:

Tier: Needs Work
#738 · 2
· · >>Haze
EDIT: This probably doesn't matter...? Maybe I should check Writeoff FAQ before spending hours on something. :facehoof:




(Still keeping this here for historical/hysterical purposes.)

I have a simple idea for improving the quality of our voting system. I don't know if Roger will think anything of it, but I wanted feedback from the rest of you because I think it's a very good idea. :D




Here's the problem: ponies who rank fewer fics rank them less accurately. This is because the ranking automatically assigns them percentage scores that range from 0% to 100%. The fewer fics you rank, the more likely it is that you'll be assigning extreme scores to fics that don't deserve them.

In the most extreme example, consider somepony who only has time to rank two fics in a short story round. Those fics will get scores of 0% and 100%. Giving a fic a 0% score makes it much less likely to medal, and it's highly unlikely the lesser-ranked of two random stories actually deserves a score that extreme (and the same is true for the 100% score).

Now, here's a very simple solution...

On every voting slate, pretend the topmost and bottommost ranks are occupied by invisible stories.

So if you vote on two stories, instead of them scoring 100% and 0%, they'll score 67% and 33%. This is far more reasonable, and it's more likely to be accurate, because those numbers fall in the MIDDLE of the region instead of on the extremes! When you vote on three stories, your scores will be 75%, 50%, and 25%, and so on.

To see why this is a good idea, consider the math. If you rank two stories, one will be high, and one low. Your best guess at this point is that the high one falls somewhere in the upper-half of the distribution, and the low one falls somewhere in the lower-half. If that were the case, on average the higher-scoring story will be around 75%—not 100%! But even 75% is a little too high, because there's a one-in-four chance that both stories actually belong in the bottom-half of the distribution. That's why 66% is a better guess for the higher-scoring story. The math fits: it's a much better estimate.

Now when you consider the secondary effects of this method, it gets even better. :)

First, raters who vote on only a few stories will have smaller top and bottom scores for their top-rated and bottom-rated stories. This reflects the fact that their scores are less accurate than, say, somepony who reads and ranks every story.

Second, most of the effect of this method disappears after you've voted on eight or nine stories. The effect is strongest when you've only voted on a few stories, because that's when your scores are least accurate and should logically regress toward the mean. The more stories you vote on, the less of an effect this method will have on your scores, because it becomes less important once you have a reasonably-sized slate.

Third, it provides an incentive to read and vote on more stories! :D If you vote on more stories, your top-rated scores will have more impact on the results, and that's how it should be. Although this bonus becomes less and less relevant as you add more votes, it's still true that somepony who reads and votes on every story will have ever-so-slightly more impact on the top and bottom votes. And again, that's the way it should be.




There's a second problem (and possible solutions), but it's less important than this one so I'll save it for later.

Thoughts?
#739 · 3
· · >>Trick_Question
>>Trick_Question
it kinda already does that

basically the % values have nothing to do with the actual scores, they're just to help voters organize their ballots.
#740 ·
· on After A Wild Night
>>Posh
I've been contemplating the why of this one a bit myself. I think the way the story presents this is ultimately more about intimacy (in the sense of a close connection), and about finding someone that the characters can share less common aspects of themselves with, than being exclusively about gender per se.

Though maybe I'm bending this from the most obvious reading of the story to get to that conclusion; after all, this is coming from an otherwise straight-laced, traditional sort of fellow by day, who's only recently discovered he gets entirely too much of a kick out of dressing up as Vinyl Scratch at cons, so that could just be the denial talking. :-p
#741 ·
·
>>Haze
Oh, well... shit.

If I'd looked at the FAQ I probably could have saved myself several hours of work. :derpytongue2:

Eh, it was still fun! :twilightblush:

EDIT: (Although, even if it's only visual, the benefit of encouraging voters to read and vote on more stories would still apply. But yeah, derp derp derp pbbt.)
#742 · 6
· · >>CoffeeMinion >>Bachiavellian >>GroaningGreyAgony >>FanOfMostEverything
Okay, this is a sorry state of affairs. This thread's been going for eight pages now, and nobody's submitted a single mashup!

Luckily, I'm here to save you sorry sunnovaguns from yourselves.

I Wasn't Prepared for a Wild Night

Princess Celestia, incognito as Willowmint Sunphallus, wakes up in bed with Twilight after a night of passionate pants-on hugging. She contemplates her previous relationship with Sunset Shimmer, and realizes she's not ready for another commitment. Luckily, things haven't progressed past pants-on hugging.

Three Unicorn Tail Hairs Have Done My Office

Shining Armor finally opens up to Cadance about how traumatizing it was for a human and his familiar to poke his anus and steal his tail hairs for a magic spell.

Fading Loser

Rainbow Dash dies of embarrassment after losing a wager to Applejack, and goes to the afterlife, which is apparently the Painted World of Ariamis. Celestia and Luna go looking for her, but neither of them really give it their A-game, since, you know, it's only Rainbow Dash.
#743 · 4
· · >>Bachiavellian >>GroaningGreyAgony >>FanOfMostEverything
>>Posh
Curses, you're right!!!1!1one

Through Obscurity (Not) to Remember - Art imitates life when Doctor Whooves struggles to decipher a drunken note Berry Punch left him before being eaten by the Vashta Nerada. "Spoilers, sweetie!"

An Abhorrent Lesson in Friendship - In addition to hitting the cider too hard, it turns out Starlight and Trixie also snorted a bit too much Nightmare Dust, and they (plus everypony's favorite canon eldritch horror thingie) all wake up together in a big pile of sluicy awkwardness.

Moon Bright President Elect - The salt of the earth take it upon themselves to make the clocks run on time, and the roosters crow when they're supposed to, but ultimately fail to grasp the magical prerequisites to keep the celestial bodies from crashing into each other. All hell breaks loose... and they didn't even win the popular vote!!
#744 · 7
· · >>GroaningGreyAgony >>FanOfMostEverything
>>CoffeeMinion
>>Posh
I haven't done this in ages.

'Twixt my Sheets She's Done my Unicorn Hairs: With Shining's current mental state, Raindolph really should have just gone to Cadence for those hairs.

EDIT: Oh, crap, didn't realize that mash-up was already taken. :P

I Wasn't Prepared for Two Strikes Fading Ever After: Princess Celestia has a horrible student retention rate.

The Perfect Amalgamation: Trixie recalls her lovely evening with a revolting pervert, and only embellishes it a little for the sake of spiting the filthy commoner she calls a friend.

Tired Bright: Celestia quits, and two random farmers wonder where the fuck the sun's gone.
#745 · 1
· on The Perfect Evening · >>billymorph
The Great

Fun. Snappy dialogue. I think this works well for post event relating story.

Trixie's depiction of sex is the funniest thing in this write-off I've read.

The Rough

Needs an editorial pass. Always run a spellcheck!

I don't think you land on the right story beat at the end. I'm not sure what the correcting actually is, but the facedesk/again isn't it as it simply brings the story full circle.
#746 · 1
· on Just After Midnight · >>FanOfMostEverything
The Great

Another nice, solid story. Pretty good dialogue beats and a nice take on the events.

The Rough

I'm not quite sure how I feel about the "Old English." On the one hand it gives the story a unique voice, but on the other it does make it does get a bit in the way of reading.

Also, much like "hay," "neigh" just grates on the chalkboard of my soul.

I'm not sure I actually like the last line. The beat just doesn't really work for me. It sounds too... short? Lacking in flourish? Plain compared to the remainder of the language? I'm having trouble putting my finger on it exactly, but the ending is just very flat.
#747 · 3
· on Abhorrent Amalagamation · >>Syeekoh
The Great

All around solid with great interplay.

The Rough

"Synthesizing with the sticky sluice of the incubus" is a bad line here. Like, distractingly so. It just doesn't really read like any of Luna's other lines.
#748 · 6
· · >>FanOfMostEverything
>>Posh
>>CoffeeMinion
>>Bachiavellian
My hat is in the ring of fire.

The Princess Sleeps ‘Twixt My Sheets
Luna had her doubts, but she really does get a better day’s sleep when using Shining Armor’s soft, white, luxuriant silky bedding. Will poor Shining be left out in the cold, or is a compromise possible? And how will Cadance feel?

Entering and Breaking the Mold
Berry Punch and Minuette, seeking to undo the power of an enchanted wand, stage a very sexy intervention for Ponyville’s most relentlessly virginal hypernerd.

The Passing of the New Dawn
Celestia has gotten lazy in her advanced age. Instead of going through the labor of raising the sun, she is actually igniting her ‘solar wind’ to light the sky. The Mane Six flee town immediately when they find out, leaving their pets behind. Twi’s parents remain proud of her.

The Age of Obscurity
A newly-crowned Celestia and Luna need to preserve literacy from Discordian depravations. Their research will rot thirteen scholar’s minds. Onpxjneqf-eha fragraprf znxrf rapelcgvba uneqre; uneqre rapelcgvba znxrf fragraprf eha onpxjneqf. Nopony can figure it out.

A Night Not To Hold The Fire
Berry Punch and Time Turner race through and against time to stop the biggest mistake of all, and undo an alternate timeline where Celestia ruins everything.
#749 · 2
· on A Good Filly
>>Trick_Question
Yes, I got that, of course, but this interpretation doesn't come 100% clear until later in the story. The first lines seem to suggest that the mother has breached some law to the knowledge of her daughter (or even, as i said, committed some sort of abuse on her) but the filly is good enough not to report it to the guards (we do not know at first that the whole scene takes place in the Crystal Empire).

That the mother shuns the guards transpires only from the middle of the story on, and that sudden change was slightly jarring to me.
#750 · 2
· on 'Twixt My Sheets She's Done My Office · >>Posh
I think it must echo what all the others already said (that a good point about reading a fic so late: you just have to nod to what the mavens before you already pointed out). This feels sweet and fluffy, but at the same time a bit straightforward in its approach. Still, I can perfectly connect with Shining Armour here, so I will grade this one pretty high.

PS: I like the setting here: the isolated chalet set in the middle of a snowy glade. This is so much more fun that the traditional hut somewhere on a tropical island…
#751 · 2
· on Sore Loser
This is a great inner struggle, and as the others already pointed out, it goes a long way capturing RD’s mood.

However, like other stories this round, I find the change in her mindset too quick and sudden. She seems deeply resentful, and then a single ray of light turns her mindset round 100%.

And the form you choose, inner monologue, tends to make the story telly.

I’d like to see the same idea under the form of a dialogue between RD and AJ, with AJ talking RD round, and both making it up around a cup of coffee.
#752 ·
· on The Age Of Harmony
That was a nice piece of stuff. I definitely agree with OK about the Lankhmarish touch. I like Celestia’s portrayal here, though maybe the rowdy, rakish, bawdy young alicorn vein has definitely been tapped in before.

All in all, this was funny and enjoyable, even though, as others pointed out, it definitely needs a proofreading pass to be 100% clean.
#753 · 1
· on Just After Midnight · >>FanOfMostEverything
my own hoofsteps echoing like catapult stones striking the battlements.
Isn’t that a bit over the top?

I find your EME somewhat lacking style: you use modern word order, and modern forms like "has" instead of "hath".

For example:
Surely mortal ponies would rule with more wisdom than I.

Wiser than mine shalt mortal ponies’ rule be.
“I am not yet through this long darkness of mine.”
I am not sure “being through something” is archaic. I’d use: “This long darkness of mine still beseth me.”

In any case, this was a nice story, but once again, I’d argue Celestia’s mindset turnabout is too quick and unexpected. It would seem more realistic to me if she accepted to raise the Sun, but still kept on mourning. What you paint here is so sudden a change that I can barely be sold on it.
#754 · 5
·
>>Posh >>CoffeeMinion >>Bachiavellian
For what it's worth, I was planning on doing some mashups today.

>>GroaningGreyAgony
Instead of going through the labor of raising the sun, she is actually igniting her ‘solar wind’ to light the sky.
Don't be ridiculous. You can't burn helium. ;)

In any case:

Never Leave a Good Filly Hangin': A crystal pony tries not to wet herself as the rainbow-maned, bat-winged servant of Sombra's destroyer tries to make sure she and her daughter are having a pleasant evening.

Hair of the Loser That Bit You: After a bender and a bet, Scootaloo thinks back to a similar moment her idol went through.

The Princess Sleeps Through Obscurity: After "Do Princesses Dream of Magic Sheep?", the Tantabus wards off Princess Luna's self-doubt, keeping her dreams pleasant. An information-eating entity attacks the story itself to keep most people from realizing what's going on.

Power of the Crowd: Luna's attempts at psychological warfare are met with accusations of noncanonical, god-mode Celestia robbing the narrative of any tension.

Romancing Those Who Hold the Fire Just After Midnight: Gem literally could not have picked a worse time to try to woo Celestia.
#755 · 5
·
Pfft, amateurs! Here's how it's done...

Abhorrent Day One: Woona decides to go on an adorable adventure in order to make friends and save the Moon because ultimately she is cute as the dickens.

Favor Those Who Hold the Power of the Sun: Celestia fantasizes about burning her subjects to death, but fortunately maintains enough self control to—BURN! BURN YOU LITTLE SHITS! MUAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

The Unicorn Tail Hairs That Bit You: AJ, Dash, and Rarity steal some of Twilight's magic butt extrusions and plant them on their sisters just to screw with them.

Happily Ever After a Wild Night*: Flutterguy and Orchard Blossom wake up in bed together and immediately agree never to crossdress again.

The Perfect Filly: In return for Trixie's gossip, Starlight Glimmer waxes nostalgic about the horrible things she did to foals during the enslavement of Our Town.

Pardon My Scorpion Days: Fluttershy tricks Twilight Sparkle into pardoning Pinkie Pie for her recent spree of papercut attacks.

The Passing of the New Dawn: The pets of Equestria fondly remember eating all of the delicious ponies.

Alfred's Metamorphosis: Every day when Alfred wakes up, it takes him about an hour to remember he's a pony. The vigorous masturbation takes another hour.

'Twixt My Sheets She's Filthy Rich: Princess Cadance tells Shining Armor she accidentally had sex with Filthy Rich because, as a new head of state, he was easy to confuse for her husband. Shining remains skeptical.

Tired of Entering and Breaking: After Celestia pulls back from the public eye, Twilight breaks into her bedroom to begin a long-overdue pastry intervention.

Never Leave You Sore, Loser: Rainbow Dash discovers that allowing the darkness in makes it way easier to beat Applejack in sports.

Fading Obscurity: Celestia and Luna try to decypher where Twilight's luos si ,gnitser tub oox .nonne ote 3##3 oaonu9 99ohu

ae -- -3aa
u

eeeb :twilightsmile: :yay: :pinkiehappy: :raritystarry: :photocool: :raritydespair: :: :: :: ::


!o!!e4uu
#756 · 3
· on Favor Those Who Hold the Fire · >>GroaningGreyAgony >>GroaningGreyAgony
This is awesome. The prose is superb, flows and sings in my ears like crystal clear waters from a small mountain spring over mossy pebbles.

And your Celestia is exactly how I imagine her myself.

I wish I had written this. Simply.

Definity atop my slate. Out and away.

(Horizon, is that you?)
#757 ·
· on Entering and Breaking · >>KwirkyJ
It’s not really a feghoot, but it tastes like it. Definitely cute topsy-turvy fiction, even though I’d expect Minuette to behave slightly differently, but eh, your headcanon.

(I didn’t know abuse of sugar could cause sleepiness. I should definitely be more weary! :P)
#758 ·
· on Keep Wanting · >>FrontSevens
>>Trick_Question
This.

Tier: Needs Work
#759 · 5
·
If you want to see Trickster embarrass herself even more than normal, I just recorded myself singing each of the parody Hearth's Warming carols I recently posted on Fimfiction. A YouTube for the audio appears at the start of each song.

http://what is wrong with me

:facehoof:
#760 ·
· on The Age Of Harmony · >>Posh
Hmm. There were a few Pythonesque comedy beats in here, and I laughed accordingly. But even though the story briefly presents a reason why these two can raise the sun and moon while still being mercenaries, I feel like it's too brief; it's going to take more justification to get me to suspend my disbelief.

Tier: Almost There
#761 · 1
· on Fading Lights · >>Monokeras
Beautiful descriptive language, but:

What were those beings speaking about? Why had they come here to simply stop in front of her and stand still?


This was, for me, the summary of my reading experience. The plot is only partially suggested at the end, and even then we only have hints.

Tier: Needs Work
#762 ·
· on A Good Filly
Ooo, this is a great one to end my finals slate with. It's dark and powerful and does a lot of things right.

I'm going rogue and saying that I think the recurring line worked. The most important thing to that mother was that her daughter learn what it takes to survive in the bad situation they found themselves in, but she also considers it good that the daughter has more optimism than she herself does. It's a perfect little nugget of almost hypocritical, or at least cognitively dissonant, thought process, which I can totally relate to having as a parent.

Maybe this could be a little stronger if the mother's paranoia still had some touch points back to the situation they were in. I didn't really have any clues until the very end that this wasn't the old empire, and I feel like it could be stronger if it was clearer about that sooner. Otherwise though, I have nothing to complain about.

Tier: top contender
#763 ·
· on Favor Those Who Hold the Fire
>>Trick_Question
Ah. I didn't at all remember that detail (it's been years since I watched S1E1-E2), so I was confused.
#764 · 1
· on Fading Lights · >>Monokeras
I have to agree with the other reviews. Beautiful use of language, but without any real plot or point. It's a wonderfully scenic road that doesn't actually go anywhere. I'd love to see that prose coupled with a bit more plot and purpose.
#765 · 5
· on Dawn · >>Trick_Question
Dawn

Hey! It's been a while since I've entered a writeoff. Sorry for the late reflection post, I was away in Vietnam over the weekend and Monday. =x

So yes, I wrote Dawn. One version of the First Draft of the First Draft of a vignette (more like a scene, actually) the morning after the rescue of Crystal Quartz by her boyfriend. Well, it's actually a part of a much larger OC Romance story that I'm still writing for my Anthology of Chaos and Harmony. Clocking at 476 words, it definitely needed another writing pass before submission but it's the writeoff, I don't get enough inspiration unless it's 3 hours from the submission deadline and grasping for ideas. That and my other idea was a cringe comedy involving a human and Princess Celestia the morning after a one-night stand where Celestia insists that she is a human named "Sarah Personson". :trollestia:

Getting back into writing after a few months wasn't making it easy either.

Serious spoilers for the entire plot after this:
Read at your own risk. =P
Warning: Contains copious Tom Clancy tropes.
The plot ignores Griffonstone onwards as this was formulated way back in Season 3.
Crystal Quartz was a maid working in Canterlot Castle and Gerhard (originally named Erhard) was a clerk/dispatcher working in the Griffon Embassy. She fell in love with him after he saved her from a fall from a tower. That in itself isn't remarkable—interspecies couples aren't exactly unknown in Equestria. But the incident caused problems. Gerhard was the son of a prominent general back home and due to the lag in communications—Equestria and United Griffon Kingdoms (UGK) were separated by an ocean—a rival general twists the facts of the incident in an attempt to discredit his father.

When Princess Celestia transfers Crystal Quartz to be her personal handmaiden, the rival general had her kidnapped by a band of mercenaries/terrorists led by Gerald. He also issues Gerhard a race against time to save Crystal. Eventually, the rival general would have Crystal brought to the UGK to implicate Gerhard's father in an "unauthorized intelligence operation for 'personal' glory" scheme. Fortunately, Crystal was saved by Gerhard with the help of a Counter-Intelligence Officer of the Equestrian Royal Intelligence Service by the name of Whisper Wind, who was assigned to "watch over" Crystal for this very scenario. This entry takes place the morning after this rescue.

Gerhard and Gerald weren't brothers or even rivals of Crystal's affections. Gerald called Crystal a "wench" and a "slave" as a method of terrorizing her. He had plans of selling her to sexual slavery after her interrogation by the general, so calling her a slave wasn't out of the norm for him. Gerald wasn't a pleasant guy.

I really need to finish this story. =P

Gerald's name was a big problem. I pronounced Gerhard and Gerald differently: Gerhard with a hard G and Gerald with a soft G, so reading them wasn't that problematic for me. But I forgot other people probably didn't pronounce it the same way as I do. x.x

I was in a mood to update my story canon to Season 6 standards and that meant "G's for Griffons"... I should probably go back to my old naming scheme. =P

>>FanOfMostEverything
The problem with OCs is that we know nothing about them ahead of time. You forfeit one of the most convenient aspects of fan fiction, the preexisting connection between reader and character, and thus must make the former care about the latter.

That was a big problem with the entry, I needed a rewrite but I also had only 5 mins left for the deadline. =x

Also, you should really consider renaming one of the griffons. Having two very different characters with nearly identical names can prove confusing for the reader.


>>007Ben
At which point, the similar names don't really go anywhere ...

>>Rao
The name similarities between our two griffons hints at a greater connection, but we don't get one.

>>FrontSevens
I'm not sure what the name similarity is supposed to mean in the first place? It's drawing a parallel between the two Griffons, but I'm not sure what sort of parallel that is.

Because there really isn't any connections between the names. I thought the names were different enough to pass but it didn't. =P

I don't think it's a story-puzzle I'm not getting and I simply need to piece together; there's just not enough pieces, I think.

At only 476 words, I missed out a number of things, stated in the spoilers above.

>>Trick_Question
Picky stuff: does blood really pound in your ears? I don't get a lot of exercise, but I have good hearing and I can't remember ever hearing my blood.

It does for me but usually when I had a migraine or maybe when I'm sick. It's more of an unpleasant sensation than hearing.

I messed up my descriptions again. x.x

My main problem: who the hell are these ponies and what is going on and why should I care? It seems fairly clear early on that Gerald is Sombra, and Crystal might be a symbolic representation of the nation of Crystal ponies, but then what does Gerhard represent? I have no idea. There must be a deeper meaning here that's going waaaay over my head. I don't see it. I don't even see what this has to do with ponies.

Like FoME said, you read too much into the whole thing. =x

Gerhard saved Crystal, she had a night terror and Gerhard comforted her in the morning.

I think there's a ton of data in the author's head that didn't make it onto the paper.

Certainly! The entry's only 476 words long. =(

See the spoilers for more details. :3

>>Xepher
It didn't help that Crystal's own name is spelled differently one time as well, making me think the one-letter-off names were more significant than they are.

That was a typo I missed before submission.

There are several other technical problems that need to be cleaned up as well.

Are there examples you can list?

I'm happy you guys liked the premise, watch out for the complete story coming out in the future!

Thanks for all the reviews!
#766 · 2
· · >>horizon
Could somepony please create the story folder in the Writeoff group?

I'd like to publish my story in the morning. :twilightblush:
#767 · 1
· on The Perfect Evening · >>billymorph
Okay, this was a fun one! I really don't know what else to say about it. Trixie and Starlight bounced off each other quite well, and the dialogue was entertaining. Two thumbs up!
#768 · 1
· on The Princess Sleeps
As I've stated before, I rather hate poetry in general. So the fact that this story wasn't written as poetry, but is merely poetic, worked quite well for me.

I've never been quite sure where to draw the line between 'eloquent' and 'you dun used too many of them fancy words, son.' This fic definitely leans towards the latter, but doesn't quite seem to cross the line.

All in all, I found this to be quite and surprisingly enjoyable. Two thumbs up!

Also, I'm surprised so many people seem to have an issue as to who the narrator is. I figured it was the Tantabus pretty early on, and everything else only reinforced my assumption. And usually I'm the one scratching their head over the meaning of some of these fics. ;>
#769 · 2
· on Moon Bright
A wonderful bit of Slice of Life. Both Pistachio and Pecan feel like perfectly believable people. They're not heroes or villains or friends of royalty. They're just two simple farmers in a changing world, worried and uncertain about what the future holds. I liked the way their anxiety grows as the moment of truth grows closer and closer... And once it has passed, it's back to business as usual. As if that worrisome tipping point had never existed...

Two thumbs up!
#770 · 4
· on Dawn
>>M1Garand8
I was in a mood to update my story canon to Season 6 standards and that meant "G's for Griffons"... I should probably go back to my old naming scheme. =P


I don't think you should eschew canon, because the G names were the one hint we had that these were griffons.

More directly, the first letter was not the problem. The problem is they were both spelled "Ger--a--d", and differed only by one-and-a-half letters. They were extremely similar names. It would actually be hard to come up with names more similar than those two. This suggested to those of us who like to overthink things that the names were intended to be seen as two aspects of the same character.

You might try something like Gerald or Grady or Gunther or Glen or Gallant or Gianni: all of those are different. The two names you chose were distinct in your mind, but they were so near in appearance that several readers didn't even notice it was a different name on the first read. (I actually had to correct my review because I used the wrong name in one place, derp.)
#771 · 2
· on Favor Those Who Hold the Fire · >>GroaningGreyAgony
I read this as well and I give it high praise. I feel the urge to dock it slightly for originality of topic, but its depiction of the dark side of Celestia's grief is powerful. The main thing I think would strengthen it is continuing it past this moment; there's bound to be a compelling journey along Celestia's path to recovery, and I would like to read it. The emotional punch is somewhat blunted by not getting to see more of that resolution.

Tier: Strong
#772 · 1
· on 'Twixt My Sheets She's Done My Office · >>Posh
Oh, we got a good one here. Both characters feel true to themselves. The main thing I'd recommend is keeping Shining's parts a bit more subdued. E.g., cut this:

but rapidly grew louder and more frantic the longer he spoke


And this feels like an awful lot to cram into a single line, considering the subject matter:

I feel... wrong. Guilty. Dirty. I think I'm broken. And I don't know if I'll ever not be


More words would probably help this. It's off to a good start though.

Tier: Strong
#773 · 3
· on Pardon My Friends · >>The_Letter_J
This is the rare feghoot that doesn't make me want to throttle the author. I dig the random comedy here; the "like a metaphor" thing is brilliant. I thought the knock on pardoning turkeys overstayed its welcome a little, but the bit with Celestia makes up for it.

Tier: Strong
#774 · 1
· on Three Unicorn Tail Hairs
Hmm. I read this and commented a bit but never really reviewed it.

I think this could use a great deal of clarification and fleshing-out, particularly in the framing pieces. But I'm a fan of what I see so far. I could see this turning into a strong story on FimFiction.

Tier: Almost There
#775 · 3
· · >>CoffeeMinion
Sorry to the people whose stories I've read but not commented on D: I want to do nice long useful comments, and at least a couple I had a lot to say for, but I'm behind in homework and when I finished the story and clicked in the comment box all I could think was that I ought to be typing my homework out... I will try to comment later, even if the contest is over, if anyone is interested. I mean, I don't know how useful I am, but I will definitely give feedback to anyone who wants it, after the contest is over... I don't think I'm going to be able to give nearly as much as I want to before it ends >_<
#776 · 1
·
>>Kitcat36
Feedback is good!
#777 · 2
· on Fading Lights · >>Monokeras
>>Xepher
You did catch the the will-o-the-wisps were blurry Celestia and Luna, right? Or at least their energy, maybe just their souls visible to the viewpoint character?
#778 · 1
· on An Advanced Lesson in Friendship · >>AndrewRogue
>>Astrarian
Glim? Did Trixie call her that in the show?


She's Glim, she's Glam, they're the world famous Glim-Glam brothers sisters...!

I just need Twilight to let me visit the Canterlot Royal Library.”


"Surely there must be an answer in one of those many award-winning fanfics! I mean, ninety percent of fan content is about two characters ending up in compromising situations...!"

So I also liked this, in part because I'm a sucker for WAFF-y fanfics (it's a secret vice; tell no one), and also because Trixie/GlimGlam is one of the only pairings on the show that I could actually see materializing. Loved Trixie, loved Starlight, agreed that Starlight shifted back into "magic solves everything" territory too quickly, thought that Starlight came across like early season Twilight a little bit too much, but for the most part... they're both well done. But not as well as Trixie did Starlight.

I'll go ahead and tie this in with Chrysalis Booped My Hubby's Dick with my criticism, though: Both stories suffer from a resolution that comes across far too quickly; the emotional shifts that the characters go through happen too rapidly to be wholly plausible. It's whiplashy to the reader. Emotions come and go with an audible "vroom"ing noise.

Both pieces would do with more space to let the characters hammer out an understanding. More room to write = better pacing for both entries, and a more plausible (and satisfying!) resolution.
#779 · 1
· on A Good Filly
The Great

Another good take on the prompt. Very strongly emotive.

The Rough

Maybe I'm dumb, but none of the clues clicked strongly enough to actually get me to where and when this story was taking place. Like they were definitely there! Gem puns, Flash, etc. Add in that the show presentation of the post Crystal Empire was (obviously) positive and none of it quite added up to get me to "Crystal Empire immediately post-Cadence." And without actually knowing that... the body fell super flat to me. I had no ability to empathize with her concerns because it is -such- an overreaction to all the assumptions I was able to make.

That said, I'm not sure you should particularly change anything on the basis of that review.
#780 · 3
· on The Passing of Years
She was definitely one of the two most important mares in his life.


Between her and his mistress, it was hard for Night Light to say who was more important.

We're getting snapshots of Twiley's birth and growth, building up to the grand conclusion that she is now the immortal god-princess of friendship after being born a tiny fluffball. Something else that bridges the dourness of the empty nest scene and the peaceful bliss of the finale would probably do a lot to help that progression.

I like it overall. It's cute. Lots of cute stories this round. Lots of filly Twilight, too. Isn't that odd? It's like back in October when everyone and their grandmother wrote about Zephyr Breeze...
#781 · 1
· on Tired · >>Bachiavellian
The Great

Just a pleasant little piece that captures the feel of the morning.

The Rough

Needs an editorial pass. Lot of little typos.

All told, this doesn't just quite gel for me. I can't quite put my finger on it, but, overall, the story just doesn't interest or excite me. Which is a shame, because I think it executes reasonably well on its core conceit.

POF feels really OOC for Twilight.
#782 · 1
· on The Age Of Harmony
>>CoffeeMinion I thought the same thing; a Holy Grail take on the early years of Lulu and Kaykay.

But I'm also going to point out how weird it is for the nigh-immortal, stellar-body-raising sister-duo to be mere sellswords journeying around the land, boinking the offspring of landowners and getting drunk on mead. Especially since this is after they used the Elephants of Harmony to off Discord, and after they've wracked up a body count of monsters from the netherverse.

Premise and execution are at odds, and that does kill a little bit of the comedic value to me.

Still worth a lol and a lmao, though. Maybe even a roflmao.
#783 · 1
· on Post Metamorphosis
He wakes up, gropes himself, monologues, and accepts himself, all fairly quickly. Not bad, but... unremarkable, I guess. I'm not really feeling the narrator here as a character; he sounds more like he's narrating a nature documentary in real time.

If/when this is rewritten, I'd like to see the narration injected with a greater dose of personality. Make me like and care about this narrator and his self-discovery.
#784 · 1
· on Pardon My Friends · >>The_Letter_J
The Great

Solidly written, couple of clever/entertaining lines.

The Rough

Another one that just didn't click with me, unfortunately. Not much to offer here as I am not a huge fan of this sort of comedy and nothing in this fic particularly changed my opinion on that.

Character voice feels a little off, but this is also a comedy, so I'm not sure that's a serious crime here.
#785 · 3
· on Three Unicorn Tail Hairs
>>Trick_Question
First of all, I will, of course, deny having written this story. But I guess we'll see in about six hours.

But yes, it does seem that we are in agreement here, we just came at it from different sides. You read it and thought "this is clearly a Harry Potter thing." I read it and thought "this is clearly inspired by Harry Potter, but isn't a Harry Potter story." But we both ultimately arrived at "author, you need to be more clear about what you're doing."

And author, I'm sorry that we filled up your story's comments with our arguing. I hope you at least got something useful out of it.
#786 · 4
· on The Passing of Years
"So," said Night Light. "Would you like to have another one?"
#787 · 2
· on Just After Midnight · >>FanOfMostEverything
In time, She collected Herself. She wiped at her eyes and said, “What is thy name, filly?”

“Mince Pie, Your Highness.”


A pony and a pie, no lie!

So while I like this a lot, both conceptually and in execution, I can't help but be thrown by the way it's written and worded. Your narrator is a pony of lowly station, but she speaks and writes in the exact same elevated, posh-y mode as Celestia. I get that she's a servant of the crown, but in that case, the quality of her diction should be somewhere between Warcraft peasant and Royal Canterlot such-and-such.
#788 · 2
· on The Perfect Evening · >>billymorph
“Eh, only if you listen to Twilight, but what does she know?” Starlight shrugged.


Besides how to house ungrateful, rehabilitated ex-villains in her luxurious friendship castle, with free room and board, while softballing lessons your way to justify keeping you under her roof? Oh, not much.

Much like Trixie's date, this story built to a climax that wasn't much of a payoff. That's disappointing, because I was really enjoying the character dynamic and the snappy dialogue between Trixie and Glimglam, even if I wanted to box Glimmy's ears for her remark at the beginning.

Why are they hanging out in Canterlot again?
#789 · 2
· on Abhorrent Amalagamation · >>Syeekoh
Synthesizing with the sticky sluice of the incubus


...w-what? You had me enraptured right up until this line.

I found myself laughing along with this story (with, not at) just because of how well the invective-laced Nightmare contrasted with the more even-keeled and demure Luna. I appreciate it as a character study, but I also couldn't help cracking up just a little bit.

Lovely prose, if a bit purpler than necessary at times, and a very good take on the duality of Luna and the Nightmare Moon persona.
#790 · 3
·
So I think that's it for me. I apologize for the abbreviated and rushed reviews at the last minute, but I'm rather tired and it's a small miracle that I still possess enough coordination to properly type out this extruded Nairobi dingle-dongler breastmilk with a corncob pipe and a button nose.

Y'feel me?

Anyway, I look forward to seeing the results in the morning. :)
#791 · 2
· on Similitude · >>Bremen
It's an interesting question, but one that I think would be better served by a longer story about Starlight discovering her answer through a quest of some sort - proving the difference to herself through her actions - rather than simply being told in a quick discussion. As others mention, there's not quite enough scope to the exploration to feel really satisfying in this form. It suffers from the word limit by being forced into getting the message across didactically, instead of through organic self-discovery.

That said, on the plus side I still think the size limit was handled well for what the story is. I'm impressed that you managed to get four scenes into a minific and not have it feel too cramped, except for maybe just a bit at the end of the last one where the story feels to me as if it cuts off rather abruptly.
#792 · 2
· on Never Leave You Hangin'
I have to give this one points for bravery: alt-universe is a risky move for a minific, with so little space to fully set up the differences from the actual show canon. I think this story suffers a little from that. There are a lot of questions left without answers or even hints, and now that you've started, I really want to know about them but there just isn't space to cover in 750 words. In an unfortunate irony, I'm kinda left feeling hanging.

I like the concept, but it just screams for something longer and more involved than I think is possible to cram into minific material.

I also don't really like the flashback scene in italics. It kind of breaks up the main scene that's going on, and I think that extra bit of reclaimed wordcount that could have been gained by omitting it could have been put back into the main scene to help at least a little with fleshing out more of that ambitious alt-universe premise.
#793 · 6
· on The Age Of Harmony · >>Orbiting_kettle
The Royal Sisters as mercenary troublemakers in their youth should be a giant series, starting from when they stumble wide-eyed into the world from their little hamlet or whatever.

Basically, please make this a 300,000 word sprawling epic, thanks
#794 · 5
· on The Age Of Harmony · >>billymorph
>>Morning Sun
It needs to be an anthology of short stories. If the author (*wink* *wink*) had any interest in doing something like that, I would gladly contribute.
#795 ·
·
Less than one hour! *wink* *wink*
#796 · 1
· on Three Unicorn Tail Hairs · >>Trick_Question >>Trick_Question >>georg
>>Trick_Question
Rarity's house could very well still smell horsey. I mean, horses smell like more than hay and horseapples.

Besides. By word of Faust from way back when there are no bathrooms in Equestria. Only flowers in need of fertilizer.
#797 ·
· on Favor Those Who Hold the Fire · >>Monokeras
>>Trick_Question

Celestia hitting the floor herself, then the now-inert elements. There's your six.
#798 · 2
·
Well, I'm boring at commenting on things this WO so barely did. But I at least rated all the finalists or something. Whoo.
#799 ·
· on Favor Those Who Hold the Fire
>>Morning Sun
Celestia deep-sixed the elements.
#800 · 3
· on Happily Ever After*
Happily Ever After*

I'm flattered this did as well as it did, and I'm happy so many of you were able to enjoy it. :pinkiesad2: (remember, that's the emoticon where she's crying with happiness)

First off, thanks for all the feedback:
>>GroaningGreyAgony >>FanOfMostEverything >>Astrarian >>Rao >>Posh >>Xepher >>georg >>Shadowed_Song >>Not_A_Hat >>Baal Bunny >>AndrewRogue >>CoffeeMinion >>Monokeras

Now, to address specific issues mentioned by specific feedbacks.

0) Baal Bunny, thank you for the jenny miss. :facehoof:

1) Monokeras, I think I replied above. Thanks for the reminder about the awkward sentence; it's an easy one to miss if you're the writer.

2) Not_A_Hat, this is probably the only feedback I'm not taking very much from (even though I totes admit it's very valuable, and appreciate it). I agree the story's approach is telly and a bit disjointed, and I've tried to make it flow a little better in the final version, but the approach is necessary because I want the entire thing in Cranky's headspace for message purposes and to keep the audience in his donkeyshoes.

3) CoffeeMinion, I agree the part you're focusing on is the bulk of the story and an essential aspect, but the novel is more than a framing device: the relationship growth isn't the message of the story (and while an important message, I think it's too boring as presented). Although your feedback didn't exactly criticize the message, read on for more feedback about the issue with the story's message and my response (in part 6).

4) Posh, it's useful to know most coffee drinkers can't start their day without coffee. I'm reluctant to remove the coffee element because it denotes a sacrifice, but if this seems too unrealistic I may need to remove the mention of coffee altogether. Cranky won't brew it because it would wake Matilda. Your other feedback is addressed below (in part 6).

5) AndrewRogue, I agree in part about the emotion. In the expanded version I've tried to dial it back just a tiny bit at the end, similar to the suggestion I made in my fake review. Your other feedback is addressed below (in part 6).

6) And finally, feedback regarding the message. Let's begin:

AndrewRogue and (to a far lesser extent) GroaningGreyAgony felt the message might be offensive to authors, while Posh and Xepher found the message to be cliche and unrealistic. At first I balked at considering this feedback, but over time I realized you have a point: the audience needs to find the story believable. Also, I needed to add more horse words to publish the bucker on Fimfiction. So this has been very useful feedback.

So first off, I've modified the story to give hints about why Cranky isn't a typical author (removing the idea that he might want to write professionally past the novel, and explaining in bits and pieces that his inspiration is limited to this one story). I think it now reads in a way that the audience needn't identify precisely with Cranky to understand his point of view and it's more believable as a result.

That said: you're all wrong. :derpytongue2:

This story is about my recent recovery from depression (and the temporary period during which the depression disappeared entirely), and it's a true story. I'm not a "tortured artist", but with very rare exception I can't write stories except as a vehicle for conveying a personal message. I'm not inspired to write anything when I have nothing important to say.

After the ECT treatments were underway, my inkwell dried up. I literally had nothing to say, and I couldn't write. Like, anything. I had to deal with the fact that my newfound happiness might come with a pretty hefty price tag: I might never write again. And I was 100% okay with that, because never writing another word is a much better fate than constantly wanting to die.

So this is a real story, and that's why I wrote it. I'm not hinging the story on a cliche: it's true.

The question remains, why can I write now? There are two reasons. For this story, it'd probably be one of my last inspirations if my well hadn't been refilled. But the other reason is that the ECT hasn't worked perfectly. Depression has slipped back into my soul. It's still not nearly as bad as it was, but it's been creeping back quickly enough that I'm pretty sure that most of the effects of ECT will not persist long. Currently I'm scheduled to meet with my psychiatrist in a week, and I'm going to demand an aggressive treatment of different drugs we haven't tried, some which have rather severe side effects.

In an amusing way, the trick is to keep me depressed enough to write but not depressed enough that I murder myself. :facehoof: But that's not the goal. The goal is to remove the depression completely and forever, even at the cost of my writing.

On the bright(?) side, I don't think that goal is going to materialize. Yaaaaaaaay. :derpytongue2: But, I refuse to stop fighting, and I have a close social support network of people who love me, so I'm not in any danger at the moment. And I love you guys too. :heart:

Thanks for the feedback, everypony! :pinkiehappy: