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Here at the End of all Things. · FiM Short Story ·
Organised by RogerDodger
Word limit 2000–8000
#101 · 11
· · >>Dubs_Rewatcher
The post writeoff submission process.

1. Lie down.
2. Try not to cry.
3. Cry a lot.
#102 · 6
·
>>AndrewRogue
You forgot to include "Stay up so late writing that you fail all your classes and get kicked out of school and spend the rest of your life living under a bridge in Cleveland"
#103 · 2
· · >>horizon >>Fenton
BWHAHAHAHA! Submitted! Submitted at the last minute with no time for any proof reading or polishing, but submitted none the less!

I was rather upset that I was going to miss two Write Offs in a row, but the story idea I initially began working on just wouldn't come together and kind of sucked. But then this idea came to me as I was driving, and I managed to hammer it out just in time!

It's not super or anything. And as I said, I hammered it out. So it's rather rough. But hey, at least I finished it! :)
#104 ·
· · >>horizon >>horizon
I'm not going to get this edited in time. Can I submit the first draft then add the second when it's done?
#105 · 3
· · >>The Power Wolf >>TheCyanRecluse
Had great idea Friday morning. Had nothing written by Saturday night. Managed to push through the despair and cobble together something I'm reasonably happy with. Woot!

>>TheCyanRecluse
"Last minute"? You've got nearly an hour left for revisions!

>>The Power Wolf
Your official entry is whatever's in the site as of the deadline (the clock ticks to zero on the fic submission page).

I'd get your first draft in ASAP, do what editing you can while keeping an eye on that clock, and then click on the "Edit" button at the bottom of the submissions page and copy/paste your revisions into the already-submitted story right before you hit zero. (That's my plan.) That way, in case of an internet hiccup or something, you've at least got something in, and you can update it as you go.
#106 · 3
·
Whew! I submitted a thing but it's not quite the story I wanted in the end. I had to throw away a lot of interesting stuff I had planned, change courses about three or four times, and haphazardly tape them all together with... tape. All just so I could finish something before the deadline. I don't know how good it is, but I'm just glad to have finished something. If all else fails, I could probably continue working on it some other time and make it closer to what I had originally planned.
#107 · 3
·
I told myself I'd get a good nights sleep, and worry about all this in the morning. But screw that noise. This is the first thing I've really done that wasn't part of a group tribute fic to a man who loves Disney princess way too much.

I couldn't sleep right now if I took half a bottle of pills.
#108 · 3
·
Impossibly, I am in. Off I go to work, leaving my little effort in your care. Until!
#109 ·
· · >>Dubs_Rewatcher
How do I know if my fic was submitted? My internet cut out at the last minute!
#110 ·
· · >>horizon
>>horizon
I submitted it, but I think the Timer ran out just as my Internet cut out! Did you get it?
#111 · 1
· · >>The Power Wolf
>>The Power Wolf
Go to the submission page! if it worked, you should see the title of your fic at the bottom of the page!
#112 · 3
· · >>horizon
GOD DAMN GOEOGOEWOAFSOROAWFSFOTWOE

I THOUGHT THE DEADLINE WAS AN HOUR LATER

I LEGIT STAYED UP ALL NIGHT AND PLANNED MY WRITING AROUND THIS IMAGINARY DEADLINE

AFRTEGRAGTWEWEWERWWVWQFWEFTSGTTE







i still submitted tho
#113 ·
·
>>The Power Wolf
What Dubs said. Also, you've got a brief grace period after the timer hits zero, so if the submission page isn't locked yet and you don't see it you can still sneak it in GO GO GO
#114 · 5
·
OH YES.

EDITING A TYPO FROM MY PHONE, 17 SECONDS BEFORE THE DEADLINE.

LIVING ON THE EDGE.
#115 · 2
· · >>The Power Wolf
>>Dubs_Rewatcher
I blame the world's ridiculous need to occasionally murder our lord and master Daylight Savings Time

(praise)
#116 · 6
· · >>horizon >>Fenton
I see a couple new names in the guessing list. Thank you to all our new entrants!
#117 · 2
·
>>Dubs_Rewatcher
I've got it in! Thank the gods!
#118 ·
· · >>Trick_Question
>>horizon
I got it in, but my fic isn't in the voting section. What gives?
#119 ·
·
>>Zaid Val'Roa
You should architecture yourself a bed.
#120 ·
·
>>The Power Wolf
The voting section is your slate. See Gallery for all the fics.

Your slate will open up for more entries if you vote on all the ones you've been assigned.

Also: you don't get to vote on your own fic.
#121 · 2
· on Maker of Makers!
How very interesting! I wish I could do more than just gawk openly, but I’m such a sucker for creation stories. I’m not certain if the names you drew on are of any particular meaning, but I wasn’t taken aback by them as some fantasy names tend to lead one to be. The descriptions were lush and the prose was invigorating—I’m honestly quite pleased I managed to get such a good story on the first pick.

If I can come up with any places to improve on, I’ll edit my comment. First pass sees it as quite nice, though. The tone and the story gel together incredibly well, and that’s making it hard to nitpick at the moment, haha.
#122 · 2
· on Twilight Sparkle vs. The Heat Death of the Universe · >>Xepher
This made me lough in all the best ways. I loved the banter between Celestia and Twilight. It made the elder princess feel more "human" in a way that a lot for fics fail to achieve. Also, of course Twilight stops the heat death of the universe, of course she dose. She's to stubborn not to.
#123 · 3
· on Special Delivery · >>Zaid Val'Roa >>horizon >>CoffeeMinion >>Caliaponia
I liked the story, so I'll be picky. :twilightsmile:

The third-pony perspective initially begins inside Prompt's head and eventually ends up in Indicia's, which is disjarring and makes it difficult to settle in either pony's horseshoes. I think the story would be better if you stayed with third-pony limited and chose one character or the other to headspace in.

Many readers may not know what a 'row' is. Since that word is absolutely essential to understanding the story, I'd back off to a less expensive word.

I'm not sure what I'm supposed to get at the very end. It seems like you're trying to form a budding relationship between the two characters, but the shift in mood is too quick for it to register well.

The horoscope and the bit about the hourglass cutie mark both threw me off track. I was certain both were foreshadowing for Prompt not being cut out for her job. They ended up feeling non-sequitur.
#124 · 14
· · >>Chinchillax >>Pascoite >>Fenton >>horizon >>Lamplighter >>Kitcat36
Anyway, now that we're rolling with thirty-five entries (!) spanning 133,000 words, and a huge number of fresh faces in the comment thread:

(ahem)

Welcome to the preliminaries, fellow authors!
(A quick guide for Writeoff newbies)

The hardest part is behind us -- the writing! Now it's time to pit the stories against each other and figure out which ones end the round with shiny metallic pixels. Along the way, we're going to engage in one of the Writeoffs' oldest and most beloved traditions: The constructive criticism that turns this into something more than just a competition!

(Also, we're going to create art based on the stories. That's an experimental thing this round. Just know that there's an "Art" contest too, which just started its submission period, and the prompt for the art is the contents of one or more stories you read this round. Ask one of our regulars, or speak up here, if you're interested but confused.)

The most important things to know for the next week or so:

1) Do some reading and ranking!

Up on the "Voting" tab at the top of the page, you'll see a "slate" of stories from your fellow authors, and a list where you can drag them into order. This is what determines competition rankings! (Anyone can vote, author or not. The site's set up so that you won't ever vote on your own story.)

Voting is totally subjective and up to you. We can't stop you from voting based on arbitrary factors like the number of E's in a story, if you want. However, community standards are that you rank stories based on which ones you think are best (whatever that means to you), and that you make a good-faith effort to treat them fairly despite factors like genre, form/style, and characters used. If you feel like you can't treat a story even slightly objectively ("OMGWTFBBQ THORAX AND EMBER SHIPPING?!?! BOTTOM SLATE 4EVAR ARGHABALHARGABARGLE"), you can click on "Abstain" to remove it from your voting pool.

When your slate is empty, you can keep clicking on the empty area to be given new stories to rank! Don't feel obligated to "only" read what you're assigned.

There's no penalty for not voting, unless you count "you don't get to have a say in who wins". But, c'mon, we're a community here — let's work together and make this thing awesome!

2) Don't break anonymity!

This is crucial. The competition is based purely on the quality of the submitted stories, NOT the name/reputation of the author. That means if you prematurely reveal which one you wrote, the entry has to be disqualified.

When you put your name in the "Author" box, the site registered it and then locked the information away. All the stories in the gallery are shown without author information -- for now. Once judging is complete for a story (at the end of prelims for stories which don't make finals, and at the end of finals for everybody), the Gallery page will show author names next to their stories. Don't claim your story until the Gallery page identifies you!

People are gonna start leaving reviews on your story (see below). You'll be tempted to respond to the commentary immediately, especially if readers seem to be misinterpreting things. Don't.

This is really, really hard.

It sucks like anything. It's going to hurt. I'm sorry.

But please resist the temptation. It can be eye-opening to see the ways in which people misinterpret what you write when the context of the vivid images inside your brain are stripped away. If you let it, that waiting and self-reflection process can make you a better writer. (Also, one nice silver lining: When the first reviewer misinterprets your story, and someone comes along later and says "Uh, actually, I think this is what the author meant," that silent little "HA HA, IT DID COME ACROSS, SUCK IT!" is super satisfying.)

It can help to sit down, immediately type up a comment correcting the reviewer, and then don't post it. Copy and paste that comment somewhere and save it for a week. At the end of your anonymity period, take a look again. If that week has given you a little perspective and you've figured out how to edit the story to resolve the misunderstanding, let it go. If the misinterpretation is still sticking in your craw, post your reply then. (Most reviewers will be happy to engage if there's a conversation that needs to continue past then.)

Finally, if you're reviewing (see below) — and we hope you do! — be aware that reviews can impact anonymity too. The best way to provide reviews is to go through the stories on your slate and/or ballot, but you will never be asked to rank your own writing — so if you write a review for every story but one, it's obvious which one you wrote. In the event you get prolific with your reviews, sneak a fake one in for your own story somewhere along the way so that you have 100% coverage.

3) Contribute to review culture!

We're here to compete, yes, but large numbers of us are also here to learn what people think of our writing and sharpen our skills.

A lot of Writeoff participants sacrifice a hell of a lot of time to leave critique on everything they read. This has never been mandatory. It has always been encouraged, because if nobody did it then nobody would get feedback.

If you're here to get better, then writing reviews helps you in two ways. First, it encourages other authors to do the same for you. Second, the process of analyzing a story and thinking about what did and didn't work for you refines your own writing. The ability to identify writing flaws in other people's stories works for your own stuff, too! Even simply saying "Gee, I prefer such-and-such story elements over other-such elements" forces you to make explicit in your mind the things that you enjoy about stories, and might open your eyes to types of writing you might not have considered for yourself.

Reviewing is intimidating! Leaving useful feedback is a skill just like writing fiction, and it's a skill we don't often get to practice. I'll try to outline some basics:

+ The most valuable thing you can offer is your honest reaction.

Our humble host >>RogerDodger calls this "wise reading", lifted from some text on critiquing; I wish I could dredge up a good link for that, but it's a tough phrase to google. :P

Suggesting fixes — "John McSpace should carry a ray-gun, not a chroma-lance" — is a very natural pattern to fall into with critique. (You'll see me do it a lot, too! It's an easy one to backslide on.) But it's the second step of a two-step process. The first step is realizing that something bothered you about the story, and explicitly pointing out what you have a problem with. ("John McSpace's introduction broke me out of the story because his technology seems anachronistic.") "Wise reading" is simply about pointing out what worked for you and what didn't. This might seem incredibly basic. It's also rare and valuable because everyone skips over it and goes straight to the second step.

Why does that help, if you want to make suggestions to improve a story? Because your goals for the story might not be the same as the author's. Flagging what made you as a reader stumble is an opportunity for the author to compare goals ("well, this is a crossover Spacedude fanfic, and chroma-lances are canon, so if you're bothered by the anachronism you're not in my target market"). Also, it may point them toward a way to fix your actual problem without throwing off their rhythm ("Hey, if Spacechick asks John why he's carrying a chroma-lance, it'll let me explain away the anachronism without changing his equipment!").

So, to sum up: Don't feel like you've got to point out ways to improve the story you're critiquing! That's a good way to flex your own creative muscles, sure, but simply flagging things that work or don't work for you is by itself a super valuable act, and don't undervalue it.

+ Be honest but positive.

There is a person on the other side of the screen. Even if true, "This story sucked" is going to hurt feelings. "This story did not work for me" might still hurt feelings, but it's also how you feel, which is necessary to communicate — and it's worded in a way that doesn't force all the blame onto the author. (Let's be humble. It might work for other readers!)

In other words: Every story here will have flaws, and we need to be able to talk about them in order to make them better. But remember that a thing you see as a flaw might just be a thing you disliked, and not every reader is going to be you! A critique is a conversation between you and the author; try to phrase your feedback in a way that makes that clear ("the sad part didn't make me cry"), instead of making incorrect blanket faux-objective statements ("the sad part was done wrong").

Also:

Even if a story needs a whole lot of editing, try to find at least one positive thing to say. (I've been doing this for years, and it's a VERY rare story that I can't legitimately praise at least ONE element relative to the rest of the writing.) Acknowledging the good along with the bad is a signal to the author that you're trying to give the story a more fair-minded view rather than just piling on — and it gives them something to feel good about if you have a lot of critique.

+ Add detail where you comfortably can, but don't worry if you can't.

To go back to John McSpace above: It's great if you can dig down into the writing enough to identify that it was his lack of ray-gun that threw his introduction off (for you), but sometimes you're just going to end a scene with a vague sense of dissatisfaction. That's still better than nothing! You saying "John's introduction didn't come off right but I'm not quite sure what bugged me" might be what spurs another reader to say "The ray-gun's anachronistic", and their own dissatisfaction might not crystallize until they read your thoughts.

That said, reviewing can be a giant time sink. Don't force yourself to write more about a story than you immediately have to say. (That's a recipe for burnout.) And if prior reviewers have made points you agree with, a simple "agree/disagree with X on point(s) Y" can be more than enough. (I guarantee as an author that even that is valuable! There's a BIG difference between "a flaw every reviewer complains about", "a flaw which half of the reviewers hate and half acknowledge but aren't bothered by", and "a choice which some readers label a flaw and some defend").

+ READ reviews with a grain of salt.

What I said above about comparing goals? Internalize that. Make it your mantra. Wrap yourself in it. Your story is going to have a lot of arrows fired at it over the next week; and "their goal for the story might not be my goal" is gonna be your armor.

I've received a lot of excellent feedback on Writeoff stories which I have thanked the reviewer for and then promptly ignored, because it was fantastic advice for a different story than the one I was writing. I have given advice (probably far too much of it!) that's on the other side of that divide. EVERY SUGGESTION YOU READ HERE WILL ONLY IMPROVE YOUR STORY IF IT ALIGNS WITH WHAT YOU'RE TRYING TO ACCOMPLISH WITH THE STORY.

(And sometimes you'll read a suggestion and realize that you like what they're pointing at better than what you originally wanted to do. That's fine too! Just keep in mind that's your decision to make.)

And finally,

+ Thank you for participating!

You've done a good thing in getting a story assembled. You've done a hard good thing in whacking it together within 72 hours! That, in itself, has value, and please don't let any criticism detract from that.

Writeoff stories, by their nature, are first drafts. Some of us write better first drafts than others — but that doesn't invalidate the less polished ones. Every story has the capability to shine after editing; some of them are just closer to their final form than others. (This is why, when my HORSE assessment system ranks stories into "tiers" based on my overall appreciation of them, even the lowest tier is named "Keep Developing" — because further development will improve it if you put in the effort.)

You've done good.

It may not feel like it as the critiques mount (though, hopefully, if we keep these rules in mind we can collectively reduce the sting), but no critique can take away from you: You have written a thing, under difficult circumstances, and thrown it out to the public despite insufficient time to sync it with the shining vision in your head. Every factor is working against you here. Don't take disappointment personally, and treasure every compliment because you motherf*king earned it.

Thank you all! Looking forward to my reading. We're all in this together!
#125 · 3
· on Not a Thing to Do/But Talk to You · >>Zaid Val'Roa
HELLO WISCONSIN!

That was joyous. Ember and Thorax played really well off each other—hell, by the end i half expected them to kiss, given the level of chemistry going on. But that’s just me having been spoiled by this fandom, heh.

Worldbuilding was great, little bits about Ember’s past was great, characters’ voices came through clearly as them and always with something relevant to say—great work, author. The humor was also absolutely my style, although if theres one thing about this story that could be toned down, it’s the crassness. However, I’m even hesistent to say that, because some of the blatant crudeness is just side-splitting.

And god dammit, the pirate captain linking in to Ember’s illiteracy. Absolute gold.
#126 · 3
· on Shoot for the Stars · >>Posh >>TheRiverSings >>moonwhisper >>Dubs_Rewatcher
This is a great story, one deserving of a more robust conclusion. I suspect when you finish this you will be extending it into a full resolution. As it is, the story has a strong arc but stops right before resolving the major tension. That's the only major flaw, but it's significant.

As for minor flaws, the introduction felt overly poetic, which was confusing for me. Entire universes faded away before the stars responded? No they didn't. You can't just evoke Luna literally waiting trillions of years of time in a single sentence—describe what Luna sees to evoke feelings in the reader; don't describe what you want the reader to feel. Stars don't become dark matter when they wink out; that isn't what dark matter is.

Twilight snuggling Rarity came totally out of left field and it never developed further. That isn't normal behavior for women, and it seems clear you weren't trying to ship them.

There are some minor issues I had with Luna's voice, mostly consistency. For example, there's an Us that should be We, an our that should be Our, 'bastard' felt like an un-Luna insult (maybe that's just me). Some of this is just typo errors but Luna is hard (and fun) to write so I'd suggest poring over what she says carefully.

Minor typo: Rarity says 'haven't' when she means 'don't' or 'do not'.

Also: your Salad Fork callback made me laugh twice. Uproariously, the third time. Excellent. (Even though I cannot imagine Rarity ever attending finishing schools. She's completely unlike her upbringing, which is a major part of her character.)
#127 · 1
· on The Bonds You Choose, and Those You Leave Behind · >>Zaid Val'Roa >>AndrewRogue
Nice job infuriating me Andrew, lol.

The drama was handled incredibly well, although these stories tend to just... yeah. Infuriate. I went to a private school with a lot of trust fund kids, and while I never attracted any specific ire, particularly not for any relationships I had, this attitude and blithe elitism permanently enrages me.

I did notice a spelling error or two but I shall forgive you due to the nature of the round. Didn’t break me from the story, whose strength is solidified by how each progressive scene allowed the vein in my forehead to stretch the capacity of the PSI it can withstand.

that last bit made me miss my boyfriend so much you bastard ;_;
#128 · 3
·
>>horizon
This is an incredibly well written thorough guide. Thanks!
#129 · 1
·
>>007Ben
Aw, horse feathers. Found myself asleep at my laptop this morning. Betrayed by my own body. Apparently I need sleep...
#130 · 7
· · >>Kitcat36
To the new participants:

Welcome! It's nice to see you coming to develop and show off your writing skills. First off, one thing I'd like to add to horizon's commentary above (>>horizon). Yes, don't strain yourself to put more into commenting on others' stories than you're comfortable with, but if you do decide to go into some detail, horizon mentioned thinking about not just that something in a story bothered you, but trying to track down exactly why it bothered you. What I want to expand on with that is that the process of doing so will really help you in your own writing.

It's a lot easier to see problems in someone else's story. In your own, you know what you meant to say, you know all the elements of your universe that didn't explicitly make it into the story, you know your characters. It's harder to realize that you didn't communicate something, because you already know what was supposed to be communicated. So when you actually think about how that communication broke down in another's story, it's a more effective way of seeing how someone else perceives your story. Even if it's only pondering this stuff in your head instead of typing it out to the author, your writing will improve because of it.

Also read the reviews that others are leaving on the stories you didn't write (preferably after you've read the stories and (arguably) after you've registered your vote) to see what kinds of things they're looking for. You'll always learn something, even if you completely disagree with their critique.

Now, my main point. I used to do this thing where I offered reviewing help to the new participant who finishes the highest, as a little incentive to put in a good effort. The problem is that while the previous recipients were happy for the opportunity, not one ever actually took me up on it. One transferred it to a friend, and that didn't end well. The rest never sent me anything. So with the number of new people in this round, and with my reviewing queue pretty empty at the moment, I'm game to offer it again, but I have to ask: would any of you use it?
#131 ·
· on Could-Have-Been · >>Zaid Val'Roa >>Winston
There's a potential flaw with the opening of the story. Since the letter comes from Gilda but we don't get to read it, we don't know what it contains. Based on that and the story title, I thought for the entire first half of this story that this was a comedy about Gilda getting married. When Dash cries to Twilight, I thought it was supposed to be humorous.

Remedy: I think you should show us that letter. It would convey lots of information to the reader, and there's no reason to hide that information from us—it isn't useful keeping the details a secret from the audience. My advice is to show us what Dash sees, author. Show us the letter, and let us develop feelings the same way Dash does in the story.

I think Rainbow Dash wouldn't take a train for something like this, she'd fly the whole way. Flying is more personal, especially given how much it would exhaust her to do it.

The discussion at the end felt a little telly and heavy-hoofed, especially the very end of it. Extending it out past a single conversation might help to provide a slower, more natural reveal of what Dash is feeling, and leave some of the interpretation to the reader.
#132 · 2
· on Beyond Deity
Well this was certainly a powerful piece to start off with! Considering that this is the literal end of the universe, I'm kind of surprised at your chosen representations of each character. The descriptions and the differing emotional reactions to the end of all things work so well in how they are presented, even if they don't quite reflect the corresponding elements of harmony.

The abstract nature of the prose made this a bit tricky to follow early on, and I'm still not entirely sure how it all came about. However, this reminds me so much of countless mythological tales of the apocalypse, I can't say I didn't enjoy it! I give this fic a solid B+.
#133 ·
· on The Dressmaker's Lament · >>Zaid Val'Roa >>Morning Sun
This was certainly an impressive fic to read! Your vocabulary usage and tone perfectly fits the internal monologue of Rarity, and I can absolutely relate to her frustrations over artists block. Far too often, we are our own worst critics. Hell, I think I even felt much the same as Rarity when writing my own fic for this competition!

There is not much to criticize in terms of the plot or character structure itself, but more so in the usage of repetition. It does work sometimes to hammer in how frustrated Rarity feels, but it also comes across as padding. For example:

"A wedding gown to outshine all wedding gowns, the bride to be resplendent and radiant and every other wonderful word in the book and bare, bare, bare nudity is all I have, a blank mannequin and paper and reams of fabric waiting for me and I, I alone am failing them all."

There wasn't really a need to repeat the word "Bare" three times, as simply italics on one word could have done the same job. Plus there are several occasions like this where Rarity's dialogue is reaffirming what we already know. Overall, this has been a fantastic fic, and something I think many other artists, writers etc, can see within themselves. A+.
#134 · 1
· · >>Pascoite
>>Pascoite
I would, I really think I would. I would at least seriously try because that’s an awesome gift
#135 ·
· on Moving On · >>Aragon
The story is very well-written, but it lacks much originality. We've all seen this story before in both commercial and non-commercial formats (especially this time of year), and I didn't feel like I got anything new out of this iteration. Even though the writing was top-notch I ended up skimming because I felt a little bored.

You tugged a little too hard on my heartstrings to make the scenes work for me: internal monologue about how all the doll wants to do is give love and joy to others, the doll's character is perfect and has no flaws whatsoever, learning what 'orphans' are for the first time, being repeatedly discarded, and glurge upon glurge of doll's lament.

I think it's a mistake to provide zero foreshadowing that the doll is 'special' because without hints to that effect it's hard to become invested in her fate. When you anthropomorphize everything, it becomes hard to throw away an old pizza box without feeling guilty, and the generality of "okay, well, this is just one of a billion dolls" significantly deducted from my ability to connect with the character.

Ponification seems to have been shoehorned in as an afterthought, which is a shame because you could have made your story relevant by making the doll be Smarty Pants, an established character. Passing him from Twilight to Mac and then to the orphans would have provided a much stronger emotional connection, because now we have a reason to care about what happens to more than one character in the story. This kind of personalization is especially important since the story itself is not that original.

I think this would be an excellent story if you made the doll Smarty Pants and focused on more than just one character. We could see a window into unspoken parts of the show through Smarty's eyes, and get a fresh perspective on the characters we already love. Even if you turn this into a nonpony story with only original human characters (which I suspect is your intent), adding more to that window on other characters' lives is important because without it, the story is all telliness from the doll's perspective. You're clearly an excellent writer, so I urge you to push yourself to sneak some more show into the mix.
#136 ·
· on Welcome to the End of all Things · >>Pascoite >>Fenton >>LiseEclaire
I enjoyed this! I thought this was a creative take on the prompt. I liked Moondancer, and she was a fun choice of character, but she did get irritated a bit quickly for my tastes. I'm not quite sure why she was so distressed when she finally understood the store; because just because something ends up in there doesn't mean it's necessarily created yet or has been achieved yet. Don't ask for something from the future, and you can just strive for something that ends up in the shop... Though, at that point, her later realization of virtually infinite categories comes into play. I don't know how helpful my feedback is, though I felt the ending was a little abrupt, and I quite liked your descriptions. Good luck!
#137 ·
· · >>Kitcat36
>>Kitcat36
You're not one of the first-time participants, though. :(

Oh, does Roger no longer have a "best new entrant" badge? That makes it tougher to figure out. In that case, I could pick someone who maybe had participated before but not more than a couple times. But then Aragon wins, and while I'd be perfectly happy to pre-read for him, it's not exactly going to be an incentive for him. Eh, I'll still leave open the possibility that I'll pick someone relatively inexperienced, but I'd like to hear back from some of the first-timers and see if they'd even care.
#138 · 1
· on Welcome to the End of all Things · >>Kitcat36 >>LiseEclaire
>>Kitcat36
Fix your spoiler tag, if you want it to remain hidden.
#139 · 2
· on Familiar · >>TrumpetofDoom >>Trick_Question
Wowzers. I had an inkling from the very first moment that something was off--the emphasis on everything being the same in the very first sentence. I think I actually understand everything that happened here, or at least most of it, which is an improvement on my typical confusion with stories that gradually reveal things. I can't figure out who the fifth sister is, though. Celestia, Luna, Cadence, Flurry Heart makes four so who...?. Anyways, I don't want to spoil anything for anyone else, so spoiler-ing reactions: this had me tearing up at the end, and really gave me feels. I wasn't too horrifically creeped out, either, which I appreciated. It's not "Evil Twi" it's more "suffering Twi." I find myself really wanting to know more of this story, of what led up to it and what happens next. Wonderful job.
#140 · 1
· · >>Bachiavellian
>>Pascoite
Thanks! Whoops, that was a ridiculous mistake...
>>Pascoite
Well, I guess you're right--I'm not a first time participant. I participated twice before over the past few years in FIM minific contests, and never felt good enough about the results to publish anything on fimfiction. I feel like a rank newbie, though, even if I know my way around the website a little. Is it normal to both desperately want reviews and to be absolutely terrified of getting them?
#141 · 5
· · >>Kitcat36 >>Trick_Question >>Kitcat36
>>Kitcat36
[Is it normal to both desperately want reviews and to be absolutely terrified of getting them?


I easily resolved this cognative dissonance when I realized that I actually only desperately want good reviews. : P
#142 ·
· · >>Bachiavellian
>>Bachiavellian
Heh. Point taken. But I want honest reviews, not fake good ones, and then the panic comes back again...
#143 · 4
· · >>Kitcat36
>>Kitcat36
Honest reviews can still be good ones! Give yourself some credit.

And even if you totally bomb it (trust me, I know the feeling), there'll usually still be a couple of kind souls who really, really like your story anyway.

Anyway, I do remember vaguely nice but fake-ish reviews being an issue some rounds back. I wonder if we've gotten better at giving feedback...
#144 · 2
·
>>Bachiavellian
I desperately want the bad ones. :derpytongue2:

I don't enjoy them, but I want them.
#145 · 3
·
There was never a man like the >>horizon,
Like the one they call, Not-a-changeling


So yeah newbies, you have your complete guide here, thanks to our man. The last thing to add is that there is usually (usally? really? usually like once per month?) a podcast where a bunch of pretentious smartasses talk about some of the entries. How are these stories selected? Well, it's up to you to decide.

And since, against all odds, I've failed to submit anything this round, I can announce that a podcast will air this Saturday, the 9th, at 10 pm GMT +0 (warning, be sure to check your timezone. Also, time is relative so don't be surprised if the schedule changes). Too bad Quill and Hat, you're now forced to do it.

Oh, and before I forget, you can vote for the stories that will be discussed right here.

That will be all. See you in the comments.
#146 · 2
·
>>Bachiavellian
Streamers and balloons. *fwee*
#147 ·
· on Santa Bring Me A Dinosaur · >>Zaid Val'Roa >>CoffeeMinion >>CoffeeMinion
I like the ideas here, but I think they need to be tweaked to make the story relatable.

The main problem I have with this story is that the protagonist is altogether unsympathetic. He's portrayed as an extremely self-centered, cowardly crybaby with none of the nobility that Santa is supposed to have. For most of the story, he doesn't seem to care about children at all! When he was bawling and dripping mucus I was really hoping Logos would put him out of his misery. Without the ability to become emotionally invested in what happens to the protagonist, the story is difficult to get through because the suspense isn't there.

I think making Santa Hooves a mainstay of commercialism may be a mistake. It's very difficult for me to believe that there are Santa dolls on every street corner, but foals aren't tricked into believing in him by their parents. That's the only purpose of the legend. If everypony had forgotten Santa, it would make much more sense. Maybe the foal read about him in an old history book.

I feel that Santa's appearance could use more description, especially when Discord first sees him. That seemed like an opportunity missed to use 'show' to underscore the gravity of the situation.

More picky stuff:

"I think it’s really uplifting how you’ve reached out with genuine willingness to build a common path after some of the harsh vibes from that one time we met, and I’m totally open to other ponies—or other creatures—joining us."


Speaking in run-on sentences doesn't sound like Tree Hugger to me. She's a slow, laid-back talker. This sounds excited and rapid.

Dark eyes of purple fire seems like a contradiction. Fire can't be dark, because it emits light. It could be dim, though.

Is 'wept' really a non-Bible word? Wouldn't it be 'weeped' if the story is in contemporary English?
#148 · 2
· on Twilight Sparkle at the Gate of Heavenly Peace · >>Zaid Val'Roa
Very nice:

I have two suggestions, of course. :) I'll put them under a "spoiler", though, since we're so early in the process.

At some point, when things start going south, I'd like it to come out that there aren't any other conspirators. Lazulite doesn't seem like the type who would admit such a thing, so maybe when she and Compass are walking to the palace and discussing who could've betrayed them, Compass can ask about the other cells Lazulite's been setting up. Lazulite's eye can twitch and she doesn't reply, and Compass can realize that it's just the four of them in the whole Empire who are still loyal to Sombra's memory. It ratchet up the tension in the next scene by making Compass know that it's one of the mares in the room with him who's the traitor.

Also at the end, when Fever talks about forgetting the old empire and the old kings, I'd like a little something that addresses her feelings about the Equestrians and this new Empress Cadance. Does she think they deserve a chance, or do they not enter into her thinking at all? Maybe Compass can even confront her on these foreigners taking over, and we can get some sort of response from her about that.

Those are just suggestions, though. This thing's solid from beginning to end.

Mike
#149 · 1
· on The Crystal Uprising · >>The Power Wolf >>horizon >>Zaid Val'Roa >>TrumpetofDoom >>The Power Wolf
I think the biggest thing to focus on tweaking would be the characters.

Scarlet, despite being the main protagonist, is very inconsistent with his characterization. He hits Jester for the first disrespectful remark, then acts completely unaffected by the following (more serious) one. He's made to be obsessive about fighting for freedom, but then is suddenly cool and detached while giving a rallying speech about that same subject to Jester, then back to passionate when giving a similar speech to rest of the troops.

Silver and Midnight feel shoehorned in. They show up midway through, then are given the same level of importance as Jester and Scarlet despite having no prior relevance. We're given almost no information about them, but they still end up having more fleshed out personalities than Jester. Silver is given less "screen time" than anyone else, but is then played to be a tragic loss. I found it very difficult to empathize with that.

Jester's betrayal was completely out of left field and seemed illogical. If he was on Sombra's side the entire time, he would've done more to undermine the rebellion by remaining undercover and continuing to spread misinformation or relaying plans to Sombra's forces. At first he seems to place a lot of value on his own survival, but then he kills himself for... what? The dialogue implies the battle was already heavily in the favor of Sombra's forces, so killing himself didn't change the outcome, it just made it quicker.


The end is clearly intended to be tragic, but it relies on the audience empathizing with the characters. There's so little time to connect with anyone that it falls flat in my opinion. If the story were longer, there would be more time for the audience to develop an attachment.

The overall idea is good, but executing it with a limited number of words is very difficult, so don't let this discourage you.
Post by The Power Wolf deleted
#151 ·
· on The First Princess · >>moonwhisper
Interesting. I wouldn't have thought to use the changing of generations as the "End of all Things" but it definitely fits the prompt. Very high-concept.

If I had any criticisms they would involve the pacing. The story seems to jump all over the place (at times literally) which, in my opinion, hurts the tone of the story. They go from combating the end to seemingly accepting it very quickly, which felt rather jarring, and characters like Tirek and Wild Fire showed up and didn't really do anything.

That being said, these faults are hardly egregious, and could be easily remedied given more time with the story—after all, 'I wish it was longer' is never a bad complaint to have.

From a technical standpoint the story was quite well written: no spelling errors that I noticed (though, admittedly, I'm not the best at spotting them), and, as mentioned above, I really liked the concept. Despite the fact that I criticized their not doing anything, it was a good idea to bring back important figures from past generations (Tirek) and speculate on ones for the next one (Wild Fire), I just wish it was better expanded on.

I think I've gone into rambling mode, so I'll wrap it up. It was a nice story, and I hope that you don't take anything I've written here too harshly (because I promise it is not my intention to be harsh).
#152 · 1
·
Damn, thirty six entries...
I better start reading soon if I want to draw something.
#153 · 2
· on Twilight Under the Bodhi Tree
Even as a first draft, this is all kinds of painful and powerful for me. The emotions are all there, and I think the story's execution serves the idea well. I like the gradual reveal using chronological skipping about, although in places I did have a hard time following the sequence of events. There was some confusion for me (in just a couple of places) about who was speaking or being spoken to, but perhaps that confusion is part of the story.

I get that from this work as a whole--a sense that I mostly understand what's going on, and that the parts I don't understand may become clearer if I meditate on them a while. I'm okay with that, but I would also love to see this expanded if there are things the author didn't get to include in the original draft.

The one thing that bothered me has to do with the ending. Specifically, that Twilight's brief breakthrough with Glitter is the last we see of her. I understand why Glitter would run away, and that this is really more Glitter's story than Twilight's. I get that she's experiencing a moment of great enlightenment and, I think, of letting go. But when Twilight finally addresses her, it's a literal cry for help that she makes with what seems like tremendous effort. It's "I'm still here, I'm still me, please stay with me." And then she's left alone under the Bodhi Tree, and I just hurt for her, and it feels unresolved. Maybe it's meant to feel that way. I jUST NEED TO KNOW SMART PONY IS OKAY, OKAY? (just kidding maybe but seriously though.)

Thank you, author. You made me care about this story and these characters, enough that I feel invested in their well-being. Whatever you decide to do with them now, that is a job well done.
#154 ·
· on Santa Bring Me A Dinosaur · >>CoffeeMinion >>CoffeeMinion
Adorable~

Tree Hugger and Discord is something I wish people explored more. We had a whole episode setting up for their interactions a good two years ago and I’ve seen maybe a dozen tops. This story managed to put an interesting combo of the “death of gods” and the cultural belief in Santa Claus together in a nice, comic package. I’m always weak for Discord, and well-written Discord melts me. The little jokes and jabs here and there Discord made felt fluid, and Tree Hugger’s honesty and genuineness helps maintain the heartwarming and the humorous.

i now wish for a story exploring the misadventures of Thanatos and Santa Hooves, darnit

Trick’s right, though; we don’t actually get a feel for why he likes to do what he does so much. Sure,, he’s the living representation of that spirit of the holiday, and that should be motivation enough, but I feel like even the introduction of him somehow reflecting on past successes that really highlight how much this means to him.
#155 · 1
· on Lily's Letter · >>Zaid Val'Roa >>Rao >>Miller Minus
Very well-written and I definitely liked the ending, but I'm not certain whether or not the protagonist committed suicide at the end of the story, and that feels unresolved. It currently reads as though they did, since there is no landing described, no height given to the window, the direct implication of possible suicide a few lines earlier, and the "one last time" comment. Still, I suspect from my gut that this was not your intent.

I had a hard time connecting to the protagonist because you intentionally avoided detailing anything about their appearance, including their name or gender; but they're clearly not intended to 'be' the reader because they have too many specific flaws and desires. It would have made more sense early on if the protagonist were clearly a stallion, so it would be easier to hint toward romance more and more as the story progresses. Because of this cattiness, I felt like the protagonist's identity was the secret you were waiting to reveal, and found myself wracking my brain on who might hate nobility in the show.

I find myself uncertain why the mare would do this to the protagonist. Is it like a last fling, or what exactly? Is she being cruel? It seems like a rude approach, especially since the message at one point seems to be 'we can't ever do this again' at the end. Couldn't they still have non-illicit fun?

The protagonist's obsession with nobility is free-floating. We never get to see what nobility did to make the protagonist feel so strongly, and with an obsession this deep, I think we need to see that. Maybe even a hint as to the source of animosity toward marriage—perhaps the protagonist comes from a home broken into divorce by a noble's 'indecent proposal'.

Her name is actually Fleur Dis Lee. I realize that weakens the connection slightly to the other name, but I think it would be better to be canonically correct here because it doesn't weaken it very much.

If the evacuation tunnel connects directly to many points in the city, why did they need to cross the fence?

Pickier stuff:

I don't think ponies have chins, but isn't everypony's chin above their neck already?

I suggest italicizing the guards' imaginary three lines.
#156 · 4
· on No Spring Chicken · >>horizon >>Bachiavellian
Alright! I'll start by saying that retirement (and aging in general) was a very good use of the prompt—especially when it comes to Rainbow Dash.

Other than a couple of little spelling mistakes and an extra space between lines, the story was written quite well on a technical level. Rainbow remained very much in character for her parts of the story, and actually showed some growth by the end, which is something that some authors don't allow her.

However, there were a couple of things that stood out to me in this story. The first being a point where the doctor says that Rainbow will have to rest for "four months", to which Rainbow replies "Thee months?". I wasn't certain (and I'm still not) whether this was intentional on Rainbow's part, or merely an error, but if it was intentional I would have liked the doctor to address it somehow (like how the doctor does later when Rainbow says "three weeks" to the cadets).

The next one is the (potential?) romance with Applejack. This seemed to come out of the blue, and probably could have been better set up in Applejack's first encounter with Rainbow Dash. In fact, that scene is probably the fic's weakest point. It felt as if the fic was teasing the parentage of the foals initially, only to come out and say that their mother was Fluttershy. Maybe that was just me reading into things, but that section just felt... off. I had a similar feeling when Jupiter appeared (who is the father? are they around? was Jupiter a magically spawned simulacrum? Or adopted?) and it was a little off-putting when he ended up just being a plot point to talk about he would, one day, out-age Twilight. Which reminds me, if he is actually her son, why isn't he an Alicorn?

Okay, again, maybe I'm thinking too much into it. But those were the points that tripped me up. Other than those little things which felt out of place, I actually really liked the story. Rainbow 'hanging it up', accepting that she's gone beyond the call of duty, and moving on to the next chapter of her life left me with good feelings. And, despite the fact that I said it could have been set up better, I'm a sucker for romance, real or implied, so that certainly helped. Good work!
#157 · 4
· on Familiar
I'm pretty sure I've read this story before (even in a Writeoff, I think), but there's enough originality in the execution and details to keep my attention, and I'm fond of the underlying story.

Twilight's out-loud narration makes the story telly, particularly at the end where she's basically expositing what's been going on in order to finish clueing in the reader. I agree it was a good idea to lampshade the talking to herself aspect like you did, and it makes sense in the context of what's actually going on in the story. Still, I would push for more show wherever possible.

The second half of the story seems rushed. I feel this is a story that would benefit from more horse words. That could also cut back on the exposition at the end, because the reader would have more time to figure things out without hoof-holding. The ending seems just a little heavy-hoofed with respect to tugging on the heartstrings, but that's related to the telliness.

I'd like to know with greater certainty whether the hug came from Discord, though it seems like that was the implication.

It seems obvious you intended to put strikethrough text in the second quoted section, and it didn't work when you formatted to BBCode. If that isn't the case, you need to proofread that part.
#158 · 2
· · >>Trick_Question >>ToXikyogHurt
>>ToXikyogHurt >>Lamplighter >>Miller Minus >>writeratnight >>dragon discord >>The Power Wolf >>2Merr >>Cyrano >>Cold in Gardez
Hey, just a heads-up to all of the people speaking up here whose names I don't immediately recognize from past rounds: I posted a big comment last night to help newbies get a little better oriented. Unfortunately I was a little too sleepy to think of tagging you then, like I should have :(

Give it a read if you're still confused about how this Writeoff thing works, and let me know if you've got questions!
** See here: >>horizon **
#159 · 3
·
>>horizon
Perhaps Roger could put an "introduction to the Writeoff guide" as a permanent part of the website.
#160 · 3
· on Shoot for the Stars · >>Dubs_Rewatcher
Gotta say, after the second Salad Fork bit, I was expecting there to be a third. I didn't see that particular form coming, though, and it made me snortchuckle anyway.

So, I like this a lot. Rarity is captured wonderfully in your prose, and you set up the events of Nightmare Night (or whatever that episode was called I honestly don't remember) very well. It's a direct prequel to that episode, and it works in that regard.

Where it falters is with its pacing, and with Luna's character. Rarity leaps to precisely the correct conclusion at precisely the right time, and the story wraps up from there in a pretty short space. It feels like the plan to restore Luna to full power should have come from Luna, herself, perhaps triggered by her conversations with Rarity, rather than something that Rarity figures out on her own (largely without preamble).

And Luna, despite being thoroughly unlikable on a personal level (being a thousand years behind the times will do that to you), treats Rarity with remarkable courtesy as the story winds down, which makes her sudden change in demeanor at the end of the story feel unearned.

I can see Luna treating Rarity well, because Luna sees everypony who isn't herself and Celestia as a servant, and Rarity shows proper deference to Luna. That makes sense. What I think would help sell that is if, rather than Rarity offering her stuff to Luna for her plan, Luna commands her to do it. "Yield your property to the state, Squiggletail, for I am the Princess of the Night, and I want it."

I think that'd help sell the twist at the end of the story.

It also doesn't wrap up very effectively; it feels like it's missing a denouement. Also, Luna could be more consistent with her Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe.

>>Trick_Question
Twilight snuggling Rarity came totally out of left field and it never developed further. That isn't normal behavior for women, and it seems clear you weren't trying to ship them.


It'd be weird if this was EqG, but you could justify it here by saying that ponies are more physically affectionate with one another than humans are, even platonically. I speak as someone who's written platonic cuddling between these exact characters before, though, so my interpretation might be suspect.

(I've also written platonic cuddling between Twilight and Sunset in EqGverse... but, then again, they're both native horsepeople...)
#161 ·
· on Santa Bring Me A Dinosaur · >>Trick_Question >>CoffeeMinion
Charming. Quite an interesting concept you have here. I do wish you could've expanded on Santa Hooves a little bit. He's supposed to be the main character, at least as far as I can see, and we only see him react to things. Dwelling a little bit more on his thoughts and feelings would give the story more substance. Otherwise, I don't have more to add than what Trick and Regs have said.

I liked how Discord unwittingly became the voice of reason. That was nice.

>>Trick_Question
The internet tells me wept is the proper preterite conjugation of "to weep".
So, read it and weep, I guess.
#162 · 1
· on Spelling Trouble
Okay, so before I review anything, I need to get this off my chest.

That is absolutely not now the transitive property works. Which I get was the point but... Okay, never mind.

I'm not sure how to feel about this fic. Midnight Sparkle as a (mostly) independent entity who lives in mirrors is certainly an interesting concept, and one that I wish we'd heard a little more about. Fluttershy just sort of accepts this immediately, which I found a little odd, especially since even now, after having read the fic, I still have questions.

Speaking of questions, I have a couple about Fluttershy. Does her utter inability to write not impact her music and lyrics? Furthermore, does this version of Fluttershy have frequent homicidal thoughts? Because damn, Flutters, talk to somebody. Maybe not the somebody you're talking to in this fic, though.

Jokes aside—wait, no, the opposite of that—there were certainly points in this story that made me laugh. As mentioned, the 'transitive property' gag was amusing, as well as Fluttershy immediately dropping into thoughts of slitting people's throats. It certainly didn't feel like the Fluttershy from the movies and specials, but as far as I can tell that's the point. For the same reason I found the swearing jarring, but if that's the point, I suppose I'm missing it.

I suppose that's what this story came down to: I feel like I missed the point. The banter just didn't really hit for me, and the rest of the story just couldn't quite stand up on its own. But I think I may just not be the target audience for this story, and so I'm interested to hear what other commenters say about it. To be clear, I don't think it's necessarily bad, just not for me.

And finally, I have a question for much later, when the Anonymity is cleared: was the relation to the prompt just the part about Midnight being nice being the end of the world, or did I miss something else, too?
#163 · 1
· on Spelling Trouble · >>TrumpetofDoom
starting

GDocs has this nasty habit of changing every instance of "staring" as "starting" for reasons beyond my comprehension. I find it fitting how this comes after Fluttershy moaning about how English isn't her strong suit.

Anyway, I really like what you have here. The dynamic between Fluttershy and Midnight is nice and could make for a compelling and fun tale about redemption. Which ties into my major issue with the story.

What you have here works as a standalone piece, but the story would've benefitted much more from dwelling a bit more on Midnight and Fluttershy developing a working relationship. As it stands, the story works, but it's pretty bare bones. There is just enough to make it fun and entertaining, but not so much to make it stand out, evn though I can definitely see the potential in here. If you decide to expand upon it in the future, I'll be glad to read it again.

Also, I wish I had not!demons help me with my writeoff entries, it would make things so much easier.
Post by Pascoite deleted
#165 · 2
· on Santa Bring Me A Dinosaur
>>Zaid Val'Roa
I already rept it. :trollestia:
#166 ·
· on Another Pony’s Poison · >>Pascoite
Okay, so let me start by saying that I had to read this twice. Well, let's say twice as a bit, because it wasn't until I reread the ending that I actually interpreted what it was saying. Then I read the whole thing again.

If I'm being vague, it's intentional. I don't want someone browsing over the comments to read this before reading the story and ruin it for themselves by mistake. So, theoretical comment reader, stop reading my words, scroll up, and read this story. Then read it again. It's worth it.

And to the author: fantastic work. I mean it. The story read exactly how (I believe) it was supposed to. Stories like this are difficult to pull off—I wouldn't even begin to believe I could manage such a feat—but you nailed it. This was more than a pleasure to read, it was a delight.
#167 · 1
· on Spelling Trouble
Author, if there was one story where you could get away with a rash of spelling errors, it was this one. If the spelling had been consistently bad until, say, the [hr] tag, I could have excused that as a stylistic decision. But having just two, and having them in each of the first two paragraphs, means I'm expecting to see them more frequently — and then disappointed that that's not the direction you chose to take it.

A related complaint is that you never want your prose to accidentally get in the way of your story, and there are a few spots I think you've done that here. For example, "sanguineous": I get that you're trying to tie back to your previous description of the paper as "bloodied", but not only is it a redundant image, it also comes off a bit as trying to show off your vocabulary by forcing a big word into a spot where it's unnecessary. Something like "the heavily-marked essay" would have made the same point, been different enough to not seem repetitive, and not made your audience stop and think about the word you're using.

If this seems nit-picky, I apologize, but if you're writing about writing, you really can't afford any unintended mistakes in spelling, grammar, punctuation, or word usage. (They aren't exactly desirable the rest of the time, either, but they're also less likely to be misread as a deliberate choice.)

More positive news: I like that Midnight is learning to be a bit more tactful, but that it's still something she needs to think about. Major personality shifts like that don't just happen, they take a lot of time and effort, and it's good that you're showing her as still having a ways to go. And having Fluttershy be the one to teach her to be kinder is... really, who else would you choose? Social decorum is more up Rarity's alley, but kindness is definitely Fluttershy.

I'm inclined to agree with >>Zaid Val'Roa that having something more than the two scenes you've got would help.
#168 ·
· on Entropy · >>zaponator
You know, thus far, this is the first story I've read in the "Here at the End of all Things" that was actually set at the end of all things.

And I liked it! If I had one complaint, it's that I'm not entirely sure why Starlight was looking back into time magic. It took me a bit to come to grips with the tone, but in the end it was a solid story with a sweet ending and a little comedy tossed in to make the end of the world a little less grim.

A note on that, I'm glad to see that the story didn't make any bold claims about nothing mattering in the face of eternity or any of that sort of nihilistic thinking that can bog down works like this. Time travel can be tricky, but in this case I think you made it work. Thanks for sharing it with us.
#169 · 1
· on Welcome to the End of all Things · >>Zaid Val'Roa >>LiseEclaire
First entry to show up on my slate, and I have to admit, I'm on a nice start. There are some problems I'll tackle later. For now, Let's praise what's good.


As >>Kitcat36 said, this is a great interpretation of the prompt. Mixing a powerful concept, a shop that has the perfection of everything, with slice of life dialogs and a slow pace. Regarding the latter, I think you have a solid fundation, we have enough room to breathe and to get caught by the mystery surrounding the shop, but I believe it could be improve (Once again, I'll come back to it later).

As for the story itself, we have a complete arc. Even though the stakes aren't really high, we still have some, and the resolution wraps them up quite nicely.

I also want to add that I love the concept of the end of all things being in fact a beginning for something infinite. It's quite an interesting take on finity and infinity. And even though I would have liked to see the reflexion going further, I can't really blame you for choosing the story over the philosophical question, and I still believe there is enough material here to raise some interesting questions.


I believe the biggest problem is the execution. Not that there is something big in the execution, but it's rather a lot of small things that, added together, harms the story.


Let's start with one of the early sentences:
I guess there’s only one way to find out. Moondancer took a deep breath and stepped inside.

Why Moondancer would take a deep breath here? From what we know, the shop doesn't seem spooky or anything. It's almost a regular shop, one that Moondancer mistakes for a coffee-library. She isn't sure of that, but whatever she believes the shop is, taking a deep breath sounds like something you do when you're about to do something quite big. Unfortunately, entering a shop is something very common and down to earth, and, moreover, you didn't explain how different from a regular one this shop entering was.


Second point is Moondancer's inner thoughts. There are a lot of them, like a lot of a lot of them. While some of them are helpful to define her character (I wonder what the full history of that dress is. It will probably fill an entire library section, at least!), most of them are annoying, some even painful to read, like this one
Not really, Moondancer thought, but nodded nonetheless.

I'm not a big fan of the big "SHOW DON'T TELL", but it exists for a reason. Here, Moondancer's thought is rather pointless. By simply saying that she nods, we understand the point. Add an adjective, like she "slowly nodded", or something like that, and you keep what you wanted to say in the first place.

Some other times, these inner thoughts feel like they are meant to be ours, Moondancer being our ship into the ocean. That's something common. However, you need to let your reader have its own space. As it is, you bluntly say how we're suppose to feel or react to the shopkeeper. Moondancer is pretty much pissed by his behaviour, but if I find it funny, I need to have space to laugh at his obsequiousness.

And finally, the amount of inner thoughts harms the indentification with Moondancer I'm guessing we were supposed to have. Having her inner thoughts directly written make them like dialogs, and thus, her voice become an external voice. By switching for indrect speech, we would feel her thoughts rather than hear them. Like this one:
“Very well.” I’ll humour you, but only because I enjoyed the story of the dress. Hmm, I wonder if I should buy it. It is rather breathtaking, even if I’ll hardly ever wear it... “Do you have the best book?”

Instead of having this big part, replace it with something like:
“Very well.” The story of the dress had been quite pleasant to hear, and Moondancer was willing to give the shopkeeper a chance. She thought about what she could ask for a moment before the obvious answer came to her mind. “Do you have the best book?”

It's very far from being perfect, surely far from being good too, but I think you get my point.


And last, I'm not sure if Moondancer is a good choice for this story. I'm not saying she's a bad choice, mind you. I feel like she lacks some characterisation. Or maybe it's because I don't really care for the character aside from the single episode she was in (which was great). As it is, I feel like you could have chosen another pony and it wouldn't have make much of a difference.


Anyway, anyway, anyway, with all that have been said, I'm probably sounding harsh, but be assure that the story was far from being terrible. Like I said, it was an enjoyable tale, and you have a lot of great things in it. I believe that with some rework, you could either make a nice character piece about Moondancer, or something aiming more towards fairy tales (maybe both at the same time, who knows).
Also, if you belong to the authors submitting for the first time here, you should know that I'm not a native speaker, and that I usually don't know what I'm talking about. Thus, what you've read is probably completely off the mark.
#170 ·
·
>>horizon
Ah, there may have been an hour left in the contest! But alas, I had to depart to this place called "work." It is a terrible land of misery and suffering. It's sole redeeming quality is that it provides me the bits needed for viewing ponies on the interwebs. And a few other amenities such as food, water, and housing. ;>
#171 ·
· on The Double Bar · >>TrumpetofDoom
I like this look into the world of music in Canterlot. I can't say that I know enough about how music works to be able to audibiilze what the music might sound like, but this is simply a restriction on writing about music in a story.

The seeming dichotomy of the bar is an idea I'd like to see more done on in the future. Here it seemed like most of this story was about one persons story that happened in the bar, and not so much about the bar itself.
#172 · 2
· on Should I Stay or Should I Go. · >>Lamplighter
Let me start off by saying that I genuinely enjoy self-reflective thought pieces. I find that they can be a powerful way to show a character's thoughts and emotions, even if it runs the risk of being too telly at times. Much like Twilight herself, this story finds itself on that edge, threatening to come crashing down into full tell territory. While I did not have much of an issue with that due to my aforementioned preferences, it is something that you should consider in the future.

Mainly, dwelling on Twilight's views on death and motherhood while still tying them to the central concept of a quest for knowledge would help the strength of the overall piece. If Twilight has taken these actions for the sake of knowing more, then it'd be good if we could see what insight she has gleaned from her experiences. Maybe making some parallels between what she has learned as a mother and what that could mean for her ultimate question of life after death once the reveal happens.

Also.
She sat down once more, fully this time, crossing her front legs, and setting her chin down upon her hooves.

This bothered me more than it should've. If only because I like my horses to act like horses, and this would be an awkard action for a horse.

Nevertheless, I enjoyed this story and I wish you the best this round.
#173 · 2
· on Should I Stay or Should I Go. · >>Lamplighter
Synopsis: Twilight commits suicide out of curiosity. Except not.

First, to get one unpleasantry out of the way: this has a lot of grammar problems, and unfortunately they're enough to get under my skin and damage immersion. The story suffers for that, in my eyes. Get a good editor to help you clean this up if you plan to take it any further than a writeoff entry.

The story itself: the opening could use a bit of work. Some details feel as if they need just a bit of adjustment to flow naturally into contextual relevance, for example, starting down the path of explaining that the wind is caused by a pressure differential without first establishing why delving into the technical minutiae of what causes wind is meaningful. Yes, the why becomes apparent shortly, but at first glance it feels like misplaced technical fluff (ie., the author just trying to sound smart), which can be off-putting. If there's one thing an opening shouldn't be, it's off-putting (unless off-puttingness is being consciously done for a particular audience for a particular reason).

The premise, centered around Twilight's curiosity, is... I don't know. Believable enough, in terms of what she'd think about, but not really believable in terms of her considered actions. Because it's not believable that an in-character Twilight is going to do what she's wondering about, there's not much real tension. The outcome is pretty much pre-determined. To me, that lack of a real conflict with an ability to change the outcome makes it a little boring. Not to say that a story like this can't work, but the way it has to generate interest is through some sort of interesting examination of that non-conflict, so that's where this story goes. And it doesn't do a bad job, at that, but at the same time I don't think does a great job, either. The main deficiency there is innovation: if you're going to walk the let's-muse-about-death walk, I'd have liked to see it hit some sort of fresh untrod territory or insightful new perspective, but most of what's here (stuff like "no one knows", "can't create or destroy energy", "it's a big universe", etc.) is pretty well explored and a bit cliche in fiction.

Final word: I didn't dislike it, but it needs to do something more unique to stand out.
#174 · 1
· on Solacing Dreams · >>Baal Bunny >>Rao >>Zaid Val'Roa
When discussing the end of all things, death is definitely one of the first things that comes to mind.

Let my start by saying that this story is well written. The pacing is good, the dialog is good, and the end made me smile. It isn't the first fic I've read about Luna providing solace to the dying, but that isn't a bad thing. It's certainly believable that, on one's final journey into the eternal night, Princess Luna would be there to guide them.

Which is where I find my criticism. Why does Luna feel the need to conceal her identity? Would it not have made more sense for her to go to the dreams of the dying in her regular dream-walking? Furthermore, why is Tender Care so happy to see the mare who seems to show up and kill ponies?

Okay so that last one was silly, and that was deliberate. But realistically, how do any of the doctors know what she's doing for these ponies? It just seems like something that would make more sense of Luna did it in person, instead of under an assumed name. I just don't understand the choice to use Solacing Dreams instead of Princess Luna.

Anyway, that gripe aside, I did enjoy the story. It was certainly worth the read, and it made me think, so I'd call this one a definite success. Good job!
#175 ·
· on Paint It Black · >>Zaid Val'Roa
The writing is fine, but the story is a very old and boring one—they've made a billion holiday movies about this, haven't they? I think some people enjoy it as a comedy, but to me it's just stressful, so I skimmed most of it.

I'm sorry I can't offer much advice. I'm just not a fan of the story itself.

I would say there's such a thing as going too far with exaggeration. Twilight Sparkle isn't going to have counted every word she ever read... that becomes too eye-rolly for me to appreciate as comedy. But again, this whole thing isn't my cup of cider so I'm not the best judge. :ponyshrug:
#176 · 4
· on Familiar · >>Kitcat36 >>Trick_Question
Twilight's never been good at pretending nothing's wrong, has she?

I like the slow hints from the very beginning that something's gone horribly off the rails. The first time I took a look at the first paragraph, I actually missed the "took a pill, waited fifteen minutes", but then I had to step away and do something else, and I took another look when I came back. That's a detail that gets referenced again later on, but never quite explained, and it's nagging at me a bit — I think maybe the idea is that she's trying to fortify either her mental stability or her magical reserves, but that's far from clear to me.

That said, I thought the revelation at the end was well executed, and the story overall left me feeling like it did what it set out to do.

>>Kitcat36
I'm not sure where you're getting "five sisters" from. The "five good friends" are either her memories of the other Element bearers or Celestia, Luna, Cadance, Flurry Heart and Discord, but nowhere in the story does it say anything about five sisters.
#177 · 3
· on Maker of Makers!
Good to know nth dimentional beings still partake in the little pleasures of existence. Like RPGs!

I feel bummed about how I don't have much to say other than how much I liked this. Much more than I thought I would at the begining. I wish we could've seen more of the actual process of creation as well as the interaction between the Asperi and the Euvem. Even if these are supposed to be beings beyond our comprehension, I felt it was a bit too dettached for my liking.

Still, this was an inventive and enjoyable tale. I wish you the best, and hopefully others will give you more in-depth reviews.
#178 · 1
· on Familiar
>>TrumpetofDoom
Huh, that's a point. I got it from putting together
"It's terrible. There's nothing left but a gray waste..."

"And five good friends to spend another million years or so with, any way you like," said Spike's voice. "Not a bad deal, if you ask me."
and the line immediately after Twi's response to that,
"Life ain't perfect, Twi. It's those imperfections that make it worthwhile," said Applejack. "You and your sisters can go play pretend together, and you can face facts together too. I know you can do it."


You have a point that I could have completely missed the mark with the 5 sisters thing.
#179 · 1
· on Twilight Under the Bodhi Tree
I'm not sure what to think about this one.

I am a big fan of stories that play with a nonlinear narrative. That being said, there are times in this story (specifically around the scene breaks) where it becomes difficult to understand who is speaking, and when the event is happening. I'm sure some of this is on purpose, to disorient the reader, but at times it takes away from the telling of the story.

I'm also uncertain what happened to Twilight. At any point. There was some sort of bad thing which seriously messed her up, then after dealing with what seemed like brain damage she died?

I also don't understand Glitter's arc. I don't know why she had an epiphany in the end or what it was about, and I don't understand her reaction to seeing Twilight lucid. I also don't understand the meaning behind the book, or of Celestia showing up in the end.

I guess there's just a lot I didn't understand about this story. I thought it might be more about Glitter coming to terms with what has happened to Twilight, but that didn't really happen. Twilight's depiction also felt off to me: I remember when my grandmother began to forget people and things (and, eventually, herself) and this just didn't feel like that to me.

Also, I was thrown for a loop when Twilight gave the speech from Secondhand Lions (or close enough, anyway).

I'm sorry that this story just didn't really work for me. Maybe I'm missing something, not the story, but in the end, it is how it is. I hope these criticisms didn't come out to harsh, I just wanted to give my honest feelings towards the piece.
#180 ·
· on Moving On
By the end, I had come to pretty much the same conclusion Trick Question had. However, despite the fact that it tried so hard, or maybe because of that, to pull on my heartstrings, you played them like a fucking fiddle. That said, by the time that Santa Hooves showed up, I had really noticed how uh... formulaic the story was. But the writing was enough to keep me wanting to reading all the way through, and despite knowing everything that was gonna happen a second before it did due to cultural osmosis, I still loved every moment of it.

It got a reaction from me. It's been done, but it doesn't matter. Even though there are a thousand busts of Helios, you still sculpted a bust of Helios.

I liked it.
#181 ·
· on Could-Have-Been · >>Winston
I have to admit, I'm not a fan of sadfics, so my enjoyment level of this fic wasn't very high. That said, speaking as a critic, I can't find all that many flaws with it. It was a pretty realistic portrayal of a character going through grief towards a lost friend, and as such it hit all the emotional points with the characterisation it needed to.

It's a very mature fic, not in the sense that it's gory or sexual, but in the sense that it's honest and open about the characters emotions, without making Rainbow Dash feel far out of character. I suppose the only thing I can really critique is that it feels a bit standard by this point. This kind of story has been done many times, including in the show (though not quite as literally; see "Tanks for the Memories"), so there wasn't very much that really added a "wow" factor to make it stand out.

As such, I think giving this fic a rating of a straight A would be the most honest score I can provide. It's not my cup of tea, but for those that "enjoy" sadfics (which is kind of an oxymoron, but that's neither here nor there), I think this will be one to keep.
#182 ·
· on Another Pony’s Poison · >>Caliaponia >>Aragon >>GaPJaxie >>Bachiavellian >>Pascoite
Huh. Hunh. Well, this was a heck of a start to my reading. I, too, had to give it a second pass, not because the first one lost me but because I wanted to reread it to gnaw at all the little details and savor the craft of its construction. And since this is a story about baconhair visiting Celestia and then being a changeling I'm gonna have to jump straight to spoilers.

The scene with Silver Spear was magnificently subtle — well done on the way it hides her reaction to his emotions in place sight. As the scene with Celestia continued, I started to feel like there was an unusual emphasis on love: "Hunh," I thought. "This has weird overtones, like Sunset's a changeling or something." But the story held together excellently on the surface level, to the point where I didn't find that meta-analysis breaking me out; with a few odd exceptions, like the poisoning thing, I wasn't going into my reading feeling like it was building up to a twist. IOW, I spotted the twist and it didn't cause me to lose interest in the cover story. That's solid craftsmanship right there.

If it had held that level of quality throughout, this would have been an instant top contender, but unfortunately I feel like the ending is the weakest part here -- I'd be all too willing to believe it got slapped together in the deadline rush. The specific part where I start really questioning the craft here is the second layer of reveal — not just that Shimmy is herself a changeling, but the signaling that she's Chrysalis in specific. (One: "I’d learned enough about her by sneaking into Twilight’s castle. Maybe if I’d actually gone through the mirror." Two: "Relegated to dredging up what little scraps of love I could. How royal", emphasis author's.) This is daring, don't get me wrong! — and it's the thing that sent me lunging for an immediate re-read, because if you roll with a twist that big you've got a lot to keep square.

The thing is, any way you roll with "Sunset is a changeling" your readers are gonna have questions (I certainly did) — what's the backstory here? Did she get replaced, or was she always this way? How come we don't see her doing changeling-y things in canon? Did she ever actually turn evil, or was that just the real her getting replaced? This is really fertile ground for storytelling. But by specifically framing this story as "we've never actually seen Sunset this whole time", you are setting yourself up for double the questioning: namely, how does this interloper know Sunset's concerns, why do they share those concerns (beyond the simple "pretending to care in order to feed", which in a few places seems pretty clear that's not the extent of it), and most importantly, what do they get out of faking a reconciliation between Celestia and the-real-Sunset-who-could-expose-the-ruse-at-any-time-just-by-writing-a-letter?


“I’ll write to you. I promise. Or… it’s alright with me if Twilight shares the journal with you. Then you can keep up.”


This is an insane promise to make if the narrator isn't Sunset Shimmer! It'll blow the whole thing open the first time Celestia sends a note saying "thanks for your visit" or asks for the journal she's been promised!

Author, I think this story certainly could be made to work with Chrysalis as the narrator, but it then also has to at least lampshade the central question of why she'd choose this particular form and what she gets out of this fake (and easily exposed!) "reconciliation". Getting in to talk to Celestia and see how she's doing is one thing, but she doesn't have to go so far out on a limb for Sunset, nor care about the things that she appears to genuinely care about which should only matter to Sunset herself, and the ending doubles down on that by hinting hard that she's doing this for Celestia and/or Sunset's happiness (which makes the fragile fakery here doubly weird). More so, why would she try to fix Sunset's relationship while putting almost zero effort that I can tell into advancing her own interests? What happened to Chrysalis to make her so unrelentingly selfless here?

But honestly, comparing even a well-executed Chrysalis twist to the "Sunset Shimmer is herself a changeling" twist which this story supported right up until the end, I kinda want to read the latter more. So much of the story so sincerely addresses the meaty issue of her Celestia reconciliation that I feel like you could strengthen this by doubling down on it. Having said that, though, I think there are clues from the beginning that that wasn't your intention, specifically her failure to recognize Silver Spear. (Maybe you could split the difference by having the real Sunset (who fled to Humania) be dead and this one be a changeling replacement who has taken over her through-the-portal life in her absence?) If you really dug into those questions bringing me up short on the Chrysalis idea, though, I think you could sell it to this level as well. The rest of the story certainly supports the idea that you've got the chops to do it without the deadline pressure hanging over your head.


So, yeah. Not quite closing the deal with text as written, but that doesn't stop this from being an ambitious piece that succeeds at most of its goals, and going to be an early high water mark for my reading.

Tier: Strong
#183 · 1
· on Monsters
Oh, my God. I feel so horrible for laughing out loud when Scoots said she wanted to rape Dash, and even more so when it was revealed that Dash wanted it. I don't know why, it just felt so out of left field it caught me completely off guard.

Twisted sense of humour and debateable reveals aside, I actually enjoyed this quite a bit. I liked how you depicted Dash's inner struggle with her feelings, I found it really compelling and made me wish she manages to come to terms with her situation. I wish we could've had the same with Scootaloo, though, as not getting to see her side of things outside of her confrontation with Rainbow really limits her presence in the story, which sucks because she's the catalyst for the entire story. Also, it would've been nice to see some parallels between her situation and Dash's.

Liked the story, wished it did a bit more. Nevertheless, nicely done.
#184 · 4
· on (The Flesh Is) Weak
Ah, only six stories in and I already found a favourite. That was quick.

The style won me over quickly. It kept the pace nice and speedy while giving little tidbits of information. Very efficient and proof that you can weave a compelling narrative without going overboard in the prose (something which I should learn some time)

Plot wise, I wonder why Discord never thought of using some sort of contraceptive. I mean, if he was well aware of the risk, why not take a few steps to prevent the worst possible scenario from happening? From the story, I get the feeling he didn't want things to turn out the way they did, so why not explore a few alternatives before doing the non-euclidean tango?

Also, one last thing:

Screams of pain, and screams of pleasure, are impossible to tell apart.

This... This actually worries me, author. If you pay enough attention, it is quite possible to tell a scream of pain from a scream of pleasure. I'd know, I've tortured quite a lot of people.
#185 · 1
· on The Dressmaker's Lament · >>Morning Sun
Who amongst us hasn't wished for something horrible to happen so that it would prevent us from complying with social obligations? "I can't go to work today, boss, the streets are flooded. Good luck with the meeting today." "I'm sorry, honey. I can't go meet your parents tonight, a tornado took away my car." "Hey, I know my entry lacked polish, but cut me some slack, I was fighting my way out of a zombie-infested building."

Ramblings aside, this was an enjoyable ride through Rarity's pre-wedding jitters. You did a good job at conveying her insecurities and worries, but I'll echo >>The Power Wolf's comment about needless repetition. Well used italics and proper word usage--which you have in spades--can convey the same intensity in a way that feels more engaging than just repeating words.

Still, I found myself smiling as I read. Nicely done.
#186 · 2
· on Yesterday's Diamonds
I didn't have high hopes for this story, partly because of the degree of exaggeration in the outset. I think the description of Diamond's wealth and her tantrum may both have gone a little too far into excess.

That said, the story had a nice resolution and I enjoyed the second half of it substantially more than the first half—I liked the overall story arc. I think the change in heart was too quick to be believable, but that's partly because you exaggerated Diamond's brattiness.

I don't have much else to offer on this one, except I think Luna's bauble was too much of a tease. She could have at least acknowledged that she has her own memories to deal with.
#187 · 3
· on Special Delivery · >>horizon >>Caliaponia
I really want to read a story about the postal union dealing with Discord's route, but that's me and my love of bureaucracy.

This was a fun romp, and I envision this turning into a comedy duo's journey through the chaos realms while bonding with each other. That last part is that I feel is the biggest detriment to the story, we never get a good grasp of Prompt and Indicia's personality since most of the time they're just reacting to the odd things in the chaos world with a couple of lines here and there to show how they feel. This is a huge missed opportunity, because they are the ones carrying this story, and if we're not sold on their relationship, then the story sufffers as a whole. As >>Trick_Question said, the transition from strangers to maybe friends was too abrupt. A more natural development would make the readers sympathise with them and see hot their friendship blooms.

You have something good in here, author. I hope you polish it even further.
#188 · 3
· on The Bonds You Choose, and Those You Leave Behind · >>AndrewRogue
A dose of forbidden love always soothes a weary spirit.

This was a lovely tale, and kudos on making me invested on Octavia's dilemma. I agree with >>regidar in that the drama was handled in a believeable way. However, I wish we could have seen a bit more out of the encounters Octavia had with other ponies, if not in amount, but also in variety. I find it odd how everyone is just against the idea of Octavia marrying someone beneath her and more concerned with social standing. I can see why Octavia's mom and her agent(?) would think that way, but what about her fellow musicians? Parish comes across as a bit caring, yeah, but he ultimately aligns with everyone else's opinion.

Why not have someone she knows be genuinely happy for her, but still lament all she'll lose due to her engagement with Vinyl? Or hell, someone who supports her choice in spite of what society will say? Sure, this may make the feeling of alienation seem less strong, but as it stands you've explored essentially the same conflict three times in a row. "I love Vinyl." "She's beneath you" "I still love her and I'll marry her" "Curse your free spirited love!"

Having Octavia be confronted with different attitudes would let us explore more about her feelings and why she's willing to lose everything in her life in order to be with the one she loves. I say this because this story is clearly banking on ScratchTavia being a known ship. If this story remained the same but you changed Vinyl with, say, Applejack, the reader would be left wondering what is it that they find in each other that makes Octavia want to throw everything aside for the sake of love. Within the story, we're only told that they love each other and get a few glimpses about how they met, but that's it.

If you're going to tell me that this relationship is more important to Octavia than her family and her career, then make me care about that relationship so by the end I'll also be rooting for their love to triumph.

Oh, well. Sorry if I was rough, I only complain because I care, and I can see this story being much greater with just a little bit of love.(heh) I still liked this quite a lot, author.
#189 · 2
· on Should I Stay or Should I Go. · >>Fenton >>Lamplighter
Like the others stated, this is a good story. Potentially. Everything is there for this story to be good, but the way it was written makes it seem as though it were a first draft. Which is only to be expected! This is the writeoff after all. But yeah, amid the grammar and spelling mistakes and the prose choices, it came off as... uninterested. The parts with Celestia were done quite well, I think; they were heartwarming. A lot of Twilight's inner monologue and reflections seem to be distant and... yeah. Uninterested. Maybe that's the idea? She's in a bit of shock?

It definitely needs work, but it has the makings of a great fic and with some good effort thrown into editing it up, I think it'll be quite the story. I also agree casually with Winston about needing something more unique to make it stand out, but I'm afraid that may be empty advice as I'm not exactly sure what.
#190 ·
· · >>Pascoite >>Monokeras >>Trick_Question
Oh my gosh, I can't look at my story without wanting to hide it. ...there isn't a way to take it down, just in case, is there?
#191 · 1
· on Twilight Under the Bodhi Tree
All right, crackpot Theory time. My theory is that the reason Glitter's first name wasn't said until the very end, during the post Epiphany moment, was because she's not really Twilight's daughter.

Twilight and Discord did a Fusion Dance, and formed the inseparable new life-form known as Twilight Glitter. All of the scenes with Twilight's confusion and Glitter's reluctance was the Persona of Twilight psyche merging together with the cognitive whole to create the new life-form.

Yeah... I'll go with that.
#192 · 2
· on Chrysalis' Kingdom: All Falls Down · >>Posh >>Zaid Val'Roa >>Kitcat36
Synopsis: retelling of the changelings' involvement in the series, from Chryssi's perspective.

This didn't really stick well for me, for two reasons:
One, it's a fairly unadorned retelling. This is a story we (at least those of us caught up with the series) already know, and it doesn't add much of anything new to that story. The result is that we know the plot already, so what's going to happen holds no suspense and the events themselves can't be where the interest is. To generate interest in a piece like this, the examination of the characters is typically where you'd need to turn, and that leads to the next point, which is...
Two, as this is from Chryssi's perspective, an exploration of Chryssi is where that interest would come from. But she's not very interesting here because she doesn't end up feeling, at least to me, like a very nuanced or real person. She's more or less just a stock villain doing stock villainy for the stock reasons of self-interest. We're supposed to be getting offered insight into her perspective, but all the truths we're left with about her at the end of the story are ultimately as superficial as what we knew from the start: she wants to steal love because she's hungry and feels entitled to eat, and doesn't see how she could be wrong. Author, if that's really all you see in her, then one questions why this story really needed to be written, since it's just going to say what everyone already knew. On the other hand, if you think there's more, some sort of really interesting morally ambiguous territory to tread through, or some real, relatable nuance to develop and explore about Chryssi as a person, then unfortunately this story doesn't hit that mark, and I really would have liked it to, because that would have very interesting.

Final word: This just doesn't have anything new to say.
#193 · 4
· · >>Kitcat36 >>Ranmilia >>Fenton >>Kitcat36
>>Kitcat36
Relax. Nobody's going to hurt you. If you really want out, you can ask Roger to remove your story, but what's the harm? There aren't that many people here. It's not like putting it up on FiMFic for thousands to see. Just a few dozen here, and they're all looking to help you out.
#194 · 2
· on Familiar · >>Xepher >>Trick_Question
Nice reference to Release Note. A dark tale that ends on a note of redemption. I have little to add to the other reviews. I am inclined to class this as upper tier.
#195 · 1
· on Chrysalis' Kingdom: All Falls Down · >>Kitcat36
Pretty much what >>Winston said; I see what it's going for, but it doesn't say or do anything unique with its premise, or offer any insight into Chryssi's character that isn't already apparent from the way her arc's played out over the course of the series.

The writing's fine (better than fine, even), however. But there's not much story underneath the well-written* prose

*fuckin' fight me, guys
Post by Posh deleted
#197 · 1
· on Chrysalis' Kingdom: All Falls Down · >>Kitcat36
On a technical level, I think you did a good job, but as >>Winston said, if you're going to retell an episode from a differente perspective, then you ought to show us something new. What do we gain from seeing Chryssi's insight? Do we see the episode under a new light? Does it add a layer of meaning or emotion to the story now that we've seen it through Chrysalis's eyes?

What's more, at points this retelling was literally just a retelling of the steps of the plan of the finale, and it's not as though there's any interesting twist or new information there, it's just Chrysalis saying "this happened, and then this happened."

If you manage to find what it is that you want to say, then I'll be right on board.
#198 · 1
· on Familiar · >>TrumpetofDoom >>Pascoite
I haven't read this yet; someone tell me if it involves Rainbow Dash emotionally abusing Robo-Sparkle.
#199 ·
· on Familiar
>>Posh
It does not.
#200 ·
· on Familiar
>>Posh
I don't see Jaxie on the author list, so probably not?