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Lie Me a River · FiM Minific ·
Organised by RogerDodger
Word limit 400–750
#1 · 6
·
Oppa Writeoff style!

*horse riding dance*
#2 ·
·
Newts
#3 · 5
·
Prompt submitted!

Time to procrastinate!
#4 · 11
·
It’s been this way from the start.
It’s like they’re always trying to tear us apart,
But we will stand strong, stand true,
And everybody’s gonna watch what we do.
And they’ll be awestruck, saying “Aw, shucks!
They either got real good or they got real good luck.”

And I’d be lying if I said that I could take any more,
'Cuz I’ve been on my own, trying like never before,
And I was lying on the couch and there’s this knock on the door,
And it’s like—

All my friends,
Woah, come right in.
Woah, all my friends!
We can take it all back again!
Woah, put your hands on in
And lemme hear you say
Oooooooooh yeah!
Lemme hear you say yeah!

Another day, another chance.
We got our card and we’re going to the dance.
We’re gonna stay strong, hold true,
And everybody’s gonna watch what we do.
And they’ll be awestruck, saying, “Aw, shucks!
They either got real good or they got real good luck.”

And I’d be lying if I said that we could take any more,
'Cuz we’re about to light a fire like never before,
And if you’re lying on the couch and there’s a knock on the door,
And it’s like—

All my friends,
Woah, come right in.
Woah, all my friends!
We can take it all back again!
Woah, put your hands on in
And lemme hear you say
Oooooooooh yeah!
Lemme hear you say yeah!
Woo!

All my friends,
Woah, come right in.
Woah, all my friends!
We can take it all back again!
Woah, put your hands on in
And lemme hear you say
Oooooooooh yeah!
Lemme hear you say yeah!

We’ll always be young at heart,
And nothing’s ever gonna tear us apart because we
“Stand strong, stand true!”
And everybody’s gonna watch what we do.
And they’ll be awestruck, saying, “Aw, shucks!
They either got real good or you know what!
#5 · 6
·
Let's see if I can make this happen.
#6 ·
· · >>Whitbane >>Trick_Question >>dragon discord
I predict my prompt will win.
#7 · 5
· · >>CoffeeMinion >>Monokeras >>Trick_Question >>Trick_Question
Well, this weekend I'll be at a furry convention. But usually I go to furry conventions to drink and dance, and I'll be down half of that since my patellar tendonitis is flaring up. :(

So if the prompt hands me an awesome gift-wrapped idea, I might break my no-more-minifics thing and wander in anyway.

Honestly, though, I'm kind of feeling like I've lost the idea to understand what people enjoy reading. I just released former silver medalist "For The Moon, The Night" over on FIMFic (heavily edited/expanded as Queen of Clubs), and it barely even touched Popular Stories and got only about 10% as many views as people on my follower list; and it has been accumulating the same sort of mixed critical reception there as it did in comments here. "Paint it Black", meanwhile, was literally my worst finish in my four-year Writeoff career (except for the in-joke fic I directly asked people to bottom-slate, which was also within the last few months), and I released it basically unedited and it stayed in the Featurebox for two days.

Normally I could chalk that up as differences between the Writeoff audience and FIMFic audience, but historically I've both agreed with the consensus here and been able to predict it with a modest degree of accuracy. QOC's medal and PIB's basement finish both shocked me.

I don't know. I'm just shaken. :(
#8 · 1
·
Well, I certainly look forward to this.

Wait... this will be three things I gotta write for... well, I did want to get around to writing.
#9 · 1
·
I finally started making good progress on writing outside of these since the last time I entered, and was hoping to have a finished version of Discord Libs up on fimfic, or at least ready for prereading. But then I got sick and lost all momentum. Oh well, hoping to use this writeoff to get back on the pony. Hopefully by the anniversary of the writeoff it was in it'll be ready, which is in... one month. Holy. I thought I was at 9 months, not 11.
#10 · 4
·
Here's to hoping I have time and internet enough to join...

I had to trek to a public library to submit my prompt and make this comment. :P
#11 · 3
· · >>CoffeeMinion
Here's to gin, and the writers it's in.
Here's to the whiskey that makes our minds frisky.
Everybody should believe in something.
I believe I'll have another drink.
#12 · 4
·
>>horizon
You’ve still got it, man. ❤️ I think there’s been some turnover/churn in the reader-base in both places, which makes it less predictable.

As for me, I’m gunning to take back that long-lost #9 spot in the pony rankings. N-not that I care, b...baka. :-p

>>georg
*raises pre-emptive cider*
#13 · 4
·
>>horizon
O tempora, o mores!

Vagaries of fortune and human nature’s volatility
Against thee wrought their evil conspiracy.
#14 · 8
·
>>horizon
You can't predict the Box, so you shouldn't let it dictate your writing.
#15 ·
·
Damn, I'm so late for my shitty nonsense-songish #1post.

At least, I'm not late for submitting a song prompt.
#16 · 7
·
Hey look. It's that group I wrote for a few times and pretend to still write for. Let's hope my propensity for procrastinating doesn't screw me over again.
#17 · 1
·
>>Trick_Question
You just jinxed it!
#18 · 10
· · >>CoffeeMinion
Once Upon a Burning Sky, Cross My Heart and Hope to Fly, Young Mare Came In from Hunting, Faint and Weary Of Light and Shadow.

“I’m Not Going to Miss You.” Tips and Tricks, The Price of Magic. The concept of sawing Florida off and pushing it out to sea–The Missing Piece. Dangerous Magic, Fill in the Blank.

“Is it because I’m—” Me Among the Mighty, Just For Fun, But you touch one butt, and suddenly it’s a big deal! Everyone Poops–All The King’s Horses! Ass Capades! Princesses’ Clusterfuck. Diplomatic Disaster, Light Treason, Rules of Engagement… “—Rumbly in My Tumbly?”

“End the Suffering.” The Reign of Mortals. Day By Day In a fictional world, What Could Possibly Go Worng? How Can Mirrors Be Real If Our Eyes Aren’t Real?

“I’ve Got Your Back.” It’s The Journey, Not The Destination Over the Moon. Lie Me a River.

The Kiss, Lamp Twice as Bright Among the Clouds. Horses’ Shadows Touch and Go. Resolutions, In Other Words.

DON’T FORGET ME
#19 · 2
·
>>horizon
Also: look at the shit in the Box right now. Seriously.
#20 · 2
·
>>GroaningGreyAgony
These don't always do it for me, but this one's amazing!
#21 ·
·
>>Trick_Question
Noooooooooo! :raritydespair:

Mare, I did much worse than expected. Only 8 votes. :derpytongue2:
#22 · 4
·
Well, this prompt isn't doing anything for me, but we'll see how the day goes. However, I enjoyed reviewing during the last minific round, so see you all in the comments even if I don't submit an actual entry!
#23 · 2
·
I'm blanking a bit on this prompt too, and I'm pretty busy getting ready to move on to campus on the 16th so I don't foresee much participation from me in this write-off :(
#24 · 1
· · >>Trick_Question
>>Trick_Question
I'll challenge you to that. ;)
#25 ·
·
Given how I have a lot of personal writing projects that I want to work on and the fact that I won a silver medal in the last round, I'm going to sit this one out.

However, I'll be sure to check out and vote on the ones the rest of you write.
#26 · 1
·
>>dragon discord
Congrats!

Your prompt has inspired me, too. :pinkiehappy:
#27 · 8
· · >>Trick_Question >>Cold in Gardez
Hey guys! IMO this prompt is a great opportunity to advance the concept of being a bit lenient with stories that don't line up with it in a super-obvious way. That is unless we all want to read stories about:

1) Ponies/Technicolor Humans Lying
2) Rivers
3) Ponies/Technicolor Humans Lying While Traversing Rivers

I know this isn't rocket science and most people are probably cool with this anyway, but I feel like it's worth putting out there for discussion, as I could see this prompt being somewhat restrictive otherwise.
#28 · 4
· · >>CoffeeMinion
>>CoffeeMinion
It's possible to have 50 completely different and original stories all about lying while traversing rivers. I don't think we need to worry.
#29 ·
·
>>Trick_Question
You’re right, of course; I should’ve seen that coming. :-p
#30 ·
·
I'm out; way too much stuff to do today. Good luck, everypony!
#31 · 4
·
I am doing the influenza thing, yet still managed to get the story thing out.
#32 ·
·
Crap. I've got a perfect story idea for this prompt. And I've written it TWICE, in different formats.. and NEITHER of them is fitting the word limit, or really gelling together perfectly. And I'm running out of time. :/
#33 · 1
·
Whew, I'm shocked I got that idea past the minimum word count. Maybe it's alright?

I just hope I didn't chew through too much of my cell data editing. And of course there'll be at least one error I totally missed despite that. :P

Good luck to everyone still writing!
#34 ·
·
Arg, I just don’t have it this time. Good luck everypony!
#35 · 5
·
>>CoffeeMinion

Or, just hear me out, this is a chance to vigorously censure stories that don't strictly adhere to a narrow, literal interpretation of the prompt.
#36 · 3
·
I did it! \o/

Time for punishment critical feedback.
#37 · 4
· · >>georg
It is with a heavy heart that I must announce the following news:

While I did submit a story, any and all references to lesbian mud wrestling within said story were removed at the advice of my pre-reader.
#38 · 2
· · >>Jay >>GroaningGreyAgony >>Posh
>>Posh ...which I really was looking forward to, because you seldom see lesbian mud engaging in physical activity such as that. :)

Anybody else having Copy/Paste issues out of Gdocs where the Writeoff.me site is taking out all of the line spacing?
#39 · 1
·
>>georg
Yeah, I've had that issue too.
#40 · 1
·
>>georg
I am not, but I am using a plugin called BBcode Export which works fairly well.
#41 ·
·
>>georg Have you tried copypasta-ing it into an unpublished FiMfic doc, and then porting that here? That's how I do.
#42 · 2
·
Am I dead yet?
#43 · 2
·
I'll probably regret it, but here we go again
#44 · 1
·
Boom! Got a story in!
#45 · 2
·
Watch out. I'm gunning for Gold this time, ladies and gentlemen!
#46 ·
·
I have to pull out of this one. My idea could fit into a minific, but not without feeling rushed.

Best of luck to you all!
#47 ·
·
Morning edit is done. I am officially in.
#48 ·
·
Woke up at 4 am yesterday with a fever which got better and worse depending on the hour. So despite getting an idea for a story, I couldn't have gotten any writing done. I wish you all the best, and see you next round.
#49 ·
·
Darn, up too late to make a few last fiddly adjustments I thought of overnight. Oh well.

Also, only 27 fics for a MLP minific round? What happened?
#50 ·
· on River of Dreams
So here's an interesting bit of world building. I'm less interested in the "mysteriously unmentioned former sister" thing, as canon MLP likes to pull this card and there's plenty reason not to talk about her anyway, but the idea that before her dissolution ponies were less imaginative, I suppose. Were they more puppet-like? Or merely more literal-minded about everything? Art must have been a bore, I'm sure. Twilight being a little presumptuous is a nice character touch, too.

Interesting questions raised here, for sure. However...

Celestia gradually opened her eyes to find herself floating amid a comfortable night-blue nothingness speckled with points of light. She turned her head, watching the glowing specks drift by. A thousand years of reflex kicked in, and she reached out to the nearest point to brush her hoof against it—but overrode her instincts at the last moment.

She wasn't here to monitor ponies' dreams. Not tonight.


Given Celestia's obvious inexperience during "A Royal Problem," I don't really buy that she has instincts to resist. Minor canon nitpick, and if it wasn't the preface to an emotional moment I wouldn't mind so much.
#51 · 2
· on First Place
What's a Curie Mark? Does it glow in the dark?

The story is okay until the end. I'm not sure how well it fits into the show, since despite a lot of ponies not acknowledging the presence of the princess is something we are used to.m, I have a hard time imagining Twilight never talking about her friends during a public speach. In fact, I'm pretty sure she would have more than mentioned them during her coronation.
So having the Apple Family not being aware of that (plus Twilight has met a lot of them during the very first episode) is something I can't really buy, unless they are reclused farmers, but the story doesn't say it.

Anyway, enough of cannon and headcannon. What I found the most jaring was the ending. The whole story made me smile, and I even chuckled a bit, but the ending is built like a payoff for a joke, but there is no joke. I'm left with the feeling of "And? Where is the rest?" which isn't smth you want in a minific.

Work on that ending and you'll have a little funny piece.
#52 ·
· on Fear of Evil
So many baits, so many hooks. I bit every one of them but unfortunately none pulled me out of the river of lies.
What does Chrysalis really want? What has she done to the guards to left them in such a state? Did she hurt them with mind control? With her words? Is Twilight really ready to give up on her life and leave her friends without even knowing a basic fact like Chrysalis' mortality?
And the list could go on and on. That's too bad because I feel like this story is on the verge iof establishing a nice atmosphere with a character piece. I believe that the few things to work on are who is this character piece supposed to study (Twi or Chrys?), and resolve some of the things it has started.

Bonus points for Chrysalis lines, intriguing and adding a sense of mystery to the whole.
#53 ·
· on Surprise In The Candle Light
the self-aware style here made me thought this was building up to a joke. when it didn't come, I'm left wondering this why this became a serious romantic scene
#54 ·
· on Sugarcoated · >>GroaningGreyAgony
Opening with a dream sequence? Bold move, but I think it works for you here. The contrast between the dream/nightmare is sharp and sensible, and sets up that 'something is wrong'.

This unfolds fairly well; the reflection in the stream, the flashbacks compared to the surroundings, the 'missing word' bit, they all paint a clear picture for me. The story progresses a bit, as well, moving from nightmare to incomprehension, to the town.

I'm not really sold on the ending, though; that last line, paired with the description of the town, doesn't lean far enough one direction or the other; this story starts with the mare being scared, and then develops into calm-ish, and I'd expect the ending to either sell this as 'everything's alright now' and have her be comforted, or dip back into nightmare again, but… I'm not really sure it does either. The suggestion is that she's smiling? But the strangeness of that description, paired with the unnaturalness of the description of the town, makes me wonder if that's supposed to be a good thing or not. I can't really tell, I guess; it seems to continue the 'confused' mood from before. I'd like to see that change more sharply, because I think that would give the story a stronger feeling of progression and feel more satisfying.

Anyways, this is well written and interesting. I just doesn't clinch as hard or cleanly as I'd like. Good work, but a bit flat.
#55 · 1
· on Surprise In The Candle Light
Man, this feels kinda super padded. It's frontloaded with lots and lots of description, there's a few jokes and then it's over.

There's nothing wrong with writing a fic that's just jokes, buuut… if you're going to do that, my advice is to focus on cramming as many jokes as you can in. Put them in every paragraph. Every line. Every few words! The more jokes the better. Consider something like The Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy; there's a joke in the second line, and fourth, fifth, and sixth lines. I'm not saying you need to be the next Douglas Adams, but I think the principle is sound: humor is subjective. If you're writing a story that's intended to make people laugh, go balls-to-the-wall with it.

As-is, this is perfectly serviceable description, and I did smile at one or two of the jokes. But on the whole, it just feels sorta weak. If it was a feghoot or something like it - where the entirety of the fic was focused on making the punchline hit as hard as possible - it might be able to get away with it, but yeah.

Still, I was never confused about what's going on, and the dialogue was clear and conveyed character. It's a good attempt, it just needs more oomph of some sort. Thanks for writing.
#56 · 1
· on White Lies · >>Anon Y Mous
Well, that was macabre.

Not really sure about this one. Um, there's a few uncapitalized 'I's in there. The beginning was strong; the MC's mood, paired with the officer showing up, worked well for me; the contrast carried it. However, once the 'meat based diet' thing came up, it was pretty obvious what was going on. Neat idea with the chicken; herbivores would have no experience with white and dark meat, which I thought was clever.

The ending, though, doesn't really do much for me; it just carries on from the realization 'this pony killed a mare and is eating her'. There's no real further development, and that weakens things a bit. I'd suggest either moving the reveal closer to the end, and trying to heighten the tension between the MC and the officer, or adding another twist somewhere, to keep the feeling of progression going somehow. Not sure what that would look like, though.

Anyways, I did rather like this. The plot doesn't seem to carry all the way through, but what's there is good, and the gruesomeness is definitely worth something.
#57 ·
· on Grand Finale · >>Fenton >>GaPJaxie
This feels more vignette than story to me, which is kinda odd, given that it does have a fairly clear arc; disappointment -> confusion -> excitement? The thing is, the ending was quite clear, so my mood never really changed from 'cringe' the entire time.

Not really sure what you intended with this. If you wanted to make me vaguely uncomfortable, I guess it worked. It's definitely a tight piece; the descriptions are crisp and clear, the setting is sketched brightly, the dialogue is focused, but I just don't feel like it really goes anywhere, I guess.

Maybe that's sorta the point? If so, that's cute, but… eh. I like progression.
#58 · 1
· on Moonbound · >>Calipony
She's the princess Equestria deserves, but not the one it needs right now

this comes across as mere headcanon explanation, instead of a story.
#59 ·
· on Sugarcoated · >>GroaningGreyAgony
I like the idea of mlp ponies interacting with real life horses. Its a nice story all in all with a cute ending.
#60 · 2
· on The Sky Gazes Back · >>Posh
This is, IMO, an excellent example of how to do a minific well. Two crisp characters, one heartfelt scene, clean and clear progression, very nice. Really, I don't think I have any advice to give on construction. RD smacking Scoots with her tail seemed a bit odd, but eh.

The only weakness it might have is how safe it is; it may lose out, for me, to a fic that takes more chances and pulls them off, but for what it is? It's great.

Often, the difference between a good fic and a great fic - all else held equal - is the depth of emotion that they reach for. This fic moves smoothly from confusion, to worry, to comfort, and then drips just the right amount of worry and confusion back in, but… if I come up against a fic that makes me actually cry or something, it's going to lose out.

The thing is, any advice given to change that here would basically come down to 'write a different fic', which is advice I don't like giving.

All in all, great work, thanks for writing.
#61 ·
· on Surprise In The Candle Light
That trans joke in the end will have many people in a flutter, but I don't know how I feel about it yet. I did like all of the jokes in the beginning, though. They were cute, but like op said up there ^^ it needs a little bit more jokes.

It was very clear what was happening, although, in the beginning it had a cult feel to it??? (Probably just me lol)
#62 ·
· on Fear of Evil · >>Posh
Man, what ever happened to turning the villians to stone?

I dunno. I don't think I can bite hard enough on your premise here to actually engage with the rest of the story. I thought of three ways to keep Chrysalis imprisoned more safely - starting with don't give the guards keys - as I read this. Solitary confinement is not a very difficult concept to come up with.

Eh, maybe I'm being too harsh. There's some good dialogue and interesting ideas in here, and I was never really confused about what was going on.
#63 ·
· on White Lies · >>Anon Y Mous
I agree that the ending that everybody reading already knew what was going on. I think this fic could have worked better if the ending was left up to interpretation and the 'chicken' part a bit more pushed to the side to make this a bit more mysterious.
#64 ·
· on Grand Finale
I- this is beautiful. A true masterpiece of the ages. 10/10 -ign
#65 ·
· on River of Dreams
This gets pretty close to hooking me as a grand worldbuilding idea. But the problem is I don't feel that wonder and reverance at the end, it's just characters talking about that idea. I know, this sounds like that "show don't tell" cliche. I just think framing this as some secret conspiracy misuses the limited text space available here.
#66 ·
· on Changed · >>2Merr
Nice exploration of the characters reinforcing mindsets, though there aren't a whole lot of clues about who it is. On reflection, I'm pretty sure it's Candace and Shining Armor. Succinct, but does its job.
#67 ·
· on Dam You Twilight Sparkle · >>GaPJaxie
political tactics can get really bizarre in a magical fantasy world. this starts off over-the-top and stays that way. the rhythm reminds me of articles from the early days of The Onion, where stories could be so ludicrous just for the purpose of being surreal. This Twilight doesn't need to be justified as aligning with whatever canon from the show; instead, just double down on how ridiculous the situation is developing.

I guess some people would dismiss that as "crackfic", but I think we can all agree to throw some votes to Twilight Sparkle in your writeoff ballots in exchange for water park tickets? wink wink.
#68 · 1
· on I Did Not Have Sexual Relations With That Mare
Genre: Xanatos Speed Dating (which, BTW, was the title of my partially-written story for this Writeoff that ran out of gas after the opening scene.)

Thoughts: This is a lot of shenanigans crammed into a small space! I like how the possibility of one rendezvous or another keeps shifting around, and how the CMCs' collective voice helps keep Rarity's tension ratcheting higher. I'm leery of top-slating my first story out of the gate, but this has a lot going for it.

Tier: Strong
#69 ·
· on Delta
the prompt connection feels kinda forced, and it's a little distracting when it comes up again at the end as a metaphor. but whatever, this story's so hilarious, none of that brings it down. great fun.
#70 ·
· on Grand Finale
Same as >>Not_A_Hat, with the additionnal reflexion (but same) that this story doesn't really do much with the devoted fans it portrays. They aren't fully mocked, nor redeemed; which might be a bit hard to do in 750 words when I think about it.
#71 ·
· on What She Needs To Hear
Hmm. This is kinda about Igneous, but it seems like Pinkie is the one who gets most of the emotions here.

Also, I guess I haven't watched the episode with Igneous in it, but… is he portrayed as especially honest?

Personally, I'm not sure the text of the letter is doing much for you here. Or maybe… the rest of the story doesn't tie into what's in the letter strongly enough to really make it feel worthwhile? The crux of this story is pride/disappointment, and that's not super strong in the letter.

I dunno. I guess Igneous' character progression feels a bit weird here. I'm not entirely sure where he's coming from or where he's ended up, and the bit about 'might never wash out' seems to rely heavily on an interpretation of his character that I didn't see really strongly in the rest of the fic. If that's in the show, fine, but if it's not, you might want to build up that compulsion for honesty a bit, and also make 'pride/disappointment' a bigger thing than it is. It's kinda there in the letter, I guess, but the letter still seems supportive, if resigned.
#72 ·
· on Surprise In The Candle Light
Comedy based on characters joking around, I think, falls a little flat for a prompt like this one. The back-and-forth is funny, so it works in that regard, but it's difficult to really call a joke a lie. Even if it is a lie in the technical sense, when both parties understand that a statement isn't true, it doesn't fit the essential quality of a lie's intention, which is to deceive.

Without that deception, the plot really isn't influenced, so the statement becomes incidental rather than a part of what drives the story. It adds flavor, but not substance. Take away all the jokes that aren't really changing anything important, and the story here is just, "two ponies sit in a restaurant, one proposes to the other." And that's not a bad story, exactly, but there isn't much to it.

But, and here's where I could be reading this wrong, maybe there's a twist at the end that throws something unexpected. If Honey saying she's a stallion is actually true, now the story just took an interesting turn because now that element of deception is present in a big way. It throws the doors open to so much: how will this change things for them, if at all? How do they deal with whatever does change? Does this dishonesty have all kinds of implications for their relationship dynamic going forward? Are they gonna be okay and withstand whatever comes of it, or is this ship headed for the rocks?

Unfortunately, it's hard to tell if any of that interesting complexity that may have been suddenly introduced really exists, because it's hard to read whether Honey is joking or serious. Maybe that ambiguity is on purpose, or maybe I'm just overthinking things, but I'm left a little unsatisfied because this is one of two very different stories, and I'm not sure which one I've just read. That should be made just a little more clear, and I think this story would be where it needs to be - not that it should be on-the-nose, of course, but just enough to tell what's a joke and what's not.
#73 ·
· on Glass
It's a nice little character piece. There's some good pathos here.

On the other hand, it's fairly 'flat' emotionally; it doesn't get better or worse, it just kinda... is. Well, that sort of fits the ideas inside, I guess, but I tend to like more progression in stories.

Still, it reads easily and doesn't overstay its welcome.
#74 ·
· on The Missing Piece... of Cake
Nitpicks: a few grammar issues popped out at me, mostly stuff with said tags versus actions (more specifically, that dialogue followed by a said tag should end with a comma, but dialogue followed by an action should end with a period), and the need for commas in places.

Conceptually, I think that for a prompt that involves lying or dishonesty, invoking changelings can feel like hitting an "easy button" unless there's something very clever done with them beyond the basic premise that changelings are just fundamentally liars by misrepresentation. It's also difficult in a minific to overcome the word limit and find enough space to dig into why this particular changeling is choosing to create this particular misrepresentation, and what bigger story that open up into.

But all that aside, this story did have some things going for it. The comedy of the situation was well played, for one. I laughed out loud at Blueblood shoving his hooves into Celestia's face. "Lick them and taste the truth!" was great.
#75 · 1
· on White Lies · >>Anon Y Mous
This is... hard for me to give a clear rating to. The twist is telegraphed early on, almost from the get-go, and there's some questionable logic going on with the narrative itself. Like, why is the cop interviewing the protagonist, specifically, when there doesn't seem to be a clear reason to do so? They met each other in the supermarket a couple days ago; is that enough to make Cupcakes here a pony of interest in the investigation?

I'm not too clear what's going on with the world, itself, either. It doesn't gel very effectively with the world we see in the show. I don't just mean the Cupcakes plot; I can get over that, honestly. But there's TV, and there're police cars with strobe lights, and carnivorous diets are commonplace enough that the cop doesn't even bat an eyelash at the revelation that Cupcakes is eating chicken...

...pizza is served in bags...

This feels like it needs a lot of work, and some more thought put into its premise, to really sell it.
#76 ·
· on The Lies We Tell
Muh thoughts - It feels like the tree is supposed to be important considering the amount of focus it’s given, but it’s simply a tree. It adds little to the story, so it’s just wasted words in my opinion.

Pinkie falls asleep feeling content, but then wakes up trying to hide her anguish? That sudden shift is jarring, and I don’t see any hints about the reason for her feeling that way. If she’s suffering from depression, then anguish is a bit too strong of a word to use.


Muh suggestions - The storm metaphor could have been moved to the beginning, setting a juxtaposition between it and the calm snow, which would mirror Pinkie’s inner feelings and her outward behavior.

You could have mentioned the rest of the Mane Six(if EqG, then seven?) as also being a source of stability for Pinkie. As it is, I’m left wondering why Rarity is closer to her than the others, since there’s no explanation or hint given. If the intention was for Rarity to be a lover or love interest, then I’d undertand, but the term “closest friend” isn’t a very strong indicator of that.
#77 ·
· on Fishy Business · >>2Merr >>horizon
I have no idea:

What this story's about. The author undoubtedly hoped that the information provided here would be enough for me to figure out what's going on, but, well, I can only say that it isn't. The writing itself is nice enough, but I'll need more hints or clues before I can even start making conjectures.

Mike
#78 ·
· on Fishy Business · >>Posh >>horizon
>>Baal Bunny

From what I understand, it seems like AJ eats fish and is lying about it. For some reason.
#79 · 1
· on I Did Not Have Sexual Relations With That Mare
Hmm. I dunno about this one. I appreciate the comedy, but the kids are at a young enough age that I don't think "hot and heavy pony sex" would be the first place their minds'd go when they heard about Applejack and Rarity sharing a bed (even if they've gotten into Rarity's clopfic stash).

Especially since we've seen all three CMCs share a bed before.

Like, maybe the idea here is that reading Rarity's clopfic stash changed their perspective on the concept of two people (or more) sharing a bed, but if so, then I don't think that's effectively communicated. I guess maybe time/space constraints are to blame for that?

Could use some work.
#80 · 2
· on Fishy Business
>>2Merr obviously, it's because everyone will assume she's a cannibal.
#81 ·
·
Time to vote! Let's speed-review this thing.
#82 ·
· on Changed · >>2Merr
Good premise, well conveyed for its length, execution didn't blow me away but it was solid. Distinctly above average. Good job!
#83 · 1
· on The Sky Gazes Back · >>Cold in Gardez >>Posh
The execution here is quite strong. It did a lot with its length, and painted a clear picture of two characters and their heartfelt interaction. I felt the story premise was a bit lackluster ("safe" as NAH said), but that doesn't stop this from being a strong entrant. Well done. ^_^
#84 ·
· on Changed · >>2Merr
Well, that was fairly depressing.

I do like the way the second section sorta re-casts the first section. This sort of attitude in relationships tends to bother me, though; it's very unlikely things will ever get much better if they never talk about it. Like, alright, this isn't idiot-ball level plot contrivances (these things can be hard to talk about!) but man. Relationships run on communication, not assumption. I guess that's part of the tragedy here?

I dunno. Maybe I'm too tired to be reviewing, but i'm having trouble coming up with anything really coherent to say. The concept is interesting. The treatment is decent. There's some tangible emotion. I'd like more progression, but it kinda works as-is.
#85 · 1
· on What She Needs To Hear
The premise here is interesting, and it does feel like it covers a lot of ground for its length, but ultimately this story feels unfocused. At the end of it -- particularly with the last line -- I don't have a clear picture into Igneous's mind or emotional state, and without that, it's a bit of a generic comfort story.

Certainly not bad though. Just needs a bit of polish!
#86 ·
· on The Price She Paid · >>Posh
This is one of those 'here's a neat idea' fics that pops up every so often.

And yeah, it is a neat idea. But... it's a bit lacking in drama and progression for me to find it very satisfying as a story.

I liked it? Your characters are nice, your prose is clean, it all comes together well, and sacrifice is, of course, an excellent theme. It's just a bit unsatisfying, because emotionally, not a whole lot really changes. Maybe if Flurry was more worked up about this or something? I dunno.
#87 ·
· on Game Day · >>2Merr >>Fenton >>Baal Bunny
The buildup was decent, but I feel like this story fell flat in the end. The foreshadowing seemed to be pointing towards the guys having the realization that their real lives are basically an O&O game. That Discord was behind it comes out of left field, and I'm not sure what I'm supposed to feel.
#88 ·
· on I Did Not Have Sexual Relations With That Mare
This reads like a crackfic. It's ridiculous, it's over-the-top, and it's trying to be funny, I think?

Not much of the humor landed for me. Sorry. A lot of it felt like it just developed too fast, for no real reason. Sure, it was lolrandom, but I think you need more than just chaos to land a good joke. Or maybe it's just me; I have a strange sense of humor. /shrug.

I do appreciate that you went all-in on the humor though. If you're writing comedy commit hard.
#89 ·
· on River of Dreams
I know who wrote this! Abstain.

But to give non-votey feedback, I agree with Haze that while the worldbuilding here is very strong, the intended sense of wonder at the end didn't materialize for me. Perhaps it's because of the constraints of the format (you had very few words to work with), but the ending needs to be epic'ed up.
#90 ·
· on I Did Not Have Sexual Relations With That Mare
Unfortunately, I have to agree with Not_A_Hat. I can tell this fic is trying to be funny, but the jokes just didn't land. They came too fast without a pause to breathe, and so felt less comedicly random and more manic.
#91 · 2
· on Staying on Course
Man, I don't even know.

So, best guess... Celly and Chryssi are stuck in a timeloop because reasons. The Mane 6 changed something, and it collapsed history.

...That's all I've got.

Um, is the temporal short-circuit Starlight Glimmer's timecrash thing? What's this about drugging ponies? When did Chrysalis ever go after the M6 in Ponyville?

I feel like there's probably a good story buried in here somewhere. But it either needs to be trimmed to size, or an expanded word-count; as-is, I'm mostly just confused.

...which is something I haven't seen yet this round. Huh. You get the first 'overly ambitious for !Hat' gold star!
#92 · 1
· on Dam You Twilight Sparkle · >>GaPJaxie
I just couldn't engage with this one.

Maybe I'm too tired, but all the pseudo-political stuff in here just had me skimming. There were a few good jokes, but for the most part, I just found it hard to care. Perhaps my ennui with politics in general is spilling over? Maybe this is really sharp satire and I just don't see it, because I won't watch the news? I dunno. It feels like 'haha, politicians are liars, how hilarious!' with just enough super ridiculous bits for stand-alone sniggers. It feels like it wants to be comedy or parody or something, but I didn't find myself laughing very hard.

Yeah, I dunno. Maybe just ignore me here.
#93 ·
· on The Dog Ate My Homework
Well, that was refreshing.

I was hoping to run into one of these. Subversion is nice.

It took me a moment to realize that 'Raindrops' was actually Thorax. Also, is that Thorax the Thorax?

Anyways, this was cute and fairly well paced. Setup, progression, twist, stinger; it all fits together nicely. Good work!

EDIT: Also, a dog is a wonderful disguise for a changeling. A cat might be even better; lay around, get petted (love) and nap all the time.
#94 ·
· on What She Needs To Hear
On the technical level, everything is mostly fine. However, there were a few sentences that were awkward to read or just felt off. These in particular:
We’ll have a hard time without you, but we’ll surely survive despite you, and if you come to your senses, there's always work on the farm.


Meanwhile, approaching Pinkamena one at a time on her last day—as she sat alone at the train station on top of her overflowing suitcase—was nopony’s idea.


Igneous thought of continuing, but the only thing left to discuss was how prestigious geological schooling compared to a minimum wage job in a small town bakery, and Cloudy would have brought all that up anyways.


Besides, for some itching reason, Igneous’s thoughts—usually obsessed with the past—were trained on the future like a hound noticing a threat before its owner did.


It’s like watching a 3-D movie with no glasses. I can tell what’s going on, it’s just awkward to look at.

On that note, there were three similes used fairly close to each other (like an eruption, like a wild animal, like a hound). When used in a story with such a limited amount of words, they stick out and make it feel almost purple-y.
#95 ·
· on The Price She Paid
This is an interesting idea, as NAH said, but the execution feels flat. Cadence gave up immortality, and she almost sounds bored the entire story. Flurry's reaction is likewise muted. It downplays the seriousness of the narrative and makes it feel pettier than it should.
#96 ·
· on The Dog Ate My Homework · >>Posh
Unfortunately, this story kinda loses something for me by using a changeling as an "easy button," which I suspected a lot of stories in this round might.

Also plays kinda hard on the long-suffering-teacher trope. Not a bad thing, just something that's seen a lot.

On the plus side, this definitely gets points for making a pretty literal use of the prompt and making it work, and I like the reversal with the presumed tall tale of snowballing lies turning out in the end to be the truth.

Overall, cute and effective at implementing the prompt. Good job.
#97 ·
· on The Dog Ate My Homework
This is a cute premise, and one I would like to see more fleshed out. Unfortunately, as it is, the entire first half of the story feels a bit meandering, and it isn't really necessary for the payoff at the end. This could stand to be more focused, and to deliver more humor during the setup phase instead of just waiting for the punchline at the end.
#98 · 1
· on Bad Romance · >>Fenton
There's a lot of summary in this story, which kinda almost works for it? It gives a feeling of length, and keeps any one part from totally overstaying its welcome.

On the other hand, the ending here is kinda just... eh. Like, Rarity goes through all this, and then just stumbles into a happy ending. It's not really very satisfying, and nothing she did along the way really plays into it. Sure, it's a story, but it feels awfully unearned.

I mean, you can make that work, too. Love is given, not earned. But to be honest, I'd like to see this focus more on Applejack and Rarity, and less on Rarity and everyone else. Even if that's just more reflection on why Applejack is The One or what.

Anyways, it's a drama, things happen, I understood what was going on, and bit of shipping never hurt anyone. I just wish it landed better is all. Thanks for writing!
#99 ·
· on Game Day · >>Fenton
>>GaPJaxie
It’s not quite out of left field. Discord mentions that he collects “horn shavings, horn shavings, hoof trimmings, and shed feathers.” Each of those were involved in the boys’ problems, so they made the connection. Not exactly the best foreshadowing, but it’s something.

It might have worked better if the author used items that were more... distinct? I dunno. They all blended together as “grody body crumbs” when I read them the first time. I had to go back and reread before I got it.
#100 · 1
· on Build Me A Bridge · >>Not_A_Hat
This story was charming! It lacked enough substance to really grab me, but I enjoyed what was here and it certainly made me smile. Will be somewhere close to the middle of my slate I think.