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It Could Have Gone Better · FiM Minific ·
Organised by RogerDodger
Word limit 400–750
#701 · 1
· on consider ponyville.
Scribble dude, you have talent in spades. You made a good try at including everybody, and I salute you for this. This wins points for capturing her desolation just by her posture. If you’d given this piece more time, it could have been much more.
#702 ·
· on unexpected results
Boo! Good expressions, and your lines are somewhat under control here.
#703 · 1
· on friends need not apply
Simple, clean and expressive.
#704 · 2
And one more:

Love Ain’t the Only Secret Ingredient
#705 · 1
· · >>Miller Minus
Well, "It Could Have Gone Better" sure could have... gone worse. YEEEAAAHHHH

Thanks for reading my silly little story. There was no shame in losing to "Dragon of Hoofholt" and honestly the line between second and third was so narrow it was practically a tie. I'm not a "new" entrant, whatever that little graduation cap says; I think my attempts to capitalize my username ended up creating an alias account, in which case the 10% penalty for a returning contributor would easily have put me in third. I'm afraid I don't understand how the scoring works at all, though, so correct me if I'm wrong? I don't want to falsely claim a rank I didn't earn.

Laws, I'm so bad at the technology.
#706 ·
· · >>Skywriter
I don't think there's any penalty for being a returning author. You're deserving of your place.

But if you're offering...
#707 · 3
· · >>Miller Minus
>>Miller Minus
I need this silver to drive away werewolves, I'm afraid.
#708 ·
· · >>Skywriter
Can I interest you in... sculpting something very small?
#709 · 5
· · >>Anon Y Mous >>CoffeeMinion
(uhoh, 165 notifications)

I just felt like doing one for everybody. Most people usually get none in these rounds, while a few get multiple.

Time budgeting meant I had an average of 30 minutes per fic, assuming I wanted to eat and sleep and do other things. And some of that time was also spent reading all of them and trying to brainstorm ideas, which gets exhausting after a while. I knew I wouldn't win anything as long as 3 other people entered. I would just aim for quantity, while trying to see what was possible with only a pen (Pilot Precise V5 / V7) and moleskine journal paper, so there was a lot of experimenting along the way.

SUPER COP-OUT EXCUSE: they're just quick pen sketches, what do you expect?
MORE HONEST: I'm not that good, a better artist would be able to do better sketches, more consistently.

So I apologize that not all of them are of equal creativity. Or equal execution. Or sometimes I misinterpreted a fic. And for some, I tried to avoid revealing the fic's punchline, because not everyone had read everything, but some people commented they would've preferred to see the punchline drawn instead. Oh well.

and I kinda wanted to quit halfway since not all of them would turn out amazing, they'd just get ridiculed, so it seemed like a fool's quest. finished it anyway, just barely within the time limit, with the hopes that everyone would figure out the intent.

.... and then technical problems extended the deadline by several days, but to me it felt like cheating to take advantage of the extra time. I wasn't even sure if it would be allowed.

(no, it wasn't my uploads that caused the crash. that happened before I even started)

well, there it is. yay. I hope it made things interesting. I'm never doing that again.
#710 · 1
· on a little shortcut
(I'm going to assume it's a marker, maybe brush tipped? A Tombow? Artistloft?)

close! Sakura Pigma Brush.

One thing though, the part that should be more of a major subject in the image, is the horn. Her horn here is somewhat easy to miss with a glance. If it were larger and maybe if the focus of the image was oriented differently, it would be more prominent. Otherwise it's hard to understand what the image is 'about.'

This is a really good point, and I didn't notice it myself at first. After reading your comment I started wondering if I should've left out the horn entirely (and pretend it's an epilogue), which also would've made the drawing stand on its own without the story for context.
#711 ·
· on Morning Palaver II
Yes, yes, YES!
Thanks to all, I love you all ;)
#712 · 1
So I apologize

Apologize??? For what?? All of these fics got fanart and were most likely pleasantly surprised.

Thanks for doing this. <3
#713 ·
· on trixie and twilight's magnificent vanishing act
I... honestly didn't even notice the RGB thing. (maybe CMYK would've been more suitable?)

This one kept haunting me afterwards because, even as a loose sketch, I kept thinking up better ideas for composition and color use. Maybe it could've been pretty decent, if I had only focused on one entry.
#714 ·
· on no stomach for diplomacy · >>Moosetasm
The cake on the right doesn't follow the same perspective, but the cake on the left works.

You are correct.

the cruel irony is that I carefully planned out the perspective for both cakes, and then unintentionally ruined the right cake by adding details that obscured its form and made it look all wrong. I couldn't think of a clean way to fix it, so I simply hoped no one would notice! Maybe I should've filled it in and pretended it's chocolate.
#715 · 2
· on A– · >>BlueChameleonVI >>BlueChameleonVI >>Trick_Question
I have to admit, I'm surprised! I was pretty sure this one wouldn't even get close to top three since I was smelling some "damning with faint praise" in the comments. But I guess I was being... #blessed with faint praise.

The entries this round were really top notch, so third place has me beaming. Thanks so much, guys.

A–: A Retrospective,


Why is Celestia's school so freaking hard to get into?

See >>Moosetasm.

In our world—our dire, hope-crushing world—universities don't "set" their acceptance cutoffs any more than a gas station sets its price for regular grade gasoline. It's based on competition.

From the University of British Columbia's website:

A competitive university like UBC receives more applications than can be accommodated. We wish we could admit all qualified applicants, but we just don’t have the space.

We can argue about what the demand for CSGU would be, but I maintain that the most realistic thing to do in this story was to give them a very high bar to clear, because it is Celestia's School for Gifted Unicorns, and the demand for such a school would be through the roof. In my view of Equestria, if they "acknowledged that everypony fails," then they would be stuffed to their ceiling with foals named after cosmic events and synonyms for "shine".

But I'm not saying any of those who brought it up are wrong—it should be called up if it doesn't make sense, because as has been pointed out, there are always methods to make this more clear or hit harder. And with more wordspace I would probably expand on that better, especially after having read everyone's thoughts.

It's just too bad I didn't get the opportunity to imply that Twilight only got in because her parents are rich and had the right connections. Implying dark undertones to the canon is like my favourite hobby.

And now for some actual responses


Sorry to single out these two comments but I found them to be a little unfair. What you're describing is a different story from mine with a different message, so this comes off less like how my story could be improved, and more like a pitch for a different story that should have been written instead. Harsh, bro. And sis.

I mean, to further prove my point, I don't even agree with this pitch. If I had read that story, I probably would have thought it was approaching Idiot-ball to have Sunset overachieve for no reason, and I probably would have complained that there are no stakes and that I'm just reading about a brat being a brat (who I know is going to turn out to be a brat). That story doesn't interest me.

But still, thanks for reading. Just had to get that off my chest.


This entry is split into three sections, and two of them are great.

The first, unfortunately, is not one of those two.

This note is interesting to me because I thought the first part was the strongest going into this! Something ,something, kill your darlings… Thanks for pointing this out.


I thought of it as Sunset lying about what the minimum is.

An interesting perspective, but I can confirm that this isn't what I was going for. Again, more explanation would have been helpful I'm sure.

See, the problem was that I needed more words. Not my fault or anything.

And with regards to that line, I just want to point out that a child's class can be full of a bunch of schmucks but it wouldn't boost or diminish his or her application for higher education. Though I can see why it's distracting. Thanks!


Maybe it's because the poverty thing feels like it's just there, not meant to be explained but meant to evoke sympathy and little else.

A-ha, see, this is why I thought the next two scenes were the weaker ones. Thanks for bringing this up because I was almost starting to wonder if I had not, as it turned out, made an oopsie. But the connection is too tenuous.

Could be worth, say, moving the first scene to later and leading with the second scene? That introduces us well enough to the piece, and starting with the strong hints of her bad background could strengthen the implication that she's fighting to get out of poverty

And it's interesting you bring this switcheroo up because I'm starting to wonder how many stories I've written that have a twist, in which moving that twist to the beginning of the story makes the whole thing boring. Obviously a good twist will elevate a story, but surely they should be able to stand on their own without it, no? And I feel that this story is an example—a straight swap with only a minor cleanup would sap all the intrigue, for me, and in fact get quite sappy. I'm betting there's a way this idea works with more of a rewrite though, I'm sure. Something I'm going to think about.

I can't even take credit for being technically correct here; that's a mistake. I don't consider the forelegs "arms" even if they technically are.


This retrospective is too long already to respond to these comments too. But hugs and kisses for your notes and thoughts and suggestions and your handsome, handsome faces. Have you been working out?

See everyone in the next round! I've already booked Friday off from work :rainbowdetermined:
#716 ·
· on this is the weather patrol
As for Raindrops herself, I'll be honest and say that when I first saw the picture I thought it was Derpy. But I think it would have been tough to differentiate the two, considering they have identical designs outside of color and cutie mark

I noticed that too... it's really hard to draw ponies without the use of color, since so much of their design relies on it.
But maybe partially my fault too because I messed up her face a little.
#717 · 4
· on Griswielda's Fortune
>>Anon Y Mous

A few days before the writeoff started a coworker of mine was at his pregnant wife's ultrasound, and I texted him asking if he knew the gender yet. He politely informed me she was like a few weeks in and it takes at least three months before you can possibly know that.

"Oh yeah?" I thought. "Well what if you were psychic?"

This idea hit me so hard I got brainfreeze. And when I had just finished A– about an hour after I was supposed to be in bed, I thought... oh, what the hell?

I've also been reading a lot of Terry Pratchett lately and I decided that he shouldn't be having all the fun. His style (or my bastardization of it) was a great challenge.

Thanks for reading, everybody! And shoutout to Chris and Skywriter for their medals!
#718 · 1
· on roadtrips are overrated anyway
>>Zaid Val'Roa
Because they look like ayy lmaos?

she did look rather alien-ish since I overdid the eyes, making them appear way too dark.

I should've allowed myself to use white-out...
#719 · 2
· on Slightly Offensive Turban · >>Anon Y Mous
BREAKING NEWS: Anon Y Mous has been voted Miller Minus's Favourite Person by unanimous decision on the basis that hahahahaha.
#720 ·
· on a-
My reaction to this picture was, "Aw..."

And I showed it to two of my friends who had also read the story and they said, "Aw..."

The expression is done so well and it captures such... "Aw..."

Thank you for this sketch and for all you hard work, Haze!
#721 ·
· on griswielda's fortune
I for one can tell exactly what's going on, right down to the thoughts inside the subject's head.
#722 ·
· on morning palaver ii
I wasn't joking on the alt-text. This was my personal favorite because I kept laughing every time I looked at it.
#723 · 4
· on The Dragon of Hoofholt · >>BlueChameleonVI >>BlueChameleonVI
The Dragon of Hoofholt Retrospective

Hey, my fic won! Cool!

Despite the generally very positive comments here, I'm a bit surprised; I thought there were several better stories than mine this round (Soft Stitches, especially; shocked that didn't get a medal), and in the chat when people were sharing the top of their slates, I couldn't help noticing that my fic wasn't on most of the sharers' lists. So, a pleasant surprise!

I originally conceived this as a significantly longer fic that, while still probably "bittersweet," would've been more on the "sweet" end. In that conception, Sweetroot's plan wasn't to impoverish the dragon, but befriend it (ponies, amirite?) while, if nothing else, stopping the raids for a few decades. And after she died, the dragon would realize that it had come to value having human equine company more than treasure, and would go to town and sort of reluctantly say that he'd won the battle, and now he was going to go back to taking whatever he wanted... unless, maybe, someone else wanted to challenge him? And then it would start a long tradition of ponies "challenging" him as his ego-saving way to be friends with the villagers.

Wasn't gonna work in 750 words, obviously, so I streamlined it quite a bit. I might try to write the expanded version, or I might leave this essentially as-is; I'm pretty happy with the concept I settled on, too. Thank you all for reading, for the comments, and for everything! Congrats to Skywrite and Miller for their medal-winning (and medal-worthy) fics, and special shout-out to Rocket Lawn Chair for writing my personal favorite story from this round. And, sincerely, to everyone who wrote something this round; there's lots of good stuff here, from top to bottom.

>>Anon Y Mous

Thank you all very much for your comments! Every time I hit the "refresh" button and saw a notification come up than one of you had commented, it made my day a little brighter.


It was, originally! But [ hr ] turns out to count as a word, so I'd have needed to shave one more word off this fic if I didn't change it to a weak break.

Ah, the joys of being a couple dozen words over the limit when you finish your fic...


I guess my reasoning for the dragon's logic re. giving up riches and "playing fair" is twofold. First, most dragons in FiM seem to be pretty dumb egotists :P And second, given that this is styled as an Equestrian fable rather than a history, I felt that casting it (and Sweetroot) in more archetypal roles was appropriate.

I can see why that would trip up a reader, though. Thanks for the insight, and I'm glad you still felt it was a solid work despite that!


I can definitely see this being an original fic with minimal adaptation. I feel like my original idea (above) was more thematically "pony," but honestly, that wouldn't have really been FiM-specific either. FWIW, though, I conceived it as a ponyfic; it wasn't a "wedge it into the setting" story, so much as a "now that I think about it, this is a very flexible fic" one. On that note, while I certainly wouldn't be shocked if there were some folktale with a similar series of events to Hoofholt, it's not one that I'm familiar with; this fic wasn't based on anything specific, even if it sounds like it might be (which, if you think about it, is almost a compliment!).

Thanks very much for the comment, and I'm glad you at least were able to enjoy the prose!


The "genre" cracked me up. Thanks!
#724 · 2
· · >>Haze
Haze man, that was really cool of you to do pics for everyone! Thank you. I bet that took a lot of time and energy.

...so uhh, can I use the Octavia one as the cover of my fic? ^^
#725 · 3
· on the dragon of hoofholt
Haze, I know you did art for everyone, but that didn't make this picture feel any less special and affirming to me. I love the menace of those teeth, and how Sweetroot pops against the darkness. And that slit-eye! Brr!

Anyway, it's great and wonderful and I love you a little bit. Thank you!
#726 ·
· on This is the Weather Patrol
This is a very Equestrian story, and I mean that in a very positive sense.

This right here is the best compliment I could have hoped for! I wanted to do something lighthearted and cute. I felt like my previous entries had all been dark and wanted to do something different. I wanted something that would fit into the world and the show.

Yes, I can see my Raindrops minifig from my computer!

And the last line didn't hit the way I intended it.

Or wink-wink-nudge-nudge he knows what Raindrops is checking out even if his words pretend otherwise?

That was what I was going for.

She's a teenage pegasus with a weather-related name. What more reason does she need to be in a weather-related summer camp? I didn't feel like that was worth wasting words on.
What you've got here is a very functional little slice of cute.

That's exactly what I was going for!

I don't feel like it's important to know who the stallion is. After all, she doesn't know who he is.

Yeah, I'd have liked to go somewhere with it, but I don't really know where to go in so few words. I wanted a tiny story for the tiny word limit, and I don't feel like I needed the colt to be anything more than a prop for the story between Raindrops and Wind Shear.

Isn't that the difficult part? Making a complete story that doesn't feel like just an intro. Well, that's why we're here, to practice, practice, practice...

Thanks all for your comments!
#727 · 2
Sure, I don't mind!
Though it's a shame it doesn't have color to attract readers... b&w covers might get overlooked.
#728 · 2
· on 10th of Summer, 1008
Thanks, folks:

Congrats to our medalists--so great to see Chris and Skywriter back among us! Special thanks to teacorgi, Haze and Super Trampoline for the artwork and to Pascoite for giving me comments on the original draft.

This was just me trying my hand at what GaPJaxie and Cold in Gardez have been doing lately in the series of blog posts they've finally started collecting under the title The Starlight & Pals Magical Half Hour. Theirs are simultaneously much sillier and much deeper than anything I could ever manage.

As for the "owl city" thing at the end, that was my original story idea. When I came over to see what the prompt was back on the Writing Day, I saw the big poem thing Dubs had posted and wondered what it was. Googling one of the lines introduced me to the music of Owl City, and my brain went "click." Since I wanted to do one of these little "Starlight Versus" stories, I could have her questioning Fluttershy about her putting the owl area of her sanctuary so close to the mouse area. I wanted to set things up a little first, so I figured I'd start with a quick paragraph of Starlight trying to get Applejack to run the farm more efficiently before moving on to the main meat of the story--so to speak..

I'd apparently forgotten that this was a minific round. By the time I got the AJ scene written, I didn't have room for the Fluttershy scene I'd actually wanted to write. So I just stapled the Owl City joke on at the end to keep up the illusion that this was Starlight's diary. If I do end up doing more of these, I'll give it its own entry.

Thanks again, all!
#729 ·
· on Nostalgic Utopia

Ah, I see. From that, I see NU wasn't too far away from the cut-off, so that's some consolation.


So it's not just me, then. I was starting to wonder. The implications of that were starting to bug me. :I

"You might be able to anticipate it by comparing the comments you get to the ones on all the stories so you have a relative idea, but it would probably take a lot of work to tease that out."

More work than I'm willing to invest, honestly. Although it does suggest comments are less reliable indicators than I previously thought. Thanks for letting me know either way.
#730 ·
· on Quiet Thunder · >>Bachiavellian
Huh. Fancy that. I was expecting this to be in the bottom quarter, so to get 25th place out of 39 isn't too shabby. Still not me at my best, but we live and learn.


I would have pegged you as a native speaker if you hadn't said that. You've been hiding it awfully well, me old china. Although a young kid saying NOCturnal is adorably amusing, haha!
#731 ·
· on An Alchemist and his Boy · >>Chris
18th. Well, I was expecting one of these to end up in the second quarter between 11 and 20, so I can't say I'm wildly surprised.

Thanks to everyone who commented. Nice to get an idea of how different people respond to the ending, in particular.


Between this and Quiet, I get the impression you don't like my plots very much. Aw man, you're breaking me heart all over again.


"I love the structure of the name-related humor (incidentally, I think I can tell who wrote this from those two asides),"

Since I don't see your name as a guesser in the results, I am legitimately curious as to which wordsmith in particular you thought was responsible. It's guaranteed as near as dammit is to dommit you didn't guess me; my name's never crossed paths with yours before.


FIrst of all, I am legitimately intrigued that every single person assumed off the bat that this draconequus was Discord. I never named it. I didn't even give it a gender. I refrained from both just to see whether anyone would start shooting off theories about whether this was a different member of the draconequus species or not.

N.B. I'm not saying it isn't him; I wanted to see what results this improvised Rorschach test would have, and it looks like the results are unanimous that "it's Discord". Data to file away for another day...


More seriously, the elephant in the room that is the ending: I should state up-front that this was a deliberate genre-based gamble. Horror was intended from the start. So I asked myself: Could I get away with making the draconequus so vile? And it seems, since most people assumed Discord, that the answer was no. I'm absolutely not here to say they're wrong, because the whole point of this ending was to see what I could get away with. That includes being ready to learn not to do such tricks again. Fair enough. I placed my bets and was prepared to lose.

I suppose the biggest change I'd make would be to keep the comedic elements going to the end. Maybe I should remove the implied death, and those hours of torture could be the draconequus doing standup comedy at the mages? (The horror! The HORROR!)

So yeah, I'm definitely learning lessons, even if the risk-taking cost me a few points for not seeing the likely outcome. I don't feel too bad for making this position in the finals. At least people enjoyed the fic. More data to file away for another day...

Now for more specific criticisms.


The "informed attribute" wrongness of the world was a necessary evil. Last contest I was allowed 900 words, so adapting for 750 meant cutting corners, and I thought it best to get to the major horror moment and fill in the detail as I went along. Given that this mostly weakens the ending, I think I could've gotten away with it if I'd changed said ending. If there is a way to get it across in the given space, it's not obvious to me. Or else my current vision for the project is getting in the way.

Happy you thought it a good'un regardless! It was a real treat to read this in-depth review.


I suppose I could have emphasized that the draconequus was a result of escalation. I was hoping the references to the manticore and the other hybrid species would have suggested as much (like they're building on their previous work to get more powerful results), but I can see that it's not clear enough in the finished product. Food for thought.

There was more to this than "grimdark for grimdark sake". Oph's epiphany - late and futile as it is - has him realize the consequences of his work, as he puts himself in the mind of a pegasus victim and tries to redeem himself at the end by pleading on behalf of Hypo. It's sort of like dystopian literature: the implied message is to avoid this state of affairs, in this case by thinking about the consequences of creating weapons to use against the enemy. It's also sort of like the crises of conscience many scientists felt upon developing the nuclear bomb.


To be fair, this was always intended as a blending of comedy and horror, and I am convinced the two can coexist. Although I will admit the ending here fumbled the attempted combination, so it probably comes down to that one problem again.


I'm curious: What's Deuteragonists?

Glad you liked the origin take. While not in relation to Discord, a version of it has been bouncing around inside my skull for a long while, and mainly concerning the fantastic beasts of Equestria. Including the draconequus in that imagined backstory: well, that came to me during the writeoff.

So all in all, an experiment that didn't quite work out, but which at least nabbed me some useful information in the process. I call that an indirect success. Good enough for me.
#732 · 1
· on Uncreatable
Dagnabbit. I was really counting on this one. Not only was it my favourite, not only was it the most pleasant to write, and not only was it the one I took the most time over, but - with the exception of the Trixie fic - I felt it was the most ambitious and different of the bunch. I was expecting it to make the top ten, though not really convinced it would nab a medal at all.

Getting 12th? Eight places after the other fic of mine (I'll get to that one soon enough)? Le sigh. Que sera sera, I guess, but... le disappointed sigh.


Since the biggest criticism was the confusion and the references... a moment while I crack my knuckles, please... here we go:

The obvious overriding theme is taking creation mythology and then playing around. Most of the comedy derives, therefore, from cosmology and religion and philosophy. For instance, and since it covers the three examples >>Dubs_Rewatcher

- the "materially for free" gag was a reference to the mind-body problem, specifically the materialist interpretation that mind is just a subset of matter, not a distinct entity. Lots of people oppose that perspective, so the gag here was that A) the Pony God did it anyway by accident, B) Creators are supposed to put something "more" in their universes to make it happen, hence the "groundwork" comment and the Pony's use of magic thereafter, and C) the Human God already did it, an idea that many would object to (it was meant as a sly dig).

I make no excuses for the economy comment. That was something I threw in after already mentioning that material matter did it "for free", so it likely scrambled the joke.

There was also the Inflation Theory gag (one for the physicists out there), but basically: the Big Bang Theory is not considered enough to get a universe like ours, so Inflation Theory was proposed to explain some of those problems. The "too spiritual" ponies were based on the observation that many religious experiences are similar to - indeed, can be generated by - the effects of certain drugs, so I basically had them act like they were high as a kite. Which also happily crosses over with the general saccharine unbearability of a certain generation of My Little Pony, so that's a two-for-one right there.

And yes, well done to the peeps who noted the Adams references - especially >>FanOfMostEverything, who even got the Great Green Arkleseizure one! - as Adams was a big inspiration here, though I like to think the random comedy does fine on its own and the references are just bonuses for the smartasses out there.

Apparently not. I guess I assumed too much here. :/

Most of the rest of the comedy is basically "panicky student really sucks at their test" jokes. The Spiny Lobster was just another random god; I picked a species likely to be considered "lowly" at random, to make the Pony look even more pathetic.


I have to plead less creative on this front, but the references to other pony generations only really applied to the fifth and sixth universes. The rest were progressions from utter failures of universes to ones more amenable to life, and since the Pony was making it, the endpoint of those universes would themselves be ponies. The show references were pretty light by comparison to the other refs.


I didn't really feel the need for some worldbuilding here. It was enough to know this was a Creator Exam. Apart from the time discrepancy thing, a Narnian deal which was something I should have clarified (after all, Creators make space-time, don't they? Time isn't the same for them), I otherwise felt it'd just clutter up the comedy to go any deeper than that.

Sorry, man. I sort of get where you're coming from. I just don't feel it's that big a problem, cost me a higher position though it did. I love me some Adams/Pratchett. I don't give it up easy.


If you mean a moral or a message of some kind: I wasn't really trying to say anything. I was just playing with the concepts. Unless you mean something else?


Thanks a ton for the reference. Aimee Bender has some books in the local library. And I'm always on the lookout for the unconventional, so this was a great boon! You have set me on the path of righteousness. Thanks again!

Also, super-glad someone had this response. It was, without doubt, the most encouraging thing I've read in a long time. Is it too much if I thank you a third time?


I figured random comedy could stand on its own and the references are just icing on the cake for the people who get them. I even gave an in-universe reason for it: too much magic basically turns into randomness. You don't need to know about the Total Perspective Vortex, for instance, to see how absurd it is to find enlightenment in a goshdarned fairy cake.

Although if it had been a carrot cake, now that's something else...

DIsappointed that this child of mine didn't do as well as I'd dared to hope, and the overwhelmingly perplexed response was a tad disheartening. Still, I should count my roses over my thorns here, and at least a fair number of people got the pleasure out of it that I felt while writing it. Even as a disappointment, that has to be reckoned as a good thing, all right.
#733 ·
>>Miller Minus
#734 ·
· on on the dangers of imported marital aids
Aw, she's so cute! Thanks so much for illustrating my story!
#735 ·
· on Getting Warmed Up
I like this picture a lot, and am so glad to be able to say it now without compromising my anonymity.
#736 ·
· on Wing Zing
Hee hee. :) So glad to see this!
#737 · 1
· on Perfect · >>BlueChameleonVI
Thank you so much, guys! I never thought I would get this much feedback. As Blue could tell, I'm a beginner. Like, beginner beginner. (And I won't let that stop me!)

To calm yourselves:
and no animal has died in your wonderful hooves.

I'll insert "horribly disfigured death" in there somewhere.

I'm gonna be honest, this fic is bad and I knew it was bad from the moment I hit send. I tried to fit probably a ~3,000 words story into 750 words. I figured I'd never write if I didn't have something to motivate me.

My excuse: I wasn't inspired by the prompt as heavily as I expected, leading to this mess.

The truth: It's bad and I wrote it bad.

Now onto the mano y mano...


I don't want to come off like I'm excusing my fic but I looked over that one line for so long knowing something was wrong but not quite realizing it. Will be fixed if I ever look at that story again lol.


Also, I'm not sure how this stallion came to say these things to Fluttershy, or how they even crossed paths.

Hm. I don't think that matters in this context buuuuttt…

Context is important, even if there's a distinct lack of one, but the reason for Fluttershy being upset here is really weird, in that it doesn't really add up.

I think this does. If it was in the new season I should have made Humid some high up vet pony she looks up to if she was ever going to be bothered by his comment.

Thanks for the review <3


Fluttershy would’ve more likely calmly, politely torn Humid a new one rather than take stock in his backseat zookeeping.

I laughed.

The Rarishy feels crowbarred in just so Fluttershy could have another pony to talk to at 3 in the morning, and the conflict itself feels less than compelling.

Aww... I liked Green. You are right that it's crowbarred in at least ~3.76%.


What's harder to swallow is how easily Flutters seems to come back from it. If she was disturbed enough to lose sleep over it, I'm really wondering how a seven minute talk can fix everything.

Can't argue with that. We'd need at least 23 minutes to fix it...


You know when you have a scene written perfectly in your mind but you forget to put in minor important details? That was me.

Btw she was leaving to go to her cottage. ;)



Onto your review.

Reasons I love you: you wrote me the longest of your reviews.

Reasons I hate you: you wrote me the longest of your reviews.

I'm not gonna mince words: This does have an amateurish feel to it. Not fatally so,

'not fatally so'? I'm honored lmao.

Rarity is the master of the territory (which would make Fluttershy more like an intruder or an odd element, and so give the impression that Fluttershy is feeling slightly more inferior).

I wanted to make it Rarity's boutique just because of what you said above. She'd feel uncomfortable and already wants to go home in the first place.

Do we even really need a bully character? Introspective moments can be much more powerful when the characters air doubts they've arrived at all by themselves. Without an external source that can be blamed and used as a target, the focus concentrates on the character and their inner world.

You're so right about this and I'm stealing it now. Thanks.

Sorry if all this advice is too much. I'm probs drowning you with words here, though. I don't want to give the impression I'm talking down to you by dumping so much advice here, so soz if it comes across that way.

No, no, no. It's perfect!!!! Thank you so much for all your advice. None of it was harsh or demeaning. I think I might read an article or two on how to: show not tell. Thanks again <333
#738 · 3
· on Slightly Offensive Turban · >>Paracompact
>>Miller Minus

Thank you all so much for giving your comments on my art!

This paragraph is a callout post for Paracompact. I don't know how the fuck you knew it said white power at the beginning. I'm not kidding when I say that it did. I eventually changed it after the website broke down out of anxiety that some people would take it too seriously. After all, it's only supposed to be slightly offensive. I got legitimately paranoid for the last two days of the competition.

I'm glad you guys noticed the magic eight ball. Thank you, thank you. My own perfecto idea.

I'm happy I'm Miller's favorite person now. That's all the validation I will ever need.

Thanks for the reviews :D
#739 · 2
· on Trixie and Twilight's Magnificent Vanishing Act
4th, 4th, 4th. Ah me, so near and yet so far...

On the other hand, when you've got five entries on the go and see two of them get kicked out before the finals, it does make one slightly twitchy, so to see this score as highly as it did fills me with relief tinged with joy. No medal to take home this time, but at least one of my experiments managed to get so far at all. That's something.

>>Zaid Val'Roa

The short answer to the most common complaint here is: I'm not surprised. I'm not surprised the beginning was rushed, because it was. With only 750 words, I went through the bare-bones basics to establish the context and get to the good stuff as quickly as possible. If I ever used the phrase "cutting corners" before, then this was hacking them off with a chainsaw while screaming "GET TO THE GOOD STUFF!"

In short, I don't like it either. The ending was similar too. This was all about the middle, but I figured I'd lose marks for just jumping into it without explanation.


Sometimes, you just don't think about bears. It happens. :(


Everyone else was using em dashes, so I figured I'd wing it. It's great for slipping past the word count too.

>>Zaid Val'Roa

I do agree with the bigger epiphany for Trixie. I was hoping to convey some of that during the song at the end, but again, I was fighting with the word count and going for a bare-bones approach, and here I think I made it too obscure into the bargain. I often make things too obscure. If I expand this, I'm definitely clarifying Trixie's motivation and development.


Originally, I had Twilight immediately be much more sympathetic to Trixie, but it felt utterly off. Therefore, I made her madder and hoped the stuttering in her later speech would convey some backpedalling. This one's on me: like I said, I hated squeezing so much into so little space, which doubtless soured my efforts to make it jibe with the rest of the fic.


I did worry the history book would be too dry to work, so I'm extra pleased it came across so well.

>>Zaid Val'Roa

Man, I so wish I could've gone to more places with this cross-format premise. I think the biggest problem with this fic was that it absolutely could not fit the word limit with a premise like that. It demands more room to breathe.

>>Anon Y Mous
>>Zaid Val'Roa

Ultimately, I'm totally chuffed at the reception this has gotten. While it's not my favourite - Uncreatable goes unchallenged for that title - it was the one I'd consider the most ambitious of my five works, and to see that pay off with such handsome rewards is an utter delight. Thank you so much for the feedback. It was worth every second spent.
#740 · 1
· on The Heart of Saturday Night · >>BlueChameleonVI >>Hap
It's time for me to respond to some folks, but I'll try to keep this brief.

Congrats to everyone who participated in this contest, and even bigger congrats to folks who wrote entries that deserved medals and (for the most part) got them.


The realization, or rather confirmation, of Pinkie as a clone is probably my favorite little part of this story. I went about it on a whim and I think it turned out beautifully.

Hap raises an interesting point, though, in that this is not really a story. If anything it shares the same fatal flaw as my other, admittedly weaker entry, in that it feels more like the setup for a story than something truly self-contained.

Mind you, I will probably (if I can help it) expand both of them into far more expansive and compelling narratives, but I guess for now we have these crumbs to go on.

Pinkie not making a decision is part of the point, in that she seems unable to make a decision, but I get that this also weakens the (not) story from a technical standpoint, so it's kind of a dilemma.

Ya got me. The title isn't very good. I was really in a Tom Waits mood when I was writing this, and from a certain perspective it made sense to title it after a Waits album, capturing that combination of late-night heartache and haunting paranoia.

But for something more directly relating to the piece I should've gone with Pinocchio's Story, which is what I almost titled it. For all I know I missed out on some extra points for not doing that.

On the one hand, not revealing as a psychological horror character piece from the get-go was intentional, but I also agree that the parts didn't quite stitch together like I would've wanted.

Part of this is my amateurishness with the minific format, and part of it is also not quite knowing how to set up that latter section Blue mentioned. The transitions weren't disastrous, but they also could've really used fine-tuning.

Anyway, I can't complain much. This ranked fairly high, and I honestly think it's the stronger of my pieces (ironic, I know), and for my first contest I think that's enough. I know the show won't do anything with it, but I find the premise of the sole surviving Pinkie clone to be weirdly gripping, and I wish there were more fics that made a genuine attempt to delve into that.

This response comment has been way too long, but that's okay.
#741 · 1
· on Slightly Offensive Turban · >>Anon Y Mous
>>Anon Y Mous
Haha, I was going for exactly this reaction! When the site was crashed, and we were reading off of Rao's downloaded anthology of the stories, we were able to see all the art submitted thus far (bug, not a feature). I laughed myself silly when I saw it said White Power, and then remembered that line from the story.
#742 ·
· on Slightly Offensive Turban
oh my gosh,,,

I thought you were the next griswielda.
#743 ·
· on Unexpected Results
Unexpected Results

Appropriately enough, that could've gone better. Can you all tell I'm rusty?

In any case, this one was my first entry, and while the other did do better, I probably should've just refined this one instead. Still, between the Sunlight, the human magic, the transformations, and the title that is literally a Magic card, this one was pure author appeal, so I'm not sure how much there would've been to salvage.

Still, I knew that I was trying to strike a tricky balance when it came to indicating precisely what the outcome of the experiment actually was, and it's clear that I overplayed the coyness and in so doing sacrificed some prime comedic opportunities. Also, funnily enough, the Pinkie scowl was a last minute addition. At first, everyone was just grumping at the nerds, but I wanted to add a bit more personality and variety. That clearly could've gone better.

Suffice to say, this was a very educational first trial, and I think I know what variables to adjust to produce a more favorable result.

>>Trick_Question >>No_Raisin >>BlueChameleonVI >>Bachiavellian >>Posh
#744 ·
· on perfect
Thank you so much for making this Haze!!

I'm so glad you included the rain and I love her expression of sadness. <3
#745 · 2
· on Only the Strong Survive · >>BlueChameleonVI
Now it's time to acknowledge the bastard son I conceived about two hours before the deadline, and literally because I was feeling too insecure with my first entry (which turned out to be pretty good so my insecurity was unfounded anyway).

Easily the most consistent criticism is also one I happen to 100% agree with. The use of framing as a twist usually doesn't work in any story, mainly because it raises too many questions on what is supposed to be an open-and-shut case, and it might confuse rather than compel the reader.

It seemed so clever in my head, but clearly I dropped the ball on this twist. Aw well, I guess knocking it out the park with one and missing with the other isn't too bad.

The voicing would not be as much as a problem, I think, if this were not revealed to be like a conversation. If it was a normal 1st person narrative the little inconsistencies would probably not have stuck out as much.

It's frustrating, because this is pretty obviously Lightning Dash, and for the most part I think I got her voice and mindset down pat, but there are some sprinkles of my flowery side that, let's be honest, LD would never use.

Let this be a lesson in sticking to a singular voice for your character.

I'm so disappointed that there's basically nothing written about the two of them together. In fact I'm kind of shocked the show has done nothing with this, since it would make for such an interesting compare/contrast between two characters that beg to share the spotlight together. At least I gave them some attention.

The thing that frustrated me most, even as I was writing the thing, was how little time I got to spend on LD's thoughts on WR, and how I wish we could've gotten more of her sense of respect for him, and how seeing him in such a pitiful state got to her. The minific format didn't do this story any favors.

On the bright side, it could make for a very strong short story, or even novella, as I noted in my decoy review.

Unlike The Heart of Saturday Night, which I kind of wrote mostly in a vacuum (I'm not really a fan of horror fiction, at least from the usual suspects like Lovecraft and King), I had a few very obvious inspirations in mind for this. Hunter Thompson, Charles Bukowski, and Jack Kerouac being the biggest. Especially Bukowski...

I'm not quite satisfied with this entry, but I'm pretty sure I won't abandon it either.
#746 · 4
· on Daring Do and the Fearful Physical · >>BlueChameleonVI
Daring Do and the Fearful Physical

As the title from another story in this round warns us, nothing good comes after 2 AM.

I started writing this one somewhere around 6.

I'm sure that, if given more time, I could've stuck the landing on this one rather than end up worse off than Daring. Sadly, I didn't give myself that time, and thus we have what we have. Fortunately, I've used the time since to devise better, less unsavory ways to draw the story to a close. Special thanks go to >>CoffeeMinion for getting me to declare Suicide of the Author: I like your version so much better than mine, I'm replacing the latter with the former.

>>Chris >>BlueChameleonVI >>No_Raisin >>Trick_Question >>Bachiavellian >>Moosetasm >>Haze >>PaulAsaran
#747 · 1
· on A–
>>Miller Minus

Firstly, you got 3rd place anyway, so eh, who am I to judge?

Secondly, it didn't really strike me as a twist per se. The main twist was in the third scene, with Sunset resorting to cheating. That seemed enough for me. Myself, the poverty stuff felt like it should justify her actions but there's no explicit cause-and-effect in the story as presented, or even a well-conveyed implicit one. In any case, the emphasis on her less commendable qualities was what weakened it for me: I place a premium on a main character who's either sympathetic or at least entertaining enough to get away with it. Sunset here struck me as neither, at least at first, which was why I suggested starting with the scene that establishes her sympathetic motivation.

I got no problem with her being nasty and cheating later, but leading with the sympathetic foot means I feel the tragic elements more strongly, whereas leading with a snotty perfectionist means she's gotta work later to recover from that bad start, and it weakens the tragic. The order in which events are presented: that has consequences. And there are ways to make it non-sappy and non-boring.

But the majority voted otherwise, so might be just me.
#748 ·
· on The Dragon of Hoofholt

"First, most dragons in FiM seem to be pretty dumb egotists :P"

I am remembering that first adult dragon from "Dragonshy", whom Rarity charmed by playing on his vanity. But since that's also the scene where he does a 180 as soon as she offers to guard his treasure...? The only other egotistical example I can think of is Garble, who doesn't seem to have his own dedicated hoard as far as I know, so the jury's out on him.

"And second, given that this is styled as an Equestrian fable rather than a history, I felt that casting it (and Sweetroot) in more archetypal roles was appropriate."

I guess, though I'm not entirely sure if the "outwitted monster" archetype fits the dragon's ending, or if I've got the wrong archetype here. I'm not saying the fable isn't going for something clever. It is. It's just that, to me, this doesn't add up to that ending, at least not without further clarification.

Again, I'm lecturing a medallist, so here's your pinch of salt, free of charge.
#749 · 1
· on Perfect
>>Anon Y Mous

"Reasons I love you: you wrote me the longest of your reviews."

"Reasons I hate you: you wrote me the longest of your reviews."

The point is you do have feelings for me, my schmoopy-doopy Anonny-wonny. (flutters eyelashes)

Seriously, though, and Hearts and Hooves Day references aside, I did consider tearing my comment down for being so excessive, and I worried for a while it came across as belittling. Still, curiosity stayed my hand; I wanted to see how the author would take it, and act accordingly.

Therefore, if you'd prefer me to leave it alone, then of course I shall. I certainly hope it helps. And anything for you, lovey-dovey sugar bear. (flutters eyelashes)

"I wanted to make it Rarity's boutique just because of what you said above. She'd feel uncomfortable and already wants to go home in the first place."

That's fine. Like I said, neither one of them is superior or anything. It's a matter of what you think would work for the story.

"You're so right about this and I'm stealing it now. Thanks."

It is something I picked up here and there, but it appeals to me a lot and I do think it has a stronger effect than if the antagonism came from an external source. A lot of writing seems to me to be a form of psychology, albeit not the labcoat sort.

Anyway, feel free. I was kinda stream-of-conscious-ing here, so if I toss out an idea or two you want, why not steal? Nothing here's nailed down. I thought it'd be nice to be comprehensive, just in case.

"No, no, no. It's perfect!!!! Thank you so much for all your advice. None of it was harsh or demeaning. I think I might read an article or two on how to: show not tell. Thanks again <333"

You're very welcome! If you do return for more writeoff events, I hope you find the inspiration to produce some fine work. Glad I could be of some help to you, and like I say, at least the comment's there if you ever want to refer back to it.
#750 ·
· on The Heart of Saturday Night

I figured it was intentional, and overall I'm more ambivalent than condemning (on its own terms, it does work). I just can't tell whether I like it for its cunning subtlety or dislike it for unhelpfully misleading me. I emphasized the latter because it was the stronger impulse at the time, and also because no one else seemed to be mentioning it.

Also, you think your responses are too long? This is the height of concision next to mine. :S
#751 ·
· on Only the Strong Survive

"I'm so disappointed that there's basically nothing written about the two of them together."

I think I've seen some on FIMFiction in passing. Here and there. But honestly, most characters from Season Five onwards get surprisingly little attention anyway. I hope you consider expanding this one, but obviously that's dependent on what you're willing and able to do, so I'm not gonna push you or anything underhanded. Biased as I undoubtedly am.

"The minific format didn't do this story any favors."

I share in your pain, soul brother! Preach the truth unto the rooftops and down unto the gutters! For the world must know the evil of the shrivelled and most unholy FLASHFIC WORD COUNT!

"I had a few very obvious inspiration in mind for this. Hunter Thompson, Charles Bukowski, and Jack Kerouac being the biggest. Especially Bukowski..."

Wow. Now that I know that, I'm gonna go back and see the influences for myself. You had me at Thompson alone.
#752 ·
· on Daring Do and the Fearful Physical

You releasing it as a FIMFic? Because I wanna be first in line when that happens.
#753 · 1
· on Quiet Thunder
Oh, English is my first language; I'm just saying I learned it from second-hand sources. I spent a lot of my childhood in places where most people were not native speakers.
#754 · 2
· on Does this AMUSE you? · >>BlueChameleonVI
Definitely deserved to win.
#755 · 1
· on The Perfect Day: A Retrospective
>>Rocket Lawn Chair

Not at all. Always a pleasure to meet a fellow aficionado. I'm at least glad my critique was helpful, but ah! Never let the verse die, comrade!
#756 ·
· on Wing Zing
Where's the fun in that?
#757 ·
· on The Blue Haywaiian · >>Bachiavellian
Did you notice the scrollover text?
#758 ·
· on Does this AMUSE you?
>>Zaid Val'Roa

Agreed. Congratulations, >>Roseluck, and I hope you come back to do more, because this was delightful.
#759 ·
· on Pinkie on the Ceiling
Thanks for the tips! The truth is that I just enjoy drawing things poorly; which is good since I struggle to draw them any other way.
#760 · 1
· on Sunburst's Bad Grades
>>Anon Y Mous
Thank you for the high praise!
#761 · 1
· on The Dragon of Hoofholt

Oh, where are my manners? Congratulations for winning the gold medal!
#762 · 1
· on On the Dangers of Imported Marital Aids · >>Skywriter

Congratulations for the medal win, and for bagging the best new entrant award too. Well done!
#763 · 1
· on A–
>>Miller Minus

Also, I should've said this earlier: Congratulations for the bronze, good sir knight! I salute you. May we meet on the battlefield again.
#764 ·
· on Beat it! (beat it)
Well ! I apparently never got around to commenting here !
I really dig the poses you chose, they are nice n dynamic. Also making the hooves a lil more horsey than the show, really nice!
I honestly feel like the lining style works for this, but i do agree with Bach in that the eyes are a little odd. I think if you had done them in a different style perhaps your intentions with them would've been a little clearer.
Overall, nice ! I wish it had seen a higher placing in the final !
#765 ·
· on no stomach for diplomacy · >>Haze
I still plan on using this when I finish up the story. Even though I said I'd "steal" it, I definitely wanted to ask if I could use it, so, may I?

Also, it is amazing that you did pictures for everyone. I know some probably suffered from the time constraints and the number of stories, but most were fantastic.
#766 ·
· on The Blue Haywaiian
I actually did not, because I'm dumb. But that's pretty cool! I don't mix a lot of drinks, but the next time I've got the chance, I'll give this a shot. :)
#767 ·
· on The Heart of Saturday Night
It is a big idea, and I'd love to see it expanded and published!
#768 · 1
· on Does this AMUSE you?
I didn't want to comment before since I wrote the story, but I love it!

#769 · 1
· on no stomach for diplomacy
#770 · 4
· on Friends Need Not Apply · >>CoffeeMinion >>georg >>PaulAsaran

Ugh, I sorta feel bad about writing this. The satire I was going for didn't come across well—hell, I don't know if I can even really say that I was going for satire.

Ever since the Friendship School became a thing, I've been asking the same question that I ask about places like Hogwarts: do students ever have time to learn really banal, normal things? Like, does Ocellus have math class? Does Harry Potter take foreign language courses, in between learning how to repel Death Eaters? So, this leads to the question: when Ocellus graduates from the Friendship School, is she prepared for post-school life?

And then the prompt came in, which made me think of a bad job interview—the sort of thing that makes you sigh and say, "Well, that could have gone better," after it's over.

The only episode of the new season I've seen is Horse Play, which doesn't really even involve the school. I don't watch the show anymore, and really don't have any opinions on the school itself. It should also be noted that I've just graduated from university as an English major, and am currently in the middle of applying for a new job, so it's not like I'm taking shots from some ivory STEM tower.

That said, when I'm getting comments like >>georg and >>PaulAsaran (the only comment I've ever received that legit made me regret writing a fic), it makes sense that some felt the story was mean-spirited. I need to refocus what I'm trying to poke fun at here—luckily, I've got some ideas already about how to do that.

>>FanOfMostEverything >>Trick_Question
I have to admit, I haven't actually seen a single scene with any of the Young Six talking, let alone showing off their personalities. I just skimmed their Wiki pages and asked Pascoite for a quick rundown on what they're like, and Ocellus seemed like the best choice.

Oh goodness. Thank you for pointing out this typo.

Yeah, the intro was basically me trying to tell jokes while also exposition-ing. I agree, a lot of the jokes don't fit/are irrelevant.

Not a response to your review, but how did I not guess that you wrote the Octavia & Vinyl fic? Looking back at it, it seems so obvious.
#771 ·
· on On the Dangers of Imported Marital Aids · >>BlueChameleonVI
Thank you, though I've been here before so do not deserve that second one I think. It only thinks I'm a new entrant because I was attempting to capitalize my username and ended up creating an alias. I have no idea who to talk to to fix this and get it to the rightful owner. I'm very bad at this, I'm afraid.
#772 ·
· on On the Dangers of Imported Marital Aids · >>Skywriter

Oh, OK. Didn't know that...

Well, as far as I'm aware, >>RogerDodger is the one who runs the site, so you should probably talk to him about it. I know he fixed the site when it went loco a few days ago, so I guess he's the administrator here. He also has a FIMFiction account, if you prefer to contact him that way:

#773 ·
· on An Alchemist and his Boy

You're dommit right I wasn't gonna guess you! Actually, the name asides sounded like Skywriter's brand of humor to me, thought the rest of the story didn't as much. Guess I should've trusted my impression of the rest of the fic, rather than relying on how much that one bit sounded like something from one of his comedies.
#774 · 1
· on Friends Need Not Apply
Lol, Moose guessed it was mine too. I'd be curious to know what I do that's evidently so distinctive!

(Though granted, Moose and I have worked on GOBS of each other's stuff...)
#775 ·
· on Friends Need Not Apply
>>Dubs_Rewatcher No, no, no. I *like* the idea. It's wonderful. No buts. (because that's where I normally expect to find a 'but' in a comment)
#776 ·
· on In Tambelon Comes The Hungry Darkness
FanOfMostEverything : The voice comes with the cloak. Face it, Death pays for the best FX. Thankfully, I cleaned a lot up in the transition to the FimFiction story. And I can’t help but think of Cozy Glow as being one of the innocents ‘rescued’ by the summoned Nightmare.

Trick Question, Axxuy, No_Raisin - Much of it flew over Grogar’s head too. Until the end.

BlueChameleon - I was kinda trapped by the situation to do it in dialogue. Keeping Grogar active and directed was my main goal, until it was too late.

Bachiavellian - Of course Grogar is coming on strong. He’s a villian after all, a dark necromancer who binds the souls of the damned. He’s not going to sound like Fluttershy. Or at least I would hope not. :) (Now that would be a spoiler: Cozy Glow is actually Grogar.)

The last para is actually a break point, not an ending. Nothing like looking back at your first draft and saying, “Darn, only overshot by… double the word count. Oh, well. That means it is publishable.”

Yeah, when I was cleaning this one up for publication, I had to muse through every line to un-clunk them. (can’t believe nobody caught that Death had a hoarse voice… sigh) There’s *still* little bits and dabs that need work, but that’s the way with everything, I suppose.

“It is over, Little One. Remain here with your eyes closed. I must return, now that my task is complete.”

“Am I going to be punished, Mister Scary Voice?” asked Cozy Glow, who huddled in the back of her cage with her eyes tightly closed. “The goats, they always told me what to do and threatened to punish me if I disobeyed them, but they always punished me anyway.”

There was a dry silence, followed by the hissing voice again. “No, Little One. They will not punish you any more. You are free.”

“And I can leave the cage?” asked Cozy Glow, still trembling in her corner. “Promise?”

“Yes, you can leave the— Oh.” There was a keening noise, followed by a series of loud clangs as if several steel bars had just been dropped onto the stone floor of the dank cave. “Now you may leave the cage. Do not injure yourself on the sharp edges,” it added with obvious nervousness.

“And I can open my eyes?” Cozy shifted positions and turned partially around so her nose was no longer pressed into the corner of the cage. “It’s not going to be scary or anything, is it Mister Voice?”

There was a long pause, broken only by the sound of dripping fluids across the cave and the possible sound of a prenaturally sharp scythe going about the business of severing the souls from the recently departed in the immediate vicinity.

“I will guide you,” hissed the voice. “Only out of the cave, and no further.”
#777 · 1
· on Consider Ponyville. · >>Hap
>>Baal Bunny

Fanofmosteverything: Rarity’s mud should be obvious. She helped Applejack, now Applejack is helping her. The familiar tone is intentional, going for the narrated intro feel.

Hap, No_Raisin, TrickQuestion - Maybe adjusting the ending will help.

Moosetasm - Right on the nose

Haze - Heck, at this length, the whole bunch are teaser trailers.

BlueChameleon - Right on the nose too. Yeah, it doesn’t reach out and grab anybody. They’re all still in the bottle, I suppose.

Mike - Yeah, the ending tied me up trying to get it onto paper. I wound up changing *two* lines and I think it makes a lot more sense now. (in the version I’m putting onto FimFiction)

CoffeeMinion - I think the urge to pull away from the action while the fuse is burning down is a habit of mine. Stay tuned next week! (snerk)

Dubs_Rewatcher - Take a look at the version I’m putting on FimFiction and see if that helps.

I was going to name this story Kandor, but I thought that would be giving up too much of the ending.
#778 ·
· on Consider Ponyville. · >>CoffeeMinion >>georg
I was going to name this story Kandor, but I thought that would be giving up too much of the ending.

I can definitely say that it would not be giving up too much of the ending. Or any of it. Or help at all.
#779 · 1
· on Consider Ponyville. · >>georg
In all kandor, I must disagree.

#780 · 2
· on Consider Ponyville.
Sigh. Children today.
#781 · 2
· on Soft Stitches

Thank you all so much for your wonderful, supportive feedback! Generally people seemed to enjoy this little window into Spike's life, and for those who I left a little more confused, I understand your confusion. Originally I'd intended to build the story around Spike feeling ashamed for something over which he had no control, but from the very first sentence the story wanted to become something different.

This is a case where the story knew better what it wanted to be than I did, if that makes any sense. Thankfully my bumbling hands didn't outright destroy it, and I think I can easily sympathize with Spike's anxiety over the possibility of mishandling my creations.

Anyway, with the help of all your fantastic comments, I'm going to focus the themes of this story and hopefully publish it to fimfic sometime in the coming week.

And, of course, congratulations to this round's winners! This was a fantastic write-off and I hope to see y'all in the next one!


Guess I better catch up on show lore, huh? Thanks for the tip!
#782 · 1
· on Friends Need Not Apply
the only comment I've ever received that legit made me regret writing a fic

Geez, that's not what I was going for at all. I just saw the parallels to the real world that I'd never associated with the School of Friendship before and felt the urge poke at one of my major annoyances: the modern American racket education system. I actually really liked the story.
#783 · 1
· on A–
>>Miller Minus
In that case, I'd say I only suggested that because I missed the intended message of what you were writing. Is it supposed to be portraying Sunset sympathetically? Is her cheating justified or isn't it? The message right now is muddied for me.
#784 · 3
· on Technical Ecstasy (or: Party Princess Shining Bright)
Egad, the Writeoff's over, isn't it?!

Retrospective Ecstasy (or: Retrospective Princess Shining Bright)

Anyone remember FOME's Imposing Sovereigns contest from last year? Well, that's where this idea had its genesis. I thought the contest was a fun idea in itself; I felt like I had a fun story concept here; and I had some title inspiration from a song in a show that my Oldest was really into at the time. It seemed like the makings of a winner, and I even went so far as to try to line up a cover art approval for it.

The only catch is that I never got around to writing the bloody thing. Long story short, my 2017 was eventful, and I just never managed to get the right combination of time, energy, and inspiration to make ze majiks happen--during FOME's contest or otherwise. Fast forward to a couple weeks ago, when I realized this idea could be a good fit for both the prompt and the minific format.

The title bears a bit more explanation. I'd spent more than a year living with the idea of "Party Princess Shining Bright" as a title, but as I went to submit the story, the title didn't seem nearly so clever as it once had. So I switched it to the first thing that came to mind that seemed remotely suitable, which was of course the title of a Black Sabbath album. Still not satisfied, I switched it back and forth a few more times, and started mixing and matching pieces of title. Finally I decided to try splitting the difference as you see here, and found I rather liked it, bizarre and long as it may be.

On to comments!

>>FanOfMostEverything (FOME)
And here we are, with Imposing Sovereigns still exerting an influence after all this time. ^^ Thank you for your kind words. Mind if I quote your praise?

>>Trick_Question (Trick)
Prench forever! Also, overwriting Vinyl is one of the truest joys in life.

>>No_Raisin (Raisin)
Guilty as charged about the beginning, but I wanted there to be some calm before the storm. Also, I don't see the typos and repetition you mentioned... would you be up for PMing me on FimFiction with what you found?

>>BlueChameleonVI (Chameleon)
Thank you for your praise of the character writing! I fear the ending is mostly just kinda what it is, though. I'm as keen as the next bloke for more serious works, but this one's just here for shenanigans and a bit of heart.

>>Bachiavellian (Bach)
I know you were expressing a bit of not-enthusiasm with your review, but nevertheless I want you to know that I whooped and pumped my fist like yesssss when I saw it. I was aiming squarely at the look and feel of Epic Wub Time with this, and so to have someone call it out as being perhaps too reminiscent of that was almost better than I could've hoped for! ^^

>>Moosetasm (Moose)
Congrats for guessing this was mine! I'm not exactly sure what my "style" is, but I do enjoy writing this kind of manic wub pixie Vinyl.

>>Posh (Pantsu-Chan)
Look, I can explain: AndrewRogue turned into a dragon and attacked my hometown, and some local guys called the Greybeards said I was chosen from prophecy to slay dragons by shouting at them, so I shouted at AndrewRogue (only to stop his reign of terror--otherwise I'm sure he's a cool guy), and subsequently absorbed the power of his "Thu'um," which is Nordic for "ability to write ScratchTavia."

But yeah, I think Octavia could maybe be more indignant at the end. I think, at a minimum, it might emerge that it ain't just tea in that mug.

>>georg (jorj)
Always good to be a made man!
#785 ·
· on On the Dangers of Imported Marital Aids · >>Paracompact
Thanks. I've tried to contact him here before but failed; perhaps a PM over on FiMFic will do.
#786 ·
· on On the Dangers of Imported Marital Aids · >>Skywriter
You mean I could be the best new entrant after all? Hurray!
#787 ·
· on On the Dangers of Imported Marital Aids
It was a good fic! I haven't heard from the mod in either channel he's been poked in yet, unfortunately.
#788 ·
Hey, folks! It's been a busy summer for me, and I apologize for forgetting to do this earlier. But I've created a folder in the FIMFiction Writeoff Association group for stories published there which originated from this Writeoff round.

If you took a Writeoff submission (or something inspired specifically by this prompt) and edited it into a standalone >1000-word story which was published by itself, add it to the appropriate folder there! (There's a separate folder for anthologies containing Writeoff minifics.)

Standard disclaimer: A long while back, The Writeoff Association group locked story addition privileges on its folders to "Contributors" due to frequent drive-by story spam. Anyone who has even submitted a story to the Writeoffs should have "Contributor" privileges. If you don't, reply to this message or PM me on FIMFiction and I'll fix things for you.