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It Could Have Gone Better · FiM Minific ·
Organised by RogerDodger
Word limit 400–750
Show rules for this event
#1 · 12
· · >>Zaid Val'Roa >>Moosetasm


#2 · 8
· · >>Moosetasm
Also art!
#3 · 5
Imma hafta art this round.
#4 · 4
>>Zaid Val'Roa
Oooooh, both. That sounds like something I can get in on.
#5 · 5
I'm a house wren, hunting for a house
I haven't found one, I'm on the lookout
For a home to call my own
A private residence

Through the grapevine I heard an empty gourd
Is hangin' up somewhere on some old lady's porch
I'll pack my bags and off I'll go
To my new humble abode

I'm gonna sing at the top of my lungs
'Cause it's a beautiful day
I'm gonna spread my wings
'Cause as far as I know
I am halfway home!

I'm a house wren who needs a summer home
A country farmhouse or a quiet bungalow
Not too big, and not too small
First-rate real estate

I got my eyes peeled for a window box
An old tin can, a boot or a flower pot
I'll pack my bags and off I'll go
To my new humble abode

I'm a house wren still hunting for a house
But I got a song and a lot to sing about
I'll pack my bags and off I'll go
Because you know

I'm gonna sing at the top of my lungs
'Cause it's a beautiful day
I'm gonna spread my wings
I'm on top of the world
And it's a beautiful thing
I'm gonna sing at the top of my lungs
'Cause it's a beautiful day
I'm gonna spread my wings
'Cause as far as I know
I am halfway home!
#6 · 3
Good luck everyone, see you next round
#7 · 2
· · >>Paracompact
I Saw Stars, Long Way Down… Taking the Time, Not Enough Words. Further Tales. Ponies Done Quick.

Red and Black Pony of Interest? Sweet and Sour Ponywocky, We Abandoned You! I’ve Changed My Mind. Up We Go.

Hard Times, Soft Clouds. Softly Spoken Magic Spells, Rainbow Power, Twilight’s Scientific Studies on Sod. A Single Pale Rose, Yellow. The Ultimate in Vanity: Something AndrewRogue can read.

To his daughter, An Uncomfortable Position. Tiger By The Tail.

Roam Wasn’t Built in a Day. History, Built to Last. It Could Have Gone Better.

What is Friendship? All the Hard Choices.
#8 ·
That's pretty impressive. :e
#9 · 10
· · >>Hap
So I don't want to stank things up too much with personal stuff, but I guess I'll do a little: I've not been in the best place with my anxiety for the last few of these, which has limited and/or skewed my participation. My goals for this one are (1) just to participate, and (2) to do so from a place of deeper authenticity.
#10 · 3
Participate! That's a win. I look forward to reading your (anonymous) authenticity.
#11 · 10
I'll be in the #mentors channel of the DIscord server on Saturday. Spotty during the day, but pretty solid at night, from around 8 PM to 2 AM Eastern. Anyone wants another pair of eyes on their story, ask there or PM me directly via Discord or FiMFiction.
#12 · 3
Very excited for the art round !
#13 · 5
Dammit! My prompt lost
Well, time to compete again
Or at least, haiku
#14 · 7
My prompt won. It's been several years, and I didn't think it would happen.
Now I have to participate.
#15 · 2
· · >>Rocket Lawn Chair >>Posh
Mixed feelings about this prompt. Less gloomy, but also likely to open the floodgates to forced comedy. I felt like the previous one ("Hiding in Plain Sight") was better because it doesn't imply a specific tone in advance.
#16 · 1
Drawing a blank at the moment. Still fighting depression so motivation to produce is low... sorry if I miss another one of these.

Why can't every round be poni short story round? :V
#17 · 6
And an addendum to what kind of help #mentors offers. You can ask specific conceptual questions, get help planning a story, or have someone look over a partial or complete draft. Any phase of the story is fair game.
#18 · 6
So, as far as prompts go, you think...

It could have gone better
#19 · 6
· · >>Anon Y Mous
Yeesh, look at all this dust...

Hey all. (Is this thing on? The status light burnt out. Okay, I think we're good.) I figured since I'm going to be speaking to actual, physically present people on flash fiction in the near future (and I can panic about that later,) it might be a good idea to refresh my memory on the Writeoff experience. This should be fun! Hopefully.
#20 · 1
Heck yeah!
The more the merrier.
#21 · 2
Well, I have at least one story written. Apparently I'm in this thing, though not with both rear hooves.
#22 · 5
Managed to write one! (Time is never my problem, but actually getting that spark is) Now to force myself to do the reading and evaluating. (the second hardest problem)

Say something nice before tearing into the problems.
Overlook minor grammar errors while concentrating on plot, pacing, characterization, etc...
Be *constructive* in criticism.
But not so much that you're shoving and pushing the author to do something with their story that it isn't.
Ok, I'm ready.
#23 · 4
I'm in. Feeling overall 'meh' about my entry this time, but it was good to write something new.

Good luck, everyone!
#24 · 2
I am in.
#25 · 2
The writing starts. The prompt is voted in,
And tension mounts as authors type away
On subjects tame or rude, on love or sin,
They write on what they have enough to say.
To state in words what once they held within,
Or fiddle with their words–the thing’s the play!
But will it come to cheering, or chagrin?
Will depth or clever writing win the day?

It matters not. We trace a fickle way,
Where voters seek to prick us with a pin
To pop our self-importance, but we may
Take cheer that we can hear amid the din
That quiet voice that tells us when we stray,
And when we hit it home, for gold to win.
#26 · 5
Friends! Family!

For the first time in about five months, I have submitted a story.

#27 ·
I've got one in, and I actually like it quite a bit. Now I just need to come up with a darn title. :P
#28 · 2


and I'm still back
#29 · 1
Posted. :yay:
#30 · 1
I'm in!

I'm not as happy with the execution as I am with my idea, but I'm in.
#31 · 2
I submitted the one thing and that's all I got this time. It could have gone better. I don't want it to pass the cut but it'll probably be middle-of-the-road so it might make it.

As consolation, have the last two paras from a Fluttercord story I didn't finish:

"Fluttershy, this was the craziest, most insane wedding I have ever attended—and I'm including the one where my brother was enslaved by the changeling queen Chrysalis!" said Twilight, the exasperation in her voice carrying throughout the spa. "I will never be able to forget this, not for the rest of my life!"

"Oh, I know," said Fluttershy, smiling serenely. "It was perfect."
#32 · 2
You guys.

There's gonna be SO MANY STORIES.
#33 · 1
All righty, I've submitted mine. It'll be interesting to see what happens next.

Good luck, y'all. Looking at the lineup here, I'm expecting some tough competition. But that's what makes these events so fun.
#34 · 1
Locked and loaded.

Let the games begin... >:D
#35 · 3
· on On the Dangers of Imported Marital Aids
A cute little tale that competently delivers a joke. I have no criticism to offer. Upper mid tier, I think.
#36 · 2
· on Big Important Wizard · >>No_Raisin >>Paracompact
"Aw, man."

That was what I said after finishing the story. It is quite depressing, and the only bright spot is that we know Sunburst is gonna be okay in a few years. Taking this story on its own, though, it's just left me down in the dumps. I almost failed university, and there was a period where I felt like dropping out just to spare myself the shame of doing so poorly. So it hits home, sure, but not in a way that I would describe as satisfying.

For some minor points: the perspective gets a little foggy in the middle there. Am I to assume that Cherry was given Sunburst's report? I assume not, but for a story that's otherwise grounded in Cherry's point of view, this seems a strange addition to the story. It's also brutal for a report card. They're not usually so incisively cruel even here on earth, and it's a lot less rosy here than it is in Equestria. As well, a professor shouldn't be giving any news about another student's future to a different student. There's ethics and stuff that restrict that.

Also, the name of the professor put me on high freaking alert. I'm really glad you didn't deliver on that one since it's an emotional story that would have been ruined by a pun, but it's a big distraction for any reader that knows what you're referencing.

But that's all minor. At the end of the day I may not rank this one too highly simply because it's left me sad, but hasn't challenged me or taught me anything. I'm simply sadder now than I was before.

Thanks for writing and good luck!
#37 · 5
· on The Dragon of Hoofholt · >>Chris
A beautifully voiced little fable. The ending is subtle but not too subtle, given Sweetroot’s phrasing. A very nice way to start things off.
#38 · 3
· on Left Behind
I suppose the word limit precluded writing out the full H2G2 “Space is big” spiel. That and the tone of the piece.

This relies a lot on context and subtext to establish what happened, and even then some revelations come later than you probably intended. A bit more description would’ve served you well in establishing Chrome’s circumstances and the nature of Spark more explicitly. The noble tragedy works, but it’d work better if I had a stronger sense of what was actually going on
#39 · 6
· on Griswielda's Fortune · >>Posh >>Miller Minus
Some excellent comedic moments (though I’m not sure how Griswielda’s turban could be considered offensive,) but the story stops rather than ends. Some of this is a function of the word limit, but it still feels like a punchline tacked on in lieu of a resolution. Still, what’s there is certainly fun.
#40 · 1
· on Catsitter
Speaking as an experienced catsitter, I can confirm that this is wholly accurate. This could use some proofreading polish, but it’s still a fun, complete little story.
#41 · 1
· on Trixie and Twilight's Magnificent Vanishing Act · >>No_Raisin >>BlueChameleonVI
That's a rough opening. A bit abrupt and somewhat rushed.

Thankfully I kept going, because the rest of the story was fun, evocative, and varied in all the right ways.

Each scene lasted as long as it had to last, and never overstayed its welcome. It kept the pace nice and quick.

Overall, a net positive. I would've liked to see some other scenarios for Twilight and Trixie to go through, but there's enough here for me to like.

Perhaps a stronger resolution or a bigger epiphany for Trixie would've also helped.

Neverthrless, well done. ^ - ^
#42 · 4
· on A Bitter Leaf from an Old Book · >>GroaningGreyAgony
As far as hooks go, giant space cabbages are certainly high on the list in terms of grabbing reader attention.

Unfortunately, the rest of the story doesn’t live up to that cruciferous promise. Much of the phrasing feels awkward and stilted, and I’m afraid I understand the pun about as well as Celestia does, which is never a good sign for a feghoot. Even if that was the point, it doesn't make for a good punchline.
#43 · 1
· on Trixie and Twilight's Magnificent Vanishing Act · >>BlueChameleonVI
This was hilarious
Some could say nefarious
It’s my favorite so far
Certainly top bar
I just loved the way that you played it.
#44 · 6
· on First Contact of the Fifth Kind
An extraterrestrial encounter that involves direct communication between aliens and natives? This should be interesting.

Don’t think I didn’t notice how you spelled “downunder” as one word to slip past the word limit. And I’m trying to keep an open mind, but one moon colony should not make a flag visible from Earth.

Yeah, this was basically just a bunch of national stereotypes slapped together with ponies at the end. Not my cup of tea.
#45 · 4
· on Consider Ponyville. · >>Moosetasm >>georg
Oh. Oh my. There are a few slips here and there (Are you sure you wanted the leaves and mud on Rarity?) but overall, this had an excellent impact. I’m not over the moon with the narrator’s familiar tone, but still, good stuff.
#46 · 4
· on 10th of Summer, 1008 · >>CoffeeMinion >>No_Raisin
That being said, this is another entry about how every pony in this town is crazy.
Welcome to Ponyville, Starlight.

A wonderful character interaction study, demonstrating the differences between Starlight and Applejack’s worldviews in a way I can only describe as efficient.
#47 · 5
· on Cutie Mark Guidance Services, Ltd.
If only all brainwashing evil corporations were this cordial...

I like this, specially the universe it hints beyond this letter. That being said, there's still much to like about this story.

What is essentially emotional and psychological abuse is portrayed as mere routine, which goes a long way to show thw way this company works.

All in all, good work.
#48 · 4
· on The Heart of Saturday Night · >>No_Raisin
The realization of which Pinkie we’re dealing with is timed perfectly, giving a sense of revelation rather than frustration. The tone shift from tragic to haunting is also very well executed, and even the open ending feels teasing rather than simply incomplete. Magnificent job.
#49 · 4
· on Two Birthdays · >>Trick_Question
Appropriately enough, I’m split on this one. This is a good presentation of “Pinkie explains divorce to the Cake twins,” but I’m not sold on the circumstances needed to get to this point. I need more data than you have room to provide to suspend my disbelief here.
#50 · 4
· on A– · >>Miller Minus >>Miller Minus
I’ve seen impoverished Sunset before, but this sold it in a new way. Between what she sees in her grades and her drive pushing in her in every direction she can think of, this is one of the better origin moments I’ve seen for her.
#51 · 2
· on A Little Shortcut
I have to appreciate how a story with this title opens with someone crashing through a skylight.

… XD

Hilarious work! Great imagery, great pacing, great writing all around, and that punchline! Of course, most other ponies can make it work by imagining a concept of great control.
#52 · 4
· on An Alchemist and his Boy · >>BlueChameleonVI
Yeah, that definitely could’ve gone better…

In any case, this one ends up feeling repetitive. It’s clear what the situation is early on, so the rest is just hammering in the same few points over and over. It isn’t bad, but a little trimmed fat would make it work better.
#53 · 3
· on Only the Strong Survive · >>No_Raisin
You had a pretty good thing going with the parallels between Lightning Dust and Wind Rider, but that last line…

Now I’m wondering what the context of the current conversation is, and a lot hinges on that. Is Dash speaking to Lightning Dust from the other side of a prison cell’s door? Has Lightning come to Dash’s house, proverbial hat in hoof? Are the circumstances darker than that, more vengeful? Did they just meet at a party?

That last line raises too many new questions and leaves too much in the air for the story to feel satisfying.
#54 · 2
· on An Alchemist and his Boy · >>BlueChameleonVI
An excellent story to start out with. I love the structure of the name-related humor (incidentally, I think I can tell who wrote this from those two asides), and how you play Discord's whimsy in a rather more maniacally terrifying way than the show ever would. I think that goes a bit too far in the last few lines--or rather, I don't know that you had enough room in a minific to set up a hours-long torture session ending in death--but that's something that can be built up to with a few more words. Say (and this is just one example of how you could do what I'm talking about), by letting us see one of those earth pony slaves and just how much their lives sucked, and specifically how they're treated by Oph and Hypo. As-is, the awfulness of this version/time of Equestria is an informed attribute. Which has a meta-appropriateness, given that the same is largely true of Oph, but is probably not ideal for this story. That notwithstanding, you still get across the idea of this world clearly, even if I didn't feel like I bought into it quite enough for the ending to land naturally. And even with that caveat, I still felt this was an excellent story. I've got a bunch more fics to read yet, but don't think this'll stray too far from the top of my slate.
#55 · 3
· on Nostalgic Utopia · >>BlueChameleonVI
Tragic on several levels. Throwback is almost a ghost, repeating the same actions and not realizing that what motivated them is over and done with. A well-done, understated piece.
#56 · 4
· on Friends Need Not Apply · >>Dubs_Rewatcher
…the first of her friends to learn how to change a lightbulb on her own!
Including Sandbar? Though I suppose that can’t be easy for a single earth pony.

I’m split on this one. It has a salient point, but it just feels mean-spirited. I guess I don’t like this much real life getting my ponies. Still, well put-together.
#57 · 2
· on Only the Strong Survive · >>No_Raisin
I agree with FOME that that last line is a problem; it seems to place the entire story in a composed-in-universe context, when the content doesn't really support that. Beyond that, I felt like the voicing was 90% there, but the 10% tripped me up; there are some lines that are wonky on their own merits (e.g. the placement of really in "I was traveling all over Equestria without really a destination in mind" throws me) or in the context of the prevalent voicing decisions (e.g. "darkened and tarnished" reads a bit more grandiose than the rest of her monologue). But I think the content is a poignant expansion of the whole "never meet your heroes" idea, and with a little more consistency in presentation, this could go from good to great without much work.
#58 · 3
· on Misplaced
Not liking those tense shifts in the first paragraph…

Given the introduction, putting the emphasis on “entire school” in the fourth paragraph would’ve worked a lot better, making the connection to the opening clearer.

This needs work. At first, it’s not clear whether Twilight realizes the state of her school (though given her, I’m not surprised she still went through the motions.) The ending makes no sense, since I have no context for Twilight’s question or Starlight’s response. The tone of Starlight’s first line doesn’t connect to the situation and her part in it. All told, this is a bunch of parts that aren’t connecting properly.
#59 · 7
· on Perfect · >>BlueChameleonVI >>Anon Y Mous
This is a nice little slice of life. I think it suffers from telliness issues, though:

Fluttershy had a bright yellow raincoat on and looked like she was about to explode she was so tense.

This isn't the right way to tell us that Fluttershy was tense. Show her doing something that a nervous pony would do. Describe her body language and her face. The trick is to get the audience to come to the conclusion you want them to come to without outright telling them what judgments they should be making.

I'm not sure it's realistic that no animals ever died under Fluttershy's care. Death is a normal part of life.

I'm left just a little confused about what was said to Fluttershy. "You could do better by your animals and I don't like your cottage"? Some clarification might help the reader to empathize.
#60 · 3
· on Nostalgic Utopia · >>No_Raisin >>BlueChameleonVI >>BlueChameleonVI
There's a lot of sadness wrapped up in this story, which you wisely let the reader deduce (even if it ain't exactly subtle) rather than shoving it in their faces. But a few construction decisions are holding me back.

First, pet peeve: he gives a speech that takes, what, three minutes to deliver? Let's round up to five, say he's speaking slowly. And this takes us from dawn to dark, somehow. A little bit of telling between portions of his speech could do wonders here--let us see that he's giving the same speech, over and over, time after time, to an audience that doesn't exist, rather than suggesting (as your current phrasing does) that the words on the page are all he spoke that day, and that it somehow took him twelve hours to get through a few hundred words.

(Twist: what if the story's set in Discord's days-last-mere-minutes Equestria, and that's the regiment's impetus for calling Celestia soft? /tinfoil)

Second, the writing here is occasionally wonky, particularly with modifiers of unclear purpose. For example, look at the second sentence: "He only winced at the arthritis needling his knees." Why only? What does that mean in this context? Is it to reassure the reader that this wasn't a multi-purpose wince? Is it to suggest that the arthritis would normally make him groan aloud? Whatever it's intended purpose, it's failing to communicate it, and the sentence would be clearer and, frankly, better, if it were excised entirely. You've got the spelling and punctuation stuff down; another editing run-through with an eye toward this kind of construction issue, though, would do wonders for the flow of your story, and would make the tragedy really shine.
#61 · 5
· on Thank You for Coming · >>No_Raisin
I like the idea here, but it's played a little bit too random to invoke feelings in the reader. I think if you pulled back a little, it could be funny and also allow us to connect to the characters. As is, it's silly but a bit too nonsensical. The change in emotion is too abrupt and severe.

I think making this a longer piece would help a lot. I need to understand why Sunset and Starlight care about being princesses rather than alicorns. The ending doesn't make much sense; where are they headed? They don't know anything about who the stallion is.

The gay joke fell a little flat, in part because Starlight clearly isn't interested in marrying for love.
#62 · 5
· on The Heart of Saturday Night · >>No_Raisin >>BlueChameleonVI >>No_Raisin
I love the idea and the execution is great.

I feel that if you want this to be a minific, you still need a stronger arc. If Diane decides to do something (I'd call her Diane!) at the end, like resolving to ignore the voice or planning to do something the next day, that would be enough for me. As it is, it ends with no resolution.

Let's should be lets, and the line about ascertaining why is strange—obviously she has no way to know why.

I don't like the title. It doesn't encapsulate the real conflict.
#63 · 7
· on Technical Ecstasy (or: Party Princess Shining Bright) · >>Moosetasm >>CoffeeMinion
I’m honestly not sure if success or failure would be the funnier option with that much setup. In any case, an enjoyable Scratchtavia life-slice with some rather higher-magnitude shenanigans than the typical specimen, though the pacing feels a bit uneven due to cramming it in at the word limit. Still, I do love the exchange at the end.
#64 · 1
· on Only the Strong Survive · >>No_Raisin
I'd like to see more development of the protagonist. Right now it's just a depressing narrative, and it needs a little something more to be a story—even in a minific.

FOME hits on what I think is a significant issue here. I don't think adding Rainbow Dash makes the story better, it just opens a bunch of unanswered questions and leaves me confused and wondering. The "you'd know" part that first leads into it is also a confusing way to foreshadow who you're talking to.
#65 · 7
· on Soft Stitches · >>FanOfMostEverything >>Rocket Lawn Chair
I like this a lot. I think the title would be better if it reflected on the physical wall preventing Spike from feeling things. That's really the centerpiece of what you're writing about, and I'd like to see the writing focus more heavily on that separation and what it feels like to Spike. Especially if you add something to contrast how thick that physical barrier is, but how thin the emotional barrier is. Show us how alien it is to be Spike, and yet how familiar it is.
#66 · 6
· on Griswielda's Fortune · >>Miller Minus
Nice triple entendre for a title.
#67 · 1
· on Unexpected Results · >>FanOfMostEverything
I'm not sure I buy Pinkie scowling. Keep in mind that Pinkie canonically goes back and forth between both worlds, and even if that weren't true, she'd love the experience. I'm pretty sure Dash would be thrilled with her new body as well. I know it's played for laughs, but I don't think the negativity here is realistic, except for Rarity's embarrassment which is spot on.

I think "without her even looking at the computer" might be better as "without even looking at it".
#68 · 3
· on Consider Ponyville. · >>georg
Not much here was clear. We just got a tour of Ponyville, then discovered that all of Equestria is within a glass cylinder around which a castle is wrapped?

I'm not sure this is a story, I'm not sure what this has to do with the prompt, and worst of all, the narrator was straight up annoying.
#69 · 3
· on Uncreatable · >>FanOfMostEverything >>BlueChameleonVI
This is creative and fun, but a little confusing.

I'm left wondering what I've missed. Are these references to previous generations of the My Little Pony show? What's the deal with "one small fairy cake"?

I kept feeling like I should know who the protagonist is. You left what seemed like clues.

Why did the Examiner help her with the last world? Or was that what He was doing? I'm genuinely confused by that final exchange.

If She records it only at nights, that seems to imply She's only recording what happens during the nighttime, which is confusing. Keep in mind the time scales match (they all waited six million years, for example).
#70 · 6
· on Two Birthdays · >>Trick_Question
Pinkie's voice doesn't come through at all for me. With the exception of a couple trademark catchphrases, the dialogue could have been from any generic OC.

That said, the choice of depressing topic would certainly make it very difficult to write a convincing Pinkie. But I don't understand why this topic with these characters.
#71 · 2
· on An Alchemist and his Boy · >>BlueChameleonVI
This is well-written and sets a strong mood. I'm not sure I buy Discord being a science experiment with what's given here. I need more magebabble to explain how they were able to create something this powerful.

The comedy in the two appositives works against the tone of the rest of the piece. I think it may be a mistake.

The message seems to be "grimdark for grimdark sake" and I'm left wondering what I'm supposed to take away from the story.

The last line seems telly and overdramatic to me.
#72 · 7
· on Technical Ecstasy (or: Party Princess Shining Bright) · >>CoffeeMinion
I like this. I'm having a hard time finding anything to recommend, other than Scratch seems maybe a tad overdone (but that's hard not to do).

You used "Prench"! Yay! But I did not write this one, I'm pretty sure.
#73 · 1
· on Left Behind · >>No_Raisin
So Chrome Skylander fixed something on the outside of his/her ship, allowing it to escape from some terrible enemy. But, unbeknownst to him/her, the ship was damaged in such a way that Chrome was left behind when it jumped to hyperspace or whatever.

I felt like I was missing something. Like this was a crossover with some sci-fi series or video game I don't know of. It also feels like it wasn't really a pony story. I count exactly seven words that would have to be changed to remove all traces of pony. There's no tone, themes, world, or characters to indicate that it is a pony story.

As to the story itself, the unwitting nature of Chrome's sacrifice robs it of its dramatic impact. I don't feel like this was a noble tragedy at all. The only choice he/she made was to spend his/her last hours talking to an AI rather than grasping at straws trying to get rescued.
#74 · 6
· on Nothing Good Happens After 2 A.M. · >>BlueChameleonVI >>Bachiavellian
Nothing Good Happens After 2 A.M.

I'm sure everyone who stayed up late finishing their entries can corroborate this.

I have a soft spot for small conversational pieces, they can deliver a solid experience in a single scene, and this does precisely that.

Twilight's princesshood being an obstacle to a normal relationship is something you don't see too often, and when you do see it, it's usually focused on contrasting her longevity with that of normal ponies. This is much simpler, and therefore more relatable. There's a lot of drama to be had regarding Twilight's status as a hurdle to pass in the pursuit of love, and you did a good job presenting that idea as well as addressing it with Celestia's view on the matter.

I only wish it could've dwelled deeper on Twilight's thoughts after Celestia gives her advice, because I feel the story wraps up too quickly from that point onwards. Nevertheless, I still enjoyed your story.
#75 · 3
· on Misplaced
I don't get what the first part about the key has to do with the rest?

I'm also not sure if I'm supposed to understand what those spells are.
#76 · 2
· on A Little Shortcut
Thanks for the chuckle. I needed that.
#77 · 4
· on Quiet Thunder · >>BlueChameleonVI
Very surprised you didn’t use Poor Thunder on “The Thunder’s thoughts, for he’d assumed.” You had a good theme going there.

In any case, poetry is always a risky endeavor in these contests. This one tried for style points, but didn’t quite get them. There are some shaky patches in the rhythm, and while I can appreciate thoughts straddling lines, stretching them between stanzas is a bit much. Plus, I’m not sure how well the chronology pans out. In all, this was a noble effort, but the execution left me wanting, and the story underneath wasn’t much to write home about. Good attempt.
#78 · 2
· on A Little Shortcut
I had to reread those last few lines but when I finally got it I think I died a little inside.

In other words... gr8 job
#79 ·
· on A Bitter Leaf from an Old Book · >>GroaningGreyAgony
Well. That was... that.

Yes, that was that.
#80 · 3
· on The Perfect Day: A Retrospective · >>No_Raisin >>BlueChameleonVI >>Rocket Lawn Chair
Oh, more poetry. What are the odds?

Huh. I’ve never seen this rhyme scheme before. Its similarity to limericks keeps throwing me off when I hit the fourth line of a stanza and it doesn’t rhyme with the first.

In all, it’s definitely cleaner than the previous one, but it’s still poetry for the sake of poetry and no other reason. I do like the idea of Chrysalis dictating this to some manner of hive historian (complete with grousing about her ungrateful spawn to one of those spawn, which seems perfectly in character,) but it’s still basically a rhythmic rehash of “A Canterlot Wedding.” Competent, but nothing especially notable beyond the structural flourishes.
#81 · 3
· on Daring Do and the Fearful Physical
Much like Daring’s bones, it seems cohesive, but looking closer reveals the cracks. Her needing the physical means her actions at the end don’t make much sense. I do like the multilayered response to the prompt—the physical could’ve gone better because of physical relics of all the times Daring’s missions could’ve gone better—but that contradiction will definitely have me dock some points. That said, I do like Daring’s rather detached thought process. The problem with turning your life into fiction means you forget which bits are actually happening.

Oh, yeah, and the implication that she’s mind wiping folks left and right. That’s kind of messed up, dude.
#82 · 2
· on Trixie and Twilight's Magnificent Vanishing Act · >>BlueChameleonVI
That was unexpected and a heck of a lot more fun than one might expect. Kudos.
#83 · 1
· on As Perfect As It Could Be
For italics use i tags, not em.

As for the story itself, there are several awkward moments in terms of sentence structure or punctuation, but overall this is a lovely bit of character work.
#84 · 2
· on A Little Shortcut

my god.

I like this one, Nice, nice.
#85 · 3
· on A Little Shortcut
The punchline would've been better if you'd settled on "on" or "by" instead of accidentally writing both.

Not that I would know anything about borking my last line in a writeoff... >_>

Anyway, yes. Insubstantial and one-note, but properly groan-inducing. Character-destruction, but in a way appropriate to story tone. Does what it sets out to do. Carry on.
#86 · 8
· on Two Birthdays · >>Moosetasm >>Trick_Question
"Oh! You and your friends could fix their friendship problem!" said Pumpkin.

Okay, now I can't get the image of the main six running around town, blasting divorcees with rainbow lasers, out of my head.

This strikes me as the kind of story composed of individually good elements, which fail to gel. Pinkie's voice doesn't sound right at all to me; it sounds like she's talking down to the kids, which isn't really her MO, and she's altogether too staid in terms of her conversation. You could replace her with a different pony, but that would change the dynamic of the story. Or you could change her dialogue, but that would alter the tone.

Also, I didn't mind the nature of the conversation intrinsically, but I didn't think it was set up well. I had problems with these kids having not noticed for... years? Multiple birthdays, at least... that their parents are divorced. That timeline really stretched my suspension of disbelief.

As you move forward on this fic, I'd think long and hard about how get characters, dialogue, and backstory all working synergistically with the premise. Right now, each of those four things are fine in a vacuum, but the first three are each individually pulling against the fourth when you combine them.
#87 · 1
· on Trixie and Twilight's Magnificent Vanishing Act · >>BlueChameleonVI
This is the first entry I'm doing a review for (I'm going through all of them, oh boy...) and already I think this is probably gonna be the most purely creative and unpredictable of the bunch.

To get my big complaint out of the way, the setup is awkward, and I'm not sure Twilight would be acting this way around Trixie, a pony she knows very well. Agreeing with >>Zaid Val'Roa on that.

Just everything else, though? Oh my goodness, this is the kind of screwball comedy I hoped but was not quite expecting to see for this writeoff. The idea of changing writing formats with each spell attempt is both deliciously weird and well-executed.

Personally, my favorite section is the one that mimics a history book. It was so absurd that I laughed a couple times during that passage alone.

So yeah, uhhhh, I'm feeling a strong 8 to a light 9 on this.
#88 · 1
· on Cutie Mark Guidance Services, Ltd.
I thought this was gonna be a comedy, judging from the title and the out-there premise.

Boy was I wrong...

I like how the abuse is conveyed to us through the words of the company, which makes it sound more like daily routine than anything, which makes it all the more effective.

There's a message here about corporations putting money and meeting quotas above people's (ponies') well-being, but you can ignore the (probable) subtext and still enjoy this for the subtly chilling story it is.

I guess my complaint would be that there was never a moment that made me go "Wow!" and I don't see myself going back to this story. It's too damn depressing.

I'm feeling a pretty solid 8 on this.
#89 · 2
· on Nothing Good Happens After 2 A.M. · >>BlueChameleonVI >>Bachiavellian
I want to like this more than I do, but I have some nagging issues with it that I want to address.

1. I'm not sure why this has to be told from Celestia's POV. You want to use 1st person narration when you want to capture someone's unique perspective on things, but the narrative doesn't require this, and it would be pretty much the same if you just switched it to 3rd person.

2. The drama wrapping up as cleanly as it does. Well, I get you can only do so much with a minific, but it's also frustrating to see Twilight go from mach 2 resentment to leisurely stroll in the span of what seems like 5 minutes.

3. Okay, pet peeve of mine, but are we still doing the whole "bucking" thing?

Mind you, there is also quite a bit to like here. I find it both humorous and relatable that Twilight can't get a date because of something she doesn't even control, and we get to see a side of her here that we normally don't in fics.

The grammar and style is also pretty solid for the most part, although you did change tenses a couple times.

I guess I'm feeling decent to strong 6 on this.
#90 · 3
· on A Little Shortcut
That was a thing.

Hmm, yes, that was indeed a thing.

I like how Rarity having wings is treated almost passively so that the reader has to do a double take to notice something's very wrong here. I also like how Pinkie's walking-on-the-ceiling bit is kind of a reference to that one episode with the Cake twins.

Or maybe that was just a coincidence and I'm trying to pull more from this fic than is necessary.

It's pretty robust and consistently executed, and it knows exactly when and where to end.

Did I laugh at any point, though? Nah, man.

A chuckle, I think, but this is a pretty lightweight "absurd" comedy.

I'm feeling a very light 7 on this.
Post by No_Raisin , deleted
#92 · 2
· on The Heart of Saturday Night · >>No_Raisin
This is the best of the stories entries I've read so far, yet none of them have been stories.

The situation is clever, the reveal is done masterfully, and the prose is beautiful. Pinkie's dilemma is haunting, and you've made the reader sympathize with a character who feels like a very real not-real Pinkie. Yet Pinkie never has to make a decision.
#93 · 5
· on Perfect · >>Anon Y Mous
This fic left me confused, and not in a good way.

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'm pretty sure animals have died in her care, because animals die and death is a part of life and so on, so I don't know what the deal with that is. Of course animals die in her care.

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

Also also, I'm not sure, given how tell-y and blatant the message is, if this whole thing is meant to be taken straight or as a parody of a lower-tier episode of the show. Probably the former.

I think there's something good here, but it's really muddled as it is now.

I'm feeling a strong 5 to a light 6 on this.
#94 · 4
· on Thank You for Coming · >>Chris
Guys, I'm having a dilemma at the moment.

I found this fic funny, but not exactly good...?

I laughed because of how schizophrenic it got with the tone and how rabid Starlight and Sunset got, but at the same time none of this makes any sense.

At the same time I suspect this wasn't supposed to make sense, but even if we're being generous with characterization flexibility this is really jarring.

Also agreeing with >>Trick_Question about the ending punchline, which felt really... off somehow.

I guess I can't give this such a low rating, considering it is a comedy and I did laugh outright a couple times, but again I'm not sure if those laughs were earned.

I'm feeling a light to decent 6 on this.
#95 · 2
· on Big Important Wizard
I don't know how to feel about this one.

It's a sadfic, that's clear enough, and I like how it's just restrained enough that we don't get to see Sunburst's reaction after knowing his exam grade, but there are also some things that bug me here.

>>Miller Minus already made a few good points, positive and negative, all of which I agree with, but I want to add a couple more here.

The ending seems too on-the-nose, considering we know what eventually becomes of Sunburst, but I guess I can let it slide because it does feel like something a good friend of his would say.

The bigger problem, though, is that we don't learn anything about Sunburst that we didn't already know. We know he failed schooling because he couldn't pass the practical part, and we see that here, but there's nothing added to it.

Overall, I like this story, but I feel also like there could be so much more to it than what we got.

I'm feeling a light to decent 7 on this.
#96 · 1
· on This is the Weather Patrol · >>Hap
A story about Raindrops? That never happens.

This was pretty fluffy, though. Nice and fluffy.

I feel like there's not much to be said about it, though. This is a somewhat humorous slice-of-life about Raindrops, nothing more and nothing less. Not much in the way of negatives, but also not much that stands out.

But, okay, I'll point out a couple things while I'm at it.

You don't have to both italicize something and put it in all caps. You can do one or the other, but it looks wrong and unprofessional when you do both. Funny, considering this story is about professionalism.

Also, the last sentence did not quite hit the way I think it was meant to. My reaction was basically, "Okay," as opposed to something stronger.

Still, it's aight.

I'm feeling a very feathery 7 on this.
#97 · 2
· on First Contact of the Fifth Kind · >>Miller Minus
Excuse me?


This fic? It's not good.

At least not in the conventional sense. I got the feeling by the end that we had devolved totally into crackfic territory, which I guess is okay, but I almost felt embarrassed having to read so many stereotypes crammed into 750 words.

From the first sentence I knew this was gonna be a shitshow, but boy did I underestimate the lengths to which this fic would go for a few cheap laughs.

I mean, hey, obviously some people really like this sort of thing.

Some have even made good careers out of writing these fics all the time.

But for me? Nah, man. That ain't it.

I'm feeling a strong 3 to a light 4 on this.
#98 · 1
· on Quiet Thunder · >>BlueChameleonVI
I'll start off by saying that I don't know enough about poetry to jusdge this as accurately as it deserves, but I appluad your ambition. That being said, I do have an issue with this:
To prove your skills and make the most
Of flying, soaring, things to boast

About?” He shrugged. So Fluttershy
Showed him a flying butterfly

It doesn't work, and jarred me right out of the poem.
#99 · 2
· on No Stomach for Diplomacy · >>Moosetasm
Why is this the second fic in a row I've reviewed that involves Japanese stereotypes? What a weirdly specific thing to see more than once during this writeoff.

But anyway, this was... okay? There were a few jokes in there, but none of them really landed for me, and while I do appreciate the idea of Celestia being unfamiliar with a different culture, or not feeling like she's in control, there's something missing here.

There were also some obvious spelling and grammar mistakes (you misspelled Etiquette at least once) that distracted me from the reading, but at least it was sound enough overall in that department.

The joke toward the end was good, though. Didn't make me laugh, but I liked it.

I'm feeling a decent to strong 6 on this.
#100 · 3
· on This is the Weather Patrol · >>Hap
Genre: Crushin'

Thoughts: While I can appreciate the fluffy crush aspects of this, I feel like it could've done with a bit more worldbuilding. Raindrops' motivation to participate in the whole weather team thing was pretty ephemeral. It carries less weight to have her raging (hormonally) against the (proverbial) machine if we don't know why she cares about the machine in the first place.

But hey, this is nitpicking. What you've got here is a very functional little slice of cute. Tune it up a little and this could soar.

Tier: Almost There