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True Colors · FiM Short Story ·
Organised by RogerDodger
Word limit 2000–8000
The Pink Beneath the Gray
Pinkie Pie bounced down the streets of Ponyville, the sights and sounds of a happy and bustling town fueling her as she greeted each and every pony that crossed her path. “Hiya Doctor, doing any super cool sciency stuff lately? How are your flowers doing, Roseluck? Excited to be performing with Vinyl again next week, Octavia? That’s an awesomely amazing and incredible new camera, Featherweight!”

Each of them returned her greeting with an enthusiastic answer, a smile, and a wave.

Today really was the very best sort of day. The sun was shining, the birds were singing, and the flowers were in bloom. On days like this, ponies like her ought to be having fun, and nothing was more fun than seeing to it that everypony else in town was having fun too. She was Ponyville’s jocular joybringer, the hero of happiness, the—

Her left ear twitched and her right rear hoof tickled, causing her springy steps to stop and bring her skidding to a halt right in front of town hall. Somewhere, somewhen, somepony wasn’t having fun!

She swung her head and body round as he scouted her surroundings, looking for the poor, put out pony. Up the street? Nothing but happy ponies! Down the street? Same as up! Behind her? Absolutely nothing! In front of her? As all of her came into alignment back in the direction she’d started from, her eyes settled on Mayor Mare, sitting on a bench and staring up at the sky with a look that just screamed that she had some seriously gloomy thoughts on her mind

“Heya, Mayor!” she shouted, waving fast enough to generate a small amount of lift.

Mayor Mare turned towards and blinked, then smiled at her with a super duper fake smile. “Why hello there, Pinkie Pie! How are you doing? As happy as ever?”

“I am absolutely, positively, fantastically, tremendously, stupendous-riffic! How about you? Are you having a totally incredible and amazing and awesome day?”

The smile broadened, but otherwise stayed the same. “How could I not, being mayor of a town full of wonderful and thoughtful ponies like you?”

Pinkie giggled, then hopped onto the bench next to her. This was looking like a tough case. “So, whatcha doing, huh? Staring at the clouds? I love staring at the clouds! Can I join you? Oh!” She wrapped her foreleg around Mayor Mare’s neck as she pointed into the sky, “Look! Look! That one looks like a big, fluffy hydra!”

“It does?” she squeaked.

“Totally! Here, look!” Pinkie twisted Mayor Mare’s head around so that their cheeks were smushed together so they could both look at the cloud in the exact same way. “Do you see? There’s the big fluffy body and there are all the heads with their super sharp teeth and there’s the—”

Mayor Mare laughed – a real, genuine, bonafide laugh – as she twisted out of Pinkie’s grip and pulled away. “You really do have the most fantastic imagination, Pinkie Pie.” However, the very real smile on her face slowly turned back into the totally fake one as she settled back into her seat.

Pinkie’s own smile faltered. “So, um, what’re you doing out here?”

“Thinking about things, I suppose.”

“What sort of things?”

Mayor Mare shrugged. “Nothing specific, really. Just things.”

“Any super ultra tough thoughts that I could help with you with?”

“Thank you for asking, but no, Pinkie. I am perfectly fine.” Mayor Mare’s broadened her fake smile as she pushed herself off the bench and trotted a few steps off. “Besides, it wouldn’t do for the mayor of Ponyville to be troubling her constituents, now would it?”

“You wouldn’t be troubling me,” Pinkie said. The enthusiasm that had filled her had started to leak away, leaving her feeling all weak and wiggly. She could even feel her mane losing a bit of its floof.

“It really is nothing, Pinkie, though I thank you for your concern. Besides, I really should be getting back to work. Those bills aren’t going to sign themselves!”

Pinkie started to say something, but stopped herself. This looked like a super big ultra deluxe size problem, and you couldn’t solve those just by jumping up and down and making silly faces until it went away. This’d call for some special measures. “Okie dokie lokie! See you later!”




Mayor Mare sat her desk and rubbed her eyes as she tried to focus on the scroll in front of her. Lady Justice’s legislature always read like an interminable purgatory of words, and right now the sentences were weaving into each into each other to produce a literal wall of incomprehensible text.

Bureaucracy may have been her talent, but even she had limits.

“Excuse me, Mayor Mare?”

She glanced at her doorway and the ruddy stallion waiting in it. “Yes, Paper Pusher?”

“I just wanted to let you know that I’ve finished the new zoning permits for Sofas and Quills.”

Mayor Mare nodded.

“And uh… I wanted to ask on behalf of me and a couple other ponies if it’d be okay if we made it an early day today? We’ve got tickets to see Coloratura in Manehattan tonight and—”

“Say no more,” Mayor Mare said, ignoring the little twinge of jealousy. “As long as you all have everything pressing taken care of, I’m sure I can hold down the fort with whatever skeleton crew is left behind.”

Paper Pusher beamed at her as he bowed his head. “Thanks a million, Mayor.”

Once he was partway down the hall, Mayor Mare allowed herself to sigh. It would have been nice if they’d invited her along. She loved Coloratura… not that anypony knew that. Nor would it have been appropriate for them to invite the mayor of Ponyville along themselves.

She looked back down at the bill again and sighed.



Mayor Mare trotted down the road towards her house, enjoying the feel of the crisp evening air and a sight blessedly free of words. She’d ended up staying at town hall longer than usual, finding various odd and ends to fill her day.

After all, the mayor’s work was never done – especially when half her subordinates took off for a concert.

“Good evening, Mayor Mare!”

Her heart skipped several beats as Pinkie Pie sprang out a nearby bush and landed right in front of her, the exuberant greeting still echoing through the night.

“Pinkie,” she gasped as she pressed a hoof to her chest in the vain hope of finding that she still had a heartbeat, “what in Celestia’s— what are you doing and why were you hiding in a bush?”

“I wasn’t hiding, silly!” Pinkie said, slapping her on the back. “I was just sitting inside that bush where you couldn’t see me so I could—”

Mayor Mare didn’t glare at Pinkie – that would be quite inappropriate – but the flat, barely bordering on annoyed look still seemed to carry a similar weight.

“Well, okay, I guess you could sort of kind of call that hiding,” Pinkie admitted, “but it was for a good cause! Really!”

“And what might that be?”

“To surprise you!” She spread her hooves wide. “Surprise!”

That pulled a chuckle out of Mayor Mare. Pinke really didn’t let things like convention or social norms or even rationality get in the way of whatever she wanted to do. For better or worse, she just did it. And, of course, ponies loved her for it. “Well, you certainly succeeded at that much.”

“Yay!”

“But why did you want to surprise me?”

Pinkie dug around in her mane for a moment before producing a small, pink box. “Ta da! I wanted to surprise you so I could give you this!” She offered the box out before Mayor Mare could protest. “Go on, open it! Open it!”

The inside contained a single cupcake, topped haphazardly and unevenly with various flavors of frosting – looking a bit like it had crashed into a rainbow – and topped with with a medley of chocolate covered fruit. Oh, and the rainbow sprinkles coating it all. It looked like what might happen if you let a filly on a sugar rush make her cupcake.

“Chocolate confetti chaos with rainbow frosting! Your favorite, right? Not that you get them very often, but still, a sweet treat cheers everypony up, and what could be sweeter than a cupcake from your super awesome pony pal Pinkie Pie?”

Mayor Mare stared at the contents of the box and shook her head. Not very often didn’t even begin to describe those rare occasions when she snuck off to Sugarcube Corner to order one of these. “You know, Pinkie, I really envy you.”

“Huh?”

She sighed, then smiled as she offered the box back. “It’s nothing. Thank you, but I really can’t accept this.”

“But you’ve got to!” Pinkie said, pushing the box back towards her. “Mayor Mare you are super duper bummed out and I don’t know why but I do know eating an ultra delicious chocolate confetti chaos with rainbow frosting will make it better!”

The quiet of a tired Ponyville flowed back in and wrapped around them in the wake of Pinkie’s shout.

“Pinkie…” Mayor Mare looked down at the box again, then forced a smile. “You are a wonderful pony and I appreciate your concern, but I really am fine. I’m just… tired.” Pinkie certainly didn’t look like she was buying it, but Mayor Mare pushed on anyway. “That said, I suppose it would be rude of me to refuse such a kind and thoughtful gift, so I will be keeping this and eating it a bit later.”

Pinkie stared at her.

After a moment she realized that Pinkie was ever so slowly leaning closer, until their muzzles were just an inch or two apart. “Really, Pinkie. I’m fine.”

“Okie. Dokie. Lokie.” The mare backed away from her, but didn’t change the intensity of her stare.

She really was a wonderful pony.




Pinkie Pie dangled from a branch outside of town hall by her tail, a pair of binoculars pressed against her eyes and pointing straight into the window to Mayor Mare’s office. All in all, it probably would have been a very effective stake out if town hall was open today.

“Uh, Pinkie? What’re you doing?” Rainbow Dash asked, hovering next to her.

“Oh, hey, Rainbow Dash!” she said, dropping out of the tree. “Spying on Mayor Mare!”

Rainbow Dash landed beside her. “I figure I’m going to regret asking this, but why?”

Pinkie looked left and right before leaning close to Rainbow Dash and whispering, “It’s a secret!”

“Uh…”

“What do you know about Mayor Mare?” Pinkie asked, keeping her voice low.

“She’s… the mayor of Ponyville?” Rainbow Dash shrugged. “I don’t know. I don’t talk to her or anything.”

Sitting back, Pinkie rubbed at her chin with a hoof. “Interesting. Interesting.” Somepony in Ponyville had to know Mayor Mare well enough to tell her what she needed to know to provide the biggest, bestest surprise ever.

“Uh, look, Pinkie? I need to get back to cloudbusting, so…?”

Pinkie continued rubbing her chin.



Fluttershy shrank back as Pinkie leaned in close. “Mayor Mare? Well, I mean, she’s really, really nice and always helps me so much with adoptions and—”

“No!” Pinkie exclaimed, leaning even further in. “I mean, what she does when she’s not being mayor!” That gave her pause. “Well, I mean she’s always being Mayor, but she’s not always being mayor. I need to know about Mayor Mare, not Mayor Mayor Mare. Wow, I never really thought about how confusing that is. Maybe that’s the problem.”

Pressed firmly to the ground, Fluttershy managed to turn an eye upward. “Oh… um… not really…”



Doctor Hooves spared a glance back from all the twisty-turny glass tubes full of pretty colors that he seemed focused on. “Mayor Mare? She… well. I mean, she has been quite the help after a few unfortunate lab accidents, but I really don’t know much else about her.”



Octavia lowered her bow and frowned. “Her speech at our wedding was absolutely lovely. And I’ve certainly never had any objections to the way she’s run Ponyville. Besides that… well, I… am not really sure. We have only spoken in passing. Vinyl?”

The unicorn looked up from her turntable, grinned at Pinkie, and shrugged.



Applejack bucked the tree behind her hard enough to make every single shiny red apple drop into the buckets at the base of the tree. “Well, I can tell you that the Apples wouldn’t be the Apples if it weren’t for Mayor Mare. And I know she works pretty dang hard all day making sure everypony’s got all their legal mumbo jumbo taken care of, but it ain’t like we’ve ever hung out or anything.”



Pinkie panted as she skidded to a halt in front of town hall. After talking to pretty dozens of ponies she’d learned pretty much the exact same thing from everypony: Mayor Mare was a totally nice pony and good mayor that nopony really knew anything else about.

Near as Pinkie could tell, she didn’t even have any friends! Sure, everypony in town liked her, but nopony actually knew her. Which was super silly, because why would anypony like that not have friends? She should be swimming in them!

Taking a super deep breath that almost lifted her off the ground, Pinkie ruffled her mane until the frizziness had been tripled and her brain power had been doubled. If that was how things were going to be, then she was going to have to unleash her ultra super duper top secret weapon to get to the bottom of this.




Mayor Mare stared at herself in the mirror. The grey dye had almost been entirely washed out of her hair, only a few stubborn streaks lingering in the sea of unfamiliar pink. Sometimes it was actually hard to remember that this was what her mane really looked like, that the pony staring back at her was actually her.

A gasp came from the window next to her.

Turning, she gasped jumped backwards as she saw Pinkie dangling upside down right outside it. “Pinkie Pie, what are you doing!”

The mare waved. “Oh my gosh your mane really is pink! I thought that had just been a whole bunch of gossip! You look so weird like that!”

Mayor Mare could feel her cheeks heating up. It was the Foal Free Press all over again. “Pinkie!”

“I came by to talk, and I saw you in the upstairs so I just hop, skipped, and jumped my way up here and—”

Mayor Mare let out a deep breath and pushed the window further open. “Come in, then. I don’t want you to fall and break your neck.” Not that she was fully convinced such a thing could even happen to Pinkie, a belief further supported as the pony somehow slid in through the window with a strange, boneless grace.

“Wow, wow, wow! Your mane is like, really, really, really, really, really, really pink!”

Resisting the urge to cover her head and sit on her tail, Mayor Mare cleared her throat. “What is it you wanted to talk about, Pinkie?”

“You!”

“What?”

“I wanted to talk about you!” Pinkie took a deep breath before she spoke next. “See, I’ve spent all day running all around Ponyville talking to every single pony and trying to find out what they knew about you so I could find the perfect super duper surprise to cheer you up because I know you aren’t really fine no matter what you say, but it turns out that nopony actually knows like, anything about you even though you are this totally awesome mayor who always helps everypony out with all their little troubles, which I thought was totally weird because a nice and smart and helpful pony like you should have tons of friends—”

“Breathe, Pinkie,” Mayor Mare reminded her. Those last few words had been gasps at best.

“—so I don’t get why nopony knows anything about you!” Pinkie finished with a wheeze, then took another deep breath that seemed to inflate not only her diaphragm, but her flattening mane as well. “Oh, and now I want to know why you dye your mane, too!”

It looked like there was no escaping it this time. She could deflect until Applejack drove the cow’s home, but somehow Pinkie had sniffed her out and it didn’t look like she was ready to go. What was the point in hiding it anymore? At least she could finally get it off her chest. “I’m the mayor, Pinkie.”

“Huh?”

“Ponies expect their mayor to be somepony serious and dignified. They don’t want some pink maned filly who eats silly treats and loves popular music. As sure as a princess needs to look like a princess, a mayor needs to look like a mayor.”

Pinkie frowned. “But none of that matters for anything you do.”

“No, but it changes how ponies see me. Nopony would elect for some silly gossip with a cotton candy mane. They’d want a pony with age and experience, so… that’s what I gave them.”

Pinkie stayed uncharacteristically silent after that.

Mayor Mare smiled. “I really did mean it when I said I envied you, Pinkie. To be able to just be who you are and not worry if everypony would accept that…”

Pinkie sniffled, tears building in her eyes.

“I… I’m sorry? Did I say something—”

“That’s so sad!” Pinkie wailed, her hooves latching to the sides of Mayor Mare’s muzzle and pulling her eye-to-eye. “You’re afraid to be you because of what everypony would think, and that’s why nopony knows who you are! Because the you that’s you isn’t really you but is somepony you pretend to be!”

That took a little tracking to follow. “It’s just part of—”

“No, it isn’t!” Pinkie insisted, somehow contriving to push their faces even closer together. “Mayor Mayor Mare, everypony in town thinks you are the most awesomest, specialist, bestest mayor ever! You’re wonderful pony and none of them would care if your mane was pink or grey or plaid! All that matters is that it’s the color you want it to be, and that goes for everything else too!”

Pressing a hoof gently on Pinkie’s chest, Mayor Mare pushed the pony back just enough to give herself a little room to breathe. Not that it seemed to make it any easier. She’d heard her fair share of impassioned pleas in the past, but never one directed so, well, directly, and it left her with no idea how to feel. “Thank you for telling me that. All of it.”

Pinkie sniffled and nodded.

There really was something special about her, something even the Princess of Friendship couldn’t match. “I hadn’t eaten that cupcake yet. Would you like to stay and split it with me?”




Pinkie Pie bounced down the streets of Ponyville, the sights and sounds of a happy and bustling town fueling her as she waved and offered a muffled greeting to each and every pony that crossed her path. They weren’t her best greetings ever, what with the pair of tickets clenched tightly between her teeth, but some things were so ultra important that she couldn’t trust them to the chaotic realm that was her mane.

Her springy gait carried her to town hall and through the big doors and past all the busy bureaucrats and up a set of stairs and all the way back to Mayor Mare’s office.

Mayor Mare sat behind her desk, concentrating on some silly scroll or another, her grey mane dangling in front of her face. At least that’s how she looked until Pinkie Pie bounced up to the desk and let the tickets drop on top of the scroll.

“Hello, Pinkie.”

“Heya!” Glancing left and right to ensure that nopony else was in the room, Pinkie dropped her voice to a stage whisper. “I got a pair of tickets to go see Coloratura in Manehattan next weekend and was looking for a SSBMFF to come with me.”

Mayor Mare frowned. “A what?”

“SSBMFF! A super special best mayor friend forever!”

A smile spread across Mayor Mare’s face. A real, genuine smile.

Pinkie returned one.
« Prev   2   Next »
#1 · 3
· · >>AndrewRogue
cute!

This was a really enjoyable character piece, one which reminds me how good Slice of Life can be.

The interactions between Pinkie and Mayor Mare were endearing, and my only complaint is that I wish we coul have had more scenes with them talking, and bonding, and getting to know each other more so Mayor Mare had a more defined character arc. Right now she opens up to Pinkie a bit too quickly in my opinion. I wish the change could have been more gradual, but other than that, this was a solid entry.
#2 · 1
· · >>AndrewRogue
Triple yes for this one. From the beginning to the very end, it was cute and heartwarming.

Pinkie's voice is on top, with a good balance of already existing lines from the show and made up ones. So good job with that.

About the story, it's quite fitting the tone of the show, and I love when someone manages to get closer to it.

As for the pace, even if there isn't anything really out of the ordinary, switching from one POV to the other, there is still this little part with Pinkie asking ponies what they think of Mayor Mare.

My only complaint would be about Mayor's voice, which lacked un je-ne-sais-quoi that would make it stronger. But aside from that, it is a very compelling and solid story. Thank you very much for sharing.

Also
Applejack bucked the tree behind her [...]. “Well, I can tell you that the Apples wouldn’t be the Apples if it weren’t for Mayor Mare."

Obligatory
#3 · 2
· · >>AndrewRogue
This is well written and I enjoyed reading it. You took me along for the emotional ride, from the Mayor's palpable, frustrating loneliness to the genuine laughs at Pinkie and her attempts to cheer up Mayor Mare.

My favorite thing here is your characterization of both main characters. Pinkie Pie is delightful, and I think you've really got her internal and external voices down. I especially liked your descriptions of how Pinkie's personality and abilities manifest physically, in her ears and hooves and mane and tail, in her entire body, really.

The Mayor is sympathetic in a very, well, human way. I can empathize with what she feels, deeply isolated from the community she's made the center of her life and work. Her difficulty navigating her feelings, responsibilities and expectations is believably illustrated. The tension between her need for friendship, Pinkie's need to offer it, and the (initial, apparent) gulf between their personalities and ways of life creates conflict and a goodly amount of awkwardness, which gives the whole story a realistic feel. I'm rooting for a breakthrough while also cringing in the appropriate places at Pinkie's boundary issues and Mayor Mare's internal struggles.

To me, perhaps the most revealing and succinct line was: "Well, I mean she’s always being Mayor, but she’s not always being mayor." The difference in capitalization is subtle and effective.

Boneless Pinkie made me go *eek," but it was also perfect. And it's cute when she calls her Mayor Mayor Mare.

I was not expecting the Mayor Mare mane revelation, and it beautifully sets up the exchange that follows. I *love* Pinkie's surprise.

Like the Mayor, it took a little tracking for me to follow some of Pinkie's dialogue, but that's Pinkie. In this case I think it adds to the story, making me pause with Mayor Mare to parse what's being said.

The only time I was taken out of the story was the end of the exchange with Fluttershy and her "Not really." It took me a second to connect that to the initial question, rather than Pinkie's "Maybe that's the problem." I think.

That's one small bit (and maybe it's just me!) in a really solid story. It left me with a happy feeling. Thanks for writing it!
#4 · 1
· · >>AndrewRogue
I'll echo the previous comments that this was adorable! I love the concept, you've got a good Pinkie arc, she felt very in-character, the premise is believable and fits the universe, and it's heartwarming to read.

Unfortunately, I think the pacing needs some work. While a lot of the little sections are good, where you were going with this became clear almost right away -- it just took us awhile to actually get there. Pinkie's antics are cute, but they go on for some time, and after awhile I started to feel they had overstayed their welcome. I'm not sure if this story needs more content, or needs to be shorter (individual preference I suppose), but it feels about 1/3ed too long for how much it has to say.
#5 · 1
· · >>AndrewRogue
Adorable. I don't know how, but it is. Pinkie was truly enjoyable as an actual character instead of a silly, bouncy pony. Great job.
#6 · 2
· · >>AndrewRogue >>AndrewRogue
I guess I'll be the odd one out and say that this story didn't do much for me. Here's how I summarize it in my head:

Mayor Mare: I'm an important pony with significant responsibilities so I have to act serious.

Pinkie Pie: That's so sad!

Mayor Mare: Let's share this cupcake.

The actual narrative arc, as it were, was the short period where Pinkie went around talking to ponies about the mayor. This was the process of discovery wherein the reader slowly discovers why the Mayor seems so sad all the time. Except we already know that because we were treated to the Mayor's own POV earlier in the story and we learned the exact same things. So this portion, which was already so short as to be pointless, was also repetitive. The only purpose it served was to justify how Pinkie learned what we, the readers, already knew.

Why not just have the reader discover these things alongside Pinkie? That engages the reader more.

This story is cute, adorable and heartwarming, as the previous reviewers have noted. I have no arguments there. There's a market for that -- half of YouTube is videos of kittens and puppies.

The real challenge is to write a cute, adorable and heartwarming story that also has some real meat in it, that makes people think. Those are a lot harder to come by.
#7 · 1
· · >>AndrewRogue
And here goes my last finalist review. :bulkbicepsyeah: Keep reviewing, y'all!




Genre: Civic Engagement

Thoughts: Ultimately this is a pretty simple tale, as CiG notes. I'll risk being gauche again and comparing it to Friendship Is Strawberries, which could similarly be broken down into the simple message of: "Downtime with friends is the best, amirite?" In this case it's even simpler, though; Mayor is lonely because she doesn't think she can open up and still be accepted, and Pinkie breaks through her defenses as only Pinkie can, allowing her to reach the soul trapped beneath the veneer.

One reason why this works for me is that the message, simple as it is, hits me right in the heart. Another reason is that the delivery is fun and really well-done, especially in how Pinkie is written--she's so easy to overdo, and it's a delight when she's done but not overdone. A third is character selection, I'll confess; beyond my fondness for Pinkie, I wrote a similar kind of strong-but-vulnerable Mayor in the last Writeoff, and I really enjoy seeing this kind of portrayal of her pop up again here. Mayor and Pinkie are great choices to let us follow the theme of "becoming the mask."

Maybe this one isn't terribly ambitious, but there's something to be said for a simple, well-aimed, high-caliber shot of feels.

Two things, though: don't forget your [ hr ] tags, and right now the interview section goes on a bit longer than it would strictly need to.

Tier: Strong
#8 · 5
· · >>AndrewRogue
I think it's worth mentioning that we see a somewhat more mature Pinkie here. Back in the Cranky Doodle days, she'd probably just keep hounding Mayor until she yielded. Here instead, we see her actually pause for a moment when her usual cheering up tactics don't work to consider if there might be another solution. Indeed, she even goes beyond "pony sad, must make happy" and digs to the root of the Mayor Mare's pervasive sadness and finds a solution that is well beneath her usual levels of exuberance, yet far more effective.

Good job.
#9 ·
·
A cute little WAFF (we still say that, right?) fic that will leave absolutely no impact after reading besides maybe a slightly better mood.

Like, I honestly keep trying to come up with anything better than >>Cold in Gardez's post to say, and I can't, so yeah. Read that one again and pretend I wrote it. This is definitely a cute fic, but it's not something I'm going to remember in a week or two. If you want to do more, you really need to dig a bit deeper into both the nature of the pathos, pulling MM out of it, and the nature of their relationship from this point forward.
#10 · 1
· · >>AndrewRogue
One of the great risks of stories like this is the tendency to dip into melodrama. Granted, melodrama isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it becomes harder for the story to be effective when things become too expressive. Fortunately, this story managed to avoid that, portraying Mayor Mare and Pinkie’s plight in a very low-key manner. It’s a fitting depiction, given how the story is all about an internal sadness and two characters trying to come to terms with it. I also liked how the story used a lot of canon characters to great effect, showing us their respective personalities even with the low word count (Dr. Hooves and his time tubes were my favorite). It’s fitting that we know a lot about these ponies from just a glance, while the Mayor requires a whole story to understand her. But the thing that I most enjoyed was how restrained Pinkie was (relatively speaking, of course). She’s certainly as bouncy and talkative as ever, but there’s an aura of wisdom to Pinkie’s actions, as if she’s trying to figure out the best way to approach this situation. It keeps her from getting too obnoxious, and that goes a long way to making her bond with the Mayor feel real.

If there’s one thing I feel the story could’ve developed a bit more, it’s the Mayor’s depression. As is, it’s just her being tired from the constant charade she feels a mayor has to do. A good starting point, for sure, but I think there needs to be a little more to it than that for this story to work. Having a period of moroseness this long makes me think that a deeper reason for her depression would make more sense. I don’t know, maybe that’d go against the story’s style of simplicity, but I think there could be a little more elaboration.

But that’s a relatively minor gripe with a largely solid story. It didn’t do anything groundbreaking, but it did what it set out to do: tell a heartwarming and cute story. Not every story this round has succeeded in conveying their main ideas, and it’s good to see a story that can convey its main idea (as simple as it is). It’s definitely one of the top stories of this round for me.
#11 · 2
· · >>AndrewRogue
I'm really rather partial to the 'colored narrator' thing. Love it. Do you think you could make it a bit more Pink?

I really liked this. It was cute, and heart warming, and you nailed Pinkie. Mayor Mare had a relatable conflict and her resolution came in a wonderfully believable way. Double thumbs up!
#12 · 1
·
Two of these in a row. Let's go.

Uh. So this one another one where I got the idea pretty quick (though I did hem and haw on doing a changeling story about the background changeling who wasn't sure what color they wanted to be - I just figured a lot of other people might take that tact, so that'll show me, eh).

But yeah. I've been wanting to do something with Mayor Mare and her pink hair, so this was a real good chance.

That said, what I ended up actually writing was different.

So, originally, the idea was a story told from MM's perspective about dealing with a sense of sacrifice and being trapped by her need to present herself as she does (and originally also included elements of doubt and regret regarding how Twilight and her friends have displaced her in many ways), and then resolve it the way I always do: with SHIPPING.

Yeah, I was gonna do a bit of random shipping. I actually randomed it initially (and landed on Rarity), but as I thought more I decided that Pinkie was actually a really solid choice. And then I got the awesome and stupid double entendre title for shipping. Easy, right?

Turns out not so easy. So I specifically angled for a shorter story this go round so I would have less trouble regarding time. That caused some trouble as I wrote though, realizing I didn't quite like how the story was arcing content-wise to cover the more complicated elements of MM's current position and mixing that with developing a relationship with Pinkie and... and...

So, taking a look at what I had and how the story was arcing, I made a last minute swerve and opted to make Pinkie the main character and slice a lot of the meat (including the heavier shipping) out. It let me get things done, but not without a cost.

>>Zaid Val'Roa Yep, see above. That was my plan and I ran like a coward.

>>Fenton I'm a bit surprised I did decent Pinkie voicing apparently, because I found her a royal pain in the ass to voice (and I'm generally not great at imitation - its why I tend to stick to background ponies or secondary ponies).

>>WillowWren Thank you kindly!

>>GaPJaxie Yeah, I don't really disagree that, with the story as is, needed to be shorter.

>>MLPmatthewl419 Thank you kindly!

>>Cold in Gardez No disagreements here. This ended up being pure, WAFF fluff. There was a little more meat in the version I didn't write, but c'est la vie!

>>CoffeeMinion Lack of
tags was actually intentional in that section, as, ostensibly, that is all still from a Pinkie POV so we haven't had a hard scene change. And yeah, I should have stuck with 3 beats.

>>Rao So I tend to watch episodes with the relevant characters in them while writing, and that was indeed one of the episodes I watched, which meant it was very much on my mind to not just duplicate Pinkie's actions there.

>>libertydude See far above re: MM's depression. Totally was my intent, but I wussed out. Maybe in V2 of this fic.

>>MrExtra Free Indirect Speech is fun! Not sure I could have managed more Pinkie though.