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Reversal of Fortune · FiM Short Story ·
Organised by RogerDodger
Word limit 2000–8000
Show rules for this event
Out of an Orange-Colored Sky
When the shaking, quaking, splashing chatter finally rattled its way out the end of Pinkie's tail, she blinked once, then twice, then a third time just to make sure it was her doing it, not Gummy. Blinking was kind of his thing, after all.

But no, it was her, all right. She could see Gummy across the room perched on the headboard of her bed. Except...

He was upside down. As was the bed and the nightstand and the lamp and the sofa and everything else in the whole place, her blankets scattered all over the floor directly above her and the light of early morning scattered all over the ceiling a fair distance below. Something hard was pressing against her back and something not-so-hard against the top of her head, and the more Pinkie blinked—she knew Gummy wouldn't mind; she'd talked with him about her need to blink every once in a while—the more she realized that it wasn't the room that was upside down. It was her.

This observation invigorated the hundreds of tiny Pinkies that coursed through her body like marbles through an increasingly intricate series of cardboard paper-towel tubes taped together and strung up from the walls of—

The tiny Pinkies in charge of corralling runaway thoughts surrounded this one before it could get completely out of control and devoured it, tastier and spicier than homemade pumpkin bread. She sighed with relief, her mind now clearer and able to focus on things that were actually happening. It was one of the reasons she loved her tiny Pinkies.

Focusing again, she began to draw conclusions based upon the available data. The pressure against her back, she decided, was the wall. The pressure against her head was the carpet. And the trail of blankets between her and the bed led her to recall the terrible dream she'd been having and how she'd been slapped awake from it less than a minute ago by such a lot of explosive twitches, they'd knocked her clear across the room. And both her dream and her twitches had been concerned with—

Gasping, Pinkie leaped to her hooves and stampeded down the stairs.

"Oh, I don't know," Discord said, taking a bite from his teacup. "Maybe I'm not getting enough ceramic in my diet."

Which wasn't the answer, of course, but he knew it would get a giggle out of Fluttershy.

Still, it wasn't one of her deep, tickling giggles, not one of those giggles that smelled like fresh laundry and made the hundreds of tiny Discords inside him start spinning cartwheels and whirling arabesques. Instead, worry kept popping its silent, invisible bubbles all around Fluttershy's ears and mane. "You have been getting enough chaos in your life, haven't you?" she asked, and the bubbles got even more soundless and unseeable. "We don't want you fading away again, after all."

He flicked his eagle talons—and while he was thinking of it, he sent them swooping down to grab another croissant. "Yes, yes, I suppose." He sighed, ennui and lassitude battling it out behind his forehead with daggers made of overcooked asparagus. "But, I mean, if I'm going to be regularizing my irregularity, I might as well staple a necktie to my chest and report to a cubicle at City Hall every morning." Sighing again, he wrung the croissant like a sponge, squeezed the butter out of it into his teacup, and sipped it. "It just seems so...so—" He shivered. "So orderly..."

"Well," Fluttershy began, "I've been thinking that maybe—" But that was when the paper airplane drifted in through the open window and lodged itself nose first among the cherry-cheese coffee cake.

Discord raised an eyebrow at it, but none of his inner Discords even looked up from the imaginary rock grating, chain unlinking, and chalk snapping activities they always engaged in while rushing up and down from the tips of his antlers to the tufts of his tail. And if they didn't find it interesting, why should he?

It itched at him, though, the feeling that he was obliged to make some sort of wisecrack. So... "An armada of attacking fruit flies?" he asked, not sure if it was a good line and not sure if he cared.

"I don't know." Wide-eyed, Fluttershy reached out gingerly and took the paper in her hooves. "It...there's writing!" Setting the airplane on the sofa beside her, she unfolded it and smoothed it out. "It says, 'Dear Fluttershy and Discord. How are you? I'm fine. I just wanted to let you know that I'm about to burst through the front door in a flailing panic. Sincerely—" She looked up. "And it's signed 'Pinkie Pie.'"

Several of his inner Discords looked up from their endless, useless tasks, too, but before he could do anything else, the front door crashed open to reveal a pony-sized pink tornado. Careening into and around the room, it engulfed an ottoman, a side table, and an empty cat bed before collapsing to the floor, Pinkie Pie sprawled there with the ottoman tangled in her tail and the side table's legs wrapped around her barrel. Raising her head, she opened her mouth, coughed out the cat bed, and rasped, "Hurry! We've gotta get outta here! Right absolutely now!"

This got more of Discord's interior selves to turn away from whatever they were doing, and Discord felt the slightest prickle of interest rustle the short black hair along the back of his neck.

"Pinkie!" Fluttershy leaped over and pried away the little table clinging to Pinkie's side. "What's wrong? Has something—?"

"No time!" Springing up, Pinkie grabbed the whole coffee table and strapped it to her back with a crisscrossing mess of rainbow-patterned bungee cords, neither the teapot not the pastries getting even slightly jostled in the process. "There's a doozy headed this way! The dooziest doozery doozy that ever doozed a doozarium, and this is gonna be ground zero!" She reached into her mane, pulled out a round green helmet, and jammed it over her ears. "We need to be in a more defensible position stat, or I don't know what I'm talking about!"

"Ah." Discord held up one claw. "I'll take a slice of that second one, please."

Pinkie's hoof flashed, and all of Discord's various pieces snapped to attention when a bagel came spinning up to spindle itself right onto his claw. "That'll hafta do for now!" Pinkie announced, her voice clipped. Trundling across the front room with the table's rear legs dragging behind her, she started herding Fluttershy toward the still-open door. "Move along, folks! Nothing to see here! Till the doozy hits, I mean, and by then, it'll be way too late! But if we're outside, it'll be easier to run!"

"Oh, my!" Fluttershy cast a shivering glance over her shoulder. "Discord? Maybe we should turn breakfast into a picnic today?"

With a snort, Discord sucked the bagel down—nice and thick and chewy: just the way he liked them—and with a snap of his claws, he transported the three of them to a spot under the big oak beside Fluttershy's cottage. "This had better be a doozy," he grumbled, leaning back against the tree's trunk and directing a lashing little filament of his magic to separate Pinkie from the table. "Frogs raining from the sky at the very least!"

"Oooo!" Pinkie was sprinkling cinnamon over a platter of miniature donuts that hadn't been there before. "Talk about a nice framing device! 'Cause our last doozy started that exact same way!" She nudged Fluttershy. "Remember? Froggy Bottom Bog and the hydra and everything?"

"Ummm..." A swallow convulsed Fluttershy's throat so thoroughly, Discord could see it moving down her neck. "I'd rather not have any hydras stomping around here this morning if it's all the same to the two of you..."

"Hydras!" Discord stabbed his talons into the donuts, brought the four he'd managed to skewer up to his snout, sniffed them, then began squeezing mustard over them from a bottle he caused to appear between the claws of his lion paw. "Phooey! Why, without even trying, I can be at least twice as devastating as the largest hydra who ever lived! And if you cut off my head—"

"Please!" The word whimpered out of Fluttershy. "Could we just have a pleasant breakfast without any talk of devastation or heads getting cut off?"

Snorting again, Discord fixed Pinkie with a half-lidded look. "I was more than willing to engage in a very pleasant discussion about the desolation and despair that are currently infesting my soul. Then some pony derailed all that with promises of falling frogs." He fluffed open a quick umbrella, held his lion paw out pads upward, and gazed pointedly at the clear blue spring morning above them. "And yet?" Dismissing the umbrella, he brought his gaze back down and pointed it at Pinkie.

Pinkie was gazing back at him, her jaw hanging open. "Desolation? Despair? But why?" She spread her front legs. "You've got semi-phenomenal, nearly cosmic powers and the love of the most beautiful pony in Equestria!" Pinkie swished her hooves around to point at Fluttershy. "You should be, like, all aglitter with joy and contentment!"

Fluttershy's ears folded. "Wait. Love?"

All his tiny Discords started warbling. "I know!" Pressing the back of his paw across his eyes, he flailed his talons in Fluttershy's direction. "We're deliriously happy together, Fluttershy and I, and I won't hear one word against her! But that just means—" He clasped his claws in front of his chest. "This despondency's got to be my fault somehow!"

"Umm, Pinkie? Did you say—"

"Ha!" Pinkie slammed her hooves onto the platter, donuts flying everywhere. "It's evil enchantments, I'll bet!" Her eyes bulging, she gasped. "That's prob'bly the doozy! Some fiend's trying to interrupt you and Fluttershy's blissful 'happily-ever-after'!"


"Of course!" Every Discord wriggling and squirming throughout Discord's body quickly donned a little tri-cornered hat to signal 'battle stations,' and Discord leaped to his hooves and claws. "Some infinitely subtle magic is working its wiles upon poor, unsuspecting me! Oh, I should've known from the beginning that—"

"Stop!" Fluttershy sprang into the space between Discord and Pinkie, her forehooves outstretched and her mane standing on end. "Please! Just...just stop!"

Sorrow swelled like rancid pickle brine in Discord's chest. "It's all right, dear, sweet Fluttershy." He reached out to rest his talons gently on her shoulder. "I see clearly now that cosmic forces stand arrayed against our continued happiness. I, however, shall do my utmost to—"

"But we're not in love!" Her mouth pinching into a tiny circle, Fluttershy covered her muzzle with her hooves. "I mean," she went on more quietly, "if we are, it's the first I'm hearing about it. I always knew we were friends, but—."

"Friends? Friends?" Discord couldn't help gaping, all his little Discords pulling on their full dress uniforms, epaulettes streaming from their shoulders. "Do friends sit around having tea? Do friends talk to each other about the mundane details of their lives? Do friends visit just because they want to see each other?"

"Umm, yes?" Fluttershy's eyes seemed to be vibrating in their sockets. "That's exactly what friends do." Her wings faltering, she drifted back to the ground beside Pinkie and turned to her. "I mean, look at Pinkie and me. We—"

Of the two gasps that rose up, Discord couldn't say which one was the louder, his or Pinkie Pie's. "Oh, no!" Pinkie went on, Discord too shocked to even attempt speaking. "That's the doozy! Fluttershy's in love with me! I'm the one standing in the way of your eternal bliss!" Water welling up between her eyelids, she whirled and galloped away.

"Pinkie!" Fluttershy called, then she spun back. "Discord! I don't—"

"Please." Discord held up his paw, his every interior Discord now slipping into tall black hats and long black coats. "I...I need to be alone."

"But...what—" were the last things he heard before he'd whisked himself away.

Shards jabbing her innards as she ran, Pinkie could barely see the ground through her tears. Fortunately, her tiny Pinkies were on the job as always, leaning her to one side when she ventured too near Roseluck's cart full of flowers and leaning her to the other side when Derpy landed in front of Time Turner's place to jam a package into his mailbox that was slightly too large to fit.

She wasn't sure her Pinkies could fix her broken heart, though. She'd betrayed two of her best friends!

Oh, sure, some of the tiny Pinkies in her brain wanted to candy coat things and let her off the hook. You can't control your wild animal magnetism, Pinkie Pie! they kept saying. You can't be held responsible for Fluttershy falling in love with you!

But then some of her other tiny brain Pinkies were screaming, Where in the wide, wide world of Equestria did you ever get the idea that Fluttershy's in love with you? That's not just crazy, it's crazy with extra nuts!

And while she found the idea of extra nuts on her candy coating appealing in every conceivable way, it more obviously pointed out how she couldn't trust the Pinkies in her brain to figure this whole thing out. More drastic measures were clearly called for.

Trusting the Pinkies in her hooves, she slammed through the crowded dining room of Sugarcube Corner without so much as grazing another pony, scrambled back to the stairway, stumbled up the steps, and hurled herself into her bedroom, the tiny Pinkies directing her face to her pillow so she could bury it there. She would have to disguise herself, of course—this was easily a two false moustache situation—

"Pinkie?" a soft voice asked.

Pinkie shrugged it off, trying to pick what her new identity would be—she'd always thought she could make a good living as a folk singer under the name of Burl Ivies—


And she would definitely need to leave Ponyville—maybe she could run north and be a yak again—

"Pinkie?" A soft hoof touched her back this time, and the tiny Pinkies began hammering away on the alarm gongs they carried with them at all times.

"No!" Pinkie threw herself off the edge of the bed, but her inner Pinkies were so busy with their gongs, they weren't paying attention to her hooves, her blankets tangling around them and dumping her head first onto the floor.

"Oh, my!" a voice called behind and above her, and Pinkie's tiny selves got things organized well enough to roll her over so she could look up and see Fluttershy looking down from the top of the bed. "Are...are you all right, Pinkie?"

"What? Where? How?" were the three words Pinkie managed to squeeze out before the Pinkies in her throat sealed it shut as a security measure.

Fluttershy gave a half-hearted sort of shrug. "You're a lot easier to follow than Discord, so I...I—" Everything about her face seemed to droop. "I don't understand what's happening, Pinkie."

It didn't take the help of a single other Pinkie for Pinkie to clench her eyes and shake her head. "I'm a terrible, terrible friend," she said, sounding like one of the frogs that had never started falling anywhere.

"No, Pinkie, you're not!" Cool air wafted over her, and gentle tugging around her rear fetlocks led her to decide that Fluttershy was getting the blankets unwrapped. "You're a wonderful friend! You just...you sometimes jump to odd conclusions."

Pinkie shook her head harder. "You only say that 'cause you don't know about last night."

The unwrapping slowed. "What happened last night?"

"I—" And what she had to say was so awful, the tiny Pinkies all put earplugs in to keep themselves from hearing it. "I tried to steal Discord away from you!"

The unwrapping stopped, then started up again. "And how exactly—"

"We were at the Gala." The words clawed at Pinkie's throat like chocolate syrup that was way, way, way past its 'Best if Used By' date but was still chocolate syrup so she couldn't throw it away. She just had to keep drinking.

Or in this case, had to keep talking. "You and Discord were dancing. You had on this big yellow dress that was like the best lemon buttercream frosting ever, and he was wearing this blue, swallow-tailed coat with a poofy little cravat thing around his neck and a ribbon tying up his hair in the back! This cute little old teapot was singing the music, but I barged right in and tried to make Discord dance with me instead!" Her hooves seemed really, really heavy, but she lifted them anyway so she could cover her face. "I'm a terrible friend!"

"Ummm..." The unwrapping went on for a few breaths. "Well, in the first place, the Gala wasn't last night. It happened almost four months ago. And in the second, they usually have more than just a teapot to provide the music there."

Pinkie puffed air noisily through her lips. "Well, duh!" Sitting up quickly, she met Fluttershy's startled gaze. "It was all in my dream last night! That's why I told you you didn't know about it: 'cause it only happened in here!" She tapped her forehead.

Fluttershy did so much blinking, Pinkie almost went to check whether Gummy was okay with it. But then Fluttershy was putting a hoof on Pinkie's shoulder and asking, "So you had a dream about wanting to dance with Discord, and it frightened you?"

"Frightened?" Pinkie let the tiny Pinkies in her brain mull that over. "Maybe 'disturbed' would be a better word. Or 'confused.'" She cocked her head, and the Pinkies rummaged up one more. "Oooo! 'Annoyed!' Yeah, that's good, too!" She swallowed. "But mostly 'disturbed' 'cause I know that you and Discord are—"

"We're friends, Pinkie." Fluttershy's eyes were still and soft and looked so kind and thoughtful that Pinkie couldn't imagine that she had any tiny Fluttershys stomping around behind them, tracking mud everywhere and leaving the walls covered with old deflated balloons. "But I...I've been worried lately that maybe he needs more friends. Different friends. Friends who can be peculiar in the ways that he needs things to be peculiar."

"Peculiar?" That was a word that got all the little Pinkies humming and dancing. "Hey! I'm peculiar! At least, I've had a few ponies call me that here and there, now and then. Do you—" The tiny Pinkies in charge of Pinkie's smile had been sitting idle for so long, she almost had to blow the dust off them before they could get to work. "Do you think Discord might wanna dance with me?"

"Well..." And while Fluttershy's smile always seemed to have little shadowy places, right now, it was so big and bright, Pinkie would've grabbed her sunglasses from where she kept them inside her mane if the whole wide world and everything in it hadn't been riding on Fluttershy's answer. "Let's find out," she said.

The cloud of paperback novels that he'd borrowed from the bookshelves in Rarity's bedroom floated in the air around Discord. Turning a page on a dozen of them, he shook his head. All his inner Discords did, too, crunching the popcorn they'd made from the raw seeds he'd swallowed earlier and continuing their research.

He couldn't be sure, of course, but now that he was investigating it for the first time, this love thing certainly struck him as—

A bell began ringing, and a part of the wall above the moldy bread loaves he was sitting among cracked open. "Discord?" Fluttershy's voice drifted through the room. "If you're done being alone, Pinkie and I have something to ask you."

"Have you?" A thought turned him to dust, and another thought puffed his dust through the opening and into the Realm of Space and Time—or 'Spime' as he called it. "Well, good!" He reformed himself and found that he was standing in Pinkie Pie's bedroom, a place he would've sworn before this very moment likely didn't exist since he couldn't imagine Pinkie slowing down long enough ever to let her head hit any sort of a pillow. "Because I have a few things to ask you as well!" he finished.

"Ooooo!" Pinkie clapped her front hooves together where she sat beside Fluttershy on a large, overstuffed pink sofa. "Twenty questions! I'll go first!" Her face scrunched up, the tip of her tongue peaking out from between her lips. "Is it bigger than a breadbox?"

With a snap of his talons, he summoned all of Rarity's books and let them slump into a heap on the floor at the foot of Pinkie's bed. "If you like really big slices of bread perhaps."

Pinkie gasped. "I do like really big slices of bread!" She flashed from the sofa to the book pile, and with a giggle, she dove in like a duck into a bin full of money. "Is the bread in here? Do I get it as a prize?"

Briefly, he considered turning all the books into bread pudding so she could swim around more easily, but all his tiny Discords agreed that she was doing just fine. So he turned back to Fluttershy and his question. "This 'love' stuff! Did you know how strenuous it is?"

"Ummm..." A blush turned Fluttershy's cheeks from yellow to orange. "No, I can honestly say that I don't."

"Well, read one of these!" He grabbed for a book from the pile but pulled out Pinkie Pie instead.

She grinned, a book between her front hooves. "This one, maybe?"

He took it, set Pinkie down beside Fluttershy, and looked at the book's cover. "Yes, this'll do nicely!" He turned the book so they could see the pirate ship upon which a mare wearing a frilly wisp of lace gazed upward at a stallion whose shirt seemed to have lost most of its buttons. "All these love stories involve soldiers or bandits or running over the moors at night or stumbling about on fog-encrusted rocks! And when the mare and the stallion actually get together?" He shook his head. "During my bad old days, I performed tests upon the equine body, and I don't recall them ever doing things like the ones in here!"

A crunching sound made him look up. Pinkie had procured a box of popcorn from somewhere. "Well?" she asked. "Are you gonna read us the good parts or not?"

With a snort, Discord dropped the book back onto the pile. "The upshot, my dear Fluttershy, is that, if what they're talking about in these books is love, then it turns out I'm not in love with you." All the tiny Discords inside him shivered, and he couldn't help rattling with it. "I see that clearly now, and I'd like to apologize to you for the inconvenience."

"Oh, good." Fluttershy sagged back into the sofa, then sat forward again. "I mean, it's good that you're certain. Certainty's always good."

"What?" Pinkie threw her popcorn box into the air, and with a rush, the tiny Discords inside him activated all his back-up tongues to dart out and snatch every last kernel before any could hit the floor. "Certainty isn't always good! I mean—" She waved at Discord, and he examined her outstretched hoof carefully to make sure no more popcorn was clinging to it. "If Discord and I appeared on top of City Hall with both of us dressed in lederhosen, I'm completely uncertain that the roof would be strong enough to support us while Discord runs through a medley of popular yodeling hits accompanied by myself on the tuba!"

Every Discord inside of him stopped and turned, their ears spread as wide as Discord's exterior ears were.

"And yet?" Pinkie was going on. "We're not about to let that uncertainty stop us!" She looked at him, and invisible, heatless fire blazed in her eyes. "Are we?"

Discord stomped his cloven hoof, the floor beneath him squeaking like a rubber bath duck. "I should say not! We owe it to future generations, after all!" He snapped his claws, and little brown felt shorts wrapped themselves around his upper thighs while the suspenders stretched up the entire length of his body, a green plaid shirt surrounding his torso. "Maestro?"

"On it!" Pinkie was already scrambling across the room, was throwing open the door to a large closet and leaping inside. She remerged an instant later in her own lederhosen, a tuba nearly the size of her whole body slung across her back. "Let's roll!"

Another snap of his claws got him a cinnamon roll, all his tiny Discords spinning through him like tops when she pulled the exact same pastry from her mane. "But first?" he said, his whole inner and outer being yearning for her to give the properly improper response.

"A complete breakfast!" She shoved the cinnamon roll into her face, and Discord did the same into his own, Fluttershy's giggles warm in his ears.

"Say," Discord said, and Pinkie looked up from where she lay cuddled against his chest, the two of them sitting on top of Applejack's barn to watch the sun go down. "The parade, the peanut shucking contest, the history of Equestria as presented by paper bag puppets: that was a fairly strenuous day, all told." He only had the one false moustache left, she noticed, and he twitched it from side to side as he gazed down at her. "Does that mean we're in love now?"

"Hmmm..." Stroking her chin, she consulted her tiny Pinkies, but they were still dancing with the tiny Discords that had begun appearing inside her about the time he'd been pulling her chalk drawings from the sidewalks and bringing them to life to play hoofball. "I don't know about 'in love,'" she said. "But we're definitely 'in congruous.'"

"Oooo." A trickle of smoke drifted up from his left nostril, his eyes half closing. "Are you sure we wouldn't rather be 'in violate?'"

She puffed out a breath, but it wasn't quite as smoky as his. "Where's the fun in that?" One of her brain Pinkies whispered a phrase in passing, and Pinkie had to grin. "How about if we be 'in defensible?'"

"That's closer." His own grin spreading, he bent his neck down as if it didn't have a single bone in it. "But let's try 'in dispensable,'" he whispered, touching his snout to hers. "That, my dear Pinkie Pie, is what we are."

Squirming sideways so she could press her ear to the scraggly line where his shaggy gray hide met his shaggy brown hide without pulling her snout away, she listened to the tiny Pinkies now inside him as they yodeled counterpoint with his tiny Discords. "'In dubitably,'" she said.

The End
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#1 ·
· · >>Baal Bunny
Hey! I just listened to that song a couple days ago, although, isn't it about the nuclear apolcalypse? Rest in pieces, Fluttershy's cottage.

Ahh. I love this one. I'm a sucker for lovey-dovey-feely-friendly stuff.

Should I start a motif like what baal does or raisin? Probably not. But I'll give you what the tone of this story was: cozy

I felt warm this entire story, and no, it was not all because of the roaring fire next to me. The beginning descriptions are marvelous in descripting Discord and Pinkie's antics. The metaphors and voicing are spot on for this fic. I especially love how there are tiny little Pinkies and Discords onlooking the story and how Fluttershy most likely does not have these cuties in her body.

I do have to confess that I'm a die hard Fluttercord fan but the idea of Discord and Pinkie is... adorable.

This is placing high on my slate. Good luck! <3
#2 · 1
· · >>Baal Bunny
Aw man, I got the first review on every story but this one. CURSE YOU, ANON Y MOUS!

But anyway, this story gave me a perfectly whimsical Pinkie from its very first sentence, and never reneged on its promised humor. Discord and Pinkie play wonderfully off of each other in your writing, with the tiny interior thems a perfect thematic bond. Are Pinkie and Discord in love? Clearly not... but now I definitely ship "mass of tiny Pinkies X mass of tiny Discords." So, thanks for that.

The topsy-turviness of the whole "love" "triangle" feels positively Gilbert and Sullivan-ish to me, and I mean that as the highest praise. The constant parade of throwaway sight gags and puns added to the story rather than obscuring it. And the whole thing ends up being, despite all the other places it could have gone, a wonderfully cute hit of friendshipping. Excellent work all around.
#3 · 1
A lot of:

Good stories this round! But again, here I am with the comments...

Just one really, I guess, author. You give us a good idea of what Discord wants that only Pinkie can provide, but I'm a little fuzzier on what Pinkie's looking for and can only find in Discord. Maybe expand on Pinkie's comment that ponies call her peculiar and make her want someone in her life who won't look at her that way? I'm just always looking for that sort of "exchange of gifts" in a romance: both parties have something they can give that the other needs.

#4 ·
· · >>Baal Bunny
Quick Takes:

The "tiny selves" thing is an interesting metaphor. Curious why both Pinkie and Discord have the same thing though. (Ah, it's much clearer later.)

Hmm, it's doing that "obvious misunderstanding" trope where people storm off instead of just let someone finish explaining. Always irritating with that happens in a story.

"I don't understand what's happening, Pinkie." You and me both, Fluttershy.

Needing Gummy's permission to blink is cute/funny.


Solid story by the end.

Lots of great turns-of-phrase and funny visuals.

Really heartwarming core concept.


Starts confusing and slow.

Really jumps around a lot in terms of pacing/plot advancement.


By the end of this, I definitely liked this story. As noted above though, the start was really rough. There's far too long before we see what the conflict/doozy actually is, and the story really only starts at that point. I think it'd work much better if we were given more clues as to Pinkie's source of concern earlier on.

Secondly, the conflict between Discord thinking he's in love with Fluttershy, and her not thinking so... That felt like it got swept aside way too quickly. I get a lot of "dealing with it" may be off screen, so to speak, but if feels too rushed.

So, overall, I really love the idea of this, that Pinkie is a better (or additional) match for Discord, and Fluttershy is okay with that, even to the point of encouraging it. But the telling of that story really has some rough spots that need to be ironed out. Once that's done, I think this could be a great story.
#5 ·
· · >>Baal Bunny
Wow. Because what I write here might seem out of left field, consider that this is what one reader got while reading what you wrote, then take or leave whatever makes sense to you.

I liked this story. That said, I stumbled while reading it, twice.

First, the good stuff:

Single best line I've read in a while: "That's not just crazy, it's crazy with extra nuts!" I hope it was you that originally penned the line, but even if it was borrowed, it was especially good in context.

You obviously get Discord, and you wrote dialogue that I could recognize without attribution. I know there's a cadence of pausing sprinkled with sounding put upon, being a victim, and wise-ass whining that I've never quite been able to formulate. You nailed it.

Your Pinkie comes in a close second to your take on Discord. I think it was colored more by your conception of her, which came through in how you characterized her: you made her illogic logical. It's not quite the show Pinkie. A smidgen grittier? Very nice.

The story/plot, like your drive to explain Pinkie, was well conceived and, but for the last caveat below, well executed. You're right: Pinkie and Discord are very much alike. I can only think that the show hasn't capitalized on that to make them better friends because the show's more about tolerance of opposites than finding soulmates. I like what you did. Enough said.

Now for the stumbles, aka, things that threw me out of the story:

The third paragraph, which described Pinkie's location/orientation, left me initially thinking she was stuck to the ceiling. When she later jumps to her hooves, I suddenly realized I'd misread. When I went back and checked the paragraph, I found that when I took the time to read it slowly I was able to parse it such as to properly to place her on the floor upside down, thus the problem is unlikely to be syntactical. The multiple clauses required me to keep the clues and images in relational and logical order in my head. At the end of it, I asked myself, "Where's Pinkie?" The first time I thought, "Hooves stuck to the ceiling." Could this be a case of too much show and not enough tell? Review this paragraph carefully and know at least one reader got lost and try to figure out how that happened. Do you do this in other stories?

This final issue is more complex. You used a literary device in your story, one that in the end proved very successful: Little Discords inside Discord and Little Pinkie Pies in Pinkie.

When I encountered it in Pinkie, I thought, "This really provides an insight into Pinkie's character and makes her more fun."

When I encountered you using the same device in Discord, I thought, "Oh. Right. It's only a literary device and the author just reused it. How unimaginative." That started me analyzing the writing rather than relaxing into the story.

As I continued reading and saw it used more, I thought, "The author better use the device again when he introduces his third POV or its use will be inconsistent, also." But you didn't add a third I was beginning to expect.

Finally, I thought to myself, "If the little characters in the big characters aren't real or important and they don't play an integral part of the solution to the problems in the story, the whole thing will be very disappointing."

Surprise, surprise. The literary device proved integral to the ending.

So, what's the source of my dissatisfaction? The little characters in the big characters is an obvious literary device. And a plot device. And it proves to be a part of the characters, literally, not figuratively. It's a chimera that is part of the writing and is being written about, it is how the story is crafted and partly of the subject of the story. It's poetic and it's trying to be prose. And way too visible. From my POV, it got in the way of the storytelling.

An author should strive to make his or her writing invisible. Ultimately, something in the story needs to introduce the concept so it doesn't immediately feel like a metaphor—something that makes the concept seem like corpuscles in the bloodstream, perhaps? OR: Could you remove it and still make the story work?

Sorry, as much as I'd like to offer advice about how to tame this... brilliant monster you created, I cannot do much more than point it out at the moment. If any of this makes sense to you and you'd like to ask questions of me about this, or wish to point out stuff I missed that might help me further help you, please do. Ultimately, re-read the boldfaced second sentence of this critique.
#6 · 4
· · >>scifipony
>>Anon Y Mous

Thanks for the comments, folks!

And congrats to the other medalists!

As for me, Zaid Val'Roa's pic gave me the opening scene--Pinkie knocked out of bed by twiches the likes of which she's never felt before--but as I started writing, I wasn't sure where it went from there. But I've had a little story lump drifting around in my head ever since the "Discordant Harmony" episode about Fluttershy trying without much success to give Discord regular doses of chaos in his life, something Discord appreciates but also resents terribly since he hates having the word "regular" associated with him in any way, shape, or form. It occurred to me while writing the first paragraphs of this story that Pinkie would be the perfect pony for Fluttershy to bring into the "chaos creation" process, and there was the set-up.

This being the first draft, it definitely needs its share of spackling, but I've got an artist working on a cover image--Discord yodeling while Pinkie plays the tuba--so I can do rewrites till she's finished with that.

Thanks Again,
#7 ·
· · >>Baal Bunny
>>Baal Bunny
After much thought, I still stand-by my assessment about the little Pinkies and Discords being jarring when they both have it because at first it seems like a literary device. However, I want to emphasize how exceptionally well it works in the story because it also demonstrates how much they are similar, a connection AFAIK never made in canon. It's like them both having, let's say, red hair, but more... chaotic? I'd definitely like to see the rewrite when you publish it on FimFiction.
#8 ·
· · >>scifipony

My current plan:

Is to make it clear in the first section that it's Pinkie's belief that she has these tiny Pinkies inside her even though Twilight has told her that ponies don't work that way. By grounding the question of whether they exist of not firmly in her POV, I hope to make it seem less like a product of the story and more like a product of Pinkie's thought processes. We'll see, I guess... :)

#9 ·
· · >>Baal Bunny
>>Baal Bunny
The proof is in the pudding, or the sentences cast, of course. Be aware that my problem was not the metaphor or the reality of the little-me's but that the metaphor figuratively described two characters or that two character literally had the buggers. Unexplained coincidence.

I apologize in advance for trying to rewrite your story for you, not a Clarion Workshop method thing to do, especially without it being requested first, but here goes. Ignore if you choose: IMHO, you really need to solve how it got into both their heads or bodies. It makes sense that Discord might have them as I think I recall he has helper Discords in the series. But Pinkie? Can you find a callback scene from the series that made Discord change her conception of self? It wouldn't have to be a Pinkie Discord scene, just something randomly crazy-nuts that made her think of the idea with Discord in mind. You could also fabricate a connection. It would be best to do so before the "metaphor" is used on the second character, but I can see how that might affect pacing. If you choose to do so after it's introduced to both, since Discord comments about them, maybe you can concoct a previous collision with Pinkie that affected/in-fected him? Very hard problem, but if you want to keep this very keen idea, I do recommend you fix it. Hard work. Maybe give the story a few months off and let your subconscious figure it out? My advice, for what it's worth.
#10 ·

My theory:

From the beginning has been that Pinkie is a Sherlock Holmes level deductive genius, but that she can't directly access the portion of her brain that notices everything, collates it all, and draws conclusions. So her brain twitches her tail, vibrates her knees, flaps her ears, and makes her hear voices. That's her Pinkie Sense and the voices that she ascribes to Gummy and the various inanimate objects in "Party of One," for example.

For this story, I'm positing that Pinkie thinks her twitches are caused by tiny Pinkies that live in her various extremities and that the voices she hears come from tiny Pinkies that live in her brain. I just need to find the right way to say that in the opening scene. :)

Mike Again