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Alone Together · FiM Minific ·
Organised by RogerDodger
Word limit 400–750
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“Pinkie, You’re uh...”

Rainbow Dash couldn’t believe it. After five attempts to meet Pinkie Pie alone were thwarted by Pinkie inviting anybody and everybody along, she finally had her chance in an empty diner late on a Monday night. Of all the times for her unshakable confidence to be shaken!

“I’m a what? Fast eater? Fast talker? Student? Pink Person—,” It turns out Pinkie is a lot of things.

“No, what I mean is—Pinkie! You’re not a purple snake—I’ve been talking to a bigshot talent scout about the future The Rainbooms, and we’re getting a lineup change, and…”

“Oh, ok, I get what you mean. It makes as much sense as frosting on cupcakes.” Pinkie finally took a break from talking to slurp her freshly arrived milkshake.

“You mean you’re not mad?” Rainbow chuckled from how overcautious she was being. Pinkie may seem like a child at times, but deep down she’s still a reasonable young adult who is capable of dealing with tough conversations.

“Of course not! The others are our friends, but there are clear artistic differences between us and the others. If becoming a duo is what it takes for us to take off, I fully support it!”
Rainbow Dash choked on her milkshake.

“Ooh, what will our new name be?” Pinkie obviously continued. “Pie and Dash? The Dashing Pie? A Dash of Pink? All Colors but Mostly Pink?”

“You’re not a Rainboom anymore!”

The two employees poked their heads out of the kitchen to view the commotion, only to see two customers who had turned to ice. Pinkie’s mouth was wide open, processing what she had just heard, and Rainbow’s fingers were on her eyelids and her elbows were stuck on the table.

What felt like centuries passed until one of the waiters dropped a burger for Pinkie and an omelette for Dash before scurrying back to the safety of the kitchen. Pinkie’s head fell onto the table and she slowly pushed the burger towards her face.

“Do...Do…you not like me anymore?” Pinkie moaned, mouth full of burger.

“No, you’re great. You’re awesome, and you’re my best friend.” Despite the truth of these words, Rainbow was having a hard time convincing herself she meant it. “It’s just, we need a drummer who fits more in line with the band and can fill better.”

“Oh, so I’m awesome but I’m not good enough for you.” Barely audible words spoken into a table. Pinkie wasn’t going to finish her burger. “None of us are awesome enough for you. You were just using us as a rocket to fame. You’re going to forget about all of us, again.”

“That’s not true!” Rainbow swiped her arms in front of her, knocking her untouched milkshake on the ground, shattering the glass. “The talent agent wanted to know who wrote the song we defeated the Dazzlings with. We’re keeping Fluttershy and Sunset.”

Pinkie finally looked up. Her face covered with tears and snot, but their creation seemed to be stopping. She hiccuped once, then said “So you’re not throwing out all of your friends?”

“Come on Pinkie, you know I would never do that. That would be unawesome.” Rainbow’s heart rate began to normalize.

“So, do you have a new drummer picked out?” Rainbow’s heart rate unnormalized.

“Damn it, I knew you were too curious to not ask.”

“What does that mean?”

“Sonata Dusk.”

“How...could you repla...place me with...a villain?” Pinkie was full out bawling now.

“She wasn’t that villainous, she was mostly being led by her sisters. Her full devotion is music now that we’ve defeated her and I’m not sure you can commit that much.” Every world made Pinkie’s wailing louder.

“So you think I’m not a good drummer, cool, marketable, cute, or devoted? Well then, what am I to you? A total loser?”

“No Pinkie, I didn’t say that!”

“You didn’t have to.” And with that, Pinkie ran out of the diner, leaving Rainbow Dash with her untouched omelette and milkshake, staring at the doors Pinkie had just left though. One waiter, brave enough now to come out, crept up to the table.

“Would you like me to reheat your omelette, miss?”

“No, it’s fine, just bring the check, please.” The empty diner, chosen as a comfortable meeting place, now felt like a frozen cave.

Rainbow checked on the texts she sent out earlier. No new messages.

She couldn’t crash with any of her other friends tonight, she could only go home and be alone.
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#1 ·
Premise: Dash wants to break up drop Pinkie Pie from the Rainbooms but stay friends.

What the story accomplishes: it gets through the messy "fire Pinkie Pie" part, and does it pretty well. Lots of good visuals. This is very Pinkie Pie in a good way. Maybe a touch heavy on the Pinkemina Diane Pie, but Pinkie's always kinda over the top with both her highs and lows, so. Works for me.
What it doesn't accomplish: the "but stay friends" part. It's a shame we don't get to see the resolution to whether or not that works out, because that's the big emotional stake that the story has set up quite well in the time it has. With the important question going unanswered, though, this is left feeling more like a scene than a story.

My big take-away: to fulfill its potential and become a real story, this one needs either more space to allow the story to accomplish its resolution, or to focus the space it has on a different scene instead, namely the one in which Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie resolve their friendship question.
#2 ·
Not sure I get these analogies. Frosting on cupcakes, purple snake?

Okay, that aside, the rest of this flows pretty quickly, but... leaves me wanting. Having to tell a friend bad news is a good premise, but it just feels out of character here. This is still Pony after all, and without some "lesson learned" to walk away with, this version of Dash feels far too selfish. Beyond that, nothing much sticks out. "Bad news, it sucks, sorry friend."

On top of that Pinkie is just as a clueless as she's ever been, not at all able to "read the room" about why Dash is talking to her here. That feels like many steps back on the character growth as well. Moreso because she initially assumes someone ELSE is getting the boot, and she's not at all upset by her friend(s) being kicked out, but instantly leaps into new names for a duet band.

Again, another story I'm complaining about, and I'm sorry author. The writing is decent, but it just doesn't mesh with these characters in my mind.
#3 ·
In which Sonata Dusk is Ringo Starr and Pinkie Pie is Pete Best.

Seriously, though, bonus points for going the Fifth Beatle route with the story. And additional bonus points for setting this in the Equestria Girls verse.

As to the story: it is quite fast, and dangerously so for a minific which are often okay with fast paces. A serious argument, especially over the topic of whether one is a friend or not and whether one is just using her friends for self-gain or not, is hard to pull off in the limited space of a minific. I get the feeling that I'm seeing a condensed or abridged version of the argument because the dialogue between the two comes quite fast and there seems to be some mood whiplashes (what with Pinkie bawling out after a few lines of her apparently normally talking with Rainbow).

On the bright side, I like the flashes of great prose such as "It turns out Pinkie is a lot of things," after Pinkie's rambling and "The empty diner, chosen as a comfortable meeting place, now felt like a frozen cave." It certainly did its best to prop up a too-fast story.

Overall, a breakneck-fast trip held up by decent prose. Sadly, I wouldn't be surprised to see it at the bottom three.
#4 ·
This fic has a solid premise, and there's a lot of mileage that can be had out of a simple conversation like this one.
Pinkie Pie being oblivious to Dash trying to be serious at the beginning worked pretty well for me.
Adding Sonata Dusk as the new band member is a great twist that adds more complexity onto the stressful situation.

This feels like an overly condensed version of the argument that lacks breathing room. With more space those punches can hit harder
There isn't really an ending, let alone a satisfying one.

The whiplash from happy Pinkie to sad Pinkie is a bit fast, even if somewhat believable based on what Dash is saying. It might work better overall if it's rearranged to where Pinkie gradually becomes less jokey as she realizes the gravitas of the situation.
#5 ·
Genre: Snakes on a Fame

Thoughts: Sadness and drama incoming! Sonata gets a promotion! That’s got some hook.

Where this resonates for me is in the characterization; particularly in the character voicing. I could see this being a rough conversation if these two ever had to have it, and I think this captures that rawness pretty well. It’s clear that Dash is trying to do her best, whereas Pinkie is shattered. The vibe I get from Pinkie feels like it could go a bit Party of One, or Cloudy With a Chance of Cupcakes, which makes sense. Both characters feel about right for the conversation they are having.

What I don’t entirely buy is the premise itself. I’d tend to think Dash (or someone) would talk to Pinkie about her skills and playstyle rather than just axing her—especially if this is set fairly soon after Rainbow Rocks, as it seems to imply. If there hasn’t been outreach and discussions, then the firing feels rushed. If that’s the story you want to tell, so be it; but it seems odd if the characters’ renewed friendship doesn’t at least translate into a bit of trying to work through differences.

I also want to poke at one specific bit that didn’t resonate for me:

“She wasn’t that villainous, she was mostly being led by her sisters. Her full devotion is music now that we’ve defeated her and I’m not sure you can commit that much.”

I have difficulty with the “not sure you can commit that much” bit. This is the one place where I didn’t think the character voice worked as well. This seems to reinforce the thought that Dash hasn’t even tried talking about this before the firing, which sets off my OOC alarm that Dash seems to care more about Pinkie’s level of commitment than the duo’s level of connection, if that makes sense. I could be brought along to accepting this, but right now I don’t feel the story is leading me there.

I’ll also throw out a note about this being Equestria Girls: Author, it would’ve been helpful to have an earlier indication of that. I spent the first bit thinking this was developing as a FiM shipfic rather than an EqG drama, and at least half of that might’ve been made clearer with a quick mention of hands or other description. This is something I nitpick because I’ve been on both ends of it myself; most readers tend to auto-assume it’s ponies unless you give them a nudge. (Related: I’ve learned how easy it is to forget how much mileage you get out of the FimFiction niceties like a tag list and short description. With Writeoffs in general, and Minifics in particular, you’re kinda stuck building the metaphorical airplane as you’re flying it.)

Tier: Keep Developing
#6 ·
Sorry about the late review. Becoming a bit of a habit, but since I've already written my thoughts on every story here on the tiled walls of some undisclosed location, I might as well get them out.

As much as I'm not a big EqG fan, I certainly can dig what's happening in this story. The pacing is fast, though that's not necessarily a bad thing. The prose is also pretty on point when it wants to be, which is always a plus. There's a pretty compelling conflict in the centre of this story here. Rainbow Dash dropping Pinkie Pie from the Rainbooms for... reasons? Okay, perhaps with some expansion on that end, perhaps the conflict can then have a strong-enough foundation to really weigh the story down.

But yeah, the central conflict here is undeniably a strong one. It allows a lot of room for Dash and Pinkie to interact with each other. However, I think it's because it lacks a central focus that the story does feel a bit aimless by the end. I'm inclined to think that the idea you've started with was much larger than the word count would allow, and thus had to trim a bit of it off to fit it in without it looking implausible. It's a familiar place to be in for everyone here, even the most experienced of us. Trust me when I say you're not alone in that department and you certainly won't be the last.

Personally, my general advice would always be focus on the things that you think matter on the story you want to tell. Find an aspect of your idea to home in on and work your way around it. For a conflict like what you're posing here, I would single out a moment in which our protagonist (Dash, in this case) is resolving the conflict instead of preventing it from happening. She could succeed or she could fail, but ultimately, it's the attempt that matters more to the reader, not the result.

All that aside, it's certainly a good start! Would love to see where you'll go from here.

Thanks for writing!