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Reversal of Fortune · FiM Short Story ·
Organised by RogerDodger
Word limit 2000–8000
Show rules for this event
Artistic License
Princesses Celestia and Luna stood side by side at one end of the museum gallery, gazing silently at the painting hanging on the wall. Behind them, chaos reigned.

Filling much of the rest of the room was the crowd of gawkers, all craning their necks for a glimpse of the diarchs. That was normal; there were few places where the two could travel together without attracting a large retinue of curious observers. Then, there were the paparazzi, frantically snapping pictures. That was also common, though usually they didn’t snap with quite such unrelenting intensity. And between them and their targets were a half-dozen royal guards arrayed in a semicircle, doing their part to make sure the picture-ponies stayed a respectful distance away, and didn’t try to grab any mane or tail clippings. This, too, was pretty usual.

What was unusual—what had gawkers and paparazzi alike clamoring to see more with uncharacteristic fervor, and which had even the guards themselves turning their heads in hopes of catching a glimpse of what was to come next, was the subject matter of the painting which the princesses were now considering: a wide-eyed Celestia, plopped on her rump, on an unmistakably lunar landscape.

Would the princesses laugh? Would they be angry? Would they have the same reaction to the painting, or would they each take it differently? Enquiring minds wished to know.

There was one other pony, yet unmentioned, on the scene. That pony was the artist herself, who was doing very little to contribute to the overall fuss, insofar as she had fainted as soon as the princesses came into the gallery. And so she lay ignored beside her work, as the crowd surged and ebbed, the camera bulbs flashed, the guards stood their vigil, and the princesses kept up their contemplation.

It was Luna who spoke first. “It wasn’t like that at all, you know.”

Celestia smiled. “Is that so?”

“Indeed! To begin with, I wasn’t on the moon, I was magically contained within the moon, my spiritual essence bound to its very fabric. And there was a distinct sense of dissociation which made the whole episode pass as if in a timeless instant.” She put a hoof to her chin in contemplation. “Though that may have been more the result of the Nightmare’s possession than of the magical bindings themselves. Regardless, we both know that this,” she pointed to the painting, “is completely inaccurate. And so should anypony who gave the matter two seconds’ thought.”

“Oh, to be sure.”

Luna frowned, though her expression was more quizzical than annoyed. “I know that tone of voice. You don’t think I’m right?”

“Of course you are, dear sister. But I also think you’re missing the forest for the trees, as it were. You mustn’t take art so literally.”

“Is this not literally a depiction of you being sent to the moon?” She snorted. “This…” she bent down to examine the signature in the corner of the painting and, finding none, turned her attention instead to the name badge on the comatose pony lying before her, “...'Lawn Chair' might not be as well acquainted with the celestial bodies as you or I, but surely she must have realized how silly plopping a pony onto its surface would be.”

“Now, that I’m afraid I don’t agree with.” Celestia shook her head.

“Truly? I was certain that astronomy had progressed to the point where everypony knew that there is no air on—”

“No, Luna. I mean, I don’t agree that this is 'literally' supposed to show me being sent to the moon. It’s commentary, don’t you see?”

Luna cocked her head, as if seeing the painting slightly askew would reveal some new, hidden depth. “Commentary on what, pray tell?”

“Well, what historical event does this picture evoke by way of reversal? Nightmare Moon being banished to the moon. For a thousand years, that’s been equinity’s go-to expression of my power: Celestia banishing Nightmare Moon. And mind you, I was and am frequently used as a stand-in for Equestria at large in our ponies’ art.”

“Yes, and?”

“Well, what did your return do to that myth of my power?”

Luna shrugged. “I don’t know. I suppose it made you seem more like a manipulator than a spell-slinger? There was quite a bit of fiddling about to fulfil prophecies on your part, as I understand it.”

“That’s true, as far as it goes. But importantly, it called into question the very fact of my power itself. And,” Celestia paused, and her cheeks turned red, but after a moment she continued, “well, between Chrysalis, Discord, Tirek, and the rest, there have been quite a few foes in the past several years whose defeat I’ve had to leave in more capable—dare I say, more powerful—hooves.”

“So, you think the ponies no longer see you as powerful?” Luna smirked. “This sounds suspiciously like self-effacement. But not from my beloved elder sister, surely?”

Celestia elbowed her gently. “Yes, yes, very funny. But in all seriousness,” she returned her attention to the painting, “for many centuries, ponies believed one thing about me. Recently, that belief has been challenged. And this painting is that contradiction given form. Look at my expression! Even a decade ago, I’d have been serene in the face of any challenge, or else filled with self-assured fury. In either case, my expression would’ve made clear that I was in absolute command of the situation. Here, I look positively dumbfounded.”

“I do like the way your eye is arched,” Luna conceded. “It really does capture that sense of 'I am completely incapable of processing how poorly that went.'”

“I rather like the choice to put me on my haunches, myself,” added Celestia. “Sitting is a much weaker position than standing, you know? It drives home that I’m completely clueless, and not about to launch into some grand plan or another.”

“If the artist wanted to show you weak, why aren’t you lying down?”

“Ah, that’s the subtle beauty of it!” Celestia beamed. “If I were lying down, especially if I seemed to be harmed or unconscious, or even dazed, that would merely be a reflection of how contemporary ponies don’t see me as all-powerful.” She shook her head. “That would be a reactionary work, and merely a reflection of the public temperature.”

“You say that like it’s a bad thing. Why shouldn’t an artist try to capture the zeitgeist of the moment?”

“Well, I suppose there’s nothing wrong with that. But I’m of the opinion that great art doesn’t just reflect sentiment, but creates it. This picture challenges both the traditional assumption of my strength, and the newer one of my long-range planning and strategic brilliance.”

Luna hmm’d noncommittally. “So, you’re saying that this picture is calling you a weakling and an idiot.”

Celestia laughed. “Well, that might be overstating it. But it’s a declaration that I’m neither as powerful as ponies used to believe, nor as wise as many today seem to think I am.”

“That doesn’t seem like particularly daring commentary.”

“Don’t forget the other part of it: that I’m a traditional stand-in for Equestria as a whole. Art about me isn’t just about me, it’s about the whole nation. Does that seem a little more daring to you?”

“Perhaps.” Luna pursed her lips. “So the artist is saying that Equestria isn’t all it’s held up to be. That still seems a bit banal, to be frank.”

“Think of how that national commentary applies to an individual pony, though,” Celestia pressed. “For all our many fine qualities, we Equestrians do tend to be more than a bit full of ourselves as a nation. All our maps show Canterlot as their center, we expect other races and countries to learn our tongue as a lingua franca, even when it’s we who are visiting their homelands… there’s a distinct undercurrent of ethnocentrism running throughout our country. This picture attacks the basis for that nationalism, and by doing so, calls on ponies—” she paused a moment, eyes wandering upward in thought, before continuing, “—and non-pony Equestrians too, I suppose, though this picture doesn’t really delve into race relations—to reconsider their implicit bias in favor of Equestrian norms, and to adopt a more open and receptive attitude towards the rest of the world!”

“That’s a lovely sentiment,” Luna acknowledged. “None of it answers my original complaint, though.”

Celestia blinked. “You mean… that it isn’t realistic? That banishment to the moon doesn’t actually transport one’s physical body to the surface? But, the whole painting centers around my nonplussedness. How would you show that without giving me a physical body?”

“If we need your physical body so badly, we should show you somewhere other than on the moon. Tartarus, for example. Why not paint you trapped down in the Prison Eternal, in that exact same pose?”

Now it was Celestia’s turn to hmm. “I take your point, but I think the Nightmare Moon connection is a stronger one than anything tying me to Tartarus. Those are foes who remain foes, after all, whereas you are once more yourself.” She smiled at her sister. “To my continuing delight, I might add.”

“Flattery will get you nowhere,” Luna replied, flipping her main in mock indignation. “The high-stakes world of art criticism is above your petty attempts to butter us up.” But then she leaned into Celestia, and murmured, “I love you too, big sister.”

Celestia returned the lean, closing her eyes. “And that’s just it,” she continued after a moment. “By evoking Nightmare Moon, it implies that a wiser ruler could have avoided those thousand years of banishment altogether. That’s an extra layer that you don’t get with Tartarus; nopony thinks that Tirek would be friends with a smarter princess, after all.”

“Adding yet another layer of the same commentary? That seems like overkill.”

“You were the one who was arguing for the most literal interpretation possible just a moment ago. Perhaps it was underkill.”

Luna let that hang for a moment. “For the record, I don’t think you’re what this painting allegedly says you are.”

Celestia tutted. “That’s kind of you to say, but if you realized how far overboard some ponies go in their veneration, you wouldn’t think so. When the standard you’re held to is 'unstoppable and infallible,' it’s not much of an insult to suggest that the bar’s been set a bit high.”

“I meant about a smarter princess being able to stop Nightmare Moon.” Luna turned her head, and looked Celestia in the eye. “If the painting says that, then it’s wrong.”

“That’s… kind of you to say.” Celestia did not meet her sister’s gaze.

“It’s true.” Luna took her sister by the chin, and brought them eye-to-eye. “Say it.”

Celestia swallowed. “It… it’s true?”

“There we go.” Luna released her. “It does no good to dwell on the past. Otherwise, you eventually create a darkness-themed manifestation of your own self-doubt and loathing which tries to take over the world.” She frowned. “Twice.”

“...Twice?”

“Did I never tell you about the tantabus? Well, ask me about it over dinner. It’s a long story, but your favorite purple student and her friends are the stars.”

Celestia smiled. “Well, that at least doesn’t surprise me.”

They returned their attention to the painting, and it was again Luna who broke the lull in the conversation after a few moments. “Is it possible we’re over-analyzing this?”

“How do you mean?”

“Well, the more I look at this piece, the more signs I begin to see of a distinctly amature hoof.” She gestured toward the star-studded blackness which filled the upper half of the picture. “Leave aside the whole ‘pony sitting on the surface of the moon’ as artistic license, if you must, but look at this background! There’s something there which I can only assume is meant to be the Milky Way, but the placement of the stars beyond that, even within that, seems totally random. I sincerely doubt more than a few minutes were spent contemplating the night sky for purposes of this painting, if even that.”

“Well, as you just said, it’s background. You can’t expect an artist to devote equal attention to those parts of the painting which exist primarily to frame the more important elements.”

“Like you?”

“Oh, hush.” Both of them giggled. “And anyway,” Celestia continued, “We both know you’re far more sensitive to star placement than the average pony.”

“It comes with the job.” Luna buffed her chest with a hoof.

“Yes, but it means you can hardly speak impartially about whether the starfield is sufficiently accurate for the average viewer.”

“Fine, but what about the moon’s surface itself? It’s clearly out of proportion to you. What about the lighting? Your shadow implies at least two different light sources. And we see the same lack of precision in your body. Your snout is so short you could almost be mistaken for a cat, and your chin is more square than any pony’s I’ve ever seen, stallions included!”

“I think that’s a stylistic choice. It’s clearly meant to be somewhat caricature-ish, with simple, bold lines and a limited color palette.”

“That doesn’t excuse bad anatomy,” Luna persisted. “Unless you want to tell me how giving you a short snout is some sort of complex allegory for your views on free school lunches for needy foals?”

“In favor, for the record. And no, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t an artistic decision. Not everything about a piece of art needs to be exactly photo-accurate.”

“Of course not, but it should be inaccurate for a reason. Otherwise, you’re just excusing bad drawing.”

“Why should something that’s not perfectly correct to the real world be ‘bad drawing’ by definition? Why can’t it be drawn that way on purpose?”

Luna frowned. “Now you’re just being obtuse. I said it can be that way on purpose—but that implies that it has a purpose. I ask you again: what was the 'purpose' in giving you the snout of a colt whose face has just been struck by a mallet?”

Celestia returned to the painting, pursing her lips. “I don’t know,” she eventually admitted.

“So there you have it. Most likely we’re just overthinking a poorly-drawn, poorly-thought-out piece of ephemeralia.”

Celestia shook her head vigorously. “No, there are too many strong, provocative choices in this picture for me to believe that these elements aren’t deliberate. I may not know what the painter intended with my nose, but I have complete confidence that there is some intention there.”

Luna gestured to the ground, where the artist had begun to stir. “Well, she seems to be coming around. Let’s just ask her, shall we?”




Lawn Chair tried to open her eyes, then quickly shut them again. It was far too bright. She tried to remember where she was; surely not at home, it wasn’t so cold at home. Tile. She was lying on tile, that’s why it was cold.

She huddled herself into a ball, groaning as she tried to crack open her eyes. There was so much noise, but it was all a blur. What was going on? Was she in a hospital? That would explain the flashing lights, maybe.

Bits and pieces came rushing back to her, faster than she could process. She was at the gallery, that was right. For the grand opening of the exhibit. She was showing her work off, and then…

The noises were becoming more distinct. It didn’t sound like doctors. It sounded like a hundred different simultaneous conversations, just far enough away that she couldn’t make them out. That’s right, all those ponies had come in with—

“The princesses!” she tried to cry, but it came out as a groan. Squinting, she forced herself to her hooves. The princesses had come in, Celestia and Luna, and she’d been standing right in front of Displaced, and they had both looked right at her, and…

Well, and then she woke up lying on the tile.

Head still swimming, she forced her eyes fully open. Immediately, a thousand flashbulbs assaulted her, a blinding strobe though which only one thing was visible: the massive, dark blue-form of Princess Luna looming over her.

“WHY DID YOU GIVE MY SISTER THE FACE OF A PUG-NOSED STALLION?” she thundered.

Lawn Chair had just enough time to stammer, “Ah… D-D-Death of th-the Artist?” before she fainted again.
Pics
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#1 · 2
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So... you wrote an entire fic about Celestia and Luna critiquing the actual picture that your story is based on? The meta is strong with this one.

This is basically just a "two ponies talk to each other for a few thousand words" fic, but I really like how the dialogue flows. It doesn't just go through a list of talking points about the pic, but it segues naturally, detours into personal moments and anecdotes where appropriate, and generally feels like two people who are nominally talking about something, but are really just talking. So, this is the second story in as many that I've read today where I'm going to praise it for feeling natural.

The penultimate line also made me giggle, which is good.

Where I'd spend a little time cleaning up on this is in mood shifts. The way the conversation moves from topic to topic feels natural, but as a reader, this fic goes from light to heavy and back again at warp speed. Sure, people talk like that, but a story should have smoother transitions than real conversations "need" to.

Nice work, author. And now, on to... well, shoveling, since the snow seems to have stopped, and it's only going to get colder as the day goes on. Best I do it now, rather go outside once we hit "you could permanently damage your lungs if you don't wear something over your mouth and nose" temperatures, and they're coming! Ah, Minnesota... anyway, back in an hour or two for some more reviewing.
#2 · 3
· · >>Anon Y Mous >>Chris
So this was a pretty fun read. Some references or hints may have gone over my head, but I'll do my best to give my honest, over-analytical impressions.

The exchange between the two sisters is very casual and flows naturally. There's something very honest and relatable about Celestia looking at a piece of work with herself as the subject. Digging deeply into the subject with her sister gives her an excuse to say things about herself she's been needing to say. It gives her pause for introspection, reflecting over the unique light another pony sees her in, which is also where the meta element plays nicely into this story. The actual artist could be reading this story and wondering similar things about their relation to the writer. Not sure if the name "Lawn Chair" is an inside joke, but I can only assume the artist knows what it means.

The way Luna and Celestia converse reminded me of the way we treat fandom, and how we enjoy media. We love reading too deeply into things, even though we know we may be totally off-base. There's something really fun about it. We love discovering what it says about ourselves. Secretly, I think we love talking about ourselves, especially when we're trying to fool ourselves into thinking that we're talking about something else. Which isn't a bad thing, because we're each able to bring some fragment of uniqueness to the art. Speaking of which, the "Death of the Artist" line is a pretty funny and completely appropriate punctuation to end the story.

Anyway, what do I know. I'm supposed to be unconscio—um, I mean, I enjoyed the story. Hope the artist gets a chance to read it, too!
#3 ·
·
>>Rocket Lawn Chair
Don’t pretend like you’re the artist of the picture that the story is based on isn’t screaming inside of pure excitement.
#4 ·
· · >>Chris
Lots of fun:

I support the concept of this story in its entirety, author, but as it stands right now, it seems to me to violate show canon pretty substantially.

'Cause we're told in the show multiple times that, during the thousand years that Luna was gone, ponies forgot that she had ever existed. They remembered Nightmare Moon, sure, but only as an imaginary monster at the center of a children's festival. That's the big discovery Twilight makes in the first episode: that Nightmare Moon is real, not that Nightmare Moon is Luna. At the end of the second episode when Celestia announces that this is her sister Luna, Twilight gasps right along with the rest of them. 'Cause that's the first time in hundreds and hundreds of years that anyone's heard the name Luna or known that Celestia had a sister.

So to say that "For a thousand years, that’s been equinity’s go-to expression of my power: Celestia banishing Nightmare Moon" doesn't work for me. Nopony for centuries before Twilight Sparkle thought that Nightmare Moon was real.

I'd recommend, therefore, shifting the focus a little. What Luna's returns really does, after all, is completely shatter everything every creature on the planet ever thought they knew about how the universe works. For most of the past thousand years, the whole world knew for an absolute fact that the one and only Goddess of All Creation was a pony who lived in a castle in Equestria. Luna's return destroys that monotheistic concept utterly and forces the entire world to reevaluate literally everything: either there's now suddenly a second Goddess of All Creation, or Celestia never was The Goddess of All Creation to begin with and has always been just a pony with family problems much like every other creature in the world has.

Like I said, I love the concept here. I'd just recommend that little shift at the beginning to line the story up with the internal history of the series.

Mike
#5 ·
· · >>Chris
Quick Takes:

Literally writing a story where the painting is in the story? "That's a bold strategy, Cotton, let's see if it pays off for 'em."


Pros:

The dialogue flows naturally.

The literal art critique in a pic-to-fic round is a novel idea.


Cons:

This is just talking heads.

Nothing really happens.

Neither sister seems to FEEL anything about the art.


Summary:

It's a clever approach, but I feel this started as just an exercise to break writer's block, yet somehow ended up being made story length without gaining any more depth than that. There's one or two observations made by the sisters in their discussion which may be slightly interesting, but nothing comes of it, and overall they seem completely detached from everything.

Art should make you feel something, and if either of them had a strong reaction, then maybe this story could've gone somewhere. Use it to expose how alone Luna felt, or maybe the guilt Celestia may have had. Let one or both of them learn and grow from the discussion or the memories/emotions it brings up. But none of that happens. They are both looking at a piece of artwork about one of (if not THE) most important events in both their own lives, and instead of feeling anything, they just start sounding off like art history textbooks, debating if attention to star placement denotes laziness or mere unimportance.

Thus, the story itself feels like it does little more than just tell me about a picture I already looked at, and as entertainment, that doesn't do much for me I'm afraid.
#6 ·
· · >>Chris
I'll start with the standard caveat that what follows is the POV of one reader; take what insight you can find and discard what doesn't work for you.

I particularly like fly-on-the-wall conversational stories. I like it in the movies, on TV, and in written pieces. Your story was just that and I liked it! You in particular took the artwork, and the theme, for this prompt and ran with, and did it justice. I saw no in-writing errors (but I'm not a good proofreader, so there). The piece's ratio of length to content was very close to beginning to feeling too long to me, but then it concluded handily with a nice twist and pun that worked on many levels. Really, I liked it.

There were really only two issues: 1) Do you buff the shining rag with your shoes? Or is it the other way around? The hoof/buff sentence threw me out of the story, albeit only momentarily. 2) The pun at the end, which further makes the title of the story a pun is truly one of the better finishes. However, it solidly depends on the audience being familiar with literary criticism. There's a good chance that might be true in this group, though I only learned of Mort de l'auteur in the last year, despite having written since the 80's. That happened when a reader understood something completely opposite of what I wrote out in one of my stories, then he proceeded to argue he was more correct than I! (He was right, too. The reader always trumps the writer, so it's important to write clearly if you want any chance of being interpreted as you want to be interpreted.) The change you made to the title of the referenced essay is of course the pun, which you punned on in the reaction of the fainted pony and juxtaposed with the title. The problem is, did it hit the target with the reader? What would happen if the reader didn't get it? Just wanted you to be aware of that.

Suggestions: You could have heightened the tension in the story by mentioning the fainted pony a few times. Well, Lawn Chair might look "mortified" even though just fainted. You might have been able to skip the lit-ref completely by writing the ending as you did but using some sort of play on interpretation being in the eye of the beholder; probably wouldn't have been as good though...

Good job.
#7 · 3
· · >>scifipony
Hey, retrospective time!

Not much to say; when I read the prompt, the idea of reversing the "critique the art, then write a story" into "write a story critiquing the art" stuck with me, and this was the result. Celestia and Luna both reading their own experiences and biases into a piece of art that was surely never intended to be viewed the way they're viewing it... but then, if they can view it that way, doesn't that in itself say something positive about the art? I think so.

(Incidentally, I love the picture; it got a giggle out of me when I first saw it, and once I hit on my general plan, it fit nicely with my first thought about the prompt. Thanks, "Lawn Chair!")

Let's get specific:

>>Rocket Lawn Chair

I'm glad you enjoyed it! Since it was obviously your, picture and all :) You hit something I very much wanted people to land on with your second paragraph, so I'm glad that sense of "reading into it" came through clearly to you. Thanks for the great art!

>>Baal Bunny

Hmm. I'd thought that "Luna Eclipsed" had set up that Nightmare Moon getting sent to the moon (except one night a year, when she gobbles foals and/or sweets) was a very common, well-known thing, and that Twilight's big revelation at the start of the pilot was thus that the commonly-known NMM myth was based on something real. It may be time for me to do some re-watching, and see if I'm off-base. Thanks for bringing that to my attention, and I'm glad that you felt this was a "change focus" problem rather than a "scrap it!" one!

>>Xepher

Sorry this one didn't land for you. It sound like it didn't work because it did what I wanted it to do, though, which is... worrisome. I wanted to keep the dialogue natural; when people look at art, they tend to talk about the art, yes, but do it through their own lenses. I wanted to keep some of that naturalness, rather than have the two sisters march in and start spewing FEELINGS at each other on a flimsy premise. And yet, that desire for naturalness on my part is coming through to you as them not having feelings, which I'm not really sure how to address. Thanks for bringing that to my attention; I'll see if there's anything to be done as far as salvaging this goes.

>>scifipony

Thanks for the comments! I think that if I find a way to fix this up, I'll leave the last line and count on my audience to get it (always overestimate rather than underestimate, right?), but I like the idea of making Lawn Chair's body more of a presence. Glad you enjoyed it!



And on to comments-on-comments:

>>horizon

I'm always happy to help, even when I'm being, at best, dubiously helpful :)

>>scifipony

No problem! Let's go through from the start, and find a few (focussing in on the flipped/missed words and running-on; I assume you don't need general editing from your writing calibre):

I'd gotten mine before I could remember much, while I still slept in the wheat-hull stuffed nailed-together wooden boxes the workhouse called a cradle, when I'd realized the moon, which peered in through a window open to the summer night breeze, was my only friend.


It should be "wheat hull-stuffed, nailed..." first off. More importantly, having two long parentheticals within a single sentence is very... wander-y. I get that you're aiming for Dickensian, and I'm not advocating for you to change the whole story to some hyper-minimalist style or anything, but the base sentence here is "I'd gotten mine before I could remember much, when I'd realized the moon was my only friend," and breaking that thought up with two significant tangents buries your lede on a very important sentence.

Autumn smells lifted my spirits, always did.


Looks like you accidentally a word, unless you meant for that "always did" to come off conversational, in which case I'd advise you that the laconic tone of it is out of place in your established writing style for this story.

he'd been wing-clipped so that he had to mind like the rest of us foals.


Another missing word; he had to mind... what?

Her hood slid back and I saw a long pointed spiral horn that to my naive eyes looked—because of the obvious spiral—screwed painfully into her forehead.


Take out the aside, and you've got "looked screwed painfully," which is again far more laconic than the rest of your narration. I'd throw a "like it was" in there, though that's hardly the only way to complete the sentence.

Such things supposedly attracted dragons, so farms liked ponies that could dig them up, if for no other reason than to spare their plows because dragon migrations were pretty rare.


Your conjunctions are telling two different stories; do farmers like ponies to dig them up because they attract dragons, or is that actually (mostly) unimportant? This makes your last clause confusing, since I can't tell whether it's in error, or your phrasing on the first half of the sentence is.

Crazy were the ponies that slept by day. They missed the peaceful beauty I witnessed everyday.


Pretty sure you mean night, not day.

Anyway, that's the kind of thing I was talking about in my comment. If any of that was unclear, or if you'd like more, or if you just want to tell me you think my opinions are bad, then just give me a poke!

>>Xepher

I very much like your explanation for what Pinkie was doing, and if you can make it a little clearer what's going on there, I think it'll make for some great comedy.

>>GroaningGreyAgony

You're very welcome!

>>PinoyPony

"Parse," in this case, just means to understand what a sentence is trying to communicate by being able to understand its constituent parts. So in the two lines of text I quoted in my first comment, I was able to parse the meaning (i.e. I understood what you were trying to say, even if not every word was perfectly used) but was unable to parse the second one (i.e. I still don't know what those words are supposed to mean; if Rarity's glad that Sweetie can get to the kitchen without traversing the stairs, if she's glad Sweetie can't do that, if she's glad the kitchen and her room are a combined room(?), etc.). Good luck moving forward with this one; it'll be fun to see what it looks like when it's out of draft form!
#8 ·
·
>>Chris
Yep. Thanks. That's plenty, and it points to a recurring writing faux pas of mine. (And I did so love Dickens in college when I first began writing in my late teens.)