This thread’s purpose is to encourage writefags all over /mlp/ to write. We’re laid back here. Post what you want as long as it’s pone related. We’re not all “STOREEEYS ONLY!” We discuss topics such as writing techniques, interesting tropes, and bring forth story ideas. Let’s have fun.
Let’s get hypothetical.
You’re a writer who’s been going at it for a bit now. You really enjoy what you do and put your blood, sweat, and tears into each story. One day, you decide to post it in a random thread to get some feedback.
Just one problem: no takers.
You wonder if you should even bother writing; you decide to quit and move on to something else.
If that story applies to you, then hold your horses. If all you wanted was feedback, to improve your writing skills a bit, or maybe just see how others do it, then you’ve come to the right place. There are a few rules, however:
>Posting the story directly in the thread is preferred over a link to Pastebin, FiMFiction, etc.
>One story at a time.
>Don’t be a dick or asshole when reading or critiquing.
>All stories posted within the thread must be pre-written.
Tips and links:
Things you should know about before writing clop:
Vhatug’s tips for anatomically correct clop and squash soup:
http://www.literotica.com/s/erotic-synonyms (Because using dick, balls, and pussy just isn’t enough to get the reader off. Remember, the reader cums first.)
Had to. Puns are awesome.
Things you should know about writing:
Clever’s Tips on How to Write Short Stories: http://pastebin.com/GGBkxi7e
How to into writing: http://pastebin.com/V1ujiyJt
Writing rules from Navarone: http://pastebin.com/bnMmZ2T3
Ezn’s Guite to writing Fanfiction: http://eznguide.neocities.org/
Writing Book for beginners: https://mega.co.nz/#F!pwo21SKA!dljqCUmOhkwLX3x9_ApEgQ
Help for creating OC characters: http://www.dawnsomewhere.com/ocguide/
A few authors from different threads should you seek inspiration from their stories:
Flutterrape general’s writers: http://pastebin.com/eG8iY7Wy
Active AiE general writers: http://pastebin.com/mVG33ERX
PiE general’s writers: http://pastebin.com/Mgd0QuNy
>“How do I cure my writer’s block?”
>“FUCK YOU ANSWER THE QUESTION!”
There’s no one way to cure it, but, if you can’t write, you may as well read stories. There’s more to writing than writing; there’s reading too, and that helps. Check some of the links above.
Try the following (keep in mind this won’t work for everyone):
-Figure out when it’s the best time for you to write.
-Fap then write*.
-Write anyway, and allow yourself to write shitty stories. More often than not, the block is the fear of it being bad. That’s what editing is for.
-Seriously, drink coffee. It’s a writer’s best friend.
-Listen to music while writing.
Unless you’re writing clop, then listen to your boner.
I was waiting to see if it would come back on its own, as it sometimes does, but got impatient. I'm critiquing this http://pastebin.com/kCXU8HCd on Friday (Saturday for the anon who posted it, because time zone differences), so let's see whether this thread can stay up long enough.
I was wondering where the thread was. I was getting worried.
So I've been reading and drawing, leaving an awful imbalance between those and my writing.
I draw every day, just wondering where and how I can also squeeze in creative writing. I haven't even finished writing a short story in months. I suppose I'm just looking for pointers.
It's all about how you divide your time. If writing is important enough to you, then you'll sacrifice something else in order to do it, be that time to draw, time to game, time to watch the TV, whatever. Personally, I sacrifice my own sleep to keep at it. Alternatively, don't worry about trying to do both at once, and focus on doing the thing you enjoy more. If writing is something you're equally serious about, then you'll eventually cycle back to it when drawing starts to get old.
If you want an audience, all you have to do is practically sell out. I've read a lot of overrated stories, and this is what you do
>Create an Anon who has one outlandish trait about him to separate him from other Anons, but don't give him a real flaw
>Exaggerate main characters and flatten them out so they become one dimensional responses to Anon's actions
>Allow Anon to get whatever he wants with minimal work
>Allow Anon to get away with whatever he wants with minimal work
>Write short lines
>Never put Anon in any actual risk of failure
>Throw in a spontaneous sex scenes in place of actual intimacy
Hook. Line. Sinker. Every fucking time.
Hey writefriends! I've been working on a green over in SiM and have been feeling pretty good about it overall. Thanks for helping me get started on that one!
I'd like to talk about another story idea I had and see what everyone else thinks. Now, I've always been a sucker for stories that try to incorporate Anon into the canon in some way so I was pretty happy with the initial premise I thought up.
Anon wants revenge on Twilight because she refused to train him to be a wizard. Her advice was that he make friends (because friendship is magic) but Anon believed nopony would befriend him since he had locked himself away to learn magic. (He failed in the process but has an idea about some of the mechanics).
He learns about Twilight's rise in power and seeks out each of the elements of Chaos. He gathers Nightmare Moon, Discord, Chrysallis, Sombra, and Torak. Perhaps even Trixie and Starlight Glimmer or Sunset Shimmer. Ironically
enough, bringing everyone together teaches them the power of friendship.
I was wondering what you guys thought about the premise? Does it seem pretty unique or is there some green I haven't heard about that is basically that. Does any of it sound like it doesn't fit or wouldn't work? Any suggestions on how to flesh it out? Let me know because I am really curious on your guy's thoughts. Thanks!
I can actually see it a bit
Definitely doesn't sound like something I'd like to read, but it could be good if done correctly. Two problems though.
>Elements of Chaos
There is only one Chaotic element, if it could even be called that, and that is Discord. Nightmare Moon is a manifestation of pure evil and self doubt, Chrysalis is a queen trying to feed her people, Sombra was just an evil prince, and Tirek was an evil being out for power. They don't seek for chaos, just their own way to take over the world for their own various reasons. Bringing them together would have to be finely written if you want to convince the readers of something like this.
>Rise to Power
Twily didn't really rise to power. She was given wings and was told to have more power, but she hasn't really gotten anything from it. Just an unwanted castle and cheap "Royal" duties.
You need to give a reason as to why he can use magic and why Twily would deny him the use of magic.
I can't tell you whether this specific way of going about it, but Anon being a wizard is a pretty standard thing that's seen all the time. Anon bringing all the villains together sounds pretty cliche and has probably been done multiple times over. Evil Anon doing this for revenge, maybe. Don't let originality dissuade you from this though. No one writes the same because everyone has their own flavor to their writing.
Bumps and critiques is what we consist of, yep. Should probably get more discussion or something.
>Thread needs something to discuss.
In the current green I've been working on some complicated elements. Needlessly to say, it only comes out somewhat effective.
What are some ways you guys like to write (or what feels good to read) internal dialogue? The Anon I'm trying to write about feels detached from this new pony world for a spoiler reason that I have predetermined and dropped hints at. When the plot began to slow down and I gave Anon a chance to breathe, I started doing some internal dialogue. He's avoiding thoughts of how he got here (the spoiler) and ignoring his feelings and well being because of the circumstances that he arrived under.
My solution to his detached feelings is to give him something to be attached to. A home, friends, a job/mission. Yet, where he currently is, it's hard for me to make Anon feel relatable.
Any thoughts or ideas?
Source material: http://pastebin.com/F6SiF0TW
It's the most recent material with the internal dialogue. I can also post it here if you guys prefer.
>that feel when looking at your older, worse works
Hey, I just read your story. You might want to go back through and proofread your story.
>What are some ways you guys like to write (or what feels good to read) internal dialogue?
Are you talking about format? For me, I try to make things as obvious as possible
>Greentext for narrator.
>"Greentext with quotes for dialogue."
"Blacktext with quotes for Anon's dialogue."
Blacktext for Anon's thoughts.
>Yet, where he currently is, it's hard for me to make Anon feel relatable.
>Any thoughts or ideas?
If you want to make Anon a little bit more relatable, I'd make him more vulnerable. He's a slave right now. Despite the fact that others are scared of him, they shouldn't show it. In fact, when people are scared of someone rising up, they usually punish the person even more harshly to keep them in line. I don't mind that you have Anon sticking up for others, but I think you have him as being to strong and capable right out of the gate. Having him fend off two guards without any trouble does double damage: it makes the slave system look flimsy, and it makes Anon look like he's ready to do anything. He doesn't have much room to grow. So, let him be kicked around more, let him be scared, and confused. And don't outright tell the reader that ponies are scared of him. It kind of takes away from the menacing slave owners.
Also, I should say good luck with your story, man. I find the premise interesting, and I'm curious as to how Anon got here. Not many stories delve into the 'how' of Anon's arrival. It's just sort of taken for granted
Why do writefags write in greentext?
Easier for consumption desu
But greentext is actually a really cool story telling format as it enforces certain constraints on the writer. It looks awkward as hell to have long sentences in green, right? Makes you change the entire game up, pick your words carefully and space out your lines. It's kinda like you're reading a play, almost. I'm certainly a fan.
Partially because format, and partially because that's what people here are used to. Greentext allows the writer to get the broad strokes and be general without being clunky. If you take an average greentext story, and try to convert it to prose, you'll find issues with how it reads. Also, readers are familiar with it. Most people here have an intuitive understanding of how greentext is supposed to work.
>It looks awkward as hell to have long sentences in green, right? Makes you change the entire game up, pick your words carefully and space out your lines
This too. Writing in greentext can be a challenge sometimes, but with the challenge of keeping things moving, and the 2000 character limit, I've become a hell of a lot more aware of my writing. It's fun to change the length of lines and use that to play around with the 'ebb and flow' of stories. Writing in greentext can almost be an artform in and of itself.
I've been writing for about 5 months now, or attempting to, and I was wondering if you guys could give me some advice or tips.
I like writing when I have the time and when a story flows naturally for me but lately I've kind of given up on it.
The last story I wrote was riddled with mistakes and errors and I can guess that it was because I was fairly busy when trying to write it but I noticed something else as well.
The language I used in it felt samey. Like I would repetitively use the same kind of phrases or word structures and it got on my nerves a bit.
What I want to know is other than using a thesaurus and a few dictionary and theasurus websites how can I keep a writing style or story fresh for me and not fall into repeating myself?
Read a book. No seriously, you can get fresh ideas on writing simply by reading a book. As for increasing your vocabulary skills, I always take words I'm unfamiliar with from shows, books and movies and put them in a notepad where I save it for future references or if I'm in a good mood, register those words in my head and use them in my everyday colloquies that I have with myself.
My pleasure. I'm working on the critique now, though I can't say how long this will take.
I deal with it somewhat heavily in my own story, though it's not exactly "supernatural" in a world of magic and living gods.
Here's a free verse work I did. I tried doing a lot with it and I don't know how much came through. It'd be nice to see what anyone thinks.
(Mostly intended as the POV of a passing pony)
This is for Beyond a Cloud (1 of 3).
I wasn’t certain, at first, whether I was going to be actually looking at something different. This started quite similarly to your first draft, including the paragraph where the rocket scoops her up, and you describe more her quirky conceits (I used that phrase in my first critique, too) than the action going on, and the bit on line 301 where Dinky tosses her incredibly valuable rocket in the bin like it ain’t no thing. I told you about these the first time around, so you must understand when I was feeling a touch annoyed when I saw that they remained largely the same.
However, having now finished it, I can see that a lot of work went in to expanding the story and deepening the plot. All things considered, I would count this as an improvement over the first draft, though a relatively small one. First and foremost, your grammar needs work. This, too, I told you at the end of my first critique. Your perspective is all out of whack. You’re switching between present tense and past sentence to sentence. I’m not completely certain of this, but I got the impression that it’s supposed to be a stylistic choice. The diary entries were fine, and I don’t think you would make mistakes like this selectively if you didn’t have some idea of what you were doing. If I’m right, then you need to know that such looseness with tense makes your story really, really hard to take seriously, because it winds up looking amateurish.1/?
On a related note, you need to fix the way you deliver exposition and character thoughts and feelings. This was the single largest problem I encountered with this story, which did not have any single catastrophic moment, as some others I’ve read. It started early, on line 11, where, in your paragraph about the pie competition, you add in some information about Cherry’s upbringing that has no business there. First of all, you don’t have to tell me how she is now when you just characterize her as that thing later, and second, if you want to contrast how she is with how she was, you can do that either through anecdotes later on or a flashback or something; outright announcing it the way you did is poor form, because it takes no effort, and makes no attempt at smoothly integrating itself into the story.
Lines 45-49 cover the other half of my statement, on declaring character thoughts. There are more interesting ways to let the audience know how a character feels than simply dropping a sentence about it in the middle of dialogue. That kind of description is stilted and uninteresting to read. It takes one out of the dialogue (at least it did for me), and it leaves no room for interpretation of character. Ideally, the audience’s part in character development is to piece together bits of information as they appear to create an idea of the character that you’re trying to convey, and sentences like those three lines remove that option. 2/?
Lines 150, 154, and 158. I mentioned the first of these as part of my opening, but there’s more going on here. I found these three blocks of event description to be wanting. Part of it is that your sentences do not vary a lot in length. Especially in action scenes, your sentences tend toward containing one idea, one jot of movement, like a step-by-step list. The second part is that I’m not seeing enough imagery in any of those paragraphs, or enough interesting verbs. Cherry is trying a lot, and becoming a lot, and managing at times, as the rocket flies, and birds fly, and all of this is happening in a sea of “was.” Maybe that sounded ridiculous. A lot of the verbs you use to describe what’s happening in these three paragraphs are “was,” meaning that you’re not describing an action so much as you’re just describing the condition of the event, and that makes for less engaging writing. The other, stronger, verbs you use tend to be pretty basic ones, like fly or adjust.
Here’s a sample to illustrate what I mean. The original sentence is “Equestria has gone into temporary darkness, and Cherry herself was getting very dizzy to the point of almost passing out.” If I were to re-write it to try to avoid that which I outlined above, I’d spit out something like this: “Dizzy to the edge of unconsciousness, Cherry clung to her abductor as Equestria’s own darkening sky mirrored the fading images in her eyes.” Instead of Equestria having gone into darkness, Equestria is darkening. Instead of Cherry getting dizzy, Cherry clings to the rocket, with dizziness being her condition. Centralize the action, not the sensation, for something like this, and find ways to dress it up some. Practice writing in longer sentences, incorporating multiple ideas that aren’t always directly related. It’ll help paint a more intricate, interesting picture of the scene than just listing off component details, like you’re outlining it for a drawfag. 3/?
Line 353 is example I found of extremely stilted dialogue. Cherry says that building flying machines is part of her life goals and purposes. That’s a bold, bold thing to just blurt out, especially in a society with cutie marks, since hers has nothing to do with aeronautical engineering. Maybe that’s the joke, I don’t know, but I certainly don’t see anyone else in the story laughing about it. For her to say that is weird because I find it difficult to see how she could be so set on this one arbitrary facet of her life. As I type this, it’s occurring to me that this feeling is awfully similar to the feeling I got when Lyra first started being paired up with the attraction to humans. One minor detail, and this whole character is ballooning out like a freaking parade float to make the detail more central than it actually is.
I’m getting off topic. When dialogue is stilted, it means that it feels like it’s being delivered for the audience’s sake, not the characters’. What brings Cherry to tell Dinky about the depth of her life’s obsession now, and not when they’re closer? Mentioning it off-hand, as she does, is fine, but saying it’s all part of her life’s purpose? I feel like that’s just you trying to clue me in that it’s an important hobby to her, without just writing it into her character in such a way that I get that impression through the course of my reading. 4/?
On line 448, you plop Cherry down for some reflection on her current state of affairs, and this, too, I found dull, for reasons similar to the deficiencies in your rocket scene. There’s not very much detail, or description, of her thought processes or the world around her. It’s more a litany of rhetorical questions and their effects on her mood, and that’s not good enough to rope the reader in, because the reader, if he or she is engaged, will be asking those selfsame questions anyway. For the most part, you’re not bringing anything huge to light, just parroting impressions to the audience. A reflection scene like this, I find, can be better written with a heavier touch of imagery pertaining to the room, and the character’s placement in it, and then a less direct description of what they’re thinking. So, instead of Cherry sitting down and then thinking these thoughts, one after another, she sits down and closes her eyes. She listens to the drone of a fly in the windowsill (or a bee, she thinks, and smiles), and lets the world float apart for a while. Earutan, she thinks, grabbing as she does so the thread of thought from that bizarre, nostalgic word and tugging it as if enough wondering, enough internal questioning, might make it spill its secrets into the sitting room with her. She remembers reading endlessly of it, fantasizing, dreaming. Comfortable in the dying sunlight, grounded in the small discomfort of a broken-down chair, the conjured images of this world are only suggestions in her mind, inarticulate and unformed. Well, you get it. If you’re going to wax poetic, the reflection scene is definitely the place to do it, as long as you’re careful to reign yourself in and not be too flowery about it, as I was becoming. Imagery, and not directly addressing the questions at hand: a combination to spin out introspection into something more than just recapitulating important themes for the readers. 5/?
On line 480, you tell me that Cherry gets the impression that this random griffon is one of the more respectable people in Equestria. It could be a mis-phrasing; it could be that she personally feels him to be very good, because he holds the bee. The way you write it, though, makes it sound like you’re trying to tell me someone’s character in a single sentence, similar to what happens up in line 11.
I found line 777 to be particularly stilted, more than some of the other lines regarding character perception. Here, Dinky is essentially your servitor for showing how she and Cherry have different levels of interests in the task, but such an illustration is not necessary at all. I can see by Cherry’s actions that she’s prioritizing her drinking, and I can understand her point about getting information from the bartender, because it’s a valid argument. I don’t need Dinky to confirm these things, because they’re self-evident.
There is more than what I brought to your attention here, but the rest of the issues with stilted storytelling and uninteresting action fall into the paragraphs I already have. Pretty much all of your larger paragraphs had at least one of the above problems, and going over them would be an exercise in crushing repetition. If you would like a counter to this negativity, I direct your attention to line 312. This is an okay example of exposition, because it’s short, direct, and doesn’t get in the way of the story the way your larger glaciers of paragraphs do. 6/?
I’m going to step away from this very specific kind of problem to address a few other, singular, ones in your story, starting with line 546. I think that having her stumble across “Prancing Discontent” in a pawnshop in dumb, tiny Ponyville is an extremely convenient coincidence, given that it’s a first-edition, and monumentally rare. Moreover, if she’s been coming to this establishment for long enough to be on tenuously friendly terms with the shopkeep, how is it that this is the first time she’s noticed the book? If plot-centric devices like this just cropped up in real life like they do in stories, we’d all be going on life-changing adventures all the time. It’s too easy, too convenient, and requires no effort on her part. She just blunders into it, and then, voila, adventure activated. So you’ll definitely want to create a better way for her to find this book, or find the information contained therein. Maybe she can overhear the storeowner speaking with a stranger about it or something, and that gets her going.
On line 318, you’re telling me too much about Dinky and her relationship with Cherry too soon. I hardly know Dinky, so why should I care if she sees some kindred spirit in Cherry? This is the type of thing that’s best saved for later, for Dinky to reveal in a quiet, more private time. The idea that comes to my mind right away is to have some dialogue as they’re on the train to Dodge Junction, and Cherry starts ruminating, as she does, on the sheer improbability of the adventure. It can lead to them examining the nature of their relationship, and how strange it is that they’re doing this despite not knowing each other for very long; that’s a perfect spot for Dinky to slot in her feelings about being sort of ostracized as a youth. 7/?
Speaking of youth, I think you need to substantiate Cherry’s racism better. You have it flitting in and out of your story, never really affecting her decisions, and it seems kind of tacked on. Earth ponies being racist against the pegasi is a totally valid idea that I think would add some interesting texture to this protagonist, so I do encourage you to explore it more. Maybe her encounters with the griffons don’t go as well because she can’t staunch this weird, knee-jerk distrust of their wings. Maybe, in an anecdote or flashback, we see her exposed to racism through her parent(s). There are different ways to bring something like that to life, and to use it. It doesn’t need to be a central character point, but can easily be a neat little ancillary thing to round her out and shape her dialogue, when relevant.
Line 799 gets some special mention as a poor description of action. First, the grammar here is particularly bad. You’re using incorrect words, which is not something I saw a lot else of, and you’re switching between tenses more rapidly than usual. Plus, it comes out of absolutely nowhere. Two lines ago, they’re still in the bookstore, and then suddenly it’s a chase scene. Where’s the transition? As with the rocket scene, there’s staggeringly anemic description here; I got enough to get an impression of what’s happening, but nothing specific. No imagery, no force behind the characters’ motions, nothing at all. It felt as dry and unengaged as any other, better, static scene of location description. Finally, why in the world would the griffon not fly away? She has no reason that I’m seeing to lead Dinky on this absurd chase through the market stalls, when all that’s stopping her from taking flight is just whipping off her jacket. 8/?
This, along with the fact that it comes out of nowhere, makes this scene feel very out of place, and that feeling is compounded with how swiftly it resolves. Just a smidgen of dialogue between the two of them, and the griffon, who was initially scared enough to run away at what could have easily been a friendly greeting, is on board with Dinky’s line of questioning.
I think that having a chase scene is a fine idea, but you need to integrate it better. Have the two characters notice each other, notice the tension between them, and build on that. I’m seeing a scene where Dinky walks toward her in the bookstore, she evades, and the two wind up following each other outside, where the griffon takes off. If you need to keep her grounded, you can have her be carrying a big, awkward bag of books or something. She runs, Dinky follows, they crash through some scenery, and then stop for a brief, halting, anxious conversation as Dinky tries to calm her down. This is just my imagining of how the scene could work; there are other ways to do it. I’m doing this as an example.
Earlier on, I mentioned the idea of flashbacks and anecdotes, but didn’t explore them then because I didn’t want to go on what would at that time be a tangent. I believe that a story like this will strongly benefit from some exploration of Cherry’s past, perhaps Dinky’s as well. Specifically, her predilections toward the construction of flying machines would be really good for this. It doesn’t necessarily have to be the origins of this hobby, but something exploring how it shaped her as a youth would be nice. It would also do a lot to cement the hobby in her character arc. As it stands, it fits okay, but not entirely solidly. It’s better than before, but I think it can be better still. A flashback can also help show why she’s so racist, as I said earlier. 9/?
If you choose to include a flashback, though, you’ll need to be careful as to where you place it. Different types of flashbacks have to be written different ways, or else the story can get its tone thrown right the hell off. For instance, if you open with a flashback, it would be wise to have it be short and somewhat lighthearted, to set that tone and introduce some of the key character points without belaboring them. If it were to come later on in the story, in Dodge Junction, for instance, then you could more safely work with the heavier themes, like racism and not being comfortable with your childhood peers. If you’re interested in going for the rarer mid-adventure flashback, the balance becomes much more delicate, and you’ll probably want to end up delivering something that is more directly relevant to the current event that precipitates it, but is also minor enough in the character’s life that it doesn’t seem like some new plot device being heaped onto an intense scene; that would be too much significance for too little writing space.
I’m now going to tackle the smaller details I noticed in this, and, this time, there are a lot. Here we go.
Line 15: It’s supposed to be “no, that wasn’t a typo,” which is beside the point. Little fourth-wall breaking phrases like this I have always found to be way too cute and silly. Even for a goofy story like this, taking a moment to directly address the audience like this, your tongue so firmly in your cheek, made me reel.
Line 25: How did no one see her crash? A flying machine smashing into a tree is a pretty large, and loud, thing to have happen.
Line 103: Nightmare Knight? Really? This is like a central fucking stanchion of the show’s canon. You didn’t even get the right spelling on night. It’s “night,” with an N. No K. In that same paragraph, you need a transition between the sentence ending in “bumblebee” and the following. 10/?
Line 108: So is the rocket big or little? You’re saying both.
Line 122: “The experiment’s time is now” is a super awkward phrase, and it’s not even necessary to add, because it’s obvious.
Line 168: This bit of dialogue isn’t necessary.
Line 259: You don’t need to tell me that it came as a surprise. Just let Cherry’s reaction convey that.
Line 321: This is Earth, huh?
Line 398: You’ve got the reason for Cherry’s doubt backwards. If she’s a realist, then she shouldn’t be surprised by her own doubt, because doubt is the rational response to this hair-brained scheme.
Line 404: This is simply where I noticed it; there isn’t anything wrong with the line itself (outside of your dialogue punctuation). Where has Cherry’s temper gone? Toward the beginning, you bill her as a mare who is frustrated pretty much all the time, so for all that to fade away seemed odd to me. I think you need a better balance of her anger to her calm closer to the beginning; either that, or re-write her through the rest of this to make her more in line with the bitter mare you created earlier.
Line 450: So, if helicopters don’t exist yet, why did Cherry think to call her device the Cherrycopter?
Lines 492-494: You need a better line break here.
Line 563: For how small and inconsequential a detail this is, you need not include the franchise’s name.
Line 753: This is definitely a matter of personal taste, but I think that this whole bit is too long to support the awkward humor it looks like it’s shooting for.
Line 866: I imagine a good number of readers know what it’s like to be drunk, whether from experience or from seeing it in other media, so I don’t think you need to include the description of how she feels. If she were feeling in any way out of the ordinary, then description would be warranted, but it is not here. Also, you mention her infamous temper again, but I haven’t seen much of it up to this point. 11/12
Lines 973 and onward: Don’t have your character suddenly develop a stutter. It’s the most obvious, played-out tell in the book, and you’re just showing your hand too early with it.
Lines 1034-1037: I think the timing of this joke is not right. I can see it working earlier on, but not so close to a minor climax.
Line 1132: You don’t need to bother to write this. Just let them get there on their own. I’ll be seeing it at the same time anyway, so you telling me to watch out for it isn’t doing me any favors.
You will notice that I taper off near the end, with a high concentration of issues toward the beginning of the story, and one for every hundred or so lines at the end. I think this is a combination of the story picking up once you had it started (common in my readings) and me getting used to certain small grievances.
I know the majority of this critique was negatives, but there were some things I enjoyed as well. It read very quickly, and the dialogue, when it wasn’t stilted, was very snappy, which is good. The lighthearted tone and silly plot go great together, and you’re taking yourself exactly as seriously as you need to be for this, which I appreciated highly. Cherry has no glaring issues, just a few spots where she’s lacking a certain presence, and Dinky is the same way. I can see this developing into a fun, swashbuckling romp, but it’s not there yet. You need to address your grammar issues and the way you try to add in exposition and character description. I think more dialogue between Cherry and Dinky would be good, but not a whole lot more. This is an improvement over the first draft, no doubt, and I don’t regret reading it, but you’ve got some work ahead of you yet. 12/12
I felt a part of me died while reading this, and I enjoyed that. Does that make me a literary masochist?
Starting off, >>26045385
I actually had to do the whole thing from scratch again out being a catharsis so in the end, it's a new story based on an old first draft. Obviously this is still a bad draft but it's a work in progress V2.
>The rocket in the bin
I suppose it's a way for me to express Dinky's personality as not being able to get some logical priorities straight or some cartoonish portrayal of a child genius. It was explained that the only valuable thing she cared about was the detector, so I decided to make a small comedy scene of the rocket since it would be a problem for both of them to be able to carry it back to the gorge, since Dinky's has already gotten her answer from Cherry's wild ride.
Yeah. I know. I've spent a whole night replacing most of the present tenses with past tenses but it would seem that I've missed a lot of other words.
That one however was definitely a choice to give the griffon poor grammar, as a journal was something someone like the uncle wouldn't give too much care in grammar, especially in harsher weather conditions. I'm glad it was one of the more positive parts of this review.
A bit confused as to what you mean in terms of Cherry's characterization. Was it too straight and sudden when explaining Cherry's current personality? I suppose since she shows her full personality in a later part, it would make line 11 redundant in some sense?
Ah, this one's definitely where I'm lacking. Do you think that it should contain two sentences rather than one to describe Cherry's thoughts?
There we go. Part of the weird past-present tense thing I had in the story was just me struggling with using proper tenses, especially with action scenes. Telling the story in a narrator's point of view is one of the skills I'm lacking, and with this story, trying to train and challenge myself with. I thank you for the example at the second paragraph, and with my level of writing, I definitely couldn't have come up with that (well, besides abusing the thesaurus in a way).
I wrote up Cherry's backstory as "wanted to be a mechanic, but my birthname has forced me in a fate I did not want" sort of way. Without being sudden, I slowly wrote it as part of her backstory that involved her childhood and relationship with her mother, which connected with the latter part of the story where she knew the town she trained in...cherry picking... out of her mother wanting her to grow up like her.
When it came to Cherry explaining to Dinky her life's obsession, what I wanted in that conversation was Cherry telling Dinky that she had the motivation but not the smarts to build a flying ship to Earutan. Maybe I worded it wrong, but reading what you pointed out, maybe it does need better rewording.
As you correctly guessed, I struggled hard in this. Making up imagery in description seemed so much easier when I was reading my favorite book, but when trying it out in a piece of short fiction, it had me writing it with mediocrity like an aspiring artist in her first year trying to draw her favorite character by memory in an exposition-themed scene.
That part was the narrator telling the audience a small part of Cherry's past. What I wanted to tell was that the griffon gave an impression to young Cherry that he was a respectable old bird based simply on how he looks and what he wore.
Again, another fault for me where my skills lacking in quality descriptive paragraphs had caused me to write so stiff. I'll be taking the examples you had earlier by heart, but the voice in my head keeps telling me that it's going to be a long road before that skill comes naturally for me.
Ah, finally. A problem that doesn't involve my amateur vocabulary and such.
Thanks for pointing this out. This is definitely a glaring error.
>Cherry and Dinky's relationship
GOOD GRIEF, this too was bugging me and I had to rewrite it several times just to make the relationship between two strangers more believable, especially given Dinky's less than appealing social behavior around others (unintentional and ignorant rudeness). It had me in a pinch and based on your feedback, is something that needs to be rectified.
I tried explaining it in a passing way where Cherry has both jealousy and distrust against flying beings that was partly influenced by her mother's rivalry with the neighboring pegasus in the minor flashback at line 458.
Speaking of which, do you think line 456 is just right or too stiff in description?
Ah yes, transitions. As I said before, action scenes were one of my weaknesses, and I thank you again for clarifying what I did wrong. As for the griffon not being able to fly out, I suppose it would've been better if I had stated that she had difficulty trying to get herself out of her jacket, or simply revealing in a later part that her wing was broken due to an unrelated incident.
Will be explained in a later part, as planned.
I have to wonder if putting the flashback as a part ender is a good thing, like how the pie contest day had ended, and then introduced the flashback since there wasn't any conflict going on so far in that part.
Is that a word for cringe?
I'd say it was a lucky break for her, though I should just correct it in the later part where she and Dinky found the crash site while walking back up the gorge.
Oh right, sorry about that. It was a piece of information I erroneously ignored while editing the draft for grammar errors.
I'd say it was small for a rocket but larger than an adult pony.
Correct my lore knowledge, but isn't Equestria just the country and not the name of the world itself?
>404 - rage not found
I suppose I should correct the early description, as I tried to reiterate Cherry's temper through the unnecessary bar fight she wanted to have out of annoyance.
As stated in the same line, helicopters were fictional in this world, only described by comics and books, like how hoverboards are in back to the future, but as of present, no hoverboards exist IRL.
...y-yeah. Gonna have to think about replacing it but right now it works with making Cherry annoyed.
Should I replace it with describing poker tells, like
..." he retorted. The mare noticed his hand eye twitch. Grotto felt her eyes on him and started to sweat.
Ahh. Finally reached the end. I appreciate almost everything that you've written and many thanks for taking the time to read this. It definitely helps that a second person is reading this, as it's hard to point out errors when you're your own worst critic. I'm not sure if I should repost the story here again in the futre once I've finished doing version three, as it might be an annoying factor to be pushing another revision back here again.
This is a revelation to me. For the story I've been working on, I've been fighting my old third person prose structural habits but I never realized there was suppose to be... a meter I guess? Is this actually the case or am I reading into it wrong. If I'm reading this right, is there a standard pace or is the aim to be really consistent with sentence length?
I can't say I'm too experienced with having an audience but when I write for myself, I just do whatever feels right. Perhaps if your diction feels too repetitive, write from a perspective where the voice feels different to you (e.g. write from the perspective of Pinkie Pie instead of Twilight). The difference in their character might help you break out of repetition.
Another thing you could do, if you want to get creative about how you practice, is to put constraints on yourself. For example, write in a rhyme or in an accent.
One thing I like to do since the way I write tends to sound like I'm talking to the audience is to use a text to speech program. Not only does this pick up some errors but it also gives you a new way to experience your story.
Not sure if any of this will help, but keep writing and as >>26043376 said, read. Reading and writing are pretty much the best ways to get better at writing oddly enough.
Let me just disclaim this response with me being tired as fuck when writing it and reading the poem itself.
Also, disclaim that I am not a poet of any sort. Just my thoughts and opinions. Hell, I'll probably feel like a bit of a faggot after writing this.
First, it was very abstract and purple to me, pretty much to the point where I couldn't relate. However, there were some well established questions that kept me going.
Those questions were: "Who am I?", "Where am I?", "Who am I observing?". I believe there also supposed to be a "What am I observing?" question but I found the other three be much stronger as I read.
>(Mostly intended as the POV of a passing pony)
Well fuck, after reading the whole thing, I sort of figured that much but the way you phrase threw away all the thoughts I had about who I was.
"Who am I?" was the most interesting question to me. It's strange because it didn't fully develop until I had made some assumptions about the other two questions. About half way through, I realized what you said but I was thinking more along the lines of one of the characters we know from the show instead of some random nopony who I now assume is suppose to be the reader in pony form.
Anyways, my thoughts on who I was at the start were something like, "I am a magical creature that was made by ponies and exploring my new environment." This turned into myself being a pony that was born in this place (Ponyville?). Then it felt like the character aged in some way, as if there thoughts became more specific and "adult?"... This feeling of nostalgia I was getting then made me think I was perhaps Granny Smith, out on a stroll looking at what used to be and what changed. At the very end, I had decided it was Luna because of the language she was using, because she is curious about normal life after being freed from the moon. Then I saw your answer and I felt like a retard for even having those thoughts at all.
Looking back, perhaps the idea of aging was from the change I thought I saw from observing the environment to observing other people. You can only really look at the environment/setting so much before you know it back and forth. However, people change in an amount of time we can observe.
For the question of "Where am I?", my thought process was more simple. Because people were so out in the open and sort of, welcoming almost, of watchful eyes, I thought the environment was fairly rural. Everyone knows everyone. >Carrot farms. Okay, definitely rural. My mind was locked on Ponyville pretty early on, but from the details I was reading about, I thought it be some other small town. The city name didn't really matter more than the type of city it was.
As for "Who am I observing?", it felt as if the entire pace was set around this (at least after a certain point). I tried picking out familiar faces. I thought I saw Lyra, Bon Bon, Pinkie Pie, the Cakes and one of their foils, Carrot Cake (some Applejack clone OC of yours perhaps), and Vinyl, perhaps?
Nitpicks? Eh, kind of? Not really? The length was a little off putting at first just because it was so abstract. Your structure seemed like it was not set to a four line stanza or a six line stanza and more or less was just whatever the fuck you felt like. But I wasn't really reading for structure anyways. Similar to rhythm. It was just sort of whatever you wanted it to be. Though I'd have to check those things again to be sure. That's just how it felt.
Neat bits? The pacing(?) felt linear in a way. You started from abstract ending on specific. In a way, I thought an entire day passed in the poem, almost as if it was a scene where the MC walked in a straight line through the town and the Sun followed above them until they reached the end and it was night time. And with my conclusion that the MC was Luna, I assumed that perhaps it was the other way around, perhaps the moon rose on her arrival and the ending came with the setting (a contradiction with what was written, I know).
If you were to revise it, I'd really suggest just removing the fat. (It feels like a fat poem, if that is even such a thing). To be a bit more specific, increase your focus to a certain extent. Anything I didn't mention that was in your poem was something I just didn't register after one sleep deprived read. If you concentrate more on a specific question, theme, or even an observation, that could help keep me, a typical ADD normie, focused.
As it is, it feels like a story written in the free form of poetry more than a poem (but what's the difference, amirite?). It just needs to be a bit more relatable in some way. I know that's sort of odd considering the intention was for the reader to be a pony strolling through a new town they've never been to (or at least one they haven't been to in a while).
Well, fuck, I think I've gone through as much as I can after only one sleep deprived reading. Hopefully, my review/response/digestion doesn't come off too much as faggotry.
Good job posting a poem though. That in and of itself takes a bit more courage than just another greentext IMO. There's usually a bit more of the writer in those than in a short story where the opposite is supposed to be true. Good luck on your future writefag adventures. If you have any questions or something, feel free to reply to this rant.
So if I'm writing about the Dazzlings post-RR, it it reasonable for them to channel different emotions than discord? And if so, would it make sense for them to store the magic in their bodies rather than objects, becoming more unpredictable and volatile?
>it it reasonable for them to channel different emotions than discord?
>And if so, would it make sense for them to store the magic in their bodies rather than objects, becoming more unpredictable and volatile?
I don't know about this one. I always thought the whole point was that without the amulets, they were completely harmless
Hoo mama, I wasn't expecting this kind of response. First of all, you're welcome. It makes you a conscientious writer, this pleasure in small death.
I understand where you're coming from on this. I don't know if it would be obvious for those who are not me, because I can't know something like that. It's something to solicit other people's thoughts on.
Are you simply looking for verbs that look off, or are you fully re-reading the story? Regardless, running something like this through Microsoft Word can help filter out errors. Alternatively, and I know this is an archaic solution, printing out the story and reading it on a physical page helps you see the text differently. You get so used to reading on a screen, certain things just slip right past, and reading it on a different format breaks that up.
Odd, because I remember the diary having the best consistency in tense.
Yes, too sudden is a good way to put it. You don't need to add the information about her in that part, because you show it later on.
I think you shouldn't be outright declaring her thoughts at all, here. The fact that she's trying to dishonestly discourage Applejack can come through in the subtext of her dialogue.
Action is one of the hardest parts of any story, because you have to balance lots of motion, activity, and imagery, all while keeping the reader oriented in some way. A proper action scene will challenge anybody, but when they're done right, it is rewarding as hell.
Okay, interesting. However, it's more than her birth name she's going against; it's her cutie mark, meaning that she must have some aptitude for cherry picking, or processing, or whatever. I think the conflict that would make more sense is "something I'm really good at and love versus something I'm even better at but don't really care for." That kind of conflict is not the kind of thing that would be wise to bring to light in the first part of a three-part story, so I think only setting up for it is good. I have no way of knowing future intentions in the incomplete things I read, and I try to make no assumptions, so that's why I had so much to say about what that line portends. If you want to word it better, you can have Cherry simply express a lot of jealousy for Dinky's engineering skills. I think that would probably show how she feels about the issue clearly enough for where you are now. That idea can be, and should be, explored later on, as well.
Then why not simply describe how he looks? Give us the impression, don't just tell us Cherry's. It's all a part of that "show, don't tell" rule.
>Cherry and Dinky's relationship
One thing to avoid with this relationship, and relationships in general, is rushing it. Let things happen naturally between them. Let both characters not really get each other for the first part of the story. Let them fight, or butt heads, or not understand each other. Just be certain to not tell me that they're doing it as they're doing it. If you write it well enough, there is no need to tell me what I'm reading.
It's not the explanation, but the implementation, that I took issue with. I think you need to include it into her character more than you do now. I think line 456 is actually perfectly fine.
Yes, you definitely need to state why she has a tough time escaping that jacket, because, with no reason, it looks like she's staying on the ground by choice, and why would she do that?
That's up to you. Flashbacks can be added pretty much wherever, as long as you can create the correct contexts and content for them. Don't overuse them, though. At least, not in this story. This isn't that kind of story.
It's less severe for cringe. It's more like recoil.
Ehh, I guess. Seems awfully lucky to me, and that's a risky precedent to make. A protagonist who is too lucky can do weird things to the story structure.
Gotcha. You'll want to clarify that.
I believe Equestria is just the country, yes, but this isn't a country on our home planet. This is the part of the story where you have to invent your own name for their home planet.
Yeah, just making it a more consistent part of her character is a good idea. That isn't to say you should make her always irritable or angry, but make her niceness seem more affected, or more strained. If you can make it seem like she's actively using a lot of patience to deal with Dinky without snipping, that'll help a lot.
Oh, this is my bad. I forgot the corollary you put in that line.
That would be better, yes. Alternatively, if you want to really challenge yourself, you can try to make his dialogue change subtly to convey his nervous position. No physical tells, only a slight change in intonation and the cadence of his speech. That, also, is really hard, especially in a non-main character. The first option would be just fine in my opinion.
As for re-posting this, that's up to you, but I'll tell you this: for how much I had to cover on this, that was a fraction of what I'm actually capable of if I'm given a complete story. In a full story, I look at how characters change over time, how the plot advances, how precedents are set up for later points, and so on. Advanced, deep-story stuff that I can't possibly cover in a partial work. Just something for you to consider.
Firstly, let me say thank you for taking the time. I appreciate it.
>it was very abstract and purple to me
This was something I was afraid of. I tried putting effort into making things fluid and sprightly while still sounding sincere. It was clear to me when reading it myself that some of it was hard to decipher or focused purely on some emotion. I didn't want to fix too much though – I felt like the wording was as close as it should be. Other parts frustrated me because I felt like it could have been better but I couldn't figure out how.
>"Who am I?", "Where am I?", "Who am I observing?".
Glad these questions came up. The authorial intent (if it matters) was for the passing pony to be nameless, but taking on 'different modes'. Throughout I wanted him to be primarily an observer who is doing these acts, or at least having an overbearing sense of participation. The pony can be considered writing down his reminisce (or streaming it while it’s happening I guess) of the town (I wanted the first stanza to show it wasn’t necessarily actually happening, or happening in reality) and through him it is also the authors impression, or fantasy. Or basically, in the sense that it's the author as in me it acts as a daydream, and the author as in the pony it acts as a sort of self-insert of me, but it could also just be imagination to him too. I tried putting hints around at something like this, like ‘the bounding of observer’ (the bounding being both an observer of animation in another dimension, and physical observer in that dimension) and the ‘fall to the backdrop of the plane again’ (reference to the ‘fibrous plane’). The fourth to last stanza (307-10) about the four figures the observer claims to see are four archetypes the observer would most fit in the town, three of which are (close to) characters I’ve written in other stories. To give more perspective on it, I wrote my last prose fic a while ago but still felt something needed to be said about what I immersed myself into for so long – hence the title ‘Exit’, and the ending – and I think that’s really what influenced me here. Also I wanted an instance of reality (the present world of pony author/reminder of a less pleasant place he’s in now or formerly, also present world of real author) creeping through in lines 147-63, when he’s reminded from an expression on Berry’s face (something unbecoming to the perceived almost spiritual sublimity of the town).
This is all just what I had in mind. But I could see where you’d get all those ideals, which are interesting, especially the Luna thing. In fact, you could probably ignore my little passing pony comment in the initial post, I like that you got that from it. I suppose it could also sensibly be seen as the reader.
For the record it was meant to be Ponyville. I never wanted to be explicit though, I wanted it acting more as a collective entity. Do you think I should make where it is clearer?
Also all those characters were meant to be in there, except Pinkie – I purposely avoided any mane six, the only reference being in the end (line 300-01) which was a double meaning, as in Elements of Harmony as well as the physical elements. I tried making some of the characters clearer by capitalizing something (Lily, Rose, Junebug), but I can see how some passages like the one intended to be Octavia (123-37) or all those figures from 282-90 could be very ambiguous.
It was pretty much whatever. There are thematics keeping a theme together each stanza, but only the very last one had a formality (meter).
>You started from abstract ending on specific… the ending came with the setting
Interesting how you see that. Perhaps it was something I was doing sub-consciously.
>increase your focus to a certain extent.
All right, so maybe cool down on abstractions or make the transitions more sensible?
There were different themes I was going for here, such as streams, soul, and a general unification of all the environment and individuals.
There are many connections and such I could mention but of course it’s all authorially how it is wanted to be seen, ambitious junk. I’m more interested in an impression from another. Not to nullify suggestions though, I really can add clarity to a lot of things, make it sound less maladroit. I don’t really intend posting it anywhere else (its trash, people would hate should I seriously publish it).
>Good job posting a poem though
Heh, thanks. I'm still just a shitty dilettante. And this was way to inspired by a poet I was recently reading.
Again, thanks for taking the time.
I had a feeling about the sensations (touch, taste, scent), but I really had no idea how to go with it other than "they shoved their tongues into each other's mouths."
Yeah, an example would be nice
Depends on how passionate it is. If it's a surprise romantic kiss on the lips that lasts for three seconds, focus on the rush of adrenaline either characters felt at that sort of action. When it's dirty love making, focus on how the character fondles the love interest while trying to convey his feelings towards the situation, as wll as mentioning the partner's body and tongue movement.
I'lll do a basic Lip-contact kiss so you can get the idea.
>And as Anon had kissed Octavia, their eyes closed gently, the warmth of their moist lips comforting each other, as a hand held a hoof tightly.
>Surely, it was forever, as the kiss felt like it was everlasting, the love of the two shared in a single form of contact, their gentle touches meeting mouth to mouth, as they couldn't help but need air.
>Slowly, ending for what seemed to be an eternity, the two's lips separated slowly, warmth drawing back to that of the individuals as they gently looked into each others eyes, a tingling between the two.
Does that help you get the picture I use?
Yeah, that gives me an idea.
That would also help.
Hard to write about making out when you've never done so.
What I'm going for myself was a spur of the moment make out session, if that helps any.
Is it sad I've never kissed but yet I can write the damn thing out?
>However, in a flurry, Octavia pulls you back in, desperate for you, and the sensations of love you give her.
>In an instant, your lips lock, as you can only put your arms around her and breathe heavily.
>Your tongues were wrestling for dominance, slipping past one-another desperately, like territorial dogs without fighting. Your saliva was exchanging bit by bit, the soft taste of what was Octavia's Mare-Grey tea tingling with the taste of your mint gum, as your taste buds and muscles were hitting at one another, begging for dominance and more sensations.
>However, as the kiss ended, you couldn't help but back away, a slim string of saliva hanging between the two of your lips as the both of you panted again, desperate for air.
Does this help you as much as the last example?
>Is it sad I've never kissed but yet I can write the damn thing out?
But you've read enough stuff about kissing and making out to have an idea how to write it, yeah?
That helps a lot though.
So close to trips there.
Legit, I have read a lot of novels but not many fanfictions.
Mainly Battletech and such though. I developed the kissing stuff and all the intimate stuff with experiences from others, reading articles, etc. And eventually building knowledge on it. Hell, I can put an excerpt from an old story I have pastebinned just to show I didn't read a lot of novels. I got this myself.
Mainly because it was my first lewd green.