On Grimdark · 2:49pm
I just read 'Cupcakes' and 'Rainbow Factory.' Call me behind the times or whatever, but I felt like I had to just to say that I have. For the past five months I've used this Universe as a medium to learn the craft of writing, and you don't get good at anything without exposing yourself to all sides of the spectrum, even if they're, well...
DEAR GOD FUCKING DISGUSTING HOW THE FUCK COULD ANYONE WRITE SOMETHING LIKE THAT WHAT WAS GOING THROUGH YOUR HEAD DURING THAT CREATIVE PROCESS, WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU, YOU TWISTED FOUL SICK PIECES OF SH--
Ahem... sorry, I lost my composure there for a second.
I will not claim anything in terms of literary expertise. The important thing I feel, like just about anything else in life, is that you experience something for yourself so that you can formulate your own opinion.
I can now safely say I am not a fan of Grimdark, nor any form of portrayal of insanity or murder involving the main characters of this Universe, whom I have invested considerable time and effort into developing for my own fiction.
With that in mind, I will give my opinion:
I'll admit I only read one version of the story. I saw that there are over a dozen alternate endings and sequels on EqD. I don't care; I could barely stomach through one version. I LITERALLY had to walk away from my computer because I was shuddering so much.
Needless to say, it's bad.
Now let's examine WHY it's bad.
Poorly Written- Even with the 'typos and grammar fixes' version I read, I still spotted some, as well as some amateur writing mistakes, such as passive voice and Lavender Unicorn Syndrome (LUS).
Illogical- I haven't seen ANY movie regarding to Hannibal Lecter, although the general consensus seems to be that this was something like a 'Silence of the Lambs' ripoff. I have no idea, feel free to correct me. However, the point here is that I don't care WHAT kind of Universe you're building: No individual gets away with serial murder for long. The excuses Pinkie gives up are unconvincing and shallow, and shows that the author didn't give any form of thought into this, electing to simply dive into the torture and gore.
Nonsensical Portrayal of Characters (OOC)- At one point In 'Powers of Harmony,' I was seriously considering drawing some kind of inspiration from the idea that Pinkie has some kind of personality schism as portrayed in 'Party of One,' and that she goes from super happy and wanting to help others to... well, the exact opposite. I spent days on this idea, fleshing it out, thinking out how it could be rationalized. Chapter 5 suffered because of it. Why? Because I was curious to see if it could work.
Short Version: It doesn't.
Longer Version: Pinkie is the Element of Laughter. No matter what kind of interpretation you pull from that, the common consensus is that the Elements of Harmony are some form of magical artifact, (usually a Macguffin) that are the embodiment of good. There is no way you can rationalize how such a thing could be wielded by someone who has such a darkness within them. Such a thing would be contradictory to it's nature, no matter how you spin it. You'd have to throw out the little, teeny-tiny 'Elements of Harmony' thing for it to work, and at that point you might as well reinvent every single other character while you're at it, because THAT'S WHAT THE ENTIRE GODAMN FUCKING SERIES IS BASED OFF OF.
'Good' Points- I'm not a fan of gore or horror. I'm not condemning anyone who is, so long as you don't practice it irl. However, this story is all about the extreme level of torture and gore, for which it definitely delivers. So if that's your thing... I guess this is your holy grail? Don't know, don't want to know. I personally was sickened and disturbed.
The only things I can say is that Pinkie's character isn't ruined for me, because when I start to think about it, I remember that little thing I'm writing, you know... that 100k novel I'm in the middle of... I look at how I've portrayed her, feel better, and move on.
I only skimmed it. Why? I read what the plot was on a wiki, so I figured I'd just get to the important parts, aka the gore and the reason all this shit is happening in the first place.
My overall opinion of the story is that in regards to the literary rules I'm aware of, it's well done. Also, the basic idea behind the story, while disturbing, is unique and sustains the suspension of disbelief. This is basically a government-sanctioned slaughterhouse to extract a resource, and such a thing has been portrayed in other pieces of fiction.
Translation: The author put some thought into it, he didn't just slap up a cardboard backstory and jumped to the splattery bits.
However, there is still a flaw, and it is the same flaw that plagues almost all Grimdark in this universe:
MASSIVELY OOC- The story not only portrays Pegasi as basically the Spartans from 300, but then goes to show Rainbow as a emotionally deadened, morally corrupted psychotic serial child killer. Yeah... I only have one thing to say to that:
YOU CAN'T MAKE THAT KIND OF CHANGE IN A ONESHOT.
There is another thing as well, and this might have been a consequence of only skimming the story, (or from reading Cupcakes) but the story is not quite as gory as one would expect. Is there death? Yes. Does it go into detail of these deaths? Not really. Is that a good thing? Depends on why you're reading the damn thing. I'm going to go out on a limb and assume people read snuff-fics/grimdark stories for the same reason they read other kinds of genres that elicit strong, powerful emotions. For Tragedy, it's to cry. For Romance, it's for pleasure. For Grimdark, I assume it's for the adrenaline. I have to say that I didn't feel as much as I could have, however as I said, that could've been from reading Cupcakes, or from only skimming it.
I did like the ending, though.
Summary: Overall, I 'liked' Rainbow Factory more. Cupcakes is about one thing: To elicit a reaction. What that reaction is will vary from person to person, and in that regard it is better than Rainbow Factory. However, that's all it does, and that's all it was written for. Rainbow Factory had at least some form of rationale behind its sick, twisted actions, and from a writer's perspective, I have more respect for that.
Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go have nightmares for the next two weeks.