Feb
17th
2017

If you're in the market for a comic tale, today's story has a deal for you.

Somepony Tries to Sell Twilight Insurance

[Comedy] [Random] [Slice of Life] • 6,260 words

Ballpoint Smudge has one job. It's not an easy one, but it's one he's determined to do to the best of his ability. The only problem is that as soon as he meets Twilight Sparkle, everything he's ever learned about princesses goes flying out of the window. He was expecting her to be regal, haughty and bossy. Instead she's warm, friendly and welcoming. Perhaps she's genuinely a nice pony? Nah. It's got to be a test.

FROM THE CURATORS: Although the central gimmick of this story is right on display in the title, "this is no one-note joke of a fic," Chris said in his nomination.  "A pleasant blend of conversational humor, exaggerated characters — the protagonist's conversation with his boss is the high point of the story — and even a light moral, this is one of those works that is just effortlessly enjoyable from start to finish."  Broad agreement followed, along with compliments on the story's breadth.  "The voicing and general writing are the highlight here, along with that boss scene Chris mentions," Present Perfect said.  "The lightning-fast dialogue is easy to follow and only adds to the humor."

He wasn't the only one to praise the subtle whimsy on display.  "From the very first paragraphs, I loved the narrative voice," AugieDog said.  "The sort of Terry Pratchet/Douglas Adams humor on display here is a delicate balancing act, and the author manages it better than most."  Soge went further: "There is real skill on display here, from the superb voicing to the intricate characterization and the late reveal about Twilight. It's one of those fics that makes me want to instantly follow the author."

But there was more than the voicing to like.  Chris pointed out the melding of nostalgia and modernity: "It captures an early-season feel (right down to a letter to Celestia!) while grounding itself firmly in the S6 era," he said.  And AugieDog approved of the story's extension of its sources.  "Even the way the author pretty much quotes word for word the insurance dialogue from Ambrose Bierce's The Devil's Dictionary serves the story well," he said.  "The author takes the lines, expands them to make them work in a pony context, and takes them somewhere Bierce would never have imagined in his wildest dreams."

Read on for our author interview, in which The Minister of Scones discusses fifth earls, hot water bottles, and summary pie.

Read More
Feb
13th
2017

Seattle's Angels is a group that promotes good stories with low views. You can find us here.


Plum sat back in his plush office chair, legs on top of his desk and a smoking cigar clenched between two fingers. He idly tapped the end of the cigar against an ashtray as he stared across his desk with bored interest at the only other occupant of the room. “So, we had Meta-Ferret last time with some type of insane bent to her going on. What have you got to top that this week?”

Read More
Report Wanderer D · 951 views ·
Feb
10th
2017

What a tangled Web today's story weaves!

Arête - Princess Alicorn of Hackers

[Adventure] [Alternate Universe] [Sci-Fi] • 35,168 words

Dinky leads a double life. In the real world she is an average pony in her final year of school, slightly timid, bored with everything around her. In the Dream-Web she is a hacker who wants to make a name for herself.

One evening she stumbles on something that has both her lives merge in one, as she seeks to find whether the Web really is run by deities, or is this just a trick by the Starswirl Conglomerate.

FROM THE CURATORS: While we had a spirited debate over the relative merits of this story, there was one thing on which we all agreed.  "The cyberpunk aesthetic and page-turning, pulse-pounding action are the big things right," as Present Perfect put it, and it was our collective enjoyment which solidified the story's feature.  "It has been a while since I read a story that was this much of a romp," Chris said, and Horizon agreed: "It was a page-turner.  I read this over most of a week, and every time I returned to it I was looking forward to seeing what happened next."

That gripping pace was part-and-parcel of the faithful way the story executed on its genre.  "It's got all the big hallmarks of '80s-style hacker/cyberpunk,' for better and for worse," Chris said.  "On the downside, it sometimes flattens its characters, and its dramas are awfully convenient. But that's part of the charm of this piece: piling on the technobabble and twists without ever bogging down or being difficult to follow."  AugieDog agreed that that accessibility was another of the story's core strengths.  "The only computer class I've ever taken in my life was back in 1982, learning to write BASIC programs on Radio Shack TRS-80 computers," he said. "And yet I really enjoyed this."

Much of our debate focused on the story's other genre choices.  "The narrative style turns every little thing into a major crisis, which effectively keeps the tension up ... but sacrifices the sense of emotional proportion," Horizon said.  "It's very Young-Adult novel, which is a genre I usually appreciate from a distance."  That was also a tough sell for Soge.  "I found the whole teenager drama aspect to be uninteresting," he said.  "But the idea of a dream web is interesting and imaginative; the hacker-pulp angle gives the story a nice, upbeat rhythm without being straight-up ridiculous; and Diamond Tiara is fantastic throughout."  And AugieDog found that same writing style a strength.  "The 'teen angst' stuff is what made it for me," he said.  "As YA pony cyberpulp, this stands up and dances."

Read on for our author interview, in which Lise Eclaire discusses cat factories, glacial ridges, and the million-word threshold.

Read More
Feb
3rd
2017

If you came for a solidly built Alternate Universe fic, today's story delivers.

If You Came to Conquer

[Alternate Universe] [Dark] [Drama] • 5,959 words

Nightmare Moon won. She defeated Celestia, broke the Elements, banished the sun. This all happened a very long time ago. So long ago, that she has had plenty of time to change her mind.

Of course, fixing our mistakes is never so simple, and never without consequences. Even with particularly potent help.

FROM THE CURATORS: "This is an intriguingly crafted AU whose version of Nightmare Moon feels entirely plausible and whose Discord is quite solidly done," Horizon said when nominating this fic.  "The story feels appropriately sparse and mythic, but what makes this worthy of the Library is the meditation on forgiveness."  It quickly caught our attention on multiple levels.  "'Nightmare Moon won' is one of the oldest AU cliches there is, but cleverpun manages to use the idea to good effect here," Chris said, while AugieDog brought out the superlatives early: "The scene at the end of chapter one is about as devastating a thing as I've ever read in a pony fanfic."

But while our reactions to the story cited different strengths, one thing on which we all agreed was how powerfully it developed its premise.  "Just when you think you've seen the big reveal, everything escalates to another level," Present Perfect said.  "And that ending, wow."  Chris agreed: "The ending is the clear highlight to me, nailing that 'surprising when you read it, obvious in hindsight' effect that a good twist aims for."  Meanwhile, Horizon praised how thought-provoking it was: "The story's climax is effective horror that brings up some significant moral questions."

And while the story worked powerfully on its own merits, several of us felt that it was best appreciated as part of the trilogy which it spawned.  "'Conquer' is a nicely twisted idea presented in a nicely twisted way," AugieDog said, "but I would call the two sequels required reading, since they complete the story arc in such a wonderfully tidy fashion."  Horizon agreed: "Continuing to read the sequels is very much worth your time."

Read on for our author interview, in which cleverpun discusses blanket patterns, awkward melanges, and B-grade splatter films.

Read More
Feb
3rd
2017

Everfree Northwest, Seattle's premier pony convention is known for having one of—if not the—strongest writing tracks in the MLP fandom. As part of that, we run an online writing contest (now called "Scribblefest") every year. Entry is open to everyone, whether or not you attend the convention.

Like last year, we’re giving out six special awards, each of which comes with a $20 Amazon gift code!

This year’s prompt is: Growing up wild and forever free

Awards

The Jaw-Dropper Award ("The Dash")

We all know the type, the stories that make us go "Holy cow, THAT just happened!" This would go to the story with the best twist, surprise, or simple moment of hoof-pumping awesomeness!

The D'aww Award ("The Fluttershy")

A staple of ponyfic... the story with the sweetest, most touching moment that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

The Nasally Ejected Beverage Award ("The Pinkie")

You know, the one that makes you laugh so hard you snort milk out your nose.

The True Fable Award ("The AJ")

The story that is most true to the spirit of the show. By definition, a fable is "a short story, typically with animals as characters, conveying a moral." This goes to the story that best teaches a life lesson, especially using old fashioned, honest-as-apple-pie wisdom.

The Elegance Award: ("The Rarity")

For services to poetic language, beautiful diction, haunting prose, and overall elegance in writing.

The Checklist-And-Caliper Award ("The Twilight")

The story with the most attention to detail. This could be a puzzle or mystery type plot, stories that rely on actual math/science, or ones that show well thought-out rules underlying the use of magic. Basically, any story that makes you wonder just how much time the author spent on research, calculations, plot diagrams, or anything else that wasn't actually writing.

Goals

It's up to you, the author, where you want to focus your effort. Good stories will often include elements that make them eligible for multiple awards, and we encourage everyone to focus on good storytelling, rather than myopically targeting a specific award. Do note however, that no story may win more than a single award.

How to Enter

Publish one new (never before published) story to FIMFiction.net between now and March 6th, then submit it to our online form at: https://goo.gl/forms/aAtOQEHtvsKSE5PA2

Prizes

Each of the six awards mentioned above comes with a $20 electronic code good for use at Amazon.com. International contestants may request a code for their regional Amazon affiliate (such as amazon.ca, amazon.co.uk, etc.) instead, and we will attempt to provide a code worth the equivalent of $20 US in that region. This may not be possible however, so non-US residents enter at their own risk.

In addition to the $20, winning stories and authors will also be featured on the EFNW website, various media/blog posts, and in the EFNW Convention Book.

Word Limits

Stories must be between 2000 and 6000 words in length. Note: FIMFiction’s word count uses a different algorithm than most word processors and we will allow some leniency to compensate for this.

Duration

Scribblefest 2017 will accept entries from February 1st, 2017 until 11:59 pm PST on March 6th, 2017. Judging will begin immediately afterwards, and winners will be announced 2-4 weeks later, depending on the number of entries we have to judge.

Judging Process

Judging will be done in phases by a combined panel of EFNW staff and invited guest judges from the community. Judges will be given a randomized set of stories to read and each story will be assigned to a minimum of two judges, to reduce the chance of personal taste/bias disqualifying a story unduly. Judges will vote for their favorite story in each award category to advance to the next phase. After each phase, votes will be tallied, and the top stories in each category will advance to the next phase, where the process will repeat until only one winner in each category remains.

Additional Rules and Details

1. All entries must adhere to a PG rating. Submissions using elements that could reasonably be considered above a PG rating, including but not limited to adult situations, intense violence, or drug use will be ineligible for the contest. If you are unsure if your story meets these guidelines and wish to ask, please contact our writing track lead,  Heartshine, directly by PM on FIMfiction:  https://www.fimfiction.net/user/heartshine

2. Any material that violates the rights of a third party will be disqualified.

3. Submissions must be relevant to the My Little Pony fandom. If it's not MLP-based fiction, an entry may be disqualified.

4. Stories must be an original work by the submitting contestant and must not have been released prior to the start of the contest.

5. Contestants may submit only one (1) story for consideration. If more than one (1) story is submitted, the submitter will be asked to select which entry they wish to enter into the contest. If the submitter cannot be reached in time for judging, the most recent entry will be used. Contestants that attempt to subvert this rule and submit multiple entries under different accounts or aliases may be disqualified at our discretion.

6. Co-written submissions are allowed, but disqualify all authors involved from submitting additional solo or co-written stories.

7. Editing/proofreading assistance doesn't count as co-writing, and authors may submit their own story even if they help edit for someone else.

8. Contestants may only win one award each. If an entry is found to be the best in multiple award categories, the judging panel will decide which award is most suited for it, and will give the other awards to lower ranked stories in the other categories.

9. Winners will be selected based on many judging criteria, including, but not limited to: technical skill, characterization, creativity, originality, impact, and personal tastes of the judges. This is in addition to the criteria defined for each award itself.

10. Submissions must be submitted via the linked Google Form https://docs.google.com/forms. If you have trouble submitting, please contact our writing track lead, Heartshine, directly via PM. https://www.fimfiction.net/user/heartshine

11. Final interpretation of the contest rules and judging criteria are left to the discretion of the judging panel, and their decisions are final.

12. Submitters retain ownership of their submissions, but by entering the contest the author agrees to allow Everfree Northwest to share their submitted stories on our website, social media, conbook, and in other promotional media and materials.

13. Contest judges are not permitted to enter the contest.

Final Thoughts

Good luck to everyone! We look forward to reading your submissions, and hope to see you all at Everfree Northwest this May. As always, keep up-to-date on the latest Everfree Northwest news by visiting our website, viewing/following our FIMFiction account and group, liking us on Facebook, and following us on Twitter and Tumblr.

Jan
29th
2017

Seattle's Angels is a group that promotes good stories with low views. You can find us here.


Somewhere, hidden away, a batpony mare worked feverishly. Her tiny army of small yet accurately modeled figures, held together with plastic glue and painted in perfection, was all but done. It would all be perfect, all complete. Nothing could ruin this moment, nothing could interfere. She’d made absolutely sure that nothing whatsoever could find her. She’d gone far away, covered all her tracks, built an entire bunker, read the Uplifting Guardsman’s manual like a hundred times, and done horrible dark magics to ensure her utter privacy.

Just a couple more guardsponies and the company would be finished. Wasn’t this relaxing? It was. Very peaceful. Just like Cadia, where nothing EVER HAPPENED. So relaxing that she’d forgotten what it was she’d been up to before all of this. It was… something, probably. Something involving doing things.

But that didn’t matter now. Warhammer had a way of narrowing down priorities.

Smiling blissfully, she set back to wor—

“I FOUND YOU CYNE ARE YOU WRITING?”

It all happened too fast. One moment, peace. The next, anarchy. A ferret dropped from the ceiling, landing on the desk with a big, friendly grin. The batpony promptly tried to fly away. The desk, of course, was kicked in the process. Many things flew in the air, all of them things which should not, ideally, be in the air.

“How? Why? What?” asked the bewildered bat from her place on the floor. Turns out that trying to awkwardly fly when you suck at flying leads to accidents.

“Oh, you left your skype open! And ‘cause you asked me to remind you. And ‘cause it’s your first SA post and you’re a layabout,” Ferret replied happily.

A beat. “Wait, what was the first one?”

“Nothing! Nothing which invalidates the fictional setting of the tiny story I am definitely not inside of by calling into question its basic assumptions via a deliberate and sustained breaking of the suspension of disbelief for the purposes of ironic amusement and direct authorial communication through a chosen comedic mouthpiece! Now, did you write your reviews?”

“I… wait, I was supposed to write reviews? Is that what y’all, er, we do?”

“Yeah! Did you?”

“Uh... “

ROUND ##

Read More
Report Wanderer D · 1,573 views ·
Jan
27th
2017

Today's story features some rock-solid storytelling.

Lapidify: To See And Die

[Drama] [Horror] • 11,705 words

Ambergris is a pony of few pleasures, and being called out for meaningless social events is not one of them. When he bows to duty and attends, however, he barely reaches the home of his host before he is faced with something worse than tedious conversation. Something far worse.

The dreaded cockatrice, a creature capable of turning others to stone with a simple glance, has just entered the home of his host. Now a mere nuisance of an evening has become a monstrous nightmare, but as Ambergris struggles to save the occupants of the house, he must also struggle against the pressures mounting in his own mind.

FROM THE CURATORS: When RCL alumnus Skywriter offered this as a reading suggestion, describing it as "claustrophobic pony horror done the right way," we found a great deal to like — starting with the lush narrative voice.  "Oh, this is lovely," Chris said.  "The British Imperial tone of the narration fits perfectly with a story that blends foreign and familiar in its setting, and which explores pony race relations in the way this does."  Present Perfect agreed: "I'd say the big draw here is the narration. Ambergris has a very strong, consistent voice, and the overall style of language is very pleasing."

And while the horror was certainly effective, what drew the most consistent praise was the well-realized and imaginative setting.  "For me, the atmosphere was the big thing," AugieDog said.  "The weirdness of the non-Equestrian setting and the hybrid building where most of the action takes place; the 'haunted house' aspect of having a monster with a sort of intelligence behind it; the matter-of-factness of the sentiment that 'every town has this kind of dark wilderness somewhere nearby.'"  Horizon loved the worldbuilding: "Some awesome elements, like the mixture of pegasus and earth construction, are almost worth the price of admission by themselves."  And Chris found those things accentuating the horror: "The physical setting is beautifully realized, with the cross-cultural house practically a character in its own right in the tense middle section," he said.  "And how tense it is! There is some wonderful work here, keeping the readers on the edge of their seats."

In short, this was a tightly-knit story where everything contributed to the ultimate impact — including its fine balancing act with canon.  "I'm really impressed with how this story takes a familiar monster from the show, instead of the more common otherworldly or bloodthirsty horrors of other fics, and uses it to great effect," Present Perfect said.  "We know what a cockatrice is, we know what it does, but there are enough details thrown in here to create enough of a sense of the unknown that the horror can pervade the reader."

Read on for our author interview, in which Impossible Numbers discusses cartoon gravity, deathless wars, and terrifying chickens.

Read More
Jan
20th
2017

Today's story might just get you looking over your shoulder.

A Good Filly

[Drama] • 1,099 words

There are rules for surviving in the Crystal Empire. Shining Facet knows them well, and only hopes her daughter can learn quickly. After all, they say that things are different now — but sometimes it takes more than flugelhorns and crystal-berries to heal old wounds.

FROM THE CURATORS: Discussing this story during the nomination process, we were all amazed that we hadn't featured Orbiting Kettle's work before: "Clearly an oversight on our part," Soge said.

About the story in question, Soge went on to call it "dark and messed up in the best possible way." Present Perfect "was floored by how quickly and easily it slides us into the situation and the mindset of our protagonist," with AugieDog adding, "the story quietly examines the invisible shackles of paranoia, and the first tiny flickers of hope appear in such a lovely and understated way."

Our discussion got more personal than it usually does, too. Soge recalled family members "who suffered persecution under the previous military regime in Brazil," while Chris, calling himself "a man who lives in a low-crime city in a very white state," found himself thinking of people he knows "whose 'what to do when you see the police' lectures from their parents included things that were totally absent from mine: things like 'hide before they see you,' 'don't tell them your address, just say "around here,"' and 'don't tell them your real name.'"

That a story of not quite 1,100 words can touch so deeply upon so many worlds of experience while still fitting perfectly into events depicted in a cartoon about colorful talking ponies says a lot about both the source material and the author who put that story together. So read on for our interview where Orbiting Kettle discusses friends, cheese, the end of fear, and the hope of the future.

Read More
Jan
18th
2017

Site Post » Arrival · 5:19pm

You know, there comes a moment when you just need to rebrand. To shack off the shackles of previous incarnations of failed ideas. Mozilla have been brave enough to rebrand no longer as a web dinosaur (ugh, how nerdy and obselete) and usher in a new age of sleek, modern, hip, pop visual design with their new logo. You can see their stunning work here https://blog.mozilla.org/opendesign/arrival/

You'll notice they also include lots of "memes" to show how new and cool the logo is.

Well, we at Fimfiction are not going to be left behind. This is why I am proud to present the new Fimfiction logo!

This new logo will help propel Fimfiction into a new age of technological progress. The low quality image of the image shows that no matter how bad you look, it doesn't stop you from shining like a star. The eggplant shows how the moving of language to emoji is shaping our world, and Fimfiction, as a site all about language and writing will be making more of a move towards emoji based stories. The numbers in "fimfiction" show that our words can be more than they appear, conjuring up visions of numbers beyond compare.

I hope you will enjoy this new movement, and join us in our bid to create an open fanfiction web.

Report knighty · 5,207 views ·
Jan
13th
2017

Today's story had no problem soaring to a feature.

It's Not the Wings

[Slice of Life] • 6,144 words

Twilight is almost used to being an alicorn now. She's accepted that unexpected change, and is even happy about it, most of the time. Her magical abilities have grown by leaps and bounds, and she's starting to enjoy the freedom offered by flight. While she can't imagine ever being as good as Rainbow Dash, anypony with reasonable standards would by now consider her quite competent in the air.

But despite her growing enthusiasm and confidence, there's something that she has neglected to deal with. Something that's bothered her at times ever since the transformation, but kept getting shuffled down her list of priorities. Fortunately, she knows just the pony to talk to for help, and she won't let nervousness and self-reliant rationalization hold her back anymore. The latest of Pinkie Pie's parties provides a perfect pretext for a conversation she should've had months ago.

FROM THE CURATORS: Don't let It's Not the Wings' description fool you — the real draw here runs deeper than Twilight's inner fears.  "At first blush, this looks like an alicornification headcanon fic — you know, the kind where the author dives into what being an alicorn really means, how Twilight's grappling with it, all that jazz," Chris said in his nomination.  "But it's really not.  That element of the story is an accent to its true focus, which is Twilight and AJ having a friendly, semi-serious chat of the sort that friends have."  That's what drew the most attention from our curators, such as Present Perfect's praise: "I'll always support a story about ponies being good friends with each other."

By itself, that core strength was enough to win most of us over.  "This fic is almost notable for how little happens, and yet I can't help but love it," Soge said.  "There is something organic and hypnotic about their conversation that just drags you in."  And over and over again, our praise kept returning to the way this explored its central friendship.  "It's a bit ramble-y in all the right ways, capturing the feel of a conversation while still being an enjoyable read," Chris said, and Present Perfect agreed: "The diversions only buttress the realism of the dialogue."

What sealed the deal was the story's approach, keeping a strongly show-like tone and a very pony moral.  "This could have gone in many different zany directions, and yet the fic is focused in a way that makes it really solid and rooted," Soge said.  Chris summed it up elegantly: "If I had to pick one word to describe this fic, it would be 'comfy.'"

Read on for our author interview, in which Tallinu discusses inspiring presumptions, prehensile manes, and Occam's Pink Razor.

Read More