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  • E Diary of a Silent Tyrant

    Encased in stone, Discord observes the events around him and reflects on his life
    3,163 words · 6,755 views  ·  670  ·  7
  • E Apple Ninjas and Other Vital Concerns

    Big Mac shows Apple Bloom that the farm can be a blast, even when her friends are all busy for the day.
    3,725 words · 1,406 views  ·  170  ·  0
  • E Checkmates

    After finding a chess set in the library's storage closet, Twilight is eager to play a few games and turns to Applejack and Rainbow Dash. Teaching the two most competitive ponies in Ponyville a new game should be a snap, right? RIGHT?!
    3,673 words · 6,304 views  ·  464  ·  5
  • E Diary of a Pliant Tyrant

    When Fluttershy finds out that Discord used to keep a mental diary while imprisoned in stone, she begs him to continue it. Grudgingly, he promises to document his thoughts about his new life among old enemies
    16,437 words · 8,145 views  ·  825  ·  14
  • T Cheerilee's Thousand

    Cheerilee goes on one thousand terrible dates.
    76,083 words · 5,249 views  ·  663  ·  11
  • E The Carrot Dog Fight

    Spike just wants to eat his delicious carrot dog, but Manehattan's birds have other ideas.
    3,570 words · 1,076 views  ·  104  ·  1
  • E Easy As Pie

    In which Pinkie Pie battles a rogue kitchen.
    7,385 words · 4,553 views  ·  240  ·  6
  • E A Door Jam

    Twilight, Applejack and Fluttershy end up on an adventure when Pinkie develops a strange obsession with Sugarcube Corner's back door.
    10,904 words · 4,341 views  ·  282  ·  8

Blog Posts449

  • Wednesday
    Scratching My Head

    I just read a critique of My Roommate is a Vampire, and one of the commenters mentioned that they thought Octavia was out of character in the story.

    Is that possible?  Can Octavia be out of character?  I mean, as long as it's consistent within the story?

    9 comments · 29 views
  • Monday
    Overly-Long Thoughts on Brave and Frozen

    As I’ve said before, I’m a very slow consumer of media.  You know that song you’re sick of?  I’ve probably never heard it.  Your favorite video game?  I probably haven’t played it.  All those movies at the Oscars?  I’ve never seen any of them.  I tend to live in my own brain because I’m too poor (cheap) to afford easy access to these things, and I don’t have the motivation to figure out torrents and the like.

    What happens because of this is that I see just a few movies a year, and they tend to be older.  Something my wife and I can pick up at the store on sale.  A few weeks ago, she picked up Frozen and Brave.  I watched both last night, and kinda wished I hadn’t by the end of things.

    Spoilers ahead

    Brave was firmly okay.  Not great, but not actively bad.  I was caught a little off-guard by the thrust of the film.  I was fully on board up until the bearification, and from that point on, the film became a baffling series of weird decisions by the characters.  

    One of the things this movie does that I detest is that it highjacks Merida’s character for the sake of convenient plot.  When meeting with the witch, she makes sure to give her a very vague idea of what she wants.  The movie tries to set this up with earlier snippets of dialogue, but I don’t buy it at all.  Merida is a headstrong teenage girl who knows exactly what is bothering her: She doesn’t want to get married. Yes, I know it’s deeper than that, but the marriage is the primary concern.  But she doesn’t ask the witch to make is so that she doesn’t have to get married.  She asks her for the very broad “I want a spell that will change my mom.  That will change my fate.”

    This does not sound to me like natural phrasing.  It feels like the script’s author is trying to be clever about things.  Contrast this with the wish Geppetto is granted at the beginning of Pinocchio.  Geppetto is a lonely man, and when granted a wish, he knows exactly what he wants.  He doesn’t ask for something vague.  He wants his creation to be a real boy, not for his creation “to experience life.”  Aladdin doesn’t as the genie to “change my life somehow.”  He wishes to be a prince.  Ursula tempts Ariel by saying she can transform her into a human, not that she could give her something the prince might like.  She’s very direct about it.

    So when Merida meets a weird stranger in the woods, doesn’t worry at all that the witch might not have the best intentions or if she even knows what she’s doing, then gives her an obviously vague set of instructions, it makes me roll my eyes. It’s established early on that Merida is at least somewhat enamored with magic, but come on.  With that kind of set up, you either make me question the writers of the character herself.  Either the writer is being lazy or the character is kind of dumb.  I don’t like either of those options.  It think it would have been better to introduce the witch a little earlier.  Merida could have heard her offer and refused, then caved when things were looking bad for her.  It would have felt a lot more natural to me than just taking the word of some bizarre stranger that she just met all of a sudden.

    The mother is shockingly okay with becoming a bear.  I mean, she’s obviously concerned, but they kind of play it mostly like, “Gosh! Isn’t this very awkward?” rather than “Holy shit, my daughter just completely ruined my life!” Not that I wanted it to fully swing in that direction, but it felt odd to me.

    Then when it’s found out that they have two days, they basically spend the first one bonding.  That’s nice and all, but, um, your… your mom’s a bear, Merida.  Like, she’s going to be permanently a bear really soon.  Some urgency in the solving the bear problem would be nice.

    This film also has a pet peeve of mine going on: People not listening to extremely shocking news.  Merida tells her father repeated that the bear is her mother.  She’s in a room in the castle… with a bear… that is not mauling her… telling her father that it is her enchanted mother… and he never stops and says, “Wait, what?”  I know that they said he doesn’t believe in magic, but that’s just defying any level of rational curiosity.

    My last real gripe with the film is the mending the tapestry thing.  The idea of that is fine, but why on earth would they try and get back into the castle?  Have Merida go in and get it.  They can mend it outside!  Have the boys sneak it out!  Yes, I know they were bearified at the time, but Merida didn’t know that.  Not that it impeded them in any way.  Tell a guard to go and get it.  She’s still the princess.  Anything other than “Let’s drag a huge bear through a castle filled with people that like to kill bears.”

    Besides story structure, there was a lot to like about the film.  The voice acting was top notch.  Character design was appealing.  The humor was generally good.  I loved Merida’s hair, especially when she was a little girl.  I was deeply enchanted by the way she said, “I missed” right at the beginning of the story.

    Overall, I liked this film, but I liked it less than I expected.  I was completely caught off guard by the bear thing.  I was expecting a heroic journey kind of thing.  I don’t really mind that they went in another direction, but it was surprising.  My quibbles with the movie are more based in details than the overall plot.  

    If you haven’t seen this film, I think it’s worth checking out, but it isn’t Pixar’s best.

    On the other hand, I thought Frozen was actively bad.  It seems like this movie needs a director’s cut or something, because there seemed to be whole swatches of information missing.  The trolls just, um, keep Kristoff?  And no one cares?  Anna never gets to see her sister, and her parents don’t have some kind of rationale for that?  How does Anna know where Elsa is when she flees the city?  How did the snowman get into the castle to free Anna?  Just on and on.  I kept watching and thinking, “Wait, how…?”

    I didn’t particularly care for any of the songs except for Let It Go.  I just found the music in the whole thing to be generally lackluster.

    Lots and lots of plothole and contrivance in Frozen. Way too many to just wave off as “Well, no film is perfect.”  For example, Elsa wants solitude and can control ice in cold to such a degree that she can make a pretty fantastic castle up on a mountain.  A castle with a huge friggin’ door that everyone can come in through.  All the people that she doesn’t want to see.  Just a parade of people coming through those doors…

    Or, um, isn’t there a regent or a chancellor or something in the kingdom?  The parents died pretty early on, and it’s pretty obvious that the girls weren’t running things, so why is control giving to some random dude that showed up all of a sudden.  Granted, he’s apparently a prince from some neighboring place, so I guess he has cred(?), but that’s just a bizarre thing for everyone else to accept.

    But mostly I felt like Frozen was a collection of good scenes that weren’t held together very well.  Watching any scene by itself, I’m sure I’d like it, but it rarely felt to me that one scene was a logical progression from the one before it.

    Also on display here was some writer contrivance that I can’t stand.  For example, Kristoff and Anna show up to meet the trolls, and this whole scene is a nightmare to me, but what I gritted my teeth at is that the trolls are in rock mode when they show up and stay that was for no good reason other to allow Olaf and Anna to have a joke-y scene where Kristoff is talking to rocks.  Exactly why are they just standing stock still and not responding?  I don’t know, I have no good explanation other than “Well, it wouldn’t be funny if they didn’t.”  Then we get into a song about marriage that doesn’t really serve any purpose.  

    Now, I’ve always said that I don’t mind if a story meanders off from the main plot for a while, and I stick by that, but the caveat is that it must be entertaining.  Douglas Adams is the master of that, in my opinion.  He can write things that are basically totally irrelevant to the plot of the story, but are wildly fun to read about.  Probably a quarter of the Hitchhiker books are useless errata, but we love them for it.

    That’s the problem here for me.  We go off on this marriage song and dance, but it didn’t entertain me at all.  That’s just a personal opinion, of course.  Given this movie’s success, I’m probably in the minority about that scene, but it was like nails on a chalkboard to me.

    I could go on and on about the storytelling problems in that movie, but I’m sure you get the gist of it by now.  There is a school of writing where the author moves the plot along by what seems to be the first thing that comes to mind.  In MLP terms, this is kind of what Merriweather Williams seems to do.  Bats! relentlessly moves forward, ignoring much better, completely obvious solutions.  Frozen suffers from this, though it’s considerably better than Bats!  Much, much better.  However, I still got the feeling that someone would say, “But why didn’t the parents have some explanation as to why their eldest daughter is a recluse” and the room would go quiet for a moment, then someone would finally say, “Oh, whatever. It’s just a kid’s movie.”  

    And if you don’t think that happens, think again.  I have a friend that works for Hasbro, and he has lots of stories about execs using the “Whatever, it’s just for kids” line. Tangentially related to that is his many stories he has about how dumb they think that kids are.  Lots of decisions and discussions where he has to argue not to assume kids don’t understand a single thing.

    Back to Frozen.  It’s not all bad.  The character designs were nice.  The animation was pretty good, though at certain points it had this kind of bizarre stop motion feel.  I happen to love stop motion, so I was good with that, but it was a little strange to get that stuttering effect all of a sudden.  I kept wondering if my blu-ray copy was messed up somehow.  It felt very Rankin Bass at times.  And like I said, the individual scenes themselves often were satisfying to watch.

    Overall, I just can’t recommend Frozen.  I enjoy lots of flawed movies, but this one just had too many of the things that specifically irritate me.  It’s a smash-hit, though, so my opinion should be taken with a huge grain of salt.  I’m definitely not the target audience, it would seem.

    16 comments · 96 views
  • 1w, 5h
    Shut Up, Brain!

    It's really annoying when you have what should be a passing idea that becomes a permanent, insistent idea. I was talking with Steel Resolve the other day, and he was lamenting the dearth of Fluttershy/Rarity romance stories. Mostly joking, I told him that I'm going to write him one some day, and that it would suck, but I'd write it for him all the same.

    Strange thing is, I can't quit thinking about it!

    Now let's break down why this is ridiculous:

    1)  I don't have any freakin' time.  Seriously, I just semi-retired because I can't get three seconds together to write.

    2)  Fluttershy is not a favorite of mine.  I don't particularly care for writing her.

    3)  I've tried to write romance several times. It's never really come together, besides what I write with Steel.  I'm going to have to give him most of the credit on that one.

    4)  Every idea that I have for it is miserably sad.

    All of this points to it being a horrible idea, but my mind is fixated on it for some reason. I should probably just bang out a chapter so that I can look at it and say, "Oh, yeah. That's bad. Let's throw that in a drawer where no one will see it again."

    But it's something about challenge. I have all these great ideas that I think people will like and that I know I'll enjoy writing, but they aren't as challenging as writing a miserable romance about a character that I don't like in a genre that is my weakest. So my interest is all piqued. It crowds out all the thoughts that I need, and I find my imagination playing out scenes of a story I don't want to be working on.

    Why, brain? Why?!


    8 comments · 60 views
  • 1w, 4d
    It's My Cheeri-versary!

    26 comments · 130 views
  • 1w, 6d
    Story Recommendation #3

    Wow.  It's been a long time since I've read a story that I liked well enough to recommend.  Yeesh.

    So let's discuss Spring is Dumb by HoofbitingActionOverload.  As is the case with these things, I'm going to try to avoid spoilers, but what is below this might contain them.  Consider yourself warned!  Warned, I say!

    This is a romantic comedy, and romance really isn't my genre.  I like the idea of it, but I find most stories to be generally overwrought, and no category has more offenders in that department than romance.  And that's precisely what makes this story nice.  The romance in it felt very natural to me.

    Less natural was the comedy. Now don't get me wrong. This story is funny enough to get a couple of actual laughs out of me. I almost never actually laugh out loud. It's more of a mental registry that something is, indeed, funny. My mind makes a little mental checkmark, but it doesn't usually translate into a smile or a chuckle. This story did a time or two, and for that, I applaud it.

    However, that didn't stop it from feeling like it was clubbing me on the head with the premise from time to time. There is a certain repetition that is going on in the story for comedic effect, but there is a fine line between 'still funny' and 'getting old.' Toward the middle of the story, I was starting to get pretty tired of the schtick, but the great thing is that the story also mostly does away with it at that point, too.  Not quite quickly enough for me, but I'm prickly and easily irritated, so for most readers, it will probably be right in the sweet spot.

    One thing that I really liked here is that this is a comedy with romantic elements, and that really lets the romance at the end have greater impact. It sets up the conclusion well, then delivers because you're ready for that change of pace. I think the instinct on it was good.

    Occasionally, the narrative voicing falls off track, but it's a rare problem.  Once or twice, HBAO has Rainbow think things that are humorous, but not really something that Rainbow would think. Then he kind of has Rainbow point that out to herself, but that's a false joke in my book. You can't have someone think about how they'd never actually think like that. But like I said, it's a nit-pick, not a recurrent thing.

    I was left wondering why it was divided up into two chapters. I didn't see the need to break up the flow.

    In the end, I found myself really enjoying this one. It's not perfect, but who knows more about Not Perfect fics than me? Eh? Eh?!

    No one, that's who.

    But the comedy hit its marks quite a bit of the time, and the romance was heartwarming. That seems like a win in my book.

    2 comments · 56 views
  • ...

Dreams are such delicate things, and Scootaloo’s are more fragile than most.

But in Equestria, dreams are protected.  Sometimes a filly just needs a helping hoof to learn how to hope again.

Edited by Knight of Cerebus

Cover art by Joemasterpencil.  Go check him out!

First Published
16th Mar 2014
Last Modified
16th Mar 2014
#1 · 36w, 3d ago · · ·

This is such a a awesome story!:pinkiehappy:

#2 · 36w, 3d ago · 1 · ·

If I'm lucky, I'll be able to read this after work today

#3 · 36w, 3d ago · · ·

>>4092018 Glad you liked it!

#4 · 36w, 3d ago · · ·


Well, I liked it already in it's pre-realese state, and I can't imagine how awesome it is now!

Oh, and by the way, I was very honoured that you sent me a pre-realese copie of the story!:twilightsmile:

#5 · 36w, 3d ago · · ·

>>4092078  Well, I don't think a whole lot has changed since then.  That was the third draft that you saw, so I just made minor changes after that.

#6 · 36w, 3d ago · · ·

>>4092058  I hope you love it!  :pinkiehappy:

#7 · 36w, 3d ago · 1 · ·


Well, it's still amazing! Where do all this stuff come from?

Anyway thanks and thanks again for letting me read it before the release! Your stuffs amazing, so please update you stories soon!:pinkiesmile:

#8 · 36w, 3d ago · · ·

So many feels, I loved it! :twilightsmile:

#9 · 36w, 3d ago · · ·

>>4092107  I have no idea where it comes from.  I just think a lot.  My mind is always coming up with stories.  I'd write more, but I'm kind of busy.  I write around my other life stuff.

Cheerilee's Thousand will have a lot of updates soon.  I have half a new chapter written, and Eakin has two back to back chapters in the wings after that.

#10 · 36w, 3d ago · 4 · ·

>>4092112  Thanks for reading it.  I really felt like Scootaloo needed a little bit more help than she received in Flight to the Finish, so this is what I came up with.

#11 · 36w, 3d ago · · ·

I really liked this story, xjuggernaughtx. While I like all of the CMC, Scoots really resonates with me. She's got perhaps the deepest implied backstory of the three, and perhaps of the entire main cast, and I think you did a good job filling out some of the details. I like what you did with the character.

#13 · 36w, 3d ago · · ·

>>4092123 Well, you did Scootaloo justice! :scootangel:

#14 · 36w, 3d ago · 1 · ·

>>4092126 Thanks!  I'm really happy that you liked it.  I feel like Scoots needs a little more help than they give her in the show, so I wanted to show her as vulnerable. I really wanted somepony to care for her more than "Well, maybe you'll fly or you won't  It doesn't matter."  Of course it matters!  She might have to deal if she can't, but it matters!

#15 · 36w, 3d ago · 1 · ·

My heart wasn't ready for the feels!:heart::raritydespair:

#16 · 36w, 3d ago · · ·

>>4092360 Hold on, hold on.  You've been preparing since yesterday!  How was your heart caught unawares?

#17 · 36w, 3d ago · 1 · ·


I know, but what Scootaoo did at the end surprised me!:raritycry:

#18 · 36w, 3d ago · · ·

Is that a spot in the feature box I see? Why yes, yes it is! I knew this had the potential for it. Congratulations, man, you deserve it! :pinkiehappy:

#19 · 36w, 3d ago · · ·

>>4092411 Wait, huh?  It is?  

Time to go turn on the Mature filter...

#20 · 36w, 3d ago · 1 · ·

>>4092411 Why, it is there!  YAAAAAAY!  :yay:

Thanks, man!

#21 · 36w, 3d ago · · ·

This is a great Scootaloo one-shot, one of the best ones I've ever come across. I think it's a good interpretation that really captures a lot about her that the show leaves unspoken.

#22 · 36w, 3d ago · · ·

>>4092488 Thanks!  The show has kind of left her in this weird limbo where she has all these difficulties, but she's just as chipper as the rest of the gang.  I just don't believe that could be true.  I wanted to show that she's struggling, on some level, but that there is help, and hope, for her.

#23 · 36w, 3d ago · 1 · 7 ·

Okay, the ending is--- horrifying. Tragedy tag or no tragedy tag, leaving the result of her jumping off the cliff uncertain implies the worst.

Either add a sentence where she gets airborne, or change the cliff to something slightly safer.

#24 · 36w, 3d ago · 8 · ·

>>4092525 The cliff is over a lake, close enough to the water that she can see the bugs that the fish are eating.  She's not in any danger.

#25 · 36w, 3d ago · · ·

Who knew Luna was such a talented psychoanalyst?

#26 · 36w, 3d ago · 1 · ·

>>4092550  I figure that anyone who spends her time in dreams must intimately know the pony mind.

#27 · 36w, 3d ago · · ·


#28 · 36w, 3d ago · · ·

>>4092638 Well, I don't really have an idea for a sequel, but I'm not against the idea or anything.  If one hits me, I'll write it.

#29 · 36w, 3d ago · · ·

>>4092648 Oki-doki-loki! I'll wait!

#30 · 36w, 3d ago · 2 · ·

Beautifully done! I really liked this, and I feel that you did a wonderful job with it. Your story descriptions worked out very nicely, too. :twilightsmile:

When I read the ending, this video instantly came to my mind. This is how this story made me see Scootaloo's first flight. Plus, the video rocks. Totally my head-cannon for Scootaloo, now.


Okay, the ending is--- horrifying. Tragedy tag or no tragedy tag, leaving the result of her jumping off the cliff uncertain implies the worst.

Just my own opinions, but: The ending in this case is truly interpreted by you as the reader. There is no definitive end, so the ending is not horrifying unless you believe it to be so. But consider this: Luna spent the entire story helping to convince Scoots that her problem was not that she couldn't fly, but that her depression and fear and outlook made it true despite the fact that she was born to fly. She simply needed someone to believe in her and care about her enough - and perceptive enough to see her problems for what they were - to show her the truth in a way she needed. But ultimately she still needed to make a leap of faith.

#31 · 36w, 3d ago · · ·

... And then Scootaloo died....:trixieshiftleft::trixieshiftright: haha nahh, good work.

Scootaloo's aunt seems a bit mean but I can understand since she didnt want a child to begin with. Come an Rainbow take her in, look how cute she is:scootangel:

#32 · 36w, 2d ago · · ·

>>4092648 And I will await your decision with great intrest!

#33 · 36w, 2d ago · 2 · ·

>>4092884  Aww, thanks!  You guys really helped me out with the descriptions.  I'm so bad at them.  It was a good idea to run them by you guys.

And I think once Scoots gets into the air, she's going to be a speed demon to rival Rainbow.  She's going to be hungry for that feeling!

#34 · 36w, 2d ago · · ·

>>4092901 Yeah, I wanted her aunt to be a sufficient source of angst, but not crazy over the top evil or anything.  Just enough to hurt Scoots and make her wish for something better.  

#35 · 36w, 2d ago · · 2 ·


#36 · 36w, 2d ago · 1 · 2 ·

Awaken, Scootaloo
Arise, Chicken
It had to be said.

#37 · 36w, 2d ago · 3 · ·

>>4093063 It's nice that there are so many people out there that want to see some positive stories with Scootaloo.  It always seems like I see just piles of misery heaped on that poor filly.  It makes me smile that there are people out there that want to read about her life getting better instead of worse.

#38 · 36w, 2d ago · · ·

>>4093182 yeah, kinda feel bad for her past in my story, but in her Future she will be a beacon of hope! ;) no real spoilers there

#39 · 36w, 2d ago · · 1 ·

...And then she died!:pinkiecrazy:

#40 · 36w, 2d ago · 4 · ·

>>4093264  Don't make me have Rarity whap you on the head with a rolled-up magazine!  

#41 · 36w, 2d ago · · ·

>>4093173 I just felt it was the proper thing to do.  Feels good, man!

Comment posted by ShadowThePony deleted at 1:17am on the 17th of March, 2014
#44 · 36w, 2d ago · 2 · ·

>>4092525 Um... RC? Even if she can't get lift, she still has wings. She could glide to safety in the worst case.

:twilightsmile: Everything is certainly fine.

#45 · 36w, 2d ago · 5 · ·

At first, I thought this felt like a subversion of the lesson from Flight to the Finish, because Luna's approach is incredibly different from Rainbow Dash's.  But when you think about it, it actually reinforces the lesson in a unique way.  Scootaloo should listen to both of her mentors and take their words to heart.  Love who you are, but strive to be better.  Don't fly because you want to be like everypony else; fly because it's what you want to do.  And honestly, I couldn't agree more with that sentiment. :scootangel:

This was a beautiful piece of work that showcased Scootaloo's psyche and Princess Luna's abilities as Equestria's ultimate psychoanalyst.  Scoot deserves a hug, Luna deserves a salute, and you, my friend, deserve a round of applause.  Well done. :moustache:

#46 · 36w, 2d ago · 2 · ·

It's great to see this hit the featured box!

Luna takes on a great role in this. To help mold and reshape Scoots into what she needs to be. To (hopefully) transform her into a fully fledged pegasus. It's like a motherly role, a sister, something in that realm.

It's great to see this look into Scootaloo's mind. How she is/was angry and afraid. and is now overcoming that. She is making the leap of faith.

Great job.

#47 · 36w, 2d ago · 4 · ·

>>4093454 My take on it is that Rainbow's solution is practical.  That's fine, but it doesn't help Scootaloo's emotional need.  I wanted to show how somepony would deal with that side of the struggle.  It's just not as easy as "don't worry about it, we still love you no matter what."  I think that would be incredibly frustrating advice to receive, even if it's correct.

I wanted Luna to be able to help her with that emotional struggle, and together with Rainbow, they're working to make a whole Scootaloo.

#48 · 36w, 2d ago · · ·

>>4093700 That's what I wanted.  Scoots already has a sister, so I wanted someone in her life that would be more of a mother.

#49 · 36w, 2d ago · · 13 ·


#50 · 36w, 2d ago · 1 · ·


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