1. Member Since 5th May, 2012
  2. offline for 24w, 2d

TheVulpineHero1


Hi, I'm British, and you're reading a bunch of stuff you don't really care about! Yay! Go easy on me, I'm still finding my way around.


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Somepony struggles to remember their childhood. But something's wrong. The facts aren't lining up, and things are becoming blurred. What's at the bottom of this mystery?

First Published
23rd Dec 2012
Last Modified
23rd Dec 2012
#1 · 104w, 1d ago · 1 · ·

Hellooooo what do we have he-AHHH. I didn't expect that. D:

I went from confused, to interested, and then to growing terror. And then the ending. It was perfect.

#2 · 104w, 1d ago · · ·

I'll be sad if this doesn't get the recognition it deserves.

#3 · 104w, 1d ago · · ·

...Unbelievable! How could you ever doubt such a masterpiece that is this? My friend, it is, in my humble eyes, a perfect story.

First, I'd love to point out the metaphors, so cleverly imbued with the numerous elements of the story, such as and most importantly, the Kaleidoscope. Very well maneuvered.

Honestly, the structure is sound, lovely and detailed just right. It's like looking through a map of nothing but crossroads. Begging to ask the question of which is truly the right, and true path. All riddled down to the correct place.

By all means, you have nothing to worry about. This story is ready and, in time, will catch on and be graced with the numerous likes and applause's it deserves. Why? Simple. It is unique. I've never read anything quite like it, and it is indeed a refreshing taste of the ever growing evolution among writers, at least to me it is. Well done, Vulpine! :pinkiehappy:

#4 · 104w, 1d ago · · ·

This place has got more twists then the road to Rout Guano!

#5 · 104w, 1d ago · · ·

>>1842392

I'm going to be honest: some of the elements in this story were literally just there to mess with the heads of people that were familiar with my stuff. That's why the start has elements of a long, slice-of-lifey, serene account to it; I wanted to make it seem typical of other things that I've written, so when it all kicks off, there's a nice surprise. :pinkiehappy:

Glad you liked it!

>>1842475

To be fair, I'm not a super popular writer due to my erratic schedule. Plus, it has the most generic description possible and the only listed character is 'other', so the search engine won't be picking it up too easily; honestly, I don't predict this getting a lot of views outside of people who watch me anyway. But for those people, it's like an unexpected Christmas present. I guess what I mean to say is that even if it gets barely any views, I'll be proud of it. :twilightsmile:

>>1842842

Well, my original thought when I finished it was, "wow, this is pretty awesome". Whenever I think that about my own stories, I try to immediately go and seek second opinions to make sure it's not just my ego talking. I like to think I don't produce anything too awful, but I'm really not what you'd call an objective judge of my own work. :rainbowlaugh: So, it was a case of "don't doubt the story, doubt the writer". I'm glad you thought it was worth the read!

>>1842871

Hopefully they lead to a satisfactory conclusion. :raritywink:

#6 · 104w, 1d ago · · ·

Beautifully done, and absolutely criminal that it's got fewer likes than I can count on two hands.  Going to have to rectify this somehow.

#7 · 104w, 1d ago · · ·

>>1843545 It is always nice to enjoy a good story after the hell I've just gotten out of.

#8 · 104w, 23h ago · · ·

Oh, nice! Unexpected and well-written, and a very nice take on an intriguing aspect of Equestria.

#9 · 104w, 23h ago · 2 · ·

It's not easy to write a story this good in only 3,000 words. Well done I say.

#10 · 104w, 23h ago · · ·

This is incredible. It's as good as plenty of the stories in the featured box, and yet somehow it has under twenty likes. :fluttershysad: This story needs more love!

#11 · 104w, 21h ago · · ·

>>1844110

Well, as of the time of writing, it has more likes as you could count on two hands and two feet! In all seriousness, though, the points I made to Sypher should explain why I don't really expect this story to get super popular. The people who have seen it seem to like it, which is all I can really ask for. I'm really glad you enjoyed it enough to say that kind of thing, though. :twilightsmile:

>>1844779

It really is a very interesting aspect (he says awkwardly, trying not to spoil his own story in the comments section). How things work are never really explained, so there's a lot of wiggle room to play around and have fun. Glad you enjoyed it!

>>1844843

Well, I try! Originally I planned it to be longer and to have one more 'segment' than in its current incarnation, but somewhere in the process of writing the rest of the story, I decided that what I had planned would be superflous and cliche.

>>1844921

It works out that way, sometimes. I bet there are a whole bunch of amazing stories that are hidden away under the sheer volume of fics on site. Although more love would certainly be nice, I'm satisfied so long as this story provides a nice treat to anybody who does manage to stumble across it. :twilightsmile:

#12 · 104w, 20h ago · · ·

A good tale indeed, 'tis a crime that it has so few views:twilightsmile:

Also, nice foreshadowing :pinkiehappy:

#13 · 104w, 20h ago · · ·

Exquisitely disturbing. I knew it was a changeling POV story once Pinkie mentioned her dozens of green-eyed siblings, but I wasn't expecting a royal succession. Excellently, hauntingly done.

#14 · 104w, 17h ago · · ·

>>1843545 Ah, I suppose it is natural for artists and writers to doubt their work, I know I do.

#15 · 104w, 12h ago · · ·

AAAAHHHHHHHH

That was TERRIFYING WHAT THE HELL WHY WOULD YOU ASGGGHWEOIHFPOFWSFOQOIJOIJPOJ

#16 · 104w, 11h ago · · ·

Wow. Really interesting Premise. I especially liked the changeling reproduction process. i had a similar idea once, but it was less parasitic, more mutualistic. either way, FANTASTIC job:pinkiehappy:

#17 · 104w, 39m ago · · ·

>>1845474

Well, that's just the nature of the beast, I suppose. :rainbowlaugh: It doesn't matter. So long as the people who do see it enjoy it. :twilightsmile:

>>1845548

Good eye! From what I was told be both the pre-readers and commenters, it seems the moment of 'getting it' is pretty variable; some people twig it  straight away, whilst others don't get it until the really obvious hints start dropping right before the reveal. Since the whole Pinkie section is made to both lull you into a false sense of security (and act as a bait and switch, considering the frequency of 'Pinkie goes crazy' stories on the internet), it seems that a fair number of people just skip over that first big hint.

>>1847421

Because I'm a horrible person and I enjoy terrorising the innocent? :pinkiesmile:

>>1847754

Thanks. It is a pretty powerful idea; I'm just glad I managed to avoid botching the delivery.

#18 · 103w, 6d ago · · ·

>>1845548  I missed that.  I paused at the green eyes and the tens or hundreds of brothers and sisters, but just chalked it up to fanfiction weirdness instead of trying to figure it out.  Seems obvious in retrospect, was not obvious to me at the time.

This story is practically perfect.  The ending, from "When I was a filly, I wasn't a filly" onward, is perfect.  (Okay, EqD will tell you to reformat your ellipses.  But other than typesetting quibbles, perfect.)  It feels presumptuous of me to comment on it at all.

#19 · 103w, 6d ago · · ·

((COMMENT CONTAINS SPOILERS))

>>1845548 Yeah, that line slammed me to a halt too.  "Perhaps even hundreds" of siblings simply wasn't something I was capable of glossing over, and then with the green eyes, I was reading the whole thing thinking, "Welp, this is a changeling story."

It was still a good changeling story, don't get me wrong, but I feel like I read the punchline before the joke.  I don't think the story benefits from having foreshadowed it so conclusively and so early on.  (Based on >>1849246, I don't think that was the intention, either.)  I think my brain would still have gone to changelings around the time of the Applejack/Rarity transition, because that's just a natural place to go when somepony's got such conflicting memories, but a little more ambiguity would have let me savor the descent into the story a little bit at a time.

All that having been said, the Chrysalis twist at the end was still a good one, and the image of her true childhood was extraordinarily powerful.

#20 · 103w, 6d ago · · ·

>>1851064

Ah, the 'presumptuous to comment' feeling. Rest assured, you're not the only one-- I often get it when looking at some of the really good stories on site. It's irrational, but it still happens. (EqD has rules on formatting elipses? Wow. I guess it's lucky that I never even thought about submitting this there.) Glad you enjoyed this so much!

>>1852301

This. This is valuable. As sorry as I am that it spoiled the story for you, this kind of feedback is really the sort this story needs. Since I'm the author and knew the conclusion before the story even began, I can't judge exactly how important or necessary each clue is. I think I'll probably lose the green-eye descriptor in that sentence, since that seems to be the huge, concrete giveaway (and the many brothers/sisters is explainable by virtue of exaggeration or foggy memories, both of which are in context for Pinkie's account). I was thinking of doing it after FanOfMostEverything's comment, but now I know it isn't a one-off I can allow for it in good conscience, without worrying about disturbing the fabric of the story unnecessarily. Thank you for taking the time to comment about it instead of just hitting the thumbs down and calling it a day!

#21 · 103w, 6d ago · · ·

>>1852566 >>1852301

It's a hard call, but another reason to tone down that sentence--maybe remove one or the other of "green-eyed" and "perhaps even hundreds"--is the context people read the story in.  We read a new story here, esp. by an author we haven't read before, expecting it to be badly-written.  The biggest problem I can see with your story is being in that context.  Some people will start reading it, come across things that don't make sense, and jump to the conclusion that you're an idiot and your story sucks.  Some will cut you some slack because the writing style is so good so far, but many will not, and some aren't capable of telling the difference.

#22 · 103w, 6d ago · · ·

>>1852672

I can see what you mean. I've already removed the green eyed bit. One thing I will say is that, when you make purposeful mistakes in a narrative like I did in this one, there's always a chance people will just interpret it as the author themselves being an idiot rather than a key part of the narrative structure. Which is fair enough; nine out of ten times, mistakes are just mistakes. Ultimately, I think it's a great shame if people jump to conclusions within the first two paragraphs (despite the description of the story all-but-explicitly warning them that some statements/'facts' would not be true), but in the end, there isn't much I can do about it. The mistakes are important, and a certain subset of people will always misinterpret them.

There's also the fact that if the assumption is 'new writer --> probably written badly', the only way for a writer to change that assumption is to write well, which can only be done by making good stories. If the reader then makes the assumption that those stories suck before the piece has really had time to show what the author is capable of, nothing ever changes. It's sad, but also just the way it is. Essentially, if someone reads this story without the intention of giving it a fair chance, my hands are tied; nothing I do will make them give it one, and arguably I ought to be focusing more on the hundred or so people who know I can write, who will give it a chance, and who will get some enjoyment out of it.

All in all, it's a large issue, and I simply have no idea what to do about it. I'm unwilling to lose or relocate that first mistake entirely, since then the whole section goes from 'believeable account with something just off enough to notice' to 'believeable account that justs stops for no reason when the speaker decides it's not actually the right story.' I want there to be a reason, visible to the reader, that explains that the narrator might not be telling the right story ahead of time-- especially since Pinkie's section is the longest. I get your point, it's a good one, but I have no real answer to it. (I do like discussions like this, though.)

#23 · 103w, 6d ago · · ·

>>1852566 Glad I could help make the story even better. :pinkiehappy:

#24 · 103w, 4d ago · · ·

Aah!  Nice story! Changeling Queen mentality here reminds me a lot of the Bene Gesserit Reverend Mothers from Frank Herbert's Dune series. Must be a very strange existence, where consuming one's food has the potential to make one's essentially naturally schizophrenic state even worse. This further makes me wonder whether the older a changeling queen gets, the more fragmented she becomes...

In any case, this was well written, beautifully executed, and thought provoking.  Bravo!  :twilightsmile:

#25 · 103w, 23h ago · · ·

well i have a new story to add to my favorites, which means i need to get rid of one.....anyway i want to ask you two questions

one, i am a member of a website called FOB Equestria, a site for military bronies, i would love to do a review of your story.

secondly, this story is begging me to read it as in, make it a youtube video.

i just wanted to ask your permission to do this.

#26 · 102w, 6d ago · · ·

[Comment contains spoilers.]

I love this so hard. I think this is the best thing you've written for the MLP fandom yet. It's just brilliant, and I love everything it implies about changelings and Queen Chrysalis.

I'll say that I didn't realize it was a changeling story until the end, since others commented on that--that might be my own obtuseness, though. I'm not the most observant person. I did notice the reference to the "hundreds" of siblings in Pinkie's section, but that just made me think, "Oh, this is unreliable narration. Something's not right." but not "Changelings!" When the story shifted into Applejack's fillyhood story, then Rarity's, I still didn't catch on. Instead, I wondered if something had happened to the Elements bearers that fused all of their memories into one jumbled mess.

The ending's reference back to kaleidoscopes was just ... oh, man. I thought it was just great. It managed to be a lot creepy and a bit sweet at the same time, and that's an impressive combo to pull off.

#27 · 102w, 5d ago · · ·

My thanks to DB for directing me here. And my compliments to you for such a well-written story. It makes all too much sense...just like another fic   that Seattle's Angels reviewed called A Certain Point of View, the story depends on the reader not knowing its premise.

The story itself does this quite well, though I do think that if readers twig immediately to "changeling" that it has less of an impact.

But what am I saying? It's extremely creative, executed to perfection, and how did I not find this sooner? The theme of a kaleidoscope, the constant shifting between POVs, the amazing reveal...all of it comes together like a jigsaw.

It's woefully inadequate, but well done.

#28 · 102w, 5d ago · · ·

>>1886482

Also wanna thank this guy for guiding me here.

Awesome story - I didn't cotton on until the end, and there's nothing I can say in praise that hasn't been said already.  Well done!

#29 · 102w, 5d ago · · ·

That was a fantastic story I did not see that ending coming I kept trying to think of witch of the main six became an Alicorn or absorbed the others or something equally out there, but I really liked that. :pinkiehappy:

#30 · 102w, 4d ago · 1 · ·

I would do the 'Comment Contains Spoilers!' thing, but I think that train has sailed as of FanOfMostEverything's first comment. :moustache:

>>1858570

I've never read the Dune series. I've always kind've wanted to, but my local bookshop never has more than one in stock, and it's never the first. That kind've thing really discourages me from getting into a lot of the more long-running sci-fi series. (Also, my take on the matter would be that, since the Chrysalis persona is passed down and solidified by the raising process in each iteration, it would essentially form the 'core' personality, like an achor of sorts. Amounts of schizophrenia may well occur due to feeding habits, but the influence of the Chrysalis persona would mitigate it by providing a strong personality to default to. In that sense, you might actually call it an evolutionary adaptation. Sucks for the rest of the changelings, though. Of course, this is just random pontification. :rainbowlaugh: )

>>1876555

I don't see any reason why not. It isn't like I own the characters or the setting. :rainbowlaugh: I'm glad you asked first, though. If nothing else, it's good manners. :twilightsmile:

(Also, I thought you could have as many favourites as you liked on this site. Was I wrong?)

>>1886482

I'd agree with you in terms of my contributions to the MLP fandom. As much as I love making funny little shipfics (and as much as I think they're actually pretty good, since I wouldn't post them if I didn't), I don't think they're really as impressive as serious pieces can be. The problem is that I can start comedies any time I want and for any simple little reason (most frequently 'I need more practice' or 'I'm bored with what I'm writing at the moment, let's just do something funny'), but serious stuff I tend to need a little bit of inspiration for.

One thing that does surprise me is how many people suspected some sort of fusion happening between the Elements of Harmony or their memories. I can't help but feel that would've been a somewhat 'gimmicky' (for want of a better word) plot for this context. Maybe it'd work in a multichaptered fic, where the consequences would have to be examined and the cause would eventually come to light, but for something as simple as a oneshot I don't really see it. Mind you, maybe if element fusion had occured to me first when I had the idea, I'd be calling the actual plot gimmicky right now.

I wondered if anybody would pick up on the somewhat sympathetic vibe I was going for towards the end. As much as I wanted it to be creepy, I also wanted to show some kind of repercussions for the memories discussed, and perhaps a little tingle of hope. The main thing that's taken forwards is the idea that the world is beautiful, which is expressed in the first, most stable section; in essence, it's something that was learned from experiencing Pinkie. I wanted to give the impression that, even though it's being used to justify less admirable goals, something of moral worth has been passed on, and with enough time and exposure, things could change for the Queen.

>>1886659

Ahaha! As for 'how did I not find this sooner', I think I'll quote myself from earlier in the comments:

To be fair, I'm not a super popular writer due to my erratic schedule. Plus, it has the most generic description possible and the only listed character is 'other', so the search engine won't be picking it up too easily; honestly, I don't predict this getting a lot of views outside of people who watch me anyway.

Of course, this story has already recieved more attention that I thought it would several times over, mostly because of people like DB and Skywriter who were kind enough to draw people's attentions to it; my initial estimation was that it'd get maybe seventy views whilst it was still in the New Stories list and then disappear after that.

I'm glad you enjoyed the story. I have no idea who the Seattle's Angels are, though. :rainbowlaugh:

>>1886860

Thanks. I try! :twilightsmile:

>>1890229

Glad you enjoyed it!

#31 · 102w, 3d ago · · ·

>>1843545 to answer your question, no you can have as many favorites as you like. my fault for not mentioning i have a personal policy to keep my favorites down to ten...

#32 · 102w, 3d ago · · ·

>>1886482

Thanks for directing me to this story. I agree. It's fantastic. I knew something was off from the start, but I never got the turnaround until the end, and it was amazing.

#33 · 102w, 3d ago · · ·

Wow, this little story just blew me away. And even though I've only read one other fanfic about changelings, I find this one is so unique. The ending was bittersweet for me but it all made perfect sense. I'm glad I read this.

#34 · 102w, 2d ago · · ·

>>1895390

I think your funny little shipfics are darn good. I said what I said not to denigrate your other stories but just to emphasize how much I loved this one. Just for the record and all. :twilightsmile:

And yeah, I definitely picked up on the sympathetic vibe. I thought she was very sympathetic, and I thought it was almost sweet that Pinkie's sense of the world being beautiful lives on in the changeling queens, in a way.

#35 · 102w, 2d ago · · ·

>>1886482 Thanks for bringing me to this one, Donny!

Wow. Okay. That was brilliant. Of course I spotted right away (Pinkie doesn't have hundreds of brothers and sisters!) that we had an unreliable narrator, but I didn't get it until the end. I, too, thought we had some sort of Element mind merger. That or simply a pony suffering delusions. The main twist was great, and the very last bit, where she assumes her new identity, is even better.

I guess if I'm going to dare comment, I should pick out one specific thing I enjoyed, rather than writing a full-length critical analysis essay...

Well, one thing I loved but which I haven't seen commented on is the monochromatism. "Twilight" remembers the Sonic Rainboom as pink – oh! which I belatedly realise is a reference to the end of A Canterlot Wedding; reading over it again, there's a lot of neat little hints like that – rather than rainbow-coloured. "Rarity" doesn't remember the Rainboom's colour at all, but remembers the gems in her rock as all green, rather than rainbow-coloured. It's just a little thing, but makes me think of each memory as being a single facet of the kaleidoscope.

#36 · 93w, 3d ago · · ·

This is AMAZING. Surprised this hasn't gotten more recognition, but it will eventually, I'm sure.

#37 · 89w, 4d ago · · ·

A fellow talkhausian here, saying thank you for linking this, t'is a beautiful piece of work.

When I read stories, and especially fanfics made from already existent stories, I look for new ideas, new concepts, new ways of looking at things.

And to be blunt, the ending made me giddy, it's a unique and very interesting look at how these creatures work, and it fits well both within your own work, and the works it is based off of.

The actual story that comes before it is nice as well. You have a deft hand, you did not drag on too long with any one part, but you gave enough that it felt plausible that each section was a "truth", and not just something to be skipped through to carry along a point.

You built up the tension very well from beginning to end, the emotion slowly changes as the story progresses, until we get up to the final act, where it reaches its peak, and is used nicely to end the thing. A lot of first person "unreliable narrator" type stories tend to be either too heavy handed with points, or just confusing about them. It's actually done fairly decently here, and it makes me happy.

So yeah, all and all, enjoyable fic thing you got here, I now intend to read your other works as well.

#38 · 78w, 17h ago · · ·

Finally got around to reading this...absolutely brilliant. Your control and flow of language is just beautiful, and your transitions were so, so smooth. I had a few inklings about what this story was really about early on, but the hints were so perfectly subtle it didn't even matter.  I can't think of anything else that hasn't already been said. If this is what one can look forward to in the rest of your work, then I absolutely can't wait to read more!

#39 · 59w, 5d ago · 1 · ·

The idea of Changelings consuming their parents and becoming them is just fascinating.

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer
#40 · 58w, 3d ago · · ·

How cool was this? :D

#41 · 58w, 5h ago · · ·

Improper use of a semicolon in the opening paragraph. There is a special hell for people like you!

But seriously, the actual style of the prose is nice and rich, even if the punctuation continued to distract me. I guess I just can't get past that common pitfall of 'must use all of the main six'. As soon as you hopped to a third childhood, the story just died because there was nothing really in it for me. Maybe if they'd been OCs that allowed for world-building? I dunno. Once again, I think I may just be missing the point.

-M

#42 · 57w, 5d ago · · ·

>>3473269

I'm not really in the habit of responding to comments on this story anymore, since I never know what to say (and technically I'm on hiatus and not responding to comments much anyway), but I would disagree with you on the subject of improper semi-colon use. As I understand it, semi-colons are used when:

a) both clauses in the sentence are independent and could stand alone

b) You want to connect two sentences with somewhat disparate but still relevent subjects and

c) to create the effect of a pause longer than a comma, but not so long as a full stop.

I may be biased, but most of my semi-colon use seems valid (if less than optimal, one could certainly argue) under those conditions. I'm always trying to improve my grammar since it's one of my weaker areas, so if I'm mistaken please feel free to pick out examples and explain where I'm going wrong.

As for the other case: y'know, I almost agree with you. Originally this story did use all the main six, but during the design process I cut out all of Rainbow Dash's part for reasons of pace, and decided not to touch on Fluttershy's at all. The main point was to introduce flaws in the stories the viewer will already know, so as to foreshadow the conclusion, and to show the narrative is degenerating as time goes on. Maybe it just didn't work for you, and that's fine, but I don't think I'd do that particular aspect of the story differently if I had to do it again. Worldbuilding within the childhood segments wasn't really the intent here.

#43 · 57w, 5d ago · · ·

The line in question is thus: 'She was ill, I found out later; afflicted by a disease that came and went with the passing seasons, and reduced the world into grey, dreary sludge in her eyes.'

The first part is a complete sentence, 'She was ill, I found out later', is a complete and valid sentence: subject, predicate, subordinate clause. No problems there.

'Afflicted by a disease that came and went with the passing seasons, and reduced the world into grey, dreary sludge in her eyes' is missing a subject; since it is borrowed from the first clause, this is a subordinate clause at best. Note that my previous sentence uses a semicolon to join thematically linked material, and that the second part borrows it's context from the first; however, the sentence construction still includes the grammatical subject 'it', even if its intent is borrowed.

The rules:

A semicolon may only be used where it could legitimately be substituted with a full stop (regardless of the affect on meaning).

A semicolon connects two thematically-linked sentences together. Purists, and those who follow the modern-American minimalism of punctuation, may insist that semicolons should only ever be used to link two sentences together where the semicolon's inclusion alters the meaning of the otherwise separate sentences:

Grime covered the walls. Dust motes fell from the ceiling. Someone nearby was enjoying their subwoofer a little too much.

Grime covered the walls. Dust motes fell from the ceiling; someone nearby was enjoying their subwoofer a little too much.

The first example is a list of separate descriptions, while the second uses a semicolon to create a connection between dust and some ponding bass and leaving the reader to fill in the blanks. This is the safest (and I dare say most effective) use of a semicolon.

Those of us who actually like our prose to have a sense of flavour (which you obviously do—the sense of 'voice' in your prose is commendable), semicolons can be used to lent a more natural flow more akin to how people actually speak. "I gave the spare stuff to Kalvin; he seemed to need it." Note that were I to say, "I gave the spare stuff to Kalvin. He seemed to need it," then the meaning would be identical—the flow is the only thing that changes.

The other things that springs to mind is that it is abnormal to leave a space after an em dash (or a fake dash '--'). There are certainly times when I would use a space for effect, but I think most editors would agree that it should be a very small exception to the general rule.

Finally, here is a quick grab of a few other early lines that blipped on my editor's radar:

Sometimes, we would keep our trinkets for weeks instead of hours, that way, but never longer.

This is one of those lines that, while technically correct, I can't read aloud in any way that feels natural. Sometimes and that way seem to be fulfilling the same role here, and I'd definitely drop one of the two for readability because it's quite jarring as it is.

He never told us what he had been doing, but a month later looking for rocks in the hills, I found an empty grave with Grandma's name on it.

Here, there should be a comma after 'later'.

The next day, I dug up my kaleidoscope, and buried it again there.

The comma after kaleidoscope is incorrect. 'And' is not a co-coordinating conjunction here.

I learned how to use a lariat, with my teeth and then my tail.

No comma here, either. This is either part of the main clause or an afterthought best connected with a dash.

Hope that helps. Feel free to drop me a line if you ever want an extra pair of eyes for editing or have any questions need answering. If I don't know the answer, I guarantee I'll enjoy finding it!

-M

#44 · 57w, 5d ago · · ·

>>3482592

I see. That definitely makes sense to me, and I feel I've learned something from that explaination. I'll certainly be more careful about making sure that the sentences I'm seperating are complete in future. Thanks for taking the time out to explain things -- it's much appreciated.

As for the other things you pointed out:

Sometimes, we would keep our trinkets for weeks instead of hours, that way, but never longer.

This is one of those lines that, while technically correct, I can't read aloud in any way that feels natural. Sometimes and that way seem to be fulfilling the same role here, and I'd definitely drop one of the two for readability because it's quite jarring as it is.

I actually saw that and disliked it when I was sweeping through myself recently. It's definitely on my list of things to fix. What I'll likely do is remove the 'sometimes', or, alternatively, rearrange the sentence to something like "That way, we would sometimes keep our trinkets for weeks instead of hours -- but never longer", which would preserve the idea that the hiding doesn't always work and flows a little better.

He never told us what he had been doing, but a month later looking for rocks in the hills, I found an empty grave with Grandma's name on it.

Here, there should be a comma after 'later'.

Agreed. Originally I was worried about slowing the line down too much, but nearly a year later and with a more practiced ear, I don't think it would be a problem.

The next day, I dug up my kaleidoscope, and buried it again there.

The comma after kaleidoscope is incorrect. 'And' is not a co-coordinating conjunction here.

I'm going to admit that I have no idea what a co-coordinating conjunction is. That line does need changing, but my first instinct is "The next day I dug up my kaleidoscope, and buried it again in the empty grave" rather than removing the comma after kaleidoscope. Can I trouble you to explain?

I learned how to use a lariat, with my teeth and then my tail.

No comma here, either. This is either part of the main clause or an afterthought best connected with a dash.

You're right. I would probably go with the option of a dash, since I wanted there to be a brief pause after lariat. I'd probably render it as something like "I learned how to use a lariat--first with my teeth, and then with my tail."

Again, thank you for taking the time to clarify things, and I really appreciate the offer of editing help; I may take you up on it, if I ever feel I have another ponyfic worth posting.

#45 · 57w, 5d ago · · ·

>>3483295 Not a problem.

A conjunction joins two words or phrases together: I need some bread and milk.

A coordinating conjunction joins two complete clauses together: I need some bread, and I need some milk.

Generally speaking, try to look at any comma and ascertain of exactly which function it is serving.

1) replacing a word used to form a list.

I like movies and cheesecake and skyscrapers and cycling and football.

I like movies, cheesecake, skyscrapers, cycling, and football.

(Note that using a comma before the 'and' is called an Oxford or serial comma. It's optional, but does a good job of maintaining maximum clarity. I prefer to use it.)

This also includes coordinated adjectives.

It was a cold, windy winter's morning instead of it was a cold and windy winter's morning.

2) to offset a parenthetical statement in a sentence.

Gerry Bruckman, a famous architect from Detroit, started out as a greengrocer.

To be sure that you are using parenthetical commas correctly, remove the parenthetical statement from the sentence. Does it still make sense grammatically?

Gerry Bruckman started out as a greengrocer.

If you can't remove the text between commas, they aren't parenthetical (or bracketing) commas.

3) to offset introductory words or subordinate clauses.

Introductory words are such things things as however, so, therefore, etc.

However, I should make it clear that I do not endorse such frivolity.

A comma after an introductory word is optional (though generally recommended for clarity).

A comma separating a main clause from a subordinate clause is, however, mandatory.

Chewing the end of his pencil, Dave thought about what a wrong answer would cost him.

The snow fell constantly, falling evenly across the whole yard.

4) Connecting two complete clauses together via a coordinating conjunction.

Designer clothes are silly, and I can't afford them anyway.

Mary walked to the party, but she was unable to walk home.

Note that parenthetical statements may skip a the opening comma is placed directly after a coordinating conjunction.

Silence reigned, but in the dead of night, I could feel him watching me.

But is the coordinating conjunction here, and in the dead of night is a parenthetical phrase. Since they are contiguous, the comma between the two is ommitted.

5) to transition to and from quoted text.

"Please, please, please," Captain Blackadder said. "Stop."

Jimmy leaned in close, and after a dramatic pause, said, "Venison's dear, isn't it?"

If a comma does not satisfy one of these conditions, it's probably wrong.

Does that clear it up?

#46 · 57w, 4d ago · · ·

One thing that I thought this fic did nicely was capture the voice of each of the ponies whose perspective the narrator adopts throughout.  While Pinkie's wasn't necessarily the most Pinkie-like voice, I could definitely read Applejack's section in Applejack's voice.  What's perhaps more impressive is that when you transitition to Rarity's section, I knew by the diction and style that Rarity was up next before you even mention her being a unicorn.  Similarly with Twilight's section, the writing style in the lead-in clues to her identity before it is revealed.

As many have mentioned before, the idea of newborn changelings feeding on their mothers' love is a very neat one, and this story was an interesting way of exploring that.  Good job!

#47 · 55w, 2d ago · 1 · ·

A Kaleidoscope is really too perfect a metaphor for this fic: Beautiful and interesting, with lots of nice little surprises when you keep looking at it, but essentially devoid of meaning.

The story felt obtuse for the sake of being obtuse, and could most likely have the same effect without most of the metaphors and misdirection, or keep those and end in a more thematically coherent way. Not that I regret reading it, but it felt like I was reading two separate stories that just happened to be occupy the same space.

#48 · 55w, 1d ago · · ·

The first time it shifted perspectives, I thought it would be an Element POV thing... but you surprised me. That ending was good.

#49 · 40w, 1d ago · · ·

So Chrysalis had memories from the Element Bearers and her daughter discovered them when she ate Chrysalis? I feel bad for Chrysalis. At first I thought something happened to the Element Bearers to make them one pony. This was exquisitely done and I absolutely love it.

#50 · 40w, 1d ago · · ·

>>1852810 On the subject of whether to leave in the clue or take it out, I will say that there are some of us that LOVE finding little clues and making mental bets "I bet this is changelings!  But maybe I'm wrong, let's see!" and then feeling smugly happy when we're right.  :pinkiehappy: So for me I liked the clue.  Though I do think taking the "green eyed" bit out was good, that wouldn't have left me making a bet with myself, that would have left me certain.

Also, I LOVED this!  One of my all time favorite shorts on the site.  I tend to mostly really love longer, more epic things, but this was just perfect.  Seriously amazing.

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