• Member Since 15th Feb, 2012
  • offline last seen Jan 31st, 2017

SilentBelle


I'm a fantasy enthusiast who loves to write, and I'm aiming to be a professional fantasy writer eventually. I love to help out other authors when I can. Feel free to PM me or drop by and say 'hi'.

More Blog Posts114

  • 151 weeks
    One Neat Thing That I Did Get to Do Last Summer

    During August of 2016, my friends and I visited South Korea. When I went there, there were three things in particular that I wanted to do: I wanted to get some good hiking in, I wanted to see some live Starcraft games, and I wanted to do some karaoke. It turns out I got to do all those things and more. If you want to see that Starcraft bit,

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    9 comments · 639 views
  • 151 weeks
    I'm Back, After an Age

    Hey folks,

    It sure has been quite a while since I was last on here. I just want to say that I am back to jump back into A Heart of Change and to bring it to its conclusion, and that's the gist of what this blog is about. If you want to hear a rambling story explaining my absence, by all means keep reading.

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    26 comments · 959 views
  • 240 weeks
    EFNW

    Heya folks,

    Read More

    3 comments · 509 views
  • 247 weeks
    I Happened to Stumble Upon a Beautiful Treasure

    So I just happened to click on the stats button for AHoC because I hadn't done that in quite a while, and suddenly I noticed that I had gotten a few hits from EqD since I had last looked, which I thought was quite strange. So I clicked on the link and ended up on this page which showed the results of an event that

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    2 comments · 537 views
  • 247 weeks
    Chapter 24 is Done and Going Through the Final Stages of Editing.

    And I aim to publish it sometime tomorrow. Thank you for your considerable patience and continued readership. I'll definitely get the next chapter out in a more timely fashion. I am tentatively aiming to wrap this story up by sometime around August or so.

    Now I'm going to go straight into planning and writing the next chapter.

    Cheers,
    ~SilentBelle

    5 comments · 321 views
Dec
17th
2013

Sweetie Belle Review Fic # 7 – Three Wishes: The Cutie Mark Crusaders Before They Changed the World · 9:00pm Dec 17th, 2013

Three Wishes: The Cutie Mark Crusaders Before They Changed the World by: Xepher. It's a CMC story, which means it features SB so I'll categorize it as such. I saw this story come out while I was busy with writing last month, and thanks to a recommendation, I decided to set some time aside to read it. I have just finished it and not started the sequel as of yet, since I don't want to colour my own impression of the original story before writing this review. As always, I'll try not to spoil any plot points beyond what you can read in the description, and I'll focus on what really caught my attention while reading the story.

First off the great picture certainly piqued my interest. And the premise is very much wacky, but in a way that works. The story addresses the bizarreness and runs with it. When a story does this as well as this story has, the bizarre aspect is turned into a draw that will keep you reading just on exploring the premise alone. I became curious and my inner world-builder/reasoner wanted to see how it would all be explained. And explain it did. We are given reasonable explanations for events that happen in the story, perhaps leaving some readers wishing for a bit more, but it was certainly enough to set up the characters and story with the bizarre premise.

As with all fantastical or over-the-top premises or attributes of a story, it has to be handled with rules that make sense and keep our disbelief suspended. And this story does indeed manage that, if only just so. There were a few times where I was ready to roll my eyes a bit at how... contrived some of the plot points were, but then the story did address those very same issues alongside of me (usually with Twilight Sparkle's character) and that stopped me from giving up on the story partway through.

This story is hard to classify. It has some genuinely fresh ideas, explanations and bits of worldbuilding that just made me smile at their potential. But at the same time, it also had a number of contrived or unnecessary bits right alongside them, and I feel as though it never truly explores on any one facet of world enough, save for perhaps the whole physics/thaumaturgy (which was an absolute pleasure to read about and is one of the main reasons I recommend this fic).

The story is classified as Adventure, but I honestly see it playing more as a Slice of Life story with the way it is told, and the way it transitions between scenes. It certainly can hold the Adventure tag, I have no real qualms about that since there is enough world-building and such to warrant the tag. But if ever I read a story that should have both SoL and Adventure tags, this would be it. I just felt a kind of jarring feeling at the beginning because the story was told differently from how I expected an Adventure story to go.

The fic does delve into high-powered magics and abilities that come across as half-contrived and run the risk of over-shadowing the characters we know and love from the show, yet this was also addressed in the story and my doubts were assuaged as I was reading only a short while after I'd get that feeling.

Perhaps the largest flaw I found in the story was through the characters themselves and their struggles. I found it hard to be immersed in their struggles at times, while at other times, I was very much pulled in and vested in it. However, there wasn't so much a feeling of, 'Are they going to be okay?' as it was usually, 'How are they going to fix this problem?' Perhaps a few more ongoing struggles would have had me caring more for the characters. And perhaps if the majority of the struggles weren't fixed almost immediately after they cropped up, it would have been to greater effect. If I didn't already absolutely adore the CMC before reading, I'd have found it much harder to get through this story. Though that's not to say the character arcs aren't good. Each character does have a major struggle that they overcome and those were enjoyable parts to read.

As such you might notice that I found this story to be a bit of a bumpy ride for me. I was interested in the premise and wanted to see where it would go. But certain things popped up that I often see ruin other fics. (Over-powered abilities, contrived plot coincidences) Yet they are handled well enough to keep me reading and re-immerse me, yet I still can't forget that they were there in the first place... It made me feel quite vexed.

Overall. Yes, it's a good story. Parts are quite predictable, others are quite cunning and original (and I am very much fond of stories that are built around a cunning and original premise). There's a certain dichotomy present throughout this fic: the fresh and the cliché; the original ideas, and the typical tropes for the characters; the overpowered and the underpowered sides of characters. And the characters' own struggle between these two sorts of extremes mirrors my own struggle to focus on the great stuff that was here while ignoring the dangerous ground that could have caused the story to fall flat on its face.

It's certainly worth a read and I recommend it. I wonder what others have thought of this story as well. Let me know if you've read it and want to share your opinion of it. Though, it is with no small amount of nervousness that I consider reading the sequel. I can see the potential for it to fall flat on its face and it will take a fair amount of effort on the author's part to bring meaningful struggles to the CMC. However, if the struggles are handled well, it could be one heck of a fine story, and as one who does like to believe the best in fellow authors, I do look forward to starting the sequel.

Thanks for reading,

~SilentBelle

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Comments ( 6 )

I Have this story in my to read later Listl. It certainly sounds interesting. I know TotallyNotABrony edited it and recommended it.

You would think that more people would have commented already...

1619602 It's a busy time of the year for many, finishing exams and such.

Hi! Let me start off by saying that I'm the author of the story being reviewed here, so take my words with the appropriate amounts of salt.

First off, thank you for taking the time to do this. It's always encouraging to see that something I wrote was at least interesting enough for someone to review it in depth.

Your criticisms here are definitely understandable. Many others have said similar things about it being, as you say, "a bumpy ride." My goal when starting this story was to go full-out for the more outlandish ideas, then just try to keep things together as a proper story as well. I knew all along that I'd be treading some fine lines in keeping stuff plausible and justified despite the crazier elements. I think for some readers it worked perfectly, and they've absolutely loved the balance I ended up with. At the same time, it's easy to understand why others would find parts of it not up to par and a bit jarring. Regardless, I'm glad you found it worth recommending in the end, and thank you for the review and publicity here.

As for the sequel... it keeps me up at night. I've set myself up with a much, much more difficult challenge in balancing the elements in this new story. I believe that once it's complete and the full story is told, that most everyone will really enjoy it. But here in these early chapters, it's rough. The opening prologue is radically different than the pace and tone of the previous story, and that has already scared some readers away. The main body of the story will be much less "crazy" than the action-oriented prologue, but I fear I may have made a mistake in publishing on its own. I probably should have waited to finish more "normal" chapters and put them up at the same time as the prologue, in order to assuage the worries of those that think I'm going off the rails now.

Not to say that it's anything but my own fault if my writing took a wrong turn, but I ask that you keep in mind the "incomplete" part if you go on to read the sequel in this early stage. The crazy stuff is just background details, the real story is what happens with the characters after/around it. I just haven't gotten to that part yet. :twilightblush:

Anyway, thanks again for the review and the criticism. I will definitely be keeping the stuff you've mentioned in mind as I write more of the sequel.

1620200 Yes, I'm following the sequel and have caught up as of last night, and there is promise of a good story to be told. I know as a reader that I prefer character interactions over general action scenes, which meant that I had a fair number of qualms about the prologue, as I read others did as well.

I think a large problem with the set up is that it may be hard to keep the characters relatable to the readers as you progress, since these characters have all changed a fair amount from the characters that we all know and love from the show. Here's a bit of a specific opinion from the first chapter, When Scoots and Twi are trying to figure out how to fix the immediate problem, Discord just waltzes in and gives them the idea of how to solve it, pretty much as soon as the problem is brought up. By the same token, Discord and Fluttershy making up, that character interaction remains entirely off screen, and is an interaction that could have shown us readers just how much he has changed, and thus give us a more understanding view of his character, causing him to be more relatable when we read about him. Which harkens back to the complaint I had in the first story. There's not enough of a struggle shown for the characters to get their solutions. I can appreciate the intrinsic and well-thought-out solution that gets offered, but the process of solving the problem really doesn't do much for the characters if they aren't struggling, and thus growing and changing as characters, to overcome that problem.

Especially with how the characters have been set up, I feel like for the story to keep us readers interested, you need to find a way to make the challenges that they face be relatable to us as readers. And there are some struggles to be had there, some that will be worth watching the characters struggle with. So it is for those potential struggles that I see, and for the rather wacky, but overall fresh and original plot points, that I shall keep reading.

I am actually more fond of following incomplete stories than marching into completed ones when I have a choice. I like experiencing the growth of the story chapter by chapter and the reader's reactions as the chapters come out. So you'll probably see me comment on each new chapter as it comes out.

I wish you good luck in your continued writing :twilightsmile:

1620776 Good points, all of them. A couple of the things you mention in the spoilered section were specifically brought up by prereaders as well. Seeing others say the same things is good... it lets me know they're steering me the right way. I take full blame for choosing to do it differently in this early part. My goal was...

You know what? I shouldn't try to explain it. :derpytongue2: I should just write the dang thing and let it speak for itself (or fail to.) Suffice to say, I have my work cut out for me, but feedback from readers like you helps immensely. I'm glad to hear you'll be keeping up with it (at least for now.) By all means, tear into it in the comments when I've done something poorly. I need to know when I'm screwing up, and as long as it's not outright offensive, I appreciate any and all criticism.

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