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Hap Recommends Scribblefest Entries #2 · 12:50pm Mar 9th, 2016

And I'm back for round 2! I've gotten through another three stories that have all been submitted to the 2016 Scribblefest and I'm going to give my own thoughts regarding whether I liked them or not and who I'd recommend them to, depending on your tastes. Hopefully a few of you will find something cool to read from these blogs, and if you already found something you enjoyed, please post it in the comments below, so I can make reading it a priority.

You'll also have to forgive me for mostly having little but slice of life (minus one) so far: it's just what seems to be cropping up for now. Hopefully we'll get some more tags in later.

Onto the rec's!

Growing Pains, by Mind's Eye

This story is about Rainbow Dash reuniting with Scootaloo. It's very slice-of-life-ish, so probably no surprise why I managed to enjoy it, given how I'm rather fond of simpler stories. The story doesn't hand everything out to the reader all at once, which I like, but neither does it keep me continually waiting for answers.

I reckon the story was trying to aim for a tone similar to the one used in the show, and if it was, it fell just a bit short for me, since it felt like it had a more realistic undertone to it than the far more fanciful and whimsy MLP universe, but I don't feel that's a problem. Far from it. In fact, I rather think that this was just a symptom of the content of the story, which is all about growing up. Since MLP is very childish, I think it's normal that things feel a bit more melancholic than usual.

The pacing is very enjoyable and doesn't rush itself or drag on too much. Perhaps a bit too much time was spent on the beginning half for me, as I didn't feel I really needed to have such an in-depth description of Ponyville, but once the story gets to Scootaloo's reunion with Rainbow, all my complaints evaporated. The story was both sweet and mildly surprising. The characters come away from the story stronger, although the story is very mild and tame.

Recommended to: anyone who's a fan of slice of life and seeing where life might take the CMC, which is explored in this story. I'd say the pacing is close to perfect, and the writing had no issues I could see (although paragraph spacing as well as indents does somehow grate on my nerves, although it's incredibly benign) so as long as you're not the sort to be disappointed by there being little more than a simple reunion between two ponies, I'd say this is a story that's very easy to enjoy.

Idols, by BlazzingInferno

This reminded me a lot of last year's EFNW contest, since it really does match the theme 'making new friends' (which is central to the show's theme). In this particular instance, between Scootaloo and Spitfire.

The combo isn't altogether surprising, since Scootaloo finds her way into a lot of Wonderbolt or flying related stories, likely because of Rainbow as well as her (current) inability to fly. Here, she's following Rainbow to the Wonderbolt's academy, which surprises me a little because I was under the impression Rainbow didn't regularly go there. At least, we don't see that happen. The inner workings of many organizations, Wonderbolts included, is a mystery to me.

The story is very mild, but true to the show in all but length and conflict. It perhaps might have benefited from having an obstacle to overcome for Scootaloo and Spitfire, as it's currently just the two of them talking. A missed opportunity, perhaps, but not one that damages the story too badly. Scootaloo and Spitfire alike both feel true to their show counterparts and we do get a rather nice look at how they think. It's nothing too novel or groundbreaking (as other stories have tread the ground of Spitfire being 'all business' before) but an enjoyable enough read. It may suffer in that it doesn't have a lot that struck me as particularly memorable, though.

Recommended to: people interested in Spitfire, Scootaloo, and slice-of-life. I'd particularly recommend this to anyone who enjoyed last year's EFNW contest, too. This story might feel lacking if you don't happen to like the characters portrayed here, since the main draw and reason I enjoyed the story was mostly because I have a rather soft spot for both characters, and they were presented very well. I don't think there's much for anyone else though, and it might resemble a lot of other stories of similar types, especially since last year there were a large amount of stories with a very similar premise. Not bad by any stretch of the imagination, though.

The Kidnapping of Twilight Velvet by Apple Bottoms

I have kind of conflicting feelings about this one. On one hand, it certainly has conflict (in fact, it has several) and certainly has some enjoyable bits to it, but on the other, I found it to be a very inconsistent story that didn't really feel like it knew what it was doing very well. It perhaps suffered from being made to fit the length of the contest, since it bumps against the word limit (in much the same manner as my own entry).

The story starts as a rather comedic bit where Crysalis is attempting to kidnap Twilight Velvet. Of the two, I found the Changelings the more amusing ones, as Twilight was played as the 'one who doesn't realize she's in danger' to a T. Crysalis was suitably villainous and cartoony, although less intimidating than how I remember her from the show, likely to accommodate the comedy. Velvet felt a bit forced at times, but if the story was consistent with it, I don't think I'd have had many problems.

This is thrown aside very quickly and abruptly to make way for Crysalis asking Twilight Velvet for help with a dying changeling. The shift in tone was unexpected and for me, quite jarring. It also felt far too similar to the usual Crysalis-is-misunderstood sob-stories I'm used to hearing about. It was too abrupt for it to really have the weight I feel it deserved, and I ended up missing the comedy, even if it was a bit predictable.

Finally, Celestia arrives and there's another abrupt change, this time in Velvet's behaviour as she shows strong antipathy for Celestia, which I don't remember being foreshadowed in any meaningful way. Without being built up, it felt a bit contrived. That part of the story didn't feel like it got an particularly satisfying conclusion, either.

I kind of feel like this is three separate stories jostling together for attention, one part comedy and one part drama, with a Twilight Velvet slice of life story sandwiched in there somewhere too. I don't feel it balances these very elegantly. There's a lot to be frustrated by that kind of gets in the way of what otherwise feels like quite a well meaning and good natured story. It's readable, but jarring. The content is perhaps not very novel, but serviceable.

Recommended to: if you're not bothered about consistency or choppy pacing, you'll likely have no significant problems with this one, although if your standards are a bit higher, it may get a little frustrating, as it was for me. I can tell there are some genuinely heartfelt moments and some decent comedy in here, but for me neither aspect really got enough focus or enough build-up for me to enjoy either one. That said, if you're willing to overlook flaws, you might get a giggle near the beginning and maybe feel sorry for some more changelings near the end. Feeling sorry for changelings is far from new, so if you're turned off by the prospect I wouldn't blame you, but I also know that a lot of people like 'changelings are misunderstood' stories, so if that's what you're into, you could do a lot worse.

And that's three more stories. I managed to get these ones out rather quickly after the last batch, I know, and if any of them looked interesting, do check them out. I know that The Kidnapping of Twilight Velvet was in the feature box at the time of me writing this, so maybe I was just in a minority opinion regarding that story.

Hopefully we'll see some other tags in the future, such as sad, dark, and maybe a bit of romance to round things out. Comedy would be nice, too. I got a little from the Kidnapping, but it was offset by the second half an awful lot, so I don't feel like counting it.

That's all from me today. Cheerio!

Comments ( 14 )

What is scribble fest and why is everything suddenly talking about it please advise

3799302 It's just a contest, really, but a big one, and I like using it as an excuse to read stuff that isn't for the Goodfic Bin. I'm afraid the deadlines closed on the 6th, but if you want to see what it's about, you can see the post here.

3799307 ahhhh it's something to do with EFNW it seems.

3799308 That's right. Last year I managed to grab an honourable mention and did a recommendation blog for a few stories I liked, so I'm doing the same this year.

I always like trying to win things. :P

3799310 I haven't done a single contest ever regarding any horsewords. Why? Just never did, I guess. I was interested in a few of them

3799313 I do a few. I participate in the AppleDash contests when they come around, the EFNW stuff, and the odd other contest I think looks worthwhile.

Thank you reviewing Idols :twilightsmile:

3799419 No problem. Do give the others a read if they pique your interest!

Absolutely. Once the full list of entries is out I'll probably read close to all of them over a weekend.

3799445 Yeah, I'm waiting on the full list too. Truth be told, I don't expect to be able to get through all of them (couldn't last year) but I'd like to get through as many as I can. At least six of these would be nice.


There are only 18 using the "Scribblefest" notation in their summaries so far. That entry level is way down from last year, so unless people just didn't tag it, we won't know until the whole list is released.

3801496 Thankfully, there's a list out right now! There are apparently 40 entries in total, which is indeed less than last year (by about 20, if I'm not much mistaken). You can see the list on the EFNW group in their 2016 folder.


Yes, I just went through it, and was surprised to see some of the entries. I'd read them before without knowing they were destined for the contest. Reviewing my chances now. >.> Hm.

3801514 I actually suspect my chances are a bit stronger now, since there seem to be so few with the adventure and thriller tag. Might help a bit for dat sweet Dash award, but who knows?

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