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"Do it right and do it with style." - Author, Designer & Project Lead of the story-driven DLC Gardens of Equestria: This Coming Storm - (Patreon)

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May
2nd
2016

Let’s Talk About Shipping and Handling · 7:42pm May 2nd, 2016

Let’s Talk About Shipping and Handling

Shipping and Handling

So since I started going through FiMFiction’s massive amount of stories, so far, only three stories have kept me up way past the time I should have been asleep just to finish the story: Past Sins, the Hard Reset Trilogy and now Shipping and Handling.

I’ve seen this story mentioned for months on EqD but only now started (and finished) it. And I thought it was the silliest idea I’ve ever heard...but fantastic nonetheless. An addict of Twilight’s Secret Shipfic Folder, this fit right into that mindset.

But what really drew me was the framework of the story itself. Each chapter was a short story in and of itself, save for the grand finale. This could have easily worked as a series of short stories instead of a novel, but I like it better in this format. The arcs were well handled, both in chapter and throughout the story. It’s an excellent example of payoff and Chekov’s gun (well, Shipfic Card in this case).

While there are places where perspective slips and the idea of Ditzy seeming to succeed even when her plan falls apart almost every time is a bit unrealistic, I honestly don’t care in the end. It’s supposed to be cute, fun and happy. This is ponies we’re talking about, after all. Sometimes, just the plot helps out.

But what I liked more was Candyfloss’s philosophy, which actually explains Ditzy’s methods working even when they appear to have failed. I can tell the author went into some thought about the idea and concept behind it. And it reminds me a little bit of the reasoning behind the Season 5 finale where we see Equestria in horrible condition because the power of friendship is a force in and of itself within Equestria. It’s not much of a stretch to believe that love is just as powerful a force.



The story felt like a game of TSSSF, only (much, much) better written and a little bit more sane...well mostly.

While I’m sure it’s practically a given these days, as a newcomer to the FiMFiction community, Pinkie Pie’s antics are outright hysterical. I remember thinking in Hard Reset how Pinkie Pie was just bashing against the fourth wall. Well, in this one, Pinkie Pie literally jumps out through the fourth wall (Think that Kool-Aid guy), boops you on the nose and then hops back in whistling a merry little tune. The paragraph break scene where Pinkie gets “lost” was utterly hysterical and perfect for the character. And I adored the fact that Watt “could see them too.” (yeah, I know, he’s essentially a male Pinkie Pie. Don’t care, I like him anyway.)

But then comes Chapter 10. I realized about ¼ of the way through (and I’m reading this on ePub so I can’t see comments and I literally know nothing about this story save for the fact that it was featured often on EqD and it’s own description) who “Cube” was. (Yeah, I know, most of you probably figured it out within three lines). I loved how Trixie was written from start to end. It was a lovely little arc. But by the end of the chapter, the fourth wall had been devastated by an atomic rainboom, blowing out the fifth, sixth and seventh wall, and doing severe nature to numerous more unnamed walls that hadn’t existed until that moment since the fabric of reality had just completely broken apart.

Congratulations, you just destroyed all of reality. But it popped back a few seconds later and no one seems to care, so it’s okay.

Some of my other favorites were the fact that Dinky and Pipsqueak were both using shippers. That was something I didn’t see coming and I laughed myself silly when it occurred. But the story gained a lot of depth in Chapter 11 when we see the fate of Ditzy’s husband and the reason behind both her unique condition and her drive. I did very much enjoy how Ditzy would completely lose it whenever Glow went after Dinky. As a parent myself, it’s something I fully understand. It’s one thing to screw with me, but screw with my family and I’ll tear you apart. So yeah, I really felt for her there.

And even the ending was well done. The reason I ended up finishing the end of the story all in one go was because you built up an excellent momentum starting with the debt at the end of Chapter 10. The events in Luna’s party were excellent and unexpected. It didn’t seem forced. I liked that fact that things didn’t need to get overly complicated or silly...often just a revelation of the truth was all that was needed.

And Candyfloss’s little admission at the end? That he was the one responsible for the entire endeavor? Yeah. That worked for me. Especially the last line of his “And my record is still perfect.” I can see him smiling a honest, happy smile while writing this. It’s a point of pride, but not boasting. What can I say, I have a weakness for the mysterious and magical boss. ^^

All in all, it felt fun and entertaining. A tad bit predictable in places, but nonetheless an extremely good and lighthearted story. So thank you for sharing it with us.

By the way, please tell me that someone has already done a TSSSF expansion to this. Because if they haven’t, that’s a problem that needs to be rectified immediately.

Oh and one more thing...the cover I designed for my ePub version, which was just a vertically expanded one of the pre-existing artwork. :)

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