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Trick Question

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Trick Question Ranks All Her Stories · 2:20am Sep 30th, 2017

Three days ago horizon did a thing, after estee did a thing.

I want in. :twilightsheepish:

Oh, right. This is happening soon too.

Here is the list of my favorite Trick Question stories, sorted from least worst to most worst. I compare my rankings with Fimfiction's rankings to point out where all of you are wrong about how not-bad you think some stories are.

I have thirty stories, just like horizon because everypony wants to be like him even though technically they already are. The top seven stories are works of art I'm particularly proud of. Let's begin! :pinkiehappy:

1. (⬆+3 from 4) Motherly

This one should come as no surprise. Motherly was my RCL feature for a reason: it's well-written, succinct, packs a feels punch, and it sums up my usual style perfectly.

2. (⬆+1 from 3) The Element of Surprise

This is my oldest complete story on Fimfiction and still one of the best things I've written. It has some minor plot holes, the turn of events is strange, and the feels are a little heavy-hoofed. But it just works, and I'm proud of it. It illustrates the hopefulness I try put into my stories in a way that anypony who follows the show can understand.

3. (⬆+6 from 9) The Price of a Smile

This is my most horse-prestigious story. I won a Writeoff with it. I think the reason it's not more popular is that it's fairly dark, and it relies on a twist some readers won't care for. But the story really has nothing to do with the twist. I like this story because the pieces fit together perfectly, and the message is, to me, a powerful one—though I think it will be lost on some of my readers.

I have a sequel planned.

4. (⬆+26 from 30) Recycled

Here's my vainglorious entry: my lowest-rated story is easily one of my favorites! This is a Memento-style tale where the backwards walk through time makes perfect sense at the end of the story, and that looking-back element the reader experiences is crucial to its message. I have no idea why it's so unpopular, other than it's dark and I suspect most readers aren't going to like the choice Twilight Sparkle makes at the end of the story.

5. (⬆+7 from 12) Girl Talk

This is a straightforward drama piece that focuses on something personal to me. PresentPerfect thought the story felt incomplete, but it does everything I want it to do. It's easy to take a subject like this and overdo it with descriptions or drama, because the experience of being transgender isn't something you can readily communicate to an outside audience. All you can do is show them the effects. My only regret is that this minific is too short to submit to EQD, but that's not a reason to change it.

6. (⬇-5 from 1) Dead and Loving It

Here's the crowd-pleaser: a trio of dark comedy minifics. I don't normally do comedy, but the Writeoff where I wrote these three stories was probably my most successful one in terms of the overall quality of material I submitted (perhaps not counting the one I won, The Price of a Smile). If you don't have a legitimate physical reaction to the second minific of the three, I'm not sure you're alive.

7. (⬆+10 from 17) The Clarity of Darkness

This story combines complex philosophy (which I actually believe in) with sci-fi, a dark situation, and a deep romance. Pascoite rejected it for EQD due to a lack of plot development, but I only need to make minor changes to fix it (and I probably will at some point). bookplayer glowed over it but I accidentally deleted all the comments when I revised it. I'm still very proud of it.

8. (⬇-6 from 2) The Laughter I Choose to Be

What this minific has going for it is Pinkie's voice (which I love to write in, as I am partly made of best pony), and the twist. The twist isn't original, but it's subtle despite the fact that there are clues thoughout the entire fic. This lets you read it twice and get something new out of it, which is nice when you can do that in a short space. The message is clear and relevant. Titanium Dragon panned the story, and initially I agreed with his assessment, but I've changed my mind over time.

9. (⬇-4 from 5) Broken Symmetry

This is currently my second longest story, a full novella of the sci-fi, romance, and mystery varieties. I love writing dorky romance, apparently. The storyline is so intricately complex that I had to diagram out the events before I could begin writing (and it isn't obvious why until the very end of the story). That complexity works, but I put too much heavy physics in the mix and most readers will be confused during some of the ride. Still, I think there are enough touching and dramatic moments to make the confusion worthwhile.

10. (⬆+9 from 19) Twilight's Secret Journal

This is the first story I posted on Fimfiction, shortly before The Element of Surprise. It's a full-length novel near completion. I started writing this because I had learned about Fall of Equestria through images, and upon reading some of the fics I was disappointed in the degree of abuse and lack of realism in that universe. In contrast, Twilight's Secret Journal incorporates dubious consent and an unreliable narrator whose point of view changes back and forth as she comes of age, and the story is more omnisexual so it doesn't hinge on misogyny (though in parts of the story, it may seem to from Twilight's perspective). None of the characters are trying to harm one another. Oddly enough, that makes the events that happen even more disturbing.

It's probably controversial to put this story at spot number ten, but there's a reason it contains more words than all my other stories combined: I love writing it, and it has a number of well-written gems hidden inside. It suffers from being overly long which makes some readers feel teased at the slow progress, but the story is a catharsis and needs to cover enough terrain to complete what Twilight is intended to experience. Most readers here aren't going to be able to get far into the story. Several of the chapters have inspired public ragequits (I've even been able to predict a few of them). There's graphic content eventually, although the first thirty or so chapters don't have anything graphic at all. The story is very troubling on a psychological level for most readers, so enter at your own risk.

(Also, there are rumors that I don't actually write the story, I just transcribe it as ordered by strangers who communicate with me in an unusual way. You can safely ignore those rumors and read the story without fear of any real-world implications affecting you. It's just words, after all.)

11. (⬇-1 from 10) Page Two

This is a solid little minific. I think some readers are confused about the implications because there is unspoken headcanon, but I feel the story makes it clear enough if you think about it.

12. (⬆+16 from 28) Don't Say It

Here's another story everypony hates except me. It's a sad Sparity fic, which is probably enough to get some downhooves. The story is also controversial because different readers seem to argue over who is at fault in the story, which I like.

13. (⬇-5 from 8) The Knight and the Knave

This minific is decent, and I think the ending (which I don't want to give away) does a good job at reframing the mindsets it paints for our Sisters. The sequel was less successful (described below).

14. (⬇-3 from 11) Unforgettable

Here's a short story that I think is okay. It's definitely a Trick Question story, but a little atypical in how deep it goes into a single idea. The ending is a little abrupt for my taste, and that's the most common complaint. It's reasonably well-liked in part because it's a story that reads like it could be an episode (if the show were darker), and readers seem to enjoy those. But it's still dark, and has decent drama and a thought-out plot device.

15. (⬆+11 from 26) Back to Normal

This is the most controversial nonsexual story I've ever written, and it surprises me in part because you never actually learn in the story whether or not Twilight's choice is operationally any different from what might have been. Readers have very strong opinions on this story, and it took me totally by surprise. bookplayer even held it hostage with a downhoof until I agreed to add the Dark tag to it, and I don't actually think it's a dark story. I suspect a few readers may think it's transphobic, and many readers complain that I don't lean on fanon (I used my own pony names rather than copy Trotsworth's names).

I'm planning a sequel to this where Twilight has to deal with the ramifications of her choices.

16. (⬆+6 from 22) Escaping Treatment

This is a good psychological piece, it's just very short. I think the message is clear, though.

17. (⬆+12 from 29) Irreversible

This is a story I'm currently writing, and I think the reason it has such a terrible rating is because initially I described things incorrectly in the story descriptions and first chapter. Readers thought the story was going to be about a Gary Stu character when in fact the early OC has very little to do with the story. I'm ranking this based on how good of a story I think it is right now. Hopefully it will get better as time goes on. I expect it may reach novella length.

18. (⬆+2 from 20) Happily Ever After*

This is a short, personal minific. It doesn't have a lot to say, and it's pretty telly, but it has a great ending (to me).

19. (⬇-4 from 15) One Head of Cattle

Another brief minific, this one brings something unusual and dark into the show to portray culture shock through Twilight's eyes.

20. (⬇-4 from 16) Mission of Mercy

This is a hugely personal short story. I think it's decent, but I think I introduce a lot of neat ideas that I don't really expand upon enough, and I suspect it leaves readers wanting more.

21. (⬇-8 from 13) A Cry for Help

It's a short, silly comedy. What else is there to say?

22. (⬆+1 from 23) Ashes

This is the sequel to The Knight and the Knave, and it's a different kind of story. Readers don't like it as much in part because it takes things into a dark direction they don't agree with (instead of directly resolving the issues of the prequel), but the message at the very end of the story is extremely personal to me. I don't think most readers will understand it, but that's okay.

23. (⬇-9 from 14) Veneer

This was a think piece that didn't offer much beyond an interesting idea and a mindset for Thorax. I was going to expand this, but the show beat me to it in a way that matched much of what I wanted to say.

24. (⬇-18 from 6) Colts Will Be Colts

This story is a little boring and I wish I'd done more with it than this. Readers like it because it's tame and reads like an episode. Still, the message at the end is a very important one that took me many years to learn.

25. (⬇-4 from 21) Thorax the Red-Nosed Bughorse (and Other Hearth's Warming Carols)

I sing these out loud? Yikes! Well, a few of the carols are funny enough to make me laugh, at least.

26. (⬇-19 from 7) Two of Swirls

I love this idea, but it's just an idea with telly and bland drama. It's well-liked because it's a neat idea (I still hope I'm right) and because I struck when the iron was hot: less than two hours after they introduced the appropriate characters in the cartoon, I wrote and posted this fic.

27. (⬇-9 from 18) Polyphileos

A cute comedy that relies on a little bit of gross-out humor. I don't think it's bad, but it's not amazing.

28. (⬇-3 from 25) Overpowered

This is another idea that didn't go anywhere. I like the idea a lot (as an alternate and rather dark headcanon about why everything in the show seems to work out the way it does), but I don't do much with it in the story.

29. (⬇-5 from 24) Tiara's Testament

This is too dark, even for me. It's a good snapshot of how it feels to be in Tiara's position, though, which is something I know all too well.

30. (⬇-3 from 27) No Choice

I tried to translate this into pony from a non-pony Writeoff round, and it shows. This is barely a pony story, and it doesn't fit well on Fimfiction. It's not bad as a mood piece, though.

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Comments ( 7 )

Motherly is number one? Alright, I agree with that.

Just want to say that I love No Choice. I think ponifying it was a great way to expand on the original.

Comment posted by FanOfMostEverything deleted Oct 6th, 2017

Motherly and The Price of a Smile are in my "Favourites" for a reason
I think I may have read early versions of Recycled and Don't Say It, but I can't remember for sure — it's been so long since I've followed the writeoffs!
Loved Girl Talk, obvs, though I'll admit I may be just a tad biased on that one
A Cry for Help was good and all, but I still think it should've taken place in Twilight's uterus :trollestia:

Currently re-listening to your Hearth's Warming Carols and I think I like 'em better the second time around
Also, nothing weird about wearing a saddle. Well, there is, but it's good weird
Alsø, alsø: dat Caucasian line :rainbowlaugh:

:pinkiesmile: Felt it only neighborly to let you know that I found this blog after finding you through your latest one shot, and now I plan on making one of these for myself, too.

Let the bandwagoning continue! :trollestia:


Actually Imma just delete it to be on the safe side. Is not a problem, and comment appreciated. :twilightsmile:

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