• Member Since 23rd Dec, 2013
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Oroboro


Employed layabout with not enough free time to write about horses.

More Blog Posts71

  • 11 weeks
    NaNoWriMo Victory

    One day ahead of schedule, I have managed to write over 50,000 words in the month of November.

    It's a hell of an achievement, and congratulations to any other authors out there who pulled it off. I found it a lot easier to get through this year than I did last time.

    More importantly than just sheer word count, however,

    The first draft of Voyagers is finally complete

    Read More

    7 comments · 216 views
  • 16 weeks
    Sunset Shipping Contest: Journeys Results

    Sunset Shipping Contest - Journeys Results!

    Hey folks. The time has arrived. You wrote more stories than ever, we read them all, and took our sweet time about it.

    Read More

    33 comments · 1,339 views
  • 20 weeks
    Inspiration and Flattery

    The talented MagnetBolt just published a story that is a little inspired by the basic premise of Fractured Sunlight.

    It's also hilarious.

    You should check it out.

    THer Lips Tasted Like Cherry Cola
    Fizzlepop Berrytwist died a long time ago. But she hasn't been forgotten, not by her best friend.
    MagnetBolt · 11k words  ·  181  7 · 1.1k views

    Read More

    3 comments · 203 views
  • 23 weeks
    Some Sunset Shipping Statistics

    Changing Seasons: 54 stories. 360,049 words
    Journeys: 66 stories. 465721 words.

    Sunset x... Changing Seasons Journeys
    Sci-Twi 2 10
    Wallflower Blush 0 8
    Adagio 2 6
    Princess Twilight 1 4
    Rarity 7 4
    Applejack 1 3
    Starlight Glimmer 3 2
    Pinkie Pie 4 2
    Rainbow Dash 1 2
    Fluttershy 4 1
    Juniper Montage 2 1
    Lemon Zest 1 1

    Read More

    34 comments · 770 views
  • 23 weeks
    Contest submission is now closed

    66 entries. Jesus. You people are insane.

    Also insane enough to post at the literal last minute, get everything stuck in the posting queue for the site and make me stay up late.

    Whatever. I'm looking forward to all of this. There's over 450k worth of words here to read. I'm pretty sure by story count and by prize money, this is easily the biggest contest in Fimfiction history.

    Read More

    15 comments · 444 views
Oct
26th
2018

Sunset Shipping Contest: Journeys Results · 5:19pm Oct 26th, 2018

Sunset Shipping Contest - Journeys Results!

Hey folks. The time has arrived. You wrote more stories than ever, we read them all, and took our sweet time about it.

But we’re done! All 66 stories have been read, and we have selected from them 5 winners, alongside 5 honorable mentions.

It’s an incredible amount of effort from everyone involved, and I thank you all dearly. We had a lot of fun reading everything, and there were some great stories here, even if we can’t highlight them all. I encourage you to go out and read more than just the winners we’re about to announce.

In any case, without wasting any more of your time, the winners of the Sunset Shipping Contest: Journeys.

Fifth Place

Oroboro
This story starts in a weird place. It’s an AU, but one that is only vaguely defined, and lacks grounding in a way that detracts rather than adds to the story. But despite that, it tells an effective story about two people struggling through the mundane stresses of everyday life, and how it can grow and boil to a point where sometimes a simple change is needed. I’m a huge fan of stories that can capture more realistic relationship dynamics, and this is a stalwart example.

R5h
In some ways, Driver’s Side is probably the most mundane story in the whole contest. No monster attacks, no magical shenanigans, no interdimensional portals: just two people trying to make it through the day. And the next day, and the next one, and….

See, the thing that makes this story great is its precision. Despite how it may seem from the sometimes-meandering conversations, there’s no wasted scenes and no unnecessary moments. This is a story that knows exactly what it’s trying to do, and how to do it—and darn it, this story pulled it off. Congrats, DrakeyC.

Aragon
Structure is they key here; I haven’t seen many stories in this website that take half as much care as Driver’s Side when it comes to what goes where. It’s a great story that managed to take the prompt and use it in its most literal sense to weave a rather unique tale. The low stakes and intimate feeling really added to what is, ultimately, a really cozy fanfic, and one that I enjoyed a lot.

Pearple Prose
This story stood out to me super early just because of how stylish it was. The writing and dialogue here is incredibly sharp, leveraged by a premise that’s very straightforward but fits the prompt extremely well. I don’t have much to say about it beyond that, amongst all the entries, I think this one was exceptionally clean and skillful in its construction.

Corejo
I rather liked this one. To be honest, I wasn't expecting much going into this story, but it only took a few paragraphs to 180 my impressions. We got an interesting set of mini scenes that all play out within the confines of their car, which in and of itself is a +1 for creativity. There's a clearly defined and structured theme going on that integrates smoothly with the prompt, and the writing's wonderful besides.


Fourth Place

Oroboro
One of the criteria for judging was “Chemistry”, that is, how well two characters get along / play off each other in a believable and consistent and realistic manner.

This story doesn’t have much of that.

In fact, it has the opposite. Or negative chemistry. Characters who don’t get along, are actively bad or harmful for each other. As long as it's written well, it counts just as much for judging as the positive kind.

This story has that in spades, and delivers a harrowing tale about Sunset Shimmer going a little too far in what she thinks is “for her own good.”

R5h
If you wanna see Sunset only being the best person ever and doing the best by other people, this isn’t the story for you…

Or maybe it is? See, the great tragedy of this story isn’t that anyone’s being malicious or evil. The story’s just about two people who love each other very much, who want nothing but the best for each other… and, as it turns out, have very different definitions of what “the best” is. We get to see the genuineness of Sunset and Adagio’s love before, bit by bit, it’s stripped away as the betrayals mount up.

The point I’m trying to make is that this story does a great job of making us care about a relationship, and then torturing said relationship until it dies a painful death. And isn’t that kind of pain what we all want out of fiction? (Just skip the last scene.)

Aragon
What I liked the most about this story is the subversion of whose point of view we follow. What could have been a very plot-heavy premise is instead turned in what one can only define as a character-heavy exercise in dramatic inevitability.

In non-pedantic language: this is the rare story that manages to keep the reader absolutely informed of everything important. There is no suspense or big reveal of any kind. We know what’s happening, we know why it’s happening, and we know where it’s going to end, and it works precisely because of that, because we know what’s at stake and what is the motive behind Sunset’s actions, and how the road to hell is paved with good intentions. This is a story about two people and how hard it can be to tell if you’re doing the right thing or not.

Pearple Prose
I love the use of the characters in this story. It’s dark and it’s tense and it feels bad but, you know, in a good way. This story was super ambitious, and while I think the execution may be divisive, the atmosphere and the craftsmanship of this story are superb and thus it was no surprise that it made it into the top five.

Corejo
Oh, man. This one was tense. It’s almost a trainwreck in slow motion style fic, but manages a different twist, namely in a tragic sense.  It’s a rare style that when done correctly and with the right setup, can build a wonderfully unstable house of cards we get the pleasure (or anxiety) of watching tumble down.  And although I didn’t quite buy in to this particular characterization of Sunset, it left enough good vibes elsewhere to get my vote.


Third Place

Oroboro
This story was one I read early on in the judging process, and it quickly captured my heart. The struggles Rarity and Sunset go through together are very real and raw, and the anxiety of their situation was captured beautifully. Beyond that, their situation is one that strikes very close to home to me on a personal level.

R5h
Imagine if I’d been a somewhat smarter person: I probably would have understood the significance of flying to “Pegathailand” way sooner. As it stands, I found my jaw slowly dropping as the story revealed, piece by piece, what it was really about. Of all the topics to handle in pony fiction (or any fiction), that’s gotta be one of the hardest to pull off successfully, but this one manages it really well.

And I think it succeeds so well because of its principal couple, Sunset and Rarity. Even as they try to act as normal as possible, and do touristy things in the lead-up to the big night, there’s this ever-growing tension that takes what could have been boring slice-of-lifey segments, and turns them into effective pieces of a dramatic whole. Congrats to stillinbeta for this ambitious piece!

Aragon
When judging this story I kept going back to the sentimentality of it all—how, as you keep reading it, you get into it. The characters’ anxiety is portrayed in a very realistic, very gripping way. It’s a very human story, a very touching one; you can define the stakes as “low”, but you also understand just how incredibly high they are for Rarity and Sunset.

You feel for them, really, and that’s the kind of thing this story aims for. The romance is also great, in that it manages to reflect a side of it we didn’t see represented often in the context—how being in a somewhat longterm relationship sometimes translates into crippling fear, because now you need to worry about someone that matters to you more than yourself.

Pearple Prose
Emotional. Compelling. I don’t think this story was for me, personally, but I can’t help but admire the strength of it – and how respectfully the subject matter was handled, above all. I also really like how the emotion of the situation is reflected through the characters.

Corejo
There's something to be said for how well this story progresses. “Walking on eggshells” would be too negative a term for it, but the care and precision lent to the overarching subject is striking and, in its own way, endearing. The writing is superb, and the overall sense that these two are a couple stands out prominently against the story's backdrop without shoving it in your face all “they're dating, you guys” like. This one earns its spot in the winner's circle.


Second Place

By Posh

Oroboro
As the sequel to the winner of last year’s contest, I had high hopes going into this story, and I’m pleased to say it left me absolutely floored. Posh does it again this year with an engaging story that deals with all sorts of excellent relationship insecurity, misguided teenage angst, supernatural problems that feel right at home in the world of EQG, and delivers it all with a vicious punch to the gut.

R5h
This story came very close to reaching first place, and among the sequels to entries in the previous contest, it was absolutely the best: all those little insecurities in But It Often Rhymes came to a dramatic head in this story. And what’s perhaps most interesting is that (spoiler alert, I guess) it doesn’t feel inevitable, despite Cheerilee’s protestations. This relationship could have survived, but it didn’t, and the failure is more satisfying and well-earned than most successes I read in fiction.

It also helps that the story is full of cheeky references to other stories from the first contest. Well done, Posh, and thanks a million for entering this year.

Aragon
Well, shit, I already used the sentence “character-driven exercise in dramatic inevitability”, so I can’t use it again. It works well to define Rhyme or Reason, but, uh. Gotta think of another one “A romanticised examination of the dark side of romance,” perhaps?

Whatever. Posh knows how to write characters, we knew that already, and here it shows. Sweetie Belle is written exceptionally—she’s old enough to not be a child anymore, but she’s not an adult yet; the perfect teenager. Cheerilee and Sunset manage to show a bittersweet relationship and highlight both flavors, and the plot is not only interesting, not only gripping, but also a great way to explore characters under an extreme situation, and how they react to it.

This fanfic is how you explain your children that sometimes there’s beauty in seeing things breaking down.

Pearple Prose
This story was really fucking cool. And it kind of does everything really, really well. Strong characters? Yep. Good chemistry? Easy. Engaging plot? No problem. Fans of Posh’s first story will be happy to learn that this is a more than fitting follow-up to It Often Rhymes, and people who’ve never read it will be happy to learn that you don’t need to – this is an extremely solid and entertaining story that stands firmly on its own, and I’m very happy that it placed so highly in this contest.

Corejo
Damnit, Posh. Stop making me feel things. My heart is cold and dead and everything would be for the best were it to stay that way.

So yeah, gut punches inbound with this one. I loved how effortlessly this story progressed. Nothing was overdone, the romance held prominence but didn't step on any toes, and the characters felt as real as you and me. It doesn't help that there's some damn fine writing binding it all together. An easy pick for the high end of the winner's circle.


First Place

Oroboro
And for our first place winner, King of Beggars delivers a story with a ridiculous premise that manages to be hilarious, disgusting, and also charmingly heartfelt. There’s a lot of tenderness and meaningful relationship growth on display here for a story that mostly takes place next to an interdimensional gloryhole.

Congratulations, man. Try not to spend it all on one waifu.

R5h
Can I say this story blew me away, or is that too on the nose?

Ahem. So yeah, this story not only takes place at a certain public house of unsavory repute, it turns that setting into a relationship metaphor that is as heartfelt as it is hilarious. And that alone would be enough for this story to finish strong, but there’s way more going on here than just that.

There’s the little wonderful bits of voicing, building on Sunset and Mac’s complementary anxieties. Not to mention how the story teases you with details about how the two of them came together, building up the drama until it all comes to a head in an explosive climax, and an afterglow that’s both beautiful and incredibly awkward. For one of the most ridickulous premises in the contest, King of Beggars manages to keep it all nicely realistic and organic. (Seriously: among entries in the contest, this one probably did the best job of not needing a ‘how we got together’ prelude, and I think it would have been worse if there had been one.)

Thanks for sticking it out there, Beggars, because this story deserves a hole lotta glory.

Penis.  

Aragon
The thing about King of Beggars is that the dude can have such a wide array of emotions in a single story while keeping it all tonally consistent that every story feels like a tiny universe in itself. The characters are amazing—from Sunset’s impish mischievousness when flirting to Big Mac’s heartful silence, there’s so much chemistry here that King of Beggars has it all take place in the most disgusting place imaginable just so there’s a reason for you not to drop your pants right there.

So this story is funny, this story is melancholic, this story is somewhat deep. It’s also a gloryhole romance, and it plays it absolutely straight, because when you have stuff like that you need to keep it serious. Else, it gets too dumb.

So, yeah. This is King of Beggars in his element, showing everybody that romance is a little bit dirty, and a little bit fun, and a little bit weird, and a little bit romantic. Because in the end, what matters is not the cock we see poking through the wall. What matters is the cock we see poking through our hearts.

Pearple Prose
This was the first time I’ve ever read a King of Beggars story, and I had no idea what to expect going in other than what I knew of the author. So, like, I guess the gloryhole didn’t catch me off guard too hard.

When I finished reading, I sat back for a while, thought about what I’d just witnessed, and then wrote down: “This is fucking fantastic.”

Sunset’s hilarious internal monologue, the ridiculous premise, the amazing scene-settings, the lovely dialogue, the way the tone shifts so fluidly and skillfully, the emotional sucker punch, the fucking gloryhole – this story is a masterful piece of writing. Congrats to King of Beggars, you mad bastard.

Corejo
I was happy to see this one get the attention it deserved from the other judges. I'll admit, I wasn't sold until a few paragraphs in—the opener was clumsy and lacked enough setting to get my bearings. But it quickly found its legs and took off on a dead sprint down a path I was not expecting.

There is so much to love in this story, from the tonal shifts to the down-to-earth narration. The way this story meanders through its course without losing what it's trying to be is a marvel to behold, and goddamnit, if I wasn't misty eyed by the ending.

Ultimately, if you can write an emotionally impactful story about a goddamn gloryhole, then you bet your ass I'm paying the fuck attention to you.

King of Beggars, you better write more shit like this.


Honorable Mentions

Hey wait! We’re not done!

In addition to the top three prizes, each judge has decided to do an honorable mention for a story that tickled their fancy in some way. Each honorable mention will be awarded a prize of $20.


Oroboro Honorable Mention

Each Small Step is a story in which the writing is a little too telly, and the ending is a little weak. But it’s also a story that does an absolutely fantastic job of highlighting the mindset of depression, how utterly defeating and self destructive it can be, and how it hurts the people around them as well. A powerful read, and worthy of an honorable mention.

R5h Honorable Mention

I mean, come on. Look at that title. What more do I have to say?

… wait, this is a blurb. I do have to say more. Shit. Fuck.

Majin’s always had two gifts that stand out from the rest, as far as I can tell: conciseness, and writing weird shit. This story nails both categories, as not only is it supremely bizarre, it tells a story in under two thousand words that most people would have difficulty fitting in ten thousand. So congratulations, Majin, for your honorable mention.

Aragon Honorable Mention

MagnetBolt could write a character blowing raspberries at the sun for seventy-eight minutes and make it funny. This is a story about Adagio and Sunset on a roadtrip through Equestria, and it goes exactly as you would think it goes. There are some amazing punchlines in this story; I laughed out loud at more than one myself. The dialogue is absolutely fantastic; every quip drips with character and every joke lands.

The plot is serviceable, but honestly, we’re in here for the ride. Sunset is great, but Adagio definitely takes the cake in my opinion—and props at somehow managing to write a sociopathic-but-in-a-funny-way protagonist while keeping it believable that she’s in love with Sunset. This story has a surprising among of heart hidden under the surface. Overall, though, it’s just a lot of fun, and that’s all that matters when you get to it.


Pearple Prose Honorable Mention

I wasn’t sure what to make of this story going in – the opening was a little too hard to follow, the premise was a little too bizarre. But once this story hits its stride, the strength of the writing ended up leaving a lasting impression – holy shit, dude, there’s some fantastic character voicing going on here. And the premise, once it gets started, is super entertaining, and goes to places I never would have expected. While the ending was a bit of a sour note for me, I really loved what this story was doing, and I look forward to reading other stories from the author in future.

Corejo Honorable Mention

I've always had a bit of a soft spot for Pasco stories. His writing is solid and his ideas come from the heart.

I'm honestly more used to his darker stories, which made this one both refreshing and a surprise to see, and it did well in getting me into the groove of Derpy's antics and general mindset. It's simplicity was enjoyable, but a few key story choices kept this one from making into the winner's circle.

It was cute. It was fun. Ultimately, though, it fell shy of the necessary impact, I think. But that didn't keep the stupid smile from my face all the way through.


And those are the winners. If you haven’t already read them, you definitely should. It’s worth it. Along with all of the other stories that didn’t quite make it. I’ll be contacting all the winners about their prizes*, and, with each authors permission, hopefully be compiling a print version of this contest and the last contests winners.

Congratulations again to all of the winners, and a big thanks to all of the judges who agreed to help me out with this lunacy. And thanks to everyone who donated prizes that these talented winners can now enjoy.

If you didn’t win, and wanted to hear some feedback on your story, feel free to PM me*. If you’re upset about the results, feel free to PM me. If you have other stories you want to recommend from the contest, feel free to do so in the comments!

Running a contest is a lot of work, but rewarding enough to the point where I decided to do it twice.

Let’s see if we can go three for three next year.

*I will be out of town this weekend, going to a cabin in the middle of nowhere for Halloween. Assuming I don’t get murdered, I won’t be able to address most of this until Monday.

Comments ( 33 )
Majin Syeekoh
Story Approver

Honorable Mention is pretty good.

Congratulations to all the winners! ...A few more for the RIL shelf...

Congratulations to all the winners. :twilightsmile:

I would die for Posh.

Darn, I was hoping I could fit my entire contest inside yours. :raritywink:

In any case, congrats to the winners and HMs. Not who I would've predicted to take the gold, but I can't deny that it's truly a remarkable story.

Congratulations to all the winners:yay: (we really need a Sunset emote)

Yay! Glad to finally know the results of this contest! Congrats to all the winners and HMs. Hope we can do just as well, if not better, next year!

Congratulations all! So many good stories here. Aside from the winners and honorable mentions, I'd also strongly recommend Floral Transplant. Very funny.

:pinkiegasp:

Well that's a pleasant surprise! I thought for sure my rendition of Sunset would be far too hit-or-miss to secure a place in the top five. Not that I'm complaining about being proven wrong :twilightsheepish:

Congratulations to all the winners and honorable mentions! :twilightsmile:

Congratulations, everyone. I can't even imagine the work that went into writing all of this, to say nothing of judging every entry and distilling all that quality work into a top tier gallery.

Congrats to the winners! This was a blast. Lotta stuff to read tho. Jesus. Average of 90k per judge, and that's just the first round.

All the people who gotta wait for a review of mine -- like 4958379 iirc -- will get it soon enough, tho prolly not today 'cause it's late and I am both lazy AND tired.

Congrats to the winners and everyone else who participated. This has been a blast both years now. Here's hoping for round three next year!

Super flattered to be an honorable mention, it was fun to participate and I'm happy to be chosen :yay:

Not a particularly big deal (and my own doing) but Crowkis is just the dumb Halloween name I picked to go with my avatar for October :twilightsheepish: If it's not too much trouble, could you change the credit to Krickis? I'd appreciate it :twilightsmile:

You fools. I was King of Beggars all along. >:D

Obviously, I'm kidding. Probably.

Thanks for the praise and the high marks; you're all way too kind. I'm glad I was able to follow up the first story in a way that resonated with so many. :heart:

Congrats to all the winners, and a hat tip to everyone who entered. This was tons of fun and I learned a lot from the experience.

Thanks to all the judges for their hard work, and a special thank you to Oro for yet another great Sunset Contest.

I'll see you all next year, and best of luck in advance.

4958411
Changed. But this is the danger of changing usernames for holidays. When you change it back, the link to your user page will be broken in the process.

4958420
Not anymore, a site update a while back changed that. All the matters is the numbers after the user/ part of the URL, the name part of the URL is irrelevant.

Anyway, thanks for changing it :twilightsmile:

Hey, of the 10 stories featured here, I've never heard of 4 of the authors. Looks like I've got some new names to track.

Honestly, I didn't expect to even get an HM. I submitted with less than a minute before the deadline, and I'd been struggling with exactly what makes the relationship work between these two, so if I'd never figured it out for myself, how's the story going to convey it? And I really would have needed to get a pre-reader to help me make the fakey at the beginning work well, since it's hard for an author to gauge surprise factor. I did slip some blatant Aragon fan service in there, but I don't know if he would have even read it, depending on how they got divided up.

Great slate of authors, some interesting-looking stories, and thanks very much to all involved. Congrats to our top 5!

As much as I would love to play the role of righteously indignant sore loser (it's so much fun! :trollestia:), I can't do it this time. I haven't read most of these, but the ones I have read were incredible. If that's what I had as competition, I'm not at all surprised my story got whipped. Congratulations, folks!

Now to best figure out how to apply these to my review schedule...

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

Oh boy, just in time for me to be one passel of fics away from reading any of these! :D

Congrats to the winners.

Congrats to the winners and all the entrants! It was fun and it was a real good fight. There were some strong entries, and I promise to carry the weight of your ambitions in my fists as I challenge the world champion from Mexico.

Oh boi.

It was overwhelming, by the number of stories, the talent of many authors, feelings, etc.

Thanks to everyone who worked so hard to give us worth-reading stories, would they be hilarious, strong, brought good shippings, and most importantly, had something that defined yours3lves as authors.

Thanks for the jury for their time and selecting the winners.

Thank you Oroboro for this crazy contest, again.

Let's try a third and remember true adorators, Fav Pony Girl is Sunset Shimmer ❤💛!

Great stories all around! :pinkiehappy:

Congratulations to everyone who participated, winner, honorable mention or otherwise! I look forward to reading them! :twilightsmile:

Congrats to:

The winners, and many thanks to the organizers. I can't imagine I ever would've even attempted an "Equestria Girls" story without some sort of incentive. :eeyup:

Mike

Congrat's to the winners, it was fun participating and got me to finish my first fanfic ever ^_^ so thanks to the organizers as well.

The joy of a contest like this was the fun of writing it and having for a brief time our own mini-community of fellow contest go-er's. You could say the journey was the best part :trollestia:

Congrats to the winners!

Congrats to all involved, especially our finalists! This was a lot of fun, and, in the end, I believe we can all agree that's all that matters.

Being my first writing contest, I certainty found it an interesting challenge.

Looking forward to what gets thrown at us next time.

If I had a horse in this race, it was Posh, since he made me edit for him. Glad to see it was all worth it; he put a lot of time and effort into that story.

Congratulations to the other winners as well.

Congrats to the winners!

...now I can go back and edit mine!

Congratulations to all the winners! Looking forward to queueing up some quality baconhair. :pinkiehappy:

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

Man, Driver's Side only took fifth? You have set my expectations extremely high for the remainder! <.<

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