• Member Since 16th May, 2013
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Technical Writer from the U.S.A.'s Deep South. Writes horsewords, and reviews both independently and for Seattle's Angels. New reviews posted every Thursday! Writing Motto: "Go Big or Go Home!"

More Blog Posts464

  • Thursday
    Paul's Thursday Reviews CCXVI

    So. 36 years old as of yesterday. Funny, I don’t feel a day past 25. The only thing that bothers me is how quickly the year went by. I’m always reminded around my birthday that there are a lot of things I want to do and not much time to do them. It’s just another reason that I’m so determined to finally release an original fiction.

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    12 comments · 206 views
  • 1 week
    Paul's Thursday Reviews CCXV

    Hello again, FIMFiction. I’ve had quite the lazy week, but it was on purpose. I was starting to feel the burnout after achieving ~2,000 words/day for most of July, so I figured it was about time. But now I think I’m ready to get back into it.

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    8 comments · 296 views
  • 3 weeks
    Paul's Thursday Reviews CCXIV

    My schedule has a problem. It’s one that’s been building up for a while now.

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    20 comments · 421 views
  • 4 weeks
    Paul's Thursday Reviews CCXIII

    I’ve decided that I’m going to take a minor vacation in August, if only so as to use up some of those vacation days from work before they’re gone in January. With this in mind, I figured I’d also not read anything over the course of those four days. Ah, but how to do that when they’re already on the schedule? I don’t want to push them back, it’s becoming more and more important to me to build a

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    5 comments · 369 views
  • 5 weeks
    Paul's Thursday Reviews CCXII

    Wow, last weekend was a busy one. Family gathering was relatively small this year, for obvious reasons. Although I must emphasize the “relative” part; usually when there’s a big holiday like the 4th, we end up with 20 people or more present. This weekend was “only” nine, including me, my parents, and my brother’s family of six. That’s right, six. That boy is a glutton for punishment, I swear to

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    8 comments · 399 views

Paul's Thursday Reviews CCXI · 8:11pm July 2nd

My preliminary editing of the original fiction version of Guppy Love is all but finished! Soon I will have the entire story stored in GDocs and ready for prereading, which means it’s about time I started really looking for prereaders. I intend to ask the prereaders of the MLP version to come back to evaluate the changes, but I’d like to get a few others to offer a fresh perspective. I’m willing to accept volunteers should any arise (wink wink, nudge nudge, long staring).

In other good news, my writing is finally kicking back into gear. I somehow manages to produce almost 70k words for June alone, which is the best I’ve done in well over a year. Either I’m headed for a great year of productivity, or I just hit my peak month and it’s all going to be downhill for a while. Let’s hope for the former.

Alright. I’m off to spend the 4th with family. Have some reviews to keep you occupied in the meantime.

Stories for This Week:

A Requiem For Lost Libraries by Mitch H
Smells Like Christmas Morning by AppleTank
Rarity's Cat is Evil by Shakespearicles
The Seasons of Earth and Love by RainbowSparkle3
Reassurance and Inquiries by Jet Cannon
To Never Love But One Mare by Undome Tinwe
The Ship-Off by TheBrianJ
To Catch Up With the Sun by Dark Avenger
A FLEet|ng LIght |n thE DArknEsS by Flashgen
Courtesans by GaPJaxie

Total Word Count: 78,147

Rating System

Why Haven't You Read These Yet?: 2
Pretty Good: 2
Worth It: 3
Needs Work: 2
None: 0

We all know of ghost stories. But have you ever heard of being haunted by a ‘place’?

On the one hand, this is another story that bemoans the glaring eyesore that is the modern Castle of Friendship. Yet it’s approach to the subject is so original, so fresh and interesting, that it gains a life unto itself. The story posits that the Golden Oaks Library, after its roots were added to the Castle of Friendship, became the “heart” of the castle, and that under the right circumstances one might still be able to visit its more comforting rooms. Mysteriously, the Library may also serve as a breach into another world.

I loved Mitch H’s approach to this. It’s fascinating, it’s poetic, and it’s a fitting arrangement for the library we all loved. Honestly, I wish this were canon. It’s way better than Hasbro effectively forgetting it existed as anything other than an odd showpiece.

I feel like I should be critical about certain things. Such as the way the majority of the story is just a bunch of exposition, or the sudden shift in narrator near the end. But they just don’t bother me. They seem… appropriate.

If you’re tired of ‘mourn the Golden Oaks’ stories, I encourage you to give this one a go anyway. It’s a fresh take that, more than any other story I’ve read, feels like a grand bow for the old tree.

Bookshelf: Why Haven’t You Read These Yet?

Previous stories reviewed for this author:
New Author!

The power of imagination creates heroes and villains. In this story, that is literal: our imaginations are actually producing creatures in the fabric of reality that are continuously waging a bloody war for the survival of life in all dimensions. Our protagonist is one of the anti-heroes, a Gary Stu named H.M. Conagher, and aside from fighting monsters, he has to deal with a Pinkie Pie who knows a bit too much.

Yes, I did say that our protagonist is a Gary Stu. Well, mostly; there’s no indication for or against if he’s particularly popular or not. But he’s epically powerful and smart enough to outlast his peers, yet generally looks at the world through a prism of “life sucks, woe is me.” Yet the interesting thing about this is that his existence is set in an AU where creatures both good and bad are created by the imaginations of mortals, which means it’s not even his fault that he is the way he is. That alone is a curious thing.

The problem with the story is that it focuses far too much on the setup. The vast majority of it involves Conagher running around showing off his power and gleefully slaughtering monsters. It’s not until the story is practically over that we get to the crucial point of it all: Pinkie Pie’s awareness and special abilities as related to the powers of imagination, and the threat she poses to the universe as a result. Indeed, this is the only part directly related to My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, and since the readers are fans of that show, that’s exactly what we expect the story to focus on. But even without that as a guideline, the majority of the story feels largely pointless. Did AppleTank just want an excuse to write Ep!c Battulz!!!? Because that’s what this feels like.

The core idea behind this story? That’s interesting. It’s worth exploring. But AppleTank didn’t do anything with it beyond chaotic fight scenes and an attempt at making a bad-ass anti-hero protagonist. It feels like so much wasted opportunity. It’s too bad, too, as that last scene makes me think this author could have made something better out of it and simply chose not to.

Bookshelf: Needs work

Previous stories reviewed for this author:
New Author!

Rarity is confident that Opalescence is evil incarnate. But she still loves her and might be willing to submit to her suggestions now and again.

Shakespearicles starts off by reminding us that none of this is meant to be taken seriously. That was a good call, because it’s very easy to imagine someone being offended by the contents of this story. It pokes fun at a concept directly related to some terrible events in the real world, and I’m not sure it’s something we should poke fun of.

The story is a crackfic, to be clear. It mostly involves a significantly sleep-deprived Rarity interpreting Opal’s meowing as instructions to perform some evil things, including burning down buildings, self-disfigurement, murdering animals, and attacking/kidnapping ponies. All played to what is clearly meant to be comedic effect.

Personally, I am not amused. Nor am I offended. I’m just… miffed. I like dark humor, but this felt like a stream of random nonsense centered around violence. I’m not sure what people think is so entertaining about it.

But you know what they say: different strokes for different folks. Give it a go if it sounds like your thing.

Bookshelf: Crackfic

Previous stories reviewed for this author:
New Author!

Sunset Shimmer dates Rainbow Dash. For a while.

This was RainbowSparkle3’s first romance. It’s very direct and simple, chronicling random days of the start and ultimate end of their relationship. It’s also a bit of a struggle. Right away, I can tell that the author has some lessons that need to be learned.

First, there needs to be less tell. Throughout the vast majority of the story, RainbowSparkle3 says a whole lot without saying anything important. Or, to use a phrase I haven’t in ages, the writing is ‘vaguely specific’. Take this example of how their first date goes:

And with that, they left to see the Daring Do movie. After that, the new couple ate dinner together at a fancy restaurant, chatting together in between mouthfuls of food. Following dinner, Sunset invited Rainbow over to her house, where they talked some more, played video games (most of which Rainbow won), and watched some more movies (many of which were previous Daring Do films), until it was finally time for Rainbow to go.

No joke, that’s the entirety of their first date. RainbowSparkle3, this is not how you create romance.

Then we have a chapter that devotes half its wordcount (and literally a fifth of the entire story) to going into vague detail of Sunset and Rainbow playing a video game. Because this is somehow supposed to be romantic.

Then we have the forced, campy dialogue that relies far too much on exclamation marks. This is most obvious in the next-to-last chapter when Sunset and Rainbow have an argument over nothing at all for no apparent reason, which ends up the catalyst of their inevitable breakup.

I also question the author’s concept of reality. That video game Sunset and Rainbow played together? It was a fighting game. And after three rounds, RainbowSparkle3 suggests that the girls are ‘exhausted’. Seriously, exhausted. From playing three rounds in a fighting game. Given the description of the fight, I doubt it lasted longer than forty-five seconds. But somehow they’re meant to be ‘exhausted’. I play a lot of games, RainbowSparkle3. Three matches in Tekken are not exhausting. A forty-minute showdown in Dissidia against a tough opponent, okay, but that’s not what you described.

It’s not just limited to the video games. Take a look at what Rainbow Dash can eat in a single sitting:

Rainbow stuffed her mouth with some sushi, a ham and cheese sandwich, Caesar salad, some fruits, a couple of shortbread cookies, and a small piece of chocolate cake. Along with this, she gulped down some water, apple juice, and a couple cans of coke.

I couldn’t eat that much in my teenage years, and I had earned a reputation as a one-man food disposal unit. And since we’re not treating this story like a cartoon, good luck convincing anyone that this has any bearing in reality.

Then there’s that random Pinkie Pie cameo. Just… why?

So. RainbowSparkle3. A few suggestions.

Pay attention to how your characters speak in your stories. Think about whether or not anyone really talks like that. Think about any conversation you’ve had in the real world and try to model your dialogue on that. Act out the scenes if you have to.

When writing your story, don’t just randomly jump on a new topic. Sunset’s annoyance with Rainbow Dash’s ‘winning’ personality came completely out of nowhere and thus felt like she was reading from a script. You do eventually suggest that she’d been thinking on such things for a while, but there had been no indication of that in the entire story up to now, so nobody’s going to believe it. This is supposed to be a turning point in the relationship, and by extension a major scene in the story. You have to build up to those over time, not launch into them without warning.

Remember what your story is supposed to be: a romance. Telling the reader “they went on a date” isn’t romantic. It’s not even interesting. If something is meant to be romantic, it’s your job to show us that. This means providing details of the date, letting us get into the character’s head, and most importantly, generating atmosphere.

And atmosphere is one of your biggest weaknesses right now. You give it a decent try at times, particularly when you wax on about the changing seasons (and I can see why you thought that would be important). But you need to figure out timing. When Rainbow Dash and Sunset are having dinner at a fancy restaurant, when they’re relaxing together on a park bench, when they’re about to part after their first date; these are the times you stop and really show us what’s happening. This is when you slow down and really explore what it means to be dating, to be in love, to know that giddy feeling of being young and smitten. That doesn’t mean “they kissed for a long time”, that means flexing those descriptive chops.

Decide also what you want the story to be stylistically. Is it a silly, cartoonish story where teenagers can eat their own body weight in food, or is it the real world where actions have consequences and we’re expected to take things seriously? It’s hard to mix and match the two. Don’t try it until you’re confident you can pull it off.

Then there’s that Pinkie cameo. No, it’s not that the Pinkie cameo exists, it’s that it doesn’t have a reason for existing. Most of this story is written as if to be serious, which means “Pinkie Pie is random” is not a sufficient reason for it to happen. If you’re going to bring an outside character into the story like this, especially a named one that the audience is expected to know, there needs to be a plot-oriented reason behind it. Otherwise you’re just wasting valuable word space on a pointless tangent.

And I think that’s enough for now. This review is already way longer than I intended. Suffice to say, RainbowSparkle3 needs to do some polishing on their work. I suppose it isn’t bad for a first try at a romance. I can only wish the author good luck and hope that the next one I read by them shows some advancements.

Bookshelf: Needs Work

Previous stories reviewed for this author:
New Author!

After the whole debacle with Trenderhoof, Applejack and Rarity get together to discuss the events of the day.

This is a simple little friendshipping story between AJ and Rarity, as seen from Rarity’s perspective. There’s not much more to it than that. It does come with a small lesson learned for Rarity, which is to take a page from Applejack regarding her selection process for potential coltfriends. Otherwise? It’s just two mares chatting, with one being a comfort to her friend.

A simple story, but by no means a bad one. Give it a read if you want to try the less common route of RariJack friendshipping.

Bookshelf: Worth It

Previous stories reviewed for this author:
New Author!

Tonight, Luna will be proposing to Twilight. For Rarity, it is both the culmination of months of coaching and the final twist of the knife in her heart. But just as she’s preparing to let Luna have everything she ever wanted, Twilight comes knocking, and she’s not happy at all.

To be more direct: Twilight learns that Rarity has been shadow-courting her through Luna.

I’m a shipper, Rarity is my favorite of the Mane 6, and Luna is Best Pony. There was no way I wouldn’t read this. The story starts off with Rarity a sobbing mess in her boutique, fully aware that Luna is probably proposing marriage to Twilight at that very moment. Then a disheveled Twilight shows up giving all the indications of a night gone wrong. Most of the story involves Twilight probing Rarity while Rarity fights tooth and hoof to keep her and Luna’s (already outed) secret.

This all seems well and good. Indeed, for a romance it’s everything the audience could want. Yet there are some issues that bug me throughout. For one, Undome Tinwe really works to emphasize how much pain Rarity is in trying to keep Twilight and Luna together. Too much so. We got it the first half-dozen times, author, you didn’t need to remind us another two dozen. It’s one thing to create a bad scenario and generate atmosphere around it, it’s another to cram the intended emotion down our throats with a baseball bat. Moderation, if you please.

The second issue is the solution. Twilight realizes that Rarity’s in love with her and immediately jumps to an answer of “hey, let’s be polyamorous!” I’m sorry, didn’t she show up at Rarity’s place looking like a wreck of a pony? Isn’t she still reeling from the emotional impact of finding out everything she thought came from Luna was a lie (to use her own word)? And you’re telling me she’s already leaping to this option?

I get that Twilight’s an imminently logical individual at times, but this seems way too fast to be realistic. Twilight just had her relationship with Luna ripped out from under her. I imagine she’d need a few days at least to stop and think and get over the raw emotions behind that. Heck, she doesn’t even know yet how she feels about Rarity; she just knows that Rarity is interested. I’m not saying the solution to the problem is bad, I’m saying it probably isn’t something you decide upon on a whim like this.

Still, the hopeless romantics among us probably won’t care. I did, but that’s just me. I can see most of the shipping goggle types reading this and squealing with glee. Which is fine. The story’s not poorly written by any means (overemphasized emotions notwithstanding) and makes for quite the pleasant read. It won’t do a thing for the non-shippers out there (bunch of weirdos), but for the rest of you? Have at it.

Bookshelf: Worth It

Previous stories reviewed for this author:
New Author! (Wait, really?)

The Ship-Off

9,613 Words
By TheBrianJ

Twilight and Rainbow are having a bit of a disagreement about what makes a good story. Rainbow is of the opinion that action and adventure is all that matters. Twilight thinks worldbuilding and depth of setting is everything. To settle the heated debate (to put it mildly), they decide to both write a story and see which is better. The randomly chosen prompt? Romance.

I am entertained. We end up with a story that has two elements to it. First, a moral that disagreements over style shouldn’t be cause to get worked up. Second, it is BrianJ telling the potential writers in the audience what not to do when writing a romance – or any genre, really. Twilight’s and Rainbow’s stories are both obvious examples of exactly the kind of mistakes I see frequently as a reviewer, if a bit exaggerated in nature.

The only real issue I have is that I would have expected Twilight to know better. Even acknowledging this was back when she was still the snarky little know-it-all of her pre-alicornication (AKA “the fun one”), I can’t help feeling that Twilight would have had a much better grasp than this regarding what makes a good story. Still, TheBrianJ needed to get the message across, and I suppose this was a decent way to do it.

I’m also intensely amused that Rainbow wrote porn about herself having wild sex with Twilight’s mom. And I wholeheartedly approve of them going with Rarity as the judge and jury on their stories. Although I find it questionable that she was able to read both their stories in one sitting, particularly considering the length of Twilight’s. Another aspect I approve of is how Rarity, inspired by the competition, decides to try writing something herself. I’m not sure if TheBrianJ did it on purpose or not, but the fact that Rarity starts her own story with as clichéd and boring an opening as possible feels like a great statement about how critics aren’t perfect.

Regardless, this was a fun little story about two ponies getting way more into a fight over horsewords than is appropriate. By all means, give it a go. Some of you might even learn something.

Bookshelf: Pretty Good

Previous stories reviewed for this author:
Exit Through CanterlotWHYRTY?
Beatrix, Harbinger of AnnoyancePretty Good
The Diary Of An Evil PonyPretty Good

The CMC go to visit Zecora and tell her how they all got their cutie marks. In return, Zecora tells them a tale of what her cutie mark might mean.

Before we begin, it should be noted that this story was written long before the CMC ever got their cutie marks in canon. As such, the story is going to reference some things that canon has rendered incorrect or moot. As long as you can get behind that, you should be fine with jumping into this one.

Anyway, this is Zecora’s origin story, plain and simple. It reveals why she left her homeland, gives some vague details of her long journey, and even introduces a travelling companion for her. Dark Avenger tends to like being nebulous and not revealing everything, and that is certainly true here. The story will leave you with a lot of questions, and the author has made it clear that no answers will ever be forthcoming.

Personally, I’m okay with this. I don’t need to know what happened to Muddy Water or what he might have said. I’m happy enough that Zecora’s personal arc is completed, even if Dark Avenger goes out of his way to not tell you what he intended the moral of the story to be. This is one of those tales where you’re expected to figure it out on your own. Whether that’s a problem will depend on individual tastes.

Despite everything intentionally left out, this is by far the most complete and effective Zecora origin story I’ve yet to read. I’m not sure that I approve of the opening scene involving the timberwolf, as it does not seem to add anything to the rest of the story. Other than that, though, I thoroughly enjoyed this.

Bookshelf: Pretty Good!

Previous stories reviewed for this author:
Look UpPretty Good
PointlessPretty Good
Something MagicalWorth It

Ponyville is empty. Hoping to figure out how this could have happened, Celestia sends investigators. What they find is a journal written by her student.

This is a journal-style story in which Twilight recounts how her and all of Ponyville disappeared, succumbing to some dark entities that showed up for no apparent reason. It’s clear that the story is intended to be a horror and my personal favorite sub-genre, the Weird Tale. Normally, I’d be thrilled by this kind of thing.

Problem is, the story never ‘clicked’ for me. I never got the feeling that anything I was reading was real. Twilight’s writing never really pulls me in, never gets me to recognize what is surely meant to be her growing fear. The emotions I’m sure the author intended just never came to life. Journal-style writing is a tricky, challenging creature that can go wrong even when done well. Flashgen manages to avoid all the worst pitfalls of the journal style of writing, such as repeating dialogue line-for-line or treating a diary like a work of fiction.

I think the problem is twofold. First, Twilight’s writing is direct and ‘normal’. Oh, Flashgen makes one or two attempts to enliven things, usually by omitting words or adding in images (which failed terribly for me since they were designed around normal FIMFiction and I read in Dark Mode). But there’s no effort to experiment with the text itself, and in a journal-style story that can be a huge help. Instead, the author keeps to writing ‘normally’, as we all would and should for most story types, and that makes the whole thing look less like a diary and more like someone writing… well, a story.

The direct result of this is the second part of the problem: you have to go into this expecting to be scared. Readers must generate the mood and atmosphere all on their own, in their own minds, with little assistance from the story. If you walk into this expecting the story to do all the work, you’ll likely not get anything out of it. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with this; some stories excel at it. But it only works if you are prepared for it going in.

Curiously, I see that this story has several sequels. Because I’m curious about where Flashgen is going with this, I have every intention of reading them. But for this one… Eh, I have to say it didn’t do much for me. I’ll put it on the middle ground, but mostly because it manages to not make the most common mistakes I see for journal-style stories. Maybe you’ll be different and it’ll properly scare you. Just remember to go in with the right mindset.

Bookshelf: Worth It

Previous stories reviewed for this author:
New Author!


19,855 Words
By GaPJaxie
Sequel to The Third Wheel

Once, Double Time was a changeling art student at Celestia’s School for Gifted Unicorns. There she befriended Light Step, the little sister of Twilight Sparkle and Shining Armor. In the process of doing so, she helped Light Step commit crimes, outed a secret of Twilight’s, and assaulted one of Princess Cadance’s royal guards. She thought there’d be no consequences for that.

Turns out Princess Cadance is a lot harder to get away from than she thought. Now Double Time is under direct orders from her queen to be, for all intents and purposes, Cadence’s slave. One can only hope the Princess of Love is as lenient as her title implies.

This is a complex story. It involves a dive into changeling culture, the clash of cultures between changelings and ponies, and the complexities of foreign politics. The most interesting thing about this to me is how GaPJaxie hints regularly at a war as if we already know everything about it. At first, I thought this was a mistake. But then we get to the climactic chapter where we learn exactly what the war entailed, and suddenly the decisions make sense.

This is a story about healing. More specifically, it’s about Cadance and Double Time working both together and against one another to fix old wounds. And, as I said before, it’s a complex process. It overlaps with Cadance struggling to make sense of the actions of Double Time’s queen and the changelings in general. Double Time herself faces her own internal conflict of how she was raised and what it means to be ‘reformed’. Most interesting of all, it’s a story that clarifies that being ‘reformed’ doesn’t automatically mean you’re a perfect, law-abiding, goody-four-hooves individual.

The characterization here is my favorite part by far. Cadance isn’t some happy-go-lucky princess of love, she has layers of fears and needs and grudges. By the same token, Double Time is a changeling who wants to be good but isn’t afraid to define ‘good’ in her own terms, no matter what some pink pony with wings and a horn thinks on the matter. Watching the two of them grow and evolve as both individuals and a pair is a nonstop treat.

Ultimately, I loved this every bit as much as the last story. I had a nitpick or two, but frankly I don’t think they’re worth more than that mention. I look forward to seeing where else GaPJaxie aims to take these characters and the series as a whole. You might want to read the last story first, but I don’t think it’s strictly necessary to understand the ongoing events of this one.

Bookshelf: Why Haven’t You Read These Yet?

Previous stories reviewed for this author:
Siren SongWHYRTY?
Would It Matter If I Was?WHYRTY?
The Third WheelWHYRTY?
I Forgot I Was TherePretty Good
Love Letters for a Girl I HatePretty Good

Stories for Next Week:
Cigarettes & Gunmetal by MonoGlyph
B.B.B.F.F.B.R. by 8686
Cocooned by AilingStar
Out, Out, Brief Candle! by Lord Of Dorkness
A Midsummer Day's Quest by Soufriere
Gimme Mah Hat! by Endeav0ur
Ground Control to Major Twi by KorenCZ11
Pick-Me-Up by Enter Madness
The Sunday Session by Neon Czolgosz
Bachelorette Bon-ding by Distaff Pope

Recent Review Map:

Paul's Thursday Reviews CCVI
Paul's Thursday Reviews CCVII
Paul's Thursday Reviews CCVIII
Paul's Thursday Reviews CCIX
Paul's Thursday Reviews CCX
You Are Here
Paul's Thursday Reviews CCXII
Paul's Thursday Reviews CCXIII
Paul's Thursday Reviews CCXIV
Paul's Thursday Reviews CCXV
Paul's Thursday Reviews CCXVI

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Comments ( 16 )

I'm curious to see what you make of A Foreign Education, as it's been critically received as the major low point and thematic outlier of Jaxie's Third Wheel series.

A Requiem for Lost Libraries really is good. I was one of those who put it off for a while and then wished I hadn't. I don't think I know any of next week's slate.

It ends there because I couldn't figure out what to do with it, and I still haven't. It was me spitballing ideas before I got the restraint to finish ideas first before posting. It feels incomplete because it is. Honestly, the Canceled tag would have fit it better, because by now, I've changed it so much it doesn't really resemble it anymore, from what's v3 to v5 or 6.

Creatures born of Chaotic imagination didn't really lend itself to well rounded characters, or plots. The idea I ended up with for v6 is still on backburner until I figure out a better starting point

The characterization here is my favorite part by far. Cadance isn’t some happy-go-lucky princess of love, she has layers of fears and needs and grudges. By the same token, Double Time is a changeling who wants to be good but isn’t afraid to define ‘good’ in her own terms, no matter what some pink pony with wings and a horn thinks on the matter. Watching the two of them grow and evolve as both individuals and a pair is a nonstop treat.

Thanks so much for this review man. I'm really glad you picked up on what I'd intended. Cadence and Double are both people thrust without their consent into circumstances beyond their control, but they never give up their agency.


I would more say it was "controversial." There were people who really love it, and people who really hated it.

But either way, yes! I too am quite curious what PaulAsaran will think of it. :twilightsmile:

I mean, when I say it was a low point, that's like saying topaz is the worst gem. All five were quite good.

Author Interviewer

Thanks for the tip-off on To Catch Up With the Sun. Turns out that's one of those fics I read long ago and never reviewed! @_@

Such as the way the majority of the story is just a bunch of exposition, or the sudden shift in narrator near the end.

Valid points, all. I like to say that it was a failed attempt to write a story without a protagonist, without characters. But I have a real problem with writing anything that doesn't have a viewpoint, of some sort. This was, in a way, my attempt at writing a Lost Cities type story. It just grew characters towards the end, like barnacles on an old, poorly maintained ship.

Ah, yes, The Seasons of Earth and Love, my controversial magnum opus (at least according to the ratings). I agree on most of your points, especially regarding the vagueness and the first date and the part about gaming. I honestly didn't think about that while writing. I mean, the rest of the day probably helps the exhaustion, but I don't think I was thinking about that. :rainbowlaugh: And I was kind of unsure about how much someone like Rainbow would eat, and I guess I strayed too close to the high end. As for the Pinkie cameo, I guess I was thinking of this as an episode of mlp, and I just pictured Pinkie randomly popping up for randomness comedy. It's not a cartoon, but it is a fanfiction based on a cartoon. Granted, even in mlp that's more random than normal Pinkie, but I feel like it could happen, though you're right that it is weird in a mostly serious story. I just thought it worked with the chill nature of the second chapter, though I definitely see why it could be jarring.

If I was looking at the story from an outside eye, I'd probably say I like it, since I tend to be easier to please than most. But as the writer, I can definitely say that for the most part it hasn't aged well, especially from reading the multiple reviews it's been given. If you read it, I'd be curious to see what you think of The Love and Times of Sunset and Twilight. It still has its fair share of issues, but I think it's kind of a version 2 of this story in a couple of ways, mostly realized post-writing.

Appreciate the review. I'm not sure if I have much to say on Fleeting Light and its sequels because it's so far past a point where I could have changed how it was going to end up, but I think I'm fairly proud with how they are as a whole. I knew the text thing wasn't going to work (in that you had to "find" it as a reader), but I think the fact that it's a different color still lends a bit of importance to it. As for the images, the white background probably sticks out on dark mode, but I can't really think of a better way to put them in (they're way more important in the third one anyway). Anywho, looking forward to seeing what you think of the sequels. :twilightsheepish:

Thanks for the review! It's almost been a decade, and still nobody appreciates the Timber Wolf scene... 😂👌

Jokes aside, even after all this time, I still consider it one of my finest works of that "early era" of mine, which is not something I'd say about most of my early fics. Of course, there's a lot that I would have done differently in hindsight, such as making the significance of the aforementioned scene less vague. If you pay closer attention, the "geographic" details of where the Timber Wolf attacked from and where Zecora arrived from don't line up. That, and at the end, she seems happy to just let them run off on their own again... assuming they are alone.

Beyond that, yeah, I do like to keep questions open. In my opinion, they make things more interesting, although in this particular fic, another reason was simply the word count upper limit (15k words). There's a lot more I could have told about Zecora, but I think this provides a good, clean arc that doesn't outstay its welcome.

Of all the stories of mine to review... :facehoof:
Yeah. Definitely not one of my better pieces, even among my teen-rated works.
And not the premier piece of mine that I would have wanted to be your first to review.

this felt like a stream of random nonsense

Yes. Quite right. Were I not so adamant about not deleting stories, this would no longer be with us.

Still though, thank you.
I appreciate your even-handed review, and I hope this story doesn't dissuade you from reading others of mine in the future. :twilightsmile:

For shame, PP. For shame.

Yeah, I got the feeling as I was going through it that I should have read something else of yours first. And to be fair, I thought I had. It wasn't until after I checked my archives that I realized otherwise.

Good news is that I do want to read another story by you. Bad news is that I don't know how long it'll take. :fluttershyouch:

I'm a patient man, and FimFiction is my home. I'm not going anywhere.

Thanks for that review, I’m happy you felt that way about it. :twilightsmile: Seeing some similar comments from the other authors, it’s probably the one story on here that I’m most happy with even now. Not trying to make most epic story everrrrrrr probably helped, unlike a few of my earlier attempts... :facehoof:

I’m actually trying to finally sort out another story for potential posting on here, for the first time in years, so we’ll just see how that goes lol

Author Interviewer

Not hardly, there's still a bunch of those. :B Though most of them these days are ones I downvoted and am not rushing to get back to. (This story is the rare upvote.)

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