Orient Express Explorers 53 members · 15 stories

Once upon a time, the Orient Express was the greatest luxury train in the world. The Orient Express Explorers are to find and criticize especially good stories. The ones that have earned our attention.

One of our goals is to produce reviews, but another goal is to encourage everybody who reads to write reviews that are more detailed than a Nicholas Cage GIF. We want to make writing reviews fun and social.

I want reviews for my story! Can I request them here?

No. Do not add your own stories. I will delete them and ban you. There are other groups for that. Check out the Author Support Group and the Impartial Investigation Ensemble.

I closed the folders to users after somebody added "The Jew that Got Away" to "Mostly Sad". Now you must be a contributor to add to them. The procedure:

- PM the author and ask permission before adding the story here.

- If you add it, you should review it. Write a comment on the story with your review. Then create a new thread "Added: <story title>", and post a link to your review.

- Read How to Review. It's short.

- Your review should be at least 80 words long. (I stole that rule from the IIE.)

-The group signature looks something like this...

Chugga, chugga...


-Golden Delicious of the Orient Express Explorers

Is there a rating system for these stories?

I, Golden Delicious, have set in a temporary rating system until Bad Horse and I can discuss it. We use a rating system out of X, with the following categories.

-5 points for word choice
-5 points for general mechanics
-5 points for quality
-5 points for other

The resulting number is multiplied by 5 to give a percentage, and would be posted as...


The OEE is proud to give this a 90%, with 18/20 gold stars.

I, Bad Horse, will discuss this with GD, but would like ratings to be optional.

Comments ( 15 )
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377149 Whoops. I just saw that it was one of the groups I'm in and vaguely remembered something about putting mediocre stories in it.

371698 It's pretty much dead. But, to the extent that it's alive, you're not supposed to add your own stories.

Is this still a thing? :rainbowhuh:

I approve this group, and wish it well. Horse, throw out a line to ImJustAnotherBrony, he has some interesting ideas and seems to possess the motivation to follow them through. My hands are tied in his requests, but together I think you can come up with something mutually beneficial to common interests.

Cheers Horse!

296208 Good question. Since you're supposed to ask the author for permission to review, ask the author which kind they'd prefer.

What kind of reviews are you aiming for - "helpful" ones, or "positive" ones?

By my own warped standards, "helpful" ones usually have little to no praise, whereas "positive" ones are more hugbox-y. With Seattle's Angels, I do a lot of positive ones because the goal is to promote the story, not improve it; I can go the other way and do helpful ones, although it may come across as harsh or blunt. Or would you be in the vein of balanced reviews, presenting both praise and criticism (by "you", I'm referring to the concept of the group in general, not any one in particular >_>). Just checking before I, y'know, do anything.

Interesting initiative, I'll give it that.

Ah. I see. That makes sense.

295980 I said that wrong. The point is that you don't let just anybody review stories. We do.

>EqD and Seattle's Angels focus on writing excellent reviews


Um, as a pre-reader for Equestria Daily, no, we really don't. We focus on finding the best stories out of the ones submitted to post. Writing reviews is not our goal. The group's description seems to misunderstand what we do.

295504 Read the new group description. At present, having a small number of members, we want to review things that a lot of people have read, and to avoid having more stories than members.

I'll add a thread for story nominations. I think a good selection process would be: A story can be added when the story's author has given permission, and either the story is or was recently in the featured box, or two members (the nominator plus one) agree to review it.

It will take some further hard decisions to bring this from concept to successful execution*, but I'd love to be along for the ride. It sounds like it could be immensely instructive. A critique of bad fiction might improves that fiction, but a critique of good fiction improves ourselves.

(* Are you talking about being a resource for already-good writers who are explicitly requesting high-level critique? Or is this more like a book club, where members bring something they liked to the table and everyone talks about it for the enlightment of the other members (possibly including, but not requiring, the author)? Are you going to throw open the door to the wasteland of self-nomination or will there be a moderation process? What are the standards?)

I reckon I have a few stories to recommend -- there are a few I've read and really liked despite their flaws -- but naming names is premature until the mission statement is pinned down a bit more.

I'm in. Not sure how much time I'll be able to spend n it, but I'll help however I can.
I too saw your comment on Blueshift's Blog, and my reaction was "This is what I've been Looking For."
Further Up and Further In, my dear friends!

This is Australia...

Thanks Bad Horse! I need to find you a nickname...

You now have a new helper in your crusade :twilightsmile:. Saw your comment on Blueshift's post, and I feel like helping however I can, whenever I can. My schedule's pretty busy, but when I have the time, I'll go out there and try to find those unique stories with promise and potential.
Until then,
- Toshio/Molt

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