Twenty Great Stories 61 members · 11 stories
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From SpaceCommie:

Whom the Princesses Would Destroy . . .

To Twilight Sparkle and Princess Celestia, it is a simple surprise visit to Canterlot. To the ponies of the Equestrian Civil Service, it is twenty-four hours of chaos, politics, weaponized dessert, politics, underhooved manipulation of media, politics, and things batrachian and tentacular. Who said bureaucracy isn't exciting?

Pearple Prose
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My favourite comedy story on the entire site, easily. The characters are very vibrant, there are plenty of laughs to be had – both witty and silly – and the writing is A fucking *. Seriously, I'm pretty sure GhostOfHeraclitus is Terry Pratchett in disguise after reading this. There are a few parts of the story that lost me, but I'm not sure whether that's just because I'm dumb or not.

Either way, this story gets a big fat thumbs up from me.

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Considering I tossed this up here, I figure that I'll make my pitch. First of all, this is an absolutely brilliant comedy. Dotted Line, the protagonist of the story, is utterly believable as a harried bureaucrat trying to do his best despite the utter insanity of his job. He also has a wickedly funny streak, which is of course the point.

It's just a really well put-together comedy.

Naturally, this gets a thumbs-up.

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I just read the two first chapters, and I must say that I am somewhat impressed by the author's writing skills. The writing feels like something one would find in a book written by a professional author. The dialogue is lively and the characters vibrant. There is also a, what I'd call, a distinct (near) mastery of Show vs Tell. I see very few places where there is any "tell."

That said, while the story is very well written, it doesn't feel like there's anything important happening. The story is labelled as a "Comedy" and it seems like it tries to make something funny every once in a while... But that's just it, it tries but it falls flatter than a pancake. There is nothing in the eight thousand words I just read that made me so much as crack a smile. Nothing that made me think "That's funny" or "That might be seen as fun to some."

The story is written well, that I cannot deny, but it is flat out boring. I'm promised a comedy but all I see is a guy in a meeting and a tower covered in custard and filled with jam.

A story needs more than just a skilful writing, realistic characters and fluid dialogue to be great. It needs to be engaging as well.

Thumbs down.

Sharp Spark
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Wow, I loved basically everything about this story. The creation of a marvelously complex political world spinning like (on-the-verge-of-exploding) clockwork, all behind the scenes of the much more simple world of the show, is lovely, and the writing throughout is wickedly sharp humor.

Sure, it is not a story that makes you guffaw at telegraphed punchlines, but while reading the whole thing I had a goofy smile on my face. I would give this all the thumbs.

-thumbs up-

This fell flat for me, honestly. That's perhaps overstating it a little: I enjoyed reading it and think it is well written, but in terms of it being something I would point to as an exemplar of... anything, I can't see it.

I didn't find a particular charm in the writing itself – it made me stop and think "this is written by someone who knows how to maneuver around language," which seems like it should be a compliment, but instead I ended up feeling immersed in wordiness. The pace and flow of sentences in itself never quite conveyed emotion to me, let alone humor. It kept a rather even rhythm throughout, and that may have gone as far as impaired my ability to, uh, stop and find things funny. Thinking about it, it's almost impressive to make "a dimension folded in on itself around an elder being" feel entirely mundane and boring.

Likewise, the characterization felt solid, but not amazing. Dotted Line is the only character I now have a mental image of – which I would be fine with, had the story not cut away to scenes uninvolving him fairly often, leaving me wondering what, exactly, the fic was about. That ties into the pacing, too, all in all, I'm not sure this even feels like a story. It was a collection of scenes, most of them amusing, granted, but in all, it felt unfocused.

I feel as if I'm portraying myself as overly critical here. I did like the fic, but... I suppose I'm confused that I don't like it more. It feels like I'm missing something.

There, a presumptuous attempt to pretend I belong! Phase one complete!

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