The Writeoff Association 926 members · 662 stories
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The Letter J
Group Contributor

4951755
The Spare
I've been thinking about that possibility as well. I didn't write this one, but if the author is anything like me, then they were probably considering taking it out and leaving it up to the readers to figure out the implication, but ended up leaving it in because they were worried that it would be too subtle and a lot of us would miss it. And honestly, I think that they were justified in that. Some of us would have gotten it or would have seen someone in the thread explain it, and we probably would have thought that it was a much better story for it. But a lot of people probably wouldn't have gotten it and would miss the other comments here, or would just think that it wasn't clear enough and there could be some other meaning.
Is it worth it to make a story weaker in order to aid understanding? I don't think that there's a definite answer to that, and I don't blame this author for making the choice they did here.

4947413
(Sorry for the delayed response. I haven't really been active on the thread in a few days.)
Perhaps it would have been justified for me to abstain, but personally, I don't think that it was necessary. You abstain from EqG fics because you don't like the setting/subject matter. I didn't dislike your story because it was about suicide, I disliked it because the moral (at least as I saw it) was that suicide is an acceptable way out of depression, which I strongly believe is terrible and completely false. It is entirely possible that I might someday read a story about suicide that I think is good, but it won't have a moral about suicide being okay.
I am glad to hear that you are getting help though. :pinkiesmile:

And now some final thoughts on That Secret Fire.
I didn't like this one very much when I first read it, but I keep seeing other people post reviews about how great and funny they think it is. So I went back and gave it another read...
...and it's still not funny to me. I guess the humor is supposed to come from the fact that Sugarcoat was so open to telling Twilight about how she feels but couldn't manage to admit that she didn't like vanilla ice cream, but it just doesn't work for me.
Oh well. To each their own, I suppose.

4951916

Is it worth it to make a story weaker in order to aid understanding? I don't think that there's a definite answer to that, and I don't blame this author for making the choice they did here.

I have been agonizing over this a lot, myself. I had a certain intent with my story that I gather a lot of people didn't pick up on (either because I was trying to be too sneaky, or just due to reading it alongside a dozen other stories). In hindsight, I probably should have tried to be clearer, even if I didn't like the result as much.

But I suppose more on that will have to wait until the voting is over.

Also, I'm glad I wasn't the only one that just didn't get That Secret Fire. Nothing wrong with that, and I'm glad others loved it so much, but I guess it was just too random for me.

Regidar
Group Contributor

4951916 Well, my intent wasn't that suicide is good. I wished to convey the final thought of Fluttershy's to be one of relief as opposed to one of incredible guilt or likewise. My stance isn't that suicide is the correct option; it's the illustration of a final thought being contrary to the one many would assume would occur.

horizon
Group Admin

4951875
I, uh, that is ...

LOOK! A DISTRACTION!


That's right, fillies and gentlecolts, since nobody else has started the fun, we're doing MASHUPS: LOVE AND DATING EDITION!

Yours Truly, The Spare - Princess Celestia sends Sunset Shimmer on a thousand horrible dates to distract her from the fact that Twilight's the true chosen one.

I Love Curses - Daring Do and Ahuizotl wake up together, snuggle for a while, then race each other to the coffeemaker in their trap-filled basement. Daring wins again, and Ahuizotl considers silently leaving. Again.

Swallow Morning Flapjacks - Everypony confesses their crush on Applejack to her at once.

Twilight Sparkle Gets Serious To Win That Secret Fire - Sugarcoat and Twilight hack the schedule so that "LESBIANS" is one of the Friendship Games events, and then lesbian with the force of a million normal lesbians.

Don't Explainer It - Clothes Horse puts her leg-ending part on the mouth of Green Fire Boy every time he wants to say that she makes his heart go fast. Green Fire Old Guy talks at the party where they put Clothes Horse's body in the ground, but her spirit leg-ending part is still stuck on his face.

Rainbow Dashen Rambler - When Rarity, Dash and Big Mac are trying to run through the deadly spires of postapocalyptic monster-filled Equestria, Dash finds herself really wishing that she had stuck to her guns on wanting a colt that knew karate.

Calligrapher in the Leaves - Scene 1: A cancer patient falls in love with a calligraphy artist developing severe Parkinson's. Scene 2: Two graves side by side.

More Precious Than Thirty Seconds - After cracking a joke about interspecies pedophilia, Horizon flees the thread with a howling mob at his back.

horizon
Group Admin

Also, having read all the finalists, here are my top five:
Companionate
The Longest Night
Thirty Seconds
Flapjacks
Cold Case

It's felt like a weird round, but we've had some good stuff come out of it. A special nod to all thirty-one of our finalists (36 stories total); that's far fewer duplicates than usual, so we're seeing a major cross-section of talent here!

KwirkyJ
Group Contributor

4951948
(Dat image!)

Companion Explainer - Big Mac's feelings towards feelings towards Fluttershy are really, really simple.

Don't Say Lives Loved - After the realization that Spike will live for a very long time, Twilight and Rarity have a long talk about manipulating a pony's (or dragon's) feelings.

More Precious Than The Red Dress - I'm the one who's carrying it… and they're called cravings, Vinyl.

Calipony
Group Contributor

4951785
BH, you got that script offered to you for Xmas? You collection Megan's trinkets? You're a fetishist? :derpytongue2:

4951812
I understand the perspective of memory erasing can be thought as bad. But that statement is sweeping. It's like saying radioactivity is bad because of nuclear bombs, discarding radiotherapy. As a matter of fact, memory erasing is done everyday on a routine basis by our brain itself: can you remember everything you've done since your birth? All the names of the people you've chanced upon? Even today, I'm sure your brain had discarded some events that happened to you.

So yes, memory erasing can be appalling when it is used to scratch out heinous deeds, like a rape for example. But it can also be totally innocuous (sorry: harmless), as is the case here.

Bugle
Group Contributor

4951948

I completely forgot it was my plan to try starting those earlier today. Unfortunately, I only thought of one so far, but I can at least share it with all of you:

Yours Truly, Chirality: Cheeriee and several prospective suitors are teleported into different rooms of an alien space ship. For each suitor, Cheerilee is given a panel with two buttons that read "date" and "not date," and told that she must choose a suitor to date, or her planet will be destroyed. Unfortunately, all of her suitors are massive jerks.

Or are they?

Magello
Group Contributor

4951960 I feel this was actually probably one of the worst rounds for finalists. We got literally as close to half of the entries in there as we could get. I don't think final rounds should consist of 50% of the contestants.

The high number of writers in the finals is more because of some strange process in the judging than talent.

FDA_Approved
Group Contributor

Sorry I didn’t get to review this time. The end of the year is usually really busy for me. I’ve been trying to do these retrospections earlier, but, I never get around to it.

44. Twilight Sparkle Gets Serious to Win the Friendship Games

The original title was supposed to be: Twilight Sparkle Decides to Get Serious in Order to Win the Friendship Games

4942512 (sunnypack) >>(GullibleCynic) 4940881 (The Letter J) 4944403 (Trick Question) 4939849 (horizon) 4935047 (Gba500) 4935867 (FanOfMostEverything) 4943671 (Foehn) 4945740 (Morning Sun)

I wanted to try writing one of those ridiculous stories and I thought the idea was pretty solid, but as you all noticed, the execution was poor. After my second draft, I read it and I knew it wasn’t funny; Twilight was too mean. But I didn’t know how to fix it. So…

I’m looking for a way to salvage this. Does anyone have any suggestions? I’m open to all of them. Perhaps lowering Twilight’s “seriousness” because she’s too cruel? Should I keep Twilight in character and have her try to break away from her timidness to be serious?

Also I forgot that “Unleash the Magic” was completely out of place. :facehoof:

I don’t really get what was being left unsaid here and the opening scene was a little vague. Did the open magic necklace imply that she'd released and harnessed the magic so she could win? Because if so why didn't she use any magic throughout the story?

The unsaid stuff was me playing around with the idea of Twilight angrily cutting off all the musical songs and that final line where Twilight threatens Cinch. And the magic necklace was left at Crystal Prep because magic would distract Twilight during the games. Sorry for the confusion.

I’m fairly certain I know who wrote this.

So, so? Did you guess me? I've been waiting for someone to correctly guess me! :pinkiehappy:

And special shout-out to 4941313 (Loganberry) who was the only one who thought the story was funny. Thanks! :twilightblush:

Thanks for the reading and the reviews everyone. I really appreciate it!


41. Those Unseen Distant Skies (The story where Fluttershy comforts Rainbow because she got kicked out of flight school)

I honestly didn’t like my title.

4942512 (sunnypack) 4940881 (The Letter J) 4938184 (FanOfMostEverything) 4945482 (Winston) 4939679 (Trick Question) 4933732 (KwirkyJ) 4935252 (Not_A_Hat) 4933136 (JonOfEquestria) 4939849 (horizon) 4935121 (HoofBitingActionOverload) 4937740 (Xepher)

I’ve read a lot of stories about one or another of the mane 6 comforting another of the mane 6 when somepony's down. What makes this story different?

As I finished this, the story skirted away from my original plans. I wanted to portray the first time Fluttershy witnessed Rainbow Dash really crying—the bawling, blubbering, snot-dripping, Tanks for the Memories type of crying, but I ended up focusing more on the “mystery” of Rainbow’s gloominess and wasn’t able to explore Fluttershy’s reaction. The prompt came in with Fluttershy trying to get Rainbow to acknowledge what had happened. I was worried it was a bit too vague, so I cut out the subtleness and had Rainbow say it.

I didn’t realize that people had placed this immediately after Rainbow performs the sonic rainboom. My intent was that it happened quite some time after that and the rainboom was unrelated to her expulsion. I’ll have to fix that. Or maybe I’ll add it in somehow.

Referring to Fluttershy's brother was a risk, given that it's pretty much canon all pegasi are orphans.

Eh, but it’s gonna be cannon anyways...probably. The script was sent in, the voice actors are done with their readings, the artists probably finished their storyboards/animatics, and they’re maybe just putting the animation together now. :derpytongue2: (And besides, what about Thunderlane and Rumble?)

4945903
You never usually like my stuff so this made me really happy. Thank you! (I only mention you because your name makes you stand out just a bit more :derpytongue2: )

Thanks for your reviews everyone! I appreciate all the advice and suggestions!

FDA_Approved
Group Contributor

4945834 I never said it, but thank you for writing Grey Area. It was my favorite out of all the writeoff stories this time. It was the only story that really stayed with me; it hit me in a way that I can’t explain. You wrote in a mere 750 words, what I have been trying (for years now) to write a novel about. So, thank you.

FDA_Approved
Group Contributor

I’m bad with haikus or mashups so I’ll give my top 5:
Explainer Horse
The Calligrapher
Life, Love, and Lives Loved
That Secret Fire
Flapjacks

4951948

Twilight Sparkle Gets Serious To Win That Secret Fire - Sugarcoat and Twilight hack the schedule so that "LESBIANS" is one of the Friendship Games events, and then lesbian with the force of a million normal lesbians.

Dear Celestia, someone please write this! :heart: :rainbowlaugh:

The Letter J
Group Contributor

4951939
Fair enough. I guess that meaning just didn't go through to me, perhaps because I was busy being distracted by other interpretations. If that was the meaning I had picked up on, I might have ranked it a bit higher. Though "suicide = relief" still sounds pretty pro-suicide to me, so maybe not. :applejackunsure:

4952051
I believe that's because the number of stories in the finals is determined by wordcount, so it stays around 35 stories in minific rounds. We just had fewer stories this round than we have in other FiM minific rounds lately, so it ended up being a larger percentage of the total stories.
But I'm not complaining, because it helped me to sneak into the finals for the first time. :twilightblush:

Bugle
Group Contributor

The Fool and the Dress: A changeling and Octavia share an uncomfortable carriage ride home after the changeling accidentally enrages a chimera into destroying Tavi's favourite dress.

Orchard Veil: Big Mac takes baby Apple Bloom to see various tourist traps. Apple Bloom is not very impressed.

Cold Confessions: Pinkie monologues to herself in detective fashion about how she really shouldn't have eaten book flavoured cupcakes.

Flapjacks, Fire, and Lives Loved: Whilst making pancakes, Sugarcoat confesses to Twilight that she's worried about whether or not Spike will be sad that she's gone after she dies.

The Red Curse: Ahuizotl curses Vinyl's name after she ruins his favourite dress.

And lastly...

These Thoughts of No Words: [...]

The Letter J
Group Contributor

4952083

I wanted to try writing one of those ridiculous stories and I thought the idea was pretty solid, but as you all noticed, the execution was poor. After my second draft, I read it and I knew it wasn’t funny; Twilight was too mean. But I didn’t know how to fix it. So…

I’m looking for a way to salvage this. Does anyone have any suggestions? I’m open to all of them. Perhaps lowering Twilight’s “seriousness” because she’s too cruel? Should I keep Twilight in character and have her try to break away from her timidness to be serious?

First of all, I think that just lengthening it will help a lot. Take some time to develop each scene instead of just jumping to the part where Twilight gets angry and does things. Obviously, you couldn't really do that here because of the word limit, but now that you're free of that limitation, make the most of it.

I don't think you necessarily have to lower Twilight's "seriousness." It would probably be ideal to just exaggerate parts of her personality for comedic effect, but your entire premise here pretty much necessitates a substantial shift in personality for her. But I think that's okay. You still want to let enough of her original character shine through to make her recognizable as Twilight. And really, she has been angry like that before.
I do think that you should consider giving her a straight man to play off of. Or if you want to have one of her fellow Shadowbolts fill that roll, perhaps someone who is also crazy, but in a different enough way that they can bounce off of each other.

I also feel like reading some of Justice3442's stories might help you a bit, if you haven't already read them. A lot of his stories tend to involve characters who are terrible and/or crazy getting into outrageous situations with hilarious results. This one seems like it might be a good place to start.

The Cyan Recluse
Group Contributor

NOOOOOOOOOOooooooo!

I just realized that voting ends earlier than I thought! The last minute was supposed to be tonight! Instead it's NOW! And I don't have time to write all my reviews! I have failed in my civic duty! :raritycry:

I guess I'll have to do some super quick reviews after the voting.... And maybe I can cram in a mini review or two now before work...

37: More Precious Than Silver Or Gold: Okay, so dragons are giant thieving jerks. That's traditional. But instead of kidnapping princesses, they leave them trust funds. I suppose that's an improvement!

42: Swallow Down: Ooooh! I really liked this one! Very clever and thoughtfully done! Not sure what else to say!

14: Curses: Another high scoring story! I love the idea of villians realizing that this whole villainy thing isn't quite working out. And I love Daring Do complaining that many of her other villians are just not up to snuff. And bickering over royalties? Perfect.

19: BBBCF: I'll admit to being a bit puzzled by this one... I didn't quite follow along. So Twilight and Shinning are Changelings? What about Celestia? I'm not quite seeing where / why Shinning is just popping up now. Though it does provide an interesting explanation as to why Twilight never mentioned her brother earlier. Still, this mostly left me scratching my head and feeling that I didn't quite get it...

64: Don't Say It: I don't know if this was the author's intent, but to me it looks like Rarity knows Spike has feelings for her.. And refuses to let him express them. Meaning that she strung the poor little guy along for, well, pretty much her entire life. Which seems both a bit out of character for the Element of Generosity, and dark and cruel as hell.

17: Point/Counterpoint: Wow. Twilight comes across as a complete unapologetic sociopath. I just can't see little miss neurotic brushing off injuries to foals like that. This felt a bit too disturbing as opposed to funny to me I'm afraid.

Annndd.. that's all I have time for. Work calls, alas! :facehoof:

JonOfEquestria
Group Contributor

4952083

I think the main difference is that we've never really seen Rainbow's failure after the stunning success of her fillyhood rainboom. She must've been seen as a prodigy, justifying all her rulebreaking and attitude - probably made her attitude worse - and then being unable to replicate it, being merely good... its easy to see how that would lead to self-destruction.

JoE

FanOfMostEverything
Group Contributor

4951703
A little of both. That particular pun occurred to me as I was writing a more elaborate response.

4951948
Ooh, yeah, mashups! We're actually a bit late with them this time around. Let's see...

A Spectre Spends Time with Applejack: THE SPECTRE makes sure Applejack is happy with her choice in a very silly way.

Companionate Irony: Winona knows she can never be with Angel. She doesn't mind it.

Judgement of Hades: Twilight is kept awake at night by the slowly approaching sound of digging. Whatever it is, she knows she must marry it.

Things Consistently Ignored: Discord commends Twilight's excellent decision-making process.

Swallow Down These Thoughts of Mine: A closet so deep, not even light can escape.

More Precious Than That Secret Fire: Beholding the infant Princess Cadence helps a time-traveling Sugarcoat learn to love vanilla.

Chirality That Has Been Unsaid: See horizon's comment about a comment singularity.

CoffeeMinion
Group Admin

Mashup action:

Love Needs Neither Silver Nor Gold Nor a Red Dress: Celestia and Luna fly around, encounter a dragon, splash wine on Octavia, and nopony knows what it all means.

These Thoughts of Chirality: A troubled teen hides his secret love of head-scratcher puzzles, and yearns for the day when he can push a button to make aliens wipe out his loser family.

Still Waiting For Flapjacks: Applejack can't remember why she and Prince became lovers. Prince secretly pines for Rainbow Dash instead. A candid conversation between Prince and Applejack ends with syrup all over everything.

Pinkie Spends Time On Cold Orchard Mornings: Big Mac is just trying to share a quiet moment with his little sister, but Pinkie won't stop bugging them. When she ends up waking Apple Bloom and the filly starts crying, Pinkie is forced to confront the fact that she's the one who done-doo'd-it.

A Consistent Eeyup: Discord and Big Mac have a philosophical discussion about revenge, and then become Equestria's version of the Boondock Saints, because reasons.

Trick Question
Group Contributor

4951500
If Twilight had raped Rainbow Dash in the butt and that's why she removed the memories, your straw pony might make some sense. We're talking about removing memories of no consequence, during which time nothing was done to Rainbow Dash apart from polite conversation.

If you think raping me in my sleep is the same thing as deleting a few minutes of conversation, I don't think I can reason with you. The only reason I'm replying to this message is to point out that three ponies just upvoted a message where you described in graphic and exacting detail how you would rape me, just because you disagree with my point of view.

:facehoof:

Trick Question
Group Contributor

4951562
Do you bother to read the messages you respond to? I even bolded it (not just now; originally)!

Trick Question
Group Contributor

4951812
It really depends. If you're intent on killing somepony, then yes, that is a justification. If you want to leave it up to them, you ask.

It's funny how everypony here seems to think consent is something you ask "to be nice" rather than because you actually want the other pony to make the decision for themself. I think that's adorable. :rainbowkiss:

Trick Question
Group Contributor

4951500
(also no of course I wouldn't mind if you raped me in my sleep) :pinkiecrazy:

Calipony
Group Contributor

4952249
I’m not sure you want to add this clinching comment on an already touchy subject. :applejackunsure:

As I always say before I attempt one of these things, I'm hardly any good at reviews. Still, I'm determined to get better, sooo...

43. Consistency
This topped out my list. I'm a stickler for realistic progression of conversation in writing, and this fic had it. Character portrayals were perfectly believable. I love it whenever anyone writes about Discord's dark side and writes it well.

23. That Secret Fire
I enjoyed everything up until that joke at the end. It kind of came out of nowhere to me. Perhaps if it had something to do with what the entire rest of the fic was about (Sugarcoat's hidden crush) or if her aversion to vanilla ice cream was slowly introduced instead of just dropped in, then it would have made more sense. As it is, the ending seems sporadic and out of place. Other than that, I enjoyed it.

9. I Love You
Hoh man. Like... I get it, and could predict what would happen in the end by the second paragraph, but this one was hard for me to get through. The fact that it's a minific says a lot. The heavily descriptive actions are important to the tale, I suppose, but at the same time they weigh it down. Because you don't get that little reveal (if you could call it that) until the end, hearing about Twilight flicking her tail against Fluttershy's nose, for example, seems meaningless. A few of these descriptions could have been cut, and the story would have had the same effect. Don't really know what else to say about it.

38. Chirality
Do I even need to write that much about this? Honestly, the question it poses is interesting, but an interesting question doesn't sub for a complete story. This one doesn't feel complete to me. Maybe if it was longer it would have the space it needs to breathe, particularly in the end. Otherwise, besides the fun one can have discussing the ideas it introduces, the story itself almost feels indistinct.

4. Eeyup
I loved this one as well, and personally do not think that its heavy "tell" vs. "show" dynamic is detrimental. In fact, I think it is very much necessary for the little tale it weaves. Any pony other than Big Mac speaking here and then perhaps I would agree with the sentiment that speaking means little in place of showing. But Big Mac is a pony very reserved with his words, and I thought it was fun to learn about his philosophy on why that is. The allusion to how much he loves his little sister, simply by way of him using his reserve of words to explain something close to his heart to her is touching. That is 'show' enough for me.

5. Morning Veil
Applejack and Rarity visit historical sites and see historical sights together. Semi-hijinx ensue, until Applejack saves the day (read as: 'story') with a quick, 'feelzy' explanation of why she doesn't value the same things Rarity does. Eh. It's alright, I suppose.


...And, there you have it. I tried. Good luck to all finalists!

Baal Bunny
Group Contributor

Two more:

In the final hours here.

Mike

38. "Chirality" - I took this to be a parable on the futility of literary criticism. Or of any artistic criticism, I guess. 'Cause some things are just too subjective--left vs. right, good vs. bad, tasty vs. icky, aromatic vs.stinky, exciting vs. pedestrian, funny vs. stupid--to be described in objective terms. And trying to do so will only get your planet destroyed by aliens. That was my take-away from the piece at least... :pinkiehappy:

On a story level, though, I got tripped up by Twilight saying, "we were really starting to talk by the end of it." I mean, given their limited surroundings, what would they have to talk about? I would guess they would've tried describing themselves and their surroundings to each other and would've smacked up against this left/right thing pretty quickly. But then I've never had to translate a language from first principles, so I have no idea.

36. "The Red Dress" - Very nice, but I'm not sure if these are the right characters for this piece. A ruined dress would have more natural meaning for Rarity, seems to me. If you don't want to go for broken cello strings, author, maybe it's Octavia's signature bow tie that gets stained? Something specific to her, at any rate. Some of the language, too, felt very general and place-holding: "She was wearing something Octavia liked", for instance, and "The one who once appreciated the effort had lost her own". Her own what? Effort? Most everything's a quick fix, though--like near the end where it says, "she shoulders wilting". Good stuff.

Bad Horse
Group Contributor

4952169 Nice! Hint: Start with the bulbs and work your way back to the current.

Bad Horse
Group Contributor

Trix, I know you're probably stressed out and on the verge of deleting your comments etc. People are not being as unreasonable as you think, nor is everyone out to get you. I hope I can explain this without making things worse.

Here is one thread now:

4951388 Why bother to get Dash's consent? You're erasing that memory too, silly. :facehoof:

4951812 Exactly. That would be as silly as getting consent from somebody before killing them. They won't blame you for it later anyway, so what's the point?

4952239 It's funny how everypony here seems to think consent is something you ask "to be nice" rather than because you actually want the other pony to make the decision for themself. I think that's adorable. :rainbowkiss:

1. Sarcasm not needed at this point.

2. Your initial comment says that you don't need Dash's consent because Dash won't remember. Hence, the purpose (in your view) of getting consent is nullified if Dash doesn't remember giving it. That means you don't value Dash's consent because it allows Dash to make the decision, but because if Dash remembers your actions, Dash will blame you if she didn't give consent.

So I responded by using the same reasoning WRT killing somepony. If their wishes don't matter, and all that matters is that you don't get blamed--which is what your initial statement says--then killing them should be okay, too; no need to ask their preferences about it. You're the person who first said it isn't important to let the other pony make his own decision. Your words were "Why bother?", posed in a scenario in which Dash is right there and it would take only seconds to ask her and get consent.

4952228
If you think raping me in my sleep is the same thing as deleting a few minutes of conversation, I don't think I can reason with you. The only reason I'm replying to this message is to point out that three ponies just upvoted a message where you described in graphic and exacting detail how you would rape me, just because you disagree with my point of view.

1. You justified not getting consent from Dash by saying the consequences of erasing a few minutes weren't important. Softy's 'rape in sleep' (RIS) scenario has even fewer consequences. If consequences are all that matter, RIS is even less offensive, as it has no consequences. Softy is saying that either RIS is okay, and not even wrong; or else the consequences aren't all that matters, but also some principle of autonomy. He's quite correct; you can't say that the "erase a few minutes of conversation" is okay because it has few consequences, yet the "rape in sleep" is bad for some mystical magical reason.

(You don't logically have to agree that the RIS is terrible. So you can simply say, "Yeah, you're right; neither of those things are bad.")

2. The ponies upvoted his message because his logic was good, not because they wanted someone to rape you.

3. The conclusion "Softy would like to rape people who disagree with him" is maliciously incorrect.

Titanium Dragon
Group Contributor

4952169
4952304
Got it in 221 :V

Anyway...

Explainer Horse

I felt like I'd talk about this a bit more as I thought about it overnight.

I think my previous criticism - that I've seen the joke before - definitely hurt this story. But I think another thing that hurt it was the fact that it isn't actually that funny in this situation. The original Thing Explainer was the Saturn 5 rocket, which is a complicated thing, and thus explaining it in simplified terms is intrinsically funny. My Little Pony is already a children's show, so isn't as apt to use highly sophisticated language, and the story itself was already something of a comedy story (relaying a mishap that messed up Twilight's speech), so trying to add to that with the simplified language kind of ended up not adding much to it. Moreover, the original Up Goer Five had funny notes:

Stuff like "If it starts pointing towards space you are having a bad problem and won't go to space today" is just an intrinsically hilarious statement, because it is a simplified, child-like explanation of something obvious but when put in such terms is very amusing due to its understated nature. "Lots of fire comes out here" also comes off as something of an understatement, as do many of the other notes on the thing, all of which contributes to the humor.

Explainer Horse lacks this, and I think that really kills it, because the simplified language isn't that funny on its own.

Bad Horse
Group Contributor

4951852 The Fool and the Food:

... give us some reason to believe that this changeling would show up at Cranky’s wedding as a friend.

I guess you could say he was there for the food.

Faith:

Seeing as I’ve seen this idea before, and the idea was pretty much all there was here, I’m not sure what there is to say about this. Gods Need Prayer Badly is a decent worldbuilding trope, but here, all you have is the story idea, without really going beyond it or doing anything terribly interesting with it.

I think you're not seeing the forest for the trees. Quantitatively, "Faith" has as much plot & story, in terms of "stuff that happens / story components / character intents+actions / consequences to characters", as any other entry. You seem to be overlooking the story, which is about Twilight and the princesses, in your quest to find a monograph on the "God Needs Prayer Badly" trope, which is merely a mechanic. Though I think the author misled people in that direction by titling it "Faith", as if that's what it were about.

Titanium Dragon
Group Contributor

4952376

I guess you could say he was there for the food.

Bad Horse
Group Contributor

4952380 If that's supposed to be a reply to what I said, you seem to be missing my point and clinging to your quest for the trope.

Calipony
Group Contributor
Trick Question
Group Contributor

4952344
You're completely misreading my mood. I'm not upset at all, and in much of the responses you're quoting my tongue is firmly planted in cheek. :pinkiesmile:

That said, I think for one person in an argument to actually describe themself raping the person they are arguing with is completely inappropriate. You can pick apart the argument, but it isn't acceptable for civil debate and I wouldn't upvote it even if I did agree with it.

The things you're saying in defense of the rape-Trixie argument are things I obviously see and understand. I'm not stupid, I just think it's an inappropriate tactic for making one's point.

Yes, I could take the time to make a very long-winded post to explain exactly what I think in a serious and non-joking manner. But the ponies that post would be directed at aren't really interested in what I have to say anyway, because they've been responded to things I've already retracted and are talking about raping me. I don't really expect to get anywhere at this point with serious discussion, so I'm trying to be silly to lighten the mood and de-escalate the situation for the benefit of the vast majority of Writeoff participants who have no desire to see this sort of drama on the thread. :twilightsmile:

Trick Question
Group Contributor

4952251
I got (and enjoyed) the puns, but I fear they'll zip over some ponies' heads. You should have gone with :trollestia: as your icon of choice there.

Titanium Dragon
Group Contributor

4952396
The video was a joke about The Fool and the Food. Because changelings eat love.

It wasn't a response to your bit about Faith, which I didn't even see until now.

Anyway, as far as Faith goes... I guess my problem is that I'm familiar with Mage: The Ascension (a setting where magic works on belief in it - the The Order of Reason are the most powerful faction because they have convinced most people that science works and other forms of magic aren't real) and Gods Need Prayer Badly and similar tropes, and the story seemed to basically follow along the most obvious lines of them - someone convinces people that the world works in a different way, and that causes it to work in a different way. Here, Twilight inadvertently kills Luna and Celestia in the process... but it didn't really quite resound with me, I guess, because it felt so "within the lines" as far as those tropes went.

I dunno. Maybe I'm just bitchy because the idea felt unoriginal to me, and it didn't have enough space to delve deep?

Calipony
Group Contributor

4952411
What is that icon supposed to stand for? I saw it but since it addled me I never used it.

4952396
4952380
My video was just a pun about TD previous video. I was very fond of it (the video) when I was young however.

Titanium Dragon
Group Contributor

4952405
No, it really isn't.

It was a clear case of reductio ad absurdum. People use the other person as an example in an argument all the time as a rhetorical flourish, and it is highly effective (i.e. if some maniac raped and tortured your wife and children to death, would you still be opposed to the death penalty?). It is intended to make the person consider the question in the context of themselves and something morally repugnant happening to them, personally, and whether or not their stance is simply due to a lack of empathy for others in similar situations.

Trick Question
Group Contributor

4952169
This is a link to the Android port for a set of puzzle games which include a version of the one you posted.

I play this game set pretty frequently because it's very well put-together. It's difficult for me to find puzzles that can challenge me, and these let me crank the difficulty up through the roof. I don't like most of the games, but there are dozens to choose from and some are remarkably clever and difficult. I'm particularly fond of Towers.

Comment posted by Calipony deleted Dec 30th, 2015
Trick Question
Group Contributor

4952419
I agree with the strategy, but Softy8088 didn't need to describe themself raping me in order to make their point. The argument isn't about how morality shifts in personal situations, it's about the general morality of an act.

I'm not super-bothered by the example, I just think it's tacky and impolite. They could just as easily have used Twilight and Dash as exemplars.

Not to mention, this 'example' of themself raping me was made by a pony who began the discussion with, "You disturb me and I want you to stay far away from me."

Trick Question
Group Contributor

4952414
"Trollestia" indicates Celestia playing a prank at somepony's expense. :trollestia:

Bachiavellian
Group Contributor

4952230
Forgive me, I assumed the bolding was to denote sarcasm. Because at surface value, it directly contradicts what you said here:

Why bother to get Dash's consent? You're erasing that memory too, silly. :facehoof:

The entire point of the post, in fact, is me outlining cases where I personally think consent still matters, while conceding to your point that consent is not always possible. Regardless of my misunderstanding of your use of formatting, I would have hoped that much was clear.

Calipony
Group Contributor

4952450
Should be Luna instead.
But thanks :heart:

Bugle
Group Contributor

4952376

I guess you could say he was there for the food.

They can and have!

Titanium Dragon
Group Contributor

4952446
Quit trying to stir up drama. You have no problem with outright insulting other people, and yet you complain when someone uses a common rhetorical flourish in an argument.

If it doesn't bother you, why are you even bringing it up?

Knock it off.

Trick Question
Group Contributor

4952453
I agree with most of your previous response's content, and the one you quoted was intended partially in jest.

That's why I posted the follow-up, and it's also why I bolded the words to make it obvious I had been kidding.

Bugle
Group Contributor

4952454

Trollestia comes back from season one and two, actually. A lot of Celestia's early actions can be seen as... questionable. To name a few examples:

* A thousand years+ old, never seen a parasprite before (less trolling, more "Wait, what? Is she actually the ruler, or faking it?")
* Intentionally gives a dragon to a young filly... fully knowing that at some point he may go on a treasure hunting rampage... and never prepares her for this
* Intentionally sabotaged the Grand Galloping Gala (twice now!)
* The whole Philomena debacle.
* And of course, deciding the best course of action when your sister is going crazy is to isolate her on the moon for a thousand years, then let some random girl attempt to defeat her on her own.

Cause of stuff like this and more, people basically came to the conclusion that Celestia is just a massive troll.

Calipony
Group Contributor

4952477

Well, it sorta gives depth to her character. I've never been fond of the spotless, infallible Celestia many people revere. Too much predictable, too linear, too drab. I much prefer the leeway I’ve with Luna, that I can make grouchy, snarky or playful at will. Definitely my best princess, if not my preferred character in all the show.

Bad Horse
Group Contributor

My guess from peoples' comments is that That Secret Fire might win. Most people said they liked it; only one I saw said he disliked it; a few said it was their top contender, based on their disliking everything else. I have thoughts on that.

It's a fun little story. It deserves to be in the finals. But it isn't ambitious. If you have Aquaman, Baal Bunny, Cold in Gardez, horizon, Skywriter, etc., in a competition, and the winner is a crackfic with two jokes, something's gone wrong.

If it did win, I would say one of 3 things must be true:

1. The voting system is flawed. I do think it's flawed in that it takes into account the bottom half of ballots. Each of the ambitious stories were dead last for some people, and that always happens. Some people don't get them, and some people just aren't interested in what they're about. That's why the "Top Stories" list on fimfiction, which ranks stories by rating, is powerfully biased towards pleasant, simple, inoffensive stories. Any story that many people love, many people will dislike, not get, or not care about. I'm more interested in stories that some people loved and some people hated than in stories that everybody liked.

2. Voting is inherently not useful.

3. 750 words and 1 day is too short. I think this also must be true. The stories here are not as good as the authors here. What we should see is some authors writing above their average, and others writing below. To have this many great authors, and so few memorable stories, tells me that the write-off limits make most people produce below-average material.

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