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Arctikfox
Group Admin

Reviews from your staff of highly trained pones

Reviewer's Café is a group dedicated to finding and forging the best stories possible. With this in mind, we try to achieve the same level of quality with every story we read. We look at a multitude of factors while reviewing from grammar to characterization to even the front page. We keep track of reviews based on a 1-10 numeric grade:

A score of 0-6 will result in a denial for entry
A score of 7 requires the story to be reviewed by another member of the team; if the score is a 0-7 it is denied, if it is 8-10 it is accepted.
A score of 8-10 is automatic acceptance and entered for a chance to be featured.

My story was denied, what do I do? Don't worry, every story has three attempts to enter the group, all you need to do is fix the issues and resubmit in the next submission period. Feedback will be given upon review of your story, all one needs to do is correct the mistakes and resubmit. Should a story fail three times, it will be considered barred from entry and will be turned away upon receiving. It sounds more daunting than it is.

Should any issues arise, please contact our Complaint Officer, ShadowblazeCR. If sufficient time pass and there is no response, please contact one of the admins.

This thread is for posting reviews, not for recreational comments. Comments that are not reviews will be removed.

Comment posted by Scootaloo96 deleted Mar 7th, 2017
Comment posted by Free Shavacado deleted Mar 7th, 2017
Comment posted by Scootaloo96 deleted Mar 7th, 2017
Comment posted by ShadowblazeCR deleted Mar 7th, 2017

Title: Trying something new

Amount read: all

Verdict: accepted (8)

Reason: Nothing major to say really. Was a good read, flowed rather decently overall.
Didn't Drone on or lack in description. No real grammar or spelling errors to note.

Title: You Know You Want to by Little Tigress
Amount Read: All (>~3000 words)
Rating:
Plot 15/20
Structure and Technicals 5/10
Characters 5/10
Subjective 6/10
Total 31/50
Verdict: 6/10 - Recommend Rejection
Rationale:
This story works as a one shot, in fact, coming in at a little over three thousand words, it still works as a story. The plot is well developed during the story, though in a few places the pacing could serve to be slowed. The characters are for the most part flat and altogether static; they don't evolve much as the story progresses and they only express a few vague emotions in each scene. None of this is to say that the story if a bad one, simply that it does not meet this group's standards and thus I must recommend rejection.

Free Shavacado
Group Contributor

Title: The Summer Job

Author: Living Robot

Ammount Read: All

Verdict: Reccomending 9/10

Rationale

Well I went into this story with dashed Expectations. I do have another one of this author's works in my library but you know that not all of our stories are our best. Well wasn't I surprised!

As far as quick and adorable one shots goes this was very nice and I'm wondering what it was like before the re-edit as you can see in the title.

Plot
Octavia wants to get her Sister's Vinyl and Derpy a job because she feels that they are wasting their lives (they all share the same last names but I just went through it as they're foster siblings)

Characters
This is where this one shines. Its short but damnit if Derpy and Vinyl didn't make me smile my beard off. Like they were so funny and adorable at the same time. I have to show you this because I lost my shit :rainbowlaugh:

Vinyl was staring out the window, tears in her eye while singing, “Blue mooooon. You saw me standiiiing aloooone. Without a dream in my heeeeaaart. Without a love of my oooooowwwwn.”

She was lamenting because Flash is dating Twilight and she has a crush on him. I would have been deterred if that were the main point but it's only a stepping stone for the hilarious climax where they fight.

Ocatvia was... Idk. I'm not an Octavia fan (which is kinda odd since I'm a musicain) so I don't know much about her character but she wasn't over the top nor was she too little. *insert pacha meme*

Grammar and Syntax

Not even joking this would have been a ten if there weren't odd typos and the occasional comma splice. See, I am a fast reader and I read out loud so when a sentence goes on and on without ending I get messed up because I'm expecting to stop and catch my breath. The same with typos. A fluid read is a lovely read, having to go back because you forgot to add a "y" on "terribly" ruins that flow. Other than that things were where they needed to be and yeah... Good job m8 :moustache:

If you want to read this, believe me the classic cartoon antics will put a smile even on a sour face.

Title: Twilight's First Gift
Author: Raptormon132
Recommend: Against
Score: 6
Reasoning: The story is cute, mostly, but it also has some rough spots, especially grammatical speaking. I liked the story, but it is not above reproach. There was no reason to include the two snobby rich characters, and not only did they add nothing to the plot, but they were annoying as well as reminders of Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon. Now, the plot twist, was literal shit. Needless to say, I found it far to disgusting to be charming, even with a little filly's misunderstanding of "part of yourself". Maybe with someone else and some revision this could make it. Don't despair and try again.

Story: Imperfect Stasis by Mocha Star

Amount read: All

Verdict: 6/10

Premise

I admit I'm biased toward SF, which is why I generally approach this kind of stories with optimism and high expectations. In this case, sadly, it doesn't clear the bar that would make me recommend it. While the story isn't bad and while it has a couple of nifty ideas and interesting passages, it's riddled with a lot of problems that stop it from achieving its full potential.

Summary

On a starship traveling to a new colony, Twilight wakes up early. Now she has to cope with one hundred and thirty years of solitude and isolation.

Technical aspect

The opening of a story, the hook, is generally a pretty important aspect of it. It can color the perception of what will follow and influence the reader's disposition toward what they are about to read. In this case, the first sentence is

Twilight jolted as the shock of electricity went through her chest and her heart beat again for the first time in longer than she cared to think at the moment.

While the sentence is grammatically correct, this is too long, it just tells us stuff instead of showing us and, as a consequence, it lacks impact. This is emblematic of the problems we will see quite often, even if we won't encounter such a glaring example again.

Generally, the quality of writing varies a lot in the story. The first two chapters are a bit weak, but after them, there is a discrete improvement with only occasional plunges. It still isn't enough, as the setting generally lacks a sense of place and the descriptions are sparse. The telling instead of showing I hinted at previously is a recurring issue even if not a constant. When the author takes the time to be more descriptive we can see glimpses of the world they are envisioning, and it is a world that would be interesting to explore.


Story

What we have here is really a Drama with a slight touch of adventure. The physical challenges are secondary and easily solved. The emotional problems, on the other hand, are where the meat is.

The structure of the story is generally solid with some missed occasions. Here we have the inverse of what we had with the quality of the prose. A strong beginning, where it builds a good sense of mystery and despair. An interesting if less engaging middle with a few brilliant moments, where we see Twilight coping with her situation and trying to create something in the limited space of her prison. A finale that doesn't really capitalize on the foundations it built and is less than satisfying.

Aside from the finale, there are two important moments that could have been narrative foci but end up letting the reader down. The first one is the revelation that Twilight woke Shining Smile. It should be a central moment in their relationship, the breaking point and the fundamental wound that has to be healed, or at least to scar over before they can go on. Instead, it simply happens. I don't expect gratuitous melodrama, but letting it pass and then immediately concentrating on the aftermath feels like a waste.

The other point is the death of Alotta. The first sapient being they encounter after more than a year, and who shortly after that meets her demise. What should have been a sobering moment, confronting our heroes with their situation and how they have faced it, again lacks weight.

Where the story works quite well is when it tells the more mundane aspects of the life aboard the ship. Timeskips in this sections are well used on the average, giving a sense of progression with short yet meaningful scenes.

Characters

If I had to move a criticism against this version of Twilight it would be that, for being a millennium old alicorn, she sometimes acts with unexpected immaturity. This is less problematic when she is alone, as it makes sense that she would take refuge in hedonism or in the breaking of social conventions. It seems a bit strange when she is with Shining Smile. The author told us that she had had a lot of lovers, companions, and uncountable descendants. I expect a bit of a different approach from such a mare. Even more so when she chooses the pony who will live and die with her. And yet, in the story, she knows next to nothing about him. She doesn't even know what his job is, a plot point later on. The sense of alienation she feels (and which is hinted at a couple of times) can explain some of that, but if it is the reason for her whole behavior then we need some more hints pointing at that.

Shining Smile is a bit flat. He shows some more depths after the crisis, without ever really acquiring a true life of his own.

Inspiration

This is probably the most difficult part to talk about. The author declares that they have been inspired by the movie Passengers. I didn't see the movie but became suspicious when a lot of scenes were eerily similar to those in the trailer. So I decided to check the plot synopsis of the movie and was a bit disappointed in discovering that Imperfect Stasis follows the same structure. It is almost the same story with cosmetic changes and a small difference at the ending.

Reinterpreting a story with different characters or in a different setting can be a useful exercise and it has merit doing so, but in those cases the interesting things often are what the differences would be. We hadn't that here.

Highlights

This author uses, at one point, a wonderful euphemism that isn't a euphemism at all. It was splendid and made me laugh a lot.

The idea that ponies go insane if alone for more than six months adds an interesting ethical layer to the story.

Conclusion

The author has shown potential and will, once they matured artistically a bit and gathered some more experiences, certainly create interesting things. As it is now, the story has its moments but I still feel it's not possible to recommend it for the group.

Free Shavacado
Group Contributor

Title: Rarity Investigates Continuity

Author: LyraAlluse

Read: All

Verdict: 7/10 (Reccomend for second opinion)

So here we have the story from the mother of the lesser known FIMFictionites (I think that's how you say that). And really it was pretty okay, but it had that one problem that no story needs to have. It was kinda boring...

We are all accustomed to meta-fics that either bolster the show or roast it like a thanksgiving Turkey. And this one is more a look at how everything in season 5 and the show have panned out.

Plot: See title

Characters: Everyone except Pinkie were pretty much in character. I know she has knowledge of the multiverse but she addresses the reader so many times it becomes repetitive and a little annoying. Yes you know we watch you and probably vice versa. Where else do we go from here?

Really there's nothing bad about this story, the grammar and syntax is spot on and really I would have rated an eight if it weren't trying to be funny. This story to me works more as an introspective look over the history of gen 4. Not just season five. Discord, Celestia, and Luna all come in and basically start reminiscing about old times and how certain things didn't add up while other's did.

There isn't much else to say about this one. It wasn't bad it was just "Okay they're talking about what happened in the show... Are they gonna make a witty observation or a subversive joke?"

Wait I almost forgot, and this is the main reason why I'm on the fringe with this one. Remeber that rule show don't tell? Yeah this one is too telly. Dialouge is okay, but when it makes up most of your exposition it begins to become a problem. I mean, given that Rarity is explaining her findings I can be a little lenient, but she has entire paragraphs where she's talking, and the only break is Pinkie stuffing her face, saying hi to the writers (us basically), or messing with the other characters.

Okeh... I'm done

Aeluna
Group Contributor

Title: The Flaming Trash Bag by Raptormon132
Amount Read: All of it
Verdict: Against
Reasoning:

So, I've never heard of the Flaming Trash Bag prank, but then again, perhaps that's because people where I'm from don't often engage in the "trick" part of trick or treat, and even then at its worst it's a simple egging. Perhaps, then, this story should have had quite an impact on someone so inexperienced as me?

Well, it did not.

In the story's summary, it was mentioned that this fic was a side story to another one of the author's, though it is perfectly readable without any other knowledge. Sadly, I could not quite get into it. Now, don't get me wrong, inspiring your readers to think for themselves is definitely a tried and true technique in writing to engage said reader. However, right from the get go, I was having to think too hard about what was going on in this story. Now, perhaps this would be obvious knowledge for someone who had read the story it was based upon, but for me it was too much of an infodump. For example, in the very first paragraph, I had to pause quite a few times to try to process the numerous references which have never before been mentioned in the show canon. On its own, nothing was particularly off putting... but when the issues were put together, it made the reading suddenly broken and hard to follow, and set the story up to be a mouthful to chew through.

The characters were bland, to be frank. Again, I believe this may very well be due to the fact that this is a side story and I have not read the tale it is based off of, but I simply felt nothing for their struggles. Abacus was in a retrial? Great, that's good for him, but I really wasn't fazed. He believes himself to be scum? Well that sucks. And then, later on in the story, I fedlt nothing for Lock Down's situation. I didn't care that his mother had gotten pranked, nor was I particularly bothered by the fact that he was being such a jerk. And, by extension, I didn't find the Nightmare Night tale funny as much as... factual. It was dull. This thing happened, then something else happened, and some poor ponies got a bag of trash at their doorsteps. And then the colts got pranked in return. Cool.

Furthermore, the story had its fair share of typos, missed or misused words, and I noticed at least one tense error, if not more. The author also needs to revise their speech formatting, as is so common on this site. To elaborate:

"Attaboy, son!" My father said. "This is probably the most candy you've got this year so far."

Here, the "My" should not be capitalised, since it is continuing on from the speech.

"Not us." Big B said.

Here, the full stop should instead be a comma. If the speech is followed up with a dialogue tag, a full stop must never be used.

The author also needs to take note of when and when not to use commas before "and". I admit, this actually had me stumped for a little while—but it doesn't make it any less of an error.

All in all, this story was one of the lesser ones I've read recently. I hate to say it, I really do, but as a reader with no prior knowledge of the author's universe I could not enjoy this. If it had been part of the actual story and not a standalone piece it may have fared better, but as it is I can't rate it any higher than a 5/10.

Title: Starlight Over The Forest
Author: DwarvishPony
Read: 12 chapters (100% available)
Decision: Reject
Reason: The fic is boring. Almost nothing really happens until nearly halfway through, when Starlight And Tree have their first outing together. Before then, almost everything is essentially pointless filler. The conversations with Twilight, tea with Fluttershy and Discord, and so on. And then, once the romance does start, it too is boring. There is no conflict or real trepidation -- things just work out nicely and easily. It doesn't help that so much of what ought to be the bonding time between the two characters is either missed out or just summarized as "nice conversation". Damnit, dialogue is the blood of romance! It doesn't help that there are two significant sequences that don't make much sense and are ultimately more nuisance than anything else. The first is the plot tumor with Starlight somehow thinking Mac is in love with her. Don't worry, it's resolved within a chapter, so so much for that. The second is her saving Tree from a hydra. No idea why that was needed, either. And then there's the matter of Starlight Glimmer suddenly deciding she's in love after a handful of encounters and a few hours with Tree Hugger. Groan. It's not a pairing I see every day, however... Also, we're 23K words in and we still hardly know anything about either of the characters. Starlight seems in character, so does everyone else, at least. Now, the fic needs some grammatical revising with comma issues and some capitalization. You see, author, you need to use commas for direct addresses, dude, always, seriously. And your prose is very dry. So many samey sentences with similar lengths and constructions. The same goes for your paragraphs. It has the effect of making everything feel like one long block of text. You could do with changing up your structures as well as including more participles. I took a glance at your library, by the way, so if you want to submit anything else from there, go ahead.

Title: Adventures In Puppet Land

By: LyraAlluse

Amount Read: The only chapter

Verdict: 6 out of 10

Reason:

Okay, this story is a bit odd. Not in it's premise (a story including Discord alows for overly odd premises), but in the way it was handled. I believe that using letters exchanged between about eight different characters was a poor choice of telling your story. You see, something as big as an adventure to another dimension should not be expressed through afterthoughts, or an after-the-fact perspective. It takes away from any tension you want from the story and renders everything pointless, as you know they would need to be unharmed to write these letters. Also, I believe it personifies the very meaning of show-don't-tell. Because telling a story through letters is literally telling, and not showing. Unless Discord is a very descriptive Draconequus, we aren't going to be treated to a literate masterpiece that transforms this into a proper tale.

Now, I understand that the point of this fic was not to be taken serious. And that is okay, many of my personal favourite fics are ones that should not be taken seriously. But if you decide upon that way of writing, you must make sure you yourself are a very funny writer and allow for us to be interested in your story in another way. So after reading this story, I can definitely say you need some help on that end. You want to be funny, I get that. Through some scenes, I did find myself almost cracking a smile, feeling a bit of joy at some characters actions. But that's only it, there actions. Not how they are portrayed.

Throughout the fic, you have some DiscordxCelestia shipping going on, where Discord says some pretty stupid things after Celestia offers to "go out with him" and he has to try and play it cool. Wait, were we reading a fic about treasure being lost in the Sock Puppet Dimension or were we reading the opening paragraph to a poor romance/comedy ship fic between the two?

Yeah, these little tangents alone and the overall kiddy way Discord describes entire events into a small summary, deducted 2 points for me. So that would have put you at a 8, which is acceptable. But then you introduced the Mane Six.

Rarity had zero personality, she just did things Rarity would do and wrote about it. Applejack had no personality, she also just did things Applejack would do and wrote about it. Pinkie Pie, Twilight and Fluttershy were the closest to having a personality, but were written with the most basic knowledge of each of their characters. The only decently written of the six was Rainbow Dash. However, she is still plagued with problems. Most of which is just her fawning over her actions and saying, "this is so cool", or "I was so awesome". So, the tangents, lack of descriptive writing, slight grammatical errors and bare bones character writing deduce 4 points in my review. Which makes it the 6 out of 10 that it is.

I know I wasn't to descriptive of the plot in my review. But I left some things out for those who would probably want to read the story. I admit to enjoying it overall. But if this is to be with the, "best of the best", it needed to be more than what it was.


P.S: If I have to hear the words sock puppet again, I sincerely believe someone near me will die.

Title: Winds of Wintercrest

By: Lost_Marbles

Amount Read: Chapters 1,2,3 and 6

Verdict: 5/10 (with second opinion)

Reason:

Okay, this story gave me a bit of trouble. It had it's up and downs that would have recieved a 7 out of 10 and would need a second opinion (which was in your favor). However, as I considered one major plotpoint, I could not allow it to pass in it's current form.

So lets begin. First, the characters, the second biggest problem of your story.

Originally, I enjoyed the way that Rarity was written. She is a character that should represent uncompromised kindness and need to help those around her, but at the same time should present herself in a regal way. If she was not written in this way I would probably already have deducted a point right off the bat (personal bias aside, she is the main perspective of the story so she should be written in an interesting way).

However, the point deduction is caused by the completely lack of characterization of Rainbow Dash. Well, lack of character is wrong. More like lack of originality. Every single sentence that exits her mouth feels like it was stripped straight out of the show and implemented into this fic. She is only there to move the plot along or create tension. Ruining her character and making her extremely annoying.

But these are already established characters, let's see some of the original characters introduced in this fic. Original characters like Astral Body.

That name is stupid. Extremely stupid. I don't get why it was used for a character that has nothing to do with astral projection.

For those who don't know, astral projection is basically the spirit of a human seperated from the physical being. It has nothing to do with Astral Bodies character or origin. Which is too bad, because he is completely boring otherwise. He just feels like edgy OC #289 who just broods his way throughout the fic with a broken unicorn horn. His origin is poorly explained and his current living situation is one of the worst thought up explanations I have ever read on this site. So lets get into plot.

I won't give everything away as I still believe some may want to read this fic (like I said, some in the group recommended approval). But I will give away the explanation of what Astral Body is, which ruined this fic for me.

At first, Rarity believed Astral Body to be a wondering ghost (that is another thing, his name was thought up just for a misleading "twist"). But as we learn more about him, apparently he used to be normal. A normal pony living in some village in the mountains (we never know which mountain or how they lived there) went off to learn magic in Celestia's school, but was meant to marry somepony. They exchanged love letters for 7 months, but stopped abruptly. After 3 years passed, he found out that she married somepony else (okay). A chemist, who has had the hots for this pony for all his life, made the love letters look like Astral wanted to break up with his soon to be wife (what?). Astral confronts the chemist (how did he find out?), and they fight.

Somehow, a chemist who throws chemicals at ponies can match a unicorn trained in Celestia's school.

During the fight, the soon to be wife tries to intervene. But that somehow makes Astral and the chemist mess up. They throw something at each other, magic turns the chemist into some creature (did astral mean to turn him into a monster?) and chemical turn Astral into a ice pony who can only live in the cold (they live in the cold and that is how the chemist wants to kill Astral?). But in the process, somehow freezes the soon to be wife.

There is more to that sequence, of course. But that entire part of the story was stupid and had more plotholes in it then the Changeling Hive. When I consider what this could have been (like Astral actually being a ghost), I can't allow this to be accepted, especially with what we got instead. Sorry, but all of this deducted 3 points on my end.

So, 2 point deduction for characters being boring and 3 point deduction for crappy character origins and plotholes galore.

5/10

Story: The Comfort of a Snuggle Buddy by NickyDs

Amount read: All

Verdict: 5/10

Premise

Fluff stories have their place. They can be a warm, comforting moment when our daily quota of mishappening has been filled, they can be a relaxing escape, they can be nice like a warm cup of tea.

Using them to also deliver some more meaning or character exploration is an added difficulty that can easily backfire.

In this case, I'm afraid it did.

Summary

Troy and Roseluck are snuggle-buddies and live an apparently happy life, And yet there is something haunting Troy, and Roseluck is determined to help.

Technical aspect

The story is told in simple present, a legitimate choice that may still put off some readers. In my case, this hasn't had any negative impact, except in a couple of points where the author slipped and conjugated a paragraph in simple past. The point of view is omniscient third person, another peculiar stylistic path the story has taken. This did detract from my enjoyment and, in my opinion, from the overall quality of the fic, as we often are told things like the emotional state of every character involved in the scene and what they think.

The prose suffers greatly under this. Simply stating, for example, that Roseluck was overjoyed is weaker than showing her gasp and smile.

Dialogue is often long-winded and should probably be cut down. Grounding the story in a day to day reality and showing the characters react to the simple mundanity of life is a good way to present them to us. But one should also consider that if something doesn't advance the plot nor tells us something new about the involved characters, then cutting it out may be the best thing. A story has a certain flow and rhythm to it, and having an empty conversation can grind the thing to a halt.

We also have a quite jarring example of "As you know, Bob" right at the start, where characters recount in detail events they both have experienced for the benefit of the audience. The information could have been delivered more gracefully and in a more subtle manner.

Story

The story itself is a quite simple affair. This isn't necessarily a negative trait, as the author didn't make any promises about it being something else.

Characters

Author, I think I understand what you wanted to do, but here we have probably the biggest problems of the story.

Troy, the main protagonist, is almost a faceless character. We know next to nothing about him, and what you tell us doesn't help to make him stand out. We are told that he is a generally nice guy and that this makes him popular with ponies. This isn't enough to help us relate to him. We don't see him do stuff. We are told he is kind but with the exception of him preparing breakfast we never experience this. This becomes especially grating when we discover what his issues are. We have no real way to connect with him, we don't understand how his fears shaped him, nor how they influence his behavior. We get a list of problems he has and then they go cuddle. If I may dare to suggest a solution for this, then I would recommend showing him interact with other ponies. Show us why he is loved, show us how he connects with others, show us how he goes out of his way to be helpful.

Roseluck is a bit more proactive, and we get to know her a bit more. Still, it isn't enough, as we can just sense that there is something there but have not enough to give us a clear picture of who she really is.

This kind of stories, at least when they aspire to be something more than empty fluff, live on relationships. To have those we need characters with a bit more depth than what we have here. Still, it's something that can be fixed with some work.

Conclusion

While the story tries to be something more than just a bit of cute cuddling, it doesn't achieve that and falls flat. There is potential here, but it requires some work and a lot of polishing.

Title: Come to my Garden

By: Living Robot

Amount Read: The only chapter.

Verdict: 5/10

Reason:

Three rejected reviews in a row? Damn, it would seem that I am a total cynic with no sense of humor..... nah, these are just pretty, meh, stories I'm being handed. Welp, let's get on with it.

Already see a problem with the fact the title is grammatical incorrect ("my" should be capitalized). But grammar usually isn't the biggest problem to me (if it was, this would be a 3/10, not a 5/10). And with this fic, it definitely isn't the only.

So my biggest complaint would have to be the overly dull writing style. Using big words while being very artsy with your vocabulary is kind of understandable. You want to express the creepyness that will follow (it is "horror" after all). But then lines like this are written up:

"The soft hints of a melody tugged at it, as if it was trying to break out of it's cage of uninspired speech to glorious song. Song that had no words, just sounds that portrayed more emotion, more feeling, more purpose than any mundane word that civil language could ever hope to express."

Was that needed? It adds nothing to your story and distracts from the tone you are going for. It is boring to hear you elaborate on such trivial things. It would have been better if you had just stuck with lines like this:

"Cold. Cold is the only sensation that I've ever known. That chill that creeps under your skin, setting your little hair follicles ridged, only to seep deeper and numb the muscle before settling in the bone and marrow, causing your teeth to chatter taking away the very thing that all being abhor to be denied."

This goes on a bit, but at least it was describing something weird and chilling (hit me if you want).

Normally, this would have been fine. But too many times do you stray into Purple Prose territory that take me out of the story. And let me tell you. If you can distract even someone like me, away from your story. It must have been a very big immersion break.

However, this isn't the only flaw in your story. Your character and sense of logic need a bit of work.

Sweetie Belle and Rarity were fine. Nothing too bad or good about them. Rather boring at times. But the main draw back was the actual main character herself.

Fay is a creature who manipulates ice in her little pond that nopony dares go near. Aside from the pre-mentioned dullness of her vocabulary. She is a very basic, "I want to not be so lonely, but I'm a little to alien for this world to understand me". She is a very dry character to read about and does a very predictable 180 towards the end of the fic that goes against her need to have someone to talk and respond with, leaving her in the constant pit of forgetablility.

Now, for the final gripe of this fic.

It isn't horror, no matter what that tag says, it isn't. Yes, the ending is very "scary", but it isn't horror, I wasn't shaking in my boots in fear as I read this and I know I won't be staying up extra late because of this fic...okay, that is a lie. The process of reviewing this may cause that. But yeah, other than that, nothing more than just your average creepy build up that leads to a scary event only by definition. But holds none of the qualities horror demands.

Of course, I do have some positives. Sweetie Belle was still cute, Rarity had a pretty awesome scene near the end. Nothing beyond that, but still nice.

There was also the decent descriptions of Fay's surroundings and happenings that were good when it didn't get to elaborate.

However, the combined let down of your character, boring writing that takes a step into pretentious territory, and a not so scary, scary story. Leads to my 5/10 score.

Average.

OkemosBrony
Group Admin

Title: A Home for Hearth’s Warming by randome284
Amount Read: All
Verdict: Needs second opinion
Reason:

I’ve noticed that one of the first things I note about a story is the technical aspects, and I guess this one is no different. While this story is rough around the edges, it’s not unreadable by any means, and while there are a few errors, they’re minor slip-ups and mostly needs some help in making the exposition flow more naturally; the dialogue, while not the best, is still good.

The story itself takes a very common concept and runs with it, but still makes it enjoyable to read in part because it doesn’t dominate the entire story and still manages to keep an eye on the characters in it. Scootaloo’s feelings of inadequacy, a theme that’s been touched on a little bit on the show, get a little hackneyed at points (such as in the stereotypical “my friends all secretly hate me” nightmare) but otherwise explores an issue that often gets glossed over in Scootaloo’s character. Dinky is relatively well-written, but borders on too innocent sometimes, seemingly forgetting all about Scootaloo’s hardships at points. Derpy is just kind of there throughout the story, and while Doctor Whooves is better in that regard, his dialogue never seems to truly convey his enthusiasm towards adoption. Most of it is very barebones and boils down to the actions he plans to take, with little emotion in it.

Overall, the story is good. While it takes a not-very-novel idea and doesn’t innovate a lot on it, it does give Scootaloo some depth and gives some good serious time to three supporting characters who are more often used for silly and comedic purposes. Because it does some things well but falls flat on others, I’m going to need to send it back to someone else for a second opinion.


Second Review
Reviewer: An Alternative Universe
Final Verdict Reject
Reasoning:
Some technical inconsistancies with speach tags (some speach tags transition with OCs, while others use transitioning periods in similiar circumstances) really not a huge deal, though it is slightly agravating.
There were quite a few technical errors, for the most part nothing too bad (a capital that shouldn't have been where it was, awkwardly worded sentences, etc.. Except for some of the issues with speach-tag transitions, which were glaringly oubvious (and kinda painful).
Characters weren't too bad, but were a little one-sided.
Plot wasn't too bad, but was overall a little fast-paced.
The adoption moved way too fast (if you've ever tried to mobilize bureaucracy you know what I mean).
I'd probably give it a 5 or a 6, so I'm going to recommend rejection here.

Free Shavacado
Group Contributor

Title: Sunny in Philadelphia(From Wentz She Came)

Author: NickyDs

Amount Read: All

Verdict: Rejecting 4/10

Okay class. In any form of literature, what is the worst possible thing you can do?

"Insult your audience?"

Close Mariah... Anyone else?

"Protray a sociopolitical view in a half assed way?"

Not even close Evan... dumbass

"Be boring...?"

Yes! Yes Randall! You hit the nail on the head!

Rationale: It was boring... That's quite literally all I can say. I mean, even the most abhorrent stories that I've read had some excitement, some motion, some kind of driving force. This entire eight mother fucking thousand word story is about Sunset Shimmer dicking around in Philadelphia then going to the football game. I wouldn't be so upset if it weren't like reading a story someone wrote about their experiences watching paint dry.

I may sound harsh, but I read stories to be entertained. Even if I hate the subject matter, if I can get to the end, then that's a mark from me. You kept it interesting enough for me to want to finish it. I regret reading this whole thing to see if anything other than Sunset eating and looking for directions while hitting up several restaurants was going to happen! It doesn't even have a saving grace. It's not written poorly, but then it isn't written well enough to keep you engaged. I am not joking when I say I fell asleep while reading this (I put on instrumental music when I read. Helps me focus). I can't even tell you anything that stood out. It was paced slower than a snail, and I can only imagine that it was some kind of 'something' for whatever football team is in Philly. I wish I could say more...

So sorry good sir. If you had some something other than describing in excrutiating detail every step she took on her day in Philly this could have been decent. Right now, nope!:eeyup:

Free Shavacado
Group Contributor

Title: Starlight Silence

Author: Sky Blue CMC

Amount Read: All

Verdict: Rejecting 6/10

Rationale: This story was the complete inverse of the one I just reviewed a few hours ago. Hi old review!

Old Review: Stay focused you idiot!

Geez, okay:fluttershyouch:
Anyway, while being antipodal to the last one, it was a bit too much of the opposite.

To be honest, I had no idea what the plot was because of how fast everything happened. There's this Pegasus who needs Sweetie Bell's help, but Sweetie is trying to get the gem Spike gave Rarity back from an Arboralupus Rex or King Timberwolf ( that was an amazing play on words btw), then they have to get an Ender someting, but then they also have to go to Tartarus and they need to get through Discord's dimension to get there and- yeah.... You see the confusion right?:applejackconfused:

The plot in and of itself can be interesting, if it took the time to slow down. A lot of the exposition that Sky Blue (the OC protag) spits along with Sweetie and others are the only world building that we get. To tell the truth if things slowed down just a smidge then I would have rated higher.

Now the characters... Aside from being windbags that apparently get excited all the time! Like every other sentence of dialogue ends with an exclamation! Can you tell I'm emoting?!?! Sky and Sweetie have this friendship because... potatoes... That's all I can say. It isn't even explained on the prologue how they're such good friends or how Sweetie has advanced to the ability to friggin teleport! Any other character is just there and don't really have that much of an impact.

The main problem with grammar is that they use too many italics. I use italics when I write to stress a word, but not every sentence needs a stressed word. It kinda conveys that the characters are overacting when they speak. It's distracting and it reminds me of a poorly acted movie.

In conclusion, it's not a bad story. It has an interesting premise that just needs to take its time. If it does I definitely see it improving.

Comment posted by Sky Blue CMC deleted Mar 21st, 2017
-DW
Group Contributor

Keep in mind, everyone, that this thread is to be used only for reviews. If you'd like to discuss something with a reviewer, then please contact either them directly or me.

Title: My Only Sunshine
Author: CoffeeBean
Percentage: 100%
Verdict: Reject
Score: 6
Reason: There is so much right with this fic that it justifies admitting it, but there too is enough wrong with it to justify rejecting it. Coffee, I like your stuff. You're a good writer. I've read your stuff before. Now, there are two enormous grating issues with this story that stop me from accepting it in good conscience. Firstly, formatting issues. Your spacing and indents are inconsistent. Pick a style and stick with it. You made fuckups with this in every chapter. Secondly, your initial chapters, plus one later one, are chock full of this very boring narration that is big, samey paragraphs all told in simplistic sentences all written in past tense without any variety or participles to break them up. They felt like 7'th grade writing. Until we got some decent dialogue starting a full third of the way through the fic, I was wondering if perhaps you had been clubbed over the head. The dialogue and character interractions were the best part of this fic. Good work on tough themes like forgiveness and trauma. If you could just unfuck your formatting issues and rework a bit of the narration chunks and then resubmit, I'd gladly accept this immediately.

Foreword:
I make a point of not voting either way on a story until some time has passed since my review. This is the first (and likely one of the only times) that I will make an exception to that rule. The problems in this story were massive and made some parts physically painful for me to read. Here's the problem, if you want to write about abuse (or rape, or a myriad of other topics), that's fine, in fact, that's great, but do your research; you need to understand the complexities of a subject before you can write on it. A lie is an alternative "truth", but a story is about showing the truth in a new light. By that rationale, this was not a story, but rather a lie. Despite my personal distaste for this story, I did my best to maintain objectivity when evaluating the other criteria.
Title: Tainted Colors to by NickyDs
Amount Read: All (~11,000 words)
Rating:
Plot 10/20
Structure and Technicals 6/10
Characters 4/10
Subjective 0/10
Total 20/50
Verdict: 4/10 - Recommend Rejection
Rationale:
The plot of this story moves very quickly and is often presented in a format that often both fails to show instead of tell and treats the audience like they are idiots who cannot come to conclusions on their own. There were a few technical errors and inconsistencies in format, though they were not so obvious as to take the audience out of the story. The characters; they acted inconsistently, they failed to live up the standards that the established universe would hold them to and often they acted more as caricatures than characters. As for the complete failure in subjective criterion; see my foreword.

BleedingRaindrops
Group Contributor

Review of "Palimpsest" by NorrisThePony
[To the admins, this is one of three trial reviews.]

Amount Read: All/~8000 words

Verdict: 6/10 recommended rejection

Rationale:

I enter into this with a bit of confusion. It’s not that the synopsis is difficult to understand—to the contrary, I thought it was very well constructed, promised a very engaging and interesting plot, and expressed to me that this would indeed be a thriller written by a skilled author. Even the title fit the theme, and I will admit to having to look it up. Were I searching for an indicator of ability and nothing more, I would be able to conclude my search without even opening the chapter, which at this point in this review I have not.

No, my confusion stems from a far more trivial but no less important aspect: the mention that Nightmare Moon was ever inside Twilight’s head. No mention is made of a past event and I certainly have no memories of it myself. It’s not a deal breaker but it certainly speaks to an esoteric reference to which I am not privy. As a reader this is bewildering and insulting, and it will cost points for my review.

Entering the story itself, the first issue I noticed is that the emotions in this entire story feel a bit lackluster, particularly during the opening scene. Perhaps it is from an attempt to create apathy but it leans too much toward talking heads syndrome. I found myself rather bored, and waiting for one of them to display the exhaustion, trepidation, fear, hesitation, nervousness, or despair I had been expecting from the given situation. I think this is an excellent example of when simple said tags should be used sparingly.

That said, the rest of the story did not deliver either. I thought perhaps it would pick up once the… arcane letting… began, but in fact it was now even more apparent how bland everything felt.
I think the problem is your habit of telling vs showing. Far too often are we spoon-fed an emotion or reaction with a brief line, or a thought explained outright without time for it to settle on the mind, or worse yet, a thought explained very bluntly and then repeated by the dialogue. Such emotionally tense scenes need depth, and subtlety, and there is much that can be removed that is bogging down the emotional content of this story.

Then, her horn lit up. Twilight flinched, but only for a moment before realizing that Celestia was merely levitating a set of papers toward her.

Awkward phrasing. ‘For’ and ‘before’ stumble over each other and ruin the fluidity of the sentence.

“These...” Celestia said. “...Are official documents

Poor punctuation. A simple comma would have sufficed.

And then finally the explanation for the synopsis, far too far in. I was too irritated at this point by the blandness of the previous scene coupled with longstanding bewilderment for this moment to carry its proper impact. This must be made clear sooner, in the synopsis if possible.

Twilight could not seem to speak the conclusion

Well she either could or she couldn’t. No one assumes that something simply seems to be unless they have reason to suspect otherwise. She did or she didn’t. Pick one.

“That’s understandable. Many do. Sometimes even I do.”

There is way too little focus on this moment, especially given the buildup to it. Celestia should have a visible reaction, even if she saw this coming. She’s too emotionally involved for even her own legendary bearing to keep hold here. Blast it a smile! Something beyond the tasteless one liner that exists in a void. This line was not given proper tlc.

Finally, finally when they landed in what I can only assume to be the Everftee did the story begin to emit any semblance of palpable emotion. I think this story’s one saving grace is that it very eloquently wraps up everything I hate about sunbutt. She’s a manipulative psychopath who throws her students' lives away willy nilly to protect some naively preconceived concept of peace. I say this not to color this review with my own personal opinion, but rather to call to my enjoyment of the story as a hypothetical reader. This was the sole highlight of the story.

And don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying it was a bad concept. I thoroughly enjoyed the idea you toyed with here, but its execution is lacking, and I desperately want to see you work on this and polish it into the shining jewel it could be.

In conclusion, the premise and plot get a pass for intrigue and originality, but they are weighed down by the poor execution of narration and dialogue. Given that, the somewhat awkward sentence structuring, and the disappointment that was the crux of the premise itself, I find myself wishing I wasn’t limited to whole numbers for a score. You clearly have experience, but you need to focus more on editing and revising. This is a high 6, but not enough for a 7.

I hope this review was helpful to you. If you have any questions feel free to message me, and as always, Never Stop Writing.

Story: Equestria Girls: Friendship Souls by thatguyvex
Amount read: 22/40 Chapters (~200k words)
Verdict: 6/10

Premise
Approaching a crossover for which you have only a very vague knowledge regarding one of the involved settings is always a risk. Even if it is well written you will probably miss references and jokes, and that could heavily influence your enjoyment. In the worst case, you won't understand what's going on at all.

In this case, it was worth taking the risk.

Summary
A mysterious explosion rocks the city. The official explanation doesn't convince Sunset and her friends, who suspect magical shenanigans and decide to investigate. An invisible sword in the midst of the crater is only the beginning of the weirdness, the dangers and the conspiracies they'll have to face.

Technical aspect

This story is long. Really long. At the time of writing, we are at 405,909 words and it's still incomplete.

Considering the size I won't go too much into the details. Single missteps can get easily lost and will barely influence my opinion regarding this mammoth.

There are, sadly, some issues which permeate the story at least up to the point I've reached.

The first one is the punctuation regarding dialogues. I have to be honest here, I didn't notice them during my read-through and they had to be pointed out to me, but they are there. For example, commas have to be used in case we have dialogue with a dialogue tag, otherwise, you have to go for a full-stop. While this may seem minor nitpicking, it still is a punctuation error we find again and again.

The second problem is less systemic but tended to get my attention more often. In some fighting scenes, mainly the more complex ones, there are paragraphs with an awkward structure. Repetitions abound, sentences are unwieldy, punctuation gets confused. When those happen, even if they become rarer going on, they tend to stand out and break the flow.

There are also some instances of missing capitalization, missing commas, typos and redundant quotation marks.

Now, this may seem like an overly negative list of problems, but they are easy to fix, unfortunately to do so would be a gargantuan work, as with an average of 10k word per chapter there is a lot of text to comb through. The good thing is they are not structural problems, so a rewrite is not needed.

For the rest, the prose is transparent. This is actually quite positive for this kind of story. While I would be hard-pressed to quote a memorable passage, it also delivers the story and the action without making a fuss and does its job. Considering that we have an over-the-top action romp here, this choice is functional and I can only applaud to it.

Story

This is not some life-changing story, it doesn't try to be a profound discourse about relevant issues, it is a sequence of battles interspersed with character growth and it fully embraces it, playing on the strengths of the format.

Now, this isn't by any measure a novel concept, on the contrary it is almost definitionally the opposite, but it also works. We have appropriately rising stakes, battles are varied enough and the parts about characters talking and growing have the same dignity as those where they shove sharp things into others.

The balance is nice and avoids to tire out the readers.

The major issue I have with the story self is that it could use a couple calmer moments, some respite for the characters. There is constant tension, which is better than the contrary but could probably be managed better with a more varied rhythm.

Characters

We have tons of them.

What the author did was paramount to casting actors for roles, as those required by the story are (almost) all interpreted by characters from EQG or FIM. We see familiar visages as heroes, companions, villains and everything else.

There is a sense of familiarity there. Each time a character made an appearance I could guess with a certain accuracy one or two traits they would have purely by seeing who interpreted them, and yet I was curious about what role they would play and what the differences would be.

Considering the vast size of the cast, it is normal that some characters get less screentime than others. A bit more focus on some of the main characters would have been nice, but I can't really count it against the story considering as it is still ongoing.

Highlights

The highlights would be pretty spoiler-heavy, but I really liked what the author has done with Pinkie.

Conclusion

An honest and entertaining story. It does what it intends to do quite competently and does a good job explaining the world. It is sadly, marred with the kind of errors a good editing phase could easily solve.


Title: Fallout: Project Necessities

By: Aeluna

Amount Read: All that is available.

Verdict: 8/10

Reason:

Yes. I have finally found a story that I can proudly add... Wait, it is a story that is incomplete, apart of unfamiliar source material to me,and created by one of the admins of this group? Oh boy, I have some explaining to do.

I am a strong believer in a reviewer needing to be well versed in both source materials of a crossover. Many biases can be created from simply not understanding something.

So I admit that I am not someone well versed in the legendary Fallout Equestria fic, despite my favorable feelings of the actual games. The fic itself just wasn't my cup of tea and I had decided that I would avoid reviewing any related content.

Well, here I am, reviewing Fallout Equestria content under the promise that I do not need to know much about the original fic. Just that it uses MLP and Fallout concepts. Yay for loop holes!

Jokes aside, the premise of this story is intriguing. It stars the orphaned mare, Klipspringer, who has just had her whole village slaughtered by raiders. She is left to fend for herself and a surviving colt unicorn who she does not much care for (you see, she is racist). However, despite prejudice, it is now up to her to somehow keep themselves alive in the cruel new environment she has ended up in. And somehow, she is destined to fix the world.

I really like this fic. It has good characters and interactions, an interesting writing style, and not too much of the darkness this could of had and sometimes alludes to. It uses just enough of it that I can take it more seriously than other fics, but not so much that I need to tell the author to step back and realize they are writing MLP fanfic and not the next chapter of Game of Thrones.

However, even this story gave me problems.

Not with anything that has to do with the actual story, or formating. But with the fact it is an incomplete piece.

Even though I like it thus far, you can never tell if the story may drop in quality or be out right put in hiatus. I would much rather accept a series I know is good all throughout instead of a wildcard story that has no certain end result.

But, I have enough faith in the author of this fic and their ability to keep a constant stream of greatness, to accept it in good conscience without fear of it not belonging.

So yes, it's accepted into the group.

Title: Where no Pony Has Gone Before
Author: RK_Striker_JK_5
Read: 5/5 chapters available (100%)
Decision: Accept
Summary: This story is done well. The mechanics are quite fineead and polished, but not absolutely perfect. However, there are very few of the usual bugaboos like forgetting direct address and oxford commas, which is always a good thing. Proper punctuation and homophones are employed throughout. The fic features well-portrayed characters acting believably. And while I have never watched a full episode of any Star Trek, ever, I've absorbed enough about it from pop culture to know enough to do this review. I had never stopped to think what would happen in a scientific show like Star Trek were to collide with a magical show like My Little Pony. The results are amusing and interesting, as the ponies baffle our intrepid explorers at every turn, are are, fittingly enough, fascinated by the sheer scale and technology that the newcomers have. There are also the presented anthropological issues that would come from the differences in evolution, history, and culture, which have been quite delightfully not just ignored as the ponies being just like people with horsey bits. The story is not rushed, instead taking time to let things cook and stew. Well done, this gets a pass.

Aeluna
Group Contributor

Title: This Changeling Life by Nasha Rei Kun
Amount read: First chapter
Recommended: Against
Reasoning:

In order for a crossover to be considered "well done", it is a given that it ought to be accessible and understandable for everyone. And, though I had low expectations for this, I was pleasantly surprised but this. I have never seen the source material and don't particularly have the desire to do so, but despite that this story was relatively easy to follow. As a reader who doesn't know the lore it is based on, I had to pause a fair few times to try to work out what some particular words meant. Nevertheless, it could have been a lot worse and compared to many fics, even the pauses were not overly disruptive. In fact, the most disruptive thing was the fact that the characters are anthro (and yet, I should note, are still described as "trotting"). It wouldn't go amiss to perhaps hint a little notebook towards the meaning of some of the source related words, though.

But, this fic sadly is far from good enough to be accepted into the library. It has a potentially interesting plot and is understandable, as said above, but it's quality fluctuates from almost passable to poor frequently. Should an explanation be required by the author I would be happy to elaborate, but for now (I presume the issues are reasonably obvious) all I will say is it needs a good edit. There are numerous typos, sentence structure issues, etc, and it is as such that I rate this fic a 4. I want to give it more, but can't quite justify a five based on the current quality. Should edits be made, though, I can see this possibly getting in.

Comment posted by Enigmus deleted Apr 1st, 2017

Title of Story: Wish You Were Here by Biker_Dash
Amount Read: All of it
Verdict: Recommended 8/10
Reason:
Although there are minuscule grammatical issues varying throughout the entire story, the plot is concise, and brought to me as a reader genuine feelings of past memories. For example, in the sentence, “...We all had lives to live, and your’s was quite busy for the past few years…” the ‘your’s’ to be correctly used should be in fact, ‘yours’ there is no need for an apostrophe.

Though as stated before, it was the genuine range of emotions that Twilight felt in the entirety of the story that really hit me close to home as a reader. Throughout the plot the author truly captured the emotions someone would feel in the specific situations that twilight faced. All in all, the story was well done aside from a few mistakes that without an editor's eyes would not truly be noticed and tear from the feel and plot of the story.

Arctikfox
Group Admin

Title of Story: It's Not Fine by Inky Shades

Amount Read: First three chapters

Verdict: 5/10

Reason: The issues with It's Not Fine are simple which is a good thing because I enjoyed the subject matter. However, this story didn't bring me in and hook me. I saw where they author tried to make the hook, but ultimately I slipped through. This is the biggest issue, bit it isn't the bulk of my reasoning for the verdict.

minor spelling mistakes like 'missus' instead of 'misses/mrs.' added to disruption in reading, it happens so it's easily fixed with a thorough proofreading. The biggest issue is the sweeping use of italics for internal dialogue. In stories with minor internal dialogue it's easily forgivable and adds very easy recognition for what is and isnt verbal speech. In a story like this with massive sections of internal thought, italics makes it much harder to read.

Reviewer's note: Should the author want direct examples or to consult me on his/her story, that is acceptable. I am always ready and willing to give advice.

BleedingRaindrops
Group Contributor

Title: The Detective Who Likes To Watch Rainbows
Author: Regal_25
To the admins, this is my second trial review of three.

Amount read: Prologue and 1000 words of first chapter

Verdict: 3/10 Rejection

Review:

Right off the bat this looks like an interesting story. The premise is intriguing, and the synopsis grabs attention well. And the prologue continues the trend. I find myself fully engaged after just the first sentence, already trying to guess if the elements have actually been stolen or if Twilight has just misplaced them. A fine introduction, or it would be, if not for the mechanical errors. Your colons and semicolons need work; they don’t even belong here at all.

Enlist in him this mystery and you’ll have it solved; as long as you’re willing to put up with him.

I believe the second and third words here are swapped; an easy mistake, and just as easily fixed

And I ask you must, not for only your’s and I’s sake, but for that of the world.

This sentence is poorly worded; I can’t make heads or tails of this.

Please, Rainbow: find Spike the detective and solve this case. I can rely solely on you.

Colons are used to start a previously indicated list or item, or to separate parts of a clause. This should just be a comma.

Moving into the chapter, it’s quickly apparent that your mechanical editing skills are severely lacking. You’ve got tense slips, typing errors, spelling errors, grammar mistakes, awkward phrasing, colon and semicolon misuse. And the further I read, the worse it gets. In fact if I didn’t know better, I’d say a completely different author wrote the story than did the synopsis. Either you didn’t edit this, or you just didn’t care, neither of which deserves my stamp of approval. I’m going to go a bit further to help you catch any more errors (on the more subjective side of things) but I’m ready to fail this a paltry 300 words in for lack of effort.

An urge comes over to me to describe the place, but not words come that suit the feeling justice.

A notable example of awkward phrasing and typing errors. Furthermore, this is straight up laziness on yours and Rainbow Dash’s part. At least make the attempt, so that the reader has something to imagine.

You continue this trend of laziness upon entering the library, where very poor descriptions are given as to what is going on. You might have a decent image in your head of what’s going on, but you need to help convey that to the reader, and this just isn’t it. You start talking about some creature dancing in the middle of the room as though we’ve already been introduced, and your poor sentence structure, grammar, and editing, make it even more difficult to understand what’s going on.

I can see you also have a very loose handle on showing vs telling, but even that needs work. Here, this is a link to a guide which helped me a lot when I was a young author, before Fimfiction started hosting it. It can tell you how to fix everything I’ve pointed out today. Go give it a read and follow its advice to the letter, then, return here when you have a more suitable and workable product.

Areas to work on
Mechanical editing - to include grammar, tense usage, syntax, spelling, and colon and semicolon usage.
Scene building - study up on how to introduce parts of a scene, as well as characters and items relevant to the story.
Showing vs Telling.
Characterization - I didn’t touch on this much because there are smaller issues you need to fix first, so feel free to message me if you’re confused, but fix the mechanical issues before you move on to this. To shorten things, it should be apparent who your characters are without naming them. Even if this is Alternate Universe, you need to make it clear who your characters are, and what their personalities will be. Message me if you need clarification.

I can’t say yay or nay on plot structure because I only read 1000 words, and you have a slow build, so I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt on this one. Find whoever helped you with that synopsis and ask them to help you fix the rest of this. You need it.

Overall Score:3/10

I hope you will find this review helpful. As I’ve said, feel free to message me if you need help understanding anything, and as always: Never Stop Writing.

Title: Reality
Author: darkstone57
Recommended: Rejected.
Verdict: 6/10

Let me start off by saying that you have my deepest and sincerest of condolonces. I can't imagine going through such a tragedy would have been easy. However, for the sake of this review, I have to remain neutral. The story itself is nice, and the message of moving on at the end was bittersweet indeed. It left something to be desired, though, the descriptions and the pacing. Particularly, the pacing. I feel as if 2.5 thousand words weren't enough to meld everything together. It was far too rushed. In fact, the story was damn near crippled due to this. If it wasn't for the great dialogue you had, the score would have been lower, for sure.

That's not to say that it was a bad story. The dialogue, as I mentioned, is definitely this story's saving grace. It felt natural, and you could feel the character's pain of loss. That's why the word count really is quite disappointing. I feel that if you had put more effort and meat on the sturdy bones of this story, you would have had something above the norm, for sure. And in some aspects, it is above the norm. I've read many stories where the dialogue felt stale and stiff. It's hard to feel or care for a character with the speaking capabilities of a robot. As I said, you've done rather well in that regard.

Now we're onto the grammatical side of things, plus the way you put things together. The descriptors weren't all there, and it feels as if you only used the bare minimum. You want your reader to get lost in the worlds you weave, not give them a summary. As for the spelling, I found quite a few mistakes, but that's nothing a good editor can't fix. The spelling errors weren't frequent enough to warrant a hit on the story's rating. The descriptors were definitely your weakest point in that regard.

Anyway, to close, if you'd just put a little more effort into the story as a whole, which has pretty great potential, it would have definitely made it in, for sure. You're an obviously talented writer, but I'm afraid this story isn't for the group. As I said at the beginning, you have my deepest sympathies for your loss. Keep at it, Darkstone. There's potential in you yet.

Title: What's Faster... Light or Sound?
Author: Free Shavacado
Recommended: Accepted.
Verdict: 8/10

This was most definitely a very fun read, and I found myself with a smile every so often throughout it. It was simple, but it worked. It felt like a moment in the show, or something that would fit in the show, which is most certainly something to feel proud of. Overall, this is a very good read for anyone wanting something casual. Where there is difficulty in maintaining a complex story, so, too are there difficulties maintaining a simple one. It's easy to fall into the trap of making something simple... too simple. Boring, if you will. Of course, the story is far from perfect, as there are problems here and there.

But what story doesn't have its fair share of problems?

Anyway, to start, I suppose I should mention that the story itself isn't grammatically perfect. There were a few problems here and there, but as always, an editor, or even you, yourself, can easily go through and fix those if you so choose. They don't detract from the story's worth, so you should be alright. As for your wording? I found it to be somewhat stale and unimaginative in some places. It felt as if you were going for simple descriptors for a simple story, which isn't bad in of itself. I just feel that it could have been handled just a tad better. If you had just gone a bit above what you wrote in that regard, the score would probably be 8.5. If I can even do that at all.

As for the pacing, it was... a little rushed, I'll admit. But it's definitely nothing too bad. I feel as if you could have described everything just a little bit better, as I said before, which would have quelled that pacing problem fairly easily. As for what that pacing led up to, the ending, it most certainly wasn't bad at all. I even liked that joke you made at the end. Really, pacing and your descriptions were the biggest problem here that I can see. The dialogue was good, but it was nothing spectacular. I liked it well enough, but it didn't exactly stand out.

Anyway, in conclusion, I very much liked this story, and find it worthy to be added to this group. While not perfect, it definitely scratches that casual itch.

Sparky Brony
Group Contributor

Title: The Four R's of Love

Author: Biker_Dash

Story: Here

Amount Read: All.

Rating: 6/10

Final Decision: A sweet story, but really needs a lot more depth.

Review:

Kind of have issues with the transitions between Rarity’s introspection and the conversation in the first part.

In the first section, I think the buildup for their conflict is rather flat. Being afraid of losing each other, while that is a fear many couples have. That doesn’t make a story. I like their reconciliation, but the WHY of it…leaves me wanting.

The second section, Rejuvenation, describes them going on a very romantic date. And it’s quite sweet, it just…is rather exposition heavy, and lacks depth.

On the whole, we are expected to believe they are in love, because the author says so. While Rarity and Rainbow Dash have very different personalities, I can see them having a relationship. But the story doesn’t go into WHY they have that relationship.

In the renewal section, the wedding is quite well done, and I can see both characters in the actions they do, even Rarity abandoning being prim and proper to enthusiastically show her affection for Rainbow, but again, we are not understanding the WHY!

The last part, Rebirth, is almost saccharine. My teeth hurt! They adopt a foal. Cobalt is the name, and the situation works, if they are as in love as the author asserts, I can see why they would want to adopt a foal to raise. You see Rainbow Dash’s bravado and confidence shines through.

Overall, it’s a cute story. I do like it, but it tends to be exposition heavy, there needs to be a lot more showing, and a lot less telling. We understand they are in love, desperately so. But what is lacking is why. They do, more or less, stay in character, so that is good. Though the plot of the entire story is…lacking. Starting out, they are recovering from an argument, so I’m thinking yeah, a good story has a strong conflict and them working it out would make the story. Then they have it wrapped up in the first section, and the rest of the story is them vowing their love, renewing their vows, and adopting a foal. So, in the end, I’m left wanting. Where is the conflict? Where is the character growth? Where do they realize that they really don’t want to face life without each other? It’s merely presented to the reader, and so that hurts the story. Would I recommend it? No. Would I re-read it, no? Is it good? Yes. But it leaves me wishing for more substance.

Free Shavacado
Group Contributor

Title: Fallout: Project Necessities

Author: Aeluna

Verdict: Accepting 9/10

Me: :ajsleepy:

Other Guy: Ey, Freesh... What' wrong?

Me: I feel my cynicism, my nitpicking eye, my pretention even though I'm not even a competent writer; all of it, slipping away...:fluttercry:

I mean, this was good, like. Really fucking good. I mean, I'm looking at my keyboard wondering why I can't be this good.

Plot: Klipspringer's village is attacked, and she is taken hostage by raiders along with a little colt.

Now, though I really like this story, it does fall into the category that most Fallout stories tend to fall in to, and fallout in general. The lone individual facing the horrors of the wasteland, and they survive everything because of dumb luck. I really shouldn't be complaining about that, since *ahem* good action movies and shows show their character surviving impossible shit (I'M LOOKING AT YOU SAMURAI JACK, AND THE ENTIRE FAST & FURIOUS FRANCHISE).

So, things I like...

The characters: This mare reminds me of a strong mother who won't falter no matter what. She is the type of person you want to root for, and her quirk about not liking unicorn magic due to their magic blowing the world to hell is a nice and unique trait that I've never seen before.

The young colt Thorn wasn't bad but he hasn't really stood out that much, so there isn't much to say.

The Dialouge: It isn't the best, but I like how she gave them individualistic dialogue along with the faithfulness to the readers from fallout. Klip isn't made to sound like a pwning badass, but you can tell when she's compassionate, afriad, apprehensive, everything.

The Pacing: Take yo time baby, take yo time! I can usually read about 5k words as a daily limit, and that's mainly because a story moves too slow for me to stay invested. This one was moving at just the right pace. The changes between action, dialogue, and exposition weren't seamless, but they weren't sudden.

Things I didn't like...

The Exposition: For those of you who have read my reviews before, you should know I hate being told exactly what happens at every moment. Now, since this is told from a First Person perspective, I was a little lenient because of how much you can describe when you're talking as yourself as opposed to as a narrator. But entire paragraphs where you're telling how you woke up and put on a jacket are simply boring and could either be shortened or left out.

Not Enough Mlp: Kind of ironic that in one previous review that she did, she says

In order for a crossover to be considered "well done", it is a given that it ought to be accessible and understandable for everyone.

It is still early on, so I'm not gonna be an ass about it, but there is very little mention to mlp canon thus far. The Original Fallout: Equestria, and yes I'm comparing the two so bite me!

OW! I was joking!!

In the original FoE, they did give a heaping helping of relevance to mlp before the bombs fell. It doesn't have to spend a whole chapter telling what happened, but some nods here and there would help better connect the two.

So there you have it. The overlady's story is accepted and I would recommend that if you like worldbuilding in a post apocalyptic wasteland give it a look.

Title: Shooting For Friendship
Author: Verbose Mode
Read: 100% (10 chapters)
Decision: Accept

Overview: I have to say that I really liked this story a lot. It's well done on most fronts. I really loved the characters and the details put into it and it was an engaging read from start to finish, not that it's done yet. :)

Plot: Sunset Shimmer and the rest of the EQG girls play airsoft, the series! While the plot isn't really going too many places yet, the author has still made a point of setting up a sort of end goal in the form of a big tournament a year distant. It reminds me almost of a manga wherein things start out just horsing around but then later a proper story with arcs develops. Right now, we're at the arc where things actually begin to get real.

Characters: The core characters are done well. The dialogue is handled well and they all behave like themselves. If any one character steals the show every time she speaks, it's Pinkie Pie... please don't take that as an invitation to pander. A lot of good work is done to make Sunset Shimmer believable and sympathetic. The characterization isn't completely consistent, though. In an early chapter, she quarrels while negotiating game rules and worries that she's turning back into a bully. Later, she slaps Flash Sentry, and then in games, her more violent, calculating side emerges and she doesn't flinch in the least at it. I hope this is unintentional. Or maybe it isn't. I trust the author knows where to go with this. The side characters are tad bland, but not hard to cope with.

Notes: I positively adore the details put into not just the weapons, but also the tactics. This is something written by someone who is actually knowledgeable. I expected some cookie cutter power fantasy with unstoppable badass gunfighter Mane 6. Thank God that didn't happen. Instead, things are kept realistic enough. It is great that good weapons handling is written about and observed at all times, and that the characters take the same care with their replica weapons as I would with my real ones. The tactics shown are highly realistic for just small arms. The later chapters show what happens when you go against trained, competent, experienced opponents when you aren't 100% squared away. I also love that the firearms terminology is inerringly accurate -- usually, with these fics, I go through the whole thing wanting to scream.

Conclusion: An engaging plot, compelling characters, and a charming realism give me no choice but to wholeheartedly accept this fic. Welcome to the archive, Airman!

Title: Power Struggle
Author: Free Shavacado
Read: 100% (5 chapters)
Decision: Reject

Well, brotato, you tried. And while it was improving by the end, there were issues which were especially prevalent in the beginning but still stuck through all the way.

Characters: I like Spike. The others, I'm not so sure. I think Twilight and Fluttershy and Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash are pretty much their cannon selves. I can't figure what to make of Applejack, and Rarity just comes off as continuously bitchy and shrill, in contrast to her dignified and restrained depiction in cannon. This grates especially hard in the initial two chapters, where, due to featuring too many characters at once, the story feels crowded as everypony absolutely must get their turn. As for Ember, she doesn't feel like the same character as depicted by the shower. As for the rest of the characters, I can't really say they made an impression. I do appreciate with the arc you're building where Spike may be the real Dragon Lord and that rubs off on him while Ember is not the real ruler and has to come to grips with that. Also, nice job on the romance between that pair. I'm not sure what you may or may not try between other ponies and dragons, however. And why don't you have a sex tag on this!?

Mechanics: Problems abound, unfortunately. You, author, need commas for every single direct address, dude. You should also learn how to use semicolons properly; give the Purdue Owl a look, man. You had issues with random incorrect Capitalization of words that didn't Need To be capitalized, especially queen. Your prose also was boring and clunky. You could stand to gain a lot from using more averbs, colorful descriptions, and participles. Your style is understated, which, while fine for a less action-packed story, doesn't quite work with all the intense action you're trying to convey.

Plot: The first three chapters are misused. I honestly think that the Mane 6 could be omitted from them entirely, instead to focus on him and Ember trying to unmess Drakeistan, and after the plot thickens and their efforts are so far in vain, then have him call for his friends. You see, there's just not much reason for them to be there at the start and then want to throw in the towel in fewer than three days. Those are not the righ emotional beats for the incipient part of the story -- that is something which happens in a second or third act when things are meant to be dark and dramatic. This makes the emotion of those sequences come off as forced. Emotional missteps aside, you have something good here. You have a complex plot with twists, turns, and unique perspectives on things. I don't think I've ever seen anyone actually try to explain the nature of dragons with anything more than "they're just dicks because they're that way inherrently". Also giving the information that they used to be great really does provide excellent intrigue and mystery.

I reject this, but with some words of encouragement. You have promise and just need to keep at it. For all the raking you over the coals I just did, this was still vastly better than most of the stuff that ends up on my plate. Keep writing and don't give up. :)

BleedingRaindrops
Group Contributor

Title: Woebegone

Author: Lost_Marbles

Amount read: ~1400 words

[To the admins, this is my third trial review of three]

Verdict: 4/10 Rejection

Review:

Entering in this looks like a run of the mill slapstick fest. Seemingly unoriginal title, hardly a novel premise, and there’s no crossover tag so I can only assume this is an original character, which means you’d better bring something new to the table or this is going to get boring fast. Let’s begin.

And not two sentences in we’ve got a tense slip and atrocious telling. This does not bode well. Before I can begin to palate my suspicions, you begin shoving so much telly narration down my throat that I’m gagging and making every effort to turn away. You could do with some pronouns as well. They are an essential supplement for every healthy growing story.

Everything was going so well that the farmpony believed that nothing could possibly ruin her day.

This line pisses me off because it’s the literary equivalent of a bird perching over a freshly washed car. Not only is this a disgustingly telly line, it’s a perfect example of everything wrong with slapstick comedy. There’s no subtlety, no subversion of expectations, not even an attempt to be clever. No it’s just “Hey guys, this person is having a great day. Wouldn’t it be a shame if something came a long and ruined their day entirely? It’d be hilarious right?” No, go back to clown school, you cheap halfwit.

Tirade aside, this is a poorly conceived line, and I recommend treating it with about as much lighter fluid and matches as you can. Try zooming in a bit. Focus on what Applejack is doing. Run through her thoughts about her day, and for the love of Luna don’t just state how perfect her day is. Give us some relatable tidbits that reveal something about her character, so that we can take a breather from Twilight and not be so on guard when the gag hits.

Speaking of which, I should mention the pacing for this story is on a runaway train. Hit the breaks and just enjoy the ride. You don’t have to rush through the jokes so fast. Take it slow, enjoy the moment, and look for some situational comedy that maybe hasn’t been done a thousand times before. Perhaps hitting all of the cliches was what you were going for, but even then your execution needs a lot of work.

Now, I want to point out the one piece of this story that was almost done right. The paragraph where you describe Woebegone does everything this story needs. It slows down, describes the fine details, and tries to filter in some emotion as well. It’s a lovely description, even though there’s some telly spots in there. It’s much closer to what the story should be, so look at it as an example if you’re stuck on how to expand things.

The very next exchange, however, is just the opposite. What should be a chuckle friendly exchange of pitiable bad luck (which is also disgustingly predictable) is instead narrated through pure exposition.

Here’s a link to a video I think will help you a lot. Really all of these lectures can help you, but this story needs a healthy dose of clever writing, and fast. This guy is the one to show you. Watch, and take notes. (This is actually the first of ten videos in this lecture on humor, all of which you would benefit from, but start with this and see where it gets you.)

At this point I’m about halfway through the first chapter and I’m seeing a lot of the same issues. Telling, pacing, over narrating, and a few mechanical errors, mostly in the form of tense slips. The plot looks like it might progress in a good direction, but everything else is getting in the way of a good story. That being said, I’m going to score this at a 4/10, for the aforementioned issues.

I hope this review was helpful, feel free to message me if you have any questions, and as always, Never Stop Writing.

Sparky Brony
Group Contributor

Title: Love Me

Author: Mocha Star

Amount Read: All

Rating: 6/10

Final Decision: Shameless Clop, with barely enough story to tie it together

Review:

Don’t get me wrong, I have found I enjoy reading good clop. And shameless clop isn’t all that bad, though I do prefer a strong story to go with the clop.

This story is all about the clop. The story could be interesting if it were expanded upon. We don’t find out much about our main protagonist, though finding out he’s one of around two hundred humans in Equestria is interesting. Since this is shameless clop, I’m okay with not finding all that much about him. The clop scenes are okay though, not exceptional, not amazing, just okay. And that comes down to the writing, there is a LOT of inner monologue, and that is the problem. The first person writing is fine, but describe what is happening more. Though I will admit, having our protagonist changed from human to pony mare in a magical mishap with Twilight Sparkle, that was funny. I actually laughed a couple of times as some of the jokes were spot on.

The sex with his other friend was actually pretty well done, if a bit short. But then I found myself confused, the action where he ends up being changed to a mare, it was more presented as happened after the fact. A few lines could have changed that so much for the better. Though I did enjoy his thoughts as he pleases his mare who’s a stallion while he’s now a mare. And thinking, no, this isn’t gay, that was hilarious. I can see plenty of men having the exact same thoughts is that kind of situation. So, that part worked quite well.

Twilight was rather matter of fact, and I found that to be out of character for her, she the princess of friendship, she would be more concerned about the plight of our protagonist. Not, whelp, you’re pregnant, have a good life. And I kinda feel cheated there. When some women are pregnant, they can be INSATIABLE, this story could have had fun with that. Instead we get a fast forward to after the birth.

In summary, this is a shameless clop story, and fair for what it is. Barely enough plot to tie the clop together. The action is good, and the clop scene with Spike was fun to read. But for me, this is a read once and done.

Story: Victory For The New Lunar Republic
Author: BatwingCandlewaxxe
Recommended: Accepted
Verdict: 9/10

Holy crap. You got me. You actually got me, and it was great. I was so prepared to fail this on the basis of it being too short, but I had no idea that it was going to work so well. In fact, a bigger word count probably would have hurt the story a little bit. I have to say, that was executed rather well, and I'm pleasantly surprised for sure. In so many ways, I was ready to dislike this, and I feel pretty bad for that, because this was a real treat in the end. It's short, tense, and really pulls you in, making you think you're actually in a battle scene. A well-constructed one at that. Even after dice began to be thrown, I was still somewhat in that scene, mentally-speaking. I was confused as well. But everything came together, and I finally understood the slice of life tag.

The pacing was actually pretty good, which is a really good accomplishment considering how short the story is. At first glance, it looks like you simply made it to around the required one thousand word count requirement, and settled with that. But when I was finally finished with the story, I was definitely surprised to see how well it all fit together. It all flowed very nicely, and it all wrapped up nicely in the end. I'm still sort of shocked you pulled the wool over my eyes, as it were. That's a surefire sign of a good writer, and I'll definitely be reading your other stories, and more of your stories in the future, for sure.

As with almost every story, there were a few grammatical errors, and you, yourself could go through and fix them. There are so few that finding an editor would be a waste of your time, and anyone else's that would be involved. Really, you'd be good with just leaving it as is. As for your descriptions and descriptors, you did a fantastic job building up the scenes in this story. What I love most about it all is that you didn't go overboard. You said what needed to be said, exactly as far as I know, and didn't go below or above that. It really works really, really well with the word count that you have, and I've said this before, but that's a major accomplishment as a writer. You worked with the story's shortness, and refined it into something that works.

In conclusion, I was going to try to give this an 8.5, but after some consideration, I've decided on a nine out of ten. Purely because of the fact that there are so few things wrong with this. I'd take this as a low nine, not an on-the-dot nine. This was a definitely an unexpected treat. This was a clear case of don't judge a book by its cover.

Free Shavacado
Group Contributor

Title: Creeping Happiness

Author: LanceOmikron

Verdict Accepting 8/10

I feel off right now. It’s not because this is the second accept in a row, but that I was initially so critical of a pretty good story. Sorry guys, Freesh is just going through wee bit of an existential breakdown :pinkiecrazy: Enough about my psychotic ass..

This story was wow. Literally nothing else in the English language can explain it. We all know that Applejack's parents are presumed to be dead, and canonically thanks to the multiple episode synopses leaks. I must have lived with with mole people, cause I have not seen very many stories that explore how AJ feels about their parents demise.

Plot: After fighting a monster, that no one can remember, all of the mane six are happy. Excluding Applejack.

Characters: For what it explores, it was a bit weak in this aspect. In most of the Applejack stories I've read, she's often seen as the voice of reason and rationality. Aside from realizing that her parents being alive at first was a little bit off, she payed it no kind until their day was over.

Her parents were so perfect it was creepy. You know those “Look at our perfect marriage, with our perfect family, in our perfect home types”? Yeah… That's exactly what they were, which helped portray her fantasy world as a farce, but I don't see a horror tag.

Other guy: *smack*

Me: Ow! What was that for?? :twilightangry2:

Other guy: Stop being a critical asshole! You know that them being too perfect worked well to show the readers that this was all fake.

Me: Fine… :ajbemused: It worked very well, and even strengthened how I see Applejack as one of the most tangible characters from the show. She's the hard working, grounded, family mare who has a lot going on underneath the surface. I can see her fantasizing about days past since she feels that she didn't have enough time with her parents.

Other guy: Good boy

Me: Don't patronize me… :ajbemused:

Technicality: It was written very well. That's about it. I'm no grammar expert. Their prose flowed well, even though some spaces between her mother and father’s dialogue would help immensely.

To all Applejack fans give this a read. Trust me it is worth it. Looking at her in introspect is quite Honestly an adventure I would take again. As a matter of fact, it's in my good stories library now :scootangel:
Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go drown my existentialism in some piano...

Free Shavacado
Group Contributor

Title: Silence

Author: The Nameless Knight

Verdict: 5/10

Oh boy, I feel like I'm being really over critical now. This was written so friggin well. Aside from the obnoxious fact that it was written entirely in italics which lost it a few points. Basic formatting and all, but some of you might just like it.

Plot: The main character laments about loving a dead body.

Other guy: Wait, what the hell?:rainbowderp:

Me: Oh, you heard me right, buddy boy. She falls in love with a dead body!

I wish I were doing one of my usual stupid jokes, but I am not in the slightest. This is a romantic tragedy about necrophilia.

Characters: The main character is something straight out of a Shakespearean play, just without the medieval "thy's" and "doth's"

Now, this review is gonna be a little different in the fact that this story is told from a first-person point of view with no outside dialogue. And it's amazing how the author portrays this with their alliteration. Just read this

I’ll never forget the day we met. It was beautiful, and it’s forever burned into my mind. Into my heart. A cool spring morning I took a walk through the forests surrounding my home as I usually do, thinking it would be yet another bland day of running errands and chores, almost mechanically. Moving on a conveyor belt day after day.

The early sun cast its light through the trees around me, creating golden rays that tore through the lonely shadows, and like a ripped apart canvas it created long shifting lines across the ground. I walked slowly down the path I always took, smelling the distinct smell of summer; the sweet scent of blooming flowers and secreting tree bark.

That literally blew my mind away. Sorry, I am really trying to find more to say instead of focusing on the necrophiliac aspects, though I believe that's a futile effort since nothing really happens.

So, let's see just how good of a reviewer I actually am *cracks knuckles*

:derpyderp1: FFFFUUUUUUU-:raritycry:

Anyway...
Necrophilia is absolutely disgusting. I do not care if it is your fetish, doing anything sexual to a rotting body is the most disgusting thing any human, or pony, in this case, can do. On a personal level, I was completely taken aback after reading to the point to where I found out that the bloke was fucking dead. And as I said before it is written fairly well, so you have more than a good idea of what is going on. Luckily the author doesn't go into great detail. But still it's pretty... just look...

Would anypony else do the same? If they found you like I did, would they understand how magnificent of a being you are? Nopony can say what they would do. Would they clean your body, keep it fresh as I have? Would they push their own disgust aside as I did, forcing myself to dig the maggots out of your eye sockets?

Love is caring, is it not?

Okay first off, yes taxidermists do actually do that for a living, but I doubt that they enjoy having to work and look at cadavers all day. Also, he's been sitting there long enough to become stuck to the ground as she says...

A loud tearing sound echoed through the meadow as I moved your head sideways, your fur still somewhat frozen to the grass underneath you.

Just imagining that someone was dead long enough to be caked on to the grass is *reches* :pinkiesick:
Have you ever smelled anything rotting? And she's here touching and spooning his corpse. Not only that, but she takes the damn thing with her!

Did you not enjoy my company? I thought the silence and comfort of my own home would keep you calm and happy. Was my bedroom not to your satisfaction? Wasn’t… I?

Is that why you left? I wasn’t good enough for you? Is that why I woke up one morning and found you gone from your place next to me?

*vomits* :pinkiesick: I'm trying to set my personal tastes aside and judge this on the merits that it’s an actual story but the implications of what is going on are just revolting.

In the end she kills herself to join her love in the afterlife.

The Subjective side of me is absolutely horrified by this. Most sexual preferences that involve things like urine, scat, decay, etc. disgust me to no end. I never judge those who are into that kind of thing, but me myself. No that's just fucking no!

The Objective Side of me is rather impressed, even though the italics are annoying. Quite honestly, this could have been written normally and it would have the same effect. The prose flows like water, and the alliteration is entertaining and pulls you in, which in a story dealing with loving a dead body, is something that you want to avoid.

Mr. Authorman, keep up this caliber of writing, but please don't ever write anything like this again...

Title: A Talk Between Sisters to by Saberking2012
Amount Read: All (~2,300 words)
Rating:
Plot 13/20
Structure and Technicals 6/10
Characters 7.5/10
Subjective 7.5/10
Total 34/50
Verdict: 7/10 - Recommend Reject (upon second and third review)

Rationale:
This story was not without its problems, namely in its length and the plot suffered for that. Ultimately, the plot was the critical factor in deciding whether this story was accepted or not. The plot was structured around a single conversation and the reflections of a character after said conversation, yet it still manages maintain, in a short period of time, a number of subplots. Unfortunately, these are not fleshed out as fully as Unfortunately, the plot itself was relatively non-existent; it consists of a few subplots, which are tied together by a simple conversation. This isn't an altogether unique idea, though it is not so common as to become cliche. While the plot was overall neither good, nor terrible, the technical and structural aspects of the story were overall poor and there was little distinction between scenes. While there were some systemic errors in the story that would be difficult to eliminated without a number of revisions, there were also some smaller errors that cropped up from time to time, that could be fixed with a revision by a pre reader or editor. This story came close to meeting the mark. It was a slightly low seven, and upon further reviews the decision was made to reject it. Were the story to reviewed and the mistakes corrected, I believe that this story might have a chance in the group.

Title: Seedling Springing in Love
Author: Saberking2012
Read: 100%
Decision: Reject

Such a shame, bratan, you almost made it.

Plot: Babs gets feelings for Pipsqueak. Awkwardness ensues. It's kinda cute and kinda angsty, reminding me of what it was like to be young and infatuated and that desperate insanity that goes into talking to your crush, as well as the crushing pain of being rebuffed, only I only ever got rebuffed until I learned my lesson, having learned I was completely undesirable and ugly. At least this one has a happy ending. Your handling of the plot is somewhat messy, with what looked like a complete rejection of Babs coming from what felt like nowhere and leading to what was too large of a rift to be healed so easily. At that point, I fully expected the story to come to a sad end for our protagonist. Instead, you reached all the way around for a happy friendship ending, which I thought fit pretty well considering the age of the characters, their relationship, as well as Pipsqueak's admitted feelings. Then you overreached and gave it a romantic conclusion, which strains belief. Still, I was engaged all the way through, and as I thought earlier, writing longer stories is definitely allowing you to do more and engage the reader better. You are doing a good job of taking advice given to you.

Characters: I liked this part. Each character has some distinct flavoring, personality, and style. You do a very good job of conveying the semi cynical half tough girl that Babs Seed is in canon through your use of the first person perspective. Pipsqueak was a nice addition and it was fun to see him trying to be tough and dashing. Having been the little guy for all my life, I definitely understand that. I've never heard of the PipSeed ship before now, but I definitely like it. Alas, if LunaSqueak weren't my OTP...

Mechanics: This is where the story really falls apart. You especially need to go through the first half of this story with a very fine comeb Numerous comma issues, problems with capitalization, homophones, punctuation, tenses, and moods. You can do better.

Execution: It was okay. Your prose is noticeably improving from your earlier submissions. The only gripe with your attempt at more sophisticated writing is smashing us repeatedly in the face with the symbolism of the two flowers, going so far as to explicitly tell us that they are linked with our trouble couple. I enjoyed the introspection Babs gave at the beginning, and I feel like with some explanation for her cynicism, it would really bring her to life and add an entire extra layer of depth to the story. I am glad to see you being ambitious and trying. You are almost there, kid.

If you rewrote with a skilled helper, this could conceivably make it in. Keep trying, kid. :)

Title: A Shadow of the Dusk
Author: Randome284
Read: 100%
Decision: Reject

A short little story about a mysterious OC. What could possibly go wrong? Well, not very much; it's only a thousand words long. As such, there's not very much to it, and the little we learn provides more answers than questions.

Plot: A mysterious mare saves young Applejack (we only find out her identity thanks to the TAGS - GRR! :twilightangry2:) from being totally rekt by a gang of thugs, because not doing it would doom the world, and then the thugs decide to turn on the protagonist because they just like being psychopaths a la Hostel.

Characters: The story is entirely told in first person from a mysterious POV by an OC. This OC is remarkably inconsistent. For example, she is clairvoyant enough to know who will be important in history and what is going to happen years in advance, but too stupid to figure out that her friends are thugs and not really her friends. The lent a supernatural edge to the whole story, especially as the protagonist holds little typical regard for herself or her own feelings. I'd like to see more staring this protagonist.

Mechanics: All fine on the grammatical front.

Notes: The ending was a bit confusing. It took me a few reads to figure out exactly what happened, and even then I'm still not sure. Author, if you could explain this, that would actually be pretty nice. You certainly have a knack for mystery and for unorthodox writing. Whatever fueled this experiment, I wouldn't mind seeing more come from that.

Title: Hidden Happiness
Author: Biker Dash
Read: 100%
Decision: Accept

Well well well, I finally know what a Roald Dahl story would look like if he wrote whoreswords. I have to give this my complete acceptance.

Plot: Homeless orphan Scootaloo gets a new famly. The plot is simple but wholesome. We really come to understand Scootaloo's struggle and identify with her. The moment when she is welcomed into Derpy's family is heartwarming.

Characters: Very well done. Scootaloo is believable and with a distinct personality. You have done very well at writing the psychology of a confused, desperate child.

Mechanics: You have some issues in the last third with jumbling tenses, and you have a few issues with commas. Other than that, carry on.

Notes: Was it you who sent those damn ghost ninjas to chop onions in here?

Title: Stand at Attention, Corporal! by NephoxVenom
Amount Read: All (~11,000 words)
Rating:
Plot (not that kind, get your mind out of the gutter) 16/20
Structure and Technicals 8/10
Characters 8/10
Subjective 7/10
Total 39/50
Verdict: 8/10 - Recommend: Accept

Rationale:
This story, at a cursory glance of the cover may appear to be little more than award-winning, gay smut. That's not to say that it isn't; there are several thousand words dedicated to the sex and thousands more to the direct buildup, yet it also dedicates time to exploring the tensions and nervousness of the characters involved. Over eleven thousands words the author explores the characters and fleshes the out. This could have been done with fewer words, but what matters is that the author fleshed out the characters to sufficient level within a reasonable number of words. As a side note, the expectation I hold is that characters will be fleshed to a basic level within a reasonable number of words, then if there are more words, that the author fleshes them out more fully (i.e. if within 100k words you only deliver a basic level of characterization, that is too little for the amount of story and it would therefore lose points). There were a few technical errors, though nothing too egregious that it caused any interruption in reading. The first 1/5 could have stood to be dragged out a little more, with less telling and more description that invites readers to examine the world, rather than forcibly informing them of information. The plot was well structured, even if a slightly unoriginal premise. Despite this, and that the story takes no real liberties with the premise that would push its boundaries, the story was well done and well planned out.

Story: Something New by Minds Eye
Amount read:All of it
Verdict: 8/10

Premise
I appreciate a nice Slice of Life now and then, at least as long as it tells me something interesting about the characters involved in the story.

This story did exactly that and surprised me with it.

It is also quite difficult to talk about it, as it would be easy to spoiler it.

Dear author, you put me in a difficult position, but I will try to do my job here anyway.

Summary
Luna has a fashion emergency, and Rarity comes to aid. The consequences will be quite unexpected.

Technical aspect
The prose is elegant and perfectly integrated with the story. It is colored by the point of view of the character we are following, and the word choices and the flow tells us often something about the inner life of Rarity even when her feelings and musing are not explicitly stated in the text.

Story
The story is a character study with an interesting turn that shifts the perspective of what we read. Recontextualising things is a tried and true technique, but it still yields results when one manages to pull it off. Which happened here.

I have also to move my only meaningful criticism to the structure of the story, the reason it didn't score higher for me.

The problem I see is that it probably needs to be tightened. While I see the reason why the things are written in that way, I still think a little scalpel applied here and there in the middle would improve the flow. There are paragraphs where the story dithers and which could be either reworked or removed. Not many, mind you, but still they are there.

Highlights
The glimpse about the Equestrian legal system is interesting, and hints at a society far more backwards than we suspect, at least in some specific areas.

Conclusion
This is a story which only makes sense if considered in its entirety. While the single segments seem disconnected or simply dragging its feet, but at the end it all comes together in an interesting portrait of Rarity and how she relates to the world and to her family.

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