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Loganberry
Group Admin

June is here, so it's time for Flashfic 150 round three! I'm going to keep the rules the same as last time -- including that feedback is opt-in. If you want feedback, please put "Feedback welcome" at the foot of your entry. If you're offering feedback (after the closing date), please respect authors' preferences on this matter.

Here are the full rules.

Remember, there is no prize, as such, for this contest -- but if you win, you will be able to choose the prompt for the July contest. You'll also get a mention on the group's front page, which I'm sure our previous winners will confirm will be the absolute highlight of your month. :unsuresweetie:

Prompt: "Wouldn't be caught dead" (selected by last month's winner, PostNinja)
Rating: E or T
Word limit: 150
Closing date: Wednesday 21st June 2017, 11:59 pm UK time (world clock)

Please reply to this post with your entry. This makes it easier for me to keep track. Please do not leave feedback until after the closing date.

Entries are now open! Have fun!

5969884
Since I was so darn late the last time, it's only fitting to be early this time, no? :raritywink:

She Wanna Rock (Rock!)

Fleur, you silly little filly. This is your house—no need to act all sneaky!

She retreated to her bedroom and set the "borrowed" record spinning. One could certainly appreciate the rhythm, but lyrics and sounds were a chaotic mess, far from her refined preferences. However, that band had a special place in her daughter’s heart and Fleur wanted to know why. She needed to understand.

So she turned the volume up, but soon her humming muffled the verse.

So she turned the volume up, but soon her singing drowned out the refrain.

So she turned the volume up, but soon her shouting overpowered the chorus.

The song was over before she knew it, leaving her with a hammering heart, disheveled mane, but above all, a smile.

Fleur returned the vinyl where it belonged. She then put a needle on again and sauntered around the empty house, accompanied by Beethooven’s classics.

So that's that! The magic counter says it's valid. Also, by now it should be obvious that I'll be basing those entries around the characters of Fleur, Fancy Pants, and their daughter Chestnut, and I'll be using the prompts to build towards a little anthology to go with a story I wrote. I apologize in advance for the lack of variety this will inevitably cause.

That said, feedback is of course welcome!

5969884

In the Night

Through the gloom of night I creep
(Oh, sister, why do must vex me so?)
While most other ponies are fast asleep
(But then, what would they know?)

Outside the moon shines full and bright
(Though few are awake to see.)
The bats do all play out of sight
(Oh would that one were me!)

The castle halls seem cold and dark
(Though my sister seems not to care.)
Garish designs have left their mark
(Though naught of the night is there.)

In her bedroom I quietly sneak
(Though her snores do fill the hall.)
As I step forward, the floor does creak
(But she does not hear at all.)

Of the course to take, I have no doubt
(The reasons should be plain to see.)
As I raise my hoof towards her snout
(And boop her thoroughly!)

“Honestly, Luna, can’t this wait until morning?”

*boop*

Don’t know what feedback this will get, but you can leave it!

--Sweetie Belle

I started to write an entry, my first for this sort of contest... just my first two sentences were 40 words. This is hard! :raritydespair:

5969884
YES! 150 words exactly. I got skills, bro.

I would never be caught dead, holding something that I have read
And if they find I like Daring Do, I shall deny it and simply moo
Everypony thinks I’m silly, and for that I fear I am guilty
But much like all the rest, I am more than a simple pest
There is quite a bit of me to see, like how I know Fluttershy’s a tree
And if you but asked of me, I would share with you my tea
We would discuss the mysteries of life, wish sadly includes all of the strife
But if you stay through nightfall, then I shall tell you of it all
And when you look me in the eye, you will know I am Pinkie Pie
Even though this has been a bore, allow me to say it once more
I would never be caught dead, reading books like an egghead

If any of you want to add feedback, you are more than welcome to.

Loganberry
Group Admin

Three days to go, everyone! (Okay, a few minutes under now.)

Under 150 words for a change

Changing Times

Chrysalis flew over Canterlot, greeting a passing pegasus with a cheery hello with the mare returning the gesture. Her new colourful chitin seemingly glowed in the mid afternoon sun, and the city looked peaceful despite the daily activity in the streets below.

 As Chrysalis headed down towards the Castle, she could see the white Alicorn setting up the tea service as usual, and the changeling landed graceful into the seat set out for her.

 “Good Afternoon my dear. Cucumber Sandwich?” The sun princess asked with a large smile on her face “or perhaps you’d be interested in one of these freshly baked scones I made for you. The trick is to use extra butter when -”


Chrysalis shock her head as she and the swarm flew from their broken old hive and away from the pony prey. “Friendship?" She snorted with anger "Over my…”

As this was put together in ten minutes on a hot day in a rush because I forgot about it, either no feedback or just something short please.

5969884

Okay, actually going to remember to do something this time!

Your fashion sense is probably on point;
I'm sure that ponies who know froo-froo junk
All love your style--that's why they anoint
Your dresses "good" and not "a pile of bunk."

But I'll be honest, Rares: you see, to me,
It all looks--what's the word, now--kinda... bad.
This hat's, like, five feet wide, shaped like a tree,
It's totally the opposite of rad!

But even if it's massively uncool,
I still show up when you ask me to model.
I put this stupid hat on, like a fool,
And, in these heels, just try not to waddle.

So why do I put up with this lame stuff?
The smile on your face is thanks enough.

Feedback would be welcome, but don't feel obligated to come up with something--lord knows it can be hard to say much about so few words!

Loganberry
Group Admin

Thank you to everyone who's submitted fics so far.

For the rest of you, there are now 24 hours to go before entries close!

5993935
5994112
Be sure and edit your post so it's a reply to the OP. That's how Loganberry tracks entries.

5994566

Oops! That's what I get for skimming the rules. Thanks for the reminder!

5969884
Wow, lots of poetry this time around.

This is based on part of my story "He Kindly Stopped for Me," but I think it stands alone well. 150 words again.

Tough Love

“Hello again,” Death said, gently landing on the dreamscape.

Luna nodded, but her eyes… something had broken. He’d seen it enough in parents when he ushered children away. “Thank you for visiting,” she said.

A sense of life on the moon had drawn his attention long ago They’d shared many interesting conversations. Thankfully, Nightmare Moon preferred to brood instead of interfering.

She had more to say, but kept silent. Very unlike her—she spoke her mind, but today, she hung her head.
 
“When,” she began. He almost jumped. “When you go this time, please take me with you.”

No! He would leave, and tomorrow, she’d forget, and…

She’d ask him every day for the rest of her thousand years. He couldn’t help her, but he could force her to live. And… he would see her again, someday. In Equestria.

He turned and left her, so alone, amid the sound of tears.

Feedback is fine.

5969884
Unless I miscounted, this is 150 words on the spot, excluding the title:

Technicalities

Twilight Sparkle was momentarily stunned by what she saw before her.  Discord was helping Spike organize a section of her castle library. 

She shook her head. "Uh, Discord?  I thought you once said you would never be caught dead doing anything orderly, so why are you sorting my library?  That's one of the most orderly things I can imagine."

"Oh, please, Twilight.  Of course I said that, and I meant it.  I obviously won't be caught dead doing this sort of thing, since as you can see, I'm quite alive and well.  Besides, as a spirit of chaos, I'll possibly be undead before dead, so that turn of phrase applies differently to me."

"Undead before dead? Wait, what?!"

"Oh, by the way, I've taken the liberty to rearrange some contents of these books.  It's all lovely gibberish now. Happy reading! Toodles!" Discord disappeared with a snap.

"DISCORD!" Twilight's eye twitched.

Feedback is perfectly acceptable and appreciated, no matter if it's a short and quick opinion or a detailed review (for as detailed a review as 150 words can get, anyway.)

Loganberry
Group Admin

5973519 5980161 5993935 5994112 5994650 5995363 5984353

Okay, submissions are now closed! A much smaller entry than in the previous two months, with just seven fics submitted. Still enough to hold interest, though, so thank you to everyone who entered!

Feedback is now open. As usual, please respect the wishes of entrants in this regard, as follows:

Feedback okay
Chris, gamexpert1990, MLPMatthewl419, Pascoite, Prane, SweetAl Belle.

No feedback please
Guiding Breeze. (Specifically "either no feedback or just something short please", but I think that's closer to this category than the other one.)

I will now retire to consider my verdict, and will announce the winner on Saturday 24th June.

5995429
Sorry man, I had planned to write something but I had some schedule disruption earlier in the month and lost track of the time.

Next month... :rainbowdetermined2:

5973519
The difference between the first and second paragraphs in perspective is a bit jarring. The first seems to make it first or possibly second person, but the next paragraph is in third person. So I'd recommend rewording the opening paragraph as third person or italicizing it to make it a quoted thought. Ah yes, a continuation of last month's characters. Another nice scene with a bit of character growth, just enough to elevate it above being nothing but a scene. Though the way you take a more personal-sounding limited narrator in the longest paragraph should carry through all that time she's finding she really enjoys the music. That part sounds so stoic right where she should be the most expressive of her pleasure. Had it been an omniscient narrator, sure, but once you choose limited, play it to its strengths.

5980161
A bit of the language here is wonky. Look, I know poetry is hard to write. You did enter early in the month and had plenty of time to revise, though. So looking only at the poetic form, I can forgive some minor stretches of rhyme and rhythm. So let's look at the syllable counts line by line, and grouped by stanza.
7, 9, 10, 6
8, 7, 8, 6
8, 8, 8, 7
9, 7, 9, 7
9, 8, 8, 6

There aren't terrible deviations for the most part, but that 10-6 couplet is really unbalanced. Still, it helps if you can make it as regular as possible. Now let's look at rhythm. As is the standard, I'll use / for stressed syllables and - for unstressed.
--/-/-/
-/-/--/-/
-//-/--/-/
-/-/-/

-/-/-/-/
-/--/-/
-/-/-/-/
-/-/-/

-/-/-/-/
--/-/--/
/--/-/-/
-/--/-/

--/--/--/
--/-/-/
---/--/-/
-/--/-/

--/-/-/-/
-/---/-/
--/-/--/
-/-/-/

So the rhythm never settles into anything regular. I spent months getting a few hundred lines of poetry just right, so I know how hard it can be, even though some people can fire it off automatically (I'm looking at you, horizon). But it's what you chose, so it's worth getting it right.

Moving on from the structural stuff then, I'll go to the plot. I see the parenthetical lines are regularly spaced, which I'll assume is intentional. I don't know that they have to be parenthetical, as they could fit into the sentences as is, but that's a YMMV thing. It's very cute, but I'm a little confused as to the context. Is Luna genuinely angry here? Like is this pre-Nightmare Moon or just before "A Royal Problem"? Or is it Luna only playing at being angry to add some vitality to her fantasy? Really, either way could work. If she's trying to work off her anger at this minor assault she knows Celestia won't call her out on, it's an interesting and almost shocking juxtaposition of how Luna seeks to mitigate real feelings of power-grabbing and violent intent through a seemingly playful and childlike intent. Or if it's a more self-deprecating way of admitting her past to herself and weave it into her play, that creates a different theme. But when I can't tell which it is, it just ends up a bit confusing, and not in a way that the ambiguity itself is the story's message, given Celestia's humorous response.

So I wrote way too much about that one, but it was really cute, while it could use a little clarity and more formal adherence to a regular structure. Yes, poetry doesn't have to have a structure, but when you're really close to having one, it comes across as an intent to, even if that intent wasn't there.

5984353
You have a number of the same issues as the one above, so just look there for the general points about rhythm. For instance, your first line would have perfect meter (depending on whether you read "never be caught dead" as //-// or /-/-/) if you just dropped "that," which isn't even grammatically necessary. I believe you meant "wish" to be "which." This one's a bit confusing, too. The "you will know I am Pinkie Pie" I have no reason not to take literally, yet the poem seems more to be about Rainbow Dash, and it's kind of hard to hear her voice in poetry, but maybe that's just me. The part about tea suggests more Twilight, Fluttershy, or Rarity, and the bit about being silly goes back to seeming like Pinkie, so that's what I'll conclude, yet in "Read it and Weep," all 5 of the other girls said they liked to read, in order to encourage Dash to. So I'm not sure why Pinkie would now say she'd hate to be caught reading. I'm left not really knowing what to say about this, because I don't understand it.

5993935
Feedback kind of not requested? I'll just say there were some mechanical things, and the second scene confuses me, as it says they're both leaving their hive and going away from Canterlot, so I don't know where they're headed or why. But I really liked the implication in the first scene that Celestia enjoyed a form of friendship with Chrysalis, even if Chrysalis didn't feel the same way back, and was maybe just playing it for a tactical advantage.

5994112
Man, I guess I just got spoiled by AugieDog's entry last time. I wonder if he ended up encouraging the poets this time around, as we suddenly got 3 of them. But this one also has rhythm problems. It's structured like a sonnet, but here's the rhythm pattern from the first stanza:
-/-/-/-/-/ (10)
-/-/--/--/ (10)
-/-/-/--/ (9, though "style" can kind of be stretched to 2 syllables, and then the iambic pentameter kind of works)
-/-/-/-/-/ (10)

Really, this could mostly fall into gray areas, but that second line—I just can't get more than one stressed syllable out of "ponies who." Likwise, the "shaped like a tree" can be forced into the rhythm pattern you want there, but the key word is "forced." Nice use of female rhyme in the third stanza, but the second line of it comes up a syllable short. The "when you ask me" also gets pushed into a barely viable but unnatural-sounding stress pattern. Like the earlier "style," you're letting the "smile" in the final line occupy two syllables, which... I can buy, but it's dangerous to try getting away with that too often.

As to the plot, though, this is a lovely little subtle piece of RariDash, as enduring for someone you love speaks much louder than the narrator just saying they're in love and having her make googly eyes and do things she likes doing anyway.

5994650
I've had about enough of you.

5995363
I already love your first line. I think the parting joke was the weakest, because it's the most expected, and that's unfortunate to end on, since the other jokes were much better. Arguing that the "wouldn't caught dead" is logically satisfied? Nice. And that he might be undead? I'm not even sure what he means, but I still liked it. Having him say it was very chaotic to organize things since that goes directly against expectations? Now that's funny. And humor often is precisely going against expectations. Making some sort of reaction out of that or giving Twilight something to think about would have been a better ending, in my opinion, since the actual ending is pretty much what I thought would happen right from the first sentence.


Not sure which I'd say is my favorite. Maybe SweetAI Belle's, if I understood it better. Other than that, it's between Chris's understated shipping notes or gamexpert1990's use of Discord turning logic on its head.

Feedback:
5980161
This one was alright, though I gotta agree with Pascoite's comments one the rhythm. The whole parentheses thing was also kinda confusing.

5984353
Was this inspired by Sweetie's or something?

5993935
Something short? This is surprisingly filled with the good kind of questions as to what it actually is. But I believe I have settled on an answer. Chrysalis is imagining what friendship with Celestia would be like.

5994112
RD's voice? AJ's voice? No, gotta be RD. Well, alright. I mean, it's a little uninteresting for me, but it is the best of the poetry in my opinion.

5994650
It stands alone well enough, I guess. But this probably would have been better with more words. Also, it's kinda depressing.

5995363
While this is a great idea, and execution of said idea, I can't enjoy it due to Discord. Like, he doesn't seem right. I have a feeling, however, that this would be a lot better with more words.


Response to feedback:
5997689

I believe you meant "wish" to be "which."

*headdesks*

Anyway, I wrote it to be how Pinkie is more then just a "silly pony," but I also added a "silliness" to the writing itself, so it's sort of this circle-writing. As to the Read it and Weep issue, here is the exact quote:

Yeah! I love reading, and my head isn't even close to the shape of an egg! It's more the shape of an apple, or maybe an orange, but a big orange! More like a grapefruit really...

Yes, Pinkie did say she loves reading. But the other five seemed to focus more on the second part of that sentence, the rambling on head shapes. And such is the problem Pinkie was presented with. Because of that ramble, they focused on her silliness rather than how she also enjoys normal things. Then my warp core of a brain started overloading with ideas, such as what if she also enjoys tea. And we already know she knows everything about everypony, no matter how secret it is. And before I knew it, I had that thing.

So, yeah, thanks for the feedback!

Loganberry
Group Admin

Quick heads-up -- I'll be doing the announcement in the evening UK time this time round, so you have a bit more time to exchange/discuss feedback if you'd like. :twilightsmile:

Okay, let's give this "feedback" thing a try. In keeping with Logan's stylings for this thing, I'm going to keep my thoughts short and all-positive:

5973519
The best thing about this story is the third, fourth, and fifth paragraph, which feel like they come straight out of a children's book. I can easily see them illustrated, one page apiece.

5980161

The rhyming words all actually rhyme (not everyone remembers to do that...) and the ending is very cute.

5984353

Pinkie being ashamed of--or at least, embarrassed by--her literary tendencies is an idea I've never seen before, and I've read a lot of fanfiction. So, points for originality!

5993935

The opening gives us a nice hook, with Chryssi being somewhere (and being reacted to in a way that) demands explanation.

5994112

Tots obvs teh bestest~

5994650

Very melancholy. The sheer amount of time you reveal at the end drives that home.

5995363

How very Discord-ish; I imagine Fluttershy will frown disapprovingly at him until he puts the words back where they belong at some point, but that's probably cold comfort to Twilight in the meantime.

*****

That's it! Thanks to 5997689 and 5997735 for their feedback (I ended up sacrificing a bit of structure to try to make sure Dash's voice came through clearly; of course, if you're choosing between structure and voicing, it means you're doing it wrong); looking forward to seeing what Logan thinks of the lot!

5997886
I actually thought of those lines as three comic panels, so your interpretation is both lovely and accurate - thanks! :twilightsmile:

Loganberry
Group Admin

5973519 5980161 5984353 5993935 5994112 5994650 5995363

Results time!

Given the considerably smaller number of entries this time, I'll just pick a single winner. Should the entry grow again in future, I'll go back to adding a runner-up or two. I found this month's contest a pretty hard one to judge -- probably the hardest of all three editions so far. In the end, though, I'm going to pick Chris as the winner. Maybe it's just my own weird British accent, but his poem mostly sounds pretty natural when I read it aloud. I will say that "anoint" had me in two minds: under normal circumstances it's a pretty un-Rainbow-like word -- but I'm guessing it's intended as a nod to the influence Rarity has had on her. I think I can buy that.

Congratulations, Chris! You now have until the end of this month to select the July prompt. When you've decided, please post it in this thread. I'll put the new one up on 1st July. As always, thank you to everyone who entered -- and if anyone's reading and would like to join in next time, please do! :twilightsmile:

Congratulations to the winner, and thanks 5998323 for once again setting the contest up! :twilightsmile:

Gosh dammit, Chris, stop making poems work for brits only.

But actually, congrats, man.

5998323

Glad you liked it, Logan! And, after thinking about it a bit, I know what I want the prompt for next month to be:

"Crossing Over"

You, ah, might want to reiterate the "no crossovers" rule in next month's thread, assuming this is okay :twilightblush:

5999217
5999369

Thank you both!

Loganberry
Group Admin

5999410
Sounds like a fun prompt, especially given the "no crossovers" rule. Definitely okay!

Everyone, since there are a few days before July begins and I post next month's contest thread, feel free to continue to exchange feedback/comments/whatever in this thread if you like. :twilightsmile:

5999781
Of course no crossover doesn't apply to the EqG universe does it? Bit obvious I know, but I have an idea.

5997689 5997735 5997886
Thank you all very much for the feedback, I really do appreciate it, despite my late response. :twilightsheepish:

Oh, and speaking of late responses, here's a belated congratulations to you, 5994112. Nicely done! :twilightsmile:


I already love your first line.

Considering the general importance of a first line, all I can say is: :yay:

I think the parting joke was the weakest, because it's the most expected, and that's unfortunate to end on, since the other jokes were much better.
[...]
Making some sort of reaction out of that or giving Twilight something to think about would have been a better ending, in my opinion, since the actual ending is pretty much what I thought would happen right from the first sentence.

Yeah, I probably could have stopped about 20 or 30 words short, which would get rid of that expectation, but I just couldn't help myself from having Discord pull a straight-up prank. :trollestia:

And that he might be undead? I'm not even sure what he means, but I still liked it.

I'm the one who wrote that line, and I'm not even entirely sure what he meant. :derpytongue2:


While this is a great idea, and execution of said idea,

Thanks!

I can't enjoy it due to Discord. Like, he doesn't seem right.

Any chance you can elaborate how he seems "off" to you, please? :unsuresweetie:

I have a feeling, however, that this would be a lot better with more words.

Maybe, but I did hit the word limit here, so that option wasn't available. :derpytongue2: (Maybe I'll expand the idea someday, but I will not make any guarantees.)


How very Discord-ish;

That's pretty much what I was aiming for, I'm glad I managed to hit my target. :pinkiehappy:

I imagine Fluttershy will frown disapprovingly at him until he puts the words back where they belong at some point, but that's probably cold comfort to Twilight in the meantime.

Yeah, that sounds like a very likely scenario... Either that, or Twilight's already heading over to Flutterhshy's to try and persuade her to use The StareTM on Discord. :twilightangry2:

6000858
Elaboration, eh?

Pretty much everything I can think of eventually leads to Discord being rushed. You didn't have enough space to fully flesh out his character, and as such he suffered.

Loganberry
Group Admin

6000756 6000862
gamexpert1990 is correct -- the Equestria Girls universe is a special case. If you're going to use anything from the three specials, just hold back on posting until they've aired in the US -- but as far as the feature films and the general EqG world are concerned, go for it. :twilightsmile:

5997689
To be honest, I *haven't* written much poetry. Haikus occasionally, 'cause it's a kinda fun count the syllables thing, and I've thought before I should get more practice in it, especially with some of the interesting challenge type forms like a sestina, but never quite got to it. This ended up as poetry because it went well with Luna and her over the top, semi-silly angst. Looking at the counts, it does look like I should've gone back and revised the first verse to batch the others better.

Stresses and rhythm is something I'm not good at and didn't even think about, though, I'll have to look closer at it next time. I'm still surprised there was so much other poetry this time!

My intent when writing this was for it to be pre-Nightmare Moon, and sort of like some of it is things she legitimately feels, but she's over-exaggerating it and playing it up. Celestia, OTOH, is mostly exasperated with and amused at her sister. At least, thought's how I thought of it, but obviously not as much is coming out in the writing.

I probably do need to hang on to these for at least a day or two before posting them, I suppose...

5997886
Thanks, and congratulations on winning!

--Sweetie Belle

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