Quills and Sofas Speedwriting 169 members · 297 stories
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I’m crying, and I can hear them crying with me. The sky cries as best it can, a cascade of meteors, a desperate simulacra of this saline catharsis that streaks my cheeks. These doomed satellites that criss-crossed the sky like hatch marked razor scars were trying their hardest as the light of the sun slowly burned their contrails from view.

I wonder if she could hear them too? Can she hear me sing in turn, late at night? I hope so.


Atlas Song, themoontonite

In just ten months the Quills and Sofas Speedwriting group has managed to produce a staggering 755 contest entries, 212 of which were published and 79 of which were featured following their release. And all of this was done in 100 contests.

While every entry into the 100th contest was stunning and amazing in its own way, there was one work that stood out enough to sweep the first place vote by a large margin and earn a much-deserved victory: themoontonite’s Atlas Song.

Moontonite’s work has frequently been praised as belonging to a very high caliber of writing. “Dawn’s an undisputed mistress of metaphor, and this fic’s telling through the changing environment shows how,” said Vis-A-Viscera. The weight of her writing coupled with exemplary metaphors are extremely powerful. “Dawn’s story always have a strange feel to them, one that almost seems translucent and dream-like, with prose so precise that each line hits like a missile,” claimed Red Parade. 

“Every single time I read a piece by Dawn, I always end up tearing up. The prose is beautiful, not a word out of place, each one chosen to fit the mood,” agreed Silent Whisper. Snow Quill as well was swept away by Atlas Song, saying “Where to even begin with this one...Dawn is an absolute queen of prose and emotions. I feel so many things reading this, I don’t even know how to start explaining it.”

One of the core strengths of Atlas Song is its ability to retell a well-known story in a beautiful and haunting way. “ Celestia's anguish over what happened with Luna is well known, but Dawn frames it through the lens of someone that knows (whether by a connection to the fabric of reality or just naturally) that she'll exist until the end of things,” praised Flashgen. “Slowly but surely, Dawn paints a vivid picture of the calm chaos going through the Princess' mind. She seeks her own confessor up above, hence the mention of the stars. She longs to close the gulf between her and her family, so she talks of the relatively shorter  distance between herself and the celestial bodies - one of which she commands,” agreed Vis-a-Viscera.

Truely, the concept of Celestia’s anguish and longing for her sister is one that most fans of the show have encountered before, but never like this. “We all know the tragedy of Luna’s banishment, and hearing it from Celestia’s point of view is nothing new on its own, but I found myself in tears as I read the last paragraph, and everything completely clicked for me,” said Silent Whisper.

“Perhaps at its core, the story of Celestia’s loss has been told hundreds of thousands of times. But never has it been told like this, in such beauty and such form,” summed up Red Parade.

But further, it was the prose and vocabulary that truly made this story a standout in a crowd of ten other stories. “ It reads like a poem and flows like a story, it sounds like a song and it hits like a truck,” said Red Parade.

Snow Quill likened it to a song rather than a story, saying “Atlas Song was beautiful and I find myself reading it over and over with no less sense of wonder and enjoyment. This story, this ‘song’, is an experience, and I greatly look forward to reading more like it.”

Flashgen drew attention to the repeating comparisons and extended metaphors to the stars and the night, saying “The use of the voices from the stars, despite the fact they say they'll burn out, gives a sort of timeless, ephemeral feeling to it all. That Celestia can speak to and reconcile with their mother long past, or her sister unchanged, only adds to that.”

“It’s beautiful in the way that a full-on orchestral piece is beautiful. She paints a picture with emotions, and never fails to make me feel changed by the end of her piece,” concluded Silent Whisper. Red Parade also admired the language and vocabulary employed in the work, saying that “Throughout the story, Dawn draws on a small arsenal of vocabulary words that simply add and enrich this story, and each word hits just as hard as the last, as in the line ‘a desperate simulacra of this saline catharsis.’”

The story very clearly left an impact on its readers, reflected upon by each of the reviewers. Each reader left the work carrying a strange feeling of sorrow and hope, highlighted brilliantly throughout the passage. “That's not even touching on how the imagery gives context to all of the anguish Celestia expresses, grounding the descriptions. It helps add to a sort of dreamlike feeling I got,” remarked Flashgen. Red Parade agreed, claiming that “Atlas Song is a story that will stay in my heart for a long time, and it deserves all the love in the world and more. “

Vis-A-Viscera concluded with “I… doubt I’ll see a more vivid story than this in FIMFic this year. But if I do, I’ll be sure to send the author Dawn’s way. Talent like this deserves as many people as possible reading it, experiencing it… and spreading it across the world,” a point agreed upon by Snow Quill in her statement that “Atlas Song was beautiful and I find myself reading it over and over with no less sense of wonder and enjoyment.”

“This is the sort of thing I’d expect to read in a collection of the best Luna or Celestia stories, and I look forward to everything she plans to write next, hungry for more experiences,” praised Silent Whisper. 

Moontonite herself took a second to thank and appreciate her fellow contest authors, saying that “I'm glad I joined the server, because I wouldn’t be half the writer I am without it and would be missing some amazing friendships. Can't wait till contest 200!” 

Check out Atlas Song for yourself here.

In just ten months the Quills and Sofas Speedwriting group has managed to produce a staggering 755 contest entries, 212 of which were published and 79 of which were featured following their release. And all of this was done in 100 contests.

Not too far off of 40% of entries get featured. That blows my mind. These are time constraint speed writes and that is a very high percentage to be making the feature box. That is indicative of how talented you all are. This story, in my opinion, was one of the best yet. Congrats and thank you moontonite.

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