The Solar Flare Review 13 members · 0 stories

Hello folks,

I'm starting a pair of blogs/e-'zines
- to showcase the good stories on FiMFiction and
- to host discussion of how to write it.

They will be critical and fun with a strong editorial voice and standards similar to Equestria Daily. Unlike EqD, they will not autoreject fics by subject: if someone can beat the odds and write Brony-in-Equestria Halo-crossover cloppy slasher-horror that tugs at the heartstrings and makes me laugh and cry, I want to find an audience for it.

The Solar Flare Review will be for general audiences and The Lunar Annex will deal in mature fare.

We're going to grab recently-completed stories from FiMFiction and pick the best. Then, we'll talk about why they're the best and what they don't do perfectly.

More than anything, I need slush-readers, folks to do that sorting. You don't need to be an established author or critic; I only ask that you be well enough read now to be able to recommend eight fics and briefly tell me what's good and bad about them.

I also need articles, a few editors (please start as an SR first), and creative visual folks ('cuz that's not my talent).

If you'd like to contribute or lurk the creative process, please swing by

If you'd like to receive The Solar Flare Review by e-mail when it's ready

or by FiMFiction,

Eustatian Wings
Editor in Chief

Comments ( 9 )
  • Viewing 1 - 9 of 9

I might not be able to to many reviews, but I might be able to cobble together some graphics. someone else will have to PDF-ify them, since I'm not good with that, but I'll help however I can.

Can't wait to get thing started! :3

You're welcome. Just be glad I found you folks after beating some sense into a couple fanbrats. I might've been far more abrasive otherwise. Still, glad to see intelligent folk working to improve writing quality and the like, aside from myself. Let me know if you need a hand or sommat. I might be willing to help.

Thanks! Good idea, that's the kind of response I wanted to hear.

On a side note, any ideas on how to find more staff?
Depends on what sort you're looking for. If you're looking for clueless interns that know nothing about decent writing and can barely spell beyond a third-grade level, I'd suggest going through the various shipping and writing help groups and seeking out those enthusiastic little bastards.
If you're looking for folk that know what they're talking about: Hello! Newsflash: This is a bloody fanfic site. Do you honestly think you're going to have much success on this front? On a more serious note, I'd suggest going to some of the most popular/reviewed stories, and browsing through the comments for concritters. Might take a while, but you can be sure to get your hands on some intelligent men and women.
Alternatively, you can go looking for concrit flamers and trolls, but that's exceedingly risky and I wouldn't recommend it unless you've got some wits about you.

Oh, and some of the forums might have some decent concritters.

Good luck~

284326 I found some reference materials for Notes on the Craft :

A fanfic writing guide
A TVtropes list for common mistakes
And one final TVtropes list on grammar

On a side note, any ideas on how to find more staff?

Wow. Thank you very much both for expressing interest at this point in the Solar Flare Review and Lunar Annex: Selections from FiMFiction and Thoughts on the Craft of Writing.

Lesson learned #1: you don't get notifications for comments on the group page or for new members. Much thanks, tardis, for the PM.

Thoughts follow. Everything is open to discussion at this time; I'm just speaking decisively for the sake of clarity.

The Review deals in general-audience fics (E and T rating). The Annex, mature audience (M and the occasional T). The Review targets a biweekly release schedule. The Annex runs when it has enough good material. (There's less clop and gore both in total volume and rate of not-suck.) Otherwise both journals are similar. They share a prereader pool (although some readers don't cover M) and ethos, described below.

Equestria Daily has the biggest audience. Pony Fiction Vault has the best stories (and a few head-scratching how'd-that-make-the-cut features) Flare's niche is it's focus on storytelling as a craft: "These stories capture attention unusually well. How do they do that?"

I'm thinking the following departments:
Prime Picks
Chosen from the story-pool (see below) for a balance of quality and diversity. Featured with discussion of each story's strengths and flaws.

Insight, Hate, and Other Correspondence
Because every periodical needs letters to the editors. I'm thinking an attitude similar to MAD or . Picked from a thread here.

Other Selections
An overflow for not-quite-Prime material from the story-pool. Less in-depth commentary. May not run every issue.

Notes on the Craft
Non-fiction essays, guides, and how-tos.

Writing Clinic
Public critique and improvement of submitted writing.

Shameless Staff Promotion
Staff's choice of staff's stories.

Behind the scenes, the selection process is the heart of the operation. Prereading for Flare is very different from how EqD does it (at least from my outside perspective).

First stage:
- Large alpha-reader pool. ~10 to start. More like 30 once we're going.
- All completed stories on FiMFiction are eligible. Author's self-nominations have higher priority. (I'd like to do serial publication of stories, but that's more challenging.)
- There are no criteria for rejection - other than content objections, which earn a bump to the Annex rather than rejection.
- The criterion for initial acceptance is simple: does it grab the readers' attention and keep it?
- particular, it has to make the reader want to read the whole thing. (mini-rant: EqD doesn't do this. Pass once, get your updates posted without quality control. And, damn, does it show some times. Past Sins and Fallout: Equestria come to mind.)
- Since there are no reasons for rejection, rejected stories don't get feedback.
- Most stories will result in reader rage-quits. That's fine; it provides a significant boost to our rejection power, allowing us to read more and find better fics.
- This also allows for multiple readers. All stories get looked at by at least three, more if there's disagreement. This reduces bad-PR-syndrome to a statistical fluke.

(I should mention at this point that I've done a lot of fixing for EqD rejects and resubmissions. I've seen enough rejection notes so hilariously off-the-mark to think that this large-pool approach can't be much worse.)

- Beta-readers are a smaller, more carefully-picked group. Their job is to have well-informed opinions, select the features, and reject stories to clean out the story pool. Rejections at this point may be personalized and encourage resubmission.


Publication format:
All original text in the journal goes in a blog post and pdf. Stories are linked. This is the Web. With hypertext. We don't have to copy text into the publication, unless as an option for readers who really want it.


There will likely be a bias for tightly-written short stories, with the occasional awesome longfic. Or...


Enough for tonight. I need sleep, to ship ponies, and to write clop. Not necessarily in that order.

Well, I'm in! I read a lot(mostly "Everyone" to "Teen" comedy's, and I like to avoid "clop"), and I figure I could do summary's in the comedy section (best not to lie to ourselves, lotsa stuff for just three people to review).

Fimfiction needs a review group and now...this sounds more promising. Hello, I am a horror writer here and an avid reader/writer. I love to write stories that leave my readers dying for more, my current venture which is when I decided to stop worrying about negativity I normally got and wrote just to do it and my best work came of this. funny how that works out

  • Viewing 1 - 9 of 9