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“Splintershard” by TheMajorTechie

ESplintershard
Once upon a time, Equestria flourished. That time is now long-gone.
TheMajorTechie · 66k words  ·  56  7 · 764 views

This story is currently incomplete, so like an early build release of Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla, don’t take this review as indicative of the final product (a little gamer humour to spice things up haha).

Splintershard is a story that fits neatly in the “human in Equestria” category, while still carrying its own unique set of ideas and tropes. It seems to draw on the same creative inspiration as Netflix’s show “Happy” or the infamous “Fight Club” (whoops, I broke the rule and talked about fight club). Tropes are not bad, and TheMajorTechie draws on the idea of the protagonist having an inner voice who exists as a completely separate character, an idea that is not too often used. 

Without going into details, the fate of how the protagonist, Emily, receives Starlight Glimmer as her inner voice is unveiled gradually as the story progresses, which I very much enjoy. One of the strengths of this story is that it is focused on the characters, building up the relationship between the protagonist and her voice rather than dumping the world onto the audience.

With that said, how the author paces the initial development is one of the story’s weaker sides. We are given multiple chapters at the beginning that focus mostly on the deuteragonists’ interactions, but for the number of chapters we are given, the audience does not learn nearly as much about them.

Very early on Starlight makes the allusion to Rainbow Dash, saying that Emily reminds her of the pegasus. We’re giving a basic frame for her personality, which gets moulded and developed into a character profile that is unique to the protagonist. However, the progression of the character-focused chapters, to me, don’t feel as if they drive home the nuances behind Emily’s actions. She is a little brash and overeager, but that is already known to the reader thanks to the comparison. Because the early chapters themselves are very short, the early understanding of her character profile doesn’t move very much beyond being similar to Rainbow Dash.

Of course, throughout the story, the audience does get to know Emily more as a person, and the gaps in her character get filled out as she interacts more with the characters around her.

Ratings are arbitrary, but they still give a rough estimate of how it feels to read through a story. So for how well this story has gone so far, I’ll rate it a 7/10, which is pretty good considering 9/10 is where a really good story would be at, and 10/10 is reserved for perfection. Parts of the story’s pacing feel slow and they demand the audience meet the story halfway to get interested, rather than bringing everything to the audience to soak up.

TheMajorTechie
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Hm. Thanks for the review! Pacing's always been a bit of an odd thing for me, given how the writing style used in Splintershard originated as something used for 500-something word long chapters. I really don't have anything much to say about the 5-chapter long prologue, though. I was trying to build up the "normal" world that Emi lives in to further juxtapose her experience in Equestria with what she's already been through.

As far as the varied pacing goes, aside from that whole deal with it being a remnant of bite-sized chapter writing, I did try to keep things from getting too slow. A criticism that I sometimes got on some of my older stories was that there was far too much filler material, so in this story I tried to make every moment matter, even if said moments stretched on for an entire chapter.

Anyway, that's my response to your review. Thanks! :pinkiehappy:

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