Mar
24th
2017

Wrap yourself in today's story for an unusual take on a princess' tale.

In Amber Clad

[Drama] [Slice of Life] • 1,484 words

Forged in fires of magic and charcoal. Worn with pride, damaged in battle after battle in times when ponies were no strangers to war. Repaired again and again. A regal mare's suit of armour tells a small but significant part of her story.

FROM THE CURATORS: We're always on the lookout for exemplars of the wide range of stories that can be told through fanfiction — which put this unusual examination of Princess Luna's rise, fall, and rehabilitation right in our sweet spot.  "This is a nice historical piece, giving us a first-hand view of Equestria's lengthy litany of conflicts, great and small, and it's all told by Luna's armor," Present Perfect said.  "An interesting concept, and probably the thing that really makes this shine, no pun intended."  He wasn't the only one to note the piece's ambitious scope.  "This walks the reader admirably from a pre-Equestrian time all the way to show (and comic) canon," Soge said.

Much of our debate on the story, oddly, centered on the story not feeling unusual enough.  "This is less 'what would a set of armour think/feel/believe' and more 'a well-known story told from a different angle'," Chris said.  "Still, this story does combine a 'faithful servant' theme with the general plot of Luna's ascension/fall/redemption."  Soge was among the dissenters: "While the voicing of the armor isn't particularly unique, I'd argue that the things it chooses to focus on are." And Horizon found that compromise a strength: "It manages to make a potentially gimmicky story feel comfortable and plausible," Horizon said. "And while it felt like a triumph of idea over execution, the prose didn't get in the way of the idea."

What tipped the story over the top were the little touches of worldbuilding that showed us MLP's cast from a different angle.  "I also like the characterization provided through little touches like Luna's reasoning for the armor's form — which economically tells us a lot both about the narrator and the princess," Horizon said.  Present Perfect agreed: "The armor even gets a little characterization when it encounters the armor Luna wears as Nightmare Moon," he said.  "If anything about this story sticks with me, it's that scene."

Read on for our author interview, in which Word Worthy discusses diplomatic rifts, inside-out hats, and X-Files research notes.

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Mar
22nd
2017

We have implemented TLS site-wide as an unconditional redirect. (http -> https) This improves security site-wide for all users, and shouldn't have any negative effects, performance or otherwise.

Report Xaquseg · 1,883 views ·
Mar
20th
2017

Seattle's Angels is a group that promotes good stories with low views. You can find us here.


Wanderer D shuffled the key, but the lock would not relent. He could hear something going on inside but, no one was answering the door and his old key simply didn't work. He sighed. They had changed the lock again. And they didn't tell him. Again.

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Report Wanderer D · 1,002 views ·
Mar
18th
2017

Hey guys,

I'm going to be doing an interview segment on Radio Everypony Ru. Actually the first time I've done one in several years, so, kind of a rarity I guess. The quote below has links to audio streams and chat so that you can listen/chat if you're interested. If you want to watch/listen at a later date, you can check out the youtube recording at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQaHo8kJlai2ELfRQH_o6FA

https://radio.everypony.ru/64 - 64 kbps stream

https://radio.everypony.ru/128 - 128 kbps stream

https://radio.everypony.ru/320 - 320 kbps stream

http://radio-everypony-ru.chatovod.ru/id0969944 - live radio chat

Also, one can listen to us on http://ponyvillelive.com/ or via hoofsounds

Time:

5pm GMT

8pm MSK

1pm EST

10am PST

The interview will have lots of answers to interesting questions I hope, so do listen in if you're at all interested.


The recording is now available:

Report knighty · 1,069 views ·
Mar
17th
2017

Today's story just wants a chance to get lodged inside your brain.

Let Her In

[Dark] [Horror] • 2,675 words

Night One

"Why is she standing out there? What does she want?"

Night Two

"There's something off about her...."

Night Three

"That's not Fluttershy..."

FROM THE CURATORS: One of the benefits of fanfiction is seeing how familiar ponies can end up in wildly different settings — and the fresh takes that those combinations can give us.  "You've got Fluttershy used well as a horror device, Apple Bloom as our beleaguered protagonist, and a very thrilling catchphrase in 'It's cold out here'," Present Perfect said in his nomination, and there was quick agreement on how effective this story was at its chosen genre.  "This does the most important thing a horror story can do: be creepy," Chris said, while AugieDog cited several other accomplishments. "There's a lot here to like," he said. "The atmosphere, Apple Bloom's dawning awareness that this thing's been stalking her for years, and the way almost the only line spoken aloud in the whole piece is the monster's repeated refrain."

Those weren't the only factors which went into the horror's core creepiness.  "The excellent audio reading certainly helped, but there is much more than that at play here: Apple Bloom's fears felt visceral, as she vacillates between reacting to her terror with flight or fight," Soge said.  "There is this constant atmosphere of irreality to the fic, as you are forced to guess just what is in her mind, and what isn't. That this stands even after the creature is defeated is really to the fic's advantage."  Present Perfect also noted the strength of the ending despite its unusual reveal.  "The one thing it does wrong is showing the monster near the end," he said.  "That said, the scene comes with some much-needed vindication for Apple Bloom, and the epilogue's final line is just about perfect."

While several of us questioned the choice of that reveal, there were ample other scenes where this was stronger for its unusual choices.  "The fact that the creature is seemingly able to invade Apple Bloom's home — her sanctuary — but chooses not to," Chris said, "gives the story a more fearful 'unknown' aspect than the more traditional trope of 'the sanctuary is inviolate, save by the failure of the protagonist.'"  And Soge noted one way that it might be an entirely different sort of horror: "I'll also point out that, despite everything that happens, the monster doesn't actually do anything against anyone. There's an interesting interpretation of this fic where Apple Bloom and AJ lashed out at the creature out of irrational fear ... not that I think that that was what the story was about, but I think it's in the story's favor that such a thing can even be considered."

Read on for our author interview, in which TooShyShy discusses snoring dogs, basement grandmothers, and purges of pre-teens.

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Mar
10th
2017

Old soldiers never die, they just feature in today's story.

This Isn't War

[Alternate Universe] [Slice of Life] • 1,548 words

Rainbow Dash was the Iron Wing. She was a war hero, the Slayer of Shadows, the Liberator of the Crystal Empire, the Wrath of Celestia. And depending on who you ask, she still is.

But the war is over. There's little need for a pony like her in peacetime. So she keeps telling herself that she needs to adjust, that she needs to find a new role to fill in the world that she saved. But Equestria seems content to let her remain what she has become, even though they have no need of a warrior.

"This isn't how it's supposed to be", is something she keeps telling herself. But every time she says it, the only thing she can reply is, "so what should it be?"

One whole year after the close of the war, and Rainbow Dash still doesn't have the answer.

FROM THE CURATORS: When the Season 5 finale offered us glimpses of its broken Equestrias, it spurred quite a bit of compelling writing from the fandom — including this fic.  "This is a short, punchy piece about the Rainbow Dash from the King Sombra timeline dealing with life after the war's over," Present Perfect said in his nomination, and we found a lot to appreciate in its short length.  "I very much liked the voice here, both the way that echoes of the Rainbow Dash we know keep bubbling up throughout and the way that she's such an unreliable narrator," AugieDog said.  "It gave me the impression of a character trying to express her feelings without really knowing how to do it."

Another element singled out for praise was its treatment of its core concept.  "It's a war story which is respectful of its topic," Chris said, "which neither glorifies brutality nor sinks to edgy posturing nor resorts to cheap melodrama to try and hammer home the psychological toll." Other curators agreed.  "I'm not really qualified to evaluate this piece in terms of what war veterans have to deal with, but as a somber look at post-war trauma and readjustment to civilian life, it's believable and powerful," Present Perfect said.  And Chris seconded the story's believability: "I know two friends, at least, for whom Dash's financial arc is basically accurate."

Interestingly, while we found this an effective tale, we disagreed on what part of the story contributed most to its strength.  "I was entirely sold on this story for most of its (short) length, but I don't care for the ending," Chris said, and Horizon disagreed: "I thought that the ending was the best part of this, grounding the story firmly in the Rainbow Dash we know to emphasize the contrast in her character."  And while AugieDog found the ending a matter of interpretation, he ultimately praised it: "The more upbeat interpretation of the ending — which I'll take every time, thank you very much — gives her a full character arc and sends her sailing on into a brighter future."

Read on for our author interview, in which KingMoriarty discusses societal breadcrumbs, dragon dismemberment, and pre-holiday hydration.

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Mar
6th
2017

Hey everypony!  Only a few hours remain for the Everfree NW Scribblefest 2017!  Get your Scribblestories (totally stealing that from Novel-Idea) in as soon as possible!  Feeling cramped for time?  Need to do some last minute edits?  Now's the time!

For those of you that still need to submit, here's the link to our Google Form:  https://goo.gl/forms/aAtOQEHtvsKSE5PA2

Want to try to pump out a 2000-6000 word story in less than 10 hours?  Here's the rules and regs:  Scribblefest 2017 Rules, Regs, and requirements!

Good luck everyone!  We are so excited and looking forward to seeing all of your awesome stories!

Report EverfreeNorthwest · 903 views ·
Mar
6th
2017

Seattle's Angels is a group that promotes good stories with low views. You can find us here.


“So how’s the married life treating you?”

One of Red’s fuzzy ears twitch, his tail lashing back and forth. He didn’t answer Intern or even acknowledge his presence, instead keeping his face rooted towards his console monitor.

Intern, seated at his own but much much smaller workstation, raised an eyebrow. “That bad, huh?”

“I don’t wanna talk about it,” came Red’s terse reply.

“Ah, okay.” Taking the hint, Intern returned to his work.

For all of five seconds.

“I hear Ferret’s been popping in and out of everyone’s screen chat lately, demanding they go write. I mean, literally poking her head out of the screen. Did she get bit by a radioactive twittermite or something?”

Red slammed his paw down on his keyboard. “Look, ever since she’s gotten her meta-powers, Ferret’s been just a little difficult to live with, alright? So shut up and get the reviews out!”

Intern winced and looked away. “Sorry. You’re right, none of my business.” He tapped away at his keyboard for a few seconds then hit enter. “But this is.”

ROUND 99

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Report Wanderer D · 1,245 views ·
Mar
3rd
2017

Today's story might just contain an element of truth.

The Legend of the Gift Horses

[Random] • 2,056 words

If you have ever wondered how the saying "Don't look a gift horse in the mouth" came to be, please venture inside and learn one fairytale version of this tale.

FROM THE CURATORS: There are many elements that go into an enjoyable fairy tale, and we found that this one fired on all cylinders — from voice and structure to character and ideas.  "This is a fantastic in-universe tale, one that almost seems to delight in its own telling," Present Perfect said.  "I actually got a thrill when Wish was saved, and I adore that Starswirl takes on certain mythic proportions of his own."  AugieDog also enjoyed it all.  "Fun and well told," he said.  "My only quibble is that the story ends too soon.  I wanted it all to keep going and going. That for me is the sign of a story really getting its hooks into me."

Others found the story growing on them as it developed.  "This starts out looking like a well-constructed but slightly stock fairytale," Chris said, "but in the aftermath of the battle (near the halfway point in the story), it suddenly becomes much more creative than I was giving it credit for."  Horizon agreed: "This goes places I wasn't expecting, and I have to give it props for its fusion of its two core mythological components."  Chris further commented on the tale's balancing act: "It deftly straddles the line between using well-known imagery and relying on cliches."

All told, those elements added up to more than just the titular fable.  "I found myself appreciating this both as a piece of storytelling, and as story in its own right," Chris said, and Present Perfect agreed: "This is easy to approach on its dual merits."

Read on for our author interview, in which LiterarySerenity discusses coyote similarities, parental bookshelves, and world-hopping Merlins.

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Feb
24th
2017

The quality of today's story will hit you right between the eyes.

Solving for Death

[Alternate Universe] [Comedy] [Dark] • 3,024 words

In a miscommunication gone awry, Starlight Glimmer has killed Twilight Sparkle with a fork.

Luckily for Twilight, Starlight's already acquired a resumé in doing the impossible.

She's totally got this.

FROM THE CURATORS: While the premise and the [Comedy] tag might suggest that this is a gimmicky crackfic, there's a lot more than that going on.  "This is a dark, dark comedy with a throbbing red heart of sincerity right at its core, and it's that juxtaposition that makes the story for me," AugieDog said in his nomination.  Soge agreed: "From its fairly absurd premise, it builds into a genuinely funny dark comedy, but without sacrificing its heart or forgetting about characterization."  And Present Perfect pointed out that "it's got enough polish to make it more accessible to people who aren't as big on weird-idea fics."

One of the elements drawing praise was the narrative voice.  "The writing style was worthy of note, with an off-kilter charm that really helped the tone of the story," Soge said.  That also won Horizon over: "The subtle humor of the narration seems like an odd choice for a comedy," he said, "but then it turns a corner into drama without shifting textual gears, and that slower pace seems brilliant in hindsight."  Meanwhile, Present Perfect enjoyed the prose.  "There's a real freewheeling spirit to the language here, with lines like 'Twilight remained combatively dead'," Present Perfect said.  "And the relish fork is an amazing running gag."

But the core strength here was the way it managed to reconcile some wildly different elements.  "Glimmer's blase-ness, Celestia using Twilight's death to teach a friendship lesson, and Spike being the only sane dragon are all fantastically played off against one another, and the result is that the story's various comic elements all enhance and reinforce each other," Chris said.  AugieDog summed it up: "It's a tightwire act of a story, and watching the author pull it off just left me grinning."

Read on for our author interview, in which Majin Syeekoh discusses tensile linguistics, quintuple Zs, and automobile muses.

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