• Member Since 25th Aug, 2012
  • offline last seen Yesterday


Make every word count.


Old Thunder was a sailor all his life. As the years pass by, he grows ever more restless about finding his own harbor. One fateful night in a tavern he meets one very pink mare that might change his view on things.

First Place Winner - School for New Writers
Reviewed by the Seattle's Angels

Chapters (1)
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Comments ( 18 )

Congratulations on winning the May Contest! This story was truly worthy!

2693975 Thank you. :pinkiesmile:

This story was very well written. I don't know what else to say. For a 5,250 word one-shot this is amazing.
As a score I would give this a 10/10 overall. I've always loved sailor stories; for instance Treasure Island by R. L. Stevenson, Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C. S. Lewis, and Captain's Courageous by R. Kipling.
This story isn't exactly a novel but it's still a good read. Now all we need is a sequel with the return of Pinkie Pie, but for purposes of the story it might be best left to the imagination of the reader.

2709685 Thank you for your kind words. Concerning a possible sequel: You're welcome to write it if you feel it should be done. I won't; Old Thunder encountered the Element of Laughter by chance in times of need. A deliberate visit after the main issue has been resolved would water the whole thing down IMHO.

It wasn't perfect, but the imagery was vivid if not especially poetic, and I appreciate your taking a stab at deeper meaning. Though I couldn't always believe the characters, their dialogue didn't always seem natural, and you did some silly things with grammar--that, for instance, made me imagine Old Thunder standing at one end of a block while his ears floated in the air at the other end--I liked it. Keep writing; you have potential.

2727078 Thank you for your comment and the critique. I'll go another round of self-editing and have a look-out for the floating-ear incident you described; I found some other stuff I'd like to work over, too. I have problems with dialogue, but I hope I will get the hang of it someday by means of more writing; Thanks for the encouragement!

Under 100 views? The horror!

In any event, this was a pretty darn good story. Old Thunder was a really cool character, and you did a great job with Pinkie. Nicely done, sir.

2743526 Thank you! Old Thunder wasn't easy, but Pinkie Pie nearly wrote herself; she's a blast to write!

Concerning the viewcount: I guess there are many who could judge this better than I can, but I think it's a combination of the OC tag, the low word count, a coverart not featuring ponies and bad publishing time. I'll try to add it to some more groups as soon as I find the time to go through another self-editing round.

I'm not complaining though: Although it has 70 views as yet, the count of 14 likes means that every fifth found it worthy of an ackowledgment, which means far more to me than empty views.


I am astounded. The imagery was incredible and Pinkie was perfectly written. Cant wait to read some more from you. Incidentally, this is a prime example of quality having an imperfect relationship with reception. Make that 16 likes and a maintained 5:1 like:view ratio :pinkiesmile:

I only have two major problems with this and they're really more subjective opinion than actual problems. The first is that I think the story might have worked better if it was in first person. We're already getting all the information from Old Thunder's point of view anyway so why not tell it from his perspective and maybe give a deeper look into his psyche and internal conflict in the process?

The second is the delivery of the theme, specifically the way Pinkie basically blurts it out when she and Old Thunder are waiting for sunrise. That's not inherently bad or anything but I usually personally prefer subtlety such that I need to think about and divine the theme for myself. Also, if you're going to state the theme in any capacity consider putting it as the very last line or two; once a message is delivered it tends to feel like the end of the story, like the lesson is learned and we can all stop reading now.

Other than that there were only a few, minor, forgivable, grammar issues. Overall this was a well thought out story and a good read. You have my like.

2768504 Thank you for your kind words and the like. ^^

2839136 You might be right and the story might have been good in first person, but I'm quite unfamiliar with it, so the possibility to butch it would have been higher. I'm determined though to take a stab at first person story telling sometime.

As to your second comment: I can understand your penchant for subtlety, but would that be in character? No, Pinkie Pie is in your face. I had that scene planned from the start and built the story around it, and although you might say the story's over right there, I think it's not; the scene is the climax, what comes after is falling action, if I may borrow the expression from classic dramatic structure. The "lesson learned" had to be validated by Old Thunder, after all.

Thank your for your like and feedback! :)

You asked for it, so here it is: my thoughts.

Overall, it was thoroughly enjoyable if somewhat bland. It was a bit like a mountain range, if I can use a crappy metaphor, lots of valleys and peaks. There were parts that I thought were very well done, and parts that were less well done. I particularly liked the imagery of the painting that's too dark to see, and pretty much everything about Old Thunder. He's an interesting character, if a bit one-dimensional. Arguably, he's not so much one-dimensional as two-dimensional, but either way, he's not too deep. He's an old guy who's been a sailor all his life and now wants a place to call his home. Granted, the story's so short that he doesn't really need to be deeper than the Mariana Trench, but I feel like we didn't get to spend enough time with him to really empathize with his character. We're kind of thrust in and told to care, but only given enough to time to sorta care.

Anyway, like I said before, overall, very enjoyable and I'm glad I read it, but I can't help but feel like it could've been so much more. Old Thunder was easily the most interesting character, and Pinkie Pie was pretty well in-character, but the rest of them just felt so meaningless. Even the incredibly minor sub-plot with Starbuck felt more like a tacked-on addition than having an actual meaning. It was a nice idea though.

Well there you go, my thoughts. I'd say this is probably a strong 6/10 in my book, with lots of room for improvement, though I don't mean that in a bad way. The dialogue, especially, could use some reworking as it doesn't really feel all that real, except for when Old Thunder is talking with Pinkie Pie. That part was done well.

A lovely gentle piece. Beautifully characterised and carefully crafted. Very well done.

I have a bit of a quibble about your use of semicolons. While it's generally implied they can be used for stylistic connections, it is much more common for them to force a link between clauses that might otherwise not be obvious or assumed. That purpose is rendered not just unnecessary but actively redundant when the connection is explain in those clauses, as you seem to do most of the time. Is was explained to me as R.U.E.: Resist the Urge to Explain. A lot of the text suffers for this, too, but I fully understand that a big part of getting over that is sheer confidence in your ability to communicate—it's a sign of needing to make something clear. Try putting a little more onus on the audience to figure out those little details and the richness of your stories will begin to soar.

Beyond that, the prose is quite stiff—stilted, even. You might want to consider doing a scan for every place where a simple contraction could replace two words; it's amazing how little things make a story more readable.

2882101 Part of me wanted to disagree, but in the end I think you nailed it. Still, I think it has more to do with giving a little too much away about Old Thunder's character, rather than too little. A sense of mystery goes a long way and that was missing where I think it was intended to be. Specifically, not knowing what he was being mopey about could have enhanced the story in a big way (with the obvious alterations to fit with that narration). I guess it's kind of either/or, and this was kind of meandering around the middle ground of, as you say, somewhat bland.

2882101 Thank you for your thoughts. I can explain why some parts might lack compared to others: I didn't write linear, and when the deadline loomed over me I had to patch the scenes I spend most time on together in quite a hurry. It's not an excuse, of course; I'll rework it soon.

You're not the first to mention that Old Thunder has too less characterization to care much about him. I'll do some brain-storming on how to give him some more depth.

I can understand why you feel the other characters seemed to be meaningless, although I do have to disagree with the notion when it comes to Holdfast. I consider him a friend-in-the-making to Old Thunder, and is therefore one of the crucial things to make this town a home for him. Starbuck, though... well, not all things happen for a reason I guess. I could incorporate him in giving some more character to Old Thunder, though, I'll have to think about that.

Dialogues are my cryptonite, I'll have to work hard to get them right, but I'll see what I can do. Nothing studying other writers and practice couldn't fix.

Thanks again for the input. I'm glad you enjoyed it despite the things you pointed out.

2882849 Thank you for your kind words, I'm glad you liked it! :twilightsmile:

2884480 Thank you for your remarks. I guess you have a point; I should remember that R.U.E. thing. I'll scan the text for these incidents as soon as I get to editing once again.

Yeah, contractions... that fault of mine has a distinct origin, though. English isn't my primary language, and back in school our teachers taught us that contractions are only to be used in direct speech. (If we broke that rule we got it marked as an error) I guess they thought we'd only be using our English to write official correspondences; boy were they wrong.:rainbowlaugh: I'll have a lookout for these when I get back to editing, too.

That sense of mystery you mention has great appeal to me. In fact, the first version of the prologue didn't state what exactly Old Thunder was brooding about, but thought I might fail to communicate the whole purpose of the story if I did... again, R.U.E. I have half a mind of starting editing right now, but I'd have to scrape sleep if I did, I fear. :raritydespair:

Anyway, nevermind my personal struggles. Thanks for your comment!

2889184 Thank you for your kind words. I am indeed very grateful for being reviewed by Seattle's Angels. Not only did they give my some good pointers on how to improve my story, but also said so many nice things. It also raked in views and likes, and these things nurse me. It's reading comments like yours that warms me.:pinkiesmile:

2896725 Well, feel free to drop me a line if you need another pair of eyes in the future, or if you want to explore these ideas further. I love talking theory!

Congratulations; this story has good enough grammar to be added to the Good Grammar Directory, a comprehensive directory of grammatically correct stories on FIMFiction.

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