• Member Since 15th Jul, 2012
  • offline last seen January 15th

BronyDerp117


A dood from the west. I'm not a brony anymore and I haven't posted here since I was teenager, but I hope you enjoy the few stories I managed to finish back then!

T

Featured on Equestria Daily!
After a near-death experience, Scootaloo has a little talk with an old and isolated stallion who just might open her eyes.

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 44 )

Ok. So. That was both depressing and adorable and to the point downright beautiful. In. Love.

Oh and please pardon the name. I'm going to go murder my cousin now for logging me out and logging himself in :)

2755779 lol, I'm so glad i have my own computers. use 12-16 character passwords for all my logins:pinkiehappy:

also nice story

I partly expected Scootaloo to walk out and come back the next day to see an abandoned house. Then when she would ask somepony about it, they'd say that the stallion who lived there died thirty years ago. Or something like that.

2755772 Thank you very much! And lol at your cousin xD
2756318 Gracias
2756516 Whoa, that would be freaking creepy. Nothing like that ever crossed my mind, though. Hmm, that's actually a pretty cool idea.
2756852 I'm guessing that's a good thing. If so, thanks.
And wow, I can't believe this is featured. :yay:

2757340
I actually thought that was going to happen until he said "Easy there, you're gonna pop me.". Now from what I know, Ghosts can't feel another pony touching them and if he was a ghost, Scoots would just fall through him. Unless he's a cursed spirit that is doomed to walk the earth forever until he helps some random orange filly earn her scooter cutie mark after saving her from her death at the bottom of a very high ravine.

2757888 That's a very interesting idea.

Alright, I'm back with my critiquing and grammar fixes! First of all, I enjoyed this story very much. I thought you wrote Scootaloo's character fairly well, and the OC is different than most others, having his own personality and backstory.
:moustache: Rating: 5/5

Now, it's time for the grammar fixes and little things that I nitpick at, such as word use.

...grab a bag a treats or somethin'. –Maybe add an apostrophe after the second "a" to show a difference between the two.

I gave her a wrinkly smile, well, if she could even see... –Replace the first comma with a dash possibly.

...scrambled eggs on my plate, and the remainin' amount... – Does not require comma. Cannot compute.

Ain't much of a sight. Creaky, dull floorboards, an old ripped up... –Should replace the period with a semi-colon. Trust me; it works.

She had an pink blush on her already orange cheeks. –Should be "a" and not "an".

Her eyes shifted over everythin' except mine. "I-I fell" –Add either a period or an ellipsis at the end of the dialogue.

...high-pitched scream came out of the filly, a scream so loud... –Replace the comma with a semi-colon.

I could see it past it, though. –Take out the first "it".

Was her eyes. –Honestly, I don't really have a problem with this. I just think it would look better as a "'twas" than "was". It's your story, though.

Filly her age outta have bright an' clear an' happy eyes. –Should be "oughta" and not "outta".

She realized she had stopped fallin' and she opened her eyes real slow-like. –Add a comma before "and".

I looked at the filly in the eyes and jus' continued my little smile. –The "at" is unneeded.

She looked down at her orange hooves run along the creases of the rotted wood of the table. –This sentence seems a bit odd. Perhaps try replacing "orange hooves run" with "orange hooves as they ran".

She furrowed her brow, blinkin' a little oddly, an' takin' forced breaths. –Take out the last comma.

"I dunno. I have good friends, but we've arguing a lot lately..." –Put the word "been" between "we've" and "arguing".

Friends are gonna argue, it's jus' a part of strengthenin' and seein' who your actual friends are. –Replace the comma with a semi-colon.

I couldn't help but makin' my ol' smile bigger. –If you use the "but", change "makin'" to "make". If not, take out the "but" and leave it as is.

"Oh. Well, I don't think we're that much alike, then. My life isn't really that hard. Just... a little hurtful, I guess." –Remove the comma before the word "then".

Observed ponies as they walked by? Listen? Learn? –Change "Listen" and "Learn" to past tense.

Hey, if you were pro, why haven't I heard of you? –Insert an "a" between "were" and "pro".

I was still immune to the hurt, stale to it, but it did catch me off guard. –Add a hyphen to connect "off" and "guard".

...the kind a pony's grandpa makes when asked about an old story that's dull to them, but as excitin' as a concert... –Take out the comma. It's correct without it.

Her mouth open. Purple little eyes wide. Shoulders slumped. –Rewrite that as "Her mouth opened. Purple little eyes widened." Make it all in the past tense.

Kid giggled and got up, and trotted to the door, stoppin' at it to turn an' look at me. –Replace the first "and" with a comma.

"When you get to my age and you can't wake up without smilin', then ya shouldn't be wakin' up." –Add a comma after "age", and take out the word "then" completely.

The kid visited me the next day with a fresh and pretty and new cutie mark. –Take out the second "and".

She came by everyday, and still does now. –Remove the comma, and put a space between "everyday".

Just last week in the paper I read that she said I opened her eyes... –Add a comma after "paper".

I found a lot more errors than I did in "Great to be Different", but I took more time to look this story over. Also, the story is over 4K words. That makes a big difference.

2759814 You wanna be my third pre-reader? XD I'll get to fixing those once my Internet stops being a derp.

2760091 Sure? Lol. That would at least give me something to do during the long wait until BronyCon and afterwards. I'd be happy to be your third pre-reader if that wasn't a joke (I'm not exactly sure if it was or wasn't :twilightsheepish: ). Also, I've yet to check out your other works like I had said I would. I'll get on that soon.

2761527 Kinda both, really. My current pre-readers catch the stupid mistakes I leave and give me good advice, but they'll tell you themselves they're not grammar whizzes. If you'd be up for it, PM me.

2761527 He's right, I'm far from a grammar whiz :twilightblush:

2761654 Hi BronyDerp :derpytongue2:

2762163 Why not just say "Hi" on Sk-- Whatever, hi. XD

2762174
Hi :D
Hello:twilightsheepish:
Hello dear:raritywink:
Hi BronyDerp. Aw I don't get a picture Zonfic?
But there aren't any and... fine I'll go find one
pinkie.ponychan.net/chan/files/src/133592937156.gif
There happy?
Very
Why does she get the big picture? :duck:
OH FOR THE LOVE OF! Guys this is a place for comments on how good this story was! Not complaining about pictures!
Says the brony that started this by saying hi:twilightsmile:
... touche...

2762163 Well, at least you're honest about it. :twilightsmile:

2764695 Also congrats on becoming his third pre-reader :twilightsmile:

2765901 Thanks! We'd better take this conversation elsewhere, though. I don't want to fill up this story's comments section with whimsical nonsense. :twilightsheepish:

i feel like he's her grandfather or something.:rainbowhuh:

2768092 I thought of doing that, but decided against it.

I like this story. It's cute in a sad way, and Scootaloo needs more sorta heartfelt stories anyway.

Though i do feel like Equestria needs to invest in training some midwives by the sound of things. What, every mare mentioned having kids died doing it?

But still, it was a good read and I enjoyed it.

2797658 It was just those two. They relate easily because they've both been through similar experiences.

2797724
Scoot's mom, narrator's mom, narrator's wife.

Unless I misread it?

This was a great story. I enjoyed it greatly. You're a great writer. Great-great-great.

2756516

I was kinda expecting that as well.:derpyderp2:

2797989 Er, those three. I meant they both had that experience, the narrator just experienced it twice. It makes Scootaloo relate better to the narrator.
2798040 Thank you!

I liked it, though it always bugs me when ponies eat non-herbivorous things like eggs.

General writing quality is up to what I'd expect for an EqD-published story, but for me it was far too light on the meat: all skin and bone leaves nothing to get invested in. There's an idea here, but it's woefully underdeveloped.

Thumbs down from me.

-Scott

2886605 If you could explain to me what you think the story needs, I'd appreciate it.

2893831 Whoo! It’s long answer time. That just so happens to be my favorite time of day!

Now, obviously I can only speak for myself—what I have learned and how I feel reading stories—but with that in mind, I can certainly explain what I thought was missing.

Telling a story is like telling a joke. Lead ‘em in one direction, then pull the rug out from under ‘em. For a short story, you can do it just once, but with practice and longer stories you can do it time and time again, filling your world with mystery and wonder. For me, that’s the fundamental difference between a story and an idea.

The way I was taught to look at it was to break each portion of a story down into the conflict contain within. Conflict can be as simple as a character misplacing their toothbrush—it’s just a method of making sure one or more characters want something all the time. For each such conflict, figure out what the emotional drive is, figure out how the conflict resolves, and figure out how any involved characters feel about that conflict. A character should almost never get exactly what they want, and ideally, this disparity of desires generates the next conflict and so on and so forth. Each time a character doesn’t quote get what (s)he wants, you have a chance to draw a reader into empathizing (even sympathizing) with him.

Here, we seem to have an idea. What if Scoots fell and was saved by an old unicorn who could dispense some much-needed advice? By the end of the story, we haven’t really grown or altered from that premise in any way. It’s just expose, expose, expose, and more expose—no twist, no dilemma, no revelation, no-one to root for. Using Scoots means that most of the assumptions that the story makes can safely be made by the reader ahead of time, so there really isn’t anything surprising, and there’s no payoff for the story being told. There’s no expectation and no tension. Without that it’s just an idea writ large.

Possibly the best short story I’ve ever read for displaying the kind of construction necessary was just a few thousand words long. It started with a woman getting a phone call to say that her husband had been killed in a car crash. Needless to say, she was distraught, and we follow her around her house as she thinks about all the changes to her life that are about to happen. She starts to realize how many ways she’ll be free to try new things, meet new people, and recapture some of her youth. By the end, she is actually feeling open minded and positive about the future until the phone rings again and a voice explains that there was a mistake and her husband is alive after all. The woman is utterly distraught.

So you see, at the start, the woman cried because her husband is dead, and at the end she cried because her husband is alive. The switch-up is the payoff because you don’t see it coming. Whilst the ways at which something similar can be achieved are near infinite, I get no sense of having anything similar in your story; in fact, there is almost no conflict at all. To me, that makes it feel pretty wishy-washy and not at all satisfying.

So for my money, what it needs is not to be a linear path from start to end.

-Scott

While there doesn't seem to be much on the surface, there is a surprising amount of depth in this story when you stop and think about it, and I really like the implications of Scootaloo's transformation. The characterizations and dialogue were very effective, and the last section was particularly touching.

In a way, it kinda reminds of a more showy version of a The Descendant fic – the overall flow of the narrative is kinda similar, but the voice is different.

My only real complaint is that there are way too many coincidences, and some that aren't even necessary for the story (such as his daughter having a similar coloration, or all the deaths at childbirth). They kinda break immersion, which brings the story down a notch.

2920177 Thank you for the criticism. I appreciate it. :twilightsmile:

2895620 While I understand your feelings about this story lacking any real conflict, I have to say that expecting every story to have conflict, or to contain some sort of surprise or twist for the reader is a bit stringent. It's like expecting all music to have a drum beat. Yes, most major songs have percussion, but sometimes a violin solo can be just as beautiful as a full band. Stories like this are, to me, what embodies "slice of life". There is no conflict, no great plot, no big reveal. Its just a simple scene with some basic emotion behind it. A friend once coined the phrase "paint by word" for such things. Don't get me wrong, if it's not to your taste, that's fine, and I certainly bear no malice to you for it. But that doesn't mean it's less of a story or "only" an idea just because it doesn't contain a particular element (of the dozens or hundreds out there) of which stories are composed.

Now, that I've defended what isn't in the story, I must criticize what is. :trollestia: I do have to agree with Soge that there were too many coincidences which weren't necessary to the story, and that definitely jarred me out of the scene a bit. Also, the "10 years later" bit at the end feels out of place, and tacked on to force a more certain (happier?) ending. Per my above comments about slice of life, I think this was strong enough to end with just the one scene. We know Scoots got good advice and is going to be great someday... we don't have to be told directly and as an afterword.

Lastly, when I read this, the narrator sounds exactly like the one from Bastion in my head. I bet I'm not the only one. :pinkiehappy:

2950073 Stories are defined by having conflict. 'I went down the shops' is a statement, but 'I went down the shops but they were out of ice cream' is a story in it's most basic form. I remember an anecdote from a friend where a smarmy classmate of his submitted the following as his short story coursework:

A Day of Cricket

Rain stops play.

.
It got an A+, the git, because it follows the basic concept of what a short story is. Which is, of course, not to say that this work is in any way invalid; it just struggles to be included in the definition of story. It's still fiction, it's still ponies, it's obviously liked by many: these are not relevant to the point I am making.

Thus, 'expecting every story to have conflict' is a tautology. The issue revolves around the relaxed use of story to mean pretty much anything posted on this site versus the textbook definition of story:

Story
noun
1. a narrative, either true or fictitious, in prose or verse, designed to interest, amuse, or instruct the hearer or reader; tale.
2. a fictitious tale, shorter and less elaborate than a novel.
3. such narratives or tales as a branch of literature: song and story.
4. the plot or succession of incidents of a novel, poem, drama, etc.: The characterizations were good, but the story was weak.
5. a narration of an incident or a series of events or an example of these that is or may be narrated, as an anecdote, joke, etc.

Even #5 qualifies the narration as being an anecdote or joke, which correlates to exactly what I said previously. The format is rarely so clear is in Jimmy Carr's 'shortest jokes' skit:

Venison's dear, isn't it?
Stationary store moves.
Dwarf shortage.

What you need to understand is that those three lines are examples of conflict: it doesn't just mean grandiose differences of opinion or dangerous encounters. Any time you have a discrepancy of perception you have a kind of conflict, and that's why telling jokes and telling stories is fantastically similar.

The point, in all this, is that this is a fanfiction site. Works that make no attempt to be functional stories are perfectly fine here as long as they follow the noted requirements I mentioned before: ponies, fiction, word count, basic grammar. With that in mind, I didn't say is 'this is shit''; instead, I expressed the reason why it held no interest to me. As such, your comments about slice of life requiring no conflict ignores the greater truth that most slice of life does have conflict for a reason; I suspect your definition of conflict may be far more specific than is appropriate to the discussion.

Lastly, so assert that my requirements are 'a bit stringent' is like saying that going to the hardware store and asking for nine inch nails is 'a bit stringent' when I went to the hardware store explicitly for nine inch nails. It's a non-sequitur.

-Scott

P.S. If this seems overly confrontational, it's because I believe your statement to be detrimental to the development of the very authors on this site and a direct challenge is in the community's interest.

2950334 No worries, I assure you I take no offense at all. Likewise, I hope I didn't come across as hostile either. I never felt you were insulting the story/narrative/author or anything like that. While you said you personally didn't like it, I appreciate that you gave logical and well informed reasons as to why. Civil literary debate and discussion (which this is) is always a good thing. Besides, this is pony, we're all friends here! :scootangel:

Now, disclaimers out of the way... it seems we're basically down to a semantic debate here. Interestingly, I think we're both motivated by the same thing. I made my comments as I felt your assertion that story requires conflict was a disservice (the same reason you said you responded.) I spoke up because there other story forms besides conflict-driven plot, and to me, they are no less worthy of being called "stories." Please note, I do realize that "conflict" is a much broader thing in literary terms than it is when we talk about it in general (e.g. "the conflict in the middle east".) Even with that in consideration though, and with an acknowledgement that many in the literary community hold the same opinion as you, I still feel that it is only an opinion, not a fact. There are many authors and literary critics which do not think conflict is a requirement for something to meet the definition of a story. Below I've linked a couple of (short) essays on my side of the debate.

http://www.ursulakleguin.com/SteeringCraft_57B.html

http://stilleatingoranges.tumblr.com/post/25153960313/the-significance-of-plot-without-conflict

Also, while I normally hate to bring dictionaries into debates, as this one is about the definition of a word, I feel I'd be remiss if I didn't point out that even your own quoted "textbook definition of story" doesn't include the word "conflict" (or any synonyms for it) in any of the 5 definitions given. Nor does "conflict" appear in the definitions at the Merriam Webster, Cambridge, or Oxford dictionaries, nor at Wiktionary, or Wikipedia (including the disambiguated page for "Narrative"). However, conflict does show up quite a bit in the wikipedia entry for "plot."

At the end of the day, I'm not determined to convince you (or anyone) that I'm right and you're wrong. Really, I just want to make it clear that there are other (informed) opinions out there. It is still just a semantic debate though, and one could argue that what LeGuin calls "plot" is what you mean by "story" or that the "twist" or "non-sequitur" in Kishōtenketsu (from the second essay) is included in the broader definitions of "conflict."

The only reason I argue things even this far is that the word "story" is important to a lot of people, in ways that more technical terms like "narrative" or "plot" aren't. Saying something isn't a story is dangerously close to saying something isn't "art" to a lot of people. While there are technical arguments on all sides of the "what is art?" debate, I personally feel that the moment someone is excluded with an argument (no matter how well intentioned or technically defensible) like "That's not art... it's just graffiti." is when the larger community has lost something.

Please understand, I'm in no way accusing you of this. Your argument came with the full technical details, and it was quite clear from your tone that you meant no disrespect to the story/narrative/fiction or the author. Not everyone is always as thorough however, and that's why (to me) it's important to be careful how we define words, especially words that mean a lot to those in this community. I think "story" is one of those hot-button words in any community of writers, and that's why I argue for the broadest and simplest definition: "Story: an account of incidents or events." Likewise I feel that what you're describing with required conflict is the most popular form (conflict-driven) of plot which is itself the most popular form of story. But, that is, and I emphasize this... only an opinion. I completely understand and respect that many will disagree.

Bottom line is that if I can't call the above narrative a story, then I think the definition has lost touch with everyday life, and should probably join the word "coup" in whatever literary prison the politicians have hidden it in. :trollestia:

Lastly, thanks to BronyDerp117 for hosting this debate. Aren't you glad your writing could inspire such passionate literary discussion? :pinkiehappy:

2954255 Thank you for your response. You summed it up perfectly here:

It is still just a semantic debate though, and one could argue that what LeGuin calls "plot" is what you mean by "story" or that the "twist" or "non-sequitur" in Kishōtenketsu (from the second essay) is included in the broader definitions of "conflict."

These are indeed forms of conflict and the exact reason I said I suspected your definition of conflict was far more specific than the one I was using. Likewise, the jokes show how conflict can be in the mind of the reader (as in a twist), rather that in the experience of the characters.

You could certainly make a case for western literature being too inflexible in its implementation of conflict, but I'd need examples of effective conflict-less stories to believe they were even possible, let alone common. I've certainly never read one.

-Scott

2955687

I'd need examples of effective conflict-less stories to believe they were even possible

Perhaps that's the fundamental disconnect between our points of view... You're not convinced such a thing even exists, yet I feel we're literally commenting on such a story right here and now. By (I assume) your own definition of conflict, you said that in this narrative called "Little Talks", "there is almost no conflict at all" and that seemed to be the main reason you didn't enjoy the piece. I completely agree with you on the lack of conflict. The difference is that I don't feel that detracts from my enjoyment of the story, or reduces its effectiveness (or "storyness") in any way. As such, I'm afraid I've no further points to try to argue or defend.

As an aside, I just wanted to say this debate has made me dredge up all sorts of academic lessons and more formal modes of thought I haven't used directly in quite a while. Most "debates" on the net tend to devolve into name calling or worse long before any sort of actual intellectual exchange takes place. It feels curiously good to flex those mental muscles again, even though I know I'm not likely to win you to my point of view. Regardless, just wanted to say I've enjoyed being forced to think critically and seriously by the arguments you've put forth, so thank you for that. I'm still surprised on a regular basis by how a fandom for candy-colored cartoon ponies brings out the best in people. :twilightsmile:

2950073 Thank you for the criticism. And I really enjoyed reading your and InquisitorM's debate. I get good criticism from two different people with different opinions, you get to "flex those mental muscles again," and InquisitorM got to show his/her opinion in a civil way with another civil person. Everyone wins. :twilightsmile:

HI there. I hope you don't mind, but I liked this fic so YouTube.

This was such a sweet story. Great job to you, sir.:twilightsmile:

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

There are the trappings of a great story here, but unfortunately they're wrapped up the convenient coincidences of the situation, and the narrator's unbelievable self-awareness. The repetition of his smile was particularly irritating, not to mention needless, given that Scootaloo draws attention to it at the end. That could have worked as a nice revelation instead of just a restatement of what we, the readers, already know.

4721201 Wow, thank you so much for making that masterpiece! Like, seriously, the voice you did of Mister Clause was the exact voice I heard in my head. Spot on. Just... so well done. Thank you very much for making me smile and laugh at how perfect it was!

4781806 i agree with you. your fic is great and the reading just as much. it felt like the kind of thing scootaloo would've need to learn how to get her cutie mark.

however, about you comment to scribbler. i must point out that, because of how much her voice was knackered from some other works, she didn't actually voice anything but the words Little Talks at the beginning and the end blurb. the credit for narration all goes to Illya Leonov, though editing and the fact the reading was done at all does go to scribbler.

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