• Published 27th Jun 2013
  • 3,888 Views, 36 Comments

Literary Foray - hester1



Rainbow Dash has resigned herself to hiding her feelings for Twilight Sparkle. Discord decides to help her reveal them. Nothing can possibly go wrong.

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Denouement

“I only borrowed those books so that none of them would make you think that dating me was a bad idea. I gave back the ones that’d encourage you to go out with me, and I left the rest in my cloud house.” Rainbow leaned her hooves on the table and closed her eyes, waiting for the inevitable explosion.

The only sounds to reach her ears were her own rapid breathing and some noise that she couldn’t identify. She opened her eyes, and Twilight was giggling.

“I’m sorry, Rainbow, but you just looked funny trying to be all serious with your eyes closed like that.”

“What?” Rainbow threw her forelegs in the air. “Were you even listening? I only signed those books out to trick you! I didn’t even read all of them – I got other ponies to help out!”

“Oh, I was listening. What I heard was that you borrowed a hundred books, read most of them, encouraged other ponies to read with you, and finished all of the books in a night, just to go on a date with me. Did I hear wrong?”

Rainbow gaped. “But don’t you get it? What I did was as bad as... as... as what Dr. Negative did to Daring Do! He brainwashed all of her friends so that whenever she went to them for advice about why Manehatten Silver was acting so weird, they all told her to trust him. And I set things up so when you looked to your books for advice, they all told you to go out with me.”

Twilight rolled her eyes. “First, I’d like to point out that Dr. Negative kidnapped Silver and replaced him with a cyborg clone, and I seriously doubt that your plans were anywhere near as nefarious as that. And second, I’m a bit disappointed that you thought I’m that easy to manipulate. When I have to make a choice, I don’t just gallop to my books and ignore everything else.”

Rainbow stared, deadpan, and Twilight blushed.

“Okay, it might seem like that’s what I do, but it’s not. At least, not this time. I thought about all the time we spent together, and the way that you’ve always been there for me and the rest of the girls, and how much fun I have on our reading days and flying lessons, and decided to go out with you. I wouldn’t have made a decision like that just because a book told me to.” Twilight drank another spoonful of soup.

Rainbow took a step back, her heartbeat slowing, and sat back down. “What about The Egghead’s Guide to Corporal Punishment? Spike said that he kept it signed out so that you’d never read it.”

Twilight spluttered with laughter, soup spraying out of her mouth, and Rainbow ducked back to avoid being drenched. A second later, a napkin encased in a purple glow wiped the spill off the table. “The Egghead’s Guide to Corporal Punishment, by Harsh Mistress? Rainbow, I’m the pony who’s responsible for that book never being returned. As long as I keep ‘forgetting’ to pick it up from Lyra Heartstrings, I get discounts at Bon Bon’s store. It’s a win-win situation.”

Rainbow frowned thoughtfully, rubbing her chin with a hoof. “But those two don’t have foals...”

Twilight winced. “Yeah, uh, actually, don’t tell them I told you any of that. In fact, could you just forget I said anything?” Rainbow’s eyes widened and Twilight hastened to continue. “So, do you want to finish reading Daring Do and the Devious Doctor Negative?”

“Yeah, sure!” Rainbow leapt up. “Uh, wait, where is it again?” Twilight’s gaze was fixed on something over her shoulder. Rainbow turned to look, and it was the clock.

“Rainbow, it’s nearly nine o’clock. I’m sorry, but if we want to end this date by nine, we can’t finish that book tonight.”

“And why do we need to wrap it up by nine? Because your books tell you to?”

“Well, yes, when I averaged the ending time of a first date among all of the books that you returned, I ended up with three minutes past nine. Please, Rainbow?” Twilight looked up at Rainbow earnestly, eyes wide and bottom lip quivering in blatant imitation of Rarity.

“Are you seriously trying to shorten our date?” Rainbow’s mouth dropped into a harsh line.

“When you put it like that it sounds bad, but when you think about it, this just leaves more things for us to do on our next date.”

Rainbow’s glare softened. “Next... next date?”

“How does tomorrow at seven sound?”

Rainbow scratched her head. “I’m pretty sure there’s some kind of rule that says we have to wait three days or something.”

“That’s what the dating guides said, but the romance novels averaged out to roughly eight hours between the first and second date, and twenty-two hours is a nice compromise. Besides, tomorrow’s a reading day, and that’d probably end up turning into a date anyways.”

“Heh, yeah, I guess it would.” Rainbow smiled, and her heart was so light that she thought it might just fly out of her chest, and Twilight would have to chase after it and catch it. And of course, Dash would have to be there to help her land, and for some reason she was perfectly fine with that.

Twilight moved the pot, bowls, and spoons into the sink, and Rainbow piled up the cushions from the flying lessons. When Rainbow was done, she flew to the window and, hovering outside, turned back for one last glimpse of Twilight. “I’ll see you tomorrow, yeah?”

“No, wait!” cried Twilight, looking up from the sink. “You can’t just fly out! You have to go out the door, so that we can talk awkwardly on the doorstep and then kiss.”

Dash smiled, flew back in and nuzzled Twilight’s mane. “I’m cool with that.”

Rainbow walked with Twilight to the door, opened it, and hovered outside. The night echoed with the chirps of crickets. The stars hung in the black velvet sky. Rainbow breathed in a flowery fragrance: daffodils, but she wasn’t sure if they were real or just from Twilight’s shampoo. She decided it didn’t matter.

“All right,” Twilight said. “Now say something witty, preferably a one-liner –”

“Just shut up and kiss me,” she whispered, pulling Twilight closer. Her wings flared as their lips furiously collided in a passionate –

BANG!

Rainbow and Twilight spun around and froze, jaws agape. The inside of the library was covered in confetti and brightly-colored balloons. Applejack, Fluttershy, Rarity and Spike stared at them from around the snacks table, while Discord lounged beside a bowl of punch. A banner on the wall read “Congrats-On-Getting-Together-Twi-and-Dashie!”

Pinkie Pie bounced up to Twilight and Dash. “Hey, what do you two think of this party? Isn’t it just super-fantabulous? Wanna play Pin-the-Tail-on-the-Pony?”

Discord grinned and shot Twilight and Dash a wink. “Or, if you want, you two can keep making out.”

And so – an hour of party games, snacks, and good-natured teasing from their friends later – they did.

Comments ( 21 )

Pinkie Pie. Ruining moments since she was born.

You probably could have spaced these out over a few days. Not much point in dumping it all on us at once.

~Skeeter The Lurker

I'll read this later. Gotta be good.

Great story and funny, good luck in the contest.
Obviously thumb up and fav. :twilightsmile::heart::rainbowkiss:

So much cuteness! :rainbowkiss: :twilightsmile:
I really enjoyed this, and this fun and light-hearted read was just what I needed tonight :pinkiesad2: . Thanks!

2790066>>2789124 Thanks (to you and everyone else) for reading!
2789912 Yeah, I thought it sounded more pony that way.
2786958 Thanks for the advice! I'll keep that in mind for the next time.
2786736 I choose to believe that he's actually a super-genius who tries to use Obfuscating Stupidity (warning: TV Tropes)

2790498

Your welcome.

Gotta say... I find it funny that people are downvoting it... I never said I didn't like it.

It was actually enjoyable.

~Skeeter The Lurker

2791017

I think people are downvoting it since you're telling the author to hold chapters back even though they're ready for no real reason.

That's almost as bad as authors who say they won't post the next chapter unless they get a certain amount of reviews. It's called holding chapters hostage, and it's usually the sign of a bad author (or, one who cares more about the attention than the story, so pretty much the same thing).

I liked this :yay: Discord was very funny and in-character. I liked AJ's objections to the sneaky plan and how they kept eating at Rainbow. Also nice job at tricking AJ into taking part anyway :raritywink:

Calm Twilight was calm and very fitting for a post 3rd season setting :twilightsmile: Adorkable Twilight playing the date by the book was sooo adorkable :rainbowkiss:

Good luck in the contest!

Really liked the light-hearted version of Discord! Totally reminded me of the playful, devious (in a good way) Q from some Star Trek episodes. :pinkiehappy:

Well done! Good luck in the contest!

Well paced and cute, nice work. I really enjoyed this version of Discord, he seemed still like his old self, but not evil in any way, and his parts helped add a nice comedic aspect to the story.

The overall plot was done well, and spread out evenly too. I like the forshadowing of Pinkie's party in the denouement by Discord, I knew it was mentioned earlier on for a reason :raritywink:

All in all, a light enjoyable read which made me smile. Good luck in the contest! :twilightsmile:

My official critique as a contest judge, as requested

This story is adorable.

A lot works very well here; the general plot outline of Discord’s antics, the book hiding plan, the date, the reveal, and the conclusion all worked very well as the sort of cute little romance story that feels authentic to the show itself and the characters in general. This is the sort of plot, that were the show to go in the direction of bringing two of the characters together romantically, might actually be used. It hits that playful and positive slice-of-lifey feel very well.

There are a couple of places that I feel could be improved to really make the story shine, though. The actions themselves were all frequently true to the characters—everything that happened felt in character—but some of the dialogue felt off at times. Not excessively so, and mostly the issue is with the second problem rather than anything specific. It’s something that I think will naturally improve for you with experience rather than anything you’re specifically doing ‘wrong.’ It’s one of those things that the more you write a character the better they ‘sound,’ and right now they’re sounding pretty good.

The biggest issue for me is the pacing. You’re not sprinting; I have seen far worse, where a plot like this is compressed into half the words and everything is so rushed you’re left dizzy. That’s not what happened here; the general pacing from point to point was good. There is a bit of a rush from the opening ‘argument’ regarding Daring and Rosetta to Discord’s performance, where I think more detail would have built up the reveal better. If things from Discord’s appearance to Twilight bolting to think took just a little bit longer, drawing out Dash’s discomfort and Twilight’s confusion a slight amount more, it would have helped.

Throughout the middle of the story, you don’t rush things, but everyone kind of feels like they’re talking a mile a minute through the plot at times. You’re not necessarily skipping over anything important, but some of the dialogue exchanges move a touch too quickly from the beginning to the end. I feel like the conversation in Carousel Boutique, from their arrival, to the end of the scene, could have stood to be a touch longer, notably Applejack’s misgivings with the whole idea. Their convincing her to stay was terrific, but her initial reaction felt a little rushed.

Part of the climax reveals both the blessing of Twidash as a pairing, and the curse of writing Twidash. Twilight’s dismissal of Dash’s ‘underhoofedness’ is in character and true to one of the best aspects of the pairing: they’re a pair of ponies that talk out the things they’re struggling with. They don’t hide from their issues and they articulate their thoughts from a practical place. This is good and shows how strong they can be as a couple, but it also pulls dramatic punches.

Clearly you’re aiming for cuteness and comedy here over a rough heartache sort of get-together, so having the issue as an immediate non-issue makes sense, but it feels a touch rushed and like it doesn’t actually matter. If there was a little more—maybe Twilight got a little hurt that Dash tried to do that, even if it didn’t work, before coming around based on the reasons she gave for why she said yes—it would have given the central conceit of the plot more power. Not a sobfest, mind you. It’s just as the story stands, the central conflicting idea of Dash being underhoofed to score a date is rendered immediately immaterial.

It’s nice to read a story that’s a fluffy trifle, which this so frequently is and aims to be. A lot of the comedy lands extremely well. I burst out laughing at several parts. Highlights include Spike saying, ‘Your approval fills me with shame,’ Discord using the pony mannequin foreleg as a comforting tool, and the group Twijack/Appledash shaming Applejack into helping them.

There is, in my opinion, a difference between inconsequential fluff and meaningful fluff, though, and I think this story is skirting the line. If you had skipped Dash’s plan coming back to guilt her, it would have made it entirely inconsequential and really hurt the story, so it’s very good you didn’t. However, it would have been stronger, while remaining just as cute and just as funny, if that guilt had more of a repercussion on either of the characters.

Grammar and mechanics were solid. The occasional typo/missed bit of punctuation, but nothing egregious by any means. Nothing that made my eye twitch. I would suggest on future projects (and this is a blanket suggestion to everyone everywhere ever) is to find an editor you trust. When you’ve been staring at the same fifteen pages or so for a few hours, pretty much everyone starts skipping over those stupid little errors, and a second set of eyes can be a godsend.

Overall a very pleasant read, though, and I look forward to seeing more from you in the future.

My two cents. :twilightsmile:

2954763 Thank you very much for the feedback.

To see if I understood your criticisms, I'm going to try to sum them up: the dialogue was off at times, the pacing was rushed at times, the central conflict fizzled out and lost its dramatic power, and there were a few typos and grammatical errors. And your recommendations, respectively, were: that I should keep writing to get experience with the characters, that the dialogue exchanges could have been longer, that Dash's plan should have had some actual consequences, and that I should get an editor.

So, was that an accurate summary?

And also, I remember you saying somewhere that you were going to offer critiques only after all of the entries were judged (presumably, to prevent the people who received feedback from using it to improve their performance in the contest). Does that mean that the judging period has ended and that I'm now free to edit this story?

2956206

Yep, solid summation.

And as I recall in regards to posting critiques, it was simply after the deadline for entries to be posted. I'm running a little late on my reading, so we're pretty close to the end of the contest judging period anyways, though. Judging officially ends on Wednesday.

2990694 I'm just wondering, as your reply was to Chapter 2, was your criticism directed at that chapter in specific? If so, then I'd advise (or at least ask) you to read to the end of the story -- the interpretation of Twilight as some kind of mindless automaton that turns to her books to make any important choices is pretty solidly refuted in the last chapter, as is the "evidence" that Spike provided.

In fact, the main conflict of the story (inasmuch as I was willing to include conflict in a fluffy rom-com) is that Rainbow Dash was insensitive/stupid enough to think that Twilight's thought processes could be trivialized as some kind of mechanical process with a predictable output.

Though, if you were just referring to the way that none of the characters really spoke up to defend Twilight in Chapter 2, then yes, I agree that that was poor characterization on my part to streamline the story's flow. Either way, thanks for the feedback.

Rainbow frowned thoughtfully, rubbing her chin with a hoof. “But those two don’t have foals...”

Dear God, what did I just read?

Rainbow scratched her head. “I’m pretty sure there’s some kind of rule that says we have to wait three days or something.”

Twilight's List instantly comes to mind.

“Just shut up and kiss me,” she whispered, pulling Twilight closer. Her wings flared as their lips furiously collided in a passionate –

I see what you did there...

Am I the only one who feels like I've seen that exact same first chapter at least 5 times..? Must be popular for Twidash stories I suppose :ajsmug: Either way, The first chapter (mostly) is the only thing similar in those stories because after that its nothing like the others in every one. Loved it anyways, and keep writing!

4664275 Thats because there was a contest that used the first chapter as the prompt

Hhhhhhhhngh! So...adorable!

Haha haha damn it Discord hahahaha

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