• Member Since 8th Jun, 2012
  • offline last seen November 5th

The Apologetic Pony


It's all about diabolical calculations of empathy, yo.


T
Source

This story is a sequel to Millennial Heartstrings


After reading of the events in "Millennial Heartstrings" Twilight Sparkle confronts the royal sisters seeking the truth regarding the fate of Philomena.


This will not make sense if you haven't read the prequel. As always please comment and let me know if you're liking this or not, I appreciate it. I don't know exactly where this is going, so tags may be subject to change. Cheers for reading, thanks for favourting and hugs for commenting!

Chapters (7)
Comments ( 17 )

I like this!~ Keep going~

If you stop I will find you and... something that would some how get you to write more.

I AM READING NOW.

ARE YOU HAPPY WHAT YOUR PESTERING HAS BROUGHT YOU?

YOU SHOULD BE.

BUT DON'T PESTER INDIRECTLY.

THAT'S ANNOYING.

DON'T GET HUGH TO CARRY YOUR MESSAGES.

I like dis.

I really like diiis.

Hello again, TAP. You know me, and I know you. Given that this is the second time I'm reviewing for you, I hope you understand that I'm taking off the kid gloves this go-round. I've seen a lot of growth in your writing, and I'm gonna push you to do better than ever.

It's time to get WRITE on this thing.


What Came Before:
First off, before I even get into this, I'd like to talk a bit about your previous story. What I really liked about it was the characterizations, the way you played personal dynamics against changing scenarios.
What I did not like about it (since, as a critic, I must critique) was some of the psuedo-archaic prose that was highly purple, but mostly that the plot meandered, seemingly aimlessly.

I dunno if you know about the MICE theory, but it basically states that all proper stories can be fitted into one of four categories: Milieu, Idea, Character, or Event. Heartstrings was, by this standard, almost unequivocally a Milieu story, where the basic idea is to show off the world you've created. You're in good company: The Lord of the Rings is a milieu story as well, but the problem is that something still has to happen in it to engage the reader.
It could potentially have been an Idea story, except that aside from the hopelessness of immortality, I don't see that you explored any real ideas in a manner that would suffice for that categorization.
It isn't a Character story, either, because despite all that happens and everything Philomena learns, we really don't see her advance much as a character. She's not totally flat, but her progression doesn't lead her to anything that makes her grow.
And it certainly isn't an Event story, since the plot contains, at best, mini-arcs of plot, small snippets of happenstance that may paint a picture of the futility of control, but don't contribute to any sort of cohesive, overall narrative.

I got a bit lost in your story, I'll admit. I didn't really finish it, aside from the barest of skimmings, because much like the show Lost, I didn't get the impression that it was leading to anything (and that show pulled an ending completely out of its ass, I don't care what anyone says).

This brings me neatly into the new story, which immediately brings a few issues to light.

Comma Usage:
You've improved SIGNIFICANTLY in this regard since I reviewed your first story so long ago, so congratulations on that! There's still a few lessons to go, however.

‘Is this what I think it is, Twilight?

Correct.

‘Grow up will you foal,’

Still missing one here, though. Despite the lack of a proper noun, "you foal" is still considered an address, and needs to be preceded by a comma.

Even an a vivid imagination couldn't conjure talking stars, or a healthy one at least.

Right! :pinkiehappy:

It was dusk when she woke, so much for a healthy sleep pattern.

Wrong. :ajbemused:
Commas are great, don't get me wrong, but every so often, you're still using them to stick together phrases and clauses that shouldn't be linked like that. A comma is a pause, never an interruption. For a break like this, you should be using something like an em dash.

It was dusk when she woke—so much for a healthy sleep pattern.

The judges would also have accepted a colon here, but I like the em dash so much more. It gets a bit overused in amateur writing, but it's unknown by too many writers. What it does—and does well—is indicate breaks, interruptions, or parenthetical phrases (like I just did there!). The reason you need this is that parentheses have no place in narrative. Ever. So, these exist to fill the gap. But most commonly, you'll use them to indicate a break. Use it when a character needs to change mental gears quickly, or to tack a thought onto another thought, as you wanted to do in the example.

Characterization:
Hoo boy... I know we're tight and all, but I have to play hardball on this one, TAP. Your characterizations of everypony in the story are so far off that I can't get my head around them. Celestia is a domineering, almost sociopathic Queen instead of a kind, loving, warm Princess? Twilight is abrasive, invasive, and cold to the point of physically assaulting her mentor, who she loves at least as much as her own mother? Luna is a sorrowful drunk who couldn't care less about how her sister runs things?

I'm all for alternate character interpretations, but these changes are so vast, so all-encompassing that they destroy the canon portrayals entirely. I don't see an [Alternate Universe] tag, and think you sorely need one because I don't see any way, any sequence of events that could drive these ponies from what we know to who they are here. Simply put, these are not Twilight, Celestia, and Luna, and the passage of time that seems to have occurred before this story begins is not sufficient to allow for it.

Especially given the fact that the precipitating event for all of this (at least, as far as I can tell) is that an immortal was assisted with a suicide. Given how common and/or normal this seemed in the first story, where a phoenix could tire of their immortality and kill themselves without any real stigma attached, this is almost ludicrously overplayed. If Fluttershy had put down Angel because he was sick, would Twilight have also bitch-slapped her? Basically, the gravitas of the plot far outweighs what it can actually support.

Final Verdict: 1.5/5 Pinkies :pinkiehappy::pinkiesmile::pinkiesick::pinkiesick::pinkiesick:
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Closing Remarks:
I hope you understand what I'm saying, because I think you have some real talents for writing. What I've put down here is my opinion, and while I (obviously) think it's valid and good advice, your story is yours to tell.
What you have is well-written, overall. The odd grammar error here and there can't detract from that in any significant way. The problem is simply that this story is so incredibly dark. You know what that does to me?
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If for no other reason than that, I'm afraid I have to give your story low marks, because I just can't engage with it. It left me behind, and I doubt that I'll feel like putting in the effort required to follow it.

- OtterMatt, WRITE's Organic Mustelid
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3256815
Hiya, Matt. Thanks for reviewing a piece even though you didn't enjoy reading it. Though I bet there's plenty more where that came from!

I suppose it wasn't my intention to write a story in the classical sense in that each event contributes to another, not stuck in its own bubble and providing a clear sense where the plot would be going. These two (stories) ended up being fairly experimental. I still don't know if that's how I want to tell stories, obviously it's not to everyones' tastes. I mean, its just episodic description as it is. Does that make it a bad plot and a bad story? I'll have to figure that one out, haha.

Rest assured, all bar one of the grammatical errors you pointed out are just typos.

I tried to portray Twilight as unquestionably irrational in her reaction to reading of Philomena's death and not even that matters, as like Heartstrings all the events are largely separate. But regardless, as you've said, it needs an alternative universe tag and probably a dark tag too.

The Royal Sisters may be dead, but this writing machine certainly isn't.

Thanks again. :rainbowkiss:

Wuh...

Far too abrupt in my opinion.

Not enough spike D:

But it was a fun read, though some continuity would have been pleasant, unless you did it in a sort of "Shaman Story" Style, y'know?

3258047
Dude, like I said, I've seen you grow a lot in a very short amount of time, really. Yeah, I'm not on board with this story, but man, I feel bad about the score I gave you. Not necessarily because I feel it's inaccurate in and of itself, but because it doesn't really say how much better of a writer you are than most of what I review.

I'm really glad you're experimenting with story, because too few people really do that. At least, too few who have the ability to do so. I wish you luck, and I'm looking forward to seeing your future work!

Well... Twilight is a walking thesaurus...

I will not try and pretend like I understood what was going on through the minds of these immortals.
Or the broad message of this story and its prequel.
Or the reason why the closure makes me feel like a worn traveler on an endless bridge with a gaping hole well into its length.
Or why I even needed that metaphor to express sadness.

But maybe, there are just some things better left unknown - how it feels like to live forever certainly falls into that group.

4118744
Yup, it would seem immortality does bizarre things to the mind. Well as mysterious as the actions of these immortals may be, I'm glad you enjoyed the journey. Thanks for reading!

all of this... was because of Philomena? how cruel. It's understandable that twilight would act in such a way if she suddenly found out a dark secret that completely changed her opinion of the princesses, but this? I must say this is quite a long way past where the line is drawn. Its a good story but I hoped to actually find out what exactly happened to Philomena. I mean, I pieced it together, Philomena wanted to die so she traveled to canterlot so the only two ponies who could ever truly set her sorrowful spirit free would reside. but dang. Was not really expecting that to spiral into THIS.

4307502
Yeah I mean, this is already a universe that would make Twilight, Luna, Celestia and immortals in general don't get along all that well. We don't know how long, or even why Luna's been messing with ponies' dreams to some extent. Maybe they're all just a bit fed up of living (so long), similar to Philomena. Regardless, thanks for your time, both for reading these two piles of words as well as your comment!

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