• Member Since 11th Jul, 2013
  • offline last seen May 3rd

ThatOneWriter


I dunno if I can be your favorite, but if you like my writing, that's pretty good in my book.

E

Five years after Twilight became a princess, the Mane 6 have separated to pursue their dreams. But over the years, the distance between them has grown in more ways than just physically.

One night, as the princesses fly over the land, each mare reflects on the past five years, her friendships, and the future. Can things ever be the same again?

Edit: Now featured in Twilight's Library!

Chapters (1)
Join our Patreon to remove these adverts!
Comments ( 15 )

There is a flaw. It ended.

This was a good story, it's pretty evident that you put a lot of effort into it. you might look at the action of the story though. while you had plenty of backstory, all that actually happened was that the princesses flew around and saw pinkie, and everypony started to do things at the end, but the story ended. very good premise and its really nice that you thought to have so much development of so many characters and tie it all together through the flight of the princesses. nice work :raritywink:

2978834
Unfortunately, that is a flaw I cannot correct. But perhaps I'll eventually get around to a sequel. First, however, I would have to decide where things go from here.

2979029
It wasn't really supposed to have any action. I was focusing more on what each character was thinking, as well as backstory of course. Honestly, I didn't like how I did the princesses' part. It felt sloppy to me, but that's why most writers have editors.

Fun fact about the work I put in, I started this story late one night, and then spent a good chunk of yesterday polishing it up. There was probably 5 hours of writing and even more time thinking about what should happen. The best things, like Pinkie's backstory and the title/ending, just popped into my head.

2979129 Maybe, uh. Um. Just a suggestion, Rarity does the invites and uh, there is a reunion and they all fall out because they are more different to each other than they used to be. Then new bad pony and they all get around their differences, defeat evil pony, realise how stupid they were, become better friends. Just a suggestion. You don't have to if you don't want. But If you do then that's okay too I guess.

2979612
I don't know about just throwing in an OC villain. I'd kind of like it to match the slice-of-life style I wrote this one with, just hopefully better. But, I kind of gave myself two paths to go down by accident. I had Pinkie planning a party and Rarity planning to show everyone Manehattan. So, maybe I could have some conflict centered around that? This really was originally going to be a stand-alone piece, but I actually do like the possibilities of where I could go. I'll give it a shot.

....yay.




LOUDERRRRRRRRR!

Hello there, ThatOneWriter. B_P from WRITE here to deliver your requested review. Let's hop right in.


Mechanics:

Most of the errors I spotted tended to be in the punctuation department. Examples:

A thousand years of bringing dawn and dusk by herself had made the task effortless:(;) she didn’t even break a sweat.

It’s not like she was hurting for money:(;) Eeven with her relatively low fee, the fashionista made a small fortune from her trade.

Bit of info on semicolons vs. colons.

With some coaxing from Fluttershy, (and a few extra carrots offered) he began spending time with the female bunny.

As she saw the white alicorn approach, (Luna blended in with her own night) the Element of Laughter began waving frantically.

A small smile formed on Fluttershy’s lips as she thought of their recent adventures, (and to the shy pony, every meeting with Pinkie Pie was an adventure).

In the first two of these, the parentheses and text within them should be before the commas, as what’s being said in them applies to the things on the left side of the commas. In the third one, the comma that’s before the parenthetical segment just plain shouldn’t be there. A larger problem, though, might be that you’re using parentheses in fiction in the first place. You might want to pore over an article such as this one and have a good think, but for my own part I’ll just say that I feel parentheses almost invariably set information apart in a way that removes emphasis instead of adding it—an em dash will pretty much always be preferable. And though you didn’t use any parentheses in dialogue in this story, I’ll say it anyway: never do that. Parentheses don’t really have a distinctive “sound” to them, so all you wind up doing is drawing attention to the fact that your readers are just reading a story.

“Hiya, Princesses! Hey, Celestia! Hey, Luna!”

“Hello, Pinkie Pie,” Celestia and Luna said together.

How to punctuate direct address.

Perhaps the most important piece of her family back home was missing-her friends.

That hyphen should be an em dash, most definitely.

You say you edited this yourself, and I find the result admirable considering that this was your first time out, but you need to find an editor. It’s awfully tough to grow technically as a writer if you’re your only teacher.


Plot and Style:

Telling. Pure telling, the entirety of this piece. You tell the reader what your characters are feeling, what their pasts are like, and what they’re currently up to, all with mere narration. This causes a few issues, the largest of which is probably the way it’s bound to detach your readers from the story. When you tell me that Luna “has difficulty” raising the Moon, for example, you deprive me of a connection to that feeling; as a reader, I need some mental picture with which I can empathize—sweat on her brow, clenched eyelids, exhausted grunts, etc.—if I’m going to have a chance getting into a character’s head. Simply stating that she “has difficulty” is too nebulous; it conjures no real mental images or attachment.

As I said, though, the telling extends beyond character portrayals, as even important events are just summarized for us, like with the following:

One time, the last time she saw the others, Dash had flown all the way from a show in Manehattan to Sugarcube Corner to surprise her friends. Instead, she had collapsed and crashed upon arriving, the flight being too much for even such an athletic pegasus. The entire week she had taken off was spent under the care of a worried Fluttershy. The normally quiet pegasus spent the greater part of their time together berating her flight school friend for pushing her limits so far.

That could have been a chapter of something. Hell, played right, that could have been a whole story. As is, though, this half-paragraph summary of events contains nothing that interests me or that I would classify as emotional content—it’s just a fact about something that happened. Without the events actually playing out in front of me, I can’t feel anything about them. Detail, specificity, showing—these things are a considerable part of what’s going to make your writing style feel less like a report (narrated from some high-up, unconcerned voice that only cares about facts) and more like a story (narrated down at ground level, showing us a character’s actions and reactions instead of simply telling us what happened or how he/she feels). They’re good habits to get into.

Another stylistic issue is that your story suffers from a wee bit of Lavender Unicorn Syndrome: the excessive usage of epithets instead of names or personal pronouns. The key is to make sure that when you are using epithets, they have a point. Otherwise, your writing could quickly become loaded with flowery, redundant descriptors that do nothing but distract the reader. For example, when you first used the term “lavender alicorn” in the story, I could let it slide because you hadn’t referred to Twilight by name yet and that was a passable way of describing Twilight without outright using her name. The next time you used it, though, it was pointless—we already knew she was a lavender alicorn (plus you had already used “Twilight” by that point), so the epithet was just there for the sake of being there, in all its redundant glory. For another example of a time when your epithet usage was perfectly appropriate, I’ll call up the following:

While it wasn’t strange for the former librarian to be up late mulling over her studies, it was unusual for her to be lost in thought.

Here, you’re using her status as a former librarian to smoothly transition into and reinforce the fact that she often loses herself in her studies. This is pretty much how epithets should be used. Compare this instance to the following:

Speaking of the party pony, the two had spent a lot of time together at Sugarcube Corner since the others had left.

Pinkie Pie’s given status as “the party pony” is doing nothing in this context. It’s worth noting that I was surprised at just how often you did give your epithets a point, so that’s a plus, but your frequent usage of them (even in proper ways) makes the times when they’re serving no purpose all the more glaring.

Also, there’s a point where the way things are worded in the narration is hilariously confusing:

Did they miss her? Had they moved on without her?
Had she flown with her mentors, the lavender alicorn would have seen that the answer was no.

This implies that the answers to both questions is no, which is paradoxical. It treats the questions as though the first led into the second, when in reality the two are asking opposing things. As a result, I actually kept reading for a bit with the mistaken impression that Twilight wasn’t missed.


Characterization and Dialogue:

There’s very little of either, to be honest. Little body language. Little speech. Little action, too—most everything was narration about everyone’s thoughts. In fact, I might go as far as to say that Pinkie Pie was the only one acting in character, if only because she was just about the only one doing any real acting.

This goes back to what I was saying about your excessive telling and glaring lack of showing, but you need things to be happening if you want any sort of characterization to come across. You can’t just give a summary of past events; the events need to be shown, or something needs to be happening now in addition (preferably both). Otherwise everyone becomes more like collections of facts than actual characters, you know?


Overarching Thoughts:

Honestly, I have trouble viewing this as a story; the entire time, it felt more like an outline for some larger piece. In that piece, we would see every event described as having led up to this moment—as they happened, rather than being told about them. We would see that awkward final Gala, the slowly building workload pressing down on Twilight, the times that Rainbow is too busy to see her friends, the ways that Fluttershy is withdrawing more and more from society, the moments where Pinkie is desperately reaching out for attention and camaraderie, the call of fame becoming too much for Rarity to resist, and the point where Applejack subconsciously decides it would be better to live elsewhere than face the fact that so many of her favorite ponies have left that her home doesn’t feel like her home anymore… Any of these would make for an excellent story, if executed properly. Any of these would have been a more interesting read than the story I just got through.

You asked if this story would work as a foundation for future stories. As is, I find myself of the opinion that this works as a foundation for a foundation for future stories. If it had all been more fleshed out—presented in a way that allowed me to connect to the characters and what they were going through—it would have worked, but right now, it just feels too lacking. Foundations need cement, and what you’ve got here is a mound of dust.

That being said, you are certainly technically competent for your level of experience, and you’ve definitely demonstrated that you can at least come up with interesting plot threads. You just have to practice at carrying them out. I can certainly see myself being interested in future work of yours once you’ve started doing that.

fc09.deviantart.net/fs70/f/2013/240/3/6/bpadminlogolongver10_01_by_burrakupansa-d6k4xuh.png
-- Burraku_Pansa, WRITE's Trainer Admin and Resident Namesmith

3121689
Thank you for the critique. I was looking for some points to improve upon, and you delivered that in spades.

Some of the things were already pointed out to me, such as the abuse of descriptors and showing vs. telling. A lot of it was new though. No one had mentioned the times when descriptors actually added to a scene. Also, it went unmentioned that I mixed up colons and semicolons, as well as using parenthesis when em dashes would be better. Unfortunately, I never picked up on the rules of those bits of punctuation.

A few of those things made me kick myself that I missed such obvious errors, like the two questions at the end of Twilight's bit. Honestly, I didn't expect to find that I had done that much wrong. It doesn't make me mad at you though. I just feel quite embarrassed. It's very humbling when I get feedback, whether it's good or bad. Every day, I learn just how far I have to go as an author. Still, it does give me hope when people state that it's well-written for someone who self-edits and never properly studied writing. On a side note, I do hope to take a creative writing course as one of my electives. Perhaps I'll alter my plans from a minor in theatre to a minor in writing.

I do hope to rewrite this sometime next year, by which time my writing should improve noticeably. This critique will serve as an excellent blueprint for that. I am seeking out pre-readers, and I'll be on the lookout for a proper editor. One aspiring critic and another fellow author have agreed to help me, so with the help of those two, as well as others, I hope to make my writing the best it can be.

Thank you once again for your critique. I'm learning not to take criticism personally, and to instead learn from it. With that view in mind, I suppose I owe you tuition for the course in writer's improvement you have given me.

3122084
Happy to hear it helped. And hey, this is exactly why editors are good—they can tell you all of these sorts of issues, and any that self-bias or excessive familiarity with your own work prevents you from seeing, and they can do it before your story is actually out there. In that vein, I've got one last bit of advice: make absolutely sure that the people you've got helping you out are better writers (or at least know more about the rules) than you. It'd be tougher to learn from peers, and almost impossible to learn from anyone below your level.

3122179
Yeah, that makes sense. I'll get an editor for the next story I do, whenever I get that one done. Thanks once again for the help! :twilightsmile:

For my edification: Were changes made to this story between the time I reviewed it and the time it was featured in TL? I might want to give it a reread, if so.

3750485
No, I haven't edited it since your review.

I am in the planning stages of a story that takes the same concept- Twilight missing her friends- from a different angle. I think it will be better, and judging from your review of this one, I doubt you'd disagree. That should be published in about a month; it's more or less a showcase of how much I've improved, as well as a half-anniversary.

3752777
Awesome to hear. I'll try and give it a read once it's out.

Awwww... So sweet. So sad. :pinkiesad2: Now ya got me all mushy gushy... :rainbowhuh:

Login or register to comment
Join our Patreon to remove these adverts!