• Member Since 24th Apr, 2012
  • offline last seen July 28th

JustAnotherTimeLord


I travel space and time, searching for perfection, for safety, and for purpose. I may never find it, and I may get lost, but the important part is the journey, not the destination. Enjoy it or remiss.

E
Source

Featured on Canterlot's Finest

After being "reformed" by the Elements of Harmony, Luna has finally returned to Canterlot and her rightful place of rule. But time has passed her by, and she must adapt to the current society to survive.

However, a rampant aristocracy, internal strife, and unsolved grudges hold her back from advancing.

And through it all, the nightmare doesn't stop.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I would like to formally thank each and every one of my bosses (aka people I edit for) for prereading this chapter. Without their opinions, I am not sure I would have released this story. They will be listed in no real order:

The Albinocorn, RavensDagger, PaxBellorum, Kwakerjak, Page Turner, Frederick the Saiyan, Icarus_Gizmo, Blackbelt, ToixStory, IridescentDash DandE.

I do not own the story artwork. If you go to this awesome woman's page, you will find the artwork and more!

Chapters (3)
Comments ( 92 )

And so the legendary editor has released his first story, the first escapade into what might be a bright and glorious future. With my authors beside me, I think I can do this.

What could possibly go wrong?

It's here! Joyous day, it's here!

Welcome to the world of writing! Just remember, you're here forever.

Oh hey! You finally released a story!

Sweet!

~Skeeter The Lurker

O frabjous day! Callooh, callay!

3126475
Damn right. I am both filled with happiness, and scared because I know the end is near.

3126483
By the time I finish this story, I have two more on the way. Yeah, it is over.

I didn't choose the writing life. The writing life chose me.

3126488

Hehe, I see.

Also. MY GOD MAN. Why the hell did you wait for so long to release this? This is fucking GOLD.

~Skeeter The Lurker

3126501
It is called, "I don't know how good I actually am at writing, so I try to put things off until the last minute."

I still don't know if I am any good. But I have some good ideas!

3126505

I'll say. This is gonna be a good one.

~Skeeter The Lurker

This looks intriguing...

I certainly like where you are going with this.

3126603
Thanks! And yeah, this will be a good story (I hope). Look forward to more!

Wow, this is pretty awesome! I like the history you've created, as well as how brilliantly the Nightmare just got the better of Luna.
Great job man! You've successfully opened the Pandora's Chest of Feels, I look forward to seeing what more you have in store. :yay:

3126650
SYKE! Huzzah, it is a glorious day indeed!

And thanks. I am hoping for this story to have a bright future.

3126651

Ah, 'tis a glorious day indeed! There should be a world-wide festival, a global fiesta, an international extravaganza! But not for me of course, for you – and you looming plunge into the world of words! Words filled with images of colorful equines, tragic events, and an incalculable amount of friendship, all penned by your own hand! Good luck, you're off to a great start!
And now I'm going to go catch that sleep I've been missing...

Well played, sir. Well played. You have my attention.

3126759 To infinity and beyond! With wibbly wobbly timey-whimey stuff!

3126651

*Psyche*

A REAL prereader would know that. gaw
:twilightangry2:

OMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMG!!!!

Dem gam gams.

-sniff- my little editor got into the feature box. I'm so proud! :raritycry:

Interesting. Please, do continue.

I very much enjoy this, and would like to see more someday! :twilightsmile:

3128336>>3130999>>3130942
Thank you! And yes, I am planning on continuing. Though release dates aren't exactly my forte, as it took almost a month to get this out in the first place. But I plan on doing chapters in the spare time I have between editing and school and my job.

If I'm honest, the first 1300 words were a complete bore--flat, uneventful, bland.

Luna's battle with her own inner voice is an intriguing plot point, however. Despite some wonky similes and a few typos, I'm still interested in where it goes. I'll give it another chapter before I make a final call.

3132300
Well, thanks for at least giving it a second chance. But if you would be so kind as to say what was boring, I would be happy to know. This is my first story, so nothing is going to be perfect. My style and such is still a developmental process, and so is my writing overall. Any pointers would be great.

Though I don't think that Luna enjoyed reading about history either :twilightsheepish: So, you can probably say that you feel like Luna.

Also, typos? Care to point those out as well? I went in and edited this like no tomorrow, and had an army of prereaders to look over it. If we all somehow missed something, then I would really like to know.

3133156

The entire opening is a dry history lesson. I love history, but your bland summary was too uneventful to hold my attention. It presents details in a flat way, and focuses on those details instead of Luna. If you want to put us in Luna's frame of mind, then do it in relation to her, not by making the reader bored. (ex; "Luna flipped another page. Her eyes scanned over the header; something about the Equestrian-Griffon war. Her brow furrowed and she began to read. Something about a trade disagreement, politics... She let out a large yawn. The book's bland style had worn down her interest long ago, and this chapter was no exception. She snapped it shut and rose to her feet.")

Further, the history lesson doesn't add anything to the story--there's some brief comparisons to the modern day, but nothing substantial. So not only do I, as a reader, have to sit through a boring slog, it has absolutely no payoff (if it has a payoff later, then it certainly doesn't deserve to be the introduction to the story).

Reading the description, I came here for some inner turmoil, and that doesn't appear until more than halfway through the first chapter. Setup is all well and good, but there's too many opportunities to lose the reader.


power . . . “ Luna said

wrong quote

She hiccuped, falling down

spl

a statue of an Alicorn in

Not a proper noun, should be lowercase

griffons were losing steam

cut
There may have been others, I was not looking very hard for them.

3133660
Awesome! I hope that the next chapter I write only enhances it.

3135117
Ahh, I see. Truth be told, you are right about how it really doesn't hold any relevance. I wrote it originally as just me creating a world, and trying to exercise my creativity. I love to write things about history, and I never see something truly interesting. So, I just decided to write my own rendition.

While this is true, it does hold a point, after some thought. I noticed that I didn't have anything that meant anything to the story, so I went back and fixed it up some by adding the dialogues. Both of the times she speaks in the story during the history reading are carefully thought-out Chekhovs. They are going to be used in the next chapters, actually.

But my only problem is that I really don't enjoy your edits. While it is some great characterization (really, nice job doing that on the fly), it isn't my personal style that I am trying to create. I can just do my best to follow up with the next chapter in a way that avoids situations that overly bore the reader. And with that, I apologize. With my first story, I knew I would have someone that would find one of the flaws that I had originally written with. Just a mistake that I will learn from, I suppose.

With the errors you found, you are absolutely right on them. I am really not sure how I missed them, but it happens. The alicorn thing is something that I don't even know why I do. For some reason, I just want to capitalize it. I had the same problem with all the other pony species as well, which I have been trying to correct. It takes time for me to break habit with these things, so I will do my best to do so.

Thank you for taking time out to do this. You didn't have to, and me asking you was rather . . . lazy of me, at least with the errors. As I said, I hope that I can amend these things in the following chapters.

3135117
One more update. Hiccuped is spelled correctly, and the quotation thing may not be something I can fix. Due to how I make my ellipses, Fim Fic does it that way. I don't know if there is a way to fix it.

All other errors are fixed.

3135471
My example was just that; an example. The point I was trying to make is that you are just dumping info on the reader with no context or character interaction. For a character-driven piece like this, that is inexcusable (and it wouldn't surprise me if that was why it dropped out of the featured box so quickly), especially since only a few sentences has relevance the plot. When the first 1300 words of a story could be removed and improve the experience, that's a big red flag for me. (And for one of my stories I had to do just that and cut the prologue entirely.) After glancing over your edits I don't see enough difference to mitigate this problem.

The quote can be fixed by manually pasting in a close quote (”)--if you want to avoid these sorts of things in the future then just exclude the space between the ellipses and the quote (. . ." versus . . . ") and Word will pick the correct quote type.
My autocorrect says it is "hiccupped" but it looks like either one is correct, so you can ignore that note.

3135565
The only problem is that I really don't see another alternative at this point. While I could go back and do the things you said, it would basically destroy the world that I had already put in place. Not to mention the amount of words in the chapter would drop drastically. Maybe I am just so new that I don't really know what to do, because that is really how I feel. I want to keep the things I have, but I also want it to be something readers will want to actually read, and then continue to read. But as I said, I have no idea how to create the best of both worlds. Literally, I am at a loss here.

And the quote thing is rather interesting. I am not actually sure if there should be a space after the last period, but I just add the space because it looks good. On GDocs, the quotations aren't formatted like they are on Fim Fic, so that is why I didn't notice it from the start. Anyway, I think I may start doing it without the space after the period, if that is the correct way to do it.

3135637 "A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away."--Antoine de Saint-Exupery

I never gauge quality by word count, and considering I skipped over the first 1300 words of the chapter anyway, my recommendation should be obvious. World-building needn't be wordy to be effective. As my own story library shows, however, I am quite biased in this regard, so you are free to ignore my advice.

3135677
No, I am not ignoring it at all. I am taking this rather seriously. I just don't know what to do, or how to do it. This story has changed drastically once already, and that was way before I posted this. If I go back and change things, then I am afraid I would have to change the direction of the story once again.

And I got nothin'. I mean, if you somehow have a way of helping me with this, then I am all ears. I posted this knowing that the history thing was all nonrelevant, and I hoped no one would notice simply because I have no idea what else to write for it.

3135685 When half your chapter is nonrelevant, people will notice. :raritywink: If it were me I would just cut the history lesson.entirely. The relevant details (the war and Celestia's involvement in it) could all be shared easily with different types of interactions (say, Luna sees a painting or tapestry and asks a nearby palace guard about it or something).

3135828
My friend, you have hit the goldmine. The art idea is fucking genius. Oh, the gears are running in my head. I will rewrite this chapter, and then get it out sometime when I have time to. Hmm, I am free today. . . . Maybe I can get it out tomorrow. We'll see.

Hi, I saw your story in Authors Helping Authors. As requested then, here's a quick review for you :pinkiecrazy:

Name of Story:
Nightmares Don't End When You Wake Up
Grammar:
I'm not really a grammar guy, but I did notice some sentences that seemed awkward.

She remembered this feeling, the feeling of complete and utter content.

Maybe 'contentment' would be better? Also, complete and utter sounds redundant. Perhaps just 'utter contentment' would have been best.

The remnants of Canterlot’s trade centers were sad shadows of their formers.

Maybe 'former selves' wolud be better? Unless you meant 'prior incarnations'

She let out the breath she didn’t know she had held

Just sounds a little strange. What about 'She let out the breath she didn't know she was holding' ?

She pushed harder against the voice, the thoughts, clenching her teeth in anger

Missing period.
Pros:
I liked the use of language and it seems to have a good flow. Nothing was confusing. It seems like a good introduction. It's hard to say anything more than that, because so far it's only really established Luna's frame of mind and some setting and history. I would really like to review this again once you have more, so I can see if the conflict between Luna and her inner demons (and whatever other conflicts you introduce) is interesting.
Cons:
I'm a bit disappointed with the amount of telling instead of showing in this story. For one, I would really rather have not been told that the aristocracy is getting contemptuous and decadent. I would have liked to have seen some of that. Likewise, I wonder how Celestia is treating Luna now. The story said that she's trying to be amicable, promising that she's changed, but it would have been nice if that had come out in dialog or at least an anecdotal flashback.
It felt to me like the only side of Luna I was seeing was her 'crying her eyes out' side. She just seems flat to me, at this point in the story. I hope to see more depth and range of emotion.
Notes Section:
I need you to tell me your secret. I'm writing a story that's very very similar to this one, but it's not nearly as well received. It was actually really striking to me, as I read it. We both have Luna fighting with her inner demons, and trying to adapt to everything that's changed since her imprisonment, complete with lots of examples of the things that have happened over the span of that time. We both apply the structures of governance and power in a realistic way to Equestrian history. Mine takes place a little later, though, after she's had some time to get used to being back home.

I think we can both learn a lot from each other's stories, and I'll definitely be keeping up with this one to see where it goes.

On a personal note, I hate this pervasive trend of anthropomorphizing Luna's evil side. I feel that, by making her dark impulses into some mind controlling entity that whispers dark deeds into her ear, it actually robs her from the 'ownership' of the choices in her life. Why should she deal with the pain she's wrought if she can blame it on the voices in her head? And, why should I root for or against her if she's simply mental? It robs Luna of her humanity (or ponyness, if you will). Also, it tramples on an amazing opportunity to demonstrate that you can be redeemed. Every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future.

Enjoy your review! Please help me out by looking at one of these stories of mine:
Sleep Walking - I'm really really interested to hear what you think about this, because of the similarities of my story with yours.

3185807
Telling is a pretty massive fault that I went into this thing with. I have plans on correcting that by making an entire new opening scene, but keeping the last bit (her fighting herself (otherwise known as the Nightmare) and all that led up to it) the same. But I want to get the second chapter out before I go back and correct the first, as it isn't something that changes everything about the story. I have free range to change it as long as I do so (and I will because EqD will have a field day with my story).

Maybe 'former selves' wolud be better? Unless you meant 'prior incarnations'

The "selves" part seems useless to me when I was writing it. In the end, it would be implied.

For one, I would really rather have not been told that the aristocracy is getting contemptuous and decadent. I would have liked to have seen some of that.

This is what they call a Chekhov's Gun. I will be showing this in time, don't worry. But I don't believe in throwing in everything at once. I believe Mr. Rogers can tell you a little something about patience :scootangel:

It felt to me like the only side of Luna I was seeing was her 'crying her eyes out' side. She just seems flat to me, at this point in the story. I hope to see more depth and range of emotion.

This is something I noticed far too late, but it was necessary, in the end. I know that it was flat for her to just be crying, but something must break before it can be improved upon. This is her breaking point. After this, she will have far more emotional depth. We will see strong Luna, shy Luna, and incredulous Luna. And many more! STAY TUNED FOR THE NEXT ADDITION OF: NIGHTMARES!


To answer your final piece, I really don't deserve that much credit. If you look at my profile, you will see the amount of stories I have edited, and for whom I have edited. I owe this success to those beautiful and fantastic people that I am honoured to call my friends.

Surround yourself with great people, and you will only rise to greatness yourself.

24.media.tumblr.com/a257ad5165644b1f79354634dfdee284/tumblr_mqo61uYbwk1rj6vd5o1_400.png

What a great use of feels. I always love a good Sad story. Feel free to put this ribbon in the long description of the fic if you wish.

3135685

Maybe I can offer some advice on a few things.

First and foremost, 95% of all explaining is unnecessary.
What is explaining? It's everything that you throw in that has no real relevance to what the characters are currently doing in the story. It also usually takes the reader out of the scene by interrupting the action. The history stuff is a good example. Imagine if this were a movie scene. Would the director make the camera focus in on the page so the viewers can get updated on the history? NO! It takes away from the action! The doing! The characters!

Note that this is different from telling. You don't have that big a problem with telling. Telling isn't actually that big a deal unless you severely overdo it. It's when writers explain things, when they get away from the action of the scene, that they have lost themselves in the foul, smelly marshes that readers hastily skip down the page to avoid.

Consider the following:

Twilight lay down on her bed and yawned.
Twilight sank into the folds of her blanket and let out a yawn so loud it made Spike turn over in his bed.

The first is generally considered to be "telling", while the latter is "showing". Is there something wrong with the first? Absolutely not. Here's where a writer would be at fault.

Twilight lay down on her bed and yawned. She was exhausted. The day had been long and she wanted nothing more than to go to sleep.

The last two sentences are "explaining" and should be blasted with dynamite until they are erased from existence. Why should it be erased? Because by EXPLAINING why she was tired, I completely took you out of the scene. And, had this been in the middle of a scene, I wouldn't have needed to explain it in the first place. The scene would have made it obvious why she was tired. (Plus it's obvious that someone who lies down and yawns is tired) Save the explaining for critical information. Otherwise erase it.

The biggest issue I see here is that Luna isn't doing anything relevant to the story. That's right. She's studying a bit, then flying around a bit, then crying a bit. She's a princess for crying out loud! You have SOOO many amazing options with her! What if, instead of the Nightmare getting to her while studying, it gets to her while she's in the middle of night court or something. Consider the distress she'll be under having to fend off the Nightmare, deal with irritated subjects, and all the while having to put on a "happy princess face" or whatever. PLUS, you'll have other characters that will react to her, and for her to react to. Heck, this even allows her actions to have plausible consequences. What if she botches some negotiation or something because she's distracted? She'll certainly have to deal with the consequences later!

Which reminds me of something I just read in one of my "how to not be a terrible writer" books. (Because I'm a terrible writer and I need books like that)
You have a lot of internal conflict going on, but you aren't "externalizing" it at all. Internal thoughts and feelings have the greatest impact when they cause external actions. Hence, why I think something like a night court scene would be great for this.

Another thing: Luna's emotions. They feel a bit melodramatic to me. The first line by the Nightmare causes a knee-jerk reaction and then crying. If your main character is going to cry in a story, they need to have had something earth-shattering happen to them. They need to be near rock bottom. Do you want to follow a main character who cries at the drop of a hat? Or do you want to go along for that roller coaster ride and see them resist while god throws boulder-sized lemons on top of their world? If you want real, believable emotions, especially sad ones, you gotta spend time building up to them. Show the main character struggling to make lemonade with those lemons, using all their strength and wits to squash them faster than they can come, only succumbing to despair when that last, mountain size lime comes out of nowhere and wrecks their entire operation. Know what I mean? Then let those onions loose and the waterworks begin.

Another way to fight melodrama is to use the old "less is more" idea. Instead of having Luna going:

“No! My sister has never lied to me, and she never will! You were wrong all along, now get out of my head!”

Consider something along the lines of:

Luna closed her eyes and took a deep breath. She let it out slowly and then said, "That's... not true." (Bleh, a poorly done example, but It's the best I could do at the moment)
Her hesitation shows that she's unsure, but her statement overall says she's fighting the nightmare.

Now, hopefully that all makes sense. I'm just a noob writer myself, so I can't claim that I have any idea what I'm talking about.

3222149
Thanks for the fast feedback! But I do have a few things I should point out.

First and foremost, 95% of all explaining is unnecessary.
What is explaining? It's everything that you throw in that has no real relevance to what the characters are currently doing in the story. It also usually takes the reader out of the scene by interrupting the action. The history stuff is a good example. Imagine if this were a movie scene. Would the director make the camera focus in on the page so the viewers can get updated on the history? NO! It takes away from the action! The doing! The characters!

I am actually aware of this, though a tad too late to correct. I plan on going back and rewriting the first chapter after I release the second, that way I can work towards Equestria Daily, as I know they will see that I hath sinned.

The next thing is that I do know how to show and not tell, and all that in between. I just had a problem with this because when I actually sat down to write this, I just didn't think. Either way, I am correcting that forthwith.

The biggest issue I see here is that Luna isn't doing anything relevant to the story. That's right. She's studying a bit, then flying around a bit, then crying a bit. She's a princess for crying out loud! You have SOOO many amazing options with her! What if, instead of the Nightmare getting to her while studying, it gets to her while she's in the middle of night court or something. Consider the distress she'll be under having to fend off the Nightmare, deal with irritated subjects, and all the while having to put on a "happy princess face" or whatever. PLUS, you'll have other characters that will react to her, and for her to react to. Heck, this even allows her actions to have plausible consequences. What if she botches some negotiation or something because she's distracted? She'll certainly have to deal with the consequences later!

And here you hit on a really big part of my story. This takes place exactly one week after she was "reformed" by the Elements. In that time, I do not see her taking up the mantle of responsibility. She first has to become knowledgable of new Equestrian law. But she also needs to make a hit with the people, proving she isn't some monster. This is a small excerpt of the conflicts to come, but they cannot happen right now.

Another thing: Luna's emotions. They feel a bit melodramatic to me. The first line by the Nightmare causes a knee-jerk reaction and then crying. If your main character is going to cry in a story, they need to have had something earth-shattering happen to them. They need to be near rock bottom. Do you want to follow a main character who cries at the drop of a hat? Or do you want to go along for that roller coaster ride and see them resist while god throws boulder-sized lemons on top of their world? If you want real, believable emotions, especially sad ones, you gotta spend time building up to them. Show the main character struggling to make lemonade with those lemons, using all their strength and wits to squash them faster than they can come, only succumbing to despair when that last, mountain size lime comes out of nowhere and wrecks their entire operation. Know what I mean? Then let those onions loose and the waterworks begin.

This is . . . a rather large part of the story, and I DO plan on correcting it with less crying during the rewrite. But you have to remember that she has gone a week without a single inkling of this. She could still feel the presence there in her mind, but she felt more in control and more powerful. So, she was able to move on.

Then the Nightmare comes back, and she has only been able to enjoy a single week. She likes the newfound power she has. And when it is threatened, and she has no way to fight it (trust me, the Nightmare could have taken over easily, but it is a corrupting little bastard that enjoys the misery of others). So, helplessness usually turns into sadness in the form of tears. I still think that the first cry was unnecessary, which is why it will be deleted upon the rewrite, but the second one is necessary.

I enjoy that you have found all of my errors, at least. It makes me more willing to rewrite this chapter as I said I would so long ago. Either way, I hope you can at least enjoy the second chapter while I rewrite the first. I just need to finish the said second chapter, and then release it. It will be far better, trust me.

3225709

Then the Nightmare comes back, and she has only been able to enjoy a single week. She likes the newfound power she has. And when it is threatened, and she has no way to fight it (trust me, the Nightmare could have taken over easily, but it is a corrupting little bastard that enjoys the misery of others). So, helplessness usually turns into sadness in the form of tears. I still think that the first cry was unnecessary, which is why it will be deleted upon the rewrite, but the second one is necessary.

Hmmm. Do you think it is a good idea to have the Nightmare already so powerful?

The next thing is that I do know how to show and not tell, and all that in between. I just had a problem with this because when I actually sat down to write this, I just didn't think. Either way, I am correcting that forthwith.

I never had any doubt. I was trying to explain about "explaining", and may have gotten a little carried away. Looking back on my comment, I probably should have just deleted that part, as I think I did a terrible job of explaining it.

3227019

Hmmm. Do you think it is a good idea to have the Nightmare already so powerful?

Hasn't the Nightmare always been this powerful? :raritywink:

3227555

Got me. If it has, what good were the elements?

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