• Member Since 4th Jun, 2013
  • offline last seen Mar 4th, 2019

Bootsy Slickmane


Retired writer and graphic artist.

E

Diamond Tiara does not want to see the dentist. Why would she? Dentist appointments are never fun. But when Diamond's appointment arrives, she finds herself wishing it were only as bad as just being "not fun."


Story revised on 2013, 10, 25 and again on 2013, 12, 01
Now available in Russian, thanks to Lonery.

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 47 )

I'd never call a dark story "heartwarming"...

But this one made my heart explode.

Kinda saw the plot twist coming, but the actual execution of the big twist was good, no complaints there. One thing that did bug me while reading was one character (no spoilers) saying Diamond Tiara's name way too often to be normal. It didn't make for natural dialogue and the character saying it seemed a little distant for what she was doing all throughout the story. If you do decide to try and improve on it (which isn't strictly needed, the story's fine as is in my book), I'd start there. Upvoted for the concept and for giving some sympathy to an otherwise universally loathed character. Not faving because it's not quite my genre of story, not because of any lack of quality. I'd sooner expect to see this unfold in a larger story (I'm actually doing just that, believe it or not) than to have it be a story on its own, but you can take that as an encouragement to try and write a longer piece :raritywink:. The story itself works and as an experiment I'd call it succesful.

I really liked the story. You actually made me like diamond tiara which is a true achievement by itself. And it was also very well written.

Best wishes, Zelos

Comment posted by Bootsy Slickmane deleted Oct 7th, 2013

3314405

:raritywink:

3314426

Thanks for the input. As with my last experiment, I expect to revise this at least once in the near future. I hadn't really noticed until you pointed it out, but man, the number of times that character said Diamond's name was borderline obnoxious. I've cut down on it, now.
Oh, and I'm actually kinda pleased you kinda saw the twist coming, since I tried to hint at it a little.


[Something went horribly wrong with the comment replies, which is why I had to delete and comment again]

You know, you captured something about Diamond Tiara that I rarely see in other stories.

She's a frickin child.

Good work on this.

I felt.... idk. it reminded me of cupcakes:pinkiecrazy:
but overall I loved the story. i liked how princess luna came and such, and I think you are a really good author. continue writing, Bootsy Slickmane!:twilightsmile:

3314972

Thank you kindly, and keep writing I will. Oh, and if there were narrative similarities to Cupcakes, I'm unaware of them; I've never actually been able to bring myself to read Cupcakes. Just sayin'.

3315002
i definitely dont recommend it. i stumbled across the video once, and it scared me so bad. eventually, i decided to face my fears and read the fic. it didnt turn out well. :applecry:

3315007

Anti-recommendation noted, though I'll probably end up reading it eventually. I did see that video not long ago, though. Not pleasant. If only that song weren't so catchy and didn't get stuck in my head and remind me of it. The video did inspire me to write a story about Pinkie and Rainbow, though, so I can't say it was a completely terrible experience.

Dude... This is gooooood.

Well done on making DT a decent child.

~Skeeter The Lurker

3315066
yes. i ended up eventually reading the comments of the video and story, and thats how i found this site! so something really good came from it!

I really like this. Everypony is written in-character--aside from Colgate, but I wouldn't count that since that was Diamond's dream --and I didn't feel anything too emotional, but my heart warmed once Luna came along. ^^

Comment posted by Bootsy Slickmane deleted Oct 9th, 2013

I really liked this story. After reading "Revenge of the Dumb Fabric" I almost thought it was going to end in blood, but I'm kind of glad it didn't. It was a neat little story, and a lot of fun.

3361540

I know a lot of people hate Diamond Tiara (which is understandable to a point), and some might want to see her get hurt by the dentist, but I hoped that they would feel at least a bit sorry for her by portraying her as what she is: a child, who in this case, is completely terrified. When the twist came, I was hoping that most readers would be relieved. Thanks for giving it a read, and I'm glad you enjoyed it.

As a side note just to be clear, my lack of mercy in "Revenge of the Dumb Fabric" doesn't mean that I like Diamond Tiara more than Sweetie Belle.

This story is the Teacher from the Black Lagoon series in a nutshell. The series that depicts the dangers of childhood imagination when they work alongside fear and reminds us just how terrifying uncertainty can be, especially through the mind of a child. Here we have Diamond's fears of going to the dentist brought to light in a very similar fashion, though not exactly in the same way that the children's series goes about it.

If there's one thing that children loathe more than a dentist checkup, it's the waiting that precedes the checkup. Just from duplicating that aspect alone, you've already got a realistic portrayal of Diamond from the angle you seem to be approaching her character from. The way I see it, you look to be placing nearly all your focus into portraying her childishness correctly, which I would say you do very well. She's impatient, she's haughty, and she's spiteful, but she also has fears, concerns, and dependencies. She's not written to be an embodiment of conflict. She's written to be a character, and a believable one at that.

There are many critics out there that call dream stories the lowest common denominator of storytelling. Mainly this comes from the notion that anything taking place in a dream can be considered filler because it doesn't advance the story. Personally, I agree that dreams are often a waste of words for the author and time for the reader, but only when they are passive dreams that could be hacked off from the story without doing any harm. This story incorporates active dreaming, which uses the dream in a way that would hinder the story if it were to be removed. Diamond's experience in the dream is relevant to the story because development comes of it. Between the beginning of the story and the time she wakes up from it, something is learned. Something changes as a result of the dream, which makes it basically equivalent to a scene where she's awake, only you have more freedom with the laws of reality.

You mentioned that you placed hints in your story to foreshadow the fact that it was a dream. The overly sinister tone set by Colgate, all the other ponies in the waiting room disappearing, the unanswered question of how Diamond had cavities if she took good care of her teeth, Colgate washing her hooves before solely using her magic, the poster changing his expression from a smile to a sneer, and Colgate claiming Filthy said something Diamond said were the ones I caught that Diamond didn't bring up herself.

However, I think you may have a few too many hints. Going into this story, I already knew what would happen as far as the evil dentist torture goes, which is why my key focus was on deducing if this was a grimdark horror story, a comeuppance story, or an "all a dream" story. Once I started catching the onslaught of hints, the first two theories went out the window and took every drop of suspense I might have had with it. If I could recommend improving this story in any way, it would be to make it more ambiguous about whether it's a dream or not. Though it is an active dream, it's still a dream, and once the reader is convinced of that, they know that Diamond's not in any real danger. Give people reasons to believe in other theories so that sense of suspense stays alive for as long as possible. Ideally, you'd want it to ultimately not turn out to be a dream so there's no feeling of payoff deflation after the big reveal, but in your case it would do more harm than good to make everything real without some serious reworking, and the moral you have set up here can certainly stand on its own dream and all.

Minimal spelling/grammar errors, but you might want to take another look at this sentence:

The magenta filly sitting next to Rich wasn't paying attention to either, however.

I think I could use it to decode crop circles.

I'd call this story a glass of milk. It's clean, it's smooth, it's simple, and it promotes strong and healthy teeth.

Make the most!

3394140

Thank you for your very insightful review and feedback. I'm not at all familiar with the Teacher from the Black Lagoon series, but even a cursory glance reveals that this particular story bears striking similarities to it. Interesting.

You are spot on in everything you point out about the story, particularly in your assessment of the way I tried to portray Diamond Tiara and that it's where the majority of my focus was. I figured that it would be the hardest part, given her status as an antagonist in the show itself and her severe lack of character depth. I had hoped to make the reader sympathetic to a character who is primarily known as a bully. It is because of this that I considered the work to be experimental.

I may have overdone it with the hints, but it's that stigma you mentioned that drove me to it. I didn't want people to feel angry that the rug had been pulled out from under them when I officially made the reveal. I'd never written a story that used the major elements present here, and I'll most likely revise it in a few days when I have more free time.

Thanks again for giving it a read and providing some very thoughtful feedback. It's analytical reviews like yours that really help out the most. While reading the review, I kept saying to myself, "this guy gets it."

3394910
Foreshadowing a reveal is important to do, but in this particular case it's unnecessary. The point of foreshadowing your reveal is to make it feel like a natural and ideally inevitable step that the story ends up reaching. However, when that reveal is "it's a dream", no one's going to think "that's not possible", because a dream could be about anything, even if nothing unusual happened. That's why so many people, even professionals, use the trope. Because it's just so convenient. And that's where its greatest sin comes into play.

Much like saying "just kidding" after something unbelievable, a dream lets you automatically take back anything you just wrote with the single phrase "It was all a dream". And just like making "just kidding" the punchline, making "It was all a dream" the reveal is about as simple and eye-rolling as it gets. Though there are exceptions, people being angry about this trope is unfortunately just a penalty that comes with using it. All that hinting at it does is make people angry sooner.

See, in fiction, writing a dream is a lot like serving a fault in tennis. You can hit the ball wherever you want and take it all back later, but unless your shot is significant in some way, your receiver's going to be annoyed that you're wasting his time. However, you want your receiver to be invested in your serve. If you let him plainly know beforehand that you're bouncing it off the moon, he's not even going to hold up his racket. Always keep the reader suspecting that it might be a fair serve. Yes, it will still be disappointing when they realize it's not one, but it's much more engaging that they're questioning it the entire time than if they're just waiting for you to catch up to what they've already figured out five minutes ago.

Happy to be of assistance. Always glad to see writers interested in improving their work and skill.

3395943

Ah, you've made me realize the root of my problem here. I often put realism (or at least verisimilitude) ahead of plot devices and tropes when I write. I try to make stories flow smoothly and make as much sense as possible, at least when I write serious stories. In this case, I wanted to simulate the oddities of dreams and how the dreamer will accept things that make no sense. I hoped the reader would look back on the inconsistencies and go, "oh, that makes sense now." But if this story isn't effective in creating suspense, it needs to be adjusted. I'm always interested in becoming a better storyteller.

Adjustments made, story revised. The experiment continues. Thanks again.

Very sweet. I do really like the idea that Diamond isn't so bad deep down.

I actually really liked this story. It teaches kids not to be scared of some small things. I also like that it goes of the episode "Sleepless in ponyville" where Luna walks into ponies' dreams .

3429630

Yeah, I like to feature little lessons in my stories, just like the show that inspires them. Glad you liked it.

I REALLY like this story! :twilightsmile: Um... Can I translate it into Russian and publish it on Russian sites? :twilightsheepish: I'll leave the link to the original, I promise! :fluttershysad:

3447560

Sorry it took so long for me to respond. As long as you credit me, then sure. That'd be cool, actually. Go for it.

3473961 OHMYGOSH THANKYOU THANKYOU THANKYOU! :raritystarry:

"Why do we have to wait so long? I don't want to spend the rest of my life in some stupid dentist's office. I bet the doctor's cutie mark is for all the time she makes her patients spend waiting in this boring room."

okay that shit was funny!:rainbowlaugh:

"Of course not. What sort of pony would want to see such torment inflicted on a little filly?"

obviously her highness has never read Tarnished Silver.:pinkiecrazy:

I think I remember feeling much the same about the dentist in my youth.

cudos on a great story.:pinkiehappy:

3534901

Yeah, I don't recall fond feelings for dentists in my youth, either. You know that line about pulling nine teeth at once? That actually happened to me, and they weren't even bad teeth. Thanks for reading; it's always good to see a reader who enjoyed themselves.

Comment posted by ServingSpoon deleted Nov 26th, 2013

3541863
one thing I could identify with as a happy memory was the little bead maze thing. I loved those toys. pushing th beads along the wire track was like playing with futuristic trains:pinkiehappy:

3542251

Yeah, the classic wooden bead maze. I can't remember seeing those in any place other than medical waiting rooms for kids. Yeah, I definitely had to include one of those to enhance the authenticity.

3542405
Totally. I wish I had one of those at home:pinkiehappy:

Any chance for a Silver Spoon short?

3542479

Hmm... I could do that. I've got a lot of projects going and have been a bit busy, so no guarantee on speed. You have any ideas in particular? PM me, if so.

3542557
sorry no. I dot have any good ideas for my fav filly Silver Spoon:raritydespair:

3542586

Hmm... I'll think of something. Nothing horrible, of course; I don't plan on making a habit out of killing fillies in my stories. Something nice, perhaps thoughtful. Maybe some light shipping. Yes, I have an idea.

3542663
I am a DiamondSpoon supporter myself. But please don't let my OTP dissuade your creativity.:duck:

3542680

Oh ho, that works even better than the fleeting thought I had. Yes, a plan is forming. I'll be sure to notify you as soon as it's up. Thanks for the inspiration. Would you like to be mentioned in the description as the one who inspired/requested the story?

3397774
For me, the moment the waiting room was empty of all ponies, I figured it was most likely a dream, that she had nodded off in the waiting room (wrong on the location, obviously). And when that got followed up with the cavities thing, which DT could see and is at odds with her statements about how she cares for her teeth, that pretty much confirmed it. Both are rather big breaks from reality. You do want/need the hints, but if you want people to buy into it for a bit at least, you probably want to start smaller, with little things that lightly prick the reader, rather than large things that hit them with a clue by four. And then ramp it up as you go along.

Part of what cued me in was that the story doesn't mention how many ponies were supposedly in the room. If it was just her, the receptionist, her father, and another parent and foal combo, then her coming back to an empty room wouldn't have set off as many alarms. But instead, suddenly she's complaining about something you didn't describe, and using "they", which means multiple ponies going in ahead of her. And so warning flags went up, because something was wrong with reality as a whole, rather than just a little off. Along similar lines with her mouth. She's sure she takes good care of her teeth, yet she has a ton of cavities that she's allowed to see. A combination of less cavities (and throw in the words "root canal" to keep the terror level the same) and DT trying to bargain with her father in the waiting room, trying to get out of it by promising to floss more than she does, for example, would bring it a bit closer to something possible. Or else DT can't see them, but Colgate swears they are there, and thereby having something wrong, but it could just be Colgate.

And then you've still got good stuff, like Mr. Rich helping and his repeated dialogue that give just the right level of weirdness at that point in the story.

Of course, it just depends if you want the user to know it is a dream right from the start or if you want them to think things are just a little bit off, and after the dream reveal go "Oh, now it makes sense."

One other suggestion. You're pretty much in a third person limited here, from DT's PoV, yet you refer to Filthy Rich by name. You could strengthen the narrative's connection to her by avoiding the use of his name and using the likes of "father" instead, since that's how she's likely to think of him. You do it later in the story, but not early on.

3549574

Hmm.... A bit of a pickle, I seem to be in. I originally had a lot more small hints, but someone pointed out that they made it very easy to see that it wasn't real. I went through and removed most of the ones that didn't drive the plot. Still needs some work, apparently. Dream stories are tricky, it seems.

I definitely agree about the waiting room, and that it needs more description. Maybe make it feel like she's really been waiting a while. I debated with myself about Diamond seeing her own cavities, and perhaps it would be best to avoid it (or imply that Colgate fools her with magic). As for the naming issue with her dad, I actually did that on purpose because he's not acting like her dad. He's pretty normal initially, though, so I probably shouldn't do that until later.

Heh, that repeated line, and what it can mean in the context of those two situations, is something I wanted from the start of writing this. I hoped it would boost the creepiness level and drop a hint that something was off.

I'll give this another revision soon. Thanks for the input.

3550478
I think the number of hints you have is about right. Just that two of them are a bit too big at the moment. As to the naming of her father, I'd suggest avoiding it outside of conversation even during those "OOC" scenes, as naming him distances her from him, and therefore lessens the horror. Far better to heighten it, no?

And, yeah, dreams are tricky. Really depends on what you want to accomplish with them.

3553537

I honestly never expected such a reception to this story. I actually figured more people would dislike it. I guess I underestimated how many people don't completely hate Diamond Tiara. And yeah, this should really feel like a horror story for most of the ride. The idea that's it's really her father still being the one doing these things is even more horrifying. Good point. I'm not exactly a horror writer, nor have I taken much interest in the horror genre in general (though John Carpenter's The Thing is one of my favorite movies).

Thanks again for the input, as I really do appreciate it. Now, it's back to revising for me. Gotta find the right balance between simulation and plot.

OMFG...... I thought you were literally going to CUPCAKE her face off or something. Jeez this was chilling/warm/nerve wracking/ calm/ wtf.......

I went :ajbemused: :derpyderp2: :fluttercry: :pinkiesick: :rainbowderp: :rainbowlaugh::twilightsmile: :pinkiecrazy:


Nice one.

3868939
Heh hehe. That's a reaction I like to see here. I think the revisions might have paid off. Thanks, and I'm glad you liked my first attempt at (psuedo) horror.

I was waiting for the plot twist ending where Colgate really is crazy.

This reminds me of that time I went to get my forehead stitched when I was little. After slamming my head into a wall, last thing I saw was blood on my hand then I woke up in a hospital.

It felt like those scary torture movies because the doctors didn't give me an anesthetic. And they had to pin me down, biggest NOPE of my life when the doctor was going to do it. And I did a great imitation of the victim getting tortured by crazy doctors.

I still have the scar on my forehead until now. :ajsleepy:

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