• Member Since 19th Jun, 2013
  • offline last seen 10 hours ago

Grand_Moff_Pony


Author & Pre-reader; Chief Apprentice in Loyal's House of Fanfic; Lt. in the Army of Biscuit; Does Bad Things for Bad Horse

T
Source

In the wake of a massive storm, time and patience will heal the physical damage to Ponyville and its residents. But how do you treat an injury that you can't see?
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Winner of the TwiDash Writing Competition v3.5
Featured by The Royal Guard

Gorgeous cover art by the extremely talented Viwrastupr

Chapters (3)
Comments ( 37 )

Been a while and I still don't understand the ending. XD

4596791

Thanks for the read! I had hoped that I clarified the ending scene a bit with the revisions, but...alas. :applecry:

Here's the skinny: After helping RD calm down, Twi nudges her back to bed, this time deciding to join her instead of reading the research journal. After their short dialogue, Twi quietly casts a sleep spell on RD to help her go to sleep w/out dreaming again furing the night. As she does this, Twi is crying because seeing RD like this is hitting her hard, yet she doesn't want RD to see her emotions slip too.

4596824
There is an actual [spoiler ] tag c:

~Twi

loved it! i could definitely see the improvements that were made.

I don't get it, master Moff... if I want to read the new, supposedly better version, which one should I read, the normal chapters or Archived Version? It's just so confussing because there's like 1000 more words in the Archived Version... :pinkiesad2:

4598466

Read the revised chapters. They're shorter than the original, but are much more streamlined in their construction and flow. Much of what I cut from the original was (in hindsight) extra fluff the bogged down the pacing a lot. :)

4598482 Ah, okay. Thanks master Moff. Always loved this one. It's one of the few stories I regularly go back to. I have to say that even tho I didn't mind the extra fluff from the original (and I had to read both versions to even notice it) the revised version do flow better and do make the rhythm of the story a little better. :pinkiehappy:

But to me it was like adding a little extra salt to a already perfect meal. The food was already perfect, but with a little extra salt you got more taste to it. Nicely done, sensei. :pinkiecrazy:

It's well-written, but this doesn't work for me. Sorry.

:fluttershysad:

4610436

Well, shucks. Sorry to hear that. :( Thanks for giving it a read though. :twilightsmile:

You, reading the opening paragraphs aloud in our ORC, gave us absolutely no warning that this was a Twi/Dash fic. You snuck shipping right past my nose! And of course I had to finish the story, I couldn't leave with such a fierce hook. You are an embezzler, that's what you are. Sneaky sneaky. :trixieshiftleft:

And you know what? I really liked it. I really, really liked it. Your title (and description) set up the twist quite well, and the ending was really bittersweet. The whole thing was screaming and action and feels. Awesome.

Maybe shipping isn't so far off my mark after all, because this is great. I love it! :pinkiehappy: Thanks for writing.

4664653

I swear, I wasn't trying to be sneaky intentionally. I was about to offer a full context on the nature of the contest that I wrote this for, but the timer was already running, so I just went for it. :twilightblush:

Glad you liked it though! :pinkiesmile:

PS - the thing with shipping is, it can be done in infinite degrees. I've read some awesome ships here that have virtually no physical romantic components to them at all. So, if you decide to try it out in the future, you can absolutely take it as light or as heavy as you want/are comfortable with.

What. I'm confused. What is that ending? How is that an ending? Only thing I can think of is if that was symbolic and she like...killed her or something. But that feels wrong and doesn't make much sense. But neither does this ending. :rainbowhuh:

4715619

Thanks for your comment. I'll PM you an explanation once I get home. Phones don't work too well for long comments, lol. :)

So does this mean that their is no hope for Rainbow and that her nightmares will never end?

4734066

Not necessarily. It all depends on how she copes with her PTSD, which is essentially what she's experiencing here.

I'll admit up front that I am not terribly well-versed in the topic outside of the reading I did before crafting this fic, but with treatment and support, I know that very many military veterans overcome this issue and go on to be as happy and healthy as they were before they went into battle. OTOH, even with treatment, some people never do fully recover. That's the truly diabolical nature of this issue, imo.

As for RD, the local doctors have done what they can; Now Twi's calling in help from the Princess.

Finally got around to reading this, as it definitely hooked me with the opening you read during the ORC. Because of that, and realizing you're serious about improving, this will probably be a bit more critical than my usual comments, but it's meant to be constructive, so please don't take it too hard/personally. Also note, all these comments apply to the revised version, which is all I read.

SPOILERS AHEAD!

My initial and overall impression is that you effectively have three separate scenes (perhaps even stories), with only a tenuous connection between them. The first chapter (while full of some interesting action) has effectively nothing to do with the ending. You set up a disaster, give special mention to this mythical "wall cloud" and even do the "but no one's seen one of those in ____ years!" trope with it. By the time the action is peaking, I'm on board for an action story, and want to see how the characters are going to outwit and stop the disaster. I want to see them come up with some clever solution. But then the chapter ends with a scream, and we're now in an entirely new story.

Now all that matters is the fire at the library. The larger storm doesn't even matter, and in fact just "goes away." That said, there's some intense emotional involvement here, but the basic premise hinges on seemingly unbreakable glass, and Twilight's inability to teleport. Now, I recognize that, in hindsight, these are the frustrations of dream logic, but at the time, it just felt completely illogical and annoyingly unexplained. But that brings us to the third part.

It's all a dream! Now, this is again a very common trope, and one that naturally tends to frustrate a reader/viewer. It's easy to feel the author "lied" or "tricked you" when this is done wrong, and I must say I felt a little of that myself here. I understand that the idea of recurring nightmares is key here, and you can't do that without the dream itself. The problem is that you the majority of the text is dream, with no context to actual reality until this point. Put simply, this dream sequence is far too long, as the only purpose it has to the true story is to show how horrified Rainbow is at the thought of losing Twilight.

Okay, all that said, let me say that I do think you've got a great premise here. (Actually, you've got two great premises, but we'll get to the second one in a minute.) I really think you should ditch chapter one almost entirely. How many weather teams Dash is coordinating, the fact that Ditzy's team got downed in a field, that wall-clouds are rare, and even that there was an accident at the weather factory have no direct bearing on the relationship issues and how Twilight is helping her through the recurring nightmares. Open in media res with Rainbow headed toward the fire, and just sprinkle in some background details about the storm/disaster, and then the dream reveal won't feel so "cheap cliche" and it'll leave you more space to focus on the emotions there. It's also leave it with a lot more "punch" I think.

Then, with that first chapter, go make an action story! You've got a lot of details in there, which right now, are basically all violating the Chekov's Gun rule right now (I mean, you spent an entire page giving precise details about how she splinted Thunder's wing with goggles), but could make for a very interesting story if followed through on.

Now, structure aside, some more detailed comments on nit picky things.

You've got quite a few places where you lapse into patterns, reusing similar words or repeating information. This is mostly in chapter one, e.g. there's several mentions of tying thunder's wing up/down/etc. Ditto "sprained fetlock." You also like to pair "chaos" with "midst" or "amidst" and screaming tends to show up in sentences with ripping.

Some of the action is a little hard to follow. This is always a tricky one, especially in scenes with a lot of action (like a storm) but it wasn't always clear who was where, especially in the early part of chapter one in the air, and later, looking in the window. If this was intentional (dream fuzziness?) then... well, I don't think it worked as intended.


Now, the compliments! I really liked the premise, and there's a lot of emotional mileage to be had with the recurring nightmares, PTSD thing, especially when it's centered around a relationship. I think you can pull a lot more out of that if you want, and I'd certainly like to see it. Likewise, most of your action was pretty interesting, and what hooked me into the story in the first place. You've got a lot of interesting set up for how/why this disaster happened, and as I mentioned, that could (should) be a story in its own right.

Okay, I'm going to stop here, before this comment gets even longer than the story itself. Bottom line: keep it up!

4941336
Thanks for the read and the fave! I'm glad you enjoyed the story. :twilightsmile:

To answer your points:

1. That is mostly correct. Luna certainly has more tools at her disposal, but there is no guarantee that she will be able to fully heal RD's mind.
2. I wouldn't say Luna has the same/similar nightmares as RD here. BUT, she is the overseer of ponies' dreams, so she is in the best position to look deeper into the issue than any doctor could. So, if help from the diarchs is what TS thinks is needed, Luna would be the clear choice over Celestia.

Again, thanks for the read!

I tear my heart open
I sow myself shut
My weakness is that
I care too much

5062550

And my scars remind me, that the past is real.
I tear my heart open, just to feel.

5063626
5062550

That song makes me feel old now, lol. I take it you both liked the story? :twilightsheepish:

5063632

Honestly, I haven't read it yet, I just wanted to reply to that comment first.

5063644

Lol! Well, I suppose I can let that slide. :raritywink:

If you do give it a read though, I hope you find it to your liking. :)

Huh. Never thought a story would be able to get me back into TwiDash.

Good show.

Huh. Well, there's me thinking I wasn't going to have much to say, and then I read the comments. So, there's really two things for me to say here:

1. The story didn't work for me at all. It's very well written, but the actual story behind the prose didn't feel like anything more than generic shipping bait. That said, I don't generally enjoy shipping and I couldn't have even tried it unless it had been up on the TRG post, so take my response with as much salt as is necessary. Without a desire to read shipping, this wasn't much more than a few flimsy contrivances and a few paragraphs at the end that were actually interesting.

2. The ending was – regardless of the rest of the story – spot on. I find it amusing that the one thing people have commented on at all is that the bit that made the most sense to me. Rainbow is falling apart (although I'd have to say that it doesn't sound like a very difficult problem to fix) and Twilight it absolutely ripped up because she doesn't know how to fix it – she just knows that she won't stop until it is fixed and that Rainbows needs her to be strong.

I mean, don't get me wrong: it looks like an absolutely awful relationship that will go nowhere good. Still, when someone shows that they place your life above their own and professes to love you – and when you're a character as neurotic as Twilight – you're going to become very attached to the source of that validation. Still, any half-decent therapist could probably solve it. Hell, I bet I could take a pretty good stab at it myself. At a minimum, I'd love to know how close I am to what the author thinks :)

-M

5074131
I'm at work right now, so I will respond at length when I get home this evening.

But, I will quickly say that this was originally written for a TwiDash group contest, so shipping was a required piece of the puzzle. :)

5074131
Okay, home from work, so time for a proper response.

1. This was originally written as an entry into a TwiDash write-off (see link in story description). The write-off prompt was "After the Storm", with an added stipulation that Twilight and RD had to transition from friends to dating somewhere along the way. So, in that sense, the entire story was aimed at accomplishing that goal, though I tried to make it interesting along the way.

2. RD's afflicted with PTSD, which is far, far more damaging to the mind than regular-grade nightmares. she's re-living the same scenarios over and over again in her head, and each time she does, her mind puts in new twists and curves that only worsen her recollection of the real events when she is awake. In other words, her mind is distorting her memories, with disastrous results.

As for the TwiDash, I tried to write Twilight as a frustrated but dedicated partner to RD. She's frustrated that neither first-line medicines or her research have been able to turn up a path to a "cure" for RD (if PTSD even has a cure, mind you). BUT, she's 1000% dedicated to her partner, and is willing to do whatever it takes to help her - even if she has to listen to RD recount a death that never occurred a hundred times over.

Overall, while RD's and Twi's physical scars have healed, they have a long way to go to heal the mental ones - RD's PTSD, and the deepening emotional trauma that RD's suffering places on Twilight.

Hopefully that answers your questions/thoughts. :twilightsmile:

Hey Moff i have a problem
I cant stop crying :fluttercry: :raritycry: :raritydespair:
well writen to the core. very nice story. found it just a day ago in my read later and i can just say thanx for the tip :pinkiesmile:

:scootangel:

5164243 Thanks! I'm glad you liked the story.

Now, to solve your tears issue, I'd prescribe a quick dose of warm fuzzies - in the form of my one-shots, 'Lessons of the Heart' or 'Second Chances'. :)

Cheers!

I'm ashamed that I put this story off for so long. I was, perhaps paradoxically considering my recent stories, scared away by the sad tag. It was your self promotion in You Might Like This (with the 'reasonable amount of sad feels' note) that encouraged me to finally sit down and read it.

I was not disappointed. Rainbow's worsening nightmares and the events of her dream were rather visceral and well done.

I was happy for the ending, too, and I really hope that Twilight and Rainbow can find a way to help her past the PTSD.

5483559

Thanks so much! *squee* I'm so glad you liked it. :pinkiehappy:

I think this deserves a ribbon:
i.imgur.com/od0xMCF.png

It'd been a while since I read this, but in going back and taking another look at it, I still find myself liking it whole lot. The action scenes are very well written and, as someone who's been there and done that, Dash's struggle with the lingering impact of her traumatic experience resonates sympathetically with me in a way that feels very true-to-life.

Well done, Grand Moff.

Bro, I cried when you made it sound like Twilight was dead.

Only thing that really bothers me so far is that a wall cloud is not the massive supercell you were describing. Instead, a supercell thunderstorm is the bulk of the cloud itself (including the gust front, body, anvil, and flanking line), while a wall cloud is specifically a relatively small lowering of a cyclonic supercell, where the underside of the cloud gets closer to the ground and usually creates tornadoes.

10242471
Hi! Thanks for the comment, and for giving this a try so far. :)

Gosh, been a long while since anyone commented on this story, so I'll just say a few quick things.

1. Yep, looking back on it I realized that I wasn't quite accurate with the use of "wall cloud" there. I didn't fix it at the time because this was a contest entry, then I never got back to it anyway. (sorry)

2. I think this was my 2nd or 3rd story ever, so compared to my most recent works this is pretty rough around the edges, lol. So I'll just say that you may find my newer stuff has more polish on it,. ;)

Anyway, if you decide to read the rest I hope you enjoy. And please do consider some of my new stuff as well. Cheers!

4715619
Actually, it said that Twilight put a spell on her. Unicorns do have sleeping spells.

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