• Member Since 14th Jan, 2012
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fic Write Off


Writefriends from all over PonyChan gathered in a war of words on the weekend of March 10. But who is the greatest a/fic/ionado? The decision is yours. Vote, rate, and choose your favourites!

Authors are anonymous, so you won't know who wrote what until the voting stage is over.

Vote Here

(See: http://www.ponychan.net/chan/fic/res/88413.html for info on how the competition went down.)

Cover image by Cassius.

Chapters (21)
Comments ( 104 )

Do you actually need this submitted to the site? You can just share this link and people can view the entries.

The publicity could definitely help. I was chided a bit last time for not getting this event promoted well enough, and we only ended up with about 20 voters. So having it submitted would be nice.

Fair enough. I just thought it was a bit odd.

Not sure when it will be live, but I've approved it.

Interesting how the titles' first letters are unevenly distributed across the alphabet.

I really thought it was going to turn out to be some kind of MMORPG...

Actually, the way it seemed like a video game was probably the story's weakness. It just seemed too implausible for a nightmare to work like a video game, complete with checkpoints, bosses and power-ups. I liked the story overall, but the story would have been far better if the dreams were as horrifying as Twilight had described. The way the dreams were written seemed more like a Legend of Zelda game. I had been hoping for something along the lines of Silent Ponyville, but the dreams were just not scary.

Also, Twilight trying to trick Applejack like that was completely OOC, for multiple reasons. First, Twilight would never double-cross a friend to save herself; she just wouldn't, especially not in such a sleazy manner as this. Second, Twilight would have known that Applejack would be unhelpful if she was angry at Twilight, which she would have been if the trick had worked. Third, if she wanted to trick Applejack, she would have been much more cunning than the way you wrote.

The ending, too, was a problem. It felt like a huge letdown to think that the mane 6 were going on an epic adventure, only to have them in a happy, sunny place and then have a single fight before saving the day.

Overall, the story had an interesting, fresh concept and the story was good enough to keep me reading to the end. Sadly, it could have been exponentially better if you hadn't dropped the ball with the nightmares and the ending.

#7 · Mar 13th, 2012 · · · VOTING ·

Nice stories, all!

(I'm still reading through them, but I really do like all of these... a lot!) :twilightsmile:

I loved this story for many reasons:

1. The story didn't gloss over Bon Bon's death. You really described their relationship's love, and kept the reader from knowing exactly what was going to happen until she died. Giving Bon Bon some depth made the dichotomy between her's and the doll's personality that much more obvious, and that much more interesting.

2. The title initially gave me the fear that this would be an R.L. Stine "kid buys a doll at a garage sale, doll is creepy, oh no" story, but it wasn't. The title, while still a good title, forced me to start the story with completely different predictions about the plot than actually happened, and that made the plot twists more fun.

3. The doll itself was an enigma. Was it magic? Was it really Bon Bon? If so, why was she so mean? If not, who was it and why? Was it a dream? Had Lyra snapped and been talking for the doll? Oh, there were so many questions, and you had the balls to not answer them, leaving me wondering long after the story finished.

4. The ending! Oh, Lyra's deal with the doll really made me want to know more! I didn't see it coming, and it left me with more questions than answers, just like a psychological story should.

10/10 I look forward to finding the author's profile name so I can follow him or her and enjoy more of this kind of work. I bet you would be great at some psychological grim-darks.

Spoilers, but nobody should ever read comments before finishing the story...
This story brought a couple tears to my eyes, and not just at the end. Berry's portrayal as a tragic lost soul was perfect, and it made her into a sympathetic victim of circumstance and depression, rather than another alcoholic. Her suicide at the end was tragic and a complete surprise (until the doctor's warning, of course). This is a wonderful work and a great take on Berry's current fan portrayal.

This is Binding of Isaac, isn't it. That's... that's an interesting idea right there.

Anyway, while the opening was promising, the ending was ultimately disappointing. You're stuck in this weird gray area between sticking too close to your source material (the HUD, powerups, and bosses) and not enough (fields, sunlight). I'd pick one direction to go with. Also, the Elements at the end—can you say "deus ex machina"?

Look, you can do interesting things with dreams, and the Elements, and the interactions between them (he said, whistling nonchalantly and pointedly not looking at his own story). But you haven't set up that ending. You didn't drop any hints that the team could alter their environment with lucid dreaming, or that the Elements could be a superweapon. You can do those things, but you have to telegraph a move like that.

A few spelling errors. My biggest issue here was with Opal's characterization: I didn't understand her motivations. There's also a disconnect between this story's message and the show's nature—a sort of solemnity the show lacks—but I think it works.

Hmm. A few errors in spelling and grammar, some awkward turns of phrase. This is a chapter one rather than a full story. The connection to the prompt is rather tenuous—her hair has a black stripe in it, how horrid! And I'm not really a fan of Nightmare Moon as a separate entity.

Also, Trixie is Princess Celestia's daughter. What.

Missed a full stop right near the start. "I'll never be as good as you, Twilight"
"I have study" I have to study.
"That's New Canterlot" Thats the new Canterlot...
"B1knight" all these character names should really be B1 knight F2 pawn.
"Twilight was it Rarity’s" was at
"Celestia to cough much" to cough that much
"He counted on his fingers,"...

Other than those grammatical errors, none of which were jarring, this was a fine story. Humorous at every turn with a good example of crazy Twilight. I don't think I'll forget her screaming at Rarity "Am I Beautiful?" for a while. Fluttershy was well characterised and the Black Queen's identity was pretty obvious. I liked when you personified the chess pieces particularly. Although 500 bits for a table is pretty ridiculous. I know it's for the story set up but that's like charging £5000 judging by the way they all reacted to it.

"Anyways, the this" Anyways, this
"Spike tole me" told me
"She had a feeling that she was going to be down there." ... for a long time?

Interesting if a little obvious. I guess it kind of had an episodic feel to it. I think it might have been better with some kind of genuine twist, I mean it was very straightforward. Maybe it's just me but I found the writing quite dry. Twilight acted as she should although I don't really see how she could have messed up that final recipe. Is there a special technique to crushing? I wouldn't have assumed so. It wasn't a pain to read but nothing really stood out. The few errors I spotted could be all excused as time constraints. It wasn't a bad fic, I just didn't like it much; personal preferences and all that.

The resolution is a bit short, but I think everypony felt the time constraints a lot this time. The first half was good, I liked Trixie being Trixie for once, even if she was fighting inner turmoil. The look back was a bit short and the ease with which she dealt with it a bit unrealistic. I mean one second she's staring at money thinking about how hollow it is, then she's excusing herself. This is probably due to time constraints so I won't mark down the story for it, but still it could have been a little more thought provoking.

Interesting if a little sombre. I liked the internal conflict Berry experienced over Fluttershy. The hint at the end as to the source of her depression was just the right amount. We didn't need her backstory, all that mattered was the present. You've managed to cast a tragic twist on the character of Berry Punch, normally labelled the "fun drunk". I think you overexplained some things though, by the end it was obvious what she'd try. The suicide wasn't a shock. It was an inevitability. Grammar and characterisation was good though.

"used to hoping" Hopping. Have to say this reminded me of Red Dwarf: Faith, hop and charity.
"cared enough foresight" Had enough foresight or cared enough. Not both.
"what was it," Still a question so should have a ?.
"like a canon" Cannon.

You took the character of Cranky a step further in this one. It was interesting to delve into his psyche and see what kept him going. A solid story, charged with emotion.

You use both beforehand and beforehoof. I know one's supposed to be a ponified version of the other but you shouldn't really use both.
"super best most friendliest ponies" I'm going to give a little leeway because its Pinkie but that should be friendliest or most friendly, not both.
Would Pinkie really use the word rad?
"between h legs" Between his legs?

An interesting concept? Letters? Octavia and Inky being the same character is something I haven't seen in a while. It was interesting to see the transition from Inky to Octavia. Not sure how related to the prompt this is; what exactly was the double-edged sword? The letters format could have been better done, there was no real concept of time other than sporadic dates. I liked it, don't get me wrong, but it felt a little flat. Inky did seem very self-centred with little justification.

"She flicked it, but the lights didn’t go off." I think you mean the lights didn't go on.
"How could you, Bon Bon? Don't you love me" I think you got Lyra and Bon Bon the wrong way around here.

Well that was... chilling. I'm surprised you managed to do so much with so few words. We got a snapshot into their lives beforehand, then the accident happened. Both quite dark and on screen as it where. The mention of Lyra fiddling with something in her pocket made me think that maybe she intended to propose and when she died in that scene; well, it was so sudden. The doll was odd to say the least, I like how you left it open-ended. What was that squeak? We'll never know. It was clearly not Bon Bon, the difference in personality and demonic laughter told us that. But you never explained what it really was, which leaves it open to interpretation, a good move. The only flaw I could really see is the way Lyra talks to herself after Bon Bon's death. She doesn't seem to be as broken up as one would expect. She isn't as self-damning as I'd imagine, she's almost functional. This could be attributed to a strong character but she does mention how much she misses her several times so I'm not sure.

"You look me," You look at me
" myself a bucketful" myself, a bucketful
"but they . Makes me wish" but they make me wish
"Canterlotian a couple" A Canterlotian couple
"been very thoroughly." thoroughly cleaned?

Well I thought this was quite funny. Colgate as a crazed inventor who consistently abuses magic is a Colgate I've never seen before. It was a pony twist on a classic tale. The characters were interesting and the dialogue was very amusing. The anagram must have taken a while to think up. The ending was a good twist too, finishing it and simultaneously leaving it open for a chance at a sequel if needed; the whole repeating the cycle thing. I think you mixed up Lyra and Bon Bon briefly when we saw that one of them was cheating.

I don't know what to say. This story exists. I wasn't fond of Fluttershy's journal part, it wasn't particularly compelling. Then we got to the Investigator who was an interesting character. I was willing to suspend belief for the sake of the story. Fluttershy a black market slave from a foreign nation? Absolutely ridiculous but I accepted it for the story. Then her kindness got infectious and I almost stopped reading. What? Where would you even come up with this idea? I didn't like it, I hated the plot. It was well written and the three formats were interesting but I didn't like it. I didn't like it one bit. Sorry.

What? This was an intro. I know that this was an intro to the season two opening. It was well written but nothing really happened. You added some fictitious back story to the Elements of Harmony but that's not relevant to anything. The fact is this is a good, well written passage but that's it. It's a passage, not a story. I know there were time constraints, I felt them too. But this needs a story to follow it.

"Compared images" Compared to images

That first scene might as well have been straight out of Inception, even down to the equipment they used. You did a good job of making up characters, particularly with names. Nightmare as a separate entity I have seen a few times, its a good concept and one I tried to use myself at some point. Your take on Rainbow Dash was good too, I could imagine the real Dash acting like that. I enjoyed this story, I can't see anything at all wrong with it. Certainly a strong contender.

It was inevitable that somepony would decide to reverse this. Still, it was a good idea. Nothing much really happened though. Fluttershy's lessons were pretty lacklustre. I did like the idea with the minotaur mazes, that was a good one. The resolution was also pretty plain, he gets angry once and suddenly he knows the exact balance? I don't know if this was due to time constraints or not but I think that the lesson should be more pivotal.

Not bad, actually. This isn't the sort of story I normally get into, and the perspective switch was jarring at best, but aside from a few minor grammatical errors, I kind of liked this. However, the shipping felt tacked-on and sort of forced. I feel the story would have been better without it, but then again I'm not a huge fan of angst to go with my ponies.

"it’s that Starswirl creates the most safe and dependable spell analysts anywhere.” ??? The fact that Starswirl can create Spell Analysts is hardly relevant here.
"equestria" Equestria, proper noun.

Well that was certainly interesting. The idea of a spell casting Pinkie Pie had me recoil in terror. Using magic she could permanently shatter the fourth wall for everypony! But seriously, I enjoyed this. It was an interesting story with a very clear link to the prompt. The only point I could pick out for improvement would be to have Pinkie Pier's slow corruption being seen rather than reported. Pinkie is present during the tests but it isn't until after that we are informed that she isn't acting like Pinkie. Irregardless this was fun, a nice adventure story.

323676 Scratch that! She wouldn't be that self-damning part anyway. That reinforces the idea that Lyra is going crazy. The Bon Bon doll is Lyra punishing herself! That just bucked your story up by another point.

Some good humor here amidst grammatical errors and a painfully obvious "mystery character" that the author more or less admits was a weak point in the text. Fairly decent stuff, though. I must say, I'm pleased that I haven't disliked anything yet. Then again, I'm only two stories in.

Nothing too horribly wrong here, but nothing that's really gripping either. This was rushed and it showed.

Eh, this didn't do it for me. Could use more of a hook.

Amidst grammatical errors and a glacial pace, I didn't really care for this. On to the next one.

Good idea, bad execution.

The usual amount of errors something like this has, including a jarring shift in perspective, but there are some interesting things at play. The story gets a little too "telly" in places (particularly when the fire starts), but this had something of the desired effect. I can't really see the connection to the prompt, though.

This didn't seem too much like a pony story. You mention hell and Michael Bay for one thing, at least make it Discordia and Michael Bray or something. The characters could easily be substituted for humans with no loss in story quality. But yeah, this was extremely confusing. Is this meant to be like the Island crossed with the Matrix or something? Clones being used as magically controlled pawns in a game and a "loose avatar" somehow being liberated by a real pony. I don't see where the double edged sword is. On top of that this seems like the first chapter of a proper story, this was supposed to be a self contained fic. I think this might be an interesting idea, just make it more pony and this could easily become a long, winding, conspiracy filled story.

Heh. Heh heh. This embraced the madness of its premise rather well and I like it. I don't often see stories with Colgate, but this was a good characterization for her. I saw some outright omitted words and glaring errors, but this was a delightful little chunk of crazy. I liked this quite a bit and wouldn't mind reading any more the author has to say on this premise.

I feel like this was only written because a journal-format piece won last time. Sorry, but that's not enough to get you good votes. You need these silly things (among others) called "hooks", "correct grammar", and "a plot that makes any goddamned sense" to do well in writing.

I was left wanting more. This is an interesting concept, but it didn't have enough time to flesh itself out into a full story. Were this longer, I could see myself really liking this. As is, however, I'm left with a "Damn it, is that all?" feeling.

“... prepare Spikey-Wikey together with Rarity aren’t you?” for getting together?
"she was heard Rainbow Dash speaking." She was hearing or she heard.
"I am a very busy person" Pony
"And in the middle, is her goal." was her goal.
"suprise" surprise. I always get this one wrong too.
"everyony" You got halfway there; everypony.

Rosetta Stone? Good call on that name. The ending was a brilliant touch, hinting that Pinkie Pie is Chancellor Puddinghead's descendent was a very good call. The moral behind it was exactly what Party of One's should have been. I think though that the way the story played out distanced it enough from Party of One despite what they're all saying on /fic/. I enjoyed this, only Pinkie could take that term seriously. Good call overall in fact.

"like shewas close" she was

At first I thought it was the tomato cupcakes which mysteriously stay good for days whilst left on the counter. But this was surprisingly well paced. Everything kinda worked and, whilst not entirely show material, teaches exactly the kind of lesson the show does. This was well done and the only mistake I found was forgetting to put a space in. I liked it, even if it was a little plain. The subtle TwilightxPinkie shipping at the end wasn't enough to throw me off.

Definitely a strong one, although the ending felt a mite tacked-on. Personally, I think just ending on "That'll be fifty bits, please" would have been a bit stronger. You've got a nice OC here, one who is a bit passive at times, but she's endearing enough that I can let that slide. I didn't notice too many errors, either... I like this one quite a bit. It has the flavor of Inception without feeling like a ripoff of it. Well done.

I mirror 108Echoes opinions, pretty much what I would have said. I admittedly didn't spot any spelling errors although there were quite a few awkwardly phrased sentences. It was okay, nothing new. I mean this idea's been done to death really, even I've written something like this. But it wasn't abysmal, nothing truly terrible about it. Just you completely destroyed all Trixie head-canon with that ridiculous back story. Celestia's child, really? I mean who in their right minds. Plus this suffers from first chapter syndrome. All fics should really be one-offs in this competition.

A little too much on the fluff side for my liking, but this had its moments. As usual, were it not for the contest's time constraints I'd be screaming about editing more.

Hmm. I'm not sure how to feel about this. Something... perhaps the pacing, perhaps the emotion, perhaps the characterization... feels off here. I'd need to think further before really delivering a verdict on this.

Although let me just say that Pinkie using magic and suddenly becoming better than Twilight at it was a big strain on my suspension of disbelief.

"blinked twitched" blinked and twitched or one of the two.
"other hammers, axes. Rakes, water pots, helm" I think you put a full-stop in there by accident.
"the deserts" Desserts

This was fantastic. You characterised Reveille brilliantly and really got across his voice. This has to be the favourite of the eighteen I've read so far. Kudos. Other than those few spelling errors I spotted, I can't see any way to improve this. The parents were well characterised too whilst I disagree with 108Echoes about Opal, it was kind of obvious she had feelings for him in that childhood awkwardness way. On top of that, this was well linked to the prompt. Fantastic.

This, uh.

I don't have words. What did I just read?

I feel like this would be much stronger if it ended right when they escaped the game. The rest of the story feels a bit tacked-on and out of place, like a different story wandered in and told itself while this one excused itself for a few minutes. And the ending... I... urg. This has a lot of potential, and with work, I could see myself loving this, but right now, I almost feel like the author undermines him or herself by changing focus partway through the story.

Still, I applaud your sense of experimentation; this is a very bold piece.

Hmm... a bit too much like Party of One at times for my tastes, and there were a number of errors that made reading this somewhat irritating at times. However, there was some good comedy here, particularly where Rosetta Stone was involved. But uh.

"Gerundville", huh? Really? Really?

Never played Binding of Isaac so I can't really comment on the video game idea. In fact I can't really comment at all, not knowing how much is from the game and how much you made up. I'm assuming you made up the entire final sequence so I can at least say good job. It was better than the other video game candidate. Good job.

Gerundville sounds like a parallel to /fic/ in HoRI.

Some errors, but nothing glaring... I felt like the resolution was rushed, however. You spend a fair bit of the story getting Pinkie into an emotional state, only for Twilight to shake her out of it with a few words and an omitted scene later? I can't comprehend why the solution wasn't shown. The final scene also seemed a little tacked-on as a "And then everything was okay" ending. I felt this didn't really live up to its potential.

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