• Member Since 28th Mar, 2013
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PurpleFire18


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One day in the Crystal Empire, Shining Armor is asked by both his fellow guard Flash Sentry and his sister Twilight Sparkle for love advice. Being the kind pony he is, he helps them both. After all, it can only be a coincidence. What are the odds of a connection between them asking for love advice on the same day?


Thanks to Resonant Spark for being my editor. I have an editor now.

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 66 )
Dan
Dan #1 · Feb 11th, 2014 · · 9 ·

Voted up just to spite the Flash-haters.

I'll read it later, but I went ahead and give you a like, Flashlights not my OTP for Twi, but I like it and hope Hasbro puts him in more in Season 5.

I feel ever so slightly cheated, if only because a lot more could have been done with this. Keep in mind, I hate the FlashSparkle ship. There was no relationship in the movie. Just hormones. (Unless Twilight is INTO Xenophilia...)

Regardless, this felt a little rushed, and Twilight saying that she 'knows' she 'loves' him just...

I'm not going to like this, but I won't dislike it either. Sorry I can't verbalise better what's wrong with this story.

Sequel Please!!!!!!!!! :eeyup:

That was a funny story. It reminded me alot of the TV show friends, when Ross found out his Chanduler (his best friend) and Moncia (his sister) were dating. I say great story.

Hehehehe... Ten bits says that Cadence already knew and was actually taking bets among Celestia, Luna and a couple of her servants just when they would get together. xD

One thing which your editor missed:

“Oh, it’s quite alright.” Shining Armor said as he nodded to the pegasus, signalling him to stand at ease.

Yes, sir.” the pegasus replied at once.

“Oh I don’t think it’ll come to that.” She replied, rolling her eyes.

“...Actually sir, when I came to you for advice, I was talking about her.” Flash Sentry said.

(Just four of many examples.) When dialogue is immediately followed by an attribution of who said it and how, you treat the entire thing -- dialogue plus attribution -- as a single sentence; end the dialogue with a comma, not a period, and do not capitalize the next word outside the quotes unless it's someone's name, or the pronoun "I". Like this:

“Oh, it’s quite alright,” Shining Armor said as he nodded to the pegasus, signalling him to stand at ease.

“Yes, sir,” the pegasus replied at once.

“Oh I don’t think it’ll come to that,” she replied, rolling her eyes.

“...Actually sir, when I came to you for advice, I was talking about her,” Flash Sentry said.

If the character's dialogue ends with a ? or a !, you still use those marks as normal, but still treat dialogue-plus-attribution as a single sentence as above:

“WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH MY SISTER!?” He screamed, surprising both the guards and the happy couple.

“WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH MY SISTER!?” he screamed, surprising both the guards and the happy couple.

On the other hand (or hoof, as the case may be), when you have dialogue followed by an action, and that action is not a direct attribution of who said it and how, but a separate action independent of speaking, you do not treat it all as one sentence. Example:

“And if Love were something that could be researched, then weddings would be run by scientists.” he frowned momentarily, “—On second thought, you’d probably like thatThe point is, you just have to do what your heart tells you to do.” he held his hoof to his chest and smiled softly.

Here, you have a sequence of events that need to be separated:
(1) Shining Armor says his line.
(2) He "frowns momentarily" after he finishes speaking.
(3) He speaks again.
(4) He holds his hoof to his chest and smiles after he finishes his line.
So, capitalize and punctuate like this:

“And if Love were something that could be researched, then weddings would be run by scientists.” He frowned momentarily.On second thought, you’d probably like that. The point is, you just have to do what your heart tells you to do.” He held his hoof to his chest and smiled softly.

(Also note the removal of the em-dashes. That's not quite the right usage for them; dashes are more normally for when a character interrupts themselves, or is interrupted, in the middle of a sentence. Here, Shining Armor is saying the entire line he meant to say; the fact that he inserts an "on second thought" parenthetical aside doesn't require dashes.)

Hope that helps! :twilightsmile:

3930883

Editor here, thanks for the help. This was honestly my first time editing and while I like to think I know a lot about English grammar there are definitely things I still have yet to learn. For example, I actually looked up dashes in the process of editing because they are definitely something I never covered in school and I'm still not 100% sure how to use them, but I like to think I did a decent enough job. I also didn't know about treating dialogue+attribution as one sentence but it does make sense, even if ending a quotation with a comma still looks a little weird to me. Hopefully in the future I'll be able to avoid those mistakes. :twilightsheepish:

3931013
I have to say, it really does surprise me (although I guess it shouldn't, considering the state of the educational system these days) that so many people seem to not know that basic dialogue-plus-attribution rule anymore. I mean, don't they teach this in school anymore? :facehoof:

Anyway, if you look at practically every published novel out there, you'll see the dialogue formatted with the commas instead of periods. :twilightsmile:

Dashes can be kind of flaky –

(You can say that again.) :ajbemused:

– but in general, they're either used to indicate an unexpected interruption –

(Heyyyyy... that was an insult, wasn't it.) :rainbowderp:
(Ahem. Speaking of interruptions...)

– in a character's speech. Sometimes, they can also be used to set off a –

(Look, I don't have to stand here and be insulted, you know.)
(Of course you don't, darling. You can go anywhere and be insulted.) :raritywink:
(Do you two mind?)
(Not at all, darling.)
(*glares suspiciously at the unicorn*)
(*smiles innocently*) :raritywink:

Anyway. As I was saying, dashes can also be used to insert a sub-clause into the main sentence, such as:

Her first thought had been that she had accidentally fallen asleep while flying – though that had never happened before – and that she was simply a few minutes away from the ocean.

In this case, the dashes serve to –
(Fell asleep while flying? Who the heck does that?) :rainbowhuh:

...okay, that's it, apparently I need to spray for a Pony infestation again.

I like this story! :twilightsmile:
3930212 And I agree that this story deserves a sequel. Maybe a prequel! One where Flash and Twi think about talking to Armor. Their POV's... :pinkiehappy:

Ooh, what about a sequel this time Twilight telling her friends and parents about her relationship with Flash Sentry?

3931129

No, they really don't teach that stuff anymore. It's all about reading and "interpreting" these days:

"Why did the author make the curtains blue?"

I don't know. Maybe they like the color blue, did you ever think of that?

That's right, blue is the most awesome color after all. :rainbowdetermined2:

What are you doing here? Did EquesTRON let you in? :derpytongue2:

Anyway, all but the basic grammatical constructions are pushed aside into the higher-level English courses if they're addressed at all, it really is quite sad. And wow, I consider myself an avid reader but I guess I never noticed all the commas. Just looking through a random assortment of books I have nearby I can see them practically jumping out at me. Are you sure you didn't sneak in and change them when I wasn't looking? :unsuresweetie:

But anyway, now I am aware of these seemingly basic rules so going forward they shouldn't be an issue. Thanks again for your help, and I hope you get that pony infestation sorted out (though it looks like they might be migrating over to me). :twilightsmile:

Finally, a simple FlashLight fic without any undue drama! :pinkiesmile: Don't worry about the downvotes, that's just people with an irrational hatred for Flash Sentry.

This was a cute story. Ah Shining, you unwilling instigator of doom.

One word tipped the scales and is getting me to read this - "unwittingly". Without that word I might have skipped over this fic. Now, to see if it's worth it...

I shall return!

It was alright. Cute and funny at parts, but with some awkward timing and wording bits that took some of its steam out.

“That’s why it’s called a Panic ATTACK!”

Big Bang Theory reference? I think I love you.

Great story, kept me interested!

3931178 yea that will be nice flash will constantly be getting the "if you hurt her i will hurt you speech"

Fantastic little fic! I've said it before, and I'll say it again: it's nice to read these short little ones every now and then. Those big epics are...well, epic, but even the best readers can't go through them without a break.

Now, onto the story itself. I thought it was fairly well, written, and the plot was well thought out enough. The idea is a tad cliche, but that might just add to the appeal of it. The progression was good for the majority of the story, and I applaud you for that.

However, I do feel that towards the end, it was a bit rushed. It might be because the resolution or "moment of truth" came a bit too quickly. I think the story could improve by adding little things that Shining sees or hears before finally discovering Flash and Twilight together. Maybe a rumor or two, or a close call for Flash as he "escapes" in the nick of time from Shining as he walks into the room. But, all in all, it is an exceptionally written piece and I commend you on it.

Have a favorite, a thumbs up, and a mustache! :moustache:

Qutie enjoyable indeed good sir!:moustache:

3931349
See, that just completely boggles me. :twilightoops: When I was in school in the 1970s-80s, it was the other way around; writing mechanics, spelling, and grammar were the primary focus in the elementary grades, and they didn't start start introducing you to literary analysis and interpretation until at least middle school. And even then, all the way up through high school, they had separate "Language Arts" and "Grammar & Composition" classes, both of which were required. I couldn't even begin to tell you how many Reed-Kellogg sentence diagramming exercises I must've slogged through in 4th, 5th, and 6th grades, for example; all I know is, 30-odd years later, I still remember how to break a sentence down into its component parts and diagram it! (Not that I actually do it, at least not on paper, but I do still find myself visualizing them that way sometimes when trying to work out why a particular sentence just doesn't quite "read" properly.)

I'm of the camp that while this was a cute story, it didn't maximize the potential for the classic "big brother stumbles upon his little sister in love" trope. I do like how Shining Armor wasn't portrayed as a total papa wolf -- he offered Twilight advice, after all -- but that's as far as it goes. I never managed to settle down with the characters or how they were written. The progression of the narrative and its characters felt flat.

My most serious peeve was the formatting. EquesTRON went into detail about the errors. Seeing the dialogue format done incorrectly proved to be very distracting. At the risk of sounding pretentious, I often click away from a story as soon as I see such rules of prose neglected; however, I made an exception on this occasion, mostly out of curiosity.

Another thing that bothers me is the final line of the story:

“Listen Corporal,” Shining whispered into Flash’s ear, his passive-aggressive tone enough to send a shiver down the the pegasus’ spine, “you’re off the hook for now, but do something that even remotely upsets my little sister and I will make my hooves meet your face, and then you’ll be put on KP. Do I make myself clear?”

How is Shining Armor's tone passive-aggressive? He outright threatens Flash Sentry with repercussions if he mistreats his sister, so the hostility is not veiled. It's made all the more curious since "Listen Corporal" hardly conveys passive-aggression, even if Shining's subsequent statement were in fact passive-aggressive.

My advice -- at least in any future writing endeavors -- is to more closely scrutinize what you are writing and what purpose you intend for your words. This could be a cute story and a tight read, but ultimately the final product is on the scattered side.

3933125

I went through school from the late 1990s through the 2000s and I have never seen one of those diagrams before in my life. I know we covered spelling through elementary and middle school but other than that it was all literary analysis/reading comprehension and basic composition with little to no grammar to speak of apart from the bare essentials (verb, subject, ect.).

As someone who has studied several foreign languages (it's what I'm doing in college now and I started back in high school) I will tell you—and I'm not alone in this—that I have learned roughly 60–75% (i.e. a noticeable majority) of my English grammar skills through the study of non-English grammar. For instance, I didn't know what Subjunctive Mood was until I'd studied French for two or three semesters in college (though to be fair, I don't believe it's a common construction in Modern American English) and I still can't tell you for sure how many Tenses English has—but I can tell you how many German and French have because I studied their grammatical structures as part of learning those languages.

TL;DR Because of how the education system was structured when I went through it I learned most of my English grammar from studying languages which (that?) weren't English.

P.S. Did I use the em-dashes right? :twilightsheepish:

3933208

Yeah, sentence diagramming apparently fell out of favor sometime during the 80s-90s, unfortunately. Probably for the same reason that the phonics method of learning to read fell out of favor; teaching it involves a lot of repetitive drills, and it takes longer to get results vs. the "new" methods – or seems to, at least superficially. The thing is, while the newer methods appear to give faster results, in that most kids will be able to start reading and writing basic sentences more rapidly, it does so at the expense of giving them a proper grounding in the fundamental tools they need to really understand what they're doing. :facehoof:

It's like expecting someone to build a house when you haven't even taught them the difference between a hammer and a screwdriver yet.

And yes, those were correct uses of the em-dash. :twilightsmile: :yay:

in retero spect they should have gone to cadence..... also i love shining being over protective:derpytongue2::twilightsmile:

3933375

Yes, it's hard to remember that far back but I'm fairly certain that when I was first taught to read and pronounce words the focus was on the individual words as a whole and not on the sounds of which they were composed. (Don't end a sentence with a preposition, learned that one from TV sadly enough. :facehoof: )

At some point growing up I learned how to parse through sounds of words I didn't know, I credit that to just reading a whole bunch. When high school rolled around I started up with German and that was definitely instructed phonically, as has been ever other foreign language I've studied so far. Seems to me the "old methods" of teaching English are the current methods of teaching other languages to English speakers.

And yay! I knew I could still learn new things if I tried! :twilightsmile:

Oh man, Shining is such an stereotipical older brother! You better treat Twilight well, Flash!:twilightsmile:

3933717
Phonics was falling by the wayside even when I was in elementary school, so I'm quite sure you would've been taught via the "whole-word" ideographic method in the '90s, yes. I was fortunate to have parents who actually taught me the right way, before the schools had a chance to sabotage me.

And sabotage it was; there can be no surer indictment of the "whole-word" method than the fact that by the time I got to those "reading and interpreting" Language-Arts classes in high school, the vast majority of my ideographically-trained peers were struggling to read excerpts from books I had read – and understood! – when I was ten! Not only did they not have any idea what to do when confronted by an unfamiliar word, many of them would constantly misread words like "house" and "horse" because they'd been trained to speed-read by "looking at the shape of the word", and those two words have the same shape.

(Yeah, yeah, kids these days, get off my lawn, whatever.) :rainbowlaugh:
(Now, Dash, that wasn't very nice...) :fluttershysad:
(An' since when do you have a lawn, anyway? You live in a cloud.) :ajbemused:
(Ugh, fine, "get off my cloud" then.)
(...ain't that a song title?)
(Nah, that'd never sell.)
(*sigh* Everypony's a comedian.)

Anyway, I think we've hijacked the story-comments section just about enough for one day. :twilightsmile:

To be honest, I'm getting a bit tired of seeing Shining portrayed as the overprotective brother. At least in this one he's not that bad, though I think he'd be smart enough to figure this out without having it explained to him. Still, it was a nice little story. You might have done a little bit more with the concept, squeze a little bit more situational comedy out of it or whatnot, but it's pretty okay as it is. Also, I try to support Flashlight stories, so you get a thumbs up.

3934507
I always see big mac as the overprotective brother.

3935837

You know, I could see that. Especially if he drags AJ's suitor aside and gives this long speech about what she means to him, and then never mentions it again. Kinda like being bitten by a big dog you were convinced was completely harmless.

honestly, I don't even mind Shining being a little protective of Twilight, considering how close they are, but most fanfic writers take it straight into sitcom cliché territory.

FlashLight... OTP if it's done realistically. :twilightsmile:

I loved this story it was funny at the end its always that brother to boyfriend talk i love those:raritywink:

“I don’t care who it is. You want my permission to date her? You got it.” He held a fake evil smile. “In fact…” His face suddenly went straight and he spoke with a louder, more authoritative tone. “You will ask her out, that is an order! And if I don’t hear a report from you regarding this situation, you’ll be put on KP! Do I make myself clear?!”

Flash Sentry immediately stood upright and saluted. “Sir, yes sir!”

*Crosses fingers hooves* "Please be Cadance, please be Cadance, please be Cadance, please be Ca-"

Princess Twilight Sparkle was embracing a Royal Guard, Flash Sentry to be specific.

:raritydespair: NOOOOOOOO!!!

A golden opportunity for comic misunderstanding wasted! WASTED, I tell you! Why must you do this to me? Whyyy?! :raritycry:

:derpytongue2:

Flash Sentry decided to get it over with and cut directly to the chase, “I think I may have fallen in love, sir.”
Shining Armor’s brow raised several more noticeable fractions of an inch at this. “...Flash, I know you and I have been friends for a couple months now, but I don’t believe I need to remind you that I am happily married. And no offense, but as a stallion you’re not exactly my type.”

Classic :rainbowlaugh: I really wish I put that in my story. Ugh.
Also, I didn't expect the ending, actually. I'm glad you made Shiny happy for them.

3930277 More than that - it was a direct reference. Almost line for line, just changing a couple of things. As soon as I read the line "Alright, we had a good run" I immediately pictured Chandler and Monica in her apartment as Ross tried to burst in through the door. Then the rest of the scene played out exactly.

As a huge fan of the TV show Friends, and as a fan of MLP, I approve. :pinkiehappy:

3929950 Me as well.

OTPS doesnt matter to me as long it is well-written.

3934507
Protection. It's what his cutie mark is telling him.

When I first read the short description for this, I thought it said that Twilight accidentally convinced Flash and Shining to ask each other out. I didn't even give it a second look at the time thinking it would be M/M clop.

3943988

Protective, yes, but not stupid.

Cute story right there.

3929950
Those haters seem to have downvoted your comment...
:moustache:

these stories are always hilarious:rainbowlaugh:

Great story. Shining had no idea Flash and Twilight were talking about each other...:rainbowlaugh:

A. Maze. Ing. :ajsmug::derpytongue2::heart::heart::trollestia::rainbowwild::twilightsheepish::twilightblush:

Loved it! :pinkiehappy: I was laughing so much! Too cute! :twilightblush:

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