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Fluttercheer


I have adopted all foals of Equestria and write stories about their lives. Help me feed them by supporting me on Patreon or Ko-fi!

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Apple Bloom, Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle got taught in their talents by Twilight.
They now want to show off their skills in public in hope they will finally get their cutie marks. Conflicted between their dreams for the future and their friendship, they make the decision to become traveling sales ponies.
But their families are right when they tell them that Equestria is a dangerous place.

The journey they set forth on will not only change their future, but their whole lives forever.....





This first chapter was written for Round #9 of the Season 4 Writer's Training Grounds of Equestria Daily for "Twilight Time".
But there's more to come, I have planned this as a very long, on-going story!



Now with new, amazing cover art from ParadigmPizza!

Chapters (2)
Comments ( 21 )

This is a fine concept to work with, but a lot of concepts are fine, most not, but all can be awesome with proper execution. It looks like you do need to improve your execution, and even if you follow everything I'm about to say, you still have a ways to go. So don't take any of this the wrong way. Use what I'm about to say as a stepping stone for improvement. I figure I may be the only one to do this for the chapter without being asked, so I'll do my best to give advice.

The biggest problem throughout this story is use of grammar. Grammar itself is fine, in fact it's some pretty dang awesome grammar. But it's how you use it, it makes the language of the story seem artificial. It's usually a symptom I see when someone who speaks a different language writes in English. I don't know if that's your case, but you can improve your grammar use with reading stuff from popular authors.

Just to illustrate what I'm saying: "So far, she already sold two potions and she was quite satisfied with these first sales. Two successful sales minutes after they opened their business was a good success. She hoped that the success will continue to get rid of all the potions she made to get her cutie mark, because she wouldn't know what to do with all those potions, if she shouldn't be able to sell them all."

That paragraph is fine grammatically, but usage it artificial. In the first sentence, you don't need to use "she" twice since "she" was established as the subject the subject the first time. The second sentence has a several problems, mostly concerning word order. "Two successful sales minutes" sounds like the two minutes after opening were financial successes, or it could be interpreted that minutes after opening, there were two sales. "Their business was a good success" sort of makes it sound like the former, but it can be improved as a whole. "She hoped success will continue to rid of all the potions she made" has subject problem and a connotation problem. Success is the subject, which is used quite cleverly here but is typically not something that does physical actions. "To rid" has a negative connotation, meaning that it sounds like Applebloom hates the potions in some way. "If she shouldn't be able to..." is just redundant. You don't need it here.

Just as a comparison, I rewrote the paragraph. "So far, she had already sold two potions and was quite satisfied with their sales. Minutes after opening for business, they were already successful with two sales.She hoped the success would continue to sell all of the potions, since she wouldn't know what to do with the leftovers afterwards."

Now a short little lesson on Active voice verses passive voice. Don't use passive voice (Unless you really want to do it). It's usually the sign of weak writing since it doesn't have a direct object. "Shops were opened" is passive voice, since the person doing the action isn't the subject. "Ponies opened their windows" is active voice, since the person doing the action is the subject. A good rule of thumb I use to tell the difference is to see if the sentence makes sense if I add "by zombies" at the end. "Shops were opened 'by zombies'" makes sense, so it's passive voice. "Ponies opened their windows 'by zombies'" makes less sense, so it's active voice.

And on a narrative standpoint, it was a bit rushed. "The next hours were not so successful anymore, like they hoped they would be" says what you want to say, but it's a major plot point. Don't summarize major plot points in a single sentence. Expand on it. For this example, start of with a paragraph or two on how the CMC are going around with hopeful attitudes, and continue on with their hopes diminishing. Then bring up their hopes a bit with a couple of sentences referencing a sale, then continue on the downward spiral.

So, expand on stuff like that. You could have potentially expanded the potion selling scene and the treehouse scene into 6k words, expanding on their discussion of traveling Equestria. Then start of the next chapter trying to convince their respective guardians to let them travel. Heck, you could have expanded the authors note in the next chapter by explaining in some way Cherilee's relationship with Scootaloo. Sweetie Belle's parents don't have any time written here to establish the relationship, so that was something you could expand on in the next chapter. Then you could finish the last third of the chapter with the conflict between Applebloom and Applejack.

So, I hope at least some of that will help you. You have potential, you just need improvement. But I guess that's why most of us are on this site, too improve.

4021454 Wow, you dropped a bomb on me. It feels quite intimidating to get such a big critique as the first comment to a new story.....
Let's see.....

This is a fine concept to work with, but a lot of concepts are fine, most not, but all can be awesome with proper execution. It looks like you do need to improve your execution, and even if you follow everything I'm about to say, you still have a ways to go.

I know that this was probably just poorly worded, but it basically reads like "Your story is crap, bro, forget it and make a new one!"
That's the biggest reason why your comment intimidates me.
I hope you're more careful in your wording the next time......

It's usually a symptom I see when someone who speaks a different language writes in English. I don't know if that's your case, but you can improve your grammar use with reading stuff from popular authors.

I'm actually not a english native speaker, I usually speak german, but I do think that I'm already very skilled with handling the english language and that I only make mistakes very rarely.
See the next paragraph for what I mean.

The second sentence has a several problems, mostly concerning word order. "Two successful sales minutes" sounds like the two minutes after opening were financial successes, or it could be interpreted that minutes after opening, there were two sales.

You say it has a double meaning, but actually it hasn't.
Because the term "sales minutes", like in how many minutes have already passed since the sale started, is not existing.
So, there is no danger of someone confusing what I meant and it's fine as it is.
But, you do made me think about something. Can it be that I should add a comma after "sales"?
Because that's actually really a problem I have: When must I add a comma and when not?
I used to know it since an education in school some years ago, but I forgot the rules and I never can memorize them......

"Their business was a good success" sort of makes it sound like the former,

Hmm, I guess you're right with that one. I will replace "success" with "outcome".

Success is the subject, which is used quite cleverly here but is typically not something that does physical actions.

This is actually a misinterpretation from your side. I didn't wrote about a physical action here.
"Continue" is not a physical action. To say "The success will continue." is the same like saying "The bad weather will continue."

"To rid" has a negative connotation, meaning that it sounds like Applebloom hates the potions in some way.

She doesn't hate her potions. The situation is, that she was so eager to get her cutie mark, like it's typical for Applebloom, that she made WAY TOO MUCH potions.
She just realized too late how much she made in her zeal and was pretty worried, because she didn't knew what to do with all those potions now, so, she decided to sell them.
They feel like unnecessary ballast for here and they are so much that she feels intimidated by the sheer number of them, so, yeah, she indeed wants to "get rid" of them.
"Get rid" must not always mean you hate something/someone.

"If she shouldn't be able to..." is just redundant.

I'm not sure about this one. I read the sentence without that, but it just sounds wrong to me without that and I can't change something, when it doesn't feel right for me.

In the first sentence, you don't need to use "she" twice since "she" was established as the subject the subject the first time.

But I see your point here. Yeah, that's right. I will change that.

Don't use passive voice (Unless you really want to do it). It's usually the sign of weak writing since it doesn't have a direct object.

This is something I can only strongly disagree. That's a stylistic device that adds more atmosphere and that makes the story more creative than to simply describe what ponies do (They finished their breakfast, they opened the shops, they did go to school, ect.) and I saw that in plenty of stories and books.
It's not a sign of weak writing. In fact, it makes writing even stronger, as I explained above.
This is something I will stick with and use it when I think it's fitting.


So, now about the expanding. First, about the expanding in general:

You should notice that I had a 7000 word count for the first chapter, because of the requirements of the WTG from Equestria Daily.
Which limitates the possibilities a bit. But, it doesn't feel rushed to me. I think I put in everything that's necessary for the first chapter, especially because the big focus of the story lies on the adventure aspect.

"The next hours were not so successful anymore, like they hoped they would be" says what you want to say, but it's a major plot point. Don't summarize major plot points in a single sentence. Expand on it. For this example, start of with a paragraph or two on how the CMC are going around with hopeful attitudes, and continue on with their hopes diminishing. Then bring up their hopes a bit with a couple of sentences referencing a sale, then continue on the downward spiral.

Aside from the word count, this was intentional.
I did intend it that way, to wrap that up quickly. I do see your point, don't get me wrong.
I'm aware of it that it's important for a good story to describe everything as much as possible to stretch and expand it and make it more interesting to read.
But, even if I hadn't this word count, I don't think I had wrote it that way. I'm unsure about that, because to write that part longer would give me the feeling to focus on something rather unimportant, which then takes away the focus from the really important story aspect, and I think that it's also a mistake to stretch a story too much by filling it with things that are rather unimportant for the story as a whole.
I could be wrong with this one, though, but it feels like this. To writing the part you mentioned longer would more feel like damaging the story for me.
To me, it feels like a balance between very long and well described parts and small, quick parts is the most important thing when writing a good story to not loose the focus on the main plot.

So, expand on stuff like that. You could have potentially expanded the potion selling scene and the treehouse scene into 6k words, expanding on their discussion of traveling Equestria. Then start of the next chapter trying to convince their respective guardians to let them travel. Heck, you could have expanded the authors note in the next chapter by explaining in some way Cherilee's relationship with Scootaloo. Sweetie Belle's parents don't have any time written here to establish the relationship, so that was something you could expand on in the next chapter. Then you could finish the last third of the chapter with the conflict between Applebloom and Applejack.

I can't deny that you're quite right with that. As I said, I'm aware of it that it's necessary for a good story to stretch things as much as possible. First, I even planned to end already this chapter with them leaving Ponyville. But then I realized that this would be wasted potential, since there are so many things to tell: The building of the shop, the preparations for the journey, buying things for it, the Crusaders packing their things, their last days in Ponyville, how they experience these last days, how they feel about leaving their hometown soon, the last night, Scootaloo spending some last time with Rainbow Dash, Sweetie Belle with Rarity, ect. So, I decided to make a second chapter in which they are still in Ponyville and make their preparations.
I'm aware of it that it's important to stretch a story as much as possible, but I have to admit that I have some issues with your suggestions here.
I will refer to the single points:

You could have potentially expanded the potion selling scene and the treehouse scene into 6k words, expanding on their discussion of traveling Equestria. Then start of the next chapter trying to convince their respective guardians to let them travel. Heck, you could have expanded the authors note in the next chapter by explaining in some way Cherilee's relationship with Scootaloo.

This made me having the most headache. I already feel good enough as a writer to write a long story (if I'm right will show the next chapters), but I don't feel already good enough to fill 6000 words with only the selling scene and the treehouse scene.
To be exact, I don't even think it's possible to write 6000 words with those two short scenes, from which the second one even only goes over some minutes.
I don't know, maybe I'm just not skilled enough yet for that. But I don't feel like it's possible to stretch those two scenes over a whole chapter.

Then start of the next chapter trying to convince their respective guardians to let them travel. Heck, you could have expanded the authors note in the next chapter by explaining in some way Cherilee's relationship with Scootaloo.

Aside from it, that I don't think that it's possible to fill this first chapter only with these short events, there is something I'm not sure about.
Let's say, I would make the first chapter only with the potions selling in the morning and with the treehouse scene and end with it, that they chase off to their families, the second chapter about their efforts to convince them, combined with some backstory about Scootaloo and Cheerilee, and the third one about the preparations for the journey and their last time in Ponyville, like mentioned above, and just really start with the journey in chapter 4 (!) wouldn't that be too long before the core of the story is reached?
What I mean is, wouldn't it be too long until the story really get's to it's point?
I think to expand on too much things before the journey starts could take away the focus from the journey itself too much so that in the end, when the journey finally starts, no reader is really interested in it anymore, because of the long waiting.
I'm not sure, but it feels to me like that.

4036816

Making an intimidating post was not my intent. Criticisms can be intimidating, but they can be a good way to see how someone from the general public sees your story. You took it quite well, which is good since you can look back at this several months down the line and see what you and other people thought about your work then vs now.

And you're pretty good with English, but my biggest complaint would be that it sounds fake. It usually has something to do with mental translation. I guarantee you'll improve over time.

As for the word count, I forgot about that. In retrospect, 6k words would be a bit too much for just two scenes, though a couple of paragraphs could be added to each scene to provide some context.

And please don't interpret the expansion bit as "everything needs as much detail as possible". "Provide enough detail to sufficiently pass on an idea to the audience" is a better way to say it.

4038495

And you're pretty good with English, but my biggest complaint would be that it sounds fake. It usually has something to do with mental translation. I guarantee you'll improve over time.

As I said, to me, it does sound completely natural. And I think with mental translation you mean, some associates it in the head in a wrong way. Well, as I said, since the word "sales minutes" doesn't exist, I don't think this can happen either.
But this brings me back to a question I had, and that you didn't answer:
Should I add a comma after "sales" to make it more clear?
I did that now, but I'm not sure if it's right to add a comma there.
And (I can already imagine how arrogant this sounds now) I do think my at moment that my english is already so good, that I can't improve more in my stories.
But maybe that's just because I don't realize where I have to improve it?
I guess I will see that when I became more experienced in writing, because my way of writing and wording will probably change automatically over time when I get better.

In retrospect, 6k words would be a bit too much for just two scenes, though a couple of paragraphs could be added to each scene to provide some context.

At moment, I don't have a clue how I can tweak the treehouse scene more. For me, it feels like they talk already very long about their journey, weighing up the pro's and con's and talking about their reasons enough.
And for the shopping scene it still does feel wrong and harmful for the story to add more, for me.
I already wrote something about their selling experiences with Rose buying a whole bunch of potions and after that, I thought it would stretch the scene too much when I would write more.
But maybe this is because of lack of experience too? I'm not sure and confused now.

"Provide enough detail to sufficiently pass on an idea to the audience" is a better way to say it.

Exactly my thoughts. The treehouse scene, for example, gives the readers of my story already enough details to imagine why they think about becoming traveling sales ponies, why they finally decide it and how they weigh up the pro's and con's and also that it was not an easy decision for them, in my opinion.
Or Sweetie Belle's parents. I think the show itself already established very much that they trust Sweetie very much and let her do many things.
In "Sisterhooves Social" they let her make the whole breakfast for Rarity, even when it turns out then that she is miserable at cooking.
And they show in this scene that they have a very high opinion of her and that they think that she is capable of doing many things.
That's what I thought on, when writing this scene, so I thought it's not necessary to explain more.
Or is it maybe a mistake to make a fanfic so much depending on the show, and should I explain it either when it's already a bit established in the show?

4038659 I have no idea if you've been battered with this advise, but the best way to improve language control is through reading. That doesn't just apply to other languages. Reading books or stories in any language will help you improve in that language.

The scene with Sweetie Belle's parents was fine with description. But the build up to their decision was a bit too quick. Yes, they could believe Sweetie Belle is a capable mare, but I would think any parent would be at least reluctant to let their child run off across the country, specially if they're still in school.

4039027

I have no idea if you've been battered with this advise, but the best way to improve language control is through reading. That doesn't just apply to other languages. Reading books or stories in any language will help you improve in that language.

Well, I do read quite many MLP: FiM fanfictions, so this should help over time.
Also I discovered that, when I read one of my fanfictions after writing it, I suddenly find many mistakes and that I'm able to it to write this parts in the right way then.
It doesn't work during writing, but after it.

The scene with Sweetie Belle's parents was fine with description. But the build up to their decision was a bit too quick. Yes, they could believe Sweetie Belle is a capable mare, but I would think any parent would be at least reluctant to let their child run off across the country, specially if they're still in school.

Because that I wrote this:

Her mom let the plate she just held in her hooves glide into the kitchen sink and turned round. She looked at Sweetie Belle and a sad, worried expression could be seen in her face. Her dad put his newspaper down and looked in the same way at her. Sweetie Belle looked down at the table. She expected a no from her parents.

I wanted to avoid to let them go all extremely worried and "You can't do that! That's too dangerous!" and stuff, because then it wouldn't sound anymore like they trust her that she can make that and that she is capable of making such a journey and returning alive and without too many injuries or something like that.

Do you have any advice for me about the usage of comma's?

4039345 I recommend reading published English books, since they've been sorted through by countless editors before going public, unlike fan-fiction, which is lucky to even have one editor. Off the top of my head, a good book series to start off is Harry Potter. Then maybe you could branch off to the works of Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett, both of whom are famous British comedy writers. Actually, I think the best place to start would be a book called Ready Player One.

Commas, like sentence structures, can be narrowed down to formulas, but can sound artificial if used the same way over and over again. I presume you had grammatical lessons while learning English, which may have included comma usage. I don't know how it's used in German, but I assume there's enough similarities for a basis.

The best advice I can give about commas is think of how you would say something. When you're normally talking, you don't pause between words unless you have a comma or period. Sentences have periods to separate them, creating a pause in speech. Think of the pause you make in between sentences. Cut that pause in half, and that's the pause a comma would make. It's a short pause, but it's noticeable. If you're talking and you make a pause similar to that, that's where a comma will go.

The best thing is to pay attention to other people's sentence structures. I strongly recommend taking notes from books instead of fanfiction, for the reason given above. Though multiple sources can help.

Chrysalis and her changeling army.

How does she know her name? The Changeling Queen never said it

4057694
I'm actually not sure about that. I watched the first two seasons only in german so far and in the german version of "A Canterlot Wedding", "Chrysalis" is mentioned.
They also know her name in the official comics.
And I think most fanfictions handle it that way.
So, I was going with that.
Thanks for favoriting my fanfiction! :scootangel: I try my best to bring out the next chapter as soon as possible!

4059565 Das mit der deutschen Fassung ist mir bekannt, hab die Folge auch gesehen

Apple Bloom, Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle got teached in their talents by Twilight.

(Emphasis, mine.)

You really, really need an editor. A grammatical train wreck in the first sentence of the description won't make people eager to read the story.

6709831

I prefer to edit my stories myself.
And I'm not a native speaker and still learning. Thanks for pointing it out. It's fixed.

I disagree about this here, though:

A grammatical train wreck in the first sentence of the description won't make people eager to read the story.

First off, it's not a train wreck. It's just one wrong word in the whole description.
I really like to get constructive feedback, however, I don't like insults like that. Please use a more friendly language in the future if you want to give me feedback.
And second, while I agree that it was a mistake that needed to be fixed, it's the premise of the story that counts in the end and personally speaking, I wouldn't really miss a potential reader who decided to not read my story just because of one wrong word.
I prefer readers who are actually interested in my stories and see the real worth of them, not grammar nazis.

I don't like insults like that.

It wasn't meant to be an insult. It was meant to convey how bad the mistake seems to a native English speaker.

...grammar nazis.

Ah. But you like insults when they're outgoing? Okay then.

6709993

I don't deem "grammar nazi" as an insult (and it was not aimed at you, just generally speaking), it's a term for people who take grammar too seriously and ignore everything else.
While "trainwreck" is a term that carries the implication that everything is ruined and miserable, which is just not right because of one wrong word.

Apple Bloom, Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle got tutored in their talents by Twilight.

Tutored might work? Maybe instructed, or schooled. "Taught" usually needs a direct object, like you got taught fishing, or potion making, not just "you got taught."

8193792

Wow, I didn't expect this! The last comment I received here is almost one and a half years ago now..... I wonder how many will come in once I'm actually starting to write this fic for real this time.....

For your suggestions, it's "got taught in their talents", not just "got taught". Talents serving as substitute for "got taught (in) fishing", "got taught (in) potion making", ect. The object is in the sentence, it's just more than one object, because Twilight taught three fillies in three different things, not just one.
Letting that aside, I was never considering other words than "taught" because it sounds and fits in nicely.
"Tutored" is a word I don't want to use, it is a word used in noble circles like aristocracy or royalty and sounds too sophisticated for what happened. Sure, Twilight had become a princess, but she hasn't actually become royalty (even now she doesn't actually rule over something or somepony) and they weren't her personal students or proteg├ęs. She was merely helping them as a friend, so the word "tutored" doesn't really fit here.
"Instructed" does sound more like they were on a secret mission and got instructions by their commander or leader. Or, like they worked somewhere and their boss told them to do something. It sounds very formal, and a bit harsh, and that's not really reflecting what happened here either.
Finally, I'm not happy with "schooled" either. It's a term that is literally used for school education, be it at a public school, private school or home school. Sure, Twilight gave them lessons, one could compare this to homeschooling, but it was not an actual school and even though Twilight did become their teacher (and maybe still is, there are more reasons to learn something than getting cutie marks, after all), the word is reminding a lot on classical school education, so it would feel out of place, too.
While "taught" reflects the simplicity behind their lessons, three fillies getting taught in something by their older friend, so it fits the tone of their Twilight Time lessons very nicely.
That's why I'm not happy with either of these suggestions, but thanks anyway.
When I started writing this fic back in 2014, I was not thinking a lot about what I was writing and wrote by instinct for the most part.
So, I never thought about the description after writing it, but your comment got me thinking about it and now I understand why I have chosen the word "taught" here.
Actually understanding why I want to have it that way makes me feel better about it a lot. so this comment was very helpful anyway.

8194325
That's the funny thing about English, is prepositional phrases actually have almost nothing to do with the sentence structure. They're just flavor, so to speak. If I say the confusing sentence "Cheerilee taught in the schoolhouse math," it still means "Cheerilee taught math" not "Cheerilee taught the schoolhouse math."

You could say "got taught their talents," but I don't think Twilight taught them their talents, since they already had them. That's why I suggested "tutored in their talents" because it's not outright teaching them talents, but teaching them about stuff related to their talents. ...you could also say "got taught stuff in their talents."

And yeah, I just happened across this story randomly yesterday, thought I'd go all grammarphile on it. Mostly I just thought it was interesting. You're free to leave that (technically, maybe) incorrect sentence where it is, and it won't hurt your story at all. English isn't really a language anyway, so there is no correct or incorrect.

it is a word used in noble circles like aristocracy or royalty

I said tutor, not tudor! :rainbowlaugh:

8195056

If I say the confusing sentence "Cheerilee taught in the schoolhouse math," it still means "Cheerilee taught math" not "Cheerilee taught the schoolhouse math."

You could say "got taught their talents," but I don't think Twilight taught them their talents, since they already had them.

This is why I included the word "in". "They got taught their talents by Twilight" would indeed not make any sense. But if you add the little word "in" to the sentence, it means they got taught in what their talents entail. It's like saying "They got taught in their field of expertise" or "They got taught in their professions" (because you can't teach a profession either, yet the sentence makes sense), ect.

I said tutor, not tudor! :rainbowlaugh:

Not royalty, as in, a royal title. But aristocratic/royal people talk differently than the common folk and, while I can't bring up any examples to back it up right now, "tutoring" does sound like a word that wouldn't be too heavily used by the mentioned common folk of ponies, if at all.
It has such a noble and refined ring to it, so it wouldn't really fit to what I'm describing here.

English isn't really a language anyway

English-bashing? :rainbowlaugh: Now I'm curious what you mean with this.

8199171 English doesn't adapt borrowed foreign words or grammar towards any sort of standard. Goose and geese for instance, because the word is Germanic in orgin, but mongoose and mongooses, because the word is Indian in origin. So when you say the word "mongoose" in English, you're actually speaking in Hindi (for one word), and when you say the word "goose" you're speaking in an ancient precursor to German (for one word). Other languages have a standard that they adapt words to when borrowing them from other languages, like how Spanish has certain suffixes for certain tenses and genders. English just... randomly mangles the pronunciation of the borrowed word, and then spells that pronunciation (badly) in the latin alphabet to write it. And there are no words in English that are not borrowed words.

Plus I was sort of tricked into learning English really, really well so I'm resentful of all those smug English teachers who wasted so many of my brain cells on impeccable spelling and encyclopedias of arbitrary grammar exceptions, because I would have rather spelled poorly and learned something useful instead.

Anyway, you think "tutor" is something only used in noble circles, in the same sense that you think "literacy" is something only used in noble circles. There was a time when only nobles were allowed to read and write, and only they were allowed to have tutors, but nowadays almost everyone can read, and you can find tutors in the newspaper's classified ads. I had tutors now and again, despite being an unwashed peasant, and I've been a tutor before to certain students for no charge at all, so the word doesn't make me think of noblery the way it does to you.

8199603

I guess it's depending on different experiences then. But I was not talking about being allowed, I was merely talking about the usage of certain words over others and how they sound.

8199697 No I just meant you had a different perspective, not that you were allowing people to tutor or not. I just think it's interesting how common the word "tutor" sounds to me, because I ran into a lot of common tutoring in the past, and it's different for you.

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