• Member Since 11th Jul, 2013
  • offline last seen March 26th

ThatOneWriter


I dunno if I can be your favorite, but if you like my writing, that's pretty good in my book.

T
Source

Alone in bed one morning, Octavia is left to think about her life. She has given up a lot for Vinyl, but is it really worth it? Just how much is her relationship worth to her? Is she even able to walk away?

Every choice has a cost, as Octavia will soon learn.


Pre-read by Don't Look At My Name Bro and Auramane. Cover art provided by Zedrin.

Approved by The Royal Guard!

Chapters (1)
Join our Patreon to remove these adverts!
Comments ( 43 )

Well, I wanted to shove Octy into a sack and carry her away from all of that.
So... mission successful. :fluttercry:

I can't believe all the jerks were right. :raritydespair:
(Also, this is totally how Octascratch would end up.)

This was sad before and it's sad now. Good job.:pinkiesad2:

4348692
I did, too. This one made me go, "Wait... this wasn't supposed to be that dark..."

The bounciness of Maroon 5 didn't catch on, I guess.

4348747
I can see it
One More Night right

seems all together too massively dark

amongst other things vinyl should be a boost for octavias reputation considering she was the one to play the royal wedding. this just kinda comes across as demeaning to vinyl

4348720
Thanks, Manes! I still feel a little bad, though, for making people sad. But then I remember that that was the point, and I feel better about it. :pinkiehappy:

4348996
Eh, sort of. As I said in the author's note, I was originally going for more of a "This Love" sort of vibe. Instead, it ended up closer to the Amy Winehouse song I linked.

4349130
I considered adding the Dark tag, but I didn't think it was dark enough to deserve it. I did take a bit of liberty with the characters, since they're background ponies and have no canon personality or backstory. As for the thing about Vinyl, I don't think that her performance at the wedding would bolster her image amongst classically trained musicians. In fact, it may do more harm, since dubstep breaks a lot of the conventions of more traditional music. That's why there tends to be such annoyance between "real" musicians and electronic musicians. The standards are quite different.

As much as I like stories wherein this pairing works out, I have to say that this is quite refreshing and that I enjoyed it (as much as one can enjoy something this sad).I find myself hoping that Vinyl isn't just using Octavia, but I don't think I really believe it. Poor Tavi.

4356013
Thank you! It's always nice to mix things up once in a while with something like this. Silly comedy is fun, but I like mixing in serious and sad things like this. I still have no idea what compelled me to write it, but I'm glad I did.

Very good! :pinkiehappy: Also, real, because some people really do this and the point in this fic is very interesting. Well, i am a totally lover of Octascratch and, if you do more with this ship, say to me! :derpytongue2: Now i am like: :pinkiesad2: But it's okay, because is for Octascratch! :raritywink:

~Spectrum Shine

4359638
Thank you! I'm glad you liked it :pinkiehappy: I don't know if I'll do another OctaScratch, but I'm certainly not ruling anything out.

Also, since this story made you sad, let me cheer you up. Read this! (Completely shameless bit of self-promotion :raritywink:)

This was a very touching and semi slice-of-lifey story. I can see where Octavia is coming from, and even though Octavia may be a smart mare; she is blinded by the idea of love, and Vinyl knows how to manipulate her to fulfill that need. I would very much like to see this story continue with more character development, back-story, and maybe even a Vinyl point of view to share with the readers what Vinyl is thinking in this situation. Maybe even have Octavia come to a revelation and make a rash decision, whether it be good or bad. I always like to read sad stories that strike at the heart and make you feel and think. But a little comedy never hurts. :rainbowwild: This story has a lot of potential to expand and become more complex and intricate. Maybe even an epic like Allegrezza or University Days.

Keep doing what you do, your stories are awesome!:twilightsmile:

4437971
Well, I don't think I'll ever expand this one myself, but if someone else wanted to expand upon it, I wouldn't oppose it. I'd be kind of surprised if they did, however, because Octavia and Vinyl are not at all compatible here. I didn't really want them to be, honestly.

Anyway, I'm glad you enjoyed the story! I'm quite proud of it, and I'm pleasantly surprised at how positive the feedback on it has been.

I'm cool with this ship and all, but unless the characters are portrayed in an optimistic kid friendly way (or a way drastically different from fanon), I don't see it working well. There's always this suspension of disbelief when I read OctaScratch. Great job. Not as long as I'd like this to be but you get a like and favourite.

4719195
I don't see it as particularly realistic either.

And had I been more focused on marketing than on writing only what I felt was necessary, I probably would have stretched this out by about a thousand words. Then I'd have had a shot at EqD and it probably would have generated more heat. I'm told that the heat system is weighted for words.

Oh well. It did what I wanted it to do, and that's more important than marketing. Thanks for reading! Glad you enjoyed it :twilightsmile:

From what I've seen/read of this pairing this is probably the most accurate depiction. Their characters are polar opposites, and while it makes a good story the "reality" is that it probably wouldn't work out in the long run. Or, it would be like how you described where the relationship isn't 50/50 give and take. This was short, sweet, and to the point. Well done.

4748004
Thank you! Glad you liked it :pinkiesmile:

jxj

I typically don't like really short stuff like this, but I really enjoyed this one. I'm impressed that you managed to fit so much emotion in such a short story.

I love the story a lot, but I was really caught of guard by the tragedy tag. Personally, it feels more like a dark/sad than a tragedy/sad.

I may be wrong, but it seems to me than Vinyl is intentionally abusing Octavia. Mentally, not physically. The Vinyl portrayed here seems to be twisting Octavia into little more than a living personal sex toy, all the while sweetly repeating a lie to make it comfortable. Surely that kind of manipulation deserves the dark tag, right?

My personal nitpicks aside, I am really impressed with your version of the relationship between these two opposites. While it is certainly unnerving, it definitely feels more realistic.

Keep up the great work!:twilightsmile:

4748641
In that case, I'm glad you took the time to read my story, and I'm really glad you liked it! :pinkiesmile:

4748772
I can't really seem to win with the Dark tag. There are those who tell me to add it, and there are those who tell me that it isn't nearly dark enough. I dunno. I think it looks nicer with the Dark tag added, but more people have told me to drop it than to keep it, so it stays off for now.

i think you did alright with the dark tag, it wasnt as strong as i was expecting but it was there, that being said this story could of definately gone on longer, and thus the dark tag would grow but the way this ended seems unfinished

4773131
Well, thanks for the feedback!

Personally, I like the way I ended it. I tried to suggest that the day the story takes place on is exactly like every other day of her life with Vinyl. Hence, there's no point to continuing it. And yeah, I could have and possibly should have made it darker, but going in, I had no idea I'd make it remotely dark. It was about a quarter of the way through that I came up with the precise ending, and the dark tone started setting in from there.

I'm a bit shocked that every other conversation on this fic is about the Dark tag, since I didn't use it. I guess I couldn't have come much closer to a borderline case if I tried. Really, only the ending feels dark enough to me to justify the tag. I might have used it had I more heavily hinted at the ending.

4773680 i see, well in all honesty i wouldnt of brought up the tag issue if it wasnt talked about as much as i feel all this debate takes away from the story and shouldnt even be considered after the fact, but i see ur intention in reguards to the story, i enjoyed it either way, good job

I had read your story earlier today and had meant to leave a comment while it was fresh in my mind... But, I was at work and got pulled away. Because of that, I went ahead and read it again and ended up liking it even more the second time.

I tend to enjoy stories that have characters and situations where the ponies could just as easily be humans, especially in a slice of life setting. I can't really place my finger on why that is, but it's likely because of how much easier it is to relate to... and your story, The Dull Afterglow, is a very good example of that.

Loneliness combined with great sex can very much keep people in a bad relationship, regardless of how badly it wrecks their lives. You did a great job of showing that kind of entrapment and the thought process of the victim.

All in all a great story, and well worth the thumbs up + fave. :twilightsmile:

4776271
Thank you! I certainly tried to make it realistic. I'm glad you liked it :pinkiesmile:

One of the best endings to any story I've ever read. It's nice to know that even the shortest of stories can get the recognition that they deserve. You've clearly put in a lot of effort here and the product is astonishing. Congratulations.

4823236
The best? Aw, shucks. :twilightblush:

Thank you!

Certainly do not see this spin on the relationship all that often, and you explored it quite deeply for the wordcount. Have a like and a ribbon:
i.imgur.com/6MrWqNZ.png

Nicely done!

5039030
Thanks! Glad you liked it!

I don't know...feels kind of...lacking. :rainbowhuh:

5044744

The best way I can say it, is that it just goes around in a circle and Octavia ends up where she began with everything she knew about vinyl confirmed...no character development

5044748
The whole point is that nothing changes. It implies that this has happened before and will happen again.

5045057

I guess that makes sense. Its just not what I like.

Wow. Not often you see such a bitter Scratchtavia story. The toxicity of the relationship comes through very well in all of Octavia's half-hearted realizations.

It's like antifreeze, really; it'll poison you in the end, but has a sweetness when it's going down.

5093246
That's what I was going for :raritywink:

Although I had no idea what antifreeze tasted like. I don't tend to indulge in that hobby. :rainbowlaugh:

5093653
Heh, nor do I. I forget where I heard that it has a sweet taste in particular, but I do know that whatever the taste is, it's an appealing one, what with the frequency it's used as DIY pest control against skunks, pigeons, etc.

Howdy again, TOW. B_P from WRITE here, responding to your request for a review. I haven't actually read any more of your work since Under the Same Stars, and it's been a good long while since then, so I've got my fingers crossed for some big improvements. Let's get to it.


Mechanics and Style:

I recall telling you before that you were very competent mechanically, especially given that you edited Under the Same Stars all on your own. Despite that, I think I'm seeing some improvement here. The semicolon issues, for example: I've found a couple spots in this piece where you might have made an error however many months ago, but didn't this time around. Not sure how much credit (if any) should go to your pre-readers, but yeah, this was definitely an easier read in the mechanics department than your older work, in many ways. I did take issue with a thing or two, but they're a bit less mechanics-y and more in the area of style.

Main thing is that we've got areas like these.

She looked over at the other side, where Vinyl had been when she fell asleep. When she had been there, the bed had felt warm. Inviting, even. Sure, it sometimes felt a bit crowded if they didn’t snuggle, but Vinyl’s hooves wrapped around her just seemed to fit.

When you're talking about multiple characters of the same gender, sometimes "she" and "her" just can't quite cut it. The sentences' subject seemed to switch between Octavia and Vinyl, to the point where it got confusing which character was being referred to at any given time. Context helps, of course, but every sentence I have to finish before I understand the subject—and any sentence I have to flat-out re-read—is a small roadblock I've got to navigate around, and it can hurt the pacing a little. I would suggest that you consider making a bit more of an effort to stick to one subject per paragraph (or if nothing else, one per sentence), at least where vague pronouns are coming into play. I'll bring up one more example of this issue:

“But I’ll be waiting when you leave her—assuming she doesn’t beat you to the punch.”

No. She couldn’t do that. For all her flaws, Vinyl would never be somepony to just leave like that. It’d hardly be fair to do that to her.

Even after reading through this bit a few times, I'm only half-sure that Octavia is thinking about herself leaving Vinyl. The language and pronouns used are so perfectly vague as to make it sound like she's thinking about Vinyl leaving instead.

Did find a typo.

Now the bed was cold and barren. She laid lay in the very middle, drowning in the ocean of loneliness.

There might be more than just this, but this is a very short piece, so maybe not. Good work, either way.


Er, Everything Else:

Speaking of it being a very short piece, I find myself with not a lot to say. Either that or I'm so rusty that I can't spot problems like I used to…

Going off the assumption that it's just the former, all I can really say is that I found this piece to be average. It was definitely an improvement over Under the Same Stars, mind—you showed me scenes from the past (even if just in dialogue form) instead of telling me about them, I actually had some characters to connect with, things were happening in the present despite this being another story where most of the action was in the past, etc. Still, though, I can't say I found very much that sets this story apart, excepting, perhaps, its subject matter.

Let's talk about the characters. You used fairly bog standard versions of Octavia and Vinyl, for one. This isn't inherently bad, of course—it wouldn't be the standard if it didn't have the capacity to capture some imaginations—but the problem, in my book, lies in the fact that you didn't reach very deeply into that or very far away from it. Instead, you reinforced those common versions within the story. What I mean to say is that you spent decently many words of this very short story just to make me aware that your Octavia and Vinyl are pretty much par for the course; it's a character piece where much of the exploration re-maps common ground. While it doesn't feel fully fair for me to say it, characters like this would've been excellent before Octavia and Vinyl were so well established in the vastness of the fan-think, but they fall a bit flat today. It's kind of a catch-22. Because these are background ponies, you have to spend time establishing your version of them, but if your version of them is not in and of itself the focus of the story and you just want to go with the usual version instead of making up a new one, you still can't skip the step given that they're background ponies and don't have true pre-established personalities and histories. So you're forced to tread that ground same as many have before you. I get that. Getting it doesn't make it work for me, though—even though it isn't fair to you, it still feels like I'm reading something redundant, as though I'm reading a story that re-treads actual canon instead of just fanon. Brain can't tell the difference.

Like I said, though, yours is the sort of backround pony fic wherein you're not trying to spotlight some innovative new version of the characters, so the real focus is elsewhere. Namely, it's on Octavia's feelings regarding her and Vinyl's relationship. Here things get a bit more original, as seeing this relationship brought up in a genuinely negative context isn't something I see all too often. I liked that. The idea, certainly, if not the whole of the execution. Don't get me wrong, though; there were some parts of the execution that resonated with me fairly well (the part near the end where Octavia gets the feeling about Vinyl's speech being rehearsed, for example, or even the ending itself). Overall, I just think you could've done a bit more with it. Splicing in memories about Octavia's conversation with her mother was nice, but with only that to go off of, the character of Octavia's mother felt somewhat flat—mind, this might not normally bother me much, but this piece was short enough and structured such that there wasn't a whole lot else to focus on. The ponies at the audition suffered from much the same problem, but given how often the conversation with her mother reared its head, that was certainly the larger issue. The characters in these flashbacks all just felt a little too expected, if you get what I mean. Their reactions hit all the notes of "high-class obstacle to happiness", and there was little past that. In terms of characterization, though, my biggest gripe is probably…

Octavia herself. It'd be a bit of a challenge to come up with a more passive character to make a story about. In a way, that's a good thing here, given that her passivity makes her come off as that much more depressed, your portrayal of a depressed person being one of the strongest parts of the story. For other reasons, though, it landed me into a lukewarm tub of boredom. This story is, on the one hand, trying to make it seem as though Octavia's relationship with Vinyl is bad and that she's just an increasingly passive participant in it and in her own life. On the other hand, nothing in the fic makes me feel like she was ever any less passive than she is now. The flashback to the audition really clinched it for me: she essentially heard the judges say right then and there that they were going to deny her for an all but arbitrary reason, and what does she do? Turn back and talk things over with them? Redouble her efforts? Sit back like a doormat and take it? I'm not actually sure, because that's where the flashback ends (with not a hint about her emotions or anything) and it tells me she got the rejection letter an indeterminate amount of time down the line. So it actually feels as though she heard them say what they said and then, like, slept for a month or something and woke up to find the letter.

I've essentially got this story where most of the action happens in the past, but I'm not actually sure of what a lot of the implied action is. Has nothing of note happened to Octavia between the audition and now? Has her and Vinyl's relationship ever been about much more than just sex? When and why did Vinyl stop inwardly caring so much about Octavia, if indeed that did happen? Depression is a perfectly valid plot, and will naturally gravitate towards uneventfulness, drab voice, passivity in the characters, and all of that good, depressing stuff, but I still feel as though there needs to be more in the character and more (original) meat in the story for me to get in touch with it all.



Overarching Thoughts:

I suppose I had a bit more to say than I thought. Good. Maybe I haven't lost it after all.

Despite all of that negativity above, I definitely want you to understand how much of an improvement I thought this was over your other story. It was very similar, in a lot of ways (little present action, lots of remembering the past, a drifting apart of characters, etc.), but you went about it all much better this time out. Your mechanics are even more solid, as far as I saw, so great work on that. The plot was actually a plot, even if it could've been more than it was. I could connect to the characters here, whereas I couldn't in the other piece.

It still did bore me somewhat, though not anywhere near the same degree. I fully appreciate that things have already turned south for Octavia and are going to continue to get worse, so a slice of her life right here in the middle is going to be depressing and relatively uneventful (which is cool), but I still feel like you need more spice in the character and in the plot, regardless. Personal opinion, really, but yeah. I think I might like to see a longer piece from you, or at least one where you aren't seemingly being forced to eat up pages tying yourself to existing models of characters just to tell a short tale about them.

Hoping to see even more improvement from you in the future.

i.imgur.com/vQYeMae.png
-- Burraku_Pansa, WRITE's Trainer Admin and Resident Namesmith

5257977
All right. That's a fair assessment. I am very glad I got this review because it reminds me that while I've come a long way, I do still have a long way to go. It also gives me some notes to start with if I ever do rewrite/de-ponify this.

I suppose that this story does make for good comparisons to Under the Same Stars, although I didn't really have that in mind upon submitting it. I submitted it mostly because I hadn't heard much in the way of criticism on this story, which I was actually able to get this time. Thank you for that. I'm sorry that it still seemed quite boring, but I suppose that's a risk with every submission.

It will probably be some time before I submit anything more substantial, in terms of word count. As you've likely noticed, I think I underwrite, which tends to make it difficult to sustain longer stories. I'm working on it, but as I said, it will be some time before I contribute anything good that's more than a one-shot,

It's kind of a good thing that you weren't completely impressed. It gives me something to work towards and motivates me to keep trying and keep improving. Perhaps someday I will submit something that will impress you. Only time will tell. :raritywink:

Your story has been reviewed by PCaRG. You can find the review here.

Damn son, that's some soul crushing addiction. Vinyl's like an unknowing parasite. Or maybe she's aware and just jealous to lose her. In any case Octavia is going into that terrible downward spiral into what I've dubbed 'The Pit Of Infinite Blackness And Despair From Which There Is No Escape.' Very nice that such a heavy topic can be explored in such a way with such minimal words. I'm honestly confused on what to feel. Vinyl is both the bad guy and the unknowing parasite whereas Octavia is the addicted junkie who once had a future.

A rather fitting song. Octavia has no way of escape. Like an insect caught in the Venus Fly Trap.

Login or register to comment
Join our Patreon to remove these adverts!