• Member Since 15th Feb, 2012
  • offline last seen January 31st

SilentBelle


I'm a fantasy enthusiast who loves to write, and I'm aiming to be a professional fantasy writer eventually. I love to help out other authors when I can. Feel free to PM me or drop by and say 'hi'.


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Scootaloo has held a dream in her heart for a long time, and it's no secret that she idolizes Rainbow Dash. However, she has to face that sometimes dreams are unreachable. Sometimes chasing after them leaves you shattered.

A short first-person introspective fic from Scootaloo's PoV

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 22 )

Nice one, but there is are two words that shouldn't connect in one of the sentences. :twilightsheepish:
...they stand out so perfectlyagainst the stark wood...
Just saying :twilightsmile:.

What a lovley picture you got as a coverart :ajsmug:

I got nothin... Absolutely nothing... Not that i could say anything if i had... This is good... Very good.

This was a very good story, well done. :twilightsmile:

4708337 Heh. Thanks for pointing that out. Writing and editing a story at four in the morning will do stuff like that. Thanks for reading.

4708812
I know the feel, first time I edited something I completely forgot (well I didn't know at the time) to edit it. Which destroyed the entire lay-out of it. no italics, no bolds, no nothing.:ajbemused:

The moment I realised it, I was like :facehoof:

But nevermind that, :twilightsheepish:

again, nice story:twilightsmile:

I like the story. (given the subject, how could I not?)
So I took the time to read it over and over to try and decipher it the best I could.

I do have some questions, some for my own curiosity, others as writing hypothesis. I just want to say that those questions are sometimes very nitpicking, as I'm interested in some very tiny details you wrote.
If by any mean my questions were to offense you, please ignore the whole thing and just tell me to delete it, which I'll do immediately. I'm only driven by curiosity. I'm not criticizing (hell, I couldn't do half as good of a job), I'm trying to understand how you did what you did and why you did it a certain way. I'm also conscious that you wrote that early in the morning and that you did not seek absolute perfection.

Lot of spoilers ahead...

First question:

my dusty old window

my creaking bed

You seem to want to create sort of a sad atmosphere by showing the poverty of Scootaloo's room. It might have been to contrast with the shining posters, but:

Below the numerous, worn posters,

Seems not.
At a moment, I thought it was to reflect an old Scootaloo looking back at her past, but it's clearly not that either (the whole things is pretty much just after "flight to the finish").

So I'm wondering why you made that choice. Given that you were writing at 2 o'clock in the morning, it might have just been the mood of the moment, but I wonder if there was another intention behind that choice. Was there?

Second question:

And every day, I wake up from my dream

Every day, I wish I still had a dream.

I didn't pay too much attention to it at my first reading, but the repetition might create sort of a bias in your message, because, if the reader is focused, you pretty much say: "I wake up from my dream (aka: I have a dream), and I wish I still had a dream".
Of course those two dreams have nothing in common, but why not having chosen to say "And every day, I wake up from my sleep..." or something along those lines?

And if I touch this point, it's because I thought at first that you wanted to talk about the compensation of real life through phantasm, as Scootaloo would have replaced flying in the real world by flying in her dream world, with its consequences. But as it doesn't seem to be the case, I do wonder, once again, if it was intentional or if it's due to the time the story was written.

In a way, but way less important in my eyes, is the repetition of "shattered", as I cannot find clue pointing to you wanting to create an analogy there (the broken glass representing the broken dreams and hopes, but not Scootaloo herself).

Third question:
I would like to know how you structured the ending, from:

Of course I don't have to be like her.

To:

After all, it's just a dream, and dreams can't be reached. So, what's the point?

For what I understand, you chose the following progression:
1) what if this actually is the dream I've chosen?
2) how can I achieve that dream => seems redondant, as it is what has occupied the whole second third of the story.
=> picture seems distant
3) should I give up?
4) shouldn't I be the one who choose my dream?
5) illiusion breaks and Scootaloo gives up
=> she reaches the picture

Wasn't the intention beyond the second message "why cannot I achieve that dream"?
Is it intentional to come back to the idea of "choosing one's own dream" ? Or did it come under the flow of the writing?

The parallel between the distance between Scootaloo and the picture and between dream and reality is superb by the way...

Fourth question:

but it won't reach out past its frame. It won't meet me halfway. After all, it's just a dream, and dreams can't be reached. So, what's the point?

You chose to write it all in the same paragraph and I'm wondering about the impact on the rythm of the story. The sentences are all about the same length and end with a "period" (weird name for "."). So there is about no reason for the reader to change the pace of his reading.
But there is a clear need for a pause between the observation:

It won't meet me halfway.

And the realization:

After all, it's just a dream,

There is, at least for what I can feel and understand, a clear change in tone and mindset. From the sad disappointment ("I can't reach it") to a more cynical and bitter acceptation "Dreams can't be reached.".

My guess would be that the paragraphe is meant to be read while slowing down until the "After all, it's just a dream". But I'm surprised that you didn't use would it only be the ellipsis ("...") to mark the little pause.
Even more as it is the central point of the story (as Scootaloo gives up), explaining the use of the past at the beginning:

It's what I hoped to be.

What was your intention? How did you write that part?

***

As for the content... I think you made a good portray of of a child who gives up on her dreams.

I could hear the voices of those fillies mocking me for trying

That part is one that I would have liked to see expanded. The peer pressure when it comes to dream ("You can do it" or "You should give up") is central in such cases and is represented here almost only with Rainbow Dash. Exploring why we mock those who try to achieve something seemingly out of reach would be very interesting.
That said, it would have been very hard to do just that with a first person narration.

Somehow, I would add a fifth question there: why didn't you mention, even very indirectly, that Scootaloo had gotten rid of all her Wonderbolts' posters? I know it's cliché as hell (the show did it), but the destructive phase is part of the process of mourning.

4708852 Let's see if I can answer these well enough. But before I do that, I'll say that half the stuff I add into the story, I don't put in simply because I'm intending to use it as a certain literary device, but usually it's because the writing and word choice often feels right. And yes, it was early in the morning, so I might go over this after work today, read it aloud to myself, and do a bit of nitpicking with the words until it sound just how I want to read it.

The first question: Choosing those two lines: "Dusty old window" and "my creaking bed". They were chosen, not to accentuate poverty (though it could be implied), but it is more to display that she's neglecting those wooden objects because they are not what she cares about. I think she'd really rather want to live in a cloud home. So she doesn't dust her windows, and she's not looking for a new wooden bed. And even the posters play into this. The posters are the stuff dreams are made of. They are old, and I think they fueled her own dream a long time ago. All these things are meant to contrast with that pristine photograph.

As for question two: The repetition of the word dream, instead of using 'sleep', it was very much intentional. I originally had it as 'sleep', but this played out better to me when I changed it. Every day she wakes up from her dream, implying that every day she wakes up and sees that photograph and that wakes her up from chasing that dream. I felt the repetition made the final instance stronger.

For the third question, that was more of a flow of writing thing. These are questions that are similar to ones that I have thrown at myself, regarding writing. The way I chose this section was far less intentional, and more derived from the flow of the moment.

For the fourth question: That's a very valid point and I will definitely tweak that bit there. It definitely read slower in my mind, and my own strategy of using as few ellipses as possible, in order to enhance their overall power in the story was probably to blame for that one. I'll fix that right away.

As for the fifth question... I don't think she would throw away the posters, simply because they aren't what she's chasing. Her focus was on RD, and this harkens back to the posters being worn and more along the lines of the thing that lead her to reach after Rainbow Dash. It might make sense to add that though... I can see the merit in having her take down the poster that are 'the things that dreams are made of' in an attempt to stop herself from forming another passing dream.

I think I may just add that.

Thanks for these questions, they've made me think about my own work and what choices I made as I wrote (most of the choices are split-second on the go sort of things, but they do nonetheless have reason for being chosen). Thanks for reading,

~SilentBelle

Thanks for all those answers :yay:.

I think she'd really rather want to live in a cloud home.

That is a good point. Now I can understand the intention.

every day she wakes up and sees that photograph and that wakes her up from chasing that dream.

This is very interesting for me. Thanks ^^.

and my own strategy of using as few ellipses as possible

Which is a good strategy. Another alternative could be to create a new paragraphe with the "After all...". There are probably other alternatives, but I'm not really the creative type...
Still, now I know it wasn't intentional in that sense.
[edit: actually, the double ellipsis feels counterproductive when re-reading that part. I'm not sure about it (and in no position to read it out loud), I'll rely on you for that. I still would like to apologize if I made you hurt the story there... => as I said, I can't really help better the story in any way, I was just trying to learn.]

in an attempt to stop herself from forming another passing dream.

This is taking it one step further. And thus creating a contradiction (which is a normal contradiction as the human mind sort of works that way) where Scootaloo would wish for a new dream while destroying the tools to find one.
Good luck with that, it seems pretty difficult to make it work.

***

Once again, thanks for all those answers:

they've made me think about my own work

So did you answers for me :scootangel:.

Wow, if i was part of the inspiration for this, I must be doing something right. The quiet, understated and almost doomed way you show Scootaloo giving up on her dreams was very well-handled. And I loved how Rainbow, even after accidentally hurting Scootaloo though a miscommunication, was still clearly an important pony to Scootaloo. Even if Scootaloo is having trouble showing it or even acknowledging it, it shone through pretty strongly that she still idolizes Rainbow, albeit in an incredibly unhealthy way. You really nailed the overall tone of despair, too. A very powerful piece, and I'm honored I somehow managed to spur you into writing this little gem.

Beautiful... I wish I had enough of an education to give me ability to say how amazing that was!

However,
(Why is it that criticism is sooo D@%# easy?)
I do have one thought: In your last paragraph.

In this moment, she's left me shattered. And every day, I wake up from my dream to see discoloured wood, where posters once looked down upon me. And my eyes are drawn to my bedside table where her picture remains, caught in sunlit motion, blurred from my tears, and cracked from shattered glass.

You seem to be switching to present tense in the bold. And I believe that is a good direction to go. My humble opinion for your consideration, is to change everything from "In this moment," on to present tense. "And tomorrow, I will wake from my dreams to see...etc."
To me, it works, and seems powerful.
Anyway, my two cents for your consideration.
What you wrote is far beyond my ability and I applaud your work. Thank you.

Ah, so you're dabbling in First-Person now (This is the first I can remember)? Damn, you're gettin' good at this writing thing. At this point, you've pretty much got introspective soul-searching on the part of the character nailed down. I mean, hell, you made this little gem in what, two, three hours? It seems to be second nature to you now. So that's awesome.:twilightsmile:

4712040 An hour and a bit, with half an hour of editing. :unsuresweetie:

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

Very nice work, I love the emotional punch of that single line of dialogue. :)

I decided to read this on PP's recommendation, and I'm glad I did. I'm most impressed by the emotional punch you were able to pack into such a short story. This story is exceptionally well written, powerful, and touching.

Keep up the good work!

5038043 Thanks, I'm glad it's been as well received as it has.

The only thing this fic makes me wonder about, how would you write the polar opposite of it? How could you take something so articulate and make it just as positive feeling? If Scootaloo woke up one day and had an entire story sequel to this, in her universe but everything changed for the better for her and still make the fic interesting and memorable. That is my dream.

5297176 Well, I think it would be quite possible, to continue from this story and tell a story about how she manages to overcome her own inability through sheer determination and hard work. Once she flies a little bit she falls in love with the feeling and devotes herself to being able to experience it. After that, it would become something of a coming to terms with her own abilities, as they would be substandard compared to most pegasi. But in spite of that, she'd still love the feeling of flight.

It would be kind of neat to write, and you could even think of a neat cutie mark she might receive when she realizes what her dream is.

5320845 I'd read it. Cause in this one it's her bring shattered to the point where her world seems irrelevant to think about, which doesn't feel good.

You're still so young Scootaloo, don't let the disappointment of one dream keep you down for long.

There's always another one waiting just over the horizon. :)

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