• Member Since 20th Jun, 2013
  • offline last seen Apr 29th, 2016

Final Draft

All the world is indeed a stage, and we are merely players, performers, and portrayers; each anothers audience outside the gilded cage.


Macabre has spent the majority of his life locked up and hidden away for demonstrating his special talent. With his cutie marks obscured by scars and his horn completely removed, he is known as a Marked One. When Twilight Sparkle learns of the Marked Ones, she aims to rehabilitate them, and find uses for their unsavory talents, starting with Macabre. To her, he's just an unfortunate, misunderstood pony. To him, she is everything.

Special thanks to enti0 for the cover art!

Chapters (7)
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Comments ( 122 )

Hmm, interesting. Also, Flash Sentry is a character? Fantastic. I'll be around to watch the haters burst into flames in rage. And then I'll thrown my pokeball at them, and that'll be the end of that.

4772815 You are a fabulous individual.

Well ya, he's a timelord pony hybrid.

This is looking... Interesting. I will patiently await for more.

But it was far too quite to be a new arrival.

Sorry to nitpick, but you've got a small typo there.

Love the story so far, but if I could offer some constructive criticism then I would say you should use less parenthesis. One quick fact that was driven into my head by a professor of mine last year was that the human mind is capable of reading at tremendous speeds once we learn how to read a language, but that we take so long to read because our mind wants to sound out every word it sees internally. This means that we read all types of punctuation in certain ways, commas make the mind pause momentarily, periods separate sentences definitively, and exclamation points and question marks add flavor. The way people read these forms of punctuation is fairly universal, with most of the outsiders being people who don't understand these forms punctuation very well.

The problem with parenthesis is that they don't naturally fit in to how people read a fictional story. Parenthesis are most often associated with a break in narration so that the person you're talking to can give you an important piece of information. This works fine when talking to another person, since the narrator and the person speaking are obviously one and the same, but it doesn't work in stories. The reason is that when people read parenthesis the brain no longer reads it in the narrator's voice, but the author's, and this breaks the reader from the story itself. This makes readers feel like you're simply telling them information instead of showing them, which I'll say for the sake of saying is a sin in writing. In addition, several of the instances you use parenthesis there are other forms of punctuation that would work perfectly fine, which makes the use of parenthesis feel rather forced.

I get that you're trying to give us the feeling of being inside of the narrator's head, but there's other ways to work in the information you're adding with parenthesis in more naturally flowing ways.

I'm not trying to criticize you as a writer since I do like a lot of your stories, but this is something to keep in mind.


According to novelist Francine Prose, who refers to the "show, don't tell" concept as "bad advice often given to young writers":

Needless to say, many great novelists combine "dramatic" showing with long sections of the flat-out authorial narration that is, I guess, what is meant by telling. And the warning against telling leads to a confusion that causes novice writers to think that everything should be acted out ... when in fact the responsibility of showing should be assumed by the energetic and specific use of language."

Sorry, but I'm just sick of hearing the phrase: "Show, don't tell." :twilightsheepish:

Damn, this seems like it could get interesting very quickly, and other than the odd error (like ABC's) it's very well written. Liked and faved. Can't wait for more.

I... have no words why so many downvoted this so far. It's well written, captures the emotion well, and the pacing is fantastic. I love it. Looking forward to the next chapter.

4773268 You didn't understood the point I was making. I wasn't saying "Show, don't tell" so much as I was saying "Don't create unnatural breaks in your writing by using the wrong form of punctuation".
Here's a link that will help you understand.
Hell, have another helpful link.

You don't need to roll out all the exposition right away, any more than we need to put all our furniture on the front porch. Save it for when you need it...and when you need it, dramatize it instead of shoving it into parentheses.
-From the first link

You are right in that "Show, don't tell" isn't always great advice, but it serves my point well to say that you don't want readers to feel like you're taking them aside to tell them very simple information instead of showing them the information. Misused parenthesis in fiction represent the writer pulling the reader aside from the story to tell them a small fact, and breaks the immersion that fictional stories rely on. When used right "Show, don't tell" is supposed to convey that you want to show your reader the world you've created, not make it feel like you're telling them facts about this world you've read off of a bulleted list.

Damn good sir.Im watching you....-makes gesture of 'watching'-Always.Watching.......

It's a good piece over all, certainly with an intriguing idea behind it.

I still want to echo Wargame's sentiment on the technical aspects, though. You seem to be going for a broken-stream-of-consciousness effect, which -- given the character -- is perfectly understandable and a good way to show his (uneven) mental state. The technique, though, is flawed. The parentheses serve (and are intended) to break the syntactical structure of the sentence to convey this instability and show elaboration on some particular point. What you WANT to use in... well, the majority of cases from what I can see, is instead the dash (--). That breaks the syntax to show an aside, an elaboration, something the narrator is clarifying to the reader. The use of parentheses is typically meant to focus an elaboration inwards, as though the narrator were reflecting on an aspect of the sentence for themselves and not directly conveying it to the reader. This can sometimes serve to more clearly show an inner monologue, but that type of use in most types of narration should be strictly limited.

A restructuring of the sentences that involve parentheses to focus on commas and dashes to break the flow is something I think you should do. The story itself will flow better in addition to being more technically sound. Please see the first half of my second paragraph for a demonstration. Reading out loud, placing extroversive emphasis on the dashes and introversive on the parentheses, with pauses on the commas, should allow you to see what I mean. It may come off as a bit Walken-esqe if done heavily, but I think that's part of the effect you're going for.

As for the story itself, I shall be keeping an eye on it. Let’s see where it goes.

It was precisely the reaction I expected. The people who cast their downvote likely read nothing more than the description. I'm also convinced I have about 5 followers who downvote my stories every time I add a new one.

I can just imagine The Doctor crashing in, fixing their horns, and whisking them away. But before that, Celestia asks,"Who are you?." *He turns. "I'm The Doctor. I'm from the planet gallifrey in the constellation of Casterberus. I am 903 years old and im going to save their lives from the likes of you. You got a problem with that?"

*Celestia speechless.

"Right then."

4773455 That's morbid how people get off like that.



4773491 i dont really care. Its still epic.

This is only the second time I've attempted first person perspective, so I find your advice extremely helpful. I'll be making several edits to this shortly, and hopefully avoid the same mistakes in the coming chapters.

To quote Alex deLarge (of A Clockwork Orange): "Welly, welly, welly, welly, well!" I shall have to keep an eye on this one; the concept is most intriguing.

This is quite good. I'll be interested in seeing where this is going. However, I will agree with Wargame Brony in saying that there are too many parentheses for my taste. They are generally used in school textbooks and other dry, informational books for disclosing added technical information—they really don't have much of a place in fiction.

I believe I've made the necessary changes using your advice. I'll continue to work on it in the coming chapter.

What Celestia is doing is completely wrong

A good dark twist to a beloved children's TV show.

It's about time.

So I see. This makes it eminently more readable and it flows much better. Thank you for that.

Now there are 2 things I'm curious to see how you handle. The first will of course be when Twilight confronts Celestia about this. Twi does view her as a second mother, and loves her greatly, as we all know. So how will Twi react in regards to this being the best solution that Celestia has come up with? She has had hundreds of years and countless generations to deal with this problem. And this is the BEST solution? I hope we get to see that discussion as it happens and not just aftermath.

The other thing is, well, your final solution to the problem of the Unmarked. Based on where this story falls in the established timeline -- Princess Twilight -- I can clearly see an out for a "happy" ending. The degree that it's happy will all depend on how you play it, but it's undeniably a viable solution and certainly better than what's going on. Or if you have something different in mind, or are just going to go total tragedy on it.

Still looking forward to seeing where this goes. Write well!

4773504 No problem man, this is looking very good.

I really look forward to how this story is going to turn out, and don't be afraid to ask for help if you ever need it.

44774847 It's no different from a sanatorium, and those worked just fine. The problem is that she doesn't allow them a chance at rehabilitation and just locks them up for life.

4773455 I feel the sudden urge to do a spin off of this chapter ALONE.:pinkiecrazy:

How much time did you put into writing this?

Twelve consecutive hours with no prior planning. Does it show a lack of effort?

4786746 Well, I actually asked a number of different people that. I'm writing a fic myself and I wanted to compare. Since you responded, I'm gonna read your story! I'll let you know what I think in a minute.

Ah, thank you, and I wish you luck in your writing :scootangel:

4786858 Fkn great! I love it. There are a few awkward sentences in the beginning but when I got into the story I didn't notice anything else of that kind. You had me wringing my hands; I'll definitely check back for the next chapter.

Oh also, the door would open once for Teacher to enter, but then a second time for Teacher to leave, right?

Yeah, I realized that a little too late, but as you mentioned, the wording was a little weird trying to explain the door, and I didn't want to complicate it with more.

This is dark... yet sweet. This is disturbing... yet exhilirating. The emotions make me feel like this WOULD happen in the actual Equestria. I await your next work in earnest. One thing however... make sure Celestia pays. PAYS.

This story's gonna be fun. Lots and lots of fun.


The door at the top of the stairs only opened four times a day; three times for meals, and once for Teacher to come give the younger ones their lessons.

The door at the top of the stairs only opened five times a day; three times for meals, and twice for Teacher to come give the younger ones their lessons.

The awkward sentences were actually the two after that first one.

Also, holy sht the next chapter is out. Guess I can't go to bed yet...

Son of a bitch. I wrote a long and long review for this and closed the tab. I'm gonna start writing my comments in a text editor rather than the browser window. Sorry, I'll re-review it (hehe) tomorrow. I did enjoy the chapter though. I think somewhere I had written "Fkn fantastic" but I've lost my enthusiasm, it's late you see.

Being compassionate is usually a good thing, with few exceptions. This is one of them. Oh, Twilight...what are you doing...?

Twilight, you poor poor thing...why has nobody taken advantage of you to rule the kingdom again?

He didn't do a thing wrong

Next chapter we find out about a pegasus filly named Windy Loo and just what Macabre did to her.

Wow, he could have DIED.:rainbowderp:

Twlight Oh Twlight. What have you gotten yourself into? :facehoof:

Wow! This is a great story, and I can't wait to see where it goes next! :pinkiehappy:
Just one question: Why so many down votes?

I originally had a Flash Sentry tag because he will be playing an important part in the next couple chapters. People saw the tag and it rustled their jimmies. Also, people have a bad habit of down voting anything with the dark tag.

That's the problem with people nowadays they just down vote without reading it. :trixieshiftleft:

I don't know why but I really like this story... :pinkiesad2:

Princess Celestia should be marked

That would be an interesting tangent to go on actually.

4856012 Maybe her special talent is sending groups of civilians to almost certain death!

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