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HAZESHIFT


E

At long last, the princess of Equestria have managed to secure peace with the queen of the changelings. The two races have come together for the betterment of each. There may still be some tension on an individual level but as a whole each now accepts the other. As the new era begins ambassadors are being sent to each side.

For the changeling ambassadors, Princess Twilight Sparkle has volunteered to house the ponies in Ponyville and to make it her priority that everything goes smoothly. She believes that it will definitely be a learning experience for both races.

For one of the changelings though she couldn't be more right.

Written for the: The Equestria Daily Outside Insight Summer Fanfic Contest
Thanks to my editors/prereaders: Flintlock Spark, Bladeofthemad and NightmareKnight
I thank these guys for putting up with my i'll timed writing explosions...like this one!

Chapters (1)
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Comments ( 23 )

I personally loved the story. Now I'm too curious as to what the Disney reference is... Nyahhhh, must find out!
Later...
~Flow

Oh I liked the story. I thought the changing into a log was a reference to how rural legends tell of fay switching babies for logs, which is the real-life version of Changelings.
Was the Disney reference the upside horse?

While I saw no errors in the story, the short description had some. As what should draw readers in, it's important that I help you out

At long last, the princesses of Equestria have managed to secure peace with the queen of the changelings. The two races have come together for the betterment of each. There may still be some tension on an individual level but as a whole each now accepts the other. As the new era beings begins, ambassadors are being sent to each side.
For the changeling ambassadors, Princess Twilight Sparkle has volunteered to house the ponies ((them?)) in Ponyville and to make it her priority that everything goes smoothly. She believes that it will definitely be a learning experience for both races.
For one of the changelings though she couldn't be more right.

4858759 actually the whole log thing is just one of those sleepign etaphors, like sawing logs or slept like a rock...but i didn't want to make him a rock for some reason...and no the upside down wasn't the disey reference...but thanks

4859909
Heh, my bad. I should have caught "sleeping like a log".

Twilight really should have known better then to teach him so many colours at once. After all, there must be a reason why changeling eyes are sealed at birth.

Anyway, good luck with the rest of your stories.:twilightsmile:

I really enjoyed this story. I would love to see more about these characters. Changlings are so neat, and I like what you did with the nymph(foal?).

4861584 i'll think about it...maybe

Spotted a few minor editing glitches, and your formatting seems to change halfway through, but overall the writing is pleasant enough. For the purposes of the competition, though, I'm not sure this meets the prompt requirements.

4865711 yeah sometimes when i go from microsoft word to gdocs to here it does some thing that i can't seem to see and then hear about i find it werid...and i realize the whole "prompt thing" i may have interpretted it wrong...but i figured that out....right about when i had finished writing so i thought to myself "....eh fuck it. LETS DO THIS ANYWAY!!!"

4866189 ...reall?...i guess i could...i'll look into it:pinkiecrazy::pinkiecrazy:

Well this was a cute story. And that Disney reference must be obscure, because I can't find it to save me. :rainbowhuh:

Most enjoyable. I hope Twilight didn't take the lesson too far, though... I can imagine a few ways that could go wrong.

Greetings, HAZESHIFT. Here begins the review you requested from WRITE.

To be blunt, I'm getting a bad first impression, because the synopsis, the faceplate you put on it, doesn't stand up well. I see that someone has said as much in the comments as well.

the princess of Equestria have

I assume you meant "princesses," but in either case, there's number disagreement here.

There may still be some tension on an individual level but as a whole each now accepts the other.

"but as a whole" should be set off with commas. The first is because you're starting a new clause there, and the second is to erase ambiguity over whether "whole" is being used as a noun or adjective. The latter is more common, so the reader's likely to trip on it as is, like I did.

As the new era begins

Another place where a comma is needed between clauses. This isn't a foolproof rule, but in general, if a conjunction separates clauses (each with its own subject and verb), use a comma, but if they're just separating multiple parts of a compound subject or verb, then you don't use one, unless they get rather lengthy or complex.

For the changeling ambassadors, Princess Twilight Sparkle has volunteered to house the ponies

Why is she hosting ponies for the changelings? Are you saying that she's hosting the pony delegation so that they can participate in the summit with the changelings, or are you referring to the changelings as ponies here? It's confusing.

to make it her priority that everything goes smoothly

This is a very down-in-the-weeds grammatical point, but you're talking about a hypothetical situation here, so it should use subjunctive mood: that everything go smoothly.

For one of the changelings though she couldn't be more right.

Put commas around "though." It's not absolutely necessary, but I hear pauses there as I read anyway. It feels natural.

I'll timed

ill-timed

And now on to the story!

When wondering if something interesting was going to happen during any given day, it usually didn’t matter what time of the day it was when one was in the town of Ponyville. Something, whether large or small, was always bound to happen one day. From one or two pony problems to an evil magic sapping centaur running amok and trying to rule everypony, the town and its inhabitants did see a lot of different events happen on a regular basis.

First paragraph. This needs to grab the reader's attention and start to deliver on what the synopsis promised. The reader is here for action and characters. Scene-setting is also a legitimate thing to do up front, but get to one of those quickly.

Look at that first sentence. It's pretty clunky. The "in the town of Ponyville" feels rather tacked on, whereas it's pretty much the point of the sentence. That part's also a dependent clause that needs a comma. As an aisde, look how you use "was" three times in that sentence. Besides getting repetitive, that's also a verb to avoid as much as possible. It's much more interesting to read about what happens, not what is. It's dragging the story's motion to a halt, which you really don't want to do right off the bat like this.

"Magic-sapping" should be hyphenated, as it's a multi-word modifier.

All three of these sentences basically say the same thing. At least one listed examples, which have a lot more power than generalities, but this creates the impression that you're stretching for word count and can't think of anything more interesting to say.

You might want to have a look at Chris's fairly recent columns on coming up with a good first sentence.
first column
follow-up
another follow-up

spread out

Another descriptor that needs a hyphen.

Setting down the book she was reading, she snuck a look at the clock on the wall as she walked out of the room.

Participles and "as" clauses both synchronize actions. Each of these would be fine on their own. I could believe she set her book down and glanced at the clock simultaneously. I could also believe that she looked at the clock at the same time she walked out of the room. But you've made all three happen together, and it's tougher to buy her setting down her book as she walks out of the room.

Trotting over, she focused her magic on the door in front of her, opening it in time with her arrival.

You just said she was trotting. Then you have the same synchronization problem here. You have her opening the door when she arrives, but somehow at the same time she's trotting over. Just suffice it to say you need to pay attention to this issue, but I'm not going to single out more instances, or I'll be using up a lot of space to do so.

On the other side was a sight that puzzled her..

You've got an extra period there. Now, I assume you've seen a discussion of show versus tell. As a comic moment, it's not so necessary to show, except that you actually do, in the next sentence, which pre-empts the need to describe her as puzzled here.

We are-“ one of them started to introduce themselves.

A few things. First, use a proper dash. Alt+0151 will produce an em dash. Second, smart quotes are often confused by certain things, including dashes. It's backward here. You could type the quotes first and add the dash later, or you could copy quotes from somewhere else. Third, that's a very clunky speaking attribution, and one that doesn't quite grammatically parse.

wide eyed

Hyphenate.

Oh the times they are a-changing my dear.

Needs a comma for direct address.

But as I recall in our briefing, she is the academic type; one to succumb more to curiosity than fear in certain situations

A semicolon doesn't work there since there's no independent clause after it. Except for very specific uses, you should be able to replace one with a period to form two complete sentences.

your highness

Such an honorific would be capitalized.

Yes your highness

Direct address and capitalization agaIn. Basically, once I mark something twice, I assume you get the picture.

If you don’t mind me asking

Another one that's in the weeds, but this should be "my asking."

forgetting about what Twilight had asked of him

I'm not sure it's necessary to say this at all, as it doesn't seem to matter that he forgot. It's more the author accentuating that he didn't answer, but that'll become apparent if Twilight has to ask him again.

so it may be a while before she decides

Needs a comma for the dependent clause.

trying to avoid being blunt

It's a bit intrusive of a narrator to inform us of character motives anyway, but this is another one that's probably unnecessary to communicate in the first place.

Dotted broke into the conversation again after walking back over from their luggage

This doesn't quite parse as an attribution either, since you've already given the verb a direct object, and you never had her go over to the luggage.

A slight roll to the right, then to the left, and then, with a small series of pops and green flashes, the log was now standing on four little black legs. After a slightly louder pop, the rest of the log changed into the small body of a young changeling.

Watch using "small" in consecutive sentences like that.

inkling his head

You sure this isn't a spell-check mangling of "inclining"?

The little changeling yawned and stretched before slowly inkling his head and opening his eyes. Twilight looked into his bright blue eyes as Scuttle slowly got going, as most foals did in the morning.

Close repetition of "slowly" and "eyes."

With a surprisingly sudden burst of energy, he gasped.

You're hopping around to a lot of perspectives, but you're also not having the narrator speak any characters' thoughts for them, so this fits with an omniscient narrator. However, omniscient narrators have some limitations. This is an opinion. Who would find it surprising? You're not in a character's perspective, so I don't know who, and an objective narrator shouldn't be expressing his own opinions.

His childish actions caused the adults in the room to laugh.

You haven't described him as doing much so far, and none of it is particularly childish. Really set the scene here. He should leap right off the page as precocious and energetic. It's also an opportunity to characterize everyone else by how they react? Does Twilight act amused? Embarrassed? Do his parents rush to stop him, or do they give him free rein?

Dotted smiled as she watch her child zip around the room, looking at literally everything.

Typo. And show me what all he looks at. This is very vague. What catches his interest? How does he react to a few of the items? Does he just look, or does he touch as well?

Something along the lines of Transformicons or something.

Now you're breaking from an omniscient narrator. He's taking a conversational tone and vocalizing Twilight's thoughts for her. Try to keep the narrative voice consistent.

Twilight felt the urge to take notes

Again, don't over-explain character motivations. Why might she do to get this across more subtly? Maybe flinch a hoof toward her notebook, maybe wonder how interesting Luna would find this knowledge, etc.

Dotted broke back into the conversation

Another attribution that doesn't parse well. See how that could stand as its own sentence in a way that "Dotted said" couldn't?

Twilight could only imagine the possibilities.

Well, show me some that she comes up with and her reaction to them.

“I told you not to tell that story, it’s embarrassing-” He spun around to face Twilight in the second half of his sentence, lifting one hoof into the air in his defense. ‘-and it only happened once!”

Note that you have a single quotation mark in one spot. And here's how to do an aside in a quote:
“I told you not to tell that story, it’s embarrassing—” he spun around to face Twilight in the second half of his sentence, lifting one hoof into the air in his defense “—and it only happened once!”

somewhat childish actions

You used "childish" recently enough that it stands out, and here's the narrator expressing an opinion again.

everyone’s laughter. Everyone laughed

Feels repetitive.

Opilio was the first to recover and speak again.

You're not really giving the reader much to laugh at here. Basically you're telling me to trust the narrator that it's funny or cute. Let me see it and make my own judgment. If the characters still react this way, that's fine, but then I'm laughing with them instead of wondering what they saw.

trying to keep the conversation serious

Most times, you'll set off a participle with a comma.

Dotted tried to reason with Scuttle.

Another questionable attribution. I think one should go before the speech, too, since this quote tended to follow from what Twilight said, and I thought it was still her speaking.

His parents looked at each other, trying to decide what to do.

This is becoming a recurring issue. Their reactions are vague, and their motives are over-explained. Describe their facial expressions, have them sputter a bit of dialogue about it.

hoping to try and brighten the little changeling’s day

He was interested in her, I'll give you that, but his most recent complaint was about a lesson, which Twilight can't exactly give him.

Scuttle’s face lit up as his father agreed to Twilight’s proposal as he bounced around the place, a look of joy on his face.

Clunky to stack up two "as" clauses like that, plus the telly "look of joy." And why tell me his father agreed when the dialogue already says that?

“Well I’m not so-“Twilight wanted to tell him, but…

Dash, backward quotes, missing space, and having the narrator trail off is a limited affectation, so it's breaking from the overall omniscient feel again.

he cut off Twilight unintentionally as he continued talking to himself

Another attribution that doesn't quite work, and I've pointed out enough of those, but there's something else here. First of all, you don't need to narrate Twilight as being cut off, since I can already see it in her speech. Second, a cutoff loses its feeling of suddenness when the narrator (or anyone else, for that matter) has time to wedge something in. Right after Twilight gets cut off, the very next thing needs to be what did so.

Well lots of things Scuttle

Comma for direct address.

stunning the princess with his childish logic.

She acts stunned in her next piece of dialogue, so it's unnecessary to say so.

We don’t have an educational system in the changeling world… not yet, anyways, so it’s put upon the parents to teach the kids.

That sounds like awfully grown-up phrasing for how young he's supposed to be.

Scuttle’s smile faltered, knowing that he didn’t want to fall behind.

Ah, a dangling participle. "Knowing..." is supposed to describe Scuttle, but he never appears in the sentence. Only his smile does.

Twilight always liked to help others learn. She had Twilight Time with the Crusaders, and this was sort of the same thing.

Examples speak much louder than generalities, as I said. Give me a couple of quick anecdotes of times someone learned something from her and how it made her feel.

two story

Hyphenate.

it was a surprise to him

So have him act surprised.

Twilight started to get into here teacher mode.

Typo, and this begs for expansion.

Twilight was confused by his statement.

Way too blunt. Note that you're also falling into a very repetitive pattern in your paragraphs, where you start with unbroken dialogue, then have a short attribution or narrative sentence. It's also skimping on the narration. The unspoken part of a conversation is just as important, but you're relying on the dialogue (and telly language in the bit of narration) to carry the emotion.

still amazed by the sheer number of books

Let me see him act amazed. How does he look at them?

Once we get a better hold of our abilities

Comma after the dependent clause.

while rolling his eye

Just one, or is he rolling them both?

Oh, I think I might actually have some flash cards for this!

Alright, this is good. Give her a little more physical reaction, though, like a spring in her step as she goes to look for them.

Scuttle was amazed at the amount of colors he was being shown.

You're jumping the perspective around a lot in this chapter. You're also just stating their emotions as bland facts rather than showing them to me. On a grammatical note, "amount" is for collective quantities. You'd need "number of colors" which sounds kind of awkward) or "amount of color."

the concept of infinity was very hard for the child to grasp

He's not aware of a continuous grayscale, which is infinite?

I’m going to hold up some cards and you tell me the colors in order.

Needs a comma.

14

Spell out numbers this short.

paper works

paperwork

She nudged Scuttle to get him to walk.

As they walked to the town hall

Watch the repetition.

Scuttle saw the ponies, and this time it was different

This deserves a lot more weight than you're giving it. This is going to be a little tough to get across well with an omniscient narrator, but I think it'll at the very least take delving into his thoughts. This is so new, so alien to him, and it's arguably the emotional crux of the story. Don't downplay what this experience means to him.

town…hall

Leave a space after the ellipsis.

I mean

He says this three times in just five sentences.

How do you just get it?

I just don’t get it.

Pretty repetitive, in the same paragraph.

pinkie

Capitalization.

combine and allows

Inconsistent number agreement.

I’ll head inside and let you think about that,” she said, leaving him to think on her words.

That's pretty redundant. It's also odd. She gives him a fairly vauge answer then decides he needs to think about it some? This smacks more of a plot convenience than something that happens naturally.

One of your concerns was whether you should continue the story. Really, only you can answer that. If you have fun writing it, and you feel that there's more story to tell, then absolutely. I do think that it needs more to be a complete story, since it doesn't come to a strong conclusion. Scuttle's learned this new perception, but he doesn't do anything with it yet or come to any new understanding about the world. It's just a new ability. For that matter, his father made it out to be a big deal to train him in colors, but Twilight manages to do it in a single afternoon? That takes away some of the gravity of it, or maybe it suggests that it's a hard thing for changelings to teach. If the latter, that should come out in the story.

You'd also asked about characterization, and that goes hand in hand with the emotional content. That is to say, there wasn't a lot here. Twilight seemed fine, if a bit muted, but then she's the easy one, since we already know her. The changeling parents don't show much personality, and for the amount of time we spend with Scuttle, he doesn't much either. It's tougher to do with an omniscient narrator, but it still can be done. Basically, you have to let their personalities come through by how they react to things and what their emotions are. Limited narrators are well-suited to this, but omniscient can work, too. You have to invest in what body language, facial expressions, and thoughts they have in response to each event, and do something to make each one distinct from the others. If they all behave the same, of course, then they're less interesting.

I'm curious as to what exactly these changelings were there for. It was built up as some consequential thing, but all they needed to do was sign some paperwork, and Twilight's so extraneous to the process anymore that she doesn't need to be present, even in a ceremonial role, and can volunteer her services as a babysitter. Seems like there'd be either more or less pomp and circumstance around this, but it's in a bit of a weird middle ground.

This was a clever idea for a story, and with commensurate emotional investment from the characters, you could have something here. It does lend itself to continuation, so we can see how Scuttle's world changes and how his parents come back into the story. There's really a lot that could go on besides color, as the two societies adapt to each other in many other ways.

Keep writing and have fun with it!

fc06.deviantart.net/fs70/f/2012/349/4/b/reviewer_logo_longver03_01_by_burrakupansa-d5o60h2.png

Pascoite, WRITE's mineral

“Man, this is so cool! I bet nobody else has ever had a princess for a sitter before,” he said confidently, his eye brimming with happiness.
“Well I’m not so-“Twilight wanted to tell him, but…
“Yep, definitely the first. I should get that on a plaque and put it where everyone can see,” he cut off Twilight unintentionally as he continued talking to himself. Twilight watched him as he walked in a circle, talking about anything and everything.

Cadence was Twilight's sitter. :raritywink:

although he could swear there was a pink one every once in a while

Oh, discord!

Awwww, he's adorable.

And he'd be a grand-master at hide-and-seek when playing with other colts and fillies his age. :trollestia:

I want a sequel to this. :pinkiesmile:

7179289 i did ask for the review

5659521
The grand wall of text
As overwhelming and impossible to understand as colors to a young changeling.

8263854
Well, it's only meant for the author, and he requested it.

“Um…is it okay if I ask why he was a log while sleeping?” Twilight was still surprised by that. It reminded her of a comic Spike read, though she couldn’t recall the title at the moment. Something along the lines of Transformicons or something.

He sleEPS LIKE A LOG!!!!

Grabbing 14 cards in her magic, she floated them in front of Scuttle and watched as he rattled them off. “Red, yellow, green, red, blue, blue, blue, red, purple, green, yellow, orange, red, red,” he said with a little bit of musical flair.

I caught this right away as being the reference, but it took me a bit to place it. At first I thought it was from Darkwing Duck, pilot episode, the nursery rhyme that turns out to be the secret code macguffin. A little more digging let me recollect the classic Spectrum Song by the ever imaginitive Ludwig von Drake, from Disney's Wonderful world of Color

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