• Member Since 13th Oct, 2014
  • offline last seen March 14th

Mahayro


Pecking away at answering my biggest personal questions through organic writing. Not afraid of controversy. TwiPie justifies life's suffering. (I do free reviews for flow and emotional impact!)

T

2018 Update: Yes, I am still working on the continuation of this story.


Personally rated "Young Adult"--no explicitness, but any and all triggers short of it are on the table. I personally recommend reading this story in the Serif font.

Three worldly mares--self-identifying as the BGs (Backgrounders)--bring fun and a semblance of meaning to their oddly dysfunctional lives by carousing, canoodling, and capitalizing on chances to help the world that rejected them. However, the three share one other bizarre commonality--and once it is discovered, a more intense and insane journey begins. Life won't be the same--nor was it ever. A mystery-genre emotional roller coaster inspired by, and in tribute to, SS&E's Background Pony. Also contains significant Bee Gees and maybe other song references, if you're into that sort of thing.


This is my first ever written work of fiction. Cover art by Tricky Dick.

Chapters (15)
Comments ( 8 )

I'd read more, but I was disappointed by all the cursing. Yes, I noticed it was rated Teen, but I was hoping that was just because of alcoholic references. It really seems interesting, but the foul language makes it hard for me to enjoy it. :fluttercry:

5316505 My apologies. I did try to make that clear in the very beginning, but I could add a description note too.

I actually really don't like the idea of vulgarity in a standard MLP universe myself. But Berry has to be that way and I've always thought of her that way. She's the exception to my own rule.

I took a stab at this story because the premise is ambitious, and ambition is respectable. But had I not been set on giving feedback, I would have stopped reading somewhere in the second chapter. The frequent passive sentence constructions made many sections hard to parse; the randomly-appearing Seussian alliteration and rhyming threw me out of the story every time; and the (mostly) cinematic POV made the characters closed books whose motivations and feelings I rarely understood.

Having read all four chapters that are available at this point, the plot seems virtually nonexistent. The premise promises three characters who have trauma in their pasts but have found a coping mechanism in each other and in "the shared satisfaction of small personal successes," but the story is almost exclusively about Carrot Top's immediate and very present trauma, with the other two relegated to being dispensers of sex or comfort before or after one of her many breakdowns. That didn't bother me per se, because that's still a potentially interesting story. But it's not the story that the summary promised. And the (mostly) cinematic POV hurt the telling of it, because when Berry and Colgate are dispensing support to Carrot Top, they were almost always doing so for reasons that the cinematic POV kept opaque. Without being privy to what the characters are thinking and feeling, I rarely had the information needed to understand their motivations, so my ability to sympathize with the characters was severely limited, and beyond that, it meant that I lacked the ability to understand whether the events in the story were advancing a plot or moving a character along their arc. The end result was that the story felt plotless, like a series of events rather than a story.

Chapter three was the one that really lost my interest. The bulk of that chapter doesn't have any bearing on the story. Instead it's an extended description of the party with no relevance to the main characters. When we finally get back to Carrot Top near the end of the chapter, the cinematic POV is rescinded a little and we get a brief and superficial peek into her thoughts and feelings, but those didn't mean much to me because I didn't have the information about her that would be necessary to put them into any context. For example, the narration there tells me that intimacy makes Carrot Top go wild, but since I don't know anything about her history or her feelings or her memories, I don't know why that is. It's just an isolated data point that doesn't help me understand her.

At the beginning of chapter four, Carrot Top has a reaction to Drum. I can't understand what that reaction is or what it means, because the narration doesn't know what it is or means. The cinematic POV prevents the narration from showing the characters' thoughts or feelings, so the reader is given no information to understand the characters' actions. As a result, Carrot Top's actions throughout the story seem almost completely random, like she's some sort of talking, fighting slot machine. That made her impossible to sympathize with, and since she is the de facto main character of the story, that made the story hard to sympathize with.

Hard talk aside, I really like the premise you set out for. It's ambitious and interesting, and I hope you figure out how to tell that story (which sounds backhanded as hell, but that's not the way I intend it, I promise).

5317246 The "cinematic" narration and the occasional floridness of the verbiage serves a purpose. Part of that purpose is to play with my own inner voice and find some consistency. This is experimental in more ways than one.

As for the rest, I have to respect the wisdom of anyone better-read than I (a very simple accomplishment, trust me). I discovered right away that I'm a characterization-first, flow-second kind of writer. And getting good at balancing that takes a lot of time. Hopefully it takes less than the last ten years I've spent of making no creative contribution whatsoever to the world at large.

Chapter Three is fluff. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

5317191 Ah, yes. We all have those. Well, good luck with accumulating likes, you nice-seeming person!

Well... it isn't terrible. The writing is technically sound, but when we actually delve into characters and plot it starts to fall apart a bit.
You're dealing with three background characters. They have little canon development, but varying levels of fanon development as well that must be taken under consideration.
We're introduced to these three mares poorly at best. You could just as easily replace any of these characters with a random OC and the story would be the same.

Let's talk about the characters. Berry Punch. In fanon, she is generally depicted as either an alcoholic or a bartender, sometimes both. Berry Pinch is her daughter, she is a single mother. Colgate. In fanon, she is a dentist, often friends with Carrot Top, often a laid back, relatively bland/normal personality. Carrot Top. In fanon, she is a farmer, often friends with Colgate, either a friend/romanctic partner for Applejack or a rival.
Obviously, you want to give your own take on these characters, but you should at least start in some way, from where fanon has left off. In some ways it seems you have, but in others, not so much.

I'm very confused as to what's going on with each character. Berry has four kids? We get their names, but nothing else. Carrot Top is male-to-female transgender/an aspiring writer? Colgate is promiscuous? Berry is promiscuous? Carrot Top has random rage issues? Colgate has some random issue that means she needs to improve her standing in the community?

It's all well and good to raise questions for your readers, but these questions are simply basic. I'm sure that the characters exist fully realized in your head, but they make no sense when coming through in the written word, at least at this point.

I'll read the next chapter in a while and comment on that, but for now, this story looks like a decent idea that has fizzled in the presentation stage.

5321754 I'm pushing myself to the limits with a rather experimental format as my first ever fictional writing piece. I don't think anyone has figured 'it' out yet. It'll happen soon enough, though.

Unfortunately, all of this means that the pacing and capturing of interest is a terribly difficult thing for me to do. There are various limitations on how I can write and present information that are not even apparent. Even as it is, some parts might never get told...it's so frustrating, not being more efficient at that delivery! But trust me, there's a reason for some of it!

Also, I'm aware of the fanon departures--although Berry as a mother of four is a more deliberate sort of departure because I base that directly on her depiction in Pinkie Pride. Her being a mother of four instead of three is intended as a deep reference to Pinkie's retcon in the same ep. The idea of fanon departure is actually played with. I can't say any more.

A couple you can read to get your mind off of this:

The Longest Night

One More Dance

Also, the two I've written. You can get to those via my profile page.

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