• Member Since 17th Jan, 2015
  • offline last seen Oct 23rd, 2018


I'm just here for the Dazzlings, to be quite honest. Bow to the queens.


What makes a victim and what makes a villain?

After their defeat at the Battle of the Bands, the Dazzlings retreat into self-confinement to lick their wounds whilst they reassess their entire strange and fated lives from their beginnings in Equestria, up to the present. However, learning how to cope with the world and each other—living an immortal life in a powerless body—might just be more than any of them can bear.

Lines are blurred in this dark, historical, novelesque sirens origin story of innocence lost, heartache, betrayal, hope, and of course, beautiful music.

(Featured on Equestria Daily: 7/11/15)
(Featured on FIMFiction front page: 9/23/16)

Chapters (48)
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Comments ( 462 )

This... this right here is what I'm talkin' 'bout (Willis)!

One thing I like about all these Dazzling stories (double entendre intended, :trollestia:) is how they all take the same three villains we got less than two hours of screentime with and guide them in similar yet unique directions. Aria's background sets the stage for what looks to be a heartbreaking journey, and I have to admit that I'm overjoyed to see someone handling Sonata the way you have. I can't wait to see what you do with ol' Cheese Hair, :rainbowdetermined2:


Right, okay so I've never bought into the "Sonata is just a ditz" thing. She's an ancient and immortal entity that survives off of manipulating emotions. How do those two things even go together? I've always assumed that she just came off that way because her brain was constantly jumping all over the place.


How do those two things even go together? I've always assumed that she just came off that way because her brain was constantly jumping all over the place.

Having one's brain constantly jumping all over the place is a sign of ditzy behavior, and is detrimental to someone is who suppose to be manipulative of emotions and causing chaos, which requires a degree of focus. She displays that throughout Rainbow Rocks whenever Adagio's not ordering her and Aria around onto a focused task. It's also important to remember that she's been with the other two sirens her whole time rather than being on her own, and Adagio's been the one who always called the shots while Sonata just follows along with whatever she says.

5786338 Well, that's a matter of opinion, I think. The fact that someone has a habit of letting their mind wander doesn't necessarily make them unintelligent. Their thoughts and opinions don't automatically become stupid just because they have a lot of them or because they have bad timing. Also, Aria has been around Adagio this entire time as well, but (in both my fic and my ultimate opinion) she is far from a ditz. Adagio is just a natural born leader.

5786852 Having a different opinion is fine, but at the same time it's hardly considered as just as an opinion when the movie itself clearly demonstrates that Sonata's not bright. She doesn't get basic sarcasm(to be fair, people have trouble sometimes as well, but Adagio's case was as blatant as possible that most people would easily get) and metaphors("She didn't shove them, she pulled a lever!"), blurts out in front of Sunset Shimmer that they sing to make other do what they want and then asks what she said when Adagio tells her to keep quiet, stands there gawking at Sunset when Adagio and Aria were walking away until she was yanked away, and flat out forgets outside of the cafeteria the reason they were at CHS in the first place instead focusing on lunch. The only thing where she might have said anything close to intelligent was when the three of them were coaxing Trixie into preventing the Rainbooms from showing up at the finals, and even then that part's ambiguous to where its' really her saying it, or if it's what Adagio thought up and they were acting out the part-most likely the latter. It's not a case of just mind-wandering or having bad timing, because this is something that Sonata is consistent with and has to be dragged along or chewed out by the others in order to be productive, with no other traits to balance it out.

Yeah, Aria was with them too for a long time, but unlike Sonata, Aria does display more focus and her own degree of intelligence, being able to ask Adagio a legitimate question, and was aware how stupid it was for Sonata to blurt out what they do in front Sunset Shimmer. So it's not really an equal comparison between the two. Adagio's not just a natural leader, though-she wants to keep everyone under her thumb. Remember, Aria isn't always willing to obey her and outside the cafeteria she even suggested an idea of her own, but was immediately shut down when Adagio got physical with her into making them go along with her idea.

Maybe the Fiendship is Magic comics will shed more light on the three when it comes out, and there might be moments that show more of Sonata's character, but for now all we have is the movie, and what has been shown in the movie is that Sonata is not a bright a person. I wouldn't say she's braindead stupid, but she's not the sharpest tool in the shed either.

5786964 Kay, buuuut you still haven't changed my opinion in the slightest. Maybe it's because I've met a few people with that type of off kilter personality and have come to find out some of them were extremely intelligent regardless of what they may blurt out about lunch, absentmindedly.

Perhaps those comics will indeed shed more light on things, though. Because I'm sure if I knew all of those people that I mentioned for only just a little bit over an hour (like the length of the movie) that I might suppose they weren't very bright either. You really need a more in depth look at someone to come to that conclusion. And that is what my fic is trying to do. So, if you're not into the notion of a thoughtfully spaced-out Sonata, you might not like it. :derpytongue2:

5787072 I would say that you are right that real people, even those who could be considered off-kilter in personality are very complex beings and are not bound by certain traits that they possess; that I agree with. But you have to consider the fact that we are talking about a cartoon, and thus a work of fiction. Most characters out of nearly any work of fiction tend to be based on archetypes, and as such do not truly reflect real people. Real people are not based on archetypes nor bound by certain characteristics. Fictional characters, on the other hand, are, because they are not real-they only have what writers put into them. Character development and growth can help flesh out a character to make them more complex, yes, but they have to start at some basis of characterization. It may be impossible to have an in-depth look at a real person, but one can have an easy in-depth look at a fictional character, given what I explained above.

Don't worry, I'm not against the idea of having a more thoughtfully spaced-out Sonata :raritywink:. One of my stories is about Sonata maturing and being more thoughtful and aware of her actions. It's just that if you're wondering why people tend to portray her as a ditz in fan-fiction, it's not because it was pulled out of thin air: it's because there is a basis and characterization for that portrayal in the actual show's continuity. But don't worry, I'm sure I'll like the story when I find the time to read it. :pinkiesmile:

PS: Sorry if this conversation took up space in your story's comment section.

5787146 Oh, I've always understood why people write her that way. She's a one-off character for a movie that needed quick, distinguishable characteristics within one trio of villains. Leader, toughy, ditz. Easy, tried, and true. I get it. And I'm obviously not going to avoid certain fics just because they portray her as a ditz. I've just seen it done to death in fics specifically about her and personally think of it differently when expanding on that canonical archetypal theme.
Thanks for stating the obvious though. :twilightsmile:

This is the best way, the way you handled Sonata. Oh god, I love it. And it will remain as the best way to handle such personals to me. Thank you for writing this!!

Nice start so far, and hey, you use the same nickname for Sonata that I use. I should point out that Aria's skin is fuchsia, not pink.

Wow, I feel bad for Sonata.


In Terry Pritchett's Discworld series, he writes very occasionally about a character called Lennard of Qurim, a Leonardo DaVinci parody/interpretation.

Lennard is one man in a generation, in a thousand generations. His brain acts as a lightning rod for ideas, and he has very little control on how they arrive or when. In one case, he invented a cappuccino machine while trying to figure out how to build a machine that hurrles flaming iron pellets at incredible speed, only because he got thirsty halfway through.

Why am I talking about him? Because I see Sonata in a very similar fashion. She doesn't think the same way others do, thus to those who don't see her true brilliance, she comes off dumb. But if you shift your perceptions a little to the right, you have magic!

Of course, everyone has their owb perception, their own point of view. Heck, I came here to see your version of the origin story to compare and contrast with my own. I like what I've seen so far and will continue reading to see were you are going with it! For now, great job!

5804372 Mission accomplished. :scootangel:

Thanks! I'm so happy I'm not the only one that imagines Sonata like that. :twilightsmile:

Hey there.
I had to make an account here so that I could let you know how much I love this story:

I love this story.

Seriously, though, this is shockingly good.
Two thumbs up, double-subscribe.
Moar, plz?

I like your take on Aria here, and I REALLY like the look we get at Sonata's inner workings, where we learn that she's different, but not stupid.
(And I was, frankly, nearly giddy when we see Sonata's craving for adoration, which, while not exactly evil, IS skirting through the dark and dangerous territory... which is PERFECT.
Looking at Sonata, you don't think it's possible for her to be full-on evil, and yet she's been part of this trio for thousands of years, as they do evil.
The way you align this so that it's her near-addiction to attention and adoration, as well as a very believable sense of loyalty and duty to her sisters, who've stood by her all this time... masterful work, really.

I DID feel like we needed a little more from Aria, to make Sonata's attachment to her seem believable. I know Aria's hurting, and she's not clingy or lovey-dovey, but we still needed a glimmer or two in that breakfast scene, and we really got pretty much nothing.
Still, that brief weakness is forgivable, thanks to the brilliant work later on.

I'm looking forward to seeing Adagio through your lens; she's my favorite, and it looks like you're entirely capable of building her a backstory that feels real and gives us an insight or two into the character.

The flashbacks---I LIKE them... but I'm not sure where they're going.
(To be honest, I have this odd, nagging suspicion, which is almost certainly wrong, that they are actually flash-FORWARDS visions, showing us what is actually present-time, where they've returned to Equestria, but their memories have been erased, and they've been scattered by Celestia (or Discord) so that they're harmless, and can live normal lives, but unexpectedly, their voices and powers start to regenerate)
I know, I know, that doesn't quite fit what you're doing with the rest of the story, it's just an odd notion that keeps poking at me as I read them.

Okay, that was probably disjointed enough to confuse you, so I'll finish up by restating and reaffirming my affection for this tale, and my earnest hopes that you'll continue with it.

Thank you again.

5811172 Wow wow wow. So, umm... holy crap, thank you for this extra incredible commentary! I love getting to have conversations about the nitty gritty of characterization.

I'm really glad most folks reading this are enjoying my take on Sonata. Sonata has always been an interesting one to me, because two thousand years of multiverse life experience is nothing to sneeze at, yknow? One has gotta come out of that having learned something. And I figure it's no different with her in that regard. All the gears have always been turning rather quickly, and I figure perhaps they are turning too quickly for her to properly fathom or express everything she thinks, and she is the most aware of that.

Aria is definitely my favorite siren for reasons that become clear if you read my blogs and comments and stuff. I tend to appreciate people with that type of personality. Not because she's mean, but because meanness like that is usually very telling. Needless to say, Aria has got a rather involved history that is going to be revealed by and by, and soon those little ticks and acts of "meanness" will become clear. I promise. She is indeed hurting right now, and has her own form of self-centeredness, a trait that all the girls share in different ways, so affection for Sonata for her might not look like one would expect. But I totally agree with what you're saying about showing where exactly their close bond exists. It will reveal itself eventually, but perhaps in ways that are very veeerrry subtle. I feel like, to see how Aria expresses affection, one can't really blink or else they'd miss it. :rainbowlaugh:

Adagio! Oh, Adagio. Adagio is sooo versatile. Her character's level-headedness is probably going to make her stories the hardest to write through. Her story IS going to be interesting, indeed, and is coming up very soon. I've actually already put a little Easter egg in the fic that implies what her past story is about and will play out as. It's not really even "hidden" persay. It's rather clear, but it's just small.

Your ideas about the flashbacks being flashforwards are actually rather ingenious. If I had a beard, I'd be stroking it with intrigue. Veerrrry intereeesting... I guess you'll just have to see. :trixieshiftright:

Anyway, all this to say, thank you for the fic appreciation, once again. I hope you're enjoying the music, as well!

You probably aren't aware of this by now, but I've taken up a case in the Fimfiction Bureau of Imaginationists to read and review your story. And after putting myself through the first chapter of the story, I feel it's only fair that I list out a number of typos that you may have missed

The first problem I can find with this story is some tiny little typos here and there. For example, one does not put an apostrophe before again or anymore. If you end a sentence with again or anymore, then you all make it seem like it's said in one burst. Apostrophes are meant to provide short breaks in the character's sentence, whereas full stops end the character's sentence, so that it's conveyed better. By placing apostrophes before again and anymore, it sounds like the characters take a split second gasp of air before delivering the final word.

Another thing I can see wrong with this first chapter is how J.R. is introduced. Unless the character's name is Junior Ronaldo, or someone else with those initials, you shouldn't put a dot between J and R. I learned that the hard way when I made the M.R. typo a while back.

5798961 For the next part, I'm with you on this, Rahkshi, Aria's skin is not pink. As Rahkshi mentioned earlier, Aria's skin tone is a shade of fuchsia, an obscurely reference shade of purple, much like lavender or violet. So in case Aria Blaze is coloured like Pinkie Pie, that's one big mistake that ultimately lowers quality in the story.

Other than that, I feel like the whole concept of the story seems rather inconsistent. One moment we're seeing The Dazzlings as actual ponies, the next, we're being thrown straight into Adagio's daily routine after her defeat. There are many different issues that come from inconsistent pacing, but I feel like listing them off of the top of my head would only be me adding fuel to the fire. If you're going to make an origin story on The Dazzlings, that's perfectly fine, but you can't expect your writers to jump between one setting to the next without any clear-cut reason. Not to mention that all of the opening is in italic, a text that should only be used if you want to emphasize certain words or descriptions. If you're telling a multi-perspective story, you should put down two hidden rules with a time-jump written in italic in the middle of it. Doing this will help people put the different perspectives separately, and ultimately make this story seem better.

But this is only the first chapter, and I've still got more to do. Hopefully you can use this review to make the story better for both you and your viewers.

5819557 Hello. I've taken quite a while to read over your "review" of my fanfic, as you would call it, and I feel that it is only fair that I give you a few criticisms of my own on what I believe to be one of the worst artistic critiques I've ever gotten... and this is coming from someone who gets critiqued on their creative work for a living... I'm serious.

Far be it from me to ask for criticism without going into it open-minded and objective. Some critics are harsh, some aren't. I've dealt with both kinds, and like both kinds for many different reasons. This is all fine and fair. However, something that no creative of any form, myself included, should allow themselves to be subjected to is a lazy critic, and after reading through your comments, I just can't help but come to the conclusion that you consciously made the decision to give as little time and effort to my fanfic as possible. If you were going to do things sloppily, you shouldn't have done them at all.

Now, like I said, I try to come into these things objectively. Therefore, your comments about the abbreviations for J.R.? Awesome, I actually needed to hear that, because I was wondering about it at first, made a quick decision, and have been irked by it ever since. Glad you pointed that out. As for everything else? Iffy.

First of all, the punctuation mark that you mentioned I have used too many of is a comma. Not an apostrophe. You made this mistake so many times, but unlike you, I'm willing to give you the benefit of the doubt, and assume that there is a reason for this. Perhaps English isn't your first language, and the names of punctuation marks isn't really high on the list of things you are required to know as a casual, non-native speaker. Nothing wrong with that, obviously. But a comma is not an apostrophe. Now that that's clear, let's talk about adverbs, the fluidity of the English language, and current trends in written English. The comma before an ending adverb rule is something that once was, still is, but is only relatively recently being phased out of written English. Using a comma before an ending adverb is NOT incorrect. It is OPTIONAL. There is a difference. The AP and Chicago manual styles of writing rules were and are utilized particularly for the Associate Press (AP) and other journalistic documents. Journalism has always followed a distinct trend of keeping things succinct, and cutting out what isn't needed, persay, especially when it comes to comma usage. This would include that little comma before the ending adverb thing you mentioned, and would also explain why, even though it is possible to use that particular comma, and many writers still do, most journalistic papers will edit to omit them later, even if the original article or journal author wrote them in before. The current trend of writing these days, even creative writing, leans heavily on these AP and Chicago manual styles.

With all that said, the foundation of my writing education was initially based on an older, waaay more talkative style of English (as if everyone couldn't already tell). Later on, I would receive the same AP, etc., style writing education as most other people do these days. Do I lack consistency with these pre-adverb comma usages? Yes. Sometimes I add the comma, sometimes I don't, and that would be because I was basically force fed both styles. Do I sometimes use that pre-adverb comma indiscriminately? Totally. That would be because I have a predisposition to find that pause at the end where alot of people just don't anymore. English, as I'm sure you are aware, has always been a very fluid language, and tends to change rather quickly, nowadays. So, I wish instead of saying that the ending comma is totally incorrect, you had critiqued me on these two aforementioned issues, instead (Look, I did it again).

As far as the italics in the beginning, for you to say italics are only used for emphasis, is something I know and I'm sure if you gave enough of a damn, you would admit are often used for dream sequences in many novels and other forms of fiction writing. I don't deny it's annoying to read, and that most would caution against it (which, I suppose, is why some popular advice I've seen floating around is to just never write dream sequences). However, I only use this much italics in one place, only once. Not coincidentally, so far, there has only been one description of a dream in this story. However, again, you make it seem as if what you state is concrete, objective, and immoveable when it isn't, and by doing this it makes it seem that you, for some reason, are purposely negating the validity of the author's personal style and creativity. AKA: You just don't want to read the damn story.

While I do agree with you that there are big pacing problems in the first chapter that deserve to be called out, the hilarious thing is that this is the one, much needed aspect of the writing critique that you decided not to mention! Regardless, I would venture to say that evidence, namely the like buttons, have shown that most of those who read my story have stuck around for a reason, and ended up liking it. I'm not saying you aren't being honest. However, I would say that if you're being genuine about not understanding what is happening in the story, then I would like to suggest a couple things. Firstly, perhaps it would do you some good to put some effort into getting past the first chapter of a very long, multi-chapter fic before making decisions about the entire story as well as the author's writing consistency throughout the entire fic (The problems with pacing in the first chapter are why I initially created this story with three chapters already finished). Secondly, try caring a little bit, perhaps. It didn't dawn on me until after I had submitted this fic to be critiqued that it is going to be very, very long story (Don't expect it to be any less than 10-15 chapters), and thus might prove extremely burdensome for someone who just didn't want to read it. I understand that now, and I personally want to apologize if it's just too burdensome to get through, and someone put you on the grunt work. However, if you're going to act like you're ready and willing to take on the challenge of reading it, then be genuine about it. Don't scramble some words together that end up sounding bitter, and call it a critique of something that means alot to someone else. If you don't want to read it, and no one else wanted to critique it properly either, then just post that. Don't give me this type of crap that you gave me.

Finally, as far as the ever-raging "fuchsia vs. pink" wars... I didn't show up to that battle, because I honestly don't give a damn. :applejackunsure: I'm sure somewhere in a future chapter I'll type in "fuchsia" to please all the fanatical hearts out there.

Thanks for the time you have spent on this story, thus far. I feel like I should release you from service or something. Who knows. Do what you want from here on out.

I really enjoyed Adagio's POV and sonata standing up to the bullies. It was well-written.

Wow, this chapter was very intense. Great job.

Comment posted by Shadowmane PX-41 deleted Apr 12th, 2015

Back in Equestria, she and her fellow sirens had indeed stopped physically aging around the end of their teens, but the forms that they were able to take, because of their expansive power, were numerous. If they chose to appear as elderly earth ponies, or pegasus fillies whilst they hunted for their fills of negative energy, they could. However, having deemed one's teenage years the most volatile and tumultuous time of anypony's life, Adagio had preferred that form. Teenagers were easy to hunt, easy to manipulate, and easy to drain, as far as she was concerned, and Aria had to admit that at the time she had agreed. However, when Star Swirl the Bearded had banished them to this forsaken place, it was in their teenaged forms that they were swept away, and it was in their teenaged forms that they were to remain, never again being able to muster the same amount of power to change themselves. Aria was grateful, at least, for the fact that in this world teenagers also seemed to be of a rather turbulent spirit. That guaranteed that at least they would not starve.

Well, that was certainly lore to live by, Theigi. Good work. The lore in this chapter is outstanding, the principle fact being that a Siren can change their form with the massive amount of power they amass, therefore masking their true selves and casting suspicions on their fake guises. It's wonderful lore, and it makes this story feel much more readable than before. Now that you've chosen the lore, I'll look forward to seeing how the rest of The Dazzlings' back-stories play out...

Wow, Adagio's life as a filly was, though not as abusive as Aria's or Sonata's, not idyllic. Still, she was quite an interesting girl and I really enjoyed her opinions about her family life. Thanks for the chapter.

5875170 I enjoy your comments. Thank you! And remember this is kind of a two parter. There's more Adagio to come. Believe me, things get scandalous. :raritywink:

Hopefully their wedding will go smoother than weddings in Westeros

5876464 But what's a good wedding without carnage?... and cake? :rainbowlaugh:

Okay, I like this one a lot.
The previous chapter was pretty rough, and I didn't really want to be harsh with you about it, but this one is much, much more gracefully done, and your phrasing and word choice flow very cleanly.

I also love lots of small details in this section--little Adagio's realization that she craves luxury and comfort (completely understandable motivation, and not even an evil one, so long as no one else is harmed in the pursuit of it), her speech in the early days being, essentially, song lyrics--holy crap I LOVE that! If you'd given us another twenty examples of that, I would have eaten up every one--too, too good.
Having her be a little manipulator, even at that young age--again, totally plausible, some children develop that ability early on, even if they don't fully understand what they're doing till they're older.
I like that she cares for her adoptive sisters, too--the predictable thing would be for her to have been bitchy and hateful towards everyone, in pursuit of her goals, and I'm glad you chose instead to make her a more balanced character.

Okay, so that's the good, now for the part that doesn't work --quite-- as well.
There's a discontinuity here, and it really stands out pretty starkly.
The first half and the second half of the chapter don't match.
In the first half, 'Dagi's parents are ecstatic over the prospect of the nobleman deigning to visit them, to the point where they're almost literally drooling at the mere thought of such an advantageous marriage arrangement going through. Adagio herself is also aware of the implications, and even this very mature and controlled little filly is in a full panic to look her best and present herself perfectly, lest she lose this chance.
All of this is well and good, and it works perfectly; loved every bit of it.

Then, in the second half... it's like we're reading a different story.
Suddenly, the match is not so advantageous. I mean, it's still FINE; it'll be a nice pairing and it will be helpful and their daughter will be well taken care of... but it's not really a big deal or anything, because their OTHER daughter has already managed a much BETTER match, and that was the really important one, and the prosperity of the family was much better served by that arrangement, so much so that this latest thing feels like almost an afterthought.
And we see that Adagio KNEW all this already; she's actually a little embarrassed by her sister's obviously better situation (and the accompanying superior attitude). She's still willing to go through with things, but suddenly it's a mixed blessing at best, tainted by the lesser nature of the achievement, and the lesser prospects it brings her.

Now, taken on its own, this too would be perfectly fine, and I liked what I was reading as I was reading it, even as I was already trying to reconcile these two sections. The shift in tone, and especially the odd (nearly opposite) differences in attitudes held by the same characters in scenes only a few hours apart, left me with the impression that in between writing the first half and the second, you very much changed your mind as to what this chapter wanted to say. It feels like this really, REALLY needed another draft, where you picked one set of assumptions or the other, and then did a little rewriting on the other half to bring it into line with the overall theme.

If you like the first half better, then the second half really should be changed to make her sister's match the lesser one, to explain the earlier excitement (and we could then have some wonderful gloating and smug superiority from Adagio towards her sister, which I'd love to see).
If, on the other hand, you like the second half better, then the first part would fit a lot better if the parents were more subdued, and Adagio was either snippy and resentful at being treated like her needs and desires are not the most important thing in the world (GASP--How DARE they?!?), or she could be coolly elegant, mature, and even a little dismissive towards the nobleman, even as she deigns to sing for him, because she doesn't really feel that he or his son are worthy of HER... and then she sweeps out of the room like a little queen, half sure that he'll just leave and let her find a better match, only to be disappointed at dinner when she hears that he and her parents have made the deal.

All of this is, of course, up to you, and since most people don't like to go back and rework chapters that are already published (myself included), I don't for a moment expect you to heed my advice here.
I just wanted to point this out to you, in the spirit of trying to give constructive comments on a story I'm enjoying a great deal.

Oh, and 'Lady Adagio' just has a really nice sound to it; it turns a rather absurdly overblown name into something that sounds perfectly natural and regal; I like it!

I also liked the design of the older sister, who is basically more of a moon-totem type than Luna herself. :-)

Thanks for the chapter, looking forward to the next section.

5877326 Nonsense! I love your commentary. You give me a lot of solid criticisms, and there have actually been a few times where what you said is something that I found awkward as well, but was just assuming no one else did. It is good to feel justified in my worries so that I know that, yea, I oughta go back and rework it or, yea, I oughta rethink it. Plus, obviously, I have no problem disagreeing when I feel something isn't true, or just going "Eh, it's fine," when I don't think it's a huge issue. So, I don't see why you shouldn't just say what you wanna say, too. :pinkiesmile:

Pertaining to the last chapter? Omg, yea. This is what I'm talking about, the pacing and some of the elements in the last chapter make me go "hmm" every time I re-read it, as well. Glad I'm hearing this about it, because it just reaffirms what I was feeling. There are a few places that need to be shorter or just omitted in lieu of expanding on something else. Also, honestly, that last chapter definitely needs to be split into two, but idunno if the software allows you to do that? Can you create new chapters, and then re-order them? Will I have to unpublish 'The Little Lady' and then republish it to get it in the right order? And will that make all my lovely comments disappear? Crap, now it's gonna irk me. :twilightoops:

As for this chapter... Hmm, I don't think the seemingly big differences between the first and second parts are as big of an issue as you think. While reading your commentary, I do get to see why you can come to this conclusion, but I feel like perhaps it could be fixed with one more exploratory paragraph somewhere... Just stick some good ol' duct tape on it, yknow?

From the start, I think it's apparent that the Baron Glow is apprehensive toward betrothal for Adagio because of her age, even though he plays along because of the powers that be (namely, his overzealous wife, and the Earl who is of higher rank) basically overpowering his decision with clout or just nagging. He smiles and jokes in the beginning hoping the Earl and his wife will understand his worry, but after they shoot him down, his true apprehension is made clear, despite whether he intends to play along in the future or not. :raritywink: This is something built upon in the following part, especially seeing how he barely participates in the dinner conversation at all, and then just fades into the scenery before just exiting the situation, entirely. Adagio also mentions that her parents waited to begin presenting her in public because she was so young. It isn't that she doesn't see betrothal to the Earl's son as a success, because I made it clear that to her it is an achievement, and Goldenstalks is a big shot in his own right, but she's Adagio, and even she knows that she could have done better than Violet, if not having completely switched places, had she been presented in public in time. The family withholding Adagio from presentation as "betrothable" could have secretly been the Baron's doing. However, that implication is super subtle, by way of implying that the Baroness would have thrown Dagi's tush out to the wolves way earlier if she could have. Regardless of all that, if Adagio isn't getting the absolute best, we all know how she would act. The only thing is, this is a looooong time ago, and I also mentioned in the beginning that, being young, Adagio isn't really "allowed" to be snippy in the presence of her parents. She was definitely doing it in her head, though! :rainbowlaugh: And keep in mind, we have yet to see her interact with Violet alone. That interaction, when and if it happens, I think will be far more telling, I'm sure.

I agree with the notion that some things make both parts a bit confusing, but not large things. I think adding a little more context about her feelings and the rumors of the Earl's son during the first part, despite how she panics when the Earl wants to meet her, would help bind all this together a bit more. She's panicking because, once again, Goldenstalks is Goldenstalks. Everyone knows him, and she wants all that good stuff that they have. That doesn't mean she has to like them as ponies (as you will see) hehe.

Starry is... well, it's clear what she is. She's what folx around where I live call "thirsty". She wants prestige, and Adagio meant and still means that. All of her daughters do. Since she only bore daughters, this is why she is so anxious and hungry. I never said that she had been betting all her chips on Adagio in the first part, just that Adagio was a clear guarantee of success. Once again, it is implied that Violet may not have been betrothed yet when Adagio was adopted into the family, and in the second part, Adagio makes it clear that Violet had never been as talented as she was. The entire household knows that. However, once Violet was betrothed, to a duke's heir of all things, obviously things changed. Violet had then proved herself a sure bet. It wasn't expected, though. Hmm... perhaps I could rework those sentences about Violet being Starry's pride and joy. Perhaps I should say that NOW she is her pride and joy. Maybe that would make it read clearer?

All in all, I think this chapter is just very subtle in a few ways, and depending on who each character is interacting with, they tend to act very differently. Some of it is genuine, some of it isn't. But I don't think the entire thing needs a whole new draft. Just some tweaks in places to make it clearer, which I will definitely do at some point. Hopefully soon, (even though I have yet to even correct the punctuation in the first chapter. :raritydespair: ).

Thanks again, for the commentary! :twilightsmile:

Oh you don't understand how much I've been waiting for this next chapter!!! Thank you for writing such a great story!! :pinkiehappy:

5877862 And you don't understand how much it means to me to hear that from my readers. Thank you! :heart: :yay:

Poor Sonata... That's all I have to say about this chapter in general. Just... poor Sonata...

I'm back and I caught up with the rest of the story so far. You really have gone all the way home with how much the Dazzlings lives have gone down hill since the end of the movie. Their problems are very relateable, but at the same time you almost can't help but pity them.

I really like Adagio's portrayal here the most; she's always been the one in charge and calling the shots, always wanting to stay on top, never showing any signs of weakness. Even after losing her pendant, she feels that she still has to be strong and maintain her composure for the sake of Aria and Sonata, if not for herself as well. And clearly, this isn't doing well for her health and stability, and also clearly putting more strain on her relationships with the other two, especially in 'Exposed' which I think is my favorite chapter so far, seeing how badly it has become to where they were poking each others' buttons and nearly at each others' throats. And I especially like how, despite all that she's going through, she still manages to be the same diabolical fiend that she was before, if only in spirit, admitting how she reveled in the evil that she did in the past, both in Equestria and in the human world.

Aria really does seem to be the most affected by the changes, being more angry and bitter than ever before, and especially with her new sudden interest in death and reflections on her own mortality is causing concern for the other two. Her own life outside of their house is certainly not much better, almost losing her job and not doing well with her fellow employees, but does at least provide the opportunity for her to have some fun herself. It really does make it look like she's on the path towards self-destruction; if that is what you have in mind, then I definitely would like to see where it goes.

And as for Sonata... well, it seems like we both still won't be able to fully see eye-to-eye on this particular matter. But I have honestly tried going into this with a more opened mind, and from what I've seen it's pretty okay, but I do have a sorta like-dislike when it comes to her portrayal here. Half the time, she is okay how she is and it does make it look like I am actually seeing Sonata in this story, even if some parts of her can be hypocritical(a siren who feeds off of hatred and conflict preaching about kindness). But the other half not so much, for it looks like you took her original personality out and place a different, nearly unrecognizable one into her at convenient moments. You see, personally I believe that whenever a more serious story is being for certain characters like this, if one is gonna move beyond the archetype a character starts out in, it has to be done in a more careful, fluid way that makes the change and development of a character come off more naturally, like you can actually see them progressing in this manner, but also having to reconcile with how they were in the original source material; I don't find that to be well-executed with Sonata half the time here. Your story tries to present her with a different outlook on life and the world, just going with the flow of things and not paying heed to small details. Okay, fair enough, but it doesn't build on that nor explore that outlook, and that has include the pros and the cons, and yet it only just tries to show as if its going out of her way to show that she isn't an idiot, but it's not really convincing. It makes her look more arrogant and full of herself for looking down on Adagio and Aria and thinking of them as being "miserable" for sweating the small stuff. Such an outlook of hers has as much problems and flaws as any other viewpoint, so I think it should've been more fair to show those pros and cons of such an outlook. Not only that, the moments of trying to show her inner workings in attempt to show her as being clever, intelligent, and smart are either really out of character for her, or they're not really all that clever to begin with because they're ideas that most people can easily do anyway which only undermines the attempts of showing her being smart and scheming, especially when it runs in contrast with the movie when she was being genuinely stupid(where even off-kilter people who I know and met have pointed out that it was stupid of her the way she acted) and without in anyway in attempt to reconcile that and work it in a way that would make it look like actual progress of her part. Not only that, it also comes across as inconsistent of her character as well by just the story alone; it's said that she just goes with the flow, not caring about the small details, and yet her backstory presents her as the opposite of that, always caring for the small details in the best hopes of making her family happy and panicking or regretting whenever she overlooks something. The thing is that children are most affected by the influence of their surroundings at a very young age, so if anything, how Sonata was during her childhood would ought to be more reflected in how she is in the present, which I don't see. And last, she doesn't seem to be all that affected by the changes when they all lost their powers. She may be aware of how Adagio and Aria are affected by it and is upset to see them fighting and arguing a lot, but that's more of her reacting to others instead of herself. The story does well with showing how deeply Adagio and Aria have been affected by the changes as well as showing how their traits, flaws, and viewpoints can and do cause problems for themselves and the people around them, but none of that is shown for Sonata either. It doesn't show her deeply reflecting on how much she's been affected, if she's been affected at all, doesn't reflect on her own beliefs and outlook, and she isn't presented with any flaws that can cause problems for herself and others. All of this together creates the idea that Sonata is somehow special who can do no wrong and anyone who has a problem with her are portrayed in being the wrong themselves, and more often than not that kind of portrayal can be very irritating. So no, I can't say that I am convinced by this portrayal. But nonetheless, it is your story, and I know that none of what I say will convince you either, so this will probably be the last I'll speak of this particular subject.

One last thing about the story is that I do like the backstories you have given them. Out of the different origin stories that have been made for the Dazzlings, yours has to be one of the more unique ones I have ever read and I sincerely mean that. I really like how you showed each of the three to be from different positions in society, if not in life, witnessing and experiencing how their lives are very different, if not unpleasant than ones would think, but also from their sharing a similar origin point, that they all came from the sea. Maybe this all would build up to something big, likely to where they do eventually become the villains that they are known for, but it would interesting to see all come full-circle.

Also, regarding what you say about your writing and in attempts to change, I hope it would help let you know that I'm okay with how you've written the chapters so far. Sure, they may have been long, to where I sometimes get a little lost whenever I leave and come back to them, but I didn't consider it too much of an issue.

Hmm... This Cookie Dough, I wonder how she'll react to the fact that Aria's actually a Siren?

Adagio murdered her husband? This I have to read...

You know, if you want, you could try submitting your story to Equestria Daily once it's finished.

I've tried many times with my stories, so don't expect acceptance on the first try. But it should push you to keep on trying until you become a spectacular author.

Good luck with the submission!


P.S: Looking forward to seeing where the story of The Dazzlings goes from here...

5878462 Hey, again! Thanks for the compliments on my fic! I really appreciate 'em! You know what? I really try to put thought into how I portray the main characters. So, I'll tell you now that you're right in that we may not ever agree on my overall views on my portrayal of Sonata. So, that convo's over and done with. However, you DO make a few really good points, and point out a few important things that I definitely want to be sure about considering for her in the future when I write her. Of course she hasn't appeared enough in the modern timeline for me to properly delve in to her spacey thoughts, and as it stands right now, those types of things have only occurred twice so far, I believe. They definitely do need more consistency, and need to happen more if I'm going to properly pull her off. Also, no one said that her thoughts are supposed to be ubber intelligent. I'm trying to portray her thought process as something irregular in how and when it happens. I'm not talking about the thoughts, themselves, as being some kind of super genius-type ideas. Most of them are just weird and ill-timed, honestly.

In addition to this, I still maintain the fact that Sonata is over two thousand years old. I don't care how "stupid" someone might be in their childhood. If a person could live for such a long period of time, obviously, much will be seen, much will be learned. Most of the young people we can think of who were "stupid" in their youth and are now much older, are certainly not the same people they were when they were young. And we "mortals" only live for around a century if we're lucky. Once again (and I think the length and depths I'm going to in my story should show) it is only minutely important to me what is shown in the movie. I am EXPANDING on that. I am EXPANDING on her. What goes on in Sonata's head is up for interpretation, as far as I'm concerned. And I'm interpreting it. If you don't like it, you don't like it.

I also want to point out that because one does evil deeds doesn't mean there isn't anything salvageable or sympathetic about them. In fact, the best villains ARE sympathetic villains, the ones you can connect to because their emotions were once human, and their actions now are rooted in whatever pain or trauma they had gone through when they were sincerely trying to do good or mean well. After all the flashbacking I did for Sonata, you honestly can't tell me that you don't understand that aspect of her character anymore. In fact, it's a key reason as to why she DOES evil deeds, and still clings to Adagio and Aria. Like, I literally explained it in a huge series of paragraphs, in a span of two chapters. Sonata craves love, and feels indebted to those that genuinely give it to her. Those who genuinely give love to her are those she wishes the best for (aka. her showing kindness to her sisters, Peach, etc.) There are plenty of evil people in the world that she could devour or abuse instead. Once again, villains CAN be dynamic. They are better that way, in my opinion. Also, in addition to this, I imply that Sonata is no longer capable of expressing true love for those that have shown nothing but spite toward her. This will be explained in later chapters. I obviously am not finished with the flashbacks as yet.

Concerning Sonata's caring about small details while she was young, versus her TWO THOUSAND YEARS LATER, should be self-explanatory. Neither she (nor any of the other girls) are the same as when they were fillies. They are very clearly not evil when they are fillies, among other drastic personal changes that take place. Obviously, something happens to change all these concerns and woes for others, and they all become quite selfish, looking at who the Sirens turn out to be. So, to respond to your comment, yes, Sonata IS arrogant. All of the girls are selfish and arrogant. It is for a reason. Perhaps you should allow me to finish the story before you say it doesn't make sense. :unsuresweetie: I don't think it goes so far as her looking down on the other girls, however. The other girls still tend to abuse her, and she still tends to take it. So, the same could be said about them. They all still stuck together all this time, though.

Anyway, another good point that you did make, and that I do want to point out, actually, is my lack of showing how much internal change has happened within Sonata because of the loss of her powers. I do agree with you there. I have not delved into that yet as much as I could, and more of it definitely needs to happen. I'm definitely going to make it a point to do that.

In terms of Sonata presenting with flaws, she very CLEARLY has huge abandonment, emotional, and obsessional issues rooted from her childhood that have been warped by things that have yet to be revealed. Sonata has done and is doing ALOT of wrong. Just because Patti, for example, is a huge bully doesn't make what Sonata does to her right in any way. Sonata is still an emotionally damaged, unstable, chaotic entity. She is still also wrong. That is the point. I make that very clear in my story. That particular storyline has not been finished as yet, though, so that is yet something else that you will have to wait for.

I really do appreciate your compliments, however. And I've taken all the important things I think I should take from your comments, and will keep them in mind. :twilightsmile:

First chapter... Love it, I mean I can't say I've read to many fics involvin' the dazzling. But I got a feeling this one will hold my interest, although I've only powered through the first chapter... But I highly doubt ya will disappoint my friend!:pinkiesmile:

5880494 Thank ya! Glad you like it! :pinkiehappy:

5878756 Thank you very much for the insightful response, and I appreciate that you decided to take some considerations for some of the things I've said for future chapters. And yes, I'm aware that the story isn't over yet(it does look like it will be set up to be particularly very long story), just that what I've said before is more of what I think of it so far. However, because your story isn't over yet and there's more to come, I would like to point out that my current thoughts and opinions are subject to possibly change depending on how things go. So overall, I am hooked onto what is there already and I do certainly look forward to more of what you have in store. :pinkiesmile:

Hmm... Something tells me that once Adagio takes out her husband like you said, she's probably going to run into Sonata and Aria before they become Sirens.

It's just a small theory, but it's the only one I can think of right now...

Interesting chapter. The whole mention of Aria being the eldest really caught my attention. Now I can see why she always seems to go against Adagio's plans and schemes.

Please go on. I'm looking forward to seeing where this takes us...

5905272 She isn't the eldest girl by age. She is the first siren. Don't worry, you'll see. :raritywink:

This chapter was interesting. I loved the complex relationships between the Sirens, from Adagio's past and hopes for the future, to Aria'n love for music, and Sonata's surprising obsessive tendencies.

:yay: 'nother chapter!!!!!! Thanks!!

Okay, I'll be honest with you--if I were to sum up this chapter in one word, that word would be 'frustration'.

Yes, it's all interesting, yes, I like a good, drawn out story that takes us to new places and shows us new facets of characters, and this is certainly following that road, but I'm so desperate for some sign, ANY sign, that things are going to work out between these three on a personal level that it's not funny.
Sonata sitting outside Aria's door--lovely image, and a great place to show even a tiny spark of warmth from Aria... and she drives Sonata away.
Adagio playing piano in the night, in solitude--lovely image, and a great place to have one of the others go up to investigate, and have some sort of quiet conversation where we get at least a glimmer of love or caring between them, but no, nothing.
Aria coming along on Sonata's 'Date', and I'm so starved for non-hateful interaction that even the one or two lines from Aria where she's asking 'technical' questions of Sonata, about the mortal girl's reactions had me all but cheering... and then it's dropped, and Aria is awful, and we're right back where we were.

Again, I like the general direction you're going, or seem to be going, but I have to ask you: ARE they ever going to reconcile? Because if not, I'm ready to get off this train, since it's nothing but pain and gloom and heartache.
IF, however, this is leading towards a place where the three of them come together, and once again form a unit/family/whatever that cares for each other and supports each other... then we need some actual sign of that NOW. (actually, we needed it about two chapters ago, but now would be better than not at all).
Slow pacing is one thing, and I'm all for not taking shortcuts that get us to the endpoint too soon, but you have to give the reader SOME glimmer of hope to grab ahold of, here, or else it feels like we're just getting beaten up by the story.
And you might well have layered in something along those lines, that was intended to serve that purpose, but if so, it was a little too subtle for this reader to catch (though admittedly, I'm now moving into the zone where I start to skim some sections of this, because three POV's of unrelenting grimness are just too painful when it's drawn out this long, so I might have missed something).

Again, I loved seeing Sonata's outburst, where she admits that she not only needs adoration, but she feels fully justified in forcing it to happen if need be. Aria's musing about the girl's obsessive tendencies in that direction when her needs are thwarted--awesome, but those good bits are in danger of belng lost in a sea of misery.

I still have hope for this story, but I'm desperate for some proof that my hope is not misplaced, that there IS some light at the end of this long, long tunnel.

5909467 :applejackunsure: It sucks that you feel that way, because I definitely did put the "DARK" and "SAD" tags on this story, so I don't think it should come as a surprise that it's dark and sad. Also, yes, this story is moving slow. I'm almost at ten chapters, now, and don't plan on being done soon. I'm not about to go into what I have planned, how or if things will turn around, or when it will all happen here in the comments, and I'm not planning on changing the track I'm on. All I can say is, if you don't have faith in the story then nothing I write can help that. You will always have and want things to change and be different according to how you would have written it. If I said this fic was going to be 50 chapters long, would you feel the same or differently about your assumptions at this point, this far in? What about 100 chapters?

I'm personally into dark fics. I guess I should let that be known, although, like I said before, the tags are up there. With that said, I do understand the fatigue people get with dark and sad fics. It's actually a thing that comes up as a problem in group forums for dark and sad story writers here, but alas, I'm really not into changing a character's personality to fulfill a desire for affection. Aria isn't lovey dovey. She doesn't touch (overly affectionately), she doesn't hug, she doesn't kiss (yet :trollestia:), but that doesn't mean she doesn't show affection. She has already shown that she listens to Sonata when Sonata is desperate about something to the point of doing what she doesn't want to do (talking to Adagio). She's shown she cares when Sonata is obsessing about something (asking who her crush is). She cares when she might be hurt (checking her for injuries). She asked her why she's feeling the way she's feeling, or why her feelings change (on the porch). She tries to lead her in the right direction (at the restaurant). She leans on Sonata's shoulder, nudges her, etc. (at the movies), tries to defend her from Patti (again at the restaurant). Heck, she even has an internal struggle with herself about whether she wanted to heal Adagio or slap her in the 'Exposed' chapter. Someone who simply does not care about someone, most certainly doesn't do these things. Aria cares, but she's also Aria. Also, she's a recently unemployed bastion of chaos who thinks she's lost her raison d'etre. Also, in my headcanon, it was made clear that she's a physical abuse victim. I mean... Aaahhdunno what else to say. Idunno what you're realistically expecting to happen at this point. That's an honest question that I have. I'm not sure what you would have put right now that is lusciously affectionate and also fits with where the characters are emotionally thus far? Because they're not happy with themselves or their situation right now.

These three girls, in canon, were pretty into themselves. They were selfish and conceited in their own ways. This is the place I'm starting from. An extremely selfish person in a sudden sense of pain and state of loss, in my opinion, isn't going to automatically start worrying about their acquaintances losses first and foremost. If that's the case then, I would have no story here. Because this story is a story of growth. Where the girls are now doesn't mean that's the place they are gonna end up when the story is done. In the first chapter, Aria wasn't even tolerating Sonata opening her mouth. Now, she's going to the movies and diner with her. In the first chapter, Sonata is fawning over her sisters and their sadness to the point where, yes, one might feel sorry for her. Now, she's made a (much needed) selfish decision for herself, and her personality has returned to much of what I interpret it was in Rainbow Rocks. And in terms of what the girls are thinking, I think I make it more than clear that despite their pride preventing them from telling each other the truth, they actually do listen to and care about each other quite often. They think about each other's well being, listen to their advice, and are frustrated with how badly they act toward each other. I imagine they've always done that, and, to me, this situation would be an incentive to start outwardly acting differently. Not in the next 5 minutes of the fic, though (figuratively speaking).

All this to say, it is my personal opinion, and maybe I'm wrong, that your frustration with this fic also coincides with your lack of faith or enjoyment in the writing. You make it clear, often, that you would do things differently had you written it, and I honestly do have fun reading your interpretations, and every now and then I might take an opinion or idea that I think is a good one and stick it in there, but that doesn't mean I'm gonna start changing every part of the story that someone wishes was different just because they wish it was different. This is how I write. I agree that perhaps my thematic fault is that it is very slow. Maybe it is also very subtle, like you said, but I don't think it's so subtle that the changes, ten chapters into this super long fic, aren't slowly becoming apparent. Ultimately, I decided to post this story here because I already had the idea in my head, and wanted to see what others thought of my idea, whether they liked it or not, and I do tell people to just dislike if they don't like it. I don't have a problem with that. I'm not posting to see what others would change and then have that opinion change my original idea. This isn't an attack on you, by any means, so please don't take it as such. However, I think all this is an important thing for me to say here since we're on the subject.

I guess I could give you a warning and a hint, though, since you are finding it emotionally draining, and I also do enjoy your commentary.
Warning: Things are bound to get worse before they get better.
Hint: There is no 'TRAGEDY' tag on this fic

Hope you stick around, but I understand if you don't want to or can't.

This chapter is great.

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