• Member Since 29th Jan, 2014
  • offline last seen Wednesday

scifipony


Published science fiction author and fine art photographer. Admin for Songbird Serenade Group.

E

I did go overboard using Twilight’s name for my own gratification at the summit, but then I thought how odd it was that Cadance did little to help Twilight, had sent her to get sleep but had let ponies visit her anyway, and had known about the public works projects but set up a situation where I’d certainly botch it and take the blame. It was like she wanted Twilight unable to function after the summit. Not only that, but Cadance could grow crystals, and I knew only one pony who knew that magic. I volunteered to help with the Crystal Faire. Something seemed terribly wrong, and if I could not figure out what quickly enough, the Crystal Empire might fall.


Dark tag for foreboding mystery and suspense not violence.

Chapters (1)
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Comments ( 8 )

Very good story. I thought it will turn out that King Sombra has returned and possessed Cadance (that's how her name is written, by the way), but then it was different. I have not read the Fiendship is Magic series yet (and wish to not be spoilered about it), but I think you have brought the comic and the show together very well.
A few things have irked me while reading, though:

“That’s the point. Let me help her. And, I’m also a hero in the Crystal Empire and this is the one-year anniversary.”

That's a common interpretation in the fandom, that one year has passed in Equestria since Twilight moved to Ponyville up until the events we've seen in the Season 4 Opener (or one year since Spike saved the Crystal Empire up until now, like you describe it here), based on just that one sentence Celestia said and the fact that we've seen a Summer Sun Celebration in this episode.
So I can see why you used it that way, but a lot of on-screen evidence, that can be found with digging and deep analyzing, proofs this assumption wrong and so it made me cringe every time I read that one year has passed. It kinda throws you off-balance while reading when you know for a fact that it's different.
Same goes, to add that here, for Spike thinking about Sunset Shimmer and how she broke into the castle to steal Twilight's Element, because, as "Equestria Games" (an episode you even referenced here) quite clearly mentioned, all events seen in the EQG movies, even those parts where we see Twilight in Equestria, are set in an alternate universe that is completely disconnected from the universe we see in the show.
These two things make it kinda hard to read at certain spots.

Pens, red and black ink, blotters, and drying sand filled bowls and jars.

Even though it was not literally King Sombra who was behind everything, I can't help but think that this was an attempt at foreshadowing that everything has something to do with him. Which is not a good thing.
I had the theory that it is King Sombra already before I started reading, but this made it clear without a doubt and even if I didn't have this theory, I would have known what's up at this point.
This is something that kinda gave it away and should be removed for the sake of the plot's unpredictability.
Speaking of unpredictability, the description of the story gives away a lot too, because it mentions exactly what Spike thinks about later in the story.
If you would have written a different description, I maybe even wouldn't have developed the certainty that King Sombra has possessed Cadance and the story would have surprised me more.

Well, swallowing Inspiration Manifestation had not broken the spell, so—

A small plothole here. Spike thinks because his swallowing of the Inspiration Manifestation spellbook did not break the spell, swallowing the black crystal would?
Why would he think that when he already made an experience with swallowing an evil, magical artifact that did not break a spell?
His reasoning here is illogical. This part would read itself better if you would remove this sentence.

It's a good story with a very intriguing plot, but if you would tweak the things I mentioned, it would be even better.

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@Fluttercheer,

My policy on receiving a critique is pretty much the standard Clarion workshop protocol to thank the critic and ask questions to clarify but not to excuse.

So, a hardy Thank You!. You gave a great critique, never attacking the author and clearly stating what you thought I said or meant giving specific examples. I will now add those parts that helped me of your voice into my head when working on the next story. Are you part of are regular critique group?

I would ask a clarification on your EqG comment. Could you please provide a reference URL to the discussion? I'd find it fascinating. A follow up on the Inspiration Manefestation comment: Without rereading, please say what exactly Spike did with the item in question. Please answer via PM so as not to provide a spoiler. Edit: Then read my author comments again.

Misspelled the Princess' name. Oops. Will fix and credit you.

6157525

I will now add those parts that helped me of your voice into my head when working on the next story.

So you're not going to improve this one based on my critique? May I ask why?
I'm curious, because I have the philosophy that I never change or rewrite stories that I have already published, because they are mirrors of my writing skills at the time I wrote them and I'm wondering if you have the same philosophy.

Are you part of are regular critique group?

No critique group, I just try to provide feedback under every story I read here, so that they authors can get better and put out better stories.

Could you please provide a reference URL to the discussion? I'd find it fascinating.

I can't link you to a specific discussion. But, if you watch "Equestria Games" you hear Twilight saying to Spike that he saved the Crystal Empire from King Sombra when he was here the last time.
But if EQG would have happened in the same universe, he wouldn't have saved it the last time he was there, but the time before, because we've seen him in EQG in the Crystal Empire too.

A follow up on the Inspiration Manefestation comment: Without rereading, please say what exactly Spike did with the item in question.

No need for a PM, the episode aired more than a year ago. I'm sure everyone has seen it already.
And I wonder about your question, haven't you seen the episode? Because you describe that swallowing the Inspiration Manifestation spellbook didn't work.

Very good. I certainly thought something seemed wrong with Cadance using crystal magic to seal the pipe. That reminded me of Sombra magic.

Spike has a habit of eating dark magic.

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@Fluttercheer

Actually, I was unclear what it is you thought Spike in Crystals! did with the crystal after he thought about swallowing Inspiration Manefestation. The point is moot. As I said in my revised author note, I had put that in because I thought it was a funny callback, but hadn't been entirely happy with it. It proved worse than unnecessary cruft; I removed it.

>So you're not going to improve this one based on my critique? May I ask why?

Whilst I did make changes--the spelling and I deleted the aforementioned sentence--I am not sure how I implied what I felt, which is that I don't ever see me making substantive changes on published works. Since you asked in a collegiate manner, I feel I should answer because of what we will both learn. Please don't take that I am boasting.

Google The Girl from the Emeraline Island. Yeah, that's me. It's a long story, but I burnt out after writing a slew of unpublished novels. No readers equals no fun. No money, either. In other words, a big time waster with no recompense. Still, I've never really felt good about not writing (nor double-negatives).

I've got a few great novels I need to build up the courage to write and work to get published. A couple years ago I discovered MLP with its lessons learned and strangely deep characters. Eventually, that led me to Equestria Daily's Writers' Training Ground. What could be better than an excuse to practice my craft in short form and having the joy of readers like you actually reading and maybe liking my stories, and maybe thinking about some of the ideas I am trying to pass along? For now, the view count and thumbs up are great encouragement that I haven't lost my touch.

Closing in on answering your question, what I get from writing here is the enjoyment of writing 4,000 to 6,000 words in a day, proofing it the next, then publishing it (and being done with it). Doing that weekly is two and a half novels a year. Production is key to making a living in this business... but so is learning from mistakes. This is why I ask for critiques, to make me aware so I can produce cleaner work going forward. I read each story out-loud at least twice and otherwise work hard on it prior to publication. But as in the bound paper world, once it's out, it's out. Nobody is going to buy a book a second time to read the revisions. Few, if any, FiMFic readers will re-read stories that they have already read before. I don't flatter myself. Thus, my philosophy on corrections is to fix anything egregious for my few later readers and to otherwise pay it forward.

In this way, I avoid the pitfalls of burn-out.

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Wow, I did not know that you already published a book! Now I'm flattered that you took an advice by a newbie writer like me seriously!
And you even published the book in the 80's already. That makes you the second veteran author and much older than I thought brony that I met here on FIMFiction.net.
Do you happen to know AugieDog?

Few, if any, FiMFic readers will re-read stories that they have already read before.

About this, I don't think that most readers here have the habit of reading a fanfic once and then never return to it.
Sure, there are a lot of fics here and it's hard enough to find time to read them all already anyway, but I'm sure most people here come back for their favourite fics and re-read them again here and there.
Have some people favourited your fics?

6159382
@Fluttercheer,

The theme of No Fault of Her Own was observation. Being observant has nothing to do with age, except maybe as you get older you might miss things because you've seen so much and it blends together.

That said, I agreed with your observation and made the change. A good author must be egoless when it comes to accepting critics' and editors' instructions. Robert Heinlein and JK Rowlings are examples of authors who grew too powerful, bucked the system, and let overly long or simply badly polished work get published, in my opinion, anyway. Both their later works could have been improved by editing. Which brings me to a caveat. Become and remain egoless, but guard the integrity of your work by choosing criticisms that improve your work; ignore the chaff.

That's the beauty of the Clarion system. Say Thank You; it keeps the critic happy and willing to critique you again, especially important if you are learning things about your own writing from him or her, and it keeps your decision making secret and conflict-free.

That's me. You, you keep on honing your skills. Both at writing and criticism; it is through seeing how others write and make mistakes that you learn to notice your own in your own work. I liked your style and found the analysis insightful.

Okay, so I'm older than salt (I was thinking of a less MLP-appropriate four-letter word). I'm going to attend EqLA, anyway, but expect I will stand out just as I did at the theatre watching Equestria Girls movies with the other bronies. I am very much a Fluttershy personality. But I feel MLP has profoundly changed me, making me less cynical and a lot more sentimental, so why not sample fandom directly?

No, I don't know who Augiedog is, but if he or she is an SF&F writer and i knew a real name, I'd probably learn I had encountered him or her at some point. Going to check out Augiedog's fics.

Last, I'm seeing about 10% thumbs up and a similar number of bookshelf notifications. All of it is gratifying and encouraging.

On the downside, all this chatting has distracted me from this week's WTG, but the fodder was unappetizing, anyway. Probably won't publish this week, and don't construe that as an excuse or blaming, please.

6160515

That said, I agreed with your observation and made the change. A good author must be egoless when it comes to accepting critics' and editors' instructions. Robert Heinlein and JK Rowlings are examples of authors who grew too powerful, bucked the system, and let overly long or simply badly polished work get published, in my opinion, anyway. Both their later works could have been improved by editing. Which brings me to a caveat. Become and remain egoless, but guard the integrity of your work by choosing criticisms that improve your work; ignore the chaff.
That's the beauty of the Clarion system. Say Thank You; it keeps the critic happy and willing to critique you again, especially important if you are learning things about your own writing from him or her, and it keeps your decision making secret and conflict-free.

Yeah, this is a really good way of thinking about it. No ingraciousness, but also not mindlessly following what your critics lambaste you about. I think, in the past, I've said a sentence or two in defense of myself, but usually in a "I was trying to do X, perhaps I didn't succeed" way.

Hm... I will say I didn't think it was too long. In fact, I wonder if the end could have had a bit more to it after the climax... but I'm not sure if that's something for sure.

Spike always waffles in his childishness. He's capable of things that seem very mature, then things that seem very childish suddenly. I don't think he was too childish.

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