• Member Since 14th Jan, 2012
  • offline last seen Apr 5th, 2014

fic Write Off


Writefriends from all over Ponychan gathered in a war of words on the weekend of June 15. But who is the greatest a/fic/ionado? The decision is yours. Vote, rate, and choose your favourites!

Authors are anonymous, so you won't know who wrote what until the voting stage is over.

Voting Information

(See: http://www.ponychan.net/chan/fic/res/105796.html for info on how the competition went down and http://www.ponychan.net/chan/fic/res/107637.html for the discussion thread.)

Cover image by http://graffegruam.deviantart.com, captioned by Cassius.

Chapters (36)
Comments ( 155 )

I'm not a fan of the smarmy narration.

It's amusing that you're missing a [ /i ] when you didn't even really need the [ i ] that goes with it. Italics and quotes for direct thought is overkill, considering you technically don't even need to set it apart from narration at all.

Going back to the smarmy narration for a moment: this was massively overwritten. Don't use so many unnecessary words, and stop trying to sound writerly – it's painfully obvious that you're not comfortable with this mode of speaking. There's no harm in stating things simply. What's more, being a little more succinct would eradicate deadly double doses of Lavender Unicorn Syndrome like this

Pinkie Pie gave her biggest smile at her stylish listener, who merely stood blinking in silence. Realizing that the party pony was expecting some commentary, Rarity willed herself to come up with a response, mindful of the persisting heat nearby.

The Dredgemane arc of EoP did this plot better.


Well it wasn't a human. Points for that, I guess.

Her face was starting to turn beet red.

If you'd said "the mint unicorn's" instead of "her" I probably would have died. To be fair, though, the use of "starting to" is probably justified in this case, but "beet red" is awfully cliche.

This is the second story I've read about actual tie cutting. It's also the second story I've read overall. You guys are so literal-minded. Maybe it's my fault for starting with the really short ones.

The last paragraph wasn't funny. I have a feeling it's supposed to be a reveal or some kind of circular thing, but it doesn't quite connect.


Third story in a row to feature the literal cutting of ties. IT'S NOT THAT FUNNY YOU GUYS... but I do like how this story didn't have that as its central thing.

Apart from that, I don't have too much good to say about this story. It's half-baked and more than a little confusing. It's odd that you didn't choose to show one of the most important characters. This could probably be a decent story about misunderstandings and stuff, but it needs to be more developed.

Two spaces after your sentences? That narrows your possible identity down a bit.


Comma splice in the first sentence. That bodes well.


My dictionary says that means "lecherous". Is that how you spell liquorice wherever you live?

I brought the clouds in the sky together and made them pink, and frantically searching for more examples, I turned the roads leading up to the castle into soap.

There's more to chaos than chocolate rain and soap roads.

I feel like this would be a more interesting story if you discarded the emo Discord framing device. I'm interested in reading about vignettes from Discord and Celly's fated courtship and his tragic fall, but I don't care for all his waffling. This fic kinda feels like one of those liquorice allsorts with the pink and white stuff around the black liquorice – I like the white stuff and the pink stuff's okay, but I'm not a fan of the actual liquorice, so I only end up eating and enjoying a small part of it and the rest gets tossed.

Also, "Elements of Harmony". It's the name of a thing, so I wanna see caps.

You two spacers really need to use find-replace on your work before submitting.


This is a promising story, but it needs more tension. The climax needs to be hairier and more difficult for Green, and you could work in a good deal more into the scene where Green's mother finds out about her secret project. It might also be nice to know a bit more about Palmer's motivations.

This is a good idea and a solid outline, but it's begging for expansion.


Never read a Flim Flam story before, but I nearly stopped reading this one at that unappealing opening paragraph, with all its exhausting long sentences.

It had been a long time since Flam tried his hand

The bartender looked like a no-nonsense character with his monocle and impressive mustache, but he clearly had his hands full serving a full house.

I do enjoy all the freaky mutant ponies in these competitions.

the mustachioed banker [...] The banker [...] The banker

He has a name. Try to avoid referring to named characters by anything other than their names/pronouns where possible – it'll make your writing clearer and challenge you to experiment with sentence structure. Epithets can get annoying.

This fic wasn't bad, but it was pretty predictable. I thought the lawyer stampede thing was pretty funny/clever, though.


Maybe I spend too much time lurking on Ponychan, but this was supposed to be anonymous. On that note, here's a comic for you to read. It gets better after the first few strips.

Raising his hoof in resolution, the dark skinned unicorn turned and sped off toward the main castle

1. Skinned? We can see ponies' skin now?
2. http://derpy.me/MusicalNames

As he left, the sound of ripping fabric and cries of alarm in response to his glowing black horn, informed him that the professors’ ties had successfully been cut.

Not again... (tie-cutting stories read: 4)

Phantomage the Unstoppable, requests that you admit him into your school for gifted unicorns

Phantomage the Unstoppable, would not be denied.

Commas go after the names of characters being addressed in dialogue.

Your dialogue punctuation is mostly incorrect, but you do get it right in a few places. Apart from that, you've got a bunch of typos and some oddly placed commas.

I didn't like this story. It didn't even work as a joke entry, because the only joke was that bananas thing, and reading about that served only to remind me about how funny that video was when I first saw it and how unfunny this is in comparison. Referencing other people's jokes isn't funny if you don't take it further or put a new spin on it somehow.

This wasn't so much a story as it was a bunch of things that an incredibly dull male Trixie expy with a silly name did. It doesn't conclude so much as it stops at the point where you presumably got tired of writing it.

And why did he turn into a mare? That really didn't add anything... it just felt weird and made me go "ew fanfiction".


The Ponyville Farmer hates second person so much that he uses third person instead. Does that make him a prereader?


This was too cursory and fast-paced to be any kind of proper psychological horror thing. What's more, the gore was gratuitous. I don't see why this Farmer guy needed to be a deceased murderer or why he needed to live in Cupcakes Pinkie's basement. He could just be a malevolent spirit living someplace that's not full of dead bodies, and you could have written pretty much this same story in a much more believable and setting-appropriate way without anything gory.

But my main issue is the bad pacing. There's no sense of dread and no tension because all the events just fly by before I can even get a proper idea of what's actually going on. Slow down a bit and try to work some atmosphere into your writing.

The Farmer is dull and really flat as a character. Why call him "the Farmer" if you're not going to make that inform his personality and actions? Why call him that if you're not even going to go into his life as a farmer before he died?

tl;dr: Needs more ponyness, more tension, more atmosphere, and more character depth.


Competently written for the most part, but with some plotting issues. I feel like you should have played up Mrs Cake's idea that her husband was scrawny, meek and uninteresting a little more in at the beginning of the fic, and I could use a some explanation of why Joe and Carrot are both bakers and secret agents. There needs to be some connection between those two professions for this fic to really hang together and be believable.

The climax could also use some work. I'm not sure Equestria's government would use that kind of force, but I think you implied that the order to take Carrot out didn't come from Celly. That could use some clarification/expansion, I think.

I picked this for the title.

Using the prompt literally like this is not cute. Worse, the presence of the prompt is just as a throwaway joke at this point. Unless cutting ties is Phantomage's signature "fuck you" gesture, I'm going to score you lower for this. <- that was a stream-of-consciousness comment and having hit the end, I can mostly forgive this.

I like the involvement of filly Twilight. The concept of a bumbling character being cartoonishly humiliated by Celestia is actually working out nicely.

Your ending wasn't so hot, I don't get why Pariah had to go into exile, there are a lot of things you did that didn't get an appropriate amount of attention, your meta jokes went a little too far, but this wasn't bad. I'm not scoring you yet because I'm going to assign scores relative to all the other ones I read.

If it were me, by the way, Phantomage would have a little brother named Tricky Lulamoon or something.

Stream of consiousness.

I like the hook because I'm a pervert.

Your "hehehehehe" and "mwahahahahaha" are fucking awful.

Personal opinion: "What the buck" doesn't work. I prefer to only use "buck" as a verb because that way it could almost make sense instead of just being a pun.

The lolrandumb in this story is just obnoxious. You should've ended with something that made the whole tie cutter incident meaningful, but instead you dump a bunch of what I assume is supposed to be funny but is just incoherent.

This isn't offensively bad, but I'm finding it hard to name anything I actually liked about it.

All right Mr. Melodramatically Named Medium Lengther, let's see what you've got.

I swear it's coincidence that I keep picking the same ones as other people.

The way you wrote the crash wasn't great. I found it rather weak considering what a scary event it should've been but I won't bother nitpicking. I do love the idea, though, of an earth pony Icarus.

The teacher's cruelty could use some work. Seems like she knows all about Green and her flying, or is she a racist? You should get a little less subtle about it, whichever it is.

Not a big fan of Palmer's character. He's a totally recognizable cliche, but we're left to just assume that he has the same motivations as every other time we've seen this character played out. His limp comes into it maybe, but again, maybe a little less subtlety is in order. He's got every reason to lay his story out to Green, after all.

For the time constraint, this was very good. The ending worked just how you wanted it to.

Medium lengther with a perplexing name. Let's see what you've got for me.

I love this already from the opening. Let me down and I'll smack you.

This is my shortest comment yet. This was fucking great. I loved it. When I find out who you are, I will read your other work too.


Shades of SS&E (I'm calling the father Consus), right down to the scattered dialogue punctuation derps. Cut out some of the epithets when you go over this again.

Bloody hell, author, that was something else. This is the best story I've read so far, and I don't think it's gonna be topped. That you managed to write a 20k word story in a weekend is an impressive achievement. That you managed to also make it a captivating, beautiful, and very well fleshed-out piece in such a short time is an astounding achievement. You're an inspiration. Job well done.

Do not tl;dr this one, folks. It is well worth the read.


Disqualified stories GO!

Author: Argembarger


I woulda disqualified this for not being a pony story. Was that the joke?


Hey Raharu.


I hate that this is a legit word.

Hiding just out of their reach, she heard the sound of hoofs searching for her.

Standing on two legs, its coarse and matted hair was furry and brown.

Be careful with these types of sentences. While not grammatically incorrect, they have a cumbersome backwardness to them, and should be handled with care and avoided where possible.

it was at that point when i got distracted by the authors HOT SELF INSERT...

Oh, you and your metafics. That's what I would have disqualified this one for.


Second story with a comma splice in the first sentence. Great. That's what I'd've disqualified this for.

Slowly opening her eyes, the moonlight seemed blinding, seeking its way in through the window of the tree house.

The moonlight has eyes?

Yeah, this isn't really a story.


There's no hyphen in earth pony.

This is my favourite of the disqualified entries. It's an effective little vignette. But rules are rules.

Lay it on me, short one with horribly generic sadfic title.

Dialogue isn't doing it for me.

Technical errors make this hard to read.

It's hard for me to get through a section of this without hitting something that enrages me. I'm not going to bother bringing up every time you do something I don't like.

Here's one to start you off in an improvement-esque direction. Not even the Disney movies and teen novels that the cliche comes from have parents that are as senselessly controlling as this. Think back to when your own parents were restrictive or unjustly strict. Were they controlling your life or forbidding you from having hobbies or imposing medieval ideas of family and shit on you? I bet they weren't, and if you think your parents are like this, then your writing will probably improve greatly once you finish puberty.

The characters play out a teenage melodrama brutally straight, without a single added nuance minus the "they moved" thing which is so far outside believable I don't even know how to explain it to you, the characters lack a single interesting or redeeming trait, the transitions are practically nonexistent and almost detriments to the flow, the--

*deep breaths*

*walks away*


The joke is that I was busy this weekend and thought it was due at noon today rather than at midnight last night because I'm awful at UST and 24-hour time, and started writing it about 30 minutes before the deadline with no idea where I was going with it.

On top of that, fucks given equal zero.

If I had known it would have been "disqualified" and posted anyway, I would have compressed this 1000 word stupidity into three lines. Instead I padded the hell out of it and missed the deadline anyway.

The More You Know~

Doing the show-don't-tell on Twilight's crush on Fluttershy was mostly successful. Other than that, the opening scene before Rarity arrives could have used some brevity. First person is dragging you down here as you familiarize us with Twilight and her thoughts, leaving us with some things that aren't resolved for a while, like Twilight being upset at her own rationality. Scenes like this, that just lay stuff out and don't go anywhere exciting, need to be brief and they need to flow nonstop from one element to another.

Considering how nicely you built Twilight's feelings for Fluttershy, you sure SLAM on how she feels about her own tendency to overanalyze. Then again, that internal monologue of hers, railing on herself for it, is sometimes nice.

You've blown your transitions big time. I was confused for quite a while about time. The encounter with Fluttershy was in the past? Work on that.

Fluttershy isn't close to my heart so i don't know how I feel about her letter at the end. The encounter with her is nice but I don't hear her so much in the letter.

This was pretty good, even if it's not really my usual thing.

Well. This was creepy.
But, yeah, most of the time I was like, "lol wtf is going on".
Agreeing with Ezn on most of his comments.
I didn't understand why intelligence, fighting skill, and "letting go" were such important qualities to the Farmer.
Plus, it seemed like Twilight buckled pretty easily. It felt strange for her to just automatically know what the farmer meant by "letting go" and then be able to perform it so easily.
I think the horror genre is about the creating the illusion of an omnipotent evil, and you did a decent job at that. Most of the problems with the story seemed to come from being rushed.

You knew what you set out to write, and you did a great job. You avoided predictability and cliche like a boss. I like the way you worked closely with canon and I like the spin on Cadence and her association with love. I like how well Manipulative Celestia played out.

I just kind of blew through this one without stopping to be critical, because it was a nice story with a nice premise and I wasn't looking to criticize it. So, uh, it was good, yeah.

Excellent story. Nothing really jumped out as out of place, although I do wonder if Celestia really would disown Twilight like that. I did say "whaaaa?" when Celestia said Twilight was no longer her student. Come on, Celestia :fluttercry:

I think you're bending canon. When Discord had his way with Ponyville, he was delighted with how fucked the place was. Still, I understand the implication that things weren't always that way, and Discord's character here is actually quite well done.

Talking about Discord turning evil feels like a show-don't-tell violation. You go through all this effort to motivate Discord and turn his love into anger, and then you drop this on us:

I hear a mental snip. All ties with my past self fall apart. I let out a cackle, a crazy cackle about a joke that only I understand. Old Discord and his memories fade to gray. They are no longer a part of me. All the love that I had once felt shifted into resentment.

Come on! I almost feel like you could've just cut this paragraph completely and we still would've gotten it.

Technical issues bug me the whole way through. Not just minor grammar derps, but weak phrasing, awkward structure, bad sentences. This would have been so, so, so much better with polishing time. This includes your ending. It was a good idea but it needs work.

This was a good one, well done.

"The air was chilly; fresh, the way it only ever is during the night. "

That's not how you semicolon. Cheers.

This is a nice little story. I'd say definitely my favorite of the DQ'd entries.

This was a somewhat interesting crossover. My biggest problem was that it felt far too inconsistent. Each character seemed to play too many of the roles, and even seemed to switch roles at times. I got a couple laughs, but I'm not at all sure that the Star Wars movies as told by ponies here worked as a coherent story. It's just a little too random for my tastes, though I'm sure people who like Pinkie Pie's brand of lunacy will like this well enough.

I feel as though there are just a couple things missing. It's definitely a workable story, but it needs a bit more spit and polish before it's really ready. There's a noticeable amount of grammar flaws and typo's, but I think the biggest problem here is an inconsistency when Discord cuts his ties with Celestia. It feels as though you're trying to do too many things with his emotions at once and it doesn't come across clearly.

That aside, all-in-all it's a strong entry and a promising idea.

"Jacob, keep your shirt on!"

I almost laughed, but only almost. The story section was a bit contrived, and did feel a little too flourished, but it made sense in a way. The italics was a real drawback, but letting that pass; the only thing I liked about the concluding section was Rarity's line about Sweetie Belle.

... Meh. The premise is a good one but it needs a lot of work; I suspect this was rushed. The banana joke was funny, and rule 63 is one of my favorites, but I didn't find myself laughing along with Twilight at the end. Maybe you could work on that when the contest is over.
And cutting ties, really? *sigh* It was a valiant effort, but you should just walk away :raritywink:

Nice trollestia pic by the way, that one got a chuckle.:trixieshiftright:

Just by the title I can imagine you did exactly what I almost went with for my story. I gotta see this.

Using Pinkie's rant for infodump.
Not bad.

It took me a few reads to figure out why the ties were suddenly thrown in at the end; I missed the facehoof the first time. Beautifully done, Top notch.

Hmm. I mean, giving it a second look-over, I like what you did and all. It had an interesting message, and the out-of-order scene presentation was necessary to build up the reveal, I suppose. But I was fairly frustrated on my first read. We have an unnamed character in first person, a bit too much world-building for him, given his role, and we're told about unfamiliar elements like archeological doctors and empresses. I spent too much time trying to figure out if this would be a Daring Do fic. Also questioned why nopony else thought to touch that orb first.

Then we're whisked to another scene, now with a queen. Still unfamiliar, though it's likely the image that the orb is playing. Next scene, suddenly some familiar names. Then later, back to the queen again. I didn't figure out what was going on until the scene with the Queen and Lulu; that was likely intentional on the author's part, and there's nothing wrong with mystery, but I just felt more confused than mystified. I dunno, maybe I just wasn't in the right mindset when I picked this up.

While the "nothing lasts forever" theme was potent enough, it was inherently spoiled by the queen's embracing of this theme, which almost came across as ambivalence in the last scene. "Here's my story. Care about it. Or don't. Whatever." Don't get me wrong, I can't really think of any other way to portray that message, and it's a good, interesting message. But at the same time, it sort of lacked weight.

Just a paragraph in, something about the narrator's informal, friendly style... as I read it, I'm hearing it in a deep male narrator's voice of a children's TV special, like Boris Karloff in How The Grinch Stole Christmas. So far, it's to good effect.

"How un-smashing!"

I need an excuse to use this.

I—oh dear. I had skimmed some of the reviewers quickly, not trying to digest any of them really. I saw several complaining about all of the "literally somepony's tie was cut" stories. Normally I absolutely adore bad jokes, but yeah, this is going to get old fast.

The night valet, appalled by the stallion’s behavior, desperately cried out...

NO. NO YOU DIDN'T. LMFAO. :rainbowlaugh: Okay, remember how I mentioned I adore bad jokes? Yes. Yes. Bravo, sir.

The Pinkie Pie/Rarity bit on the end felt tacked-on, unnecessary, not particularly funny. The Jacob part could've stood on its own.

Overall, I really liked this one! The style was charming, and it was just a goofy little story that could only make sense in the au naturale world of Equestria. Didn't overstay its welcome.

I want to like this. Your Pinkie voice is good, your Rarity voice is good, your Sweetie voice is good, it's just that this spins around without actually telling me what the fuck is going on a lot. I get that Rarity is turning away a lecherous client and Pinkie is trying to be helpful and Rarity just doesn't approve of Pinkie being helpful.

I read this twice and I don't know why Rarity was mad at Pinkie. In fact, I don't even see where they made up or what happened. Did the first paragraph come after the end of the story? Because it seems to me like Rarity understood why Pinkie did that at the end. Also, the entire story jumped around a lot and NEVER anchored you into the timeline when it did.

For example: This entire bit. I don't understand a single thing that happened between these scene breaks.

“Pinkie, please! I have everything under control. And for future reference, ‘buttering up’ a pony is about complimenting them and doing them favors, not actually coating them in butter!”

Entry "What They All Want" has been removed for breaching content rules.

I'm usually giving grammar a pass, given the time crunch and lack of peer review. But yeah, comma splice in the first sentence. Actually, a fair bit of comma misuse. Run-ons and so forth.

The flow on some of these sentences just feels odd. Sort of like garden path sentences? Like this one: "Memories flowed back to me as the water held back behind the dam came to the forefront of my thoughts." Or this one: "With nothing to look at but pure darkness my thoughts projected on the screen that the void created." It's just trying to be too poetic, or something, and as a result it's awkward to read.

The weak scene breaks are somewhat disorienting. Might've wanted to go with horizontal bars instead.

I'm with you on believablity so far, but then Celestia stood him up on a "date"? Feels too OOC for her. I can understand her growing apart from him and needing to never see him again, sure. But this whole "cold shoulder, take the hint" routine just strikes me as odd, when her whole M.O. at this point is harmony and order.

The end felt a bit anticlimatic, or perhaps just rushed? We have this building up of Discord as a much more rage-filled version than in canon (and arguably, being driven by rage against a particular target makes him less chaotic, but anyway...). Then, with the final lines, are we back to his mischievous canon form? Are we implying that he couldn't be driven to pure rage because he still felt this one thread? A touching sentiment, to be sure, but when executed in all of two sentences, this reader sort of felt the rug being pulled out from under him.

It was alright. Could use a good pass-through from an editor for grammar and pacing, and some of the character motivations might need some reexamining, but it was an interesting piece.

Entry "The D Word" has been removed by request.

This was fantastic. It's taken its place with Curse and Icarus as my top picks.

One criticism: Diamond Tiara is much more self-aware than she should be. She knows, for example, that other ponies treat her the way they do because she's rich. I don't think that's quite right. She's too young and sheltered to get that, and besides, characters should only be hyper-aware to make a point. Mostly, people don't think about themselves like that very often, and the way things are should be implied. You know, show-don't-tell, except not really.

The first sentence's tone was bizarre, and I nearly wanted to revoke your thesaurus license because of it. But in the context of the entire first paragraph, it's actually a charming hook. Nice.

Mixed feelings on the casual narrator. At some parts, it's cutesy and works. Other points, it's distracting.

Trollestia laughing at the expense of a pouting Woona, watching her get all flustered when she's called "cute"? I'm on board!

Not crazy about the LUS use of "The Day/Night Princess".

You seem to make a lot of allusions to utter destruction at the hooves of Woona. Some clearer examples of this would've helped. I can see her spilling a teacup because of hooves, sure. I can't really connect the dots to how somepony destroys an entire library this way.

Err, the dream? Luna almost gets attacked by the Nightmare. No, Luna, you are the Nightmare. And then Luna was Nightmare Moon. Is that normal—a dream where you suddenly swap bodies/positions in a single scene? Not sure I've ever had a dream like that. Anyway. The part after she woke up from the nightmare, with Celestia? D'aww.

And Luna understood…albeit very vaguely.

I really really liked how you handled that scene, or really the fic in general. Doubtful and fearful Luna. Cryptic Celestia, constantly there to comfort her sister and be there for her, but never explicitly telling her the answer. It's just enough for Luna to find the answers inside herself, which makes them more signficant than if Celly just schooled her. Nicely handled.

Overall, I really like this one! It's sweet, a nice introspective, and a clever explanation for what happened to S1 Woona's form. I did, however, feel like the narrator's style was somewhat detrimental, but that's a minor quibble. Thanks for sharing!

This overstays its welcome a little. It's all dialogue and grinding forward through a linear story, and parts of it could be abbreviated. Talking to Bonbon absorbs a lot of time when all that's important is Sweet getting her feelings out and having a good friend offer her guidance.

So there's the obligatory criticism. My actual opinion is that this was beautiful. You unfolded Glass' story elegantly and gave him a strong voice. Good luck in your future work.

I was worried about this because of the title, but this was actually really nice. Little Twilight is as adorable as she rightfully should be, though I don't know about Cadence-- even in canon she lacks interesting quirks and you've done nothing to answer my questions about her being (by all evidence) a mortal alicorn.

Anyway, this is another fic that knows what it sets out to do, and does it well, if simply. Good writing!

>Reaches the first weak scene break
I... wait, sorry, what?

"Phantomage the Unstoppable", as a name, is grating. As a character, he basically seems like a Trixie expy, plus the whole tie thing, which seems like a forced connection to the prompt.

"Do you like bananas?"

It's perhaps a good thing I'm commenting on here and not PChan, as I immediately reached for my image reaction folder. Not in a good way. We'll leave that at that. Not because of the joke, per se, but just its non sequitur application.

“Hey Big Bro, how’d it go?”

Ohhh. A little sister. Story takes place in the past. Main character has a giant ego. I see what you did there.

Heh. This story is starting to feel like a bunch of excuses for dramatic entrances, strung back to back. :trollestia:

I... bananas again? I don't even.

Wait, so just like that, with one little spell slip-up, he says goodbye to his little sister and leaves town? Ope, scene break, and (s)he's back again. Hmm.

ridiculous name

Well, as long as she thinks so too :ajsmug:

Hmm, so that's why the body morphing spell failed like that. An amuzing concept. Together with the punchline—which I suppose means I can forgive you for the bananas thing, since it was relevant to the punchline—it's amuzing, but as a comedy fic it falls a bit flat.

Eh, overall, this fic was okay, but the weak punchline and Phantomage's insuffrability weighed against it.

Haha, well this story has a hook, I'd say. Hoofkerchief, though?

Hmm, I'm not sure I've read a fic with the Cakes as lead characters before, but this is sweet. Definitely getting the vibe of a cute, bubbly, loving couple, in spite of the spy plot.

Why is it that I'm accepting Carrot's role in this without batting an eye, yet with Pinkie Pie of all ponies, I'm having difficulty supending my disbelief that's she's in the loop on Carrot's emergency plans? Go figure :pinkiehappy:

"Even Pinkie's cookies can be rigged to explode if you know how!" Carrot replied, explaining absolutely nothing.

I should be so angry at this, yet it just works perfectly :rainbowlaugh:

Minor plot quibble: the special agents pulled back their attack because "The Elements of Harmony have gotten involved." Yet, Pinkie grabbing the foals was one of the first things that happened. Heck, Pinkie lives with Carrot. It seems like if her involvement would compromise their mission, then they would have made sure that she was away before attacking Carrot.

Once they had gotten their foals back from Pinkie Pie and Twilight Sparkle...

This section gets a bit telly and info-dumpy. Might've just been feeling the time crunch. Since you're already showing some of these, ahem, feelings in the rest of the conclusion, you could probably weave this information into the scene better.

The last line was cute. :raritywink:

All in all, liked this one. It managed to capture the whole "retired secret agent who knows too much and needs to be taken care of" trope, cast it on an unassuming pony like Carrot Cake, and present the whole thing in a rather believable and episodic manner (minus the Too-Hot-For-The-Hub start and end). A very enjoyable read.

I'm pleased by how many of these are so good! This moved nicely and did a good job of playing out canon characters.

The surprise Pinkie narration was cute and charming but didn't seem meaningful. You did it so well, but why did you bother?

The link to the prompt was nonexistent. It was a punchline when you didn't tell me I was supposed to be waiting for a punchline. Ugh. I do however like the revelation of what Bloom was gone for.


undying umbrage


This was very telly. I suppose that was the specific style you were going for, but I didn't really like it. I'm not the biggest fan of emo waffling. Your prose was technically fine, and you did a better job than most would with the purple bits.

I don't really care for Trixie stories, and while I'll give you points for not having this be about Trixie seeking revenge on Twilight, I'm not sure I can give you points for anything else because I can't find anything to like about this story. It leaves me saying "so what". I feel like this might be better as the introduction to a longer story about Trixie (telly, emotional musing works better as a small part of a long story than it does as a story on its own)... you could go for a Background Pony type of feel.


About the dolphin ride on the moon, about the time she had met an astronaut,

Yeah... no.

About how she tried to use a fan, her obsession with socks

I'm sure she's done other, less memetic things by now. In fact, you may run this risk of newfoals not even getting the socks thing.

I didn't cry, and I actually like Pipsqueak. It's unfortunate that this is in the same contest as Never and I can't help but compare this to that and find this wanting.

I think this is a sad fic that's supposed to make me sad, but it didn't. It didn't really achieve anything else either, because you leaned on meme references for half of Luna's background and a cursory, tangential story that didn't say very much for the other half. So basically you paralyzed Pip for no good reason. I hope you can sleep at night.


Oh Celestia, dat pun :rainbowlaugh:

Something in the box caught Shining’s eye, and he slowly released his embrace, staring at the box.

No no no, don't cry don't cry don't...

“I was wondering if you might want to be her new friend?”

...dammit. :fluttercry:

“and in here.” He touched Twilight’s heart.

...dammit again. :raritycry:

This review is a lot shorter than my other comments, but not for lack of enjoyment. This was a really tender look at leaving the nest, saying goodbye for now, and how it affects everyone around us: family, best friends, the girlfriend, your hometown, and so forth. Everypony that Shining interacted with had their own reaction; even if a lot of the reactions were "sad", they were all different types and extents of sad, based on the relationship.

Playing Shining as the happy-go-lucky goofball worked well for this, as he was more-or-less able to coast through the day without getting bogged down with the emotions (while the reader could still observe them just fine). Then, as he started to say goodbye to family members, it started to sink in, and he was able to ramp up his own sadness as well (this ramp-up was a bit uneven, perhaps).

While the Smarty Pants cameo was a tad predictable, it still managed to give me a sad, twice. Then again, I am a big softy.

Overall, while this wasn't exactly the most original entry, it was very effective for what it set out to do, and the emotions and plot felt very grounded in reality. If I had to quibble, I would argue that this story is a bit too general; a minor rewrite could turn it into a human kid heading off to college, for instance. Nevertheless, this parallel does work in the story's favor, as it makes the emotions relatable to anyone's who's been in this type of situation. Nicely done.


The Apples don't use "y'all" in place of "you". They use it logically, i.e. to mean "multiple yous". For that matter, you Apple accents are overwrought. If you really have to use "ah" instead of "I" (which you shouldn't), it might be wise to capitalise it, so we know what it's supposed to be. Take a look at Applejinx's review thread for a course in AJ's dialogue.

Granny Smith yelled from her spot at the table; oblivious to the details of the event that had just transpired.

That's not how you use a semicolon.


Why is there an apostrophe here? "gonna" is bastardised enough to be its own word, not a contraction. You've got a few of these sorts of errors.


This is like saying 'fridge or 'phone – totally unnecessary.

Her heart began to beat slightly faster with each hoofstep she took.

Be careful with your "began to"s. This one adds nothing.

and she was soon standing just outside the once—beautiful farmhouse

A find-and-replace gone horribly wrong. My condolences. You probably would have been better off leaving it, considering how few dashes you used.

“No, it’s nothin’ like that,” Apple Bloom assured. “It’s just... well, she’s been actin’ differnt lately. She lied to us about where she was goin’ one mornin’, and then she left the house with a bagful of money. She came back later, and,” Apple Bloom paused for a moment, not sure which details to share or conceal, “the money was all gone. She even had a story, but it didn’t really add up too well.”

You could've done with some dashes to set off AB's pause, and some other similar situations.

This is the second longest story in the Write-Off, and I think a lot of that has to do with overwriting. All over the place you're explaining jokes, giving irrelevant information, using too many words and generally writing everything in a fashion so overwrought it gets exhausting to read. Start your revisions by removing the needless dialogue tags and killing needless joke explanations like

thinking that her grandson must have gone crazy to say something so ridiculous.

Also, be careful of Lavender Unicorn Syndrome/Epithets. Named characters should be called by their names.

The plot hinges on Applejack not suspecting that her mobster friends would get her back for ceasing payment. I'd like to think she's a little smarter than that. I also think the climax was underwhelming and the last scene overstayed its welcome.


Points for adding a twist to the literal tie cutting thing. And points for Raripie, the ship of hipsters.

There is never a good reason to use more than one exclamation mark in a row.


This really needs to just stop being a word.

Your writing is good, very lean, and I didn't notice any technical errors. It's paced to match the action of the story, but I think the story has too much action – it's pretty much one high-energy action scene after another. All rise and no fall may be good for a mixtape, but it makes stories exhausting to read. Stuff like Pinkie suddenly needing to rescue Rarity and AJ and Dash rescuing Fluttershy came out of nowhere, and on the whole this fic suffers from being massively rushed, but I guess that's deadlines.

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