• Member Since 17th Feb, 2015
  • offline last seen 5 hours ago


Masquerading as a man with a reason...



The latest round of parent-teacher conferences have Cheerilee perplexed. Something is definitely different about this night. As the night goes on, she tries to figure out what is so weird about it.

Rated teen for adult themes.
Cover art by me.

Chapters (1)
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Comments ( 7 )

He probably got a sticker before he left too.

For the life of me, I can't turn down a story that tags Cheerilee and Big Mac together. Gotta give that OTP some love, ya know? And while I'm here, I guess I'll give a little bit of a review. For your first fic on the site, this is pretty solid work. It's lightyears ahead of the first thing I ever published here, but that doesn't mean it's without its flaws.

The first and foremost problem I had while reading was the overall telly nature of the story itself. While I've seen some much worse cases of tell-itis, it really does detract from the story when you don't fully paint the picture. Your use of big, descriptive words shows me that you are definitely capable of getting the show/tell balance right, but you need more practice to get it right. For some more helpful advice, I'll refer you to Viking ZX's Being a Better Writer series of blogs, specifically these two.

My second thing to take issue with is the blatant misuse of phonetics in Big Mac (and Hondo's) dialogue. I see it all too often when people absolutely butcher the dialogue when a character with a pronounced accent speaks, particularly with newer writers, and it is something that needs to stop. We're dealing with established characters who've spoken before, so we know what they should sound like. It serves no purpose to intentionally misspell dialogue to show an accent. I highly, highly recommend not doing this in the future.

Aside from those two big things, you're doing quite well. Keep at it, and you'll be writing gold in no time!


I think you're right about the show vs. tell part, but in all honesty I wrote this in less than two hours so I wasn't really thinking about that sort of thing. It was really just an idea I had and I wanted to get it out of my head so I could write other stuff. But I am aware I can get carried away with telling. It's something I'm working on.

As for the accents: I understand what you're saying but I'm partial to phonetics. It was difficult for me to write Hondo and Mac's dialogue as though they didn't have accents or that the accent was implied. Big Mac especially was difficult to write normally so I quickly stopped trying. For instance: "I ken see howya mighta figured they’d be bribin’ ya." vs. "I can see how you might have figured they’d be bribing you.' To me, the latter does not sound like something that would come out of Big Mac's mouth. Therefore, I wrote how I thought he would say it. (But then, even as I'm writing this I'm wondering if I wrote it more in Applejack's voice than Big Mac's). As for Hondo, I was trying to see if I could actually write in the Yooper accent. Even though I'm from Wisconsin, I've rarely heard that accent and I've never seen it written.

This is actually the first story I've written that anyone has seen in a long time. I took three writing courses as an undergrad but since then I've kept everything to myself. So thanks for the critique.

7483981 You're very welcome!

But I still respectfully disagree with you on the phonetics choice. It comes across as tacky and overbearing when you write dialogue like that, and it's frankly jarring to read it that way. There's more than one way to skin a cat, as the old saying goes, and it applies here as well. Rather than misspelling the majority of the words he says, I'd recommend to focus on word choices. Big Mac will have different vernacular than Cheerilee, (i.e. using words like reckon, yonder, y'all, etc.), and by focusing on word choice, you can much more subtly show that accent rather than punching the readers in the face with it. I'll show you what I mean below.

"I can see how you might have figured they’d be bribing you."

"I get how you'd figure they was bribing you."

See? Word choices. A general rule of thumb for the Apples is to not use big words and to keep sentences shorter, and occasional lapses of proper grammar are a good way to garnish their dialogue without tarnishing it. At the end of the day, it's your story and you can choose what you wish to do, but I strongly encourage you to try a different approach in this.

There's been tons going on since that Applewood Derby. And hey, Cheerilee dressed like a pompom filly isn't a big deal.

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