• Member Since 15th Apr, 2012
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Twilight floated a second fritter up to her mouth when she realized the first was gone. “What is in these things?” “Mostly love. Love ‘n about three sticks of butter.”


After her little magic trick at the Fall Formal, Sunset Shimmer is not having the best night, and it's about to get worse: Principal Celestia just found out that Sunset has been living in the school clock tower. Now she has nowhere to live, and who's going to take in a teenager with personal issues that include recent demonic possession? No one normal, obviously.

But... maybe someone with a mohawk, a house full of creepy masks, and blue eyes that seem to see more than words -- or rhymes-- can say.

Winner of the Writeoff Association's February WriteOff, "Look, I Can Explain."

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 90 )

Flash just can't win.

It felt like I was listening to Zecora instead of reading. Fantastic rhyming!

Will there be more? I like this idea alot.

Oh, this is good. Having Sunset room with Zecora... that's pretty brilliant! Wonderful work wit:twilightsmile:h the descriptions, too; Zecora's odd home and Sunset's little room in it come through really vividly.

Great job with Zecora, book. You have her lines scanning better than most writers, including the show's.

Wow this is awesome

So nice to see this here. And Zecora is spot on.

dang that was good. I cant imagine how much of a pain it must have been to write all those rhymes :pinkiegasp:

...But if you try sometimes...

Lovely story. Earned my like and fave.


:raritydespair: :raritycry: :fluttershbad: :fluttercry:


Just spotted one significant error:

back peddling


Edit: I know this is a one shot, but I for one would really like to see it continued. That said, I'm assuming the requirements of Zecora's dialogue make that unlikely.

This was a REALLY good story. Thanks for making me smile.

also, how hard was it to write those rhymes lmao

Really interesting idea for a story and a central bond. Very interested to see more.

I especially liked these lines:

I don’t remember what his cutie mark was, so I decide it was a candle, because I’m really creative like that

“Isn’t it the worst when you think you have the perfect dress, and you get to the dance and some other girl TURNS INTO A RAGING SHE-DEMON?!!”

Excellent story, I've rarely ever seen Sunset with Zecora, but it works really well in this fic. Not to mention getting all of Zecora's rhyming down, and translating her shaman lifestyle into something more modern.

Sunset post-EQ1 is always an interesting read, especially those first few days. Being blasted by the friendship laser is one thing, attending school again after that is probably even worse. The Humane Six help Sunset out, but a neutral outsider perspective is probably a great comfort too (especially with the other dimension origin thing).

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Thanks! Part of that was being for the writeoff, people there take their poetry seriously. But writing Zecora is fun anyway. It's work, but everything she says sounds so cool.

There might be. I actually wrote this as the prequel to another fic, but I never got around to writing the follow up. Of course, I have a original fiction book coming out tomorrow, and a sequel to write for that, so I have a lot on my plate. But I am writing more pony soon, so we'll see!

Thanks! I actually thought of having Sunset room with Zecora as background for another fic... then I realized it was way more interesting.

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Thank you!

Thank you very much.

Fixed! Thanks for catching that.

You're welcome! And, since this was for writeoff... it was writing all of those rhymes in three days! :twilightoops:

Thank you! I may write more eventually, though I'm kind of busy at the moment with original fiction stuff.

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Thanks so much! I really like Sunset and Zecora, too. I think they'd get along well, Sunset strikes me as a little... rough for being Princess Celestia's student, and Zecora gives her a kind of mentor/friend who seems more prepared for someone like that. :ajsmug:

On a personal level - This is exactly what I needed.

On a reader level - I really like this take on EG. I don't often go for these kinds of fics, in fact 99.999% of my Shelved fics are Equestria-based, but this was rather... refreshing. And it's great to see Zecora in the human world.

I kinda like human Zecora.

Ooh, a fic with Sunset and Zecora. Don't see many of those, and it turned out beautifully. I've written Zecora before, so I know how hard it can be to find a rhyme and rework the whole section to make the whole thing work better.

I've been looking forward to reading the finished version of this story since the Writeoff. I'm pleased to see this iteration is even better. :twilightsmile:

Speaking of the competition - I don't know if you remember, but "Look, I Can Explain" was the first time in over a decade I'd had the opportunity to both submit a story for review and offer feedback on others. I had heard good things about the Writeoff from Cold in Gardez, and done a bit of research on the previous round as preparations began for "Look, I Can Explain," but when I first threw my hat into the ring, I honestly didn't know what to expect.

Having this story be my first exposure to actually participating in the Writeoff was... welcoming, in a sense. As I sat at my computer reading, cuddled in a blanket as a snowstorm howled outside my window, for the first time in a long, long while, the world felt right. It left me feeling sunny inside, reminded me of the power a story with a message can have. Much as Sunset does, I took it as a sign that I had found where I wanted to be.

“Places between almost never sit well. What you’re meant to be like, I know time will tell."

Just... wow.

(I remember being a bit more eloquent than this the first time around :twilightsheepish:)

This is really just a long-winded way of saying thank you for writing this. As promised, it will have a permanent home on my shelves.

Oh, and it sold a preorder for Pierside as well. Looking forward to getting my copy! :pinkiehappy:

Good job on the rhyming, it's awkward in most fics.

My goodness, that's a lot of green.

Also, good story.

Wow. Struggling to find the right words to express just how much I truly enjoyed this. :raritystarry: It is wonderfully written and the moral is very heartwarming. Not to mention all of Zecora's rhymes. :derpyderp1: I'm usually not a fan of Equestria Girls fics, but this story has really opened my mind to reading more of them in the future.

7502467 Oh yeah, there are a lot of Sunset redemption fics and Anon-O-Miss fics that are really great. If you want a good sized redemption fic that's finished see if "The Long Road to Friendship" is your type of story.

I have to join the chorus. This story is unique to say the least and some sort of follow-up is sorely needed. Much of it because of how you wrote Zecora, but the idea of what Sunset could learn with her is pretty interesting too. Maybe just some more Zecora if you aren't interested in Sunset?

Goodfic is good. Nuff said.

“Hey, she didn’t want to date you. Don’t be a jerk about it.”

It’s from Rainbow Dash. And there are four likes on it.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the Element of Loyalty.

Have a mustache. :moustache:

That... was not at all what I had expected, and was honestly quite perfect! I would dearly love to see this Continued! Also, loved seeing Dash stick up for her - so many stories have Dash being utterly pigheadded to the point of cruelty... drives me nuts! She's a bit dense at times, but she's a good person (or pony, setting dependent) overall

Loved it in the Writeoff, love it here. I'm a huge sucker for both unusual character interactions and well-written Zecora dialogue, and this nails both points. Thank you for bringing it to Fimfiction.

These days I prefer writing and reading about Sunset in her post redemption period, where she's free to be the awesome heroine she's meant to be.

But this was spectacularly written, and the use of Zecora brought something unique and fresh to a genre that's been fairly well tread at this point.

I don't know if this story needs a follow up specifically, but if you find yourself writing EQG in the future Zecora should definitely feature.

I love this idea! I love Zecora being the kooky-strange mothering type. I would've never thought of her in that context but it totally fits! Excellent fic!

Behind me, Zecora says slowly, “There will always be people who live in the light, who never know darkness and always do right. But most of us walk a shadier path, where we must find balance between peace and wrath. We battle demons they don’t know are there, but nobody ever said life would be fair.”

I just really like this line.

I don't usually comment, but this story is definitely comment-worthy. I start high school soon and I have social anxiety so I honestly feel like it is gonna be hell. But this story really helped me to realize that it might be hell, but it's not the end of the world. It will pass, and life will get better. So thank you. Thank you for this story. :twilightsmile:

“I wasn’t surprised, that’s pretty much what happened when she broke up with me. LOL.”


... Wait, wasn't Flash technically the one who broke up with Sunset? :twilightoops:

I notice someone replied to Flash.

“Hey, she didn’t want to date you. Don’t be a jerk about it.”

It’s from Rainbow Dash. And there are four likes on it.

Ah. A little tweak of AU to set up for the punchline. Using Flash as the punching bag. Again.
Eh, I'm used to it.

Hey! I know many people have mentioned this before me but...

Anyways, amazing story! Loved this so much I can't even explain how much I- SQUEE! :rainbowkiss::twilightsmile:

I love the concept, and you've done wonders with the ambiance. Plus, as a terrible rhymer, I feel like you earn the upthumb for Zecora's couplets alone. Sunset is... quite good, but something seems a little off about her looping self-defeating screeds. I don't doubt that she very well might have them, but something about the approach feels off. Maybe it's one of those things that we could have done with a little less of, because I felt like she had covered the territory by the fourth iteration? I get that she's haunted, and that seems correct, but if she's having intrusive guilt thoughts it should come as unbidden bursts of memory hamstringing her out of nowhere, not carefully constructed self-defeating woe-is-me sentences including figurative language.

Very nice work, though! A pleasure to read.

This was very good, and, as everyone is saying your Zecora is amazing. I'm not a fan at all of EG but this pieces was really nice anyway. Also, a lot of times certains fics are better when they stand alone but I think this is the kind that actually could do good with a sequel. That relationship between Sunset and Zecora it's something so cool that reading about how it grows should be intereresting enough.

This was impressive. I feel that it deserves a sequel.

Too depressing for my tastes, but very well done. You're very good at conveying emotion and followed a very believable path through some challenging issues.

That fact that the chapter title isn't "Sometimes you get what your need" is the only thing I don't like about this fic.

A well-deserved Writeoff gold, and great to see it making the transition here. Rereading it again was like saying hello to an old friend. :twilightsmile:

That's a frighteningly accurate portrayal of the private consequences of public shame.

And I'm sure you learned all about it the same way I did: through



I made jambalaya, and it’s quite a treat

Jambalaya is very good, yes.

Excellent story.

there are never enough people like Zecora in the world

This is amazing in every way. Sunset is right on the spot (or at least one of the several characterizations for her that just fit), the whole concept is as brilliant as it is simple and the story shows just what first-person writing is for.

I also admit that I've never seen EQG Zecora in any seen tory before. I love what you've done with her and I feel like any other seen tory tory I'd read with her now would feel off compared to this one.

I reviewed this story as part of Read It Now Reviews #91.

My review can be found here.

What a lovely, lovely story! What wonderful character development. And I love the end. Well done!
I must admit, slipping between Zecora's speech and the narration left me trying to find where the narration rhymed...

I never thought that this pairing would work, but holy shit, you knocked it out of the park This story's amazing.

Warning: This comment contains spoilers. If you don't want spoilers, don't read this comment.

I admit that I've not seen past the first Equestria Girls movie, so my knowledge of how the world works is limited. This is even more true of Sunset Shimmer, so I can't relate much to her character. So within this comment, please keep in mind that I don't know much about Sunset in either of the other two movies, or the other things that have been done with EqG that I've missed.

But anywho, I most liked the intrigue and the character development. The story does a nice job of slowly letting Sunset plod through her current existence, and it's hard to tell what's going to happen later on. I didn't know whether Sunset was going to be optimistic about things and slowly recover, or have a meltdown. It was hard to tell if she'd prostrate herself to Celestia, or have a meltdown because Celestia wouldn't guide her. It was hard to tell how she'd treat Zecora, either as an outcast, as a tyrant, or even as a friend. It was even hard to tell if Sunset would try and exert her influence on Zecora or not. It gripped me to read onwards.

What makes this story stand out, though, was its character development. It was a trip to think of the "next day", the time that Sunset would have to go to school and face up to her actions. I thought it actually masterful to include social media as a tactic to attack and rack Sunset. Living with someone so different and unexplored as Zecora offers up a lot of chances to characterize her, and I think you took a great advantage of some. Exploring her positions of both power and helplessness, of her domineering her fellow students while at the same time not having anything in that world, made for a lot of revelatory moments.

And your characterization was both engaging and spot-on. As you use their voices to portray what we know, I find it even more engaging and lovable how the characterizations—Sunset's unusual feelings of despondency, Celestia's restraint, and Zecora's optimism—create tension within the story. That's where the gold of this story is, I believe, and it's executed deliciously.

(Deliciously? Could I not think of a better word? :facehoof:)

I didn't know what to expect , but I loved this story. It was tense, exploratory and used two great characters (and one character I'm not familiar with) effectively. So have a like and a favorite, and best of luck wherever you go.

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