• Member Since 10th Oct, 2012
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Blankscape


(o.0)

T

Agatha had always remembered Mergo fondly, as did Mergo in kind. Their time together was brief, but that made it all the more precious. Even when a tragic accident tore them apart, they somehow found their way back to each other. Then came a special night. It was supposed to be simple affair. Though by night's end, it was clear to Agatha that somethings just don't stay the same.

In fact, nothing will ever be the same.

When a mysterious figure comes to take Mergo away, it seems at first that Agatha and her friends are collateral. But the chains that bind Mergo tug at their fates as well. Obscured by past and muddled in present, the chains wind, split and tangle many more fates. They need only the will to see where those chains lead and seek the truth out, for better or for worse.


AN[170815]
*If the errors still seem obvious in later chapters, that's because I write the story on tablet at least half of the time, and the auto-correct is a nasty prick. I also do all my editing, so projecting how long this story is going to be, I can only as everyone to be patient. I will get to the mistakes in time. Also cover art still pending...

AN[170915]
*Temporary cover art, extravagant basis for Knight Undaunted.
*I'll be revising the description soon. On advice, it's a bit too long.

Chapters (8)
Comments ( 25 )

How did you get so few likes/dislikes on a fic with so many words?

8286100
Flying under the radar, I am introvert as fuck...Like lvl50 maybe? That sounds about right...

Oooooooookay! I made it through Chapter 1: I'm a fairly slow reader.
Anyway I wanted to inform you that overall this work is interesting, perhaps a bit dull, but nothing that I couldn't handle. I am generally deeply concerned for what is occurring in the story and will have to come back for more. I suppose this is a rather elegantly designed introduction to what is going on.(my mind races with strange possibilities) It has been sometime since I have read something in first person, not since the Maximum Ride series actually so I had to readjust to this type of exposition and world building. Once I got going things were fine. There were no major hiccups or issues, any event was well explained in its time and place, but perhaps not its context, which for the way you are writing this seems appropriate.

Some criticism I have would be...what? What was that I just read? I looked over the description, looked at your other stories, I looked at your followers and people you follow! The only thing I've found is vague references to something that inspired this story. That's probably how it's supposed to be and it's not like I was not entertained nor hooked. I'm pretty freaking hooked! But...just...What??
I feel like there is this air of doom and despair that manifests itself when I read this. It's good. But is that what you are trying to convey? Are we purposely being lead down this path blindfolded? Like I said I need to read more but cannot at this time. Perhaps these questions will clear themselves up.

Also, If you didn't know, it appears the longer you wrote this; the sleepier you got, as silly errors in spelling, half-sentences, and word-tense became...weird, especially after the character break.

Anyway. It was a good read, and i look forward to more! Just wanted to get back to you as promptly as I could.

8361064
So first off, if there are any errors in the later part of the chapter, I will get to them. As for the half-sentences, which I assume are the sentence fragments, I incorporate those to give my writing some artistic flourish, however effective that might seem. I'll correct them if they come off as unfeasible in my reread.

Next, inspiration. My 1st story, which was cancelled, was inspired in spirit by Final Fantasy Tactics. It's a really good story that IMO stands apart in all Final Fantasy stories. I love the setting and mythos of Ivalice to death, and the themes and events of the story really made me think a long time after playing the games. So I decided to take that inspiration and build a story from there. Then I read Through the Well of Pirene. I'm guessing everyone knows that story, but it single-handedly derailed all the confidence I had in my 1st story. I started seeing the flaws in it and whatever setup I put into it felt trivial and impractical, only to be an eye catcher of a scene rather than have any significance down the line. So I decided to cancel it before long. I went through at least a dozen premises to jump start the overhaul of what my story had become today. And the spark came up when I was over in Australia for a vacation earlier this year, though I didn't realize it myself at the time.

what? What was that I just read? Are we purposely being lead down this path blindfolded?

I was thinking the same thing when I first wrote the draft of chapter 1. 'What did I just write? Is this really the right premise I wanna go for?'

I didn't know what I was writing and I was practically drawing ink from my gut because I'm just that type of person. I let my emotions lead me by the nose and then I refine it with logic and reason. The draft for chapter 1 was the last in a long line of scrapped premises, but I was surprised when I didn't scrap it and started on chapter 2. It was shaky at first but I eventually got that next chapter finished. So I decided to roll on this story and so far I'm pretty happy with it.

As I remind myself everyday, I am the 1st reader of my story and as its 1st reader who is also its author, I take it upon myself to flesh characters and events out as best as I can, at the time of writing. I try to explore branching paths at any given event of significance and choose the one that fits and feels best. So about going in 'down this path blindfolded,' I'm just as blind as you or any reader.

There is definitely an air of doom and despair belied by all that whimsy of chapter 1, but I only have a rough and unorganized outline of it at the moment. But there is a plan, and I'm certain things are falling into place. I do my best to uncover the mystery first then convey it to my readers. Chapter 5 is coming soon, but after that chapter 6 might be delayed somewhat, as I need to start work on the cover art.

In any case, I'm glad you enjoyed the 1st chapter. Hope you take more enjoyment out of it all.

-Blankscape.

8361158
Then the only other thing I have to say is: Go forward with confidence! You have shaped a new world in a deep and interesting way. It is time to stop doubting yourself and create. You seem to have a good handle on that, but still, its good to hear it from someone else.

Also...your like button is broken? I can't seem to find a way to put that thumbs up on there

8368289
Thanks for the vote of confidence! And I'm not so sure about the like button on your end. I'm on a tablet and I can press it to add/remove a like (or dislike:pinkiegasp:) just fine, so it probably is fine for me on a desktop/laptop too.

8368363
Guess I just suck then, it won't let me do what I want

For some reason, you have my attention. That is not generally a good thing. Most authors hate seeing me around because, flatly, I'm an asshole. I am going to read your work and afterward I am going to provide my honest opinion about it. Take note that thile I appreciate the skill of the author and the general premise of the story, I HATE the ending of Through The Well Of Prine (or however the fuck it's spelled). There was less that no compensation or comfort for those who lost a family member or suffered at the hands of the main antagonist and I let the author know EXACTLY how I felt. So without further adieu, I will begin reading.

The second sentence of the third paragraph felt disjointed to me, but I think I can narrow it down to a single, confusing, seemingly out of place word 'muchness'. Overall this prologue describes what the character is feeling by what they see and not what they are actually seeing that makes them feel this way. It is an unorthodox direction to go. Perhaps it will work for you, perhaps not. We shall see.

8387754
I've found that conversation and it's been deleted. I almost mistook another Truth_Seeker who made comments shortly after the deleted conversation for a dummy account of yours.

Well I will guess that the beef you had with Echoes was concerned with the revelation of Wire/Flash (I forget, it's been over a year since I read Pirene, and I fear for the off-chance that if I reread it while writing, it will not only distract me but also somehow make me lose confidence again) being AJ's childhood friend/relative who had been kidnapped, or that the CMC where pretty much spirited away by Amelia and nearly irreversibly turned into goblins. Also that even though RD and Celestia had been unequivocally broken into powerful beasts of burden, they nor the CMC and Wire/Flash never got any solid follow-up for their tribulations.

And yeah, now that I think about it, those are valid loose ends that Echoes has yet to tie up. In the bonus epilogue, I found it uncalled for that Amelia treated Celestia so nonchalantly from behind the safety of her sudden rise to power and spiritual relation to the alicorn. I haven't read the sequel to Pirene yet, but while the bonus epilogue ended with that scene between Morgan and Amelia, striking a sweet note, the sour note the chapter started regarding how Amelia treated Celestia was bothering and a loose end itself. But I guess the reason it didn't bother me then was that everyone and Echoes were so focused on Amelia/Daphne's story which is the main plotline, and that majority were all okay with those mentioned above being down played at the time.

Then again, all this spiel would be pointless if my guess about your beef is wrong
:twilightsheepish:

Anywho, I've been following a story called 'Reflections' which had gotten popular recently. I noted some flaws I spotted about later chapters, and the author agreed with me, and he pondered on the habitual stagnancies of writers which I couldn't have worded better.

You know, there's a reason why these types of comments are so valuable. Every so often, an author needs a slap in the face lest their writing become complacent.

That said, I do have a plan for my story which I have thought of carefully, and I doubt opinions will significantly affect them, but any feedback that aren't too nit-picky or unhinged will be taken into account. I welcome your honest criticisms, so long as they are well-founded in finding faults and such.

8387780

Overall this prologue describes what the character is feeling by what they see and not what they are actually seeing that makes them feel this way

That's me, right there. At some random point of the day, a stray thought or a ghost of an emotion overwhelms my thought process and I start coming off as weird to people around me.

And yeah, that was intentional :eeyup:

8388405 Could you link the comments by this Truth_Seeker or the account itself? I hate people who try to pretend to be me. The fact that they have an underscore in the name is a direct insult to me.

8389286
I'm not on my desktop ATM, so it would be a hassle to sift through all those comments again. But IIRC it should be around page 55 of the Pirene's comments section. Also if you search for him under users, he comes up right beside your account, the one with the Pinkie avatar. But idk if he was trying to impersonate you at all. His comments seemed benign enough and I think you 2 just happened to have similar names :applejackconfused:

Hey ho, I'm here now. I'm gonna stop it right here for now, but here are my thoughts about it up to this point so far.

The wording is definitely intricate, more than most stories up here. Somewhat impressionistic too, I'd say. That being said, the atmosphere of gloom permeating from our narrator's point of view could certainly be felt. Behind it all, there's a lot of information being withheld which I'm certain would be brought up in future chapters. The shade of obscurity is extremely thick, which I think works for the prologue and certain parts of the first half of the chapter, and only for those portions. Hence, my major gripe for this chapter starts to come into play.

While I do enjoy vagueness in stories, I'd say so far there's too much information being held back for me to be able to sympathize with any of the characters, especially the ones that came later. I'd go as far as to say I couldn't immerse myself in the setting of the story as well. Not that there's a visible problem with character or setting; more like the character and setting aren't exactly visible to the mind's eye in their current forms. There needs to be a little more breathing room for the story to settle in and right now, I don't feel as though there's enough of that to keep a reader with a short attention span like myself invested.

Couple of ways I could think of that might help. Number one on the list is definitely reading it out loud. Doing first-person is akin to telling a story, so reading out loud would do wonders for that (unless you're like me and have the voices in my head do the reading for you).

Secondly, some aspects can certainly be strengthened with a bit of telling over showing. Sure, 'show, don't tell' is a golden rule of writing, but it'll do wonders if you find a perfect balance of both. There are some aspects of the gloominess that could end up be more hard-hitting if we know the narrator's reasoning behind what she sees as gloomy. Note that this might not work for everything, so it's a matter of decision.

Third one also ties in with the 'show, don't tell' thing as well. Show us more. I want to know more of your world, I want to know how vibrant or, in this case, not-vibrant it can possibly be. There's a lot of that going on in the first half of that chapter, but I think some of that splendor faded with the second half after their talk with Parnella.

Last but not least, some variation in dialogue. I think Mergo got off scot-free in this department, seeing how joyful she was, but everyone else seemed to be getting their words from the same vernacular. Seeing as you have a narrator already playing the gloomy one, there should be a little bit more emphasis on the mannerisms of everyone else to brighten up their character a little and set them apart from each other. Reading aloud also really helps out a lot for this one.

That's all I could think of for now, I guess. I don't like being specific on which sentence needs changing and all that (unless I'm being paid of it) but otherwise, if there's anything else or if you think I'm being unfair in certain parts, just lemme know.

8391489
That's quite a lot of feedback there, thanks :twilightsmile: It's all well and good. Everything you've pointed out is founded and valid. Though I'm not sure what I can add at this point to show more of Garriene in good taste.

When I first wrote this 1st chapter I didn't plan it out. As mentioned, this is an overhaul of my original story. They do share the same spirit and inspirations, but after I cancelled the original and began writing on a new premise, whatever I wrote started seeing contrived. I wanted something that held those inspirations well, but it seemed even planning didn't do much in convincing me of my own premises, that is. IIRC I have about 25k of scrap written down in 2 different chapter 1s which more or less go about the same as this chapter, and about 30k more of a dozen or so of like-intended premises. The beginning of chapter 3 was originally another new premise I started from Parnella's perspective, because I nearly gave up on chapter 1 halfway through it's writing.

Anywho this wasn't planned and I myself hadn't known what I had written at the time. I'm certain that where all the obscurity and gloom comes from too. They may not have been intentional at first, but they are now. I'd say I have about 55% of my whole story down on outline and I'm really eager to write it all down. But yeah, that doesn't change that it's slow to start. I'll admit you probably won't stop wading through words with an introductory feel to them until you get to chapter 3. But like I've said, I use this story to improve as a writer and understand myself as a person. So I find it fitting that the 1st couple of chapters are slow like me.

Also I might be able to add a bit of telling somehow, but I can't do away with how obscure it is. IMO the next chapters have really come out well in pacing and piecing out information, and half my story has been outlined based on revealing this obscurity. I believe in the technicality that authors are the first readers of their story, so I make it a criteria of quality that I reasonably enjoy what I write too. But yeah, I might need help on the dialogue. They do sound samey if not read aloud. But so far you're the only one to point that out. Still I did think that about the dialogue early on, so I'll look into it.

8391997
Glad I could be of help! :twilightsmile:

I'll definitely be continuing this story once I find the time, no worry about that! With the progressive way of how every chapter is being published on this site, I'm certain there will be a gradual improvement made in the next couple of chapters. Will let you know on how I feel about them as I go.

Just a few things I wanna point out that might be a little misconstrued. If not, ignore them, lol. :rainbowlaugh:

I'll admit you probably won't stop wading through words with an introductory feel to them until you get to chapter 3.

Haven't gotten into Chapter 2 yet, so I can't speak up for that, but for Chapter 1, I feel as though what bogged me down was the lack of an introduction instead. It's not a problem of an exposition dump so much as it is a problem of a lackluster exposition. In fact, I particularly don't mind having a longer introduction, especially for these kinds of stories where the conventions of the Equestria we know in general are nonexistent. I never got the feeling of being introduced to who these characters are or what this is all about, which is why my interest in them and in turn, the story, started to wane. So yeah, needs more of an introductory feel, imo.

I might be able to add a bit of telling somehow, but I can't do away with how obscure it is.

Ah, I wanted to elaborate on this exact point in my initial comment, but it was 3AM over here and I wasn't thinking right, so I'll just bring it up here.

What I mean when I say 'tell over show' does not mean tell us about the narrative (e.g. what they were doing before this scene, why this character was being so cheerful suddenly, etc.). All those can be kept obscure and be revealed to us as time goes on. It's more of the tiny little details in which having a little telling added to the mix would help out. I'd call it giving a sense of nuance, but it isn't exactly that either. Think the only way I could do that is by illustrating it.

Since Pirene has been mentioned somewhere, I'll use a passage from that to sorta say what I mean. I'll color red for showing and blue for telling.

An old park bench lay invitingly within reach, as well. Its worn surface was hard, yet inviting after the walk. I sat down and rubbed my ankles. The nearby hill caught my attention, and while considering the relative merits of a nap versus a hike up for a shot at better reception, I noticed Amelia had sprung up at my side. She held her hand up, and I recoiled at once when I saw the caterpillar nestled there. I made a face while the caterpillar lazily devoured the maple leaf it held and ignored us both.

Amelia only beamed harder. “Isn’t it beautiful, Daph?”

Of all the things in the world to have a childish fascination with, why did it have to be bugs? Even when I was her age, I had found them disgusting. They had too many legs, slimy skins, squirmy segments, and oozing ichor and soulless eyes and gross hairs and all the other horrible things bugs had. I had much preferred birds, and I could still pick out a few species among the trees around us. My amateur birding days had come to a right and proper end when I had put away my books and binoculars and other silly things. At the minimum, birds eat insects, which was a point for them in my book.

The last part of the whole paragraph was basically the narrator telling us the 'why' and the 'how' of her disgust of bugs. It doesn't contribute to the extent of the story in any way as of this chapter, but it gives a little interesting insight to who this character is, and with that gives us a sense of connection.

So yeah, what I mean by telling isn't revealing certain plot points that lead on your character's actions, but more of giving us your character's perspective on even the most mundane of things to help us connect with the character themselves. Think there were a couple of instances of it happening in Chapter 1, perhaps even so in later chapters, so it's something you're already doing, unwittingly or otherwise. Just need more of that.

One last thing I forgot to mention in my previous comment, I just want to say that it's impressive how much words you can put out in such a short period of time. You certainly seem to enjoy writing this, from what I could tell. Keep it up! :twilightsmile:

8392687
That's a great example! I'll keep it mind once I finish chapter 6 and sketch up a draft for the cover art. But yeah, there definitely is room for nuanced introspection in chapters 1 & 2. Though in that case those chapters will become longer for it, but I'll try and keep it short. Thanks again!

a meager thing that Levy managed to scrounge up for me -- Who is Levy? I'm not saying to say who they are, but perhaps replacing a name with a relation would work. 'A meager thing that my friend/mother/girlfriend/stranger managed...' Make sense?

8436819
Now I remember what that nagging in the back of my mind was. There was a power outage that came up while I was editing my stuff. I panicked because I was working on MS word, and I was so relieved it autosaved my work I forgot to edit this part. This was supposed to be changed a month ago. Thanks for bringing it up. :twilightoops:

I feel a bit disjointed. Despite the story not being marked as an AU or crossover, we appear to be in a world nothing like the show that this is supposedly based on. I am struck with nothing but new names after new names after new names.

I feel overwhelmed. I want to give this story a fair chance, but it is intimidating. I have arrived at the end of the first real chapter, and I do not feel like I have much of a grasp and what's actually going on. I do not understand what world we are in. It is clearly not Equestria.

8447362
I've chosen all the new names because I found it hard starting things off in a real Earth setting. The names are borrowed, but since this is a proxy for Earth, I can arrange things loosely even when I've only a shaky idea of how it would work in real life. But that's only the beginning.

Equestria is definitely a main setting and I plan to use a good part of the MLP cast. If you don't mind a bit of a spoiler, you get a glimpse of Equestria at the end of chapter 2 and it's mainly featured in chapters 4 and 5. In fact, the prologue is set in Ponyville.

I've planned this to be a fairly long story, and it's quite ambitious, which is probably why it can seem intimidating to some. If it's too intimidating, I'd understand if you'd want to wait for it to reach the halfway mark. Right now it's around 25% of the way.

Finer details, little mistakes. What fun! I'll have to look at what the tags are, but this seems to be something that will be very entertaining. How, exactly, you are doing those AN's is beyond me, yet that is just an afterthought. The thing I really question is that lower word count. You say you are "introvert as all fuck" but that certainly can't cover it. Whenever I get around to chapter one, if it is good, I'll see if others want to read it.

8460287
Thanks for dropping by, I appreciate it. I'm putting a lot of effort into this. I've planned to make this at least 300k long, though by my guesstimates of the latest chapter, we're currently at around 20% or so. And in case you're the type who heavily invests MLP and its cast, there's a glimpse of it at the end of chapter 2 and the 1st real chapter featuring Ponyville is chapter 4. If you do decide to continue reading, I hope you enjoy it as much as I loved penning it all down! :twilightsmile::twistnerd:

8462281
I love AU's, besides I'm willing to read anything. Keep up the fun! As for reading I'll read tonight, if I finish the story I'm writing that is... Anywho! As for where I will be (reading progress) I comment on every chapter I read. I'll most likely ask questions, drop feedback, give advice on somethings, or a slew of things. Please keep up the work!

8462293
I'm kinda particular about the use of the AU tag. IMO if a story is not significantly divergent from show canon and only branches out from it, I don't think the tag is necessary, because so long as the show is on-going, that would technically mean a LOT of stories would retroactively become AU.

In any case I look forward to your comments. Thanks again!

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