• Member Since 6th Apr, 2013
  • offline last seen 58 minutes ago


Uses semicolons in dialogue


Roseluck loves the plants in her shop very much. Above all, she loves a unique specimen: a rare cactus from the Appleloosan Desert. One day it is purchased, and she is sad to see it go. But soon she has to deal with more than her disappointment, when she sees somepony with a mysterious injury that she suspects is related.

Written for the School for New Writers June prompt.

Chapters (1)
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Comments ( 9 )

The nerve of some pony buying that cactus!

I know! Ponies these days have no manners, I tell you.

Cactus Intensifies...

Wow, paranoid much, Roseluck?

Heh, I see what you did there! Liked and followed.

You know who Roseluck reminds me off? Dorothy the Dinosaur from the Wiggles XD She loves her plants as dearly as Dorothy loves her roses lol 😆

But anyway, I like this story. 😄

Thank you kindly

Hello! This is the SFNW Dean speaking. Good job on getting a story done on time for the June class. You can find the Professor's writeup below!

General: A cute story about a character with flights of fancy that makes a rather mundane situation of seller’s remorse a bit more whimsical. Certain stylistic choices and pacing issues hold it back but not enough to drag it down to anything below solid.

Deep Dive
As mentioned, certain style choices weaken the strength of the story. The most notable being the choice to make the story third person rather than first. The narrator acts like an involved party, almost becoming a character of its own. However, the narrator’s opinions and thoughts hardly differ from the main character’s, making the separate narration unnecessary. This adds an odd degree of separation between the reader, the narrator, and the main character that shouldn’t really be there. A first person perspective would directly show the main character’s state of mind without going through the filter of the third person narrator. Think of how stress inducing the “heist” would be through Roseluck’s eyes with a sense of claustrophobia in the closet and how her unfiltered perspective could elevate it. What’s written is a good start, but it can be better.

Another (albeit weaker) solution could be to make the narrator its own distinct character. An easy departure is to have the narrator disagree with Roseluck on the beauty of the cactus. “The cactus was a short, stubby blight at the center of line of gorgeously plump petunias. But for some reason, the prickly pear was her favorite.” Admittedly, this skews on the side of comedy, but it’s an option nonetheless. Know why you’re using a perspective and how it affects your story.

The interpretation of Roseluck is great! Her motivation and character is clear, and I wish I got more of her personality that isn’t passed on from the narrator. This story’s strongest point is the characterization of Roseluck. Once again, good, but it could be great.

As for the pacing issues, the first third is dangerously slow. It almost dares the reader to click to something else. What exasperates the issue is that there’s little depth to the long introduction to generate interest. If the main character is prone to stray thoughts and overthinking, expand on it. Have fun with it and write something that is enjoyable for the reader and gets the characterization through. Entice the reader with a lovingly described visual of a cactus that’s a bit over the top. Make it clear that Roseluck loves that cactus through how she describes it rather than telling us it’s beautiful.

Moving on to the conclusion, I suspect Axxuy hit the word minimum and wrapped it up as soon as they could. I could be wrong, but the story just ends right after the 3k mark with its resolution being roughly 150 words out of the 260 overage they had. To make matters worse, the reunion’s criminally short. There’s very little feelings involved as the conclusion is tantamount to “she takes the cactus home and lives happily ever after.” There’s an extra 1,750 words that a fraction could be spent on Roseluck taking the cactus home and nurturing it like its worth committing burglary.

The story’s good but lacks anything that takes it the extra mile into being great. I recommend Axxuy study the pros and cons of the narration perspectives and learn how it changes a story. Pacing could use improvement but takes experience to parse out. You have to decide what’s important and how it's presented in terms of reading time and time within the narrative. Take what’s good about the story and develop it some more. Obviously, it takes a pair of outside eyes to sort the grain from the chaff. Make friends, especially ones that can critique.

Technical Writing
Prose is serviceable, neither detracts nor adds to the story in any meaningful way. Minor word hiccups like misspellings or ‘missing’ words, but an editing pass could tighten it up easily.

Pros: Wonderful characterization. Prose is a delightful start but could be tighter and more purposeful. The narrative itself is simple and charming.
Cons: Pacing issues and questionable style choices.

Check out the forums for your final grade and next month's prompt. We look forwards to working with you again!

A lovely small-town tale of obsession, suspicion, and paranoia. I wonder what color the sky is in Roseluck's world...

Thank you for this.

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