• Member Since 9th Jul, 2018
  • offline last seen 2 hours ago

VoltWrecker


A writer who knows what they're doing about half the time. This is that half.

T

Lazuli Cutter and Cirrus Refin are two Dracony lovers living in Canterlot. Lazuli is a covert operative for a specialist division of the Equestrian military, promoted from a lowly soldier and given a position that no Dracony has ever had. Cirrus is a bookkeeper and seamstress, working as a simple clerk for the military and making dresses on the side.

Draconies are a rarity in Canterlot. This tale takes place over 200 years after the events of Princess Twilight's ascension. Technology has grown, the Princess's political power has dwindled, and Draconies like Lazuli are not well-liked in Equestria. While the two of them are only trying to live a normal life, some ponies might have other plans for them.

Chapters (17)
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Comments ( 6 )

What is the difference between a Dracony and a kirin?

9056494
I'm not exactly sure if there's a set definition for what a kirin is or looks like, but Draconies are just...dragon ponies. I'm not really sure how to compare or contrast the two. They're equine creatures who have prehensile spaded tails, reptilian wings, cold blooded, etc.

What I liked:
•Grammar/spelling. Nothing jumped out at me as wrong.
•Plot. I can tell it exists, and that it was planned out. Something big will happen.
•Style. If the story is a world and the prose a window, this window is thick, clear, and sturdy. Events happen without obfuscation.

What needs improvement:
•The hook. The summary is intriguing but lacks punch. The prologue should be cut and integrated into the rest of the story. There is no cover.
•Voice. The prose is a window, and the window is too thick.

Elaboration

Lazuli Cutter and Cirrus Refin are two Dracony lovers living in Canterlot. Lazuli is a covert operative for a specialist division of the Equestrian military, promoted from a lowly soldier and given a position that no Dracony has ever had. Cirrus is a bookkeeper and seamstress, working as a simple clerk for the military and making dresses on the side.

Draconies are a rarity in Canterlot. This tale takes place over 200 years after the events of Princess Twilight's ascension. Technology has grown, the Princess's political power has dwindled, and Draconies like Lazuli are not well-liked in Equestria. While the two of them are only trying to live a normal life, some ponies might have other plans for them.

The summary has the information, but it lacks the presentation. Find the two most important things in this sentence, then put the most important at the end and the second most important at the beginning. Make the rest of the text lead up to the most important thing. Here's an example:

Equestria grew. After two hundred years of being in power, Twilight's influence wanes, and cultures clash. A rare hybrid between ponies and dragons, the dracony species is stuck between two worlds—Lazuli and Cirrus more than usual. A covert operative in the suspicious Equestrian military, Lazuli represents her species as she navigates new waters, changed from the rigid but uncaring structure she'd endured as a lowly soldier. Cirrus lives a stressful but simple life, juggling bookkeeping, dressmaking, and working as a military clerk. Both dracony have their routines, which already suffer daily disruption as technology edges into fields that had been magically-dominated for millennia.

But while they live their lives, other ponies watch. They watch, and when they think no one's looking, they scheme.

The summary is one of the things drawing attention away from your story. Pinpoint your mysteries and showcase them. How will cultures clash? What are all the consequences of Twilight's waning political power? How did Lazuli get from simple soldier to covert operative, and why are they willing to give her that position if she's so suspicious? What does Cirrus have to do with anything? What exactly is up with the changing tech? And finally, the big one: who are these watching ponies, and what are they scheming about?

That's a lot of questions packed inside a bunch of information. You want something like this. Small, specific mysteries along with one or two big ones.

(As a sidenote, species names should be lowercase. It's humans, not Humans. Also, here I've changed the plural of dracony to dracony. It feels more natural.)

Now you need a picture. Not an artist? Commission someone. Don't have money? Screenshot something from an episode or get it off your preferred search engine.

The last thing is exposition. Tolkien got away with this, but he forged a modern fantasy. Progress is just that: progress. It advances. What worked for him won't necessarily for you. Decades of worldbuilding was put into a story to show all that work off. That would be a mistake today. Prioritize the story, not the world. A solid world will give you ideas, but solid characters will give you the world.

Cut the prologue. DIsmantle it and disperse it into the rest of the story. Solid chunks of exposition are scary. You might not want action, but you need momentum. The story needs to be clearly going somewhere.

When the story finally starts, It's decent. Good, even. But it should start with some stakes. Vonnegut had eight famous tips, and one was that every character should want something. Make that drive clear. Show through action what the characters want. Does Lazuli want respect? Some praise from her commander should make her grin. Does she want skill? Mention something about her asking to train with the Equestrian forces right after she finishes her mission. There are infinite opportunities to embed exposition of all sorts into the text without boring the reader, which you should never ever do, even if you really want to.

Next, you need a thinner window. Get up close to your focus character. Then stick the window into their brain. Hook it up to their senses. Lazuli didn't think something to herself. It just was. Inject personality into the text. Even something as simple as the example below really cements her as a living being.

The airship was a large blob, without any obvious defenses. The sight unnerved her. Anything larger than a bear should have some outward sign of how it had grown so large without something devouring it. That it didn't sent her instincts into a confused, panicked jumble.

It's a trap! A trap! Run, hide, you're going to die! Now now now! they ordered.

She clamped down on the irrational fears before they could spin themselves into perfectly valid reasons to ignore the thing.

The emotion swept over her like a wave, then faded away. She smiled. It wasn't alive, but she was about to kill it.

Rating: 7

9111370
I appreciate your feedback, and I'll definitely try to work what you've said into my next story if I write another. One thing I'm a bit confused by, though: What do you mean when you say "The prose is a window, and the window is too thick"? I don't think you elaborated on that, unless that's what you meant with your last paragraph.

9112721
You're correct, I explain it in the last paragraph.

Next, you need a thinner window. Get up close to your focus character. Then stick the window into their brain. Hook it up to their senses. Lazuli didn't think something to herself. It just was. Inject personality into the text. Even something as simple as the example below really cements her as a living being.

9112736
Right, sorry. When you said "voice" I thought you meant dialogue. Again, I'll keep all of this in mind - thanks for the feedback, and I'm glad that you at least enjoyed it a bit.

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