• Member Since 28th Jul, 2012
  • offline last seen November 6th

Trevor Rain


The rumble ended with an ear splitting sound which was like God cracking a whip against the stars in the sky. Rainbow Dash saw the charged clouds that sparked with chained lightning and knew that any attempt to surpass them would prove a deadly experience. If the the lightning didn’t strike her down in flight, the electrically charged moisture of the clouds would surely stop her heart.
Having few other options, Dash banked towards the wind and set her determination to fly as long as she was able. There was no turning back, as the skys left no marker to provide her direction, and there was nothing but blackness and rolling waves surrounding her, leaving the wind the only hint of direction. Rainbow Dash flew against the wind.

Flying with the wind would be like turning back, Dash was not ready to be beaten.

Lifeled is a story of closure and suffering through very real trials. Rainbow Dash and Applejack must brave the elements as they continue to complete the tasks they seek. Rainbow Dash to find what had happened to her parents to leave her, and Applejack must journey across the deadly sea in order to save Rainbow from what she believes to be a danger that is well beyond her control.

Chapters (10)
Comments ( 24 )

Hey, it's me JTA from GIO. 
Alright, you need to get some sort of pre reader, or pre read your own stuff. I also highly recommend you read it aloud as well, because in all honesty, that was probably one of the most confusing things I've ever read. You need to work on two things; being clear, and being concise. You also need to work on tense usage and formatting.

Kolwynia here, also from GIO. [This ended up being a long post. Like, really long. Hope you don't mind. I was pretty tired when I wrote it, so I sort of went on and on...]

Firstly, your story seems like an interesting one. But your writing needs to be more accessible to capture readers. I'm going to throw some criticism your way and I hope it's constructive and helpful. [I ended up ripping into a few of your sentences, but hopefully it was like a surgeon, not a butcher.:pinkiesmile:]

Okay, when you start your story, the first thing you do is throw a lot of minute details at the reader. Why not? Detailed stories are good ones, right? Isn't it your job as a writer to take the reader on a sensory expedition until they can see every ray of emerald light, smell the crisp, almost spicy scent of the dry leaves, feel the soft earth under their hooves?

Yep, but you are overdoing it just a bit, and it's distracting. I once read a famous science fiction author's opinion on writing styles. He said that some writing is like stained glass, so pretty that you just want to look at it, and some writing is like clear glass, it's not fancy but you can see right through it to the story. Purple prose is almost never a good thing. There are a handful of writers that can pull it off, ones that you just want to lose yourself in their words. Unfortunately, I am not one of them. And this is okay, because most writers aren't. We don't do stained glass well. But we still want to have our words matter. We have stories we want to tell and unless we have a listener or a reader, our stories might as well stay in our heads. So, since we can't make stained glass work, we have to make our writing as clear as possible. We don't even want the reader to notice our words. We want them to brush them aside, to look right through them and see the story.

Right now, your writing is getting in the way. But it's not horrible. It just needs trimmed a bit, like a bush that's overgrown. There's good stuff there, sensory images that you don't want to lose. I recommend that you simplify your writing. Cut phrases that you love. Be merciless. Water it down. Turn it into baby food that readers can ingest with ease. (I don't mean talk down to the reader, but make reading it easy.) A good rule is this: does it sound like something you would say out loud in a conversation? No? Lose it. (I realize that would cut out a lot of great writing in great books. It's a rule that's made to be broken, but it's a good rule regardless.) You are having a conversation with your reader. You are telling her a story. The more conversational you can make your writing, the more at-ease your reader is going to be.

Okay, let's get hands-on with your writing. [I kind of tear into your stuff here. Don't worry about it. If any of my comments are valuable to you, take them to heart. Forget the rest.]

Here's a part of a paragraph you wrote: "Each figure had distinguishing characteristics. The one in lead having a color that could be compared to a clear sky. By her sides are two wings that would be the envy of an eagle with a mane that is of the sky after rain which has been blessed by the sun which is now buffeted by the wind in tandem with her tail of like description." Whenever you edit your stuff, you've got to be as merciless as Pinkamena.:pinkiecrazy: You know what I'm talking about. Make those pages bleed. Lets start with that first sentence. It says nothing. Saying that the figures have distinguishing characteristics is like saying that they can be described. It means something, but it's just fluff. The next sentence is going to be doing the actual describing. You don't need a sentence telling the reader they have "distinguishing characteristics." I know what you are trying to do by saying it, but it's just not necessary. So we cut it. The story bleeds, but not much. (It will hurt worse when you have to lose a phrase you think is golden.) Next sentence. This one is too fat. You could just say, "The one in the lead was colored like a clear sky." "Having a color that could be compared to," is fluff. It might seem a small thing, but they add up. (And they add up fast.) The reason it's a problem is this: it makes the reader work harder to get the picture. When you say, "having a color that could be compared to," you are talking around the point. The reader's brain is already ready to just get to it. Have you ever had to listen to someone who talks too slow? It's like that. Next sentence. This one is awkward. "By her sides are two wings that would be the envy of an eagle with a mane..." You see? You just showed the reader an eagle with a mane. That was the picture your reader got. It wasn't the one you tried to send. Also, you didn't tell the reader why her wings would be envied. It it because the wings are strong? Beautiful? Both? (Also "by her sides" is a bit awkward. It sounds like the wings are beside her, instead of a part of her.) Okay, so we cut and patch it up. "...that is of the sky after rain which has been blessed by the sun which is now buffeted by the wind in tandem with her tail of like description." Here is the heart of the awkwardness of the sentence. You want to say rainbow. The reader knows you mean rainbow. Just say rainbow. Make the sentence like clear glass, not stained glass. Your reader is having to work too hard to get the picture. Ah, but you didn't want her to see just any old rainbow, right? You wanted the sky after the rain. You wanted the blessing of the sun. And the buffeting of the wind. It was beautiful! It was, but it was in the way. Cut it up. Make the story bleed. The reader already knows who you are talking about. She knows what she looks like. (By the way, that's no reason not to describe her. You are right to do that. Using the show your reader has seen as a crutch would be bad.) But the description is taking too long, it's too awkward, and it's talking around the point instead of getting to it. If you want to add some magic, take maybe a single quality of a rainbow, and apply it to your description. I mean, what is a rainbow, besides colorful? They are bright. You can't see them at night. They are rare enough that they feel special, and they make you feel special to notice them. Even though everyone loves them, they feel personal, like they were drawn across the sky just for you. (Dash is like that, right?) I don't know. Right now what you're doing is just saying "rainbow" without saying it. Then, "is now buffeted by the wind..." You changed tense there. It felt like a slap to your reader. "...in tandem with her tail..." Tandem is the wrong word, and it feels like it when you read it out loud. "...her tail of like description..." Sounds awkward. You are trying to describe a mane the whole time...then saying, "By the way, the tail looks the same," at the end of the sentence. You can just say her rainbow-colored main and tail were being tossed by the wind.

The point is this: you have a good vocabulary, but you need to be simple in how you use it. Your paragraphs make the reader work too hard. (And you can blame the reader for being too lazy to get into it, but that won't get your stuff read. Readers are lazy. That's just the way it is. It's up to us to make our stuff as accessible as we can, because we want the lazy readers as much as the others. We don't want to lose a single person who might give ear to our story.) Writing in a way that makes the reader work hard means that your writing holds the reader at arms length instead of drawing her in. You get a bit better as the story progresses (chapter two was much more readable, though still had some of the same issues), and your dialogue is clear.

Okay, now that I've written you a novel:pinkiehappy:, here's some advice. After you revise what you have, you still might not get the readership and comments you want and need to improve. Don't be discouraged. Also, try short stories. This one looks like it could be a long one, and writing a long story without a readership to cheer you on can be draining. (You don't need to be drained. You are here to get practice for your original works--so says your bio--not get bogged down forever updating something that is not being read. Don't let that happen.) Short one-shots let you try new things and discover what the readers like and don't like in your stuff (or in general). [And, to be practical, they get on the front page, unlike updates, so you get more chances to get your stuff noticed.]

Keep writing, my friend.:rainbowdetermined2:

Alright, I trimmed the story down a bit. If any of you find something that's confusing to you, let me know. I'm trying to make this story readable :pinkiehappy:

I think this was the best written chapter yet. And the scene where Dash is caught in the storm was very well done. Great use of sense-imagery there. (It's probably my favorite scene in the story so far.)

A couple grammar edits:
"Blinded also by the tears in her eyes that were not the cause of the rushing wind that stung them." Should be not caused by the rushing wind...
"Flying with the would would be like turning back, Dash was not ready to be beaten." That first "would" should be another word, I think...
(I think there might have been a couple of others, but nothing too serious.)

Anyway, this keeps getting better. You've got the pony vs. nature conflict down, in my opinion. I think it's a challenge to write an extended scene focusing on only one character up against the elements. But you keep it interesting. I'm guessing we're going to see some serious character interaction next time, now that a certain someone has made an appearance.

Keep up the good work.:twilightsmile:

1296552 Grammar errors fixed, thank you for pointing those out. I managed to catch one other myself in post.

This chapter felt good to write, and I was hoping there would be some who enjoyed it, especially the ocean segment. It was interesting to try and write and imagine what it would be like to drown, since I've never done it myself. :derpytongue2:

I am a bit nervous about the concurrent chapters. I don't have a ton of personal experience with character interactions, so I tend to over-think it. There are many factors that go into even the simplest interactions, and I hope I can pull it off.

You're awesome, Kolwynia. You consistently read and comment on my works, and my appreciation is off the scale. Thank you so much. I hope to return the favor someday. I do hope you'll stay with me as I continually improve and expand my writings. I have a few other story ideas besides this one that I want to get out some day.

I suppose one thing that kind of ham-stringed me, viewer wise, was that rough first chapter. Blew the first impression. :facehoof:

You know, this might be even better than the last chapter. The storm scene would be hard to beat, but I really liked the scene where Applejack is frantically worrying for Rainbow Dash. And the dialogue is solid, so nothing to worry about there! Like the conflict between Applejack and Skye. (Also, the way you break up the chapters, leaving one character on a cliffhanger while you let your readers check in with the other, is very professional.)

Keep it up!:twilightsmile:

Solid stuff here. Your action sequences continue to be well-crafted and detailed. I thought the scene between Rainbow Dash and Gilda was interesting. I wonder why Gilda doesn't know what has happened to change the Gryphons' behavior (or if she was being honest with Dash about that).

1449121 Thank you for your reader fidelity Kolwynia, and for the compliment on the action sequences. I'm happy you enjoy them. :twilightsmile:

I wouldn't put my thoughts about Gilda not knowing what happened, but more towards not understanding why.

Sorry if this comment comes off weird. I just got off work, and it's Graveyard shift. I'm a little loopy :applejackconfused:

Applejack's single-minded faithfulness to her friend is touching. (Are we going to see what is going on in Ponyville since the two of them left?) I also liked your mythology about the sea.

Two small editing issues, I noticed: One, when a character tells a story that goes on for multiple paragraphs like Skye's, usually quotation marks are used at the beginning of each paragraph, to show that it is still dialogue. (And then at the end of the final paragraph to close the dialogue, as you have.) Also, in Sky's story there is this line: "She saw the fires and quakes, but did not recoil in fear nor did She react in anger to His explosive reactions to eve" And the sentence just cuts off right there.

A confession: Applejack is my least favorite of the Mane Six. And yet, I seem to enjoy her chapters the most in this story. I really like the way you write her internal dialogue and thoughts. Look forward to the next chapter!:twilightsmile:

1543796 One again, I thank you for your thoughts, Kolwynia. I thought I caught that editing issue before I posted the chapter, must have slipped through. Doesn't surprise me though, considering the weird way this chapter was written (involving multiple devices and one that didn't want to cooperate :ajbemused: ). Shouldn't happen again as this program I'm using now has Google Docs support; I'll go in and hard edit the chapter soon. Thank you for catching that!

Ponyville isn't in the original outline, but a good outline is a flexible one. You did just remind me of one planning session I did for the idea of showing what's going on in Ponyville. I think I might just write that in. I'm actually taking this time to write out a one-shot that should come out before the end of the week, the next chapter of lifeled should come after that.

Although I really don't play favorites to the Mane 6, loving them all, if you put a gun to my head I would have to say Applejack. :ajsmug:

Nice! The ending of this one made me happy.:twilightsmile: I'm assuming we're going to hear how AJ survived the wave soon? The scene with Rainbow Dash and the ghosts was my favorite this time around. Really great imagery with the lilies changing color. Also, it was nice to get some backstory with Skye. (Oh! That's right, check the paragraph when the storm is coming upon them, right after Skye starts to tell AJ about his cutie mark. There's a typo, I think. You spell his name "Akye.")

Another great chapter overall. Glad to see the friends reunited. And the mystery continues...

I'm going to assume the dislikes are from ages ago, when apparently it wasn't so good.

Sad, but good. This chapter felt very streamlined, like it was headed for something and wasn't going to be late getting there. Heavy on action and drama, which you do well. I'm glad you are going to give us more information about Skye in the next chapter. For a second, I was worried we were going to get a Pulp Fiction briefcase scenario.:derpytongue2: Are we going to see Gilda again before all's said and done?

The next chapter is going to come quickly, you'll know then if she shows up. :twilightsmile:

I seem to be getting better at simply getting to the point. I'm always afraid of not putting enough detail, but reading other established fictions and the like, I see that I don't need to outline every single thing. My next goal is a more personal narrative so that it becomes less like a sterile observer to the narration almost having a character in itself. I don't think I can accomplish such with this story, but I have plans with other stories to do the like.

1804023 Thank you for looking past the red bar and enjoying my story, I greatly appreciate this. Despite the dislikes and the empty readers (Not including you, Kolwynia :pinkiehappy:), I'm continuing this till it's end.

So you should! Don't let a few dislikes dissuade you. For what it's worth, I equalized the bar.

1810801 I enjoy upvoting stories I like, but sometimes I wish I could cut out a chunk of the downvotes on them instead.:trixieshiftleft:

But yeah, glad you are finishing this. I just got rid of a couple stories in my favorites list that I realized I'd been holding on to in the vain hope that the author would eventually update them...knowing in my heart that they were abandoned but not wanting to believe it.:fluttershysad:

“A half-read book is a half-finished love affair.” -David Mitchell (author of Cloud Atlas)

Case in point: a little story called Nocturne. (But don't read it. Knowing you will never get a second chapter will just leave you depressed.)

Sometimes I wish there wasn't a downvote bar. If you don't like a fic, fine, stop reading and refrain from pushing the like button. A dislike button only discourages people. Sure, I guess you could argue that it potentially warns people off of bad fics, but a cursory glance at the description would likely tell you if it's terrible.

*Doesn't click link*

Applejack really gets to shine here. I like how you tied in the story of her parents with the creation myth that Skye told her earlier. And I think Rainbow Dash's presence in the scene worked, epecially since Applejack scolded her for pulling away from her friends and trying to take on her emotional burdens alone. I'm pretty sure I've told you before that I really like the way you write Applejack as a character.

Oddly enough, competition in the emotional climax department came from an unlikely place, at least for me: Gilda. Didn't expect that. Very well done.

And the mystery of Applejack's mother is interesting. (Are you planning on answering that in the epilogue, or is that a seed planted for a possible sequel?)

Comparing this to your other stories, I can see that you like to deal with strong Family themes in your writing.

All in all, the emotional payoff is proving to be worth the journey. Excited to see what you have in store for the epilogue!:twilightsmile:

1897732 Greatly appreciate your thoughts, Kolwynia. :twilightsmile: Every time I submit a chapter, I hold my breath in anticipation for your swift feedback to come. Makes my day. (But now I can't sleep :ajbemused:)

I did mean for the myth to be a slight allegory for Skye's feelings, or just his own way of trying to hint at Applejack. I had an idea for a series of myths that didn't make it in the story (Which I'll share in the post blog). The pacing didn't feel right.

I had planned for this being the reason Gilda wanted nothing to do with her land, but the idea of her brother came to me as I was writing the chapter. I took a quick note and thought it would be a perfect fit. I thought it would add a bit of an unexpected connection, and I'm happy with it. (Glad you are too.)

I do have an idea for a sequel, thought it's going to be a shift. I'm itching to experiment with first person perspective and what will take place with be less adventure and more intrigue. If I fell good about the planning anyway. Applejack may have to go somewhere she hates quite a bit in what's to come.

Having Applejack in a story is bound to have family focus, but I didn't expect for it to be this heavy. Starting this off, I didn't know what a MacGuffin is, but I realized I fell into a pretty big cliche' with having Dash chase after phantoms (No pun intended) like that. I tried to craft the story in a way that made it more justifiable, if not just to point out a character flaw in that. At the time of planning, the mystery of Dash's origins interested me to no end. I didn't even have AJ's parents planned in here till I was writing the chapter that introduces Skye. A friend suggested the idea and I clung to it. Was going to be... Well, I'll leave that for later.

Blooming Faith was literally an idea that came to me in my sleep which I wrote down in the dark of night on an orange sticky note :twilightblush:

The Epilogue is just meant to establish the new status quo along with the motivation for a possible sequel. The grand twists and turns that this "masterpiece" can produce has already done so. I have one scene in my mind that I've had since the start I want to get out, but it'll be nice to just be working on a different setting for a while. (I'm getting way too many ideas.)

New work hours soon. I'll be able to focus more time on writing where I hope to crank out stories in a quick pace. I hope to provide a good read for you and the rest of my silent audience. :rainbowdetermined2:

I've always seen AJ as the most mature of the Mane 6. She has saved Twilight's life twice, and never once mentioned it afterwards. This aspect of her humility shined the most in the newest episode after saving Spike. Add responsibility of running a business, and a focus on family (Which is a very big deal in my life. Family should be a priority in life, I think.) Sadly, this leaves little conflict for her to better episodes. I still think the most interesting thing they can do with cannon is to delve into her origins a bit. There is a reason she is the way she is, and I'd like to see where she gleaned her strength.

Thank you again, Kolwynia. Epilogue should be out in a week or less.

Nice! As in previous chapters, Applejack really shines here. I thought the scene between her and Twilight was very well constructed, as was the slightly tense scene between her and Rainbow Dash. Also, I really like the voice you give Apple Bloom.:twilightsmile:

So... according to Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, this story has enough words to be considered a novel.:moustache: How about that? And how does it feel to finally change the story status to "complete" ?:rainbowdetermined2: (Epilogue notwithstanding.)

Anyway, everything about this story got better with each chapter, and it made me like Applejack a lot more as a character. Thank you for it. Looking forward to the epilogue and what's coming up next.

(Also, in a few months you won't be able to work on anything for awhile? Hope everything's okay.)

Awesome story, left room for a sequel too! :raritystarry: only problem I had with this was sometimes the pace of the story felt held back slightly from constantly swapping from dash' perspective to applejack's, I liked it but it started to drag out a bit in the middle and end :twilightsheepish:

3092606 I was very surprised to see a comment on this story after so long. What drew you to it, if you don't mind me asking? :twilightblush:

I'm happy you enjoyed it, and I do see what you mean. This was the first bit of writing I've done for a long time, and it has many flaws, but I believe I've improved since then. If you wouldn't mind, I'd recommend my other stories that are much shorter and well received at this time.

But could you also tell me a specific part of the fiction you liked? I'd love to hear more of your opinion.

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