• Member Since 14th Jul, 2013
  • offline last seen 1 hour ago

Piccolo Sky


I really should put something down here someday...

T

An AU Equestria Girls fanfic.

In an alternate world of steam and gunpowder, the mysterious ruler known as Celestia is dead and the dark god Nightmare Moon has already sentenced half of Greater Everfree to the apocalypse. The future now depends on six strangers uniting before the world either falls into darkness or self-destructs.

Yet there are far greater forces at work than anyone realizes, and secrets far more terrible and destructive than any monster lie deep in the realms of eternal night. As the same power that brought the world to its knees becomes the means to fulfill the dreams of human ambition, what sort of future these six strangers will bring is called into question: a harmony of peace or a far greater cataclysm than the one currently facing the world.

(The "gore" tag is currently a precaution. Image is public domain.)

Chapters (5)
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Comments ( 9 )

Well now. A stark but fascinating image you've painted. Eagerly looking forward to more, especially since Twilight implies the existence of other magical girls out there. Looking forward to more.

Hmm. Bloom may not be dead yet. She may be even worse off. You've made it clear that humans can be Nighttouched. :twilightoops:

Still, excellent introduction to this world's Applejack. I especially loved the historical background. Now there's just the matter of putting this loophole into practice, and that's going to be a lot more complicated than it sounds...

Hmm, you've got my interest, a very different world.

You probably should've identified Berry earlier. There are a lot of ambiguous "she"s early on. Aside from that, excellent introduction for Dash, along with more intriguing history. It's a sad but all too believable statement about this world that people are robbing each other when there's a much greater threat in the heart of the continent... but between cowardice and hopelessness, I have trouble blamig them.

This was a terrific introduction to the rules of this world, and using Starlight's POV helps us see the scale of these things. An excellent introduction.

Overall, this is an aggressively well-designed story. Your initial introduction slams us into a new world, and each chapter does an excellant job in multiple areas: Expanding your worldbuilding, letting us see and feel the encroaching threat, without letting excellent characterization fall to the wayside. This is how AU's are designed.

That said, your actual writing can be a little clunky. The initial panic after the Lighteater breaks into the city is effective, but maybe to direct? Ramping up the panic, perhaps moving some of the descriptions of people just smashing through shop windows (really good inversion of typical mob panic imagery) and the death by trample descriptions later? And definitely, use the word 'trample' less.

Twilight's introductions, likewise, needs to be a bit more subtle. It works, but Starlight thinks "oh, she's helpless," and is then proven wrong a few too many times and it telegraphs the move to the audience. We need to be with Starlight being impressed, but it's clear too early that Twilight is going to curb stomp that thing.

The dog backed up until it could growl again, but that returned to a whine when it rounded the corner and began to approach. As it neared, however, Starlight heard the young lady again.

“Phew, it’s just a lesser one… Maybe I can pull this off.”

And here

Starlight had to blink at what she saw a few times. Although her brain told her it was totally impossible, she swore she saw the Light Eater actually pause in mid-step for just a moment. However, it kept walking soon after. Of course, it did. Why wouldn’t it? It was completely invincible and unkillable. She smirked at herself hopelessly, realizing she was grasping at straws so much she was hallucinating.

It's imminently clear where we're going. It's especially disappointing when this genre doesn't have a lot of superheroes or superhero tropes, and you could have really surprised your audience. (Also, no one has ever smirked to themselves after thinking they were hallucinating while a giant unkillable monster tries to kill them. Not just because giant monsters aren't a thing.)

Clunky descriptions also keep popping up.

The image, on completion, broke and melded into a curtain which fell over the young woman. When it did her clothing changed. The robe that was just for street magic thickened and lengthened into a magician’s cloak worthy of legend. The severed wand she held grew, enlarged, and reshaped into a proper oak stave with a jewel fitted inside. A large, wide-brimmed hat landed on her head, and her cloak collar grew so large that her face vanished between it and the hat brim. Only her eyes still stood out. They were glowing too now.

"When it did her clothing changed" is a sentence fragment and needs to be absorbed into a different sentence.
"Grew, Enlarged, and reshaped" is a good attempt, but they all mean the exact same thing. They should be describing the different actions the wand is undertaking, like: The severed end of the wand she held grew, twisting around and thickening into a proper oak stave...
"Only her eyes stood out. They were glowing too." Using sentence fragments in this spot is better because it places more emphasis on the descriptors and how cool they should be, but "they were glowing too" is not a cool line. At the very least they need to glow with determination, or righteous fury, or something.

There are lots of places like this where your prose could be streamlined, and there's a lot you could probably cut. Heck, your title is basically two titles, and both are pretty vague as to what this story is actually about. My story Mystery of the Arcane Train is still vague, but it tells people that there's a train, a mystery, and a focus on not just magic, but scary magic. Also, I should have called Mystery on the Arcane Express, I just now thought of that and it's way too late to change it. Anyway, I read somewhere that a good technique is to cut every third line and see where that leaves you, and it sounds like a good general location to start.

As I said, the plotting is airtight. Solid. A class could be taught using this as an example. This is the exact approach that is called for, with the exactly correct amount of focus on the exact right things. You just need to do some pruning and this could be one of the greats.

EDIT: Just to be clear, I really, really like this story.

Comment posted by Piccolo Sky deleted Yesterday

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Thank you for the feedback. I will try to be mindful of it in the future, although I'm not sure how effective I can be. An ongoing complaint about my work (not necessarily on this site but elsewhere) is that I'm far too wordy. Part of the reason I decided to move forward with this story was to see if I could write a less-verbose version of longer fare I do on other sites and experiment with more minimal descriptions (Normally, for example, I would have gone into a multi-page description of how Starlight Glimmer ended up in that town, how the town got into its current state, and generally sum up the entire world history over the past eight years...this time I'm wanting to see if I can get it to come out gradually without any exposition dumps.)

Unfortunately, based on this feedback, not only does it sound like the story is still too wordy but my attempts to be shorter on descriptions only made them worse than before. I'll try to do better in future chapters.

9413286

Unfortunately, based on this feedback, not only does it sound like the story is still too wordy but my attempts to be shorter on descriptions only made them worse than before.

I wouldn't be discouraged. It's all about finding the right things to spend time on. Cutting the town's backstory and such was a good call, for instance. There's still a lot to like here.

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