• Member Since 15th Jan, 2020
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Summer Script


Sequels1

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It's that time again! Friends and Family Day. A holiday meant to rejoice over the bonds shared between creatures and their loved ones. The preparations have been made, families have arrived, and everyone is ready for the festival that is soon to commence.
For everyone, the week leading up to it has been nothing but an unending roller coaster of anticipation and excitement!
Well, almost everyone.
For Gallus, it's been an entire week of unending misery and memories. And while he'll deny it at every given chance, it's getting to him.
Maybe a certain hypogriff can help him out with that.

Now with a sequel! : https://www.fimfiction.net/story/467104/the-bonds-of-love

This story was written for Miller Minus's Young Six Story Contest.
Link: https://www.fimfiction.net/blog/880423/writing-contest-the-discovery-or-the-young-six-take-the-writeoff

Cover Art found and obtained through the almighty power of Google Images! No theft intended.
LInk: https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.deviantart.com%2Fejlightning007arts%2Fart%2FSilverstream-Hugging-Gallus-pt2-765833598&psig=AOvVaw0-lC6hrIVvGHNoVGlu_y84&ust=1581222285270000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAIQjRxqFwoTCJii-LSOwecCFQAAAAAdAAAAABAD

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 23 )

Fun fact: up here in Canada, we actually do have a Family Day. It's a recent enough thing that most people don't so much celebrate it as rejoice at a day off work, but still.

Gallus is one of my favorite characters and you really did him justice here. I’d actually love to see a follow up where Gallus and Silver search for information on Gallus’ parents, but no rush.

I really loved what you did here. Keep it up!

I love this story for how relatable it is in so many ways, with the parental abandonment being the only exception. Truly a story close to my heart that I'll remember and come back to in the future. I can't wait to see what else you have in store!:pinkiehappy::pinkiesad2:

Just read this and dude i cab barly keeo ghe tears from falling right bow you did him justace and all that is left to say is sequal

Contest is over! And you asked for a review, so here it is.

So! If this was truly the first story you ever published, it genuinely is a brilliant first attempt, let me tell you that from the get-go. Character voicing was good, and I do genuinely appreciate that this is a story with a point to it. Character exploration is one of those fields where fanfic shines, and Gallus was pretty much done justice in this one.

That said, there are some things where I feel you can improve? But like, some of these things aren't really mistakes I can point at and you fix them -- they come with practice; as you write more often, you get a feel for this kind of stuff, and you naturally get better at it. I'll still point it out to make it easier on you for the next time, but I'd recommend you simply take it as general advice to keep in mind when writing, rather than actual downright criticism of this story, or like a laundry list of mistakes to fix, or something like that.

You write very long sections where there's nothing but dialogue; no dialogue tags (basically the "Gallus said"in "'Blahbahblah,' Gallus said"), no narration, no descriptions, nothing. While this might work for certain scenes, or if you're going for a very particular mood, in excess it can be confusing to the reader, or even a bit dull. Prose needs a bit of spice, of variety, to keep your reader's attention; breaking up dialogue with narration is the most natural way to achieve that effect.

The story actually does this very now and then, so you've already got the general gist of it? It's just a matter of doing it a bit more often, really. I recommend grabbing a book or any short story you might be fond of and check how often the narration breaks the dialogue, to get a very general feel for it.

(Funnily enough, one of the reasons why very long stretches of dialogue without dialogue tags are unadvised is because it might confuse the reader, as at one point it can be difficult to tell who's saying what. This story doesn't suffer from that! The voicing was good enough that I always knew who was talking, and now and then the characters would say each other's name in a way that felt natural and kept everything in check. Kudos for that if that was on purpose).

I understand you may say that the long stretches of dialogue are a stylstic choice, and indeed there are stories like that -- but I still recommend looking up more standard techniques of storytelling, since they're standard for a reason. Too much dialogue and nothing else has the secondary effect of making the story a bit dull and hard to picture in your head -- you sort of eventually just imagine two floating heads talking to each other.

There were some tense slips here and there (sections were the usual past tense used to tell the story becomes present tense), but overall I'd say that your writing was good on the technical side. The dialogue felt very natural and flowy, the opposite of stilted, and that's genuinely a plus, so very much congrats on that -- writing good dialogue is more art than craft but a lot of people struggle with it at first. If you're doing it like this on a first try, that is genuinely impressive, and I don't say that lightly at all.

So yeah! Good characters, good dialogue, the plot was engaging enough, Gallus' plight came through nicely. I was very pleasantly surprised by this story, and I hope you keep writing and keep improving, because there's a lot of potential there. Thank you very much for joining in the contest, and best of luck next time!

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Thank you so much for the review and advice!
Not gonna lie, I expected there to be way more issues than what you pointed out (For example: How many times I used "..." or perhaps the "Discovery" prompt not being properly integrated into the story), but the lack of dialogue tags? :rainbowderp: I didn't see that coming.
I was under the impression that constantly reminding the audience who was saying what instead of making it obvious from the characters' dialogue styles, word choice, etc. would be unnecessary at best, or repetitive at worst. Apparently, I was wrong, and it's more about finding a balance rather than just "correcting" everything. In hindsight, that actually should have been obvious.

Speaking of hindsight — Tenses! I should have known I was going to screw up there... :facehoof: I really need to remember to always double-check that when I'm going over everything else.
Happy to know that I'm at least doing well enough where the characters and plot are concerned! Now for the hard part: Keeping it up in the next thing I do.

I want to thank you again for the review. For as much as I wish that there was something specific I could immediately work to improve on, it's a lot more relieving to know that I require more of an overall improvement.
I'm glad I could participate in the contest even if I didn't get so much as an honorable mention. Oh, well. Maybe next time! Until then, I hope you have a good day and that you stay safe!

Side note: For clarification, this is the first story I've "published," not "written." That was a garbage fire, and I never want to speak of it ever again. :pinkiesick:

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So if you two were still interested in a potential sequel to A Day for Family, here's a post I made concerning the idea: https://www.fimfiction.net/blog/896992/happy-easter-also-sequel-announcement

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u npw have 3 voters for a sequal

Great story. It made tears in my eyes.

I’m going to be honest, I’m not overly fond of this. The concept is good and shows potential, as does your writing in general, but there’s a lot of things that have me scratching my head in this story.

Let’s start with Gallus at the party. He’s acting like this party is a prison cell full of monsters, a bit melodramatic if you ask me. Gallus is a pretty aloof guy, sure, but I sincerely doubt he has social anxiety to this extreme level when he has the confidence to try and market the Tree of Harmony as a roadside attraction in Uprooted.

Wait, so Cozy Glow, a literal child who lacks innate magical abilities, was able to speak to Gallus through the ether because he… entered her old room? Somehow she knows all the details about his past and his anger despite never being close enough to him to get this sort of information? And he just sat there and spilled his guts at length to her when she was being openly antagonistic and cruel to him?

I don’t buy it, man.

There’s also the issue of talking heads syndrome. Your dialogue tends to run in extended blocks of back and forth with no other descriptors. Nothing to set the scene or show what characters are thinking and feeling outside of what they’re saying. Not every line needs a descriptor after it, but the conversations get very dry and monotonous without something to break them up.

There’s also this weird transition in the middle of a conversation between Gallus and Silverstream where we cut to Sky Beak and Spoiled Rich for some reason, then immediately cut back. The transition is not well-marked, and it completely derailed my immersion in the story when it happened. Scene transitions need to be purposeful, easy to see, and add something meaningful to the story. Anything that doesn’t add to the story is actively taking away from it.

Also, hypogriff? I pronounced that as High-po-griff when I read it, and I blinked and had to reread it. It’s like spelling hypochondriac as hippochondriac.

Continuing on my read-through, the biggest issue you face is definitely the talking head syndrome. I keep losing track of who is talking during these scenes.

And we’re back with unexplained presences talking to him. Does Gallus have schizophrenia? This is happening very often for no explained reason, and it’s starting to feel like a crutch.

I think my final verdict on this story is that you were trying to make a statement on loneliness and the unhealthy mindset that comes with it, but in pursuing that, you washed out all of the other qualities of Gallus as a character and just made him a depressed, lonely wreck whose entire life is consumed with feelings of inadequacy and isolation. It loses a lot of its punch because he turns from this wonderful, well-rounded character with strengths and flaws that we all know and love and becomes a walking pile of personality disorders. The ham-fisted flanderization of his character subtracts a lot of the punch from what you were trying to deliver, and the result is that the payoff of the story falls flat.

That said, I’m ready to stop being negative. I see potential in this, and in you. You have ideas, good ideas, but you’ve got to work on the execution so those ideas can shine. Find yourself an editor, someone to bounce stories off of and get pointers from. Check out some writing advice blogs or books (I highly recommend the Being a Better Writer blogs that Viking ZX writes on this site). Keep working at it and you’ll get there!

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Well, I’m glad you found it had potential at the very least. :twilightsheepish: But in all seriousness, I’ll try to explain a few things:

1) That wasn’t actually Cozy Glow talking to him. It may have looked and acted like her, but it was Gallus’ stress and imagination getting the better of him.

Gallus understood this subconsciously(Hence why he actually talked to her instead of understandably freaking out), he just didn’t want to accept it because it would mean whatever “Cozy” said was something he thought, regardless of whether or not he believed it. Hence this line:

“No, you’re sick! Remember. My words are your thoughts. Yours.”

On that note, the parts you mentioned that made you ask if Gallus had schizophrenia? Those were meant to be a “Continuation” of this same story beat. Sort of.

To give an example, this line:

That’s the spirit! cheered a voice in his head that sounded disturbingly like Gabby.

Isn’t meant to indicate Gallus is suffering from schizophrenia or anything like it. Rather, it’s more meant to be Gallus telling himself something by pretending it’s someone else saying it. In this particular line’s case; Gallus is trying to encourage himself by thinking of what Gabby would say to encourage him on.

In “Cozy’s” case, it’s meant to be all of Gallus’ stressed/irrational/negative thoughts crashing down on him.

I can understand if that does seem like a “Crutch” since it, well, kinda is when I think about it. But it was a writing choice I made and wanted to commit to.
Of course, that doesn’t change the fact that I could/should have sold this aspect of the story better, but alas. Hindsight sucks. Luckily, I know better for next time.

2) About my usage of Hypogriff and not Hippogriff? Not going to lie, I legitimately thought it could have been spelled either way. My bad.

3) The Sky Beak/Spoiled Rich scene was pretty much just a cutaway joke. Unfortunately, like a lot of jokes, it fell flat. Whoops.

4) Aragon already got on me for the “Talking head” thing in his comment/review. My mindset at the time was that I should have focused on making who was talking obvious by the way the characters spoke; otherwise, constantly reminding the audience who was saying what would get redundant.

Nonetheless, I thank you for reminding of this particular issue because it is definitely something I need to work on.

5)

…you washed out all of the other qualities of Gallus as a character and just made him a depressed, lonely wreck whose entire life is consumed with feelings of inadequacy and isolation. It loses a lot of its punch because he turns from this wonderful, well-rounded character with strengths and flaws that we all know and love and becomes a walking pile of personality disorders. The ham-fisted flanderization of his character subtracts a lot of the punch from what you were trying to deliver, and the result is that the payoff of the story falls flat.

Dang it, this hurts! :fluttershbad: Because one: I was legitimately worried that I might have been overselling Gallus’ loneliness and heartache. And because two: It genuinely sucks knowing that I did, in fact, fail to prevent that in spite of my worries.

You’re right in that I wanted to tell a story that focused on the unhealthy psychological consequences of Gallus’ orphanhood, and one of the ways I decided to do that was giving a “Voice,” in a matter of speaking, to that mindset. And while I won’t go back on that decision, I can’t make any excuses that as a result of that decision, I failed to properly execute the other parts of Gallus’ personality; if for no one else, for you. I can’t deny that. And I’m sorry.

I suppose all I can do now is learn from these mistakes and improve.

I’m sorry that the story disappointed you. But thank you for at least giving it a read; I hope that there were at least some parts of that you did genuinely enjoy aside from the just the “Potential” it had. And especially thank you for the criticism!

Now, if you’d excuse me, I have to go back to writing. I’ve got some changes I think I need to make.

Once again, thank you for the criticism! Have a nice day! :pinkiehappy:

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I have to give you credit, this is a FAR better first attempt at writing than I had. We all have to start somewhere, and I wanted to try and give you some criticism to help you see what things you need to work at. Honest feedback is often hard to come by, even once you've established yourself. Writing is a very delicate balancing act, and it takes a lot of time and practice to perfect it. You've got the chops, no doubt, you just have to keep doing it so you can hone it in.

I double down on my recommendations, though. Get an editor to work with you on this. There are a couple of groups dedicated to that on this site, through I'm not sure if they're super active these days. I recommend enlisting the help of friends with editing too. Anyone with at least some writing experience will be able to help steer you away from some of the pitfalls.

I really hope I didn't come off as overly harsh :twilightblush:

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Thank you! I’ll definitely check out those groups when I find the time!

Also, don’t worry. Criticism is criticism regardless of how harsh it is! It’s nice to be reassured that I’m doing well in some aspects, but I’d prefer being told where it is I am struggling, so I don’t repeat the same mistakes. So thank you again for both your criticisms and your encouragement!

I hope I can do better with The Bonds of Love and everything else I have in store for the future!

“I mean what I said. And I said what I meant.”

An elephants faithful 100%


Sorry... couldn’t help myself... :twilightblush:

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Not gonna lie; I didn't know that that was how the phrase actually went when I first wrote it. I know now, but yeah! :derpytongue2:

What I'm trying to figure out is why is Gallus even having these conflicted emotions anyway? Although the reader can figure out what's going on by the dialogue this seems to be a lot of telling and not showing. I say this because my first story that I wrote is mostly dialogue which I'm guilty as charged doing that myself. The Ghost of Cozy Glow that story was 80% dialogue which I can only imagine might have been really frustrating for my readers. Even though I'm a new writer myself, I'm always doing research and look for ways to improve my skills. The stories that I'm working on right now I do believe that my writing as gotten much better, but that's also with the help of an editor. Maybe if you had put more of a backstory in there? It might help clear things up for the reader. That's what I'm thinking, although what I'm saying is just a matter of opinion so you can take this and run with it or leave it. That's up to you.

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Yeah, I can’t deny A Day for Family suffers a lot from “First Story Syndrome.” :ajsleepy: Which I suppose is to be expected since it was technically my first published story, but nonetheless, the flaws are there, and I’d be remiss to deny them.

To explain why Gallus was so upset in this story: Friends and Family Day had been going on for about a week, and it stirred up some long-buried abandonment and self-worth issues he possessed(In the context of this particular story) until they reached a breaking point, which is where the story begins.
In hindsight, that’s a pretty stupid explanation. :facehoof: And the fact that I absolutely overdid the “Cozy Glow” aspect of the story did not help whatsoever.

I still enjoy what I wrote, and I’m having a lot of fun writing the sequel, but boy! Oh! Boy! A Day for Family has its fair share of problems. Oh, well. The most I can hope for is that I learn from my mistakes, and I like to think that I did. :yay:

Thank you for commenting, by the way! I appreciate the criticism, and I hope that you at least somewhat enjoyed the story despite its flaws.

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I'm glad you enjoy writing your story, who knows you just might inspires someone else to start writing a fanfic because you did. As I said before, the first story I wrote The Ghost of Cozy Glow wasn't as good as I thought it was. I went back and reread it and saw a lot of areas where my story could be changed. While the first two sentences in your story weren't stupid I'm just saying maybe you could've add a little more to it. I was thinking maybe add a flashback or something? Just keep that in mind for the next story you write and I'm sure the more stories you release the better your writing will get. Although I did think you story was an interesting read, I haven't rated because I'm not sure if I can do so honestly, from one new writer to another I don't want to discourage anyone just by downvoting the story. As for upvote I'm not sure about that either, I'm on the fence about it. Sorry.

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First of all, thank you for the follow! Secondly:

I was thinking maybe add a flashback or something?

Even if I had wanted to do this, I couldn’t. I wrote A Day for Family for a contest, and it had a 12k word limit. Which, uh…

11,621 words

You might have noticed I barely scored under. :twilightblush: Speaking of which, I'm not sure if you were interested, but I actually discussed my writing process for this story in a blog post: https://www.fimfiction.net/blog/902117/the-writing-of-a-day-for-family

I'm sure the more stories you release the better your writing will get.

Thank you for the encouragement! And that is definitely true for both of us, I feel. :raritywink:

Although I did think you story was an interesting read, I haven't rated because I'm not sure if I can do so honestly, from one new writer to another I don't want to discourage anyone just by downvoting the story. As for upvote I'm not sure about that either, I'm on the fence about it. Sorry.

Don’t worry about it! I don’t really care that much about the rating; I’m just happy to be writing! :derpytongue2: Besides, it’s like you said: The more I write, the better I’ll do!

who knows you just might inspires someone else to start writing a fanfic because you did

:moustache: About that? https://www.fimfiction.net/story/481481/bonds-of-love-what-if

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Yeah that's right, I know that person wrote the sequel to your story. I forgot, my bad in any case it's good that already inspiring other people to write. I actually inspired my husband to start writing a fanfic, I don't know if he's actually going to publish it though.

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I actually inspired my husband to start writing a fanfic, I don't know if he's actually going to publish it though.

Hey, as long as he's writing and he's having fun doing it! That's the important thing. :pinkiehappy:

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yup! I totally agree!

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