• Published 1st Mar 2020
  • 712 Views, 29 Comments

Rain and Lightning - Nitro Indigo

After everypony in Equestria was transformed into an Eeveelution, Sassaflash and Sea Swirl try to continue their lives as normally as possible.

  • ...

Vaporeon Anonymous

Author's Note:

Sea Swirl goes to a support group for ponies who became “fish-dog-fox-things”.

Pre-read by Timelugia.

That evening, after going bowling with Sassaflash and Rainy Rays, Sea Swirl decided to lazily swim in circles in Saddle Lake. In sharp contrast to the cool, rushing river, or the rough, salty Luna Ocean she visited every summer, the lake was calm and lukewarm, like a relaxing bath.

After she pulled herself out of the water, a short, pale Xenovulpes lepidocyon and an adolescent, cyan lion with a black mane ran down the slope and stared at her in awe; the latter's large, golden, oval-shaped eyes unnerved her. She’d seen both of them in the park earlier.

“Whoa!” the former pony exclaimed; his voice sounded vaguely familiar. “Where did you come from?”

“...The lake?” Sea Swirl asked incredulously.

“You were?” he replied, sounding surprised. “It’s like you weren’t there, and then, you were!”

“That’s... unusual,” replied Sea Swirl as the three of them walked up the slope. She could feel her face frown; she’d have to investigate this later.

“Do you think I could do that?” he asked with a hint of amazement in his voice.

Possibly...” replied Sea Swirl uncertainly.

“My name’s Sandbar,” he said, once they reached the top. “What’s yours?”

“Oh!” exclaimed Sea Swirl. “I think I've heard your name before. Do your parents work at the Canterlot Aquarium?" Sandbar nodded. “My name is Sea Swirl.”

“Your name sounds familiar... Are you the tour guide there?”

“Yes, I am. Or at least... I was.” She sighed as she longingly looked up at Canterlot Mountain.

“And I’m Gallus,” the lion said, laying down and licking his yellow front paws. “If you worked in Canterlot, why do live in Ponyville?” asked Gallus.

“It’s cheaper,” replied Sea Swirl.

“I just remembered!” exclaimed Sandbar. “There’s gonna be a support group for ponies like us starting tomorrow, right here!”

“I haven’t heard about that.”

“Do you wanna come?”

“I’m not sure.” Sea Swirl looked down at her tail.

“I’m going, because...” Sandbar then leaned over and whispered into Sea Swirl’s ear. ”I don’t know how to swim.”

“I heard that, you know,” deadpanned Gallus. “There’s no reason to keep it a secret.”

Sandbar rolled his eyes at Gallus, before looking back to Sea Swirl. “Do you think you could teach me?” he asked.

Sea Swirl stopped to think for a few seconds. “I’ve never taught before, but I could try. I’ve had plenty of practise swimming in my new body. Follow me!” Sea Swirl leapt into the lake, then treaded water on the surface. Sandbar eagerly ran after her, but tripped over his tail, tumbled down the hill, and fell into the lake with a SPLASH. In an instant, Sea Swirl dived down and carried Sandbar to the surface, where he gasped for air.

“The easiest way to swim in this form is to not think about it,” said Sea Swirl. “First of all, don't worry about breathing. You have gills hidden under your neck frill.” She let go of Sandbar. “Second of all, don't move your legs like you would if you were a pony. Your tail does most of the work.”

“How do I do that?” he asked.

“I'll show you,” said Sea Swirl. “It’ll be easier to demonstrate underwater.”

The two of them dived just beneath the surface, Sandbar still reflexively holding his breath. The sun was so low in the sky that the lake bed appeared to be a bottomless, shadowy abyss instead of a few metres below, but there was just enough light for Sea Swirl to be able to distinguish Sandbar's scales from the rest of the water. She made a point of letting her back legs dangle behind her, then repeatedly pushed her forelegs backwards in a circular motion to propel herself forwards, effortlessly swimming in a small circle with a swish of her tail.

"Whoa! So cool!" exclaimed Sandbar with the little air that remained in his lungs, his voice distorted. Now it was his turn to swim. He flicked his tail up and down, but all that accomplished was making him spin in a vertical cartwheel. Sea Swirl shook her head, and he tried again, this time thrashing it from side to side. All that accomplished was causing him to swim forwards in a wobbly zig-zag. Sea Swirl surfaced, and he followed. She took a deep breath - not because she needed the oxygen, but because she needed to talk.

"You're supposed to lean your tail in the direction you want to go," she said. “Keep it straight if you want to swim in a straight line.”

"Really? You weren't clear about that..." he sighed.

“Let’s try again, shall we?” Sea Swirl suggested. They dived under the surface again, and Sandbar tried swimming back-and-forth in straight lines. The first few times, he was slow, so Sea Swirl decided to swim alongside him to encourage him to catch up. Eventually, he was almost able to catch up to her.

Sea Swirl surfaced. “Now it’s time to try swimming in a circle,” she said. There was no response. “Sandbar?” He wasn’t next to her. “SANDBAR?!” she shouted. She dived deep into the murky waters, her heart racing. She darted up, down, left, and right - but Sandbar was nowhere in sight.

A stream of bubbles sped past her. She desperately followed it, only to easily overtake it. Once it reached the edge of the lake, the bubbles gathered into the shape of a small X. lepidocyon... and Sandbar hauled himself of the water. Bewildered, Sea Swirl followed him.

“That was so cool!” he exclaimed. “What are you looking at me like that for?”

Sea Swirl realised she was staring at him. She blinked her expression away. “You disappeared!” she exclaimed, exasperated. “I was worried about you!”

“I did?” asked Sandbar. “I must’ve done what you did earlier! How’d I do it?”

Sea Swirl was stumped. She sat down and gazed at the now-twilight sky. “I still have no idea,” she muttered, but then a realisation hit her. Maybe I could help others with their problems! She looked at Sandbar again. “But I think I will go to this support group, after all. Will your friend come?”

“Why would I?” Gallus sighed. “I’m not one of you... fish-dog-fox-things.”

Sea Swirl sighed. Seems that Sassaflash’s nickname caught on after all... “Why are these groups species-specific?”

“I think it’s to prevent fights from breaking out,” said Sandbar. “See you tomorrow!”

The next afternoon, Sea Swirl was one of the dozen-or-so attendees who sat in a circle next to Saddle Lake. The counsellor, who had come to Ponyville from Canterlot, droned on with her introduction for about ten minutes; Sandbar fell asleep, and Sea Swirl finally understood why Sassaflash was so impatient.

Afterwards, it was time for the attendees to discuss their problems. They included Muffins, or Derpy, or Ditzy, or Bright Eyes (Sea Swirl didn’t know which one was her real name), who had trouble delivering mail efficiently without her wings; and another School of Friendship student named November Rain, who asked for advice about dating his marefriend, who had become (what Sea Swirl would call) an X. brontodromeus.

The next attendee placed down a photograph of a light blue Earth mare with a long, curly, light grey mane and tail, and magenta eyes that remained the same shade in her new form. Standing next to her in the photo was a unicorn filly with similar colours and a wind-swept mane. The two of them stood in front of a forge.

“The name’s Shoeshine,” she said, slamming a paw next to the mare in the photograph for emphasis. “And this is my little sister, Fairy Skies!” She nudged a brown kit with her other paw, encouraging her to step forwards.

“H-hi,” Fairy Skies mumbled.

“Pleased to meet you!” exclaimed Shoeshine.

“What’s your problem?” the counsellor asked in a disinterested voice, peering over her glasses that were balanced precariously on her slippery snout.

“I’m kinda out of a job right now,” said Shoeshine, shifting her paws. “I used to be a farrier, but nopony needs horseshoes anymore.”

“Can’t you just get another job?” Sea Swirl suggested.

“It’s not that simple,” said Shoeshine bluntly. “It’s my family’s business, but...” - she took a deep breath - “both of my parents died when I was only young,” she said quickly. “Now, I’m struggling to support myself and Sky financially... Besides, what places are open?”

Sea Swirl tapped her tail as she thought. “Let me think... There’s Clover Café... the bowling alley...” Now that I think about it, I’m stumped.

“And are any of them hiring?” Shoeshine growled. Taken aback, all Sea Swirl could do was shake her head. “I thought not. And why are you even suggesting that? I don’t think you’re in a job right now. I bet you had a fancy Canterlot education, and your parents were so loaded that you’ve never had to worry about money in your LIFE!” Sea Swirl was speechless. She didn’t want to argue with Shoeshine, because she was right. Fairy Skies’ ears were pressed against the sides of her head, presumably to block out the shouting, and the other attendees stared in stunned silence.

“I didn’t come all the way from Canterlot to watch you argue,” the counsellor said as she stood up. Her voice lost its monotone and became rough and scratchy. “The train broke down halfway here. I had to WALK the rest of the way! Do you know how hard it is to walk on these paws?” she complained loudly and obnoxiously. “I don’t get paid enough for this...”

“SHUT UP!” Shoeshine snapped. She slapped the counsellor’s glasses off her face and crushed them under her paw.

“HEY!” the counsellor snapped.

“LINKY!” Fairy Skies wailed.

Shoeshine took a deep breath. “What’s the matter?” she asked.

“I HATE it when you shout like that!” Sky snapped tearfully.

“It’s okay!” Shoeshine exclaimed hastily. “I won’t shout anymore, I promise.” She placed a paw on Fairy Skies’ back in reassurance.

“DON’T TOUCH ME!” Fairy Skies snapped, leaping away from Shoeshine’s paw. With that, she ran away.

“COME BACK!” shouted Shoeshine as she ran after her, but she couldn’t keep up. Her eyes widened in shock, and she sat down in defeat.

“What’s the matter?” asked Sandbar.

“She’s heading towards the Everfree Forest,” said Shoeshine, staring down at the grass.

“I’ll go,” said Sandbar.

“Are you CRAZY?” yelled the counsellor. “Kids these days, throwing their lives away...” She shook her head.

“And we should just let her die?” Sandbar stubbornly stared at counsellor for a few seconds, until she relented.

“Fine,” she sighed. “But don’t come crying to me if one of you gets killed...”

“He’s right,” Shoeshine added. “I’m going with him!”

“And I’ll go too,” said Sea Swirl.

Shoeshine frowned. "Why do you want to?"

Sea Swirl took a deep breath. “Because... I have a friend who hates seeing children suffer. If I didn't save your sister, I'd be letting her down.”

“I’ll go find Gallus,” Sandbar said, heading in the direction of the School of Friendship.

Half an hour later, Sea Swirl, Shoeshine, Sandbar, and Gallus ventured into the Everfree Forest. Even thought it was the afternoon, it was so dark that - apart from the occasional glowing mushroom - their primary source of light was the star-shaped tip of Gallus’ tail; he could make it glow at will. Sea Swirl could faintly hear the growls, howls, and screeches of monsters in the distance, but strangely enough, she didn’t find them nearly as instinctively terrifying as when she was a pony.

“How are we gonna find your sister?” asked Sandbar.

“That’s... a good question,” said Shoeshine, stopping dead in her tracks. The others soon followed suit. "She could be anywhere."

“It’s not like there’s anypony we could ask for directions,” deadpanned Gallus. There was a pause.

“There’s a zebra who lives in this forest,” said Sea Swirl. “We could ask her.”

“Right... and we can find her where?” asked Gallus rhetorically.

“Spike told me about her,” Sandbar interjected. “Her name’s Zecora. She lives in a hollowed-out tree.”

“Oh, it’ll be so easy to find a tree in the forest!” he exclaimed sarcastically. He walked forwards without looking where he was going... and tripped over a reddish-brown root. When he stood up again, his tail illuminated a wide tree, with multi-coloured glass bottles hanging from its thick branches. Most importantly, a warm, yellow glow shone through circular windows cut into the trunk.

“There!” exclaimed Sandbar. He smirked at Gallus, who looked frowned in response. Or maybe that was his default facial expression. It was hard for Sea Swirl to tell. “Who’s gonna go in?”

“I will,” Sea Swirl said confidently. She walked up to the door and knocked it, the others standing behind her. The door creaked open, and out stepped a silver fox who stood taller than all four of them. Her small, red eyes narrowed as she gazed at Sea Swirl, who reflexively stepped backwards.

“Whatever your circumstance, you should not feel fear.
What brings you creatures of rain - and lightning - here?” she asked.

Sea Swirl sighed in relief and stepped forwards. “We’re looking for a filly who ran into this forest. Have you seen her?”

Zecora nodded. “She ran away to the depths, where timberwolves lie.
Be wary should you follow - for you may die.”

Shoeshine pushed in front of Sea Swirl. “Thanks for the reassurance,” she complained through gritted teeth.

“Calm down, young one, there’s no need to be uncouth.
I was only telling you the truth.”

"Do you think we should leave? Because I think we should leave," said Gallus.

"NO!" Shoeshine shouted through gritted teeth. "We're not leaving until we find my sister, okay?"

"Okay..." Gallus sighed, as if Shoeshine were his mother.

“Which way should we go?” asked Sea Swirl.

Zecora gracefully stepped out of her tree, nine tails trailing after her. She spread them out like a paper fan, and a bluish-white flame appeared at the tip of each one. Then, the wisps flew towards a dark path.

Sea Swirl nodded gratefully. “Thank you,” she said.

Something moved in the shadows.

Sea Swirl stopped dead in her tracks, looking around to see what it was. A pair of glowing, yellow eyes stared back at her - followed by two more. The stench of rotting oak overwhelmed her senses. Before she could get a closer look at the shadowy figures, one of them pounced. Gallus yelped in pain as it tackled him to the ground, extinguishing their main source of light.

“GALLUS!” Sandbar yelled. There was a thud as he tackled the attacker in retaliation.

“Thanks,” Gallus said as he got up.

“No problem, dude!” replied Sandbar. He looked around. “Uh-oh!”

Two more figures stepped out of the shadows. Now that Gallus had lit his tail up again, Sea Swirl could finally get a good look at them. They were made of broken logs from various trees, crudely arranged in the shapes of wolves and animated by an unknown force. They must be timberwolves!

Sea Swirl reflexively breathed out a blast of water at one of the smaller timberwolves, but it did nothing to slow it down. She only succeeded at clearing away some of the stench... and making it angrier. It prowled towards her...

Shoeshine leapt in front of the timberwolf. “Take THIS!” she exclaimed as she fired a beam from her mouth that consisted of three overlapping, rainbow-coloured helices, which struck the timberwolf in the face. It whimpered as it shattered into splinters.

“Yeah!” exclaimed Shoeshine, high-pawing Sea Swirl. Sea Swirl looked across to see Sandbar repeatedly tackling the largest timberwolf’s side, while Gallus bit down on its opposite foreleg with electrified jaws.

“Mind helping us?” asked Gallus after he spat out a mouthful of woodchips. ”I hate teeth...”

“Of course!” exclaimed Sea Swirl.

Shoeshine looked at her. “Let’s try using our attacks together!” she exclaimed, and Sea Swirl nodded. They positioned themselves so they were equidistant from both the largest timberwolf and each other. Sea Swirl’s blast of water struck the timberwolf at the same moment as Shoeshine’s helical rays, creating shards of ice that lacerated it to pieces before it even had time to react. Shortly afterwards, Sandbar and Gallus tackled the other smaller timberwolf from either side at the same time, causing it to collapse in on itself.

Now that the timberwolves were gone, the four of them noticed a tiny, brown kit cowering in fear. Shoeshine stepped forwards.

“Sky,” she said calmly. “Why did you run away?”

“Because... I hate it when ponies argue!” she shouted at the top of her lungs. “So I thought... that if I went as far away from ponies as I could... I wouldn’t see you argue again.”

“That’s no reason to get yourself into this much trouble,” said Shoeshine sternly, but her voice soon warmed up. “I was worried about you! Now let’s go home.” The five of them turned around and started to walk back the way they came.

“W-what’s happening...?” asked Fairy Skies, her voice still raspy from shouting. The other four were looked behind themselves to see that the splintered remains of the timberwolves were glowing green and rising upwards, as if they were being levitated by a unicorn. The same force uprooted several of the surrounding trees, as if they were being swept up by the world’s smallest, most localised hurricane. In a matter of seconds, the various pieces of wood combined to form a giant timberwolf. Its roar was so loud and deep, it shook the leaves off the surrounding trees like a gale-force wind.

“Take cover!” Shoeshine exclaimed to Fairy Skies, who proceeded to hide in a nearby bush.

“What about us?” asked Sandbar, stepping backwards.

“I think we should work together to fight it in the same way we did before,” said Sea Swirl. She looked at Shoeshine. “Shoeshine and I will take out the forelegs, while you take out the back legs. Ready?” The other three nodded.

Sea Swirl took a deep breath and fired the most powerful blast of water she could at the timberwolf’s foreleg, which Shoeshine froze again. There was a loud sound similar to a tree being cut down as the leg collapsed, its splintered remains covered in a thin layer of frost. As they did the same to the other foreleg, she saw Gallus bite the twigs that held a back leg together in order to weaken it, followed by him and Sandbar repeatedly tackling it until the wood cracked and eventually crumbled. Now that it only had one leg to stand on, the timberwolf fell forwards.

“WATCH OUT!” exclaimed Sandbar. He and Gallus leapt out of the way just in time. Unfortunately, Sea Swirl and Shoeshine were not so lucky; the timberwolf collapsed on top of them, leaving their tails trapped under its torso.

“Are you okay?” asked Sandbar.

“No...” sighed Shoeshine.

“Don’t bother taking out its other leg!” exclaimed Sea Swirl. “Focus on the torso instead!”

“Got it!” the two boys exclaimed. They repeated their tactic of ramming into the timberwolf from both sides, but it was fruitless.

There was a rustling in the bushes.

“Sky, it’s not safe!” exclaimed Shoeshine. “Stay back and save yourself!”

“But I...” Fairy Skies sniffed. “I WANNA HELP!” She ran towards the timberwolf. She cowered in fear for a few seconds before she pounced, tackling it in the forehead. The timberwolf growled in annoyance, and snapped at her with its huge jaws, grabbing hold of her tail.

“I’m not... I’m not... I’M NOT GONNA GIVE UP!” Fairy Skies panted, holding back tears.

Then, something extraordinary happened.

Fairy Skies’ entire body glowed pure white, almost as bright as the sun. The other four stared at her in awe, and even the timberwolf dropped her in surprise. Over the next few seconds, her shape was remoulded; her legs became longer, her fur became shorter, and her tail and ears flattened. When the glow faded, standing in front of the timberwolf was a leafy Xenovulpes.

Sea Swirl remembered what White Lightning had said.

“The other day, I saw this kit who was overjoyed, like he’d just earned his cutie mark. The sun was shining down, and suddenly, he turned into a purple cat! Since the kits used to be foals, it’s only logical that they’d be able to grow up to be like any of us.”

Turns out she was right all along...

“W-what just happened...?” gasped Fairy Skies as she looked at her new self.

“I... don’t know,” was all Sea Swirl could answer, still awestruck.

“Think you can help us?” asked Gallus.

“I can!” exclaimed Fairy Skies with newfound confidence. She tackled the timberwolf in the face again, but it still didn’t too much; however, her tail grazed against the underside of its jaw as she fell, creating a small cut. As soon as she noticed this, she leapt into the air again and slashed her tail against the timberwolf’s muzzle like a sword, which created a deeper cut, but still didn’t hurt it much. Worse still, this only made the timberwolf angrier, and it snapped its jaws again.

“Sandbar! Gallus! Focus on the head!” exclaimed Sea Swirl. The two boys rushed to help Fairy Skies. Gallus leapt and bit down hard on one of the timberwolf’s ears, while Sandbar tackled its muzzle and pinned it shut.

“You can do it!” cheered Shoeshine. With that, Fairy Skies delivered one last slash to the timberwolf, straight between the eyes. The timberwolf collapsed into lifeless wood, and the green, glowing force that animated it dissipated into the still air.

“We’re gonna go back to the school,” said Sandbar once the group exited the Everfree Forest. “Do you wanna go back to the support group?”

“I’m fine, thanks,” replied Sea Swirl between pants. “Besides, that counsellor has probably lost her job.”

Shoeshine frowned. “Speaking of which, do you think you could find out what happened to my sister?” she asked.

“Possibly. It’ll take time to research,” said Sea Swirl.

“I’m just glad I saved Linky!” exclaimed Fairy Skies, affectionately nuzzling her sister.

As Sea Swirl headed home, she couldn’t help but wonder about what caused Fairy Skies’ transformation. Judging by what White Lightning had said, it was probably caused by strong emotional responses, but that was all she knew. Was it permanent? How many forms could they take on? One thing was certain: the Xenovulpes were all the same species. From now on, she’d call it Xenovulpes metamorphous.

Comments ( 10 )

If Sassaflash and Sea Swirl had voice actors, who would they be?

I haven't thought about it.

What did you think of the chapter itself?

Okay! I am all caught up :rainbowwild:

The only thing I am going to bring up regarding this chapter is your use of characters (this is very long but this is not just for you, but for anyone struggling with characters, and it's also a reminder to myself!)

Almost no time is provided to let the readers get to know the characters in this chapter before we are forced to see them undergo an action scene, complete with a lot of moments which I understand are supposed to be emotional. The problem is that without any connection with these characters, we as readers cannot feel emotionally towards what it is that they are doing or saying.

The best way to introduce a character in your story is to do it one at a time. Describe the character in as brief, but effective, of a way that you can. This is always done best by using their own actions to show the readers what that character is all about. You can also use their own words, and lastly the least effective method is to have other characters describe them.

Make it known SOMEHOW what they are currently trying to achieve in that part of the story. Remember that everyone in your story needs to WANT something... if they don't want anything, they shouldn't be in the story.

Ensure that every single one of your characters has a purpose in the story and is unique enough that they can't just be merged with another character. If you character is talking and doing things and I can't tell who is who, it's because they are not a unique character and they don't stand out enough to warrant existing.

I'll just look at the counselor, for example. Why is this pony even hosting the meeting? She doesn't seem to care about anything. That character doesn't need to be taking up the space on the page if they are a jerk and aren't advancing the plot.

Make characters CONSISTENT. This is very important. In this one chapter, Shoeshine comes off first as a pony under a lot of stress who is barely managing, then as an impulsive, violent asshole, then switches to being a loving, caring big sister, and none of those are consistent in the context. If you want the barely managing, stressed out, hard working character to explode, you need to set up a situation where somebody is going to push them over the edge, and this has to be a big push because they have been holding it in so well up until now. If they are just going to be an impulsive, violent asshole, then get them out of the story because those characters aren't interesting or believable for an FiM character except for in a big bad villain. If they are a loving, caring big sister, then I would say you wrote the character alright, but then the violent outburst again the counselor still was out of character then. And I don't think Shoeshine would admit to how hard everything has been for her right in front of her little sister, who depends on her and sees her as a hero.

Finally, we need to spend time with these characters before we are going to be emotionally invested in what they do. Start off small and work your way up. Something just like how Shoeshine's actions scare of Fairy are perfect for a first scene with them, albeit tone down the emotions. If you come out of the gate swinging like that with your characters, then: 1) They will not be believable, and 2) You will "blow your load" prematurely with them and next time will have to have them go even CRAZIER, which will come off as ridiculous. Characters should not be shouting, screaming, being violent or crying as soon as we meet them, unless that is part of their character and it is done properly (for example, the big, muscular pony in Ponyville is supposed to be a "roid rager" so he shouts a lot, but is used infrequently so he doesn't overstay his welcome). People, like ponies, are reserved in public, when they are around people they don't know. Unless they have genuine problems dealing with their emotions, they will present themselves in the best possible light when around others they don't know. As the main character(s) and we, as readers, get to know those characters better, it makes sense that we will start to see the "true" versions of those characters as they become more comfortable sharing that side of themselves.

I centered mostly on Shoeshine and Fairy Skies because the rest of the characters are kind of boring and don't show much of a character. Try to follow the steps I presented (it's not a checklist but a guide) going forward when introducing new characters. I would focus first, though, on establishing a motivation for the main characters of the show first (Sea Swirl and Sassaflash) and giving them goals to work towards. Just have a chapter where the two of them hang out and do things that define who they are. SHOW us who these two unique creatures are, and why they are good friends. Why do they complement eachother so well? (I mentioned in another chapter that I think one good aspect of their relationship is that Sea Swirl can ground Sassaflash when the latter does something impulsive... this is a classic relationship dynamic but a good one).

That was a big review and I apologize for making you read it, but it's the kind of advice that I have found very helpful over the years. The rest of the story didn't have this problem with characters but that was because you had a lot less characters and they weren't involved in such emotionally-driven scenes. It's not easy for any writer to have a bunch of different characters in a scene at once and make them all shine, which is why most of the time you avoid that except at the end during a big battle, for example.

If you feel that way, my suggestion is to review what you actually wrote and compare it to what you WANTED to end the chapter with. Why did you choose the current ending as opposed to the one you now wish you had wrote? It's easy to rush a story when you haven't planned it and edited it to the degree where you can figure out what the right way and what the wrong way is to tell your story. Flying by the seat of your pants is a good way to produce content, but not necessarily top quality content.

Even if the idea was touched upon in the other story, it's still a good idea to mention it in this one. You want to aim for as wide an audience as you can when you release stories, which is to say, don't alienate people by skipping content because you assume they have read through all of the other story!


The idea was that she doesn’t feel as strongly because she didn’t see them die. How would you suggest fixing that?

Do you personally feel no emotion and / or feel no need to express remorse when you hear about adults dying in real life, let alone children (rare in our world, at least according to the mainstream media)? It's universal for sentient life to feel sad about its young dying. The idea of our young, innocent as they are, dying before reaching sexual maturity is heartbreaking. It fundamentally means wasted potential, and it means that someone who didn't deserve it died when there are so many bad adults left in the world who escape justice.

Unless the character is supposed to be an actual mentally-ill sociopath, it is unrealistic that their reaction to children dying is going to be anything less than, AT LEAST, "that's terrible," or something similar.

The counsellor was made a jerk because I needed an excuse for her to not join the protagonists on their mission, but now that you mention it, I could have just... not done that. I got a lot of help for the first part of this chapter from multiple people, but my pre-reader was too busy to give me in-depth feedback the second half, so I published it without rewriting it. Do you think you could pre-read for me one day?

Thanks. I might make a minor edit to chapter 4 later.

I would be happy to pre-read! As long as the chapters I pre-read aren't going to be terribly long and you link to my profile somewhere in the chapter once it's published :)

Could you give my story The Storm's Challenge a read and let me know what you think? I would appreciate that :pinkiehappy:

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