• Member Since 17th Feb, 2018
  • offline last seen 6 hours ago

Spacegirlss12


just a casual dark/horror/au writer who happens to like ponies. i also do the occasional light fic.

T
Source

FYI: This is a rewrite of Buttercup Rose: the Breaking
Season seven canon for the sake of chapter three (See the original)
Tw: implied/referenced past self-harm, suicide attempt


Buttercup Rose lives a normal life, in a normal town in the middle of Equestria. She has a normal job, a normal family, and normal friends.
Or, well. That's what she shows on the outside to everypony she meets. On the inside, she's fractured. She goes to work with threats hanging over her head, omits the truth from friends she spends time with, and battles a parasitic alternate personality for control of her body.
This personality, this other her, likes to calls herself Scarlet Knife, and would like to be set free if Buttercup doesn't mind at all.
Buttercup wouldn't be opposed to fulfilling this request under normal circumstances.
But Scarlet Knife is anything but normal. In fact, she is a murderer.
And Buttercup wants her to stop.

Chapters (2)
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Comments ( 7 )

The concept of this story, I think has some merit to it, but there's a lot in the execution and presentation of it that's off-putting to me. This got awfully long and might come across as quite harsh, for which I apologize in advance--I hope enough of my reasoning is spelled out for it to be informative instead of malicious.

My issues began with the Author's Note:

Thoughts in italics = Buttercup's thoughts (and by extension everypony else's)
Thoughts in italics + underlined = Scarlet's thoughts
Occasional bolding of thoughts is in place of italics for emphasis.

So, I'm more of a snobbish asshole on this front than a lot of people are, I think, but I really don't like opening the first chapter with a note like this. I've seen enough of the story to make me want to read it--the way I see it, if I click on the chapter and I get anything that's not the story, that's not what I'm here for, so it'd better have a good reason to be there or else it's an annoyance.

Now, technically, yes, the information in this note is essential, but I'd argue only one line of it is something besides fairly common practice--italics for thoughts is quite common, and bold for emphasis, while not quite as much, I think is something people are going to interpret very easily. So the only thing that's unconventional is that underlined italics are an alternate personality speaking. That's important, sure, but coming out to say that directly as the author, I think is clunky and intrusive for no good reason. Because later on we have this passage:

Hello? She thought just to see who would answer.

Hello, darling.

GAH! Who are you!?

My name is Scarlet Knife, darling, and I'm a part of you. You created me when you killed those two terrors who were bullying you. Now, you feel guilty about it, don't you?

... Okay, I really don't like GAH! being a thought. That's, like, an onomatopoeia for gasping or something, and people don't gasp in their thoughts, that's just silly. I don't think that works as a way to convey her surprise or horror or whatever here very well.

But what I do think this passage does quite effectively is very clearly establish a pattern that underlined dialogue is this other voice speaking. I see absolutely no reason taking the time to spell it out explicitly is worth the intrusion, so personally I would cut the author's note entirely because it only detracts from the experience.

And here's an annoying bit of grammar scrutiny: when you use a dialogue tag after dialogue, as in something like this

"Hey, sis, I think you're stuttering a bit." She said, giggling. Moonlight blushed a little.

The dialogue and what comes after it are one connected sentence. Which means you don't close the dialogue with a period (Question marks and exclamation points are fair game), and you don't use a capital letter afterwards, unless of course it's a proper noun or something. So that should instead read

"Hey, sis, I think you're stuttering a bit," she said, giggling. Moonlight blushed a little.

That's not the only example I noticed, but the rule is the same elsewhere.

Another note. Because the pattern of " 'dialogue,' character said" is so common, I think it's not unusual for people to see a name after dialogue and immediately assume that that's the speaker. So when you do things like this:

When they got to school, thankfully, Miss Heartstrings was already there.

"Miss Heartstrings? Can I have a word with you please?" Heartstrings nodded.

"Yes? What do you need?"

It's made much more confusing than it needs to be by having Heartstrings' reaction following dialogue that Heartstrings did not say. I've seen it said that a paragraph with dialogue should only contain actions performed by the speaker, to avoid confusion; I don't think I agree with a principal that absolute, but if you are going to include other characters doing things in the same paragraph, it's likely a good idea to identify the speaker explicitly.

And some more probably annoying nitpicks: there are two OCs in this story with the same first names as established canon characters (Diamond Necklace/Diamond Tiara, Sunset/Sunset Shimmer). I don't know that this is a massive issue, it's probably something that won't affect people if they read the story in one sitting, but personally, I would never ever do this, unless maaaybe it was some, like, obscure side character that's being doubled up on, but that's not what's happening here. I think unless these names are literally the only appropriate options for these characters, you're adding a chance for confusion for no good reason.

Anyway actual story stuff now.

The setup here strikes me as unusual, and not in a great way. This admittedly is a topic I don't have an excess of knowledge or experience with, so perhaps this is baseless. But it's very similar to the setup for The Secret Life of Rarity. Except that, if I'm remembering things correctly, Rarity in that story is just starting out at school, so she doesn't know anyone and doesn't have any friends, which makes her an easy target for bullying.

Here, though, Buttercup has several well-established friends, and is the Student Body President--which, correct me if I'm wrong, is decided upon by a popular vote, usually? She also thinks absolutely nothing of being called a blank flank--and if she's elected to something in spite of that, that makes me think most of her friends don't think anything of it either--until the bullies literally spell out that they're using that as an excuse to be bitches to her.

All of this adds up to me as showing Buttercup to be a popular, socially capable filly with good self-esteem and a good support network, which strikes me as exactly the opposite of the sort of person who's susceptible to bullying. So I have a very hard time believing that these bullies are something that would get to her a lot--and I don't think that's helped by so many of their actions being just vaguely alluded to or briefly summarized.

Now, the part that I do like is that Buttercup specifically angsts over the bullies not even trying to be friends with her. That's something that I think could've been played up a lot more and would've been interesting. Because if Buttercup's got it in her head that she needs to be friends with everyone, that establishes a much clearer reason that the bullying is something that gets to her, and I think there are some really interesting places you could go with that, but I don't think that's something that's actually established very clearly or explored in much depth.

I think that's about it. I hope some of this is helpful, and please do feel free to ask for clarification or to correct me if I've misjudged your story in any way.

10694135
Thanks! :pinkiehappy:
10694263
To the grammar issues: I'll fix those tomorrow. I've never been good at post-dialogue grammar. :twilightblush:
As for the story critique, would you mind giving an example of how to fit this idea into the already existing story, please? It sounds interesting (And also something I should probably add in for better clarity! And yes, Buttercup does tend to think like that (I.E. 'I have to be friends with everyone or I'm not doing good enough at my job!'), I just wasn't thinking of that particular aspect of her character when I wrote this.

10694309
Well, the good news is that grammar is one of the few things you can be completely confident you've gotten it right... once you've figured out all the weird nuances and special cases.

Anyway story things.

So, keep in mind I've only read the prologue--I don't know what you have planned next, so I can't say for certain how well this idea fits, but here's the first thing that comes to mind if you wanted to push that aspect of her character further.

I mentioned that one of my problems is that she's got lots of good friends, and that that's something that makes me have a hard time believing she can be bullied so easily.

So let's get rid of that.

Her friends obviously seem to not like Diamond and Ruby, right? So what if it was something, like, Buttercup insists on trying to include them, and this eventually starts to alienate her friends--making new friendships feels more important to her than maintaining the ones she already has, basically. So maybe she invites Diamond and Ruby to hang out with them one time and that kinda ruins it for her other friends, and then another time she ditches her friends to go try and talk to the bullies again instead, and things like that start making things awkward between Buttercup and her friends, which eventually causes some distance to form between them.

Now that's just an idea I've thrown together in a couple of minutes. I can't say for certain that would work out well. But I think that could be a way to establish a solid trait of Buttercup's character--and to be fair, if her desire to make friends with everyone isn't going to come up later to much, there probably are other traits of hers that would make more sense to emphasize early on--while also moving her into a more vulnerable position that I think could make her reactions more believable.

Seems interesting, I’ll put it in my read later list. Do you already know for sure if you’re going to complete this?

10694756
I am going to complete this, I just don't know when.

10694858
Noice!:pinkiehappy: Thanks for the answer, I’ll probably read this in a few days.

See you ‘round
- 1337

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