• Member Since 7th Jun, 2012
  • offline last seen March 11th

Caerdwyn


I'm old.I fly airplanes.I have a job.

E
Source

Rarity is a pony of many talents. Her greatest goal, though, is not the praise of critics... it is the approval of friends. Can she make the grade in a talent that does not involve a sewing machine? There is only one way to find out, because the proof of the baking is in the eating.

Chapters (1)
Join our Patreon to remove these adverts!
Comments ( 10 )

I too make apple cake on occasion, though mine is done in a pinwheel. Always a hit.

Heehee! What a cute story! I love slice-of-life fics with Applejack and Rarity, and this one definitely counts as one of my favorites! Good job! :ajsmug:

This is a [Slice of Life] story. They had a Slice of cake. Is the cake named a Slice of Life cake?

Comment posted by Caerdwyn deleted Aug 3rd, 2013

2211992

It's a new genre. [Slice of Cake]

Reading the story description, I was expecting more of a vulnerable moment for Rarity, where you see her anxiety. An emotional scene, if you will. A story where you explore her doubts about herself.
Instead, when I read it, all I got was literally just Rarity inviting Applejack for cake, and being surprisingly good. That's the whole story and I wouldn't miss anything cause there's pretty much nothing else. That "almost busted up bawlin'" basically dismissed the whole reason I read the story.
Not to mention if I had not read the story description, that aforementioned line would have come from absolutely no where. After all, Rarity seemed completely confident during the cooking process.

As far as first stories go, this was decent. I did not notice too many glaring technical errors, and your narrative style is also pretty good. The only issue is the lack of content. Why did I read this story? There was nothing to get out of it. Or if there was, I didn't see it.

I realize this is an "old" story, for you, and perhaps your writing has improved since. However, I'm just stating what I see in this specific piece.

3404878
Interesting.

My goal was to deliberately write as non-epic a fanfic as possible. By that, I mean that at the time of its writing, the overwhelming majority of all-audiences MLP fanfics were either "the Mane Six save the world... again" or "let's do crossovers with every other genre possible". There was plenty of action, and/or plenty of pop culture references, but little else. There was little with a good sense of character, of who the ponies are.

I have a strange hypothesis: most of the time, the characters are just doing ordinary-people things. One of the writing exercises in one of the creative writing classes I took (a very long time ago) was to write a short story that was as low-key as possible while still maintaining some sort of interest. I repeated that exercise, with the idea to show the Rarity/AJ dynamic in a manner that didn't involve explosions, hysterics, purple prose or anything like that. As a private joke I embedded a full recipe, which dictated some of the structure and scene choice. Consider it another external constraint for the exercise.

What do you get out of it? Rarity when she's on her medication, and AJ when she's not being backed into her stubborn-corner. And apple-cake. Whether that is "content" or not... well, everyone has to decide that for themselves. I will simply say this: of the 2400 readers of this story on DeviantArt and the 400-plus here, yours is the first comment implying there is no "content". Perhaps there is nothing for YOU, but I would not say "there is nothing to get out of it." A lot of people seem to see a lot in it... perhaps the issue is not with the story. Oh well, you can't please everyone.

I have other stories that are more "Michael Bay" than "Ingmar Bergman" which you might prefer.

As for "glaring technical errors", let's have 'em.

3431863
Do not misunderstand. I am not asking for a full-scale epic story with world-saving and the like; that is a whole different kind of story altogether.

No, a story does not have to possess those elements, no doubt there at all. However, the issue I found with this story is that it lacked certain story elements that makes a character-based short slice-of-life story.
Rarity had a concern, where she was worried that she would be inept, would not get the "approval of her friends", in any skill unrelated to a sewing machine. In order to alieviate those worries, she decides to try to bake a cake for Applejack. Now therein lies the problem. I'm not talking about that "it's only about baking a cake", you can make a brilliant story out of something as menial as that. But the issue is I would not have known at all that that was what the story was about unless I had read the story description. The story could easily have been about something else, like Rarity wanting to experiment with a new cake recipe. So the first issue I had was that you did not quite deliver on what you said the story would be about (unless I am misunderstanding what your description is saying, but the "busted up bawlin'" part certainly seems to support my interpretation of Rarity's insecurities).

When I said I got nothing out of it, I mean everyone in the story was fairly static. Normally, that would not be a problem if it means we get to explore the depth a character has, but the problem is, I did not feel as though we did here. At most, we got a bit of "ooh... that might offend her, better back off".

You are correct in aiming for having a good sense of the character, to explore a character. And that's what I was after when I came to read this story. My point is, I did not get the sense we actually did any sort of exploration. You only "told" us that Applejack realized Rarity may be a better cook, and the relief Rarity felt when she got the praise. But we did not see it at all. You left it as merely a footnote in the last few paragraphs.

You don't need hysterics to explore insecurities. You don't need drama or over-the-top behaviours to examine a character.

But you do need to actually explore the characters' emotions and inner thoughts, and not just speak about their actions. Only talking about what they've done, their physical actions, only gives half a story. You did not explore Rarity's motivation (why does she fear being unable to cook?), for instance.

There was potential for a lot in this kind of story, and I apologize if I come across as harsh (and looking back, I suppose saying there was "no content" was unduly harsh), but I was a bit disappointed when you did not explore what you could have explored.

I'm not saying it's a bad story. I'm saying there was a lot you could have done, while still remaining within your constraints, that you didn't do.

PS. "Nothing for ME"? That right there just screams "getting defensive". Just trying to help here.

PPS. As an afterthought, I think if I am to summarize the problem in a couple of sentence: You focused too much on the "baking a cake" part. This is a story about the characters (as you yourself said), not a recipe page about a cake.

Login or register to comment
Join our Patreon to remove these adverts!