• Member Since 22nd Dec, 2011
  • offline last seen Feb 10th, 2015

mike50333


E

For many years, Trixie has known her flaws and fears, her struggles to confront them, and her failures to overcome them. For years, she has successfully kept it all hidden beneath the hat and cloak that was her Great and Powerful persona. Eventually, the mask she wore began to fuse, transforming her from a joyful showmare who sought to spread joy and wonderment to a haughty braggart, a seeker of fame and glory who would gladly shoot down anyone who got in her way. But now, as she hides in the alleys of Ponyville, disgraced by the Alicorn Amulet debacle, the mask is chipping, and Trixie can see now who she is and what she has become. Her first thought, her only thought, is to run. Run from the ponies that would be hunting her, from the past that helped shape her. But when she is confronted with the ponies that she'd victimized the worst, she finds herself forced to face her fears one last time. Both past, and present.

An A/U-ish ending to Magic Duel; also, a sort of prequel/segue to a later story that I am planning.

Chapters (2)
Comments ( 26 )

Have you ever vistsed the Trixie Supremecy group on Deviantart? http://trixiesupremacy.deviantart.com/

Oh boy, Trixie getting beaten, it's already a great story. Course that could be because I have utterly no sympathy for her. To each their own I suppose.

I've seen it off-and-on as I searched for epic Trixie art. I'll be sure to give it a closer look this week. When I finish my fiction, here, maybe I'll post it there, too.

SPeakin of fiction, what are your thoughts on this, the first chapter? Personally, aesthetically, I think I could have lengthened the chase and fight scenes...

Curious to see where this goes. Looks promising. :twilightsmile:

Quite interesting indeed... continue my good sir! :moustache:
Aesthetically, I enjoyed the writing and the story itself starts out with the usual 'Can Trixie redeem herself? Oh look, an angry mob' but you've made it much more than that, at least for the 1st chapter. Action scenes are usually short, especially if it's a 1 vs mob situation and in some cases there's a for the writer to make it powerful and short on emphasis compared to having a long scene drag out, but with the chance to implement more stuff in it with their own important scenes.
Writing Science: you always have choices.
I can honestly say that I'm looking forward to this story.

i thought that the short fight with the mob was because that is how fights usually go when your alone and fighting a mob.
very short and one sided.
enjoyed the story very much.

2477673 Hmm. Well, I suppose you'll enjoy the next chapter a good fit. As I have inserted into the beginning of this chapter, this isn't exactly a happy story. If anything, it'll be bitter sweet.

...Curses, now you know too much...

...And now you must make cupcakes with me... :pinkiecrazy:

2479039 I have to agree with you on the issue of the mob, I reckon not much can be done to make it more realistic than it already is (which is a big plus in my book! I'm learnin', maw!!! :pinkiehappy:) I did find the chase to be a bit lacking, though, and have added a little to it. I also modded the beginning a bit to give it that storytelling feel. If it looks odd to you or anyone else now, I assure you, it'll make sense by the end of this story.

Also, how can you people leave me hanging with the punctuation errors like this?! Shame on you all! :trixieshiftleft:

Edit 4/25/13: I'm sorry, but there has been yet another round of changes (Jesus, I should wait a week before posting each finished chapter at this rate)! I'm not saying what, where, or when, but I dropped a piece of exposition in a tad too early. It has thus been removed and will be dropped in its proper place later in the story. Also, when I said in the Author's Notes that the 'story' had been finished yesterday morning, I meant the chapter had been finished (though with all the edits I seem to have had to make sense it passed publication, that obviously was a lie). I'm yet working on the story-proper. Will begin writing out the second chapter tonight. May have it finished by Saturday Afternoon...

:facehoof:

Don't make edits when you've first woken up in the morning unless you've had your coffee, people.

Hope Trixie gets over the whole self pity-depression thing, it's not like she was assaulted for an evil relic, had some nazi take her town, was enslaved as a child to pull somebody around or was banished from her friends and family, right?

"As I was escorted back to the barn by Applejack and Rainbow Dash, I no longer had any will to fight. My escape mission had been a failure from the start. Now I followed my guards back to my holding cell, shackled by the chains of defeat and conformity, yielding to inevitability of my demise. My life was no longer in my hooves. It was in Twilight’s. Tomorrow, I would be tied to the guillotine, the sharp blade that would hang over my head glistening in the punishing heat of the all–revealing sun.
It was only a matter, of when she would pull the switch."

Trixie, stop the emo crap. Have you heard anything of what Twilight has just told you? she-doesn´t-want-to-harm-you.
As for the ponyvillians, they should be warned that trying to take justice on their own hooves again could cost them heavily, legally speaking. I don´t imagine Celestia liking lynching mobs too much, no matter the circustances.

2525606 Well now, let's be frank here. Both Twi and Trixie (duh) are aware that despite the amulet's corruption, she still sought out to hurt and humiliate Twilight all the same. And as you can see, Twilight is indeed still livid about the whole thing; if not at what happened to her, then what befell the remainder of the town and her friends, an entire town suffering collateral damage as a result of Trixie's thirst for vengeance. After the rage that poured from Twilight like that, would you, in Trixie's hooves, believe a word she'd said with no known actions to back them up?

Climbing into the trees to track the rainbow trail fading from the pegasus’s tail, I go into a dive, about to tackle the first clone. I was wuick to respond...

First sentence requires revision to clarify subject.

This is quite nice. Normally, well-written fics such as this receive at least a few hundred views, and at least a hundred upvotes. First chapter didn't have enough words to hit featured box.

This story seems interesting. I will fav it, for now. It seems Trixie has quite the tale to tell.

2528559 ...That... That doesn't even...I've gone though a crapload of look-overs, how'd I miss-

*runs off to grab a bunch of gardening implements*

ALRIGHT YOU GRAMMATICAL WEEDS, GET READY FOR ERADICATION!

Also, there's a word-count qualification for the feature box?! (not that I actually thought I had a chance [before Darth Link 22 faved it], but considering a story about Fluttershy getting spooked by animal crackers made it there, once...) What limit is that, may I ask?

2528974
I've been told that 5k words is the min. Might want to check the rules, wherever they might be. I can't find them with my limited Internet access capabilities. My dad has *fiction.net blocked off from the network, and I'm limited in my abilities to bypass his blocks.

2529286 Looks like that's close. I was within the suggested word length w/the first chapter, right in the middle according to AbsolutelyAnonomous. (Think I spelled that wrong)

Given the other requirements to acquire a spot on that popularity ticker, though ... I'll just try my best to tell my story and what results results.

Speaking of trying my best, it looks like I really botched up the beginning. For one, trying to talk afterlife philosophy is neither a strength nor an interest of mine, so shoehorning that in wasn't wise. As a result, it came out long-winded and clunky. I'll fix that up tonight. Also, something feels off with the exchange between Twilight and Trixie ... it doesn't feel... complete ...Another issue to tackle... Does anyone know how I can go about acquiring an editor or prereader?

I'm on pins and needles, friend. Can't wait to see where it goes.

Well, I suspect you're not much going to like what I have to say, which is one of the reasons I don't usually go around dropping extensive criticism on stories at random. But I did read through the whole thing, and my inline observations and overall conclusions are presented below.


The first thing that jumps out at me in this story is that I only know Trixie is narrating because of the story description. Trixie has a distinctive (if arrogant and fairly annoying) voice, and you aren't using it for her narration. Now this isn't necessarily a problem – like I said, Trixie's voice is likely to be pretty annoying if we're stuck with its canon version for a long time – but if you're going to write a first person narrative with starring The Great and Powerful Trixie without that voice, you're probably going to give her a different (less annoying) type of very strong voice to compensate. Instead, this sounds like a pretty generic narrator. Past that, the phrase, "do you have any depression meds on you," sounds distinctly un-pony and un-Trixie. It presupposes a whole section of Equestrian society about which we have no canon information, and without that backing or supporting work in the story, it feels like a lazy anthropocultural addition.

Your prose in the beginning of the story is intermittently good, but occasionally you have sentences like:

Heck, even my hometown of Neigh Orleans, also small but an industrial hub on the Muzzlesippi River holds enough importance to warrant its place on a map, never mind the history books, before that backwater town ever could.

This sentence has two parenthetical phrases in it and, at best, a missing comma which hampers readability. Phrased properly, it would still be too weighed down to make for very effective prose, but it would look more like this:

Heck, even my hometown of Neigh Orleans—also small, but an industrial hub on the Muzzlesippi River—holds enough importance to warrant its place on a map (never mind the history books) before that backwater town ever could.

They are funny things, really. They make for wonderful blinders, not for the eyes as much as the mind. They’re almost like narcotics. You’re incapable of rational thought, and more susceptible to the commonalities that foster ignorance. And we all know that ignorance kills. And my depraving thirst to resurrect my career is what kept up the supply of those intelligence-sapping narcotics. What better to help spur stupid decisions than your entire career crashing down on you in an instant like meteorites upon an eloquently and meticulously plowed, planted, and produced farm?

You seem to be developing a voice for the character here, but it's not something that really fits very well as a Trixie voice in my mind. Trixie has shown herself to be brash, confrontational, and grandstanding. Metaphor and introspection just don't seem like the sorts of things she'd be prone to, in telling her own narrative – not without some explanation of why her interior and exterior personalities show a significant difference, though.

The idea of a mob of angry Ponyvillians threatening violence to Trixie is... Well, I know you have this story tagged as AU, but that's pretty wildly out of keeping with the show. It basically makes no sense in a canon environment. The interplay between them and Trixie is a bit one-sided, too. Trixie is first pathetic, then she's a clever fighter, then she's a bit athletic. For someone who's well-established in canon as a flawed character, her first bit of interaction seems to cast her as pretty flawless, and those opposing her as pretty much one-dimensional monsters.

And then this just seems to turn into abuse porn. Trixie is sad. Trixie is crying. Nobody will listen to Trixie. The mean Ponyville ponies insult her, and then they beat her – in considerable detail no less.


Chapter Two begins with something that looks a bit more like Trixie's voice – kind of a blend of Carl Sagan and Glinda from the start of the musical Wicked. Still a little too lyrical, I think, but closer to the mark.

"You're in a barn."

This is a small thing, but I can't for the life of me imagine that AJ would actually say this. It implies a detatchment of perspective, like there's no connection between AJ and the barn in question. Surely AJ knows more about the location than that it's just "a barn"?

And the scene with AJ is making Trixie incredibly, incredibly unsympathetic to me. So she gets saved from a mob of violent ponies, but fails to realize that (apparently) the Mane Six were the ones to save her. Fair enough, she had a traumatic experience. But her first thought on waking up and conversing with AJ is that she must have been brought to the middle of nowhere so she could be properly killed and disposed of, or made into a slave? She was already failing to gain sympathy last chapter by not showing much character depth, being plyed against the aforementioned one-dimensional monsters. She's just bleeding it now, acting like a pony who's never shown more than strong annoyance to her has somehow changed into a crazy sociopath. From a characterization standpoint, this is making Trixie seem like she's either very dim or suffers from Borderline Personality Disorder. The latter might actually mesh with canon, but it's a bit extreme to throw on a character who hasn't won reader sympathy.

Rainbow Dash attacking Trixie also seems out of character, though not severely so. Again, RD is a character who has never shown more than strong annoyance and Trixie has never been set up as a very credible magical threat. RD is hot-headed and prone to rash action, but immediately attacking a pony that's just come away from being beaten by a mob isn't exactly standard Rainbow Dash.

Twilight's going to legitimately say the Mane Six should have let Trixie get beaten to death by an angry mob? It's a good thing you're putting up an AU tag.

Okay, and it looks like I'm done. So, I think the criticism is fairly easy to sum up:


On the good side, you write action well and your prose is generally good. I know I mentioned some problems early on, but they didn't recur. The writing in this piece is good, from a structural standpoint, and it engages the reader well. On the action front, you do a good job painting scenes and choreographing action so that it's easy for the reader to follow. I know I'm largely focusing on the negative here, because that seems to be what you asked for and because as someone who worries a lot about character, there's a lot here that doesn't sit too well with me – but I want to make clear that I'm not just throwing this out to give you some good. Your prose is fair enough to be getting on with (which is really all I care about – the point being, you're better off worrying about structural issues rather than prose at this phase in your writing) and your action is legitimately good. A lot of writers, especially in fanfiction, seem very ill-equipped to handle action, and it's always nice to see someone put it together well, so kudos to you there.

On the down side, Trixie never comes off as a sympathetic character to me. Nor does anyone but AJ, really. Rainbow Dash is much more violent than I'd expect and Twilight seems particularly cold. She seems to be treating Trixie with about as much antipathy as she treated Discord in "Keep Calm and Flutter On", except that Discord is a legitimate antagonist where Trixie has never really been much more than a nuisance. But the largest problem for me lies with Trixie herself, who alternately shows bouts of hyper-competence, tear-jerky pathos, and addle-brained slowness, without really getting a firm character voice through most of these two chapters. It's about 7000 words, I think, before we get her saying anything resembling "The Great and Powerful Trixie" and 3500 before her internal voice starts matching with what we know of her character.

I hate to say this because I know precisely how bad it sounds, but Trixie feels pretty Mary Sue'd here to me, and it makes me have a very hard time taking the plot seriously. Her only clear fault in this story is that she's dumb as rocks and can't figure out that the Mane Six don't want to kill her, which should be Canon 101. Otherwise, she's opposed by one-dimensional monsters for no reason I can really see other than to provoke sympathy; and she makes a surprisingly good show of fighting them off at every turn. There seems to be some sort of allusion to Trixie having unknown new powers in Chapter 2, I assume because of her time with the amulet, but nonetheless giving her new powers to make her better doesn't feel very honest to the character when her old state is largely unexplored.

I think that's about all I really have to say on the story. I suspect it's not what you wanted to hear, but hopefully you can find it helpful.

Looking back over your original request, now. One thing I would say, I'd strongly encourage you to finish this if it's not a total burden for you. Criticism or no, the best way for writers to get better is through practice, and I DID read the whole thing you've written so far. I've stopped reading plenty of stories earlier than that and given comments.

This is by no means a failure as a story. It's compelling, and it definitely pulls the reader along. It has some significant problems to my eye, but it also has a good upvote ratio right now and I'm sure there are plenty of readers who are willing to overlook the characterization issues that I get hung up on. I stand by my earlier assessment, and I'm very glad you have an AU tag up, but I definitely think it's worth continuing if you're willing to do so.

2570465 Oh, I have all intention of finishing this up, don't worry. And while I'll admit the critique was hard to receive, it was needed. Desperately needed, it seems. It's funny; I've been re-reading this story for the past week wondering why I couldn't bring myself to like what I had down, and now I finally have my answer. The fact that I actually allowed myself to do so many things in my own writing that I hate to see in other works is simply eye-opening.

I'm actually appalled... It's sad how much I derped up on the characterization.

I guess I'll start with where I tried and failed with the first chapter, namely, the town and the mob. Really, all I can say is... The concept of Equestria truly being as peaceful and forgiving as portrayed is very hard to wrap my head around. I'm not saying every pony goes through a Purge like in that new movie coming out, but surely some ponies let out their aggression through violent means now and then. Furthermore, I was hoping to portray a Ponyville still a bit on edge, and I imagine Trixie would still be seen as, if not an active threat, then a potential recurring one. I also had hoped to show that the mob was a very small fraction of the town, and that they were the most paranoid of the population. Perhaps I could've had some of the other members of the population try to intervene...?

With the prose used to represent Trixie's thinking/narration, I imagine her rather broken at this point. Her career is still in shambles after all she'd tried to do to regain her reputation, her rep itself is in the sewers, and she has nowhere to go, as far as she knows. I guess at this point, she wouldn't feel very Great and Powerful. The mistake I made with this, I think, is not working out how her prose would reflect this while still sounding like her. How do I maintain that arrogant air about her when she's actively hitting her lowest point?

Moving to Chapter 2 and the Mane 6...

I turned Rainbow Dash into an unstable war machine... I mean, okay, the first punch thrown in the barn may have made sense, Rainbow is a bit rash at times, but for God's sake, I had her doing bombing runs! And what's sadder is I knew from the start of writing that chapter that all of the action was ultimately unnecessary since Trixie was trapped in the dome. Yet in the attempt to show that Trixie's strength in her magic is her resourcefulness, I threw in a boatload of improbability...

Speaking of the dome, Twilight... I've read a lot of fiction regarding those two, and it seems a lot of bronies like to just start of straight with Twilight accepting Trixie as a friend and trying to make them BFF's. I hate to sound hipster, but I guess I was trying to establish straight away that I was breaking away from that trend. By the time I'm finished (if not with this specific story then with the ones I plan to write afterwards) they will become good friends, almost Mane 6 tier. But i wanted to try and ease into that level of relationship, and I can't imagine them being near that level of friendship by the time I'm done. Acquaintances, maybe, but not quit friends.

However, I definately did go too far with it... I suppose I could've gotten away with having Twilight being so clinical with her handling of Trixie, but you're right, that level of overt, violence supporting hatred that I had her spew out in that shout was unacceptable. Even after the duel in the canon, she didn't show such aggression. After the first duel, she simply was focused on leveling up and getting back into Ponyville. After the second duel, she'd sort of adopted Trixie's smugness, but...

*sigh*

How could I have allowed myself to get it soo wrong? I imagined after the mob that Twilight would be trying to reassure the town that Trixie was no longer a threat now that she didn't have the amulet in her possession, but even then, she'd have her doubts. I truly believe that she would be suspicious of Trixie's motives - not of why she went after the Amulet, of course, that was explained, but of what would keep her from doing something like this again. i will stand by the dialogue that came post-rage, she cares a lot about her friends and her town. Surely it's understandable that she'd want to keep something like this from happening again, if she could so help it. I understand, though, that that outburst definately came a bit out of left-field and helped to put a stain on my portrayal of Twilight. For that, I apologize.

Finally, the biggest issue. A Mary Sue... I cannot for the life of me believe I allowed Trixie to become a Mary Sue! And with regards to her 'idiocy' regarding the Mane 6... All I can say is paranoia... She's in an odd limbo, in my head, of self-preservation, even as she's wondering if her life is still worth living... Jeez, I have so many elements I'm trying to portray, it's all coming out as a big jumbled mess...

I admit, I'm glad to know that action is a strength of mine, but storywriting is about more than
simply "Porning it!" as Nostalgia Critic put it in his review of Pearl Harbor. I will not allow myself to become a literary Michael Bay!

And this ends what probably is the most self-disparaging reply ever spawned on this site (I'd hope to say it looks more like critical analysis spurred by a hard-knocks honest critique). I'm probably going to lose followers at this point, though...

I just want to reiterate, I truly thank you for the critique. I asked in Chapter 1 for honesty and I am glad to finally have received it. I see where I need to fix things (if I can actually attempt such massive revisions at this point, though, I'm unsure) and where I need to improve. The biggest lessons I've learned are to be more cautious about the handling of the plot so I don't butcher the characters just to push the story along and don't rush trying to get the story out - I envy the people who can confidently churn out their story chapters days at a time, but I'm obviously not there yet.

I'll have to tread lightly with how I progress with Chapter 3, my biggest worry being further irrationalizing Trixie. Before I put pen to paper on that front, I want to run my vision of Trixie by you, if you don't mind, her strengths, weaknesses, personality and backstory. With Trixie, I've realized, it's almost like working with a fresh OC, since, besides Lauren Faust's confirmation the other week that she attended Celestia's School for Gifted Unicorns, she has no history to work with. I just need to make sure these are absolutely sound.

Thank you, again for the critique. :twilightsmile:

WARNING: Spoilers ahead to anyone who hasn't read the story!

2580799 No problem, and I'm glad that you seem to be taking it well.

Judging by the comment, I think your headspace for the Mane Six is generally pretty good here – and I definitely think they (particularly AJ and Twilight) are the best-executed of the characters so far. I think they could be improved, but standing on their own I think they'd mostly fly.

I'm not taking another look while writing this comment, but from memory I strongly suspect that the two big things that (in my mind, anyway) need fixing are Trixie's characterization and the opposition to her, primarily from the mob. The mob was the one thing that really left a bad taste in my mouth.

If you're interested in revising – and I definitely think this could be productively revised, because there's a good core here – I think my first suggestion would be to revisit the mob stuff in chapter 1. If it were me and I wanted a mob scene, I'd make the mob less overtly violent to start: they want to throw Trixie out of town for what she did, not enact vengeance (which, to me anyway, feels very alien to the setting). Have Trixie be less plaintive and more confrontational with them (and at most, just a little fearful), to help her characterization. And, I think, probably have Trixie be the one to start being violent by kicking the trashcans(?) at the mob and trying to run away, thus further provoking them. Then, when they chase her down, they can be even angrier.

To justify having Trixie go unconscious and wake up in the barn, you're probably going to need some sort of attack to close out Chapter 1, but I think you can make it much less violent. Having everyone pile on is more numbing than horrible, I think. Again, this is just me, but what I'd probably go for is something more like an epic shouting match for a few lines, which turns into Trixie and the mob ringleader shouting insults back and forth at each other and ends with somepony (I'd stick to the ringleader, if she was a unicorn, or possibly an established #1 lackey of hers) getting so worked up that they, alone, hit Trixie in the head with something. Make her go woozy, get hit one or two more times, and then you can have her vaguely notice Twilight and company showing up, and have her not understand what's happening.

Then in Chapter 2, I don't think there's all that much to do. Make clearer and consistent mention of Trixie having a bad headache and continuing to feel woozy, and show that this is contributing to her failure to understand what's happening with the Mane Six. That gives a lot of justification for her failing to understand something that's really obvious to the reader, and I think the problem there right now is really one of degree. It's so obvious to us what happened that it's hard to buy that Trixie, who isn't stupid, can take so long to pick up on it even with her initial lack of trust toward the Mane Six.

Anyway, there's a chunk of unsolicited advice for you. Do with it as you will. :twilightsmile:

I think there'd still be more to do to improve the story past those changes, but stories can always be improved. I feel like making the mob more sympathetic and Trixie less so, that would probably be enough right there to get a thumbs up from me on the story. As it is, Trixie has a lot going for her here – she's the central character and she's generally pro-active. She'll retain a huge amount of sympathy even if you make her more confrontational and annoying, like she often is in the show. The real crux of the Mary Sue problem, here and in all writing I think, is trying too hard to make your character sympathetic. She gets sympathy easily here, and so you're much better off playing to her established personality (especially so you can give her a good character arc and some redemption later) instead of trying to make the reader have even more sympathy for her.

Good luck, and I'm glad you're still encouraged to be writing! I'll look for your PM, though it might take me a day or two to respond, based on what my workload looks like when it hits.

2580892 Hmmm. The first chapter re-do's will take a couple days to execute, but the main suggestions for chapter two will be a snap. Shouldn't take more than an hour. If I manage to finish by the end of the week, I'll be forced to take a brief couple-week hiatus on the story as I go out on to a week-long meeting with the folks (including two-day travel going and coming from the southern coast).

I'll send you that PM later tonight or in the morning; sometimes it takes a little time to properly put down and organize my thoughts.

Pleasepleasepleasepleeeeeaasssseeeeeee update soon, it's sooooooo gooodddd :pinkiehappy::pinkiehappy:

This was a rather nice read. I do hope you finish it sometime.

I hope this gets continued one day.

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