/mlpol/ - My Little Politics

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Glim Glam's Something Something Jam, Insert-Something-Witty Edition
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Last thread hit bump limit, serendipitously just as I was wrapping up my review of Friendship is Optimal. Despite the thread being over limit, I responded to a couple more posts dealing with Optimal because I wanted to start fresh with a new topic for this thread. Any further discussion of Optimal or Past Sins I would like to remain in the previous thread until it 404s, which I will still check for replies.

Previous thread: >>248482 →

Anyway, our current reading queue is:
The Sun and the Rose by soulpillar
Fallout: Equestria by kkat

If you would like to suggest anything for the queue, please feel free to do so.

And with that, we shall now commence reading:

The Sun and the Rose
by soulpillar

Chapter 1: Lavender and Beeswax

Alright, first impressions. I've really got to learn to stop saying this, but so far this appears to be a more competently-written work than the last thing I read. The prose in the first few paragraphs is eloquent, if maybe a little overly florid, though I can usually forgive that if the author doesn't go overboard with it. In any case, this guy seems like he can actually write, so I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt until he does something to earn himself a gay nickname.

Also working in his favor is that his story dives right into the action, while still managing to set a compelling scene. Soulpillar manages to avoid the pitfalls of both Peen Stroke's opening (well written in eloquent language, but slow-paced and with description that is heavy handed at times) and Assman's (direct to the point and evenly paced, but utterly devoid of any feeling or mood). We've got a fairly good middle ground here, and I'm starting this off in a state of cautious optimism.

This, however:
>A dull blue glow reflected off the hurriedly arranged pieces of battered plate on his body. His left arm and shoulder encased in a full steel pauldron and gauntlet whilst his right arm bore only an iron spaulder and a leather glove. Either leg had a metal shin guard strapped over well-worn leather boots. While a hauberk, a white tabard and an over-stuffed leather traveling pack stacked down on his shoulders. His gear rattled with each shift of his body, unbalanced, ill-kept.
Again, the writing is good, but this is probably a little more detail than I would have gone into about the particular type of armor a character is wearing. That's a matter of preference, though; plenty of well-respected fantasy authors do shit like this all the time. Terry Goodkind, who I like, will blather on for entire paragraphs describing the type and number of pillars in a room; George R.R. Martin, who I also like, spends more time describing what characters are eating than any author I've ever read (which is no surprise, considering what a fat fuck he is). So again, cautious optimism here.

Oh, also:
>While a hauberk, a white tabard and an over-stuffed leather traveling pack stacked down on his shoulders.
This should not be a complete sentence as written. "While" usually indicates that you are either continuing a thought from a previous sentence, or are going to append an additional related thought to the end of this one. The author could have probably appended "while a hauberk..." to the end of the previous sentence using a comma, or alternatively he could have just kept this as it's own sentence and dropped the "while," turning it into "A hauberk, a white tabbard and an over-stuffed leather traveling pack stacked down on his shoulders."

Anyway, the scene itself does a decent enough job of grabbing our attention. An unknown character, who by all appearances is human and appears to come from some kind of fantasy and/or medieval-type world, has just stepped through a magic mirror.

The author actually gives us quite a bit of essential information in a relatively compact amount of text: this character dressed hurriedly, suggesting that he's dealing with an unexpected or emergency situation. His helmet has been nigger-rigged with extra protection for his eyes and mouth, which we are told is to ward off some type of miasma, so we know the air in the place he's going is toxic to breathe. The mention of the mirror portal establishes clearly that he is traveling from one dimension to another, and that we are dealing with a universe that has magic.

Finally, a purpose for all of this is established:
>Uncle was quite specific; bring back Cecilia and nothing more.

All in all, what we have here so far is a pretty well-written opening. It gives us enough information to understand what is going on, while at the same time withholding enough that our desire to know more intensifies. It provides us a good visual and sets a good scene, without being too verbose in its description (except for the bit about the armor that I mentioned). Cautious optimism remains so far intact.

>He looked around, shadows and shapes tested his mettle.
This could probably have been worded differently. For one thing, grammatically he should either use a semicolon after "around", or else change "tested" to "testing" if he wants to use the comma. For another, although this usage is technically correct, referring to what this character is currently doing as a "test of mettle" doesn't quite feel right.

Having one's mettle tested usually implies a battle or direct confrontation; in this case, he's just exploring a hallway that might have something dangerous in it. He's on his guard and wary of the shadows and shapes he sees as potential threats, but so far nothing is testing his mettle. The impression this man gives is that of a seasoned warrior, so a mere dark hallway probably wouldn't set him off this much. I'd probably just go with "He looked around, shadows and shapes keeping him on his guard," or something to that effect.
british guy whose browser only works with vpn active
I would like to submit https://www.fimfiction.net/story/1868/27-Ounces by Chatoyance, a Conversion Bureau story, on the grounds that it is shit and gay anti-human heresy written by a tranny. It's not as popular as Fallout Equestria (people are STILL writing Fallout 4 fics disguised as pony fics using FE) but it's still a significant event in the pony fandom with a dedicated group of fags who love it.
also for the gay nickname how about "soulkiller" since bad writing makes the soul feel dead and makes reading feel pointless? then again it also sounds kind of cool in a "shitty world of warcraft username" kind of way.
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In any event, the guy continues to explore. The scene appears to be nighttime in some kind of corridor, and despite some potentially serpentine shadows the character's mettle remains thus far intact.

>"Cecilia?" He cried into the darkness: as best as one could through a layer of leather, steel and flower petals. "Cecilia, are you there? It's me, Gareth! Your husband! I've come to take you home!"
Welp, looks like we've got a name for this guy. Gareth it is, then.

>"Christi crux est mea lux." He stood, raising the flickering light source to head height. "But in this case, a lantern will do."
"Christ's cross is my light," if my pompously-wielded ability to roughly translate Latin without googling it serves me correctly. Let me google it to make sure. Yep, I was right. It also appears to be the name of a hymn. In any case, it looks as if Gareth comes from our world or one of its analogues, at a period close to the middle ages.

Gareth continues to explore, and the section ends with a page break.

>Only God knew where that portal had taken him, Gareth was beginning to doubt this was Earth at all.
Again, a semicolon should be used instead of a comma here. Also, something minor, possibly major: would a man from this (implied) time period really be thinking this way?

Assuming (based on the armor and such) that Gareth's point of origin is Earth sometime between the Dark Ages and the Baroque, it seems unlikely that he would be wondering whether or not he was still on Earth after stepping through this mirror. Someone from our time would probably think of it this way, but in the medieval world, "Earth" would have been thought of as "the universe" or "the world" (see pic related). The other planets were objects in the sky, not worlds comparable to our own, and aside from Heaven and Hell, the concept of alternate dimensions or worlds separate from this one probably didn't exist in the human imagination. More than likely, Gareth's sense of space here would be relative to whatever kingdom or realm he comes from, as that would be the specific location he would most identify with. Here, he would most likely be wondering if he was still in England or France or wherever, or if this mirror led to some far-off imaginary place like Spain. The possibility that he'd left the world entirely or crossed into an alternate dimension would be unlikely to occur to him. Again, this is a fairly minor detail that you pretty much need to be as autistic as me to even notice, but fleshing out dumb little things like this can add a surprising amount of depth to a story.

>Yet, some sights remained familiar. He was in a castle, old and abandoned. Abandoned by whom and for what, he couldn't fathom.
Same deal as above. The interior of a castle would be a normal, contemporary location for him, so this shouldn't even be something he makes note of. He's obviously grasped that the mirror is a portal to some other place, but he would have no reason to assume that this place would have architecture different than what he's used to. Imagine that you stepped through a magic mirror and found yourself in the hallway of an office building or something resembling a common location in our time. You probably wouldn't stop to wonder about how the alien dimension you assume you've stepped into has office buildings just like ours, you'd just be wondering where the hell you are.

>The stone was old, but sturdy. Signs of battle lay everywhere. That was his first clue that he wasn't in England. King Edward the fourth's back-and-forth war with the God-damned Lancasters were fought on fields and forests, not castles. Then again, with the gold from the crown drying up, Rockingham castle was only in marginally better condition than this one.
Cool, looks like we've narrowed it down a bit. Gareth comes from England during the reign of Edward IV, and the bit about Lancasters suggests the time period is during the War of the Roses, placing us somewhere around 1455-1485 hurr durr I know stuff. Since Celestia is the Sun, I'm assuming this dude is the Rose? Maybe I should just shut up and keep reading.

Anyway, Gareth's internal monologue continues. He finds himself wondering about the castle he's in, and whether or not it might belong to his missing wife, Cecilia.

>He knew that his beloved suffered a grievous head wound when he met her. She spoke of being a princess of a far-off land called 'Equestria'.
kek. I don't think I would have been able to write that with a straight face. I'm actually a little confused here. Apparently, his wife has had a serious head wound for the entire duration of time that he's known her, and believes herself to be the Princess of a strange country that no one has ever heard of. So he just married this random injured chick who thinks she's a princess? Doesn't a nobleman usually want to know a woman's titles and holdings and whatever before marrying her? Isn't that how it worked back then? But honestly; whatever. I'm actually enjoying this one so far, so I'm willing to give him some leeway and see where he takes this.

Anyway, fuck, I should probably speed it up a little here. So far, Cecilia's got a head wound and thinks she's an Equestrian princess, she wandered off somewhere, her husband Gareth is looking for her, and he appears to have followed her through a magic mirror. Now he's in some ruined castle. He finds a tapestry depicting an alicorn standing on water, and wonders if his wife concocted the whole wacky story about Equestria from her family's heraldry. He is now beginning to wonder whether it might have been her family who stole her away.

Well, so far we've got a lot more questions than answers, but that is frankly a pretty good place to be at the beginning of a story. I have to say, my interest thus far is piqued. However, I've hit a page break, and this feels like a good place to stop for the day. To be continued.
If I was going to post my rewritten Silver Story for proof-reading before I upload it for real, where should it go?
I'd say put it in the scribble block thread >>248103 → . Just throw it in a pastebin or something and post the link, I will give it a read.
Alright. So how's that story treating you so far? It seems kind of normal.
Before today, I'd never heard of or read any of this story.
I read and hated the LessWrong shite and FE, and I heard bad things about Nyx's story.
But this one is new.
also if my flag is english right now, my wifi is mostly fixed.
nope, Brave browser still needs VPN to run.
also why did you choose The Sun and the Rose?
I'm the pleb who suggested it. GlimGlam wanted a good story and that was a pretty good one (imo) I've read that's not too short nor too long. Apparently he hasn't read it before so that's a plus.
also resetting brave browser settings fixed the proxy problem.

So Gareth Brooks continues to explore the castle. He suddenly encounters some type of wild beast padding around in the hallway up ahead.

>Just from the sounds he knew that the beast was large. The claws of a lion and the size of a war horse. The thing stayed just on the edge of the candlelight, a large shadow looming near.
I'm a little confused here. For one, this scene is dropped on us rather abruptly. Gareth is walking down the hall, and suddenly there's a giant monster thing in front of him. I suppose that's more or less how the encounter would actually have gone, but the transition is a little jarring, which it shouldn't be since this has been a somewhat tense scene so far and the reader is expecting something to happen. The other thing is that it would be rather difficult for Gareth to know this much about whatever he's facing. If all he has to go on is sound, how is he able to tell the creature's size and what sort of claws it has?

Also, the text specifically mentions the glass Gareth pasted over the eye slits of his helmet making it difficult to see. At the beginning of the story, we are told that he did this because of concerns over toxic miasma. However, thus far he has not encountered anything of the sort, nor has he behaved as if he were expecting to. It's a little strange, although the text may explain it soon enough.

The scene is also a little anticlimactic, as nothing really happens. He braces himself and holds up his boar spear, which apparently scares the creature and causes it to retreat. A scene like this can be used to build suspense, but it's not terribly well executed here.

Page break. We are told that time has skipped forward several hours. There has been no further sign of the creature that he encountered before. I've mentioned in previous comments that I'm not a huge fan of skipping time in this fashion. Also, from what I can tell the castle he's exploring is most probably the ruins of the Castle of the Two Sisters. I don't know that the size of this place is established in canon, but I don't get the impression that it's huge; probably comparable in size to the castle in Canterlot. I doubt it would take several hours to explore, though maybe 1-2 hours wouldn't be unreasonable, considering that it's dark and he's being careful.

Anyway, he comes to the throne room and finds Celestia and Luna's thrones. Gareth apparently concludes that Cecilia isn't here, and decides to try and find some place where he can get a good look at the surrounding landscape. Conveniently enough, there's a large balcony nearby that provides a "sweeping view of the landscape," so he heads out there to have a look.

>His accursed helmet did little to help him, but at least the full moon's light made it possible to see further than his out-stretched hand.
Still kind of curious why exactly he thought he'd need a specially modified helmet in order to breathe here.

>Shapes in the gloom only teased at their existence.

>The moment Gareth turned, a shadow passed over the corner of his helmet. The shadow turned to the shape of a spire, reaching up from the castle, only just out of sight, with the exception of magnificent sigil. A sigil in the shape of, a glowing sun; Cecilia's sigil.

>Gareth's body moved before his mind could complete the idea.

Apart from it being a little difficult to tell what's going on here exactly, I also want to mention that there are a lot of page breaks in this text, and it's beginning to grate on my nerves a little. This first chapter has been broken into about four segments so far, and we're not quite halfway through. This isn't a huge deal, but usually page breaks are used to delineate between scenes, like a fadeout in a movie, and thus far we've just had one continuous scene in which very little has happened. There's really no justification for splitting it up this way, and it points to poor organization on the part of the author. Also, as I highlighted above, there are some rather confusing sentences here that require attention. That bit about the sigil is confusing as fuck; I have no idea what I'm supposed to be seeing here.

Anyway, from the balcony, Gareth notices a rope bridge leading across a chasm and into the forest off in the distance, and decides to go check that out. However, before he can move he sees some kind of spire or something appear in the shape of Cecilia's sigil. Page break.

Apparently disregarding the fact that he can't see very well in the dark with his goofy helmet on, Gareth goes charging back the way he came, trying to reach the spire thing that he saw. He goes running up some stairs and eventually kicks down the door and finds himself in a bedroom, which he presumes to be Cecilia's. The room is empty.

>Gareth sighed, nervously chuckling to himself. His wife had not fled because she wanted a bigger bed.
I'll also say that this character's actions are a little stiff and unconvincing. Why is he chuckling here? Why is he nervous? Why is he sighing? Why does this particular thought cross his mind at this precise moment? For that matter, why is he even doing any this in the first place? What exactly did he see back in the throne room and how did it lead him to this particular bedroom? What about it makes him think it's Cecilia's bedroom? There's a lot in this text so far that doesn't seem particularly well thought out.

Anyway, he looks around, and notices that the furniture is a little oddly designed, almost as if it wasn't intended for humans. He also finds some papers on the vanity, which contain sketches of his castle and its inhabitants. We are given a small glimpse into the events that led Gareth to be here:
>Cecilia... when she spoke about the mirror. "Only open for three days, closed for thirty moons. Open for three, closed for thirty," Gareth muttered her words under his breath. She said that no one knew where she was.
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So far, I'm finding that this text does some things well and other things rather poorly. The way that events are structured and information is fed to the reader is done well; the author doesn't just come out and explain who this guy is and what he's doing here, he just lays out a scene of a knight from fifteenth century England exploring what we can assume to be Celestia and Luna's old castle in Equestria. We are given small tidbits of information as we go, that gradually fill in the details and allow us to better understand what's happening, but the author maintains suspense and keeps us interested by not telling us any more than what we need to know right now.

However, it's a little difficult at times to understand what's going on. It's not clear why this character is doing some of the things he is doing, for instance we still don't know why he is wearing the special helmet. His reactions have been a little odd as well. While the prose is generally good, I'm noticing a lot of clumsily written sentences and it's not always clear what the author is trying to say. This is good so far, but it could use some revision.

I also wanted to call attention to this segment of text:

>One last sketch caught his eye. Gareth recognised the man in the sketch; it was himself. He was playing in the dirt with one of the boar hounds, grabbing it by the neck and rolling about. That was when he first met Cecilia, gently sketching what she saw.

>She was beautiful. From her untouched white dress and tanned skin, to her exotic pink eyes and unnaturally coloured brown, blue and green hair. He was mesmerised at the very sight.

>Gareth nervously brushed himself off and willed himself to speak to her. To his shock, she didn't turn him away. She spoke with him. She... she spoke about anything, about him, about the dogs, about houses, about her home, anything. God, he would do anything to hear her speak.

This is a very jarring change in perspective. One moment Gareth is standing in this ruined castle looking at sketches, the next he's standing in the woods working up the courage to speak to this woman. Though we can figure out from context that we're seeing a flashback, the text does not provide us any clear indicator of this; the narration simply changes scenes without warning. First it's describing the sketch, then it's describing Cecilia's appearance at the time the sketch was made, and finally it begins describing Gareth's reaction to seeing Cecilia sketch him. I can understand what the author is trying to convey, but this section needs to be rewritten.

However, from this flashback we get a little more information. From what I can piece together, their first encounter went a little something like this:

Gareth was playing with one of his dogs one day, when he noticed a strange woman sketching him. He was immediately struck by her beauty, and began speaking with her. She told him that she was a Princess from a foreign land, and that she would need to leave in two days. He realized that she was well above him in terms of station, and pursuing her would be something of a long shot, but he was compelled to give it a try anyway.

As luck would have it, she was apparently hit in the head by a falling bucket or something shortly after this first encounter, and wound up having to extend her stay. When she regained consciousness, she remarked that her way home was "closed" and that she would not be able to return. It was at this point he concluded that she was probably nuts, and may not even be a princess at all, but he still wanted to hit that, so he let her stay in his castle and indulged her wacky bullshit for a while.

At this point, though, he realizes that her kingdom was real after all.

He sees a glint of light in the mirror, and raises his spear like he's about to start fucking shit up, but it turns out to be just the sunrise. Apparently he's been fucking around in this castle all night, and it's morning now.

He goes to the window and takes a better look at the surrounding countryside. He sees another castle off in the distance, and this one looks occupied. However, it appears to be at least a couple of days journey away, and he can't get there in time before the portal back to England closes. From what I have been able to gather, it looks as if the portal opens for three days every three years or so. He has about two days left before it closes.

He now faces a choice. Does he stay here and look for Cecilia, or does he return to his Uncle's castle and whatever duties he has there? As he stands trying to make up his mind, he hears the sound of a horse's whinny off in some part of the castle, but it sounds weird to him.

>He'd spent his entire life around them. He'd heard them afraid, angry, happy; an entire spectrum of emotions. That timbre, the pitch... it wasn't right. Gareth glanced back at the portal. It would close in another two days. There was an entire squad of men-at-arms on the other side ready to stop whatever beast might step through. Even still... he could help fend off intruders.

>He surged forward, armour clinking with each pace. For the first time in years, he was relieved at the threat of battle.

As with the previous selection I highlighted, I can get a rough idea of what the author was thinking here, but it's not very well executed. We can presume that he's going off to find the source of the strange whinny, but why does he automatically assume it's an enemy? All he heard was a horse's whinny. Were the men-at-arms on the other side of the portal mentioned because he's afraid something might go through the portal and attack his home? Is he still thinking about Cecilia, or is he using battle to distract himself? We don't know.

Anyway, that's the end of the chapter.
This writer's trying very hard to make this story sound epic while writing it from the perspective of an "old-timey" person who talks all fancy and shit.
But every time it sounds awkward and too flowery for its own good, every time the author chooses prose-based form over information-giving and world/event-describing function, it's jarring and annoying.
I hope the author stops this eventually, or eventually gets better at doing this.
Sorry if this is an odd question. But when you feel a surge of the "This pony fanfic shite is a waste of time" feeling, how do you deal with that feeling?
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I honestly don't write that much pony stuff. Most of the things I've written in relation to this fandom have been one-off greentexts; I only wrote one long thing that was any good and that was also a greentext. Most of my larger writing projects have been original ideas that have little or nothing to do with ponies. However, I think if we've learned anything from these threads assuming there was actually anything to be learned and this isn't all just me shitposting and being a pompous condescending faggot it's that there are a million different ways to execute any idea, and not all ideas are worth the trouble.

In a perfect world, we'd all have an infinite amount of time to spend following every idea we have to its natural endpoint. However, in that case, we would also probably be living in Assman's computer fantasy world, and at some point we would have to face the fact that we were spending all of our time churning out garbage that nobody will ever or would ever want to read. At this point we would probably realize that we were made mortal for a reason. Writers therefore have to learn to filter their thoughts and ideas and decide which fish are worth reeling all the way in and which ones should be tossed back.

If you're having problems with motivation, I'd say the thing to do is to ask yourself what you're trying to accomplish with the project in question. This doesn't necessarily mean external, tangible results like whether it can be sold or even whether people will be interested. Give serious, deep thought to what your idea really is at its core and why you started writing it in the first place. Are you trying to communicate something important, or did you just have an idea for something like a rocket skateboard that you thought was cool and wanted to describe? :^)

This isn't to say that you can't put rocket skateboards into your story if you want, but anything worth reading needs to have some kind of central idea that the author wants to convey to the reader. Incidentally this doesn't just apply to snooty high-brow literature; if you take nearly any piece of successful fiction and analyze it you will find a theme or message of some kind, even if the message itself is fairly pedestrian.

Take, for instance, Dan Brown's The DaVinci Code, which is basically a write-by-numbers movie script set to prose that has almost no redeeming literary worth of any kind. However, there's still a central idea and a message. Brown basically takes the entirety of Western esoteric and pre-Christian pagan symbolism, reduces its meaning to "sex is nice," wraps it up in a fast-paced action thriller, and sells it to Hollywood. The moral of the story? Basically, "Catholics are prudes, have sex incel" (according to Brown himself, it was meant to be a novel about the "Sacred feminine"). Asinine? Yes, and this novel is why Dan Brown is on my short list of authors I would hurl screaming into a vat of battery acid if given the opportunity. But this is still a good example of how the pros do it.

Fantasy is an even better example. The big names in the genre all wrote about something: C.S. Lewis used fantasy worlds to write Christian allegories, Tolkien wrote about the clash between Divine order and technological civilization, Goodkind basically wrote the swords-and-sorcery version of Atlas Shrugged. Even George R.R. Martin, whose name will cause /lit/ to reeee uncontrollably if you mention it, has a tangible theme: his books are basically a Modernist deconstruction of the genre itself. Even if the reader doesn't consciously pick up on it, the fact that there is more to these books than what the story is ostensibly about is what makes them engaging and memorable, as opposed to NPC#14252's eight volume series about the Elves of Withrindor's epic struggle against the Dragon of Azathoth.

We can use our most recent examples as well. Past Sins attempted to be a story about redemption and filial love, and failed miserably for a number of reasons, most of which involve poor planning on the author's part. Friendship is Optimal has no themes at all really, other than trying to be a half-assed fable about the potential dangers and benefits of AI, and it shows: it's a cold and lifeless story that neither inspires nor educates.

Anyway I'm probably rambling again. The main takeaway here is that it really doesn't matter whether your story is about Ponies or Pokemon or Sonic the Butt-raping Hedgehog; if you've got something worthwhile to say, then the project is worthwhile. If you don't, then it's just word-vomit. Whether or not the finished work will be any good depends on a number of factors that can only be assessed after it's written. If you have doubts about a project, it has nothing to do with it being a pony fanfic. Think about what you're trying to say and why you want to say it, and evaluate the project's merits based on that.
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Alright, let's keep going.

Chapter 2: Mud and Tears

The chapter opens with "Cecilia," who, as I'm sure we've all figured out by now, is actually Princess Celestia. She is back in Equestria, looking at her hooves and trying to remember how to be a horse again.

>Before her was the visual masterpiece that was Equestria. Long, verdant meadows stretching as far as the eye could see, occasionally interspersed by forest and rimmed with distant mountains. A cloudless blue sky stretched out above like a dome. The light and hue of the day glowed with a seemingly innate energy and joy.
This is a not-at-all-bad description of the Equestrian landscape. Often the challenge when writing in this universe is translating the flash-style pastel visuals of the show into something with a little more visual depth, and I think this handles it well.

>Just over six hundred feet below was a bustling city. Peop-- ponies went about their business with a calm eagerness and joy. The buildings were as bright and colourful as their inhabitants. Most roofs and structures were wooden, but some were metal, topped with gold and purple spirals that reached up like cake icing. The sheer rush of foot traffic reminded her of London, only its natives seemed to live with each other instead of in spite of each other. This was Canterlot; the city of Cecilia's dreams.
This paragraph is also well written and a fine example of how to write description. It paints a vivid scene that you can visualize, and manages to do so without being excessively long or verbose.

That said, I'm starting to somewhat agree with Nigel's observation that this author tries a little too hard to make his prose sound elegant, or "all fancy and shit" as he puts it. So far this isn't too big a deal, as I notice a lot of authors have a tendency to do this (I've done it myself, many times). If the story overall is good it can usually be overlooked, but if I were giving actual notes to the author I'd probably advise him to address it in revision, maybe scale it back a bit and try to write in a slightly more natural tone. The previous two example paragraphs are well written and I suspect were revised a couple of times, but there are other areas that don't read quite as well:

>They were her hooves. Cecilia tried her best to remember that. She placed them back down as she nervously walked through the immaculate white and gold room. Glancing up at the white tapestries hung overhead.
This nigger needs to be careful about sentence fragments; I'm noticing a lot of those in here.

>There were new buildings on the exterior of city.
There were new buildings on the exterior of the city. This is probably a typo, but every time someone makes this mistake, the voice inside my head reading the story instantly turns into Niko Bellic.

Anyway, another thing I wanted to note is that here, this author actually manages to do something that Peen Stroke often tried to do: make observations about things in the show that don't require explanation in a children's cartoon, but become noticeable when placed into a more realist adult context. Here, we have Celestia observing the opulence of her palace and wondering how much it must have cost to build. She also notices that the country of Equestria runs pretty flawlessly without much intervention from her, and she wonders if she's even needed at all. While Peen Stroke would have probably dedicated at least a page to her musings on this topic, soulpillar still heterosexual until proven otherwise handles this appropriately: the observation is made in the space of a sentence or two, and then the story moves on.

Also worth noting is that this observation is not some non-sequitur event that is just dumped into the text because the author wanted to reference an obscure character or make mention of something he noticed from the show; it fits the context of the story we're reading. Celestia has just spent a period of (we can assume) about three years living as a woman named Cecilia in medieval London. Having just returned to Equestria, it makes sense that she would be comparing London to Canterlot. All in all, this is handled well.

Anyway, Celestia is in the palace at Canterlot trying to remember how to do horse things, when a unicorn named Gleaming Horizon shows up. Gleaming is apparently very surprised to see her after her extended absence, and she squeaks out an exclamation that annoys Celestia and earns her a rebuke. Celestia, however, realizes she overreacted and comforts the unicorn. Then, Gleaming moves on to her real reason for entering the room, which was to announce the presence of another new character, a pegasus named Purple Dart, Colonel of the Wonderbolts.

We learn some things here. Apparently, Celestia did not voluntarily return to Equestria, but appears to have been abducted. We are given the impression that this was a rescue operation staged by the Wonderbolts, but Celestia does not seem to see it that way. Apparently the Wonderbolts flew through the portal and grabbed her without warning.

We also learn that there have been problems in Equestria while she was away. Apparently without the unifying influence of Celestia's rule, the factions of the three pony races are beginning to fall back into infighting. The Earth Ponies are apparently oversettling the land, which the Pegasi are grumbling about because they can't provide adequate weather coverage. The Unicorns meanwhile are on a power trip and want to rule all of Equestria.

The problem is laid out succinctly by Purple Dart, and explained in a way that lets us know what's going on but leaves us curious to hear the details.
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>sacred feminine
Nothing's sacred about the feminine. Why do the "females are sacred!" types always have nothing more to say than "sex good oh please mistress give me sex/i am a mistress and goddess and if you kiss my ass enough i might touch your lowly earthling body" and shit like that?
>fillial love
More like filly-al love! Aha ha ha ha ha, bom bom.
Wait, George RR Martin does what now?
His books are on my list of things to read and my "strategy games are my life" friend said to try the Game Of Thrones mod for CK2, but why would his works make /lit/ rage and what makes it a "Modernist deconstruction"?
Is it because in the end of the show, Dennis Bangarang has her dragon kill a bunch of civilians after she suddenly rips Azula off to go crazy? I remember that pissing off a lot of people and pleasing other people because sometimes she's very sweet and anti-slavery and sometimes she's very violent and burn-them-all-ish, or so I hear.
also I heard that ending was noncanon and written by the show's authors rather than George Rorge Rorge Martorge himself. also it showed a starbucks coffee at some point.
Also, what's modernism? I'd google it myself using duckduckgo but I'd probably get a bluepilled fake answer.
I know postmodernism is supposed to be smartly breaking things down and revealing it to be silly and fake so we can understand it better, but it's actually just a leftist's religious belief that you're smarter than everything and everything you say is magically correct and everything else is actually silly and fake, especially if you can imagine it to be silly.
If a Postmodernist Tony Hawk movie is one where Tony Hawk's a 300lb fatass who farts every minute and breaks every skateboard he gets on (A stereotypical "silly thing" despite being unrelated to what Tony Hawk is. postmodernism is at best just a lazy low-effort mockery pretending to be a parody, and at usually just shit on a canvas calling itself art) what would a Modernist one be? A movie that says life as a skater sucks?
A scrapped idea I had for a human-in-equestria fic where the human dies like an idiot during a giant monster fight, had the world of Ponies translated as "Everything's a 2D image but at different visible distances from you. Like they're all 2D sprites. Move and the sprites rotate to face you, move enough and they switch from a head-on view to a 3/4 view or side view. Like the sprites in DOOM or the Jpeg items in Smash Melee. It took the human guy, who's used to seeing in 3D at 60FPS, a while to get used to seeing in almost-2D at 24fps.
There was a planned arc where the human realizes being in Equestria cures his crippling depression and makes him forget bad things in his past. He asks Twilight what's going on and once she understands what he's saying she's all "That's normal. Why would anyone want to dwell on bad past events? Also the world is more cheerful"
but the world's actually a cartoon that gradually morphs him from 3d human in 2D land into a living 2D character in the Johnny Test artstyle. He can even make whipcrack SFX on demand. This gives him mild cartoon abilities but he still dies for thinking he's invincible.
>the thing where fanfic writers feel the urge to explain away cartoon things
Game fanfic writers do this even more.
It's ridiculous. Who feels the urge to explain away why this game does this when that button is pressed?
Oh hey, Ash Ketchum's Charizard got hurt in the last fight. Losing means death instead of losing cash and fleeing home in this edgy story, so Ash decides to use a potion.
Four paragraphs explaining the history and function of a potion later,
Ash finally uses the potion on Charizard and puts it back in his backpack which is a high-tech portal to CyberSpace where 999x of any item can be stored.
It's like these kids only ever read JK Rowling and her tendency to put bullshit useless filler explanations where they're not needed. But their instincts said "Don't do it as bad as she did it" so they usually don't.
Now it would be FUCKING FINE if it ever MATTERED.
If there was a bit later on where a guy hacks his backpack's data using a PC to get unlimited money or Master Balls or Rare Candies, for example.
if Pokemon's "Turn-Based Battle System" is a mandatory thing for Official Tourneys that gets ignored during battles in the wild where illegal orders like "Bisharp, chop that Charizard's head off using Iron Claw!" can be given.
if we learned where the Laughtrack comes from in a Big Bang Theory fic for example: Turns out Penny has brain problems and she's been hallucinating everything with some fat nerdy customers at her waitress job, she doesn't really have smart friends or smart girlfriends.
But it's fucking everywhere!
People are prepared to accept that in book form, Dante Sparda can do more with a sword than swing it in 6 pre-made animations.
They should bloody expect some creative fight scenes better than "He dodged 4 attacks by using his Trickster Dodge, then he parried 3 Nightmare lightning bolts using his Drive slash, then he performed Ground Combo C with his Sparda before knocking his foe into the air and hitting him with The Icy Nunchucks of Doom 5 times on their way down then doing a JC Air-Stinger TRICKSWORDTRICKSWORD spam combo for 23 seconds".
Look at some of the fucking cool bullshit Dante does in DMC3 during cutscenes.
That's what a story about DMC should try to emulate when taking things to the written word.
But no, everyone just wants to write about Dante using canon moves and canon weapons to smack canon demons around for a bit. or they want to write about Dante climbing up his brother Vergil's Temen-Ni-Gru Tower and rubbing his Balrogs on Vergil's Yamato before taking a Judgement Nut End in the ass.
I hate that effort is put into explaining away technical limitations of the old media, instead of just throwing them away and letting the story put something better in its place.
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I'll submit a story to you again. I'm currently writing something but I let it take the work and time it needs to become good.
>Hadn't seen this filly before that's why I posted it
Modernism is basically having a very scientific and progressive view, that it's time to shed away tradition and try things in a new way. It's very broad so I don't know how it translates into literature, but in religion it's the reason why Christian churches got so cucked. Post-modernism is a rejection of modernism as it's inherently anti-rationalistic.

I may be using the term a little broadly myself. He's probably not a Modernist in the sense of like James Joyce or someone like that, but his treatment of fantasy is distinctly modernist. Modernism and Post-Modernism and all the rest of these terms are pretty vague to begin with. However, for this discussion, I think we can probably define modernism as viewing the world in purely material and rational/scientific terms, with man as the measure of all things, as opposed to traditionalism, which posits a higher order to the universe rooted in the mystical or religious. Stories with a more traditional bent, Tolkien for instance, tend to present the world in terms of moral absolutes, and characters are often allegories or stand-ins for higher concepts: Sauron is the embodiment of evil, Aragorn is the noble King, Saruman is corruption, Gandalf is ancient wisdom, the Elves are nature, and so forth and so on. The line between good and evil is usually well defined in this approach, and since Tolkien basically set the bar for the genre, fantasy overwhelmingly tends to follow this pattern.

By contrast, a modernist outlook tends to dismiss the idea of moral absolutes, and in particular rejects the idea of a higher order to the universe. Characters are examined and studied as individuals rather than used as allegories for universal concepts. Events often unfold in a seemingly random manner as a result of purely material cause and effect, as opposed to Fate or the will of God or something like that. Looked at in this way, Martin's books fall very squarely into the modernist camp, and he very deliberately distances himself from the traditional, Tolkien-esque style of fantasy. Incidentally I can't really discuss this without dropping spoilers, so consider yourself warned.

Probably the boldest statement is made in the first book of the series (titled A Game of Thrones, which is where the HBO series gets it's title; the actual title of Martin's series is A Song of Ice and Fire). The story is set up the same as a typical Tolkien-style fantasy story. We are introduced to Eddard Stark and his family, who is presented as an Aragorn or a King Arthur; the hero basically. Early on in the story an event occurs in which Eddard's children each find a direwolf pup in the forest, the direwolf being the family's sigil. Basically, the story begins by giving us a hero and a portent which would suggest that this family is destined for something great and/or important. Eddard is recruited to be second in command of the current king, who is weak and ineffective, and finds that the government is rife with corruption. The king, unsurprisingly, is murdered, and Eddard meanwhile continues to investigate the corruption in King's Landing. Oh yeah, spoiler: the king gets murdered.

So at this point, we have a story that is still progressing in a very traditionalist manner. The noble hero, obviously the true king who is meant to ascend the throne, comes to the capital and finds that all is not well. He continues to endure trial after trial as he unravels the snakepit of intrigue in King's Landing, and as we read we are further assured that Eddard will become King at the end of the story and put all wrongs to right. The turning point of the story occurs when Eddard is tempted by the corrupt and evil queen, who it is eventually revealed was the one who murdered the king. Oh yeah, spoiler: the queen murders the king. She offers him the chance to become chancellor in her son's administration or something like that as I recall; it's been a long time since I've read it. I might also be getting the order of events mixed up. Anyway, this is basically the "woman as temptress" part of Campbell's monomyth; allegorically it's Eve offering Adam the apple. Oh yeah, spoiler: Eve offers Adam an apple.

Eddard, of course, does what he is supposed to, and rejects her. The queen does what she is supposed to do and tells him he will rue the day he crossed her. Eddard is arrested for the murder of the king and sentenced to death. The story is now perfectly set up for Eddard to turn the tables, vanquish all the evil and corruption, and fulfill the destiny he was clearly intended for. Then, none of that happens; Eddard is killed and his family is scattered to the winds. Oh yeah, spoiler: Eddard Stark dies.

Martin very clearly and deliberately misleads the reader in order to lay out the theme for the rest of the series: this is a story in which good and evil are not absolutes, and nothing is preordained. Characters in this world have complex motivations and follow their own agendas, and good and bad things will happen to the good and the bad alike, for reasons that have nothing to do with the rightness or wrongness of their actions or the purity of their intentions. Fate does not exist here, and omens and portents are meaningless. Even though this world is ostensibly a fantasy setting, with magic and dragons and all the other shit you'd expect, the story is a radical departure from what the typical fantasy reader is probably expecting. It's a very distinctly modernist approach to a generally very non-modernist style of fiction.

>why would his works make /lit/ rage
Because he's very popular with normies right now and 4chan tends to be contrarian. At least that's my theory.

>Is it because in the end of the show, Dennis Bangarang has her dragon kill a bunch of civilians after she suddenly rips Azula off to go crazy?
No idea. I saw the first season of the series and that's all I've watched. From what I've been told, once it reaches the end of what Martin wrote, the writers came up with their own storylines and it becomes just dreadful. However the books are a lot of fun to read; I recommend them.
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That's a very good description that I agree with. Sometimes this is taken to a comical extreme such as where a character in GoT is dying of dysentery and the line reads, "but the more she drank, the more she shat." A question I have is whether modernist fantasy could be considered the same as "low"-fantasy.

You can find similar modernist tropes in historical novels such as The Archer's Tale by Bernard Cornwell. He quite explicitly tries to portray the Middle Ages as gritty and "realistic." For example, the protagonist is secretly the illegitimate son of the parish priest, he knocks up the neighbor's daughter and his hamlet gets raped, murdered and burned to the ground by a bunch of French knights. He becomes an English archer and gets his revenge by raping, murdering, and burning to the ground French villages, and everyone does basically the same thing like it was medieval Mad Max. Chivalry is very clearly averted as there's never mercy in battle nor are even clergy spared. However, around midway in the book the author does reintroduce more "traditional" elements such as the protagonist questioning his life choices and softening up while the antagonist is revealed to be part of a heretical sect. I've only gotten to that point since I no longer have the book and I'm not very interested for reasons. I haven't played or read The Witcher but I'm guessing it's the same way. The reason why I think modernist fantasy has exploded is because people are very much used to dark and edgy detective novels, superhero comics, science fiction, and modern historical fiction, but the application of modernism in fantasy is relatively new and remains fresh for many people.

>4chan tends to be contrarian
As I contrarian myself I'd tend to agree. However, the reason why I dislike modernist fantasy literature is because I'm too idealistic for my own good, and the more accustomed I become to gore, politics, or other stuff on the internet the more I want my fiction to be idealistic to counter that. The contrast is less between the individual and the masses and more between what we know the world to be and what we want it to be. It's the reason why although my mother does not appreciate my dark humor or cynicism towards irl events, she loves GoT while I find its darkness unattractive (I had to be practically forced to watch just S1). It's not that I can't tolerate it but rather after having seen graphic nudity on the internet and such videos as that one where two women are violently beheaded in Morocco, any dramatization of it feels like cheap schlock that has no point. After having seen the real deal is it morally right to watch a fictional duplicate for entertainment? What that says about others, I have no idea.
I reckon it's right for shows and books to do whatever they want as long as it's not enemy propaganda.
But about the shows and darkness, I know what you mean.
I'm going to go read Game of Thrones.
Also I've been reading some Tom Clancy, it's pretty good. Got any recommendations for "clancy but better" or "clancy but different" books?
>The reason why I think modernist fantasy has exploded is because people are very much used to dark and edgy detective novels, superhero comics, science fiction, and modern historical fiction, but the application of modernism in fantasy is relatively new and remains fresh for many people.
That's probably part of it; trends in pop culture have a tendency to be a reaction to previous trends. If you're an author/musician/filmmaker/what have you, you make your mark by taking the work of whoever came before you and presenting your own twist on it. But I see a lot of this as part of a broader back-and-forth that stretches back to the early humanism of the late middle ages, Erasmus and Petrarch and all those guys.

What I think is interesting is that as much as modernists, humanists, materialists, rationalists and so forth like to present their worldview as being more optimistic and upbeat as opposed to the fire and brimstone superstition of religion, it's always these guys who are taking a pessimistic stance and focusing on the darker side of human nature. A tendency to slur the middle ages is also a long-running theme. I also think that in terms of present-day thought, presenting the middle ages (and by extension fantasy worlds that are clearly alluding to this period) as a dark, violent, barbaric time draws a parallel to present-day third world societies. I tend to see this as a direct attack on the idea that Western civilization is in any way unique or special. By drawing a comparison between the barbaric, violent, uncivilized peoples of our time and our own Western ancestors, it enforces the idea that all humans share the same base nature and that no one is naturally above or below anyone else. It also enforces the (historically absurd) view that the West only achieved what it did because it plundered Africa and the Americas.

Modernists also tend to be very pessimistic and cynical about fiction itself. Metafiction is an entirely modern concept, and those meta-comedy type shows, Rick & Morty and stuff like that, that take classic sci-fi and fantasy tropes and present them as absurd, are almost always created by people with a humanist/rationalist/liberal bent. Anything that comes along that takes a positive view of things, there's always a cynical reaction to it. MLP is actually interesting in this way. I remember way back when the brony phenomenon was at its height, people were calling it a New Sincerity movement, and in light of this it's interesting to look at some of the meta-type humor that the writers injected into the later seasons of the show. For instance, the way it always seems to treat it as a joke when the characters all start singing. It was funny the first few times, but after awhile it started to feel like the show was deliberately taking a shit on itself.

I've actually never read any Tom Clancy, but as far as techno-thriller stuff like that goes, I think Michael Crichton is pretty good. I remember really enjoying Sphere and The Andromeda Strain, and the original novel of Jurassic Park is worth a read. Actually in regards to modern depictions of the middle ages, Timeline is also fun. Dean Koontz is another underrated writer imo. He's more in the supernatural/horror category, but he's written some thriller type stuff. Midnight is a good one.
Incidentally that is a very nice filly. I will be happy to take a look at your story once it's complete.
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Anyway, we've been veering off topic a bit. Back to the text.

Cecilia/Celestia is informed by Gleaming Horizon that the unicorns are almost in active revolt due to her extended absence. For her part, Celestia does not seem as if she even wanted to return to Equestria, and interestingly keeps referring to herself as Cecilia in her inner monologue. The fact that she has to deal with all of this bullshit the second she gets back is probably not helping things much. This is kind of an interesting inversion of the typical human-in-Equestria scenario: usually, it's the human character who wants to leave our shitty world behind and live in the idyllic paradise of Equestria, where the ponies all think his fedora is sexy and Chad isn't around to steal them away. However, in this case, we have Celestia viewing the human world as an escape from the troubles of her world. It's an interesting take and I like it.

Anyway, there's all types of shit that's been going on, and Celestia seems to have stepped right into the middle of it. The unicorns are getting uppity, and the pegasi, who would normally be a sufficient force to counter whatever bullshit they might try to pull, are weakened due to internal fighting. Colonel Purple Dart confesses that he is basically leader in name only at this point.

Celestia begins freaking out, because apparently her mind is still in a bit of a fog and she can't remember most of her life in Equestria prior to the three years she spent in England. She's beginning to worry that the other two ponies might sense her weakness, but as luck would have it, another pegasus guard bursts into the room with the news that a "bipedal golem" has appeared at the castle of the two sisters, and attacked a platoon of guards with a spear. Page break.

Next scene opens with Celestia's chariot landing at the castle of the two sisters.

>The dilapidated castle stood before.
Stood before what? Watch those sentence fragments, nigger.

>Its outline fitted into Cecilia's recollection like a pane of stained-glass popping into a frame.
Its outline fit into Cecilia's recollection.

>Even the dawning sun's warm light couldn't pretend that it had anything approaching life.
This is very awkwardly worded. I get the intended meaning, but warm light doesn't really have the capability to pretend, and the sentence places focus on the light instead of on the castle. I'd probably say something like "Even in the warm light of the dawning sun, the castle appeared lifeless."

>The dead structure remained every bit the tombstone that it ever was, a testament to mistakes made long ago, and a somber reminder of her sister’s continued imprisonment.
This is interesting. I'm actually now curious about the time period the Equestrian portion of this story is set in. Is Luna still imprisoned on the moon at this point? This would actually be a good choice, as it would remove the complicated question of why Luna hasn't stepped up to rule in her sister's absence. The issue is left ambiguous, but the author drops another subtle hint that this story may be set prior to the events of FiM: Cecilia specifically asks about using a chariot pulled by pegasi as a mode of transport, and the guard tells her that it's a fairly new idea they came up with.

Anyway, they go to the castle to investigate. The guard gives them a report. They learn that fortunately nopony was seriously hurt, but the "golem" escaped into the Everfree. The guard is perplexed by the fact that the creature seems untraceable by magic, as if he has some kind of cloaking spell on him. My suspicion is that this is either something Celestia did for him in the past, or else is some natural side-effect of coming from another world; perhaps non-Equestrians are not affected by Equestrian magic. We shall see.

>The Colonel face-hoofed, growling into it.
Generally, the use of bronyisms like "face-hoof" in prose makes me, well, face-hoof. However, as long as it's done sparingly I can usually let it slide. I will observe, thought, that this term is the analog of the contemporary term "face-palm," and in a non-contemporary setting like this it's a little anachronous. Just a thought.

Anyway, Celestia flies off to search for the "golem," which seems to reassure her troops that she hasn't lost her edge. The scene ends with a page break and cuts to Gareth.

Gareth, meanwhile, seems to be having rather a rough time of it. He's still wearing his wacky modified helmet for whatever the fuck reason, and it looks like he sees the fight with the guardsponies as something a tad more serious than it probably was. He appears to be having flashbacks to battles he faced in England. The author also namedrops a character named Jobasha, which may be foreshadowing something that will be important later. We rejoin him as he is slogging through the mud and grime of the Everfree.

He catches a glimpse of white wings overhead, probably Celestia, but he naturally interprets this as the guardsponies pursuing him, so he tries to avoid detection. He looks for a place to hide.

>His suit of armour was undeniably going to be clay encrusted after this, but that was worry for another time.
If he's a battle veteran he should be used to this sort of thing; I doubt this thought would cross his mind.

Next we have a scene that feels like it may be a subtle reference to LOTR: Gareth hides in a ditch, and then hears hoofsteps in the mud above him. He tries to keep still while something horse-like is sniffing around, trying to find him. He is a bit confused as to what he's facing exactly, so he turns to have a look.

This next scene is a little confusing for me as well, so I will break here and resume in another post.

Alright. So the pony stalking him is described as a crimson pony with a black mane, so it doesn't appear to be Celestia. The creature appears bored and disinterested in him, which is a contrast to the attitude we saw from the guards earlier, who seem to be treating this situation as an emergency. Then, we get this:

>It's eyes widened. The creature's mouth parted in shock, looking up. A series of cracking branches and rustling leaves rumbled from above as a white horse crashed into the ground.
This appears to be Celestia entering the scene. However, the crimson-black pony was bored a minute ago. Why is his mouth parting in shock? The situational reactions here are strange. Furthermore, Gareth reacts this way:

>"Jesus!" Gareth swore, backpedling further. "Wings? These things can fly now?"
In and of itself this is a reasonable reaction, however just a couple of paragraphs ago we had this:

>A flicker of white passed overhead. White wings.
>Gareth's eyes widened; they were looking for him.
This clearly shows that he is aware that at least some ponies can fly, and it's also implied earlier that some of the guards stationed at the castle are pegasi. Gareth should be at least somewhat aware of their flight abilities.

Anyway, the two horse-creatures seem to converse in low voices with each other, which further confuses the fuck out of Gareth. Their language reminds him of "the language from the mainlands," which for this time period would be French. However, there's a minor logic issue here since at the time French was also the language spoken by the English nobility, so there shouldn't be much of a difference between the language of the mainlands and the language of his homeland hurr durr I know stuff. The crimson and black horse then leaves, and the white horse turns its attention to Gareth.

The horse tells him that he should not be here, and he is shocked to hear it speaking with his wife's voice.

>Gareth roared in frustration, jabbing the dagger back into his belt.
This reaction is also pretty bizarre. I get that he's had a rough time over the last few hours and probably has a short fuse right now, so some type of extreme emotional reaction to something this shocking is warranted. However, I'm not sure roaring in frustration is exactly the appropriate response. Nor do I imagine Gareth would have the presence of mind to return his dagger to its scabbard; seems to me he would likely forget everything around him, including his sense of danger, and drop the dagger as he tries to process the situation, or else just forget that he even had it in his hand. So far these characters do not behave in an entirely convincing fashion.

Anyway, he finally takes his dumb helmet off, so we don't have to hear about him not being able to see through the eye-holes anymore.

>With a metallic clatter, he threw the helmet against the ground, huffing in barely contained fury. Gareth looked up at the white horse with burning tears in his eyes. He'd failed.
Now I'm really confused. What did he fail at exactly? How does he know he failed? It's good that the author has been stringing us along so far with little explanation of the events that we're witnessing, as this maintains suspense and keeps us interested. However, I'd say that at this point we've pieced enough of it together on our own to have a general sense of what's going on, and it's high time he rewards this effort by filling us in on some of the details. Also, again, I don't find this weird cocktail of emotions Gareth is exhibiting right now to be entirely convincing.

Page break. The perspective cuts back to Celestia.

>Celestia's heart froze at the sight of him. She could never forget that face.
>The face of an Englishman in his late twenties with the start of lines on either side of his cheeks. Medium-length blonde hair that swayed in the breeze. A dusty-yellow beard, short trimmed and well maintained, just as she liked it. A pair of brown eyes that effortlessly switched between being so distant and so very close, eyes that now stared at her in defiance. It was Gareth.
As ever, I am not sure about Gareth's emotional reaction to this situation. "Defiance" does not make much sense here. However, I'll concede that this is otherwise a very well written description of him.

>Gareth locked eyes with her. His jaw locked, face contorting into a grimace.
It's bad form to use the same word multiple times over the span of a sentence or two. However, this is an easy mistake to make and I do it all the time. Definitely something to look out for when proofreading, however. see what I did there?

Anyway, what follows is a fairly decent scene, which is unfortunately marred by this author's inability to write character reactions convincingly. We're close to the end of the chapter so I don't want to waste too much space quoting examples; suffice it to say that it's something this guy needs to work on. Celestia and Gareth are constantly gasping, clenching fists, tearing up, and generally reacting or overreacting to each other in very strange ways. If this were a play or a movie, an observer would probably comment on the hammy overacting. However, apart from that, it's a somewhat moving reunion scene between a husband and wife that definitely has its moments.

Celestia tries to convince Gareth that he needs to return home, but Gareth refuses to do so. He wants to stay here and sort all this shit out. Looks like Celestia found a keeper; a lot of guys wouldn't stick around if they found out their wife was actually a horse unless it turned out that that was his fantasy all along, of course.

Anyway, the chapter ends with Celestia finally breaking down and crying, and Gareth the horse-whisperer consoling her. D'awwww.

>crimson pony with a black mane
Ow the edge! Ooh ouch oof ow my bones, ow, oh god, the edge, it hurt my delicate brony sensibilities! Everybody knows black and red is a colour scheme of sin and Shadow The Hedgehog because these colours mean that alone and nothing else! Ahahaha, oh wow, I can't believe this guy didn't already know the imaginary and highly important fanfiction rule that I invented for myself, rule one is I'm always right and rule two says if I like it it's good and rule three says red and black is a loser colour unless I use it! I'm very certain that a game will never come out, obsess over those colours, and get popular enough to make me completely reverse my stance on that colour scheme!
That's my impression of a brony from 2010s, how'd I do?
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Funny you should mention MLP's newfound "lol i sing sometimes that's silly" habit, that reminds me of something that convinced me to lose hope in the show.
Back when the show was good,
In episode 2 of season 1, Pinkie sings.
Everyone's scared of spooky trees in a forest, but the silly ditzy weirdo Pinkie Pie suddenly starts singing.
"Lol is she singing?" characters ask.
But then Pinkie reveals the wisdom in singing right now. The wisdom in being optimistic, and laughing your fears away.
It helps the ponies get through the forest and get to where they need to go.
When every mane six member got their "Proof I'm a good person who can contribute value to the group" scene, hers focused on justifying her wackiness. She isn't cheerful because she doesn't understand the world's darkness. She's cheerful because she doesn't let it get her down.
In late-stage FIM during that shite episode where some guy's scrapped "Don't fight over who best girl is" episode gets turned into a "Fuck you we aren't perfect fuck you, accept our flaws, fuck you fandom we hate you fuck you" episode,
there's a bit where the mane six sing a song about being good. It accomplishes nothing and annoying snarky prick Glimmer snarks over that she always gets to be right when their writers write the story, even when she's clearly wrong. or was it trixie?
anyway I remember that scene making me laugh at how bad it was.
This show is shitting on things that make it a kid's cartoon, in a cheap attempt to be "above" the other kid's cartoons that try to do this unironically. It's a lazy "meta" tactic to make weak writers seem smarter, and the show used to be better than that because it used to be written/showran by people above that.
Rick and Morty isn't deep and can't be deep. At any moment, any number of reset buttons can be pressed and nothing that ever happens can matter.
The show's a fun and mindless ride through some familiar sci-fi cliches that get dicked around with by writers who aren't very good at being clever.
Remember that recent Rick and Morty episode where they decided to say "Oceans Eleven style shows suck ass"?
They decided to say this by having rick say it, then doing an Ocean's Eleven plot with a silly team, then fucking it up, then having Rick play "I know you know I know so I switched the switched thing with another fake" for a few minutes with a plot-making robot that turns on him.
Weird comparison time...
It's kind of like when DBZ tries to parody something.
when it wanted to mock Power Rangers/Super Sentai it created the Ginyu Force, a silly group of fighters working for Freeza who are called "Odd" for:
>standing around and leaving themselves open
>charging big slow attacks
>relying on bullshit gimmicks sometimes
>playing rock-paper-scissors to decide who fights who
>doing silly dances and poses
All of these, the show is guilty of doing. Standing around and leaving themselves open, charging big slow attacks? Characters, heroes and villains alike, do it all the bloody time because the less effort you put into your defense, the better it magically becomes.
Silly dances? Fusion Dance and what the old purple fag did when dancing around Gohan to magically give him Ultimate Form (i shit you not, and no it never mattered)
Rock-paper-scissors? Goku did it two seasons later during the Buu saga.
Unfunny hypocrisy. You're expected to laugh at the mockeries that exaggerate traits Super Sentai characters don't really have.
They never mock the Power Rangers' dumb weapons that clip together, or their giant robot toys that clip together.
And you know what?
Toriyama did it again in DB Super.
Once upon a time, Dragon Ball was a martial arts parody series... that parodied martial arts by introducing a Superior Person named Goku who's the strongest and most important. Old cliches are ripped off and people gasp in awe at how strong Goku, who they underestimate, turns out to be.
Remember when Goku fought TaoPaiPai, was too weak, and lost, so he climbed up a big stick to get to a flying divine paradise where he had to fight his way towards some Holy Water that would make him stronger when he drank it, except the water's fake and getting strong enough to get to it made him strong... but then he finds the real Super Holy Water and drinks that to get stronger anyway? He
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He then went over to fight TaoPaiPai and was now allowed to be strong enough to win. Nothing about his character, fighting style, or tactics changed. His punches were just allowed to matter more than those of his foe.
remember when Toriyama decided to parody Superheroes in Dragon Ball Super?
when he decided to parody Superheroes, he adds the Pride Troopers.
A band of spandex-wearing fighters in matching spandex. Their leader is an emotionless brick wall who lives to meditate and not emote ever. One or two have gimmicky powers but they're all just the same generic DBZ character: flight, invincibility, punch, kick, beam, exploding ball, maybe teleports behind you, maybe a cheat like Heat or Poison or TimeStop that gets beaten by someone stronger than your cheats.
they talk about Justice a lot. that makes them a Justice League parody.
and their boss turns out to be a prick who says "Fuck justice I just wanna be the strongest!" then tries to kill viewers in the stadium, pissing Goku off
Superman is only a boring emotionless brick wall when written badly. He's clark fucking kent, a human who was a human first long before he learned he can fly. He had friends, lost friends, got his heart broken, had dreams, saw old movies, and more before he learned to shoot lasers from his eyes.
Superman is a costume, Clark Kent might hide his face more than his counterpart but Clark is still the man. Bruce Wayne is the disguise, Batman is what Bruce turned himself into after losing his parents. These are literally the only two good DC characters besides Arm Fall Off Boy and Matter Eater Lad.
Wonder Woman is an invincible boring demigoddess born perfect, yawn. Green Lantern is some prick with a magic god ring. Cyborg's a black dude who's part robot and says booyah. The Flash runs fast and is only the comic relief when he's not the main character. Aquaman talks to fish except oh my god please let this joke die. Atom shrinks to Atom size. The Cowboy is a cowboy. Stargirl is a girl who flies and shoots lasers using a magic stick. Green Arrow shoots arrows.
DC's characters aren't characters, they're costumes a customizable character could wear in a theoretical DC video game. These characters weren't meant to exist in the same shared universe or fight the same threats.
also in dbz
there's the Universe Two fighters who are parodying magical girls.
so the girls get long-ass transformation sparkly transformation sequences for characters to comment on and joke about
(and these sequences aren't actually any longer than the big sorta-epic sorta-silly small-rocks-rise-from-the-ground skies-darkening scream-for-four-minutes transformation sequences seen whenever Freeza/Cell decide to get buff or Buu turns into a skinny prick/fatass/generic buff prick or whenever Goku decides to grow his hair out or change its colour.)
Would be funny if Freeza killed them all mid-transformation sequence but I think he only did that with one character.
anyway all the girls turn into magic idiots in frilly outfits except for the one who becomes a fatass
now a smart writer would say "These girls have powerful magic lasers but suck at close combat. they've never thrown or taken a punch before and they're used to winning fights with Power Of Love/Friendship beams nobody ever dodges".
then have Vegeta say "Hahaha I'm the prince of all Saiyans, these foolish FUCKING WOMEN with their stupid beams cannot possibly harm me! They don't even have muscles and that's what life is really all about!" and then he gets his ass kicked because that's what this accidental comic relief character played seriously exists to do.
then do a tense fight where the heroes dodge for dear life while trying to get within punching range
But nah these characters are jokes so they lose and make asses of themselves and exist to be wrong losers who fail at life.
Dragon Ball Z Abridged had the right idea by turning Vegeta from an annoying smug prick into an intentional joke character who's so full of himself that it becomes funny to see him get hurt.
So what's your point? Does adding each reference in specificity help it?
>Superman is a costume, Clark Kent might hide his face more than his counterpart but Clark is still the man. Bruce Wayne is the disguise, Batman is what Bruce turned himself into after losing his parents.
What weirds me out the most about your long stream-of-consciousness rants is the weird nuggets of spot-on observation they sometimes contain.
No, consider that an unsolicited service. An easter egg, if you will
It's a self defense mechanism. I assume he figures that anyone willing to suss out the meaning in his diatribe(s) is worth interacting with, and those who aren't simply fail the test
He's not wrong tho