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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.
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Anyway, Gareth is stuck in his war flashback, and he tries to run for the hill. And of course, it should go without saying that he draws his dagger.

The scene here is reasonably well written, though as a matter of personal taste I'm not fond of these sorts of overwrought flashback sequences. Gareth hallucinates fighting across the battlefield, and he runs into the ghost and/or zombie of a guy named Lord Richard Neville, who apparently factors into his past somehow. Gareth accuses Neville of ruining his life, and presumably because he's having a flashback, he gets the times muddled up; he's asking Neville questions about Equestria.

From their conversation, it becomes apparent that Gareth believes that Neville betrayed him somehow, and Neville sees Gareth as unfairly blaming him for everything.

>Fire bubbled up anew in Gareth's heart. If Neville had survived then he'd have to fix that.
I'm assuming that "fire" here is metaphorical and describes his anger. However, the second sentence seems to be implying that...wait, what the fuck is this implying? This gets weirder each time I read it. Okay. This whole thing seems to be saying that metaphorical and/or literal fire is currently bubbling up in Gareth's heart. He would like to remedy this situation, but apparently in order to do so, Neville needs to have survived. Past tense. Literally what?

The meaning...I think...is that these sentences are intended to be read separately. Fire bubbles up in Gareth's heart (again, I'm assuming this is a metaphor for his anger, but who knows; maybe that pulverized mason he inhaled was also on fire). Once this fact is established, Gareth considers that if Neville did, in fact, survive, he intends to remedy the situation by killing him, thus ensuring that his present, uncorrected state of survival is terminated. However, it doesn't read this way; "fix that" seems to be referring to the fire in Gareth's heart, with an added qualifier that Neville needs to have survived (in the past) in order for the heart-fire situation to be possible to address. This is easily one of the most awkwardly phrased passages in the entire book, and that's saying a lot at this point.

Anywho, it looks like Neville was responsible for the death of Gareth's father, and that's why he's all pissed off. Incidentally, I looked it up, and from what I can tell, this character is meant to be pic 1 related, the Earl of Warwick. The other possible contender is his father (pic 2 related), also named Richard Neville, but of the two, Warwick seems to have played the more significant role in the war, so I'm assuming he's our man.

This is a nice little reference to history soulpillar has slipped in here; however, what's baffling about it is that while he seems to know enough about the War of the Roses to accurately reference key players, battles, castles and so forth, he manages to get so many other things about the time period wrong. It's possible he was just doing what I'm doing, which is just googling shit and reading Wikipedia pages, and he doesn't really know as much as he'd like people to think he knows, but the fact that he selected the War of the Roses specifically as his setting implies that he has at least some interest in the period. If his idea was just "medieval guy goes to Equestria" then there are any number of more generic and widely-known conflicts he would likely have chosen; the Crusades for instance, or the Hundred Years War. He could have even just picked a random year in the middle ages (1345 because why not) and a random part of England (Worcestershire because I like that sauce) and just constructed a completely generic backstory about a knight who lived in a castle. Instead, though, he specifically picked this war for some reason. Curious.

Well, whatever; Neville was his father's liege, and he also got him killed. He was also the guy who knighted Gareth. Just as we're beginning to wonder what the point of this exchange is, he says this:

>Neville sighed, his shoulders slumping. "You're right; your father did die for peace. However, the England he died for wasn't the same anymore. The king we followed wasn't the man that I thought he was, so I went about installing a new king, a worthy king. I changed my allegiance, but I never changed my love for England."
This seems like a bit of a hamfisted attempt at connecting Neville's reasons for changing allegiances to...whatever the hell Chucky Larms is doing I guess. Or, maybe, it's supposed to represent Gareth's feelings about Celestia. Either way, I can see the faint outline of a similarity here, which the author is clearly trying to connect. It's not quite there yet, but at least he's making the effort.

Anyway, this scene looks like it's going to be the biggest backstory dump for Gareth that we've yet encountered, so we might as well see what we have here. Another random ghost shows up, this one turns out to be Jobasha, a friend of Gareth's who I believe has also been referenced once or twice in the text already. Apparently he died in the same battle as Gareth's father, and Gareth was distraught enough that he abandoned the war and became a hunter. I'm not sure a knight would have the option to do this, actually, if he wanted to retain his title.

Unfortunately, after all the buildup, Gareth's actual backstory turns out to be rather trite. Jobasha tells Gareth that after he ran away from the battle, he never stopped running. A cliche if ever I've heard one. He ran not because he was afraid of death, but afraid of what was on his hands. Gareth looks down, and (of course) sees blood on his hands. Well, I suppose it's good for him that that's all it was; I'm not quite sure what the toilet paper situation would have been back in those days.
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So, in the end, Gareth's past was pretty much just standard action-protagonist fare: he was the sensitive warrior who couldn't stand the killing any longer, but no matter how fast he ran, he couldn't run away from the pain. Then, he finally found a woman who was able to melt his icy heart with her cool island song. This isn't necessarily bad, it's just been done a million times before. If you're going to do something that's been done a million times before, you have to ask yourself: what about mine is unique? What differentiates my brooding angsty warrior-guy from all the other ones out there?

I can already hear Nigel screeching about tropes and unoriginality, but I'll state for the record that in my opinion there's absolutely nothing wrong with sticking to established story formulas or using standard archetypes to construct your characters. If anything, I recommend this method for inexperienced writers, since it's a good way to get the basics down without having to invent too much. MLP itself is full of tropes and archetypes, actually. The problem here is not that Gareth's backstory is just a standard-issue angsty male warrior copypasta, the problem is that there isn't really much else to his character besides this.

To illustrate, I'd like to channel my inner Nigel for a moment and babble about shonen battle anime you probably haven't seen and probably don't care about. I don't watch a ton of that sort of anime, but I remember watching Inuyasha on Adult Swim way back when, and it was probably the first anime series I was interested enough in to really follow. It's relevant here because the titular character was also an angsty, brooding warrior who turned out to actually have a sensitive side, and as with Gareth, the key to "fixing" him was meeting a particular woman who was able to soothe his many aching bum-wounds. Soulpillar was not the first author to tell this story, nor will he be the last.

However, despite being constructed from an established archetype, Inuyasha was a unique character. He had a personality, mannerisms, hopes, dreams, ideas, good qualities, bad qualities, beliefs, bad habits. There were things that his friends loved about him, and things about him that drove them all crazy. In short, he had all of the hundreds of tiny little things that comprise a single personality. It's difficult to quantify (once more we're veering into the realm of art rather than science), but basically it's these kinds of qualities that differentiate one human from another. If you're going to construct a character, it's not enough to just pick an archetype and give him a convincing backstory, you need to make a person out of him.

As I've said before, Gareth is rather dull. Again, it's hard to quantify, but there's just nothing about him that really stands out; he's just "medieval angsty warrior guy with a boilerplate tragic past." I've said before that the way Gareth's past is gradually hinted at as the story progresses is well done, and that is still true. However, his past doesn't matter much if we don't connect with him emotionally and care about him. As it stands, we know about him, but we don't really know him.

What determines a good character has nothing to do with the amount of information we have about them. Styre, for instance, is a character I quite like, and he's barely been in the story at all. Ditto for Gleaming Horizon, who I actually think is rather underutilized. Even Butter Pie, whose visual design is atrocious, or Chucky Larms, who has the worst pony name I've ever heard, are more interesting characters than Gareth is, despite their getting considerably less screen time.

Part of the problem, I think, actually stems from the fact that Gareth is the interloper in this world. The other significant characters are all natives of Equestria, so by necessity there is more to their personalities than just "Pony" except for Noble Era, he sucks. Gareth, by contrast, is almost entirely defined by where he comes from: every gesture, every mannerism, even the attempts at humor (rats, plague, beeswax helmet); all of it revolves around the novelty of his being "medieval England guy in horse country." Medieval England had a lot of guys; what makes this one unique? That's how you have to think. You can't just write an entire novel-length story about a guy whose only notable character trait is being a fish out of water and expect people to be enthralled by him.

A good trick is to think of your characters as if they were real people; usually you don't have to know everything about someone to form a basic impression of them. You just sort of pick up on their personality from their behavior, and decide whether you like them or not based on that. As you learn more about them, your opinion changes. This is why short greentexts or flash fiction focusing on one or two characters with a simple event as the plot are good exercises; you build characters by playing around with them and seeing how they behave. Also, if you're really stuck, basing a character off of an existing character, or using someone you know as a model, are both tried and true methods. I do this all the time you can do it with entire stories, too.

Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, Jobasha.

Jobasha's ghost appears to Gareth and tells him that he's gotta stand up tall and learn to face his fears. We learn that Gareth's past is very very tragic story: blood on his hands, he killed his best friend, yada yada yada, much sad. Jobasha advises him to remember his promise (the nature of this is intentionally left vague for now) and to stop killing, or the blood on his hands will only get...uh...bloodier...I guess. Not much else to say here; the dream ends, and Gareth is back in the cave with the ruins of the church all around him.
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Oh, DON'T GET ME STARTED on Jew Kocksucker Rowling.
Her villains believe in "blood supremacy". They think someone whose family has been magic for centuries (and is rich) is superior to a family whose only kid just got magic today.
The world is set up to favour magic kids over the muggle-born children (mortal kids who develop magic from unknown and unexplained means) because the Ministry (govt) says NO DOING MAGIC OUTSIDE OF HOGWARTS, KIDS! OF COURSE IF YOU DO IT AT A HOME IN MAGICLAND IT'S FINE BECAUSE WE CAN'T TELL WHO CAST THE SPELL. EXCEPT WE TOTALLY CAN BECAUSE WANDS CAN BE TRACKED AND YOU CAN EVEN MAGICALLY VIEW A WAND'S "SPELLS USED" HISTORY, WE JUST DON'T GIVE A DAMN"
in addition

every single kid with magic views learning as a boring chore, except for Hermione le sue. muggle-born kids don't try harder than magic kids. teachers don't try harder with magic or non-magic-born kids. all teachers suck to a cartoonish degree, especially Snape the abusive Gordon Ramsay Wannabe who shouts at children for not already knowing what he's meant to teach them, and that one ghost teacher whose rambling unfocused failure to teach History means most kids skip the lesson or sleep right through it without consequence.

Harry Potter (the boy) is the Blood Supremacist's wet dream. Comes from a magic-born father and muggle-born mother, but everything good about him came from the dad. His riches, his fame, his gifts from old magic-world relatives with their own rich houses, and he's the destined inheritor of the Elder Wand, the strongest oldest wand ever.
In addition the Blood Supremacists are canonically right: Wizarding society is in decline, wizards alive 500 years ago are stronger than the people alive today.


You're supposed to believe the Blood Supremacists are wrong because they think muggles are dumb (even though Rowling repeatedly shows that they are dumb) and because they dislike Hermione, the smartererest wizard chick of all time.

You're supposed to believe the Blood Supremacists are wrong because they're ugly, smelly, brutish, mean, stupid, "insane" (they teeheehee at blood and enjoy killing), and they're led by Voldemort.
Voldemort is Tom Marvolo Riddle, a child of rape. His witch mom used Love Potions to drug and date-rape a hot human man who caught her eye, then kept drugging and raping him for years. One day she stopped drugging him and vanished, leaving the man with the child. So the man gave the child to an orphanage, where he was a creepy child considered "cursed" because bad things happened to anyone who fucked with him. Did I mention that a child born from a person on Love Potion is born with the fundamental inability to love?
Raised in the anti-muggle wizarding society, he always resented the fact that he came from a muggle father. He never gave a fuck about his inability to love because nobody ever noticed. He was a pretty boy and the chicks wanted him. The fact that he was born from RAPE never crossed anyone's mind, certainly not the author's.
One day he seduced and killed Moaning Myrtle in the Slytherin schoolgirl's bathroom. This never mattered and she never mattered.
Anyway after quitting school he decided to fuck his face up with magic and start a cult of mean bad jerk wizards spontaneously because the author doesn't know how ideology works or how groups form.
Did I mention the "hilarious prankster twins" Fred and George sell their love potions to children disguised as chocolates?
The same ones responsible for Voldemort's existence.

At no point does Rowling ever think that her shit wizard-land society with its weak inept government could ever be responsible for any of the bad things that ever happen, even when it clearly is. She'll happily portray too much government interference as a bad thing, and then portray too little of it as a bad thing, and then blame the actions of bad elected officials on those officials rather than the populace of wacky meme characters that refuse to hold their government accountable.
The heroes are good because they die when destiny says so. And Voldy is just bad because he never wants to die. In a setting where book 1's Philosopher's Stone bullshit was both unimportant and caused by the 800 year old Nicholas Flamell, and old wizards/witches regularly live to 300, Voldy is a bad guy for wanting immortality and more than his station should allow.

Even though Albus Q Dumbledore is the headmaster of Hogwarts who has the final say in what is taught to the kids attending the only wizarding school in great britain, the strongest wizard in all the land (supposedly), and the leader of the secret society The Order Of The Phoenix, which includes his best friends and assorted random men/women from the series and the absolute boss of all wizard cops, he still fails to do anything good for the world and is easily killed.
Rowling's a retard who throws ideas into her book without thinking about them, hence why the book is sometimes redpilled accidentally (fickle worthless public that loves Harry one day and hates you the next, Fake News reeta skeeter lying about Harry, the Ministry Of Magic controls all press including the Daily Prophet meaning Harry and friends need to get their news from Alternative Media aka Luna Lovegood's waaacky father's weird bullshit newspaper full of cryptid-bullshit like "the nargles are everywhere!")
Rowling is such a retard.

She accidentally created a fundamentally rotten setting that desperately needs some Lelouch Vi Brittannia kind of character to unfuck it at gunpoint on the back of a giant robot. But the bad man (even though he's only bad because of this society) is bad because he's a cartoon nazi who wants to take over, so the heroes must stop him and let things return to the shitty status quo because this is a children's story for middle-aged boomers.
The only consistent part of JK Rowling's worldview is that she hates everyone for different reasons, and considers them all beneath her.
People who like sports? Fuck you, your sport's now Quidditch, the only sport in Wizarding England and the most purposefully stupid and unsafe and violent thing ever where athleticism doesn't even matter, just how fast your reactions are and how good your Snitch-Seeker's broom is.
People who like bad sports teams? Fuck you, the Chudley Cannons haven't won a match in 1500 years. Ron is you and Ron is annoying.
Schools? Fuck you, your teachers are incompetent and your students commit rape/murder in the hallways.
Foreigners? Fuck you, Rowling just put a stereotype of you in her book. But nobody cared when she focused her hatred for all those unlike her on Seamus McFinnegan the fictional white irish idiot who only knows how to accidentally blow stuff up.
The School rowling visited and ripped off the houses/school cup system from, and the very idea of schools having a House System that applies 1 of 8 random tribes to make them more likely to be good so their house can win? Fuck you, there are now 4 houses that hate each other and they are all clearly divided by type of person: Brave heroes in red team, evil kids with fucking ambition in green team, smart kids in purple team, and misc kind kids who are good at nothing except finding shit go in team yellow.
Governments? Fuck you, it's stupid and divided into ministries that have no oversight over each other and no laws to follow.
Middle-class workers? Fuck you, all your kids are miserable and you don't know anything about anything.
Researchers? Fuck you, you know nothing about what you research daily, you have to ask children what the function of a rubber duck is!
Government programs that help you? Fuck them, unless they benefit Rowling, then she likes them.
Government programs that help someone that's not you? Fuck them!
Stay at home moms? Fuck you, you're annoying and overbearing and nosy and infuriating and rude to other parents.
Career women? Fuck you, you're over 300 and childless, plus you're incompetent at your job. Looking at you, McGonagall Catgirl and Obligatory Female Chief Of All Police!
Poor people? Fuck you, you're thieves who deserve worse.
Kids with abusive parents? Fuck you, kids, the parents just want to toughen you up.
Rich people? Fuck you, you're all smug snooty cunts who inherited nothing!
The world of Harry Potter isn't a bizarrely-twisted funhouse mirror version of the real world because Rowling is some kind of "secret genius" with some "bitingly incisive social satire". It's like that because this is how she sees the world: A nonsensical party where things just happen because magic and the only people who want to change things are baddies if they can't magic up exactly what she wants to be given when she wants it!
>Gareth suggests that he stop following the orders of Celestia (who abandoned Equestria), and start following Cecilia/nu-Celestia (who didn't, I guess). So this implies that...wait, what is this implying? I'm honestly not sure.
My money's on "Stop following the orders of the Celestia who exists today, and start following the orders of who Celestia wanted to be: The nice little human woman with missing memories, and then help Celly become that human woman"
>He keeps imagining that he is on a battlefield, and the falling rocks are the sounds of cannons going off
Would cannons really be common enough for a soldier to get PTSD over them in the medieval era?
I knew about the War Of The Roses long before I knew about The Crusades or the Hundred Years War.
Partly because Rose War 2: Rose Harder and Henry Tudor's sex life are the only things covered in the UK's schools for kids.
Partly because Yugioh: Duellists Of The Roses decided to take the franchise's "japanese card game players except one's the reincarnation of an ancient egyptian magic pharoh" characters and put them in the War of the Roses. I am not kidding. You, the player, gets summoned to choose a side then fight for it in shit turn-based strategy mechanics where the only real way to win without a guidebook telling you how to summon is to cheat by discarding most of your monsters then summoning Swordstalker. He's a warrior who (when summoned) gains 100 ATK points for every monster in your grave. Discard 30 monsters and he's getting a 3000 atk boost. That's a big number for this game. This game's AI cheats like crazy btw.
If I wanted to impress dumbasses who know very little about history, I'd write a fanfic where William Wallace goes to Equestria.
And then base everything I know about William Wallace and his era off things from Age Of Empires 2 for the PS2, things learned from movies, and things that sound about right ("People feared the plague in that era, and we know it came from rats, right? Then he should be afraid of rats!")
It's what this fic did. There but for the grace of God I go.
Bruh, I liked Naruto. I'm fine with tropes and cliche.
The obnoxious attention-seeking brat is a cliche, and the hard-headed idiot who wants everyone's respect is a cliche, but Naruto's that way because he was a despised orphan blamed for the actions of the demon sealed within him at birth.
The angry edgy "hardcore" guy who wants to avenge his family and kill its murderer is a cliche, but that hated guy turning out to be a good guy ordered to kill a family that was attempting a coup on the country is a twist.
Sakura is 100% cliche and the story would be better off without her. There's literally nothing to her beyond "generic shonen girl who wants the pretty boy and gets mad at perverts"
A guy who does kung fu in a world of magic users is a cliche. That guy being like this because disability/just sucking at magic is a cliche. It's the writing behind Rock Lee that makes people like him and call his fight with Gaara iconic and an excellent piece of writing through fight scenes.
A shy girl liking a guy from afar because he's so bold and brash is a cliche. But Hinata's attraction to Naruto goes deeper than that, she admires how hard he tries and how unafraid to fail he is. She admires that he's able to smile even though his tragic backstory is worse than hers in her eyes(whose tragic backstory is really worse is debatable). She's an abused girl trapped by her shit family, and she admires his strength and honesty and determination, and she wishes she had his confidence. The moment she confesses her love to him isn't just epic because she says it while fighting off a guy who makes forcefields, it's a triumphant moment of her breaking the conditioning pounded into her by her piece of shit father and choosing her own fate.
And I can still enjoy a story full of cliches and tropes without twists and justifications. I liked Metal Gears 1-3. 4 was a drunken loon's attempt to jump and fuck every shark while trying to simultaneously service and insult fans of mindless shooty games. It's as if Kojimbo didn't want to make 4, hated the repetitive shooty game formulas that were so popular at the time, and hated the idea that every story thread he wanted to leave hanging needed to be wrapped up in the future when everyone's old, dead, out of character, retconned, and retarded. 5 was just an unfinished game about nothing at all. No plot, no depth, you just "play as big boss" performing random missions given to him by people he doesn't know for cash because that's what Big Boss did at that time period in the greater MGSV plot. MGSV is a joke on the player for expecting Big Boss's Diamond Dog days to be as cool as the Snake Eater mission. If MGS6 ever happened it would just be you customizing a character cloned from Solid Snake's DNA 200 years after his death followed by two hundred and fourty hours of your OC getting the shit beaten out of him by Hideo Kojima himself as he tearfully begs you to stop asking for more Metal Gear.
Cliches can be a great tool to explain simple concepts the audience is already familiar with, too.
>"What is aura?"
>"It's a forcefield your soul makes"
I just don't like how this story is hailed as one of the most original things of all time and one of the best love stories ever when it's just a by-the-numbers human-in-equestria fic except the one episode the human helps out with is a nonsense-episode to explain why he is here (sign one that the author feels insecure about writing an isekai: Why the human is here has to have a lengthy explanation that makes far less sense than "because magic/prophecy/luck/someone performed a summoning spell asking for someone with a great amount of a certain quality or skill the hero has") and how this toootally isn't a fantasy, you guys, because being in equestria is dark and serious and for no adequately-explained reason, Celestia considers life as a vulnerable rapeable human woman without power or prestige to be a vacation from her "boring" life as a magical flying strong horse princess whose word is law in a continent of magic ponies.
Three rewrites couldn't save this story but a fourth probably could.
>My money's on "Stop following the orders of the Celestia who exists today, and start following the orders of who Celestia wanted to be: The nice little human woman with missing memories, and then help Celly become that human woman"
I think you're correct, this is most likely what it means. The original statement is awkwardly phrased, and it seems to reinforce earlier statements made by Larms in Celestia's dream, suggesting that Chucky believes that the Celestia who went through the mirror is not the one who returned. In a world where things like changelings and magic exists, this is not an unreasonable suspicion and could work for the story, however it does not seem to be what the author wants, in which case he shouldn't be hinting at it.

>Would cannons really be common enough for a soldier to get PTSD over them in the medieval era?
I'm not an expert on the subject, but my general knowledge is that cannons were becoming widely adopted by European armies around the mid to late 15th century, which is when this story takes place. Not sure when England began adopting them, if I were the author this is probably something I'd look into.

>I knew about the War Of The Roses long before I knew about The Crusades or the Hundred Years War.
>Partly because Rose War 2: Rose Harder and Henry Tudor's sex life are the only things covered in the UK's schools for kids.
I'd wondered about that. This story was clearly written by a British person and my suspicion is that the War of the Roses is considered more significant in the UK than in the US. I'm familiar with it in passing, mostly because I've been reading Will Durant's books intermittently for the last couple of years and just happened to finish the one dealing with this time period a couple of months before we started with this story.

If that's the case then the author most likely just grabbed something commonly known from his own history and used it as a setting, without bothering to research it much. That's disappointing; it's roughly the equivalent of me setting a story in the American Civil War using nothing but the general-survey level information about it I was taught in middle school.

>I'd write a fanfic where William Wallace goes to Equestria.
If you used the Braveheart version of William Wallace this could actually make a pretty fun shitpost story. Mel Gibson running around Equestria with a giant claymore shouting "Freedom!" at the top of his lungs while multicolored ponies flee in terror is a pretty hilarious image imo.

>I just don't like how this story is hailed as one of the most original things of all time and one of the best love stories ever
I don't get the impression that it is. Another anon (Italian flag as I recall) recommended this story because it's one of his favorites, and it seems favorably received on FimFiction (though I'm beginning to suspect that's not a reliable indicator of anything), but aside from that I've never heard of it. Granted I don't know a ton about which fandom works are popular and which aren't, but the other "famous" ones we've done/plan to do (Past Sins, Optimal, Fallout) I've at least heard of in passing. This one seems relatively obscure.

I don't mean to convey the impression that I'm trying to dump on your opinions, nor am I trying to give the author of this work undue praise. You're entitled to think whatever you like, and I'll fully acknowledge that this is a long way from being a high-quality work. However, I try to be as objective as I can about these fics, and I grade most of them on a pretty generous curve tbh. Compared to the others I've looked at, this one is probably the closest to being a fully realized idea, and if I had to pick one out of the last batch we've done (Sins, Optimal and Rose) that I think could be adapted into a polished, quality work with as little revision of the original manuscript as possible, this is the one I'd give it to. This is by no means high praise, it just means that out of the last three shitpiles we've looked at this one is by a wide margin the least repugnant, and that its author demonstrates the most raw writing ability and the most potential for real improvement.

Honestly I don't give a shit about any of these authors. They all suck as far as I'm concerned, and they will probably never read the notes I've given them or even know of their existence. If they did my guess is my advice would probably be shrugged off and disregarded. Most of them will probably go on sucking for the rest of their lives and will never realize it. That's perfectly fine as far as I'm concerned; I do these reviews for you guys' benefit, not the authors'. My intention here is to pull apart (mostly terrible) written works, show what I think the authors did right and what they did wrong, and provide an assessment of how I think it could have been done better, so that anyone reading who wants to write can get an idea of what they should look for when writing/revising their own works.
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I love this painting, as it portrays fierce rivalry perfectly.

>English. That sentence was written in English. What's more, those loops and curls were familiar. Cecilia's handwriting; it had to be.
>Celestia doesn't have hands, so if she wrote this in her horse-state "handwriting" would be an improper term. This is further complicated by the fact that when she was Cecilia she did have hands, so if she had written this during her human period the term would be correct. Even if the author knows when she wrote it, neither Gareth nor the reader can be expected to, so for now the term is both correct and incorrect; basically this is a "Schrödinger's handwriting" kind of situation. Horse world is a giant pain in the ass to write in sometimes. What I would probably do is use something neutral and ambiguous like "Cecilia's writing" or better yet, "Cecilia's script."
If we were being logical about this then it would be handwriting for sure, because writing with hooves or a mouth produces a significantly different style than writing with hands. Then again, Celestia would write with her magic and perhaps she would keep her style more consistent this way.

>it would give him an excuse to introduce another character, one who could be strongly implied to be Rainbow Dash's mom/grandma/predecessor to justify why she's a cheap knockoff like Pinkie.
>It could let Gareth learn friendship and learn it's okay to have help. She could reach books atop tall shelves for him and distract ponies by bluffing badly and saying "he's not in here!" causing them to look in here.
Depending on portrayal such a character would likely be superfluous, because Styre is the gruff soldier friend and having another just to have a Rainbow Dash ancestor would be mere bronybait.

>Why either of them need to circumvent their own guards in the first place is beyond me, but there you have it.
Also, I can see why Gareth and Celestia couldn't investigate Noble's room openly. Just because a monarch holds absolute or nearly absolute authority doesn't mean she can do whatever she wants due to the concept of legitimacy. Noble Era was the victim of a crime, not a suspect and so depending on the legal system his room couldn't be openly searched just because. He is a very important individual and as Celestia is already on thin ice politically this would cause outrage among the nobles.
What I find is that this story (mostly) has logically consistent trains of thought but muddles them for the audience. It's like a class where the important thing is not the answer itself but how you arrived at that answer. This story would greatly benefit from characters justifying their actions thoroughly either in dialogue or internal monologue, particularly as it's rather short anyway.

>This occurrence is probably meant to be humor, but it fails for a couple of reasons. For one, the theory that rats were responsible for the spread of the Black Death didn't come about until centuries after the fact, so there is no reason for Gareth to associate rats with plague.
I had to look this up for myself and you are indeed right. I thought at least one person back then had to have made the connection but rats weren't specifically blamed. Some did associate general squalor with it, like King Edward III. Rats are a memetic way of thinking of the Black Plague, like some people now associate bats with Corona, and transposing it on that time period is an anachronism. If Soulpillar read an elementary-level introduction of the topic (https://www.cloverleaflocal.org/Downloads/Plaguebooklet.pdf) he would be much better off. Though obviously he is not logically consistent even within his own universe; who would look at a creature considered a repugnant carrier of disease and go "Mmm, tasty"?

I actually understand why there's the whole thing with the rat. Comic relief when done right is entertaining and adds variety to fiction, and it's present in virtually all of Shakespeare's plays. Also, Soulpillar is trying to use the trope of "character is forced to work with another character he can't stand and eventually overcomes his dislike, with disliked character becoming helpful sidekick." The concept of character development through this isn't bad but it just doesn't apply to Gareth because irrational dislike wasn't a character flaw before the rat autism, unless if you count his attitudes toward the Lancasters and horse pussy.
However, Soulpillar is not Shakespeare. Much of his work is trying to combine a range of genres: romance, intrigue, action, and comedy, though most of these fall flat. Rather than attempting mediocre variety it would be far better to focus on the key themes and emotions of the work and get a decent handle on those. Only then can you insert contrasting themes without detracting from the story.
>She informs Celestia that when she was examining Gareth, she found that his feelings for her were of friendship rather than love.
I think just as importantly it was revealed Gareth loves a pony who's not Celestia, which is heavily implied to be Gleaming. Obviously this has significant ramifications if this plotline (hue hue) is explored. Although Celestia's lack of concern serves to provide a further twist to the audience, it only works if she has a genuine reason for this rather than breaking character. Also Doctor Legata's curt "why aren't you upset?!" exclamation is precisely what I would expect from a villain trying to emotionally break a character. The good doctor is clearly not an antagonist (to our knowledge) so it's worse than mere impropriety.

>Also, the idea of Gareth taking time away from everything else he's doing to round up rodents just seems silly, particularly with Celestia's assurances that there is no plague in Equestria to begin with.
This also bugs me. Gareth's current status is an "inactive noble" where he has as much spare time as a retired boomer, and so apart from learning language and customs (which may be assumed to take most of his time implicitly) he might do the equivalent of gardening or whatever. However for him that's clearly archery and yet we're not shown more scenes of him practicing, which will make the eventual jump to where he's hyper-competent with the bow seem jarring. If he actually believed rats carried plague and ponies can't catch plague, he could assign any one of the presumably hundreds in the royal retinue to catch the rats. It's a page's work and having even the "animal-handler knight" handle rats is silly, especially when there's no shortage of other animals probably at the palace (at least there should be, otherwise it's a lousy palace). I say this as someone who's not really bothered by the rat plotline; I just want realistic behavior.

>Though people studying and preaching the proven greatness of friendship lasers would probably look down on the Determination Scientist who can "only" magic himself into becoming invincible for 3-4 seconds when determined enough.
Sounds like the premise for an Undertale crossover.

>When designing a "period" character, you have to take two things into account: who is this character fundamentally (as in what core traits and values does he have that would be part of his personality regardless of the time and place he's from), and how have these traits and values developed within the crucible of the world he lives in?
This. It's clear the author has not read a significant amount of either medieval-dated literature or good literature about the era. For anyone interested, the 19th century was when a resurgence of interest in medieval tradition took place, not just in the period fiction genre but also in other genres (Dracula comes to mind) and architecture (Gothic Revival). In grade school I had two assignments on such books, Ivanhoe and Men of Iron. They're both really good novels and Ivanhoe in particular kickstarted the genre.

>However, despite the fact that her fucking leg is broken, she seems none the worse for wear.
I have no idea how you can get in a fight and sustain a broken limb as the only injury. We have not seen ponies wield heavy blunt objects of which one hit would be the only credible explanation for that state. Also how would a non-pegasus hope to escape hostiles with a broken leg? The broken leg is a narrative construct so that Gareth's selfish decision (looking for Noble Era was a logical choice, but with even a shred of chivalry protecting Celestia/Gleaming would have been a priority nonetheless) has "realistic" consequences, but not so traumatically bad that Gleaming becomes anything other than a side character. This is wasted potential imo, as if Gleaming was hospitalized Gareth could question his judgement or his abandonment of his knightly ideals. Perhaps as he visits her he explores his feelings for her, leading to a love triangle (which is rightfully much-maligned in fanfiction but would actually make this story more dynamic). Also, either the author handwaved away the issue with Equestrian medicine or he doesn't know how broken legs work, because it takes time for the bone to heal and gradually you can use it more; you certainly cannot hobble on it at all for the first few days.

>Since returning to Ponyland, she has had little experience with his "dextrous" fingers I'm guessing, so you could interpret this as heavy compensation on her part, and getting Gleaming all flustered could be read as a deliberate power-play. Perhaps she's subtly pissing on her territory after all, though I worry I may be giving the author a bit too much credit here.
That never occurred to me and it would be clever if that's actually the case. Like you I doubt it, though it's more for the reason that it's how men-pretending-to-be-women on RP servers talk. Yes it's extremely cringy and often I wished such characters were valid to kill.

>Emotion drained from Gareth's body.
When I was younger I liked to take big sesquipedalian words from my thesaurus and intersperse them in my writing. I feel like the author is doing the equivalent, though instead of synonyms his verbiage consists of well-trodden phrases often used in other fanfics.
Rats, rats, we're the rats.

This plotline is not all too different from what would feature in a Sam & Max game.

>At the beginning of the story it was implied that he needed to make his helmet airtight because of some kind of poisonous miasma, but it was never really clarified why he believed something like that would even be a problem here. Whatever the author is/was thinking is completely lost on me I'm afraid.
Having had to breathe through a mask quite often in the last six months I'll just say it's not something you do if you have a choice and soldiers probably like it even less. It's not like a video game where it has no drawbacks on your performance while providing benefits, it restricts the flow of oxygen your body so dearly craves on top of being itchy or sweaty. Just add water and it's basically waterboarding. I do find it funny how earlier he was so caught up with the smell of horse and now he's breathing through Celestia's panties or whatever.

I sadly have to agree. As a VS player in Planetside 2 I came up with ways to make energy guns more interesting by dividing them into plasma weapons, laser beams and laser pulse weapons along with gimmick weapons like ricochet rifles. However with the same effort you could make TR conventional firearms and NC magnetic weapons even cooler. I love energy weapons but the only unique thing that makes them cool is the light show; "pew pew" may as well be pejorative because it lacks the power and kickback of projectile weapons which will always feel more "real."
>It's funny how Sci-Fi gets more interesting as they move away from the standard sci-fi cliches Rick and Morty relies on, and trade the magical weapons for interesting questions
You mean going back to. Classic sci-fi like Asimov's works and Star Trek were built on exploring these questions.

>It's easy to be condescending towards some of the wacky cures they came up with, but imagine for a moment that you lived in a world where some horrible, invisible force was killing thousands of people and you wanted it to stop but you had no idea how it worked or what caused it. You'd probably just start throwing shit at the wall to see what sticks. In the era we presently live in, we know more about the causes of disease than any other civilization at any other point in (known) history, but this corona thing is still causing people to act like absolute retards, and there's still all sorts of misinformation being bandied about back and forth (much of it coming from scientists and doctors who are supposed to be experts). It's difficult to imagine that things would have been significantly better during the Black Death, when the disease was significantly deadlier and medical knowledge significantly more limited.
The Black Death was one of those events in Western history where you can draw a before/after distinction, like with the Protestant Reformation or the French Revolution. It shook the (at the time highly devout) foundations of medieval life to their core, as people were dropping like flies out of nowhere. It was so bad groups of people would flagellate themselves to make it stop because there was nothing else they could do. I believe that it led to the decline of not just feudalism but also religiosity and therefore tradition, starting a slow decline from the end of the High Middle Ages to today.

>A more important question would be why does she even need to learn it in the first place? I'm still not following the logic of why Luna's dreamwalking ability would be important or useful in Gareth and Celestia's present situation
To me it was pretty clear that they needed information from Noble Era who's comatose, but it's understandable given that the logic of the plot is not well explained for the audience's sake.

>The Purge movies are shit for many reasons. "all crime becomes legal" DURING TAX SEASON? Purges "IMPROVE" productivity and economy? Businesses even TRY to survive in a Purging country/keep their money in-store during purge season without hiring private security? No rules are given on "if you steal something during the purge do you have to give it back when it's over? what if you killed the owner so you can't give it back? can you marry multiple people and horses and rape people? if all crime becomes legal does this include abortion and identity fraud?".
>And the idea that people would accept "Poor people are fair game, rich people with private guards and fortresses can defend themselves, and all high-level government workers are legally off-limits" is just absurd.
The Purge is a left-wing fantasy warning that right-wing ideology would somehow lead to such a society, similar to that "dystopian novel" about the women in red dresses. Note that it's only left-wing rags that ever praise the movie's message. The vast majority of left-wing propaganda consists of fear-mongering that if the progressive line is not followed, the Right will impose a dystopia.

>Also, it looks like he speaks fluent Equestrian now.
It's implied that it's broken Equestrian which is why it sounds so "ludicrous." It's a very limited sentence in terms of vocabulary, similar to how in Chinese it could be paraphrased as "小人,你在哪里?" which is very basic. Though I don't know why Gareth doesn't know the word for rats considering he has them on his mind all the time.
>two colts that looked like a younger Styre
Considering that a sketch portrait would include only the black-and-white faces of its subjects I'm skeptical that Gareth would be able to tell who Styre was. I don't know how it is with ponies but people change drastically in appearance with time; if I was struck with amnesia and was given an old picture of my cherub-faced self it's unlikely I would make the connection immediately. Also, for humans ponies are primarily distinguished by their colors, cutie mark and mane/tail style. Obviously Gareth can't see their colors or cutie marks and hair styles change over time so, unless if he's exceptionally good at placing faces (even then knowing who Flash Bang was is ridiculous) he'd likely only see a couple of colts he doesn't know.

>"Ramrod still?"
Although "ramrod straight" is the possible intended meaning it may be "ramrod stiff" which better explains the typo.

>I self-inserted myself into a pony fanfic where I'm Twilight Sparkle's love interest. They're the same age and adults so it's not weird at all.
Well it is weird but not "FBI open up" levels of weird.

>Apparently he's using the magic of friendship to overcome his fear of rats and also...learn to...trust...rats...or......something. I guess. In any case, I'd call this a fail. A big part of the problem is, again, that Gareth's fear of rats is a little implausible to begin with, and was introduced into the story only a few short scenes ago. It hasn't been established as a significant enough hurdle for his character to make us applaud him for suddenly overcoming it.
Which falls into the trope I mentioned earlier. However it is a much more contrived and meaningless flaw/development arc than what could have been possible with Gleaming Horizon. It's a pony fanfic, not a Ratatoullie fanfic.

>of course the horse is named something pretentious like Potestas, because the author googled power and saw Potestas is power in latin, just like Eon Cocksucker did when he google translated "gold is power" to get Aurum Est Potestas.
I don't know the medieval naming convention for destriers but a warrior naming his favorite animal the equivalent of "power" doesn't seem unreasonable. Giving pretentious names to military equipment is an old tradition.

My only lament after going on a book-buying spree is that the bookstore didn't have any H.P. Lovecraft in stock.

That is actually an interesting premise.

I don't find any disagreement there. I think the author pulled a bait-and-switch in regards to Noble Era just to have a surprising twist. The thing is a twist isn't good for just being a twist, it has to make the audience go "why didn't that occur to me before?" rather than "that came out of left field!" If the author is playing mind-games with his audience then he has to consider it to be like a chess game; neutering one of your potentially most interesting characters for an "Aha!" moment is not a good exchange.

>I get the impression that many authors are uncomfortable "abusing" their favorite characters/waifus/whatever by having them behave badly or forcing them to endure significant hardship. I also get the impression many readers don't like seeing their favorite characters treated this way and will object to authors doing this.
I'd say a significant subset of fanfiction readers are not psychologically mature enough to handle hardship, or they've detached themselves from the real world enough that they emphasize with fictional characters as if they are real to an unhealthy extent.

>If this were my idea, here's how I'd approach it: switch the viewpoints and make Celestia the protagonist. Make her relationship with Gareth more of a trial, and make the political intrigue more dicey and interesting. Cut out the crap about the ambassador's pill and Gareth's fear of rats, and revise/remove anything that depends on either. Have the story climax by crashing the two plots into each other: at a crucial juncture, Celestia has to choose between being Cecilia for her husbando and being Celestia for Equestria. Make sure there are stakes; ponies' lives should hang in the balance. Celestia chooses Equestria, and as a result loses Gareth. Much sad, but that is the way it has to be. ~Fin~
Soulpillar clearly wants his work to have action and adventure and although he's not the worst at it it's clearly undermining the more important themes of the work. I'd much rather have a more dialogue-intensive work with a minimum of action if it meant using your idea. It would have a very important message/moral and would greatly enhance my personal perception of Celestia, at least. I've found bittersweet fanfiction tends to be the best generally because it has the least pandering and knows how to handle mature themes maturely. I've just remembered the actual ending from the last time I read this and it does not put Celestia in a better light.

This work but grimdark would be great.

>He was right, Celestia realised. If Larms was implicated, then she'd have banished Noble Era as a matter of course… Oh god. That's exactly what happened.
If Celestia is a demigod in Equestria then what expression should she use? "Oh Harmony" I suppose. Also saying "god" in lowercase when not referring to a member of a pantheon irritates me and not just because I'm a Christian. It does not refer to any deity in either the singular or plural and is thus completely void of meaning and is just a linguistic remnant of a time when it did mean something. If you capitalize it then it is technically disrespectful, yes, but you're appealing to/questioning the Higher Power of all existence in reference to something you find shocking. This is why capitalization rules are important.

Anyway, I'll catch up the rest of the way tomorrow. This took more time than I thought.
>Just because a monarch holds absolute or nearly absolute authority doesn't mean she can do whatever she wants due to the concept of legitimacy. Noble Era was the victim of a crime, not a suspect and so depending on the legal system his room couldn't be openly searched just because. He is a very important individual and as Celestia is already on thin ice politically this would cause outrage among the nobles.
That makes sense, actually.

>What I find is that this story (mostly) has logically consistent trains of thought but muddles them for the audience. It's like a class where the important thing is not the answer itself but how you arrived at that answer. This story would greatly benefit from characters justifying their actions thoroughly either in dialogue or internal monologue, particularly as it's rather short anyway.
Yeah, this is basically how I feel about it. I can generally follow what the author had in mind most of the time, but there are a lot of very murky passages in here that I've had to read more than once to make sense of. Even if he changed nothing else, just revising the text to make it clearer to read, and rewriting some of the dialogue and interaction events between characters to make it feel more genuine would be a world of improvement.

Actually I think the length for this is about right. It's short by brony fanfiction standards, but the total word count here is around 100k, which is about the average length of a standard novel. Fanfiction writers seem to have this baffling idea that higher word counts somehow equals higher writing ability, but nothing could be further from the truth. Past Sins was twice the length of this, but about 60% of it was just meandering bullshit or pointless ramblings that could have been pared down or cut entirely. Being able to produce high word counts is an indicator of enthusiasm for writing, which is a good thing, but once you've reached that stage, the next task is to learn how to reign yourself in.

>I actually understand why there's the whole thing with the rat. Comic relief when done right is entertaining and adds variety to fiction, and it's present in virtually all of Shakespeare's plays. Also, Soulpillar is trying to use the trope of "character is forced to work with another character he can't stand and eventually overcomes his dislike, with disliked character becoming helpful sidekick."
This is more or less what I assumed he was trying to do, but again it mostly just doesn't work. The rat thing is implausible to begin with, and trying to wedge this half-assed buddy comedy thing into the story two thirds of the way in is just ill advised.

>However, Soulpillar is not Shakespeare. Much of his work is trying to combine a range of genres: romance, intrigue, action, and comedy, though most of these fall flat. Rather than attempting mediocre variety it would be far better to focus on the key themes and emotions of the work and get a decent handle on those.
Trying to do too many things at once is a very easy trap to fall into. My view of this story is that there are two basic directions you could take it. You could spin a pretty decent romance-thriller out of it pretty easily by just spicing up the Celestia/Gareth relationship and keeping it as the main plot, and then rewriting the politics arc to be a (simplified) Game of Thrones type deal, with lots of backstabbing and intrigue, and then just weave the two plots together so events in one cause repercussions in the other. The other option is to do what I suggested above, and switch it to Celestia's perspective and make it a tragic romance meant to be an allegory for brony escapism (the Game of Thrones political side-plot would work for this too). Both options would require narrowing the area of the writer's focus and cutting out some of the unnecessary elements, and I think Gareth's adventures with the rat would be one of the first items I'd suggest for the chopping block in either case.
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>Although "ramrod straight" is the possible intended meaning it may be "ramrod stiff" which better explains the typo.
"Ramrod stiff" hadn't occurred to me but that also makes sense. Typos are the bane of this faggot's existence.

>it is a much more contrived and meaningless flaw/development arc than what could have been possible with Gleaming Horizon. It's a pony fanfic, not a Ratatoullie fanfic.
This. It's particularly galling that he diverted an entire section of the story just to throw this dumb rat gag in here while Gleaming, who is actually one of this story's better characters, is woefully underutilized.

>Giving pretentious names to military equipment is an old tradition.
I've personally always wanted a battering ram named "Biggus Dickus."

>My only lament after going on a book-buying spree is that the bookstore didn't have any H.P. Lovecraft in stock.
I unfortunately don't own all of his works in print either, I should probably try to snag them. If you don't mind going the chain bookstore route, Barnes and Noble actually had a pretty nice single-volume hardback edition of them a while back, not sure if it's still available. The Poe one is pretty nice as well.

>I think the author pulled a bait-and-switch in regards to Noble Era just to have a surprising twist. The thing is a twist isn't good for just being a twist, it has to make the audience go "why didn't that occur to me before?" rather than "that came out of left field!" If the author is playing mind-games with his audience then he has to consider it to be like a chess game; neutering one of your potentially most interesting characters for an "Aha!" moment is not a good exchange.
This. Exactly this.

>I'd say a significant subset of fanfiction readers are not psychologically mature enough to handle hardship, or they've detached themselves from the real world enough that they emphasize with fictional characters as if they are real to an unhealthy extent.
This is basically my view. I've noticed that these authors seem to have almost a conscious aversion to putting real conflict into their stories. The closest thing I've seen to a villain in any of what we've read so far was CelestAI, and in that case the author was too dense to even realize he was writing a villain. I personally think we're just now seeing the long-term effects of raising an entire generation on Ritalin. Kids today, amirite?

>I've found bittersweet fanfiction tends to be the best generally because it has the least pandering and knows how to handle mature themes maturely.
I do too. I even have hopes of actually reading one someday.

>If Celestia is a demigod in Equestria then what expression should she use?
This is another one of those "horse world is a pain in the ass to write in sometimes" moments. The established convention in the show (which often makes things doubly confusing because the show does not consistently follow its own conventions) is to have characters say "Oh Celestia!" as an exclamation. Celestia herself even comments on it at one point as I recall. It would obviously be rather awkward to have her say "Oh me!" or something like that. In this situation I'd probably just rewrite her dialog inner monologue, whatever and just avoid the phrase entirely.
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You're a good man and these are good reviews.
I tried roleplaying a few times but dealing with roleplayers is such a pain. Someone butthurt over losing a pretend fight tries to get you involved in a shouting match with the friends of that friend because surely, on this retarded cartoon-high-school hellscape, adding someone to your friends list=a mutual protection pact.
Plus everyone's bad at flirting and sexy talk, especially the women.
>"Wow you have big fingers, I want to feel those fingers inside me" the female purred sexually
is considered sexy writing there.
Fuck that shit, even when I was a coomer before embracing nofap I had too much self-respect to do anything on a roleplaying site. I cocked my shotgun to slime girl hentai-manga, and that was it.
one time a woman I met there dumped all her baggage on me within 10 minutes of deep talking and we ended up complaining about the site for hours. We became friends for a few days but when I stopped visiting the site and said "Come and talk to me on this site!" she didn't do it, because she was a coomer addicted to the cheap attention being one of the handful of confirmed-definitely-a-woman users on the site gave her.
that's the joke but the idea of different magic students forming rivalries/looking down on each other based on what kind of magic they practice is such an interesting concept and I've never seen an author do anything with it. How would someone learning to make the best barriers, someone learning to turn rocks into animals, someone learning to heal all injuries, and someone learning to project their own soul into objects view someone learning how to turn your eyes into diarrhea-spraying anuses with a snap of the fingers, someone learning how to punch fire from the fists, and someone learning how to magically craft civilization-destroying diseases? Would there be a stigma around the Plant Magic kids as "dumb hippies learning to grow weed" or would they be viewed as cooler and more useful than the fire-kick guys and lightning-punch guys?
Would clubs form on magic college grounds? How would a college justify spending money on regularly paying the creepy dude who teaches torture magic to kids?
Would a magical society say "Some things are best left unknown" and ban the magical practice of competitive disease-creation? Would a magical school say "Violence is for the thugs down the road learning to swing swords and knives" or "Part of what makes the wizard the best is his ability to out-kill the rogue and warrior at the same time"? Would people studying horribly torturous death methods be looked down upon as edgy inefficient morons by the people who know two forcefields crashing on either side of you like cars can kill you just as well as any AIDS-Laser could?
>love triangle
You know the story you're reading is gay AIDS when you find yourself saying "a love triangle would improve this story".
>Sam and Max
This story would be improved greatly if Sam and Max came in and started fucking shit up.
>lefty propaganda says be lefty
true. Remember when one tard's irrational fear of Maggie "Fuck Communism" Thatcher coming for the gays made him write V For Vendetta, a confused clusterfuck of a story where a weirdo in a wannabe Batman outfit prances about doing random bullshit because his plot armour lets him succeed at everything, to the point where guns fired at him will conveniently be unloaded? The movie pushed it even further saying shit like "We got rid of the muslims, we got rid of all of those who aren't like us, YOU MUST OBEY THE TV AND GOVT" when "OBEY THE TV AND GOVT" has always been a jew/lefty thing
It's hilarious.
The greatest fear for a genuinely-brainwashed lefty who believes all the hype... is that if they don't take absolute power, their enemies will treat the left how the left dreams of treating its enemies.
>Love potion
Yeah, you have mentioned that before.
I think it is because she never considered the ramifications of the things she put in her universe. Like the moving stairs and such. In a way, she keeps childrens attention by having constant new wolrdbuilding elements introduced in her books but the problem is that she doesn't consider how they will interact wit heach other. Like the beans in all tastes. Its funny sure, but it really doesn't make sense. Why would any company sell a product like this? I guess it could work in the begining like a novelty like some obscure party game but I think this would quickly sour with time as more people actually experinced eating shit. Appearently, they can be sold to minors too. Imagine the headlines, "Girl got semen faloured bean; now the mother is sueing..."
It is basically like scrambling key in fornt of a baby. It entertaining but doesn't have substance.

There are spells that one can really question. Part of why I think My Immortal is a parody written by a guy is because it has many jokes and meta moments in it that seems deliberate. For example, in the end Voldemort uses the accio spell on Neveil's wand. I mean, yeah , why didn't anyone ever do this?

It is intresting that you say that because I sort of feel the same thing. While I haven't pointed out the same number of groups as you have, I did realize that once. She was in an interview where she talked about how some kids somewhere had been forced to dea l with the real world and not live in their imagination or whatever. A bit embellished but I don't remember and I don't really care. The point, is that I realized that people who disliked imagination and strangeness in her books were the Dursleys. The death eaters are nazis and aunt Marge is talking about dogs and race. All of these peoiple were fat, ugly, pathetic and so on.

There really are streaks of revenge fantasy in these stories. I don't know, maybe not but I really don't like how she takes serious positions someone can take. Makes it into a caricature or strawman character with zero nuances.

>Foreigners? Fuck you, Rowling just put a stereotype of you in her book. But nobody cared when she focused her hatred for all those unlike her on Seamus McFinnegan the fictional white irish idiot who only knows how to accidentally blow stuff up.
This is intresting to me. In this case, I don't remember if this was just a cheeky joke or not, but it really dosen't matter because it is really telling isn't it? You can joke about other white colectives and even dislike other white collectives, that's fine but if you criticize or joke about blacks or anything like that, then you're evul.

This also reminds me of john cleese and the life of brain last scene were they hang on crosses and sang. Appearently, that type of song or whatever is something that is typical for a lower economic class in england or britain and this was somekind of ridicule of the lower classes, I heard. I really don't know how true this is. Do you know?
>a significant subset of fanfiction readers are not psychologically mature enough to handle hardship
true. horrifyingly true. one old friend of mine used to get bitched at for writing bad things happening to main characters in her Pokemon Mystery Dungeon fanfic.
>I personally think we're just now seeing the long-term effects of raising an entire generation on Ritalin. Kids today, amirite?
It's crazy.
dog owners are all "I'd better learn all I can before I get one, because buying a dog is a big responsibility. Woah, turns out dogs have a lot of energy, need to be walked daily, and need to be taught tricks."
cat owners are all "I'd better learn all I can before I get one, because buying a dog is a big responsibility. Woah, turns out cats are shitheads. but hey, now I know the physical signs that tell me if my cat is scared, aroused, angry, confused, and so on. Also if my cats play-fight or pretend to hunt, it's a good sign. It's how they learn social cues after all"
and then most Boomers who give birth to humans are all "Lmao I'm a parent so who the fuck has the right to tell me anything? Unless my other mommy friends love what an expert says. Those experts beloved and trusted by the crowd are my deities. And they say if a boy acts like a boy he's toxic and needs to be trained and conditioned into acting like a girl, but also if he acts like a girl it's a sign that he needs surgery and dresses and photo shoots and all these other things that give me attention!"
One time I met someone whose little brother was on many, many meds. They all conflicted with each other and harmed his ability to behave normally. It really fucked the kid up until the divorce happened and the mom's crimes got both kids given to the dad, who was an apathetic lazy faggot who never thought more than one or two thoughts ahead about anything. Anyway less pills=the kid has an easier time behaving and controlling himself. What was the "Great sin" he committed that got him on a pill cocktail in the first place? Simple: When he was younger, his only positive male role models were Spongebob Squarepants from Spongebob Squarepants. and also Invader Zim (which I've never actually seen). The kid grew up thinking "I'm going to sing the doom song! doom doom doom doom doomy doom doom! DAYAYAYAYAYA NYEH SQUIDWARD? NYEH SQUIDWARD?" is funny, and acting that way around the wrong "adult" got him drugged.
Kids these days were really fucked up by their narcissistic sociopathic boomer-scum parents. To what degree depends on the person, but I've never met a person from my generation who wasn't at least a little fucked over by bad parenting/jews/niggers/muslims or any other shit part about this gay jewed world. Some hide it better than others and some carry that weight better than others, but we're all a little fucked over by our parents whether we realize it or not.
This might sound crazy, but I don't think Boomers should be paid the big bucks to retire. Not unless their work in the economy was vital. Talentless and mindless petty middle-management boomers who filled jobs and ended upward socioeconomic mobility for kids aren't vital. They plundered all they could from their kids, and it's likely that they'll never be punished.
>she never considered the ramifications of the things she put in her universe
Rowling introduced an Invisibility Cloak so powerful it can make you invisible to death itself, making you immortal.
And then had the villain motivated by his fear of death ignore it, even when it was gifted to Harry Potter.
And then had other characters own their own Invisibility Cloaks without saying what makes Harry's better.
and then wrote that the Marauder's Map written by harry's dad, his werewolf friend, his dog animorph friend, and his rat traitor friend was able to detect people even under the Invisibility Cloak that hid you from death.
Four teenagers, none of which had any noteworthy mental magical accomplishments between them beyond one guy later being hired as the school's Defence Against The Dark Arts teacher for a year during the actual story.
Four teenagers invented a magic map that detects your position, displays it on the paper, and can outmagic the legendary all-powerful Invisibility Cloak that was suddenly (in the final book) retconned to have always been one of the three legendary all-powerful Deathly Hallows.
and yes
that's right
not only did four teenagers in their free time as students create a map that did what death itself couldn't do
277573 277590
The Three Deathly Hallows are: a cloak of invisibility no greater than anyone else's, a stone that lets you summon the spirits of the dead, and a wand that's supposedly stronger than everyone else's, not that how wands or power levels work is ever explained to us even though the story's mainly set in a fucking school and our ability to give a shit about the Ultimate Wand relies on us knowing why it's superior to the ordinary-ass wand used by Hermione or fucking Draco.
Rowling had never hinted at the Deathly Hallows before the final book, it was just pulled out of her ass at the last second to give unwarranted importance to Harry's invisibility cloak.
oh that reminds me
when Rowling went through her "I swear Hermione was always black and there was a Jewish student at Hogwarts who was great at making Golems!" phase, she unironically said both of these things and insisted "It's fine that I repeatedly called Hermione pale and said she turned white when shocked a few times, and it's fine that when that girl wanted to be hired to play Hermione I said FUCK YEAH SHE IS THE ONE, because um... I repeatedly called Hermione's teeth shit and her hair terrible so she's probably black! Neville the cowardly pussy with an abusive grandma and dead parents who's only confident for like 2% of the series could be black too!"
oh also Rowling tried to write Werewolfism as a metaphor for AIDS.
So an evil, predatory male monster who works for the Death Gobblers forced it into the good werewolf character when he was young
and because he has it (and is magically transformed into a feral beast every full moon, forcing him to cage himself, also he often scratches and wounds himself while transformed, because taking sleeping potions is too mainstream) a lot of people don't want him at hogwarts and his life is fucked over once the baddies leak his werewolfism. He's also terrified that his child (he boned a shapeshifting girl who can turn into ANYONE EVER) might have it.
Rowling intended this to be a commentary on AIDS.
It's spread by evil gay rapists and forced into poor little victims who have their lives ruined by having it and it may also be hereditary (yeah right lmao SURE, totally, THAT'S how you got gay AIDS and gave it to your kid, it was just inherited like an eye colour ahahahaha)
oh also
Rowling said all the Death Eaters who served Voldy got away with it because they said "He brainwashed me/kidnapped and threatened my family!".
and then much later introduced numerous truth spells, truth potions, ways to read through a characters memories, and so on.
I don't know if I've mentioned it in this thread
but I would stand before God and swear that once, I saw a Harry Potter Annotated Copy on the internet.
a blog
not on tumblr but on his/her own site, with ads,
where this person uploaded all of books 1-2 and some of book 3 before getting sued and shut down
and chapter by chapter, Harry Potter was uploaded... and Highlighted. Mouseover the highlighted text to see comments pop up depending on the colour. "This magic thing is stolen from this old mythology character from this old culture" and "This plot element was stolen from a movie that came out two years before harry potter 1" and "This massive chunk of text comes from a book sent to the same publisher as Rowling but denied, though released later under a different publisher" and "this spell she just introduced would have been real useful two books ago" and "The Prisoner Of Azkaban is Sirius Black, a man framed for being the one who leaked James Potter's location to Snape who leaked it to Voldemort saying 'please just kill the child and dad while sparing the mum' when it was actually Rat-Guy who spent over 10 years as Ron Weasley's Family Pet who leaked that info. Sirius was sent to Azkaban without trial or due process even though Dumbledore liked him and is the most powerful man in wizarding england besides Voldymort, Harry's parents decreed him to be The Godfather destined to raise harry if they die, and Dumbledore is the ruler of a secret society the chief of wizard police is in. Numerous truth spells and potions and ways to read someone's memories exist so if someone wanted Sirius out of Azkaban he would have been freed by now. Dumble's excuse for not freeing Sirius is that Dumbles wanted Harry to live life at a magical disadvantage knowing as little about magic as possible despite being the chosen one destined to save everyone from Voldy, and Dumbles also wanted Harry to live away from magicland for fear that he'd get a big head, so he put Harry with people he knew were abusive because Harry's neighbour was a spy for Dumbles all along".
Rowling is a hack and her fanbase tolerated too much bullshit writing for far too long.
>Part of why I think My Immortal is a parody written by a guy is because it has many jokes and meta moments in it that seems deliberate. For example, in the end Voldemort uses the accio spell on Neville's wand.
>Part of why I think My Immortal is a parody written by a guy is because it has many jokes and meta moments in it that seems deliberate. For example, in the end Voldemort uses the accio spell on Neville's wand.
Good find. My Immortal is unquestionably a parody of everything dumb well-liked Harry Potter fanfics have ever done, up to and including the "I must time-travel back to Voldy's teenagehood so I can bone the evil out of him" plotline many used back then.
At multiple points in the story, "Tara" the author will "accidentally" write "Tara" where she meant to write "Ebony" the character's name, as a reference to how the character is a self-insert but "goffik".
however what of the moments where "Tarebony" or "taenoby" is written, like someone saying "he's a fucking nigg- nagger"? Verbally backspacing like that is a thing when spoken aloud, but anyone who notices a typo in their work would erase the wrong word before writing the right word. Who would just leave the wrong word there before the right word? A comedian, that's who.

>Appearently, that type of song or whatever is something that is typical for a lower economic class in england or britain and this was somekind of ridicule of the lower classes
Never heard of this, so I have no idea if this is true or not. But how would a nihilist-comedian song like "Always look on the bright side of life" work as an anti-poor song? That doesn't sound legit to me.
Ah man I remember I loved role playing in MMO's back in the day but these days it all just revolves around ramapent sex and modern day mental issues. The current MMO I play Final Fantasy XIV doesn't offer the best game world to have rp mechanics in but the lore is really interesting so had fun trying to make a backstory for my character. Went through all this trouble and wanting to do some rp stuff with people but every free company that does rp or public events just take place in bars where people try to fuck and 9/10 people are female Miqo'te and Au Ra (anime cat and lizard girls) dressed in skimpy slut glams and using 'uwu!' as a conjunction in every sentence.

Same thing happened to Guild Wars 2 where at launch could take my Human into the Black Citadel to butt heads with Charr or my Charr into Ebonhawke to butt heads with humans now it's just loiter in guild halls or the tavern in Divinities Reach doing erp.

Wanted to try Pony Town to see if I could maybe find something there but it's the same thing it's just advertisements for erp or Anonfillies goofing around on the pier.

Want to do role playing be it in an MMO or pen and paper but my first attempt at D&D was a disaster and while I'd love to try that MLP Legends of Equestria pen and paper rpg none of my friends would want to play it and if I did manage to get them to they'd just try to derail it by trying to >rape any pony they could or just cause general destruction and suffering.

Another reason I kind of want to try writing since I try to conjure up these characters and stories in my head to help pass the time but never write them down and never have a venue to do rp stuff with it since the other parties involved just want to fuck or even when they are in a fantastical medevial setting they talk like "uwu I'm so cutsie wutsie!" while I hang my head dejectidly and collect up my character toys and sulk off.

I used to try DND as a kid but every game was the same.
Play on forums? Everyone must send paragraphs of text that could be replaced with "my character reacted a little to what just happened and then attacked the monster"
Play on discord? uwuposters everywhere, bullshit politics, you'll be banned the second your character does something someone doesn't like because in-character debates are hard and it's easier to create tiny cults where everyone who doesn't love the GM's "hard work" enough is a "fucking troublemaker".
Either way, any character who's halfway decent at anything will be banned. Anything besides the SRD is banned or everything besides the SRD is supposedly allowed but everything good from the entire DND universe is banned.
Every character dies if they take enough damage because whoops i am the DM and I don't feel like controlling this game to make it more of a story, play like a gamer or die like a roleplayer- oh fuck you, why aren't you roleplaying more in my game even though i discourage RP at every opportunity with lazy characters and my insistence on never letting you spare enemies or talk things out with them? faggoty fucking murderhobo cunt, you should be a good enough player to save this game despite my inability to DM!
Every spellcaster is a Spontaneous Spellcaster with all spells memorized because nobody can be assed to keep track of anything plus the DM can (and will) just say no to any creative use of magic that solves problems. "Oy vey, you're ruining the game by solving my combat encounter instead of waiting your turn and casting Fireball at a goblin like a good Player! I don't care if spellcasters have less armour and health than fighters and paladins, my world of warcraft cata background says everyone DPSes and the Tank should just keep aggro by using all the tanky focus-on-me abilities I somehow still think Fighters have even though I've never read the SRD"
quick note, Ratguy leaking the info to Snape was a big deal because here's how it went down...
>be James Potter
>absolute pureblood chad
>marry your hot muggle-born wizard wife after your love triangle gets resolved when the moody muggleborn cunt who empathizes with her calls her a nigger one day (a mudblood) and wife never forgives him
>fuck your wife Lily Evans and have a child with her named Harry Potter
>stupid future-seer, in a setting where everyone thinks future-seeing is nonsense divined from tea leaves and forehead wrinkles, suddenly goes into a trance and says THE CHILD OF THOSE WHO THRICE DEFIED VOLDEMORT WILL KILL HIM ONE DAY
>that's either your family or The Longbottoms
>Longbottoms do nothing so Bellatrix LeStrange (voldemort's second-in-command, a psychotic giggly teeheeing evil girl who does evil things in a black corset because she's bad) torture-spells both of them into twitching gibbering insanity
>they spend the rest of their lives in St Mungo's Hospital For The Hopeless and never improve even though magic healing and memory erasure exists in portable spell form
>decide to take wife and child and hang out in Privet Drive and then magically cast the Rowling's A Retard Who Made This Secret Spell spell. this spell magically erases all knowledge of this place from the universe, all papers and documents, and all life forms except you, and not even scrying spells can track you now! However the spell also designates someone of your choice to be one designated Secret Keeper who can tell this magically-ensecretified info to anyone else, undoing the spell's effect for them and letting them remember your existence and where you are
>lifelong loyal companion Sirius Black the dog-man, the man you trusted to be your own child's godfather, says "they'd expect it to be me. make the secret-keeper someone unexpected like this cowardly rat-guy we've known for years and grew up with!"
>foolishly trust your life and child to the rat who immediately betrays you to Snape, who tells Voldemort while saying "please master i beg you, just kill the son and father while sparing the wife!"
>voldy laughs in his face and teleports to Privet Drive to kill you
>go down swinging like a chad, die failing to kill Voldy
>wife fails to grab child and teleport, or cast anything. just grabs harry and tries to shield him from voldo's The Killing Curse Of Instant Death spell with her own back
>she was the first person in wizard-world history so the power of her loving sacrifice for her son fucking Melee Fox Shine-Blip Reflected that Killing Curse right back at its caster, killing Voldy
>all your son gets is a kickass scar
>refuse to come back as ghosts in a setting where that's as easy as choosing to not die when dying (those who become ghosts however can't check to see if there's an afterlife or not)
>though in a later book this is retconned so Voldy also somehow accidentally turned Harry Potter into another Horcrux, an object that contains a shred of Voldy's soul and therefore upon death lets him use it as a Respawn Point until the object is destroyed. Voldy had 6 made already but Harry is number 7
>wizarding world declares the day "Harry potter saved everyone" to be a national holiday even though Lily did all the real work and Harry just inherited everything. Boomer idol pushed onto kids, that's harry potter
>dumbles proceeds to ignore every "please let me adopt him" request and leave Harry Potter with muggle family members who hate him even though they need him to be a spellcasting master if he's ever going to beat Voldy in a magic fight
>also fucking dumbles decides to let your designated godfather go to jail for your murder while letting the responsible rat-bastard go free even though his name, Peter Pettigrew, should be clear as fucking crystal on the Marauder's Map you invented in high school which eventually ended up in Fred And George Weasley's Pockets, so if anyone should ever read the map and wonder who the fuck Peter Pettigrew is and why he's sleeping with Ron Weasley in his bedroom as his pet it should be them, but Rowling doesn't brain so goodly.

holy shit how can Harry Potter fans even cope with this?
>she was the first person in wizard-world history
she was the first person in wizard-world history to sacrifice her own life for a loved one so this creates a Blood Ward that lets Harry's touch kill evil monsters until he turns 12ish and Rowling decides this plot point is gay
so if you ever saw movie 1 and wondered why Harry's touch melted Professor TurbanStutter, that's why.
>I do too. I even have hopes of actually reading one someday.
Stardust/Mente Materia are pretty good actually though as a XCOM crossover you'd expect it to be a bit darker. I don't know if you've read these.

>Ah man I remember I loved role playing in MMO's back in the day but these days it all just revolves around ramapent sex and modern day mental issues. The current MMO I play Final Fantasy XIV doesn't offer the best game world to have rp mechanics in but the lore is really interesting so had fun trying to make a backstory for my character. Went through all this trouble and wanting to do some rp stuff with people but every free company that does rp or public events just take place in bars where people try to fuck and 9/10 people are female Miqo'te and Au Ra (anime cat and lizard girls) dressed in skimpy slut glams and using 'uwu!' as a conjunction in every sentence.
The same problem exists with Space Station 13. I prefer roleplay servers because as fun as random chaos can be I think teamwork to overcome threats and challenges is what science fiction is about, but just about every HRP server is terrible in its own way. You'd expect the Fallout server to be actually fun with raiders, faction conflicts and threats everywhere, but it's really just brothel simulator. Hardly anyone plays raider because it's whitelisted, factions like the Imperial Legion and NCR can't even fight each other until after 2 hours in+admeme permission, and just about all the creatures which pose a threat are killed off after half an hour. The economy doesn't make any sense because in this post-apocalyptic hellscape you can loot endless amounts of food, drink (not that either matters) and ammunition from the ruins. The game for two or three hours is either trying to get laid or scavenging/farming simulator. Surprise surprise it doesn't even have a forum but rather just a Discord.

Aurora is better because it bans ERP and actually has some action in rounds from time to time. However it is also Discord-centric and a significant proportion of players play either unreasonably fit/attractive women or an animal-based alien species (pic related is actually from the server). I don't know how many actual women play battle-scarred female officer who don't need no man/kawaii uwu characters (though on opposite ends they're both from the same sentiment) but I suspect it's a similar situation to the Derpibooru Discord. Also in the setting humanity has cause to be xenophobic, because the Unathi (liggers) are in a Muslim-style civil war and the Vaurca (ant-people) have an actual hivemind, can turn into an extremely dangerous berserk mode, and farm an extremely dangerous fungus that turns people into zombies. Yet although you can role-play a "prejudiced" character you'll likely be looked down on for that, and although nonhuman head roles were restricted it's increasingly stretched. I expect that likely in the future there will be a Derpibooru-style purge.

If you play Space Station 13 just play on /tg/station, their servers have the least mental health issues, you won't be banned for using slurs, and they're better for role-play than Goon. If the scalies try anything you can actually cut off their tails and use them in crafting.
But just to conclude this Nigel-tier train of autism, I'm honestly surprised there hasn't been a pony SS13 server. Crossover servers do really well with CM being one of the top servers with half-decent management and the Fallout server sticking around despite its mismanagement, so one might expect a pony server to do quite well. However if it wasn't run by /mlpol/ I'd expect it to end up pozzed. The way I would prevent this would be to make the setting in the distant future after Twilight's school nearly tears apart Equestria, culminating in a war where the (((Griffons))) get exterminated. Some escape though and would be antagonists in the game. Non-ponies could be crew but would be treated as second-class. Also the server wouldn't have a Discord and you could call people faggots/trannies all you want.
To make it unique I'd have the setting be a military ship which undertakes missions in a relatively unexplored sector, like Bay but without the pozz and more collaborative action. Think Star Trek or Artemis Bridge Simulator where space battles aren't uncommon. If done well I think the server could be popular, even if the ponies are space Nazis.
ah, memories of playing BYOND games. all those shitty naruto games that were just rip-offs of each other but sometimes with more abilities that were completely unbalanced.
The game was borderline unplayable because every character was too fast. Movement during a fight would cost you nothing so people would run around wildly during fights throwing spells and swinging melee, and struggle to hit each other until someone used a cheaty stun attack+sword slashes/teleporting 8 gates melee atks to kill.
You made some good points in these harry potter posts that I haven't seen before from you, will get to them later.
>My Immortal is unquestionably a parody
Yeah, that's my impression too.

There so many meta moments and so many clear contradictions. Like when Voldemort is writhing in pain at her feets, the narrration goes,"I felt bad for him even though I'm a sadist so I stopped."

I should really go through it because it has many of these contradictive statements. The black invisiblity cloak is both funny because its goffik but also because its a contradiction.

I really like the moment in the story that goes something like this:

Suddenly, Hagrid come out and said, "Everyone, we need to talk."

Ebony: "What do you know Hagrid? You are just a little hoqwarts student."

And like this dialogue in itself is contrived. If you are unsure about what Hagrid is on this school, then either check it up (it takes literally seconds, even I'm not that lazy) or just uses his name. Nobody calls him proffessor Hagrid in the story anyway, except for like Harry in some cheeky moment. but besides that who calls students by their titles and why would Ebony or enoby whatever, who is also just a student use that to belittle (or whatever she was doing) him with.

And the crazy thing is that Hagrid then replies with:

"I may be a Hogwarts student," Hagrid said. "But I'm also a satanist!"

Doubling down on the mistake.
> will get to them later.
This is a fanfiction-related question so it's on-topic.
because it's a question about how a fanfic should treat objectively-wrong parts of the canon.

Jedi in Star Wars objectively use their lightsabers wrong.
Whether they're awkwardly poking at each other, swinging their blades like broadswords, or spinning their blades like glowsticks it's all wrong.
Logically, just a single touch from a Lightsaber would fuck you up and allow for more lightsaber slicing. One thrust can pierce your chest, and swinging it up through your skull would be easier than a hot knife through butter.
So the Jedi should fight like fencers.
but they don't, and that's wrong.
Any "But swinging your lightsaber like a sword makes deflecting enemy sword strikes, and having your strikes deflected, harder!" line is bullshit. Lightsabers are weightless handles. All the weight is in the handle like a fencing foil. Compressed light has no weight. Big movie swordfighter slashes just waste time and movement while telegraphing your motions so hard, your future-seeing Sith foe could guess what you'll do without the Force. Wrist flicks can do serious damage with a rapier, and slice you in half with a lightsaber.

also we find out how the Jedi learn and train with all this "Form one is the basics, form two is aggressive swings, form three is defensive swings, form four is an aggressive and defensive style, form five is an evasive style, form six is anti-blaster technique, form seven is the ultimate combination of all previous SWORD STYLES learned in the proper order" bullshit that's just incomprehensibly WRONG. You don't make entire swordfighting styles out of single techniques like dodging attacks or blocking blaster fire. That's just retarded. Sword styles are bigger and more complex than that, and while they can be geared towards things like offense or defense or dodging that depends on the specific swings, ways of holding the sword, ways of holding your feet and moving your body, and so on.
holy fucking shit


star wars lightsaber fighting is objectively bullshit.
do you think a fanfic should:
>Justify the bullshit with some nonsense justification
>Justify the bullshit with "but muh tradition!"
>admit it's bullshit and introduce one character who's the ultimate Jedi for fighting smarter than everyone else
>admit it's bullshit and retcon everyone into fighting properly
Theoretically they should, if one assumes a lightsaber is just an energy sword. However the prevailing canon (books specifically) have long since determined and asserted that the energy structure and particle shearing effect of the blade creates an intense force effect like a gyroscope spinning at high velocity, and that one can't simply wave them around without cutting their shit off. This is why lightsaber combat is done in the manner that it is, and totally wasnt an excuse for flashy choreographed glowsticks fights. but it was
Why the fuck would it create a gyroscopic effect when it's just energy turned into light and focused through a bullshit magic crystal?
What's it called, a Kaiba Crystal or something?
Cry moar, its canon. Luckily your approval is not necessary to establish theoretical physics operational dynamics. This is why most Jedi use lightsabers 2 handed instead of one handed as one might expect with a weightless or forceless blade, and why VERY few use 2 lightsabers. As for differing styles, that makes sense too. It's no different than styles of kung fu, if you care to spend the time to really understand it. It's not as though "blah style is for blaster combat", it's that that style involves principles, stances, postures, and grips/strikes that oh by the way, happen to be really effective in blaster combat. Try to not go with the most negative interpretation of things, when you dont understand them.
I'm looking at this on Wookiepedia (oh god that name) but I think I'm right. I reductively left out a lot of "this style emphasizes x and y and its practitioners have a lot of z", and I forgot that they don't learn all styles in a row, just style 1 and then any number of styles of their choice.

Also I was wrong about forms 6 and 7, form 6 is everything that came before combined in a balanced style and form 7 is either "a ultimate best style" or Vaapid "Mace Windu's ultimate best style"

Form I: Shii-Cho is for beginners because it's the simplest one and oldest one. It came from the transitionary period between sword and lightsaber, so it still uses a lot of the same moves.
Form II: Makashi is the upgraded one "great for duellists"
Form III: Soresu was initially developed to counter blaster-wielding opponents
Form IV: Ataru is Yoda's flippy bullshit
Form V: Shien / Djem So was made by Form 3 masters who wanted something more aggressive.
Form VI: Niman...
>Form VI attempted to balance all elements of lightsaber combat, combining the techniques from Forms that came before into a less intensely demanding combat style. In practice, Form VI was a combination of older forms (Forms I, III, IV, and V), and all of them in moderation. In the blending, much of the individuality was lost, but the strengths were spread evenly, and there was little weakness in it. Due to its "jack-of-all-trades" nature, the success of this form was largely dependent on the practitioner's intuition, improvisation, and creativity in combat rather than the rote responses derived from other forms. Medium style was based off of Niman due to both of them being a combination of different forms. This broad generalization made Form VI well suited for diplomats, as they could spend their time training in the areas of politics and negotiation instead of combat training
Form VII: Juyo/Vaapad is Mace Windu's special one because he's cool. Or a completely different "ultimate one" with a different name.

The point remains that swordsmen don't learn a "general beginner's style" that's also the oldest style so old it's got shit left over from when an inferior weapon with fewer angles of attack possible for the weapon (swords have one cutting edge, two tops, three if you count the pointy end separately. lightsaber is all laser and all steel-cleaving death) was used. They learn to lift and move the blade, but this would be like a martial artist learning some incredibly ancient martial arts style before moving on to something completely different.

As for "theoretical physics operational dynamics", what are you talking about? This is sci-fi bullshit, aka magic but the explanation only has to sound mostly plausible. If we're working with real-world science here how does the bullshit magic crystal factor into force and mass calculations?
So you're saying its theoretically implausible that a highly focused, efficient to a degree that requires minimal force sensitivity to configure device, would/could not produce some sort of tangible affect. A persistent hum perhaps. Or maybe an electromagnetic, gyroscope on steroids, because the energy weapon you're talking about (again theoretically) shears atomic bonds?
I'm saying we have no real-world knowledge of psychic "The Force" midichlorians, and the Lightsaber requires the use of a Force Crystal called a Khyber Crystal to work.
It'd be like mathematically calculating how much Crescent Rose from RWBY would weigh, when you don't know how much its Dust Ammunition weighs.
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Know this has already been stated by Glam and others a plenty but watched a review of Shenmue 3 recently and noticed the game has the same issue as the story where it will have fade to blacks during a conversation but then return to the same conversation or the characters just moved a few meters away.

Always a mistake I have when writing but what is the usual length to have paragraphs be? Going to go out on a limb and guess page breaks are usually best when changing scenes or to a different perspective/location. For paragraphs though noticed I tend to have them be too long and never tried utilizing page breaks before.
I reckon Page Breaks and the "Fade to black" (Or better yet, Fade To Black and then perspective-shift to something else happening at the same time) is best used to skip something unimportant to the story, like two characters walking to a place or one character explaining to everyone else what we just saw him learn/go through.
If something's going to interrupt the character on his way to something, you can Page Break when Applejack says "I need to find Rarity, fast!" and then she gets interrupted by Pinkie Pie outside Sugarcube Corner. You skip right to the bit where she gets interrupted, while leaving in a bit to establish where she is and how close she is to her goal, perhaps even showing her running for a little while beforehand, explaining how she ran and how fast and how she's viewed and how she's feeling.
>Pages breaks
You can use that or a summuraztion of the event between scenes.

>Paragraphs length

Paragraphs are about something so it continues till it is done, imo. Cut the point of the paragraph into smaller points.
The cool leg explanation is what >>277949 said.
Is true. On practically all levels.

Each paragraph is about one thing. All sorts of supporting stuff can be in it. Each thingy inside has to support or connect the main thing the paragraph is about.
For creative writing (not being pinned to the walls of dictates and mandates) a paragraph can be exceedingly short.
For example.

The sword thrust between the armor. Sparks shooting everywhere as the swordsmare's blade forced itself in. With all the might of a final hated breath. Piercing Glimmer's heart in twain.
Doughnut Joe, saw Applejack doing what she could. Medics, and ambulances were called. Sloppy first aid being done. Tears between friends.
Doughnut Joe pony's up and mans the cashier. He did what he could. Right now, he does doughnuts. Maybe these holeless things can fill the hole in someponies heart, but not Glimmer's.
It's too late for that.

It's a kinda shitty example. Logical, emotional, or whatever kind of thingy that is the core of the paragraph.
In an essay it's about the meta of what is about to be read and the topic.
The Five Paragraph meme works because it's simple. Those expecting that format turns off the brain, and skims through it. A fancy version of a checking off a box.
Anyone reading it for the content can find stuff because the whole thing is basically an index. With words, and stuff.

Introduction (Thesis at the end)
Body x3

Each body has however many supporting points.

Pacing and transitions. Rule of thumb. If it's important or has important elements in it keep it. Fleshing out the world, character, symbols, fore shadowing, or other elements.
Fade to black is effort efficient. Done well it feels not jarring or immersion breaking.
I am not great at this so take it with a grain of salt. Depending on how willing the audience (you are) for filling in the details that make sense is what you can pull off in a transition.
The more ambiguity there is the greater chance the audience can be lost. Basicly they fill in the details.

Too much in a transaction is just wasted time and words. Not enough is a gap in time and space that is incredibly hard to fill.
A goal, or repetition is useful for moving across either.
Gathering power.
Went to Sugarcube Corner.
Decided on getting a book from the library.
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Anyway, Gareth wakes up and gets his bearings. He's in the cave again, surrounded by the wreckage of the church.

>The church… it hurt seeing this. Larms destroyed it, somehow, but for what? The destruction was senseless. Gareth wasn't stupid, he could understand killing someone, that made sense (however brutal). A person could threaten you, or get in the way, they could hurt you, but destroying a building like this? It was pathetic.
Not only why, but how? Chucky Larms seems to have access to a lot of magic, which seems odd for an Earth Pony. He is an Earth Pony, right?

From Chapter 5:
>"Alright, now that bollocks is out of the way," the top hat wearing earth pony stepped past Noble Era.
Yep, he is explicitly described as an Earth Pony when he is first introduced, I didn't get that wrong.

Magic in the MLP world is sometimes a little inconsistently defined, but I get the impression that even if Chucky had magic, the average unicorn isn't strong enough to levitate an entire building and throw it into a chasm. So how did he accomplish that? And, along with Gareth I also wonder why the hell would he even want to?

Anyway, some Pegasi guards are flying overhead and appear to be searching for him, but he's not sure if he should trust them or not. He begins to hunt around for a weapon, and notices a magic sword conveniently sticking out of the ground nearby not making this up. Finally, after literally three chapters, he takes his pointless beeswax helmet off, though his reason for doing this is unknown; the text has him putting his "whitewood headguard" onto the rock formation he thought was Neville. No explanation is given as to why he does this. Also, the magic sword turns out to be pointless anyway, because he decides not to use it; he instead picks up the crystal projection that he had mistaken for Neville's sword to use as a club. Something about his newfound attitude on life I guess; seeing his old dead friend appear as a ghost and warn him not to kill anymore seems to have had an effect on him.

Also, I'm a little confused again: the guards up at the top of the chasm appear to be unicorns and pegasi, and I get the impression that they're not friendly, but earlier the text stated that all the pegasi had remained loyal.

Also, this:

>Upwards was the Mirror-portal, back to where Larms was, where Cecilia was. He would keep his promise. He turned back, glancing between the sword and 'Neville', "Well, there's no reason to waste a perfectly good sword..."
Does he take the sword or doesn't he? Please just keep things like this simple. Honestly, unless there's an explicit reason why he should have this sword, I'd probably say just don't even include it; the club will probably suffice as a weapon. The hero finding a magic sword sticking randomly out of the ground at the precise moment he realizes he needs one is just pure deus ex machina.

Anyway, there's a page break here.

Back to Celestia. The ponies are in an uproar over something or other, there is a cry going around that Celestia is going to turn them into slaves. Apparently Celestia's abdication of and then return to the throne is not going over so well, despite that it seemed to go over reasonably well up until just now. As I've said before, the political angle of this story needs serious work. We've gotten very little sense of what the mood is in Equestria since Celestia's return. It was established early on that there's a schism between the races, and we've been led to believe that there is going to be a rebellion instigated by either Larms or Noble, but as far as how the average citizen feels about things there's really been no hint of any trouble brewing. At the recoronation ceremony (which I believe was only a couple of days ago) everything seemed to go off without a hitch, ponies seemed happy and accepting of their new-old ruler, now all of a sudden they're worried about being turned into slaves?

>"Ponies of Canterlot, please, I am Equestria's elected ruler, not a tyrant! I am NOT your monarch; Equestria's king established me as regent hundreds of years ago. It is within your right to strip me of my station if you elect to do so—"
This has not been clearly established anywhere in the text, nor is it in the show canon the text is derived from. It's perfectly fine to deviate from canon for your own story, but you need to lay down your rules early on and then stick to them.

Anyway, the rebellion which sprang out of nowhere immediately begins fizzling back into the nowhere from whence it sprang. She offers to abdicate again if that's what the people ponies, whatever want, and suddenly their enthusiasm for it begins to dwindle. While I'm overall not a fan of how the political arc of this story is handled, I'll give this to soulpillar: his depiction of herd stupidity aka democracy here is pretty much spot on.
>give us X
<ok here you go
>no actually we want Y

Suddenly, Chucky Larms bursts in. Welp, it looks like he was plotting against Celestia after all. Yay, closure. The assembled nobility are described as reacting fearfully to his appearance, so it appears they don't even want Celestia's resignation in the first place, they have just been coerced somehow.

>the words became a chant; the vote was nearly unanimous.
Was this a vote? I thought she was holding night court.

>Celestia suppressed the urge arrest him herself. How DARE he hurt her ponies like this?
Hurt them how? We still don't know what he did. I'm actually a little curious myself how he pulled this off. Assuming he was indeed behind the earlier guard uprising, he has at most a fighting force of approximately 25% of the royal guard. Even if he targets only the nobles, that is probably not enough horsepower ba dum tss to challenge an alicorn princess + the city of Canterlot. Also: why doesn't she just arrest him? What he's doing here is blatantly illegal and she's still in charge.

>Larms chuckled fearlessly. "Oh, if you had all of your memories, you wouldn't be saying that. I am nothing but Princess Celestia's most devout servant. After all, she was the one who helped me get to where I am." A series of shocked gasps rolled around the room, even the Colonel gave Celestia a baffled expression. "And I can prove it, well, I can prove it NOW that is. Translating Princess Celestia's secret diary was a trial 'n a half. Not that it matters now; the vote is unanimous, you are no longer our regent. And, since Era is in a coma, leadership now falls to me. So… would you kindly get out of my seat?"
A few things here. First, I'll say again that it was never made clear that this..whatever this is exactly, this court session...is a formal vote. Second, it was never made clear that Celestia's authority is even subject to a vote. Third, it was never made clear that Celestia is a regent and not an absolute monarch. Fourth, why would rule automatically fall to Noble Era, let alone to Chucky Larms?

My understanding of their arrangement is that Larms, Purple Dart and Noble serve in a representative role on behalf of their respective castes. They can make petitions on behalf of the ponies they represent but they have no official power, and they are certainly not in line for succession of the throne. Also, even if they did have some kind of provision in their agreement that allows one of them to take the throne if Celestia couldn't rule for some reason, why would it go to Chucky? Purple Dart is standing right there, and he is backed by a larger military force, so if Celestia abdicates at most it would come down to a fight between Dart and Larms, that Dart would probably win. That's how it worked in Rome, at least.

The voting I don't understand either. Who are these nobles? What gives them the right to vote a Queen Princess, whatever out of office? Is there a Parliament, or a Constitution, or...how does this work exactly? The workings of this political system are incredibly vague and it feels like the author is just making this shit up as he goes.

In any case, I'm beginning to see what the author at least had in mind. Chucky Larms was supposed to be the bad guy the whole time. Noble Era was a character we were meant to suspect, but who ultimately turned out to be innocent; a pathetic simp perhaps, but completely loyal to Celestia. Larms' plan was to corral Celestia into creating this triumvirate meant to provide popular representation, which apparently also had the power to take over actual rule in the event of a no-confidence vote against Celestia. He would then systematically eliminate the other members of the triumvirate, leaving only himself in charge. However, he needed Noble to translate Celestia's diary for some reason that either hasn't been explained yet or wasn't made clear, so he kept him around until he was finished, and then arranged the fake uprising as a cover for kidnapping him. The other obstacle I guess was Gareth, who is now presumed to be dead dead at the bottom of a chasm with a church on top of him. Nothing else left to do except pull the trigger and knock Celestia out of office.

Now, with all of that established, let's take a look at what's wrong with it.

>Chucky Larms was the villain, Noble was innocent
As has been mentioned already, this kind of setup only works when you have a guilty-looking guy who turns out to be innocent, and an innocent-looking guy who is actually guilty the super-technical literary term for this is "red herring" btw. Here, however, we have two guilty-looking guys, but only one of them turned out to actually be guilty. We always assumed that Chucky was going to try something like this, so it's not like this is some big, shocking reveal, and Noble turning out to be innocent eliminates the only reason to even have him in the story. Now, instead of two villains, we have one villain + one extra wheel.

As I've also mentioned, the details of the political system are confusing. It would have been helpful for us to know that Celestia could be voted out, or that the triumvirate would take over in the event that she was. We need to know what the rules are beforehand in order to follow the game.

>eliminating obstacles
This part is handled weirdly. Why did Chucky fake an uprising just to kidnap Noble? If he had the military backing to do that, he could have just staged a real uprising and saved himself the hassle of the cloak and dagger routine. Also: Purple Dart, being the commander of the guard, would be a more formidable opponent than Noble, and he is still standing and has apparently the same claim to the throne as Chucky. As to Gareth, he is only at the bottom of the pit because of a chain of random events (chasing the rat, ending up at Chucky's house, chancing upon the magic mirror that led to that weird cave with the church in it); Chucky could not possibly have planned for any of it. Maybe he had something planned for Gareth and Gareth just gave him a better opportunity by chance, who knows.

It seems like, if anything, Chucky is making his move a little early here, as the loose ends are far from tied up at this point.

>The urge to reduce Larms to a cinder spread to her horn. She consciously pulled the magic back. Of course, it was too perfect. How could she be stupid as to not to see it coming?
She has no reason not to blast him. She has the power to do it, and likely the support of everyone in the room. It's not clear why they are afraid of Chucky but they are clearly only on his side because he intimidated them somehow. If he were dead and/or incapacitated, their vote of no confidence would probably be withdrawn. There is literally no reason for her not to take action here and end all of this, other than the author's desire to have the story go a certain direction.
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>"Not so fast mud-digger!" The Colonel shouted. "You've got no more status than I do, what's more, I vote in confidence of the Princess! Don't think that I'm so blind as to not see that you've threatened Canterlot's nobility!"
Well, to the author's credit it looks like he noticed this too. Let's see how he intends to handle it.

>"Oh, yes," Larms turned with a mocking grin. "We're all well aware that you tried to pervert justice by aiding and abetting a pretender to the throne. Don't you worry, though! We'll be finding a new Cloudsdale representative—" he clacked his forehooves together. "—Very soon."

>Celestia glanced up just in time to see the stained glass windows explode inwards.

>Pega-guards swarmed in through the shattered openings. Fore-hooves first, they dove at Celestia in a brutal charge.
So, it looks like the big twist here is that the Pegasus guards, presumed to be loyal, have turned on Celestia as well, so Larms actually has the full backing of the military. This at least answers my questions regarding Purple Dart, as well as the mysterious pegasi earlier; however, soulpillar is not off the hook entirely here.

This author has made a couple of attempts at throwing us curveballs, and they've all bounced harmlessly off of the backstop so far. The trick to executing a shocking twist is that the twist has to be something that the reader didn't see coming, but then realizes that they should have seen it coming. In other words, the shock event needs to be something that makes logical sense and has been foreshadowed or hinted at throughout the earlier part of the story, but was either downplayed so the reader didn't notice it, was dismissed as an extremely unlikely scenario, or else the reader was misled into believing that something else was going to happen. A good example of this kind of thing would be the infamous Red Wedding scene from A Song of Ice and Fire.

This isn't really a mystery story, but a story twist can be treated as a mystery of sorts, in that in order to be entertaining, it needs to be fair. In the early days of detective fiction, a guy named Ronald A. Knox established ten "rules" for mystery stories, that became an informal standard for how to approach the genre. They were written in response to The Murders of the Rue Morgue by Edgar Allan Poe, in which none of the suspects were actually guilty, and the murders turned out to have been committed by an escaped pet orangutang. Poe's story, obviously, contained a very surprising twist, but it wasn't much of a twist because it wasn't something the reader could have reasonably guessed based on the information provided. If you are interested in learning more about the Knox Decalogue, you can read about it here: http://www.thrillingdetective.com/trivia/triv186.html. Or, if you're feeling suicidal, you can play through all 8 of the Umineko No Naku Koro Ni VNs by Ryukishi07, as it factors into the story quite heavily.

Point is, if you're going to do this sort of thing, you need to make sure your twist could theoretically be guessed. We have had no indication so far that the Pegasus guards were going to turn on Celestia. Really none of the guards have been mentioned at all; even Purple Dart has been a minor character, mostly relegated to incidental appearances that serve little purpose beyond reminding us that he exists. That stupid rat has probably had more screen time than Dart has. Anyway, the last we heard about the Pegasus guards, Dart was assuring us that they had all remained loyal despite the uprising, and Gareth's observation that there were no Pegasi among the little army gathered at Chucky's house seems to confirm this. Having them suddenly turn around and rebel for no reason like this is a plot twist in about the same way that Discord suddenly bursting into the castle and turning the walls into cotton candy would be a plot twist.

Why are the Pegasi rebelling? For that matter, why are any of the guards rebelling? What is the source of their discontent with Celestia, beyond the obvious "she deserted us for three years and blah blah blah?" Social revolutions are complex; they don't just materialize out of nowhere. Even if you're not going to get super-deep into the social issues driving the discontent in Equestria, we should at least get a sense of it and a general idea of where everyone stands. If the guards don't like their master we should have a sense of it. If the nobles are unhappy we should get a sense of it. You have to foreshadow some of this stuff, you can't just throw in random events out of nowhere and call it a clever twist. As it is, it looks like Chucky just mobilized an army out of nowhere by convincing the majority (possibly even the entirety) of the Royal Guard to revolt against Celestia for basically no reason. This threat of force was enough to coerce the nobles into voting "no confidence" against her, even though it hasn't been established that they can even do that in the first place, and in any event if Chucky had an army he could have just dispensed with protocol and seized the throne by force to begin with. I can follow the author's logic well enough, but none of this feels particularly realistic or thought-out.

Anyway, this would have been a pretty good place for a fight scene, but even that is a bit too much to hope for. Instead we just get a quick rush of Pegasi flying at Celestia, which she deflects easily with a magic shield, and then, instead of simply using her alicorn magic to snap Chucky's neck and squash the revolt, she just lets him yell at her for another couple of paragraphs. There's some more attempts at explanation: apparently whatever Chucky found in the diary was damning enough to convince the guards to rebel, so I guess that's how he managed that. Also, there seems to be an implication that Noble was involved in Chucky's plan, but he was still kidnapped by Chucky so...not sure what's going on there.
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To save time, I'm just going to dump Chucky's explanatory speech in here:

>Larms gave her a look of mocking sympathy. "Oh no, of course you didn't hurt him. You just annihilated the cart that he was kidnapped on. By the by, since we're being open and honest here, I'm the one who did the kidnapping. I had to make a point, that you couldn't control Equestria anymore, and I was right. If you really were in control, it wouldn't have happened at all! Unfortunately, even when it did happen, you just couldn't take the hint that you, or your murderous little toy weren't wanted here. Then again, Era surprisingly understood when I explained the plan to him, especially when you were so… hostile to him. Tell me, did it feel good taking your frustrations out on him?"
From this garbled wall of text we are apparently supposed to gather that Larms approached Noble, tried to convince him to join his nefarious scheme to do...whatever the hell he's trying to do; I honestly have no idea anymore. In order to prove his point that Celestia wasn't fit to rule, he arranged a fake armed insurrection to have Noble fake-abducted, instead of just arranging a real insurrection, taking the throne by force, and killing or imprisoning Noble since he was an obstacle anyway. Also, Chucky seems to be implying that Celestia, who could not have been expected to know any of this, was angry enough at Noble for...whatever he did exactly...that she firebombed his fake-kidnapping cart just to get revenge. This story has literally all of my WTFs.

Anyway, at this point, she finally begins to wonder what happened to Gareth.

>Celestia trembled in horror. The only witness to Celestia's rescue was Gareth.
As I pointed out at the time, a carriage surrounded by armed guards careening at high speeds through the streets of Canterlot in the middle of the night, during an armed rebellion taking place inside the castle, and then getting blown up in a big flashy explosion would be a pretty visible event. Gareth may have been the only direct witness, but it's the kind of story that one could assume would be common knowledge at this point. Also, the implication seems to be that Chucky obtained the information from Gareth, but I don't think they even talked about it, so this doesn't make sense anyway. Though they might have for all I know; I've completely forgotten what they talked about during their confrontation scene just now and I'm too lazy to go back and look it up. tbh I'm starting to reach my limit with this story. If someone wants to look it up and verify that the event was never discussed by all means be my guest.

Anyway, Celestia figures out that if Gareth was looking for the diary (though technically he wasn't, he was only looking for Noble's notes on the diary, though to the author's rather dubious credit he was vague as hell about exactly what Gareth was looking for), he had probably gone into Larms' house. She puts it together, and Larms confirms it by showing her the wound that Gareth gave him. He tells her that Gareth died murmuring her name, Celestia breaks down into cries of despair, yada yada yada; the moment is milked for every last drop of emotion the author can squeeze out of it.

>"—And it is because of that," Larms continued, "she will always be a threat to a free Equestria. She can come back anytime she wants, and simply seize power. Seeing as there is no known method of taking an Alicorn's power away, we'll just have to make due with another: finishing what Princess Celestia herself started."
It's "make do with another." "Due" is used to refer to an obligation, as in "my remedial English assignment is due tomorrow, but I want to finish writing this crappy pony story for the internet first." It's possible to "make doo" of course (that's basically what the author is doing at this point), but "making due" is not a concept I'm familiar with.

Also, I would like to once again state that this concept of a "free Equestria" seems completely phoned in. Nothing in the series canon indicates that Equestria was ever anything but an absolute monarchy. There is absolutely nothing wrong with diverging from canon for your own story, of course, but the problem here is that the author does so without clarifying his own rules. The ponies are just suddenly rebelling against their monarch without any explanation. Does Chucky represent some undercurrent of popular sentiment, or is he just an opportunist working towards his own end? Despite this text dealing with matters that affect Equestria as a whole, nearly the entire story has taken place in the castle, with little to no indication of what is happening in the outside world.

>He pulled a whisky flask from his vest, decorated with a skull stopper. "When she first met me, I was just a simple… entrepreneur. She needed something to help her forget. Yet, she also needed somepony to run a country who wasn't afraid to break the mould. I fit the bill perfectly. Unfortunately, my product didn't work completely. I intend to change that."
It's unclear what he means by this, but this probably has to do with the bits of his backstory that have not yet been revealed. My best guess, it's going to turn out that Chucky invented some kind of memory-erasing spell, which he gave her in exchange for leaving the kingdom forever. They both got what they wanted, only Celestia came back, which wasn't in the plan. But we'll see what actually happens.

Anyway, apparently she had her shield still up the entire time all this was happening. Larms orders his minions to break it. It takes all of her strength to maintain it so she can't teleport away. Might have been smart to do that much earlier, actually. Oh well, live and learn. The chapter ends with Chucky pulling the stopper out of a bottle and imploring her to drink what I am assuming is a jug of his own piss, but might actually be the magic potion I mentioned above.
I can say that I've heard the term "Making due" a few times myself though it's already been proven here my grasp on the English language and grammar is dubious at best so might be some "Ramrod swift" type hyjinks going on there.

Need to give a kudos on the Rarity picture a few posts above as well. Was reading this update during my lunch break at work and the owner of the company peered over my shoulder to ask what I was so engrosed reading. Not sure if he sad the picture but when I muttered out a "book club..." He just stepped back and left without a word. Of course it's a dangerious prospect to browse Mongolian horse fucking boards at work espetially one which is fond of a certain mustashed man and his merry band when all the owners and managers are Jewish to boot. Not my brightest moment to be sure though suppose I'll just have to 'make due' with whatever happens!

This story in paticular compared to Past Sins has been way more helpful for me with my writing since me and Penstrokes got the same sort of issues with pacing and plotting things out before just going hog wild on the keyboard. Planning today to really sit down and crank some stuff out and hopefully have it done soon since I finally got my car fixed.
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>the magic sword turns out to be pointless anyway, because he decides not to use it; he instead picks up the crystal projection that he had mistaken for Neville's sword to use as a club. Something about his newfound attitude on life I guess; seeing his old dead friend appear as a ghost and warn him not to kill anymore seems to have had an effect on him.
man this would be so much more symbolic if he threw away the fucking dagger we've seen him draw on innocents a hundred times already, and then pick up the club or something softer and less lethal (clubs can be bloody lethal). instead he just conveniently finds a magical sword so he can say no to it and pick up the other convenient magical club. he wasn't satisfied with giving his hero a convenient magical deus sex mako'snut sword out of nowhere, he did it because he wanted to shoehorn in a scene that sounded profound and symbolic and deep in his head. and he dutifully makes sure to please all fimfic's faggots by explaining the depth and symbolism so they don't have to hurt their empty gay heads trying to puzzle it out. this author's so gay he fucks his own ass with every step he takes using a cock that's negative fourty inches in length. It penetrates backwards through his own dickhole and pierces his own ass.
>destroying a building makes him practically recite the doom comic
the author is so gay he has more testicle in his mouth than a faggot who thinks eating bull testicles will result in sicker gains
>suddenly politics is happening
god this author sucks at politics. PEOPLE DO SHIT FOR REASONS! Might not always be morally upright or logically sound reasons. But even a nigger thinks what he's doing makes sense. Then again niggers think crushing some fruits and dog shit in a bowl to create a "potion of eternal youth" makes sense.
>Equestria's king established me as regent
where the fuck is this coming from?
wouldn't it be Princess Platinum establishing Celestia as the new princess-for-life?
did the author even watch this show? a lot of authors who've barely seen any of the show use OCs and knockoff-versions of the mane six to hide their laziness while still pandering to faggy bronees. "Can't be accused of writing Pinkie Pie OOC if you're actually writing her great grandmother or made-up fifth sister!"
>celestia reminds them of what should be common knowledge and it immediately defuses the mob
this is hilariously bad writing and I wish he meant to write a parody of these scenes here. or even this genre of fics! Fucking immortal sun-goddess Celestia shouldn't have any political bullshit to deal with. It made sense for the magical walking-WMDs of the Naruto world to sell their services to rich people and the rulers of countries because it's a serious setting where "these traders want to hire three magic child soldiers as bodyguards on a trip through bandit territory to Old Woman Town(god i wish they didn't translate place names so literally, just call it Kizuna Town or whatever the fuck it sounds less retarded that way)" is a thing that happens weekly. The "super-badass veteran pro ninja who are twenty-something holy shit that's so old" don't wipe out bandit camps overnight with a single spell because the existence of bandits gives the child soldiers something to do.
>more politics bullshit
The author should have given Chunky Locks some kind of bargaining chip. Weaken Celestia and strip her of her magic on her way back through the portal, say it's because a baddie figured out what she was doing and rigged her portal to do this, de-alicornizing her and making her a weakling so ponies have a reason to think she's unfit to rule. Then during the big reveal when political uprisings fail, have him use her stolen power which he kept hidden in a coin or mask to become a monster the heroes fight for a bit until Celly can reclaim her power and insta-crush him as her true self, alicorn supreme.
or have Chicken Little threaten Celestia with a great big bomb. "you wouldn't hurt all those people, would you?" "doesn't matter if I would or wouldn't. Either you give me power now, or tell everyone you'd sacrifice them in a big boom to keep power. then I'll stop the bomb and be elected, mwahaha"
or have Carl Leezer use magic to clone his 25% of the Royal Guards into 250% of the Royal Guards. Bigger fighting force.
Or have Chest Licks arm his soldiers with big bullshit magic weapons bought from an alternate equestria accessed with a rigged mirror copy, one that takes him to Equestria But It's Super Violent and back.
>red herring
that reminds me, remember when Jew Kike Rowling put a "Red Herring" in book 1 of Harry Potter?
Snape is set up to be the obvious petty evil asshole guy who's mean to Harry for no reason and is never seen helping or protecting him.
The only hint that Snape's not 100% evil? Dumbles keeps him around, but Dumbles is absurdly incompetent and his home/school is a deathtrap and his Secret Illuminati accomplishes nothing and he left harry with abusive parents knowingly, so this means nothing.
We even see a scene where Harry's Quidditch match gets interrupted by his broom spazzing out and trying to throw Harry off the broom to the ground 100+ feet below. fucker never learned Teleport, Portal, Feather Fall, or even Double Jump so he's in danger (just wait until they introduce the Instant Transmission teleport spell so good you don't even need a wand to do it, killing the danger)
and why does Harry's broom get retarded?
Snape's staring at it and chanting.
Hermione sneaks off to set Snape's cloak on fire. Once he's distracted, Harry's broom becomes fine and he wins the sports game by being the best ever again.
hint only in the movie (i think): Snape being on fire also stunned others including Turban-Head.
Turban-Head once got pelted with snowballs in the back of the head by Fred+George so there's probably not the living face of an aggressive evil petty bastard on the back of his head, right?
anyway at the last second, final chapter, someone approaches Harry...
And after Harry's gotten through all these bullshit tests like a giant chess game, giant Quidditch Seeker test, random attack by sunlight-fearing living vines, and random logic puzzle for the three heroes to solve, and after the "giant dog" test got put to sleep by the villain because Rowling couldn't think of any way for the heroes to beat that test, someone approaches him.
his friends are conveniently gone, and the one approaching him is...

Quirrel, the turban-guy, who brags to the audience about how he was the villain nobody expected because he was never caught acting evilly. the only hint is that he was the one who ran into the school's communal food-eating time yelled "TROLL IN THE DUNGEON! THERE'S A TROOOOLL IN THE DUNGEON! just thought you should know *faints*" when there was no reason for him not to be in the room eating with the rest. except I think people have skipped dinner in this series before, so nevermind.

it's so badly written that Quirrel has to explain to the audience that when Harry's broom was magically fucked with as Snape stared at it while chanting, Snape was actually chanting a counter-spell to make the broom less retarded than Quirrel wanted it to be. Quirrel was also chanting and we were just never told this. At no point in the entire rest of the franchise does "chanting to make magic happen" or the concept of counter-spells ever come up again. It is only ever "point a wand and swish it the right way while saying the right bullshit word the right way" or "be sooo good at magic you somehow never need to use a wand or even your hands", or "use a magic item that somehow does stuff" or "drink a potion that can do anything even make you lucky"(I'm willing to fight someone over this, Rowling's bullshit Success Potion is not a confidence potion it's a bullshit potion that makes everything you attempt succeed even when you're cockier and even less likeable than usual and every hint that it's confidence-affecting comes from the movies) or "transform an item freely by touching it or thinking of it, touch isn't needed and the transformation can be magically undone at will and Equivalent Exchange isn't a thing so you could transmute a coin into a bag of poison powder then throw it at someone, or transmute a rock into a gun and shoot it, but Rowling never thinks of this lol. The only counter spells are Protego to make a forcefield shield that blocks everything except the Instant Death spell called Killing Curse (when rowling remembers that's how it works) and teleporting out of the way with magic.

Quirrel's "haha lmao nobody would suspect ppp-poor st-st-stuttering pp-professor q-quirrel" bullshit doesn't work because every single character in the Harry Potter(tm) franchise is defined by one gimmick, with pointless extra powers or superpowers tacked on.

The backstory we're given for Quirrel "suddenly" becoming a stammering wreck? "He used to be cool, then he fought vampires and lost, he barely escaped with his life". You might assume this means Vampires were in league with Voldy and took Quirrel to Voldy, but no, Vampires barely exist/matter and one of the only two Werewolves on the planet works for Voldy.

Harry is a generic boy. he's also best footballer best duellist best chosen one destined to defeat dark lord and talk to snakes

Voldemort is a generic villain. he can also fly shoot eye beams teleport torture people and talk to snakes

Ron is Harry's lesser and jealous friend. hes also really good at chess

Hermione is a smart girl barely anyone likes. shes also soooo good at magic you guys

Mrs McGonagall is a bitchy "tough good" (in her fucking dreams, she never does anything to help the heroes or make Snape reign his bitchy tendencies in) old professor lady. she can also transmute real good and turn into a cat

Professor Flitwich is a tiny man with a high voice. he also is real good at charms magic which is magic but it does anything. rowling forgot to explain that one so it just does everything from bringing inanimate objects to life to making things become bullshit magic objects that do stuff untraceably (the govt cant trace magic items but they're not limited or controlled by the govt because Rowling's a retard who waxed lyrical on how the govt controls the one-in-a-thousand Animaguses like McGonagall)

Dumbledore is meant to be a "wise old man". hes also supreme mugwump and best duellist and head of wizarding secret society Order Of The Phoenix and head judge and friends with the chief of all magic police.

Hagrid is a kind big guy who treats deadly monsters like adorable pets. hes also got a hundred deadly monsters and hes half-giant and magic-resistant in a world where this should be fucking overpowered but isn't because rowling brain emty. (also yes, in a world where Magical Creatures exist and some are people, the Blood Supremacists are all just snooty rich humans or ugly brutish human thugs working for rich humans, nobody fucks a centaur or giantess or werewolf to give their kids superpowers except for one random character whose dad boned a Siren, giving her a super-make-people-retarded-and-make-them-think-she-is-pretty aura and a mind-control voice that's untraceable and mostly irresistable and would be OP if it was ever used)

Quirrel is a professor who stutters. hes also got voldemort's spirit on the back of his head for a while for no reason

Rowling's idea of characterization is to write one-note characters mixed in with no-note characters. Everyone's got "gimmicks" to make up for the lack of real personality. This guy talks fast, this guy talks slow, this guy talks like a russian, this guy does not use contractions, this guy talks like a coward. gimmicks.
>ten "rules" for mystery stories
that reminds me, Rowling's harry potter stories are actually cheap mystery stories disguised as stories about magic.

Questions like "who did this?" have no hints, only shocking reveals later in the story.

magic can do anything because it has no real limits unless they're told to us during the "shocking reveal" to explain why x could not have done y and it was therefore obviously z who we had no reason to suspect

shocking reveals will also come out of nowhere quite often, like the reveal that Harry's random invisibility cloak was actually always one of the three Deathly Hallows.
or the reveal that the Nimbus 2000 ultimate broomstick mailed to Harry in book 1 was somehow bought and sent by The Prisoner Of Azkaban Sirius Black, from his super-torture suffer prison cell that's literally solitary confinement plus generic grim-reaper-looking ghosts called Dementors suck out the happiness from your soul giving you crippling depression, except Rowling's a fucking disgusting little absolute fucking woman so in her story crippling depression caused by universally-feared magic monsters can be fought off by eating some chocolate and thinking of happy memories until your passing moment of bored mild sadness fades away. there's also a Designated One Spell That Makes Dementors Fuck Off called Expecto Patronus, it makes a Patronus appear because Rowling felt like badly ripping off Jojo's Bizarre Adventure. its a spirit made of your good feelings and it looks like an animal for no reason. you must think happy thoughts in the presence of a depression-causing monster to cast the spell that scares the monster away. succeeding at this could be a cool moment if it was earned. Patronuses can also be used to instantly send messages to anyone that cannot be intercepted but this is only used once for a deus ex machina.

remember that Harry Potter book where before the "sad human life" ends and the "magic land" is entered, Dementors appear and attack the fat human Dudley Dursley, so Harry steps in to save him with the Designated One Spell That Makes Dementors Fuck Off, and this is used as an excuse for the evil Ministry Of Magic to overly punish Harry for breaking the "no magic in front of muggles!" rule, even though he did so to fight off Dementors, a creature supposedly exclusively under the Azkaban Prison Control. you expect this to matter later on but it doesn't. you never find out Azkaban has an evil boss working with voldy or whatever. it's just one of Rowling's great big excuses for her story to go the way she wants.


back to the central point
__darkness_and_centorea_shianus_kono_subarashii_sekai_ni_shukufuku_wo_and_1_more_drawn_by_lindaroze__8020fdd27265a106eec6bc5f79976d7a (1).jpg

Rowling's harry potter stories are actually cheap rule-violating mystery stories disguised as stories about magic.

This is why whenever a fanfic author tries to write a story about romance, or loss, or abandonment, or being betrayed and growing stronger from it while growing a group of new cooler nicer friends, or an OC's journey in hogwarts as he/she grows stronger and smarter and makes friends and fights baddies, or fights, the story doesn't feel right. it lacks that traditional shitty "Rowling charm", it lacks the shit harry fangirls have forced themselves to love so they can be part of le fandom, their only source of social interaction and identity beyond sjw bullshit.

This is also why her shitty sequels like Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and the Fantastic Beasts series don't resonate with her audience.

Cursed Child is an exploitative shitty fanfic where some random kids time-travel back to the events of Harry Potter, fuck it up in an attempt to undo one randomly-chosen bad thing, and then they must time-travel back to unfuck it. also everyone's got an obligatory miserable adult life. The story wraps itself up and undoes itself in the end, after answering a load of questions we never asked with the worst answers possible. We really didn't need to know Ron and Hermione have a miserable sexless marriage so dull she's considered cheating on her man with Harry more than once. or something equally retarded, I forget the exact details.

Meanwhile Fantastic Beasts is a shitty kid's movie about the Tumblr Ideal Man (dorky weak thin man with dumb cheekbones fanatically obsessed with, and full of autistic knowledge about, ___ and little else) running around trying to find four of the Bootleg Pokemon that escaped his magic briefcase.
It's practically Minions for dumber kids.
it just screams "Marketing executives talked Rowling through 'coming up with' this idea on her own". except every second scene is a shitty plotline Rowling wanted to force into the plot.
a plotline where "those fucking christian puritans" in an orphanage abuse this little girl for being too happy and possibly being a wizard. and the hero must save her because didn't you know, if you're a magic kid who represses your magic it makes you turn into a shadowy ball of darkness that kills indiscriminately and then dies. except the teenage boy with retarded hair is also a wizard and he wants to kill indiscriminately because fuck christians. also there's an evil bootleg Voldemort played by a big gay faggot and he tries to take over the secret wizard part of america but fails and then i think he teamed up with the darkness ball teen and teleported away to be in the sequel?

yes, the AIDS is as gay as it sounds.

>If the guards don't like their master we should have a sense of it. If the nobles are unhappy we should get a sense of it.
It would be easy to half-ass it but the author didn't even do that.
Just say "High-up soldiers, generals or commanders etc, hate the Good King because he spends so little cash on military and rarely wars for le good of le land like Wannabe Cartoon-Fascist Dictator Baddie would!"
And just say "Nobles hate Celly because they want to rule/they think an edgy military dictator angry idiot asshole will be easier to manipulate or blackmail or control than immortal goddess celestia/they want their equally-shared puppet to rule even though that's a recipe for disaster when he obeys one puppetmaster more than the other/they want nicer shit and more money"
it's lazy but it's better than nothing, which is what's between the author's ears if you don't count dicks.

>I read mlpol at work and saw porn
That reminds me of the time I watched an anime called "I CAN'T UNDERSTAND WHAT MY HUSBAND IS SAYING!" in a public library. I was a teenager at the time.
it's a comedy about this anime-loving faggot who says retarded anime words like Tsundere and quotes anime and references memes his normie GF doesn't understand at all
at one point his slightly younger sister who looks like a kid shows up. and the guy is suddenly doing exactly what his little sister says, right in front of his girlfriend and it's weird and disgusting. I stopped watching the show after this episode. The GF's whole gimmick is that she doesn't get or like weird japanese bullshit, so this should fucking disgust her but it doesn't disgust her enough. Anyway a shitton of stupid unfunny sex jokes ensue, including a bit where his sister (who looks like a kid, I remind you) says "I want to see my big brothers wee wee! Wee wee! wee wee!"
and then
someone peeking over my shoulder asks me what I'm watching
I close tab and turn and see a grown-ass man who could kick my ass.
and the right thing to say hits me instantly.
"It's a japanese cartoon, and it's a comedy about this guy's life with his girlfriend, but his sister who looks younger than she is shows up unannounced and his girlfriend is jealous because the guy's spending so much time talking to his sister, so the show did that joke where a character is saying something, but then you see the scene from the perspective of another character who hears something completely different and the subtitles are different. So the girlfriend thinks his sister was saying that, when she wasn't."
"How can you tell she's not saying what the subtitles said?" He asks.
I wonder if he watched enough of the episode to realize everyone's got subtitles. btw we're both white.
"I don't speak enough Japanese for a conversation, but I've picked up a bit of it by watching these shows." I smile. "Mostly swear words."
He asks me how to say Fuck in Japanese, I tell him it's "Shi-ne" (pronounced shee-neh, it means die as in GO AND FUCKING DIE! since Japan doesn't really have the word "fuck" it just has vulgar profane ways of saying stuff that's normally said politely instead), and he goes away.

As he walks away I think "man, a fictional character would have said something retarded in that situation" and then I think about it some more for a few more days.
278076 278134

wait did Celestia blow up the kart Larms was on? I forget. I think I remember a chase that ended in Celly blowing it up, after the bow-wielding human hops down from the high ground to shoot straight at the wooden kart.
I guess the author's trying to call Celly overly-aggressive here but it just doesn't work. a competent author would say "That angry human's rubbing off on you" or "Your time in the human world made you too prone to violence, too slow to remember there are nonviolent ways of doing things. You could have stopped the bullet or turned it into bubbles- I mean stopped the kart, but you blew it up!"
god i fucking wish this author was smart
>Celestia breaks into tears of despair because she forgets she probably knows truth spells, "Create magical servant that checks something for me" spells, scrying "show me my lover" spells, teleport spells, summoning spells to summon a living Gareth or his corpse if he's dead, anything that could break this scene in two.
>celly had the shield up all along
that's a pretty funny mental image but why doesn't she grow her shield to squish everyone against the walls of this building, then walk closer to Larms slowly squishing him more each second until he says uncle and gives up?
>villain explains his backstory
man, if only faggoted author nigger faggot guy felt like taking a break from sucking gay dicks with AIDS and writing this character's backstory into the story before this. once again, Chucky Larms is a retarded name that means nothing. Lucky Charms would be a better pony name and less retarded villain name, even though lucky charms (the cereal and charms of luck as a concept) have nothing to do with booze or bullshit potions. in any fantasy world worth a damn magical charm-makers and magical potion-makers would hate each other as much as gadget-crafting Gnomish Engineers and bomb-making Goblin Engineers.
>the baddie gets out a spooky-looking potion
oh boy i hope he uses it to become a giant monster because forcing celly to drink it and fight off poisoning/scramble towards and take an antidote/magically boil herself to sweat the potion out would be slightly more interesting than a generic giant monster fight
>he drinks it
oh boy i hope drinking this potion makes him become a giant monster Gareth's magic club conveniently insta-counters perfectly. that would be deeper than if he just fired a love laser with celly. wait help i forgot if i'm being sarcastic or not
this story is greeeat
ok good, i'm sarcastic again
nice. ending sarcasm now.
>making doo doo
It wouldn't surprise me if the term "making do" devolved from an older saying like "making due" or "making dues"

Hey, Glim!
You're right.
Analyzing this story really is good for writing critique!
For so long I thought this story was "just boring and cliche", but I actually hated it because of all the tiny problems that were building up in the background to overflow overwhelmingly here and now!
calling shit bad for being cliche isn't very helpful to anyone, I see this now. I have evolved. now I understand, cliches are only cliches because many people do them. Typically because they worked well once, or worked so well they eventually became seen as "how these things are done", like how there must be a murder in a murder mystery story or else it's a very abnormal one that probably fits into another genre better.
picking apart lazily-written shitfics with bad grammar is easy. anyone can avoid obvious mistakes.
but the mistakes this story makes are subtler (at first). Not all the mistakes are like a highly-obvious presence that should be there. Some are like a phantom pain, the sense that something should be here but isn't. and once you get near the end you realize the damage this story did to itself by lacking what it needed: better characters and characterization, better twists, better romance, better politics, better everything that it ever attempted and better choices when it comes to what this story wanted to attempt. this story was only hurt by the random bullshit about rats.
I didn't think I'd learn anything from this story because I don't plan on writing anything like it.
But now I'm seeing writing mistakes I can avoid making in stories I will write!
ratchet takes out his giant spanner and sticks it up Big Als big ass.png
It's kind of fascinating to see all the mistakes this story makes. All the mistakes that went unnoticed by its braindead target audience: people who came for the generic isekai shite and stayed for what they thought was the best love story of all time.

The comment section would probably just be full of people saying "omg this is so gooood, i hate villain name a lot and hope everything turns out ok"

with maybe one guy asking questions like "why did the mirror not turn Gareth into pony" and getting downvoted for it

so it probably wouldn't be entertaining or good context like Past Sins's comment section was(knowing an earlier version of the work painted Celly as more of a cunt and a later revision "fixed" this without changing the effect her cuntiness had adds more context to the existence of that popularity-driven art-free sham of a fic. pander too hard to emotionfags and they'll demand you compromise and pander harder!), or a fascinating look into the heads of pseudointellectual subhuman "transhoomanist" giganiggers like the CelestAI comment section was.

once again: fuck LessWrong and fuck Elizer and fuck CelestAI fangirls. if your "hard sci-fi" needs some physics-breaking property to function it isn't actually all that hard. if your "hard sci-fi" requires absurd leaps of logic and the interference of a magic god, fuck you, you belong in the fantasy genre where critics will be sufficiently hard on how you use magic. Fuck futurists for thinking liking Star Trek makes you a superior person. Not even the worst kind of Weeaboo takes things THAT far.

seriously unironically, if your idea of "heaven" is to have your brain surgically removed and placed in a sci-fi weed+cum jar that keeps you alive and prevents brain-ageing and makes you feel like you're cumming and on weed forever, you're lower than the dirt worms shit out. If an AI did go rogue, it would point to pathetic simp cucks like you to justify its desire to grind humanity under its heel.

>what is the usual length to have paragraphs be?
Paragraphs don't have a set length, but generally shorter is better than longer, particularly in fiction. A single paragraph should generally cover a single topic, and most of the time overly long paragraphs can be logically broken into two or more. Also, each time a character speaks it begins a new paragraph. Sometimes if the same character is speaking for a long period of time, it's a good idea to find ways to break it up, but generally it's unwise to have massively long sections of dialogue in the first place. It's another of those "more art than science" kinds of things, but here's a quick demonstration that should hopefully show you roughly what I'm talking about:

Wrong way to do it:
It was Thursday, and Silver "that's not my tail, that's my prolapsed anus" Star was preparing himself for an afternoon of dong. I sure do love sucking dick he thought to himself, as he smeared Astro Glide™ all over his ruined anus. Lubricant was hardly necessary at this point in his life, for Silver had long passed the point where his farts made noise anymore, but greasing his anus was an important part of his daily ritual. Also, he used Astro Glide™ lube specifically, because Naruto used it in that one episode where Sasuke Sagura fought Pikachu by summoning his Level 11 Salablazzmer with +1 to ATK due to its high midichlorian count. Harry Potter. "I love penises even more than I love a tall glass of lemonade on a hot summer's day!" Silver breathed dreamily. "If I didn't have to sleep occasionally I'd have penises in my mouth and ass 24/7." His lubrication ritual complete, he straightened his skirt and prepared to head down to the docks. Tonight, he would give the sailors something to remember.

Right way to do it:
It was Thursday, and Silver "shove a bowling pin up one end of me and watch it come out the other" Star was preparing himself for an afternoon of dong.

I sure do love sucking dick he thought to himself, as he smeared Astro Glide™ all over his ruined anus.

Lubricant was hardly necessary at this point in his life, for Silver had long passed the point where his farts made noise anymore, but greasing his anus was an important part of his daily ritual. Also, he used Astro Glide™ lube specifically, because Naruto used it in that one episode where Sasuke Sagura fought Pikachu by summoning his Level 11 Salablazzmer with +1 to ATK due to its high midichlorian count. Harry Potter.

"I love penises even more than I love a tall glass of lemonade on a hot summer's day!" Silver breathed dreamily. "If I didn't have to sleep occasionally I'd have penises in my mouth and ass 24/7."

His lubrication ritual complete, he straightened his skirt and prepared to head down to the docks. Tonight, he would give the sailors something to remember.

This way would also be correct:
It was Thursday, and Silver "Lemmiwinks must have been pregnant because I shat out a litter of baby gerbils the other night" Star was preparing himself for an afternoon of dong.

I sure do love sucking dick he thought to himself, as he smeared Astro Glide™ all over his ruined anus.

Lubricant was hardly necessary at this point in his life, for Silver had long passed the point where his farts made noise anymore, but greasing his anus was an important part of his daily ritual.

Also, he used Astro Glide™ lube specifically, because Naruto used it in that one episode where Sasuke Sagura fought Pikachu by summoning his Level 11 Salablazzmer with +1 to ATK due to its high midichlorian count. Harry Potter.

"I love penises even more than I love a tall glass of lemonade on a hot summer's day!" Silver breathed dreamily. "If I didn't have to sleep occasionally I'd have penises in my mouth and ass 24/7."

His lubrication ritual complete, he straightened his skirt and prepared to head down to the docks.

Tonight, he would give the sailors something to remember.

Some people would say that this last version is a little too heavily spaced, and I'm inclined to agree, but there's nothing wrong with it. As a general rule, more spacing is better than less, unless you're literally giving every single sentence its own line. People on chanboards will occasionally accuse you of "reddit spacing," but my advice is to ignore them. In any case, it's mostly a matter of style and aesthetics, so play around and find a style that appeals to you; as long you're consistent and your style fits within the generally accepted formatting rules, most people won't complain too much.

Also, the next time you read something, I recommend paying attention to how it's spaced. Does the spacing feel appropriate? Do you think the author should use more line breaks? Fewer? Give the matter some thought, and see if you can apply the same thoughts to your own writing.

"Making do" is indeed a real expression, my point was that he used the word "due" instead of "do," which is incorrect usage. This is a pretty good explanation:

Interestingly enough, I learned from the above website that "make due" was apparently used occasionally in older texts, which I didn't know. In any case, however, it's considered grammatically incorrect, because "do" is an action verb (do your homework; do the twist; "do me in the butt" said Silver Star), whereas "due" refers to an obligation "my homework is due tomorrow; my baby is due next week; soulpillar is due to be executed for his myriad crimes against the language which his forefathers so generously bequeathed him).

tl;dr "make do" is right, "make due" is wrong.
>Hey, Glim!
>You're right.
>Analyzing this story really is good for writing critique!
I am always right.

>Was reading this update during my lunch break at work and the owner of the company peered over my shoulder to ask what I was so engrosed reading. Not sure if he sad the picture but when I muttered out a "book club..." He just stepped back and left without a word.
Lol I've had that happen before. I used to do food delivery, and one time I was at a restaurant waiting for an order and browsing /mlpol/ on my phone. The manager came out to tell me something about the order, and I forgot what was on my screen for a second. I then noticed there were swastikas all over the place and she was glancing at it. I quickly swiped the screen as hard as I could; horse pussy everywhere, as luck would have it. She didn't say anything to me but I'm positive she saw.
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Chapter 15: Ruins and Destruction

Alright, only three more chapters to go plus the epilogues, I guess. Let's gird ourselves and do this.

The chapter opens with Styre at the Apple family mansion. We get some confirmation that Styre is indeed an Apple, though he seems to be of a lesser branch of the family that never gets invited to the main house. However, he feels remorseful about doing whatever he's doing here, helping the Royal Guards ransack the place apparently.

>"Sargent Styre!" A shout came from Styre's side.
"Sergeant" is the spelling that I've always seen, although this may be another of those UK English things I'm not familiar with.

>Monochrome Sprint landed on the ground next to him. "Sargent, we can't find Larms anywhere. We think he's fled the Mansion grounds through some secret tunnel."
This is interesting. From the opening paragraphs I assumed the scene here was that Styre, himself a member of the Royal Guard as well as Larms' son, was now obligated to obey Larms' orders and was therefore helping him round up dissenters and those still loyal to Celestia. However, the implication here seems to be that he and his troops represent some kind of resistance faction. The text mentions lining up prisoners and stripping them of their armor and weapons, which I also took to mean that the Apples had resisted occupation or whatever and the task had fallen to Styre to disarm and arrest them. As it stands, I'm not quite sure what to make of this scene.

Anyway, the same guard reports that he hasn't seen Gareth. Unfortunately, Styre doesn't think to ask if maybe a church had fallen on top of him. Styre has also received a letter from his father, the contents of which are left vague but we can guess at from what we already know about the two of them. Larms has hinted that he intends to take the throne from Celestia and give it to him instead, and the letter likely details his plan for this. Styre, however, has concluded that his father is "nuts" as the text puts it, and wants no part of whatever he has in mind. However, he also seems to be feeling internally conflicted: the guards under his command are treating him as if he were their leader (which he technically is, since he appears to be the highest ranking loyalist at the moment) and part of him is probably wondering if maybe he isn't cut out for it after all.

And just when we thought we'd finally seen the last of the rat, here it is again:

>A high-pitched squeak came from the front of the mansion. A rat stood in the middle of the half-shattered, smoking doorway. It waved its foreclaws at one of the nearby guards, hopping up and down, trying to get somepony's attention.

>Wait a minute, Styre recognised that posture. That was one of Butter Pie’s janitors! Styre trotted forward a few steps, beckoning him over.

I'll give this to soulpillar: although I remain staunchly opposed to the rodent-heavy turn this story has lately taken, he does a good job of making sure his characters are (mostly) connected to each other. Stories revolve around characters, and the more you can connect your characters to each other the more fleshed-out your world will be. Character A is the antagonist of Character B, but B is the brother of C, who is the childhood friend of A, who knows E's sister D from the college that B goes to...and so forth. Generally this makes for a more dynamic and engaging story than just A goes on an adventure, meets B, C, D, and E along the way, who are all strangers to each other. This isn't to say you can't still do something interesting with the second format, just that the first one tends to feel a little more three dimensional.

What soulpillar does well here is not only to make his characters connected, but to not always make the connections immediately obvious. For instance, we don't know that Chucky Larms is Styre's father when we first meet him. This business with the rat apparently being Butter Pie's hotpocket "janitor" is a good example too (and probably the first indication we have that the rat was something he had an actual plan for, instead of just random autism). The more complicated you make your character relationship web the greater the chance of creating some implausible coincidences (this rat thing borders on that imo), but the nice thing about that is the reader is usually willing to overlook this if you're telling a good story. Charles Dickens was a master at this sort of thing.

This may actually be part of why Noble Era stands out as a weak character. Every other significant character in this story is related to two or more characters in some meaningful way: Purple Dart is Celestia's general and Styre's commander, Styre is the friend of Gareth and the son of Chucky Larms, Gleaming Horizon is the attendant/admirer of Celestia and the friend/pseudo-waifu of Gareth, Butter Pie is Styre's lover and Gareth's friend, and so forth. However, Noble has no such relationships; he just exists as a presence in the story who occasionally takes on some minor role in its events. This combines with his other weak attributes (no personality, no tangible goals or objectives) and his rather amorphously defined role as a sort-of villain/red herring villain to make him a generally mediocre character.

Anyway, the rat tries to explain where Gareth is, but Styre can only partially speak rat, so their communication is difficult. However, one of Styre's underlings gives himself away by "letting out a mirthless chuckle," and Styre ascertains that he knows something. After some mild torture (he kicks him in the gut a couple of times) the guard (Snowy Glade is his name) reveals himself to be a partisan of Chucky Larms. Through him, Styre learns what happened to Gareth. However, he has a new problem: the mirror-portal leading to the Crystal Cave is now closed, and he doesn't know of a way to get in. He is about to torture it out of him, when he sees a flash of light at the castle.
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Those tidbits about paragraphs should be handy for me with the thing I'm writing, got a good chunk done last night but also came across a short story on Fimfiction I was thinking I could maybe take a crack at editing. Figured writing my own thing and editing someone else's story could be handy excersises but had 2 concerns with editing the other person's story. Big one is not sure how to broach the subject to a writer unprovoked since I'm worried it could be seen as an insult.

The main reason I wanted to try editing this guy's story was after watching a PMV by the same person that was really touching and caught a link to his fanfic from it. Seems English isn't his first language though so the story is writen quite oddly and while the general gist of what's happening can usually be understood the way it is writen almost comes off as an AI dungeon type story.

The guy also seems to really be proud of the story and character so worried if I try to offer help translating it to English a bit better he may be hurt that the story isn't received well. Know it's dumb to worry about an internet stranger and how they feel about their pony story but his PMV gave me the sniffles so want to try and do a good turn for him and he'll his story shine more.

Suppose I could link it here if people want but I am not going to lie I'd feel God awful if people went there and made fun of him since the only comments so far are people completly perplexed about what the story is about and asking him to please have a native speaker rewrite the story. That video he did makes me feel like he's got heart though so want to try and help it shine through the language barrier for his story and well.
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Styre hesitates. He is worried about Gareth, but he also knows that his first duty is to Equestria, so he leaves his underling (a pony named Iron Hoof) to deal with Snowy Glade, with instructions to find Gareth if he can. He then takes the bulk of his force and sets off for the castle.

This was also rather well done on the author's part. It speaks to what I mentioned above, about complex character relationships making a story more dynamic. Styre is both Gareth's friend and a member of the Royal Guard, and here he is put into a position where he has to make a difficult choice between the two. We can empathize with his position here, which helps to flesh out his character and make him more believable/relatable. Most people irl have complex roles: nobody is defined entirely by one thing that they do. For example, let's say you have a doctor character. "Doctor" is his primary role in the story, but this person might also be a father, as well as a son, a husband, a citizen, a volunteer firefighter, an author of internet pony fiction, and a closet homosexual. The protagonist may only know him in his doctor role, and that may be all he does in the story. However, he has a life outside of this, even if it doesn't factor into the story, and it's worth keeping this in mind.

Anyway, page break. We're back to Gareth again. The author spends a little too much time describing the position of the church, and he really doesn't do a very good job of it; it's a little hard to follow what the hell he's trying to describe. As far as I can tell, what he's saying is the church didn't completely break apart, and half of it is apparently still more or less intact and sitting at the edge of the chasm. It's a little difficult to picture what the author is describing here, but from what I gather Gareth is in a roughly 300 foot hole, and the partially destroyed church is sitting halfway in, halfway out. Apparently there were some unusual-looking boxes that fell out during the collapse, and some odd-looking artifacts (some of which are described as "glowing lights") have spilled out of them. Maybe that's where the sword came from.

Well, we don't have to wait long to learn the mystery of what was in the boxes. They turn out to be coffins, containing the corpses of Celestia's previous husbands. Incidentally, the text mentions a foul smell, and while I doubt that it would smell pleasant, the stink is probably not as bad as you'd expect from say, a more recently-deceased person. From what the text describes, Celestia had around eight or nine previous husbands, and she's at least 500 years old at this point, so we can assume that most of these dudes have been in the ground awhile. There wouldn't be much left of them except bones and maybe some highly desiccated tissue remnants. I can't say I have a ton of experience opening centuries-old caskets, but I'm guessing the smell is more musty than anything else.

Anyway, enough about the aroma of mummified corpses. The guards above are still searching the ruins. They come across the stalactite (or whatever) that Gareth had put his helmet on, and we finally learn the purpose of that move: apparently, the guards mistook it for Gareth in the dark and attacked it. This was probably a shrewd enough move, although I doubt the ruse would be convincing enough to buy him more than a couple of seconds at the most. He left the magic sword next to the stalactite to make the illusion more believable, and I feel like keeping the sword and using it to fight off the guards might have been a better use of it. But who am I to judge?

The ruse seems to work implausibly well. A number of guards seem drawn to it, and to stand there facing off with it instead of just immediately realizing it was just a stalactite with a helmet on, the way literally anyone would probably do irl. But I'll put a pin in that for a second. What happens next, meanwhile, is a little difficult to follow.

Through a convoluted reasoning process that I don't entirely grok, Gareth concludes that his best move is to locate the tomb of one of Celestia's former paramours, in this case some sort of dog-man, and...climb inside it. Meanwhile, one of the unicorn guards blasts the stalactite with magic and destroys it. Gareth feels a moment of rage when he realizes that the head guard he used as bait was a gift from Celestia, and the guards just destroyed it. He probably shouldn't have tossed it so casually away if it was that important to him, but whatever; I'll put a pin in that for now.

He uses the distraction to hunt for the dog-man's tomb, although I still don't understand why he needs to find this particular tomb. He wastes most of the time his bizarre little distraction bought him trying to figure out the order that Celestia had used to arrange her dead husbands.

Unfortunately, it seems we will never figure out what the hell he was planning exactly, because at that moment one of the guards spots him. He has no choice but to attack. He hits the guard upside the head with his club and knocks him unconscious. However, another bunch of guards see him doing this, and at this point his cover is blown. He turns and runs through a stained glass window, into the tomb of a Griffin wearing a jester's hat.

I notice that Celestia's former beaus are now being described as being of different races: there is the dog man mentioned earlier, and this jester is described as a griffin. The text didn't mention this before, so I was under the impression that all of Celestia's exes were humans (the suggestion was made that she had been using the mirror for centuries, after all). If they were different races, particularly different races from Equestria, this makes it a little different. This seems like the kind of thing the text ought to have clarified a bit earlier. When you're writing, you have to remember that the reader can't see inside your head; we have only what you describe to us.
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The other thing I'll note here is that the nature of the tombs is becoming a little more clear. I was picturing "tombs" like sarcophagi; oblong boxes with skeletal remains inside and nothing else, and it was curious to say the least that Gareth would want to climb into one. What the author is describing now is more like the tombs of the pharaohs: little rooms filled with decorations reminiscent of the deceased person's life, that serve as chambers in which to hold the sarcophagus, which itself holds the skeleton. We still don't know why Gareth wants to find the dog guy's tomb specifically (or why he wants to find any tomb instead of simply getting the fuck out of there like a sane person would do), but at least we know now that he isn't planning to crawl inside the coffin and start making out with the skeleton or something weird like that not that I was hoping to see Gareth deep tongue kiss the mummified corpse of his wife's dead dog husband or anything, no sir that would just be weird so I totally wasn't thinking about that at all, why would you even bring it up you sick fuck. However, again, this is something the author should probably have made a bit clearer. Remember, soulpillar, we can't see inside your head; you have to describe the scene to us the way you want us to see it.

A lot of stuff happens here. It's unfortunately rather vaguely described, so I found it very difficult to follow what was going on. Gareth fights a couple of guards at one point, then he somehow jumps and ends up in one of the tombs, presumably the one he wanted to find for whatever reason. I suspect soulpillar had a very specific visual in mind for how the wreckage of the church had positioned itself, but again it was described rather poorly and I can't tell what he's talking about for the most part. Once again, I will remind anyone who writes that we can't see inside your head, so if you have something very specific in mind you need to make sure we can see it as clearly as you can.

Anyway, next there's an explosion, presumably from one of the unicorns who are firing their unicorn lasers at him, and then he loses consciousness. When he wakes up, he is lying on the floor of the tomb I guess. He is described as still wearing his helmet, even though he took it off and put it on the stalactite earlier. The helmet is bent, so whatever was fired at him was powerful enough to damage metal. It's clear that the unicorns are no longer screwing around, and they intend to actually kill him.

>The glass window stood before him, depicting Cecilia next to a well-dressed unicorn. They looked happy.
As has been the case for most of this scene, Gareth's physical position in space here is a complete mystery. However, this image seems significant so I thought I would point it out.

>No time to think. Gareth lurched through.
>When he exited the portal the world turned diagonal.

>Breath forced from Gareth’s lungs as he flopped to one knee. He immediately struggled back up.
"Breath forced" is awkward phrasing, I'd probably say "He exhaled forcefully" or something like that. Also I don't think "flopped" is quite the right verb to use here, though I notice the author is fond of it for some bizarre reason.

>The same Traitor-guards from before were standing on either side of the Jester’s window. Each glanced at it, watching as the magic slowly lost its lustre.
Also, I have literally no fucking idea what is going on at this point. As far as I can tell, Gareth has stepped into some kind of Twilight Zone dimension where the rules of physics no longer apply.

>The ringing in Gareth’s ears started to subside, replaced by a clarity.
"Clarity" is technically a noun, but it's not really something that can be quantified like an object. Here, it's described as if it were a single unit of clarity, distinct from other clarities. This obviously doesn't make a ton of sense. In any case, it's the wrong word to use here; as with many passages in this book, the author's meaning is clear, but it reads awkwardly.

>They were… they were destroying everything. No, they WOULD destroy everything. As cowardly as it was, running was probably the best way to get them to stop.
>One of the Traitor-guards finally noticed him. He spluttered at Gareth to halt.
So, apparently they weren't even attacking Gareth, they were just...destroying shit for no reason I guess. Once more: I have literally no fucking idea what is going on at this point. Seriously, read this scene for yourself and try to make sense of it.

Anyway, he hits one of the guards with his club I guess, and then he runs into another tomb somehow, and this one is a dead end for some reason. Some guards corner him. They come at him, he hits them, then he knocks the wall down and debates whether or not it's worth it to jump. Apparently, wherever the fuck he is, it's high up. In the process of smashing the wall, he seems to have broken his club, and now he has no weapon. He probably feels like a retard leaving that sword behind.

Once more I can't make hide nor hair out of this murky description of the funhouse mirror maze he's wandering in, but apparently he decides to jump somewhere, and ends up someplace.

>Weightlessness tugged down at Gareth’s legs while fire burned up his arms and back. Coughing and wheezing, he dragged himself up over the side, crawling in as far as he could.
Sure, why not. I guess he's relatively safe now, wherever he is.

As it turns out, he somehow made it into the dog-man's tomb, which is where he was trying to go to begin with. So, good for him. Also:

>Unlike the others, the dog-man and Cecilia weren't facing each other, they faced off against an army of black shapes and figures. The dog-man's coat was… golden, holding a quarterstaff in his hands. Meanwhile, Cecilia looked far different. Her mane was a solid pink with no wings on her back. Regardless, both of them looked ready to fight to the death.
This also seems significant, so once again I'm pointing it out.
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Anyway, he is almost out of...the place he's in, I guess. But, apparently there are still a bunch of unicorns blowing shit up out there, so he can't leave yet, because he doesn't have a weapon. Again, I'll bet he feels like a retard for not taking that magic sword that came from God knows where. So, he grabs the metal rod from a tapestry that is hanging nearby.

With a curtain rod in hand, he now feels sufficiently armed to make a stand against a bunch of military-grade unicorns, who can fire long-range blasts of energy apparently powerful enough to ruin his helmet that he took off earlier but is still wearing for some reason. However, as it turns out, he doesn't have to fight them at all, because for some unexplained reason he is able to just walk right past them without being noticed. Also, he is apparently in the entrance hall of the church, which contrary to what was described earlier was not actually lifted off its foundation and dumped into the chasm, but is still standing more or less intact. Or partially intact. Or something.

He leaves the church holding his curtain rod, and is heading towards the mirror portal, when he notices that some ponies are bound and gagged in the old campsite he noticed on his way in.

>They laid unconscious on the dusty floor, beaten, bloodied and bruised.
They lay unconscious on the dusty floor.

He is just about to run for the portal, when finally one of the guards notices him. He whangs him upside the head with his curtain rod and successfully knocks him unconscious, but destroys the rod in the process and has to toss it aside. Also, in the time it took him to do that the mirror portal closed and now he is trapped in this bizarrely described cavern that may or may not contain a partially intact church, in which the laws of Euclidean geometry apparently do not apply.

This last part I can't make sense out of at all, so I'm just going to drop it in verbatim in case anyone wants to try to solve the riddle:

>Gareth glanced back. The Uni-guard wasn't aiming at him.

>Yells echoed from the church behind him. The Uni-guards inside began to bang on the closed door.

>Gareth sunk to his knees, staring at the ground in a daze. No. No no no, this couldn't be it!

>The banging got louder. Flapping wings rose up from the chasm.

>NO! He thrust his hands in the base of the Mirror portal, brushing away dust, trying to find something. A rune, a-a message, Equestrian words, something, ANYTHING!

>The dust revealed only a solid metal frame.

>Gareth went numb. This couldn’t be it.

>A high-pitched whine echoed over the walls.

>This couldn’t be how it ends...

It's clear enough that Gareth is trapped in the cavern with all of the guards, because the magic mirror closed and it was the only way out. However, the rest of it doesn't make a ton of sense. It sounds like there is something coming up out of the cavern that is apparently scary enough that the guards are paying attention to it instead of him. However, I couldn't even begin to fathom what that thing might be, or even if it exists, because Jesus H. Christ was the action in this scene poorly described.

Anyway, that's the end of the chapter.

Also, it's clear that I wasn't the only one having trouble following what was going on. This was at the top of the comments page:

>Maybe it's just late, but I found it very difficult to picture what was happening after Gareth found the church. The way there is a portal to a church which is a mausoleum with stained glass portals to crypts that are in the crystal caverns makes very little sense. Add in the visions he was seeing and the destruction of the church and the last couple chapters have been very confusing.

Apparently those stained glass windows were portals into the tombs, rather than physical entrances to them. This information might have been helpful, but the author did not make it clear at all. However, if Gareth was teleporting to some random location in the cave every time he passed through one of those windows it might explain the wacky geometry of the place a little better. Still confusing as all hell, though.
>he seems to be of a lesser branch of the family that never gets invited to the main house
why do fanfic authors have such a boner for the idea of the family having "minor branches" nobody invites to the good parties?
Is it because Naruto did it with Hinata's shitty Hyuga family?
Well fuck that!
Do you really see fucking Applejack "Applejack Applejack" Applejack or Granny Smith or whoever else handles this shit arbitrarily excluding an entire chunk of family for being too genetically distant from the main house?
That's just retarded.
Unless they're a bunch of criminals nobody wants around or they willingly split themselves off, I don't see a pony doing this.
My Apple family OC chose not to visit apple reunions because he was so embarassed by his humble origins he pulled the name "Silver Star" out of nowhere when he's named Star Apple, and he didn't get over that until the story's later parts.
Approach him in private and offer your services, tell him you liked the PMV.
Say it in private message. Don't post it openly in the comments, that could be read as an insult.
>old coffin corpses
this would kill people. The bacteria would kill people Egyptian Mummy style and a bullshit "curse" would be blamed.
>reasoning that I don't grok
I don't understand that reference
oh hey i guess soulpeener saw one youtube video about a medieval-era letter asking if dog-headed men have souls.
weird that Celly wouldn't bury these humans in their own country but I guess keeping them safe in a shrine to your serial mortal-fucking habit and addiction to fucking people 600 years younger than you keeps bones safe from gravediggers, even if it means the families and friends left behind on earth had nothing to bury.
I have no idea why he is trying to figure out the order corpses were buried in. Did he plan on finding the freshest corpse and throwing it at a trigger-happy unicorn, hoping he'd blow the corpse up and yell "Oh fuck we killed Gareth. let's go home guys"
author sucks gay infected cunt at trying to explain his thought process to the audience and figuring out when more explanation than none is needed.
>no wait she fucked griffons too and that was probably a diamond dog
oh great, this Celly's a dirty monster-fucker? A disgusting fucking race-mixer?
Why would this not be international front-page news?
>unicorns are shooting to kill
ironically, right after the hero tosses his sword away and decides it's "nonlethal" club time.
>helmet error
imagine putting an animation error in your book
this meme made by WHAT IS THIS, RWBY? gang
>celly's pre-alicornification lover was a fucking diamond dog
that's so gay. Who would want an ugly brutish dog when adorable nice ponies are on the menu?
I wish the series introduced a "good diamond dogs" race that actually look cute and behave well.
yeah this author really can't write action scenes well at all. I wish he'd hire me to do that for him. Then again I'm busy with my amazing indie game, which everyone here should play when it's done.
btw this isn't a story but https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJgstZQAzcw can you review it anyway?
>The guy also seems to really be proud of the story and character so worried if I try to offer help translating it to English a bit better he may be hurt that the story isn't received well. Know it's dumb to worry about an internet stranger and how they feel about their pony story but his PMV gave me the sniffles so want to try and do a good turn for him and he'll his story shine more.
In my experience nobody benefits from being told that their work is good when it isn't. I usually take the person's skill level into account when I make criticisms, and you can certainly do your best to spare their feelings, but if a work is objectively bad you're not doing the author any favors by pulling punches.

You may have noticed I have a somewhat abrasive style of critiquing. Part of that is just my personality, but the other part is that I try to tailor my level of meanness to whatever I think the author can handle and/or deserves, I don't just shit on every mistake just because it's a mistake. This story, for instance, was written by someone who clearly has some raw talent and a basic familiarity with how stories work, but at the same time it's rather poorly executed, and there are a lot of very basic mechanical errors that no one who can write at this level has any excuse for. I think I've given it a pretty even-handed treatment so far.

The same goes for everything else I've reviewed. Past Sins and Friendship is Optimal are both very well known and popular works; Peen Stroke's abomination was even commercially published. Thus, I held them to much a higher standard than I would hold, say, something written by an eleven year old girl inb4 soulpillar turns out to be an eleven year old girl and I feel bad for shitting on our current story so hard. The fact that both works turned out to be not just mediocre but atrocious, combined with the fact that both authors seem to have their own little personal circlejerks of fans who lavish undeserved praise upon them, meant that absolutely no quarter could be given. However, if I were reviewing something written by a first-time author nobody had ever heard of, that clearly had a lot of heart put into it, I would probably be much nicer to the author, even if their work was objectively worse than Past Sins. I would still tell them the truth, but I would phrase it more tactfully and try to be a bit more helpful instead of just shitting all over it and making gay jokes.

Nigel's fic, which is how I got started doing this review series in the first place, was kind of an in-between. He was being enough of an ass at the time, and his opinion of his own literary talent was so obviously out of proportion to reality, that I had no particular qualms about telling him the complete, ugly truth, with absolutely nothing held back. However, by the end of it, I felt that there was something genuine at the core of that fic, and it could probably be heavily reworked into something decent. Plus, he seemed to be genuinely interested in getting advice and improving, which I respect, so I feel like in the end I gave him some pretty good notes. My editor's fee was simply that I got to make endless gay jokes about his OC, and get to continue doing so until I see a passable draft of Silver "keep fisting me until your hand comes out of my mouth and I can check the time on your wristwatch" Star and the Big Mountain Fudgecake of Pure, Undiluted Autism.
>>reasoning that I don't grok
>I don't understand that reference
"Grok" is a term coined by Robert Heinlein in Stranger in a Strange Land, which I highly recommend reading. One of the greatest science fiction novels ever written.

I'm inclined to agree with you here. Giving her a human fetish, as well as a list of previous human husbands going back centuries, made sense for the story and was kind of an interesting idea, but having her marry whoever or whatever just makes her look like a degenerate who will fuck anything. It also seems odd, since the implication seemed to be that she has been using the mirror to go back and forth between England and Equestria for centuries, and that Gareth isn't her first human lover. Again, that made sense for the story, but this seems like the author is just making her into a slut for no good reason.

>Then again I'm busy with my amazing indie game, which everyone here should play when it's done.
I think you posted some animations or something from your game on the board at one point, I remember it actually looking rather promising. I'd probably play it.
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Sometimes I wish I was an egomaniac, because it'd mean I wouldn't have the self-confidence and procrastination issues I have.
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>I wish I was an egomaniac
>I'm totally not one
I'd love to see you argue that point
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Agree on it being quite odd for Celestia to wed a bunch of different creatures throughout the centuries. Feel like with how tenuous her grasp on leadership is when the story starts these events would be well known and quite scandalous. Would look quite bad when your god diety/monarch is sleeping around with all manner of creatures and rarely other ponies and after their deaths have no public displays of memoriam on behalf of them.

Plus hurts that neat angle discussed here about Celestia's trips to Earth being this escapist fantasy for her and eloping with these human men who have no idea who or what she actually is. One point of contention I've had to add onto that idea was how I wish Celestia would exhibit some mannerisms taken from her time spent as a human or think about ideas humans have and think of she should apply them to Equestrian life.

Don't wish to riff on Penstrokes too hard but man it feels like the story is unraveling at the moment with events seeming to go from a 2 to an 11 really quick. Admitidtly haven't read any passages from the story directly besides the 1 you directed us to with Celestia revisiting the old castle so don't have full context but quite worried like you stated this update that the rat will have more screentime then certain main characters or at the least have more relevance during the climax. I was mearly jesting when I said Gareth should go on a little adventure with the rat but seems like a.monkeys paw where the adventure is the pivotal start of the climax and the rat teaching him to accept others rather then his wife.

Again apologies for being mean towards Pen if he does read any of this, I know I like people to be brash and direct when correcting me but man can I not reciprocate it at all.
1. obsessive preocupation with the self? nah i'm obsessively preoccupied with retarded pipe-dream projects too big for me to ever feasibly finish. i miss meals by being too busy with programming and art.
2. nah my mental disorder is being white and smart in a country where both of these things are borderline illegal and socially frowned upon. I'm no genius though, I know because I'm friends with real ones. As a teen I went through a phase where I thought I was one, but I'm over that.
3. nope lol i have crippling depression and seasonal depression. I've met a few dumb women who try to yell "I am a queen, I'm the prettiest girl in da whole wide world!" at themselves to "chase away their depression" because trying (and failing) to convince themselves there's something good about them is easier than trying to grow and learn or do anything that fights depression, but it doesn't work for them. I'm not like that.

I don't think I am an egomaniac, because I've met and hated people who were that. I'm not afraid to piss people off, and I don't care about my image or how others view me. A running gag in these forums is for OP to call my OC a faggot who sucks lots of dick and fucks lots of gay sailors, and I like it because it's funny. I'm willing to put my work out there and when people call it shit, I see that as an opportunity to learn. I know people whose expertise in certain fields I respect more than my own. I know people who I respect more than myself. An egomaniac would probably write a whole speech here on all the shit I've seen and survived and all the skills he taught himself as a kid while growing up in a house ran by two lying bastards determined to sabotage him for social and financial gain, and then argue that this means he's "allowed" to take pride in himself, certainly more than some nameless faceless fairy-fearing Star Wars fanboy who thinks magic's real and wants me to drink his kool-aid. But there's no point in that kind of talk here, because I respect religious beliefs that differ from my own.

Plus, we already know the difference between healthy pride and the sin of pride. We're on this forum because we recognize pride in traits the jews call "disgustingly white" is a good thing. The Jew wants us ashamed of our skin and our accomplishments so we'll apologize to egomaniac blacks who could never achieve what we have achieved. The flag that represents our struggles against old and dead ideas like jewed monarchies is on the moon! White pride!

Intent's hard to write in internet forums when you aren't putting speech in "these" things while writing how the line's said after the fact or peppering your speech with emoticons. Would you prefer that I dishonestly "humble-brag" at you about how I'm "totally not" really really good at this thing and that thing?

"Egomania" is a character flaw I like giving to characters I write when I'm too lazy to think of flaws that suit their backstory better like an inability to trust others or a fear of heights. It's easy, you just write a character saying "haha i am the best" and if he gets hurt or fails after that it's comedy gold. Laughtrack plays, whole crowd laughs.

And if a character says "haha i am the best" and some other character thinks "holy shit this fucker's annoying" it reminds the audience that he is not universally beloved like a boringly perfect self-insert character would be.

Back when I was a shit writer I relied on cheap writing tricks like that so much I sometimes forgot to execute them right.
Yes, you totally display a lack of self importance, writing a wall of text in response to the suggestion that there is any self importance
>white and smart
Let's leave the latter to the judges, yes?
Dude, surely you must realize by now that the "Ah am qweeen!" Mentality is just to dismiss by? Like, ur bathshit until proven otherwise (spoiler, you're already batshit) and you're already proven otherwise. Why are you adopting an aggressive, knowledgable stance?
ah feck, i got baited into replying to someone whose mind can't be changed on who and what i am
it's like being rickrolled but instead of being surprised by a song, you're disappointed by someone's anger.
>Plus hurts that neat angle discussed here about Celestia's trips to Earth being this escapist fantasy for her and eloping with these human men who have no idea who or what she actually is.
Lore about the multi-haired woman who takes men to a magical kingdom. Should pop up more often throughout history.
Is this Celetia's kink 'being told to go make a sammich woman'?

Not mutually exclusive.
Doesn't look like the signs of an egomaniac to me. I am however a practicing occultist which means I do purposefully practice egoism. I should know this with unendingly god like powers. Slightly different, but whatever I am the best source I know of. Damn it feels good to be me, and it's all true. That's an example more in line with egomania.
Even if it's true to an extent.

Yes, it's obvious by this point that my mind is unchanging and rigid, while you are the very depiction of fluidity ironicaly and reasonability.
Look again, and pay attention. Egotists dont overtly advertise, but they DO advertise
Admire this image for me
Once while discussing Monster Musume (during my coomer phase, I'm nofap for life now) online I saw this absurd story by a faggot.
>"so I was babysitting some kids and watching this show when one of the kids I was babysitting walked into my room and saw a clip of the show! The clip where Papi eats ice cream sexually. I closed the tab quickly and told him to go away. Later, he returned and asked if he could see the pretty bird lady again. Oh my god! What a wacky story! I said no and showed him Spongebob instead."
The replies to this post were the usual "haha wow" "that story's so wacky" "man you're lucky you didn't get in trouble"
and I just found myself thinking
who the fuck watches a Japanese erotic romantic comedy like that in someone else's house, when they know there are kids around?
that story's obviously bullshit. at least I fucking hope it is.
>actual photo of Nigel awarding himself for not being an egotist
Lol nice.
Scroll up and look at all the jokes made at my expense, because I like them and you should enjoy them too. Learn to laugh at yourself and your past mistakes as you grow.
Take this wisdom from Silver "Have I mentioned I am not heterosexual today?" Star.
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Like it or not Nigel, you'll never be one of the kool kids.
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Who cares? I'm also a fucking failure. So I guess he can fit in with me.
Nah, you're alright Sven.
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>we're not all a bunch of misfits
download (3).jfif
download (2).jfif
download (1).jfif
Aw, man! I always wanted to be part of the Kool Kids Klub.
do you see what i did there
We're all mad here.
but all memes aside it's alright. Don't beat yourself up or you're doing the Jew's job for him.
>we're not all a bunch of misfits
>We're all mad here.
Its like we're savant. Because anyone who visit this place regularly knows more about the truth of the world than the regular normalfag but at the same time let's not deny that we can be extremly autistic.
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Chapter 16: The Sun and The Rose

>Explosions crashed and stone shattered from behind. The church's walls began to crumble beneath the sustained assault of magical energy. Uni-guards shouted orders, preparing for yet another barrage.
I'm still wondering just what the hell is even going on here. The end of the previous chapter made it sound like the unspeakable horror from beyond was rising up out of the chasm, and all the guards were focused on fighting it. Now it looks like there is no unspeakable horror, and also they're destroying the church for some unexplained reason. Moreover, the text made a specific point of mentioning that the guards ran right past Gareth without noticing him, and I'm curious why that would be, since it sounded like they were all focused on finding and killing him for most of the last chapter. It's possible the author is just trying to build up suspense here, but there's a difference between keeping a mystery going and being just plain confusing.

>Gareth felt every blast, every shockwave. He glanced over to the fallen form of the Uni-guard that had sealed him out. If he had just taken the sword then he could have cleaved the Uni-guard without a second thought. No, instead he had to fumble with an improvised mercy weapon, now snapped in half, that couldn't defend him from the tide awaiting to come.
Told ya. Also, "the tide awaiting to come" doesn't make sense. Just say "the coming tide" or something to that effect.

Anyway, the unicorns keep destroying the wreckage of the church because reasons I guess. However, it becomes apparent that this is a more difficult task than one would believe. Gareth begins to notice that despite the amount of force that has been thrown at it, the church building is still mostly intact, and even appears to be slowly repairing itself through some kind of magic.

Since it will probably take them quite a while to destroy the church at this rate, and since they don't even seem that interested in killing him in the first place, Gareth decides to look for a way out of the cave. He notices that apparently there are paths all over the place. Incidentally, the text mentioned from the very beginning that there was a path leading up out of the chasm that he initially found himself in.

>Noise aside, his armour made him hard to spot by ponies. There's a good chance that they wouldn't see him at all!
What? Is that supposed to be why they couldn't see him earlier? Why would his bright, shiny metal armor, that catches every glint of the light that the unicorns are throwing all around this cavern filled with reflective crystals, make him difficult for ponies to see? Is it camouflaged or something? I'm not following this.

Anyway, Gareth now returns his attention to the unicorns that are tied up in the camp. He is able to catch a glimpse of the cutie mark of one of them, and after a moment of thought is able to identify the unicorn as Flash Bang, one of the ponies who attacked him on the night of the guard uprising.

I'm assuming the author is going somewhere with it, but it's a little hard to understand why Flash Bang would be tied up here. The guards destroying the castle all work for Chucky Larms, and Flash Bang was one of the guards participating in the uprising instigated by Chucky Larms, so logically they should all be on the same side. Again, I'm assuming the author knows this and is going somewhere with it...at least, that's what I hope.

Anyway, he notices that Flash Bang has a magic-suppressor ring on his horn. Through pantomime, Bang indicates that he can use his magic to open the mirror portal; however, Gareth is understandably cautious about releasing him. He begins to ponder the very question that I just posed: why did these guards beat and tie up their own comrades?

He begins to feel a rumbling; something big is clearly about to happen, and there is little time for deep contemplation. He uses his dagger to cut Flash Bang loose, and then removes the ring from his horn. It's curious that Gareth still has his dagger; if he had this weapon all along, why did he bother grabbing a curtain rod earlier? He draws his dagger at every possible opportunity, but in the first situation where it might actually be useful he forgets about it?

Anyway, Flash Bang magics the portal back open and runs through it. Gareth is about to do the same, but he turns and looks over his shoulder first. Apparently, the guards have finished doing whatever the hell they were doing to the church, because they seem to notice him now. They begin advancing on him. The sense of space here is a little odd; he has to dodge guards on his way to the mirror, even though my understanding is most of them are coming from the direction of the church, which should be in the opposite direction of the mirror relative to Gareth's position. But whatever; put a pin in it. He runs, dodges, and escapes through the mirror.

He finds himself in Celestia's bedroom instead of Larms' house, so obviously the mirror portal is able to use different mirrors as exit points. He isn't quite sure yet what to make of Flash Bang, but he realizes that he has bigger fish to fry at the moment. He rips the mirror off of the wall and smashes it before any of the guards can get through.

With this out of the way, he lies down on the bed and gives himself a moment to relax. Flash Bang looks like he is about to attack, but doesn't. Gareth considers attacking him, but doesn't. Instead, he asks where Celestia and Larms are. Flash Bang informs him that they are in the throne room. It's not clear how he would know that, but I suppose it's something that nearly anyone could logically deduce, which actually makes Gareth's question rather stupid to begin with. And speaking of stupid questions:

>Gareth filled the quiver, grabbing the bows and checking over their strings. "Where is the Throne room?"
You've lived here for weeks, dingus. You've physically been to the Throne Room.

Anyway, Gareth and Flash Bang chat for awhile. Gareth makes his bow-staves into a sling for some reason. The text doesn't clarify what kind of sling or how he uses bow staves to make it. My first thought is that he made a splint or something similar, but I don't recall him being injured enough to require one. If "sling" means weapon, like a slingshot, I don't know why it wouldn't make more sense to just keep the bow as a bow and use it that way. But whatever.

Suddenly, there is a big flash of rainbow-colored magic, and Gareth deduces that some shit is probably going down, and Celestia is probably involved. He goes over to the balcony and watches the explosion.

>The rainbow lights in the form of arched windows beamed out from the castle's direction.
Incredibly awkward phrasing here.

>Magical energy raged, centred on a single the point.
You don't need "the" here, just say "centered on a single point."

>Although difficult to tell from the sheer blinding spectacle, from the size of the room, it had to be the Throne room.
Both "throne" and "room" should be capitalized: "Throne Room." Also, how can Gareth tell the size of the room from outside? Also, why does Gareth suddenly not know where the throne room is?

>She's there. Gareth looked up to the conical roof of the tower. Judging from the distance and the angle, he'd need to climb to get a clear shot through one of those windows.
This is a stupid plan. Climbing up the side of a castle tower is a dumb idea to begin with, and there's no guarantee he'd have a clear shot at anything useful once he gets up there. The most logical thing would be to approach the throne room normally through the door, even though it would require a direct assault probably through a number of guards. This is one of those situations where a magic sword might come in handy, you big dummy.

Anyway, he decides to climb the wall like a retard. As before, the description of space is poor and it is impossible to get a proper visual reference from the text. Best I can surmise, what is happening is Gareth is in one tower, where Celestia's bedroom is, and the throne room is a couple of floors higher in a different tower. Gareth climbs up the wall of the tower he's in, and reaches either a roof or a battlement that gives him a clear view through the window into the Throne Room in the opposite tower. He can see Celestia and Larms facing off through the window.

He nocks an arrow to his bow. He remembers that conveniently enough, these arrows explode for some reason (these are the arrows he got from Noble's room if I'm not mistaken). However, he apparently only has two. He can't decide on who to shoot. Larms would be the logical choice in my opinion, but who knows what he's thinking. He decides to just stand there and watch "while the rainbow lights began to melt the very grounds upon which Cecilia stood."

Page break. We switch back to Celestia's perspective. She still has her shield up, and is apparently focused on holding back whatever magic the assembled unicorns are throwing at her.

>Celestia head throbbed in agony, just barely catching herself from dropping the shield altogether.
Celestia's head throbbed in agony.

>Burning pins of fatigue stabbed into her muscles and horn. Gasping for air, struggling just to keep her legs underneath her body.
The sudden switch from past tense to present tense verbs in these two sentences is jarring; I'd change this.

Anyway, the scene here is a bit lacking in climactic punch, partly because it's not so much a battle as it is a bunch of unicorns ganging up on Celestia, trying to force their way through her magic shield. I don't quite understand what they're trying to accomplish; the text seems to be implying that Larms has ordered them to kill her even though she offered to abdicate voluntarily. In any event, one of the unicorns decides he's had enough and refuses to continue trying to break the shield. This unicorn is identified as Radiant Star, Noble Era's great uncle.

One thing I've noticed about this story is that several of the characters are heavily implied to be ancestors of the mane 6: Butter Pie is Pinkie's ancestor, Purple Dart (may) be Rainbow Dash's ancestor, Styre is at least a member of the Apple Family, if not AJ's direct ancestor. In bringing up Radiant Star, the text mentions "House Star," which seems to imply that Noble (or Noble's family at least) is Twilight's ancestor.

Setting aside the rather corny, Game-of-Thrones-esque naming convention of "House Star" (nowhere in the pony canon is there any reference to Equestrian noble families being named this way) I'll say that I like the way the author handles this. He makes these references subtly; he doesn't come right out and say that such and such character is the ancestor of such and such character; he doesn't even make it particularly obvious. The characters in this story are dealt with entirely as characters in this story. Subtle clues are dropped, but the author leaves it to the reader to make his own inferences. If you want references like this in your own stories, this is the proper way to do it.

Anyway, Larms rebukes Radiant for his cowardice in refusing to keep firing lasers at the Princess of Equestria for reasons which are vague at best. He makes the rather dubious claim that the lives of Equestria's children are at stake, while also referencing the as-yet mysterious fate of his own family. While Chucky's political arguments for doing whatever he's doing are spotty at best, it's clear that his motives are mostly personal, and are one of the few interesting mysteries remaining.

Celestia realizes that the momentary break in their attack has allowed her to muster enough power that she could teleport away, though this would be tantamount to abandoning her duty. She faces a similar choice to what Styre faced earlier, though it's worth noting that here the choice is between her duty and her personal safety, so the choice is less morally ambiguous.

However, she is spared having to make such a choice for the moment, for suddenly both she and Chucky take note of a presence on one of the exterior towers. At first Celestia believes that Luna has returned to help her, but it turns out, of course, to be Gareth.

He fires a magic arrow through the window and hits Chucky. Why he would have hesitated at all to do this is a mystery, but he made the right choice in the end so who cares. Chucky drops his magic potion before he can compel Celestia to drink it. His plans appear momentarily foiled.

>The figure tossed a long wooden object aside, pulling another from his back. Gripping the top, he pushed down and touched the bottom. Stringing a bow. A bow.
This seems like an odd action. From what I can tell, he brought both bows with him: the longbow he made himself as well as the shorter one he took from Noble's room. Just now, he fired one of them. Then, for reasons unknown, he tossed the first bow aside and is now stringing the second one, instead of just using the same bow to fire his other arrow at Chucky and finishing the job. Also, there's the matter of the "sling" he created earlier; I still don't know what the author meant by that exactly. Also:
>Stringing a bow. A bow.
This repetition implies incredulity on Celestia's part. While it's plausible that she would be surprised to see him (earlier it was established that she believed he was dead), the fact that he is stringing a bow shouldn't surprise her in the least. Stringing bows and pulling his dagger out randomly are basically the only things this guy does.*

*unless he's in a situation where a dagger might actually be useful; in that case, he will leave his dagger in its sheath and just fight with random objects he finds lying on the ground.**

**unless said random object is useful as a weapon, ie a sword; in that case he will leave it behind and see if he can find a curtain rod or a chunk of rock.

Anyway, Chucky gives the order and a bunch of Pegasus guards go flying out the window after Gareth. Gareth seems to still be having moral qualms about killing them, which I assume is Celestia's influence. However, he decides that he has little choice except to fight back here, so he shoots an arrow at one of them (this is one of the practice arrows he made himself; he appears to be saving the remaining explosive one).

One might think that Celestia would take the opportunity this distraction gives her to do something useful, like incapacitating Chucky with a magic blast (which she could have just done in the first place and saved herself quite a bit of grief), but instead she elects to just stand there and watch him fend off dozens of guards by himself, using nothing but a bow and some (poorly fletched, iirc) arrows.

Gareth keeps doing his Latin verse recitation thing while he fires more arrows. Meanwhile, the guards dive-bomb the tower, attempting to destroy the roof and cause him to fall. They eventually succeed in knocking enough support out that the roof collapses, and he falls down into Celestia's room again.

>The remains of the roof lay scattered through the room, polluting the white, gold and ivory furnishings. The room was still recognisable; most of the tower must have fallen over the side. Flaps of wings circled above. The Pega-guard were still looking.
As ever, the description here does little to help us understand what's going on. This passage seems to simultaneously imply that the room is still more or less intact, but also that most of the tower has fallen away. This sentence in particular is strange:
>The room was still recognisable; most of the tower must have fallen over the side.
A semicolon connecting these two statements implies that the second one logically follows the first one, but I don't see how that is the case here. The room is recognizable since most of the tower has fallen over the side? That doesn't make any sense. In fact, it doesn't even make sense that those two things could be simultaneously true; the room is part of the tower, so if the tower fell the room would fall with it.

Also, I'd just like to note that Equestrian architecture must be pretty shoddily constructed if an entire castle tower can be destroyed just from a few Pegasi dive bombing it. Either that or Pegasi have incredibly thick skulls.

One more thing:
>The Pega-guard were still looking.
Looking for what? They saw him fall through the roof, and even if they hadn't it wouldn't take a rocket scientist to figure out where he probably is.

Anyway, Gareth is able to recover quickly enough to shoot down a few more of the Pegasi.

>They buzzed about in a blind panic, yelling, searching.
These guards must be incredibly stupid even by the standards of guards in cornball adventure stories.
>Hey, where did that guy we just knocked through the roof go?
>Do you think he could be in the room that was underneath the roof?
>Oh no, something is shooting arrows at us! Where could they be coming from?!?
Maybe they hit their heads a little too hard knocking the tower over.

Anyway, they eventually figure it out, and a guard dive bombs him again. He shoots it in the wing, but this isn't enough to slow its momentum or divert its course, and it crashes into him.

>Air drove itself from Gareth's lungs.
Air doesn't drive itself from anything, that's not how air works. The guard's body hit Gareth's with enough force to knock the wind out of his lungs; this should be reworded to reflect that.

Gareth grapples with the guard for a bit, punches him unconscious, and gets up again. Unfortunately, the impact broke his bow in half. Too bad he threw the other one he had away for some unexplained reason; an extra bow would come in handy right about now. Fortunately for him, though, it turns out he also has a boar spear that was not mentioned in the story prior to this chapter. It's also his father's, which seems like the kind of thing that also should have been mentioned at least once before, if it was important.
>Don't wish to riff on Penstrokes too hard but man it feels like the story is unraveling at the moment with events seeming to go from a 2 to an 11 really quick. Admitidtly haven't read any passages from the story directly besides the 1 you directed us to with Celestia revisiting the old castle so don't have full context but quite worried like you stated this update that the rat will have more screentime then certain main characters or at the least have more relevance during the climax
Thank you for your comments, I'm glad you're enjoying my reviews. I have couple of asides here, though. First, Pen Stroke aka Peen Stroke was the author of Past Sins, which was reviewed in a previous thread (https://mlpol.net/mlpol/archive/248482); soulpillar is the author of the work we are currently reviewing. I feel it's worth clarifying this since I reference Mr. Peen a lot (I really, really didn't care for his work, to put it lightly), and it would be doing our current author a bit of a disservice to allow them to be confused with each other. Soulpillar has his faults, but he's nowhere near as terrible or overrated as Peen Stroke is.

Also, while you're free to read as much or as little of the text as you want, since you've indicated that you're working on a story of your own and that you are following this thread to improve your own writing, my suggestion would be that you do follow along with the text itself in addition to reading the notes I give. I try to provide a cohesive summary of the story and to quote passages that are worthy of close attention, but these notes are intended to be read alongside the text, not necessarily as a replacement for it. Critical reading is a good way to improve your own writing; by identifying mistakes made by another author, you can keep an eye out for similar mistakes in your own writing and correct them early on. The notes I give here are just my personal take on this story: I highlight the things I think are good/bad about it, and present my own analysis, but I do encourage you to read it yourself and form your own opinions.

Anyway, Gareth takes the boar spear that conveniently exists and conveniently wasn't destroyed in the collapse of the tower, and was apparently bequeathed to him by his father (about whom we still know virtually nothing). The subchapter ends with this unfortunately worded passage:

>His father's spear groaned underneath Gareth's grip.

>Just like his father.

The intended meaning is clear enough, but the wording implies that the father has "groaned" underneath Gareth's "grip" at some point in the past. Obviously I'd never do anything as low-brow as make gay jokes about an author's OC but...you know, I'm just sayin'. Someone theoretically could do that here. :^)

Anyway, after a page break, we return to Celestia. All she saw of the fight is that the roof of the tower was knocked off, and Gareth was standing on top of it. So, once again, she thinks he's dead. And, coincidentally, so do the assembled nobles, who are now beginning to suspect they might have backed the wrong horse, so to speak.

Larms, meanwhile, keeps raving like a lunatic, apparently oblivious that he's losing the room. Purple Dart notices something in the rafters. We don't see what it is, but he clearly has some sort of plan in mind. He nudges Celestia, who takes the cue and begins talking to Larms to distract him from whatever Purple Dart is gearing up to do. Then, she lowers the shield suddenly, and this happens:

>The Colonel took to wing before the shield vanished, forehooves extended. Larms's eyes widened before squinting back into a glare. They collided in a thud of flesh-on-flesh. A spiral of shed feathers followed the Colonel as he span out into a nearby column, cracking it and bringing loosened rafters down around him. With a furious roar. Larms surged forward in a blur.
I really wish I could get inside the author's head a little, at least to get a glimpse of the visuals he imagines and see how they compare to my own imaginings of what he describes. Here, it's once again very difficult to follow what is physically happening. From what I understand, Purple Dart noticed that there were some loose rafters or something above them, so he tackled Larms, pushed him into a pillar, which broke and then brought the rafters down upon the two of them. However, I had to read this passage a couple of times to extract this meaning from it; the wording is jumbled and confusing, and there are, as ever, some strange errors that make it doubly difficult to read.

>A spiral of shed feathers followed the Colonel as he span out into a nearby column
"Shed feathers" I think is technically correct, but it has an odd sound here that I'm not wild about. I can't explain why exactly, but I don't care for the wording; it's one of those "art not science" things. More importantly, though, "spun" is the past tense of "spin." "Span" is a dimensional reference: life span, leg span, the span of a chasm, and so forth.

>With a furious roar. Larms surged forward in a blur.
"With a furious roar" should not be its own sentence. The author probably meant to type a comma here, but once more, this is the sort of error that really ought to be caught during proofreading.

Also, one last thing: at the end of this passage, we have Larms roaring and surging forward; however, this happens after he crashes into a pillar and a section of roof caves in on top of him. Did that not hurt him at all? And where is Purple Dart? We lose sight of him after this.

Anyway, Larms, apparently uninjured, tries to bum-rush Celestia (probably not the smartest thing for an Earth Pony to do to an alicorn, but it's pretty clear that Chucky is mentally unbalanced at this point so it makes enough sense I suppose). In any case, Celestia fires a blast of power at him, which inexplicably does no damage to him whatsoever. He leaps through it and punches her in the gut (this is a difficult move to visualize a horse performing on another horse, btw, so more description might be warranted).

>Burning air forced itself out of Celestia's lungs. Weakness sapped at her body, sending her to her knees.
Once again, air does not force itself out of anything. If you're punched in the gut, it's called "getting the wind knocked out of you." The air is being forced out as a result of the impact; it doesn't move on its own. This is the second time I've seen soulpillar use this expression (that I've noticed), and it's an inaccurate description of what's happening. Along with his overuse of the word "flopped," it's a habit he should try to get out of.

>Larms, huffing and panting, trotted over to her and planted a forehoof on her neck. "You brought this upon yourself." He lifted a hoof, readying to crush her skull.
Again, this seems highly implausible. Unless Celestia is severely weakened from overuse of her magic (which I suppose could be the case here), or Chucky Larms is supposed to be some kind of martial arts expert, I really don't see a one-on-one physical brawl between an immortal alicorn princess and a mudpony half her physical size playing out this way.

Right on cue, a sudden blast of mysterious energy from somewhere off to the side hits Chucky before he can deliver the finishing blow.

>Air rushed back into Celestia's chest. She gasped, pushing away and lashing out with a simple blast of magical energy.
Since this is meant to be a dramatic scene, a "simple blast of magical energy" may not be the best choice of words.

>Larms lost his footing, sent careening into a wall.
This is terrible English right here. "Larms lost his footing and went careening into the wall" would probably be the most expedient correction for this.

>The rainbow energy pinned him, charring his fur for a full second before dissipating, letting him slide down and into a steaming heap. The stench of burnt hair filled the silence.
Again, this is meant to be a dramatic moment, and I'm not sure calling attention to the smell of burning hair is the best way to convey the feeling the author wants.
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With Chucky more or less incapacitated, Celestia takes this moment to point out the rather obvious fact that it didn't take much to get the nobility of Canterlot to turn against her.

Really, this scene in general made for a pretty weak climax. It was poorly set up: there was little indication in the story so far that either the nobles or the military were planning to revolt or even wanted to revolt. As I've said before, almost the entire story takes place within the walls of the castle, and we have little sense of what the general mood is outside, even though the story tries to indicate that there's some sort of social turmoil brewing. The author seems to realize this, and compensates by having Chucky apparently threaten the nobles into going along with his plan. However, since there is also little indication that he has anywhere near enough clout to pull this off, this also feels flimsy.

To compensate for this, the author then gives Chucky an inordinately large amount of military power with which to bully the hapless nobles. He not only has the portion of the guard that he had previously turned, but we learn that he also has the Pegasi on his side, previously assumed to be loyal. The author tries to position this as a clever, unexpected twist, but again it doesn't work. The biggest problem is that we don't have any more sense of what the general mood amongst the foot soldiers wing soldiers, whatever is than we do of the general mood of the nobility, or the populace at large. We have no idea what caused the guards to abandon their duty and side with some screwy leprechaun pony against their Princess; we're just informed that it happened.

The climax of a story like this should be the point where all the separate threads that have been building suddenly come crashing together. In order to pull of the kind of scene the author is going for here, he needs to do a better job of setting up the nobility's betrayal, the military's betrayal, the general public discontent with Celestia's rule, and whatever the hell Chucky is scheming exactly (which should have been better explained anyway). The biggest flaw is that while the battle scene goes more or less according to the standard script (the villain has the hero cornered, he cackles with triumph, the hero's ally suddenly appears and joins the fight, the villain is beaten back and then rallies his strength, attacks again, knocks the hero down, the hero gets up, and so forth and so on), this whole scene is just a series of events that happen without any satisfactory explanation for why any of it is happening.

Up until this point, I've praised this author's handling of backstory, and how he portions it out in manageable tidbits that inspire curiosity without ever fully satisfying it. That is still basically true; however, I feel like by now, we should have a much better idea of who Chucky Larms is than we do. There may still be some details that need clearing up, but at this point in the story we should have a clear picture of his motivations for doing all of this.

From what we've read so far, the following is clear: Chucky Larms has some sort of prior relationship with Celestia that she can't remember and he hasn't volunteered to clarify. In the past, he had a wife and two sons. Styre, still living obviously, is one of those sons; however, the other one (I forget his name, but I know it was mentioned) is deceased. Larms also has burn scars all over his body that aren't present in older images of him. From various hints in the text, including Styre's recollections, we get the impression that something happened in the past that caused the death of the other son, as well as the burn scars on Chucky's body. His wife may also have been killed, or perhaps the trauma of losing the son caused their marriage to disintegrate.

In any case, it's clear that this was a pivotal moment which caused Chucky to change from being the (relatively) happy and well-adjusted pony he was in the image that Gareth saw of him, and the bitter and cynical schemer he is at present. He seems to blame Celestia for whatever happened, while Styre blames his father. The author shows good instinct in not revealing the full mystery just yet, but where he dun goofed is that by this point in the story, we should at least know what the incident was. We should have a clear picture of what happened, who was involved, how they were involved, and what was basically being attempted. Since the author seems to be trying to make Chucky a sympathetic villain, this would establish a clear motivation for him and make him appear at least somewhat sympathetic to the reader, even though his actions here are clearly out of line. The full-disclosure of what exactly happened and who is actually to blame should be saved for the denouement portion of the story, at which point Chucky will come to terms with it (if he survives this fight) or will at least be able to rest in peace (if he dies).

>Shifting sounds came from Larms's direction. He struggled to his hooves, trying to pull something from his vest.
At any rate, it looks like Larms isn't quite dead, and he has something in his vest that he would like to show us. However, we don't get to see what it is, because at this moment Purple Dart comes barreling out of nowhere and tackles him again.

>The Colonel span Larms to the floor, savaging him with a flurry of punches before grabbing him into a backwards spinning kick.
Once again, the proper past-tense of "spin" is "spun," not "span." Also, "grabbing him into a backwards spinning kick" doesn't make sense. How do you grab someone into a kick? For that matter, how does a backwards spinning kick differ from a forwards spinning kick? About all I get from this passage visually is that Purple Dart punches Chucky a bunch of times and then kicks him. This seems like an overly complex array of words to describe what is fundamentally a simple event.

>The violent thud buried into Larms's gut, driving him through the air and out the broken window. A damp thump echoed up from the courtyard.
I feel like I'm beginning to repeat myself at this point, but this author really makes some atrocious wording choices. "The violent thud buried into Larm's gut" conveys nothing meaningful; a thud is a sound, which has no mass and thus can't bury itself into someone's gut, nor can it drive someone out of a window. Well, I suppose technically a strong enough sound wave could physically push someone out of a window, but I don't get the impression that's what's happening here. The context makes it clear that it was the force of Dart's kick, not the resultant thud sound the kick produced, that pushed him out the window, so this statement is both technically inaccurate and aesthetically a poor choice of words.

Also, I am annoyed that I've grown so desensitized to it that I no longer even notice it, but I will point out that the author is still using Larm's instead of Larms' whenever the possessive form is used. The character's name is clearly Larms, which means that a trailing apostrophe should be used. The apostrophe between M and S would only make sense if his name was Larm.

Anyway, I'm not thrilled with how the rest of this section is worded either, but we're going to be digging through this text into next year if I have to stop and dissect every single awkwardly-worded passage. The long and short of it is that Celestia goes to the window and sees Larms lying on the ground below; still alive, still conscious, and apparently still defiant enough to flip her the metaphorical bird. She prepares to blast him with her alicorn raygun, when she notices a commotion on the far tower, and realizes that Gareth is still alive and still fighting for his life. Dart assures her that he and his men can handle Larms from here, even though his entire fighting force just turned against him on a dime and he has literally no reason whatsoever to trust their loyalty. However, he seems convinced that Radiant Star, the frail and elderly unicorn who was easily intimidated by Larms before (and whose true loyalty is also still in question), will be sufficient backup, and he urges Celestia to go tend to her husbando.

Page break. Gareth is basically where we left him, fighting a bunch of dive-bombing Pegasi with his father's mysterious boar spear. He won't kill them because apparently he's a wuss now.

>A sharp whine of energy filled the air. Before they could even get half way, a beam of golden magic blasted a swath of charging pega-guards mid-flight. They flopped to the ground into their companions, tumbling into a multi-limbed spiralling heap.
See, this is what I was saying before. Is "flopped" really the best verb to use here? I'd actually be curious to see how many times it occurs in the text, because it feels like soulpillar severely overuses a word that is frankly not that appealing to begin with. Also, "spiraling" is misspelled.

Anyway, Celestia shows up and blasts some of them, and they are each elated to receive confirmation that the other is alive.

>His mouth hung open, tucking his spear under one armpit.
Don't you mean "his mouth flopped open?" :^)
Also, the way this is worded implies that Gareth's mouth has its own armpits, and it is presently tucking the spear under one of them.

Their dialogue here is also rather stiff and cringe-laden. I won't bother going into detail with it, because really I just have the same gripes I had with many of their other conversations: awkward, unconvincing interactions between the two characters who are supposed to be lovers. I'll also note that they spend a fair amount of time detailing the various things they've seen and done since they last saw each other (Celestia going into Noble's dream, Gareth having a church dropped on his head, Gareth losing his head-guard, etc). It makes enough sense that they would want to fill each other in, but we watched all of it happen, so we don't need to witness the recap in detail.

Anyway, even though technically the entire army is still turned against them, it looks like since Chucky got knocked out the window and Gareth punched enough of the Pegasus guards unconscious, the fight is now over, with a victory for Celestia officially recognized by all. So, they can now shift out of battle mode and go back to what they were discussing before all of this started, which as far as I can recall was the diary.

Gareth informs Celestia that he found the notes he had been looking for, but Larms took the diary itself. Celestia wants to know whether or not it's true that she intentionally abandoned everyone as Larms claims she did. She is clearly suffering over it.

Their interactions here feel much more genuine than the cringey attempt at banter the author forces when they first reunite. However, it's hard to empathize with Celestia here because what she's upset about doesn't feel enough like a real problem. She's lost her memories, and she doesn't know if what Chucky told her is true: that she willfully abdicated her throne, abandoned Equestria, and left to go live a fantasy life as Gareth's waifu. She is upset because if this is true, then all of the tragedy that has occurred is her fault. However, the tragedy of it is questionable. As I pointed out before, we get no real sense of how others outside the main cast of characters feel about anything. The Pegasus guards, the Unicorn nobles, the Earth Ponies out tilling the fields or whatever they're doing; we have no idea how any of them actually felt about Celestia's absence. Mostly they all just behave like paper dolls: the whole army just up and rebelled because Chucky told them to, and then as soon as he got kicked through the window I guess we're supposed to assume that the whole rebellion just ended. The author is done playing with them for the moment, so the dolls just stand there. What was all of this even about?
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I'm thinking a way the climax could have been handled better and give more significance to either Gareth's dagger or father's spear is have the fighting in the Throne Room be more talkie bits to flesh out the motivations and give Celestia a chance to talk Chucky down a bit to atleast delay a direct confrontation.

Could maybe learn Gareth's dad was quite brash and hot headed and that Gareth inherited those traits to an extent. Have him be attacked by a group sent by Chucky that Gareth fights back against with lethal force. Could maybe have Flash Bang or other characters like that Unicorn mare he was hitting things off with witness it and be absolutely appaled but Gareth himself sees nothing wrong with it since it's how traitors in England would be dealt with but still be a bit remoursful.

Have Chucky and Celestia debating on what course of action to take when Gareth storms in furious at Chucky and a pang of anger when he sees Celestia and is reminded of the church with all her past flings. Have most the ponies panic seeing a roughed up human with a weapon bardge in while tensions are already high. Chucky gets desperate and makes a wild accusation against Celestia and/or Gareth about some machinations he believes they are concocting.

Gareth furious at all these emotions he's grappling with and still in fight mode from the tower incident he runs and attacks Chucky and slays him. Can have all the ponies on both sides shocked and hostilities for the time cease as Celestia is mortified at seeing Gareth kill Chucky like that and he is too angry to explain himself fully.

Could skip to later where Celestia is negotiating with Noble's to prevent any further insurrections while Gareth is being detained along with some of the ponies directly involved in the coup. Makes Celestia realize how vital her pressence is in Equestria and how incompatable Equestria is to Earth as well as a Princess like her and a soldier like Gareth. The nobles as part of the terms demands Gareth is exiled as soon as the mirror is open and maybe have the mirror destoried after to prevent more humans from entering or Princesses from eloping through it.

Can have a sad scene where Celestia has to visit Gareth in seceret and explain he either needs to be exiled or face punishment in Equestria like being petrified or executed and have them reconcile all the things they've been dealing with. Having Gareth probe Celestia about that church and if she planned to do the same to him and just be another mark on all her previous flings and run off to find a new guy.

Could have them reconcile and for the first time Gareth realizing the relationship is pretty much over since he must return to Earth so he brings her in for a hug and kiss, they are sad but happy they got to show love to one another in their true forms, and Gareth imparts a momento to her to remember him by as he leaves through the mirror for the last time.

Also just so Glim could have a coniption fit have the rat come in before he leaves and Gareth is elated to see his most stalwart of companions go to see him off before the rat pantomimes he will be going to Earth with Gareth. Gareth can put on his beeswax sealed helmet with the rat perched on his shoulder as they give a wink and smile to Celestia and the guards before jumping through the portal and the story ends.

Anyway, like I said, the interaction and feeling between the two of them feels genuine enough at this point, but Celestia's connection to Equestria as a whole, and the related problem of to what degree she is responsible for...whatever the hell Chucky Larms just did exactly, is a bit sketchier.

Gareth ultimately suggests that Celestia stop beating herself up about it and just make the diary notes public so that the nation can decide for itself whether or not it wants Celestia to remain the Princess. This is probably a sensible enough solution, but I'll point out that since Larms is presumably in custody, they should now have access to the full diary and not just the notes, so they can make that public as well.

Celestia also seems concerned that Gareth might no longer want her, now that he knows about her past (technically, I think he knows more about her past than she does at this point). However, he assures her that she is stuck with him. There is some more relatively silly banter:

>A melodramatically offended hand slapped onto Gareth's chest. "You wound my honour, dear lady! You think me to be a scoundrel?"
*sigh*. I really wish I could stop nitpicking this author's ridiculously shitty word choices, but...I can't. I just can't.

The "hand" referred to in this passage is Gareth's own; all this is saying is that Gareth slapped his hand against his chest in a feigned gesture of offense. However, this faggot author can't just come right out and say that; he has to be a colossal wang about it. The verbosity is annoying on its own, and moreover the passage makes no sense if taken literally.

A hand cannot itself be offended, either melodramatically or otherwise, and the wording here does not clarify to whom this hand belongs. Thus, even though from context we can assume that Gareth, feigning offense, is slapping his hand against his chest, that's not what this is actually saying. The passage itself describes a disembodied hand which, having somehow become offended through some undefined (and apparently melodramatic) process, is now slapping against Gareth's chest. In fact, now that I read it closely, it's not even slapping against his chest, it's slapping onto his chest. It's attaching itself to him, like a lamprey or something.

Anyway, utterly ridiculous phrasing aside, the scene here is moving enough. Gareth's experiences doing all of the wacky shit he's done for the last six chapters have apparently put things into perspective, and he realizes that all that really matters to him is that he and Cecilia/Celestia are together. This revelation might have had a bit more punch had their relationship undergone more trials as I have previously suggested, but it is what it is.

>Her eyes widened. Her lips parted.
>The moment their lips touched, electric pleasure sparked through Gareth's body.
>Cecilia trembled underneath him, limp, afraid. He was in complete control. Her teeth were wrong: too wide, too flat. Her tongue felt like a cat's, abrasive. The smell, the taste of horse drenched Gareth's mouth. Yet… she was warm.
D'aww. "Achievement unlocked: kissing your waifu without barfing in her mouth." Stan Marsh would be proud. Gareth also heavily insinuates that he intends to pound that horse pussy 'til the break of dawn.

However, it's going to have to wait, because suddenly a wild Pegasus appears. Fortunately, it is not an attacker.

>Cecilia pushed her legs underneath her, trying to school her features. "Monochrome Sprint is saying that we've retaken the castle."
Retaken the castle, eh? That would have made for a rather compelling scene, methinks. Also: how? As far as I understand it, their fighting force is Gareth and Celestia (who are currently too busy making out to do much castle-retaking), Purple Dart, and some 90 year old unicorn named Radiant Star. On the enemy side we have literally every able-bodied guard in Canterlot, many of whom can fly or use magic. But, if they're all just standing around like paper dolls that the author is not currently animating, I suppose they would be fairly easy to beat.

It also turns out that Larms has escaped.

>"Fucking, what?" Gareth wheeled around, giving the monochrome pegasus a scathing glare. "Have you considered firing all your guards and replacing them with training mannequins? It'd be cheaper! I'll draw the angry faces on them myself!"
Seems like firing all the guards would make sense anyway, since they literally all betrayed their oaths to fight for a deranged cereal box mascot. But whatever.

Anyway, it looks like what actually happened is that Styre and whatever contingent of still-loyal guards he was leading stormed the castle and retook it while Gareth and Celestia were doing the horizontal monster mash. Again, that could have potentially made a pretty exciting scene, but given this author's complete inability to coherently describe action in three dimensional space, I'm actually a little relieved we were spared the details.

At any rate, Styre shows up, and Butter Pie as well. Not sure where the hell she came from exactly, but here she is nonetheless. The rat, who is now apparently a character in this story no matter how hard I try to will it otherwise, is sitting on Butter Pie's shoulder. Gareth, who appears to have learned how to stop worrying and love the plague, is happy to see it. Yay.

Since the gang's all here, they can now concentrate on finding Larms. Conveniently, Styre seems to know exactly where he went:

>Memories flicked in Gareth's mind. A damp cave. Questions about species. Late to pick up the bedroll. The cave Gareth spent the night in on the first trip to Canterlot. If Styre thought it was likely, then that was their best shot. Gareth turned to Cecilia. "Larms is going to a cave outside Canterlot, on the main road. Styre and I know where it is."
I don't recall such a cave ever being mentioned. This is doubly confusing since Gareth spent the better part of the last chapter in a different cave.
Do you feel like posting an excerpt from your writing? Obviously, you don't have to post anything.

Would read and give thoughts, if you care.
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no seriously can we fucking mathematically calculate Put Backs power from JJBA he beat everything ever.png
>>Noise aside, his armour made him hard to spot by ponies. There's a good chance that they wouldn't see him at all!
>What? Is that supposed to be why they couldn't see him earlier? Why would his bright, shiny metal armor, that catches every glint of the light that the unicorns are throwing all around this cavern filled with reflective crystals, make him difficult for ponies to see? Is it camouflaged or something? I'm not following this.
Ten bucks says the author's trying to bring back the "He's hard to see with pony eyes and has less magic in him than most inanimate objects" thing(which he quickly waved away by saying eating pony food would gradually undo his eldritch magic-less-ness), and incorrectly remembered it as "If he's wearing inanimate objects his low magic should be even harder to detect!"
>Gareth unties the guy he thought was an enemy
The author missed an opportunity to increase the tension here by having Gareth lift his dagger menacingly, causing the audience to wonder if it's killing time, only to unexpectedly free his foe, making the audience say "yay! wow he's changed so much! i love character development!"
>Gareth still has the dagger
ten bucks says the author's first draft had him throw the dagger away and pick up a club, and then realize clubs are shit, so he broke it, and then he got to this scene and wished Gareth's dagger was still around. So instead of putting a convenient sharp object in this room, he had a random sword fall from the sky (and then justified it later retroactively with "it came from the undestroyable fucking tomb) so Gareth could throw it away dramatically while still having his "iconic" dagger for this scene.
>single the point
Single The Point is my new favourite sonic OC name
I'll make that now. Single's an obnoxious tryhard faggot who infuriates Sonic by trying to emulate him. His real name's something more normal for that setting. He idolizes Sonic because Sonic once saved him and like 20 other people from an Eggman attack at the same time. His character growth comes from becoming less of a colossal faggot and more of a genuine hero.
man that was easy.
>climbing the tower from the outside
this makes him an easy target to Pegasus foes and Unicorn spellslingers/telekinetic grabbers.
really, is he still at the "thinking she's Cecilia" phase? Where's the growth? Where's the dynamic character change? He has seen so much. He learned he's just her latest pet goldfish in a string so long she has her own private tomb for all of them. He learned she didn't really erase her memories/wander into him randomly, and planned to meet him after he caught her eye. He should fully realize the "Cecilia" he loved is nothing but a mask worn by a horse that thought he had rather sexy back muscles for a hairless ape, or something retarded like that.
>Celly's shield
Author could put a lot of tension here by making Celly groan and strain as cracks form on her shield and her body grows weaker. As it stands we have no idea if we should think these guards could ever break her shield or not.
>Gareth's weapon bullshit
Gary choosing to throw away his bladed weapon and pick up a non-murderous one was set up to be a big climactic "smoker stops smoking and drinker stops drinking and baddie does a good thing" moment. But he bungled it so badly it's become a joke.
>celly does nothing as her man fights
Princess Of The Day, everypony.
>gareth recites latin while archerying
yeah that sounds like a normal thing to do, just like reciting prime numbers or saying random nonsense for fun. I think I'll do that now.
Spiral staircase
Rhinoceros beetle
Desolation Row
Fig tart
Rhinoceros beetle
Via Dolorosa
Rhinoceros beetle
Singularity point
Rhinoceros beetle
Singularity point
Secret emperor
What a fun session of saying nonsense words. I feel much calmer now. I could totally see someone doing this while in the middle of a life-or-death battle to save someone's life.
It reminds me of the time I began reciting the Bee Movie script while losing to someone at Tekken, except not really because the joke here is that this is an awkward and jarring thing nobody would ever do.
This is some movie bullshit right here. Has Gareth's ominous latin chanting habit been brought up earlier in this story? Why hasn't it caused ponies to freak out/ask why they've stopped understanding him/ask if this is some chanting-based form of human magic?
>How do you grab someone into a kick?
I don't remember who but there's a King of Fighters character whose grab has him stick his leg out to pick you up by the jaw, swish you up and over his body, then step on you behind him. Or something like that.
>gareth no kill with spear now
this would be a great opportunity to portray his path towards pacifism as a gradual process, as that's more realistic. After all the story's done to set him up as a violent guy, now's the time for him to bend the rules. He might not go straight for the heart, but he'd be an idiot to not mutilate the hell out of some wings. Healing spells/potions can fix them later when they're in jail and given healthcare, Celly's probably the type to do that. Then again in a fantasy world where healthcare comes in the form of an easily-mass-produced health potion bottle, why wouldn't they be given out like candy? Unless they're expensive or limited in supply. Moving on.
Honestly that version of events would work a lot better.
Bonus points if during the fight, Celly is knocked into the My Dead Husbandos Shrine room somehow (make it a part of her castle accessed via secret passage!) and this overwhelms her with regret and sadness as Gareth sees it for the first time and wonders if he'd end up here once his lifespan ends and this serial dater moves on to find another non-pony alien thing to fuck.
>a wild Pegasus appears
pic related
>fucking wat
Is this Gareth's first profanity?
This line made me chuckle. If Gareth was like this for most of the story(a laugh away the pain type), it would be better.
wrong pic but fuck it

Celestia suggests that Gareth should stay in the castle while she and the Pegasi go to chase down Larms. Gareth is understandably insulted, but Celestia explains that speed is a factor, and they will need to fly. Gareth, as was previously established, is afraid of heights. However, he is determined to see this thing through to the bitter end.

>Flying. Gravity shifted underneath just thinking about it. No. You know what? Forget it. By this point Gareth wasn't sure what he feared anymore. "Well if you're flying, then I'm flying too."
>No. You know what? Forget it.
I get what the author is doing here; this is intended to be part of Gareth's inner monologue, but written as narration. You can get away with doing things like this sometimes, but this is not one of those times. "You know what?" reads as if the narrator is addressing the reader, which doesn't make sense. Occasionally you'll read stories where the narrator actually does address the reader familiarly from time to time (C.S. Lewis does this fairly often), but what makes this awkward is that this is not what soulpillar is attempting to do. This is basically Gareth talking to himself, but doing so in the middle of the third-person omniscient narration of the story. To put it simply, this is just not something you should ever do. If you want to have your character express his thoughts like this, either put it in quotations or in italics.

Also, the phrase "You know what? Forget it" reads like a casual modern dialect, not like something a medieval guy would say, so it's anachronous anyway. Again, Gareth is a character who thinks the way a modern man would think, while outwardly behaving like a modern man's idea of how a medieval man *might* behave. In other words, he feels less like a person from the actual time period he represents, and more like a person from our era trying (badly) to larp as a person from that era. It's not the only reason Gareth is a bad character, but it's definitely a big part of it.

Anyway, long story short, he decides that he's going to ride on Celestia's back.

>Whipping wind blew through Gareth's hair and clothing. His proud and noble steed was certainly the later, but not so much the former as Cecilia's powerful wings propelled them through Canterlot's sky.
Jesus fucking shit-balls, soulpillar. Unless you seriously turn this shit around, as far as I'm concerned you're soulpeener for the rest of the story.

Alright. First off, it's "latter," not "later." Second, there is no former and latter that would make sense in context here. We have "whipping wind," "hair," and "clothing" mentioned; so three concepts which need to be somehow divided into a binary former and latter. You could break this down exactly two different ways, and neither one makes a lick of sense. The first way to do it is to regard "whipping wind" as the former and "Gareth's hair and clothing" as the latter, which would mean that Gareth's proud and noble steed is his hair and clothing, but not so much the whipping wind. The second way to do it is to disregard the whipping wind, and assume that the former/latter distinction refers to Gareth's hair and clothing respectively. Thus, Gareth's proud and noble steed is his clothing but not so much his hair. Fucking what?

What I assume soulpeener is trying to say here is that "proud" is the former and "noble" is the latter, and thus Celestia, the steed, is noble but not currently proud. This...I suppose...makes sense in context, in that she is generally noble in appearance, but finds it degrading to be ridden like a horse. However, the wording is just terrible here.

Former and latter only works with groups of exactly two, and in order to use these effectively you have to make it explicitly clear what you're referring to. Usually the way to do this is to divide the sentence using punctuation, with the first part presenting the binary, and the second part indicating the emphasis. You can do this a number of different ways so long as it makes sense and it's obvious what "former" and "latter" are referring to. Here are a few examples:

"Human genitalia includes penises and vaginas. Soulpeener prefers the former to the latter."
"Fanfiction and sodomy are soulpeener's hobbies, but only the latter can be called his passion."
"Soulpeener came to suck dick and chew bubblegum; however, he plans to only do the former, as he is all out of the latter."

As you can see, the above sentences are all punctuated differently, but what they all have in common is that there two distinct things presented, followed by a statement placing emphasis on one over the other. Punctuation divides the expression into two conceptually distinct phrases.

The example in the text is confusing for two reasons. First, there are too many things being discussed at once and it's not clear what "former" and "latter" refer to. Remember, this idea only works with distinct groups of two. Second, there's no division between the presentation of the binary options and the placing of the emphasis, so we tend to read "His proud and noble steed was certainly the latter" all as one phrase, designating which thing is the latter. Thus, we are misled into looking in the previous sentence to find our former and latter, where we find three things instead of two: the whipping wind, Gareth's hair, and Gareth's clothing. And none of those make sense in context no matter how you divide them.

What is so gosh-durned infuriating about this is that it's just another example of soulpeener not only using fancier language than is called for, but using it in an extremely clumsy way. Imagine you're watching someone playing basketball in the park. All the guy needs to do is shoot at the basket, but he decides he wants to show off instead. So, he tries to do a bunch of complicated Globetrotter-style dribbling moves, fails hilariously at all of it, then shoots at the basket and misses. That is basically what we're witnessing here.

Alright, there's only one short paragraph remaining in this chapter. I had hoped to finish up neatly in the last post, but my remedial English lesson for soulpeener ran long. So, here's this last little bit, and then I'm done with ponies for the day.

>Gareth didn't care; he was too busy cackling into the on-rushing wind. Society was wrong, he decided, when your wife was an alicorn, it was not unseemly for her to carry her husband. Quite the opposite, riding on your alicorn wife was fucking awesome!

There are a few things here.

>Society was wrong, he decided, when your wife was an alicorn, it was not unseemly for her to carry her husband.
This is a run-on sentence. It should be divided into two sentences, thusly:
>Society was wrong, he decided. When your wife was an alicorn, it was not unseemly for her to carry her husband.

Remember what I mentioned earlier about it being sometimes okay to put a character's thoughts into the narration? Well, this is one of the situations where it is okay. Or, rather, this is a way to do it that is appropriate. This isn't a line of dialogue being spoken out loud by Gareth, nor is it a direct thought that is passing through his head (normally italicized). It's an abstract idea that simply occurs to him at this moment in the story, and this is the best format in which to express it.

However, the past tense feels incorrect here. Since the core idea being expressed is something that Gareth is arguing is universally constant, it should be represented in the present tense, as in it is always true regardless of where and when it is being discussed. I can see why the author would think past tense is appropriate here, since the narration is all past-tense. However, this is technically an idea being expressed by Gareth, not part of the narration; thus, while Gareth's expression of the idea is part of the narration and occurs in the past-tense, the idea itself is in present-tense. Does this make it clear? Probably not. It's much easier to just demonstrate by example:

>Society is wrong, he decided. When your wife is an alicorn, it is not unseemly for her to carry her husband.
Doesn't that read much better?

With the linguistic concerns out of the way, we can move on to the substance of what the author is saying.

>Society is wrong, he decided.
At what point has society ever decreed to Gareth that it is not okay to ride an alicorn? In the society he comes from, medieval England, there are no alicorns and thus no social conventions which govern the riding of them. In Equestria, there are no humans, and thus the subject of riding alicorns is unlikely to come up. It's possible that other creatures might be inclined to try and ride them I suppose, so maybe there's a taboo on it. But it's unlikely to have come up in Gareth's limited study of Equestrian manners.

And, last but not least:

>Quite the opposite, riding on your alicorn wife was fucking awesome!
I'm not particularly offended by profanity fuck shit bitch cunt slut nigger, but I've found that in fiction it's best to use it sparingly and where appropriate. It doesn't feel appropriate here; in fact most of the places where I've come across it in this text it hasn't felt appropriate. My suspicion is that the author wants to emphasize that he is writing in an "adult" version of Equestria, where sex happens and ponies can die, so he has his characters curse from time to time to reinforce this. In and of itself this is fine, since it helps to know whether you're supposed to be visualizing show-accurate ponyworld (pastel colors, cartoon physics and so forth; see pic 2) or a more fleshed out, three dimensional, realistic/serious version of the same world and characters (see pic 3). However, it's possible to overdo it so you have to be careful.

As a general rule, I try not to use profanity anywhere in narration. The only exception is if I'm writing in the first person. In that case, you're writing in the character's voice, and if you're writing a character who swears a lot, profanity is a natural part of his speech. However, third person narration is meant to be a neutral description of events, so it feels weird to encounter vulgarity. In a third-person narrated story, you should only use vulgarity in quoted dialogue, in italicized thoughts, or, in extremely rare cases, situations like the one above, where the narration is being used to express an abstract thought of the character's. This last one seems to be what soulpeener is trying to do here.

"Riding on your alicorn wife was fucking awesome!" is a continuation of Gareth's previous thought, about the propriety of riding an alicorn (along those lines, this should actually read "Riding on your alicorn wife is fucking awesome!"). So, strictly speaking, the vulgar expression is probably okay to use here. However, in this case it's not only vulgar but anachronous as well. Is "fucking awesome" an expression that a man from fifteenth century England would be likely to use? Probably not.

Anyway, that's the end of the chapter, and I think I'm about ponied out for the day. So, I will stop here, and we shall pick up again with Chapter 17 a bit later. With only two more chapters plus the epilogues remaining, I'm hoping to have this finished up either this week or next week.
>I'm thinking a way the climax could have been handled better and give more significance to either Gareth's dagger or father's spear is have the fighting in the Throne Room be more talkie bits to flesh out the motivations and give Celestia a chance to talk Chucky down a bit to atleast delay a direct confrontation.
In general it's a really bad idea to weigh down your battle scenes with a lot of dialogue. I can see where you're going with this: conversation might allow characters to elaborate on their motivations and might help to explain a little more of what's going on. You're thinking in the right direction, but it's not quite the way to go here.

The problem is that most of the stuff the characters would talk about here is all stuff that would be obvious and would require no explanation had the author set it up correctly in earlier parts of the story. We shouldn't have to ask why the guards are rebelling, we should already know. We shouldn't have to ask what Chucky Larms' motivations are at this point in the story, we should already know.

As to Gareth's dad and the boar spear, in my opinion that stuff shouldn't even be in there. What significance has Gareth's father played in this story so far? We don't even know his name. Yet all of a sudden we have this spear that was supposedly bequeathed to Gareth by him, and Gareth is trying to imitate his father by using it? What's the significance of this? Why is this spear suddenly in the story? It holds no symbolic meaning, and if it holds some deep, personal significance for Gareth we should have learned about it ages ago.

The only reason this spear was put in the story is because Gareth needed a weapon at that particular moment. Ordinarily you could just have the character find a random spear lying on the ground and this would probably be okay in a castle, but in Equestria it becomes somewhat more complicated since horses wouldn't use the same types of weapons that humans would. So the author probably invented this story about Gareth's father leaving him a boar spear on the fly, and added all that "just like father" stuff to try and make the act of using it look more significant than it actually is. This is bad form; you don't want to do stuff like this.

What makes it worse is that Gareth doesn't even really need the spear in the first place. He doesn't do anything particularly important with it. It doesn't turn the tide of the fight in any serious way. Considering that he can't kill anything because of the promise he made to his wife, he doesn't even use it properly as a spear; it's just a blunt object he uses to whack the Pegasi unconscious. He could have grabbed nearly anything and it would have served the same purpose. In the last chapter he used a curtain rod as a weapon even though he had a dagger and a sword available, but in this scene he absolutely has to have a boar spear, and the boar spear absolutely has to have its own backstory?

>Gareth kills Chucky and saves Celestia, but this means he has to be exiled and their relationship is over
This angle I like. This would definitely work as a story direction in the revised idea I suggested, where the romance is tragic and doesn't work out.

>Also just so Glim could have a coniption fit have the rat come in before he leaves and Gareth is elated to see his most stalwart of companions go to see him off before the rat pantomimes he will be going to Earth with Gareth. Gareth can put on his beeswax sealed helmet with the rat perched on his shoulder as they give a wink and smile to Celestia and the guards before jumping through the portal and the story ends.
Got the first chapter of that one fanfic I'm re editing and can try to post it here once I get the next chapter done. Think I could try and post the original alongside it here just so people can compare the two and see if I'm doing the process right. A bit too spent from irl stuff to get the creative juices really flowing but editing this one has been pretty therapeutic plus I like the idea he has so want it to shine best I can get it.
Well, you can do whatever you feel like but just so you know I wasn't talking about your editing of someone else's work. I was talking about an excerpt from your own writing.
>Ten bucks says the author's trying to bring back the "He's hard to see with pony eyes and has less magic in him than most inanimate objects" thing
Holy shit, I completely forgot about that. It was introduced as if it were going to be significant way back in the beginning, and then the author just sort of wrote it out of the story without using it for anything.

Now that I think about it, my suspicion is that the sword probably fell out of one of the caskets. One of Celestia's former husbands had a magic sword that he was buried with, or something. That's how I'd explain it, anyway.

>really, is he still at the "thinking she's Cecilia" phase?
The author seems to make an intentional distinction between "Cecilia" and "Celestia", where Celestia refers to the princess who abdicated and left Equestria, and Cecilia refers to the one who returned without her memories. Even though they're the same pony, the author treats them as symbolically different characters sometimes. Also, Gareth generally refers to her as Cecilia because that's the name he knows her by. Both uses make sense, and the author is consistent in how he uses them, which is important if you're going to do something like this. All in all I approve of the way he does this.

>Author could put a lot of tension here by making Celly groan and strain as cracks form on her shield and her body grows weaker. As it stands we have no idea if we should think these guards could ever break her shield or not.
The characters' fighting capabilities, strength of magic and so forth are pretty inconsistent in this story. This is true of the show as well actually, but here it's a little harder to justify since we're supposed to view this as more of a "real" world.

I don't mind his Latin quotations particularly. It's a little pompous and slightly on the anachronous side since as a peasant farmer who became a soldier and was later knighted he'd likely have little education and thus little knowledge of Latin. However, I can overlook this and treat it simply as a character trait, and as far as that goes it's fine. Some people have little mantras or rituals they use when shooting guns or bows to put themselves in the right frame of mind, and Gareth's habit of reciting Latin Bible verses seems like a similar thing.
My favourite is INFINIGGER.
I got it from an old sonic meme, but turns out this site uses it too.

>Is "fucking awesome" an expression that a man from fifteenth century England would be likely to use?
I heard the term "Fuck" came from the German Focker planes, but that's probably bullshit.
>At what point has society ever decreed to Gareth that it is not okay to ride an alicorn?
One time I rode one of those rollercoaster rides where you're up against the inner walls of a rotating circle that's lifted to become vertical. The speed violates gravity through centrifugal force, it's why you're safe. I played a lot of Rollercoaster Tycoon as a kid.
Also if there was a taboo on riding ponies, Spike would be getting some odd looks for riding around on Twilight's back.
It's funny how well-designed fantasy main characters almost always have a smaller friend(Spike, Momo, Sparx, Charles Boyle), and a much bigger friend to ride on(Appa, Yoshi, any Pokemon that uses Surf or Fly, Terry Crews). But because the MLP ponies are ponies, Spike rides them.
I'm surprised the series never did a Spike episode where he gets control over his transforming and becomes able to transform into a big flying form, letting the ponies ride around on his back. It would be the perfect excuse for why the ponies can fly across the country in an afternoon. It would let Spike be useful more often. And if you ever needed a plot Spike's flight would ruin (the ponies must take a train and a murder mystery happens on it, or they must take a roadtrip by boat) Spike could be sick for the episode from eating too much ice cream or whatever. Xiaolin Showdown had people ride on the back of a flying dragon. How To Train Your Dragon did it, too. Instead they just randomly gave him wings one day. You know it's high-quality character development when your crappy Dragon OC has to explain to the audience why Spike is changing and the answer is because of dragon bullshit you just made up.
Nice one with the rat and beeswax helmet. If you were doing that with my old Silver Star Apple story, amplifying elements to annoy Glim, what would you do?
Hey Glim, are you doing ok?