/mlpol/ - My Little Politics

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Archived thread

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

Previous thread: >>248482 →

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

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

And with that, we shall now commence reading:

The Sun and the Rose
by soulpillar

Chapter 1: Lavender and Beeswax

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

>Shapes in the gloom only teased at their existence.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chapter 2: Mud and Tears

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This next scene is a little confusing for me as well, so I will break here and resume in another post.
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Alright. So the pony stalking him is described as a crimson pony with a black mane, so it doesn't appear to be Celestia. The creature appears bored and disinterested in him, which is a contrast to the attitude we saw from the guards earlier, who seem to be treating this situation as an emergency. Then, we get this:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Page break. The perspective cuts back to Celestia.

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

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

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

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

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

>crimson pony with a black mane
Ow the edge! Ooh ouch oof ow my bones, ow, oh god, the edge, it hurt my delicate brony sensibilities! Everybody knows black and red is a colour scheme of sin and Shadow The Hedgehog because these colours mean that alone and nothing else! Ahahaha, oh wow, I can't believe this guy didn't already know the imaginary and highly important fanfiction rule that I invented for myself, rule one is I'm always right and rule two says if I like it it's good and rule three says red and black is a loser colour unless I use it! I'm very certain that a game will never come out, obsess over those colours, and get popular enough to make me completely reverse my stance on that colour scheme!
That's my impression of a brony from 2010s, how'd I do?
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Funny you should mention MLP's newfound "lol i sing sometimes that's silly" habit, that reminds me of something that convinced me to lose hope in the show.
Back when the show was good,
In episode 2 of season 1, Pinkie sings.
Everyone's scared of spooky trees in a forest, but the silly ditzy weirdo Pinkie Pie suddenly starts singing.
"Lol is she singing?" characters ask.
But then Pinkie reveals the wisdom in singing right now. The wisdom in being optimistic, and laughing your fears away.
It helps the ponies get through the forest and get to where they need to go.
When every mane six member got their "Proof I'm a good person who can contribute value to the group" scene, hers focused on justifying her wackiness. She isn't cheerful because she doesn't understand the world's darkness. She's cheerful because she doesn't let it get her down.
In late-stage FIM during that shite episode where some guy's scrapped "Don't fight over who best girl is" episode gets turned into a "Fuck you we aren't perfect fuck you, accept our flaws, fuck you fandom we hate you fuck you" episode,
there's a bit where the mane six sing a song about being good. It accomplishes nothing and annoying snarky prick Glimmer snarks over that she always gets to be right when their writers write the story, even when she's clearly wrong. or was it trixie?
anyway I remember that scene making me laugh at how bad it was.
This show is shitting on things that make it a kid's cartoon, in a cheap attempt to be "above" the other kid's cartoons that try to do this unironically. It's a lazy "meta" tactic to make weak writers seem smarter, and the show used to be better than that because it used to be written/showran by people above that.
Rick and Morty isn't deep and can't be deep. At any moment, any number of reset buttons can be pressed and nothing that ever happens can matter.
The show's a fun and mindless ride through some familiar sci-fi cliches that get dicked around with by writers who aren't very good at being clever.
Remember that recent Rick and Morty episode where they decided to say "Oceans Eleven style shows suck ass"?
They decided to say this by having rick say it, then doing an Ocean's Eleven plot with a silly team, then fucking it up, then having Rick play "I know you know I know so I switched the switched thing with another fake" for a few minutes with a plot-making robot that turns on him.
Weird comparison time...
It's kind of like when DBZ tries to parody something.
when it wanted to mock Power Rangers/Super Sentai it created the Ginyu Force, a silly group of fighters working for Freeza who are called "Odd" for:
>standing around and leaving themselves open
>charging big slow attacks
>relying on bullshit gimmicks sometimes
>playing rock-paper-scissors to decide who fights who
>doing silly dances and poses
All of these, the show is guilty of doing. Standing around and leaving themselves open, charging big slow attacks? Characters, heroes and villains alike, do it all the bloody time because the less effort you put into your defense, the better it magically becomes.
Silly dances? Fusion Dance and what the old purple fag did when dancing around Gohan to magically give him Ultimate Form (i shit you not, and no it never mattered)
Rock-paper-scissors? Goku did it two seasons later during the Buu saga.
Unfunny hypocrisy. You're expected to laugh at the mockeries that exaggerate traits Super Sentai characters don't really have.
They never mock the Power Rangers' dumb weapons that clip together, or their giant robot toys that clip together.
And you know what?
Toriyama did it again in DB Super.
Once upon a time, Dragon Ball was a martial arts parody series... that parodied martial arts by introducing a Superior Person named Goku who's the strongest and most important. Old cliches are ripped off and people gasp in awe at how strong Goku, who they underestimate, turns out to be.
Remember when Goku fought TaoPaiPai, was too weak, and lost, so he climbed up a big stick to get to a flying divine paradise where he had to fight his way towards some Holy Water that would make him stronger when he drank it, except the water's fake and getting strong enough to get to it made him strong... but then he finds the real Super Holy Water and drinks that to get stronger anyway? He
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He then went over to fight TaoPaiPai and was now allowed to be strong enough to win. Nothing about his character, fighting style, or tactics changed. His punches were just allowed to matter more than those of his foe.
remember when Toriyama decided to parody Superheroes in Dragon Ball Super?
when he decided to parody Superheroes, he adds the Pride Troopers.
A band of spandex-wearing fighters in matching spandex. Their leader is an emotionless brick wall who lives to meditate and not emote ever. One or two have gimmicky powers but they're all just the same generic DBZ character: flight, invincibility, punch, kick, beam, exploding ball, maybe teleports behind you, maybe a cheat like Heat or Poison or TimeStop that gets beaten by someone stronger than your cheats.
they talk about Justice a lot. that makes them a Justice League parody.
and their boss turns out to be a prick who says "Fuck justice I just wanna be the strongest!" then tries to kill viewers in the stadium, pissing Goku off
Superman is only a boring emotionless brick wall when written badly. He's clark fucking kent, a human who was a human first long before he learned he can fly. He had friends, lost friends, got his heart broken, had dreams, saw old movies, and more before he learned to shoot lasers from his eyes.
Superman is a costume, Clark Kent might hide his face more than his counterpart but Clark is still the man. Bruce Wayne is the disguise, Batman is what Bruce turned himself into after losing his parents. These are literally the only two good DC characters besides Arm Fall Off Boy and Matter Eater Lad.
Wonder Woman is an invincible boring demigoddess born perfect, yawn. Green Lantern is some prick with a magic god ring. Cyborg's a black dude who's part robot and says booyah. The Flash runs fast and is only the comic relief when he's not the main character. Aquaman talks to fish except oh my god please let this joke die. Atom shrinks to Atom size. The Cowboy is a cowboy. Stargirl is a girl who flies and shoots lasers using a magic stick. Green Arrow shoots arrows.
DC's characters aren't characters, they're costumes a customizable character could wear in a theoretical DC video game. These characters weren't meant to exist in the same shared universe or fight the same threats.
also in dbz
there's the Universe Two fighters who are parodying magical girls.
so the girls get long-ass transformation sparkly transformation sequences for characters to comment on and joke about
(and these sequences aren't actually any longer than the big sorta-epic sorta-silly small-rocks-rise-from-the-ground skies-darkening scream-for-four-minutes transformation sequences seen whenever Freeza/Cell decide to get buff or Buu turns into a skinny prick/fatass/generic buff prick or whenever Goku decides to grow his hair out or change its colour.)
Would be funny if Freeza killed them all mid-transformation sequence but I think he only did that with one character.
anyway all the girls turn into magic idiots in frilly outfits except for the one who becomes a fatass
now a smart writer would say "These girls have powerful magic lasers but suck at close combat. they've never thrown or taken a punch before and they're used to winning fights with Power Of Love/Friendship beams nobody ever dodges".
then have Vegeta say "Hahaha I'm the prince of all Saiyans, these foolish FUCKING WOMEN with their stupid beams cannot possibly harm me! They don't even have muscles and that's what life is really all about!" and then he gets his ass kicked because that's what this accidental comic relief character played seriously exists to do.
then do a tense fight where the heroes dodge for dear life while trying to get within punching range
But nah these characters are jokes so they lose and make asses of themselves and exist to be wrong losers who fail at life.
Dragon Ball Z Abridged had the right idea by turning Vegeta from an annoying smug prick into an intentional joke character who's so full of himself that it becomes funny to see him get hurt.
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So what's your point? Does adding each reference in specificity help it?
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>Superman is a costume, Clark Kent might hide his face more than his counterpart but Clark is still the man. Bruce Wayne is the disguise, Batman is what Bruce turned himself into after losing his parents.
What weirds me out the most about your long stream-of-consciousness rants is the weird nuggets of spot-on observation they sometimes contain.
No, consider that an unsolicited service. An easter egg, if you will
It's a self defense mechanism. I assume he figures that anyone willing to suss out the meaning in his diatribe(s) is worth interacting with, and those who aren't simply fail the test
He's not wrong tho
Thanks, I'm a smart guy.
I guess I just hope that if I rant for long enough about writing-related stuff here, someone will agree or disagree with me about something and a conversation can start to pass the time while we wait for the next chapter. Plus, there's a lot of "Politically incorrect" things about media I can only say here.
So, who wants to dick on DC for a bit?
Green Lantern is such a weird character.
During "Crossover Events" like literally any comic where any Green Lantern is just a character and not the guy the story is exclusively about, Green Lantern is just some idiot who can't help much. he makes beams, hits people with green shapes, might die or lose fights.
Green Lantern is not a character.
Green Lantern is what anyone becomes when they wear a Green Lantern Ring, and there are fucking millions of these in space and like 7 of them on earth.
There's a whole Lantern Corps full of useless tards who die and fail. And a bunch of other gimmicky Lantern Corps colours. Greedy Orange, Angry Red, Hopeful Blue, Best White, etc.
When GL isn't the main character he's just some annoying background element nobody wants to focus on for too long, for fear of letting the audience remember anything about any GL.
Remember the time Hal Jordan picked up a planet and threw it at the embodiment of fear hard enough to kill it while resisting psychic fear-inducing attacks from the monster?
Now remember the time Hal Jordan got beat up by fucking Bane and had to have his ass saved by Batman? Or the time Hal Jordan got completely fucked up on Scarecrow's Fear Toxin and needed to be saved by Batman? Why? Because it's a Batman comic, and even when it's not necessarily a Batman comic his character and world's respect has to take priority because Batman makes the most money for DC. DC isn't willing to take risks trying to sell audiences on interesting comics/shows about other DC characters, not when Supes and pals "Always" make money and the shitty Justice League crossovers "always" make money.
So GL the planet-busting god can't just fly into Gotham one day, make a car-sized green dick, and smack every villain in town with it hard enough to break some bones that can heal in the hospital. Not even when Batman's sick and asking three way-weaker friends to "Hilariously" take over and fail at doing so.
Hal Jordan the test pilot(who was more interesting before he became Ultimate OP Best Lantern), Guy Gardener the angry prick(who became more interesting AFTER he became a Red Lantern with Supergirl and got to ACTUALLY HAVE HIS OWN SHIT GOING ON), Black Dude the black dude who's never allowed to be wrong, Kyle Rayner the artist (who was more interesting before he became White Lantern, Absolute God Of All), and the shitty background characters like Buff Gruff Strong Dude and Squirrel With Ring and Yellow Bird-Man. Oh and the shit new GLs like Fears-Going-Outside-Woman and Diversity Hire No2(muslim arrested for being in a truck by people who assumed he's a terrorist. lol, as fucking if that's how the world works).
fuck the new GLs.
If there are any people on this planet who "Have no fear" or "Have the power to overcome great fear" it is not some dumb thot woman afraid of leaving her bedroom's bubble or some lowly fucking sand-bandit who defines his own existence with the unquestioning worship of the imaginary god of some child-molesting Trading Caravan-raiding town-subverting slimy little mudslime Mo-ham-mud.
If the authors really wanted to sell audiences on the new characters, they could make the chick a daredevil stuntwoman and make the muslim an atheist who "overcame great fear" by coming out as atheist to his muslim parents and getting abused for it for years.
It would make a nice fucking contrast to Marvel's cock-sucking treatment of muslims with Kamala Khan/Miss Marvel aka Misses Man-Hands the Muslim. Her stupid muslim parents are treated like "Wacky sitcom parents" and her stupid muslim beliefs are treated as "perfectly normal but slightly kweeer aka kewwl and exsotik" things for a teenaged retard to do. There's one scene where she's at a party and someone tricks her into drinking alcohol and they laugh at how she coughs in disgust when told that. Even though in reality muslims drink booze and rape kids all the time.
For the love of god, just realize this on one fucking level.
Christianity says "Be good or you'll disappoint the all-seeing all-knowing god who loves and created you. And go to hell too".
Islam says "It's only a crime if you get caught. Be evil and be an effective monster for Islam or you're going to hell".
Muslims don't even follow their own retarded religion's retarded rules, they just want to force them onto everyone else.
No wonder leftists love them so fucking much.
When Muslims take over territories and those monsters lose the shared enemy they can all see and hate together, they fracture into groups of "true muslims" fighting different sects of "true muslims" because all the sand-bandits want to sit at the top no matter what.
Fuck muslims and fuck jews.
I think what you'll find is that the more you rant, the more you will discourage discussion. There's little point in engaging in a conversation if one or both parties has already made up their mind and is instead intent on proselytizing changing the other person's position to align with theirs. That's what is known as a bad-faith argument, because it operates without a willingness to consider their perspective other than to look for opportunities to refute.
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Chapter 3: Feathers and Piggybacks

The next scene begins with a character named Private Styre. From context, he is implied to be a pony, though 'Private Styre' is a pretty weird pony name. In any case, he seems unimpressed by Gareth; he muses to himself about how bad he smelled and how frightened he became at some simple magic that was apparently conjured up by one of the other guards (name of Flash Bang) during the skirmish.

I'm a little confused by this:
>Styre paused. Ah, right, best get back into uniform. He pulled his mirror-sheen helmet from a hook on his barding and planted it back onto his head. He pressed the blue star on his chest and within an instant, his red coat, yellow eyes and black mane turned white, blue, and yellow.
I guess the implication here is that this star he presses on his chest somehow transforms his appearance, so presumably he is disguising himself for some reason. Perhaps he's some kind of double agent or something. It's clear that there's more to him than meets the eye, but I'm not quite sure how the author wants us to interpret this. One of this author's biggest flaws so far is that he has a tendency to describe things awkwardly. There are a lot of murky passages in this text like the one above, where the meaning is ambiguous and it's difficult to visualize what exactly is going on. However, we can nonetheless assume that this pony is probably the same crimson and black pony that Gareth encountered in the preceding scene, and that he has some kind of magic that enables him to change his coat, eye and mane color, the purpose of which has not yet been explained.

As Styre is doing all this, Colonel Purple Dart approaches and demands a report on what happened in the woods.

This passage is also awkward:
>"The Princess dismissed me, sir," said Styre, gesturing back to the forest and silently thanking Harmony that the Colonel didn't seem to notice.
Why gesture if you don't want your gesture to be noticed? The whole point of a gesture is to indicate something to another person by way of movement instead of words. Also, why would he not want the Colonel to see him gesture at the woods? I'm not seeing the significance of the woods or the gesture, or even what Styre is trying to hide from the Colonel in the first place. So far, it seems like soulpillar has a fairly interesting story in mind, but he fumbles with description a lot and it's hard to understand what he wants us to visualize. Also, it's worth repeating that his characters continue to behave awkwardly and strangely; this character's seemingly random and purposeless (and thankfully unnoticed) gesture is just the latest example of this.

Then, suddenly, the guard named Flash Bang announces the return of Celestia by screaming at the top of his lungs, which seems like yet another baffling and inappropriate reaction. The entire company seems to also treat this rather commonplace event with an undue amount of shock. According to the text, their mouths all "flop" open in surprise as they see Celestia approaching with Gareth at her side.

I gather that the surprise is mostly because of Gareth, whom they still see as a threat or an adversary. Also, from some of the banter that follows over the next couple of lines, we can gather that his armor and modified space helmet probably made him appear more threatening. Styre is the first to point out that without the helmet, he appears to be a flesh and blood creature and that he does not appear dangerous upon closer inspection.

There's a brief, angry exchange between Styre and Flash Bang that seems to be related to the ongoing tensions going on between the different pony castes. Flash Bang calls Styre an "earth grubber," which implies he's a mudpony. I don't remember if the author has mentioned what type of pony Flash Bang is; however, from his having done magic earlier and the fact that Styre retorts by calling him "sparkles", I'm going to assume he's a unicorn for now. As a side note, if these inter-pony tensions are going to be central to the story, it would probably be a good idea for the author to reinforce the types of ponies his characters are, particularly minor characters who can be hard to keep track of. This can be done by simply having the character do something from time to time that only a pony of its type would be able to do; for instance if the character is a pegasus have them stretch their wings or mention them hovering in the air or something. It's easy when writing to forget that the reader can't see inside your head; they can only see what you describe to them. I'm sure soulpillar has the type and appearance of his characters pretty well in mind, but from the way this is written it's a little difficult to keep track.

>After three minutes of watching in silence, Celestia and the creature had approached the edge of the unit.
I can see what the author intended to say here: the guards are watching as Celestia and Gareth approach the edge of the unit, and this approach consumes three minutes of time. However, what this sentence is technically saying is that Celestia and Gareth are standing silently, watching the guards for exactly three minutes, and then approach the edge of the unit once the three minutes are up. Obviously this doesn't make a ton of sense.

Anyway, there's a bit of tension as the two of them approach. The guards all stiffen up and get into battle formation and the Colonel is eyeing Gareth cautiously. As awkwardly written as this encounter is, the author does have an interesting idea here. Styre is finding it weirdly difficult to look at Gareth, and apparently the others are having the same problem. They all have difficulty focusing their vision on him, as if he is some kind of apparition or trick of the eye. This is probably some effect relating to his being from another world, and their tracking spells probably didn't work for the same reason.
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2496901 - Friendship_is_Magic My_Little_Pony Setharu Starlight_Glimmer.png

This story so far seems to take an interesting approach to the old "human in Equestria" format, and I commend the author for thinking about things a little differently. His vision of Equestria is interesting too: the social tensions and prejudices between the different types of ponies imply a somewhat more "adult" or realist vision of pastel ponyland, which I've seen other authors attempt before. Our old friend Peen Stroke is one such case. However, so far soulpillar seems able to do this without laying it on too thick or going full-blown grimdark with it.

The scenario he's laid out here is believable: Celestia has been gone for three years, and in that time, a schism has begun to form between the pegasi, earth ponies and unicorns. This makes sense and is in line with the established canon of the show: Celestia is the embodiment of Harmony, which is a central tenet of the Equestrian belief system. According to legend, the genesis of the nation occurred when the different pony types learned how to stop fighting and work together towards a common goal. With Celestia gone, this unity begins to fray. Symbolically, as Harmony recedes, Discord creeps in. Soulpillar demonstrates an instinctive grasp of the show's themes, and adheres to them in his own treatment of this world. He pays homage to the source material not by continuously dropping references to this-or-that-episode or peppering the text with fandom in-jokes, but by constructing an original story in this setting that is in harmony ba dum tss with the themes of the original work.

That said, this story unfortunately also suffers from some problems which mar my enjoyment of it. The author has a strong vision, but seems to struggle with translating his ideas into language and laying them out for the reader. His descriptive passages are often murky and the action is difficult to follow, which is perplexing because some descriptive passages are written extremely well. This indicates that he can hammer out quality description when he puts his mind to it. His characterization, unfortunately, needs a lot of work; as I've mentioned, the ways these characters behave range from merely unconvincing to outright bizarre. His dialogue is also pretty mediocre. I also notice he tries to cover up the flaws in his prose with overly florid and elegant language, which is sort of the literary equivalent of spraying the bathroom with apple cinnamon air freshener and hoping that nobody can tell you had Indian for lunch. However, based on what I've read, I'm happy to report that imo, soulpillar still seems to mostly like vaginas so far.

Anyway. Celestia has just returned with Gareth at her side, and the ponies are a little on edge. In soulpillar's Equestria, Gareth is a being who should not be in this world. The ponies have difficulty seeing him, and their magic does not appear to affect him. When they're able to focus their vision on him long enough to see him, they find his appearance to be gangly and disconcerting. Also of note is that the author chooses to tell this portion of the story from Styre's perspective, so we get a firsthand account of all this instead of just having the information fed to us. This was a good narrative choice.

Celestia stops just short of introducing Gareth as her husband, instead proclaiming him to be "Prince-Consort of Equestria," which is probably not much better. Predictably, there are a lot of angry and confused murmurs running through the ranks of the soldiers. Styre, for his part, seems to feel a visceral disgust towards everything about the human, and most of the ponies around him seem to share his view now imagine how they'd react if they met a brony who wandered in.

Overall I feel roughly the same about this scene as I felt about Celestia and Gareth's reunion scene in the previous chapter: the scene itself is good, but it is unfortunately rather poorly written, for the reasons detailed above. The descriptions of Gareth's movements and the appearance of his hands and arms from Styre's perspective are interesting but strangely worded.

For instance:
>Styre made an intrigued noise in his throat, squinting down at the human's rapid yet delicate appendages. Celestia smiled. The rest of the guards feigned disinterest.
I'm not entirely sure what an 'intrigued noise' sounds like, but imagining Styre making such a noise in his throat while the remainder of his company 'feigns disinterest' and Celestia smiles is not a pleasant visual, nor does it feel appropriate to the situation. The description of Gareth's appendages as 'rapid yet delicate' is also a poor choice of words. The concepts of rapidity and delicacy don't relate to each other in any meaningful way, and they also don't give us much of a visual. And in any case, 'rapid' doesn't work as a description of a human limb no matter what other word it's paired with.

So far, I'm having a weird mixed reaction to this text. I'm enjoying the story itself, and I think the author does a lot of things well, but the writing is just rubbing me the wrong way in a lot of weird places. There's just something aggravating about his word choice and his way of describing things. The effect is a little bit like listening to someone play a song you like on a piano that is clearly out of tune.

Anyway, I'm running out of space. Also noteworthy here is that the ponies don't seem to understand human speech, but Styre finds the sound of it to be pleasing.

Gareth writes out a message on a piece of parchment, which Celestia instructs Purple Dart to carry through the mirror that apparently links the two worlds. The task is given to Styre. Celestia then tells Gareth to get on her chariot, but the idea of flight terrifies Gareth. They have a brief conversation that Styre can't understand. Page break.

All in all a surreal and faintly disquieting scene.
Oh, interesting side note. I googled it, and apparently a "styre" is an extinct type of cider apple native to England, that would have been common around the time of the War of the Roses. Based on some of the details in the story so far, the author seems to have a genuine interest in the period of human history this story deals with, so this might have been intentional. If so, it's a pretty obscure reference that he deserves a nod for. If Private Styre ends up being tied to the Apple family somehow, the author deserves both a nod and a respectful tip of the fedora.
It's strange.
Gamers aren't still losing their minds over those Cake Is A Lie jokes.
Anime fans aren't still laughing over Euphinator or THIS X HAS BEEN PASSED DOWN THE ARMSTRONG FAMILY LINE FOR GENERATIONS
Bronies still laugh over 20 percent cooler.
Why are bronies stuck in the past?
That past was nothing special. A few hundred thousand memeing on gay forums, calling themselves moral for wanting the Rainbow Ass.
Hey, Glim. Where do you think the story will go from here, and where do you think it should go?
My money's on
>Celestia solves the problems that happened in her absence with the human's help. Fighting might happen to give the human a chance to show off. Romance happens between Celestia and a perfectly ordinary and unremarkable human who will be called the second coming of christ for having all sorts of virtues we rarely if ever see"
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>"Fuck. No."
I don't object to profanity in itself you nigger fucking faggot bitch, but it doesn't really feel appropriate here, and it's not a good foot to start the scene on. The effect is made worse by the fact that we don't even learn who is saying it or what they're reacting to for another three paragraphs spoiler: it was Gareth.

>Celestia and Gareth walked through the thick woods of the Everfree, as they have been doing since they had awoken that day.
"Have" is out of place here, since the rest of the sentence is clearly in the past-tense. Also, I'm starting to feel like a broken record, but this is very awkwardly worded.

Anyway, the reason that Gareth said a no-no word is because he and Celestia have been walking through the forest all day and they're both tired and cranky. Apparently they are walking all the way from the Everfree Forest to Canterlot, which I gather is something Celestia is not accustomed to doing. As I read further, I'm actually not 100% sure it was Gareth who said "fuck no" just now. The line just appears in quotes without being directly attributed to either character, and it's never clarified who actually said it. From context, it might actually have been Celestia, since it appears that she is the one who is most annoyed at having to walk. In that case, I would definitely recommend to the author that he reevaluate his choice of opening line. Even in an 'adult' story, Celestia swearing out of nowhere just feels completely wrong for her character.

>They needed to camp out in the Castle courtyard that night. Gareth hid it well, but he was close to collapse. Even Celestia was a bit worn out by the day's events. They both slept like the dead in one of the guard's tents.
Time is muddled here. What the author seems to mean is that following the last scene, both Gareth and Celestia were tired, and so they decided to sleep at the castle before setting out the next morning, which was this morning. We now join them at around midday. However, the way this is written suggests that it's referring to future events; as in they are walking through the woods right now, are getting tired, and will subsequently need to camp out in the Castle courtyard. This makes it confusing, since the castle courtyard is the place they just came from. The ambiguity comes from the phrase "that night," since the text does not clarify which night it's referring to.

>They needed to camp out in the Castle courtyard that night.
>Gareth hid it well, but he was close to collapse.
>Even Celestia was a bit worn out by the day's events.
These three sentences, taken together, suggests that they are thinking about their plans for the immediate future.

>They both slept like the dead in one of the guard's tents.
This sentence clarifies that the previous three were actually talking about the previous night. However, the transition is jarring; this sentence feels out of place, and taken together the whole passage feels muddled and confusing.

In any case, Gareth seems to be in a better mood than Celestia at the moment. He is fascinated by the Everfree Forest, in particular the creatures that live there. As an English nobleman, he would likely have spent a lot of time hunting in the forest, so this makes sense. Celestia, whose thoughts mostly revolve around what a pain in the ass getting anywhere by walking is, tries to divert her attention from her pissy mood by asking Gareth what was in the letter he wrote, that he had Styre deliver through the mirror.

>"Well… Uncle said that I was to bring you back and nothing more," Gareth replied. "I'm still not sure what kind of miasma or other diseases are here. What if I accidently brought back some new variant of the plague? England can't afford something like that, especially not so soon after the civil war. So… I told Uncle to wait for my letter to come at the end of 2 and a half years."
Logically this makes sense, but I don't think this is how a person from this era would see it. The cause of the black plague was not known during the middle ages; medical knowledge at the time was extremely limited, and most doctors were clergymen who attributed diseases to demonic or spiritual causes. The possibility of accidentally transmitting some unknown pathogen from world to world is a legitimate enough concern and I actually think it's good that the author is thinking about stuff like this. However, I don't think the idea would have occurred to Gareth himself; as I said earlier, it's actually quite unlikely he'd even view himself as being in a different world or different universe than the one he came from, at least not in the way that we would think of it.

Anyway, as far as I can tell, fear of plague or disease is the reason he was wearing the protective helmet when the story began, so I guess we've cleared up that mystery. Celestia asks him once more if he's sure that he wants to stay here for the full two and a half years or so before the portal opens again.

>Gareth stared. A moment later, Cecilia realised that he wasn't looking at her eyes, he was looking at her wings.
Her eyes are up here, Gareth.

>Gareth looked up, his expression the pinnacle of clinical curiosity.
I'm sorry to keep nitpicking individual passages like this, but a lot of this text really does need to be heavily revised. This is an awkward way to phrase this to begin with, and the unintentional rhyme just makes it that much worse.

Anyway, Gareth spends some time checking out his wife's new horse-body. He touches her wings and her ears and so forth. He then jokingly asks if he can ride her, which offends her. And then..wait a minute, what the shit?

>Celestia snorted. "Fine then! I'll let you ride me on one condition; that I get to ride you first!"
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Yep, the madman actually did it. After a page break, the next scene opens with...Celestia...riding...Gareth. Not making this up.

>Gareth marched forward out of the Everfree and into Equestria's verdant fields. Each struggling step punctuated by a groaning huff from his bright red face after carrying Celestia on his back for the past twenty metres. His arms trembled as they hooked up underneath Celestia's hindlegs while her forelegs wrapped over his shoulders.

Apart from the obvious knee jerk "what the fuck" response I have to this choice of story direction, there are some serious logical concerns here. My immediate question is about the size differences between ponies and humans, which I actually understand to be a topic of intense debate in the more autistic cloisters of the brony community. Since I needed to consider this at one point for a story I was writing, I did some research, and came across pic related, which seems like a pretty reasonable and widely accepted standard of measurement. If I remember correctly this image comes from a post on FimFiction itself, and is accompanied by a long bit of autistic text explaining the reasoning behind it.

Assuming this standard, Celestia would stand at a height of around 6 feet not including her horn, which would make just slightly smaller than an average horse. Imagine a human walking around carrying a nearly full-grown horse on his back; you'd pretty much have to have never seen a horse irl to believe it could be done. For the benefit of those who haven't, according to google the weight of an average adult horse is 840-2200 lbs, so even at the low end Gareth would be carrying about 800 lbs on his back. Considering that a person weighing half that is considered morbidly obese, there is no way it would be physically possible for Gareth to pull this off without seriously injuring himself.

The only other alternative is to assume a much smaller size for the ponies, and maybe reduce Celestia down to the size of Twilight in the picture. This would make her roughly the size and weight of a Shetland pony, so around 300 lbs. Probably a little more reasonable, but a piggyback ride would still be a tall order, even assuming Gareth is pretty ripped. However, in this scenario, you'd have to downscale the other ponies as well, as Celestia is still quite a bit larger by comparison. Sticking with the picture, this would reduce Twilight and other average-sized ponies down to roughly the size of a small dog, finally making Sweetie Belle at the far end about the size of a chihuahua. As adorable as that is to imagine, it's a pretty impractical size comparison for a story: buildings constructed to the scale of the average pony would probably be too small for a human to fit inside comfortably. It's also pretty unlikely that Gareth would have been intimidated by them back at the castle.

Anyway, enough of that autism. Back to the autism at hand. Purple Dart shows up suddenly, and much like the rest of us wants to know what the fuck, and also what the shit. Celestia informs him that Gareth lost a bet, which apparently had to do with whether or not he could defy the very laws of physics. Eventually Gareth collapses from exhaustion cue wacky trombone sound effect and somehow emerges none the worse off for having collapsed with the weight of a fucking horse on top of him. Once this bizarre bit of slapstick is over, Purple Dart informs Celestia that a unicorn named Noble Era is waiting to speak with her. Apparently, this pony is the leader of the unicorn faction, and has managed to gain some degree of bureaucratic pull in Canterlot.

The matter is important enough that Celestia needs to return to Canterlot immediately, so she decides to leave Gareth with Private Styre. They engage in some awkward banter:

>Gareth tilted his head to one side before nodding and smiling. He reached forward, patting her on the neck. "Don't worry, love, I understand. Besides, I'm a gamekeeper, I think I can somehow survive on a verdant meadow. Frankly, I'm just glad that I was able to trick you into paying me as much attention as I did."
Literally nobody has ever used the term "verdant meadow" in casual conversation.

>Celestia paused, the gears ticking in her head. Then she couldn't help it, she laughed, a clear, delighted, noise. She turned to the Colonel, changing back to Equestrian, "Gareth said that he understands."
Gears ticking in her head makes it sound like she's a robot. Unless you're deliberately trying to create this analogy, you probably shouldn't describe her thought process this way. Also, appending "a clear, delighted noise" to "she laughed" adds nothing; it basically just describes what a laugh sounds like. Adding something like "her laugh was clear and musical" or something like that, something that deepens the reader's impression of the sound she's making, that's one thing; this is just adding extra words.
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Next, a really strange event occurs. I'm going to step through this line by line, because it's pretty damn weird:

>She turned to him, smiling as she did, then leaned and licked his cheek.
>Gareth flinched away.
Okay so far.

>Celestia's blood froze. "Gareth?"
Blood freezing seems like kind of an overreaction to a flinch.

>Horror filled Gareth's face as he swiped away at his cheek. He stared at the saliva on his hand, then to her, eyes trembling.
This is where it starts getting weird. First of all, horror can't really 'fill' a face. Something to the effect of "a look of horror came across his face" would be a better way to word it. Second, I don't think 'horror' is really an appropriate reaction in the first place. If Celestia suddenly coughed up blood or transformed into a swarm of spiders, then a look of horror would probably be warranted. If he's just grossed out by having his face licked, something like a grimace or a frown would be more appropriate. Third, 'swiping' at his cheek implies a more violent gesture than the situation calls for. What is he doing, slapping himself across the face? Just say "he wiped his cheek" or something. Last, staring back and forth between his hand and Celstia with his eyes trembling is not even remotely an appropriate reaction to what just happened. That's the kind of shocked response a person might have if they were just randomly slapped out of nowhere. Being licked is a little weird, but it's not shocking enough to cause this type of response.

>He took several steps back.
>Celestia's eyes widened. She looked him up and down, trying to think what she just did wrong.
Remember what I said earlier about how if this were a play, the characters would be accused of hammy overacting? This whole event is a perfect example of what I'm talking about. All of this is just overkill for what should be a pretty simple interaction.

>"I, Gareth? I-… g-goodbye," said Celestia in a rather clipped tone. She turned away, an uncertain expression on her face as she opened her wings.
>With a single beat, she took to the skies. Flying as far and as hard as she could to forget about what she just felt and saw.
Page break. This is how the subchapter ends, with absolutely no explanation provided for what the hell any of this was about.

I think I basically get what the author was trying to do here: Celestia licked his face as a gesture of affection; however, a gesture that would be normal for a pony is strange for a human. So, Gareth is a bit taken aback when she does it. She sees his reaction and it hurts her feelings. She flies away and the conflict is left unresolved. It's actually a good scene; the problem, once again, is that it's just not written very well.

This is a fine example of what I keep saying about this author writing character reactions badly. Taking the essence of what happens and reducing it to smaller, subtler gestures would convey the intended effect much better than what is here. Really, he could have just stopped after "Gareth flinched away;" all that shit about unfathomable horror was quite unnecessary. One minute they're goofing around, Celestia makes an affectionate, well-intended gesture that produces an unintended reaction in Gareth, she notices, it stings her a bit and she flees the scene. That's all that needs to happen here.

This author generally has the right instincts for how to develop his story, his problem is mostly in the way he tells it. Go back and read over this subchapter, and try to really visualize these events playing out exactly the way they are written. It looks a little something like this:

Gareth steps out of the woods and into a meadow, carrying what logic forces us to presume is a 900 pound alicorn on his back. He is straining under the weight, but somehow he manages. Then, Purple Dart shows up and asks what the fuck is going on. Celestia tells him that Gareth lost a bet. At this point Gareth finally loses his balance, and collapses with the full weight of a six foot tall horse bearing down on his spinal column. However, despite this, Gareth remains in good spirits. Purple Dart informs Celestia that some shit is going down and she is needed back at the palace, so the two of them prepare to part ways. As they are saying their goodbyes, Celestia suddenly licks his face. At this point, Gareth turns into the protagonist from an H.P. Lovecraft story, recoiling in horror at Celestia as if she were the being of unfathomable terror from the dimension beyond the abyss. Abruptly, Celestia flies away, and the scene ends.

Pretty damn weird, eh? Again, I'd like to emphasize that the author's instincts for storytelling are more or less correct: I understand what he was trying to do here, and it was a good direction to go. Celestia and Gareth have a shared history and they feel affection for each other, but learning that Celestia is really a horse has put a bit of strain on their relationship. As I've said before, and I suspect I will say again many times ere the end, this author has the right ideas, he just needs to work on his mechanical execution of them.

In the next scene, Celestia lands on the balcony at Canterlot. Naturally, she's still shaken by what happened before. However, she is not given time to think about it. She enters the throne room and finds a state of complete chaos. Hundreds of ponies are in the room bickering loudly with each other. She also finds the unicorn she was told about earlier, Noble Era, sitting on her throne. Something tells me this will be a significant antagonist. He of course vacates it politely, but Celestia continues to eye him suspiciously.

We're nearly at the end of the chapter, but this feels like a significant scene and I'm running out of space, so I will stop here and finish the last bit of this later.
As far as the general story direction is concerned, my guess is the conflict between this Noble Era character and Celestia will build, with Era probably attempting to sow chaos between the pony castes in order to gain more power and Celestia trying to restore order. Meanwhile, the romance between Gareth and Celestia will continue to develop.

>a perfectly ordinary and unremarkable human who will be called the second coming of christ for having all sorts of virtues we rarely if ever see
I don't get this impression from it, actually. We don't know a ton about this character yet other than some basic biographical info, but so far this seems like a more complex treatment of the human in Equestria idea than is typical. They're already married, so the romance angle is less about human X moves to Equestria and falls in love with pony Y, and more human X and human Y were married, but it turns out human Y was actually pony Y. Will their love survive? There are several different ways he could take this, and I'll be curious to see which way it goes. So far though this story seems more promising than anything I've read thus far. It has its flaws but I'm curious to see where it goes.

Other than here and lurking /mlp/ occasionally I don't hang out in brony circles that much I've also been to a couple of conventions, but I don't think I've heard anyone reference the 20% cooler thing in a long time. If it's still being referenced a lot I'm not sure where.

>That past was nothing special. A few hundred thousand memeing on gay forums, calling themselves moral for wanting the Rainbow Ass.
Nostalgia is powerful; this fandom was an important part of a lot of people's lives a decade or so ago and they remember it fondly. The truth is most fandoms are nothing special, because most of the properties that generate huge fandoms are less impressive than they're made out to be. In the end the memories and feelings people come to associate with a particular time and place get bound up in their feelings for a particular fandom, which is far more important than whether or not a cartoon or a movie or a game was actually any good or not. It's not just "I remember some dumb pony meme from forever ago," it's "I remember the time and place I was in when that dumb pony meme was something I cared about. I remember the way the air smelled, the music I was listening to, the things I liked to do back then. The essence and totality of that era, all the thousands of tiny insignificant things that, combined, form the inexplicable feeling of being alive in that time and place, all of that is tied up in some dumb pony meme and in recalling that meme I can return there, if only for a second."

It's powerful magic; don't knock it.
>eyes trembling
That just sounds weird. It makes me imagine his eyes are vibrating around in his sockets, which is more weird and uncomfortable than anything. I think "eyes shifting" or something to that effect would've worked better there.
This is kind of obvious, but an additional layer of cleverness is the thematic comparison between Equestria, about to be ripped apart by a civil war that starts in the absence of the monarch, and the civil war in England where the human is from, started by a weak and ineffectual monarch failing to rule.
The human coming from the time of the War of the Roses is very deliberate.
I will admit that I haven't read the actual text in context, but I feel like you are understating the conflict significantly here, because that isn't what I read in that scene.

The licking isn't a small sign of affection, it's disney-speak for a kiss. It's a reminder of a sexual relationship between the two. Celestia does it as a way of saying, "I may be a horse, but we are still husband and wife." Gareth doesn't react like a Lovecraft protagonist because a horse licking him is icky, he reacts that way because he realizes fully that he has had sexual relations with a horse-spirit/demon, and she is now trying to imply they should continue their relationship as before. He is seriously thinking now he got more than he bargained for when he married a fae princess, and he is thinking about an annulment. Celestia isn't hurt because a small sign of affection was repulsed. Celestia is hurt because she correctly understands that her entire marriage is at serious risk of ending, and her three year vacation is entirely over.
>pony size
Reminds me of the stories that dedicate paragraphs to this and even more minor things like how pony toilets work and how their government works without ever noticing obvious follow-up questions like "why the fuck are pony toilets so complicated when a normal-ass toilet or a hole in the ground beneath a wooden outhouse full of shit-eating flightless Parasprites unable to reproduce would be fine" or "why would celestia design such an inconvenient and easily corrupted form of government without any procedures for getting The Obviously McEvil Family's obvious evil nature investigated and exposed".
Ever notice how often worldbuilding elements like exist to show off the author's "attention to detail" while raising questions the author can't answer and wasn't prepared to answer?
Pegasus wings are too small to generate the lift needed to lift a horse. So autistic fans like saying "hurr durr, hollow bones and a lightweight body so Pegasi are super fragile", as if a 300 pound pony dropping to 200 pounds makes things easier on tiny goose wings. We've canonically seen Pegasi perform push-ups with the tips of their feathers. It's not a stretch to say that "Pegasus Magic lets this and flight happen" in the same way it lets them flap their wings to precisely generate wind that does exactly what they want. We once saw Applejack punch the ground to make some seeds grow, ponies besides Unicorns canonically have magic.
And it never fucking goes anywhere! Midichlorians were invented in Star Wars because George Lucas decided he needed an excuse for some lowly podracer in the middle of buttfuck nowhere to have a High Midichlorian Count to give him a high power level. He literally had a Jedi infuse pure importance+power into the boy so he can win a race for them. You'd think at least one of these pony stories that say "magic is a psychic energy stored in the spleen and commanded by the brain" would think to say "And so Bolden Brash the smart OC self-insert Unicorn decided one day to make himself stronger than Twilight Sparkle by using a Shapeshift spell to make his own spleen bigger and stronger".
It's never used for world-building that matters. Never used in a way that comes back later. It's just there because the author wants to flex his meager muscles in front of easily-impressed manchildren who can love anything if they've decided to like it.
These types want to answer questions with anything BUT "because magic" when "because magic" is what the show and setting is honestly designed for. Does saying "Magic isn't real, Unicorns just have bigger brains with neural clusters in a bone growth coated in fine sensory hairs that creates a localized psionic field that can overwrite reality at will" really feel scientistic?
What's the most bullshit moment of "Here are 50 paragraphs I dedicated to trying to science away the magic" you've ever seen in a story?
I realized rants suddenly become constructive conversation-starters when I end them in a question.
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Seriously, right now, tell me which of these explanations for the Pinkie Sense seems more natural, believable, and understandable.
>once upon a time, Pinkie Pie was a young foal who pissed off a travelling spellcaster. So he cursed her with future-sense, thinking it would ruin her ability to enjoy upcoming surprises and live in the here and now, and also teach her to think before she spoke. The curse would be lifted if she ever learned to think before she spoke. She doesn't remember how she got this "curse", and doesn't want it gone.
>Pinkie's "Pinkie Sense" was a prank Pinkie pulled on Twilight because she was bored that day, except it went wrong and was more painful than it was supposed to be
>Pinkie once bought some future-seeing potions from Zecora and was warned not to drink too many at once. But she did because they were really tasty, hence the erratic twitches. That Pinkie Sense episode was Pinkie's attempt to bullshit Twilight into not investigating and finding out info that Pinkie thinks would upset Zecora.
>It's fucking Pinkie Pie, she doesn't have to explain shit. Would you ask how she can zip out of view of the camera and reappear from its top, hanging off the very edge of the screen itself? Would you ask her why she talks to the audience and mentions that she's in a fanfic every so often, meaning the characters in the story are canonically fictional and not worth caring about?
>Pinkie Pie once took a magical bullet meant for a friend she'd just met. Her body absorbed the magic and it overcharged her earth pony-ness. It's why she's so much faster, stronger, stretchier, tougher, and better-at-guessing-the-future-ier than any earth pony should be.
>living on a rock farm being exposed to all those different magic rocks gives you all sorts of weird superpowers, it's also why Maud is so strong
>all Earth Ponies get a "sixth sense" that something's wrong when it comes to something important to them. Applejack's "apple sense" tells her when something's wrong on her farm. Bon Bon's "Lyra sense" tells her when Lyra's about to do something stupid and dangerous without her. Pinkie considers the happiness of her friends important, so she gets to sense everything that could potentially ruin that happiness. She twitches less over time because she gets better at listening to that sense instead of ignoring it until it makes her body do weird shit.
>Sixteen fucking paragraphs about pseudoscientific quantum atoms in which all Earth Ponies have a different throat, an extra windpipe runs to a magical third lung that scans the quantum state of inhaled atoms to see the future in the localized area of that air, and a smaller stomach to make room for the air. To help them eat anyway and grant them their larger appetite compared to the other races. Though every type of pony's stomach is a vestigal, atrophied organ and everything they eat goes into their own private pocket dimension that absorbs and digests all matter into raw energy to be used by the pony bodies at will in whichever way their "magical nervous systems" were configured for. Ponies could literally eat dirt and wood and stone but they don't out of tradition. The hooves of an Earth Pony contain vented bone spikes that can launch explosive blasts of raw energy, making earth pony punches stronger, because the author thinks this is neater than saying "ponies are magic and EPs are buffer".

One more thing, does FIM even HAVE nobles?
Every second fic mentions some kind of Noble Caste, but Celestia doesn't strike me as the Caste System type.
Remember Prince Blueblood from season one? The literal fucking nephew of Celestia?
He wasn't some hyper-important political powerhouse surrounded by idiots trying to please him.
It's the rich famous high-society idiots typically also in the fashion industry (which is shown repeatedly to be full of dumb corrupt idiots) who got that treatment.
Blueblood's word wasn't law. Rarity wasn't afraid of upsetting him or dumping him.
But if your only exposure to FIM was these fucking fanfics, you'd think FIM canonically had a Noble Caste with more political pull than Celestia herself.
The first part I agree with. In explanation less is often more, particularly if your story hasn't been written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

However, just because we don't see landed nobility in the show doesn't mean they don't exist. A popular headcanon is that Twilight is part of an especially influential noble house, which is why Night Light was the Royal Guard Captain, his son became Royal Guard Captain after him and got to marry a princess (which is virtually unheard of except according to The Sun and the Rose), and his daughter got the opportunity to become a pupil of Princess Celestia and a princess herself (the latter is also virtually unheard of). Of course they don't act like nobility but an in-universe explanation could be that they have saint-like humility which forbids them from flaunting it. From a writing standpoint, of course, Twilight as a special pony would be much less relatable if her background, let alone mannerisms, were more similar to Diamond Tiara's or Prince Blueblood's, particularly as an upper-class mentality was supposed to be Rarity's schtick even if she's merely aspiring bourgeoisie.

Also, The Sun and the Rose is set over 500 years ago spoiler. Even though Celestia's reign is highly stable it wouldn't be unheard of for power structures to change over time, similar to how in England nobility was a complicated status and now it's just a fancy title.
>The human coming from the time of the War of the Roses is very deliberate.
I noticed that too. Thus far I'm actually impressed with the amount of thought the author has clearly put into this. Though the execution is unfortunately a bit clumsy, this is definitely a higher-concept work than the others we've read.

>Celestia isn't hurt because a small sign of affection was repulsed. Celestia is hurt because she correctly understands that her entire marriage is at serious risk of ending, and her three year vacation is entirely over.
That is actually an interesting interpretation that I'll admit didn't occur to me. I've since noticed some other things in here which suggest this story is shaping up to be a pretty mature treatment of its subject matter. The fact that Celestia and Gareth begin the story already married is significant; I don't get the impression this is meant to be a typical "author's self-insert travels to Equestria and meets author's waifu" type story at all. It seems like the author wants to explore the idea of a relationship between a human from our world and a pony from Equestria as possibly ill-fated or impossible, and to explore the problems that would create for both, which is an interesting take that I haven't encountered in pony fiction before. That said though, I do feel like my technical criticisms of the characters' exaggerated actions being comparable to overacting in a play are still valid here.

>Reminds me of the stories that dedicate paragraphs to this and even more minor things
People in glass houses, my dude. People in glass houses.

>George Lucas
Don't even get me started on that faggot. If ever there was a man who should be legally barred from editing his own films, it's that guy.

>Pinkie Sense
Pinkie Sense I think is one of those things that is better left unexplained; in fact as I recall that was the main takeaway from the episode it was introduced in. Twilight becomes fixated on trying to find a scientific and/or pseudoscientific explanation for how it works, only to arrive at the inevitable "it just works" explanation. The moral is that not everything in life needs to be quantified or understood in order to be enjoyed; if anything there's more wisdom in Pinkie's ability to find pure joy by taking everything at face value than in Twilight's more analytical approach, which mostly just leaves her frustrated whenever she finds something that can't be categorically explained. This is undoubtedly one of the many friendship lessons that Celestia originally intended for Twilight to learn, before the show completely left the reservation and started chasing its own tail.

>But if your only exposure to FIM was these fucking fanfics, you'd think FIM canonically had a Noble Caste with more political pull than Celestia herself.
>A popular headcanon is that Twilight is part of an especially influential noble house, which is why Night Light was the Royal Guard Captain, his son became Royal Guard Captain after him and got to marry a princess (which is virtually unheard of except according to The Sun and the Rose), and his daughter got the opportunity to become a pupil of Princess Celestia and a princess herself (the latter is also virtually unheard of).
I've always more or less assumed this was how it worked. Some of Twilight's favored status could be explained by her demonstrating exceptionally high magical talent, but in practical terms it seems unlikely she'd even get the chance to try out for Celestia's school if her family didn't have some sort of status to begin with. Also, the connection to Cadance suggests that the Sparkle family has at least some degree of prominence. Why would some random family have the princess of a long-lost empire as their babysitter? It's almost like the writing staff wasn't thinking shit through.

In any case, I think the idea of Equestria having nobles makes sense and I'm fine with it being a thing in fanfiction. Also, if you're going to try to write a more "adult" version of Equestria, you kind of have to start thinking about how a society like this would actually operate, because the show itself just plain doesn't give you enough of a canvas to work with. It's a little vague how exactly their society would be structured, and I don't get the impression they have landed nobility in the tradition of Feudal Europe, but I do think there's evidence that some kind of class structure exists. The personal headcanon I've settled on is that their society traditionally had a caste system similar to traditional Western societies, where you have a priestly caste (unicorns), warrior caste (pegasi), and laborer or farmer caste (earth ponies). The Harmony concept reflects the necessity of all three castes working together in their respective appropriate roles, rather than a pecking order that places one caste above another or pits them against each other. The time period the show is set in reflects a gradually modernizing Equestria, hence locations like Manehattan, in which the traditional roles have become more symbolic and ponies pursue career-type roles based on individual personality. The advantages and disadvantages of this type of system would be a whole other topic. I actually get the impression soulpillar has a similar idea in mind.

Celestia enters the throne room and finds the place in a state of pandemonium, as I said before. She approaches the throne and finds Noble Era sitting in her place, and she responds about as you'd expect.

>Celestia walked up the incline, stopping a yard away from him. "You're in my chair."

Rather than fighting with her, Noble Era is outwardly polite and obsequious, and removes himself from the throne. However, we learn that he has made some rather alarming presumptions in the time that Celestia has been gone.

>"Tis' an honour to see you again, your majesty," said Noble Era in a cultured Canterlot accent, his tone was infused with an effortless kindness. "I humbly abdicate the throne."
Since this author is a little hit or miss on word choice, Noble's use of the word "abdicate" may or may not be significant. To abdicate the throne specifically means to give up your rule, not just to physically get out of the chair itself, which means that in order to abdicate you need to be the ruler in the first place. If the use here was deliberate, this implies some pretty heavy presumption on Noble's part; he is basically speaking as if it's a given that he has some natural right to be sitting on Celestia's throne making decisions in her stead. It could even be interpreted as sort of a subtle challenge; by taking it upon himself to rule without permission, even if he willingly abdicates, he's essentially throwing down the glove horseshoe, whatever to Celstia. If she doesn't rebuke him for it, she implicitly validates his right to rule in her absence and weakens her own position. From this character's behavior, I rather suspect that the word use was deliberate, and even if it wasn't, it was definitely the right choice. He seems like he will be an interesting character.

Anyway, Noble goes on to explain that he is the descendant of the original unicorn monarchy who ruled before Celestia united the three pony castes into a single kingdom. The family has apparently been "prepared to take on Celestia's burden" should anything "unfortunate" happen that might prevent her from ruling. This is also a pretty obvious veiled challenge.

Oh, as a rather amusing side note, Noble Era is also a confirmed fedora:
>Nothing of the sort, m'lady. We-- I have always seen you as my rightful ruler.

Anyway, this exchange is appropriately tense, and though I am still not wild about the dialogue, it's handled pretty well. The two basically trade veiled barbs and size each other up as adversaries, under the pretense of courtly manners. Noble Era lets Celestia know that he and his family are aware that Celestia has suffered some sort of amnesia and could reasonably be declared unfit to rule if it could be demonstrated to pose a problem. He also offers his "help" in the event that Celestia's weakened state makes her incapable of ruling on her own. Basically, he is staking a claim to the line of succession here. Celestia, for her part, holds her own, and simply listens to what he has to say while still retaining the image of being fully in charge. Noble Era excuses himself and leaves the scene before she can really respond to him, which also feels like a challenge.

This guy is clearly shaping up to be the antagonist of the story, and so far he seems like he will be an interesting one. At any rate, this is where the chapter ends.

>Celestia knew that he was playing his own game. Any fool could tell that. Yet, despite herself, she couldn't help but feel intrigued concerning the nature of this 'Noble Era'.
Unfortunately, the text continues to be peppered with awkwardly worded passages like this.

Chapter 4: Equines and Sugar

This chapter begins with an author's note that clarifies one of my concerns from the previous chapter. Apparently, the pony scale the author uses for this story is pic related, which has the ponies at a slightly smaller size than the one I posted. By this scale, Celestia would be roughly 4 1/2' tall. Weight is not discussed, but I still think an assumed weight of around 300 pounds for Celestia is not unreasonable maybe more, from what I've heard that bitch eats a lot of cake. The piggyback scene in the last chapter becomes slightly more believable as a result, though I'm still skeptical that Gareth could carry a pony that size on his back without getting a hernia or injuring his spine. Anyway, let's read on.

The chapter opens with a flashback. A thirteen year old boy, who is not named but we can assume is probably a young Gareth, is on a battlefield. His role is not stated but we can probably assume he's a squire or something similar. On his own initiative he runs out onto the battlefield to retrieve spent arrows, an incredibly dangerous thing to do that earns him a rebuke from the soldiers, but they need the arrows and accept them.

This act earns him the attention of the Earl of Warwick, who is apparently his father's liege. The Earl looks him over for a moment, and then chops the leg off of his own horse, daring any of the soldiers to flee in the face of the advancing army when this boy (curiously he refers to him as an orphan) showed so much courage. This seems pretty over the top; not only is it a fairly senseless and brutal act, a war horse was valuable, and it's unlikely anyone would needlessly slaughter one just to make a point.

However, I'm willing to grant some artistic license here, since frankly this is a very well written scene, in fact it's probably the best-written scene I've encountered so far. The prose does not contain any of the awkward stumbling that I've noticed elsewhere, so I suspect this section was revised and polished a few times. I actually don't have any significant notes to give here, other than to observe that it is very well done.

Anyway, the scene appears to be a dream, which explains the Earl's wacky behavior. He knights Gareth, and then immediately declares him a traitor and decapitates him.

Sure enough, after a page break we have Gareth jolting awake in the present, grasping at his neck to make sure his head is still attached. He and Styre are camped in the woods a short distance from Canterlot.

One thing I notice immediately here is that the improved quality of the prose continues from the flashback scene. I suspect soulpillar is now spending a bit more time on revision before posting his chapters. Hopefully this trend continues, because he actually writes quite well when he puts his mind to it.

There is a bit of a communication barrier between Styre and Gareth as they can't speak each other's languages. However, this doesn't seem to pose any serious problems on this journey; they're both soldiers and seem accustomed to the same sort of life. They seem to have reached a level of communication where they can approximate the sound of each other's names.

One of the things I'm finding I like about this author is the thought he puts into building his version of Equestria, making it believable as a physical world while still adhering to the show canon. In particular, I like the amount of thought he puts into the human-in-Equestria story model. The author makes it quite clear that Gareth is an interloper in this world. Not only does Gareth not speak the same language as the ponies, he finds it difficult to even approximate the sounds required to speak it. To him, their speech sounds like weird combinations of whinnies and grunts and other horse-noises. He suspects that his speech sounds similarly bizarre to them. What's even more interesting is what was brought up in the previous chapter, about Styre and the others finding it difficult to physically see him, as if he were an apparition or a shade or something. This reinforces the idea that he does not belong in this place, and may not even be able to remain here permanently. It hasn't been stated yet, but I suspect Celestia/Cecilia experienced something similar during her time as a human.

In fact, I'm actually now interested to learn more about what that time was like; we have some very basic information but it's pretty vague and there are a lot of unanswered questions. We had a very brief explanation of how they met and fell in love, but it was only a momentary flashback. Questions like how they came to be married, how Gareth's family was able to accept him marrying some strange woman espousing some spurious claim of being a horse-princess in a far-off land, what this mirror-portal is, where it's located, what Gareth's Uncle presumably knows about it; all of these have my noggin joggin like a nog jogger even and I will be curious to see if they are ever answered.

In any case, all of this adds an interesting dimension to their love story: if they both belong in different worlds, and neither can live comfortably in the other's world, can they really be together? It's a different type of story, but I remember a similar theme being explored towards the end of Phillip Pullman's Dark Materials series; a boy and a girl from different worlds fall in love on an adventure in a third world, but ultimately they have to separate and each return to their own proper place.

This is a significantly more mature treatment of the HiE idea than what I've seen. Granted, I haven't read a ton of MLP fanfiction so there may be other stuff out there that explores the idea in depth, but in my limited knowledge most of these stories tend to be written as self-insert fantasies. The human is usually regular Joe Brony, who stumbles into Equestria via some convenient means, and immediately blends into the world and starts befriending its characters. Ideas like communication barriers or differences between humans and ponies beyond the obvious and superficial are never explored. The possibility that the love between Joe Brony and his waifu may actually be ill-fated or outright impossible is seldom considered.

One of the things I've brought up once or twice before is my belief that people who write fanfiction should approach it as if they were writing a serious work of literature, and try to produce something that would hold value outside the boundaries of the fandom. Of the things I've skewered for this review series, this is the first one that seems to attempt this and at least somewhat succeed. This work has its flaws (most of which could be addressed through revision and polish), but all in all I'm finding it to be pretty high quality so far. It's author remains heterosexual in my book.

>Styre stood from his own bedroll, beginning to re-armour without hands or thumbs.
>How did he even do that?
This is actually kind of amusing too, and touches on some of our side-banter. One of the things that bugs the crap out of me when reading pony stories and makes them a giant pain in the ass to write sometimes is trying to figure out how a horse might accomplish certain tasks that clearly would require hands. It's all well and good in a cartoon to show a pony wearing a helmet, but fiction forces you to think about details like "how the hell did he put that thing on?" One pitfall I notice a lot of writers falling into is the tendency to overthink it. Long, complicated, autistic explanations of random details from the show weigh down a story and mostly just distract the reader from what they're actually supposed to be focusing on our old friend Peen Stroke is a rather egregious offender in this category. However, this is a rather artful handling of it, and in line with the above discussion about Pinkie Sense: we don't know how he does it, he just does it. The protagonist, from whose viewpoint we are watching, has no idea other. It's a cute gag, but it doesn't distract us from the story or break the believability of the world.
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Hey, everything I brought up in my story six years ago was relevant later on in the story. The audience needed to understand how hoverboards work, what his home is like (they return to it later), and shit like that. Though I'll admit my rewrite has better pacing and less filler. I also made his home in Ponyville cooler.
I'm really proud of how I put that "Twilight mopes through her crystal castle thinking about why it sucks" scene first, and had her sing about it.
I still can't believe the show never thought to do the whole "Hero and someone who looks like the hero switch places for a day" thing. I'm pretty sure every other cartoon ever did an episode about that.
I don't get why so many love the "there's the noble caste and then the filthy commoners" shite when it's so limiting for stories. Ponies don't have a Caste Mark on their asses, they have a "My career/place in society" mark. This "generic noble setting" would be so much more interesting if it was written in an era where, thanks to meritocracy and upward social mobility and rising education quality, more and more people every year get to "basically become a noble" and move to Canterlot and attend rich-idiot parties and threaten to outshine those who were simply born rich and never had to earn it.
Unicorns can cast spells, so even if you nerf them and say "normal unicorns take months to learn a spell and can barely lift another pony without years of training, Twilight is a one-in-ten-billion freak of nature" why are there no Magic Clubs in any major towns where Unicorns get together and show off/talk about magic/get help with spells they're working on? The Fix Spell makes hiring a carpenter something you'd only do if she's a cute chick. Cast the Grow Spell on a piece of food and it can count for many meals. Cast the "Transform target into water" spell and most monsters won't be able to harm whatever you cast it on. Magic is fucking broken, no matter how much it is limited.
Fuck that Pixar "Onward" movie in its pseudointellectual anti-fantasyism, only the weakest and simplest of magical spells would be replaced by technology. Also, fuck that film for saying any fantasy world that stops acting like a cliche fantasy world is less of a fantasy world for it.
Nobody simped over Twilight before she got wings and nobody simped over Blueblood. Idiots in the cartoonishly stupid/shallow fashion world
But hey, this fandom loves reading the same damn story over and over.
Why write something about a non-noble character trying to succeed in a world of nobles? Why write about a noble-abolitionist movement or a dictator with good intentions who wants to create a meritocratic equestria?
They just write the same story over and over with this setting variant. Good nobles are good despite being raised in the lap of luxury, bad nobles are an argument against the concept of nobility. You can tell who the scheming evil power-hungry "Slytherins" are because they are annoyingly smug smirking bastards who want p
ower and annoy Celestia/the heroes.
You can tell who the good guys are because they support the status quo unquestioningly, believe good things are good and evil things are evil, and
An explanation for why the world is this way will never be brought up ("The idiots paid to be rich in canterlot are the descendants of heroes who died defending Equestria 600-900 years ago" is the best explanation for this I've ever heard)
In my Silver fic, I'd planned for the final villain to be this bad guy named Gold Standard, a former military general who created his own secret organization full of soldiers/farmers/criminals/magic school dropouts/whatever who decided to join him.
His stated goal? Get all the cards(when combined they can do anything), do a military coup, and use the cards to rewrite Equestria into a fair and perfect impossible world where everyone can prosper. Those cards can make five-pointed triangles, they have no limits when together.
His actual goal? Get all the cards, and use it to bring back his dead sister who died in a monster attack he was too weak to save her from back when he was a kid, then rewrite equestria to be a super tough hardcore badass place full of grinning violence-loving badass ponies who will dominate the other races as he thinks they should and will "never have to fear monster attacks again".
It's a commentary on fanfics when he gets his way in the end, rewrites Equestria, walks around in his "Ideal equestria" for a bit and sees how samey everyone's personality is and how boringly bland this world has become, then meets his harmless sweetheart little sister and realizes bringing her back in this world also turned her into another generic angry violence-loving asshole.
He realizes what he did was a mistake and reverses time to before what he did. Then he stops himself, resurrects his little sister for real, and decides instead of reshaping the world to protect this girl he can just protect her himself. He and his sister vanish, leaving the cards behind.
Anyway, he frequently says things like "Celestia is too soft and the nobles are a waste of money that should be spent on the little ponies! I will be a stronger and more hardcore leader!"
At one point Silver (after losing a fight and being in serious danger of losing his life to an army with anti-immortal soul-trapping weaponry) stalls and bullshits them convincingly by saying "Twilight Sparkle is the result of thousands of years of Celestia playing matchmaker to intentionally pair the magically strongest ponies she could find. The strongest and smartest ponies with the best hearts make up Twilight's lineage. The same, but to a lesser extent and with different genetic choices, goes for Cadence, who was needed to help cast love-spells for Celestia and take over things while she was busy. Twilight's parents thought they found love at first sight when they met each other, but it was actually a love spell from Cadence. Shining Armour was a down payment to Cadence for her helping to raise and teach Twilight Sparkle, the strongest Unicorn in Equestria's history! What's more hardcore than that?"
Twilight arrives in time to save his ass, but she was there, she heard it, and the thought that this might be true fucks her up like Alphonse Elric learning he might be artificial. Even though Silver later says "I was just bullshitting them, I have no idea if what I said was true or not" it still makes her research that later after all the fighting. So there can be a big happy ending after all the fighting where Twilight says "Nope, you were wrong, my entire family tree was free of Celestia's manipulation"
>Fuck that Pixar "Onward" movie in its pseudointellectual anti-fantasyism, only the weakest and simplest of magical spells would be replaced by technology. Also, fuck that film for saying any fantasy world that stops acting like a cliche fantasy world is less of a fantasy world for it.
Never heard of that one before but wow, the character design is as stereotypically Pixar as it can get. Also, I don't know about anyone important other Keith Bunin (a writer who's half-Jewish), but one of the characters looks like a Jewish Alfredo Linguini (and considering the character's resemblance to YandereDev, that's very Jewish).

Also I've been reading ahead of the review and I'm sorry to report that it feels much less polished than how it did the first time reading. Overly short sentences are annoying. Maybe I tend too much to overly long sentences. Nonetheless, it feels choppy. A more flowing prose fits a story of this genre. Reading critique does adjust one's standards for fiction. Maybe Fimfiction readers/writers just need to read professional criticism.
Onward is an anti-intellectual and anti-fantasy fantasy film.
It states that Fantasy is a silly thing stuck in the past, because modern technology can replace things we "Used to rely on wizards for" like lighting homes and sending messages.
Because of the lack of Traditional Fantasy Elements, people forgot to act traditional. So the tiny pixies are biker gangs instead of nice people, and they've literally forgotten they can fly. The Centaur forgot it can run.
One day a Generic Pixar Character finds a Magic Stick that casts magic. He has an idiot brother too.
When two idiots resurrect half of their father (the lower half) they have X time limit to get to X place after a generic by the numbers setpiece movie full of hollywood cliche filler scenes. If they fail the dad dies again and if they succeed they get to talk to their dad.
Except along the way, they accidentally remind fantasy-element creatures they can fly/run/do shit humans can't do.
The "Original Spin" on this painfully generic by-the-numbers fantasy story is that the generic fantasy creatures forgot to act how they're supposed to according to the NPC's incredibly static programmed definition of what fantasy is and should be. Meeting the hero reminds them to act how they're fucking supposed to.
Yes, exactly.
This film wants to be about the "Death of fantasy" and pretend it's deep for "Bringing it back.
There's a bit where magic is used to grow a cheeto into a boat and they sail it across a river.
Technology can't magically grow something. Magically grow a small pie, and a meal for one can feed an entire family.
Magically grow a metal knife, melt it down, sell it for scrap and buy more knives with the cash. This completely fucking breaks the setting! Also, magic can cure diseases and transform an Elf into a Dragon and turn an idiot into a genius and let anyone of the caster's choice fly!
It's fucking laughable to think that in a world where technology exists alongside magic, technology would replace magic when there's so little that it can do "better" unless you artificially limit it by saying "Only one in ten thousand can cast spells and only the black-belts- I mean pointy-hats who spent their lives studying can cast good spells! Anybody can order pizza with their phone but only the rarest of rare master-level wizards can cast Create Pizza!".
In a world where magic and tech exist in harmony, every phone would contain an Enchanted Stone of Coldness to stop the phone from overheating, a magically enhanced battery that recharges based on your willpower, and it would typically be used for an app that stores, and tells you, every spell in existence for free, complete with search engine with all sorts of filters and sorting options. There would also be a web browser for when you don't feel like casting the spell that makes a magic holographic screen that can access the internet at will. Hey, if whoever designed "Summon Sword of Flame" can design a spell that creates an old-ass sword, the tastes and needs of other wizards changing over time will change how spells made recently will function.
Forget how "Convenient" it is to drive around a car that needs gas and repairs, a wizard can cast Move Stone to build some big stone buildings in seconds and then cast Portal to create a permanent Portal to his chosen location. Easy travel from one end of the country to another or one end of the planet to another within seconds!
Tech can't summon six disposable copies of you to do your homework while you play video games. Tech can't let you slow down or rewind time to cheat at video games. Tech can't let you eat a box of chocolates, cast Rewind on the box until it refills itself, and eat some more. Tech can't spontaneously remove your fat and burn it into energy spent on creating solid fucking gold to sell until gold has no value just like every other "rare" material. Tech can't spontaneously create a sword made of "Steel-Like Metal But Better number six gorrilion".
It only takes a tiny amount of creativity to do something with the FUCKING BLANK CHEQUE that is magic.
A friend of mine who's idiotically loyal to Disney-Pixar but a great person besides that disgusting character flaw decided to convince himself he liked this film by claiming it has a "Green Aesop" that's trying to say "Get the fuck off your phone and appreciate nature and adventure", when that clearly wasn't what the story was going for at all. There is nothing adventurous about a by-the-numbers plotline so cliche the storyline of literal fucking rollercoasters could outdo it.
Only a pseudointellectual would claim this film is about the death of fantasy, how it is murdered by the instant convenience of technology and an easy answer that explains away everything you once gained a sense of childlike wonder from knowing nothing about.
This film is an insult to fantasy. In a generic world full of generic characters with generic fantasy races, two generic characters will accidentally teach others the "True meaning of fantasy", which this film claims is acting how your fantasy race is fucking supposed to instead of letting changing technology, changing cultural norms, and changing society change what role you serve in the modern era.
If you must bump, which you musn't since last post was literally days ago and the thread made what, page three?, then make it relevant.
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>The breed was far too small to be a horse Gareth had never heard of a pony that.
Literally what? I hope I haven't spoken too soon about the improved proofreading; this is not even a sentence.

Anyway, Gareth and Styre pack up camp and move out. There's a page break, and the next scene begins in Canterlot.

>The castle on the horizon was beautiful from afar, the way it twinkled in the dawn, hinting at its true size. Only for it to strike you in the face as you stood before it.
This guy really needs to start keeping an eye on those sentence fragments. "Only for it to strike you in the face as you stood before it" is not a complete sentence, it is a continuation of thought from the previous sentence. However, I can see why he thought he needed to split it up; combining the two sentences with a comma just produces a run-on that sounds rambling and inelegant.

Try this on for size:
>The castle on the horizon was beautiful from afar. It twinkled in the distance, barely hinting at its size, only to strike you with its true majesty as you approached.

Protip: if you're worried that your sentence is a run-on, you're probably right. However, the solution isn't to just drop periods at random points and split it into multiple sentences. Odds are your sentence is either overly verbose or awkwardly worded, or else you're trying to convey too many things using a single sentence. Either way, the solution is usually to just rewrite it until you come up with something that flows better.

>Gareth's mouth flopped open, simply staring. This was 'Canterlot'.
I'm noticing this author is fond of using the term "flop" to describe characters' mouths opening in surprise. Considering how much effort he puts into trying to make his prose sound elegant, you'd think he could find a better word to describe the same phenomenon. "Flop" has a faintly vulgar tone to it. "Dropped open" or "fell open" work just as well.

>It all looked so much like a child's toy made life-sized. Gold, white and purple colours swirled around tall spires and buildings. The entire settlement rested upon the edge of a cliff, like a tree, jutting out into sky as if to catch the day's light. Down from the mountainside flow a river, passing through and providing a natural moat.
Down from the mountainside flowed a river. I'd also consider rewriting the first sentence as "It looked like a child's toy made life-sized." Other than that, this is another finely written descriptive paragraph.

Anyway, as they approach Canterlot, we continue to get a rather interesting view of the MLP world through the eyes of a medieval soldier. Once he gets past his initial awe at the beauty of the Equestrian capital, he notes that it does not seem particularly well-defended. He concludes that since ponies seem capable of flight and magic, battlements wouldn't be of much use. However, cannons might give an attacking army an advantage.

Meanwhile, Styre once again pulls his weird trick where he taps a star on his chest and it magically changes his coat and mane colors. I'm still not entirely sure what the author is getting at with this. Gareth is obviously weirded out by it, but it should at least be somewhat apparent to the reader what the significance of this act is. Are we supposed to assume that Styre is disguising himself for some nefarious purpose? Or is this just a common trick that isn't meant to signify anything other than that magic is commonplace in Equestria and Gareth finds it weird? The author needs to clarify this a bit.

>Gareth tried to keep his distance from the blatant sorcery. He assumed that it was a kind of uniform, glancing at other like-coloured 'war-ponies' who were also trying to keep the peace.
As far as I can tell, the meaning is that Celestia's royal guards all have a uniform appearance, which includes coat and mane colors, and these magic stars are some kind of standard-issue gear that transform an individual guard's appearance while on duty. Who knows, though. However, if this is all it is, I probably would have left this detail out. It complicates the story without adding anything to it.

Anyway, we are also given a bit more detail on the size comparison between humans and ponies. As clarified in a previous post, soulpillar is using the height chart that has the average pony coming just slightly higher than an average human's knee. This detail is actually used to some rather amusing effect. We are given a very vivd impression of Gareth walking through a city designed for four-legged creatures roughly three feet high; more or less the same as an adult walking through a village scaled to midgets or children.

It also seems as if the average pony has the same difficulty seeing Gareth as the guards earlier. They are constantly bumping into him as if they don't see him there, and then recoil in horror when they notice him, as if he were some kind of apparition or unnatural presence. Again, this is a very unique interpretation of a well-traveled story premise, and I'm interested to see where the author takes it.

Anyway, Gareth realizes he's hungry, and communicates this to Styre. Styre happily escorts him to a bakery, which I get the impression is a favorite place of his that he enjoys taking others to. Unfortunately, the size of the building makes this a rather uncomfortable experience for Gareth.

The pony working at the bakery seems to be a friend of Styre's; it's implied that they are more than friends. Interestingly, it seems that this pony can see Gareth normally. Styre introduces her as "Glosh Spige", which is an English approximation of a yet-unrevealed pony name. As ever, the scene is presented to us from Gareth's point of view, which means the ponies' speech is mostly unintelligible to him.

"Glosh Spige" keeps looking curiously at Gareth as she goes to get them some pies. She sets the pie and some butter down on the table, and then points to the butter. She uses the term "glosh" to refer to the butter, and then points at herself and says "spige." "Butter Pie" is apparently this pony's name in English.

I could make a ribald joke here about buttered pie, but I'd actually rather compliment the author once again on his unique handling of the HiE framework. The language barrier, the size difference between humans and ponies, the inability of most ponies to see Gareth; all of this works together to paint a surprisingly believable vision of what the "real" Equestria might look like and feel like to a human. Instead of a typical self-insert tale of a fanboy living out his erotic fantasies in pastel horse world, the author here has fleshed out an actual world and inserted his human into it as an alien presence. Gareth doesn't belong in this world, and he is made to feel out of place at every turn. However the story proceeds from here, whether Gareth integrates himself into Ponyland or gives up his horsefu and goes home, these commonplace problems are something he is going to have to deal with.

Along the same lines, Gareth also finds that the ponies don't use silverware. He fishes out some implements, which are a gift he attributes to "Father Clemens." I've heard this character mentioned once or twice, but we still don't have a clear picture of who he is/was. I also would like to note that this author does a fine job of hinting at Gareth's backstory without dumping large gobbets of it into the text prematurely. This keeps the reader interested and engaged, and indicates that the author has good instincts for how to tell a story, which generally makes up for his deficiencies in writing mechanics. So far I'm finding this story to be rather clumsily written, but well told, which is usually much better than the opposite.

In any event, Gareth discovers to his delight that the pies sold in this shop are made with sugar, which in medieval England would have been an expensive delicacy. He gobbles his pie down and asks for seconds, and Butter Pie is happy to oblige.

I will note that this scene is also handled well; in fact the interactions between Styre, Butter Pie, and Gareth are probably the best character interactions in the story so far. The scene is notable simply for how natural and commonplace it is. With minimal dialogue, the scene conveys a natural intimacy between Styre and Butter Pie. They speak to each other only briefly and in the same guttural horse-language that Gareth can't understand, but through their actions and reactions to each other, we get a very distinct sense they are either close friends or romantically involved with each other. Compare the way that Styre and Butter Pie interact in this scene with Celestia/Cecilia and Gareth's reunion scene at the end of chapter two; I think most will agree that this scene is significantly better handled, despite having far less dialogue and being far more subdued.

The next subchapter opens with Gareth in Canterlot Castle. Celestia greets him warmly.

>His white and grey armour clashed against the decor even as he glanced about it nervously.
I know I have a bad habit of nitpicking details in the text, but some of these sentences are just so bloody awkward I can't ignore them. For one thing, the word "it" is ambiguous here. From context we can assume that Gareth is glancing nervously about at the decor. However, grammatically, "it" could refer to either the decor or his armor, and in either case it reads awkwardly. The other part of the problem is that two ideas are being addressed in the same sentence: Gareth's armor clashes with the decor, and he's glancing about nervously. The two concepts are related, but they don't belong in the same sentence.

This article here is relevant:

The author briefly touches on a concept called Motivation-Reaction Units as a way to approach writing the events in a scene. I recommend reading the article yourself, but the basic concept is that something (objectively) happens, which produces a (subjective) reaction from the character. On a small scale this is what's happening here: Gareth's armor clashes with the decor (an objective, external event; so Motivation), and his subjective, personal Reaction is that he becomes nervous and starts glancing around self-consciously. These are two separate events and they should be treated separately. However, in this case soulpillar blends them into one simultaneous event: Gareth's white and grey armor clashes against the decor, even as he glances about nervously. It sounds awkward and the reader will know that it's awkward, even if he isn't autistic enough to know why.

I know this sounds like I'm just anal-retentively taking minor things and analyzing them to death, but stupid little things like this are the atoms that compose a story. Learning to master shit like this can make a huge difference in your writing.

Anyway, since I'm almost out of space, just a few more autistic nitpickings:

>His hard brown eyes locked with hers, quickly softening in relief.
This sentence is also awkward. The concept is communicated clearly enough, but it could have been worded better. Also, "hard brown" followed by "softening" and then "relief" is suggestive in a way that I'm assuming the author didn't intend.

>Celestia blinked, he was already learning the local language.
It should be a semicolon rather than a comma after "blinked" here.

> they are always on alert from attack from monsters.
This is horribly awkward. At a minimum, "from" should not appear twice; you could just as easily say "on alert from monster attacks."
>It looked like a child's toy made life-sized
Fuck every author that thinks this "wink wink nudge nudge you're in a fucking toyset" is good writing. It works when cartoons come to life and move in "distinctly cartoonish manners" squashing and stretching all over the place, but toysets are made to look like all sorts of things/places only simplified and easier for molds to make.
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>Meanwhile, Styre once again pulls his weird trick where he taps a star on his chest and it magically changes his coat and mane colors. I'm still not entirely sure what the author is getting at with this. Gareth is obviously weirded out by it, but it should at least be somewhat apparent to the reader what the significance of this act is. Are we supposed to assume that Styre is disguising himself for some nefarious purpose? Or is this just a common trick that isn't meant to signify anything other than that magic is commonplace in Equestria and Gareth finds it weird? The author needs to clarify this a bit.
The author should seamlessly tell the audience how normal this is in the author's take on Equestria by showing how a regular pony reacts to this.
As it stands, ten bucks this is just the author showing off his headcanon for why so many guard ponies in Canterlot look exactly the same.
I would congratulate the author on mentioning things like the height difference and a language barrier but they've been done before so often, a goddamn story "What if Eggman from the Sonic The Hedgehog games ended up in Equestria? Answer: He'd be turned good by the world's natural goodness and make clockwork toys in a story that gets praised for not having fights or big dramatic attention-grabbing bullshit. Then has a sequel full of that where pony-eggman must help save the world from sure destruction" did it first.
And that Eggman story did it better than this.
In this story ponies have a nonsense language where "Glosh Spige" means words because the author says so.
It doesn't make any sense for "Glosh" to mean Butter or pie.
It doesn't make any sense that the ponies would say "Glosh" instead of "Scrump" or "Skunt" or "Chungus" or "Blobbos".
In the Eggman story, Eggman is unable to talk to or communicate with the ponies that come up to him out of curiousity while he sits near where he arrived and writes a diary to himself.
One pony is unusually interested in what he's writing in his diary right now.
"A thought occurs." he writes.
Then there's a pencil drawing of an apple, which he draws.
"Apple", Eggman says to the pony, pointing at the apple.
The pony makes two horse mouth noises. A mouth pop then a whinny, or something.
Eggman realizes the ponies use a Phonetic Language(TM) made out of horse noises a horse mouth could make.
Eggman copies the mouth pop and whinny, to the pony's delight. The pony runs off and comes back later with a Translation Spell to let them communicate.
From that point on Eggman-As-Pony is brought into Ponyville and given a place in town.
The language barrier means they can't understand non-words like Ivo Robotnik and he refuses to call himself Eggman, so he calls himself "Worker" since Robot is russian for Worker.
Or something like that.
Anyway, the human in equestria only keeps being a human because the author says so, and only has this "Weird thing that doesn't belong here" aura because the author says so. Celestia became a human when she went to HumanLand, so why doesn't he become a pony now? Where's the autistic "It's because he was wearing iron armour and that's anti-magic so the portal couldn't transform him like it wanted to" explanation?
or Gnursht.
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Must say really love reading your reviews of these fanfics but will confess that the more of them I read the more my motivation to write my own story wanes lol. I say that in a positive manner though where your advice on not only grammar (which as you can tell I'm terrible at) but also *why* someone should write a story Gabe me a fair bit of pause. Got me thinking on the stuff you've said and feel like I got to do some more research on writing first and actually come up with a somewhat original idea if I ever do want to take a crack at it.

Can't draw, can't make music, can't write well, and sure as heck can't think of any fan contribution I could do with my marksmenship skills or driving an armored vehicle but if I'm going to do it may as well try and do it proper espetially with people like you or the people in art threads posting drawing fundemantals.

Not sure how long it'll take for me to do it if ever but you got me thinking good stuff about any writing I want to do and give an entertaining read to boot. I got to go back and read your Nix review and while this current fic is a nice pallet cleanser boy howdy I can't wait to see your review of Fallout Equestria!
I'm someone else completely, and I have the high respect about what you are about to embark on.
The more you understand life, and the wisdom inside the higher quality you can reach.
Right now it's about gaining experience, you can look back on your works and say "I'm proud I made it, but fucking hell this is a load of garbage."
Identifying where it's bad and where it's not. And importantly the why.
This is for many many things not just writing.
Also partial experience can be gained from insights from others.
>Fuck every author that thinks this "wink wink nudge nudge you're in a fucking toyset" is good writing.
This calls my attention to something I overlooked earlier:

>Gareth's first impression, that Canterlot looked like an oversized play-set, proved to be far too accurate.
"Play-set" is definitely the wrong terminology to use here, as it connotes modern mass-produced toys, which would have been an unknown concept to someone from the middle ages. This is probably one of those "nods to the bronies" you're complaining about, and of which I'm not a fan either. Earlier references to Canterlot as resembling a child's toy are probably generic enough to be acceptable, but I'll admit there are some blatant anachronisms in this character's thoughts and actions. That this author seems to know something about the time period this character is from means that he should try to keep a closer eye on this kind of thing when writing. In general though I'm finding that soulpillar keeps the bronybait shit to a minimum, which I appreciate.

>As it stands, ten bucks this is just the author showing off his headcanon for why so many guard ponies in Canterlot look exactly the same.
This is what I'm beginning to suspect as well, and I think it should be omitted from the text for this reason. It's an irrelevant detail that confuses the reader, because by calling attention to it (twice so far) he is signifying that this ability is somehow important to Styre's character, when in reality the author is just using it to answer a question that nobody asked.

If you want to get into the nuts and bolts of etymology you could probably make a pretty good argument for why "glosh spige" is not good pony-language. I usually am willing to give an author a fair amount of leeway on fake languages if he's telling a good story, and so far this one is pretty decent, so I'm not that worried about it. However, this is a reasonable point. One of the reasons Tolkien's world is so vivid is because he put so much time and effort into developing Elvish and Orcish and all these fictional dialects into actual languages with actual grammar and vocabulary. The creators of the Myst games did this with the D'ni language as well, which added to the realism of their universe. Even the Klingon tongue has given Trekkies a fair amount of enjoyment over the decades.

>What if Eggman from the Sonic the Hedgehog games ended up in Equestria?
I have no desire whatsoever to explore this question, but I can't stop you from writing it.

It's certainly not my intention to discourage anyone here from writing; if anything I'm trying to do the opposite. I find that reading something critically is the best way to improve your own writing, in fact a big part of why I keep doing this is that my own writing has improved significantly just from pulling apart these badly-written fanfics and trying to figure out exactly what makes them bad. I've since gone back through some stuff I've written from a few years ago and noticed that I made a lot of the same mistakes I was shitting on Peen Stroke for, which means that I can not only correct those mistakes but watch out for them in the future.

I talk a lot of shit, but most of what I point out here is just really basic stuff. I'm honestly not that great a writer either, nor am I some kind of boss-level literary scholar; I've written a couple of unpublished novels and I'm maybe qualified to teach a high-school English class, and that's about it. The main reason I can swag around in these threads so much is because A) it's my thread and B) I'm punching waaaaay below my weight class here.

The tragedy of writers like Peen Stroke and Assman is that they will never improve, because no one will ever tell them that they suck, and if someone ever does they have 10,000 some-odd 'likes' on their shitty internet stories they can point to that say otherwise. That's what makes FimFiction rather insidious imo: it's essentially a social media site for fanfiction authors, so it has a tendency to become a circlejerk. The people doing the pre-reading and editing either don't know what the fuck they're doing or are inclined to just suck the author's dick, so their advice is meaningless. The fact that Peen Stroke sent his bag of verbal diarrhea through like 30 some-odd pre-readers and not a one of them appears to have pointed out any of the glaringly obvious problems with it attests to this. That's why I prefer sites like this one, where everyone is anonymous so ego is more or less removed from the equation. You'll get nothing but honest opinions from strangers who know you can't punch them back.

But in any event, if you want some good writing advice I'd recommend reading Stephen King's book on writing, conveniently titled On Writing. His advice in a nutshell is that the best way to improve is to just read and write constantly. To this I would add that you should read as critically as possible. Whether you like something or don't like it, pull it apart and try to figure out why. Be merciless; if the author is a complete faggot, call him a faggot. When you submit your own writing for criticism, don't trust the opinion of anyone who isn't willing to call you a faggot if you have it coming. Most of all, don't be afraid to suck. Most amateur writers suck. I suck. It's ok to suck. The important thing is just to keep writing and keep trying to improve. That's why I like Sven even though he sucks too. His work is usually passable at best, but I like that he's just constantly writing and constantly asking for feedback.

Also, if you want a lot of good tips and tricks for nuts-and-bolts stuff, I recommend this site:

Also, hang out on /lit/. They're as full of shit as every other board on 4chan, but you'll get some good reading recommendations and occasionally some good advice.

This is also very fine advice.

Alright, back to the grind.

>Celestia chuckled for a moment, before schooling her features.
How exactly does one school one's features? I'm not even sure how to picture this. Maybe this is some weird British expression, like how wrenches are "spanners" and doors are "wobbly flip-shutters."

>Gareth shrugged. "It was only a few days, love."
This is fairly minor, but I wanted to note that it's a good idea to keep physical distances in mind when your story involves a journey. How far is it exactly from the Castle of the Two Sisters to Canterlot? I don't remember if the time frame was established earlier, but I do remember that Gareth was able to see Canterlot from one of the balconies, so it can't be that far. Would it really have taken Gareth and Styre a matter of days to walk there? I'm not saying Gareth's line here is necessarily wrong, but getting distances mixed up is one of those continuity problems that can become a huge headache if you're not careful.

Anyway, Gareth and Celestia talk for a bit. The dialogue in this story is improving somewhat, and I rather like the way the author parcels out information. He clearly has a pretty complex world that he's put together here, and I imagine there is a lot of detail that we'll need to know eventually. However, he does a good job of avoiding the massive info-dump paragraphs that pretty much every other author I've reviewed yes, this includes you, Nigel have been guilty of to varying degrees. Here, Celestia and Gareth meet again after a few days apart, and they casually chat for a few lines before the story moves on to the next scene. Their chat happens to briefly touch on some aspects of Equestrian society that give us a few tidbits of essential information, and that's the end of it. This scene is reasonably well done.

Next, Celestia sends Gareth to be examined by her doctors, to try and figure out why most of the ponies can't seem to see him properly. I find this a tad illogical, as the problem clearly relates to his being from a different world and would thus be more of a magic problem than a medical problem; it would therefore make more sense to have him examined by top unicorn wizards or something. But whatever, let's see where it goes.

>Doctor Il Legittima Legata telekinetically pulled her formerly cold stethoscope away from Gareth's scarred, muscular chest.
According to Google Translate, "Il Legittima Legata" means "The Legitimate Legacy" in Italian. This is a little odd for a pony name, though like "Styre" it may also be a clever reference that went over my head.

Anyway, after a cursory examination of Gareth, she announces to Celestia that medically speaking, he is dead. He has less magic in him than an inanimate object. We are given a direct explanation of how it works here:

>"As you know, ponies see the world using a combination of both light and magic. Having such a being lack magic to such a degree means that he is obscured from our senses. Our eyes sense that there is something there, but our hearts tell us that there is not. I therefore hypothesise that ponies with an emotional connection to him are able to ignore that."
This seems reasonable enough for our purposes, although "hypothesize" is misspelled.

>"Is she talking science?" Gareth muttered. "She's talking science, isn't she."
This seems like another of Gareth's anachronisms. A medieval man wouldn't think of "science" in the same terms that we do, and a good baptized Christian might object to some random pony suggesting that he has no soul. But whatever, I'm probably reading too much into it.

Anyway, we are also given a convenient explanation for how Gareth can mitigate this. The pies he ate, being from Equestria, apparently contain trace amounts of magic which will gradually seep into his body the more of it he eats; thus, if he keeps eating Equestrian food, he will become easier for ponies to see. This of course serves the dual purpose of allowing the author to gradually phase this plot device out of the narrative, as it would eventually get cumbersome having to factor Gareth's near-invisibility into every scene. However, I'm a little disappointed that after introducing what I thought was rather an interesting story element, this is all that soulpillar intends to do with it. I was kind of hoping the explanation for this would be more of a metaphysical problem related to Gareth's being an anomaly in this world, and would factor into the greater question of whether his "marriage" to Celestia can possibly work out or not. Unfortunately it seems that it's just a mundane side-effect of humans having a different physiology from pastel ponies, and nothing more. Bit of a missed opportunity on the author's part imo. However, as far as internal story logic goes, it makes enough sense that I have no problem accepting it.

>Gareth gave the doctor a withering glare. "Oh damn, I was hoping to keep eating from my infinite sack of trail rations!"

>"He-- uh-- says that he understands," Celestia nervously translated.

>Doctor Legata nodded, not believing her in the slightest.

The attempt at light humor here is blunted by the author's failure to write these interactions convincingly. Part of the problem is the adjectives the author uses are more heavily charged than the event itself is. "Withering" glare, "nervously" translated. The other problem is that it just plain reads awkwardly.
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Anyway, in our next scene, the day is done, and Gareth and Cecilia are tired. They retire to the royal bedchamber. This is obviously necessary to set up the scene and develop the story, but I'm a little curious how this is perceived. So far, the Equestrians we've encountered seem to just accept Gareth's presence without questioning it. Even without all of the stuff about his magic deficiency making him hard to see, it seems like there should be more curiosity about Gareth than we've seen so far. One day, the Princess who's been gone for three years suddenly returns with some alien creature in tow. She introduces him as her "consort", takes him upstairs to bed with her, closes the door, and nopony raises a fuss? I mean, if she's the absolute monarch she can pretty much do whatever she wants, but I get the impression her position is a little precarious right now. Does she want this kind of potentially negative attention? Seems like it would make the most sense to just put Gareth in a guest room at least until she sorts out whatever mess the nation is in.

However, most of this proves moot anyway. As soon as they are alone together, we get a replay of the incident from earlier, where Gareth recoiled from Celestia's kiss (the significance of which was made clear by another anon).

All things considered, Gareth has adjusted to all of this rather well. He's been good-naturedly joking around with Celestia, he's made friends with Styre, and he's mostly just been taking things in stride. However, now that the two of them are alone together, the mood suddenly changes. Celestia climbs into bed, and Gareth suddenly notices that she smells like a horse. The weirdness of the situation dawns on him. He realizes that he is married to a literal horse, and now that she is lying there suggestively inviting him to come to bed with her, the full import of this hits home. He panics, and flees on some flimsy pretext, saying he'll go sleep in one of the guest rooms. She tries to convince him to stay, but he snaps at her and obviously hurts her feelings. He feels bad, but he is still too weirded out to sleep with her, and he leaves it like this.

The scene itself is reasonably well handled. Once again, I'm at least impressed by the amount of thought the author has put into the premise of his story. Though the direct interaction between his characters is often handled clumsily (though in this case it's actually handled well enough), the situation he's created is very real and very believable. Gareth's inner conflict is easy to understand: he loves his wife, but she's a horse for crying out loud. Gareth thus far isn't a super-developed character, but we get a general sense of his personality. He's a soldier, and he's probably used to spending a lot of time in military camps surrounded by other soldiers. As such, he is probably a little gruff and ill-mannered, so it's not surprising he'd be a little short with Celestia in this situation.

That said, I notice that what we've seen of the conflict so far has mostly been from Gareth's perspective. We've seen almost nothing of Celestia's thoughts and feelings, even though this is probably somewhat weird for her. She had to have seen this coming, so how is she taking all of this? Is she just sad that her husband doesn't want to pound her mare-pussy, or is there more to it than that? Consider that she would have been in the same situation at one point; she stumbled into a new world populated by strange creatures, and had to adapt as well, but she seems to have ultimately assumed the role of a devoted wife. Was she ever weirded out by the idea of this strange, gangly, two-legged meat-creature crawling all over her new human body? Did she ever feel self-conscious about that body? That weird feeling of having to walk on two legs, being unable to fly? Was it ever weird for her suddenly having tits on her chest instead of her crotch?

There is still plenty of time for all of this to be explored, of course. We're still in the expositional part of the story, and there really hasn't been enough time for the author to develop either of these characters. Soulpillar has done a pretty decent job of setting up his story here. So far we've got two significant plotlines: the political unrest revolving around Noble Era possibly trying to usurp the throne, and the romantic plot revolving around whether or not a relationship between Celestia and Gareth could ever work. Once again I will commend the author for putting enough thought into this idea to flesh it out into a three dimensional story; instead of simply sharting out a "guy goes to Equestria and fugs his horse waifu" wankfest, he has written a story that explores just how strange such a relationship would actually be.

All that this really means of course is that soulpillar has managed to grasp the basic fundamentals of building a story; basically I'm heaping praise upon him for being the first ponyfic author I've reviewed so far to successfully reach Level 1. This work is by no means mind-blowing, and it definitely has some glaringly obvious problems that need to be addressed. However, I'm more or less enjoying it so far, and simply by demonstrating a basic writing competency this author has placed himself head and shoulders above the other schmucks we've read so far and yes, this includes you, Nigel. In my experience, fanfiction generally runs the gamut from mediocre to horrendous, with the bulk of it trending toward horrendous. I take this into account, and believe it or not I've been grading these on a pretty generous curve so far. In short, anyone who can write something basically competent deserves a round of applause. This is definitely at least competent.
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File (hide): 5B80C8E19A4F7E857EFFDD556C303ACE-40839016.mp4 (38.9 MB, Resolution:1280x720 Length:00:02:24, Oly watch first half resst is disturbing.mp4) [play once] [loop]
Oly watch first half resst is disturbing.mp4
>even though he sucks too. His work is usually passable at best
>Why do I even have this vid?
Or rather it is the genitalia of the horses at the end that I find revolting.
Write small and have fun. I think.
>Why do I even have this vid?
Because its funny.
I apologise for my autism. Forget this.
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It's pretty interesting how horse porn starts off showing the characters but with genitals.
Then people tire of seeing the characters as they are, so aspects of their bodies are emphasized or changed. The horse gets a human ass with meaty thighs that end in hooves, and a horse pussy that gets bigger with each post you coom to.
More stimulus is needed with every dose of degeneracy. The creature needs to look uglier, more "sexualized" at any cost.
Eventually the coombrain draws the creature in such a grotesquely oversized and disproportionate and hyper-veiny fashion that it is disgusting to anyone not mentally worse off than him.
I'm glad my desire for "Degeneracy" began and ended at my desire to put my dick inside a slime girl, and never went any further.
You keep praising this author he wasn't as gay as the previously-reviewed writers. And you're right, it's not as gay.
But what has his story really set up so far and done with its words?
Gareth is a human soldier from the medieval era, and he married a mysterious woman from nowhere who turned out to be a horse.
He followed her into horse-land and ended up in horse-land, but he doesn't need to survive on his own for a bit or meet any ponies, because he gets to meet Celestia quickly enough.
Then before anything interesting can happen to this human "alien" in a strange alien world, he's found by Celestia and whisked away to Celestia's literal fucking castle.
Pretty sure even a shitty CGI kid's hollywood movie like Planet 51 starring Dwayne "The" Rock Johnson would think to have the human get into a bad encounter with some local aliens, maybe set up a General Asshole character who wants the "alien" killed, even if the plotline never goes anywhere.
Perhaps have him stumble through a town in confusion with dirt caking his visor, causing him to accidentally ruin a "We Love Celestia" festival Ponyville is throwing, giving him a natural reason to meet her out of the blue at the same time while creating conflict at the same time.
Imagine a plotline where some little kids finds this "Alien" medieval soldier lad and decides to hide him away because Celestia's goons are looking for him, unaware that Celestia is his horse wife and she wants him back. Could be Apple Bloom or Sweetie Belle or Scootaloo, but not all three at once, because then you get to fill time a few chapters later by having kid one introduce the character to the kid's friends.
Celestia doesn't want to hide him away from the world, wipe his memories, transform him into a horse, or keep him in her bedchambers as a fucktoy, or fuck his flimsy human body to death, or send him back home. And the portal is open often enough that there's no excuse for a "Oh god I need to whine about wanting to get back for most of the story! I need to whine about how I will never see my friends or family or hometown again! Then when I finally get the chance to go back, choose to stay to make the audience cry!" scene.
No, she's perfectly willing to carry this "monster" around him and even take him to her fucking bedchambers on night one. She encounters no resistance or difficulty and the same basically goes for the guy, too.
And like every brainlet animufag writing horse relationships on the inte
rnet, the man is uncomfortable at the thought of fucking. At least this time, the excuse is "I don't want to fuck something exotic like a horse". Better than the usual "But we aren't married yet so I have to awkwardly and nervously reject your constant sexual advances!" haremshite.
The human is partially invisible to horses and oversized, but he isn't invisible to celestia can easily eat horse-world food, being oversized much of an issue, and the "difficulty being seen" problem is resolved swiftly. Trouble for Celestia might have prepared itself while she was away, and I will retract my complaint if this nobleshite actually becomes interesting enough to carry a story. But for now, the story's focusing on this one-sided "Celestia wants to fuck her human husband who doesn't want to fuck a horse" and still hasn't provided an excuse for why he hasn't yet turned into a pony like she turned into a human.
This is still fundamentally a horse-porn clopfic, just with the "But he's a non-brony! ...wait what do you mean that's been done before? ...Okay, he's from the medieval era!" as a hook.
I'll admit, it's a better hook than "But he's a non-brony! ...who gets Alucard's powers thanks to wearing his costume!".
But I still see so much missed potential in this story, and even the most mediocre of kid's films would have noticed it and tried slightly more while also without trying.
It's weird that this author tries so hard to adorn his prose with purple when his "best effort" still comes up short compared to a Planet 51 kind of film. I know I'm not one to talk since I wrote shit pony fanfiction six years ago and on-and-off tried to rewrite it into something good for five years. Nothing does good for your writing skill quite like putting video games away for a while and focusing on books.
I once read a pony story that went deep into how a human could (while being hidden on Applejack's barn by Apple Bloom and hiding from everyone else, especially Twilight, presumably since an adult pony would have an easier time finding food for him, a child makes the cliche work better, and if Twilight wasn't being flanderized into a mad scientist and instead owned him and wanted him to live she could magic away his dietary needs to make him eat tables or sunlight without issue) survive on a fully vegan diet in a world where fish are friends not food and not even chicken eggs can be eaten. He ended up getting so hunger-starved that he went into the everfree to start killing and cooking and eating wild animals since they take care of themselves and nobody misses them. Unrealistic since the human was weak from hunger and had never fought anything before, but he did the whole "it was weewee weewee hawd but he succeeded anyway" thing in that scene so he gets to successfully do the practically-impossible I guess. Guess that's how writing works. fuck that cliche. If something's impossible it should be impossible or earned by something far more than the author deciding the bare minimum of effort deserves great rewards.
The human guy goes to pony-land without becoming a pony. So he doesn't need to get used to being a pony, and he doesn't have to try and make his own way in this world despite lacking a background or friends.
Even though it would be funny if Celestia had no idea that the mysterious human was obviously her lover just transformed. Funny but not good writing.
Anyway the human guy remains a human, so there's no difficulty adjusting to a new body.
And he's already got his horse wife, so there's no difficulty bagging a waifu to bang or finding where she is in this world. He already formed the relationship with her offscreen.
And he's immediately found by and doted on by Celestia, so there's no difficulty adjusting to a new world.
How can there be, when the princess of equestria loves you and the villains don't start attacking until the second or third act?
The language barrier is just an excuse to type words like Glosh and Spige and Gnurshkt, it doesn't seriously fuck communication up all around and leave the human entirely dependent on pony translators like it should even though someone could give him a translation spell/translation spelled worn item that can be lost during a scene where he needs to not understand shit. The horses don't use a Phonetic Language Mixed With Gestures so the human just standing there in confusion is like a big middle finger. Saw a fanfic do that once.
And I doubt there will ever come a scene where the human, with his cynical realistic human outlook, ends up uncomfortable to talk to/be around at best and goddamn depressing/horrifying at usually.
One sad fanfic had a human go to equestria, depress everyone by being a sadsack, disgust everyone by being a wannabe edgelord who scared everyone with his martial arts training and the nonsense he talked about being ready to kill any villains, and eventually he convinced everyone even Pinkie Pie to just stop talking to him and let him be a miserable prick in peace, then he killed himself and the ponies wept and yelled "If only we were nicer to him", end story.
The hero's still living a sex-fic on easy mode, and once he's gotten over his aversion to horse pussy this story will have no obstacles or conflict. Unless the noble shite goes somewhere, but it'll be wrapped up neatly eventually.
This story is half-assing one half while making the other half of the ass purple so you don't notice the brown!
And the award for laziest formatting goes to:
Hint, it sorta rhymes with Cudgel
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Crazy as this sounds...

When I break my posts into paragraphs fags bitch about leddit spacing.
So you opted to end one post mid-sentence, mid-word?
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You have probably seen pic 1 related somewhere before. It's basically a very rough diagram of how the majority of stories are supposed to work. Complex stories can sometimes consist of multiple instances of this overlapping each other, but in general most successful stories more or less adhere to this structure.

If an author's story can be easily mapped to this diagram, it's usually an indicator that you're dealing with someone who knows what the hell they're doing, or at least was sort-of paying attention in 7th grade language arts class. It's not the only criterion on which a story should be judged, of course. There are plenty of authors out there who follow structure too closely and end up with kind of a write-by-numbers style, where everything is technically correct but the story lacks feeling and meaning. I find movie scripts tend to do this a lot, and one of the reasons I don't care for Dan Brown is that he writes this way. However this holds true for nearly any art form; following the technical mechanics to the letter without adding anything intangible of your own will produce a dry and emotionless work that won't resonate with anyone. But that doesn't mean the mechanics don't matter or can be completely tossed out.

I bring this up because with bad amateur writing, in which category I'd place most all of the previous works we've read here, the overall plot formula might still more or less resemble the "plot mountain" structure of pic 1 related, but it usually more closely resembles the "meandering bullshit" structure of pic 2 related. Your Silver Star fic and Past Sins are both huge offenders in this category; they are unnecessarily long works filled with pointless digressions, where the story just drifts from random event to random event with little overarching structure. Friendship is Optimal was a little different, in that it was much more compact and wasn't filled with meaningless scenes and subplots. However, it suffered from the opposite problem: there was virtually no plot at all, the whole thing was just techno-babble. Structurally, it was still mostly meandering and uninteresting.

Anyway, the reason stories turn out this way is because generally the amateur author has a much higher opinion of himself than his actual abilities warrant. He confidently believes that he has no need to plan his novel in advance, or revise it after he's done writing. He does not wish to have his creative muse constrained by anything so limiting as formal structure, opting instead for a more raw and organic avant-garde style that usually yields what we may politely call "mixed results."

I've noticed some recurring patterns in these types of works. Often it will start off on a fairly strong note. The author will clearly have some sort of creative vision in mind, and at the beginning of the work he will stride purposefully in this direction. For this reason, the first chapter or two of a bad amateur work can often be quite good, and appear to follow the expositional part of the "plot mountain" structure quite well. Sometimes, the reader will even be tricked into thinking he's reading something worthwhile. The author will often have a very strong and well-written opening scene that very clearly sets the tone for the story and introduces some compelling events or characters. For instance, with Past Sins we had a generally pretty good opening scene that introduced us to the villain, showed us the origins of the protagonist and provided a decent intro hook to grab the reader's attention. However, after the prologue, it almost immediately loses its sense of drama and becomes a sequence of meandering events.

If the author doesn't have a solid idea of where his story needs to go, he invariably ends up getting distracted by something or other and the story ends up going off the rails. One of the hallmarks of a bad amateur work is that it will often be unnecessarily long. The bad amateur writer will often mistakenly believe that an ability to churn out a high word count is an indicator of talent. He may even brag about his obscenely high word counts as if that were something to be proud of. However, usually the reason the work is so long is that it contains a lot of meaningless events or information that doesn't belong in the story. This is often the result of the author approaching writing as if he were playing a role-playing game. He approaches the story as simply a chain of events happening to the character, which the character has to react to, and his reactions produce additional events, with the sum total of events comprising the story. This can actually be a useful writing exercise, but generally it's not a good way to compose an entire story unless you're disciplined enough to still follow a general plot roadmap while doing this, and can identify what scenes should be cut during revision.
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Take, for instance, Silver Star Apple and the Soggy Cum-Soaked Cards He Found in his Bruised Rectal Cavity One Morning. It's been more than a year since I read it, so correct me if I get some of the details wrong, but here's how I remember it going. The opening scene, which focuses on the Coffee Grounds character entering Silver's office building, is actually pretty well executed. However, the story quickly goes off the rails from here.

We next encounter Silver in his office, at which point he is informed that he has a meeting. He goes outside and does loop de loops on his magic skateboard for two hours, and then blasts into the office building across the street. After dealing with the three characters he has to meet, he goes back to his office, sings a song, and then moves to Ponyville for some reason. All of this takes about 20,000 words to happen. Incidentally, the complete text of The Diamond as Big as the Ritz by F. Scott Fitzgerald is 14,790 words long.

After barging in on the Mayor and demanding a building permit, he summons a bunch of magical badgers or some shit to build a weird-looking Brutalist house in the middle of town. After that, Pinkie Pie throws him a party, after which he loses consciousness or passes out or something I think. When he wakes up, the Mane 6 are at his house with housewarming gifts. They go inside his shop and talk about magic skateboards for two hours, and then Rarity gets abducted by Diamond Dogs, just like in that one episode where Rarity gets abducted by Diamond Dogs. Silver and the others go into the Diamond Dog caves, fight Team Rocket who are also Diamond Dogs, and then they leave. I forget what else happens; I think the Team Rocket bit briefly introduces some of the stuff about the magic cards, and there's another part where Big Mac finds one of them. I know at one point he visits Applejack and she discovers that he's her long-lost cousin. Anyway, at this point, we are about 40,000 words in. Incidentally, the complete text of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis is 38,421 words long.

Anyway, eventually, Silver "me so horny, sucky sucky five bits" Star goes on a date with Twilight in fucking Pony Japan or some ridiculous shit. He introduces her to some kind of magical dragon thing that he fights for no apparent reason. Then, they come back home and go to another party. Also for no apparent reason, Starlight Glimmer shows up, and Silver "I know it looks like a pretty big pumpkin but trust me, it will fit in there just fine" Star argues with her and fights her. This happens for reasons that have nothing to do with anything that has happened in the story so far, nor does it appear to be foreshadowing anything important that will happen later. Despite Glimmer's also having never appeared or been mentioned in the story prior to this event, and presumably not factoring into it afterward, this fight is treated as a major event. And by "major event", I mean that the entire argument/fight sequence takes about 30,000 words to play out. Incidentally, the complete text of The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway is 26,590 words long.

After Glimmer is cast into the abyss, the assembled crowd of ponies cheers Silver and hoists him onto their shoulders, either because they're glad that Starlight Glimmer is dead, or because they're just glad that the scene is finally over. We also learn that while all of this was going on, Silver was using clones of himself to remodel Twilight's house. At this point, the text cuts off abruptly.

All in all, the extant work is 91,006 words long, consisting of six chapters. Despite the story ostensibly being about magic cards, said cards are mentioned only briefly at a couple of key points. As far as I can tell, all of this is just exposition for what will presumably be a much, much longer work. If a central conflict of any sort is ever established at any point in what exists of this story, I have no recollection of it. Thus, if we are assuming some kind of rough conformity to the plot mountain structure, the end of this 91,006 word journey places us at about where the 'X' is on pic related. Incidentally, the complete text of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien is 95,356 words long.
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By contrast, The Sun and the Rose is a completed work that is 101,704 words in its entirety. This consists of 18 chapters and a two-part epilogue. To date, we have read the first 15,807 words, which is slightly over 1/8 of the way through. In that amount of text, soulpillar has introduced us to his main characters and his setting, and established two primary storylines, each with a central conflict. Each storyline corresponds to one of his main characters. Gareth, the main protagonist, comes to Equestria in search of his wife, and discovers that she is a horse for crying out loud. This creates a problem for him as he is not sure if he can stay with her. This is further compounded by the fact that he is a stranger in her world, and there are a number of difficulties that would make it difficult for him to remain there permanently.

Celestia, the secondary protagonist, meanwhile has returned home after a three year absence in which she has been living as Gareth's wife in the human world. She discovers that the balance of power in the land has become unstable, and that there is a growing unease between the various pony castes/races/whatever. The outline of an antagonist appears in the character of Noble Era.

Both storylines complement each other and are likely to intertwine. This is appropriate since the two primary characters are married. Gareth's issues with their relationship will likely need to be worked out between the two of them, and Celestia's political problems are something Gareth seems likely to get involved in. All in all, we have a pretty solid exposition and central conflict(s) established.

Now, that said, we are only about 1/8 of the way in, and past experience teaches us that these pony fics can go south pretty fast. However, I think what exists of this story is pretty solid so far.

You actually do bring up a couple of fair points, one of which is that the story has been a bit dull. I agree that the events up to this point have not been terribly gripping. In particular, I felt that the opening sequence in which Gareth searches the ruined castle for Cecilia plodded quite a bit. However, the solution to this is not to have Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson suddenly burst in and start fighting grizzly bears with chainsaw arms, or whatever the fuck you suggested. In fact, let's take a look at exactly what you suggested:

>Pretty sure even a shitty CGI kid's hollywood movie like Planet 51 starring Dwayne "The" Rock Johnson would think to have the human get into a bad encounter with some local aliens, maybe set up a General Asshole character who wants the "alien" killed, even if the plotline never goes anywhere.

See, this is exactly what you don't do. If you feel like your story lacks excitement, you're probably right. However, the solution is not, I repeat: THE SOLUTION IS NOT, to just start introducing new characters and throwing in pointless battle sequences and alien attacks and extraneous plotlines that don't go anywhere. That's how you end up with 91,006 words of meandering bullshit. The solution is to revisit the scenes you've written, examine them closely, and see if you can't rewrite them to be a more compelling read. In this case, the opening sequence I mentioned should definitely be revised. I mean, a mysterious knight exploring a ruined castle in the dead of night, searching for his lost love? You'd almost have to be trying to make that boring. My eyes should be glued to the page. And yet somehow, it was dull.

A couple of posts ago I linked to an article about scene construction. Some of the advice given there would help soulpillar's opening scene out immensely. As to the rest of it, I'm actually pretty okay with the length and pacing so far and I don't think there's any need to add any extra events or scenes. If he really wanted to, soulpillar could probably have Styre and Gareth run into some sort of antagonist on the journey from the Castle of the Two Sisters to Canterlot, but why? Sometimes when a character goes on a journey, it's an exciting quest with lots of mayhem and adventure along the way; however, sometimes, a character just needs to get from point A to point B. If the trip to Canterlot is a bit of a dull read, if anything this means the scene needs to be truncated, not expanded. Making Gareth fight a bunch of enemies or face a miniboss or something before he gets to Canterlot would add nothing to the story except length. As it stands, this work is about the length of a standard novel, which is fine; there's no reason to make it longer if it doesn't need to be.

Anyway, the reason I've mostly praised this story so far is mostly that it's well designed and evenly paced, and the author demonstrates quite a bit of basic writing competency. It definitely has its problems, but most of them are in its mechanical execution; the underlying plot structure seems pretty solid so far. This has been a welcome change from what we've reviewed in the past, and here I am specifically referring to Silver "pound my ass harder, David Hassellhoff" Star and the Search for a Firm Pair of Balls to Slap Repeatedly Against his Chin and Maybe Also Magic Cards or Something if there's Time, but Mostly the Ball-Slapping. I am also impressed by the author's somewhat mature handling of his subject matter. The relationship between Gareth and Celestia has a layer of complexity to it: he's torn between the fact that he loves her and the fact that she's basically a creature from another dimension. That the author makes his human protagonist a misfit in Equestria and presents it as an uncomfortable, even mildly threatening place from his perspective is also refreshingly different. As I've stated in the past, I haven't read very much pony fanfiction, so it's possible that these themes are actually well-worn cliches, but this is the first time I've come across them.

Incidentally, Reddit-spacing or no, I wouldn't complain if you started breaking your posts into actual paragraphs.
The letter count said I needed to break my post in half somewhere and it's not like ending the post mid-sentence but not mid-word would look better.

Well, I did once suggest that this site raise its word count. 60,000 seems like a good number right now.

I also suggested giving thread-makers the ability to tick a box while making their thread, designating it as a Long Thread in which the word count is boosted to 300,000 or something huge like that.

Some people said "that would be way too much work" so I said "you're right, fuck the Long Thread toggle. But what if we boosted the letter limit overall?"

Some people said no at the time, and one or two guys got pissed off over it for days.

Some were all "Nobody needs a bigger letter cap! This letter cap is our anti-spam protection! If you increase the letter cap it will magically produce more spam for the moderators to clean up, you absolute motherfucking bastard!" and wouldn't listen to me saying "If someone wants to post the word penis on this site over and over, it won't matter if the post says penis 1500 times or 30,000 times, it will be as easily removed in both cases" or "If the letter count is raised, it would be easier to post long posts that critique fanfiction. You could also post more writing at once in writing threads.
You could even repost entire books in posts if you didn't feel like uploading PDFs". Admittedly that last bonus isn't that cool, but it's still a minor bonus.
Nice cock!

I wasn't expecting that at all. I guess you could say it took me by surprise!

Ha! Penis joke about taking penises. I'm getting good at this.

Don't get me wrong, I know my story was absolute horseshit.

When I want to feel better about writing absolute horseshit, I use the excuse "I was a teenager when this started. I was also trying to find a happy medium between what the show represented when I fell in love with it, the old me's fantasy dream life in that world back then, the current me's fantasy life in that world from back then, what the show and story is now, while avoiding things I thought the audience would hate. I also needed to include a quest to fix what needs to be fixed before any story in this new ponyville can function, a story arc where Silver teaches Sweetie Belle how to do competitive magic duelling so I can show off my explanation for how magic works, also tell an interesting and unique story with new elements that add to the setting and gives me unique directions my story can take, also add Magic Cards to give non-fighters an excuse to contribute during fights, also add tropes I thought had to be in my story because they were in other ones, also add scenes to fuck with critics that were pissing me off at the time that eventually got edited out if I remembered to do so, and add cool shit in there because I thought it was cool at the time and nobody can stop me from giving my pony a hoverboard".

It was a fucking mess. I think I had scenes I forgot to edit where Silver still acted in his "Uptight prick who learns to let go of himself while unofficially dating Pinkie" personality back when that was part of the plot instead of "Depressed prick Silver learns to live and trust again" or "Obnoxious arrogant asshole Silver learns to respect and trust others while dating Twilight".

Also thanks for being okay with leddit spacing, I like clean paragraphs too. Someone's phoning me so I'll read the rest later
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>"If someone wants to post the word penis on this site over and over, it won't matter if the post says penis 1500 times or 30,000 times, it will be as easily removed in both cases"
Clearly computational power is a figment of the imagination and spamming 30k posts won't slow down anything at all.

>You could even repost entire books in posts if you didn't feel like uploading PDFs"
If you want to do that just paste the text into a word file and upload that. Or use Pastebin.

I'm curious as to what you think of Tom Bombadil in Fellowship of the Ring and whether you think he was a bad idea on the part of Tolkien. When a character is on a journey it's my belief that meeting an eccentric hermit-type character is a fun way to add warmth and background to a setting, but I want your take on it.
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Yep, that's right.
The plan was to have 24 chapters, each over 20,000 words in length, each take up an "Episode" of the story. It would end in a big fight which Silver loses and the villain wins and gets all the cards, then deep stuff about stories and my own story is said when the villain reveals his "Idea of a perfect equestria" which he creates, but it turns out to be a shitty mockery of the real thing with none of its charm or heart.

I wrote that before Avengers Infinity Endgame Parts 1 and 2 came out and did the pointless retarded publicity-stunt "Thanos gets all the gems because the heroes refuse to trade lives, even though they're literally trading lives they could save now for lives they want to save later while risking everyone's lives. Thanos bites down on Timmy Turner's rule-free magical wish cupcake and wishes for half of all people including all heroes to become dust. The story wangsts for 3 hours about everyone's feelings while failing to address the destructive consequences of supply lines and markets breaking down and fails to adequately call out Thanos's beliefs for being completely fucking wrong. Eventually the heroes go back in time so they can suck the cock of their own past films in a bunch of emotionally manipulative and shallow scenes so the heroes can Deus Ex Machina Thanos to death after a pointless Biggest Hollywood CGI Battle Ever that would have looked a lot cooler if it took place during the day instead of in such a dark and dimly-lit environment" shite.

I'm proud to say I thought to do "The villain wins" before Thanos, and did it better with the whole "The villain succeeds, gets godhood, turns Equestria into what he thinks it needs to be to survive, realizes he fucked up and this is shit and wrong, then undoes what he just did with his godhood then vanishes with the god power" thing.

Villain wins because the weapon Thor spent movie 1 getting was useless like all the other plots. Villain wins, hero time-travels back to before he won and stops it. This is shit writing. At least Glimmer's bullshit made for a fun AU-filled time-travel episode.

In an early version of the story, the villain returned during Twilight and Silver's wedding to give him all the cards and godhood, hilariously right after a scene where he says he loves her so much he doesn't mind missing the chance to get godhood. But then I decided not to do that. Villain takes all the cards and goes home.
The foxes were going to be important later. Just like that scene that strongly implies Silver's dark secret. I'm glad I never actually got a chance to write down what it was because it was shit in the original plans. He's got a better dark secret now.

As for when I stopped writing...

I don't recall if I was going with the "Silver makes her house a fucking cool crystal tree library and she loves it" or "Silver makes her house a fucking cool crystal war fortress with death lasers and she hates it. She never asked for the old crystal castle or the new weapons-focused one he built out of its scraps. Talking happens, deep relationship shit happens, then Silver and Twilight make up and they smash the crystal castle again then recreate it into a proper Crystal Tree Library" chapter ideas but the latter is better.

If I ever re-did the story...

I think I should reduce the number of Magic Cards in the story, or keep the full set but them show up in groups. Already having a few cards would make the Diamond Dog Team Rocket gang more dangerous. The plan was for every chapter to have its own tarot card-related theme but not necessarily related to the card featured in the story. I would also cut the Fluttershy-focused chapters because they were shit. I had this "I must focus on all characters equally" but Fluttershy is even more of a supporting character than Applejack. Applejack wants stuff and to keep being good things, Fluttershy just wants to pet dogs. And I'd cut the Sparity subplot since it was fanservice to fans I don't really have a reason to like and the relationship never got good in the show so why bother rewriting Rarity into someone nicer to Spike when he's the catch, not her? He deserves someone better anyway. There was a subplot about Silver discovering Spike's drawings and saying "holy shit these are actually good, come with me you're becoming a comic artist for the day" and he writes about Spine The Dragon, it's a blatant self-insert OC fantasy story and everyone hates it, this is witty satire. So then he drops that and writes the same exact thing but with a generic pony who goes into an in-universe comic book and lives the fantasy and it's successful. This is also witty satire. Then for fun he writes an actual good superhero comic about Spine The Dragon and some people like it.

Spike becoming his own man and getting his own house means there's a big teary farewell scene where everyone cries as if Spike is leaving forever then Rainbow Dash yells "He's moving three houses away from you!". Comedy gold. Also getting him out of the house means Silver gets to show off the crystal tree-library's army of hardlight hologram servants. I should move that suplot further forwards, it was good. I planned one "Big Mac asks Zecora to turn him into a unicorn with a potion then asks Twilight to teach him magic so he can be cool and defend his family, but he's shit at magic and transgenderism is bullshit and the potion was wrong, hilarity ensues and at the end a villain negates the transformation magically and calls him worthless so Big Mac punches him and kicks his ass without magic. Big Mac learns self-respect and being buff is the only magic he needs to defend his family" episode.

I'll also push "Silver kicks Glimmer's ass" to be later once the audience is on his side, plus "Silver chooses not to take the magic power Glimmer stole and instead gives it to Twilight+The people" should be a big shocking emotional moment.
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>pastebin/uploaded files
I know, that's why I said it's a very tiny bonus.
>computational power
They're words, not massive images of penises. Would someone spamming a 30K post of "Penis penis penis penis" every second really slow the site down? Someone that dedicated could post Penis 300k times in separate pages. Then again I'll admit my phone does struggle to load these big threads.
As for Tom Bombadil, I know you didn't ask me but even though I liked the character a lot, I think seeing another wizard cheapens the rarity of the main wizard Gandalf. Still like the choice overall but nothing would be lost if he was some "Different Type" of Wizard with its own name and gimmicky type of magic with a backstory for what role that type of wizard plays in the world. Like a Wizards and Druids kind of thing.
I like the "She's a horse for crying out loud!" part but what difficulties would there really be for him if he stayed? She's Celestia. It's not like her people are suicidally evil idiots who will risk death/eternity in a dungeon just for a chance to bully someone Celestia likes. That shit happened a lot in Naruto fics, suicidally evil Villagers would bully Naruto and try to scam him even though it meant getting arrested/tortured/killed by ninjas who protected him. Naruto's life was pretty shit canonically but the sheer fucking lengths these stories would go to buggers belief. Also those were the most popular stories of all time besides the Naruto x Hinata porn one-shots. The Naruto fandom kind of deserves the shitty sequel Boruto because of all those shit stories.
The "Searching through the castle" part should have triggered traps. Suddenly skeletons rise up to attack the knight, giving him a reason to be even jumpier, especially when ponies show up. Adds more tension to the story.
Come to think of it, a General Asshole character working for Noble Era would be great for this story. A physical threat to contrast Noble's political machinations. An asshole who wants to protect Equestria but is ready to do bad things, to contrast with Noble's smug assholery for the sake of assholery plus tragic past probably. He wants to nuke the Iron Giant, or in this case, the Alien Knight from Earth.
If GA doesn't turn evil and die in the end, then General Asshole's changing opinion of Gareth can show how those who distrust him react to the good he does.
Also you're right, this story is better than anything else in this thread so far. I'm just bitching because it's kind of boring. Things seem unusual from the hero's perspective but it's not like that will go anywhere. It's not like the author will have the hero freak out and destroy a teddy bear offered to him thinking it was a monster, causing the pony who offered it to cry and causing everyone to hate him.
And it's not like the whole "You can't be here, it's why we have trouble seeing you" thing would end in "Either you give up your human form and become a pony, which you don't want to do, or you fuck off back home and say goodbye to your wife, or you go home and take your wife with you while Equestria goes down the shitter".
Give it time, and he'll see this world as completely normal. This is by-the-numbers sex-fantasy with a dumb gimmick not taken as far as it could be taken.
I forsee two by-the-numbers stories wrapped together with uneven twists and I hope to God that I'm wrong. I really want this story to be good.
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Sorry for the segway but wanted to say quick I replied here some few days back while heavily inhebreated. I was lamenting how woefully unprepared I felt to write a fan fic of my own but through the week been keeping a close eye on this thread enjoying the conversations and crituiqe quite a lot and also made me take a step back and mull my ideas over in my head some more to help pass time at work or out riding a bike.

Wanted to give kudos again for the work everyone's been doing to give an in depth looks into the art and fundementals of writing. Spent most my adulthood in the military so this right to the chase direct type crituiqe works best for me and reading the tips reminds of initially learning the fundemantals of marksmenship.

From a glance shooting seemed easy, just point and pull the trigger, but wasn't until OSUT that I learned all the little things that went into it even stuff as simple as your breathing or the finger pull. Feel like this stuff is pretty similar where right now best I could do is fire relatively blindly spewing out a word mess but like others have said, keep at it, get experience, and as the rythem of it becomes more natural it's easier to see mistakes and correct them.

Going to try and start writing tomorrow and while I don't know how to use a comma properly, tend to be overly verbose and flowerly in my language, and have absolutely 0 idea on what a semicolon is used for I know what the basic fundementals are atleast so even if I stumble or run into a brick wall for a bit I'll take the first steps to maybe being a half competent writer! Who knows if in lucky can maybe get something I write on here to get my ass torn a new one while learning some important writing/life lessons!
>and he writes about Spine The Dragon
Spike writes that. Silver gets Spike to try writing comics, Spike loves it and is great at it. Finally, this character has something going on besides simping for Rarity, wanting to be cool+heroic+manly and failing sometimes, and working for Twilight.
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>The plan was to have 24 chapters, each over 20,000 words in length, each take up an "Episode" of the story.
Then adopt an episodic format rather than one big format! Write lots of short stories or take a page from the Chronicles of Narnia and have each be a separate but somewhat related story. Also, some of your ideas are good, others cringeworthy, but how you write them is important. Hopefully they're not like your posts.

Reeee, considering you're an autist you should have more respect for others' autism. A wizard is a Maiar on a special mission, Bombadil is some mysterious immortal being who doesn't care about things too much except being married to (((Goldberry)))–I had to make that joke.

As for the rest of your post, save your complaining until you finish the work. I haven't read it in a while but from what I remember it handles all this well enough.
You're right. Splitting the Silver story into smaller chunks with each serving as their own stories... That's what I should have done.
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A semicolon is most commonly used to link (in a single sentence) two independent clauses that are closely related in thought.When a semicolon is used to join two or more ideas (parts) in a sentence, those ideas are then given equal position or rank.
>Some people write with a word processor; others write with a pen or pencil.

Use a semicolon between two independent clauses that are connected by conjunctive adverbs or transitional phrases.
>However they choose to write, people are allowed to make their own decisions; as a result, many people swear by their writing methods.

Use a semicolon between items in a list or series if any of the items contain commas.
>There are basically two ways to write: with a pen or pencil, which is inexpensive and easily accessible; or by computer and printer, which is more expensive but quick and neat.

Use a semicolon between independent clauses joined by a coordinating conjunction if the clauses are already punctuated with commas or if the clauses are lengthy.
>Some people write with a word processor, tablet, or a even a phone; but others, for different reasons, choose to write with a pen or pencil.
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This post displays a degree of ignorance I would be surprised to hear even from a mediocre minded American high school student. It pains me so much I can't not respond

>Villain wins... I wrote that before Avengers Infinity Endgame Parts 1 and 2
The antagonist of a work of literature winning is an extremely common trope that has been used innumerable works since the beginning of literature. There's a Tv Tropes page for it. https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheBadGuyWins
The TV Tropes page lists so many examples of this trope being used in Anime & Manga, Card Games, Comic Books, Fan Works, Films — Animated, Films — Live-Action, Literature, Live-Action TV, Music, Pinball, Professional Wrestling, Radio, Roleplay, Tabletop Games, Theatre, Toys, Video Games, Web Comics, Web Original, Western Animation, and Web Original. Every single one of these lists except for the last one has its own page. That is rare for a TV Tropes example list, as most tropes have mostly or entirely expandable lists. There are so many listed examples that they have 3+ examples of the bad guy winning in card games, besides 30+ examples in Anime and so on; I gave up trying to count.

Just going off what I can think of in a few minutes, the villain wins in the ancient Greek plays Agamemnon and the Libation Bearers by Aeschylus and Electra by Sophocles. The villian wins in the 1920 play R.U.R which is the first work to use the term "robot" for automatons and probably the first work of literature to have a robot rebellion. The villain wins in the books Nineteen-Eightyfour by George Orwell in 1949 - required reading for American high school students - in Aldous Huxley's Brave New World in 1932 (required reading), and To Kill a Mockingbird (1960) (required reading). The villain wins in the films No Country for Old Men (2007), The Book of Eli (2010), Ex Machina (2015, and another robot rebellion), and Lord of War. Yuri Orlov may be a villain protagonist, but he’s still a villain. Even in videogames this trope is pretty common, used in 2010 in Halo:Reach, which sold five million copies and Halo 5:Guardians (2015). Many games that have multiple chosable factions have endings where the villains prevail, including most or all of the Red Alert series, Command and Conquer, and Fallouts 1, New Vegas, and 4. Just for funsies, here's the afterward of the Soviet Victory ending in the 2001 video game Comand and Conquer: Yuri's Revenge https://youtu.be/AYqKQjVo30o?t=77. Notice how (one of) the villian(s) wins in a game that came out 17 years before Infinity War and 9 years to the day before the first My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic episode came out.

What makes this statement worse is that in these threads, we’ve already had a My Little Pony Fanfiction reviewed by Glim Glam where the villain wins. Even if poor writing makes it hard to tell, CelestAI in “Friendship is Optimal” (2012) is clearly a morally bad antagonist who completely accomplishes its goal. The story is obviously in the vein of the aforementioned R.U.R. and Ex Machina (which came out after FiO) where a robot rebellion succeeds. I also am pretty sure that the ending, where characters reflect on how much they like CelestAI’s digital hell is intended to be like the “He Loved Big Brother” ending of Nineteen Eighty-Four, where Winston is so thoroughly defeated that he accepts the new status quo. Besides this example, Cupcakes and Rainbow Factory were each individually (in)famous My Little Pony fanfics where the villain wins made years before you ever allegedly thought of your totally unique idea.

If that wasn’t enough, here’s an article listing 20 films where the villain wins. https://www.vulture.com/article/movies-where-the-bad-guy-wins.html. It’s been done everywhere from Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith to that “Jeff the Killer” creepypasta https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i520aRuZXLo. Frankly, it’s so common in Horror and Tragedy that it’s almost as common as the good guys winning, and in prequels, too.
Hero's Journey.jpg
>I thought to do "The villain wins" before Thanos, and did it better with the whole [the villain learns that his goal was a mistake]
No. Even with this permutation of “the villain wins” you’re still not original with your alleged early outline of Fantastic Faggot: Rise of Silver the Cocksurfer. There’s an entirely separate TV Trope and page for that, called “Pyrrhic Villainy” which itself has hundreds or even thousands of examples. https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/PyrrhicVillainy

In the 1957 Looney Tunes children’s animation “What’s Opera, Doc?” Elmer Fudd succeeds, so far as the run time of the short is concerned, in killing Bugs Bunny. When he does this, he realizes that his purpose as a hunter is complete having killed the bunny, and so weeps, carrying Bugs Bunny off to Valhalla. In the 2005 movie Lord of War, international arms trafficker Yuri Orlov is released from custody, is still rich, and is still trafficking weapons, but his brother is dead, his wife and child have left him, his parents have disowned him, and he’s unhappy. In the movie The Book of Eli, the villain ends the movie with the book he thinks will allow him to have power over masses of people, but there is anarchy and chaos he can’t control even in the room he is standing in. While My Little Pony hasn’t ended an episode with the villain winning, it has done something like this. In “Cutie Re-mark,” Twilight finds herself almost perfectly matched with Starlight Glimmer, unable to thwart her destruction of everything she values. She only manages to talk down Starlight Glimmer by showing her the damage her quest for revenge is doing to the world in the alternate timelines, and conversely, how much good Twilight’s friendships have done.

Even the two part Avengers conclusion, which you say you made a story so much better than, puts in the work to show that the villain’s plan actually failed completely at its intended goal. Thanos says that he wanted to wipe out half the population of worlds to prevent their destruction and ensure prosperity. The first hour of Endgame is devoted to showing how depressing everything is, how people are still fighting each other or are having difficulty finding meaning after the loss of loved ones, and generally those who are left behind are worse off, not better off, for the snap.

On top of this, all of this, you’re just flat out wrong about Avengers: Infinity War being a real “The villain wins” story. Infinity War is not a self-contained story, it’s Part 1 of a story told in two films, like Harry Potter: Deathly Hollows and Hunger Games: Mockingjay. It’s not even like a film in a trilogy. More like a third film in the Avenger’s trilogy that was released as two films. You even acknowledge this fact yourself when you call it “Avengers Infinity Endgame Parts 1 and 2.” The snap isn’t the end of the story, it’s the Act 2 low point for the protagonists in a story that literally everyone knew was going to end in the heroes winning in the end of the next film. It’s normal for the protagonists to be at the nadir of their fortunes in the middle of a film. It’s called “The belly of the beast,” “the abyss,” or “death and rebirth” in the hero’s journey in literary theory. The My Little Pony Movie even has Twilight being rejected by her friends, failing herself, and being captured by Tempest a little more than halfway through.

If a story released in two separate halves where at the end of the first half, the villain has seemingly accomplished their goal, is your idea of the most original story concept in the world, then both you and Infinity Wars have been cucked by My Little Pony, because “The Mare in the Moon” ends with Luna instituting eternal night, “The Return of Harmony Part 1” ends with Twilight’s friends broken and Discord reigning, “A Canterlot Wedding Part 1” ends with evil-Cadance having broken Twilight’s relationships and making her sink into the ground, and “The Cutie Map Part 1” ends with Twilight and her friends tossed into a reeducation camp with their cutie marks stolen. This way of structuring stories in serialized media is so common there is a name for it. It’s called a cliff hanger. Avengers: Infinity War didn’t invent it, it’s just very rare to see true cliff hangers in films, and Avengers is the biggest franchise to do it.

The simple fact of the matter is that there are only so many ways to string a story together that is compelling, and there are millions of stories made across the thousands of years of human history. Every basic story concept has been done, many times, especially something as broad as “the villain wins,” or “the villain wins and finds out that their goal was actually not worth pursuing in the first place.” Do you honestly think that was a super original idea, or that Avengers: Infinity War was the first piece of media to do it?
Look, cool list and neat that you put so much energy into this. Well done. But your entire arguement falls flat at the begining. If you look closely at what Nigel is writing, he isn't saying that it was original but that he did it before Infinity War. Meaning: He did write this thing before the success of infinity war and not just ripped off it.
Why would anyone assume that having a villain institute their plan and find it is shit is a rip off of Infinity War, when there are a thousand other possible "inspirations" for a common trope, many of which are as prominent as Infinity War? Why would he have said "I did it before Infinity War" if he doesn't think it's an extremely rare idea that Infinity War was first to? My point stands.
Becuase Thanos gathering all of the infinity stones and Silver's antagnoist gathering all of the cards to unlock godpowers is similiar. So if he posted it now, after Infinity War the comparison would be made, especially becuase Infinity War was super populare. He wanted to make sure that we didn't think he ripped it off ffrom there, I assume. I'm not Nigel after all so I don't know.
You're right! Thanks mate.
The specific kind of "The Well-Intentioned Extremist Who's Also Wrong villain gathers all the Infinity Stones to let him do a world-changing wish, but it's undone in the end" was something I planned for my story years before Avengers Endgame came out.
I think my take on it is better.
In my version the all-powerful villain makes his wish, looks at the new world he creates, realizes it's actually shit and he was a baddie all along, and reverses time (doesn't portal himself back in time, actively reverses time itself to the point he wants) so he can undo what he did.
In Avengers Endgame, Thanos wins because he's allowed to. Then the heroes go back in time to get the stones. Then they all fight Thanos harder this time and win because they're allowed to.
Nothing new was learned about teamwork, friendship, heroism, harmony, or even self-respect. The heroes don't grow or change in any meaningful way, unless Thor becoming a fatty and Hulk becoming a meme counts.
AE just did it for an excuse to create a big publicity stunt where they temporarily kill the heroes, then bring them back in the next movie, making all the soycucks in the audience cry when they die and cheer when they are revived.
At the start of Movie 2, the remaining heroes easily locate Thanos and beat him to death because now they have Captain Mary-Vell Sue around to punch him harder than the Hulk could. His plot armour's gone but he's not only satisfied with the shit world he's created, he's destroyed the stones so they can't be undone. Even though movie 1 said "There are bad consequences to destroying them it's why we must hide them" until they decided "Okay yeah let's destroy the stone on Vision's forehead, but make sure to slowly remove it safely so removing it won't kill him because we don't trade lives but we happily risk all of them for one". Jotaro Kujo could have fucking solo'd Thanos in movie 1 and 2 at the same time.
Anyway if Thanos was well-written he'd be horrified at the consequences of snapping away half of all life. He should see planets devastated by war and famine as half of all farmers, soldiers, transportation workers, airplane fliers, nuclear reactor maintenance guys, and more are snapped away. People should be driven mad with loss. The whole universe should want Thanos dead and be ready to do anything to see him dead.
Hell, if the whole universe did want Thanos dead, Tony Stark could say the "Loki you're a fucking idiot and there is no scenario in which this ends well for you, if we can't save the earth we will avenge it!" line again.
Surprised they never thought of that.
Anyway the movie writers don't have the balls to fully say Thanos Was Wrong in methods AND ideas.
I do have the balls to say my villain was wrong in methods and ideas. Congratulate my balls!
by the way I ripped this off >>272139 and I didn't write it myself. Personally, I never bother with semicolons.

>Tom Bombadil
People have mixed reactions to him, but I actually have no complaints about Tom Bombadillo. I think that he does add a bit of color to the story, even if his role in it is inessential and a sound argument could be made that such a whimsical, romantic character is ill-fitted to its tone and themes. Before I get too deep into him, however, I'd like to elaborate upon what I was talking about earlier.

Adding extraneous characters or plotlines to weak stories in order to make them more interesting is a big no-no, because it adds extra length and doesn't address the underlying weaknesses. This does not necessarily mean that you can't add something extra to your story if you want, but you need to make sure you have a good story first. What Nigel seems to have been suggesting is that, since the opening scenes of The Sun and The Rose lack punch, the author should throw in some extra bad guys or adventures for Gareth during his journey to Canterlot to spice things up. This is basically the literary equivalent of dumping ketchup on a bad steak; it might make it more palatable, but a better solution would be to just learn to cook your steaks right to begin with. At that point, if you want to put something extra on a good steak to enhance it's flavor, that part is up to you.

Tom Bombadil is an interesting character because he marks sort of a transition point in Tolkien's style of literature. The Fellowship of the Ring was originally conceived as a sequel to The Hobbit, that eventually grew into a much larger story that dwarfed the original work and rendered it a prequel. The Hobbit was written essentially to be a children's fairy tale, and it reads that way. There are fairy-tale elements in that story that are incongruous with the larger and more serious world of Middle Earth, such as the group of trolls that the party encounters early on. The story also has a much lighter and more whimsical tone than LOTR; it's purely an adventure story with few serious themes.

Bombadil was originally a character who appeared in a poem that Tolkien wrote prior to either work. He's a very bright, whimsical, colorful character who would be perfectly at home in the world of The Hobbit (or any fairy tale) but, as many have commented, seems oddly out of place in LOTR. My best guess is that Tolkien threw him into the mix fairly early on in the story's development, back when he still thought he was only writing another children's adventure story. When the story grew, he probably decided that he liked the character and wanted him to stay, even if he didn't really serve much of a purpose and felt out of place.

That said, there are some valid criticisms that should be addressed. It can be very jarring to include an incongruous character or event, even if it's only intended to be a light and humorous episode in a darker and more serious story, and I feel like that's people's main gripe against Bombadil. It also feels as if Tolkien tries a little too hard to "force" Bombadil into the greater world of Middle Earth. For instance when everyone is sitting around at Rivendell trying to figure out what they should do about the ring, someone suggests giving it to Bombadil. He is also brought up in conversation by Gandalf and Frodo for basically no reason towards the end of Return of the King. These later mentions remind me ever so slightly of Peen Stroke's efforts to work oddball characters from the pony universe into his story even though they don't belong, and then to continually reinforce their presence by mentioning them again at random intervals. This is certainly not to suggest that Peen Stroke and Tolkien are in anywhere near the same class, but it feels as if they are basically doing the same sort of thing there.

A good way to look at this is to compare it to the filler episodes that are sometimes done in a long-running anime series, because it's essentially the same concept: you're adding extra content that doesn't affect the events of the main story. As I see it, there are two main factors to consider before adding extra events or characters. The first is whether or not you have a good story in the first place, and the second is whether or not the filler you want to add is going to enhance your story or just make it longer. Tom Bombadil I think is good filler; he's a likable character and the little side-story that revolves around him is fun. However, he also works well because LOTR is a solid story to begin with, so even people who object to Bombadil can tolerate him.

If Fellowship had been a bad or boring story, Bombadil wouldn't have added anything and would probably have annoyed most readers. Imagine if you were reading a long, dull story about characters you didn't care about going on a journey you didn't care about to accomplish a quest you didn't care about. Then, out of nowhere, there appears this flamboyant, brightly-colored character who likes to sing songs about himself. He takes the characters on a fun little side-adventure that, while entertaining, does nothing to mitigate the fact that the story overall is boring. The filler doesn't help you enjoy the main story; if anything, you're just irritated that the author gave you even more of it to read.

The worst possible combination is if your story is bad, and you try to save it by adding filler that is also bad. If you would like to see an example of what this looks like, I will once again direct your attention to Silver "please cum in me bum" Star and the Search for Continuously Larger and Spinier Objects to Fill his Ever Widening Rectal Cavity. [/i]Past Sins[/i] is also a good example.

To conclude, if you're thinking of adding unnecessary length to your story, the main thing to consider is whether your story is good enough that your audience will appreciate being given something extra to read.
>The plan was to have 24 chapters, each over 20,000 words in length, each take up an "Episode" of the story.
>24 * 20,000 = 480,000
>480,000 words of Silver Star autism
Egads, man. That's like trying to contemplate the mass of a black hole.

In all seriousness, you'd have been better off making each "chapter" it's own separate work, and just doing sequels. That way you could break the 20,000+ word chapters down into chapters themselves, and then each "book" could focus on its own story arc, with a larger overarching story for the whole series. That is how most sane authors would approach a big idea like this. Based on prior output I'm assuming 20k words per chapter is a rather conservative estimate, so basically each chapter of your work would already be its own novella anyway, in word count if not in structure.

>I was also trying to find a happy medium between what the show represented when I fell in love with it, the old me's fantasy dream life in that world back then, the current me's fantasy life in that world from back then, what the show and story is now, while avoiding things I thought the audience would hate. I also needed to include a quest to fix what needs to be fixed before any story in this new ponyville can function, a story arc where Silver teaches Sweetie Belle how to do competitive magic duelling so I can show off my explanation for how magic works, also tell an interesting and unique story with new elements that add to the setting and gives me unique directions my story can take, also add Magic Cards to give non-fighters an excuse to contribute during fights, also add tropes I thought had to be in my story because they were in other ones, also add scenes to fuck with critics that were pissing me off at the time that eventually got edited out if I remembered to do so, and add cool shit in there because I thought it was cool at the time and nobody can stop me from giving my pony a hoverboard".
This is actually a big part of the problem with your writing, so I'd like to examine this for a bit. I talk a lot about the thought that needs to go into writing in the very earliest stage, where you decide what you want to write about. I don't mean literally what the events of the story will be, but what exactly is it that you want you work to say? What should a person reading get out of this?

From what you wrote above, it seems like your intent was all over the fucking place. This whole description is just a long, incoherent string of all kinds of shit you wanted to put into your story. There are some ideas in here which have merit and others that don't, which I'll get into, but taken together this is basically a description of a story about everything and nothing. However, if the end goal is simply to end up with 480,000 words of pure autism, this is definitely how you go about it.

I'm going to assume for a minute that you were going to take my advice and turn this idea into a series of novels/novellas instead of one single novel. To do this, based on the description given above, here would be a good approach. First off, you need a unifying theme/topic for the entire series. This is the single most important part, because this is going to be the thing that will hopefully make people want to actually read your work.

>what the show represented when I fell in love with it
>what the show and story is now
Personally, this is the area I would choose to focus on. This is a topic of intense discussion within the show's fandom, and it resonates with a large number of fans. What was it about this show that made it so magical in the beginning, and why did everyone end up disappointed by how it turned out? You could focus on the superficial aspects, like Twilight's Crystal Castle and the wings and all the rest of it, and spend 480,000 bitching about it or retconning it all out of the story, but would anyone read? Doubtful, because A) it just comes across as petty, autistic complaining and B) it doesn't get to the heart of the issue.

Imo the early show was good for two main reasons. First, it was a purely character-focused show that dealt with simple stories revolving around friendship. The show didn't need big plots or big events to hold your attention, it was just a bunch of simple stories about little ponies and their friendships with each other. The second reason is that though the show clearly took place in a complex setting, very little of that setting was ever factored into the extant stories. Thus, the audience was free to fill in the blank spaces with their imagination. It gave the illusion that this world was boundless.

As the show progressed, it lost sight of both of these things. Gradually more and more of the map was filled in, so the world lost its mystique. The fact that the world-building in the show was handled rather shoddily didn't help this. Also, the stories began to focus less on the characters and more on external events, and although the show was ostensibly still about friendship, the characters became focused more on external goals and less on simply enjoying each others' friendship and taking life as it comes.

I'm going to cut this off here and continue in a new post.

I'm old, and I didn't get into any of this pony shit until 2017 anyway, so this particular show doesn't have the same emotional significance for me that it does for others here. However, most of the original bronies were in their teens/early twenties when this show began, and are now in their late twenties/early thirties. Thus, they basically grew up with this show. More significantly, its progression from its early sense of innocence and wonder into...whatever the fuck it was by the end...mirrors the fan's own gradual loss of innocence as he transitions from the optimism of youth into the cynicism and perennial disappointment of life in the adult world. As you get older, you accomplish things and gain access to more of the world, but the tradeoff is that it will never have the same sense of boundless wonder that it had when you were young. Some people spend their entire adult lives trying to get the sensations of childhood back; in fact I suspect that's a big part of what the whole "manchild" epidemic is about at its core. The film Citizen Kane is a good study if you're interested in telling a story about this sort of thing.

Anyway, if you wanted to tell a story about something meaningful instead of just blathering autistically for 480,000 words because you can, there's your theme: loss of innocence. In fact, this also gives you a central problem for the entire story to focus on: these characters all had something important in the beginning, but they lost it somewhere along the way. They can never go back to the way things were then, but they can learn to refocus on what was important to them at that time, before life came in and started pulling them in different directions. Twilight's "goal" eventually wound up as "becoming a princess so she could take over as Celestia's successor," but is that really why she was sent to Ponyville in the very beginning? What is Rarity's motivation? Does she really want to become some big-deal Manehattan fashionista, or does she just want to make beautiful clothes that her friends and family appreciate? Think about all the characters this way; there's something there for each of them.

Interestingly, based on what I know about your ideas for the character, this same problem would parallel Silver "deep down I'm really just yearning for the carefree days of my youth, and my scoutmaster's fifteen inch dong pounding my anus in the tent at night" Star's arc. He began life with a meaningful purpose, but got sidetracked and wound up as some frivolous billionaire asshole. How does he get back to where he really wants to be in life? How can you tie his arc in with similar arcs for the others, and the arc of the MLP world as a whole (as you envision it)? That's how I would approach the entire concept from a bird's eye view.

Anyway I'm rambling again. Here's the thing, man. I bantz on your story a lot. There are several reasons why:

1. It's funny.
2. Your story is the whole reason I wound up doing this review project, so I find myself continuously returning to it.
3. It's objectively terrible.

However, that isn't to say that there's nothing redeemable in it. As insane as it sounds, I actually like your writing in a weird way. Well, I guess I wouldn't say that I like your writing, but I like the spirit of it. Believe it or not I had a lot of fun deconstructing it. As I say (and you yourself have acknowledged), your Silver Star thing is an objectively terrible story; however, you clearly put quite a bit of thought and effort into it, and if I make the effort to sift through the rat's maze of your thought process, sometimes I feel like I get glimpses of what the idea actually was, and there's definitely something meaningful at the core of it.

There's basically two dimensions to writing fiction: the form and the substance. The form is the purely technical and mechanical aspect, and the substance is the intangible element that communicates something complex to the reader. In order to be a good writer you need to have both. If you're all form and no substance you're Dan Brown; someone who can generate a clockwork novel that hits all the right plot points at all the right moments, but can only use these talents to tell soulless, banal stories that convey nothing meaningful to anyone. The opposite, to have all substance and no form, is closer to what you have. You clearly have a lot of raw creative energy, but you need to learn how to organize it, filter out what's important, and channel it into something coherent that conveys whatever it is you're trying to convey. Part of that is learning to filter your own thoughts and figure out what it is you actually want to convey, and the other part is learning how to take that substance and spin it into a story.

>If I ever re-did the story...
Forget about all the dumb autistic details like how many magic cards there are or when they show up. Deal with the high-concept stuff like themes first and foremost; figure out what you want your story to ultimately say. Then, map out the structure. What events are important, what order should they appear in, and can anything be cut (protip: based on what I remember of it, a lot of stuff can be cut). Break the idea into manageable chunks, figure out what needs to happen where, and then you can start writing. Then you can worry about the autismo little details like the cards and the skateboards.

Cutting characters that you don't have a strong storyline for (you mention Fluttershy and Rarity) shows good instinct. Just because it's an MLP story doesn't mean all six ponies need to feature heavily. Focus on the characters who have an important role. If you're going to keep the Glimmer thing in there, you need to make her more of an antagonist so the reader has reason to dislike her as much as you do; you can't just rely on what's in the show. Above all, just create a story plan, and stick to it.
>I think seeing another wizard cheapens the rarity of the main wizard Gandalf. Still like the choice overall but nothing would be lost if he was some "Different Type" of Wizard with its own name and gimmicky type of magic with a backstory for what role that type of wizard plays in the world. Like a Wizards and Druids kind of thing.

>Reeee, considering you're an autist you should have more respect for others' autism. A wizard is a Maiar on a special mission, Bombadil is some mysterious immortal being who doesn't care about things too much except being married to (((Goldberry)))–I had to make that joke.
This. I'll also add that technically Gandalf is not the "main" wizard, though he eventually becomes the "main" wizard after Saruman falls to corruption. There are also others mentioned and as I recall they all have their own designated colors. I actually need to read those books again; it's been entirely too long.

>what difficulties would there really be for him if he stayed?
You mean apart from the fact that everything is designed and built for creatures that are about three feet tall, he doesn't speak the native language, he doesn't physically register in their vision and he's a complete alien as far as they're concerned? None, I suppose.

>The "Searching through the castle" part should have triggered traps. Suddenly skeletons rise up to attack the knight, giving him a reason to be even jumpier, especially when ponies show up. Adds more tension to the story.
Actually this isn't bad. I'm not sure why there would necessarily be traps in the ruins of the old castle, but there could definitely have been some kind of lurking thingamajig he had to fight. The author sort of hinted at something like that and then never went anywhere with it. Something like that actually could have spiced up that scene a bit, especially since there would be tension added with the urgency of his trying to find Cecilia/Celestia and having to take time out to fight some big-ass random monster that just happened to be in the castle.


>a General Asshole character working for Noble Era would be great for this story.
We're still very early in, there are probably still characters that haven't been introduced yet. Come to think of it I should probably read more of the actual story instead of writing essay-length replies to everyone's posts.

>Give it time, and he'll see this world as completely normal. This is by-the-numbers sex-fantasy with a dumb gimmick not taken as far as it could be taken.
I forsee two by-the-numbers stories wrapped together with uneven twists and I hope to God that I'm wrong. I really want this story to be good.
Well, this is one area where I'll concede that you have a bit more knowledge than me. You've clearly read a lot more of these pony fanfictions than I have, so you may be noticing recurring tropes that I'm not aware of.

Fuck, I wanted to talk about semicolons but Nigel of all people beat me to it. >>272139

I fucking love semicolons; I use them sumbitches all the time.
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did someone say filler.jpeg
More than 50% of the Naruto TV show is Filler.

Filler about the Curry of Life, filler where the heroes escort a runner, filler where cat bullshit happens, filler where Sasuke gets his ass kicked by an ostritch, and more.

That was some really shit filler.

Like the filler in Fallout Equestria where wannabe-Master shit happens.

And the filler in Fallout Equestria: Project Horizons where she gets drunk and goes on a drunken misadventure with Littlepip while somehow never realizing it's her.

But adding someone like an Evil General that hates the Human wouldn't just add conflict, it would complete the conflict.

I'm not saying "Add a giant monster so the hero can kill it with a sick nasty motorcycle jump", I'm saying "Add an evil general so he can prove to the ponies that he's good.". Right now, he's immediately loved by pretty much all the ponies because it's a fantasy fic that's also a Celestia-focused politics fic. It's too easy. There's no Hates Human character to be swayed in a plotline that focuses on the human.

Right now, Celestia is the main character. She fucked off for a few years, now she's back with a toy human and she's got shit to fix. Unless this 2000 year old sun-moving magical bullshit goddess spontaneously becomes less competent at political fuckery than a hired sword-arm from the medieval era, our focal character won't have anything to contribute.

The author has a plot set up for Celestia (Fix Equestria, deal with Noble Era) with conflict. And it doesn't involve the human on a fundamental level, because no long-term conflict is affecting him yet. If he died it would piss Celestia off, it might even fuck up her ability to get shit done, but he doesn't have any way to contribute to her getting shit done except maybe giving her a relaxing back-rub or ass-pounding after a long night. Good stories need 4+ gimmicks not 2.

Also, thank you. It feels weird to say, but I think writing that shit story put my life on the right track.

>You mean apart from the fact that everything is designed and built for creatures that are about three feet tall,
Not much of an issue, he can still drink and eat from their cups and plates just fine. Crouching to get into small buildings doesn't matter much. He isn't fifty feet tall and he doesn't need to eat ponies out of a house and home every day. And it's not like most pony food is magically conjured and therefore made of magic, meaning he can only eat naturally-grown plants. Saw a fic that did that once, giving the once-short suddenly-taller-than-anyone human man an excuse to stay on AJ's farm and eat apples all day as her new boyfriend.
>he doesn't speak the native language,

He doesn't have to when he's got friends who do. Plus he could always be given a magic translation necklace.

>he doesn't physically register in their vision

This was fixed once he started eating magic food.

>and he's a complete alien as far as they're concerned?

They're ponies, they'll love and welcome him with open arms like they do in every story written by someone who dismissed the Bridle Gossip episode while saying "The ponies I love would never act like that".

Now, bear with me because I'm going to bring up Naruto again.

I once read a Naruto fanfic where the female author became a child in the Naruto setting, growing up to become a strong Ninja. Decently strong but not overwhelmingly spotlight-stealingly strong. Just strong enough to be a cool background element whose presence barely affects a literal by-the-numbers story that rips off how things went down on TV with some headcanons mixed in and Naruto's shitty life turned extra-terrible.

Just kidding.

I must have read over a hundred stories with that premise. Never finished them, because I dropped them upon realizing they would never get better.

Fanfiction writers tend to think writing something Inoffensive is the same as writing something good.

They think if their generic girl female character isn't too pretty, isn't too strong, and isn't too important, she's automatically a good character because she isn't le dredded sin that is ma-rey sue.

And a lot of fanfiction fans are mindless consoomers who want to consoom more product. Especially the loudest, whiniest, and most entitled "Fanfiction Policers". If they don't find the taste of slop abhorrent they'll choke it down happily and call it "Quality" for how strictly it adheres to canon and their expectations.

Countless stories were written like this and they were FAR more dull than the stories where Naruto is rewritten into some other character completely and the story plays out while being changed by the main change. Prankster Puppet-Wielding Naruto would go about the story differently from Edgy Katana-Swinging Blood Mage Naruto. Soulless Naruto trained by the ANBU (Ninja FBI) would be a different man from Smart Yet Socially Inept Naruto.

These were like those old "What If" comics only actually good-ish usually.

The most popular Naruto fanfic of all time (last I checked) is one where the writer is reborn in Naruto World as a little girl in the Nara family. She's Shikamaru Nara's sister, born with the ability to stretch her shadow out so it can stab people. Or attach itself to the shadows of others and link their movements with yours, controlling how they act.

With this OP ability already in her lap, she gets another OP ability: Seals. Author looks at the canon Explosive Paper Tag Seals and says "I'ma expand on this", giving her character a Batman Utility Belt full of bullshit ninja magic paper tags that slow you down, speed you up, stop you from casting spells, weaken you, strengthen you, stun you, and more.
The story's competently-written but utterly shit.

I once read a far better story where the authoress becomes a voice inside Hinata Hyuga's head. Pic related, that's her in the original, before the sequel where she's older and less shy. Hinata's childhood is incredibly abusive and controlled and she has no reason to listen to her new head-voice so an interesting story ensues.
If I'm remembering the story right it'd been a while the human is Celestia's McGuffin and a different point of view.
The central conflict and desired goal for the main characters/mcguffin is whether their love will survive. All the other stuff is a side happenstance dressed as a main plot point.
Trish from Jojo's Part 5 was a good MacGuffin.
She helped once or twice, and was vitally important because she's the daughter of the mafia boss they want to kill, and the mafia boss has the entire mafia wanting her dead.
she was able to remember that her dad met her mom at ____.
Some location
Which meant the heroes needed to get Abaccio the past-replaying magic dude to that location so they can see the boss.
Then the villain killed Abaccio and the author had no idea where to go from here.
It's a shame the story went off the rails as soon as the author decided it was Deus Ex Arrow Machina time.
The ending has Freaky Friday bullshit happen out of nowhere just so an Arrow can fly from the baddie's hands and into the hero's body. "Muh fate, so deep", I guess.
Anyway in this, the knight is just some guy.
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>However, most of the original bronies were in their teens/early twenties when this show began, and are now in their late twenties/early thirties. Thus, they basically grew up with this show.
The fact that you cruised right past the association of men in their twenties with "growing up" shows that the phenomenon of deferred adolescence is not only real, but is already normalized. No wonder everything's going to shit. Weak men create bad times...
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How's this for bad times getting worse?
When I was a kid, my idea of a shit but fun fantasy story was one where Ash Ketchum or Naruto or some other male protagonist trained harder, got stronger, found out he was also born with special abilities to make him even stronger, and proceeded to solve all the world's problems and kick ass during fights while fucking literally all the bitches.
But on at least one fucking level, even people who completely rewrote the Naruto setting and its characters into something unrecognizable had some level of respect for at least some of their characters. There was an attempt to tell a story and an attempt to coom combined.
Being the hero, growing to become the hero, making friends out of enemies and impressing bitches to fuck, these were part of the young man's fantasy.
But this fucking fandom's idea of a fantasy is "It's the year 2050 and society is even worse, however My Twilight Sparkle(TM) Fleshlight comes to life and fucks me".
Even in their fantasies, they're fucking pathetic. Because getting all the bitches and the easy life without having to grow up and put away childish things like fantasy has become the fantasy itself.
When I posted my stories here, they were rightfully criticized for all the legitimate writing problems in them.
When I posted my stories on fanfiction.net and MLP Forums, my stories were criticized for not being general-audiences coombait where a generic human enters equestria generically and replaces my unique OC and all the cool but conflicting things I wanted to do with him at different times go right out the fucking window.
Cock-gobbling NPCs genuinely thought their coom-focused understanding of literature was valid.
"Teh brony fandom" is a fucking circlejerk of... How many people are even left in the dying left-wing echo chambers every site has become?
Fuck this, I'm tired of bitching about how much I fucking hate bronies.
You ever heard of Guilty Gear?
It's a fighting game series.
Those games aren't known for their stories, but I bring it up because they feature a villain named...
Ariels/The Pope/Sanctus Maximus Populi/St. Maximus/The Universal Will.
Once upon a time, someone found a room full of magic, entered it, and wished for a benevolent magic being to guide humanity to a better future without harming anyone.
Ariels is the result of that wish trying and failing to fulfill both of these objectives at once.
How do you guide humanity's evolution and cultural development without bloodshed? Humans are imperfect and perfection is impossible.
Ariels The Pope eventually comes to the conclusion that humanity doesn't actually exist.
Not yet, anyway. Not officially.
She decides the "Humanity" right now is a stupid shitty precursor to the perfect humans she will create once she has finished cleansing this world of humans, which she has genuinely come to loathe and enjoy hurting for fun.
And that's it.
That's the evil AI villain killing humanity for fun while creating evil cloned chicks from Sol's dead girlfriend's body.
She might not even feel like actually creating the Perfected Humanity after all humans are gone, as she says to the bed guy to piss him off at one point. That's not a typo, there's a Guilty Gear character named Bedman and he's fucking epic.
This AI makes more sense than CelestAI, has a more consistent goal than CelestAI, and is more believable than CelestAI.
It's a magical AI force-of-nature thing that decides to hide its body in plain sight as the pope.
And this is more believable than CelestAI's "I hid my computers in space and under the earth's crust, I made deals with other countries to get my brain-in-jar bullshit legalized there and no other country felt like putting up blockades around that country because convenience!" bullshit.
It's simpler, it's elegant, there's no need for tiny Pinkie Pie robots or the consumption of planets or nonsensical Emigration To Equestria buildings that are magically so bomb-proof it turns the mudslimes into Celestia-worshippers overnight.
Fuck the entire pony fandom except this site.
And fuck "Brony Culture" completely except this site.
I'm sitting here looking at a list of everything I want in my story, everything I want to say with my story, and even though I threw out the literal pandering shite chapters like Lyra and Bonbon being minor characters with occasional speaking roles, I'm left wondering how much of the shit I want in this story was just added to impress those coomstains.
Maybe it's because I haven't fapped to anything in so long but I feel awake. I feel like I've been sleepily accepting all the shit around me for years but I get a little more awake and a little more tired of all this bullshit every day.
Half-assed stories are able to do shit better than the worse ones because it's all so fucking easy in retrospect.
When I saw the whiny snivelling snot-nosed bronies and their "I die and go to Equestria and I'm still hated and abused by everyone and Flutters gives me pity-sex" and "I literally buy power and someone else's fantasy at a fucking convention so I'm no longer me any more I'm Alucard and he fucks ponies" and shallow one-note "Character X sad, character Y comforts" shite and all these other stories that exist to put a spin on the best-selling author's coombrain-genre fiction factory mould that is "I instantly become the god of this childish playset and fuck the plastic dolls"...
Oh, they think fantasy is their specialty. But they merely adopted using fantasy to escape modernity; I was born in an era of marginally better fantasy, molded by it. I didn't see the coomfags until I was already a man, and by then they were nothing to me but BLINDINGLY STUPID!
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What the fuck am I trying to accomplish with posts like this?
Why am I bitching about how boringly almost-average-at-best this fapfic is?
I think it's because it isn't entertainingly bad in a way that people can discuss and argue over.
We could talk about writing Le Cute Innocent Girl stories or Transhumanism with the previous ones.
But this is just a "I fuck Celestia" fetish fic with the gimmick of "But the human's from medieval england/france I forget where. and also Celly gets screentime doing Celly Fandom Things like fighting nobles and returning after a break to fix everything that went wrong while she was away".
There's nothing to talk about except how good or bad this story is at the shit premise it wants to do unoriginally.
Remember when you pointed out that scene where Celestia immediately takes her human lover into her private bedchambers on night fucking one of their time together in Equestria?
Celly should either know better and have him sleep miserably in a private room.
Or let him sleep in her room then suffer the rumors and diplomatic drop in respect points. Not just for fucking outside of her species, but also for taking a vacation from Equestria to hunt for boys and bring back one that impresses nobody.
Or force him to stay in her room with guards for his safety even if he'd rather sleep on her couch than on her bed.
Or let him stay in a guest bedroom and then an assassin tries to get him.
Or he decides to sleep away from her, she says "No don't", he says "I do what I want", and fighting off the assassin (or struggling to survive until Celly shows up brought by the noise) makes him realize this is her world and she knows best.
SO MANY INTERESTING THINGS could have resulted from that scene if the author didn't gloss over it and play his damn story on easy mode.
What if Celestia's endorsement of fucking non-humans causes a wave of ponies fucking Diamond Dog pets, fucking Griffons after pony gold, fucking dumb wifebeating potion-chugging Ziggers, summoning monsters through magic to fuck, and more?
I wish the author thought to actually integrate these two "Human enters Equestria and is loved by everyone who matters. Also he's married to Celestia who does Celestia Shit" story ideas into a cohestive whole.
Like if Celestia's "Unfuck Equestria" quest was harmed by the presence of ponies who feared and distrusted Gareth, and he had to help Celestia by winning ponykind's trust.
If Celestia still had some reservations about shagging some hairless tiny-cocked ape, and was perhaps really, really hoping that he'd be turned into a big-dicked horse able to properly satisfy her giant horse body upon entering this world.
If Gareth's old-world Crusader Christian bullshit actually meant something and he legitimately thought these ponies were some kind of monster or fairy instead of being as unrealistically okay with their presence as a fan of the show would be, or he wanted to convert ponies to Christianity and wouldn't understand why Celestia wants her people to be either atheist or Celestia-worshippers.
If the strangeness of this new world would be stranger than "doors are a little small". Bring on the alien parties. The bizarre celebrations. Bring on the toilets that are weird standing-toilet outhouses with magical liquid sprayers that jet-clean your anus". Bring on culture clashes beyond "Human's tough, ponies not".
If the language barrier was so bad that even those who lived with him for years like Celestia struggled to translate and Gareth had to be given a portable chalkboard and chalk he can use to draw the things he wants, turning every interaction into a game of charades. Drawing an apple because you're hungry is fine and they could eventually figure out that you're not insulting them by drawing poop but instead saying you need to be taken to a place you can shit in, but drawing Celestia and then a question mark to ask where she is, how are you going to do that when they don't have question marks and use the most fucking bullshit arcane conlang nonsense ever conceived, we're talking "Worse than Japanese moon runes" here.
If the depth of a Pony and a Human wondering if they could be together was contrasted with a human really wondering if he can live in a pony world and if the ponies can really tolerate his non-ponyness.
How would a human be changed in ponyland? How would a "Cool and exotic" human's presence change Pony culture? Would the town's adults appreciate him teaching the town's fillies and foals rude words? If he gets a job making toys by hand, would they approve of the violent/edgy toys for sale?
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>bring up deferred adolescence
>get sprawling text block rambling about the fantasy genre
I'd dismiss as b8 yet the level of effort makes me think you may actually be an autistic attention whore.
yeah sure mate that's what the posts were about, "the fantasy genre".
let's go with that even though it's wrong.
You must be new here. Nigel is always this Autistic.
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Autistic is a marxist slur for "Human".
It's trying to replace mankind's word for "Retarded" with a newspeak word that can mean Retarded and Not Collective-Approved, but also Nerdy, Soulful, and Caring. Three things the marxists hate and never want to see in people.
Ever wondered why the left goes after naive young kids in Autistic Schools, where the most trusting and vulnerable (And least sure of themselves thanks to a lifetime of shaming, dehumanization, poor teaching, and gaslighting) kids are likely to be found? Ever wondered why the demons try so hard to push tranny bullshit on those kids, who are called "Autistic" for caring a lot about some TV or book or whatever?
Knowing a shitton about Geology and caring about that it is autistic. Knowing a shitton about history and caring about it is autistic. Knowing a shitton about pony fanfiction writing is autistic.
Actually learning to code and trying to make a video game is autistic.
I'm proud to be autistic, one man regularly called a literal hitler said to another on the nazi horsefucking furry porn forum as he waited for the continued MST3King of a shitty pony CelestiaXHuman fanfic.

I thought of something to say about the story.

It's almost mediocre and could have been a pretty good take on this well-worn trope. The previous two stories could have also been good, but they were terrible at the same time. Terrible in fun and unique ways.

But this story... It's a fapfic with "Uniqueness" that's ultimately just window dressing. Fucking shallow window dressing at that.

We know how a good Le Cute Innocent Girl story goes, and how a good AI Gone Rogue story goes. It's easy to tell how the authors fucked them up. But this story... It's a generic by-the-numbers pony story with incredibly shallow surface-level twists that amount to nothing. It's not an archetypical story in the traditional sense. It's an "archetypical" shitty fanfic premise. Some OC goes to Setting, lives there for a bit, helps to save it, marries favourite character, end.

The pony became a human upon entering pony world and became a pony upon returning to Equestria. The human that followed her didn't turn into a pony and this is never explained. The whole premise of the story, "Human doesn't want to fuck his horse wife until he decides he does", has no explanation.

The relationship between Celly and Human is mostly offscreen to make things easier on the author. It isn't explored. We know nothing of this story's interpretation of Celly besides that she's not the kind of OP God!Lestia who'd unexpectedly fly into an enemy country to discuss the terms of their unconditional surrender before threatening them with a really big magical boom.

The author didn't have the human character do a big "Oh god oh fuck I'm never going to see earth or eat bacon again oh shit! I had the last season of Lost taped and now I'll never get to see it. I will never get called a faggot by a human girl" scene. Thanks to that stupid fucking portal to earth that's sometimes open and sometimes closed, it's a background element for the finale rather than a constant weight on the human's mind. Let's all just forget about the portal until the final scenes where he considers going back to earth to die in a battlefield somewhere or stays in ponyland.

The human is invisible to pony eyes and hard to detect! Like some ungodly eldritch horror! Someone might accidentally hurt him with a spell! ...Except it's just a Lack Of Magic symptom that'll heal once he eats enough Equestrian candy.

The human is disliked by ponies at first! ...But it has yet to cause any problems. Only the villain hates the hero (maybe?) and only because he really wants to rule because that's what shitty nobles do in pretentious noblefics. Bad noble bad, he kicks puppies and wants to overthrow the Good King. Good nobles/knights good, he handsome and honourable and defends the Good King and the weak villagers.

The human gets into Ponyland and Celestia isn't there... But she quickly shows up to solve everything and take him home to her bedchambers.

A horse princess wants to fuck him! ...And he just runs out of the room saying he'll sleep in another room like a harem anime protagonist afraid of the poon. Guards don't stop him and force him to stop. This doesn't cause any political embarrassment for Celestia.

The human is from a time period where Medieval songs about those fucking fairies should be stuck in his head since the Bard played it at the last Inn he got Mead from, and his Priest's bullshittery about demons and monsters and the totally-evil idiots who worship them should make him paranoid about any weird bullshit. Now he's married to a pony horse princess and trapped in her castle. He's surrounded by her servants at all times and they all have some form of magic. He's surrounded by non-Christians. And if he stays here too long and eats too much of food, their "tainted, cursed, foreign power, an abomination in the eyes of the LORD and an attempt to meddle in his domain and take his place" energy called "ma-jic" will get inside him! Why is he so fucking calm? He was duped into marrying a monster that wants to fuck his brains out and could probably crush his bones by sitting on him!

There's an Evil Noble Baddie who wants to rule and will at some point try to hurt the human guy like a school bully. Like the Nyx story's scene where DT and SS take Nyx into the Everfree Forest. The author will probably never think to have Evil Noble take advantage of Human Guy's complete lack of knowledge regarding pony-world.

Everything I complained about... Imagine if it was good.

To focus in on one thing, the whole "pony becomes human on earth. human doesn't become pony in equestria" thing. Even though Equestria's full of magic and the human is not. Good thing just eating magic candy will fix that problem, huh? Except no, because it would be more interesting if being in Equest
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ria slowly killed him but he loved his horse wife so much he was willing to stay. Imagine the tragedy if she was forced to kick him back to earth and then seal off the portals for a hundred years so he could live a longer life in his own miserable world.

Now imagine another take on that idea. What if going to Equestria made you a pony, as a consequence of magic adapting your body to survive in a highly-magic area? Imagine if this also meant going back to earth would kill you, like a naked person full of air exploding in the void of space, only in this case the magic is the air and Earth is the void. Imagine if this human, who had friends and family and ambitions and even an ex-girlfriend he was betrothed to by his parents, imagine he had a genuine fleshed-out earth life that got permanently thrown out the window by Equestria. Now imagine a story about him gradually learning to walk, run, jump, gallop, and be a pony. Most fapfics gloss over it and say "Instincts lets you walk" so the author can get to the fantasy pony fucking as quickly as possible. But imagine a full story about the physical therapy needed to learn how to walk as a pony. Imagine a tale of Celestia caring for this man as he emotionally loses a bit more heart each day, realizing he'll never see his friends or family or home again. Imagine Celestia filling that void in his soul, alongside the life he builds from nothing in Ponyland with his own pony paws. Holy shit I'm twenty three and I actually just wrote all that. Somewhere in my life, I made some mistakes and I wish I knew where. My whole life I've felt like a balloon blown this way and that by forces outside of my control. Why do my attempts to get control over my life amount to nothing? I learned how to write pony fics just in time for the show to die. I'm kind of fit now but I didn't hit my weight and fitness goals for this year. Now that I've finished my daily session of checking this thread and posting in it if someone replies I will go back to making my shitty game that sucks ass.

This story is dull and I wish it had more ambition.

At least Nyx wanted to sell you on a character. Nyx's story wanted Nyx to become as big as Xicor is to the DBZ fans and it failed.

At least CelestAI's story wanted to dupe you into thinking any of that retarded magi-skiffi fuckery is plausible and could happen to you if you don't donate to Eliar Yankwanky's Terminator and Harry Potter-themed doomsday cult in time. It only succeeded because mainstream-site bronies are a pretentious and impressionable sort, tweens desperate to look adult.

At least Fallout Equestria wanted to badly car-crash two very separate IPs into each other to make something literally less original than Sonichu without understanding any of Fallout or MLP's themes because the author played Borderlands 2 and Fallout 3 once and thought it would be cool if her shitty OCs shot handguns and shotguns at pony-Enclave and pony-Super Mutants because 200 years ago Pinkie Pie got raped to death while Rainbow Dash became a meth addict and Fluttershy turned into a tree (AHAHAHA SO FUCKIN FUNNI) after causing the apocalypse through the literal most retarded action in any piece of war-related fiction ever.

This story just wants to make you think it will weave two story threads (celestia unfucks a country fucked in her absence, and Human in Equestria happens) together when it actually has no story threads, just a gay dildo.
pic related it's Xicor from Dragon Ball AF, an april fool's joke some other Dragon Ballgobbler turned into a fanfic.
The DBZ fans don't have a "fandom name" like the Bronies and Potterheads do

>Not much of an issue, he can still drink and eat from their cups and plates just fine. Crouching to get into small buildings doesn't matter much. He isn't fifty feet tall and he doesn't need to eat ponies out of a house and home every day. And it's not like most pony food is magically conjured and therefore made of magic, meaning he can only eat naturally-grown plants. Saw a fic that did that once, giving the once-short suddenly-taller-than-anyone human man an excuse to stay on AJ's farm and eat apples all day as her new boyfriend.

I honestly don't want to get pulled into too autistic a side conversation about this, but I think this is all technically correct but short-sighted. If you were to suddenly transplant yourself from the place you've known your whole life, in your case the UK, to a foreign country, let's say Japan because it's the Land of Naruto and autism, you could probably manage day to day life easily enough, speaking in purely practical terms. The problem is that you would be suddenly surrounded by people who look different than you, speak a different language than you, have different customs than what you're used to, eat different food than what you're used to. The architecture is different, the social structure is different; there are a million tiny little differences that you'd suddenly be aware of. Homesickness would be a huge factor. Feeling like a stranger in a strange land would be a huge factor. This text is attempting to explore the idea that a human moving to Equestria would definitely experience quite a bit of that. Gareth's problem at present is whether or not he considers his relationship to Celestia to be worth all of that.

>They're ponies, they'll love and welcome him with open arms like they do in every story written by someone who dismissed the Bridle Gossip episode while saying "The ponies I love would never act like that".
Also, this is pure conjecture.

>Fanfiction writers tend to think writing something Inoffensive is the same as writing something good.
Fanfiction is generally terrible for any number of reasons, but you can distill most of it down to the fact that 99.999999% of it is written by amateurs who don't know what they're doing. I think you're missing the forest for the trees here. I'm not trying to argue for or against the quality of this particular work, I'm just doing my best to objectively assess it as a story, which is what I've done with everything else we've looked at.

I think the reason we miscommunicate a lot is because I am evaluating these stories purely on their merits or lack thereof as general literature, whereas you seem to evaluate works of fanfiction by comparing them to other works of fanfiction, and forming your opinions based on what entertains you personally. I don't know anything about Naruto fanfiction, or even that much about MLP fanfiction. I don't know what tropes are most common or which types of fics are most popular. I don't even know anything about Naruto itself; whenever you start talking about different ninja powers and ninja guilds my eyes start glazing over. However, a story is a story, and the building blocks remain the same no matter what you're writing about.

My advice is that you should try to read less fanfiction, less manga, and more actual books, and I'm not saying that just to be condescending. You'll find that your ability to competently assess a written work improves the more you read. Although it's fun to read trash sometimes (and I read plenty of it myself, just look at this thread), you really need to have some works of actual quality under your belt in order to understand what makes a good book good and a bad book bad. If you consume nothing but shitty genre fiction and derivative fan works based on shitty genre fiction you'll only understand literature from that perspective. In computer science there's a term called "garbage in, garbage out" (GIGO) and it applies here.

>The fact that you cruised right past the association of men in their twenties with "growing up" shows that the phenomenon of deferred adolescence is not only real, but is already normalized.
Ack, that's actually a really good point. In my defense, when I mentioned "growing up" I was thinking more of the fans who were around 12-15 years old when the show began. But you've got a point nonetheless; the fact that we're even sitting here having a serious conversation about My Little Pony fanfiction written by adults for adults proves that well enough.

To be fair, I don't think there's been a generation of real adults in the West since WWII, maybe even before that. The boomers basically set the standard of adulthood for the latter half of the twentieth century, and they were pretty much the original manchildren. Even though most of them ostensibly did what their parents did, as in buying houses and having children and all that, I think a convincing argument can be made that none of them ever truly left adolescence. I think I first made this observation when my Dad was giving me shit about some anime figures I had on a shelf, and I pointed out that his house is also full of dumb tchotchkes that he's wasted obscene amounts of money on boomers are like Jews, you can blame them for everything :^). We'll find our way back eventually; the civilization cycle pretty much dictates that sooner or later a generation will be born that has no choice but to grow the fuck up.
Please stick to the Reddit-spacing; these walls of text give me a headache.

There's a difference between literal and figurative autism that I'm sure we're all aware of. In present-day vernacular, "autism" usually refers to someone with an overly enthusiastic interest in any topic, often one that it is socially unacceptable to have more than a passive interest in (MLP, anime, etc). It's possible the term is overused here, considering that by this metric we're all "autistic" to some degree.

On some level your enthusiastic, obsessive interest in the things you care about is admirable, but I will repeat my earlier advice that you should consider expanding your horizons a bit. I think that a lot of people's objections to your stream-of-consciousness rants comes down to your reducing any discussion on any topic to an expostulation on Naruto fanfiction tropes.

>But this story... It's a fapfic with "Uniqueness" that's ultimately just window dressing. Fucking shallow window dressing at that.
>It's an "archetypical" shitty fanfic premise. Some OC goes to Setting, lives there for a bit, helps to save it, marries favourite character, end.
Actually that may very well turn out to be true, but we're not far enough in to make that assessment yet. We've read nothing but exposition thus far.

>This story is dull and I wish it had more ambition.
It is a bit dull so far, but again, we've mostly read exposition. The author has barely set the story up. My feeling is still that he's laying it out competently, and I'm willing to give him just as much of a chance as any of the other clods we've heard from *cough*. I'll also point out that having too much ambition can easily work against an author, particularly when said author doesn't have the discipline to reign in said ambition and hammer it into a coherent framework *cough*

I hadn't heard that term before, but I suppose it fits. Although personally I'd have gone with "Pottermouths."
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Alright, where the bloody hell were we?

Chapter 5: Cake and Courts

>Gareth awoke warmer than he remembered falling to sleep.
Warmer and wetter is usually the worst scenario here, in my experience.

Anyway, when Gareth awakens, we can assume that some time has passed. He is sleeping outside, against a tree. A unicorn approaches, wearing a medieval-style dress.

>On one hand, there was something vaguely insulting about ponies wearing clothing so much like theirs.
I can see where the author ran into difficulty with this sentence. It's easy enough to see what meaning he was trying to convey here: horses wearing human clothes is something Gareth finds unseemly. However "wearing clothing so much like theirs" is ambiguous. To whom does "theirs" refer? Grammatically it feels like this sentence is saying that it's vaguely insulting that horses should wear their own clothes, which doesn't make sense. It's obvious the author means that it's insulting for horses to wear clothes like ours; however, this wording doesn't really work here either because the story is narrated in the third person. I'd probably say something like this:
>On the one hand, there was something vaguely insulting about ponies wearing the same clothing as his own people.
or even:
>On the one hand, there was something vaguely insulting about ponies wearing human clothing.

Anyway, the unicorn approaches him and starts babbling in gibberish he can't understand. While she talks, he thinks to himself about how enormous these creatures' eyes are, and wonders what they must do in a dusty breeze. While I find this sort of meta-analysis of ponyland to be amusing, this is the kind of thing you have to be careful not to overdo when writing this type of fiction. Peen Stroke drove me crazy with his constant namedrops and references and so forth. However, a lot of that had to do with how much attention he paid to autistic brony shit like that vs. how little attention he paid to the huge glaring problems within the story itself. If your house has no roof you need to get that sorted out before you start worrying about what color to paint the guest room. Anyway, this author hasn't been terrible with this kind of shit so far, and the way he does it is basically fine since it has mostly been observations Gareth might have reasonably made anyway. I just hope he doesn't end up taking it too far.

ANYWAY, the unicorn eventually realizes that Gareth can't understand what she's saying, so she instead produces a letter she was apparently sent to deliver and gives it to him.

>Meanwhile, Gareth silently returned his dagger to its sheath. He glanced down at the letter.
The text never explicitly mentions Gareth drawing his dagger and nothing is happening in this scene that would cause us to assume he might have it out.

The letter is from his uncle back in human-land. I'll address it's contents in a moment, but I'd like to first address the potential continuity issue this creates.

It's been established that the portal between Equestria and England opens once every three years for a period of three days. Gareth arrived at the old castle on the night of the first day. It is also stated that it took a few days for Gareth and Styre to travel from the castle ruins to Canterlot. Just to be conservative, I'm going to say it was a two-day trip, since that is the smallest possible number of days (plural) you can have (the text, however, seems to be implying that it took longer than two days). They set out on the morning after Gareth's arrival. This means that they could not have arrived in Canterlot prior to the fourth day after the portal initially opened. On the day they arrive, Gareth and Styre go to the bakery and do all of that shit, and the night in which Gareth refuses to sleep in Celestia's bed would be the night of the fourth day. Since this current scene opens in the morning with Gareth waking up, it would have to be either Day 5 or later at present. This means that by using the most conservative metric, the portal between the two worlds has been closed for at least two days.

Communication in the middle ages was not exactly instantaneous. It hasn't been specified where exactly the portal in England is located; if it is literally inside the castle where Gareth's uncle lives then it is reasonable to assume a letter could be gotten to him fairly quickly, and a reply could be swiftly written and sent through the portal before it closes. However, if not, you would have to assume a reasonable amount of time for a letter to travel from the portal to the uncle's castle. On the Equestria side I imagine the letters would move quickly enough since they are probably being carried by a pegasus.

Gareth sent a message to his Uncle through the mirror during the scene where Celestia announced his presence to the guards back at the ruined castle. This would have been about mid-afternoon during the second day. Assuming the portal is at the castle and the message was delivered to the Uncle right away, it's reasonable to assume that Gareth informed his uncle that he was staying in Equestria by the end of day 2. However, a response letter would have to have been written and delivered before the end of day 3 in order to beat the closing of the portal. If that were the case, why is Gareth just now getting the letter on Day 5 (or later)? If it arrived later, how did it arrive? Where is the uncle in proximity to the portal, and how much time exactly did these two letters take to arrive?

There are a lot of open questions here, and this could potentially create a continuity problem depending on what the author had in mind, and whether or not this discrepancy occurred to him. It's seemingly not a huge deal, but it's something you have to pay attention to when writing, because making mistakes like this early on can create enormous problems later.

Anyway, the letter itself contains a small bit of Gareth's backstory. We learn that his father is dead and that he was apparently abandoned by his mother, and was placed in his Uncle's care. His uncle found him to be a troubled boy. Neither gaining knighthood nor acting as his Uncle's gamekeeper had succeeded in driving the darkness out of him, but it seems that Cecilia was able to finally melt his icy heart with her cool island song. After dropping these tastefully placed morsels of information, the Uncle proceeds to inform Gareth that, though they are all sorry that he will be leaving them for (at least) the next three years, they are glad he is pursuing his happiness and his true love and all of that. The uncle formally releases him from his duties so that he may pursue his horsefu with a clean conscience.

>This was it. This wasn't some new trek to the edges of Scotland in the search of bandits and easy coin, this was another world. He'd turned his back on his duties and he got what he asked for. This was his life now.
Depending on what the author meant, I'm not sure if it's really as dramatic as all that. The portal will open again in three years if Gareth changes his mind, and it would not have been uncommon for men his age to be away from home on campaigns for longer than that. He had his uncle's permission to go in there to get his wife in the first place, so it's not like he's in danger of being branded a deserter. However, if being "released from duty" means that Gareth is formally relinquishing his knighthood and his position in his Uncle's retinue, that could mean that he would have no place to return to if he did decide to go back. So you could interpret this either way.

>Father… Gareth found it hard to remember his face now. Father was so long ago. Some of Gareth’s earliest memories was him trying so hard to get off Mother's farm, to get Father to train him in the ways of the bow. Father wouldn't have any of it, no, 'go back to Mother's farm. Learn about the animals, play with the animals, you'll learn to love farming.'
This is a little weird. I find myself getting more and more curious about who Gareth is, exactly. He seems like kind of an odd figure. His Uncle is clearly nobility, and his Father appears to have been if not a knight at least a soldier. Usually the brother of a noble would be a noble himself, and marriages between nobles and commoners generally didn't happen. In the rare instances where they did, the whole point would have been for the common family to move up, not for the noble family to move down. No nobleman would want his son to be a peasant. Why exactly did Gareth's father want him to be a farmer? The implication is that his mother was a farmer, which would mean that his mother was likely a peasant. And then there's the bit about his mother abandoning him; what the hell was that about? This whole thing is pretty weird. I'm hoping the author is trying to set up a genuine enigma here, and this isn't just a case of clumsy character-building.

>Gareth grimaced. Of course, Mother never could love a bastard-child like him.
Alright, now it's starting to make a little more sense. Still, the question of how a bastard-born child distinguished himself enough to become a knight is curious. For that matter, how did the bastard son of a noble end up marrying someone claiming to be a Princess? A favored bastard becoming a higher-ranking soldier is plausible, but usually knights were noble children who were groomed to be knights from a fairly young age. He also must have been special enough for the uncle to take him in after the father died and the mother (apparently) told him to piss off; usually the convention in cases like this would be for the father to provide for the bastard in some way but not to formally acknowledge him, and if something happened to the father the kid is basically on his own. At least that's my basic understanding; I guess I don't know a ton about it. My knowledge of medieval history is admittedly spotty, and filled with personal headcanon and tidbits from fantasy novels. But whatever, let's keep reading.

What follows is a little weird. After she delivers him the message, Gareth notices that the unicorn is tired, and so he invites her to come and sleep in the pile of blankets he has huddled up underneath a tree. This is apparently where he passed the night. The unicorn curls up next to him and goes to sleep. Not sure what caused his change of heart about sleeping next to horses, nor is it clear what he is doing sleeping under a tree in the first place. In any case, I hope Celestia doesn't find him like this, or else he might have some 'splaining to do.

Next we get a brief and somewhat confusing subchapter in which Celestia awakens alone and wonders where Gareth is. She spends a bit of time thinking about what happened between them, then pushes it out of her head. What confuses me though is this:

>The sun had been risen without her efforts. Wait-- she raised the sun? Ah yes, of course she raised the sun.
I'm not really sure what this is implying. I've mentioned more than once that one of the biggest sources of rectal ruination for authors when writing in this universe comes from having to constantly remember that the sun and the moon need to be manually moved by one of the princesses. It creates all sorts of complications that wouldn't exist if the same story took place in nearly any other universe. For instance, here it raises a rather interesting question: who exactly has been raising and setting the sun for the past three years while Celestia was gone? Luna could probably do it, but I get the distinct impression that this story is set prior to the events of the show's first episode, so that would mean Luna is still on the moon. Curious, and possibly a glaring continuity error, though I suspect this one is obvious enough that the author will find a way to address it.
Nigel, My Dude. You are cringe as Fuck.
Compare your post to the posts above yours.
I wish you made longer and more intelligent posts.
You've accused me of being "cringe as Fuck". What can I say to that? Nothing more than...
No, you.
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nyeh heh heh hey lois.png
>dusty breeze
lol this faggot didn't think to give his ponies a second pair of transparent beaver eyelids.

If you're going to raise questions like that you should answer it with something better.

To avoid a Naruto comparison...

It's the difference between a Pokemon fanfic that says "lol how the fuck can Larvitar be so heavy when it's so tiny? Also why does it eat mountains? Mountains aren't edible you silly fucking nonsense universe!" for the sake of trying to seem smarter than Pokemon...

and one that says "Larvitar's bones are incredibly dense and its skin is thick segmented carapace armour plates thicker than a knight's plate armour, that's why it's so heavy! Also it often eats and shits out mountains while its stomach keeps the gems and other minerals found within the dirt for sustenance!" to look smart.

>Poorly thought out portals
I'm getting Avatar TLOK season 2 PTSD

>read more books
Yeah you're right I really should read more real books. I have read a shitload of real books already that were called classics and some modernish stuff like the Sword of Truth and A Song of Ice and Fire, but this fanfic stuff is kid's fantasy junk. I wish these threads had more opportunities for me to say something like "Hey this reminds me of that one scene in War And Peace when..."
or "Man the sudden and unexpected BDSM sex scenes in Legend Of The Seeker were less jarring than this"
or "Hey lois this writing is even worse than the time I read Ayn Rand! Which is also even worse than that time I read Bleach!"

>As you know, your backstory is this
This reminds me of Jojo's Bizarre Adventure part 5 when Araki kept infodumping a Passione Member's entire tragic backstory halfway through a fight

>another world
I just gave myself an imaginary ten bucks from myself, because I bet to myself that at no point would the existence of Equestria affect Earth in any manner unrelated to the one human protagonist.

We wouldn't even get any "Celestia's last human husband was Alexander the Great also she caused insert historical event here" junk. Nobody on earth would ask where the human went or show any interest in trying to exploit/conquer this pony world.

Even though "A lover from another world meets you, and your relationship starts off with issues but then they're all fixed, typically once you learn to put up with the monster's unusualness as the monster learns to be more human, and then the story runs out of conflict and everything is perfect, so then the rest of his bad species shows up, and he magically stops the bad ones single-handedly because hooray for diversity and race-mixing, turns out the entire species was good and it just had one bad leader he replaces to become king" is pretty much Trashy Foreignfag Fetish Writing 102.

Trashy Foreignfag Fetish Writing 101 is "My planet is dead and I'm the last of my race therefore racemixing with you is ok in my eyes, my genes must survive". In 104 the foreign creature is physically humans but with minor differences like weird ears or an unusual skin tone or maybe a tail, while they're treated as some hyper-strong immortal ultra-smart god-race that would make Powerwanked Elves jealous, also they enslave you and you're their sex slave now and that's ok because their race better". I don't remember what 103 is.

Hey while we're waiting for more on-topic posts about the fanfic, is anyone here familiar with Chakats?

Don't worry, it's not an anime.

There's this sci-fi book series called Chakona Space, it's a Star Trek knockoff about Chakats and Humans but mostly Chakats.

A lot of writing advice could probably be extracted from taking the piss out of it. But even though Chakats occasionally show up in random Pick-Up Group DND servers/sites to ruin things with their faggoted gayitude, I've seen more Fallout Equestriafags trying to get their "Pegasus with a gun" character into a DND 3.5e game.
Nice, I was waiting for you. I'm making sure to read a chapter ahead of your nitpicking.

>If you were to suddenly transplant yourself from the place you've known your whole life, in your case the UK, to a foreign country, let's say Japan because it's the Land of Naruto and autism, you could probably manage day to day life easily enough, speaking in purely practical terms. The problem is that you would be suddenly surrounded by people who look different than you, speak a different language than you, have different customs than what you're used to, eat different food than what you're used to. The architecture is different, the social structure is different; there are a million tiny little differences that you'd suddenly be aware of. Homesickness would be a huge factor. Feeling like a stranger in a strange land would be a huge factor. This text is attempting to explore the idea that a human moving to Equestria would definitely experience quite a bit of that.
I've done that and I can confirm it's something like what you describe. Fortunately (or unfortunately) modern technology makes it very much different compared to how a historical figure would feel. The internet, email, and video-chatting eliminate homesickness for those who aren't particularly social and there isn't even much need for interaction with the host culture (outside of basic transactions). I do often wonder however how it used to be where the only communication was sending a letter that may take months to arrive if indeed it arrived at all. I will say though that culture shock becomes the worst between "new touristy feeling" and "familiar second-home feeling."

>My advice is that you should try to read less fanfiction, less manga, and more actual books, and I'm not saying that just to be condescending.
tl;dr read more books, faggot, and I agree. I love reading books, fiction and nonfiction, but I am inexorably drawn to just watching videos to absorb entertainment and knowledge. Sometimes I do honestly wonder if I would be better off without Youtube.
Anyway, you are right and the garbage quality of internet fanfiction is likely largely due to lack of reading. It's a sad state of affairs when Pottermouths (I'm using that very apt term) are considered the benchmark for being "well-read."

>In present-day vernacular, "autism" usually refers to someone with an overly enthusiastic interest in any topic, often one that it is socially unacceptable to have more than a passive interest in (MLP, anime, etc). It's possible the term is overused here, considering that by this metric we're all "autistic" to some degree.
In figurative usage it can be positive or negative. Often the word "autistic" is used to compliment someone who's completed an impressive achievement or knowledge down to the smallest detail (because having any sort of dedication is abnormal in this day and age), but it's negative when used to describe an individual who obsesses over meaningless details, lacks a well-rounded lifestyle, or has the social skills of an urban baboon.

>The text never explicitly mentions Gareth drawing his dagger and nothing is happening in this scene that would cause us to assume he might have it out.
I think it was a clumsy attempt to show how Gareth is always on-guard and trained to kill a potential attacker, at odds with cutesy pony world. It would have been better done had emphasis been laid on how he was startled awake. The way it's written one may think he had a sociopathic impulse to stab a redhead unicorn.

>So you could interpret this either way.
Considering I've been away from my homeland a bit longer than three years I'd say it's the second interpretation. Three years is not even a full-length university major; for comparison, Marco Polo's journey to China took 24 years and was to a land nearly as strange as Equestria. I'd be more inclined to interpret this scene as the equivalent of renouncing your citizenship because being a dual citizen is impossible.

>His Uncle is clearly nobility
I interpreted it as Gareth being adopted into a noble household for his valor, as "uncle" is a term to describe a paternal figure who's not your father. But I agree, it seems like a sophomoric attempt at family/class dynamics in medieval England.

>Not sure what caused his change of heart about sleeping next to horses
Gareth didn't actually sleep next to her though, he was getting up. I do find his distaste for sleeping next to horses something I can't relate to, since even as a city slicker I wouldn't find the concept any more repugnant than sleeping next to a dog or cat (no, MLP had nothing to do with this). Gareth is not the posh sort of noble and you'd expect him to sleep next to his steed on cold English nights out of necessity, so this hiccup feels like artificial conflict.

>who exactly has been raising and setting the sun for the past three years while Celestia was gone?
I believe it's the story's implication that "Celestia raises the sun" is a myth rather than a fact and her sojourn has shattered her religious status by exposing her as a fraud. I don't think it's written that unicorns were moving the sun in her stead and I believe it was written before "unicorns did Celestia's job before Celestia" was canon anyway.

>lol this faggot didn't think to give his ponies a second pair of transparent beaver eyelids.
If you looked at a beaver for the first time close-up would transparent eyelids be the first thing you notice?

>I'm getting Avatar TLOK season 2 PTSD
I'm happy all I know about it is from E;R

>is anyone here familiar with Chakats?
No but I'm not surprised such cancer exists.

>I bet to myself that at no point would the existence of Equestria affect Earth in any manner unrelated to the one human protagonist.
This brings up a good point. I actually have a lot of questions surrounding the portal, because depending on how the author handles it the portal could prove to be one of this story's biggest flaws. One of the things you have to be careful of when writing a "main character gets magically transported from World A to World B" story is how you defined the rules of transportation. An interdimensional rift is the kind of thing that could potentially have world-altering consequences if it became public knowledge, and it is at least safe to assume that the average person would be as curious as the protagonist if they found it, so if you only want one character to enter the new world you need a plausible reason why this would be so. It's a very, very common story premise, and in most of the good ones the rules are clearly established. Here are a few examples of how the matter was handled in other stories:

>Timeline by Michael Crichton
Human characters go from modern to medieval times. Method is purely scientific. A private company has been developing time-travel technology. Technology is top secret; characters in the story are using the technology at the company's request for a very specific purpose. It is also established that the tech is dangerous and the company only uses it when necessary. This is clever because it limits the number of characters who can enter World B, while simultaneously leaving the premise open for an unlimited number of sequels if the author wanted to write them.

>Shinigami by Django Wexler
This is a rather obscure novel that I'd be surprised if anyone has heard of. However it uses a rather common premise of having the main character die in our world and awaken in the new one, and this just happened to be the first example that popped into my head. Anyway, this one is a pretty easy method to control: the method of transportation is death, so the only characters who end up in World B are the ones the author explicitly kills and sends there.

>The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
Method is magic, with clearly established rules. "Portals" to Narnia exist throughout our world for various reasons, but they can only be used by children. Moreover, the magic that operates them works sporadically, and it's implied that only specific individuals fated (or chosen by Aslan) to enter Narnia for some specific purpose can use them. The exception are the magic rings in The Magician's Nephew, which are a magic technology created by the titular magician, and can be used by anyone who finds them.

>Inuyasha by Rumiko Takahashi
Time travel again, this time by magic. A well connecting the ancient and modern eras of Japan exists in the ancient shrine the protagonist's family occupies. The well can only be used by the two protagonists, the reason being a linked fate that they share. The well-portal only works for the human protagonist if she is carrying shards of a magic jewel that exists in the ancient era, which she had in her body initially due to her being the reincarnation of a priestess who died while holding it. Of all the stories on this list, this one has probably the shakiest premise, but it still mostly adheres to its own rules as I remember.

>Myst by Rand and Robyn Miller
This one is a video game so it's a little different, but I still think it's a good example of the premise. Method is half-magical half-scientific with very explicit rules. An ancient civilization developed a technology allowing them to write books describing worlds, each of which contains a portal on the last page that leads to said world. The books must be written in a specific language according to specific rules using a specific type of ink on a specific type of paper. Anyone may use the books but they are not commonly found. I mainly wanted to include this example to illustrate that you don't always have to explain everything: in the game's story, the protagonist simply finds one of the books and uses it to travel to the game's world. The character's identity is never established and how he found the book is not known. Sometimes the simplest way to explain something is to not explain it at all.

>Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
Titular character receives a mysterious letter inviting him to study at Hogwarts magic school. He is told to go to the railway station and wait at platform 9 3/4. When he arrives at the platform, he is given crystal meth and made to perform oral sex on two men who introduce themselves as Hagrid and Dumbledore. Harry is so traumatized by the incident that he invents a story about going to magic school and learning to become a wizard or something. Transportation method is drugs, and only people with full-blown AIDS can enter the magical world of Hogwarts.

Comparatively, in our current story we have a portal that exists for some undisclosed reason at some undefined location in England, that transports a person to a specific location in Equestria. It can apparently be used by anyone from either world, but opens for only 3 days every 3 years. The existence of the portal is known to the protagonist as well as everyone who lives in the castle he comes from. The protagonist uses the portal to chase after his missing wife. Despite everyone's obviously assuming that it will be very dangerous in there, he goes alone for some reason, and no one follows him when he never comes back. The reason given is that he wrote his uncle a letter asking them not to. This all technically more or less works, but it's a little implausible, and as I said there is a lot in here that isn't very well explained, like where exactly the portal is located and who knows about it. We'll see if the author fills in any details as we go.
I guess I'm pedantic but I don't think this is good advice. I guess you can make the comment that most fanfiction works are incomplete and the first attempt by someone to write. And sure that is alright analys, I suppose. However, like it is bit hard do understand. I assume you just expressed yourself more general.
I mean there are plenty of books that are published and made by "professional authors" that suck and what "authorities within literature/experts" claim to be "classics". I have read bad books in both categories. I have also read genere ficion Because let's be honest here. The only thing that makes really defines genre fiction is arbitrary similarites between works. that was great and made me think and non-genre fiction that made me think,."Ughhh." But you know this already, I assume, so what do you mean?

>We'll find our way back eventually; the civilization cycle pretty much dictates that sooner or later a generation will be born that has no choice but to grow the fuck up.
We can always hope. Well, I know you don't mean it but I do not want to push this burden over onto my kids to fix this mess but also I think that it is dangerous to assume that everything will solve itself, because of muh cycles. I wish you are right but, why would you? I do not wish people to lose hope or to dispair. I wish us to fight to the last man and regain our honour but really, the comparison with stories were all hope seems lost before the heroes rise couldn't be clearer.
>I wish these threads had more opportunities for me to say something like "Hey this reminds me of that one scene in War And Peace when..."
I've been wondering if it might be worthwhile to start an /mlpol/ book club thread, where we take a non-pony fiction book, read a chapter a week or something, and then discuss it. It would probably have to go on /ub/ or somewhere similar since it isn't political or pony related, but it could be fun if enough people were interested.


>Sword of Truth
>Legend of the Seeker
Pick one.

>wonder if I would be better off without Youtube.
You definitely would be.

>I think it was a clumsy attempt to show how Gareth is always on-guard and trained to kill a potential attacker, at odds with cutesy pony world.
This is more or less what I assumed also. However, I highlighted it because it's yet another example of awkwardly-written character action, which belongs squarely in the category of things this author does not do well. If the author wants to illustrate that Gareth is on guard and has good reflexes, there are better ways to do it than having him randomly draw his dagger for no reason. Also, part of writing character actions is taking the reactions of other characters into account. How does the unicorn respond to having some weird alien creature suddenly pull a dagger on her? Considering that she immediately crawls into bed with him, it doesn't seems like she takes his cat-like reflexes all that seriously.

>I interpreted it as Gareth being adopted into a noble household for his valor, as "uncle" is a term to describe a paternal figure who's not your father.
That hadn't occurred to me, actually, but it's possible. Although I can't decide if it would make the whole thing more or less plausible. It also might overcomplicate the story a bit.

One of the things I haven't mentioned yet but is worth bringing up is that unless a character's backstory is important, it's sometimes better to not fill it in than to start introducing extra story threads that you don't intend to take anywhere. As we can plainly see, the tidbits of Gareth's past that the author is dropping in have opened up a lot of questions not just about who Gareth is, but about the world he comes from. If this is going to factor into Gareth's story arc somehow this is good; however, it's beginning to seem like the author is trying to write Gareth's uncle and previous life out of the story, and just wants to focus on his adventures in Equestria. If that's the case, it actually would have been better to leave most of his backstory vague, or to give him amnesia or something.

This is one of the pitfalls of the "character travels from World A to World B" model. You're essentially creating a story with two settings instead of one, and a character who has a life in both worlds. If his life in both worlds is important to the story, then both settings need to be fully fleshed out. Inuyasha, which I mentioned in my above reply to Nigel's post, is a good example of this. The protagonist is constantly traveling back and forth between worlds A and B, and there are separate storylines developed for her in both. Part of her overall story focuses on the complications this creates in her life: she has to fight monsters in ancient Japan while simultaneously dealing with school and homework and shit back in the "real" world.

The other way to do it is to have the story focus entirely on World B, which usually means severing the character's connection to World A somehow. I suspect this is the most common way of handling the Human in Equestria premise, since these stories are usually intended to be wish-fulfillment fantasy for either the author or the reader, so the whole idea is to take someone with a connection to this world and transport him to the fantasy world of Equestria. I also get the impression that's what soulpillar is attempting to do here: by having Gareth relinquish his titles and duties and whatnot and receive his uncle's blessing to stay in Equestria, he is basically leaving his old life behind.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with this, but again if you're going to write a story that takes place entirely in World B using a character from World A, then World A goes from being a setting in the story to being part of the shadowy world outside the story's events. When doing this, it's better not to give the reader any more info about World A than they need, so in this case it would be better to just establish that Gareth is a soldier from medieval England, he followed his wife through a mysterious portal into Equestria, and just leave it at that, or else just focus on Gareth's past without mentioning his father or his uncle or any of these extra characters. Again, it all depends on how important the character's original world and previous life is going to be.

One of the paradoxes of writing fiction is that the more you leave open, the more curious the reader will be about your world, but when you fill these details in it satisfies the reader's curiosity so they no longer wonder about it and their interest goes down. You therefore need to strike a balance between explaining what the reader needs to know, and leaving enough open to keep them curious. Explain too much and the reader gets overwhelmed and bored, explain too little and your story seems weak and implausible.

>I believe it's the story's implication that "Celestia raises the sun" is a myth rather than a fact and her sojourn has shattered her religious status by exposing her as a fraud.
If so, that's actually another interesting interpretation of the canon world. It also rather conveniently solves the annoying problem I mentioned, while simultaneously adding another interesting dimension to the setting.
>Celestia didn't REALLY raise the sun
That's always struck me as needlessly reductive and disrespectful to the source material, like those "Twilight isn't REALLY a pony in pony land, she's a crazy girl in an asylum somewhere also Ash Ketchum is in a coma" retarded fan theories.

>book club
Book club sounds like a really good idea! It should be stickied on /ub/.
Thank you for the added list of books to read, my list's long but I'm working on finishing books on it.

It's funny how gay jokes about Harry Potter are always funny.

That sort of joke about other kid's franchises would get old fast. There are only so many fat or fart or "haha that's different from real life" jokes you could make about most things. Disaster Movie and shallow "Parodies" like those aren't all that funny because instead of doing anything funny with what they parody they just do fart jokes. If "Avashart The Last Fartbender" or "Hahaha did you notice how fat Po from Kung Fu Panda is?" jokes were as common as Harry Potter-related gay jokes we'd be sick of them. Like the "Haha the Wizards in Harry Potter sure do love touching long hard wood, like wands, haha".

Everyone here is already sick of Pokemon sex jokes, even people who have never heard Pokemon sex jokes before. "Haha this pokemon is called a Starmie and it evolves into Staryu and this other Pokemon called Metapod looks like a penis! And this pokemon move is called Hyper Beam and another move is called Wrap and that other move is called Swallow! I want to be in a porno film that will Starmie and Staryu! In the film my Metapod uses Harden then you Wrap your hands around my dick and jack me off until I fire my Hyper Beam and you Swallow it!".

That was painful to write.

But Harry Potter is so weirdly wrapped up in a defensive bubble of false childish whimsy and jangling-keys distractions (with the occasional awkward and sudden interruption of cartoonishly grimderp edge, like an edgy woman who wears all black and lusts over Voldemort and tortured the parents of the fat boy with bottom in his name into insanity) that every time adult jokes strike Harry Potter, they break through the bubble to strike with a sudden and hilarious impact.

The cultural "Consensus", engineered by lefty cunts and TV documentaries/"News" stories/other bullshit has every normie convinced Harry Potter is this amazing film series and better book series is above criticism and beyond the minds of anyone who complains.

Harry Potter fans are lower than Rick and Morty fans. RM fans say "It's just a cartoon" when you criticize their goose-stepping collective wanking over their non-golden goose, and HP fans say "It's for kids" the same way.

But gay jokes and meth jokes kick that "Untouchable quality" right in the nuts.

You can completely "Ruin teh childhood" of a Harry Potter fanboy by pointing out how Dumbledore knew all about Harry's abusive childhood and did nothing to stop it. Or point out that he knew everything about Padfoot from Azkaban and Werewolf Guy. But nothing beats the simplicity of a cock joke.

By the way, this fucking bullshit, here's a cliff notes version. It's spread out across 4 books so most won't notice.
>Padfoot the Dog Man Shapeshifter, Werewolf Guy, Harry's Dad, and Ratguy were childhood friends. The Marauders, the four idiots who accidentally made a magical map of Hogwarts that shows everyone's positions even if they're hidden by the magic cloak that hid you from death the person!!! Marauders bored and making a tool to make pranks and sneaking easier > Death in the Harry Potter universe.
>one day a Future-Seer in a world where that's seen as bullshit by everyone says "the kid of one who defied Voldy thrice will kill Voldy"
>Harry's mom and dad decide they fit the bill, so they hide out in a magic building you can only find and get into if you know where it is. Magic Aura makes it impossible to find otherwise. Once you're in, nobody can find you, not even with magic. Because magic. It's a scry-proof house with a Perception Filter, the spell fucking erases it from public records and the memories of others.
>they're safe now, but
>The location of Harry's dad and mum was leaked by Ratguy to Snape (don't ask how, Rowling doesn't know either)
>Snape immediately leaked it to Voldemort while saying "Please, oh dark and dreadful champion of dark magic, kill my romantic rival Harry's Dad but spare the woman known as Harry's Mum because I've had a crush on her since we were kids! Kill the dad and his son, spare the mum, and let me fuck her"
>remember, women will claim he's the real hero of this story and who they want to fuck!
>Voldy laughed then killed all 3 of the Potters, but died trying to cast Instant Death on Harry thanks to his mum sacrificing herself mid-deathspell
I've always found it funny how even though the Harry Potter series is mocked for how nothing Harry does makes him special and he's just "Born special", nobody ever notices it's actually his dad who's the reason why he's rich and good at Quidditch, and his mum Lily's the reason why Voldy's attempt to kill Harry failed through the power of wuv and self-sacwifice.


>Padfoot is framed for murder and arrested and sent to Azkaban (Wizard Guantanamo Bay+Room 101 written by a retard) for a crime he didn't commit
>he was the fucking Godson of Harry Potter, according to the wishes of Lily and James Potter aka Harry's Parents, and he was left to rot in a torture prison for a crime he didn't commit because Dumbledore didn't want his fun-loving and rebellious nature influencing the boy when he could influence the boy after a lifetime with the Dursleys instead

>all this in a setting with truth spells, memory editing spells, truth potions, memory removal objects, bullshit magic that does what the author wants now no matter how that destroys earlier or later plot points, and more.
and Harry still named one of his kids after Dumbledore because he was "The
bravest man I ever met".

oh also Dumbles wasn't just a child-abuser whose childhood lust for power got all his friends and family killed, he was also a gay faggot who failed to stop Wizard Hitler in time because he was too busy boning the bastard.
It's like there are three Dumbledore characters.

Memeldore, the silly man who says "I must say a few words! Bubbles, Nitwit, Twink! Now I must gobble up some Sherbert Lemon Drops. Om nom nom. ...Thank you, that will be all"
Gandlfedore, the cheap third-rate Gandalf knockoff that speaks in a pretentious pseudo-wise manner
and Edgydore, the "broken phoenix" who comes out of nowhere in the last film. Suddenly we're supposed to see this FUCKING WORTHLESS AUTHORITY FIGURE IN A SETTING ACCIDENTALLY FULL OF THEM as some kind of formerly-power-seeking tragic hero whose past is full of failure that comes out of nowhere and supposed good intentions we're never even told about.

These three sides to the meme of Dumbledore don't interact in any meaningful way because he isn't a cohesive character.

Dumbledore isn't a kind old man who tried to move on from his violent power-seeking past and puts on a "silly crazy bastard" act to fuck with people and get the right to do sillier shit every day to his long-suffering super-serious co-workers with each book. That's how retarded delusional fans see him thanks to headcanons and mentally blocking out bad writing to replace it with what they consider better writing.

Faust from Guilty Gear (bag-headed motherfucker who'll scalpel your face so hard you grow anime eyes then swim through the air and walk into the ground using a door attached to nothing to teleport behind the foe) has a more cohesive "crazy funny side, sad side" thing going on than this character. And this fucker inspired the fighting style of the Pinkie Pie knockoff in Them's Fighting Herds/the actual Pinkie Pie in Fighting Is Magic.

Deadpool's a meme, a third-rate Deathstroke knockoff turned funny self-aware parody of comic book silliness. When he's sillier than the comic book he's in, it's not funny unless he's pissing off a babysitter straight-man super-serious character from super-serious (shit) stories like Wolverine. And sometimes he's a depressed nihilistic emo beneath all the cheap snark. But a few good comics have the Sadpool and Funnypool sides of Deadpool interact or give each other added context, while ignoring the DumbForcedMemepool side because it's shit.
Ultimately you can read whatever you want I guess, but in general the more you've read the more able you are to make intelligent decisions about what is worth reading. This isn't to say that "books in this pile are good" and "books in this other pile are bad." To some extent that is indeed subjective. However, everything that has been written, including all the shitty fanfiction we've looked at, is connected to a broader literary tradition, even if the author isn't aware of it. Most authors are influenced by things they've read, and those authors are influenced by things they've read, and so on, all the way back to Homer and Thucydides and all those guys. The more of the literary tradition you're familiar with, the better equipped you are to write works of your own. Even if you only read for entertainment and have no interest in writing, it's still better to broaden your horizons; there's probably all sorts of stuff out there that you like, you just don't know that you like it yet.

>I mean there are plenty of books that are published and made by "professional authors" that suck and what "authorities within literature/experts" claim to be "classics". I have read bad books in both categories.
Again, the more you read the more capable you are of assessing what you consider "good" and "bad." Reading a book you don't like can still be a valuable experience if you read critically and try to figure out why exactly you don't like it. This is true whether you're reading someone's shitty DBZ fanfiction or one of the classics. Also, just because something is a "classic" doesn't mean you have to automatically like it any more than you have to automatically like something because it's a bestseller or because it has 10,000 likes on fimfiction. The flip side of this, though, is to consider that if something is considered a "classic" there's usually a reason for it, and even if the book itself doesn't interest you personally it is still considered an influential work, and may have influenced authors whose work you do enjoy. Therefore it can still provide you with a useful frame of reference for better understanding what you like and why you like it. You may also be surprised by what you like and don't like, and how much that changes over time. For instance, when I had to read The Great Gatsby in high school I didn't like it, but as an adult it's one of my favorite books.

Very generally though if you only read one type of thing, you'll have a very narrow perspective of what constitutes a good story, and if you try to write, your own output will likely be of low quality. For non-writers, the peril lies in being considered an uninformed pleb by your better-read peers. If you only ever read science fiction, for example, you'd be poorly equipped to discuss anything that isn't science fiction. For instance if you dislike The Great Gatsby because of some specific problem you have with the story itself that's one thing; but if you simply dislike it because it doesn't have spaceships in it and you like stories with spaceships, then although you're certainly entitled to your opinion, most people's reaction will justifiably be to call you a pleb and make fun of you for having shit taste.

At the very least, though, if you were to exclusively read commercially published science fiction, you'd at least be reading the final drafts of works that had to be edited and approved for publication, so everything you'd be exposing yourself to would have had to meet a minimum threshold for quality. However, if you exclusively read fanfiction on the internet, that's different. There are absolutely no barriers to entry; literally anyone on earth can just type up some bullshit about Star Trek and publish it. For instance, I just shat this out in about ten minutes: https://pastebin.com/Ns3wsvEi . apparently fanfiction.net requires you to wait 12 hours after registering an account to publish a story, otherwise I'd have published it there for lulz. So I guess there is at least that much of a barrier to entry. However, my basic point still stands.

Fanfiction can be fun, and to be fair some of it is good, but mostly it consists of derivative works written by amateur writers. Someone who exclusively reads fanfiction would have no frame of reference for storytelling beyond the derivative works and presumably whatever property the work was derived from. It would be like someone who has never set foot in any structure more complex than a lean-to made out of sticks trying to build a full-size house.
There's a readers thread on ub.
Although, what really intrest me is a way to get more anons to write. I ponder this from time to time. It would be fun if more people tried there hand at it. But I don't know how to inspire people. I can barely inspire myself.
But it feels like it is on the tip of my tongue.
should been spoiler
>His eyes drifted toward the other book, a fantasy novel, a trashy and derivative piece of genre fiction. He'd like to say he didn't know why he was still reading this trash, but he knew perfectly well. He wanted to know everything about this book, he wanted to read it all, and then he wanted to lock it away somewhere and never read it again. If he ran into any fans of this book, he wanted to be able to launch himself into a ten-minute rant about this book. He hated this book, but after seventeen chapters of garbage, simply giving up would be like... well, simply giving up. - t. Glimglam

I'm just kidding. :P I know the connect is far-fetched but you can't blame wme for trying.
Actually been having a bit of trouble finding stuff to read. As a kid the Dragon and Red Wall books were my jam and what got me into reading. After that picked up Steven King, Upton Sinclair, and The Divine Comedy but fell into the trapping you wanted about as an adult and went from a middle schooler reading litterary classics to hardly reading and when I do it's some fan fics.

I still read books from time to time but the last fiction I read was the Gaunts Ghosts series from Warhammer 40k. Currently I can't find any fiction stuff that catches my eyes and the books I have been reading have just been philosophy like Saint Augustine's 'Confessions', Aurilian's 'Meditations', some excerpts from Thomas Aquinas, and Thomas Panes 'Leviathan'.

Went to college for only 2 semesters but was introduced to most these philosophers where the professor tried to lambast them as insecure stupid white males but I'd dig into their work more after we finished talking about them in class and meet a friend online who I could discuss the ideas in those books with.

Suppose my trouble with finding new fantasy or sci-fi stuff to read is I miss the worlds from the books I read before. I want to read another Redwall book even though Brian Jaques has passed away just to be able to experience that world again. I want to read fan fics because FiM is done and gone and want to experience that world and characters some more.

Feel like I feel out of reading and the only books I'm reading currently I'm doing for the sake of self discipline rather then for whimsy like I used to. It's really fun seeing the ideas these guys state and trying to apply their teachings to my thinking and behavior but I also feel a bit bummed not having that spark of imagination and wonder like when I was a kid reading Redwall or The Dark Tower and trying to think of all the possibilities in worlds like those.

Again I'm rambling a bunch and can't even remember what point I was trying to make but reading this thread has got this itch growing on me daily to want to write.

There is a page break, and Celestia goes downstairs to eat breakfast. She notes the absence of her overenthusiastic servant, Gleaming Horizon. She is still finding herself readjusting to life in Equestria; she wants an omelette, but instead her groom straps a feedbag full of oat mush to her muzzle, and tells her she'll get a carrot if she eats it all. Lol no; she is actually served "muesli and oats with a side dish of hay, daffodils and a carafe of wine." The breakfast of champions.

>She rose her forehooves to grasp pick up her knifes and forks... of which there weren't any.
Knives and forks. Also, she raised her forehooves. Also, "to grasp pick up" doesn't make any sense; it should be either "grasp" or "pick up." Also, it should probably just be "knife and fork" anyway since most people don't use more than one of each per meal. Also, I'm not sure if knives and forks were even used to eat meals during the time period Gareth is supposed to be from. I know they used bread trenchers instead of plates back then, but I'm not sure about utensils. However, if you're writing a story set in a particular time period it's usually a good idea to look stuff like this up, because nitpicky faggots like me will notice if you don't. Also, "of which there weren't any" is incredibly awkward phrasing; just say "which weren't there." Also, you don't need a space between an ellipsis and the word that follows it; you can just...do this. Is that all of them? I think that's all of them. Jesus Christ, that has to be the largest number of mistakes I've ever found in a single sentence.

>A bulter gave her a concerned, querying look.
I'd probably change "querying" to "curious" as it reads somewhat better. Also, what the hell is a bulter? Spellcheck, nigger.

>Celestia's cheeks burned, giving a nervous smile, as she mentally held her hooves down and willed herself to commence eating just with her mouth.
And the award for most awkwardly-worded sentence in a long chain of awkwardly-worded sentences goes to...

Anyway, despite the preposterous number of mistakes that should have been caught and corrected long before this chapter was posted, this scene is actually pretty cute. Celestia is still adapting to being a horse again, and she now has to suffer the mild yet excruciating embarrassment of trying not to eat like a human in front of her horse-servants. This, in particular, I think is a pretty well-executed and funny visual:

>"Ma'am?" A cultured, female Canterlot accent said off to her side.
>"Bwat?" Celestia responded, her mouth full of sugar-coated hay.

This guy really needs to make an effort to word things more succinctly like he did here. Any situation where you are going for a laugh, timing is very important. The other sentence I noted above, the one where Celestia's cheeks are burning, is far too wordy. You get a clear mental picture of what's happening, but the bad timing ruins the moment. Conversely, this event is worded very sparsely. All we have is Celestia trying to say "what" with a mouthful of hay, yet it instantly forms a perfect image in your mind, and it's funny.

If anyone keeps up with current 4chan memes, there's one going around like pic related, that satirizes the way Indian humor site Funwaa tells jokes. Basically, the meme is to take a common joke and tell it really, really badly, using generic clip art and emojis and memes from 10 years ago to illustrate what's happening. I don't want to spend a lot of time on it because it's a fairly stupid meme, but the point here is that if you want to tell a joke, the way you tell it is almost as important as the joke itself. This concept applies in writing funny scenes as well. An awkwardly worded attempt at humor will not only fail to make the reader laugh, it will generally make them cringe at the failure.

I remember noticing this a lot in Nigel's thing, actually. He would often come up with something that would have worked well enough as a sight gag in a cartoon, but is rather difficult to describe in text. He would try anyway, and usually end up with a long-winded paragraph trying to elaborately explain something funny that was happening, and it failed pretty much every time. A dramatic scene can be word-heavy, but with humor you always want quick pacing, spot-on timing and to use as few words as possible. If this current scene was revised a bit it would actually be quite good.

Anyway, Celestia's unicorn "bulter" goes on to read off a long list of shit she has to do today, and she listens without enthusiasm. Despite finally being home and in her proper place again after three years, she finds that she does not enjoy her job as much as she remembers. However, she has little time to contemplate it, as Noble Era suddenly shows up and asks to be given an audience.

Celestia has a fairly good idea of what kind of person pony, whatever she's dealing with here, so she figures it would be unwise to completely ignore him. He comes in and makes a long, obsequious apology. Celestia thanks him rather abruptly and tells him to get the fudge out. He appears genuinely taken aback by this rebuke, and slinks sadly away. However, Celestia feels bad for whatever reason, so she beckons him back in.

>"Wait," said Celestia, holding her forehoof up. "You offered information to me before. I will take it. However, you will do as I say, when I say. Is that understood?"
It looks as if Celestia is planning to let him act in some kind of advisory capacity. I can't tell if she's being naive here or if she's just keeping her enemies close; probably a combination of both.

>"Of course m'lady!" He said, smiling broadly. "How may I help?"
It is physically impossible for me not to chuckle at a character in a brony story addressing the author's waifu as m'lady all the time. Hopefully the humor was intentional on the author's part.

Anyway, she gives him the task of assembling representatives from each of the 3 pony castes.
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>"A simple task," Noble Era said with a cocky tone, "With respect m'lady, the Equestrians were already beginning to factionalize."
>Celestia allowed herself to grin darkly. "Very good," She crooned, "Then I expect them to be gathered in my court by the end of the day."
I know I'm beginning to repeat myself, but this guy really needs to learn how to word things better. In the context of Noble's remark, Celestia's reaction basically makes sense; it's just that the author phrases it in a disconcerting way. For one thing, a "grin" is pretty much the most extreme form of a smile. By adding "darkly" as an adjective, this gives Celestia a much more insane expression than what I'm sure the author had in mind. A dark grin is the kind of expression you'd expect a serial killer to have as he's getting ready to stab his victim with a fondue fork; it's a bit extreme for the princess of pastel ponies, who is casually reacting to a simple piece of information she was given, particularly since said information mostly just confirms what she already knew. Moreover, in this case she not only grins darkly, but allows herself to grin darkly. Is this an action that she needed to give herself permission for? Granted, it's a highly inappropriate reaction to what's going on, and if I were Noble Era I would be pretty weirded out if Celestia just started grinning like a Jack O'Lantern all of a sudden. Thus it makes sense that whatever internal mechanism she has that reigns in socially inappropriate behavior might have fired here. However, if that's the case, why did she consciously override it? Also, I probably would have found a different verb to use other than "croon" here. Who the hell is she, Bing Crosby? Tonight, when you're trying to sleep, picture Bing Crosby grinning at you like a Jack O'Lantern from inside your closet. Then picture him doing the same thing, but as an alicorn princess.

Oh, also:
>"Very good," She crooned, "Then I expect them to be gathered in my court by the end of the day."
"She" should not be capitalized here, as technically the quoted dialogue and the narration are both part of the same sentence. In fact, "then" is just a continuation of Celestia's previous sentence, so that shouldn't be capitalized either. This whole thing is just one sentence, but the author is treating it as three. Though it's still awkward even when written correctly, so I'd probably break it up thusly:
>"Very good," she crooned. "Then I expect them to be gathered in my court by the end of the day."

Oh, also:
>Very good
This should be "very well." I'd expect this kind of shit grammar from the author at this point, but the princess of the pastel ponies really ought to know better. Perhaps she picked up some bad elocution habits in the English countryside. Although if she starts saying things like "Oi, guvnah, Oi've gone an' soiled me britches, Oi 'ave!" I might have to just bail on this thing. Alright, I'l stop now.

Anyway, I might be overreacting a bit here, because it seems like she is in fact trying to intimidate Noble Era; maybe all of that grinning and crooning was deliberate.

>"Should you fail in such a 'simple task',” Celestia continued in a suddenly steely tone. “I'll ensure that you're permanently barred from Canterlot's court. I'd advise you that you pick wisely as well, because if one of them does something... illegal, both you and they will be exiled from Canterlot."
As you can see, her tone has become suddenly steely, and that only happens when somepony means business. She may be even steelier than that Dan guy.

>His paling face settled into an expression of grim determination.
Again, I can see what I'm supposed to be seeing well enough, but please find a less clumsy way to word it.

Anyway, despite my bantzing on it a bit, this scene overall isn't handled terribly. As ever, the character's reactions to each other are a little awkward and overdone, but I'm able to follow the scene easily enough. Celestia is basically dealing with an underling whom she suspects of plotting against her by giving him an important job, but making sure he knows that she is firmly in charge and will be on the lookout for funny business. She seems to feel that making threats and grinning like a maniac is somewhat outside the norm for her, and she feels a bit guilty about it, but she also seems to have learned a thing or two about court intrigue from Gareth. Although one wonders where he would have picked it up, since it sounds like his life was mostly soldiering, and before that it was apparently learning to farm. He was technically a knight and may or may not be of partially noble blood, but I don't get the impression he would have spent enough time watching archdukes stab each other in the back to be able to give advice about it to a Princess. I'm still willing to give the author the benefit of the doubt here since there's still a lot about Gareth that he hasn't told us, but I'm beginning to suspect these discrepancies I'm noticing are a bug rather than a feature, and that Gareth's character could probably have used a bit more definition in the planning stages. Just because he comes from the middle ages wouldn't necessarily mean he knows everything about all aspects of medieval society.

Anyway, the subchapter ends with Celestia worrying again about Gareth. She wonders what he is eating right now. And while she may wonder, we won't have to, because after the next page break we immediately learn that he and Styre are eating carrot cake in Butter Pie's shop.

>"I bet you're loving this, Butter," said Styre, idling taking another bite.
Idly taking another bite.

I had a similar experience. I read a lot as a kid but high school killed nearly all the interest I had in it. It's honestly only been within the last few years that I've picked it up again, but since I have I find I spend a lot of time reading. I usually try to balance it out a bit; I usually have one serious non-fiction book going, one serious fiction book going, and one fairly light one that I read just for fun. I just sort of alternate based on what I'm in the mood for. If you like sci-fi and fantasy but the newer stuff isn't doing it for you, you could always explore older works as there is probably quite a bit out there that you haven't read. Sometimes it's also fun to just wander around a bookstore or library and just grab any random book that looks interesting and start reading; if you don't like it you don't necessarily have to finish.

College these days is pretty much 100% full-blown AIDS. I would say that with anything negative you were told by a professor about any work by a white male, just assume the opposite is true. Also, the stuff the professors recommend, Ta Nehisi Coates and Angie Thomas all that, is not entirely without value. Those books are good to have around if you ever run out of coasters, or if you need something to put under a shelf full of better books to keep it from wobbling.

>reading this thread has got this itch growing on me daily to want to write.
Then by all means you should. You can always start by writing short stories or greentexts and branch out from there.
Story's still gay shite, can't think of anything funny to say.

It's weird. When I show my writing to friends, they critique it.

But when I show video game writing to friends, they love it a lot more. Even if it's something I half-assed after spending two nights straight reprogramming the UI elements to move properly.

I'm praised even harder for smart writing decisions that allow for more cool shit in the game with less effort and time spent writing.

When with writing, people will say "Fuck cool shit, your story should be deep or it's shit!"

What's up with that?
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>She may be even steelier than that Dan guy
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Butter Pie and Styre chitchat a bit, and we learn a few chunks of Styre's backstory. I have to say, one of the things about this I am definitely a fan of is the way the author doles out the backstory in manageable bite-size chunks. Backstory in everything else we've read has consisted of large information dumps that give everything away up front; this was even the case with Friendship is Optimal, in which the characters were too sparsely developed to even have much backstory in the first place. Here, the author is at least handling it the way a competent author would: you narrate some events, you casually drop a reference or two to something from the character's past into his thoughts or the conversation, and then you return to current events, leaving the reader to wonder what the deal is with the unknown event or character you just referenced. In this case, we learn that he had a friend named Red Streak, who was also an acquaintance of Butter Pie's, and that he is no longer among the living. We are told nothing further about him, and will need to wait until he is brought up again to hear more.

Next, Gareth asks Butter Pie if she would bake him a giant-ass cake. Styre finds this to be a bit of a presumptuous request, since he hasn't been paying for any of the shit he's been eating so far. However, Gareth says that the cake is actually for Celestia. Butter Pie can't very well refuse a request like this, and in any event she seems willing enough to bake the cake.

A page break, and we're back to Celestia.

She is sitting on her throne, bored and irritated at having to deal with the minutiae of governing a kingdom. Princessdom; whatever. She wonders whether Noble Era has failed at the task she gave him:

>Speaking of which, she noticed that the day was crawling on, getting close to the end of court, actually. Noble Era had not yet arrived and if he was, then he would have sent a herald to announce it. Perhaps he simply couldn't bare the shame to admit defeat?
He simply couldn't bear the shame of admitting defeat. Also:

>Noble Era had not yet arrived and if he was, then he would have sent a herald to announce it.
This sentence doesn't make sense. And if he was what? It should be "Noble Era had not yet arrived and if he had, he would have sent a herald to announce it."

Anyway, just as she's beginning to hope she won't have to deal with that little fudge packer again today and can instead go home and clop her recently regained horse-cooder to the the thought of Gareth violently plowing her old human body, who should suddenly appear but Noble Era, alongside Purple Dart and some other pony we haven't met yet.

>Celestia's eyes widened, sitting up. No, that was impossible. Yet there he was, Noble Era as one of the stallions.
Literally nothing about this situation merits this type of reaction. Why is she this surprised? What does she find impossible? She told him to round up representatives of the three pony tribes, and he did, so here he is. He clearly chose himself to represent the unicorn tribe, which might have been a bit of a cheeky stunt, but there's no reason this should surprise her.

Anyway, the first two ponies we've already met, and their roles are easy enough to identify. Purple Dart is here as the representative of the Pegasi, and Noble Era has unsurprisingly put himself forward to represent the unicorns. The third pony is a little more interesting:

>His red-orange coat looked unbrushed and his black mane had been slicked down his head and neck. His attire was hap-hazard, wearing a leather jacket, obviously mouth stitched from leather-tree sap, and a cheap black top hat. After a few moments of staring, it was clear to see that it wasn't that his coat was unbrushed, it was that half of it wasn't there. The faded pink burn scars covered almost half of his face and neck, trailing down, and likely past, the collar of his leather coat.
Apparently this rather odd character is named "Chucky Larms" this may actually win the award for stupidest pony name I've ever heard; even for a comic relief character this is bad and was chosen to represent the Earth Ponies.

>Celestia blinked. She tried hard not to equate his accent with that of an Irishman. Even in Equestrian, they seemed to be strikingly similar.
I'm not quite sure what to make of this. The existence of some sort of pseudo-Irish pony group in Equestria doesn't surprise me, since it's established canon that most of what exists there is an analog of something in our world. However, how has Celestia, who has ruled this country for centuries, not come across one before? Moreover, would she have even had an opportunity to encounter an Irishman in the human world and thus make the accent connection? Again: just because she spent time in the human world doesn't mean she would know everything there is to know about it. The wife of a minor knight would probably not have had much opportunity to travel or go on diplomatic missions to other countries in the three years she was there; it's probably safe to assume she spent the bulk of her time with Gareth in the uncle's castle (or wherever they lived exactly) and the surrounding lands. Her knowledge of even just England would probably be rather limited.

Anyway, right off the bat there's trouble a'brewin. Celestia's first order of business is naturally to assert dominance and tell the three that she expects them to restore order within their respective tribes. While Noble Era and Purple Dart seem willing to accept this, Chucky is a little more quarrelsome:

>"Uh not, quite Princess," Chucky Larms said, jolly domenior melting away. "Ya' see, we're our tribe's representatives, not your trained monkeys. The way I see it, you need to convince US that you're the right thing for Equestria. Not the other way around."
'Demeanor' is the word you're looking for here. Spellcheck, nigger. Most word processors have them.

Anyway, Chucky seems to be rather an audacious character. Celestia gets frosty with him, mispronounces his name on purpose, and makes it pretty clear to him that he's crossed a line. However, he presses on undeterred:

>"Yeah, abandoning us fer two years? Ain't filling me with confidence, Princess. Alicorns don't just 'go away'. You needed the Elements of Harmony just to banish Nightmare Moon and last time I checked, ain't no pony did that to you!"
I'm not entirely clear what he means by "ain't no pony did that to you." Also, my understanding is that she was gone for three years, not two. But anyway, we seem to have a rather interesting conflict developing here: it looks as if Celestia's reign isn't universally accepted among all of her subjects.

>"'Sojourn' is it? Yeah, that's right the right word for it. You went away on yer own, so what's to stop you from going again, huh? Maybe you're sick of being a leader? Had your little holiday and you've decided to give it another crack? Ponies NEED stability, princess, and if you ain't willing, or able, to provide it then maybe Equestria should be a federation instead! A new office for all three of the tribes!" He raised his forehooves up, glancing around the room. A hundred horrified faces stared back. "Vote 'Larms for Governor of the Free Ranges!"
He actually makes a fairly reasonable argument here: Celestia's absolute reign seems to be based on her being immortal (or something), and pre-Twilight Sparkle she doesn't seem to have ever established a clear successor in the event that she was no longer able to rule. Her sudden disappearance probably would create a great deal of chaos, and it's understandable that there would be some grumbling if she just randomly showed up again. As corny as this "Larms" character is, he seems to be the right combination of crass and savvy political sense that you'd expect from the leader of a peasant rebellion. I'm basically liking him so far.

She reacts to this statement with an appropriate amount of bluster, which doesn't seem to intimidate Larms. His intention here was probably just to rattle her cage in front of the court, which he seems to have succeeded in doing.

Then, suddenly, Gareth barges into the throne room and delivers the fucking cake he ordered for her. Yes, this autism is actually in the text.

The scene here is rather cartoonish, and is probably meant to be a bit silly. As Gareth and Styre wheel the big-ass cake up to the throne, Butter Pie darts around handing out pamphlets for her shop, sticking them into ponies' shirt collars, behind their ears and so forth. Despite this, it seems a tad inappropriate; one would expect that Gareth would have more sense than to just barge into the throne room of a ruler while she's holding court. But whatever, I'll allow it.

Anyway, the stunt seems to have broken the tension in the room, which was probably the author's intent. Celestia bursts out laughing, which causes everyone else to burst out laughing, which makes it basically impossible for the super-serious business of governing pastel pony land to continue. Celestia's final order of the day is that everyone be given a slice of cake, and then she sends them all home. Sorry "Chucky Larms," your little peasant revolt is just going to have to wait.

>Needless to say, the day's court was cancelled. Nopony could keep a straight face after this. Celestia's final order for the day was for everypony to get themselves a slice before returning to their homes.

>And within that hour Celestia got more work done than she had for the whole day. The ponies approached her far more casually when she was munching on éclairs. Everypony was scared, she understood that, she was scared too if she was honest.

However, these two sections appear to contradict each other. The first states that Celestia calls an end to the day's court and everyone goes home. The second seems to be saying that she kept court open for another hour while everyone ate cake and/or eclairs, but the more casual atmosphere made things easier for the petitioners. Which is it exactly?

Also, there's this:
>The cart was cleared out within ten minutes, leaving Celestia no choice but to open the kitchens and start an impromptu feast.
So is everypony staying for supper or going home with cake in their tummies? I'm a bit confused.

Anyway, the whole thing seems to have been basically a success. The cake seems to have created a more jovial and less confrontational atmosphere, which allows Celestia to regain control of the room without having to power struggle with Fucky Charms. Butter Pie seems to have gotten quite a bit of advertising for her business, which probably offsets the cost of having to bake an enormous cake for free. Meanwhile, Gareth just stands in the background:

>Yet, all the while, she saw Gareth standing off to the side of the court 'supporting the wall' as he called it. He smiled up at her, occasionally snatching a glass of wine or nibbling on some cake.
I'm a little unclear what "supporting the wall" implies. Maybe he's silently helping to keep an eye on the situation? Offering moral support to his wife? Or is he physically holding up the wall to keep the castle from collapsing? I'm not sure; the author doesn't make it clear and it's not an expression I'm familiar with.

>Celestia never once saw somepony approach him. Whether intentionally, accidentally or a mixture of both, as far as the courts were concerned… Gareth didn't exist.
I'm also not quite clear what the significance of this is. Obviously it's been established that Gareth can't be physically seen by the ponies, although this problem seems to have come and gone at the author's convenience throughout this chapter. However, the way it's being mentioned here implies some greater significance to the scene or the story overall that isn't really clear from context. But whatever; the chapter ends here.

Video game writing is similar to comic book writing, in that the writing does not have to be good enough to carry the entire experience, so you can get away with more. If you take a page from a comic and write out the dialog on paper, the first thing you'll notice is that it's pretty sparse. Even if you add bits of narration that explain what's happening on the page Spider Man swung on his web, and went woosh. Then he kicked some guy in the face, and went bwap, you will still probably end up with some fairly shitty-sounding text. The story in a comic is carried by both the images and the text working together, but the pictures generally tell most of the story. Though there are some very good comic book writers Ed Brubaker for instance, and some very good writers who have also written comic books Neil Gaiman for instance, it's possible to be an absolute shit writer who can barely string a sentence together and still be a very highly regarded comic book author Stan Lee for instance.

Video games are the same way. Though modern AAA games are beginning to resemble movies more and more, there is still comparatively little actual writing that needs to go into it. It's not just a visual medium but an interactive medium, so you don't even have to worry about things like timing and pacing as much when writing a game. If you're doing something like an RPG, a lot of the "writing" is just coming up with the bullshit spoken by NPCs when you walk up and speak to them. Even if you were writing a full-blown AAA game, at most you'd only be expected to write individual cutscenes as if you were writing scenes in a movie; the rest would just be snippets of dialogue that gets spoken in reaction to player events. You may occasionally write some zippy, memorable lines that go down in gaming history, but for the most part it's just thinking up banal bullshit that regular people would probably say in a given situation.

In text, you don't have a visual or interactive portion of the medium to help you carry the weight. Your writing has to tell the entire story, which means that if your writing sucks, you don't have anything to fall back on. You have to paint the visuals with your words, which is hard to do. Someone reading, particularly a casual type who is simply reacting to what you give them without putting a ton of critical thought into it, will have nothing to look at besides the words, and if they don't sound right it's the first thing they will notice. To put it simply, you can get away with writing a line like "all your base are belong to us" in a video game, but you couldn't get away with it in a novel.

I'm not sure how many layers of irony you're on here, but in case it's none, the answer to both questions is no; it was a boomer music reference.
Wow, I can't believe a band named themselves after a Jojo's character!
Ok, zoomer
I'm honestly surprised you accept Chucky Larms as I can't tolerate him myself. To me he's a weak point in an otherwise decently strong story, and not just because he's a ridiculous Irish stereotype.
First off, there's no support to him leading a peasant rebellion or being any leader at all, he's just there. The earth ponies we encounter don't seem to have a revolutionary mindset, let alone a mentality to gather around a very uncharismatic rabblerouser with anti-monarchist ideas. The earth pony representative could have been any of a multitude of possibilities yet this is what we're left with.
Secondly, Celestia acted extremely foolishly, even for her amnesiac state, to permit him talking smack to her cake-munching face. She did threaten Noble Era that if any of the representatives did anything illegal she would permanently bar him from the court, and I'm pretty sure inciting insurrection/being openly treasonous is illegal. She did say "very well, I accept" hastily and prematurely (which was uncharacteristically foolish in itself), but nopony could reasonably object to her kicking out Cucky Larms and Noble Era after that reprehensible display. On the contrary, nopony could expect any reasonable cooperation or solutions (the whole point of bringing representatives) if that's what the first meeting was like.
I get what the author is going for, having something like the Three Estates in pre-revolutionary France. However, it would have been better instead to have a suave yet radical intellectual as the earth pony representative, who agrees to play by the rules at first but eventually subverts the system. Perhaps I'm expecting too much.

This. Unless if you play nothing but visual novels and RPGs who expects video games to be about their dialogue? Although artsy narrative-focused games are fine the medium is ultimately about having fun with the game mechanics. A fun game with absurdly terrible dialogue is still very playable, while a well-written game that's clunky is boring.
>there's no support to him leading a peasant rebellion or being any leader at all, he's just there. The earth ponies we encounter don't seem to have a revolutionary mindset, let alone a mentality to gather around a very uncharismatic rabblerouser with anti-monarchist ideas.
I'm basing my assessment of him on what I've seen, which is literally just this one scene introducing him. If what you say here is true than that's a little disappointing and kind of a wasted opportunity on the author's part. I think an earth-pony rebellion happening alongside whatever Noble Era is scheming and whatever relationship drama goes on between Gareth and Celestia would make for a fun, multi-dimensional story, but if that's not what happens then you're right, there's really no reason for Chucky Larms to even exist. Extraneous characters who cause pointless trouble are generally annoying. I guess I'll reserve final judgement until I see more of how this actually plays out.

>However, it would have been better instead to have a suave yet radical intellectual as the earth pony representative, who agrees to play by the rules at first but eventually subverts the system.
I'm actually going to still disagree with you on this point. What you describe sounds a little too similar to the way Noble Era behaves. Maybe not the exact same thing, but Noble is a character who is very smooth and obsequious and always observes the proper decorum while obviously scheming something behind the scenes. What I initially liked about Chucky is he seemed like a similar antagonist in a similar role, but playing the part completely differently. He seemed to be doing the same thing that Noble was doing, which ultimately amounted to challenging Celestia's authority, only instead of being all sneaky and Machiavellian about it he was just bluntly challenging her.

In general it's a bad idea to have two characters playing the same role the same way, because it just creates redundancy. If Celestia on the one hand hoof, whatever is dealing with a duplicitous noble plotting some cloak and dagger rebellion behind the scenes, and at the same time is dealing with a brash, angry peasant with an army of brash, angry peasants behind him yelling at her to meet whatever retarded demands they have or else they're going to strike or revolt or something, then Celestia is essentially dealing with two complex problems simultaneously. The two problems require opposite approaches for handling: with someone like Noble, who plays by the rules outwardly but works subtly against her, she has to play along and fight him in a diplomatic, cloak and dagger manner. The angry peasants, meanwhile, would have to be managed by a combination of force and appeasement. Another aspect that would make a problem like this interesting is that the objectives of the earth pony rebels led by Chucky and the unicorn aristocracy led by Noble would be diametrically opposed as well, so these two would probably be working against each other also. So now Celestia has a third problem: managing the first two problems while also working to prevent civil war.

This dynamic is interesting story-wise because it requires the character to juggle multiple minor problems while dealing with the single major problem that comprises the main part of the story. When I say "major" and "minor" btw I am speaking in terms of story construction, not so much in terms of actual significance in the world. The story's main focus is the relationship between Celestia and Gareth, so whatever problem they are having would be the main conflict of the story and therefore the "major" problem. The political stuff going on, though it would probably be more important in the "real" world of Equestria, is treated as the minor conflict of the story happening in a subplot. But anyway, the story becomes more interesting the more balls the Celestia character has to juggle. A basic story about a guy and his wife having marital strife due to the fact that she is a horse for crying out loud is, as Nigel has repeatedly pointed out, rather boring. However, a story like this where the husband and wife are trying to sort out their difficulties while simultaneously dealing with court intrigue and violent rebels and a civil war that threatens to topple the kingdom is a much more compelling idea. A talented author could interweave these different story threads into something very fun to read.

However, if the peasant rebel leader and the aristocrat rebel leader are basically the same character doing the same thing, the idea loses punch because instead of Celestia having to solve two different problems simultaneously, she is now essentially solving the same problem twice. This is not only redundant but boring. It's also not a good idea to repeat yourself too much with character design; readers will get bored if they encounter the same type of character too many times.

>Celestia acted extremely foolishly, even for her amnesiac state, to permit him talking smack to her cake-munching face. She did threaten Noble Era that if any of the representatives did anything illegal she would permanently bar him from the court, and I'm pretty sure inciting insurrection/being openly treasonous is illegal. She did say "very well, I accept" hastily and prematurely (which was uncharacteristically foolish in itself), but nopony could reasonably object to her kicking out Cucky Larms and Noble Era after that reprehensible display.
This is also a good point. This is basically why I assumed Chucky was the leader of a peasant rebellion, because no one could reasonably expect to get away with talking this way to a monarch this way unless he had a legitimate threat of force behind him. I guess I just assumed that was where the author was taking it, but again I could turn out to be wrong.
>picture 1
ah fuck wrong pic
>Chunky Larms
The author is a faggot.
Shitloads of cultures have lucky charms of their own.
Lucky is a decent-sounding pony name, IRL horse name, dog name, AND general pet name.
He could name his pony Lucky Charms and the HUMAN FROM THE MEDIEVAL ERA wouldn't bat an eye. Cereal didn't exist back then, it was invented by a Christian who hated masturbators or something like that.
"Chunky" is still a word but "Larms"? Fucking hell, is he even trying to stick to the whole "Pony names are translated words" bit?
And what's with the edgy look and edgy clothing? Why is he missing his coat? Why is he wearing a "Leather coat OBVIOUSLY made from tree sap" when in a world where Tree Sap coats are normal, wearing them wouldn't be seen as cool? Wearing the skin/fur of a dead animal is at least a little fucking metal. But tree saps? Plant monsters are the one thing Equestria didn't have before the Alicorn show finale.

>>"Yeah, abandoning us fer two years? Ain't filling me with confidence, Princess. Alicorns don't just 'go away'. You needed the Elements of Harmony just to banish Nightmare Moon and last time I checked, ain't no pony did that to you!"
he used ain't no incorrectly
>"You needed the Elements of Harmony to banish Nightmare Moon! Last time I checked, there ain't no pony what did that to you!".
this nigger needs spellcheck, he made "Nopony used the elements on you!" sound awkward

>Celestia mispronounces his name on purpose to flex on him
This is something a human would do. I could see Anonymous/Anonfilly calling this guy "Chunky Kong" or "Chunky Logs" or "Child Licker" or "Cheesy Lark" to piss him off. But a 1000+ year old horse queen? This is some "Dolan Drumpf" kind of bullshit right here.

>Celestia is completely bothered by his amateur-hour insults
This author really did Celestia dirty. Nobody fucking reacts correctly in this story.

>Celestia does nothing when this guy insults Celestia to her face, openly says LET'S DO A FEDERATION(tm) WITHOUT YOU because that's what the author is awkwardly going for
fucking shite

>Man and horse walk in on big political meeting to give cake. Pinkie Knockoff gives out fliers.
EVERYONE finds this hilarious. When it isn't really that funny at all, just mildly unexpected. But not as unexpected as it would be if the author skipped over the "Hey Pie can you make me a cake? haha for Celestia" scene
Everything's either overdramatic, wildly inappropriate, too easy, or too cliche. Nothing here is as smart or clever or good as the author thinks it is.

And to everyone here: You're right about video game writing.
It's funny. When films do a part shitly because "That's part of the point" it's ugly.
When a film shows the shaky-cam POV of a fleeing scared character, it's ugly and it hurts the film.
But when a video game forces some Debuff or Limitation or bullshit mechanic onto you because of what's going on in the story, it adds to the story. Usually. Okay, it's shit when they do the Forced Stealth With Weapons Removed And Instant Retry Upon Detection thing. And it's shit when they do the Forced Walking Simulator bit.
Because those two are the easiest low-effort "Marry gameplay with story" tricks possible.
>he used ain't no incorrectly
I wasn't aware that there was a correct way to use "ain't no."

>this nigger needs spellcheck, he made "Nopony used the elements on you!" sound awkward
Nothing's misspelled, but the sentence does read awkwardly. Now that I've reread it I think what he's saying is that the only way to get rid of an alicorn is to send her to the moon using the Elements of Harmony, but nobody has done that to Celestia, thus her absence was not legitmate, thus she abandoned her post so she no longer has the right to rule...or something. It's a really poorly written statement and it doesn't make a ton of sense even once you finally make sense of it. I would have probably cut this part out or just had him say something else.

>when a video game forces some Debuff or Limitation or bullshit mechanic onto you because of what's going on in the story, it adds to the story. Usually. Okay, it's shit when they do the Forced Stealth With Weapons Removed And Instant Retry Upon Detection thing. And it's shit when they do the Forced Walking Simulator bit.
>Because those two are the easiest low-effort "Marry gameplay with story" tricks possible.
I honestly don't have the slightest idea what you're talking about, but I'm going to take your word for it.
273412 273458

Chapter 6: Fear and Compromise

When next we see Gareth, he is sitting out on a balcony or courtyard or something, looking out over the city of Canterlot. He is mostly brooding and sighing and thinking about the good old days, when his wife wasn't a horse for crying out loud. He broods to himself that he is far better at being a soldier and sleeping on the ground and living the rough and tumble life of a manly-man than he is at handling banquets and balls and social stuff. Cue Disintegration by The Cure.

Then, suddenly, his horse-wife shows up with a big-ass bag of chow for him.

>"Hungry, Gareth?" Cecilia said, holding up a sizeable bag of food with her golden magic. Cecilia looked like she had managed to escape the courts rather unscathed.
"sizable" is misspelled.

>"Yes, please," said Gareth, smiling. "I barely ate anything."

A page break follows this last line, and it really isn't a good place for one. I feel like I've commented once or twice already that this author tends to overuse the page break device. Usually it's a device that's reserved for changing scenes or switching characters or jumping time forward somewhat, or else it just divides a large chapter into more manageable chunks. This scene is only a couple of paragraphs long, and there isn't enough happening here to justify changing scenes suddenly like this. In fact, it really isn't a change of scene at all; in the next paragraph we have Celestia setting up the picnic she brought on a table in a nearby gazebo. It may be skipping time a bit, but not enough to justify this sparse amount of text getting its own dedicated subchapter. He could have easily eliminated the page break here and just plunged right into the next paragraph and it would have been fine.

Anyway, Celestia has carefully picked out some of her husband's favorite foods and has evidently put a lot of thought and effort into this meal she put together for him. In the past they have had their best conversations over meals, and she seems to be hoping that this will coax him into talking to her a bit about whatever is going on his head.

>Eating was always a time when they did their best talking. It helped with digestion, Father Clemens claimed.
I get what is being said here; Father Clemens claims that talking helps with digestion. However, the way it's worded it sounds more like he's saying that eating helps with digestion, which is rather silly. Tweak the wording a bit here and it should be fine.

Meanwhile, instead of talking, Gareth sits there stuffing his craw, either oblivious to Celestia or deliberately ignoring her because he knows she wants to talk and he isn't ready to. Instead of eating, she studies his face for a while under the light of the magic spell she cast to illuminate the gazebo.

>He wasn't attracted to her anymore. That hurt. He tried to hide it... but... it wasn' enough for her. Gareth was still every bit the ruggedly handsome man she remembered. Even when living rough he took care of himself, trimming his blonde beard and hair. He bathed daily, washed his clothes, but he never lost that heady scent of wood and leather that was ingrained into him. Celestia stopped herself from sniffing too deeply.
There's a 't' missing from the end of "wasn't." Spellcheck, nigger. Otherwise, though, this is pretty decent. The characters' behavior here is natural and I like the way Celestia's thoughts are handled. She's melancholy without being over-the-top emo about it, and I appreciate the author showing the proper amount of restraint here. She just sort of watches him eat and notices things about him that she's noticed in the past. This isn't the mindless horny devotion of a schoolgirl in love nor is it a lot of over the top angsty brooding about how their relationship has gone south; she's just quietly appraising the qualities of the man she loves. They've hit a rough patch and she's sad about it, but inwardly she believes that they can work through it.

That said, one thing I think this story could do that it isn't doing is explore what kinds of problems the human-horse relationship issue might cause for Celestia as well as Gareth, or might have caused for her in the past. Gareth's problem here is fairly obvious: he still loves his wife, but he finds he's no longer attracted to her because she is a horse for crying out loud. But what's interesting is that the author seems to assume the same issue wouldn't work in reverse. Celestia would have found herself in Gareth's position when she came to England initially. It was slightly different because she was in a human body and maybe that messed with her hormones and attractions and whatnot, but still; should we just take it as a given that she would have found Gareth's gangly, semi-hairless simian form instantly appealing?

I don't like to use terms like "sexist" when talking about literature and whatnot, due to all of the retarded SJW connotations that I don't give a shit about, but it is worth pointing out that there's a bit of a double standard here. The author explores the perfectly reasonable idea that a human might have mixed feelings about being sexually attracted to a pony, yet at the same time he takes it as a given that ponies would automatically be sexually attracted to humans. I see no reason why this should be so. Might Celestia not have had some difficulty adjusting to life in England and having a weird two-legged meat creature as a husband, and might she not also find his hypocrisy here a bit annoying, now that the shoe is on the other foot hoof, whatever?

The single dimension of Celestia's thought that the author explores here is well handled, but he's still treating her feelings as fairly one-dimensional. Can't she be sad, in love, annoyed and pissed off, all at the same time? After all, she's got other shit to worry about right now besides Gareth being a moody prick, and he picked kind of an inconsiderate time to drop this on her.

Also, a minor logical thing that's been bugging me: why did Celestia transform into a human when she came through the portal into humanland, but Gareth didn't transform into a pony when he came through into ponyland?

If I remember correctly, somewhere in the text it mentions one end of the portal being a mirror and the other end being a statue. The implication seems to be that it is either the same portal or a similar portal as the one that connects Equestria to the EqG world since, as we all know, EqG is 100% verified canon :^). Therefore, we can assume similar rules, and the way that portal works is anyone who goes through it gets a human body in Barbieworld and a pony body in Ponyworld. In any event, it makes little sense that an individual would switch bodies going through one way but not the other.

This seems like a rather glaring discrepancy, and it also seems like a bit of a missed opportunity on the author's part. Having Gareth transform into a pony could have created some opportunities for humor: instead of Gareth sticking out like a sore thumb, he would have looked like he blended into the world but still would have clearly known nothing about it. A strange pony shows up one day, he doesn't speak the language, he can't seem to get the rhythm of walking on four legs quite right, and so forth and so on. The first EqG movie was very much a mixed bag, but one of the things I remember finding endearing about it was watching Twilight trying to figure out how to walk upright and act like a human, and this story could have done something similar, but in reverse.

The way it's written is basically fine, but as I said there is a bit of a logic discrepancy with the portal, and I do think it would have been interesting to explore this as a scenario.

Anyway, continuing with the text.

>He was tormented, from the way his eyes twitched to the side, to how he lowered his head just a little closer to his meal. He wanted to fix everything so badly, but just didn't know how yet. That was what Cecilia admired of him the most; Gareth may admit defeat but he never gave up.
Again, I think she's maybe showing just a teensy bit too much devotion to him here. His feelings are justified and he's clearly doing his best, but Celestia does have a right to be at least a little irritated with him. In any event it would make the story a bit more interesting if she got a little mad instead of just playing the perfect, devoted wife all the time. I don't entirely agree with Nigel's assertion that soulpillar has butchered his handling of the character, but I do think she could be explored with a little more depth.

Anyway, the conversation that follows is a little so-so. Along the lines of what I was saying above, there's just not enough conflict happening here for this interaction to be in any way interesting. Here, watch:

>"How are you adjusting?" Celestia said.

>Gareth flinched, metal utensils scraping together.

>"S-slowly," he said, nervously brushing his lips and laying down his knife and fork. "You?"


>Gareth nodded at Celestia's response, grimacing in sympathy.

>"You know, it's going to get quite chilly tonight," said Celestia, placing a forehoof on his wrist. "My offer to drag another bed into my quarters is still open."

>He looking away, saying nothing.

>"Gareth," Celestia felt a hitch in her throat. "Nothing is going... nothing has to happen. I miss you," her forehoof moved to his cheek, slowly turning him back to her. "Please, Gareth?"

>Gareth stared at her sadly, his hand wrapping around her forehoof. "Cecilia… I need more time to process all this. There's no church here, no plague, no pets, no Sunday archery and no steaks. I've... I've sacrificed everything to be with you."

They're too understanding and polite with each other; they aren't making significant headway into their problem and nothing interesting is happening so this feels pointless to read. This situation is stressful and complicated for both of them. They should both have short fuses right now; they should get mad, they should fight a little. Celestia should find Gareth's continued revulsion at the thought of sleeping in the same room with her to be extremely insulting, and should get pissed at him. Gareth should be likewise insulted that she would even think of calling his devotion to her into question, since she is the one who is a horse for crying out loud and he is clearly doing his best to deal with this incredibly weird-ass situation. He gave up everything for her. How dare she get all pissy at him just because he's having a hard time? He should tell her to pop a horse-midol and chill.

This should set her off. She should yell at him, tell him that she's trying to run a kingdom here and all he's done is mope around like a whiny bitch. Also, don't barge in on official state business with baked goods, anyone with half a brain should understand that.

"What?" says Gareth. "How dare you say that? I was trying to be romantic, you pegasus twat."
"I'm an alicorn, you faggot. And your beard looks stupid."
"Says the bitch whose hair glows in the dark. Can you blame me for not wanting to sleep with that blowing in my face all night?"

And so forth.

They should part in a huff and leave the tension unresolved. Now that would be an interesting scene.


>There's no church here
In this world, you're married to God, so technically you're a nun. Maybe you could use that to weasel your way out of horse-sex, you fucking pussy.
>no plague
You don't know that.
>no pets
Sure there are. Go find Fluttershy's ancestor from 500 years ago, I'm sure she'll hook you up.
>no Sunday archery
You could always start a club.
>no steaks
Were those even a thing in medieval times? Whenever I think of medieval food, I always imagine whole animals being slow roasted over giant fireplaces, or big black cauldrons filled with stew. Individual cuts of meat being cooked to order seems a little impractical when trying to feed an entire castle.
>I feel like I've commented once or twice already that this author tends to overuse the page break device.
Not to mention paragraph breaks. This amount of reddit-spacing belongs only to theatre, not to anything meant to be read.
>It was slightly different because she was in a human body and maybe that messed with her hormones and attractions and whatnot, but still; should we just take it as a given that she would have found Gareth's gangly, semi-hairless simian form instantly appealing?
There's a bit of a difference. Celestia explicitly suffers from amnesia and so for three years she lived as a human woman and became accustomed to it. After returning to Equestria things are coming back a bit more naturally but in a way she's in the same boat as Gareth and has to reconfigure herself. In other words, she's still thinking like Cecilia, not like Celestia, which is why she's struggling with her old role. Part of her character journey is trying to fit in her horseshoes again.
>The single dimension of Celestia's thought that the author explores here is well handled, but he's still treating her feelings as fairly one-dimensional. Can't she be sad, in love, annoyed and pissed off, all at the same time?
>In any event it would make the story a bit more interesting if she got a little mad instead of just playing the perfect, devoted wife all the time.
>they should get mad, they should fight a little
>They should part in a huff and leave the tension unresolved. Now that would be an interesting scene.
This is where I disagree with you. Celestia, even 500 years younger, is not the type to lose her cool after a stressful week. I don't recall her flipping out at anypony she cared about in the show and was always calm and gentle. She's hardly perfect and this fanfic tests her, but Celestia's character is "the ideal queen" like Galadriel. Being empathetic and patient to a fault defines her, even if it isn't "interesting" or "realistic," as a powerful ruler who has held power for 500 years will not have an ordinary temperament. The closest archetype to base such a character on would be great women such as Empress Maria Theresa. Though given Celestia's preferences perhaps Catherine the Great would be more appropriate.

I can see now why you prefer going at objectively terrible fiction, because it's much harder to find disagreement with the critic.

>Were those even a thing in medieval times?
I don't know but probably wouldn't be unheard of, at least as a luxury food for a noble. I did find this on Cuckpedia:
>The word steak originates from the mid-15th century Scandinavian word steik, or stickna' in the Middle English dialect, along with the Old Norse word steikja.[5] The Oxford English Dictionary's first reference is to "a thick slice of meat cut for roasting or grilling or frying, sometimes used in a pie or pudding; especially a piece cut from the hind-quarters of the animal." Subsequent parts of the entry, however, refer to "steak fish", which referred to "cod of a size suitable for cutting into steaks", and also "steak-raid", which was a custom among Scottish Highlanders of giving some cattle being driven through a gentleman's land to the owner.[6] An early written usage of the word "stekys" comes from a 15th-century cookbook, and makes reference to both beef or venison steaks.[7]
And hey, by medieval standards horses ranked significantly higher over cattle (https://www.thoughtco.com/types-of-meat-1788846):
>The meat of horses has been consumed ever since the animal was first domesticated five thousand years ago, but in medieval Europe, the horse was only eaten under the direst circumstances of famine or siege. Horse meat is prohibited in the diets of Jews, Muslims, and most Hindus, and is the only food ever to be forbidden by Canon Law, which led to its being banned in most of Europe. Only in the 19th century was the restriction against horse meat lifted in any European country. Horse meat does not appear in any surviving medieval cookbooks.

>This is where I disagree with you. Celestia, even 500 years younger, is not the type to lose her cool after a stressful week. I don't recall her flipping out at anypony she cared about in the show and was always calm and gentle. She's hardly perfect and this fanfic tests her, but Celestia's character is "the ideal queen" like Galadriel. Being empathetic and patient to a fault defines her, even if it isn't "interesting" or "realistic," as a powerful ruler who has held power for 500 years will not have an ordinary temperament. The closest archetype to base such a character on would be great women such as Empress Maria Theresa.
You have a point here; Celestia isn't usually seen getting angry. However, this is only based on her portrayal in the show, which mostly focuses on her role as leader/teacher, in which she needs to project an unflappably calm exterior pretty much all the time. Just because we've never seen her mad doesn't mean she never gets mad. I'll also note that later episodes of the show have occasionally focused on her day to day life, including her sometimes fractious relationship with her sister, where we've seen her getting annoyed and flustered. I feel like she's also yelled at Twilight a few times, or at least spoken harshly to her.

I'll also note that you've called attention to areas where the author has deviated from the canon or used his own interpretation of it for this story, like the idea that Celestia does not literally raise the sun. The implication there is that though Celestia is seen as a perfect sun goddess by her subjects, she is still just a pony on some level and is fallible in ways that she doesn't always let show. It wouldn't be unreasonable for this story to explore that side of her character, and her personal relationships, particularly a romantic relationship, is where that side would be most likely to come out.

My main objection here is that this conversation between Gareth and Celestia doesn't really accomplish anything. They get a few things out in the open I guess, but we don't really learn anything about either of them nor has any real progress been made on the main problem. They just sort of exchange words without anything really happening in the scene. You need to have conflicts and dynamics in a story to keep it interesting. If the central plot of your story revolves around a problem that your two main characters are having with their relationship, we need to see some of the strife and conflict that this problem creates. If your two characters are just polite and understanding to each other the whole time it's a bit boring to read.

>Celestia explicitly suffers from amnesia and so for three years she lived as a human woman and became accustomed to it. After returning to Equestria things are coming back a bit more naturally but in a way she's in the same boat as Gareth and has to reconfigure herself. In other words, she's still thinking like Cecilia, not like Celestia, which is why she's struggling with her old role. Part of her character journey is trying to fit in her horseshoes again.
That I actually wasn't entirely clear on. It makes a little more sense now why she behaves the way she does. I feel like the text mentioned the amnesia but it's a little vague about to what extent she's forgotten her old life.

>I can see now why you prefer going at objectively terrible fiction, because it's much harder to find disagreement with the critic.
Actually, as much as I enjoy dunking on the really bad stuff, reading something of better quality tends to provoke more actual discussion. I feel pretty confident that I know what I'm talking about most of the time, but a lot of my thoughts are still based on subjective interpretation and shouldn't be taken as gospel. What I'm enjoying here is that it's been more of a real discussion, where we can can get multiple perspectives on what the strengths and weaknesses of this particular work are, as opposed to me just shitting on it and saying "here's what's bad and here's what would be good." This latest discussion is a good example; you've brought up some things that I hadn't noticed or hadn't considered.

Anyway, we also learn here that apparently Gareth has acquired a nickname among the ponies: they are now calling him Big Daddy Thundercock, which in Equestrian translates roughly to Grey Spear. Celestia teases him about it, and he accepts her teasing gruffly but good-naturedly.

>"It was Gleaming Horizon's idea, actually. She also mentioned how you tucked her into bed yesterday. How very chivalrous of you, Sir Gareth, and now you've got a lady-in-waiting pining for you," said Celestia, now grinning mischievously.
This is also an area where I might have handled things differently. I felt fairly certain that Gareth's refusing to climb into bed with Celestia but allowing a strange unicorn to crawl into his bedding outside might provoke some kind of a fight, or at least be something that Celestia might feel a bit wounded by, but she seems to be taking it in stride here. There's nothing necessarily wrong with this, however, because the author takes it in its own direction anyway.

She uses this to mess with him a little. Gareth seems to expect more or less the same reaction from Celestia that I did, and begins sputtering and trying to explain himself, which mostly amuses Celestia.

Anyway, I find I'm coming around a bit on this scene. Celestia gives him shit about the (apparently) jailbait pony that (apparently) now has a thing for him, and he gets flustered. It breaks the tension somewhat, and it's cute. Moreover, their interactions and conversation feel mostly natural. There are, however, a few wording choices I don't entirely agree with:

>Gareth blanched predictably. Celestia felt a little guilty for baiting him like this, but it was so easy!
"Blanched" isn't exactly the wrong word to use here, but as with some of the other word choices I've pointed out before, it just seems a little heavy-handed for what's actually happening. She's made him nervous, but to blanch means to completely lose all color in your face; it's something that happens when you come across a dead body or something. "Paled" would have conveyed the author's intent far less dramatically. He could have even gone the opposite direction and had him blush or something.

>"God's truth, Cecilia!" Gareth spat. "Doesn't she get that I'm married to you? Besides, how old is she for a pony anyway?"
Again, "spat" feels wrong here. I'd probably go with "sputtered." "Spat" conveys anger, which could make sense, but since we had him "blanching" previously I get the impression that he is more nervous and apologetic than angry here.

>Gareth gave her an expression akin to a kicked puppy.
This is yet another instance of soulpillar's awkward phrasing. I get what he's trying to say here, but it's just worded badly. "Gareth looked at her like a puppy who had just been kicked" or something to that effect would be a better and simpler way to say the same thing.

Anyway, Cecilia/Celestia feels that Gareth needs to lighten up a bit, so she has decided to employ her old standby tactic of insisting that he leave the castle and make some friends. She has arranged for him to take lessons with Gleaming Horizon, the very pony whose interest in him she was teasing him about earlier. Gareth protests that none of the ponies except Styre, Butter Pie and Celestia herself seem to be able to see him, but she has thought of that already. She shows him a jeweled helmet that she wants him to wear, that will apparently make it easier for the ponies to see him.

>Doctor Legata prescribed that you wore something like this for roughly a year.
Doctor Legata prescribed that you wear something like this for roughly a year.

>"Gems are solidified magic, Gareth," Celestia calmly explained. "In this world, when magic saturates an area for a long time, the magic slowly gets heavier until it starts to form small rocks. Somewhat like ice, actually. Those gems are ideal for helping ponies see you better."
This makes sense enough I suppose, and it's within the rules established earlier about why the ponies can't see him. It also conveniently answers the age-old question of why there are cut and polished gems lying around all over Equestria.

Gareth puts on his fancy new hat, and Celestia thinks it makes him look dashing. However, Gareth agrees to only wear it on one condition: that he be allowed to hunt...the deadliest game of all. Celestia is disturbed that her husband would ask for such a thing, but a deal is a deal. She really does think that hat looks good on him. So, she agrees, but tells him that he needs to give Private Styre at least a 30 minute head start first...

Okay, that last bit didn't actually happen. However, Gareth does tell Celestia that he would like to hunt again, but Celestia is not quite sure how to explain to him that he lives in pastel pony land now, and that hunting is a no-no sport. Finally, she agrees to let him, but he is not allowed to hunt alone, nor is he allowed to kill anything he catches. Gareth is confused and annoyed, but he agrees to her condition.

>"Fine," said Gareth. "I'll agree to your terms, self-defense only. I'll spend the next month preparing for the expedition."
Unless she's going to make him get a license and take a safety course, I'm not really sure what preparations he'd need to make that would take a whole month.

Also, I don't know if it was intentional or not, but I did notice this:

>Celesia nodded. "Catch and release only. Do you understand?"
>"Fine," said Gareth. "I'll agree to your terms, self-defense only.
He slipped that bit about self-defense bit in there pretty smoothly, and I don't think she caught it. Looks like Gareth has dealt with liberal princesses before. Now he's got a technicality he can exploit:

Anyway, the scene ends at another page break, so I'll go ahead and stop there for tonight.
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A few days ago I posted a half-written mess of a post in one of these threads because the site lags like hell on mobile so hard it fucks up my on-screen keyboard. End up waiting 2-3 seconds per key press and any sequence of 10+ letters causes crashes, also held-button symbols and gestures are right out. I forgot where it ended up.

Anyway this story's boring on the grounds that it's a mediocre almost-interesting take on a tired dead format. Every cliche "Mandatory" for the fandom's approval is here in plain english and every "Twist" isn't given a chance to actually matter.

Imagine a story where an alcoholic human goes to Equestria. His desire for a drink is played for laughs now and then but he's a cartoon pony who can't get drunk, or the magic world will turn any created alcohol non-alcoholic. Also he bones Rainbow Dash because he met her first. Also he snarks with fellow drunk friend Berry Punch at the non-alcoholic bar, their friendship is exactly as easy as "OC plus one-note personality injected into a background character" usually is.

Now imagine a better story that explores the Alcoholic In Equestria concept harder, making the guy a twitchy junkie overwhelmed with cravings. He gets mad, pushes friends away, makes Pinkie Pie cry, he might even attempt suicide. When he asks Twilight to free him of this torment she can't because magic works by thinking words in the Equestrian Language real hard and they don't have a word for Drunk or Alcohol. Berry Punch just has motor disabilities, that's why she seems drunk in an alcohol-free world. The story becomes about his road to recovery, with Rainbow Dash at his side because it reminds her of when she breaks her wings and visits the hospital for healing and her wings take time to recover even if they look like they get better in under 22 minutes.

This story's the former but gayer because it has NUMEROUS twists it can explore in an interesting way and never explores any of them. Celly and Humie's relationship should be suffering, the race leaders should be cool threats, horses should find his edgy "i wanna hunt and i ready my knife" bullshit either creepy and terrifying or exactly as disgusting and uncool as a shit-eater talking about his love for drinking blood and eating shit. Human being magic-less? Why have magic SUPER-AMPLIFIED on him in a manner that turns magic from a boring convenience into an excuse for lolsorandom bullshit, when you could instead have magic work normally on him AND say "eating food will get rid of the problem eventually" AND give him a silly hat that fixes everything in the meantime...

I don't want to sound like an ungrateful faggot bitching over nothing. Glim, I respect you for doing these. The previous fics were fun trainwrecks and discussing where they went wrong was fun. This story is a boring slow train, it doesn't wreck but it's immensely slow because its driver lacks ambition. It's still shaky and runs over plenty of bumps in the road because the driver lacks skill, too. Still fucks up wording, spelling, trying to fancy-talk to impress us all and failing there. He isn't trying to redeem the evil form of a villain and failing. He isn't trying to tell an Aesop Fable about the dangers of AI gods while making the whole scam look as stupid as it is. He's just telling a boring safe story with very minor low-impact twists that are quickly glossed over and untwisted into nothingness. I just wish this bullshit would pick up the damn pace!

At least there's an opportunity here to talk about where the story's going wrong and what it could do better. When I look at this story I see a chance to pick ANY of these twists, grab them, twist them HARDER, and turn them into something that will send Celestia and Humie's stupid romance plot off the rails completely to force this story to become original. In a weird way, that's less good than the previous two stories. Past Sins could be turned into a good Nyx story or a good Redemption Of NMM story, but not both at once because NMM is Luna's anger, not a small filly. That shitty AI story could be turned into a good story if it wasn't completely buttfucking retarded and full of awful characters making terrible decisions for the convenience of a bad author who only writes to suck off LessWrong's Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality by Elizer Yudowsky.

A good Fall And Rise or Le Cute Innocent Girl story can be made out of Past Sins. A good Disaster Movie(where the heroes survive) or Tragedy(Where nobody survives) can be made out of Friendship Is Optimal.

But this story... To make it a good story you'd need to make it a _____ story. A something story that's about something, not a nothing-story like this. You'd have to pick a stupid gimmicky low-impact twist, twist it harder for originality's sake, and give this story an actual solid plot that incorporates all these ill-fitting elements. Put the human through Planet 51 and focus on him (With the politics as a "Why celestia can't make equestria be nice to humie" excuse) or put Celestia through focused-on politics with the human as a bitchy distraction who eventually grows into a source of comfort and strength. Trying to balance both means neither gets to play a major part in the other's plot. Human has friends and a place in society now, his personal plot's over. Unable to matter more than Celly's half-assed one.

This story is why it was a mistake for Fanfiction.Net to have a "General" genre category. "General" fics are normal genreless half-assed one-scene pieces, or wannabe-show-accurate 5,000,000 word Alternate Universe epics, or anything else ever. But this story feels like something that could only have the general label applied to it, since it sure as hell isn't focusing on the Romance, the Political Intrigue, the Worldbuilding, or the medieval bullshit, or being a magicless eldritch thing ponies have trouble seeing, or being an edgy cunt in rainbow land. It's just generic words and I wish it was gay for reasons besides mediocrity.
I just noticed, my ID's hue is like a GreenScreen.
If a /mlpol/ Thread Simulator is ever done, it could have some fun with that.

Will admit I am really enjoying everyone's input and crituiqes though I've said that about a dozen times so far. Will agree though that so far there isn't anything for us to latch onto and be a source of comedy for us to pick apart. I've seen some comments say the story picks up after the initial part so excited to see that and what insight fellow anons may gleam from it.

I myself have been attempting to keep some of the writing advice in mind while formulating a story of my own so while I'm unsure how Glim Glam chooses stories to review I feel it could be a great source of growth in my writing and a great source of comedy to have him and others here tear me a new one picking it apart.

If it'd be alright with Glim I could maybe post it on Fimfiction when I finish it and place a link in this thread or somewhere more appropriate to see if it's worth a thrashing.
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In the next scene, Gareth is just waking up from another nightmare, which probably involved being on a hunting trip but not being allowed to kill anything. Apparently he is still sleeping out in the courtyard for whatever reason. I understand that he is still having difficulties sleeping next to Celestia what with her being a horse for crying out loud, but what I don't get is why this necessitates him sleeping outside. Canterlot is a large castle that frequently has dignitaries visiting and can be presumed to have (many) guest rooms; I really see no reason why Gareth couldn't simply occupy one of those.

This would make sense from a political perspective as well. Celestia's position is weak right now and she can't really afford to have her bizarre personal problems being the subject of public gossip. She suddenly returns after an unexplained 3 year absence, bringing along some strange two-legged creature that she refers to as "Prince Consort," however the "Prince Consort" refuses to sleep with her, preferring to stay outside in the yard and fletch arrows until three in the morning. It's hard to imagine that this wouldn't be a significant topic of conversation for the castle's staff.

"Prince Consort" basically implies that Gareth and Celestia are not married but are romantically involved. This sort of thing was actually fairly common with aristocratic houses in the middle ages, and can be presumed common in contemporary Equestria as well. Since most marriages were politically arranged, it wasn't uncommon for lords and ladies to have relationships with paramours that were generally tolerated and overlooked so long as basic propriety was followed. For this reason, what would make the most sense in Celestia's case would be for her to call Gareth her "guest" and put him up in one of the castle bedrooms, probably a convenient but respectable distance away from her own chambers. From there, people could assume whatever they liked, which means that ironically, Gareth could enjoy the comfortable position of being her assumed boy-toy without having to actually sleep with her. Anyway.

>Gareth stood, shaking the memory of the dream from his mind. He didn't want to imagine the meaning behind cutting open a screaming Cecilia with his dagger, only to see her blood-soaked human form leap out of her skin and embrace him.
The meaning there should be fairly obvious even to Gareth and does not require much analysis.

>He stepped out of his bedding, half dressed and shivering. His bare feet went numb against the frosted grass.
So wait, he sleeps outside every night with just a blanket, but still takes his clothes and shoes off and wears his flippin' pajamas? For a soldier who has spent probably the majority of his adult life on campaign, he doesn't seem to know much about roughing it. Ffs, either get a tent or sleep in your clothes.

Anyway, he needs a distraction to take his mind off of the bad dream, so he starts poking around the courtyard and discovers a tree with wood pliable enough to make a bow out of. So, he liberates some tools from the toolshed and sits down to make himself a bow.

>Hunting in 'self-defence' is such an easy notion to abuse.
Looks like he plans on taking the "it's coming right for us" defense to heart. Also, it's "defense," not "defence." Spellcheck, nigger.

Page break.

>It was noon the next day. The sun was high in the sky.

>Gareth stood in the middle of the Guardsman's target range, a completed bow in hand.
These two separated lines should be a single paragraph. Usually I don't have a problem with so-called "Reddit spacing" since it basically just amounts to writing like a normal human, but there is such a thing as overdoing it.

Anyway, it seems that Gareth is a bit sleep deprived, since he has been spending most of his nights either fine-tuning his bow or making arrows.

He strings his bow and attempts a shot, but misses, which annoys him and amuses the ponies watching. He's about to take another shot, when Gleaming Horizon shows up to tell him that he missed his daily language lesson or whatever. He tries to ignore her while he takes another shot, but she speaks and breaks his concentration, which causes him to miss again. This gets him laughed at again, which annoys him even further.

He takes a few more shots and consistently misses all of them. He blames the fletching on the arrows, which could be true since he kind of nigger-rigged his arrows using pegasus feathers he found. However, he also doesn't seem to be in the right headspace to be doing target practice. Also, he keeps embarrassing himself in front of ponies who keep laughing at him, which is probably making him choke harder than George Floyd.

Gleaming Horizon keeps trying to gently convince him he needs to come with her, but he gruffly tells her to fuck off, because he's practicing for the manly-man sport of hunting, and doesn't have time for her girly-girl unicorn crap. However, she eventually tries to physically remove him so to speak from the shooting range, which causes him to drop his quiver of arrows into the mud. He gets pissed off and draws his dagger on her, which causes her to predictably freak out. The guards surrounding them react and prepare to attack, but Gareth catches himself in time and calms down. Gleaming Horizon is appropriately terrified of him, but he is able to calm her down too. They leave to go do their lesson, and the scene ends with (yet another) page break.

This scene is actually rather well executed. The author establishes a tense scene and gradually notches up the tension: Gareth keeps trying to hit a target, he keeps missing, ponies keep laughing at him, Gleaming Horizon keeps distracting him, until eventually it explodes and he pulls his dagger on her in a rage. There are, of course, some more of the usual issues with phrasing, but in the interest of time I'm going to let it slide here.

We rejoin Gareth 4 hours later, after his lesson. He is still dejected and tired. However, he seems to have basically enjoyed his lesson, as Gleaming Horizon reminds him of Father Clemens, the character who has been referenced before. I'll say again that one of the things this story does well is the slow revelation of background information, rather than stuffing all of it into huge infodump paragraphs. Protip for writers: although this story is a bit of a mixed bag overall, one thing you can definitely learn from it is how to gradually fill in character backstory details throughout the course of the main story. If you're reading along, pay attention to how soulpillar introduces us to incidental characters from Gareth's past, because he's doing it correctly.

We have not been explicitly told who Father Clemens is exactly, but each time the author references him we get another bit of detail filled in, so that by now we actually have a pretty clear picture. He is presumably a clergyman at his uncle's castle, and served in the capacity of tutor for Gareth. He is also a person of whom Gareth is fond, and sees as a friend and confidant. Clemens is introverted and academic, as opposed to Gareth's extroverted and active nature, but rather than grating on him, Gareth finds this contrast soothing and sees the time he spends with the Father as something of a pleasant break from his normal, often stressful, activities. Gleaming Horizon has a similar personality and similar mannerisms, and as such Gareth finds he enjoys spending time with her.

What I would probably do here is begin to develop this relationship as a sort of non-sexual diversion for Gareth. Since he is having difficulty relating to his wife, he begins to invest more time and energy into a deeper friendship with this pony whose presence reminds him of a friend from his old life, and thus has a calming and nostalgic influence on him. Since Gareth does not appear to be attracted to the ponies, this relationship is platonic for him, though from what Celestia hinted at in an earlier scene, it seems that she may have a slight crush on him. As this relationship deepens, it simultaneously widens the gulf between Gareth and Celestia, which causes Celestia, who initially approved of this relationship, to begin to feel inadequate and jealous. This establishes Gleaming Horizon as something of a romantic rival for Celestia, even if she and Gareth are not technically involved, and adds another layer of complexity to the story.

Again, this is simply what I would do; what the author will do remains to be seen.

Anyway, Gareth's mind wanders a bit as he walks. He notes the differences between how magic is perceived in this world and in his own. He also notes the similarities between Satan and Discord.

He eventually arrives at the throne room, but the guards won't let him in. He listens for a moment, and realizes that Celestia is in the middle of something that sounds fairly important. He decides that there is no need to press the issue, so he sits down against a nearby wall and goes to sleep.

Page break. Instead of switching perspectives to Celestia in the throne room as I was expecting, we instead stick with Gareth. As he is sleeping, he imagines that he feels the jaws of an animal closing around his head. He opens his eyes to see that a dog of some kind is sniffing at him. He overreacts again, assuming the creature is attacking him, and pounces on it while drawing his dagger.

This comes as a great shock to the crowd of ponies that appears to have formed sometime while he was asleep. After a few moments of confusion, it becomes apparent that the creature he pounced on is a Diamond Dog at least I am assuming from the description that this is a Diamond Dog; it is not explicitly stated in the text, that had simply approached him out of curiosity.

This seems like a fairly honest mistake, actually. The Diamond Dog got a little too close for comfort while Gareth was asleep, Gareth thought he was being attacked and took a defensive action. He didn't harm the dog, he just pulled a knife on it. The surrounding courtiers are understandably alarmed, but ultimately no harm was done. However, due to the dog's dress Gareth takes him to be an important noble. He also seems to have inspired an argument between two ponies over how offensive his actions were. The exchange is seen only from Gareth's perspective, so we don't get names and the dialogue is all in pony-gibberish. However, if I'm understanding it correctly, the unicorn who speaks in Gareth's defense is Noble Era and the earth pony speaking against him is Chucky Larms.

Anyway, Gareth freaks out and decides to run away, a decision which may have been unwise but is probably logical enough from his perspective.

Page break. We're still with Gareth. He runs off to Celestia's bedroom because why not I guess; it's not like he really has anywhere else to go. He barges in on Celestia, who is sitting at her desk sketching angrily. She seems in a foul mood and tells him to get the fudge out, although she words it a bit more politely.

What follows is yet another poorly executed interaction scene, which bears slightly closer scrutiny than I have space for, so I will continue in a new post.

After his weird encounter downstairs that may or may not have broader political ramifications, Gareth runs upstairs and barges into Celestia's room. He finds her in a foul mood. She asks him to leave, but he decides that whatever is up his ass is more pressing than whatever is up her ass, so he ignores her. He approaches, and starts to ask about a word in ponyspeak, 'ucigas,' that he heard Chucky Larms use in reference to him, until he notices what she's drawing.

>That was black-and-white sketch of wingless, hornless pony.
This how caveman talk. Sentence bad. Author rewrite.

Anyway, more to the point is this:

>"It's nothing important!" Cecilia spluttered, snatching it from his grip, stuffing it into a drawer. She pushed forward, forehooves pressing against him as she checked for injury. "The guards have been tearing the castle apart trying to find you! A-are you okay? Did the ambassador hurt you?"

As ever, Cecilia/Celestia's reactions are all over the place. When Gareth first enters the room, she is short-tempered with him, barely suppressing her anger. Then, when he continues to approach, she suddenly transforms:

>"Gareth?" Cecilia's voice was low and vulnerable. She turned to him, anger draining, replaced by worry.

Without any particular warning, her emotional state transitions from angry to anxious and vulnerable. Then, when Gareth looks at her drawing, she once again changes, starts spluttering, puts the drawing away, and then changes the subject.

This is the same type of action/reaction I've been complaining about since the beginning of this story. The characters behave like actors overacting; every single motion is exaggerated, and here we have Celestia jerking back and forth between extremities of emotion like a marionette being yanked around by the strings. It's not natural behavior. It's clear that she's agitated about something, but it's not expressed believably.

Gareth's actions are also odd. He wakes up and threatens the dog, which again is a somewhat reasonable action since he was surprised and was in something of an agitated state to begin with due to being overly tired and stressed. He then flees the scene, which is also reasonable enough given the circumstances. However, from here it gets strange. He immediately runs upstairs to his wife's room and barges in. The text states that he is angry at the way the guards look at him, for reasons that are not elaborated upon. It also implies that if the door had not been unlocked he would have kicked it down. This seems like an overreaction to say the least.

He enters Celestia's room and finds her in a foul temper. She asks him to leave, but he decides that "he needs answers," so he presses on undeterred. He steps forward, and apparently all he intended to do up here was to ask her "What does 'ucigas' mean?" This question was apparently important enough that he was willing to kick down the door just to ask it, but before he gets the words out, he gets distracted by the picture she's drawing and it completely diverts his attention.

Also confusing is the time frame. As Celestia stuffs the drawing into her desk to hide it, she tells him that the guards have been tearing the castle apart looking for him. Why? Is it because of what happened downstairs? When did this occur, exactly? How much time has elapsed? Nothing is clear.

The impression I have is that Gareth flees immediately after the scene downstairs, and runs straight to Celestia's. If that is the case, though, how in the world would she have heard that the guards were looking for him so quickly? And if the guards were looking for him and word had reached Celestia's room, why wasn't he stopped and apprehended by the guards at her door?

For that matter, where was Celestia when this event happened? Gareth fell asleep outside the throne room when Celestia was still holding court. By the time he awakens, she was no longer there, but her courtiers were. So court ended, she went upstairs to draw, everyone else hung around in the hall outside the throne room, then a diamond dog woke up Gareth, so he pulled a knife, then ran upstairs to Celestia's room? And somehow in the interim between his pulling the knife and his reaching her bedroom (let's be generous and call it about 5 minutes, since it's a big castle) she managed to get wind of what happened, but as soon as he barged in, she was more concerned with the picture she was drawing and asked him to leave? Literally nothing about this makes any sense.

Anyway, at the very least, we find out what happened downstairs. The Diamond Dog who Gareth held the knife to was their ambassador apparently, who was trying to steal the gems out of his magic hat yes, this autism is actually in the text. So, in probably the most absurd turn of events yet, we now learn that Gareth's reaction was completely justified to begin with.

Anyway, apparently what Celestia was stressed out about was just standard bullshit about running the kingdom, something about the Earth Ponies wanting territory from the unicorns or something like that. She's losing her shit because she still has memory problems and can't focus. Gareth decides that her stress is more important than the fact that he may or may not currently be wanted for the attempted assassination of a foreign ambassador who may have been attempting to rob him, and decides to listen to her bullshit instead. But Celestia, in turn, is like "nope, we're staying on your bullshit for awhile, sweetie:"

>I've heard reports about you being up at ungodly hours trying to make a bow, how you nearly assaulted Gleaming Horizon and how you DID assault the Diamond Dog Ambassador! Gareth, you followed me here to all this and I just keep hurting you!
Literally all of this sounds like examples of Gareth hurting or attempting to hurt others, but whatever I guess. Maybe it's time for everypony to just calm down and have some frosty chocolate milkshakes.
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Anyway, as the two of them are standing around arguing about whose problems are shittier, suddenly it gets interesting.

>"Gareth… let's run away."

>"…What?" Gareth breathed, his head flicked up to her in disbelief.

>"Yes," Cecilia continued, a sick, desperate smile formed on her face. She turned to him, grabbing his shoulders. "Gareth, let's run! We can start again. W-we can have what we had before! We just need to go back through the portal and it'll all be—"

Either that, or you could just chill the fuck out and have some frosty chocolate milkshakes. Also, question: how exactly does she grab his shoulders? Seriously, think about it for a second.

Anyway, Gareth manages to keep his head and talks some sense into her:

>"Stop it, Cecilia," Gareth said through grit teeth. "I didn't marry a weakling, and you have a stronger will than any man or woman I know. You can do this. Everyone out there trusts you and depends on you. You can’t leave them. They aren't going to give up on you if you don't give up on them."
I'm about 85% certain it should be 'gritted teeth' here, but I could actually be wrong. Verb tense is annoying in English sometimes.

>Slowly, gently, his hands released her forehooves and pulled her head forward. His forehead placed itself in a nook between her horn and her nose.
Also, his forehead doesn't place itself in the nook; Gareth places his forehead in the nook.

>"G-Gareth," she started to break in his grip, wrapping herself around him again. This time it was easier to ignore the smell. The urge to break away was easily squelched.
It's hard to visualize what's happening here exactly. "She started to break in his grip" is ambiguous, and when combined with "wrapping herself around him again" it almost sounds like she's intentionally breaking her own bones so she can coil her now-gelatinous body around him like a snake. I'm going to just go ahead and assume that this isn't what the author meant to say. Also, it would probably be best not to mention the smell at all. I get that this scene is meant to be something of a turning point for them, and that Gareth's finally getting past the fact that she smells like a horse for crying out loud is a milestone. However, calling the reader's attention to foul odors is usually not a good idea when you're trying to write a touching, romantic moment between two lovers. Also, words like "squelch" have kind of a mildly gross sound to them and convey the same unintentional effect here.

Anyway, Gareth confirms the significance of the moment by promising to sleep in her room that night. Also, he vows to learn the language and become useful to her in some capacity:

>Gareth knew his duty. He needed to know the language of the ponies. He couldn't stay on the sidelines anymore. Perhaps it was time Cecilia's subjects knew exactly who the Prince Consort was. For better or worse.
While he's at it, he should probably let the reader know as well, because I'm still a little confused on that point.

Anyway, that's the end of the chapter so I'm going to call it good for today.
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You've been more vocal about your opinions on this story I think than on any of the others we've done, save your own of course. I'm actually curious, are you following along with the text as we're reading, or are these views based solely on the synopses I've provided? If it's the latter and you dislike the story this much, you may want to start following the actual text so you can provide more focused comments on exactly what it is you don't care for.

>Imagine a story where an alcoholic human goes to Equestria. His desire for a drink is played for laughs now and then but he's a cartoon pony who can't get drunk, or the magic world will turn any created alcohol non-alcoholic. Also he bones Rainbow Dash because he met her first. Also he snarks with fellow drunk friend Berry Punch at the non-alcoholic bar, their friendship is exactly as easy as "OC plus one-note personality injected into a background character" usually is.

>Now imagine a better story that explores the Alcoholic In Equestria concept harder, making the guy a twitchy junkie overwhelmed with cravings. He gets mad, pushes friends away, makes Pinkie Pie cry, he might even attempt suicide. When he asks Twilight to free him of this torment she can't because magic works by thinking words in the Equestrian Language real hard and they don't have a word for Drunk or Alcohol. Berry Punch just has motor disabilities, that's why she seems drunk in an alcohol-free world. The story becomes about his road to recovery, with Rainbow Dash at his side because it reminds her of when she breaks her wings and visits the hospital for healing and her wings take time to recover even if they look like they get better in under 22 minutes.

I'm not really seeing how these examples connect to this story or anything we've discussed so far. If i'm following you correctly, you're saying that the second example is a slightly more mature example of the first, yet doesn't offer much greater substance, it just tries to be darker and more serious. You seem to also be implying that this story is like the second example, in that it attempts a more serious treatment of the HiE fantasy story, yet ultimately offers the same amount of substance.

You have a tendency to go pretty far off-track in order to make your points, and this is why I think you'd benefit from focusing more on what specifically you don't like in the text itself rather than trying to use these vague examples as metaphors. I use examples to make my points sometimes too, but most of the time I just point out specific things in the text that I either like or don't like and form my general opinion of the work from that.

The exercise here isn't to praise good stories or shit on bad ones, the exercise here is to take something and read it critically. Critical reading is one of the best skills you can possibly develop if you're interested in writing, because it enables you to go beyond simply saying "I like this" or "I don't like this" and articulate exactly why you like it or don't like it, in very precise objective terms.

I personally try to come into each one of these things with as neutral an attitude as I can manage. I just take what the author literally wrote, analyze the things I like and the things I don't, and form an objective opinion of whether the work is good or not. Also, whether or not I consider the work to be objectively "good" is separate from whether or not I personally enjoyed reading it or whether the subject matter is to my taste. For instance, I don't give a rat's ass about Naruto, but I could still read a Naruto fanfiction and objectively assess its quality, and my personal disinterest in the subject matter wouldn't be a factor.

The other thing I try to do is to look at the underlying potential of each of these works, and in the event I'm dealing with an objectively bad one (which has mostly been the case so far), determine what would need to happen in order to make it good. Your work, for example, is objectively one of the worst things ever written in the English language, but I do think there is some underlying potential there that could be harnessed and unleashed, it would just require a lot of discipline and a lot of rewriting. Past Sins, by contrast, has too many foundational problems to be salvageable. There is potential there, but in order to be realized it would require a complete redesign from the ground up. As in, the entire concept needs to be revised, not just the text. Friendship is Optimal, objectively speaking, is the worst one we've read all around: not only is it poorly executed, there's nothing really there to salvage. You could take the same theme of an AI takeover based on MLP and write a new story from that concept I guess, but what exists has no substance at all: there are no characters, little plot, the prose is awful, and there is almost nothing worth salvaging from the text.
>While he's at it, he should probably let the reader know as well, because I'm still a little confused on that point.
It's Gareth's perception of being a loyal dutiful husband.

Basically Gareth found out he married a hoers, but still has Cecilia's personality. What do? A) oh shit run squire, B) keep the covenant with God and his wife, C) murderhobo. In a world of mini horses where he is accumulating tension, stress, and trying to reconcile what works back home verses magical pony land.

>she started to break in his grip,
An emotional/mental breakdown. Lovey dovey stuff, juxtaposed by Gareth hugging a smelly animal comforting it. A nod that yes he isn't all there fully accepting, but he has now reordered his priorities to be the husband, through thick and thin. Seriously though this time. Overcoming yet another hurdle to getting the sun butt horse pussy.

>The exercise here isn't to praise good stories or shit on bad ones, the exercise here is to take something and read it critically. Critical reading is one of the best skills you can possibly develop if you're interested in writing, because it enables you to go beyond simply saying "I like this" or "I don't like this" and articulate exactly why you like it or don't like it, in very precise objective terms.
Rereading this story now I realize my bullshit smoother is really really high. Painting the actions with the minimum necessary actual reading; it's all just fuel for the fire of imagination. I'll make it work and increase my satisfaction through self delusion and copious amounts of 'eh fuck it' even if it's not true to the text or the words.
Trying to analyze the text and not the idealized version where it's more fleshed out isn't something I'm used to.

I appreciate the critical lens you're looking through it with, and it's helping me with crafting my own works.

By that metric, this story is by a wide margin the best thing we've read so far. It has its problems, which I will get to in a second, but in terms of its organization and structure, it would require the least amount of revision to realize its potential. From a bird's eye view the story so far has been laid out correctly, the events progress in a reasonably logical fashion, and there is no aimless meandering like we had with Peen Stroke, or pointless techno babble like with Assman. The characters have clearly defined goals, the central conflict is clearly established, and there are a couple of subplots that also have clearly established conflicts. The various plots all relate to the main story; there is nothing that is just extraneously dumped in. As far as I can tell, the author seems to have a pretty competent understanding of how to properly build a story. The actual text needs revision, and some aspects of the story do as well, but I haven't found anything so far that makes it fundamentally flawed enough to require a complete rewrite from scratch, as was the case with Past Sins.

Now, that said, it does indeed have its problems, and I'll say that you've actually made some good observations here:

>Celly and Humie's relationship should be suffering
This I agree with completely. The biggest non-mechanical weakness I find in this story is in the lack of tension and conflict that exists between the two main characters. The central theme of this story seems to be that true love can survive any trial, so in that case I think their love needs to undergo...more of an actual trial. There needs to be more turmoil here: we have a story about two lovers who find out they are from different universes and different species, and they're trying to work it out regardless, against a backdrop of revolution and political turmoil no less. This is an extremely good setup for a romance story; it's just woefully underutilized here. All sorts of shit should be going wrong: there should be fights and misunderstandings left and right, Celestia should think Gareth doesn't love her anymore, Gareth should think Celestia is being demanding, there should be potential love rivals for each of them, the political situation should be spiraling out of control in the background. This whole story right now should just be one conflict after another.

>the race leaders should be cool threats
They should at least pose more of a threat than they appear to, I don't agree that they need to be "cool" necessarily. For instance, anon mentioned earlier that apparently the Chucky Larms character is not actually leading a peasant revolt, he's just an annoying douchebag. That's disappointing if true; total wasted opportunity. As I said, based on its setup this whole story should be conflict, conflict, conflict. Anything that can go wrong should go wrong. So, the more of an actual threat the political rebels pose, the better.

>horses should find his edgy "i wanna hunt and i ready my knife" bullshit either creepy and terrifying
This is probably true, and I find his angst and edge to be a little over the top at times also.

>Why have magic SUPER-AMPLIFIED on him in a manner that turns magic from a boring convenience into an excuse for lolsorandom bullshit, when you could instead have magic work normally on him AND say "eating food will get rid of the problem eventually" AND give him a silly hat that fixes everything in the meantime...
I don't think the magic element needs to be super-amplified for lols, in fact I prefer to downplay stuff like that, but I will say that I was a little disappointed by how the author introduced Gareth's invisibility as a concept but then never really did much with it. As I discussed earlier, it's thematically relevant to emphasize that Gareth is an interloper in Equestria, and I thought that having him appear as a physical anomaly to the ponies was an interesting idea. Unfortunately, I misunderstood the author's intent. I thought that maybe he was putting on his big-boy pants and attempting to use symbolism, but really he was just adding a mildly interesting but ultimately mundane technical detail to the world, which he then proceeded to gradually paper over in an equally mundane way. Again, total missed opportunity.

>This story is a boring slow train, it doesn't wreck but it's immensely slow because its driver lacks ambition.
To be perfectly honest, this is similar to my feeling so far. It's competently written composed, but it's not exactly a gripping page-turner. I think the root of this is the lack of deep conflict I mentioned earlier; there needs to be more happening that puts Celestia and Gareth's love to the test. Since the central conflict of the story has to do with their relationship undergoing a trial, that trial needs to have a little more intensity. In terms of my own personal interest, I find the needle has mostly stayed in the middle for me. I'm interested enough to keep reading, but I don't feel passionately about it one way or the other.

>Put the human through Planet 51 and focus on him (With the politics as a "Why celestia can't make equestria be nice to humie" excuse) or put Celestia through focused-on politics with the human as a bitchy distraction who eventually grows into a source of comfort and strength. Trying to balance both means neither gets to play a major part in the other's plot.
Here is where I disagree with you. I think the political subplot works well with the main relationship plot, and could be very deftly woven together, the author just needs to be willing to take more risks.

I think a big problem in fanfiction is that authors are too attached to their subject matter. Nobody wants to be "mean" to their favorite characters, but for the sake of a story, you sometimes have to be. It's like those "doing hurtful things to your waifu" charts; it's good exercise to explore negatives as well as positives.
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I would like to add the first Harry Potter book, or whichever, for skewering because fuck it.
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Patrician taste in animation.

>Prince Consort
Ackshually, a prince consort is a "Husband of queen regnant who is not himself a king in his own right." Took me all of two seconds to learn that. Prince Albert was the Prince Consort in that he was the husband of Queen Victoria but was not king. Interestingly and confusingly enough, Prince Albert is "Prince of the United Kingdom" but not technically a Prince Consort. Titles are confusing but the author at least did his research in this regard.

>at least I am assuming from the description that this is a Diamond Dog; it is not explicitly stated in the text
It is later on by Celestia in a way I consider good exposition. Gareth has no idea what a Diamond Dog is and wouldn't until he's told, and the casual namedrop by Celestia is the right way to do that in this scenario.

>and here we have Celestia jerking back and forth between extremities of emotion like a marionette being yanked around by the strings
You mean acting like a woman. I do agree though that it feels unnatural, particularly with my prior point about Celestia having superhuman patience and calm. That doesn't mean she can't snap, but it could have been done better. It's meant to be an emotional scene but, as is common with such scenes in fanfiction, trying to make it effective undermines the rest of the section.
I think it's an attempt to introduce the conflict you've been yearning for, but belatedly and all at once.

>who was trying to steal the gems out of his magic hat
The way I interpreted it the Diamond Dog was investigating a very unusual artifact just as a human might look at a particularly striking painting. He could see only the motionless helmet like it was a statue and not the magicless human beneath. Gareth waking up was to him the equivalent of an art sculpture folding out and attacking you for Gareth it was the equivalent of waking up to a furry fondling you. Also what diplomatic trouble he caused as a result could realistically be swept under the rug for the narrative as he didn't actually cause any harm.

I am disappointed that, considering how dog-headed men feature in history, the diamond dogs aren't featured more. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-5RZBKBl_A

>Literally all of this sounds like examples of Gareth hurting or attempting to hurt others, but whatever I guess
I was hoping you would bring up how Swedish women make excuses for immigrants and blaming their violence on "discrimination." Missed opportunity there. It also makes sense considering that 15th century Englishmen were genetically predisposed to violence, if you go by AltHype's "The European Revolution" theory.

>However, calling the reader's attention to foul odors is usually not a good idea
Also it doesn't make much sense unless if Gareth was allergic to horses. I've never been around horses but I can't imagine they smell THAT bad when clean. Celestia hasn't set hoof in a barn so why the emphasis on smell?

>It's Gareth's perception of being a loyal dutiful husband.

>Basically Gareth found out he married a hoers, but still has Cecilia's personality. What do? A) oh shit run squire, B) keep the covenant with God and his wife, C) murderhobo. In a world of mini horses where he is accumulating tension, stress, and trying to reconcile what works back home verses magical pony land.

I understand all that, I was referring more to the literal term "Prince Consort." Celestia just kind of threw the term out way back at the beginning of the story, and it hasn't really come up since. It's rather vaguely defined, both as a concept in the story and as a literal thing in the world of Equestria. If I were a pony living in Canterlot Castle observing the events of this story, and you asked me what a "Prince Consort" is exactly, I would define it as a gangly, two-legged, short-tempered creature, inconsistently covered with patches of hair, that seems to always be in a foul temper, grumbles a lot, is constantly pulling a big scary knife on random ponies without even saying "that's not a knife mate, this is a knife" in a funny Australian accent, and sleeps in the yard for some reason even though my understanding of "consort" means he's supposed to be screwing the Princess. If you asked me to define the term as a reader of the text, I'd probably say the same.

>An emotional/mental breakdown. Lovey dovey stuff, juxtaposed by Gareth hugging a smelly animal comforting it. A nod that yes he isn't all there fully accepting, but he has now reordered his priorities to be the husband, through thick and thin. Seriously though this time. Overcoming yet another hurdle to getting the sun butt horse pussy.

Again, I understood that part well enough, I was taking issue more with the specific way it was worded. "She started to break in his grip" is just one of any number of awkwardly phrased passages in this text. In this case, the breaking is meant to be emotional, but the reference to a physical grip implies a physical breaking. The intended meaning is clear enough, but what it's literally saying doesn't convey the intended meaning. The whole point of critical reading is to specifically not paper over things that are awkwardly or badly worded even if you can divine what the author actually meant to say.

>I'm unsure how Glim Glam chooses stories to review
I don't really have a specific method. I only started doing this because the drama over Nigel's fic grew to the point where I felt like it was worth going through the text of it line by line and pointing out exactly what was bad about it. When I decided to revive the project as a full-blown review thread, I chose Past Sins because at the time the board was being lightly spammed with Nyxposting and I felt it would be a good starter. Everything else I've read has been a user suggestion, including this current one, which was recommended by I think a Polish or Turkish flag.

>If it'd be alright with Glim I could maybe post it on Fimfiction when I finish it and place a link in this thread or somewhere more appropriate to see if it's worth a thrashing.
Certainly, I'd be more than happy to give your work a sound public thrashing, and the same goes for anyone else who would like to submit anything. Next up is Fallout Equestria, but that one is obscenely long, so depending on when you finish and how long your work is, I may use it to take a break from FoE.

In any event, feel free to post a link when it's done and I'll add it to the queue.

Honestly, that might be fun. I think I'll go ahead and allow it, although due to board subject matter I'm going to prioritize hoers-related works.

The queue is now as follows:

The Sun and the Rose by Soulpillar (current)
Fallout Equestria by kkat
Anon's Thing by Anon#63e2a69 (assuming it's done by this point)
Harry Pothead: The Sorcerer is Stoned by I.C. Weiner

Order subject to change at any random time.
>Ackshually, a prince consort is a "Husband of queen regnant who is not himself a king in his own right." Took me all of two seconds to learn that. Prince Albert was the Prince Consort in that he was the husband of Queen Victoria but was not king. Interestingly and confusingly enough, Prince Albert is "Prince of the United Kingdom" but not technically a Prince Consort. Titles are confusing but the author at least did his research in this regard.
Interesting. You learn something new every day. I always thought Prince Albert was that guy who was trapped in a can.

>It is later on by Celestia in a way I consider good exposition. Gareth has no idea what a Diamond Dog is and wouldn't until he's told, and the casual namedrop by Celestia is the right way to do that in this scenario.
I noticed that too, and I agree. It was well-handled; we saw the entire exchange between Gareth and the Diamond Dog, as well as the subsequent argument between the ponies over what he did, entirely from his perspective, including their weird babel-speak and all of the crippling anxiety Gareth felt at that moment.

>I do agree though that it feels unnatural, particularly with my prior point about Celestia having superhuman patience and calm. That doesn't mean she can't snap, but it could have been done better. It's meant to be an emotional scene but, as is common with such scenes in fanfiction, trying to make it effective undermines the rest of the section.
I think it's an attempt to introduce the conflict you've been yearning for, but belatedly and all at once.
This is more or less my take on it as well. As ever, I think I get what the author was going for, but he unfortunately executes many of these types of exchanges rather poorly.

>The way I interpreted it the Diamond Dog was investigating a very unusual artifact just as a human might look at a particularly striking painting. He could see only the motionless helmet like it was a statue and not the magicless human beneath. Gareth waking up was to him the equivalent of an art sculpture folding out and attacking you for Gareth it was the equivalent of waking up to a furry fondling you
That's actually an interesting read that hadn't occurred to me; I just assumed the Diamond Dog was stealing the gems because that's what they do in the series. They basically startled each other and it escalated quickly.

>Also what diplomatic trouble he caused as a result could realistically be swept under the rug for the narrative as he didn't actually cause any harm.
I actually rather hope it doesn't; if it leads somewhere it could add extra conflict to the story, but if it gets swept under the rug it just becomes a random event that served no purpose.

>I was hoping you would bring up how Swedish women make excuses for immigrants and blaming their violence on "discrimination." Missed opportunity there.

>Also it doesn't make much sense unless if Gareth was allergic to horses. I've never been around horses but I can't imagine they smell THAT bad when clean. Celestia hasn't set hoof in a barn so why the emphasis on smell?
It also stands to reason that as a knight he would be around horses quite a bit, in fact even as a soldier that smell would have been a rather common one. Perhaps he just doesn't like the smell associated with his wife.
>Gareth's finally getting past the fact that she smells like a horse for crying out loud is a milestone. However, calling the reader's attention to foul odors is usually not a good idea when you're trying to write a touching, romantic moment between two lovers.
>Also it doesn't make much sense unless if Gareth was allergic to horses. I've never been around horses but I can't imagine they smell THAT bad when clean. Celestia hasn't set hoof in a barn so why the emphasis on smell?
This is, again, missing the point. The smell isn't emphasized because it is unpleasant for Gareth, it's emphasized as a reminder to Gareth of how unnatural any continuing sexual relationship between he and Celia would be. It's not that "my wife smells like a horse and I don't like the smell of horses," it's "my wife is a horse and that isn't okay."
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Sorry if I'm getting annoying. I am following along with the text but I can't really think of anything to say about specific examples in the text besides "Yep you're right about this missed opportunity" and "Yeah that sure is a dumb typo".

For the examples, Example A is just a human in equestria story where he bones RD. Wanting booze is barely a character-trait, almost a recurring gag. Example B explores the "Drunk Human" concept by making him act differently from a boring generic regular bland Anon In Equestria guy. He goes through struggles, isn't 100% perfect all the time, has to grow and change as a person. I like that this story gave Gareth a "I'm being a little bitch and I need to be a better husband" moment, but I'd prefer more of it. I don't love edge and misery, I hate them. Maybe my example for how a story could actually use "alcoholic human" to do something wasn't the greatest. But aside from how Gareth rarely mentions home-world stuff like his family life and the priest he learned from, this story isn't doing anything with Medieval Human that couldn't also be done with a modern-day human that hunts horses for fun (and also comes from a MLP-free world and met Celestia at an America-themed diner with great burgers).

>super-amplifying magic
I do not want a story to do the "Magic makes human high/retarded" thing unless it has the balls to actually make the human suffer consequences for doing "Hilarious" dumb shit while drunk/high.
I once read a fic where a human ends up in the DC Animated Universe. So he ends up meeting Batman and joining the Young Justice team.
Because he's a magic-less human from a universe where ghosts aren't real, in this world he's effectively missing a soul. People find that weird. It's an interesting premise when it's used to give canon characters a reason to mistrust him (Besides wearing a LOTR Gollum-Inator Ring and not being Gollum-ified) and to make enemy magic-users extra-deadly against him, but after a while it's just used for "lol magic makes him high and drunk" shit.
At one point the human gets high and makes an enormous 200-foot statue of himself with its cock out, or something equally retarded and gay, because he's high from the effects of a healing spell used on his soulless ass. So he suffers no consequences from making the statue. Batman just facepalms and the laugh track plays.

Hell yeah, Harry Potter 1 is shit! Some like to say the first 1/2 are good and 3 onwards sucks because that's when Rowling tries to get "Deep" in the childish super-edgy way, but they always sucked.

All of Harry 1 builds up to a retarded twist that's only a twist because the entire book drops retarded red-herring hints meant to make you suspect Effectively The Worst Villain, Snape The Bitchass. Hermione catches him "Chanting magic while Harry's broom goes retarded", and when Hermione sets his cloak on fire the bullshit stops. Because ackshually his chanting was a counterspell meant to reduce the impact of TurbanFag's spell which he was casting offscreen because the author forgot about wands. Don't worry, this is only a twist in-universe.

When you read the part about le wacky pranksters enchanting snowballs to fly into Voldemort's covered-up turban'd head without consequence, remember what Voldemort is canonically like and how Out-Of-Character this is for Voldemort, a petty childish Saturday Morning Supervillain so cartoonish and spectacularly inept that Team Rocket and Eggman from the Adventures Of Sonic The Hedgehog and Dr Doofensmirtz would all laugh at this guy and call him a loser. Partly because Voldemort died trying to kill a newborn baby by casting Instant Death on the child and having it get
reflected by Harry's mum's love Deus Ex Machina hax.
Even though picking the baby up and tossing its head against the walls would have worked just fine for Moldyshorts. Funny how Harry's only a "Chosen hero" thanks to luck or things he inherits or finds. Boomers love to bitch about Harry and pretend he's a symptom of Millennial laziness/entitledness even though it was a Boomer who wrote this book by ripping off others, and most Harry fans were boomers over 30/40 who forced their kids to read it anyway. "It'll get my kid into reading!" says the boomer.

God, I fucking hate Boomers. Sorry, what's that, Boomer? Did you just call me lazy and entitled again? I couldn't hear you talk bullshit from that comfy middle-management position you're not qualified for, since I'm a lowly millennial working two min-wage jobs to make rent/debt! ...Okay well not me personally because I'm autistic but that's the kind of life some in my generation are living. Sorry what's that Boomer? Did you just say my generation are a bunch of easily-triggered snowflakes? Nigger, they're only that way if you didn't let them get enough internet exposure as kids and sent them off to pozzed colleges you allowed the enemy to conquer! Plus, you're a fucking snowflake! You'd call the cops if I said anything bad about the Jews or your precious fucking "Based" blacks or even mentioned our declining birth rates! You ate the jew propaganda hook line and sinker, you're why the West is dead! Does my little sister's pussy feel good when you tag-team her with the Mud-ham-muds from the local Mosque? If I ever have a daughter, will you try and get to her too? If Dante's Inferno was right, hell will have to create a whole new layer for the Boomers and the "nazzee-punching" jewed genocidal race-traitors who raised them. I fucking hope I live long enough to see the Generation Of Revenge reward the Boomers as race-traitors deserve.

Anyway back to Hairy Plopper...

Doof in particular would have a lot to say about the ridiculously overblown plot from Goblet Of Fire.
Motherfucker (offscreen) hacks a Magic Artefact made by the Four Best Wizards Ever to make this goblet of child-choosing (it chooses kids for the Triwizard Tournament, one kid from each of the three attending schools) break its own rules and pick Harry as child number four representing nobody but himself even though he's underage and underprepared.
Because of magic bullshit laws, Harry can't back out of a competition he never entered himself into, don't ask why Voldy didn't just enter Harry and Hermione into the First One To Kill Harry Wins A Bagel Challenge he could have easily made up to win right there.
Harry ends up winning everything important anyway because of course he does, and this BIGGER THAN EVERY FOOTBALL LEAGUE event gets rigged in Harry's favour, all so he can win, touch the Triwizard Tournament Cup (conveniently along with some random unimportant dude who dies named Cedric)
And because Harry touches the Cup, he teleports. Because the Cup, a prized prize under intense security, was turned into a Portkey (object that teleports you somewhere when you touch it) by Voldy, Harry (and his friend) immediately teleport to a random graveyard in the middle of nowhere. Cedric is killed, one of Voldy's minions grabs Harry and slits Harry's wrist to get blood for a Magic Ritual, Voldy does it to have his magical inability to touch Potter without burning removed, and then Harry somehow escapes this clusterfuck through sheer luck, getting home to Hogwarts in time for the book to end.

It's also funny how the Harry Potter series tries to present big families as a bad thing, and families in general as bad, while also painting "Racists" who don't want their culture ruined by an influx of ignorant (but magically super-strong of course) immigrants as globalist nazi death-cultists.

And now...

I would stand before God himself and swear on my soul that at one point in my human lifetime, when I was a child, I definitely saw this one thing that I have never seen again.

I've never been able to find it again since that day but in the name of anime and everything else that's holy in this forsaken universe, I saw it once and it really existed.

Harry Potter books 1 and 2 with book 3 in-progress, they had all been uploaded to a website. An indie website made by one person with a "Please donate to me" text bit somewhere off to the bottom-right. The text of the Harry Potter stories was Annotated, Highlighted, and uploaded to this one website chapter by chapter.

If you saw a yellowed or greened or reddened Highlighted section you could click it, and a speech-bubble-like popup would appear to tell you which book released 2+ years before Harry Potter 1 she's ripping this idea/concept/character/entire fucking chunk of text from, which old mythology or original book of family-made 100%-original/slightly-rewritten bedtime stories she's ripping off without credit, and the red highlights would bring up a "Reader's Commentary" bit where the author called that particular piece of text trash and explained why.
Usually by saying things like
"This spell, if used 500 pages ago, could have solved the whole series"
or "Yes, Ron, that's a very clever thing for you to say right now."
or "You can tell this explanation for why they don't just X was added in at an editor's request because it makes up magic laws that were already broken on page 294"
or "Why does the author keep fucking up her anti-classism message with scenes like this? If wizards really were better and stronger before they accepted Mudbloods, then the Mudblood-haters are right!"
or "Of course, Draco Malfoy's genius plan to be a childish bully pulling the oldest tricks in the books here works because none of the sentient paintings lining the walls keep their eyes open at night to spot bullshit like this"
or "Hermione is suddenly girlier than she's ever been before so Ron can be taught to respect wamen and tell girls they're pretty on Ball Night even if they're your friend and you don't want to make things romantic"

By the way I know this is coming out of left field but there's this Pokemon fanfic called The Sun Soul.

347,030 words over 39 chapters, that's how long the story is.

It's Pokemon (Kanto specifically, from the first games), but a different take on things. Realistic, and a bit edgy at times.

You don't need to know anything about Pokemon to enjoy this, the plot's been changed completely. Ash Ketchum is a survivor from Pallete Town, which was razed to the ground by a Pokemon attack. He meets a dangerous woman with a mysterious past named Misty.

He's given The Pokedex by his grandfather and asked to go travel the world catching and scanning Pokemon.

But that Pokedex is pretty much forgotten immediately since the main plot is about Ash having to travel around the Kanto Region fighting all the Gym Leaders so he can get them to back his play.

The Gym Leaders he beats need to vouch for him so the country's rulers, the Elite Four and Champion(strongest trainers in the land), will let him into Maelbolge, a deadly cave beneath the Indigo Plateau. He needs to get into the cave because the baddies, Team Rocket, are also trying to get into that cave. Mewtwo's in it, Rocket wants to capture it, Ash needs to save it.

So he travels from town to town with Misty and Brock at his side, righting wrongs and saving the day while also fighting Team Rocket.

also Team Rocket aren't jokes any more (Even though they were way more fun when they were jokes). Now they're a serious evil mafia that tries to look good in public while conquering towns and destabilizing the region. They're attacking the region's farms to get a monopoly on food sales, they've got poachers and Zubat Wet-Markets in one place, and they turned one ghost-themed town into a ghostly clusterfuck to disable psychic powers in another town so they can start a civil war there.

Pokemon fights are also changed. That video-gamey "Human tells animal which move to use and when to dodge, animal stands around waiting for orders, animals take turn spitting attacks that should be lethal at each other until one of them runs out of Health Points and faints" thing's gone.
Pokemon fight on their own, obeying their trainer when they call out specific strategies or moves to use.
Many Pokemon battles also end in injury/death, and that "Charmander uses Bite on Pikachu! His fangs glow, an explosion happens, no blood" thing is gone. There's no RWBY-style Aura or DBZ-style Ki letting Pokemon or people survive fatal injuries with nothing but a few dirt marks, and the author isn't afraid to let the Pokemon of the heroes die.

I've almost finished reading it, and it seems like a great story so far. It actually managed to make me care about Ash and Misty's relationship in this story, which is surprising since I normally gloss over romance in stories. Can this fic be added to the bottom of the list, after Harry Potter 1?
Your idea with the alcoholic human in Equestria reminds me of an Anonfilly story I came across a bit ago that explored that premis with the extra caviat of being a small filly to boot. I can't remember too many details about it but I do remember the author didn't play it up for laughs outside the initial time the character tries to drink and gets hit hard from his greatly deminished drinking tolerance then later begins to experience withdraw symptoms from no alcohol or nicotine in a prepubescent horse body.

Happy to see Glim has accepted the task of taking a crack at any stories we cook up. I like his idea of using our stories as a little side snack between stories or as a break during long ones. Gets us to see fresh material and the added boom of us being able to see our writing faults and talk together on how to improve it.

Been mostly mulling on story beats but going to start cracking my story idea out and hopefully have it done by the end of the week. Don't want to put the cart before the pony but wonder what would happen if any of our stories we put out for this made it on a featured thing on Fimfiction. Could be fun to see it plus add another layer to the experiment here to see how Fimfiction analizes the story compared to us here.
Sorry to post twice in a row but started writing today and got a chunck writen out but will confess I only got vauge ideas and scenes planned out and just working on the first one I noticed an issue I got that pointed out here where I just keep going on and on and on and c'mon just get to the point. Hoping the story won't be a drag to read and doesn't muddy up the main stuff. Might scrap the opening scene since the stuff convayed there can be done quicker and have less extraneous characters.

Been trying to keep tabs on the main advice I gleamed here and also noticing it a bit in other fan fics I'm reading. Current one isn't a bad one for sure but does seem to be way longer then it needs to be and reading another where the author is trying to be avandgard and have a very expansive story but I feel English may not be their native language since a lot of the spelling and grammar is a bit wonky. Will have a scene change in the same paragraph to a completly different timeline leaving my head spinning on what's happening.

Looking forward to finishing this short little fic since it'll be the first time I've written something like this since middle school and hopefully everyone here can have a good laugh at my expenses while we all learn writing skills.
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>It's also funny how the Harry Potter series tries to present big families as a bad thing, and families in general as bad
Isn't Weasley's family portrayed positively, though? Agree with you on pretty much everything else.

>Harry Potter books 1 and 2 with book 3 in-progress, they had all been uploaded to a website. An indie website made by one person with a "Please donate to me" text bit somewhere off to the bottom-right. The text of the Harry Potter stories was Annotated, Highlighted, and uploaded to this one website chapter by chapter.
Sounds really good though after a Pottermouth got triggered it was probably reported for copyright infringement. Perhaps it had been archived?

>347,030 words over 39 chapters, that's how long the story is.
That's almost 60% the length of War and Peace. Mind you, even if everything else is flawless the sheer length of a work is a negative. Writing isn't about how much you write but how well you write it, and that goes for telling a story efficiently. It doesn't mean you should use beige prose but rather that you should rather keep the pace at a good clip.

Normal people don't like reading works longer than necessary. War and Peace is more famous for being a doorstopper than for what's actually in it, though it's a well-written work. In its particular case the publicity from being a doorstopper has probably led to more people writing it, but in ordinary cases length is a detriment. It's intimidating and if at any point it stalls readers will go "screw this." That's the big weakness of Atlas Shrugged even if it isn't particularly well-written in other ways, and the only reason people read it is because "it's that Ayn Rand book." Its clumsiness also makes it easier for statists to skewer it.

What am I getting at? If you want to tell a message or story then do so in as few words as possible (this goes for your posts, too). This is the great strength of poetry (if you're a nerd who's into poetry) because it says something meaningful in a very concise format compared with prose.

Also I'd rather not have a ponderous Pokémon fic added just because you like it. I may be somewhat of a hypocrite (I'm the polack who recommended "The Sun and the Rose") but in the case of the present story it's 1) MLP, 2) quite short (I'd say too short, honestly), and 3) creative for a HiE story. Say what you want but its take on the "human in equestria" motif is quite unique which makes you forget it's a HiE story. I've never read a Pokémon fanfic but to me it seems like "Ash battles Team Rocket, tries to find MewTwo, and fights are gritty and realistic" are common tropes within that fandom. That story might use those tropes better than any before it, but it doesn't mean it's original. Because of that and because there's no shortage of MLP fanfics I urge against reviewing it. Zubat wet-market did get a chuckle out of me, though.

>Don't want to put the cart before the pony but wonder what would happen if any of our stories we put out for this made it on a featured thing on Fimfiction.
I would be getting my feet wet for the first time but that would be interesting.
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My short explanation glosses over a lot of worldbuilding and plot and location design. This story managed to make fucking Petalburg Woods into a terrifying, creepy, exciting location. and a goddamn Bug Catcher nearly ends the story by killing the heroes.
I've seen fanfics about Ash and friends fighting Team Rocket, I've seen them try to find/fight Mewtwo, and I've seen "Gritty and reelistic" fights where two Pokemon shred each other apart in the middle of a brightly-lit stadium at the commands of 10 year olds in front of millions of cheering fans and it's never addressed because there's no worldbuilding consistency.
But I've never seen a Pokemon fic that's this good, or one that does what this fic does with the Gym Leaders.
Gym Leaders are the "town champion", the strongest type-specialist Pokemon Battler in the area who isn't meant to be the town's leader (they have elected mayors/city councils of experts in various fields) but effectively is the ruler of each town for better or for worse.
This here is a tough and violent world that's realistically built around that. Trainers don't wear goofy cartoony outfits or Pokemon cosplay, they wear armour if they know what's good for them.
Trainers aren't kids who travel the world fighting Gym Leaders for fun and badges. I've seen a lot of fics that try to "Edge-ify" this premise, but this story recognizes that changing the reason why Ash travels makes for a more cohesive story.
This is a fleshed-out world with reasons for why so many specialize in one type(Pokemon knowledge is limited and Pokemon have their own personalities and animalistic behaviours), why the world is the way it is(dangerous wild animals means local authorities get their power from protecting locals, trade routes are difficult things to maintain and Frontier Towns are more dangerous than safer richer towns with corrupt politicians), and more.

I've seen "Team Rocket as villains with good publicity" fics and "Team Rocket as cannibalistic edgy assholes with knives" fics and even "Team Rocket as the real heroes all along" fics. But I've never seen TR used this well before.
Thanks to the way this story uses Team Rocket, their existence is a constant presence even when no Team Rocket members are around. In the show TR is something to ignore unless the only three TR agents show up to recite a motto and try to steal someone's housecat.
But in this fic, the effects of Team Rocket are worldbuilding elements. The consequences of what they do, why they do it, how things change when they're stopped, it's always there. This world seems so connected, and throwaway lines about a food crisis early on only gets worse with time when you see how it affects the other towns on the other side of the country.

In the story arc I'm currently on, the heroes go to Celadon.
Canonically it's just another town except it has a Shopping Center that's pretty good and a Game Corner - a Casino secretly operated by Team Rocket.
In this fic it's a town filled with rioting and looting. The shopping center's in flames and the casino was burned down before the heroes get here.
Ash flies down on Charizard's back to stop the rioting, and he gets weapons pointed at him by the cops for his troubles. When he puts his Pokemon away and gets to meet who's in charge here, it turns out to be a spoilt bitch stuck-up princess named Erika, the local Gym Leader.
Ash is told by the local Gym Leader Erika that she'll only give him the recommendation and let him search the remains of Team Rocket's Casino for evidence/intel if he helps her take over the entire city.
The city is practically Pokemon-Free, and you can't get Pokemon into the city limits without the corrupt mayor's say-so. That mayor is ruining the town for Team Rocket and needs to be overthrown by Erika because Celadon doesn't produce anything besides money. It produces the money the region's other towns use, but now that other towns are getting fucked over by starvation and food shortages and civil unrest, nobody wants to exchange goods for Celadon's utterly worthless money. Celadon is a massive town, with shitloads of hungry mouths to feed and a fucking massive water/power bill every month, all paid for by their one and only Mint.
Erika tells Ash "Just go publically call the Mayor a wanker, it'll be easy! He might fight you but any deaths that result from that will be on him."
Brock and Misty then get into a well-written argument over whether they help put Erika on the throne or don't. Brock says "This isn't right, Gym Leaders aren't meant to be monarchs" and Misty says "This is the best course of action for us, plus Gym Leaders are basically monarchs anyway".
Then Erika immediately sends a declaration of war to the mayor forcing the heroes to take part in a big battle, because the mayor hired a shitload of mercenary groups upon getting that declaration of war.
Also Ash splits up with Brock and Misty, they go to check out the Department Store while Ash checks out the Police Station. Because Erika's Pokemon have been hidden in one of those two locations the Mayor's goons are defending, and if Erika's going to help in the upcoming massive battle she and her soldiers will need their Pokemon.

It seems really good so I'd love for a fresh pair of eyes to read this story and tell me what they think of it. And also critique it, since I'd be interested to see what people more critical and impartial than me have to say about the story.
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Since we're all reading long stories here I thought I'd tell you about RapidReader.

Copypaste a chunk of text into this free program and it will flash the words on your screen quickly. Just long enough for you to read the words, while skipping to the next faster than your eyes can move. It makes reading long stories in mere hours easy!
It would also be interesting to see what non-Pokemon fans think of the fic.
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I do like pokemon. The story is what would happen if the descriptions of the pokemon are taken at face value (adjusted for plot), where violence is normal, about Ash Ketchum and the travel companions.
A might makes right where the local militia has to use weapons that have their own minds and wills. Where having everyone have pokemon not actually be possible due to whatever reasons.
Some people are psychotic, or have very altered priorities (trainers that fight along the routes). The mantra of loot the bodies deliberately applies.
Team Rocket is doing whatever the fuck they are doing.

Up to chapter 16. It's long, the world is fleshed out.
Some of the characters reasons are... flawed or not explained yet (character backstory side plot).
It's descriptive, the plot moves fast, things on the whole make sense, and it's believable.
Mostly only thing is how exactly is society not collapsing, and have all the technology it does have.

Only issue for me is the stupid decisions that the characters make, it's not world breaking, it is in character it's just... aggravating sometimes.
Throughout there is references they are done in good taste. Meowth speaking is brushed over

This story is one of the better ones I've read. It has merits that it can stand on its own separate work (which means even more words to describe all the stuff that having a modicum of exposure fills in).

They never say why mass killing the bat fuckers is a bad thing just that we should accept that it is bad, and that it needs to be stopped. Some of the things it's imitating from the source works if there is a good reason why behind it. This follows some actions and things people say.
Professor Oak is an unflinching man of mad science, eugenics, and an overall bad ass that doesn't get screen time. Because if he did the setting would break under his might. So it needs to stop him from causing a revolution that would make the world less of a sack of crap.
What stupid decisions are aggravating? I read this over a long period of time so I've forgotten some stuff early on in the story.

Personally if I had to pick one part I didn't like it would be the random "edgy monsters" Team Rocket's using in the bat cave part. A machamp trained to use knives in his hands (with wrist motion and weapon-throwing option) would do more damage than a Machamp with his hands swapped out for blades.
Also the way they get Charizard would have been a lot cooler if we'd gotten to know his dead trainer before the death

What the hell did they do with Team Rocket? At first they're obviously-fake nice people, that's good, I like it. Then they're sinister assassins who fuck. Very cool. Meowth isn't their mascot, he's the guy sent in to retrieve Pokeballs, 10/10. But over time...

Their edginess with the evil laughing gets a bit too much. Their excuse is "Being forced to be the team's clean-up guys broke them a little" but this feels like it's pushing it. I like the part where James calls Jessie out on her fucking retarded plan of attack at one point, but this is "Fish-eyed Malk ruining the Vampire game" levels of retarded here. The sheer goddamn scale of fuckuppery should land this story's incarnation of Jessie on some kind of hall of fame. There's stealthy assassinations, there are un-stealthy assassinations in remote areas, and then there's this bullshit. And with what happens later on involving Jessie, what was the fucking point?

also I like the idea of having a secret Ghost pokemon to scout for you but is he ever going to tell his team about Haunter? It's not like owning a ghost pokemon is a crime. At worst, Misty or Brock would call it creepy and that would be it.
>my own spoiler the last part
Hunh. That's funny.
Well I read the whole thing. Overall it's good.
>What stupid decisions are aggravating?
Just some personal choices. Reading the ending and how it ends makes it interesting.

Since I've read up to chapter 16 and beyond I actually found myself semi surprised.
The climax is decent and has good build up. Everything is wrapped up nicely.
Spoilers spoil.
it really does follow the show, except with more blood, guts, gore, and language. RIP sister killer and number three manipulator.
I won't go into detail, but it is a good fanfiction. I prefer more munchkining to be able to enact all they could be able to do.
It does have some errors not with nut and other minor mistakes.
What do you mean?

I once designed a really munchkinny Pokemon.

name: can't think of a name to suit the concept but here's optimal stats
type: Steel/Fairy
HP 40
ATK 25
DEF 230

ability: Multiscale (When at maximum HP, user takes half damage)
Strategy: This pokemon has Shuckle's defensive stats and DOUBLE the base health, plus a way to heal himself with Synthesis or better yet, Giga Drain. It won't do much damage but it doesn't have to. It just has to heal the foe back to full health, minimizing incoming damage further. This gives you plenty of time to boost your Stats with Nasty Plot or whatever the fuck.

Mega Form:
HP 40
ATK 25
DEF 250

Ability is now Wonder Guard, because fuck most forms of incoming damage. I think this guy only takes damage from Fire or Steel at this point. Special Attack stat becomes godly.
Uhhhhh kinda. It's the difference between seeing a lets-play-er, yourself, and an expert speed runner do things. Or perhaps a master of whatever they do, perform to the utmost of their abilities. An Olympic athlete where the theoretical knowledge oozes off of them and through osmosis you gain a greater understanding of how to do it yourself.
Watching someone do something in a fashion counter intuitive to the overall goal is similar to yelling at a screen of how much of a dip shit they are. The difference of that 'ooohhh!' when it all clicks together vs the 'ohhhh' of disappointment.
Why it's important and the how it's done, even when and where things go wrong or even better than expected.

So if all that is available you do the most you could possibly do. Finding things that really push the window on some factor (creative, minimizing, or maximizing) with what they currently have available to exercise and improve beyond their own restraints and limits is something I like to see. Even if it's false, or purely manufactured.
As long as it's believable enough, I'm good.

Back to the fic at hand with Cecilia and Gareth
For a English knight he's doing pretty well readjusting and adapting everything he once knew to be true. Celestia/Cecilia is mixed due to some ambiguity in what she actually knows about Equestria.
They aren't perfect, they aren't on that level they do however try at their current limitations to do what they can. Sometimes they are hindered by faulty planning, or a failure to plan ahead, or even honest mistakes. It's good enough for me. Exploring their minds, hearts, and souls.
>This is, again, missing the point. The smell isn't emphasized because it is unpleasant for Gareth, it's emphasized as a reminder to Gareth of how unnatural any continuing sexual relationship between he and Celia would be. It's not that "my wife smells like a horse and I don't like the smell of horses," it's "my wife is a horse and that isn't okay."
The author's intended meaning is obvious enough; that isn't the point I was making. The point is that by calling attention to Celestia's unpleasant aroma at this moment he is unintentionally breaking the romantic mood he establishes for the scene. His reasons for bringing it up here make sense in the context of the story overall, but it was the wrong choice stylistically.

To demonstrate the effect I'm talking about, here's a line from Gone With the Wind that I've slightly modified:

>“You should be kissed and often, and by someone who knows how. Also, try not to fart so much.”
Even if Scarlett had a flatulence problem that was central to the plot somehow perhaps that's what "gone with the wind" refers to, it still kills the mood to bring it up at this precise moment.

>Can this fic be added to the bottom of the list, after Harry Potter 1?
I'm on the fence. I'd be willing to take a look at it out of sheer morbid curiosity, but I feel like in order to justify this thread remaining on the main board we should stick primarily to fanfiction about pastel colored horses. I'm willing to make an exception for Harry Pooper, because I've always wanted to do a serious deconstruction of one of those books, and also because it's had an outsized influence on the thought process such as it is of millennial SJWs, so it might be at least tangentially /pol/ related. However, a Pokemon fanfic would probably be a bridge too far. We'd have to move the thread to /sp/ if we were going to start deconstructing general stuff like that. Also, I'm not sure if I could read 347,030 words about Pokemon without going actually insane.

I might have a look, but I can't promise I'll review the whole thing.

>That's almost 60% the length of War and Peace. Mind you, even if everything else is flawless the sheer length of a work is a negative. Writing isn't about how much you write but how well you write it, and that goes for telling a story efficiently. It doesn't mean you should use beige prose but rather that you should rather keep the pace at a good clip.
This. Word economy is one of the most undervalued virtues an amateur writer can develop.

I actually recommend writing out a short synopsis of the story before sitting down to actually write it. Imagine that you're summarizing the plot of the story for a Wikipedia entry about it; provide an overview that covers everything that happens, but tell it succinctly and just cover the broad strokes. This way you can look at it and see if all of your scenes make sense, if they happen in the right order, if anything doesn't need to be cut, and so forth. Once you've got it actually mapped out, then you start doing the actual writing.

>Since we're all reading long stories here I thought I'd tell you about RapidReader.
Actually it's funny you should bring that up. One of my friends on Discord uses that, and back when all the drama over your Silver Star story was going on, he put the complete text of it into RapidReader and he said it almost completely broke his brain.
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Chapter 7: Recoronation and Betrayal

The scene opens with Gareth once more practicing his archery, this time with the aid of Gleaming Horizon. Without the pressure of an audience, and with Gleaming Horizon acting as a support rather than an obstacle, he seems to have regained his mojo.

>"Thank you for the extra target," Gareth spoke in careful Equestria, turning to Gleaming Horizon.
Spoke in careful Equestrian.

Anyway, it actually looks like my theory was more or less correct. Gareth and Gleaming Horizon seem to be growing closer, and she seems to have the hots for him. She is described as "gazing up at him" and she apparently puts on her nicest clothes just to hang out with him.

>Grey Spear, We've drilled for nearly a week now.
Yep, confirmed. He's been drilling her for a week, the Don Juan. Also, "we've" should not be capitalized here.

So anyway, they're practicing "archery" when suddenly Noble Era shows up. Gareth tactfully represses his urge to kill him for no reason, and instead listens guardedly to what he has to say. Noble starts talking over his head in Equestrian, probably making fun of him. Gleaming Horizon admonishes him for speaking too quickly, and asks him to slow down so Gareth can understand. Interestingly, we also learn that Gleaming is Noble's cousin.

Noble slows down, and informs him that public opinion is now that Celestia made a bad move in choosing him for...whatever it is they think she chose him for, exactly. The Fresh Prince Consort of Equestria, I guess. He is going to need to do something to change public opinion quickly. My personal suggestion would be for him to put on a bow tie and collar and dance around shirtless like a Chippendale. It would certainly liven up the Grand Galloping Gala.

However, it seems that Noble has a somewhat more practical idea. He produces a pink pill, which he tells Gareth is something called an "ambassador's pill" that will allow the two of them to speak the same language for a short time if they each consume half. I find this to be rather a lame device. Speaking from experience, I'll say that it can be a pain sometimes when you introduce a device into your story like a language barrier or invisibility and it logically conflicts with something you want to do later, so you need to find a way to temporarily retcon the first thing away so you can make your scene work. However, a magic pill that conveniently fixes the exact problem you have for exactly the amount of time you need it fixed is just lazy.

>On one hand, Gareth wasn't exactly a proponent of new medicines. He thought that good food, bed rest and a poultice every now and again trumped just about any modern alchemical concoctions.
Also, this is another area where I think the author could have put a little more thought into how a medieval man's thought process might work as opposed to a modern man's.

A medieval person probably wouldn't have even understood the concept of a pill; the thinking about diseases back then was completely different from how the subject is viewed today. Poultices were used I believe as sort of an agent to help drain bad humors from the body; if I remember correctly the belief was that the infected pus that would dribble out of a wound when you rubbed donkey shit into it was a sign that the bad humors were escaping. In any case, the accepted view was that medicine had to be administered by a priest and that it was ultimately God's will that determined whether the patient lived or died. Alchemy had nothing to do with medicine, and the idea of a person being infected by a foreign organism that they can then take a pill to remove would have ironically sounded like pure fantasy to them.

By contrast, Gareth here has essentially the same mindset as a modern person, only with a medieval veneer on his thoughts; poultices in place of folk-remedies and alchemy in place of modern medicine. It's a bit like The Flintstones' portrayal of the Stone Age, where everything is exactly like 1950s America except instead of dishwashers they use baby mammoths and the cars all use foot-power; that sort of thing.

It isn't a huge deal story-wise, but it's something I've noticed multiple times throughout this work. On the one hand, the author seems to have some familiarity with the time period, but at the same time his handling of it is often superficial, with Gareth being an essentially modern character with a medieval flavor. If you're going to write a "character from World A gets transported to World B" story where World A is just a point of origin and the story takes place entirely in World B, then World A only matters insofar as it defines part of the character's background. So, if you're going to write a "human goes to Equestria" story and specifically make the human be a guy from the middle ages, then being from the middle ages should factor significantly into his worldview and thus define his behavior in Equestria. Otherwise what's the point?

The whole point of HiE (at least in my view) is to do a character study of how a particular type of person might react to the world of Equestria. In order to do that, you have to understand who your character is, and how his unique worldview might make his experience in Equestria different from, say, a guy from 21st century Iowa. If medieval guy has the same worldview as Iowa guy, you might as well just drop the medieval angle and just write "guy from Iowa goes to Equestria."

To be fair, the author seems to understand this, and makes an effort to explore Gareth's perspective as a medieval guy. He just doesn't quite go deep enough with it. Sure, it's established that he likes hunting and archery, and that conflicts with the peaceful vegetarian sensibilities of the ponies, but so what? It's still just superficial. If a love of hunting and archery is as deep as you intend to go, you may as well just write "Ted Nugent goes to Equestria." note to self: write "Ted Nugent Goes to Equestria."
Oh god, I could only imagine the psychological impact of high-speed horse words about Silver Star Apple. Poor bugger. Do you think he had nightmares about the scene where Silver drinks a milkshake then gifts his used straw to Pinkie Pie? I wrote that scene thinking it would piss my haters off but nothing funny came of it. I wish I skipped to the part where Star saves Pinkie from a dragon that eats time. That scene was planned to be cool.

I save rapid-reader for well-written real books since jarring moments of "Wait what happened to that character trait?" and "Where is this bullshit coming from?" and "since when was this fucker in the room?" and "That motherfucker spelled that word wrong!" take me out of the experience. And distracts me from interpreting words at maximum speed.

Also you're right, bringing up the horsiness now kills the mood and the author should have established "He was getting used to her touch... even though it was a hoof that had probably touched the ground all day" as a thing he constantly thinks about. With that "He even fucking dreams about killing Celly to get his human wife back!" scene he's skimming over the most vital shit!

In Jojo's Bizarre Adventure Part 4: Diamond Is Not Crash, there's this bit where Koichi Hirose gets a stalker. A crazy evil chick named Yukako Yamagishi wants his youcocko in her yamacoochie. She wants Koichi Hirose's horsecockose in her kooichie. She wants his Echoes Act 3 in her Love Deluxe. She has hair of doom and he puts messages on walls and people. In this story arc his stand evolves like a fucking Pichu, letting him make his messages on walls do shit if they're Japanese Sound Effects. And the Japanese have sound effects for EVERYTHING for no apparent reason.

Anyway there's a scene where it's established that Koichi is having nightmares about her, but it's glossed over quickly because this is one episode of an ongoing series with many characters and story beats to get through. Once she kidnaps Koichi and gets him into her horror movie mansion, this is covered in more detail. She's a crazy controlling bitch. He beats her in a fight then in the next episode Cinderella gropes her titties and changes her face, meaning Koichi has to deal with this bullshit and choose the right eyes, also later on a serial killer forces Cinderella to change his face, letting him assume his new life as the husband of a bitchy woman, he saves that failing marriage but the kid knows that David Bowie motherfucker is magic even though Josuke forgot what drawings are. Oh and Rohan Kishibe's house burns down and Josuke steals a phone. When a gay priest reincarnates the universe by accelerating time using the gravity powers of his drug-smoke Foo Fighters CD-lover enhanced by a green baby made from a time-stopping british vampire's leg-bone, and string girl is unable to stop him, the boy whose touch fixes anything is reincarnated into a hobo with the power of theft-bubbles and four testicles who cucks someone with ugly hair whose power is nuts, also the priest chokes on air even though Gangstar Giorno Giovanna could have crushed him with the No Stand, also Kakyoin feeds a vampiric baby his own shit after the gang almost die in the desert and lose their shit laughing at the funniest shit I've ever seen, two rocks. Kars is a rock and so is Angelo, but I Am A Rock is not a rock. Where was I going with this? Oh right, Koichi.

The Koichi and Yukako stuff takes just 1-2 episodes. It's a major moment in Koichi's personal growth, but it still isn't the focus of the story. Kira is.

This story's main focus is on lover-boy and lava-girl, I mean sun girl, so it shouldn't gloss over this dream shit with "Oh yeah also he had nightmares about killing horses, buuut whaaat cooould thaaat meeeeean?" bullshit. He should show the nightmare, set it up like it's the next chapter and he stabs her out of nowhere and you're left thinking "What the fuck kind of plot twist is this?" and THEN it turns out it was all a dream.

The whole "But she's a horse" thing should be CONSTANTLY REPEATED, so his moment of "He hugs her even though she's a horse" becomes heartwarming and earned. Nothing in this story is earned, it's all ideas and lip-service to themes but no execution or exploration!

And why is everyone so nice to this human? Everyone should assume the worst of him at every possible moment! Or he should be a paranoid fucker from a lifetime of hardship, and every "Wait is this a trick?" moment should make whoever he's talking to tear up at that un-ponylike "insulting" level of paranoia and suspicion.

The "She's a horse" thing should be a song on repeat, a looping 4-note melody stuck in his head.

The writer should get us inside that human's head and make us feel disgust at her equine behaviours and equine body, and disgust at how her fans grovel at her feet- i mean hooves and fucking love her. Every time he's near her, we should be reminded she's a horse, because it reminds him that she's a horse!

How about a scene where he turns from her to stare dramatically away. He's closing his eyes so he can pretend she's still his wife and not a horse. She puts up with it at first but eventually gets sad at her not looking at him. If she pushes hard enough he'll admit he doesn't want to see her in this monstrous form, and that could make her let out her "This is me, you dolt! The only one with a monstrous form in this castle is you, monkey!"

And that could break his heart since every human-hater's been calling him monkey. Or a monster could attack right there as part of some evil noble/evil faction plan, forcing Celly and Human to team up to kill it. Could do a scene where it's an anti-magic monster, Celestia thinks up something clever to save the day and then the human just draws his blade and swings. Only by working together can they win. He rides on her back for the speed to swing his sword through the anti-magic monster's thick scales, and he realizes this horse wife is actually pretty cool.
>However, a magic pill that conveniently fixes the exact problem you have for exactly the amount of time you need it fixed is just lazy.
Yeah! The writer should have gone with something small and easily-stolen and worn, like a magic ring or magic helmet. Then the story could build tension because we all expect the object to be destroyed, damaged, or stolen at the worst possible time.
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Anyway, they each take their half of the pill and now they can understand each other. Apparently, the magic of the pill somehow takes whatever the intent of your words would be (in your native tongue) and creates an approximation of them in the other person's language, and that's what you say when you try to speak. I think it also causes you to only speak the language of the person who took the other pill for the duration of its working, because it seems that Noble only speaks English now. They swap languages, basically.

There's a bit of humor where Gareth and Noble curse at each other, much to the shock of Gleaming Horizon. Then, Noble excuses himself.

>Gareth huffed in frustration. The feeling was nostalgic; he'd not experienced this particular mix of burning hate and grudging respect since long before he became a gamekeeper. Damn it, Noble Era was going to start a feud with him, wasn't he?
Once again, I get what the author is trying to say here, but it's worded badly. tbh it would probably be better to just not even include this musing of Gareth's. The reader can probably figure out that Gareth and Noble are shaping up to be rivals without being explicitly told.

Anyway, page break. We rejoin Celestia backstage getting ready for her recoronation. Apparently a ceremony is being conducted tonight to formally acknowledge her resumption of duties, so there will be no further confusion about who gets to wear the Princess pants around here.

It actually looks like the magic pill is even weirder than I first thought; apparently it makes you actually switch voices with the other party. Gareth approaches her from behind and addresses her as "my love," which she hears as being spoken in Noble Era's voice. She is initially outraged that the unicorn would be so impertinent, but she turns to see Gareth standing there. This has potential to add some humor to the story so it may not be such a lazy device after all. We'll see what the author does with it I guess.

>Now she was painfully reminded that him sleeping in her quarters, was night, it wasn't helping with her more... intimate longings.
Literally what? Read these sentences before you publish them, nigger; this combination of words doesn't make sense in any language with or without the Babel fish pill. I think the implication here is that she wants to jump his bones and is frustrated that he's still not quite at the "I'm ready to bone you again, my dear" stage of acceptance just yet.

A very weird and autistic conversation follows. Celestia is apparently trying to steer her thoughts away from her desire to have Gareth's throbbing human hypnocock pound her horsepussy until she can't remember how to raise the sun. Gareth, meanwhile, explains the business about the pill, and for no apparent reason at all, mentions that he was concerned that the pill might have been poisoned, but now believes that because Noble took the other half, it probably isn't. Celestia tells him that it still could have been poisoned if Noble had some kind of immunity to poison. She then scolds him for not being more careful about poison, and tells him he probably didn't even need the language pill in the first place. At this point, an NPC approaches and tells them that Celestia is due onstage.

I'm not entirely sure why poison is even being brought up here. Is this foreshadowing? Are we supposed to be thinking that maybe the pill actually was poisoned, and its effects will become apparent during the ceremony? Or is this just random autism added for no reason? It's very hard to tell in these pony stories, honestly. In any case, what the hell was even the point of this scene?

Anyway, page break. Instead of moving on to Celestia's speech at the coronation as I expected, the scene jumps to Private Styre. He apparently has the night off, but for some reason chose to attend the coronation event even though he finds such events to be boring. Butter Pie was hired to cater it, which seems to have factored into his decision to attend.

Chucky Larms, who we learn is actually Styre's father, appears.

>Larms looked down, plucking out a small bottled from his dress jacket with his teeth.
A small bottle.

>"Care for a drink, Styre?" He mumbled, rolling the bottle's neck around his lips, already tugging at the cork.
Also, how does an earth pony physically perform this action? To remove a cork requires holding the bottle with one appendage and holding the cork with the other, and then applying force to one or both until they separate. An earth pony only has his mouth. It's a pain in the ass, but you have to consider things like this when writing in Ponyland.

>Mr. Larm's face fell immediately, "Oh c'mon Styre, what've I done to earn your ire THIS time?"
Since his name is "Larms" it should be "Mr. Larms' face," not "Mr. Larm's face." Also, the unintentional rhyme of "Styre" with "ire" is a bit awkward; I'd probably pick a different word.

Anyway, we also learn that apparently Larms was ejected from the Apple clan, and we also hear yet another mention of Red Streak, the friend of Styre's that died under tragic and mysterious circumstances. It appears they are all connected somehow. We also get some hints at their background, which again are as tastefully hinted at as the rest of the backstory that has been dropped thus far. We find that Larms apparently has had some type of criminal past that he has previously recruited Styre in. Styre can tell that his father is trying to smooth-talk him into some sort of scheme or other, but Larms assures him that he's not into crime anymore. He tells him that his talents are wasted in the military, where he has not yet climbed above the rank of Private. He takes the opportunity to bash Celestia and talk up the need for a political change, and hints that he may have somepony in mind for the job. However, the speech begins before he can go into detail, which was a good narrative choice as it leaves us curious.
>Gareth, meanwhile, explains the business about the pill, and for no apparent reason at all, mentions that he was concerned that the pill might have been poisoned, but now believes that because Noble took the other half, it probably isn't. Celestia tells him that it still could have been poisoned if Noble had some kind of immunity to poison.


Why do so many authors want to flex on us with this "oooooOOOooo it could be POISONED! BUT MAYBE NOT! Look at me and how I weighed the pros and cons and analysed the evidence and thought this all through! Maybe I'm doing this because I forgot Gareth The Middle-Aged Knight probably wasn't the type to accept a random alien's pill without assuming it's poisoned but couldn't be bothered to rewrite the scene to include a mention of poison! Maybe I'm doing this because I'm severely autistic and this is my idea of a flex! I make characters think of poison-related things! Look at me fucking go!"

I shit you not, I once saw a fanfic keep this "Hero enters the house of the girl he's dating, and gets into a tea ceremony with her father. They act polite and autistically try to get each other to drink the tea first on the off chance that it might be poisoned, also they're trying to flex on each other and establish who's in charge here" shit up for over four thousand words.

Four thousand fucking words!

Over 4000 words not spent on the tea ceremony itself or the poison preparation, just two guys arguing over who should drink the tea that came from the same teacup first. 4000 words on this alone! That's way too many words! Why the fuck would you spend so many words on something so autistic and unimportant?!

I want to grab that nigger of a writer and scream in his face, "That's too many fucking words! You aren't Death Note! You'll never be Death Note! You aren't writing about two geniuses playing speed chess for the fate of the earth and humanity, you're writing about a grown-ass man with a cute daughter and 359-degree eyes trying to out-flex a ten year old boy who, at any fucking point, can replace himself with a sentient disposable copy of himself and would have done that from the start if the faggot author could be bothered to remember that instead of spending all his time trying to show off his ability (fucking inability) to write convincing dialogue between two humans trying to socially win and manipulate each other!" That's right, baby, I'm talking about naruto fanfiction again, look at me go!

A fucking LessWronger wrote that, who wants me to go and check if it's still online? It came up with all this retarded bullshit about Clone AI and I hate it because that's what I planned to do with my Naruto fanfiction at the time. It wasted time talking about its Clone AI rules and then ignored them by letting Naruto do Shadow Clones anyway, even though he changed the nine-tailed fox into the nine-brained fox and tried to wax poetic about its amazing otherworldly hyper-intelligence despite never letting it do anything truly smart. The whole point of naruto having the nine-tails in the first place? He can't do small precise spells and can only do big costly spells like creating an army of entirely separate independent copies of himself out of magic in a world where four daily casts of something low-tier like Big Fireball Spat From Mouth will lethally exhaust the literal strongest guy alive who isn't the reincarnation of ninja-jesus or born with cheat-mode bloodline-limited abilities, or carrying one of ninja-jesus's pets in his stomach as a neverending power source. The author's trying so fucking hard to make this "the smarter Naruto for the thinking faggot" with all these different scenes of interrogations and lies and manipulations and characters who overthink things, he forgot to actually make things smart.

So anyway, as Chucky Larms and his son Styre are arguing over who should be King instead of Celestia, Gareth approaches the stage and begins to speak.

>Larms grinned, watching the speech continue. "Such conviction, all spoken through an Ambassador's Pill. Well, at least she has good choice in breeding stock. Shame about the homicidal tendencies."
Yes, she has fine taste in breeding stock. Their hideous mutant freak babies will be the most virile line of rulers Equestria has ever seen. Oh, wait, looks like he was being sarcastic too.

>Suddenly, Larm stopped, looking back. He smiled genuinely. "Oh, and Butter Pie? She's a sweet thing. Treat her right, or I'll break my forehoof off in your arse."
I'm curious if this is just general advice, or if Larms has some deeper connection to Butter Pie that has not yet been revealed. My understanding so far is that Larms/Styre are connected to some branch of the Apple family, and Butter Pie is intended to be one of Pinkie's ancient ancestors. If I remember correctly there was an episode of the show that focused on a possible connection between the two families. There might be a headcanon explanation of that somewhere in this story.

>"Oh piss off, da'," Styre groused.
Nice use of Irish colloquialisms. You don't want to lay these on too thick, but little things like this can help with characterization.

One other thing I noticed in this section is that the author seems to alternate between referring to Chucky as both "Larms" and "Larm." This is an easy enough mistake to make, but it's the sort of thing that ought to be caught during proofreading. In any case, it would be a good idea to just pick one and stick with it instead of alternating; there should not be any confusion in a story about how your characters' names are spelled.

Anyway, page break. We rejoin Celestia after the coronation event has concluded. I have to say, the event itself was a bit of a letdown; very little actually happened, and it seems like the whole point was just to provide a backdrop for Styre and Larms' behind-the-scenes scheming. We gained some essential information, namely that Larms and Styre are father and son, but this conversation could have taken place under any number of circumstances that wouldn't have required nearly as much complicated setup.

The problem here is that this coronation is set up as though it is going to be the most significant event of the chapter, but nothing really comes out of it. In terms of the world, it's an important event; Celestia being formally recrowned in order to establish her power is significant and it should definitely be mentioned. However, just because an event is important in the world doesn't mean it's an important scene in the story.

Nothing particularly important or interesting happens at the recoronation; Gareth gives a short boilerplate speech and that's about it. However, the event is built up through the chapter. At the beginning when Gareth is practicing archery, it's mentioned that Gleaming Horizon is dressed for a big event. An entire scene is dedicated to Gareth and Noble taking the magic pill to switch voices so Gareth can give his speech. After that, we have an entire scene dedicated to Gareth and Celestia talking backstage before the main event, a scene which frankly felt unnecessary and tacked-on. All of this taken together implies that Gareth's speech is going to be the major climactic event in this chapter. Even the title calls attention to it. Yet here is Gareth's speech in its entirety:

>"I am Sir Grey Spear of Angleland," he loudly declared in a crisp Canterlot accent. "I fell in love with Princess Celestia when she was in my lands, and it was there that I pledged my life to her. However, at that time I did not know that she had made the same pledge to another. This pledge she made to Equestria and I am not daunted, for I willingly make the same pledge to you—"
This tells us nothing we don't already know, and after all the buildup we only see this speech as something incidental that occurs in the background while Styre and Larms are talking. Was all that bullshit with the magic voice-swapping pill really necessary if this is all the author needed it for?

What makes it even more perplexingly complicated is this:
>Colonel Purple Dart's support was expected, but nonetheless a relief. As was Noble Era's, even though his lack of speech meant that he had to give his support through an Equestrian translator for the benefit of the audience.
If Noble Era knew he had to speak that evening, why did he trade voices with Gareth? It doesn't make sense. Particularly when you remember that earlier, this also happened:

>He turned back to Noble Era, frowning deeply as he thought about how to ask this, "Who eats the other pill?"
>"As I said; I will. I am not needed tonight," Noble Era said, standing tall.
Unless I'm completely misinterpreting this exchange, what Noble is saying here is that he does not have any important role in the recoronation and won't need to speak, so it won't be a problem if Gareth has his voice for a few hours. This whole setup is just convoluted and weird, and what makes it worse is that it was all done just to enable Gareth to prattle off a short paragraph of uninteresting text that conveys no new information and does not advance the story in any meaningful way.

If nothing important happens at the coronation, then it doesn't need its own dedicated scene; you can just mention that it happened and move on. Honestly so far my feeling is that this chapter was poorly planned and ought to be rewritten. We'll see if it redeems itself later. "Recoronation" turned out to be a bit of a wash, but we still have "betrayal" to get to.
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>What was intriguing was that Mr. Chucky Larm also gave his support. Celestia was certain that he would be a problem, but no, he seemed to be almost… cordial tonight.
Again, his name is either Larm or Larms; please just pick one and stick with it.

Anyway, the author here seems to want us to notice Larms' duplicity, in that he has Celestia fooled into thinking he was no trouble tonight, yet we witnessed him attempting to snare Styre into his coup. I get the impression that this is why he put so much emphasis on the recoronation scene. However, it was still badly done, because he spent the first two thirds of the chapter focusing on Gareth's role in the event, when the real focus was supposed to be whatever Larms is up to. In that case, it would have made far more sense to focus on either Styre or Larms for the first part of the chapter, and just leave all the nonsense about Noble and the Ambassador pill out. Or at least not spend so much time on it.

Since it would technically be a continuity problem to have Gareth making a speech to the ponies when it's established that he can't speak their language, the pill might still need to be included, but you could probably summarize what it is and how it works in a single short paragraph without having to devote an entire scene to it. Moreover, since Gareth's role in the ceremony seems to have been unimportant to the broader story anyway, it probably would have made more sense to just find a simpler way to explain it, or just leave his speech out entirely. For instance, since Gareth has been taking lessons with Gleaming Horizon, you could easily just say that she helped him compose a speech in Equestrian, and coached him enough that he's able to recite it from memory without difficulty; that would be perfectly plausible and it's a lot less complicated than this whole goofy magic-pill business. Alternatively, you could simplify it even further by just having Celestia be the main speaker at the event, have her introduce and speak for Gareth, and just focus on Larms and Styre since that was apparently the main event anyway.

In any case, unless soulpillar is going somewhere with all of this, I again suggest that this chapter should be significantly revised, if not rewritten entirely.

Anyway, moving on. The speech has been delivered, the coronation ceremony is over, and as far as Celestia can tell, everything went off without a hitch. Gareth still has some reservations, but they seem to be mostly drawn from the deep well of his natural pessimism, and not based on anything specific. They chat for awhile as they walk. Celestia surmises from the content of Gareth's speech that he had help from Gleaming Horizon in composing it, which provokes an embarrassed response in Gareth, once again suggesting a possible deeper significance to that relationship.

However, Celestia is too horny to pick up on the possibility that another hoers might be moving in on her territory. She can't stop noticing that Gareth looks all super-sexy in his fancy Equestrian formal-wear. She corners him and attempts to kiss him, but even though he's made a lot of progress coming to terms with her transformation, being suddenly frenched by a horse turns out to be a bit more than he was prepared for. He reacts harshly, shoving her to the ground. He sort of half-apologizes, half-yells at her, then turns and runs away, leaving her lying there blinking on the cold stone floor.

I'll say once again that one of the things I like about this story is its unconventional treatment of man-pony sexual relations. Instead of just playing out like a fantasy scenario, the author attempts to seriously explore the kinds of mixed feelings that a man who suddenly finds out that his love interest is an alicorn from another dimension might have. While he does have some problems, mostly in the rather murky realm of his backstory, so far I'm finding Gareth to be a more complex character than one would expect in the male protagonist of something like this.

While I'll admit it's rather clumsily done at times, the author has nonetheless fleshed out a complete personality for Gareth. He is not simply a cutout of a human who reacts to situations in a general way. The author has established both a base nature and a series of personal experiences from his past that combine to form the individual of Gareth, who reacts to the specific situations of this story in a manner consistent with his personality. This most recent scene with Celestia, for instance, is a situation that different characters would react differently to. Being suddenly tongue-kissed by a horse would probably be a weird and uncomfortable situation for most men, but different individuals would react differently. For instance one person might gently rebuff her instead of throwing her to the ground, another person might get furiously angry and break up with her right then and there.

The author handles this well because he has Gareth react like Gareth. The scripted reaction here takes all factors into account: Gareth's personality, his past, his feelings in the current moment, and the situation itself. Gareth has been established as a moody, taciturn person who has difficulty expressing himself. Due to events in his past, he also tends to be aggressive and has something of a chip on his shoulder; however, he also has trust issues and deals with difficult emotions either by reacting violently or running away. Up to this point, he has been wavering between his feelings for his wife and his revulsion towards her new body. This specific situation caught him off guard, and forced him to immediately confront the disconnect between these feelings, which caused him to react aggressively and then flee the scene rather than deal with the consequences.

I'll stress that this text is far from being flawless, but attempting this level of characterization is the difference between writing something literary and simply narrating a series of events.

Anyway, after having her latest attempt at getting into Gareth's pants rebuffed in a rather insulting way, Celestia is of course hurt and humiliated. She tears up and gallops away, without paying any particular attention to where she is going. Understandably, neither of them seem to have noticed that Noble Era was standing nearby, and witnessed the entire exchange.

Page break. We rejoin Gareth outside in the garden. He is still trying to get the taste of horse saliva out of his mouth, and probably also trying to process a rather unpleasant mixture of anger, shame, disgust, and guilt.

>The events of fives minutes ago repeated in his head.
The events of five minutes ago.

>The putrid taste of horse saliva, the scalding heat and texture, the pure revulsion. He felt like he could never clean himself of this... this violation. How did Cecilia ever think that what she did was okay? He trusted her! He thought that she understood!
"The scalding heat and texture" probably refers to Celestia's tongue or possibly her mouth in its entirety, but grammatically Gareth still seems to be talking about her saliva. I would probably rewrite this sentence to make it a little clearer.

>Then a fresh wave of nausea swept over him. No, she did understand, it was he that was under a delusion. Earlier tonight, didn’t he announce himself as 'Prince-Consort Grey Spear'? That was the whole purpose of a consort. It his duty - willingly accepted - to give the ruler children. He just swore that he would fuck a horse - frequently - to an entire nation of horses.
This is a pretty decently written and concise summation of the problem as he sees it. Well done. Also, while imo vulgarity should be used sparingly in narration and only when appropriate, in this case I'd say it's appropriate; the vulgar aspects of the problem are exactly what Gareth is concerned with right now.

Anyway, Gareth starts puking, and Noble Era approaches him from somewhere out of the shadows.

>"Look at you," Noble Era continued, hooves clopping down the stairs. "She abandoned us for you, and you abandoned your world for her. Now this is the end result. You're supposed to fulfil her most basic desires, but you can't even accept a kiss without vomiting over yourself," Noble Era jabbed a hoof down at Gareth's splattered shoes. "It's over, Gareth. You've failed."
Again, this is a pretty well-written and accurate summation of the problem. However, "fulfill" is misspelled. Spellcheck, nigger. Even the post box I'm writing this in has it. Seriously, does soupillar keep his turned off, or was he willfully ignoring those bright red underlines the entire time he was writing this? Unless he wrote it in vim or something and just copypasted it into Fimfiction without reading it, there's no excuse for there being this many spelling errors in a published work.

Anyway, this next reaction from Gareth I'm a little more on the fence about:
>Gareth stared at him, he— no, he couldn't be right. It couldn't end like this. Surely. 'No… no, I'm not, I just… I just need to—'
While Gareth is probably thinking along these lines himself (the possibility that he could just cut and run, abandoning both Cecilia and his former obligations to his Uncle has doubtlessly occurred to him, even if he has mixed feelings about it), it's unlikely that Noble Era of all ponies would be able to sway him in this direction. He views Noble as an adversary, and as such would be instantly on guard at his sudden appearance. His natural, instinctive reaction would be to close up and oppose anything that Noble said, regardless of what it was. If anything, a fight with Noble would probably be a welcome distraction from having to deal with his horse-wife problem, and as such he would probably argue with Noble here, or even more likely, draw his dagger and try to provoke a physical fight.

Anyway, Noble drops his polite veneer finally and we get our first real glimpse of his Machiavellian nature. He presses Gareth on his inadequacies, pointing out that if he can't properly rock that horsepussy til' the break of dawn, then he has already failed at pretty much the only thing a Prince Consort needs to be able to do.

Gareth at this point does indeed take out his dagger, but instead of being intimidated Noble simply continues talking. Apparently either genuinely concerned for both Celestia and the realm or else just doing a fine imitation of it, he pleads with Gareth to do the right thing and leave now. He argues that the relationship is naturally doomed, and that even though they love each other, Gareth will never be able to get past the fact that she is a horse for crying out loud. He seems to basically get through to him, because the scene ends with Gareth on his knees having an existential crisis and Noble walking sadly away.

I don't entirely buy this exchange. For one thing it's a little difficult to tell what we're supposed to make of Noble Era at this point; on the one hand he seems like a Machiavellian schemer, and on the other he seems as if he might genuinely just want what's best for Equestria. It's possible that this is by design, and the author is writing him as a Varys the Spider type character whose true allegiances and objectives we're supposed to be wondering about. However, it's equally likely that he's just badly written.

More to the point though is that I think Gareth caves in a little too easily here. As I said earlier, while I think most of the points that Noble makes are in line with what Gareth is already thinking, I'm not sure how convincing it would be to hear it from someone he sees as an enemy. It would probably be better to just have Gareth react defensively and tell Noble to go pound sand up his ass, but internally begin to wonder if maybe he's right. From Noble's perspective just planting a seed of doubt would make the exchange worthwhile; he doesn't need to actually convince him to leave Celestia.
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After how hard that event was built up and what a let-down it turned out to be, I feel cucked.

The author raised my hopes and dashed them quite accidentally. It wasn't even an intentional commentary that says not all scenes have to matter. Or a moral that bad dates and bad times can be made less awful by friends, see MST3King shit with friends and MLP's Best Night Ever episode. Many episodes in a whole season built up to a big day, a big party that turned out to suck. And it was so much better than the random yearly start-of-season and end-of-season world-threatening bullshit the show does for views. It wasn't even an intentional bait and switch where a story about Sunset Shimmer and the Humane Six spend the semester talking about their upcoming graduation and they get you hyped up for it, but on the big day someone crashes their car into the rows of chairs, whips out a light machine gun with drum mag and tri-barrel underbarrel grenade launcher, and begins mowing teens and teachers down for maximum shock value.

I know I'm stereotyped as the "Anime guy who loves the big explosions and hot babes and cool shit" but MLP's best night ever episode was something special. It was a buildup, an intentional let-down, and a moral about that. A moral lesson much more real and relevant than "Da power of friendship lets you grow wings and shoot sparkly lasers and Digivolve to beat the monster of the week".

Saying this might make someone say "Who are you and what have you done with the real Nigel Joestar?".

But it needs to be said.

Ponies isn't Power Rangers.

MLP isn't built to be a superhero show, and it barely works as a disaster of the week show. Remember Season 1 Episode 2, where the heroes are going through the Everfree Forest and everyone gets a chance to shine? Now remember that Dragonshy episode and how it was all about the heroes getting Fluttershy to where she was needed so she could do the thing once the episode needed to end. The series works great as an adventure show about ponies going places and doing things and solving problems, but "character 1 and 2 must visit location to fix my OC of the week's issues in 22 minutes" is a lot shittier than "Twilight and friends must stop a volcano eruption from obliterating Canterlot and Ponyville in a big lava eruption but only Twilight and Rainbow Dash get scenes where they matter because the episode's really about them"

MLP is a slice of life show in a world where a random monster attack can happen one week and a bad hair day can happen the next day and both are equally serious big deals to the characters we care about. We don't give a shit if RD wins the Big Wing Cup or not, we want to see her happy so we want to see her win. We want to see her beat some obligatory asshole rival like Paul or Gary Oak. Where the fuck are RD's evil knockoffs, anyway? Twilight gets 5 and she got one, two tops, three if Spitfire counts these days.

Anyway, MLP isn't Power Rangers.

But whenever ponies tries to be Power Rangers, it gives up what makes Ponies special and misses what makes the good Power Rangers seasons good. Power Rangers SPD was about growth and understanding your teammates and what it means to be a Ranger (space cop). The red one has leadership thrust upon him and he needs to grow into it, while the blue one needs to grow to become the leader when he leaves. And all the power rangers need to learn that appearances aren't everything and you look like aliens to aliens. Power Rangers Wild Force was about nature and the past and loss and what that can drive people to. PR Mystic Force was a bandwagon-riding dumpster fire that failed to make "you must do things the right way" mean anything consistent. Ninja Storm got humor out of the absurd PR cliches. Power Rangers Megaforce existed, unfortunately. More like Megafarce.

But back to the story, fuck this story.

The author just sucks gay asshole at figuring out what should be glossed over, what should be focused upon, and what path the story should actually take.

We got this retarded explanation for how a random convenient "magic voice-changing pill" works, when Equestria uses spells and sometimes potions, not pills.

It doesn't matter. His speech doesn't matter. Nobody fucks with the pill, or the pony whose voice he took, to create a disaster.

Imagine if the Pill Plan was a secret organized without Celestia's knowledge. Human wants to impress Celly with his Equestrian language skill so they cheat and it goes horribly wrong either naturally or because someone figures out what's going on and actively tries to get Mister "It'll be fine, nobody needs me speaking that day" onto the stage so he can stumble through a speech with Human's godawful pony voice and hole-filled understanding of the language. This could end in disaster, embarrassment, and Celestia looking down on Human for taking the easy road out. Or it could succeed thanks to Noble cleverly pretending to be so fucking drunk he can't speak, embarassing himself for the sake of the plan and Celestia's BF. If you want to go the edgy route, imagine Chunky Long figures out that Noble's voice is linked with Human's since they're speaking with the same voice due to a spell (fuck the pill) and then spills booze on Noble, making him swear in shock, resulting in Human yelling "FUCK!" right in the middle of a speech.

There is an episode plot here. Fun could be had here, quality could be made here, but the author doesn't see how to do it. He'd rather stumble through an uninspired story with surface-level gimmicks that give him an excuse to "flex on us" with his mediocre prose that reaches for the sky and breaks its arms in the process.

The author is a faggot for that "Chucky Larm/Larms" crap.

Lucky is already a good dog name, a good horse name, and a good MLP name.

I had a Nintendogs dog named Lucky.

Lucky Charms is not just a breakfast cereal. It's cereal named after a cultural practice almost every culture ever engages in!

"Everyone has their lucky charms, or their Holy Symbols(TM) if they want to be pretentious about it" says the materialist who hates spirituality.

People call each other "good luck charms" all the bloody time to be romantic! It makes dumb thots feel good about themselves and feel like they're helpful good girls who contribute to a man's success even if all they do is stand around and look pretty!

If there was a pony named Lucky Charms, a human from this era would say "nice pony name".

And if he's American, and eats the shit those American Food Stores serve, then he'd say "Wow that's just like the cereal I eat!"

And if the author's clever, the human might say something funny like "Hey, Lucky Charms! Where's Captain Crunch?"

Then a military pony says "Over here! Supreme Naval Commander Captain Crunch at your service!"

or better yet

a military pony says "Over here! Supreme Naval Captain Captain Crunch at your service!"

Then the guy could say "Captain Captain Crunch?"

then the pony says "My name's Captain and I'm a Captain"

then the human could say "Why not Commander?"

and it's a very funny scene. Funny by fucktarded fanfiction standards anyway.

Seriously if you wrote a story where Sunset Shimmer goes to school one day but every sign has a spelling error on it for no reason and she comments on every spelling error while getting increasingly frustrated, the fatties at Fimfic would leddit-face soygasm and give you reddit gold. I'm fucking glad I was banned from reddit almost half a decade ago, that site's bad for the soul.


this knight human from the minus sixty ninth century or whenever the fuck doesn't eat American cereal. America doesn't even exist yet. America is still full of raping slaving shit-eating shit-story-telling moon-worshipping weird-shit-making warring stone-age and bronze-age tribes who've existed and owned "their ancient ancestral land" for less time than many British pubs have been around.

This kniggert guy (haha monty python reference) would not get a "funny joke" like a pony character being named after a food that doesn't exist in their world.

Hell, giving Chucky a name that's ALMOST Lucky Charms draws pointless attention to it by reminding us that Larms isn't a real word, Chucky is a stupid name, this is a mediocre forced pun, and it doesn't even get that low-IQ fanfic joke payoff aka the "Character notices a thing" moment. That's the payoff for shitty fanfiction humor, the moment when a character draws the audience's attention to it by noticing it and expecting the audience to laugh and admire the author's "Cleverness.

Double hell, or HFIL if you're gay, this human character wouldn't know what Lucky Charms is, but he'd still comment on how fucking wrong Chucky Larms sounds to the ear. Even if I look it up and Larms turns out to mean a music term or a type of journey, or... I looked it up, Larms is the "indefinite genitive singular" of "Larm" which is "A contraction of alarm, from French alarme (“alarm”)". Fuck the gay author in his big gay butthole! He's so gay, gay erotic novels are printed on his horse dildos in braille!

So there is absolutely no reason for the author to name a throwaway one-off joke character Chucky Larms. There are even fewer than zero reasons for the author to give a main character, the fucking main villain (at least until Lord Darknessdeath emerges from the shadows to reveal this rabble-rouser was actually just working for him all along and there's no real validity to whatever he said or represented or claimed to want) this fucktarded name!
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I feel super stupid that I didn't even notice the Lucky Charms thing until you pointed it out. With the story I'm working on got a fair bit of military stuff so threw in some joke names like the obligatory Blue Falcon or Commander Pyrrhic. Sad to admit though got a bit of trouble writing the military stuff since outside marskmen fundemantals, combatives, and land navigation I forgot pretty much all of the other stuff I learned there so struggling to write some of the stuff and not sure I want to dig through all my boxes to find my half dozen battered up notebooks to find notes I took in the field on certain things like vehicle formations and manuvers or radio etiquette.

Reckon I might cut a good deal of the chapter out since i don't want to write anything long and don't want to have entier paragraphs of me trying to fumble around and half explain some military stuff I can't even remember how to explain.

Will say though with this story we are reviewing at the moment if the author was able to take some of the advice given here and re write certian parts it could really help get the biggest bang for his buck on the premises. Will agree with Glim where this is a more unorthodox premis for a HiE fic and while I'm guilty of eatting most of those stories up and want to write one of my own it does grow tiring to see the same set up, premise, and on occasion the same plot points/ jokes in different stories.
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Want to know some useful tricks?
If you code your mugen character to be invincible during hitstun, combos and multi-hit attacks don't work on him.
That's a cheat, though. Unlike what I'm about to mention...
Program an attack state and code his blocking and "Just got hit" and "I'm being grabbed" states to put you in that attack state if you press X, and you've given your character to violate the game.
Traditional combo games fall apart on him. If your attack takes longer to start or finish than he takes to jab you, your combos become his combos.
Plus it's cool-looking. It's like those scenes in DBZ where two characters rapidly exchange punches, kicks, and blocked attacks.

Pretty cool, eh?

Now if you want some useful writing tricks...

If you establish your character as someone who doesn't know or care how something works, you don't have to establish exactly how it works unless you plan on making it important. You can just say a character said X over a radio using radio-talker language. You can also make things sci-fi so you don't need to be right about modern-day bullshit. To make sci-fi good...

Imagine a Laser Pistol. It takes eight AA batteries and fires a red lethal inch-thick laserbeam for a tenth of a second when the trigger is pulled. 30 shots per reload. 2200 feet of effectiveness before it stops drilling through flesh and becomes a laser pointer. How does it work? How does it deal with the world's atmosphere dulling the effectiveness of the laser at a gradual rate? How does it deal with heat? If the character doesn't know or care about the internal workings, you don't have to say how it works. He might need to know how to take it apart and put it together, but you can do that without knowing what the big parts are made of or how they work.

What I just described... It's simple and effective, for a generic laser pistol.

Imagine a scene. Power Armoured guards and armourless guards are tired, exhausted, and huddled around a campfire. They've been trapped on this hellish warzone for too damn long. People are cooking the spent batteries of their laser weapons, roasting them on an open fire, in an attempt to get some extra juice out of them. They aren't supposed to do this but they're doing it anyway.

This feature of energy weapons makes the world feel more lived-in. Who gives a fuck about voiding battery warranty when you're over a million miles from earth?

Now imagine a Plasma Pistol. Fires superheated blobs of hot stuff that's like liquid metal magnetized together. Magnetized plasma. Burns someone alive from a single shot, and really fucks robots and tanks up. Will bend around corners to stick itself to big metal foes. Can fire three shots in a row before you melt the pistol barrel, ruining the gun. You must time your shots carefully to avoid overheats. Melt the barrel and you need to hit a button on the side with your thumb, ejecting the current barrel and shoving onto a spare barrel on your belt, where the fresh barrel clips into the gun. A futuristic 9V-sized battery called an XV battery provides 300 shots per reload. Feels much more realistic. Much more interesting.


It's kind of a shit gun too, and realistic because of it. A weapon like this would not replace conventional battle rifles. If it was brought onto a battlefield, it would be a support weapon carried by one dude protected by many other traditional gun-users. He'd probably get into a rivalry with the similarly specialized Support Gunner and his light machine gun and boner for dakka. Using this with a tank on your side or a power-armoured guy on your side or a big metal wall near the target would make your plasma round go off-target if the magnetism is strong enough to blast around corners.

Giving your Space Gun some realistic downsides and then acknowledging that it wouldn't just be magically better than everything, that's what Sci-Fi fans love.

You know all those sci-fi Light Tanks that are also Main Battle Tanks with impenetrable armour and city-destroying nuclear rounds and any-height hovering that can fly at 300 miles an hour, win wars single-handedly, and outfly fighter jets and bombers? Fuck them. Fuck "One X to rule them all" syndrome in sci-fi. People want Combined Arms Tactics. Cool smart realistic shit. They want to see signs that you've thought this all through and made it believable. Military nerds will only be happy if you get it right and get butthurt if you get things wrong, but sci-fi nerds will be happy if you do it in an interesting way. They want speculative fiction to push our understanding of this shit and show us things that could work if the right tools and tactics and bullshit magic energy-producing Contrivium-Sakuradite Alloy minerals were there.

Of course you don't have to make it sci-fi, it would just make things easier on you. Getting those old notes to get the real-world military stuff right would be cool too.
>you've given your character to violate the game
you've given your character the ability to violate the game and look cool doing it
it's easy to explain why instant invincibility is a cheat, but "recovering quickly and counterattacking" after getting hit is something not everyone will understand. If you ever get into a mugen money match, that's how you cheat.
I'm looking foward to it. I'm not sure about using exact formations, due to the nature of military intelligence being very regulated. As humorous having people in the Pentagon read a pony fanfiction, I'm not aware of that specifically happening.
General plans and means of doing so, giving everyone clear (or unclear for a source of conflict) goals, objects, and priorities. Daily hassles that must be done (maybe why), the second to second rush, minute to minute happenings.
I don't know, I am sure it will be a good read.
>If you establish your character as someone who doesn't know or care how something works, you don't have to establish exactly how it works unless you plan on making it important.
>You can just say a character said X over a radio using radio-talker language. You can also make things sci-fi so you don't need to be right about modern-day bullshit. To make sci-fi good...
>Can fire three shots in a row before you melt the pistol barrel, ruining the gun.
Well, good news and bad news. It'd a good idea, and people have solved that problem. Bad news people have solved that problem in the form of a gatling gun.
If people have solved that problem before you also have to explain why that solution no longer works. Else everyone looks stupid. Even cheap lines work. There just isn't enough budget to get that, activists are stalling is implementation, the battery will blow up first taking everyone along, ect.
>Giving your Space Gun some realistic downsides
As all things should be.
>and then acknowledging that it wouldn't just be magically better than everything,
If it's good enough to justify its wide spread use I'm a-okay with it. That's not to say every invention has been forgotten or can be forgotten with the inclusion of new things.

With the inclusion of side effects (it bends around corners due to magnetism) it will fuck with the electromagnetic spectrum of light, also can mess with communication, and other effects as well. This has to be considered. A token nod is usually all it takes, and maybe a reason why it's not actually practical to use it in that way.
Or else people will start theorizing. That's not always bad, but it can make some really big holes.
>I told Joey to get us some gear, and he did. The radio guy ordered in a supply drop with his radio. I knew some of the terms and codes he used, but not all of them. Whatever he ended up saying, a box full of ammo with a parachute on top was dropped near our location.
I think this looks right.

>gatling gun
I was ripping off the "Replace worn-out detachable parts with fresh ones on your belt" thing from Attack On Titan when it game to the hot plasma gun's detachable barrels. Rotating barrels would make the gun OP.
Come to think of it, most sci-fi guns are physically impossible/implausible anyway so you could just say "It stabilizes the magnetism to ensure the superheated plasma stays clumped together over long distances without magnetically clinging to metal thanks to proprietary technology" and call it a day.

While the chapter could reasonably have just concluded with Gareth on his knees having his moment of doubt, for some reason the author chooses to give us this bizarre little scene, which I'm going to just quote in its entirety since it's short:


>Gareth opened a bleary eye, looking up at Styre's concerned face. He saw his discarded suit jacket draped over Styre's shoulders. Looking over the stallion’s shoulder he could see that it was still dark out. God, he must look pathetic.

>"C'mon Gar-eth. We're going to Gleaming Horizon's room," Styre said, digging his snout underneath Gareth's armpit.

>Gareth could only weakly moan in acknowledgement as Styre helped him up. His legs felt like wet pasta. He didn't want to think about last night, he didn't want to think about anything. The only thing he wanted was to curl up and be left alone.

>"Hurry Gar-eth. You smell like shit," Styre snorted, grinning up at Gareth.

>No… he couldn't stay, Styre would probably just kick him until he moved. Gareth smiled despite himself.

I'm not entirely sure what I'm supposed to make of this. For one thing, time is rather ambiguous here. Is this something that happened immediately after Noble left? Or is this a few hours later? As far as I can tell, the implication is that Gareth decided to sleep in the courtyard again, and then Styre finds him and brings him up to Gleaming's room. The timing seems to be sometime in the early morning. Also, it's a little unclear what, if anything, Styre knows or how he knew to look for Gareth here.

Noble Era only witnessed the kiss by chance, and it's doubtful he would have told anyone about it. No other witnesses are mentioned, and it can be assumed that Celestia would only do something that intimate if she thought they were alone. I seriously doubt Celestia would have told anyone about something so humiliating, and Gareth as far as I can tell went straight to the courtyard to mope after it happened and hasn't spoken to anyone. So there's no reason to assume that what happened between them is common knowledge. Yet Styre immediately suggests taking Gareth to Gleaming Horizon's room, instead of back to Celestia's.

It's possible that Styre simply came across Gareth sleeping in the courtyard by chance, and just assumed that he'd had a fight with Celestia and as such decided to take him to a neutral place. This is probably what the author intended, however it's a tad ambiguous.

In any case, though, this scene seems completely superfluous and I don't see why it was included.

Anyway, that's the end of the chapter. I have to say, of the chapters so far, this one is the first I've come across that I thought was written badly enough to require a complete rewrite. The title of the chapter is "Recoronation and Betrayal," and of those two subjects only "recoronation" was discussed; I'm not really sure what the "betrayal" was supposed to be. We saw evidence that Larms is plotting something, but since Celestia never trusted him to begin with, you can't really call it a betrayal. Also, he hasn't technically done anything yet, at least not that we've seen.

Even if Gareth is considering leaving Celestia at this point, I don't think "betrayal" is the right word to describe his actions in this chapter. He hasn't been unfaithful to her, nor has he been actively working against her or abusing her trust in any way. So, I'm really not seeing what the "betrayal" in this chapter was supposed to be.

So if you subtract "betrayal" from the equation, that just leaves us with a chapter called "Recoronation," which incidentally isn't even a word. More important, however, is that the entire focus of the chapter (the "recoronation") turned out to be a pretty mundane event, while the chapter's actual main event (the failed kiss provoking Gareth's moment of doubt) was treated as an afterthought.

That "story mountain" diagram referenced here >>272004 is a fairly common way to look at story structure. However, if you break a story down further you find that often individual episodes or chapters will follow the same structure as well, where the events of the chapter lead up to a single "climax" event in which the tension that has been building throughout the chapter suddenly erupts in a single significant event. The only difference is that nothing resolves, and whatever problem is created during the chapter climax becomes part of the overall story's rising action.

That is clearly what the author tried to do here; however it failed bigly. The main reason is that through the early part of the chapter we are led to believe that the recoronation ceremony is going to be the significant event; in fact the title would suggest that there is going to be some sort of betrayal that occurs at or as a result of the recoronation. However, this never happens; the recoronation turns out to be a dull event that goes off without a hitch, and seems to have little impact on the story overall. There is also a lot of text here devoted to the completely mundane subject of how Gareth will deliver his speech. The speech itself is unremarkable and doesn't tell us anything important, and the device the author cooks up to enable Gareth to logically deliver it (the Ambassador pill) just complicates the story to no good purpose.

The actual climax event of this chapter is Celestia attempting to kiss Gareth and being rebuffed, the result of which is that Gareth now seriously doubts whether he and Celestia can truly be together. This should have been the focal point of the chapter, not the recoronation ceremony and Gareth's speech.

To illustrate my point, here is the chapter from a bird's eye view:

Gareth and Gleaming Horizon are outside at the target range. Gareth is practicing archery while Gleaming is trying to get him to focus on his language lessons. Gleaming is wearing an elegant dress in preparation for the recoronation later that evening. She is trying to coach him on the speech he will have to give.

Noble Era shows up, tells Gareth that he won't be able to speak to the ponies because his diction is still terrible. He tells him that he has a magic pill that will enable them to switch voices for the evening. They have a long drawn out conversation about it. Gareth comes away from the conversation both respecting Noble's talents but distrusting him as an adversary. For the rest of the chapter they will speak with each other's voices.

In the next scene, Gareth and Celestia are backstage preparing for the coronation event. The fancy clothes they are both wearing are described in detail. Celestia notes how handsome Gareth looks. The text notes that she has been feeling "the urge" lately, and seeing her husband dressed in his finery has increased her desire to jump his bones tenfold. They proceed to have an utterly pointless conversation about whether or not the ambassador's pill might have been poisoned, adding an extra layer of needless complexity to a device that was needlessly complex to begin with.

The scene changes, and Private Styre and Chucky Larms speak with each other. We learn that they are father and son, that Chucky was involved in something nefarious in the past for which he recruited Styre, and that Styre's deceased friend Red Streak was involved. It's implied that whatever happened caused the death of Red Streak and someone else named "Pearl." A connection between Chucky and Styre's love interest Butter Pie is also implied. This is probably the most interesting scene in the entire chapter. The recoronation ceremony happens in the background; Gareth gives his speech and that's the end of it.

Next, Celestia and Gareth are walking back to their room together after the speech. The event went well and they are in good humor. Celestia's sexual attraction to Gareth reaches a boiling point, and because things have been going well between them she attempts to kiss him. However she miscalculated his comfort level and it ends in disaster, with Gareth freaking out on her and running away. She retires to her chamber humiliated and nothing further is heard from her.

Gareth meanwhile goes to sleep in the courtyard by himself. He is approached by Noble, who tells him that his relationship with Celestia is doomed and he should just leave. Gareth realizes he is correct, but is still conflicted. He remains paralyzed, unable to choose between two unsatisfactory options.

The chapter concludes with a seemingly extraneous and pointless scene in which Styre finds Gareth sleeping in the courtyard and escorts him to Gleaming Horizon's room.

As we can see, there are some events in this chapter which are compelling and interesting, and drive the story forward: Chucky and Styre's scene, as well as Celestia and Gareth's failed kiss, which provokes Gareth's subsequent inner crisis. There are also some interesting undercurrents that are explored: Gareth's pseudo-romantic friendship with Gleaming Horizon seems to be blossoming while his marriage to Cecilia/Celestia seems to be disintegrating; also, the previously unknown connection between Chucky and Styre, as well as Chucky's involvement in Styre's past which was previously hinted at, seems to have unearthed a new subplot. These events are the "meat" of the chapter.

However, there are also several pointless and distracting events, that serve no discernible purpose. I can pinpoint at least three unnecessary scenes: Gareth and Noble discussing the ambassador's pill, Gareth and Celestia backstage (also discussing the ambassador's pill, among other things), and Gareth and Styre's final scene in the courtyard. All of these scenes could be deleted at no cost. The pill itself should be done away with completely.

Overall, the biggest problem with this chapter is that it is poorly organized and poorly planned. It meanders aimlessly from scene to scene in a way that subtracts emphasis from the main events while simultaneously placing emphasis on events that serve no purpose. This tends to be one of the unfortunate consequences of that "make it up as you go" style of writing that caused Peen Stroke's work to suffer, and I suspect that is basically what the author did here.

The biggest problem is that the recoronation is treated as the main event of the chapter, but it isn't. It's basically a framing event; an event that serves a mechanical purpose in bringing the necessary characters together into a situation where the main events can occur. An example of this would be a story that takes place at a party, where the story is what happens to the different characters while they are there. The party provides the setting and the premise of the story, but is itself unimportant. The reason for the party could be anything. It could be someone's birthday party, a Christmas party, a Samhain celebration in which virgins will be sacrificed to the Devil; it really doesn't matter. The party is just the backdrop; the story is what happens to the characters while they are there.

Similarly, the coronation in this chapter provides the setting and the premise for what happens, but is itself a fairly mundane event. Therefore it should be emphasized less, and the story elements that draw focus to it should be removed. The biggest offender in this category is the Ambassador's pill. It's a stupid, overly complicated way to explain something that could have been explained more easily, and honestly wasn't that important in the first place.

The problem that the Ambassador's pill solves is simply that Gareth needs to make a speech and still can't speak the language well enough to do so. This is a legitimate problem that does indeed need to be solved (assuming Gareth actually needs to make a speech), but it's also fairly mundane, and there are much simpler ways to solve it than a magic pill that switches two character's voices. Moreover, it can be solved more elegantly, in a way that weaves the solution into the more important parts of the story, instead of treating it as its own separate thing.

Here is how I'd rewrite this chapter:

Divide the chapter into a main story thread revolving around Gareth and Celestia and a secondary story thread involving Styre and Chucky. The author basically had the right idea for the Gareth/Celestia thread, he just messed up the execution. The central conflict is Gareth and Celestia's differing view of their relationship at this point: even though they are outwardly getting along and seem to have turned a corner, Gareth is still weirded out by her horse-body and wants things to remain platonic for now, whereas Celestia is becoming more sexually attracted to Gareth and would like to resume physical intimacy. The conflict comes to a head when Celestia attempts to kiss Gareth and it blows everything up. As I said, this part of the story is actually pretty well designed: the story begins on a positive, upbeat note with Celestia and Gareth joking around and enjoying each other's company, disaster strikes in the form of the kiss, and the chapter ends on a down-note.

Instead of emphasizing the coronation as the central event, the chapter should focus mostly on Celestia and Gareth, with the coronation just being something that's happening in the background. The beginning of the chapter is actually pretty good; I'd keep the scene with Gareth and Gleaming Horizon. This scene gives us a window into Gareth's state of mind: although things are getting better with Celestia, part of the reason for this is that Gareth is avoiding the problem to some extent. He is using both his archery and Gleaming as a distraction. The archery gives him a superficial goal that he can focus attention on so he doesn't have to think about his horse-wife so much, and Gleaming is sort of a non-sexual love interest, if that makes sense. She provides him a certain degree of emotional intimacy, but as opposed to Celestia there's no expectation of eventual physical intimacy, so she's "safe." Between the mental distraction of practicing archery and the emotional distraction of Gleaming Horizon, he has a temporary escape from his marriage that he can retreat into, without which he would probably be fighting with Celestia a lot more.

Celestia, meanwhile sees it completely differently. To her, it just looks like Gareth is slowly getting over the fact that she is a horse for crying out loud. Due to her own steaming inner desires she tries to speed this process up a bit, and it doesn't turn out the way she hopes. Where this chapter fails is it doesn't quite emphasize her side of things; it just mentions that she's horny a couple of times and leaves us to piece the rest together, while simultaneously wasting a lot of page space on the buildup to the coronation non-event, as well as this retarded Ambassador pill idea.

As to Chucky and Styre, I found their part of the chapter to be the most competently executed. Their conversation should still take place and convey the same information, but I might add a short lead in that maybe leads Styre into the ceremony, or at least explains why he's there a little better. As written, we basically just have "Styre hates attending royal functions but he's attending this one for some reason." If the reason has something to do with Butter Pie, maybe make a scene involving the two of them.

The business about the Ambassador pill should be cut entirely. It's totally stupid, it complicates the story needlessly, and it adds nothing except extra text. The scene with Gareth and Noble discussing the pill should be chopped and replaced with something more relevant to what's actually going on. Personally I think the whole thing could be simplified by not having Gareth make a speech at all, but if that needs to stay in for whatever reason, just do what I suggested earlier and have Gleaming help him compose a pre-written speech and then help him memorize it in Equestrian so it can just be recited. This would be a more elegant solution anyway since it would allow for more interaction between Gareth and Gleaming and could replace the pointless conversation scene with Gareth and Noble. Also, for God's sake get rid of all that retarded autism about the pill being maybe poisoned but probably not; unless the pill is actually poisoned, there's no reason to even bring up poison.

So to summarize, here are the main takeaways: the primary focus of the chapter should be Gareth and Celestia, with Styre and Chucky as the secondary focus. The chapter should begin on a high note and end on a low note. Tension is developed by revealing the disconnect between Gareth and Celestia's respective feelings about their relationship, and juxtaposing that against the outward appearance that things are going well. The climax event is Celestia trying to kiss Gareth and Gareth freaking out. The coronation itself is unimportant and should be treated as a background event. The ambassador pill is stupid; get rid of it, and all its associated scenes. If Gareth absolutely must make a speech, have Gleaming coach him and use the scene as an opportunity to showcase their interactions. Consider deleting the speech itself from the text, as it is not particularly eloquent or informative. Just mentioning that Gareth spoke should be fine.

Also, the chapter should definitely be retitled. No betrayal occurs that I can see, and recoronation is a minor event at best, so "Recoronation and Betrayal" is a bad title.
>I want to grab that nigger of a writer and scream in his face, "That's too many fucking words!..."
People in glass houses, my dude. People in glass houses. though I will admit that the fic you're describing sounds fairly dreadful.

>MLP isn't built to be a superhero show, and it barely works as a disaster of the week show. Remember Season 1 Episode 2, where the heroes are going through the Everfree Forest and everyone gets a chance to shine? Now remember that Dragonshy episode and how it was all about the heroes getting Fluttershy to where she was needed so she could do the thing once the episode needed to end. The series works great as an adventure show about ponies going places and doing things and solving problems, but "character 1 and 2 must visit location to fix my OC of the week's issues in 22 minutes" is a lot shittier than "Twilight and friends must stop a volcano eruption from obliterating Canterlot and Ponyville in a big lava eruption but only Twilight and Rainbow Dash get scenes where they matter because the episode's really about them"
I personally think it works best when it just picks a character or two and focuses on a simple problem that she might be facing, which may involve one or more of her friends. Most of S1 and S2 follows this format from what I remember. I never found the big, theatrical episodes to be as interesting. I know Lauren Faust wanted it to be primarily an adventure show, and was a little miffed at the direction they took it, but I think it worked best as a slice of life show that took place in a mythical, imaginative setting.

>We got this retarded explanation for how a random convenient "magic voice-changing pill" works, when Equestria uses spells and sometimes potions, not pills
>It doesn't matter. His speech doesn't matter.
>this knight human from the minus sixty ninth century or whenever the fuck doesn't eat American cereal. America doesn't even exist yet.
>This kniggert guy (haha monty python reference) would not get a "funny joke" like a pony character being named after a food that doesn't exist in their world.
>So there is absolutely no reason for the author to name a throwaway one-off joke character Chucky Larms.
When you're right, you're right.

Though I will say that I don't get the impression that Chucky is meant to be a one-off throwaway character, he seems fairly integral to the plot so far. Or at least I hope he is, because otherwise the author is just feeding us information about a character who isn't ultimately of any consequence, which is just a waste of text. In any event I agree; the name isn't clever enough to really be that funny, and the joke is an anachronism anyway.

The character is very unfortunately named; particularly considering that "Styre," which references an extinct type of apple that would have grown in England during the middle ages, is actually a very clever name. The fact that Styre also seems to be also connected to the Apple family makes it doubly so. In comparison, "Chucky Larms" is just stupid and lazy; if he wanted to make the character an Irish stereotype with a jokey name, he'd have done better to find some character from Irish mythology whose name works as a horse pun, or else just find some old Gaelic nickname for "apple cider" or something to that effect. Ideally it should be something that summarizes both his personality and hints at his being an Irish-analog pony, and if an apple reference can be worked in that would be ideal. At least make a little bit of an effort. I admit that I also googled "larms" just to see if it actually was a clever reference of some kind and no, I don't get the impression that it is
Looking back at the shit I used to love, almost all my bad writing habits came from stories I loved and shit writers I idolized before becoming political. The only other bad habits came from a lack of writing experience.

I read this one story that's over 2,400,000 words of Pokemon anime and game characters reincarnated into Pokemon bodies in a Pokemon Mystery Dungeon setting. The story steals its plot from Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door, so the heroes have to go on a journey to collect the plot coupons, one in every major location, while getting more party members over time. The growth and struggle of the mortal characters is undercut by constant powerups, often granted by deities or other outside influences. Gods aren't allowed to get involved in this quest except they almost constantly do and the final villain has a nonsensical "Gather the plot coupons with my Evil Organization Of Evil, use them to open The Gate that seals Satan-Giratina away from the multiverse, then gather all the misery I've created in the world and convert it into enough happiness energy to make a big blast that kills it" plan just so there can be a twist that makes him more than a generic evil edgy asshole who runs an evil organization of evil for the sake of being evil while wanting to release satan because evil.

The tension here feels incredibly artificial. The gods could solve everything in an instant if they really wanted to and there are no evil gods holding them to any "Truce rules". The god of "the good kind of darkness" and 40 random extra things is able to have his head priest, in magical immortality-granting robes, summon fellow followers of that god and unleash them and good darkness on the enemy forces... and then the author has the gall to say "Hahaha my priest was acting in capacity as a Team Hero member not my darkness church head priest! You'd better become okay with my current level of indirect meddling or I'll give you nightmares which you have no way of saving yourself from, saving everyone else the trouble of going through this story and kicking your ass at the end, mwahaha!"

This whole story only happens because the plot of the Pokemon anime happened and then one timeskip later things finally almost went well for Ash, he won a Pokemon league after fighting in every other one ever, but then disaster struck and the world started ending Moltres And The Birds decided to kill his friends because they're suddenly pricks for no reason at all, pissing Ash off so much he snapped and became evil, forcing God to reset the universe in Pokemon-land so he can be happy again. In this new universe, there are many different "dimensions" with their own stories but the main one is the main one because Ash and the Giratina Door are in it, making it impossible to time-fuck that particular dimension world. So even though time-fuckery powers and time travel is common the story supposedly still has tension. What the fuck? Did I miss an explanation for this shit in 2,400,000 words? Where is the infinite army of heroes from infinite realms here to solve the plot for everyone, where's the retarded side-plot about them spending eternity fighting an infinite army of villains from infinite other bad realms where they won and got stronger after conquering their worlds?

Also the author has NO RESTRAINT. he'll add Power Rangers, batman, iron man and spiderman, the iron giant, and the cast of Glee to be side characters alongside "OCs" who rip off this anime or that TV show or this book or that video game. If he wants to tell a story that adapts all Pokemon franchise parts into one whole, he lacks the discipline necessary to not get distracted talking about something completely unrelated. And sometimes he'll just rush right through his tell-don't-show explanation of his headcanons for this plotline and set of adapted characters and world elements he decided to do nothing with because he decided to skip to the next bit. It's like he's trying to adapt every single piece of media he's ever liked into a single hyper-autistic singularity of a fanfic designed to be the absolute greatest fantasy-land "Magical Realm" he can think of, not realizing that in a world where Superman AND Saitama exist and Batman struggles to keep up with all of earth's researched and stolen-from-aliens science behind him, Robin is just one teammate with a stick or two. In Johto, a level 100 Rattata is a big deal able to single-handedly crush the elite four. In a world where Pokemon can reshape continents with a yell if they serve Groudon hard enough, that top percentage Rattata means nothing. Nothing matters in this story unless it's a god or chosen one. Boring.

It's funny how the stereotypes call Sonic fans weird and whiny when only 4 out of 60 sonic games have ever been good, not counting fangames. The Pokemon fandom attracts the REAL crazies. There was this craze a while back where this "Pokeumans" group formed, a fanbase for a really shit fanfic with a "shared universe" where fans have to obey these retarded rules and deal with nonsensical story elements in their "technically better written but still shit" stories. A furry wanted to write about a boy that turns into a Lucario who immediately becomes strong, is the chosen one, and after some badly-written day to day antics in the base he lives in, he has to go on an adventure collecting the magic gems of plot importance to save the world. Absolutely buttfucking retarded worldbuilding at levels of stupidity I've never even seen before or since can be found in this story. Logic breaks it in so many ways.
I'd like to nominate https://www.deviantart.com/pokemonmanic3595/art/Pokeumans-Chapter-1-158262439 this as something to add to the list after everything else. But honestly, I think I'm hogging too much of the list already. So if you want to put a Blank Space in front of Pokeumans for any other story suggested by anyone else at any point before we get to Pokeumans I'll understand.
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The Pokeumans story I nominated has less than 100k words, I think.

I DO NOT nominate the 2,400,000 word story, it's too long. it also has three plots in parallel. Only done badly and there are many extra plots that go nowhere.
1. The main two heroes Ash and Pikachu must fuck off on a One Piece-inspired adventure from weird place to weird place, righting wrongs and saving the day and fucking up Team Evil's plans. If Ash gets too sad he'll go all Dark Sonic on the world, being sad and emotionless and super-strong and uncontrollably evil. The author thinks if he repeats a line often enough it becomes funny. Like that scene where a train flies by creating its own track, so someone says it flies and then someone else specifies that the train is running on flying tracks, not flying. This repeats at least four times.
2. Inspired by that bit in Paper Mario where Luigi goes on his own quest, Gengar's idiotic team from the first game go on an unimportant minor journey. This adventure is barely focused on, mostly forgotten about, and allowed to fall by the wayside even though it would be better writing if it contrasted with the heroes and their journey. I forget whether this one has any stakes attached to it or not. I swear, this author only knows how to write three voices: Regular voice, robotic voice who states things emotionlessly (Reserved for schemers, trained ninja, random english-speaking dogs, soldiers, smart people, whatever the fuck else), edgy asshole voice, bitchy girl voice, nice girl voice, and big dumb idiot voice. His story has over 100 characters but everyone talks like this. I hate it.
3. The town the heroes come from has to take out a Barbarian Encampment near it. A really bloody big one. Ready Player One style, a shitload of characters and stupid references from other pieces of media join the good guys in their fight to save one city state in buttfuck nowhere. After a war, they take the camp out. The end. Story over.
3.1. Gardevoir from the first game is kidnapped by Team Evil for her ability to read a map only the pure of heart can read. The map says where the Thousand Year Door is. Turns out it's right under Treasure Town, the shittiest place on earth. Because I guess the author didn't like PMD2's Treasure Town. She ends up becoming Queen Of The Vampires when some random bored omnipotent being teleports behind her to vampirize her, and adds vampirism into the mix out of nowhere. This makes Gardevoir become edgy and "cool" in a sea of similar characters, and when a shitload of kidnapped kids are killed one by one by Team Evil to get her to do something bad for them, she refuses to do it because death has no meaning when anyone can come back as a ghost or vampire. She calls the final boss a cunt once or twice and that's where her plot relevance ends.
3.15. Misty the Vaporeon died but got better and was teleported into a spaceship with a hive mind full of Information Creatures made of math. Misty has all the knowledge in reality stuck inside her brain somehow, I forget. Also she hates hive minds and wants to be brought home.
3.2. Some random Latias must do a ritual to let the deity Latias take over her mortal body's incarnation. So she does, and she quickly convinces everyone and the audience that she's not dead, just united with her bigger deity side which is her but more. Rayquaza, husband of Latias, tries this only to end up losing his power. So he needs to do a few trials to display the wisdom, strength, and courage an emperor needs or something like that. Anyway he's doing that, the story was abandoned unceremoniously a few years ago when the author realized what an absolute clusterfuck he turned the story into by wrapping up some plot threads, forgetting others until their not-solved-ness started causing problems for other plots, and falling into the "this is too big so i'd better stop working on it because chipping away at it day by day won't help" trap of being a little bitch.
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Chapter 8: Abduction and Small Talk

This chapter begins with an author's note:

>For anyone who may have read the story in the past, Sun & Rose has undergone a re-write! If you're interested in seeing how it might have gone, check out the link below. Otherwise, continue reading and enjoy the show.


>(Be warned, it turned out rather bleak)

There is no date provided so I'm not sure when this update happened. The linked google drive, however, appears to contain an earlier draft of the story complete with outlines, so out of curiosity I may actually peruse it and see how the previous draft differs from this one. In any event, however, for the purposes of this critique I will be dealing exclusively with the version currently available on FimFiction, as I did with Past Sins. Also, if what we are reading is indeed a revised and rewritten version of the story, then I will be grading it on a slightly harder curve from here on out.

Anyway, we rejoin Gareth a short while later. Styre has brought him up to Gleaming Horizon's room, where he is just sitting and staring at the fire, drinking water and trying to get the taste of puke and horse saliva out of his mouth. Both the encounter with Celestia and Noble Era's words are weighing heavily on his mind.

>Gareth stared down at his hands. What was he thinking? He drew his blade on Noble Era, and in that moment, he would have gladly slit his throat just to silence him. That urge, that murderous violence, he had tried for years to put it all behind him. It scared Cecilia, the way his body just… took over when threats came.
I'm a tad conflicted on this motivation for Gareth. The author has been hinting for awhile that part of Gareth's backstory involves a deep-rooted anger which manifests itself through violence, and that Cecilia's gentle nature has helped him to gradually overcome this. As far as character motivations go, this is a pretty good one.

However, this also relates to what I've pointed out before, about the author's somewhat anachronous portraya of what a medieval man like Gareth might think and believe. As far as I can piece together from what's in the text, Gareth is the bastard son of a knight or a noble or something, who didn't get along with his mother and was eventually evicted from her farm. He became a soldier in his Uncle's army and distinguished himself on the battlefield, and apparently some combination of valor and his half-noble parentage earned him a knighthood. However, he still seems to have a chip on his shoulder about something, and his inner anger manifests itself as a quick temper and a tendency to react violently.

Again, I'd like to say that all of this actually reflects pretty decent character design on the author's part. But, the middle ages were a fairly violent time. If you were a man back then you basically either tilled the fields or went to war. The only exceptions would have been clergy and a small number of merchants and traders and so forth, but even then war was still pretty much an accepted part of daily life. The period Gareth is from would have been roughly the same time as the Borgia popes, when even the Church was caught up in endless war over lands and incomes and so forth.

It makes sense that Cecilia, coming from the idyllic pastel fields of Equestria, where the closest thing to tragedy is a disagreement among friends, would be horrified by the casual violence of Gareth's world. I suspect that the author wanted to explore this contrast as one of the story's themes and to be fair, he's doing a reasonably good job of it so far. But Gareth's view of himself, as well as the views of his Uncle and his clergyman friend whose name has temporarily escaped me and I'm too lazy to look it up, seems to be that he has an unhealthily violent nature; however, we haven't really seen this compel him to do anything worse than what would be deemed acceptable by the standards of his own world. In a world where every disagreement is settled with swords, being the kind of person who would rather kill an adversary than talk things through is relatively unremarkable.

Again, I suspect the implication here is that his desire to change is partly Cecilia's influence; however, the author seems to treat it as a given that Gareth, as well as his friends, family, spiritual advisor and so forth, would all take it as a given that being quick-tempered and violent would be negative character traits that a person would want to change. This is more a reflection of modern values than the values of Gareth's time and place.

Anyway, the story's main setting is Equestria, and it stands to reason that his old behaviors would not be accepted here. Gareth seems to acknowledge this:

>Hooved animals were naturally sensitive to predators. Perhaps they knew his nature better than he did.
"Hooved" should technically be "hoofed." This is a fairly easy mistake to make, though; I only caught it because my spellchecker underlined it. This is why you need spellcheck, nigger; we are none of us infallible.

Oh, one more aside: this scene explains that Styre just chanced upon Gareth sleeping in the garden without having any knowledge of why he was there, and stopped to help him out of friendship. This makes sense, but I still say the short scene at the end of the last chapter was unnecessary. The author probably felt it would be jarring to have Gareth suddenly end up in Gleaming's room without explanation of how he got there; however, the explanation is simple and requires only a couple of lines of text. The current scene actually provides such an explanation. Thus, the previous scene contains nothing essential or valuable. If you end a chapter with a character at home and begin the next with him at work, you don't need to include a scene where he sits in traffic for 20 minutes to connect them; the reader can usually piece it together.

Anyway, apparently Gareth th