Greetings, all. Due to the relative success of my disembowelment of Nigel's seminal work, Silver Star Apple and the Quest for the Perfect Ponut Pounding
(still ongoing btw), I have been toying for some time with the notion of starting my own general review thread. As you may possibly not have failed to somewhat guess, this thread might perhaps just not be the opposite of that thing that was said, just now, by me, the guy who am writing the words being read, by you and others like you. Good English talking ftw.
In this thread, I will take various works of fiction and over-analyze them to the point of ridiculousness. If you have anything in particular you would like me to read and/or skewer, feel free to post it here. Fanfictions, short stories, comics, novels you had to read in high school; I will examine nearly anything, so long as it isn't too enormous a project. If you have something that you yourself have written and would like me to take a look at, I am happy to do that as well. Works of any genre/universe will be accepted, reviews will probably be done in the order they are requested, unless something jumps out at me that I really want to do first. I may also select things at random from my own personal list. As always, updates will occur sporadically whenever I have the time to do them and feel like doing them.
So, anyways, up first is a request I was given a couple of weeks ago. This is a short MLP fanfic from fimfiction.net. I haven't been a hoa
rsefucker long enough to be familiar with many of the major Pony works, but I get the impression that this is a fairly well-known story. The title is:Would It Matter if I Was?
For those who would like to read along, the original text can be found here:https://www.fimfiction.net/story/289205/1/would-it-matter-if-i-was/should-it
I was originally just going to analyze this story as a self-contained work, but I happened to click at random on a story from the suggestions column. I've decided to include the second story, a parody, in my review and will periodically be comparing it to the original, because after having read both I honestly think the parody is the better work. I will intermittently compare the two and offer justifications for this position. Here is the parody:Do it Mattered If I Is?
This story can be found here:https://www.fimfiction.net/story/289759/1/do-it-mattered-if-i-is/sheord-it
I would encourage my readers to familiarize themselves with both texts before continuing with my pompous overanalysis of them.
So, with all of that out of the way, let's get started.
The story consists of a dialog between Twilight and Fluttershy. The two of them are at Twilight's former residence, a tower at Canterlot Castle, straightening up her library. Spike is apparently asleep on the couch, although he doesn't really factor into the story. Fluttershy has apparently just asked a question that caught Twilight off guard.
>“Would it matter if you were a changeling?” Twilight repeated, adding a firmness to the words. Her puzzled expression turned narrow, and her tail flicked. “That’s what you're asking me?” Fluttershy nodded. “Okay, well then. Yes. The changelings just tried to invade Canterlot and enslave all of Equestria, so I’d have to say it would matter.”
Well, at least we know she wasn't asking about crusty cunt flakes. Nice to have the premise established right at the beginning of the story, saves us the trouble of trying to figure it out later. Anyway, I'll say a couple of things here. Overall, this story is pretty well constructed from a technical standpoint, at least compared to other fanfics, so I probably won't nitpick grammar and word choice much unless something big jumps out at me. That said, I have a bit of a problem with "adding a firmness to the words" and "Her puzzled expression turned narrow." Both phrases are a little awkward. The meaning is clear enough, but when you look a bit closer it's really not the best choice of words.
First, you don't add firmness to words; that doesn't make much sense. The impression the author is trying to convey is that Twilight is repeating Fluttershy's question, more firmly than Fluttershy did (not a hard feat to accomplish, really). In that case, her voice
is what's comparably more firm, not the words. Furthermore, describing firmness as an additive component makes the phrasing awkward. This sentence could just as easily have been written as:>"Would it matter if you were a changeling?" Twilight repeated more firmly.
Next, let's examine:>Her puzzled expression turned narrow, and her tail flicked.
Try to visualize what's happening here. "Her puzzled expression turned narrow." What does that mean exactly? She has a puzzled expression on her face, and then gradually it starts to narrow? How? Are her facial features physically compressing inward as she's talking?
A very general rule in writing is "show, don't tell." It applies perfectly here. You could rewrite this sentence as:>Her expression turned from puzzlement to suspicion, and her tail flicked.
And it would convey the same information much better than what is written. However, what would be even better is to just state what Twilight is doing and have the reader fill in the blanks for himself:>Her eyes narrowed suspiciously, and her tail flicked.
The reader can probably infer from what's going on that Twilight was initially puzzled by the question, so what really needs to be conveyed here is that she is now growing suspicious. Rather than just stating that this is the case, it's better to illustrate this by describing her gestures and expressions.
There are a number of similarly awkward passages peppered throughout this text. I won't delve into all of them, but this is the kind of thing any competent writer should try to keep an eye out for when proofreading their own work.
Anyway, stay tuned, more to follow.