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Pony Stories 69

08 Feb

Well, Friendship is Optimal: All The Myriad Worlds got a new chapter and it was less than stellar. The subject matter aside, it seemed a bit shallow. No real exploration of the character or anything. Even the chapter about the pony that did nothing but climb mountains by himself gave a us a nice character study of a certain way of life. This one was pretty much just ‘here is a pony who does things modern society vilifies, but here it is safe and okay’ and doesn’t really give any real depth to it. It really did fall into a ‘virtual reality as desire satisfaction’ trap with this chapter.

In completely unrelated news, looking at a website’s stats is kind of odd. Especially for a tiny site like a for-free blog like this. Hello to that one person in Russia who visited my site briefly yesterday. You brought a much needed cultural variety to my audience that day, which otherwise consisted of two people in the United States.

Don’t Let the Sun Catch You Crying by l0x0r

Augh, another incomplete one. I try to check for that, but sometimes I miss. That explains some of the weird pacing. Though the last chapter I finished could have been used as the end of the story. Not a wrap-up of everything, but more of a symbolic ‘everything will work out’ ending. It also feels like a story written before season 2. Checking the dates, it was started mid-season 2 and is still being worked on, but the lack of references of anything in the show after season 1 is a bit odd. Still, it is a pretty good story. Light and fluffy, but a nice read. I do wish it had a bit more stuff in it. The romance is a nice gradual thing, which I really liked, but I do wish that there was a bit more stuff happening around that. Like I don’t want the pacing of the growing relationship between Twilight Sparkle and Princess Luna to change, but I’d like to to take place during more different scenes/activities. Not sure that’s actually possible. Also the viewpoint shifting is a little weird. We start off with following Twilight Sparkle around, then spend the majority of the story (at least up to the point I stopped) following Princess Luna’s point of view.

The writing is, well, a bit basic. I’d call it average. Wouldn’t surprise me if this is the author’s first real try at writing a story. Wasn’t bad enough to make me stop reading. The main problem was that there wasn’t any real depth of continuity. The story never really contradicts itself, though once or twice it came close, but more that it seems to change it’s mind about what is important from chapter to chapter, or scene to scene. One scene might get written as foreshadowing of something, then a few scenes later that thing is simply passed by as if it was background detail. The story is a pretty good example of the differences between a proper editor and a simple copyeditor. It needed someone to help with the flow of the story and themes and fancy pretentious stuff like that. I enjoyed reading it, but don’t intend to come back to it when/if it gets finished.

Chess by KitsuneRisu

Another interesting little experiment. Dual internal monologues during a game of chess. No direct mention of anything going on, just the running thoughts of Twilight Sparkle and Princess Celestia as they play, yet it sets the scene quite nicely. A very interesting character study of both of them, though a little thin in places. The, not sure what to call it, lets go with ‘plot arc’ for now, anyway it isn’t quite as smooth as it could have been. The middle part has a change of direction that is a little sudden in comparison to how slow the first half build-up was. Anyway, quite a good read. I’d recommend it to just about anyone.

A FLEet|ng LIght |n thE DArknEsS by Flashgen

Creepy, which is what the author was going for and hit nearly perfectly. If you like horror, this is one you should try. Not a whole lot of pony, but it goes into the category of simply nabbing the characters to save on exposition. If it was original fiction it’d have to spend a lot of time setting up the town and personalities involved.

The story doesn’t give any answers to the events, making it a true horror story instead of just a dark fantasy tale. This annoys me on one level because I’ve got a curious mind and want to know everything about the interesting stuff that happened, but on the other hand it’s cool that the author was confident enough to stick to not giving any information about things at all. Exposition weakens horror in my opinion. Do wish it had given a teeny bit more hints about what happened at the Apple Farm. The barely there clues hint that something different happened there and I would have liked to know if it was related to the events elsewhere, or simply a different horror that happened in reaction to them.

In thinking about it, it is kind of weird that I feel that violence/grimdark, such as Immortal Game, goes with MLP much better than horror like this. Guess it has to do with how central despair and/or hope is. MLP is basically a world where good actions lead to good results if you have strong enough convictions. Even in the darker, more violent fan fictions I’ve read it is often just a matter of the obstacles are much more graphic in nature but if the main character keeps true to the side of good they triumph eventually. In horror stories, that is almost never the case and that just clashes with the source material more for me. One is just art style, the other is the core of the material, in a manner of speaking.

Not quite as creepy as The Face Takers, a story I don’t think I’m ever reading again because of how hard it hit me in the feels, but this is a pretty good second place for creepy horror fanfic.

Wonderbolt by WovenWord

Wow, that was depressing. Pretty well written though. However, I was much more interested in the implied backstory than the story that was actually being told. Was a good snapshot of a romantic moment in a time of hopelessness, but not really a story. I much rather would have read the story that had this as a final epilogue than this by itself. Still, was a good read if you don’t mind being depressed.

The Music of Ponyville by GrassAndClouds2

Another alternate universe. This time the main character is Octavia and the local mane six are all musicians. Was fun, but I don’t seem as much potential for longer stories as some of the others. I much prefer the Lunaverse as my primary alternate pony universe. Though I do have to admit that I do really like this version of Lyra quite a bit. So I might have to see if there is a few more slice of life stories for this particular universe just to see how it plays out. This is a fan fic that uses both links to youtube music and colored text for some of the songs. Reading it on my kindle pretty much ruins both of those. Can’t listen to the music on the kindle while reading and the colored music just comes through in various shades of grey which is more distracting than anything cool. On the web it works, kinda, but still seems kind of gimmicky.

After reading a few variations of the beginning plot it is funny to see a few patterns start to emerge. Mostly in how the six ponies make their way through the forest. Not being limited to a short kid’s show on a deadline, all of the fan fictions I’ve read have managed to make the trip through the forest much more interesting and coherent. Each pony getting a chance to shine in a way that is both interesting and reflects their soon-to-be element much better. It’s a great example of what makes MLP such a fun thing to follow. It provides a bare-bones framework that creative types can rework into even higher quality stories. Also it is fun to see that even if the author is changing so much, Octavia is the main character as Princess Cadance’s personal student, the characters in general are more or less the same as in other fanfics. Sure the author gives them new twists, but even the background ponies more or less built from scratch by the fandom are all pretty much recognizable as the fan-made characters they mostly are.

So, this one wasn’t kind up to the quality level I like, but a very fun read. Also happy that I’m not the only one that was thinking Cadance might be some kind of magical construct instead of a true Alicorn.

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4 Comments

Posted by on February 8, 2014 in Books 2014, Ponies, Reviews

 

4 responses to “Pony Stories 69

  1. Professor Whooves

    February 10, 2014 at 2:41 am

    “Don’t Let the Sun Catch You Crying” was one of the better TwiLuna fics when its first chapters were published in May of 2011 (following S1). However, in all the years since, it has failed to develop a coherent plot, and I finally dropped it after a disappointing update last May.

    “A FLEet|ng LIght |n thE DArknEsS” was alright. The white text was a nice touch, though Chromosome did it earlier and better in “White Box”.

    I liked “Wonderbolt”. I gave it a thumbs up after EqD featured it in October of 2012, and I was glad to see it catch more attention with that recent fic spotlight from The Royal Guard. It makes very good use of first-person.

    I’ll add “Chess” and “The Face Takers” to my reading queue.

     
    • Griffin

      February 10, 2014 at 6:56 am

      Huh, totally missed the white text in Fleeting. Stuff like that doesn’t really transfer well when reading it on my kindle. Also missed the big scratchy words in the two places that I only noticed going back and skimming through it on the website.

       
  2. Pascoite Fics

    February 10, 2014 at 8:10 am

    Yeah, Fleeting did have clues as to what was going on, iirc. I haven’t read it myself, but I understand that the white text, the pattern of capitalization in the title, and some other textual clues allow you to figure more out.

     
    • Griffin

      February 10, 2014 at 2:41 pm

      That’s cool. I don’t put much effort into deciphering that sort of thing, but I always like to hear that an author put the effort into things like that.

       

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