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Shades of Grey

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Shades of Grey

Post by InquisitorM on Sat Feb 25, 2012 6:51 pm

Story completed, links removed.


Last edited by InquisitorM on Mon Aug 20, 2012 6:57 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Shades of Grey

Post by InquisitorM on Thu Mar 15, 2012 12:44 pm

Bumping for feedback
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Re: Shades of Grey

Post by WalrusM3 on Wed Mar 28, 2012 9:22 am

Okay, phew, normally I didn't read a lot of work because I'm a very-very slow read, but it's a shame to see all the effort you've put go to waste and not have anyone show their appreciation for it. I've only read page 1 & 2 (Took me 2hrs sammit, I have other things going for me today!).
Although I have seen the effort which is much appreciated for anyone to do in their work, the way you have all the characters do seem like an interaction inside the show (Although I think you go too much into Rarity's anger) and I think you do have something. But I'm about to do what I do best and that's giving you some criticism. I tell you these not to stop you writing (Lord no) or because I secretly hate you (I probably do, because you're nothing like me, look at your username, it's nothing like mine, you imperfect person), but to help you to become a better writer than you already are, feedbacks useless if it doesn't help the writer. So hopefully you'll understand when I tell you these.
Biggest problem I find with your work... You write for too much, describe too much and there's so little going on. You might want to start learning like I did, about Tell v Show. Although it puts a smile on a English teacher at what your doing, an average reader is zoned out or intimidated (Mostly intimidating), by all these descriptions. You only need to show them what they need, don't tell, tell, tell you do far too much of that (Trust me I use to and I was criticised a lot for it). There's a few examples underneath of what I mean. This hopefully isn't hurtful, it's just opinion, so don't take it too much of a blow, but this mystery of the dreams, well you haven't invested that much into it. Like I've probably missed something, but what's the big deal about these dreams, like sure Twilight ruins a bunch of stuff, I'd be more focusing on that, but your focusing so much on the dreams between Fluttershy and Twilight that I don't see the big deal, it's not much for me to care about this. It only got some interest with what happened to Rarity and then a lot at the very end. Really though you didn't promise a lot up till then, my interest was only clung by how you had all six manes interact, but this was distracted by all this writing you had. Then as a more minor one, you rarely describe any of the characters, I know we're all My little pony fans here, but in the off chance someone interested in our fandom might come across your story to examine the herd and doesn't know any of the characters yet and isn't helped due to the lack of description. It's also just to show us your way of describing things and just good if you do, not important, but really, even though we all know what the ponies look like, better if you describe what they all look like.
Anyways here's a list of things I noted going through your work to give examples of how you improved. I didn't list everything, as it would've been unnessecary, being that half of these are opinions and brush them aside if you want, but that'll just be rude, take a look at them and then think about them at least.

Though the spa as they worked- don't you mean through the spa as they worked
smothered, crimped, wrapped and covered (Too many descripitions).
"That was enough for Rarity to abandon her accoutrements and come to the aid of her friend. As vitally important as good grooming was to her, some things were worth sacrificing for friendship, she told herself. " Believe it or not, I found all of this really unnessecary.
“Oh no, I couldn’t. I just wanted to-” Twilight started before she was cut off. I think with the '-' we know she was cut off.
"This morning, Spike woke me up with this look of terror in his eyes" Terror in his eyes feels too strong and unsuited for this scene, couldn't use something that Spike was unsettled, scared or nerved. It makes me wonder why Rarity isn't in an uproar panic.
she decided to be angry about it? Really? Sorry but that line there? You're honestly saying she decided? Rarity just decides?
"As she though about it" Don't you mean as she thought about it?
"…” she continued with a evasive pause, “…" I think because of these '...' we know she paused.
"How can you be having the same dream?" I'm pretty sure, by the sounds of it, they're having completely different dreams.
"Spike suddenly found he had a disturbing choice. Would he thank Fluttershy first for catching him? Or would he welcome the gorgeous and apparently distraught Rarity?"- What? Why couldn't he do both?

Anyways, I'll read the rest later, but as I said, I've got other things to do, sorry, but keep on writing!
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Re: Shades of Grey

Post by InquisitorM on Thu Mar 29, 2012 8:53 am

Thank you very much for you time and words WalrusM3!

It's kinda hard to imagine how different the opening act would be if I went back and re-wrote it now. That first page was an absolute monster of editing, as it's the first thing I've tried to write properly in an awfully long time.

Yes, the character descriptions thing was a conscious choice when I started writing. I don't really have an opinion in hindsight on whether it was a good one or not, suffice to say that your point isn't lost on me and I will keep it in mind as feedback comes in.

As for the rest, it is gratefully received and logged in my brain for now. One thing I will say is that the tone of the piece changes as it goes on, so while the opening is very much intended in an 'as per the show' sense, that was never intended as much more as a facilitation of the introduction.

Don't worry about directness of your critique. I completely understand why you would want to be clear about it, you need not worry about me taking it the wrong way.

Scott.

P.S. Just goes to show you can't please 'em all...Spike's choice actually got some of the most positive feedback on that whole page from the other people who've read it. *shrug*
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Re: Shades of Grey

Post by WalrusM3 on Fri Mar 30, 2012 7:39 pm

No probs then, glad you appreciated the feedback then, though it's not that Spike's bad or anything, just that you have flaws like why he couldn't thank Fluttershy and greet Rarity, rule or something? And terror in his eyes, it really does make it seem like Twilight said something completely different at the way Rarity didn't react that much to it (Like ask at least if Spike was okay now) and when we see Spike he's perfectly okay. Really it's just two big things you need sharpened up a bit.

But yeah I planned to read the rest tonight now that I knew you were still active but I got interrupted to join a game and I came back to read the rest of page 3 before it got too late. I'll try and read 4 & 5 when I can (Might take until Monday really).
Anyways, onto some criticism. This one is some how as good, I can't explain why, probably because they're having an adventure, emotions are rising and you continue to have good intereaction amongst the characters, though I will say I continue to dislike Rarity's like. Though this is probably being fussy because Rarity's my favourite mane next to Fluttershy (Can't decide really).
As for some proper your Show V Tell is just as worse in this page, with some examples bellow. I also dislike how you use Rarity's stress, it's not very emotional, more paranoid really. I guess she is in a cave and she could be getting a bad headache, but overall it doesn't really feel very realistic, like yeah she snaps at her friends because she's overprotective of Fluttershy and stress, but I didn't feel it, like I've seen many incidents like that and honestly it looked like a cardboard cut out.
Though overall, still not bad, even though it has all this writing that makes it go on and on. But yeah want to see what happens next and solve this mystery of what's going on (Even though it hasn't been very convincing thus far with the exception of the eyes and the end of page 2) and hope to see more of all the characters.

Here's a list again anyways of a few things I noted while going through.

"both ponies felt certain they had done a good job at comforting the other." Sorry but do you realise how silly that sounds?
"
"exactly what everypony except Pinkie wanted" any idea why she didn't want it?
"Ah mean you ate all the candy apples already" If you were going to have one of the characters tell us this, why did you tell us readers this earlier?
“I’m not sure what happened to Rainbow Dash,” she offered. " She offered? Offered what?
"Rainbow Dash attempted to take to the air again, eager to search for caves." What happened to all her cowardness and panicking a moment ago?
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Re: Shades of Grey

Post by WalrusM3 on Sun Apr 01, 2012 3:36 pm

Alright, read pages 4 and 5 finally. It was good, lots of mystery where I have no idea what's going to happen and that's a good thing and such. It was faster and easier to read now that it reached this level of interest if you don't mind me saying. But seriously you have lots and lots of unnessecary words in my opinion, some of which are mentioned in my notes as an example.
Another thing I realised you could do was not having so many speech tags. I use to have speech tags after a character spoke, though I'll admit I got rid of them for very different reasons (Imagine two characters speaking, where after one spoke you'd get " said [character#s name), but either way its unessential due to the fact you can trust your readers to know how they said it and who, not trusting them is just treating them like idiots and you can get sensitive readers.
Hope this helps anyways and keep on writing.

“And just WHAT does that have to you with you!” what was that?
“That’s Princess Celestia!” rebuked Twilight, I think we knew it was Twilight and did you need to mention she rebuked.
Ah don’t trust him, but Ah do believe him, why?
What do you need me to do?” she asked. I'm pretty sure we knew she asked.
“Twilight, what have you done now?” What makes him think its Twilight?
I bet she’s sitting at home thinking we all hate her right about now.”
Twilight recoiled at the idea. “Pinkie!” she admonished, “how can you say that?” (Indeed, how can she say that?)
“I’m staying. You know I’d love to come with you to see the Princess but…I can’t leave now. You’re right, it’s not going to be easy, but I really want to be here...for Rarity. Not just because, y’know…I mean...” I'm pretty sure Spike already clarified this earlier.
“Well, I was just wondering why…why you are here? There must be other ponies more appropriate for, well, house calls.” I hope to get an explanation to this as well, besides trying to find a way of getting Princess Luna involved in the story.
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Re: Shades of Grey

Post by InquisitorM on Sun Apr 01, 2012 8:02 pm

Thank you again.

For the most part, yes, I am planning on going back through the whole thing with a mind to cropping some stuff now that I am far more experienced than when I started. I think it was Drakemire that said about writing your story, then cutting 10% of it out (of course, he got it from elsewhere, but that's who I saw say it). A big part of that is just getting the hand of how much I can expect the reader to 'pick up' on, and how to keep that narrative tighter.

Oh, and yes, speech tags too, I think that's already gotten better as the story goes on, but I appreciate you pointing it out.

As for Luna...she has a very big role to play in act II. I appreciate the concern though, as both Luna and Celestia are very overpowering characters. I mentally made some design decisions about what I would and would not do with them, to keep the story about the ponies that interact with them, not the princesses themselves.
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