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[Reading Group] - 23/05/14 - Review - Flitter [Spoilers]

Discussion in 'Fanfics & Writing' started by fiyahsparkle, 21 May 2014.

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What would you like to read?

Poll closed 23 May 2014.
  1. There, They're...

    4 vote(s)
    50.0%
  2. Fitter

    5 vote(s)
    62.5%
  3. Progress

    2 vote(s)
    25.0%
  4. The Haunting in Ponyville

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. Honey Pie

    2 vote(s)
    25.0%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. fiyahsparkle

    fiyahsparkle Plushie Army Commander

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    So the first UKoE reading group meeting is now called to order!

    So this will be the place where everything about this session happens from the voting to the final discussion.

    I have selected a range of submissions from the list for voting this week, for the moment you can vote for as few or as many as you like so if there is more than you would like to read than you can select them all.

    I have selected a range of stories from the submissions list to vote on, each week I will rotate them round so ones that didn't make the list this week will get a chance next time.

    So without further ado here is the list of choices.

    There, They're... - Adventure, Comedy (30,000)

    Throughout all of history, one concept has kept both the written and spoken word from becoming an unintelligible mess. That concept is that most holy of grounds known by some as "grammar." It sets down rules for language to follow, and keeps it free of distortion.

    Yet something is wrong. The rules are failing. And only one pony so much as suspects that something is wrong. Something that goes deeper than a simple appearance of errors. Something that could be an attack on the very root of language itself.

    Fitter - Romance, Comedy, Adventure (31,000)

    A changeling who has lived at the side of an Equestrian mare for most of his life finds himself in the middle of the changeling invasion of Canterlot. He has no idea who the invading queen or hive are, and just wants to stay where he is, and more importantly, who he is.

    The spell that ends the invasion doesn't discriminate, though. With his old pony form irreversibly stripped away, and the whole kingdom out to hunt his kind, he tries to keep his family together, and struggles to find his place in the world.

    Progress - Comedy (58,000)

    A thousand years is quite the generation gap, so Princess Luna decides she has to get with the times. However, this isn't quite as easy as she thinks it will be...

    The Haunting in Ponyville - Dark, Comedy, Slice of Life (18,000 words)

    There's something strange and unnatural living in Bon-Bon's house.

    Something *other* than Lyra.

    Honey Pie - Romance, Sad, Adventure (31,000)

    The changelings are banished, the day is saved! Yet a victory for one must be a defeat for another, and this particular victory has left one changeling stranded in Canterlot, alone and broken. A certain pink party pony is also alone in the Canterlot night, hiding her depression from her friends. She cannot, however, hide her feelings from a changeling. What will become of this unlikely pair?

    fiyahsparkle
     
  2. fiyahsparkle

    fiyahsparkle Plushie Army Commander

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    So thats it for this weeks vote people so the winner is of course.

    Flitter - Romance, Comedy, Adventure (31,000) - finalsight
    Time to get it started, add it to your fimfiction accounts now we have reading to do everypony!

    Please make sure any story spoilers are marked as such and until the reading phase is done (2nd Monday 2/6/2014).

    Happy reading!

    fiyahsparkle
     
    #2 fiyahsparkle, 24 May 2014
    Last edited: 24 May 2014
  3. Loganberry

    Loganberry Element of Custard

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    And it's on the Nook. The chapter list (six chapters, two epilogues and four bonus chapters) doesn't fill me with too much optimism, but I've often been wrong before! As I'll be on holiday by 2nd June, I'll see if I can get this read in the next week and post some (spoiler-cut) thoughts before I leave. :)
     
  4. Loganberry

    Loganberry Element of Custard

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    Okay, as mentioned above I won't be here on the 2nd, so I've finished the story. My thoughts are under the spoiler-cut, so don't click unless you want to see mention of specific things from the story! (Edit: spoiler-cuts now removed as the reading period is up.)

    I did enjoy "Flitter" quite a bit, and in truth that was more than I thought I would, given that changeling fics tend not to be favourites. I liked Flitter's own character, and I enjoyed a lot of his interplay with Morning Rain. Queen Morphosai was intriguing, and I wouldn't have minded if one of the bonus chapters had been about her. The explanation of the Old Ways, giving another explanation for how changelings feed, was probably the most interesting part of all. That worked very nicely for me.

    The story was rather more serious than I'd expected for long stretches, only really living up to the "Comedy" tag from time to time. I was amused by how weary Flitter got of constantly having to explain things, though. As I hinted at just now, I did read the epilogues and bonus chapters: the only one I really liked was the one with the three fillies. "Junebug" was an odd choice of name, given that there's a canon pony by that name (from "Secret of My Excess") but I guess Flitter himself has (sort of) that problem! :p

    Overall, a very good story, if not quite a great one. A four-star rather than five-star fic, if you like.
     
    #4 Loganberry, 28 May 2014
    Last edited: 8 June 2014
  5. fiyahsparkle

    fiyahsparkle Plushie Army Commander

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    I find myself agreeing with a lot of what you are saying, I was already thinking much of the same. I managed to get this all read on the bank holiday and have mostly writing my thoughts on it as well. Should get it posted up tomorrow anyway.
     
  6. fiyahsparkle

    fiyahsparkle Plushie Army Commander

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    Times up! Lets here what your thoughts. My review below

    So, after managing to get round to reading this on the bank holiday. I read the main story in one session and then went back to read some of the bonus chapters later on as well.

    So yea, it’s not normally the kind of story I read but I did enjoy it, some parts of the stories felt a little too easy for me almost like the characters were a little too accepting of him. The part with Twilight and Spike in the library was one of these. Having just got back from a changeling invasion I would expect Twilight to be a lot more suspicious and to me, she should have been the one overreacting a little not Spike.

    I did like Flitter himself, I could believe his character well enough, and I agree with @Loganberry his humour around having to explain himself all the time amused me. The changeling back-story was good enough even if I found the queen a little odd, maybe she was just a little too nice to be believable in the end.

    Verdict:

    7 / 10
     
  7. Joesephius

    Joesephius Josyposy

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    Gah! Curse you UkofE alerts for not alerting me! Looks like some speed reading is going to take place later today. I'll post thoughts tomorrow.(When, you know, I have read it).
     
  8. Silvarrn

    Silvarrn Wonderbolt

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    Just Blasted through this story, quite a nice read but I would say it would feel better to be extended and include more story

    Overall I'd give the story a Rating of 6/10 Pros consisting of an interesting story, expanding on the Changling back story and well detailed descriptions. But lacking in length, some scenes feeling very rushed and Two obvious out of character moments.

    I'd give a longer review but I'm struggling to think of things to cover that aren't a major plot point. The idea of the Old ways was unique, I hadn't ever considered that kind of approach before with Changelings and I'd love to see the idea expanded on in side stories or separate Fictions. I got a Very big Monty Python reference at one point. "What do we do with Witches?" A good read through! and I'd highly recommend other people check it out as well
     
  9. fiyahsparkle

    fiyahsparkle Plushie Army Commander

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    To clear some things up,

    At this point, the review phase, feel free to post spoilers and talk about anything. This is not meant to really be a place where we review as such. More a place where we can talk about the story openly. Yes this means spoilers too, while reviews often tend to avoid spoiling the major parts of the story because often people read reviews before reading a story to see if its worth reading. This is not the place for that, the idea behind the group is we all have already read it so can talk fully openly about it without issue.

    The only time I ask people to not post spoilers is during the reading phase of the session where people have not had a chance to catch up yet, I have adjusted the thread title to warn people of spoilers ahead. If people have previous posted spoiler marked comments at this point they may edit their post to remove the spoiler tags.

    On another note, comments here about the story are great, but I would also like to hear any comments about the actual process as well. Did you have enough time, was the story too long or short, anything at all and I can look to improving it in the future.

    Thanks for your time and happy reading!

    fiyah

    Edit: Fixed parasprites eating my words
     
    #9 fiyahsparkle, 2 June 2014
    Last edited: 2 June 2014
  10. finalsight

    finalsight Honorary Pony

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    I very much enjoyed this fic.

    I was quite impressed with the first chapter. It appeared to me to be perfectly balanced and encompassed everything you want in a good 1st act. The first few scenes established Flitter and Morning Rain's characters very well. It managed to fit in a good amount of exposition that was interspersed with plenty of comedy/action/etc, so that it wasn't a sludge.

    Flitter's character was a very pleasant change to the usual changeling characters I've read. Part of this is because he is pretty much the opposite of the norm in changeling fics I've read. Usually a changeling character takes the role of 'the other infiltrating society, then learning from it'. However because Flitter has been living as a pony for most of his life and then forced to become 'the other', his role became more of him teaching society.

    I agree with what @fiyahsparkle about some characters being a bit too accepting. I would have expected Twilight to be much more reactionary, but i didn't find it too divergent.

    For the tiny scene she is in, Pinkie's role and character seemed perfectly written. Celestia could have been written a bit better, her speech was too common and didn't fully fit with her.

    I found the scenes, where Morning Rain keeps getting copied by curious changlelings, very easy to visualise and brought a smile to my face.

    The way they author portrayed the very different hive was rather clever and addresses several issues with the whole Canterlot Wedding/Queen Chrysalis scenario. Having Queen Morphasai's hive being a much bigger, stable and one would assume more successful. Lends much more to Chrysalis' actions being very much out of desperation.

    I liked the epilogue about Junebug although it left me with several unanswered questions that i wished were addressed: Does she age like a pony or a changeling? Is she dependant on emotion? Did Morning Rain lay an egg? While Flitter fed her love during gestation was she unresponsive like a baby changeling or vital like a foal?

    the Fatherhood bonus chapter was very sweet and leaves you the impression that Flitter was great father with Blueprnt.
     
    Joesephius and fiyahsparkle like this.
  11. Riorus

    Riorus The Phoenix King

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    I liked it. I'm haven't read too many fics yet but I was quite impressed with this.

    Flitter was an interesting character, he was a really nice take on changelings. Morning Rain was a bit weaker but still good, she seemed way too happy to forgive Flitter for replacing Swift Star and didn't really seem to care that he was actually dead. Morphosai was great, I like the way she tricked Celestia but I kind of feel cheated out of a huge battle with all the love Flitter gave her :p.

    The story was good but a few elements of it annoyed me. I like the way it progressed, it was logical and it tied things in nicely. However everything was too short. The story seems to flit from topic to topic without enough time to give the characters the proper life they needed. This was especially prevalent, as some of you have already said, in the library with Twilight. I would have liked to see Twilight capture Flitter and Morning Rain and see how they talked themselves out. It's not like Twilight isn't one to freak out when things get weird.

    The bonus chapters were a cool insight in to what life would be like after the story. I especially like the idea of having kid changelings causing trouble for their pony parents. And the Modern Major General parody was hilarious.

    A solid 7/10 for me.

    And for @fiyahsparkle, I would like to read something a bit longer. I read this pretty fast and I almost forgot to comment here. But that's just me and I have a regular perfect time to read. Otherwise all good :D
     
    Joesephius likes this.
  12. Joesephius

    Joesephius Josyposy

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    OK, so I finally finished it, although I only really glanced at most of the bonus chapters. I thought the length was about right (add or take about 30% and it is still ok).
    Overall I thought the story was ok. It wasn't the best I have seen but it was pretty good. My main complaints about it are the same as what @Riorus mentioned. It covered a lot of ground very quickly and I think that left a lot of the conflict feeling rather inconsequential.

    The plot was interesting enough. I liked the ideas presented by the 'old ways' and alternative view of the greater Changeling population (Queen Morphasai) that came with it. Flitter's story and his struggles after being thrown from Canterlot were sufficiently entertaining to keep me reading, but also suffered from the issue of feeling rushed through.

    The characterisation has already been mentioned a little bit. I agree that Queen Morpasai, along with a lot of the OCs were too 'nice' and were a lot more willing to accept Flitter and his story than I would have expected. On the other hoof, perhaps this is a more accurate portrayal of the society depicted in the show. A world devoid of cynicism and willing to forgive even the most heinous crimes (see discord) probably would be more willing to accept the word of an unknown Changeling than I would. I thought the depiction of canon characters was accurate, particularly Pinkie Pie.

    The story was tagged as Comedy, I think that was accurate. It was generally light hearted and had some amusing moments, although the 'Flitter has to explain his story again' joke got a little tedious towards the end.

    Overall I would give the story 6/10. It wasn't fantastic but it wasn't at all dreadful either.
     
  13. fiyahsparkle

    fiyahsparkle Plushie Army Commander

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    This is how I would of liked to explain it away but after watching how suspicious Twilight was of Discord after they freed him I am not so sure, also its only ever really Fluttershy that truly accepts he has changed (baring end of season 4). Maybe it does just come down to the fact they could see past the exterior of him being a changeling and was able to just see him as 'another pony' caught in the middle.

    fiyah
     
    Silvarrn likes this.
  14. Loganberry

    Loganberry Element of Custard

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    Just popping back to this thread briefly to observe that most of us who've rated it seem to have felt it was a 6-7/10 fic. I'm surprised by the consensus there; I thought it might be a bit more divisive, according to how easily readers accepted the underlying premise.
     

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