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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

FiM Fiction Review - Everfree Courier

Human in Equestria stories. They float to the top of my inbox more than you might think. Kind of like the way my notes have somehow wandered off my hard drive for the last few days. Creepy if you ask me. I felt that DVAN56's Everfree Courier had several issues. The largest of these issues are the characters. Besides being straight up unnaturally unpleasant to each other, they often have "mood swings" and seem like clones. This is only exaggerated by the poor dialogue which is often predictable and linear. In a close second, Everfree Courier has many technical issues and weak storytelling. I really do hate negative reviews. I'm not just doing it to pick on you guys. Nevertheless, onwards to the review!  

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Everfree Courier by DVAN56
Complete (Finished Jan 17, 2013) 
The Everfree forest needs a package delivered and only a human can do it in these dark times. The man must fight his way through the lands of Equestria to Canterlot if he is ever to see his home again. Read it here.   
Tags: Adventure, Human 
Rating: Teen 

I believe Everfree Courier would benefit greatly from a proof-reader. There were multiple grammar and spelling errors. The strangest of all these errors was that Everfree Courier suffered from a strange case of switching tense while writing. While most writers write in past tense (for example: Jane tiptoed to the door and opened it carefully), this story switches between past and present tense, sometimes mid-chapter or mid-sentence. This rather large technical error confuses the reader and is bad writing practice.  

The next rather large technical issue with Everfree Courier is a little something I like to call the Diary Syndrome. When a story suffers from Diary Syndrome, it is like a diary, just listing off the events of the story and adding commentary here and there. The end result is something that is clunky and rather undercooked. It affects pacing, making the story skip through plot points and shortening the story overall.  

I believe that most stories that feature a post-apocalyptic Equestria really set out to tug at your heart strings. It's knowing the land and its people during better times that makes you cheer on the protagonists in hope of a "restoration to the land's former glory." I'm afraid Everfree Courier doesn't set the mood to really make the reader care. Descriptors are bland and linear, making it feel like not much attention was given to fully flesh out the environment.  

As said in the introduction, the character are not exactly this story's strength. They are a minor bit clone-y and aren't always consistent with their established personalities. However, it's not really the characters that are weak, but their dialogue. Dialogue is undeniably the strongest avenue to showcase characters but Everfree Courier abuses it. Conversations feel fake and extremely linear. Not to mention there is a lot of explaining in the story. These explanations aren't exactly conversations, but long lines of dialogue that explain a story element.  

I usually don't like to mention story elements and concepts, since these reviews mostly highlight story mechanics and the likes, but I felt this needed to be mentioned. Everfree Courier's storyline is disjointed and it felt like many of the story elements didn't need to be there in the first place. Not to mention the story slams on the brake too often to explain these overly complex elements that didn't do much to change the storyline. Remember, originality shouldn't be at the sacrifice of a good, clean story arc.  

This brings me to my next point, where is the story arc? I keep getting the whole epic journey sort of vibe but Everfree Courier is much too short to really make me feel like the characters really withstood a challenging ordeal. I really don't mean to compare, but take ToixStory's Freeze Frame for example.  It is clear that ToixStory fleshed out just want kind of hurdles his characters were going to have to face to reach their ultimate goal. The readers really get a taste of how they had to face the hurdles of the conflict at hand and each other as a team. I didn't feel that with Everfree Courier. Instead, it was just Get From Point A to Point B with one or two little setbacks. I honestly wish this story was a bit longer just to truly see how the character handle their day-to-day ordeals. Not to mention the characters didn't exactly change over this time. After all, a story is not about what happened, it's about what happened to the characters and how it changed them for better or for worse.  

In the end of the day, Everfree Courier has a lot of potential but just needs to full flesh out its dialogue and characters. If it bring its imaginative story elements and characters together into a more tightly knit storyline but also widens its focus to show the reader "the journey," I believe DVAN can really put something amazing together. I see a lot of potential with you DVAN, and I wish you the best of luck with your future ideas. This has been Admujica. You guys have a great weekend.  

Everfree Courier gets a score of: 3 out of 10  
Poor dialogue and characterization plague an already weak story arc 
Read it here.   

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