So if you haven't noticed yet, I just came back from a lengthy trip to my mother's home country, Guatemala. I had a absolutely wonderful time but I came back with quite an itch. Two in fact. The first from an awfully strange insect bit on my leg (which I should probably get checked out by the doctor soon). The second is a result of my insanity: I need a good pony story to read. Pony Withdraw symptoms are no laughing matter. Unfortunately, Midnight Words' Loving the Sunny Skies didn't do the trick. It was solid at best with mediocre dialogue and characters. Character introductions are sloppy and forgettable and the characters themselves are one-dimensional and predictable. Dialogue feels forced and overly sarcastic most of the time. Stateside equals reviews so let's get to it, shall we?
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Loving the Sunny Skies by Midnight Words
Complete (Finished March 22, 2013)
Shield Breaker, a normal Pegasus guard was late, he was the worst of the worst in the entire guard force. He was late as usual, but today he really needed to get to his post because Princess Celestia's niece, Sunny Skies was coming to visit Canterlot for a week, and if he was late for today, he would get fired. Luckily he wasn't fired... yet. Read it here.
Loving the Sunny Skies opens with an average stallion waking up and being late to work. This is where I had my first issue with this story. The introduction didn't do anything to hook the reader. I hate to use this word but truth be told, the first chapter was rather dull. Not in regards to pacing, which we will talk about in a second, but in regards to story progression and character introduction. Remember, you have to try your best to catch the readers attention in first few paragraphs. In other words, come in swinging.
The narrative wasn't exactly captivating as well. It was straight forward and felt like the main character was talking the reader. Firstly, writing a story is the same as telling a story to some kindergarten children. Don’t get me wrong, the narrative certainly wasn't dumb, but it doesn't do anything to really guide the reader through the story. Scenes are all paced the same making the narrative feel monotone and dull. Secondly, the narrative breaks the fourth wall a bit too often. As it stands, fourth wall breaking is not a technical issue more than it's an immersion breaker for the reader. I enjoy stories because they suck me in and make me feel like I'm in the moment; regardless of first or third-person.
Remember the emotional moment I mentioned? You see, I do get emotional from time to time (just like every human should), but this moment did the opposite. Romantic tragedies are sad when we care for the romance and want to see the characters together. What happens when we have weak characters and lousy dialogue? Let me answer that: seeing the characters together or apart doesn’t really matter all too much. However, this is not this romance's problem. The problem is there is no chemistry to begin with. These characters aren't even a couple but she's already crying over him. Don't take out the tragedy before the romance.
The last and final point before moving on to the conclusion is the mood setting. Lacking, to say the least. Along with scene visualization, which is, at best, telling us that the story is taking place somewhere in Canterlot. I hate to go back to something we discussed about three months ago, but here it goes. Scenes are not only for dialogue and action, that much is obvious. You have to create the scenes within the scenes first! You want a romantic scene? Make it slowly paced with lot of "feel good" descriptors. You want to a mysterious scene? Make it also slowly paced with lots of "this doesn't feel right" descriptors. Try it for yourself and see just how much this can change your story.
Let's wrap it up. Romance is quite a difficult thing to write about; especially with original characters taking front and center. With flimsy characters, poor dialogue, and almost nonexistent mood setting and scene visualization, I can hardly recommend this story. I know, it's a harsh thing to say but it's not like the score says it any differently. Wait. That's a bit of a sour note to end on. Let me think... I got nothing. This has been Admujica, thanks for reading and have a good week!
Loving the Sunny Skies gets a score of: 3 out of 10
Weak characters and lacking dialogue make it a romance that won't exactly get hearts flying