Today’s story will leave a monster of an impression.
She Kills Monsters
[Adventure] [Drama] • 15,000 words
After losing her sister, Rarity buries herself in her work.
Just as lost, Apple Bloom and Scootaloo, armed with a personal Ogres & Oubliettes module, try to help the seamstress open more than just her boutique.
FROM THE CURATORS: We have an informal policy not to nominate contest entries until after the judging is complete — but with this silver medalist in FanOfMostEverything’s “Imposing Sovereigns II” contest, it was hard to restrain ourselves. “I see positive comments from one or two of you on it already, so maybe I’m stealing this out from under you,” RBDash47 said in his nomination, “but you snooze, you lose!”
The story sailed through our process even after recusals from the contest judges, and it wasn’t hard to see why. “This has more depth than any story I’ve read in recent memory, and not only begs but rewards rereading,” Horizon said, while Present Perfect called it “absolutely devastating. … An excellent story, tackling a difficult subject in an unusual and memorable way.” All of us commented on the strength of the story’s rigid structure: “The bare fact of of making each chapter precisely 500 words reinforces that a lot of care and work was put into this,” RBDash47 said, while FanOfMostEverything noted in the contest judging: “This is a master class in how to say a lot with a little.”
There were plenty of other things to praise, too. RBDash47 lauded the breadth of its emotional impact: “A fantastic hook. The first few chapters set a melancholy mood without being maudlin or melodramatic. And then out of nowhere, some of the funniest comic relief I’ve read in recent memory, that made me laugh out loud at my desk.” Horizon appreciated the way it re-envisioned its source material: “It deserves kudos for using the play as a base and finding a way to build from it that brought the story out.” (“The fic uses the play’s premise and pretty much nothing else,” Present Perfect added.) And FanOfMostEverything appreciated its construction in his judge’s commentary: “The framing device, the flashbacks, and the many ways Rarity needs to come to peace with Sweetie Belle’s death come together into an incredible work.”
And an already exemplary fic was enhanced by the reading experience. “This is a beautiful, tragic kaleidoscope of a story,” Horizon said, “in the sense that reading through story comments is almost as enlightening as the story itself: everyone seems to be seeing it from a slightly different angle, and all of them are giving me new and awesome things to consider that I never saw myself.”
Read on for our author interview, in which Chiko discusses Herzog narration, Starlight confusion, and Playstation Portable storytelling.