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Author Topic: (Discussion) Stargazing  (Read 1904 times)

Offline Asterian

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(Discussion) Stargazing
« on: 2013 Aug 06, 11:24:34 »
This a thread solely for discussing Asterian's story, Stargazing. Any questions you have may be submitted here.
« Last Edit: 2013 Aug 06, 11:53:40 by Asterian »
"Luck is how you explain an overly-variabled scenario that went in your favor." - Asterian Élire Starfall

Offline Gracie Sky

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Re: (Discussion) Stargazing
« Reply #1 on: 2013 Aug 06, 20:14:43 »
I'll be pointing out a few things that I found out of place in your story for you to consider.

*Asterian was late to work as a result of cleaning his house. This is an implication that he does not pay attention to the time while working. However, cleaning a room doesn't normally require a lot of focus, which makes it feel strange that he didn't even glance at a clock or plan out ahead of time a schedule on a day he knew he was going to work. I think this circumstance merits at least a brief explanation on how he could overlook how much time to allow himself to clean his house with.

*While addressed, Asterian suddenly found himself out of the job because his boss could not pay the rent. I feel this series of events are rushed, especially given how unexpected this event was for Asterian. Normally, one receives some prior notice that they are going to be laid off and I hardly think one's boss would tell an employee to "enjoy their life" right after laying them off and cutting off their income. I'm assuming you have this scene here to establish that Asterian has a lot of free time now. I would recommend putting this event in the past and beginning the story already assuming Asterian has been recently fired. This would also invalidate my first issue, as well.

Everything else seems to be fine. I'm a little suspicious about the cloaked pony. Then again, anypony would be suspicious of a cloaked pony, which is ironic, seeing that they wear the cloak to draw suspicion away from them...
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Offline Asterian

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Re: (Discussion) Stargazing
« Reply #2 on: 2013 Aug 06, 20:22:51 »
The first issue I attribute that Asterian isn't exactly quick to get out of bed and is meticulous about organizing, but I can see where you're coming from.

The second issue... Well... Let's just say Miss Pine Bark made a bad investment. Didn't really think that one through, but I'd rather leave some creativity to the reader, just so they can embrace the story a bit more.

The cloaked pony... He, we'll get to that later.

*Shrugs* I like it when I can fill in the gaps in stories like that. I just imagined everypony else did.
« Last Edit: 2013 Aug 06, 20:25:00 by Asterian »
"Luck is how you explain an overly-variabled scenario that went in your favor." - Asterian Élire Starfall

Offline Gracie Sky

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Re: (Discussion) Stargazing
« Reply #3 on: 2013 Aug 06, 20:37:56 »
Hmm... the reason I prefer the author to fill in logical gaps is because there is a possibility that the reader may incorrectly fill in that gap. I mean, if you didn't just tell me that Miss Pine Bark was a bad investor, I would have never credited that reason as to why she was 32,000 bits in debt. Her comments to Asterian were a bit too vague to bridge that gap; I just thought the 32,000 bits were rent money! The connection should be very easy to establish, since this is not the first time it has happened, it seems. A simple comment like "What did you invest in this time?!" would clearly clarify that Miss Pine Bark has a habit of throwing her money into investments and the 32,000 bit debt wouldn't seem so sudden.
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Offline Asterian

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Re: (Discussion) Stargazing
« Reply #4 on: 2013 Aug 06, 21:10:57 »
3,200 bits, actually.  X3

But that's actually a good idea, I think I'll edit that into the story.

For the record, I'll edit the story up until I release the next portion.
« Last Edit: 2013 Aug 06, 21:12:54 by Asterian »
"Luck is how you explain an overly-variabled scenario that went in your favor." - Asterian Élire Starfall

Offline Gracie Sky

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Re: (Discussion) Stargazing
« Reply #5 on: 2013 Aug 13, 20:45:09 »
The pace you set for this story is... rather fast. A lot of plot advancement and critical important changes are happening in a single day. So far, Asterian's boss got evicted, then he met a customer he likes, then HE gets evicted, and lastly, he decides to go to the Everfree Forest of all places. Most of the key subjects I mentioned I find a bit... suspicious. I've already discussed Asterian's boss getting evicted, but I would like to touch up on the other points.

The circumstance behind Octavia Winters coming to Asterian's house I find to contain a bit of a logic flaw. If Miss Pine was evicted out of her house because she possessed a sizable debt, why would she tell a potential customer to buy their writing supplies from an employee who doesn't technically even work there anymore? Doesn't she still possess supplies to sell or did they get repossessed? Moving on, I'm suspicious about why Asterian seems to be fond of this particular pony, given he probably deals with a lot of mares in Ponyville in his former line of work and this is the first time he's met this particular one. Of course, he's allowed to find whomever he wants attractive, I'm just stating the circumstances seem suspiciously deliberate. Oh, giving her the name "Octavia" is a little dangerous, regardless if you lampshade hang the existence of the musician Earth Pony Octavia.

Concerning Asterian's eviction, that's just plain hard to believe this occurred on the exact same day Miss Pine was evicted from her business. This is a three month old debt too and this is the first time we're hearing about it... maybe even the first time he has heard about it! There's not a drop of foreshadowing about this, nor is there an explanation as to how he allowed this debt to accumulate over 3 months, especially considering he was employed and earning bits until today. I mean... clearly money wasn't a big deal to him if he just allowed a pony to freeload a bunch of things off of him, even going as far as to deny her when she insisted on paying for them! It's like he completely forgot about his 675 bit mortgage payment he owed, which I find really hard to believe, even if he was being distracted by a pretty face.

Now the Everfree Forest bit... Hmm... After realizing he is probably going to get kicked from his house, he takes his hat and a scarf and decides to go on a long walk into the Everfree. From my perspective, it looks like he's trying to commit suicide and therein lies the issue. Ponies do not try to commit suicide; such a concept is not consistent with the themes of the show. Of course, if it is not your goal to remain consistent with the show, continuing down this dark road is fine. Still... I'm not sure losing your job and house in the same day merits being depressed enough to wish your own death, especially considering the little we do know about his personality wouldn't particularly point at him being a depressive pony. I'm talking about his interactions with his pet owl and Octavia Winters (maybe even Miss Pine). Speaking of interactions, I find it surprising that a polite pony like him would not have any friends. If he did have friends, wouldn't he ask them for help or at least seek their counsel? Isn't this Ponyville, that place you go to learn about Friendship?

*ahem* Anyways, those are the issues I have with the last two chapters.
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Offline Asterian

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Re: (Discussion) Stargazing
« Reply #6 on: 2013 Aug 20, 13:39:37 »
Allow me to be critical about this critique here.  X3

This does contain a good deal of spoilers about the next chapter or two, so be warned.

The whole plot line right now is rather fast and I understand that, but it was my intention to quickly paint a rough picture of what Asterian is like when faced with intense situations, what's going on in his life, and so on before toning it down a notch and slowing the pace. What I'm doing - or at least striving to emulate - is somewhat similar to what MLP:FiM did during the first episode: It told a story that spanned over 1000 years as well as some of the personal life of a pony and condensed it into about 10 minutes. Also, my idea was to slam Asterian with these problems because even though the odds of all this happening within a day are a little ridiculous, I thought it would be more prudent to condense the first couple of hardships into a chapter or two, then slow the pace to one that makes a bit of sense. It somewhat relates to the way negative things are perceived to happen in real life - everything bad seems to blur together into one day, only this time is actually happens in a day. I'll explain further on this within the story.

Miss Pine would have sent Octavia to Asterian because she knows he was in charge of inventory and is a writer himself, so she could logically assume he had a small cache of ink and other supplies. Miss Pine's supplies were actually repossessed along with the shop, and the ones that she's smuggling out of the shop are essentially stolen.

Octavia has just always been a name I liked, but I just thought I'd introduce a small joke into the story by her saying that. Asterian's attraction to her is nothing more than a physical infatuation at the moment, but I'll likely change that up.

This actually is the first time Asterian has heard about his debt, but this will also be explained later as the mortgage company had confused his payment records with another pony's - things had been in disarray at the company since it was reformed. On the subject of money, Asterian is a usually generous pony, even if that means a small self-sacrifice. His infatuation with Octavia also influenced his decision.

As for the last bit... I can't really defend that well, but he does know that losing his home and job would also mean leaving everything he holds dear behind him. He was born and raised in Ponyville, and he would probably never see Merriweather again if he couldn't take care of himself. He does have friends, but the stress of the moment was simply overwhelming and it clouded his judgement, and as we know from his trip into Everfree during Darkness - Part I that he is regretting his actions. I don't think anything merits you to wish your own death, but Asterian tends to lose contact with positive emotions if he becomes stressed, even becoming somewhat lifeless - which I may need to add to the OC page.

You definitely raise some good points, and having carefully considered everything here I might be able to answer some questions (and raise new ones) within the next chapter. Thank you!
« Last Edit: 2013 Aug 20, 13:43:10 by Asterian »
"Luck is how you explain an overly-variabled scenario that went in your favor." - Asterian Élire Starfall

Offline Asterian

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Re: (Discussion) Stargazing
« Reply #7 on: 2013 Sep 03, 17:43:57 »
Good news!

I plan to release the next segment of Stargazing sometime tomorrow or the day after!
"Luck is how you explain an overly-variabled scenario that went in your favor." - Asterian Élire Starfall

Offline Asterian

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Re: (Discussion) Stargazing
« Reply #8 on: 2013 Sep 17, 18:29:06 »
I will attempt to release the next section of Stargazing sometime this week.

Keep your eyes open for the next section!
"Luck is how you explain an overly-variabled scenario that went in your favor." - Asterian Élire Starfall

Offline Asterian

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Re: (Discussion) Stargazing
« Reply #9 on: 2013 Sep 20, 13:08:16 »
Due to unforeseen circumstances, I will be unable to post the next section of Stargazing until a later date.

TBA
"Luck is how you explain an overly-variabled scenario that went in your favor." - Asterian Élire Starfall

Offline Asterian

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Re: (Discussion) Stargazing
« Reply #10 on: 2013 Sep 24, 19:49:29 »
The sixth section of Stargazing has been released. There has been a Change of Fate!
"Luck is how you explain an overly-variabled scenario that went in your favor." - Asterian Élire Starfall

Offline Asterian

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Re: (Discussion) Stargazing
« Reply #11 on: 2013 Sep 27, 19:46:38 »
Due to being grounded ( :l ), I will be unable to release any new sections of Stargazing for the time being. I do not know when I will be able to release another section.
"Luck is how you explain an overly-variabled scenario that went in your favor." - Asterian Élire Starfall

Offline Asterian

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Re: (Discussion) Stargazing
« Reply #12 on: 2013 Oct 06, 10:00:52 »
The next section of Stargazing has been released!

In A Rekindled Flame, we visit and are graced with the presence of one of Asterian's old childhood friends, Lunar Flame! Everything starts off wonderfully, but things quickly take a turn for the worst during a celebration get-together. What happens? Read for yourself and find out!
"Luck is how you explain an overly-variabled scenario that went in your favor." - Asterian Élire Starfall

Offline Gracie Sky

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Re: (Discussion) Stargazing
« Reply #13 on: 2013 Oct 07, 21:21:10 »
Hehe, now that you've done it, you should really put a cliffhanger like you just did here at the end of each of your chapters hinting at the next chapter.

As usual, I feel the pacing of your story is really quick, although at least it's consistent. Miss Pine comes over to Asterian's home in order to admit to sending a potential love interest to Asterian for the purpose of being a potential love interest. When questioned about her love life, she conveniently disappears as fast as she appeared. In order to make sure there's not more than a 10 minute lapse in the action, in comes a long time friend who disappeared 2 years ago until this very moment. Let's have an impromptu party which consists of talking and drinking water. Asterian is then compelled to find Octavia and Terra... and actually finds them because he knows where they both live... and brings them back to meet and potentially be wooed by one of his best friends.

I realize I'm probably being unfair to you, it's just I use a more drawn out, digressive approach to writing. More than listening to anything I have to say, I want you to stay true to your method of writing. If you're satisfied with what you have written, that is more important than any opinion I can give. But, of course, I believe if you... tripled the length of the material you have, going into more detail about the lead up, occurrences, and transitions between your scenes, it would make the whole thing seem less... sudden.

Oh, also, one piece of a sentence that contained an error
Quote
When they had arrived, it did not take long to realize that Merriweather had woke up; she hooted happily at her master, only for her to dart towards Lunar she moment she saw him.
« Last Edit: 2013 Oct 07, 21:22:59 by Gracie Sky »
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Offline Asterian

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Re: (Discussion) Stargazing
« Reply #14 on: 2013 Oct 09, 16:46:04 »
Oh, also, one piece of a sentence that contained an error
Quote
When they had arrived, it did not take long to realize that Merriweather had woke up; she hooted happily at her master, only for her to dart towards Lunar she moment she saw him.
I blame auto-correct.  X3
Thank you kindly for bringing this to my attention!

Post Merge
Hehe, now that you've done it, you should really put a cliffhanger like you just did here at the end of each of your chapters hinting at the next chapter.

As usual, I feel the pacing of your story is really quick, although at least it's consistent. Miss Pine comes over to Asterian's home in order to admit to sending a potential love interest to Asterian for the purpose of being a potential love interest. When questioned about her love life, she conveniently disappears as fast as she appeared. In order to make sure there's not more than a 10 minute lapse in the action, in comes a long time friend who disappeared 2 years ago until this very moment. Let's have an impromptu party which consists of talking and drinking water. Asterian is then compelled to find Octavia and Terra... and actually finds them because he knows where they both live... and brings them back to meet and potentially be wooed by one of his best friends.

I realize I'm probably being unfair to you, it's just I use a more drawn out, digressive approach to writing. More than listening to anything I have to say, I want you to stay true to your method of writing. If you're satisfied with what you have written, that is more important than any opinion I can give. But, of course, I believe if you... tripled the length of the material you have, going into more detail about the lead up, occurrences, and transitions between your scenes, it would make the whole thing seem less... sudden.
Hmm... You do have some fair points when you say all of this, and I can admit the story is fast-paced. I guess it is just my style. Besides, if my friends enjoy reading the story half as much as you do, I'm happy with it.  0:)

I know I'm not the best at dealing with critics, but since you raised some points, allow me to offer a rebuttal. The whole thing about Miss Pine's love life she finds to be a sensitive subject, which is why she left, but I'd rather leave it at that.

Lunar had actually been in town since he graduated, but Asterian and him only just now ran into each other, which given that Ponyville is a small town (the "hundreds of ponies" I mentioned was metaphorically used), it wouldn't take a long stay in Ponyville for them to find each other, even if we do not assume Lunar was looking for him as well.

I try to leave a sizable amount of my stories detail up to the reader, which is part of what caught my friends' attention. To offer an analogy as to my writing style, take the Team Fortress 2 Spy. He has two main goals -- assassinate key players in the game while relaying enemy movement and location to the team, but the Spy himself can be augmented by use of various weapons. This provides to the Spy an endless combination of weaponry tactics -- not to mention psychological tactics employed by the player --  to accomplish these goals, but his main goals remains the same: Assassinate and Recon. In a similar fashion, I write out a story that happens just so. This happens and that has to happen, but exactly how that event occurs I leave to reader imagination. The customization of the Spy that does not affect the actual role he plays, only how he accomplishes it, just as the reader's customization of the story does not affect the story, only how events occur to an extent.

On the subject, that's what I was relying on when Asterian went to invite Terra and Octavia -- he spotted Octavia painting on a hillside, and Terra has been his friend for months, but I just had to introduce my friend's OC in a way that "wasn't anything special" per request, so... kind of difficult not to make that look deliberate. This whole part of the story is how it happened in my mind, but I leave that bit out to allow the reader to engage more in the story. As any role-player knows; a story is more fun when you can participate in it!

I want to once again thank you for your continuous feedback and critical input. It's only ever helping!
« Last Edit: 2013 Oct 09, 17:32:58 by Asterian »
"Luck is how you explain an overly-variabled scenario that went in your favor." - Asterian Élire Starfall

Offline Asterian

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Re: (Discussion) Stargazing
« Reply #15 on: 2013 Oct 14, 20:53:51 »
I have published the next section of Stargazing!

In A Skirmish with Infernos, we learn that Octavia has a secret of her own! This revealed to Terra very quickly, but things only go from bad to worse as Lunar intervenes once more. What happens? That is for you to find out!
"Luck is how you explain an overly-variabled scenario that went in your favor." - Asterian Élire Starfall

Offline Gracie Sky

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Re: (Discussion) Stargazing
« Reply #16 on: 2013 Oct 16, 18:17:37 »
The way this drama is building up, I could imagine seeing this on the... Marey Springer Show!


*ahem* Also, I've thought about the style you are using, where you leave it up to the reader to fill in the gaps in the story, such as the time when Asterian went and found Terra and Octavia. My line of thinking is those gaps are left out because they are irrelevant to the current scene and would cause a sizable distraction if addressed, so skipping to the result would keep the story flow cleaner. Mmm, yes, that's pretty much the best rationalization I can come up with.

Anyways, I'm curious to see how this is resolved, although it wouldn't surprise me if it's all resolved in the next chapter. The quality of Asterian's life seems to go up and down as abruptly as a roller coaster. However, I will admit there is a little foreshadowing for these ups and downs, so they aren't as sudden.
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Offline Asterian

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Re: (Discussion) Stargazing
« Reply #17 on: 2013 Oct 16, 22:31:47 »
*Shrugs* Everypony has their own style, be it in writing, architecture, acting, etc. What can I say? I am one of a kind. *Suave laughter*

Well, it is good to see I generate interest in my critics. At least I am getting somewhere!
« Last Edit: 2013 Oct 16, 22:34:10 by Asterian »
"Luck is how you explain an overly-variabled scenario that went in your favor." - Asterian Élire Starfall

Offline Asterian

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Re: (Discussion) Stargazing
« Reply #18 on: 2013 Nov 04, 18:50:33 »
It seems as though things are piling up for me.

I may not be able to post another section of Stargazing for the next month or so. My life is beginning to fill up with so many different things right now.

I apologize to anypony I have upset, but I have no choice. If I post another section sometime November, I will let you all be the first to know.

Again, I am sorry for this. The last thing I want to do is upset my friends and fans.
"Luck is how you explain an overly-variabled scenario that went in your favor." - Asterian Élire Starfall