FimFiction Link - Short ID: 224/ponies-discover-co
Published: Jul '11
'Ponies Discover /CO/' is a a fifteen thousand word SoL comedy. The Mane6 discover that 'people' are watching their every adventure. Thanks to a laptop given to them by Princess Celestia, they are given an opportunity to read some of the posts written about them on /co/. At least, that's what happens in the first chapter. The next two almost entirely abandon that premise as the fic transform into a run-off-the-mill SoL/Adventure story.
I should mention that this fic was written in January 2011. That makes it one of the few pieces of pony fiction that predate the halfpoint of season 1. As a consequence some characters differ from their real personalities. It's especially noticeable with Rarity whose character was greatly expanded by later episodes.
Starting with the first chapter, the fic doesn't seem too bad. It accepts the silliness of its premise instead of boring the reader to death with a long and an unsatisfactory exposition. More importantly, it's moderately interesting and the character interactions are written just fine. The author delivering on the premise is by far the best part of the fic and, to be honest, the only one that could be recommended in good faith. The humor was a bit hit-or-miss for me but reading about some of the old pony reaction images made me nostalgic. The story would get a positive grade if it ended immediately after they close the laptop. Unfortunately, everything else about it is rather bad.
The first thing that's immediately obvious is that the writing struggles quite a bit with its weirdly mis-paced style and semifrequent grammar errors. It was good enough for the relatively static chapter 1 but it becomes a serious problem once the Mane6 set off on their little adventure. I don't mind some imperfections or sporadic errors but here the prose is just extremely amateurish. The constant stream of mistakes like "you're attention to detail" or "her coat and main" is bad enough however the real issue is the lack of any coherent style. The pacing is atrocious, some dramatic moments have no build-up whatsoever while other ones pointlessly linger on for several paragraphs. Characters begin acting illogically and straight-up OOC. As an example, the final encouter ends with Twilight murdering a then-pacified hydra for no reason at all. The letter at the end would be a nice touch... if it wasn't so disjointed from the rest of the story.
Perhaps I'm being a bit harsh on the story. Do I regret reading it? Not really, it wasn't good but it's short and most of the mistakes come from the author's inexperience rather than poor decisions. It's not offensively bad or anything. 6/10 for the first chapter (although my nostalgia bumps it up to a strongly subjective 7.5/10), 4/10 for the rest. If anyone wants to read it, just be sure to drop it after the first chapter.
5/10 for the entire fic.