Hey, Khakis! Let's do this!
Title: Pop Culture
Not bad. It's a relevant name, no doubt about that, but it also hints to the "society" that Sweetie will have to deal with in her time, if she's to become a star.
>Sapphire Shores returns to Rarity's boutique to thank her for the most comfortable, fashionable stage wear she's every had. While there, she overhears Sweetie Belle singing, and decides her voice is sensational . Logically, she offers Sweetie a recording deal. Sweetie accepts, and moves to Canterlot to learn the art of being a pop starlet, with all the ups and downs it brings.
I'm not even going to do a line-by-line. In fact, I suggest you redo this. A synopsis should not be a compact version of your first chapter. It should be a hook; a description of the themes and general plot that will pervade your story. It should hint at background, the characters, and over all else, the conflict.
So try again.
You only didn't get a 1/5 because there wasn't really a point at which any given character was OOC. However, they never felt quite IC, either.
Here's an example: Sapphire Shores, being a classy pop star, has her own vernacular or style of speaking. Her dialogue in your fic, though, was basically unidentifiable from Rarity's. Give us her speaking patterns; make her unique. In the meantime, Sweetie Belle shouldn't just be parroting whatever other ponies say, and occasionally erupting in excitement—she's the main character! Characterize her, please!
I despise saying this (because I am, and should be, a simple reviewer and not a replacement author), but there were so many things in this fic that I think were either handled wrongly, or that should be redone entirely.
Let's start with something simple: the opening scene. Now, the way you did it, Rarity praised Sweetie, Sapphire walks in, Sapphire hears Sweetie Belle, and she goes to offer her a career.
All in, oh, 1.5k words? Maybe fewer?
First off, this all happens far too quickly. It would be insane to think that even a pop star would walk into a boutique and give a young child a new career on a whim. Though it'd be crazier to assume that she would actually stay interested. Something you could do, then would be to extend this—have Sapphire Shores walk into the boutique, have her run into Sweetie Belle, singing, and have her consider it for a while. Have her meet up with Rarity occasionally, and finally work up the nerve and circumstance to ask Rarity if Sweetie might be interested in a recording deal. Heck, bring her parents into it—they're her freaking parents! Last I checked, Rarity was not Sweetie Belle's guardian.
Random note, but the "reveal" with the "antagonist" at the end really had no effect on me. I didn't understand it, and couldn't really care less.
Overall, I felt like everything was too rushed and abrupt, without much (if anything at all) to set it up. Sweetie never had to work for anything; there was never any conflict, and it just didn't feel quite real to me. That was a major problem.
You had some body language and avoided LUS (for the most part). But there was far more you could have done—for instance, avoiding all those instances of SDT that I marked out to you. Furthermore, your scenes in general felt rushed, incoherent, and generally awkward in terms of flow. They felt stilted to me, almost; everything felt predictable and plasticky.
Your transitions, both in-scene and inter-scene, were missing. I often felt, during one scene or character interaction, that I was watching emotions and mood flip-flop across a wide spectrum of inconsistencies. Your body language needed to stay constant on one character's mindset, in order to develop a shifting attitude, rather than changing immediately. This ties into Plot as well; your scenes, instead of melding into one another, sometimes felt like jarring shifts to the reader.
Just a note, but often, I would argue that you chose the wrong way to develop your scenes. For example, when we take those first steps into Def Equestrian, it should be a mind shattering moment—this is when Sweetie Belle and the reader effectively change worlds entirely. From this point on, everything is new, different, and fresh. Think of it as a scene in a movie where the talented protagonist, after living on the streets for most of their life, is set up by their agent at the Ritz Hotel. Make this scene resonate with us; make it important. Make us remember that initial scene, so that you can remind us later that things aren't always as beautiful and pure as they seem.
Finally, don't use so many speaking verbs; you're using them literally every time a character opens their mouths. Instead, only use them sparingly, or to set a specific tone. If you place relevant body language in or around that dialogue, then we can imply the mood and speaker ourselves, without needing that extra bit.
Far too many mess-ups, typos, and so on. Do proofread better next time.
I really just couldn't get into this. So many of the scenes felt weird, or pointless, or just strange. The Vinyl'Octavia scene, for example, was just blatant fanservice. That bit with the rapper really didn't develop anything setting or character-wise, and the "bad guy" (whatever his name was) was just a whiny little bitch that I didn't care about at all. The believability factor really hurt things as well. I could just feel the different ways in which you could have done this, but didn't, buzzing in the back of my head. Now, most of the time, those don't exist (I try to respect the author's choices as much as possible), but the fact that those little murmurs wouldn't go away during your fic is worrying.
I just want to get this off of my chest: I like the concept. I'm not suggesting by any means that you trash the story as a whole.
Now, you mentioned in the GDoc chat that you've had some contrasting reviews. And that's fine. Ultimately, the choice of how to proofread this is up to you. But just try to consider what I've said above. I've put some honest effort into this, and I really want to see your story, as Sapphire Shores would put it, "Shine above the rest."
Ready for EqD?: Nope.
Rewrite Recommended?: For the most part, yes, though on a scene-by-scene basis.
Best of luck,