>>2955>>2956>Radagast had laid awake//
The proper verb here is "had lain."
>disappearing from someplace and reappear//
Inconsistent verb forms.
>the magical energy the creature bears//
Kind of a confusing use of "bear," since you'd been referring to the animal a lot around here.
Yeah, just check the end of every chapter. You consistently have these.
>‘Daring Do and the Dragons’ Domain.’//
Book titles don't go in quotes. They get underlined or (preferably) italicized.
>“But… but what about princess—“//>“But… but what about princess Ember,”//
"Princess" should be capitalized, as it's being used as a title attached to her name, even in the first one, since it's implied the name would follow.
>We’re going back home boys!//
Needs a comma for direct address.
>for a moment, her crossed eyes looked much like Derpy’s//
How would Fluttershy know this? She could suppose it, but she can't see it to know for sure.
Okay, the song in chapter 8. It goes on for almost three full screens. I hope you know many readers will scroll past without reading it. If you want to have song lyrics, the best way to handle them is to: 1. Keep it short, 2. If it's long, break it up into small pieces with narration in between, 3. Keep it short, 4. If reading the lyrics is actually important to understanding the plot, make that very clear up front, 5. Keep it short. The reader's far more likely to read them if they fit on a single screen (or by #2, each chunk fits on a single screen) so he can see the end coming.
>Should… should I ask her?//
I really, really hope this has nothing to do with romance, because if it does, there's zero basis built up for it in the story.
>many confuses squawks//
I'll reiterate at the end, but you have very unsteady perspective throughout the story. That's the biggest issue overall. But in this chapter, you have an example of how to do it right. Look at where you alternate scenes of Fluttershy teaching the birds to sing outside and Radagast writing his spell inside. In each of those scenes, you keep to a single perspective. But in the scenes where you have both together, the narration keeps hopping back and forth between seeing through Fluttershy's eyes and Radagast's. It'll express one's opinion and say something only one could perceive in the manner, and just a couple paragraphs later, shift over to the other. When you have a limited narrator (the narration will communicate opinions and impressions on behalf og the characters instead of being completely factual), you don't want to let the perspective waver so much. For the most part, you ought to keep to one perspective per scene.
>“Catering service!” A stallion shouted//
Why would you hyphenate that? You don't for ham sandwich or turkey sandwich or anything else.
"Miss" is a generic term when not attached to a name, so it wouldn't be capitalized.
The human equivalent wedges an "s" in there, so I'd suggest "guardsponies ."
>Perhaps an image of Opal and I?//
That's actually a spot for "me" because it's the object of a preposition. Consider that "Opal and I" is the same thing as "we." Also consider that "Opal and me" is the same thing as "us." Which sounds correct, "Perhaps an image of we" or "Perhaps an image of us"?
>your royal highnesses//
Honorifics like this should be capitalized.
Oh, good. More song lyrics. And these go on for four screens. They're utterly pointless.
This is another thing you need to be careful of throughout the story. Certain things, including dashes, can turn smart quotes backward, as has happened here.
>—He stabbed a claw at Spike—//
Don't capitalize asides.
>one of which I might not return//
From, not of.
>The other wraiths did one step back//
Kind of awkwardly phrased.
>Everywhere you looked//
Kind of odd to address the reader like this. Then there'a another "everywhere" later in the same paragraph.
>“Wait! Don’t go!”//
You have a couple of extra blank lines before this.
>My name is Pinkie Pie,//
Not more song lyrics. Jeez, these go on for 5 screens. People aren't going to read this.
>it only made the whole façade funnier//
If you have to tell the reader something is funny, it probably isn't.
I don't know what this is.
>with all logics//
"Logic" is a collective term. You don't need it to be plural.
>poor grey pegasus which just wanted to say sorry for real//
When referring to sentient beings, use "who" instead of "that" or "which."
>Come on you two//
Needs a comma for direct address.
This chapter is far longer than it needs to be. Most of Discord's comedy routine is pointless and (intentionally) unfunny, so there's not much to keep a reader's interest.
>They continued their way//
Usually phrased as "they continued on their way."
>“Well… eh… I… I can’t remember.//
Missing your closing quotes.
>But I am trailing off here.//
This usually means the speaker is gradually becoming quieter. What you want is closer to "but I digress" or "but I'm going on a tangent."
>Even though my eyes are but small and my sight is very ill//
Bats see about as well as people do.
Needs a comma for direct address.
>terrible. Since the ride to that terrible//
Close word repetition.
>We should have turned around and go back//
>“Is there a flying horse by the name of Fluttershy here?” The crow said//
>he needn’t to//
That "to" is superfluous.
>—not the crow—,//
Don't use a comma in conjunction with a dash.
>“But we can’t do that!” The crow said//
Capitalization. There was an issue some time back where GDocs would automatically capitalize after dialogue if it ended in an exclamation mark or question mark. Maybe that's what's happening here.
I do wonder, when the crow said that it wouldn't be stealthy to have a whole swarm of birds accompanying them, that a bright yellow and pink flying horse isn't exactly going to blend in.
>If—“ he pointed his sword straight ahead at Fluttershy—“we//
Note the inconsistent dash placement. If they're both with the speech, it means the speaker stops while the inserted action occurs. If they're both with the narration, the speech doesn't stop. You have one of each. Also, that first set of quotation marks is backward.
>The feeling of losing someone you cared for, someone you loved. It was a feeling of a black torrent, snatching away your loved one and giving back nothing. Like a black arrow through your heart//
You're talking to the reader again.
>Ember grinded the mushrooms//
Ground. Just do a search for "grinded," as you use it more than once.
>and threw the powder//
Wait, how would he do that with fresh mushrooms? They'd have too much moisture in them to grind into a powder, unless someone had picked them and dried them first.
>The chamber’s I’ve explored//
You have a possessive where you need a plural.
>Tablet—”she filled it with new oil, relit it, and tossed it to Rainbow Dash, who caught the thing with her mouth; then she looked back—“so//
Inconsistent dash placement again.
>tell Ember all about her, leaving no detail untold//
Kind of repetitive word choice.
>several second of agony//
"Applause" is a collective term. Don't use "an" with it. You do this multiple times.
>princess Celestia and princess Luna//
Capitalize the titles. And how did she get that magic from them? The discussion makes it sound like the princesses didn't know she took it.
>I’m sorry everypony.//
Needs a comma for direct address.
>but Ember couldn’t care less//
You use that same phrase in consecutive sentences.
>Dash and Spike did more steps back//
>Indeed they weren’t. Starlight Glimmer and Twilight Sparkle were standing in a small crater//
This doesn't quite fit the perspective again. The narration in this scene so far is from Radagast's viewpoint, and the first sentence here very much sounds like his thoughts. But then it refers to two ponies by name, even though he hasn't learned their names yet.
>Twilight and Starlight knew the hidden figures were talking about them//>They were talking about Fluttershy.//
Both of these are pretty self-explanatory. I don't think you need to say them. The reader will get the picture.
>They did another step closer.//
That must be a phrasing that doesn't translate well. It just sounds awkward in English.
I've heard of those separately as instruments, but never a single instrument referred to by both words at once.
>But could Radagast’s reclaim her?//
>add to the stream she casted//
In this sense of the word, "cast" is the preferred past tense.
>And flying they did.//
The verb form for this phrasing would just be "fly."
>Twilight and Starlight exchanged a glance, as they knew very well what Radagast would do; they had read it in the book, after all. Still, they weren’t sure whether to tell that to Radagast. They were from another world, so interfering with Middle Earth might have big consequences on the fictional world Radagast lived in.//
Hm. This brings up something I'd like to discuss, but I'll save it for the end.
>friendship?” He asked.//
>Discord did sentry-go//
I have no idea what this is.
>Everypony’s ears ringed.//
Maybe I just missed it because I was skimming, but I don't recall ever seeing an explanation of why they excluded Discord from going through the portal. It sounded like they were going to explain it to him, but then Fluttershy calmed him down, and they never spoke up.
Well, I said I was going to wrap up some things at the end, so here goes. I really liked this story. I haven't read any Tolkein, so I don't know if this is supposed to mimic his style or just borrow from his world, but it's an effective tale either way. A lot of what I've noted here is detailed clean-up that's maybe a bit tedious to go through a story of this length (remember I only gave numerous comments on the first few chapters, so you should assume those things persist throughout), but not difficult to handle.
By the end, I came around to having Middle Earth be a fictional place even for Equestrians. It became a plot point that the ponies knew how things would go in the future, so having Middle Earth be an alternate dimension wouldn't have worked with that. So far, so good. But you kind of play both sides of whether they can use that knowledge. I don't understand why they can't alter what happens. Would it somehow change the actual book for them to do that? They refuse to warn Radagast about Sarumen, but they've already changed a fair amount of things just by their presence. So if they did intervene and help win this war before it starts, what implications would that have? It's not clear to me, and it seems like the rules governing that are a pretty important part of the world-building that's missing. The canon example of this is the Power Ponies comic, where they go in and just have a vague goal: defeat the enemy. If doesn't matter how, and then you get back out of the book. So why does this version of it need to work differently?
Next, the perspective is really jumpy. I'll grab this excerpt from chapter 19, which is a good example:
“I know, Twilight. I feel terrible too,” Starlight said, while keeping an eye on the Wraiths, who seemed to be standing still now. “But we could at least—“
An explosion of sound interrupted Starlight’s words. In a chorus of unholy shrieks, the Ringwraiths unleashed their black breaths once more. They had heard them speak about flying, and realized that they might just flee. That couldn’t happen. They had to ground the ponies long enough to finish them off.
Behind the column, Radagast winced at the sound and the fear that bore it. Gritting his teeth, he tried his best to resist it, but found his mind too weak. Once again the agony tried to rip him apart. But then the black breath suddenly ended, and a grave silence lay upon Dol Guldur like a heavy blanket. Only the winds roared on.
In the first paragraph, the "seemed" puts this in one of the good guys' perspectives. Really, it could be any of them who are paying attention, since any of them could have this opinion of the wraiths. If I go back a few paragraphs for context, it's most likely Twilight's perspective. But the point I want to make is that when you have the narrator expressing an opinion or personal impression, particularly if he does so in a conversational manner (emphasizing words, asking a question, using an exclamation mark, etc.), the narrator takes on that character's voice and essentially becomes that character. That's what a limited narration is. For omniscient, the opinion would need to be attributed to a character, like saying "seemed to Twilight" instead.
So we go to the second paragraph, and it's now delivering the wraiths' impressions. "That couldn't happen" is directly what the wraiths are thinking. No other character there would have this thought, and no other character there would be able to read their minds and know they were literally thinking this. They might deduce it, but it's stated as a fact.
And in the very next paragraph, we have Radagast taking the perspective. For example, the "he tried his best" and "found his mind too weak" are things only he would know. So in three consecutive paragraphs, you've inhabited three different perspectives. This is not a good thing to do.
There's a brief rationale in the section on "head hopping" at the top of this thread, but I'll sum it up a bit to say that you should try to hold to one perspective in a scene, if you can. When you shift to the wraiths and Radagast, like you have here, consider if it's really necessary. What do we learn from the wraiths' viewpoint? Nothing useful. We could already presume they would want the ponies fleeing, so learning they thought so doesn't change anything. And if it's not adding anything to be in their perspective, you shouldn't go there. Or if there is some critical piece of information, then it's worth staying in their perspective for a while. It's not even hard, most of the time, to show one character's emotions from another's perspective. You can tell when someone's happy from how the act, how they look, and what they say, after all. You don't have to read their mind to know. And that's why you don't usually have to shift perspective to get at information like that. When you keep jerking readers around to different viewpoints, it gets confusing, it's easy to mix up who thinks what, and it doesn't get the reader engaged on a deeper level with any of the characters.
The very unsteady perspective is the most pervasive problem I see, and it's really the only major one. If you could improve that substantially, I'd be happy to post the story, but I realize that it may be a daunting task to go back through 150k words with an eye to keeping the perspective more stable in each scene.
The last bit is that you disarm one of the story's major conflicts. When Radagast has to win Fluttershy's mind back to his side, he makes vague allusions to the torture and brainwashing she underwent, but that's one of the story's more powerful moments. It informs how hard it must be to get her back, that she was so thoroughly broken. Yet while the story does stay with her in places, it leaves her behind for this. It's not exactly that surprising what happens to her, since the Witch King had already alluded to such, so I don't see a reason to keep it secret.
In any case, the big emotional crux is knowing what happened to her so we know what it's going to take to undo it. But we never get to see that. There's just one paragraph of Radagast surmising what they did to her and sharing her memories of it, but it's told in very generic terms, and it's over with after a few sentences. It ends up not even being that difficult to win her back. It does take several paragraphs, but it's pretty steady progress with no setbacks, so it lacks some dramatic tension. I think it'd really add to the story's power if you added a couple scenes showing what happened to Fluttershy to get her to this state and struggle more to shake it off.