• Story: It Takes a Village (Update Complete! )


    [Normal] [Shipping]

    Author: determamfidd
    Description: Spike only wants things to stay the same. Time, however, has other ideas. He's going to need a lot of help...

    It Takes a Village:(All Links) (New Chapter 17)


    Additional Tags: Family, time-skip, group effort, determination, friendship


    Fan Art 

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    271 comments:

    1. Spike is best pony?
      Spike is best pony.

      This I have to read

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    2. @Favo it doesn't bother spike non that Rarity's a pony

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    3. anypony know the rest of the saying that this story uses as its title?

      "it takes a village -to raise a child-"

      its an old african proverb, and considering the shipping tag, this should be interesting....

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    4. At the rate of where this stories going I'm kind of scared to see who gets shipped.

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    5. I'll definitely read this later. However, I'm going to guess that it is about how all of the mane six are finding boyfriends and/or girlfriends and Spike starts to feel jealous/lonesome because everyone is spending time with their significant others than the original group of six plus baby dragon.

      Let me know how off I was in my hypothesis.

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    6. That was an amazing story!
      Know I want to hear about the shenanigans he gets up to when he's learning all these skills!

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    7. Maybe I read the story too fast, but I'm not sure I found the shipping? Does Spike crushing heavy on Rarity count as shipping?

      That said - wonderful story!

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    8. Not feeling a lot of shipping here. That's OK.

      Wow. I just...this one really touched me. That was a wonderful story, thank you!

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    9. Oh god. Images of that tumbler with Twilight and Spike growing up are coming back to me. Curse you!

      Here's the video if you want to know what I'm talking about.

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    10. Hmm, that was a sweet story. It's not over, though - first part could definitely have been self-contained, but it's nice to know that we'll get more.

      Anyways, no shipping yet, tout le monde, just a lot of heartwarming and smiles. (5/5)

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    11. heh, heheh, taming of the dragon

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    12. @Dublio
      Why? Just...why?
      I have spent the last month puzzling my shattered heart together after watching that, and now I have to start over.

      Ah, these amazing ponies...drives even a cold hearted bastard as me to tears.

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    13. The story works. I dont see much in the way of shipping currently. But it was a nice little read.

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    14. only problem here to fix: NEEDS MORE CHAPTERS!! 5/5 straight

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    15. After reading this fic, there is good news. It's a happy story with a happy ending, so Spike isn't going anywhere. So that's why this isn't a sad story thankfully.

      And since this fic is incomplete, that means there may be more chapters incoming. (Unless it was mistagged) Since no shipping has happened yet, I can only assume that will be in a later chapter.

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    16. Well now! This is a charming and fun story that manages to balance humor and pathos very well. Definitely got some flashbacks to the Ask Twilight comic about Spike growing up, which is by no means a bad thing!

      The characterization's great, too. Everypony (and Spike) fairly flow out of the screen - I can easily hear their lines voice-acted. The only issue I have is really not one at all - is there really that much space behind Twilight's house? =D

      Anyway, I had a massive silly grin on my face from the second half onward, and I can't wait for the continuation! 5/5 and a follow on FF.net from me, good sir. Keep up the fantastic work!

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    17. Needs more chapters. I need to see where this story is going.

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    18. Very heartwarming, I'd love to read more.

      I listened to 'I'm Yours' while reading this fanfic.
      "We're just one big family!"

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    19. And this is what happens when I procrastinate. People beat me to ideas. D:

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    20. Hmm. With the time skip tag I wonder if this will be about Spike growing up with generations of the Mane 6's kids and grandkids.

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    21. This is very enjoyable so far. I'll read the rest later after I grab some breakfast

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    22. If you're checking the comments to decide if you should read this... you should. Do it. It's a great little story with a satisfying end point.

      No shipping to speak of (unless one counts Spike's infatuation with Rarity, which is well established on the show.) That "Friendshipping" tag would work well for this (although most people seemed to be confused by what it means) as it's just about exploring the existing, non-romantic bonds between the characters.

      If there are future chapters, perhaps they'll delve into the shipping thing, but either way this story currently stands as a great little fan addition to the show, and a nice afternoon's diversion!

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    23. Awesome story, glad I read it. 5/5

      Can't wait to read future chapters.

      The characterizations where spot on and it played so well off that comic. Very touching, funny, and hopeful all at the same time.

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    24. Very few stories have geuinely touched me; this was one of them. It manages to be at once sad and heartwarming without ever seeming fake, and it's doubtless a sign of the quality of the characterisations that I can easily picture this as part of an episode (maybe late in the show's run?).

      Overall, a fantastically written and truly affecting piece, and I hope additional chapters are coming soon.

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    25. @Thunderplunk

      Oi, you. Yes you, I can see you all out there. READ THIS STORY. :|

      Seriously, this is a wonderful fanfic that plucks at your heartstrings without tying them in a knot or cutting them up, leaving you warm and happy.

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    26. Dawwwww! This is so sweet.
      But there is no shipping (maybe a bit, but not enough for a tag)

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    27. Loved it. It's a really good read, I'd recommend it to anyone who's still unsure about reading it themselves.

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    28. Man, this is a lovely story! You can't help but feel for Spike now that he is so big and sometimes change can be a scary thing. If the Incomplete tag is true, I hope to see more stories for this soon!

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    29. Beautifully written! It doesn't even need more chapters, but I'll be sure to read them as they are posted regardless.

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    30. 5*. Take this, my love, my anger, and all of my stars.

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    31. If it hadn't said chapter one, Trevor would have called this a one shot! VERY well done! Trevor eagerly awaits the next chapter! Although, Trevor IS wondering if it isn't Spike who gets shipped later on in the story, with another dragon. That would be awesome! (Seeing as how he'd have the room and whatnot...)

      ~ Magical Trevor, Minstrel of Equestria

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    32. I've seen some art of an OC "Pony" by the name of Gem. "Pony" in quotes becouse the charector was the son of Spike and Rarity. Sure, it might be a bit of a stretch (Ach! Brain Bleach!) at this point in the fic, but it IS the `ship I sail under, so I'll hold out hope.

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    33. This is more like Friend Shipping than Shipping at this point. We'll see if it continues.

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    34. FlutterMac shipping in a Spike Story? Well makes more sense than the big guy being shipped with Rarity in this story. Also, I get the feeling those ponies who left the market, not wanting to give a damn about him being having lived in Ponyville since he was a baby and having even been hatched in Canterlot, are going to be back to cause trouble.

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    35. The second story was just as beautiful as the first and I'm glad to hear that this story is going to be a long one. Fifteen chapters of awesome. We don't often get happy grown up Spike stories, so I'm glad that we finally got one.

      Don't stop writing, because we love it so much. Please? :D

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    36. I normally avoid anything tagged shipping (since I just don't really like it), but I gave this story a shot anyway and so far Spike's future has always been one of my favorite things to fanonize about, and it's mostly done well.

      There are a couple of minor things I'd like to address, though. The first is length; you mention that you foresee this getting up to fifteen chapters, but given the overall direction so far my gut reaction is to suggest that the author may not actually need that much prose to tell this story, and that he may be better off trimming some of that down. I can't say that it's going to become a problem with anything resembling certainty, of course, and I'm willing to believe that he actually does need the story to be that long, but it may be worth considering.

      The other thing I'd recommend is laying off on the adjectives. Adjectives aren't a bad thing by themselves, of course, but you can definitely have too many of them, and that's often the case here. The author has a tendency to describe things in a way that simply uses too many words, and many of them- especially the more esoteric ones- are used in ways that may not be inaccurate but that still seem strange and a little out-of-place ("strident," for example). It's good for a writer to have a wide vocabulary and make use of it, but a little goes a long way; many words in the English language have honestly quite limited utility, and using too many of them when the situation doesn't quite call for it leaves you with prose that reads kind of like a thesaurus.

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    37. I'm liking this thus far...Hmm, MacinShy? *squee*

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    38. Incredibly well-written. This deserves 6 stars!
      My only thought would be to possibly steer away from the 15 chapter plan. Unless you've already mapped out the story for every chapter, it might be hard to keep some parts from devolving into filler.

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    39. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    40. Haven't stumbled over grammar or phrasing once - check
      Descriptive and varied vocabulary - check
      Ponies well written and within character - check
      Good story - check

      Yeah, I really hope you hit that 6th star.

      My only concern is really a hope that it doesn't switch focus toward the shipping side of its tagging.

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    41. I enjoyed the second chapter just as much as the first... Especially the reveal of the slightly older CMCs!

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    42. YESH! At least the shipping is now partly obvious! MacinShy FOR THE (Adorable) WIN! 8D

      ~ Magical Trevor, Minstrel of Equestria

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    43. That is one of the most heartwarming things I've read in a long time.
      And It's just chapter 1?
      Keep up the good work.

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    44. To the Moon with Past Sins, this story is fully deserving of the six stars that it is inevitably going to receive. I found myself enthralled by the story, not able to step away for a second (that reminds me, my bladder has been twinging uncomfortably). I am completely excited for the next chapters, and LunaSpeed, good sir!

      P.S. Isn't it FlutterMac?

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    45. I really love this story!!

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    46. wow, this is a good story. It sucks that im not able to give a very in depth review/comment seeing as im not a writer myself, nor have i ever written a story. But i can say that i already love this and i think everyone agrees that this deserves 6 stars. Keep up the great work!

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    47. Chapter three: Well I guess THAT explains the need for 15 chapters.

      ...also? Why the buck is this not 6 stars yet?

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    48. Ooo this story is getting even more awesome. I sure hope you don't rush the next part, because it seems like you have a great idea here. Like starcat says, that would explain the need for multiple chapters. Anyhoo, take your time and don't rush the events and you'll do great, since you're already doing great. :D

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    49. I love that this updates so often.

      Nice job on introducing a villain, and a clever choice of one at that!

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    50. So it's music montage time huh? Also the exchange over the new home was cute;;

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    51. I find it really odd that Spike wasn't a little more specific in that letter. A dragon threatening to murder a friend and/or burn down an entire village seems like the kind of thing Celestia would probably want to get involved in, and while you can handwave it away with the magic resistance thing I still suspect that an immortal god-princess (or two) trumps a single dragon.

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    52. Still thinkin' the princess could have provided a little more direct support there.

      Also after that last scene I really hope this doesn't turn into full-blown shipping. I realize that's kind of a foolish hope, considering the tag, but still.

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    53. Hmm, not the ship I was expecting.

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    54. @A Pony Farce

      Didn't Twilight suggest that, based on her research, the dragon had every right to make his challenge to Spike? So maybe the Princess's hands are tied. I mean, I imagine they could protect Ponyville should Spike choose to run instead of accepting the challenge, so that threat might be hollow... Although, aside from killing the dragon, I'm not sure how they would guarantee the dragon never came back for revenge. The threat seems mostly to goad Spike's territorial nature anyway.

      Another good update today. Loved the bit about immortality between Luna and Spike, and the dragon serving as something of a mentor adds a nice new layer to things.

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    55. The way this story is coming together, I'm hoping for friendshipping than true shipping. If it is real shipping, I pray it's thought out and not forced.

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    56. Why do I keep theorising that the dragon is really Spike's dad? Probably because it's a fairly clichéd twist but ah well.

      I'm not seeing any shipping here, besides the sideline attraction between Big Macintosh and Fluttershy (I think).

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    57. chapter 4 a.k.a BEST CHAPTER EVER, or so far anyways. the part with Spike and Luna was amazing! and the way you characterized razorfang was awesome. through his and spikes whole conversation i honestly had no idea how it was going to turn out, very interesting.

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    58. Shipping doesn't always mean that its about two figures going gaga over each other, this is really a shipping story about the relationships Spike has made over the years and how they're blossoming (so to speak).

      Although for what its building up to an ADVENTURE tag may be needed soon, or something.

      Anyway 5/5, NEED MOAR, etc etc.

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    59. Great story with some really over the top ff mores. At this point, it's a guilty pleasure ignoring the plot contrivances and seeping in the character interactions, so you might want to make the whole thing a bit more gritty and down to earth.

      Still, well worth a 5-star from me from potential, despite cringe-inducing cliches.

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    60. We going to go into a philasophical discourse on the subject of Hoards? Considering that dragons eat gemstones, one has to ask what destinguishs a hoard from a larder.

      Granted, we the audence already realize that Spike's hoard is Ponyville and every living pony in it, but I want to hear the clinical definition from Razorfang, so Spike can make that connection as well.

      ...also, WHY THE BUCKING EVERFREE ISN'T THIS STORY 6/5 STARS YET?!?

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    61. @Lawrence Gander Actually, I think there will be shipping, just not yet. No good shipping starts off with someponys internal monologue stating how they've always loved someone, but never had the courage to admit it (at least in my experience)

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    62. I'm trying to figure out how to picture the fic's Spike in my head. I assume he's somewhere between panel 3 and 4 in the famous "Spike Growing Up" comic. ( http://ask-twilightsparkle.tumblr.com/post/10358515119 )

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    63. I really hate it when amazing stories like this just hover indefinitely at 4.8 stars.
      I'm positive any 1 stars this fic has is solely a prejudicial reaction to the [SHIPPING] tag.

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    64. I'm going to echo all the other comments -- this story really does deserve a 6-star rating. It's the only story I've read that reasonably depicts the growing pains Spike would go through a few years after season 1, and it's done extremely well.

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    65. Chapter 5 is live, Princess `Tia FINALLY gets full disclosure, and Spike gets an interview. In related news, Both Scoop and Photo Finish have their heads up their flanks.

      ...and STILL not 6 stars. X_x;

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    66. I'm pretty sure that need a new scarf now, although first I need to make a friend who can fashion one for me. Homemade scarves are the best.

      Sad to see that updates won't be coming quite so often now, but we've been incredibly spoiled so far. This continues to be a favorite, so I'll be looking forward to the next chapter whenever it comes.

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    67. This fic will most likely get 6starred in good time. Heck, it's taking Through the Eyes of Another Pony long enough to get there...

      Whatever the case, this is now one of my very favorite fanfics ever alongside FO:E, TtEoAP, and Past Sins. When a story gets into that tier, it's extraordinary in some way that puts it into a category of its own and becomes incomparable to other works.

      FO:E creates a new world for me to live in populated with well developed and interesting characters.

      Past Sins makes me care about ponies enough to shed the only tears of joy or sorrow I've ever shed over any work of fiction, as well as crafting a fluctuating mood of simultaneous hope and dread that keeps me scrolling through the pages.

      TtEoAP does the impossible, sees the invisible, and fights the power. Seriously, though, it takes a lot of tags (e.g. Human in Equestria, Self-Insert, OC-Shipping, loads of OC's, meme-spam, et al) that would each place an author in a minefield in a manure patch (garaunteed crapstorm with a single misstep), and yet he gleefully frolics through it. That story consistently makes me grin like an idiot every few minutes, and yet is also serious when that's what's needed. I credit this to the Lafter's personality being a sort of Ying-Yang Bomb.

      I elaborated on those so that you know precisely what I mean when I say I am putting this on my top tier. I can't yet express exactly what makes this story supremely awesome to me, but I'm working on it. For one thing, if I can hear the characters' voices in my head when they're speaking, then the author's doing something very right.

      Anypony mind if I set up the tropes page for this fic later tonight?

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    68. @Bugsydor

      Yes, that's how I feel about the best of the Pony stories. You can hear each character speak as you read their lines, each intonation and inflection coming naturally into your mind. The scenes are written in a way that paints the pictures in the imagination. You see it, hear it, feel it and everything the characters experience. It's the mark of all well-written and endearing stories.

      And by the way, I think that arrogant dragon needs a wake-up call from a human! WE exterminated dragons in our world! So ha-ha-ha, Mister I'm-so-big-and-powerful! Little naked apes finished off you big lizards! Nyah! And now we have nukes. Forget your THOUSANDS of degree fires, we can generate MILLIONS of degrees! Don't worry, Spike! Bronies got yo back! With nukular energee! ;3

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    69. I just finished reading Chapter 5 because it's up on your FF.net. I already commented earlier, but I feel the need to write another.

      Similar to the few comments immediately above me, I'm honestly foreseeing this fic as one of the iconic fanfictions that every MLP fan worth his/her weight in salt should eventually read. This includes stories like "Within and Without", "Past Sins" (despite my issues with the story, this should still be submitted), "The Ballad of Twilight Sparkle" and "Progress". (Amongst others, obviously)

      Unfortunately, I have to include "Cupcakes" here, although for entirely different reasons. I say this not because of the quality (it's terrible quality/writing, even ignoring the content), but more so because it gained the "infamous" status that keeps all of us referencing it.

      Forgetting "Cupcakes", the rest of the aforementioned fics bring something unique to the table. Whether it be pure comedy gold with a completely saucy Trixie, a widely referenced fanon...object that is associated with anything Luna (also high-caliber comedy), a lovable (if slightly annoying) filly who captured most of our hearts, or a long story of chilling redemption that all winds down into a lovely TwiLuna (I'm looking at you, Rarity-scene).

      Each of these fics were special because of the amount of time and effort their writers poured into their stories, completely disregarding the fact that one rewrote the story two times and another took three months to update a chapter (although in his defense, he wrote several versions of said chapter and wasn't completely satisfied with them, which says something about his dedication).

      Riskily speaking for the fanbase here, such effort in these stories made my heart flutter/jump/whatever when I saw that it had updated. All I wanted to do was pry open the story and devour the contents within. I've noticed similar symptoms with "It Takes a Village". What you're doing here is quite different. You're taking a very real fate, the inevitable growing up of a long-lived and highly dangerous species, and trying to make us feel better about this. I noticed that you've been making light of the mortality of the citizens of Ponyville, and you've been effectively driving said point home with Spike and, consequently, Twilight.

      I think I'm beginning to delve into the realm of rambling. It's getting late. Basically, I foresee great things for this fanfiction, and I'm honored to have been a part of it so early on. I'm an editor for "Solar Flare/Deep Dark", and I personally plugged your story in the end section, simply because I feel it's completely necessary. Hopefully that will draw more fans to your story, and give it the recognition it deserves.

      Well, that's all I have to say about that. Best of luck, and I'm eagerly awaiting your next update.

      ~Fifth Alicorn

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    70. @Bugsydor
      The tropes page for this glorious fanfic is now begun! FICS FOR THE FIC GOD! TROPES FOR THE TROPE THRONE!

      As it stands, the page is nowhere near complete. Please flesh it out swiftly. This story deserves a tropes page at least 1/10 as awesome as it is!

      Related: It seems that I mainly post only tropes about one particular aspect of a story in one sitting, e.g. I'll post only tropes relating to how life sucks for a character.

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    71. A Spike fic with a [Shipping] tag. Hoo boy, now I'm nervous.

      That being said, Spike is best pony, therefore I must read.

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    72. I bet that aproned unicorn has a scarecrow for a cutie mark. As in, a strawman. Or strawpony. Whatever. I can't wait for the next chapter :D

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    73. Read all the other chapters in one big rush. There is much I wish to say, but I'll start with the most important:

      1.HHHHHHHHNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNGGGGGGGGGGG!

      2.Spike is best pony and this fic proves it.

      This is, without a doubt, a fanfic that will gather its own cult following, and be considered one of the great classic fanfictions, along with such works as Pen Stroke's "Past Sins" and TotalOverflow's "Macintosh". You, sir, are a great author and a great brony. FlintLock out.

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    74. I strongly dislike random, utterly unexplained shipping coming from absolutely nowhere that has 0 relevance to a story beyond being detrimentally distracting. The Fluttershy x Big Macintosh stuff definitely fits this description. I have nothing against the pairing, but it's out of place and does not benefit the story's focus, ideas, or characters in any way, and frankly, a relationship between 2 characters where the source material gives no indication of any attraction requires a dedicated amount of work on the author's part to set up and convincingly execute, none of which is done here.

      Annoying as that is (and annoying and stupid as it is to have ED itself pleading readers to make this a 6-Star Story), I have to admit that this is a great story. The characters are portrayed (with the exception of the pointless Fluttermac aspect) nigh perfectly, the story is simple but compelling, the exploration of the MLP world is imaginative and interesting (not to mention well-grounded in the show's own material), the love of the fandom and author for the show is shown in how detailed--but never over numerous, or unnecessary!--the references to past adventures and characters of the show, not to mention the odd pokes at the fandom itself, are, and of course, there's always that nice little bonus of the author having the presence of mind to realize the sibling nature of Twilight Sparkle and Spike's relationship. The writing style itself is decent, occasionally clever, and quite clean, and the story's complexity is surprising--things rapidly open up from a small story, as it seems like it will be from the first chapter, into a larger one with many plot threads twining together.

      I give this 4.5 Stars, which I will round up for the official ED rating to 5. I can't say whether I agree that this should be a 6-Star Story just yet--I really do think those should be reserved for stories that are not just excellent, but astounding, and as of yet, It Takes a Village just doesn't reach that. But I think it's within reach of this story. I'll be watching for updates.

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    75. Just remembered another thing I love about this fic's style: the way the author handles the things that happened during the timeskip. I particularly liked how RD's having become a Wonderbolt was established through hints like her old goggles having gone to Scootaloo and later by Spike's thinking she's probably in a Wonderbolts show.

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    76. Personally, the Fluttershy/Macintosh stuff doesn't bother me, and I'm generally not a fan of shipping at all. In this case, however, it is taking advantage of a few loopholes in my distaste:

      1) I don't recall any scenes between the two from the cartoon, which means there's no canon at all to ignore. It seems perfectly plausible that Mac could harbor a crush on her. Additionally, since the story takes place in the future, there's plenty of room for an interest to have developed naturally over the period we didn't see.

      2) It is simply an attraction at this point, and it doesn't have either of them acting wildly out of character. I don't get that over-the-top idea that either one is completely incapable of any rational thought or action when around the other that usually chases me away from shipping stories.

      3) It remains a rather minor subplot at this point, and the rest is outstanding enough that even if it did bother me it wouldn't amount to more than a minor annoyance.

      4) I actually see it as having a rather strong relevance to the story. If Spike's "horde" is going to grow and last for his exceptionally long life, there will have to be future generations of ponies in Ponyville. What fun is it to imagine that no descendants of the mane six will be around for Spike to watch over in the future? His friends are going to have to get into relationships of some sort eventually for that to happen.

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    77. I had an amazing comment that I typed to commemorate this fic for it's amazing level of story, mature themes and all the while holding the warmhearted feelings of the show; unfortunately my computer crashed.
      That pretty much sums it up though. I really love this story and look forward to seeing it all. I must also say that I could not stop reading it, the story just seems to flow on its own. You seem consistent on updating it too which is cool :D

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    78. I think the criteria for a Star 6 fic should be changed. With the higher and higher amounts of traffic EqD is getting, it's getting harder for fics to maintain a 4.9, even if they're of the a quality that would have made Star 6 in the past. 4.8 should be the new bar.

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    79. this fiction is so cute and heartwarming.

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    80. Blarg, never going to finish my own story if I keep procrastinating when I do have free time.

      That said, this was not even remotely close to being a waste of said time. Have another 5 star rating.

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    81. @busparkingonly

      I think it would make sense for any 5 star fic to have 1 star ratings disabled, let the 2-5 stand.

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    82. I could not help but read every Photo Finish line aloud. You have captured my very favorite background pony perfectly. Thank you.

      This story is fantastic. Every characterization is spot on, and this is the first Rarispike I've actually liked. Massive kudos for doing that as subtly as you are, too.

      Never stop writing.

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    83. I am enjoying this story, I cant wait to see how spike turns out

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    84. Very nice story. I'd rate it but... I don't seem to be able to see where I can. FAQ says it's right above the comments section, but I don't see anything there.

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    85. LOVING this story! A must read for Spike fans!

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    86. ~yay~

      A new chapter?! OhmigoshohmigoshOhmigoshohmigoshohmigosh! *Fangirl squeal* Trevor gets a new update?! What has one done to deserve such awesomeness?! (Well, aside form the OBVIOUS things, of course! One isn't THAT imperceptive of all that he's done!)

      ~ Magical Trevor, Minstrel of Equestria

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    87. I know that you can't make improvements based on praise, so I really wish I could tell you ways to make this fic even better...but I can't think of any. It's just that good.

      As for the FlutterMac subplot, FlutterMac has always been my favorite ship for sheer adorableness. Even if I didn't like it, it only gets maybe a sentence's worth of mention per chapter, if at all. Any one who doesn't like it really doesn't have much to complain about.

      Keep up the amazing work and I hope the next update comes quickly. I'll be waiting on the edge of my seat!

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    88. New update? Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!
      spontaneously falls into squee-induced coma and transforms into a unicorn

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    89. I curse you with words I have never heard before every time I reach the end of a chapter; wanting more.

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    90. Oh ho, is that little bit at the end of chapter 6 hinting at the shipping that was planned for this story?

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    91. Glorious chapter, as always. Thanks, determamfidd!

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    92. i love how theres something that makes me actually laugh or just chuckle in every chapter. along with the amazing story, its just icing on the cake.

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    93. I really love this story, but honestly, I didn't feel like Spike's concept of territory in all its intricacies needed another explanation in chapter 7, this time to Twilight and Fluttershy. It was the first time reading the story that I skipped ahead - Twilight and Fluttershy may not have understood fully, but I, the reader, did. At the very least, I didn't learn anything new. It just felt repetitive.

      I'm just not sure. I always felt the dialogue was one of the strongest points of this story, and I still do, but there can always be too much of a good thing. To be clearer, my misgivings are restricted pretty much to the talk about territory. Twilight's melancholic moment did work, as well as all the banter, and the dragonride. (I love Twilight in this story in general. She has just the right amounts of snarky and wit.)

      ReplyDelete
    94. Another wonderful chapter! Even if some of Spike's understandings about his territory was repeated from earlier chapters, the way you had Twilight react to it made it absolutely perfect.
      Keep this up, you're on the fast track to a well-deserved 6 stars!

      ReplyDelete
    95. Spike's obstacle course run was great fun to read. Each chapter has a nice bit of action to help the build up towards the big confrontation. Then we get to find out what happened to the Princess's letter, complete with a charming Celestia appearance. (I loved her little tease at Fluttershy's expense.) Ending with Twilight going for her first dragon ride was the perfect warm note to go out on. Another great chapter!

      ReplyDelete
    96. Darn you...that tender moment between Spike and Twilight almost made me shed manly tears.

      ReplyDelete
    97. Oh crap, I got mentioned in an author's note. I guess that means I'll have to get back to work on that tropes page! New chapter is still awesome, by the way. This author does not disappoint.

      You all can find the tropes page here, by the way. It's already been graced by one guy called M83, but the place needs more love! The Heartwarming page in particular needs work. Any ideas on what scenes to add to there, and where to find them in the fic? I think that the scene at the end of Chapter 1 where spike realizes his friends still love him would qualify...

      ReplyDelete
    98. First duties, and now this. Two series, two chapters that handle emotions extremely well. Loved the chapter. Twi and Spike, obviously, but also Celestia's approval of Spike's way to deal with his instincts. Keep up the great work.

      ReplyDelete
    99. I read the first part of chapter 2 about 5 times. It was just too perfect XD someone please draw a picture (or better yet, a comic) of that scene. I'd LOVE to see that unicorn freaking out for myself.

      If I was in spikes position, watching the unicorn mare freak out, I would be struggling not to laugh!

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    100. @Bugsydor

      If Razorfang hurts Spike, I'm gonna have no choice but to enter that dimension and take him apart atom by atom.

      Then destroy his entire species out of spite.

      After all, according to dragon law, it seems might makes right. And if I have the power, then by all means I should use it! How ironic it would be to use their own beliefs as justification to exterminate them! It's poetic justice. I would have to agree that their traditions and rules ARE barbaric and primitive, not to mention shortsighted, as they don't take into account that one day their own ideals could be used against them. It's the mark of intellectual inferiority! But then, I am an exalted hyooman, with absolute geniusness and intellegensication.

      And besides, all of Equestria is MY territory! Step off lizards!

      ReplyDelete
    101. An exhilarating new chapter... We learn a bit more about Spike's history, get some clever comparisons to Zecora's isolation in a land of ponies, and then the big flight lesson. Loved the Wonderbolts as guest instructors and Spike's much needed success.

      Also, let me give a shout out to the fan art... A great depiction of the hero and his issues.

      ReplyDelete
    102. Well, this is fairly solidly sitting at the top end of scoring with hundreds of votes. How isn't this rated 6 stars yet?

      ReplyDelete
    103. How does he land?

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    104. Has it occurred to anyone that Razorfang might actually be Spike's Father? The one that left his mom and her clutch of eggs so long ago? And that is why Razorfang is spying on Spike, and actually showing some dare I say it? Some kindness to Spike instead of just biting his head off from their few encounters that they already had?

      ReplyDelete
    105. Well, I don't think this is going to break that magical 4.9 rating, which is unfortunate. If it's any consolation, determamfidd, I think this story deserves it.

      ReplyDelete
    106. Such a good story. Please except all my praise. And stars!
      More ponies need to read this.

      ReplyDelete
    107. @The green pen
      Nahhhhhh! Razorfang is a jerk and I'm gonna beat him up good if he hurts Spike!

      I like beating up mean dragons!

      ReplyDelete
    108. This is one of my favorite stories on the site. I really liked the way you wrote Zecora - her rhymes seemed less forced than on the show.

      I want to see Pinkie sing a song to the protesters about how totally NOT teeth-and-claws-and-fire-roast-you-like-a-sausage-and-gobble-you-up-in-one-bite ferocious Spike is. Bonus points if it makes everything worse. I think you're a good enough writer to pull it off.

      ReplyDelete
    109. So I just finished the latest update, having read the entire thing in one go, and I have to say I'm very impressed.

      Normally I avoid fics that involved Spike growing up like the plague, due in part to the fact that I can't bear the thought of aging ponies (and if they age, they die right?). This one was different, though. Very very well done, I can't wait for the next chapter. :D

      ReplyDelete
    110. Damn you are churning these chapters out fast! What's even more amazing is that there hasn't been a quality drop either, still as captivating as it's ever been.

      ReplyDelete
    111. @The green pen

      I'm not sure about being his father, but it does start to look like they might be (distant) relatives.

      ReplyDelete
    112. This story is awesome every chapter. You manage to make slice of life honestly exciting.

      ReplyDelete
    113. welp, i just started this story today, and read all the way to chapter 9 without stopping
      i am loving this story
      its heartwarming...funny...well written
      and everypony is perfectly in character
      this is now added to my list of stories to keep up with
      6/5
      :D

      ReplyDelete
    114. Twilight's quote from when spike was getting Fluttershy to dance has had the song 'Safety Dance' stuck in my head all day.

      "Spike can dance if he wants to
      He won't leave his friends behind
      most dragons don't dance and if they don't dance
      then they're no friends of mine..."

      Also, please tell me you pre-wrote most of this. I'm not sure I can live with myself if you just pumped out this quality and length in a couple of days.

      ReplyDelete
    115. BUCK THOSE STUPID ANTI-DRAGON ACTIVISTS! HOW DARE THEY TRY AND ATTACK SPIKE! So mad right now.

      ReplyDelete
    116. Who shot that Harpoon?! SEND THEM TO THE MOON, NOBODY TOUCHES SPIKE!ლ(ಠ益ಠლ)
      Now thats out of my system, another great chapter for this awesome story. I particularly liked the ribbing Spike was getting over the song, was chuckling through a lot of the chapter.

      ReplyDelete
    117. I wasn't expecting a harpoon. It's all going to hit the fan now.

      ReplyDelete
    118. @Buytoast

      They tried to kill Spike... *radiance bursts from the Being's body, all matter around him instantly reduced to seething quark-gluon plasma hundreds of millions of degrees...* I shall teach them the true meaning of fear before I take them apart atom by atom! >:O

      ReplyDelete
    119. When I read that song I imagined Adele signing this. IT WAS HORRIBLE. I love this story so much! Its very well thought out. Please oh please oh please keep writing this story! :) FOREVER

      ReplyDelete
    120. >Spike unblocks ancient river from a rock holding it back in this story.

      >Two episodes later ponyville has an unexplained dam.

      -

      LAUREN FAUST READS THIS FIC

      ReplyDelete
    121. Bravo, Determamfidd, bravissimo! I love how you've explored the repercussions of Spike growing up in Ponyville. The characterizations were good, the humor well-timed, and the emotional content just right for this story.
      This story deserves a 6-Star rating! (and it's getting close to getting one)

      ReplyDelete
    122. Anyone else hesitant about episode 10 after reading this? From the synopsis, it sounds like it's going to become Canon that Spike will only grow up when he starts getting a hoard....

      ReplyDelete
    123. @Hato F Lauren isn't involved in the show anymore. And episodes are written MONTHS before they air.

      ReplyDelete
    124. I don't even know what is more awesome: the story itself with all the character development, interesting plot and funny scenes or the fact that author is able to push high quality updates at absolutely fantastic speed.

      I haven't seen a story more deserving 6 stars in ages. Come on, is rating of 4.9 with 500+ votes not enough?

      ReplyDelete
    125. What the crap? The only group I can think of who'd want spike dead (The parents for a better blah blah blah) would really be undermining their point by trying to kill a bunch of ponies at the same time.

      ReplyDelete
    126. @Urthdigger: a single harpoon is a very poor way to kill a dragon. It is, however, an excellent way to make ponies afraid to associate with said dragon.

      That's right. This story now has terrorists.

      ReplyDelete
    127. Phew, now this is a fic I need to read. I saw Chapter 1 of this fic posted back in October, and I passed over it. Later, I noticed the updates, and the ratings exploded in popularity. When I see such young fics gain popularity like that, I know they must be unique. Currently, I'm reading something, and then I'll be reading a couple one-shots by Cold in Gardez. Once I'm done with those, I'll start following this. I know I wont be disappointed.

      ReplyDelete
    128. @Shuber92
      yeah not at all.... it's about Spike growing up....

      ReplyDelete
    129. By the by, as of this morning this story finally hit a 4.9 rating. You should write the blogponies and ask them to upgrade it to Star-6.

      ReplyDelete
    130. Well, I must say chapter 11 caught me by surprise. I wasn't expecting another update so fast, but it was great! I can't wait for the upcoming Gala though I honestly was expecting it in this chapter. (not much time passes compared to some of the others.) Keep them coming and they'll keep getting read.

      ReplyDelete
    131. It's simply stunning how quickly you're able to produce new chapters and still keep each one so emotionally charged and poignant.

      ReplyDelete
    132. ...Whoever that Harpoon Pony is deserves nothing less than having their horn ripped off, have said horn be used to violate him or her, AND THEN BANISHED TO THE FREAKIN SUN!

      ReplyDelete
    133. This latest chapter had much to love about it, from the tensions between Spike and Twilight to the showdown on the outskirts of town. But seriously, the second best thing about how often the story updates (after the simple joy of new chapters so often) is how current it stays. Ponyville dam was a great touch last chapter but this one trumps it with the greatest current trend:

      Wet Mane Rarity.

      ReplyDelete
    134. I find it especially chilling that somepony tried to kill Spike. I now support either capital punishment or a karmic death of some kind for that particular terrorist. Maybe by Spike falling on him/her.

      ReplyDelete
    135. I wrote a big comment for this on Fanfiction.net, so I'll keep it short here. Apparently I'm wrong on the terrorist count (or the letter would have said 'we', not 'I'). But who would have the motivation to kill Spike? And who would we actually care about having that motivation? If the would-be killer turns out to be somepony we haven't even seen yet, it'll feel a bit lame, but the ponies that can really betray him are all part of the show...

      ReplyDelete
    136. Incidentally, I kind of hope it's Just. Yes, he's not a unicorn, but maybe he found a way around that... and maybe he didn't actually want to kill Spike. Maybe he just thinks a life in the wild would be best for him, and intends to make him want to leave Ponyville...

      ReplyDelete
    137. While this fic does indeed have an overall nice (even if a bit generic) plot, it suffers in a wide variety of areas that plagues the entire fic.

      Let me go over the story's strong points first.

      1. Spike's interactions with Luna are great and the chemistry between the two is pretty nice. Sadly, there is only one significant scene between the two so far.

      2. Spike's interactions with Razorfang are great, but a little overdone in some areas and a little too dragged out (more on that later).

      3. Everyone is pretty much in character, which, while nothing spectacular, is nice.



      The negatives.

      1. The writing is overall sub-par, with descriptions being meager, actions being dulled, and generally poor word choice.

      2. Spike complains way too much. I cannot begin to express how annoying this is. It has gotten so bad that it almost makes him out-of-character. Gone is the spunky, funny, cool Spike from the show, replaced by a constantly-bitching annoying protagonist who's trademark sarcasm only arises when he's... you guess it: complaining.

      3. The shipping is laughably bad. In fact, if you went through and removed all traces of shipping, nothing of value from the fic would be lost and the overall quality would improve drastically. This is coming from someone who actually FAVORS Big Mac/Fluttershy.

      4. Dialogue (excluding Razorfang/Luna) is mediocre and usually repetitive, especially between Spike and Twilight. "YOU CAN'T GO." "I HAVE TO."/////"ITS NOT ALL BAD SPIKE" "YES IT IS"/////"ITS NOT ALL BAD TWILIGHT" "YES IT IS" and so on and so forth. The only time the writing is not generally bad (Twilight and friends/Town residents) or rarely good (Luna/Razorfang) is his dialogue with the mayor and with the reporter. Other than that, reading his interactions with the local populace and his friends is usually an exercise in boredom and I generally skip over them.

      5. Razorfang's challenge has dragged on way too long. Not only has it gone past its "oooh" point, its flew way past it, even to a point that Spike, the protagonist who bitches 24/7, doesn't even care anymore. Pretty much all tension leading up to the challenge was swept away either last chapter or perhaps a few chapters back, ruining the whole thing. Whenever they discussed the challenge in chapter 10, I basically skimmed through it going 'yep. Uh huh.' While it's still uncertain whether the two will actually fight, the story has progressed so far and covered the challenge so thoroughly that any worry or tension I may have felt for Spike was long gone as he sat in his jacuzzi mocking the larger dragon.

      In a funny little twist, the only real part of the story I'm interested in anymore is seeing Trixie reunite with Huffy. Overall the Gala is looking rather bland, but the author will probably throw in some EXPLOSIVE RESULTS to distract the reader.

      2.5/5 stars.

      ReplyDelete
    138. @cottonmouth

      I'm sorry you're not enjoying it.

      ReplyDelete
    139. @determamfidd

      Never said I wasn't enjoying it, good sir.

      ReplyDelete
    140. @Cottonmouth
      If this is a 2.5/5, then just curious what stories you rank as a 5? Not trying to be an ass, just honestly asking. I (reluctantly) got into fanfics recently, starting with with Near Death Experience. Loved it. I then found It Takes a Village and the Confessions and Considerations saga, which I love as well. I'm just looking for more.

      I can see where you are coming from with your critique, but for me, story is everything, and determamfidd is crafting a wonderful story (keep it up!)

      ReplyDelete
    141. @DangeresqueIII

      To say the truth, there is only one fic I would probably give the full 5 stars to, and it is not appropriate for the blog nor would you probably want to read it.

      Oh, and I quite liked that Blueblood Groundhog Day fic as well.

      Try that one out if you haven't read it. "The Best Night Ever" If I do remember correctly.

      ReplyDelete
    142. @Cottonmouth
      I tend to read books/stories from varying authors: Kurt Vonnegut, Terry Goodkind, Nicholas Sparks, Jodi Picoult, HP Lovecraft, etc. So I'm sure your 5/5 can't be that bad. Unless its a clopfic. And not to say that clopfic is bad, but its just not my cup of tea. Doesn't mean I can't appreciate it though. I will have to look into "The Best Night Ever".

      ReplyDelete
    143. @DangeresqueIII

      Ah, I underestimated you! A deep reader indeed!

      But you guessed correctly, it is a clopfic, and despite being extremely well done, you probably would want to pass on it.

      Definitely check out The Best Night Ever.

      It doubles in fun if you've managed to watch the movie 'Groundhog Day' before as well.

      If not, still very good.

      Enjoy, and I hope to talk to you some other time.

      ReplyDelete
    144. @Cottonmouth


      Can you please explain to me how you can say that, point out any and all faults you can think of, and then backtrack to say that?

      Not trying to sound rude, but it seems rather, not hypocritical exactly, but hypocritical? (I can't think of the word.)

      It just seems strange for you to do that.

      ReplyDelete
    145. @MegamanSora

      Can you please explain to me what the hell you are trying to say?

      ReplyDelete
    146. @Cottonmouth

      Best way to say it is this:

      How can you essentially say the story is an exercise in boredom, and then say you're enjoying it?

      It's very contradictory.

      ReplyDelete
    147. @MegamanSora

      I said the CONVERSATIONS are an exercise in boredom.

      The majority of the fic is like a mediocre action movie: You can sit there watching the big explosions flash across the screen, but pretty much any connection or emotion you may feel for the characters is non-existant, leading to an unininteresting but at least slightly enjoyable experience.

      Bits with Big Macintosh and Fluttershy are like those parts of the movie that make you get up and go to the bathroom.

      ReplyDelete
    148. I must say, I was glad when somepony suggested I try this story out. This is riding side by side for me with the five or so other stories I look froward to seeing update. Bravo good sir.

      The story keeps me interested, the interactions with the characters are fun, and I even find myself laughing at some of Pinkie's randomness. I will be awaiting the next chapter.

      ReplyDelete
    149. @Fred M. Sloniker

      I put my money on it being Blueblood. The Blueblood from Tumblr, to be precise. Shooting a harpoon at Spike is just what I'd expect from that obstinate, narcissistic, arrogant ass! (seriously, he plays up the ultra-snob angle enormously!).

      *But it turns out to actually be.... DOCTOR WHOOVES!!* D:

      ReplyDelete
    150. Hmmm I feel a Star Wars moment coming on

      ReplyDelete
    151. admittedly only through part one, but can someone please give spike some dimensions? How many ponies high and tall, mostly. He keeps going from roughly mac height to the villages biggest thing an it gets annoying.

      ReplyDelete
    152. I have not read this fanfic but as far as I remember this was a 5star one.
      Congratulations on the 6-star promotion! =D You for sure deserve it! This fanfic jumped up on my personal to-read list. =D

      ReplyDelete
    153. 0_o what happened to the extra long chapter mentioned? it was over before i knew it...

      ReplyDelete
    154. @Ashfire

      Yeah, I know what you mean. I seen that and was like, "WOO gonna be reading for awhile! Look at that scroll bar, it's friggin long!"

      *short time later*

      "Nooooo! I finished it! I wanted it to last longer! Curse me for being a quick reader! Curse me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

      Much sadness. Welp, time to go read it! Wheee!!!

      Oh, also. Great chapter. Keep
      em coming! Your like a fanfic factory! Crankin' these babies out like...

      *puts on glasses*

      ...a Boss!

      *takes an arrow to the knee and falls over*

      The end.

      ReplyDelete
    155. @Thar

      Around 3 times of an average pony's height when standing on four legs(almost as tall as a thatch house when walking in two legs), 3 times of Twilight Sparkle's width. Length is alluded to be much longer than he is in the show, so I assume seven ponylengths. (Tail included, scales not included.)

      Assuming the volume proportions of ponies and dragons within the length/width/height cuboid are similar(both have neck and head above the body, leaving large vacancies behind the neck), his volume can be estimated as about 63 ponybulks. That is, he would take up space that can fit in at least 60 ponies.

      Let's compare that to the show's spike. Thanks to some images that show the scale between him and other ponies, we can estimate his dimensions as 0.6 ponyheight, 0.7 Ponywidth and 0.35 Ponylength, including his tail. Since his tail is going to stick out of his length, I'll assume his volume packing fraction is about the same as ponies. Then, his volume is about 0.15 ponybulks.

      Comparing the results, his height grows to up to 5 times(much taller if he stands in two legs), his length about 23 times, and his volume grows about 400 times to his original bulk.

      The dimensions of grown up Spike are purely estimates so they may not be totally accurate(or the writer may not have a set dimension for spike in mind), but it will give you a general ballpark of his size.

      ReplyDelete
    156. @DangeresqueIII
      Looking for some good fanfics? Let's see if I can get you your fix.

      As Cottonmouth said before, The Best Night Ever fic is exceptional. Warning: this fic might make you actually like Blueblood.

      Another good place to look is nearly anything by Pen Stroke. Better Living Through Science and Ponies, Creeping Darkness, and the famous/infamous Past Sins all come to mind. I like this author's astounding ability to craft moods and keep threads of both hope and despair running through an entire story.

      Since I'm guessing you have few qualms about reading grimdark, I would be remiss not to mention Fallout: Equestria. It's a long one that'll likely take you days to finish, but the characters, character development, and action scenes make it so worth it. Be careful, though, as KKat loves to troll her audience it seems.

      Through the Eyes of Another Pony (or TtEoAP for short) is an odd duck. It takes a lot of tags that each on their own could kill a fic (e.g. self-insert), and makes them work to improve the story. The main draw for it, though, is its ability to consistently make its readers grin like idiots. If you're looking for a good laugh (and aren't afraid of becoming jealous of a fictional unicorn/semi-fictional brony), then this is the place to get it.

      ReplyDelete
    157. @Alondro

      Which one? almost all of the canon male 'hourglass ponies' are earthponies or pegasi. in fact the one who looks like the third doctor is the only one who's actually a unicorn to my knowledge.

      ...well, unless you count certain fannon versions of first and ninth but they're technically OC ponies since they don't have show counterparts.

      ReplyDelete
    158. ...great now i have a mental image of the first third and ninth doctors conspiring against spike...

      ReplyDelete
    159. so, determamfidd, how's chapter 13 coming along? i love the story so far and can't wait to see what happens next!

      ReplyDelete
    160. SPOILER ALERT HOLY CRAP DON'T READ THIS IF YOU HAVEN'T READ IT YET

      So... Twilight Sparkle hit a nerve with Trixie way back when that, when shit hits the fan with Spike and Twilight refuses to leave him, hits an even deeper nerve to the point where Trixie just up and breaks.

      Now she's actually seemed to have changed. But only after having been broken to great and powerful pieces of guilt and sadness.

      I think I'm in love with this story.

      ReplyDelete
    161. Wow, I loved this chapter! Drunk Applejack and Rainbow always make for hilarity.

      I literally had to hold back tears at the end of the last chapter. RARITY? Y U NO LOVE SPIKE BACK?

      But then it turns out that Huffy is awesome. Huffy/Spike is best shipping. Ever.

      ReplyDelete
    162. This is truly a great story. I feel that the author is very true (for the most part) in his portrayal of all the characters of the show. I really enjoy the story line and how the author has developed Spike. I really enjoy the original characters, especially Falling Night. It will be interesting when the "Secret of my Excess" episode comes out this weekend and actually focuses on Spike having a growth spurt.

      ReplyDelete
    163. I had to take a break from reading chapter 13 to vent: Alliterations are not very funny. Especially not the fourth, fifth, sixth time they pop up.

      I've read Cottonmouth's treatment of the story above just now, and I'm afraid he makes a couple of excellent points. The dialogue has become repetitive. Part of that is that this story is probably being written too quickly, with too little editing. Striking to me was the inclusion of Fancy Pants in chapter 12 a mere day after his introduction in the series. He was either not supposed to be there or the chapter had been written in one night, then immediately published. It felt tacked on, the justification that Rarity needed some sort of love interest so Spike needs to get over his crush felt flimsy at best.

      So, for what it's worth coming from me, listen to Cottonmouth's criticism and examine it carefully. I have little to add, except, again, the bit that caused me to interrupt my reading of chapter 13 to dive in here. My final rating is probably more generous than 2.5 of 5 stars, but that's neither here nor there.



      (Incidentally, Cottonmouth, I believe I know the clopfic of which you speak; it is indeed a marvel.)

      ReplyDelete
    164. Now I'm done reading chapter 13 - and found myself skipping ahead to Trixie's and Huffy's reunion, which felt like the story-relevant part.

      I'll be making an attempt to try and describe what I feel is one of the main problems with the story: It features about double the amount of characters it needs, and doesn't seem to know when not to give them the spotlight. When Huffy was there, why did we need several lines of dialogue of Spike introducing his inebriated friends to her? They don't matter in this scene.

      The strongest scenes in the story, incidentally, tend to be those that feature two or three characters at most: Spike and Razorfang, Spike and Luna, Spike and Twilight - your way of writing the characters, with all present chiming in on the topic at hand, makes crowded scenes feel especially crowded and inconsequential. One striking example to me was a recent scene that featured a visit by Celestia herself - who was then, once she had said her say, also reduced to occasionally piping up to agree with somepony, and unceremoniously disappearing likewise. In scenes with few characters, there naturally aren't any superfluous ones you have to write around in a "Bob was there, too" manner. And ideally, that's the only scenes you want; those in which all the characters present matter.

      ReplyDelete
    165. "Sorry, Dash," Spike whispered hoarsely.
      "Next time, remember what I tell you, huh?" she hissed back. "Especially in front of my captain...!"
      He cringed internally.
      "Well, it's a bit weird," huffed Soarin', "A dragon who won't fly..."
      "It's not won't," Rainbow Dash said angrily, flapping violently.
      "It's can't," Fluttershy said apologetically.
      "I just can't get the hang of it," Spike said tersely. "Sorry, but I guess that makes me a bit weird."
      "You've got glidin' down pat," Scootaloo said encouragingly, hauling on her rope.
      "Yay," Fluttershy cheered - as much as she could.
      "Yeah, yay," Spike said with tight irony. "Gliding, wow."
      "It's... an improvement... on swimming," Dash managed pointedly.

      ---

      "Sweet Christ lay off the dialog tags," Mad Brochacho said angrily, furiously massaging his temples, trying ineffectually to assuage the frustration caused unerringly by such awkward prose.

      ReplyDelete
    166. "I'm pretty sure I weigh more than that," Spike said tightly.
      "Now he tells us," Soarin' sniped.
      "Who you callin' crazy?" Dash snapped
      "I'd really appreciate it if we could get down soon," Spike said in a strangled voice.
      "No way, Jose," Dash gritted, straining on her rope
      "Oh look at that, I'm flying, now can I PLEASE get down?" Spike garbled frantically.
      "You're gliding," Spitfire corrected him shortly
      "There had better be pie after this," Soarin' muttered darkly
      "Oh, ponyfeathers!" swore Dash
      "She's okay?" Spitfire asked, an apology in her tone
      "Oh, don't, I'll be airsick," Soarin' said in a green voice
      "You. Get airsick," Scootaloo said, flatly disbelieving
      "There's a difference between being pilot and passenger," he said defensively.
      "That," she said quietly
      "I don't know how I'm doing it," he answered
      "I wouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth, if I were you," she snorted


      MAKE IT STOP MAKE IT STOP PLEASE CELESTIA MAKE IT

      ReplyDelete
    167. It would be easier to link all of the non-complex dialog tags at this point. Jesus.

      ReplyDelete
    168. I wouldn't take a lot of this latest batch of comments to heart, Determamfidd. They seem to be born of a terrible new school of thought that is infecting the brony community like a rash, one that states that anything more complex than two characters having brief dialogue with each other between action scenes is intolerable in stories. These types would have cut Han Solo from Star Wars because he was taking too much screen time from Luke Skywalker, and it was their sort of thinking that led to stories like CoD Black Ops being nothing but explosive scene after explosive scene, with no down time inbetween. They have no appreciation for subplots, more complex dialogue, or the state of mind of characters.

      Your story is amazing, easily one of my favourites, and you shouldn't change what you're doing for anything. If your style is too complex for a tiny segment of the community, then it is their loss, not yours.

      ReplyDelete
    169. I agree with some of the criticisms concerning the pacing of this fic. It IS starting to detract a bit.

      I feel the biggest issue with this fic is that it seems to be running several story arcs simultaneously, diluting the impact of all 3.
      Spike's fight for acceptance and growing up, culminating in the Gala and his letting go of childishness, as well as the ultralight touch on the FlutterMac shipping, make nice running themes and side arcs.
      But the attempt on Spike's life, the feud with Razorfang and the Huffy the Magic Dragon issues feel like they are tripping over each others feet and should be separate arcs entirely.

      I agree that the challenge has taken too long to get to. I don't see how it could have been worked differently in the current context of the story but it is sort of killing the mood.
      I feel that if Razorfang had just attacked Spike earlier, beaten the crap out of him, and then spared his life for whatever reason (unworthy opponent, Twilight / friends trying to protect him by risking her life, etc), that would have led more naturally into a rivalry, need to shape up, grudging respect relationship between the 2. Also, I think there is too much character development on Razorfang at this time. Before this fic, he's just the angry wild dragon in the Everfree, all greed, no honor, willing to attack a hatchling for a couple gems. I would have prefered he remained this way through the challenge, then after when Spike is trying to learn about his heritage he could be given more depth.

      However I have to disagree on the criticisms of the writing and dialogue. No, it's not polished or crisp but it does feel very natural and conveys emotion well.

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    170. refreshes page
      reads new comments

      Aww crap. It's starting to feel kinda like the Past Sins comment page from around when Chapter 10 came out (after people stopped sobbing long enough to type out coherent paragraphs, that is. That original version of the chapter was intense). At least people aren't calling for the author to be burned at the stake for his "crimes" against existing characterization...but I digress.

      Not that some criticism isn't a bad thing. As long as it's about mechanical improvements, then I figure any accurate criticism is great. When it starts getting into writing style (i.e. what made so many people want to make this story into a 6star I'm guessing), though, I start to draw the line. I, for one, rather enjoy how the author does dialogue with multiple characters and I find his egregious use of nonstandard dialogue tags and amusing aliterations to be rather refreshing, really.

      If it ain't broke, don't fix it. See also the Aesop from "Suited for Success."

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    171. Protip: pretend that building a horde and getting huge is only one way for dragons to grow and that it just kind of balloons them up to a bigger size without the full physical development that only comes with age. Congratulations, all of your "old Spike" fanon is secure.

      The beauty of a show that never explains things is how there's plenty of wiggle room to justify anything if you just jump through enough mental hoops.

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    172. I love this fic to death
      seriously one of the only fics I get excited when updates
      please don't change anything at all because of the episode
      this fic is a masterpeice and should continue to be :D

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    173. @Bugsydor
      I agree with this.
      I don't get the issues others have with the writing style.
      It's been a joy to read from Chapter 1.


      @Krizak

      I agree with you in general but you are missing an issue. There is a curve from build up to payoff that needs to be adhered to. I'm not really concerned about "moar action". I'm worried about the actual content (the characters and dialogue) becoming weak and diluted "filler" in between dramatic moments due to pacing issues and too many simultaneous story threads.

      For instance: The early chapters, I was very immersed in the characters and slice of life stuff and would have been perfectly happy to keep reading more of the same with no action or high drama. But the author introduced that drama and that created anticipation. The slice of life stuff was no longer the story but a path to the big event. But then that big event hasn't come many chapters later. But then other drama takes place creating more anticipation for more big events which also haven't come. This focuses the readers' attention of the big events on the horizon and starts to detract from the characters and dialogue that made the story in the first place.

      In the first several chapters I have clear memory of all the little things. The characterizations, dialogue and subplots stand out.
      Chapters 9-13 all I really remember are the attempt on Spike, the Gala scene where he was letting go of jealousy, and Huffy's arrival. In other words, all the characterizations, subplots and dialogue became just bridges to the next dramatic scene. And this is not MY "school of thought" this is the story structure.

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    174. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    175. From the episode comments:

      Dragons are inherently magical creatures; they'd have to be to be able to breathe fire, after all. The dragon's natural magic is somehow connected to feelings of avarice, which can trigger uncontrolled, premature growth. However, their intellect does not keep up with the process, and they quickly become irrational, unthinking beasts. This unnatural acceleration results improper physical development. That's why spike looked so awkward as a "teenager" and why he did not grow wings.

      A dragon that resists their greedy tendencies, however, and grows up naturally, maintains its intellect, and their proportions develop more evenly, and allowing wings the chance to appear. They are capable of reason and logic, rather than being driven by pure instinct. We saw this with the red dragon in Dragonshy (he left peacefully after Fluttershy confronted him about his behavior) and to a lesser extent the green dragon in Owl's Well (he wasn't very friendly, but he showed he was obviously capable of proper speech, rather than just screaming "DRAGON SMASH!").

      So, as long as he doesn't succumb to greed again (which, given the lesson he learned, he probably won't), Spike will some day grow to be a true dragon, developing wings, getting smarter and wiser, and keeping his own personality instead of becoming an avaricious brute.

      --

      Point being, Spike turned into something different than both dragons we've already seen in the show. Thus there must've been an anomaly in his growth process.

      Long story short, It Takes a Village is not broken at all by this episode. In fact, large parts of this fic are Spike actually putting the lesson from this episode into practice.

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    176. I'm pretty sure that everyone who loves this story knows that this Fanon Big Spike is better than the Canon Big Spike. Now keep on giving us the awesome story!!

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    177. @RainbowYoshi Your sir are the best detective I have ever heard of, you are absolutely right. In all my time of looking at dragons and dragon storys I have never seen a dragon without wings, (except the Komoto dragon with is not a fictional dragon) in all your are correct this fanfic is not broken in any way so everyone do not let the episode change your opinion

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    178. Lol @ Fanon vs Canon arguments.

      Even if the new Episode had DESTROYED the continuity in this fic I would still want to read it and see it finished.

      This is FANfiction. We have the right to disregard Canon otherwise everyone would just write fan-episodes instead of the varied spectrum we have today.
      The only time this should be an issue is making Canon characters OOC without a proper AU explanation.

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    179. Can't wait for the next chapter !!! Please, hurry up ! *pleading* Here, take my house, my belongings, my money, JUST WRITE THEM FASTER !

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    180. @Alexaroth

      This is one of the fastest updating fics on this site.
      Not good enough?

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    181. @DPV111 The last line is this chapter has given me ideas for evil! Delightful evil!

      "And Trixie ran like the wind into Huffy's open jaws."

      Trolfic writing, commence! >:D

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    182. Well, I was supposed to be writing a paper on Bioethics. But this fic was waaaayyy to good to put down (metaphorically speaking).
      I just wanted to pop in and say how much I am enjoying it. It's easily one of my top 5 favorite fics.
      Keep up the amazing work, this story is diamonds 110%

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    183. ZOMG!!!!!

      Dimensions AND Huffy drawing????

      *double explodes*

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    184. Interesting how people are whining about the Fluttermac shipping but not the often broken dialog tags, adverb overload and stilted dialog.

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