News Archive

  • 1w, 4d
    SA Reviews - Round 70!

    18 comments · 1,312 views
  • 2w, 6d
    Kaorin's "Selling Out" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    Today's story reminds us that the one constant in life is change — so keep your coin purse close by when you pay with a big bill.

    Selling Out

    [Slice of Life] • 2,361 words

    When the time of monarchs and royals ends, what becomes of Princesses who live on?

    FROM THE CURATORS: This is exactly what it says on the tin — a story about a pony coming to grips with modern capitalism.  We started out worried that such a premise seemed like a recipe for soapboxing, but this story quickly vaulted past those doubts to unanimous approval. As JohnPerry said, "I think it says something when a story gives you a premise that's hard to swallow, but still manages to impress you."

    The biggest factor in that was Selling Out's arresting portrayal of its protagonist. "The voicing really is the draw," Present Perfect said, and JohnPerry was more broadly appreciative: "The characterization of Luna is absolutely marvelous, and the larger historical landscape this story merely touches upon is very intriguing."  Horizon, meanwhile, found the two sides of Luna poignantly juxtaposed: "The contrast in tone between her regal narration and her out-loud dialogue is proper heartbreaking."

    It wasn't only the characterization that impressed us, but also its excellent choice of character.  "Seeing Luna in this situation, harboring all of her pride and past hurts, is so much more heartbreaking than seeing Celestia, or Cadance, or even Twilight would be," Present Perfect said.  "Luna's the one who's already fallen once, and she fell so much further than this." The story's nuanced portrayal of the world around her sealed the deal. "What strikes me the most is the 'long view' of Equestrian society," AugieDog said.  "Yes, ponies will learn and grow and discover new and different things, but they will always be ponies.  And their princesses will always be there when they're needed — even if what they're needed for changes and shrinks and grows back differently as the pendulum of the centuries swings to and fro."

    Ultimately, by treading a careful path across the razor's-edge of modern cynicism, Selling Out left us with a thought-provoking message. "The idea of balancing duty, pride, and commercialism is one that's more applicable to many of our real-life idols than we might like to admit," Chris said.

    Read on for our author interview, in which Kaorin discusses technological singularity, paycheck relevance, and post-apotheosis continuations.


    Give us the standard biography.

    30/F/USA No?

    I am, I suppose, Kaorin. I edit more than I write, and I’ve held more jobs than I can count. I like to learn what it is to do the work that keeps the world moving. I am a cognitive neuroscientist by training, though I took a long look at academia and decided that I could never accomplish what I wanted were I to follow that path.

    Instead I decided on the lucrative career of whatever the temp agency gives me on any given day. Seriously, I actually recommend to anyone out there that they spend some time with any such agency and go from job to job just learning how and what people do out there every day.

    How did you come up with your handle/penname?

    I’ve always had a yen for cute shows. Back when the internet and I were both young I watched a little anime called Azumanga Daioh. A simple slice of life about a group of girls and their everyday adventures as they grow up. In the show there’s a girl whose spastic character amused me in her contrast with, and similarity to, myself. I chose to adopt her name as a moniker in my forays online and it has stuck with me since.

    Who's your favorite pony?

    Twilight Sparkle without hesitation. It helps that she is the central character, the one who receives the greatest care and attention from the writing staff, but she would be my favorite even if that were not so.

    The Monomyth, also called the Hero’s Journey, describes Twilight’s character arc. What makes her journey remarkable is that it is largely couched in terms of a modern coming of age, what it is to take on the responsibilities of adulthood. There’s the occasional hydra or Equestria-shaking threat, but outside those her challenges are all quite relatable. Squabbles with friends, insecurity, pressures to perform, failure and success. Each time she rises to the occasion and becomes more for it without ever losing who she’s always been: an adorkable bookworm.

    I think what truly cemented her as my favorite, however, is that once she reached her apotheosis the story continued. The tacit lesson that even once you attain your goals, once you grasp what you’ve reached for, there will be more challenges and more room to grow. It’s an extension of theme that is seen but rarely and I treasure that. Also, she’s just my type.

    What's your favorite episode?

    A question with no answer. At least, that would have been so had I not seen "Do Princesses Dream of Magic Sheep?" The lesson is superb, the call-backs and tie-ins graceful, the character exploration handled expertly, and best of all the Tantabus! Oh wow the Tantabus. Visually stunning and conceptually brilliant.

    What do you get from the show?

    Life is not always vibrant or full of good cheer. It is always a pleasure to have something cute to hand as a remedy for dreary days. An abnegation of sorts. Setting aside the cares of the world and refreshing oneself with clean art, quality voice acting, compelling stories and characters, and relatable life lessons will rarely go amiss with me.

    What do you want from life?

    It is good you did not ask me what is best in life. I would have a rather different answer. I want from life what most do: to live long enough to be part of the transhumanist revolution and join in the technological singularity.

    Why do you write?

    I write because I have a story I must to tell. It is both as simple and as complex as that. I write because there are things I wish say, and I write because I need to create, and I write because I enjoy the challenge.

    What advice do you have for the authors out there?

    The most common bits of advice are to read the works of masters past and present, and to write and keep writing. These are uncontroversially the best things any writer can do to improve, but I will share something I personally do when approaching a writing challenge: derive from first principles.

    In any situation you face while writing, there will be things that came before that must shape the outcome. It’s a simple way of making sure you as the author know how and why things came to be, and it will help show you where they must go. Your characters are motivated by things that have happened to them, and your world will always be shaped by its history. Make sure you know about it!

    What influences shaped this story's view of a "modern" Equestria?

    As I said, I try to derive from first principles. With Selling Out the idea kernel was “Wouldn’t it be funny to see Luna in a modern style commercial?” In order to write about that I had to figure out what would have to change about Equestria to allow one of the royal sisters to engage in crass commercialism. I decided they would need to be deposed yet still remain meaningful as symbols, and for that I looked to the retirement, for lack of a better term, of the state powers of the British monarchy. The rest flowed naturally from there.

    How did you decide which archaisms to keep and discard for future Luna's voice?  Any voicing tips for Luna authors?

    Just like each of the Mane 6 has a distinct silhouette, they each have an easily identifiable set of linguistic idiosyncrasies. I decided early on that I needed Luna to have something that hooked a reader’s interest. Not merely the cadence nor the vocabulary, but a distinct vocal tic. I chose a flexible exclamatory noise by the expedient that I needed a way for her to roll her eyes internally.

    I decided to discard the anachronistic speech patterns since it is set some few centuries after the show, and I do believe Luna would do her best to inculcate a more modern pattern. The exception being, as I well know from my own slips into the accent of my birth, when she’s excited or upset. I did, however, decide to keep a particularly barbed and haughty tone, as I believed that would fit in with the snarky and decidedly bitter Luna I felt needed to exist if she was to star in a commercial.

    As to voicing the less even-keeled of the two royal sisters, my advice would be to remember who she is. Were I to write the story now, I could not in good conscience make her as snarky and jagged-edged as I did back when we had seen hardly a trace of her in the show. Now that we’ve seen her more regularly I feel confident in saying that Luna is aloof by dint of a self-flagellating seriousness, and has chosen to armor herself in the imperious role of Princess. To write her well, I believe, would require a certain understanding of what it means to seek redemption for wrongs already forgiven, and what it means to see yourself as alone even when surrounded by friends.

    Luna says the job provides her with meaning as well as money.  Did you write that sentiment as sincere, or to illustrate a character in denial?

    Absolutely sincere. I firmly believe that we are what we do and this bled over into writing Luna. The Paycheck is relevance. Luna, a public servant for millennia and admitted seeker of public recognition and adoration, is absolutely in no need of mere money. Indeed I imagine the two sisters would be rather well to do no matter the changes of the world. What that sort of money cannot buy is a sense of purpose in life. So Luna decided to seek that in the spotlight, and though she evidently feels often slighted, she also feels needed.

    This is quite a tale for a first FIMFiction story.  What are your plans for future fanfics?

    I am an exceptionally inconstant writer. I have many ideas for stories, but I have a nasty tendency to set challenges for myself that make those stories far more difficult to produce than they ought to be. In light of that, and I stress I can make no promises of any kind, but there is a story I have been working on which takes place in the same Equestria as Selling Out, but focuses on Spike.

    Is there anything else you'd like to add?

    It’s more than a little surprising that this little old story of mine caught the notice of this group, I’m rather gratified. And if anyone just happens to need an editor, well, I do rather enjoy it.

    You can read Selling Out at FIMFiction.net. Read more interviews right here at the Royal Canterlot Library, or suggest stories for us to feature at our Fimfiction group.

    5 comments · 1,043 views
  • 3w, 3d
    Groups Post - August 2015

    Groups Posts are a monthly group advertisement blog open to anyone who wants a signal boost. If you're interested in having your group advertised in one of these, send me a PM with the name of the group, a link to its front page, and a brief description of what the group is for. I'll copy this directly into the post, so write it like you're trying to tell other people about why they should join or pay attention to your group - anything up to around 150-ish words is fine.


    Helping Hooves is exactly what it sounds like: a place where you can find a helping hoof to lend you a hand.

    Need help or feedback on your story? Are you new and need someone to show you around the site? Do you have a question about something, Fimfiction-related or not?

    Anything you need, any question you have, post a comment and someone will be there to help you out and answer you.

    If you don't need any help and you'd like to help others, you can always lend some.


    Hazardous Writing Materials and Challenges

    The groups aim is to provide a sociable environment to enjoy unorthodox and inventive contests organized by a group of users used to organizing the odd competition, and write short stories to prompts posted weekly. We welcome ideas and writing styles of all sorts so long as you're willing to push yourself and take a risk or two towards improvement and (hopefully) success.

    It should be a great place to find other talented authors, show off a little, and practice writing amongst users with a bit of friendly competition.


    The Birthday Association

    Are you looking to celebrate your birthday on this very fanfiction site itself with your internet friends? Does that very special day seem... unfulfilling? Well, we here at The Birthday Association are here to help you! With just a simple comment, anypony can get the B-Day love that they may want and/or deserve! So, make your wish now!


    Twiluna

    Welcome to Twiluna! Where we worship the almighty ship of Twilight and Luna! Wanna join? Click here and then hit the subscribe join button in the top right corner! After you've done so, ask about our Tuna and Tuna accessories branch. P.S. Beware of cults in the group. We take our worship alittle too seriously sometimes.


    Applejack's Parents

    Applejack's parents are mysterious figures.

    Who were they?

    What were they like?

    How did they die?

    This group is devoted to the collection of stories about Applejack's parents in any capacity.


    Sad Luna

    A group to explore Princess Luna's tragic history, conflicted personality, and ongoing struggle to come to terms with her failures. Includes sad Luna fact repository for inspiration and convenience, updated as needed with canon details. Folders are arranged according to sadness level. Contests will be held if/when membership becomes large enough.


    My Little Lyrics

    Welcome to My Little Lyrics, a group dedicated to all those MLP-related music lovers out there, no matter if mare, stallion, colt or filly.

    This group is pretty new and got a focus on beautiful songs and their lyrics, but also every story here on fimfiction fitting the topic.

    We would love to have new members discussing their favorite song and/or it's lyrics, among with some games and other stuff!


    Write my fic for me

    Do you have a ton of ideas but for some reason just can't get them down to publish on fimfiction? Are you always looking for new ideas to write? Then this is the group for you! Here you can post your ideas and writers will help bring them to life or be the one bringing the ideas to life. All types are welcome!


    Prayer Requests and Praises is exactly like it sounds. Here we pray for people and their needs, share our own prayer requests, and focus on the good things in our lives to be thankful for. We have monthly prayer meetings that are hosted by fellow members, and an official Prayer list thread that will be updated with each new request by the admin, Pencil Melody. If you wish to remain anonymous, just send a pm concerning your prayer request to the admin. If you're going through a hard time, but don't want religion crammed down your throat, we're here to talk to you and pray.  So, come on and join today.


    That's it for August. See you all next month!

    4 comments · 848 views
  • 4w, 5d
    Vote hiding for stories with low vote counts

    To eliminate problems where stories that have very few votes can be sunk by only 1-2 people disliking them, stories with under 15 votes no longer display rating data to anyone but the author. This should give everyone a fair chance at success, even with a couple early haters, but actually-bad stories should quickly-enough accumulate enough downvotes to show as negative that you can still easily avoid them.

    We will adjust the number of votes required for visibility later if needed.

    Edit: the threshold is now 10, looking into some time-based stuff for older stories.

    458 comments · 6,530 views
  • 4w, 6d
    archonix's "To Be A Mule" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    15 comments · 1,022 views
  • 5w, 6d
    Reviews! Round 69

    19 comments · 1,980 views
  • 6w, 5d
    S5E13 - Do Princesses Dream of Magic Sheep?

    278 comments · 5,037 views
  • 6w, 6d
    Bronetheus' "Waiting For Celestia"

    1 comments · 1,660 views
  • 7w, 5d
    S5E12 - Amending Fences

    252 comments · 5,057 views
  • 7w, 5d
    Groups Post - July 2015

    Groups Posts are a monthly group advertisement blog open to anyone who wants a signal boost. If you're interested in having your group advertised in one of these, send me a PM with the name of the group, a link to its front page, and a brief description of what the group is for. I'll copy this directly into the post, so write it like you're trying to tell other people about why they should join or pay attention to your group - anything up to around 150-ish words is fine.


    To celebrate summer and all its fun, Poniverse Fimfiction and MLP Forums are once again hosting a fanfiction contest.  This time around, we're asking writers to enter fics about Poniverse's very own mascots themselves, the best of which will be accepted into Poniverse canon.  There's lots of special prizes in store for the winners, and for more information about the contest itself, click on the following link:

    Poniverse Mascot Summerpalooza Contest!  Happy writing! :twilightsmile:


    Victorious Antagonists

    What fun is there in always seeing the protagonist come out on top?  If you're one of those types who likes to see chaos reign, darkness shroud the land, equality spread across the land, empires crumble, mean ponies get away with their misdeeds, towns devoured, ponies kidnapped or just generalized mayhem, this group is for you!


    The Related Story Finders is pretty straightforward new group, if you need help finding a story that is like another story or want a recommendation for a story this is the place to be. Rule will be updated as needed and new members are welcome.


    Nostalgia Dig-Ups

    This is where you can post stories from nostalgia or suggest ideas from anything nostalgic that you think can make a great crossover.


    Endoscopic Adventures

    A collection of MLP stories devoted to Endosomatophilia. What is Endosomatophilia? It is anything involving a tiny being traveling throughout the body of a giant host. Imagine Fantastic Voyage, the movie Inner Space, or the TV show Magic School Bus, and you'll have the hang of it.


    The Apple Scratch Verse

    In a humanized version of Equestria, Vinyl Scratch ends up being the adopted sister of the monster of a woman known as Jacquelyn "Applejack" Apple when she was six years old. Many years later, Vinyl, her sister and their friends embark in a series of adventure through the lands of Equestria and even beyond... Contains heroic-fantasy/anime-like fights, fluffy romances, and (hopefully) lots of humor.


    The Filly Club

    Do you think that fillies (and colts) are adorable? If you do, The Filly Club is THE place for all of your filly and colt needs, whether you're here to post your stories or read stories about foals. Join and be part of the family!


    Off-Topic

    We are a growing group that love to have nice, clean, drama-free fun in our forums. We welcome new users with a pat on the back and a nice warm hug that lets them feel at home. With group art, music posts, AMAs, and general chats, we're every social user's dream. Though we are a group with a large scale of activities, in order to protect the group we do have rules. Many rules. And these rules are enforced to ensure that other users' experiences are not jeopardized by a few others' bad choices.

    So come on down to Higashikaigan's Off Topic and see that sometimes being off topic can be a bit fun!~:heart:


    That's it for this month. Don't forget to submit your groups if you want them in the post for August!

    14 comments · 812 views
  • 7w, 6d
    Reviews! Round 68

    10 comments · 1,206 views
  • 7w, 6d
    zaponator's "Blink" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    11 comments · 1,293 views
  • 8w, 5d
    S5E11 - Party Pooped

    190 comments · 3,409 views
  • 9w, 8h
    New Server

    278 comments · 3,979 views
  • 9w, 3d
    NSFW Image Policy

    Hi guys. So, lately we've noticed that there's been a little confusion over what exactly Fimfiction considers to be a NSFW image. The rules do say that you shouldn't post them, but they're a little unclear on exactly what a NSFW image IS. This being so, we've sat down and put together a clearer policy on what sort of image content is too much. I guess it bears reminding that none of this is particularly new stuff. Fimfiction has been running on something akin to this policy for months now. We're just trying to lay it all out nice and clear and notarized so that nobody gets blindsided by the rules in ways they couldn't have really known about.


    Risky image content is defined according to two tiers: Banned and Borderline. Banned is content that absolutely won't be allowed, and images containing Banned subjects should be pretty easy and obvious to identify.

    Borderline is content that sits somewhere in the blurry boundary between "NSFW" and "Safe" images. Images containing borderline content are not directly banned, but the staff does retain the right to exercise our discretion on what is and isn't too much. You should not be surprised if an image containing Borderline content is removed (or rejected if used as artwork in stories). If it seems like it might be too much, consider something a little safer instead, or ask a staff member if it might be okay. In general, please try to exercise a level of discretion when thinking about posting pics of, or submitting cover arts, that involve Borderline content.

    Banned Content:

    -Outright sex acts.

    -Genitalia/full nudity.

    -Visible nipples, whether bare or poking up through clothing.

    -Cameltoe.

    -Sexual fluids, both obvious and heavily implied (i.e. "suspiciously sticky mayonnaise")

    -Urine/Scat.

    -Gore.

    Borderline Content:

    -Heavily sexualized pony butts. We recognize that ponies are nude by design, but some images are deliberately designed to make their rear ends look as sexual as possible without outright genitalia. Obvious crotch-bulges, excessive focus on the rear end, etc. are the main distinguishing marks for this sort of content.

    -Functionally bare human/anthro butts. Panties so small they hardly cover anything do fall under "functionally bare."

    -Excessive cleavage/uncovered breasts.

    -Cropped/censored porn. Sometimes it's not enough to just baaaarely remove the parts with the nipples/genitals.

    -Pictures appealing to various fetishes (diapers, weight gain, vore, etc.) that don't contain outright Banned content. Again, please try to exercise some discretion on what might be over the line.

    That should be about it. If you guys have any questions, feel free to ask and we'll do our best to answer. We should also be updating the rules page to include this policy sometime soon, so it will be there for future reference.

    301 comments · 9,185 views
Apr
27th
2013

Today's story is a thoroughly entertaining romp through Canterlot as everyone's favorite purple unicorn, over and over again. We're treated to a first-hand (hoof?) look at her snarky mind... and how she faces the consequences of having no consequences, for a little while at least.

[Adventure][Dark] • 35,000 words

Twilight isn't having a very good day. An experimental spell blew up in her face, an army of changelings is attacking Canterlot, and she just died. Yet somehow, it looks like it's going to keep going downhill from here.

Given the chance to correct what's gone wrong, Twilight swears she's going to fix all this even if it kills her. Which it will. Frequently.

Hit the break for a chat with Eakin, and links to Hard Reset out on the ponynet. Don't forget to grab yourself an ebook copy over at the Downloads page! (And note that the online version features a bonus alternate ending.)

FIMFictionEquestria Daily

Where do you live?

Washington, D.C.

What kind of work do you do? (i.e. are you a student, do you have a career/day job, etc)

Working on a Master’s degree in cyber security, and also some stuff I can’t really talk about because I signed a nondisclosure agreement.

How did you discover My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic? When did you realize you were a fan of the show?

I first saw it right after the end of the first season, when I found myself with a surplus of free time one week and decided to investigate what this show was that was producing all these strange yet awesome mashup videos that were appearing everywhere on the internet. Blew through the first season in two days, then moved on to other things for a while and came back about two weeks before season two started. I’d say it was all the great music that was popping up that sucked me into the fandom, and everything snowballed from there.

Do you have a favorite episode?

Oh, man, that question is just mean. Probably “Cutie Mark Chronicles” just for all the worldbuilding and backstory in that episode. But obviously I have a weakness for time loops, so “It’s About Time” is up there too.

Who is your favorite character based purely on the canon of the show itself? Would your answer change if you considered the fandom in its entirety (i.e. art, fanfiction, memes, etc)?

Just canon? Twilight Sparkle in a landslide. I’m so like her it’s a little bit scary. I think that’s the reason writing from her perspective worked so well in Hard Reset. There are passages in there that are basically just me transcribing what I would think in that situation.

Bringing fanon into the picture, Luna and Celestia. My not-so-secret wish for Season 4 is a “day in the life” episode around those two governing Equestria.

Favorite supporting character to write is AJ. Of the Mane six she’s probably the most well rounded. She lacks any exaggerated personality quirk and is easily the most flexible character from a writing standpoint, slipping easily between roles as the story calls for them.

Least favorite is Fluttershy. Sorry Fluttershy! You’re sweet but also kind of boring.

How did you come up with your handle/penname?

It’s my middle name.

Have you written in other capacities (other fandoms, professionally, etc)? When did you first start writing?

I’ve always loved writing, but the first time I ever did anything that wasn’t for my own amusement or academics was writing sketch comedy for a theatre group in college (CHELSEA 11:17! Stands for Creative Handwritten Episodes Lovingly Submitted or Extracted from Ass) that handed out scripts to audience members and forced them to do cold performances of them, usually while drunk. In a way I can still see that influence in what I write now. I think my dialogue and characters are pretty solid and punchy, but I could stand to devote more words to physical descriptions and setting which obviously weren’t necessary when I was writing for the stage.

Pony is the first time I ever tried my hand at really longform stuff, but even if I eventually move on from this fandom I could see myself writing professionally, or making an effort to at least.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Between school, work, and writing I spend a lot of time staring at a computer monitor, so my other interests are active outdoorsy things. Hiking is always a good way to clear my head. I enjoy rock climbing (mostly in gyms, not about to try scaling Everest or anything) and I ran a half marathon a few years ago before all the aforementioned sitting in front of a computer. I’m trying to get back into that.

Who is your favorite author (published or fanfiction)? Do you have a favorite story or novel?

I’m going to give the same answer as about half the authors you interview and say Terry Pratchett. I read Good Omens when I was nine and re-read it so many times the cover eventually fell off. Jim Butcher and the Dresden Files series have been my go-to fantasy series for the last year or so, though. Getting out of the fantasy genre, I always quite enjoyed Michael Crichton. Between him and Orson Scott Card I learned pretty quickly how to separate my feelings for an author’s work from my feelings about their personal views and politics. When I’m not reading fiction I gravitate towards economics and political science. For that, the only author that jumps to mind is Michael Lewis. I guess I like a little bit of everything.

Stephen King believes that every author has an “ideal reader” – the one person who they write for, the one person whose reactions they care about. Do you have one, and if so, who is it?

The reader who gives constructive criticism! I try to give my readers something to think about, and I’d rather read one comment that’s two or three paragraphs of “here’s what I liked, here’s what I didn’t, and here’s what the story made me consider,” than fifty “This is good!” or (ugh) “MOAR!!!” comments, because 90% of the time the former sort of comment makes me think of what I’ve written in a new way, and sometimes even changes the direction the story develops in. Usually for the better.

Also readers who tell me that I’ve inspired them to do something of their own, either based on my stuff or independently, always gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling.

Do you have any tips for aspiring writers, or writers who are struggling with their own stories?

Lots! If you’re writing dialogue, read it aloud or act it out and you’ll see pretty quickly when something feels awkward and unnatural. It’s also a great way to spot typos and errors that your eyes might otherwise skim over.

Read a lot. More importantly, read a lot of stuff from different genres and authors. Learn a little bit about a lot of things. Not only will you be a better writer, you’ll have more interesting conversations at parties. Oh, and go to parties. Meet people. Most of my characters’ voices and ways of speaking are based at least somewhat off of people I know.

To utterly mangle the work of Charles Bukowski, there are people who want to be writers and people who want to write. Figure out which one you are early on and if it’s the former reconsider why you’re doing what you’re doing. All my best stuff comes out of what could charitably be described as a manageable madness.

Plan ahead. Even if the plan changes as you’re writing the story (it will) never just write aimlessly. Every scene should have a readily identifiable point and should leave your reader knowing something they didn’t before they read it, whether it’s about your plot or a character.

I got a lot out of How Not to Write a Novel by Mittelmark and Newman. Most hilarious style guide I’ve ever read. I’d recommend it to anyone with even a passing interest in writing.

There’s little excuse for sloppy spelling or grammar in this day and age. Use Google! I’ve used it to look up “How to use semicolons” at least four times, or to check the spelling or definition of a word.

Finally, disabuse yourself of the idea that there’s any correlation between effort and quality. I wrote An Important Letter in about 90 minutes and I love it. I dragged The Pony Who Wasn’t Special out of my head over four days of concentrated effort and in retrospect I think it’s just OK. On a smaller scale, it’s likely that the tiny line you throw into a scene without thinking will grab all of your reader’s attention and they’ll totally ignore what you expected to be the epic moment of triumph that you’ve been building up to for four chapters. Learn to take it in stride. In the end, you’re the only critic you need to please but if you ever write off criticism with “well, that guy just doesn’t get it,” you’re probably wrong. Be the bigger person and embrace the criticism, because if you don’t you won’t get better.

What is your typical writing process? (Do you work through multiple drafts, do you have any prereaders/editors, etc?)

My process is... weird. I don’t have an editor, or a pre-reader, or anyone standing between the raw output I put up and what I post. I have little self control, and after some basic proofreading I throw up chapters the minute I finish them. I do multiple drafts of each chapter in my head, though. I don’t need a lot of time to slip into “writer mode,” and any chunk of fifteen minutes or so can become writing time thanks to the Google Drive app on my phone. Even if I only get a sentence or two down that’s more than I had before. When I do have a block of time to devote to writing, I usually slap a single song on endless repeat and go to town. Something catchy, if not good. I once wrote 7,000 words over 137 repetitions of “Caramelldansen.” Don’t judge me.

What inspired you to write Hard Reset?

An easy one! The “Choose” storyline of the web comic Skin Horse, written by FIMFiction’s very own Skywriter, was the direct inspiration for Hard Reset.

Did you run into any tough spots or challenges when writing Hard Reset?

Not as such, although the genesis of “Closure” is sort of interesting. I was originally planning to end the story (alt-ending notwithstanding) after “Perfect Run,” but people mentioned that it felt somewhat abrupt and I agreed. I figured I’d bang out a quick epilogue and that would be that. Ha. No. Thirty-six hours and 10,000 words later, I knew I had something special even if I wasn’t entirely sure how it had happened. I’m glad it did though, because now I can’t imagine the story without it.

When you set out to write Hard Reset, did you have any specific messages or themes in mind?

When I set out to write Hard Reset it was going to be four chapters long with no alternate ending, Twilight would have discovered that the only way to figure out who was a changeling was to passionately make out with them, and the changelings ended up opening a brothel/embassy in Canterlot in exchange for cancelling the invasion. The less said about my plan at the outset the better.

Where can readers drop you a line?

Sending me a PM on FIMFiction would probably be best.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

I like helping people! If you have questions about something you’re writing, or want to banter back and forth about story ideas, or talk about stories in general, or even just rant about something in your life that’s getting under your skin to a sympathetic ear I’m available. I’m a horrible proofreader, though, so that isn’t a service I’m offering. Try not to take offense if I log on and off without replying. Half the time I’m on FIMFiction I’m on a phone or iPad and I prefer to respond to PMs with a keyboard.

Report RBDash47 · 10,451 views ·
#1 · 121w, 5d ago · 18 · ·

Oh, this was a good one. It was also the story that brought Eakin to my attention, and I'm glad to say he's continued to impress me ever since.

#2 · 121w, 5d ago · 8 · ·

Working on a Master’s degree in cyber security, and also some stuff I can’t really talk about because I signed a nondisclosure agreement.

This has made Eakin infinitely more awesome than he already was in my eyes.

And this has always looked like an appealing story, I just haven't gotten around to reading it yet. But I've read other things from Eakin (particularly Duel Nature) and I've enjoyed those so this should be no different.

#3 · 121w, 5d ago · · ·

Undeniably awesome. I'm actively watching for the third in the series.

#4 · 121w, 5d ago · 2 · ·

This was an excellent one, and to anyone reading this interview who hasn't read the story: Read it! Read it now!

I mean, what more can you say than a recommendation by Cold in Gardez?

#5 · 121w, 5d ago · 2 · ·

>>1037082

Trust me, whatever you're imagining me doing is WAY cooler than what I actually do

#6 · 121w, 5d ago · · ·

I have to say that I'm grateful for the spanish version, being that my first language.

#7 · 121w, 5d ago · 1 · ·

>>1037160

Heh, isn't that just the way life works sometimes? Anyway, it's mostly interesting to me 'cause I've wanted to get into cryptography and cyber security. It's actually causing me to debate switching majors.

#8 · 121w, 5d ago · 4 · ·

Twilight would have discovered that the only way to figure out who was a changeling was to passionately make out with them, and the changelings ended up opening a brothel/embassy in Canterlot in exchange for cancelling the invasion.

This sounds completely hilarious and now I want someone to write this.

Man, I wish I could write. I have so many ideas and so little follow-through...

#9 · 121w, 5d ago · · ·

I was originally planning to end the story (alt-ending notwithstanding) after “Perfect Run,” but people mentioned that it felt somewhat abrupt and I agreed. I figured I’d bang out a quick epilogue and that would be that. Ha. No. Thirty-six hours and 10,000 words later, I knew I had something special even if I wasn’t entirely sure how it had happened.

Moments when stories suddenly unfold like that are why I still cling to writing long after common sense would dictate leaving it behind. I don't have anything substantial to offer to Eakin in this comment here, but I am most certainly looking forward to the final installment of the Hard Reset trilogy.

#10 · 121w, 5d ago · 2 · ·

>>1037228

Man, I wish I could write. I have so many ideas and so little follow-through...

My life.

Eakin, you seem like a bro. Props for being awesome! :D

Even if your cliffhangers make me want to find you and lock you in a room Alan Wake-style until you've finished the third part of the Hard Reset series. Which I know you gave a name to but now cannot recall (something with loops :P).

#11 · 121w, 5d ago · · ·

"signed a nondisclosure agreement"

That just makes me more curious! :raritydespair:

Also, I am extremely like twilight, another reason I liked the fic. Likely bromance, no homo:rainbowderp:

#12 · 121w, 5d ago · 1 · ·

>>1037221

If you find it interesting, and you like it, it can be a VERY profitable field of study.

>>1037197

All credit for the Spanish translations goes to this guy, not me.

>>1037257

You Can Fight Fate is my working title, actually. Give writing a shot, you might find you really like it. I started, and can't seem to stop... Oh, and thank you, of course.

#13 · 121w, 5d ago · 5 · ·

Hard Reset was one of those funny ones.  By funny I meant I went into it expecting one (good) thing and came away with something completely different and much better. It was lighter and darker, and far more creative than similar stories I've read in the past.

The alt ending was chilling. And then working it into the sequel even though it didn't technically happen? That's good writing right there, my hat is off to you.

As you can probably tell I'm very nearly speechless at how good this was.

#14 · 121w, 5d ago · · ·

I enjoyed Hard Reset a lot, as Eakin might have noticed when I decided it was one of those rare stories I consider to be worth analysing the hell out of it. And by that, I mean staying up to some stupid time in the morning adding tropes to its TVT page.

Perhaps what I enjoy most about it in retrospect is the feel of it; the writing has a distinctive style that really works for me. I'll have to figure out why precisely at a later date. In any case, it's a very strange blend of light and dark, and an interesting take on one of my favourite ideas in fiction: the time loop.

It's also strange in that the sequel has a completely different theme but is nevertheless extremely enjoyable. There aren't many stories that can undergo such a shift between installments and still keep my interest in the same way.

Spacecowboy
Story Approver
#15 · 121w, 5d ago · 1 · 5 ·

It really is a great story, but the sequel was a massive disappointment, to the point that I stopped reading it.  Between the massive shift in the style and focus, and then not even trying to pursue the TwiLuna potential romance in favor of Twilight and an OC (shudder to the extreme, then pull out a chainsaw), it focused on the wrong things, and just felt... dead compared to Hard Reset

#16 · 121w, 5d ago · 3 · ·

This is a must read for any fan of baseball bats, changelings, little black cocktail dresses, and weather vanes.

#17 · 121w, 5d ago · · ·

>>1037515  Hey.  Chainsaw's uncalled for, that was a tasteful OC.  (Personally I liked the sequel better than the original and I can't wait for more (unless the wait is caused by Optimalverse stories) :pinkiehappy: )

#18 · 121w, 5d ago · · ·

>>1037515 Seriously, you don't know what you're missing! Give it another shot, its well worth it :twilightsmile:

#19 · 121w, 5d ago · · ·

I recently discovered Hard Reset, and it's sequel, I think by reccomendation from InsertAuthorHere...

regardless of how I heard of it, I'd recommend it to anyone.  It really is the best kind of dark, and time travel is best pony :twilightsmile:

#20 · 121w, 5d ago · 4 · ·

>>1037228>>1037257

The best way to start writing is really just to start.  Throw down a few sentences of an idea and see where your brain takes you.

It's also a huge help if you have someone who can give pointers & keep you motivated.

That said, I've been looking for more opportunities to preread/edit, so if you end up with something and would like a second opinion, feel free to drop me a pm :pinkiehappy:

BR
#21 · 121w, 5d ago · · ·

Where do you live?

Washington, D.C.

Oh, cool. Another D.C. brony.

#22 · 121w, 5d ago · · ·

That was very informative. :pinkiehappy:

But did anypony else notice that some of those answers seemed to be word-for-word copies of earlier comments Eakin had made? Am I being paranoid? Maybe I'm having an extreme bout of Déjà vu? :applejackconfused:

#23 · 121w, 5d ago · 3 · ·

>>1037515

I'm sorry you didn't like it, and that you're being voted down for having a dissenting opinion. I did probably fumble Azalea in a few ways, though I do have further plans for her. TwiLuna is a good ship, but I stuck her with Star Swirl instead and I stand by that. It's a more original avenue and I'm looking forward to exploring a bit more about how she's changed and the kind of family dynamic she had with Star Swirl and their daughter.

>>1037961

It's more likely the other way around. I filled this out back in march and I probably recycled some phrases in replying to comments while they were fresh in my mind.

Spacecowboy
Story Approver
#24 · 121w, 5d ago · 1 · ·

>>1038302

Yeah, folks don't like dissenting opinions, especially when the story in question is larger/popular, etc.  Your writing is solid, the biggest issue I had really going into the sequel was that you showed us in Hard Reset one of Twilight's 'hidden desires' was to be with Luna.  She only forsook one of her final attempts to lay with Luna.  With that scene, it set a notion that, when you were moving forward with the sequel, that TwiLuna would be the pairing of choice.

With that expectation of the sequel, I'll admit, I tried to get into it, but that was basically what drove the wedge between me and the enjoyment.  Not the first story I've dropped for the romance direction, and won't be the last.  Probably one of the best written ones I'll drop/have dropped here though. As far as the OC and my prior remarks, again, persona bias for you axing the TwiLuna.  /shrug.  I'll try new things, but not at the sake of axing that.  : p  (Romance Reports was the largest rant-inducing story, just a random fact there, lol)

Keep up your excellent writing good sir, I'm fairly certain a large number of folks are still enjoying the tale you're weaving.

#25 · 121w, 5d ago · · ·

>>1038302 Oh, okay. I'm not crazy! :pinkiecrazy:

#26 · 121w, 4d ago · · ·

How awesome do you have to be to get an interview?

#27 · 121w, 4d ago · · ·

This one has been on my read later list since I saw it pop up on EQD. I seriously need to get on that.

>>1037707

We're everywhere, I tell you

>>1039615

You have to do special favors for RBDash47, inquire within

#28 · 121w, 4d ago · · ·

Oh hey, a story I actually read is on here. I remember reading Hard Reset and following the sequel. So good, man. The writing style is unique and flat-out hilarious. I mean, yeah, it's Groundhog Day to an extent, but that was also great. The first-person Twilight was great, as well. It's not often that you come across a good one like this.

#29 · 121w, 3d ago · · ·

Ha!  I LOVE "How to Not Write a Novel", and I gladly hold it up as the single greatest thing for a prospective writer to read, aside from the archives at TVTropes.

I love these interviews, if only because they remind me that there ARE actually other well-read authors out there who care about their craft. :pinkiesmile:

#30 · 121w, 3d ago · · ·

>>1037365

Rereading my comment, I can see exactly why you thought I meant the sequel itself, but my original meaning was the title of the series. And I have written some stuff, but it's, like, a ridiculously slow process. And not even for a good reason, I just don't write like 95% of the time. XP

I just need to figure out a really, really good motivator for myself...

a3V
#31 · 121w, 2d ago · · ·

>>1038302

Hey Eakin, do you outline your stories? If so, how useful do you consider them to be?

#32 · 121w, 2d ago · · ·

>>1044080

Yes, to an extent. I don't usually write anything out but I do try to have a general plan for where each story will be going, especially an ending. If I get a good idea it can totally change mid-story, though. It's helpful to have some kind of plan. Nothing kills a story faster than a chapter or two where it feels like nothing significant is happening.  

#33 · 121w, 13h ago · · ·

>>1037160 I'm imagining you doing something along the lines of what the main character of brain jack by Brian Falkner does for a living.

#34 · 120w, 5d ago · 1 · ·

Linked to me 'accidentally' by a friend who only meant to link the cover art, Hard Reset was the first serious fanfic I had read in nearly a decade, and the first serious pony fanfic I had read ever.  For a full week after reading it, I kept thinking about it constantly... the what-ifs, the character development, the mental and emotional state of Twi throughout the story (and its sequel, conveniently stopped at chapter 8 at the time).  It brought me something I'd not had in years: dreams.

I linked it to friends (including the one who unintentionally linked it to me), and those who read it all loved it and ended up sucked into pony fanfics in general.  It led me to read further pony fanfics and my appreciation for it has only grown since, even as I can now recognize some minor shortcomings.  It also gave me an appreciation for the 'dark' tag... something I never thought I could want in a story.

So, I'm glad to see you getting more recognition for Hard Reset.  It remains the best fanfic I've yet read, and my first recommendation to anyone even remotely considering reading pony fanfiction.  Thanks, and I look forward to the third story when you get to it (even if I may hold off reading Stitch in Time chapter 9 till then to avoid cliffhangers :twilightsheepish:)

...so with that gushing out of the way, I have to say your original plan for Hard Reset sounds both hilarious, and like a potentially awesome story all its own.  I'm glad Hard Reset turned out the way it did, but certainly wouldn't mind seeing a story like that as well.

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