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  • Wednesday
    The Gayest Time of Them All

    Finishing a story you’ve been working on for a long time is weird, but let me tell you, it’s even weirder when the first thing that comes to mind afterwards is “This is it. This is as gay as my stories get. For now.

    And yeah that’s exactly what I thought when I finished the story that, as per now, is completely posted on Fimfiction: A Gay Old Time. A story of which I’m proud as hell, even though it flopped harder than my nether regions when I go to bed with a beautiful woman and realize too late that she doesn’t have a goat with her.

    Seriously, though, A Gay Old Time is gay. Really, really gay. Both as in “happy” and as in “I think I can detect two heterosexuals in the whole freaking story, and they really bend the meaning of that term as the fic goes on.” I didn’t really plan it that way, and I don’t really care for it that much—let’s be honest, chums, that’s not exactly new in this website.

    It’s also a sex comedy, in the sense that there’s a lot of sex going on, but you won’t see any of it. The rating is “Teen”, because I think the comedy is more important than anything else, but… Yeah that could have been written as a clop story and it would have made sense. Luckily (or unluckily) for you, I don’t write porn. So, comedy it is!

    Also shipping, I think. It counts as shipping. I mean, the characters keep fiddling with each other, and without spoiling anything (I know some guys haven’t read the story yet because they were waiting for it to be completed—that’s part of the reason why I’m posting this blog) the thing is tagged “Romance” for a reason. It’s really secondary, though. Y’all know I’m in this only for the giggles. You want sappy, go read Donny’s Boy or whatever.

    So! A Gay Old Time. I started that story with a simple thought: let’s make this short. I told myself I’d write a 1,000-words story, because I’ve never done that before.

    Then I said okay, uh, let’s go for 4,000 words. I can do that.

    Then I said that, well, shit. 6,000. 6,000 words is a good number.

    Two days later I sent a message to my main editor, crying, because the goddamned fic was 22,700 words and growing. Gagh.

    Long story short—fic ended up being 30k, and about everybody who knows me told me that yeah it was predictable.

    So anyway—I started A Gay Old Time with the idea of it being just a random bunch of funny scenes, unrelated, that shared a setting. It was just a party and like seven million characters—let’s see what happens!

    What happened was that a plot appeared out of nowhere, and before I knew it the fic was an actual story, and not just a bunch of jokes hastily put together. Hey, fine by me. I mean, I guess this one’s better, and who am I to say what no to the characters? They wanna live, yo.

    This story is interesting, in the fact that it made me realize a couple things. Mainly, the main dichotomy I’m facing lately.

    Thing is—I write for fun. Or at least, I used to write for fun. I thought it was an interesting thing that entertained me during my spare hours, and it also taught me how to tell a story—something that can be really useful in my daily life (I’m studying to be a lawyer).

    But on the other hand? I try to get better. Try to. And there’s a point in which mere practice is not enough, and if I don’t want to be left behind (as I feel I am, ‘cause some of my friends are really talented and that pisses me off) I need to work harder. To go out of my comfort zone, to try to create stuff that I haven’t written before.

    I have a really set comfort zone, I’m afraid to say. I write dialogue-heavy stories, with many characters, schizophrenic plots, and I have a handful of tricks and shortcuts that I use all the time. If you’re one of those weird guys who read all my stuff, try and list them all in one comment! Whoever wins gets a prize. I’ll write a story for him, or I’ll at least include his OC as a cameo in my next fic.

    I like that, but it’s holding me back. I need to work on my prose. I have a couple ways to get around not writing descriptions (and one of those I like so much I’m not changing it, no sir) and some gags or setpieces appear in many of my stories. The Sassy Raritea scene (a scene in which Rarity appears prominently, drinking tea and being sassy) has popped out in at least three of my fics.

    And they’re fun to use! I use them because I like them, and because they actually work. But sometimes I write stuff that doesn’t do that (Today is a Good Day to Die comes to mind) and if I manage to pull it off? Dang, son. It’s not just fun—it’s exhilarating. But writing like that is both exhausting and frustrating.

    So, there’s the dichotomy. Do I write for fun, or do I write to get better? It sounds like a no-brainer, but I also get scared now and then—what if the people is used to one particular brand of humor and they dislike the new stuff? Writing out of my comfort zone is not easy—it takes long, and the results might be really bad. What if the public gets tired of waiting?

    So far, I’ve been trying to juggle with those—I work on a Not Comfortable Fic, and while I’m at it I pop one or two Comfortable Fics to give ya lads something to chew. But I can’t just write a story in one go without it feeling half-assed, so I end up working for weeks on them, and they’re not easy-to-digest anymore. I like my comedies with a minimum amount of depth, and that means length, and that messes up the plan, because I’m supposed to work on those fast. Look at A Gay Old Time, for example. That was supposed to be 1,000 words!

    I gotta choose, and I think I won’t be happy no matter which way I go. So, eh, screw it, I’ll keep on juggling. If anything, that’ll force me to learn to write faster, which is kind of cool in itself. As I write this, I’m working on three main stories—a sequel, an original (NONCOMEDY!) story y’all will think is boring, and a standard comedy that will be tagged “Everybody” because it’s been too long since that.

    But yeah, I can’t promise they’ll be out soon. I’ll try, but things are hard and half-assing is for idiots or people with more talent. I can’t promise you I’ll get better as fast as some other guys out there, but I promise I’ll try to evolve and keep doing stuff I’m proud of. So far, I can look back at my stories and say I’d write them again if I had the chance. And I think that’s what matters.

    Now comment on this thing and tell me I’m pretty. Been feeling down lately (hence the lack of forced jokes in this blog—the dick joke is a mandatory one, because one of my best friends hates them) so that’ll cheer me up.

    11 comments · 236 views
  • 1w, 6d
    If You Punch A Clown In The Face, It Will Probably Be Horrible And Not Funny At All You Monster

    (This blog was written for Onemansponyramblings, and it’s posted in there as per today. Chris, the guy who runs the site (and one of the curators of the RCL), asked for guest columns and I offered one about random humor and all that jazz. I figured some of you might want to read this too, so here it comes. Make sure to check the blog as soon as you can, it has cool reviews and sometimes I appear in the comments. You can gaze at my username and shake a fist at it or whatever.)




    To say that comedy is “subjective” would be the biggest understatement I’ve heard since my mother described me as “a little bit of an idiot” on my fifth birthday. Comedy depends, and has always depended, on the reader.

    As Steve Allen once said, “comedy equals tragedy plus time”[1].


    [1] Actually, the fella said “Tragedy plus time equals comedy.” But I like my wording better, and this is my blog post, so suck it Steve Allen, I do whatever I want.


    I like to think that it’s true, because, well, it’s a really cool sentence. And, linking this to the statement that started this blog post: it implies that people are going to laugh at pretty much anything, because let’s be serious—almost everything worthy of a tale is at least mildly annoying to someone. So you might be writing what you think is the most tear-jerking thing since Scar killed Bambi’s mom and then said goodbye to Andy, but at least one idiot is gonna laugh at you.

    So yeah. You want an actual, universal rule for comedy? Here you have it: anything goes. If you’re good enough (or bad enough) you can turn pretty much into something extremely funny.

    But of course, there are things that I’d recommend you not to do.

    Trying to explain how comedy works is just like said fifth birthday of mine: useless, frustrating, and once everything is over my mother has a new boyfriend and my dad gets shot [2]. But still, we gotta try something, right? Otherwise I have no justification for hijacking Chris’ blog for a while.


    [2] And nine times out of ten, the shooter is also my dad. He’s good at multitasking.


    “Comedy in general” is too broad a term for me to talk about—think of all the subgenres and variations it has—so I’ll just go and talk about random comedy, as it’s one of the most used, and probably one of the most misused too.

    When I talked with Chris about writing this blog, he mentioned how he thought the same. Random humor is just weird—when it’s well done, it’s really good. When it’s bad, it’s painful.

    Why does this happen? Well, everybody has their own explanation, and they’re all good. I mean, probably. Personally, I think it has to do with expectations, and what actually is a comedy.

    “Comedy” nowadays means “a brand of entertainment that makes you laugh”. I’m sure the Ancient Greeks had a different definition for the term, but who the hell cares about the Ancient Greeks anymore. They’re all dead, get over it.

    And don’t be fooled: at its core, a comedy wants to make you laugh, or at least chuckle out loud. That’s the goal the writer is going for, and that’s what you want to get as an exchange for your time investment.

    So yeah. Comedy wants to manipulate you. You see/read/hear something funny, then you laugh, then you go on with your life. Maybe the comedy also made you think (it should), maybe it had a deeper meaning (it should), maybe it was just a thinly-veiled ‘go to hell’ directed to the writer’s father (WHY WON’T YOU LOVE ME, DADDY). But that’s just window dressing. Laugh at it, you stupid monkey, and validate my sense of humor, then leave me alone.

    And how does a comedy achieve that? Well, there are a lot of studies about laughter. Most of them are extremely serious. Bottom line, though? It’s about unexpectedness.

    Yaddah yaddah subjectiveness blibbidy blobbidy language and catharsis waddle waddle past experiences and coping mechanisms. There’s a different explanation for more or less every single funny thing out there, but yeah, being surprised is probably the only common factor in all of them. If you already know the punchline, the joke is not half as funny. So you gotta surprise them, man. You can’t manipulate someone who knows how you’re gonna manipulate ‘em.

    Okay, so we’ve established that humor comes from surprising someone [3]. That’s cool! So how does that factor in the whole “random humor” business?


    [3] Well, actually I have established that. You, dear reader, have done squat. But I forgive you because you’re a nice kid and your mother told me I should get along with you. We can be buddies! Right? Of course we can! Say, what if we go and get some ice-cream! You would like that, right?

    Woah hey what’s up with that look. I’m not plotting anything here. Just some ice-cream. That’s what buddies do, right?


    Well, another thing Chris said when I talked to him about this blog was how he felt there was “a difference between random for a reason and random because random”. I’m pretty sure most of you know what Chris was talking about here.

    To elaborate: sometimes you see a story that brings something out of absolutely nowhere, and somehow it works. It might be something as stupid as the Equestrian army using their spouses as weapons, or Twilight and Trixie being inanimate paintings in love.

    Now, from a purely logical point of view, that makes sense. You were expecting something in that story, then that something turned out to be different, and really ridiculous. Yes, you were probably looking forward a surprise, but that doesn’t mean you knew what the surprise was going to be. Plus, the wilder, the better, right? The most illogical a gag is, the more unpredictability points, and thus the funnier it gets.

    Man, this was simple.

    Or was it?

    Nah, not really. What I just said sounds about right, but it’s not true. A lot of times you see a story where something zany happens—Celestia plays the harmonica, Luna is revealed to have been a siren all along (turns out her name’s Tuna, yo. She just happens to have really bad hoofwriting), the ponies say something about getting out of bubblegum and the repercussions of such a happenstance—and it doesn’t work.

    At all. It’s not witty, it’s not funny, it’s just forced, and you end up rolling your eyes and never finishing that story [4].


    [4] For rather obvious reasons, I’m not adding links in here. I won’t be talking about any particular story when I say that sometimes people write humor “in a wrong way” because A) that would be really mean on my part, and B) who the hell am I to say who’s writing it wrong and who’s writing it right? I’m talking in broad terms, not pointing fingers. So yeah, I—  

    Oh, come on, don’t give me that look! Listen, I know that your friends’ dads always point out who’s being an idiot and they laugh at them together, but I just think that—yes, I know but—hey! Hey, I won’t tolerate that kind of language in my car!

    Yes, buddy, I know I am not your real father, but I’m the closest thing you’ve got, so you better behave! Now buckle up. We’re going home. No, you won’t get ice-cream today. I don’t think you’ve earned it.


    There’s a reason for this, of course. Mostly, that just surprising the reader is not enough to get humor. You need to subvert the reader’s expectations.

    Now, I know that “subverting expectations” is more or less the same as “surprising” but bear with me for a moment. Nine times out of ten, the difference between a random comedy that works and a random comedy that doesn’t work tends to be about the self-consistency of the story and the expectations it built on the reader.

    Let me explain this in detail:

    Every story has to work on a particular set of rules, and those mandate what can happen and what can’t happen. If you write a horror story, it will follow the rules of a horror story—and likewise, comedy has to follow the rules of comedy. So if a character gets hit in the head with a baseball bat, in a comedy it will be funny and the character will just scream in pain, but in the horror story? Gosh, blood everywhere.

    Now, what can and cannot happen in a story depends completely on what the writer feels. If you think that baseball bats to the head are unrealistic unless there’s a trip to the hospital afterwards, then maybe your comedy will be like that.

    Continuing with physical comedy, as it’s the easier example to explain: MLP:FiM itself has a very cartoonish approach to violence—it’s always slapstick. Even when the M6 fought the changelings in the Royal Wedding it was definitely supposed to be a funny scene, of a sorts.

    In fact, the only two cases of slapstick that had consequences have happened with Rainbow Dash—she was trapped under a rock once, but she didn’t look to be much in pain (it was more about how she was trapped), so it works within the rules of the show. They broke the slapstick norm when Dash ended up staying in the hospital for an injury, but they never showed us how that happened, so our suspension of disbelief didn’t shatter.

    Wait, there might be a third case—Twilight ended up on a wheelchair during the Pinkie Sense episode. But it was funny wheelchair, not tragic wheelchair, so it still counts.

    The whole thing works with almost every type of comedy out there. Once you create the world of the story, even if it’s based on one that the reader already knows (like Equestria) you’re creating a set of rules. Those rules won’t be revealed immediately, but things like the tone or the plot of the story itself certainly make them clear almost on first sight.

    So the first thing you should always try to do when writing a comedy is realize what you can and you can’t do. That’s so easy that almost nobody really thinks about it—unless you’re a robot, chances are you do that subconsciously. But that’s still something that’s going on, and I believe every author should notice it. [5]


    [5] Buddy? Hey, buddy, you awake?

    Look, I know you’re still angry. We both said things we shouldn’t have said, and I just wanted to apologize. Maybe we should make amends and…

    I know it’s hard, buddy. It’s hard for all of us. But… I’m trying. I’m really trying here, and I would be really honored if you did the same.

    I know what it is to lack a father. Trust me, I do. I’ve been in your place before! But you are really lucky, did you know that? You still got your mother. That’s more than most children your age can say!

    You’re a good kid. Look, I know this will take some time, and I won’t force it. I won’t try to replace your dad, because I’m not him. But know that I’ll be there if you need me. We can still be a family, kiddo.


    And inside those rules, you get the expectations that you build. What do I mean with expectations? Well, this is a little more straight-forward.

    If we know that “joking is surprising” is not enough to explain why laughter happens, then we must use a caveat: joking is surprising within some limits. You need to establish a situation with a resolution that should be clear, then do something different.

    The joke works because the reader is expecting one particular resolution, but it doesn’t happen—instead a wild joke appears. It’s a bait-and-switch scenario. It’s not necessary to make it obvious a joke is coming (in fact, that might be pretty bad, depending on the joke) but the reader has to be expecting something.

    That’s why, if the scene is starting and suddenly an anvil falls on the protagonist’s head, it’s really hard to make it funny. The surprise should not be born out of something that comes out of absolutely nowhere, it should come from switching an expected outcome from an unexpected one.

    So the protagonist suffering an anvil-related incident out of the blue is not a good gag. Showing the protagonist carefully putting on a helmet, getting the strongest umbrella in the world, and stepping under a box that says “CAREFUL—DROPPING ANVILS” is a better way to set the joke.

    Then a random passerby shoots him in the stomach. [6]


    [6] Hey, buddy! Didn’t see you there. You getting ready for the big dinner? Yes, you can order whatever you want. But we’re going to a fancy place, so don’t expect a Happy Meal. You can probably get chicken with fries or something, I’m sure.

    Yeah, this is a bowtie. You like it? Nah, it’s not that hard to tie, at least once you get the gist of it—oh, Honey. No, I’m not ready yet. I was talking with the little rascal here! Right? Hahah. Yeah. Nah, I think that dress is better. Oh, no reason to be nervous—they’re just my parents! Sure, they’re a little weird, but I’m sure they’ll give us our blessing.

    Just, uh, don’t bring a gun with you, please? Just to be safe.


    But of course, remember what I said at the very start of this column: the only real rule is that anything goes, as long as you’re able to pull it off. Really good comedians can do whatever they want, and with enough tweaks it works.

    It’s all about practice, really. Sure, you might have a knack for it, or you might have a particular sense of humor that resonates with people, but in the end? Write a lot and you get it. Random humor in particular is hard to master, because its very nature is about being hard to describe. But if it’s self-consistent enough and follows the structure of an actual joke, then it shouldn’t be harder than, say, dialogue-based humor.

    That’s about random humor in particular. But here you have a little bit of advice on general comedy, just to wrap this thing up neatly [7]:


    [7] Uh. Buddy? Is it me, or your mother is looking at my father funny?


    · Pacing is essential for comedy. Usually it tends to be fast, although that’s not mandatory. The timing of a joke is almost as important as the joke itself. It’s less what you say and more when you say it.

    · Likewise, mind the wording of the joke. Presentation is key here, too. The exact same joke can go from merely funny to giggle-worthy with a well-located adjective.

    · There’s a lot to be said about character assassination and its relationship with random comedy. Personally I consider that writing OOC can be justified if it fits the rules of the story and if the joke is funny enough. However, characters acting like themselves should always be the rule, not the exception.

    · A particular brand of joke I find works really well in written form is the Straight Man Scenario. Something ridiculous or funny happens, and then a character reacts to it—usually, the funny bit is the reaction and its contrast to what caused it. On that note, never have the characters laughing at each others’ jokes. The laughs are for the readers, not for them.

    · Related to that: When writing random comedy in particular, I think that having the characters wonder what happened is a must, but they have to underreact. Twilight being confused and saying “wait, no, wait a second, Pinkie, what was that” when Pinkie shoots her Squirray at Celestia, turning her into squirrels, is funny. Twilight never letting that go for the rest of the story is not. If the characters won’t stop commenting just how random everything is, the tone of the fic is of self-congratulation. If the characters are mildly annoyed by the most unpredictable things but they don’t really seem to give a hoot, the joke works better. And God forbid you if you try to solve that issue going meta.

    · Meta jokes are complicated, but to be honest, I don’t think there’s anything intrinsically funny in being meta. Being meta should be the way to tell a joke, not the joke itself. Just breaking the fourth wall is not really funny, unless you have an actual punchline. Same with leaning on the fourth wall, referencing something, trying to break the normal flow of a story with some kind of surreal storytelling technique, or lampshading stuff. [8]


    [8] WHAT DO YOU MEAN IT’S OVER? WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED?! I CAN’T BELIEVE THAT YOU—

    WHAT.

    WHAT.

    MY FATHER?! YOU ARE LEAVING ME FOR MY FATHER?! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! THIS ENTIRE THING WAS ALREADY WEIRD ENOUGH, AND THEN YOU GO AND TURN IT INTO FREUD’S BIZARRO NIGHTMARE?!


    · Chris here makes a big fuss about first sentences, and there’s a reason for that—use it to hook the readers, either with a joke or with a killer setup. Assume the readers are going to leave your story if it doesn’t get interesting fast, and the panic will help you write. Or it will make you panic and break down crying—it’s all about tastes, I guess.

    · Mind you, sometimes the reader expects that you will build some expectations, and if you subvert that then you can make an amazing random joke that comes out of the blue. That’s why I said that anything goes earlier. With enough cleverness, even the worst things can be hilarious.

    · Sometimes, comedies have a deeper meaning. A message, a moral—whatever. And sometimes they don’t, and they’re just there to make you laugh. Both are equally worthy of your respect (I said earlier that comedies “should” have a message, but that’s just my opinion because SUBJECTIVENESS HEY WHAT UP). Have in mind, comedy is hard, but it’s probably the least respected genre out there, because people think that “just writing jokes” is funny. I don’t think that’s right.

    · Also, I’d recommend reading comedy before writing comedy, if only to know the typical structures of a joke. TVTropes is the way to go here, as it’s way better than me at explaining it.

    · However, remember to have fun. Comedies written by the book are just boring—you gotta give them some personality, some soul, some pizazz or else it feels like something written by a robot.

    · Puns are the lowest form of wit. Incidentally, they’re also hilarious and you should use them all the time. I’m not kidding. You can tell that by the fact that there’s no pun in this sentence—this is not a joke.

    · The last thing you write is the one they remember the most. Give ‘em a killer ending. Go out with a bang. [9]


    [9] Christ, this is just—ah! Buddy! H-how long have you been there? What have you…?

    Sigh. So, you’ve heard everything, huh? Then I guess… Well, I guess there’s no way around this, is there? Looks like I’m not longer your stepdad. Now I, uh.

    Okay so now I’m your stepbrother. That is intrinsically weird. I mean, it’s just—what? No, I said stepbrother. Stepbrother. No, stepnephews don’t exist. What do you mean, mathematically correct? What are you talking ab—

    Wait.

    What.

    WHAT.

    WHAT THE HELL DO YOU MEAN, YOU’RE GOING OUT WITH MY MOTHER?!


    12 comments · 289 views
  • 5w, 2d
    OH MY GOD I WISH THIS WAS A JOKE

    You know that feeling you get when your mother asks you if you’re writing porn?

    No?

    Huh. Just me, then.

    Anyway so my mother asked me if I write porn. That happened. It was a surprisingly non-awkward conversation, to be honest—I was talking about the stuff I write, and then she got all squinty-eyed. Then there was this huge, thoughtful pause, and she asked me, verbatim, if I “wrote weird stuff”.

    “What do you mean, weird stuff,” I replied, making sure not to tone the question mark because I’m a rebel at heart.

    “You know… Not normal stuff?”

    “Uh.” A pause so I could frown and think about it. “Well, I guess I can write surreal shit now and then, but I wouldn’t say that I write—”

    “I mean stuff like porn. Or, I don’t know. Weird stuff.”

    Now, note that she first says “porn”, then says “weird stuff”. Which means that, for her, porn is not something weird to write. Of course, I know this website and so your standards for what is weird and what is not weird are different – I don’t really think writing porn is like a crime or anything. Shit, some of my best friends write porn [1].


    [1] I am at least 90% sure that statement turned me into a racist. Social radiation, I bet.


    But this is my mother, people. She’s got a really, uh, old-timey set of morals. Of the porn-is-evil-you-shouldn’t-even-know-of-its-existence kind. So for her to be comfortable implying that I might write characters smashing their juicy bodyparts together and yet not daring to specify what the “weird stuff” is? That is… Well, intriguing.

    That conversation happened a couple months ago. I told her I write comedies, we laughed, and then we moved on. But, you know, it always nagged me – just what the everloving fuck did that woman think I write for a hobby?

    Well. I think I have the answer now.

    Okay, so  a little background first – I was a fairly stupid kid. I still have the scar on my right eyebrow from the time I headbutted a table. There was no real reason to do so, if I remember correctly – I saw a table, went all HELL FUCKING YEAH and next thing you know it’s two hours later and I’m in the hospital.

    That is probably the only interesting part about my childhood I can come up with. I never went through any traumatic events, nor did I talked or cared about grownup stuff. I did read a lot, however, and I had a pretty standard imagination for a kid my age – that is, fucking huge. But yeah, normal kid.

    Which makes this next part the most jarring.

    See, when I was starting highschool – twelve years old, so still a lil’ kid who wasn’t even allowed to swear in the house – I had this assignment I found yesterday, looking through old papers. I’d completely forgotten it.

    It was an essay for chemistry. I guess it happened on the very start of the school year, because the topic I had to write about was as basic as it gets – “How would the world be without Chemistry? How important is Chemistry, then?”

    Cute idea. Thinking about it now, I recall the teacher saying stuff like “everything is chemistry” and so and so. Lightbulbs? Chemistry! Eating food? Chemistry! The arousal you feel when you look at that goat? Chemistry! Also, please, don’t come near my children!

    So yeah, she was probably expecting shit like “In a world without chemistry, we wouldn’t have aspirin, because it cures your headache with chemical reactions!” and other safe stuff that nobody really cares about. She outright told us to do that. She even gave us examples, for god’s sake, so it was as easy as it could get.

    Twelve-year-old-me didn’t see it that way. Fuck no—Twelve-year-old-me saw the theme of the assignment, and said I’m going Huxley on this bitch[2].


    [2] Look, I was raised by a man who used to write fanfiction himself. I’ve been a nerd for a long time.  


    So I take the assignment out of the box and start reading, and immediately realize it’s fiction. “It happened two weeks ago”, it says. “The day where everything changed.”

    Well shit, Twelve-year-old-me. That’s an ominous start. Also, I thought I’d written my first story when I was fifteen, but I guess I was wrong? This is weird – I know my memory is bad, but I wrote this just eight years ago, so how come I don’t remember this? It’s clearly my handwriting, so yeah. What a mystery.

    “The day where we realized doctors couldn’t heal us anymore, where we could light fires no more. The day where chemistry stopped, and humanity was forever doomed.”

    Oookay. On the one hand, I knew fire had something to do with chemistry – points to you, Twelve-year-old-me, I thought you stupider than this. On the other one, this is kind of getting darker than expected. You know the essay is supposed to be a “what if” scenario, right? Not some kind of—

    “The third-world-countries were the first ones to fall.”

    OKAY WOW HOLY SHIT WHAT.

    “No TVs? No medicine? No electricity? That didn’t matter. Humans can survive without that, at least for a while. But with no chemistry, we have no food. The richest parts of the world noticed it hard, how suddenly the food didn’t palliate our hunger, but we were already well-fed. The people in poor countries were already starving, and so when the food stopped working, they all died.”

    ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME THIS IS SOME SOCIAL DARWINIST SHIT.

    LIKE HOLY FUCK DID A TWELVE-YEAR-OLD KID SERIOUSLY WRITE THIS CRAP?!

    I mean, wow. Just—okay well I guess the teacher did say that with no chemistry there’s no food, and so I immediately thought “oh neato death by starvation”. After that I just thought “well the ones who ate the most before shit went down are the ones who have it better” I guess. Little kids can be a little gruesome now and then, but I went and showed this to the teacher. What the fuck.  

    Like, okay, so this is no big deal for some of you, I guess, but I don’t write this kind of shit by my own so yeah this is uncanny.

    Then it gets worse.

    “I was in the supermarket when it happened. Suddenly, chemistry stopped working, but our bodies somehow still went on. Maybe it was aliens, maybe it was the government, but the damage was done and we all could feel it. I ran home leaving everything behind, because there was no use buying food anymore.”

    Well okay so now there’s a character talking in first person. Nice handwave for the reason why chemistry as a whole stopped working, as well as the body thingy, though.

    “I got to my place and saw they were all alive. The baby, my wife, everybody. But they knew we couldn’t survive like this, so we went away, in search of a cure. It was October.”

    Uh-huh. October? Weird to give such a detail. I was born in October, so I’ve always liked that month. Guess I just thought giving an exact date was important.

    Okay so this is some Walking Dead bullshit or whatever. Twelve-year-old-me uses the whole “journey in search for a cure” theme for an excuse to explain how the world goes by. No fires (again), no batteries (which don’t matter because there’s no TV anyway so why would you want batteries), no plastic, and so on.

    But it all pales in comparison of the food thing.

    Fucking hell does the story get gruesome here. I explain in high detail just how hungry we are, and how painful it is, but we gotta keep walking because maybe somewhere there’s a cure, “although deep down we know there’s no hope”.

    “The baby keeps crying, because it hurts. My wife can’t produce milk anymore, so we can’t feed him – but it wouldn’t matter anyway, as the hunger wouldn’t go away. We can still drink water, so we won’t die as quickly, and it does nothing but expand the misery. The baby won’t let us sleep at night, and that makes us even more weak. Life is slowly slipping out of us.”

    Okay, I am fairly sure the whole “baby crying of hunger” thing is too heavy for a little kid to—

    “I did what I had to do.”

    What.

    “Almost two weeks had passed, and we couldn’t go on. The lack of food was bad, but the lack of sleep was worse. It was impossible to keep walking if we couldn’t rest, but the baby just wouldn’t stop crying.”

    Wwwwwhat.

    “I told my wife, but she wouldn’t understand. She called me a monster, but didn’t have the energy to run away. Deep down she thought the same as me, I saw it in her eyes.”

    Okay this is getting scary. What the fuck are you trying to—

    “He’s the weakest one. He wouldn’t survive it anyway.  It was a miracle he’d survived for this long, but he wouldn’t last, and we were slower because of him. So I waited till my wife was asleep, and then I killed my baby. I put an end to his misery.”

    WHAT.

    WHAT THE FUCK.

    ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME THIS IS—I SERIOUSLY WROTE ABOUT A GUY KILLING HIS OWN SON IN COLD BLOOD IN A SCHOOL ESSAY WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH ME THIS IS SO WRONG IN SO MANY LEVELS HOLY SHIT.

    ALSO WHAT THE HELL IS THAT BULLCRAP ABOUT WAITING TILL THE WIFE IS ASLEEP YOU SAID YOU KILLED THE BABY BECAUSE YOU COULDN’T SLEEP FOR FUCK’S SAKE THIS IS JUST—

    “There’s no chemistry, so the gun wouldn’t work. I had to stab him instead.”

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH.

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH.

    “Once it was done, I woke up my wife. She cried, but there’s nothing we could have done.

    And then I did it.”

    WHAT WHAT THE FUCK YOU MEAN “AND THEN I DID IT” ARE YOU SERIOUSLY TELLING ME THIS IS NOT THE WORST THING YOU—

    “Chemistry doesn’t work, so we couldn’t eat food. So maybe, I thought, maybe if we ate something like us, something our bodies didn’t need to assimilate, then it could work

    OH MY FUCK.

    OH MY EVER LOVING FUCK, TWELVE-YEARS-OLD-ME IS WRITING ABOUT EATING A BABY.

    HE IS SERIOUSLY WRITING ABOUT EATING A BABY THIS IS SOMETHING I WROTE, AND THEN I GAVE TO MY TEACHER WHEN I WAS TWELVE YEARS OLD. I WROTE ABOUT EATING A BABY. BECAUSE HE COULDN’T LET PEOPLE SLEEP. I SOLVED INSOMNIA WITH FILICIDE.

    “And it worked. Oh, god, it worked, and it made it so much worse.”

    YES IT DOES MAKE IT SO MUCH WORSE YOU SON OF SATAN. YOU STILL PLAY WITH DOLLS AND YOUR IDEA OF A CHEMISTRY ASSIGNMENT IS TO WRITE THE BASTARD CHILD OF A MODEST PROPOSAL JESUS CHRIST.

    “There was no way she could make it after this. The baby gave us strength, but it was too much, and she died of grief in her sleep. I was on my own, still in search of a cure, but I knew it was useless. I know it’s useless.”

    OH HEY NOW THE GAL PAL IS DEAD TOO. DEATH BY GRIEF. FUCKING POETIC, MAN.

    “Four days have passed. Today it’s October the 18th.”

    Oh. Oh, no.

    Oh, fuck no don’t tell me that—

    “It’s my birthday.”

    OH FUCK ME THIS IS A SELF-INSERT.

    THIS IS A SELF-INSERT. I INSERTED MYSELF IN MY CHEMISTRY ESSAY JUST SO I COULD EAT MY OWN BABY. IF I MET A KID LIKE THIS I WOULD DROWN IT IN HOLY WATER AND THEN BURN THE CHURCH JUST TO BE SAFE.

    “It’s the first birthday in a long time I’ve been this alone, and I can’t make it. They’re all dead, and even though I did what I had to do, I still have nightmares. I can’t go on. I will join them soon.”

    WELL ISN’T THIS JUST THE ICING ON THE FUCKING CAKE.

    “The gun still doesn’t work, but I have a knife now. I will kill myself the moment I finish this letter.

    Curse you, whoever destroyed chemistry. Curse you, because you’ve killed my family. A world without chemistry can’t work. And now, everybody is dead.

    The end.”

    OKAY.

    OKAY, FUCKING GREAT. “EVERYBODY IS DEAD”. I FINISHED THE FIRST STORY I EVER WROTE WITH THE WORDS “EVERYBODY IS DEAD” AND THEN I KILLED MYSELF.

    THIS WASN’T ME BEING EDGY. THIS WAS ME BEING EITHER A FUCKING IDIOT OR THE CREEPIEST KID IN THE STORY OF THE FUCKING UNIVERSE.

    WHAT THE FUCK. WHAT THE EVERLOVING FUCK. I MANAGED TO SCAR ME FOR LIFE WITH JUST ONE SHEET OF PAPER EIGHT YEARS IN THE FUTURE, WHY DIDN’T MY TEACHER THROW ACID TO MY FACE THE MOMENT SHE READ THIS.

    CHRIST.

    I WISH I HAD WRITTEN PORN INSTEAD.

    65 comments · 627 views
  • 8w, 1d
    IT'S FIVE THIRTY AM AND I CAN'T FUCKING SLEEP SO I READ SOME POETRY

    It was many and many a year ago,

       In a kingdom by the sea,

    That a maiden there lived whom you may know

       By the name of I CAN'T MOTHERFUCKING SLEEP

    IT'S MOTHERFUCKING FIVE THIRTY AM I HAVE SLEPT FOR WHAT, FOUR HOURS TOTAL TODAY, AND YESTERDAY I SLEPT FOR SIX HOURS I CAN FEEL MY BRAIN FUCKING MELTING AS WE SPEAK

       By the name of Annabel Lee.

    I was a child and she was a child,

       In this I'M ASSBANGELY SERIOUS WHY THE SHIT DO I HAVE TO SUFFER INSOMNIA NOW, WHEN I CAN FINALLY SLEEP AS MUCH AS I WANT, JESUS FORNICATING CHRIST ON A BIKE.

    But we loved with a love that was more than love—

       I and my Annabel Lee—

    With a love that the wingèd seraphs of Heaven OH DON'T LET ME START ON THOSE SERAPHS WHAT A BUNCH OF CUNTS.

       Coveted her and me. THE CUNTS.

    And this was the reason that, long ago, DO YOU WANT TO KNOW WHY I THINK SERAPHS ARE BAD? BECAUSE IT'S FUCKING FIVE THIRTY AM AND I'M WIDE AWAKE

       In this kingdom by the sea,

    A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling

       My beautiful Annabel Lee; SNOOCHIE MY PANOOCHIES THE GAL PAL IS COLD, SOUND THE FUCKING ALARMS. GUESS WHAT,  POE-HOE MY MAN, YOU WANNA KNOW WHAT SUCKS WAY MORE DICK THAN BEING SLIGHTLY COLD? TRY HAVING INSOMNIA IN A ROOM THAT'S FORTY NIPPLEPACKING DEGREES

    So that her highborn kinsmen came

       And bore her away from me, AND ALSO THAT WAS IN CELSIUS I THINK IT'S AROUND 100 NIPPLEBURSTING DEGREES IF WE'RE TALKING IN FAHRENHEIT

    To shut her up in a sepulchre

       In this kingdom by the sea.

    OH FUCK NOW ANNABEL LEE'S DEAD SHIT SORRY FOR MAKING FUN OF HER CHILLY-WILLIES, POE-HOE. I HOPE WE CAN STILL BE BUDDIES.

    The angels, not half so happy in Heaven, WHAT ARE YOU BITCHING ABOUT THE ANGELS AGAIN DUDE WE SAID THEY'RE CUNTS GET OVER IT.

       Went envying her and me—

    Yes!—that was the reason (as all men know,

       In this kingdom by the sea) YOU DO REALIZE I IMAGINE THE LITTLE FUCKING MERMAID EVERY TIME YOU SAY THAT, RIGHT.

    That the wind came out of the cloud by night,

       Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.

    OH RIGHT SHIT BOOBALICIOUS LADY SCHNADY IS BOOBALICIOUS NO MORE. I GUESS THAT JUSTIFIES THE WHOLE RAGE AGAINST THE HEAVENS GIZMO. HOW THE FUCK DID I FORGET THAT MISSY'S MISSING TWICE IN A ROW, GOLLY GEE.

    But our love it was stronger by far than the love

       Of those who were WAIT I KNOW WHY, BECAUSE IT'S FIVE THIRTY AM AND I'M WIDE AWAKE HAHAHA FOR A SECOND I FORGOT MY BRAIN IS A PUDDLE RIGHT NOW

       Of many far wiser than we—

    And neither the angels in Heaven above OH FOR FUCK'S SAKE POE-HOE NO WONDER THE CUNTGELS FROZE YOUR LIL' COOKIETITS YOU'RE SUCH A WHINEY DUDE

       Nor the demons down under the sea

    WHAT NOW YOU'RE COMPLAINING AGAINST THE DEMONS TOO WHAT'S NEXT VENTING AT THE FUCKING MOON OR WHAT

    Can ever dissever my soul from the soul

       Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;

    For the moon never beams, without bringing me dreams

       Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;

       POE-HOE YOU'RE DISAPPOINTING ME GREATLY HERE

    And the stars never rise, but I feel the bright eyes

       Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;

       BUT THIS DISAPPOINTMENT IS NOTHING COMPARED TO THE FACT THAT WHY AM I AWAKE RIGHT NOW OH GOD PLEASE SOMEONE SHOOT ME

    And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side

       YES I WAS DOING THAT TOO BUT THEN I WOKE UP AND NOW I CAN'T GO BACK AT SLEEPING WITH THE NIGHT-TIDE, WHATEVER THE FUCK THAT IS. I'M GUESSING IT'S THE COSMIC EQUIVALENT OF SOMETHING I COULDN'T GIVE LESS OF A SHIT ABOUT.

       Of my darling—my darling—my life and my bride,

       In her sepulchre there by the sea—

       In her tomb by the sounding sea.

    YOU COULD SAY SHE'S SLEEPING WITH THE FISHES THEN. EH? EH?

       EH?

      YEAH.

    FUCK IT, I'M TIRED AND MY FAMILY'S ASLEEP. I'M GONNA READ LESBIAN COMICS AND LISTEN TO COUNTRY MUSIC. THAT ALWAYS CHEERS THE TITS OUT OF ME.

    12 comments · 221 views
  • 8w, 2d
    There's a Dick Joke subtly Hidden in this Blog. Again. It's the Second Time I Use that Sentence to Title a Blog.

    Aragón: so, you know that story I’m writing right now?

    Lucky Roll: yeah

    Aragón: I’m having just a teeny tiny bit of trouble writing it

    Aragón: thing is, I have it all planned out, but maybe I need a better way to approach it?

    Aragón: I think that's the problem

    Aragón: like

    Aragón: presentation

    Lucky Roll: well

    Lucky Roll: you realize I cannot really help with you, do you?

    Lucky Roll: because I have no idea what the fic is about

    Lucky Roll: or what the scene is about

    Aragón: well yeah

    Aragón: but bitching at you does helps me

    Aragón: you force me to state things out loud, thus clearing my thoughts and actually organizing them

    Aragón: instead of just starting a line of thought then getting distracted and ending up singing Barbie Girl by Aqua

    Aragón: which is what happens when I try to think without saying shit out loud

    Lucky Roll: you’re so dumb it’s almost cute

    Lucky Roll: almost

    Lucky Roll: but you miss that point and turn pathetic instead

    Lucky Roll: also, unrelated to this, but I believe you have a huge penis and you are extremely handsome and your butt is amazing. This is something I myself am saying, and not just you editing my words before posting it in your blog

    Lucky Roll: and I obviously don’t need to say this, but your penis is definitely bigger than mine

    Aragón: why, Lucky, you’re flattering me

    Aragón: and indeed this is a real conversation we’re having and yes I have a huge dong

    Aragón: but going back to what I was talking about

    Aragón: the scene that’s hard to write

    Aragón: thing is, the humor in that scene is highly visual

    Aragón: so maybe I should try like

    Aragón: stating what is going on, matter-of-factly

    Aragón: then switching to the straight man wondering what the fucking hell is going on?

    Aragón: like

    Aragón: bait-and-switch

    Aragón: I think that would work, yeah

    Aragón: I’m such a genius

    Aragón: and my dong is just huge, man

    Lucky Roll: well, I like visual humor, but smart people say it doesn't work for fics

    Aragón: my humor tends to be highly visual tho

    Lucky Roll: that, and dick jokes

    Aragón: yeah

    Aragón: but like

    Lucky Roll: sometimes the two mixed up

    Aragón: think of that old fic of mine, Crime and Funishment

    Aragón: that had a lot of visual humor

    Aragón: thing is, visual humor doesn't mean visual as in the show for me?

    Aragón: you can't paint an image

    Aragón: so you describe it

    Aragón: the funiness is in describing it

    Aragón: you gotta make that work, with the wording

    Aragón: not just describing something funny like you describe a potato

    Aragón: "Pinkie was making a silly face and it was funny" is not good visual humor when written

    Lucky Roll: yeah well obviously

    Lucky Roll: but visual humor as a whole just doesn't work as well as if people would actually see it

    Lucky Roll: so visual humor in a fic is not exactly the best way to go I think

    Aragón: nah it can work!

    Aragón: like

    Aragón: lemme showya

    Aragón: Here I just wrote a nonsequitur with visual humor

    Aragón: Look:

    "We're so sorry, Applejack," Twilight said, her voice soft. She patted AJ's shoulder and offered her a sympathetic pout. "She was an amazing mare."

    "Today is truly a sorrowful day," Rarity added, hugging Applejack as soon as Twilight let her go. "We're here if you need us, okay?"

    "It's okay to cry if you want to," Pinkie said. "I mean, I know you don't wanna smile today, but it's okay, I promise."

    Applejack still didn't say a word. She just nodded to her friends, acknowledging her words, and then walked away towards her family. The Apples were all hunched together, looking at the ground with grave faces.

    "This is so sad," Rarity said. "Poor Applejack is devastated."

    "Yeah."

    "But at least Applejack knows she has us, right?" Pinkie asked. "She has her friends!"

    "Yes, she knows. Although, Pinkie, dear? I'm not going to lie -- I think your words would have been more powerful if you hadn't attended this funeral dressed like a chicken. "

    "Hey. This is how I honor my elders. I dress like a chicken."

    "We're honoring the dead."

    "I honor a lot of things dressed as a chicken."

    Aragón: see

    Aragón: that's visual humor

    Lucky Roll: no

    Aragón:

    Aragón: what do you mean no

    Aragón: no what

    Lucky Roll: that's conversation humor

    Lucky Roll: sort of

    Aragón: yeah but it's a visual punchline

    Lucky Roll: no it’s conversation

    Lucky Roll: the whole chicken thing didn't make it more visual

    Aragón: but it IS visual!

    Aragón: like

    Aragón: okay so it's conversation-based

    Aragón: but that's a given

    Lucky Roll: it's half-visual AT BEST

    Aragón: if you want to use visual humor, you need to mix it with something

    Aragón: like

    Aragón: descriptive humor

    Aragón: dialogue humor

    Aragón: something like that

    Aragón: you can’t just add a fucking picture in the middle of the fic and say YES THAT’S IT I’M DONE GIVE ME FAME AND FORTUNE AND SEX

    Lucky Roll: yes, descriptive humor

    Lucky Roll: that is what is actually visual

    Lucky Roll: visual, as opposed to conversational

    Lucky Roll: real visual humor in a fic is when you describe it

    Aragón: well I don't think that

    Aragón: thing is, visual humor is all about the revelation -- it's not just how what you see is funny, it's how it's timed and stuff

    Lucky Roll: nah it’s descriptions

    Aragón: hmm

    Aragón: it’s an interesting debate, actually

    Aragón: you know what I should, like

    Aragón: ask this

    Aragón: to people

    Lucky Roll: what do you mean asking this

    Aragón: as in

    Aragón: I can take this whole conversation and make a blog out of it

    Aragón: and ask HEY GUYS YES YOU THE BLOKES WHO ARE READING THIS WHAT DO YOU DEFINE AS “VISUAL HUMOR” AND DO YOU THINK A CONVERSATION WITH A PUNCHLINE BASED ON VISUALS LIKE THE ONE I JUST SHOWED YOU COUNTS AS THAT”

    Aragón: and then they comment on the blog

    Aragón: either answering to the question or asking me my personal schedule

    Aragón: so they can ambush me and stab me any day now

    Lucky Roll: that’s literally the laziest motherfucking thing you can do

    Aragón: so you don’t mind if I do that

    Lucky Roll: nah

    Lucky Roll: but if you do that

    Lucky Roll: don’t forget to remember mentioning my HUGE PENIS

    Aragón: absolutely

    Aragón: and I swear I won't edit it to make it look as if you think my dick is bigger than yours and that I am extremely handsome

    Lucky Roll: oh, I know you’re more mature than that




    16 comments · 298 views
  • 13w, 6d
    This Is A Normal Blog Post On How Tobacco And Nicknames Are Opposites

    I’m twenty years old, I’ve been living on my own for three years, I’ve been buying groceries at the same fucking supermarket every single week, and they still ask me if I’m of age when I try to buy alcohol.

    I say I am, they don’t buy it, and then I have to show my ID. This happens almost every. Goddamn. Time.

    I sure wish that when I’m fifty I look twenty-five, because otherwise I’m calling bullshit on this.

    Anyway, this intro has clearly established that I’m A) pretty young, and B) pretty whiny, which probably means I’m C) fairly stupid.

    So let’s talk symbols and literature! Again! Wooo!


    Quoting the last blog I wrote on this, so you know what I’m babbling about:

    We’re talking about cheap tricks to deceive the reader.  What do I mean with “deceive”?

    There’s this thing in publicity called “preloading”. It’s a way to indirectly tell the customer what to think when they see the product (think of it as a more developed “show, don’t tell” rule). It’s why when you see a yogurt commercial, a pretty lady eats the yogurt and goes “hmmmmmmmmm!” but nobody goes “HOLY F*CKING SH*T THIS YOGURT IS BETTER THAN JESUS AND IT ALSO MAKES ME POOP HOW COOL IS THAT”. Preloading is all about subtlety, about being deceptive, so to speak. Almost subliminal, but not quite, because the message is obvious. It’s about sending sings to the customers, and forcing them to assume stuff.

    Stories have that too. There are many things that immediately make the reader think a couple things about the character of the story. You might know it or you might not, but whenever you write, you’re preloading your readers.

    So it’s not exactly symbolism. Every story has its own symbolism, and many things can mean many other things. This is more general stuff – from the other blog that I linked above (which you can read if you fancy it), some examples are perfume (fakeness), high heels (elegance, professionalism), snow (purity, death, loneliness)…

    Shortcuts. Good shortcuts, I think. Everybody uses them, but sometimes I think people don’t realize they’re doing it – and I know that because I’ve caught myself using this kind of thing without realizing it before. So, let’s go on with some more examples:

    Nice Weather: EQD used to have this rule about fics starting with “It was a nice day in Ponyville. The sky was blue, the sun was right, blahblahblah…”

    The rule read: “If your story starts like that, we’re not accepting it.”

    I don’t know if they’re still doing that. I’m fairly sure it was (at least partly) a joke—especially if the story demanded that information for later – but the point was still standing: that intro is overused. Has anybody ever thought about why it’s overused?

    That question would be far more condescending if it wasn’t for the fact that I thought about it for the first time yesterday. So it’s not me trying to be superior, it’s just me arriving really fucking late to the party, I think.

    Anyway! Nice weather, defined as the “blue skies plus bright sun plus average temperature”, implies normality. Everydayness. It’s a sign that everything is exactly as it should be.

    The reason why it’s so overused is because, well, we’re writing fiction here. Something extraordinary (or at least weird) is going to happen soon, and that will start the actual story. What the writer is going for in here, even though sometimes they might not realize it, is contrast.

    If you say that “it was a nice day”, the picture of a town with happy people and cool weather and overall nothing bad in sight immediately comes to mind. In pony fiction, seeing how the weather is something you can control, the point is driven home with even more strength. Nice weather implies everything is going well, and more than that, that everything is normal.

    Once the picture is neatly drawn into the reader’s mind, then we point out at what is wrong with it. Maybe there’s a worried crowd over there. Maybe there’s a corpse on the ground. Maybe Applejack is beating Cheerilee senseless because she made a move on Big Mac. Doesn’t matter.

    What matters is that, whatever you’re pointing at, it’s not normal. So the contrast is immediately drawn – normal background, weird happening – and that makes the normal stuff look more normal, and the weird stuff look weirder.

    It’s kind of overused, indeed, so I don’t recommend using this one. But still, it’s nice to know what it (usually) means. Sometimes the point misses home a little because the normal atmosphere is established early and then we have to wait a lot for the weird thing to happen, but it’s still going to be there.

    I’m not going to talk about the weather anymore, but I guess it’s worth to spend a couple words here reminding you that, overall, weather is really empathic in a story. It’s kind of too blunt, now and then – it always rains during a funeral, it’s gloomy when bad things are ahead, storms are coming and they bring drama with them, etc. – but it’s still a reliable source to build a particular feeling in the air. The background noise can be really good to make a tense situation just a little bit tenser. Add sunshine if people are happy, and some thunder and lightning if they’re pissed off. It works surprisingly well.

    Tobacco: Last time, I spent a lot of time talking about alcohol and drugs, and what they meant. Tobacco is similar, but not quite the same.

    To remind y’all about what I said last time (it’s been quite a while), alcohol and drugs were about self-destruction, both negative (“I want to die”) and positive (“Better to live fully than to live longer”). Tobacco has shades of this, because smoking actually kills you, and sometimes it kills people around you with the second-hand smoke.

    TvTropes has lots of pages dedicated to smoking. “Smoking is Cool”, “Good Smoking, Evil Smoking,” and so on. Visually, it’s easy to see how smoking can be fatherly or evil, sexy or disgusting, pensive or foolish. If a crackhead is shown smoking something out of a weirdly-shaped pipe, and then you see Sherlock Holmes thoughtfully smoking a classical pipe, you don’t think the same of them.

    I’m not going to talk about that, because, well, TvTropes already mentioned it. However, I think that – especially in written medium – there’s a shade of smoking that is subtler but it’s always there: smoking is rebellious.

    Nowhere is this more obvious than in YA literature, or in anything with an intended audience under twenty-five. Smoking is the go-to thing to do when you want to stick it to your parents, because there’s no way they’re allowing you to do that.

    Smoking, especially at a young age, is just a way to say “Look at me, I don’t care what they say, I’m cool”. That’s why smoking is so romanticized, I guess. It’s an elegant rebellion.

    But it doesn’t need to be that blatant. It doesn’t have to do with your parents, for example. A detective smoking a cigarette adds to the noir atmosphere, and you immediately realize he “doesn’t play by the rules”. A femme fatale smokes because it’s sexy, yes, but also because she “doesn’t play by the rules” either.  

    Angry teenager? Doesn’t play by the rules. Mom who avoids smoking in front of her children? Doesn’t play by the rules. Sometimes, the only act of rebellion the character is allowed to have is the smoking itself. Especially if the rest of the cast don’t smoke – you have this wimpy, pushover guy who always does what he’s told, but then he lits a cigarette.

    And either nobody cares about it (which gives the character some individuality – he has enough respect from the others to be allowed to do something that is pretty annoying for the rest of the group) or they ask him to stop or go outside (which makes it look like an outcast, which is really fitting for a rebelling character, and shows that he is not like the others).

    Yeah, it’s really subtle, but that’s why it works. The only exception is with old people – fathers are expected to smoke. People born in a certain time are expected to smoke. But smoking is, and has always been a thing for the grownups. For the authority. For the people who Tell You What To Do.

    Having a character that can’t tell others What To Do (sometimes it can’t even tell that to itself) do something that only a grownup can do? That’s playing out of your league. That is telling them to stick it.

    That’s the magic of literature – you make smoking look cool and romantic. In reality, it’s not. It’s just pretty fucking dumb, and disgusting, to boot. But maybe give that pushover character of yours a cigarette to show he’s a little deeper than others might thing. Or give the conformist a subtle way to rebel against society. Or give the angry teenager something that makes it obvious that he’s an angry teenager.

    Just don’t smoke yourself, ‘cause it’s bad for your teeth and you stink afterwards.

    Cats and Dogs: Harry Dresden inspired this one, and that inspired me to write the rest of the blog.

    The reason why I suddenly felt the urge to write about animals is simple – Harry Dresden (protagonist of the Dresden Files, a pretty cool book series) starts with a cat. Then he gets a dog. And he gets a fuckton of character development along the way.

    Y’see, everybody knows about the “cat person / dog person” dilemma, but this is one of those things that nobody really thinks about really in-depth. Or, well, maybe it’s just me. Probably I’m stating the obvious, but mnergh, that’s what blogs are for.

    Look, cats are independent. Cats just don’t give a shit. They’re cute, but they ignore you at best and attack you at worst. I’ve never met a cat who wasn’t a fucking psychopath, and I’ve never met a god damn feline who didn’t try to kill me at first sight. And most important, cats take care of themselves.

    You don’t need to care for a cat. You just have it in the house and melt at its cuteness. You give it food, but the thing can feed itself.  And that is actually really cool.

    A character who has a cat is a lone wolf. They don’t really care for the others – okay, they might have friends and all that, but they’re not family people. They’re the lone princess/old witch/mysterious fella type. They like to be alone. They take care of themselves. They might be kind, but they won’t care if you just go away and leave them be.

    Rarity is a cat person, for example. Cat pony. Whatever. She loves Sweetie Belle and all that, but she’s definitely not a family-before-anything mare. She likes her sister, but she likes her in small doses and pretty far away now and then. Especially when she’s working. She cares for her, because she’s still human (pony. Whatever.) But if there’s a “lone princess” type in MLP, that’d be Rarity.

    I don’t think I’m explaining myself really well here? I guess I mostly mean that cats are independent, and cat owners are also independent. Sure, they like cuddles and friends and shit. But they won’t die if you leave them alone.

    And then you have dogs.

    Harry Dresden gets a dog when he starts to really be surrounded by friends. As his book series goes on, the number of allies, family, and friends grow bigger and bigger. The character goes from having a cat to having a cat and a dog (and suddenly the cat is not really mentioned in the books).

    Dogs can be independent, but they choose not to. Dogs like their families, show their happiness, and are not really proud about things. They just sit there wagging their tails and attack whatever moves. I’ve yet to meet the dog that doesn’t try to fucking murder me upon first sight. Animals as a whole hate my guts. I think they can sense my father is a veterinarian and they’re taking revenge on that or some shit.

    Anyway – dogs. Dogs are family things. Even if you live alone, the dog is part of your family. Even if the pooch is your only family, god dammit. Dog people take care of their own, they are protective, and they are not independent. They might be, in the physical sense, but they need something to protect. They’re all about family.

    Applejack is a dog person. Dog Pony. Whatever. She cares for Applebloom, and for her friends. While both Rares and her share the same group of acquaintances, Applejack is the gentle one who never looks for herself when others are in need. Rarity gives no shits about Applejack’s needs. Rarity does what Rarity wants.

    (Not always, of course. I’m talking in general here, I know Rarity has sacrificed shit for the rest of her friends – there are entire episodes and subplots about that. But Rarity’s character, without the lessons and all that? She’s less caring than Applejack, and that’s why they collide so much).

    So, want a somewhat independent character? He has a cat. He doesn’t need to take care of the little shit. Want a family person? She has a dog. She has to walk the fucking idiot every day.

    Seriously, animals are cute and all that? But I’d found them be cuter if they didn’t try to chew my insides every time we meet. Even sheep hate me, and sheep are so dumb they’ll fall off a cliff unless you stop them. One day I’ll walk into a cemetery and a crow will eat my eyes, and I’ll have nobody to blame but me.

    (Incidentally, and seeing how I’m already namedropping shows and series you don’t care about – one show I really like had an excellent use of this stereotype. They presented an Ice Queen-like character – who dresses in white and has white hair and has ice powers, because fuck subtlety – and they showed her a dog. Everybody assumed she’d hate it, including me. She was shown loving the dog instead, subverting the trope, and surprising everybody in the process. That made the character look very defrosted, and was a really cool character development moment.

    Weird for that show to use such a thing with such mastery, because let’s be honest – RWBY has one of the shittiest plots ever. I love the show, but Jesus Christ, people).

    Nicknames: In case you haven’t realized, this is pretty basic stuff. The reason is that  yesterday I was trapped in a bus for four hours, and I kept thinking about all the obvious stuff books do, and how I’ve never thought of it.

    Enter nicknames. Again, Tvtropes has an entire page out of this – “The Nicknamer” – but what the hell, I can give you a small rundown on the thing. Nicknames are really used in this fandom, after all. Octavia is Tavi, Rarity is Rares, Dash is Dashie, Spike is Useless Piece of Shit.  

    Nicknames show closeness with a character. You only use a nickname if you’re friends with the other person, or if you’re purposely stretching the boundaries.

    There are many reasons why a character might do that. Maybe it has no sense of personal space (metaphorically speaking). Maybe it’s just a way to piss off the other person. No matter which, nicknames are childish – they’re the opposite of smoking, to a sense.

    (That was a weird sentence).

    A character will only use nicknames if he wants to be petty as hell, or if he has a close relationship to others – a relationship that makes you think of two kids who are best friends with each other. There are no adults out there who use nicknames with an adult face. That’s child stuff.

    So, more or less, nicknames imply innocence (to a point), and closeness, and childishness, and a person being annoyed. A nicknamer is a character who shares these traits.

    Motherhood and Fatherhood: Bof. This one is way too heavy. I’ll explain it fully in another blog, that doesn’t need to be the next one, to be honest. I’ll yap about gender roles and shit like that – but so far, I just want to make clear that I don’t mean I’ll talk about a character being a mother or a father. I’ll talk about a character showing signs of parenthood to some degree.

    Like, okay, it can just symbolize “parenthood” and that’s it. But where’s the fun of that?

    12 comments · 456 views
  • 18w, 2d
    Fridge Horror Commentary, And Also Me Being A Prick

    So I needed a friend to pass me some notes I had lost to prepare for an exam that was coming soon. She was reluctant to do so at first, because she hates people borrowing her notes, but I knew she’ll eventually let me take a photo because we’re pretty close and help each other all the time.

    However, to make it easier for her to make that decision, I said “Come on, if you lend me the notes for one afternoon I promise I won’t sing you the Spongebob Squarepants jingle or throw your notes to the ground and scream ‘YOU DON’T NEED TO STUDY, YOU JUST GOTTA BELIEVE IN YOURSELF’ minutes before the exam.”

    Her eyes sparkled after that, and she gave me her notes immediately, whispering: “That’s a promise”. Then she bragged with our other friends about how I was not going to annoy her at all this time.

    The others got offended, because I’ve never offered them to stop being an ass in exchange for a favor before.

    When the exam came, I walked into the class. Dead silence. My friend looked at me, dubious. She had her notes in her hands.

    I winked at her. And then I walked pass her seat without saying a word. I could hear the sigh of relief from the other side of the room, and she went on with her last-minute studying.

    I forgot what the moral of this story is.

    Rambling about Fridge Horror and more things after the break!


    You know what’s the only thing better than talking about yourself? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. The only person I love more than myself is an alternative version of myself with a jetpack. I once got called a narcissist and that offended me, because why the fuck would I have a syndrome with another guy’s name. I wouldn’t drown in a river while looking at my reflection, because I would be too busy groping my own ass.

    What I mean with this is, I know blogging about your own story can be a little bit masturbatory, but c’moooooon give me a break. Some people enjoy this behind-the-scenes info about my stories.

    Most don’t, though. Turns out there are followers out there who like my, uh, “narrative” blogs? If you’re one of those weird folks (Seriously, you like that? I mean… Uh, okay. Should I keep writing one-offs, or do you want me to add some continuity to the clusterfuck of idiocy that is Aragón’s Blogs? I particularly enjoy the one-offs, but some people prefer story arcs), then I’ll ask you to wait a lil’ bit. One of those motherfuckers are coming, worry not.

    Anyway! I’m not here to talk about my blogs. This is about Fridge Horror, my latest story! Woohoo! I like that story so much.

    And for a reason, too. Fridge Horror, by this point, is the most rewritten story I’ve ever posted.

    You see, I’d had a particular idea for a long, long, long time. I called it “Sandwich Fic” in my head, and it was about Spike making THE PERFECT SANDWICH. In the background, the M6 would be fighting a monster or saving Equestria, in an epic, out-of-this world adventure. But Spike would be the total focus, and his actions would mirror the adventure going on in the background.

    Not even blinking, Spike would travel through Ponyville in the middle of the destruction, asking for ingredients and tips to make THE PERFECT SANDWICH. He would talk with each one of the M6, and all of them would take the sandwich thing seriously, ignoring the world-changing mess they were dealing with at the same time.

    The point of this story (comedy, if you’re wondering) would have been that, when you get to it, saving the world is not that big of a thing for anypony anymore. I mean, they’ve done that so much that it’s lost its sparkle, y’know? So, Spike making THE PERFECT SANDWICH (yes, the caps are fucking mandatory) was more important for them.

    Because, look, Spike doesn’t really do much, does he? At least when you think world-shattering shit. However, THE PERFECT SANDWICH is a really big deal for him, because it’s a project he’s pouring his heart into. And the M6 are all about friendship. Friendship comes first, saving the world comes later. If it’s important for Spike, it’s important for them. So they’ll fucking help that lil’ fella to cut the onions just right, and they’ll deal with the villain later.

    I really liked the concept. It has enough absurdity to deliver tons of jokes and ridiculous situations, and enough hidden complexity for the people who don’t like my comedies to completely miss the fucking point. Perfect mix.

    But it was… well, a little bit weird, and I never really got around to write it. Real life got in the way, I guess? I was always writing something else, so the concept kinda withered and died in my mind.

    But not really! The idea of something huge happening in the background and something insignificant being the focus of the story was still there. I really liked it. Also, the act of making a sandwich, for some reason.

    Flash forward a couple months. Right now I’m trying to move on, to shake and change my personal style a little bit, to evolve [1], and another idea came to mind.


    [1] More on that later!


    Y’see, I really like Ray Bradbury. When I was a little kid, my father introduced me to the idea of short stories as actual literature with Isaac Asimov and Ray Bradbury (and later we moved to Jorge Luis Borges). Bradbury is a personal hero of mine, and I really like his stories.

    So I thought: what the hell. Let’s write like Bradbury.

    Next thing you know, I’m having a really hard time trying to write in a way that’s completely different to what I’m used to do. The story I had in mind was a descendant from Sandwich Fic, but the elements were a little bit shaken up – Roseluck and Caramel are students, mentally exhausted after studying for over six hours (WRITE WHAT YOU KNOW AMIRITE AHAHAHAH oh god I’m a horrible writer I’m sorry). They share a flat with Raindrops.

    So Roseluck and Caramel are taking a break, and they start doing that thing college students do when they  are exhausted or drunk: they get deep for no reason. Time travel, how does magic work, what does reality mean… Stuff that doesn’t really mean anything, but that you enjoy discussing.

    In the background, Raindrops makes a sandwich, and accidentally summons an eldritch abomination.

    The story was short, and the joke was simple: Roseluck and Caramel didn’t even blink at the eldritch abomination thing. Raindrops was the one dealing with the monster (who had no personality whatsoever, he just screamed random ominous lines all the time), and they just kept talking bullshit.

    The story ends when Raindrops defeats the monster (she asks for help at one point, the others reply they’re tired, Raindrops says “Oh, never mind then, I’ll take care”) and the other two realize their break is over. So they suddenly cut the conversation, never really getting to any point, and then go to their rooms to study. Raindrops makes herself another sandwich.

    The end.

    So it was another story, but way weaker. The point had changed a little bit, too – it was about knowing what is really important, and also about tired ponies, I guess? It was also fucking weird, because at one point Roseluck and Caramel started flirting. Have you ever tried to flirt while talking about time travel? It doesn’t work.

    Still, the story was written, and the narration was really, really different to what I usually write. To give you a sample:

    White walls, red carpet, the smell of coffee and smoke in the air. A small apartment in the center of Canterlot, the end of the school year.  The three ponies had been stuck in that neverending loop that final exams always bring —study six hours, rest four, study six hours, rest four, sleep eight, curse your teachers, rinse and repeat.

    The blinds were closed; the clock, forgotten. Food was merely an afterthought, caffeine a necessity, and mental exhaustion the true enemy. Nothing mattered, except for studying. Concentration was the key. Relaxation, the way to get it.

    Look at that bullshit. Look at it. The entire fic was narrated like that, and it was unreadable. I sent it to MrNumbers, and he was clear:

    “You are… Okay you’re really trying, and that’s good. But yeah, this doesn’t work. This is boring. This is fucking boring. I kept skipping the narration and going for the dialogue, and the dialogue isn’t that interesting anymore. It’s pathetic. You’re pathetic. I hate you. You don’t deserve the blood that runs through your veins.”

    Maybe he didn’t say those exact words, but the meaning was there. And I re-read the story, and… Yeah. It’s bad. It’s really bad.

    But, dammit, I thought. I like the concept, somehow. Gotta work on this. But how…?

    Enter MrNumbers, again.

    You might notice lately I namedrop that bastard a lot. There’s a reason for that. You see, it’s literally impossible for me to write anything without whining about it to my friends. Problem is, if you haven’t noticed by the small bit after the break, I am a really annoying friend.

    I measure friendship in how much I’m able to insult you without you being offended. That counts for my friends too, of course – so my pre-MrNumbers friends are absolutely tired of my bullshit. Sure, they’ll read my stuff (they’re friends but they started as fans, after all) but they won’t help me with it because seriously Aragón go to hell.

    MrNumbers still hasn’t got to that point. Give him time. Until then, I can assure you all my stories will have some pre-production input from him.

    In this particular case, two stories of him inspired Fridge Horror: Late Fees (it has a throwaway gag with an eldritch abomination named ‘Wiggles’, which inspired the abomination in my story – at one point, Vinyl refers to it as “Wiggles the Amazing Squid” as a wink to that), and The Mare Who Once Lived in the Moon.

    Y’see, in that last story there’s a pony named Bright Spark. He’s a fucking asshole, which means I really like the character. I also loathe him, because that’s what I do with asshole characters. I asked Numbers if I could include that name in a story of mine and have something horrible happening to him, and he said oh yeah sure. Just tell me what you have in mind first.

    This is where everything clicked.

    Why was Bradbury Fic worse than Sandwich Fic? I mean, weak-ass narration and lack of jokes aside. I wasn’t pleased with the message behind it. Bradbury Fic lacked friendship.

    Enter the Long Story Short, Things Went Down crew.

    What I really like about those stories is that, well, they are about friendship. Friendship among horrible ponies, sure, but friendship nonetheless. If one of them is in trouble, the others will help. I like Chris’ reviews on those stories, because he got it the first time, and it’s always neat when people get this kind of stupidity:

    Things Went Down is vulgar, aggressive, and foul-mouthed to the hilt.  In addition to all that, it's unrelentingly funny.  A lot of that humor comes from juxtaposing ponies and violence| (drugs, cursing, etc.), but what Aragon does that a lot of "shock fics" don't manage is to not just create settings and characters which are deliberate poor fits for Equestria, but which actually parody its mores and morals.  This is, ultimately, a story about friendship; it just happens to be the kind of friendship "that make(s) you pee on the other when you see she's on fire--you're being as mean as possible, but you still try to fight the fire," as the fic puts it.

    Ah-hah-hah. Me quoting that is so masturbatory.

    This is a story that involves Carrot Top beating her ex-boyfriend with a giant golden dolphin dick, however, so don’t think it’s deep or anything. Still, that’s what I have in mind when I write LSSTWD stories.[2]


    [2] Seeing how I’m already praising myself like there’s no tomorrow – Chris also liked Fridge Horror, for exactly the same reasons. Woo. I’m not a total failure!


    Friendship. Also, asshole characters and a lot of cuss words. Really, those stories are mostly me pouring everything I like in a story. I don’t even try to hide it.

    Using the LSSTWD crew in Bradbury Fic 2.0 would make it better, I thought. So when MrNumbers asked me what would happen to Bright Spark in a fic of mine, I replied “Octavia will fuck his parents out of spite.

    And thus, Fridge Horror was born.

    I still lacked something, however. There’s a reason why I tried to write like Ray Bradbury at first – I feel like I’m getting too comfortable with my actual style. Sure, it’s nice to hear my friends describe a particular gag as “way too fucking Aragonish, you idiot”, but the fact that I’m not evolving is a reality. I consider Crime and Funishment to be the peak of my actual style. I want to move on a little bit.

    It’s all about artistic development, I think. The natural thing to do is to get better, or at least to get different. So I’m trying to step out of my comfort zone, to prove myself, to force myself to learn how to do new things. Hence, Ray Bradbury.

    But that didn’t work. So I thought: Terry Pratchett. Booyeah.

    A sad note follows this fact. Pratchett died three days after I started this fic, and the news destroyed my will to write for a week or so. Pratchett was a hero of mine, a writer I always looked forward to, a very important figure in my childhood.

    But eventually, you gotta finish what you start. And if I was going to say goodbye to PTerry, a story was as good a tribute as anything else. So I kept writing.

    Continuing with the idea of me changing my style – is it a good thing? Well, I’ll try to show you guys the best thing I can create, that’s for sure. Maybe some of you won’t like it at first, but I’ll make sure to post stories in my old style too (because fuck it I spent five years working for that style, I won’t ditch it just like that), to even things out. So worry not.

    Anyway – soon I discovered I had way too many characters to use the simple “important stuff in the background, insignificant stuff as the focus” angle. Plus, Derpy as the Chosen One was too hilarious to leave it like that.

    That’s why I moved to a double-plot move. That also helped me interweave the stories better – what causes Vinyl’s plot is Derpy’s plot, after all.

    And Vinyl’s plot? I’m happy with it. Derpy’s story was simple and exciting – she has to fight a monster, AND SHE KNOWS KUNG FU AND HAS A MAGIC SWORD FOR NO REASON HOW COOL IS THAT (SHAME SHE’S A PEGASUS BECAUSE OTHERWISE SHE SO WOULD HAVE GOTTEN A JETPACK) – but Vinyl’s story had to come from Scratch.

    I eventually let the Bright Spark angle die, and used an original character instead (still named by MrNumbers, though) as the bad guy to Octavia’s story. And, hey, I still could use the “amazing story happens in the background” thing! I just didn’t use it with Derpy’s story.

    Enter Turner and the Jewels of Friendship, featuring the rest of the LSSTWD crowd ‘cept for Octavia, because she’s busy with her life. At first Bon Bon and Carrot Top appeared too, but  eventually I had to delete them. Mostly because:

    A) Bon Bon dragged the story way too much.

    B) I had trouble with Carrot Top’s plot, because at one point it was too similar to Lyra’s “I stab ponies” jokes.

    So yeah, down with them. Sorry to their fans – in the next LSSTWD story, which I’m already writing, Top and Bon Bon have really prominent roles, so I’ll use that to make up for ya.

    As per Turner’s story, by the way – it was supposed to be a knock-off of those insanely overcomplicated adventure fics that use McGuffins like there’s no tomorrow. I used to like those in my younger years (when MLP wasn’t even a thing), hence the passing mentions of worldbuilding (“The lizardfolk won’t let us get in the Temple!”) and Elements of Harmony knockoffs (“Jewels of Friendship”). Turner’s living an adventure fic by himself, but we’ll never know the exact details.

    Oh, also – I finally managed to do something I’ve always wanted with this fic. Every time the narration refers to the eldritch abomination, I use a different name. I’ve always wanted to do that. Wooo.

    While Fridge Horror is not my most popular story at all, I’m really happy with it, so screw popularity. One of the reasons why I like it so much is, again, the message: It’s about knowing what’s important, yes, but also about how  friendship works… And about admiration.

    I don’t know about you, but I admire my friends. Even if I’m being a dick to them – I do that ‘cause I’m a prick, but I still look up to them in a sense. In Fridge Horror, Vinyl doesn’t really care for Derpy saving the world, but the fact that she’s able to handle the rest of the gang so easily amazes her. Derpy turns into a hero in Vinyl’s mind, for absolutely the wrong reasons…

    …Or are they the right reasons? That’s the question. Saving the world is important, but when you live in Equestria, maybe other things are more important.

    It’s also about responsibility, as Derpy explains. However, Derpy doesn’t really acts as she should in that regard, because she doesn’t let Vinyl face her responsibilities on her own. Derpy is a hypocrite, and that’s her defining trait in my stories – there are many hints in Fridge Horror, if you look for them.

    Meanwhile, Vinyl doesn’t give a damn about anything, and she runs away from her responsibilities. She knows what the problem is, but she either refuses to face it, or faces it in the absolutely worst way possible. That’s another defining trait of hers, and it’ll come back to bite her at one point.

    ‘Cause, yeah, the LSSTWD stories, while completely independent (you can read them in whatever order you want), have an arc, of sorts. The characters evolve, if only a little. I’m one of those folks who like continuity and little details.

    Oh, and talking about continuity: you know what’s better than good proofreaders?

    “Are you sure?” Vinyl arched an eyebrow [6] and adjusted her glasses. “Because, like, I’m working with empirical data here,” Vinyl said. “And you know what they say about empirical data.”


    [6] Ponies have no eyebrows. It’s a mystery how they do that.

    Octavia Harmony: FUCK YES. YOUR PONIES ARE ALWAYS ARCHING EYEBROWS WITHOUT HAVING ANY; ABOUT TIME YOU EXPLAINED THAT.

    There was something interesting about Octavia—other ponies could be pretty, but she was breathtaking. Maybe it was the way she moved—flowing like oil in a pool of water—, maybe it was the way she talked—with a soft, sweet, sultry voice—, maybe it was the fact that she had, like, the greatest ass of them all.

    TheMaskedFerret: Not as great as your own ass, am I right?

    Good proofreaders who already know all my inside jokes. Those two comments made my day.

    And… I think that’s all I gotta say about this story. Oh, well. I wonder if anybody read this entire thing. 3300 words – that’s a record for me!

    See ya!

    15 comments · 404 views
  • 19w, 3d
    New Story Involving The Long Story Short Crew Up!

    The bad thing about having a set of characters you really like is that you tend to use them a lot. Like, a lot. That is the case with the characters from Long Story Short, Things Went Down, for example.

    So sometimes I'll come up with a plot that I'll really like, and then I'll think "man, those characters would be awesome in here." But I can't always use those plots, because maybe they'll call for a higher does of fantasy than I would want in the "main" stories concerning that group, or maybe the plot would mess up their entire character arcs.

    But still, it's a waste to forget those ideas. So what do I do?

    Well, all stories are fiction, I thought. Who cares about what is "official" and what is not, or what is "canon" and what is not. This is just a fanfic. And I'm the author. So, screw it.

    Enter my lattest story, starring Derpy Hooves and Vinyl Scratch from the LSSTWD stories, with Lyra, Octavia, and Turner appearing too, for good measure.

    Fridge Horror (that's the title) is a little pet project of mine, a homage to Terry Pratchett that I wrote during my exams. And this blog has mostly the purpose of telling the people who liked Long Story Short, Things Went Down that, hey, that story exists. And it has those same characters.

    Of course, it's not canon per se, so if you see an actual, "official" sequel coming up any day, the events in there won't be referenced. But that story explains what would happen if Vinyl and Derpy ended up in that situation. A What-If story, if you like.

    Nothing more to add. In a couple days I'll make an actual, in-depth meta blog on that story. For now, I just wanted y'all to know that, just in case. I didn't tag it as a sequel, after all.

    Cheers!

    4 comments · 172 views
  • 22w, 7h
    Open Letter to the Mall that Kicked Me Out Today. Based On Real Events.

    Okay, no.

    Like, just. Just no.

    Not apologizing here.

    I mean, to be honest? That is partially my sister’s fault. So if you wanna get an apology, you talk to her. You’re not getting anything from this guy. If I did what I did, I did it because I’m human.

    I mean, seriously! You gotta put yourself in my place, man. If I see a bookstore while walking through the city, I’m going to get inside. I buy a lot of books. And even if I don’t buy books every day, I sure love looking at them. That’s how you discover new things. I read all day.

    So yeah. Bookstore in my way? I’mma get in. And my sister said “sure let’s go in there” so in there we went. Your fault for having a bookstore, god dammit.

    And we were there, right? And I was looking at books. This is a second-hand-bookstore we’re talking about, so I’m expecting to see rare, old books. Immanuel Kant, that was nice. Some Kafka, I liked that. Borges? Great. Schopenhauer? All night long. Zafón, Asimov, Clarke, Murakami, Hesse, a lot of Updike. Yeah, that’s great. That’s my thing.

    And then I see that book. “Kama Sutra”. No way I’m not going to say “Hey, sis! Look what I’ve found!” after seeing that. Again—if you wanna blame me, blame the store or my sister or whatever. I merely pointed and smiled.

    So my sister went there and said “Huh. Wait, there’s something weird.” She points at how the book is not illustrated. As in, it doesn’t say “illustrated edition”, which is downright bizarre because both you and I know why people buy that book. It’s not for the plot, mate.

    So she gets it, and skims through it. And smiles and says she’s gonna buy it.

    All in good fun, all right. She tells me it’s actually pretty interesting, and way more fun than expected.

    And the store guy says that yeah, it’s a book with a very bad reputation, but it’s not that bad as literature. An interesting read, at least.

    I want to make clear, once more, that I had absolutely no lewd purpose whatsoever when I did what I did. I mean, god dammit, the bookstore guy himself said it was a nice book. And I couldn’t care less about sex. I personally find it pretty boring. So yeah.

    So we buy the book, and my sister is clearly doing it as a joke, kind of. And then we go buy clothes.

    And, look, if I don’t have my phone with me, what do you want me to do? I was helping my sis buying clothes, and that is not as boring as it sounds because my sister is really fun. But once she starts trying on her soon-to-be-new clothes, then I’m gonna get bored. And if I’m carrying a book with me, I’m going to start reading it.

    Hell, that’s just common sense, people.

    Now, look me in the eye, and tell me that, if you open a book and the very first thing you see is an explanation on how to correctly bite a titty, your first reaction is not to immediately start narrating everything in your best Vincent Price voice. Try to tell me that, and I won’t fucking believe you, because of course you would.

    I mean, for starters, my sister was trying those clothes at the other side of the door, so there was no other way for me to show her what I was reading. I was just being polite. And I believed (and I still do) that “how to correctly bite a titty” is information the world deserves to know. That was some civic duty shit I was doing, right there.

    Now, this could have been the end of it. Let me Vincent Price some good ol’ boobgnawing, and bam, we’re done. But then the grandma happened.

    Like, just imagine it. There I am, explaining the difference between a half-moon bite and a coral-and-pearls bite, and how to correctly do that while having sex, and this old woman eyes at me. We’re talking, what? Sixty-five, seventy? She wasn’t that old. I mostly refer to her as “grandma” because I don’t like her. And she glares at me hard.

    We’re talking fucking killer looks, here. And then I think, okay, there’s some serious shit going on in here. This woman wants to murder me. Why? I’m not doing anything bad. And then, as I end the chapter and continue with how to properly scratch your lover, I realize it.

    She has kids. You can see a woman has kids when you look in her eyes and she’s dead inside. If she has kids, she had sex. So she already know everything I’m talking about. I’m just repeating old knowledge to her.

    And she doesn’t want me to spill the beans.

    My mind is racing right now. Maybe she’s a coitus spy. Maybe she wants to make sure nobody knows how to have sex. That would end the human race, because if nobody has sex, there are no children. This woman is a monster. She wants to end humanity.

    Then she huffs and says something like “pervert”. I have no idea what she meant, it was probably code. I figured I didn’t have much time.

    This is when I started to scream, by the way. I’m going to admit right away that my Vincent Price is not that good, so I just started screaming like a pig in the slaughterhouse. I also changed chapters, because holy shit, I’ve been reading about the erotic potential of your fingernails for way too much. If they’re going to stop me, better go to the hot stuff.

    I go to the chapter that explains what a woman has to do during sex. Perfect, I think. This store is full of women—they’ll need this information. I’m willing to sacrifice myself and never learn what a man has to do during sex, as long as the people around me have a chance to survive. I’m a hero. I should be laureled as such.

    So there I go! How to properly push, what to say to your lover to get things steamy. What to do if the man finishes too soon. I start making silly voices as I read because, well, what I’m reading is pretty funny. I hear my sis talking at the other side of the door—she’s either laughing or screaming. Who cares, I think. This is for mankind.

    The woman goes away. HAH! I think as I start another random chapter—how to get money out of your lover—I’VE WON! TAKE THAT, SEX SPY! YOU’LL NEVER GET ME!

    Then the security guy comes in.

    Now, in hindsight, maybe I should have stopped reading at this point. But, in my defense, the thing was pretty funny. And the security guy seemed to like it, too. I just wanted to acknowledge that fact. However, I was starting a paragraph on how eunuchs are supposed to do the horizontal dance, so maybe winking at him was misread as a suggestive gesture. For that, I guess I will apologize, if begrudgingly.

    Then my sister came out of the door, clothes in her hands. Turns out I was right—she was both laughing and screaming at me.

    Now, I guess I should end the story here. Mostly because you know what happened—the security guy kicked me out, and apparently I’m not welcome there for a while. I see now that you were part of the conspiracy. You all want to kill humanity.

    I won’t apologize for thwarting your plans. The people in the store know more than they knew before now. And most of them were laughing. Of happiness, I reckon. Because I defeated you.

    So fuck you, I’m not apologizing. And that grandma who called the security guy was a party pooper, just as that random girl said. I did a service to my race and my country, and I’m proud of that.

    If you don’t want to know how to bite a titty, then it’s your loss. But people deserve to know. I’ll never apologize for trying to make the people around me a little wiser.












    That said, my sister doesn’t let me read the Kama Sutra anymore.

    35 comments · 525 views
  • 24w, 3d
    This One Goes To You, Man. You Were My Hero.

    As of today, one of the greatest authors of the last century, Sir Terry Pratchett, is no more.

    Sir Terry Pratchett, also named Pterry by its fans, was one of the best comedic authors in existence. And, like all good comedians, he was a philosopher. A master of science-fiction, of fantasy, of tragedy. He could write better romances in three pages than any of us in one million words. He could make you think, cry, sit on the edge of your chair, stay awake way past midnight so you could read just one more page.

    The only real literary criticism I read of his words was “he doesn't use chapters”. He included it on the back of Hogfather. The first book of his I ever read.

    Every time you read his words, you did it with a smile.

    I'm fairly sure a lot of people will talk about this. He was the favorite author of many, and damn right so. I myself have been collecting his books since I was thirteen.

    The best way to say goodbye to him, in my opinion, is with a smile. Mr Numbers took care of that already. I myself can't think if I can do it better.

    But coincidences are a thing, especially when the chances are a million to one, as the old man certainly knew. Three days ago, I happened to finish Reaper Man, by Terry Pratchett.

    One of its messages is fairly simple, but powerful: a man's life doesn't end with his death. It ends when everything he's done is forgotten, when the clock he built breaks down, when his last harvest is recollected.

    Right after finishing that book, I started a story homaging Sir Pratchett's style. The file is named “Pratchett” and everything, because I'm as original as a ridiculous comparison.

    Now I'm morally forced to finish that story, and I'm going to make it the best one I've ever written. Because, in some way, I owe to the man. He taught me what “good comedy” meant. I refuse to forget that.

    And, if you were a Pterry fan, I ask you to do the same. Don't write if you don't mind, but read his books. Talk about them. Recommend them to your friends.

    Don't let Pterry die. He deserves to live forever.

    11 comments · 270 views
  • 24w, 5d
    Education Is Actually Really Awesome

    Aragón opened the door and got in with a heavy sigh. “Golly gee, this has been a horrible day,” he said. “Hi, Dad!”

    Dad was sitting on the sofa, reading the newspaper and sipping coffee from a mug that read 'Hitler's Father Had An Easier Life Than Me (Seriously, Fuck My Son)'. He didn't look at Aragón, he merely nodded to acknowledge he existed. “You're an abomination. I wish I could retroactively abort you,” he said.

    Aragón nodded. “Yeah, exactly like I tell you. A horrible day.”

    “Yesterday I injected arsenic in your right eyeball. With a used syringe I stole from the hospital.”

    “Like, when I was in the bus, I overheard a couple guys talking about how school sucks.” Aragón sat on the sofa right next to his father, who was still reading that newspaper. “And it pissed me off big time, y'know? I couldn't focus at all the rest of the day.”

    “You should be dead by now. Why aren't you dead yet.

    “I mean, for starters? I fucked up in court, and now my client is facing the death penalty.” Aragón frowned. “Which is fucking weird, because last time I checked death penalty is illegal in this country. Also, I'm an accountant.”

    Why do you insist on haunting my existence.

    Aragón shrugged. “I just can't get why people think school is uncool. School is the most awesome thing ever!”

    Dad took another sip from the mug. His voice was more bitter than coffee itself. “My life is hell.”

    “Fuck yes. Learning is wicked cool.” Aragón crossed his arms. “And I'm going to prove it!” he said as he looked for something in his bag. “Come on, it's somewhere in here...”

    “Hm?” The room opened, and in came Mother, carrying some groceries. “Oh, son! You came back?”

    “Yeah, I wanted to see Dad.”

    “I see, I see.” Mother looked at Dad. “Honey? Do you want your shotgun?”

    “Please.”

    Mother nodded and went out of the room, the groceries forgotten on the ground.

    “Oh, the shotgun?” Aragón looked at Dad, still looking for something in his bag. “We're doing that now?”

    “Don't talk to me,” Dad replied.

    “Do you want to strangle me while Mom brings it here?”

    “I'll do it, but not because you asked me to.”

    “Hmm.” Aragón lowered his gaze as the hands of his father closed around his throat. “I can't find it! Where on Earth...?”

    “HNNNNNNG!” Dad's face got red. A vein popped on his forehead. “HNNNNNNGGGGRRAAAAARGH!”

    “Woah. You've got quite the  grip, don't you?” Aragón smiled at Dad. “You could crush a coconut with this pressure!”

    RAAAAAAAAAAAARGH!

    Crack!

    “Hah! You broke my neck! Ain't that cool.” Aragón shifted his attention towards the bag once more. “Now, lemme see...”

    “Here's the shotgun!” Mother re-entered the room, the weapon secure under her arm. “Ah, you're choking him?”

    GRAAAAAAARGGGGHHHHH!

    “Here it is!” Aragón finally said, smiling. He took a book out of his hand. “The physics schoolbook I used in third grade! I read it again to show those guys in the bus that learning is good!”

    “Guys in the bus?” Mother asked.

    “Yeah!” Aragón opened the book and looked at a random place. “Oh, man. Gravity! I remember learning about gravity. It was so cool!”

    “That's fine, son—”

    “In fact, look at this!” Aragón pointed at the bag of groceries on the ground. “I'll use my gravity on that bag!”

    “Wait, what?”

    The bag rose and started orbiting around Aragón and his choking father. It made a “nyoooom” noise. Nyoooooooom.

    “WHAT THE EVERLOVING HELL IS THAT?!” Mother asked, taking a step back and looking at Aragón in horror. “WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH THE GROCERIES?!”

    “I'm gravitying them!” Aragón said, smiling. “Isn't it cool?”

    “THAT'S NOT HOW GRAVITY WORKS!”

    A pause.

    Nyoooooooom.

    “It's not?”

    “NO, YOU DUMB FUCK!”

    “Oh. Well, that was embarrassing.” The groceries bag fell to the ground again. “Gravity is still cool!”

    RAAAAAARGH!” Dad finally let Aragón's neck go. “This is useless. Honey, give me the shotgun.”

    “Here.”

    “Well then, let me just pick the groceries.”  Aragón got up from the sofa and looked at his mother. “Where do I put them? In the fridg—?”

    BLAM!

    The explosion filled the room, echoed against the walls, made the ground tremble.  Dad pointed the shotgun at Aragón and shot two more times.

    BLAM! BLAM!

    Aragón fell like a ragdoll, limbs limp like boiled spaghetti.

    There was a moment of silence.

    “Is... Is it over?” Mother whispered. “Did you...?”

    “I...” Dad smiled for the first time in twenty years. “I think it is! I did it! I DID IT! I FUCKING DID IT! I—!

    “Woah! Hahah.” Aragón got up. “That was wild! See, the bullets had a small mass, but their acceleration was so great that they still had strength!” He looked at the camera, gave it a thumbs-up, and smiled. “And I know that because I went to my classes! Education is awesome, kids!”

    WHAT KIND OF FUCKING DEVILSPAWN ARE YOU?!

    “And remember, kids, there is no such thing as 'too cool for school'! Learning is the best thing you can do!”

    BLAM! BLAM!

    WHY WON'T YOU DIE?!

    “Because education!”

    EDUCATION


    "WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU EVEN TALKING ABOUT?!

    35 comments · 417 views
  • 25w, 2d
    Explanations, And Me Trying To Avoid Being Dramatic (And, As Usual, Messing It Up Big Time)

    Ironically enough, I’ve been struggling with this blog post because I have no idea how to start it. Eventually, I just thought “fuck it, let’s go with the truth”. That always works.  Plus, that way I avoid being overly dramatic for something that, truth be told, isn’t that big of a deal.

    I’ll go straight to the point here: I’m not working on any long story now. I have planned a Long Story Short Things Went Down story (it was supposed to be a Valentine’s Day special, but it grew larger, and now it’s a bona fide sequel, pretty long – I’m guessing at least 30k words) and I have started it. But I’m not working on it for a couple weeks or so.

    Does that mean that I’m on hiatus? Well, those are the words I use to describe this state of being, but at the same time, I’m working on short stories. So yeah, it’s not like you won’t see any new fic of mine any time soon.

    I mean, right now I have two unfinished stories in my computer, and I’m trying to actually finish them. One of those is also a Long Story Short, Things Went Down-themed oneshot, so yeah. But those will be 4k or so, very short stories.

    Right now I’m a little bit under the weather, physically speaking (I have the nagging feeling I’m sick, but I dislike doctors – Mr. Numbers has told me more than once that I should go to the hospital, and if this continues I’m afraid I’ll have to go check myself). Plus, I’m mentally exhausted (Crime and Funishment was fun, but it was seven months of working on a long story nonstop, and I need a break from complex storytelling), and emotionally…

    Well, nothing bad has happened to me, so you don’t need to worry about that. I’m feeling fine and dandy, almost top of my game. I just need to shake off this fucking cold (or whatever it is) already, and take a small break from long-ass fics.

    But a friend of mine, a really close friend to boot, went through a horrible familiar tragedy recently. I won’t go into detail to avoid invading his privacy, but it’s not the kind of thing that allows you to get over.

    It’s the kind of thing that doesn’t leave you. Ever.

    Am I being dramatic? Maybe. But again, using his words, not mine. He felt them. I felt them too.

    So yeah, not exactly feeling like writing a long-ass comedy. Will I write short comedies? Hell yeah. I like writing comedies. Especially when I’m feeling down – how do you think I cheer up? So expect one short comedy really soon, and another short comedy not that soon.

    But don’t expect any long or ambitious project. Everything I make will be as top-quality as possible, though – unless I go through one of those fits that make me write an entire fic in one go, like with A Hell of a Time or I Don’t Want To Write This – those are great, but I care for the prose and the comedy, not the message.

    If you want an example of what that means, think Today is a Good Day to Die. I know I’m namedropping a lot of fics of mine, but cut me some slack – I’m not exactly in a bright mood right now, and whenever I do that I try to remind me that, hey, I can make cool things now and then.

    So yeah. Kind of a downer blog, but I felt like I owed you an explanation as to where the hell is that Valentine’s Day fic. I’m fairly sure you won’t mind me writing short stories for a while, though.

    See ya!

    7 comments · 200 views
  • 26w, 3d
    When You Say "OOC" Out Loud, You Sound Like A Surprised Gorilla

    So! Tomorrow I’ll post the last update of Crime and Funishment (a long fic of mine, the blog is not about it, so if you don’t care about that you can keep reading). Woohoo!

    It’ll be cool, to finally have that out. In an ideal world, every reviewer out there would give it a look once it’s done and then they would post, like, a long-ass review and give it five stars out of five. This is not a perfect world, however, so chances are they won’t read it at all. Instead, they will probably break into my house while I’m sleeping and then drink all my milk. The bastards.

    Anyway, so the whole “final update” thing puts me in kind of a weird position. I want to blog about CnF once it’s finished, but I also want to blog about something else before it’s finished.

    So I’m forced to post this blog today. Which doesn’t sound like a big deal, but holy magnolias guys, I have no idea why but I keep thinking this should be posted in, like, three days or so. Like, it just feel wrong to post it today.

    I am totally serious here, by the way. It’s the weirdest, most precise hunch I’ve had in my life. Like, I woke up today and I immediately went all “NO, ARAGÓN, YOU MUST WAIT. DON’T POST THAT THING YET. YOU ARE NOT READY.”

    I’m actually curious about this. Like, what? Children will cry fire and spit snakes because I posted this sh*t, or…? Eh, who cares. Let’s go to the point! OOC, AND WHAT IT MEANS!


    So! One of the first things you notice when you read a fic is if the characters are, well, “in character”. But what does that mean? In theory it’s, like, the most straightforward thing in fanfiction: a character is in character (from now on I’ll just type “IC” whenever I mean “in character” for simplicity and redundancy’s sake) when it acts like itself.

    Woah, that sounded simpler in my head. To put it bluntly: an IC Rainbow Dash is a character that, when you take the name out, still sounds like Rainbow Dash. She, by all means, is Rainbow Dash – reacts like her, talks like her, thinks like her… It’s, in other words, a well-written character.

    Is it easy to write an IC character? Well, it depends. (Have in mind we’re talking only canon characters here, no OCs). You need to understand that character, to actually know it, and then to be able to write it down that way. Sometimes it can get very tricky, depending on the character or the author.

    For example, SS&E hates Pinkie Pie, and more than once has said that he doesn’t like writing her, and that he finds it difficult. On the other hand, RainbowBob shows a clear knack for the pink pony and he writes her with ease (although I have no idea if he actually likes her).

    Does that mean that RBob is a better writer than SS&E? Not necessarily. It just means that, depending on your personality, you’ll find one character more fit to your writing. It’s like wearing pants. Maybe those old jeans look awesome with your butt and make your bro’s butt look kind of fat, but that doesn’t mean your butt is better. It just means that you have different butts.

    Writing in character is not a matter of having a nice literary butt, however. That’s more of an effort thing. And ability, and editors, and will to get inside the character to write it.

    So yeah, I guess the message here is: if a character is hard to write, don’t fear it. Just keep trying. Practice makes perfect, and all that.

    But that’s not what this blog is about! Writing out of character (OOC) is always a bad thing… But what does that really mean? It’ about a character not being itself, right? Not acting as it acts in the show. That’s the sign of a bad story. Pretty straightforward!

    Right?

    Hmm.

    Nah. I differ.

    You see, now and then you see a fanfiction that just screams “good characterization”. You finish it, and one of the first things you say is “Golly gee! That was an awesome Rainbow Dash! I must show this story to my Uncle Joe so I can gain his favor and inherit the farm! I’ll never be hungry again!”

    And you got to the comments and holy f*ck everybody thought the same. Everybody’s talking about how good Rainbow Dash was, how incredibly IC is every character, and just how damn happy Uncle Joe will be.

    But that doesn’t happen all the time. Sometimes, you read a fanfic that has some good characterization, and you just… don’t care. I mean, sure, the characters are IC. That’s cool. But you think about other things. The comments will be about the plot, the prose, a sad Uncle Joe… Whatever. But that doesn’t mean the characterization is bad, not at all! It’s just that, well. It’s not great.

    To that I say this: the great characterization that made the first fic so much better? That was OOC if you use the strict sense of the word.

    No, seriously. Sometimes, I think, you need to choose between writing a good fanfic and writing a good story. Around 80% of my stories show this: I never cared that much for writing exact copies from the show, because I knew that would actually turn my fics into worse stories.

    Why aren’t those fics doomed as garbage, then? (To which I reply: oh, they probably are, but that’s not the point). Well, the thing about writing OOC or writing IC is not as much about the character acting that way as it is about why it acts that way.

    In my case, it’s a meta thing. My stories are obviously A) comedies, B) silly comedies, and C) silly comedies that parody the show and the fandom. Those three things are subtle, but they’re still clear enough for the readers to immediately accept Celestia acting in a way that’s not what we’ve seen in the show.

    But she still sounds like Celestia. Why? Because the character is self-consistent.

    Allow me to explain: Sometimes I seriously believe this fandom has forgotten that every author has their own prose, personality, and tastes. Each writer will put their own personal vision in the story, and that’s what makes every fanfic a completely different story.

    Let me show you some examples:

    Tchernoborg’s Applejack worries a lot and has a clear wing fetish,

    SS&E’s Rainbow Dash is a petite, obsessive, cute, and insecure pony with a swaggering bravado.

    Mr Numbers’ Twilight is a neurotic, cynical, sarcastic, and genre-savy  bookworm with a soft side.

    Donny’s Boy’s Pinkie Pie is funny, but like all good comedians, it has some awesome philosophy behind her.

    Selbi’s Fluttershy has a dick.

    Are those things IC? Well, in a strict sense, they’re not. You won’t be seeing any of that in the show. Some of their main characteristics are underplayed, while some others are exaggerated.

    But still, the characters are self-consistent. They act that way for a reason, their personalities are justified. And they’re clearly based on the show. It’s not about taking whatever you want from the show and ignoring the rest: it’s about creating a picture that makes sense from the perspective of the character and the story, about having what’s best for the tale you want to tell, and about having the reader accept that immediately.

    How do the authors do that? They take what they’re more comfortable with, what they believe would make a good character, and then they let the character act on its own. It’s as simple as that, mere intuition. It also has to do with the mood of the fic – a more philosophical tone will justify more philosophical characters, and so on.

    What you as a person think, what you believe, how you see the world… Your characters are going to be influenced by that.

    And that’s good! That means that the Pinkie in your fic can be both the Pinkie Pie and your Pinkie Pie. It’s something that can’t be easily imitated, and that you shouldn’t fear. Hell, you should embrace it.

    To a point, of course! The main core of the character should somewhat remain recognizable. Don’t turn Twilight into a cyborg just because you have robotic arms, for example. There’s a balance that can be found only with practice.

    Can you write a completely IC character? Yes, you can. But it’s extremely complicated, and why would you do that? Fanfiction has narration, descriptions, prose. You can add a particular depth to your characters, make them yours. Be neutral if you want, but don’t shy away from adding your own flavor.

    This is especially noticeable in long fics, because the characters go through some development then. You end up with a character that might not be like the show’s Twilight Sparkle at all, and yet she feels right. Why? Because you saw her grow.

    I’m going back to what I said earlier: there’s a good fanfic, and then there’ a good story. Try to find a balance between the two, but if you have to choose? Choose a better story. It’ll be remembered with far more love.

    Hell, think about what I said about my stories. I’m the first one to say that my Celestia tends to be very out of character. Hardly any reader cares, because the way Celestia acts is funnier. On top of that, while it’s OOC, you can’t really say she’s not Celestia. She has enough traits from the show left to justify the initial portrayal of her.

    And then the fic goes on, and Celestia goes through some minor character development, and next thing you know she’s yodelling while juggling scythes. And my prereaders go “yep, that’s Celestia for you!” and call it a day.

    (Of course, that might be because I’m a bad writer and my prereaders are just tired of me. Who knows?)

    What I want to say here is: don’t fear the OOC stigma. Sure, if it alienates the reader (and it damn well can, if used wrongly) then avoid it. But it can be used for good, too.

    All great writers use some variation of OOC – that’s why you can say “Gosh, this guy’s Applejack is amazing, Uncle Joe will be pleased.” If every single character had to be perfectly IC, that sentence wouldn’t make sense. That guy’s Applejack is AJ, or she isn’t. Simple as that.

    I am fairly sure this is not a revolutionary idea. Almost everybody knows this already. But I’ve never seen this written down in Fimfiction, and I think that’s a mistake.

    Writing is about finding your voice. All the writers I’ve mentioned here have a very personal, particular style, for example. And I think that, hey, this is a nice message. Be who you are, yaddah yaddah individuality yaddah yaddah don’t be afraid to try to make a difference blahblahblah OH GOD UNCLE JOE IS DEAD NOW I’LL NEVER GET THE FARM MY LIFE IS RUINED.

    So yeah. If you’re starting to write (or if you’ve been writing for a while and struggle with characterization) think about that. Add your flavor. And screw those guys who yell OOC at everything.

    (Hell, the mere existence of shipping fics show that I’m right here – there’s no way that a character from the show would do any of that, but it still feels right, is justified, and self-consistent.)

    See ya!

    19 comments · 370 views
  • 27w, 4d
    On I Don't Want To Write This, or "How Aragón Still Manages To Mess Up Everything He Touches"

    So! The story is out of the box, which means I’ll ramble about it a little bit. Meta information, mostly—things that you can’t know just by reading at the story, but that I think are interesting for the readers.

    It’s also a great chance for me to ramble for over 2,000 words in a blog without anybody telling me I shouldn’t, and you can be damn sure I won’t let that pass.

    Oh, by the way! My salute to all my new followers: Hi. ‘Sup. Good? Good. I hope you realize I’m mainly a comedy writer, because if you followed me because you liked that drama thingy and feel like reading more dramatic stories, then… Yeeeeah. I, uh, might not be the best user to follow then.

    Okay, elephant in the room first: I like to make my blogs funny, and this is about a story that deals with Dash being sad because her father died. So I have two options here: ignore that detail and write my usual kind of blog (as in, full of very stupid jokes) or try to pay some respect to the story and write, like, a serious blog and all that.

    Yeah, doing the first option, sorry. On the other hand, I guess I’ll tone it down a little—not that hard, since I’ll be talking about a story, so it’ll be more informative than downright surreal (as often my blogs are, apparently).

    (Well, most people actually label them as “weird.” “Surreal” is just the fancy word for that.)

    (Okay yes, they actually say the blogs are, and quoting here: “f*cking dumber than that time you tried to lick a giraffe. What is wrong with you.” But we’re not talking about that.)

    Hm. Failed step one already. Well, that’s cool I guess.

    And, you know, partially I’m sorry but – I can’t stress this enough – I’m a comedy writer. Comedy. I’m used to people telling me my stories made them laugh. I mean, don’t get me wrong – I’m no stranger to noncomedy fics, and what was my most depressing fic till now is in EQD, to boot. But I don’t think those are “sad” as much as they’re “contemplative.”

    It’s a big difference, and you might call me a wuss for this, but… Holy crap, dudes. I log in, I see a couple comments, and both of them are people telling me my story made them think of their dead loved ones, and possibly cry.

    Woah.

    So yeah, as I’m as mature as a seven year old boy who plays online FPS’s, my first reaction is to immediately type “I’M SO SORRY” in the comments and then delete the story. Probably while crying hysterically.

    Of course, that’s the moment when I stop myself because I just remembered that wait, this is kind of a sad-ish story. That guy is telling me he liked the fic. And that other one said I did a good job, right after – oh shit I reminded him of his grandfather why did I do this.

    So yeah, you shouldn’t really expect any drama from this guy any time near. I’m not closing myself to the possibility, of course – I don’t really know what I’ll write next, that kind of thing just happens – but I think I’m more comfortable with comedy. Dunno, it seems like making folks happy (or at least making them chuckle) is more fulfilling than getting them melancholic.

    Which is, and I know it quite well, absolute bullsh*t. I’ve read sad-ish stories myself, I’ve gotten kind of sad about it, and I’ve loved it. I know that the folks who commented on it were happy with it. This is not anybody’s fault or anything, it’s just me being a wuss.

    Hahaha. Wuss. I seriously love that word. Like, I get it’s kind of an insult, but I love it because I can’t help but hear a very fat baby talking every time I see it. Wuss. Hahahahah. Such a fat baby.

    Why such a wuss (snort) reaction to the readers telling me they liked the story? Well, this is going to make me look bad, but – yeah, the comments were way too heavy for a story with such a background.

    I mean, more than one reader asked me why I had written that story. Perhaps I was feeling sad or angry for some reason? A personal experience similar to the one shown in the story? Me wanting to try new things?

    Far sillier.

    Far, far sillier. Seriously, don’t ever assume anything related to me is serious, because by all accounts I’m just a very eloquent clown fish in a Pixar ripoff movie.

    You see, I was browsing Tumblr at 3:00 am or so, because I have insomnia. And MrNumbers, being Australian, was online. So I was just skyping with him, talking some stupid silliness or something, when I noticed a sad fic had appeared on my dash.

    It was a really short “story,” and it was mostly a character writing a letter to a dead loved one. It was bad. It was very, very bad. So I said “man, I could do something better than this.”

    Numbers replied shortly. “You think?”

    “Yeah, dude. I just need a plot. Something simple, and just the voicing. Easy-peasy. I can’t believe how much they messed it up in this fic I’m reading.”

    “Plot? Isn’t it about a character writing a letter to another?”

    “Well, yeah, but you can’t just write a thousand words of ‘I’m sad’. I need something more. And the character is gonna be Dash.”

    “Why?”

    “She’s the best one for what I have in mind.”

    So immediately after writing this reply, I opened a MSWord doc, and I started writing. Just like that. No big revelation, no artistic struggle, no conveying my feelings to the page.

    Even I am disappointed by that, holy crap.

    I mean, I even did what I usually don’t do, and wrote while listening to a song. Just one song, on repeat. I memorized the lyrics because of this story.

    Which song? You might ask. Numbers guessed something by Mountain Goats (cool group, awesome lyrics, very contemplative/sad). Selbi said My Chemical Romance (kind of emo, punk-rock-whatever, more angrysad than sadsad).

    Both are wrong. Blank Space, by Taylor Swift. It doesn’t even relate to the story, I just thought it was fitting. Hey, that’s a neat melody. “AND YOU! LOVE! THE-GAME!” Neato. Let’s write this.

    Then I get comments of people who were, apparently, touched by that story, and God that’ embarrassing.

    Like, I’m sure this has to be a letdown to at least a reader. Way to drop expectations here. At first I had a “Post Scriptum” chapter in mind (that’s why the chapter is named “Missive,” by the way). In that chapter, I would show Dash sending her dad another letter, around three weeks or so later, and it would show she was better.

    But then I realized that the story was more powerful without that P.S. so I let it go. Also, the story got popular, and I accidentally tagged it “complete”, so any addition would be seen as me milking the cow. Seeing how people seemed to like the story how it is, I chose the elegant solution and just let the story run its course as it is.

    Also, funny story here: at first I was going to name the chapter “The Letter”. But the very same day I uploaded the story, RobCakeran (Author of MLD) was topping the featured box. And his story had only one chapter, titled “The Letter”.

    So I thought “Well, that’s a bummer”. I think Missive is better, however, seeing how it includes the word “Miss” in there. Also “ive” which can be read as “I’ve” and if you mix the two and ignore grammar, you have “I’ve missed [you]” which is cool I guess.

    Mostly the MLD author thing, tho.

    Oh, and by the way – while Octavia Harmony did a good job as a proofreader (as always), I gotta give MrNumbers a big shoutout for this story, because the initial draft was 6,5k words long.

    You might notice that the actual story, as it is now, is 4k (plus one!) word. The reason for this is that, well, seeing how I had written the entire thing while skyping with MrNumbers, he said he would take a peek at it.

    So I show him (the story was more or less written in one go, with a single pause to sleep, as I’d been awake for over 40 hours) and his answer was clear and simple: “It’s in character, it’s well voiced, it’s realistic, and it’s the most boring thing I’ve read in a long time. Cut two thirds of the rambling, get it to 3,500 words, and then come back.”

    Paraphrasing that line. He also slapped me hard in the face and called me a fat penguin. That was f*cking weird. But yeah. Even Octavia Harmony (who, by this point, is so jaded of editing all my stories that he seriously doesn’t give a f*ck anymore, in the best of ways – I can show him a story in which a character uses two pigs as nunchucks, and he won’t even bat an eye) told me that, dude, this time you got way overboard with the rambling.

    Cue me sighing, and then letting the story wait for a couple days. In case you wonder why, I did that to avoid being frustrated and to refresh my brain – never try to edit something you wrote mere hours ago, because you will miss stuff.

    So a couple days later, I go back to the story, and I start cutting parts of it. Initially, Rainbow Dash tried to avoid the stuff she’s embarrassed about, so she would suddenly start talking about Twilight and so. Which I think is what she would actually do (she doesn’t like admitting she’s lame), but as Number said, fiction is real life, but more interesting.

    And oh God cutting parts of the story was painful. It got to the point where Numbers (who knew what I was going through and was really cheery about it, the assbutt) referred to the act as “killing my little babies”, a term I soon adopted myself.

    Of course, killing those babies implied rewriting huge parts of the babies too. That was a weird sentence. Anyway, yeah, there’s a huge part at the start of the story that’s completely rewritten – initially, Dash goes to a park and breaks a stick and kicks some rocks, and ponders about that, and there’s a little echo with AJ’s advice going on through the story.

    Following Numbers’ advice was probably the best choice here, as the final result, as it is now, is leagues better than the original. So again, big shout out to Numbers for this one.

    We’ve learned two things here! First: always listen to your editors. Second: apparently, I’m a fat penguin. (I mean, he nailed the rest of what he said, so chances are this is also true).

    Octavia Harmony also did a good job, of course, but by the time he came and fixed all the grammar mistakes Numbers was already tearing me a new one. He chose to leave the beating to the Australian. He’s too busy building robots or whatever.

    (No, seriously. He does that. Artificial limbs with lego and stuff like that. How cool is that?)

    I think that’s about everything I can say about the story. It’s not tagged “Sad”, by the way, because I don’t like the tag (I see it as an order, not as a genre) and, because of the background story of this fanfic, I saw it more like a Slice of Life exercise on voicing Rainbow Dash. I seriously didn't expect it to be popular, and outright told my friends that it wouldn't get featured (as it's not a comedy, and I'm sure 99% of the guys here follow me for those). I lost the bet, because apparently I can never win, even if I win. Dang it.

    Not complaining about it, though. You'll first catch me death than complaining about popularity. That'd be too dumb, even for me.

    In fact, and Numbers commented on this early on, as I was still writing the fic – while the story reads as a letter, it’s a very weird letter. I immediately realized that I could make it more realistic (in the formatting sense), but that it would make the story more awkward to read. I chose to avoid that.

    Hence the lack of obtrusive grammar mistakes in the most emotional moments, crossed out sentences, and so and so. Dash as a narrator first, letter second. That was the rule.

    (Also, seeing how some fellas didn’t get it – yes, Dash is an unreliable narrator. She mentions more than once that she doesn’t remember certain events, and that she wasn’t paying attention to others. She doesn’t outright lie, but that aside you can’t get more unreliable than that).

    Ah! One last thingy that’s been annoying me: more than one person showed surprise at me being able to write something serious. That is perfectly normal, because I’m pretty dumb and anything I write is going to end up being silly as hell. I can’t stress that hard enough.

    However, some seemed to show surprise at the idea of a comedy writer being good at drama, which amused me. Fellas, comedy is harder than drama. I mean, yes, anyone can write a funny joke, but I’m talking about comedy here. That’s something that not only makes you laugh, but that catches your interest. I don’t know if my stories are at that level yet, but think about it for a second.

    Jokes are not the most important part of a comedy. The most important part is how and when to tell them. Comedies are about rhythm, pacing, tone, and knowing how to make the reader expect one thing (then subverting it). Many comedies also need strong characters and a little bit of dimension to be more than a simple forgettable chuckle festival.

    All of that is what you use to write drama. You only change one emotion for the other. But yeah, if you see a comedy writer, don’t assume he’s going for the easy route – comedy is a very easy way to get popular in this website, as it appeals to a bigger mass of people, but that doesn’t cheapen the genre.

    A good comedy is hard to write. Respect your comedy writes, fellas.

    I would also ask you to respect me, but I tried to write a serious blog post and I ended talking about fat penguins and how I rewrote some tiny babies. Yeah. Better not to include me in that cool “comedy writers” group, just in case. I respect those guys too much.

    Also, and even though it’s pretty stupid – sorry if that story made you sad! Think that a fat penguin wrote it, and that Dash got better at the end (the story, in fact, ends with Dash moving from anger to grief, which means that she’s slowly getting over the hard news. And she shows remorse and realizes just how messed up everything she did is, which actually is a very good sign, because at least she’s thinking again).

    See ya!

    14 comments · 361 views
  • 28w, 12h
    So, Crime and Funishment Got Leaked

    Weird word to use in this context. "Leaked". Hm. Yet, it's exactly what happened -- there was a draft of the story saved in this page (for formatting and word-count issues, more than anything) that I never submitted, and I didn't provide the link to anyone.

    It was password-protected, obviusly, and yet right now someone commented on it, saying that it was visible. And apparently, one could even download it completely. Not sure how to feel at the moment.

    So yeah. Seeing how this is just a silly fic, and not some kind of secret file that describes how I was the mastermind behind the most recent Fimfic drama (pick whichever you want, I guess -- I heard that PresentPerfect was revealed to be actually thirteen midgets and one really tall woman sharing an account pretty recently, maybe that will work) it's not that big of a deal, but it still annoyed me.

    Sssssssso. If you have seen that thing, how did you do that? You can't share it anymore (who would do that, anyway? It's just a fic), but just in case: don't share the downloaded file. Also, have in mind that it was a draft, with no input from prereaders, proofreaders, or anything. The actual, official chapters will differ in many points.

    But nah that'd be a dick move, and I'm fairly sure you're all pretty cool guys. Just saying. Also, I guess this means I was dumb for saving ubsubmitted stories? I have no idea. Just in case, don't do that , guys. Or do it, but, like, in a smarter way I guess.

    EDIT: Kay, details of the leak deleted, just in case. I know how it happened, and I'll contact a mod or some shit.

    23 comments · 320 views
  • 28w, 1d
    Valentine's Day!

    Welp, seems like you'll have to wait for that story I promised. It's coming in a week or so, but I couldn't finish it before today.

    I'm sorry, really, but I need to heavily edit some parts, and I want to feel cool about the whole result, y'know? I'm sure you'll understand. Better something actually legible than some half-assed, rushed disgrace.

    Plus, Bon Bon gets more and more caustic the more I write it, and sometimes it gets hard to come up with new ways to insult the characters in annoying tirades. Seriously, that character is designed to be completely ignored every time she talks (as in, you're supposed to skip her speeches), and it's still one of the biggest fan-favorites, if only because of the comedic duo she makes with Lyra.

    The rest of the characters are easy to write, however. And this story will finally clear some stuff about Turner and Derpy as well as showing you a new adventure (even more stupid than the original one, and with more action) so yeah, look up to that, I guess.

    So. You'll have to wait a little more for it. Sorry, and have a nice Love Day!

    5 comments · 153 views
Apr
27th
2013

Well, for some reason it's just not advancing the approval queue. It's been there for more than 48 hours now, so... Huh. It's not being denied, it's just that it hasn't been seen yet.

So, eh, I'm going to post the link here, just in case someone wants to, you know, read it. It should go up someday, but till then, I don't want the few readers I have to wait too much.

So, here you go!

LINK TO THE STORY

Report Aragon · 77 views ·
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