1. Member Since 19th Feb, 2012
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I wrote some stories for you. I hope you enjoy them.

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  • 1w, 4d
    Lesson 0: Learn the rules before you break them

    I know full well that I'm talking down to a lot of people in this post--my excuse is that writing it out is also a way for me to refresh the lessons in my own mind. Story tags are because I plan to go back and "grade myself" based on my own advice as i write these.

    Anyway: read the title of this post. Read it and really understand it, and uncritically accept it without putting caveats or qualifiers on it. That phrase, "you must learn the rules before you start breaking them," is incontrovertibly true no matter how much you want to resist it. If you disagree with what I’ve said so far, you are wrong.

    Remember, this isn’t me giving advice on how to write fanfiction; this is me relaying lessons from taking a class that had the sole purpose of teaching its students to write better. Being able to write clearly is much more important than being able to write with flair, and besides, if you aren’t an expert at writing clearly and correctly, then you are going to suck at flair.

    So.

    The first and most important rule is, fortunately, the easiest one to swallow.

    The only important person is THE READER.

    The instructor would ask "who is the only important person?" and expect us to reply "THE READER" out loud, like we were in grade school again.

    You may have heard that it's important to write what you want to write, instead of cynically trying to get people to like you. That's all good and well, but it's not a good mindset for improving your writing skills. In fact, it's not a good mindset for producing good work at all.

    Look at it this way: when someone says that his own opinion about the adventures of his red and black alicorn OC is more important than that of THE READER... would you honestly agree that this person’s goal is to make his writing “good?”

    Hopefully you can internalize the idea of THE READER being more important than your personal feelings, because the rest of these rules are going to test that conviction.

    No sentence fragments

    Uh huh. I know. Get it all out. I felt that way too. Spit it into a comment if you have to. Then read the first section again.

    Bear in mind, “no sentence fragments” doesn’t mean “no questionable sentence structures.” The ban on starting a sentence with a conjunction, for example, isn't even a real rule, so that can stay in your inventory. The only things categorically banned were sawn-off not-sentences.

    Things like this. A subject with no action. Things that don’t count as “bad sentences” because they aren’t even sentences. A tough habit to break, but one that shouldn’t be a habit in the first place.

    Giving sentence fragments a free pass in the name of not imposing rules on creativity is no different from giving any other rule a free pass. Would you agree with someone who tried to defend tense errors the same way?

    That's how the instructor put it, anyway.

    I put it this way if you frequently use sentence fragments, then you have a habit of making grammatical errors. Intentional sentence fragments are almost always weaker than proper sentences. Break yourself of them, if only temporarily, and hopefully you'll see that my instructor and I are right about this.

    No pronouns

    Yep. Sorry, should have given a trigger warning.

    Go ahead and take a minute if you have to, but not too long, since you should’ve already gotten it all out of your system with the last one. You good now? Okay.

    Every single pronoun you use runs the risk of being a bad pronoun, such as an ambiguous pronoun or a dry weak pronoun where you would better off with a more descriptive word or phrase. Even pronouns in phrases  like "those things" and "when that happens" are still pronouns.

    You’re about to say something about Lavender Unicorn Syndrome. Well, you're wrong. Telling people to avoid Lavender Unicorn Syndrome is stupid advice that everyone should just purge from their awareness.

    This is a weird one, so I'll go through examples.

    Rainbow Dash flew at a steady pace across the blue sky. She knew that she would tire herself out if she pushed herself too hard, and she still had five laps to go for today's workout.

    There were two of them left when Twilight Sparkle appeared. It was so sudden that she had to swerve hard to avoid crashing into her.

    "Whoa!" she said. "Watch it!"

    "Sorry!" squeaked the lavender alicorn.

    Surely you agree that some of the pronouns need to go. So let's kill them every single pronoun and see if there are any improvements that you wouldn't have caught if not for this exercise.

    My usual solution is to restructure the whole sentence/paragraph.

    Rainbow Dash flew at a steady pace across the blue sky. There were still five laps left in her workout, which was too many to take at a sprint.

    Note that "her" doesn't count in this case, because it's a possessive.

    Of course, sometimes you can just find and replace. Being less obsessive about word repetition helps.

    There were two laps left when Twilight Sparkle appeared with a loud POP. Twilight's entrance was so sudden that Rainbow Dash had to swerve hard to avoid a collision.

    "Whoa! Watch it!"

    And, of course, I did say that Lavender Unicorns are perfectly acceptable substitutes for pronouns...

    "Whoa! Watch it!"

    "Sorry!" squeaked the flying lavender unicorn, hovering unsteadily on her days-old wings.

    It's been three-ish years since I was involved with this class and its tyrannical instructor, but these rules are still with me. Even the incredibly annoying pronoun ban served as a good exercise in constructing clean, readable prose, as you can see from the examples.

    There were other rules, some of them equally restrictive, but most of them were specific to the task at hand. The next post, however, will require you to forget some rules as well as learn some new ones. Stay tuned.

    4 comments · 47 views
  • 2w, 3d
    All is right in ponydom

    I know, I said I would do a thing, and then I didn't.

    I will. I promise. Next post.

    But first, I need to share this with you: a friend has informed me that One Terrible Writer has posted all of his stories, previously thought to be lost forever, on fanfiction.net.

    It's all humorous cloppy shitfics, and if you're reading this post then chances are it's because you have the weird sense of humor that will make you love these.

    Cross my heart, won't post again unless it's the first of those lesson posts.

    3 comments · 29 views
  • 3w, 6d
    Knighty HATES him! Honolulu-area baker reveals how to improve your writing with 3 simple rules!

    I’ve seen it a few times, and you probably have too: people will say stuff along the lines of “I bet this person took a community college course in creative writing and now they think they're so great.” It’s a very resonant insult for classists like me. Besides, it’s rooted in fact: the level of literacy needed to pass community college courses in this town is miserably low.

    And then I took a community college course in creative writing, and learned things that have guided my writing ever since. When you think about it, it’s more than a little arrogant for me to act like that’s supposed to be surprising. I became a better writer by taking a class about creative writing; imagine that!

    My next few blog posts will be dedicated to sharing the handful of succinct, valuable, lasting lessons that I have been putting into practice since taking this class. If you read them all, it’ll be like getting a 400-odd dollar value for free! In fact, I’d love to actually private-tutor people in this stuff. I will legit put together a lesson plan with assignments and everything for you.

    Hell, who am I kidding? I’ve written a single digit number of shitfics in the last two years and half my followers have probably left the fandom.

    On that note--well, eh, I suppose I might as well write up the first lesson as its own post. Stay tuned!

    1 comments · 20 views
  • 4w, 1d
    In the moment before her execution, she realized what it meant to be a princess, to be alive, to be Twilight.

    A while ago, I wrote a quick bit (which I won't link, because it's bad) about Twilight Sparkle's planeswalker spark igniting when a season finale/opener goes wrong and she is defeated by a villain. Bonus points because she's already said to have a "spark."

    I thought about turning it into a full on crossover fic where she finds herself in... somewhere iconic and not distracting like Dominaria I guess, and is tutored by someone iconic and not distracting like Jace I guess, who is frustrated with Twilight's apparently low power level and takes a long time to figure out that the magic of friendship is not, in fact, blue mana. But MTG lore can only be found in vague blurbs and really shitty novels, so I didn't follow through.

    But this latest set, Origins, it's all about doing pretty much exactly what I was planning on--they've written five (very) short stories about five iconic Planeswalkers who previously had vague or nonexistent origin stories. This includes some questionable writing decisions and some serious, egregious retconning.

    Which has me thinking about who else besides Twilight has a backstory befitting a Planeswalker.

    Anna is too slow to save Elsa. Instead, Elsa explodes just like Chandra and wipes out half her kingdom.

    Robin drives her sword into Grima's heart. She disappears without a trace, and to her dismay, finds herself still alive and full of unspeakable dark magic that she must never allow back into her own world.

    Pretty much every League of Legends character follows the formula.

    Commander Shepard weighs her options for a bit, and chooses Orange.

    Hiccup, uh... I haven't actually seen this movie, but it's literally all about dragons I'm sure you'll think of something.

    Anakin Skywalker is led to believe that he killed his wife.

    I wish there was a way to say Maya Fey but there isn't.

    Bruce Wayne's parents get shot.

    Your ideas?

    0 comments · 27 views
  • 5w, 6d
    ... I've been writing, and I didn't even realize it

    I have been writing for one of those funtime anonymous contests. Normally I would be outright ashamed to admit that I was doing that kind of thing instead of working on my own ideas, but this particular contest has been ongoing since May and has gotten me to write well over 10,000 words, which is probably 10,000 more than I would have written otherwise.

    It's all stupid OC garbage, but when I stop to think about it, it's kind of absurd to say that writing fanfiction of all things counts more than writing for a prompt.

    Anyway, I'll post a compilation of my entries for it eventually. Maybe I'll write more, too--the character is a well loved member of the cast.

    3 comments · 30 views
  • 6w, 5d
    Game: what were the names of Princess Celestia's other candidates for apprentice?

    Moonbeam Twinkle?

    Daybreak Glisten?

    2 comments · 33 views
  • 7w, 2d
    furries and bronies both need to learn this

    When a fandom creates ass-puckeringly horrendous porn, it's hilarious.

    When a fandom starts to act like insecure sperglords about the "image" of "The Fandom(tm)," then they richly deserve to be the punching bags of the internet.

    okay that fucking BronyMate ad will not go away. that weirdly proportioned, single bedroom-eye is staring at me and blinking on every fucking page. i think part of why i can't ignore it is because it looks like Cloudchaser. similar colors, spiky hair. which just makes it even more uncomfortable

    2 comments · 50 views
  • 8w, 1d
    Feminist thought of the day:

    There's a whole list of reasons I'm hesitant to say that I agree with feminism, but a lot of them have to do with the fact that the internet and postmodernism (which I otherwise like) has given voice and legitimacy to the fact that all kinds of bullshit can be backed up by feminist literature and by postmodern woo-woo about the patriarchy. Possibly my least favorite thing is feminists who were on the losing side of the so-called "sex wars" i.e the ones who aren't Belle Knox and Sasha Grey. Maybe I'll talk about that another time.

    Anyway, I've been arguing for the longest time now that the "madonna-whore duality" doesn't apply any more. The media's full of positive portrayals of female sexuality. Crucially, positive portrayals of femal sexuality aren't even edgy any more.

    Fifty Shades challenges that opinion of mine. It's a clear return to the old "good girls don't say yes" trope, the female lead is a spineless worm that should make anyone cringe especially feminists, and the whole thing is disgustingly popular, presumably with women who have internalized negative ideas about female sexuality.

    Then again, an old friend of mine put it like this: I've never known what it was like to be an insecure teenage girl with whom Bella strikes a chord, and even then I should be able to relate to what's basically a female monster-girl fantasy.

    0 comments · 30 views
  • 8w, 5d
    bet you never thought about this

    "They feel that they put so much time and effort into this niche collecting community, and then all of a sudden bronies come out and start getting all this attention," Hayes told Collectors Weekly in 2012. "And it's like, hey, well, what about us? We've been here forever, and nobody seemed to care. But now that there are all these guys in their 20s that are crazy about it, it's suddenly important and it means something."

    fucking wow

    http://m.chicagoreader.com/chicago/my-little-pony-ponyville-bronies-schaumburg/Content?oid=18177842

    1 comments · 30 views
  • 9w, 2h
    Katawa Ponies

    After the featured box had, back to back, a story about Dante adopting a tiny Applejack followed immediately by one about Elsa adopting Snowdrop, a friend and I  started talking about the only reasonable next step: having a Katawa Shoujo girl adopt a pony.

    Shizune (deaf mute) and Vinyl Scratch (mute)?

    Emi (fastest thing on no legs) and Scootaloo (pegasus with defective wings)?

    Misha (insufferable pink haired autist) and Pinkie Pie?

    1 comments · 21 views
  • 9w, 1d
    Wind and Sky

    The air was that was so cold that it stung Cloudchaser’s lungs, and so thin that even gasping hard enough to dry out the back of her throat still left her feeling light-headed. Her wings ached, her injured shoulder throbbed, her muscles were seizing in the cold—the moment of transformation was ending. Cloudchaser was a pony again, and the rage of the wind was finally taking its toll on her pony body.

    High-altitude flying was a lot like deep-sea diving: a brief foray into a place where ponies were not meant to be. Cloudchaser’s time was running out, and it was time for her to to return to the world below.

    And so Cloudchaser closed her eyes, sucked in one last breath of howling wind, and pulled her wings from the air to hold them tight against her sides. She fell into the overcast immediately, then carved a vertical path through it, shedding flecks of ice from her mane and coat as she plummeted into the sky below. With her wings folded, Cloudchaser flew straight down with the aerodynamics of a high-velocity rock for several seconds, then threw her body into a head-over-hooves front tuck, somersaulting one-two-three-four-five-STOP!

    She flared her wings when she was a single pounding heartbeat away from landing like an earth pony who had fallen from a hot air balloon. A cloud of dirt and grass bloomed rapidly around her landing site as she flapped with her full might, pushing the ground away before it could crush her.

    She touched down with a three-point landing with one hoof curled to her chest, and then she fell to her side, crashing into the grass with a throaty “Rrrgh!”

    Clouduchaser squeezed her eyes shut, rested her head against the hillside’s flattened grass, and tried to suppress the pounding hurt with deep breathing. It didn’t work, at least not for the first—felt like a full minute, but probably only because of the pain. The gut-tremor of adrenaline burned itself out quickly, because stunt fliers weren’t supposed to know there was such a thing as a close call. The limpness of exertion was going to take a little longer, though.

    Beneath the sound of her own blood and breath, Cloudchaser could hear rapidly approaching hoofbeats. She greeted the incoming mare without opening her eyes.

    “Hey. ‘d’ya enjoy the show?”

    “Bet your tail I did! That was somethin’, even for you! I mean, I lost sight of you above the clouds for a while there, but still…”

    Gala Apple had a tart soprano with a sweet drawl, and her excitement was as cute as it was infectious. Cloudchaser didn’t have enough air in her lungs for a proper laugh, but she did start to grin despite the pain.

    “What’s that thing called? The upside-down spin? Or that long spinnin' fall?"

    “Doesn’t have a name. ‘m the only one stupid enough.”

    That was only half true. Officially they were called “inertial techniques,” but Cloudchaser called them “gravity chicken.” Pulling into a ninety degree climb, stalling, and then turning a half-somersaut to point your forehooves toward the ground—that was an inertial stunt. But building horizontal speed and then snapping your wings shut and whipping a 360 lateral drift with a double twist—well, that probably belonged in its own category. And even that wasn’t as unthinkably dangerous as the full-on, wings-shut, terminal velocity plunge with a quadruple front that had been today’s finale.

    “Does that mean you get to call it the Cloudchaser?” Gala Apple said.

    Cloudchaser chuckled as her panting breath started to even out. “Girl, they can’t decide which one to call the Cloudchaser.”

    That, too, was only half true. Truth be told, it was a toss-up between whether they would settle on ‘The Cloudchaser’ or ‘illegal endangerment.’ Either way, it would be worth it to see the look on the judges’ faces next year…

    1 comments · 39 views
  • 12w, 3d
    why do i use this site again

    5 comments · 81 views
  • 13w, 1d
    OC Slamjam Compendium '16 Comments Alpha EX Special Edition

    Here they are, my comments on all the rest of the OC Slamjam contestants!

    Part one is here.

    Part two is here.

    Part three is here.


    Quick Study

    Another character who has a one-note name and cutie mark shtick, and makes a decent character by going ahead and running with it. I do appreciate the effort that went into the personality section. It gives opinions and motivations that have the potential to make her genuinely interesting.

    Heather Rose

    This character’s entry shows that the author is either a well known ponyficcer, or someone who should open a fucking doc and become one already. That said, she’s far from the best OC in the contest. This character goes to show a couple things: One, that these sheets suffered for lack of established conventions for “how to write a good character sheet,” and two, that speculation is key to using these characters to their fullest. For example, Heather Rose as written by her opponent Proper Prim showed special love for being out surrounded by her flowers,  wasn’t a big fan of the train zooming past, and was a bit slow to warm when approached by someone who wasn’t really her type. That kind of thing is missing from most of these character sheets, not just Heather’s.

    Gross Product

    “Helped the Apples run the farm?” This is the first character who’s too closely connected to canon. Much too close, actually. Aside from that, just being the pony equivalent of a baby boomer doesn’t count as an interesting character trait.

    Oddluck

    What a random-ass character this is. She has a bit of an emo past, she’s educated, she’s a wanderer, her cutie mark is being lucky, you say that she’s angry and vindictive BEFORE you say what her personality is for the majority of the time… This sheet is a mess. Focus in and sell your character as having a main concept, and work everything else to fit into that.

    Luster Lock

    Here we have a character whose complicated backstory is—for once—actually has quite a bit of bearing on who she is as a character. Her personality may be a list of words, but at least they’re specific and non-standard words that actually figure into the history and actually provide some nuance. Wish I had read this sheet before reading her stories, because I think I might have mentally mixed Luster up with Melon Rind or something and now I’m wondering if her opponent might have really blown it on her character. It’s a serious stretch to say that Luster would rob someone out of revenge.

    Wispy Willow

    I’m biased by the fact that this guy’s story was so good. I don’t know if I would have liked him so much otherwise. But come on—a ghost hunter pony? That’s hilarious. That’s a great idea. Best of luck to this guy in the next round.

    Love Runner

    A pony whose cutie mark talent is breaking up relationships. Who got her cutie mark for breaking up her parents. Author, is everything okay? D:

    I do like that the author took such a weird idea and worked it into a coherent character. I don’t fully know if I like the character.

    Mango Leaf

    Fucking Hoofululu. Good god. This guy is a joke character, straight up. And not the likeable, versatile Evergreen type. I’m torn on whether I like him or not. I mean, I like him, he’s funny, but he’s an awkward one-note joke, not even an in-your-face one like Iron Curtain, and it would be annoying to come up against him.

    Whitewash

    Like Dawn Gleam, he’s an Idea Bin Escapee but in a good way (and I’ll understand if people disagree with me about Dawn Gleam due to that one raising Mary Sue flags). He is all about his backstory, but his backstory is interesting and it opens Whitewash up to messing with other ponies’ lives in interesting ways. His personality especially manages to take his central idea and turn it into a living character.

    Booster Bones

    He’s a fucking ghost. I hope he comes up against the ghost hunter pony.

    I don’t know whether he’s an infuriatingly railroaded Idea Bin Escapee or a hilariously lovable incompetent joke character. Given the story his author did, he could go either way.

    Clue Seeker

    Ha ha ha what. Literally right after the incompetent ghost detective comes an actual detective. He’s an extremely one-note “background pony,” but an eminently useable one, and it will be up to him and his opponents to make him fun. But what the fuck is up with specifying that he’s G4? I mean…

    Minie Ball

    This one officially cannot be separated from how her first couple of stories went. Jesus Christ. That is all.

    Loosestrife

    Our second ancient warrior from the tribal days, how the hell did this happen? But this one has the decency to be coherent and readable, so that’s fine. The entire character is a terribly predictable “proud warrior from medieval times,” but her author and opponent both showed themselves to be highly competent, so I guess I gotta give this one a thumbs up.

    Trinket

    Other people will probably think that this one is too close to canon, but I think he’s a perfectly workable “background pony” whose talent is creating pretty things. He does have a personality, his history and profession are useable—nothing inherently Mary Sue about being a friend of Princess Cadance. I went to high school with a future first string Notre Dame lineman and a future Japanese supermodel. These things happen.

    Hazel Luck

    Again with a “lucky” cutie mark, geez. She’s more or less devoid of an interesting story, though she does have a personality. I worry that she’s a bit generic. A very vague talent for “being lucky” and a personality that’s basically the “outgoing please love me” means she’s going to lean on her opponents in order to make her stories unique.

    Loam

    What terrible mechanics you have, my dear. I can’t say I like that her talent is digging holes which led her to be a gravedigger. And… that personality section… is all. about. motherfucking. holes. The airships bit obviously shows that she’s copy pasted from a roleplaying thread, but then I gotta wonder, who makes a roleplaying character that’s a gravedigger whose talent is digging holes? D:

    Ace Artisan

    I like this guy quite a bit. He has the kind of backstory that sets him up as a person with a life (he has a family, he’s had struggles, he has a cutie mark story that shows character) but he’s also a pony with an identity centered on his cutie mark.

    Lunar Glint

    Okay, the fact that he’s marked as Heterosexual sets off more alarms than Summer Heat’s entire profile combined. He’s otherwise painfully generic and has gotta, gotta be a self insert. I don’t really know where to go with ragging on this one, but it would probably turn into ragging on the author if I did. Let’s move on.

    Caps Lock

    Where the hell did “scar on the left buttcheek” come from? Her appearance section hurts my eyes, but her stories show that her bubbly, sorta ditzy personality and salespony profession are a lot of fun. Another nice example of how the “background pony” type can be good instead of boring.

    Haystacks

    Holy shit what. Someone had something to prove here.

    Streamline

    Don’t just compare your color scheme and build to canon characters, what the hell!

    He’s a background pony whose shtick is being a heartless corporate suit. That’s actually kind of fun. He’s definitely got the potential for good stories.

    Loud Mouth

    A cutie-mark-powered motivational speaker who can’t help but feel like her own dreams aren’t coming true—I really like that. I’m not sure exactly how well it works as written here, though, because the fact that she really and truly is insecure (see those last couple lines) doesn’t quite click with me. I can’t imagine that someone whose profession (indeed, whose cutie mark) is all about personal presence and speaking ability would be so overtly under-confident. I’m more feeling that little detail as a secret bit of her, a hidden anxiety that only comes out in private moments. Regardless, a nice character.

    Foxglove

    And to close it out we have… a very strange one. A freaking thief pony. A very deeply unhappy thief pony who does it all for his little daughter. Whose day job is apparently as a cop or something? His talent is of “being slightly more alert than others?” I don’t know whether to give a thumbs-up for being highly original and detailed and nuanced, or a thumbs down for… being… a gritty, depressing pony whose whole thing is being a thief! He has a very strong flavor and feel to him, he’s got all the pieces for a great story, I just… gah! So many things wrong with it!


    Aaaaand that’s all, folks! Since this contest is going to last a long time, I want to keep a running commentary on my blog somehow, but I’m not sure quite how. Maybe I’ll suggest hypothetical pairings, maybe write some bits of them myself, maybe invite other people to do the same? Since there are some pairings that just need, need, need to happen.

    One more thing: PresentPerfect has done much the same as me, writing brief comments on all the characters. May I humbly suggest that other people follow in our hoofsteps?

    11 comments · 185 views
  • 13w, 3d
    OC Slamjam Compendium Comments the Third

    This brings me up to about the halfway point on my comments about theOC Slamjam contestants!

    Part one is here.

    Part two is here.


    Mild Manners

    A pony of royal blood is an interesting idea, because Prince Blueblood and his completely unspecified brand of nobility is a thing to be explored, maybe, I guess. He’s cohesive enough, and the profile is well written, so we’ll have to see if people do well with utilizing the various aspects of a pony who’s much more… well… mild, compared to the other contestants.

    Dawn Gleam

    Again with a goddamn H-A-T list. That’s a trap that leads to non-characters. That’s not the main problem with this one, though—the main problem with this one is that Trixie being a candidate for Celestia’s apprentice is a shitty fanon idea and you should feel bad. This is another Idea Bin Escapee, but one that is actually interesting and—crucially—open-ended. But ditch the daggers and the “shoo-in for HONESTY.” She’s already more of a super awesome canon related protagonist than most people will be happy with. Seriously, this is the second time we’ve seen daggers, and I know from experience that this is because these characters were used for RP scenarios full of edgy mary sues and some kind of fighting ability was expected if not required. Stop it. If you’re writing fanfiction instead of RPing then you need to be better than that.

    Mizuko

    Mizuko has easily lost the title of “worst by far” to Minx and the one with the spinal defect and the forgettable name, but she is still stand-out terrible. The thing that made me initially flag her as the absolute worst pony in the contest is that when I skimmed over all the characters, my eye was drawn to the nauseating Tumblr shit at the end of her first paragraph in the Personality section. “any number of inherently negative traits […] include, but aren’t limited to: bigotry, prejudice, snark (or any form of mean-spirited sarcasm), sexism, misandry/misogyny, etc.” Being a weeaboo self-insert was bad enough, but this elevated it to HOLY CRAP WHAT?

    Aurora, you were right—she’s not even that bad; it’s just that she keeps raising Mary Sue red flags. For starters, she has among the worst cutie marks in the contest. And yes, her name is “Water-tan,” good job that’s very clever and would be a perfectly good pony name if this were a shounen anime. The sad thing is that we have the beginnings of an idea with “cares about competitive swimming more than having a social life,” but by that time we have already read “SHE IS AN AMA DESU, WHICH IS HOW THEY SAY ‘DIVER DESU’ IN GLORIOUS NEIGHPON!” and cringed.

    Wind Whistler

    Wow this one has a boring backstory. Most of it could be cut and replaced with “high-ranking, well-liked guardspony,” but I will credit him for being cohesive (if formulaic) with his backstory and personality. There’s nothing inherently wrong with it, but I think this is another sign of a roleplaying character—a detailed and mostly irrelevant backstory.

    Silver Lining

    My eye was caught by “misogyny/misandry,” but how did I overlook “autistic older brother?” I kind of don’t want to tear into this one the same way, because its mechanics are exceptionally bad, and writing a takedown would just be beating up on low-hanging fruit.

    Falcata

    I… I just… Holy crap, I don’t even want to read this fucking thing! Just look at this entry like what the hell happened here!? This isn’t how outlines work! “Time-displaced pegasus legionary from ancient equestria” is all I need or want to know about this character.

    Summer Heat

    I would expect this kind of thing from an F-list profile. Or Furcadia. Or some equally filthy corner of the internet that I’m ashamed to know about. That said, it’s a good F-list profile (though that’s not saying much) that is neither embarrassingly snowflakey nor depressingly empty and direct. Whatever. When we find out whose character this is, I’m gonna have a good laugh at their expense. Looking forward to what kind of stories come out of this one.

    Calluna

    I mentioned in one comment that the two typical personality types are “friendly, outgoing, please love me” and “quiet and withdrawn, just like all those Buzzfeed articles about us introverts.” This is the second one and there’s almost nothing more to see than that.

    Minx

    Again, I jumped the gun by saying that Mizuko is the absolute worst. I called Mizuko “terrible,” but this abomination here is “disgraceful.” It reminds me of six or seven years ago when I was roleplaying with a Megaman Battle Network OC. It reminds me of some of the charactrers I saw eight or nine years ago when I was roleplaying on Gaia Online. It reminds me of so many teenage roleplaying experiences that I’m willing to share embarrassing information about my roleplaying past just to express the caliber of bad that this is. Mizuko was a self-insert sprinkled with mary sue clichés; this guy is a OHSEE DUNOT THTAEL who doesn’t even have the decency to be modest like Mizuko or well-written like Dala. I don't think I would have outdone this one if I wrote an intentional, ironic Mary Sue.

    Glyph Dance

    Second one who carries daggers in his tool belt OH BOY OH BOY. I am trying my very, very hardest to not let my judgement be tainted by the fact that he came right after Angelynx/Minx/Devilinx. I would expect to see Glyph, Dala, and the underground pegasus all in the same RP thread. So many DONUT STEELs here that maybe I should stop judging them so harshly. My main problem with this guy is that he’s supposed to be some kind of too-cool-for-school badass, which isn’t the most horrible thing but it sure does make my eyes want to roll.

    Iron Curtain

    This guy might be my absolute favorite character in the whole damn list. No bullshit, described with a completely straight face, he’s a proud Communist from glorious Stalliongrad who lost an eye fighting the capitalist pig-dogs in the war. He wears a fucking ushanka. I laughed my ass off while reading this character, and the stories with him in it did not disappoint at all.

    Spring Blaze

    This blatant self-insert is joining Mizuko and the spinal defect one on the “worst in show” short list. I will not spend more time on this comment than the author did on the character. Well, okay, just one thing: Game design out of fucking nowhere? Really? You might as well make a horse pun for Gamergate.

    Price Back

    This guy is actually pretty good. His personality is a bit like the “buzzfeed article” generic, but it is also nuanced in well-conceived ways and can drive interaction. The quirk of being “susceptible to injury” seems random along the lines of what’s her face’s spinal defect (I refsue to go through the trouble of looking up her name). We’ll see how well people use Price Back.

    Wait—on second glance, his name sucks. It has nothing to do with anything.

    Minnie Milk

    I can’t be the only one who can’t stop thinking of Milky Way when I read this name. And with her missing teeth I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that she’s a friend of Summer Heat. Anyway, this one’s weird. Along with her really strange quirks that don’t seem to fit into a holistic picture, there’s also the fact that her personality section is all about her getting mad when she’s bullied. I… don’t know what to make of her. Guess I’ll have to read her story.

    11 comments · 158 views
  • 14w, 5h
    Slam Jam Compendium Comments pt 2

    Here's part two of my comments on the OC Slamjam contestants!

    Part one is here.


    Lucky Stars

    She’s a teacher and she wants to make a difference to her kids. That’s so straightforward that it’s almost a non-thing; all of this detail and even a whole bunch of stuff about her family can just be boiled down to “she’s a teacher.” I suppose the family stuff could be used to create some interesting stuff in a story, which is what matters. Still, though.

    Staccato Spark

    I’m not sure if being all about Fanon Scratch is a plus for minus for this character—plus because it’s ballsy, or minus because it’s unoriginal and leans on being awesome via proximity to a loved character. I’m gonna go with minus because there isn’t much else to the history section. I want to resist rolling my eyes at the whole thing, because she does have traits of her own: her self-consciousness, the way Scratch is significant to her character beyond just the author’s ego, and other details.

    Obvious Question

    This guy’s name implies that he’s going to be a one-note joke character, but his character takes that one note and runs with it. The explanation of his name, the way he uses his talent, it all really does work, a fact that comes out in the stories he’s in, both of which are excellent.

    Proper Prim

    Great name, first off. She’s my favorite kind of OC, or at the very least the kind most suited to this contest—the kind who has interesting personal traits while also sticking close to her cutie mark shtick. Not much to say about her, because I all around just like her. She’s simple, a big formulaic, yet also distinctive. Just right for an OC who lives in the world of a cartoon for little kids.

    Bibidi Boo

    Aaaaand coming right off of that we have a real doozy of a snowflake. Not liking the vagueness of “dark magic” as her whole thing, and definitely not liking the way she’s some awesome vigilante hero out righting wrongs via completely unspecified dark and edgy methods. I do like the fact that she’s a witch named Bibidi Boo who wears a pointy black hat. If I had to give her a rating, it would be a thumbs down, but there’s room for her to be used well… even if it’ll probably be her opponents who do it better than her own author.

    Merry Weather

    Blatant self insert. Tragic birth defect because surely that’s all you need for an interesting character. Personality section full of non sequitur garbage. I refuse to put any further effort into explaining why she is probably one of the five worst characters on the list.

    Vanilla Skies

    Generic-ass weatherpony but at least she doesn’t earn a place on the list of entries that I actively hate. Next.

    Azure

    So here we have a pony whose character sheet includes a close relationship with one of her brothers and a specific and unique hobby of attending and participating in rodeos, which is a great start, but then the personality section completely and totally fails to flesh anything out whatsoever. I swear to Faust there are probably ten ponies whose main personality flaw is “often acts without thinking.” This character sheet gives ideas that would make a character interesting, and then glues them onto a shell of a non-character.

    Fillygree

    Just being a jeweler named Fillygree is a fantastic idea. Her profile is very bare-bones, but not in a way that makes her feel empty—she definitely has a personality and some motivations laid out to be used. I’m not giving scores, but I would write this one off as a “pretty good.”

    Bristle

    A lot of these just used “Happy, Afraid, Trouble” or “Like, Dislike, Trouble” as a guideline, but dammit, people shouldn’t actually do list form. Fortunately for this one, that section actually says quite a bit about how he feels about things and what kind of values he has. Another thing on his side is that his History leads up to a specific and meaningful set of life circumstances. Despite saying it in very few words and being quuite vague about it, this guy comes out nicely as a “deep” character.

    Casey Regluator Trotterson (strong contender for worst name of the list)

    Another of those “background ponies” who has a special cutie mark talent and sticks to it throughout the whole character sheet. He’s a train conductor who… conducts trains, and is really good at it, and hates not being good at it. Again, I generally like these, but often they would benefit from a few idiosyncracies. You know, make them quirky, idiosyncratic. Rainbow Dash is an egotistical pain in the ass, Rarity is a prissy pain in the ass, Pinkie is a hyperactive pain in the ass, etc.

    Mint Whisp

    Here we go with another maximum-strength OHSEE DOONET STAHL. Moving right along.

    Liligold

    Hre I just finished blowing off a special snowflake with a roll of the eyes, and the very next one is a special snowflake who I really like. She has a special snowflake profession that’s actually really interesting, and a bunch of special snowflake quirks that actually fit together nicely into a cohesive and charming picture of a shy, delicate flower (see what I did there) who loves her craft and has quite a lot going on under the surface. Very nice.

    Evergreen

    A full-on joke character, but one that actually works. Ignore the obvious LOLOLOL CANADIAN thing she’s got going on, and you have a park ranger with all kinds of nice little details about her job and life, who doesn’t know how to handle herself when you plonk her down in an unfamiliar environment, et cetera et cetera. I like it.

    9 comments · 181 views
  • 14w, 9h
    WELCOME TO THE JAM!

    So, this happened, and I'm in it, and I've been reading and commenting and everything. It really is kind of fun--there are some really good stories here, along with some cathartically bad ones, and seeing people play around with the characters is really interesting.

    One thing that nobody's really doing is commenting on the characters themselves. What you hand in when you're told "make an OC" says a lot about you as a writer, don't you think?

    Here, then, are my first set of brief comments on the character sheets listed in THE OC SLAMJAM COMPENDIUM.


    Straitjacket

    I’m not sure what to make of the fact that I’m supposed to care about his power level (the comparison to Twilight Sparkle and the highly specific “10 minutes”), and the fact that his personality section is all about his “incidents.” It’s annoying, and it shows that the author is focusing on the wrong things. Normally I like the “background pony” type of character who sticks close to the theme of their name and cutie mark, but I dunno about this guy—his specific thing doesn’t give him much room for interaction and variety.

    Candy Cane

    This is the kind of character that makes life nicer for her opponents. She’s a straightforward character, with a motivation, a personality, and enough structure to her that there’s something to work with. If anything, she could be more idiosyncratic—as it is, her opponent doesn’t have much guidance in what would give this character a unique or engaging role in the story. Her personality is also a little vague, which makes me think “roleplaying character,” but it works well enough and does provide possibilities.

    Melon Rind

    Awesome. Right in the beginning we have our first character who is unlikeable, whose personality is decidedly nowhere near either the standard “outgoing, friendly, please love me” or the standard “introverted like all those Buzzfeed articles, has social anxiety just like me.” No siree, Lemon here is a cranky bitch who actively refuses to act like a good little pony. The personality is my favorite part of this because it gives a clear idea of how the character should play, as well as a deeper sense of who she is and how she feels about things.

    Rachis Barbule (The fuck is this name?)

    This is the first guy who does a good job of being unique. He has a very unusual cutie mark and talent. He has clear personal attributes such as his good grooming and the pride he takes in his work. He has specifics to his life—he runs a “stallions’ mane and tail salon,” he travels to serve wealthy customers because of his unique spells, and he has a strained relationship with his family, likely because they’re racists.

    Static Shower

    And here we have our first bare-bones non-character. But then, as bare-bones characters go, this guy ain’t so bad. He has a clear (if stereotypical) personality, he likes thunderstorms, and for all his genericness, he’s pretty freakin’ adorable. Mostly I’m just hatin’ on this guy because he used a picture, wrote essentially nothing in the history section, and actually wrote the “Like, Dislike, Trouble” thing as a list. A few other characters did that. Maybe it’s wrong of me to immediately like them less because of it? …nah.

    Tidy Till

    I was going to create “categories” for these characters, but I ditched the idea for various reasons. This guy is the motherfucking poster foal for “Idea Bin Escapee.” This isn’t a character; this is a story. That doesn’t mean he can’t work out in interaction, but damn it’s annoying to see a profile that’s all about itself and its History section (although in this case the backstory got dumped into the Personality section). That said, it is an *interesting* story, a story about the nature of cutie marks conflicting with the depressing nature of working 9-to-5 in real life, and throwing other characters into it might even give it some value beyond a single telling. Maybe.

    Redwood

    What even… all right, let’s all sit and contemplate the fact that this one starts with “illegitimate child of a high-born officer of the EUP Guard” and expects me to just fucking roll with it. Is that a Conversion Bureau thing? Lunar Republic? Fallout Equestria? End of Ponies? This thing stinks of a roleplaying character for some kind of military fantasy but one that takes place in Ponyland because of fucking course it does.

    Dreamer

    I take it back. THIS guy is the poster colt for the Idea Bin Escapee. He doesn’t even say anything about his personality. He’s just a fucking story idea. A story idea that imposes its ideas upon the opponent.

    Crisp Dawn

    At least this one has the decency to say “Royal Equestrian Navy” instead of “REN” or some shit. Thankfully, this one just focuses on him being a sailor instead of him being a Super Awesome Cool Military Fantasy. In that way, while he’s not stellar in terms of compelling nuances and details, he’s not bad either.

    Firefly (HOW CAN YOU NOT KNOW THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THIS NAME?)

    This is a roleplaying character who the author ships with Rainbow Dash. Next.

    Dala

    Right from the appearance section this one is a clear OC DONUT STEELE. She has a super unique disease, she works for Princess Cadance as a super unique alchemist, but she somehow hates authority because The Man doesn’t like how she’s super fucking unique. Next.

    Copper Coin

    Well shit. The second unlikeable pony of the competition seems like he’s trying to one-up all the others. He’s not just cranky, he’s a bad person, a real son of a bitch who nobody wants to be around. This is amazing. I am absolutely looking forward to what happens when this guy clashes with another character.

    To be continued...

    5 comments · 157 views
  • 14w, 4d
    The origin of one of my most important stories

    0 comments · 57 views
  • 15w, 1d
    Hora Hora~


    All these encounters may just leave me scarred

    And when I'm rock hard, I fucking rock hard

    Like Alice, we're down the rabbit hole my friend

    I don't give a damn, not an iota

    Motherfucker, I'm the straightest shota

    0 comments · 54 views
  • 16w, 6h
    Shining Armor incest porn on the featured box for mother's day

    you fuckers really don't have any standards at all, do you

    3 comments · 222 views
Feb
24th
2014

This is fucking fascinating and I don't really know what to think about her argument, which means it is the best kind of argument.

I'm trying to give myself a little extra time to digest this. It's too easy to read her article and quietly nod along when of course the issues she's talking about are more nuanced than she makes them look with her point-blank assertion that being a pornstar is empowering because it's fun.

Report TacticalRainboom · 358 views ·
#1 · 79w, 1d ago · · ·

Try reading this: Filk Crit Hulk: We Need To Change How We Talk About Rape

You'll find it more palatable because you'll choke on it and be upset, but it's saying very much the same things. It just looks only at the parts that the Duke Pornstar article insists on not ONLY looking at. It's two sides of the same coin, in a very obvious way.

Another way to look at it is, the Hulk article shows the poisonousness of the culture, and the Duke article shows someone who at least clams to have happily stepped outside that poison. Heck, the only good sexual experiences I've had have been with women much like that. So long as the patriarchy doesn't hunt down and punish this woman for her 'sins', I buy it completely. I could cry that I don't get to be in her personal life, but that's another story. That's the sort of person I'd like to know (in all sorts of ways! :raritywink: )

It makes it damned awkward for me when I have to function not only as a male, but as one who is primarily stuck in rape culture and deemed grossly unfit because I fail at doing my share of rape. All I can do is sit there rejecting that whole scene and seeing signal flares shot over the wall, from women who cry out, I'm free and can make my own choices and own myself! These choices so rarely involve a reclusive serial novelist and inventor, for obvious practical reasons, but I can't honorably decide that the world owes me a mate just as I am, so I'm stuck cheerleading from behind enemy lines, collateral damage.

Emergency rations would be nice. Air-drops. I'll have Dashie begin some in March, as that is within my power to do for my compatriots. :rainbowwild:

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer
#2 · 79w, 1d ago · · ·

The only thing she's maybe wrong about is the whole "I wouldn't want to work for someone who discriminates against sex workers" thing. I mean, it's a good viewpoint to have, but jobs don't grow on trees at the moment, so neither is it very prudent. c.c But if you're having any concerns about her general argument, Tac, it mirrors a lot of what I've been reading about feminism topics in general. She's entirely on the money, and it's nice to see her calling out anti-porn feminists as well.

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