Originally posted to the Vault on 7/27/12.
A short-but-sweet piece of innocent friendshipping. Do you remember what it was like to be young, to go off and have adventures with your friends? No? Maybe this will help remind you.
[Slice-of-Life] • 2,600 words
Pipsqueak and Dinky are good friends playing together in the forest when they make a discovery.
Hit the break for an interview with DawnFade, and links to Pirates for a Day all around the ponynet. Don't forget to grab yourself an ebook or two over at the Vault's Downloads page!
Where do you live?
Without being too specific, I live near Perth, in Western Australia. Nobody ever comes here, and nobody ever leaves.
What kind of work do you do? (i.e. are you a student, do you have a career/day job, etc)
I'm currently midway through my first year of university. I am also what's known as a jobless hippy, at least to my friends.
How did you discover My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic? When did you realize you were a fan of the show?
I initially came into contact with brony culture on 4chan. It wasn't the weirdest thing I had encountered on there, but it was rather persistent. After seeing it spread to multiple sites such as YouTube and DeviantArt, I became intrigued. I've never really abided by common gender roles in the first place, so I didn't find it too strange that I suddenly felt the urge to watch a show made for little girls.
After watching the first two episodes on YouTube and inexplicably enjoying them, I downloaded every episode that was available at that time, which I think was most of season one. One or two midnight marathons later, I was well and truly in love with the show.
Do you have a favorite episode?
For a long time, that title was held by Sonic Rainboom, because it showed a new side to Rainbow Dash. Her insecurity and lack of confidence hidden behind a mask of bravado reminded me of myself, to be honest. I also love how it shows the strength of her character even when everything goes wrong. Despite not really believing in herself, and having failed all of her tricks so far, and after having the spotlight stolen by one of her best friends, she still throws all of that aside when Rarity and the Wonderbolts start falling. The Element of Loyalty indeed.
However, that episode has recently been overtaken by the finale of season two. Epic, in every sense of the word. From the cunning new villain to the beautiful soundtrack, it ticks every box so hard that it rips through the paper. I could go on about this episode, but I think my opinion is clear.
Who is your favorite character based purely on the canon of the show itself? Would your answer change if you considered the fandom in its entirety (i.e. art, fanfiction, memes, etc)?
Based solely on the canon of the show, I consider Rarity to be my favourite. This is because, unlike the other five, I strongly disliked her when I first started watching. She seemed one-dimensional, flat, boring, just a drama queen obsessed with fashion.
But over the course of the series, she slowly changes, and her true personality is revealed. Episodes like Sisterhooves Social played a big part in this, showing that even though she is truly quite fashion-obsessed, she will throw that aside in a heartbeat for her little sister.
Overall, I believe her character has had the most development over the two seasons, and I've grown to love who she has become.
When taking fanon into consideration, my answer wouldn't change. A lot of writers seem to feel the same way about her as I do, and they do a very good job of exploring the complexity of her personality.
How did you come up with your handle/penname?
It was partly inspired from a poem I wrote when I was younger, and partly from necessity. I used to use the name Fade in everything I did, but it was taken more often than not. I've yet to encounter that problem with DawnFade.
Have you written in other capacities (other fandoms, professionally, etc)? When did you first start writing?
I've written professionally for my university, but I consider that to be very far removed from creative writing. I first started writing fanfiction for The Legend of Zelda when I was twelve, though I had been writing short stories ever since I knew how. From there, I wrote my way into the How To Train Your Dragon fandom, until finally I ended up in MLP.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Read. It's no secret that reading is one of the greatest ways to improve your own writing, plus it's a lot of fun. Other outlets include video games, exercise, and simply wandering the internet.
Who is your favorite author (published or fanfiction)? Do you have a favorite story or novel?
My favourite author is Robert Jordan, for his consistently incredibly work on the Wheel of Time series. I would go as far to say that he is the greatest fantasy author of all time, but I think LOTR fans will disagree. Violently.
My favourite novel would likely be The Towers of Midnight by the aforementioned writer. The events depicted within it are some of the most moving, amazing things I have ever had the good fortune to read about.
Stephen King believes that every author has an "ideal reader" - the one person who they write for, the one person whose reactions they care about. Do you have one, and if so, who is it?
I'm going to throw caution to the wind and interpret this question extremely literally. My father would have to be my ideal reader. If he told me in complete honesty that he loved one of my stories, I would be unspeakably happy. Naturally, I doubt every compliment I'm ever paid, so this has little chance of happening.
Do you have any tips for aspiring writers, or writers who are struggling with their own stories?
- Read! A lot! I'm not kidding, and I know you've heard this a hundred times before, but there's a reason for that! Look at the big-name writers like Stephen King and J.K. Rowling. Look at their sentence structure, their dialogue, their grammar. Does it look like yours? Don't try to emulate them, but just take a few hints from their writing and use them to improve your own.
- Write! A lot! And get feedback too, preferably from someone who knows what they are talking about. There are a million writing sites online, someone is bound to review your work on one of them.
- The internet is your friend! This is not "cheating"; nobody is born an amazing writer. Look at guides and examples, if you want to know how to make an audience love your character, just search for that! Writers fifty years ago didn't have anything like this. You have the potential to be amazing, and all the tools are right in front of you.
- Remember that there are many different ways to go about writing a story, and none of them are inherently "correct". You will find your own way that works for you.
And above all, never give up. Becoming a great writer takes time, like everything. Don't let early failures keep you from success further down the line.
What is your typical writing process? (Do you work through multiple drafts, do you have any prereaders/editors, etc?)
I've never really worked well with multiple drafts. I tend to write out a lot of the story and fix what needs fixing when I read back over it, rather than re-writing everything pointlessly. I'll re-read my stories roughly thirty times before they are sent to my prereaders. That's not a set number, I'll keep rereading it if I find more things that need fixing. The prereaders will (hopefully) catch anything I miss and help me polish the story until it is presentable.
What inspired you to write Pirates for a Day?
I wish I could say a meaningful, deep event that made me think about life, but the fact of the matter is it was requested by a reader. His exact request was "A sweet story with Pipsqueak and Dinky spending the day together." At first, it seemed like a fairly simple, maybe even generic story. But as I started planning and the ideas started flowing, it became a whole lot more.
Did you run into any tough spots or challenges when writing Pirates for a Day?
Surprisingly, no. When I wrote it, it was like I was in a daze. Every word slid into place, each sentence began without thought or consideration. This odd writing mood is what I call "writing on inspiration", when the story just seems to come together so easily that you don't even think about it. Many of my stories begin this way, but rarely does the feeling last for the whole project. It was an experience I remember fondly.
When you set out to write Pirates for a Day, did you have any specific messages or themes in mind?
I wanted to really capture the purity and innocence of two little kids just playing together and being carefree. That magical feeling that we haven't felt in years, those bright memories that we can barely recall. The feeling of being truly free in both mind and soul that we only recognise once it has passed. It's a little bittersweet, I think, but I loved delving into it so much that I wrote a sequel to Pirates for a Day that deals with it in further detail.
Whether a reader sees the sadness of fading youth or simply two kids having fun, I am happy.
Where can readers drop you a line?
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
Marshmallow ponies are best ponies.