405,334 Words Of Conversion Bureau · 10:10am
Since September 30th, 2011 I have written 405, 334 words of fiction.
Almost a half a million words of Conversion Bureau. I have Just completed my latest novel, The Conversion Bureau: The 800 Year Promise.
That is... a lot of words. I think. I'm pretty sure that's a lot of words. It doesn't feel like it though. It all went by so quickly.
I always feel sad when a story ends. I fall in love with my characters. But stories have a natural and inevitable conclusion, and when it comes, it comes.
I feel content with The 800 Year Promise, for a number of reasons. I managed, I believe, to develop an engaging married couple that have an adventure where they learn something about themselves, their universe, and their love for each other. They are changed by the experience, and become both hurt, and benefited by it; their love is deeper but their innocence is gone.
I also feel I finally put a cork in those who like to claim that Conversion Bureau stories are completely misanthropic; I have given the hardest hard case villains of the Conversion Bureau universe - The Human Liberation Front - not merely a dangerous face, but a likable one too, that in the end shows nobility and even compassion of a sort. More than this, I think I have clearly shown that their fight, the reason they fight, is completely understandable and valid. They are not villains after all, but just the losing side of a very lopsided war.
I have shown humanity unflinchingly, I think, in The 800 Year Promise, with all of its warts, and redeemed it: I have made of those very warts something both sad and hopeful, terrible and yet not without utility. And I have explained how ponies can be nasty and how humans can be better than ponies in some ways, and I have made of Celestia a creature both charming and yet fit to rule a universe. I think I have done these things, anyway.
Above all, I have given a reason for the Emergence of Equestria itself, the fundamental conceit of the Conversion Bureau universe, and I think my reason is both compassionate, and horrifying, a matter of honor and love, and at the same time nightmare fuel.
These are the reasons I feel content with this story, it has its flaws but I think I accomplished what I set out to do. Complete my vision of the Conversion Bureau Universe.
Blaze gave us a clumsy story with a brilliant premise, a concept far beyond his ability to work it. That is nothing to be ashamed of; a brilliant concept is a wonder to all and a master-level achievement. There is no end to what can be done with the basic Conversion Bureau concept.
But I felt that it needed a decent treatment, and a full skeleton to hang the flesh on. It needed to be something more than the mere wish-fulfillment that it was long dismissed as.
In my works I offer the Conversion Bureau mythos my attempt at codifying a solid base to work from. The way ponification serum works. How it works, and why, and in what ways under what conditions. How it was developed and why it was developed. A six-year timeline in which most existing stories can be placed. The cosmic physics behind what Equestria is, where it comes from, how it interfaces with Earth, and what the rules of that interaction are. How Equestria became what it is, what Celestia and Luna really are, and why their cosmos is rainbows and candy-colored ponies. How they rule, and why they rule and what drives them and why it drives them. I have codified a future dystopian Earth made of both good and bad people, extrapolated logically from our current world, but one where humans are slightly nicer and actually feed their own species. And now, finally, I have codified a reason for Equestria to expand and devour the Earth, and suggested why that is both good and horrifying at the same time.
This was my goal, and I think in 405,334 words I have done what I set out to do.
This vision, this codification is open. It is yours to use, yours to make of what you will. This framework is open source and royalty free and it is supposed to be a big tent under which any writer may find shelter and structure and ideas and directions. I wanted to take what Blaze had suggested and make something useful of it, something that you can work with, something self-consistent and rational, yet with ample room to grow and expand in all directions.
I don't know if I have any more Conversion Bureau stories in me at this point. I guess we'll see.
But with this story, this novel, The 800 Year Promise, I have laid the best foundation I can for anyone who wants to make use of it.
It isn't the 'Chatoyance' version of the Conversion Bureau, not to me. It's just the Conversion Bureau Universe, one maybe you can find some foundation in that makes sense, and isn't vague or self-contradictory. For those that want that of course.
Not everypony does. That's fine.
Now I need some rest.