You mean we have a thread that helps the authors instead of just entertaining the members for once!? It's been forever since we had one of these!
I know I know...*grumbles*
Anyway, this thread is going to serve an odd purpose. This thread is for you to post a story you are writing. Tell us your plot. Tell us your plans (but only if you are willing) and we will tell you what you could do to make it better, or what you shouldn't do, or point out plot holes.
This thread is also for posting tips for developing plotlines and such. Basically, everything involving plot help goes in here.
For those who need help: post your stories/plot/ etc.
Simple enough, right? Got it? Good.
I still got my Deliquent story, I'm thinking making it a trickster than a delinquent.
with this kind of thread, it will fill up faster than expected.
For those who will help: choose one of those plot then PM the one who post it.
Just like that, they might go and comment and talk here. eating up precious space for other authors to post.
Coolios, thanks BM
Hmm... I don't know... I guess we'll see if it fills up as fast as you think, and if people would be as willing to PM.
well one way could be that somepony messed up on a spell: like twilight wanted to turn trixie into a frog but messes up and trixie explodes.
also somepony creates a monster that they think they can control to scare someone but it goes crazy and destroys everything.
hoped that help
Who's doing the accidental killing? As in, their age, gender etc. The more info the better I can form ideas!
Here is a list of things you generally want to avoid.
An alicorn OC
A black and red OC
And OC with any powers that make he/she look better.
Killing members of the mane six
killing fanon or canon ponies.
OC's as a mane chareter unless you can write them really well.
If you are looking to have a small dislike bar, avoid gore.
First person point of view with an OC charecter (Screams self insert)
Authors notes at the beggining of a story
A story image created with Flash's pony generator.
A description with (HEY THIS IS MY FIRST STORY N STUFF SO PLEASE LIKE!!!!!) tends to get you insta-disliked too.
Most HiE stories now, they were kind of okay about five months ago, now people get really pissy about them.
Any story with a gore and a sex tag, people will click it just to read it out of curiousity then dislike it for reading it.
Sex unless you can write it REALLY well. And I mean REALLY so well that it's amazing!
Flutterbitch fics now too, people stopped liking them about a month after the airing of that episode.
Any type of feces.
And I think that's it.
Note: If you are a really good writer, you may be able to pull some of these off, but other than that, most of these are usually no-no's.
>>327160327160 What if your OC first person really isn't a self-insert? How do you make people believe that?
I know what you're going to say. There is no way and I should just get rid of that whole thing immediately.
>>327165327165 TO tell you the truth, I have no idea. All I know, is that whenever I see an OC story, read the first line and it starts with "I". all interest for me goes down the drain. I really can't tell you how to do it, but sometimes you can tell, and sometimes you can't. It depends on how cheesy the OC's name is too. If it's something like Fireblaze you can drop it right there.
>>327167327167 What's a good OC name?
>>327168327168 I don't know, but you'll know if it sounds cheesy if you read it aloud.
Good list. I also gasped since one of my first drafts has an OC and it starts with 'I'. It goes like this:
I leaned back in the recliner, starring back at her soulless eyes. I like to imagine I'm helping ponies relieve their pain and sorrow, but I'm not Celestia...
Currently I'm trying first person, and it's harder than I thought. Although it gives a more personalized point of view, it's hard for me to cancel all those 'I's & use something else. Guess I should switch back to 3rd.
However, I like reading stories which have first person PoV. It suits me well. Especially the snarky ones. They are my heroes in fiction.
>>327359327359 That's the thing about 1st person, it's totally tempermental. Some of the best, and worst, stories are in 1st person.
If you can pull it off right, then you have yourself a good damned story. Problem is, most bad stories are written in first person, it's most new authors' tennancy to want to tell it like a story from the esies to grasp perspective, which just so happens to be first person, and it really sucks if its done wrong, but really bucks flank if done right.
True, but I think the editor also has a part in this. Sometimes when we write, we don't know what works and what doesn't. Like I remember what you said in the review, the idea might be right, but poor execution tend to make folks dislike the piece of fiction.
Oh, and another thing you could add to the list are 'Anthro' ponies, or humanized ponies. Folks would also tend to avoid that like the plague lol.
>>327380327380 YES YES YES. thank you!
In a way, most of these are things to avoid if you want your story to be popular, rather than if you simply want to have a good plotline. It may be incredibly noobish, but what does 'a story image created with Flash's pony generator' have to do with the plot?
Almost all of these can be used by a skilled enough writer to create a good storyline, even if it turns people away from the fic. Out of my ten favourite stories on the site that I've read so far, two have all of the Mane 6 die, two have other important characters die, one is a Human in Equestria fic, one is a Pony on Earth fic, and one has all the Mane 6 turn into alicorns. I also have too many favourites that are first-person OC stories to count. They're not necessarily bad storytelling techniques, they're just unpopular.
Attention and popularity are not sins, I'd love it if tonnes of people read my work, but you really shouldn't sacrifice artistic integrity for its sake. If the story is good, and you know it is good, then believe in it. If it uses one of these 'taboo' ideas, or at some point you add in one of them, but you are sure it is the best way to go, then do it and be damned with the consequences.
... But, as a side note, I do agree that you should avoid those last two
I failed at not killing one of the mane 6, but it has a story driving purpose!!!
Anyway here's my list.
Intrigue: Readers like trying to figure stuff out, give them a slowly unfolding mystery to analyze.
Characters: make them diverse, everyone shouldnt be grumpy...diversity you know.
Timeline: Some stories span a huge time slot, you can go back and forward in time to keep things fresh.
Events: should be over arcing and lend some purpose, unless your story is episodic.
Rite to Live
Celestia and Luna, sensing the broken natural balance that allows the birth of mixed species, decide that the best way to deal with the hybrid children is to send them to a special camp where they can be monitored and taught to control their gifts; However, one of the royal sisters take it a step further without her sister's consent. These actions create a chain reaction that throws all of Equestria off balance causing underground enemies, lies, and dirty practices to resurface.
Follow Unity (son of Rarity and Spike) as his life changes and quickly begins to spiral out of control as he tries to claw his way back to happiness through the grime caused by the sins of the past.
That's the summary of my story.
Truth is I made him seem like a gary stu on purpose, just so I could rip it all away from him.
Because the story takes place in a three year window, its plot is easy to simplify(because i broke it up so conveniently).
Year 1) this is where i start, Unity's at his weakest. He does some stuff in ponyville where he lives, then gets sent off to the camp. (thats actually the first 4 chapters)
Year 2) This is in chapter 5, where big things like and important death happens, and some really dark character development and serious WTF drops occur. (remember im not writing it in chronological order completely).
Year 3) Havent even planned this far yet, but this is were shit really hits the fan, and where the climax hits.
I am also starting work on a Fallout Equestria story, but im tired of them all being dark broodfests so mine is episodic in nature, and a little more light natured. After the first chapter the character will get the perk wild wasteland.
ohh come on, take a joke
I'm currently working on a project that I didn't even nickname, for once. The basic idea is Fluttershy Island. I want this to take place after the ponified events of Shutter Island, while still retaining scenes and lines from the original movie while seeming mostly original.
This is the result of a brony writer watching Shutter Island in the middle of the night. Worth it.
Suggestion. Don't self insert. It's just bad mojo. Unless you really want to. I have done several self inserts, just as jokes, and made clearly was a joke. Try, for instance:
The black and white pegasus shifted a little in his place, glancing at the others.
Twilight was the first to speak up.
"Why did we need to know that?"
"You didn't," replied Aringsor, shrugging. "The author put it in as filler."
"...Never mind. Moving on, so how does this work?"
See, even that isn't done too well (even with my literary genius), so I just suggest staying away from self inserts, as they are awkward, annoying, and can hinder further plot development later on.
>>327160327160 Do I even want to know what Foalaphillia is?
Anyway, I have a key piece of advice sort of about plot development, in that I think the plot should be your second thought.
The first thought you should have is always about the characters you are using. You can be the best writer in the world, or write with perfect grammar, and still have a lame story because either the characters aren't good enough or they change throughout the story to an extent that would be impossible.
The first thing people look to in a story is the characters, and the first thing they look for in the following chapters is the characters again. My advice would be to have a basic outline of your character long before you move on with the plot, because a good book will have a character that the reader will feel like they know everything about them; you need to make sure that you always know more about the character than the reader so that the character will be themselves and not change. As soon as you forget everything about them, the audience will not like the sorties anymore.
I have seen so many stories that are well written, and the plot has been thought out really well, but the character is really lame and boring. They don't act like they would in the situation. For me, poor characterisation, is worse than grammar or spelling mistakes. Those can be fixed, a broken character can not
If you can't figure it out, then no, you don't want to know
I'd like to put forth that maybe plot and characterization are both just as important, you can't really have a good story with just one of them
And in a way characterization is a part of the plot, the way the character's develop is dependent on the events surrounding them.
>>327802327802 True, true. I just feel characters should be your first thought. Plot is still an important consideration and should be equally considered as characters. It's just characters should never be an after thought while you're writing.
And I don't really want to know what the word means, I fear the word will tarnish my innocent mind
You've given me something to think about, because I usually just go ahead and make the plot then build the characters around what the plot needs
But if you think about it, if I come up with a character who's cowardly and would run away from a fight, but later in the plot I need him to fight someone, then I'd have to change his character anyway. I do take the characters seriously, but only as the plot dictates, because I don't want to dig myself into a corner.
I think both of our techniques have equal merit though, and it's interesting discussing it out in the open like this so that beginners can maybe decide between the two, I guess
And there's someone on the internet with an innocent mind? It's a miracle!
>>327825327825 You wouldn't have to change his character if he had to fight...Fluttershy was still in character when she stood up to the dragon in 'Dragonshy'. And I only said make a basic profile of the character, just as an outline. The character will grow throughout the plot and you can add to the basic outline, that's what I actually intended to mean
Internet no tarnish my young mind. Me watch ponies for innocence of the plot (part of the reason I'm not keen on shipping, and definitely don't like clopfics )
Well, the thing about FiM is that it is a cartoon, and they are a little bit lenient about staying in character. Most other genres of media wouldn't make a character suddenly flip out just for comedic purposes
But since this is a site for fanfics about FiM, I guess it's up to the author whether they stick with proper characterization or just follow the rules of cartoons, which is to say none.
Why does being innocent mean you suddenly lose proper grammar?
I'm both innocent and yet completely conditioned to anything bad on the internet
>>327837327837 I didn't mean it like that. Now I feel dumb again
Lol, sorry, I get what you mean.
I just felt compelled to argue lest my technique be revealed as completely wrong
>>327867327867 Nothing's wrong with your technique, I have weird techniques
Everyone has their own style of writing and that is just how it is, I see this as a good thing.
About the list up top. I agree with a lot off the stuff up there, but not all of it. Like the Alicorns for one. I'm not going to get into a flame war and what-not. I'll just say if the Alicorn is down right and makes sense, you can make your OC an Alicorn. I have one, but that is not the reason I am defending. If it makes sense to a large enough degree, I think you should be fine.
I think everything can be done well or horribly. I hate setting limits on creativity, though. That's just so...restrictive.
Of course, I'm not sure how much my thoughts count. I'm extrememly open-minded about these things. I pretty much can find the good in everything.
>>327785327785 I totally agree with your ideas about characterization. I just love stories with strong characters. Most of the stuff I like, I like for the characters.
Being open-minded is nothing but a good thing
The whole thing that bugs me about that list is that if you get into your head that a certain idea is 'bad' it can really throw off your creative thinking.
Ever since I found out about Mary Sue's I've been scrapping perfectly good ideas just because I thought the main characters were just a little too special, and people would hate it.
Which is stupid, because that's exactly what the show does, what with Twilight being a prodigy of magic
I can't help but feel responsible for your knowledge of Mary Sue.
There's nothing wrong with being a little special. The whole point of Mary Sue is that she's completely infallible, unless you've made her an Anti-Sue or a Villain Sue.
>>328532328532 As long as the character has some flaws, it's okay, right? All you really need is to not have a character that can do everything, and if they do, for example:
I created an alicorn (who was a cousin or something of the Princesses...I don't even remember, but she was definitely related) and she was basically good at everything, but didn't fit in and moved a lot, trying to be accepted without revealing to anypony that she was an alicorn. I discontinued the idea when I saw all the hate for OC alicorns though.
Hehe, no, your guide helped show me exactly what not to do.
It's mostly because of stories like Past Sins, which I thought was perfectly fine until I read the reactions of people shouting Mary Sue, I hadn't even noticed that there was anything wrong.
I also tend to tread the line really closely, so I do have to be careful
Personally, I think that the main character can even be flawless if you want, as long as you lampshade it. But they can't win every battle, the character can be perfect but the world around them isn't, and neither are the events of the story.
A little perfection is fine, but if the whole story was just the perfect character having the perfect life then yes, it would be boring. Some of the examples I've seen of 'Mary Sue stories' were actually good though, people were just being unfairly harsh.
If you think your story idea is good, then I say go for it. Even if a bunch of people avoid it at the mention of an alicorn, those aren't the kind of people you want reading it anyway
>>328570328570 Maybe I'll come back to it. If I get some more inspiration...
Hell, even Pen Stroke knows what a failure Past Sins is. He helped in the MST of it, and he's almost done rewriting it to make it better.
I noticed so many things wrong with Past Sins to the point I gave up on it. But now that Pen Stroke is returning to it to do it right, I have hopes it'll be better this time around. But be warned, Pen Stroke if you happen to be watching/lurking. I'm a harsh critic.
Hey, why don't I link this to you somehow?
I haven't read anything you wrote (sorry), so I can't say how closely you tread the line.
I'm not a very harsh critic. I only read the MST (so I never got to the end) but I thought it was perfectly readable. The reason the main character was a Mary Sue was pretty much explained (you can't have reincarnated god thing that isn't slightly Mary Sue) and she even had characters that hated her. It wasn't the best thing ever, Celestia was a bit OOC too I suppose, but I would've given it a thumbs up for effort.
Well, the only fic I have up isn't like that, but the one I'm currently writing has a character who can use magic despite not being a unicorn. I remember on your guide you wrote that this was a huge no-no, but it's an alternate universe fic and I have a very good reason for it (can't really explain without spoiling it though).
Things that clash with canon often clash with fans unless you have a very good reason behind it. They may complain at first, but once they see your explanation they may stop. Or they may not. Really, you're operating under the GIFT by this point. I realize that bronies tend to be nice, but still some seep through the cracks.
I had to look up what GIFT meant, but yeah that's true.
I guess considering what the fans want is unavoidable to a degree, but I still think it should be your last concern. Public opinion isn't the modicum of good taste.
... I have no idea if I used that phrase right
I agree with that, but you should still listen to them. If everyone is saying your story sucks, chances are it does, unless you've found that vocal minority.
Mm-hm, 'tis a complicated tapestry of opinion and delusion
I guess if you wanted to be certain of whether it was terrible or just unpopular you could get someone to pre-read it first, someone you know will give it a chance but will be honest about it's worth.
Is that a veiled request?
How do I keep making veiled request without realizing it?
I was just saying, a pre-reader is invaluable to get a gauge on your story before releasing it to the public.
I failed to get one on my first story, and while I lucked out with the plot I still missed tonnes of grammatical errors
That's my new law now, everyone should have a pre-reader!
>>328550328550 I know you weren't talking to me but I saw the post.
I made an Ali-OC as well for my main story's main character. I am never hating on Ali-OC's ever.
Now I feel like an ass for this.
>>328653328653 No, it's totally fine.
It's good to know what people actually think. Seeing these posts, I assume everyone hates alicorn OCs. So because of you and others, I have learned that is not entirely true.
I don't hate alicorn OCs just because they're Alicorns. I hate them for many other reasons.