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Take a colorful look at one of the show's more memorable side characters in today's story.
[Slice of Life] • 2,388 words
She saw things differently
*than those around her
**so focused on life
***they did not live
****but she never worried
*****for the universe was
******always singing to her.
This is the story
of Tree Hugger's Cutie Mark.
FROM THE CURATORS: "One of the quintessential functions of fanfiction, it seems to me, is to fill out the lives of the secondary characters," AugieDog said in his nomination. "This is Tree Hugger's cutie mark story, but there's a lot more than that going on here. The story touches on one of my favorite MLP topics — the relationship of Ponies to nature — and quite literally looks at that topic with different eyes."
That novel look at Equestria's interconnectedness provoked comment from several curators. "The depiction of synesthesia is unique — though I don't think it's actually supposed to be synesthesia; the useless magical glasses attest to that," Present Perfect said. "She's just always been attuned to the universe without realizing just how far that goes." Chris found that impressive: "The use of color throughout is clever while being easy to follow, and doesn't feel forced." JohnPerry, meanwhile, turned up the praise: "It uses its visuals to good effect. It's the first good take on Tree Hugger I've seen — and that includes the show!"
While Tree Hugger's visions made this story unique, we also singled out its emotional authenticity as exemplary. "There's something touching about a person able to say, without guile or unwarranted assumption, what another person is feeling, even (especially) if they're unwilling or unable to say it themselves," Chris said. "That's hard to set up, and the end could easily have felt manipulative or self-serving on Tree Hugger's part, but the author here managed to make it feel like ... well, like Tree Hugger herself: honest, and interested not in what she wants, but in what the show might call Harmony."
Read on for our author interview, in which Masterweaver discusses DIGITAL EXPLOSIONS, Mary Sue-icide, and the benefits of forgiving Pinkie Pie.Read More
The Royal Guard—Missed Thanksgiving By One Week Edition
Hey guys, it's Fic Spotlight. It's like a magical world where good MLP fics rain from the sky and all your troubles are washed away. Only it's real and not actually anything like what I described. Instead have a choice selection of good MLP fics, which should distract you long enough to avoid remembering that the world is actually a dark and scary place.
Princess Twilight and Fluttershy are called by the map to settle a dispute between two feuding families who can't even remember why they are fighting.
This is what I get for having a messed up sleep cycle....apologies! I thought I was getting better at this :(
They say you always go back to the classics — and today's story digs back all the way to Equestrian antiquity.
[Slice of Life] • 3,143 words
Star Swirl the Bearded, exiled by Princess Platinum and worried for his continued survival, sends a letter to Clover the Clever briefly detailing his views on ponykind's origins, the nature of the physical world, and the future of his species.
FROM THE CURATORS: Many authors have speculated about Equestria's origins, physics, and mythology, but this story takes an unusual approach: it offers us theories that are deliberately wrong. "The show has kind of given us the impression that Starswirl nudged about the edges of the whole 'friendship is magic' thing but never quite got there, and this does a really nice job of bringing that idea to life," AugieDog said. Chris agreed: "Friendship is Physics wowed me with its grasp on how the passage of time can make once-progressive theories seem embarrassingly backwards."
One thing which caught our attention was the fragmentary presentation of the material. "Like Lost Cities, this is an archaeological dig where we glimpse a culture from its few surviving artifacts," Horizon said. "It feels very much like a piece of Equestria's historical record, though I'm not sure it's a story, per se." Friendship Is Physics earned easy praise regardless. "Story or not, I love this," Present Perfect said. "It's a fantastic example of in-universe writing. The various myths alluded to feel like serious world-building, for all that Star Swirl's conclusions are ultimately wrong."
Right or wrong, the theories in this story are fascinating. "I love that this is, in its own way, something of a Grand Unified Theory of Friendship," Horizon said. But more than that, Chris noted, the ideas are rooted in Earth's own ancient history. "Star Swirl's theorizing borrows much of its tone and design from the Greek philosophers," he said. "Much as we might look back on Aristotle's theories today, I can easily imagine Twilight reading a copy of this letter, torn between respect for the first pony to try and form a universal theory of friendship, and cringing at the casual racism or seeming acceptance of grossly inhumane experiments which underpin his writing."
And that, as Present Perfect summarized, is what made this story so exceptional: "Taking the track of having someone like Star Swirl be cognizant of the world, trying to figure it out, and ultimately come up with a clever yet incorrect idea, is just amazing."
Read on for our author interview, in which Violet CLM discusses lexicalized appellations, swerving lightning, and the irony of intelligent design.Read More
Groups Posts are a monthly group advertisement blog open to anyone who wants a signal boost. If you're interested in having your group advertised in one of these, send me a PM with the name of the group, a link to its front page, and a brief description of what the group is for. I'll copy this directly into the post, so write it like you're trying to tell other people about why they should join or pay attention to your group - anything up to around 150-ish words is fine.
Not sure how I managed to completely forget to post this over the weekend like I'd originally planned. Whoops. I'll just blame Fallout 4 even though that doesn't make any sense shut up
The AppleDash group has been around since mid-2012, not long after season 2 finished airing. Last month we hit the 2000 member mark, but we know we can do better than that! The group is home to a great bunch of people who are passionate about one of the oldest ships in the fandom and who also love a good conversation—whether it's help with writing a fic or just shooting the breeze. The group also occasionally holds contests and large, organized collaborations, as well as smaller, ongoing collabs, such as our prompt tag. Head on over and say hi; we'd love to have you!
Welcome to 100,000 Words, where we greet the stories of great writers that have a grand total of over 100,000 words! There's no limit to the amount of stories you can find in our little group, but we need more people, so come on in and add your favorite stories with fantastically high word counts!
Hello Internet, welcome to Game Theory.
[insert GT Theme here]
That's right. Finally, the official group has been made for all of you theorists. We theorize, discuss our theories and keep you updated on MatPat's videos/GT Live. If you want to post a theory using a video or a Livestream- even just writing it on the forums, we welcome it all! We are glad to be here in this little brony community, so be sure to join! Remember, Look Smart, and Be Smart.
But that's just a Theory. A game theory!
Have you read Equestria Legends Online? Yes, then come on down and join our little group, where you can create your own side-story for this very popular fic by Shadowflame. If you haven't, join and catch up on the story's awesomeness! ELO is about a VRMMORPG (Virtual Reality Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game) based off My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. During the story, some dark events ensue, and the main characters have been giving a chilling conclusion. You can no longer log out of the game. (And no, its not a SAO rip-off, its just SAO inspired.)
You remember Five Score? Remember PEv? Well, here in OC Tales, they're something a bit different. In OC Tales, you can join the verse as bronies across the Earth begin to become their OCs all because in "The Art of Becoming a Pony OC" the main character's, Len, brother, Sam, decides to fiddle with science. The group is currently moving into the Equestria stage of the Timeline, but we're still open to new stories!
Revamped and stronger than ever, the Displaced group has become stronger! We've remodeled the group, and now, we can welcome you even better! Come and join the largest collaboration of stories as they intertwine with one another and create one massive Multiverse, bringing together entire new Universes and all kinds of people. Don't like the Displaced stories you've read? That's fine, you can probably find a fic you like out there in our 500+ story Vault!
That's it for November. See you next month!
Come ask us questions and maybe I'll even get off my lazy ass and respond!
The Royal Guard—Running Out of Edition Names Edition
[Obs] Hey guys! Time for more fic spotlight. You're probably all really starving for high quality horsewords, so here's some high quality horse words. It's really convenient that your wants lined up with what happened to be available. It'd be kind of weird if you were starving for like actual food or something and all we had was just high quality horsewords.
It'd be really awkward probably.
Anyways just click below the break and you'll get more words than you'll even know what to do with.[/Obs]Read More
Today's story will serve up a tragedy worth remembering.
[Sad] • 3,355 words
In the midst of Equestria's most recent age of peace, just after Princess Celestia puts the finishing touches on her latest gift to her subjects, Twilight Sparkle appears with a strange question about an obscure beast. It's obvious that something else is bothering Celestia's most faithful student, but what?
FROM THE CURATORS: "I'm not sure what to say about this without spoiling it," Chris said as he nominated this story — and indeed it's best approached before reading any spoilers, since it takes some powerful twists from its starting premise. "There's some nice misdirection in the early going," Chris said. "A bit more than halfway through, I discovered I was on completely the wrong track. What the story's really about is heartwrenching." Present Perfect was equally impressed: "I figured it out about halfway through, and then just had to watch in horror as the heartbreak grew and grew."
That emotional impact was augmented by the story's presentation. "This is a real masterpiece of tiny details," Present Perfect said. "That Celestia has to piece things together along with the reader helps make everything feel realer than it is." Horizon agreed — "this tells a remarkably large story from its single tiny stage" — while Chris offered an example: "I love the fact that things like the condition of the guards' armor can let us infer so much about the world outside, while the story itself never leaves Celestia's workroom."
We broadly agreed that the characters were as compelling as the world around them. "This is exactly how I imagine Twilight — and Celestia — dealing with a situation like the one they find themselves in, and Celestia's bit about responsibility near the end tied everything together," Chris said. The moment he discussed was one we all found central to the story. "The bit about responsibility gives this piece nobility, a purpose beyond just tugging at heart strings," Present Perfect said, while AugieDog found drew a deeper lesson: "The talk of duty at the end is so very, very Celestia. It shows that she will always have more lessons to teach Twilight. Always."
Read on for our author interview, in which TinCan discusses bilingual wordplay, Canterlot messes, and the halls of Elsinore.Read More