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Dec
19th
2014

A search for love, in all its glory,

Is central to our featured story.

Racing Thoughts

[Romance] [Random] • 1,530 words

In a fantastical universe the bastard love-child of Edgar Allen Poe and T.S. Eliot got hooked on ponies.

The resulting poem, pulled through the void, is presented for your reading pleasure.

A (loosely) iambic tetrametric narrative of Twilight Sparkle struggling to understand, accept, and ultimately express, her love for Rainbow Dash.

FROM THE CURATORS: "When I start recommending poetry, you should stand up and take notice," said Present Perfect, the RCL's resident curmudgeon, as he brought this story to our attention. "This borrows heavily from the J. Alfred Prufrock school of poetry and excels for having done so. … It all comes down to 'I hate poetry and I like this.'"

We did take notice — and it broadened our collective horizons, as Bradel affirmed.  "This is probably the first pony poetry I've read," he said. "It's a lot better than I'd generally expect. The structure lends itself well to the stream of consciousness style, with meter and rhyme scheme shifting in a very natural way throughout the piece."  Chris agreed: "The pitter-pat flow came through clearly, and the mix of academic language and more conversational tone gave the poem a nice lilt, in addition to making it feel very Twilight."

That mixture was used to good effect, drawing thoughts of yearning and lust out of a normally analytical character.  The occasional suggestive turn of phrase was a distraction for some of us, but Bradel "found it very endearing. While it's certainly not out of the ordinary for TwiDash fiction, it provides a few welcome twists in the flow of the poem."

Overall, Racing Thoughts (which was originally posted as a single complete work, though unrelated poems have since been added to the story) was enjoyable for poetry fans and non-fans alike.  As Present Perfect summarized it: "This guy can poetry. He can poetry good."

Read on for our author interview, in which ambion discusses noble hobos, signs in the stars, and majestic and subtle ironies.

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PresentPerfect · 136 views · Report
Dec
16th
2014

Since the bookshelves update happened, the tagged blog post system for the feed has been working off the old favourites data. Some people probably noticed that, and it's something I forgot to fix ages ago. Anyway, it's fixed now and there's some changes.

First of all, tagged blog posts are bookshelf dependant. Each bookshelf now has an option for whether to show tagged blog posts in your feed or not.

Additionally, those blog posts in your feed now clearly say what story they have tagged.

By default all bookshelves have tagged blog posts on.

knighty · 1,497 views · Edited 3d, 13h ago · Report
Dec
12th
2014

Today's story might polka hole in your conception of party ponies.

Mandatory Fun

[Dark] [Random] • 2,650 words

The Alicorn Amulet twists its wearer into madness and megalomania. Nopony can wear it without repercussions, both for themselves and others. Nopony is safe. Nopony is exempt.

Still, nopony expected him.

FROM THE CURATORS: One of the best things about fanfiction is that it allows in-depth exploration of ideas or characters that Friendship is Magic only lightly touches — and one of the things we most love about our work is unearthing stories which do so in clever, original ways.  "How is it that this fandom has been given Weird Al Yankovic as a character to work with, and yet this is the first time I've read something that makes good use of this golden opportunity?" JohnPerry said.

This tale of Cheese Sandwich's reign of hilarity terror … hilerror? terrarity? … "is played very straight," Horizon said, "but it's narrated by Cheese himself (with all the narrative whimsy that implies), and sweet stars above, the juxtaposition works, like salted caramel ice cream."  Other curators agreed — "I don't see the Dark and Random tags together nearly often enough, and I see a story that fits both even less often, but damn does it work here," JohnPerry said — and found this exemplary in the uniqueness of its reading experience.  "The writing is solid, and I'm coming out of it with a feeling of mixed amusement and terror that I think is perfectly appropriate for what this story said on the box," Bradel said.  "My brain's all fuzzy now, but in a very positive way."

Ultimately, what sells this bizarre collision of ideas is the strong writing underneath.  "The wordplay is deep, rich, and unapologetic," Horizon noted, and even pun-hating Present Perfect begrudgingly agreed: "This is the first story I have ever praised for its use of puns."  Chris appreciated "the reveal at the end, which managed not to render irrelevant everything which had gone before while still playing with expectations — a shockingly rare combination for this kind of story."  And JohnPerry pointed out another rare feat: "Major props have to go to the author for managing to weave in so many pop-culture and meta jokes without taking away from the tone or ever losing sight of the story," he said. "That alone is a huge accomplishment."

Read on for our author interview, in which FanOfMostEverything discusses Lord High Executioners, unponies, partillery, and the metasignificance of Cheese Sandwich's Cutie Mark.

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PresentPerfect · 1,092 views · Edited 6d, 17h ago · Report
Dec
11th
2014

Site Update » Twilight Tag · 7:26pm

I meant to do this a long LONG time ago, but Twilicorn has now been merged into the Twilight Sparkle tag. The reason that tag existed was because of all the drama around the time Twilight became an Alicorn but it no longer makes any sense to pollute the tag pool with two copies of one character.

knighty · 4,201 views · Report
Dec
10th
2014

I've added a few more new features in the past few days which I'm sure many of you have noticed but here they are anyway.

edit: I forgot to mention I also added a little page hit counter at the bottom of the page in the footer.

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knighty · 5,741 views · Edited 1w, 1d ago · Report
Dec
10th
2014

Seattle's Angels is a group that promotes good stories with low views. You can find us here.


Csquared and alexmagnet found themselves, as all people do at one point or another, hanging by their feet over a pool filled with ravenous sharks. Csquared heaved a tremendous sigh.

"This is balls, dude."

Alex nodded in agreement. "Yup. But..."

"But what?"

"You know what might help?"

"...What?"

Alex grinned like the devilishly handsome man that he is. Opening his mouth, he began to sing in a voice that was not unlike scratched Sega-CD disk.

"Oh-whoa-oh Oh-whoa-oh,

We didn't know that we fell.

Oh-whoa-oh Oh-whoa-oh,

Now that we’re inside this hell.

Blindsided by this trap,

Hanging our hands, fighting our straps.

We didn’t know that we fell.

Oh-whoa-oh-oh

Now that we’re inside this hell.

We’ve got the fics, makes you read ‘em.

Got the horse that makes you need ‘em.

We say ‘Read!’ you say ‘Why should I?’

They’ll make you laugh, make you cry!”

ROUND 58


STORY 1

The Years of Ar and S, by Violet CLM

The Dazzlings were banished from Equestria a long time ago. What did they do before enrolling at Canterlot High? Only Sonata Dusk remembers, but as it turns out... they did quite a lot.


alexmagnet:

“No! It’s not always me who does the remembering, like sometimes it’s you or Adagio. I think it’s totes random, but I’m not a numberist or whatever.”

Despite my initial assumptions, it turns out that Rainbow Rocks was not entirely about Trixie. While this was somewhat upsetting to me, it did give us a trio of (literally) rockin’ villians whose powerful singing is only matched by Adagio’s powerful hair. I’ve always liked the idea of sirens, and I was super excited to see them in Rainbow Rocks. Needless to say, I was not the only one. Having only been out for a few months, there’s already dozens upon dozens of Dazzling fics… of varying quality. Look, it was hard to actually find four worth reviewing that weren’t waaaaaaaaay over our view limit. But we did it anyway! Suck it, everyone besides Csquared and I!

[yet more evil laughter]

Anyway, what’s so great about The Years of Ar and S? Well, dearest reader, let me elucidate the reason for you. You see, besides doing a really excellent job of building up a really unique and fascinating history to the Dazzlings, this is also one of the few fics I’ve seen on Fimfic that actually manages to be a proper tragedy. Tragedy might not be tagged, but make no mistake, this is a tragedy. It finds the Dazzlings arguing in a museum, Sonata seemingly the only one who remembers their checkered past, and tells a really interesting story about love and pride.

I think besides this actually being a sincere tragicomedy (though the comedy is mostly limited to Sonata being Sonata), my favorite part is in the way Sonata tells the stories of their past. Each one feels unique and different, and it’s told in a weird, almost fairytale sort of way, which so damn cool. It feels like you’re reading a mythological story with the sirens playing a central role in each subplot, and, it turns out, that’s kinda what happens. No matter how far they get separated from each other, they always end up together again, and they always lose, even when they’re trying to be the heroes.

I don’t want to spoil why exactly this is happening to them, but all you really need to know is that this is a fic that does Dazzling backstory justice. There’s an interesting little romance subplot too that is so subtle I didn’t notice until about 3/4ths of the way through, though it actually ends up playing a pretty major role. Look, if you need anymore convincing, let me reiterate. This is a good tragedy. It’s not that fake-ass tragedy where people are just sad because they lead such tragic lives. This is a classical tragedy in which a character’s downfall is caused by their own actions, and it’s beautiful. Just… seriously, even if you haven’t seen Rainbow Rocks, go read this.

Csquared08:

“But Star Swirl must have sent them there ages ago. How come they're just surfacin' now?”

A lot of people seemed to think this was a big issue in the movie, that this question was never answered. Their goal, however, was to stop the sirens from wreaking havoc at Canterlot High. What they’d been up to since Star Swirl banished them was largely irrelevant to that goal. But now we’ve moved beyond the movie, and I want to know everything.

The Years of Ar and S does a pretty fantastic job of explaining just that. It opens with the sirens confronting Star Swirl, trying to convince him to leave them alone. Each tries to tempt him in their own way, and their methodology really reflects their character well. And though the names are different—Anguish, Rage, and Suffering—it’s easy to tell who is who. This holds true for future scenes as well. No matter what names they’re using, Adagio is still easily identifiable as Adagio, and so on. So if nothing else, the characterization is strong and consistent.

Luckily for us, there’s more.

These scenes, coupled with that strong characterization, all build up to a beautifully tragic story. No matter what roles they take, no matter what morals they try to follow, no matter how much they may try to avoid each other, the sirens are doomed to fail. To fail together. That is their curse, that is their punishment, and it’s really quite beautiful in just how tragic it is.


STORY 2

Long Live Sonata Dusk, by Horse Voice

As an immortal, Sonata never thought she might someday run out of time. But a supernatural encounter on a quiet back road will show her just how precious a mortal's life is.


alexmagnet:

A cheap-looking trilby, at least one size too small, was perched on top of his head.

Y’know, as I’m reading through all these fics, and then checking them again while I write these reviews, it occurs to me that all of them involve some sort of Dazzling “origin” story. They all deal with their backstory in same… except for Long Live Sonata Dusk. I don’t know if that means anything, but take that how you will, I guess. It’s just something that I noticed. Anyway, seeing as it doesn’t deal with Dazzling backstory, what does it deal with? Well, that question is a little more difficult than you might imagine. If nothing else, Long Live Sonata Dusk lives up the “LSD” part of its acronym.

Shoulda called the fic “Death Comes for the Archsiren.

All right, so the basic premise of LLSD is that Death shows up and tells Sonata that her time is up, and he’s inexplicably dressed like some random schlub from the local improv comedy theater. This whole fic is so bizarre and weird that I couldn’t help but love. Funny at times, and dark at others, it’s entertaining throughout. I mean, there’s a bit where Sonata and Death are diving in his minivan and he starts singing what sounds like a Steely Dan song, and it just gets weirder from there.

I don’t really know how to explain what happens in this story, because it’s such a trip, but I can at least say that I enjoyed reading every bit of it. The character interactions are excellent, as is the dialogue, and Sonata feels just the way I like to see her. She’s not a complete fool, but she’s also not catty or aggressive, like Aria or Adagio. It’s not exactly how she is in Rainbow Rocks, but I think I’m okay with that given what she was like in the movie led to a seemingly endless series of bad taco joke memes and far too many fics about Sonata being “random.” It was like Season 1 Pinkie Pie all over again, but thankfully not as aggravating.

Anyway, if you like a good dark comedy (I want to say it’s vaguely Christopher Moore-esque), then you should definitely check this out. It’s funny, creepy, and more than a little strange.

Csquared08:

I’m not entirely sure what I expected from this story when I started reading it, but it certainly wasn’t what the story gave me.

I hadn’t yet read a story by Horse Voice when I stumbled upon Long Live Sonata Dusk, but I had heard a lot of things—good things—about him. People told me he’s really good at writing [Dark]. In hindsight, that probably should have clued me in.

Long Live Sonata Dusk opens with the revelation that Sonata Dusk is dying. Or perhaps she’s already dead. Either way, Death has come to pick her up. And that’s where I start to both question the events of the story and get rather creeped out. See, Death isn’t depicted as the stereotypical grim reaper with the long, black cape and a scythe. No, he actually kinda reminds me of this guy:

Creepy, right?

You’d think Death wouldn’t look like that. It just didn’t sit right with me. But it helped set the tone for the story. Nothing after Death’s description really felt right. Everything felt a whole lot creepier, even though beyond Sonata’s supposed death, nothing creepy was really going on. Turns out Death fancies himself a musician and played Sonata a song to get her expert opinion. But because of Death’s description, I couldn’t help but wonder if this was some elaborate prank and/or kidnapping plot. It just didn’t feel right.

This contrast of Sonata’s almost-blind trust in Death and the feel that these events aren’t quite right builds up quite nicely to the ending. I left the story entirely creeped out but satisfied in what I had read. It left a stronger impression on me than most stories of that length have any right leaving.


STORY 3

Welcome to the Show, by DWK

In the aftermath of their defeat, Aria Blaze and her siren companions struggle to figure out what to do with their lives.


alexmagnet:

“Oh, I dunno, Sonata,” Aria said [...] “it’s almost like there’s a pattern here…as if Tuesdays happen with some sort of predictable frequency…”

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it, well, at least once. I love sarcastic, snarky, mean characters, and this fic is just full of that kind of sarcastic snark that I crave. Aria is my favorite of the Dazzlings, and for a good reason. She’s easily the most in-line with my ideal character. But Aria, in this story, is something more than I could’ve ever wanted. Not only is she mean and sarcastic, but she actually has a lot of depth. She grows and changes according to actions and events that happen because of, or to her. Almost like a real character!

Yes, it’s going to be nothing but Salem Saberhagen gifs.

Welcome to the Show might be the best of the four Dazzling fics we’re featuring here. In terms of story, characters, and interactions, it’s certainly a strong contender. I like a lot of it, and I can say without a doubt that I enjoyed reading it (though it’s still incomplete), but despite all that I can’t say it was my favorite. It’s definitely the darkest story, and I mean that in an emotionally dark way. Adagio drinks herself into depression, Aria smokes and drinks, and the whole thing feels very… well, very Trainspotting I guess, or at least has similar aspects.

I think these elements can be done well, and are in fact done well in this story, I just don’t particularly care for them in my fics about colorful cartoon characters singing songs and shit. It will always feel out of place to me, no matter how well done it is, but that’s really the point here. Despite the fact that I dislike these things, this story is still just so damn good that it didn’t matter. It never stopped bothering me that Aria curses like a sailor or that Adagio is physically abusive to Sonata, but it did make me really happy when I saw them start to grow.

Now, an important thing to note about this story is that it is incomplete, but it seems to be updating rather frequently so there’s a good hope that it will actually finish and not just peter out of existence, which is good because where it leaves off at the end makes me very eager to see it continued. There’s a lot of promise here, and even just what’s there now shows a lot of growth for Aria’s character in particular. Anyway, if you’re not too squeamish about My Little Pony characters drinking themselves under the table (and not in a funny way), or shouting expletives at each other, then I’m sure you’ll enjoy this. It’s pretty damn good, and hints at the future chapters promise a really fulfilling character arc. Oh yeah, and the siren backstory is pretty cool too. Shoo-bee-doo, bitches.

Csquared08:

There was a short argument regarding the inclusion of this story for this round. Something about almost too many views but not quite, there has to be another Dazzlings story out there to keep with the theme, and we’ll get fired if we feature this thing that has this many views already. The argument ended with, “We're doing this one by virtue of it being not a huge pile of shit, and, in fact, pretty good.” And there might have also been mention of no one else doing Aria fics.

In discussing other potential stories for the round, it came up that a lot of people screw up dialogue. It’s not written as though it’s the character talking; it’s written as though it’s the author talking. The characters, for the most part, all sound the same. That’s a large reason why both of us enjoyed this story so much. The characters sound distinct. They’re clearly different from the others. On top of the excellent dialogue, the relationships between the sirens are developed wonderfully in the aftermath of Rainbow Rocks. Aria’s pent-up anger interacting with Adagio’s wallowing in drunken self-pity, for example, is handled wonderfully.

But then DWK upped his game. He did my favorite thing: He added in world-building. So not only is he building up the Sirens’ relationships in the present, he takes a step back to the past, and starts building up their relationships there. From their origins before they were sirens to their duel with Starswirl and currently up through the early days of their banishment to human world (Do we have an official name for the world of EQG? I feel like “human world” just doesn’t quite cut it.), DWK provides an excellent backdrop for current events. This backdrop serves to make current interactions and conflicts much more impactful. It seems like everything in this story is there to build up the characters and their interactions, and man oh man is it working. The characterization has been pretty splendid so far.

Of the 39 stories I’ve read that involve one or more of the sirens, this one is easily my favorite and arguably the best. And it features Aria, which is something more stories should do. To make everything even better, there’s supposed to be an update today soon. No pressure.


STORY 4

To Be Adored, by MarvelousTK

A tale of three young seaponies who only want to be accepted, and the path they take to be adored.


alexmagnet:

Once they were away from the group, the elder seapony drew her close with a sympathetic look. “Adagio,” she said softly, “we need to talk.”

Of all the fics in this round, this one might be the hardest for me to recommend. It’s not because it’s not good, it is, and it’s not because it’s not interesting, it is. The problem is that the other fics we’ve featured in this round so far just better at a lot of the things To Be Adored tries to do. Don’t get me wrong, To Be Adored is still an interesting look at the sirens’ backstory, and it provides believable, and somewhat tragic, origin for their becoming “Dazzlings”. It’s just… in a round where there are three really excellent stories already about one character or set of characters, the fourth one has to be really unique or really good, and it’s unfortunately just pretty good. Boy, I’m doing a terrible job selling this. Lemme try again.

This one’s not even a joke. It’s just true.

All right, here’s the deal. The Years of Ar and S is my favorite of the bunch because it has, to me, the best Dazzling backstory. Long Live Sonata Dusk is just so freakin’ weird it’s hard not to love. Welcome to the Show is just strong all around. And then we get to To Be Adored. It’s a good fic, and don’t take that likely. It was hard to find four Dazzling fics actually worth highlighting, and this one made it, so take that for what you will.

Adagio’s character is strong here. We see her life as a seapony who can’t sing, and it tears her apart. She basically sells her soul to the devil for some magic trinkets to allow her to do the one thing she always wanted to do, sing. In its own way, To Be Adored is a bit of a tragic story as well. Adagio’s own pride and ambition end up bringing not only herself down, but her friends as well. It’s sad, in a way. Honestly, I think I would’ve liked to have seen more to this story. There’s a decent air of mystery around who it was that gives Adagio her gems, and we don’t really see how they go from being seaponies to being in the human world. I don’t know. I’m not particularly attached to this story, but it is undeniably good.

I mean… I guess that’s all I have to say about that.

Last one, I swear/

Csquared08:

So far, every story has taken place after Rainbow Rocks. No matter how much backstory they may (or may not, as is the case of Long Live Sonata Dusk) show us, they all take place with the same events in recent memory. That is not the case here.

To Be Adored takes place during the events leading up to the sirens becoming the sirens. It stars Adagio Dazzle, a young seapony who wants nothing more than for her singing to please everyone. Unfortunately for her, though, her singing apparently wasn’t any good, and she wasn’t able to join seapony society proper. She was relegated to some remedial school where they teach seaponies to sing properly.

It turns out this is a pretty big deal. See, in seapony culture, singing together in harmony was everything. It was a sign you were a true seapony. And there’s what makes this story pretty great. It builds up and establishes seapony culture through Adagio’s—and later Aria’s and Sonata’s—failures to live up to its standards. It’s an organic, fluid process that helps to make Adagio’s struggle all the more impactful. So when they fall all the way to rock-bottom and presumably become sirens, it really hits you just how desperate they were to simply be accepted.

Because it world-builds through its characterization, it’s able to establish a lot of culture and ideas in a very short period of time. The story is only a little more than 3k words, after all. It’s quite impressive that the story was able to accomplish so much world-building and characterization in so little time and still make it all feel so natural.


The door to the room swung open with a loud bang. “What the hell is that screeching!?”

Alex and Csquared turned to look at who had entered. “Oh, hey, what’s up?” said Alex.

Pav shook his head. “What is wrong with you guys? You got caught in the shark trap… again?”

Csquared shrugged. “I wanted to be with my family.”

“And you?” said Pav, nodding towards Alex.

Alex stared silently for a long time, then said, “...What?”

Pav shook his head, sighing.


Feel free to visit our group for more information and events, and to offer some recommendations for future rounds. See you all next time!

Alexstrazsa · 953 views · Report
Dec
6th
2014

December! Hard to believe it, but 2014's about done with. That means there's only one month to go before we get hoverboards, flying cars, and whatever else Back to the Future Part II lied to you about.

What's everybody want for Jinglemas, though? I hope it's group ads, because that's what you're getting:


The Block Breakers group!

Here be writer's blocks. And we are the knights that slay them!

This is the group for any and all writers that have a writer's block. Whether it be a temporary or serious case, our team of top notch goof-offs will help you to get your creative juices pumping, and to find ideas, skin them, leave their coats in the sun to dry, and eventually make 16th century style boots out of them that give you +6 kicking, allowing you to vanquish that writer's block with a swift tap in the bottom side. Join us, dear writers, in the quest to slay the deadly cube of writing!


We are the Knights in Rusty Armor. You can tell that we have actually done work because we've actually used our armor.

Here in the Knights, we ask of you to place yonder fics into the folder thou wisheth us to readeth. If we doith read them, we higher up knights will place the fics into our reviewed section, and we will even doith a review of the fic to giveth out our opinion to the lesser knights. (No offence meant there whatsoever)

If we enjoy thou fic, we shall put it in our recommended folder thingy.  There it shall rest as one of the stories that we all wisheth get more views.

But... If thou feeleth hurt in anyway, we will all be there to helpest thou as best we Knights in Rusty Armor can.

So do not be afraid, young ones. Cometh unto us and join the Knights in Rusty Armor.


Amateur Artists Unite!

This group is open for anyone who is willing to take the time and put in hard work in their art. Anyone from beginners to pro's are welcome to join. Heck, even if you cant draw to save your life, you can join. We will try our hardest to dedicate some of our time to post threads giving basic drawing advice and tips to help out new artists, or people willing to learn. Art should be done by all, and I feel that everyone should at least give it a try.


We Focus on the Plot

Tried of stories with the lack of a good plot? Do you not get enough plot in your daily reading? Well look no further because PonySlayer has a group recommendation for you!

Here at We Focus On The Plot you may find all kinds of plot filled stories. We have everything from simple slim plots, big juicy plots, and some weird things that can only be explained though the dark horrors of your fetishes :pinkiecrazy:

Simple to say we focus on the plot and your needs for the booty~


Poniverse, an expansion on Fimfiction of the Poniverse.net online community, is open to any and all hoping to expand the Poniverse fanfiction community, whether you hail from MLP Forums or one of her sister sites, or are a Fimfiction user alone.  If you're looking for a vibrant group full of aspiring authors and fun contests, then look no further, Poniverse is the place for you!  We're open to any and all kinds of stories, so post 'em if you got 'em (under the appropriate genre of course) and please, take a look at our Hearth's Warming Eve Fanfiction Contest for December!!!


The Royal Sisters' Parents

As the title suggest this group is dedicated to promoting stories which involve Celestia and Luna's parents! We Also like to discuss theories behind who the parents are and their back stories.


Weird Ideas Done Seriously

Welcome to the land of the insane made into a form not only understandable, but can be rather quite compelling. This group's goal is to try and get together all those ideas that seemed just way too out there to ever be taken seriously yet somehow managed to be done. Stories that where based off something that most would never think could ever be seen as anything other than silly, dumb, or creepy. If your story somehow takes the concept of blue aliens turning into ponies and makes it relatable then this is the group for you!


That's it for 2014. See you all next year!

(If you want your group advertised in January's post, send me a PM with a link to the group and a brief description of what the group does and why people should check it out. This is the exact ad that will go into the post, so make it good and descriptive like an advertisement)

Eldorado · 927 views · Report
Dec
5th
2014

Today's story is a thing of beauty. [Editor's Note: The interview was originally posted with two questions partially missing. The error has been fixed. Apologies.]

Dream

[Sad] • 3,252 words

Sometimes, dreams are all we have. Sometimes, that's enough.

Hidden deep within a maze, well away from prying eyes, there is a statue. The last great work of an artist long forgotten, her time-worn visage watches the raising and setting of the sun and the moon as though enraptured.

Who created such a marvel, this sculpture of copper and brass, of crystal and cog, and why, is unknown, lost to the mists of time ... until now.

This is the tale of a painter and a clockmaker, and the love they shared.

This is the tale of a dreamer, who knew only her dream.

FROM THE CURATORS: Dream is "one part fairy tale and one part adventure, wrapped around lyrical, flawless prose and some really powerful storytelling," as Present Perfect said, and that combination easily won over our hearts.  "This is one of the best stories I've seen in a good, long while," Chris said.

One of the major contributors to that was a unique and exemplary narrative voice.  "The prose in this is just perfect," JohnPerry said.  "Never too much detail, never too little, always just the right amount to evoke that sense of awe and wonder that makes it so powerful."  Chris agreed: "There's a tricky balance to maintain when writing a story where the narrator is a character, and the author absolutely nails it.  The addressing of the reader at the start evokes just the right sense of fairytale wonder, and the clipped but vivid descriptions call to mind a mix of grandeur and ephemeralness which perfectly complements the tale being told."

But the story is more than the sum of its prose.  "The ideas tackled are big ones -- what is beauty? -- and the ending gave me a bunch of feels," Present Perfect said.  "I was shocked to find out it was only 3,000 words long; it feels so much grander."  JohnPerry summed it up: "The fact that the author can evoke so much out of so few words is amazing."

Read on for our author interview, in which CascadeJackal discusses fairy tale situations, villainous infatuations, and appellation combinations.

Read More
PresentPerfect · 669 views · Edited 1w, 6d ago · Report
Nov
29th
2014

Hi guys. How was your Thanksgiving? Did you remember to give thanks for pony words? No? Well, that is fine. There are many things for which we should all be thankful, and it is easy to forget about stories about colorful horses, if only for a little while.  

That said, this is now an excellent opportunity for you to remember that pony words exist, and that we should all be very thankful for them. To that end, The Royal Guard has collected a whole bunch of stories that you can read while being thankful. Sleep off the last remains of empire with these!

Merry Thanksgiving to you all.

If you're interested in more regarding The Royal Guard and their story recommendations, here're some links for you:

-The Royal Guard Group

-Submit Your Story!

-The Royal Guard's Reviewing Omnibus

-Join The Guard!

AND NOW, WITHOUT FURTHER ADO... STORIES!

This Week:

Slice of Life

Keepers, by Bad Horse

Postclassical, by Horizon Runner

The Voice of Reason, by Pascoite

I Chose You, by Minds Eye

Little Apple, by Oroboro

Comedy

Seacord and the Moderately Inconvenienced Rainbow Dash, by Palm Palette

My Little Economy Economics is Science, by mylittleeconomy

Today is a Good Day to Die, by Aragon

Bad Horse's Bedtime Stories for Impressionable Young Colts and Fillies, by Bad Horse

Dark

The Griffon War: A Soldier's Memoirs, by Dusk Quill



SLICE OF LIFE



Keepers, by Bad Horse

Berry Punch made a mistake, and now she has a problem. A little problem that could grow into a big problem. Question is, her artist friend Happy says, is it the kind of mistake that needs fixing? Or the kind where fixing it would be another mistake?

Will I like this? A nice little story about the nature of mistakes, what it means to make them, and how we can react to them. A thoughtful piece, despite its short length. —BronyWriter


Postclassical, by Horizon Runner

Where there's life, there's change.

Be that comforting or terrifying, it remains true. Equestria has been unchanged for a long time, and now the gears come unstuck with a single, mighty blow. One age ends, another begins.

But even after tragedy impossible, life continues on the streets. In the grand scheme, a single pony will be remembered only by the mark they leave, be they a ruler of the world, a faithful student thrust suddenly into the light, a soldier loyal to a vanished master, or a simple cellist with a run of bad luck.

For just as life begets change, so do the living beget the future.

Will I like this? There are countless stories about Octavia meeting Vinyl Scratch. There is exactly one story about Octavia and Vinyl Scratch waking up to discover that the Equestria of the day before no longer exists. If you want to watch these characters make their way in a world where nothing is certain, you should probably read Postclassical. —Prak


The Voice of Reason, by Pascoite

Everypony is her own worst critic, but few take it to the extreme that Derpy does. Still, where friendship and magic abound, a helping hoof is never far away, if only she'll reach out and take it.

Will I like this? If you've ever felt like you're not worth it, like you're nothing but a burden, like you're unliked and unloved, then please read this story. If you've never felt that way... well, you should read this story too, because it's touching and well-told. —R5h


I Chose You, by Minds Eye

A week ago, love was in bloom.  Cadance, the Princess of Love and Shining Armor, Captain of the Royal Guard defeated and banished an invading army with the power of their love alone.

So why can't their sister start a conversation with her marefriend?  They're already dating, for pony's sake!  Maybe they just don't know each other well enough yet...

Will I like this? A short but sweet story that offers a rare look at a time after two characters start dating. I Chose You is about anxiety and learning what being in a relationship really means. —Lab


Little Apple, by Oroboro

Apple is a funny word, one that Winona doesn't quite understand.

Her family uses it to refer to food, to trees, to themselves and to each other. It's all very inconsistent.

But whether she understands it or not, she'll always be there for the pony she knows as Little Apple.

Will I like this? There is often a noticeable difference between what a dog sees and what actually happens. The simplicity of Winona's perspective makes for a charming read, and it brought back fond memories of the dog I grew up with. —Lab



COMEDY



Seacord and the Moderately Inconvenienced Rainbow Dash, by Palm Palette

Sea Swirl loves to tell outlandish stories. Discord loves to make outlandish stories come true. It's a match made in heaven, right? Not for the rest of Equestria it isn't.

Will I like this? This story is weird. So very weird. Also silly. It is not for everyone, but if you enjoy absurd comedy, you'll enjoy this. —NightWolf289


My Little Economy Economics is Science, by mylittleeconomy

Princess Celestia is the world's most powerful economist, and Twilight Sparkle is her most promising student. But when Twilight is sent to Ponyville to oversee preparations for the summer solstice celebration, she will have her hoofs full trying to make friends and save the world from a thousand years of bad monetary policy. Along the way, she might learn an important lesson or two about economics.

Will I like this? Douglas Adams himself could have written this story (if he were alive, a brony, and had an interest in economics). Economics is Science puts the English language through its paces like a showhorse on display, and I can guarantee it'll make you crack a smile at the very least, so it's in your rational self-interest to read it! —R5h


Today is a Good Day to Die, by Aragon

One night, just like that, Celestia realizes she's going to die in less than twenty-four hours.

Will I like this? A really fun story that delves into the difference between immortal ponies like Celestia and Luna and their subjects. Celestia and Luna have absolutely no idea what death truly is, and that almost adds a level of tragedy to this otherwise hilarious story. —BronyWriter


Bad Horse's Bedtime Stories for Impressionable Young Colts and Fillies, by Bad Horse

Kids. Kids. I'm telling you like it is. Who are you going to believe, some old book, or your Uncle Bad Horse?

So, anyway. Like I was saying. Once upon a time...

Will I like this? I was laughing out loud reading this, and I don't do that very often. The titular Bad Horse is such a fun and interesting character, that I'm sad that this story is only two chapters instead of a hundred. —BronyWriter



DARK



The Griffon War: A Soldier's Memoirs, by Dusk Quill

When Private Fleethoof recognized his dream and joined the Royal Guard, he never thought he would ever experience the might of Equestria's military firsthand. But when Equestria's safety is threatened by an old enemy, he'll find out just what sacrifices war and survival demand, what it truly means to serve for Princess and country, and just how important some friendships can be. See the war through the eye-witness account of a soldier on the front lines, all taken from one enduring journal.

Will I like this? At long last, The Royal Guard features a story about the Royal Guard! And it's a heck of a story, as promised by the title: Fleethoof's memoirs of the war pull you into the story from Chapter One, thanks to skilled writing and relatable characters. Enjoy! —R5h

Obselescence · 2,230 views · Edited 2w, 6d ago · Report
Nov
28th
2014

Today's story will shake things up... perhaps even more than it intended.

Eclipse

[Adventure] • 64,552 words

A recurring nightmare convinces Luna that, since her return, she has never regained her sister's complete trust. And at the forthcoming Festival of the Eclipse, she decides to make amends with a bold gesture.

But Luna's solution causes consequences she never anticipated. Consequences the whole world will feel. Now, Celestia and Luna must set forth on an adventure that will take them even into Tartarus itself, and set everything right before it's too late.

And if they're lucky, they'll rediscover the trust they once had a thousand years ago.

FROM THE CURATORS: Often, there's one particular aspect of a story which catches the eye of all the RCL curators.  Unusually, all of us seemed to find something different to love about Eclipse.  Chris highlighted the worldbuilding that went into the story, saying it "offers an excellently conceived picture of Tartarus which draws upon both Greek mythology and modern theology, and does some simply excellent stuff with dragons, including race relations and general worldview."  John Perry agreed that the worldbuilding was good, but went on to add, "But more important is the handling of the plot, and that is where this story shines."  Present Perfect went a third direction, focusing on the characters: "Everything about the dragons was handled superbly," he said, "from their society to their individual viewpoints, and Valkyrie's character arc ended up being well wrought."

But even though we all had different "favorite" story elements, one thing we agreed on was that they all came together beautifully.  "This guy may be one of those writers who’s equally good at everything, as adept at writing Pinkie and comedy as he is action and adventure," mused Present Perfect, and he wasn't alone in the sentiment.  "Every chapter left me wanting more," as John Perry put it.  At one point while reading, Present Perfect even paused to declare, "this is one of the greatest scenes I have ever had the honor and pleasure to read."

Read on for our author interview, in which 8686 discusses royal readers, the difference between cruelty and indifference, and Alpha and Beta scenes.

Read More
PresentPerfect · 1,198 views · Edited 2w, 3h ago · Report