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Bradel

Joined January 2013
360 followers

Bradel is a curator for the Royal Canterlot Library, a pre-reader for Equestria Daily, a third-order Luddite, and an ivory tower intellectual of the very worst sort.

Stories (12)

  • A Filly's Guide to Not Making Headlines
    PRINCESS SPARKLE IN CAMELU DUSTUP – Reports emerged Sunday that H.S.H. Twilight Sparkle slammed Griffonstan over Camelu water rights. "I mean, they have plenty. It's not a 'threat to their sovereignty' to ask—

    8,218 words · 8,195 views · 1,019 likes · 11 dislikes
  • Purple Prose, or A Night at the Clopera
    Twilight Sparkle wakes up to a very unwelcome idea. Now she needs to find a way to clear it out of her mind. Because if she falls asleep before it's gone, the Princess of Dreams will get to see that idea for herself.
    5,671 words · 9,134 views · 721 likes · 10 dislikes
  • Princess Luna Likes Coffee
    Princess Luna reflects on what it's like to come back from one thousand years of exile.
    1,291 words · 2,455 views · 361 likes · 6 dislikes
  • The Curious Incident of the (Robot) Dog in the Night-time
    Ponyville is home to two alien observers. When a piece of advanced technology is stolen, the observers must do everything in their power to get it back—preferably before their superiors decide to blow up the planet.
    4,396 words · 994 views · 152 likes · 1 dislikes
  • The Amazingly Awesome Adventures of Tank the Tortoise (by R. Dash)
    16,430 words · 3,852 views · 312 likes · 6 dislikes
  • Three Nights
    18,509 words · 1,610 views · 260 likes · 6 dislikes
  • Bell, Book & Candle
    14,229 words · 1,231 views · 102 likes · 1 dislikes
  • The Rose
    3,765 words · 288 views · 67 likes · 2 dislikes
  • Twilight Sparkle Investigates
    8,706 words · 1,184 views · 154 likes · 11 dislikes
  • Transference
    5,389 words · 1,439 views · 149 likes · 14 dislikes

Blog Posts (88)

Source

NEW PRINCESS ATTACKS GRIFFONSTAN IMPORTS

The Equestria Daily can exclusively report that newly crowned Princess Twilight Sparkle became embroiled in an argument with the Griffonstani trade minister about the inferior quality of griffon quills, alleging that "they just don't hold ink as well as pegasus quills". Import markets tumbled overnight, threatening the solvency of numerous Equestrian quill merchants. Princess Sparkle could not be reached for comment.

First Published
5th May 2013
Last Modified
8th Jun 2013

Comments ( 164 )

#1 · Chapter 1 · 69w, 1d ago · 1 · ·

Author's Notes

Once again, my very great thanks to PoweredByTea and GhostOfHeraclitus for pre-reading this story. They were both, as usual, tremendously helpful, and while their contributions were by no means limited to the following, I want to highlight a few things in particular. Powered helped me clear up a number of spots where my aversion to dialogue tags had made the story a bit confusing, as well as assisting with a tricky spot of Twilight characterization. Ghost offered a fair bit of his worldbuilding (including the history of Zebrican irrigation) and graciously permitted me to use Dr. Spinning Top of the Equestrian Civil Service for the story's final scene. As always, though, if there are elements about the story you don't like, all blame should be placed squarely at my feet.

The impetus behind this story? Mostly watching Skywriter churn out two great Cadance bits in as many weeks, and learning that Sunchaser is planning to drop three separate stories/updates in a 28 hour span in the near future. I may not be able to compete with that sort of rate, but at least I can give you all something to enjoy.

#2 · Chapter 1 · 69w, 1d ago · · ·

I approve of everything.

And have no idea what else to say.

Have a pie on me?

#3 · Chapter 1 · 69w, 1d ago · 7 · ·

Before I actually read this, I want to say, your word count makes me twitch. [img]//dl.dropbox.com/u/31471793/FiMFiction/Twilight_Sparkle_lolface.png[/img]

zel
#4 · Chapter 1 · 69w, 1d ago · · ·

PRINCESS SPARKLE IN CAMELU DUSTUP

;_;

#5 · Chapter 1 · 69w, 1d ago · · ·

I'm rather fond of your stuff...  I should really make a point to hit the follow button.

Which I just did.

~Skeeter The Lurker

#6 · Chapter 1 · 69w, 1d ago · · ·

I've given this story a thumbs up just on the premise and its presentation alone.  I'll give this a surely enjoyable read-through, tonight.

#7 · Chapter 1 · 69w, 1d ago · · ·

>>2532750

Pie is good. I do not object to this. Also, pie is apple cooking friendly, which is thematic!

>>2532878

Yeah, you're not alone in that. 5999 words? But the story's the story.

...oh heck, maybe not. Maybe I should go add another word somewhere. The more I think about it, the more that bugs me....

>>2532883

Okay, gotta admit, I'm really liking that.  Thanks!

>>2532886

And... yay! :pinkiehappy: Thank you very much for the follow. I hope I will continue to live up to expectations!

#8 · Chapter 1 · 69w, 1d ago · · ·

>>2532906

Just keep writing.  That's all you need do.

~Skeeter TL

#9 · Chapter 1 · 69w, 1d ago · · ·

Havent read all of this funny fic, yet. But from the opening I want to say that this should sooo be the third or fourth episode of the fourth season.

Ok, finished reading and...yep, with some small additions to make this 22 minutes, this could and should be an actualy episode of the series. This would be fun and enjoyable, fantastic work

#10 · Chapter 1 · 69w, 1d ago · · ·

>>2532878

Ha! Did it! Just switched one dialogue verb from future tense to future perfect tense.

6000 exact FTW!

#11 · Chapter 1 · 69w, 1d ago · · ·

I have to admit, Twilight Sparkle in a press briefing strikes me much the same as chucking a handfull of ball-bearings into Big Ben : There's going to be some really loud noises and everybody will see the end result.   Nice work!

#12 · Chapter 1 · 69w, 1d ago · · ·

>>2532940

I should feel bad for bringing that to your attention like it was important.

[img]//dl.dropbox.com/u/31471793/FiMFiction/emoticons/lolface_Celestia.png[/img]

Anyway, onwards, to story-time!

#13 · Chapter 1 · 69w, 1d ago · 1 · ·

>>2532948

Ever since I saw that "This Platinum Crown" gets an [Intrigue] story tag on Equestria Daily, I've been wanting to write something that might be able to take the same tag. Not that I've read TPC yet, but it's just a matter of time. Anything that gets its own special tag, and it being that particular tag, immediately gets my attention. I adore intrigue stories.

I'll admit, Twilight being bad at dealing with the press may not exactly count as [Intrigue], but that was still the impetus behind the idea to write this story. Anyway, I'm very glad you enjoyed it!

#14 · Chapter 1 · 69w, 1d ago · 9 · ·

Prereader comments: Generally a good read. What struck me in particular was how like an actual episode this story felt. A full 22 minute programme would probably have a few more scenes in, but other than that, it feels like it wouldn't be difficult to adapt. For me the show was stolen by the Cutie Mark Crusaders Political Intriguers (which apparently is a real word), but that was no bad thing. :scootangel::unsuresweetie::applecry:

A bit disappointed that Bradel didn't follow up on the changeling subplot. What changeling subplot? Why, how else do you explain the Cutie Mark Crusaders producing edible pancakes? Am I the only one seeing this?

Maybe Bradel intends it as sequel bait? Huh. What? No I'm not crazy, why do you ask? Changelings, I tells you, changelings! Hey, where are you dragging me to? I told you, I'm not crazy. They're changelings...

#15 · Chapter 1 · 69w, 1d ago · 3 · ·

The scene where Twilight breaks down over her Gala dress was surprisingly heartwrenching. :applecry: Nothing like the press to make someone's life miserable. Just like real life!

Hmm, maybe they need to just glamour Rarity to look like Princess Twilight, and let her run around at those big social functions. :raritywink:

AJ played that a-hole miner a bit too well. [img]//dl.dropbox.com/u/31471793/FiMFiction/Applejack_lolface.png[/img]

#16 · Chapter 1 · 69w, 1d ago · 3 · ·

This was much better than I thought it would be. I've seen some stories with a similar premise (alicorn!Twilight, press, etc.), but this story is one of the best executed fics I've ever read. The headlines near the beginning had me chuckling at first, and as the story went on, the laughter grew until Scootaloo's monologue, at which point I quite literally had to stop reading for a good five minutes. Applejack was an excellent supporting character, and I really liked the fact that it was her delivering advice instead of Fluttershy or Pinkie, which seems to happen a lot in other stories.

The best part was that because every single character was just that - in character - the story felt like an actual episode. I would love to see this being the second episode of season four.

So, let's see what you've earned:

- Upvote

- Favorite

Once I've read some of your other stories, I might follow you. Well done, Bradel. :twilightsmile:

#17 · Chapter 1 · 69w, 1d ago · · ·

I echo the sentiment that this could easily be an episode.  Equestrian Intelligence should hire the CMC they are pretty good at political intrigue.

#18 · Chapter 1 · 69w, 1d ago · · ·

I'm reading this later, but how. HOW DID YOU GET EXACTLY 6000 WORDS:pinkiegasp:

#19 · Chapter 1 · 69w, 1d ago · · ·

>>2533072

Not so much a response as an encouragement for other people to make sure and go read Powered's comment. Because his theory is best theory, and I can't tell you how much fun I had in the gdocs pre-read markup with him identifying all the subtle clues that they've been replaced by changelings.

I'm not saying they have, mind you. Clearly Powered is touched in the head and prone to conspiracy theories. Clearly.

:unsuresweetie:

>>2533198

Speaking of Powered, he deserves some credit for that scene too. I was pretty happy with what I originally wrote, but he pushed me to improve the characterization of Twilight there. I was a little iffy at having to add more words on a punchy bit of dialogue that was already working for me, but... okay, if you know me, you know I'm very sappy... when I was fixing the line for his edits, I actually cried a bit while writing it. Yes, I'm kind of lame like that.

>>2533235

Thank you very much for the feedback! I actually wasn't aware this was an idea other people were writing, but I can be a bit closeted in terms of what stories I read on Fimfiction, so I don't know that my novel idea sense is well honed.

But characterization tends to be the big thing I look for in stories I read, so it's very nice to hear that someone thinks I'm doing well on that front. I hope you enjoy the other stories I have on offer!

(Also, because it really needs saying, your avatar is awesome. I'm a bit more of a Zeppelin fan, but you'd better believe I love me some Pink Floyd.)

#20 · Chapter 1 · 69w, 1d ago · · ·

>>2533298

If you check out down-comment a bit, I actually got exactly 5999 words. It made >>2532878 a bit twitchy. Then it made me a bit twitchy, so I switched one future-tense conjugation to a future perfect conjugation in dialogue ("will play" to "will be playing" when Rarity is telling Scootaloo about her role).

Really, it's kind of a missed opportunity to be so close without taking the round number.

#21 · Chapter 1 · 69w, 1d ago · · ·

>>2533305 I wouldn't worry too much about the idea. This story was a refreshing change of pace from fics like Ascend (which is mainly what I was referring to). But yeah, everything I said was true. You're a really good writer, and now I have the urge to read the second chapter of Bell, Book & Candle...

And Zeppelin's alright in my book. Pink Floyd is still my favorite (and obsession... :pinkiecrazy:)

#22 · Chapter 1 · 69w, 1d ago · 1 · ·

Honored to have partially inspired, or at least impelled, this work.  It's a nice addition to the Dottyverse, and I think you handled the frustrating effect of the media on a new member of the gentry very well.  Equal parts maddening and funny.  Nicely done.  If you conceiving of yourself as my nemesis helps you churn out stuff like this, then by all means, keep on with it.  :pinkiehappy:

#23 · Chapter 1 · 69w, 1d ago · · ·

This is an excellent story, and quite fun to read.  The breakdown at the beginning tying in to the dress at the end was wonderful, and I love the bit with the CMC.  Hilarious.

#24 · Chapter 1 · 69w, 1d ago · 6 · ·

Having just waded through Wikipedia's entries on the relative ranking of Her Serene Highness vs. Her Highness  and getting the answer, 'Well, it depends...', I would like to suggest a topic for another Princess Sparkle fic that you/others might be interested in (because I'm staying away from it like Kryptonite)

What is the proper term of address for Her Serene Highness/Her Highness/Her Royal Highness Princess Twilight Sparkle?  And does it change depending on what country she's in?  Or if it's night or day?  Or twilight?  And if she gets added as a ruling princess, does that turn the Diarchy into a Triarchy?  Is there even such a word?  Is her position superior or inferior to Luna?  After all, she defeated Luna in battle once, and certainly there is precedent for a defeated ruler to be of lower rank than the victor, right?

Thousands of perfectly good bureaucrats in Canterlot with very little to do, and a tempting question like this.  The fight to determine her proper title could devolve into a 'civil-service war' :twilightoops:

I can see the conversation now as the princesses work out who will be in charge of what, using only the most ancient of protocol and decision making. (admittedly triggered by reading the under-rated An Unepic Pony War in the Nondistant Future )

Celestia: Call it!

Luna: Heads!

Twilight: Ah, HA!  Tails!  That means I get to be the judge at the yearly Canterlot Cheescake festival.  Woot!

Celestia: B-b-but!

Luna: Twilight, would you be willing to trade that duty for my weekend reservation at the Royal Astronomy Tower.

Twilight: Hmmm.

Celestia: Or how about my duty as the Canterlot Archives Purchasing Coordinator, AND I'll let you raise the sun once a year, on your birthday?

Luna: I'd be willing to throw in my Wednesday reservation, AND let you raise the moon once a month.

#25 · Chapter 1 · 69w, 1d ago · · ·

Will read this later. One question, though: Why does the shorter summary (listed on the sidebar) contain a completely different headline with a completely different story?

#26 · Chapter 1 · 69w, 1d ago · · ·

This would be a great plot for a future episode.

#27 · Chapter 1 · 69w, 1d ago · · ·

>>2533561

It'll become a little more obvious once you open the story. The first three paragraphs are basically Twilight earning herself more headlines. I thought it'd be a nice Easter Egg to make the short and long descriptions be essentially separate addendums to the story itself.

The EqD submission has the longer version of the short description blurb attached. I'm hoping they'll pick it up, but I probably won't know for another week or two since I only submitted it this morning. So really, Easter Eggs all around.

#28 · Chapter 1 · 69w, 1d ago · 2 · ·

>>2533397

Dottyverse. I like it. Someone make a group now.

We shall soon rival even the Lunaverse!

>>2533526

This would make a brilliant Equestrian Civil Service story. I can almost hear Dotted Line's brain frying even now.

#29 · Chapter 1 · 69w, 1d ago · · ·

>>2533397

Curse you, Skywriter, and your prolific excellence!

<cough>

Um. Yes. I actually felt a little bad running a Civil Service OC so soon after your Dotted (which was wonderful – another comment I need to leave – though of course I loyally prefer The Original original character), but the ending for this story wound up being a bit of a puzzle right until the last minute. Actually, it was planned to end in an entirely different way, with Rarity and Applejack sitting around a breakfast table together looking at the positive post-Gala headlines. But Ghost convinced me I had to write a scene with Twilight at the Gala as well, and then the idea of tossing in Spinny followed pretty naturally.

Then, I got to the end of the scene and realized how the story had to end (for me), and the Rarity + Applejack scene wound up never being written.

I'm kind of in awe of your ability to lead into a story. Ghost can tell you how much I've been complaining all weekend about how unfair it is for someone to go around writing, "Here's the first thing you need to know". But at the risk of being a little full of myself, I have to say, I'm pretty happy with my own ability to close them out.

#30 · Chapter 1 · 69w, 1d ago · 2 · ·

>>2532976

Not that I've read TPC yet
GASP! :pinkiegasp:

You totally should. It's also the sequel to The Best Night Ever, which is also an amazing fic. The only thing necessary to take from TNBE into TPC is BluebloodxRarity, though, and TBNE is an homage to Groundhog Day rather than a political intrigue story.

>>2533298

Sometimes things just happen like that. I wrote a two-part one-shot with one chapter at exactly 1,000 and the other chapter at exactly 1,200 words. I wasn't trying to achieve any such thing, nor did I go and edit the story to achieve those numbers. It simply happened.

#31 · Chapter 1 · 69w, 1d ago · 1 · ·

I can totally see Twilight being Twilight not being up to the challenge of politics. Too many stories like to Mary Sue her as knowing everything just because she grew up in Canterlot with the Princess.

Loved Rarity's lesson plan.

#32 · Chapter 1 · 69w, 1d ago · 3 · ·

NEED SEQUEL! :flutterrage:

#33 · Chapter 1 · 69w, 1d ago · 2 · ·

Daannnng, Applejack rocked in this fic. The premise was awesome and funny, it was well-executed, and I can never get too much of the Equestrian Civil Service, as brief as Dr. Top's appearance was. But the crown jewel has to be AJ laying it out like a bawss. :ajbemused:

#34 · Chapter 1 · 69w, 1d ago · 2 · ·

That went from humorous (the initial headlines) to sad (Twilight & her dress) to hilarious (the CMC & Applejack) and ended up at awesome. This bit right here:

Knowledge, after all, had always been Twilight’s weapon, and clear thinking her armor.

Very nearly made me stand up and cheer, and the very last line did make me do so.

#35 · Chapter 1 · 69w, 1d ago · · ·

>>2534317 >>2534319

Aww, you guys... No, seriously, I can't tell you (well, yes, I can and I will) how happy that made me to hear. I got a lot of good feedback on the CMC here, but as much as I love my pre-readers, neither of them really weighed in a whole lot on Applejack. I wanted to give her a bit of a 'guile hero' feel here. I could hold forth at length on my feelings about AJ, but I'll save it. I promise the next thing on my schedule is more Bell, Book & Candle, but I do have an Applejack story tooling around in my head that may see the light of day at some point, and it's going to keep to this character vision. Though it'll probably have to dial it back if I want to give her a character arc.

Anyway, I'm glad you both liked it!

#36 · Chapter 1 · 69w, 1d ago · 3 · ·

"And that's the story of how Twilight became Pony Stark," concluded Pinkie.

Suddenly, her tail began to sh-sh-shake.  "Wh-wh-what a doozy!!!"   :pinkiegasp:

#37 · Chapter 1 · 69w, 1d ago · 4 · ·

WAR!

PRINCESS TWILIGHT ESCALATES EQUESTRIA-CHANGELONIA CONFLICT!

"I never thought you'd come to a party, Queen Chrysalis." - PC. Twilight

TROOPS MOBILIZED ACROSS SOUTHERN BORDER!

PARLIAMENT CONTEMPLATES CONSCRIPTION!

GRIFFONSTAN EXPELS AMBASSADORS! Pres. Ironclaw speaks against Equestrian 'warmongering duplicity' - PG 3

#38 · Chapter 1 · 69w, 1d ago · · ·

This is just so perfect. Amazingly written!

a3V
#39 · Chapter 1 · 69w, 1d ago · · ·

I liked reading this. The characters act like they would on the show, and it really does sound like it would fit into an actual episode.

But mostly, I'm just happy seeing Applejack full of her special kind of wisdom. :ajsmug:

#40 · Chapter 1 · 69w, 1d ago · · ·

Loved it. :scootangel:

There was just one glaring problem with it though... the ending. Because it ended... :applecry:

#41 · Chapter 1 · 69w, 1d ago · · ·

>>2534599

I like the additional news bits, but I just have to say...

That picture, behind Diamond Tiara... I just find incredibly disturbing. I suppose it's no more disturbing than the original. Or maybe it is – there's a history behind that photo and that action. A palace guard doing the same to a random changeling on the street really gives me chills.

#42 · Chapter 1 · 69w, 1d ago · · ·

Very interesting concept. The CMC were great in setting up a military plot against Equestria, and Applejack was damn funny too.

#43 · Chapter 1 · 69w, 1d ago · · ·

>>2533526

I need this. I need this now.

#44 · Chapter 1 · 69w, 1d ago · 3 · 1 ·

Well now this was an enjoyable read.  A very appropriate contender for the Feature Box, and I'm delighted that the story made it in - and at the top spot no less!  No easy feat, I'm sure!

There are just so many things that are done right in this story.  First and foremost, the reintroduction of Twilight's slips into social paranoia.  It's something that was adorkable in the fandom previously because her fears were of disappointing the Princess, proving herself to not be up to the standard of being the perfect student that she believed Celestia was holding her to.  Freaking out over things as small as not sending in a friendship report was funny because of Twilight's perception of what made the perfect student stuck in her mind since her days at Celestia's Academy for Gifted Unicorns long after she'd graduated; even during the Season 3 opener, we've seen that she's nary adapted these perceptions and Celestia has had to adjust the means through-which she would evaluate her ability to handle situations that a Princess of Equestria would be called to handle (especially since she now is the sole-bearer of the Elements of Harmony).  

But now, Twilight is no longer simply Celestia's protoge, the pony that she is training up to rule beside her until Celestia does indeed expire and Twilight becomes the sole(?) ruler of Equestria.  Now, Twilight actually is in that role, and now is being exposed to the fragile eggshells that now will be her media-dictated reputation in her new executive seat.  The stress has been doubled, now, at the very least.  Not only does she have to continually vie to prove herself worthy of her title to Celestia (as she so believes is the case; we [assumedly] know that the Princess would not have allowed her ascension had she not been proven worthy and ready), but she also has to provide the very public, her subjects, that she is worthy of her seat.  It doesn't help Twilight to have the prior knowledge of how the Foal Free Press' Gabby Gums column was received regarding the gossip of the various ponies in Ponyville (including her friends, herself - hay, even Trixie!).  To now have a supposedly critically acclaimed newspaper that is circulated throughout Canterlot using the smallest of gaffes to try and pass down judgement on whether or not she is "The Worst Princess Ever," when she's been living and studying under the wing of inarguably the most popular ruler in Equestrian history, is not comforting.  At.  All.  So now, she's afraid to misstep, she's afraid to make an embarrassment of herself, her mentor, and her country - not to mention accidently plunging Equestria into a conflict with the Griffons!  

So yeah, her paranoia is back in full-swing.  Only now, it's not silly or adorkable.  It's terrifying, it's heartbreaking, and it casts the longest shadows of doubt upon Twilight's mind of whether or not she is worthy of her ascension.

Wow, that went on longer than I'd expected.

Anyway, the next thing that I was startled by, but in a good way, was how you acknowledged something so simple, that it's easy to overlook.  Generosity does not override or eliminate selfishness.  Whether or not we are aware of it, there are times where we may be carrying out ulterior motives in the midst of our actions to help others, whether we are aware of them or not.  Furthermore, ulterior motives, even when they are indeed present and made known to the person enacting them are not always bad or mean.  In this instance, Rarity is honestly trying to help Twilight be able to navigate the choppy waves of political social interaction, this much is obvious.  Yet we need Apple Jack's southern wisdom to realize that part of what Rarity is doing is trying to teach Twilight how to tackle such situations with her fast wit and artful verbal tact.  AJ's right both about how Rarity's basically delved in such situations all her life and thusly can easily tackle such situations with the necessary finesse that could diffuse every Middle-Eastern conflict without a single shot being fired, and how it'd be impossible for Twilight to learn this in a mere day or two.  To be able to use your words and your mind, as Twilight said, as '[your] weapons' to the degree that Rarity can takes years of practice and years of exposure to such situations, opening the door for continual learning and refinements.  Rarity, of course, has this, being constantly exposed to exquisite clients and the Canterlotian elite.  Twilight has no such advantages.  So, while it obviously is not doing any harm, and her lessons still hold relevance to Twilight as she attends the Gala, the fact is that Rarity simply cannot impart upon Twilight the masterful workings of her mind in such an arena.  Again, though, Twilight can still use what she'd learned on that front to help guide her navigation, and Rarity's teachings are perfectly compatible with Apple Jack's advice.

The third thing that worked for me, which needs no exposition, is Apple Jack helping Twilight find the ultimate solution.  Showing that Rarity's lessons simply wouldn't be enough to prepare her for the situation, and doing so in such a way that as I was typing this paragraph, it only just now hit me how effective AJ's exercise was!  I needn't say any more on that front.

:ajsmug:

Finally, Cutie Mark Crusader Political Intrigue Professionals!  YAAAAAAY!  :scootangel:

Seriously, I can't say that there's much anything wrong with this piece except how unlikely it would be for our fillies to acquire such a mind for the workings of politics so damned quickly, but then again, I was easily able to look past this slightest of oddities if only because I wish our children actually were capable of such intrigue and intelligence!

(Heck, I wish I was capable of such intelligence!)

So that's it for now.  This piece was absolutely wonderful to read, and intellectual and wisdom-searching delight.

Thank you so much, good sir, for proving that you don't have to write mindless s(yay!)t to make it into the Feature Box.  You've renewed hope in me as a Brony that quality can and will be recognized in our community, yet. :)

Grace and Peace, and Happy Writing. :)

(P.S.: I hope you don't mind if I ask a favor of you.  I have a story I'm currently writing, entitled Moving On.  I've received some reviews so far on the story's progression (two chapters in so far), but I haven't received any truly effective critique yet and despite the well-known Darth Link 22 giving the story a fave upon reading Chapter 1 (I dare assume this is a hard achievement to acquire), I have yet to receive any actual input from the guy/girl/goji fruit.  I know it probably seems tasteless to ask this after providing such a glowing review - and please believe me when I say my opinions are not at all effected by this simple want of mind, your story is absolutely marvelous, and if you were to decline, I would still believe it is.  So I assume you've caught on to my request by now.  Would you mind giving the story a look-over and let me know how it looks so far?  Where its strengths and weaknesses are?  I'd really like to get a professional's(?) opinion before plugging away any further on the next - and last - two chapters.  Also, do you offer pre-reading/editing services?  I've looked at the pre-reader's group page, and the process through-which to acquire one from their group seems...cumbersome...)

Thanks again for your service to our community.  I plan to look into more of your stories. :)

#45 · Chapter 1 · 69w, 1d ago · 1 · ·

I absolutely love this. It's rare to find Applejack being so fully confident that she's giving irrefutably intelligent and deeply insightful advice like this. Each is characterized quite well.

#46 · Chapter 1 · 69w, 1d ago · · ·

Fantastic story.  I am still smiling from the last line.

#47 · Chapter 1 · 69w, 1d ago · 1 · ·

>>2535346

Well, this makes me happy that I stayed up! Okay, let me try to respond suitably.

I have to admit, part of me wants to be a bit trollish and say, "Oh, you saw all that in Twilight's characterization? Huh. I just wrote whatever I felt like for Twilight, and that's about how it came out." That would be mean of me, though. On the other hand, in a way, it would be perfectly true – but it would ignore the deeper point here that while I don't put a lot of work into mentally rationalizing the motivations and choices of the characters (either in canon or in my own work), I kind of have them perpetually .tsr'ed in my mind. The practical upshot of which is that, where I suspect many writers may take a more analytical approach to characterization, I just try to expose myself to them enough that, when it's time to write, they characterize themselves.

It's a bit like how Russell Crowe describes his acting method (though let me be quick to point out I'm not trying to claim anything like that virtuosity, just a similarity in approach). I don't try to piece together what characters would do. And I don't try to identify with them, the way someone trained in method acting might. I just try to get the point where I can immerse in them long enough to write them. People seem to like the results, though frankly I'm not quite so sure about them myself. The method I use gives a lot of freedom for spontaneity and nuance, as does any method that gets you inside a character's head (see: Marlon Brando). But it also leaves you a bit without anchor. To me, my Applejack and Rarity both feel different from canon. Not necessarily a lot, but enough for me to notice.

My Applejack has a definite trickster tint to her that the show lacks, but that I think fits well with her character and (for me) makes her more compelling. My Rarity really is selfish and self-centered, in a way that I don't think canon really supports. She spends pretty much the whole story being pushy about her agenda. Applejack hits the honesty beat at the close and Rarity hits the generosity beat, but while I like their characters as I've written them, and while I wouldn't change anything I wrote here, I do feel like my characters aren't quite the same as the show's.

Which I find all the more interesting because of the number of comments from readers who think this would slot right in as a Season Four episode.

In any case, I don't mean to disparage your analysis by saying this. I simply mean to say, I'm getting to that point by a different road. Twilight is neurotic, eager to please, and a little paranoid. But I don't worry about what these traits make her do or how they interact, because for me they're just individual manifestations of her personality. I try, to the best of my ability, to find the personality that causes the traits, and then everything flows from there. When it works right, it should lead to the same place as careful analysis. (When it doesn't work right, it's likely to lead to some wildly bad characterization)

As for the CMC, though, I don't see them as having really demonstrated considerable skill at intrigue here. Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle had a job to do and no preconceptions, so it doesn't surprise me too much that they could fix all of their problems on paper in short order. I'm sure if you gave my friends and I a few six-packs of Negra Modelo and a tape recorder, we could sort out most of the world's problems in a night. I think the CMC would do very well in a Model UN, but perhaps not so much in the actual UN. But that's me.

Then again, if you believe >>2533072, maybe they're just changelings.

Finally, inre your story, I'll see if I can find some time to take a look, but I can't make a whole lot of promises right now. School is really nipping at my heels this week, and for the next month or two in general. As for pre-reading, I'm doing a little bit for my own pre-readers at the moment, but the aforementioned school issues mean I really don't have much time I can devote to it. In any case, since the chapters on your story are of a pretty reasonable length, I hope I can find some time to take a look at it later this week, after my self-inflicted school madness slows down a little bit.

Incidentally, does anyone even know what a .tsr is anymore? They were all the rage, back when I learned to code, but that was... a while ago.

#48 · Chapter 1 · 69w, 1d ago · · ·

Very nice! Good job on everyone's characterizations; the CMC political intriguers were hilarious; Dr. Spinning Top is the best pony name for a press secretary; and the whole thing about Twilight's favorite dress was very effective.

#49 · Chapter 1 · 69w, 1d ago · 1 · ·

>>2535528

No idea what a .tsr is.

An enjoyable story, but something about the ending... I'm not sure it's absolutely necessary but it feels like we ought to have seen Twilight's first attempt at utilizing the advice she received.  It's not a bad ending but it does feel a hair lacking because of that.

Also:  Everything Lurks no more said is true and I'd just be repeating their comment if I typed up the specifics.

Very nice! Good job on everyone's characterizations; the CMC political intriguers were hilarious; Dr. Spinning Top is the best pony name for a press secretary; and the whole thing about Twilight's favorite dress was very effective.

#50 · Chapter 1 · 69w, 1d ago · 2 · ·

Someday, Celestia will discover how to weaponize the CMCs' cuteness (in the same way that the Elements of Harmony weaponized friendship).  On that day, nowhere in the multiverse will be safe.

I enjoyed this, but it honestly doesn't feel finished.  AJ's uncanny wisdom in press wrangling cries out for more backstory exposition that we never got to see.  The introduction of Spinning Top right at the end felt like a lead-in to another scene showing Twilight resolving the conflict between being herself and being guardedly diplomatic.  For all the good advice Twilight got, we never got to see how she actually changed.

All the more reason to write a sequel and/or a continuation.  :twilightsmile:

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