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  • T A Stitch in Time

    A sequel to Hard Reset
    70,648 words · 23,639 views  ·  3,508  ·  50
  • T Hard Reset

    Twilight gives her life to stop a changeling invasion. Repeatedly.
    37,399 words · 43,087 views  ·  4,919  ·  74
  • T You Can Fight Fate

    Twilight discovers that the Elements of Harmony aren't as benevolent as she thought, and crosses time and space in order to stop them
    61,759 words · 14,362 views  ·  2,758  ·  40 · sex · gore
  • T A Taste of the Good Life

    A down-on-his-luck chef from Manehattan moves to the rural town of Ponyville as part of a get-rich-quick scheme. But he gets a bit more than he bargained for.
    70,814 words · 10,238 views  ·  1,571  ·  21
  • E Birds of a Feather

    Owlowiscious has seemed distracted ever since Twilight started spending more time in Canterlot. Maybe Luna can help figure out why.
    2,388 words · 2,418 views  ·  454  ·  5
  • T The Moon Glows Gently

    Luna always follows her heart. That's not necessarily a good thing.
    8,774 words · 3,373 views  ·  558  ·  7
  • E An Important Letter

    A love story, waiting for an ending
    1,702 words · 2,958 views  ·  374  ·  4
  • E Eakin's Rapid Fire Pony Fics

    A compilation of tiny random stories
    20,791 words · 5,615 views  ·  563  ·  8

Blog Posts71

  • 5w, 2d
    The Dos and Don'ts of OCs

    OCs. An acronym that sends a cold shudder down the spine of so many long-time FimFiction readers, and not without good reason. Nary a day goes by without the ‘New Stories’ box being graced with a story wherein some new pony wanders into town and befriends our beloved cast. And for the most part, these stories are... less than good. Which is a shame, really, because a good OC can open a ton of doors for an author to take their stories in directions that just aren’t possible if they restrict themselves to the canon personalities of established characters. And since I’ve been turning over questions about when and where they’re properly applied this evening, I figured I might as well share (read: inflict) some of my wisdom (read: bullshit-laden ramblings) onto all my adoring fans (read: people who sneezed mid-click and accidentally ended up here) while I try to hash out the things I’ve done right and wrong in the past. Some of the conclusions I’ve reached are common sense, while others are a bit counter-intuitive. And like all ‘Rules for Writing,’ the best stories are often ones that know when and where to break them.

    DO: Make sure your OC has a life and identity of their own

    Nothing makes a world start to feel claustrophobic like a network of characters who all share some pre-existing connection. The mare who just happened to be Twilight’s classmate back in Canterlot. The stallion who became a champion lasso-tosser after he just happened to watch Applejack win some tournament. It’s cheap and lazy characterization, and it defines your new character only in relation to another one. Imagine meeting a real-life celebrity on par with the Mane Six. Sure, they expect that you’ve heard of them, but going on and on about how you went to kindergarten together and you still have a scrap of the blankie they drooled on during naptime and omigosh isn’t it just kismet that we’re meeting again like this is a great way to get a complimentary escort out the back door by a large, burly man wearing a three-piece suit and an earpiece.

    Bottom line: Your character should be able to carry a story that never intersects with the canon cast at all, at least in theory. If you do need to break this rule, try to do it retroactively. See Cheese Sandwich and the events of Cutie Mark Chronicles for reference. The connections are already existed, but the characters would be interesting even if they didn’t. It’s the gravy rather than the meat, is what I’m saying.

    DON’T: Clone an Existing Character

    ‘My OC Tabula Rasa is a total nerd and bookworm! She’s usually pretty level-headed, but she can get totally crazy when she thinks she might disappoint her mentor, Brincess Belestia.’

    Yeah, we already have that character. If you’re using an archetype that’s easily filled by an existing character, an OC might not be the right tool for the job. The exception is when your OC can serve as a shadow archetype to an existing character, a ‘there but for the grace of God go I’ warning who differs from the established character in only minor ways but ended up going in a totally different direction. A Sunset Shimmer to your Twilight, or an Algae Bloom to your Cloud Kicker. These sorts make great antagonists or anti heroes, generally.

    DO: Beat the Shit Out of Them

    Want your audience to like your original character? Make them suffer. Not randomly, mind, but as a direct consequence of one of their own screw ups (corollary: make sure your OC screws up from time to time). It’s a bit of a balancing act; an OC sentenced to death for littering is only going prompt eye rolling from your readers, but when in doubt harsher is better. Actually, I’d suggest making all your characters suffer as a general rule. Letting your universe knock them over and then kick them when they’re down only for them to learn a lesson and get back up again stronger than before is pretty much always compelling. Who doesn't love rooting for an underdog? It can be tough to follow through on this, especially since you probably like this character and want to coddle them. Fight that impulse. If you fudge the die rolls for them, so to speak, your readers will pick up on it. Do you want a Mary Sue? Because arranging events so that they always work out in your OC’s favor for no good reason is how you get a Mary Sue.

    DON’T: Tell Me I Should Like Them

    What makes readers think a character is awesome? That character does awesome things. That’s it.

    Obvious, right? But a lot of people put the cart before the horse and just expect readers to like their OC because they give them attributes that they think are cool and expect it to rub off. If any of the following phrases appear when you’re describing your character...

    ‘Invented a groundbreaking device that gives him the power to...’

    ‘Received numerous awards for...’

    ‘Super-genius’

    ‘The best [whatever] that [authority figure] has ever seen’

    ‘Alicorn’

    And so on and so forth

    ...then odds are I probably won’t give a damn . Nobody cares who your OC is going into the story. What they actually do on the page is a thousand times more impactful. Really, it’s just the old ‘Show, Don’t Tell’ advice gussied up in a new outfit. And don’t think you can slip these sorts of things past readers as long as you give your OC flaws to ‘balance them out.’ This isn’t some sort of point-buy RPG system, it’s a story. Give them core traits and beliefs, sure, but those things can lead to positive or negative characteristics. It’s actually better when strengths and weaknesses both feel like outgrowths of the same attributes.

    DO: Buy a Slow Cooker and Learn How to Use It

    This one has nothing to do with writing, I just really love my Crock-Pot. You can convince a truly absurd number of people you’re some kind of cooking savant when the limit of your ability is actually ‘chop stuff up, toss in pot, set to LOW for 10 hours.’


    Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments.

    67 comments · 1,377 views
  • 7w, 4d
    Character Roleplay Meme: Azalea and Twilight Sparkle

    Same deal as last time.

    WHO ARE YOU? WHAT’S YOUR RACE/AGE?

    Twi: I’m Twilight Sparkle, alicorn Princess of Equestria. I’m 28.

    Az: Like there’s anypony out there who doesn’t know who you are at this point. We can barely go two weeks without your picture showing up in the paper.

    Twi: Heh, yeah, I guess I have been a public figure for a good while now. You get used to it after five years.

    Az: Five years since your coronation. You weren’t exactly unknown before that.

    NOW WHO’S YOUR LOVER? WHAT’S HER AGE/RACE?

    Twi: That’s actually kind of complicated. Pegasus, obviously, but age is trickier.

    Az: Depending on how you count, I’m some combination of 22, 37, and 6. All us former changelings have the same problem. But hey, three birthdays a year!

    Twi: You might think she’s kidding, but we actually do celebrate two different ones. You’re so spoiled.

    Az: Rotten. And you wouldn’t have it any other way, would you?

    Twi: Never in a million years.

    Az: They’re really more like half-birthdays, though. All the friends and family I knew back in Trottingham celebrate the one from the pony I used to be, but here in Ponyville we have a different one. Pinkie really goes all out, but then there’s quite a few of us who consider it our ‘official’ birthday.

    Twi: The first few years I was pretty down on it, but as time goes by I find I’m glad that it didn’t just end up being the anniversary of the changeling invasion. Better to have happy memories associated with it than bad ones.

    WHAT MAKES YOUR LOVER SO SPECIAL?

    Az: Geez, what doesn’t? I hit the jackpot when I landed her. To think I nearly sabotaged the whole thing for myself by psyching myself into believing she’d never look twice at a pony as bland and ordinary as me.

    Twi: There’s nothing bland about you. If anything you’re even more special than I am. There are four Princesses, but there’s only one pony who can calm me down when I get a little manic the way you can.

    HAVE YOU EVER DOUBTED YOUR LOVER?

    Az: I had a really hard time believing she was actually interested in me. And there have been times when she pushed me out of my comfort zone that I thought she was just completely crazy. Which she is.

    Twi: Hey!

    Az: In good ways, dear.

    Twi: Hmph. Well I guess that’s alright then.

    Az: Mostly good.

    Twi: Anyway, after we got off to that rocky start there were definitely things I hesitated about confiding in her.

    Az: That was partly my own doing, considering how I reacted the first time you dumped something big on me. And it’s not like I wasn’t hiding stuff from you at the time myself.

    Twi: That was probably for the best, all things considered. If you’d mentioned your past on the first date there wouldn’t have been a second one. I was still an eensy bit of a bigot toward changelings at the time. You should have seen my right after I broke out of the loop.

    Az: Yes, Butterscotch told me about the dinner with your parents where you nearly tore his head off.

    Twi: Not my finest moment.

    Az: Should we change the subject? Because it sounds like the moral of this story is ‘if you’re a racist and lie to your special somepony, you’ll end up ascending to be a Princess and fall in love.’

    Twi: I’m not saying that! Bite your tongue or Press Release will have my head. He already lectured me for an hour about what would and wouldn’t be appropriate to say for this interview.

    Az: I can see the headline now: ‘An interview with Princess Sparkle and the six-year-old who impregnated her.’

    Twi: Don’t use that headline. In fact, don’t even write that... you’ve already written it down haven’t you?

    Az: On the plus side, if there’s a coup and you get overthrown I’ll finally have you all to myself.

    DID YOU EVER USE PICKUP LINES ON YOUR LOVER? IF SO, WHICH ONES?

    Twi: We actually met on a blind date, so it wasn’t really necessary.

    Az: Oh really? I seem to recall somepony trying to get me to come into her library with ‘Want to see if we can extrapolate this trend line?’

    Twi: I can’t believe you remember that.

    Az: I remember every second of that night like it was yesterday. Every one.

    Twi: Well, I seem to recall being told that I ‘really knew how to make a mare all wet.’

    Az: We were in a lake at the time, for context. Oh, and of course we do have pet names for one another. Isn’t that right, water walker?

    Twi: Absolutely, grounding wire.

    WHAT’S THE MOST EMBARRASSING MOMENT YOU’VE EVER HAD WITH YOUR LOVER?

    Az: Remember the time Cloud Kicker almost walked in on us ‘assembling a bookshelf?’

    Twi: I try very hard not to. What about the marriage proposal that ended up with both of us in the lake? Again.

    Az: I’m not letting you change the subject that easily. Of course, it’s a good thing Cloudy wasn’t a few minutes later or she’d have stumbled on me calling you ‘Darkness Nightsha—’

    Twi: Next question, please.

    DO YOU BELIEVE IN WAITING UNTIL AFTER AFTER MARRIAGE TO HAVE SEX?

    Az: Nope.

    Twi: Very nope.

    DO YOU HAVE ANY DESIRES YOU’D LIKE TO TRY WITH YOUR LOVER? IF SO, WHAT?

    Twi: Most ponies have heard that in the months after the Regalia melted I started eating a ton of food to fuel the ascension process. What’s not as well known is that wasn’t the only... uh... enhanced appetite I experienced. Most of the fantasies got checked off the list pretty quickly.

    Az: That’s not a figure of speech. There’s an actual checklist she keeps in her nightstand. Me, I’m just looking forward to her not being fat anymore.

    Twi: I didn’t complain when you were the pregnant one, you know.

    Az: If you’re ever looking for new ideas, I’m sure Cloudy could suggest a few.

    Twi: I don’t know, she’s mellowed quite a bit since she got promoted into Rainbow Dash’s old job.

    Az: Maybe not as much as you’d think. My cousin has stories that are definitely not appropriate to print in the paper. They get up to things you wouldn’t believe.

    DO YOU KNOW YOUR LOVER’S WEAK SPOT? DO THEY KNOW YOURS?

    Az: Twilight here has a history of freaking out a little bit when she thinks somepony she cares about might be in trouble. She tends to make some rash decisions, and she can get a little controlling. Like the time she tried to have me thrown in the dungeon.

    Twi: What did you expect? I’m hundreds of miles away negotiating trade arrangements with a pack of Diamond Dogs when I get a letter telling me you, Rarity, Cloudy, Morning Glow, and Shooting Star are heading out to the edge of the freaking Badlands to look for a changeling nest.

    Az: They needed a guide who knew what to look for. You weren’t there; Rarity would have gone out there all by herself, the state she was in at the time. I can promise you Princess Celestia wasn’t thrilled about the idea either.

    WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU FIND YOUR LOVER WITH ANOTHER MARE? HOW WOULD YOU INTERPRET THAT? FAMILIAR? FRIEND? CHEATING?

    Twi: There were definitely some jealous pangs for a couple of months whenever you hung out with Cloud Kicker, especially since you two used to date.

    Az: That was a whole other life, and I wouldn’t exactly call it dating. More of a very sensual interrogation.

    Twi: To be fair, though, you’ve never been the biggest fan of Star Gazer.

    Az: That’s different. First of all, she hurt you pretty badly back then. Second, you two were married.

    Twi: If it’s in an alternate timeline, it doesn’t count.

    Az: I guess I should just be happy you came back with less baggage than some of your friends after all that. For all I know they could have gone and turned you straight or something.

    ANY FANTASIES WITH YOUR LOVER? PERVY ANSWERS ALLOWED.

    Twi: Like I said, we’ve experimented pretty liberally already.

    Az: Actually, after what you’ve told me I’ve always been a little curious about Princess Luna. Maybe she’d be up for some excitement once Star Swirl finally kicks the bucket.

    Twi: Azalea! That’s a terrible thing to say. I know you aren’t his biggest fan, but he really is a genius.

    Az: He’s a jerk.

    Twi: Those aren’t mutually exclusive.

    Az: We’ve never really seen eye to eye, and he made a heck of a first impression that morning in the marketplace.

    EVER HAVE FIGHTS?

    Twi: Now and then. Lately over what I’m allowed and not allowed to do while I’m pregnant. And she says I’m the controlling one.

    Az: You are the controlling one. And it’s not unreasonable to forbid somepony in your state from jumping into a freaking volcano looking for a magic eggbeater.

    Twi: Spatula.

    Az: Whatever. But there have been others. The first conversation we had after I ran out on her because of the changeling venom thing was probably the biggest one.

    Twi: Yeah, any fight that ends with accepting a date from another mare out of spite is a bad one. Although if I’d known what Algae Bloom was like I wouldn’t have.

    Az: Turned out just fine in the end, though.

    Twi: I guess. In hindsight, I wish I’d handled that whole debacle myself instead of dumping it on Cloud Kicker. Maybe things would have turned out differently and I wouldn’t have had to throw Rainbow Dash in jail a few months later.

    Az: It was only for a few weeks. And she did kind of bring it on herself. The whole Applejack thing had her pretty out of control for a while there.

    Twi: Or what about the time you nearly took my head off because I leased your shop?

    Az: Oh, I was furious. That whole Badlands trip had just put me through the ringer physically and emotionally, and then I get back and you basically dictate to me that I have to move in with you and start putting money towards rent payments I had never agreed to make?

    Twi: I didn’t tell you that you had to move in with me. I just calculated the financial implications of a number of different possible scenarios is all. But I’ll admit that you running off like that did make me want to sort of tie you down in Ponyville. I was really scared.

    Az: Welcome to my life! You think I never worry about you when you do exactly the same thing? But I really did almost break up with you right then and there. Thank goodness for Bon Bon.

    Twi: Yeah, I’m glad she was there to defuse it like that. Although I do feel bad that it spoiled the surprise she’d been working so hard on.

    Az: Lyra said yes anyway, which is all that really matters in the end. I’m sure she was annoyed at the time, but someday it’ll just be a funny story that they can tell their daughter.

    HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT YOUR LOVER’S FAMILY? DO YOU KNOW THEM?

    Twi: They’re great! It’s quite the extended clan, and they were all really warm and welcoming the first time we met. Although I wasn’t exactly the center of attention on that trip.

    Az: Yeah, my parents pretty much fell in love with her the minute they found out about us. Then again, bringing their child back from the dead goes a long way towards winning their approval.

    Twi: You hit it off with my parents pretty quickly too.

    Az: The one pony that I was most nervous about winning over was Celestia, actually. Being invited for a three-hour private tea with a mare who you clobbered in the back of the head with a baseball bat before she casually flung you out a window on your last encounter made my heart skip a few beats.

    Twi: I was most nervous for when she found out you had been a changeling once. Then of course it turns out she knew that since before I’d even met you.

    Az: The rest of them were a cakewalk by comparison, and we get along great. Cadance was one of our bridesmaids, and even talked me down from a minor panic attack on the wedding day. Best sister-in-law ever.

    SPEAKING OF FAMILIES, DO YOU WANT TO START ONE TOGETHER?

    Twi: Way ahead of you. In fact, we’re about to expand it from three to four.

    Az: We decided to keep the sex and race a surprise this time, although I know my parents would be thrilled to have an earth pony for a grandchild. Not that they don’t love Leafy horn and all, but my extended family definitely leans in that direction.

    Twi: Based on the how hard he kicks, I think there’s a good chance they’ll get there wish. Oof.

    Az: You’ll get no sympathy from me. Try having something with a pointy, stubby horn on its forehead squeezed through your birth canal, then we’ll talk.

    WE’RE FINISHED, WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO NOW?

    Twi: I have some paperwork I should really finish.

    Az: Before you do, feel like grabbing something to eat?

    Twi: Do you even have to ask? I ate three hours ago and I’m already starving again. Deli?

    Az: You read my mind. Dibs on your pickle.

    16 comments · 806 views
  • 8w, 4d
    First World Author Problems

    Cataloging the suffering of all us poor writers with thousands of followers.

    "My story was only in the feature box for three days? Didn't anyone like it?"

    "God, I hate that one tiny pixel of red in the likes-dislikes ratio."

    "It's so awful to reply to all your comments, refresh the page, and find that fifteen more have been added in the last five minutes."

    "I'm so well-established that the top ten entries in my story box never change. It's getting so repetitive."

    "Would the EQD pre-readers please stop spamming me with e-mails telling me my story's been accepted?"

    Any I forgot? Add them to the comments or do a blog entry of your own! If two or three of us do I'm sure we'll reach at least half the readers on the site.

    43 comments · 813 views
  • 8w, 6d
    Character Roleplay Meme: Main Course and Ebony Glimmer

    Well, since Wade tagged me in his blog post, I thought I’d give this a shot. Might be fun. You can read the rules over there, and I’m sure you can guess who the characters are. I’m going to shake it up a bit, though. I’m going to skip the ‘Tag other authors’ step since I generally find the whole chain-letter style ‘challenge’ to be annoying. If you want to get in on it, just jump in with a post of your own! Second, I may decide to do a second round of these ‘In-character answers’ with fan-submitted questions. If you have a particular Q you’d like Main and Ebby to A, stick it in the comments. I’ll use whatever questions are most upvoted.

    I may also do one of these for Twi and Azalea. And before you ask, no you won’t get a straight answer about the weathervanes.

    So without further ado...

    WHO ARE YOU? AGE/RACE.

    MC: My name’s Main Course. Earth pony, turn 36 next week. I run the Grassy Knoll here in Ponyville, it’s not technically affiliated with the one in Manehatten, at least legally. Not any more, at least. Although I am a silent partner so you could say—

    Ebby: I think they’ve gotten the point, dear.

    MC: Right, sorry. Next question?

    NOW WHO’S YOUR LOVER? WHAT’S HER AGE/RACE?

    Ebby: Your lover! Ooh, doesn’t that make it sound exciting? Like we’re sneaking out for secret trysts. Like, ‘Well, hey there tall, dark, and sexy. Why don’t you ditch that nag of a wife and come be with a real mare?’

    MC: Hmm... tempting offer. You know she even tried to kidnap my daughter once?

    Ebby: That witch!

    MC: But seriously, though, this unicorn is technically Lady Ebony Glimmer, but everypony in town knows her as Ebby. As for age...

    Ebby: Think very carefully before you answer that question.

    MC: ...she’s in her late—

    Ebby: Ahem!

    MC: Like I was saying, she’s in her mid-thirties. Next question. Quickly, please.

    WHAT MAKES YOUR LOVER SO SPECIAL?

    MC: Strongest, toughest mare in Equestria, right here. Fighting the toughest fight in the world for... what’s the count?

    Ebby: 2,397 days. But you’re exaggerating about how tough it is. It’s there, but it’s a lot easier than it used to be. My turn: I married a stallion who sees the best in everypony. The number of little ways he’s saved me... well, I can’t even begin to count that particular number. Everything I have today, my friends, my home, two wonderful foals, I wouldn’t have any of it without Main. I probably wouldn’t even be breathing.

    MC: You’ve paid me back ten times over. All that was you. I just cheered you on when you needed it.

    HAVE YOU EVER DOUBTED YOUR LOVER?

    MC: ...

    Ebby: We should be honest, Main. It’s okay.

    MC: I certainly don’t anymore. But yes, right after she reconciled with Scootaloo and we started dating, there was a part of me that didn’t trust her. I would find excuses not to leave her alone with Scootaloo, even though I knew I was being ridiculous. I thought... sorry, would you give me a second?

    Ebby: No, Main, don’t... if you start crying them I’m going to start and then where will we be?

    MC: I thought it might be another act. I thought one day I’d come back and you and my daughter... I’d never see her again.

    Ebby: The important thing was that we worked through it together. We’d recently been seeing the same therapist, and he did couples counselling too. Dating three weeks and already in couples therapy doesn’t exactly sound like a promising start, does it? But I think we both already knew by that point we were in this thing for the long haul.

    MC: Like I said, when my wife sees something worth fighting for, she fights for it. Tooth and nail.

    DID YOU EVER USE PICKUP LINES ON YOUR LOVER? IF SO, WHICH ONES?

    Ebby: Can’t say I have. Kissing him and then punching him in the stomach worked better anyway.

    MC: There’s some relationship advice you won’t read in Cosmare.

    Ebby: You might be surprised, actually.

    WHAT’S THE MOST EMBARRASSING MOMENT YOU’VE HAD WITH YOUR LOVER?

    MC: There were definitely a couple of very dark, very low moments early on, but not really the kind of funny-embarrassing you’re asking about.

    Ebby: Yes, Main Course humiliated me quite a bit right after we met. And I know that the connotations of that word are pretty negative, but that’s not really what I mean by it. I mean he got me to humble myself, and to realize that I didn’t necessarily deserve to have something just because I wanted it. That was... pretty different from the way I was raised.

    MC: Geeze, this is getting depressing. I’m gonna say that my official answer is when we had to tell my sister that we needed to rush the wedding because I had... uh... Ebby was slightly pregnant at the time. Didn’t hear the end of that one for months.

    DO YOU BELIEVE IN WAITING UNTIL AFTER MARRIAGE TO HAVE SEX?

    MC: I think my last answer pretty much covers this one too.

    Ebby: We didn’t even wait until we were dating.

    DO YOU HAVE ANY DESIRES YOU’D LIKE TO TRY WITH YOUR LOVER? IF SO, WHAT?

    MC: We’re actually pretty vanilla in the, er, intimacy department. But whatever we lack in quality we make up for in quantity!

    Ebby: Main! Goodness, now everypony reading this is going to think I’m some kind of nymphomaniac who’s lousy in bed. What my husband means is that we make it a point to be physically intimate with one another whenever possible, and I don’t mean just sex. Hugging, cuddling, nuzzling, that sort of physical contact with another pony is something I denied myself for a very long time. I... being touched by a stallion was an issue, let’s leave it at that.

    MC: Right. And especially given what Scootaloo grew up around... I want to set an example for her, you know? I want her to get that ponies who are in loving and healthy relationships do that for one another, and I hope that she’ll be able to open herself up in the same way. We’re not answering the question, are we?

    Ebby: Actually, for me the answer is I’d like to travel more as a family. Ginger’s getting old enough that we can start taking him on longer trips, and I do miss travelling from my pre-Ponyville days. The problem is that somepony will never take a vacation.

    MC: The Knoll is a lot of work!

    Ebby: The only way I got him to take his last vacation was to have Pinkie fire him for a week.

    MC: She can’t actually fire me. I just decided to humor her and didn’t come in for a few day.

    Ebby: Mmhmm. Of course, dear. I’m sure that’s exactly what happened.

    DO YOU KNOW YOUR LOVER’S WEAK SPOT? DO THEY KNOW YOURS?

    MC: I think probably Scootaloo and Ginger for both of us. I don’t know what I’d do if I lost either of them.

    Ebby: I agree. Except I know from experience what I’d do, and it isn’t a pretty picture.

    WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU FIND YOUR LOVER WITH ANOTHER MARE/STALLION? HOW WOULD YOU INTERPRET THAT? FAMILIAR? FRIEND? CHEATING?

    MC: I would never assume cheating. Both of us have worked too hard for what we have together to risk even making the accusation, much less committing the act himself.

    Ebby: I don’t know... some of your waitresses are awfully attractive... and you and Pinkie do spend some late nights at the Knoll together...

    MC: Come on, Ebby, don’t even kid about that.

    Ebby: Oh, all right. Yes, I’d trust that it was something perfectly reasonable and innocent. Even if it were Rarity.

    MC: What do you mean ‘even if it were Rarity?’

    Ebby: You don’t have to play dumb. The two of us talked it over mare to mare and we’re still friends.

    MC: I legitimately have no idea what you’re talking about.

    Ebby: Really?

    MC: Really.

    Ebby: I thought for certain that you knew. Let me put it this way; if I hadn’t entered the picture when I did there’s a better than even chance that you’d be married to her now instead of me.

    MC: What?

    Ebby: You’re both good friends, you both own small businesses you’re passionate about, and you’re both physically attracted to one another. Don’t think I haven’t noticed.

    MC: You’re the only mare for me, honey.

    Ebby: I appreciate that. Oh, and one other thing. If, Princesses forbid, I were to keel over dead tomorrow, she has dibs.

    MC: Excuse me?

    Ebby: Well, I would want you to remarry and not just wallow in grief. Ginger and Scootaloo need a mother figure, and Rarity’s the mare that I would pick if it were up to me. I think you’d be happy together.

    MC: I cannot believe we’re having this conversation.

    Ebby: If you want to pick a potential future replacement husband for me, you’re welcome to. Fair’s fair.

    ANY FANTASIES WITH YOUR LOVER? PERVY ANSWERS ALLOWED.

    Ebby: Just to break my husband’s brain a little further after that last answer, I’ll say a chance for him to see what being married to Rarity would mean physically. Except of course I wouldn’t want to be left out...

    MC: I had an answer, but that one’s better.

    EVER HAD FIGHTS?

    MC: Absolutely. Sometimes even screaming matches. But never in front of Scootaloo and Ginger, and never without being able to say ‘I love you’ and go to sleep together that night. So I think that means we’re doing pretty okay.

    Ebby: For me, I think one of the hardest things to accept was that, well, I’m not Scootaloo’s favorite parent. I know she loves me but... if I’m being absolutely honest, she’s more your daughter than she is mine at this point.

    MC: That was never my intention.

    Ebby: It’s fine. For goodness sake, Main, she works her hooves to the bone in the kitchen just to impress you. You have more in common with her these days than I do, and she just glows with happiness when you even so much as smile at her. My daughter loves me and she’s happy. What sort of mother would be dissatisfied with that?

    MC: I guess this is as good a time as any to mention that while we might not always agree with one another, parenting-wise, we always back one another up. If there’s a disagreement we hash it out in private. Even if, say, somepony tries to ground our daughter for the rest of her natural life.

    Ebby: I know that was an overreaction, but you understand why it struck a chord, right? Plus it led to a good conversation between us.

    MC: She experimented. There was nopony at that sleepover who wasn’t trustworthy. Would you have rather she tried it for the first time around ponies she didn’t know?

    Ebby: I would prefer if she’d never tried it at all.

    MC: Two mugs of hard cider is pretty tame, Ebby.

    Ebby: I know, I know. Let’s just... can we get the next question?

    HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT YOUR LOVER’S FAMILY? DO YOU KNOW THEM?

    Ebby: Oh my goodness, yes! Of course Silver Scroll is here in Ponyville, and even if she was a little wary of me at first she came around. Now she practically begs us to let her foalsit Ginger, and she and Scootaloo go up flying at least twice a month just to catch up. And I was so nervous when I met his parents, but they’re the sweetest couple! I hope Main and I are still so very in love at that age. And his Mom even knitted me a Hearth’s Warming sweater! I couldn’t ask for a better set of in-laws. Sorry, I’m babbling. Main, did you want to talk about meeting my parents?

    MC: ....

    Ebby: Main?

    MC: Speaking of my parents. one of the things they taught me growing up was that if you don’t have anything nice to say, you shouldn’t say anything at all.

    SPEAKING OF FAMILIES, DO YOU WANT TO START ONE TOGETHER?

    MC: We’re married with two foals. I think we’re slightly past that point.

    WE’RE FINISHED. WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO NOW?

    Ebby: I guess... I guess we should finish helping Scootaloo pack.

    MC: Probably. Can you believe that she’s leaving for culinary school in just three more days?

    Ebby: ....

    MC: Whoops.

    Ebby: I CAN’T BELIEVE SHE’S LEAVING AGAIN! What if the others are mean to her? What if she gets homesick? What if... what if...

    MC: We should probably cut this short. She’s been like this for weeks whenever this comes up.


    And done! That was fun! If you have questions you’d like to see Ebby/Main answer, or suggestions for Twilight/Azalea questions, stick them in the comments below.

    17 comments · 800 views
  • 10w, 6d
    Why I Took Down 'Magnum Opus Dissonance.'

    So, if you were on late last night/early this morning, you might have seen the latest story I wrote in a sleep-deprived, ninety minute haze: Magnum Opus Dissonance, about a suicidally depressed Octavia lamenting that one of her works had overshadowed all her others, and chronicling the depression and intrusive thoughts of violence that lead up to an ambiguous choice to OD on painkillers and commit suicide. You know, just a little light and fun reading at four in the morning.

    It no longer appears on my story list.

    Blame my mother (Hi, Mom!) who called me up a little while ago worried about what I'd written and what the consequences, both for me and my possible readers, could be. Now my mother has known about my presence here for a while now, and while she's not exactly thrilled about it she's been willing to put up with it as long as it doesn't negatively affect other aspects of my life. For her, the story crossed a line. If never been one to shy away from writing about dark and uncomfortable subjects, but not really this viscerally and not in a way that might affect somebody or read as an encouragement to take negative action. I'm not really afraid that someone is going to read No Good Answers and go out to rape someone. Or read Reign and... uh... trap themselves in an unresolvable time loop? I guess? But, and I'm not saying any of you would do this kind of thing, I can see how MOD might read as advocating or glorifying suicide. Obviously it resonated as something that felt true, based on the comments asking if it might have been partly autobiographical. It isn't, thank goodness. At least it might seem like I'm advocating it to the twisted sort of mind who might be susceptible to considering it in the first place, or on a more practical note it might look that way to future employers or anyone who manages to link this profile to my real-life identity, which probably wouldn't be hard to do.

    If, as a brief aside, you or someone you know EVER has those kind of persistent, intrusive thoughts then GO GET HELP! The National Suicide Prevention Hotline is just a phone call away.

    Anyway, the story's gone now, or at least is no longer visible on the site. Those of you who didn't get to read it, don't worry too much. It's hardly some forbidden masterpiece. And don't worry about this becoming a recurring thing, either. It's not like Hard Reset 3: Thinly Veiled Excuse to Write Pornography That Incorporates Time Loops is languishing in my Google Docs list because of some sort of maternal censorship conspiracy.

    I mean, not more than twenty, maybe twenty-five thousand words of it at least.

    Still, wouldn't hurt to put something a little more light-hearted out there instead of some of the darker/sadder one shots I've been putting out lately. We'll have to see if my muse can pull herself out of the funk she's been in lately and try to come up with a little rom-com for good measure.

    Anyway, TL;DR the story's gone and you shouldn't kill yourself

    88 comments · 1,232 views
  • ...
 69
 2,532
Source

Lilac just discovered that her best friend was recently replaced by a changeling. That would be bad enough, but ever since the monster was outed she's found herself compelled by the strangest urges. Little does she realize that everything about her life is about to change...

Commissioned by Ching for Las Pegassist.

First Published
31st May 2013
Last Modified
31st May 2013
#1 · 77w, 5d ago · · ·

That was positively chilling. Not the story I was hoping to see you upload, but well worth the read nonetheless.

#2 · 77w, 5d ago · · ·

>>2657073

I have a few more stories to get out of my system before I put out the next time loop fic, but I promise it's coming :raritywink:

#3 · 77w, 5d ago · · ·

And this is among the many reasons I follow you.

Well done.

~Skeeter The Lurker

#4 · 77w, 5d ago · · ·

Well, I read this story with mixed feelings.

On the one hand it is very well written and probably one of the better stories about this topic (unfortunately most things about changelings have already been written in one way or another, so the plot of this one wasn't exactly new). It was a nice read, especially that foreshadowing you did with Lilac's changes. And even though the general topic is already well-used you managed to bring in many original ideas.

On the other hand it was just that: a perfectly normal story. This is of course only my opinion but the thing I most liked about Duel Nature and the two time loop stories was this... well, I'm not even sure how to call it. Those stories just have written your name all over them (umm, metaphorically). It probably is that kind of sarcasm or the dry, half-serious comments or whatever you want to call it, those things that make you think you're not actually reading some story but hearing a tale from Twilight Sparkle herself. As you said in your interview, this probably is because you and Twi have a similar mindset. Of course you shouldn't just write out of her perspective; this story is perfectly fine. It's just, well, normal.

So, um, what I just want to say is that this story is like "What a nice story, I think I'll upvote it" whereas the others were "MOAAARR!!!1111eleven". Hope that makes sense...

(I still would love more stories, though. Again, this is perfectly fine, just not as 'special' to me as some of the others are.)

#5 · 77w, 5d ago · · ·

>>2657411

The original prompt the commissioner requested was as follows:

Alternate interpretation of Changelings: An artificial species created by magic.

Changelings are hollow. Empty inside. This is emotional as well as physical.

Changelings were once ponies afflicted with envy.

The ability to change is granted by a magical disease spread by changeling feeding.

When changing into another, a part of the pony is lost. They will become distant and start to manifest changeling physical traits. Eventually they become void of emotions and must feed on others to sustain their "selves". When they become a changeling, ponies are contacted by the swarm. Those who are able to retain their identities may become officers. If a changeling is unable to feed, they will eventually lose all individuality and become just another drone in the swarm.

Possible bits:

Changing is more physical than illusion. Imitation flesh grows or burns away. Painful both ways.

Possible plots:

A pony's descent to a Changeling drone: Their infection, corruption, transformation, service, and eventual loss of self.

I hope these concepts are somewhat interesting to you.

I'll stick this in the author's notes, people might find it interesting to see what I did and didn't use.

#6 · 77w, 5d ago · · ·

Now this is the type of evil-changeling story I like to read.

#7 · 77w, 5d ago · · ·

Very original. Faved and liked.

#8 · 77w, 5d ago · · ·

That was a very dark and intriguing look at changeling development. Glad I took the time to read it. :scootangel:

#9 · 77w, 5d ago · 1 · ·

That hurt to read. As in emotionally.

#10 · 77w, 5d ago · 6 · ·

Eesh, that was tough to read. I like this alternate take on changelings, and your execution was horrifying. Lilac's downward spiral made sense and each step seemed reasonable, which heightens the shock. This was an excellent one-shot. Thanks for writing!

#11 · 77w, 5d ago · 1 · ·

>>2657423 I might have to add some of this to my headcannon. Also, we now need a changeling-emoticon.

#12 · 77w, 5d ago · 2 · ·

>>2658128

It's a great prompt, right? I'm lucky Ching gave me such an interesting concept to work with. When I posted the auction I was terrified that I was going to end up having to write a 5,000 word HiE clopfic or something :twilightoops:

>>2657991

I was originally aiming for a length of about 8,000 words, but stretching it longer gave it more time to build. I think keeping the slide into darkness slow but inexorable heightens the horror element. If I wanted to shave it down I'd have had to cut the spa scene or maybe the bit in the store which I like too much to axe.

#13 · 77w, 5d ago · · ·

>>2658185

Oh, I just meant that it was emotionally tough to read, not that it went on too long! I thought it moved at a good clip, personally. :pinkiesmile:

Hmm, 5k word HiE clopfic, eh? Taking commissions anytime soon? :raritywink:

#14 · 77w, 5d ago · 4 · ·

>>2658208

A penny a word and I reserve the right to pretend I know nothing about it once it's finished :pinkiesmile:

#15 · 77w, 5d ago · · ·

I've only read the first few lines, but I'm hooked! :pinkiehappy:

I'd love to see more on this later on! Best of luck in your work friend.

#16 · 77w, 5d ago · 2 · ·

This story was interesting, and the ending was horrifying. That is both a good and a bad thing. You did a great job with the story from a literary stand-point, but it's not "my cup of tea" when it comes to changeling stories. So, I'm kind of split here. Liked, but not faved.

#17 · 77w, 5d ago · · ·

>>2658215 5k X 0.01= 50

damn 50 bucks for a 5k long story or is that just for clop based ones

tell me how much it costs for a none clop story commision and depending on the price

i might just pay you to do something for me.

#18 · 77w, 5d ago · 1 · ·

>>2659052

I hadn't seriously thought about it, but I guess that would be the price for any story, clop or otherwise. I've never written clop, though, so I promise nothing in terms of quality.

I guess I would have to set up some kind of paypal account or something too. PM me, I might be open to the idea.

#19 · 77w, 5d ago · · ·

aka magical vampire i like this idea i prefer then to be a seperate race all together but thats just me this is a great idea and the ending saddened me :( but i got over it :) do write more with this idea i would love to read it.

#20 · 77w, 5d ago · · ·

Walking out her door and leaping up into the air, Emerald let her wings take over and followed wherever the wind took her.

Zombies? I thought this was a changeling fic!

Ah, I kinda wish this were a tad longer. When Lily murders her family, it seems a tad surprising. I can understand the reasoning, given the circumstances, but it's still a tad sudden. I suppose if it's a commission, it can't be helped.

#21 · 77w, 5d ago · · ·

>>2659255

D'oh, thanks. Fixed.

I bandied around the idea of a less dark and more tragic ending where after Lilac puts Pewter in a coma she goes to the schoolhouse and watches Honeybee playing and quietly says goodbye, slipping away without her noticing and the ending is just her going into the forest. I decided that I'd rather complete her fall from grace and the rejection of her old family in favor of her new one, though. I suppose another thousand words between what happens to Pewter and the end might have helped a bit.

#22 · 77w, 5d ago · · ·

>>2659273

I was rather worried about her transition between actually having a conscience and being a complete monster. The whole choice being easy thing just really, really disturbed me -- I mean, I suppose after putting her spouse out of commission for a good long time, is it really a logical next step to kill her child? I suppose I wouldn't know, seeing as I haven't quite been put in a similar situation before. I think another thousand words would have helped quite a bit, yeah, but it is what it is.

#23 · 77w, 5d ago · · ·

That was horrifyingly amazing. Her downward spiral is horrid! My favorite part is the physical/scientific aspects of it of the fire making physical changes.

#24 · 77w, 5d ago · 1 · ·

For a commissioned piece, this is actually really good! I kinda like this alternate interpretation of the changeling. It dovetails perfectly with my current headcanon about the species, specifically its origins.

That said, I do have to agree with >>2659338 on this one. The transition came on all too quickly, I thought, but it wasn't entirely unreasonable.

I have to say, the downer ending is perfect here. I'm normally a sucker for happy endings, but having Lilac do what she did was just perfect and really detailed the whole "fall from grace" concept.

#25 · 77w, 5d ago · · ·

Well this was fun...right up till the end :fluttercry::pinkiecrazy:

#26 · 77w, 5d ago · · ·

I like this story a lot! :pinkiehappy:

Even though my brain has just exploded due to a headcanon misfire. :derpyderp1:

But seriously, nice job!

#27 · 77w, 5d ago · · ·

Oh Noes.

a3V
#28 · 77w, 5d ago · · ·

Well, that was quite dark.

I don't usually read dark stuff, but it was by Eakin and I just had to take a look. It's not my usual cup of tea, but I'll allow it.

#29 · 77w, 5d ago · 2 · ·

15% of my way into the story.  DAT DREAM SEQUENCE.  My thought: "Oh, no, we're gonna do this?"

She picks up her kid and I realize, "It spreads.  Like zombies."  Bit later: nope, it's vampires this time.  Filly, are you going to do the sensible thing and kill yourself?

With the husband: you horrible, horrible person.

With the ending: DEAR GOD AUTHOR, STAB ME IN THE HEART WITH MORE FEELS, WILL YOU!?

#30 · 77w, 4d ago · · ·

Glad I read it, took me a bit to get round to doing it though.

#31 · 77w, 4d ago · 1 · ·

...:facehoof:

Pinkie! Get your murderous alter ego out here! We have a new disturbing fic to read!

#32 · 77w, 4d ago · · ·

This is dark. Can't say I enjoyed it, exactly...but it is well written, and convincingly succeeds at what it sets out to accomplish.

#33 · 77w, 4d ago · · ·

...hoo boy. That was dark. And I loved it.

#34 · 77w, 4d ago · · ·

There is something unsettling about a good changeling dark fic, more so than any other types dark fic. The corruption, the change, it's all very disturbing. It goes beyond gore or violence, it is true horror. This piece presents it perfectly. Very well done. Greenthumbed.

I wonder if the writers of FIM knew that when they introduced Changelings, they introduce a true horror into their universe. That these things were not quite suitable for a children's show.

#35 · 77w, 4d ago · · ·

That was interesting and well written, but I just can't really buy the immediate execution approach to dealing with captured changelings. Unless I'm completely forgetting something, it doesn't have any basis at all in the show so it feels very tacked on to an otherwise non-apparently dark Equestria.

Still, thumbs up for the overall quality.

#36 · 77w, 4d ago · 1 · ·

Needs more inner conflict. But what you need much more urgently is deeper exploration of the physical transformation.

What's a vampire/werewolf story if it doesn't put heavy focus on the physical manifestations? We didn't even get to see anything said about her new gossamer wings she is supposed to be having! Or the chitinous covers for them! Or fangs! Or the horn all changelings were seen to have!

#37 · 77w, 4d ago · · ·

>>2659059

... Is murdering your family really rated everyone?

#38 · 77w, 4d ago · · ·

While this does look good at second glance, at first glance the title made me cringe. Usually itneeds to be something short and catchy, 'change is coming' would read much better at first glance, imo.

#39 · 77w, 4d ago · · ·

>>2661991

Technically, at the end of the story nobody's died... :trollestia:

>>2662118

It's the name of a song, although I chose it for the word "change" more than any particular thematic ties.

#40 · 77w, 4d ago · 1 · ·

>>2662169

No sir, I don't like it. But I'll deal with it.

#41 · 77w, 4d ago · · ·

Wow. If there's one thing I've learned about you, it's that when you go dark, you go dark. Not in a grimdark fics-that-shall-not-be-named gorefest kind of way, but disturbing, sometimes kind of psychological dark. I love it! :pinkiecrazy:

Also, people do written commissions now? That seems new, even if it probably isn't.

#42 · 77w, 4d ago · · ·

I didn't like it. I have favorited and upvoted it.

To explain: It was well-written, well structured and didn't have any over unnecessary narrative. I didn't like it because I've been reading way too many stories recently with feel-good endings, and this one was tragic and left me feeling sad and depressed.

So bravo, Eakin, on another brilliantly well made story. Now excuse me, I'm gonna go read something happy :raritydespair:

#43 · 77w, 4d ago · · ·

>>2662824

I can't even stand to read gorefics, much less write them. I do like being mean to my characters, though, so obviously psychological torment is the way to go. This is probably the most... I guess the right word would be hopeless... thing I've written.

I know a bunch of folks volunteered story writing commissions for the charity auction, I don't know if anyone does them on a regular basis for money.

>>2662940

Think of it as a mental palate cleanser that'll just make you appreciate the happy in other stories that much more.

#44 · 77w, 4d ago · · ·

>>2662999

I don't know, the alternate ending to Hard Reset was pretty desolate.

#45 · 77w, 4d ago · · ·

>>2663038

Yeah, I guess that was pretty bad and got even worse when we looked in on her during Stitch. Good thing I've got one more chance to look in on what she's been up to since :pinkiehappy:

#46 · 77w, 4d ago · · ·

>>2663051

Considering what happened in Stitch, I really don't think that reunion will go over well at all!

#47 · 77w, 4d ago · · ·

I did always enjoy watching the slow descent into a hollow shell, as well as the breaking point at which anything will be done for survival. Very well done, and a nice new take on the changelings.

I'm going to go stare at a wall for a bit and reconsider my lifestyle. Hope to see something just as dark in your next story.

#48 · 77w, 4d ago · · ·

That story was amazing. Why i do enjoy seeing the changelings are misunderstood feel i also love the way you portrayed them in this fic. :twilightsmile:

#49 · 77w, 2d ago · · ·

>>2657411

This is basically my view on it.

Anything I've read of yours is gripping, and like I was changeling-mind-controlled, I couldn't stop reading. Even though I disliked the story. That definitely takes talent.

Pity I'm a sucker for happy endings; I kept holding out a shard of hope that it would be like the show and everything turns out alright.:pinkiesad2:

Keep up the good work!

#50 · 77w, 2d ago · · ·

Oh wow, that was pretty messed up. Ah well, at least it had a happy ending. No! Bad! Eating children is not a happy thing.

>>2663051

I can't imagine it being anything good. Alternate Twilight becoming evil and crazy doesn't make me feel any better about her being doomed to eternal suffering in a time loop, especially since that is what drove her mad in the first place. Poor girl should just be allowed to die already. Maybe if the time loop resets enough her own multiverse will eventually tear itself apart.

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