Featured In15

More Stories14

  • E The Stars Ascendant

    When Celestia retreats to the starry realm of ascension in order to look upon the past, Luna joins her to discover what it is that is bothering her.
    2,545 words · 7,919 views  ·  1,202  ·  16
  • E Shotgun Wedding

    Applejack and Rarity spend the night together. Applejack's family approves a bit more than either is comfortable with.
    14,680 words · 3,796 views  ·  461  ·  15
  • E The Stolen Date

    Fluttershy has a blind date. Rainbow Dash does not approve, so takes it on herself to take the date for herself, showing up posing as her date to prevent her from going out with "some creep". But there was more to the date than she thought.
    16,408 words · 2,376 views  ·  183  ·  5
  • E The Butterfly's Burden

    What should be done about Discord? Luna and Celestia have called Fluttershy in to render judgement. Could Fluttershy ever forgive herself if she condemned her friend to be imprisoned in stone? Could she forgive herself if she didn't?
    10,734 words · 743 views  ·  98  ·  2
  • E Temptation

    Rarity can't sleep. Applejack had the audacity to fall asleep facing Rarity, and now she can't get kissing her friend out of her mind – and isn't sure if she wants to. But kissing your friend while she's sleeping is wrong...
    2,999 words · 2,866 views  ·  224  ·  9
  • E Crêpes

    Do crêpes count as real food, or are they just an excuse to eat sugar and whipped cream? Rarity and Applejack have different views on the matter, but does their views on the matter expose deeper differences?
    23,519 words · 1,332 views  ·  142  ·  7
  • E We Can't Turn Back Time

    What if Cadance hadn't stepped in and stopped Twilight from thinking about breaking the laws of physics and causality to spare Spike a little embarrassment at the Equestria Games? Nothing good.
    3,586 words · 1,108 views  ·  80  ·  4
  • E Famous Last Words

    Sometimes, the most important words a pony utters are their last.
    2,268 words · 356 views  ·  53  ·  2

Blog Posts105

  • Thursday
    A typical day on the internet for TD

    9 comments · 49 views
  • 6d, 6h
    Why I Followed You - An Idea for a Bookshelf

    Pterrorgrine came up with the idea of creating a bookshelf to which he added the stories which caused him to follow someone. I think this is a really neat idea; while it is oftentimes possible to keep track of this by, say, looking at who followed you and which story of yours they favorited, this doesn't always happen and sometimes you get a new follower without any clear idea of where they came from.

    I really like the idea behind this. Though on the downside, it means that now I have to figure out what it was that made me follow people...

    EDIT: I have now accomplished this task, in the process realizing that I'm not following a few people I really should have been, and thus adding them too. Alas, I suspect I missed a number of people who I have followed whose stories aren't on my favorites list for one reason or another.

    Also in some cases the story might be a bit of a lie as I may not remember which exact story it was that made me follow someone. And some people I followed because they are awesome, so the stories are definitely a lie in that case.

    Still! At least going forward, it will hopefully be accurate.

    8 comments · 65 views
  • 1w, 2d
    Flat Characters Versus Round Characters

    Characters are the most important part of the vast majority of stories. Many people give out advice on how to create “original characters”, which is to say, a character of your own devising; however, things are not always so simple. In reality, any story which involves a character changing as a result of the plot, even if the character is not your own, involves some amount of character development, and as character development is what establishes a character in the first place, everyone who writes stories has done some degree of character creation.

    That being said, creating an all-new character with nothing else to base on it can be intimidating for people, which is why many people will take or adapt existing characters and change them to suit their purposes. But someone must create characters of their own, so that others may rip them off borrow them. How do they do it? And indeed, why do we use some characters created by others instead of others?

    The first thing to recognize is that all characters are a part of a story, and that their role in the story is the most important thing to establish. So what is it that the character is meant to accomplish in the story? What is their role in the story? Why does this character exist in the first place?

    Once you know that, you should be able to answer the first very important question: Is this character going to play an important role in the story, or do they only play a peripheral role in one scene, or a very minor role in multiple scenes?

    If the character is going to only play a peripheral role in one scene, or a very minor role in multiple scenes, you want to create a flat character. If the character is going to play an important role in the story, you probably want to create a round character.

    Flat characters

    A flat character may also be known as a two-dimensional character, static character, or background character. A flat character is, as the name suggests, flat; there isn't a whole lot to them. A lot of people think that flat characters are bad, but they're not; there's actually a very good reason that flat characters exist, and that is to add texture to the world in a way that doesn’t take you an enormous amount of time. Flat characters are primarily used for bit parts and as extras, but they may also appear in the place of characters who simply have no reason to change in response to the plot of the story.

    In the case of a flat character, what they are defines them to a great extent. A flat character has some basic role – they might be a waitress, a fellow patient in the waiting room, a nurse sitting behind the desk who lets you into the hospital, a guard who a character needs to get around, or whatever else.

    On top of what they are, a flat character will generally have a few quirks if they show up for more than a line or two. A quirk can be anything which differentiates the character from “just some random guy”. A quirk might be an accent, a verbal tic, an attitude, or something else. So you might have a young, nervous waitress who is taking orders for the first time, or a cranky older waitress who has been working here for years and doesn’t want to have to wait for you to make up your mind, or a waitress who had an argument earlier with another waitress and is spending the evening showing her up. All of these characters have some added texture, but you don’t really need to know much more about them – they can serve their purpose in the story assuming they’re only there to take your order and what have you.

    These sorts of characters tend not to stick around in the story for very long or have much real importance to them. If they do represent some sort of barrier to the character, it is mostly via their existence in some way being a nuisance to them – a hall monitor might need to be avoided by the character, but unless the character interacts with them beyond sneaking past them, then only a little bit of their personality needs to be known. A clumsy waitress might spill something all over the character right before their dinner date, or a boss might fire a character at the start of a story, sending them on the search for another job, but unless the character really matters to the story, fleshing them out more than that is often a waste, and may well end up making them bland if you forget that they are not going to show up “on screen” long enough for a lot of things to come through – more subtle personality traits are likely to be lost on the reader if there is little time for them to be shown.

    As implied by the name “static character”, a flat character isn’t developed over the course of the story – they don’t tend to change, and if they DO change, it is usually in some simple, obvious way (for instance, a character passes by a soldier bragging about how awesome going to war is going to be, then later pass by him lying bleeding in the trench sobbing about how he just wants to go home).

    On rare occasion, a flat character may play a major role in a story, but usually, when this happens, the unchanging nature of the flat character is usually played either for laughs or for contrast. A character who never changes in response to really important things happening around them can be comical, because any normal person would react to these changing circumstances. Likewise, if a soldier is sent overseas, they might go through really unpleasant, mentally scarring circumstances, and then return home to their friends whose everyday life has been more or less the same as it was before the soldier’s departure.

    Round characters

    A round character may also be known as a dynamic character. At their core, a round character is an entire imaginary person. Most main and major characters in fiction are round characters, and almost all of the best ones are such.

    While all characters exist to serve some sort of purpose, and therefore the “what” of a round character is very important to the story, when it comes to the character itself, who that character is is much more important than what they are. A round character is first and foremost defined by their personality and the way that they interact with the world around them. Whereas a minor character may be defined by their quirks, a major character has reasons for having the quirks that they have – there is some cause behind why they are grumpy or happy, there is rhyme and reason to what they do and why they do it. They have a past which influences their behavior in the present, and they have hopes, dreams, and goals, however minor or major they may be.

    Going back to the example of the waitresses in the flat character section, if you were telling a story about a group of friends who went to a restaurant, then the waitresses would work just fine as flat characters - their sole purpose in existing in the scene is to add a bit of texture to it, and give the characters someone to play off of. If, however, the story was being told from the point of view of the waitresses, then the waitresses would need to be round characters; that new girl might be new to town, having come here to go to college. She really needs a job to help pay for her tuition, and is nervous that she is going to screw it up and lose it and not be able to pay and will have to return home to live with her parents as a failure. This is her first real job, and the first time she’s been away from home, and everything is new and exciting but also a little bit scary, and she is trying to put her best foot forward and be bubbly and friendly and maybe even a bit overhelpful because she’s heard horror stories about waitresses being fired after one complaint.

    The older waitress is used to the newbies screwing things up for her, and she always has to apologize for them and cover for their mistakes because deep down inside, much as she despises them for screwing things up, she knows that it is important that they keep this job; a long time ago, she was in their place, but when she screwed up, no one helped her and so she wasn’t able to complete her education. Now she’s stuck working service jobs the rest of her life, unable to get a better job, and she doesn’t want these kids to be put in the same place, no matter how annoying it may be. When customers can't make up their minds about what they want, it makes trouble for everyone; things get slowed down, tables don't get cleared, other customers have to wait, and everyone gets more stressed out and more likely to make mistakes. Is it so much to ask that they read their menus instead of sitting around and talking for twenty minutes after they get seated?

    The third waitress is naturally a competitive person, and doesn’t really have much empathy for the newbies; she always wants to show them the right way of doing things, because she clearly knows better than they do, and because she won’t lose her job or her hours to these upstarts, and certainly won't cover for their mistakes. Her husband had his hours cut recently, meaning that anything more than the bare necessities has to come out of what she pulls in from her job, but really, that doesn't matter; everyone has their own sob story, and if they can’t pull their own weight, then they deserve to lose their job and their hours to someone who does.

    It is not necessary to write an entire biography on a round character, but it is important to get a good idea of who they are and what they want – the motivation behind their actions is very important, and they should have a logical reason to behave in the manner that they do. This is not to say that a flat character should behave illogically, but rather that they lack the necessity of deeper motivations – a flat character is created to accomplish some specific task in the story, while it is best to think about a round character as driving the flow of the story. It is important that whatever the characters do make sense in the light of how you have defined the character in question – if it is too obvious that the characters are all just puppets on strings to the reader, behaving in whatever arbitrary manner the plot demands, the reader is much more likely to lose interest and have their suspension of disbelief ruined. Because round characters show up in multiple scenes, inconsistencies in their behavior will stick out to the reader, and they cannot be specifically tailored to behave in a precise way in every single scene in the same way that a character which exists only for the scene in question can be.

    So why aren’t all characters round? The primary reason is that creating a round character is a lot more work than creating a flat one; if a character only plays a minor role in the story, then you don’t really need to come up with a whole person there behind that very minor role, as that is a waste of time and effort which you could be spending on improving some other part of the story while the flat character does what they need to do. Secondly, a flat character, by being less well-defined, is more easily made to fill the needs of a specific scene than a round character; it is easy to make up a character whose sole purpose is to accomplish some story goal if they never need to show up again where their defined personality might prove to be a hinderance.

    Misuse of character types

    So why is this important? Well, the biggest reason that it is important to understand the distinction between these characters is to better understand when you might be using the wrong kind of character in the wrong kind of situation.

    The worst mistake you can make is using a flat character when you need to be using a round character. Round characters are the most interesting kind of character because they’re imaginary people; they have personality and depth, and they are the characters who the reader can most connect with and understand because there is simply more meat to them. A flat character doesn’t really change much in response to the story, which makes the story lose its impact because it isn’t really affecting the character, and thus, by extension, it affects the reader less as well. Their lack of depth can make them boring, and when a flat character succeeds, because they didn’t really have to change to bring about their success, it feels like their success was predetermined. The fact that the character doesn’t really change much in response to their environment also means that the ability to tell stories with them is more limited because the character doesn’t change, thereby reducing the variety in the story and likely resulting in repetition after a while.

    Flat characters make for very poor protagonists, or for characters who are put into a position where they are exposed to a lot of varied circumstances. A flat character as a protagonist or someone who otherwise needs to overcome problems on-screen is much more likely to come off as a Mary Sue because they already have what is necessary to ensure their success, and therefore the challenges in the story seem much less meaningful to them. On the other hand, a flat character might work just fine as a character’s boss or spouse, someone who isn’t directly involved in the primary action and who therefore doesn’t have to change in response to the plot – indeed, one common use of flat characters is to contrast them with the character, by showing just how much the action of the plot has changed the character while the flat character, who was unaffected by the plot, has remained the same.

    Generally speaking, using a round character in the place of a flat character is much less disastrous. There are, however, two main dangers of doing so: distracting the reader, and failing to be interesting in a limited space.

    The first, distracting the reader, isn’t a problem limited to round characters used as minor characters, but can also occur as a result of a flat character drawing too much attention to themselves. Fundamentally, while it is good for minor characters to add to the scene, if you present a character in a manner which results in the reader believing that the character is, in fact, important, they’re likely to assign importance to them and then be surprised when they don’t show up again or whatever was mentioned never really matters to the story. This can negatively impact their view of the story in a few ways; first off, it can lead them to be disappointed when the character or detail that they remembered never has any payoff, but secondly, it can actually reduce their engagement with the rest of the story as they remember unimportant details and consequently overlook actually important plot elements in search of what seemed important to them at the time. This is not to say that making a minor character interesting and engaging is a bad thing, but it should generally be clear that the character is, in fact, a minor character and not someone that we’re going to have to remember for the rest of the story as being something of importance.

    The second seems strange at first; round characters have a lot more nuance and detail to them, so how can they fail to be interesting? The reason for this is that while round characters may have a lot more nuance and detail to them, they may also not really show it under all circumstances; a round character who stands in line behind the protagonist at the ATM may have their own world going on, but standing in line, they may just be another bland customer, another face in the crowd that doesn’t really do anything interesting. Flat characters, by being given obvious, straightforward quirks, may be more interesting and engaging in the moment because their quirks are specifically tailored to be shown off in the scene in question.

    In the end, it is all about using the right tool for the right job.

    Accidentally creating a flat character instead of a round one

    The most common way that a writer ends up with a flat character in the place of a round one is when they do so inadvertently; they get an idea for a character in their head, but fail to recognize that what they’ve actually got in their head is the what of the character rather than the who. A flat character can be transformed into a round character by adding more detail to them, a history and a background, and by having them change in response to the plot, but if a character is conceived as a flat character it can be very easy to fall into the trap of making what they are overwhelm the who.

    This is one of the reasons why characters who are special snowflakes – that is to say, characters who are of an unusual species, or otherwise strange in some sort of intrinsic manner – are most prone to ending up disliked by the audience. While these characters are not always Mary Sues, they frequently fall into the trap of focusing so much on what the character is that who the character is gets lost; their personality plays second fiddle to their unique or strange qualities, or simply draws so much attention to itself that their relatively bland personality is overlooked by the reader. Moreover, because what a character is is usually an unchanging quality, these characters can easily come off as being static rather than dynamic, and using whatever unique intrinsic qualities they have to overcome challenges instead of actually overcoming them as a person.

    So what do you do to avoid this? In the end, it mostly comes down to keeping an eye on yourself and what you are doing. If you come up with a plot involving a set of three characters, but one of the characters was created soley so that the other two characters would have a third person to bounce ideas off of, it is important to make sure that the third character is actually a round character, and not a flat character you simply conceived of as a plot device but who doesn’t really contribute to the story in a meaningful manner, and instead comes off as shallow and not very interesting. If you come up with a plot starting with the idea of a character being of a specific race or having some other unusual quality, like being the only wizard in the world, you should take care to make sure that you’re actually thinking about the character’s personality, and that the character is actually working to overcome their challenges instead of simply allowing whatever intrinsic special trait they have to overwhelm all obstacles in their path without requiring real effort on their part.

    7 comments · 110 views
  • 1w, 4d
    Everything is fine

    The crime rate in the United States, and indeed, most of the developed world has been plummeting since the early 1990s, with a 50%+ decline across the board, from property crime to murder.

    Globally, the rate of death from infectious disease has plummeted over time; the present-day Ebola outbreak in West Africa has killed about a fifth as many people as die of the flu in the United States alone every year.

    The number of deaths in wars worldwide have been falling dramatically; even since the 1980s, the per capita death rate from war has declined by over 90%.

    People are living longer, healthier lives than ever before, and we are growing increasingly wealthy, both as individuals and as people on the whole; the global GDP has continued to rise, and every one of us has within our home a computer which acts as a television, typewriter, telephone, radio, encyclopedia, library, reference manual, and numerous things which simply didn't exist or were accessible in the past. A computer today is faster and more useful than the best supercomputers in the world 20 years ago, and you carry around in your pocket a device which has more computing power than entire rooms full of millions of dollars worth of equipment did in the 1960s.

    Not thirty years ago, sodomy was illegal in much of the world; today, gay marriage is legal in 15 countries and in over half of the United States, and will likely be legal everywhere here soon.

    So when you hear about how awful the world is, remember: it was much worse 20 years ago than it is today. And it will probably be much better than it is today 20 years from now.

    Things may not be perfect, but no matter how much the world may seem to be closing in around you according to the news, remember: on the whole, everything is fine, and getting better.

    19 comments · 138 views
  • ...
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Maud Pie has written thousands of poems.

Here are some of her poems.

They're about rocks.

First Published
17th Mar 2014
Last Modified
17th Mar 2014
#1 · 32w, 3d ago · 1 · · Geology ·

Love it.:pinkiehappy:

#2 · 32w, 3d ago · · 2 · Geology ·

How hilarious! I need to give this to my science teacher for extra credit :eeyup:

#3 · 32w, 3d ago · 11 · · A Rock in Dirt ·

Deep, man

#4 · 32w, 3d ago · 7 · · Halite ·

I love these things. They rock

#5 · 32w, 3d ago · 16 · · Boulder ·

D'awwww! :pinkiehappy:

#6 · 32w, 3d ago · 10 · · Quartz ·

Or when in a muffin basket, apparently.  I'll bet quartz was the decor on Rarity's godawful hat.:raritydespair:

#7 · 32w, 3d ago · 19 · · Farming Rocks ·

Pink rocks, right? :pinkiesad2:

#8 · 32w, 3d ago · 1 · · Geology ·

beautifull :fluttercry:

#9 · 32w, 3d ago · 14 · · Geology ·

This poetry is totally underground.

It is also on top of the ground,

And sometimes is the ground.

Poetry of the ground,

It rocks.

#11 · 32w, 3d ago · · · Geology ·

I shall never take you for granite, Titanium.

take my like.

#12 · 32w, 3d ago · 19 · · Farming Rocks ·

Reading rock poems for a laugh.

I laughed, reading rock poems.

Until I read this one.

Then there were surprise feels.

This poem was not about rocks.

#13 · 32w, 3d ago · 3 · · Geology ·

These are:

     Absolutely grand.

                Mike

Hmm, this one actually reads nicely for a poem. I dig it!

Rocks. 2edgy4me. Especially this one.

#16 · 32w, 3d ago · 5 · · Geology ·

This has been oddly addictive and like eating a chip, you can't just read one.

Shame there wasn't a poem about obsidian lava rock (aka the sharp shiny black rock that Aztec weapons were made from), obsidian is awesome.

#17 · 32w, 3d ago · 8 · · Smooth Rocks ·

Okay, now I'm reading them aloud in Maud's voice...

#18 · 32w, 3d ago · 13 · · Boulder ·

That's cute... :heart:

#19 · 32w, 3d ago · 1 · · Farming Rocks ·

This poem.  So many feels.

This one is my favourite :pinkiesad2:

#21 · 32w, 3d ago · 1 · · Geology ·

Those were all spectacular. :pinkiehappy:

I especially liked "Sand" and "Understanding Rocks" :twilightsmile:

Very entertaining, insightful, and heart wrenching. :pinkiesad2:

Looking forward to more. I also wrote a few poems about rocks. I'd be delighted if you were to check them out. :scootangel:

#22 · 32w, 3d ago · 21 · · Granite ·

Don't take it for granite!

I'll see myself out.

#23 · 32w, 3d ago · 1 · · Rock Music ·

Truer words were never written. :rainbowlaugh:

#24 · 32w, 3d ago · · · Land ·

The best one yet:pinkiesmile:

#26 · 32w, 3d ago · 2 · · Farming Rocks ·

Best one, definitely the best one. :pinkiesad2:

Didn't Pinkie metamorphosisize, in a way?

#28 · 32w, 3d ago · 4 · · Farming Rocks ·

Families.

#29 · 32w, 3d ago · 1 · · Sand ·

da meaning....

#30 · 32w, 3d ago · 1 · · Geology ·

Brilliant! All of them! Number fourteen (can't remember the title) was the best. The first couple made me laugh, but the fourteenth one made me think and gave me feels.

#31 · 32w, 3d ago · · · Rock Music ·

This was an especially brilliant one. :pinkiehappy:

#32 · 32w, 3d ago · 1 · · Geology ·

This reminds me quite a bit of "Alberto Caeiro", one of the personas of the portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa. A bunch were surprisingly good and insightful, but even the others had a very unique and interesting flow.

This was genuinely sweet.

#34 · 32w, 3d ago · 2 · · Land ·

For a moment I thought this was a Minecraft reference.

#35 · 32w, 3d ago · · · Geology ·

This is good. Have a thumbs up and a fav.

#36 · 32w, 3d ago · 9 · · Rock Music ·

Heavy metal is loud

They should have called it rock.

Bu metals are not rocks

So they shouldn't call it rock.

#37 · 32w, 3d ago · 2 · 1 · Geology ·
#38 · 32w, 3d ago · · 1 · Geology ·

i like rocks and some one shuld make a poetry about rock music and a song a bout rocks. i made a poem about rocks

Rocks are rocks

They rock

Like a rock

They're a rock

I like rocks.

:pinkiehappy::pinkiehappy::pinkiehappy::pinkiehappy::pinkiehappy:

I teared up a bit. So sweet.

This is so deep it's practically bedrock.

This one is my favorite. That Author's Note... :rainbowlaugh: TD, you're the best.

#43 · 32w, 3d ago · 7 · · Granite ·

"Thank you granite." was a simple stroke of genius.

#44 · 32w, 3d ago · · · Geology ·

I enjoyed these poems.

#45 · 32w, 3d ago · 3 · · Geology ·

Here I was, reading through these and laughing along... I was not ready for #14.

Very nice collection--very Maud-esque.  It made for a nice Monday follow-up to the episode!

*Snaps fingers*

End.

Holy shit! I did not know soil was made of rocks.

Rocks that have died, decayed and turned to something new.

More experiments should be made, Maude- err, TD. There is constant life from the death of a rock, and more life from the death of the soil... a cycle, eternal.

Wait... rock>soil>mud

Mud=Maud?

Maud=rock?

#48 · 32w, 3d ago · 11 · · Farming Rocks ·

This is my favorite poem

but

it isn't really about rocks, is it?

#49 · 32w, 3d ago · 19 · · Boulder ·

Not gonna lie, got this idea from another Maud story, but isn't it possible that Boulder once could have been a boulder?

A boulder gets shoved around as the earth shifts, knocking chunks of it off until it eventually lands in a river, where it lands in a river with a great ker-splash! over time, the river manages, with great effort and much flooding at where its banks were once narrow, to roll the boulder off into a waterfall. The boulder lands at the base of the waterfall, where it lands at it's base, splashing water everywhere.

The boulder stays at the bottom of the waterfall for a long time, constantly pelted with water and heavier debris, like other apathetic rocks who have slowly drifted down the river to cause their own eras of mass flooding. Over time, the boulder is scratched at and worn down into a small pebble until it's half the size of a hoof.

Eventually, the half-hoof-sized rock floats down the rest of the river to a bank, where it's constantly eroded and eaten further. After another eternity (although not as long as the previous), it gets lodged in the muddy banks of a calm fork in the river, buried deep in it.

Another eternity later, that mud is dug up and hauled to the Pie rock farm, where it is found much later by a small grey filly who was digging in the dry, chaffing dirt. She sniffs and observes the small abrasions and scratches, each one telling a story of the pebble's life. A dim spark of interest lights up in the filly's head.

With not an upturn of the corners of her eyes or mouth, nor even the sound of a girly squeal of excitement, she takes up the pebble in her mouth with all the grace of a grazing rhino and trudges to her room calmly.

Inside, her heart is beating a bajillion miles per hour, excitement and happiness soaking her over her and over.

She sets the pebble on the table in her room "I'm going to name you boulder."  There is the slightest raising of pitch from her normally gravel-like voice as she smiles for the briefest of moments.

Inside, her heart's still pounding with joy.

#50 · 32w, 3d ago · 1 · · Quartz ·

>>4095793

Yet it yielded a lot of nutritional value, I guess.

What was once art is now food. Maximum value, those clothes made from fruit leather be damned.

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