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  • T The Definition of Strength

    Sabra has been searching for his answer for three long years, and at long last he may have found it. It just might not be the answer he expects.
    26,557 words · 2,258 views  ·  161  ·  0
  • T Why Me?

    It's been four days since Tirek, and Discord is finally feeling back to being his old self. Or is he?
    7,287 words · 3,247 views  ·  506  ·  8
  • T The Dusk Guard: Rise

    Steel Song is a lot of things. Earth pony. Uncle. Professional bodyguard. Retired. So when he receives a mysterious package from Princess Luna, he's understandably apprehensive. Things are never as they seem in Equestria...
    274,966 words · 3,400 views  ·  396  ·  6
  • E Old Habits

    It's Nova's first official day off, and he's decided to spend it in one place he knows he can relax: the Canterlot Bazaar. But when he has an unexpected encounter with a face from his past, can he face the pony he once was?
    19,698 words · 821 views  ·  159  ·  1
  • T Carry On

    Sometimes the hardest thing to do isn't completing the mission, it's coming home again. For Dusk Guard member Sky Bolt, the mission was a complete success. Everything went perfectly. So why can't she sleep?
    18,257 words · 1,098 views  ·  187  ·  2
  • E Hearth's Warming Cookies

    It's Hearth's Warming season and that means presents, caroling and—of course—making Hearth's Warming Cookies. But just what makes the cookies so important, anyway? Young Jammer Song is about to find out....
    7,054 words · 528 views  ·  92  ·  0

Blog Posts205

  • 3w, 2h
    Off the Grid I Go!

    All right guys, this is it! I've been able to log in with my phone whilst away in Alaska to keep somewhat up to date, but today, I board the mighty fishing vessel I'm currently beholden to and head for the fishing grounds! Which means, sadly, that I will be off the grid for at least two to three weeks.


    But that's okay! It's a good off the grid. Because while I'll be away, I'm going to be doing a lot of grunt work, which means I've got plenty of time to think. And think. And plot, and pace...

    In other words, when I get back I'll have a wealth of new story content to offer. Hunter's side story and Dawn's (at long last) to start, but Colony is almost done with its first draft, and once that's off to the alpha readers, the staggered work I've done on "Beyond the Borderlands" can go to full-time project in earnest. I'm still hoping for a near-Christmas release, but no promises. That means it could be sooner but it could be later. I'm cutting no corners with this.

    Anyway, the original point of this was that I'll be back soon, and with lots of brainstorming done for the next few things coming after "Borderlands" and Colony. Like "Hunter/Hunted." Or Shadow of an Empire and The Phoenix. And, of course, lots of blog post topics!

    All right, I need to go grab my gear and get underway to board our mighty vessel. It's time to face the fierce fall elements of Alaska, and catch those shrimp!

    5 comments · 70 views
  • 5w, 22h
    Being a Better Writer: What's a Memorable Scene?

    Welcome back for today's Being a Better Writer post. Hopefully it's a good one, because it's going to be the last one for a little while. Starting this Wednesday, I'll be off to Alaska for work, and shall effectively (and sadly) become a bit of an internet recluse, since it'll be both tricky to get online (I won't be able to at all during the season, and beforehand I'll be working quite a bit.

    Today's post is a bit more nebulous topic, and so I'm going to try and approach it in a bit more relaxed manner. Rather than moving from point to point, or even prepping more than the initial idea beforehand, I'm just going to talk about it and see where things go. Partially because I feel like being a bit more relaxed today, partially because I want to see how well this works, and lastly because the topic itself can be a little nebulous.

    So, what does make a memorable scene? And here's where we run into a few differences, right with the first answer. Because to me, what makes a scene memorable is something important happening. But that might not be the same answer that others give. In fact, others might give a completely different assessment of what makes a scene memorable. Perhaps it has to do with the main characters. Perhaps it's the final battle, the most energetic portion of the story. Even upon thinking about it, my own answer that it is something important doesn't exactly hold a sum total, because there's a secondary element to consider, in that it be interesting. For me, these are two things that I put into my mind when I'm writing: What's important about this scene? And is it interesting?


    But that probably isn't what's going through other writers or readers heads when they do their own scenes. They might be going for clever dialogue. Or maybe even a funny joke.

    So why when I'm asked what makes a memorable scene, do I think of importance and interest? I think part of it comes from what I'm looking at as a writer. The last thing that I want my reader to do is be forced to slog through things that aren't important. Look, let's be honest, anyone with half a decent talent for prose can sit down and write a lovely several thousand word piece on a character's experience of cleaning a kitchen. Sliding the washrag across the counter, doing the dishes, cleaning the windows, putting things away ... this can be done pretty easily.

    But what does it mean? What reason does the reader have to read about such an event? Let's face it, we've all had our characters do tiny little things like take a drink from a glass, and those little bits of flavor add to the story, but they're like bacon bits. Tasty, but short-lived and not that good on their own. And if you make a whole chunk of a story about someone cleaning their kitchen, unless it serves a purpose, unless it's important to the story somehow, well then it's little more than a whole bowl of bacon bits. The writing is good, yes, but there isn't anything important going on.

    Clearly context has a bit to do with this. A story about action, adventure, and high-daring escapes really drags when a character spends their day in a kitchen doing nothing relevant to the story. You see this problem in a lot of places, both on FimFiction and in published books from lesser-known authors. They've put the character in a situation, and then they write about it without stopping to consider whether or not there would be any reason to do so.

    Importance. Spending five-thousand words of prose on a scene that contains nothing of importance might still lead to a well-written scene, but the reader isn't going to find it memorable. You have to consider how important it is to the story. What will it convey? What will it do for the reader? Is it moving the plot ahead (aside from just burning time)? Is it delivering the reader interesting elements and anecdotes?

    For me, usually considering the importance of the scene, combined with the characters I then turn loose in it, tends to make the scene memorable enough. Because if I combine anything of importance with characters that are going to bounce off and around it, I can usually trust on those characters to make the scene memorable in various ways. For example, Steel Song in a kitchen is going to be pretty utilitarian—and by extension, not interesting—unless he's interacting with Cappy or his niece and nephew. But even by taking those characters out of the equation, having Steel ruminate on their absence can be a way to keep the scene interesting as well (though it should also be important in some way). Likewise, writing a chapter about Ditzy Doo cleaning up her kitchen could be really boring and not at all memorable if simply approached in a very flat manner, but if the author uses it to show the meaning about Dtizy through her thoughts and actions, such as thinking about the rapid-cooking that led to unwashed dishes she did so that she and her daughter wouldn't be late to a play while doing them, or about the fun she and Dinky had making a desert that led to the mess she's cleaning up.

    Man, this is such a tricky question. Let's see, what about a scene that doesn't really seem that exciting, but is important? After all, plenty of foreshadowing in books often happens during what most of us would consider day to day activities. How do we get our readers to remember some important detail from a scene that's less than exciting or doesn't seem important (and how do you keep them from getting bored)?

    A lot of that goes back to one of my earlier posts on misdirection. Basically, you can conceal information that is important by hiding in with other interesting things. For example, Harry Potter pulled double duty with this in one book by having what would have only been a marginally important scene (a dinner party) serve as foreshadowing for the room of requirement. But to keep it from being dull (and to make it memorable for the reader), Rowling used Dumbledore as the vehicle for the foreshadowing as they group discussed unusual stories of their experiences at Hogwarts. The audience gets a plethora of funny events (which keeps them interested), topped by Dumbledore's special mention of a "magic bathroom" that serves as the capstone story to the scene. The reader laughs, remembers that last story (which becomes relevant later) and enjoys what would otherwise have been a bunch of characters sitting around talking.

    Earlier I mentioned context, and I think I should get back to that. Context means a lot for your story. An action scene can be memorable. A character breaking character for a big reason can be memorable. A well-timed joke (like Dumbledore's funny story) can cement the scene in the reader's mind. A clever finish to a scene, something unexpected.

    Each of these are things that can in one case make a scene memorable, but in another, can break it (or worse, make it memorable for all the wrong reasons). A lot of it comes down to what story you want to write, what story you want to tell, and what elements you've put into your work. A true horror story, for example, isn't likely to try and make it's scenes memorable with constant pop-culture references and fourth-wall winks. It's going to try and make scenes that are tense. Terrifying. Nightmarish. Or perhaps shocking. In Monster Hunter Alpha, one of the most memorable scenes in the entire book is one in which the main character takes an industrial-strength snowblower—the kind that can eat small trees—up against a horde of zombie werewolves. The end result is one of the bloodiest things in the entire series, to a point of near absurdity that even the characters comment on. It's memorable precisely because it's so absurd ... but also because it is a great solution for the problem, and fits right into the series blend of ridiculous over-the-top action and dark humor.

    It's not something you'd see in Harry Potter, although that does make an amusing thought ("Harry Potter, tonight you—arrgh!"). My point is, keep your context in mind when thinking about what will make your scene important and interesting.

    Another thing to keep in mind is what sort of readers you're appealing to with your story. A reader who likes nothing but straight hollywood action, for example, isn't at all going to find a slice-of-life story interesting. Putting a single chapter of it into a story for that kind of reader is pushing it. Likewise, a reader who lives for complex, spiderweb plots and stories where there are wheels within wheels is probably not going to enjoy a very straightforward, simple mystery where everything is just as it appears. And versa-vice with a switch of the situation.

    We tend to acknowledge this (at least, usually) when considering what we or others like to read, but as writers, we can't forget that the same rules apply. Context of what kind of story you're telling and for who can change quite a bit about making a scene memorable or interesting.

    One more thought—at least at this moment—concerning having a memorable scene, and even more importantly, and ending. No matter what the scene is like, the best way to make sure that your reader remembers it is to make it relevant. A reader who understands that he can drift through the story without paying close attention isn't going to bother remembering details of scene or story. If you make scenes relevant, give them weight, where what happens and what is said has recurring effects on the story as a whole, it becomes memorable, because your reader quickly learns that they need to remember why a scene is important.

    As a side note, this is one more reason I despise flashbacks 90% of the time. Because writers use them not to present new information to their reader, but to re-explain and retread information that was already discussed, taking the decision away from the reader as to whether or not to remember information and scenes (and therefore making them less memorable). Even more grievous, I'm pretty certain that this feeds back to the writer as well and lulls them into a false state where they themselves stop considering the importance of what they present. After all, for both parties, why bother remembering or picking out anything important when it'll be handed to them in a silver platter later?

    Anyway, getting back to where that side note took off, the more events of the story mean, the more weight they have, the more a reader will remember them and the more important each scene will feel in relation to the core of the story and the end. To use an earlier example from Rowling, the Dumbledore toilet story still probably wasn't memorable to some readers. However, once Harry has found the room of requirement and he as a character makes the single-line connection between the two, the reader's attention is drawn back to it and the scene is given greater importance in the dialog as a whole.

    Hmm ... come to think of it, retroactive memorability (?) is something to consider as well. Not as a core point, because if an entire scene's worth of material only become relevant and interesting later, than it was probably boring at start, and we don't want that. But you can, through later elements of the story that come back to something in an earlier scene, make that scene more memorable (especially on a reread). For instance, the first time a reader reaches the scene in "Rise" where Steel plays with his niece and nephew only to find himself completely snared by a well-placed (and well-tied) jump-rope, the scene is cute and mostly serves to illustrate what Steel is like when he let's himself relax, as well as to counterpoint the relative loneliness and lack of family the rest of his life has. But only in the finale, when Steel uses the same snare concept on Radiant's gigantic golem, does the scene take on a new level of importance, and therefore, memorability to the reader. It was a foreshadowing, not that the reader knew it at the time. But when the result pays off at the end of the book, the reader is tied back. Even if they forgot it, on another read-through the scene will take on a whole new significance.

    All right, I think I'm starting to reach the end of my thoughts in this, at least for the moment. Which means it's probably a wise idea to summarize things. So, when making a scene memorable, remember that you need to give your reader a reason to remember it. So it'd better be important to the story somehow. It should also be interesting. Funny, unique, cool ... there should be something going on that makes your reader interested in what's happening. Keep in mind context of both the characters and scene, but also of the story overall.


    So, I think that's it for this post, which regrettably is the last one you'll see for a while. But before I go, what did you think? Not just on the subject (and I welcome all comments in that vein, but about the style? Was the "stream of consciousness" approach more helpful? Less helpful? Interesting?

    As usual, thanks for reading, and I look forward to doing this again ASAP!

    Edit: Tag's fixed, guys! My bad! Running a bit late today, so I didn't proof beforehand!

    3 comments · 157 views
  • 5w, 3d
    On True Beauty

    This is actually a repost from my facebook, but I felt that it was worth sharing here. It has little to do with writing, so if the topic does not interest you, I will not be bothered by this. But it's something that I felt I wanted to share.

    On Beauty:

    Hold on, because this is going to be a long post. Also, I'm going to save it as a note so it's not lost anytime soon (addendum: and repost on FimFic). But this is my belated, public response to a question a friend asked me some time ago. The question that prompted this, if I remember correctly, was: What is beauty to you?

    Now, what I'm going to say is probably going to shock some people. The question is a hotly debated one online, with people sharing photos of what they say beauty is, debates over where we should look for it, etc. Personally, I don't quite agree with any of them. This is why.

    Beauty is not one thing. To me, there are two components to what makes someone beautiful.


    The first (and some will dislike me for saying this) is the physical, outer component. Physical, outer beauty. Yes, it's real, and yes, we should admire it. Stop pretending it's bad. It's what we're going to see first. Be it long legs, short hair, rippling abs, green eyes  ... Whatever it is that physically attracts us to the person that's held in the physical realm. This is outer beauty, and it's a thing that's different for everyone. I like certain attributes of a physical quality and find them beautiful which another person will not. This is part of who we are.

    Now there's no "perfect" physical quality list that's the sum of perfection. There's just what each person looks like, and what each person finds physically attractive. But it's a real thing, and we need to look for it when we're looking for a relationship. We NEED to be physically attracted on some level. It's not wrong that someone single glances at someone else who is single and thinks "Great googa mooga, WOW!" before going slightly catatonic. Or even "Wow, that person is good looking!" before embarrassing themselves by trying to strike up a conversation while mentally stunned. This is the way we were made. There isn't anything wrong with the physical beauty.

    But there's a second, more powerful beauty, one that's hidden at first. The inner beauty, the one that you see in their eyes, in who they are and what they do. And you can't simply see this at first. That's why we need the physical beauty, to act as a bridge and then a foundation.

    As someone spends time with someone, as they start to see this inner beauty, the outer beauty to them, is affected. It's like an exponential polish—it can make all the most beautiful parts and and places known ... or it can draw the eye to all the flaws, either way showing you a persons true, ultimate beauty.

    The inner beauty is the more powerful, but slower, of the two. Inner beauty improves and builds upon outer beauty, making it more and more beautiful every day. A couple who love each other for the inner beauty don't see the flaws. They don't see that she's overweight now and he's incapable of benching his own weight anymore. In their own eyes, they ARE, because the inner beauty has polished that outer beauty to the point where the flaws aren't even seen by the couple, or important. Every bit of outer beauty is magnified by the inner beauty that they've taken the time to see. No matter what others say of the outer beauty, the FULL beauty is available to the one who sees both.

    Likewise, poor inner beauty has the same exponential effect. Poor inner beauty begins to draw attention to the flaws, lowers the outer beauty. An individual with poor, lackluster inner beauty, though they may have the most amazing physical qualities ever, will never have true beauty. No matter how they try, the more those around them see the lack of inner beauty, the less attractive that persons outer beauty will appear.

    In summation, you must have both, in some amount. Outer beauty is the foundation, the framework. But the inner beauty builds upon that, shapes it over time, and makes adds the polish that makes the outer beauty shine like the sun.


    Now, about us. As people today. I think part of the reason we're having so much trouble these days, finding so many problems and battling on public forums over beauty standards and what to look for is because both sides are partially right, and both sides are partially wrong. It takes both. Outer beauty AND inner beauty.

    Worse, we've forgotten what each one entails. Outer beauty is quick to see, heavily based on personal impressions and cultural upbringings. Inner beauty is individualized, subtle, and takes time to see. We've forgotten this. So many relationships go sour because people have mixed these two up, misinterpreted one for the other. People give up on someone after one date because they're forgetting that the inner beauty takes time to identify and see. They're impatient, unwilling to take the time. Or they want outer beauty, confusing it for the more powerful of the two.

    The truth is that we need to have both. We need to open our minds and remember that both exist. This does not mean that because you have great inner beauty you'll get the person you want. Inner beauty expands the outer beauty, not changes or covers it. If there is not outer attraction at all, then all the inner beauty will do is make you shine.

    Accept this. It's just the way we are. I KNOW there are women who do not find me attractive in the least. They want a whipcord/rail thin man. I am not that. I'm stocky, tank-like. All the inner beauty in the world that I can show them will not matter, because there is no foundation for it to build on.

    This is okay. I wouldn't want to force someone to find something that wasn't there. Someday, I'll find a woman who IS okay with a guy who's built like a concrete wall and has spastic view on life, who finds that attractive. And then, if she finds the inner beauty to her liking, and I likewise to both of her beauties, something amazing will happen.

    We need both. Don't rely on the outer as your sole means. You cannot strut your perfect figure and expect it to be everything. It will fade. It will age. Or you might be incredibly proud of a certain feature, only to find that the one who likes you (and you them) is attracted to something else entirely. In other words, you cannot rely on outer alone. It will never succeed.

    Likewise, you cannot simply rely on the inner beauty (And please, don't demand that people acknowledge you for inner beauty right away. That's saying more about your true inner beauty than you think, and it's not a positive message. Be patient there.). You must lay the foundation in some way. You don't need to be perfect. But you need to make your foundation there. Be proud of what you do have. And even if you don't feel beautiful now, wait for the one who starts to see the inner beauty.

    Because we need both. And whatever outer flaws you think you have, if you're inner beauty is great, it will sweep over all the outer flaws and decrease them in importance. This is why we have to give others the chance. Don't turn that person down if they're just "average" in your book. Wait. Get to know the inner beauty. If it isn't there, no harm. If it is, you'll find that what was there will grow all the more attractive and beautiful to you.

    And one last thing before I summarize. This is why friendships are so important. Not fake friendships (which are part of the controversial friend-zone), but REAL friendships. Friendships that involve trust. Camaraderie. Laughter. Sad times. Understanding. It's been said that the greatest relationships grow out of true friendship, and this is why. Because we learn to see the inner beauty, learn to see who someone truly is. False friendship, a temporary limited contact or respite, where one party or the other isn't putting forth their effort or limits the trust, cannot do this. So be friends. Men and women, amazingly enough, CAN be friends. Pop culture has driven this horrible, wrong idea that such things cannot happen without a relationship. Pop culture is wrong. We can be friends, great ones, and not ever be attracted to someone. And we should be. Even if we don't find love, let's be honest, we need true friends. We should stop being scared of them.

    And who knows, maybe we'll find our best friend in the process.

    But if we do, it'll be because we looked at both beauties. The outer, and the inner.

    So in your own day to day search for that other who will be the most important person in your life, don't forget either of these two. Don't discount them. Let them BOTH work. Figure out what attracts you about the outer beauty, what catches your eye, but then give the time for the inner beauty, the extension, the polish to truly shine. You might just surprise yourself with what you find.

    If you disagree with or where deeply, properly offended by any of this, well, I'm sorry (if only offended because you want to be offended, no apology. I don't care much in that case). If you like it, and want to share, feel free too share it with whomever you like.

    Who knows, maybe it'll help those of us out there who've forgotten what we really need to be looking for, what we really mean when we talk about beauty. Maybe it'll help add some context to what we really mean when we say "You're beautiful."

    This has been what beauty is to me. Thank you for your time.

    4 comments · 92 views
  • 5w, 3d
    All Right, So Here's the Schedule

    All right everyone, I'm throwing up my schedule so you guys know what to expect and about when. Here's the big news:

    Starting next week, I will be in Alaska getting ready for the shrimp season. I will only have guest access on what basically amounts to a library computer. So next weeks blog guide will be the last one for a while. Possibly four weeks. Shrimp season is somewhat malleable, so I can't give a solid time on when I'll be back. I'd expect before the end of October, which is usually when I'm free. Regardless, this is the schedule I'm going to try to stick to:


    Next Monday: The last "Being a Better Writer" guide until I get back.

    Shrimp Season.

    End of October: Return. start posting "Remembrance." Also, the Dusk Guard Group Banner Contest ends! Be sure to get your entry in before then!

    Finish Colony. Once Colony's first draft is done, "Beyond the Borderlands," the sequel to "The Dusk Guard: Rise, "becomes my full time project. I can't say how long it will take me to finish it, but I'd guess about 2 months. During this time, the last side story (Dawn's) will go up as well.

    Finish "Beyond the Borderlands" and start posting it to FimFic. Watch it take FimFiction by storm, start working on next novel, also on another side-story and "Hunter/Hunted."

    These are my plans through the end of the year. With luck, we'll see "Beyond the Borderlands" start releasing sometime in December, maybe even around Christmas! And Colony probably around the end of this year/beginning of next year. Kind of depends on the editor.

    Anyway, just updating all you guys so you know what's coming. Sorry I didn't get "Remembrance" done before leaving, but I wanted to give it the time it needed to be released and I STILL need to get a cover commissioned for it. After the shrimp season I can give it the attention it deserves.

    You guys are awesome, hope the slight delay isn't driving you all nuts!

    And yeah, the idea of a December release for "Beyond the Borderlands" is probably pretty good news.

    3 comments · 78 views
  • 5w, 4d
    Just a Quick, Fun Share

    So I'm flipping through my facebook feed while not writing (bad author!) and I stumble across this.

    After I got done laughing, I decided that someone on The Onion definitely must have run across FimFic's various review groups and their standards at some point, because this article pretty much takes how they hold various styles of English they all hold sacrosanct and brings it to it's logical conclusion.

    Literati gang violence? The Onion most certainly paints a dark future for all of FimFiction, doesn't it? The time to prepare is upon us. I shall arm myself with verb-grenades and noun-rifles, and stockpile my bunker with "impure" literature such as Harry Potter and The Icarus Hunt to subsist upon. When the violence erupts, I'll be sheltered behind the thick, concrete and steel walls of analogy, protected from the inkshed above me. And at last, when the various factions have destroyed themselves in futile flame wars, the dead moved on to the Valhalla's of 4Chan or r/writing, I shall emerge from my refuge with my freedom and sanity intact, to write once more and rebuild the shattered webscape.

    Hope you're all having a fun afternoon! :pinkiesmile:

    3 comments · 89 views
  • ...
 42
 758
Source

This story is a sequel to Old Habits

It's Steel Song's day off, and he's got plans. Plans of the relaxed sort. He's going to eat out somewhere besides the Guard cafeteria. Enjoy Canterlot's parks. Visit his family. And then, spend the evening with the most amazing mare he's ever known.

Of course, when he bumps into a strange brown stallion in a Canterlot square, it's hard to not be a little suspicious. Especially when said stallion talks as if he's known Steel for years, and they've never met before. Surely it can't hurt to follow the stallion and make sure nothing's wrong, right? Of course not. After all, it's a day off.


Fourth of the Side Stories to The Dusk Guard: Rise. Familiarity with Rise is not required per se, but recommended.

Side Stories so far:

Carry On

The Definition of Strength

Old Habits

Emoticon

The Saga has a TV Tropes page! Please help keep it up to date!

Special Thanks to Jorlem and Sinister Voice for their help pre-reading, editing and getting a summary together.

Art by FaisLittleWhiteRaven

First Published
15th May 2014
Last Modified
15th May 2014
#1 · 22w, 5d ago · 1 · ·

Not complaining, but I thought this was supposed to go up Friday?

#2 · 22w, 5d ago · 2 · ·

>>4394361

Originally it was going to, but halfway through things I checked my schedule and realized that today was a better day considering everything I was working on. Like a numbskull, however, I totally forgot to update the post about it for at least an hour.

#3 · 22w, 5d ago · · ·

>>4394370 Alright, cool. Now I have something to read in the stupidly long break between classes today.

#4 · 22w, 5d ago · 1 · ·

The world needs more Doctor Whooves.

Also, the URL tag near the end is broken.

#5 · 22w, 5d ago · · ·

>>4394461

Ooh, thanks for the spot. Looks like I broke it during the final edit. :pinkiesad2: Fixed now though!

Yeah, I really wanted a chance to write the Doctor. Glad you enjoyed it!

#6 · 22w, 5d ago · 1 · ·

MInor typo. at  “Are you kidding?!” [url=url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SFgL9ZrEsJ8]Cappy asked, a wide grin erupting across her face.[/url] She shook her head,  For a quick heads up.

#7 · 22w, 5d ago · · ·

>>4394475

Got it. How embarrassing. :twilightblush:

#8 · 22w, 5d ago · · ·

>>4394507 It happens, no worries, and there are many folks who are going to catch it quick, than everyone miss the four hundred and fifty pound gorilla in the room. (Those guys are sneakier than they look) :rainbowlaugh:

#9 · 22w, 5d ago · · ·

Haven't read it yet, but kind of obvious who the Doctor is. Now is this your take on him, or based off of another writer's version?

#10 · 22w, 5d ago · · ·

In case nobody else catches it, your youtube link toward the end is borked. >_>

Edit:  Also, good show!  I always love a good doctor fic even if it's just a short one.  And nice foreshadowing with the niece and nephew being scared from one of his stories.

#11 · 22w, 5d ago · · ·

>>4394521

My own take, and one very, very close to source material.

>>4394524

Yeah, got it... :twilightblush:

Glad you liked the story and the Doctor. It's always a challenge to tackle someone else's character (as you know firsthand), and I spent a lot of time working on what he said and how he acted.

#12 · 22w, 5d ago · 1 · ·

You have done it again my good sir. :moustache:

I applaud you.

Ah geez I loved this story. I thought the crystal fae was a beautiful idea, was that an original concept or is that from some old mythology of some sort? Either way it's great, so many things to do with the idea.

I might just "borrow" it for my next ponyfinder ga-... that's actually a brilliant idea. I think I will.

Anyways, loved this story, I thought the Doctor was spot on and I was laughing pretty hard over the bit when Steel thought he might be on the Butt end of a joke. :rainbowlaugh: He's in good company.

Oh, and huzzah for fluffy shipping!  

#13 · 22w, 5d ago · 1 · ·

I was wondering what the Doctor had to do with this story when you posted the cover art. I guess I know now!

Loved Steel's interacting with the Doctor. Unlike most fics where he shows up as a straight-up time lord pony, it feels like the story is firmly centered around some pony not him. Not that I mind a good Doctor-centric fic, but this was a nice change of pace.

The foreshadowing felt very much like it belonged, too.

#14 · 22w, 5d ago · 1 · ·

Any Thistle fans out there?

YEAH :flutterrage::yay::trollestia:

#15 · 22w, 4d ago · 1 · ·

Very nice. A story about the doctor and a confused stallion chasing after a very long lived little girl/filly/foal who is scared out of her mind and changing shapes only to be stopped by having a parental figure assure her that everything is alright and that she shouldn't be afraid and is protected. I could very easily see this as being a doctor who episode minus the pony forms of course.

#16 · 22w, 4d ago · 1 · ·

Hmm, interesting!  I may have to keep an eye on this:derpytongue2:  Keep up the good work:twistnerd:  (Lets face it, the twist emote is not used enough.)

#17 · 22w, 4d ago · 1 · ·

Just finished reading, now I'm just sitting here with my sonic screwdriver and my Tardis mug thinking 'yay Tennant!'.

Excellent as always, have a favorite :twilightsmile:

#18 · 22w, 4d ago · 1 · ·

I really should stop reading so late into the night, but these stories are so good. I do think Steel is my favourite character, there seems to be so much to him that has been built up and yet he still has so much that I want to know about. Especially h's background before his retirement, his work as a body guard intrigues me to no end.

While I was a little sceptical about the whole Doctor Who thing, I think you did it beautifully. I will say however that I'm glad he won't be playing a major role in the main narrative as I'm personally not too much of a 'Doctor Whooves' fan.

#19 · 22w, 4d ago · · ·

>>4394734

Glad you liked it! :pinkiehappy:

So, the crystal fae isn't based on anything it at all. I basically came up with the idea for what I needed (a creature that put out emotion as well as eating it) and worked backwards from there, drawing lore from the show itself and playing with my headcanon for how magic works in the universe.

And you can totally go ahead and use it in your game if you'd like. Just in case you hadn't guessed (and let's face it, you probably did), the crystal fae are super rare and hail from the Crystal Empire primarily. When it got locked away, so did they. So when the Crystal Empire comes back...

Yes, we'll get to see the crystal fae again, and they'll spread out a bit more this time. :pinkiehappy:

Oh, and glad I nailed the Doctor's character. That was a challenge!

Allons-y!

>>4394744

Yeah, I set out to make sure that even though the Doctor showed up, this was still Steel's story, and no one else's. Which Dr. Who does a lot actually, though it leaves the focus on the Doctor. This was all about Steel.

And yes, the foreshadowing. I'm kind of surprised no one's mentioned one of the big ones yet. It's very, very important, been mentioned in 2 3 of the side stories so far, and no ones caught on yet. :mustachepinkiewedonothave:

>>4394826

Oh good. Because she's showing up, and will continue to show up.

>>4395647

That was the goal! :pinkiehappy:

>>4395685

First exposure to the series? Welcome, and are you in for a RIDE!

>>4395807

Thank you. Tennant will always be the Doctor for me. He was just brilliant!

>>4395926

To be able to write a character into a story that someone isn't fond of ... and still have them enjoy it is a great mark of success. Thank you!

And never fear, we'll get little bits of Steel's backstory from time to time. Oh, and there's an AMA here you could also check out for some more details (Steel did it after being voted the favorite team member a while back).

#20 · 22w, 4d ago · 1 · ·

>>4396833

Excellent, cuz Hunter needs more hugs and less being married to his work :rainbowlaugh:

#21 · 22w, 4d ago · · ·

>>4396833

Whew:pinkiegasp:  I don't know how long it will take me to read them.  You could ask any of my friends... I have a full plate when it comes to reading.:twistnerd:

#22 · 22w, 4d ago · 1 · ·

The Doctor. In Dusk Guard. As more than just a passing refrence. And confirmed returning.

SO... MUCH... AWESOME... CROSSOVERNESS... *nerdsqueal*

Ok... ok... I have to give a proper comment now. *breathes*

You wrote the Doctor perfectly. Those hours of Tennant research paid off beautifully. My only complaints are 1. "allons-y"? and 2. The story was a bit short, but, as you said in the AN, this IS about the Dusk Guard, specifically Steel in this story, and running off with the Doctor into *ADVENTURE!* kinda would hijack the story completely.

Just make sure nobody gets lost in that big ball of wibbily wobbly timey wimey stuff when he does come back!

#23 · 22w, 4d ago · 2 · ·

>>4396957 Comrade Cromegas, it has been too long since we last tried to kill one another in 2nd fortress teams.

But I assure you, this series is well worth it. IMO the best written series on fimfic. (the characters especially, holy Maccrage the characters!)

#24 · 22w, 4d ago · · ·

Honestly, I wasn't that happy with the Doctor showing up.

It really felt like his presence detracted from the story, which seemed like it was supposed to be about Steel Song. Instead, it's "The Adventures of the Doctor and his new sidekick Steel Song!"

All the other stories worked on deeper character development and worldbuilding. This was just Steel Song running around after a character that already knew the entire story.

I love your work, but this was disappointing for me.

#25 · 22w, 4d ago · 1 · ·

A very fun to read story-thingy, I enjoyed it :-). I like how you have created this faengling and made Steel the one to do stuff in the episode instead of the Doctor - he has enough spotlight in other fanfiction as it is :-P.

#26 · 22w, 4d ago · 1 · ·

Finally got a chance to sit down and read the chapter. Can see it as an actual episode, sans ponies. Doctor and Steel got to share the limelight, without either taking too much from each other. Glad to see continuing therapy for Bolt in the mentions, as well as the situation with Cappy. This is probably a Tennant inspired Doctor, yes?  Wondering if Steel is going to try to get someone else to look into this Doctor character. Need more info to decide whether or not this Doctor is similar to any of the other ones.

#27 · 22w, 4d ago · 1 · ·

>>4397715

Well then I must read more.  I'm prioritizing this series!

As for the second game, you are mine:twistnerd:

#28 · 22w, 4d ago · 2 · ·

I'd have a mild off-feeling about the sudden Dr. Who crossover, but it drowned under the writing quality.

Have an upvote, fav, etc. :pinkiehappy:

#29 · 22w, 4d ago · 1 · ·

>>4396833 Yay for protective instincts and kind loving parents/uncles/aunts/big brothers and sisters/and anyone willing to help and comfort a child in need. I remember this quite from the anime Bleach when Ichigo is fighting some evil older sibling of one of his friends he says "Big brothers... you know why they're born first? To protect the little ones that come after them!! What kind of brother says that he'll KILL his own sister?! Even a MONSTER shouldn't say that!!" I know it doesn't exactly fit the situation considering there is no monster trying to kill the little filly but I think it sort of fits into the theme of the story about protecting children

:scootangel::twistnerd::scootangel:

#30 · 22w, 3d ago · · ·

>>4396953

:raritystarry: What will his future hold? :rainbowlaugh:

>>4399370  >>4397715

Thanks! :twilightblush: Enjoy!

>>4397558

I just couldn't find a place to work "Allons-y" in, unfortunately. Ah well. he'll be back sometime. Glad I nailed his character though!

>>4397795

Ah well. At least you gave it a read. I'm sure as the series moves on there will be other things that people won't be very fond of. In this case, it sounds like the inclusion of the Doctor really wasn't something you enjoyed. There's always the next story! Thanks for reading all the same!

>>4397877

Eeyup! That, I knew, needed to be key. It still had to be Steel's story.

>>4398853

Steel looking into research on the Doctor. Funny you should mention that... :raritywink: Glad you liked it!

>>4399565

Best possible reaction, I think! Thanks!

>>4399833

Steel's awesome that way. He might be stoic and locked up in his own rough exterior, but I think Cappy's already seen past that for the real deal.

#31 · 22w, 3d ago · · ·

I'm curious as to why you didn't add a "Crossover" tag to the story, since the inclusion of a certain two-hearted alien warrants it. I guess it's not a bad thing that I spent half of the story expecting a big twist that made it not-a-crossover, but it is a little... odd, I guess? Although, It's not like you're breaking any sort of must-follow rule.

Hmm. Maybe you'd bring in a little of the DW crossover crowd if you included the crossover tag. Maybe you'd invite rage from the folks who think DW crossovers are overdone. I dunno. Maybe i'm over-thinking it.

It was worse than anything he ever recalled experiencing, including that juvenile dragon he’d faced...

Just like the day he’d gotten his cutie mark, diving into that manticore to save his classmate...

Griffon Blademaster...

Highly-respected Guard...

Highly-respected Bodyguard...

Captain of the first new Guard since the forming of the Day and Night Guards...

Steel may have done some cool things in his life. Maybe. This is probably just the tip of the iceberg, too.

must have fallen through a temporal rift … which would mean that … oh yes. That is right about now, isn’t it?

AHA! So the Crystal Empire was not locked up in some sort of void for a thousand years, but was sent a thousand years into the future by Sombra's curse? Of course the Doctor would be involved with such time-displaced shenanigans!

Any Thistle fans out there? Anyone?

I have serious potential to become one, I know... :ajsmug:

Confusion over tags aside, I had a great time reading it. Cool new creature, neat interactions, and hey, I can't say i'm not a Who fan. It didn't go as deep as the other stories, and was kinda of a shock with the change in tone from those. But we've seen Steel develop for roundabout 200,000 words now, it's okay that he gets to star in a fun adventure!

Now to eagerly await Hunter's side story... It's gonna be a real wizzpopper one way or the other. :rainbowkiss:

Why no, I don't know the first thing about Aussie slang. Why do you ask?

#32 · 22w, 3d ago · · ·

>>4400459 Your writing has always been fantastic and you put a ton of effort into your work, there's no argument there. I just couldn't enjoy this particular plot like I did the others.

But I still look forward to all the other things you still have to offer!

#33 · 22w, 1d ago · · ·

It just struck me that Steel actually got a real whopper of a bit of character development. I missed it at first due to focusing on the Doctor's appearance. I'm super excited--chomping at the bit, natch--to see where this goes. :pinkiehappy:

#34 · 21w, 5d ago · · ·

Can't honestly say I'll be diving into your Steel Song universe, but I did enjoy this as a straight-up Who adventure. Plenty of excitement and substance, and it was unique to see  one of the Doctor's associates being a toughened soldier with combat experience.

#35 · 21w, 5d ago · · ·

>>4402175

Alright, you made good points. I added a crossover tag.

AHA! So the Crystal Empire was not locked up in some sort of void for a thousand years, but was sent a thousand years into the future by Sombra's curse?

Well from their perspective it's "POW, FUTURE" but Sombra didn't send them forward in time. They were temporally locked. You had it right with the first one.

And yes, Steel's development in this is more impactful than most would think at first glance.

>>4430343

You're not the first to say that, but I assure you, there's a reason the Dusk Guard has the fandom, ratings, and weight it does. Another reader commented back at someone else who said similar ...

But I assure you, this series is well worth it. IMO the best written series on fimfic. (the characters especially, holy Maccrage the characters!)

I'm glad you liked "Emoticon," but it's the tip of the iceberg. Definitely give some of the others a try.

#36 · 21w, 4d ago · · ·

a bit of the Doctor is always a good stress relief xD

quite a nice story. that crystal fey remembered me the mlp comic

Is alwas good to see Cappy xD.

hmm Thritle? not a fan yet but would be nice see her character developed a bit.

oh a thing I noticed at the beginning: why did Damn injection him somenthing before take a sample of blood?  that would conraminate the blood

#37 · 21w, 2d ago · · ·

:twilightsmile:

#38 · 19w, 4d ago · · ·

>>4400459

I am agreeing with Winter Storm, the Doctor is drawing all the attention. Not too mention his chaotic way of doing and telling stuff may be great for the show itself with the Doctor's PoV with visuals to back it up, but in this fic I find it plain aggravating.

#39 · 14w, 5d ago · · ·

Good story! :twilightsmile:

If you decide to touch it up in the future (since you wrote it so long ago) I would suggest making the info about him scaring the kids at the beginning a bit more prominent (possibly a short flashback) to connect the circle better, otherwise it's great!

P.S. I think you used The Doctor quite well, especially dividing it so he figures it while Steel actual makes the final call and saves the day.

#40 · 11w, 2d ago · 1 · ·

Normally I dislike stories that bring in the Doctor. He tends to get over played and made god-like. This story, I liked. To me, this felt almost like a Doctor lite episode.  Yes the doctor was there but he gracefully stepped out of the spot light to let Steel engage the antagonist and resolve the issue.  Of all the stories that I have read on fimfiction that have had the Doctor appear in them, this is by far my favorite.

Thank you Viking ZX for giving the Dusk Guard series

#41 · 8w, 6d ago · · ·

hmm. very nice chapter. i like the way u wrote the doctor, yet gave steel a lot of development. i really want a steel song pic like nova got at the end of "Old Habits". he was the only pony to get one. :fluttercry: and the fae is a very good idea. im glad we'll be seeing more fae (and doctor) in the future. :twilightsmile:

overall, :yay: :rainbowkiss: :rainbowkiss: :rainbowkiss: :moustache: 8.1/10

#42 · 8w, 2d ago · · ·

I'll admit, I was a bit confused by this one at first. And then Doctor Who showed up and I wondered, "Okay, Viking, where are you going with this?"

But then the situation clarified itself, and I saw exactly how Steel was going to solve things and how it tied into the beginning. It worked pretty well. Not a favorite, but still worth an upvote.

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