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  • 134w, 6d
    Oh hey there is this thing that happened

    For Those We Left Behind was featured on the Pony Fiction Vault, which includes an interview with me where I pretend to be knowledgeable about stuff. If you're curious as to a little of the story's background, hit up the link.

    Direct all unrelated hate mail to Cold in Gardez.

    -Drak

    2 comments · 1,148 views
  • 138w, 4d
    Happy Pun Day!

    Really, I just wanted to get that obnoxiously long blog post off of my homepage, and this seemed like a good day for it.

    So yeah, Happy Pun Day. Just remember: everyone loves puns. If they groan, it's only because they didn't think of it first.

    3 comments · 1,140 views
  • 140w, 1d
    Lacuna - Post-mortem

    As I write this, the final chapter of Lacuna sits ready to be published, the email to EQD waits only to be sent, and then that will be it.  I hope you'll forgive me for wanting to collect my thoughts a bit after I've written so many words already.  Just a forewarning, but if spoilers bother you, you might want to hold off on reading this.  Ready then?  Let's go.

    What a long, strange trip it's been, eh?  

    From the very beginning, I managed to surprise myself with how Lacuna kept going.  In my original concept, when I fired up Open Office and tried my hand at this "writing" thing, Lacuna was slated for a Prologue, an Epilogue, and three chapters in between, none of which would over 3.5k words.  3k ideally.

    Silly, silly me.

    Sand was originally a minor character, one whose purpose would be fulfilled by the end of the Prologue, never to be seen again.  

    That worked out well.

    I've never written fiction before, not really.  There have been stilted attempts at storytelling, fragments that never went anywhere, but they were essentially crib notes for an idea or an emotion at the time of their conception, nothing more.  

    I wanted to see if I could do it.  Actually complete a story, start to finish, no hiatus.  Bonus points if it managed to remain lucid and coherent.  The jury's still out on that point.

    Every chapter became an experiment to see what worked for me, and what didn't.  I came up with a lot of negative things, such as my pacing, my open-ended narrative, my thousands upon thousands of loose story fragments that needed eventual resolution, my endless conversations over food and/or tea...

    Well, we do learn from our mistakes.  Or so I hope.

    I do love my dialogue, though.  Why tell the reader something when I can have my characters do so instead while expressing their own personalities in the process?  I ran the risk of overdoing it, of blurring their individual selves with my narrator self, and I felt that more often than not, I lost control of their quirks and charms.  They became a convenient vehicle for exposition.  

    The biggest mistake by far was introducing a faceless Big Bad.  This distant menace--nameless, faceless, shapeless--never loomed large enough in my mind or the story to properly justify its presence in either location.  I did have plans for one, don't get me wrong.  I had plans up until they wouldn't make a lick of sense, which was approximately midway through chapter 14.  It's just the way these things go.  Hey, don't blame me, I'm just the storyteller.

    Ember and the flower sisters, possibly my two favorite characters to write.

    Ember for his over-dramatic genre-savviness, for his two-faced villainy, and, well, to be honest?  His ability to wrap up about a thousand of those threads I mentioned earlier.  Not all of them, not by far, but a lot.  His dialogue in his home was some of the most fun I've had writing during the entire story.  

    The flower sisters, really three faces of one soul.  Their origin story left a bit to be desired, and the inclusion of their coloration was ham-fisted at best, but I enjoy the way they speak, the way they act, the way they react.  

    And Sand.  Poor Sand.  The highest risk of Suedom and self-insertion, she suffered as much as I could make her to draw her away from those lines.  Maybe it was enough.  Maybe not.  I don't know what happened to her after the end of the story, but I hope she made it through okay and learned to forgive herself, in time.

    I thought about quitting this project a dozen times over.  I'd like to say that sheer tenacity and strength of will saw me through, but I don't want to lie to you.  My wife Heather had to suffer the worst of my doubts, but she was always there to listen to my crazy ideas, to my horrible plans, and never, ever told me that I should quit, or that maybe I should just take a break.  She's no taskmaster, but I'd have never made it as far as I did without her.

    And Gardez.  The first friend I've made through this fandom.  Without his thoughts, his humor, his reviews, and dear god his obsession with hot, hot unicorn x unicorn shipfests, I'd have burned out on the story long ago, and what would have emerged now would have been soulless, joyless dreck.  

    And last, but certainly not least, is Chris.  A reviewer I contacted out of the blue after liking his blog.  He had the tenacity to review my entire story, start to finish, despite its monstrous flaws when it was first published, helping me refine and learn as I go.  I cannot imagine what enormous plotholes, what rampant emotional whiplash, what haphazard pacing would still remain if not for his diligent work, and for that, I salute him.

    I thank them as I thank you all, dear readers.  

    Until next time,

    -Drak

    2 comments · 1,140 views
  • 148w, 1d
    Recommended Reading

    Derp.  Guess I still can't delete blog posts, or at the very least, I can't figure out how to.  So I'm just gonna revise this one to alter my list of things I've read that I enjoyed and feel are worth sharing.  Definitely not up to MLA standards, but hey.

    The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan (being finished by Brandon Sanderson)

    For better or worse, this one's a huge influence on my writing.  I'd be lying if I said I loved it, but I like it enough to recommend it to anyone interested in reading through a truly epic adventure.  Clocking in at 14 novels (the last still TBP, though it should be out Q1 of 2012), this one is worth your time at least once through.

    Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin

    An excellent fantasy series that downplays the importance of magic while still weaving it in as an integral part of the world.  The risk of picking up the first book is getting to the end of the fifth and realizing that the author is going to finish book six (of seven planned) sometime after the heat death of the universe.  An excellent read, however.  HBO did a miniseries of the first book, and while it didn't cover everything I would have liked (what could?), it did a very, very good job of doing the work justice.  I suppose having the author on staff to advise really helped matters.

    The Kingkiller Chronicle by Patrick Rothfuss

    I picked this one up at the recommendation of the guys who run Penny Arcade, and I've loved it.  Naturally, because it's good, it's also incomplete.  The current series is 2 for 3 with no due date on the third, but the first two are quite entertaining, even more so if you're a bit of a science geek to appreciate the way the magic system works in his universe.

    Dragonlance: Chronicles by Margaret Weiss & Tracy Hickman

    I'll admit, this one's probably in more vaunted company than it deserves, but my base writing style and vocabulary are based on the books written by these two authors.  Chronicles is composed of only 3 books out of several that they wrote, but it forms the backbone of the rest of the D&D setting, I feel.  Then again, I've only sampled the parts that they've written, so perhaps I have the wrong idea.  Still, I loved these books as a kid and I love them now.  They're some of the very few that travel with me when I move from place to place and audit my stuff.

    Dune by Frank Herbert

    Just the first one.  I mean, I liked the other books (written by this author, though to be fair, I haven't read his son's stuff, just heard the terrible word of mouth), but this one is just fantastic.  It builds an entire world and dynasty within the span of a few hundred pages.  Among all of these, this one is probably the one I'd recommend the most.  It's stood the test of time for a good reason.

    The Sandman series by Neil Gaiman

    Though it's in a graphic novel format, the stories contained within are captivating.  Each is drawn by a different artist, lending an odd, patchwork feel to the overall storyline that.  While at times I don't fully like this effect, it still makes for an enjoyable read.  The series has a somewhat unique take on several mythological figures, and I often find myself sitting down to reread them when I need something more visually stimulating.

    1 comments · 1,163 views
  • ...
 135
 7,261

Unseen horrors lurk just beyond the horizon, but the future is not immutable.  

A strange new pony arrives in Canterlot bearing knowledge that could help avoid the dark times ahead.  What begins as a straightforward mission soon develops into an adventure that will carry all involved to the borders of Equestria and beyond.  

5-star Featured on Equestria Daily... for some reason. I've been meaning to add this disclaimer for a while, and so here it is: this was a first fic of a first-time author, and it really shows. Know that whatever well-founded critique you have to level at it, I will almost certainly agree with. It has problems, of that there is no doubt, and significant enough ones that I'll always be bothered that the story is up. Taking it down feels like bad form, however, and bringing the writing in line with my current standards would require a full rewrite, which would be dishonest to the readers who have been through it already. I leave it up as a badge for having completed something, but just be aware that if you start in on it, you will almost certainly finish bewildered and dissatisfied.

First Published
22nd Nov 2011
Last Modified
23rd Feb 2012
#1 · 153w, 4d ago · · · 03 - Geas ·

...Oh.

...OH.

I totally understand what's happening now and what is being referenced. You are one clever pony. Do continue, you have my full attention.

#2 · 153w, 2d ago · · · 03 - Geas ·

I always start new fics on fimfiction with a degree of trepidation, without pre-readers screening the content the quality of the content within is....highly variable, to put it delicately. Further raising my wariness was the synopsis suggesting it starred an OC. I almost closed the tab, but am certainly glad I didn't as this was quite enjoyable.

#3 · 153w, 2d ago · · · 03 - Geas ·

:heart: Wow.  Spectacular. You are incredibly talented.

#4 · 153w, 2d ago · · · 03 - Geas ·

Now I may be being naive, but what exactly was Rarity and Fluttershy's weekly get together?

I don't quite catch what you were implying

#6 · 153w, 2d ago · · · 03 - Geas ·

>>38173

Ahhh..

Your wording of that section was rather.. ambiguous.

Anyone with a less.. mature mind might have taken it the wrong way :P

#7 · 153w, 1d ago · · · 03 - Geas ·

Hot damn, this is one of the more interesting fics I've read in a while. Can't wait to see more! :rainbowkiss:

Yay, an adventure! :pinkiehappy:

Y'know, this site needs a luna-smiley now!

Hey what's up with the no Luna emoticon

Oh... new Lacuna. So far it's been pretty interesting, though a tad slow. Still, off to read the next chapter!

>> 14Spades

That's been a concern of mine, for sure.  This is the first time I've really written much outside of essays or papers and such, so pacing is something I really need to work on.

I think it might make for an interesting project next chapter, see what I can do.  I'm a bit tired of writing them walking back and forth, talking philosophy anyway.  

I'll get back to that for the forty chapters after the next : P

Personally I love the pacing, it'd be a bit irksome if you only updated every few weeks but thus far that isn't an issue. The slow pace has added to the depth of character(especially Sand) and setting.

>>46491

One of the difficulties with any type of web fiction is that readers expect instant gratification. They want action from the start, and if they don't get it, finding another story is as easy as hitting the 'back' button on their browser.

Actually novelists have it easier. By the time you sit down to read a book, you've probably invested $10-20 in it, which gives you a big incentive to sit through the first few slow chapters. After all, you paid for the book, you need to read it.

I've had the same problem with my longer stories, and it's one of the reasons I tend to stick to writing one-shots. They're more easily digestible. Sad, from a certain perspective, but that's the world we live in.

Please take it from me that your story is eminently enjoyable, regardless of its pace. I look forward to reading future chapters.

>>47585

: )  I'm glad folks seem to be enjoying the story.  I know I've enjoyed writing it, though at times I look back and think "Have I really written tens of thousands of words about ponies?"  Thankfully, it's fun enough to keep going in spite of those thoughts.  

I do worry that I'm pulling what I think of as a Wheel of Time here...don't get me wrong, I love the books and I'm dying to see the completion of the series, but I swear that sometimes Jordan would spend an entire book describing the most mundane crap, and it'd drive me up the wall.  Buuuuuuut that's probably not accurate and I'm just running off on a tangent here.

And so Fo:E was born

great story consept

tracking,,,

complete and total mind fuck.

sir, i have no words. and i am eager to begin reading the next chapter.

i must say this and get it of of my chest.

the way that you write the narrator of this fic is very annoying for me, not because it is poorly written (i actually think it is written very well) but because it is in third person reserved view, meaning that the narrator only has a very limited amount of information that is not given out on a regular basis. as opposed to most stories like this where the narrator is almost like a character that knows everything, or at least explains things in the story as they progress, but you manage to keep the reader in the dark for as long as possible, and even I at this point am still scratching my head, wondering about different aspects of this story...

>>49034

You and me both : P  A lot of the important points have been hit with the narrative (and too many too soon, I feel, as the volumes of revelations in the early chapters feel like me just dumping my headcanon all over the pages), but I've had to discard a lot of things that I had originally scraped together to build the story, as trying to work them in at this point would just be square peg -> round hole.  

Regardless, as long as I'm not boring folks to tears, I think I'm coming out ahead.

#19 · 151w, 5d ago · · · 03 - Geas ·

..... more

:( well i guess i have to wait

JK! NEXT CHAPTER HERE I COME

*SHOCKEDFACE* *GASP* Last chapter??????? NNNNNNNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

this is very, very good.

although not sure how i feel about you getting rid of sand, kinda the reason i was reading atthis point

dont worry i will still continue to read, but i just wonder what she would do whenever she is not there

Each chapter I read makes me want to read another, and another.

About the pace so far, it is just right to keep the narrative going smoothly and keep me both equally clueless and enthralled so far.

If this were a physical book, I'd be glued to it.

It's a real page-turn-- uhm.. page-scroller?

Equivalent exchange... Is that a Fullmetal Alchemist reference?

>>55160

The idea of equivalent exchange is one that's part of many interpretations of "alchemy", not just Full Metal Alchemist.

It also is relevant in thermodynamics, I guess, but that's more to do with not being able to create energy from nothing rather than transmuting lead into gold, hehe

Trying something new with this chapter.  We'll see how it looks after a few days outside my head.  

On a side note, the Import from gdocs feature is super, super nice, though it still struggles with some of the same formatting problems I've had to strip out in the past.  Not sure how obsessive I'll be about setting tabs instead of octuple spaces, but if it looks too distracting on rereads, I'll take care of it.

Ooooh. Bit of a... plot :twistnerd: ?

>>62392 From this we can gather: Celestia and Luna both have VERY nice plots.

Now i got to tell you, this was an amazing chapter..

kinda felt like "super-mega oc funtime" to me. but they were well written so i over look it.

In keeping with the traditional reverse psycology,

I clop to this.

I'm digging this so far. But is it just me or does it feel like those scales are shifting with each chapter? I mean I keep looking back because it just LOOKS like it but I can never prove that to be the case.

All in my head I guess.

This is my longest chapter yet, and I do believe the entirety of it was written with this song on constant loop in the background.  

Obviously, I would highly recommend watching it.  

damnit i have school.....

OMG i have study hall first block

homework = no

fanfic = yes

This, is exactly what I wanted.

Sir,

You never fail to produce quality reading material.

Definitely like the new chapters. Two minor criticisms:

1. Twilight's jumping from Luna-Celestia-Luna feels a bit awkward. Necessary, perhaps, due to Celestia's apparent ill considered past dealing but it doesn't seem to flow nicely with the rest of the story

2. Very minor but the Sand/Dawn reunion with Twilight and Luna came quicker than I expected.

>>71759

Mm.  Both valid points and I can definitely see their merit.  I think I was worrying too much about...I don't know what they call it in literature, but in software/game design, it's called "feature creep."  You see it in a lot of longer fics where the chapters just get longer and longer, to the point that the final chapters are each as long as the first half of the story.  

But yeah, I was probably stressing too much about keeping it within my "ideal" range of 7k-8k words per chapter, which meant cutting out large sections of transition, making the scenes segue poorly.  I'll have to think on what I can do to remedy that in the future, though I think I'll just have to leave the current chapters as-is, barring the need to fix technical issues or else I'm just going to get mired in fixing everything that's happened so far, heh. Thanks for bringing it up though, it's something I'll be paying more attention to as I write.

More Pls! This is such a good story, and I can't wait to see what else is going to happen! I am alittle sad about Sand totally cheating on Twilight, even tho they aren't really 'together' It still sad >.>:pinkiesad2: I wonder what will happen when Twilight finds out, if she does :rainbowlaugh:

(Ultima Ratio Caeli. Although caelorum "of the skies" would work, too -- poetic pluralization of caelum is attested in at least Medieval Latin, and it would better parallel the original phrase.)

>>74243

Hah, thanks : )  I was trying to shape that phrase from whatever Google Translate would give me, but with how few other online translators there seem to be (for Latin at least), I wondered at its accuracy.  

Oh Twilight, I can empathize. When I was in my teen years I went on a Tiger Cruise with my Uncle coming back from a deployment in the Middle East. Most the first day was terrible. My magic cure was- Ice cream. Really settled my stomach and I was fine for the rest of the trip!

Ok, it's official, I can no longer handle the level of awesome in this story.

Lovely as always. I cannot wait to see how this goes on :twilightsheepish:

Another wonderful chapter. You have a gift for description and the tiny threads that weave the plot together.

Hey, another swell chapte-

OH FOR FUC- COME ON! That cliffie is not going to set well with me. Not at all.

>>127241 wow, that was a terrible place to end. INREQUIRE MOAR!!!!

Good news, Fallout averted!

Bad news, now we have evil ponies from another dimension. Kinda.

It's the way of all worlds. One door closes for another to open.

Cool new cover art. :twilightsmile:

I wonder if and when Twilight and/or Luna will have a chance to meet Selene for a chat?

I know you've already heard it, but I love the artwork. I had no idea the final version would be so involved, based on the sketch of Sand that I had seen.

>>154803

>>160416

Thanks : )  Huussii was an awesome artist to work with for this, and he really wanted to put a lot of detail into it.  Unfortunately, FIMFiction doesn't expand the image for the story, but if you'd like to see the full thing (the downloadable version is a whopping 1920x1080), you can go here: http://huussii.deviantart.com/art/MLP-Lacuna-281150587

i love this story and the oc is actually a very well rounded character. i do have to ask you a favor though, after realizing what this story is, i beg you, don't let this end in balefire.:fluttershysad:

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