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  • E Sparkle's Law

    Twilight slowly loses her mind as preparations for the Summer Sun Celebration go horribly wrong.
    17,765 words · 27,643 views  ·  1,122  ·  16
  • T The Immortal Game

    Princess Luna leads the Elements of Harmony against the corrupted Twilight Sparkle
    297,261 words · 44,549 views  ·  2,597  ·  54

Blog Posts25

  • 1w, 4d
    The Alpha-Readers of the Forest (Still Not Fanfiction)

    Once again I should preface by saying that I'm still retired. This blog is not about fanfiction, and I don't intend to write any more fanfiction any time soon. If that's why you're here, sorry to dash your hopes.

    Okay guys:

    A month ago I posted a blog soliciting alpha readers for my original fiction middle-grade fantasy novel, saying that I was gauging interest in the project. Well, it turned out interest was a bit higher than I expected and I wound up with something over 30 offers.

    Now, if this were a short story and I was looking for line-by-line feedback, that would be about 25 people too many. But since this is an alpha read, and should be quite easy and fast for everyone involved, I'm going to open it up and try giving it a shot with anyone who feels like joining in. The only potential difficulty I foresee if we get too many people is that it might be a while before I can get in some face-time with everybody.

    So if you're interested, click here to go to a Google Document containing more information about the story, about exactly what I'm asking you to do, and with links to the story itself in many various formats. If your internet does not function with Google Docs, I've got a word doc you can download here.

    3 comments · 184 views
  • 6w, 4d
    The Children of the Forest (Not Fanfiction)

    Firstly, I'm still retired. I feel obliged to let anyone reading this know up front that this blog is not about fanfiction, and that I don't intend to write any more fanfiction. If that's all your interested in, feel free to stop reading here and ignore me—certainly I bear you no ill will for it.

    Second, I've gone through some of the more recent messages in my inbox and answered them as best I could. I have seriously neglected answering my messages this past year, and I hope I haven't offended anyone. If anyone is still waiting on an answer to something, please remind me.

    Now, on to my real motive here. Hopefully some of you will be glad to hear that I've been working away at my own original fiction projects more or less since I stopped writing fanfiction. I'm happy to say that a couple of hours ago I finished the second draft of a novel.

    The second draft was almost a complete rewrite. Perhaps five percent of this draft is actual text from draft one. Now, however, the book has really taken shape, and the third draft will only be some scene rewrites, some fixing of plotholes, etc. After that draft four will be line editing and dialogue rewrites, and then I'll need to put it into the hands of other people.

    That is of course why I'm blogging: to solicit alpha readers for my original fiction. I've been gone a long time, and I have no idea how many people will read this, let alone be interested in doing me a favor for no payback, but I think it's worth a shot. The story in question is approximately seventy thousand words long (the length of the first Harry Potter novel.) It's a fantasy story about a magical princess written for young girls, which probably isn't as much of a turnoff for Bronies as it would be for others. What I'd ask of you is nothing as heavy as going through it line-by-line with comments, but just to read the story and afterwards have a chat with me. You'd tell me what you think, and I'd grill you with questions about what parts you liked most, least, etc.

    Right now I'm just gauging interest. So if you're interested, please, just let me know with a comment (or a PM, if you prefer) and a month or so from now when I'm ready I'll come back with details and hopefully we'll get things rolling.

    50 comments · 356 views
  • 91w, 1d
    The End

    Three times I have considered abandoning The Immortal Game.

    That sounds harsh; it is. At no point in the past sixteen months have I suffered any illusions about who’s in control here. I write this story because I want to, and if I didn’t want to, I could stop. It would be a terrible thing to do to you, the reader, but there it is. That door has always been open to me. Three times I considered going through it.

    Because the truth is that writing long is a pain in the ass. It’s easy to get high off a good idea and write an entire one shot before you crash, but it’s harder to keep up a sustained addiction. Okay, my analogy fell to pieces back there, but you get the idea. When you write long, there are bumps along the way.

    The first time I wanted to bail was shortly after the story was published on Equestria Daily. It barely scraped out a rating of four stars—and now you go “four out of five isn’t bad at all, I don’t see why that would upset him.” The truth is that TIG’s initial rating placed it in the bottom five percent of all fics on Equestria Daily, ever.

    It wasn’t that my expectations weren’t met: in truth I didn’t have expectations. It was just that I had come face to face with TIG’s destiny. I would write out the next eighty thousand words of the story in what even I would admit was pretty mediocre writing, receive a little bit of attention and praise for it, and then move on to maybe write something else. Quitting seemed appealing—what did I have to prove by sticking around?

    “Always finish what you set your hand to,” says Durnik. I’ve known him since I was seven years old.

    I’ve had trouble writing the epilogue. Perhaps that’s an understatement. Never before have I felt so much like I have no idea what I’m doing, like I’m just making shit up as I go along, like I’m a total ameteur playing at epic fantasy the way a child plays at being a knight by wearing a kitchen pot for a helmet. Two months ago I was tearing my fucking hair out trying to figure out how to finish my story, with no ideas in sight.

    The second time I considered leaving the story was for altogether different reasons, and it was around the release of chapter fourteen. I was writing The Power to Destroy and God, and an interesting thought occurred to me: why not just have them, well... win? What if Titan never bats away the Elements of Harmony and instead becomes a statue on Celestia’s lawn? What if Terra gets her head chopped off before she ever gets a chance to be anything but evil?

    I knew that those two chapters I was writing, with the catharsis from Twilight Sparkle’s unification, were going to be the best in the story. I wasn’t going to top the Battle of Canterlot in the third act no matter how high I turned the volume or how much money I blew on special effects. It was all downhill from here, so why not just call it? Sure, the story would be worse overall, but it would end on a high note and I would save months and months of my own time.

    “Always do the very best job you can,” says Durnik. For those of you confused, I’m referencing a character from The Belgariad, a series of novels I read as a boy. And as strange as it sounds, the dialogue surrounding these two lines has always stuck with me.

    I’ll explain why the epilogue has been so hard.

    I can’t make you happy. I don’t know what you want. See, I’ve gone around to almost a dozen people—prereaders, friends who read the story—and I’ve asked them what they think should go in the epilogue. I’ve gotten messages from readers, too, telling me that character X needs to make an appearance and plotline Y needs resolving. I’ve finished three drafts of the epilogue—the cumulative word total between the lot of them is about thirty thousand—and in each case I’ve had a different set of people tell me they’re disappointed at the lack of element Z.

    I could conceivably answer every question that you might have about the events of the story, except then somebody would ask a new question I’d failed to answer. I could write a separate scene from the POV of every major character to give them closure, but that alone is twelve characters and around forty thousand words. I could tie everything up nice and neatly, and the result would be a terrible mess.

    And so the third time I considered leaving my fair lady was about ten weeks ago, when I realized that I can’t make you happy. In a very simple sense, and in my mind, TIG has one plot, and that plot happens in a world with a lot going on. Not every question needs to be answered to resolve that one plot. Not every character needs to have their destiny laid bare. And so I thought: the plot is done, the conflict is over, why bother going on with an epilogue that will fail to meet expectations?

    Ultimately I decided I was being a lazy dick and hitched up my trousers, but that still didn’t help my predicament. I can’t make you happy.

    I’m a little embarrassed that the solution I ended up using took me so long to come to. See, I can make myself happy. I can write what I feel is a balanced ending and leave it at that. And while that might seem simple—it is, after all, how I wrote the rest of the story—believe me when I say I terrorized myself for months over this.

    The purpose of this blog is not to extoll my excellent work ethic—though I’m aware it does that to some extent, which is a little annoying. Instead I want to offer up a bit of explanation as to why it took so long to write, and I wanted to say this:

    I’m glad I didn’t give up writing this story when it was only ten thousand words long: I’m glad I wrote it through to the end. I’ve made friends I hope to keep for decades to come. I’m grateful to twenty thousand people who let me share a story with them. I’ve learned that building a skill takes thousands of hours of practice, and that writing is a hobby I can hold onto for the rest of my life.

    I have a lot to learn.

    74 comments · 2,103 views
  • 99w, 5d
    Arrogance

    So this is what I’ve been doing this past month.

    For those of you who don’t know what I’m linking: that’s a graph of my progress over this year’s NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month. The objective is to write fifty thousand words in a month, or by midnight on the thirtieth of November. You may notice that I failed to reach the 50K word mark on time. I also noticed this.

    I hate failure. Do you like failure? Probably not. I know I’m not special in this regard, even if I’m special in almost every other way (looks, talent, youth, etc). In addition to that, I absolutely loathe being handed a participation ribbon. I was a participant. I showed up, and then contributed nothing of note.

    So what led me to fail? Why did my course falter? Well, I think it might have been arrogance. I’m generally a humble guy, but I may have crossed the line a little at some points.

    On November first, I’m visiting my parents. My friends encourage me to write what I can on their computer and get a healthy start.

    “NaNoWriMo?” I say. “I’m AestheticB. I could write 1700 word biographies for my NPCs in Dungeons and Dragons. And then they would get six star ratings on Equestria Daily. I don’t need to write. This contest is my bitch.”

    On the fifth, you’ll see that I did write... 500 words. The plan was to ease myself into the story and let it take off later. Upon hearing this, a friend told me I was fucking crazy.

    “Look,” I say with a derisive snort. “I’m AestheticB over here. Writing words is pretty much my super power. I know exactly what I’m doing, and it’s kicking WriMo ass—just as soon as I’m finished refreshing my FimFiction for comments that heap praise upon me.”

    Day 13, I write nothing at all, dedicating my time instead to schoolwork, because even I prioritize sometimes. I’m told that I am ten thousand words behind.

    “Ten thousand words?” I ask aloud despite the fact that I am alone. “That could be a challenge for regular people who don’t own $200 keyboards. I feel sorry for the peasants people who aren’t you know, me, because that also means they aren’t AestheticB, bitches.”

    The schoolwork strikes back on days 21 and 22, but I remain resolute. “Oh, shit,” I say. “I’m over ten thousand words behind, now! If only I were—oh wait, I am AestheticB. I’m going to hit this shit like a thunderstorm gone to war.”

    Day 27 I’m playing XCOM and Ambion gets shot dead by a critical hit. “What the fuck is this?” I say. “Do you have any fucking clue who I am, Muton? I wrote The Immortal Game, you mutant alien shitweasel. You can try to pull that shit when you’re an inspiration to hundreds. Hundreds.”

    This morning I look in the fridge to find out the orange juice I bought that I thought was no pulp does, in fact, have pulp. “Lots of pulp?” I say. “What the fuck is lots of pulp? They should call it 'lots of fucking shit.' I’m Aesthetic-Fucking-B. I don’t take shit from OJ.”

    Then I look online to realize I’m going to fail NaNoWriMo.

    The worst part of it is that if it weren’t in November it wouldn’t be nearly as hard. November is the month of scrambling to get every assignment done for me, and that’s magnified by the fact that I have no reading week in the fall semester. I wrote close to ninety thousand words this June. Forty thousand when I’m trying for it is just pathetic. Really, none of this was my fault. I don’t feel like it was arrogance at all.

    But what am I going to do to console myself? Go read the comments on Sparkle’s Law? I mean, sure, that might make me happy for awhile. Twenty thousand reads is nothing to scoff at, and neither is the vault interview, six star rating, two week feature, etc etc. But as nice as it is to have over a hundred people tell me how talented I am, throwing around words like “The King of Comedy” and “The Best Story I Have Ever Read,” it still won’t change the fact that I failed NaNoWriMo.

    So what am I to do? Sure, I could go check out TIG and bask in the praise of my loving readers, the fanart, recursive fanfiction, music, rave reviews, and a six star rating that defies the traditional constraints of the grimdark tag. As nice as it is to have you peasants tell me I’m the greatest thing ever to happen to English literature, it still doesn’t change the fact that my dedication to quality over quantity led me to fail NaNoWriMo.

    Because the fact is, it’s hard to be AestheticB. I worry that I’m not spending my near-divine level of talent enough, that I’m not inspiring enough people or changing enough lives. Other people only have to worry about surviving though their mundane existence, but I’ve always known I’m more important, destined for something greater. And it really sucks when I fail to meet an arbitrary word quota for reasons that weren’t my fault at all.

    I guess the real lesson to be learned here is that none of you could possibly understand the challenges that I face in life, and certainly none of you could face them yourselves. Really, I pity you for not being able to properly pity me.

    I think we’ve all known somebody like that. Someone who structures every interaction around making themselves feel and seem bigger, carefully looking for every opening they can use to boast in the most humble way they possibly can. It’s the kind of trait that goes hand in hand with being a compulsive liar.

    I don’t actually have a point here, I’ve just been watching a lot of Extras and thought that if there was a twisted version of me, it would be arrogant and pathetic. Publicly, I mean.

    But I did spend this month balls-deep in schoolwork and NaNo, which wasn’t much of a secret considering I mentioned it as often as possible. No, what I was working on wasn't a pony story, and no, you probably won’t get to see any of it for a long time.

    I want to develop my ability to create my own world, characters, and magic systems, and I want to practice long-form editing, so this was a pretty natural course for me to take. I want to get better at writing, and this will build my skills more than anything else I could do.

    But now that November is over that project can be suspended while I focus my efforts on The Immortal Game. I know many of you have been waiting patiently, and I’m very grateful for that. The ending has been a hard thing for me to write, and I don’t want to let you or myself down.

    After that, I think I might like to try another ensemble comedy. We’ll see how that pans out, though—that kind of story is also very hard for me to write. But hey, I love the challenge.

    45 comments · 714 views
  • 100w, 13h
    Team Aesthetic Saves the World

    36 comments · 310 views
  • ...
 163
 11,134

One beautiful morning, Twilight Sparkle decides she wants a free salad. After a small amount of theft, assault, battery, and arson, she sits down to enjoy what is sure to be the best tasting salad ever.

...Or she would have, if it weren’t for the Equestrian Intelligence Service locking her up as a potential threat to national security. Now, Twilight must escape a maximum security holding facility hidden deep underneath Canterlot. And to do it, she’ll need a paperclip, a spymare catsuit, an escape plan, and an alliance with the dastardly Drakbog, King of Frogs.

First Published
29th Jul 2012
Last Modified
29th Jul 2012
#1 · 117w, 4d ago · 1 · 2 ·

Should have added a random tag.

none the reasoning for why'd she do this follows.

#2 · 117w, 4d ago · · ·

I hate salad. But I still liked your story.

#3 · 117w, 4d ago · · ·

I like the concept, good job :scootangel:

#4 · 117w, 4d ago · · ·

I laughed so much just from reading the description. :pinkiehappy:

#5 · 117w, 4d ago · · ·

This exceeds Dash's 20-percent cooler standard by a good, oh, 80 percent.  And she's not even in it.  Thumb way, way up.

#6 · 117w, 4d ago · · ·

da fuq did I just read?

Anyways, I loved this, quite a random story. There are a few spots that you misspelled Twilight as Twilite. But other than that, great story.

#7 · 117w, 4d ago · · ·

Very funny.  I thuroughly enjoyed the story.:twilightsmile::twilightsmile::twilightsmile:

And the end :rainbowlaugh::rainbowlaugh:

#8 · 117w, 4d ago · · ·

>>989662

That's the joke.

Now I want a two bit salad. With croutons.

Ah, good old insane in the membrane Twilight. Is there any better way for her to act? Maybe there's a Dummies book for acting like that! I'm sure it has a checklist to help.

Very humorous and enjoyable! I think the "Salad?" line would have been perfect for the ending line, but this works too. Favorited!

#9 · 117w, 4d ago · · ·

This is hilarious!! One of the best Comedy stories I've ever read, fantastic English... This is now one of my favorite stories on the site! :twilightsmile:

#10 · 117w, 4d ago · · ·

This is hilarious :rainbowlaugh::rainbowlaugh::rainbowlaugh::rainbowlaugh:

#11 · 117w, 4d ago · · ·

Continue to amaze us all.

#12 · 117w, 4d ago · · ·

You just made my day! Hilarous!

But...

“I am the sovereign ruler of Equestria, the sole controller of the very sun, Twilight Sparkle. And do you know what I do when someone asks me for two bits to pay for a salad? I don’t put on a spymare catsuit and embarrass an entire government organization. I pay for the salad, Twilight.

...you missed the closing "!

#13 · 117w, 4d ago · · ·

I'm assuming this is what Twilight was mentally experiencing just before she was incinerated in your last fic.

#14 · 117w, 4d ago · 5 · ·

Spymare catsuit is the best phrase ever.

#15 · 117w, 4d ago · · ·

Have to say this is excellent.

I have to agree with Twilight on this, but I would have ordered the burger with lots of stuff put in a box then eaten it as a salad.

Still math always beats philosophy.

#16 · 117w, 4d ago · 4 · ·

TwiBog is the best ship.

#17 · 117w, 4d ago · · ·

...

My head hurts.

*likes*

#18 · 117w, 4d ago · · ·

Exactly the kind of madness I love to read. There aren't enough stories like this (both in mlp fanfiction and in general).

#19 · 117w, 4d ago · · ·

I was sold at the description, and the story didn't fail to deliver. Glorious. Simply glorious.

#20 · 117w, 4d ago · · ·

Haven't read a random story in a while.

This is just priceless, priceless!

#21 · 117w, 4d ago · · ·

Just from reading the title, some of the description and how many words there were, I laughed my ass off. When I say how many words, I mean that you wrote a 9000 word fic about Twilight wanting a free salad. I wish I possessed the writing skills you do.

#22 · 117w, 4d ago · · ·

Noce!

#23 · 117w, 4d ago · 1 · ·

>Specialist Generic

I immediately starting reading this as an episode of Sheep in the Big City. Best decision of my life?

I think "I've read two guides on being an action hero." is the best one liner I've seen. From Twilight, if nothing else.

Man I think I loved everything about this. Comedy was on point, pacing flowed perfectly, characterization was brilliant (aside from Twi being taken to her logical extreme for premise), even the action, which I'll admit I'm not the biggest fan of in writing, managed to give me a cool, followable mental image. Of course this is all first read raving, but still, I'm confident this is your best work yet.

#24 · 117w, 4d ago · · ·

This fic is is filled with majestic power and I humbly request another steaming hot bowl of epic from this author.

#25 · 117w, 3d ago · · ·

I loved every minute of if...but Celestia ruined EVERYTHING :raritydespair:

#26 · 117w, 3d ago · · ·

Wait...is celestia.....nawwwwww...:trollestia: :twilightoops:

#27 · 117w, 3d ago · · ·

:pinkiehappy: Take it. Take it all. :pinkiehappy:

#28 · 117w, 3d ago · · ·

this is brilliant. probably the best use of Twilight's personality  in a humor fic since that Cold in Gardez story where  twilight writes an erotic novel.

#29 · 117w, 3d ago · · ·

DAFUQ DID I JUST READ.

But it was good, all the same.

#30 · 117w, 3d ago · · ·

I have to say that the best part was Drakbog's "I am Terror."

The rest was pretty awesome too.

Well done. Very Well done.

#31 · 117w, 3d ago · · ·

Ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous.

I approve.

#32 · 117w, 3d ago · · ·

Genius! Seriously, I had to take a break halfway through to control my laughter :rainbowlaugh:

#33 · 117w, 3d ago · · ·

Excellent! Very funny, and you made wondrous use of references to the show.

Please keep writing, I'll keep reading!

#34 · 117w, 2d ago · 5 · ·

>Drakbog, King of Frogs.

I hate you so, so much.

#35 · 117w, 2d ago · · ·

This deserves a sequel. :applecry: Maybe not a direct sequel, but some kind of sequel.

This is brilliantly and humorously written. :ajsmug:

Great job. :twilightsmile:

#36 · 117w, 2d ago · · ·

Where do you get these wonderful ideas? :rainbowlaugh:

#37 · 117w, 2d ago · 14 · ·

I am Drakbog, King of Frogs. I approve of this story.

#38 · 117w, 2d ago · · ·

Exactly my brand of insanity. Flawless!

Have all my Favs.

#39 · 117w, 2d ago · · ·

This story is paramount to the ages, the true culmination of all literary striving and human expression. Until the salads are free, none of us are. :twilightangry2:

#40 · 117w, 2d ago · · ·

Marvelous. Simply Marvelous.

#41 · 117w, 2d ago · · ·

Bravo good sir, bravo.

#43 · 117w, 1d ago · · ·

You know I have to say with a character like draknog king of frogs I'm surprised noones posted a hypnotoad or something in foments would do it myself but I have no idea how

#44 · 116w, 6d ago · · ·

Oh god i dont think i've laughed so hard, its certainly helped with tonights "situation" xD thank you, you have taken me from the edge of crying to wetting my self laughing x)

#45 · 116w, 3d ago · · ·

Wait... Drakbog isn't going to destroy Equestria?

#46 · 116w, 3d ago · · ·

I now see the connection between The Manager and Titan *slow clap*

#47 · 116w, 2d ago · · ·

That was... Beautiful. Truly beautiful.

Have your moustaches, Arcainum and AestheticB, and know that they are deserved: :moustache: :moustache:

/HadronPony

#48 · 116w, 2d ago · · ·

>>1008047

Hypnotoad? He's been posted in every post so far. do not resist ... What do you mean you can't see him? all glory to the hypnotoad He's right there.

become one with the toadmind

Anyway, Aesthetic, possibly one of my favorite authors ever, did not fail to deliver. Also, Arcainum, I read your story and I rather enjoyed it!

#49 · 116w, 2d ago · · ·

So wait... who wrote this story? I'm confused. Meh, liking it either way :twilightblush:

#50 · 116w, 2d ago · · ·

Great story. Thanks for the proof that economics is not only not a science, but inherently irrational. :raritywink:

Oh, and all glory unto Drakbog, who is terror.

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