I have no idea what I'm doing.
Except I do, and it's reading/writing pony porn.
42w, 10hSalvation updated? What sorcery is this?! 0 comments · 260 views
48w, 2dA quick note 7 comments · 253 views
54w, 4dMore Salvation (chapters and artwork) 2 comments · 71 views
63w, 11hNewest new chapter up and running! 1 comments · 592 views
63w, 6dCompletely new Salvation chapters now live! 2 comments · 563 views
64w, 4dSalvation (Unabridged) now live 1 comments · 578 views
66w, 9hNew Salvation sneak preview 1 comments · 590 views
Hey folks. First off, thanks for reading Salvation. Writing it was an adventure, some details of which (as well as future ideas) I'll explain below.
Before that, though, a quick confession. As many of you have guessed, SexyBack is not my main account. When Kits announced his contest, I decided it would be an opportunity to write about two things I've avoided so far: shipping and sex. I had no idea how well I would do at this task, or how the contest would turn out, so I played it safe and published it anonymously. Now that it's done and, frankly, the reception was miles beyond what I had expected, I think I can lay claim to this story.
Some of you have already figured it out, but I'm really Cold in Gardez. For those of you who couldn't wait to read more of SexyBack's work, well, there's plenty of it.
Now that that's out of the way, some author's notes.
One thing I always try to keep in mind when writing is this simple belief: Stories about ponies are stories about people. What's that mean? Basically, if you're an author, don't write about ponies. Write about humans who happen to inhabit the shapes of ponies. Write about human needs, wants, fears and complaints. Write about the little things that make humans tick. Write about the relationships humans have. Write about people.
Humans have romantic relationships. It's an aspect of humanity that, to this point, I've under played in most of my stories. After all, when we think about romance novels, we think about trashy prose, terrible plots, manufactured conflicts and shallow characters. Not very inspiring stuff if you're trying to be a good writer.
But intimate relationships are still an essential part of being human, and I wanted to give it a shot. Not just with a story that included romance, but a story about romance.
Sex is also an essential part of being human. It's illicit, fetishized and viewed as sinful by many, but it is an absolutely fundamental part of being human. It's also incredibly complicated, up there with differential calculus and the Higgs Boson. Sex is messy, in more ways than one.
If writing about ponies means writing about humans, and relationships and sex are important parts of being human, then at some point I had to write about relationships and sex.
Enter Kits. If you haven't been over to his page, about a month ago he started a contest for the best romance featuring rare ships. Rarity and Dash was one of the options, and it seemed like the option with the most 'story' potential. If you get a chance, stop by at his page and thank him for running the contest. It was the trigger for Salvation.
The contest required the two ponies to go from friendship to love, and for the story to end happily. Kits suggested that it would take at least 5,000 words.
I pitched the concept for Salvation to a few of my co-conspirators (who shall remain nameless), and we roughed out a four-chapter, 15-20k story concept. The (very) basic outline survived in the eight-chapter, 46k story that is now published.
It's not done.
I'm happy with the first several chapters, which established the background for each character (Dash's depression and inability to cope with Soarin's death; Rarity's more general issues involving love). I am mostly happy with the middle of the story, which frames the basic conflict. What I did not have time to do was fully develop the growing relationship between Rarity and Dash (originally envisioned to occupy a whole week, rather than three days), and I had no time at all to write the resolution. The final chapter and epilogue are 3.3k and 700 words apiece. That's because they were written in a frenzy the night before the contest ended. I finished the epilogue 30 minutes before the story was due.
All these things deserve to be fixed. When I get back from Afghanistan and have some free time, expect an 'unabridged' version of Salvation with new chapters and a fuller ending. There are some new rules for revising stories, but hopefully Knighty will cut me some slack and I'll be able to finish this right.
I'll close out with some answers to a few questions people kept asking.
Question: Who is Sweetie dating?
Answer: That's a very good question.
Question: How did Soarin die?
Answer: Ceiling crocodiles.
Question: Will there be a sequel?
Answer: Perhaps. I have quite a few other story ideas in the hopper. Also, there's the whole Afghanistan thing. Got a lot going on in my life at the moment, in other words.
Question: Who is best pony?
Answer: Twilight Sparkle, with Rarity running a close second.
Question: I loved Salvation, but now that it's over my life feels dull and empty. What other romance stories should I read?