It is a well-known fact that no one gets through the holiday season without seeing at least half a dozen parodies of the classic Charles Dickens tale A Christmas Carol (and that's assuming you don't read the original story). This is one more of those parodies. 'Tis a tale of Hearth's Warming past, present and future! A tale which makes a fair amount of assumptions about this holiday which are sure to be demolished by the canon story we'll get in the actual Hearth's Warming episode. Thou hast been warned.
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So now that things have calmed down a bit and the dust has settled, let’s talk about what just happened here.
I’ve been teasing the idea of doing some sort of second-person HiE clop trollfic for a while now, and it’s mainly because of the Suffer series. After reading so much clop on the feature box, grumbling over its tired clichés and tropes, and idly wondering what gets into the box and why, the allure of trying it for myself became irresistible. Just for a moment, I would cast aside any pretenses of quality or respectability and shamelessly embody “The Player” that I had spoken of.
I mean, come on. If I’m gonna keep talking about this stuff, I might as well try it for myself, right? Plus there was just the fun of poking fun at all these easily mockable tropes. Good times!
When I posted the fic, there were three things I was hoping for:
1) Get on the feature box. Check. (Though this was mainly so that I could…)
2) ”Suffer” my own story. Check. (This was the most important one to me. When all is said and done, I have a feeling that the crowning achievement of the Suffer series will have been the excuse to utter the phrase “The Feature Box Suffers John Perry.”)
3) And finally: Force RainbowBob to suffer my story. Ch– Oh. Hmm.
Well, two out of three ain’t bad! There were also a couple of things to come out of this story that I hadn’t expected, but that I loved: one was finding out that Sethisto had read it, and the other was seeing this fic get more downvotes than the rest of my stories combined.
Actually, let’s talk about those downvotes for a moment. I have literally never seen a worse upvote/downvote ratio in the feature box than my fic. I’ve been told 1 to 1 has happened in the past, and I believe it, but the worse I had personally witnessed was in the ballpark of 2 to 1 (2 upvotes to 1 downvote). When my fic was in the box, it was around 1.8 to 1. (As of writing, it’s dropped down to around 1.4 to 1.)
And I love it. While it doesn’t exactly speak well to the mechanisms of the feature box that such a poorly received fic managed to remain in the box, I can’t help but take heart in the fact that so many people saw this premise and immediately went “NO.” Which isn’t to say that everyone who downvoted it did so without reading it; there were plenty of people who went in expecting clop and were disappointed to be reading a trollfic, or who were put off by the overt crudeness of the fic (fair enough; it definitely isn’t for everyone). But there were undoubtedly a lot of people who downvoted on sight, probably without realizing what this thing was.
And to be fair, it looks like a clopfic from the cover. Most people on FIMFiction wouldn’t recognize my name, and if you don’t know any of my other work (namely the Suffer series) there’s probably no way you could have known that it was meant in jest.
So kudos to those who tried their darndest to keep this blatant piece of feature bait off the feature box. But I think what we’ve learned is that downvoting en masse is a terrible way to try to keep something off the box. It might be more effective to just ignore it and hope it falls off the box due to lack of “heat”.
So now that that’s over with, I return to my normal suffering of the feature box. I’ve had my fun, and now I’m at least one step closer to understanding the strange mistress that is the feature box.
A big thank you to all you guys for indulging me in my insanity. Kudos all around!
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You know, after you read enough clop in the feature box, re-reading the same tropes and even what feel like the exact same lines over and over again, at some point you start thinking, "Well, shit. I could do this."
So, uh... I did it.
Okay, strictly speaking, it's a clopfic parody, but make no mistake: there's clop. And if you're not feeling too squeamish, I would be most appreciative if you could drop whatever you're doing, right this second, and read/like it. If you like, you can think of it as one of my Suffer reviews of a clopfic... but much longer and in the form of a story.
Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to present my single greatest piece of feature bait...
Rainbow Dash Gets You Laid
(Link goes to my recent stories page, since this might be too hot to link directly to in a blog!)
In other news, in case you haven't already seen it, the Royal Canterlot Library did an "Ask Us Anything" post to celebrate the group's first anniversary, and we got a lot of great questions. Some of them are specific to the RCL, although there were some questions addressed more to the individual curators, so if you want to see more ramblings from me, along with noted reviewers Chris, Present Perfect, and horizon, go check that out.
But you know, after you read the clopfic, obviously.