The Metro tunnels of Stalliongrad shelter the last remnants of ponykind from the ravages of the Apocalypse. Beneath the earth, ponies struggle to survive against mutants, radiation, and each other. But when an unstoppable threat emerges from the darkness of the Metro, one pony must brave the shadows to save not just his home, but the very existence of his people.
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1w, 1dFarewell, Hub Network4 comments · 86 views
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4w, 1hCan't Sleep3 comments · 53 views
It's 1:35 AM. I should be asleep. Should have been asleep two hours ago so I can get some actual bedrest. But I can't. I'm going crazy I think. Crazy about the future, about what I should be doing and who I am. Haven't written a word in three days. Kinda just shouting into the street now, or at least that's what this feels like. But it's a blog, and people have posted far stupider stuff. Guess I'll just say what comes to mind.
I'm writing original fiction right now. Three chapters into a novel. Hopefully it doesn't stagnate. It's going to be a dark fantasy novel that (I hope) actually turns some tropes on their heads without being pretentious or self-righteous. For instance... hm. There's a bit about romance I want to address. Lemme rant about romance for a bit. Lemme rant about a lot of things for a little bit. This will be a ranty blog.
Romance kinda sucks in writing.
I'm saying that because it's mishandled in... well. Almost everything. I'm not an expert in how romance works, mind you, but I have seen plenty of examples, looked at it, and said "Nah, that's not romance." In my book, I hope to... well, prove you can have a good story without romance, in fact present a situation where romance would blossom in any other story, and turn it into something awful and jarring. See, I look at the dust covers of a lot of books. I don't pick up many because I can literally predict the plot in those few sentences... that's because the dust cover actually just gives away what happens.
Character starts a journey to defeat some evil antagonist or force. Character gets paired up with another of the opposite sex. Invariably, opposite character is described as "mysterious" or "beautiful" or "dangerous" or some combination of the three, and somehow is more intimidating than the main character, no matter how intimidating or dangerous or handsome the main character already is. Together, they save the day and get married at the end but pretend like they won't to contrive a sense of dramatic and sexual tension.
There's nothing particularly wrong with that synopsis beyond the obvious Mary Sue implications. It's just I see it everywhere. Literally. Everywhere. In everything. They're all blurring together into one giant swirl of hot bods mashing together in a sweaty orgy of purple prose and supposedly 'edgy' takes on relationships.
We're even seeing that in My Little Pony: Equestria Girls. See, the problem with Brad (Flash Sentry) isn't that he's a guy or that he's romantically involved with Twilight. It's just that... eh. He's romantically involved because he's romantically involved. He has feelings for her because he's supposed to, because he's "the hot guy in high school." The poor boy's entire existence revolves around how he reacts to Twilight. Sure, he might be given some character in those clips for Rainbow Rocks we've seen, but... but just look.
Or don't if you don't like spoilers. Anyway, Flash is characterized as... as... well... head over heels in love for Twilight, pining away after her like some lovestruck Romeo. You know, basically exactly how he was in the first movie. And that's... that's sad. I was hoping he'd at least get some lines of his own that don't explicitly say "My entire purpose in life is to be in love." Nobody likes characters like that. That's Fifty Shades of Grey levels of writing. Yet so many romances in so many stories are played out exactly like this, over and over, without regard to how realistic or impactful or strange it is. So many romances are characterized as just being... there. Just happening. Because they have to. It's not organic and it isn't fun. Romance takes a while, guys. Romance is lifelong. It's about discovering someone intimately. It's about realizing who you are in relation to another living, breathing creature. That's why in Prince of Dust I'm trying to, you know, frame the romance as part of the overall story instead of just being the reason the characters even exist.
I see that a lot here too, yet it's okay because "it's fanfic" or "don't judge too harshly because we're just having fun." Wait, excuse me? "It's fanfic" so I can't have a sense of taste? "It's fanfic" so we can write about things we say we hate?! "It's fanfic" so I should just kick back and laugh while the fandom drowns under the sound of a million bronies clopping to the newest fad?! I'm sick to death of that excuse when it comes to objectively terrible writing! Because that's all it is, an excuse to avoid being criticized! You wouldn't bake a terrible cake and serve it to people and then turn around and say "Oh well I'm sorry, this is just a fanfiction of a better cake! Stop complaining!"
NO. STOP IT.
JUST STOP IT.
I'm sorry, but fanfiction is still writing. And writing, like all artforms, has at least a modicum, an appearance of some objective standard of quality. We should at least try to hold it up against that yardstick, shouldn't we? Right? You guys agree with me... don't you?
Bah, who am I kidding. I don't see any of the other popular authors railing against this kind of stuff. They just write. I guess that's the healthiest attitude to have. Do what you love and all that. Hey maybe if I turn "Unwritten" into the dark and edgy version of "On a Cross and Arrow" it'll get featured more. Then I too can slap the date it was featured on the synopsis and 420yoloswag it to the end of the fandom. I'll never have to write anything again. I'd rant some more about authors who get to be popular because of that one story they wrote years ago and haven't published a thing since then, but it's 2 AM and I'm tired now.
Anyway expect a oneshot and the next chapter of Prince of Dust and Unwritten whenever I feel like it.
Also thanks to all those who faved and followed, especially for Unwritten. I hope to pour as much heart and soul into it as I did Unfinished.
8w, 6dI'm Feeling Thoughtful6 comments · 122 views
I'm not a historian, but something about what I just read has left me depressed, thoughtful, and more than a little frustrated.
You may or may not know that this year is the centennial of the First Great War: World War 1, that "War to End All Wars" as we so cynically call it. In the middle of all the horror and atrocities going on right now, it's hard to remember that one hundred years ago, around thirty-seven million men, women and children were eaten up in the greatest armed conflict humanity had ever seen. It toppled empires, left scars that haven't even come close to healing, and in many ways set us down the road that led to the exact conflicts we're fighting today.
The Atlantic recently rolled out a commemorative issue for the war that I bought on a whim, since World War 1 has always had a special place in my heart: in spite of the sheer scale and the changes it wrought, hardly a man alive knows or even cares that it was even fought. Time marched on and left the bones where they fell and man's fierce dispositions were not dulled, but inspired to even greater feats of savagery. The Atlantic brought together several excerpts from many different people who wrote about a variety of subjects, from the home front to the causes of war to the diaries of the men in the trenches. There's even an article about meteorologists debating whether or not the sheer amount of explosions going on in Europe was causing climate change. Go figure: you think arguing about the weather is something new? Something only liberal scientists or conservative think tanks brought up? No, no, what fascinated me about this issue is that it brought home a sobering reality: that the problems of yesteryear were discussed with the same fervor, the same ignorance, the same wisdom, and the same alacrity as they are today. We have come no closer to answering the questions these people asked now than they did.
Whether or not a war is fought for "the right reasons" is something that haunts a nation's psyche. America has been involved in dozens of wars in its short history. Whether or not any or all were "just" is something we still wrangle with.
To denounce war as a crime is to denounce something which a nation when it is entering a war never thinks it is committing. Invariably in modern times a nation goes to war to stop another nation from committing the crime of war. As the Austrians saw it in 1914, they did not make war on Serbia. They believed they were acting to preent Serbia, backed by Russia, from making a criminal attempt to destroy the Austrian empire. The Germans did not make war upon Russia. They made war to prevent Russia from making war. The French did not make war. They defended themselves. The British did not make war. They stopped an aggression. We [the Americans] did not make war. We tried to make the world safe for democracy ... The choice as it presents itself is not between the crime of war and the righteousness of peace, but between ruin and disgrace on the one hand, and self-preservation, courage, and honor on the other.
-Walter Lippmann, in a short titled "War Is Someone Else's Fault," originally, "The Political Equivalent of War," 1928.
There will never be a magnanimous discussion on war. There will always be "that side," "those people," "the ones who started it." Even The Atlantic provides absolutely zero diaries or letters or papers from German and Austrian and Russian writers, though perhaps it was just more difficult to get them. When we talk about The War, we talk almost exclusively of World War 2, wherein we fought a great battle for freedom and liberty against genocide and oppression. Yet not decades after that war we supported, both financially and militarily, utterly despicable men who visited death on their countries, in the name of preserving order or peace. We like to talk about how we might be masters of realpolitik or how the United Nations was supposed to save the world. We talk about the advancement of freedom across the globe. We were selfless and good and without blame.
But we forget that in World War 1 we fought for the exact same things, or at least many people wanted to believe it.
In a war involving the nations of five continents, the United States alone fights without expectation, without desire for reward other than the common security of the seven seas. For herself alone she demands absolutely nothing. She enters the struggle purely for a world idea. France, most heroic of nations, fights for her life; Russia for power; Italy and Roumania for territory; unhappy Serbia and Belgium because their rights as nations are destroyed; England because her empire, even her existence, is at stake; the Central Powers, from a coarse mingling of fear and greed; but if we fight, we fight because a world ordered like this one is intolerable to all, remote and near. In such a world, security, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are forever impossible.
-Ellery Sedgewick, 1917
And we all know where fighting this great war to establish peace ended up.
My husband was born in the United States; he never saw Germany, he does not even speak German with fluency. His father, like so many of his countrymen, left his native country that he might have freedom of speech, of life ... My husband came home [after learning about the sinking of the Lusitania] exhilarated by a dark passion ... The passengers should not have sailed, he said: they had been warned. It was their responsibility, and they must take the consequences. The war had been forced on Germany, and it was justifiable for her to do whatever would enable her to win it ... The strangest part of it all is this: my husband had, until this war, been a particularly kind and tender-hearted man. He thus seems to represent in his own person a nation changed and obsessed by the false ideal held up before it ... I could no longer maintain neutrality. I cried out against such doctrines—against teaching our sons such things. It was horrible. Our family peace was gone. After 18 years of dwelling with us love had fled.
Cold in Gardez recently featured this blog about rightness or wrongness of action and inaction. It doesn't provide any answers. What man can? Who can say if we allowed Germany to win that World War 2 would have been averted? If ISIS wouldn't exist if we just left Saddam Hussein to torture his own people? If Russia and China wouldn't be threatening our supremacy if we had used The Bomb on them when we had the chance?
All I can say is this: after reading that magazine, all I can conclude is that military action is simply trading loss of life in one place for what would have been loss of life in some other place. Millions of people who had nothing to do with the war died regardless in World War 1. There was rape, torture, and famine in this most just war like in any other. Millions of people are in danger of dying right now, too, in spite of all the bombs we dropped.
But taken from the long view, everyone dies eventually. We could stop fighting every war right now and everyone committing atrocities in Syria and Sudan and Iraq will still die sooner or later. Hitler will always replace the Kaiser who replaced the Holy Roman Empire, which, while not Hitler, also fought wars that killed millions for reasons just as petty and greedy. As have all nations across the face of the earth.
So what do we gain from this long blog post? Well, just my rambling about the state of the world, and hopefully a greater understanding of how terrible war is, no matter what reason it's fought for. Eventually, I understand we have to fight. I'd never just sit down and die while someone nearby suffers—or at least, we all hope we won't. But don't entertain foolish notions that what happens in a war is "good." I suppose it's part of my beliefs as a Christian: humanity is not ultimately supposed to die. Speeding that along with violence and hatred is always a tragedy.
Which, I suppose, is another reason I'm so in love with ponies.
Yeah, I like that. This entire post reaffirms my love of ponies. Why? Because ponies actually try to be good even in a world that hurts them. That's more than can be said for a lot of us.
Tl;dr: Friendship is magic. It can, and does, change your life. Make peace wherever you can, and if violence is the only option, remember to try and stay human, and never be too eager to assign blame. Narrow is the road that leads to life, and it is all too easy to be swept from it.
1 comments · 68 views
Prince of Dust chapter 4 has finally been released after I broke out of the summer doldrums. You have no idea how good I feel to finally release part of an actual story. I hope you enjoy it much more than I enjoyed writing it, because I ached over every word in this one.
Hey, at least it's faster than I update My Little Metro...
Hopefully, I can ride the high of getting this off my back and continue on to the next chapter without much pause.