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I've been stuck on "Shadow Day" for quite awhile, to the point where the rest of my writing has stopped. For this reason, I have reluctantly revoked the story until I can develop a good resolution for it.
Part of the problem is the Breezies. My original resolution involved re-introducing the Breezies into the MLP universe and I was knocked a-kilter when the series decided to do this without consulting me first. (This is the second time the series has made me abandon a story; I was happily working on a story about a solitary shapechanger, and then the series introduced a whole race of shapechangers. And, try as I might, I couldn't figure out a good way to distinguish my character, the Munkydo, from the Changelings.) I kind of trapped myself by publishing the "Stormy Weather" bits; try as I might, I couldn't figure out a way to get to my desired ending without the Breezies. (Although, Diamond Tiara, Ponyville's new expert on the wonders of methane, had this idea for a stinky fuel-air bomb...)
A second part of the problem, which many of the kind respondents have noted, is that "Shadow Day" started wandering all over the place. Frankly, I kind of fell in love with the idea of mixing and matching the characters and their roles and I enjoyed trying different things out. This was fun for me, but I don't think it was much fun for the reader. I want to re-focus the story on the four main characters, Twilight, the Mayor, the Mayor's secretary and Pinkie. Each of them has something to teach the other and I don't want that little story lost amidst the sturm und drang of Ponyville battling a Storm Giant.
I hesitated over the "revoke" button for quite awhile, because I feel it is unfair to the many good respondents that shared their encouragement and thoughtful criticisms with me. But I also feel I owe them a better story than the mess o' pottage that I have produced so far, so I hope they will forgive me.
From this point on, I will only publish completed stories. No reader, I think, needs to waste time on some half-baked tale when there are plenty of other tasty treats available.
While I am working on other things, one project that I keep in front of me is a re-write of "The Boneyard." I originally wrote this for a competition and, as many of my respondents have noted, the story suffers for my attempts to compress the story below a word limit. I'd like to slow the pace of the opening down a bit, spend some more time describing the setting and the characters, particularly the revenants. I want to include a scene I wrote about the impact the of Come to Life spell in Equestria, but had to cut for length. "The Boneyard" is my "Earth Ponies are magic" story and I hope, with a bit more work, to help you feel what I felt, when I realized that Earth Ponies, across the span of eons, still see each other as family.
19w, 4dBad Gateway 18 comments · 157 views
I'm sorry I've been away for awhile. Personal issues. Let's move on.
I'm kind of stumped about where to go with "Shadow Day." The story spun out of my control at some point, I think because I was confused about where the series was headed. (I really thought that Twilight would end Season Four much like she began. I never imagined her being punched through a mountain!) I think I need to make this story much smaller, and focus just on Twilight, Pinkie, Marigold and Fletcher. While I like the bits about Filthy Rich and his daughter, Diamond Tiara, and adore the scene with Tank, I think this story needs to be pruned a lot.
I'm pleased that the end of Season Four validates (or, at least, doesn't contradict) my story, "The Tree That Blooms in Darkness."
That said, while I puzzle over what to do with "Shadow Day," I'm now working on "Bad Gateway," a sequel to "Tonight I Shall Be Laughter." Yes, the title was inspired by an error message I've sometimes observed here on FIMFiction. "Bad Gateway" is about Captain Bucephalus struggling to command the odd lot of ponies assigned to him by the generals of the Royal Guard: a couple of Pegasus ponies, some eccentric Unicorns and the Cheese Family, who rival the Apples in their fecundity.
37w, 1dThe Fox and Hound7 comments · 216 views
This evening, I decided to fix up some issues with my story, It Is My Fate To Enter Every Door.
Okay, fine. Pinkie Pie has an older sister. I fudged my story to admit that.*
Per Benman's suggestion, I've rearranged the opening, so that Emma's story comes to the fore.
Most importantly, I've added a scene with Vixen the Clever and her nemesis, Laelaps the Hunter. The business with Vixen follows the pattern of mortals dealing with fay spirits. The story of Laelaps is softer; I liked the idea that Laelaps is fond of Vixen, despite her treachery.
*Fudged again: Matilda Victoria Pie: Maud. I like that the daughters of Clydesdale Pie have these odd, grandiose names. Is it his influence, or hers?
38w, 5dISTJ7 comments · 212 views
I guess at some point in your working life, you will encounter the Myers-Briggs personality profile. This is a kind of four-by-four Sorting Hat that will reveal which of the sixteen houses you belong to.
I'm an ISTJ. Which, in English, translates to "minion." I am the orc laborer beneath the White Tower, forging swords. I am the contractor on the Death Star, working for benefits. I am one of those ridiculous rubber-suited guys trashed by Mr. Incredible, who were only working for the weekend and free beer.
As I was sitting through my last lecture about Myers-Briggs, I entertained myself by sorting the Mane Six by temperament. Most were easy-peasy:
Rainbow Dash: Artisan. Stimulus-seeker, duh!
Twilight Sparkle: Rational. Knowledge-seeker. She lives in a library!
Applejack: Guardian. Security-seeker. AJ epitomizes the Guardian type.
Fluttershy: Idealist. Identity-seeker. How many times have we seen Fluttershy struggle to re-invent herself through her caring for her friends and critters?
The last two have puzzled me.
Pinkie Pie. You might assume she is an Artisan. But she lives not for herself, but for other ponies' smiles. I judge her a Champion, a subset of Artisan. The idea that Pinkie is introverted may seem counter-intuitive, but we have seen ("Party of One") that she has a rich inner life.
Rarity. You could make the slam-dunk of Aritisan and call it a day, but I'm not so sure. I see her as INFJ: introverted, intuitive, feeling and judgmental. It might surprise you that I think of Rarity as introverted, but look at the facts: come rain or shine, good fortune or ill, she works in solitude in her shop and holds to her inner vision. She is a Counselor, I reckon.
The Myers-Briggs test is not destiny, of course. But thinking about it might give you some insight into a character that you thought you understood. And, if you take the test yourself, some insight into your own thinking.
40w, 5dParty Canon8 comments · 182 views
A confession: as a teenager, I adored The Man from U.N.C.L.E. novels. Do not be surprised if this means nothing to you. You are young and these are stories from another age. The Invisibility Affair! If you had an invisibility cloak, of course you would drape it on a zeppelin! That's just what supervillains do!
James Blish, an author I had admired for his Cities in Flight novels, wrote the earliest Star Trek adaptations which, to be honest, were little more than transcriptions of episodes. Later writers of Star Trek, in this forbidden zone between the original series and its sequels, were happy to flesh out the odd corners of the universe. (How Much For Just the Planet?)
Alan Dean Foster wrote Splinter of the Mind's Eye, the first Star Wars novel. I'm still a little uncertain about the relationship between Foster and Lucas. There are elements of Splinter that only bore fruit in Revenge of the Sith, years and years later.
All of these guys had it easy. They were writers for series that were complete or, in Foster's case, in the gap between the first film and its sequel.
And, here I am, writing My Little Pony fanfiction, an ongoing series, and contemplating an upcoming episode title: It Ain't Easy Being Breezies.
I have written one story that featured the Breezies, in G3 Equestria. In a couple of incomplete fanfics, not posted here, I've hinted that the Breezies and Derpy are good friends.
I had this idea, in Shadow Day, that Derpy at last saves the day by convincing her tiny, Breezy friends to turn their monstrous storm castles away from Ponyville. I never imagined that the Breezies, or anything like them, would appear in Season Four. I'm not sure where to go with my story now.
This is our fate, I guess, as fanfic writers. We have to roll with the punches. Hey! Once, I was writing this great story about a shape-changing creature entering Ponyville. The plight of the shape-changer was moving me to tears. And then, of course, we learned about the Changelings, an entire race of shape-changers. Sigh. My story was tossed into the bit-bucket, never to be seen again.
Sorry. This is basically a rant. I need to resolve Shadow Day without the Breezies. I've got this idea about Diamond Tiara and methane. I hope it works out.
UPDATE: Nuts to it. I'm going with the Breezies. "Ready, Whoopsie Daisy?" "After you, Trough Aloft." "Ha ha ha! No, after you, Sky Blink." They nod. "Then, it's settled. Together, it is!"