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Gizogin

Joined July 2012
133 followers

Stories (2)

  • The Soul of a Pony
    What if you could see somepony as they truly are? Would you still be able to love them?

    23,518 words · 8,694 views · 906 likes · 12 dislikes
  • An Eye for an Eye
    Trixie returns to Ponyville (again) and asks Twilight Sparkle for help. Things don't go according to plan.
    12,850 words · 1,424 views · 96 likes · 0 dislikes

Blog Posts (36)

Source

Twilight reads about a way to view a pony's soul, to see everything about them laid bare.  When she tries it on her friends, will she be able to look at them the same way again?  Or will the secrets hidden in their hearts drive her away?

(Yes, I borrowed the idea of a "soulgaze" from The Dresden Files, because it's something that really fascinates me.  It's not a crossover, just an idea.)

First Published
8th Sep 2012
Last Modified
4th Dec 2012

Comments ( 264 )

#1 · Chapter 1 · 97w, 6d ago · 1 · ·

I love you for your reference already.

Time to read :D

Edit: Good use of sentence structure and grammar.

Usage of proper punctuation and paragraphs, along with pacing and an overall good feel to your style of typing/writing is refreshing after all of the trainwrecks I've come across recently.

Sir, you've gained a favouriter, and maybe even a follower.

DF
#2 · Chapter 1 · 97w, 6d ago · · ·

And now I want to read The Blackstone Cases.

Well written, both from a technical and a story viewpoint. I'm interested in seeing how you handle the soulgazes.

Note: If you haven't read them, I would suggest reading The Dresden Fillies: Strange Friends and The Dresden Fillies: False Masks by Psychicscubadiver. Both stories are excellently written and people have, mostly jokingly, speculated that he's actually Jim Butcher, because of how similar his writing is to Butcher's. There's a scene in Strange Friends where Twilight and Dresden soulgaze that might give you some inspiration.

#3 · Chapter 1 · 97w, 6d ago · 1 · ·

*Gasp* :pinkiegasp:

People actually enjoy my writing?  My life is a lie!

But seriously, thanks for the feedback.  It means a lot.  As for The Dresden Fillies (and My Little Denarians, for that matter), I have read them.

#4 · Chapter 2 · 97w, 3d ago · 1 · ·

Here it is, Chapter Two.  Twilight stares into Pinkie Pie's soul, and it stares right back. :pinkiecrazy:

I had a lot of fun with this chapter, and I think it shows.  Pinkie is completely ridiculous.

#5 · Chapter 1 · 97w, 3d ago · · ·

I've read exactly zero of the Dresden Files books, but this story might just be the final push to get me to take the plunge. Tl;dr awesome story, moving on to chapter two.

#6 · Chapter 2 · 97w, 3d ago · · ·

I like the reference to Pinkamena. Also: well done. Again.

#7 · Chapter 2 · 97w, 2d ago · · ·

>>1259164

You make me smile sir.

Keep up the awesome work.

#8 · Chapter 2 · 96w, 6d ago · · ·

Excellent work, it's not often I follow and favorite on the first two chapters but your idea and style intrigue me and you spin a great yarn.:moustache:

I eagerly await more.

A thumbs up from Lyra!!! :pinkiehappy:

(We need Lyra emoticons!)

#10 · Chapter 3 · 96w, 6d ago · · ·

Well, it took a bit longer than I was expecting, but Chapter 3 is done.  This time, it's Rainbow Dash's turn! :rainbowkiss:

Chapter 4 is going to be a bit trickier.  I think I can have it done by next Saturday, assuming my schedule doesn't change too drastically this week.

#11 · Chapter 3 · 96w, 5d ago · · ·

>>1279668

Sir you're doing a fantastic job representing the idea of a soulgaze.

Though I will bring up another point...in a soulgaze, both parties see the other's soul, so does that mean Pinkie saw into Twilight?

Or are you just gonna kind of cut that idea out because it's a direct spell as opposed to a passive side effect of being a magic user of such a caliber?

#12 · Chapter 3 · 96w, 5d ago · · ·

>>1285588

Ah, I was wondering when someone would bring that up.  Yes, a Dresden soulgaze goes both ways.  This version, however, was specifically put together by Twilight, and as such she wouldn't have added that "feature".  It was something I considered, but it didn't really seem to add anything to the story.

#14 · Chapter 3 · 96w, 4d ago · · ·

my god this is awesome... next update soon please?

#15 · Chapter 3 · 96w, 3d ago · · ·

Oohhh.... I'm not so sure I like Dash's mindscape. Could just be me, but is it indicating that she's always judging herself, even if she doesn't show it?

#16 · Chapter 3 · 96w, 2d ago · · ·

>>1291043

It's in the works.  This chapter is going to be a long one, by my reckoning.  A lot of stuff's gonna go down.

Who wants to guess which pony's coming next?  My money's on a surprise Trixie appearance! :trixieshiftright:

(This is a joke.  Trixie will not be appearing in this fic. :trixieshiftleft:)

#17 · Chapter 4 · 95w, 3d ago · · ·

Chapter 4!  Sorry it took so long.  I blame the evils of modern media.

But seriously, writing this chapter was really annoying.  It was going to be even longer, to the extent that I would have split it into two, but then I realized this would have messed up the pacing of the rest of the story.  For one thing, it would have made Chapter 6 about 1,000 words long, and resulted in a chapter with two soulgazes in sequence.  I couldn't get the beginning section with Rainbow Dash to work properly, and ended up going through about three different versions of it before I was happy.  On top of that, I ended up losing roughly the last 800 words before the soulgaze to server shenanigans, and had to retype it all. :raritydespair:

But enough of my whining.  Chapter 5 has yet to be started, and I'm going to be busy this week.  I'll let you all know when I have a projected release date.

#18 · Chapter 4 · 95w, 3d ago · 1 · ·

Shame on Twilight, not asking permission before doing something so personal.  I'm enjoying the story as well as the glimpses into each pony.  I do think the affect on Twilight is perhaps more costly than she thinks.  I'm curious to see where it goes from here!

#19 · Chapter 4 · 95w, 3d ago · · ·

Aaw yeah, a new chapter! This one was really cool. I wonder if Twilight's ever going to reveal to the others what she saw in their minds...

#20 · Chapter 4 · 95w, 3d ago · 1 · ·

Will she look into Spikes mind too?

#21 · Chapter 4 · 94w, 3d ago · · ·

>>1332933

Delays are not a problem.  (I'm sure the next chapter will be worth the wait.)

#22 · Chapter 4 · 94w, 3d ago · · ·

I don't see anything in the description of Rainbow's soulscape that represents her loyalty

#23 · Chapter 4 · 94w, 3d ago · · ·

Good news everyone!  SoaP is now on Equestria Daily! :rainbowkiss:

I feel so accomplished all of a sudden.  My first piece of fanfiction ever, and it winds up on the premier site of bronydom (at least, of the ones I'm familiar with).  Now I feel bad that I haven't finished Chapter Five yet... :twilightblush:  Never fear!  I've been working on it with renewed fervor for the past couple days, and I can tentatively say that it will be finished by this weekend.  

Many (read: three) of you have brought up the issue of privacy.  Rest assured that this will be dealt with in Chapter Five, along with a few other concerns.  I didn't forget, or not realize the problems inherent in this, but the plan was always to cover them around Chapter Five.  Definitely.

#24 · Chapter 4 · 94w, 3d ago · · ·

Simple framework and a predictable progression, pony to pony though the Mane6.  It works here, because the story is about the revelations Twilight's receiving, and it feels like a setup to what she'll eventually do with this information.  I expect she'll try it on Spike, which will be interesting is dragon souls / consciousnesses aren't like pony souls at all.  And this'll really get fun when  - not if, when - she tries this on a Princess. Or two, or three.

Thumbs up and a gold star for you.

#25 · Chapter 4 · 94w, 3d ago · · ·

I really enjoy this type of stories, in which Twilight gets to know her friends on a deeper level. It's well written, too. :twilightsmile: After reading it, I do have one question, though: if Twilight were to look in a mirror, could she soulgaze herself?

#26 · Chapter 2 · 94w, 3d ago · · ·

Oh dude, that was awesome! ON TO TEH NEXT CHAPTER! :pinkiehappy::pinkiesad2:

#27 · Chapter 4 · 94w, 3d ago · · ·

Interesting story, with very nice mindscapes for all the ponies so far. I'm looking forward to the rest of them!

#28 · Chapter 3 · 94w, 3d ago · · ·

>>1299935 Aw, why not? I think this'd apply interestingly to Trixie, :fluttershysad:

>>1297441 Totally agree!

#29 · Chapter 4 · 94w, 3d ago · · ·

Really like it so far! Love to get some insight to what's going on in the minds of the ponies, great idea and good setup for it too! Looking forward to the rest, especially Applejack :applejackunsure:

#30 · Chapter 2 · 94w, 3d ago · 1 · ·

"By all rights, (the music) should have been appalling, yet somehow all of the conflicting elements came together to form a single piece that was as cheerful as it was completely unpredictable."

Clearly, Pinkie Pie has acquired a taste for freeform jazz.

#31 · Chapter 2 · 94w, 3d ago · · ·

Wow. Just wow. :derpyderp1:You have earned yourself a favorite! :raritystarry:

#32 · Chapter 4 · 94w, 2d ago · · ·

Now that it's on EqD, you MUST finish it! :pinkiehappy:

#33 · Chapter 4 · 94w, 2d ago · · ·

Good Story. But isn't a Soulgaze supposed to work both ways? Also isn't it a bit unethical of Twilight to use such a spell on her friends without first outlining what is involved? (Pinkie being the exception so far - but then again it is unlikely she would have cared anyway.)

#34 · Chapter 4 · 94w, 2d ago · · ·

I do hope that Discord gets soulgazed. I'm very curious as to whether it's possible to get anything remotely comprehensible out of his psyche.

#35 · Chapter 2 · 94w, 2d ago · · ·

She is what should not be remembered, yet cannot be forgotten

I like that line a lot.

#36 · Chapter 3 · 94w, 2d ago · 1 · ·

I disagree with this representation of Rainbow Dash's soul.  If pinkie pies was the perpetual party with pinkamena and knowledge looking on, Rainbow Dash's mind should look like this:

The judges should be the wonderbolts being extremely critical of everything that the rainbow dash does in the sky -- They would be representative of her self-doubt.  There should be not 1 but 6 dash's in the sky over the colleseum doing all sorts of tricks in wonderbolt uniforms working together and a 7th rainbow dash not in a uniform performing better tricks that did not work with the other 6.  Above the stands there would be clouds with several sleeping rainbow dashes snoozing away.  All around the stadium there would be a spooky forest in the clouds with adventurous rainbow dashes protecting representations of her friends being completely loyal and fighting monsters.  One rainbow dash would be reading a daring do book.

#37 · Chapter 4 · 94w, 2d ago · · ·

I'm not really a fan of this so far but for rather personal reasons.  Since this is almost entirely just a character exploration of the Mane 6, whenever your interpretation of the ponies personalities doesn't mesh with mine I simply don't like it.  So there's nothing wrong with the content really, although I do feel like the conclusions Twilight takes away from the gazes far outstrips the very short glances the reader gets at the souls.

Also why did you forgo any mention of personal privacy invasion or reciprocal soulgazing.  One of the whole reasons Harry doesn't use the soulgaze to just sort out bad guys and good guys is that the act is so revealing and personal to both parties and he doesn't lightly let someone see him so vulnerable.  It may have just been outside the scope for your fic but it seems like low hanging fruit to just include ponies reactions to Twilight's soul and add a lot of depth to the narrative.

#38 · Chapter 3 · 94w, 2d ago · · ·

Mindscapes are a difficult thing to master, and while you're putting up an excellent effort--- these short chapters and vague descriptions are not up to what you are capable of. Step back, breathe, smell the flowers. You can do better.

#39 · Chapter 4 · 94w, 2d ago · · ·

Okay, lots of feedback.  I'll do my best to answer your questions, at least to the extent that I can without spoiling things.

>>1376384 >>1376987

Twilight put together this version of the soulgaze from scratch.  Yes, she based it on the one in The Blackstone Cases (aka The Dresden Files), which do work both ways, but she didn't see any reason to put in that effect.  As for privacy, that will be addressed in detail in the next chapter (it's in the works, I promise!).  

>>1375439 >>1337560 >>1376387

Unfortunately, the only souls to be gazed upon in this fic will be those of the Mane Six.  Maybe I'll revisit this idea at some point in the distant future, but until then there will be no Celestia/Luna/Discord/Spike/Trixie soulgazing.  Sorry. :fluttercry:

Also, as of right now, I don't plan to ever use Discord in a fic.  I wrote a blog post about it.  You should read it, if you don't mind highly opinionated ramblings.

Thanks for the comments everyone!  Your feedback fills me with happy feels. :twilightsmile:

#40 · Chapter 4 · 94w, 2d ago · · ·

I made it through Chapter 4, and here are my thoughts:

Overall I've enjoyed the reading.  The dialogue and writing style is actually pretty good.  It’s descriptive without being intrusive, ebbs and flows nicely, employs a lot of good grammar, feels in tune with the show, and adds nice embellishments where necessary.  Characters are well portrayed, if a bit standard fare.   And I am a personal sucker for OCD Twilight.  :)

As for the Soulgaze concept, I found the approach to be of mixed value.  I admit to being unfamiliar with the source, but IMO I found the personification route to be a bit too... cliché.  Having dopplegangers serve as physical manifestations of one's inner thoughts seems like too much of an easy plot device to explain deep seated senses of self. This wasn't helped by the fact that Pinkie's "personas" even verbally stated their own purposes.

Structure-wise, it really feels like these four chapters could be condensed down into one or two.  And it really would flow the story better if Twilight's take on each soul read came at the tail end of that chapter, not the start of the next.  And as others have pointed out, it seems a gross impropriety and breach of privacy for Twilight to perform this spell on her friends without their full understanding and consent.  Even then I would think they would need time to discuss it.  It's just so deeply personal.

6/10.

So good reading, well-written, enjoyable.  Could could maybe use some work on storytelling methods and structure, but hoping for more!

Small bits:

Chapter 2 - the "cyanide" cupcake tasting like almonds - a chemistry joke?  Well done sir!  (Hydrogen Cyanide smells like almonds to some people)

Chapter 3 - "it was a love letter to speed and adrenaline." - I liked that bit of prose.

Chapter 4 - You stepped out of tense to say “whenever she tried to remember…” and it's a bit jarring structure-wise.

#41 · Chapter 1 · 94w, 2d ago · · ·

>>1259364

How was your first comment tl;dr? It was a single sentence.

Interesting concept you have my attention.

#42 · Chapter 4 · 94w, 2d ago · · ·

While the story is enjoyable. Its much to plain and too short to get into the good detail and psychology that this story is trying to express. The 'landscapes' of each of the ponies mind don't say much even in symbolism. The structure of the plot is quite predictable and there isn't a lot of character interaction or development. These sort of stories go hand in hand with that sort of thing. while I've never read the book this spell is based I would assume looking deep into someones mind is a very emotional experience. Seeing a friend for all they are and believe themselves to be. Yet twilight seems unphased by the fact that pinkie lives just to make others smile with no thought of anything in return or the fact that rainbow is sso critical of herself she doesn't believe she's good enough for the cheer of a crowd.

Still. You have promise. The general writing flows well and is easy to read. This is your first story. Keep practising! I can see you going far.

Sorry for the typos. I'm writing this on a new tablet.

#43 · Chapter 4 · 94w, 2d ago · · ·

Seems like turnabout is fair play in this case. I hope the others will be allowed to somehow soulgaze into Twilight as repayment for having their own intimate selves so revealed without permission.

#44 · Chapter 4 · 94w, 2d ago · · ·

Congrats on EQD, that's what brought me here.

Interesting concept. I am unfamiliar with The Dresden Files, but I think I can say that it hasn't affected my enjoyment or understanding as you have done a fairly good job of explaining what is going on. Been meaning to pick up that series for a while now...

I'm guessing that it will hit the fan about permission because of Twilight using it on Rarity. As a fellow unicorn who happens to be familiar with illusion magic, maybe she will recognize that Twilight just did something mental to her and demand an explanation.

#45 · Chapter 3 · 94w, 2d ago · · ·

Nice job with Dash. I've always felt that her character has an interesting combination of bravado, ambition, skill, and intense (but secret) insecurity. You've captured that well.

#46 · Chapter 2 · 94w, 2d ago · · ·

The description of the party music in the manifestation of Pinkie's subconscious reminded me of Gulliver's Travels Part III.

#47 · Chapter 4 · 94w, 2d ago · · ·

>>1378885

it was a long sentence. :trollestia:

#48 · Chapter 3 · 94w, 2d ago · · ·

When the description of the spectators in Rainbow's mind started that reminded me of a scene in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

#49 · Chapter 4 · 94w, 2d ago · · ·

Uh-oh... thing's won't end well because Twi will try the soulgaze on Celestia... And that will crush her...

#50 · Chapter 4 · 94w, 2d ago · · ·

I've got to join the others who think Twilight's soulgazing is getting creepy. Between not getting her friends' explicit permission first and starting to act increasingly obsessed with the concept of doing this to all of them, Twi seems to be accelerating down the slippery slope to mad wizard* territory. :twilightoops:

*Kind of like a mad scientist with a pointier hat and different laboratory equipment.

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