5 comments · 79 views
I think it was inevitable I'd eventually write additional material for The Last Human. Well before the midpoint of the story, I realized my worldbuilding had gotten out of my control and the story was outgrowing its Last Unicorn framework. There are many side stories that I'd be remiss not to tell somewhere at some point. I expected to write it, though I didn't think I'd write it so soon. Stories take place before, during, and after Last Human.
Thus, come September, I found myself in the beginnings of drafting a story about Ashling (who you'll remember from the last two chapters) because
A) I need to wrap up some loose ends. Namely what happened to Forget-Me-Not, the flutterpony.
B) Worldbuilding for witches is fun and fascinating. The question of how a witch— who are fully and proudly on the opposite side of good—functions in the magical ecology of the world ended up being a question I wanted to answer.
C) Ashling seemed to leave a good impression on people. Readers seem to want to read more or her
D) But most of all the little wretched witch wouldn’t leave me alone. I tried ten times to start on the fic I wanted to start and she wouldn’t let me so now here I am writing about this awful little girl and her awful adventures with this awful sword and generally being awful. Ashling is the worst and needs to let me live my life.
(However, in drafting this story it made me wonder I should write Star Swirl's further adventures in their own separate story. It would work better that way and stand on its own with its own audience. What complicates this are a few stories where he again encounters humans (or witches) and I have no idea where I'd put those. Probably with the Last Human collection.)
Expect it to go live in early November/late October.
PS: Ashling's story has a title, but the side-story collection does not. I'm open to suggestions.
PPS: Said collection will not be on a schedule and will update sporadically. Just warning you.
I'm starting (hopefully shorter) multichapter fic: Winner's Circle. A story about Diamond Tiara, cutie marks, and pageants. And Apple Bloom.
I've wanted to write a good story about Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon since before FiM season one ended. Diamond Tiara especially. She's a character who's rarely explored in the canon (understandable, most side characters aren't) or in the fandom (which is slightly more surprising) despite being arguably the only reoccurring villain in the show.
The only thing I've written (and published) regular old FiM canon was Moon and Thtarth so the whole thing's new and exciting to me.
Until next time, dear readers, I leave you with this corgi
6 comments · 201 views
Racing around to come up behind you again.
So, as those Pink Floyd lyrics might hint, I'm behind on my draft for chapter 18. Way behind. Like, two weeks behind. Normally the chapter would be going up next weekend and the rough draft's not even finished yet. However, I am very glad to say that after real life and my worst case of writer's block since 2011, the rough draft is finally rolling smoothly. I'm a little over halfway through, I think, and the proposed upload for the final draft is mid April.
I forgot how much legitimate writer's block stinks. This one was an ugly combination of the Blanks and the Every Word I Create Is An Abomination Kill Me Now. I blame a lot of that on A) stress, because we're coming close to the endgame and every scene matters and B) I went in blind. I've got no solid plan for this chapter or much of the chapters after. No outline, no detailed notes, no visualization of how it'd work in my head, nothing. Vague idea of events at best, and most of those won't come in until a chapter later. Partly because for various reasons (mainly that humans are not unicorns and don't behave as such) after this chapter I'm probably gonna be diverting hard from The Last Unicorn.
In unrelated news:
-- Star Swirl finally has a canon appearance! Both in the poster in "Three's a Crowd" and in the comic. I was pleasantly surprised to discover he wasn't a cranky old grump as I expected, but not unlike my own Star Swirl: curious, adventurous, and a little odd. I wasn't expecting a white stallion, but I much prefer it to the fanon grey. It makes his cape really pop.
-- I recently watched Puella Magi Madoka Magica. I watched it all of it in about two days. This was a mistake. I should have paced that out more... Also, that was one of the best things I've ever seen.
-- The Man With Two Names is pretty much done, save for the epilogue. I'm getting those post-story blues because now I need a new fic to have unnecessarily extreme emotions about.
-- "Fight the Power" has been stuck in my head for the past eight days. It will not leave. Send help.
6 comments · 245 views
Answers to the questions I got last week. You're still welcome to ask more in the comment section here, if you like.
Be forewarned, fair reader: here there be mild spoilers Nothing in this post spoils the fic, though some may spoil the book the fic is based on, The Last Unicorn.
The K Man asks
Was there anything particularly difficult when build the story lore? (G1 to now, pony's human myths, etc.)
Not really, no.
The hardest work was connecting G1 and building exactly how I was going to do it. I had about a week of rewatching certain episodes to see how the connection between the rainbow bridge worked, to figure out how I was going to do the overlap of the Old Worlds and how much a a precedent I could build on. Another was figuring out the layout for the Volcano of Gloom could feasibly be Mount Sill. I found that usually when I'm stuck somewhere there's something in G1 I can use. Sill being Gloom was a last minute change, decided on in the middle of writing the final draft of chapter 13.
The gens of ponies being connected has been my headcanon since the FiM premiered though, so it wasn't all that hard. G1 with all its adventures and surprisingly dark turns gives me a lot to play with.
The myths of humans in the eyes of ponies and such is actually the easiest part. It pretty much writes itself. The springboard for the entire story was the concept of the human being to unicorns what unicorns are to people.
Worldbuilding and lore in general is the most fun part of a story for me, so even when I hit a rough patch it's still fun.
How can you recommend us to read the Last Unicorn? Why?
Yes yes yes a thousand time yes. It's my favorite book for a reason: it's beautiful, it's profound and it just seems to get better and better the older I get. I'm sorry I don't have a better answer other than "It's awesome" but... well, it's awesome.
Are there any gifts you would like?
Fan-art and more comments
Actually, I could really use some new socks. Some nice simple pattern socks. Maybe also a copy of Leaves of Grass and well made Pokemon plushies. Or well-made pony plushies. I should have jumped on that chibi BonBon at Canterlot Gardens when I had the chance. Oh, well.
Oh! And slang dictionaries! I love slang dictionaries.
Nothing Is Constant asked
No updates for HOW long?
Miiiiiight be longer than I originally said, too. I had some terrible writer's block this week. This is such a terrible time of year for me to write. Winter just kills my productivity, cold weather makes me want to hibernate. (Meanwhile in summer it's just making words all day everyday. ) But I think most of the problem was just getting started, since once the chapter got rolling it stayed rolling. If I play my cards right and I keep to schedule like a good Patch I SHOULD be back to uploading around the middle of the month.
Do you hate me or something?
Aw hon, how could I hate someone with an Applejack avatar? c8
Why choose The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle to do a homage(ish thing) for?
I actually have the moment where the entire story was conceived and inspired. And by moment I mean Skype chat.
Saddlesoap Opera: I kind of like Humans as a weird, mythical thing. Either extinct or legendary.
Patchwork Poltergeist: I like that too
Patchwork Poltergeist: Humans are the unicorns' unicorn
Saddlesoap Opera: Exactly
Patchwork Poltergeist: Oh man you guys! What if... like... The Last Unicorn, except... like... with humans instead
Saddlesoap Opera: O8
Patchwork Poltergeist: That is probably a dumb idea, but I'm digging the idea of Schmendrick being Starswirl, the Not-Yet-Bearded
Fifteen Minutes Later:
Saddlesoap Opera: Also, Lyra: Human theorist? Ex-Human? Just sits funny?
Patchwork Poltergeist: The more time goes by, the more I like human theories- OHMYGOD MOLLY GRUE
Patchwork Poltergeist: Darn you Saddlesoap, you're gonna make "The Last Human" a reality. Lyra being Molly is just too perfect
Patchwork Poltergeist: Though that also majorly screws up the pre-Equestrian timeline idea I've been running with
Saddlesoap Opera: Well, it could be its own continuity...
Patchwork Poltergeist: True, it could. Likely would have to, since I just refuse to drop Starswirl. I like it too much.
Saddlesoap Opera: hee hee
Saddlesoap Opera: "You should grow a beard -- folks would take you more seriously."
Poltergeist: Heehee, exactly!
Saddlesoap Opera: Yeah... some ancestor of Lyra's. She would work in there.
Saddlesoap Opera: "Fantasy era" Equestria is a neat setting.
Patchwork Poltergeist: Maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan. Saddles, you jerk. I'm gonna end up writing this, aren't I?
The opening lines were written on a spare bit of notebook paper not an hour later and the rest is history. The whole concept was so awesome I had to go through with it and it's all Saddles' fault. I later got him back by making him write History Repeats
What is your favorite fan fiction story?
Oh Horus in heaven you asked for favorites. Well, I'm awful at picking overall favorites, so I'll give you have favorite pony fics by major genre.
Comedy: Diary of a Store Clerk subverts HiE cliches with gleeful aplomb and manages to do the hardest thing there is to do in fanfiction: keep the feel of the show. The tone is excellent, and the main character is quite possibly my favorite human in all ponyfic.
Romance: Let the Silence Sing is wonderfully paced and very sweet. The descriptions are vivid and tactile, as it should be, since through the majority of the fic the lovers don't talk. I normally don't like shipping, but this is my prime exception.
Dark: The Heart Thief This one's so good that I actually kind of hate it for being so good.
Adventure: Paradise has been one of my favorites since 2011. I will drop almost anything I'm doing when it updates. Now if only it'll update...
Crossover: A Mighty Demon Slayer Grooms Some Ponies Davidson has an amazing grasp on G1 and welds it to G4 masterfully. The connection between Twinkle Eye ponies and the Crystal Empire is so genius and so obvious I'm kicking myself for not thinking of it.
The former is quietly sad, but very sad none the less. Poor Snails, man. The latter... well, I think the latter has made me more emotional than any other ponyfic has made me. I can't recall the last fictional character I wanted to kick in the throat as much as Lucky. While the story isn't perfect and at times the narrative clunky, its over all very good. Agh, I'm so worried for the protagonist. I don't care about jerks being brought to justice, just please be okay, Jerry. Please please please get out of this story okay.
Aside from Pony fanfictions, my favorite is certainly Pedestal. I literally couldn't put down until I had no more of it to read. I also might have cried a lot.
Aside from The Last Unicorn?
Do movies count? If so, then it's Princess Mononoke by a long shot. That movie leaves me in awe every time I see it and I think actually made me a better person. I'm fairly certain this movie is where I got my love for long, quiet conversations from.
Are you an author who stream-of-consciousness writes or are you a stylized outline user?
A bit of both. I have a vague outline in my head, since I brainstorm ahead of time. I'll have bullet points of stuff I want to cover, just so I don't go in totally directionless.
It'll look something like: Character X Does Y, Character Z Has Talk With Q About Stuff. For some scenes I have the entire thing planned out in my head already, sometimes it's totally stream-of-consciousness and I just let the story do whatever. But most often I have a very broad guideline and let the characters do as they will. But I never really know what's going to happen until the pen hits the paper. I never planned on Sunshower to have the "what's the matter with your eyes" thing, but Sunshower turned out to be one of those characters that just up and does whatever the hell she wants. She's as bad as Star Swirl, I swear.
The chapter I'm working on now hasn't been planned at all, everything going down now is raw spur of the moment words, no real planning on this one at all. Except for maybe the last scene.
Why is the Father of our protagonist never mentioned?
Canon Reason: He died in the protagonist's early childhood, so he's not on his mind, so he doesn't come up much. His mother says a dragon or a bear ate him, but our protagonist strongly suspects his father actually fell off a roof.
Real Life Reason: I really just didn't put any thought into his father until around chapter nine. My image was always of the human's mom and her kid out alone in the world. Usually in these situations it's a man and his daughter, but I kind of like the idea of a mother and her son, too.
What is the Humans name? (you dont know do you)
It's in the last chapter. c8
And I totally know what it is! Sort of! I.... just can't decide between my two choices for his name is all.
What I can tell you though, is people in his family (and to a greater extent, the nomadic group his family came from) tend to name their kids after something in their line of sight. His mom's name, for example, was Sconce.
Will America do your soundtrack?
Man, I WISH I had a soundtrack. That would be amazing.
On the subject of the Last Unicorn soundtrack though, Man's Road is seriously a great song. Moon rising, disguising lonely streets in gay displays is a line that fits right in with Beagle's prose.
Fun Fact: If you listen, the score reprises Man's Road when the unicorn wakes up as Amalthea. I was so excited when I found that out
Will you ship my OC?
Only if you'll cover the postage and bubble wrap.
1 comments · 138 views
When I saw the synopsis for “Bats!” I was really excited. FiM tends to handle real world conflict fairly well. I also like to see friends in conflict over personal views when they clash, and we rarely see Fluttershy and Applejack together. Compromise and reasonable discourse about environmentalism! Character stuff! Hooray!
Shame that’s not what happened.
What’s frustrating is all of this could have had a much simpler resolution
Uh, guys? Relocate the bats.
Just move the friggin’ bats.
You don’t need a sanctuary (since when do bats respect boundaries or signs? is there anything keeping them from straying out?). You don’t need to hurt them or even drive them out. They had the bats rounded up. They could have put the barrels in a cage and moved the cage to Fluttershy’s cottage or wherever. Move them somewhere else where they won’t be a problem. Bats are happy, Applejack is happy. Nobody gets hurt and everybody wins.
Also, I don’t really think the amount of apples the bats eat (which seems to be a hell of a lot) justifies the apple trees that would grow back. That section of orchard could be eaten up in a month. It would take a year at the very least to grow a tree, even by earth pony standards, unless vampire fruit bat guano makes apple trees pop up every other week.
It also bugs me to a degree that Fluttershy hardly takes Applejack’s concerns seriously at all. Applejack I can understand, since Apples can be stubborn and “get rid of the varmints” is gonna be a farmer’s M.O. in this situation. Time is short, after all and bats won’t wait. Granted, I understand that Flutters is on the bats but is it too much to ask that there be at least SOME attempt to see things from AJ’s point of view?
Also, I thought the stare was something Fluttershy couldn’t control. Did this change somewhere and I missed it? And why the concern that it hurts the bats? It didn’t hurt the dragon or the cockatrice, it instilled a sense of remorse and shame.
That said, it could be that what harms the bats isn’t the stare but the spell Twilight cast. If they weren’t eating apples, then what WERE they eating? They didn’t go away and they didn’t seem to redirect onto another food source. Would they have just stayed at Sweet Apple Acres and starved to death?
Because that would be a legitimate concern. The bats are actually at risk, as opposed to being at risk of… what are they at risk of again?
That’s really the problem here.
Everypony is scared of the bats or hates the bats but none of them mention hurting them. At worst they’d be driven off and… that’s it. Fluttershy doesn’t have as solid ground to stand on because the bats aren’t at risk the way AJ’s orchard is. If the bats were going to be exterminated or hurt then she’s have a better leg to stand on but as it is, it just doesn’t work.
I like the morals of this episode a lot. Long term solution is better than a short term solution, and don’t let people push you around, even if those people are your friends. Sadly, both of them are handled pretty clumsily, and it’s a real shame. With just a few throwaway lines and tweaks it could have been so much better.
Oh, and Fluttershy was a bat. That was kind of neat, I guess. It demonstrates short term solutions causing more problems fairly well, actually. Kind of a Space Whale Aesop, but whatever.
All that said though, aside from my gripes I did mostly like this episode. I’m just frustrated and disappointment the way it handled some things. Like a lighter version of my reaction to Dragonquest.
5 comments · 209 views
So, I got an early Christmas present a couple weeks ago: A TV Tropes page! I found it while googling myself because I needed to reread past chapters to make sure I didn't make a continuity error and I almost screeched like a velociraptor in the library. Out of all my presents thus far, it's absolutely the best one. (Though the dictionary of idiom origins comes really close) So, thank you mysterious Troper!
Meanwhile, the rough draft of the next chapter still hasn't started yet. It should be in motion by the end of this week, but it being Christmas and all I may not get to my usual writing spots (restaurants, libraries, that cafe-ish area in Target) will either be crowded or closed. Plus, when I don't have other work to do, I have a bad habit of lazing off and nothing getting done. In addition, while I know how the rest of the story will play out in terms of pacing and endings (mostly... the ending's still being developed) I actually have no idea what's gonna be in chapter 17. It's a little too early for stuff that happens in chapter 18 to happen yet, so I've got essentially another chapter dedicated to character development and maybe time skips, same as in chapter ten.
The point of this is, the next update will most likely be late. Or at least not a clean four weeks from now. It's all a bit up in the air right now.
So, to make up for that and because it's the end of the year, I'm opening the floor for an open question and answer session. Anything about the story, about the story, whatever. Spoilery answers will be hidden, of course, and nothing directly spoiled. For example, I may answer having to do with the end of The Last Unicorn, but not anything to do with the end of The Last Human.
While I always MEAN to answer most comments, especially questions, I don't always get around to it for one reason or another. So here's another chance if I accidentally passed over you in the comments.
I'll post the answers next Saturday.
PS: I am so stoked (do the kids still say stoked?) for the next few episodes. Applejack and Fluttershy clash over values! Rarity episode! Apples To the Core! Everything I ever wanted!
PPS: The most I see the new user page, the less I hate it. I do like the way I move modules around, after I added pics and junk and generally felt in control of my own space again I felt pretty okay with it. I still hate the way the top of it looks though. I should make a banner or write a bio or something.