Featured In2

More Stories8

  • T Dancing on Silver Strings

    Celestia and Discord struggle in a psychological battle.
    11,757 words · 3,996 views  ·  285  ·  6
  • E The Sun Whispers Your Name

    Twilight and Luna enter a dreamworld to rescue an unconscious Princess Celestia.
    32,094 words · 7,493 views  ·  540  ·  17
  • E Perfect the Way You Are

    I will always love you, Derpy. You are perfect the way you are.
    5,453 words · 6,216 views  ·  185  ·  4
  • T All Paths Lead Home

    A mother and her daughter attempt to find harmony in a post-apocalyptic Equestria.
    109,814 words · 2,110 views  ·  127  ·  2
  • T Only a Choice

    In the Wasteland, there is no such thing as right and wrong. There is only a choice.
    9,430 words · 543 views  ·  54  ·  1
  • T Hell's Traitor

    Does a pony ever really change? Even those damned for eternity?
    32,046 words · 877 views  ·  58  ·  2
  • E Evicted

    Ponyville Library's previous owner has a bad time.
    4,482 words · 1,189 views  ·  120  ·  8
  • T Epic Ponies Doing Epic Things

    A collection of short stories all about the epic.
    9,615 words · 908 views  ·  37  ·  2

Blog Posts45

  • 77w, 6d
    The State of Affairs

    Yikes. It's been a while, hasn't it? I hate these blogs, but I kinda feel guilty when I don't say anything, so please bear with me.

    First of all, let me apologise for the lack of activity in the last month or so. No, really, I'm sorry. :( I could go on a long list of specifics, but honestly, I think it's best summed up with: uni. Doing a law degree sucks, especially when it's a double degree. And when I combine this with the fact I am going to one of the best law schools in the country, the competition is intense (scholarship money is great), the workload is crazy (seriously, I am doing single subjects that are worth a degree's entire semesters' worth of units D:), and the fact that this degree will still take me over half a decade... Ew. Just the other week myself and a friend looked at our reading list for one subject that week and were like, 'Oh sweet! It's only 120 pages!' (and while I'm at it, why do academics/case reports feel the need to cram articles and shit on A4 paper in like size ten font? D: How is that meant to be readable?!). But this is one of those things where I know that hard work now will pay off hugely later, so I am just sticking it out. Oh yeah, not to mention working three or four days a week and my attempts to keep some degree of a social life intact. So there you go. Busy doesn't really cover it, haha. I'm also having a problem where whenever I sit down to write, whatever I do write is just... missing something. But that's my problem to work through.

    Anyway, the point of all this is to say that while I'm sorry for the lack of updates and activity in general, I just want to say that I'm not gone (just trapped), and I have no plans of leaving As the Sun Sets unfinished. It just might take a little longer than expected as I wait for holidays, haha.

    And to anyone willing to bear with me, thank you sincerely. You guys are the best. <3

    Have a good one and stay crazy! I will be around. I promise.

    8 comments · 351 views
  • 86w, 4d
    Rant time! Show vs. Tell: Why You Know People who are Doing it Terribly Wrong

    It’s always depressing to see people give bad advice. It’s even more depressing to see people eat that bad advice up and say things like, 'This is really good and totally right!' Now, I don’t like starting arguments on the Internet, so I normally just shake my head and look the other way. But this is something I have seen more than a couple of times from people who have a greater audience than next to none, and this is not a good thing.

    So! Time for another essay, I think. Show vs. tell.

    As a general rule, showing the audience something is infinitely better than telling them. Why? Because it’s more engaging and interesting. Why? Because it allows the reader to draw implications and connect the dots, and this gets them to immerse themselves in whatever the author is trying to say. This is a simple but absolutely critical point to make because it underpins everything I am about to say. Telling the reader information, generally emotions, etc, is boring because it’s unengaging. Simple. This is something that anyone wanting to write well needs to understand.

    Now, this is the rule. It gets thrown around a lot, and for good reasons. However, people hate criticism. And when people get hit with this particular piece of criticism: ‘You need to show more’, they love to rush to their own defence. The amount of times I have seen people go ‘EqD just doesn’t understand that there are times it’s perfectly okay to tell the reader SOME things!’...

    It’s an interesting point because those people are, technically, correct. There are times when telling is acceptable, though they tend to be few and far between. Of course, this little caveat gives people a ridiculous amount of room to run around spewing rubbish about show vs. tell and how justified they are in their mediocrity. Normally that’s fine. I can live with people not really understanding what they’re talking about, and it’s an ocean of mediocre writers out there, many of whom don’t realise that they are part of that ocean. It’s not so fine, however, when they try passing off incorrect or poorly explained information as fact.

    And this is where all the problems and the misinformation start. So, I will briefly run down the times when telling is generally more acceptable:

    Summarisation: Telling is okay is where showing the reader something would be gratuitous or slow the plot down too much. For example, you don’t need to show the reader what the building looks like in the middle of a shootout. As far as character emotion is concerned, telling is only recommended if it's telling the audience a detail that isn’t important to their character. For example, a character is described in a passing detail as watching t.v and they look upset watching it, rather than giving painstaking and ultimately unnecessary detail about the tears streaming down their face in order to try and show they are sad. Of course, if it’s an important detail that the character is sad watching whatever is on t.v, then you should show instead.

    Implication outside the initial scope: Now this is complicated. So I am going to use someone else’s explanation when they were teaching it to me:

    There is a technique where you baldly state how a character feels or what a character thinks about something, and that statement can imply things far beyond the scope of what you wrote. If you've ever read Bubbles you might remember how the style is very simplistic, with Derpy telling the reader all sorts of things that other writers might try to show instead, like the things that makes her happy, or her favourite foods, or what might make her sad. The thing is, telling here is not an error, because what the writer was trying to portray subtly is not Derpy's emotions or her interests. The thing the writer was trying to infer here was Derpy's simplemindedness, and the relationship she has with her mother. It's the same sort of thing in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, where Christopher does not understand his father's love and ambivalence towards him, but it comes through very clearly in their dialogue and interactions.

    There is an interesting, slightly tweaked version of this where the author tells the reader something, and then goes on to show the reader how to reach that same conclusion. So, for example, in our story the narration tells us ‘He loved her.’ or ‘He hated her.’. But then what we do is we go on to show the reader the personality traits or the physical attributions/whatever that lead to that emotion. That way, you are still engaging the reader by helping them reach the same conclusion.

    (This is also the easiest to get horribly wrong.)

    Two substantive points.* Not a whole lot. Makes it easier to remember and attempt to apply.

    But there is an important point to be found in the examples above, and one that people often forget. You will notice that the second example is only kind of telling. This is because it touches at the heart of showing: letting the reader connect the dots by themselves. That’s what showing is about, a point that often gets confused and forgotten in the constant ‘show don’t tell’ mantra that gets thrown around. People forget WHY you show things and WHY you don’t tell them. You show things to let the readers understand on their own what is going on. In this line of thought, you can tell the reader something to show them something else, the real point that you are trying to get across.

    For example, if something is making a character feel uncomfortable or out of place, don’t tell the reader that. You can show their physical reactions to imply that emotion (which is a great and efficient way of doing things and definitely the route you should take frequently), or you tell them how the character doesn’t like the way people stand in groups and always look around him. Or tell them how the character doesn’t like their clothes, or sense of fashion, or the way they talk. All of the above is telling the reader something to actually let them understand that the character feels like he doesn’t fit in well. And how much more interesting and entertaining is that?

    Don’t hold the reader’s hand and point out things like you would with a three-year-old. It’s so dull. Or, to use another person’s point again:

    […] but it's not so much that you need to make your readers spend time working things out. You just need to let them connect the dots on their own.

    If you see people going on about ‘I can tell! EqD don’t know anything!’ beware. I often chase up the stories of people who write those things, and oh boy, they don’t get it right. Show vs. tell is a difficult concept to nail because it’s often layered and nuanced, and a lot writers (myself definitely included. Oh god, this stuff still gives me a headache trying to put it into practice and do it well), struggle with it. But at the end of the day, unless you’re summarising material or touching on the second point, for the love of everything that is holy, don’t tell. Show. The more you let the readers engage with your writing, the better your writing will become.

    Also, if you see people talking about this issue and all of their examples are from the best novels from before 1900… Yeah. I love the classics, I really do, but beware of changed standards and styles. For example, there’s a reason we no longer write ridiculously long, over-punctuated sentences. There isn’t really anyone in the fandom who can tell stories anywhere near as well as Austen, Dickens, Dumas or Doyle anyway, so until you are confident you have the whole show don’t tell thing down, stick with it before you start trying to break rules and copy the 19th century greats.

    I have yet to see someone be correct when they attack any ‘you need to show more’ criticism levelled at them. Mainly because those people forget/don’t understand why you ‘show’ in the first place, or have only a limited understanding of the matter to begin with.

    So, what do you do if someone brings up show vs. tell with your work? Ask them very politely for an example, then you can see what the real problem is. A lot of times people say you’re using tell-y language, but if you never have the problem areas highlighted specifically, you won’t learn what you could be doing wrong, and, more importantly, how to go about fixing it. It also means you aren’t left to guess what’s actually tell-y and what’s not. Too often people get told they are being tell-y and just try to add more description, thinking that description is showing, therefore they must be doing something right. It’s misunderstanding the issue like this that leads to all kinds of terrible places.

    So in conclusion, watch out! I have seen people write essays on this topic who clearly don’t even understand what is showing and what is telling, and I have seen people go ‘That was immensely helpful!’ on those same posts. There is lots of material out there that will lead you down bad places and teach bad habits.

    And be safe, don’t be sorry. Show, don’t tell.

    Questions? Comments? Let me hear 'em, and I'll do my darndest to answer them as best I can.

    *You might find specific examples where using a more telling style of narration may fit better, but believe me when I say that if you think your telling is an exception to the rules and working, it’s almost certainly not, and your work would be far stronger if you utilised showing.

    (Special thanks to Sessalisk for letting me steal her far better worded examples, lol)

    28 comments · 666 views
  • 90w, 2d
    New Chapter and Related Apologies

    2 comments · 225 views
  • 91w, 5h
    Honest Words

    She holds my hand with all the strength she has left, a bony grasp that shakes like a frightened child. I can hear her breathing, wet and rasping as if her lungs are filled with fluid—until I realise that they probably are. The oxygen machine next to me hisses, and I can hear shrill beeps from the other side of the bed. One and a half every second, a laughable imitation of a heartbeat. To me it sounds like a countdown.

    “You’re such a good boy,” she whispers. I have to lean in to hear her properly. “You remember to study hard.”

    “Of course, Nan,” I reply easily, putting on my best fake smile. At this point, it’s pretty damn good. “You know me. I always work hard.”

    “And don’t go” —she coughs, wiping away the dribble with a shaking napkin—“getting a big head, either.” There it is, just a hint of the sternness I remember, the bluntness that always put pins in my metaphorical balloons. Humility was a big thing with Nan.

    “I won’t,” I say. We’ve had this conversation before. By now it almost feels wooden, like a bad movie script. I wonder if she even remembers the other times, or if she knows that this time it’s different. “Don’t you worry.”

    She gives me a shaky smile before her body starts to convulse during another coughing fit. I cringe, hoping she doesn’t see the movement, and it takes her a few wheezing breaths before she can speak again. She grips my hand tighter, almost desperately, like holding onto me is the most important thing in the world. “You’re… such a good boy. Very special. You make me so proud.”

    Instinctively I am about to say that she just told me not to get a big head, but I stop, the smile faltering for just a second. Then it’s back in place, and I give her hand a gentle squeeze. “Thanks, Nan. That… means a lot to me.”

    Because right now, honest words are all we have left to give each other.

    I never have liked goodbyes.





    Remember how I said I might post scraps of stuff here? Well this was a little something I threw together not that long ago. It's not pony, so forgive me for that, but it was a scene that I wanted to get out of my head. And plus, anything to try and practice writing different styles and genres! Like last time, it's not really edited or anything, just kind of thrown together, lol.

    Anyway, new chapter of As the Sun Sets is coming along nicely. The problem with having written the first drafts months ago for a lot of this stuff is that looking at it now, it really, really sucks, and it requires me rewriting huge chunks. Unfortunately, this takes more time than I would like. Still, it's coming along nicely now, so hopefully it's not too far away!

    Stay awesome!

    6 comments · 249 views
  • ...
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Source

When Twilight is given the opportunity to travel with Princess Celestia on what appears to be a regular dignitary’s trip to see the dragons, she’s ecstatic. After all, nopony has seen the dragon kingdom in over a hundred years.

But they are not alone on the journey; there are rumours being carried on the wind, hushed whispers of something stirring in the east...

Their presence reignites an ancient chain of events that will see Twilight racing for help in the darkest places on earth and the princess struggling to reconcile her role in the world, surrounded on all sides by enemies she thought defeated millennia ago.

The clock is ticking. Time is running out, and the sun has already begun to set...

(Cover art by the amazing xX-Mr-No-Name-Xx)

Featured on EqD!

First Published
6th Jan 2013
Last Modified
18th Mar 2013

This is epic. NB4 featured, definitely. I look forward to more!

Oh boi here we go! This looks promising :rainbowwild:

Great. Have all of my thumbs, you know how much I adore Twilestia, and I can already feel this will be epic.

I have a question though, regarding the lenght of this. How many chapter are you planning to have, approximately?

Added to the "to read" list :pinkiehappy:

Ah'm fairly certain the second line in ya' synopsis was used ta' describe Mordor.

You never fail to captivate me with your words, Mystic. Can't wait to see how this turns out!

-JJ2

#6 · 94w, 5d ago · · · Prologue ·

I see the beginnings of NMM here.

Also: Moriath. That name made me think of Morgoth, the true dark lord from LotR.

Just curious, Mystic: how long are you planning this one to be?

>>1914972 It almost feels to me like that is the point, considering that the second additional tag on EqD's post is 'Tolkien is my god'.

It was part of the agreements made in the second age.
Yes, I am receiving very strong LotR vibes now.

Twilight sighed. She had more questions than she could count (she knew that because, for a moment, she had tried to list them in her head in order of importance).
I really liked this section. It feels veryTwilight.

Luna raised an eyebrow. “Do not grow complacent in the shadow of the east, Sister. You of all ponies

“And I haven’t. But it is nothing anymore. Just a shadow.”

It seems like something got cut out here...

I can already tell that this is going to be amazing. This is something I only do rarely, so when I do, it really counts.

MOAR!!!

I love epic storytelling like this, and your style does not disappoint!:twilightsmile:

This seems very interesting, and I look forward to what you have in store!

"The clock is ticking. Time is running out, and the sun has already begun to set..."

Getting 'Eternal' vibes from that. Haven't read it yet, gotta' wait 'til I get home from work, lol. I'm crossing my fingers for Twilight and Celestia going on an adventure together, and not Celestia getting tied up with this-and-that and Twilight having to go off adventuring without Celestia. Twilight never gets to adventure with her mentor. :twilightangry2:

Luna raised an eyebrow. “Do not grow complacent in the shadow of the east, Sister. You of all ponies

I think you accidentally the end of this sentence. :derpytongue2:

Anyway, this is certainly shaping up to be a really interesting story. I'm looking forward to more.

I'm sorry, if I were an EqD pre-reader, I would've waited for more before I accepted it. It's a good start and all, but usually stories of this caliber tend to burn out before they're finished, or usually don't hold what it promised.

Spots of telling here and there, maybe rephrasing of some things to make it a bit more eye pleasing. The block of italics smack in the middle of things makes me wonder is it a flashback or thought? That and it's kind of stylistically ugly, imho.

UPDATE: I must've angered someone with my blasphemy.

Haven't begun reading yet, but tell me. Do the go on this trip alone? Just the two of them? A Goddess-Princess of Equestria and her personal student and a wielder if the most powerful artifact in the world? Going into another kingdom on a possibly dangerous diplomatic trip? Without a huge contingent of guards? Seems legit.

If they do not go alone, then I'll gladly read it, because Twilestia is indeed bestia. :pinkiehappy:

That is likely the best story summary I've ever read on FIMF. :rainbowderp: This is most definitely going in my "read later" list.  I'd read it now, but I have over a hundred in that list already. :raritydespair:  If the story itself is half as hair-raising as the summary, you've got yourself a winner.

#17 · 94w, 5d ago · · · Prologue ·

A wonderful start.  Glad to be reading another adventure story from you, Mystic.

Excited, loved your previous story in this universe, can't wait for more.

>>1915397

The great and powerful Varanus enjoys this work. Only good things can come of this.

>>1915424

That's what grabbed my attention, at first. The "Twilight +1 Adventure" and "Fun in the land of Dragons" gave me a Off the Edge of the Map/Apotheosis tickle. Opposite order, of course.

To the author: I kinda hate to start off by comparing your to other authors. Everyone should be appreciated for their own work. I even bitched someone out for that very thing once months back, so my apologies. I haven't even read the chapters yet, so please understand I was merely going by the description. Props to the cover artists, too. You're definitely going in my "read later" list. There are now 43 stories in there, but I'll likely bump yours up in the queue.

“Do not grow complacent in the shadow of the east, Sister. You of all ponies

“And I haven’t. But it is nothing anymore. Just a shadow.”

Your sentence seems to have lost its head.:pinkiehappy:

#21 · 94w, 4d ago · · · Prologue ·

Wow. I am very impressed with your writing style; I haven't read anything with that intricacy of detail for a long time.

The writing alone would make me want to track this fic, but the concept also makes me curious. *tracks*

Adventure.

I like it.

An adventure to a Kingdom of Dragons, that Twilight sees as not being dangerous and she doesn't think to bring Spike:facehoof: Sorry that just broke the SOD for me I don't think I'll be continuing.

I'm looking forward to the new adventure as 'The Sun Whispers your name'  Is one of my all-time favorites. I hope this one is as epic as the previous however I get the feeling of a much longer story to be told.  I look forward to this tale of epic proportion.

>>1914874 Featured? This will never get featured! What are you--oh my God you're right. I think I might be in shock, haha. I hope you like what's to come!

>>1914877 How many chapters? Hmm, somewhere between fifteen and twenty, I reckon. I'm currently cutting/adding a lot of stuff, so it's hard to say for sure. I hope you enjoy it!

>>1914936 Be sure to let me know what you think! :twilightsmile:

>>1914972 Hehe, lot's of LoTR influences in this one!

>>1914985 Thank you! I'm thrilled to hear you like it!

>>1915000 If you think that, you would probably be right, haha.

>>1915087 Pretty long. I have about 160k words done so far, though I would guess that only about 130k of those will make the cut. Still got a handful of chapters left to write too.

>>1915159 Hehe, thank you! I'm thrilled to hear you're enjoying it!

>>1915160 Thank you! I'm glad you like it!

>>1915397 Thank you very much! I'm looking forward to sharing it!

>>1915424 That's what I thought too, haha. There is so much wonderful stuff that can be done with Celestia's character, especially on an adventure like this one.

>>1915431 Good catch! The upload must have derped. Thank you very much for reading! :twilightsmile:

>>1915443 Haha, then it should please you to know that this story is almost finished (as far as the first draft is concerned, anyway). And yes, the italics is a flashback.

>>1915547 No, they do not travel alone. A set of guards go with them on their journey. If you read it, I really hope you enjoy it!

>>1915595 Heh, that's the reaction I was hoping for! I hope you like it! :twilightsmile:

>>1915688 Thank you very much!

>>1915730 I hope you enjoy it!

>>1915822 Well, to be fair, Daetrin's work has always been a huge inspiration for me! I love that style of adventure to pieces.

>>1916094 I have indeed! :S Thanks for the catch!

>>1916383 Thank you very much for reading, and I'm thrilled to hear you're enjoying it!

>>1916420 Thank you!

>>1916615 I actually had a scene where Spike explained why he didn't want to go, but it was long and horrendously boring, so I cut it out of the final draft. The real reason he's not in the story is because, as a writer, I don't feel like I can do anything interesting with his character. He's just not someone who I enjoy writing, honestly.

>>1917306 Oh, it will be much longer and much better, I hope! I have improved a lot since then!

>>1917569

I'm always right. ALWAYS.

"Not only was she going on an adventure with Princess Celestia, but it wasn’t one that was life-threatening or paramount to Equestria’s ongoing survival! Instead, it was going to be educational!"

Oh Twilight! If only you knew.

Oh boy! I've been waiting fervently for this.

Absolutely loved The Sun Whispers Your Name, still one of my favorites on this site. Can't wait to read this one!

My "fics that I need to read right this second" list is growing alarmingly large.

:twilightoops:

Wow, you're pretty good at this, you certainly deserve to be a proof reader!

I one day hope to rise up as high as you! :twilightsmile:

>>1917980 Hehe, she's in for something special!

>>1918089 I hope you enjoy it! :twilightsmile:

>>1918173 Thank you very much! I say the secret is to practice, practice, practice!

>>1917569

Did you already forget that I'm prone of nagging and asking stupid, overly detailed questions? :twilightsmile:

What the dick is this shit? Did anyone even edit it?

<3

Grats on the feature!

>>1918535 They're the best kind of questions! Haha.

>>1918808 No one ever wants to edit for me. :( They see my writing then laugh and run away all noodly-armed.

#34 · 94w, 4d ago · · · Prologue ·

>>1915000You too?

AuAurvandil? I see what you did there. It was very clever too:twilightsmile:

Wait a minute.

Trouble brewing in the east where a dark land of evil rests?

Some sort of evil dude named Moriath?

The use of a names which was a variant of the name that inspired Earendil, master of the morning star?

Are you trying to remind of J.R.R Tolkien?

If so, keep it up!

>>1918956 Haha, there is a reason why one of the EqD tags is 'Tolkien is my god'!

>>1918960I didn't see the EqD post... but that does explain a lot!:pinkiehappy:

>>1918960Also, is this a sequel perhaps? Because I am not sure what this refers to:

“I would like that, actually,” Twilight said. She had spent more and more time with the the princess since their adventure into Luna’s mind, but she still hadn’t seen her for several weeks.

>>1918995 It's not really a sequel, but it does take place in the same narrative universe to one of my old stories, The Sun Whispers Your Name. There is a link to it in the description!

>>1918995

Read full description.

>>1919005Ah okay!Looks like I have some more reading material!:pinkiehappy:

>>1919005>>1919015Oh yeah! I remember that story. I read the first chapter and gave a thumb up but as I got caught up with story updates, I forgot about it:derpytongue2:.Well, might as well restart it.

>>1917569

Then you might want to go back and take a look at that scene and see what you can do to smooth it out because it seems like you just decided that all the other characters don't exist. There is no reaction to the fact that their friend is going on a long trip to a kingdom of creatures that they have only met rogue's from you would think they might be a tiny bit worried don't you think. I'm only saying this because I do think this fic has potential to be very good but if you just ignore other characters even if its just for a brief scene to explain why they won't be coming especially if the character has legitimate canonical reasons to come it makes the story seem rather shallow. This is just my opinion of course but these are the reasons why i'm not continuing, good luck with the rest of your endevours :twilightsmile:

>>1919005

I am confused. The Princess asks Twilight to accompany her to the dragon lands, citing her previous expedition to the dragon migration. This is all well and good, but why did NEITHER of them think to invite :moustache:? He didn't actually get to learn anything from the episode, except that Teenagers are Jerks and adult dragons don't watch their kids. It would be an amazing learning experience for him, particularly if Celestia cannot admit that she is worried for his safety. Moreover, once the adventure gets rolling, he would be a dragon (albeit a youngling) amongst dragons in the service of ponies: a source of intelligence and stealth that cannot be rivaled. Even if things don't turn up pear-shaped, bringing him along would still be a good idea politically if dragons have any empathy at all for their young.

This needs to be addressed. If you decide to include him, just don't introduce his parents. No need for that common plot-device.

>>1918248

AND she takes the time to read through all of her comments, and respond to them one, by one.

Awesome.

#47 · 94w, 4d ago · 1 · · Prologue ·

Is it 'Moriath' or 'Moraith'? You used both in the prologue, and you only said his name twice total, so I can't go with the one used more, lol.

>>1919830 All I'll say is, when you see the type of story this is, you will understand completely why Spike isn't here, haha.

>>1919834 I still get excited that I get any comments at all! Haha.

>>1919901 Oops, definitely 'Moriath'. Fixed that, haha.

Great setup to what's looking like an amazing story. :rainbowkiss:

>>1919966 Thank you very much! It should be a fun ride.

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