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  • 19w, 6d

    I've been writing Sunshine and Fire for three years now. June 2011 was when I started formulating ideas and July 3rd is when I put out the first chapter, though it was a few more months before I got around to

    I won't suggest that time has flown by quickly even jokingly; I know it hasn't.

    So many other works have risen and fallen, stories far longer than mine have been started and finished, entire trends have gone by and gotten old. Three seasons of MLP have aired. A lot of stuff has happened. It's enough to make me feel rather bad, actually, and my first instinct for writing this post was more to make excuses for my lack of productivity. I don't see much of a point in that though, so I thought I'd use the occasion of the anniversary to tell you of how this story came to be.

    I watched the first season of MLPFIM in the week between April 22nd and April 29th - "Party of One" was the first episode I saw as it aired. I delved into the fan community and associated areas of interest soon after. I read my first pony fanfics around that time (Half the Day Is Night from that period is still one of my favorites) and, perhaps even more importantly, took my measure of the memes. This period might well have been the height of the Trollestia hype. Jokes about Celestia's supposed tyrannical nature were omnipresent and unavoidable - and serious arguments about the interpretation of her ethics were a regular occurrence as well. Celestia had actually become one of my favorite supporting characters and I felt rather ambivalent, even dismayed, about her treatment, but suffice to say, the whole thing left a rather big impression on me.

    I also did other stuff that spring - I read The Final Empire, the first book of Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn trilogy. The Final Empire, in case you haven't read it, is about a ragtag bunch of misfits fighting against an oppressive, immortal ruler who'd taken over the world and turned it into a wasteland in the process of saving it from a great evil a thousand years earlier. I liked the book quite well, and it was hard not to draw a mental connection between that backstory and the legend of Nightmare Moon. Aside from that, while The Final Empire the principal influence to my story, I don't want to oversell how derivative I was being. There's vast differences in overall handling, with the real similarities being subtler details that might not even be apparent to readers familiar to the Mistborn series yet.

    The final catalyst that gelled my various thoughts together into an idea was seeing this piece of fan art my MyLittleBrony8. Of the many evil Celestia designs I've come across, this one is still my favorite. It's pretty much what I imagine my Daymare Sun to look like. At the time though, it simply made me want to write a story featuring an evil Celestia. I was far gone into brainstorming the basic framework of the plans I'm still enacting today before I even realized it.

    Once I had formulated a story, I wanted to get it out as quickly as possible. While Trollestia was all the rage back then, the idea hadn't yet caught on in fanfics enough to be considered passé. Alternate universe fics were popping up more and more though, and the idea of a world where it was Celestia rather than Luna who turned to the "dark side" seemed too obvious of a concept to believe that someone else wouldn't think of it as well. Timing being the key to success, I wanted to be one of the first to do it, if not the first.

    There was a problem there: I was in the middle - almost exactly in the middle - of writing another fanfic at the time, one that I was attached to and would have preferred not to abandon. It was small enough in scope to make finishing it feasible, but in the end, I didn't. My older story was a Neon Genesis Evangelion fic I'd started as a cathartic reaction to the Evangelion remake, to get the bad taste out of my mouth. I reasoned that I'd fulfilled that goal as well as I could ever hope, but the sense of urgency I felt was still the main factor in the choice to start with Sunshine and Fire immediately. I'd like to think that the speed at which various gimmicky trends have appeared and faded into irrelevance among MLP fanfics has ultimately at least partly vindicated my decision. Besides, that pressure enabled me to write the first chapter at a pace I've only been able to match a few times since then, putting most of those those seven thousand words together in a couple of days.

    Have any of you reading this been with me since then? If not, when did you join in?

    It's been long enough that reading that first chapter is painfully embarrassing for me now, but I guess that can't be helped.

    As annoyed as I am with myself for my terrible writing practices, I have to admit to a certain amount of pride as well, not only for making it this far, but also for creating a solid fundamental plan adaptable enough to reasonably accommodate the changes in canon over these three years. I have a pretty mixed view of my abilities as a writer overall, but the structure and strength of concept are something I feel positive about. Even after all this time, I'm no less excited for the ideas I intend to bring to the table nearing the endgame. I'm not impatient to end this story, but I am very much impatient to see it culminate and I am quite confident it will be worthwhile for you as well, if you can bear with me until then. I promise I'll do my best not to make it another three years.

    11 comments · 192 views
  • 36w, 5d
    Recommend me history books, please?

    I could probably post this question on any random literature forum, but I thought - hey, why not reach out to you guys?

    It's a little silly to ask, considering the list of books I want to read is already monstrously long and growing longer, but I could use some recommendations for books about history. Not just historical novels, mind you, but all sorts of books about history.

    My literary tastes have evolved a bit over the last year. The reason why is a strange confluence of different factors. I used to have most of the Internet blocked at my workplace, so the only thing to do at any time when I wasn't actively doing work was to browse random articles on Wikipedia. There was lots of interesting stuff there, of course. The historical articles were the ones that drew my attention the most - starting from Alp Arslan and ending at Alfred Dreyfus. At around the same time, I also happened to read two highly regarded graphic novels - one about some lesser-known incidents in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and one about the Canadian folk hero/insurrectionist/madman Louis Riel. Both were about subjects I'd never really been interested in, but I quite enjoyed their handling in these books. Also around the same time, I started hearing about this game developer called Paradox and how awesome their historical grand strategy games are. I checked out Crusader Kings II (medieval era) and Europa Universalis IV (early modern era), and what do you know, I found them to be damn engrossing, especially in regards to how they start in highly accurate moments in time and simulate history that never happened, resulting in wildly divergent world orders.

    I'd like to get more into that sort of stuff. So throw some at me, if you would.

    Fiction and non-fiction are both welcome, and I think I'd actually prefer the latter. As my profile mentions, one of the books I'm currently reading is a biography of Otto von Bismarck (whom I picked out because I thought he was quite a fascinating character beforehand). Alternate history would also be on the table (I understand that Harry Turtledove is supposed to be the gold standard in that sub-genre). I'd prefer books on specific topics, events or people rather than general world history stuff. Also, I admit, I'm most interested in European material, but I'm certainly open to stories of other cultures as well.

    Aside from that, if any of you folks are on Goodreads, feel free to add me, I suppose.

    3 comments · 112 views
  • 38w, 6d
    The viability of making changes to earlier material.

    Hello all.

    This post isn’t just random rambling. There’s actually something I’d like your opinions on.

    Do you think I should go back and improve the first few chapters of “Sunshine and Fire” a little?

    It’s been a while since I started writing this story (insert awkward laugh here). It's been a good two and a half years, and obviously - hopefully - I’ve gotten somewhat better since then, even if not quite as much as I’d have liked. Lessons have been learned. Points have been made. Realizations have been had. I would say I was trying a little too hard at the beginning, but I’m not entirely sure what I was trying.

    This story has gone on for over one hundred thousand words now, and has been published serially, so some degree of stylistic variation can’t be helped. But as others have pointed out to me and as I tend to think myself, the quality of the first few chapters is downright incongruous. This means that the work as a whole does not have the consistency it should, and new readers checking out the story might be put off when they don’t need to be. I could be losing potential fans over this, and that's just one worry. I've kept a file listing most of the stylistic and grammatical corrections and suggestions made to me by commentators and reviewers since the beginning, but I've never been sure if and when to apply them.

    There are a couple of different aspects that influence my thinking on this matter:

    Firstly, it runs a little contrary to my own preferences. I can say that some of my favorite fanfic experiences as a reader have been cases where I could follow along the improvement of the author and how (or if) they apply criticisms they receive. (This doesn’t just apply to fan fiction either, but other types of serially published works as well. Webcomics like Order of the Stick and Gunnerkrigg Court, for instance, are all the more impressive for how much they’ve evolved since their early days.) This is of course especially true when I see my own comments making a difference in their writing style.

    I like seeing this sort of progression. However, I recognize that this is something of an eccentricity and a point of view probably not shared by most people.

    Secondly and relatedly to the previous point, going back and correcting previous screw-ups and smoothing over past pretentions seems kind of dishonest to me. It’s not a very rational feeling, I admit, but part of me would prefer to retain my work as it is and has been, warts and all. Then again, this seems half-way vain to me as well. It’s as if I’m demanding attention for improving, when that’s not an achievement at all, but the least of what should be expected of someone who writes.

    Thirdly, editing - an enormously important part of writing - is something I could use some practice with. I’ve tended to do it a lot more for my original writing than my fanfics and have gotten somewhat rusty at it. While I do a lot of rereading and double-checking as I am writing, I make the actual publication pretty much as soon as I have the last word in place, because it takes me a lot of time to get to that point and I don’t usually want to delay one moment further. The same was actually also true all the way back in 2011, when I was also eager to get the first chapter out the door as quickly as possible, though for a different reason. I wanted to be one of the first to do this kind of story - I know I wasn’t the first by any means - and because I felt my premise could easily become old hat. As a result, some of the stuff that I’ve let out into the wild is downright embarrassing, especially in those early chapters. I dare say I’ll never get the words ‘remedy’ and ‘malady’ mixed up ever again, not even subconsciously.

    Next up and perhaps most crucial is the matter of timing. With how long my regular updates take, can I afford to go back to fine-tune earlier material? It’s very important to note that I’m not talking about complete rewrites, gods no, just relatively minor modifications, but I’d probably have to touch up a minimum of three chapters, and this is something that could well escalate further. I know that editing backwards is a cubbyhole some writers never get out of and I am dead-set against that happening to me, but the truth is that I couldn’t really say how long the minor modifications I speak of would take. Related to that, it feels to me like getting into this would implicitly prioritize hooking more new readers over providing new content to old readers, and that kind of leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

    Lastly, there is the issue of feedback. I’ve noted before that it’s been hard to get criticism with the story now over 100,000 words in length and ongoing for years, especially criticism relevant to me today. As someone pointed out to me, updating the first chapters a little would not only make the entire story more attractive to prospective readers, it would make sure that comments people make about the beginning are no longer completely out of time and irrelevant. Then again, I’m afraid that to get a completely accurate assessment of my present abilities, I’d probably need to make a more thorough rewrite, and that’s just not in the cards. It would make at least some difference though.

    So yeah, those are my main considerations regarding this matter. Perhaps you can think of some others. At any rate, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

    18 comments · 318 views
  • 66w, 6d
    Writing female characters

    This is a post of random thoughts and ramblings. It's tangentially related to "Sunshine and Fire" in that it collates some issues I've had on my mind writing it, but I'm not going to tag it for subscribers. It's a bit too incidental for that, and probably not really up everyone's alley anyway. But it's stuff I want to get off my chest, and I'd be interested in hearing other perspectives on the subject.

    Once upon a time, quite a few years ago, someone made a topic on a literature forum of a website I frequent, asking for advice on how to write female characters. I must have thought I was some sort of hotshot, because even though I'd never finished any stories and couldn't begin to guess that I'd one day have ambitions of being a "writer," I gave an incredibly authoritative answer - you write them just the same as male characters.

    Do I still believe that? Not... exactly. I'd like it to work that way, but I'm not sure it does.

    Keep in mind, I'm writing this all under the assumptions that most anyone reading it will share (to varying degrees) one basic premise with me: that there are vast, persistent and insidious problems in the portrayal of female characters in fiction, starting from basic under-representation and ending with complexities related to various sexist cultural standards too overwhelming to summarize here. (I know I'm not the only one for whom MLP's counter to these issues is one of its draws.) Accordingly, I feel it's important - even necessary - to account for and try to offset these problems. One way of doing that, in theory, is to essentially flip a coin to determine a character's gender. It's a very literal way to even things out, but it can create problems as well as solve them.

    I should also mention that one of my bigger pet peeves about the debate regarding these matters is the belief that sexist intent is necessary for a work to be sexist. No, I don't think that's the case at all. Dialogue about missteps in these areas cause a lot of friction probably in part because criticism of a writer is taken to mean that they are held to be some sort of evil, wife-beating oppressor, but I imagine it mostly just happens by accident. I'd wager that the majority of problems with the writing of female characters are a result of completely unintended implications that just happen to come off negatively. Each such implication is just a tiny piece of a culture that paints a picture of certain colors. It should be perfectly possible to discuss some of these implications without accusing anyone of anything. Shit happens. It can be severe or it can be very mild. Discussing things like this openly is a good thing.


    Nowadays, I am inclined to believe some distinction should be made in the handling of male and female characters, if only to reflect differences in the standing of men and women in real life and catch these sort of implications. Even stories taking place in fictional universes where none of this applies directly are informed by the context of the real world. Of course, nothing is absolute on an individual basis. Any differences between the sexes, whether behavioral and socialized or biological and inherent, are vague generalities, with plenty of outliers on both sides, so I don't think there's any kind of character you couldn't write, if you know what I mean.

    I think my original answer to the question accurately reflects a disconcerting division between "regular characters" and "female characters" in the world of fiction. There's a tendency to view male as default. I certainly have that tendency, and I've tried to defy it on a number of occasions, including with the story at hand. There are instances where I feel this has come back to bite me in the ass. I'll give a few examples.

    Did you know that the pony colonel in chapter 7 was male in my original plans? As I was writing it, I figured having a random minor military hardass be female would mix things up a bit. All well and good so far, right? But coincident with the change in gender came a change in character and motivation. The original male character was amoral and coldly uncaring, whose reason for hounding the villagers was a belief that they were hiding resources from his requisitioning efforts. The final result was a paranoid hysteric who was deathly afraid of griffon spies and trying to flush them out by any means necessary. Don't get me wrong, I think the latter concept is a lot more interesting and dynamic, and served the narrative of the chapter much better. It also kind of plays into gender stereotypes if you think about it. Certainly, there's nothing particularly troubling in the text itself, but doesn't knowing these additional details make things just a tad awkward? Just a bit?

    Frederica Greenhill is another example, sort of. When I first mentioned the character (again in chapter 7), I again thought it would be neat to make the venerable old warrior type a woman. Nothing about the end result is too bad, but I can't help but notice that when her role expanded, I ended up writing a situation with several male characters coming across with various degrees of reasonableness and one female character coming across as profoundly unreasonable, at least at the surface of it. (My original plans involved a bigger role for another female character, the aeromancer I pointed out a few times, but I decided to cut her role down to make the chapter more manageable, at least for now.) Of course, I'm leaving Twilight, Fluttershy and - to an extent - Gilda out of that equation, but they're not my characters, are they?

    I could also point that I originally meant to make King Humphrey neurotic and fearful, but then ended up using the same basic personality type for Emerald Hope the Apple Underground book-keeper all the way back in chapter 4, so I redrew Humphrey as sarcastic and somewhat more composed. This came about through gradual and organic development in the narrative, but it just happened to paint a female authority figure as weak and a male authority figure as strong.

    These are minutiae, of course. I hope it doesn't seem like I'm taking any of it super-seriously. I don't want to minimize the aforementioned vast, persistent and insidious problems by suggesting these examples rank among them. I wouldn't take much issue with any of these situations in the work of another author... at least individually. It's patterns that concern me and trends that worry me. It doesn't particularly matter if a movie fails the Bechdel test, but 99 out of a 100 movies failing it is another matter entirely. And I hate to think I'm playing into patterns and trends, however slightly, that I condemn.

    I toyed with the idea of making Lord Fairweather Lady Fairweather (though he/she was going to have a different name at that stage), but chose not to for reasons now irrelevant that I won't reveal just in case they'll turn out to be spoilers. I mentioned the Griffon King all the way back in chapter 5, so he's been locked into place (besides, I wanted at least one male monarch alongside Queen Celestia and the dragon matriarch). But thinking back on it now, I honestly can't remember whether I ever even considered making Reynald female. If not, then why not? I wanted Reynald to be a model for a knight in shining armor, more a symbol than a character. I was drawing on a cultural association that's traditionally been male, true, but would my intention really not have come across with a woman? Would flipping the gender have made a difference? If so, would it have been for better or for worse?

    We can also look at things from a broader perspective, in the depiction of femininity within the alternate versions of the Mane Six. There is a tendency - probably especially in fantasy fiction - to make "strong female characters" tomboys, which has all sorts of unfortunate implications in itself. In "Sunshine and Fire," the two least feminine characters - Applejack and Rainbow Dash - are the proactive and physically able ones, while the two most feminine characters - Rarity and Fluttershy - are the emotionally and physically frail ones. Obviously, that's an abstraction, with a bunch of quantifiers to it. But it's there, and seems blindingly obvious to me. As it happens, Rarity and Fluttershy are my No. 1 and No. 2 favorite ponies respectively. I'm not going to ask whether I've done them a disservice, even rhetorically, because... well, it's a bit too soon to tell for you guys.

    These are... coincidences. I don't feel they reflect any particular biases in my world view, and I also don't feel they would matter much to anyone but myself. The implications trouble me nonetheless. There's a part of me that wants to pat myself on the back just for being self-aware and reflecting on these issues, and there's a part of me that wants to dope-slap myself for thinking that. Come on, this is a matter that just about any writer should display some minimal level of concern for, right?

    This post feels like it's building to some sort of conclusion, but I'm not really sure what I'm trying to say here. As I said before, this is just random thoughts and ramblings. I've come to believe that it's a little naive to treat male and female characters as interchangeable in practice, but then again, maybe I've just been doing it wrong? Or perhaps I'm just belaboring something that's obvious to everyone else. What do you think?

    4 comments · 354 views
  • 95w, 3d
    Thoughts and meditations.

    I realized something the other day.

    With its most recent update, "Sunshine and Fire" has passed 100 000 words in length. Now, this should by all rights be something to be happy about, something to pat myself on the back for - and I do see it as a proud achievement as well, don't get me wrong - but I find that this realization mostly just kind of bums me out.

    The truth is that I feel like the quality of my work has plateaued. That's a big concern for me, since improving my work is a big part of why I write fan fiction in the first place. The reason for this... stagnation is probably the lack of in-depth input. I hope this doesn't come across as disrespectful, since I absolutely do not blame anyone for enjoying my story casually, and I certainly appreciate the comments I do get simply for indicating investment and interest, but I'm sure you understand that the absence of any serious dissections of my style and methods/assertations of quality is still kind of troublesome to me. There's little actual criticism, and what I do get is either conceptual or noting typos (which are still useful for making sure I don't get too full of myself, heh). That's been the situation for over a year now, I reckon. I have this impression, truthful or not, that I'm aware of pretty much everything that's wrong with my writing, but that I let things slip because there's no one to push me and prod me about them.

    I've been wishing things could be different for a while, but I don't really have any idea what to do. It looks like I'll be writing "Sunshine and Fire" for quite a while, possibly years to come, and while the realization of my master plan would make it a worthwhile experience either way, it would certainly be a little depressing to spend all this time in a state of critical blackout. So I figured, eh, I might as well talk about it here and ask if anyone has any ideas.

    The thing about 100 000 words is that they're such a major hurdle to accessibility. 100 000 words means I can't really make use of any of of the established channels for fic-reviews the MLP community has. Hitting up a review thread on /fic/ (either one) and laying a story of this length on someone just doesn't seem feasible, does it? It would be disruptive and overly demanding, if not explicitly forbidden by reviewers' own submission guidelines. It doesn't seem like I could just pick a reviewer and submit a chapter at a time either, since critiques of first parts of the story - now put down about one and a half years ago - would no longer be relevant to me today. In fact, I'd functionally be wasting the reviewer's time by having them cover something someone else has already handled. I did actually have the first couple of chapters looked over by two folks on Ponychan when I was just starting out - Vimbert and Cassius. I received useful advice from them and got rid of (or at least reduced) some bad habits of mine. Even though I didn't integrate their corrections into already published chapters (perhaps I should have), I did try to keep them in mind for subsequent chapters. Unfortunately, Vimbert quit reviewing when he got his post on Equestria Daily, and I accidentally dropped Cassius due to a misunderstanding. (To be exact, I forgot to respond to one of their reviews and then forgot I forgot to respond to one of their reviews, leading them to conclude that I wasn't paying attention and move on. If you're thinking that it must really burn to have wasted such a great opportunity due to a stupid mistake on my part, you'd be right.)

    So what other options would there be? A beta reader? I've never had a proper one and I don't really know how to get one. The main problem is that I have friends that like MLP, and I have friends who are immersed enough in writing to be able to give in-depth feedback, but there two groups just don't overlap anywhere. Reaching out to you, the readership, is also something I've considered, but it's a thought I'm fairly ambivalent about. This would be a major commitment, and a major responsibility, and I'd feel pretty hesitant about handing it off to any well-meaning stranger. Another issue is that I'm not sure how much of my overall plans for the story to share with a beta reader. Do other writers just handle it on a chapter by chapter basis, without spoilers? I wouldn't know. This is, of course, purely hypothetical at this point anyway.

    At the end of the day, I realize that this situation is something I've brought on myself, in part I suppose because I've kept the rest of the rest of the MLP fanfic community at arm's length, not really investing enough to warrant much attention. I'm a regular poster on exactly one MLP fanfic forum thread and my position regarding my role there has always been that I contribute little, but demand less - meaning I just drop in, bring up a subject sometimes and toss someone some advice sometimes, but do not seriously help other posters with their projects. I've felt validated in this approach because I never push my own story on anyone there either, but... I don't know, it still feels selfish. I don't really read or comment on other fanfics much myself either. This is partially because I'm having some problems with reading in general - I'm currently stuck in the middle of four separate books that I like yet do not have the motivation to continue [1]. For MLP fics, I have five stories in my backlog, two updated stories in my favorites and one I've had open in one of my tabs for literally weeks. I realize that this is nothing compared to the backlogs some of you have, but this bothers me. (I've also made it a point not to read many other adventure stories to keep my own free of outside influence.) So yeah, this whole area is something I feel like I should see about doing better at.

    Oh, and again, I do hope this rant doesn't make me look unappreciative. At the end of the day, I am still damn glad for the fans I have, and I'd like to improve my writing as much as possible to give you the best possible story.

    So, what are your thoughts?

    [1] - The four books in the order they've been left hanging, if you're curious: Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita, Dan Simmons's Hyperion (reread), the fifth volume of Spice and Wolf and the first book of the Rogue Squadron series.

    13 comments · 304 views
  • ...

Twilight Sparkle, Celestia and Luna are transported into a strange alternate Equestria, the Land of Always Summer, where the day lasts forever and a terrible queen rules with an iron hoof.

Feel free to check out or add to the story's TV Tropes page.

First Published
18th Sep 2011
Last Modified
11th May 2014

Good gracious, 10,000 whole words?  Heheh, well that certainly made for an awesome read!  It stretched on at a few points, but with the amount of suspense I was feeling at the thought of Glint actually pulling a double face really helped to hold the suspense heavy and all that.  :pinkiesmile:

Can't wait to see where this here story's going to go!  You've been doing a really awesome job so far.

I've been following this story on since Chapter 1! I can't wait to see what happens when Twilight and Celestia meet their evil counterparts from Eternal Day World. And I wonder, what will Luna's reaction be when she sees an evil version of her sister? So many fun and fantastic ideas to play around with! I'm eagerly awaiting Chapter 5.


Well I've been waiting for this chapter since I started to read this story, just to see what Celestia's reaction to the new world would be. I think you got her spot on, seeing that she will get home the hard way... by going to war. This is going to be epic ~ Celestia's Paladin, Ex Solis et Lunae, Providentia et Prospera

I think you're doing a very good job of writing Celestia.  Since we don't know much about the real Celestia, the distance you're giving allows readers to fill in empty spots with what they want to see in her.

Pure awesome

I see Celestia in here as a general/tactician sort ,with a hint of badass to kick some tyrant

Wonder how Luna will be, freaked out that no moon is there maybe :pinkiecrazy:

    To answer you first point, yes I'd say that was your weakest part of this chapter, the fact that Power Scoop did not only have answers for all her question but was willing to share with someone who was a complete stranger seems a bit far fetched, especially considering the totalitarian nature of this Equestria. With all the suspicions people are liable to have, I think Power Scoop would've been unlikely to be so forthcoming.

   I actually liked the mechanism you used to show what Celestia learned on the street. I agree full convo's would've been long and likely boring

   Grim Celestia seemed well written, she strikes me as possessing a shrewd intelligence befitting an immortal princess. That said, I'd actually prefer more looks into her psyche, I mean the fact that an alternate her caused this just begs for a look at how she responds not only in actions but emotionally as well. Even for her I think it would be very hard to stay focused and detached.

Oh also, this story just keeps getting better, the last two chapters are my favorite! Keep it up.

Oh, hay! New chapter, different site! Very much a DO WANT from me.

So we have Twilight gathering up the Alt versions of her old friends, a theoretical magisist behind bars, and `Tia planning Regicide. ...oh, and Luna wasn't doing so well, eather. AJ being an outlaw was not unexpected. Rarity being a double agent ALSO made sence. Anti-Sparkle was about the only way she COULD have been in a Daymare Sun run universe. That just leaves the fastest flyer on the planet, the Pegasis who acts like an Earth Pony, and the wildcard that is Pinkie Pie. Oh, Pinkie... Will she have reality warping powers? Will she be an assassin for the revolution? Full-on CUPCAKES cerial killer? Stuck in a mental insitution? Hiding in plain sight with a bleached blonde mane, whited out fur, and a pair of realistic looking fake wings?  Really, there is just NO END to the different ways to use an Alt-Reality Pinkie Pie.

...and now the long wait for the next chapter. *Sigh*

>>10609 I'll bet you any amount of bits that Rainbow Dash is the Blue Bolt mentioned in the gossip. Also, you forgot 'stern, boring rock farmer' as a possibility for Pinkie.


See, I don't find it that unlikely that a pretty girl could get a drunk, horny idiot to spill some beans, especially if the information isn't exactly on the level of state secrets anyway. The contrived part, to me, is that she found the right idiot so easily. I agree that this wasn't handled as well as it should have been though.

In any case, how Celestia feels about her counterpart is going to be a pretty big part of the story, especially at the end.


Oh, Pinkie's a wild card all right. You're right about that. But alas, I must say no more!

While reading this chapter, I was listening to "NJ Falls Into the Atlantic" by Senses Fail. The lyrics + this story + the time = awesome!

Oh I'm loving this now!^_^

It's really great!^_^

A good fanfiction!^_^

Looking forward to more too!^_^

Please update this soon, yeah?!^_^

Great start! makes me want to introduce Brainy Bright to my left hoof.

Solid pacing. Twilight apparently remembered she can teleport this time. Although, couldn't she just teleport further than that if she were to put effort into it? She could've easily teleported all the way to that city, right? :rainbowhuh:

>>5746 :trollestia: is right. Seems a bit ruthless, doesn't it though? Is that stallion he's talking to Big Mac? Or am I completely over thinking it?

>>5396 Yes, how would that battle go, hmm? Day vs. Twi, and Celly vs. Celly... Luna trying to decide which is her true sister... hmm, seems like a good plot! I'd read it!

>>5199 Wooooo! this has been enticing, absolutely marvelous! I can't wait to see what happens farther down the road!

>>10619 G'dammit! You stole my assumption! And I bet that Pinkie's somehow a part of the military.


I like to think Twilight hasn't mastered long-range teleportation yet. (Also, that would break the plot a bit.)



Oh wow... I've almost completely forgotten about this story, which makes it a nice surprise that it got updated!


To answer your questions:

no,i dont find it to bothersome to read,maybe shorter chapters and more updates would be better ,but this way you cover a lot and thats at least as good as waiting for more when reading less,and more time means more getting into it and feeling the story :pinkiehappy:

Celestia having taken several levels in badass surely would easily find Twilight if she knew where to look,so wasnt to surprised there.

And Rarity is ,Rarity lol, maybe her job changed but shes still she and thats whats important for Twilight to feel her.Good job,just like with Applejack.

Cant wait for next chapter, sounds like Luna will have a adventure there heh.

I for one love large chapters, so either way is fine with me as long as you can maintain consistent quality.

As for Celestia, She seems fine to me. Not many stories actually have her in a role that does anything(Likely due to her power), yet in this case she has a clear counter and because of that can actually work directly against the antagonist and not instantly win.

Rarity was also done quite well, though I find it odd that Sweetie Belle doesn't exist while others like Big Macintosh and Applebloom do, especially with Twilight directly mentioning the oddities of the counterparts existing despite widely divergent timelines. It sounds like whatever reason you have for keeping them so similar(EoH?) would try and force more similarities. Perhaps an idea for later?(With the problems that entails what with cross generation puppeteering and all)

This story scares me. I don't know's odd. Like that unsettling feeling you get when you KNOW that something is wrong in a bad way and not in a funny way. Like walking across a frozen lake and you can feel the ice lowering beneath your feet even though there's no sound of it cracking.

This is not to say that I'm not enjoying it. It's very good.

I wonder were pinkie is in all this? Maybe still on the rock farm. or insane? :pinkiecrazy:

i dident even remember i had this story in my watch list until i did see it... Loved it only had a hard time reading about Twilight pretending to be Daylight sparkle. (but thats just cause i keep seeing her all stresed inside my head.)

As said on EqD...

Author: How much of a bother do you find 10,000-word chapters?

Me: I find them too short. Does that count? :trollestia:


Completely agree on that statement. Can never have too much of a good story!

WE REQUIRE 20,000 WORD CHAPTERS! :flutterrage:

THIS IS A MASTERPIECE! :pinkiehappy:

I LIKE USING CAPS! :pinkiecrazy:

Ho, boy. This is going to be confusing for Twi.

I wonder if they'll run into the Sliderz, lol.

I am officially hooked to this story.

Its like reading a book rather than a fan-fic. I suddenly wish that Cauldron Lake was a real place. (Alan Wake reference)

I'd ship this story there in a heartbeat.

My only complaint is that it ended.

This story is so masterfully done that I stayed up almost two hours later than I should have reading it. IF there's a MLP story contest, you should submit this. :twilightsmile:

In the Mirror Universe, it's ALWAYS gotta be a goatee.  :P

To answer the questions:

-Pacing seemed fine to me.

-Chapter length isn't an issue for me either, shorter more frequent updates would be fine but I also find it enjoyable having longer chapters that I can really get engrossed in.

-Yes I think Rarity was showcased well

-Celestia didn't overshadow Rarity but her appearance was a bit abrupt, the pacing for her and Twilight reuniting would've felt better if indeed, you had included the letter in the previous chapter

My hopes going forward:

1. More Twilight and Celestia interaction- For being student and teacher there certainly isn't enough fiction out there just having them do stuff together. Being trapped in a foreign universe together it would be criminal not to show a good deal of interaction.

2. Luna- she hasn't had a chapter yet!

3. I'm hoping Brainy Bright is a fairly minor character going forward- Between Twilight, the rest of the girls, Celestia, and Luna there's a lot of ground to cover. That, and he just doesn't feel all that.....necessary?


1. Twilight and Celestia are both going to be stretched rather thin and won't be spending much time together . However, I do hope to use them for a couple of really significant scenes.

2. You'll be seeing her soon.

3. I understand your concern, but I assure you that Bright is going to have a strong relevance to the overall plot aside from being the main characters' ticket home. At the same time though, he won't be having any more full chapters to himself. Most of his story will be covered by another POV character that hasn't been introduced yet.

Thanks for commenting - and everyone else too!

I love it so far.  Definitely putting this on Story Alert.  

I did find it a bit odd that Twilight Sparkle referenced a letter she had received that I don't recall reading about, but other than that nothing really struck me as erroneous.  I'm looking forward to seeing more of this story, and I wonder what's happened with Fluttershy and Pinkie Pie.  I almost expect one of them to be completely insanely different based on circumstances.  Like... "Fluttershy - Imperial Dragon Tamer" the scarred one eyed badass.

I hope the situation back in their home dimsension hasn't deteriorated significantly in their absence.  Having the Princesses and Celestia's Apprentice seemingly vaporized or banished to another dimension in a treasonous plot would surely cause a huge uproar.  Though on the other hand, it's possible that they'd pop out mere seconds after they'd left and promptly conjure up some chains for everyone who was in on the plot when they return.

10,000 word chapters are fine to me.  I don't mind if a story seems winding or meandering or anything.  You're not writing a book for publishing, there's no editor who's going to say "Noone will want to read this if it's too long!" or an English teacher sitting there crossing out sentences as "Unnecessary" or "Too verbose."  It's totally fine if you have more story to tell and so you just keep writing.

As for Celestia's involvement, it's fine.  If anything I would wish she could stick around more, but I do understand her point.  Normally it seems like a load of crap when someone refuses to help you for the sake of your own growth or whatever, but in this case, Friendship is an actual power which you can wield into battle against evil forces, and needing time and adventure for it to develop is a serious concern.

My only wish I think would be something that you're doing right anyway and I just wish about the character in general.  Twilight Sparkle seems insufficiently confident to me, but it's that way even in canon.  She's like the personal apprentice of the Goddess that rules her world and has for thousands of years, and she seems to be widely acknowledged as the third most powerful magical being in the entire world after Celestia and Luna.  She doesn't seem to show it much.  Arrogance is bad, but it almost seems like once in a while when something stands in her way, she could save time by just blasting it out of the way, or immolating it, or calling down a bolt of thunder and splattering it across the terrain.

I do hope that you do something interesting with the Elements of Harmony.  In canon it seems like they were wildly underused.  After their introduction, they just get stuffed in a jewelry box or something somewhere and they never really bring them out again, even though they're supposedly artifacts of great power.  It seems like they should wear them around more to augment their own powers, or even just as accessories announcing the fact that yes, they are the guardians of truth, justice, and the Equestrian way.


Thanks for posting such a lengthy and thoughtful comment.

The way I'm trying to play it with the alternate universe equivalents of the mane cast is to show them as being quite similar to the originals, and then gradually reveal subtle but significant differences. You might be noticing some hints already. But yes, at least one of them aside from Daylight Sparkle is not going to be what you'd expect.

I'm glad someone brought up the issue that things might not be going too well back home. This will be addressed in the story soon, but for obvious reasons, it won't be a major focus. If there were two or three or me though, I'd definitely also be writing a side-story covering how AJ, Pinkie, Dash, Rarity and Fluttershy deal with political intrigue in Equestria Prime and avert a civil war, or something.

Whether or not there are editors looking over my shoulder doesn't matter, or at least it shouldn't. I still want to do the best possible job, and the fact is that too much detail can easily lead to bad storytelling. One of my favorite book series - and something that has influenced this story as well - is George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire and it's starting to show exactly this problem. I've been as displeased as anyone with how meandering and wasteful its last two books have been, and I want to do my darndest to avoid this problem.

While Celestia is sticking to background machinations for now, don't assume that she isn't going to take center stage to do something really badass eventually. I don't much like how she tends to be useless or insignificant in many fics, so I have great plans for her.

As to the portrayal of Twilight Sparkle, I'm actually quite concerned that I'm not getting across her character very well. She just doesn't seem to show as much personality as she should. Showing her as fairly wary/insecure is more of a calculated decision though. I think it would be bad form from a storytelling perspective to have the protagonist be too self-secure right off the bat, especially when she is a stranger in a strange land and has a lot of dangers and unknown variables to consider. Getting stuck in an alternate universe is quite a daunting prospect, after all.

The Elements of Harmony are mostly just going to be the MacGuffins they always are.

Anyway, thanks again!

This story is fantastic, I did get a feeling some of the story was influenced by Game of Thrones/A song of Ice and Fire. Also I agree with your statements regarding the last two books, they were still good but they sometimes felt like the were waffling or just trying to be filler.

I enjoy your portrayal of the characters, and hope the next chapter might focus on Luna and how she feels with the absence of the Moon, or if she can still feel it's presence swallowed up inside the Sun... along with her Lunar counterpart but I'm getting all silly now and throwing out story ideas left and right :derpytongue2:.

Anyways keep up the good work, I look forward to the next chapter :pinkiehappy::twilightsmile::pinkiesmile:

moar? :fluttercry:

please... :applecry:


still waiting

Pls don't be dead :fluttershysad:


WE MUST HAVE MORE!!!! :fluttercry::fluttercry::fluttercry:

Mm, I can't help but agree with you on the worst chapter thing. It's actually quite hard to describe why too... Could be that for half or more of the chapter we are taken out of this war and brought to Luna having no idea where she is with no idea what's going on and doing nothing about it. Although in your defense the remaining half was very well done. You portray Luna's reasons for wanting to take down Daymare well. Eagerly awaiting the next.

Oh yea, Luna the badarse!

One sister has declared open war.  One sister is doing espionage.

I'm a fan of action scenes myself, and it wasn't until I read that you had not liked this chapter that I began to consider the previous chapters in comparison to this one. Perhaps it feels a bit...hollow...because there's less build-up in comparison with the others. Where your other chapters were a walk to a trot, Luna goes from walk to run to a hurricane of anger. Not that I hold it against her, of course. I'd have shown much less restraint than she did.


For a bit there, I thought you'd died.

A question that's been buzzing in my mind for a bit: The bears that you mentioned in that earlier chapter (I think it was the first>) when the mirror was still intact, were they the Care Bears?

>>116046 Correction: One sister is doing espionage. The other had war declared on her.

Somepony just got a serious boost to the perk One Mare Army.

I must say that I enjoyed this chapter. It was a bit slower than other chapters, but it wasn't slow-paced. Makes no sense, but I'm saying it anyways. There were a few misspellings here and there, but overlook-able in the long run. Luna needs to use her RCV more often. FUS RO DAH!!!

Can't wait for update! :twilightsmile: Ivanna see Twi and Day meet. Maybe get some light/light action, eh? Let's see who's the better fighter. And of course, Spike's evil opposite. I wanna see that, too. :moustache:

West Lander, signing off.

This was a good Chapter, not the best but pretty good. Nice to catch up with Luna and see her be badass.


Yes, how well that emotional evolution works is one of my main concerns with this chapter.

If you like action scenes, you can look forward to the next chapter. I'm hoping to cook up a pretty substantive set piece there.

But anyway, yes, those were Care Bears. It seemed so... fitting. I'm surprised no one's done a crossover (or have they?)


Rest assured, Twilight and Daylight is going to be a big thing eventually. Our heroes will have to work their way up to that though.

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