500+ Favorites Milestone (/squee) · 6:16am
Huge burst in favorites for the last chapter (probably just new readers, which reminds me...).
Chapter 22 will be quite short, and I think that will give me some wriggle room. 21 was a huge effort to improve focus and perspective for the character that drives the scene. I'm a bit light on character thoughts since I'm still testing the waters, but I'm also trying to avoid saturating the story with them. (This isn't first person, after all.)
Anyway, one of the last focal points for writing study was perspectives, which was pointed out to be a heavy problem with my first few chapters. I want to go touch them up at some point (no overhaul, but definitely narrowing the perspective spread). Plus I greatly enjoy seeing how much I've improved (and apparently pull it out to embarrass myself?) and keep all the first drafts of my writing. xD
Chapter 21 (finally) Up! · 10:15pm
What's Your Favorite Cover Artwork? · 6:33pm
I'm currently asking an artist for permission to use a picture, though I've always, always wanted to commission one of my two favorite fandom artists for a picture for TQP. Unfortunately, one has never done commissions and the other likely won't be doing any in the near future. But on the topic of cover art, I've seen some interesting stuff, some that are eye catching for stories, some that is painfully bland, or even pictures that are completely irrelevant or shed no light on the image a story is trying to build before you even start.
What is your favorite cover art? Don't limit this to pony fiction, or even fanfiction at all! Tell me what your favorite cover artwork is--be it novel or fanfiction--and why. I would love to know and see what you guys like. Post a picture or give a link to it, too!
Hey, all. I'd recently went 6~ days without power and during that time I finished reading The Great Hunt, the second Wheel of Time book. I was only about 17/50 chapters into it when I picked it back up. Every time I binge read one of the WoT books I study a different aspect of its writing style.
When I started studying the first book, I'd chosen to study the sentence structure and variance. Late into the book, I focused on the style for detailing. In the second book I chose character focus for scenes and chapters because it's the next aspect of my own writing I wanted to work on. I opted to try my hand at more character actions during dialogue and an eventual aim to narrow the focus to one character for a lengthy period.
Enjoy a rough excerpt from an upcoming scene of the next chapter, and tell me what you think! For those that remember the old version, it's completely rewritten from scratch here using a different approach altogether.
(Note: Couldn't fix the indent. /sad)
Nightmare sat uncomfortably, finding difficulty in not fidgeting under the stares she received at the breakfast table. Twilight's friends sat on the right on opposite side of the lengthy table, and most of them had already engaged in small talk. Sometimes it was too low for her to hear, but Rainbow Dash would speak up and lead it on, relieving her. However, it did little to affect her overall feeling. Sitting across from her was Spike, a dragon she had only seen once when he was small, and beside herself sat Trixie, looking almost as uncomfortable as the Id felt. The magician constantly glanced between her hooves, Dash, and the entryway to the dining hall. To her left, sitting a seat away from Spike, was Telos. The sage had a book laid out in front of him and paid little attention to the others, occasionally muttering his thoughts to him.
Nightmare's discomfort came from the glowering of Spike. The dragon assistant was now larger than she was and she worried he might become aggressive if they sat in silence too much longer. Relief washed over her as Luna entered and all eyes shifted to her.
"Greetings, everypony," she said as she took a seat on the end by the other Element bearers. "My sister shall be here momentarily." She raised a hoof and immediately three servants rolled carts over and laid food onto the table.
Nightmare forced herself to eat under the hateful eyes of Spike, but it was all she could do to ease her feelings. Please answer me, Twilight.
How does it look from Nightmare's perspective?
Relevant piece of artwork. · 12:28pm
The Quiet Place - Chapter 20 published! · 12:17pm
This image was on EQD's latest Drawfriend, and it reminded me of how Applejack was nearly one of the Celestial Knights in service to the princesses during the course of TQP.
Ultimately, I decided she didn't fit the archetype for the Knights enough. While she has her powerful bond(s), fulfilling the idea that Celestia mentions to Rainbow Dash before her joining, AJ's is essentially too grounding (family bonds). I'm sure most of you thought it was Dash's direct interest in exploring love, at that point--due to Celestia mentioning love as being the most common basis of that "something" a pony must have to become a Knight--but it actually wasn't. She was simply asking her if that was what she believed hers was.
Rainbow has a drive/passion for achieving something between glory and honor. She will stop at nothing to achieve something for herself or her friends if it can be held in a mutually positive light. Sometimes this seems a bit self serving to her, sure, but she is also the very representation of loyalty, and there is little more gratifying to her core than the highest service possible to her princess, which keeps her desire for action sated. It just so happened that her exploration of love could go hand in hand, so to speak, from there. (Of course, it's just initially a coincidence for her, but you know better. :P)
It's just some food for thought since all of the Celestial Knights are supposed to have that "something" layered into them that drives their absolute loyalty. Makes you wonder what it is for the others, doesn't it? Especially since they were Celestial Knights before the story begins.
Chapter 19 will probably be posted later today. I will make an additional blog post to notify everyone since the actual update notifications aren't 100% reliable.
Edit: Clarity. Exhaustion really muddles up my ability to produce coherent thoughts and sentences.
Update Since EQD Rejection · 12:01am
Hey, all. Sorry that chapter has taken a long time, but I'll fill you in on everything story related in this.
After the rejection from EQD another pre-reader gave me some advice in a mini-review. They pointed out some story elements that I need to work on and stuff early on that the pre-readers on EQD would generally glare at. While I've only done brainstorming on this stuff, it seems like some more revising is in order. It's not a big deal this time since I have everything I want down already and I can restructure stuff as I need. Mainly, pre-reader issues would lie in the handling of the time skip consistency. Not too hard to fix.
Anyway, said pre-reader has become too busy with EQD duties recently to further the review, but it's convenient to go about this step by step. Anyway, chapter 18's final proofing is all that's left, and then I'll see how I want to juggle the next batch of writing work.
Because I wholly support learning I can post some of our correspondence and his notes (name removed cause of privacy and stuff) if you guys want to see how EQD might view my story. I'm a more serious writer than most, but I'm sure even casual writers who are fans of my story could get some tips or insight from it.
Strike One · 5:17am
I know I've been deathly silent to the masses since the last chapter, and I've been working on the next one. Anyway, here's some stuff for all of you: My first strike from EQD's pre-readers. This is the e-mail response I got. Bear in mind that I requested the same pre-reader as last time. (I won't give a name, etc.)
It had been so long since I'd read this fic, I had to go digging to find bits and pieces of the original review.
I'll quote it here:I love your ideas: the hidden histories, the dark magics, the ‘older’ feel for the ponies we know. These are good things, and you should strive to keep whatever muse gives them to you very happy.
The ideas behind the story are compelling, but the manner in which you tell it is clumsy, conflicting, and at times feels more like a breathless train of thought than a well-considered tale.
You have a fixation on the thesaurus, but aren't attentive to the nature of the words you're replacing. You'll use words that have similar meanings to what you intend, but do not belong, or cannot be modified by the adjectives and adverbs in which they are dressed.
None of these things have changed. You still have a compelling, deep story to tell. You have a unique tone with which to relate the tale. But you're falling apart in structure and form.
Run-on sentences and comma splices abound. Heavy purple prose fairly strangles the scenes you are trying to build.
I'm not saying you must do these things. I am saying, though, that until you do, this story will not be suited for Equestria Daily. The overly florid prose and difficult-to-parse construction would receive rather negative responses from the readership there, and they wouldn't give your tale the attention it so richly deserves.
This is your first strike of three. If you intend to seek publication on EQD, please request the attentions of a skilled proofreader and/or editor--or more than one, as different readers will find different problems--who won't be reluctant to shake a given paragraph until the unnecessary parts fall off.
There are many groups on FimFiction where you can pick up a proofreader. I’d suggest going to The Proofreader Group. If you already have a proofreader, then I’d suggest requesting another, more experienced one.
If you’re serious about making this story as good as it can possibly be, then after finding a proofreader and revising, you should submit it to a review thread such as The Training Grounds on Ponychan or MLPchan. Alternatively, you could submit it to one of the FimFiction review groups such as WRITE, School For New Writers, or The Equestrian Critics Society. Many authors find their reviews more helpful and less discouraging than an Equestria Daily rejection letter. Plus, they can probably tell you when your story is ready to be resubmitted.
All the best in your revisions,
I've been through the grinder of Ponychan's WTG and a few reviewer threads in times of old, and while I learned a lot a huge story is very unattractive. On top of this you're at the mercy of the skill of the person who picks it up. This leads into why I dislike using the specific reviewers. They're led by what they like, and not what is necessarily correct or proper. As a result, I've rejected critique in the past because I felt it was irrelevant or inconsequential (and was later proved right). You can choose reviewers more directly affiliated with EQD (though they ARE bias) for a more... appropriated indication of the flaws in your story for, I guess, what is favored there. That is the best shot, but it feels like cheating and like I would be learning with restrictions.
This critique is confusing from various angles, but most of all in that it carries a lot of firsts for me. My older readers know that I've submitted to EQD something like 4 times in total now. Of such critiques, I have only ever been accused of lacking things. So to say I have purple prose now--a first from anyone who has openly commented or I have asked--is odd. Mind you this is something that allegedly didn't change from the previous version, which I felt was overly bare and most have concurred with.
~Run-on sentences. I feel that this can be subjective. I probably have some, but at the same time some are probably viewed as such with very black and white views of sentence structure. My studies have shown me that sentences can be acceptable (and sometimes favored) against basic writing rules, though I don't make it my mission to break them.
~Comma splicing. I'm inclined to agree with this. I tend to both over or under-use them and it's something I've actively been trying to watch out for. This probably stems unconsciously from the way I speak. (I'm strange like that.)
Anyway. Like 75% of EQD critique, it's vague and lacks specific examples. (You have errors... somewhere. Use the Force to find them, lad!) I don't hate EQD and I'm grateful to my pre-reader, especially looking it over after I specifically requested them after such a long period. Can any of you guys offer examples that you have seen? I'm always striving to improve, but it's like navigating a labyrinth with a compass instead of a map, and where preference and interpretation line the walls that stop me. I'm deterred from using the suggested groups because of past experiences. I'd also much, much rather learn without the fandom looming over me.
Edit: Consider this just an insight into my perspective. I'll take it down soon. It has, however, brought me a pleasant surprise. More info eventually.