Latest Stories

  • E Ticket's Taken

    It's time for the Grand Galloping Gala! But who's going to take Twilight?  · Bed Head
    33,229 words · 721 views  ·  43  ·  0
  • E A Split in the River

    What if Starlight didn't accept Twilight's offer?  · Bed Head
    4,546 words · 1,113 views  ·  58  ·  5
  • E Boast Backers

    Continuation of the Flipverse! Spike, the new Element of Magic has moved to Ponyville. A specter from his past, however, isn't willing to let him sit around with his new friends and his "happily ever after..."  · Bed Head
    68,556 words · 3,016 views  ·  321  ·  13
  • E Flipside

    A retelling of the first two episodes in an Alt. Universe. Spike is the pony, Twilight the dragon.  · Bed Head
    85,211 words · 10,702 views  ·  949  ·  21
Feb
1st
2017

Well the first one was a bit of fun to write.  How about we try one that's a little more unique to MLP fanfiction?

The Dragon-verse

Giving it some thought, though, the basic premise for this sort of AU exists across plenty of fandoms.  The general idea of taking the story and changing it up by setting in a world where the main characters of the work are changed on some fundamental level.  In their own ways stuff like the Rule 63-verse or even the Equestria Girls movies fall into a similar vein as this...

But I'm digressing.  What I specifically want to talk about this time is the Dragon-verse, or in other words AU's that set themselves in an Equestria where dragons are the dominant species.

I feel the draw of these sorts of fics is pretty easy to see.  After all, Spike has long been a major player on the show and some pretty good world building has happened almost every time the show and comics have visited the "He's the only dragon living among ponies" side of his character.  When you have one character that's so different from all the others it can be kind of fun to wonder what would happen if the situation is reversed and he's the only pony living among dragons.  In its own way this sort of fic is like a variant of the Mirror-verse from my last post, with the major difference being that stories about it don't necessarily need to revolve around the "Main Character winds up in this other verse" sort of plot.  And much like the Mirror-verse it sets the stage for tons of exploration and world building.  After all, thanks to the show we know plenty about ponies and how they live and comparatively little about anyone else.  A world where dragons set the standard for everything should be really interesting!

Note, however, I used the word "should" in the last sentence.

Just to clarify before I delve into this, I love alternate universe stories.  I love dragons.  I love Friendship is Magic.  Really, all this should make Dragon-verse style stories some of my favorite on this site.  So why do I seem to have so much trouble getting into a lot of them?

Well, read this next part and feel free to just skip past the bold text once it starts to sound familiar.

The young dragon Twilight Sparkle, personal student to Princess Celestia of Draconica, and her pony assistant Spike have been sent down to the quiet town of Dragonville to prepare for the coming of the Summer Sun Celebration.  During their visit they'll meet five colorful, zany dragons who will be integral in helping them protect everydragon from a vicious dragon of darkness that threatens to plunge the world into eternal night!

I think you get the idea.

Here's a phrase I've been saying for a while, and that I'll keep saying until I'm blue in the face regarding all manner of AU's in every fandom:  When writing your own AU, you should take the world in the broadest strokes possible and then think about how the changes your universe makes affects everything.

I'd like to ad an addendum to that however:  The bigger the change, the broader the strokes should be.

What precisely does all that mean?  Well think of the setting like a massive color-by-numbers picture actually.  When you're only changing a few details (which ponies make up the Mane Six, the life positions of a few characters, the location where the Elements were hidden) then it's not too hard to ignore the numbers and fill in the outlines with whichever colors and details you want to change Pinkie Pie into, say, Vinyl Scratch.  When you're doing something as sweeping as changing the dominant species of an entire world, however, trying to just recolor the same outlines just looks like you lazily tried to texture scales, spikes, and wings onto everyone.

The Dragon-verse can work, but the writer really needs to consider just how different dragons and ponies actually are.  Minor spoilers ahead, but I've only seen one example of a story that does the "AU where the dragon versions of the Mane Six just live like big scaly ponies" idea and made it work.  And that was because Spike had essentially accidentally transported himself to his own personal paradise so he didn't have to feel out of place in Equestria, so there it made sense that everything would be exactly like Canon Equestria just with dragons in charge.  Even before Season Six gave us so much to work with thanks to ideas like Dragon Lords and the Bloodstone scepter though this sort of stuff just smacked of lazy writing (and I more or less have the same complaint about the Spike/Luna Friends Forever comic but I'm not gonna get into that right now).

So the big question is how does one make a Dragon-verse work?  Well the wonderful thing is, like why your hero is a villain in the Mirror-verse, it's a blank slate to write all sorts of ideas down on.  Even if you want to keep the most basic attributes (one ruling dragon, evil sibling returning, student dragon and five new friends have to gather macguffins and save the world) there's still so much that can be done!  Just to list a few ideas...

1.  Change the Elements.  We've seen dragons in the show do not seem to value virtues like Kindness or Generosity, so what would they consider important instead?  Honor?  Wisdom?  Temperence?  Justice?  There's plenty of attributes that can be considered admirable while at the same time feel more in line with what a society of giant fire-breathing reptiles that value personal strength over most else might value.

2.  Speaking of societies, a town founded by dragons doesn't seem totally unfeasible, but basically making it the same thatch-roofed cottages and apple farms except with dragons living in them does.  Perhaps rock farms like what the Pie family runs are more the norm for growing crystals to eat?  Maybe this "town" is some kind of experiment by a few dragons to see how effective sharing territory and working together is compared to carving out their own hunting grounds and driving others off?  Or rather than a town perhaps the dragon versions of the Mane Six just happen to meet in the same area or live close to one another and realize they need to work together once the big bad shows up.

3.  The Mane Six themselves would also need some retouching.  That's not to say they couldn't be recognizable as dragon versions of themselves but consider some of their major talents and how other dragons would view them.  Maybe Fluttershy is constantly picked on by other dragons because she befriends bunnies and fuzzy animals instead of hunting them.  Rarity's talent for finding gems would certainly make her the envy of most dragons as she builds up an impressive (and artfully arranged) hoard.  Pinkie's party throwing and spontaneous bursting into places she shouldn't be or Rainbow Dash's recklessness probably wouldn't earn them many friends around wherever they live...

4.  "Tribes" of dragons.  I'm all for the idea of different breeds of dragons having unique talents but basically just making Earth, Unicorn, and Pegasus dragons gets back to the lazy problem I brought up.  Why not make each of the Mane Six a unique kind of dragon?  Tie them to different elements (RD breathing lightning is both cool and fitting).  Come up with some stuff all your own and make the breeds unique instead of just scaly versions of the pony tribes.

5.  Who's really in charge?  I mean it, especially since we got introduced to Torch and Ember in Season Six.  Do we have a Dragon Lord Celestia?  Is Torch the leader and maybe Celestia and Luna both fall into some sort of mythical creator goddesses legend?  Does the Bloodstone Scepter perhaps play a role in finding the Elements that the Dragon! Mane Six need?  This stuff is all important and all worth considering.

At the end of the day a Dragon-verse is just like every other Alternate Universe.  The more thought and effort you put into considering just what makes yours unique (from both the show and other Dragon-verses), the more you and your readers can get out of it.

  • Viewing 21 - 25 of 25
#25 · 8w, 3d ago · · ·

>>2367555

Ooh, I like.  Thanks for this!

#24 · 8w, 4d ago · · ·

I had some more fun with Flip!Twilight...

#23 · 20w, 2d ago · · ·

Love your work! Keep it up!

#22 · 45w, 31m ago · · ·

Thanks for the fave on I'm No Legend! I hope you continue to like it. :3

#21 · 48w, 6d ago · · ·

Cool thanks. I enjoy the stories so much

  • Viewing 21 - 25 of 25
Login or register to comment