Hello once again! The Apple Bloom fic’s been up for about a week now, and I’m pleased at the great reception it’s had so far! Honestly, I was worried that it would be too much of a departure from my usual fics, but you guys have shown me once again that there’s nothing to fear! A big thanks to every one of you!
Without further ado, it’s time for me to release a few secrets and back-scene developments that went into (and what was taken out of) making To Be Young and Stupid. There’s spoilers below, so if you haven’t read it yet, hop to it! :P
- Precisely zero readers managed to guess the first chapter based on the image when I made a contest out of it a few weeks back. I’m glad I can keep you guys guessing!
- The prologue wasn’t due to be in the fic at all, rather just explained away by Apple Bloom and the other crusaders. It felt rushed for such an important scene in the Apple family’s lives, so just hand-waving explanations didn’t do it justice. Thus, the scene was made.
- Many of the images in this fic have been heavily altered by me in Paint.NET. Once such image is the playground scene, which had been print-screened directly from the Foal Free Press episode and edited to include ponies playing on the swing set (which wasn’t easy to make). It also contains a couple of cute ships that went unnoticed, like Truffle and Twist, or Pipsqueak and Dinky…
- The main character, the young colt, is the first and only “you” character that has a definite descriptive feature that isn’t vague; his “two-gears” cutie mark. Although it’s never mentioned in the fic, more-so hinted, he is an Earth Pony.
- Cheerilee’s image at the beginning of Part 2 has several secrets… her blackboard contains riddles regarding future fics, while her white-canvas contains hints toward my favourite type of pony art! Can anyone decipher the riddles..?
- Snips and Snails were planned to be your best friends in this fic, hoping that your intelligence would rub off on them. It didn’t really work out, though, because who the heck wants to be friends with Snips and Snails!? Lol j/k, it just didn’t make sense for you to be friends with them at the time of writing. Puppy D was going to be your unwanted nickname either way.
- The essay the students were supposed to write was originally going to be “an important moment in your life”. And when Snips copies Diamond Tiara’s work, he successfully changes all the “he”s to “she”s and everything, but tragically finishes the essay with the words “But finally, thank Celestia, I had my period.” Seemed way too out there for a safe fic, so it was redacted. Plus, I don’t think Tiara’s had her first period yet…
- The Cutie Mark Crusaders originally end up in detention when they ask you too many questions about your deceased father. It felt too sad to have them get punished for something you didn’t even intend, so they’re instead let off the hook, allowing you to speak to them during lunch break,
- We cross over with another fic of mine, More Then Buddies, during the lunch-break scene with Dinky Hooves. You all knew I was going to make a crossing-point, as I always do… ;)
- The scene where you fall and hurt yourself, only to be cuddled better by Apple Bloom was a spur-of-the moment thing; we were 5 chapters (including prologue) into the fic, and they hadn’t even hugged yet! We need our share of HNNG, man! Plus, the whole chapter and the interaction between you and AB served to remind you that they’re all still kids, and will behave accordingly, running around and yelling stuff and bumping into things.
- The jokes about Scootaloo’s constant crashing is a reference to the old game Tony Hawk’s American Wasteland. Good memories there…
- Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon were due to have much bigger roles in the fic, where they bully Apple Bloom and her friends. However, it felt way too reminiscent of More Than Buddies, so I decided to leave it out. In the end the whole part just distracted from the fic as a whole.
- Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle were due for bigger roles too; Scootaloo was going to have a scene at her home with her mother (yes, she has a home and a mom in this, geez!) where her mom is constantly coddling her over protectively, and Scootaloo’s dangerous scooting is revealed to be her own little way of rebelling against her safety-freak mom. Sweetie Belle was going to have a scene where she talks about a crush on young colt called Button (a reference to JanAnimation’s version of Sweetie Belle, who has a boyfriend of the same name). Both instances distracted from you and Apple Bloom way too much - it’s a fic about you and her, after all - so they were removed to save going off-track in the fic. A shame, really...
- The blueprints you make at the start of Part 6 were originally hoof-painted for child-referential humour, but I wanted your sketchbook, that’s featured in a later section of the fic, to be mentioned and established as part of your character.
- I basically flipped a coin on whether I wanted “the human“ from Her Whole Darn Heart to be referenced. On one hand, Apple Bloom lives with him, so it’d make sense for him to be discussed, while on the other, it isn’t his fic, and he seemed almost shoehorned in, as if to say “Hey guys, remember me from that other fic?” Finally, I just opted for a mention.
- Throughout the fic, your character was going to “invent” a few devices for helping the Apple family around the farm. Not only did this seem unlikely - a ten-year-old inventing flawless farming vehicles to help an age-old practice he knows absolutely nothing about - but it would have been hard to explain the inclusion (or absence of) the human in those scenes.
- That “Sketch” of Apple Bloom is the hardest image I’ve ever had to make for my fics…
- Your character originally sets the Clubhouse on fire with oil, but that didn’t make sense as the trains his father had were steam-powered, and he learned his special talent from his father’s legacy.
- The fire scene was originally going to have just you and Scootaloo trapped while a burst gasoline engine fills the place with smoke and gas, threatening to choke you both. Sweetie Belle runs off to get help, and Apple Bloom kicks the door down in a single “buck” by imitating her sister when she sees your life in peril. Instead, having you and AB work together gave the fic far more emotional substance then it would have otherwise.
- Apple Bloom was originally meant to get her Cutie Mark in the fic. It felt way to convenient and forced, plus I didn’t want to use that big occasion for the cheap sake of dramatic effect. She’ll get it one day, don’t worry girl!
I think that’s it. At least, that’s all I remember about the fic’s development. Thanks for reading to the end, if you did!
My next fic, which is already under construction, will feature you as an elderly pegasus, trying to make amends for a mistake he made many years ago. It will contain flashbacks of a love long since passed… but will Annabelle “Annie” Smith ever forgive you for what you did..?
Contains flashbacks and sad feels.