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The Good Stuff

  • The Arbitrage of Moments When you have so little, and another has so much, it’s easy to justify theft. The more precious the commodity, the easier it is to tell yourself you need it more than they do. And what is more precious than time? by GaPJaxie 12,168 words · 2,808 views · 332 likes · 10 dislikes
  • Would It Matter If I Was? In the wake of the Canterlot Wedding, Fluttershy has to ask Twilight a very difficult question. by GaPJaxie 2,361 words · 17,822 views · 2,786 likes · 202 dislikes
  • A Change in Three Parts Dust has lived on the edge of Ponyville all her life, keeping to herself and studying. When she makes a big discovery, she's eager to run to the castle and spread the good news! But why don't the ponies of Ponyville seem happy to see her? by GaPJaxie 8,555 words · 8,987 views · 1,137 likes · 70 dislikes
  • Dressing Room Star Power isn't Twilight Sparkle -- but she does play her on TV. by GaPJaxie 3,444 words · 13,116 views · 1,600 likes · 37 dislikes
  • Siren Song Bioshock meets MLP in this psychological thriller, where Celestia's new faithful student, Siren Song, must discover the truth behind the city beneath the waves. Arriving in pursuit of Twilight, Siren finds herself trapped in a city of horrors. by GaPJaxie 197,562 words · 9,686 views · 565 likes · 15 dislikes
Jul
13th
2016

Spy sappin' my stories!

Treachery! Betrayal! Mild inconvenience! Hit a bit of a snag this week when my two regular editors both tapped out from editing this particular story. Something about the ending being "too dark," or that the narrative was "depressing," or that they're "both sissies who don't like reading stories that make them need to drink heavily." That last one may be a paraphrase on my part.

Whatever the case, I am currently looking for a new editor/pre-reader to bounce ideas off and get their review of early drafts. Shoot me a PM if you'd be interested. :twilightsmile:

And now, progress!

No, wait. That's Fallout: New Vegas.

Week 2: Character Motivation

This part of the outlining process is a god-awful nightmare and I'd forgotten how bad it was. Because this is the part where I work out why the protagonist (and by extension, the reader) gives a damn about these events, and that always opens the outlining up to that nagging question: "Yeah, but... why?"

It works on any story. "Yeah, but... why does Luke join the rebellion when he was all ready to march off to the imperial academy?" (Star Wars) "Yeah, but... why is Siren Song such a nasty bitch?" (Siren Song) "Yeah, but... why is Applejack so concerned for someone she knows is the bad guy?" (Arbitrage of Moments) And of course, the short answer is, "Because that's just the kind of person they are," but that is not a sufficient answer for the outlining process. You need to have specifics.

And no, screaming "because Applejack is best pony!" is not a sufficient answer either.

This is particularly tricky for me, since a big part of my style of writing is: "People don't make decisions for big, sweeping reasons. They make them for petty personal reasons."  Why did Bob shoot Dave? Because his blood sugar was low and he was angry. We may post-facto rationalize it into a revenge narrative, but on the spot, that's the reason. Which means that working out character motivation often depends upon the fine details of the scenes and the moment, which of course aren't fully fleshed out yet. It's like when someone asks me for a plot summary of Siren Song, and all I can manage it: "Siren attempts to walk across the city. Problems ensue, but she eventually makes it."

I recently did a blogpost on the Five Adjectives Method, and for me, this is the part of writing where that method is most useful. I don't know the details of all the scenes yet -- I haven't even worked out who all the characters are -- but this at least gives me some concrete traits I can start working with to get an idea of how Character A would respond to Event B.

Sweetie Belle would probably be adorable at it.

The goal for the end of this week is a rough, event-by-event outline, focused on each character's personal story arc. Event C influences all the characters this way for this reason, causing them to do this this and that. I think of it like a story outline, only instead of being a summary of plot events, it's a timeline showing how those events impact the characters. We'll see how it goes!

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Latest Stories

  • T First Take

    First Take isn't Rarity -- but she does play her on TV.  · GaPJaxie
    6,924 words · 2,646 views  ·  426  ·  52
  • T Pan Flash

    Pan Flash isn't Pinkie Pie -- but she does play her on TV.  · GaPJaxie
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  • T Barnstormer

    Barnstormer isn't Rainbow Dash -- but she does play her on TV.  · GaPJaxie
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  • T Sandworms, Assault Rifles, and the Merits of Extraneous Princesess

    Dune/MLP crossover fic. Written as a dream-writing exercise after a particular evocative night's sleep.  · GaPJaxie
    5,620 words · 248 views  ·  38  ·  7
  • E Zeitgeist

    There's something strange about Sassy Saddles.  · GaPJaxie
    3,661 words · 1,060 views  ·  137  ·  9
  • E Would It Matter If I Was?

    In the wake of the Canterlot Wedding, Fluttershy has to ask Twilight a very difficult question.  · GaPJaxie
    2,361 words · 17,822 views  ·  2,786  ·  202
  • T We Were Still in the Scaffold

    Space can be lonely and cold, but during the long voyage to her people’s new home, Twilight finds the time to talk with her friends about what their new world will be like. A Homeworld crossover.  · GaPJaxie
    4,797 words · 916 views  ·  109  ·  3
  • T A Change in Three Parts

    Dust has lived on the edge of Ponyville all her life, keeping to herself and studying. When she makes a big discovery, she's eager to run to the castle and spread the good news! But why don't the ponies of Ponyville seem happy to see her?  · GaPJaxie
    8,555 words · 8,987 views  ·  1,137  ·  70
  • T Modern Medicine

    A strange mare arrives in Twilight’s library, claiming to be her future self—here to stop a terrible plague. But Twilight worries that this stranger’s bold claims may hide something more sinister.  · GaPJaxie
    11,484 words · 2,887 views  ·  388  ·  26
  • T The Lies We Tell to Children

    When Twilight is awake, Celestia is her teacher, and she a faithful student. But when Twilight shuts her eyes, another mare approaches, who teaches her a very different lesson.  · GaPJaxie
    23,012 words · 6,483 views  ·  694  ·  20
  • Viewing 166 - 170 of 170
Comment posted by equestrian.sen deleted at 6:44am on the 14th of July, 2016
#169 · 2w, 11h ago · · ·

The Actingverse is literally the only thing of yours I've read (so far), and I marathoned the whole shebang in like an hour. It's really good stuff. I don't think you should be discouraged just because some screen-squelching jagoff has nothing better going on in his life than the chance to make some random person on the internet feel like shit.

Just do what you want. It's the internet. It's free entertainment, and it's your work. And it's GOOD work.

#168 · 2w, 4d ago · · ·

>>2240460

Thank you!

:scootangel:

#167 · 2w, 4d ago · · ·

You are a good writer.  Not perfect.  At the end of the day the only real person you should answer to is yourself.  

#166 · 3w, 5d ago · · ·

>>2234006

I shall! Thank you :D

  • Viewing 166 - 170 of 170
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