Kwakerjak

Joined March 2012
1,461 followers
99,884 story views
48m, 42s ago

A thirtysomething Brony from Pennsylvania with a library degree.

Stories

  • PetricultureTwilight tries to figure out how rock farming works.6,716 words ·35,195 views ·2,599 likes ·38 dislikes
  • InscapeWhen Twilight is taken by the Nightmare, it's up to Pinkie Pie to rescue her.29,329 words ·17,803 views ·2,072 likes ·29 dislikes
  • Wild, Sweet & CoolRainbow Dash wants to add strength training to her regimen by having Twilight Sparkle ride her.34,743 words ·13,819 views ·1,554 likes ·23 dislikes
  • Flash FogFluttershy must deal with an unusually thick fog as it approaches Ponyville.89,808 words ·11,527 views ·1,370 likes ·24 dislikes
  • AvocationPenumbra seeks gainful employment.4,569 words ·6,234 views ·1,123 likes ·14 dislikes
  • πTrixie returns to Ponyville to challenge Twilight Sparkle. ("Magic Duel" as it occurs in the Petriculture AU.)13,511 words ·5,241 views ·794 likes ·11 dislikes
  • PandeliriumCelestia decides to attempt to reform Discord, so she taps a pony with a similar background for the job. ("Keep Calm and Flutter On" as it occurs in the Petriculture AU.)77,413 words ·4,949 views ·715 likes ·13 dislikes
  • So, Just What Went Wrong, Anyway?Before Applejack's pep rally, Derpy was acting really weird... even for her. This is why.5,213 words ·2,971 views ·308 likes ·4 dislikes
  • The Final Accusation: A Legal Comedy A dozen years after ascending to become an alicorn, Applejack rules on the case of Tiara v. FlimFlam21,338 words ·2,145 views ·324 likes ·6 dislikes

Influences

This isn't a list of my favorite things; rather it's an incomplete list of things that have directly influenced my storytelling. If you have any questions about how they've influenced me, feel free to leave a comment in my User Page's comment section.


Fiction

The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

The Mercury trilogy by Robert Kroese

The plays of William Shakespeare

Nonfiction

Basic Economics by Thomas Sowell

The Genesis of Science by James Hallam

Movies

Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy

The Pirates of the Carribean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

Video Games

Persona 4

Music

School of Seven Bells

The New Radicals

The Stone Roses

The entire subgenre of psychedelic trance.

The Petriculture Cycle

  • Petriculture Twilight tries to figure out how rock farming works. by Kwakerjak 6,716 words · 35,195 views · 2,599 likes · 38 dislikes
  • Inscape When Twilight is taken by the Nightmare, it's up to Pinkie Pie to rescue her. by Kwakerjak 29,329 words · 17,803 views · 2,072 likes · 29 dislikes
  • Avocation Penumbra seeks gainful employment. by Kwakerjak 4,569 words · 6,234 views · 1,123 likes · 14 dislikes
  • π Trixie returns to Ponyville to challenge Twilight Sparkle. ("Magic Duel" as it occurs in the Petriculture AU.) by Kwakerjak 13,511 words · 5,241 views · 794 likes · 11 dislikes
  • Pandelirium Celestia decides to attempt to reform Discord, so she taps a pony with a similar background for the job. ("Keep Calm and Flutter On" as it occurs in the Petriculture AU.) by Kwakerjak 77,413 words · 4,949 views · 715 likes · 13 dislikes
Apr
13th
2014

Goodness, it's been nearly a week since my last update. Chapter 35 is coming along, though a little bit slower than usual--normally, when I start writing a chapter, I don't take days off from writing unless real life interrupts me, but this week I took two days off for the heck of it. I'd say the chapter is about halfway done.

And now for the modern-day koan: If Sean Bean and Michelle Rodriguez were in the same movie, whose character would die first?

Kwakerjak · 192 views · Report · Story: Flash Fog
Dec
21st
2013

"You're not me!" · 1:34am

As you may have noticed, quite a few people like my writing. Not surprisingly, I occasionally get PMs asking me for writing advice. I generally try to respond as best I can, hopefully with something a bit more substantial than the standard Writing Tip cliches (get a prereader/editor, read, make sure you have an ending before you begin, etc.), and if they have some work posted on FIMFiction already, I'll take a look and try to give helpful feedback, but I've never really had a fresh idea to present before... until now, that is.

You see, I recently started playing Persona 4 again. This was the game I was playing when I wrote Petriculture, so I thought it might put me in a good frame of mind to write the finale. Two things became apparent rather quickly: first, I'd forgotten to list the game as an influence on my user page (this has since been rectified), and second, this game inspired one of the best writing exercises I've ever come up with.

A bit of background, first. For those of you who are allergic to anime hair, Persona 4 is essentially a mix between an old-school, menu-based JRPG and a visual novel/dating simulation game. The hero is a teenager (because this is a JRPG) who must enter a parallel universe inside of a television with his friends in order to do battle with physical manifestations of humanity's collective neuroses called "Shadows" (again, this is a JRPG). Blah blah, Jungian psychology, tarot motifs, murder, etc.

For our purposes, though, the most important part is how new party members are gained. Basically, at several points throughout the game, characters are confronted with a Shadow who looks just like them, exhibiting some aspect of their personality that they would very much like to keep secret, to the point where they will flatly deny anything the Shadow says is true, usually because the current party is present to witness the exchange.* Once the character says the magic Arc Words "You're not me!" (exclamation point included), a boss fight commences, and the player crosses his or her fingers and hopes the party has leveled up to the point where they won't be completely slaughtered.

The "writing exercise" I came up with is a result of an abandoned attempt to write a crossover between Persona and MLP. (It was abandoned because rather than a straightforward "Human In Equestria" style crossover, I wanted to write a completely original story that used the conventions and plot elements found in the Persona series that was set in Equestria, and it soon became apparent that the story I wanted to write was just too damn complicated and I'd almost certainly burn out before I finished.) In the prewriting stages, though, I often found myself writing "You're not me!" scenes for various characters, and I often found that imagining the aspects of different characters' personalities that they'd hide from themselves was very stimulating (except for Luna, because it was already obvious to me that Nightmare Moon filled that role perfectly). Even though the story itself was abandoned, the "You're not me!" scenes still gave me lots of ideas for potential internal conflicts, not to mention some interesting lines of dialogue that could be adapted to other situations. For example, this had a big influence on the story I actually did end up writing, Inscape, because I came up with the notion that deep down, Twilight Sparkle knows that she's smarter than Celestia, and that opened up the possibility that she might do a better job of ruling Equestria, which is what gave the Nightmare a foothold in her consciousness and basically started the plot.

So, basically, if you want to get inside a character's head, try writing a "You're not me!" scene. The results will probably be very interesting, and besides that, it's fun.


* If you've never played P4, this description probably isn't enough to give you a good idea of what I mean. Fortunately, there are plenty of LPs on YouTube, so I can just show you an example:

Kwakerjak · 379 views · Edited 16w, 6d ago · Report · Story: Inscape

Comments

#1062161 · 4w, 20h ago · · ·

Really enjoyed the entire Petriculture cycle. Keep up the good work and drop me a line anytime.

#976819 · 10w, 4d ago · · ·

>>975930 lol yea its on east main street

#975930 · 10w, 4d ago · · ·

>>956764 - Wait, Good's is from around here? No wonder Weaver's can afford to always have their tortilla chips on sale.

#956764 · 12w, 23h ago · · ·

Hey dude I read you were from Adamstown thats awesome I used to live across from the goods chip factory :D

#879169 · 18w, 1d ago · · ·

>>879128 OK, thanks for clarifying. :pinkiehappy:

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