Answers to your Questions · 2:45am
And a week has already passed. Wow, that was fast.
Okay, here we go, you asked questions and now here are the answers. For reference, Loyal2Luna’s responses are in red, and 2dextreem’s in blue.
Not much else to say except have a good weekend wherever you are and stay tuned for pending updates in the near future.
Personal Question: How many gladiator battles do you participate in a week?
Between five and seven a week. They are long, grueling ordeals where my mental capabilities and physical stress levels are tested, my soul battered and beaten by the inevitable march of overwhelming odds. The wealthy laugh and the poor jeer as I try to maintain a balance in this area and earn my weekly prize.
Wait, you were asking about my job, right?
What's your name?
What's your quest?
And what's your favorite color?
More seriously, how many stories will be in your Doctor Whooves series?
Sir Galahad of Camelot.
To seek the Holy Grail.
Blue. No-- AAAAAAAEEEEGGGGH!
*sigh* Amature, this is how you cross the Bridge of Doom.
Loyal2Luna of Equestria, aka Mina the Human.
To be the most beloved crossover writer in the MLP Fandom.
Is iridescence a color?
Psychicscubadiver: “I don’t kn-- AAAAAEEEGGGGH!!!”
Eheh, gets them every time… Now, to answer the next question: Originally Dr. Whooves was slated for 12 episodes, although that was back over two years ago when I first started posting them. While I fully intend to continue with them, I am uncertain which of those episode ideas will be pursued now. The next episode (featuring Rainbow Dash) is already set in stone as is the last episode. What is between them however, will depend on support and RL issues over the next while.
A serious question, are you planning on explaining Pinkie Pie Pie-ness in Doctor Whooves? you seem to be leading up to it…
Yes, this and many other questions the Doctor has about the Equestrian Universe will be eventually cleared up.
So where did you disappear to anyways?
The black hole of adult life known as work. I was promoted late last year to a management position in my job and put on salary, which in retrospect has become the biggest mistake of my life as it seems to have translated into ‘You can work as much as we want you to, make no overtime, and have no limit on hours per day.’ 55-60 hour weeks are not uncommon for me anymore and when I do get home, I tend to be so wiped out I just want to snuggle with my griffin, watch some Mythbusters, or play the latest ‘distraction’ game.
On my days off, this tends to go doubly so as I’ve fallen into the habit of catching up on my sleep debt Sundays and being generally lazy.
The only upside to this is the fact that mine and my husband’s personal debts have come down dramatically in the last half-year. So I guess I can’t complain for doing well financially.
SCP Pinkamena Asks:
2dextreme: Do you really live life to the extreme?
Every. Single. Day.
Loyal2Luna: Have you ever considered being loyal to Celestia?
I technically am, I mean, I am not plotting to overthrow her or anything. I have nothing against Celestia and I certainly am not the sort to suggest that she is incapable of protecting her subjects or incompetent like some fans do. My resonance with Luna is more due to her artistic, and less ‘grandiose’ personality. As a Princess, Celestia is the ‘old school’ sort of benevolent dictator… As an individual, well… If I had to choose who I spend my time with, it would be with Luna.
L2L's (Griffon) Husband: ...How y'all meet?
I’ll answer this one since he doesn’t like to get involved in my ‘Pony things.’ Stephen and I were high school sweethearts. I came from a somewhat conservative religious family and he’s very much ‘not’ so… call it rebellion or a case of interest in something new… or you could be like my parents and call it ‘corruption.’ But thanks to him I discovered my geekhood, getting into all sort of new things like video-games, tabletop games, and new genres of books which led to my now prominent interest in sci-fi and fantasy.
In many ways, you can owe my current status as a writer to him.
Do you go to conventions? Do you want to?
I went to Dragoncon one year in Atlanta, Georgia USA, before MLP:FIM came out, but aside from that, I have not had the time or until recently the funds to attend conventions. Given that I live in the smack middle of nowhere, and every time we (my husband and I) have tried to plan for a convention, something comes up. It’s a little tough for me to ‘get out’ anywhere. Would I like to, yeah. But will I, unfortunately probably not.
I go to Rochester Institute of Technology, so every year I go to their ToraCon (it’s like a much smaller, more local Comic Con). I’ve always wanted to attend one of the bigger Cons, but no MLP Cons, though; those people are scurry.
How do you think Daleks pick very important smallish things up that fall on the floor? When they're alone?
Loyal-Dalek: “EN-GAGE VACUUM DEVICE!” *runs over smallish object and sucks it up like an evil Nazi-Dyson*
IF IT WAS IMPORTANT, IT WOULD NOT BE SMALL!
How are ya?
Tired, which is pretty common. But I’m used to it, thanks for asking.
Fine, thanks. How about you?
The Literary Lord asks:
How sentient were the individual programs of the simulation?
Aside from the Royal Sisters and Discord, there were no truly sentient programs. They were all just basic personality profiles, but with a few exceptions. Some were custom-made by Discord, such as Trixie or Flim and Flam. And then there’s Spike, whose programming and behavior was modelled off of Forty-Two’s, but in terms of sentience he was no different than the other programs, just more nuanced.
Also of note is the fact that the VIs of the simulation were still quite sophisticated, capable of imitating life, but not being alive themselves. Spike in particular was close, but not quite self-aware. This was required due to the constant contact that Twilight had with him.
Is the "Equestrian Equation" ending that we ended up with the one you preferred?
I always hoped for the ‘Launch Awaken Protocol’ ending to be honest, and was very pleased to see the cause picked up by such a huge majority of the readers.
Are you referring to the story’s final choice, or the vote on which sequel would be made? Either way, I’m glad for both. I’m having a great time writing Shades of Twilight.
I guess I'll ask the same question again: how long is the Doctor Whooves series going to be? Usually, I get the same answer with this question, but I'll ask anyway.
As mentioned above, it was originally slated for 12 episodes. I don’t know if it will reach that ambitious goal, but we shall see. At the very least, every member of the Mane Six will get at least one adventure where they play a major role, as well as a group story set in modern-day Equestria and finally the climatic Doctor Whooves finale.
I know you probably have so much on your plate right now, and this probably doesn't rank too high on priorities, but are you going to continue helping ed with Shepard's R&R?
Yes, I am fully intending to return to helping Ed with Shepard’s R&R. My absence has been due to draws on my time and difficulty with work rather than inattentiveness or disinterest on my part. I have been working for some time to mitigate both problems.
Hog Roast asks:
Do you think that there'd - hypothetically - be a possibility of you writing the alternate endings in full if you ever had the time? Or do you find the summaries to be enough?
I would love to, but have not the time to re-write endings or alternate scenarios for other stories. I have no problem if someone else would like to give it a shot, writing the ‘path not taken’ in detail. But as for Equestrian Equation (as well as Shades of Twilight and Harmony for All) I will only be doing one detailed write-through. Replays will have to come from other authors.
Do you ever feel that you've bitten off more than you can chew with having three fics on the go, especially when your personal life has taken precedence over them for so much of the past year or so?
It’s not my stories I’ve bitten off more of, it’s the life I’ve bitten off more of. Unfortunately, that is the sacrifice made for financial stability in this capitalist society we live in. *sighs*
What's the best way of making an interactive story work well?
Fluidity. Always keep in mind that your story is always changing, even if you already have an idea of the direction you want it to go in. Plan for any outcome, but don’t commit to an idea until it’s written down and ready to be put out there.
Improvisation is also a huge factor. While certain scenes are set in stone in my mind, it’s always important to make the story feel spontaneous and that things are occurring as a result of the choices and story rather than in spite of them. One issue I’ve seen too much of in games with morality systems (like for example inFAMOUS 1 & 2) is that between the choices, the character is kept bland and generic so that either side could be taken. While this may be to streamline gameplay mechanics, a story allows characters to evolve based on readers’ decisions. So if Shepard’s decisions make him a paragon, he should behave like a paragon and not as a neutral individual in the story.
Do you plan on using any Doctor Who aliens, or are you going to make your own for the entirety of the series? 'Cause I'd like to see a story with the Vashta Nerada because they are the best.
Well, a Whoovian legacy alien has already been seen with Anasi, the ‘Eight-Leg’ who attempted to take over Zebrica. However, if you are referring to more commonly known Dr. Who villains, then yes. And you will be seeing them quite soon if I have anything to say about it.
Although, since the Vashta Nerada were used by Squeak-Anon in the original ‘Traveler’ story (which was the springboard into the Dr. Whooves Series) I do not intend to use them again. Sorry.
Do you plan on doing any crossovers with any other series when you finish one?
I can’t speak for Loyal, but I once had a funny idea for an Uncharted crossover. It would be a one-shot featuring Nathan Drake and Daring Do tag-teaming an ancient ruin together, and right at the end when they defeat all the traps and snag the treasure, we cut to a scene of Nathan asleep in bed, dreaming up the whole thing while snuggling his favorite Daring Do plushie.
As for myself, I do occasionally get bouts of inspiration. I had entertained an idea for a sequel to the Phoenix Wright/MLP:FiM crossover, Turnabout Storm (as featured on Youtube) but was abandoned due to lack of time. Perhaps one day I will write it but not until at least one of the current projects is complete.
are you going to do anything for the 50th anniversary of DW?
Well, the 50th Anniversary has already come and gone, so I think not. Originally I had intended to do something way back at conception of the Dr. Whooves storyline, but I didn’t crank out stories as quickly as I had intended. So no, I don’t think I’ll be doing anything special.
Also, you bring up an interesting point that I feel is worth mentioning. For the purposes of Doctor Whooves Adventures, we are discounting the existence of John Hurt’s “War Doctor” as introduced in the 50th anniversary special. Not only does it make it easier for us since he’s never mentioned in previous story canon, it also allows for the pony Doctor to be his legitimate “twelfth” regeneration, which will be a factor later on in the series, as the Doctor is literally on his last life.
Would you be against doing a crossover with X-Men Days of Future Past?
I am afraid so. While I do enjoy Marvel and DC, I don’t know either property well enough to do such a crossover. I can say that I will not be producing such a story in the foreseeable future.
Question: Will Kolyat ever make an appearance in Shades of Twilight, since he does start working for Captain Bailey after Thane's loyalty mission?
If Kolyat makes an appearance, it will be a minor cameo. The intention here is not to revisit all the folks that Shepard has had an impact on, but for the Herd to find its own place. After all, there is a big galaxy out there full of diverse personalities. Some good, some bad, and many have stories to tell.
Question: Will "the Shadow Broker" (Liara) ever contact the herd for any reason?
Question: Will we ever get to see the ponies go anywhere that isn't the citadel?
Yes. In fact, this will become a major point of a later arc.
Question: How do I get one of those Marr Bell Plushies? So adorable
To my knowledge, that plushie is currently one of a kind and custom made. I suppose the only way to get one would be to commission the artisan who created that one and inquire on how much it would be to have a second made. If a second IS made, please inform me and send pictures.
Hmm... Do you think you might actually write out that 'Neutral' option someday?
I’m sorry, but I’m afraid not. As much as I would love to go over and rewrite every outcome, I simply don’t have time or energy to put forth into that sort of project when there are new events happening both in the ‘Equestrian Trilogy’ and in other projects, like Sly Cooper and Dr. Whooves. I would not be averse to someone else writing up their own interpretations however.
Exactly what are the Alicorns?
Yes, they are literally walking spoilers. Luna can’t keep her mouth shut about Game of Thrones.
THEY KILLED WHO THIS EPISODE?! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! *dramatic camera angle*
Do they reincarnate and is Luna the reincarnation of Lady Astrolia?
There is a connection between Luna and Lady Astrolia, but it is not one of reincarnation.
How long they live?
Alicorn lifespans are difficult to quantify because they live so long and many records from before Celestia’s Rule have either been lost to antiquity and/or stored away in the various libraries across Equestria. However it is understood that they are not immortal. Celestia herself is believed to be over two thousand years old at least. The longest known reign of an alicorn was the Night Empress Nocturnal, who ruled (supposedly) for over three thousand years, but this estimation is from surviving written records and is only a theory.
Has always been an Alicorn in the societies of ponies?
At least one alicorn ruler has been present for much of civilized history, although there are gaps in that history, such as the Founding of Equestria, which has raised many questions as the legend does not mention an alicorn ruler and instead focuses on three regional houses of the various tribes.
How powerful they are? In what extent they represent the natural forces they control? Are they avatar, humanoids, gods or elemental archmages? Do they need to eat and/or sleep? Do they reproduce? If you were to compare them to a race in the Who verse, who or what would they be parallel to?
Wow, rapid fire questions… Okay, this is a tricky one.
In order: I suppose the best way to quantify it is ‘Less than a goddess, more than a pony.’ Their power over the sun and moon is mostly symbolic as far as the common pony is concerned, they do little more than raise and set their respective celestial bodies. They are considered to be, for the most part anyways, demigods. In spite of their powers, their bodies are flesh and blood and have the same requirements, as Celestia’s kitchen staff is sure to confess to. Common belief is that Alicorns are ‘made,’ not born. Although lore indicates that they are by no means abstinent, the dalliances of the alicorns past and present are almost always shrouded in mystery. And to date, There has never been any documentation of an ‘infant’ alicorn (although a few references exist to pre-teen alicorns in the company of another, elder mare) As for the last question: Spoilers.
According to your time travel rules, what happened to twilight future? Do the ponies there became the Equestria version of the Meanwhiles and Neverweres? Were they destroyed? Did It branched into an alternate universe, leaving them simply cut from the "Original" verse? Do they reincarnated into new ponies that follow the Series verse history? Were they saved or just became a cautionary tale to create a good future?
Wow, you are good at these. Okay, here we go again. Really I can sum this all up with one word: Reapers. No, you don’t need to call in Shepard and the Normandy. It is established in ‘Traveler’ that Equestria has its own version of the time-stream's custodians. They fix paradoxes and ‘devour’ invalid timelines, like they did when Rose Tyler attempted to change her personal history by saving her father. It can also be assumed that the Doctor’s attempts to alter fixed points in the past have met with similar fates. As the Doctor recently stated, “That never happened and it never CAN happen.”
By everything the Doctor knows and believes about the nature of time travel (and let’s face it, he’s the ultimate expert) Twi-Two and the future that she ruled in an endless twilight is gone, nothing more than a memory in the minds of the only two ponies who experienced it.
Are you keen on any Assassin's Creed titles?
I played the first one, was not too impressed. Assassin’s Creed 2 was a HUGE improvement and I greatly enjoyed Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood. But I have not played any past that one. I do have a friend who is absolutely obsessed with the series, so unfortunate spoilers have prevented me from being overly eager to progress.
Never played them, but I might one day.
May i ask how you get your fics to get read?
Patience and making a connection to the audience. You can't expect a massive readership right away. Give it time and if the story is enough to draw readers in, to get them thinking, then they will come. The important thing is to tell the story you want to tell.
It’s funny you ask that, because other than posting my story on this site, I’ve done virtually nothing in the way of gathering readers. I just let the story’s quality speak for itself, and that seems to work just fine. It also helps that HiE is, at the very least, a genre of interest to most people. Also, I’ll let you in on a secret: Absolutely nobody I know in real life knows that I do this. Not even my parents. Funny, because most people would consider a 200,000 word story to be a pretty big accomplishment.
To Derp, or not to Derp? That is the question.
Whether it is nobler to Derp in the mind… or to Derp aloud. I say, life’s too short not to Derp.
Derp. In moderation.
Any chance we'll see Marr again in Doctor Whooves: the series?
Yes, although it will be a while before we see her again.
Have either of you ever played Dungeons & Dragons?
I have, although my first foray into tabletop was actually in white-wolf games, namely, ‘Mage the Ascension.’ I have played a few games of the actual Dungeons & Dragons, but it’s definitely in the minority of my tabletop. I have enjoyed Whitewolf (Mage and Vampire), some Shadowrun (a little too dark for me, but eh), Mutants and Masterminds (Superhero RPG), and some Star Wars Saga Edition.
Yes, though not nearly as much as I’d like. I’ve played through one whole campaign with a half-elf Paladin and three separate, unfinished ones with the same gnome Wizard. I refuse to let him go until he realizes his greatest wish of becoming so kickass that he invents a new spell and names it after himself.
Why doesn't get 2dextreem get more love? A good editor is one of the greatest things a writer could ask for…
Amen to that. I give him plenty of love. *sidesteps the glare of the griffin husband* But really, 2d is a huge boon to everything I do.
It would be nice if more people came to the understanding that Loyal’s stories are now more of a joint venture between me and her, but either way, I don’t mind. She’s the one who comes up with the stories, and I just help fill in the details and refine them. She deserves every one of her adoring fans. I’m content to be adored vicariously through her.
Awww, I adore you, 2d. *hugs*
Red pill or blue pill? Be honest, now.
If we are talking about me personally, in my life, I hate to say it but blue pill for me. I like my creature comforts and my (by comparison) simple life. I’m no adventurer. I read and write about heroic exploits, but I am no hero.
Red. It’s more fun that way!
How different is the plush from how you originally imagined Marr?
I imagined her being bigger.
Heh, jokes aside, the plush turned out amazingly. The proportions are off but that is to be expected considering how long Marr was, creating a good looking plushie to scale would have been like four to five feet of tail with a plushie pony top. In other words, not feasible. The artist who made Marr was extremely talented.
How are you able to maintain the feel of each series you cross-over so well? Doctor Whooves feels like a Doctor Who Episode and a My Little Pony episode at the same time. HOW DO YOU DO IT?
I really don’t know how to answer this. It just kinda comes to me. The biggest problem is trying to maintain the whimsical tone without letting it get overly saturated by the sometimes depressing storylines common in Dr. Who.
Faithfulness to characters is the key. Doctor Who wouldn’t be the same without the Doctor, and FIM wouldn’t be the same without the ponies. You can take almost any scenario and make it a good crossover if the characters respond believably to the situation.
2dextreem: How'd you wind up as Loyal2Luna's co-author and editor?
I can’t remember how exactly I came across The Pinkie Conundrum, because that was my first foray into FimFiction, but I was intrigued by the concept of combining two of my most recent favorite new things (I discovered MLP and DW literally within months of each other) and I just fell in love with the story. That being said, I did notice a great many things wrong with Loyal’s work. Grammar mostly, and also some inconsistencies in her descriptions of things like the TARDIS interior, and I commented on it, while also asking if she’d like me to help clean some of it up in my spare time. She didn’t have anyone to help her already, so she agreed.
It started out as just fixing errors and prettying up the document, but she was so pleased with my contributions that she asked if I would like to help with Game of Stones, which was in progress at the time, in a more hands-on fashion. By the time that story wrapped up, I was adding my own personal flair to the story, and in some cases writing whole extra scenes in my own words. By the time we got to Along Came a Spider and Mass Effect 2: The Equestrian Equation, I was pretty much her co-author, and we started writing the stories together. The rest is history.
And how lucky I was. Although it may not be noticeable in the final product, 2d has held me back from a lot of mistakes as I have a tendency to overcomplicate things and try to weave huge, elaborate stories around every small detail which have a tendency to bog down the story. I really couldn’t do this without him. *hugs the editor*
Just to give you a few examples, Pinkie’s turn-based RPG battle in Equestrian Equation? My idea. (Loyal originally planned to just do another distracting song-and-dance routine.) Also, pretty much the entire concept and execution of the escape from the facility onto the Normandy, and a few of the crew dialogues from the aftermath, were done in my hand. I hate to toot my own horn, but I’ve been a major influence on Loyal’s stories since the end of Game of Stones.
Both of you are fantastic authors. Where did you learn to write so well? And do you have any advice for fledgeling or experience writers?
I picked up writing out plots and storylines after I got into tabletop gaming. I was maybe nineteen, twenty. I wanted to try my hand at running a game and after a rather disappointing first few sessions, asked the husband (then boyfriend) for advice. His was ‘everything’s alive and everything happens for a reason.’ This advice still forms the basis of my writing style. There is a reason for everything. It also probably led to my biggest flaw, which is my tendency to overcomplicate stories. I’m working to tone that back.
I was always pretty good at writing in general, as many of my high school English Language Arts teachers can attest to, though I can say I’ve learned a lot about good writing through feedback on my own story. Part of it is an obsession with quality control; I have an epic imagination, and I always strive to make my ideas come across on the page in the clearest way possible. I always thought I might make a good screenwriter if I ever had the opportunity.
If I had one piece of advice to give, it’s to never settle for “good enough.” If you write something you aren’t happy with, or that you think could be better in any way (this includes accepting criticism), write it over again. And again, and again, until it’s at a point where you, personally, feel satisfied with the result.
Whatever happened to the Legends of the Caravan story?
Along with my time suffering, so too has the Caravan Game. I am attempting to get back to it, but time and personal issue constraints keep pulling me away. The novelization of the Caravan story is likewise up in the air until its continuation is assured. The threat of having the original game deleted kinda put a damper on things as well, although Knighty has since rescinded that blog post.
Can you handle all the love we hold for you and your stories?
Well, I tend to bottle it for posterity in case I need a snack later... OH I MEAN! *throws a curtain over the stockpiled bottles of love to hide true intentions from the public* I'M NOT HOARDING IT FOR SUSTENANCE! YOU CAN'T PROVE ANYTHING!
You won't push yourself too hard on our behalf and stay the terrific person you seem to be?
Could you carry a sign at BronyCon or Buck this year so I can easily give you hugz?
I wish I could, but I'm afraid I will not be attending either. I'll accept virtual hugs though.
are you planning on changing anything in the Sly Cooper story due to the events of season four, mainly the fact that discord is proving to not be evil?
Pretty much no. For all intents and purposes, consider Stealing Harmony to be taking place in an alternate universe where Discord really is just an evil, manipulative bastard through and through.
Indeed, also in terms of timeline, Stealing Harmony takes place after the Royal Wedding, but before the Crystal Empire. So nothing from Season 3 or 4 is considered canon in Stealing Harmony.
Will the Rachni be making an appearance (probably indirectly) in Shades of Twilight any time soon?
No, sorry, no rachnai.
Is Maud Pie a real pony or was she a part of the Matrix? Is she one of those combat specialists that you mentioned?
The original story was conceived of having taken place between Seasons 2 and 3, and we don’t have any plans to introduce characters from Seasons 3 or 4 retroactively. So to answer your question, neither; Maud Pie never existed.
Will the Raloi or the Virtual Aliens have more of an impact on the story than in Mass Effect?
There are no plans in include the Virtual Aliens or Raloi story as anything more than background fluff. They are newsworthy events but will have little impact on the Herd. Taetrus is mentioned because it has a deeper impact on the ponies due to both the audacity of the attack and the fact that Taetrus is Pyres’ homeworld.
Has the Equestrians' presence affected Shepard and/or his companions' adventures in any significant way? (I.e. Has Mordin learned anything interesting from his tests? Legion and the knowledge of SIs that naturally evolve into AIs and peacefully coexisted with their creators? Etc.)
The extent of Equestrian influence has yet to be determined in the galaxy, although such ripples will not be fully felt or appreciated until the events of Harmony for All.
Do you prefer writing this story over "Celestia's Compromise"?
Very much so. It was not intended at first, but I am very much enjoying the intrigue of writing the events taking place for the Herd as we share their struggles and triumphs.