Revisions *IMPORTANT* · 5:29am
I recently re-read the first two chapters of my own story, just to remind myself of a few things, and I discovered that they kind of sucked in a lot of ways: mechanical errors, poor phrasing, etc. I cleaned them up, of course, but that's not the reason why I'm making this blog post.
The reason is that, in addition to the minor clean-up job, I also made a few slight adjustments to the plot. Now, unless the vast majority of my favoriters decides to spontaneously re-read my story, they'll never get to see these edits, so I decided to compile every change into a single handy-dandy blog post for your convenience!
Here they are:
I gave mention to the Cosmic Council, which was established in the extended universe of MLP.
At last, the two of them—three counting the guard, which Luna didn’t—reached the meeting hall. Thankfully, the other delegates had taken their seats already, allowing Princess Luna and Prince Blueblood to quickly take attendance and call the meeting to order. Much of the Cosmic Council was absent, as per the norm, though there was a pair of regular attendees who were missing as well: Captain Shining Armor and Princess Mi Amore Cadenza, both of whom were away on their honeymoon, and both of whom had thankfully found replacements in time.
I turned the foreshadowing of the alicorn illness up to eleven. (Thank you, Clockwork Insomniac.)
When Celestia did show up, it was only to tell Luna that she had been completely blindsided by a mountain of paperwork left in the aftermath of the changeling invasion, and that she was just too exhausted to attend the meeting. Indeed, Celestia was a wreck—hair freyed, coat blotched, eyes heavy with dark circles and red veins.
The princess yawned for several seconds. Apparently, Princess Celestia wasn't the only one exhausted by the post-invasion efforts; every alicorn at the table looked a little sleepy, if not outright fatigued. It was almost enough to make Luna think that maybe the...
No, that's preposterous. If that was the case, somepony would have figured it out by now.
Before Luna could ruminate any further, the silver alicorn finished her yawn.
Luna frowned. It was unfair that Celestia had to listen to such petty concerns, especially when she was already so greatly burdened. With her heavy eyelids and trembling wings, she looked as though she were about to fall asleep on the spot, and what kind of sister would Luna be if she were to deny Celestia the rest she deserved?
I played up Luna's more Nightmarish side.
Luna wanted desperately to hit Blueblood. She wanted to wring his neck with her magic. She wanted to scream at him as loud as she could until he passed out, bleeding from the ears, deafened by the sound of a true Cosmic Councilmare's voice.
But she couldn’t. She already felt a touch of familiar darkness creeping into her heart; if she took this any further she would be lost again, and she'd already come so close on so many occasions—Discord's return, Nightmare Night, that first Cosmic Council meeting where Virgo and Equuleus refused to speak to her. Even on the night of the wedding reception, when she discovered that she'd slept through an attack on her kingdom...
No, she wouldn't go through with this. She wouldn't allow herself to lose another thousand years just to get in the last word. Instead, she marched out the door in a furious huff, not bothering to hide her anger from passers-by who'd left their chambers to see what all the yelling was about.
“I imagined myself in Prince Blueblood’s place, and I felt sorry for him. Now I’m not sure what I feel.”
That was a lie. Luna knew exactly what she felt: uselessness, despair, and a black, unholy rage. Still, those feeling would pass in time; there was no point revealing them.
I downplayed Cranky's behavior during the meeting by replacing exclamation marks with periods, and I made his interactions with Matilda a little more bittersweet.
With a low sigh, Cranky leaned into Matilda's touch and inhaled her scent as deeply as he could. She always smelled like either daffodils or vanilla—this morning it was daffodils. He preferred vanilla.
I took some time to explain invisibility magic, as well as the nature of magic in general. (Again, Clockwork Insomniac, thank you.)
Luna screamed and spun around to find a Lunar Guardpony standing at attention before her—she had forgotten he was there. He must have done something to conceal the magical emissions of his invisibility glamour; otherwise, she certainly would have noticed him.
“My armor reduces my weight, which makes it easy for me to move around without making any noise. But I can completely soundproof myself if you would like, your majesty.”
Luna rolled her eyes. This guardpony was a precocious fellow, eager to show off his mastery of concealment magic. It was hardly an impressive feat; the five spells comprising the apocrymantic corpus—invisibility for light, inaudibility for sound, intangibility for touch, inosmibility for smell and taste, and insorsceptibility for magical run-off—were all quite rudimentary, if a little hard to perfect. They were more of a physics exercise than an actual test of magical prowess.
What are those simpletons at my sister's School for Gifted Unicorns calling them again? The five 'I's of indiscernibility? No matter. Luna returned her attention to the guardpony. "That will not be necessary."
“The guard.” She leaned to the side and peered behind Blueblood, a confused look on her face. There didn't seem to be anypony else in the room, though now that Twilight was searching so intently, she did notice a slight magical presence. “I'm not sure if he’s here. If he is, I can't see him.”
Twilight Sparkle is a Spirit of Harmony. Not possible. Trixie crept around the side of the house to find the top half of Twilight's Dutch doorway open. She cast an invisibility spell, steadily weaving a barrier of magic that would take all the light touching her and carry it to the opposite end of her body, neglecting only that which hit her pupils—if she turned them invisible, she wouldn’t be able to see. She then double-checked the spell, pulled herself up over the door's bottom half, and looked about the room.
I strengthened the dichotomy between alicorn nobles and unicorn nobles.
She marveled at the way they carried themselves, gracefully prancing about as if they hadn’t just caused somepony to have a panic attack. It was a gift that only non-alicorn nobility was lucky enough to receive.
I mentioned two pieces of new canon: the fate of Peewee, and the result of Trixie's humiliation:
Sleeping should have been easy, though. Twilight's library was completely dark, save a bit of candle-light flickering from the top of the stairs. The house was mostly quiet as well, but every few seconds, Trixie heard a quill scratching against parchment among other restless sounds. It reminded her of the few months she spent in poverty after the ursa minor incident, when she couldn't afford lamp oil and had to make due with wax candles instead.
“Spike, I think there’s still some soot in the downstairs bathroom. Could you go clean it up?”
"Spike, you know what's going to happen if you can't take proper care of Peewee!"
I gave the guardpony a few small re-characterizations, mostly by changing the way he phrases things. The goal was to make him a little wimpier.
The guard glanced furtively back down the hallway, searching for signs of trouble. It was enough to make Luna’s lip curl; even she didn’t take her job so seriously. He seemed more anxious than dedicated though, as if he were looking for a specific pony.
I changed Rarity's attitude towards Blueblood.
“Oh, I’m not complaining exactly,” Rarity said. “It’s just—Well, he seems fairly capable of learning from his mistakes, is all. The last time I spoke to him, he was very apologetic about the Grand Galloping Gala fiasco—not to say I've completely forgiven him, but nevertheless.”
"Yes, something is the matter!" Rarity spun around instantly, a manic look in her eye, and began to talk with a deceptively quiet tone: "When I returned from my business trip earlier this year I received a letter from Prince Blueblood asking me all sorts of questions, but I was so busy making replicas of Twilight's dress, I completely forgot to write him back! Do you realize what this means!?"
"Oh, I'm sure it isn't as—"
Before Fluttershy could finish her answer, Rarity grabbed her by the shoulders and shook her violently. “It means that I ignored a letter written by the scion of a noble house! By word of this fact alone, he could devastate my reputation among Canterolt’s elite! How can I possibly—”
So, there you have it: every major change I made. Now to get back to work on chapter three...