Hello everyone! I had a request from a reader for a mobile version of Veil of Thoughts (specifically for the Kindle). So, spent most of my morning in conversion land and fixing html to xhtml. So at long last present to you:
Hello everyone! I had a request from a reader for a mobile version of Veil of Thoughts (specifically for the Kindle). So, spent most of my morning in conversion land and fixing html to xhtml. So at long last present to you:
Hellos again everyone! Comic Con was crazy as always but got some neat stuff and saw some fun panels (sadly I didn't make it to the MLP panel nor could I get close to the Hasbro booth to get the toy. But I still had a fun, if somewhat crazy, time).
My schedule for the last five days has consisted of stand in line, sit in panel, buy toys I don't need and sleep for a few minutes before repeating. I didn't have enough time to edit the next chapter of Shadow of the Sun, but I should be able to work on it this week and have it ready this coming Saturday.
However, I figured I would still share something with everyone. So instead of regaling you with tales of Comic Con insanity, I decided to do another unpub.
The story I have for you tonight is a recent one titled "Sunrise" (which is most likely already taken, I didn't check, but it is just a working name anyhow, so roll with it). I've written the whole story to completion, with the vast majority of it done over July 4th weekend, around 100ish pages (15~ chapters). And the last few chapters last, last week.
WARNING SPOILERS: I should probably start every unpub with this tag but I haven't... There is always the extremely small chance this story might get posted someday. If that very unlikely day every happens and you want to be surprised, read no further. Obviously.
The story follows Sunrise (that's all we get about her real name) and her father, who have had to flee from Canterlot. We start the story with them on the run and in hiding. Both of our starting characters are living under assumed names and have dyed their coat and manes a different color.
Sunrise is a unicorn, while her father is a pegasus. The two of them have ended up in Colt Stone, in the snow peaked mountains on the edge of northern Equestria. It is a small village outside the slightly bigger town of Mare Stone, just beyond the edge of the large city of Filly Stone. Not very much happens in the village, it is secluded and small and quiet, just what our ponies on the run need.
They are settling in to their new lives when one night they are visited by guards from the castle who are searching all the houses in town, looking... for them. However, disguised as they are, the guards don't recognize them.
During the conversation with the guards, Sunrise overhears them say they are looking for the daughter of the Queen of Equestria, who has been kidnapped. The guards leave, and Sunrise start to question what really happened, why the had to leave and where her mother went.
However before she had get answers from her father, the guards arrive in force to arrest them and cart them away to Canterlot, after a thrilling action sequence.
(Once again, major spoilers in this next paragraph)
It is at this point in the story we learn some important things: Sunrise's real name (up to this point in the story she has been going by the name Dawnlight) is Sunrise Sparkle and her mother is Twilight Sparkle. (dun, dun, dun). We also learn that she isn't just a unicorn, she's an alicorn, the first born since Cadence (dun, dun, dun!!!)(Although, I have considered just removing Cadence from the story completely and saying the first since Celestia and Luna). And the biggest reveal of all, although I expect you have guessed it at this point is the Queen of Equestria is none other than Nightmare Sparkle (DUN, DUN, DUN!!!!)
After some cold back and forth with her mother -- now twisted by darkness -- Sunrise manages to escape, with the help of the now demoted (for letting her escape the first time) captain of the guard Shining Armor, who teleports her out of the castle.
At this point (about halfway in the story), Sunrise is on her own with the only information that she must find the Elements of Harmony, reunite them and save Equestria. Along the way she meets two daughters of former bares (Applejack and Fluttershy's children) as well as three of the former bares (pinkie, rainbow, rarity).
And you can guess the ending from here I would assume. The hero's unite and win. But with, you know, like 8 chapters worth of text and stuff.
So (that got a little long), why is this an unpub? Well, there are a couple reasons. The first, being the same for why most of my stories don't make it out. I don't have time. While the first draft is done that's only a small part of the work. Editing is where I spend most of my time and that takes me months.
The second reason is that, with the exception of the last few chapters, this story is almost all original characters. I don't know about you guys, but I come to read more about the characters I already like, not about some characters someone else made up. Don't get me wrong, OCs can work when written well (and I think these do work) but only OCs are a turn off for a lot of readers, me included most of the time.
And the third reason is kind of related to the second, Sunrise Sparkle is an alicorn. I tried her both as just unicorn and as an alicorn and ultimately the story (imo) works better with the second. But again, that is a turn off for a lot of readers because its so synonymous with self insert. Even if that isn't my intent.
So, anyhow. I hope you enjoyed this unpub. I wrote this story out of my system so that it won't burn a hole in my brain but it will never make it beyond my computer screen (it's placed below both the sequel to VoT and Twilight Sun in terms of when I would work on it again).
I have a ton more stories that won't ever make it and I'll continue to share them as long as people are interested in hearing about them.
Today we dive into attempt number 2 at a sequel to Veil of Thoughts. This one is a little more tricky than the others. It isn't technically one story like previous unpubs, it's a bunch of stories.
Let me elaborate.
One of the concepts I worked on (and still am working on) was doing a series (episodes) of one-shot stories about Twilight Dash. They were written to be stand alone, episode-like, short stories dealing with everything from how the town reacts to TD to mystery / adventure / mind-melding pieces. One of the stories is even a retelling of an episode from season three (Magic Duel), but with TD instead of Twilight and Rainbow as separate characters.
In total, I came up with 48 story ideas which I slowly whittled down to 14 (plus one additional retelling from season 3) and finally actually drafted 6 of them (and have only manged to actually write one to conclusion (magic duel, yay! (It helps to already have a completed work to adapt from)).
So... why are they unpubs if I've done almost half of them? Well, that's where stuff gets a little more complicated. In truth they aren't, unpubs, at least not for sure, not yet.
As I've mentioned before I tried several ideas for a sequel to VoT (some more crazy than others). Most attempts just haven't been what I wanted, they just don't feel... right... if that makes sense. It is, as I have said, been surprisingly hard to create something to follow up VoT.
What made the first story work so well is near impossible to sequalize, without retelling the story. There can certainly be more stories about Twilight Dash (in a 24 hours period I came up with 48 of them), but the trick is can I make those stories fun and interesting in the same was as the original?
And that (at last) brings us to why these will most likely stay in the realm of the unpub. Because, no matter how hard I try at them, they just don't measure up to the original. One-shots simply aren't enough (or the right way) to tell the next story in the way it needs to be told. And the more I try and force it, the less it seems to work.
The one-shots aren't lost to the void thought, and might still make an appearance after I nail down the sequel, but they are sadly not it.
Also, one-shot, three act stories have just proved really hard for me to write, it's so challenging to fit in all my twists!
Oh, also, also (almost forgot) I will also be getting back to work next week on Shadow of the Sun. The story continues on Jun 8th and will once again post every Sat.
This unpub is the second endeavor I made when I decided to try an attempt at fanfiction within the MLP universe. My first story (which I might talk about at some point, most likely not) seemed like a good idea, right until the point I finished writing it, then it was promptly shuffle it into the dark abyss of DO NOT USE.
Before we dig into it though, I do have a sort of… request? It’s at the end of this post so you can skip down to the last couple of paragraphs if you’re less interested in the unpub but feel like helping me out.
Anyhow, this blog tonight deals with the unpub story of: The Fluttershy Effect (having little to actually do with Fluttershy).
The idea here (playing on the concept of the butterfly effect, not the movie, which I’ve never seen) was what would the world be like without Rainbow Dash’s sonic rainboom that brought our main cast their cutie marks and ultimately united them. Annnddd already you might start to see the problem. This is not a new, or original idea, as many of you reading this may be thinking, ‘hey, I’ve had that idea!’
But some quick story stuff, and things... The story followed Twilight (hey, surprise!) who manages to avoid being ‘changed’ by the temporal anomaly (wow, I have watched way too much star trek). She finds herself in a dark version of Equestria where Nightmare Moon and Discord run free and unchallenged. The land is ruled over not by Celestia but somepony called the Queen of Shadows.
To make a very long story short (a draft of 30ish chapters and almost 100k words) we meet each main character in their new, contrasting lives until at last we come to the Queen of Shadows who, if you haven’t guessed it, is actually a fallen Twilight. After not being accepted into Celestia’s school, Twilight went off on her own and learned magic from less reputable sources, swearing revenge on the Sun Queen.
There are a lot of reasons this one will never get published, the least of which is, it just wasn’t that enthralling. Alternate worlds always have less at stake because the world itself simply doesn’t mater or affect the characters we care about.
But the biggest reason I killed this one was (surprise) I stumbled across another writer doing a very similar story, which I thought was done much better. And this is actually where the request comes in. For the life of me, I was never able to find the darn thing again and I didn’t commit the name to memory.
It followed Fluttershy as the main character, being head of the weather patrol. She doesn’t have her cutie mark and keeps getting strange visions of other ponies she doesn’t know, who also don’t have their cutie marks. She meets up with Rainbow, who is like delivery worker and Pinkie who is a rock sales pony (and that’s as far along as it was when I lost it to the void).
So, if anyone has happened upon it or knows of such a story it would be great if you could help me find it again.
While I was working on Shadow of the Sun, I actually had two competing similar story ideas vying for attention. One, was sub-par enough (imo) that it’s not worth mentioning, ever. But the other actually got really far along. Of the planned 15 chapters I wrote ('wrote' loosely translates to having at least some text inside a word document) 13 of the chapters, including the ending. I would say it is around maybe 70% ish completed, without any editing.
So I have decided to share it with you guys today: "Twilight Sun" (alt: "In Our Time of Twilight")
Twilight is always busy. From sun-up to sunset. She never has enough time to do everything she wants. On one particularly busy day, Rainbow suggests she takes a break from rushing around and just enjoy life, right before Twilight promptly hurries off.
However Rainbow’s words stick and Twilight devises a spell that will let her slow things down and get more time. She decides to give it a try during the sunset and make the moment last just a little longer and she invites Rainbow, who inspired the idea, to share it with her.
Except, there is a tiny, itty, bitty, problem. The spell should only have made the sunset last an extra hour, however, it’s actually going to take a little longer… a thousand years longer.
This story pretty much follows the idea of two characters trapped in a world that is, for all intensive purposes, frozen in time. They cannot interact with anyone or anything (i.e. they can’t open doors and Twilight can’t read books (that aren’t already open)). They don’t get tired or hungry or age (because only a few minutes have actually passed). It is just the two of them trapped in a never ending sunset for a thousand years.
As I said at the start this story got really far along. Unlike other stories with a similar idea (time stopped around characters), I didn’t pick points in time to write about. Each chapter is written so that we follow (Twilight) from the start to the end over the course of her time, without suddenly cutting forward. As Twilight becomes more accustom to the unchanging world her perception of time beings to slip away. Each chapter covers a larger period of time than the one before it. The first chapter is the first day, the next one is two days, then a week, a month, and so on until the last chapter takes place over 500 years.
This one might still get published at some point (although it is really far down the list of things I want to complete). I really like the story and the idea, but, well, it had, has, some issues.
First, it’s another story about the sun stopping in the sky. Granted not for the same reasons, but I am already writing a story about that. Second, it is a very heavy Twilight and Rainbow story (although more Twilight than Rainbow), which I had just previously written. Third, it has ship in it. As some of you might know, I don’t like shipping characters unless it makes sense for the story. And it does. It is one of the chapter I didn't write.
And lastly, the biggest reason this one got shoved into the unpublished files folder, is that it is just too darn sad. Sad story, sad moment and sad ending. I just don’t need any more sad. While Shadow of the Sun certainly isn’t happy, it doesn’t make me want to cry after reading it (well, maybe after long hours of editing the same thing over and over, but that’s not the contents fault).
Anyhow, thanks for tuning in. I have a bunch more to share if people continue to show interest and plan to put them up on no particular schedule, just when I feel like writing something that isn't fanfiction... just about it... And who knows, if enough people like an unpub maybe I might give it another shot.
Hello everyone! I know it has been a while and I wanted to give some updates as well as share some… stories?... with you guys.
TLWNR: Veil of Thoughts sequel is still in progress. Shadow of the Sun still on break.
I had an idea on my way home from work today -- while I was sitting in the parking lot we call freeways and inching forward every few minutes – that I thought might be fun. So, I’m going to give it a try and see what you think.
Starting with this post, I am going to share some of the stories I have written (for MLP) but that I have no intention of ever publishing (for one reason or another). If I haven’t said it before, I write, a lot. Between the end of Veil of Thoughts and the start of Shadow of the Sun, I wrote five stories. During Shadow of the Sun editing I’ve written another six. Everything from multi-chapter epics to stand alone oneshots. Some more complete than others.
Most, if not all of them, will never leave my harddrive (except for backups). However, I still think some of the ideas are neat. And who knows, maybe you will too? Maybe they will inspire you to go create something.
So without any further delay, I present the first of unpublished file: Disharmony and Deception, the original sequel to Veil of Thoughts.
It got started during editing phase of VoT (when I was around halfway through posting the story and was getting a lot of interest in it). The basic idea was fusing everything I could get my hands on, starting with Discord and the Changeling Queen. This new powerful being was constantly changing shape and causing chaos wherever it went. But, when it got to Ponyville was where things started to go crazy-town-banana-pants.
The first concept I had was fusing more ponies together giving us Pinkiejack (or Applepie) and Flutterare. Which, while somewhat fun, had been done. But another, more interesting route was splitting them apart, making Apple (normal earth mare) and Jack (filly pegasus). Flutter (normal earth mare) and Shy (filly pegasus). Pinkie (mare) and Pie (filly unicorn). Rare (mare) and Bitty (filly unicorn). And also Celestia and Luna, who both split into three parts: Celes (unicorn), Tia (pegasus) and Sol (mare). Lulu (pegasus), Nia (unicorn) and Nightmare Moon (mare)
Also Sweetiebloom-aloo. That one is just fun to say.
The story pretty much revolves around them trying to not only stop ultra-mega-discord but also coming to terms with the parts of themselves they didn’t know existed. Then having to face what putting themselves back together really means. It let us see two points of view from the same character, but split apart. (Spoiler, Flutter and Shy stay separate (I don’t know about the rest)).
So, why will it never get published? Well, that one is easy. It isn’t the story I want to follow up VoT with (which has turned out to really be surprisingly hard to write, like four failed attempts hard, which is kinda why it's taking so long). There are WAY too many characters. And it really loses the psychology of what VoT was about when the focus has to be split so much. Even still, the split thingy did find it’s way into something else (unpublished file that I might share if this goes beyond one). It works much better when focused on a single character.
Anyhow. I hope you enjoyed the share. I will put up another ‘unpub’ soon-ish if anyone is interested for more. Still on break for Shadow of the Sun, but it won’t be too much longer before the stories continues...
17 weeks of posting a new chapter every Saturday (and Thursdays at one point). I'm not gona lie, it has been fairly taxing and stressful to try and delivery a high quality chapter consistently every week. I spend around 3-4 hours every night dedicated to writing and editing, most of which goes into my current story, Shadow of the Sun.
But I've reached the point where I am starting to feel the burn out and it's getting harder and harder to want to edit.
So, I am going to take a mid-story break (as suggested by the title of this post). I don't know for how long, most likely at least a month but perhaps longer. I want to continue providing a story worth reading and I just don't feel like I can keep doing that right now.
This certainly isn't the end of Shadow of the Sun (well who knows, in the time I am gone everyone (almost wrote everypony there) might have jumped ship for a shipping story) and I do plan to see it through to the end (there is still some really neat stuff ahead). But for now, I just need some recovery time.
I don't like delaying my chapters. It's seriously a very difficult thing for me to miss a publish date (and even as I'm writing this I'm still struggling with it). As a reader, I always find it hard to wait for the next installment, never knowing when it will be. But I also know that sometimes, things take longer than expected and this is one such case.
Chapter 7 of Shadow of the Sun is done, it's actually up on the site (although not visible) right now. I got up at 5AM and went through my final reviews and everything. But I just don't like it the way it is. That's not to say it's bad (well, who knows, maybe it is) but it just isn't what I want.
So, instead of pushing it out in a state I am not happy with, I have decided to delay it a few days and put in some additional work on it. Chapter 7 should go up on Saturday 26th. Hopefully I will have it properly sorted out by then.
Chapter 8 should remain on its regularly scheduled Thursday.
It's been a while since I put anything up, mostly because I haven't had any exciting news to share and I don't want to spam people with mundane updates. I've been working hard getting ready for the next story... which brings me to the point of this post, the next story.
In truth I have actually been working on four different projects over the last couple of months. Since I'm not ready to give titles I'll just use acronyms for now. The four projects are: SotS (adventure), IOToT (sad-ish and similar to Veil of Thoughts in tone), SC (non fanfiction original work) and Beyond Veil of Thoughts (BVoT) (which is the working project title).
The good news in that the next story is coming soon! My target date is (if you couldn't guess from the blog title) Dec 12th. Last time it took a couple days for approval, so I will actually submit before the 12th and update the chapter so the date reads the 12th!. Sticking with my passion for deadlines this story will also be weekly with new chapters arriving on Saturday (yes, I know the 12th is not a Saturday so the second chapter will be a bit more than a week).
The not as good news, I guess, is that the next story is SotS, which isn't the sequel for VoT **hides in anticipation of flying objects thrown over the internet**
I know more than a few readers were hoping for the sequel next, but I'm just not far enough along with it. Where as I am almost done writing SotS (I wrote the ending last night! yay!) and only the months and months of editing are left to be worked on for that story... Also, I need to make some artwork for it... yay?
For those that are concerned for the squeal to VoT, let me just say that I am still working hard on it. Just because I am doing a different story first doesn't mean I've stopped work on my other projects. It's very different than anything I've ever attempted before and presents a unique set of challenges for me. I've been steadily working away on it bit by bit every night but it still has a long way to go. I will give a better update when I feel confident enough with it.
Thank you everyone for your continued interest in my work and I hope you will enjoy the next story.
So... I've gotten a lot of requests for a sequel to Veil of Thoughts, which is understandable given where the story ends. As I've said previously, I don't have a sequel planned, although, I am not against doing one. The more thought I give to it, the more I want to do something else with this universe.
This past weekend I awoke with my brain buzzing (ahhh bees!) and a crazy concept racing through my mind. Several hours later, I had a plan, an outline and a truly insane concept, that might just make me explode! Or, also, you know, not explode...
Anyhow.... While I am not ready to commit to it just yet (as I have just started and it's a big project) nor go into detail, I do have a working title (as indicated in the title of this blog post) for the project: Beyond the Veil of Thoughts. All I will say for now, is that it's something I have never tried before but that I think will be really neat if it works out.
More details to follow as I get further along.
(also, having never used this blog system before, I have no idea where this post is going to appear or what it's actually going to do)