• Member Since 26th Apr, 2012
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You've got the heart of a phoenix! Profile Art by Bevin Brand. Writing: The Ex Files.

More Blog Posts60

  • 1 week
    Art Commissions Open

    Bevin has commissions open!! You like the art in Empathy for the Devil? Go support a great artist and get some of your own 🎨

    Here's some examples of what people have commissioned in the past of cannon characters and/or OCs:

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    2 comments · 86 views
  • 6 weeks
    Fanfic Spotlight: Liminal Space

    Fanfiception :pinkiegasp:

    Whoa, okay, someone just did me the super cool kindness of writing something within the Empathy-verse! It's a story called Liminal Space about Timber and Flash's new relationship, after The Exes Club but before Empathy for the Devil.

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    2 comments · 103 views
  • 6 weeks
    Empathy for the Devil Print Copies - Online Release!

    Book status: launched

    The links are live! Get yours and don't forget there's a zine with 150 pages of never-before-seen art, writing, and dorking out! (some never to be posted online ever)

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    4 comments · 345 views
  • 8 weeks
    For Everfree 2023

    I'll be at Everfree Northwest next week! Here's the deets:

    Buy copies of our stuff at Twilight's Book Nook (booth 9 in the Vendor Hall)
    Empathy for the Devil - $23 USD / $30.78 CAD

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    0 comments · 134 views
  • 15 weeks
    Empathy for the Devil Print Edition Release Date and More!

    Happy 10-year anniversary, Equestria Girls!!! Can't believe how time flies.

    To celebrate, we’ve got a book on our hands. One that could soon also be in yours.

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    10 comments · 484 views

Bonus Features: The Devil in Canterlot High · 2:10pm January 14th

Oh hey! You look familiar!

Q: How do you write a bottle episode?
MARVEL: While technically there's one scene outside of the counselling office, it's close enough! In fanfiction, it's not uncommon for there to be a chapter that's just two characters talking in the same location for the whole thing. And we work in a (typically) non-visual medium, so unlike TV, we don't have to think of inventive cinematography to keep the camera work interesting

But in my head, I'm writing the equivalent of when an animated television show you love has a movie adaptation with a bigger production budget. That's just how I like thinking about it. So if we're going to spend an entire long-ass chapter in one room, with just two characters, and one of the characters is counselling the other, you better believe I'm gonna want to find ways to make it interesting.

So for me, I had a few rules. Sunset wouldn't spill her guts easily. The power dynamic would also have to change throughout the scene - who was in control needed to swap. You see where I was going with this.

We get some critical information here, and I think that was key to the tension as well. Each character has to pull information from the other, and how they do that tells you something.

And then there's the body swap. Okay, so, there are two Late Story moments that I knew about from extremely early on that I NEEDED to build towards. One was Bevin's idea. One was mine. The body swap, that was mine.

I saw so clearly in my head that moment where the evil Sunset pops her collar. I needed to build towards that here and in the story overall - hell, a lot of Solstice's character was defined as a result of wanting to set up the stuff that happens here! So my advice for a bottle episode: Have a goal you're headed towards. Keep that front of mind at every turn, and have fun with it. Foreshadow where you can. Castling, the word Flash couldn't spell in his spelling bee, is the move in chess where the King and the Rook switch places. Have fun with it 😉

BEVIN: Heeee! I love this chapter so much, and if this was an episode of TV I would have so much fun figuring out how to visually emphasize the shifting power dynamics in this fantastic conversation! But since I'm doing illustrations, I needed to keep it simple and let your writing work its magic! So there were basically two major beats that I knew I had to hit for this one: the battle of wills between Sunset and Solstice, and that collar pop at the very end. That last one HAD to be the chapter title card, it just had to-- without the context of the chapter, it's a very cool visual that sets your mind racing about what's coming, and with the context, it's the moment everything in this chapter is leading toward. There was no way for that picture to have been any other moment.

Which left the conversation, which I actually originally did with a totally different composition. Same ideas, same details, same moment, but I went back to it much later on and went, "eh, I can do better than that," and did this version, which I think looks a lot better. (I have learned so much over the course of this project, it's really interesting to look back at now.)

So yeah, this gave me the opportunity to pull out an homage to film noir, my favorite genre! I really wanted to hit the tone of where Sunset is at emotionally here, which is a pretty bleak place. The office feels a bit like a prison, but unbeknownst to her, it's also a trap. Any chance for me to go black and white with dramatic shadows and symbolic cages, I'm all over it!

MARVEL: YESSS, and god, it was the perfect choice! I loved the original version you did, but this ended up being so much more dynamic and moody, you really took it to the next level and hit the tone so damn well!!

Uh oh, looks like Sunset's in trouble. Time for the soundtrack:

  • Who are you, Really? by Mikkey Ekko – “So you feel entitled to a sense of control/And make decisions that you think are your own/You are a stranger here, why have you come?/Why have you come, lift me higher, let me look at the sun/Look at the sun and once I hear them clearly, say/Who, who are you really?”
  • doomsday by Lizzy McAlphine - "I don't get a choice in the matter/Why would I? It's only the death of me/Only the death of me"
  • Monster by Original Broadway Cast of Frozen – “The storm is awake, the danger is real/My time's running out, don't feel, don't feel/"Fear will be your enemy/And death its consequence"/That's what they once said to me/And it's starting to make sense/All this pain, all this fear began because of me/Is the thing they see, the thing I have to be/A monster”
  • King by SAINT PHNX – “In the end you'll know my name/I just want to scream/That nothing's what it seems/I'll just keep believing/One day I'll be king”
  • DLZ by TV on the Radio – “Congratulations on the mess you’ve made of things/I’m trying to reconstruct the air and all it brings”
  • In the Air Tonight by Jon Howard – “I can feel it coming in the air tonight/oh, lord…”
  • Call Me Devil by Friends in Tokyo – “They call me devil/And you should be afraid”
  • Devil Inside by London Grammar – “Devil inside/The devil inside/Every single one of us/The devil inside”
  • Double Theme by Andrew Hewitt – Instrumental

Well, we have a rogue Shimmer on the loose. Another version of Sunset is out there. Careful what you wish for.

Stay empathetic,
P.S. Still adore any and all comments or posts, it's so cool to see! See you tomorrow for chapter 12! We may have some things to discuss...

Comments ( 2 )

Love the art, love the writing. I'm immensely glad to see this story progressing.

Thank you!! Glad to have you along with us!

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