1. Member Since 31st Mar, 2012
  2. offline for 6d, 27m

I love psychology and writing. I tend to write origional/experimental stories. I am the head of the School for New Writers and the EFNW writing track. My new favorite quote is "Why so ˈsir-ē-əs?"

More Blog Posts173

  • 1w, 6d
    MY EFNW panel schedule

    Hello all, lone time no... anything.

    As usual, I will be paneling at EFNW. Below is my schedule and as this is an actual vacation this time, it's been almost 3 years since I had a true vacation (Yikes) I will be more involved with panels. I am getting back into the writing bug as well so you might be hearing more from me in the future. In addition to the schedule below, I might also step in for a comment or two of the Characterizing Character panel on Friday if the other panelists don't mind.

    Friday - Criticizing meets Critique, Writer/Artist Hangout.

    Saturday - Ark a Heartmender, ORK, Fallout Equestria, Writer/Artist Hangout.

    Sunday - Writer's Block, How to Girl 2.0

    See some of you soon!

    2 comments · 10 views
  • 21w, 1d
    First let's play

    There are a few things I need to work on, I need to move my mic, be less ADHD, and speak slower, but I was surprisingly happy with the lets play as I kept it with little or no downtime.

    0 comments · 18 views
  • 21w, 1d
    I'm back, kind of.

    Hello all,

    It's been a while but here is the short version. I worked myself almost to death for a year, all I really have to show for it is some stupid shirts.

    The last few months I've been taking it lightly but now that I've distressed some this is what my plans are.

    I am still involved with Everfree NW but to a smaller degree. I won't be managing anything but will be providing some perspective to the new head of the writing track and I will be on panels, hopefully, more than last year.

    I am doing more with youtube. I will be doing an occasional writing video. I will also be doing a few let's plays and some reviews for audiobooks. The theoretical schedule is 2 let's plays a week, probably mostly Minecraft, and one audiobook review a week.

    The audiobook reviews will focus mostly on sci-fy and fantasy but there will be some other genres thrown in as well. I will do series, so each book in the series will get a video.

    For writing, I have a few things going on.

    1st, I need to focus on becoming a professional writer. I know I can do it I just need to get off my lazy ass and do it without getting distracted. I have a bad record for completing longer stories. On the bright side, I won't be doing anything experimental with it. This is a big thing that held me up with my mlp stories. There are three professional stories for me to consider. I will make a special video/post about this later.

    For ponies, I hadn't decided what I wanted to do. I can't do anything long. That kind of commitment will be harsh as hell and I will fail as my record has shown. So that leaves short stories. The kind where I can get an idea, and complete it in 4-5 hours plus an hour of editing. Actually, most of by more popular stories were done this way and a lot of my long ones were not as well received. This should be healthy for me, completing stories, even short ones, should give me a moral boost.

    I don't have a schedule for ponies but I expect to start looking at creating a possible short story this weekend, which would take about a week with editing.

    4 comments · 33 views
  • 81w, 11h
    Work is finally calming down, will work on stories soon!

    Hey all,

    It's been a while sense you heard from me. I've been working about 100 hours a week at my new job, but that's finally starting to come under control so I should be able to get back to writing and writing related tasks in the near future. I've looked a little at the things I have and I have been writing a lot for work so I don't think my writing skills will have degraded that much.

    I already had the next chapter of The Bravest Souls are Those With the Most to Fear, so I hope to have that out sometime next week. If anyone is up for some technical editing please let me know.

    0 comments · 82 views
  • 83w, 4d
    The Bravest Souls are Those With the Most to Fear (A Them's Fightin' Herds Crossover)

    New Story incoming! Because we need new stories about this game that Lauren Faust herself has worked on and even saved.

    The prison on Fœnum is weakening and evil predators are once again on the hunt with more being sure to come as the barrier continues to weaken. The call has gone out to request the peaceful herbivore races of Fœnum to send champions to find the key, and reseal the prison.

    But Fœnum has a sister world, Equestria. Equestria has chosen to intercede on behalf of their sister planet, and have sent six of their most accomplished champions to help six of the heroes of Fœnum.

    This is an MLP crossover with Them’s Fighting Herds, Spiritual successor to Fighting is Magic. Lauren Faust, creator of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, lept to the rescue of Mane6, the production group, after a cease and desist order from Hasbro several years ago. Both worlds are designed by Lauren Faust and I acknowledge all characters, plot, and world from these Intellectual Properties as products of their respective owners.

    Currently Them’s Fightin' Herds is on Indiegogo and is almost fully funded with a few days left. It has already been greenlit on Steam. Find out more at the following link and support them if you like what you see.

    http://igg.me/at/ThemsFightinHerds/x/6170176

    0 comments · 89 views
  • 85w, 1d
    Looking for an editor and a sneek preview.

    Hello,

    For those of you who don't know Them’s Fightin' Herds is the spiritual successor to Fighting is Magic. There is some interesting lore that they are making for the game and I was inspired to make a crossover. I only need an editor for the first chapter right now and it sits at around 5.4k. The thing I need most is a technical editor.

    It's an adventure that focuses around Fluttershy and a lamb names Pom, but it will include the rest of the main 6 and their counterparts from the game as well. I don't know how long the final story will be, but I do know the basic structure of the story and the plot points.

    It's titled The Bravest Souls are Those With the Most to Fear (A Thems Fighting Herds Crossover)

    Here is an excerpt:

    Then a soggy tongue slid across Fluttershy’s fur and she knew that something was very, very, wrong because bunnies did not have long slick tongues and Angel Bunny never gave her kisses. She tried to turn to look at the animal that had crawled into her bed but couldn’t. Instead of moving she heard a soft giggle emanate from herself and it did not feel quite right. She quickly came to the realization that she couldn’t move of her own volition. She couldn’t even open her eyes.

    Fluttershy felt herself panicking, her mind racing, but she also felt her heart rate remain calm, serene even. It was as if her own body was betraying her, mocking her panic. Her head turned of it’s own accord and Fluttershy felt far too much fur moving much more than was normal. It was then that her eyes opened to reveal a small puppy with the cutest little button ears crawling on its belly toward her along a bed that was not hers. That was when Fluttershy realized that she was not home as the room was obviously not hers. It was much smaller with a curtain over the window to block the morning light.

    Fluttershy tried to scream for help but there was no sound. She heard her scream echoed a second latter, coming from the odd mouth that she now possessed. Immediately the dog jumped to it’s paws and turned, scanning for threats to it’s master, only to turn back around as Fluttershy watched a pink woolen leg throw the bed’s quilt over her head and her body rolled into a quivering ball.

    I want to release a chapter every two weeks but I can get a new editor each week if needed, though someone to stick around for at least 8 chapters would be appreciated.

    If you are interested reply to this post bellow and I'll send the google doc to you privately. If I get two people all the better but I won't use more than two editors at a time. As I said, I need a technical editor most of all so if you're good at spotting extra letters, missing comma's, and the occasional double words then pretend that I'm making sad, pleading puppy eyes at you.

    4 comments · 117 views
  • 85w, 4d
    Review of Equestria Girls and Why It Doesn't Disapoint Our Disapointment.

    I like Equestria Girls. Rainbow Rock's was awesome, and the first movie was okay. The last movie, however, wasn't very good. And I think I know why.


    First a mini review of Friendship Games:

    Friendship Games was not an improvement on Rainbow Rocks and I think there is a very clear reason why. It suffered from Oh Hey, Let's Make This a TV Show syndrome (abbreviated OHLMTTSS, pronounced omelets, and completely made up by me so I can pronounce it however the hell I want thanks to the creator of GIFs pronouncing them JIFs). It also seemed to be plagued by sequelism (the act of making a movie or tv show to set up another movie or tv show that is related or it exists because it relates to another movie or TV show and for no other reason). I don't know if that's a thing but that's how I think about it and if the studio isn't going to put in time to make their movie good why should I put time into describing it.

    The writing seemed like it should have gone through several more drafts before being touched up becuase the writing felt like it existed soly to get us through the movie. It didn’t move the audience, it didn’t challenge anything, it didn’t try to be for than filler and it honestly reminded me of Naruto filler, only with less action or relivance to anything. It simply existed to get Twilight into the group.

    The animations were okay most of the time, and a few were decent, but other than the climax they didn't really feel that good. Ponies constantly pushes itself to be a little better each season, if not each episode, but this didn’t. And really even the climax felt a little 'meh' compared to anything 'epic' that they've done before.

    I did note that some of the voices sounded more grown up, which was a nice touch, but it was to little to pull the show through.

    There was also a lot of stupidity, and not the fun in-character stupidity that some shows have. I mean the ‘just talk to a person’ stupidity that makes the characters seem extremely reaction based with no motivations of their own. If they had just tried a few things they might have found a solution or worked toward something. But no, Twilight who created a device to detect magic does nothing more than follow it around. Even Sunset repeatedly stated that she felt like she needed to find the problem, but then did nothing about it. This is completely against the lore they set up for her as a character which focused on her going out into the world and growing from experience in contrast to Twilight’s preference for book learnin’. There was a lot of stupidity that existed so the plot would work a certain way, when clearly working stupidity into being true to a character or believable in a culture is better. It would have been easy to work a few plot points around to have made more sense

    And the music was disappointing, which was disappointing.

    Oh, The humanized Cadance looked like the bird from Five Night's at Freddie's without the beak and was pink instead of yellow. I got a vaguely hispanic vibe from cadence in a way I don't actually know how to describe so it might just be me. (Tangent: at least if she was hispanic then maybe she would speak one of the romance languages) There was a cute little scene where she and shining armor were giving each other lover's eyes in the background, but not a whole lot was happening in the background of that movie so this stands out more because of it’s uniqueness than it’s quality.


    Now, here is why I think Equestria Girls has a problem. It's hard to care about almost all of the characters. Why is this?

    Well, in MLP the characters have clearly defined goals and opinions, things they don't like, challenges that they face regularly like Rarity's workload or applejack keeping the farm a runnin.' But when they went to Equestria Girls it feels like they just took the characters from the show, and made them human without changing anything else.

    The problem with that is that things don't relate.

    AJ is in school, not working daily on her farm. She isn't coming from a hard day's work so little touches like being a bit tired, or having specific tasks to do are gone. Instead she has nebulous chores which are undefined. In MLP she has actually defined them. There is no detail to her character and, quite honestly, I can't actually remember if she lives on a farm in Equestria Girls. I mean, I assume she does but you wouldn't know it unless she stated that she lives on a farm which is about as lazy as she can get. I know she and Big Mac brought cider to school once but that almost seems shoved in as a reference to cider which has played such a crucial part to her stories in MLP and happens to be popular.

    Pinkie is the exact same as well, only she may or may not have a job. I think she works at Sugar Cube Corner, but unless you see her working there or she says it you wouldn't know.

    Rarity makes clothes, but why? I mean, sure it's her hobby but does she just spend thousands of dollars on materials, combine them with hundreds of hours of work, and then give them away? If this is the case how can she afford it? Perhaps she part of a club that get's funding, but I expect we will never know.

    Twilight from Friendship Games is just constantly picked on, more so than Fluttershy ever was, and she is seemingly afraid of everyone at some point. Why? Because plot that's why. No, seriously. She is completely different from the Twilight in MLP. Yeah, sure, Princess Twilight has had a few more experiences and wasn't ever super personable. But let's compare Twilight from Season one

        Twilight was awkward, she made some mistakes, but she was also proud, no nonsense, and driven to be the best student she could be. Even as a child Twilight had a purpose and that purpose was learning.

        In Equestria Girls Twilight's purpose in nebulous research which somehow translated into researching magical energies. Oh, but she's bad at that as evidence from the fact that her device measures energy. That’s it. she mentions research, and created a device that measures energy. She spends the rest of the movie running around following energy signatures and has no other plan, no understanding of the situation she is in. No one asks to spend time with her like in the show, they just ignore her or put her down. If we did not have a reference, and some vaguely similar characteristics, then we have a character with no motivations other than to get into a school, but no reason for her to want to get into a school after she graduates. It’s like wanting to be on a sports team but not having a reason to be on a sports team.

    Now, you might try and excuse Twilight in EQ by saying she isn't mentored by a princess. This is true. However no one else is different at all so why is she? It's a contrast of Extremes. First, absolutely everyone in the human world is as identical in personality as possible to their MLP counterparts, but then Twilight is only nerdy in both MLP and EQ and even then it's completely different type of nerdy. Nothing else seems the same.

    Now with Fluttershy they put in a modicum of effort. She volunteers at a shelter. That's it, that's all she had to do to have her own identity between EQ and MLP. She hands out flyers, she carries animals around and talks about the shelter, and the shelter comes up in conversation naturally. Is it functionally the same as in the TV show? Yes! But it has been adapted and realized and worked in to naturally fit within a larger, if incomplete, world

    It's the only real instance of the writers taking a pony character and adapting them to the human world in a personalized fashion.

    Now, I hear what you might be saying. "But Piquo, Rainbow Dash has her sports?" Yeah. She plays sports. Only she has no goals in life surrounding those sports. She sports because she is sporty and they needed a sport to show how she sports better than anyone else sports. They have no other way of making her awesome so they said athleticism = sports. I think that's BS, they could easily have given her a goal that pushes her forward like they do in MLP.

    Imagine if she had a focus. It wasn’t just nebulous sports, though she could always participate in sports behind her larger goal. That what happens in the Tv show and that’s one of the things that makes her great. She’s lazy, she sleeps a lot, she doesn’t like to work all that much, but when she does something physical she tries to do it well. That part of the character in EQ is still there, but I say there is no reason for it.

    In the TV show Rainbow Dash has a goal, all the characters do and a lot have even succeeded. Pinkie just wants to make ponies happy. applejack just wants to work on her farm. Fluttershy want’s to take care of her animals and, I fell, she wants to grow a little braver. Rarity wanted, and eventually achieved, a premier shop in Canterlot. She is one one of the best and at some point she has realized the dream of being acknowledged as such. Twilight wanted to be Celestia’s student, the best she could be, but she has grown beyond that to being an Equal to her Idol. It’s a rare treat in American TV for a character to exceed their goals and while I think it could have been done better, I applaud them for the arc as a whole.

    And then we have Rainbow Dash. In the show she want’s to be a Wonderbolt, in the movie she.. Well… she wants to sport the best sport that she can sport. She has no goals other than maybe a holding pattern, and it kills her character. Imagine if they had given her something. Maybe she wants to be a gold medal olympic athlete. Or perhaps a motocross legend. I could even see her wanting to become a famous gymnast with tricks and routines. But we have learned nothing about her in three movies other than she sports well.

    That's about every "main" character other than Sunset, and she is the only "main" character that they made from scratch. How does she do? Well she has a purpose. In the first movie it was to steal the crown and use the magic to conquer Equestria. Yeah, they could have given her a bit more of a reason to do it but there is a reason that the first movie isn't the most popular portrayal as Sunset. In Rainbow Rocks her motivation is to explore friendship, help herself by getting others to accept her, and to better herself. It’s a movie where she is both exploring in self discovery and trying to stop someone from hurting her friends and performing one helps her with the other. In the third movie she wants to... um... stop magic from going crazy I guess. I mean, if there was a motivation to her as a person I think it would be to be the magical knowledge expert to fulfill the expectations of herself and others. Unfortunately if that was what they were going for they didn't do a good job because everyone blindly just accepts that she will fix it and it's just a matter of time. This, incidentally, is aggravating because no one knows anything about her capabilities. They have never actually seen her do or use magic or solve magical problems. She is just a good person who knows something about magic they couldn't hope to understand and therefor "she got dis."

    That’s the big problem with Equestria Girls, the writers didn’t take time to make characters or the world, they just recycled what they had in MLP and added finders. Then when they were forced to change it, they just went with the first idea that went into their heads rather than taking the time to adapt the characters and the world properly. I mean, there is a reason that Miss Cheerilee is still a teacher but others her age are teens and the kids are still kids and Granny Smith is the lunch lady. They didn’t want to use the time, money, or effort to do it properly and the IP suffers for it.

    We suffer for it.

    Our collective WIFUs suffer for it.

    #Cadanceisbestscarybird

    7 comments · 160 views
  • 85w, 6d
    MEGA UPDATE 199 Subscribers, School for New Writers Monthy Q/A Is Up, New Most Popular Story, A Realization about My Writing, a New Story, royalty for a Day, and T the Tiniest Troll.

    Hey All,

    Long time no see: If it seems like it's been a long time no see that's cause it kind of has been. I haven't been away, I've just been busy. My work actually has me doing the job I was promoted for (in addition to my old job for one more week) and I've edited two fics for others this past week.

    Subsribers: In addition, I am now at 199 subscribers and oh so close to breaking that 200 Mark. Can I get it by the end of the weekend? Probably not, though I need to go and post the latest School for New Writers Podcast around to some of the groups so maybe I will get one.

    School for New Writers Q/A video: The topics for the most recent Q/A include conveying emotion, foreshadowing, determining if a character is needed, how to deal with too many characters in a seen, combining dialogue and action simultaneously, fragmented speech and tips for writing a mystery. If any of these sound interesting the video bellow has annotations to each question in it's description. and if you have any questions about writing that you want to ask please feel free to ask those here.


    Statistics and my new most popular story: For those of you who like statistics my story You Can't Break Me Discord has 798 views as of this posting. This makes it my most read story sense Excessive Worry which was posted over two years ago and has been featured on several positive reviews. Now, I like You Can't Break Me Discord, but it was the fic that I have spent the least amount of time on per word other than a few excersises that I decided to post like Sunset shimmer and the Ogre.

    In fact You Can't Break me Discord has more down votes than any fic other than my very first one which is terrible and has twice as many down votes but more than 7 times the views.  

    So, this got me to thinking, what is it about You Can't Break Me Discord that has helped it's relative popularity. And the answer came to me, it's simple. I don't mean the answer is simple, though it is, but it's that the fic itself is a simple story. Not only that, but almost none of my other stories are simple.

    You see, I like to experiment. I literally even created a story that can be read two different ways by using hidden text. I've written about Scootaloo contemplating suicide after accidentally getting Snails killed, but deciding to live for his memory instead. I've written a dialogue only story. Even my first real romance was an experiment in romance for me as it was my first real attempt (I learned a lot but it didn't turn out the best).

    My conclusion is that the majority of my stories are really, really weird. I push myself, but that's not a bad thing. I constantly learn new things and I mean people as part of this great community that help me as well.

    New Story: But, I've decided to write something a little more normal. A simple crossover about defeating an evil that I hope to publish chapter 1 of next week. chapter 1 is done, I just want some time to get ahead before posting it. It won't be long chapters, but they won't be super short either. As for what the crossover is about, that's a surprise because I don't think anyone else has done one with this universe yet. If that sounds far fetched there is a reason for it but I won't tell you now. Just know that the writing is going well and it's a fic that is not hard to write as the uniqueness is that it's a combination that hasn't been done before.

    Other things in the works.

    Finishing Royalty for a Day: The story takes a lot of work. The story ended up being a bit different and harder to write than I thought it would be, and that's even before I added in going all out on the accent, trying to get Pipsqueak's just right. I've made headway but it takes a lot more out of me and the writing is a lot slower. By contrast the crossover I am working on took me about 8 hours to write and do a basic edit on 5.6k words and I had a lot of fun doing it.

    T, the Tiniest Troll: I keep meaning to go back and finish this story. The next chapter is done but I want to wait until I have a T chapter to post. At the same time every time I look back at it I re-read it to remember how to write T in the fun interesting way that he writes. I know some people are really disappointed that it's taken this long, and I apologize. If anyone want's to try and co-write it with me working more on the plot and edits than let me know. I will give full credit but right now it's not where my passion lies and that story takes passion to write well.

    Future Writing Guides: As for future writing guides there is one that i have been off and on about for a while because it's a hard topic and I can't find anyone else who's talked about it. So, if anyone is interested in learning about How Writing Fanfiction Teaches People about Writing in a Different Way from Origional Work, And How to it can Help You then let me know and it might boost my motivation for it. And yes, I need to work on that title.

    2 comments · 160 views
  • 89w, 3d
    Forever changing my writing, the 'he said' 'said he' debate.

    I have come to a realization that will forever reverse my writing style. I will change to the format ‘she said’ for speech actions/noun relations rather than ‘said she’.

    Just now I was working on a new story that had piqued my interest. I had decided to change my actions for speech to have it come after the name in an attempt to try something new and then I saw that I had already started a paragraph as follows.

    Rarity snickered.

    I saw this, noticed it because it was something I didn’t need to change, and it all clicked together for me.

    You see, I’ve had the debate on whether to include the action verb before or after the speaker’s name/pronoun when placed after the speaking line for a number of years now. That debate always seems to be rekindled by the fact that some people are bothered by the action coming first. But I prefer the action coming first as I find it more efficient. When scanning text I can easily note the word said, or the action will stand out as not being said. I find it smooth and easy to read. I also find that ending sentences on a word that is easily skippable tends to detract from the sentence and often affects the transition between paragraphs.

    However, when I read the above line it clicked, as I said, and I noticed that sometimes, when starting a paragraph with the line that states who is speaking, you don’t include the verb first. It would be awkward to read more often than not.

    Now I don’t feel that this awkwardness carries over to more than the first line of a paragraph, at least most of the time. But, it does make the writing inconsistent and that does matter. In addition, it highlighted just why having the verb first might bother people.

    Thus, I will forever be changing my writing, sans finishing chapters for stories that already have one chapter posted, by having the verb come second. Though, there might be exceptions if I feel that a particular story merits the difference.

    Now, neither format is technically wrong. However, I can now see why it matters to some people to have the noun come first AND with the identification of occasional inconsistencies I feel that having the verb come first is now inappropriate.

    There are, of course, other arguments for or against each format, however I always felt that they balanced out. My realization, however, does not seem to have an equivalent argument against it.  

    4 comments · 131 views
  • 90w, 3d
    One thing that I hate about FIMFiction that I feel like I really shouldn't because it's a well thought out feature.

    So, a big motivator on FIMFiction is the follower count. It validates ones existence and makes us happy when someone likes you enough to say they think you have something good or interesting to say.

    But, sometimes people stop following others. In reality that's perfectly fine. People trim accounts that ween't as interesting as they thought they'd be, or people get annoyed/drift away in different direction. And when this happens, it's something that I wish FIMFiction would notify us about.

    Now, don't get me wrong, I understand exactly why it's like that. It's extra work for something that just ends up causing headaches. I mean, a lot of people on here would get their feelings hurt, just like their feelings were boosted when they got that follow in the first place. Some people wouldn't respond well to that, might use that info to say mean things, or bother people. But, damnit, I'm the kind of guy who likes closure.

    I'd rather say goodbye, or know why they left so I could improve as a person. Helk, sometime it might not have anything to do with you or them. I know there is a bug causing unfollows, and I know that people sometime make a mistake. I've unfollowed someone on accident before or suddenly realized that someone wasn't on my following list.

    But then, sometimes I notice when someone unfollows me. It happened twice in the past two days. Once was seemingly an accident or a bug. He was happy to refollow and I didn't feel weird about mentioning it because when I contacted him about something else we hopped on skype and had a good time. But the other person I think I annoyed with my illuminati blog post and then misspelled something on their blog that kind of pissed them off. It's a shame to because I had a lot of respect for her. But, I have to put it aside and grow instead of getting pissy.

    I sent her an apology and wished her well. Was it the right thing to do? Well, I don't know. Maybe, maybe not. Either way at least I knew why she likely unfollowed me.

    But, what happens when I noticed someone unfollowed me and I have no idea why. Well, I don't say anything unless I'm reasonably sure that it's a mistake. Why? Well, if they meant to unfollow me, and they did so a long time ago, then I'm just being a dick. It's happened. And that time there was no closure. I just pissed someone off. And they said never contact me again.

    So, I understand why it doesn't say when someone unfollows you, but that doesn't mean that there aren't times where it would be helpful.

    (P.S. I don't normally go around scanning my followers. I generally only check if I happen to notice the number went down.)

    5 comments · 158 views
  • 90w, 3d

    7 comments · 124 views
  • 90w, 5d
    Massive Blog, things going great/huge moral boost, release schedule, and a new group on FIMfiction for professionals.

    This is a pretty massive blog that I’ve been meaning to make for a few days.

    First off. I recently received a big promotion. How big? I skipped a position and my raise is about 55% or more.

    You see, I am a night guard. Being in my late 20’s that’s not where I want to be and while I like my job I’ve always felt a bit of a failure. I’m overweight, though a lot of that is muscle to the point that i eight about 30-50 pounds more than people who are slightly bigger than me. Because of this I’ve always felt a bit of a failure. Normally someone in my position would receive a promotion to a site supervisor, which is a few bucks more for a lot of stress. I was going to try for a position as an event manager, given my experience working and hosting events, but one of my bosses suggested I go for a field managment position. I did, and soon I will be in charge of 20 sites and nearly 200 guards.

    Huge, fricken, moral boost. I won’t be working nights as frequently, I will be able to go out weekend evenings some of the time, and I will soon be able to afford decent food.

    In addition to this I recently purchased a new car. A 2014 Nissan Sentra, which I have lovingly nicknamed Sonata. I got a great deal on it. 28k miles in really good condition (in a color I actually like) but my price after taxes, which are decently high in Washington state, was the same as the fair market price. According to Kelly Blue Book, I literally got the car for cheaper than anyone else listed online from a dealer and paid the low end amount one normally gets from a private owner for a car in decent condition. I also got a really good financing rate due to having a top notch credit score, despite being poor.

    Oh, and I get free oil changes for life and the dealer is in a moderately convenient location for me. Aces!

    Add to that I have a great mechanic who has really helped me out since I am not one with a lot of money. I think I’ve gotten about 5 hours of free labor from him out of the kindness of his heart and he helped me find a buyer for my old car when it broke back in February.

    So, I will be moving into a better place, new car, better job, my social life will improve, and I’ll be able to acquire a decent wardrobe. Things are really going well, not just adequate, for the first time in my life.

    About the only downside is that I won’t have as much time for writing. However, I think I will be able to make better use of my time considering I will be able to sleep better and will be able to afford a weight loss pill that I’ve tried before, successfully, and is not a health risk AND it’s a slight stimulant which will help me with my ADHD (and motivation.energy), even if it’s just a placebo effect.

    So, overall things have finally turned out really well, which is a lot different from where I was looking a few weeks ago with a new car and payments that were restricting my living condition.

    As for writing there is a new group on FIMFiction, The A.K. Yearling Society for Original Writing. It’s a group for people who want to enter into the publishing industry, rather than just stay a fanficiton author and I think it has real potential for people who want to be serious authors. It’s run by Bookplayer and I have been made a moderator on it as well.

    Now, the group itself is invite only. This is primarily for a legal reason. See, if something is posted online and accessible by anyone it can’t be published due to copyright issues and getting contracts. However, due to the creative nature of writing, posting something to a private group is fine because it’s “private” and this way you can still receive assistance.

    So, if you want access to the group then post below and I’ll add you.

    Now, I initially wanted to get the second, and last, chapter to Royalty for a Day up this weekend, but that won’t be the case. I needed to reword something in the beginning of the next chapter, which I’ve done, but I haven’t had the time to work on it. I hope to finish it this weekend, though I have a horrible track record of staying on point with writing schedules.

    After that I will work on T, the Tiniest Troll (finally) and I need to do another rewrite of the last chapter of Dear Diary: Sunset Shimmer’s best friend for EQD. It’s a good experience working with EQD because it will help prepare me to deal with a publisher as I plan on continuing my book. I do plan on continuing with a few short fics but really short fics I can actually do in a day, it’s when I start taking works way too seriously that I slow down.

    I also plan on continuing a few writing tip blogs and podcasts/vlogs. Specifically my series on Dialogue as it’s been awhile sense I have worked on that.

    So, a massive blog but things are changing and improving and the future is really looking bright for the next few years.

    Now, if you’ll excuse me, I just wrote almost a thousand words for a blog, and I need to write more for a story.

    6 comments · 149 views
  • 90w, 6d
    So, according to a recent change in the dictionary, literally now means both literally AND litterally the opposite of literally.

    Article

    According to the dictionary, “literally” now also means “figuratively”

    Thanks in part to the overuse of "literally," Merriam-Webster says the word can now mean its exact opposite. Huh?

    But people increasingly use “literally” to give extreme emphasis to a statement that cannot be true, as in: “My head literally exploded when I read Merriam-Webster, among others, is now sanctioning the use of literally to mean just the opposite.”

    Agree, disagree? I don't care, I was in it for the lulz but it is a real thing.

    EDIT: Incidently, if you want to watch the world burn because of this, go to this group post.

    4 comments · 140 views
  • 90w, 6d
    List of my Writing Tips and Helpful Blog Posts

    0 comments · 161 views
  • 91w, 6h
    Writing Tips: Understanding Chapter Length and You.

    After seeing a post asking for opinions on this in the Writer's Group (see link) I decided to create a blog on it.

    Traditionally, chapter length in physical books doesn't matter all that much. I don't remember where I saw it but a few months-years ago I ran across a study that looked at chapter length and variability in famous books. The conclusion was definitively that chapter length didn't matter. Within any of the genres studied chapters varied greatly. Even within books chapter length varied greatly and some books had chapters that varied from a few thousand words to nearly thirty thousand words in a single volume.

    Now, that's not so say that some books aren't more consistent than others and you will notice that some authors tend to favor short or long chapter lengths. (I'll come back to style and chapter length later).

    So, for traditional books chapter length doesn't matter all that much if you just analyze it numerically.

    An addendum to that is that, in my personal experience, I have noticed that children and teen books do tend to ere on the smaller sizes, with children being the shortest. This makes sense because you don't start off by teaching a child with a chapter book. Oh sure, you might read a chapter book to them, but even those tend to be smaller.

    And that makes a lot of sense. Children do not generally have a great ability for patience. Even when they do it often relates to being near bed/nap time. It also makes sense because you don't start off having a child read a story that has every element done really well. I remember being 8 and having Tolkien read to me in the form of The Hobbit. It was okay in parts but generally I just couldn't wait for reading time to be over. (reading time being something unofficial that the class voted on when homeroom didn't have something else to do.)

    So, kid's books = short chapters. And teen books are bigger but tend to not be super long. If you do make teen book chapters longer on occasion I recommend having it be during the climax or some other special point in the book where they won't want to put it down.  

    For adult books I recommend generally staying away from chapters shorter than 4k as they can break immersion, unless the chapter change itself is part of that immersion such as in an epistolary where each chapter can be a different diary entry, or some such.

    Now, with fanfiction it changes drastically. The big issue is that fanfiction is different from normal books.  Books don't often have chapters smaller than that because chapter breaks can effect immersion.

    Fanfiction is different because with fanfiction you tend to deal with a couple of factors.

    1) The average reader is at a lower reading level. WAIT! Don't get angry yet. I'm not saying fanfic readers are stupid. However, the average age of a fanfic reader is a lot younger than the average reader of a hardcopy book, approximately ~ 18 years old which means the audience generally ranges from 10 years old at the extremely low end, to late 20's at the high end with a small percentage that can range up to them dying of old age.

    Now, with this lower reading age you feed into lower chapter lengths like I mentioned above. In addition many readers who are in their late teens or well into adult hood suffer from being in a poor reading environment. They may not be able to afford books, their library might be a disgrace, and their schooling might be poor/insufficient. So, they might turn to fanfiction as a form of reading. And fanfiction isn't known for being the highest quality, though this fandom certainly has some stories that would rival the greatest classics.

    This is actually a category I kind of fall in. I did have a moderately decent education and read rabidly up until I was struggling as an adult and turned to fanfiction out of poordome when my current choices didn't fill the romantic niche I was feeling at the time.

    Lastly, I have noticed a lot of people on this site read English fanfiction, but English is not their first language. In this sense fanfiction provides a cheap and easy way to work on and expand English skills where it might be otherwise hard to do so economically.

    So, whether it's age, circumstance, or experience/education a lot of fanfiction readers are not the best readers of English. This isn't a bad thing, because it means Fanfiction is filling a niche for a lot of people. It just means that a significant amount of the audience might read slower, or have some trouble having their interest held over a long period of time. Thus, stories with shorter chapters get a bit more viewership in fanfiction because you have some who prefer it, and some who don't care one way or the other.

    2) People tend to read electronic stories for convenience. Let's face it. You're waiting at the doctor's office, or at the DMV, and you just aren't interested in 2-year old magazines on gardening. You pull out your phone and read for the 5-10 minute you wait, or 827 minutes in the case of the DMV. Generally in these situations a person isn't looking for something long and engaging. It's one of the reasons why magazines in waiting rooms sport shorter length articles. It's the same for newspapers and comics. No real commitment is needed to finish the story so it's an easy entrance point. Items read for convenience are generally things that are short and fun but not very immersive.

    Also known as clickbait.

    While a lot of reading is taking place electronically these days that trend has, surprisingly, been changing with hard copy book sales going up ~5-10% and electronic sales going down.

    Still, while this does not always apply, people are more likely looking for a quick read on an electronic device than with a paper copy. Even when people want something quick in a physical form I personally find it easier to get back into a physical book where I can easily find my place and flip a round for a second. It might not be common but I'm sure at least a few others feel that way as well.

    3) A lot of people who read fanfiction are in it for the lulz.

    That's right, short, sweet, sometimes a bit vulgar, fanfiction is often read because its silly and fun and you don't need to care or give a damn. Thus, people don't need the extra character building, the well-developed plot, twists and turns. They just want something basic and fun that doesn't take itself to seriously.

    I personally do this from time to time. I don't want to think, I want to laugh and generally not care. It's the reading equivalent of vegging on mediocre TV as a detraction vs marathoning a thought provoking immersive series on Netflix.

    4) Fanfiction is not as professional. This means that some people just don't do it well. As for what part they don't do well, that varies. Some stories break down in the middle, some can't end well, and some never get finished. It means long form stories tend to cause a bit of hesitation. I know I don't want to commit to 20k words for a story to go pear shaped half way through, or to never finished. It means it takes extra drawing power to get me, even though my favorite pony stories are epics.

    So, back to how long should your chapter length be? Well, it depends on what you are going for. If you want straight views a short clickbait story is more likely to do better, and a long form story is more for the serious author who wants to be super proud of their work. However, it also depends on your writing style. If you like to explore character, and the world, and throw in puzzles and thought provoking arguments you probably want longer chapters. If you want something simple, maybe a bit more one dementia (nothing wrong with that), then go for shorter, and enjoy it.

    The trick is to be honest with what you want to do, what the story wants to be, and your audience. Finding the balance can be challenging but it can definitely be worth it.

    EDIT: I did forget to mention one thing, Writing Styles. Some people structure their stories a certain way to match their writing styles. Do you ignore a lot of environmental descriptors? Do you like to write a bit quicker, smaller paragraphs, fewer repetitive instances or simpler conflicts? Then you likely want at least slightly shorter chapters. This is because you writing style seems quicker and it can feel odd to have long chapters that progress super fast.

    In that instance, immersion can be served by slightly quicker chapters. You don't want to go too fast and make each chapter seem to full will way to much actual plot and character development happening at once.

    Conversely, if you take your time slightly longer chapters can fit better so that at least something is happening.

    1 comments · 176 views
  • 91w, 4d
    So, apparently the worse I write the more popular my stories are.

    Checking some statistics I found that one of my recent stories, You Can't Break me Discord, is doing really well. In fact it has over 600 views in it's first 20 days.

    For me that is phenomenal. I mean, I only have two single chapter fics that have done better, out of 9, and it's really close in views to most of my other stories that have had the best reception. The only ones that have really done better have been around for at least a year and have multiple chapters or have been featured in big groups like the Seattle's Angel's review group and they didn't recieve nearly so many views so fast.

    But arguably it's one of the worst pieces that I have done in a long time that wasn't done as a joke. I mean, yeah sure Why is there a spoon? - and - ETERNAL PURPLE HUNGER wasn't the best but it was by far one of my more unique stories.

    You Can't Break me Discord was very basic, and the cover art was even just ripped from the movie. It had some back story, but the plot was basic. It was also simple and has one of the high rates of thumbs down, though it has a slightly higher than average thumbs up rating. I can't even find a blog about it by anyone other than me so I am really confused where people were finding it. I mean, I post it around to places to promote it, but I do that for all my stories.

    Yet, unless Dear Diary: Sunset Shimmers Best Friend gets on EQD (which I have to rewrite the beginning for the last chapter again) it looks like You Can't Break Me Discord is going to be my most viewed story for the year. And I have had a productive year at 5 stories already, with two being a decent length.

    Don't get me wrong. I'm happy that so many people liked it and saw it, but it's weird how one of the stories I was least happy/interested in writing has done so well. Maybe I just need to do more of the basic stuff like that. I do tend to experiment with a bunch of different stories an awful lot so maybe I need to spend some time with more basic stuff.

    6 comments · 126 views
  • 91w, 6d
    New Story: Royalty for a Day (chapter 1/2)

    0 comments · 108 views
  • 92w, 3d
    So, who wants to go to Star Wars Land with Me?

    2 comments · 130 views
Jan
7th
2013

This interview was conducted as number of weeks ago with RBDash47 who founded Pony Fiction Archive and Pony fiction Vault.

One of the things that sets RBDash47's Pony Fiction Vault apart are the interviews he conducts with each author as he posts stories that meet a select criteria. For Pony Fiction Archive effectively acts as a digital time capsule for the Brony community. From influential epics such as Fallout Equestria, to infamous stories such as Cupcakes, RBDash47 goes an extra mile to provide a service that I have yet to see repeated in this fandom. He provides context for the creation of each story and allows readers to find out more about the influential authors that appear thorough each period of Brony history; from the first great pony-less summer, to cannon defenestrating events on such a scale as the Canterlot Wedding, RBDash47 is there to provide the context and background that gives readers a little extra to enjoy from their favorite stories and authors.

The interviews eventually made their way onto FimFiction.net where thousands have enjoyed learning more about stories, author, and their community/culture

This interview was conducted as a thank you for doing something unique that helps strengthen the bonds for those who call ourselves Bronies.

You do many interviews that post on both Fimfiction.net and ponyfictionvault.net correct?

That is correct! Interviews are done for the Vault originally, and are later crossposted to FIMFiction – thanks to knighty's invitation – for greater exposure. There's currently about a two-week delay between an interview going up at the Vault and the same interview going up at FIMFiction, though the delay will slowly decrease as time goes on, and we're closing in on a standardized one-week delay, where an interview will go up .

What brought about your decision to do interviews?

A bit of backstory: in May of 2011, I founded the Pony Fiction Archive, which is a similar site to FIMFiction in that anyone can sign up and post their own stories. The day-to-day running of the PFA was fairly well smoothed out within six months or so of its founding, and FIMFiction had also launched its public beta and gotten the full support of Equestria Daily, so many more authors were posting there – in addition to FanFiction.net, deviantArt, Google Docs, etc.

I took a step back, as it were, and did a bit of accounting of myself and what I could possibly do in this fandom. I knew that I loved fanfiction; that I was an excellent site admin but that I couldn't do anything worthwhile in terms of programming custom site software, so anything I did would have to use publicly-available frameworks; that I was good at contacting and working with authors; that I was good at copyediting, and enjoy working with HTML. Most of all, I knew I wanted to do something that mattered. I wanted to create something, not just regurgitate other peoples' works – or to use the parlance of the day, I wanted to be a content creator, not a content aggregator. I wanted to find some way to give back.

People always talk about having great ideas come to them in the shower, and the Vault came to me in the same way. I was thinking about other fandoms I've been in, or perhaps more accurately consumed content from – I used to read a lot of Pokémon fanfiction, and then a lot of Harry Potter fanfiction, but I very rarely actively participated – and how it's almost impossible to find some of my old favorite stories from those fandoms these days. I was also thinking about the idea of an extinction-level event wiping out the fandom; what sort of things would you want to attempt to protect? In a similar vein, if someone has stumbled across the fandom and has no prior knowledge of it or the fandom's output, what do you think they should see? These ideas all sort of coalesced in one instant into the Vault – a site that exists apart from the various sites that host fanfiction, and while it links back to them, it also hosts the stories itself in multiple redundant formats. This ensures that even if one site goes down, the stories will still exist elsewhere.

I haven't mentioned interviews yet – the whole point of the question – because they were the last addition to the plan. I realized that as long as I was contacting authors directly to get their permission to include their story, why not ask them to do an interview to accompany it? I've always been the kind of guy to buy the special edition DVD just to get the behind-the-scenes featurettes, and I've always been curious about the inspirations and motivations of the authors of my favorite stories. Honestly, the interviews are pure wish fulfillment – they're mostly stuff I'd ask if I bumped into an author on the street, with some more ‘serious' questions thrown in as window dressing to make it look professional. From the Vault's standpoint, they also provide some historical and cultural context for future readers, and I hope that some writers get something out of the authors' various tips and suggestions.

What has changed regarding the interviews/interview process?

Really, very little. I did a lot of workflow planning before I started out. I spent a day or two working up the original list of questions, reading other 'real' author interviews from magazines and such that I found online to make sure I wasn't missing anything considered important. Unlike other interviews, like you'd hear on a podcast or the ones Doctor Dapples did with Butterscotch Sundae and Coffeebean, the Vault interviews are not done in real-time. This allows for easier scheduling between myself and the various authors I feature; we never have to make sure we can sync our timesframes up for a few hours to get it done. This would be almost impossible, especially with international authors.

The biggest change has been my behind-the-scenes organization. When I started out, I had a simple plaintext list of stories I'd like to feature. This has expanded to a detailed spreadsheet I maintain, which tracks stories I have posted to the Vault, stories I want to read that I think have potential, stories I have read and want to feature but haven't yet, stories I would like to feature by authors I have already featured once so I'm sitting on them for now, stories that I think are quite good but just aren't what I'm looking for, stories I've read and don't think are up to snuff (to prevent reduplication of work if I keep running across the same stories), and stories that sound promising but are incomplete (I also use FIMFic's RIL list to ‘watch' incomplete stories). Each story's entry on whichever page of the spreadsheet includes its title, author, and genre; the review queue is much more detailed, sortable by genre, length, number of chapters, when it was written, and when it was queued.

How do you go about the interview from start to finish?

Once I've decided I'd like to feature a story, I prepare an interview document for the author. This involves making a copy of the original blank template in Google Docs and inserting the story's title where appropriate, then sharing the document.

I then contact the author through whichever means seems most convenient. I prefer using email, but I know that not everyone is as email-oriented as myself, so I'll check and see how recently they were online at FIMFiction or deviantArt, for example, and make some deductions about where they're most likely to see a message from me. The invitation varies slightly from author to author, but the general format is to explain what the Vault is and that I would like to include them, with a link to the interview document.

Once the interview is complete, I assign that story a slot in the Vault's post schedule, along with a Vault ID which is used in place of an ISBN in the ebook formats. I'll also read the interview – this is the second-most-fun part of my work for the Vault, right behind getting a response from a shocked and/or flattered author – and make any corrections that may be needed: typos, formatting, et cetera.

A day or two before the post is scheduled to go up, I revoke editing access to the document (many authors keep tweaking their interview, even after they let me know they're done, which is fine by me – but I don't want any confusion in terms of them editing their interview after I've created the post and having their changes not translate to the post) and format and generate the post in Blogger, scheduling it to appear at 9AM on the appointed day.

Are there any interviews that really stand out for you for good reasons?

This is difficult. Each interview truly does have a special place in my heart, for its own reasons. Sleepless Brony's was memorable because it turns out the Vault's only clopfic wasn't originally going to be clop; Pride's is another, because his enthusiasm is infectious. Jetfire's interview is special because it's for my favorite story in the fandom, and it's an interview I've been trying to get since the Vault started nearly a year ago. In every interview I can think of, I learned something about the story or author that I'd never suspected, and I think that's simply wonderful.

Are there any interviews that really stand out for you for bad reasons?

I dislike singling people out, for fear of unintended insult – I debated removing specific references from the last answer, but decided that was too ‘weak' – but the interview that came to mind when I first read this question was Somber's Simply Rarity. This was an early interview, and when I first received the completed document I was disappointed by its brevity – authors often apologize to me for 'saying too much' and worrying about if they should edit down their responses, which I never understand; I want to read anything you'll tell me about yourself, that's the point! But I quickly realized that the brevity itself told me as much about the author as a thousand words of explanatory prose would've, and I now regard Somber's interview as fondly as any of the others.

Do you ever scrap interviews? If so why?

No. If an author has impressed me enough with their work to invite them to the Vault, then I think whatever they have to say is probably worthwhile.

Are there any authors who you wanted to interview but could never get in contact with? Would you like to post their names here in case they see this?

Just one, now. I suspect it's a case of myself originally getting ahold of an email they never checked or something like that. They're still active in the fandom, and I don't want to begrudge them what I imagine to be a rather fun moment when they check their messages and see my invitation. I'll be in touch with them, and I'll let you all wonder who it is for now.

Do authors ever refuse to do interviews, if so what are some of the reasons they give?

There is one author whose story I'd liked enough to invite, but who apparently caught quite a bit of rage and flak for it, completely unbeknownst to me at the time. I never got a true response, and assume it was out of fear of reprisal; I didn't push it. There was another author who was flattered by my invitation, but who didn't agree that his (or her?) story belonged in the Vault. I was thoroughly surprised and impressed by their humbleness.

Do you ever attend cons?

I was at BronyCon 2012 in June, which was a fun and educational experience (I'd never been to any kind of con before). In September 2012 I hosted a fanfiction panel at Canterlot Gardens in Ohio, featuring authors you may recognize (in no particular order): Saddlesoap Opera, Patchwork Poltergeist, SleeplessBrony, ROBCakeran53, Donny's Boy, and Hidden Brony. I had a great deal of fun. The folks at Everfree Radio have a recording of it here.

In the future would you be willing to do live interviews with various authors at a con?

At first blush, that's a semi-terrifying prospect, but the more I think on it, the more I don't think it'd be too bad, and could be quite interesting and fun. However, barring a change in circumstances, at the moment I have no plans to attend more cons. I had a great deal of fun at BronyCon and Canterlot Gardens and made some great friends, but it's realistically too great a drain on my limited time and treasure.

We are going to wrap this up with a few of your standard questions.

So meta!

Where do you live?

I live in North Carolina, though I originally hail from California.

What kind of work do you do? (i.e. are you a student, do you have a career/day job, etc)

I work for a small software company as a junior (very, very junior) programmer and technical writer.

How did you discover My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic? When did you realize you were a fan of the show?

I ran across some pony mashup videos – the first two were the Starcraft II trailer and the 300 trailer. This must have been on /b/, but I'm not sure... at the time I very rarely visited /b/, finding myself ‘burned out' on the constant content-less ridiculousness there.  I found more, and showed them to my girlfriend, and we figured we'd see what the show itself was like. I was hooked after the two-parter pilot.

I very much wish I could pinpoint the day I discovered the show like others can with chatlogs or forum posts or what-have-you, but the best I can do is some reverse-engineering based on episode air dates. When I first discovered FiM, only 23 episodes had aired, so that would be sometime between April 15th and April 22nd of 2011. By the time we'd watched those 23 episodes, the last three had aired, so we watched those too.

It was a bit of a letdown finding the show right as the season ended, getting two weeks or so of solid undiluted pony and then nothing. I rewatched them, of course, but also went online looking for fanfiction – as in previous fandoms, when I ran out of source material, I went to see what fans had created, to continue experiencing the new universe I found myself fascinated by. I was pretty disappointed at what I found, to be honest. I'd been spoiled by fandoms like Harry Potter, where you had dozens or hundreds of fanfiction sites. Back then, FiM didn't have any. The closest thing was Equestria Daily, that linked out to random Google Docs, deviantArt, and FF.net stories. So I set up the Pony Fiction Archive, and the rest, as the saying goes, is history.

Do you have a favorite episode?

I've thought about this for a long time – not in the least because I ask every author I feature the same question – and I think I can say with confidence that 'Luna Eclipsed' is my favorite episode. In fact I would argue it was the perfect episode, if not for Rarity's absence. It has fun music, excellent humor, several shots of ponies dancing (I love seeing the ponies walking and dancing, something about the fluid movement of the unusual body type fascinates me), everypony in costume, callbacks to the series pilot in the form of Luna herself and Rainbow Dash's costume (which was particularly entrancing! What a perfect scary costume for Rainbow), Zecora in an expanded in-town role, and an unusual new character model in the form of Pipsqueak.

Who is your favorite character based purely on the canon of the show itself? Would your answer change if you considered the fandom in its entirety (i.e. art, fanfiction, memes, etc)?

Wouldn't it be funny if it wasn't Rainbow Dash? My handle's based on her, my avatars around the internet all feature her... but no, it's definitely Rainbow Dash. I love her character design, her voice, her attitude. Her cutie mark is badass and also unique in that all the rest of the Mane 6 have multi-piece cutie marks. My answer would not change based on the fandom; I love some of the things fandom's come up with for her.

Do make note of an interesting distinction – while she may be my favorite character, I am not much like her, nor do I think we would particularly get along in any way. I myself am most like, and suspect I would most enjoy spending time with, Twilight Sparkle. (Which drives the girlfriend crazy because Twilight's her least favorite character!)

How did you come up with your handle/penname?

I actually wish I'd come up with a better one, but I'm so involved now I'd fear changing it, since everyone knows me as RBDash47. (Sure is a pain to introduce myself at cons, though! "Hi, I'm Arr Bee Dash Forty-Seven! Just call me... uh...")

Rainbow Dash is my favorite character, so that's all that is, and 47 is a reference to the other great fandom in my life, Star Trek. I was a Trekkie long, long before anything else.

It was originally supposed to be RBD47, but that handle was already taken on Twitter, so I had to scramble for a different one.

Do you have any tips for aspiring writers, or writers who are struggling with their own stories?

I actually wrote a 14-page treatise on what I consider to be the basics of writing (that's writing English, not writing fanfiction, so it applies to any kind of writing you're doing) as part of the Downloadable Content for the panel at Canterlot Gardens. If you're interested in reading the whole thing (and great writing advice from six wonderful authors in the fandom), you can grab a copy over at the Vault's Downloads page; it's at the top, called ‘Writing Fanfiction'. However, in its most summed-up, condensed form:

The technical quality of your writing matters. Grammar, spelling, punctuation, syntax, all of it exists for a reason – to help you bridge the gap between yourself and your reader, and to ensure nothing is lost in translation. I see no reason to invest my limited time in your story if it doesn't appear that you've invested any time in making it readable. If you have trouble with this, there are so many places for you to get help with it, you have no excuse except laziness.

And read your story out loud to yourself after you've written it. You would be absolutely shocked at the ridiculous errors you'll find – far and away from stuff like whether or not your dialogue flows well, I'm talking about duplicated or completely missing words, malformed verb agreements, punctuation errors, that your brain was kind enough to fill in or overlook for you when you skimmed it silently. Every story in the Vault goes through multiple rounds of copyediting with me, and the last one is always reading it out loud, and I have yet to not find any errors that way, despite many previous proofreadings.

Is there anything else you'd like to add?

A few things, actually, so thanks for asking!

1. I regret not asking authors' ages, but I don't want to go back and re-contact 60-odd authors to ask them one question, and I also don't want to only ask the question of only some authors.

2. I deeply hate turning authors down, sometimes losing sleep over it; in fact, I no longer accept self-submissions. I started the Pony Fiction Archive in part because at the time, authors who were rejected by EqD had nowhere to go; the PFA's motto is, "Everypony equal, everypony loved." Now I run the most exclusive fanfiction site in the fandom, too. Feels weird sometimes.

3. I didn't anticipate what the Vault would become; it was just supposed to be a place to store what I considered to be the best fanfic in the fandom. Now I get people telling me they've always hoped against hope for an invitation, that it's their dream; one author contacted me to ask for my favorite characters, genres, et cetera, then revealed he was attempting to write a story that I was guaranteed to like and therefore invite to the Vault. Don't do that, please. If you never see an invitation from me, it just means I either haven't read your story (very likely)... or one person out of thousands or millions of bronies didn't like it as much as other stories. That doesn't mean it was bad.

I told this anecdote at the Canterlot Gardens panel, so if you were there or have watched the video, I apologize for the duplication of content, but I think it's important. If you like writing, don't let anyone – not me, not the prereaders at EqD, not anyone – stop you from writing. Even if your work isn't popular, or is actively criticized, if you genuinely like it and are happy with it and enjoy doing it then don't stop. I met an author at Canterlot Gardens who's never posted a single word of his stories online; he's got notebooks full of ponyfic because he likes writing them, and that's good enough for him. There's something very Zen about that, I think, something to be admired.

4. I ran across a quote attributed to Abraham Lincoln a few days ago that resonated with me in its simplicity, and its application to every aspect of one's professional and personal life. It applies to hobby fanfic authors just as much as world leaders or brain surgeons.

"Whatever you are, be a good one."

Report Piquo Pie · 713 views ·
#1 · 228w, 3d ago · 1 · ·

awesome interview.

#2 · 228w, 3d ago · · ·

Awesome. Glad to get your insights. Pretty screwed up that someone would so blatantly try to manipulate your tastes to get into the Vault, though.

Also, thanks for the shoutout. Let me tell you that getting those interviews in live time was a logistical nightmare, and its also the reason that the Interview series stopped so soon. I had hoped to interview Twilight Flopple, but I was never able to get in proper contact with her, and by the time it finally seemed doable, you were already doing the Vault and doing it much better than I could have hoped for.

RBDash47
Site Blogger
#3 · 228w, 3d ago · · ·

>>687109

I think I mentioned somewhere... maybe in your own Vault post... that your interviews helped plant that seed. It also gave me hard evidence that doing them 'live' would be a huge pain in the ass. :rainbowwild:

#4 · 228w, 2d ago · · ·

Neat stuff!

#5 · 228w, 2d ago · · ·

>many authors keep tweaking their interview, even after they let me know they're done

And here I thought I was the only one neurotic enough to do that!

>I'll be in touch with them, and I'll let you all wonder who it is for now.

Is it... Sergeant Sprinkles? :pinkiecrazy:

RBDash47
Site Blogger
#6 · 228w, 2d ago · · ·

>>687281

Hell, a few authors have had their prereaders look over their doc before it gets back to me! That's dedication.

And he stopped responding to my messages after I secured permission to add his work to the PFA; I've heard through the grapevine that he's profoundly afraid of attracting any more hate, so I guess I really should have counted him as a refusal... I suppose I might try him again, because Cupcakes really is a cornerstone of the fandom, whether people like it or not.

#7 · 228w, 2d ago · · ·

>>687296

I kind of enjoyed cupcakes actually. Every once in a while you need something dark and to make real life a little brighter. I really like Cupcake Chronicles as a followup.

#8 · 228w, 2d ago · · ·

Soooooooooooooooooo meta.

#9 · 228w, 2d ago · · ·

>>687339

I found it legitimately scary. There, I said it.

('Kay, I'll stop going off-topic now.)

#10 · 228w, 2d ago · · ·

>People always talk about having great ideas come to them in the shower

That has happened to me multiple times :moustache:

#11 · 228w, 2d ago · · ·

>>687675

No, discussing things like this is not only fine it's encouraged. I had the forsight to get waisted to the puns were hillarious to me. I also know the whole premis before hand.

But I can see it being creepy/scary. It is a troll fic and was ment to bother people or to be enjoyed by people who like some derangment from time to time/all the time.

But if you had a problem with it I recomend reading the cupecake cronicals chapter 1-3 or 1-4. It takes place after the incident if AJ had appeared and saved Dash. As Dash goes through the process of healing in a very realistic fashion it not only allows the reader to get over some of their issues with the story but it provides a great representation of how Dash would learn to deal with not being able to fly anymore.

#12 · 228w, 1d ago · · ·

Oh wow, I'm an example. Sorry.

RBDash47
Site Blogger
#13 · 228w, 1d ago · · ·

>>691643

Oh, don't feel bad! We had a nice chat and as far as I'm concerned, everything's good.

#14 · 226w, 3d ago · · ·

Finally we get a glimpse into the mind of The Vault Dweller. :pinkiehappy: Or The Vault Creator. :raritywink:

Thank you both for the interview - PiquoPie for asking the questions and RBD for answering them. :twilightsmile: I've been interested for quite a while now what your own answers would be to your own interview questions, RBD.

EDIT: Apparently I'm a week late. Still though, it was a very interesting read. :rainbowlaugh:

#15 · 226w, 3d ago · · ·

>>732076

Thank you. And in Case the Vault Dweller doesn't get back to this, I know he was really happy when someone asked him, and I know I was not the only one who felt he deserved the same recognition he gives others.

RBDash47
Site Blogger
#16 · 226w, 3d ago · · ·

>>732076

Haha, Vault Dweller! I like that.

And you weren't really a week late, I didn't think to include a blurb about it on a site post until Friday.

#17 · 226w, 3d ago · · ·

>>734943

Is that why this post went from 200 views to 300 and I started getting some extra followers and favorits :pinkiehappy:

RBDash47
Site Blogger
#18 · 226w, 3d ago · · ·

>>735002

Probably! :rainbowwild:

#19 · 226w, 3d ago · · ·

>>735097

Best, TROLL EVER! :yay:

Login or register to comment