• Member Since 7th Feb, 2013
  • offline last seen Sep 27th, 2016

Imaginary Valued


Nobody.

More Blog Posts13

Jun
9th
2013

Status Update · 11:37am Jun 9th, 2013

I feel like I should explain what's going on and give a semblance of a progress report before I head off to bed. So I will.

Well, as many of you can probably relate, I'm still mightily busy with work, but school related stuff is pretty much done with at this point. And once the applications for grad/med schools are completed and sent at the end of June, I'd finally be done with both that nonsense as well as work, since the research project that has transformed me into a certifiable lab rat will be ending exactly this coming Friday. Good riddance to that. I don't want to perform another electrophoresis and its many variants again for as long as I live. I guess that means I'm going to have a free summer to do whatever I want. Huh. Neat. Well, at least until secondary applications start to trickle in, but that's being way too optimistic.

What's next? Oh, right. Fanfics, fanfics...yeah, not too much headway on that department. Some of you are probably still waiting on the last chapter of Once Upon a Night, and it will be done, I swear upon my future PS4 and/or Xbox One (the latter not so likely since so far it seems to be a glorified compilation of unneeded apps on top of a being devious money guzzler the size of twenty bricks. And the name is utterly stupid). Just, not as quickly as you or I would like.

Let me try to elaborate. First, here's a question for anyone who's actively writing MLP fics or just stories in general: what's conducive to your inspiration?

For me, I've discovered that it's almost entirely based on emotions. So far, everything I've written was simply the result of some imagination fueled by some kind of ongoing amalgam of thoughts and maudlin neural activity happening in what I call my "feelz bundle." Basically, feel happy about something, write something about happy characters. Feel sad about something, write about kicked puppies, that sort of trend. I'd imagine it's similar for most other writers, but I've never done a writing workshop or the likes before, so I don't want to presume and sound like a total newb, which I am, but still.

I mentioned all that because, well, I've been feeling pretty bummed out lately, and it's unfortunately gotten me stymied in terms of writing since I can't formulate the right mind set to write, even though I can rather clearly picture the imageries and dialogue of what I want to see being written down. Hmm, now I wonder. Is this the infamous writer's block? The terrible malady that has sundered many a creative drive of the great literary minds? If it is, well it sure is kinda annoying.

What's funny, though, is that I think I know what's gotten me a little down south in terms of mood. And no, it's not about Equestrian Girls. Sure, I was upset of the whole Spike is a dog ordeal but that sort of annoyance goes away quickly. And despite the cringe worthy premise of the movie with the whole princess of the fall formal, I'm still somewhat game for it. It's nothing about hiccups in my personal life or ill tidings approaching. Even if it was, I have no right to whine, as I know for a fact that several people I'm following on this beloved site of ours have real troubles and the communal support from others through this nigh infinite digital realm of our modern world can be a genuine comfort. Anyway, I'm going to try to assume a tad clinical manner as I explain myself, for those who care, at any rate.

See, I'm technically pretty darn new to the wonderful universe of MLP and its fandom. I sat down and watched my very first episode, Winter Wrap Up, in the first week of February earlier this year. It was, in my humble opinion, probably one of the best ways to be introduced to MLP. The musical montage remains to this day my absolute favorite, beating out even "Smile Smile Smile" and "Art of the Dress." In Winter Wrap Up, you're given a look at Ponyville as a whole, the characters and their roles and their beloved town subsumed in this singular glorious episode. It showed me this very innocent universe, which only makes sense since it's a children's cartoon, but it was innocent in a very wholesome yet not patronizing manner. Afterwards, I felt this indomitable, compelling need to find out just who these ponies and that one baby dragon were. So episode after episode I did watch, and I was undeniably, irreversibly, hooked. From there, I inevitably discovered and became immersed in the MLP fanfics sector. And occasionally, I sort of wish I didn't.

Don't get me wrong, I love the fanfics and all these creative world building shindigs by y'all, and I derive awesomeness from being part of this whole shebang. But the deeper I involve and immerse myself in the fandom and its various artistic works, the more I feel that I sort of lost sight of what drew me into the MLP universe in the first place. Not only that, but at the same time there is this gaining of greater clarity of the entirety of the fanfic sector of the fandom that has also induced in me a certain disillusionment. This disillusionment began, ironically, with a fanfic that I'm sure everyone knows: My Little Dashie. Believe it or not, I've only recently learned of this famous fic, and wowzah, it has the most likes and probably even more favorites on Fimfiction alone! It was a must read if there ever was one. Half an hour later, I sort of pursed my lips, scratched my head, stared at my feet, and gave an emphatic 'meh.' I mean, it was relatively enjoyable; not bad at all. But it didn't seem all that impressive. It didn't really tickle my "feelz bundle." It poked at it a couple times, but innervate it did not.

The logical conclusion: I was not the intended reader. I'm not sure what types of people it would appeal to and equally uncertain as to what types of reactions it was supposed to elicit. Heartfelt sobs? Tearful approbations? I don't know, and I make no presumptions. What I do know is that it did not interest me because, well, it wasn't about MLP. Oh, yeah, sure, Rainbow Dash was in there. Kind of. Her characterization was more or less considerably off. True, she was transformed into a filly because of Twilight's magical screw up or however that went and so had to repeat her growth into adulthood again, but even then it seemed contrived to me. I mean, I can see why it would be emotionally gripping, but the story could've been for anything else, with Rainbow replaced with some other pastel colored creature, like Care Bears or something. Those rascals need some rebooting love. Still, certainly can't fault the author for sparkling the best source of inspiration.

Still, the somewhat lackluster post-read experience got me pondering and realizing. People like and dislike different things! And many will read and praise those things they like, often regardless of actual quality. A truly, utterly belatedly shocking revelation. But suddenly, particular ideas came to my mind, and with it, a sense of irksome displeasure. Again, I'm still relatively new to the fandom, and I've been rather detached from it in the last two months on account of busyness, as such, I'm only becoming more aware of the so-called "drama" that's been running intermittently in the fandom. The ones I recall were the whole Twilight turning into an alicorn business, and more recently, of course, EG and Spike is dog fiasco. Then there's the fanfic side: a curious proliferation of clopfics, multitudes of crossovers with all manners of madness, and the coined HiE fics that's kind of the hallmark of Fimfiction. Do I have a problem with any of these? I...don't know, to be honest. On one hand, stories where ponies must survive the harsh world of Fallout while teamed up with Master Chief and then sex happens more or less makes me want to just laugh out loud in most derisive a manner; on the other hand, it's none of my freaking business what other people like and choose to read/write. Live and let live. There's no harm done beyond some interesting entries in the featured box.

Yet, I'm still upset because it's stories like those that get higher view counts than the many criminally underappreciated stories that I'm sure many of you have your own compilation of. For me, if there's a story that I know is great and the writer is talented, I sincerely wish that they could be better recognized. For instance, one of my recent favorites, Children of a Lesser Dragon God Boy Whelp Thingy Guy, by the ever awesome The Descendent. TD himself is probably not for wanting of being followed, but still, all the same, the view count for the story at the time of this blog post is below 2500, while many a times clopfics get over 3000 easy in the same time frame, and they're usually, as I twitchingly found out, barely average in terms of effort and prose. Then there's my friend Bico, who is very talented both in humor as well as world building, and seriously is not getting the attention he deserves for all the effort he puts in simply because he enjoys writing and expanding the world of his story. Because of what? Subject matter? The same thing could be said of Swashbucklist, who is seriously a better writer than I am, even though he'd probably protest that notion and thus be wrong. But I suppose that's partially his own fault. Hey, Swash, if you're reading this, you need to write something about shipping. Maybe that SpikeTrixie suggestion in your comment. That'll be an interesting way to go.

Anyway, so, I mean, it's understandable. People like titillations, in whatever form. Art, videos, music, graphic novels, etc. But still, what got people into MLP in the first place then? Thinking about hot pony and sometimes humanized pony on whatever action? Then there's the HiE. That I get too. It's the old song and dance of self-insertion. We love MLP, we want to interact in it. Some choose to do so through a pony OC, some choose to do it straight up. It's a bit of generalization but the concept is there.

Then there's the shipping. Ugh, from what I've seen, shipping can be seriously ugly business. I'm personally not big on shipping, though I suppose I can be categorized into predominantly a Sparity shipper. But it's not because of omg-they-be-so-perfect-for-each-other type of shenanigans. I simply have this intrinsic need to follow canon as much as I can (that and as mentioned before, paleowriter is awesome and the stories she writes are fabulous) , and aside from established relationships in the show (ShiningCadence, the Cakes, CrankyMatilda), Spike's crush on Rarity is one of the only romantic subplots going on. But, of course, that could get in the way of pairing Rarity with someone more deserving, like the rest of the Main Six, or Blueblood or some OC, I don't know. So, Spike needs to find more fitting romantic interests, like some other children character, or just get strangely omitted. And some would even go out of their way to write a comment about how much they dislike this pairing and that pairing and how their OTP like RariJack or AppleDash or TwiLuna is so much better or some nonsense, as if their opinion is a badge of honor that demands attention. It's all very...juvenile. Especially since any kind of shipping other than those already established in canon generally has no substantial evidence since MLP is not a show ripe with romantic subplots and thus any kind of shipping involves a great deal of subjective interpretation as well as wish fulfillment rendering all shipping no better than the next. And then there're the people who detest shipping of MLP characters but will fully endorse romance of HiE fics because of some completely double standard reason and ugh, forget clinical, now I'm just ranting. Time to stop.

So, observations like these left me bewildered and acerbic towards some abstract things that have impeded in my fanfic related progress, even though they're not supposed to. Some of these negative thoughts were conveyed in my newest addition, Underdog Days, which is utter crap because it's nothing but angered induced tripe. Sincere apologies to Jake the Army Guy, who I secretly refer to as Sarge in my own Caboose voice and is one of the few people I really hoped wouldn't catch wind of that drivel because I don't want to disappoint but ended up being the first to comment and verified the shittiness of said tripe. Backfires are always so very ironic in their burns. Still, it felt good to just write and warm up, regardless of the less than stellar content. In that regard, it served its purpose. It also showed me that I should never, ever write under the influence of nerd-fanboy rage. You know what? I'll keep it around still. it may suck all sorts of fume pipes but it allows me to vent and people can leave comments which I find is definitely conducive to my writing progress because it makes me jolly, no matter what the comment is about.

Wow, I wrote more than intended. It makes me feel better, though, and it's got me writing in some capacity, so that has to count for something. There's more on my mind, but that's the gist of it relating to MLP and Fimfiction. In reflection, I'm a lot more easily emotionally influenced by the opinions and actions of the fanbase than I should be, and delving deeper into various aspects of the fandom has only served to rattle my 'awhellnah' button. The stupid thing is, I'm conflicted and affected by something that has no bearing on real life. All these nonsensical and unimportant thoughts...I really need to work past that. However, I feel like writing. Like, right now. The emotions I'm feeling aren't yet entirely a positive sort though, and the story I'm thinking of writing is...oddly different. Still, let's see where I can go with this. Stay tuned and thanks for putting up with me.

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Comments ( 12 )

Personally, my motivation for writing was the story itself. As cheesy as it sounds, there's a bit of a child-parent relationship. I brought it to life and by God I'm going to see it through.

Then there are the few fans and followers I do have. My newest story has currently 4 likes and 2 dislikes but those 4 likes are what keep me from being discouraged.

I wouldn't worry so much about the attention other fics are getting as opposed to other. It's like that in any media, where junk tends to get more attention than meaningful art.

What I'm trying to say is...you know, I'm not entirely sure. Have a picture of Fluttershy I guess.

i.chzbgr.com/maxW500/5125292544/h4B51AECC/

Also, good luck with grad/med school.

This fandom really can get incredibly absurd. But since it's so huge, the good news is that there are plenty of reasonable people in it, like yourself, who generally lurk a little more quietly.

I don't get "My Little Dashie", either. (Though since it lead to the creation of: this Rainbow Dash Presents episode, I can't complain too much.) It's really just a weird wish-fulfillment daydream that turns sad because...yeah? I don't know. There's so much better stuff out there.

I personally have barely read any MLP fanfiction. Weird, I know, for how much I'm on this site. I'm obsessively picky with what I read. I am a slave to canon (which is why I enjoy your writing, because you really do honor canon). I can't stand when ponies feel OOC, or random relationships pop up, or humans show up, or what have you. Also why I'm a Sparity shipper...there are actual hints of it in canon. I wouldn't say it is canon, but Spike's half sure is, and Rarity is kept in a fun state of ambiguity.

So I guess what I'm saying is that I agree with a lot of this post you made, especially in regards to fanfiction. Most the time, I'm floored as to what gains popularity. But then I remember that I am that way with all media--television, books, movies...people generally seem to have different interests (not to mention standards) than I do. So then I get less surprised.

As to what inspires me to write...for me, it's the characters and my head-canon, honestly. I want to see certain things in the show, and I know they'll never happen, so I write them down. I don't find my writing changing much in regards to my personal emotions or how my week's been going...for me, the story and characters are set, and I'm just sort of their portal to the page.

Thanks for including me in your post. Basically, I write to get stories on the page that I wish I could be watching/reading. I can't seem to find much out there that I enjoy in MLP fanfiction, so I create it for myself. I was completely and utterly flabbergasted when I began to gain a following. I had no idea people would actually be interested in my interpretation of MLP. To this day, I'm shocked at my readership. It's no where near the level of the most popular stories, but it's certainly far larger than I ever could have anticipated.

Best of luck with grad/med schools. And hopefully you'll feel happier soon. I've been there, with the whole grad school thing, so I know how tough it is to keep chipper. But hey, come ramble on here anytime and you'll find people to listen and care.

And as for the fanbase and their lovely ups and downs...you may eventually learn to ignore them. I used to get way more emotionally invested in how the fandom was reacting to things, but it's been a couple years now and I've learned the whining never really stops. :facehoof: So now I just roll my eyes and carry on with what I enjoy in MLP.

Sounds like you're being absorbed into herd mentality and can't stop it. Well, being a fan of these particular characters usually has a big effect, and for some people it was even life-changing. Step back, get some air. It usually helps to engage in another activity that has nothing to do with MLP before coming back to it fresh. And speaking of emotions:

The same thing could be said of Swashbucklist, who is seriously a better writer than I am...

This is where I had to get up from my seat and walk around laughing and wheezing, "Ohmygosh...ohmygosh...no, dude...ohmygosh...no, you are so wrong..." I don't want to run the Spielberg comparison into the ground, so this time I'll say it was like getting a fist-bump from Bryan Singer for doing a cheap magic trick. Then I sat down and finished the sentence:

...even though he'd probably protest that notion and thus be wrong.

No, you're wrong! You were already inside my head, and I'm not even a fictional character! You speak nonsense.

As for those "legendary" stories, the main reason they're so talked-about is that they were made famous very early in the fandom's history. I could've told you "My Little Dashie" wouldn't be interesting. Don't try looking for any "Fallout: Equestria" stories either; that universe is too damn big for any newcomer to ever catch up on. And for obvious reasons, stay away from "Cupcakes."

Look at it this way: if Steve Perry can get away with writing an Indiana Jones "novel", an HiE clopfic can reach the feature box.

If you're interested, I would be more than happy to recommend a few fics that are more relevant to the characters and universe. Even if you're not interested in recommendations, Faith and Doubt is one you should read no matter what; not for matching the feel of the show, but because the author knows the FiM universe like Geoff Johns knows the DC universe. And he kinda likes Spike.

Really glad to see a message from you. You sir are still what I'd call pure in this little community of ours, as you know exactly what fics to read and what to stay away from. Generally I'm not picky, I don't mind many ships or those with some clop in them, as long as they're written with grace and not just for the sake of clop. But in the end my foremost preference alignes into parallel with yours. What I truly wish to see in the show is Spike's infant years, when he was (allegedly visioned by Faust herself) brought up by Celestia. But sadly, aside from Faust's little statement, there really hasn't been any clues to this scenario's authenticity. We'll just have to wait and see.

In the end, I regard you as one of the few top-tier writers of this community, along a few I'd like to name, such as paleowriter, The Descendant and Crosis. I'd like to think that keeping a relatively wide degree of open-mindedness when it comes to fics, ranging from normal/slice-of-life to clop, is a good thing, as long as the writing's good and not a rush job.

Newwwb!

Well, not really. I mean, every artist's inspiration comes from a primal, childlike state of mind which is very much reliant on emotional state. The thing I've learned (am still learning, to be more precise), is that it's fine to use those moments of creativity as a springboard, but sometimes you just have to sit down and start writing even when you have nothing to write about. Something that helps a lot is plotting your stories well in advance, at least having a general outline of what's going to happen and what your endgame is going to be like. A good outline definitely helps keep you on track during those times when you're completely uninspired, because you already know where you're going. It's also good to have a lot of chapters written in advance before you start posting so that you can a) get a good idea of where you're going with your story and possibly go back and make changes to your first couple paragraphs if need be, and b) you don't feel as rushed in keeping your posting schedule up if you have a decent buffer, and, of course, keeping a schedule is very important in maintaining readership.

You're right, though, I am a genius and it's a shame that so few recognize it. In the New Fimfiction Order you will be spared. In any case, popularity is very rarely about how good something is. It's about how widely exposed it is. If you'd remember Rarity's foray into popularity, much of it was not about the work she did (in fact, she had to shirk her work in order to be popular), but in how many ponies had actually heard of her, how often she was talked about, and how much she was seen, cultivating the perception of authority even if she had none of her own. You'll often find that most of the popular writers are very involved in the social aspects of the site, or the story contents are so crazy (Cupcakes, for instance) that its existence spreads by word of mouth alone prompting a lot of people to look for it who never would have before, or they have really cool cover images that just makes people want to click on the story to check it out, regardless of how good the content might be.

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That's ostensibly the best attitude to carry, in terms of both to follow through on a story of your own creation and in regards to the oblique trend of the proliferation of mediocrity and junk. It's a concept easy to comprehend intellectually, but once you're emotionally invested, as I am, it's more difficult to put that sort of mentality into practice. And it's not like the best stories are buried under the rubble of a perfunctory fanbase, as they are recognized to be a cut above the rest by credible fanfic writers and reviewers.

I guess my supposed problem with what I've observed is that the situation is tangentially similar to the case of the movie Citizen Kane. It's touted as probably the best movie ever made, and in my opinion, it really is, especially in the cinematographic sense. But most of the people I've met have never seen the movie, and would continue not to see it in favor of watching another entry in the Fast and the Furious franchise. And see, there's nothing wrong with liking the Fast and Furious series. In fact, I dare say its formula and subject makes it a great date movie. But it wouldn't hurt anyone to at least see Citizen Kane, at least once, to know what all the fuss is about.

Similarly, it's fine to read stories where the ponies are put into much more adult oriented scenarios or deal with humans who stumble into Equestria with whatever obscure story device. I read those too, and understand where the inherent entertainment value resides. My misgiving lies with the observed trend that people just simply don't want to shelve out time to read a story that involves our favorite pastel colored ponies on an adventure or slice of life goodness that presumably drew us to the fandom in the first place. Instead, fics describing strange sexual fetishes and deranged, unexplained scenarios of gore and dark genre capture people's attention, and I feel very bewildered. I mean, isn't there enough dark, gory, bloody, violent and disturbing fictional material out there already? If someone needed to scratch a seedier itch, Japan has solutions aplenty, ready to titillate the crap out of everyone at a moment's notice. MLP, I believe, exists and is appreciated for a different purpose, one that is reserved for our childlike wonder and nostalgia for an innocent, simple time we couldn't appreciate until we grew up. I like strawberry jam and Thailand curry, but I certainly don't want them to be mixed together. Trust me, I tried before, and it tasted something awful. MLP is not Guile's theme song; it doesn't go with everything, even though that doesn't stop people from trying. Sigh.

Anyway, thanks for the comment. And if there's anything we're all doing right in this fandom, it's using motivational posters featuring Fluttershy.
:yay:

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Holy crud, thanks so much for randomly mentioning that Rainbow Dash presents episode! I've never heard of it until now. The only fan made parody I've watched was the Friendship is Witchcraft series, but this one is great in a different kind of way. The way it pokes fun while maintaining its own absurdity is just hilarious. I now have something to help with my self-induced dreariness!

I'm doing sort of the opposite of your fanfiction intake. I'm not particularly picky with what I read and I try to go through all the best known fics because now that I'm trying to be part of the fanfic scene, I feel like there's a lot of catching up to do on my part. It's a bit of learning experience reinforced with the intent of researching in attempt to understand what makes a good story and the multitudes of way to represent all of our favorite characters. You put it best, with how you said writing fanfics is basically just getting the stories one wants to read/visualize into some form of existence. It's a really simple notion, one that I'm willing to bet is what prompted everyone to start writing in the first place. But it just seems that somewhere down the line, as more people joined in, things might have gotten kind of out of control and sort of turned the MLP fanfics domain more or less into the same drivel a lot of them compained about other fandoms. There's always some sense of latent irony somewhere.

You know, now that you've mentioned it, maybe I'm just stressed about this transition into advanced schooling and turned to projecting that uneasiness unto MLP and my perceived relationship with its influence on my life. Because I told myself I'd take it easy and not get stressed out about the applications, and maybe I just transferred that anxiety to something else instead. Hmm...nah, I'm just disgruntled about people mixing porn with my MLP. :ajbemused:

Anyway, thanks so much for giving a line! It's really made me feel better about the whole situation. Also really glad you're revving up the action in Of Age. Believe you me, there's still tons of people who love the story and it's one of the reasons I believe the fanfic scene is still worthwhile, despite the face-palm inducing behaviors of our fellow fans.
:twilightsmile:

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Yeah, I figured you'd react somewhat like you did. But I didn't say that just to be nice or some obscure gesture of polite kindness. As I've repeatedly mentioned, I'm still kind of new to MLP and its many intricate layers of its fandom, which is why I keep delving in attempt to catch up. In terms of fanfics, I read a loooot, mostly in order to better my own writing skills and conceptualization of the characters. I've read enough now that I believe I can a pretty good idea what good writing looks like when I see it. So trust me when I say you're a good writer, and a better one than I currently am. I didn't fave your stories just because I've got nothing better to do. My blog just pointed out how parochial I am in regards to fics I consider worthwhile.

I always reevaluate my own stuff after a week or two of reading and brainstorming and taking notes, and I can vividly detect a lot of rough edges remaining in my writing. I get unnecessarily wordy often and tread the line of the so-called purple prose that I lose focus on more important details such as the scenery or being more attentive to the characters. You deal with all of that much better than I do. If there's one thing that I do better...actually, I'm not sure what it will be, but I'll be sure to mention it once I successfully deduce it. Thus, I submit to you, that you're a better, or at the very least a more experienced, writer. I imagine the only reason you're not better known is because you seem to devote a lot of time commenting on others' stories and so far have only attempted writing stories that, while definitely awesome, falls prey to the travesty I was bemoaning about in the blog. This is why I'm all bent out of shape for.

One of these days, we need to do some ideas swapping and brainstorming together. It'd be poetic. See, if my comparison is Spielberg, then you're basically Kubrick. In fact, I already have a story in mind that I kind of see as my solution to a MLP movie. It's currently titled "Paracosm," and basically all the characters are involved, with Discord and the CMC starting all the trouble. I'm still having a hard time envisioning the ending, which is crucial to every story as Bico pointed out so I'm hoping to an outline in mind first, but maybe getting started in some ways wouldn't be such a bad idea either.

So, thanks bunch for dropping a line! And I always take recommendations and warnings. I was considering trying to get a grasp on the Fallout-verse, but your word is enough to dissuade me. I was already sort of disappointed by the Winning verse and wasn't looking forward to embarking on another big project. And well, I've peripherally heard of things about Cupcakes, and so I've avoided it with extreme prejudice like I did since middle school with Two Girls and a Cup. I actually stumbled on Faith and Doubt before, and was about to read it when I noticed a grammar error right in the description. I think it was a misuse of "hold onto" vs "hold on to." And being the harsh judge that I am, I dismissed it as just a lucky pandering that got people's attentions. Still, if you recommend it, it's bound to be worthwhile, so I'll definitely give it a looksie. :pinkiehappy:

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Pure, huh? I guess I am, in some way. Or, I at least stubbornly try to maintain some sense of purity in terms of my fandom experience with MLP. You see, I'm actually interested in a lot of dark stuff, too. In fact, one of my favorite characters of all time in any media is Alucard, the main character from the anime "Hellsing." There's blood and violence and ripped intestines and sexual undercurrents and pseudo philosophy and all that good stuff. But I certainly don't want to mix all that controversy with MLP. It's kind of the same way I'd imagine a parents not wanting their child exposed to things inappropriate. Obviously, MLP is just a fictional universe created through the minds of some awesome people but the intention in their creativity is also a very pure and pristine one, and I feel a need to keep it that way.

That said, I do actually read all sorts of MLP fics on top of published works, regardless of shipping or clop. There's always something to be gleaned from someone else's works other than entertainment, such as new vocabulary or story elements or dialogue. Reading more helps me learn and become a better writer is the mindset I try to uphold. The issue is, the deeper I delved, the more I began to gain this mental map, leading to my "purist" sensibilities getting poked at by the spear of weird shite at the wrong turns, and I think it all eventually led it to my current frustrations. But, I think I'm getting over all that, in part thanks to you guys. Like you said, and I agree, an open-mindedness is important. For instance, I read stuff by the SleeplessBrony, even though pretty much all his stories are intensely adult oriented the quality is top notch. My main problem is with stuff such as, what was it called? Poking Pinkie Pie in the Pooper? I think that's it. It showed up on the site months ago and while the comments section was hilariously entertaining with the ensuing arguments, I did find it slightly depressing so many people would upvote and defend such mediocre drivel only because the author was a provider of basically porn. There's just not enough face-palming to express my reaction when it happened.

Anywoo, thanks a bunch for your kind words, and I'm plum jolly that you mentioned myself alongside such great writers as DT, paleo, and Crosis. Crosis in particular has taken the concept of Spike being Celestia's son much more seriously than the rest of us, I gather. If there's anyone I would like to see a Spike's infancy story from, it'd probably be Crosis. Here's to hoping! :raritywink:

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A good outline definitely helps keep you on track during those times when you're completely uninspired, because you already know where you're going.

Ugh, now you tell me. And leave it to you to have such fandom acumen and give such a startling insightful analog alongside in the form of a MLP episode. I don't even have much to add, since it really is just that simple. Still, understanding does little to hide the bitter taste. I'd had hoped the quality of writing can speak for itself instead of wounding up being more or less the form of a popularity contest. Ugh, I really am kind of an idealist. Bowling for Soup was right in their song; highschool never freaking ends. :facehoof:

Anyway, I'll definitely keep your words in mind, as I'd imagine I'm currently going about the whole writing things in a very insufficient manner if I'm relying on emotional boosts to serve as the only drive. Well, I've got a few ideas in my head at the moment, let's see I can't properly plan things out this time. And as always, I'm ready to beta for the next chapter of the increasing epic Atlas Strongest. I think the next chapter will finally cross the 100,000 words mark. Kudos, my friend! :pinkiehappy:

I mean, isn't there enough dark, gory, bloody, violent and disturbing fictional material out there already?

Well, these are things people love. And once we all fell in love with the cast of MLP, it stands to reason that fans of R-rated stuff, now fans of ponies, will want to combine their two favorite things. Controversial as it is, it's only natural.

1135274 Alright, I'll concede that I'm a bit more experienced at crafting an immersive narrative, but you're well on your way to being a superior writer to me in that regard as well as every other. Just don't get so comfortable with your own skill that you slack off, m'kay?

Yes, defender2222's fanfiction is somewhat peppered with errors, but the reason for this is, in addition to pumping out chapters on a pretty regular basis, he only applies proofreading effort to his career writing, being a professional novelist (at least that's what I heard).

If you're still open to one more recommendation, Starlight Sparkle is also a must-read. Although it stars an OC princess, the author plays it right by not letter her overshadow the mane cast and giving her enough flaws to be likeable. It's also shorter and matches the feel of the show a bit better than F&D. Paleo, Bico, others, you guys should read SS, too.

Anyway, Paracosm sounds epic! It's exciting to hear you have plans for such a thing. Again I caution: don't start until you have the wrap-up envisioned. Count me excited for it.

Hang on...

Bico... Fido, Paleo... Are you sure we're UNSC rejects and not Marx Brothers? Should I, um...change my name to Swasho?

1135268 Oh man, you didn't know about FiMFlamFilosophy? His parodies are my favorite. Both the animated ones done for fanfics, and his original Mentally Advanced Series. Friendship is Witchcraft is fun, but FiMFlam's stuff is just genius.

I'd reply more, but I think your time is better spent watching all of his stuff, pretty much right now. (The first one is the slowest, as he was getting the feel for it all. But they rapidly grow more and more hilarious from there on out.)

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