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Hey! A Review and MY VOICE: Romancing the Clouds · 1:05am Jun 15th, 2013

Hey y'all!

I'm going to do this every now and then. Review a fic an talk about it and such, you know, what cool kids do. Today's fic?
Romancing the Clouds, by Kitsune RISU!!!!

yes. It's amazing. I love this fic, you have no idea. Romancing the Clouds, by KitsuneRisu

(That's me!)

Let's read a bit from KitsuneRisu:

Out of curiosity, for those out there, tell me a bit about yourself--and your username, which I must admit I have a lot of fun making up new variations on.
I'm not too sure what you want to know about me, haha. I'm a writer from Singapore. I've done quite a few other things in my life, but they usually revolve around writing in some way or another. I've been in the copywriting industry, marketing, and right now I'm part of a small company that deals with trading. Writing has always been a passion of mine and I enjoy writing a lot, which led to it being my major in University. MLP was my first foray into writing fantasy; my previous experience has been more in the realm of comedy and general fiction.

I enjoy long walks on the beach, knitting, and taking care of my 38 cats.

OK, not really. But if that were true it'd probably be more exciting than my actual life.

As for the username, I'm afraid it's not a really gripping story. I've been using this username for like... 15 years or something. I honestly can't even remember. It means 'FoxSquirrel' in Japanese and comes from a little cartoon animal that was found in two Miyazaki films - Laputa and Nausicaa. I just liked it and for no other reason than that, it's been my username forever. There's always something appealing about little tiny Japanese mascot animals.

Who is YOUR favorite, in Romancing the Clouds? Egg? Or someone else? Which of these pretty neat characters, at end of day, do you think you enjoy the most?

That's a pretty tough question ultimately. It's not really the same as asking 'what's your favourite story' or something of the like, because it's more like asking 'which one of your children is your favourite?' Unless there's something hideously wrong with one of them you're bound to overlook something special just by answering it alone.

At this point there are still a couple of characters I haven't yet revealed. I would have to say I'm particular about one of them that hasn't made an appearance yet. She is a slight mirror of another character I had for another story I did, and let's just say I have a 'thing' for characters with odd habits and quirks.
But honestly, I can't say that I have a 'favourite' in that sense. They're all written to be the best they can possibly be to my abilities, and that's all I can hope for - that each of them is able to resonate with a reader in even minor aspects. But as long as that resonation is there, no matter how minor, they've done their job and I'm proud of the accomplishment.

In fact, sometimes it happens quite unwittingly. I wrote a small side character in chapter 2, a punk, that for some reason a lot of people have mailed me or messaged me about saying they like him. I never believe in writing auxiliary characters haphazardly. Even if it's just for one scene, all characters ought to have a life. The punk, which I had intended to discard, will return again just because the character works.

But that said, Champagne is best pony in the Eggverse. Do not cross her or she will cut you.

I've always been curious--if were to try and trace RtC's genesis, could you? Was there some conversation or incident or something that got you working towards this? Some feeling or other? I'm also curious how much of your own city is in your vision of Cloudsdale.

Yes. I could. The idea behind RtC had been brewing in my head for over a year before I met Crack Javelin, who's helping me tremendously in ironing out a lot of stuff, so props to him for all the assistance. Where it came from was an intended spin-off of the very first adventure fic I wrote, "These City Walls", which also involved a cast of ponies in the Canterlot Police force, trying to solve a decades old murder mystery. These City Walls, or TCW, started by being inspired by one of my favourite writers, Terry Pratchett, or more precisely, the Discworld novels that star the Night Watch, which centered around a group of police trying to make their way in a terribly crime-ridden town. It was the idea of the 'birth' of the police that led me to conceive of RtC, but in the more modern setting of Cloudsdale. Being in Cloudsdale, and being free to invent a world with its own rules was an attractive part of what made me finally decide to get down and turn it from a conceptual idea to a story.

Another part of what made me want to do it this way is that I really have a love of the struggle of beginnings. I wanted to write a story where people could connect on a very personal, deep level with the characters. The journey is far more extended as a result, but the benefit is that the reader gets to experience the journey with them - with all the hardships and the bonuses that come along the way. It's in my personal belief that time spent with a character in the mundane elevates the 'awesome' stuff into something much more.

In the end, all it was is a seed of an idea and a direction in which to take it, and all inspiration came from Mr. Pratchett.

As for the latter bit of the question, honestly, I hadn't really thought about it, because I was creating Cloudsdale and the 'world of the sky' from scratch. But now that I do, I really do think there's some similarities. I live on a tiny little island which is basically packed and built up high due to a lack of land space. We are also surrounded by many smaller islands, some of which are used for different things. And by small I mean... really cute and tiny. We have some for petrol processing plants, some for mangrove conservation and there's one island which is nothing but a resort where there's a Universal Studios and all the hotels and everything. You actually have to travel there by elevated train or by cable car or bridge.

A little bit of this concept is reflected in my idea that Cloudsdale, being clouds, might be spread out over many different core clouds with tinier ones just floating around, and the only way to get from one to the other one is either air or a bridge. Each core cloud, or what I call a 'cluster' in the fic, has their own purpose. I've got it worked out in a document somewhere and I'll be expanding on it throughout the fic, because I didn't really get too far into it through exposition. But that was the idea. Many clouds in different elevations all with a primary function - entertainment, industry, government, so on, so on. And things are packed there, with a lot of stuff shoved in very close together and very tall, high-rise buildings because that's how my landscape is like as well. I live on a tiny island, and so do they.

Of course, I'm sure land reclamation is a bit easier for them.

Of the stories you have here on FiMFic, what should people who enjoy RtC check out, if they were going to read another of yours?
Can I say everything?

Nah. Probably not. I do write a variety of stories. Most of them are really heavy and require a bit of investment and a lot of thinking. I tend not to write things in a direct or accessible way. I enjoy making people think, and I believe thinking is part of a good story. I don't believe I appeal to a more mainstream audience.

To that end, though, RtC was meant to be a direct spin-off (it isn't any longer, though) of a fic I wrote a long time ago called These City Walls, as I spoke on in the Genesis Question. If you like character, if you like an interesting tale with more mystery, go for that one. It's not as long as RtC, definitely. But it's in need of an update. It's very rough with a ton of mistakes because I didn't have an editor back then, so, warnings!

If you like characterization in general, I'd recommend a fic called Collide, a RariJack ship fic which isn't really about the love.
And one of the things about RtC that people like are the conversations, so if you like conversation and a lot of 'intent behind the words' then go read 'Outdated Communication'.

But yeah. Go read 'em all. I don't tend to follow convention much. Chances are if you like one thing I've done you might be able to find echoes of the style in everything else I do regardless of the genre, and I always attempt to give something for a reader to think about, even in my most baseless of fics, like the pure horror ones. My dark horror fics are not 'cupcakes' and my ship fics are not 'I wub woos'. I like to believe I write with some level of intellect. But usually that's just my massive ego talking.

I think you mentioned once that you drew some inspiration/felt some kinship with the Modernists? What authors do you think you've learned from the most, borrowed from the most, or just plain enjoyed enough to keep with you?

I don't exactly feel a kinship with them, but of all the literary movements, they are the ones I respect the most. I do not write like them, but I do carry some of the ideologies that they had when the modernist movement started. And mind you, I don't like them all, but I also still carry some parts of it with me.
The ones who have always made the best impression on me are Samuel Beckett, T. S. Eliot and Franz Kafka, who influenced me in the way that a story - any story - is always an analogy for something, even if it is an analogy for itself. To that end I've always tried to present things in a way that makes the reader consider or think.

I enjoyed Hemmingway to a certain extent, but I certainly don't share his literary voice - merely his ideals that there is beauty in the mundane. I write a lot of things about the mundane. I genuinely think my stories sound extremely boring. But I enjoy making the boring exceptional. Which is basically what the character of Egg is in its entirety. He sort of meta-represents the concept for me, and to see if I can't make the most dull, horribly boring character in existence somewhat entertaining and relatable. He will get no special powers. He will not get diamond wings or become the assistant of Death or whatever other device might hook interest. He is and always will be an ex-accountant struggling to do something that's way out of his league. The only growth that he will get is that of personal character.

Another thing that has sort of defined something I do in my writing that many people have complained about, haha, is that I tend to slip into stream of consciousness in the actual god narration. Once every so often I will be writing narration and then suddenly it just sort of slides into a viewpoint of one of the characters and suddenly things are coloured by their perspective. A lot of people have asked me if this was a mistake, but it's really just a habit I do. Some people like it, some don't. It's thanks to writers like William Faulkner and Virginia Woolf that I do it, who have championed the notion of consciousness streams. Of course, I don't write it like they do, I just sort of adapted it into some other weird thing.

Not to say that the modernist period was where I get all my theft from. But Modernist was the area which paved the future of expressionist writing and thoughtful writing, and there's nothing wrong with a bit of absurdism as well.

Thank you for inviting me for this interview! I really appreciate it, and I hope these answers help.

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Comments ( 30 )

Video's private, Cyne

Video's not private anymore, Cyne

Excellent interview! I really liked hearing KitsuneRisu's answers about his influences. I also take a lot from Hemmingway and Kafka, then throw in some Heinlein and Vonnegut. Those guys did it right, that's for damn sure. I'll definitely read this fic; it sounds really interesting!


1145144 Thank ya boo.

1145148 I took away influence from Hemmingway despite his not being my favorite. Kafka... I liked the Metamorphosis!

This is a really really good idea. Your voice is pretty sex.

1145171 I think it'll be fun


My ego is well stroked that you used that image, thanks much.

1145187 It's one of my favorite drawings ever


If you want something other than a picture off my cellphone, I can scan it maximum resolution.

1145201 oooh there are more resolutions

give me

Great recommendation, this fic deserves more views than it gets. More comments, too.

You should do you're next reading in the form of a song... Just saying.

1145263 god my voice was so bad. It's all artificially high because I was worried my normally gravelly low voice with my awful drawl would be incomprehensible

1145265 Dat good ol' Southern (yet subtle) drawl... :heart:

1145265 :rainbowlaugh: I was saying because of the plug about your music. You could kill two birds with one stone.

1145285 it's usually WAY more pronounced

1145348 I know. It's still just nice to hear a Southern accent.

Egg: Bartleby (Scrivener):moustache::trixieshiftright:

Lovin' your accent, though it is rather soft:rainbowderp: Though, reading over the comments, you seem to have dulled it and spoke slightly higher? Well, either way, still awesome:moustache:

Listened up to 8:00 minutes flat. Now gunna go off and write. Will write my thoughts later gator--after I finish dis review, prob'ly somewhat tomorrow:rainbowwild:

Love the idea, mate. Definitely do more. I seem to be a bit like you in interests, at least as far as I've seen (:applejackunsure:), so basically stuff like this, where you learn and listen, is all good on me:moustache:

1145541 I definitely am gonna do more! It's really fun.

yeah. I think I'll be both healthier and a bit lower voiced next time. my YALLLLLing and such

Hey Cyne =D

I'm in your blog, thankin' yer nuts.


No but really, this was a great surprise and I feel very much touched at all the work. Thanks very much, and thank YOU for reading and doing all this. Make more blogs now! Recommendations are always fun. =)


1145575 I'm thinkin' about a few more.

I was glad to do it.

1145546:rainbowlaugh: AJ--and Braeburn--fans will be pleased with your "y'all"ing:moustache: That sounds kinda derogatory:unsuresweetie::rainbowwild:....Naw, [most] accents are awesome!:twilightsmile:

Looking forward to it!:pinkiehappy:

Lol, just now: "50,000 K" That's really hot: 50,000 Kelvin:derpyderp1:

EDIT: Wine!

1145617 K as in thousand :P



A story well worth reviewing, and a good job of doing so. RtC is one of my favorite things on this site.

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