• Member Since 6th Feb, 2012
  • offline last seen Jun 22nd, 2016

Lysis


"Internet Friends" are just friends you haven't shaken hands with yet.

More Blog Posts43

  • 291 weeks
    Tavern, Rewrites, and Updates

    The last blog post I wrote on Fimfic was in 2014.

    Read More

    7 comments · 421 views
  • 386 weeks
    Tavern Rewrite Update

    I've been sitting on the completed rewrite of Tavern's second chapter for a while now, but I've got a slight problem. In the process of redoing the chapter, it grew by about four thousand words—similar to how when I redid the first chapter, it grew about two thousand words. Based on what I want to add to the third chapter, it's also going to grow a bit in the rewrite.

    Read More

    5 comments · 413 views
  • 413 weeks
    I feel like sharing this, so I will.

    “Marry me, Barrel!”

    My head jerks up. No, I wasn’t hearing things; Barrel, my dearest friend and the hostess of The Tin Whistle, has just been proposed to by one of her fine customers.

    Read More

    7 comments · 530 views
  • 414 weeks
    Formatting Question for Loving Accusations

    Edit: I've decided not to mess with the story after all, but I'll leave this blog post up anyway for posterity's sake.


    I think the first chapter is too long. I think it would benefit if I cut it into two smaller chapters.
    (Don't panic, let me make my case first.)

    Read More

    5 comments · 399 views
  • 418 weeks
    I'm calling it now.

    The mane six are going to realize the true nature of the virtues they all posses/ascend to true enlightenment, and the keys that open the box that came from the Tree of Harmony are going to be formed magically from their collective awakening, or something like that.

    Read More

    1 comments · 428 views
Aug
27th
2013

New One Shot · 6:47pm Aug 27th, 2013

I was thinking earlier about how it's been a long time since I published anything.

There we go, here's a thing. What do you all think? Should I publish or not?

Edit:

Wall of text incoming.

Alright, so I probably won't publish it in its current form. I'll only publish this scene once I've written a story to go along with it. As my posts in the comments say, I already have a basic plot I'd use these two characters/setup in, so that's not the problem.

The problem I have is twofold:

One, I don't know if I can do Vinyl and Octavia justice. This isn't the same thing as having a good story; it's about writing the personalities of those two characters in a way that feels perfect, or as near to perfect as can be. Many different authors have given us their take on the pair, and I'm not sure I could make my own version stand out from the crowd and capture the hearts of the readers. One of the major reasons I think Tavern ended up working was because I was doing things with Trixie I hadn't seen anyone else do before. I was in new territory. This time, I probably won't be standing alone with my ideas.

Part Two of my problem: I don't know if I want to do an origin story for the pair of them.

If there's one constant element about classic Vinyl and Octavia stories, it's that they open with the moment they first met. On the surface, it seems like the natural course to take, but my problem lies with how common the trope is; common to the point that an author is now expected to spend a few chapters leading us through the shouting matches until we reach the moment of friendship, and then soon after, the moment of personal attraction that all shipping fics seem to have.

I might be wrong because of the limited number of fics I've read during my tenure in the fandom, but am I right in saying that most TaviScratch fics, even the really good ones, always give you a feeling of deja vu? Vinyl and Octavia meet, they fight, they bicker, they're bitter rivals. They find common ground and then they become friends. Then they fall in love. Do we have to read the same thing over and over again? We all know what's going to happen. What's so bad about a story that opens up having skipped all those chapters? I'd just be swapping one set of storytelling devices for another one: Cut out bickering, paste in worry over proposing marriage. Maybe it's just me, but I find the prospect of proposing marriage to be much more interesting than two ponies having a shouting match, especially when we know they'll be in bed together by fics close.

Mind you, when I say "skipped," I'm not referring to skipping the character building and intimate details of the actual romance. As a shipping writer, it's my duty to capture the spark between two characters. I can't merely say "They're Soooooo In Love!" and expect my readers to accept it. If I wrote this, I'd do a ton of relationship building. In fact, I should point out that despite how my versions of Octavia and Vinyl have been together for at least two years by this point, I know they've still got loads of room to grow as lovers and friends. That, to me, is the true sign of good chemistry between characters.

All that said, though, what would their past history be?

I must admit, I'm a fan of the "Met in College" theory, to the point where I went out of my way to make friends with DawnFade, the author of University Days. If you're not familiar with U.D., it's one of the most successful Vinyl and Octavia fics in existence. It uses elements beyond the two characters control to make them initially spend time together, namely via the prodding of a certain Psychology teacher, but the end result is the same and their reasons for spending time together make a ton of sense for storytelling purposes.

I think the "Origin Story" approach is so interesting because of the nature of the two ponies' talents. Under normal circumstances, there are very few cases where a concert musician would cross paths with a dubstep DJ. The official trading card says it best.

Yes, there is a trading card of Vinyl and Octavia, or, as the card says, of DJ Pon-3 and Octavia. Yes, I own the card. Allow me to transcribe what is written on the back of this official piece of Hasbro merchandise;

"DJ Pon-3 and Octavia may both be at the top of their musical games, but their careers are very, very different! You can find Octavia at garden parties and galas performing prim and proper classical music on her cello. On the other hoof, DJ Pon-3 feels at home behind her turntable, laying down sick beats and wearing her trademark sunglasses. Are these two bitter rivals, or are they long time friends? Will they ever perform a duet? Only time will tell!"

To the reader, half (or at least part of) the joy is seeing how these two very different ponies make each others acquaintance. I know that. I understand it. But no matter what origin story I wrote, it would most likely follow the tropes so commonly laid down; meet, fight, friends, lovers. Why? Because even though it's a trope, it's a trope that fits the two of them beautifully.

Even so... if it all leads to the same result, why write it?

If I can write an origin story in a new and interesting way, then I'll do it. Even if it includes the old tropes. Tropes exist because they've worked multiple times before, and when someone breaks the mold and works the tropes in a new and interesting way, that's when you create a classic. If you don't believe me, look at Harry Potter.

So I guess I'm saying... I'll write this story once I've written a better origin story than University Days?

Or, y'know, I could just ignore the whole origin story entirely and tackle the subject matter from the perspective of an already-existing relationship, complete with all the pitfalls and challenges such a thing presents. But then again, after I showed him this, DawnFade gave me his official blessing to use University Days as the origin story for this Vinyl and this Octavia of mine. That the ponies in my story could be the same ones from his story. I could do it, yes, but I don't think it would feel right.

As the speedrunners say, it's all up to the RNG gods.

In other words: We'll see what happens.

Report Lysis · 444 views ·
Comments ( 23 )

Not like this. It's too short. :twilightsheepish: Add more!

1312031

:applejackunsure:

I'll see what I can do.

1312076

Honestly, I liked the thousand words that were there, but there's a lot you can do with the pairing. You even already have the end goal: a proposal and marriage; and Vinyl's worries about it.

If you wanna talk about more ideas... I'm available! :twilightsheepish:

1312092

I'm aware that I have a decent setup for a story here, culminating in a proposal/marriage. That's not the problem. My problem is finding a way to do it in a way that honors the characters and uses them to their full potential. I love Vinyl and Octavia so much, I'm afraid of screwing things up.

Also, I'm not too worried about Vinyl worrying over the proposal. If I know Vinyl and Octavia, then Octavia will have had a pair of earrings made, too. It would probably be about both of them trying to propose, without one knowing what the other is doing.

1312102

If you don't take a shot, it counts as a miss. I have the same problem with my favorite pairing, but I've realized that I can only learn to write them more convincingly if I practice. And that, requires writing stories about them.

The idea I got while reading this was that Vinyl was making long hours and not spending as much time with Octavia as she would like. Secondly, she sounded kind of worried about the earrings, and with them living together I can easily imagine a financial rough patch. Octavia doesn't seem to mind, but that doesn't mean that Vinyl wants to break her promises.

That's just my interpretation, there are a lot of obstacles you could put in their way. After all, the obstacles are what make the story. :twilightsmile:

1312120

I'll take the chance eventually, I'm just not sure if now is the right time. I have other things I'm working on at the moment.

1312312

Then I think you've come to a decision. Mission accomplished.

I agree with Karrakaz. This is sweet, but it's a scene, not a full story.

Stories need character development--the main character is changed in some way by the events they go through. You've got a good seed here--Vinyl wants to propose to Octavia, but isn't ready to yet--you just need to decide what the change will be and how Vinyl will get to that point.

Good luck!

Yes! Definitely continue this please! If you would be so kind.

1313426
1312120
1313424

Figured I'd respond to all three posts at once, mostly because of my massive update to the blog post.

The tl;dr version of the blog post is that I don't want to get roped into doing an origin story for the two of them, because I don't know what kinds of new elements I could introduce to make it seem fresh and new. Despite this problem, multiple people, both on Fimfic and off, have suggested that I either tell an origin story, or insert bits and pieces of an origin story into this.

So what's the answer? In this case, is it appropriate to leave their origin story a bit vague? If it has no bearing on what's happening in the present, is it even worth mentioning at all?

Also, to 1313426 in particular, I'm sorry if your comment on the story has made it seem like this whole thing was directed at your comment. This problem with the origin story has been something I've struggled with for months. Honest, I've wanted to write a TaviScratch story for ages now. I've just never been sure of how to approach the subject matter before now.

1313474

Well, after the edit, I wanna say: Skip the origin, or perhaps tell it through what they're going through right now. As for conflict and the like, I don't think Tavi and Vinyl would ever really be content without any shouting. They always have differences (some subtle, some not so much) And the key to an interesting story is showing how they deal with that.

They don't all have to be shouting matches, but Vinyl quietly resenting the fact that Tavi leaves the kitchen door open does tell us something. :twilightsheepish:

1313634

It seems this simple little oneshot has turned into a separate discussion of origin stories, and I'm sorry about that. I'll say right now, an origin story would probably not be inserted into this present-day fic. Not wholesale, at least. It would most likely be its own story with its own posting.

Origin stories are a tricky business, to be sure. It wouldn't matter as much if Vinyl and Octavia's personalities didn't almost always guarantee a fiery first meeting. In that sense, it's almost necessary to explore the first few challenges they overcame together, because it most likely shaped the direction of their relationship in subtle ways for months after they got together, if not years.

I'm not kidding when I said that DawnFade gave me his blessing to use University Days as the origin story for my Vinyl and Octavia. "It's fine if it's you," were his exact words, I believe. Using his fic as a platform would be an extremely easy way out.

The really annoying thing though is how even though I like what University Days did with the origin story, I still think there must be a different origin story I could tell that could stand on its own.

I still need to think about it.

1313474

Well I, personally, love University Days and am a huge DawnFade fan. So, if he told you that you can use it as your origin, then I would agree whole heartedly. Though, if you do think up an origin story that's better in the future, then I would say go with it. Or perhaps write it out and if you don't like it, don't use it. But the University Days (even though it's not finished) idea sounds like a great plan to me.

But what matters now is the actual present day story, maybe write that and then decide which origin sounds better? Anyway, just trying to help you decide. I like both ideas.

1314330

I'm not trying to debate anything. I was just saying that you could give us glimpses of a backstory without actually telling us about it, by showing some quirks they might have picked up as a result.

1314360

I get what you're saying, and I didn't mean to sound confrontational. Sorry about that.

Let's see... glimpses into their origin without any solid details? That's a possible route, but I don't think I'd want to depend on that technique for the entire fic. That sort of thing works best with a character like Indiana Jones, whose origin story isn't as interesting as the films we see him in, his participation in World War One nonwithstanding.

Erm, so in other words, their origin story has potential to be just as interesting as this present-day thing I want to write them in. That's what I think. This is why it would probably be better to put the origin story into its own individual story, so I could then refer back to it inside the body of this present day story if need be.

1314378

Taking Indiana Jones as an example, you could write an entirely valid backstory for any of his behaviour in any movie and have it be interesting. But you don't need that to show people an interesting movie.

Erm, so in other words, their origin story has potential to be just as interesting as this present-day thing I want to write them in. That's what I think

I think you're right. I also think it's irrelevant. :twilightsheepish:

1314426

I guess the question now is, do I want to write them a separate origin story?

Part of me does, part of me thinks it's a stupid idea. Why write something that's almost guaranteed to be worse than what's currently out there? But on the other hand, so many possibilities... its torture, I tell you. :raritydespair:

1314431

I would say: "Yes, but not right now." you have something for a story here, and I think you should roll with that first. You can always go back for an origin story once you have something fresh and exciting and feel better about your ability. :twilightsmile:

If I can write an origin story in a new and interesting way, then I'll do it. Even if it includes the old tropes. Tropes exist because they've worked multiple times before, and when someone breaks the mold and works the tropes in a new and interesting way, that's when you create a classic.

I think you solved your own problem with that. If you think you can write an interesting new take on the origin story, even if it means reusing old ideas, then you should absolutely go for it. However, even with all those tropes to fall back on, it's by no means an easy task. Having two people become close friends in a way that feels natural can be quite difficult. A lot of fics these days have very forced relationships, not so much "we're together because that's how things have turned out" and more "we're together because that's what the words say". Know what I mean?
Anyway, I know you have the skill required to pull off something like this, so if it feels right, do it.

1314789

Heh. Thanks, man. I will.

1314793

DawnFade is right, we all know you have the potential to pull something like this off. That's why we follow you and why we are commenting right now. You're a fantastic writer and we've read your other stories, we know that you can do it. Also DawnFade (Who is like the Jesus of Vinyl and Octavia.) just told you that he knows you can pull it off. That's saying something.

Also, DawnFade....*squee*....

1314951

the Jesus of Vinyl and Octavia

You have no idea how much I love this comment, hahaha.

1315271

Haha, I thought you might mate. That'll now forever be your title.

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