• Member Since 26th Nov, 2013
  • offline last seen Mar 28th, 2017

Dutch Tilt


More Blog Posts11

  • 422 weeks
    #11: Return

    So, it's been a heck of a long time since I was last here on Fimfiction. I became rather preoccupied with a lot of things over the past couple of years, and I still have stuff going on. There's the new puppy (who is quite a handful just by herself), working on my novel, my continuing involvement in audio series production (with a new series coming out later this year, which I have a much more

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    3 comments · 481 views
  • 457 weeks
    #10: DW: The East India Incident

    So I've returned after a lengthy hiatus. I have begun work on the next part of The Country of Roses, published the first chapter of a new story, and a little while ago, released a new story in the Doctor Who audio drama series on YouTube.

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    0 comments · 311 views
  • 512 weeks
    #9 - This Week, I Had a Surprise

    As some of my readers may have picked up on in my earliest author's notes, I started writing The Country of Roses for reactionary purposes. I wanted to see if I could blend something I loved and something which I still approached with great trepidation. This phenomena called My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic was startling, bizarre, confusing, and perhaps a little frightening. I

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    0 comments · 440 views
  • 518 weeks
    #8: Camp NaNoWriMo 2014 - Concluded

    So Camp NaNoWriMo has concluded for July 2014. Although I reached my projected word count, the book itself is still far from done, so I'll be working on that. This doesn't mean I'm abandoning Country of Roses, I'm still working on that now, but I've made a lot of headway with my original project and would like to see that reach its end and possible publication.

    0 comments · 390 views
  • 523 weeks
    #7: Camp NaNoWriMo 2014

    So for those who did not see the author's note at the end of my latest chapter, I will not be working on The Country of Roses until after July as I have signed up to compete in Camp NaNoWriMo, a lighter version of National Novel Writing Month (whether I will compete in the larger programme in November is still up in the air). As of today, I will be working hard to meet my chosen word

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    0 comments · 367 views
May
31st
2014

#6: The Country of Roses - Character Sketches · 8:40pm May 31st, 2014

A couple of days ago, I commissioned Ayemel to do an illustration for an upcoming chapter of The Country of Roses. Unfortunately, that plan fell through, but the artist at least completed sketches of each of the characters as they exist in the story, which you can check out for yourselves right below.

XXX


TWILIGHT SPARKLE (16-17), student of Princess Celestia, aspiring sorceress, acolyte of the White and overseer of the Summer Sun Celebration.
I think Twilight is without a doubt the least changed from her canonical incarnation. I wanted her to have a darker, more shadowy look, taking cues from Gabrielle Deschain's design in the Dark Tower comics. I suppose you could interpret that as I wanted to put some added weight on her first name. Twilight is the point between day and night, light and darkness. The goal was to make her look more like someone who spent as many hours as possible in dark and musty libraries, taking the cartoon version's reluctance to socialise to the next stage. I wanted her to seem shut off from the world without making her some kind of Goth. It's a nice style but it would have added absolutely nothing to the character, so I asked Ayemel to emphasise that Twilight is even more of a shut-in, someone who needs a real reason to go out and talk to people. She is slowly learning not only the value of friendship, but the value of people. The result of this decision to isolate herself and become immersed in her studies is that her social etiquette has deteriorated. The burger bar scene from Twilight Time seems to indicate that this is actually true in some instances, although there it was being played strictly for laughs.
Ideal Voice Actress: Tara Strong (as in MLP: FiM, a little closer in style to Raven from Teen Titans)



SPIKE (infant), baby dragon, assistant and constant companion to Twilight Sparkle.
I really like how Spike came out here. I wanted to combine his cartoon incarnation with Oy the Billybumbler from the Dark Tower novels. Oy, for those who have not read the series, is a racoon-like creature that joins our heroes in the third volume, The Wastelands, and instantly becomes close friends with Jake Chambers. He's more than just a little boy's pet, he's a recognised member of their inner circle and contributes to the quest in his own way, which is how I see Spike. He could easily be seen as a cute novelty, the strange and exotic animal nobody else has, but he's so much more.
Ideal Voice Actress: Cathy Weseluck (as in MLP: FiM)



PEACEMAKER (14), the last of the gun-ponies, son of Peacekeeper and Prince of the Kingdom of Gallowad, bodyguard to Twilight Sparkle.
It's no big mystery that Peacemaker (a term for a gun or a sentinel) at the beginning was an attempt to ponify Roland Deschain, the hero of the Dark Tower novels. That's pretty much what I set out to do, but as I've written him and come to know him better, Peace has begun to develop into his own character. He is Roland before we really met him in the books, he's not even quite the boy he was in the fourth volume, Wizard and Glass. He's obsessed with chasing the Mare in Black in the opening chapter, true, but he's also capable of long-term patience. He has pledged himself as Twilight's bodyguard until the trail warms up again. He's also still a teenager, and like many teenagers, he feels the need to show off, and although he'll punish himself for it later, he's not above bouts of immaturity. When left with his own thoughts for too long, as seen in chapter nine, he either dives headfirst into fixation, or else come face-to-face with the fact he has a deep void inside of him. Peace feels the weight of his mission and he's not always sure he's as ready as he says he is. He has a long way to go before he's truly worthy of inheriting the noble reputation of his forefathers, but with a little focus and the bonds of friendship to lift him when he falls, he can get there.
Ideal Voice Actor: Jeff Bennett (in the style of Brooklyn from Disney's Gargoyles)
Second Choice: Micah Solusod (in the style of Soul from Soul Eater)



JACK-A-NAPE (15-16), the fool of ka, the Prisoner, the streetwise master of ceremonies, he who laughs and jokes in the face of peril.
Jack-a-Nape (from jackanapes, a word for scoundrel) was inspired initially by the ponified Eddie Dean from the excellent illustration by Jaaaaaaaz (the current cover art I'm using for the story). I thought my decision to remove Pinkie Pie from my version of events would earn me a lot of flak, but for the most part it seems I was worrying about nothing. I was determined to create a good comedic character without just changing Pinkie's gender and also without implementing Eddie Dean's very adult and sometimes politically incorrect sense of humour. Although my story contains some darker material, I wanted to steer clear of what we today consider "grimdark" fiction. If The Country of Roses were broadcast as a television programme, I'd want it to be watchable in a family atmosphere, so no jokes about dead babies or woodchucks will be heard here, although I suppose something more in line with, "Why do people go to bed? Because the bed won't come to them!" isn't so objectionable. I wanted Jack-a-Nape to have a dryer, sarcastic view of the world. He sees the funny side of everything and often laughs about a situation, but he's not exuberantly happy all the time. He's learned to go with the flow and find the positives to every negative because it's the best way he's found to deal with things. He uses humour to highlight the current affairs of the world, just like a jester.
Ideal Voice Actor: Scott McNeil (in the style of Rattrap from Beast Wars Transformers)
Second Choice: Rob Paulsen (in the style of Raphael from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and many other roles)



APPLEJACK (16), harvester, the Mare in the Window, descended from gun-pony blood, indomitable and honest of heart.
When I first started figuring out how to match up the two halves of my source material, the combination of Applejack with The Dark Tower's Susan Delgado was one of my earliest decisions. She was a country girl from an Old West setting, she was strong-willed and true to her feelings, and she was a blonde. A lot of depictions of A.J. see her with a red bandanna around her neck, but given I had already decided Peacemaker would have one, it seemed lazy to simply repeat it. Susan was frequently seen wearing a flowing red dress, which put me in mind of a scarf, something with enough length to billow around her in the breeze but not be so impractical as to impede her in any way. The additional white embroidery around the edges of her hat came late in development, and made this incarnation of her seem more complete in my eyes. The romance with Peacemaker risks setting off a lot of alarm bells, I realise, but it does open some more paths to develop her. In the cartoon it feels like the writers have abandoned pushing her, and I know I'm not the only one who feels like this, so while I wanted to stay true to her, I needed to give her something else to care about, something that attracts danger and will prompt her to act. She will never swoon or fawn over a boy, but she can still feel love and it will serve as her power, not her weakness.
Ideal Voice Actress: Ashleigh Ball (as in MLP: FiM)



BOW SANSY (17), jeweller, the Lady of Shadows, she who sees the beauty in all and casts her light upon it, charitable and serene.
This one rather surprised me. Although Ayemel stuck perfectly to my specifications, I found the picture very much in line with the toys I'd seen from the original 1980s toy line. This excited me because it made me think the girl should have a history, and given that I found myself struggling to justify her presence in the story, it opened up all kinds of new avenues which will be explored in future chapters. I realise that, when we first meet her, Bow Sansy (named for the valuable Beau Sancy diamond) definitely ticks some of the boxes to qualify as a Mary Sue. She's a close friend of a canonical character, possesses a somewhat flashy appearance and, frankly, starts out a bit crowbarred in. By virtue of the nature of my own existence she stopped short of self-insertion, which might have just saved her. Rather than remove her, however, I became determined to fix her, and will endeavour to do so as soon as the opportunity presents itself. I'm beginning to match her charitable nature against an optimistic naivety and being quick to show fear in chapter ten, which I'm hoping will pave the way for improved (and by that I mean flawed) characterisation. I can't give up on her, not with this beautiful picture.
Ideal Voice Actress: Cree Summer (in the style of Max Gibson from Batman Beyond)
Second Choice: Anika Noni Rose (in the style of Tiana from Disney's The Princess and the Frog)



SISTER FLUTTERSHY (16-17), dedicated Sister of Oriza, mare of the cloth, healer, protector and friend to all the animals of the Everfree Forest.
I have friends in the MLP community who are huge fans of hers, who constantly cite her as their favourite, and I've made a lot of people worry about her. I'm a cruel writer, I pull my characters by a rope through ten layers of muck at every opportunity, and without giving anything away, poor innocent Fluttershy is going in nose-first. My version takes cues from a couple of sources in the Dark Tower canon. She is stated in chapter six to be a Sister of Oriza, which in the novels are a matriarchal society who worship a heroine, Lady Oriza. I then decided she might make a decent village clergywoman; she's kind, respectful and doesn't have a hateful bone in her body, and promotes being good to others with that same level of gentleness, so I've incorporated some similarities to Father Donald Callahan, who appears in the fifth volume, Wolves of the Calla, but actually made his debut in the novel 'Salem's Lot. You can't imagine how elated I felt when Bats! officially set a precedent for vampires in the cartoon's mythology. Like Fluttershy, Callahan appears weak, shrinking and cowardly, but we later learn that beneath all that is a kind of steel just waiting to be tempered.
Ideal Voice Actress: Andrea Libman (as in MLP: FiM)

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Comments ( 8 )

How did it fall through? Did you two not get along or something?
Edit: nice sketches, btw

2162155 Nah, nothing like that. It was just an artistic issue. I would still like to call upon her again for work in the future. Glad you like the pictures. Any in particular you like or found surprising?

Spike's stripes are interesting. It's a small change, but an eye-catching one, the visual equivalent of a popcorn husk getting stuck in your teeth.

I was rather hoping we'd get to see some hoofguns in Peacemaker's picture. I have an image of them, but I wanted to know if it matched yours.

Fluttershy is perhaps the most interesting pony here. Her posture is much more open and relaxed than canon, almost bordering on what one might call "sultry." Her faith is clearly a great source of strength for her.

And I still miss Pinkie. It's not that I don't like Jack, I just like Pinkie too much not to miss her.

are you telling me that there is actually a plot to the dark tower? i read the first and it was....:fluttershyouch:

2163058 There is, but the narrative of the series is a bit weird, especially at the very beginning. Not hard to believe Mister King started writing it during the period when he was off his nut half the time.

2162885 I'm not entirely certain what to make of that comparison, but I'm glad you like the Fluttershy one. I didn't really think too much about the mechanics of the guns, but I'd be interested in knowing how you visualised it.

2163131
I see them as something like Spider-Man's web shooters: bracelet-like devices fired by flexing the fetlocks in a way that pushes a trigger. The barrels would probably be most easily aimed by putting them above the hooves when in firing position.

No idea how reloading works, though.

2163146 That's a very interesting thought. I'll certainly consider that one.
:pinkiesmile:

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