Wanderer D 5,121 followers · 56 stories

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  • 37 weeks
    Minor Rules and Reporting Update

    Hope everyone is enjoying the new year.

    Some small changes have been made to our rules as well as to the reporting process.

    Rules

    "No attacks directed at individuals or groups due to race, gender, gender identity, religion or sexual identity."

    This better clarifies our previously ill-defined hate speech rule and includes groups as well as individual attacks.

    "No celebration, glorification or encouragement of real life criminal activity."

    This includes past, present and potential future crimes.

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  • 40 weeks
    Jinglemas 2019

    There's truly no time like the holidays. What's better than copious amounts of food, quality time with family and friends, hearing the sweet sound of Trans-Siberian Orchestra on repeat, and unmanagble financial stress from our capitalist overlords?

    Gift exchanges of course!


    Our Own Little Way of bringing Hearth's Warming to Fimfiction

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  • 59 weeks
    "Ponyfic: There Can Be Only One" wrap-up [Royal Canterlot Library]

    We're still recovering this week from the fandom's final Bronycon.  (In some cases literally — a con-crud-ridden Horizon is dragging himself out of bed to write this.)  So in lieu of a Bronycon-week feature, we'd like to talk a little bit about the panel we hosted to find THE FANDOM'S BEST FANFIC™.

    We've got a full writeup on our royalcanterlotlibrary.net website — including the complete bracket of 16 fics in contention for the title; shout-outs to great fics which we couldn't fit on the shortlist; and the full results of audience and curator voting.

    Our hearty congratulations to Monochromatic's "The Enchanted Library" for taking the BEST FANFIC title in an upset victory over our #1 seed!  We'll be running an interview with Monochromatic as soon as possible.

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  • 60 weeks
    Come See Us at Bronycon! [Royal Canterlot Library]

    The run-up to Bronycon has been a mad whirlwind of RCL activity!  Five curators are attending (two for the first time!), and one of us is an official community guest. Several of us are participating in the Golden Oaks Bookstore (as author, author and publisher).  And we're even running a panel!

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    Galacon

    I will be at galacon this weekend so if you see me feel to say hi!

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  • 118 weeks
    MLP BOX T-Shirt Contest

    Hey guys, MLP BOX are doing a competition for a t-shirt design to be included in one of their boxes, and since I know we have a mix of people here including artists, we thought it'd be a good idea to promote them so you guys can get in on it too. Below you can find more information about the contest:

    Brony.com and MLP BOX have launched the first in a series of "Design a MLP T-shirt" contests over on Brony.com.  The winning design, voted on by site visitors,  will not only be featured on a shirt but the winning designer will also win $1000 dollars pending approval of their design by Hasbro.   Second and Third Place will also receive a cash prize.  All winning designs will be printed and be made available in t-shirt form for sale through the Brony website.

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  • 124 weeks
    Patreon & Survey Follow Up

    First of all, reminder that we have a Patreon you can find at https://www.fimfiction.net/patreon . Apparently a lot of people didn't know we had one so there it is. $5 will remove ads on the site for you. I'll be making the Patreon page more prominent in relevant areas of the site soon to make sure people actually know it exists.

    Thanks everyone for filling in the survey last night. We had over 5,000 responses and I did in fact read every single comment left as they were coming in and finished reading them this morning. It seems there are a few features which we would potentially be interested in making premium features (part of the $5+ patreon rewards).

    • Custom emoticons you can upload
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  • 138 weeks
    Announcing the Everfree Northwest Scribblefest Official Start!

    Greetings Aspiring Writers!

    Everfree Northwest, Seattle's premier pony convention is known for having one of—if not the—strongest writing tracks in the MLP fandom. As part of that, we run an online writing contest every year: The Everfree NW Scribblefest! Entry is open to everyone, whether or not you attend the convention.

    This year, we’re offering the winners a $10 Amazon gift code, as well as mentions across a bunch of sources of media that Everfree NW utilizes to tell people about your awesome story!

    This year’s prompt is: Family Trees: Roots, Branches, and Leaves

    Goals

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    76 comments · 4,892 views
  • 143 weeks
    Happy New Year

    Have a good 2018.

    - From everyone on the team.

    115 comments · 3,983 views
Jun
4th
2012

Site Post » How to use Story Categories · 3:56pm Jun 4th, 2012

Wander D!

It’s Wanderer D, dammit!

srry! Wanderer D dammit! I have a question for u!

Cute. Anyway, what do you want to know?

Y do you failz mah fix becaze of tagses?

Sigh. Tell me, what is your story about?

Itz about lYra and Bon-bron getting together with Leo and Raph from the TMNT tg fight the powerfool Shredder Moon!

Ah, so it’s a comedy/adventure story?

Noes! It’s a adventure/dark/tragic pieze of erotic wonderfulness and gore!

Well, from your description it sounded like something that should be funny.

But it isnt!

I realize that now, but if you didn’t let me know I would have had the completely wrong idea.

howz do I let people now what my stories is about?!

:fluttershbad: How to use Story Categories (a.k.a.: Tags) :facehoof:

Hello, and welcome to Fimfiction.net, where the ‘!’ and the number ‘1’ are interchangeable!!!1!

I am Wanderer D.

You might remember me from ‘How To’ guides such as:

How To Get a Story Approved on FimFiction
How To Use the "Groups Search to find Editors and Proof-Readers" ’
How to Take Rejection Constructively
and of course the controversial: ‘How to Fix The World Economy in 3 Easy Steps’

Today, we are going to talk about Story Categories. Also known as: Tags.

But Wanderer! I can barely comprehend how to plan a story ahead! How can I begin to understand how this complicated system of categories works?!

Did you read the F.A.Q.? The F.A.Q. is your friend. It holds several answers to otherwise inane questions you could simply find the answer to by yourself in the F.A.Q. instead of PMing me just so I can tell you to go read the damned F.A.Q.
 
But the F.A.Q. doesn’t tell me things in a way I can understand! I need  empathy! I am an author! I crave understanding!

So, what you’re telling me is that you need someone else to interpret an otherwise straightforward definition for you?

Yes! Oh, yes, that is EXACTLY what I need!

Whoa, dude... calm down. I think I can help, or rather, I can direct you to those that can.

But... Wanderer, can’t you explain the tags to me yourself?

Sure I can, but why not ask authors who have excelled in each particular story category?

You can do that?

Yes. Yes, I can.

How?!

I’m Wanderer D.

What does that have to do with anything?

A lot, but let’s go ahead and ask: Dear author, what, in your opinion, makes a good story in a category?

Will they give me the ultimate answer?!

They will give you their opinion on what makes a good story in each section. You don’t have to agree, but by reading this you might get an idea of what categories really apply to your story.

Aaaah...

I’ll quote our old friend the F.A.Q. just after each category tag for a reminder on what each means.

o.0.o

From the F.A.Q. “These are stories whose primary purpose is to make the reader feel sad.”

(Who is this person we’re asking?

BrianBlessedPony wrote ‘The Light Never Goes Out’, you miscreant.)

Well, anything can. The act of dealing with the unfairness of life. Bittersweet is an excellent story because it’s unfair that Pinkie, a being who can be so cheerful and cause candy devouring devastation on an apocalyptic scale dies of diabetes, a condition that’s not only treatable, but would ruin her. The realisation that sometimes, life is not fair on such a grand scale.

A sad story doesn't need to go over the top. It can be subtle. I've read sad stories where Rarity suffered childhood abuse that makes my skin crawl, but I found more disturbing than actually sad (note, things were implied, not shown.)

Excellent characterization and the dealing of the context can well and truly help as well. You have to feel what they go through, it has to be something we can relate to in some way shape or form. If it feels distant, it feels meh. A short sad story can have more punch than a story the size of "The Fellowship of the Rings."

In my opinion, there is no easy answer. There can be sadness in both loss and the acceptance of that loss. Sadness in the passing of time and also the waiting. Sadness will be like comedy; it’s entirely dependant upon yourself. I ramble waaaaaaaaaaaay too much!

So a sad story can come from anywhere?
If you write a story where the objective is to make people feel saddened by circumstances depicted in it, you should tag it as ‘Sad’

(Other stories that fall in this category: Eternal, The Sweetie Chronicles (chapter 3), Final Dreams of a Filly)

From the F.A.Q. “Stories whose primary purpose is to make the reader laugh. These kinds of stories are generally light-hearted in tone, though this tag can also apply to "dark comedies."”

(So, what did Arcainum write?

Harpflank and Sweets! Where have you been all this time!?)

I think the most important element of a comedy is consistency and structure.  A great many authors make the fatal mistake of assuming "random" is funny. But not matter how funny a gag is, if it damages the structure of the story you're not writing a story anymore. You're writing a series of funny lines, which will soon stop being funny because there's no story to give them context.

Taking my favourite book series ever, The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, for an example: I've heard several people say that they liked it because of the randomness of the events. "Things just happen," they said. But the thing about HGTTG was that things didn't just happen. There was an underlying structure in which everything - the petunias, the Earth being destroyed, Arthur ducking at just the right moment - happened for a reason, even if that reason was just so another thing could happen. Indeed, the whole point of the series was that no matter how anarchic everything seemed, it wasn't, which was where the finest moments of humour arose. One of the most horrifying moments in the series - Agrajag's assault on Arthur - is also one of the funniest because suddenly a series of seemingly random and bizarre events suddenly make perfect sense.

Make sure everything happens for a reason. Don't sacrifice your plot and character development for a cheap laugh. Taking an example that seems to be close to a lot of people's critical hearts, look at Fluttershy. It's funny when she acts out of character. She's really shy, but hey, she's beating up a bear! But Fluttershy (so far as I've seen, anyway) is often considered one of the weakest characters because in order to have these out-of-character moments, she has to continuously revert to the status quo, and that damages her development. Every step forward she takes, she has to immediately retract so she can be funny again.

I am absolutely terrible at actually putting forth a point, and I've no doubt said something I don't actually believe or have explained entirely wrong, so I'll just try and sum up.

Don't write jokes and put them in a story. Write a story and put jokes in it. Construct your characters and events so that they generate comedy, not require it.

(Other stories that fall in this category: Triple X, The Sweetie Chronicles (Chapter 2), Best Night Ever, Caramel’s Light, Beating the Heat, The Ballad of Twilight Sparkle, Celestia’s Teeth)

From the F.A.Q. “Any story where humans are involved should use this tag. This includes stories with "humanized" ponies, Human in Equestria stories, and all that kind of stuff.”

WD note: Yes, this includes Crossovers where the characters are human.

(Wait! Wait I know this one... don’t tell me...

Aww... I wanted to say it!)

You mean besides having a forgiving audience? :ajsmug:

Well, to be perfectly honest, it takes absolutely nothing that a good story in general doesn't take.  Execution is everything.  Bring as much life and conflict to your characters as you can.  Make the premise interesting.  There is no such thing as a likable HIE Slice-Of-Life.  Sure, you can do some SOL things, but it needs to be dynamic. :duck:

Make it dramatic!:pinkiegasp:  Romantic!  :heart:  Make it sad! :pinkiesad2:  Just make it a good story and everything else will be taken care of.

Also, if a person ever says, "Human In Equestria?  Not my thing..." then you don't want that reader anyway.  :P  They're bigots and you're not writing to please bigots. :twilightangry2:

True Story. :pinkiehappy:

(Other stories that fall in this category: WD: The HiE Experiment, Rorschach in Equestria, The Ballad of Echo the Diamond Dog)

From the F.A.Q. “Stories wherein the ponies are in an Alternate Universe.”

(So...

Night’s Favoured Child’ Seriously dude, you’re missing out.)

I'd say that a good AU should start with a clear idea and make it unique enough to be easy to expand upon. A good AU should make the readers eager to learn more about the strange new universe you've dropped them in, and make them really want to see and find out what happened to all of the characters we know and love from the show.

Alternate Universe shouldn't be just an excuse to do whatever you want with whatever character you want. In a way, the Twilight Sparkle of Evil Celestia Land is still Twilight Sparkle, and should have similar quirks and actions that we have come to familiarise ourselves with. Granted, she'll probably be evil or something due to the way she was brought up, but we should still be reminded that she's Twilight Sparkle, just not our Twilight Sparkle.

Picking a unique Point of Divergence is also key, but failing that, try and make the Alternate Universe unique in itself. "What if Discord won" and "what if Nightmare Moon won" are common Alternate Universe PODs, so the author should handle it with care and be sure to craft a unique and special take on the whole thing, complete with a fantastic world.

Good examples of Alternate Universe stories are Sunshine and Fire and My Choices: Twisted Tales Through Time .

(Other stories that fall in this category: The Dark Eternal Night, Striped Like MeDuties, Growing Pains)

From the F.A.Q. “A story which includes "dark" themes. This can include light horror, or more graphic depecitions of things like violence and rape.”

WD note: If it includes very graphic descriptions of both, violence and/or rape, the ‘Mature’ rating is needed AND depending on the level of violence, the ‘Gore’ sub-tag should be applied.

(Come on, ask.

Um... wrote... Ponies go to War?

Bzzt! Almost! ‘The Immortal Game’ as it is known now. Awesome stuff.)

Alright, here's my best shot. Short answer: A good dark story is a good story, that is dark by necessity.

Long answer: You still need all the things that make a story enjoyable. Good writing, a conflict or two, characters that act believably—all that jazz. These are more important than anything.

Specific to the genre, though: A good dark story will have moments of light. Good things happen, despite all the crap.

Why, you ask? Well, reading three hundred pages of relentless war/gore/horror that serves only to tell us bad things happen is about as fun as spending three hours with a cynical asshole. Watching a horror film where the hot blonde wanders through the spooky attic to build suspense for two hours before the credits roll is boring. The audience needs release.

(Other stories that fall in this category: Backwards Through the Mirror, The Empty Room, End of Ponies, DeceitSunset)

From the F.A.Q. “A story in which there is a romantic relationship between some characters.”

(Oh! Oh! I know! Iovez my Romance fics! Kits wrote ‘The Roma-'

SLAP! BACKHAND! PAIN!

Ow! Why?!

Never confuse ‘Twilight’s List’ with another fic again. Ever.)

When writing a romance, the main points to keep in mind are pacing, empathy, conflict, and payoff.

Conflict is important for nearly every story and romances are no exception. There is a term I started using to describe shipfics that contain little to no conflict: February Fiction. A typical FebFic starts with one character reflecting on their love for another. Then they meet that character in an unexpected place to time. Something happens--usually it's a random event; seldom is it character driven--and that character admits their love, which is always returned immediately. These tend to be very short, usually a single scene. While these stories can be fun, they are ultimately forgettable. The level of conflict is so low that the payoff, the sense of relief and/or satisfaction the reader experiences, is nearly non-existent. The only dramatic tension in the story is typically the PoV's worry about whether or not the object of their attraction returns their feelings. Once those feelings are out in the open, they are returned without issue. This creates a very low sense of "worth" to those feelings. Value isn't given to them, because they came so easily. On the other hoof, a fic where the character has to battle demons, inner or literal, and push themselves right to the very limit of their endurance, and then beyond, for the sake of their love, has a lot more conflict. They went through more to win their love and so it has a far higher value.

Another thing that is very important to a number of readers is the personal payoff they get from completing the story. If the end of the romance doesn't make people want to smile like idiots or hug random objects, you're probably doing something wrong. A personal sense of fulfillment is very important to any work, but in something where the main story is all emotional development, the lack of a daw-inducing ending can kill a story regardless of how well written the rest was. While different people feel differently about how long an epilogue should be, you need something after the affirmation of love to help prod reader from "I am ok with this" to "Oh my gosh, I want to hug this so much." Typically this part of a fic is dedicated to showing what the characters have achieved. It's time to be cute and sappy. Depending on how low-key the ship was, it can be as simple as a kiss or other sign of trust, all the way up to and including marriage and/or sex.

Of course, the amount of struggle the characters go through is moot if the reader can't empathize with them. Your reader need to connect with your character before they care whether Rainbow Dash ends up snogging Fluttershy. This is usually done by playing up and showing emotions. Without getting into "show, don't tell", all I can really say is that having realistic emotions that seem genuine, in character, and justified is extremely important. If you rewrite Rainbow Dash to be a super sensitive, emotionally fragile, introspective parody of herself, people are not going to care. If she goes from "not interested" to spouting poetic nonsense about true love without some sort of reasons, people will not care. If she says "I love you" but ignores the other character and/or treats them like "just a friend", the "love" seems fake, and people will not care. If your reader stops caring about the characters, the fic is over.

Pacing is a thing a lot of shipfics fail to get right. Canonically, none of our main characters are romantically interested in each other. As a shipper, you have two options: One, develop that interest (or an alternative reason for shippy-shenanigans); Or two, start past that and attempt to show why the character is already interested in the other. If you can make it seem real and integrated into their life, people will accept it. But developing that sense of realism requires time. If you're going down the fall-in-love route, you must show us their love. Just saying they love each other, or showing us one scene of them being lovey-dovey, isn't enough. We need to see them doing normal-ish things and being in love. The same goes for starting from already-in-love. There needs to be events that allow you to showcase their feelings. It can be during a date, it can be during a formal dance, or a racing across Equestria. The main thing is, they have to act like they're in love, not just say it.

By forcing characters to overcome barriers to realize their love, you can give emotional weight and a sense of value to it. The reader will feel elated as the characters "win" love instead of being handed it. If the reader is able to feel what the characters feel, then when they win, the reader does to. Finally, if events and key emotional points are spread out of a realistic timeline, the reader is more easily able to buy that two ponies want to do more than hug. There are millions of tiny little points, but these are the three big ones I think apply to almost every shipfic/romance.

(Other stories that fall in this category: Best Night Ever, Caramel’s Light, Shipping and Handling)

From the F.A.Q. This is kind of a sub-tag of "Comedy." It's for stories that are rather incoherent or "Random," if you will.

(Um... Naked Singularity’? Pleasedon’thitme!!1

Actually, you got it right. That one and a host of other really, really good fics.

Thank Celesti-

SLAP!)

Ah, the Random category, for when you write something so crazy you need to preface it's craziness with a warning to readers:

"Warning, Random."

Any story can be random. In fact, most of the world's bad stories are random, not by intent but by incompetence. The trick is to make a good story that people want to read, but is so absurd that it mocks our attempts to place it in the larger MLP canon.

I've really only written one Random story -- Michael Bay Presents: My Little Pony. It's funny (or so people tell me) because it mixes two things: utter absurdity and a tiny sense of "yeah, that's logical." The characters are stuck in a crazy situation that could never, ever happen, but their actions, thoughts and intentions are internally consistent.

Good Random stories are rare. If you're looking for examples, try any of Blueshift's "What if..." stories, or some of Friendly Uncle's comedies.  The common thread is that they're all comedies in addition to being Random. I'm sure it's possible to write a Random grimdark or Random shipping story, but you'd have to be an incredibly good author to pull it off.

Speaking of incredibly good authors, if you're looking for actual literature that qualifies as Random, check out some of Franz Kafka's works. The Metamorphosis is pretty close to being Random, and it had a really powerful moral. Don't turn into a giant cockroach. Or... something. The Cliff's Notes had a really good explanation.

Now that I think about it, Kafka wasn't really known for his comedies. God, The Metamorphosis wasn't funny at all! The main character died and no one mourned him.

Wow, way to bring me down, Random. Never again.

(Other stories that fall in this category: WD: The HiE Experiment, Let’s Just Say... Distorted Perspective)

WD note: Tragedy is a rather new Category, so it’s not featured in the F.A.Q. But for purposes of understanding what it means we can just quote the dictionary: “A serious drama typically describing a conflict between the protagonist and a superior force (such as destiny) and having a sorrowful or disastrous conclusion that elicits pity or terror.”

(I know this one! He wrote: Dusk and Dawn 

Well done, now say his name 17 times as fast as you can...)

A good tragedy would introduce a new perspective to the characters, forcing them to think, and inducing a change in the way they act. For example, I believe there was a fic about a homeless Scootaloo passing away due to a chill. The best part was how devastated Rainbow was, not just because she had lost her greatest fan, but because she felt she could've done something about it. Scootaloo, looking on as a ghost, also realizes that the tragedy could've been avoided had she ever opened up to anypony. It ends with her getting a second chance and waking up in the hospital, where she's almost immediately adopted by Rainbow Dash.

That's another thing. Even if they're supposed to be tragic, they should have at least a glimmer of a hope by the end, even if it's just the ponies moving on. In my opinion, if a story ends with no         significant change in the characters but a sea of tears, I feel that my time has been wasted.

(Other stories in this category: Equestria’s Twilight, Black and White, Lunacy)

From the F.A.Q. “A story wherein the situation is primarily that of a mundane, everyday experience.”

(Don’t you dare botch this one.

Buh- but... I- I can’t know all autho-

OMINOUS! THUNDER! DOOM!

E-end of P-p-ponies?

And ‘Background Pony’)

 I imagine slice of life is like writing a fanfic in such a way so that it could be submitted to the Hasbro Committee and subsequently turned into a real episode of the show.

In other words, slice of life is what you get out of MLP fanfiction when you avoid thermonuclear apocalypses, when you avoid Pinkie Pie slicing Rainbow Dash's wings off, when you avoid Nightmare Moon budding off a fugue state doppelganger with godlike powers, when you avoid little fillies being shipped to human doorsteps inside cardboard boxes, when you avoid every character with ovaries falling in love with other characters with ovaries, and when you avoid ponies suddenly sprouting suspiciously humanlike genitalia.

If Tabitha St Germain or Ashleigh Ball would be willing to read a line of dialogue from your fic, then it's Slice of Life.  If the words are read out loud and everyone agrees it would be perfected if Hugo Weaving did a voice over, then it's probably something else.  This doesn't make Slice of Life necessarily bad, just that some people would rather play Minesweeper from time to time when there's a perfectly playable copy of Team Fortress Two just three clicks away.

Me?  I like to set people on fire with the flare gun.  What were you asking me again?

-SS&E

(Other stories that fall in this category: Allegrezza,  It Takes a Village, Having a Ball, Claro de Luna)

From the F.A.Q. “Any story wherein the characters go on a grand journey or an "Adventure," if you will.”

(Let me spare you the neurons. Author of: Anthropology.

Th-thanks! I don’t know when I might need them!)

As far as the "adventure" genre goes, it's important to keep things moving. I've gotten infamous for cliffhangers (to the point where I'm really tired of the word "cliffhanger" in all my comments) but that's what keeps readers coming back for new installments. Don't provide too much closure. Keep revealing new answers, but raise more questions.

And any story needs good characters. Make them unique, and most importantly make sure everyone has some sort of purpose. There is nothing more boring than characters who are constantly agreeing with each other. Give them opposing viewpoints and conflicting personalities, but still enough in common to work together. With the given cast in My Little Pony, that's easy enough.

And, of course, adventure stories usually involve going places. Come up with interesting settings - which could be anything, really. Places that have been mentioned but never seen (like Fillydelphia), places that we've just gotten a glimpse of (Manehattan), or even show a hidden side of some place we thought was familiar (Ponyville or even Canterlot). And moving from one place to another keeps things interesting. If they sit in one place for too long, you lose the "adventure."

As for my story, Anthropology, what I think has made that successful is that it fulfilled something that a lot of people like - Lyra's obsession with humans. I developed on a character who is popular in fanon, but doesn't have a real role in the show. And while it does take place mostly in the human world, I've been trying to look at it from the point of view of someone who's been a pony for most of her life. I think what people generally agree is the best thing about the story is how it reveals a little more about life in Equestria. As far as fanfiction goes, what readers really want is more of what we've already seen in the show, so I always want to keep it grounded in that.

I... think I wrote more than I was planning to, but okay. Hope this helps.

(Other stories that fall in this category: The Sweetie Chronicles, The Empty Room,  It’s Not A Cold Dark Place, Night Guards)

From the F.A.Q. “Stories that place two different fictional characters, settings, or universes in the same story.”

(Why does his name sound familiar?

If the fact that Fernin wrote ‘Whip and Wing’ which is the ultimate Indiana Jones/Daring Do crossover doesn’t spark your memory, my bat certainly will.

Oh, yes! I remember now! I do! Really! No! Nooooo...!)

Bottom Line Up Front: A 'good' crossover should maintain the feel / qualities of all involved source material to the maximum extent possible.

Discussion: Let's say I have written a 'crossover' of Batman and Spider-Man.  Both comic heroes have a distinct set of qualities: their personalities, settings, powers, et cetera.  If my story fails to use Spidey's powers, his banter / wit during fights, his scientific acumen, his sense of responsibility, and the like... why am I even including him in the story?  I obviously have no use for Spidey beyond his name since I'm not actually including anything that makes him what he is.  Granted, capturing the qualities of all parent material can be difficult.  But without doing that you aren't really writing a good crossover.  

In the previous example I focussed specifically on characters, but the same applies for the entirety of the 'parent.'  For instance, Star Trek is full of confidence in the inherent goodness of technological advancement, the rightness of exploration (seeking out new life and new civilization), and a casual disregard of split infinitives in mission statements.  If I fail to include that in a crossover involving Star Trek, I might as well not even have Star Trek in the story because I'm obviously not using it.

There's no point in doing a crossover if it doesn't include something of all the 'parents.'  It simply becomes an exercise in palate-swapping or name-dropping.  What's the use of doing, say, a Warhammer 40K / MLP crossover if all you're doing is replacing humans with ponies, the God-Emperor with Princess Celestia, and Horus with Princess Luna/Nightmare Moon?  It might be amusing to have Twilight frothing at the mouth and screaming 'death to the canine xenos' as she shoves a horn-mounted chain sword through the chest of a diamond dog, but does that really have any relation to MLP:FIM other than the names I'm using?  It doesn't.

Recommendation: To write a good crossover fic, try to understand the qualities which exemplify each 'parent' source and make sure to bring those to the table.  This may involve studying the 'parent' in question prior to writing / during writing (ex. reading a few Sherlock Holmes stories before doing your Sherlock / Pinkie Pie story).

(Other stories that fall in this category: The Sweetie Chronicles, The Dresden Fillies, Sweetie’s Mansion)

o.0.o

So, what have we learned today?

That you want everyone to read your stories so badly that you blatantly and shamelessly just plugged them in?

I have no shame… what else did we learn today?

That tags are useful and important so that readers know what to expect!?

Well done! Have a Scooby Snack!

Yayz!

And remember. Tags, like the effing F.A.Q., are your friends! Use them correctly!

I will Wanderer D! Thank you and all the other nice authors for spending some time to explain this to me! I am not worthy!

No, you’re not. Now go fix your Tags.

(Thanks to all the authors that helped me with this one! Your time and consideration is greatly appreciated and will hopefully enlighten some writers out there!)

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Comments ( 170 )

I can't believe that people need a tutorial on how to properly use the tags :facehoof:

Oh internet, you never run dry of idiots.

Itz about lYra and Bon-bron getting together with Leo and Raph from the TMNT tg fight the powerfool Shredder Moon!

It shall be done!

Your 'how to' guides always manage to become the highlight of my lonely evenings. Thanks for that. :trollestia:

Holy crap that's a lot of info. Imma just watch Mad Men :moustache:

The example for sad isn't tagged as sad...

EDIT: Not that it isn't a very sad story.

"I'm to write the best tragedy fic and put the tag humor..."

This is hilarious. Quite so.

Your "How tos" always put me in a good mood, Wanderer D. :pinkiehappy:

Do you have any idea how happy I get whenever I see a new post from you? Really happy. :D

Very useful for those who are confused. I have also had fics rejected for "contradicting tags" and I see why. Wanderer D, this is good. I assume this is in the FAQ or at least should be. And I appreciate the time and effort put into this blog post.

Also, as I've asked before but have kindly ignored, I think there should be a "psychological" or "mystery" tag added into the mix. Perhaps a wonderful black?

this was tons of fun to read! and i may have learned a thing or two, AND! i got two new stories to read :3

:moustache:You're so fresh I could suck your nuts... wait wut :twilightoops:

Wait... why didnt you use Poultron's story, its a work of art better than most on this site.

I haven't read even a fifth of the stories you mentioned. Do I still deserve the slapping? Or the bat?

Great reading. Very funny and helpful, thank you. :twilightsmile:

Ya know "The Light Never Goes Out" doesn't actually have a sad tag write.

Very funny, mostly obvious, but also very informative post.

I laughed out loud at SS&E's bit.

Verily, this is a great collection.

I didn't learn a single thing about tags from this post... but I learned a ton of things about writing from the wise words of wonderful writers.

I also seem to have picked up a bit of alliteration. :scootangel:

... anyway, time to go make notes of the more interesting things I learned. Weee!

oh god you actually posted it verbatim

Great post, D. You've been getting less blatantly angry and more informative with each instalment! Also, way to sneakily recommend a bunch of good-looking fics. My To Read list has leapt up by an uncomfortable amount.

EDIT: oh god there's a typo in my section

EDITEDIT: oh god there's a typo in my section

>I need empathy!
It seems that your poor little author can't even spot double spaces dl.dropbox.com/u/31471793/FiMFiction/emoticons/shrug_Derpy_Hooves.png

153531 a.deviantart.net/avatars/i/k/ikrplz.png

153585 Watch, listen, and be enlightened:
[youtube=v30q6VkphbE]

153589 a.deviantart.net/avatars/p/i/pimpslapplz.gif Never confuse "sight" and "site" again!

Adventure story examples, Y U NO include End of Ponies?!

These are all so funny! :rainbowlaugh: They should be bound together into some sort of compilation. Has that been done?

This one in particular is VERY interesting. Thanks to all the authors who contributed. That made it a real cool read. :moustache:

Huh. I wasn't confused as to what the tags meant, but it was interesting to get the insight of some of the site's biggest names.

Dude...Stripped Like Me? Freudian slip much?

Hilarious and informative as always, do keep these coming (assuming you don't run out of different kinds of stupid to mock). At some point links should be added to these from the FAQ. :pinkiehappy:

Not sure I agree on the Slice of Life description.
The way the author described it made it sound more like a content indicator (teen, everyone, etc) than a category.
To me, Slice of Life is the exact opposite of Adventure.

Slice of Life is the daily happenings of already established characters without much, or any conflict.
Adventure is travel, constant deviation from what's established as daily happenings for the characters and a lot of conflict.

I hope this blog gets more views. A lot of the stuff explained by Wanderer D really clinches the problems that most fictions have in a succinct explanation better than I could put together.

Especially pertaining to HiEs and crossovers... :ajbemused:

153615 It's funny but I don't know what it has to do with me. :rainbowhuh:

Plus, I'm sort of a grammar nazi myself, so if I'd make that mistake I'm sure I'd have caught it.

Noticed a typo close to the end of kits' blurb about good romance fics. "then when they win, the reader does too." (Emphasis mine)

Awesome how-to, I laughed a lot, learned a bit, and found stories to add to my "read later" list, which I really need to get to sometime.

These "Blogs" I think are just to make yourself sound smart and high up. Like newcomers should learn it like the rest of us, find out for yourself.

"There is no such thing as a likable HIE Slice-Of-Life."

The search function says otherwise. (I've tried to write some myself :fluttershyouch:)

153576 I'm using that.:pinkiehappy:

i was hoping SS&E would be slice of life, and man does it make me happy. And whats so good about background pony, its not as good as end of ponies, and u dont even link to EoP :fluttercry:

153656 Hmm, yes, I agree with this, slice of life isn't defined by "it could happen on the show." I mean, the genre does have/need a definition outside of just this one fandom, obviously. I just think of stories that driven more than anything else by character interaction, daily struggles, etc, as slice of life...

Another great post, Wanderer D.

I just wanted to say, without my usual rant on the subject. The Sad and Dark tags are the stupidest, least intuitive, most misleading, misused, and undesirable tags ever. They are vague and gravitate to the lowest common denominator by default.

On another note, while I respect your picks for representatives of each category, I have my own recommendation for stories in each genre, which can be read here on my blog.

Oh man, you're just digging yourself in deeper with the princesses. Not even the most glorious nihon steel will be able to save you.

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

That was an incredibly entertaining read. :D

kits wat u dong!

Also, please someone tell me how to give your blog post a page break like this one so the whole thing does not monopolize your user page!

153656

And this is more of why I hate tags.

Slice of Life is more than about going to the spa and practicing for the Wonderbolts. Reading, feeding critters, applebucking and baking cupcakes are all part of life yes. But in case you haven't watched the show lately, so is big adventure and tons of fun.

I feel like the people that need to read these are the ones that don't. As is the case with every other one of these:facehoof:

I love reading Wander's posts. You can always get a chuckle from them.

halp me wanderD how do i edit tagz?

Informative, efficient, humorous.

Wanderer D, you are possibly my favorite Mod Now. :3

I wish my stories had this kind of attention. Oh wait, nobody will read 'em, because they're HiEs that aren't comedies. Only the rare reader will peruse the human genre, especially if your story is a rather mediocre self-insertion as mine are, and they know it. Wait a second, one of the HiE examples is about Wanderer D himself, and is merely a day old... Self-promotion on the site's news blog? Icwutudidthar.
"...perfectly playable copy of Team Fortress Two just three clicks away." How about two clicks away?

my fanfic is a complete adventure yet nopony mentioned it....:fluttercry:

Twilight's list=awesome

I'm surprised that there wasn't a cliffhanger at the end. :rainbowwild:

You know one reason I like writing fanfiction? Feedback. I actually write short stories occasionally for an online horror magazine. They have nothing to do with fanfiction. But, the site has no sort of comment or response section at all. All I can really tell is how many times the stories I write have been viewed. Other than that, I suppose the editors must like them because they get chosen for publication now and then. At least on here, I can get some sort of reader response. My own opinion of my writing is pretty much useless to me. I mean, of course I think it's good. I wrote it. But that doesn't really help a writer grow. Gotta have reasonable feedback, and as much as it wounds the pride, gotta be able to handle constructive criticism. Makes basking in the glow of positive comments feel that much better :raritywink:

:pinkiegasp: "Quick! I need a tuba!"

Wanderer D
Moderator

153849 Sadly my knowledge of non-comedy ones is severely limited. If you can recommend some I could read them and possibly add them.

153820 On the 'Edit' option for your story, you can correct/change/add/remove tags

153809 :rainbowlaugh: This is why I'm in trouble with them after all.

153762 I did link to End Of Ponies. Look it up.

153692 Of course they are. Why else would I put it up? Also, some of the n00bs you're talking about have had an account for more than 20 weeks... they don't count as n00bs.

153656 That's why I said it was just an opinion from an author :pinkiehappy:

153654 :pinkiegasp::pinkiegasp::pinkiegasp: Yes. Yes it was.

153614 I was annoyed, but I started planning this whole thing before my trip. By the time I came back I had shed most of my anger away... :facehoof: I hope I'm not loosing my edge.

153599 It did at one point :pinkiesad2:

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