News Archive

  • 41 weeks
    MSPiper’s “Autumnfall Change” [Royal Canterlot Library]

    You might want to keep a whiteboard handy for today’s story.

    Autumnfall Change
    [Sci-Fi][Slice of Life][Human] • 8,419 words

    Magic and technology may have pierced the void and blazed a path between the realms, but that was the simple part. Adjusting to the changes that follow can be far more daunting.

    Yet despite the complexities involved even in basic communication, Serendipity has found friends to talk to among humankind who can cheer her up when she’s down. And occasionally inspire her to bursts of ingenuity unhindered by such trifles as foresight.

    Read More

    5 comments · 8,072 views
  • 55 weeks
    TCC56's "Glow In The Dark, Shine In The Sun" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    A villain might just have a bright future in today's story.

    Glow In The Dark, Shine In The Sun
    [Equestria Girls] [Drama] [Slice of Life] • 27,035 words

    Despite all attempts, Cozy Glow still hasn't been shown a path to friendship. No pony has been able to get through to her, and she's only gotten worse with each attempt.

    Reluctant to return the filly to stone again, Princess Twilight has one last option. One pony she hasn't tried. Or in this case? One person.

    Sunset Shimmer.

    Can Sunset do what no pony has been able to?

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    9 comments · 8,298 views
  • 57 weeks
    The Red Parade's "never forever" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    Today's story never says never.

    never forever
    [Sad] [Slice of Life] • 1,478 words

    Lightning Dust will never be a Wonderbolt. When she left the Academy, she swore she'd never look back. When the Washouts disbanded, she swore she'd forget about them.

    Yet after all these years, against all odds, she finds herself here. At a Wonderbolts show. Just on the wrong side of the glass.

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    19 comments · 7,042 views
  • 62 weeks
    Freglz's "Nothing Left to Lose" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    Don't lose out on today's story.

    Nothing Left to Lose
    [Drama] [Sad] • 6,367 words

    Some things can't be changed.

    Starlight believes otherwise.

    FROM THE CURATORS: One might be forgiven for thinking that after nine years of MLP (and fanfic), there's nothing left to explore on such well-trodden ground as changeling redemption — but there are still stories on the topic which are worthy of turning heads.  "Though the show seems to have moved past it as a possibility, the question of whether and how Queen Chrysalis could be reformed alongside the other changelings still lingers in the fandom's consciousness," Present Perfect said in his nomination. "In comes Freglz, with a solidly reasoned story that combines the finales of seasons 5 and 6 and isn't afraid to let the question hang."

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    26 comments · 6,767 views
  • 64 weeks
    Somber's "Broken Record" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    Today's story puts all the pieces together.

    (Ed. note: Some content warnings apply to this interview, regarding current world circumstances and mentions of suicidal ideation.)

    Broken Record
    [Drama] [Slice of Life] • 7,970 words

    There has never been an athlete like Rainbow Dash. The sprints. The marathons. The land speed record. She held them all.

    Until she didn't.

    Until she had only one left... and met the pony that might take it from her...

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    11 comments · 4,515 views
  • 66 weeks
    jakkid166's "Detective jakkid166 in everything" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    Missing out on today's story would be a crime.

    Detective jakkid166 in everything
    [Comedy] [Human] • 15,616 words

    "Every pony thing evre made would be better if it had me in it."
    - me

    I, Detective jakkid166, will be prepared to make every pony fanficion, video, and game better by me being in it. All you favorite pony content, except it has ME! And even I could be in some episodes of the show except cause the charaters are idiot I'm good at my job.

    The ultimate Detective jakkid166 adventures collection, as he goes into EVERYTHING to make it good.

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    171 comments · 8,695 views
  • 68 weeks
    Mannulus' "Sassy Saddles Meets Sasquatch" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    Today's story is a rare find.

    Sassy Saddles Meets Sasquatch
    [Comedy] [Random] • 5,886 words

    The legend is known throughout Equestria, but there are few who believe. Those who claim to have seen the beast are dismissed as crackpots and madponies. Those who bring evidence before the world are dismissed as histrionic deceivers. There are those who have seen, however -- those who know -- and they will forever cry out their warning from the back seats of filthy, old train cars, even to those who dismiss them, who revile them, who ignore their warnings unto their own mortal peril.

    "The sasquatch is real!" they will cry forevermore, even as nopony believes.

    But from this day forward, Sassy Saddles will believe.

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    16 comments · 5,392 views
  • 70 weeks
    SheetGhost’s “Moonlight Vigil” [Royal Canterlot Library]

    Take a closer look into tonight’s story.

    Moonlight Vigil
    [Tragedy] • 3,755 words

    Bitter from her defeat and exile, the Mare in the Moon watches Equestria move on without her.

    Read More

    1 comments · 4,346 views
  • 72 weeks
    Unwhole Hole's "The Murder of Elrod Jameson" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    Today's story is some killer noir.

    [Adult story embed hidden]

    The Murder of Elrod Jameson
    [Dark] [Mystery] [Sci-Fi] [Human] • 234,343 words

    [Note: This story contains scenes of blood and gore, sexuality, and a depiction of rape.]

    Elrod Jameson: a resident of SteelPoint Level Six, Bridgeport, Connecticut. A minor, pointless, and irrelevant man... who witnessed something he was not supposed to.

    Narrowly avoiding his own murder, he desperately searches for help. When no living being will help him, he turns to the next best thing: a pony.

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    14 comments · 4,750 views
  • 74 weeks
    Grimm's "Don't Open the Door" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    Today's story lingers like the curling mist in a dark forest.

    Don't Open the Door
    [Dark][Horror] • 13,654 words

    After an expedition into the Everfree Forest ends in disaster, Applejack and Rainbow Dash take refuge in an abandoned cabin until morning.

    This is probably a poor decision, but it's only one night, after all. How bad could it be?

    FROM THE CURATORS: "I don't care much for horror stories," AugieDog mused. "But this one does so much right, I found myself really impressed." Present Perfect thought it was "simply one of the best horror stories I've ever read," and Soge agreed "one-hundred percent" that "this is pitch-perfect horror from beginning to end."

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    8 comments · 4,009 views

Author Interview » JawJoe's "Queen of Queens" [Royal Canterlot Library] · 1:53am Nov 8th, 2014

Today's story doesn't have long to make its point, but wow, what an impact it'll leave.

Queen Of Queens

[Dark] • 15,000 words

Our kind has it that the life of a queen is the happiest, for they are blessed with the shortest time in this world. A mighty queen will be remembered for eternity, forever residing in the hearts of her people. The greatest tragedy a queen can suffer is to be forgotten — to be stricken from history.

I refuse to bend before oblivion.

FROM THE CURATORS: Given the number of authors that entered Equestria Daily’s recent Outside Insight contest (and the quality of their prose), it's no surprise that it's been a rich source of RCL features — but what did surprise us was the breadth of the entries' quality.  Our last two features spotlighted the humorous end of the entries, but Queen of Queens is pure drama, with a tale of struggle and redemption.  We unanimously agreed: what a drama it is.

"Now here's an author who knows what they're doing. The story of Chrysalis, from birth to death, is an unparalleled feat of worldbuilding," Present Perfect said, and the first words out of JohnPerry were similar: "Absolutely exquisite worldbuilding."  Chris dug further in: "This is how you do worldbuilding.  You make a couple of original assumptions that can still fit within the canon lore, and then you examine them to their fullest conclusions.  [Queen of Queens' changelings] are an amazing example of race-building in fiction — alien, yet recognizable enough to inspire empathy."

The core concept — that, in contrast to mortal ponykind with its immortal alicorns, the changelings are an immortal race with short-lived leaders — was "an amazing idea, with sterling execution," as Horizon put it; but this story went well beyond that.  "It's not often I get to see a sympathetic portrayal of Chrysalis that doesn't make me roll my eyes," JohnPerry said, but as Chris said, "she's a compelling, interesting character despite the reserved narrative style. … Her fatal flaw is well-established without being sledgehammer-y, and that makes the ending (which, in lesser hands, would have felt like a copout) seem sincere."

All of this, plus the engaging prose, added up to a gripping and unique fanfiction experience.  "I drank this down in one sitting and never once felt my mind wander," Chris said. "The entire story feels wonderfully, vibrantly alive."

Read on for our author interview, in which JawJoe discusses holiday episodes, games of make-believe, and self-imposed existential nightmares.

Give us the standard biography.

I'm probably as stereotypical a “brony” as it gets. Student. Nerd. Stay indoors most of the time; the Sun is my enemy. (In my defence, I don't own a fedora, neither am I overweight.)

My life has been thoroughly uninteresting. Had a few friends. Tried a bunch of sports. Went to school. I can't tell you great tales of epic journeys undertaken, star-crossed love found and lost, or great rivalries overcome. Here's hoping for good stuff ahead.

I'm not big on reading, actually. I keep telling myself I should read more, but you know how it goes. Still, although I don't often go out of my way to find them, I do love stories.

As far back as kindergarten, I loved making up stories. I remember a game with my friends, where every day I'd come up with a new adventure that they'd have to win through. Essentially, I was the game master. Look, there's a monster! The bridge is broken, you have to find another way across!

As I grew up and out of playing make believe, this habit died. The stories remained, however, albeit in my head alone. One-off adventures grew into narratives with characters and plot twists and villains who were so much cooler than the ones in those animes I saw on TV. I had fantasy, slice of life, sci-fi, all sorts of things, all with their separate stories and characters. The stories came and went, but something was always there as long as I can remember.

Yet the thought of actually writing anything down never occurred to me. Not until ponies.

It's kind of pathetic, in a way, that it was My Little Pony of all things that inspired me to do something with the one thing I've always liked. Life's weird like that, I guess.

How did you come up with your handle/penname?

I stole it.

Well, kind of. For a few years, I played World of Warcraft on an RP server. When creating your character, one of the options for the undead race is missing your lower jaw. One time I was hanging out in some inn, looking at the random RPing going on, and this undead guy without a jaw comes in with the name “Jawlessjoe.” I thought that was funny.

Around the same time, some friends and I used to hold AVP2 lan parties. And as we all know, Aliens are the best, so that's what I always picked. I could never settle on a nick, so I just kept changing it. One day I decided to use “Jawlessjoe” because it was funny. That eventually morphed into JawJoe because I felt it more fitting for an alien. Because aliens bite, I guess.

Then the name stuck. So if you're out there, Jawlessjoe, thanks. Cool name. Hope you don't mind me using it.

Who's your favorite pony?

Luna is best pony, but Twilight is the cutest, smartest mane 6, and all-around second best pony.

When I first started watching, back in season 1, Twilight was the absolute winner. Loved her snarky attitude and antisocial strain. Then season 2 rolled around, and we got a surprise visit from Princess Luna. Well, it was a surprise for me. Didn't keep up with spoilers and fandom stuff back then.

I immediately identified with Luna trying to fit in and failing on every count. I've always been that kid, see. I also liked Luna Eclipsed's “it's okay to be different” message. So Luna became best pony. Later Luna episodes (what few we've had) further reinforced her best pony status by showing her to be at once distant yet deeply caring for others.

Man, I need a hug.

What's your favorite episode?

The first two seasons. Love those, through and through. Yes, I cheated.

I never got over the whole Twilicorn thing. Yep, I'm still complaining about that. Come on — bad ideas don't get better with age. And there's a castle in Ponyville now. Sorry, that's not Ponyville, that's Twilight's Kingdom. Ugh. Seriously though, the status quo changed too much, and the change was handled badly. It feels like a different show altogether — not the one I fell in love with way back when.

If I had to narrow my favourites down, I'd say the holiday-themed episodes of season 2. Halloween, Christmas, Valentine's, I just love all those episodes. Worldbuilding, fanfic fuel, and just sheer fun.

Narrowing it further, I'd change things up and go for "The Return of Harmony." There's nothing I don't love about that one. Discord is best villain. Cotton candy apocalypse is best apocalypse. Maze is best plot device. Letters are best callback. But even that one's a two-parter, so it's kind of cheating, isn't it?

Possibly my favourite stand-alone episodes are "It's About Time" and "Sleepless in Ponyville." They feel like episodes I could show to anyone — "brony" or not — and they'd probably enjoy it. Time is just flat out fun (Tara absolutely KILLS it in the past-future Twilight meeting scene), while Sleepless is such a heart-warming episode.

If I go the "purist" route and constrain myself to season 1, I'd pick "Swarm of the Century." It doesn't seem to be a well-liked episode, but I don't care. Seeing Twilight's first great mental breakdown is just too much fun. The parasprites feel like an excellent antagonist that fits snugly into the half-silly half-serious all-rainbows FiM world. Sure, the episode has some problems, but I feel it just works, and it works great.

"Swarm of the Century." That's my final pick.

What do you get from the show?

Less, now, than I used to. Thanks, M.A. Larson! But in all seriousness, the show made me smile when I needed it.

This whole “brony” phenomenon was blowing up right around a time I was going through a period of... let's not call it "depression," since it wasn't a clinical case, but it was a period of general feelings of uncertainty, isolation, loneliness, hopelessness. Some of that came down to the raging hormones in a youth's body. Some of that was because of family troubles. It probably wasn't as bad as I experienced it.

Spending way too much time on the internet, like I usually do, I started seeing ponies everywhere. Ponified memes, image macros, people "brohoofing" each other, and spawning flame wars left and right. I shrugged it off for the most part. It was, I think, seeing one of the developers* of League of Legends post a pony thread on their own forum ("Mods are awake, post ponies!") that finally ticked me off and made me look it up.

At first I thought people were making fun of the cartoon for being garbage. I mean, how could it not be garbage? It's My Little Pony. But then I read up on it and found out that this was something that people genuinely enjoyed.

On one fateful Sunday night, I really didn't feel like going to sleep and letting Monday start. So I figured, what the hell, let's see what this pony thing is about. The rest is history.

Over the next few days I marathoned all the episodes** there were at the time. My enjoyment for the show was two-fold. First, I did genuinely like it. It was a good show. Second, the fact that I was watching My Little Pony helped me laugh. I laughed at myself, at all the prejudices I had, at what people might think if they found out — it was just too much to contain. I had to laugh.

The show got me through some of my worst days. That's what it gave me.

Today, I seem to enjoy new episodes less and less. It might be just that I no longer "need" it. But the show will forever remain a good memory. Not a moment spent watching was wasted.

*It could've been just a forum mod or something, I can't remember. I recall a Riot Red, though.

**I can't be the only one nostalgic about MenloMarseilles' YouTube channel.

What do you want from life?

A well-paying job. A pretty wife. Loving kids. A lifetime supply of Nutella. Maybe publish a book or two on the side. You know, the usual. My life's been pretty simple up until this point, and I feel content keeping it that way.

Besides, I've never been one to plan far ahead. I can't see the future. I don't know what might happen, what I might decide to do later. I'll just have to see what comes, and take opportunities as they present themselves. What else is there to do?

Why do you write?

Because I started writing one day and haven't stopped. Because there are stories I want to tell. Because it breaks up the monotony of day-to-day life. Probably because of a lot of things I'm not even consciously aware of. I might stop writing tomorrow. Or never at all. I don't know.

Recognition is probably a part of it. Fimfiction makes it easy to put your (nick)name out there. The moment you publish something, it's going to be seen by hundreds, if not thousands of people. I've been lucky to garner an audience with my work here. The instant feedback helps keep me going. There are people listening to me here, so of course I'm going to talk. Or write, as it were.

I'm meaning to move towards getting actual, “original” novels published — but until I have the courage and ability to do that, fimfiction is an excellent training ground.

What advice do you have for the authors out there?

Read a lot. In light of what I've said about me never reading anything, yes, that likely makes me a hypocrite. So here's another piece of advice: learn from the mistakes of others. Learn from mine. I might not read books, but you should. The reason should be obvious.

Whenever you come across a story — be it a book, a film, a video game, whatever — try to look at it from a creator's perspective. Why are these characters in the story? What purpose do they serve to the writer, and what purpose do they serve to the reader?

Pick stories apart, always. Examine every plot point. Why did the writer include this? How else could this have gone? Why do I like this story, but not that one?

Remember that episode of Breaking Bad where Saul explained to Jesse how money laundering works? That wasn't just advancing the plot. The show's creators deliberately included that scene to ensure that the audience is up to speed before they make money laundering a plot point.

The most important thing, I think, is the idea. Flesh out your idea, have a solid foundation for the story you want to tell. Everything else can come later. In other words, your goal isn't to write something, it's to tell a story. What makes for the best story? There are many kinds of stories, written for as many reasons and in as many ways. Why are you writing this story? What is it about this story that makes you want to tell it? What way should you write it for the greatest effect?

Romeo and Juliet worked just as well in Shakespeare's theatre as it did with anthropomorphic big cats in Lion King 2. What's at the heart of your story?

But then, my complete body of work so far consists of My Little Pony fanfiction on the internet. What do I know about writing? Go read a real book from a real author, or something.

This piece flips the standard immortality narrative on its head, making the leaders mortal and the lead immortal. What inspired this inversion?

A combination of things. In no particular order:

I wanted to break common changeling tropes. What better way to invert the usual “changelings are mindless bugs with no individual value [save for that one who breaks from the hive and learns to love]” trope than by making them all immortal and special? Their names also serve to reinforce this: every changeling is unique and has something to give to the world.

The fic was written for a contest. Specifically, the prompt was to write about ponies from a non-pony's perspective. Changeling society is a direct inversion of pony society. I thought it was clever at the time.

The fic was cobbled together from a number of disjointed ideas I've had over the past year or so. Chrysalis facing death and having to reconcile her actions with her conscience was one of them. I had a fic planned with the title “SPOILER: Chrysalis Dies” which was was based on this premise. A bit like that show “My Name is Earl,” where Chrysalis goes around saying sorry for doing evil things just before she dies. I needed to kill Chrysalis somehow. Figured it might as well be old age.

By making Chrysalis live only 20 years, I could make her at once childish and wise. She's supposed to live out everything humans (ponies?) do in a fraction of the time — things ought to get jumbled up. Playing with her fluctuating emotions and juxtaposing her inherited wisdom with her childish ignorance and arrogance was rather fun.

Figuring out why a race of immortal beings would crown a mortal as their queen was a fun challenge in and of itself.

Tell us about some of the long, descriptive names the characters have. How do they get them? Do they ever change?

I loved coming up with the names. With Queen of Queens, I really tried to cram as much story into as few words as possible. The way I saw it, every name told a story in and of itself. Not just the names of changelings, but even the names of places.

Anyone who's read my other fics knows that I easily grow self-indulgent in description. I often go on for multiple paragraphs just explaining what this and that place look like. I did my best to avoid all that in Queen. I never explain what the “Plaza of Waterfalls” or the “Heatsink Plateau” look like — I trust the reader will come up with something fittingly grandiose in their heads.

As for the changelings themselves, in my original plan for the story, the only two to be named were the Queen and her consort. I knew from the start I wanted to do these crazy long, descriptive names — except originally they were going to be in Esperanto. The point was to show the sort of artificial beauty that defines changeling culture. Form over function.

But then I realised I don't speak Esperanto, and couldn't find anyone that does. Once I decided to just have the names in English, there was nothing stopping me from doing lots and lots of names. It allowed me to delve deeper into changeling culture, I think.

From a writer's perspective, the long names are there to surprise and intrigue the reader. I didn't think anyone would expect these kinds of names. Plus, again, I wanted to break common tropes. If I see one more changeling named after a bug or bug part, I'm going to defenestrate my monitor.

I wanted the readers to see the names and take a moment to imagine why they have it. Why did The One Who Ran A Thousand Days do all that running? Your guess is as good as mine, but it must have been something. Are you supposed to take Whose Words Made Statues Cry literally? Maybe. Maybe even the rest of the changelings don't know, and maybe he likes it that way. Juxtaposing the grandness of the world and the tiny fraction of it one gets to see is at the heart of this fic.

In-story, changeling choose their names based on what they want to be remembered for. They are immortal beings, after all, each seeking to either do something that's never been done before, or to do something better than it's ever been done. Their names are their points of pride. When someone introduces themselves as He Who Tames Dragons, you're not going to mess with them, are you?

As changelings are immortal, there could potentially be an infinite number of them. Traditional names kind of lose their meaning at that point. They all crave recognition amidst an endless sea of other changelings, so they put their greatest achievements forward as quickly as possible. As they age and do more and more things, they cycle through a vast number of names until they finally settle on the one they want to be remembered for until the rest of eternity.

After that point, whenever they can, they simple keep adding to their names; see The Greatest Consort To Our Beloved Queen And Her Teacher Mentor Friend Servant And He Who Will Carry Her Ashes And The Ashes Of Her Daughters. Being the consort to the Queens, he is of course held in high regard, and the length of his name reflects that: he has much to be proud of. “Friend” was added during the course of the story, reflecting that he's still eager to expand his impressive list of titles.

At one point during writing, He Who Tames Dragons took on a brand new name. Something like “The First Instructor To Our Kind's Great Army” or similar. That never made it into the fic. But, in my head, it's not unheard of that a changeling chooses a completely new name (or is given one by a Queen) even after they've “settled.” For the changelings, change never ends, after all.

The Queens are different: they don't choose their names, but their mothers pick instead. The Queens are generally far too proud to change anything about themselves, be it their name, their form, or their way of thinking. Childish stubbornness mixed with the wisdom of millennia.

They also tend to, perhaps subconsciously, look for connection to the Queens who came before; they're the only changelings who deliberately choose names that once belonged to other changelings. Our Beloved Queen Who Brings Joy And Hope To Our Kind Under The Treacherous Sky the Third was, as the name suggests, the third to have that same name.

It also suggests an inner conflict, I think: each Queen wants to give a beautiful and meaningful name to her daughter, but often finds herself unable to come up with one. By picking a name that's been picked before, they are at once admitting defeat and showing respect to those who came before.

The name “Chrysalis” picks for her daughter also ties in to her inherent selfishness and arrogance. When she named her, she was still thinking about herself, and not in fact about her daughter. Good intentions, failed execution. It's totally deep. Again, at the time, I thought it was clever.

How can mortal beings like us best make use of our limited lives?

Yeah, let me tell you about the meaning of life. I'll throw in the date of the Second Coming while at it, and as a bonus, a course in reversing entropy. Jeez.

If Queen of Queens has a message, it's that time goes on. People make choices. Some regret them, and some don't. Some get lucky and have a wonderful life. Others have their homes invaded by changelings and get their life force sucked out of them. I'm sure there's a metaphor hidden in there somewhere if you squint hard enough.

Shit happens, and the only one who can choose how to deal with it is you. I'm not going to be the one to tell you how to live your life, at any rate. It's probably for the best to have goals and aspirations, but plans don't usually work.

You might become a serial murderer rapist. Or you might end world hunger and make dolphins speak. You probably don't know which one it's going to be. You don't want to look back on your life and regret you've ever existed, but who knows?

So you have two choices: sit down and wait for death in a self-imposed existential nightmare, or keep your chin up and march onward into uncertainty. Cross your fingers and hope you make the right call.

Remember: if you know where you are, you don't know where you're going. It's true!

But again, what do I know? I just write pony fanfiction.

Is there anything else you'd like to add?

Don't take ponies seriously. Don't take anyone who reads pony fanfiction seriously. Most importantly, do not, under any circumstances, take anyone who writes pony fanfiction seriously.

You can read Queen Of Queens at Read more interviews right here at the Royal Canterlot Library, or suggest stories to feature at our FIMFiction group.

Report PresentPerfect · 3,046 views ·
Comments ( 36 )

Holy crap, I checked site posts looking for this not 10 minutes ago.

Awesome interview, really nice commentary about the story itself, as well. I really felt like new information that I just never thought about was being brought up as I read it, and that I couldn't help but enjoy reimagining and visualizing the world that JawJoe had build again in the new light.

JLB #2 · Nov 8th, 2014 · · 3 ·

Oh gee. A changeling fic getting a site post. What a riveting surprise.


When JawJoe first pitched this story to me, I was dead set against it. I was sick to death of changeling stories, and was pretty sure much of the fandom was feeling the same way. I told him, no matter what you do, you're going to have an uphill battle getting people interested in this. And holy kesh did he deliver. Every inversion is excellent and brilliantly executed; it works so well partly because it subverts the exact things I was tired of reading. This thing is an absolute masterpiece and I really wish I could have helped out with it more.

Seriously, read this. This prose is beautiful in a way that we haven't seen in a long time.

Was a great fic -- the one I wanted to win.

Author Interviewer

Yeah, I've been way off the ball the past two weeks with posting these. Not sure why. D:

2580886 This one's worth it, really. I don't like changeling fics as a rule. I just don't get on with them. But this one forced me to like it, to the extent that only Moonlight Palaver beat it, in my book, among all the contest finalists. I still don't like changeling fics as a class all that much -- but I intend to re-read this one at some point just because it's so damn satisfying to read. Not saying you'd feel the same way, but I think this particular changeling story deserves all the spotlight it gets.

This story is pretty fantastic. It definitely deserves this posting.

I don't know about you, but your sarcasm seems incredibly unwarranted. I rarely see changeling fics get featured in site posts.

I used to think that Twilicorn was a bad idea too, but the show put all of my fears about how they'd fuck things up based on that idea, so now I have no idea where Jawless Joe is coming from. Am I just that bad at TV criticism that I can't tell the difference between moods in seasons, or is Joe just moving on with his life or something?

JLB #9 · Nov 8th, 2014 · · ·


It simply feels all too convenient that time after time the site posts are of stories that get posted everywhere, get rapidly accepted everywhere, and that tend to adhere to certain trends more than anything else. Then again, EQD is even worse... unless you count the fact that the staff is heavily intertwined.

I'm not sure I understand what you're saying.

Would you mind going into more detail?

I mean, I might understand, but I want to make sure I have it right before I say anything more.


2581234 Basically? The site features look a little bit circlejerky to me. Looking at how we have EQD pre-readers and people who start circlejerks in the first place on the job, it's not that much of a surprise. They get masive site blogs and interviews for stories that just happen to adhere to a concept somebody likes at the time. More obscure ones - you know, the ones that REQUIRE RECOGNITION - are left to hang. At least we aren't doubleing the feature box yet, although I wouldn't be surprised if we were to start doing that.

...Okay, so I was right. Unfortunately.

Okay, first off, I do believe you're misusing the term "circlejerk." See, the term is slang for what is known as an "echo chamber." An echo chamber, as Wikipedia puts it, "is a situation in which information, ideas, or beliefs are amplified or reinforced by transmission and repetition inside an 'enclosed' system, where different or competing views are censored or disallowed." Note the last part. That part is super important.

See, because of that last bit, what you're noticing is something entirely different from an echo chamber, or "circlejerk," as you put it. What you're seeing, in this particular case, anyway, is a high-placing contest entry getting recognized as such in a number of various groups. Other people looked at the contest and went, "Hey, it turns out this thing is pretty good. We should recommend it to people." That's what you're seeing happen: People agreeing with others' recommendations. At no point do these people go, "This thing is 100% perfect. There will be no dissenting opinions. There will be no offered criticisms." If you don't like the story, you're more than welcome to express your opinion. Just be sure to back it up since the recommendation posts do quite a bit to back up their thoughts.

So I'm not sure why you're calling this a circlejerk. If a bunch of people agreeing on something is all it takes to be a circlejerk, well, I guess being a circlejerk is a) inevitable and b) probably a good thing a large percentage of the time.

On top of all that, you seem to be misunderstanding the purpose of this particular group. This group doesn't care where, or even if, a story got featured. It doesn't care how many views it has. All it cares about is that the story was both well-written and entertaining. And yes, this is writing, so there are naturally subjective elements to both "well-written" and "entertaining," but that's why all five members have to agree on the story. At the same time, though, there are certain objective qualities to writing, and the RCL makes sure their recommendations hit those qualities.

They get masive site blogs and interviews for stories that just happen to adhere to a concept somebody likes at the time.

I'm not certain I follow. Are you saying people aren't supposed to enjoy stories? Are you saying they should recommend things they don't like? I'm a bit lost.

More obscure ones - you know, the ones that REQUIRE RECOGNITION - are left to hang.

You do realize the other regular site recommendation posts - Seattle's Angels - do exactly that, right? Their goal is specifically to find obscure stories that are also good and attempt to bring them the spotlight they deserve. So, again, I'm really not sure I understand where you're coming from.

At least we aren't doubleing the feature box yet, although I wouldn't be surprised if we were to start doing that.

You say that as if story recommendations are a bad thing. I'm really confused, now.

2581238 EQD's mission isn't to showcase underappreciated stories. It's to showcase quality stories. Sometimes the two intersect, but it's not surprising when places like EQD, TRG, and RCL all feature the same stories. It just means they're good.

What the fuck did you just fucking post about my fanfic, you little brony? I'll have you know I graduated top of my class in Creative Writing, and I've been featured numerous times on Equestria Daily, and I have over 300 followers on fimfiction. I am an expert at Human in Equestria, and my original headcanons are constantly being discussed on reddit and /mlp/. You are nothing to me but just another hater. I will get your account banned from the site and every site you've ever shown your sorry OC on, mark my fucking words. You think you can get away with talking shit about my fanfics on the internet? Think again, autist. As we speak I am contacting my network of sysadmins and mods across various sites and your accounts are being traced right now so you better prepare for the storm, faggot. The storm that deletes the pathetic little things you call your stories. No more fics for you, kid. I can write any fic, anytime, and I can develop better characters than yours in over seven hundred ways, and that's just my self-inserts. Not only am I extensively trained at subtle symbolics, but I also know an entire arsenal of high-class metaphores and I will use it to steal all of your followers, you little shit. If only you could have known what unholy retribution your little "clever" review was about to bring down upon you, maybe you would have held your fucking tongue. But you couldn't, you didn't, and now you're paying the price, you goddamn artfaggot. I will drown all of your stories in a torrent of the nastiest comments you've ever seen. Your days of fanfiction are over, kid.

In all seriousness. While I can't say anything about the apparent "circlejerking" going on here (I believe Csquared has said enough on that matter), it's true that Queen of Queens in particular is very much a product of its time. One of the reasons so many people like it is because it deliberately subverts everything people expected from a changeling fic. In fact, I'm getting the vibe that you, too, are tired of changeling fics -- which would mean you'd probably like this one.

But this works because there are expectations to be trashed. Changeling fics are dime a dozen, they're everywhere, with ubiquitous clichés. On its own, removed from all the other changeling fics, Queens probably wouldn't have been such a runaway success. fortunate it is, then, that art (well, pony fanfic) doesn't exist in a vacuum.

To me, season 4 completely failed to deliver. They spent the whole time showing us how silly and unwarranted Twi's princesshood is. The other princesses, including Celestia, even had a song dedicated to how even they don't know why Twi is a princess. Twi's quad-alicorn powers failed to stop Tirek -- the mane 6 stopped him with the power of friendship.

And then Twi gets a castle.

I remember reading your story. I loved it! This reminds me to browse through my favorites and read it again.

Also: your comment on not taking pony writers seriously and then reading your reply to someone's asshat comment...funny as hell!

It's supposed to be fun writing what comes to mind. It doesn't matter if it's unique or not: as long as the author can look at his work and say it was honestly better than his last, that's progress. We can't be perfect, but we can have fun getting as close as possible.

I hope you find a future as a writer. You have a gift.

Author Interviewer

If you feel we're overlooking stories that need recognition, please suggest them at our group! At the very least, we'll give them a read.


I think you hit a few nerves... :duck:

Public accusations of unprofessionalism will do that — especially demonstrably wrong ones. The original complaint was that this was piling on to the glut of site-featured changeling stories when, if you look back through the interview archive (as I just did to double-check), this is literally the first changeling story the RCL has featured.

I'll reiterate 2581717's advice. Both the RCL (=the group making these [Interview] posts, of which I am a member) and Seattle's Angels (=the other site-post group) have suggestion threads, which we link with every post we make. I believe that the majority of their features come from suggestions (I haven't tracked their numbers). Over 20% of our features started as community suggestions, despite the fact that we receive less than one outside recommendation per week. If you're out there reading great obscure stories, then for the gods' sakes, name them! This is a volunteer project, we spend countless hours per week doing just that (for nothing but the love of the craft), and someone unearthing a hidden gem for us literally makes our day.

(edit: added links to both rec threads, clarified SA vs RCL distinction)


Aren't you the guys that once said "EQD-featured stories are less likely to be featured here as well?"

Just for the record, no accusations.

There might be some confusion here, because no, we're not. From the Royal Canterlot Library's FAQ:

Neither story popularity nor author popularity are factored into our process. (Stories do NOT have to be featureboxed, Equestria Daily-featured, or even published on in order to be eligible. However, all of those factors increase the odds of a story first coming to our attention.)

We try to counterbalance that attention factor by reading a wide range of stories, and by asking the community for recommendations; but yes, often our features will have that overlap, because if something featureboxes/EqD-features/wins contests, that's because it's good, and our explicit mission is to spotlight the best of the best.

There are two unrelated groups that do FIMFiction site posts, and the other one is Seattle's Angels (we publish the single-story interviews, they do the collected story reviews). SA's goal is to spotlight underappreciated stories with under 1,000 views. Because an Equestria Daily feature (or featurebox stay) will generally bring that many readers to a story, it's very rare for an EqD-featured (or featureboxed) story to meet their eligibility requirements. It's them that you were thinking of.


Ah yes, I must be confusing those. I apologize.

I'd gladly recommend stories for you guys, but I suffer from the same "problem" you guys seem to have: the majority of fics that I come across are either already super-famous, or they're not the kind of material that would be eligible. :applejackunsure:

If you don't have a major backlog though, and would welcome more recommendations, then I'd gladly dig up a few more gems for you guys.

Mi scipovas paroli la lingvon internacian Esperanto.

Thanks. :twilightsmile: As I said, we get on average less than one recommendaton per week, so don't feel self-conscious about backlogs!


we get on average less than one recommendaton per week

Does this mean I need to step up my game? I think it does. :rainbowdetermined2:

I hope that first part was trolling, because if it wasn't then you deserve everything you proposed and more heaped on yourself. In such a case it would be best if you kept your raging to yourself.

Also, features on EQD don't matter for squat and follower numbers are overrated. Human in Equestria stories (where one or more characters are human) are almost universally crap, not to mention ridiculous. I sincerely doubt your headcanons are really original, and lots of things are discussed on reddit on all sorts of subreddits.

For what it's worth, assuming that you weren't trolling: if you knew and had influence over that many people and used it in such fashion and they followed you'd only be reinforcing the notion that the internet is shit and so are all of it's administrators and therefore anything and everything they or you say would be utterly worthless.

...I take it you're not familiar with copypasta.

2582265 Huh. I thought I was burdening you when I sent two submissions in a month.

2584974 I'm not sure how you could read the interview with JawJoe and dash that away with his joke. I understand how you may not know him, but that was really kinda weird.

Clearly not. Care to dispense some enlightenment? Unless you mean that it's some kind of copy paste from somewhere else, and that's at best an educated guess.

No, I don't know him. And, for the record I have seen people before seem perfectly nice in one comment/post and do a 180 not that much later. This person may not be the type, but there are people like that. One comment they don't like and they go from a sensible person to a unhinged maniac in the way they respond. So I had and have no reason to think that wasn't literal.

Thanks. :twilightsmile:

Sane people should be above that crap.

It's occasionally amusing if used correctly and sparingly. I thought JawJoe's use was fairly amusing.

I'd rather not overly clog the comments here, but amusing though it may be, the use of such things implies the immaturity of the user and is intended as an insult to the other person. They have no valid purpose in civil dialog except as the equivalent of the troll face which is less verbose and less insulting.

But then I realised I don't speak Esperanto, and couldn't find anyone that does.

If you are interested in anything like this in the future, I would recommend sending Amphicoelias a PM, he's done some work with MLP and Esperanto and he is the mod of the MLP Esperanto subreddit.

What the fuck did you just fucking say about me, you little bitch? I’ll have you know I graduated top of my class in the Navy Seals ....

Ahem. It appears you've made the mistake of taking someone who writes pony fanfiction seriously. Chill -- we're all friends here. Plus: your assertion that the use of this specific copypasta implies immaturity could easily be argued: this pasta shows its user to be an idiotic internet tough guy. Anyone who uses it is making fun of themselves; it's the equivalent of jovially saying "you're probably right, and that makes me angry, even though it shouldn't."

It's not intended to offend. On the contrary: it's intended to establish common ground before discussing the matter at hand. Or it was in my case, at any rate. It was an admission that he had a point -- which, if you read the rest of my comment, you'll see I at least partially agreed with.

That, and it's funny.

Well what do you know -- I am planning something like this. Thanks for that; I'll get in touch with the guy and see where that takes me.

Dude, you are a person and I take people seriously. A person does not become a not-person by writing pony fanfiction. You can take your "Chill" and shove it where the sun doesn't shine (whether that be some part of your anatomy or the far side of the moon). What I am telling you is that by posting that copypasta you are immature. If that last bit is what it means, then say it that way or better yet keep your mouth shut.

It is not funny and that is an absolute truth. Have a nice day.

Today, I learned the internet is the most serious of business, and humour is objective. Neat.

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