• Member Since 13th Feb, 2012
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  • 342 weeks
    Non-Pony Project Up and Running

    Hey everybody,

    It's been a while. Life treating you right? Yeah? That's good, man. That's real good.

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    7 comments · 1,407 views
  • 360 weeks
    Final Remarks

    Ladies and gentleman,

    Over three years ago, I started writing the story of Rarity and Graves with the goal of giving them a happily ever after. Yesterday, I met that goal, and so I can finally say with a smile that it's all done. The stories of Graves are finished.

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    30 comments · 1,090 views
  • 374 weeks
    An Address to the Crowd

    Ladies and gentlemen,

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    34 comments · 1,211 views
  • 374 weeks
    It Is Done

    It is finished.

    10 comments · 831 views
  • 377 weeks
    The Final Countdown

    Guys. Guys. Hey Guys. Guys. Hey Guys. Listen.

    It's done.

    Three minutes ago, I finished the final rewrites, edits, and tweaks of Journey's End. I'm excited. Super excited, because I really, really want you all to see where it's all been going.

    So from here on out, the number is two. Updates will come out every two days at 6:30 eastern, until everything finally comes to a close.

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    12 comments · 586 views

A Prime Example of What Not to Do · 11:11pm Nov 18th, 2014

Good day, good day to all. It has been an interesting day and so, I thought I'd share a little story.

This afternoon, I got an intriguing message from one reader named Smoker. Despite the fact that his by "no means its biggest fan - it has its share of flaws, no offense -" (direct quote, as is basically everything else), he wanted to write a sequel to The Journey of Graves. At the same time, I noticed that he'd left some comments on A Long, Winding Road. Naturally, I figured I'd give it a look and see what he had to say about the story.

For ducks sake have these bitches heard of common sense.

Hmm... interesting opening comment. But maybe his later comments get better.

I have To say after last chapter, this one just seems like the author is desperately trying not to make graves seem over powered. And he falls miserably.

Okay, so I'm a failure of a writer? Well that's... interesting. What else?

This is quite possibly the most stupidly overpowered mary sue I have ever encountered in my entire life.

... Yeah, I'm not following anymore. But more there is.

At the very least, there is a tiny little silver lining: Rarity actually grows a brain cell and decides NOT to go on her suicide mission to find him. Point to Rarity.
Wait, no, just read the last bit of the story. She's fucking stupid as hell after all. Two points from Rarity house.

Alright, now he's dissing the marshal's girl. That isn't gonna end well and indeed, it doesn't, for you see, his last comment was:

Not - not even humoring us.
fuck it. i'm done.

Well, what to do, what to do? I'm usually pleased as punch about having a reader want to do work based on The Journey, but this? This was just not cool. Considering he doesn't even understand what I'm trying to write here, let alone appreciate it, meant that obviously, I had to deny his request in the absolute. His response?

...and developed characters i've seen more well developed characters on the back of a cereal box you think this is good writing this is just malignant tripe you send form letters to everyone who comments on your stories as an attempt to whore yourself out and get more followers what is this bullshit none of it makes sense.

Ladies and gentlemen, as I have stated in the title, this is a prime example of what you don't want to do. First, don't ask to write a sequel after posting horrendously mean spirited remarks. Second, when you're predictably refused, don't throw a hissy fit. I mean, seriously, "malignant tripe?" And calling me a whore? Though I don't need to defend myself, I figure I should explain. Yes, I do sent out letters to commentors, favoriters, and the like because I happen to love people who read my stories. Also, I always figure that a personal invitation to join in is a nice little touch, especially since if it happens, people can keep up with my stories more easily and I can grow The Journey community a little more. Everybody wins! Why Smoker considers this "bullshit none of it makes sense" is truly beyond me.

Now, some of you may be asking why I'm making a post about this. Because a gentleman always defends his honor and the honor of those in his care, wot wot! But really, I did it I want to make it clear that I will not stand for this sort of behavior. Am I salty about it? About as much as saltwater taffy, I suppose. These sorts of comments do irk me a bit (after all, nobody likes being called a whore), but on the bright side, they also makes me really grateful for the people who do understand.

I may have to deal with hecklers like Smoker, but I've gotten to meet infinitely more wonderful people. There are the artists like The Reanimator (creator of Journey's End artwork) and Captain Pudge Muffin (creator of Untangling the Knot artwork), MrBackPack, the editor who helped me get my start, Intrapulation the YouTuber, the remaining anonymous reader who sent me The Definition of Worth letter, Valient Bug, the first person to ever follow me who is still following The Journey to this very day, and so many more. I could go on (and I will at a later date), but I just realized it's funny how a bad egg can make you count all the blessings you really have.

So yeah, all in all, I guess that not even the greatest communities can keep out the trolls (reference intended), but it really doesn't matter. What's important is that I say thanks to all the readers who continue to enjoy The Journey. Hope you get a chuckle out of this message and know that I am so grateful for each and every one of you. Adieu!


P.S. New chapter comes out tomorrow, 6:30 Eastern. I think that'll be the standard time for all posts unless people want a different time? Let me know!

Report GentlemanJ · 644 views · Story: A Long, Winding Road ·
Comments ( 34 )

I'm still trying to figure out how someone who's had it as hard as Graves is a Gary Stu. Either way, I love your stories and always recommend them to new fic readers. Please, keep up the good work.


Okay, let me start out by saying that this dude is a total chode-smoker of the highest order. I have read some stories that I absolutely loathed, to the point of screaming at the computer screen... but I never make it personal. This is not how you offer criticism. When it comes to criticizing someone's story, I follow the same rules my old Sergeant Major had for dealing with the local populace of Iraq:

Be polite.
Be professional.
Be prepared to kill.

OKay, um, maybe that last one doesn't really translate well to fan fiction. Uh... moving on.

However, that all said... he kinda has a point with the Mary Sue argument. Please don't misread me; I love this series! Above all else, you have written a fantastic tale that begs to be read, has great flow, and a second-to-none alternate universe, one that actually uses humanized characters to great effect! But Graves... well, he's not perfect, yeah, but his failings tend to be hand waved away. Characters tend to spend an inordinate amount of time talking about him, most times about how awesome he is. Even when he's not in the scene, he's the center of attention. He's stronger, more powerful, faster, more clever than most. He's best friends with all the Mane Six, and in a romantic relationship with one of them. That's almost the textbook definition of a Sue.

However again, none of that really detracts from the overall enjoyability of the story, and that speaks to your talents as an author. In the hands of a lesser man, this would be boring as hell. But you make it work.

So... where am I going with this? Iunno. Honestly, Graves may not be a Sue, per say. Hell, you could argue that Superman is a Sue, or even Twilight if viewed a certain way. Boiler-plate: you're a damn fine author, I can not wait to see how this journey ends, and that Smoker guy needs a knife-hand to the throat.

Eh. Just a needle-dicked troll. He probably just wanted the attention and doesn't actually want to write a sequel. If he does then he certianly doesn't deserve to.

Tell him to piss up a rope.

2603263 I can agree with... pretty much everything you said really. Do want to point a few things out that might provide a little context. Regarding how he's always at the center of attention, that's mostly because it's his story and I only really wanted to write about him. It's sort of like everyone else is having adventures at the same time, but I'm just not covering it. Selective attention and what not.

As for how he's perfect, that's a little trickier. See, the key I was going for is that Graves has a major flaw that's not very obvious, though many would not consider it a flaw. He's obsessive. Dangerously obsessive. Like, seriously, the way he reacts in most situations is not the product of a healthy mind. However, the fact that his obsession translates into observably good traits like strength and ability does lend to the Mary Sue argument, but hey, maybe he's just legit.

Now, a question for you, good sir: has the definition of Mary Sue been over applied so that essentially any likable hero now qualifies? Mostly, it seems like based on the criteria mentioned, a hero must either be strong or have a good personality, but can't have both. You seem like an intelligent fellow and I'd love to hear your opinion.

I must confess: a long time ago, I acted like the asshole presented here towards a guy in this site. I was complaining about a romantic subplot in his story, saying that it was too sudden and completely unneccessary, that there was absolutely no signal of why it happened. Two characters did the "thing", and I let it bother me too much. I "politely" asked the author to reconsider using the romance genre for something different. The comment was the most disliked I had ever had.

I later learned that it was alcoholic romance, and the alcohol entered the hero's bloodstream when the love interest tended his wounds.

I didn't even realize there was alcohol involved. The scene I hated made more sense! I realized my Derp and figured that I may had been overreacting. I apologized to the author and made a joke about my reading comprehension skills to lighten any tension between us. My response was... something that I had no clue of. I didn't quite understand it so I replied with something along the lines of "What?"

And the reply was in Spanish. It was awkward.

So, moral of the story: don't be a hateing stranger, or else you'll be met with something... well, stranger.

Just report the guy and if he starts to harass you by sending you PM's Just report those as well and block him ^^.

Wasn't this the guy I got into a huge argument with on the same story and you had to tell us to cut it out Mr. J?

2603364 Don't think it was the same person: seems like a new troll. And Mr. J? Does that make me... the Joker?!:pinkiecrazy:


...Does that make me Harley Quinn?

I try not to pay attention to people who cannot even grammar. To me, it means they are not taking it seriously, and if they cannot take their own argument seriously, then why should you?

2603263 I've got a post on my user page that I copy/pasta to stories that need help but I wish to avoid making it personal. The three times I've posted it, the authors have been very willing to listen to further criticism, but I always try to keep myself methodical about it.

2603292 Mary Sue, as I recall, is the name of a character so perfect and flawless that they're boring to read about. There's no such thing as conflict where they're involved, because everyone loves them and that takes precedence over anything else.

I remember this one blog post story someone had made showing off a true Mary Sue. "Twilight Is A Mary Sue And Everything Is Perfect," I think they'd called it.

It opens on Twilight being born, as an Alicorn, with her cutie mark, and her tiara, and when she makes her first sound it's a perfect giggle and it causes all her friends, far apart as they are, to suddenly gain their cutie marks and know their special talents and when she hatches Spike he's hatched as a young teen and dotes upon her like the princess she is and it just goes on and on and on about every perfect little thing, and it's boring.

Then it tries to take itself more seriously by having Nightmare Moon show up, but lo and behold, she's defeated before she can do anything evil because Twilight's just that amazing and so Luna feels rightfully ashamed to call herself a princess, because she's not as wonderful and beautiful and smart as Twilight and then Celestia agrees and gives Twilight control of everything, but that doesn't really matter because she still follows along with her friends being perfect as their lives go perfectly because of her perfection, and nothing bad ever happened again the end.

Graves? He's definitely not a Sue of any kind. He's gritty, has actual feelings, has characters that are wary or angry towards him, he doesn't get along with Rarity at times, and even in the first story they didn't even really realize they liked each other that much until the later chapters.

So GentlemanJ, I have only one question. When you read comments like this, do you (and anyone else who receives bullshit like this) react in a similiar way?
I figure the reaction is more from the failure of grammar than his actual opinion though.

I don't think Graves is a Sue (or Stu). He has some blind spots that I hope J will exploit in the final story. Powerful does not always equal a Sue.

I have some ideas for the Graves-verse that would expand on its world-building, and not directly involve Graves. I've told J some of my theories on some of the supporting characters. There is potential for side stories that would flesh out some of the other characters not named Graves, Rarity, or Sweetie Belle. I, for one, would love to read alternates takes on the Graves-verse from other writers (with J's blessing, of course.)

2603775 Pretty accurate for the grammar. As for the comment, I refer you to seconds 0:17-0:20 of this video.

2603843 Could you restate those ideas here for record and easy reference? Also, a fine idea indeed.

2603875 While both of those are true, I feel this one works also especially when it's the same guy or just a bunch of them that won't stfu and move on.

2603882 I assume you mean story ideas, not being a Sue/Stu, right? You mentioned one of Graves' weaknesses. He has blind spots regarding himself, and his ability to look at the big picture.

As for short story ideas: I imagine Spike joining the Academy. With his academic tutelage from Twilight, and PT from Graves, Spike would challenge Shining Armor's records. I am also a fan of General Ironside, and I would like to read his POV, i.e.: how he molds and pushes Graves the same way Celestia does with Twilight. As for newer ideas, I would to hear more tales of Squad 26, especially one that involves a crossover with the Wonderbolts. How about how the Marshalls impressions of the Elements of Harmony's reputation, and why Rarity can waltz across the Academy like she owns the place. Then there's Rarity's parents, and how their thoughts about Graves do a 180 before and after their first meeting - Magnum imaging that Graves has girlfriends in every city, then ultimately accepting him as a future son-in-law.

I have some other ideas, but those are contingent on how this journey ends, (read: Rarity's future).

Great, I had been referring to myself as not the biggest fan of your stories. Got some enjoyment, but not as much as others. Now I gotta find some other term so I can put as much distance between me and that guy.

I might have to start using the phrase 'for ducks sake' though. Swearing by waterfowl always amuses me.

2603939 If you enjoy it, then just say you enjoy it without any qualifications. After all, if only the biggest fan had a right to enjoy it, that's be a pretty small party, don't you think? :twilightsmile:

While I agree a Gentleman should defend his honour, I feel it's a bit uncouth to doso by aggressively drawing attention so publicly to ones detractors. It feels a bit of a strawman argument, especially in this case where it's less critiques and more just disparagement and insults.

I sympathize with you and agree it's valid to point out such things are inappropriate, publicly shaming for it feels crass.

You're alright with other authors writing Graves side stories? I had (what I thought was) a good idea involving Araneida and Graves in Stalliongrad, but I wouldn't want to write something like that without your permission.

2604678 If readers draw inspiration from my stories, then by all means, write away. Whether they are acceptable as canon depends of course on a quality review. Please feel free to write, but if you want me to take a look at anything, you can find me at thejourneyofgraves@gmail.com.


Of course, I wouldn't publish anything without a seal of approval from you.

Quite frankly, you're being as bad as, if not worse than Smoker in this blog post, picking the things from his comments that make him look bad, not to mention the fact there is a blog post in the first place. And I must say in his defence, while he could have said it in a better way, he does have some good points.

2605144 So the fact that I pointed out how he posted profanity and personal insults makes me worse than him? You've got me confused.

Naming and shaming like isn't exactly something I'd say is good. Also, I didn't say you were worse than him, I said "you're being as bad as, if not worse than", which is quite a bit of a difference. You're making yourself look like the victim when there's nothing to really be a victim about. This is the internet, things like this happen, and instead of considering the points he raises, you seemingly intend to invalidate them all and/or draw attention away from them by making him look like the big bad here. Again, I don't approve of how he said things, but he did raise valid points, and you apparently ignore them and counter-attack him by naming and shaming him, when you could have been the better man and at least ignore it all.

2606648 I will stand against what I don't believe is right. I will respect your right to do the same.

Likewise, of course. Still, I believe you should look at the points he raises. Any criticism is still criticism after all.

2606693 If you read the previous comments, you would see that I already engaged multiple readers on the point Smoker brought up of Graves being a Mary Sue. Even before you wrote in, I was doing what you lectured me for not doing.

I must admit I skipped over the comments and apologize for that.

This pleases me. Seriously, you have no idea how glad I am to have someone else that hates these guys as much as I do. My work? Well, I don't have enough people viewing it to get many comments in the first place, but when I see it there, or on ANYONE else's work, weather its good writing or no, I get mad. It's not constructive, its not helpful, its not enlightening, its just downright degrading. Come on people, no one likes a troll, and that's exactly what this kind of stuff is. Thought a brony website would be more immune to this kinda stuff, you know, because don't hate, love and tolerate?

For anyone who has to deal with this kind of hate (Including you J), just now the person commenting has nothing worth noting to say, and that for every parasprite out there, there are twenty more people who enjoy your work. Keep doing what your doing, always improve, and you will always have people creepily watching you write. Like me :pinkiecrazy:

Stay awesome GentlemanJ, brohoof just for you. /)*(\

2613716 You are an upstanding citizen and I award you a Macintosh of Manly Swagger. :eeyup:

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