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Wanderer D

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WDTP (Or I'm throwing stuff at you people.) · 5:59pm Oct 12th, 2015

With all the changes and the demonstrated limited understanding we've seen from some users of how fan fiction works when related to an ongoing show... (ie something written two years ago is not going to respect all the details of the latest episode) I have decided to present you with a simple way of expressing a nice time-code to shut them miscreants up.

Because really. How many times are we going to get: (I'm actually saying this aloud with a mocking tone, fyi.) "Sweetie Belle's cutie mark is not that one! Haven't you watched the show? Her magic is green not [insert color]!"

Let's face it. People here come to read, but they bypass really obvious things, such as "chapter published in 2011" (a.k.a. before you knew ponies existed.) Then they make smart-ass comments that might be an attempt to be helpful, but they come across as the condescending whining of an overhyped lemming that just found its first ravine and discovered the rocky bottom was not high enough to make things swift.

In order to fix this, I have created what I call: the Wanderer D Table of Placement. Or WDTP, for short.

How does it work? Well, it's fairly simple and reminiscent of the early 90s when you had your code to let people in-the-know understand more about you at a glance. But! This time, it's for our fics!

So how does this work? It's easy.

In your fic, in the description after you've written the important parts, instead of posting something long like "This happens between Seasons 1 and 2", you can post the appropriate code (even in a smaller font) with the information of what season and what episode were the last canonical things to happen.

Note: This code is obviously not necessary for fan fiction that is 100% AU, like for example Night's Favored Child or Random Elements. But then, your description should indicate that already.

So, for example.

The Sweetie Chronicles started in November 11, 2011, but takes place between Season 2 and 3 given that Season 2 was underway already and I wanted Sweetie to have some information about the villains of the second season.

So the description would look like this:

Be Awed and Amazed by the tale of Sweetie Belle as she traverses the multiverse in search of her lost mentor and friend, Twilight Sparkle! Will she find her in post-apocalyptic Equestria? Or maybe in a strange world where everypony is the wrong gender? Or even where a Pony claims to be a human? Read as she journeys through very familiar worlds you might have read about... if you dare!

WDTP: S2/3

Meaning that it happens between Season 2 and 3!

Let's say that we have something like The Empty Room, which happened much earlier.

It appeared in EqD on June 19th 2011. So clearly it occurred before season 2.


But those are easy examples. Let's say we have a story that takes up to Season 3, episode 4 and everthing else is non-canon from there on.


From Season 3, Episode 4 forward...Not Canonical

A bit longer, but it gets the message through, don't you think? Let's say the above, but you also want to make clear that the comics have absolutely NO relevance to your story... (because we've all had those annoying "the comic showed" comments appear from time to time.)


From Season 3, Episode 4 forward Not Canonical - Comics Excluded.

That way, when the next guy comes to tell you how this or that is true, and your fic is lying! LYING! Because of this obvious oversight, you can point them to this blog post.


S# = Season Number
E# = Episode Number
NC = Non-canonical
-CE = Excluding Comics
-IC = Including Comics
-EB: excluding books
-IB: including books

/ = Between indicators
\ = Non-canonical from the last indicator

And for ease of dating:

S1 - Season 1
S2 - Season 2
S3 - Season 3
S4 - Season 4
S5 - Season 5

Anyway, I figure this could help. Or maybe not. I dunno. If I could draw ponies I would've drawn a nice chart with Twilight and Pony!Shimmer explaining things.

What do you guys think? Useful?

Comments ( 43 )

Not a bad idea, but just saying when it takes place outright isn't really complicated. It's also easier if there are clunky details like mixing around when the Equestria Girls movies take place, but not messing with things so much that you need an AU tag.

I kinda like it. These should be included in the tags.

Classifications, hooray! I love classifications! :twilightsmile:

hello yes i will be doing this now

ppl think they're cute hopping on old-ass stories talkin bout twilicorn and cutie marks smh

Implying those type of people even pay attention to anything but a coverart and title of the story. :P

Nah, doubt it'd help. I've seen people whine even when there's an AU tag clearly slapped onto a story. But it can at least help potentially minimize the spread of such germination within the comment stream.

Anything is possible I suppose. But the cure for such ailments may not ever see a cure.

Majin Syeekoh

Seems legit.

A rather interesting idea, and I fully support it. Although I also expect it to fail horribly since it requires people to actually pay attention to the story description.

Only trouble I see is that people won't know what the code means. I agree with the basic idea, though. I've had "Started before season four, and does not take season four canon into account." in the description of one of my stories for a good while, and I'm still sure I'll end up with people asking about Spoiled Rich next update.

I've felt something like this should be built into the tagging system for a while, actually. Right around when Twilight ascended...


Or you can do what I do and disregard canon as the end-all and be-all, and simply judge a story for its own merits regardless of how aligned it is with canonical details.

But that might be too much effort for some. :rainbowwild:

What if you want to use some parts of the comics, such as Sombra's origin story, but couldn't be bothered to read all the rest of them? Does this system include codes for specific omission or inclusion of chunks of canon?

Wanderer D

3464758 I'm sure something could be added... like SCC (Sombra Comic Canon)

It's a great idea, but I agree with 3464720 here. it's not gonna help whiners who want every damned thing of your massively AU story to take into account every single thing that's happened in the show.

Personally, I never compare stories to the actual series, FiM:Fiction is just that, Fiction and is apart from the series or the comics. Not that the series itself is not fiction, or for that matter, the comics, but each one is it's own separate entity and should be treated as such, thus, for example, I would never view someones fiction and say something stupid like: "Well, that was not in the episode, you cannot write that".

What I would or might say is something like "Well, that makes for an interesting possibility".

My Two Cents.

Wanderer D

3464798 Yes, but again this is not intended for fine individuals like you or 3464729 who look at a story on its own merits. There's nothing to complain about readers like that. This is to slowly educate those individuals that 3464720 3464788 have mentioned... sure, at first it won't do much, but if more and more people would use it, then they would have to be particularly dense not to catch on eventually.

3464798 You are a legit wise person and I wish more readers were like you.

and if you want to get extra clever, you can incorperate G.M Barrow too!:

EB: excluding books
IB: including books

What if you want to use the comics up to a specific issue but everything after that issue is non canonical? Like, say, you only read the first ten issues (up through the big Mac gazebo arc) but you stopped reading after that.

Wanderer D

3465024 Sure, why not?

Wanderer D

3465078 TBH, the comics are much less widespread than the episodes. So, most likely you would just need to include that they're to be considered rather than be specific about a comic book number. But, if you insist, you can use the same format as the episode number.


You can be as specific as you want, it just results in a slightly longer code.

I just add snide, in-narrative reminders that SHINING ARMOR AND CADENCE DON'T EXIST SO STOP ASKING.

But, you know, this could work too.

Using abbreviations is worse than just writing out "This takes place between seasons 2 and 3" and "This takes place after Daring Don't". Those are clear, concise, and instantly recognizable.

Being able to tag stories as Season 1, Season 2, ect. might be a nice capability, but most people probably aren't going to go back and tag all their stuff.

Also, this:

Let's face it. People here come to read, but they bypass really obvious things, such as "chapter published in 2011" (a.k.a. before you knew ponies existed.) Then they make smart-ass comments that might be an attempt to be helpful, but they come across as the condescending whining of an overhyped lemming that just found its first ravine and discovered the rocky bottom was not high enough to make things swift.

I get that someone said something stupid on one of your stories (and Celestia knows, people do this all the damn time) but this post comes off as being condescending whining itself.

To be entirely honest, the only place that the publication date on a story is displayed is on the chapters page, which is the first thing they see; by the time they've read the story, chances are they've long forgotten the publication date, if they ever even looked at it (goodness knows I rarely do). People don't come to stories to know when they're published, they come to read them. The fact that people miss that a story was published four years ago is hardly surprising, because people comment after they've read a story, and the publication date is in no way displayed at that point.

So, while it would be nice for people to actually spend time checking to see when the story was written before complaining, I don't think almost anyone is going to do so, and it is understandable that they do not. I know I don't check the publication date on stuff before I comment 99% of the time, though I do try to avoid condescending whining.

Well, the whining part, anyway. :moustache:

when you had your code to let people in-the-know, understand more about you at a glance.

This comma is going to give me nightmares. Thanks, buddy!

At that point, it makes me start to think that maybe it would be less trouble to just explain it in a concise sentence. That's an awful lot of numbers and letters! If I saw that at the end of a description without knowing what it was, I would think it was an ISBN number or something.

And while it is kind of cool to imagine this idea becoming standard for the site, it shouldn't be necessary to check the code with this blog to know what it means. A system like this needs to be really self-explanatory, so these people we're talking about know what it means at a glance without having to look it up. If I was reading on mobile(like I do), I wouldn't bother following a link like that.

"WDTP: S5E4" is pretty clear, but "Pre-S5E4" does the same thing without making clueless people wonder what WDTP stands for. And then, of course, how many episodes do you know by number, anyway? Aside from Slice of Life, that is. For stories whose canonity can be linked to a certain episode, I think it's better just to say so.

But for more general timeframes, the code works well enough, especially since, like the episode numbers, I wouldn't be able to remember just by dates what was canon at the time.

So it works in some cases, but I think it would need to be more universally useful to be really viable as a standardized system.

It is sad that this has to be written out. I still think a simple sentence is okay, but the reader should still figure out where the story is, when it comes to a timeline, on their own.

That's a pretty good point.


I know I don't check the publication date on stuff before I comment 99% of the time, though I do try to avoid condescending whining.

True, but like me, if you read something where Twilight is a unicorn or the CMC have different cutie marks, you probably just assume it was written before that point in canon. Like a sane person.

Which I think is really the answer here.

With these ideas together, i can see something genius! :pinkiehappy:

This sounds like a splendid idea that people will ignore in their fervor to criticize? (I'm sorry, I'm pessimistic...)

I'd probably look past those things.

WDTP: Wanderer D's Time Placement?

I look at it from this standpoint:
I care much less about how accurately a fic follows the details in the show than I care about how entertaining and engaging the fic it.

I want a damn good fic, and if that damn good fic deviates from the show, that is perfectly acceptable to me, as long as it is done well.

3464720 the only way to make it work is if people do it the more people the better and then it catches on once that happens alot more people start doing it then the people who don't are forced to because everyone else is PEER PRESSURE FTW

Edit and then everyones is spaming comments instead of corrects it's what are those letters numbers mean

or this can't of taken place after (wftp here) because (Reasons)

3466621 Without looking at WD's post again. Can you recall the difference between "/" and "\"? You're asking every writer to memorize and apply this system to all their stories so one or two "TL;DR Why you no canon?" commenters who don't even pay attention to stuff like who edited a story or click on "+More" to "read more".

My point was, yeah. You can take measures to reduce the chance for such comments. But you're assuming readers will KNOW what these \ and / and IB and all that convoluted stuff will somehow get the readers to already know and understand.

I for one don't even bother reading who edited what and blah blah stuff that doesn't affect the story in any way for me as a reader. Does that offend? As a reader I don't care. I'm diving into a story to read a story. The only name I'll recognize is the Author. Author notes asking us to take into account it's an AU at the top I skip. But that is likely more effective of using an Author's note PROPERLY and keeping it SIMPLE is a better and effective way to deter such commenters then this sort of system that can be passed over as people just look at the chapter, click, and start reading.

Many people read on their way to work, School, killing time between lunch breaks or bus/car rides. A good chuck of readers on this site are casual readers. Many never comment. Many don't even read a story if it's too long or too short. Many more don't even click on a story that doesn't have a complete tag, normally putting stuff they think might be good or go somewhere into their read later.

TL;DR: WD's idea isn't knew and has been used by some writers over the years. It just doesn't stop people who are just going to do what they want. Not saying it doesn't help to some degree, but you're still likely to see them happen anyways.

3466761 read my comment before replying i already said that without the wall of text

Edit and then everyone is spamming comments instead of corrects it's what are those letters numbers mean
or this can't of taken place after (wftp here) because (Reasons

AKA solves a problem but makes new ones but no reason to be mad at an improvment

3466871 If you're going to be an ass who didn't bother to read the first comment properly to begin with, you wouldn't need a second 'wall of text' to deliver the first point to you in more lamens terms.



you obviously didn't read mine why should I read yours you don't get to take the high ground here. we've had this argument before too you respond to comments without reading them all the way through weather your right or wrong is not the point

read the GD comment all the way through before responding else people are gonna dismiss you as an idiot.

3467260 I'm not here to sugarcoat stuff. Far as people thinking me an idiot? I don't see how that should bother me. I'm not here to cater to people's sensibilities. I treat those how they treat me. I can be sweet or sour. You made your pick. Dismiss away, I did read your comment. You just happened to edit it later. My response was well made but I was busy skyping to finish my reply, but that doesn't matter now does it?

Now, sure, I talked down to you in order to make my point clearer. More words, sure, but I don't mind going down to other people's level. I type with the assumption that people WILL STOP reading the moment their sensibilities/egos are hurt. It won't make what I threw at them any less valid like a certain analysis griffon I showed up during a certain comic. :rainbowlaugh:

Still, there is no maturity in covering your eyes and pretending something isn't there. It's more amusing when they reply telling you they refuse to read something, yet, feel they HAVE to tell you they didn't read it, it only makes them look stupid far as I'm concerned. I don't mind posting back whenever I'm talked to, regardless how people act. I don't have to, I if I can choose to. Much like now. It doesn't bother me. I might not reply instantly, but I don't leave people hanging. ;3

Talk to me any way you wish, I could not care less.

Why I replied the first time? Your post made you sound redundant, to me. You reply without seeing what others posted. You simply brought up stuff that didn't add to the conversation, made me assume you didn't understand my very basic, very short, opinion on the matter and simply didn't make any substantial argument that a bajillion others haven't already posted before you yet you felt the need to leave the original message that began to argue something I wasn't trying to shoot down, simply pointing to how such measures can only reduce and not eliminate such comments.

I'm not going to argue semantics...
...But yeah, careful with how you reply to people. Words can be easily interpreted as hostile by others depending how you act towards them.

Political correctness? I'm not a believer of people being entitled to my immediate respect. That stuff is earned, one speaks how they wish to be spoken to.

P.S. TL;DR: You get a cookie if you read all this and an apology for snapping at your rudeness. Despite sounding condescending, I'm actually being sincere. Except the cookie part, can't actually give you a real cookie less you lived nearby me. Sorry.

P.S.S. Seriously, typing all this doesn't bother me. I don't expect people to read everything I post, I'm not a self-entitled person who demands such from people. I just DO IT. :rainbowdetermined2:

P.S.S.S. Now you got me wanting cookies... Screw you, you win this battle but I shall not lose the_! Whatever this is... :rainbowhuh:

P.S.S.S.S. Meh. Bygones.

P.S.S.S.S.S. May I be dismissed now? I need to potty.

I like it :twilightsmile:, but I have a suggestion to make it clearer. Instead of making separate codes for including and excluding X-Source of Canon, just use + and -. Observe:

S3E10+C = Season Three Episode Ten and Comics
S4E9-EG = Season Four Episode Nine without Equestria Girls
S5E6+EG2 = Season Five Episode Six and Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks

Also, the appended part could be optional. I mean, it might be easier to just use the standard S#E# code and then say + or - whatever, like this:


You could also drop the S#E# code in some cases. Say you want your story to follow all show canon and Equestria Girls (including anything yet to be published) but not the comics. Do this:

WDTP: Show+EG-Comics

Here's another one. Say I want season 3 canon and only random selected bits of season 4. How about this:

S3+Parts of S4
Note: This would require more explanation in the description.

Final couple of things here. I think the Non-Canonical thing should just be implied. If you say S2E13, I'm going to assume that anything after that doesn't necessarily apply. Also, instead of using a / for between, use ~ or ^ like S4^S5 for occurring between seasons. The / is too easily confused with \.


i'm not arguing your oppinion anymore because i sorta agree with what you were saying to begin with why would i argue that

I was just pissed you skipped over my comment you may go now enjoy your cookies :P

Well Wander, you just got an A++ with this idea!
I'm spazzed when you added TER on the examples xD
Is silly how newbloodies tend to want to outsmart veterans with their smartassery, but oh well.
Only little problem I think this idea has is that some people are plain dumb and might still ignore the fact that a fic was written before certain canon events. Or even worse, they will still try to state why an author is "wrong" disregard they know the fic was from before or does not include canon from X part and afterwards.
Actually, on second thought, I find yet another little detail with this system you propose. It is that FiM continuity's through seasons is rather unclear. Some episodes on a season happen before others although they have higher numbers on the list. This makes for some confusing timeline.

Anyway, all in all, I think this idea of yours should be encouraged.

Little bit late for this comment,
But it's nice to see you try giving an overwiev of how to categorize the progression, or time placement, of a story. This code is very well thought through.

The problem is though, most of the poeple who write you stuff like "This ain't right, Sweetie no got dat cutie mark" aren't going to bother deciphering this code, which really isn't hard at all but it's already too much work and research for them to understand. You can expect this simply because before they wrote their comment, they didn't bother to look up past chapters or the general desciption of the story which already informs them about when this story is set.
>Considering that Sweetie is pretty much jumping realities/dimensions, complaining about what color her magic is or what her cutie mark 'should have been' is pretty useless already, simply because she was INSIDE another dimension when she got her butt tattoe or used her magic. Different universe, different rules, new things ahead et cetera. In addition to that she is fullfilling a completely different fate than other Sweetie Belle's. She still loves singing of course, plays an instrument even, but this is 'Traveler Sweetie', who has matured much faster than many other Sweetie's, and was thrust into "that terrible fate" to find all the lost shards of her once whole mentor, Twilight Sparkle. Without having a say in the matter mind you.<
Everything that is marked as >< is pretty much what these poeple ignore, forget, don't bother to look up.
So the code won't help them to stop making mistakes like that much, out of lazyness it will be ignored.


Nice. I'll use it, even though it's pretty pointless on my story (yeah, singular).

A nice addition would be a way to say "non canon, alternate universe" from a certain point onward, because while being non-canon implies we disregard minor (and not so minor) things that became canon, NC/AU would basically say "this is an alternate universe, and this is were it branches off". Most of the canon is made irrelevant by choice more than necessity, as there was no way the show was going to head that way anyway.

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