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FanOfMostEverything


FoMEy the Windigo wishes you a merry and friendship-filled holiday. Or else.

More Blog Posts1125

  • Thursday
    MMascot of Frost

    It's the most wonderful time of the year (or near enough) and that means it's time for holiday avatars. The traditional embellishment is a Santa hat, but I like to go the extra mile. And while I've done plenty of Christmas avatars, I've never done a specifically Hearth's Warming-oriented one. Ergo, FoMEy the Windigo.

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    10 comments · 169 views
  • Sunday
    Icy Blaster

    It should come as no surprise that I enjoy a good crossover, but the latest chapter of Dueling Keyboards is breaking some new ground for me. It's not the first time I've contemplated working with the Caped Crusader, but it is the first I've been able to put

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  • Sunday
    Friendship is Card Games: Rainbow Dash Presents: Somewhere Only We Know

    It’s the Sunday after Thanksgiving in the States. And Black Friday, for that matter. So, let’s commemorate both with a tale of mistreated, overworked laborers and be grateful that most Equestrias aren’t like it.

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  • 1 week
    Master of the Feast

    My apologies for a belated happy Thanksgiving to those celebrating it.

    I've been busy for the past few days.

    12 comments · 139 views
  • 1 week
    Friendship is Card Games: Generations #1

    We’re not quite done with IDW yet. This week, we look at what may technically be part of G5. After all, what else do you get when you add G1 and G4?

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    5 comments · 221 views
Oct
31st
2015

Brilliant Spectrum: Oversaturation Wrap-Up · 2:04pm Oct 31st, 2015

You know, I really wish I could say I planned the story that pulls from the Story Shuffle EG fics to end at the end of October. Still a fun coincidence, though.

In any case, Oversaturation is now complete. If you like to wait until stories are completed before reading them, you’re in luck! If you don’t like Equestria Girls stories… well, you’re kind of in luck, in the sense that I’ve cleared the creative logjam that was keeping me from focusing on more equine narratives. After the break, this is a sort of DVD special features blog, with commentary and deleted scenes. Spoilers abound, so don’t read further unless you’ve read the story.

Inspiration

This story has been a long time coming. I’ve been sitting on one of the ideas pretty much since I saw the first movie: Namely, how do humans get their cutie marks? Few people seem to give this question much thought, but it’s a very odd phenomenon. After all, just about everyone having a personal symbol that perfectly matches their equine analogue’s mark of destiny? That’s a bit peculiar.

Canon gives us nothing to work on here, so I used that absence to make a rather paradoxical taboo: Everyone knows about them, everyone can see them, but no one says anything. If you know, you don’t have to ask. If you need to ask, you shouldn’t know.

This turned out… divisive. I didn’t think about how cultish the concept sounded, especially when people didn’t know about the compulsion that preserved the secret. That’s the thing; I made a sort of zen conspiracy, where no one but the universe itself has all of the information, and that meant that I couldn’t explain it immediately. Still, it definitely went better than the rough draft, which was basically just an exposition dump. Once again, thanks go to the prereaders who convinced me to fold the events of the planned prologue into the main story, Blue_Paladin42, Kris Overstreet, Bliss Authority, and Derpmind. Seriously, I am so glad that I got some peer review on that one.

Aside from humie marks, the other major idea was one I’ve been contemplating since Rainbow Rocks, magic growing out of control in the human world. The Human Five were imbued with magic while smacking Sunset with the Rainbow Beam of Fix Everything™, Single Element Edition®. It stood to reason that the giant energy alicorn and the rainbow shockwave that shattered the sirens would have some collateral effects. So, an entire school full of magic they can’t predict or control, along with the Humane Six clearly growing in power. What wider consequences could come of that beyond the obvious?

My Discworld influence definitely showed up here: Too much magic in too little space never ends well. Combine with advancing mutations and a beautiful blend of cosmic peril and awkward humor presented itself. I let the idea stew on one of my many back burners for about a year. It was a classic bit of procrastination. “Boy, I sure do look forward to writing this someday.” That sort of thing.

So, what changed? Simple. Someone else had a similar idea. MythrilMoth’s Oops! I’m Equine Again touched on many of the same concepts this was going to, and the parallels were enough to jolt me out of my inertia.

Moving on to notable characters, Mr. Discord has been part of my headcanon since I watched the first movie and had Ditzy Planeswalker laugh at Sunset’s zombie army plan. The idea of Discord studying physics and hoping to find a loophole appeals to me much more than making him a janitor.

Making Sunset a spirit of harmony waiting to happen came relatively late in the process, while I was writing the actual story. Given how she added a seventh color to the Rainbow Power beam, there’s definitely something going on with her and harmony magic. I just took it to a logical extreme. Plus, it amused me to give Sunset exactly what she wanted in the first place: world conquest, and with it, responsibility for that world.

And Sonata? I’ve never bought into Taco Waifu. She’s evil, guys. She’s just perkily evil. Given the sirens’ constant bickering, it seems like the species was never meant to be especially social. Granted, that could just be centuries of familiarity breeding a lot of contempt, but I love nonhuman (and nonpony) mentalities.

Changes

An idea left to incubate for years is going to leave behind a lot of discarded scenes. The original idea, working title The Eleuwhinnean Mysteries, was going to be the human Crusaders getting their cutie marks. Then it would’ve been Mr. Discord spouting exposition to the Crusaders after Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon did some silent mockery. They could say anything, but they could definitely hold themselves in a way that drew attention to Tiara’s barrette and Spoon’s brooch.

Yeah, it would’ve been pretty terrible.

Oversaturation was originally going to take place while school was in session, but incorporating “Rock On” meant it had to be the start of spring break at CHS. I was entirely okay with that, as it meant both transformed Maud and greater freedom for the characters. Still, I had to give up quite a few ideas:

• Celestia actually saying the line she jokingly mentions in “Brightness” over the PA system.
• Panic in the band room.
• Sunset’s discussion with Celestia leading to an assembly where Sunset, being the local authority on magic, fields questions from the student body. It doesn’t go well.
• Flash Sentry poking his head in as the Rainbooms discuss the matter, orange wings coming out of his jacket. Sunset would shout “We’re working on it!” and slam the door.
• Another assembly where Luna gets mobbed by angry parents until she unleashes the Traditional Principal Canterlot Voice. This is where I got the shuddering moon idea in “Clashing.”

Beyond that, there were a number of other scrapped ideas. Human Twilight was originally going to openly weep when she discovered that magic was real, but that felt far too melodramatic. The scene with Twilight and Principal Cinch went through three revisions, one after the chapter was published! (MythrilMoth pointed out that a private school principal has no say over whether a student can transfer to a public school. Thanks again, Moth.) The discussion with Celestia would’ve included a line about Luna determining that the Dazzlings were officially nonentities, having zero documentation or digital footprint. There would’ve been a mention that Luna may or may not have hacked Interpol’s records to determine this. However, I couldn’t keep the joke in good conscience when the woman was canonically fooled by a literal cut-and-paste photomanipulation.

Most troublesome of all was Ditzy Doo’s role in the last chapter. The original plan was to have her get knocked out of the local spacetime manifold by the cross-dimensional shockwave of the world getting reformatted. This would’ve been shown from the perspective of Bright Eyes, Bearer of Wisdom in the world of Good King Sombra, as a mysterious minotauroid manifested before her. The problem was that Ditzy would’ve been gone for days, and the consequences thereof were far more trouble than they would be worth.

Plan B was to have Ditzy plunge out of exotic geometry, plow into Sunset, and complain about ponies. (“Why do they all assume everything can digest hay!?” “Most ponies aren’t what you’d call culturally sensitive…”) Of course, she still would’ve vanished for at least three days. At this point, I realized that the whole idea was self-indulgent and added nothing to the story as a whole. So I devised the final scene, which could demonstrate Ditzy’s seven-axis motion in a much less obtrusive way.

For the record, Ditzy getting knocked out of local spacetime is still canon, but she was able to find her way back in a matter of hours. It was surprisingly easy; she just had to ignore all of the crystal trees and aim for the giant glowing Sunset.

The Harmonism leak also had to be minimized, since the ongoing discussion was rather too serious to justify a long digression on the topic. Basically, someone posted the details of the icon ceremony on the wiki page. It got a “citation needed” marker, but that lead to the discussion page being filled with confirmation after confirmation. Then, as per the Law of Precedence—everything is easier to do the second time—the walls of secrecy came a-tumblin’ down.

Friendship Games

Writing a story contemporaneously with new canon is always an adventure. Here, it turned out pretty well. “Science of Magic” was a godsend. It justified the “science hero” plot of researching the problem into submission by giving CHS a canon human research facility. All I had to do was tie it to Mr. Discord and a silly acronym.

The other shorts were more focused on preparations for the Games themselves, so I couldn’t get much out of them. The movie itself actually hit quite a few of the same notes as Oversatuartion: Magic out of control; confounded, desperate Sunset; unreachable pony Twilight; curious, eager human Twilight; holding hands initiating the resolution; and so forth.

Canon human Twilight definitely came off as far less confident than we all expected her to be, but in my story, there’s actually a clear divergence point: Mr. Discord. He balanced out Cinch’s influence with his own unique effect on Twilight’s life, resulting in the differences on display. (Also, I’d like to note that I managed to give Flash Sentry a much more plot-significant role with 100% fewer onscreen lines and Twilight collisions.)

As you can probably tell, “Light” was the only chapter that was planned out after Friendship Games aired. I actually hadn’t settled on a final scene beyond Sunset’s speech to the world until last week. The conversation with Cinch, Sunset starting to delegate, even the discussion of the morality of preserving the world were all added over the last month or so, but I didn’t have any sense of how to bring everything to a satisfying conclusion. Only after the Ditzy Doo debacle did I determine that showing what Sunset had accomplished would be the perfect closer.

Also, I didn’t ship human Twilight and Sunset any harder than the movie did. So there. :raritywink:

Final Thoughts

Thanks go to Estee for the “thematically related chapter titles” thing. No doubt it’s been done elsewhere, but Triptych and A Mark of Appeal are the first stories I think of when it comes to that idea. Note that each of the chapter titles has a number of different pertinent meanings. I love doing that sort of thing.

The comments are already clamoring for a sequel, or even an entire ‘verse! I don’t have any ideas for the former. Really, I seem to have a knack for leaving unintentional sequel hooks when I think the story is wrapped up. But if there’s genuine interest in the latter, I can certainly look into making a group. We are going to need a name, though. The Oversaturated World?

(Note from the future: Yup. That's what we settled on.)

In any case, thank you all for reading this story. I can only assume you enjoyed it if you made it this far. :raritywink:

Comments ( 7 )

Just call the group "Oversaturated" and refer to it as "the Oversaturated 'verse."

Thanks again for writing it.

Just read the story as a result of this blog. It was an excellent piece: technically impeccable (as always with your work), good pacing, a unique idea with a great deal of potential for the future, a nice conclusion and a very compact narrative.

Two things in particular stood out: the first was some fascinating, if controversial, headcanon with regards to the mechanics of the human world and it's magic. This clearly existed, otherwise the portal would never have functioned at all, the Sirens would never have been able to use even a little of their magic and Pinkie would not be Pinkie. I found your preposition that the magic effectively hides it's own presence, aided and abetted by modern sensibilities causing people to dismiss it, particularly interesting and worthy of investigation in further works.

More gratifying still, however, was your excellent grasp of character; Rarity and the human Discord stand out starkly in this regard. In the case of the former, one scene in particular stood out: the discussion with Applejack about Rarity's increasing intolerable headache. Canonically, Rarity indulges in her histrionics only over trivial matters, and at her own leisure (she's quite self aware about it); when something important is taking place that requires her participation, she bucks up, shuts up and gets on with it. I was impressed by how eloquently you were able to impart that aspect of her character. After slugging through Commander Thorn, with it's deformed and rudimentary grasp of canon characters, this was a breath of fresh air.

Discord impressed for another reason; since Discord is tied to his magic in a way other characters aren't, a human counterpart must be constructed largely from the ground up. Your eccentric scientist, who is wealthy enough to be regarded as such (I detect a hint of Discworld here; Sam Vimes was too poor to have been an alcoholic: he was a drunk) was a good take on the issue. I found his interactions with the girls to be highly enjoyable.

If I had a criticism of the piece, it would be that it left so much unexplored; it's a whole new world now, with new conflicts waiting, and it is begging for more stories.

All in all, a fine show, and well worth my read. Well done :pinkiehappy:

I must say that the Humanestria (or however you call the EqG world!) has been growing on me, and not just because of Sunset Shimmer who's now one of my favorite ponies overall. So, it was very nice to see you tackle it with a serious worldbuilder's attitude but also with a sense of fun!

The handling of characters, though, was made this really memorable. Especially Sonata the confused monster in the body of a high-school girl; Mr. Discord, dedicated to studying order and the laws of nature in a search of a loophole he doesn't expect to find and won't even fully admit it to himself that he's looking for; and, of course, Sunset herself.

Aaah, this has everything I want in an adventure story. Love the world building, love the characters. I think Discord might have been my favorite in the story.

And of course, I loved best humanhorse. I just can't quite get enough (good) Sunset stories. :twilightsheepish:

Once again, thanks go to the prereaders who convinced me to fold the events of the planned prologue into the main story,

And it worked brilliantly! Good show, sir. :moustache:

Basically, someone posted the details of the icon ceremony on the wiki page.

Have you ever written down all the details on that? From what I remember reading, my best guess is that the cloth is soaked in a solution of chromelanin. Probably just water mixed with dead skin cells.

At this point, I realized that the whole idea was self-indulgent and added nothing to the story as a whole.

Being able to identify that problem makes you a better writer than many who are published and even quite popular. (Or, going by the murmurs I've heard from various editors, this applies to the vast majority of all writers ever.)

“Science of Magic” was a godsend.

Yeah, that was pretty much a 10/10 of luck on the scale of fanfiction writing. Funny in a meta sense, too: "We don't have any explanation for how magic works, and neither do our characters!"

Also, I didn’t ship human Twilight and Sunset any harder than the movie did. So there. :raritywink:

Too many magic explosions and not enough friend-shipping. :ajbemused: (I kid.)

The comments are already clamoring for a sequel, or even an entire ‘verse!

Well you did made a story that revolves around worldbuilding, including in-universe worldbuilding. (And in-universe awkward humor.) Hopefully a group page will encourage others to satisfy the ravenous hordes do some of that sequel-stuff for you.

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From what I remember reading, my best guess is that the cloth is soaked in a solution of chromelanin. Probably just water mixed with dead skin cells.

Or woven from hair.

Finally got around to reading this.

Awesome story! I love a bunch of worldbuilding. Now to see if any of the other stories in the 'verse can hold a torch to the Oversaturated Sunset.

Also totally want to see the EG at versions of the Gatewatch at Ravnica. :rainbowlaugh:

I also think it's funny that magic tries to hide itself, and in the same universe, a very popular game that should have been named "Magic" was instead named "Hocus Pocus" which inherently sounds like it is calling itself fake. :twilightsheepish:

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