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  • 238 weeks
    An Obituary for a Story.

    Hi, folks. I’ll keep this brief if I can. It’s basically an apology. I wanted to give you a story this Christmas, but unfortunately that’s not going to happen.

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  • 280 weeks
    (Not) The Last Word

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Dec
19th
2015

An Obituary for a Story. · 1:13am Dec 19th, 2015

Hi, folks. I’ll keep this brief if I can. It’s basically an apology. I wanted to give you a story this Christmas, but unfortunately that’s not going to happen.

A couple of months ago I had the idea in my head that, since we were entering that time of year, I would do to ponies what a great many other people have done before with other things, and with far greater success: re-tell the classic story of Charles Dickens’ festive tale, A Christmas Carol, couched in the universe of [insert genre or franchise here.] So I did. I figured in my mind how I’d make it work, and over the course of about two and half months I wrote it out starring our favourite characters, calling it A Hearthswarming Hymn. I had fun doing it and there are some elements of it I’m still quite proud of. I was looking forward to seeing what you thought of it.

I submitted A Hearthswarming Hymn earlier this week, and it was rejected by the moderators. To say that I was disappointed would be... accurate.

The reason given was one that, having reflected, I can understand. Unfortunately it also makes the story effectively unsalvageable. I don’t see a way of altering it such that it would pass for publication, and I won’t pretend that the sting of having a finished, 25,000-odd word story sitting here in my account, never to be shared hasn’t taken some of the wind out of my writing sails. (I mean, there is at least one passable joke in there that I’ll never get another chance to re-use!)

So sadly, it seems I have wasted my time and, perhaps by extension, yours. Because if any of you good folks were hoping for something new from me to read, then I’m afraid you’ll be waiting for a while longer. For this I apologise. The only consolation I can offer is that, if you'd have been of a mind to read it, well, you likely know how it ends already.

I don’t tend to speak up very often, and to be honest I’m not even sure telling you folks about my failure here was even the right move – maybe it would have been better to just try and forget about it; move right on and pretend it hadn’t happened. But somehow, I dunno, that didn’t feel quite right. I felt like since I'd written something then I wanted to share something, even if it turns out all I can share is this apology that I can't share the something I've written. I had planned to bounce straight from this to an adventure piece in a similar vein to Eclipse, but I just don’t feel that’s on the cards right now. I don’t know what’s next. But none of this is the most important thing in the world, so I don’t intend to dwell, just get it out and then carry on as normal.

So, in that spirit: Merry Christmas to you all, and have a Happy New Year.

Stay safe and have fun.

– The Author.

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Comments ( 15 )

You can always just post a blog with a link to GDoc. I'd be down to read that.

If I may ask, what was the reason it was denied?

I second 3627732's suggestion.

I do enjoy adaptations and re-tellings of A Christmas Carol. :twilightsmile:

I'm so sorry man.

But never regret a blog post! I love hearing from you!

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

Always a shame it happens, but I'd like to read it still.

Merry Christmas, and thank you!

Have you considered submitting your story to EQD?

Hmm, is Fanfiction.net an option?

Oh and merry Christmas!

I'm awfully sorry about that. :(

I agree with 3627732. I do enjoy adaptions of A Christmas Carol.

Not one for Christmas stories, but knowing that i won't get to read something without making that choice.... Well, now i want to read it.

3627734
The reason given when I first submitted it was that I had copied 'far too much material' from the original source. Which is true. The piece is, and was intended to be, basically a re-entactment of the original story except with our well-loved characters, and so I deliberately phrased the scenes as such and wove [crowbarred] some of the more famous and recogniseable lines of the original prose and dialogue into it. Don't get me wrong: it wasn't a copy/paste job where I'd simply hit Find And Replace and substituted 'Scrooge' for 'Rarity,' but I understood the point they were making. I wrote back, if only to explain why I had done what I had done and that I had no plagiaristic intent, and the reply I received crystallised their stance somewhat. They said that essentially what I had done amounted to cutting MLP into a story written by someone else, rather than writing something myself. And while it stung to have them pronounce the piece as something I hadn't written 'in earnest,' they are right. It's not my story. It's someone else's story -- albeit someone who wrote it a very long time ago. The site rules are pretty clear: they don't allow posting stories you haven't yourself written. And while I technically wrote all of the *words*, I envisage a fairly decent argument that says that I haven't written the *story.*

Also, I can see further complications. If they allowed this, where would it stop? If another author wanted to adapt It's a Wonderful Life (itself the subject of many homages over the years) could they? What about Mary Poppins, but with ponies? Or Shakespeare? I imagine a precedent would be set. So I didn't argue any further and I revoked the submission.

3628161
I don't have any sort of account that would host a story aside from this one...
3628058
Ditto the above. I assume EqD wouldn't have it since it needs to be hosted first. Besides, as awesome as EqD is... I dunno. I've submitted two of my stories to them in the past and (a) regretted doing so, and then (b) had them both turned down.

3627732 3627875 3628516
I deleted my original GDoc version once I'd uploaded it here, and in any event it was out of date. (The number of edits I put into text that I was *sure* I was happy with once it's on this account surprises me a lot,) not to mention that, sadly, I wouldn't be comfortable hosting the finished piece on my actual, real-life account. This is still a guilty hobby of mine.

On the other hand, if someone else had no such qualms and a place for it to go, I'd happily give them the story. It doesn't really matter to me as the author who 'has' it, but it'd be nice if people who wanted to read it had the chance, even if they couldn't do it here. Any takers are welcome to get in touch, but what will be will be.

And to everyone else: ( 3627880; 3627888; 3627903; 3627957; 3628292; 3630987 ) -- Appreciate you taking the time to reply. Like I said, I'm not dwelling on it. There are way more important things in the world, not the least of which is Christmas which is totally almost here! So Merry Christmas to everyone, and you never know, sometime in the new year I might have something else for you.

Stay safe. Have fun.

:-)

3634718
You can always download the .txt file from even unpublished stories. And then copy/paste that text into Google Docs, Fanfiction.net or DeviantArt.

I know some authors like The Descendant put everything up on Deviantart as well as FimFiction. It's always a good idea to diversify your publishing platform.

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