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LegionPothIX


Discomfort is the feeling of horizons expanding against a closed mind.

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  • 8 weeks
    Visual Reference Guide

    From time to time various bits of imagery are sufficiently important warrant a physical representation, since MLP:FIM is primarily a visual medium, so I've created this listing to be updated as the need arises. Typically, this will include cutiemarks of characters in my stories as I publish them. Since this was growing larger than my main page needed, it's now here as projected.

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    0 comments · 16 views
  • 291 weeks
    CA: Theming

    A continuation of my Cumulative Advice for Writers blog, introducing one of the core elements of writing.

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    2 comments · 501 views
  • 292 weeks
    Still alive, still writing, and still kicking and screaming.

    Many may know I say that I write, and write, and write, but find I haven't published anything like the amount of stuff I've claimed to have written. Well, there's a reason for that, but I thought it was worth mentioning what it is I am actually working on, and what I'm working on is three stories at the same time; which can be

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    0 comments · 220 views
  • 292 weeks
    Outline: To Cure Deception

    Continuing on my work of providing examples for my Cumulative Advice blog, no advice is in need of examples more than Outlines. My previous outline posted for DotFR followed the format I call "Proof of Concept" being structured very much the same way a mathematical proof is. Different stories need different styles of

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    0 comments · 325 views
  • 293 weeks
    CA: Three Roles

    This extension of my Cumulative Advice for New Writers Blog helps distinguish and disambiguate three frequently used terms: Pre-Reader, Proof-Reader, and Editor. The goal of which is to help identify what each term means (through reference), so that when a writer is seeking help they know exactly what kind of help they

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    2 comments · 381 views
Mar
12th
2016

Outline: To Cure Deception · 12:56am Mar 12th, 2016

Continuing on my work of providing examples for my Cumulative Advice blog, no advice is in need of examples more than Outlines. My previous outline posted for DotFR followed the format I call "Proof of Concept" being structured very much the same way a mathematical proof is. Different stories need different styles of outlines, however, and To Cure Deception is very much a chronological headfuck, because it would be a total clusterfuck without an outline. So, with that in mind, I created a chronologically focused timeline. Two, to be specific, and were written down on two pages side by side. Sadly the format of the internet doesn't do well to preserve that, but I'm posting it anyway.


Disclaimer: To Cure Deception is something of a writing flagship to me, and so I put every ounce of design mastery I could muster into ensuring everything happened for a reason. This story took two years to write, and it's outline is quite extensive (over 5k words).

Page 1: Timeline, Play Analysis, and Narrative Breakdown:


Chronology:
Celestia takes an apprentice; drawing the interest of the Changeling Queen.
Twilight sent to Ponyville to host the Summer Sun Celebration; H.K. dispatched to study and observe.
The Elements of Harmony are rediscovered and Nightmare Moon is vanquished. Defines a creditable threat to the Changelings.
Changelings begin EoH research to counter this lost age super weapon.
The Harmony Spell Breakers group is formed in the EoH division of the Evolution Institute's counter-operations department.
Discord manipulates the Element Bearers of Harmony, causing them to lose connection with the EoH.
EoH Research takes drastic changes to coincide with the new information from Discord's meddling.
The Dissonants of Harmony, and the Elements of Chaos research programs diverge.
Arcanicus dies. H.K. Reassigned to HSB as the Dissonant of Magic.
Pairings:
> Dissonant of Magic: Dissolution (Habré Kadabré), and Dissonant of Kindness: Nature's Wrath (North Winds)
> Dissonant of Loyalty: Madness (Tantric Tempest), and Dissonant of Honesty: Deception (Latre Vesco).
> Dissonant of Laughter: Melancholy (Unnamed), and the Dissonant of Generosity: Atrophy (Unnamed)
Canterlot: Deception and Madness cross-training complete. Dissolution and Nature's Wrath cross-training complete.
New Parings:
> Deception and Dissolution
> Madness and Melancholy
> Atrophy and Nature's Wrath
Anti-Magic experiments begin. (H.K. picks up where Arcanicus left off)
Dissolution attempts to correct Arcanicus's perfected trans-state spell and nearly dies.
> Deception saves Dissolution's life with basic first aid.
> > Experiment terminated as a failure.
Deception begins identity research begins in secret, (L.V. begins creating L.S.)
Direct training of Dissolution is complete.
Dissolution aids Deception in her research (inducing tabula-rasa), and indirect training of Deception begins.
> Deceptions experiments end in failure. Dissolution refuses to contribute further.
> Zecora is consulted, but she refuses to help.
> > Success or Suicide. Deception commits herself to a final experiment and goes all in without telling Dissolution.
> > > Dissolution catches Deception mid imbibing. Rushes to hospital to get stomach pumped.
H.K. Saves Deception by taking her to the hospital.
L.V. is committed but escapes.
> Her sanity gone; L.V. tries an all natural approach using the unnatural properties of the EFF.
L.S. is discovered half-drowned in the EFF by Fluttershy who rushes him to the hospital.
L.S. wakes in the hospital with amnesia and no clue that he was L.V. (story starts here)
> The placement of a note containing "HoH&HD" in his possession distances L.V. from the directive.
The heavy use of Posion Joke in L.V.'s experiments, and its relation to amnesia flag an alert with the hospital.
> L.S. encounters Screwy.
> L.S. escapes from the hospital.
L.S. Arrives at Sugarcube Corner where he is seen by H.K.
H.K.'s conflict with his appearance goes unaddressed for two reasons.
> H.K. struggles to figure out what it means and her role in the new experiment.
> > H.K. was there following up on Miles of Smiles.
|*| Since Miles of Smiles occurred outside of H.K.'s awareness it must signify one of two things: That this is not the first experiment since she washed her hooves of it, or that the last experiment she participated in had blind spots that allowed a success to turn to failure. (Use the latter.)
> L.S. given a moment to acclimate to his situation.
> > L.S. needs to eat.
Lunch at Sugarcube Corner
L.S. sits to have his first meal. A meal that must inevitably paint L.V.'s conflict for him. For L.V. it was an inescapable conclusion that L.S. would encounter Screwy in the hospital, and would identify with him. That "chance" encounter is predestined to define regret in L.S.
> Sugarcube Corner is home to the infamous Element of Laughter. Though risky, an encounter with her would force L.S. to trust his gut. Driven by impulse there is no option but for L.S. to attempt to define himself.
After leaving SCC L.S. goes to the library to find an answer for the mysterious note.
> The HoH&HD represents a choice for the changeling to set aside his guilt, and safely question the changeling condition.
> It also contains a letter of introduction for H.K. who has been otherwise kept out of the loop.
> > Keeping H.K. unscripted allows her to show all the emotions that L.S. and L.V. are not able to show, with regards to their relationship, and the conflicted feelings she has about her involvement in the experiment.

H.K. confronts L.S. about L.V.'s choice to cut her out of the loop. Demonstrates the volatility her training with N.W. has left her with, to help foreshadow the Madness that L.V. was left with while training under T.T.

Canterlot ...


Chronicled Play-Analysis.
L.V. Staging
H.K. Staging
L.S. Staging


L.V. Staging
Inciting Incident:
The Elements of Harmony manifest for the main six. Shows the changelings that the ponies and the natural forces of the world are intimately interconnected.
Point of Attack:
HSB formed and each Dissonant is determined. Specifically the death of Arcanicus. The consequence of that event facilitated the events that would drive the story.
Exposition:
Everything leading to, and including, the fall of Arcanicus.
Rising Action 1:
Madness and Deception's training and experiments stripped away the self-delusions. Deception teaches Madness that the self deceit is the most prevalent and most dangerous form of deception there is. Grief is it's only cure.
Madness sets Deception on this path by teaching him the inherently contradictory nature of their existence, and the willingness to do anything (even hurt) his friends or himself, to help his friends improve. (Dissonant of Loyalty.)
> Madness explains that personality is derived from reactions to circimstance, given a set of initial conditions, which are themselves actions and consequences of actions of other's personalities. That the inescapble nature of who we are will define what is to come. The future is therefore deterministic, and if someone could identify factors of the present they could accurately predict the future. This idea is demonstrated by Madness taking Deception to the Mirror Pool, where L.V. is shown L.S. in its temporal reflection.
Deception realizes it doesn't matter who she is if she isn't happy, and sets out to become someone who can be happy. Willing to lie, cheat, and steal that future she is confronted with the mortality of her own mind. That, what makes up L.V. must die for her to be happy (realization made in Climax).
Climax:
The Canterlot confrontation with Nightmare Moon. Her conflict is that she doesn't feel what she think's that she should, in fact, she feels nothing at all. L.V. willfully shoots Luna just to see what she would feel which was, again, nothing. (Though she noted what she should feel and the memory of the event would later be altered for L.S.'s sake.) She realizes that though the action invoked no feelings, her inescapable need to take it, to prove to herself, had proved Madness right. She then realizes that she could rewrite herself if she understood who she is, and whom she wanted to become. Unfortunatly, knowing one, would negate the need for knowing the other.
> After the assault Luna draws on ancient power of Ashveld's spell trace of NMM on her soul. NMM manifests. She and Deception hatch a plan that Luna must be complicit in. That portion is edited out of the memory, Melancholy confronts L.V. for turning traitor, and she destroys him. The seam leading to Melancholy's end remains.
> Madness and Deception complete.
Denouement:
Deception / Dissolution begins. Antimagic experiments proceed as predicted by Madness, and are used as the basis for L.V.'s Tabula Rasa experiments. L.V. puts her from lessons both Dissolution and Madness into practice creating L.S.


H.K. Staging
Inciting Incident:
Begun studying magic and was assigned to tail Twilight Sparkle when she was chosen by Celestia as an apprentice leading her to the discovery of the Elements of Harmony (reporting this back to the Changelings sparked everything).
Exposition
Arcanicus dies and in the most balls-out audacious anti-magic experiment the changelings have ever known. H.K. is assigned to take his vacated position, and immediately tries to Magical Mystery Cure his research.
HSB formed as a consequence of her actions. H.K. and N.W. assigned together. Training unleashes the volatility of H.K.'s passions, believing that one does not "half-ass" what they "love". Learns that societal constructs eventually fall away in light of natural law. This mindset facilitates the Tablua Rasa experiments.
Point of Attack 1:
H.K. / L.V. assigned.
Rising Action 1:
Antimagic experiments begin, and the cure for deception is administered. In her grief H.K. turns away from L.V. and her experiments. Coming to the conclusion that it is impossible to change their natures (physical and mental) H.K. drops out (climax for L.V.).
Climax 1:
H.K. almost dies, L.V. tells her why she let H.K. almost die, and why she saved her life.
Point of Attack 2:
L.S. doesn't recognize H.K.
Rising Action 2:
H.K. is drug back into the experiments for ear of losing her friend, mentor, and student. Does what she can to help L.S. like before, but is driven away when L.S. accuses her of trying to kill him. She finds the Miles of Smiles promotional poster at the trainstation, and returns to find L.S. in the EFF.
Climax 2:
H.K. calls L.S. Lucas and shows him her partial transformation.
Denouement:
Training complete she reports home for reassignment and to notify the Evolution Institute of the on-goings of their experiments. Is told to be completely forthcoming in all things but is pre-empted by a Q.E.D. status change declaring Deception dead.


L.S. Staging
Inciting Incident:
Amnesia, the loss of power, and the removal of all points of reference of the self. The exploration of Identity starts here.
Exposition:
L.V. and H.K.'s events through the lense of the newly created L.S.'s ignorance, and emotive feels.
Point of Attack:
Escape from the hospital.
Rising Action:
Digs through his past that was carefully constructed by L.V. and tries to take back control over "his" life.
Climax
Finally handed the reigns and offered the choice but must choose well; for if he doesn't learn from history he's doomed to repeat it, and die trying to become a better pony. Begs the question how close is close enough, and how much is too much.
Denouement:
Makes a choice and Zecora / H.K. implement it.
> Deception and Dissolution complete
> > Resolve disjunct between Lucas, Queen Chrysalis, and Luna; which sets up to Deus Ex to H.K.'s "play".


Chapters Index, Questions, and narrative bench/landmarks:
At the beginning of each chapter, ask a simple question that the chapter tackles in the Author’s Notes. To be refined as editing continues.
00 | Forward
What is a pony?
Establishes the inevitability of the events without explaining why, indicating instead that the events are already over, and looking at them from the most likely angle will result in only confusion.

01 | Hospital Dance Party
What is a name?
Introduces the main character and establishes the conflict of L.S. as his lost memory, and total loss of control. Hospital breakout allows development of intuitive thinking which will play a key role in the story.
Review to ensure that the conflict is framed with the level of continuity befitting L.V.'s careful planning.

Face drops H.K. and indicates her importance by her recognition and disgust. The first letter of Deception slips from her mouth as she realizes L.V. has begun the experiments again without her. With his present form as the Doctor, Lucas lets it slide as mistaken identity.

02 | Lunch at Sugarcube Corner
What is a history? or What is a Mother?
Formalities of Lucas feeding, and Pinkie Pie's introduction. Affords the the story the opportunity to explore intuitive "gut" thinking.
Potentially raises serious continuity problems.
Can I add H.K. into this scene in any way without breaking its flow, or making it feel forced? Probably not.

03 | A Trip in the Library
What is desire?
Allows Lucas to create a goal for himself due to circumstances that L.V. could not possibly have predicted.
May cause story to diverge from L.V.'s plan, but the question of how, why, and if it is important to do so must be answered first.

04 | In Medias Res-olution
What is a friend?
Replaces The Great and Powerful Imposter so must fulfill all the same roles to the story as that chapter was intended to. The focus of this chapter need be on establishing H.K. as a complicit accomplice to L.V. whilst revealing the existence of L.V.

Sets up H.K. as a go between for the pro and antagonist. The ambiguous nature of the antagonist allows H.K. to easily surrogate the role, but the question of what events are important for her to foreshadow, and her characterization in this first meeting keep coming up and it will eventually have to be re-written with those answers in mind.

Given that H.K. knows that Zecora declined to aid L.V. she should try to dissuade L.S/G. from speaking with her, unaware that Zecora is willing to help him. This can create the conflict required to differentiate the two, and show that H.K. is aiding the enemy.

04 | In Medias Res-olution.
What is a friend?
H.K. is introduced, and inspects/tests LV to see what stage of the experiment she walked in on, as well as to find out what her role is. Dirictives are delivered via hoof-written note, stashed in a book.

04| The Great and Powerful Imposter Cut from production (unsalvageable).

05 | A Guess for Tea
What is consequence?
Re-written from the ground up in revision. Zecora is introduced as a counterpoint to H.K. with both knowing far more about the situation than L.S.

06 | Bed, Bath, and Beyond a Single Sunrise
What is a destiny?
Lacus discovers what is left of L.V.'s notes on the reprogramming. Need to change this realization to shift the blame to H.K. for surrogacy.

08 | l’Hôpital's Rule
What is shame?
Chapter introduces the first elements of choice into the story, but the choice is an illusion. Screwy's role is re-emphasized, and it foreshadows her adoption in TSSS.

09 | Obfuscation, Half-Truths, and Lies
What is deception?
Lacus is confronted with a choice of who he thinks is the more likely "villain" to confront, H.K. or Zecora. If this chapter is going to remain even in concept, then Zecora must be proposed as an equally valid possible antagonist as H.K.

09 | With Painted Faces
What is ignorance?
Allows Lucas to see L.V. directly and establishes the modified nature of his memories while leading into the apex of the experiment. As the chapter stands presently, it was slated for L.S/G. to have a similar breakdown that L.V. did, and be the point where it is revealed that the two are one.

10 | The Time and Place
What is important?
The true test of L.V.'s experiment is for L.S. to experience these events in an emotional way, far different than she herself experienced them. The test is to see if it creates a dissonant after-taste that causes the emotions to be rejected (which caused the experiments to fail so many times before).

In this chapter we put Luna on the stage as our Deus Ex Machina, being both major point of attack and the final test for Lucas. The driving force or Lucas's adaption to the emotional change contends solely on if the reconstruction of the memory is believable.
This chapter is the main Climax of Lucas's story.

11 | Death of the Author
What is growth?
Almost all of the cards are put on the table for Lucas to make his choice. In so doing he enters into the Falling Action stage.
This chapter is the final Climax of H.K.'s story.


12 | Written in Black and White
What is control?
This chapter explores the moment that L.V. breaks away from her deterministic future by risking it all on an unknown. Or, is more accurate to say, that L.V. risks L.S.'s future on an unknown as she was committed to death anyway from the start.1

This chapter is the final Climax of L.V.'s story, her conflict relates to the relying on others whom she does not trust, and have good reason not to trust her. If ponies are aligned to the natural forces of the universe, she must trust in the good nature and will of others to become such herself. Zecora refuses which sends L.V. over the edge.

13 | The Mare of Smoke and Mirrors.
What is choice?
The finale of L.V.'s story, which marks how the L.S.'s story began.

14 | Laughing Lake
What is Identity?
Finale of T.T.'s story, as it explains the nature of the relationship between L.V. and T.T. and putting the actual ending if their partnership in context that their partnership was consistently what was indicated in the previous chapter.

15 | The Night Mare’s End
Epilogue. Connect the beginning to the end with the reoccurring dream.

B1 | Dear Princess Celestia
Written while on the train back to the changelings. H.K. explores all the most derisive interpretations of the nature of friendship, and reminisces a bit on her part in the story.


Important Questions:
When should it be revealed to L.G. that L.G. is a product of L.V.'s fantasy and desires?
As a consequence to the reveal in "Painted Faces" but not before Canterlot. More specifics needed.
After it is revealed that L.S/G. is the same pony as L.V. and after L.S/G. has to reconcile that reality. When exactly? I can't say.
When should it be revealed to L.G. that L.S. and L.V. are two sides of the same coin: acts of denial and protection from the truth?
As an addendum to the reveal in "Painted Faces".
When should it be revealed to L.G. that he is L.V.?
Originally it was slated for release during "Painted Faces" and while I don't like the execution of that chapter, the timing still feels appropriate though needs a better delivery system.
When should it be revealed to L.G. that H.K. did everything and more than any friend could be asked to do?
Need to establish L.V. as the mastermind, and separate entity pulling his strings first, as to clear at least the first two stages of grief (anger and denial) if able to clear all five before the reveal, they'd need to restart, but it would probably be better if he doesn't get that far.
When should it be revealed to L.G. that L.V. asked H.K. to do it to him/her?
This reveal would help clear H.K. of suspicion, and should come up in Obfuscation, Half-Truths, and Lies; after she is implicated in l’Hôpital's rule. Doing so directly affects the placement or execution of L.V.'s plea to Zecora as this is a consequence of Zecora's refusal to help.
Alternatively, Zecora's refusal to help could come at the point where H.K.'s magic alone was not enough; further explaining H.K.'s presence in that scene. Because this remains the Climax of L.V.'s subtext, it should still be established after L.V. is fully identified as the antagonist (if such a claim omits the inclusion of L.S/G. it can come earlier than Written in Black and White).
When should it be revealed to L.G. that Zecora initially refused L.V.'s request. And why.
Initially slated for reveal in "Written in Black and White" and I still like it there, but need to bring this reveal more in-line with the expectation that it is L.V.'s Climax.

Other notes:
With H.K. gone, and Zecora refusing to help, L.V. has no choice but to piece together what little she was able to learn about magic from H.K. and try to replicate her potions; as she spirals deeper and deeper into the abyss opened by Madness. The work of an amateur, the potion imbibed was quite dangerous, and nearly kills L.V. and H.K. is left feeling responsible for it.

Arcanicus would be H.K.'s Starswirl the Bearded; if the Twilight considered SStB someone to surpass.


H.K. is at least as old as Rarity, who is Cheerilee's age, which means comparatively H.K. is rather old. Only Madness is older as it graduated from Sensitivity Training with honors before H.K. picked up her first scroll. H.K.'s age shows however, and Madness's doesn't as it possess an ephemeral youth brought on by its emotive states.

Page 2: Motivations and Revisions


One Word: Identity
Theme: Self discovery/deception

A narrative exploration of identity, what would be a good race for the main character and why?
> Changeling; because nothing about them is set in stone and can change on a whim.
>> When all is taken away, what remains?
>>> What goes into our categorical lump sum that is Identity?
Personality | Relationships (friends and enemies) | Family | Gender (physical) | Sexuality | Sociology (place in society) | Ambitions
> Sexuality is not important to this plot (ha! accidental pun).
>> Sexual and Relationship identity will be further explored in the squeal The Secret Special Somepony.

How do:
Personality:
Intuitive gut reactions to stimulus, and sub-sequence reactions to those reactions, since the character's experiential data is limited.
Gender:
Assigned to him at "birth" can be changed, and experiments with the other's form, but finds it ill-representative of the self. Indicates rigidity of thought that L.V. possessed, and that L.S/G can't shake.
> Further explore Gender with Madness's trans-formative trans-gendered Partial. To the changelings gender is not a relevant factor, but an outward expression of what gender roles they identify with.
Sexuality:
Implied Hetro-normative with respect to H.K. but doesn't act on it, for fear of the implications, for fear of alienating H.K. (whose seen too much to go there).
Sociological:
L.V. and L.S. by consequence hold positions of respect, authority, and power. Must give them up to attain their desires, and they become outcasts because of it. Their place becomes what they can make of it, if anything (shown to be able to do in TSSS).
Ambitions:
No one word better quantifies the nature of L.V.'s goals perhaps more than "delusional". Intentional or not, L.S/G is hard coded to want to uphold these ambitions as a consequence of them. The nature of his existence is to be what L.V. wanted for him to be.

Character Motivations:
L.V.
Stricken by the inexplicable paradox of a choice driven deterministic universe, L.V. quickly learns the choices are not what maters, or even their outcomes, when all is said and done. What matters is finding a way to be happy with oneself. Being a psychopath, and no slouch to boot, she invents a way to make that happen. By changing who she is.

L.S.
The consequence of circumstances far, far beyond his control, L.S. is the epitome of the combined lessons of L.V. and T.T. With the stage set, it is up to L.S. to explore what an identity is, and how it comes into being, when one is left with nothing but the ability to decide.

H.K.
Trapped between the death of one friend, and endangering another, H.K. must put aside her own feelings to see to it that her friend didn't die in vain. Even if that means killing her friend's son.

Motivations:
L.V. is sociopathic, and hell bent on her one goal, excusing all other behavior (in a Wakfu sort of way). To become a better pony she must develop emotions and rationalize (or derive meaning from) the events of Laughing Lake (the first chapter I wrote is the next to last in the story).
> Much of L.V. is forgotten, shown to be already down the path of self-destruction; she is given up to make way for the new personality.
>> L.V. is the antagonist, L.G. the protagonist, and H.K. the surrogate antagonist.
H.K. respects her mentor, is curious about dissecting the changeling condition, and owes him her life (for saving her from following down Arcanicus's path, see timeline [below]).
> Achieving consent allows H.K. to operate with limited amorality, for a time, but she fears becoming L.V. and backs off.
Arcanicus - Serves as a cautionary tale, where Arcanicus and Madness try to change the very nature of their magical talking horse syndrome and it tears him apart; causing the opening in HSB for H.K. A tale summarily disregarded by L.V. as amateur children playing an adult game.

Conflict:
Centers around loss of control as L.V. is meticulous, and merciless-- traits she intends to change. Believes something exists in instinct that can be drawn out that she has long since lost through meticulous training. (Note: conceptually Sensitivity Training is the reverse of this idea, [to be further explored in TSSS].)


Specifics:


Story Goals -
Lacus chose between new and old self.
Exposed to sociopathic old self
Construct unravels as he begins to remember creating it.
Do I still want this? If yes. Why?
Sentences old self to death if new self can't take hold, suicide by repeat exposure.
Habré confronts Lacus on experiment @ crutial moments [after telling him she won't help him hurt himself anymore]

H.K. serves as anchor to changeling nature

Zecora serves as pony anchor

Luna's conversation is a linchpin.
Do I still want this? If yes. Why?
Underscores the importance of Canterlot on an individual level, as more rides on the event than just the Queen's invasion.

Lacus talks to Mr. Cake about Pinkie
Need to improve the impact of Mr. and Mrs. Cake in the life of L.S/G as well as his on theirs. (Done.)

Allude to madness & therapy. --> Lacus decides to be a therapist social engineer.
Do I still want this?
If yes. Why, and How do I better incorporate the idea?
> Why: Lucas's social engineering business in TSSS is foreshadowed by this, and L.V.'s nature is thoroughly encapsulated by the idea.

L.S. approaches Zecora for a cure for the poison joke. She misunderstands and takes it to mean that he is ready for a cure to his changeling condition. Is hugely skeptical.
Do I want this? If yes. Why, and How do I incorporate the idea?
> Why: Allows the audience to immediately create a villain for themselves so soon after H.K.'s warning. Foreshadows future and past interactions.
> How: ?

L.V. approaches Zecora for a changeling cure w/ promise that if she can't be cured, that Zecora should/must kill him. She advises that either way what she is must die so that what is to come may live.
Do I still want this? If yes. Why, and How?
> Note: With H.K. present the admission of death creates a paradox with the nature of the suicide attempt being a secret from H.K. She would need to be sent out of the room, or not present, for the conversation to go that direction.

H.K. and L.V. set up an experiment. Madness explains the motivations of antimagic, through the death of Arcanicus, tells Deception to be on guard for it. L.V. reveals she is as much H.K.'s experiment as L.V.'s because madness taught her to dissect the present, and study all as it comes. H.K. possesses skills and knowledge that L.V. will need to be successful, and let her own experiments succeed or fail by her own determination to see them through to the end.
> L.V. is very determined to see her own experiment through to the end. Even when H.K. becomes discouraged and quits, L.V. pushes on.

> Return to the hospital
Do I still want this? If yes. why?
> Why: Returning to the hospital indites H.K. for the poison and gives the opportunity for Screwy to add contrast to the situation, as a foil and raisonneur, while re-contextualizing HK's and L.G.'s relationship.

> Question about Screwy, abandoned?
Do I still want this? If yes. Why, and How do I integrate it without it being too forced/heavy-handed?
> Why: If Screwy is abandoned then there is no conflict for Lucas later adopting her (in TSSS). Further, it adds a shade of darkness to the story that some resident of Ponyville would give up her own daughter (for any reason), and paints the ponies of ponyville as wasteful for throwing away a source of free love. A point of relation for the discarded Lucas.
> How: L.S/G needs to make the association and ask the question in passing. Then, after it is admitted to be true, the secondary associations are made and L.S/G moves on.

> Return to SCC to talk to Mr. Cake, set up charity to write off pinkie pie expenses.
Do I still want this?
If yes. Why, and How?

>Lotus and Aloe (?) clean body clean mind (cleanliness is next to godliness).
Do I still want this? If yes. Why, and How?
> If No, Zecora is the only other option.

Investigate crash site where Lacus splashes down after Canterlot.
Do I still want this?
If yes. Why, and How?
> Note: Pivotal location for L.V.'s "win conditions".

Added
Lotus & Aloe wheat grass smothies, ask about Lacus's poison joke (referencing first poisoning) apologize for not having any cure left
Lacus head in a fog wondering from where he slept into town, feels sick so goes to hospital, sees screwy being reigned in and asks about her commitment.
Do I still want this?
If yes. Why, and How?


"Every lie creates a little distance, a little security, until we find ourselves safely isoloated before realizing that the security too is a lie that we've told ourselves and that we're just alone."

Note that, there's a lot of blank space, and unanswered questions. That's okay, because these questions were answered in the prose, and exploration of the story's theme and concepts as the narrative unfolded. You may find that something similar may happen in your own work.

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