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Ask Aesthetic Anything · 7:38pm Sep 7th, 2012

Today is the The Immortal Game's birthday. Unless you want to consider it's birthday October 19th, 2011, in which case this day would be the moment of conception. That's right folks, this day last year was the day I started writing. For my first story outside of the two flash fictions I wrote for a high school English course, it's done pretty well.

I was going to wait until the end of the story to do this, because then you could ask me questions about the way it ends, as well as whatever else you might ask. See, I could fill the final chapter blog with any number of things (I have one blog draft over six thousand words long) but I've decided not to. I don't know what you guys want to hear about my stories, my writing, or me, so I'll just let you ask me. Ask me anything. There are no rules governing the questions you are allowed to ask.

While asking, please bear in mind these ten archrules:

A) You can ask any question.

B) One question per comment. No multi-part questions.

2B) After I've answered one of your questions, feel free to ask a follow-up question or an entirely new question, along with some follow-up comments on my answer. I just don't want people putting twenty questions in one comment.

C) If you ask a question that even comes close to violating the terms of the ABC Non-Aggression-Pact, I will delete you comment. Don't talk about it, and don't talk about anything it talks about. If you don't know what I'm talking about, you don't need to worry about this.

D) If I decide your question is offensive, I'll delete it. If I'm not comfortable with answering it, or I can't answer it, I'll say so.

E) I'm more likely to give a thorough and well-thought out answer to a comment containing complete sentences, proper spelling, and grammar. Just saying.

F) No one can answer questions on my behalf but the pre-readers. Even if they do, I'll probably still answer just because I'm a control freak.

G) These comments will contain spoilers. My answers will not spoil anything currently unpublished.

H) I may outright lie, tell lies of omission, and tell the truth in such a way that it leads you to believe a falsehood. I probably won't, but I'm only human, and we all have a couple of questions that merit that kind of response.

I) If you can't think of a question, you can ask for trivia. I might give you a tidbit about my stories, my writing process, or me.

I'm not a very popular guy, but history shows that my readers are way more awesome and enthusiastic than anyone else's, so I have no idea how this will turn out. I'm terrified of some of the questions the pre-readers might ask, but other than that I don't think this will become unmanageable. I'll be answering questions until the next blog goes up, so if you can't think of anything right away and don't care for random facts, feel free to sit on you question.

That said, ask away.

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Comments ( 285 )

When will I see you again =(

Will you go steady with me?

What is Terra's favourite type of icecream?

feel the terror!

Are you planning on any big projects after The Immortal Game is finished in it's entirety?

Is your story complete or is a Epilogue in the works?

The Immortal Game has always been my #1

That is all.

Silver out!

After finishing 'The Immortal Game', do you have plans to write any more epic length fics?

Will Twilight Sparkle from 'The Immortal Game' maintain her current 'superpowered' condition or will she choose to abandon her new powers somehow?

Hmm... I suppose my first question is this. Was Twilight's Divine Ascension planned from the start? and if not, at what point did you start setting up that event?


...What next?

How did you come up with the idea for Twi's ridiculously powerful weapon of heat and kinetic force?

Where did the inspiration for IG come from? Did you start planning it after watching/reading some particular fiction?

Is Twilight Sparkle's mother dead?

In Chapter 21 there is a passage that reads as follows:

"Cheering and screaming, the last of ponykind’s army overtook Twilight and galloped off into the Everfree Forest. Somewhere in there, Twilight knew her father ran with them."

The lack of mention of her mother implies to me that she is dead. Unless I missed any mention of her in the later chapters and my brain derped :derpytongue2:

When did you decide to make Pinkie Fluttershy and Twilight a different subspecies of pony?
as i saw this blogpost, im re-reading the story from the begining, i think its gotten better since i last read it

Probably in a week when I come crawling back, begging Obsolescence for forgiveness. I was in one of those moods where everything pisses me off, due to a lack of sleep, food, and the shame that came with losing a rib eating contest to a girl who weighs thirty pounds less than I do. The League chat kept popping up while I was trying to get some writing done, so I closed it, and it came back up, and I closed it, and it came back up, and I basically went "FUCK! FUCK YOU AND DIE, TRILLIAN!" and left the conversation. In retrospect, ditching you guys in the middle of a discussion I wasn't a part of with no warning probably made it seem like I hate you.

I don't hate you, Actual Cannibal Arcainum. I just want to see you smile again.

What are some of the biggest changes in plot that IG underwent since you posted chapter 1? IE were you planning to do some storyline one and changed it after editor/reader comments?

TIG Epilogue. It isn't one of those pansy bitch epilogues that are 542 words long, either. It's currently sitting at eight thousand words and will probably clock a couple thousand more before it's done. I'm moving into my school home in a bit, so it may take awhile to get adjusted and get the whole thing written.

You know that just isn't the way I do things, Drakbrong. I was born to live free and wild.

Also you have a wife.

Oreo, because everyone's favorite is oreo (or should be). Candy cane gets an honorable mention.

I like this story a lot, but honestly some large stretches of combat were rather tedious for me to read, and I may have skimmed later scenes some. So I ask, were you ever cautious of some readers feeling this way, if you yourself ever felt this while writing? Or is it just me and my preferences talking?

I had this one thing that would have ended up longer than TIG called Kingdom Equestria, but I decided not to write it and stick to shorter stories for awhile because I'd like to do some novel-length original fiction.

Other than that, I have a multi-part story about an OC devicorn named Raven in the works. Should be pretty fun. It's a comedy, obviously, but also an action story towards the end.

There's an epilogue, Silver. I wouldn't leave you guys hanging on an unsatisfying ending like that.

JK Rowling, on the other hand...

I have plans to write novel-length heroic fantasy, but I don't think I'll be writing anymore three hundred thousand word fanfictions. TIG was (and still is, I suppose) the single biggest endeavor I've ever undertaken in my life. Writing a long story is more difficult and more complicated than a small one by an order of magnitude, and I can't commit to something like that again. Not for ponies, at least.

What was your source of inspiration for the power escalation and the scale of the conflicts?

I've seen some things like it in anime and other fiction, but it's often seemed silly or without consequence. You took it from "D'aawww" to "God Bothering" and made it cost the protagonists something every step of the way.


Question 2 - Was this a crazy huge gambit from Harmony from the get go?

342793 Where exactly would we find this fiction if and when it is finished (I'm assuming you're actually writing a novel)? You're a great author, and I would truly like to read any other epic fantasies you can pump out.

What chapter was your favorite to write throughout The Immortal Game?

If I asked you very nicely, would you make this into a book? I'd buy it in a heartbeat!
(TIG is best fiction.)


I think I decided Twilight ascending was how they'd beat Titan somewhere around chapter 11 or 12. Originally it was just a big ol' Harmony laser.

But I had just started writing Twilight as the protagonist of the story, and as I did putting in the shoes of a god became by far the most appealing option. It meant that she would have to go through a hell of a lot of development as a character, and as an added bonus it gave me more action scene fodder.

Writers have an infinite budget when it comes to special effects.

At one point, Nihilus had a musical number in chapter five.

What made you want to write The Immortal Game?

How did you get inspired to write The Immortal Game? Did you just decide one day it would be awesome to have ponies make war?

I've got a couple of projects underway. A horror story that I can hopefully have done by October, the aforementioned Raven story, and others. I also have three fully written stories that I haven't released because they don't meet my standards (Rarity's Theorem is one of these.) I'd like to fix them up and reevaluate them at some point.

342820 ...seriously. And you didn't put it in?! I am shocked. Alas I would ask for more but cannot.


Woohoo! :heart:

Have fun adjusting! Second Semester is usually harder than first


Thanks! Second question:

How did you manage balancing so many plots, subplots, backstories, concepts (like the weaponry and mixing pony species) and such and still get it to work? (Pretty damn well if I might add)

I am putting together a warfic myself and this could be very helpful for me. Also, basic curiosity got the best of me here.

Silver out!

I always wanted Twilight's magic to be really closely tied with science, so she abandon's the arsenal of spell that Nihilus learned in favor of far more efficient weaponry. Without using magic, people can obey the rules of the universe and accomplish extraordinary feats of destruction. When you can bend and break those rules, well...

I went with a mass accelerator similar to the thannix cannon from Mass Effect for a couple of reasons. One, it fit a specific arc I was going for in that scene. She gathers materials, goes through a lengthy spell-building process, then the cathartic giant laser beam followed by the release of a bunch of useless junk (This is akin to that shot of the shell spinning to the ground in an action movie.)

Other examples of Twilight's sciencey magic would be Rainbow Dash's blade, which she describes as having an edge narrowed to a very small amount of quanta. While pony science isn't advanced enough to know much in the way of atomic physics and subatomic particles, they can still theoretically conceive of a smallest, indivisible unit.


If your not going to write it, any chance of giving a brief outline of what it was suppose to be about?

Allrighty, I am happy.

Second Question: hmmm, what to ask, what to ask... okay, this is more of a hunch on my part. I got the feeling several times along the second half of the story that you had cut out whole entire scenes, or had rushed parts... am I just being mislead by my senses, or are their parts of this story that were removed entirely?

Will you ever do any stories centered around Rainbow Dash?

This one's a toughie.

There was an image of Celestia and Luna at a young age with their parents floating around way back over a year ago. It's pretty popular, I'm sure you've seen it. At the same time I saw it, I was in a Greek Mythology course, and so I started thinking: What if Celestia and Luna did have parents? But not omnibenevolent parental figures. Gods don't get those kind of parents.

At the same time, I was coming up with the idea for bladecasting, and so that went into the brew. I also had this sense of power for all of the mane characters on the show. Rainbow Dash canon gives her the ability to fly at supersonic speeds as well as a black belt. Applejack can kick all of the apples out of a tree, etc. Given that they're also all as strong and robust as equine's, they'd have more potential to kick ass than any human being. Especially Twilight, who is not only extremely intelligent but also ridiculously strong. I always thought it must be awkward to hang around a pony who can crush you into something the size of a pop can.

Now, these are all just by-products of the cartoon—at one point Twilight survives having an anvil dropped on her head, for instance. The show is not about the intense individual strength of the mane six or the power granted to them by magic. But what if it was?

I guess I thought about all of that, mapped out a lot of headcanon, and started writing heroic fantasy. Only natural, given that it's my favorite genre.

Now, if you ask me this question on any other day of the week, my answer will probably be completely different.

342769 We are noisy people. Sorry we bugged you so much xD We've all had those moods.

Also sorry for not asking a TiG question =3

Twilight's mother was wounded in the Battle of Canterlot and hospitalized—Applejack mentions this at the start of chapter seventeen, I think. If she hadn't been, it would have been a real bitch to keep her alive during the Battle of the Everfree. Her personality + teleportation, and all. She would have jumped in front of Twilight to stop one of Titan's spells, or something.

For Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy the very beginning. They were each originally an pegasus and earthpony, respectively, and both of them has powers that their racial magic doesn't really explain. I had to explain that somehow.

Twilight was always on the fence—are her abilities just a family thing or does she count as a whole new species as well? I knew Harmony had meddled in the Coruscare line extensively, but did that mean they were a new species? Eventually I decided that the answer was yes, given that she also made them a receptacle for alicorn magic.


Originally, Harmony did not exist, Terra didn't survive, Twilight died to destroy Titan, Rarity killed Esteem, and Applejack rallied the buffalo (who killed her parents years earlier, or something, I can't remember) to help take back Appleloosa from the royals and rescue the CMCs, Applebloom and Sweetie Belle.

We should play league sometime - Not actually a question

Also, I have the review I promised long ago in a long forgotten comment collecting dust in google doc. It's about 2000 words and I'm not sure how much of it was written drunk because I'm afraid to find out, but its done I guess. My question is, would you rather I wait for the Epilogue or do you just want it now?


All the fucking time. It's 3AM, I'm typing away, I've got school at 9 the next morning and stop and just say "What the fuck am I doing? This is garbage. No one cares about this, and even if they did it wouldn't matter. I'm not getting any better, The story isn't getting any better, and it's going to be another hundred thousand words at least before I can stop. I'm going to look back at this as an enormous waste of my fucking time."

Then I kept typing away. A man finishes what he starts, and everyone hates their work sometimes.


Ah, there it is. I guess I forgot it in the interim between chapter updates. Thanks for clearing that up!

New question then: Where did Discord go after weakening Titan's powers?

If this is spoiler territory for the final update of TIG then I will look forward to the epilogue all the more! :pinkiehappy:


On that note, how did you plan to hook readers? Re ading an epic fic is an investment and I'm worried that people will be turned off length if I were to write one.

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