News Archive

  • Friday
    MaxKodan's "Dappled Shores" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    Today's story warns about the hidden dangers of "shows, don't tell".


    Dappled Shores
    [Romance] [Comedy] [Drama] [Equestria Girls] [Slice of Life] • 4,640 words

    Rarity and Sunset are having their third weekly Dappled Shores marathon.

    And then Sunset ruins everything.

    Read More

    6 comments · 981 views
  • 1 week
    WishyWish's "Sugarcube in the Corner" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    An unlikely crossover source mashes up with pony in today's story.


    Sugarcube in the Corner
    [Drama] [Sad] [Slice of Life] [Tragedy] • 8,069 words

    Enter Painless — a young resident physician at Manehattan East Side Memorial Hospital who drew the short lot, and ended up working through Hearth's Warming. With the city caught in the grips of a blizzard that weatherponies are still trying to get under control, the night is boring, the decorations contrived, and the coffee is as bitter as his sensibilities.

    Tonight, Painless has a single, pointless task assigned to him — to keep the company of a lonesome, unconscious stallion who is essentially already dead. In so doing, a young doctor will learn that medicine is about more than scalpels and technique.

    It's also about mending broken hearts.

    Read More

    4 comments · 2,357 views
  • 3 weeks
    The Albinocorn's "Firebird Dahlia" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    An explosive sibling rivalry is at the center of today's story.


    Firebird Dahlia
    [Drama] [Slice of Life] • 48,819 words

    Life is looking up for Sunset Shimmer.

    With her grandstanding at the Battle of the Bands, Canterlot High has taken a new approach to her. Amends have been made, friendships have been restored, and Sunset is on the fast track to becoming a better person.

    But even now, there are still apologies that have to be said.

    For her Spring Break, Sunset returns to Equestria to make up with her estranged family: the parents that raised and provided for her, and the sister she left behind. But a lot has changed since then, and some wounds won't heal by just saying 'I'm sorry.'

    Read More

    11 comments · 3,025 views
  • 4 weeks
    forbloodysummer's "Why Are You Here, Your Majesty?" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    Today's story is here for a very good reason.


    Why Are You Here, Your Majesty?
    [Drama] • 8,405 words

    Immortals are few and far between in Equestria, and they are all known to each other. Two of them are about to get to know each other a little better. Because one has just turned up uninvited in another’s private chambers. Maybe it’s time they had a chat?

    Read More

    8 comments · 3,421 views
  • 5 weeks
    Rocket Lawn Chair's "Star-Crossed" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    Today's story is a tale of love written in the sky.


    Star-Crossed
    [Romance] [Slice of Life] • 2,968 words

    A thousand years ago he was turning Equestria into a hotbed of mayhem.
    Five years ago he was growing moss and lichen on his shoulders.
    Today he's asking Celestia out on a date.

    Celestia didn't know such a creature as Discord would be able to change so radically without it being part of some elaborate prank. But what's more unsettling, she didn't know she'd be able to change just as drastically. As she finds new feelings for the Master of Chaos, she begins to have doubts toward the integrity of her desires, and suspicions of her sister's possible involvement.

    Read More

    0 comments · 3,098 views
  • 7 weeks
    Fiddlebottoms' "Discord's Ant Farm" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    In today's story, take a trip into the future with one of My Little Pony's ant-agonists.


    Discord's Ant Farm
    [Sad] • 2,619 words

    That wacky Spirit of Chaos is at it again...

    Except, there's no ponies in the audience.

    There's nothing, really. Just an empty, post-apocalyptic expanse.

    Nothing, and some ants.

    Read More

    21 comments · 3,746 views
  • 8 weeks
    FrontSevens' "Fun in the Summit" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    Today's story is a foray into diplomatic impunity.


    Fun in the Summit
    [Comedy] [Slice of Life] • 7,774 words

    Trade negotiations. Board meetings. Formal garden parties. Not the definition of a fun weekend for Princess Celestia at all.

    However, Celestia has a plan. Rarity’s going to join her this year, and by their gossiping powers combined, they may be able to turn this upcoming convention into something a little more unconventional.

    Read More

    6 comments · 3,171 views
  • 9 weeks
    cursedchords' "The Legend of the Scorpion Queen" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    Today's story about Equestrian harvest legends will grow on you.


    The Legend of the Scorpion Queen
    [Romance] [Sad] • 16,226 words

    On the eve of the Day of Reaping, the start of the Equestrian Harvest, it is traditional that a legend be told over supper: the legend of how the traditions surrounding the Day of Reaping came to be. It is a story of love, ambition, and vengeance.

    Long before Equestria, a grand Unicorn King maintains a splendid garden. On one of his travels he brings a scorpion back to live within it. That scorpion, resentful of being removed from her home, sets out to have her revenge.

    Read More

    6 comments · 5,127 views
  • 10 weeks
    Pen Stroke's "Morsel of Truth" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    Sink your teeth into today's spooky story.


    Morsel of Truth
    [Slice of Life] • 4,349 words

    There is a bit of truth to every legend, though the ravages of time can bury it deeply. Myths and lore become twisted, melded, and torn the longer they are around. One of Equestria’s oldest legends is that of Nightmare Moon. It is the core of Nightmare Night and the excuse for children to go out asking for candy with a single, common rhyme.

    Nightmare Night, what a fright. Give me something sweet to bite.

    Read More

    5 comments · 5,529 views
  • 11 weeks
    Hap's "The Donutier" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    Today's story will éclair-ify what it means to truly have friends.


    The Donutier
    [Slice of Life] • 13,097 words

    My name is Twilight Sprinkle, and my passion is donuts—from the delicate morsels I serve at elegant cocktail parties to the hearty pastries enjoyed by hard-working ponies who get up early. I don’t have friends, I don’t have books, and I sure as the sun don’t have any wings. I don’t care whether you’re here for revenge, for romance, or for a favor. My name is Twilight Sprinkle and I’m not who you think I am, so either buy a donut or get the hay out of my store!

    Read More

    76 comments · 5,022 views
Mar
3rd
2017

Author Interview » LiterarySerenity's "The Legend of the Gift Horses" [Royal Canterlot Library] · 1:20pm March 3rd

Today's story might just contain an element of truth.


The Legend of the Gift Horses
[Random] • 2,056 words

If you have ever wondered how the saying "Don't look a gift horse in the mouth" came to be, please venture inside and learn one fairytale version of this tale.

FROM THE CURATORS: There are many elements that go into an enjoyable fairy tale, and we found that this one fired on all cylinders — from voice and structure to character and ideas.  "This is a fantastic in-universe tale, one that almost seems to delight in its own telling," Present Perfect said.  "I actually got a thrill when Wish was saved, and I adore that Starswirl takes on certain mythic proportions of his own."  AugieDog also enjoyed it all.  "Fun and well told," he said.  "My only quibble is that the story ends too soon.  I wanted it all to keep going and going. That for me is the sign of a story really getting its hooks into me."

Others found the story growing on them as it developed.  "This starts out looking like a well-constructed but slightly stock fairytale," Chris said, "but in the aftermath of the battle (near the halfway point in the story), it suddenly becomes much more creative than I was giving it credit for."  Horizon agreed: "This goes places I wasn't expecting, and I have to give it props for its fusion of its two core mythological components."  Chris further commented on the tale's balancing act: "It deftly straddles the line between using well-known imagery and relying on cliches."

All told, those elements added up to more than just the titular fable.  "I found myself appreciating this both as a piece of storytelling, and as story in its own right," Chris said, and Present Perfect agreed: "This is easy to approach on its dual merits."

Read on for our author interview, in which LiterarySerenity discusses coyote similarities, parental bookshelves, and world-hopping Merlins.


Give us the standard biography.

I’m a 28-year-old freelance writer and transcriber in California, who is in the final semester of a graduate program in Literature & Writing Studies. As of late, most of my days have revolved around developing a final thesis project (a creative novella with a metafictional slant), and reading great stories for inspiration (particularly the works of Cornelia Funke and Diane Wynne Jones).

How did you come up with your handle/penname?

Creative writing has always been a very liberating and serene experience for me. I feel as if I can express myself the best through the written word, and there is a subtle joy in being able to create something (like a story) to share with others. The names of ponies in Equestria tend to hint at their special talents, as well as how the characters approach those talents, so “Literary Serenity” came to my mind as appropriate to portray my own feelings toward writing.

Who's your favorite pony?

I would have to say Discord is my favorite character out of the whole cast. He reminds me of Coyote from Native American folklore, as a trickster with great power but his own vulnerabilities. I enjoy the overwhelming strength of his personality, his hidden depths, and how much he has grown since his introduction.

In terms of ponies who are strictly ponies, however, I’d say Twilight Sparkle. I can relate to her as a fellow bookworm, scholar, and someone who wants to improve and define her role in the world.

What's your favorite episode?

That’s a hard decision! Off the top of my head, I’d have to narrow down the choices to either the Season 4 Two-Part Finale or the Season 6 Two-Part Finale. Both of those finales struck me as being major payoff points in the series, where we’ve gotten to witness how far the characters have developed.

In the Season 4 Finale, for instance, we had Twilight defining her role as the Princess of Friendship, the ponies opening the chest, and that major fight against Tirek. Then in the Season 6 Finale we saw a team of ponies, whose lives got turned around thanks to friendship, getting the chance to save Equestria.

What do you get from the show?

I enjoy the positive messages that come across in MLP: FIM, including the need to get along with others and the importance of following your dreams. Other shows have those messages as well, but MLP: FIM approaches life lessons like friendship in refreshing and original ways. For instance, in “The Cutie Map” two-parter, the lesson emphasized was that it takes a combination of talents and individual perspectives to create harmony. But there was also the point that friends don’t always need to agree on everything to be close. They can have disagreements yet respect each other’s differences.

What do you want from life?

I want to make the world a better place, uncover the extraordinary in everyday happenings, and become the best storyteller and creative writer possible. It is my goal to brighten the lives of others with my stories, and to leave my own positive messages behind for future generations.

Why do you write?

Writing is my truest means of self-expression. I write to communicate, create worlds and characters to share with anyone who would like to discover them, remember precious moments in my life, and simply vent (from time to time).

What advice do you have for the authors out there?

Reading and writing as much as possible are very important. Discovering what other authors before you have done, particularly in literary genres that interest you, makes all the difference because they can provide inspirational and solid foundations off which to build. Pick a few of your favorite authors and works, and consider what makes them stick in your mind. While reading, also pay close attention to the flow of prose, how the author uses details, etc. to experiment with in your own writing.

Try to reach out to other writers, be grateful for constructive feedback, and make sure to give constructive feedback in return.

Among the best pieces of advice I can offer is to write stories that fill you with enthusiasm. Don’t be afraid to take risks, and play around as much as possible with your ideas. Creating stories based solely on what “sells” (or is what is “the most popular” at the moment) is damaging if you would rather be writing something else. It turns writing into a job to get through, instead of a fun and fulfilling experience.

Characters are also the heart of most stories, so do your utmost to develop them as much as possible. I’ve always been a fan of character-driven stories, because when characters and their personal development are the main focus, it helps to make the reader feel for them. Furthermore, interesting characters also suggest their own stories (as we’ve seen with all the fanfics for MLP: FIM).

Talk a little about the process of expanding a popular saying into a piece of My Little Pony fanfiction.

Most sayings or phrases have particular (and oftentimes surprising) histories behind them. It struck me that this would also be true in Equestria, and I started to wonder how a phrase like “Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth” might have originated for them. Equestria is a magical land filled with creatures like Fruit Bats and Timberwolves, whose names suggest something about their construction or appearance. Thrown into such a continuum, Gift Horses didn’t sound too far-fetched. Although then it begged the question of what happened to them, or where they might live.

Around the same time, I reread an abridged version of 1,001 Arabian Nights, which featured the idea of genies bound to objects by Solomon. The two ideas collided and inspired me to turn Gift Horses into the Equestrian version of genies, with Starswirl the Bearded in a kind of Solomon-like role. In “Luna Eclipsed,” Twilight also made reference to the fact that Starswirl apparently knew several pot-related spells, and I thought those pots would make perfect containers for malicious Gift Horses. From there the rest of the story started to come together, with the Gift Horses in actual gift boxes representing the genies on good terms with Starswirl.

The issue of harmony and friendship as foreign concepts to those genies, and the community of ponies as an example for them, also came along at the same time. If this was a story from Equestria, I felt it should come back or contribute something related to those themes.

Why write the story in the form of a fairy tale?

Many of the stories that relate the history of Equestria have had fairy-tale qualities, from the rise of Nightmare Moon (in the very first episode) to the first sentencing of Tirek to Tartarus. We saw them by looking at stylized illustrations in books, such as the one Twilight Sparkle used to learn about the Elements of Harmony. I got the idea that, just maybe, it was the type of book pony parents might keep around to provide bedtime stories for their fillies as well.

Cast in that light, “The Legend of the Gift Horses” could have been another tale among the collection told to fillies that they might or might not forget about as they grew older.

How do you see the character of Starswirl the Bearded?

My perceptions of Starswirl the Bearded are mostly based on the Reflections comic arc, when he got revealed as a past mentor and friend to Princess Celestia. Even since then, I’ve seen Starswirl as a powerful, knowledgeable, fatherly, and eccentric wizard. In other words, I believe he is a lot like Merlin from T.H. White’s The Once and Future King. He has traveled through time, apparently tells Celestia and Luna about the Tree of Harmony, and even knows how to jump from one world to another via mirror.

So when Starswirl appeared before Wish in my fairy tale, I hope to make him leave the same kind and wise impression.

Have you considered returning to the idea and writing about a pony finding a Gift Horse’s box?

I’ve considered it many times. Someday when I have time (like this summer, if all goes well), I’d like to write a straight-on sequel of sorts done in the same format as most of my other stories on FimFiction.net, where some filly stumbles upon the gift box that contains Wish. Of course, that one would probably turn into a novella.

Is there anything else you'd like to add?

The supportive nature of our MLP: FIM fan community constantly amazes me. I’d just like to thank everyone who read and enjoyed “The Legend of the Gift Horses,” and to thank all the wonderful people on The Royal Canterlot Library site!

You can read The Legend of the Gift Horses at FIMFiction.net. Read more interviews right here at the Royal Canterlot Library, or suggest stories for us to feature at our Fimfiction group.

Comments ( 2 )

I'd already encountered this fic a way back, and I thought it had interesting concepts and a good - if sadly all-too-short - narrative structure. I agree with the comments at the start; there are some creative twists and turns here, and the battle was a highlight.

However, reading the author interview was just as delightfully fascinating, if not moreso. The inspiring enthusiasm for the writing craft really comes through. It neatly captures the sheer intrinsic pleasure of getting into the zone, especially with writing characters that develop their own agency and interests. Now I kinda wish I could go back to my own interview and edit my own answers.

Good writing indeed, and I wish you good fortune in your future pieces! :twilightsmile:

4442527 It's an honor! I'll do my best to continue growing stronger as a writer. :twilightsheepish:

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