News Archive

  • Friday
    Redric Carrun's "Sleeping Habits" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    If you're procrastinating on reading today's story: You snooze, you lose.


    Sleeping Habits
    [Slice of Life] • 8,504 words

    Rainbow Dash has rather a poor reputation when it comes to her workload. Everypony always thinks of her as the pony who takes three naps during daylight hours, and four on weekends, and always seems to be looking for something to do to pass the time. All of this is true, of course. But ponies seem to think this means that she must not ever get very much work done.

    Can the weather captain for all of Ponyville really be as lazy as she seems? Is that the only explanation for Rainbow Dash's free time and constant napping?

    The weather is a full-time job. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. And the worst weather happens at night.

    So weather ponies have strange sleeping habits.

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    3 comments · 858 views
  • 1 week
    JoeShogun's "Nine Days Down" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    Today's story is a hell of a tale.


    Nine Days Down
    [Dark] [Adventure] • 136,069 words

    Sometimes it's fun to play the damsel in distress. Princess Celestia knows this better than most. Usually it works out fine. Really, she could have escaped at any time, but Twilight and her friends have been so effective in the past that this time, Celestia may have let things get out of hoof. It was all fun and games until she got unceremoniously tossed into Tartarus. Even then, it wouldn't have been so bad; she's a goddess, after all. But alas, Tartarus is not Equestria, and Celestia is not all she could be when trapped there. Even worse, it appears that she didn't get thrown into The Pit alone. 

    Read More

    11 comments · 1,529 views
  • 2 weeks
    Kkat's "Origin Story" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    Explore today's story to find a hidden treasure.


    Origin Story
    [Adventure] • 24,563 words

    In the last months of the great war, Daring Do is called to once again brave the jungles of the Tenochtitlan Basin on a vital mission. While deep in enemy territory, she begins work on a final book: a prequel. A story that will never be completed.

    Here are the recovered fragments of that lost, unfinished Daring Do novel.

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    24 comments · 3,023 views
  • 3 weeks
    DwarvishPony's "Tracks in the Sand" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    Today's story examines a young woman hoping that someday her prints will come.


    Tracks in the Sand
    [Equestria Girls] [Drama] [Alternate Universe] • 9,590 words

    Scavenging isn't just a hobby, it's a means of survival in the ruins of the old world. When you go scavenging, though, you'll never know what you'll find.

    Pinkie Pie is about to find more than she bargained for.

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    4 comments · 1,974 views
  • 4 weeks
    Monochromatic's "The Choices We Make" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    You won't regret choosing today's story.


    The Choices We Make
    [Equestria Girls] • 5,146 words

    Every Friday, from five in the afternoon to eleven at night, Pinkie Pie does volunteer work. She doesn't have to do it, the world won't stop if she doesn't, but she chooses to do it anyway. Even if it's doing seemingly insignificant little things.

    After all, the best ways to help aren't always with grand gestures, but with the little things in life.

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    21 comments · 3,631 views
  • 5 weeks
    Ringcaat's "The Pony Who Lived Upstairs" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    Today's story brings a little magic home.


    The Pony Who Lived Upstairs
    [Drama] [Slice of Life] [Human] • 184,740 words

    [Note: This story contains sexual themes.]

    What would you do if a pony moved into the apartment upstairs? Would you make an effort to meet her? What would you talk about? And what kind of pony leaves Equestria for Earth in the first place?

    This is a series of slice-of-life episodes about a young man who meets a pony in New Jersey. Equestria has made contact with Earth; creations and creators have been sorting things out for a couple of years, and a smattering of ponies are gradually starting to move to Earth. Told though human eyes, here's the story of one of them.

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    6 comments · 3,130 views
  • 6 weeks
    Thornquill's "Carousel" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    Today's story will haunt you.


    Carousel
    [Dark] [Drama] [Horror] • 69,824 words

    The Millennial Summer Sun Celebration is only a few years away, but Rarity’s fashion career seems to be ending before she can begin it. Now, she has one last chance to find a place for her talent.

    But as she works to create the boutique of her dreams, a forgotten piece of Ponyville’s past is waking up. Secret memories lie forgotten in dusty basements, unrighted wrongs scratch at locked doors, and Rarity finds herself caught up in a history that may be doomed to repeat itself.

    For although she is the first to set hoof in the Old Town Hall in thirty years, she can’t help but feel that something inside was waiting for her.

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    8 comments · 3,632 views
  • 8 weeks
    Lost + Found Features: "Let's Pretend"/"Let Me Tell You About the Hole in My Face" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    'Tis the season for holiday stress — and for the RCL to be pushing through almost 700,000 words of longfics in our reading queue. That dual crunch has slowed us down, and we're currently working with our pending featured authors on their interviews.  But don't worry — we've got you covered!

    We keep track of stories which have passed through our approval process, but whose authors were unresponsive to us despite repeated effort.  We'd like to see these great stories get their time in the spotlight too, so we're presenting a pair of RCL-approved tales for your reading pleasure.

    (Note: We will not be posting next week -- this week on our website -- due to the holiday. Happy holidays from the Royal Canterlot Library!)



    Let's Pretend
    By Pen Mightier
    [Adventure] [Comedy] • 7,484 words

    Read More

    5 comments · 3,514 views
  • 9 weeks
    RB_'s "The World Fades to White" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    Today's story is quite a cool tale.


    The World Fades to White
    [Adventure] [Sad] • 3,388 words

    Princess Flurry Heart and the descendant of Prince Rutherford brave the harsh conditions of the Frozen North, in search of an artifact they hope will save their home from a similar fate.

    FROM THE CURATORS: One of the subtler skills in writing is how to wring meaning from the things you don't say — a skill on prominent display in this short and focused fic.  "I love how sparse the writing feels, hinting at larger things without ever having to define them, managing to make its diffuse world feel rich and solid," Soge said, and Present Perfect agreed: "This feels like such a tiny slice of a greater epic work. So much is packed into it, and yet so much is left unsaid."

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    11 comments · 3,180 views
  • 10 weeks
    SirTruffles' "Three Left Turns" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    Today's story turns out right.


    Three Left Turns
    [Dark] • 2,478 words

    Equestria's last night is nigh. Next evening it will be ash. Twilight slips off with but the past to bargain with. Can she buy a future?

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    4 comments · 4,086 views
Mar
31st
2017

Author Interview » McPoodle's "The Perfect Little Village of Ponyville" [Royal Canterlot Library] · 1:12pm Mar 31st, 2017

Open your eyes, and you'll find that today's story is quite a sight.


The Perfect Little Village of Ponyville
[Adventure] [Alternate Universe] [Comedy] [Drama] • 35,747 words

Vinyl Scratch wakes up to find herself the personal student of Princess Celestia, sent to the obscure village of Ponyville to oversee preparations for the millennial Summer Sun Celebration.

Vinyl can only imagine two possible explanations for what has happened: she has tumbled into an alternate universe where she's Twilight Sparkle, or, after everypony telling her she'd do it eventually, she's finally gone and lost her mind.

FROM THE CURATORS: Six seasons in, it can be interesting to return to some of the fandom's earliest tales — and occasionally, quite rewarding as well.  "I've got some metafiction for y'all, from all the way back in the dimly remembered time of 2012," Chris said in his nomination.  "Don't be fooled by its age, though: this fic still holds its own, five years later."  And, indeed, we found the quality of this fic leaping right off the page at us.  "The narrative voice just drew me right in as did the simple, sweet writing," AugieDog said.  "I dislike the phrase 'a facility of language' because it's so pretentious, but that's exactly what I found myself thinking it demonstrated about halfway through chapter one."

The main element drawing our praise, however, was the unusual way this gambled with its structure — and the rich way that gamble paid off.  "This is a fic which you have to give the benefit of the doubt, but I found that my tentative acceptance was repaid in spades," Chris said.  "For example, there is in fact a reason why the narrator occasionally interjects to comment on the narrative structure."  AugieDog agreed, with a musical twist: "Appropriately enough for something with so much music in it, this is a perfect example of what I've always thought of as 'con brio' storytelling," he said.  "Right from the first dozen paragraphs, the author leaps off the narrative cliff while saying, 'Leap off with me, and it'll be well worth your time.'"  And Horizon appreciated the way it put those choices to deeper use: "It makes no apologies or excuses for its structural oddity, and not only manages to back-justify it, but also manages to use that unique narrative format to unroll character and plot."

Add that to the richness of detail, and we found this an easy winner.  "All the flourishes around the edges really make it shine," Chris said.  "The musical theme of the world (matching Vinyl's interests) is just the most obvious and the one I'm best acquainted with, and it's so well-formed."  That those details were integrated so neatly into the story was the icing on the cake.  "We're treated to a smorgasbord of cool headcanon that largely has retained its luster six seasons later," Horizon said.  "I liked, for example, the explanation for Luna's mane, and the addressing scheme for dragonfire letters — all the more so since that seemingly inconsequential detail smoothly shifts into a major plot point."

Read on for our author interview, in which McPoodle discusses pessimistic inventresses, confounding satires, and repairing the perfect movie.


Give us the standard biography.

Once upon a time (c. 1994), there was a college graduate with an analytical mind who got what he thought was a dream job of being a software tester. But it turned out that nobody liked being told that their software was flawed, or that deadlines wouldn’t be met, or that software testers should be paid a decent wage so they didn’t have to live in miserable little hovels (aka apartments). So in between bouts of CMIS (Cutie Mark Insanity Syndrome), he took to writing stories set in happy little worlds as unlike his as possible. This lasted through several different employers and fandoms until finally (in 2011) he found a job where people believed he was actually contributing to the bottom line instead of eroding it, and he bought a house, and that’s when the fanfiction ideas stopped coming to him so fast and furious. So, he entered a state of semi-retirement.

How did you come up with your handle/penname?

I love the old theatrical cartoon shorts, from Gertie the Dinosaur to the Road Runner. “McPoodle” is the obscure last name of the bloodhound character Droopy from the Tex Avery cartoon “Northwest Hounded Police” (1946).

Who's your favorite pony?

In canon, Rarity, although I rarely get to write for her as lead character. Fanon-wise, that’s changed over the years: Vinyl Scratch (back when I could make her a blind techie that talks and has multiple personalities without anybody complaining), Pinkamena (the sarcastic and pessimistic inventress I saw her as, as opposed to the psychopath or victim of clinical depression favored by others) and finally Princesses Celestia and Luna (again, my versions, but at least this time fairly close to how many people write them).

What's your favorite episode?

It’s a tie between “Pinkie Pride” (because hey, Weird Al) and “Crusaders of the Lost Mark” (for the waterworks).

What do you get from the show?

A believable world that is nevertheless free of most of the ugliness of the real world, containing characters that believably evolve over six seasons. Granted, that last point makes it really hard to write fanfiction about them.

What do you want from life?

The sense that I’m making an active contribution to the world, that my ideas are making things better instead of worse. But that’s in real life. As far as this site’s concerned, I’m satisfied with entertaining my readers.

Why do you write?

Well besides the rather unhealthy reason given in my first answer, I write for two reasons: First, the usual one of wanting to see a particular scene or scenario in the show, but not finding it in canon or existing fanon. And second, for those rare moments when a story runs away and surprises me with something wonderful that I thought far beyond my current writing level. For “Perfect Village”, that was the character arcs for Spike and Pinkamena.

What advice do you have for the authors out there?

Engage yourself with everything fictional you encounter, and try to do so in a positive way. If you just finished watching the perfect movie with an ending that completely ruins it, don’t just complain, write that perfect ending yourself. And if you have an idea for a scene that you can’t turn into a story, write it down, because there’s a good chance that someday you will have the idea for the story that scene belongs in.

What inspired “The Perfect Little Village of Ponyville”?

During the first hiatus of the show, there were a bunch of stories coming out exploring alternate versions of The Return of Nightmare Moon. (“A World Without Rainbows”, “The Night That Never Ended” and “Rainbooms and Royalty” are three that stand out.) Too many of the good ones were relentlessly depressing. So I set out to write a satire, but somehow it turned into a challenge to see how many times I could confound my readers’ attempts to figure out what exactly was going on in this world I had created.

Talk a little about the challenges of writing “alternate universe” stories.

The biggest problem is disciplining yourself, because once you decide to wander away from something recognizable as canon, you’re liable to change things so much that readers no longer recognize it as FIM — “FIM In Name Only”, as it were. I find it useful to tie everything back to a divergence point from canon, even if you never end up revealing that divergence to the reader.

How much of an outline did you use to keep all the ins and outs of the story straight?

I’m actually pretty good at keeping that sort of thing straight in my head for stories of this length. It was only when I ventured into the realm of writing fan novels that I needed notes.

With four stories completed in the sequence that begins here, do you hold out hope of someday actually typing its final “The End”?

You know, you’re only the second person to ask me that question in the three years since I finished that penultimate story. I have all my notes for the last story; the problem is that it needs to be written from the viewpoint of a Season One Fluttershy, and I had no insight into how she thinks. Luckily I’ve discovered “Sucker for a Cute Face”, which I think perfectly captures that viewpoint (albeit with Equestria Girls Fluttershy, which is close enough for me), so who knows?

Is there anything else you'd like to add?

To anyone trying to go into “Perfect Village” fresh, take your time and pay attention to everything that’s going on. I’m honestly trying to play fair with you as the author. Yes, this picks up plot points from some other stories I wrote earlier, but anything from those stories you need to know is exposited at the appropriate points in this story. Oh, and be aware that I wrote this story pre-“Slice of Life” and pre-“Epic Wub Time”, so my version of Vinyl Scratch probably doesn’t match yours.

You can read The Perfect Little Village of Ponyville 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 ( 3 )

I've loved this story for a few years, so it's very nice to see it getting some RCL love. Now, I don't want to spoil the ending, but one of my favorite parts is how how this story uses an ending trope that usually inspires frothing rage and objects hurled at computer screens—but McPoodle sets it up so that this ending actually works. Really, Perfect Little Village is my go-to example of a story that does this kind of ending right.

Ah, a story I've read before, back when it was new. It's good that I saw it here, as it seems I never moved it from my Favorites to my "Complete" bookshelf after bookshelves were added to the site.

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I'd recommend entering by the first chapter rather than the ToC to preserve that, though, due to chapter titles.

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