News Archive

  • Friday
    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?

    Read More

    4 comments · 1,347 views
  • 2 weeks
    Petrichord's "Paper Butterflies" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    Watch some delicate emotions fold together in today's story.


    Paper Butterflies
    [Sad] [Slice of Life] • 3,756 words

    Discord hasn't been feeling himself lately. Rarity thinks that it might be a good idea to get his mind off of things by having him assist her with upcoming work for the Summer Sun Celebration. Being the good sport that he is, Big Mac helps Discord out.

    As it turns out, the project is surprisingly fun.  It's also more than a little painful.

    Read More

    10 comments · 2,881 views
  • 3 weeks
    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 · 3,361 views
  • 4 weeks
    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

    5 comments · 4,842 views
  • 6 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.'

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    13 comments · 4,769 views
  • 7 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 · 5,161 views
  • 8 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 · 4,772 views
  • 10 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 · 5,426 views
  • 11 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 · 4,391 views
  • 12 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 · 5,212 views
Mar
31st
2017

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

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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