News Archive

  • 6 days
    Dromicosuchus' "The Rise and Fall of the Dark Lord Sassaflash" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    There is much Love in the craft of today's story.


    The Rise and Fall of the Dark Lord Sassaflash
    [Dark] [Adventure] [Crossover] • 116,239 words

    Wanted: Porter, assistant, jack-of-all-trades, minion. Applicants should be strong, loyal, pain tolerant, cold tolerant, unambitious. Must be capable of following simple instructions. Ideal applicant should be of low to average intelligence and mildly deformed, but exceptions will be made for extraordinary candidates, with extraordinariness to be determined by employer. Must be willing to begin work immediately.

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    9 comments · 1,035 views
  • 1 week
    Bookish Delight's "Being Juniper Montage" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    Today's story will really get into your head.


    Being Juniper Montage
    [Equestria Girls] [Drama] [Slice of Life] • 42,118 words

    Mere weeks ago, Juniper Montage was a spiteful girl, a thief, and even—for a short time—a magical menace. However, Starlight Glimmer and the Rainbooms managed to reach her, and extend the hands of forgiveness and friendship. Juniper has been grateful for the second chance ever since, and eager to show that she can be a good friend herself.

    While touring Canterlot High School with Twilight Sparkle, she comes across two girls in dire cinematic straits. Juniper knows she can help, so she decides to step in. However, in the midst of her attempt, her past—all of her past—returns to haunt her, and her self-esteem pays the price.

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    23 comments · 1,299 views
  • 2 weeks
    Timaeus' "Coming in From the Cold" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    Settle in and warm up with today's story.


    Coming in From the Cold
    [Romance] [Slice of Life] • 11,961 words

    Starting over is never an easy thing to do. Lost, alone, and cold, sometimes a friendly smile and mug of cocoa are all that's needed to warm the heart.

    And right now, Bon Bon is very cold.

    FROM THE CURATORS: With winter and spring currently engaged in their annual slippery baton pass, here's a story, as AugieDog put it, "where the cold and the warm are practically characters." But the main focus lies squarely on Lyra and the mare now known as Bon Bon, newly arrived in Ponyville after the dismantling of her previous life and full of uncertainty.

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    5 comments · 1,111 views
  • 3 weeks
    MagnetBolt's "The Doom that Came to Tambelon" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    Seeing why today's story is great is child's play.


    The Doom that Came to Tambelon
    [Adventure] [Comedy] • 4,397 words

    Starlight Glimmer. Trixie Lulamoon. Tempest Shadow. Three ponies that are definitely really great with foals. But there's no way they'll mess this up, right? They just have to keep Flurry Heart out of trouble for one night — what could happen in a couple hours?

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    9 comments · 1,523 views
  • 4 weeks
    OnionPie's "What is Left" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    Today's story is an addicting read.


    What is Left
    [Dark] [Sad] [Thriller] [Tragedy] • 24,301 words

    Five years of cheap thrills in the big city have left Sweetie Belle in bad debt with dangerous ponies. Forced to pay up, she returns to Ponyville to seek money from an estranged sister she loathes with a passion.

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    11 comments · 1,531 views
  • 5 weeks
    AndrewRogue's "The Destiny Trap" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    Enjoying today's story is in the cards.


    The Destiny Trap
    [Adventure] • 7,746 words

    Returning from a trip to Manehattan, Trixie has a brand new magic trick that she's all too eager to share with Starlight.

    Unfortunately, when things don't work quite as expected, Trixie and Starlight are forced to go on a journey across Equestria to find the pony that gave her the trick and make things right once more.

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    2 comments · 2,338 views
  • 6 weeks
    Norm De Plume's "As Horns and Halos Surround You" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    (Ed. Note: This week, we say farewell to Chris, who has been with the Royal Canterlot Library since its inception, and give a big hello to FanOfMostEverything, who has some formidable horseshoes to fill!)

    Give in to the temptation of reading today's story.


    As Horns and Halos Surround You
    [Slice of Life] • 4,809 words

    Rarity’s little Temptation ends up on pins and needles. Literally.

    With her shoulder-devil out of commission, other Temptations pop into her life to pick up the slack from their fallen sister.

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    10 comments · 2,867 views
  • 7 weeks
    Mitch H's "A Requiem For Lost Libraries" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    Today's tale has its roots in an unusual ghost story.


    A Requiem For Lost Libraries
    [Mystery] • 2,655 words

    There is a ghost haunting the corridors of Ponyville's newest dwelling, the princess's Castle of Friendship. It is a ghost without voice, or hoof, or spectral limb to cast strange shadows upon crystalline walls.

    But it's not the ghost of a pony. It's not a person at all.

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    5 comments · 2,761 views
  • 8 weeks
    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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    4 comments · 2,881 views
  • 9 weeks
    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. 

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    11 comments · 3,250 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 ( 4 )

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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