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Takka Takka Takka: June 2017 Word Counts & Pressures · 5:14pm Jun 29th, 2017

I seriously can’t get over how cute Sunny is in this picture. There is no doubt that this guy has an insane amount of talent.

His stuff is usually really intense... and then he kills me with adorable. Jeez. Sunny is always adorable, but this is another level entirely. If he’s got this as a print at BronyCon, I’m buying it instantly. I must have this.

So, how you all doing this month? I know I haven’t had much in the way of blogs, but frankly? This month has been brutal for me. All sorts of shenanigans. And they’re not looking to stop anytime soon. But somehow… I still write.

Maybe because it’s one of the few times those demons in my head actually shut the heck up. Twilight and Sunset are pretty good at beating them up.

They’re awesome like that.

And they’re adorable together too.

Let’s talk word count! This was a bit of an odd month word-count wise. First of all, my Scrivener word count total and the counter I keep on FimFic are completely disagreeing. I’m not quite sure what’s going on there, but I’m going to go with my FimFic one. And that one says I cleared my goal and then some.

Word Count: 55,444

That’s right folks, I kicked my 50K goal right out of the park. In fact, I did that on… June 22? Something like that. In fact, I cleared 55K on the 28th!

I also did 16,000 of that in four days. I had several 5-6K days this month. Why, you ask? Well, my brain was just demanding stories be told. First of all, I had the pressure of getting Dreaming in Dawn’s Light done. Second, I did the final push and cleared the Version 6.0 (yes, I’m that high) on How Not To Use Your Royal Prerogative. Finally, I had a massive series of surges for my latest story that was just released, Unexpected Hazards of Interdimensional Transit.

Major props to everyone who’s helped me deal with some of the stressors this month in Novel’s Nook, my Discord server.  You’ll all be happy to know I’m constantly expanding the shipping collections too. If you haven’t joined, please feel free! You just need to be nice!

One last thing. I’ve been told that I should mention that I have a Patreon. Most people don’t even know it exists. This isn’t a grab for cash or anything like that. This is just if you feel like helping out. If you’re one of those crazy people who want to, you can find my Patreon here. I’ve even just added a special category for supporters on the Nook (you’re a special color. :twilightsmile:).

Anyway, enough self-promotion. It was a crazy month, so let’s talk a bit about some stuff that happened!

Wait! I almost forgot! We’ve got to do a quote from a story, right?

“I’m sorr—”
Sunset booped her on the nose. “No apologizing.”
Twilight scrunched her muzzle at Sunset. “You know I hate it when you boop me in the middle of talking.”
“Yes, I do.”
“You still do it.”
“Yes, I do.”


Dreaming in Dawn’s Light Artwork!

Jykinturah's original version of the cover for Dreaming in Dawn’s Light

Overlord Neon’s version of the cover for Dreaming in Dawn’s Light

First of all, a very special thank you goes out to Jykinturah and Overlord Neon for their artwork for Dreaming in Dawn’s Light. It was hard to decide between the two (especially since I adore Overlord Neon’s work), but in the end, I had to go with on that I felt captured the story more. I did do some tweaks on it too, but ]Jykinturah knocked it out of the part with that little moment of comfort between Tia and Sunny. Still, Sunset and Tia look ready to kick some serious flank in Overlord Neon’s piece. And they definitely did, in the end.

Still, thanks to both of you for lending me your amazing talents!

Reviews, Contests & Special Comments!

First of all, Logan from “Louder Yay” did a review of The Cycle of Flame. You can find the whole thing here, but here’s the heart of it!

This fic, considerably more Adventure than it is Comedy, starts out as a simple "let's have fun laughing at stupid dragons" story and gradually builds into something much more interesting. I like the world-building surrounding phoenix culture, of which there's a lot but which rarely gets in the way of the story itself. In just a few thousand words, Novel-Idea makes me far more interested in knowing about phoenixes than I remember being since I first saw "A Bird in the Hoof". (An episode I've always liked, incidentally.) I do have one complaint: late in the story, something clearly significant happens involving Celestia and another character, something that the writer deliberately leaves vague. Not a problem in itself, but read their (very spoilery!) blog post about it and you discover that they have no intention of explaining what, except eventually. Maybe. Or not. For a one-shot contest entry, inevitably read by many people unfamiliar with the author or their works, I don't think that sort of "Not telling!" is playing entirely fair; it leaves a slightly sour taste. Given that, it says a lot for how much I liked this fic and the way it portrays Philomena and her world that it remains my favourite of all the winners.

Logan also did reviews of both of Ebon Quill’s stories, Slouching Toward Canterlot and Little Truths! You should totally check out the reviews!

Logan’s Review for Slouching

Logan’s Review for Little Truths

I’m also happy to announce that Unexpected Hazards of Interdimensional Transit made it to the finals of the WriteOff Association “Under the Sun” Event for June. I’m actually rather surprised. I didn’t think a fluffy shipfic would actually do well in the WriteOff Association, known for incredibly intense or outright hilarious stories. I seemed to have another mixed bag, with people enjoying the fluffy shippiness with a few others saying they wanted more. I did however win "Best New Entrant." Last FimFic Short Story WriteOff's story nailed "Most Controversial." So, I'm doing well there!

You’ll have to tell me which version you preferred. :twilightsmile:

As I said in my author’s note, that story is based on the following picture, entitled “I’d Like You To Meet My New Student” by “The_Letter_J.”

Yup. That’s it. I really don’t have much to add on this.

And in case you’re curious, here was my art entry with the title of “Flow”

“Flow” didn’t do all that great in the rating, but in truth, I submitted it as a backup plan in case I didn’t like any of the other entries (I know, I know)! The concept was Starlight developing the first solar magic powered vehicle. It’s something going into an upcoming story where we see Starlight and Trixie driving a half-magic/half-steam off-road buggy… thing. It’s still gonna be fun.

However, some good stories came of it, including Oroboro’s A Gem Beneath!

Now, let’s take a look at the bookshelves for June and July!

June’s Writing Bookshelf:

How Not to Use Your Royal Prerogative - Version 6.0 Complete - In Redline Phase!

Freaking finally! I am so damn happy that this story is finally done with it’s major rewrites. There’s still a lot of work that needs to go into it, but the story itself is there and sound. However, believe it or not, Prerogative is currently sitting at 64,000 words, my longest Wavelengths story to date! It’s going to be a crazy fun comedy/mystery… and best of all, you’ll get to see a fair number of ponies you may be familiar with and haven’t seen in Wavelengths before.

You’re gonna totally freak your frizz. But we’re close! The entire Wavelengths Editing Team is buckling down to get this puppy ready for it’s big debut! I’m not putting a date on it yet, but it’s our main focus!

Dreaming in Dawn’s Light - Complete and Published!

Well, this is the first time I’ve written a story that was designed to go out with an episode. Of course, I saw the leaked episode and as I’ve said before, so many ideas came to me within seconds of finishing A Royal Problem. I just decided to move it up a bit.

I’m happy to say that Dreaming ended up staying in the FimFic Feature Box from Monday to Friday of that week! I think that’s the longest a story of mine’s been there, save for maybe Cloudsdale.

That being said, the story did give me some trouble. Some people got hung up on Luna. Maybe justifiably. Sadly, I came up with the solution for the problem after I published it. I was going to change it… but decided against it. I’m all for fixing errors in grammar, spelling and punctuation, but changing the story itself after it goes live because of comments just doesn’t feel right.

But I will set the story straight here. The single piece I would have added is that Luna had always had trouble helping Celestia in her dreams, even before the Nightmare Moon incident. That could be because they’re immortal alicorns, it could be because they’re sisters, it could be any number of reasons. However, another great idea was provided by Beltorn: maybe that Luna we saw wasn’t actually Luna, but just an illusion created by Daybreaker to torment Celestia.

No matter what though, that story isn’t about Luna. It’s about Celestia and Sunset. Sunset realizes that Celestia has demons of her own. Celestia shows herself to be completely vulnerable. And they bond over that fact, in an act of acceptance and forgiveness.

I hope most of you got that theme. It’s something personally important to me.

Judging for Interwoven Colours Contest

My first pass of all the stories have been complete and I’ve compiled a shortlist of my favorites, but Monochromatic been dealing with a ton of real life stuff (as well as a few other judges), so we pushed back the result date to July 27. This is great, because I’ll be able to read through them all again and get really down into the stories!

Unexpected Hazards of Interdimensional Transit - Complete and Published!

What’s this?! A completely new story that I didn’t even mention! Gasp!

Oh my, this was fun to write. I mentioned a bit of the inception of this story in the Author’s Note, but I have to say, I really enjoyed this story. I got to play with a character I’ve never played with before: Amethyst Star, using only the “I used to be the best organizer in Ponyville before Twilight showed up” for the personality. I got to basically take Twilight’s checklist obsession and turn it into something fun and cool.

I’ll also admit to taking a fair bit of inspiration from Timaeus’s The Perfect Setup for Amethyst’s character. You should totally read that story by the way. It was great. Landed solidly in my Top Shelf.

But the cool thing was, I got to write one story for two contests. Now, I have no idea how this’ll do in Jake’s contest, but I’m happy with it, especially after the edits I’ve made with the help of the WriteOff Association, Oroboro and, as always, my epic Wavelengths Editing Team!

The Kind Regard of Quiet Things - First Draft Complete

Last Friday, I had finished all my main edits to Hazards and Prerogative, so I needed something new to write! I asked Ebon for a suggestion, he gave me this:

How about a short piece, no longer than 3K, about Twilight waking up from a nightmare, and Sunset talking that through it?

That’s exactly what I did. It’s about 2.6K and I don’t plan on expanding it. It’s a quiet, slice of life romance fic. Very subtle. I don’t think I have anything like it on FimFiction right now. But I’m very happy with how it turned out. I’m not sure when I’ll get the story out, but since it’s so short, probably soonish. Wrote this thing in two days.

And yes, the title is happily hijacked from Rothfuss’s The Slow Regard of Silent Things.

The Heart of Harmony - First Draft Complete - Will Not Be Published in Current Form

Okay. This story… is a little different.

The second-to-last week of June, I came across a story on the WriteOff Competition that ended up doing some massive damage to me emotionally. It triggered one of my greatest fears. This isn’t the kind of fear that goes away… but this is the kind that you wake up in the middle of the night to. I couldn’t go 5-10 minutes without thinking about this story for 36 hours after reading it. The only time I didn’t think about it was sleeping or writing.

It was emotionally tearing me apart. Combined with some other major stress points in my life… it was consuming me. I had to do something.

So, a day after reading this story, I ended up sitting down and writing a 3,400 word story “fixing” the ending, transforming it into something far less horrific. Something with hope. It’s currently listed in Scrivener under the header of “Bastion” with the title of “Hope.”

It’s a story about the salvation of ponykind. In more ways than one. A story of paying for your sins, even at the cost of your very soul. About the ties that bind creatures together, not through just friendship or love… but through mere existence. What is lost when those bonds are cut… and what’s required to get them back.

Let me be honest and tell you I doubt it’ll ever see the light of day in it’s current form. That being said, I’m very happy with the way the story turned out. Ebon, Cursori and Beltorn all praised the story, using the existing baseline of the pre-existing tale. And I never had them read it. I gave them a summary. But I also think there’s some really good stuff in this story… and I think it might transform into something magnificent, given enough time.

I want to stop and publically thank Ebon Quill, Beltorn and Cursori for helping me that afternoon. Let me tell you, I was a wreck. They forced me (Ebon most of all) to tell them the first story… and then tell them the story I wrote afterward. Now, they have their own objections to that story (which did help and I do happen to agree with), but through their kind words, encouragement and persistence, I was able to crawl myself out of that pit.

As Celestia said in Dreaming, we all have our demons. It’s what we do with them that counts. Well… this story unleashed one hell of a demon. And my friends helped me beat it back. While I had to write that story along (fighting words with words), I was equipped with the support of those who have been with me for years and those who have been with me for months.

So, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.

I think that about wraps up June, save for the long Retrospective I did on Diamonds Amidst the Stars.

So, what’s on the docket this month?

July’s Writing Bookshelf:

NaNoWriMo vs. GoE

Well, first of all, this month is the second yearly Camp NaNoWriMo. However, I do have the big BronyCon GoE Panel coming up that I have to prepare for, so I’m setting my initial monthly goal at 25,000 words. I have to do this, or else the pressure will rip me apart.

My main goal is to create the playable demo that all you wonderful people at BronyCon will get to see for the very first time! It’s going to be great! I just did an initial test on Sunday, June 25 and it came back very promising. It’s going to be sweet!

How Not to Use Your Royal Prerogative - Redline & Polish!

That’s right. We’re doubling down on this puppy. We’re going to make this thing happen. This story is coming out so very soon! I can’t freaking wait!

The Kind Regard of Quiet Things - High-Level Edits & Redlines

While this is taking second-place to Prerogative, I’d like to have this out soonish. So this might get bumped up a little.

Unannounced Contest Entry

There’s an upcoming contest I have a tiny inside track on. And by inside track, I know that something’s happening eventually. I have some ideas for a story that will be a major lore reveal for Wavelengths. I’m really excited to tell this story, but I’m not starting it until the details of the contest have been confirmed.

Upcoming Unannounced Contest Prep!

There’s actually another upcoming contest that I may be planning with a few cohorts. It’s going to be awesome. You’ll love it, especially how we have everything planned!

July General Project

I haven’t yet decided what my main focus is going to be story-wise for the month of July. Hate me all you want, but I’m not in any mental state to tackle Just a Couple of Ponies. I’m playing with the idea of diving into The Fallen Tower or maybe The Path, my last FimFic WriteOff Entry. I’m on hold in Wavelengths until the team has had a chance to read A Study in Chaos Theory, because there are some pieces I need to put in place before I launch the next story. Don’t worry, if worst comes to worst, I’ll just start pounding out some quick short stories, expand one of my AUs or do… something.

But I will write something. Not having a project is already making my brain itch.

Wavelengths Infatuations and Other Lies Arc

So after writing this, Beltorn, Cursori and I dove into the events of A Study in Chaos Theory. The result of our several-hour conversation over the course of a few days? I now have fully fleshed out the fate of all but one of the Mane 6. Not only that, but I finally figured out exactly where the Infatuations and Other Lies Arc is going. Yeah, it went from about 6 stories... to 14.

Yup. Infatuations is going to be massive.

The "Currently Reading" Bookshelf

Here’s a new thing this month! I’m currently doing my second pass for a massive follow-up to The Albinocorn’s Spectacular Seven. Jeez, he does not pull punches with this story. This is probably the best treatment of the Sirens I’ve ever seen. You need to read this story. Volume 1 is complete, but beware, it does get dark, but I promise you that you’ll never listen to “Welcome To The Show” the same way ever again at the end.

What’s up next? A story I’ve been waiting to read for months. None other than The Enchanted LIbrary by the magnificent Monochromatic.

I freaking can’t wait, even though I know Monochromatic’s going to emotionally pulverize me. Also, when we get together occasionally on the weekend, she’ll finally be able to stop describing things in non-spoiler terms!

Monthly Story Recommendation

I try to recommend stories that don’t get a lot of attention.

So today, we’re going with something that’s in my Legends Folder, but still has less than 600 likes. That’s a crime, I say. And this story is a little under two years old!

A fantastic slice of the past, this tale shows Equestria under Discord’s reign. I ended up pulling so much from this story. We get to see Tia and Luna as their non-alicorn selves. There’s lore building, there’s action, there’s drama and there’s an incredible amount of character development. This is a must-read for anyone who’s ever wondered about the ponies that became Equestria’s Princesses. An incredible vision of what might have been and the possibilities entailed.

Well, that’s it for this Takka Takka Takka, folks. It’s been a long day. I do hope you enjoyed Unexpected Hazards of Interdimensional Transit. Because there’s a lot more in store.

I almost forgot to mention. If you've been living under a rock for the last day or so... GET FREAKING HYPED. I'M SO PSYCHED ABOUT THIS I CAN'T EVEN HANDLE IT. IT LOOK GORGEOUS. [Insert general insane fangirling here]

Ahem. Okay. I'm good now. (SQUEEEEE) Okay. Okay. I'm good.

One last thing.

This coming month marks the one year anniversary of The Application of Unified Harmony Magics and my FimFic storytelling debut. So, whether you’ve just joined, you’ve been here for a while or you’re one of those crazies who predate even that… thank you.

I do appreciate those comments, those views, those upvotes and those favorites. There are those out there who think encouraging comments don’t matter, because other people have said the same thing. They’re wrong. Every comment counts. Every one helps batter back the demons, not just for me, but for everyone else. I guess the real difference is I don’t hide mine as well as others.

Somehow… I’m okay with that. You’ve seen the demons of Sunset Shimmer… and beyond. I won’t lie. Her demons are mine. And mine are hers. Maybe that’s why some of you enjoy these stories. They feel real. That’s because they are. Every author puts a piece of themselves into every character they write. That piece can be big or small… but they’re always there. I do it all the time. And some of my best work comes from the stuff in my life translated into pony form.

But here’s the thing… at the end of the day, Sunset has friends to help her. To help pull her out of the pit. To help save her from the demons. A time is coming soon when she’ll need every word of encouragement she’s ever heard.

And I don’t know anyone alive who doesn’t need encouragement. So give some to someone today. No, I don’t mean me. Find a friend. Tell them they’re awesome. Be specific. Be that tiny voice that helps beat back those demons.

We all have demons. What defines us is how we deal with them.

And the best way to deal with them… is to never face them alone.

This has been Novel Idea. Have fun out there!

Comments ( 10 )

That monthly word count is intimidating, to say the least. If every day was my most productive I'm not sure I'd crack 40k in the same time. But, practice practice practice... and fewer video games.

Apropos of art, my tattoo came very close to resembling the piece above your The Heart of Harmony entry. I couldn't figure out how to incorporate the cutie marks when I was designing it, so I skipped them, but seeing that piece now it seems obvious. Although I'm glad at this point that I didn't work them in. Asymmetry bothers me.

Good luck with all the judging!

Well look at that, it's been a whole year. They grow up so fast.


Apropos of art

That's awesome! The artist behind that actually did a whole series of them on at least a dozen different ponies. They're all amazing. Check them out!

As for the word count... well, I had several desperate fevered days of writing that helped me clear it. :twilightblush:

Welp, June was rather brutal for me too. In all senses. Always glad to be of help, Novel. For all your story-3T (telling, testing, tweaking) needs, you know where to find me.

P.S. Rara knows what's up with Prerogative. And she doesn't mind making herself heard.

My oh my, that's a lot of words. I'm barely gonna crack 20,000 myself this month; I just haven't been good at getting myself to write before night falls lately. But honestly, that doesn't matter, because you've done some superb work this month! I'd donate to your Patreon, but, well, I'm completely broke and jobless.

But anyway. Very nice artwork, as always from this fandom. Do you get your stuff commissioned? Regardless, congrats on the review and doing so well in contests!

Great to hear that Prerogative is finally in its end stages! It always boggles my mind just how much work you and your editing team put into your stories :derpyderp2: I'm super hyped for it. And about your other works this month, well I do like your explanation regarding the 'Luna problem' in Dreaming, and I'm certainly looking forward to Kind Regard :twilightsmile: The other bits of the Wavelengths timeline you're working on this month as well! And as for The Heart of Harmony...wow. I'm just...I'm just really, really glad you have such good friends to help you through what sounds like such an intense and awful experience. Words have power of all sorts, and anyone who thinks otherwise is a fool.

Not much else to say. I hope you keep doing well and going strong. The best of luck in July! :twilightsmile:

And in short order, she is DEFINITELY going to be heard.

In the end, the number doesn't matter. Even if you only did 3,000 words because you did 100 days, that's a big deal. Every word counts! (Har Har).

As far as artwork, both Diamonds and Dreaming were requests and gifts from a friend of mine. However, I am commissioning a special cover for A Study on Chaos Theory. Trust me. This story deserves something special.

Words have power of all sorts, and anyone who thinks otherwise is a fool.

Truerer words are rarely spoken! Thank as always, Fangren. Your comments always bring a smile to my face. :pinkiehappy:

:twilightblush: Aww, you're making me blush! And also look forward to Chaos Theory even more! :pinkiehappy:

Your blog posts are longer than some people's entire stories. :raritywink:

Also, that Sunset pic is indeed almost criminally adorable!

Yeah. I don't know when to shut up. It's kinda mah thing. :rainbowlaugh:

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