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"Do it right, do it with style and never dream small!” - Author, Designer & Project Lead of Gardens of Equestria: This Coming Storm - (Patreon)

  • EThe Path
    The last believer in an ancient prophecy leaves behind all she knows to fulfill her people’s role, even if they have long forgotten their promise. All to save the soul of somepony who many believe will herald the doom of us all.
    Novel-Idea · 14k words  ·  127  1 · 878 views

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Takka Takka Takka: October 2017 - NaNo Is Coming · 6:24pm Oct 31st, 2017

Well, tomorrow’s going to be interesting. In fact, the entire upcoming month is going to be interesting. Just like October was pretty damn interesting! Interesting, interesting, interesting.

It’s also going to be brutal. So prepare yourself.

NaNoWriMo is coming.

But before that, let’s talk about word counts!

October Word Count: 70,043

UPDATE: I now updated it with my night's writing. When I saw how close I was to 70K, I wanted to see if I could crack it, making it the very best writing month I've had all year!

That’s right folks, my training month for NaNoWriMo went off wonderfully! Not only that, but I made huge progress in a story that’s been sitting doing nothing for quite a while. The best part is that I’ve also had a ton of breakthroughs with not only current stories, but ideas.

And there was that movie. Kinda a big deal, that.

So, since stuff is coming, let’s see what’s in store for you… hmmm… what to pick what to pick…

How about a longer one this time? This one is straight out of On the Brewing of Saddle Arabian Teas!

Behind the desk, lay a small earth pony filly. She had a bright blue coat and a frizzy mane of golden hair that formed a halo around her head as she lay slumped on the other side of the desk against a support beam. She cuddled a small, well-loved book in her hooves as if it were a teddy bear.

“Awwww!” Twilight squeaked when she saw the filly. “She’s adorable!

Sunset couldn’t help but smile. “Yeah, no kidding.”

“And… Sunset’s she cuddling a book!” Twilight’s voice went from squeak to a quiet squeal. “My parents said I used to do that all the time when I was her age.”

“You used books as a teddy bear, hm?” Sunset said, smirking. “Why does that not surprise me?”

“Well…” Twilight blushed. “I did have a Smarty Pants doll, too.”

“Isn’t that the one with her own notebook and quill?” Sunset raised an eyebrow. “Tell me you didn’t…”

The crimson on Twilight’s face intensified. “Yes, I used to pretend for her to do homework with me.”

Sunset couldn’t have stopped the bubble of laughter even if she’d been given an order chiseled in stone by Princess Celestia herself.

“Hm? Wha?” The filly blinked her enormous bright green eyes a few times. “Whazzit? What was that?”

Finally, she focused on Sunset and Twilight. Then she looked at the item in her hooves. With a squeak of suppressed horror, she threw the book back, where it went flying out over the store. Twilight snatched it out of the air and levitated it back down on the desk with an almost maternal smile.

“Um… can you not tell Nana Whispersong I was cuddl—holding a book in my sleep again?”

“Again?” Twilight had shifted to squees again. “Please tell me that you do this most nights!”

“No, of course not!” the filly said. “I totally cudd—hold normal things like… um… stuffed kitties and things like that!”

“Can we keep her?” Twilight bit her lower lip. “Please, Sunset, can we keep her?”

Sunset rolled her eyes. “Down, Twilight.”

Seriously, I don’t know how I come up with this stuff. It’s like… MAGIC.

Patreon Stuff!

Obligatory Patreon reminder. Yadda yadda yadda. You know, usual thing where I beg, plead, whine, etc.

You know what? I’m bored with this begging. Onward!

National Pony Writing Month

It’s right around the corner people. Tomorrow is the big day. Tomorrow, not only will embark on an adventure to write 75,000 words in a month, but I’ll also be leading over forty others in this charge!

If you haven’t had a chance, you should see the Equestria Daily post I did in the middle of this month! It’s pretty snazzy! We’ve even set up a special channel on the EqD Discord that’s invite-only for NaPoWriMo authors!

It’s going to be totally awesome. Not only that, but there’s also a special channel on my Discord server, too! Either way, if you can, be in one of them (or both!) so you can get great discussions about techniques, uplifting stories, adorable ponies writing things and much more!

There’s still time to sign up, too!

My Little Pony: The Movie

I’ve seen a lot of commentary about the movie. A lot of critics tore it apart, both in the fandom and publically. There were complaints about stories, characters and just about everything you can think of.

Well, guess what?

That ain’t my style.

I freaking loved the movie, so much so that I saw it three times. The first time was with Monochromatic, Swan Song and a few other folks that I got to hang out with for the first time. The second time was with my work group, plus the wife and kids. The third time was just Primary Color (my eldest daughter) and me.

And I loved it all. I love the music. We Got This Together is easily one of the best songs that truly captures the entire spirit of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Time to be Awesome is crazy catchy (and made even better by Twilight’s protest of “This isn’t the time for a—song.”)

But One Little Thing? Oh my God, that is the quintessential Pinkie Pie song. Maybe more than The Smile Song. Skystar and Pinkie were magical together. Simple and pure magic.

I enjoyed the fact that the Storm King was just this straight-up bad guy. He knew he was a bad guy and he didn’t care. He reminded me a bit of Hades from “Hercules.” It was refreshing to have someone who comes onto the scene being evil and leaves the scene being evil… (though he’s in pieces).

Tempest Shadow turned out to be a wonderful surprise. Not only did she have spectacular animation (several of her turns were simply gorgeous), she had an epic song and a real story. She had the “Edgelord” thing going for her (almost as if they were saying, ‘All those bad tragic backstory OCs? Let us show you how to do it right!’) that ended with an excellent redemption arc that ended with the Noble Sacrifice (I’m a sucker for Noble Sacrifices).

Let’s not forget the epic comic drop of her real name, too. Seriously. That was pure gold.

Beyond that, we got to explore entire new regions of the world. Mount Aeris, the hippogriff kingdom, Kludgetown, the Abyssians (Capper’s race) and more! Not only that, but the Art Book expands so much on this. An entire race known as the Mud Trolls ended up being cut (I believe that was going to be Fluttershy’s ally, as Capper was Rarity’s and Skystar was Pinkie’s) plus the forgotten and lost kingdoms south of Equestria.

Plus airships! We actually got to see airships in (admittedly brief) combat!

Even better? The comic prequel gave me fantastic fuel for Wavelengths. I can easily fold this info the ongoing epic without missing a beat. You will be seeing some of the races and locations you saw in the MLP Movie in Wavelengths. And don’t worry, there’s a perfect reason why.

It’s going to be epic. I’ve already completely mentally rewritten a story I had planned called (ironically) Beyond Equestria: A Tour Guide. It was originally going to be set in Griffonstone. Now? It’s going to be somewhere else. Where? Well, you’ll just have to stick around and see.

Now, I’m not going to pretend it was the greatest piece of cinema ever. There were decisions that had to be made to give the main characters the proper amount of agency that may have come across as bad calls. And there were a few hiccups here and there. But in the end, I think it was a glorious first outing that gave us all a wonderful picture of just how big the world outside of Equestria really is.

And if you haven’t seen it, GO SEE IT!

Spectrum of Gray Takes First in AppleDash Contest!

I’m still having a little trouble believing I won. You see, Spectrum of Gray originally started out a very different story. In fact, I rebooted this story and went with a completely different idea three times! I ended up nuking over 8,000 words!

I’ve already talked a little about Gray and how it was one of the most difficult stories I’ve ever written. It’s an emotionally brutal story, as most of you know. But it’s also very real. I write what I know. Now, which aspects of this are true and which are fiction, that’s something I’m keeping to myself. But the good news is… all that hard work paid off.

I’m humbled, honored and thrilled to have taken first place in the AppleDash “Second Chances” contest!

Double the Con! Double the Fun!

So, all you people who think you can’t do NaNoWriMo because you’re too busy? Well, guess what, buster? I’m doing two conventions this month! I’m going to the massive Blizzcon 2017 in Anaheim, California where I’ll get to see all sorts of cool new things! (And that starts this Friday!) And then, toward the end of the month, I’ll throw myself into the delightful chaos of the final EquestriaLA, where, for the first time, I’ll be bringing my wife and kids to a pony convention! It should be pretty damn awesome.

Yes. I am crazy. Why do you ask?

September’s Writing Bookshelf:

The Kind Regard of Quiet Things - Complete and Published

This turned out to be a lot more successful than I’d hoped. A fair number of you are reading this post right now because of this story.

A quiet, simple story of two ponies in bed, talking. The scene never changes. In fact, the characters never get out of bed. And no, before your mind goes to certain places, not because of that. It’s a story about holding someone until they go back to sleep when they wake up with nightmares.

This is a story about fear. About allowing the external get to you. About allowing those you love (and those who love you) close enough to help you.

A very special thank you to Corejo for pounding through every single word of this special little tale. Editors are often a pain in the flank, but they’re also incredibly brave, patient, wonderful and kind people. They’re critical to the writing process. Never forget that!

The Path - Complete and Published

Fun fact? I actually rewrote this story from the ground up. Almost every part of it has been rewritten and retooled from the original WriteOff version I put out in March. The only parts that remained mostly intact were the Dialogue Preludes and (what became) the Epilogue.

In fact, I had some discussion with several of my editors. Many of them believed the Epilogue was not necessary. I could actually see their point and what they were trying to say, but I felt the Epilogue had something special in there (and it was a bit too close to publication time for me to just yank out a huge section of text).

Plus, Baby Zecora is flippin’ adorable.

Still, I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. Extremely narrative-heavy, but this one was more about lore, culture and history than my tried-and-true bickering banter. Anyway, if you want that, go read Prerogative. Sunny and Moony are simply epic at bickering.

And Zecora? She’s hard. It doesn’t surprise me there aren’t a ton of fics about her. And yes, the Weaver’s Tongue being special to the Weaver Shamans (which, by the way, were first introduced in Diamonds Amidst the Stars) was my way of escaping having to do every line of dialogue in rhyme.

Also? In case anyone is wondering, Raven is not an OC. She’s completely and totally official.

...yeah, a few of the WriteOff people didn’t know she was official. And having Zecora run into an OC at the end would have been weird.

On the Brewing of Saddle Arabian Teas - In Progress

I’ve made huge leaps and bounds in this story and the best part is that I’ve had fun at every step of the way. I got to make minor adjustments to it so I could make the world even bigger now that we’ve seen beyond Equestria’s borders. And I even introduced a new character due to a comment on one of Prerogative’s chapters! That single comment inspired me to fill in a huge gap in the entire universe. I can’t wait to reveal who was behind that!

In fact… on Monday, I made a decision about Tea that some of you might like…

How Not to Use Your Royal Prerogative - Polish & Publishing In Progress

Yup! Chapter 6 just went live and I finally got to reveal the current status of Rainbow Dash in Wavelengths! As I said in the Author’s Note, I’ve been waiting for this moment for so freaking long. The funny thing is, there’s a bunch of other things I want to explain, but I can’t until Wavelength Theorems itself comes out!

But let me just tell you that the updates to How Not to Use Your Royal Prerogative will continue through November!. In fact, you’ll be getting two chapters of it during the month! I’m keeping to my biweekly release schedule (even though I haven’t finished editing those chapters!)

Secret Project - In Progress

Yup. Still working on it.

Yup. Still contributing toward word count.

Yup. Still not gonna tell you what it is.


November Writing Bookshelf:

NaNoWriMo Edition

On the Brewing of Saddle Arabian Teas - To Be Completed in November!

Originally, my plan had been to hop from Teas directly into the finale of Wavelengths, Wavelength Theorems. However, considering how well things are flowing for Teas, I’ve decided I’m going to focus my efforts first on finishing this story and then move on. What does this mean for you?

Well, it means that you’ll have both A Study in Chaos Theory and On the Brewing of Saddle Arabian Teas to look forward to in the new year! In January, the team and I will start our edits on Chaos Theory and then immediately move into Teas.

Assuming I survive what you people will to do me after the events of Chaos Theory. :rainbowderp:

Wavelength Theorems - Ongoing!

My goal (depending on how many words it takes to finish Teas), is to get a full 50,000 words into the grand finale that is Wavelength Theorems. However, the fact remains that I haven’t solved my big problem, which is simply that there are a few fundamental structural problems with the story.

In reality, I’ll almost certainly have to rewrite this story from scratch. Yup. All 111K (to date) of it. But in this case, I’m going with Terry Pratchett’s adage:

”The first draft is just you telling yourself the story."

In reality, I need to make sure I have the grand finale of Wavelengths in place, so I can build up to it properly.

That being said, it’s really cool that I can be working on a story for almost two years and still be able to fit it with existing canon. In fact, between the Season 7 Finale and the Movie, I’ve got so much more material to work with! I’m crazy excited.

In fact, we may even see some major players from the Movie in the finale! Maybe. No promises!

...but there’s gonna be an epic airship battle now. Somewhere.

Dreamers Arc - Ongoing!

I don’t think I’m going to aim to finish Wavelength Theorems this November. I’m just going to take a 50K bite out of it and then head back into the Dreamers Arc (formerly known as the Infatuations and Other Lies Arc). I’ve got a ton of stories waiting for me in there, including a story starring everypony’s favorite perky blue unicorn, Minuette!

And then comes the next big twist: Chip Dale’s Remedies For a Night on the Town, an epic story that will give us a glimpse into everypony’s head… the events of which will echo through Sunset’s life for years to come.

Yes, yes I am evil. And you know this.


The "Currently Reading" Bookshelf

This is a little weird. I’ve done a lot of reviews this month, including my second Seattle’s Angels review. But the thing I’ve been reading for most of this month has actually been Wavelength Theorems itself, so I could catch up with what I wrote previously and get myself into the right headspace.

I did thoroughly enjoy the first couple of chapters of The Enchanted Kingdom, but I needed to take a break after getting crazy sick for a few days. The kind of sick that makes it impossible to think straight? Yeah, nasty thing. I’m still coughing, weeks later. So, I actually don’t really have a huge currently reading list right now!

I'm not sure what I'll be reading this month. I've considered maybe Losing Sunlight, since I've heard great things about it (though I'm annoyed the author used double spaces between paragraphs. Because OCD, that's why!)

Monthly Story Recommendation

You know how people complain how I have too many bookshelves?

The Top Shelf
Epic Romance
Cute Romance
Dangerously Adorable
Stories with a Follow Up Thing by Novel
Far Too Amusing
Stories using Novel’s Cover Designs!
Completed Narrative Experiences
Completed Completed
Read Twice!
Read Thrice! (or More…)

...they might be right.

Honestly, the thing that kept coming to mind again and again as I read Felt Heart was I was drowning in sugar and loving every second of it. Seriously! I couldn’t get the thought out of my head. Every freaking little romantic moment was done so damn sweetly I literally had to take breaks!

This is still one of my all-time favorite shipping stories. Ironically, this was the first story to turn me onto RariTwi, long before I ever came across the true master of RariTwi, Monochromatic. In fact, I think it was my first exposure to FlutterPie as well. Believe it or not, when I have the Mane 6 together in a line up (like directly to my right as I type this at my desk at work), I tend to line them up according to these ships. Rainbow next to AJ, Flutters next to Pinkie and Rarity next to Twi.

This is another one of those stories that don't need any seriously deep and meaningful psychological, metaphysical or philosophical truth behind it. This is a story about a whole lot of fun shipping the Mane 6. Not only that, but as usual Tchernobog’s nails the characters.

Seriously, I already wrote a whole damn followup on this story. Listen, here’s the truth. If you want one of the best Mane 6 Shipping Stories around, this is what you want to read. I adored it. I loved it and now go read it!

Lastly, I wanted to say something about the Season 7 Finale. I think that Season 7 may be the finest season we’ve had to date, for personal reasons as well as story reasons. First of all, I got to watch the premiere at BABSCon among my own kind! That was awesome.

I got to watch one of the greatest “Chillax, guys” episodes ever with Fame & Misfortune at BronyCon with some of my best con friends (and personal friends!).

But most of all, we got to see MLP finally take its lore to the next level. We’re watching a show about magical talking ponies here. It’s time we got some true legends to come into play.

And boy, did we get that and more this season. Not only that, but they tailored every single one of the comics released this season (both in the main series and the new Legends of Magic series) to fit into Season 7 as canon. That’s a big deal, guys!

And then the finale brought it home in a way I could believe.

Twilight is obsessed with bringing back her hero. Starlight is trying to go “whoa nelly,” but a lot like Sunset Shimmer in Rainbow Rocks, she’s not willing to really get in Twilight’s face and tell her she’s being an idiot.

We get some awesome snap stories with each of the Mane 6 collecting their Artifacts and get to see Daring Do, Petunia Paleo, a real Indiana Jones pony and Cattail (He’s grown on me!). We also get to see another one of the “Eastern” unicorns (with the curved horns) and get a whole lot of Sunburst being very Sunbursty.

But the really score was when we met Mer—I mean, Starswirl. He was everything I wanted and so much more.

Arrogant know-it-all who’s the idol of Twilight and yet dismisses her all but instantly and then continues to dismiss her for most of the episode until the rest of the Mane 6 finally get up and verbally slap him around a bit (and Meadowbrook pokes him)... and you know, point out that SHE ASCENDED BECAUSE SHE FINISHED YOUR SPELL, JACKASS!

I loved how much of a jerk he was. I loved his arrogance and superiority. I love that, just like Celestia said, Starswirl didn’t understand friendship like Twilight did. That’s why he never got it right. That’s why his spell would never work.

Because Twilight needed to teach his dumb flank how to not be a jerk.

We get Twilight being UBER adorkable, Starlight being a perfect support character for Twilight (while letting Twilight drive instead of taking the whole episode like she’s done many times before), a massive amount of backstory and lore, the origin of the Tree of Freakin’ Harmony, even more history about something that could very well be the Umbrum from Siege of the Crystal Empire, plus so much more.

This episode was a loremaster’s dream. A friend of mine said “How did they fix everything that drove me crazy in the last four years with one episode?!”

It didn’t drive me crazy, but the fuel from the Season 7 finale will keep me going for a very long time. I loved it.

I loved every minute of it.

Okay folks, that’s it for today! Thank you all for being here and have an epic NaNoWriMo! You’ll be getting weekly updates from me about my own work and even more tips and tricks!

It’s going to be a busy month! So, I’d better get ready!

Until next time, have fun out there!

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Comments ( 4 )

Man, what did I do for felt heart to deserve another mention? :rainbowlaugh:

I actually was writing this while whining at you for not commenting on Prerogative, too! :rainbowlaugh:

:pinkiehappy: First off, congratulations on winning the AppleDash contest. And also for doing so well on your NaNo prep month! Both in terms of word count and new ideas. As for me... well, I didn't do nearly as well. But oh well. There's a reason I'm only setting my goal for next month at 30k; it'll still challenge me (especially since I only have 24 days to work with), but it's achievable. Plus I won't have to continuously beat myself up over not keeping pace with the standard goal of 50k.

Anyway. I just blew past the stuff you wrote about the movie as I haven't seen it yet (and likely won't for some time), so I'll just move on to other things. As always, I'm incredibly excited to see what's to come with the rest of the Wavelengths Timeline. It's just all been so great so far! And I wanna see what you and your team of editors have been working on for so long.

And, of course, I loved the season 7 finale. So much lore! So much character stuff! Finally we learn what happened to Starswirl! So much to work off of in terms of stories, and I'm quite happy how well the canon stuff meshes with what I've long had in mind for one of my own big timelines. Dunno if I'll ever get around to writing that part of the timeline, but oh well. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing more of the Pillars in season 8, hopefully! :pinkiehappy:

Good luck with NaNoWriMo! I opened the link because I didn't know what it was, thinking, "Hm, this might be something interesting for me to try!" Looked at the page and went "nope." It's going to take a lot of practice before I'm ready for something like that. Maybe someday. Point is, I admire your daring and skill!

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