• Member Since 27th Nov, 2011
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Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

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A bit of an aimless rant. · 2:05am Oct 20th, 2012

Writing on this site doesn't work like a lot of other things. The feature box can be a bit of a death sentence at times.

The sorts of fics on there are often (as many of you know) stories that are easily digestible material, but the main thing that somewhat bugs me is how the feature box features things too well. Stories that get in the first 7 slots are going to have a minimum of 1,000 views, while fics that don't will get maybe 100-200. But that's unrealistic. Odds are a featured story will get ~3,000 views, maybe even more. And that's a huge disparity between what gets on the featured box and what doesn't.

Of course, these things don't really bug you until they happen to you.

I chose to write multichapter fics even when one shots were the key to success, and I'm still going to write Equestria from Dust, even if it only has ~80 or so readers. It's the best thing I've ever written. I had high hopes for it, people who I respect told me it was very good, and I guess that led me to expect too much from it. The rant about the featured box above is because Equestria from Dust fell just short of being featured at its peak. Fics are posted in pairs every 10 minutes, and Equestria from Dust was paired with a sequel to Romance Reports, written by Device Heretic, posted on Sleeplessbrony's account, which really couldn't have helped its reception. It got me thinking, that had Equestria from Dust made featured, it might have easily gotten 1,000 views or maybe even more, which I would have been happy with. As it is, though, the featured box leaves more of a bad taste in my mouth than it already did. If I waited to post my story at the same time it got posted to Equestria Daily (it's in queue to be posted now) it also probably would have hit featured.

140 views is good, but it's still a huge step down from 20,000. There is no try again. The idea is used, and stories aren't allowed to be reposted. It's a terrible feeling, because this is my favorite idea I've had.

I never wrote for myself, I always wrote for you guys. I want write amazing things that thousands of people like. I don't do it for popularity, or achievement. I don't care if you never know my name or if the story has no author or pen name. It's not like I'm known as soundslikeponies anywhere but here. I just try to put on the best show I can and have as many people leave feeling that they enjoyed themselves as I can. I write for the exact same reason you show your friend a funny video or picture you found; not for your own sake, but to see them enjoy it and to share it. Right now, it feels like I haven't done that job. It feels like I did something wrong, and it feels like I have this great thing I want to show everyone but I haven't been able to.

I didn't like rewriting Flying High, Falling Hard. I feel like rewriting it caused a lot of people to give up on it, and I still regret doing it. But when I went back and read it, I just couldn't stand too many things about it and I hated those things I couldn't stand. I wanted to rewrite it for the people who had yet to read a chapter who would read it because I didn't like the idea of them reading what I read when I read those original chapters. I also feel like I failed with how quickly new chapters have been coming out. I wanted to upload one every 3 days; fast enough not to leave people wanting for more, yet here are these week long breaks between chapters.

The final chapter of Let's Find You a Date! will be out tomorrow, another chapter of Equestria from Dust very shortly after that, and then I'm going to try to quickly catch up to where Flying High, Falling Hard was before the rewrite, while still writing new chapters of Equestria from Dust.

Maybe when Equestria from Dust gets posted to EqD I'll be pleasantly surprised. I'm just going to keep my head down and write. I still have big plans.

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Comments ( 18 )

:moustache:Well said.

Doing what you like doing is always better than doing it because you are pressured into doing it. I will get back to this when I'm not about to facekeyboard and fall asleep on the spot. With that comes more detail to my comment.

I've yet to read Equestria from Dust, but I'm definitely going to. The idea sounds so incredibly interesting! I just haven't found time to read it yet. But now it's Friday, and I've got all night :twilightsmile:
Keep on writing soundslikeponies, you have amazing stories.
And I agree, some of the stories that make the feature box are really stupid. (IMO)

I'm amazed sometimes at some of the things that get tossed around the featured box. Some of the concepts/stories looks absolutely insane, ridiculous, or just plain stupid a lot of the time. I've even seen some with obvious typos or mistakes in the description alone. Sometimes makes you wonder what can pass for 'quality', which in and of itself is completely subjective, but still. There just feels like there has to be some limit somewhere from time to time.

I feel your pain about the drop in views. I started up here at Fimfic because I read about some 'My Little Dashie' story after seeing it referenced in a few places, like My Little Brony, for example. I figured, why not, could be fun, after I found the site and looked around a bit. My first story, after a) I learned about Groups b) realized I kinda botched some stuff irreparably in the second chapter, has received over 1100 hits (and is still getting an occasional one from time to time, though I don't know how many get past the second chapter. I was a noob, what can I do?).

I figured, with parodies and various cross-overs abound, could be fun to do one. I didn't expect it to shatter records, but I thought it'd be more popular thanks to the familiar-ish title. It wasn't, but those who enjoyed it loved it. Same hit situation for my current story, though it's not finished.

It took me half way through the second story to realize that while it's always nice thinking you're doing a good job, that yes, it is about the people who read your stuff. Makes you smile when, despite the overall lack of hits or followers, people think you're doing quality work. Is it nice to be known? Sure. But hey, if only one person really loves it, then I guess it's worth it in a way. Almost sounds like something the Princess would be reading in a letter, I know.

But I will agree with you on your original point. I've thrown around ideas as to what exactly piques enough interest for something to get featured, and I never seem to be able to figure out a sane answer. I read something like Background Pony, and when it does update, it's on the featured box and disappears in a few hours it seems. With the quality of a work like that, I'd expect it to be up a few days at least. Never works that way. Almost seems criminal imo, but I never claimed to be a decent writer. What can I say, I'm self-depreciating a lot.

I do wish you continued success with your works though. They're a lot of fun!

TL:DR short small rant on stuff to long to read :pinkiehappy: kidding!

I'm actually pretty surprised Equestria from Dust didn't get featured either. You have a lot of followers, and two successful stories before this one that should have given you a boost to the total view count.

I think Equestria from Dust is a very well written and thought out story. I haven't read a pony story like it before, and I've read a ton of pony words (around 11M before the counter got deleted not including Fallout:Equestria, Past Sins, more). I hope you continue with your new story for quite some time as it's quite memorable. It's an open and encompassing story with a good ratio of dialogue scenes, as well as scenes depicting the land and the princesses creations.

I'll admit I was bummed with the rewrite of Flying Hard, Falling Hard. I followed the story up to the point of the rewrite, and am just waiting for a blog post to let me know the story is current again. I tend to go through my "tracking" list every couple months and deletes stories that don't update or where the story wasn't memorable and I couldn't remember what had happened. Even though I haven't read FHFH for what feels like forever, I can still easily remember the story plot and will be able to pick it up again without a reread or precious chapters.

Anyway all I'm trying to say here is I feel for you, but also to let you know you are a very good writer in this community. I'd at least give any story you write a chance before deciding that it isn't for me. I wish you luck with your future writing and hope to keep seeing more great stuff from you.

While I haven't read Equestria from Dust, I do happen to like your other two stories. Even though I read Flying High, Falling Hard before the re-write, I'm enjoying it again as you re-write it, so don't get so low on it, it's still a great story and I still look forward to it. Sure it helps if you have friends who EVERYONE knows to spread your stories, but hey, at least you're writing for the people and hopefully enjoying it. I just hope you don't stop anytime soon out of selfish reasons. I've seen my fair share of authors stop due to personal reasons and I can respect it, but it still stings knowing that I'll never read a story from them again, or Celestia forbid, they stop while still writing a fic. All in all, good luck, and don't lose hope.

That's why I write, too. I want to entertain people and have a little fun myself. I probably would have lost all respect for you if you were just writing for popularity.

I personally didn't mind the rewrite of Flying High, Falling Hard. It gave me an excuse to read it again with a slightly fresher perspective.

We all love what you do. Please keep it up.


There are a lot of major flaws to the way they handle featuring, and that's one of the biggest ones. Some intelligence from the moderation communities, a little more effort and less automation, would help a ton of problems. The threshold is a big issue, the time scale even moreso, the paired posting... Just compounds the previous two.

I wouldn't mind the feature box so much if it weren't for the insane amount of people that write short stories and get erroneous amounts of ratings. The feature box has literally turned writing stories into a popularity contest. Where a person who might have written something unique and noteworthy is miles away from a person lucky enough to have that spotlight over them. Even more so, I dislike that most the comments on those stories don't try for giving their opinion on where the story was strong and where it fell short.

Just miles and miles of cheers and no critical thinking.

As far as how things are going with FH&FH, I wouldn't be here if I wasn't so interested in the story and what new ideas you had to offer. And i'm sure that there's a big majority who are still interested in the story. Because if my Read Later box has anything to prove, it's that some stories do take time to write. Life happens, people are paced differently, everyone has their own goals for their writing, and above all, most everyone is really trying to improve.

You're doing a great job. I still haven't heard on most the stories I watch and they all seem a bit adrift right now. But I really want to see the end to this one.


I'm amazed sometimes at some of the things that get tossed around the featured box. Some of the concepts/stories looks absolutely insane, ridiculous, or just plain stupid a lot of the time. I've even seen some with obvious typos or mistakes in the description alone. Sometimes makes you wonder what can pass for 'quality', which in and of itself is completely subjective, but still.


The feature box has literally turned writing stories into a popularity contest. Where a person who might have written something unique and noteworthy is miles away from a person lucky enough to have that spotlight over them.

Just miles and miles of cheers and no critical thinking.

Those things I just copied and pasted? Inscribe them in stone.

A Feature Box is an awesome idea--a wonderful, spectacular, honor for those who write good, thoughtful, immersive, high-quality pieces submitted to the site.

That being said, "reality tv" was once a really awesome idea, too... years ago. :ajbemused:

I'll admit that I don't know how the feature box works. As far as I know, it's randomized on a few variables, and if I had specific knowledge of its workings, I already would've rigged the titties out of that thing for max profit. :trollestia: But, REALLY:

The Feature Box does not choose based on quality.

Is it fair for complete assbags to get featured out of the hundreds of drips of pony-scented brain goo that fall into this rainwater bucket website, when the occasional rare valuable item slips in? No, I don't think so--I'm of the school of thought that greatness gets the good talk, and shit has to walk (all the way back to the mental landfill it came from). This is just not so on this site.

(That's why I, Inky Swirl, am the Dark Knight of FIMFiction, tearing out the bad fics like a true defender of justice. I am not the hero FIMFiction wants... I am the magnificent bastard FIMFiction needs.)

Is it disappointing to get screwed on something like that? Yeah, it could be.

Is it better to know your stuff is of higher caliber than theirs, anyway, and be totally validated by intelligent users of the site? Definitely.

Stay strong, writer-man. :rainbowdetermined2:

First off SLP, congrats on the EqD feature.

Now, on to the message

SLP, you and I have been working together for some time now, and you've helped me more than I've helped you. I can't help but empathize with your plight; Equestria from Dust is a tale that should have been featured and should have its praises sung to. But as I've examined this fandom since before its inception (I was there when this whole thing was little more than a 4chan joke on /co/, back when I conversed with Seth and Shadow and Madmax before they went big), I have noticed a singular trend, one that most stories have followed:

Great tales are often ignored.

As a writer, you and I stand on completely opposite grounds. You write for the fans, for those who follow you, which is admirable. I often write not for the fans (since I don't really have any), but rather for myself, as well as to impart a message. I've come to accept that at the end of the day, I might be the only one who recalls my tale with fond memories, who sees it as more than just words on a screen, but a labor of love, of creativity. Sure, there may be some who see it as a 'great piece' or 'an entertaining idea,' but those individuals will never know what its like to write it, to live it, to feel it.

Equestria from Dust is your current master stroke. It is a story in which you've poured more than just the simple desire for recognition; it is your work of love. It was not featured, and you've only a few viewers for it. So what? Those who have read it will take something away from it that no other can. Rather than thinking about the masses, think about yourself. What do want to do with Equestria from Dust? The potential for it is limitless, I know, because I was there when it was still being worked on. I've seen the greatness that lies in it.

Sometimes, being a writer isn't about fame or recognition; it is about creating what needs to me made. Just like every great piece, its time will come. Look at Fallout Equestria; I was there when it was but a mere crossover, before its true greatness came to light. It grew, and it earned its place.

Give your tale time, and never stop writing for yourself. Greatness will come if you are willing to wait. Also, be proud of what you've accomplished, and be content that those who have read your story have been treated to a unique experience.

Be proud of your accomplishment SLP, be proud.

The feature box has literally turned writing stories into a popularity contest. Where a person who might have written something unique and noteworthy is miles away from a person lucky enough to have that spotlight over them.

Truth is there. There is popularity and there is quality. If something ended up featured it will get lots of views, because it is first thing visitors will check. But how fast it will be forgotten once read?
I'd rather see authors listed by number of people watching them or following their stories.

I chose to write multichapter fics even when one shots were the key to success, and I'm still going to write Equestria from Dust, even if it only has ~80 or so readers.

Multichapters have one great thing about them, when they are good - it is called "MOAR!". One shot can grab quick attention, but with continuous story You can get readers hooked, addicted, waiting for next chapter and visiting every day to check for it. Then they start watching author and may even assault his/her blog with comments, stating their affection for You and your work.

Aaaand... Peak tonight was 374! You don't give yourself enough credit, SLP, your stories will be read, featured or not.:derpytongue2:

Odd how two of your stories can run ~20,000 views, but one sits lonely at ~420. I'm a nobody here and my "big" story has (a sliver) more than that, thanks to unseen fortunate circumstances, I'm sure. I would think the sheer volume of people who are interested in Flying High and Let's Find You a Date should keep other stories more above water. There should be more exposure for Equestria from Dust, at least.

Full disclosure: I've been following Find You a Date chapter by chapter, but Flying High is on my "read later" until I have the time to knock it out in one shot. If I start I probably won't want to stop and that's bad for my school work. Of course, now I'm going to have to look into Equestria from Dust after my little rant just now.

I have a lot of respect for guys like you who can crank out so much quality work. I see where I am and where you folks are and have to take a deep breath when I realize how much work still have ahead of me.

i always ignored the feature box. i read stories featured at EQD, stories from my favorite authors (whom i know through EQD) and sometimes i follow recommendations from friends. i can't really understand you, cause i never was in a similar position; but these things have never been fair, or it least i feel that way. Even before the rewrite, FHFH was much better than several stories which have been featured on EQD (that may only be a personal opinion but i know several readers who share it)

out of all stories on fimfiction, MLD has by far the most views with almost 300k, while background pony is not even at 25k. now how many people who actually read both would call MLD the better story?

let's just hope EQD will get EfD some more readers. i also haven't read it yet, cause i'm on something else, but i certainly will do so eventually

I do not often look at the featured stories box :moustache:

heyo....I just want you to know. Your writing is actually what got me to stay on this site. When I was first introduced to it, I didn't care much for it. Then I found FHFH. I read it, and loved it. You are the first writer I started following here, and since then I have always liked coming back to see your work.
I tell all the writers here the same thing, and I will tell you the same. Write a story out how you feel it should be. It doesn't matter how long an update takes.
Regardless of how many people have the chance to enjoy your story, it is yours and should be what you want it to be. Under appreciated stories are kinda kewl, to me anyway. You may want to see more exposure for it, but I feel as a reader of said stories, like I'm part of a little club. It's nice to know I have been able to enjoy a gem like that when it hasn't been posted all over everywhere, and on top of that, knowing that I found it myself makes it that much better.
I'm sure I've told you this before, but TY again for all the hard work you put into your stories.

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