News Archive

  • 6 days
    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.

    Read More

    4 comments · 1,247 views
  • 1 week
    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. 

    Read More

    11 comments · 1,777 views
  • 3 weeks
    DwarvishPony's "Tracks in the Sand" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    Today's story examines a young woman hoping that someday her prints will come.


    Tracks in the Sand
    [Equestria Girls] [Drama] [Alternate Universe] • 9,590 words

    Scavenging isn't just a hobby, it's a means of survival in the ruins of the old world. When you go scavenging, though, you'll never know what you'll find.

    Pinkie Pie is about to find more than she bargained for.

    Read More

    4 comments · 2,130 views
  • 4 weeks
    Monochromatic's "The Choices We Make" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    You won't regret choosing today's story.


    The Choices We Make
    [Equestria Girls] • 5,146 words

    Every Friday, from five in the afternoon to eleven at night, Pinkie Pie does volunteer work. She doesn't have to do it, the world won't stop if she doesn't, but she chooses to do it anyway. Even if it's doing seemingly insignificant little things.

    After all, the best ways to help aren't always with grand gestures, but with the little things in life.

    Read More

    21 comments · 3,792 views
  • 5 weeks
    Ringcaat's "The Pony Who Lived Upstairs" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    Today's story brings a little magic home.


    The Pony Who Lived Upstairs
    [Drama] [Slice of Life] [Human] • 184,740 words

    [Note: This story contains sexual themes.]

    What would you do if a pony moved into the apartment upstairs? Would you make an effort to meet her? What would you talk about? And what kind of pony leaves Equestria for Earth in the first place?

    This is a series of slice-of-life episodes about a young man who meets a pony in New Jersey. Equestria has made contact with Earth; creations and creators have been sorting things out for a couple of years, and a smattering of ponies are gradually starting to move to Earth. Told though human eyes, here's the story of one of them.

    Read More

    6 comments · 3,288 views
  • 6 weeks
    Thornquill's "Carousel" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    Today's story will haunt you.


    Carousel
    [Dark] [Drama] [Horror] • 69,824 words

    The Millennial Summer Sun Celebration is only a few years away, but Rarity’s fashion career seems to be ending before she can begin it. Now, she has one last chance to find a place for her talent.

    But as she works to create the boutique of her dreams, a forgotten piece of Ponyville’s past is waking up. Secret memories lie forgotten in dusty basements, unrighted wrongs scratch at locked doors, and Rarity finds herself caught up in a history that may be doomed to repeat itself.

    For although she is the first to set hoof in the Old Town Hall in thirty years, she can’t help but feel that something inside was waiting for her.

    Read More

    8 comments · 3,777 views
  • 8 weeks
    Lost + Found Features: "Let's Pretend"/"Let Me Tell You About the Hole in My Face" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    'Tis the season for holiday stress — and for the RCL to be pushing through almost 700,000 words of longfics in our reading queue. That dual crunch has slowed us down, and we're currently working with our pending featured authors on their interviews.  But don't worry — we've got you covered!

    We keep track of stories which have passed through our approval process, but whose authors were unresponsive to us despite repeated effort.  We'd like to see these great stories get their time in the spotlight too, so we're presenting a pair of RCL-approved tales for your reading pleasure.

    (Note: We will not be posting next week -- this week on our website -- due to the holiday. Happy holidays from the Royal Canterlot Library!)



    Let's Pretend
    By Pen Mightier
    [Adventure] [Comedy] • 7,484 words

    Read More

    5 comments · 3,662 views
  • 9 weeks
    RB_'s "The World Fades to White" [Royal Canterlot Library]

    Today's story is quite a cool tale.


    The World Fades to White
    [Adventure] [Sad] • 3,388 words

    Princess Flurry Heart and the descendant of Prince Rutherford brave the harsh conditions of the Frozen North, in search of an artifact they hope will save their home from a similar fate.

    FROM THE CURATORS: One of the subtler skills in writing is how to wring meaning from the things you don't say — a skill on prominent display in this short and focused fic.  "I love how sparse the writing feels, hinting at larger things without ever having to define them, managing to make its diffuse world feel rich and solid," Soge said, and Present Perfect agreed: "This feels like such a tiny slice of a greater epic work. So much is packed into it, and yet so much is left unsaid."

    Read More

    11 comments · 3,201 views
  • 10 weeks
    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 · 4,106 views
  • 12 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 · 5,055 views
Feb
2nd
2018

Author Interview » Kkat's "Origin Story" [Royal Canterlot Library] · 1:27pm February 2nd

Explore today's story to find a hidden treasure.


Origin Story
[Adventure] • 24,563 words

In the last months of the great war, Daring Do is called to once again brave the jungles of the Tenochtitlan Basin on a vital mission. While deep in enemy territory, she begins work on a final book: a prequel. A story that will never be completed.

Here are the recovered fragments of that lost, unfinished Daring Do novel.

FROM THE CURATORS: Digging through FIMFic's classic tales sometimes turns up real gems, like this multi-layered 2015 story.  "This is the kind of Indiana Jones-ish, high-stakes, high-thrills adventure we should be seeing from Daring Do," Present Perfect said in his nomination.  "That it's got so much heart and so many excellent turns only makes it better."  And just like its heroine, it pulled off an ambitious plan with flair.  "I'm a huge fan of how it leaps seamlessly back and forth between two narratives, three frameworks and three different writing styles without feeling disjointed," Horizon said, "not to mention how the fragmentary Report 8 plays with the format to even greater effect."

What we unearthed in our reading was a story that wielded its writing expertly from the details to the broad strokes. "The short, declarative sentences used during the fight in the torturer's tent make the scene pop," AugieDog said, while Present Perfect praised the characterization: "Its conception of Daring as a young archaeology student, learning hard lessons during her first world-saving adventure, is spot-on. A. K. Yearling's appearance as a secondary character is brilliant."  Chris, meanwhile, praised how it tackled both theme and pacing: "The way that the geopolitical situation at the time of Daring's mission adds bite to her observations about ponydom's sense of cultural superiority makes this enjoyable writing, and the swashbuckling mix of action, sudden twists, and general pulpiness make the story entertaining on its own merits."

We did debate the story's general accessibility, given the outside framing story's explicit reliance on Fallout: Equestria.  "That's the one thing I'll disagree with Present Perfect about — I think that not having any familiarity with that universe would have a negative impact on one's reading experience," Chris said.  But the vote that sent this to a feature came from Horizon, who hadn't read that series: "I certainly feel like there was outside context I was missing, but after adjusting to the cold start in the first chapter or two, the story did an exemplary job of holding together on its own merits."

Read on for our author interview, in which Kkat discusses dot connecting, villain reforming, and triple framing.


Give us the standard biography.

My name is Kkat.  I am a fanfiction writer, and my two works are Origin Story and Fallout: Equestria.

How did you come up with your handle/penname?

The name comes from my earliest days of tabletop roleplaying.  “Kkat” was the last name of my first real RPG character.

Who's your favorite pony?

I have always answered this question with “Rarity”.  Her artistic struggles make her very easy to connect with.  But I have to admit that Starlight Glimmer is giving her competition.  The challenges she faces, without and within, as a reformed villain make her a particularly interesting character.

What's your favorite episode?

“Crusaders of the Lost Mark”.

What do you get from the show?

At this point, the show itself is a pleasant distraction and escape from the stress of work (as Saturday morning is the middle of my work week).  Occasionally, it will have an episode that is particularly moving or that has a moral which really catches my attention.  

But most of what I get from the show is the very close and dear friends who I never would have met without the fandom, the wonderful fans and friends that I have gained in the Fallout: Equestria community, and the amazing works of brony content creators.

What do you want from life?

Contentment, friends and an outlet for my creativity that I can share with others.

Why do you write?

I have a strong creative imagination and drive to tell stories.  I have found outlets for this in art, writing and roleplaying games.  The last, being interactive, is the most enjoyable.  But writing is where I feel I can share what is in my head with the most people the most successfully.

What advice do you have for the authors out there?

I find that it is important to take some time to plot out major themes, events and other important notes you want in that story. (This applies as much to individual chapters as to the story as a whole.)

Think of it as similar to playing “connect the dots” — not only should you have a good idea of what the final picture will be, but you should also jot down on a notepad all the “dots” you want to be sure to include. Then, when you start writing, begin at the first “dot” and work your way towards the second.

Personally, I find it’s just as important to not have everything plotted out before you start writing. By playing “connect the dots”, you give yourself room for inspiration and creativity while you are actually writing. (For me, if I knew everything I was going to write before I started typing, I would get bored. By only knowing the key points to each chapter, the story becomes an adventure for me as well.)

There are seven other bits of advice I have to offer for people who wish to write:

First: Start writing. Regularly. The hardest part of writing is actually beginning. Once you've started, I've found, the words come more easily. But putting down that first sentence, or even just the title, can be the most daunting part of a day's work.

Second: Keep writing. Even if you don't like what you have written, your writing will improve the more you do it. The more you write, the better you will become at it.

Third: Write about something you love. You will find writing a lot more fulfilling, and a lot easier to continue, if you are writing about something you enjoy or care about.

Fourth: Read. Find authors whose works you enjoy and read them. Occasionally pause to think about what made writing work for you.

Fifth: Be familiar with some of the pitfalls that writers, particularly new ones, fall prey to and make it a point to avoid them. For example: know what a self-insert character is and what a Mary Sue character is, and put effort into making sure your characters aren’t either of those.

Sixth: If possible, find friends or other supportive individuals who will critique your work. This can easily be the hardest suggestion to follow, however. Don't be dismayed or dissuaded from writing if you can't find the response you are looking for. Continue to write; continue to improve.

Seventh: Welcome and listen to helpful feedback. Quality feedback and criticism are invaluable tools for helping you improve. But likewise, learn to ignore harmful feedback. You must learn to separate good critics from bad ones. Artists crave feedback, but you have a responsibility — to yourself, your art and your fans — to try to improve. And that includes both listening to good advice and avoiding bad advice that will do your work harm.

I will expound on that last one because it is so crucial:

A good critic will be encouraging (even if they think your writing is a hot mess) and interested in helping you improve. If someone is trying to help you, don't allow yourself to ignore them. It can hurt to have someone pointing out what they consider to be flaws in your work, but we are often blind to our own flaws and need someone else to point them out. (This is largely why a writer should try to avoid being his or her own proofreader.) It is alright to choose to disregard their advice, but only after you have given it proper consideration. They might have insight that will make your writing better.

A bad critic is anyone who is trying to make themselves feel good by trashing your work, who is insulting or attacking you, who is playing to an audience for laughs, or who is primarily interested in promoting their own work. Even when the core of their criticisms are valid, they will be exaggerated or distorted in accordance with their goals — goals which are not your improvement. And the few kernels of good, valid feedback they might have is not worth poisoning your own perceptions or enjoyment of your work by wading through everything they say that isn't.

In short: be a discerning shopper. You need useful feedback which will help you improve. Buy the best. Do not settle for the stuff that isn't going to help from people who don't want to help you. And don’t ignore the good stuff. It's more precious than gold.

All that said …

These are by no means the only or even most important advice you can receive. So here are some links to some more great writing advice:

Here and here.

What inspired “Origin Story”?

The episode “Daring Don’t”.  It was a good episode in many respects, but there were a few things that rubbed me wrong, and the introduction of Daring Do as an actual person who is also A.K. Yearling was difficult to swallow.  Instead of criticizing the episode, I started trying to imagine a scenario that would make sense of it in an interesting and surprising way — one that would make a good story.

Why did you decide to tell the story in three distinct “layers”: the New Canterlot Republic looking back at Daring Do’s final adventure while she looks back at her first one?

The core of “Origin Story” is, of course, Daring Do’s first adventure.  That is the story I conceived based on “Daring Don’t”.  But while I liked the idea I had come up with, I hadn’t originally intended to write it.  However, years later, I found myself revisiting the story as background material for a roleplaying game arc.

“Origin Story” was first written out not as a fanfiction but as a series of supplements that I gave out in a Fallout: Equestria tabletop roleplaying game.  The second layer of the story was created to fully bring it into that world, and to set up the quest that the player characters would engage in.  I was very pleased with how the two layers worked, and I feel the core story really benefits from the evolution. 

At the urging of fans, I took the story and revised it a third time to be an actual fanfiction.  In doing so, I created the New Canterlot Republic layer as a framing device that turns the story into a fully realized tale.

In the Author’s Note, you write, “‘Origin Story’ does not need to be considered canon to Fallout: Equestria by fans or authors.” What relationship do you feel to the body of work that has grown up around your original story?

I am always humbled and deeply honored that I was able to inspire so many to create so much.  

What do you feel is the responsibility of archaeology to living cultures?

Archaeology is a fundamental method of discovering history.  We cannot learn from the triumphs and mistakes of our past if we do not know what they are.  If we do not have a solid grasp of where we came from, we move forward blindly.  Thus, archaeology has the responsibility not only to uncover and teach, but to preserve so that future generations can learn from what was uncovered as well.

Is there anything else you'd like to add?

I hope you enjoy the story.  Have fun reading!

You can read Origin Story 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 ( 24 )

Sadly, but happily(!), this is the first review I've read all the way through.

Kkat just grabs my attention from my wandering eyes. And, wow, that's some great advice!

If I'd gotten that when I started two years ago I'd not have to go back as much and edit my old stories, I'd have had a competent editor from the start.
:twilightsmile:

This reminds me of Monochromatic's entry in that an author known for a monstrously long work is being highlighted for an excellent shorter one. Congrats, Kkat!

4787804
Interesting thing is it's for different reasons: FoE was ineligible due to being grandfathered in; I'm betting for The Enchanted Library it's just plain "Yeah, we might get enough RCL people to read it before the heat death of the universe. What else's this person got?"

God, this was good to read. KKat's just got words of wisdom for everything.

4787864
What about FO:E is ineligible, exactly?

4788017
As it says in the RCL FAQ, "Stories which have already been featured in the Pony Fiction Vault, or which received a six-star rating on Equestria Daily, are considered 'grandfathered in' to the Library and will not be spotlighted." The reason is, when we put the project together, it was because RBDash47 had just discontinued the Vault, and we wanted to carry on where he left off, rather than re-interviewing the same authors for the same classic stories.

Fallout: Equestria was a Pony Fiction Vault feature and you can see its interview here.

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

4788017
To continue on from what 4788031 said, this also means that we feel confident spotlighting a sequel like this, as theoretically its predecessor is already known.

Yeah down voted and booed

Bravo for a great interview!

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

4788285
Pretty sure we're all horses here...

4788394
If you are a male in this fandom I'm pert sure you are a beta cuck soyboi

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

4788525
We'll have none of that language here, thanks.

Comment posted by Regidar deleted February 4th
Comment posted by Regidar deleted February 4th
Comment posted by Regidar deleted February 6th
PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

4790121
Please, just stop.

I like how professional these look, they're pretty neat :pinkiegasp: I've read a couple but never really left any comments, never know what to say. Most have something really deep and profound, and I'm just like...

GG, fam, gg.

Also someone's a salty boy in the comments :trollestia:

Hat

It sounds like role playing games are a fertile environment for fiction ideas.

Warms my heart to discover that Kkat's favorite episode is the same as mine. (That episode still brings tears to my eyes every time I even think about it, much less watch the episode.)

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