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Takka Takka Takka: January 2018 - New Year, New Stories · 7:10pm Feb 2nd, 2018

I totally forgot about this until the night of January 31. It’ll probably go up a day or two late. Oh well. I’ll live.

To my surprise, I actually did a hell of a lot better than I expected in my monthly word count. In fact...

January Word Count: 59,248

Yeah. I’m rather shocked, too. Part of this has to do with the amount of drafts The Narrative Cascade went through. Another is a whole new chapter in A Study on Chaos Theory. The other reason is because Codename: Serenade got a lot of work done on it this month.

Most of it was because it was a stressful month and I used Serenade to cope.

Something a little different for our quote of the month. Today, I’ve got a scene from the first version of what became The Narrative Cascade. For some reason, I’m totally shipping these two now. I know it’s not hard for me to ship ponies, but still, I really like this pairing!

I’m not sure if this will actually end up a story. Maybe someday? Right now, it’s going in the Deleted Scene category.

“I win again!” Minuette clapped her hooves together and squeed. “Bow to me, mortal! Bow to the might of my irrepressible smile!”

Minuette leapt to her hooves and solemnly put a hoof up to her chest, looking out into the distance in her very best heroic pose.

Moon Dancer rubbed her eyes for a second, then blasted Minuette with her horn.

Minuette yelped and toppled over. Thankfully, Moon Dancer caught her in her magic. She always did.

“You’re impossible.” Moon Dancer settled Minuette back onto the cushion.

“Why thank you!” Minuette chirped. “So, did I earn my reward yet?”

Moon Dancer rolled her eyes again—she’d done that a lot since in the last six months—and spread some jam on a biscuit.

“Oh come on!” Minuette pouted. “Please?”

“I’m thinking about it.”

“Pretty please?

“You’ve been hanging out around Pinkie too much if you think that’s going to work.”

Minuette prepared to unleash her second most devastating weapon—the Puppy Dog Eyes of Doom (Patent Pending)—but this time, the other mare saw it coming.

“Oh, fine!”

Minuette grinned, darted forward and gave Moon Dancer her morning kiss on the cheek.

See? They’re adorable together. LOVE THEM!

Patreon Stuff!

Yup. Still a thing. Patreon. Right here.

After PaulAsaran’s “Why Have You Read This Yet?” rating of The Cloudsdale Report, I was extremely eager to see his take on The Alchemy of Chemistry. Even more so since Paul started Wavelengths with The Application of Unified Harmony Magics.

Thankfully, he’s totally thrilled with the chronological opening of Wavelengths! 

One part mystery, one part redemption fic, this was an excellent showcase of Sunset as a character. It goes to show that sometimes characters don’t need big life-changing events to want to improve themselves. Sometimes they can do it all on their own. It was endearing, watching Sunset battle with herself and struggle to find her path.

This is so rewarding to read. Sunset has such a different path to redemption in Alchemy. In truth, most folks don’t get a chance to take a rainbow laser to the face to magically fix their issues. Wavelengths Sunset didn’t get that. Instead, she got the pony who’d become her best friend.

But one of my favorite parts is about Moon Dancer herself.

I’m already pleased, for this story has clarified Moon Dancer’s position well and done so in a way that feels familiar, yet also different.

This is easily one of the most important aspects of Wavelengths. Remember, Wavelengths is an alternate timeline, not an alternate universe. The characters are still the same people, but they’ve lived different lives. This Moon Dancer never got rejected by Twilight as painfully as we saw in Amending Fences. Instead, this Moon Dancer became best friends with Sunset Shimmer (for better or for worse). And Alchemy is the story of how that happened.

I’m so happy he recognized that this is still Moon Dancer, despite everything.

I can’t wait for the next one. All I need to do is stay at least one story ahead of him. Considering the poor guy’s RiL list, that shouldn’t be too hard!

You can read the entire thing here!

This? This has been an adventure.

The first SunLight Sliders was originally supposed to be a fun comedic adventure. It took a lot of strange twists and turns at the beginning and didn’t really get a true continuity until the latter half of the story. It had its pros and its cons, but it ended very well.

SunLight Sliders II is a completely different beast.

I didn’t realize this until it was pointed out to me a couple weeks in, but I ended up setting a slightly darker, gritter tone for SLS2. I didn’t actually mean to, but it’s totally true.

The first major world we go to, Sunset is acknowledged as a talented sneakthief working for a crime boss named Tarnished Brass. Sunset gets in a hoof-to-hoof brawl with a mare in full armor and wins. SciTwi pulls a freaking gun on her!

This isn’t any Sunset we’ve ever met. While we know this SciTwi (more or less), Sunny’s a blank slate. And that’s led to some amazing story concepts. People have gone totally wild with her. They really seem to love working with her!

But more importantly, we have an amazing level of continuity from Day 1.

I ended Chapter 1 of SLS2 in a deer universe. Because it’s me, I love deer, deal with it.

Crystal Wishes came up next… and to my surprise and delight, she actually stayed in the deer universe for her entire chapter! It was glorious! The next author? They jumped out of the deer universe (/teardrop), but kept the story going with SciTwi and Sunset trying to figure out if they even like one another!

This doesn’t feel like a random assortment of authors. This feels like a bunch of writers working off of the same story bible, even though there isn’t one! Below_Depth did an amazing comic chapter that blew us all out of the water.

There have been a few bumps along the ride. Someone needed some extra help with a chapter, but thankfully, they were wise enough to reach out and ask for assistance. And we have a misfire with another chapter, but thankfully, that got rectified really quick.

This is turning out to be a fantastic adventure story. I have never seen a collab handle continuity so well before while still getting to have fun doing it. While we may not have the same kind of comedy the original (but seriously, who can tell where this thing will go?), we have something truly special this year.

To everyone participating, I say fantastic job! I can’t wait to see where this giant adventure is going to go! If you haven’t been reading it, head on over right now and stay up to date! There’s a new chapter every three days! You can also join the SLS Discord too, for up-to-the-minute newsflashes about chapters and other cool stuff (and a lot of Posh being weird, fair warning).  

Equestria Daily!

So ummm... bit of a surprise I forgot to mention first time around, but I'm EqD's new "FimFic Columnist" (sorta). Okay, okay, I think I'm offiically just an "Editorial Writer," but when I talked with Sethisto about it initially, my main focus is going to be around writing advice, tips and tricks, major contests, author interviews and hopefully some upcoming challenges and stuff.

I'm totally terrified out of my mind. How do I keep ending up in these positions?! And/or Why do I keep putting myself in these situations? I'm also really excited, too!

I'm both!

Help me.

January’s Writing Bookshelf:

The Narrative Cascade - Complete and Published

The Narrative Cascade was one hell of an adventure. As I said in my Author’s Note, it was my first attempt at a Pratchett-style narrative and one that is a little bit in what I call the “Absurdist” genre. This got an even better pass since the story was essentially about the characters fighting the story. Trying to stop it from happening entirely!

My one regret is that I didn’t get to keep going. I easily could have made this a 30K fic (maybe more), but with the 12K word limit, I had to made some hard choices. It went through a lot of personal editing, mostly focused on word economy. It helped me in my edits a lot.

I’m pretty proud of the result, even if it didn’t last all that long in the Feature Box. Oh well! I still had a ton of fun writing it and stretching my writing abilities into a whole new field. This taught me that I can very well write comedy!

A Study on Chaos Theory - Final Edits!

I wrote a whole new opening to this story in the last couple of days, believe it or not! But we’ll talk more about in the next section

Codename: Serenade - Ongoing

Probably putting too many words into this instead of my MLP stories, but hey, I need it. I can stop anytime I want to.

Really. I can.

Shut up.

February Writing Bookshelf:

A Study on Chaos Theory - Goes Live This Month!

I’m going on record here (and I hope that record doesn’t need to be changed) and saying that next Monday, February 5th, the first chapter of A Study in Chaos Theory will launch. I can’t wait to get this out. Seriously. I’ve been sitting on this story for so long.

...and you’re all going to lynch me for it. Eh-heh.

Minuette Short Story! - Ongoing!

I’ll begin the next story in the Dreamers Arc this month. My current plan is pretty simple: Sunset gets go with Minuette and see the Clockmaker’s Guild beneath Canterlot! You’ve seen some of the crazy ideas I had for the Guild in Cascade, but I don’t know how much of that will actually end up in the story.

I know it sounds a little random, but there’s a key reason why this is happening. You’re going to get six short stories in Dreamers, one involving Sunset and each of the Wavelengths 7. I really want to show their individual dynamics. They’ll also be spaced out over the whole arc, so don’t expect them all at once.

My Kind of Crazy - Editing Phase!

I really loved the concept for this story and I really want to do it. It’s going to be awesome. So far, my editors have enjoyed this one quite a bit, especially my resident Pinkie, Little Tinker. Expect awesome, adorable, super cute things here!

Gardens of Equestria: This Coming Storm - In Development

For the last several months, I’ve let this project slide for several personal reasons. One of those is something related (but not internal to the project) that emotionally devastated me. Another was simple burnout.

See, the thing is, GoE is very much a long-term project. It takes months to create even the smallest bit of content that can be public-facing. Writing on FimFiction is far more rewarding far faster. However, in truth, GoE is critical to my career. I’ve said it several times before, but GoE is my resume in a very real way.

I need to get my flank back in gear on this. So, after Valentines Day and Painted Heart’s Birthday, I’ll be getting back to work on this project, starting with redoing the dialogue for Calamity in Chapter 1 and then tackling Ironshoe Mine’s changes.

Phew. Nice to make that public.

Now I just have to actually do the work. :twilightoops:

The "Currently Reading" Bookshelf

What is this madness? A non-pony story? Yup. I’m reading a lot of short stories lately to desperately catch up with my work for Seattle’s Angels, so I decided that I’m going to feature my current audiobook.

I cannot recommend this enough. I will say that you’ll probably be a little bit lost if you use Oathbringer as the entry point, since it’s Book 3 in the Stormlight Archives. Still, I had burst out laughing more times than I can count at this book, while it’s filled with political intrigue, cultural wars, the fate of entire nations pitted against one another, freaking epic magic, intense psychological ideas about the nature of self and what happens when you repress aspects of your persona…

It’s got it all.

Sanderson is a freaking writing god. I adore him. So go read it! Or anything by him!

Monthly Story Recommendation

For the record, Posh is probably the most confusing person I’ve ever interacted with.

He’s a raving lunatic in the SunLight Sliders Discord chat. I seriously have no idea what to do with him! He makes me look totally sane! (And no, I’m not exaggerating) However, then he comes up with these beautiful stories that make me cry my eyes out.

Teach Me Goodness is a stunningly beautiful story about Cheerilee and her hard decision to move out of Ponyville to pursue her desire to become a better teacher by getting a graduate’s degree her doctorate in Fillydelphia. What she didn’t expect—what no one expected—was the specific soul she touched during her time as a teacher.

I never saw this coming. It’s one of those stories that defies true genre tags. You could say it’s happy, you could say it’s triumphant, you could say it’s loving, you could say it’s bittersweet, you could say it’s just super emotional. All of them are true, but none of them capture what this story really is.

So I’ll let you define it yourself. Go read this story.

...and then come into the SLS Discord and try to connect Posh on Discord with Posh in Prose.

When you manage to do that, let me know. I need to figure it out.  

Well, believe it or not, I took today off to get this out of the way as well as a bunch of other things. So, I’ll make this ending short with some great pictures of my birthday things from my family!

Until next time, have fun out there!

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Comments ( 8 )

Can you write a Sunlight story based on the Cupid and Psyche story from Greek Mythology?

Oooh, so we're getting Chaos Theory soon... Further into the timeline we go!

Honestly, I'm drowning in story ideas right now. If I do something based on something else, usually it comes to me naturally. While I know the story in passing, I haven't read it in decades. However, I'll rattle it around in my head and see what happens.

Yes, I'm aiming for this coming Monday in fact! :pinkiecrazy:

Congratulations, as usual, for the productive month - and the new review as well! I hope it wasn't too stressful, though. Or that you managed it well.

And yeah, you really did set a darker/grittier tone for SLS2 than I expected going in. But hey, it's been pretty great so far!

I... admittedly haven't read past the first chapter of The Narrative Cascade yet; it just didn't quite hook me enough when I had other things drawing my interest away. But the tab's still open, and I do intend on finishing it.

Chaos Theory, of course, is much awaited! After all the work and talk about it, I hope it lives up to expectations. Looking forward to the Minuette story too, as well as My Kind of Crazy now that I've actually seen the movie. Might check out Posh's story too (which will be odd because I knew him from Discord first). Might check out Sanderson's works as well the next time I head to my local library.

Not much else to say. Cute birthday stuff though!

Too bad about Cascade. It's my first story that I feel truly deserves a Comedy tag. As for the rest, thank you kindly! I hope you enjoy what I come out with!

I admit I was hoping to see Chaos Theory before my birthday (a few days ago) since you said January, but I'd have never mentioned it beforehand because I've no desire to rush an author for selfish reasons. Besides, Narrative Cascade was a lot of fun so that was fine for January. But now... January's over... and so... *steeples fingers and waits*

The entire opening needed to be reworked. To quote a gaming company I'm fond of, people won't remember if it's late, as long as it's great.

(Except Half-Life 3, but let's not go there).


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